Wednesday, November 1, 2017


A "typical reunion" of former students of the Instituto Politécnico Superior "General San Martín" in Rosario, Argentina, from the school's Wikipedia article. Photo by Fernando Lopez Anido. I was just looking for a campus picture and found this.

Sitting at a desk a couple of miles from the killing yesterday afternoon watching it unfold on the Twitter, heart-sickening. Those paths, a ribbon of parkland, only a few yards wide in places, almost completely ring Manhattan nowadays, and I spend a lot of time in them, on the Hudson River side, mostly not that far downtown. They are really peaceful and happy places. Every once in a while a little Parks vehicle tootles by, and everybody scurries easily out of its way. I can't get the thought out of my mind of the five men from Argentina, Hernán Mendoza, Diego Angelini, Alejandro Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernán Ferruchi, who were in New York, in a party of eight, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their graduation from the Escuela Politécnica in Rosario, when the truck hurtling up the path cut them down and killed them. How incomprehensibly random is that?

There are Jews in the world who run moneylending operations charging exorbitant interest rates, in addition to millions of non-Jewish usurers. There are African American men who are shiftless and lazy alongside shiftless and lazy people of other races. There are Muslims who commit appalling acts of terror. It's so disheartening every time you have to acknowledge the existence of such people reinforcing the worst stereotypes. In mid-afternoon it seemed possible that this was some kind of road rage incident; there were reports of a violent quarrel between two truck drivers. Then the news that the killer driver had shouted the "Allahu akbar", at first from unreliable sources, at last corroborated by authorities. The haters on the Twitter grew palpably more and more excited, taking a savage joy in seeing their hatred justified and their beliefs confirmed.

Trump is already blaming the whole thing on Chuck Schumer. He heard it on Fox & Friends.

Not a word about why Uzbekistan isn't on his #MuslimBan. Or Europe, for that matter, since Col. Shaffer brought it up.

Comically enough, Schumer is not only not responsible for the Diversity Lottery (he did help create it, in 1990, as a Brooklyn congressman; it allows in some 50,000 immigrants a year from unusual countries, mostly in Africa), he voted to abolish it in 2013, as part of the "Gang of 8" immigration reform proposals that died from the opposition of the Trumpiest anti-immigrant Republicans.

The most consoling thing is New York City, which doesn't get terrorized, as Roy notes.

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