In the streets of London

Looting is bad, just to say the obvious, but it’s hard not to think of all that has unfolded this year in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, et. al. while looking at reports of the London riots. You could certainly say that there are no similarities, that it’s pure avarice, criminality, and there are no lessons to be learned, but I would say that there are a lot of people who are angry–at the police, at the lack of opportunity, at being tantalized by the glossy consumable world. Are we going to address that?

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There’s so little thoughtful discussion of immigration that reading Jose Antonio Vargas’s account of almost twenty years of hiding in plain sight in the Times is a bit shocking. Immigrants are a source of extraordinary dynamism and growth for a country and on simple, cynical, economic terms, the US and Europe need immigration fairly urgently. Vargas vividly illustrates the undercurrent of anxiety he felt for years and years even while he made lemons into lemonade (and won a Pulitzer)..






Borders is gone. Probably fifteen years ago, I gave a glowing recommendation for Bill Haas to get a job at the Borders branch at the World Trade Center. Bill was the Thursday night driver of the Uptown Van for the Coalition for the Homeless Mobile Soup Kitchen. Rail thin, a marathon runner, former rock and roll drummer, at times painfully shy, Bill introduced us all to Jimmy Armstrong’s Saloon and gave me and a lot of other people a wonderful social locus for some of the strongest friendships I still have today. Within months he was a store manager and eventually was transferred to DC and fell precipitously out of our lives. I don’t know what ever happened to him, but I miss him.

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