Bafflement and expectation
In his Subway Bomb Suspect’s Mysterious Act of Mercy, New York Times, December 19, 2017, Mr. Jeffrey Gettleman recorded, though he did not quote, Akayed Ullah’s reason for his pipe-bomb action on December 11, 2017, at New York’s Port Authority.
Quoting Mr. Ullah’s mother-in-law, Mr. Gettleman recorded that when Mr. Ullah returned from Bangladesh “he was so upset… those people were living in hell each and every minute.” Additionally, according to Mr. Gettleman, from his bed in Bellevue, Mr. Ullah said that he built and detonated his device “inspired online by the Islamic State to strike against the United States for its policies in the Muslim world.”
Yet in his article, Mr. Gettleman apparently wanted to firm-up his own view that the truth of what Ullah said about himself had to survive the views of others. So he introduces the conflicting opinions of those who are tangentially acquainted with Mr. Ullah, sets aside Ullah’s own words, and gives the reader the inevitable self-produced baffle: why did he really do it!?!
Clearly, I am not about to argue that Mr. Ullah’s self-described motives necessarily take precedence over what others say about him, yet it seems to me pretty straightforward: given Ullah’s coherence, and given his knowledge of what we have been doing — in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia Syria and Yemen — there is no genuine mystery. Mr. Ullah’s description of his own motives are to be accepted without filler and without irrelevant elaboration as the whole explanation — period!
Mr. Gettleman missed the opportunity to argue that had we the moral interest to know what we have done to others, (if I might interject the analogy: to the planet too) on a scale significantly greater than a stupid pipe bomb, we would not have been caught off-guard by Saipov on October 31 and now Ullah.
Using our own code of fairness, we would expect that others would do to us, by their own means and measure, for our having done to them, by our own means and measure. That may be unpleasant, but it is no more than how things work — unless of course you are an Indian from here.
John M. Giannone, ST
Why I use my local pharmacy
I use the pharmacy on First Avenue between 21st and 22nd Streets, Rite Way Drugs & Surgicals, and have done so for decades. Not CVS, Duane Reade or Walgreens.
The owner and pharmacist Sam knows me and my history and needs. He is a man of honesty and integrity. And I can count on him for knowledgable advice.
For example, my physician prescribed a brand name over the counter medication for $10 and Sam said that a generic one was the same and cost only $3, even though he would make less profit.
Though CVS is just as close, the people who work there change quickly so it is difficult to form a relationship with any of those in the pharmacy department – though I do buy the many cheap “loss leaders,” which are offered every week so as to entice customers into the store.
Of course, not all local drug stores are as good as the one I mentioned.
David Chowes, PCV