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Omaha, my adopted hometown, was in the news last week. A nineteen-year-old went into a mall and shot a dozen people, killing eight, and then himself. A few days later I had dinner with an Israeli friend. “Suicide bombers I understand,” he told me. “They kill innocent people, but out of a twisted sense of higher purpose.” The mall killer? “It was evil to no purpose,” he spat out in the usual, emphatic Israeli style. And then he said with a look of disgust on his face, “Every year I would piss on his grave.” It took him awhile to fully recover his composure. A pungent alternative to all the sensitive talk of tragic circumstances.



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