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Category Archives: Commentaries & Critiques

Aspects of Terror 3. 1945 to 2015.

Laws and customs are useless without fear.
Niccolo Machiavelli, Il Principe, 1532.

In 1987 President Reagan said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”. Though history gave Ronnie credit for the wall’s fall, it had been obvious for years that Communism was a lame duck, an empty threat. When Gorbachev did as he was told, we took to calling him “Gorby”.  Anyway, after more than four decades of bloviating politicians, nuclear threats, military posturing and armed engagements, everybody needed a break. The US had suffered major shocks of its own after World War II and was in need of some psychic R and R.

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (1941) had unified the United States. But then came the military stand-off in Korea (1953) and the assassinations of President John Kennedy (1963) and five years later, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. Richard, “Tricky Dick”, Nixon’s criminal Presidency and the defeat of U.S. forces in Vietnam in 1975, topped off consecutive seasons of discontent. These successive traumas gradually undermined America’s self esteem and raised doubts about a future world order. All the while, allies of the U.S. continued to expect the US to confront and pay for any global conflict, arising anywhere, at any time. Talk about Schaden Freude!

–  All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.          ….Thomas Paine

At the time of  Reagan’s Berlin speech, religion had ceased to be a significant moral force in many western cultures. But, still gripping the heartland of America was a deep Christian belief in the wrath of God, the fear of death and its aftermath.

Then came 9/11, 11 September, 2001, when hijackings of four US commercial airplanes by Jihadists galvanized the US, bringing terror back to the heartland and providing political opportunists a ready made bandwagon. Before a joint session of Congress in January, 2002, George W. Bush used 9/11 to unveil  what became his presidency’s slogan, “Axis of Evil”, a not very subtle allusion to our II World War enemies and Biblical admonishments.  “Axis of Evil” and “Weapons of Mass Destruction” paved the way for a March, 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

– The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary          …H. L. Mencken

Tragically the War with Iraq, as it came to be known, was unnecessary.  Provoked by Dick Cheney, and justified by Gen. Colin Powell who, in February 2003, presented the United Nations with seemingly unimpeachable proof of Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction, the US invaded Iraq, dragging its allies behind it. But Colin Powell had been set up.  When Dick Cheney’s proof later proved to be fabricated, world wide condemnation of the US followed.

US tactics have been useless against individual acts of terror and so called Mid-East Jihadists. Those tactics, for there is no evidence of an intelligent strategy, have only exacerbated Mid-East problems. The institutional chaos among today’s Muslims is comparable to the Reformation in northern Europe when Catholicism splintered into multiple Protestant sects. Then as now, the conflicts have more to do with power than religious doctrine. Finally exhausted from years of carnage, Europe began to sort things out, sort of. The Mid-East must do the same.

It’ll take time, probably a long time, but that’s okay. Let’s leave the ball in their court and while they’re figuring out which strain of muslimicity is the purist, we can keep busy at home, shedding our ethnocentricity and recouping the losses we’ve suffered during our attempts to impose our brand of capitalism and democracy where it’s unwanted. Oh yes. We can also deal with the crooks on Wall Street. [1.]

Meanwhile, the Cold War has morphed into the War on Terror. According to current political cant, it will take years, perhaps generations to defeat terrorism. Now everyone can breath easily. No need to confront national problems, simply fixate on terror. However, proponents of a long term engagement with terror would do well to remember the fate of the French in Viet Nam, the Russians in Afghanistan, Napoleon in Russia, the Brits in America twice and the US in Viet Nam. Terror is part of the human condition. It will never be defeated by war. It can be sublimated, but that’s something our politicians seem willing to avoid.

For people saturated with terrorism, perpetually trapped, as it were, inside an Iron Maiden with an adolescent suicide bomber, I suggest the following remedies. Frequent and liberal doses of sarcasm, mockery, laughter and ridicule would certainly help. And read up on some terrorists from back-in-the-day. History will reveal contemporary terrorists to be merely tawdry exhibitionists.

Their kidnappings, beheadings, bombings, burnings and mass murders, constantly talked about, reported on and analyzed, will pale into insignificanse when compared to the exquisite terrors inflicted byTimor Lane, Pope Innocent the IV,  Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot. These sadists did not wear masks nor seek publicity. They were confident of their missions. Leave all this Mid-East stuff to the Mid-East, the entire Mid-East. They’ve started killing each other, a good sign, so leave them to it. As Jon Stewart said, ” It’s all Bull shit”. So let’s start cleaning the shit off our boots. They’ve been on the ground for far too long.

[1.] The financial crash of 2008 was another kind of terror. American’s awoke to discover their  investments and pensions had been electronically siphoned into Wall Street banks. Overnight, America’s middle class almost disappeared and to date, no bank financial officer has been prosecuted, much less put in jail. The nation’s unity, so prominent after World War II, was fractured into a corrosive cocktail of bewilderment, disbelief, cynicism, disgust and fear. In seventy years, the US has dwindled from the world’s richest, most optimistic and powerful nation, to third world status.

The question is, will it stay there?

Note: In 1945, I was 8 years old. I clearly remember VE Day. I and my fellow students were given small paper American flags and sang “God Bless America” as we marched en mass around our school.

 
 

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Aspects of Terror 2. Paris, 1757.

Foucault, Michel:  Discipline & Punish, the Birth of the Prison, translated from the French by Alan Sheridan, pps. 3-5,Vintage Books, New York, 1995

The Body of the Condemned

On 2 March 1757 Damiens the regicide was condemned ‘to make the amende honorable before the main door of the Church of Paris, where he was to be ‘taken and conveyed in a cart, wearing nothing but a shirt, holding a torch of burning wax weighing two pounds’; then, ‘in the said cart, to the Place de Greve, where, on a scaffold that will be erected there, the flesh will be tom from his breasts, arms, thighs and calves with red-hot pincers, his right hand, holding the knife with which he committed the said parricide, burnt with sulphur, and, on those places where the flesh will be torn away, poured molten lead, boiling oil, burning resin, wax and sulphur melted together and then his body drawn and quartered by four horses and his limbs and body consumed by fire, reduced to ashes and his ashes thrown to the winds’.

‘Finally, he was quartered, recounts the Gazette d’Amsterdam of 1 April 1757. ‘This last operation was very long, because the horses used were not accustomed to drawing; consequently, instead of four, six were needed; and when that did not suffice, they were forced, in order to cut off the wretch’s thighs, to sever the sinews and hack at the joints.

‘It is said that, though he was always a great swearer, no blas­phemy escaped his lips; but the excessive pain made him utter horrible cries, and he often repeated: “ My God, have pity on me! Jesus, help me!” The spectators were all edified by the solicitude of the parish priest of St. Paul’s who despite his great age did not spare himself in offering consolation to the patient.

Bouton, an officer of the watch, left us his account: ‘The sulphur was lit, but the flame was so poor that only the top skin of the hand was burnt, and that only slightly. Then the executioner, his sleeves rolled up, took the steel pincers, which had been especially made for the occasion, and which were about a foot and a half long, and pulled first at the calf of the right leg, then at the thigh, and from there at the two fleshy parts of the right arm; then at the breasts. Though a strong, sturdy fellow, this executioner found it so difficult to tear away the pieces of flesh that he set about the same spot two or three times, twisting the pincers as he did so, and what he took away formed at each part a wound about the size of a six-pound crown piece.

‘After these tearings with the pincers, Damiens, who cried out profusely, though without swearing, raised his head and looked at himself; the same executioner dipped an iron spoon in the pot con­taining the boiling potion, which he poured liberally over each wound. Then the ropes that were to be harnessed to the horses were attached with cords to the patient’s body; the horses were then harnessed and placed alongside the arms and legs, one at each limb.

‘Monsieur Le Breton, the clerk of the court, went up to the patient several times and asked him if he had anything to say. He said he had not; at each torment, he cried out, as the damned in hell are supposed to cry out, “Pardon, my God! Pardon, Lord.” Despite all this pain, he raised his head from time to time and looked at himself boldly. The cords had been tied so tightly by the men who pulled the ends that they caused him indescribable pain. Monsieur le Breton went up to him again and asked him if he had anything to say; he said no. Several confessors went up to him and spoke to him at length; he willingly kissed the crucifix that was held out to him; he opened his lips and repeated: “ Pardon, Lord.”

‘The horses tugged hard, each pulling straight on a limb, each horse held by an executioner. After a quarter of an hour, the same ceremony was repeated and finally, after several attempts, the direction of the horses had to be changed, thus: those at the arms were made to pull towards the head, those at the thighs towards the arms, which broke the arms at the joints. This was repeated several times without success. He raised his head and looked at himself. Two more horses had to be added to those harnessed to the thighs, which made six horses in all. Without success.

Scan

‘Finally, the executioner, Samson, said to Monsieur Le Breton that there was no way or hope of succeeding, and told him to ask their Lordships if they wished him to have the prisoner cut into pieces. Monsieur Le Breton, who had come down from the town, ordered that renewed efforts be made, and this was done; but the horses gave up and one of those harnessed to the thighs fell to the ground. The confessors returned and spoke to him again. He said to them (I heard him): “ Kiss me, gentlemen.” The parish priest of St Paul’s did not dare to, so Monsieur de Marsilly slipped under the rope holding the left arm and kissed him on the forehead. The executioners gathered round and Damiens told them not to swear, to carry out their task and that he did not think ill of them; he begged them to pray to God for him, and asked the parish priest of St Paul’s to pray for him at the first mass.

‘After two or three attempts, the executioner Samson and he who had used the pincers each drew out a knife from his pocket and cut the body at the thighs instead of severing the legs at the joints; the four horses gave a tug and carried off the two thighs after them, namely, that of the right side first, the other following; then the same was done to the arms, the shoulders, the arm-pits and the four limbs; the flesh had to be cut almost to the bone, the horses pulling hard carried off the right arm first and the other afterwards.
‘When the four limbs had been pulled away, the confessors came to speak to him; but his executioner told them that he was dead, though the truth was that I saw the man move, his lower jaw moving from side to side as if he were talking. One of the executioners even said shortly afterwards that when they had lifted the trunk to throw it on the stake, he was still alive. The four limbs were untied from the ropes and thrown on the stake set up in the enclosure in line with the scaffold, then the trunk and the rest were covered with logs and faggots, and fire was put to the straw mixed with this wood.

In accordance with the decree, the whole was reduced to ashes. The last piece to be found in the embers was still burning at half-past ten in the evening. The pieces of flesh and the trunk had taken about four hours to burn. The officers of whom I was one, as also was my son, and a detachment of archers remained in the square until nearly eleven o’clock.

For an analysis of Discipline & Punish, the Birth of the Prison, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discipline_and_Punish

 

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Aspects of Terror 1. Alerts To Threats In 2015 Europe From John Cleese.

ALERTS TO THREATS IN 2015 EUROPE
From JOHN CLEESE

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s get the Bastards.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide.” The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France ‘s white flag factory, effectively paralysing the country’s military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”

The Germans have increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbour” and “Lose.”

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels .

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy.  These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be right, Mate.” Two more escalation levels remain: “Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!” and “The barbie is cancelled.” So far no situation has ever warranted use of the last final escalation level.

Regards,
John Cleese ,
British writer, actor and tall person

And as a final thought – Greece is collapsing, the Iranians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray. Welcome back to 430 B.C.

 

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The Tour de France, 2015

Stage 19 of 21, The Tour de France in the Alps. A downhill stretch prior to the last ascent to 5,000 feet above sea level.

Stage 19 of 21, The Tour de France in the Alps. A downhill stretch prior to the last ascent to 5,000 feet above sea level.

 

Landscape near Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, south east France. End of Stage 19, The Tour de France, 2015.

Landscape near Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, south east France. End of Stage 19, The Tour de France, 2015.

An Alpine scene near Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, France.

An Alpine scene near Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, France.

Every year beginning in early July, the great three week long bicycle race, the Tour de France is televised and I watch. Of course I marvel at the physical condition and endurance of the cyclists. They pedal continuously for hours a day at speeds ranging from 10 mph whilst ascending inclines of 10%  or more, to speeds of 50 miles an hour and above  as they soar downhill or sprint to the finish line. The incredible explosions towards the finish by the sprinters is breathtaking. As a dyed in the wine couch potato I simply cannot fathom how these young men do what they do. However, the real attraction for me is the scenery. The two fellows who have been broadcasting this event for years, have info about the various scenes appearing during the race, usually shown from a helicopter. They’ll tell the age of a church or cathedral, how long it was a building, the history of a castle, plenty of those in this year’s Pyrenees Mountain stage, and they’ll point out Château to whose owners they’ve spoken and who just might be the 15th generation occupants.

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This year’s race covered a 1,464 mile circuit through various parts of France. The villages are delightful to see. As well, wineries, Château, farms, mountains, castles, canyons and the fields in impressionist colours, provide unforgettable scenes from this endlessly fascinating country. This year, the tour spent one day in the westen Ardeche, immediately beyond the Rhone River and its Chateauneuf du Pape vineyards among others. Below is a Chateau with eight cylindrical towers, one of the national treasures of France.

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Every year the race ends in Paris on the Champs-Élysées route. The riders ride now a total of 8 laps (up towards the Arc de Triomphe, down the Champs-Élysées, round les Tuileries and the Louvre and across the Place de la Concorde back to the Champs-Élysées.) This is a rather slippery spoke as a great part of the route is on cobblestones. Usually the leader of the race  is protected by his teammates and they are buried in the midst of the peleton, the majority of racers whose job it is to support and protect their star mountain climbers, sprinters, time trial specialists and road racers.  A disaster can occur if any cyclist in the peleton loses his concentration for just a moment and crashes, particularly in front of the  leader, thus making the efforts of three weeks come to naught.  Around and around they go. And finally, if all goes as the teams planned, there is a winner, sometimes by just a minute or two.

To watch the tour live, you’ll need to have cable and rise very early in the morning. If that’s beyond the pale, there is an 8 PM summary. Monday’s are rest days.

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Universal Health Care from a Northern Perspective

“Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson introduced the Medical Care Act in 1966 that allowed each province to establish a universal health care plan. In 1984, the Canada Health Act was passed prohibiting user fees and extra billing by doctors. In 1999 the Social Union Framework Agreement committed Canada to health care that has “comprehensiveness, universality, portability, public administration and accessibility.” excerpted and edited from Wikipedia

In my travels I meet people from the United States who want to know my thoughts on Obama care. I usually avoid discussing the plan, pleading ignorance. But if I had a chance I would explain healthcare in Canada, at least from my perspective.

I arrived in Canada in 1967. Lately some substantial health issues have helped me test the care and cost under present conditions.

In the last 15 years I’ve had  two full hip replacements using stainless steel and titanium prosthetics from Germany. I also had a hernia operation. The hip replacements were done in the Orthopedic and Arthritic Hospital in midtown Toronto. There are 10 orthopedic surgeons on staff and the techniques and quality of care are second to none. Toronto Western Hospital has a new ophthalmological wing where I had a macular hole closed in my left eye and cataracts removed with high frequency ultrasound. The costs of all  these procedures were covered by Canada’s universal health care system and Canadian tax payers.

To combat my high blood pressure, my long-time family physician worked out what he called a very potent cocktail of drugs. I have no idea what the weekly cost of this cocktail would be in the United States, but I guess it would be too much for me to handle as a senior citizen. I pay one small fee a  year to the Canadian government, something just over $100, and a very small pharmacy fee for prescription refills. My drugs are effective and individual provinces negotiate best prices with drug manufactures from around the world.

I am always bewitched and bothered by Americans who fight against government programs designed to make their lives  more comfortable. Those objecting most strenuously are often the conomically poor and middle class, who could be bankrupted by long term care. By coercion, corruption and fear, pharmaceutical and insurance companies in collusion with their political minions, have convinced Americans of Obama Care’s anti-Americanism, even attaching and popularizing its derogatory name.

When Barack Obama ran for president of the United States, he espoused a single-payer health plan. What the American people ultimately got was an almost incomprehensible tome thousands of pages thick. Perhaps something simple and useful will eventually filter through this bureaucratic silt. I hope so.

When universal health care began to take hold in Canada, its population was 19 million. Today it’s 38 million, about 3 million fewer than the state of California. These facts beg the question, with a U.S. population of 319 million, why the problems with health care?

Keep well and have a good day.

 

 

 

 

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A Letter to a friend.

Dear  M,

The last time we spoke I mentioned a certain piece of music I had recently heard on a recording and you immediately responded in what I took to be a rather flat voice, ” Daniel Barenboim’s 50th anniversary concert”. [1.]  From the tone of your voice I gathered, perhaps incorrectly, that you  were not enamored with this recording. I can understand your reservations. But as we were speaking long-long distance, we had tno time to explore musical subtitles and as well, we had children and grandchildren to Moo about.

Recently I’ve had time to ruminate on Barenboim’s recording and other great artists recorded in front of live audiences. These ruminations and a long silence between us, are the reasons for this letter.

From the beginning, Barenboim’s interpretations ranged from interesting and sublime to  overwrought, sometimes beyond the pale of performances typically heard today. My first reaction to this recording was that Barenboim, appearing in triumph before a home town crowd as a prodigal son, had decided to unleash his impromtu passion and willingness to take chances, to create joy, as only an interpretive genius can.  His heart on his sleeve, he just took flight. Perhaps it was this flight that unsettled you.

The  Mozart Sonata K 330,  was played with the traditional rubatos, but others were added. Overall, they were larger, surprising and delightful. I prefer over all the 1957 Clara Haskil live recording.[2.]  Barenboim plays the second movement slower, giving it more gravitas.  The Beethoven, Op. 57, ‘Appassionata’ really sets out the difference between romantic  Barenboim and the classic Clara Haskil. Barenboim’s use of the sustain pedal blurred many of the lines I so love to hear in this sonata. If you wish to hear the clarity of Horowitz, hear every note virtuosity at any speed, check out the live  Vienna piano recital of Lang Lang.[3.]

Remember, this is only an assumption on my part, I could agree with your lack of enthusiasm for Barenboim’s recording. Some of the following shorter pieces lack luster, with one exception being the second Scarlatti Sonata. But I beg you to seriously consider his performances beginning with the Chopin  Nocturne, Op. 27, No. 2., Db Major. When I first heard this I was stunned. Here was something definitive. A clarity of emotion, a direct path to the heart, that one rarely experiences either in person or on recordings. There is no room here for a contrived thought. This is fingers improvising without touching. Barenboim must have been outside himself, I certainly was.

For lovers of the sublime, Chopin’s Nocturne begins the final  and most thrilling part of Barenboim’s recital. His performances of José Resta’s Bailesito, Ginastera’s  Danza de la moza donosa and Villa-Lobos’ Polichiinelle are visceral. Ginastera’s  Danza reminds me very much of the Chopin nocturne with its gentle left-hand opening, nostalgia in the melody, the grandiose middle and the return with its unexpected yet perfect strokes.

Well dear  M. I’ll bring this message to an end by saying how much I am enjoying music history. As a student I started working forward somewhere around J. S. Bach and ended up playing Takemitsu. Now I’m going backwards.  Some of my findings have been discussed in earlier postings.  My latest discovery, some scholars refer to him as the West’s first composer, is Guillaume Machaut. As a friend  recently pointed out, the quality of performances of early music has increased considerably since David Munrow began his crusades in the early to late 60s.  The CD [4.] is titled Mon Chant Vous Envoy and there are seven performers, singers and instrumentalists. His music requires a revaluation of what is old and what is new.  Midway through this elegantly package and wonderfully performed CD, there appeared a work that stopped me in my tracks.

One more piece of music I feel compelled to mention, I’m sure you know it, is another sublime work in the Chopin, Ginastera, Machaut realm.  Schubert’s Die Nacht for male chorus. My version was conducted by Robert Shaw and recorded in France by Telarc. It is the first of six songs under the heading Evensong. If I should die before I wake  .  .  .

Please give my love to R and R, T, A and all the young ones, Gute Nacht.

 

r[1.]  Daniel Barenboim, live from the Teatro Carlo, July 19, 2000. E M I Classics.

[2.]  Clara Haskil live recording, August 8,1957, Salzburger Festspiele Mozarteum.

[3.] Lang Lang, Live in Vienna, February 27-March 1, 2010.

[4.] Mon Chant Vous Envoy, 2012-13, Elequentia.

 

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Baltimore Meets the Press.

Sunday, 2 May

Every Sunday morning I have a coffee or two in bed and watch so called major network news shows usually beginning with Meet the Press. This Sunday the entire programme was devoted to racial strife in Baltimore, Maryland. The panel was unusually well informed and articulate. They often spoke in complete sentences, knew some history and expressed thoughtful ideas, uninterrupted by other guests or by host Chuck Todd.  So rather than switch channels, I stayed tuned to the end, hoping to see or hear something from my home town.

I was born and raised in Baltimore. Natives say “Ballmer” and it took years of living in Canada and constantly being recognized as a Yankee, before I mastered Bal-ti-more. “Merlun”, or Maryland was another challenge and I tried hard to avoid ever mentioning the state where “Ballmer” could be found.

I lived on Howard Park Avenue in west Baltimore, just a block and a half north of Liberty Heights Avenue and a few blocks from Gwynn Oak Junction, my perennial hang out. I attended P.S. 218, Garrison Junior High  and was in my first year at Forest Park High, when we moved 30 miles further northwest to the farming community of Westminster. During my years in Baltmore, unless I trekked downtown to Baltimore’s dock area, I rarely saw a black person or a person of any colour other than white. This was during the 1950s when Baltimore’s population was 3/4 white. Today it’s 2/3 black. I thought it kinda neat that one of my best friends and his Father were the only Jews I knew. My love affair with golf began on Forest Park Golf Course, an easy walk from my house, where I caddied, played golf with a 7 iron and searched the rough for lost golf balls.

When news of the revolution in Baltimore hit the tube, placing its beginnings in west Baltimore, I was very interested in learning details. Druid Hill Park was frequently mentioned, a lovely space of greenery and play I’d visited, but I’d never heard of Sandtown, reported to be the epicenter of the disturbances. Interested to see if some of my old haunts might make the tele, I watched every channel that might devote extensive coverage to the affair, BBC, PBS, and the major US networks. Unfortunately, I recognized nothing.

The Meet the Press panel discussed poverty, poor education, father-less households, prejudice, police violence, incarceration rates, poor housing and poorer job opportunities – the usual shibboleths mentioned after every black uprising in the US.  I wasn’t learning anything new. Baltimore and any city with a history of racial unrest, had faced the very same issues and no one, especially local, state and Federal politicians had acted upon any of them.

So, in the end, my attention was caught by the Meet the Press sponsors. Given the subject matter of this programme, I found their presence to be disturbingly ironic, spiteful and dismissive of the public’s intelligence. Each one declared itself champions of the working man, builders of secure futures and guardians of the environment: Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Koch Industries, Boeing, Locheed Grumman and Sea World.

Consider, these sponsors are all companies known to have destroyed the middle class, rocked the world’s economy, paid its employees unlivable wages, polluted our environment and raped the public trust and treasury by charging unconscionable prices for military hardware. All these companies, and many more, are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to convince the public they are necessary and have kind hearts and good intentions. And yes, even Sea World spent millions to convince us that keeping whales penned up is a good thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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