Monthly Archives: May 2015

The riots in Baltimore

As of Wednesday 04/29/15, I am beginning a new post (compare last Monday’s), as events prior to Monday afternoon 04/27/15 could be called “demonstrations,” but beginning that afternoon can instead be called “riots,” and I don’t want the two terms confused.

Tuesday  2015-04-29

From my diary:

16:00.  Arrived 15:30.

Harbor Mart was open this afternoon, RA closed.  Found a shorter detour [16:40] around police HQ, via Water Street.

There is a crowd of several hundred people at Pennsylvania and North Avenues.  Many of them are white.  Whoever organized this did so in poor taste.  It’s like whistling at a woman the day after you raped her.  It nauseates me.

As of 15:30, the CVS was on fire again.

[16:55.]  “See?  They startin’ shit.”  Re: group marching down Fulton Av.

Wednesday 2015-04-29

Baltimore Riots: Protesters Defy Curfew, Again Clash With Police

The article fails to tell me where this event occurred, which is crucial as very different things are happening at different places in the city.

The crowd defying the curfew appeared to be much smaller than the ones out earlier today and, at times, it seemed the media may have outnumbered the residents.

Hooda thunkit?

The next article linked to here below says this crowd consisted of “several dozen.”  If, as it appears, this was at Pennsylvania and North Avenues, “several dozen” hardly compares with the several hundred who had been there as of 15:30.

The riots began Monday afternoon shortly after the funeral of Gray …

This language erroneously suggests a linkage between the funeral and the riot.  The Gray family had, in fact, asked that there be no “protests” on Monday, out of respect for their loss; and, in contrast, from days in advance, perpetrators had been planning a spasm of lawlessness to occur at Mondawmin Mall 15:00 Monday 04/27.

Curfew lifts after calmer night in Baltimore

This article would lead you to believe the entire city lies in ruins, whereas nothing could be farther from the truth.

From my diary:

17:10.  We watched a Bounce movie until 17:00.  [In previous days it’s been, instead, live TV coverage of the activity on the streets.]  I cannot hear anything that’s being said on TV.

Thursday 2015-04-30

Prisoner in van said Freddie Gray was ‘trying to injure himself,’ document says

The media play on this frames it as an effort by police to blame Freddie for his own injuries. That makes little sense given that the statement is wholly conjecture on the part of an individual who couldn’t even see Freddie. Such framing also ignores the intent of the document from which the statement is taken:

The affidavit is part of a search warrant seeking the seizure of the uniform worn by one of the officers involved in Gray’s arrest or transport.

Does that sound like a cover-up?

Nope, Jon Stewart, $1 trillion wasn’t spent on Afghanistan schools at the expense of Baltimore.

Four Pinnochios.

It’s politically correct, of course, to assume that massive spending can solve any problem.  It can’t.

Last night, a friend and I discussed our overall situation.  I began by saying there is no solution.  He responded that there is, but that it’ll take decades, and untold “billions.”  Well, if he admits that there is a solution, my answer now is, it can all be done for free.  The spirit of the people is all that matters.

Ted Cruz: Obama To Blame For Baltimore Riots Because He ‘Inflamed’ Racial Tensions

Another celebrity seeks to exploit our distress for his own gain.

I don’t normally allow myself to call any statement “absurd,” but this is absolutely absurd.  I have seen similar accusations against our mayor from right-wing outlets.

Freddie Gray death: Should it really be illegal to carry a knife in the city?

“A young black Baltimore man named Freddie Gray ended up dead after being arrested for carrying a small, spring-assisted pocket knife.”

The same is also known as a “switchblade,” and the author’s use of the highly euphemistic alternative description made me very suspicious. In fairness, the article is a detailed examination of the right or non-right to carry knives in general.

As of 11:47, I am ISO an article I passed over yesterday as I did not think responding to it was the best use of my time. It was a HuffPost opinion piece by a college professor, who began by saying Freddie Gray was essentially murdered for “looking while Black,” and somehow went on to blame the CVS for its own destruction.

She wasn’t done. She said that, rather than models of black female achievement, Loretta Lynch, Linda Singh and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake are shills of the system.

If I find the article, I may respond in more detail in a separate post. It seems to me to perpetuate a tendency among blacks to dispossess themselves of power, the end being to evade the responsibility that power inevitably entails. One who owns power cannot go on forever blaming others for one’s own foibles.

Justice requires that blacks own power.

Speech such as this impedes it.

[Postscript, 2015-06-19:  I found it.  I had mistaken the source; it’s from Salon.  Author Brittney Cooper: Black America’s Baltimore schism: Why the Freddie Gray tragedy demands serious soul-searching.]

From my diary:

14:01.  Sun front page photo indicates a huge, successful demonstration on Calvert Street last night.  I have seen no coverage of this in broadcast media or online.

bal-front-pages-freddie-gray-coverage-20150427-011

Fox News is doing everything possible to blame the mayor for the riots.  Yesterday they condemned her “destroy” remarks.  Today they cited a nameless source to the effect she ordered the police to “stand down” Monday.

Gray family attorneys continue to express satisfaction with the pace of the official investigation.

Numerous online mentions lately that Baltimore is 63% black.

16:00.  Another Bounce movie.  Set in UK.

Friday  2015-05-01

From my diary:

12:00.  Last night, WJZ gave live coverage to another extremely successful demonstration apparently involving thousands, that began on North Avenue and marched to City Hall.  The Net has ignored it.

Al Sharpton is in town. Marilyn Mosby has announced charges against the six officers.

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Prayer course syllabus

Below appears the syllabus for the course on prayer that I’m teaching at my church.  Today we completed Week 2.

===================================================

Effective Prayer

DESCRIPTION

Many people long to love and serve God — whatever that means — in ways more meaningful than mere ritual practices. This course will teach ways to focus one’s altruism so as to attain greater harmony within oneself and in one’s relationships. Anticipated outcomes:

– improved self-acceptance
– improved functionality
– improved employability
– improved ability to set goals
– improved ability to work toward goals
– enhanced sense of personal efficacy
– intrapersonal coherence (integrity, “faith”)
– enhanced affect management
– greater harmony in relationships
– It just plain feels good.

The course will treat all religions as equally valid.  Students are likely to hear prayers to “Allah,” “Jesus,” “Vishnu,” etc.  There will be no effort to promote any one belief system over any other.  It is suggested that students take the meditation course, “Mindfulness for Healing,” first.

BIO

William Tell, “The Homeless Blogger,” lives in Baltimore.

COURSE OUTLINE

Week 1

– Topic:  Tolerance and intolerance:  Students will discuss their willingness to engage in interfaith prayer.
– Text:  “Prayer Primer,” by William Tell
How do people become “lights” to this world?
– Text:  “Your Heart’s Desire,,” by Emmett Fox
What’s at stake in choosing one’s affects (feelings, emotions) intentionally?
– Homework:  Watch for moments when you can choose your feelings.

Week 2

– Text: “The Way of Peace,” by William Tell
Introduction to meditation, the principal tool for learning to choose one’s affects.
– Text: “Essay on Prayer,” by Ambrose Worrall
“Every thought is a prayer.”  What does this mean?
– Homework:  Establish a regular daily time for study and prayer.

Week 3

– Text: “Meditation and Contemplation,” by Ambrose Worrall
What are meditation and contemplation?  How are they different?
– Text: “Silentium Altum (Deep Silence),” by Ambrose Worrall
What is the use of “deep silence” (contemplation)?  What can one expect from that state?
– Discussion:  Pros and cons of organized religion
– Homework:  Seek to love people you don’t like.

Week 4

– Text: “Un[b]locking the Spirit,” by William Tell
Why should one pray for oneself first, before praying for others?
– Text: “When prayer backfires,” by William Tell
What are some common mistakes and misconceptions about prayer?
– Homework:  Practice bathing people in light.

Week 5

– Text: “From my diary: Learning to pray,” by William Tell
What is “doubt?” How can one overcome it?
– Homework:  Seek to become “heart and soul” as to your heart’s desire.

Week 6

– First session: Topics: Housekeeping; Trash day; Prayer in spirit
Exercises for “cleaning up” one’s emotional context, and praying for another person in   words.
– Second session: Topics: Prayer for enemies; Dealing with haters; Following guidance
Exercises in prayer for enemies, prayer about saboteurs, and obtaining guidance in intercession.
– Homework:  Practice following guidance in prayer.

Week 7

– Text: “Philosophy and Methodology of Spiritual Healing,” by Ambrose Worrall
An in-depth examination of the methods and processes of practical prayer, from the perspective of the 20th century’s foremost American expert in the field
Homework:  TBD

Week 8

– Topic: Prayer with the laying on of hands
Students who are interested in, and willing to participate in, the laying on of hands, will learn and practice it.
– Homework:  Let your light shine!

The Freddie Gray demonstrations

As of Monday, 04/27/15, let me say this.  We had five days of completely orderly demonstrations.  Only after that did the interlopers arrive, and only after that did any trouble begin.

Everybody, I think, wants certain things.  We want to find out the facts.  We want appropriate prosecutions, if warranted.  We want …

I’ve just read this article, which indicates interlopers were indeed allowed to address the crowd at the original gathering Saturday 2015-04-25.  They said things I do not believe any native Baltimorean would have said.  They had to rationalize their presence, and in my judgment, failed.

Continue reading The Freddie Gray demonstrations

God will wipe away every tear

Isaiah 25:

6On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear. 7And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death forever. 8Then the LORD GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken.

Continue reading God will wipe away every tear

A case on point about choosing thoughts, feelings

From my diary for Friday 2015-05-01:

Ta-Nehisi Coates has had two “provocative” HuffPost columns in two days.  Wednesday she decried calls for calm in Baltimore.  Yesterday she used the incident of Toya Graham’s confrontation of her son, to blame white people for every incident of violence among blacks.  [P.S. 12:00.  Correction: The latter was by Stacey Patton.] I may yet respond to the latter, but it’s best I not do so today.  I need to direct my thoughts and choose my feelings, and I feel immeasurably better when I focus on my own affairs than when I allow myself to get engaged with her turmoil.  Today’s task is to prepare materials for the prayer course; and it will be no excuse if I tell my students I came unprepared because she distracted me.