Saturday, August 3, 2019

The Charm of Baltimore, President Trump, Senator Sanders, Mayor Pugh, and Representative Elijah Cummings

Baltimore, The Charm City, was once one of America’s Greatest Cities; it has seen better days, but there’s much too highlight about the city: Johns Hopkins University and Medical School, among the best in the country and world; Camden Yards B&O Railroad Museum The National Aquarium The Inner Harbor Fort McHenry Fells Point U.S.S. Constellation Nancy Pelosi’s childhood home Little Italy Crab Cake Baltimore is often known today for the highest homicide rate among the largest cities, a major drug problem, high unemployment, rampant rats, and great inequality with a 22% unemployment rate. Baltimore’s population peaked at 905,787 in the 1950 Census. It’s been declining ever since. Today’s population is estimated at slightly over 602 thousand. Baltimore is a mini version of Detroit’s decline. America mostly forgot about Baltimore in recent decades as its economics situation declined. Baltimore was one of America’s great industrial cities. It is a city of both beauty and squalor. Americans learnt of Baltimore from two TV series and the tragic death of a prisoner: “Homicide: Life on the Street, and “The Wire.” Freddie Gray, after being transported in a police cruiser, died from trauma to his head while in the back of the cruiser. Riots ensued after the “alleged” act of police brutality. The public watched on national TV as parts of Baltimore, especially a CVS, burnt to the ground while police stood down. The order was given to stand down, but no one in authority admitted to it. Fire Fighters did not enter these areas without police protection, which was not provided. Six officers were indicted by an incompetent district attorney. None were found guilty or copped a plea. All are innocent in the law. Baltimore is a dysfunctional city with a high crime rate: 309 homicides in 2018, the fourth straight year with over 300 homicides; 185 homicides so far this year; 5 police commissioners in 5 years; 3 mayors in 4 years. Orkin’s Rat Rates of Top 50 Cities ranks Baltimore #9. Chicago(#1), New York City (#2), and the District of Columbia (#4) set the pace for America. Baltimore’s major problem over the past half-century is deindustrialization with high paying factory jobs giving way to lower paying service jobs, if available. Baltimore is also a victim, like many American cities, of past housing segregation with African Americans squeezed into ghettos, continuing poor education in the inner city, and too many non-traditional families. Congressman Elijah Cummings has represented West Baltimore for seemingly eternity. He chairs the powerful House Oversight Committee. Congressman Cummings exercised his prerogatives, both as a member of Congress and as Chair of the Committee, as the Grand Inquisitor to harangue and Crucify Kevin McAleenan, the acting director of ICE, who under the understood rules of Washington, had to sit back, suck it up, and demurely object. Representative Cummings got his national soundbite. President Trump does not play by Washington’s rules. He had the balls, bluster, brass, chutzpah, effrontery, gall, and nerve to call out Representative Cummings. He lambasted Cummings and Baltimore, never directly tweeting or uttering a racist remark about either. However, whenever President Trump criticizes a member of a minority, such as “The Squad,” he is viciously attacked by Democrats and the media as racist. The premise is if President Donald Trump says it, it’s racist. Identity politics in the main Democratic strategy to defeat President Trump’s Reelection in 2020. The economy is booming with record low unemployment among African Americans and Hispanics. Therefore the Democrats and mainstream media have to paint President Trump as a racist. The President tweeted about Baltimore and Representative Cummings: “Rep. Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His District is considered the worst in the U.S.A.” He added “If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place.” He further tweeted Baltimore is a “Disgusting rat and rodent infested mess” and said “No human being would want to live there.” Remember, Baltimore lost 300,000 inhabitants, 1/3 of its population since 1950. What is racist about those statements? Representative Cummings house as broken into last Saturday. Daniel Murphy was recently hired as Deputy Police Commissioner of Baltimore. He and his wife were walking Friday night, July 19 around 9:00pm near Patterson Park when two 16-year minors at gunpoint robbed them. The culprits took a purse, wallet, cash and cell phones, but fortunately did not physically harm the victims. The Lexington Market is a famous, historic public market a short distance from downtown and the Inner Harbor. Tourists are told it is unsafe to go there. A 20-year old tape recently emerged of Representative Cummings saying : “This morning, I left my community of Baltimore, a drug-infested area, where a lot of the drugs that we’re talking about today have taken the lives of so many children. Was African American Representative Cummings racist when he said that? Mayor Catherine Pugh walked through abandoned buildings in East Baltimore on September 11, 2018 and exclaimed: “What the hell? We should just take all this XXX down.” A short time later she said “Whoa, you can smell the rats,” and “Oh my God, you can smell the dead animals.” Was the African American Mayor Pugh being racist? Senator Bernie Sanders echoed the racism refrain against President Trump. He found it unbelievable that we have a President who attacks American cities, who attacks Americans, who attacks somebody is a friend of mine.” Is this the same Senator Sanders who during his 2016 presidential campaign walked the streets of West Baltimore? He was moved by the pathos (my word – not his) of Baltimore: “Anyone who took the walk that we took around this neighborhood would not think you’re in a wealthy nation. You would think that you were in a Third World country.” He noted that Baltimore is “a community in which half of the people don’t have jobs,” and that “We’re talking about a community in which there are hundreds of buildings that are uninhabitable.” He found it disgraceful that “Residents of Baltimore’s poorest boroughs have lifespans shorrter than people living under dictatorships in North Korea. That is a disgrace.” Was Senator Sanders, who recently called President Trump a racist, a racist himself in his comments about Baltimore? How is it racist to tell the truth? Baltimore, The Charm City, is sadly a microcosm of many of America's inner cities.

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