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Suddenly, Baltimore – Wonder Why?


Suddenly, Baltimore – Wonder Why?

Ralph Nader

Suddenly, the mass media is writing about or televising the conditions in West Baltimore. Conditions that Washington Post columnist, Eugene Robinson, summarized as decades long “suffocating poverty, dysfunction and despair.”


Mr Nader, you still have that fire in your belly.


I graduated from BPI back in 1964 when it was located on North Ave.
Things weren’t too good back then, and I imagine it’s only gotten worse
since I left “Balmer” for greener pastures.
Ralph Nader was always my hero after “Unsafe at Any Speed.”
For years and years, the corporations couldn’t bring him down.

Per the Lewis Powell memo to the US Chamber of Commerce back in 1971:
“Perhaps the single most effective antagonist of American business
is Ralph Nader, who – thanks largely to the media –
has become a legend in his own time and an idol of millions of Americans.”

Finally, the Democrats brought him down as punishment for running
against Al Gore in 2000.
So his current influence is just a shadow of the 70’s & 80’s.
But he will always be my hero as one person who at times succeeded
against the system.


And how predictable will be the inevitable official inaction by the ruling classes once the embers dim, leaving the neighborhoods in despair.

Excellent Mr Nader! The whole article. Your true feelings came right out onto the paper.

West Baltimore received a visit from the new Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, who said “we’re here to hold your hands and provide support,” without specifying resources beyond helping the city improve its police department.

The attitude and sarcasm that drips from this short article is thoroughly appropriate. A delight to read.


Thanks again Ralph! You’re the Greatest!


Notice that whenever Obama gives a speech on inequality or racism he is on his way to meet with his corporate paymasters to assure them the that his Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is in the bag.
TPP and its TTIP sequel will seriously exacerbate racism and inequality.


Mass communications have always been mediated and one way transmissions. The Web demands a response. The cultural norm below age 40 is 2-way instant communication of images as well as narrative. So the authority of TV and radio are undermined.

They can’t handle unfiltered feedback. So they plod along, attempting to reassert their authority and being ignored. Every public space is mediated by the insertion of TV. The local bar has 3 huge screens behind the bar, making individual conversation difficult and human connection limited by visual distractions.

Patrons communicate with each other by web while the TV screams for their attention. Thesis topic for some communications scholar.

The idea of spending billions of dollars on campaign TV ads is quaint and unnecessary. Web based campaigns are still pretty simplistic,but TV is no longer relevant to the election process, ending its pride of place since Nixon/Kennedy. Like the patriarchy it resembles, it is marginalized as reality overshadows it. We don’t have to listen. we’re on the net talking to friends.

The CNN model dominated TV because it provided an expansive, bur limited amount of information more accessible than programmed news broadcasts. The logistics train that produces that product is too static to compete with instant uploads with unfiltered commentary. The fake ‘on your side’ tropes that attempt to build intimate connections with news ‘personalities’ are laughable compared to Facebook.

The old models don’t work. Entrenched interests and corporate models have lost their power to control information. Again. Because the gatekeepers refused to diversify and expand their narrative, Baltimore was a huge surprise.
Irish potato famine worked the same way. Dust Bowl - same/same. Diversity is required for survival.


[quote=“Waterhorse, post:7, topic:8203”]
“TV is no longer relevant to the election proces”
“corporate models have lost their power to control information.”
[/quote]We have moved towards that, and that may one day come to pass, but that is not yet.

Just as I came to know that the day of the VHS was dead when video rental stores no longer purchased them. I will know that corporate control of the narrative is dead when corporate control of our politicians end, when imaginary threats from far flung regions of the world have no effect, and when war based on lies is no longer possible, and when taxation dollars is spent on the betterment of peoples lives rather than spending it on buiding a security wall between the 1% and the 99%.

Those things have not happened yet, and corporate control of the narrative is stil very strong.


Shades of Bulworth!
If one has not seen this 1998 movie then do so as soon as possible. It is still available on Amazon. It should be made as premium gift for the Pacifica radio stations. It is just a pertinent today as it was in 1998. It’s loud and it proud and it is a viable way to communicate with facts and poignant humor.

It also shows that nothing has changed especially in the Democratic Party. The facts are that the Democratic Party has capitulated and has abandoned its base for the beguiling perks of Wall Street.


It’s absolutely true that the media focuses on the few ‘rioters’, and therefore the public is focused on this too. It’s to the point that people completely forget the thousands and thousands of peaceful protesters in the affected cities. And they forget the reason the people are protesting - the desperation of those who are discriminated against by the forces meant to protect them.


Mr. Nader gets it!


Nader’s accurate analysis describes the (eco)logical consequences of overpopulation, resource depletion, environmental pollution and species extinction through an economics perspective perhaps because economics, not science, is the sanctified way for the public to understand the world.

We must not talk about such things as war profiteering, immigration, ebola epidemics, wealth inequality, poverty and the rest in ecological terms. It would result in further ridicule for tree huggers and inflame Dawkins detractors.

It is interesting to watch the conservative-bestialist, liberal-humanist debate as nature steps in with global warming, and more pain and suffering. To allay the human plague by electing reactionary conservatives for more of the same, now that it may be too late to achieve world peace and ecological balance the humanists way.


Nader is my hero too. He is as radical as ever. Good for him.


Pew announces 29% of Americans are now secular, humanist and science-based citizens. They are kicking God to the curb because he’s been such a failure on the environment, equality and a host of issues. That must drive the anti-Dawkins crowd crazy. Behind every major problem confronting the world is the warmed over, paternalistic and authoritative false narrative called order. Religion is based on orders from above, like gov’t, and also shares the killer DNA of blind obedience. As the old blues spiritual goes, " they told us God was on our side, So you know, somebody lied. " The lies will continue but the police baton and the water cannon will be the new normal; replacing the hocus pocus of all church canon. And, that’s the necessary evolution to avoid a truly apocalyptic revolution. Nader has touched this problem with both hands, here. And, those hands are not folded in prayer, thankfully.


Fire or not, can we really separate Mr. Nader’s actions in the 2000 election from events of today? Knowing he had no chance in Heaven or hell to win, why did he stay? Life, being what it is, at any rate, IS the consequence of his refusal to accept reality then. Commenting on reality ‘now’ forces us to still confront his contributions to IT & whether he has yet achieved legitimacy enough to dare comment ‘here’ before commenting on why he didn’t use principled judgment ‘there’ - knowing the fate of the nation INDEED was at stake - as we NOW continue seeing horrifically unfold before our helpless, confounded witness… We are ‘NOW’ as a result & as a nation, because Mr. Nader had too much pride (or received too much ‘payoff’ money) to abdicate in an election he KNEW he would NEVER win - w/HIS & OUR nation paying the ultimate price - a disintegrating Democracy & severely degraded civil society…


The band-wagon is already far too full, but paying close attention to events since 2000, we see the uptick in hate was ushered in w/the hate against the diversity embodied in the Clinton administration, its policies & the resulting equitization of our civil society. The economy made inequality, war, ignorance, racism, white collar/street crime, Environmental crime & illiteracy nearly extinct & was about to carry forth for another whole 8 years (had Al Gore been unimpeded in the ‘finals’ of the 2000 election - which is another story in itself that Mr. Nader is better able to - but as yet not - answer(ed)). Sour grapes? Thwarted progressive, positive future America? Take your pick, but we don’t have the horrors of 2001 to this moment in time, w/out the ill-advised & irrational decision by Ralph Nader, to simply bow out gracefully, from the 2000 election, so the ‘real’ contenders could vie for the top prize of leading the nation ‘future-ward’ - w/intelligence, peace, unity & PROSPERITY…