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Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Baltimore Ground Zero

Baltimore Ground Zero

I live in Southwest Baltimore, 2.2 miles from Pratt Street and Monroe Street which is Ground Zero in the current left/right controversy. There you will find rats, mice, bed bugs and trash including used hypodermic needles. You'll find them in other areas of Baltimore too. I see rats in my backyard from time to time. When it gets cold in the winter time the mice find a way in my house. You'll find this in most major cities in America and not a few around the world.

It's unrealistic to expect National governments to solve these local problems. The first responsible for them are the residents. Obviously the residents here are not able to solve the problems that more than a few of their neighbors cause. Nor is it their responsibility! People, after all, are responsible for their own actions.

In the mid-1980s I drove a taxi here. I was driving in a neighborhood very close to Pratt and Monroe one afternoon. I smelled a bad smell. Not rats. Human waste. It was overpowering. I suspect it was a broken sewer line. In a well-to-do neighborhood there should have been public or private contractors fixing it. But this neighborhood was take your pick, infested with or inhabited by drug addicts and prostitutes. And, as you might imagine, also INHABITED by some very poor families. There were young children playing in the street. I wondered how long it had smelled that bad and how long it would smell that bad.

I came to Baltimore 43 years ago. Contrary to what you might have been told, my experience is that things have actually improved since that time. But not at Pratt and Monroe. And not everywhere in Baltimore. In 1976 I lived on Patterson Park Avenue directly across from the park. That is Southeast Baltimore. It was a stinking mess. Packs of dogs, 5 to 15 dogs at a time more or less ran through the park and the neighborhoods and defecated all over the sidewalks. The park was not well cared for. Trash was a problem. Now there is great improvement in that neighborhood. The city has eliminated the dog problem. The park is much nicer. You can walk the sidewalks comfortably. A good bit of the neighborhood on the south side of the park is relatively new construction. Some of these and other neighborhoods now gentrified were as bad as those near Pratt and Monroe are today.

Our Inner Harbor was a landscape of rotting creosote coated timbers and pilings, the ruins of wooden docks for a once very busy commercial port. Today it's a Marketplace built by the same people who rehabbed The Harbor at Boston Mass. It has a small Marina. It is home to the USS Constellation, a U.S. Navy warship commissioned in 1855. We have the USS Torsk, a U.S. submarine commissioned in 1944. We have a science museum and the National Aquarium! Commerce at the Inner Harbor was thriving for a good while. But the Obama administration caused economic decline from which it needs to recover. There are too many empty properties in what was once quite full of businesses.

The shoreline of the Inner Harbor eastward through Fells Point and on to the foot of Clinton Street has been developed into middle and upper middle class housing complete with marinas. It too was in great disrepair 1976. These improvements would never have come through socialism. It was pure and simple our capitalist economic freedom that improved the shoreline here. Socialism would never have done it. Socialism may destroy it! Welfare socialism is, I believe, almost entirely responsible for the mess at Pratt and Monroe.

Baltimore is 70% or more African American. But in here in Southwest Baltimore there are some number of poor whites, destitute whites and white drug addicts. It's not a racial problem, it's a human problem. Alcoholism used to be a very public problem in the poor neighborhoods. It's not so obvious now. Perhaps people prefer the cheap heroin and marijuana. West Baltimore is not the only place here where white and black suffer... DARE I SAY TOGETHER?

Finally I note that Baltimore has been called the evangelists graveyard. There are hundreds if not thousands of denominations and non-denominational congregations. All the main line and all the ancient denominations are here. Baltimore is headquarters for the Roman Catholics who have been here for 229 years. Perhaps we do not have heaven on Earth in Baltimore because Christendom is fractured here.

News flash: FYI: ATTEN:
The Messiah Jesus is only building one Church.

In the Lord's Prayer, more accurately called the disciples prayer, that is the prayer giving by the Lord to the disciples, we read: "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Certainly we should go about finding out what is being done in heaven.