What’s Going On?

Justice is what love looks like in public. — Cornell West

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Happy Centennial Daniel!: So far this month, Edward Curtin has graced his Behind the Curtain blog with two typically brilliant pieces of reporting and analysis. The first is simply a digital reprint of what he wrote the day after the priest Daniel Berrigan died five years ago at 95. Curtin, then 24, met Berrigan, then 47, and over the years kept in touch with the man who changed his life permanently. 

Titled “Walking with Fr. Daniel Berrigan, S.J., a Criminal for Peace,” it is also in Curtin’s Seeking the Truth in a Country of Lies (Clarity Press, 2020). While one can read “Walking,” including readers’ comments, online for free, the book is a keeper. With luck a companion volume will contain readers’ comments on the more than 40 essays in Seeking that people first read as blog entries.

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Philip Who?: Curtin’s other entry so far this month is on how Covid-19 and the pharmaceuticals produced in response have been reported and misreported. “Second Stage Terror Wars” will take some time to get through, particularly if one explores some of the nearly 50 links in it. (Through them readers can enter whole worlds of reality that are brand new to them — sometimes known as “rabbit holes.”)

Noted in “Second Stage” is that Philip Zelikow was named to lead the new nongovernmental Covid Commission Planning Group. He was the Bush-Cheney administration functionary who as 9/11 Commission executive director controlled the crafting of its 2004 report on the September 2001 terrorist attacks (not including the anthrax terrorist attacks of that month) to bury inconvenient truths. Zelikow’s responsibility in this position will be the same, although he may not have the clout or credibility he formerly had.

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‘History Can Be Erased — It Often Has Been’: That was headline in our local paper over an op-ed column by Charles Blow of the New York Times. (Read it HERE in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.) The history he talks about is mostly that of the massacre in 1921 that wiped out a whole section of Tulsa, Oklahoma. White residents aided by National Guard soldiers killed hundreds of blacks  and left thousands homeless. Blow says that when a lawyer tried to teach about it in the late 1940s her students at the University of Tulsa her students “didn’t believe her.”

He then shows why, quoting from his own newspaper: “After the massacre, officials set about erasing it from the city’s historical record. Victims were buried in unmarked graves. Police records vanished. The inflammatory Tulsa Tribune articles were cut out before the newspapers were transferred to microfilm.”

Decades later the scrubbing of Tulsa atrocity records was repeated after the September 2001 terrorist attacks (in the scrubbing of which Zelikow was scrubber-in-chief). The FBI continues to withhold “classified” mountains of 9/11 evidence, presumably because its release would evaporate the mythology clouding the attacks.

Blow cites several examples from American history and continues, “We are horrible transmitters of the truth. We are horrible receptors.”

What about that first person plural pronoun?

He concludes similarly: “We absorb the stories we are told, too often without circumspection, imbuing them with the authority of the tell. So, when authorities tell a lie or diminish something, many people will accept it as told.”

The columnist is writing about Tulsa, but also about 9/11. He and colleagues know full well the government accounts of the September 2001 terrorist attacks are hokum. Higher-ups, though, have decided that facts exposing it as such are not yet “fit to print.” When will they be?

Until they are, not only history but science has been erased.

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Here Are Three Marvin Gaye Songs: “What’s Going On” and “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” and “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler).” Click on each to listen.

They are from the tribute to Gaye, HERE, on NPR’s “Morning Edition” this morning. Fifty years ago today Gaye’s smash hit album “What’s Going On” was released. At least some of the songs expressed his frustration with all manner of things not being reported right if at all.

— Mark Channing Miller

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