#1143 – Dick Bernard: WWI, a Dreadful One Hundredth Anniversary, and another Gun Incident Close to Home.

POSTNOTE 1 a.m. Friday July 8: When I posted the below less than 12 hours ago, I was hardly aware of the shooting of the African-American citizen in Falcon Heights, a town in which I used to live; at a location I knew well, along a walking route I used to take in the early 1980s.
Eight hours later, I know quite a bit more about the local “tragic incident” in a nearby town, and what is already the spillover effect. If what happened on that street yesterday is not a wake-up call to we Americans, nothing will be. Here’s something else I said in the July 2 blog referred to below: “The notable exception, and it is an important one, is that we in the U.S. are killing ourselves and our fellow citizens with guns at an alarming rate, well over 10,000 U.S. citizens every single year. Here’s one data source that seems credible.”
Get acquainted with the data at the above website, and get to work.
My friend, Jeff, reminds me that today is awful anniversary of the terrible battles of WWI:
Jeff: It seems as if things couldn’t be worse, but pause to consider 100 years ago now, two
ongoing battles, ending in stalemate, with 1,200,000 dead on both sides, and another 1.2 million casualties over the 6-8 months each battle lasted.
Seeing the first use of phosgene gas and armored tanks on the battlefield.
Watch here, about Somme; and here, about Verdun.
Germany plays France today in soccer in the semifinals of the European championship. The Brexiters and others in EU wanting separation always underestimate the value of over 70 years of peace between Germany and France (and England) is an exceptional thing given the history of Europe from about 1400 to 2016.
He and I had a brief exchange, as follows:
Dick: Yes, very good.
I tried to point this out, gently, in the July 2 blog (“There are great problems…but this is a pretty peaceful time, at least as far as war is concerned.”), and a friend basically suggested I was a “rose colored glasses” type. [Data here: War Deaths U.S.002
Jeff: It’s true, actually, actual violent death caused by malicious intent is low worldwide. We just hear more about it. Not that its any less devastating.
The randomness of terrorism, and of course what happened in Falcon Heights* [another killing of an African-American by police] last night make it more frightening.
I don’t think you are a rose colored glasses type.
Optimism is a good thing.
* I lived in Falcon Heights in the early 1980s, only several blocks from yesterdays tragic incident. It is a small community, suburban St. Paul, close by the Minnesota State Fair Grounds.

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