Elba encounters a Tarantula, here.


Tuesday Netflix gave a viewing tip:  Waco: American Apocalypse. a three part series which opened March 22.  [See Postnote 2] It’s now 30 years after.  Has anyone learned anything?  Joyce Vance has an very informative commentary on the 1993 tragedy.  (Vance places the Branch Davidian compound 20+ miles northeast of Waco near Axtell TX.  Another well known place in the area, later, was George W. Bush’s “ranch” outside Crawford TX, roughly the same distance northwest of Waco.  Map here. We’ve been to Crawford, in 2007.  Just a tiny Texas town.  We were enroute to Houston, and I specifically wanted to see the sort of ‘shrine’ Crawford had become for the anti-Iraq War folks.  I supported and support their cause.  I wonder if Camp Casey still exists there.)

Fence Crawford Texas June, 2006 (photos by Dick Bernard)

Camp Casey, Crawford TX, June 2006

Also on Tuesday, I watched a great special on Dr. Tony Fauci on American Masters on public television.  It is a superb treatment of an American hero and covers the waterfront.  Information Here.   It is really worth your time.

Sunday afternoon in downtown Minneapolis will be the third and final segment of the recent Pilgrimage of downtown Minneapolis clergy to Georgia and Alabama.  I have been to the first two, and will be at this one as well.  Each program is unique and have been well attended and very excellent, each about 1 1/2 hours beginning at 4 p.m.  More detail here: Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2023.  My on-going thoughts on the reports about this Pilgrimage can be seen here.  I will be adding to it after the last program this Sunday.

Also, Sunday evening on MSNBC, the documentary on Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power,  will air 9 p.m. CDT.

POSTNOTE: Check back later if you wish.  I have some personal comments on the general issue of symbols and violence.

Briefly, on Shrines….

One of my abundant quirks is a fascination with assorted shrines and monuments.  If I see evidence of a roadside placard, I’m inclined to stop and check it out.

Such as well at the Branch Davidian site outside Waco (photo in Joyce Vance commentary).

I have seen probably thousands of such places over the years, remembering all sorts of happenings (probably the most unique was in the early 1990s, with my Dad at tiny Rutland ND where he once had been a school teacher.  At the entrance to the town was a gigantic griddle, to remind visitors of the “world’s largest hamburger” cooked there at an recent event.)

For good or ill, shrines of all sorts attract followers, no less than rural Waco.  So be it.

Two years after the Branch Davidian compound burned, another zealot bombed the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, killing hundreds.  We’re been there, too.

Good and Evil is a qualitative judgement.  We enshrine both, and narratives live on in hearts and minds of some.

On this day I prefer to think of the ordinary every day people I will see this weekend in this suburban community and in slightly more distant St. Paul and Minneapolis.  Odds are that today will be like all days, where the only people I’ll see are among the daily business of living their lives.  Possibly there will be an emergency vehicle enroute to some 9-11 call, but that’s about it.

The news, of course, will always lead with the incident, of whatever, giving credence to the saying “if it bleeds, it leads”.

But keep the reality in context.  Most of us, most everywhere, rich and poor, are about doing our best; in one way or another trying to make our little piece of turf a little better….

Have a great day.

Postnote 2: After publishing the above post, I spent part of my Saturday afternoon watching all three episodes about Waco on Netflix.  The documentary is very much worth your time.  It closes with the Murrah Building bombing.


from Chuck: Thank you!
I wonder if it will mention that Timothy McVeigh was there watching this all unfold…and because of his experience in Gulf War 1, then Ruby Ridge incident he was convinced the federal government was getting to abusive of people’s fundamental rights…and then used his bombing of the Oklahoma Federal building to make a patriotic statement!   He killed over 160 people and a classroom full of children in the day care center with that truck bomb.  He said he felt bad about that …but in his war against the Federal aggressor…they were unfortunately collateral damage.

from Dick: Re “I wonder” – no, Okla City was just a short segment at the end.  I’ve twice been to the park that is the footprint of the former Murrah Building.  It is a contemplative place for sure.  We all have opinions and our own connections with these and other situations.  I wish we would learn from the past.  Perhaps most of us do, but some will never, and the beat goes on.



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