WTF 5/6, Can there ever be justice for one and all?

Words

All I am saying is give justice and equality a chance… justice-struggle-

I got blisters on my brain from all the heat I feel running around through them there synapses as I rethink the weeks past events. One question… can we ever get justice for one and for all in this old world? Ten thousand years of so-called civilization and this is what we get?  What we see right here and now? We have gone from walking on all fours to flying through space, yet, can’t control our emotions and sensibilities so all folks have freedom from want and fear? Seems by now, we could have found a better way to share the wealth of a world that was once free… but now appears as if it is in the hands of a meager 1% of the 1%…

Let me tell you now
Everybody’s talking about, revolution
Evolution, masturbation, flagellation
Regulation, integrations, meditations
United Nations, congratulations

All we are saying is give justice and equality a chance…

Apologies to John Lennon but I bet he wouldn’t mind me borrowing and emending his thoughts just a tad…

 

joe1Sometimes, I just don’t know what goes through some folks brains and I scratch my head… I say to myself, I guess I can see where they are coming from but… I’m not sure I understand what the hell they be trying to say…

 

Case in point…

Saw this last week on the internet… “…irate Baltimore councilman (Carl Stokes) said using the word “thug” to describe the rioters who terrorized the city on Monday is just another racial code word.”

I wish to point out Mr. Stokes is black.

Carl Stokes
Carl Stokes

To continue…

In an emotionally-charged exchange with Erin Burnett on CNN, Councilman Carl Stokes said, “Of course it’s not the right word to call our children thugs. These are children who have been set aside, marginalized who have not been engaged by us.”

That part about marginalization? And non-engagement? I’m with him on that… so far.

Burnett then interrupted Stokes: “But how does that justify what they did? That’s a sense of right and wrong. They know it’s wrong to steal and burn down a CVS and an old person’s home. I mean, come on.”

Stokes: “Come on? Calling them thugs? Just call them niggers… just call them niggers. No, we don’t have to call them by names such as that. We don’t have to do that.”

Stokes just lost me… at the least he just confused the hell out of me… by taking the jump from people calling other people who go around destroying stuff a bunch of thugs an equating that to them calling those same destroyers niggers.

Don’t think for a minute I am so naïve to think the word nigger was not being derisively bandied… or used racistly… by certain folks because you can bet my last pain pill I am sure that word was… I mean let’s face facts… it sure as hell wasn’t used as a street term meaning a pal or close friend… such as “my niggah got my back” or “hey, niggah…

Not by some ignorant slobs.

He… Stokes… then added, “You wouldn’t call your child a thug if they should do something that would not be what you would want them to do.”

Burnett retorted, “I would hope I would call my son a thug if he ever did such a thing.”

Now to be clear…

After Freddie Gray was killed while in police custody and some peeps escalated anticop demonstrations into riots… burning and looting certain sections of the city… they were called thugs by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, City Council President Bernard (Jack) Young and President Obama…

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake

All of these folks are black.

I mean, I kinda, sorta understand what Stokes was saying and on some level I understand where he’s coming from… but I do believe his emotions were getting in the way of his logic.

See it is like this… I just have a really hard time justifying looting and burning down businesses and destroying people’s livelihoods… especially when the businesses and livelihoods that were destroyed were in their own communities that least could afford to be destroyed.

Helll… I might go as far as saying the rioters were dumb ass stupid jerks who could care less about the issues involved… civil rights and a dude being killed by cops… or… their own neighbors… and, whose main motivation to do what they did was greed, selfishness and just plain old being bad ass bullies… or maybe in a word… thugs.

Hence, maybe the reason why folks be calling the peeps doing all the looting and burning… thugs.

More talking about riots…

I’m sure ya’ll seen the stories roaming around the internet and the printed media where a really pissed off mom is seen in a video beating and berating her son for taking part in the Baltimore riots.

The woman… Toya Graham… is seen slapping the teen about three times on the side of his head as she attempts to tear a mask off his face. furious-baltimore-mother

She is screaming, “Take that motherfucking mask off! Take it off!” as he starts to run off and she goes after him. She adds, “You gonna be out here doing this dumb shit.”

Media reports said that the POM… “Pissed Off Mom”…had hunted him down after seeing him on TV joining in on the protests and hurling rocks at cops. So, she went out and found his dumbass. And, in her first interview… with CBS News… after the video of her getting after her son went viral… she said, “He gave me eye contact… and at that point, you know, not even thinking about cameras or anything like that ( I went off).”

Graham later wrote on Facebook…“I’m a single mother with one son. He will not be a Freddie Gray. I beat the shit out of him. So if anyone seeing me on the news tonight that’s why.”

Now…

Some folks, like Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, saw Graham as a good parent doing what was right… Batts said, “If you saw on one scene, you had one mother who grabbed her child who had a hood on his head and she started smacking him on the head because she was so embarrassed. I wish I had more parents that took charge of their kids out there tonight.”

Other folks said Graham was no heroic person what so ever… that we shouldn’t be glorifying parents beating on their children. Some so-called psychologists type peeps… both pro and amateur… even said that when the mom and son were together, that the son’s posture was withdrawn and suggestive of what some kids look like who get abused…

Now, I have no idea what Michael’s… that’s the son’s name… life is like at home… I also have no idea what the mom’s temperament is like on a day to day basis.

I do know this… think and project what you want from any perspective that you desire but Toya Graham, to me, seems to hit the old proverbial nail on the old damn head… in fact prior to seeing her son and becoming an overnight celebrity she wrote on Facebook, “I’m so tired of seeing this news release of how they messed up downtown Baltimore. Let’s get back to the real problem at hand.”

And, in November, had this to say about the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown by a white cop in Ferguson… “My son is my everything. As a mother I couldn’t understand half of what Mrs. Brown is going through. My child not a perfect child but still my child.”

So, what’s not to understand? Seems to me she has got her priorities pretty damn straight to me. I don’t condone using violence to always get a point across… because usually the point of the violence just winds up being futile and lost in resentment… but sometimes a good whack on the ass… or maybe a couple or three slaps to the head… are needed to get a child’s attention before they finally hear your words…

Sorta like “There… now that I got your attention ya wanna listen to some reason?”

Earlier, in this article I referenced a CVS pharmacy that was looted and destroyed by the rioters… here’s the particulars…

Katrice Gardner
Katrice Gardner

Katrice Gardner lost her home, her job… and nearly her life.

Why and how? Because of the terrorists, the hooligans and the thugs… see I can say the damn word, no problem… that raped Baltimore… that is that raped certain sections of Baltimore… not all of Baltimore.

See… mobs of riotous idiots rampaged through the neighborhood where she lived and worked, and, when she stood in the dawn’s early light and saw ashes… the ashes and charred remnants of her firebombed house and the CVS she managed.

Ms. Gardner told the media peeps… “I was yelling at them, pleading at them not to burn my house. They had set the houses around me on fire. They were throwing stuff into the house. They were throwing Molotov’s and very flammable stuff. All I could do was beg them not to burn my house.”

And, this is where I never understand why when people riot, they tend to riot where they eat and sleep with their own… how’s that ever make any sense?

Hmmm… I’m pissed that another neighbor got taken and killed by the power… so let me rise up against the power and make the power take notice… and burn down my neighborhood and steal and rob and harm my neighbors.CVS-baltimore-protest-gray

Now, how’s that standing up to the power? The man? And, what’s the point being made? Who’d ya’ll hurt?

Gardner said she… like most black folks in Baltimore as well as throughout these here yew nited states… are freaking outrageously angry about the death of Freddie Gray at the hands of police.

But, then Gardner says, “I can’t live in my house while it gets renovated and the place where I work got burned down. I don’t have a home and a place to work. This is a lot of calamity.”

Needless calamity at that… because who got screwed in the end? Not the object of the so-called hate but just another poor soul who’s trying to make a life in this world.

There are reasons folks are demonstrating today so strongly and it is directly related to the same damn reasons that there was a such a strong powerful movement when certain of us folks started demonstrating through the late 50’s, the 60’s and into and through much of the 70s because there was something powerfully wrong with our society.

A movement started, that was eventually and primarily led by, and identified with, Dr. Martin Luther King and ideals that he held sacred. The gist of the movement said black people and white people need to be on an equal footing. That all people have certain rights and that these rights cannot be denied based on anything… one of the most important on which a right cannot be denied is because of the hue of a person’s skin.Whitney-Port-Martin-Luther-King-Jr-Day-600x899

Not that long ago, in this column, I wrote that I didn’t think that the mindset of cops that went into certain communities was with the idea that they were going to kill black people, but, that it was also a fact that each day in this country, somewhere a cop killed a black person. I, also, said that every day a cop probably also killed a person from any other color or race. And, I said that the real issue was not so much the color of the peeps being killed as it was the economic status of the peeps being offed. Or to be precise I said… “… I will lay down money that more poor folks get killed than rich folks, or, the so-called folks of affluence, or, even what they call middle class folks. And, a lot of them poor folk tend to be the so-called minorities.

According to a report by the Center for Constitutional Rights, between 2004 and 2012, more than 4 million people were stopped, and, in less than 6 percent of those stops was there an arrest made. More than 80% of those 4 million people being stopped were black or brown folks… aka African American or Latin… raising the cry from “minority” communities that stop-and-frisk was sanctioned racial profiling.

A judge agreed and for all intents and purposes “stop and frisk” was ended in NYC.

On December 5, 2014, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly hosted her show “The Kelly File” and interviewed Eric

Eric Adams
Eric Adams

Adams, the Borough president for Brooklyn, and, a retired New York Police Department captain.

Got that? A retired top cop… one of them

These are some of the things that Adams said on that show…

  • “ …that’s not, based on my opinion, (but it’s) based on my 22 years of police service, and, based on what the numbers show when it comes down to stop and frisk, marijuana arrests, although whites use marijuana the same level as blacks, it’s a disproportionate number of who’s arrested for it. So, the methodologies that are used in law enforcement, across the country, not only in New York, is really based on a different implementation based on where you are carrying out the police factors.”
  • “What I am saying (is that)… well-trained police departments across the country are applying their skills differently based on the community they’re in. So, I do want my police officer to come and tell a person you can’t sell loosies. But that person should not be placed in a chokehold and left on the ground to die.
  • “… because we cannot ignore that race plays a role in how we police in America.”
  • “Yes. That’s exactly what I’m telling you. I’m telling you the tolerance level and the skill set level of great police practices are different based on the ethnicity and the economic standards of the individuals involved… I’ve been at this for over 30 years and it’s clear that we police people differently in America based on their economics and ethnicity.”

Therefore, when cops who are involved with situations where there are questionable circumstances that result in very unquestionable and dire consequences and nothing comes of it after some so-called investigations and/or grand jury proceedings… when an involved cop, or cops, faces/face no indictment and/or other departmental consequences other than a probable reprimand with maybe some “re-training”… then, it should be no wonder that people sometimes get a tad concerned that something is rotten in NYC… in the NYPD.. or in Ferguson… or Baltimore. And, that maybe their basic rights are being denied because of the reality that they are mostly minorities and mostly not so well off as some other people in other parts of the city.

So, it should be no surprise that they get more than a bit unsettled about the way things are and start to thinking… and, that thinking gets to where they start to talking… and that talking starts to getting to where they start to protesting and as they start to protesting they start to shouting “enough” and saying “this needs to stop right here and now.” And, sometimes it goes a step too far and either outside agitators take advantage of the situation, or, people just plain lose it and riots happen. This is not a rationalization of nor a justification for any riots or looting or destructive behavior whatsoever… it’s just fact that it happens.

Sad but true…

In a past recent WTF column, I referenced Martin Luther King Jr. and his incarceration down in Birmingham and his famous letter from that jail… I believe that reference needs to be made again… here and now…

In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. while a “visitor” to the Birmingham jail wrote a missive, aptly entitled “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” that explained directly and pointedly why the black man could no longer wait for his equality…his freedom… his rights…to be fully given and then accepted by a mostly once upon time very white majority society in America… the gist of his thesis is summed up in a long run-on sentence of some 300 or so words that would probably cause hellified havoc within some English teacher’s grammarian grey matter but nails the reason why …martin-luther-king-jr-quote-unarmed-truth

But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick, brutalize and even kill your black brothers and sisters with impunity; when you see the vast majority of your 20 million Negro brothers smothering in an air-tight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your 6-year-old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see the depressing clouds of inferiority begin to form in her little mental sky, and see her begin to distort her little personality by unconsciously developing a bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a 5-year-old son asking in agonizing pathos, “Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?”; when you take a cross-country drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading “white” and “colored”; when your first name becomes “nigger,” your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are) and your last name becomes “John,” and your wife and mother are never given the respected title “Mrs.”; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness”; then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait.

(The full “letter from a Birmingham jail” here.) 

And, in this time, here and now, black folks, Hispanic folks, Asians and others… even some white folks… once again find themselves in a position where they are being marked as suspicious because of where they live… how they dress… how they walk… how they talk… and… yes… how they look because of what color their skin might be.

They find that they get stopped for usually some minor and sometimes contrived broken window offense that more often than not seems like it is nothing more than a convenience for an officer to justify the fact he wanted to simply show someone on the street who was really in control. And, sometimes when an officer or officers try to throw some weight around things somehow can get out of control and before anyone understands the severity of the reality of what is going down, someone is hurt and sometimes someone gets dead.

And, when it all comes down and the questions get asked and the same scripted answers get told and the same-old-same-old press conference is held… people say what the hell… and… the end result is that what the people in certain communities are hearing is just another version of “wait.”

Those folks say we thought the waiting was supposed to be over. But, maybe it never really ended and maybe not a whole heck of lot really changed at all.th

So, when, two black men are killed during altercations with cops in two different venues… Ferguson and NYC… and…another black man was shot in the back and killed while running from a white cop in North Charleston… and… now, in Baltimore, another black man is first severely injured while being transported by cops to jail and then subsequently dies from those injuries some folks believe that its once again time for some marching in the streets, and, once again time for some peaceful revolution… time again to remind the powers that be that folks ain’t gonna take it anymore, and, that they just don’t want to hear calm down, take it easy and wait… because, the time for waiting needs to end and be finally done with.

But, this time it went that step too far… and… there was violent bloody actions in the streets of Baltimore.

Previously what always happened… happened again and again and again…big shot union voices from the police unions and other police affiliated unions, as well as other certain political voices, kept saying the cop(s) involved followed departmental procedures and whatever had happened was due to the injured, or deceased, citizen’s illegal activity and resisting arrest… and… two grand juries refused to hand down any indictments. People saw that as more whitewashing the facts of the incidents away without any real public due process being performed. People started their versions of the 1970s freedom and anti-war marches and the associated chants. And, the union big wigs said that those demonstrating in the streets… and all those, like the mayor, who sympathized with those demonstrating… were trying to stop cops from doing their jobs. That cops were not being supported by the city government and were being thrown under the bus, and, then, finally the worst possible scenario occurred… two cops in NYC got shot by some crazed lunatic… some fool somehow rationalized in some macabre demented logic that it was okay to sneak up on two officers; shoot them… murder them. In the name of what God only knows… insanity is the most probable guess.

And, NYC’s PBA chief Patrick Lynch issued his fateful and hateful and very melodramatic cry… that the mayor had blood on his hands. Because of the mayor’s statement about his son… about how his partially black son needs to be careful around the police… and his “support” for the demonstrators and his “non-support” for the cops… somehow that strangely in Lynch’s convoluted logic gave permission to and was the reason why that lunatic went and did his dirty deed. Killed two cops. Somehow Lynch was using his own macabre logic to say that someone who spoke their mind was the same as condoning two cops being shot dead…

And, suddenly the focus of all the demonstrations was gone… everyone felt deep sorrow for two innocent souls lost… lost because of some type of misguided hate. And, everyone… almost everyone… said the demonstrations should stop… there should be some sort of hiatus to the marching and the shouting and that it was a matter of respect. And, in one respect I saw that those asking for the demonstrators to show some respect… for the two sacrificed cops was right… that those in the streets who for the most part were asking… pleading… demanding… for respect… for decency… for justice should stop all the marching and chanting for cops… for police… to stop killing citizens was in some sense in itself just decent, right and just… but… in another sense just another way of saying “wait.”

Then the North Charleston incident occurred… only this time there was irrefutable video evidence and the cop was shown to be shooting a man who was turned and running away… at least 15 feet or so away from the officer… who shot him in the back. No way was he struggling with the perp. No fear for his life. That cop got popped.thGC5EA337

Mayor Keith Summey said, “When you’re wrong, you’re wrong. And if you make a bad decision, don’t care if you’re behind the shield or just a citizen on the street, you have to live by that decision.”

Eddie Driggers, the North Charleston police chief, “I have watched the video and I was sickened by what I saw.”

Reverend Al Sharpton came to North Charlestown and said, “It’s not about black and white. It’s about right and wrong. What this mayor did is what we’ve been asking mayors to do all over the country: Not do us a favor, just enforce the law. In the deep South, a mayor and police chief did what we couldn’t get mayors in the north and the Midwest to do.”

Walter Scott Sr., the father of the victim, said, “It would have never come to light (if there were no video). They would have swept it under the rug, like they did with many others.”

And that begs the question… if there was no video does the cop really still go down for taking that black man’s life away, or, is there another cover-up?

Now its Baltimore…02baltimore-JP-02-master675-v5

Freddie Grey…

But his time six cops got indicted

The state’s attorney for Baltimore City, Marilyn J. Mosby, filed charges against the six cops almost as soon as she received a medical examiner’s report that ruled Mr. Gray’s death was a homicide.150501_baltimore_marilyn_mosby_ap_11601_1160x629

Mosby announced on the steps of Baltimore’s War Memorial, that “The manner of death has been ruled a homicide stemming from a fatal neck injury that occurred while Gray was unrestrained by a seatbelt while in police custody in the police vehicle transporting him to the station. To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America: I heard your call for ‘No justice, no peace.’ Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man.”

The big bombshell from the DA was when she said that the arrest itself was unfounded. The knife Gray was carrying wasn’t a switchblade and was legal for him to have.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake reported that at the moment of Mosby’s announcement five of the officers were in custody and all were under suspension. Later that day the sixth cop was also in custody.

The mayor said, “There will be justice for Mr. Gray. There will be justice for his family, and there will be justice for the people of Baltimore.”

Now, I just have to note… DA Mosby and Mayor Rawlings-Blake are both black people. And, now, I ask… Do you think this gets to charges being filed if these two people in charge are white and not black? Just asking…

Because… I don’t.

Interestingly, of the cops who were arrested, three are black.02baltimore_officers2-articleLarge-v3

Caesar Goodson (second degree murder, three counts of manslaughter), Alicia White (manslaughter, second degree assault), William Porter (manslaughter, second degree assault), and Brian Rice (manslaughter, two counts second degree assault) posted $350,000 bail; Edward Nero (two counts of second degree assault) and Garrett Miller (two counts of second degree assault) both had bail set at $250,000.

All six officers were arrested and appeared before a judicial officer. By late Friday, court records showed the officers had been released from jail.

Another point of interest… the bail for all six cops… including the officer charged with murder… was lower than the $500,000 set for 18-year-old protester Allen Bullock, who was photographed smashing a cop car and charged with eight misdemeanors.3a23ac24621e3780034c29cafd830c82

As soon as the charges of the cops were announced, the conservatives on twitter were saying that this decision was politically motivated and premature and only done to soothe the savage mob mentality in Baltimore.

Now, to an extent I can see how those types of statements were inevitable but let’s grok this… citizens… us peeps… are arrested by cops and charged by DAs with far less evidence than what was processed against these cops. Also understand this… these cops will go to trial most likely with the benefit of union appointed and paid-for lawyers and will be twice as likely to get acquitted as ordinary citizens would be.

Justice in America… fair and equal under the law… right. I mean really… right??????

Another thousand words…

I am a man

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Comments

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5 Comments

  1. Excellent post as usual. What you said about Ms. Gardner is exactly what I’ve been saying to friends either on Facebook, or in person, and what I alluded to in my blog last week. When you riot like this, destroy properties like they have, they are only hurting themselves. Mad at “the man”? “The man” is somewhere laughing his ass off as you burn down your own community and hurt your own people.

    From what I understand that neighborhood pushed for a CVS at that location for years. That CVS served that community well by providing all types of services that would not have been in that neighborhood otherwise, and what do you do? You loot and burn it down. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if they don’t return to West Baltimore. It’s sad, and forgive me for saying this, but you brought it upon yourself.

    Rest In Peace to Freddie Gray, Mike Brown, Walter Scott, Eric Garner, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, etc.. etc.. and the ones to come for it is what it is, but violence in the streets just ain’t the way. Destroying your own communities ain’t the way. Peace.

  2. Joe, how do you keep doing it? You have an extraordinary way of expressing yourself so others can understand the underlying meaning as well as your feelings.

    I would like to reply to a couple of your observations:

    1) I am a white single male parent. By daughters are now in their fifties and living their own lives. I worked on giving them the tools to make their own decisions regarding their lives, but not so much on what I felt they should believe in and work toward. That was what they needed to find out for themselves.

    They did that, and sometimes came up with answers different than I did. But we can talk about those things with mutual respect and caring. One of the things I believed in was lack of corporal control. I avoided physical violence (and emotional violence, too), and asked them what they should do to atone for those things which hurt themselves or others.

    But that was me. Many other parents had a different attitude regarding raising children. Some believed in the “woodshed” methods of discipline. Their kids turned out as fine as mine did. (Some of them even thanked their parents for teaching them right from wrong in this way!)

    The woman who waded into the riotous mess to find her son and discipline him did not do what I would have done. She did what she did her way, and I approve of that. In a later interview in which both were present, the son said that it showed him she cared for him, and that she taught him that there were more and better ways to express the rage he felt.

    2) This leads to the second response. Those rioting were not logical. It isn’t the first time in human history that emotion has trumped reason, nor will it be the last. Human beings are computer-like in many ways, but that is not all we are. Our survival has depended on the irrational, emotional part of us in several ways; to motivate us to protect our clan and to try risky things (like exploring space).

    The pressures, internal or external, may well suppress our logical self. Spock, a Vulcan representing a rational species fell victim to overwhelming emotion on several occasions. It is much tougher for us mere humans who have not developed rationality as far as the Vulcans.

    So when a rioter interviewed says something like, “In order to build something better, the old has to be destroyed to make room,” The message is not logical, but it is human.

  3. Welcome back… your dreams are your ticket out. Almost was ready to suggest to David we put a BOLO out for you…
    Missed your commentaries… Interesting and welcome as always.

  4. Thanks, Joe. It’s nice to feel part of a team.

    My temporary absence was due to two days of motoring, a visit to an old FN friend (Seabird), and a visit to my younger daughter. (A visit to my older daughter is upcoming.)

    My original arrival on site was late because I had other distractions when David first birthed it. When those distractions were addressed, I tentatively stuck my toe in the waters of 7# — and got swallowed up. I enjoy working with people I have never seen but feel I know.

    I identify with John Chapman, also known as Appleseed John. He, too, believed in nonviolence, ecology and environmentalism, and the basic humanity of all peoples (even the native Americans).

    Perhaps the dream you can refer to can best be summed by the final verse of a song by the New Christie Minstrels:

    So shade yourself from the blaze of summer,
    Pull up a chair and set down your pack.
    Drink a toast to Appleseed John
    As you sip your applejack.

    . . . Appleseed

    . . . Supporting pioneers
    . . . around the world
    . . . since 1810.

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