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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, July 22, 2016
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Sol Y Sombra
with Rex Remetio

A plague of violence

A close relative asked me --- what's your subject this Friday? I realize that subjects for the column is not a problem --- the problem is that there are just too many events happening at the same time --- China's recalcitrance after losing at the Permanent Court of Arbitration. China swears it will never – emphasis on never, recognize the ruling. To emphasize this China set war games in the South China Sea and chased Pinoy fishermen who, probably encouraged by our legal victory, sailed their fishing boats to the Scarborough area and were chased away by Chinese gun-boats. We used to arrest Chinese fishermen in this area. Now China does the chasing.

That's par for the course.

Glancing at other world events (let's let up on the local ones for now) it would seem like the U.S.A. is turning into a war zone. (Not really, America is just too big a place, but TV has really focused on the U.S. killings) so much so that the emphasis is sharp.

In Baton Rouge, a big city in Louisiana, U.S.A. along the Mississippi River, a black ex-marine with a deadly hatred of the police, killed 3 officers (or was it 3) and injured others. Being a veteran of U.S. wars the guy didn't have too much trouble hitting his target.

The incident follows other deadly shootings such as the one in Dallas, Texas where a sniper, also an ex-military killed several policemen. (Dallas was where Kennedy was shot?). Then in Cleveland, etc. The incidents involve the shooters who are usually black and sometimes middle-eastern types with a whiff of ISIS inspiration.

However, it can not be denied that black citizens , as a whole, feels that they are suffering the pangs of racism. “Black lives matter” they say. The American police are just too prone to press the trigger against blacks.

Then there's that massacre in Nice, France, where a berserk Tunisian rammed with his 18 wheeler truck a crowd celebrating Bastille Day on Promenade des Anglais. More than 80 people, some of them children, were pulped by the rampaging vehicle.

I had ambled along this lovely promenade along the Mediterranean seaway a long time ago. The tragic site is near Hotel Negresco a famous Nice institution. During summer this area is filled with tourists and the sea-shore is crowded with bathers, sun-worshippers of all shapes and sizes. However, when we were there, it was winter and Promenade des Anglais, colt and dim was populated with few amblers. It's almost inconceivable that this promenade of pleasure, with its strip of beautiful sand would be the site of a massacre. Then we turn to Turkey where a failed coup snuffed out hundreds of lives. We can add other fatal incidents, but after a while the mind reels and revolts. Hey, what's with this planet?

So there's really no problem what to write about. It's because many of these problems have been with us since time immemorial and probably will be with us until, as they say, the seas run dry.

MISCELLANY. Pardon me if I switch to a more personal level. Fe and I attended the welcome dinner for Manny and Carol Torres last Tuesday evening at the Sugarland Hotel. Manny and Carol flew into Bacolod with a slew of descendants, two of them married Americans who came with them. Anyway, Manny and Carol are now living in Arizona, a few kilometers from Phoenix, after staying in Philadelphia for a long time.

The dinner was attended by old friends, some from out pelota-playing days.

To Manny and Carol welcome.*


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