What would a week be without another mass shooting in America? It's the latest in reality TV. This time a massacre came to rural America and specifically the Bible Belt. Semi-automatic rifle bullets pelted a small group of worshipers in a Baptist Church killing 26 people including children. Motive is unclear but one thing is very clear guns were involved. Probably nothing will happen politically because the NRA is just too strong a lobby. But what really pissed me off yesterday were the comments made by the pastor of a neighboring church. Essentially he felt sympathy for the loved ones left behind but was "happy" to know that those who died were with their "king" in paradise. As long as that kind of bullshit thinking takes precedence over meaningful gun control legislation the weekly gruesome reality show will continue.
Having been personally impacted by Hurricane Sandy I remember my anger at the position of Texas Republicans in opposing federal aid for victims of the storm. Suddenly the conservative cretins in the Lone Star state are yelling and screaming for federal assistance in helping clean up the effects of Harvey. Funny how they have changed their tune concerning the role of the Feds. That horrible governor Greg Abbott was even concerning at one point having Texas split form the Union!!! Abbott is so skeptical of federal activities that he deployed the Texas State Guard in 2015 to monitor a U.S. military training exercise in the state. The move was seen as fanning conspiracy theories about the Obama Administration, including one that claimed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was creating political prisoner camps in Walmarts!!! But since Hurricane Harvey hit, Abbott has eagerly accepted the feds" support.
And then there is the biggest scumbag of them all – Ted Cruz, He bellowed and screamed from the floor of the Senate how Sandy relief was just a boondoggle for special interests. That claim was widely debunked but to this day he continues to make it as he lobbies for billions in Harvey relief. We all feel sorrow and empathy for the people who have been devastated by Hurricane Harvey but I have nothing but contempt for the conservative politicians in the state of Texas.
To be sure, the man who killed nine people in a church in South Carolina last night must be mentally disturbed. However, the fact remains that his heinous crime could not have been committed without a gun. There are just too many guns in this country and the ease of access to a firearm is ridiculous. It seems Americans are not safe from the gun scourge anywhere. Little children are killed in schools and people who are praying are killed in churches. Meanwhile the NRA continues to fund our worthless legislators who refuse to even require more extensive background checks before one can purchase a gun. It's estimated that there are 300 MILLION guns in the USA. With our society falling apart and the level of racial hate so super heated it's only logical to assume that events like last night's massacre in Charleston will only multiple. It's time to revisit the Second Amendment. It's an outdated pronouncement and should be modified substantially before this country slips into another civil war which will make the first one look like a garden party.
I first learned of the horror in Connecticut on my smart phone while riding on a bus on the way home from NYC. I gasped as did others as the news spread among the other passengers who were getting the information. I immediately thought of my two young grandkids one of whom is in kindergarten and I could not fathom the grief that parents of the children in Newtown were feeling. How does a parent or grandparent recover from the loss of a child under these circumstances? Beyond the 20 angels that are now with God the ripple effect for the living survivors will be a nightmare. Sure the deed was done by a deranged mentally ill individual but he could not have done such horrible carnage without a gun. Guns supposedly owned legally by his mother which he stole after killing her. I'd like to know why a school teacher in a quiet New England town felt it necessary to keep automatic weapons with lots of ammunition in her home particularly knowing she was living with a mentally disturbed son? Boggles my mind.
The truth is America is obsessed with gun ownership and politicians are bullied by the NRA who give these spineless creeps tons of money so they can continue to be reelected to Congress. There are 11,000 deaths per year in this country from hand gun violence every year. No other country in the industrial world comes even close to that figure. Yesterday President Obama cried as he addressed the country over the senseless killings in Connecticut. Instead of his tears we need him to lead a fight for tighter gun control legislation. If something isn't done and done quickly more children will die and more tears will be shed. America is a sick country and sure to be damned by providence if we let this carnage of innocents continue without trying to stop it.
To be sure, of late it has definitely felt like the infamous "dog days" of August. NYC has reverted to its August stench only this recession ravaged year being experienced by far fewer people. Even for NYC in August the streets seem eerily thinned of people. Countless store fronts sport "for rent" signs and while life has been going on, its noticeably at a slower more apprehensive pace. Lots of money has been lost in NYC during the past two years and the big corporate players have cut back on T&E really hurting the local restaurant and entertainment scene. I hope I'm wrong because I love NYC but I have doubts of whether this town can fully recover from the shock to the financial markets that started late last year. Lots of professional unemployment in the city. Real Estate prices are way down. I worry for NYC.
The stock market is ignoring economic reality and during the month so far has pushed the major averages into higher ground. This curious rally marches on, but I'm afraid and worried its going to be way off a cliff. In all my years of observing the stock market this is the strangest rally I have ever witnessed. Just no basis for it on a fundamental basis. Technically, many stocks had gotten way over sold and many opportunities became obvious. While corporate earnings have on balance been better than expected they are mostly predicated on reducing costs and little revenue growth. That scenario cannot go on much longer. The American consumer must up their spending or the economy will be in constant trouble. There is no evidence that is even close to happening.
And of course, these dog days feature the daily dose of political theater concerning health care reform. I repeat from an earlier post that we are in the initial stage of a coup attempt by the extreme right wing to invalidate the last election (notice how many of these nuts now promote the "the birthier"theory) and injure President Obama politically by handing him a big defeat on health care. Honestly, the stuff being promoted by the likes of Rush Linbaugh, Fox News, The Drudge Report, and others is nothing short of stunningly distorted and hateful and in my view designed to rile of their angry right wing white base. This whole thing is becoming so obviously racial that it truly makes my stomach turn.For sure, this is the last stand for angry white overweight white men to try and get Obama. These people literally hate Obama. Why do you think these nuts are bringing guns to town hall meetings? Is that some sort of omen? Are they sending a message? I'm sure many have seen the media reports on the increased activity of private militias. What a mess!!! So mostly these "dogs days" of August I worry about my country and where it may be headed.