Did You Catch This?

[Newsy] An appeals court ruled on Friday that survivors and family members of people killed in a mass shooting in South Carolina are allowed to sue the federal government for negligence.

In June 2015, a white supremacist entered an African-American church in Charleston and opened fire on a Bible study group. Nine people were killed. The shooter was convicted on federal murder and hate crime charges and now awaits the death penalty.

After the shooting, then-FBI Director James Comey said the gunman was federally prohibited from owning a firearm when he bought the weapon used in the attack, and that he was able to buy it due to failures in the FBI’s background check system.

Cases brought by survivors and family members intended to hold the government accountable for allowing the shooter to buy the gun. They were consolidated and dismissed by a lower court, which ruled the federal government was protected from lawsuits under two provisions.

But the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Friday that judge was wrong. It ruled that the laws protect the government employee who performed the background check, but not the government itself. The dismissal was reversed.

Wow! This will provide impetus for gun legislation. Hit’em in the pocketbook.

[CityLab] Between crushing student debt, skyrocketing rents, and underemployment, more college graduates are crashing with mom and dad until they can find financial stability. A study using 2016 Census data, from the real estate site Zillow, found that overall, the share of young college graduates moving back home jumped from 19 percent in 2005 to 28 percent in 2016. Miami and New York had the highest shares—45 percent and 42 percent, respectively. For some Millennials, according to MarketWatch, that means they’re skipping starter homes and going for larger houses as their first purchase.

In his small home town, mariner has a related statistic. Many older families are now parking a third car in their two-car driveway.

[Propublica] Everything You Need to Play Baseball Is Made in China — and Getting Hit by Trump’s Tariffs.

Baseball is America’s pastime, but prices on its China-made gear are about to rise as the trade war escalates. Golf, lacrosse, basketball and other sports will feel the pinch, too.

It’s not hard to think of the future being made in a blender. Will the Minuteman Statue sport a Mongolian deel? will the Statue of Liberty wear tight Yoga pants? Will hamburgers be served at a Japanese tea ceremony? Will Afghanistani women wear stringy short-shorts? Will Donald attend his Alabama rally wearing a tilted bérét, a pencil mustache and twirling a Bat Masterson cane?

Mariner prognosticates that global politics, society and economy will all be in a blender until sometime after 2040 – a lot like living in the Bahamas with Dorian hanging around.

Ancient Mariner

3 thoughts on “Did You Catch This?

  1. Greetings from ‘Battlefront Baltimore’, Uncle! I pop in and check on your blog occasionally and, to be honest, here lately I usually leave with a rather bad Gun Control taste in my mouth. I hope you don’t mind but… you’re about to find out first hand what the phrase, “I am my father’s son” means 😉

    I do apologize for the format in my response below. Rather than present you with a Haiku, which I will undoubtedly fail at. This mammoth of a response is written completely in Twitterverse format; 280 characters or less.

    I’ll also admit that this was originally two different comments but I combined them and did my best to mesh them together. Apologies for the historical references, I realize your historical knowledge far outreaches that of my own. Some items were written for everyone who may read.

    The United States of America doesn’t have a Gun Control problem, it has a Gun Violence problem. Guns are a powerful and deadly weapon but neither ‘Guns’ nor the 2nd Amendment are America’s problems.

    At the time of our country’s birth, our fore-fathers and the people of the 13 colonies had just waged a successful war with the most powerful army known to the world at that time. Their goal, in simple terms – Liberty, Freedom, and Justice for all.

    The American Revolution was won by the Colonists using only Muskets, Rifles, Pistols, and Cannons (for ground warfare). Having just rid themselves of tyrannical oppression, they thought long and hard for 119 days before ratifying the Bill of Rights.

    Now, don’t call me a Conspiracy Theorist. I don’t believe we are in any direct harm. I’m not a ‘Prepper’. I’m simply asking the question.
    If you were planning to seize control or power of this country, which SINGLE amendment, or Right, would you need to strike down?

    The answer is easy. The 2nd Amendment. Without your Right to Keep and Bear Arms, you haven’t a means to fight for ANY of your so-called remaining Rights.
    If I were able to disarm you, and you hadn’t a means to fight back, then I no longer need your consent.

    If you think you can maintain your unalienable rights from a tyrannical government or even an oppressive ruling party WITHOUT bearing arms, then I will simply ask you to look over the next few mentions about Hong Kong.

    The Youth that you see currently protesting in Hong Kong, they have only known the One Country, Two-Party System in which their Hong Kong system of government functions like a mirrored version of the British Parliament.

    There are two recent political events for Hong Kong that have lead to the current protests.

    1 – Despite the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) promise to transition to open elections by 2017, the CPC still handpicks the candidates for Hong Kong’s elections.

    2 – Also, the recent Extradition Bill was the final trigger before protests erupted. The Bill allows CPC to extradite anyone in Hong Kong who they deem as an Enemy of the State. Especially, political dissenters pushing for a pro-democracy transition after 2047; extradite & silence.

    If you lived in what you thought was a Free Society, and you suddenly found that your overreaching Main Land government was about to obtain the means to extradite anyone it deemed an ‘Enemy of the State’… any Democratic Political Dissident, would you not begin to fear-

    -for your way of life? If you were one of these youths that has only known this system, would you want to transition to the rule of the Communist Party after the 50 yr period expires, or would you have asperations to hold on to Democracy and have a direct say in your way of life?

    Just as I said earlier, if you give up your Right to Bear Arms, you’ve given up the fight. Well, the people of Hong Kong don’t have a 2nd Amendment or a Right to Bear Arms. But they sure wish they did.

    Hong Kong is in a Police State and if things don’t come to a peaceful conclusion soon. The CPC might just come in and execute a forceful quash of the protest(ers).



    The People of Hong Kong wish they had a Right to Bear Arms so they could stand up for themselves and take control of their own destiny. That is what democracy is about. By the People, For the People.

    The reality of the situation is, the Hong Kong people don’t have a Right to Bear Arms and so they don’t have any real guaranteed rights at all. They only have what the CPC allows them to have.

    Just as I said earlier, if you give up your Right to Bear Arms, you’ve given up the fight. The people of Hong Kong don’t have a 2nd Amendment, but they sure wish they did. They’re trying to grasp hold of the freedoms that some of us are unwittingly trying to scratch from the books.

    I hope by this time, there’s at least a little bit of a seed in your mind that we DO need to maintain our Right to Keep and Bear Arms; it is essential to our other Rights and our Freedom & Liberty.

    I’m not just here to defend ‘Gun Ownership’. When I first started, I said America doesn’t have a Gun Control problem, it has a Gun Violence problem. So let’s talk about Gun Violence.

    Actually, I don’t just want to talk about ‘gun violence’, I want to talk about ALL violence. If you take the time to read the next article, you will be tuned into a study that was done by World Bank.

    According to the study, “The connection (between homicides and inequality) is so strong that a simple measure of inequality predicts about half of the variance in murder rates between American states and between countries around the world.”


    We’ve heard the cliche, “Guns don’t kill people, People kill people.” While that’s a somewhat accurate statement, we can increase its validity by changing it to, “Guns don’t kill people, Inequality drives people to kill people”.

    If we acknowledge the ‘Gun’ is simply the Tool to commit the act of violence, then we can focus on addressing the cause of the violence; Inequality.

    Inequality in America causes the types of crimes we are all trying to curb; Homicide, Suicide, Mass Shootings, etc. All triggered by Social and Economic Inequality.

    See, if we remove the guns from the equation, the violence will remain; it hasn’t been treated. Instead of guns, they’ll just use the next easiest weapon to get their hands on.






    So we can surmise at this point, Guns really aren’t the problem. Anyone who says we’re going to solve our problem of senseless acts of violence by removing ‘Guns’ is not allowing themselves to see the bigger picture.

    By going after guns instead of the real problem, inequality; we’re basically telling all the future victims, “Hey, sorry about all you folks who keep getting stabbed all the time now. We had a chance to fix this for good but we decided to become Sheep instead.”

    The problem has never been the 2nd Amendment. It’s Inequality. Inequality in the USA is at an all-time high. Is it a coincidence that gun violence is also at an all-time high? They don’t want you to address the Inequality, they want you to give up your Rights instead.

    They’re completely happy at the top watching everything go to shit… Just as long as we don’t make them pay their fair share of what it’s going to take to get us out of this mess they’ve gotten us into.

    The 2nd Amendment is not your Enemy. Your neighbor is not your enemy. People of other races are not your enemy.
    The 0.5% at the top are the enemy. They’re just fine with us killing off ourselves down here at the bottom.

    Voting to disarm ourselves is like a dream come true.

    Stand up to Power. Enough is enough. We are past the time to take action. Demand results, or replace your Representatives.

    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” -Benjamin Franklin

    It’s without a doubt the disease that is the ‘Military-Industrial Complex’, which has eaten away at our Federal Budget and pushed us further and further into debt, is clearly showing increased signs of infection at our State and Local Governments.

    ‘Special Interests’ Lobbying for the Militarization of our State and Local Police Forces. Look at your State and Local Budgets. Compare the costs of Police Enforcement to those of programs that will increase the quality of life for residents.

    We need to invest more in our society and youth programs, especially focusing on the neighborhoods which fall in the lower-income area of the economic inequality gap. These neighborhoods are being left behind and forgotten about (until they become violent.)

    They deserve better. They deserve the same opportunities as are provided to the most pampered of American children. Is this not the land of opportunity? Every child in America should have an equal opportunity to succeed and achieve their dreams.

    Until we recognize that violence is caused by inequality at the social and economic levels, we will not end violence. We will only continue to ban the weapons used and push more brutal force upon those already struggling for air in this system.

    The justification. They are violent. They had a gun. When do we in society stop pointing the blame on them and start pointing the blame at ourselves. For too long we’ve allowed the people at the very top to manipulate the system. To work it in their favor. It has to stop.

    What is a Patriot?

    The textbook definition is:

    a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors.

    Recently, I was confronted by someone who claims to be an American Patriot. This person was unwilling to budge from the stance that, the people in those low-income high-crime neighborhoods had none to blame but themselves.

    The countless children that die needlessly as innocent bystanders to violent encounters have no one to blame but themselves.

    That is an irresponsible and disgusting opinion.

    This is no Patriot to me. The people in these neighborhoods were mostly born into this low-income lifestyle and will struggle to escape it their entire life. Many will die trying. A Patriot in support of their Country has a true desire to make it a better place.

    That doesn’t just mean squashing crime and beefing up your Police force. It also means, helping to bring up those who are down. Don’t put your boot on their face and push them down more. Reach down and help them up, lift them high alongside you and work together.

    This is what Patriotism and Unity is about. No just Pride in your Flag and Troops. Love your neighbor. All of them.

    Violence in America is not caused by ‘Guns’. It’s not caused by ‘Blacks’, ‘Hispanics’, ‘Whites’, or ‘Jews’. Leading research from multiple countries around the world indicates that ‘Social and Economic Inequality’ is the leading common factor in predicting violence and homicides.

    To continue to pour Tax Dollars into Law Enforcement schemes and new departs and task forces is ‘Fiscally Irresponsible’. It does not address the root cause of crime and it creates an ongoing unnecessary tax burden on us citizens which will never be solved.

    If we invest more in solving Social and Economic Inequality, we can start to reduce our Law Enforcement spending and invest more in our community. At the same time, we will be effectively reducing crime and making the streets safer.

    Not just safer for not only our citizens but also for our beloved Law Enforcement Officers. EVERYONE deserves Safety and Prosperity.

    It’s time to stop sitting around and letting the select few at the top and the special interest lobbyists tell our politicians how we want our Tax Dollars spent. They’ve had their time. It doesn’t seem to be working, that is, unless the intent was to line their own pockets.

    I started my voting history as a Democrat. Rather than think for myself, like most children, I adopted my parents’ Party and stances on most topics and just voted Blue on down the line.

    My time in the U.S. Army quickly steered my party affiliation to the right and that quickly ended with the 2nd Iraq War. Transitioning back to civilian life, I started leaning back to the left with the rise and election of President Obama.

    It’s taken me 38 years to find myself and realize, I am an Independent voter and neither of the current major parties deserves my allegiance. As an Independent, I maintain allegiance only to my Country, Community, Family, and Neighbor.

    I don’t know when it exactly happened but some time in the not too distant past I found it much easier to think about the issues myself, void of the media and other voices, and then decide where I needed to stand to be on the ‘right side of history’ – with every move.

    • Thanks for a thorough, well documented and reasoned reply. In principle, mariner agrees with the socioeconomic arguments you present. Mariner’s position on gun ownership is to be pragmatic about the reality. As an example, it is not an issue if one owns a cheetah – providing control is maintained so as to not invite biting and eating the dog.
      The issue of defending the nation with any privately owned weaponry has lost some substance as Russia is doing a good job of attacking the US without bullets.
      Your continuous search for deeper truths is to be admired.

      Ancient Mariner (skipper)

      • Firstly, my apologies for what seems like a major intrusion on your blog. Perhaps I should have slept on that before hitting the Submit button. Been there before though; I guess I’ll never learn in that regard. If it makes you feel better, I sent an almost mirrored rant to Governor Hogan when he announced the creation of yet another new Joint Police Task Force to dump our Tax Dollars into. The City of Baltimore has a $482 million Police Budget. We allocate $9.7 million to SWAT Operations alone. Really? Baltimore? Are we really running that many SWAT ops? What are we refitting with new weapons every single year? Meanwhile, Parks & Recreation is allowed $3.4 million. Don’t fund activities to keep them off the streets and occupied, hire more thugs to round them up and lock them behind bar$. I digress…

        How much Gun Control is needed, from a pragmatic standpoint? The current media buzz is to ban “Assault Rifles” yet the media cannot accurately describe what an “Assault Rifle” actually is. The ‘A’ in AR does not stand for Assault, as most crazed uninformed anti-gun nuts assume. Even if it did stand for Assault, any Capitalist Gun Manufacturer will simply change the nomenclature of the model to bypass that label. Any Rifle can be deemed an “Assault Rifle” when used in such a manner. It seems to me, the current push for a ban on Assault Rifles is really a push to ban any magazine-fed, semi-automatic rifle. I’m firmly against this as it puts any citizen needed militia back in 1776. We can’t fight a 21st Century Militarized Police Force nor an invading country’s superior firepower with 1776 style weapons.

        Regarding the defense of our nation against external (and internal) threats… perhaps if there were not 393 million civilian-owned firearms in the United States, we may have been the target of something other than a digital attack. I realize that seems like a stretch in today’s world but is it worth the test?

        I’m also not sold on Russia being as big of a contributor to election meddling as the media makes it out to be. Look at our current situation. The only evidence of election meddling comes from the DNC itself. Manipulating the Democratic Primaries in order to achieve the results of the desired few at the time. If you spend just a few minutes on social media, you will see a barrage of smear campaigns against Bernie and Tulsi. Both are outcasts in the eyes of the DNC. They’ve already hand-picked polls and under-funded polls in order to keep her from the debates. I’m only seeing corruption from one place and that’s the DNC. I think Trump is a disgusting human being but the more time passes, it is quite clear the liberal media has had it out for him the entire time. It is quite clear the liberal media nit-picks at his every action, constantly looking for any opportunity to undermine or irritate him. The same DNC controlled liberal media that pushed out a story about Bernie Sanders “snapping at a child crying”. While Bernie may appear to be a grumpy old man, he did not ‘snap’. I watched the video. The first time I watched it, it almost seemed as if he might have tried for a quick quip but the crowd didn’t recognize the humor from what looks like a grumpy old man. He seemed to pause for laughter. Maybe I think too much of him and he paused because he realized his error. In either case, I didn’t feel this warranted a news article except for the fact that the DNC does not want Bernie to succeed. They’re fine with posting negative publicity about him.

        Neither party can be trusted. Both parties are corrupt. Same disgusting people sit atop both parties pulling the strings. Our Democracy has been an illusion for decades… and that’s probably an understatement. The masses don’t care. 56% of the country just argue back and forth with staunch feelings of ideological superiority. The remaining 44% of us just look at them and think… How the hell are we ever going to fix things with these two groups of fanatics controlling everything?

        With the current toxicity of the two political parties. I say if we’re going to start messing with Amendments. We might as well modify the 1st Amendment to exclude and ban Political Parties from our Free Speech. Thankfully, the path to ratify any changes to our Constitution is an arduous one. Once again, thankful for our Fore-Father’s significant insight and praying to God the masses don’t !@# it up.

        Thanks for the (written) conversation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.