Baton Rouge, Nice, Dallas, Orlando – A Dark And Distressing Time Has Descended Upon The Civilized World

New York Skyline Lightning - Public DomainDoes it not seem as though events are starting to accelerate significantly?  Since I warned that something “had shifted” and that things had “suddenly become more serious“, we have seen the worst mass shooting in U.S. history in Orlando, we have seen the massacre of five police officers in Dallas, we have seen the horrifying terror rampage in Nice, and now we have seen the brutal murder of three police officers in Baton Rouge.  On Sunday morning, the peace and quiet in Baton Rouge were shattered when “dozens of shots” erupted less than one mile from police headquarters.  By the end of it, 29-year-old Gavin Eugene Long had killed three officers and seriously wounded three others.  It was a crime fueled by pure hatred, and Long specifically waited for his 29th birthday to launch the attack

The shooter who killed three law enforcement officers and wounded three others in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Sunday was a Missouri man who launched a deadly rampage on his 29th birthday, police sources said.

Gavin Long, who was born on July 17, 1987, was the man who gunned down officers before he was killed in a gunbattle with other officers responding to the shootings.

Two Baton Rouge police officers — ages 41 and 49 — died, said Police Chief Carl Dabadie. The gunman also killed a 45-year-old sheriff’s deputy and critically wounded a 41-year-old deputy who is “fighting for his life,” said East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux.

So what motivated Long to commit this horrible crime?

Here is what the Daily Caller found…

A Youtube account operated by Gavin Eugene Long and discovered by The Daily Caller reveals key insight into what might have motivated the 29-year-old black man who killed three Baton Rouge police officers Sunday morning.

Videos on Long’s account show that he was a former Nation of Islam member. He also ranted against “crackers” and made references to Alton Sterling, the black man killed by police in Baton Rouge on July 5.

Did Long actually believe that gunning down innocent police officers would honor the memory of Alton Sterling?

Sadly, it appears that there are a lot of other people out there that feel the exact same way that Long did.  In fact, there were a number of people that were openly celebrating the shooting of police officers in Baton Rouge on Twitter and calling for more cops to be killed.

This country is starting to come apart at the seams, and from now on it is going to be very, very dangerous to be a police officer in America.  Perhaps you may not have heard of this yet, but there was actually another plot to kill police officers in Baton Rouge that was foiled ahead of time

Police in Baton Rouge were on high alert earlier this week after a gang – including boys aged just 12 and 13 – were arrested as they tried to steal handguns as part of a ‘substantial, credible threat’ to harm police officers in Baton Rouge.

Authorities discovered the alleged plot while responding to a burglary at a pawn shop early on June 9.

They arrested one suspect – Antonio Thomas, 17 – at the scene with a handgun and a BB gun.

During questioning, Thomas said that he and three other suspects stole the firearms and ‘were going to get bullets to shoot police,’ authorities said.

And another police officer was shot on Sunday in Milwaukee while he was just sitting in his squad car…

A Milwaukee police officer was shot in a “vicious” attack early Sunday as he sat in his squad car while colleagues investigated a domestic disturbance call, an official said.

The suspected shooter, identified by police as a 20-year-old West Allis man with two felonies on his record, was found dead in a nearby yard, they said.

The incident began as a response to a domestic disturbance call near South 17th Street and West Morgan Avenue at about 2 a.m. During that investigation, someone fired shots into the squad car, striking an officer “multiple” times,” Asst. Police Chief William Jessup said in a morning press conference.

Can you imagine the stress that many police officers and their families are feeling these days?

Could you imagine leaving home each day realizing that there is a huge target painted on your chest and that you might not make it home that night to see your family?

I am sure that a lot of law enforcement officers are having some very serious family discussions these days.  And I am sure that a lot of them are actually considering leaving law enforcement altogether.  All it takes is a single bullet to change your life forever, and right now there are way too many people out there that want to harm anyone in a police uniform.

I think that a recent piece by Scott G. Erickson put it very succinctly…

What feelings must resonate within the patrolman who is responding to a call of domestic violence or simple larceny? Am I the next target? Is this really a routine call for service or is it an ambush?

No longer can the patrolman simply worry about the reported crime itself but rather he or she must approach these events as though they are potentially walking into the next Dallas or Baton Rouge.

And that is no way to function as a police officer. The stress, strain, and uncertainty would be unbearable.

And it isn’t just police officers that need to be concerned about the rising violence.

The Republican National Convention is next week, and it could be a big, fat, juicy target for Islamic terrorists, police haters, or anyone else that is out to make some sort of huge statement.  There are going to be thousands of people protecting the convention, but there are still concerns that something unexpected may happen

The sunny celebration butts uncomfortably against a massive security operation that shows the other side of Cleveland’s big moment. City and U.S. officials are preparing for the worst, aware that tensions over race relations and police use of force, as well as reaction to Trump’s polarizing campaign, could result in violence on the streets.

Clevelanders are also aware of the backdrop for their convention: the mass shooting in Orlando that killed 50 people in June, the sniper attack that killed five Dallas police this month, and the truck assault that killed 84 this week in Nice.

Let us hope and pray for safety in Cleveland, and let us hope and pray that tensions ease in major cities all over the nation.

A dark and distressing time has descended upon the civilized world, and virtually everywhere you look anger and frustration are rising to very dangerous levels.

We were warned that this might be a “summer of chaos”, and so far that has definitely been the case.  Let us hope that things start to cool off before events start to spiral completely out of control.

The 90,000 Square Foot, 100 Million Dollar Home That Is A Metaphor For America

Versailles House - Public DomainJust like “America’s time-share king”, America just keeps on making the same mistakes over and over again.  Prior to the financial collapse of 2008, time-share mogul David Siegel and his wife Jackie began construction on their “dream home” near Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  This dream home would be approximately 90,000 square feet in size, would be worth $100 million when completed, and would be named “Versailles” after the French palace that inspired it.  In fact, you may remember David and Jackie from an excellent 2012 documentary entitled “The Queen of Versailles”.  That film documented how the Siegels almost lost everything after the financial collapse of 2008 devastated the U.S. economy because they were overleveraged and drowning in debt.  But since that time, David’s time-share company has bounced back, and the Siegels now plan to finally finish construction on their dream home and make it bigger and better than ever before.  But before you pass judgment on the Siegels, it is important to keep in mind that we are behaving exactly the same way as a nation.  Instead of addressing our fundamental problems after the last financial crisis, we have just continued to make the exact same mistakes that we made before.  And ultimately, things are going to end very, very badly for us.

As Americans, we like to think that we are somehow entitled to the biggest and best of everything.  We have been trained to believe that we are the wealthiest and most prosperous nation on the entire planet and that it will always be that way.  This generation was handed the keys to the greatest economic machine in world history, but instead of treating it with great care, we have wrecked it.  Our economic infrastructure is being systematically dismantled, Wall Street has been transformed into the biggest casino in the history of the planet, we have piled up a mountain of debt unlike anything the world has ever seen, and the reckless Federal Reserve is turning our currency into Monopoly money.  All of our decisions have been designed to make things better for ourselves in the short-term without any consideration about what we were doing to the future of this country.

That is why “Versailles” is such a perfect metaphor for America.  The Siegels always had to have the biggest and the best of everything, and they almost lost it all when the financial markets crashed

David Siegel (“They call me the time-share king”) and his wife, Jackie Siegel — titular star of the 2012 documentary “The Queen of Versailles” — began building their dream home near Disney World about a decade ago. Soon it became evident that the sheer size of the mansion was almost unprecedented in America; it’s thought that only Biltmore House and Oheka Castle are bigger and still standing, and both of those are now run as tourist attractions, not true single-family homes.

But when the bottom fell out of the financial markets in 2008, their fortunes were upended too. By the time the documentary ended, their dream home had gone into default and they’d put it on the market. The listing asked for $100 million finished — “based on the royal palace of Louix XIV of the 17th century or to the buyer’s specifications — or $75 million “as is with all exterior finishings in crates in the 20-car garage on site.”

But just like the U.S. economy, the Siegels have seemingly recovered, at least for the moment.

Thanks to a rebound in the time-share business, the Siegels plan to finally complete their dream home and make it bigger and better than ever

The unfinished home sits on 10 acres of lakefront property and when completed will feature 11 kitchens, 30 bathrooms, 20-car garage, two-lane bowling alley, indoor rollerskating rink, three indoor pools, two outdoor pools, video arcade, ballroom, two-story movie theater modeled off the Paris Opera House, fitness center with 10,000-square-foot spa, yoga studios, 20,000-bottle wine cellar and an exotic fish aquarium.

Two tennis courts, a baseball diamond and formal garden will be included on the grounds.

The couple admitted that some of their plans for the house – such as children’s playrooms – will have to be modified now that their kids are older.

However, they are determined to see the project through.

‘I’m not at the ending to my story yet, but so far, it’s a happy ending, and I’m really looking forward to starting the next chapter of my life and moving into my palace, finishing it and throwing lots of parties – anxious for the world to see it,’ Mrs Siegel said.

It is easy to point fingers at the Siegels, but the truth is that they are just behaving like we have been behaving as an entire nation.

When our financial bubbles burst the last time, our leaders did not really do anything to address our fundamental economic problems.  Instead, they were bound and determined to reinflate those bubbles and make them even larger than before.

Now we stand at the precipice of the greatest financial crisis in our history, and we only have ourselves to blame.

Just consider what has happened to our national debt.  Just prior to the last recession, it was sitting at about 9 trillion dollars.  Today, it has just crossed the 18 trillion dollar mark…

Total Public Debt

You may not think that you are to blame for this, but most of the people that will read this article voted for politicians that fully supported all of this borrowing and spending.  And yes, that includes most Democrats and most Republicans.

We have stolen trillions of dollars from future generations of Americans in a desperate attempt to prop up our failing standard of living in the present.  What we have done is a horrific crime, and if we lived in a just society a whole lot of people would be going to prison over this.

A similar pattern emerges when we look at the spending habits of ordinary Americans.  This next chart shows one measure of consumer credit in America.  During the last recession, we actually had a brief period of deleveraging (which was good), but now we are back on the exact same trajectory as before…

Consumer Credit 2015

Even though we had a higher standard of living than all previous generations of Americans, that was never good enough for us.  We always had to have more, and we have borrowed and spent ourselves into oblivion.

We have also shown absolutely no respect for our currency.  Having the primary reserve currency of the world has been an incredible advantage for the U.S. economy, but we are squandering that privilege.  Like I said at the top of the article, the Federal Reserve has been treating the U.S. dollar like Monopoly money in recent years in an attempt to prop up the financial system.  Just look at what “quantitative easing” has done to the Fed balance sheet since the last recession…

Fed Balance Sheet

Most of the new money that the Fed has created has been funneled into the financial markets.  This has created some financial bubbles which are absolutely insane.  For example, just look at how the NASDAQ has performed since the last financial crisis…

NASDAQ

These Fed-created bubbles are inevitably going to implode, because they have no relation to economic reality whatsoever.  And when they implode, millions of Americans are going to be financially wiped out.

Just like David and Jackie Siegel, we simply can’t help ourselves.  We just keep on making the same old mistakes.

And in the end, we will all pay a great, great price for our utter foolishness.

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