Early on the morning of Saturday, August 10th, 2019, billionaire investor Jeffrey Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, New York, in an apparent suicide attempt. Paramedics were called and lifesaving measures were begun, but Epstein was pronounced dead about an hour later at a local hospital.
On the night of August 8-9, 1969, four members of the notorious Manson Family invaded a rented home in Los Angeles and brutally murdered five people. Not much by today’s standards, is it? But at the time, the crime created a sensation.
Part of the impact was generated by the celebrity of one of the victims, actress Sharon Tate, who had rented the home with her husband, director Roman Polanski, out of the country on a movie shoot at the time. Tate was eight and a half months pregnant with their child, who also lost its life. Cult leader Charles Manson had earlier instructed Tex Watson to go to the house and “totally destroy everyone in [it], as gruesome as you can”.
Dayton and El Paso join the entries in “Baby’s First Pop-Up Book of Slaughter”, along with “A is for Aurora, C is for Columbine, O is for Orlando, P is for Parkland, S is for Sandy Hook, and V is for Vegas,” among others. Two mass shootings within hours rocked the nation on the weekend of August 3rd and 4th, 2019, as 32 people lost their lives in senseless violence, with dozens more wounded. At least one of the shootings was politically and racially motivated, with the killer avowing his desire to kill “as many Mexicans as possible.”
“I am the least racist person that you have ever met,” – candidate Donald J. Trump, interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, 9 December 2015
Donald Trump’s gift for hyperbole and unwitting comic self-commentary may be encapsulated in this quote, given just after the GOP presidential candidate had called for a complete ban on Muslims entering the US in 2015. Trump had kicked off his campaign months earlier with a diatribe against Mexican immigrants, whom he characterized as “criminals and rapists.” I guess the kindergarten taunt “takes one to know one” would be appropriate here, given Trump’s penchant for projection and schoolyard bully tactics.
On Wednesday, July 24, 2019 former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees regarding his 448 page Report on investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Trump campaign officials collusion with Russia, and President Trump’s subsequent attempts to obstruct justice by curtailing or stopping the investigation. Mueller has been a frequent guest on Capitol Hill, testifying there many dozens of times in his thirty-plus year career.
At 12:05 PM BST on July 23rd, 2019, in London, England, it was announced that former UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had been elected Leader of the Conservative Party, currently in power in Britain. Although the formality of outgoing PM Theresa May’s resignation to the Queen, and Her Majesty’s formal invitation to Johnson to form a government, will not occur until the following day, the vote effectively makes Boris Johnson the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
A former journalist, Member of Parliament, Mayor of London and Foreign Secretary, the blonde, mop-headed Johnson has often been compared to Donald Trump, predominantly for their trademark bluster and the incendiary nature of their statements, as well as a similarly anti-immigrant, isolationist, transactional political opportunist bent. A leader in the pro-Brexit movement, Johnson has vowed to fully sever ties with the European Union by the current October 31st deadline, come what may.