Mourning in America
Today is May 25. Below are some of the stories grabbing headlines this morning. I hope you share this briefing as doing so will make you the smartest person in the room.
1 – Portrait of a killer: ‘Bullied’ Call of Duty-loving Texas school gunman, 18, sent creepy texts to female Wendy’s colleagues, brawled repeatedly at school, had just moved in with grandmother he shot and warned kids to ‘be scared’ in chilling online profile
The Daily Mail reports: The bullied high school loner with a troubled home life who suddenly snaps and massacres his classmates. It’s an all too familiar tale in modern day America.
In yet another unthinkable tragedy on Tuesday, Salvador Ramos, 18, slaughtered 19 innocent children and two much-loved teachers at Robb Elementary school, in Uvalde, Texas, before being killed in a shoot out with a border patrol officer.
It is the second deadliest shooting in US history after the infamous Sandy Hook massacre in 2012 – which saw 26 people killed – and has once again left people asking how someone could commit such a heinous crime.
As the country tries to make sense of the tragedy, stories about Ramos are beginning to emerge from those who knew him best, painting the picture of a troubled child who was heavily impacted by an unstable home, including an alleged drug-using mother, and relentless bullying at school – although neither of those facts provide an excuse for his evil crimes.
Neighbors and classmates say his behavior spiraled into the bizarre and macabre as he entered his later teenage years, with one friend telling Good Morning America: ‘He had scars on his face and someone asked him, ‘are you ok?’ and he just said with a smile ‘I did it myself, I liked how it looked.’
He began dressing in dark clothes and military boots and carried out drivebys using his BB gun to target random people, one local claimed.
According to Ramos’ neighbor Ruben Flores, 41, the shooter and his mother would often have screaming matches, with police being called to the home on multiple occasions.
Ramos’ grandmother, who owned the house on Hood Street, was reportedly in the process of evicting the mother over her drug use in the days before Tuesday’s killing spree. Flores said Ramos had moved into his grandmother’s home across town some months earlier.
She would be Ramos’ first victim on Tuesday, but the 66-year-old is reported to have survived after being ‘critically shot’.
MY TAKE: Again, warning signs were clearly ignored. We didn’t have these kind of problems when every school day started with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. Our prayers are with every broken heart in Uvalde, Texas today.
2 – Primary Elections were held Tuesday night in Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, plus a Texas runoff and Minnesota special election primary
Below are Twitter posts revealing results of some of the most high-profile races:
MY TAKE: Republicans in Georgia MUST unite to defeat Stacey Abrams!
3 – State Farm Backpedals on LGBT Book Distribution to Kids
The Washington Free Beacon reports: State Farm has backpedaled on a plan to distribute LGBT-themed books to children through community centers, libraries, and school teachers after a whistleblower revealed the insurance company was working with a transgender advocacy group.
GenderCool, a self-described “youth-led movement” committed to telling the stories of “transgender and non-binary youth who are thriving,” wanted to enlist hundreds of State Farm agents and volunteers to “help diversify classroom, community center, and library bookshelves with a collection of books … to increase representation of LGBTQ+ books and support our communities in having challenging, important and empowering conversations with children Age 5+,” according to an email revealed by Consumers’ Research. Facing backlash, Chief Diversity Officer Victor Terry announced State Farm “will no longer support” the LGBT curricula push, saying “conversations about gender and identity should happen at home with parents” and that the company doesn’t “support required curriculum in schools on this topic.”
The news comes as states are enacting laws to ban puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and sex-reassignment surgeries for minors. Republican-led legislatures in Arizona and Arkansas have passed such legislation, and nearly 15 other states are considering similar bills. The White House, by contrast, has promoted the so-called gender-affirming treatments, with former press secretary Jen Psaki in April referring to the procedures as “life-saving.”
MY TAKE: Good thing they backpedaled on this, but too late now – we know where they stand!
4 – CDC officials sound alarm for gay and bisexual men as monkeypox spreads in community
CNBC reports: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday alerted gay and bisexual men that monkeypox appears to be spreading in the community globally, warning people to take precautions if they have been in close contact with someone who may have the virus and to be on the lookout for symptoms.
Dr. John Brooks, a CDC official, emphasized that anyone can contract monkeypox through close personal contact regardless of sexual orientation. However, Brooks said many of the people affected globally so far are men who identify as gay or bisexual. Though some groups have greater chance of exposure to monkeypox right now, the risk isn’t limited only to the gay and bisexual community, he cautioned.
Monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease, which is generally passed through semen or vaginal fluid, but it can be transmitted through sexual and intimate contact as well as through shared bedding. The virus spreads through contact with body fluids and sores, Brooks said.
MY TAKE: This is some mighty strange stuff going on!
5 – Biden Admin Wants Your Blackout Emergency Kit To Include ‘Sustainably Sourced’ Utensils, Dinnerware
The Daily Caller reports: The Biden administration suggested Monday that Americans include “sustainably sourced disposable utensils” in their energy blackout emergency kits.
The recommendation was part of a guide published by the Department of Energy (DOE) for helping Americans prepare for blackouts over the summer. The agency noted that blackouts can occur during extreme weather events like hurricanes and thunderstorms, which may knock down regional power infrastructure, or demand overload triggered by high seasonal temperatures.
“Have sustainably sourced disposable utensils and dinnerware on hand so you do not need to use water to wash dishes,” the DOE blog post, written by Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy official Scott Minos, stated.
The DOE also recommended that Americans have an ice chest and extra ice to store perishable food during a blackout, candles or oil lamps for light and a gallon of drinking water per day for each household member.
“Have a household disaster plan that you and your family can follow if something occurs,” the post continued.
Meanwhile, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), a U.S. regulatory authority, warned that residents of nearly 30 states are at risk of blackouts this summer in a recent report. The report said 15 states in the Midwest were particularly vulnerable to such blackouts.
MY TAKE: And MORE mighty strange stuff!