Today, the July 4 mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, claimed its 7th life. Robert "Bobby" E. Crimo III, the suspect, is now charged with "seven counts of first-degree murder." The suspect reportedly owned the AR-15 used in the shooting.

America enters the second part of 2022 with an astonishing 309 mass shootings. The Governor of Maryland ended the requirement for a "good and substantial reason to carry a concealed weapon." This was in response to the Supreme Court's recent pro-gun ruling. Still, most Americans want the government to regulate access to guns. But we no longer live in a society that is majority-determined. Almost all of the rulings by the Supreme Court, including the extermination of abortion rights, express the will of a minority that is almost all white, Christian, and rural. And this is indeed the very meaning of the Court's decisions. It's a legal, structural adjustment program to normalize minority rule in the US. The society must become accustomed to political outcomes that are not popular.

And yet, he legally bought an AR-15: "[Suspected] Highland Park mass shooter told family he would 'kill everyone' in September 2019, authorities say. Police responded and took knives and a sword from his home and reported him to state police." It's believed he planned the shooting for weeks. He was also MAGA-mad. And his father is a gun nut. Lastly, Highland Park is largely liberal and Jewish.

Not a Hollywood set for the next monster thriller:

The result of yesterday's pleasant weather? Air poisoned by fireworks. KIRO 7 reports: "As of 10:30 a.m. [today], air quality readings were running from moderate to unhealthy in most areas while some spots in the South Sound and Snohomish County were reading unhealthy to hazardous air quality."

Forty-year-old Tacoma woman doesn't have multiple sclerosis. Nor has she ever paid the University of Washington a dime. And her brother never got locked up or anything like that. But for over 10 years, Sabrina Taylor's "friends and acquaintances" gave her money (to the tune of $600,000) because she claimed to be very sick, struggling to pay tuition, and trying to get her brother out of jail. Where did this money go? To good times, of course: "$60,000 on trips to Japan, $38,000 on online purchases, and $16,000 on makeup [and so on]." The only difference between you and the billionaires, Sabrina Taylor, is you got caught. Theirs is a game a regular person can never beat. 

What comes to my mind when reading stories about regular people trying to cheat their way to the top, to the heaven of cheaters:

And when I recall that cat, I also recall this rapper:

Amazon is now Bellevue's "second-largest employer," according Puget Sound Business Journal. The corporation is currently between Microsoft, which is first, and T-Mobile, which is third.

The more we head into the future, which is being shaped by the intensifying capitalist rivalry between China and the United States, more and more of Cixin Liu's science fiction enters the real. In the present case, it's this story: "China rejects NASA accusation it will take over the moon." What exactly is wrong with China ruling the moon? If the fourth, and possibly final, massive sequence of capital accumulation can do something with that ball of dust, then let them. The third sequence of capitalist accumulation, the US, is too exhausted to dream that kind of big.

UK's prime minister, Boris Johnson, is back in a place he is almost always in these days: The ropes. This time, two members of his cabinet, one of whom is a rock star in the Conservative party, finance minister Rishi Sunak, resigned. This means calls for Johnson to vacate 10 Downing Street will grow louder.

I can find no better way to express the current American situation than Charles Mingus's mid-century masterpiece "Pithecanthropus Erectus." The tonal but very tense section represents any American with a mind that works well enough; meaning, one that's not entirely divorced from The Real. The atonal section is pure MAGA. It is blasts of Trump's inaugural speech, it's that pillow squeezer, it's the smashing of glass and heads on Jan 6, it's those dreadful texts and emails from Ginni Thomas. I hate atonal music.