After a fairly somnolent summer, the Atlantic hurricane season has been working overtime to make up the deficit, with two powerful storms wreaking havoc up and down the east coast of North America in the last week of September. Hurricane Fiona devastated areas of the Canadian Maritimes on the 24th, while Hurricane Ian pounded central Florida on the 28th with nightmarish winds and massive flooding, traversed the Sunshine State, then refueled in the Atlantic and turned its sights on the Carolinas.
Asteroid Astrology: National
If anyone had told me two decades ago that I would be admiring, let alone praising, someone with the last name of “Cheney”, I’d have said they were nuts. But that’s just the sort of uncomfortable position many progressives find themselves in these days, when contemplating the recent performance of Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY), daughter of the former Vice President, vis-a-vis the actions of Donald Trump and the bastardization of the GOP.
On Monday, 8 August 2022, FBI agents executed a legal search warrant of former US president Donald J. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion in Florida, looking for classified documents still in his possession. When leaving the White House in January 2021, Trump absconded with reams of classified material, in violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, and the National Archives has been trying to get them back ever since. In February, 15 boxes of such papers were returned, but investigators had cause to believe this was not the extent of the purloined trove, and a legal pas-de-deux had been danced between the Justice Department and Trump lawyers for months since, with negotiations and subpoenas having little effect.
On Saturday, 30 July 2022, two actresses whose work is embedded in American nostalgia took leave of this life: Nichelle Nichols, 89, who played Lieutenant Uhura on the 1960’s sci-fi series “Star Trek”, reprising the role in several feature films; and Pat Carroll, 95, a staple of television for decades with supporting and guest roles on sitcoms and game shows, most likely known to more modern audiences as the voice of Ursula in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.”
Torrential rains drenching eastern Kentucky in late July led to massive flooding on July 28, 2022, particularly of isolated rural communities in the poorest areas of Appalachia, where rivers and creeks swelled to overflow their banks by as much as 20 feet, filling the hollows and washing away some homes and businesses, inundating others in feet of standing water. Hardest-hit areas received 8-10 inches of rainfall within 48 hours. As of this writing (July 31) 26 are dead and dozens more still missing, while continued rain forecasts imperil search efforts and threaten to exacerbate an already tragic situation. Among the dead are four young siblings from Montgomery, Kentucky: Maddison, Riley, Nevaeh and Chance Noble, aged 2 to 8, torn from their parent’s arms by the current’s grip as the family’s mobile home was swept away.
Highland Park is an Illinois North Shore suburb which, though just 25 miles from downtown Chicago, has always retained a small-town feel, with an ethnically mixed, middle-class population of about 30,000. The annual Independence Day parade has been a feature of the civic calendar for decades, drawing crowds of families to watch the typical summer parade staples of high school marching bands, gleaming red firetrucks, floats and local dignitaries, complete with candy and prizes for the kiddies.
But on July 4, 2022, this peaceful bit of nostalgic Americana was invaded by a 21st Century reality check, as a lone gunman fired multiple rounds into the unsuspecting crowds from a rooftop perch along the parade route. Pandemonium ensued, with panicked people scattering in all directions, leaving behind lawn chairs, strollers, picnic lunches and bikes.