On Wednesday, January 8, 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, better known as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, shocked the Royal Family and the rest of the world by announcing their intention to “step back” from royal duties and retreat into a more private life. The couple plan to divide their time between Britain and North America, most likely Canada, as they work toward building a new life and becoming “financially independent”.
If you recall, it was an assassination that began World War I. Is history about to repeat itself, in the death of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, killed by a US drone as his convoy exited Baghdad International Airport on 3 January 2020? Soleimani was head of Iran’s elite Quds force, a division of its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, primarily involved with extraterritorial military and clandestine operations. Soleimani had coordinated with proxy and client terrorist groups in anti-US actions outside Iran, across the Mid-East, had pioneered the IED attacks, and was responsible, directly or indirectly, for the deaths of countless Americans and local civilians.
“Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition” took on a whole new meaning on December 29, 2019 at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, when a gunman’s six-second rampage ended with a single shot from one of the parishioners, tasked with church security. Two had already been killed and a third wounded when Jack Wilson, a local firearms instructor, shot and killed Keith Kinnunen, 43, who was not a member of the congregation, but was familiar with the church, having been given food several times in the past.
Frequent readers of this site will doubtless be familiar with my cat Ashes; my sweet-cranky Tortie has been with me 12 years, since I took her and her two kittens in from the street on Halloween 2007. Her children predeceased her, Hallows in 2012 and Samhain just last year, but despite some ongoing health issues and an unfortunate addiction to string, Ashes has held her own. As a stray, I’m not sure how old she is exactly, but at least 14, which puts her at about 73 in human terms, an age when mortality begins to assert itself, and even a simple health crisis can prove deadly.
Well, we all know the country is going to shit, but for some reason, as impeachment loomed large on the horizon and his evangelical allies began to desert him, Donald Trump felt the need to call attention to the nation’s true crisis – the need to flush toilets 10 or 15 times to gain the desired result. Far from the four-flusher we already knew him to be, Trump has revealed himself as the much more elusive ten-flusher. And so let’s go down this cosmic rabbit hole, from the sublime impeachment to the ridiculous toilet tantrums, and see where it takes us…
You know Dasher and Dancer, and Prancer and Vixen, but do you recall that there are asteroids named Rudolf, Santa and Yule? Though none of these were designated for the holiday they have come to represent, they function very well as markers of its importance in the lives of those who have made Christmas a central focus of their biographies.