Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008: The Year That Was

3: The Hawkey Cauci. B. Hussein Obama wins the Democrat caucus, and Mike Huckabee wins the Republican caucus.
8: John McCain wins the Republican primary in New Hampshire. Hillary Clinton wins the Democrat primary.
14: Bobby Jindal is sworn in as Governor of Louisiana. He is the first person of Indian (i.e., from India) descent to hold a U.S. governorship. He is also Catholic and conservative, giving him one of the highest coolness factors of any governor in the nation.
19: The Jesuits elect Adolfo Nicolas as their 30th Superior General.
28: George W. Bush delivers his last State of the Union address.

Deaths: Fr. Marcial Maciel (founder of the Legionaries of Christ); Margaret Truman Daniel (daughter of President Harry S Truman -- and the absence of a period after the "S" is deliberate); Gordon B. Hinckley (president of the Mormon church); Suharto (second President of Indonesia); Christian Brando; Heath Ledger; Suzanne Pleshette; Sir Edmund Hillary; Carl Karcher (founder of Carl's Jr.); Johnny Grant (honorary Mayor of Hollywood).

2: Murder spree, Tinley Park, Illinois: gunman shoots five people to death in a clothing store, then flees on foot.
5: 58 people die in an incredible tornado outbreak in the southern United States.
7: Murder spree, Kirkwood, Missouri: shooter kills five and wounds two before being shot to death by police.
8: The Nebraska Supreme Court rules that the electric chair "violates" human dignity and is therefore unconstitutional.
12: The Writer's Guild of American votes to end its three-month-long strike. The difference is unnoticeable.
13: The U.S. Senate passes legislation prohibiting the CIA from using, on suspected terrorists, water-boarding, which is used on American soldiers in survival training. President Bush will veto, and the House will fail to override.
14: Murder spree, Northern Illinois University: shooter kills five and wounds 18, and is himself killed.
19: Fidel Castro "retires" from office.
24: Raul Castro "succeeds" Fidel.
25: My mother's [CENSORED]th birthday.
29: Paulos Faraj Rahho, Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, is kidnapped. He will later be found murdered and buried in a shallow grave.

Deaths: William F. Buckley, Jr. (no introduction necessary); David Groh (Valerie Harper's husband on Rhoda); Roy Scheider; Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (confidence man who served as "guru" to, among others, the Beatles).

3: Padre Pio's remains are exhumed, later to be placed on display for public veneration. Murder spree, West Palm Beach, Florida: shooter kills one, wounds three before turning the gun on himself.
6: NASA announces the discovery of rings around Saturn's moon Rhea.
10: New York governor Elliot Spitzer is linked to an international online prostitution ring.
12: Murder spree, McComb, Mississippi: shooter kills two people at a bank, kidnaps and murders his wife, then turns the gun on himself.
13: The Redoubtable Marcus Magnus celebrates his [CENSORED]th birthday.
25: Murder spree, Sitka, Alaska: man with a knife murders four and wounds one before being stopped by police.
27: Murder spree, Columbus, Georgia: shooter at Doctors Hospital kills three and is himself wounded by police.

Deaths: Lazare Ponticelli (last surviving French veteran of World War I); Dith Pran (Killing Fields survivor); Richard Widmark; Sir Arthur C. Clarke; Paul Scofield (Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons); Ivan Dixon (Kinch in Hogan's Heroes).

9: Tiny Sark, one of the British Channel Islands, resigns its feudal system of government after 450 years, under pressure to comply with Europe's human rights laws people, proving nothing is too small to escape the EU's officious attention.
14: The United States takes possession of its new embassy in Iraq.
16: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that death by lethal injection is not cruel and unusual punishment.
20: Brazilian priest Adelir Antonio de Carli goes missing after taking flight under a cluster of balloons; the lower half of his body will be found floating in the sea in July.
28: A spate of tornadoes hits the state of Virginia, causing property damage and injuring more than 200.

Deaths: Charlton Heston; Joy Page (Bulgarian bride Annina Brandel in Casablanca); Stanley Kamel (character actor; played the shrink on Monk); Fr. Adam Stuzinski, OP (chaplain of Polish forces during World War II).

1-2: Killer tornado outbreak leaves seven dead in Arkansas. Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Nargis makes landfall in Burma (Myanmar) on the 2nd. Despite the pleas of President Bush, the Burmese government will dink around about accepting foreign aid for this worst natural disaster in the nation's history. The death toll is at least in the six figures.
10: A tornado hits Picher, Oklahoma, killing nine.
18: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown endorses a bill to allow the sick practice of research on human-animal hybrid embryos.
19: A bill to ban the creation of human-animal hybrid embryos goes down to defeat in the British House of Commons.
24: More than a dozen tornadoes hit Kansas, killing two.
28: By gubernatorial fiat, the state of New York recognizes gay "marriages" from other jurisdictions.
30: Murder spree, Hazard, Kentucky: shooter murders a magistrate and a county employee at a convenience store, then turns the gun on himself.

Deaths: Lorenzo Odone (at age 30, world's oldest surviving adrenoleukodystrophy patient; portrayed in the film Lorenzo's Oil); Harvey Korman; Franz Künstler (last known surviving Central Powers veteran of World War I); Sydney Pollack; J.R. Simplot (Idaho potato magnate); Dick Martin (of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In); Alexander Courage (Hollywood composer, probably best known for the theme from the original Star Trek); Mildred Loving (with husband Richard, co-plaintiff in the Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, which struck down anti-miscegination laws).

5: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others detained at Club Gitmo are charged with crimes related to the 9/11 attacks.
6: The Diet of Japan recognizes the Hairy Ainu, who resemble Caucasians, as a people indigenous to Japan.
9: Pursuant to the Great Tomato Salmonella Scare, McDonald's stops serving tomato slices on its hamburgers.
12: The Supreme Court rules that Club Gitmo detainees have standing to challenge their detention in U.S. courts.
16: California's court-mandated adoption of gay "marriage" officially takes effect.
20: NASA announces that the Phoenix Lander has discovered water ice on Mars.
25: The Exxon Valdez case: the Supreme Court rules that the damages award of $2.7 billion was excessive, and reduces it to $507 million. Murder spree, Henderson, Kentucky: shooter murders five, wounds one at a plastics plant before turning the gun on himself.
26: District of Columbia v. Heller: the Supreme Court rules strikes down a D.C. gun control law on the grounds that it violates the Second Amendment, holding that the prefatory clause of the Amendment does not restrict the scope of the operative clause.

Deaths: George Carlin; Cyd Charisse; Tim Russert; David Brierly (British actor; the voice of K-9 on the old Dr. Who); Jack Lucas (WWII veteran, youngest Marine to win the Congressional Medal of Honor); Bo Diddley; Mel Ferrer; Yves Saint Laurent.

1: The investigation into the disappearance of British three-year-old Madeline McCann, which took place in May of 2007 in Portugal, is closed without results.
2: A Palestinian in a bulldozer goes on a rampage in Jerusalem, killing three and injuring dozens of others before being shot dead by police. On July 22, another Palestinian will go on a similar rampage with a backhoe, injuring 16 before being shot dead.
3: NASA announces the discovery of water in the atmosphere of Mercury, the closest planet to the sun.
4: Murder spree, Milwaukee, Wisconsin: an anonymous shooter murders four at a street party.
7: The governing body of the Church of England votes to allow women to become bishops.
10: The iconic Capitoline Wolf statue, depicting Romulus and Remus being nursed by a she-wolf, is found to be, not an Etruscan work, but one dating only from the 13th century.
13: Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Sydney, Australia for World Youth Day.
15: Three-year-old Caylee Anthony is reported missing in Orlando, Florida.
21: Pope Benedict offers a special Mass in Sydney for victims of clergy sexual abuse.
23: Hurricane Dolly makes landfall on South Padre Island, Texas.
Barack Obama delivers an America-bashing speech at the Tiergarten in Berlin, Germany.
27: Murder spree, Knoxville, Tennessee: a shooter kills two and wounds seven at a Unitarian Universalist church. The shooter was tackled and arrested.
30: NASA confirms the discovery of a liquid lake on Titan, Saturn's largest moon.
31: NASA announces the discovery of water on Mars.

Deaths: Greg Burson (cartoon voice actor); Estelle Getty; Eric Dowling (British World War II P.O.W., participant in the real Great Escape from Stalag Luft III); Patricia Buckley Bozell (founder of Catholic Journal Triumph and sister of William F. Buckley, Jr.); Tony Snow; Dr. Michael DeBakey (world-renowned heart surgeon); Larry Harmon (Bozo the Clown); Elizabeth Spriggs (Mrs. Jennings in Emma Thompson's film adaptation of Sense and Sensibility); Jesse Helms.

4: Conservative commentator Robert Novak retires after 45 years, due to a brain tumor.
8: The 2008 Summer Olympics open in Beijing. The world will rise to its feet in indignation when it turns out the little girl who sang the patriotic song was lip-synching another little girl, who was rejected for the part on account of her teeth. Also: outbreak of the South Ossetia War between Georgia and Russia.
13: Bill Gwatney, chairman of the Arkansas Democrat Party, is murdered at his headquarters; police later kill the shooter during a pursuit.
21: A freshman murders a sophomore at Central High School in Knoxville, Tennessee. The shooter is charged with first-degree murder.
23: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announces plans to implement a regulation that would protect the jobs of health care workers who refuse to carry out morally objectionable duties, such as performing abortions and dispensing contraception. In other news, Barack Obama picks Joe "Hairplugs" Biden as his vice-presidential running mate. The world yawns.
27: The Democrat National Convention begins. The world fails to grind to a halt.
28: Barack Obama formally accepts the Democrat nomination, becoming the first black in American history to be nominated by a major party as its candidate for President of the United States. In other news, Mexico's Supreme Court upholds, by a wide margin, the Mexican Federal District's act legalizing abortion.
29: John McCain picks Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential nominee. The conservative base is electrified, though, after years of McCain's "maverick" defeatism, it proves to be too little, too late.

Deaths: Jerry Reed (country singer and actor); Jeff MacKay (character actor: Magnum P.I., Black Sheep Squadron); Sandy Allen (world's tallest woman); Isaac Hayes; Bernie Mac; Bernie Brillstein (big movie and TV producer); Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

1: Sarah Palin's teenaged daughter is revealed to be pregnant out of wedlock. The liberals, otherwise huge fans of sex outside of marriage, let loose a blistering avalanche of calumnies against Governor Palin and her family. Also: Hurricane Gustav, after tearing through the Carribean and causing seven deaths in the United States, weakens to a tropical storm. The drive-by media are downcast at not having a repeat of Hurricane Katrina.
2: Murder spree, Alger, Washington: shooter murders six, including a sheriff's deputy, and wounds four in various locations before surrendering to police. Mental illness appears to have been a factor.
4: John McCain officially accepts the Republican party's nomination for President.
8: A certain Dominican lawyer blogger celebrates her [CENSORED!!!]th birthday.
11: The Pentagon Memorial to those who died at the Pentagon on 9/11 opens to the public.
12: 24 are killed and 135 injured in a collision between a Metrolink passenger train and a Union Pacific freight train in Chatsworth, California. Also: North Korea's pot-bellied dictator, Kim Jong Il, is reported to be gravely ill after skipping his country's anniversary celebrations, an event he never misses.
13: After a devastating run through the Carribbean, Hurricane Ike makes landfall in Galveston, Texas.
23: A shooter murders 10 people at Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences in Kauhajoki, Finland, then turns the gun on himself.
27: Mathematicians at UCLA announce the discovery of a 13-million-digit Mersenne Prime.

Deaths: Richard Wright (founding member of Pink Floyd); George Putnam (Los Angeles TV news reporter); Don LaFontaine (voice-over actor); Paul Newman.

1: The Supreme Court of Russia exonerates Czar Nicholas II, the Czarina and their five children of alleged crimes cited to justify their massacre at Yekaterinburg in 1918, and ordered that they be recognized as victims of Soviet repression.
2: Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin kicks liberal ass in the debate against Democrat candidate Joe Biden, despite having a debate moderator that is not only in the tank for Obama, but has a financial stake in his presidential victory in virtue of her forthcoming book about his speculative administration.
3: Subprime mortgage crisis: President Bush signs the Armageddon Avoidance Act into law. Also: 13 years to the day after being acquitted in the murder of his wife and her friend Ron Goldman, O.J. Simpson is convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping. He faces life in prison.
10: The Connecticut Supreme Court discovers a right of gay couples to marry.
12: Pope Benedict canonizes St. Alphonsa Muttathupadathu, India's first woman saint.
14: Ohio double murderer Richard Cooey loses his battle to avoid execution on the grounds that his obesity made lethal injection cruel and unusual punishment.
19: Media liberals lapse into a collective orgasmic coma when Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama for President.
22: The Indian Space Research Organization launches Chandrayaan, an unmanned lunar exploration mission.
24: Actress and singer Jennifer Hudson's mother and brother are murdered, and her seven-year-old nephew is kidnapped. He will later be found murdered.
26: Murder spree, Conway, Arkansas: two are killed and one is wounded by four shooters at the University of Central Arkansas. Three of the shooters are captured, and the fourth later turned himself in.
27: Sen. Ted Stevens (R.-Alaska) is found guilty of seven counts of making false statements on Senate financial documents.
28: North Korea threatens to turn South Korea into "debris" if South Korea doesn't stop so-called "confrontational activities."
29: 100 people are killed in a 6.5 magnitude earthquake in Ziarat, Pakistan. Also: the government forces $125 billion in "bailout" money on nine banks, some of which tried to turn it down.
31: A 12-year-old boy is shot to death in Sumter, South Carolina while trick-or-treating with his family; his father and brother are wounded.

Deaths: House Peters, Jr. (prolific actor best known as "Mr. Clean"); Lloyd Thaxton (television personality); Peter Vansittart (British novelist); Levi Stubbs (the Four Tops); Gil Stratton, Jr. (sportscaster and actor; "Cookie" in Stalag 17); Mr. (Richard) Blackwell (fashion critic); Louis "Studs" Terkel (author and broadcaster); Delmar Watson (former child actor; member of the renowned Watson family of Hollywood); Estelle Reiner.

3: Sarah Palin is cleared of all wrongdoing in the alleged "Troopergate" "scandal" in Alaska, connected with her dismissal of her sleazeball brother-in-law from his post as public safety commissioner. Also: Barack Obama's declaration of intent to bankrupt the coal industry finally makes it into the mainstream news.
4: Barack Obama wins the presidential election.
5: Proposition 8, outlawing gay "marriage" in California, passes.
10: Circuit City files for bankruptcy under Chapter 11.
13: For the first time, the existence of extra-solar planets is visually verified. Also: the Montecito Tea Fire ignites, the first in a series of disastrous wildfires that whips across southern California, destroying hundreds of homes.
14: General Ann E. Dunwoody becomes America's first female four-star general.
19: The California Supreme Court agrees to hear a challenge to the newly-passed Proposition 8, which amended the state constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman, thereby overriding a contrary state supreme court decision.
21: To no one's surprise, Hillary Clinton agrees to be Secretary of State.
23: Mahmoud Abbas is named "President of Palestine."
24: U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown announces plans to increase the income tax rate for the first time since 1975.
26: Islamist terrorists begin a four-day attack on the Indian city of Mumbai, murdering 172 and wounding 293.

Deaths: John Leonard (liberal protege of William F. Buckley, Jr.); Michael Crichton; Miriam Makeba (South African singer); Arthur Shawcross (the "Genessee River Killer"); Edna Parker (the world's oldest living person, age 115); Rev. George Docherty (Presbyterian minister; helped get the words "under God" added to the Pledge of Allegiance); William Gibson (playwright, author of The Miracle Worker).

2: Sen. Saxby Chambliss wins the runoff Senate election in Georgia, thereby ending Democrat hopes for a supermajority in the Senate.
5: O.J. Simpson gets 9 to 33 years for kidnapping and robbery in Las Vegas. He will be 70 before he is eligible for parole.
6: Anh "Joseph" Quang Cao defeats corrupt congressman William Jefferson (D.-Louisiana), becoming the first Vietnamese American to be elected to the House of Representatives. (Plus, he's Republican, and a devout Catholic.)
9: The FBI arrests Democrat Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges, including trying to sell Barack Obama's Senate seat.
11: The remains of Caylee Anthony are found near the child's home.
15: In the latest manifestation of global warming, an ice storm strikes New England and leaves thousands without power in Maine, Massachusetts, New York and New Hampshire.
16: The Illinois House of Representatives votes to get the ball rolling on impeaching Democrat governor Rod Blagojevich.
27: Israel begins the launch of air strikes, code-named "Operation Cast Lead," against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
28: The United States vetoes a U.N. Security Council resolution aimed at stopping Operation Cast Lead.
31: Whatever huge event happens after this post goes up.

Deaths: Paul Benedict (actor, Harry Bentley on The Jeffersons); Sunny von Bülow (heiress; alleged victim in infamous Klaus von Bülow case); Alexy II (primate of Russian Orthodox Church); Nina Foch (actress; "Bithia" in The Ten Commandments); Van Johnson; Majel Barrett Roddenberry (actress and widow of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry); Paul Weyrich (conservative commentator and co-founder of the Heritage Foundation); Avery Cardinal Dulles; Bettie Page (1950s pinup model); Jack Douglas (British comedian and star of the Carry On films); Eartha Kitt; Dale Wasserman (playwright: Man of La Mancha and One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest).

Here's to 2009. May the New Year be an improvement over the old one.

No comments:

Post a Comment