Monday, December 31, 2018

The Passing Scene: 2018

1: California legalizes recreational weed.
2: Liberal heads explode as President Trump tweets that his nuclear button is bigger than Kim Jong Un's, and that it actually works.
4: Attorney General Sessions rescinds the Obama-era policy of non-interference with states that legalize recreational weed.
5: At the U.N. Security Council, the United States declares its "unapologetic" support for the anti-government protests in Iran.  Also: Republican senators call for a criminal investigation of Christopher Steele, the author of the so-called "Trump Dossier."
9:  Mud slides in Santa Barbara County, California, claim at least 21 lives and result in $177 million in property damage.
13: An alert of an incoming ballistic missile is sent out over the state of Hawaii, and is declared a false alarm after 38 minutes.
14: The 13 children of David and Louise Turpin of Perris, California are rescued after being held captive, tortured and malnourished over the course of nearly 30 years.
21: A message in a bottle dropped from the German barque Paula on June 12, 1886 is discovered off the coast of Western Australia, breaking all records for the longest time such a message has remained adrift.
30: President Trump's first State of the Union address.
31: A total lunar eclipse, supermoon and blue moon all coincide.

Deaths: Ray Thomas (the Moody Blues); Thomas Bopp (co-discoverer of Comet Hale-Bopp); Jerry Van Dyke; John Young (astronaut, ninth man to walk on the moon); Peter Wyngarde; Olivia Cole; Dorothy Malone; Mort Walker (Beetle Bailey cartoonist).


5: The discovery of exoplanets beyond the Milky Way Galaxy is announced.
6: Space X successfully tests its partly-reusable Falcon Heavy rocket.
7: The Canadian national anthem becomes "gender neutral."
8: Bermuda repeals same-sex "marriage."
14: Murder spree, Parkland, Florida: a 19-year-old former student guns down 32 students and teachers at Stoneman Douglas High School, killing 17, before being apprehended.
27: President Trump formally announces his candidacy for re-election in 2020.

Deaths: Kenneth Haigh; John Mahoney; Michael White (Thompson Twins); John Gavin; Craig MacGregor (Foghat); Marty Allen; Billy Graham; Nanette Fabray.


4: The 90th Academy Awards.  Who cares.
6: Stormy Daniels sues President Trump.
13: President Trump fires Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.
14: Toys "R" Us announces it will go out of business in the United States.
15: An unfinished pedestrian bridge at Florida International University in Miami collapses, killing 6.
23: 200,000 French citizens take to the streets to protest Emmanuel Macron's economic "reforms."  Also: President Trump issues an order banning transgendered persons from serving in the military. 

Deaths: David Ogden Stiers; Stephen Hawking; Linda Carol Brown (appellant in Brown v. Board of Education).


11: House Speaker Paul Ryan announces he will not seek re-election.
13: President Trump pardons Scooter Libby.
16: The first woman in 33 years wins the Boston Marathon.
22: Murder spree, Nashville, Tennessee: a gunman kills four and wounds four at a Waffle House restaurant.  He is later apprehended.
23: Birth of Prince Louis of Cambridge, fifth in the line of succession to the British throne.  Also: the world's first successful transplant of male sex organs (not including testicles) is performed on a U.S. soldier injured in Afghanistan.
27: In an historic meeting at Panmunjom, North and South Korea declare an end to the Korean War.

Deaths: Steven Bochco; Susan Anspach; Soon-Tek Oh; Tim O'Connor; Art Bell; R. Lee Ermey; HarryAnderson; Barbara Bush; John Stride; Paul Junger Witt.


3: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences votes to suspend Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski for violating their standards of conduct, even though Polanski's conduct failed to bother the Academy for 40 years.
4: A magnitude 6.9 earthquake strikes Hawaii, and Kilauea Volcano begins erupting, prompting evacuations from the Leilani Estates subdivision.  Also: the U.S. Navy re-establishes the Second Fleet, which had been disbanded in 2011.  Also: a bill banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected becomes law in the state of Iowa.
9: Death of Dale Moore, my father, 11 days shy of his 71st birthday.
12: North Korea announces the forthcoming dismantling of its Punggye-Ri nuclear test site.
14: Seventieth anniversary of the foundation of the modern state of Israel, and dedication of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.
18: All 34 Roman Catholic bishops of Chile offer to abdicate after the Pope accuses them of destroying evidence of sex crimes.
19: Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, now the Duke and Duchess of Essex.
29: ABC cancels the recently-rebooted sitcom Roseanne after Roseanne Barr issues what they considered to be an offensive tweet.
30: Harvey Weinstein is indicted for rape in New York.

Deaths: George Deukmejian (former governor of California); Margot Kidder; Tom Wolfe; Clint Walker; Alan Bean (fourth man to walk on the Moon).


11: Net neutrality ends in the United States.
12: Beginning of the historic summit meeting between the United States and North Korea in Singapore.
18: President Trump directs the Department of Defense to start laying the groundwork for a Space Force, as a sixth branch of the armed forces.
19: The United States withdraws from the U.N. Human Rights Council, which is a joke anyway.
26: The U.S. Supreme Court upholds President Trump's September 2017 travel ban.

Deaths: Matt "Guitar" Murphy; Koko the sign language gorilla; Joe Jackson (Jackson 5 patriarch).


1: Vermont legalizes recreational pot.
9: President Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court left by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy.
10: An international team completes operations to rescue a junior soccer team and its coach that has been trapped in a cave in Thailand.
17: Jupiter is discovered to have ten additional moons, bringing the total to 79.

Deaths: Tab Hunter; Roger Perry; Bernard Hepton (Pallas in I, Claudius); "Red" Ron Dellums.


2: Pope Francis purports to change the Catholic Church's immemorial teaching on capital punishment.
14: Pennsylvania's attorney general releases a grand jury report implicating hundreds of Catholic priests in the sexual abuse of children in six Pennsylvania dioceses.
18: A specimen of ancient Egyptian cheese, thought to be 3,200 years old, is discovered in a tomb in Saqqara.
21: Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is convicted of eight counts relating to bank fraud and tax fraud.
22:  The Vigano Testimony.
30: The deadly Carr wild fire in California is finally 100% contained.

Deaths: Charlotte Rae; Aretha Franklin; Kofi Annan; Barbara Harris; Robin Leach; John McCain; Neil Simon.


4:  Police recover a pair of Judy Garland's ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz that had been stolen from a museum in Minnesota in 2005.
22: The Vatican signs a breathtaking agreement with the government of communist China that gives the latter power over the appointment of Catholic bishops.
25: Bill Cosby receives a ten-year unified prison sentence after being convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004.
29:  The second Vigano Testimony.

Deaths: Warren Jones (Idaho Supreme Court justice); Thad Mumford; Burt Reynolds; Sheila White (Messalina in I, Claudius); Peter Donat; Marty Balin.


1: North and South Korea begin removing landmines from the DMZ.
4:  Heavy floods begin that cost 69 lives and hundreds of millions of Euros in property damage across Europe.
6: After a lengthy and disgraceful circus of a confirmation hearing to rival that to which Justice Clarence Thomas was subjected to, Brett Kavanaugh is finally confirmed as a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
10: The deadly and destructive Hurricane Michael makes landfall in Florida.
17: Canada fully legalizes Mary Jane.
19:  The third Vigano Testimony.
22: The Trump administration announces plans to define "gender" as a permanent genetic and anatomical condition fixed at birth.
23:  The discovery in the Black Sea of the oldest known intact shipwreck (c. 400 B.C.) is announced.
27:  Murder spree, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: a shooter kills 11 and injures 7 more at a synagogue before being wounded in a shootout with police.
29:  The Boston Red Sox beat the Dodgers in the World Series.
30:  President Trump publicly challenges the concept of birthright citizenship in the United States.

Deaths: Peggy McKay; Wah Wah Watson (the Funk Brothers); Tony Joe White ("Polk Salad Annie").


1: Great Britain legalizes medical marijuana.
2: The Trump administration re-imposes all the sanctions against Iran that had been lifted in 2015.
6: The Democrats win control of the House of Representatives.
7:  Murder spree, Thousand Oaks, California: a shooter kills 12, including one police officer, at a restaurant, before turning the gun on himself.  Also: President Trump fires Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
25: The Camp Fire in California, which left 86 dead, is finally contained.

Deaths: Sondra Locke; Katherine MacGregor (Harriet Oleson on Little House on the Prairie); Michele Carey ("Joey" McDonald in El Dorado); Bishop Robert C. Morlino of the Diocese of Madison; Bernardo Bertolucci; George H.W. Bush.


4: In response to the grass-roots Yellow Vest movement in France, the government announces the suspension, for at least six months, of a proposed hike in fuel taxes.
17: For the first time in 800 years, the bridges across the river Severn in Great Britain are toll-free.
20: Secretary of Defense James Mattis announces his resignation, effective February, 2019.  Also: Prestige without merit: part of California's Ventura Freeway is renamed the President Barack H. Obama Highway.  Also: a priest of the Diocese of Boise, found in possession of an immense stash of child pornography, is sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole.

Deaths: Simcha Rotem (last survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943); Richard Arvin Overton (oldest American man and oldest surviving veteran of World War II); Sister Wendy Beckett; Herb Ellis; Donald Moffat; Norman Gimbel; Penny Marshall; Ken Berry

2018 has been a tough year, at least for me.  Let us pray to a merciful God for blessings of peace and freedom, none of which we merit on our own.


  1. An interesting year; but as a Canadian I must say that our anthem, despite what our silly PM says, has not changed. We all sing "in all they sons, command" and will continue to do so.
    May God bless you abundantly in 2019.

  2. Good grief, Anita. You put this together all by your tiny self? I can hardly remember what happened yesterday.

    You're a wonder!

    Happy New Year's, my dear. You're a very special lady.