Come on Irene: Late last week and over the weekend, Hurricane Irene made landfall in North Carolina and tore up the East Coast, causing structural damage, record flooding and a death toll of over 40.
Although much of what was predicted for Irene never transpired, in particular heavy flooding in Manhattan, Irene still caused record flooding in New Jersey, upstate New York and other locations along the east coast. Jokes about how New Yorkers would think God Himself was coming down in Times Square abounded, but the fact remains that Hurricane Irene, on top of the recent earthquake, has shaken the sense of security many East Coast residents hold. With Tropical Storm Katia forming in the Atlantic, we can only hope Irene was the worst we’ll see this season.
Wall Street bounces back: It’s the economic End Times! Our stocks are crashing, out mutual funds are breaking up and our retirement funds are foundering.
Or are they? The Dow Jones Industrial Average has been gaining steadily over the past week with few signs of slowing down. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ have gained as well. Still, none of this really adds up to the end of our economic woes, right? Anybody who has watched a 24-hour news network for more than half an hour in the past three years can tell you that the stock market is a fickle friend, but the stock market isn’t the only thing that’s getting better. According to NPR, factory orders are up 2.4 percent as well. We’re far from out, but things are looking up.
Sweet Home Afghanistan: According to a recent article in The Birmingham News, a soldier in Afghanistan’s request for an Alabama flag was denied by Governor Robert Bentley’s office. The soldier claimed he wanted to fly it at his campsite to honor the state that he is proud to be from. The office of the Governor denied the soldier’s request, saying that they get dozens of requests for flags each month from churches, school groups and weddings and simply can’t find it in their budget to provide a flag to each and every person who asks for one. That’s great and everything, and I can understand having to scrimp and save. But really?
The man is getting shot at in one of the most dangerous parts of the world for his country. Give him a flag.
Immigration law delayed: The runaround of the new immigration law continues. A U.S. District Judge recently blocked the law from taking effect until Sept. 28. The bill, which would require police to detain anyone who they suspect to be an illegal immigrant and cannot provide papers, would have taken effect on Sept. 1. Police, schools and tax collectors’ offices now have a few more weeks to prepare for this new burden to come down upon them, assuming it does. The judge blocked the legislation to review its constitutionality, and plenty of citizen groups and individuals are still trying to put the beast down in court. The law might never see the light of day, but at least we’ve still got some time to prepare if it does.