Posts by Alex Miller

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The Passion of the Gaetz

During Holy Week 2021, the New York Times broke the story that GOP firebrand Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was under federal investigation for possible sex trafficking of a minor and related offenses.  Begun by the William Barr Justice Department, the investigation has been ongoing for more than a year, with the FBI characterizing Gaetz as a “subject”, not a “target.”  Gaetz stands accused of multiple incidents involving exchange of cash or goods for sex, but so far only one allegation of underage trafficking; if proved, Gaetz faces up to life in prison.  Gaetz’ response to the story being made public has been a staunch denial, and a rather tortured quasi-justification alleging a complicated and improbable blackmail and extortion scenario at the root of the investigation.

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House Diary: Easter

Although, as a pagan, I don’t celebrate Easter per se, Christianity’s secular arm has appropriated so many pagan symbols of the season that if you look around the house, it appears that I do.  Even the English name for the holiday itself derives from Eostre, a Teutonic deity, goddess of spring, who could transform herself into a rabbit and was fond of handing out colored birds’ eggs to her devotees.  That probably sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

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Crisis at the Border: Biden & Immigration

The deteriorating situation at the US/Mexico border began to gain traction in the Press in mid-March, as waves of unaccompanied minors flocked to seek asylum.  Mostly from violent, corrupt, climate-devastated regions in Central America, some of the overwhelming numbers of migrants were released from holding camps established on the Mexican side of the border during the Trump administration.  Others were new arrivals, emboldened by Biden’s election victory and the hope that his administration would deal more humanely with them than the previous one had.

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Garden Glimpses: Spring Equinox

AAA kicks off a new department this month with “Garden Glimpses”, a photographic memoir of life here at what I affectionately term “Pokeberry Farm”, after our most prolific vegetative output (the pokeberry, AKA pokeweed, is a large native plant, sometimes up to 6 feet tall, with spreading branches bearing pendulous, almost grapelike bunches of purple-black fruits; birds prize these, and their droppings proliferate this invasive species all over the yard).  Over the past year I’ve chronicled each sabbat, or pagan festival, and have integrated my horticultural adventures within that seasonal framework.  But I have only so much to say about pagan holidays, whereas the garden is the gift that keeps on giving, so we’ll be morphing the original “House Diary” column into a more flora-focused one.  After all, with asteroid Gardner just a degree off my natal Sun, I’m only an “e” away from being the real thing!

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Death in Boulder

Less than a week after the spa shootings in Atlanta, shots rang out again in Boulder, Colorado, as 10 were killed in a crowded grocery store by a lone shooter wielding an assault-style rifle.  The suspect, 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, is the same age as the Georgia shooter, but this motive is less certain.  We do, however, have a birth date, and victim names which match asteroids, so let’s dig in on this latest atrocity.

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The Georgia Spa Shootings

At approximately 4:55 PM EDT on 16 March 2021, Robert Aaron Long allegedly entered the Young’s Asian Massage in Acworth, Georgia and opened fire with a 9mm handgun, killing 4 and wounding another.  He then drove the half hour to Atlanta and continued his shooting spree at two additional massage establishments, Gold Massage Spa and Aromatherapy Spa, across the street from each other on Piedmont Road.  Long shot three dead at Gold’s Spa, killing one more and wounding 4 others at Aromatherapy Spa.  He was apprehended on the highway at about 8:30 PM, allegedly headed to Florida to continue his murderous rampage. 

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