WNBA star Brittney Griner’s unexpected release from Russian custody on December 8th, after almost ten months in detention for a drug trafficking violation, sent waves of relief through family, friends and fandom. Griner had been arrested February 17, 2022 on smuggling charges after customs authorities found vaporizer cartridges containing less than a gram of hash oil in her luggage. Griner had a prescription for medical marijuana use from the state of Arizona, but all forms of the drug are illegal in Russia.
Posts by Alex Miller
Donald Trump, the twice-impeached former president facing multiple criminal investigations, chose the week after a disappointing finish for Republicans in the Midterm Elections to announce his candidacy for the presidency in 2024. With criminal indictments against him already issued and more pending, the act may be more a bid for resuming the specious immunity conferred by the office of the presidency, than any true desire to pick up the tattered threads of his political career.
The US is poised to formally enshrine marriage equality in law, as opposed to allowing the practice via Supreme Court fiat. Same sex marriage, first legalized in Massachusetts in 2003, was validated in all fifty states by the Obergefell v Hodges decision in 2015. But recent events with the overturning of Roe v Wade and its abandonment of federally guaranteed reproductive freedoms have shown just how fragile governance by judicial rulings can be, and advocates have been pushing hard for legal codification of the right to same-sex unions.
Just before midnight on Saturday, 19 November 2022, a man clad in body armor with an AR-15-style long rifle entered Club Q, an LGBTQ+ watering hole in a strip mall on the outskirts of Colorado Springs, Colorado, which was hosting a drag show that evening. He began shooting into the crowd, but was tackled two minutes later by two patrons and subdued until police arrived. In those two minutes, he had killed five and wounded 18 others.
When “Casablanca” was released in 1942, no one expected it would stand out among the hundreds of films churned out by Hollywood yearly, let alone achieve the iconic status it has. The film did reasonably well at the box office, but it wasn’t until it won the Academy Award for Best Picture that people began to take it seriously. Over the decades, “Casablanca” has earned an enduring place in movie-lovers’ hearts, with its star-studded leading players, supporting cast of popular ‘40s character actors, memorable dialogue, and iconic theme song, “As Time Goes By.” “Casablanca” regularly makes it to the top of the lists of the most popular movies of all time, and was one of the first films nominated by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry. It remains a personal favorite, and I never miss an opportunity to watch.
On November 20, 2022, US President Joe Biden turns eighty years old, the oldest person ever to serve in that office. Although he has not made his candidacy official, Biden routinely offers, when asked, that it is his “intention” to run for reelection in 2024, just shy of 82, which would make him 86 when he hands off to the next president in January of 2029. We’ll see.