On Sunday, 3 September 2023, Republican presidential nomination contender Vivek Ramaswamy was muffled by the collapse of a huge banner reading “TRUTH” as he stumped in Lancaster, New Hampshire. Footage of the event shows the massive backdrop slowly folding forward onto the unexpecting Ramaswamy, in a moment of cosmic irony worthy of a Wes Anderson film. Unhurt, except perhaps in his pride, the incident has led to a plethora of Tweets and internet memes calling attention to the aptness of the visuals, for a candidate who can’t seem to keep his stories straight about his opinion of the prior president.
Posts by Alex Miller
On 1 September 2023, word came of the death of singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett, who passed away at his Sag Harbor, NY home, surrounded by his family, friends, music, and dogs, after a four-year battle with an aggressive, rare skin cancer. Buffet was best known for his patented brand of “tropical rock,” celebrating a back-to-the-beach, “island escapism” aesthetic, especially epitomized by “Margaritaville” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” from the 1970s. But Buffett was also a gifted businessman and entrepreneur, with a net worth at his passing of over a billion dollars, making him one of the richest musicians on the planet, albeit most of his wealth stemmed from these other sidelines, and not record sales.
On 30 August 2023 the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season kicked off with a bang, as Hurricane Idalia battered the northern Florida coast with 125 mph winds and a 7-foot storm surge, making landfall as a category 3 storm at Keaton Beach, in the Sunshine State’s Big Bend region, at 7:45 AM EDT. Earlier projections had seen the storm coming ashore somewhat further south, in more populous areas, but despite the already swampy terrain and smaller communities in its path, Idalia is estimated to have caused some $9 billion+ in damage. Thankfully, loss of life was minimal, with three traffic-related fatalities attributed to Idalia’s effects.
On Saturday, 26 August 2023, a 21-year-old white male, clad in a tactical vest, shot up a Dollar Store on King Road in Jacksonville, Florida, killing three black persons before turning the gun on himself when police arrived on the scene. Ryan Christopher Palmeter had been remanded to state care in 2017 after a mental health breakdown which should have precluded his access to firearms, but was able to legally purchase the AR-15 style assault rifle and Glock semiautomatic pistol used in this crime, earlier this year. Palmeter, who has a history of racism, adorned the rifle with swastikas and ordered all “non-Black” people to leave the store when he entered. Police are investigating the murders as a hate crime.
As the proud owner of a Stationary Direct Mercury, I must say that in general, I’m fairly immune to Merc retro effects. I guess it’s the stalwart, embedded stance of my natal Mercury, which turned direct within ninety minutes of my birth – nothing shakes it. But the recent retrograde period was a notable exception, backed up by unfortunate asteroid placements, resulting in a blown tire the day of the station.
On Saturday, 29 July 2023, Erin Patterson of Leongatha, Victoria, Australia, invited her estranged husband Simon, his parents Don and Gail, and his mother’s sister Heather and her husband Ian Wilkinson, a local minister, to lunch, sending her two children to the movies. The purpose of the gathering was to try to work through the differences that had separated the couple, with a view to their reconciliation. Simon backed out of the luncheon at the last minute, but the four elders attended, with Reverend Wilkinson attempting to counsel Erin in his absence.