Sunday, December 31, 2023

Finally Free: of 2023

What a year it has been. Motus in fine velocior, as the Romans put it.  Why is this last post of 2023 also my first post of 2023?  Because events have been too appalling for comment.

As always, I have used Wikipedia as a starting point for the refreshment of my recollection, and focused those items which were of particular note to me.  


2: Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffers cardiac arrest in the middle of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals -- we are invited NOT to speculate as to why.
5: 50,000 people attend the (nevertheless perfunctory) funeral of Benedict XVI, who died on New Year's Eve of 2022.
13: Large explosion on the Lithuania-Latvia Interconnection natural gas pipeline.
19: Embattled French President Macron faces pension reform strikes.
28: Beginning of the infamous incident of the Chinese balloon over the United States.

Deaths: Gina Lollobrigida; Fred White (drummer, Earth, Wind and Fire); Adam Rich; Lynette Hardaway (Diamond and Silk); Melinda Dillon (Ralphie's mom in A Christmas Story); George Cardinal Pell; Paul Johnson (historian); Lisa Marie Presley; David Crosby; Cindy Williams; Lisa Loring (Wednesday on The Addams Family in the '60s).


1: More than half a million workers across the U.K. go on strike over the crisis in pay and cost of living conditions in the nation.
6: Two massive earthquakes strike Turkey and Syria, killing tens of thousands.
21: Russia suspends participation in the New START nuclear arms control pact with the United States, citing the U.S.'s evident desire for the defeat of Russia in the war with Ukraine.
28: Lori Lightfoot loses her re-election bid as mayor of Chicago.

Deaths: Burt Bacharach; David Oreck (Oreck vacuum cleaners); Raquel Welch; Stella Stevens; Richard Belzer.


10: Prince Edward receives the title of Duke of Edinburgh, previously held by Prince Philip, his father.  Also: collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank, the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history.  
21: Uganda passes a law imposing stiff prison sentences on aggravated homosexuality and attempted homosexuality.
24: an outbreak of tornadoes in Mississippi kills dozens of people.
27: Six are killed in the Covenant School mass shooting, perpetrated by a transgender person who was herself killed by police.

Deaths: Phil Batt (former governor of Idaho; Robert Blake; Pat Schroeder; Mark Russell.


3: NASA announces the crew of Artemis 2, set to be the first landing by men on the Moon since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.
4: Donald Trump is indicted out of New York on charges related to payments of hush money to Stormy Daniels.
10: Leak of classified documents relating to the war in Ukraine and other foreign affairs, which is pinned on Jack Teixeira, a kid in the Air National Guard who allegedly photographed printouts and posted them online.
24: Fox News fires Tucker Carlson; CNN fires Don Lemon.

Deaths: Judy Farrell (Nurse Able on M*A*S*H); Richard Riordan (former mayor of Los Angeles); Harry Belafonte; Jerry Springer; Barbara Young (Agrippina in I, Claudius).


2: The Writers' Guild of America strike begins.  The world yawns.
3: Two explosive drones are shot down near the Kremlin.  Ukraine denies involvement.
5: The World Health Organization declares covid to no longer be a global health emergency.
6: Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla of England, the first English coronation in 70 years.
16: Portugal legalizes euthanasia.
29: Uganda decrees the death penalty for aggravated homosexuality (homosexual sex with persons over 75 or children, or homosexual rape).

Deaths: Gordon Lightfoot; Eileen Saki (Rosie on M*A*S*H); Tina Turner.


2: Fort Bragg changes its name to Fort Liberty in order to avoid being named after a Confederate general.
4: Beginning of the much-ballyhooed Ukrainian "counteroffensive."
6: Destruction of the Kakhovka Dam in Ukraine, causing flooding downstream on the Dnieper River.
8: More indictments against Donald Trump out of Florida, for alleged mishandling of classified documents.
12: Pat Sajak retires from Wheel of Fortune.
16: Thousands of Catholics gathered at Dodger Stadium to protest the team's honoring the blasphemous Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group that celebrates homosexuality and mocks Catholic nuns.
18: Implosion of the tourist submersible Titan at the wreck site of the Titanic, killing 5.
20: Estonia legalizes same-sex "marriage" and same-sex adoption.
23: The Wagner Group rebellion in Russia.
29: the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down affirmative action in higher education.

Deaths: Silvio Berlusconi; Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri (the "Iron Shiek"); Pat Robertson; Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber); Treat Williams; Glenda Jackson; Daniel Ellsberg; Alan Arkin


5: The White House is evacuated briefly after cocaine is discovered in the West Wing.  
13: The FDA approves the first over-the-county contraceptive pill.
14: The Screen Actors' Guild and AFTRA go on strike.  The world turns over in bed.

Deaths: George Tickner (founding member, Journey); Tony Bennett; Inga Swenson; Sinéad O'Connor; Paul Reubens (Peewee Herman).


1: Another set of banana-republic indictments issue against Donald Trump from the Department of Justice, for crimes alleged to have stemmed from his alleged attempt to overturn the 2020 election.
4: Beginning of devastating wildfires in the state of Hawaii.
14: More bogus indictments against Trump, out of the state of Georgia.

Deaths: John Gosling (keyboardist for the Kinks); Johnny Hardwick (voice of Dale Gribble on King of the Hill); James Lane Buckley; Ray Hildebrand (Paul and Paula); Arleen Sorkin; Bob Barker; Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher ("Joe the Plumber").


6: The Supreme Court of Mexico decriminalizes abortion.
12: Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy announces an inquiry into impeaching Joe Biden.
15: Beginning of United Auto Workers strike in Michigan, Ohio and Missouri.
17: An F-35 fighter jet goes missing after its pilot ejects over Charleston, South Carolina.
29: New York City declares a state of emergency in the wake of floods caused by heavy rain.

Deaths: Jimmy Buffett; Bill Richardson; Gary Wright; Terry Kirkman (The Association); Dianne Feinstein.


3: Kevin McCarthy, Speaker of the House, becomes the first Speaker ever to be ousted.
4: Pope Francis comes out with Laudate Deum, the sequel to Laudato si, thus entrenching the papacy further into the climate change agenda.
7: Large Hamas attack on Israel's southern district, kicking off fearful Israeli retaliation, including bombing campaigns against civilian targets and a blockade of the Gaza Strip.
9: RFK, Jr. announces he will run for President as an independent.
10: The Catholic hierarchy goes in for self-parody with the ridiculous "Synod on Synodality."
14: An annular solar eclipse occurs in the Western Hemisphere.
17: The Supreme Court of India refuses to legalize same-sex "marriage."
25: Mike Johnson is elected the new Speaker of the House.
28: Hockey player Adam Johnson of the Nottingham Panthers dies after an on-ice collision with Matt Petgrave of the Sheffield Steelers results in Johnson's neck being cut by Petgrave's skate blade.

Deaths: Burt Young (Rocky Balboa's brother-in-law in Rocky); Piper Laurie; Suzanne Somers; Richard Roundtree; Richard Moll; Matthew Perry.


2: Russia withdraws from the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
9: The Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith OK's baptism for transgendered persons and for the children of same-sex couples.
11: Bishop Joseph Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas is officially deposed from his see for political reasons.
19: The apparently Trump-esque (and unquestionably Trump-haired) Javier Millei wins the presidency of Argentina in a run-off election.
22: Geert Wilders' "far-right" Party for Freedom wins a majority of seats in the parliament of the Netherlands.
23: Rioting breaks out in Dublin, Ireland, following the mass stabbing of three children and one woman outside a school; Ireland's government responds by calling for restrictions on "anti-immigrant" speech.
30: Russia bans the LGBT movement within its borders.

Deaths: Rosalynn Carter; Marty Krofft; Henry Kissinger.


1: George Santos (R.-NY), who is facing various types of fraud charges, is expelled from the House of Representatives.
3: Houthis, out of Yemen, attack U.S. civilian shipping in the Red Sea, threatening to widen the Israel-Hamas war.
13: Voyager I stops sending data to earth, due to a technical glitch, though it can still receive commands.
16: Israeli snipers kill a woman and her daughter on the grounds of a Catholic Church in the Gaza Strip; Pope Francis condemns the action.  Also: Giovanni Cardinal Becciu is sentenced to five and a half years' imprisonment for embezzlement.
18: Publication of Fiducia supplicans.  Pushback from a surprising number of bishops who announce they will refuse to implement it.
19: In a move that will later be reversed, Colorado Supreme Court rules that Donald Trump is disqualified from appearing on next year's presidential primary ballot in that state.
28: Maine's Secretary of State decides on her own to remove Trump from Maine's ballot.
31: Queen Margretha II of Denmark announces her abdication in favor of her son, Crown Prince Frederik.

Deaths: Shecky Greene; Tommy Smothers; Laura Lynch (Dixie Chicks); Bob Johnson (Steeleye Span); Ryan O'Neal; Norman Lear; Sandra Day O'Connor.

Whatever happens in 2024, we need to always remember that Christ is still King.

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