Archive for September, 2009

Meet Lynn Vincent, Sarah Palin’s Ghostwriter

September 30, 2009

Diane Bell reports:

Lynn Vincent, Palin’s ghostwriter, has signed a non-disclosure agreement. She has been hard at work on the book for the past few months with Palin, the former Alaska governor and John McCain’s running mate.


For the past 10 years, she has been working for Christian-based World Magazine, from which she took leave to work full time with Palin.

No details have yet emerged about the contents of Palin’s memoir, and Vincent’s nondisclosure agreement will most likely keep her mum until the book’s official release.


Henry VIII

September 30, 2009


Wedded bliss didn’t come easily to England’s most infamous serial husband, Henry VIII. Desperate for a male heir, Henry (Ray Winstone) married then tossed aside a succession of wives that included Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn (Helena Bonham-Carter), Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard (Emily Blunt) and finally Katherine Parr. Sexual intrigue and twisted rivalry were the hallmarks of Henry’s reign. First aired on British television.

It is a colorful dramatization of the life of Henry VIII with some historical inaccuracies such as implying that the Pope was in Rome/the Vatican at the time he refused to divorce Henry VIII from Catherine of Aragon. In fact, the Pope was at Orvieto at the time, and it was there, in the Papal palace, where he wrote and signed this particular document

Episode 1 part 1 of 3
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Episode 2 part 3 of 3
Making of

Bishop & Biologist Katharine Jefferts Schori On Homosexuality

September 30, 2009

In the light of increased bigotry from some right wingnuts such as Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) as well as many religious leaders, it is refreshing to see some clerics with a clearer world view.

The full interview is well worth watching and can be found here.

Frank Gaffney: The North American Union Is Real

September 29, 2009

David Weigel reports:

At the “How to Take Back America” conference in St. Louis, Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy … took a question on the North American Union and stated that it “wasn’t black helicopter stuff,” but that its framers might miss their goal of a 2010 union between the United States, Mexico and Canada.

These guys never cease to amaze me. I can’t imagine Gaffney actually believes the crap he comes up with. The level of shamelessness one has to have to be able to bs a gullible audience just to cash in the speakers fee is staggering.

Leave The Health Insurance System Alone!

September 29, 2009

Supreme Court To Consider Juvenile ‘Lifers’

September 29, 2009

David G. Savage reports:

Joe Sullivan was 13 years old when he and two older boys broke into a home, where they robbed and raped an elderly woman. After a one-day trial in 1989, Sullivan was sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole.

Terrance Graham was 16 when he and two others robbed a restaurant. When he was arrested again a year later for a home break-in, a Florida judge said he was incorrigible. In 2005, Graham received a life term with no parole.

The two young convicts represent an American phenomenon, one the Supreme Court is set to reconsider in the fall term that opens Oct. 5. At issue is whether it is cruel and unusual punishment to imprison a minor until he or she dies when the crime does not involve murder.

According to Amnesty International, “The United States is the only country in the world that does not comply with the norm against imposing life-without-parole sentences on juveniles.”

PBS Frontline also reported on the subject in 2007 and there is no doubt in my mind our justice system is on the wrong path on the matter.

Marine Officer Who Set Up Guantanamo Prison Dismayed By What It Has Become

September 29, 2009

Gen. Michael Lehnert
Retiring Marine Brig. Gen. Michael Lehnert, charged with setting up Gitmo in 2001, speaks out:

“Once they were out of the fight, I felt we had a moral responsibility to care for them in a humane fashion,” Lehnert said. “I think it’s extremely important how we treat prisoners.” Lehnert recalled talking to young Marines who thought the detainees were being treated too well. “They said, ‘They wouldn’t treat us this way,’ ” Lehnert said. “I said ‘You’re correct, and that is entirely irrelevant. If we treat them that way [as they might treat U.S. prisoners], then we become them.’ ” Shortly after leaving Guantanamo, Lehnert said he concluded that the detention center should be shut down as soon as possible, a position that he holds more strongly now. “I think we should close it down,” he said. “I think the information we’re getting is not worth the international beating we’re taking.”

Welcome Home Glenn

September 29, 2009

Glenn Beck was honored on Saturday by the mayor of his hometown in Mt. Vernon WA with the keys to the city. A move not everyone was happy with. The rest of the gallery is here.

40 Years Ago, Robin Knox-Johnston’s Golden Globe Victory

September 28, 2009


I am a little late on this one. On 14 June 1968 the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race started at Falmouth. Robin Knox-Johnston rounded Cape Horn on 17 January 1969, 20 days before his closest competitor Bernard Moitessier who abandoned the race. Thus, Knox-Johnston became the first man to circumnavigate the globe non-stop and single-handed on 22 April 1969, the day he returned to Falmouth. He donated his prize money to the family of Donald Crowhurst, who committed suicide during the race.

A short interview of Robin Knox-Johnston talking of his exploit and his ship Suhaili can be found here.

Let Us Relax Ctd: Paul Klee

September 28, 2009


A Swiss-born painter and graphic artist whose personal, often gently humorous works are replete with allusions to dreams, music, and poetry, Paul Klee, b. Dec. 18, 1879, d. June 29, 1940, is difficult to classify.

Primitive art, surrealism, cubism, and children’s art all seem blended into his small-scale, delicate paintings, watercolors, and drawings. Klee grew up in a musical family and was himself a violinist. After much hesitation he chose to study art, not music, and he attended the Munich Academy in 1900. There his teacher was the popular symbolist and society painter Franz von STUCK. Klee later toured Italy (1901-02), responding enthusiastically to Early Christian and Byzantine art.

A brief biography and selected paintings can be found here, a larger set of his work is available here, and an extensive portal is available here.