Saif al-Qaddafi is not just a dictator’s son turned international party boy turned charismatic reformer turned brutal paranoid headcase, he’s also a painter. Though judging by these images from Getty, not a particularly good one. Here’s an excerpt from the Guardian’s review of his 2002 exhibition at London’s Kensington Gardens, titled, The Desert is Not Silent:
“It would be a genuine joy to be able to say that Saif is a good artist, or even an artist. Cultural links with Libya are obviously desirable, and the Gadafy International Foundation for Charitable Associations, of which he is chair, has certainly poured money and rare museum pieces into this show… [But] Colonel Gadafy’s son may be an able cultural ambassador but as a painter he is not even a gifted amateur; his sentimentality is only exceeded by his technical incapacity… His other claim to fame, his father, appears floating in the sky, in sunglasses, in a painting entitled The Challenge. Christians, dressed in penitents’ robes with pointy hats, carry crosses on an empty, desolate beach. Beyond burns the sun. Over them looms the spectral figure of an eagle – and overlooking everything, Libya’s leader, daddy, Colonel Gadafy.”
Oscar Wilde said “Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.” Guess he was right. – MS - Greg Pollowitz
“The Kennedys” is the best miniseries you almost weren’t allowed to see.
And considering the size of the cable network ReelzChannel’s usual audience, chances are you may still not see it.
But the miniseries — starring Greg Kinnear as JFK, Barry Pepper as Bobby, Katie Holmes as Jacqueline and Tom Wilkinson as Joseph Sr. — is without a doubt one of the best, most riveting, historically accurate dramas about a time and place in American history that has ever been done for TV. . .
Ninety-five-year-old Leeland Davidson discovered recently that he’s not considered a U.S. citizen, despite living nearly 100 years in the country and serving in the U.S. Navy during WWII.
Davidson, from Centralia, Washington, told KOMO News that he discovered he wasn’t a U.S. citizen when he was turned down for an enhanced driver’s license he needed for a trip to Canada to visit relatives.
“We always figured because he was born to U.S. parents he’s automatically a U.S. citizen,” said Davidson’s daughter, Rose Schoolcraft.
Davidson was born in British Columbia in 1916, but his parents didn’t register the birth with the U.S. government to ensure they knew he was a citizen. He checked up on his citizenship before joining the Navy and was told by an inspector at the U.S. Department of Labor Immigration and Naturalization Service he had nothing to worry about. Now he worries that he won’t be able to prove his citizenship, because his parents were born in Iowa before local governments started keeping records of birth certificates in 1880. “I want it squared away before I pass away,” he says. . .
I trust he'll be a citizen again in a matter of days. - Greg Pollowitz
Rep. Anthony Weiner said Wednesday he was looking into how a health law waiver might work for New York City.
Weiner, who is likely to run for mayor of New York, said that because of the city’s special health care infrastructure, his office was looking into alternatives that might make more sense. Weiner is one of the health care law’s biggest supporters; during the debate leading up to reform, he was one of the last holdouts in Congress for the public option.
“The president said, ‘If you have better ideas that can accomplish the same thing, go for it,’” said Weiner. “I’m in the process now of trying to see if we can take [President Barack Obama] up on it in the city of New York, … and I’m taking a look at all of the money we spend in Medicaid and Medicare and maybe New York City can come up with a better plan.” . . .
He made more sense when he was trying to sell naked statues. - Greg Pollowitz
With Moammar Gadhafi in hiding as coalition aircraft bomb his country, he’s counting on protection from a unique bodyguard corps he’s been training for decades — an all-female, gun-toting posse of virgins.
About 40 lipsticked, bejeweled bodyguards surround the Libyan dictator at all times. They wear designer sunglasses and high heels with their military camouflage. But they’re purported to be trained killers — graduates of an elite military academy in Tripoli that’s solely for women.
Gadhafi established the Tripoli Women’s Military Academy in 1979 as a symbol of women’s emancipation. “I promised my mother to improve the situation of women in Libya,” he reportedly said at the time. His mother, a Bedouin tribeswoman born when Libya was an Italian colony, was illiterate.
As Lady Thatcher said, if you want something done, ask a woman. - Brian Bolduc
Medicare’s Chief Actuary Richard Foster Said ObamaCare Won’t Keep Costs Down. ““The landmark legislation probably won’t hold costs down, and it won’t let everybody keep their current health insurance if they like it, Chief Actuary Richard Foster told the House Budget Committee. His office is responsible for independent long-range cost estimates.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar,“Medicare Offical Doubts Health Care Law Savings,”, The Associated Press, 1/26/11). . .
Good stuff. Click on the bottom of the page for the other four counts against Obamacare. - Greg Pollowitz
WASHINGTON — An American pilot and a weapons officer were safely rescued in Libya on Tuesday after their warplane crashed near Benghazi, but the United States Marine Corps dropped two 500-pound bombs during the recovery and faced questions about whether Marines had fired on villagers.
In an episode that reflected the unpredictability of an air campaign designed to keep American troops off the ground, the United States military said that an equipment malfunction rather than enemy fire brought down the plane. A Marine Corps officer in the Mediterranean strongly denied that any shots were fired at civilians during the rescue, but Marine Corps officers at the Pentagon said they did not know what happened or whether any civilians were killed or injured when the bombs exploded.
United States military officials said the pilot was recovered by a Marine rescue team and was now aboard an American ship in the Mediterranean, the Kearsarge. The weapons officer was found on the ground by “the people of Libya,” said Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, the tactical commander of the United States-led effort in the country. At a Pentagon briefing, Admiral Locklear did not describe them as rebels but made clear that they were not forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. . .
Here we go again. It's. A. War. Bad things happen by accident in a war. If that can't be accepted by the civilian leadership in this country, don't send them to war. - Greg Pollowitz
. . .Stepping out as an early Mirrorball favorite was the Karate Kid himself, Ralph Macchio. The baby-faced actor said he lost his shiny disco ball in the ’70s and is on the hunt to replace it. Turned out Daniel-san’s got some fight in him yet. After complaining that the 49-year-old’s working parts are a lot older than his face would betray, he and partner Karina “overanalysis creates paralysis” Smirnoff stepped out with a stellar fox trot that swept the legs on the rest of the competition. “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head?”? Extra points for doing all that side-by-side dancing the first week out. “Great showmanship, fantastic routine, plenty of content,” said Bruno, though he warned Macchio to fix the weird, creepy hand that popped out in the routine and to point his feet when he kicked. “Wow, Ralph, that was an amazing surprise,” said Carrie Ann. “That was truly gorgeous. You have such elegance in your hold.” “Best fox trot tonight, well done,” proclaimed Len. They received a total of 24, which sent Karina into hysterics. This guy’s got the whole package: He’s the star of a beloved classic film with imminently quotable lines, still got that baby face, works hard and has got that baby face. Wax on!. . .
On the eve of ObamaCare’s first birthday, one of its most high-profile supporters has had a wake-up call and now worries that the pressure small businesses will face from the $2.6 trillion health care law is “too great.” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz was once part of a group of business leaders invited to a coffee klatch at the White House. “I was very supportive of the president’s plan” last year, Mr. Schultz said in a recent interview with The Seattle Times. Now, however, the Starbucks chief believes that “under the current guidelines, the pressure on small businesses, because of the mandate, is too great.”
I'm not sure I like the crazy-Starbucks-sizing entering the political lexicon. - Greg Pollowitz
SANTIAGO, Chile — Amid the ghosts of Chile’s past and an escalating confrontation in Libya, President Barack Obama used the mid-point of his first extended Latin American tour to address the region, saying no other part of the world shared so many of the United States’ values and interests.
Speaking on the grounds of Chile’s presidential palace, Obama vowed to work with Latin America on improving security, boosting trade and bolstering education in a partnership of equals that would benefit the entire region.
“We are all Americans,” he said. “ Todos somos Americanos.”. . .
President Obama's attempt at an "Ich bin ein" moment? - Greg Pollowitz
The idea itself was enough to give weak-stomached critics indigestion.
But Joe “McRunner” D’Amico proved hundreds of naysayers wrong Sunday, by completing the Los Angeles marathon in a personal best time after eating nothing but McDonald’s fast food for a month.
The Palatine dad’s time of 2 hours, 36 minutes and 13 seconds was 41 seconds faster than his previous record, and good enough for 29th place overall in the 26.2 mile race. . .
This proves that Morgan Spurlock was an idiot, no? I still remember he would complain about not being able to sleep and blaming the McDonald's food and neglecting to say he just drank the extra-large size, caffeine filled, Coke. - Greg Pollowitz
Animals lovers around the world mourn the loss of beloved polar bear, Knut.
Knut died in his enclosure at the Berlin Zoo Saturday morning. Eyewitnesses told the zoo that he was sitting on rocks when his left leg began to shake. Knut then walked in circles until he fell into the water.
He was pronounced dead on the scene. Zoo workers raised a screen around the bear’s enclosure, then soon after closed the zoo. . .
The century-old Bangs Avenue School — renamed for President Barack Obama just a year ago — will be closed as a neighborhood school this summer, largely because of a steep slide in the district’s total enrollment the past decade.
Bruce N. Rodman, the state-appointed monitor who oversees the district’s finances, Thursday ordered that elementary students be reassigned to the city’s two other elementary schools as of July 1.
According to a plan presented at a community meeting Monday night, all kindergarten-through-fourth-grade students living west of Comstock Street would go to Bradley Elementary School at 1100 Third Ave., and those east of Comstock would attend. . .
It's not like getting your face chipped off of Mt. Rushmore, but it's a start. Here's the rest of the list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_places_named_after_Barack_Obama - Greg Pollowitz
For the sixth edition of his textbook “Principles of Economics,” Professor N. Gregory Mankiw has replaced an example titled “Should Tiger Woods Mow His Own Lawn?” with a scenario based on the life of NFL player Tom Brady.
“That example in Chapter 3 of the textbook used Michael Jordan in the first edition. Jordan was later changed to Tiger Woods when Jordan retired,” Mankiw wrote in an e-mail. “For the new edition, I thought all the recent events surrounding Woods’ social life might be distracting, so I changed the example to use Brady.”
Why Brady? No specific reason. Mankiw said he and his editor were “looking for a noteworthy celebrity athlete.”
CAIRO—The Arab League secretary general, Amr Moussa, deplored the broad scope of the U.S.-European bombing campaign in Libya and said Sunday that he would call a league meeting to reconsider Arab approval of the Western military intervention.
Moussa said the Arab League’s approval of a no-fly zone on March 12 was based on a desire to prevent Moammar Gaddafi’s air force from attacking civilians and was not designed to endorse the intense bombing and missile attacks — including on Tripoli, the capital, and on Libyan ground forces — whose images have filled Arab television screens for two days.
“What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone,” he said in a statement on the official Middle East News Agency. “And what we want is the protection of civilians and not the shelling of more civilians.”
Moussa’s declaration suggested that some of the 22 Arab League members were taken aback by what they have seen and wanted to modify their approval lest they be perceived as accepting outright Western military intervention in Libya. Although the eccentric Gaddafi is widely looked down on in the Arab world, the leaders and people of the Middle East traditionally have risen up in emotional protest at the first sign of Western intervention. . .
Wow. This war is off to a great start. - Greg Pollowitz
The Moon is getting bigger and it’s orbiting closer to Earth. Run for your lives!
No, don’t do that actually. What’s about to happen on March 19 is not terribly out of the ordinary.
The March full moon will be the closest (to the Earth) and largest full moon of 2011. Why? It comes down to the fact that the Moon’s orbit around the Earth is not a perfect circle, it’s an ellipse in fact.
One side of the Moon’s orbit is actually roughly 31,000 miles closer to Earth than the other side of its orbit.
When the Moon’s orbit takes it the farthest away from Earth, the Moon is at its apogee. When it makes its closest approach, the Moon is at its perigee.
So not only will we have a full Moon on March 19 but the Moon will also be at its perigee. This means that the Moon will appear big in the night sky and it will be very bright; a sight to see for sure . . .
No, you didn’t just accidently click on some Halloween costume site hawking cheesy knockoffs of famous get-ups.
Believe it or not, what you’re actually looking at is the new Wonder Woman outfit that Adrianne Palicki is being forced to wear to play everyone’s favorite Amazonian princess in the pilot forNBC’s reboot of the classic comic.
But rather than embrace the Lynda Carterlook that we all know and love, the designer behind this clearly opted to dramatically change things up—what with the addition of pants, changing the color of the boots and, well, don’t even get us started on the whole shiny, latex thing that seems to be the new trend that so many of our favorite fearless crimefighters have gotten saddled with lately.
Prediction: NBC screws it up, just like they did 'Bionic Woman.' - Greg Pollowitz
Mini Me is telling the world about a new “mini” grant fund for young Jewish leaders.
In an online video filmed at Mini Israel, actor Verne Troyer, best known for playing Dr. Evil’s diminutive protégé Mini Me in the Austin Powers film series, explained how the ROI Community of Young Jewish Innovators’ $100,000 microgrants fund can make a difference in Jewish communities around the world. . .