Thursday 30 June 2011

Open thread - Thursday

My friend Hilary sent me the link to this video. Hold you breath and don't move...

Sarah Palin and the crowds

(Photo of Bristol Palin's crowd courtesy of Immoral Minority)

Wednesday 29 June 2011

Open Thread - Wednesday

1smartcanerican™ sent me this great photo of a dragonfly. Make sure you click on the image to see it in full glory. The detail is amazing!

The photo was taken by her son just over 10 days ago.

Thank you for sharing, 1smartcanerican!

Sarah Palin goes to the movies

I watched some footage of Sarah Palin in Pella and she wiped her nose with her finger twice, once outside and in the following video she did it again, after she entered the opera house. I don't know what was bothering her about her nose, but on the second video she seemed to lose the plot and went on a loop, repeating stuff word for word, like a broken record. She was incredibly animated, gesticulating a lot. Perhaps she drank too much coffee.

It must have been very hot in Pella, Sarah was sweating buckets, although other people around her seemed to be cool enough. Her choice of clothes was a bit odd for the world premiere of a fantasy film about herself. Did she lose her luggage again?

There's a blonde woman in a purple outfit who appears to be with the Palin party. She looks remarkably like Kristan Cole, of Dairygate fame.

At this point I can't tell if she's teasing so she can continue to access the palinbots' wallets or if she has decided to run. Something escaped from the fishing boat via Bristol and seems to indicate a run, or it's just some more more teasing. It's impossible to tell, this is Sarah Palin...

The critics didn't like The Undefeated...

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Tuesday 28 June 2011

Open Thread - Tuesday

I promised some stand up comedy by female comedians from the UK. Here they are.

Sarah Palin's new book signing... and some comic relief

Sarah Palin's book signing event at the Mall of America has very strict rules. Daughter Bristol will join her mom so people will be forced to buy her own book, which is shocking, refreshing, honest, inspired and perfect.

Perhaps the McCains would take exception at the perfection of Bristol's book. I think Sarah Palin couldn't include such perfection in Going Rogue, but thought it would be a good idea to resume the score settling via Bristol.

I'll introduce a bit of fantasy here:

I wrote to my friend Sarah to ask her about it and she sent me a delightful e-mail.

Dear Regina,

Thank you for asking about a possible problem with the Mc'Cains if they think I left them out of the other books that I wrote.

I'm as pure as the driven snow up here in Alaska and would never utter a single word against that war hero real patriot maverick John Mc'Cain or his real American family. But my daughter is young and is very candid and honest and impulsive. (Is utter for real? It's so darn ugly! Makes me think of cow's.)

You see, my beautiful abstinent daughter is so honest that she described how that gnat Levi ran away with her virginity and wouldn't give it back. If he tries to sell her virginity to another girl, Bristol the Pistol will take his backwardass to court for handlin stolen goods. (What do you mean, people can't sell somebody's virginity? Bristol has been selling her abstinence for two years, what's the difference?)

My brave Bristol is refreshing and wasn't afraid of lying to me. What makes anybody think she'd  be afraid of lying to everybody else? Sheesh...

Anyways, I have to give her a hand pedaling (sp?) her inspiring book and there was soooo many Going Rogues and Americas by Heart (or is it America by Hearts? Whatever) that are needing shiftin, also, too, so what's a Mama Grizzly to do?

I had a welcoming break from my civic duty up here in Alaska so I went and accepted an invitation to see that inspired, refreshing, honest, perfect film that I didn't ask Bannon to shoot (did I say shoot? LOL!) and if I'm going to be in the heartland with fellow Americans anyway, why not go on another book signing? I miss that crazy Going Rogue bus tour, with my perfect gift from God, remember him? Little forever dependent Trig, the one with the extra chronozone. Little Piper Diaper was more polite back then, I don't think I'll bring her on this one. Perhaps if I promise her a real vacation she'll behave herself. Whatever. I don't know who I'm bringin with me to the heartland. Willow is too cranky. Perhaps Todd, have you seen Todd???

So, Regina, that's me, all open and transparent, setting the record straight. I have to thank you for trying to set this darn record straight for over two years. Your a trooper and fight like a girl! I'm so appreciating you're efforts!

We must have coffee some time. It's not a long drive from the continent of France, wherever that is. Just drop by and I'll welcome you like Kate Gosselin when she came over and show you real Alaskan hospitality. Gotta go now, there's another peepin Tom spoiling our summer and I have to find Todd to make the fence higher while I bake some blueberry pie. Unflippinbelievable!



There, end of fantasy interlude. That was fun!

Monday 27 June 2011

Open Thread - Monday

Yesterday I shared some photos of the floats going past our street, which is not the most picturesque in the village. Here are some more photos of the best bits, streets we walk every day...

La Maison du Poete

The only surviving gate of a once walled city

XVth century bridge, one of the oldest surviving bridges in France

We spent the day at the beach and it was fantastic! It's a man-made beach on a lake, but the scenery is gorgeous, the water is very clean and we get to swim with the fish. They are nice fish, not the Mafia type...

Peter has a thing about the Hotel du Lac. He expects to see Hercule Poirot peering from the balcony...

The kayaking competitions will get under way next week. There's an open day where everybody and his dog come down the river, when they open the dam. I do mean it about the dogs. Last year we saw a few having a great time!

I hope you've enjoyed this tour of our village and its surroundings. We love it! It's a bit like living in a postcard.

Sarah Palin, the exceptional

Sarah Palin goes on an on about American exceptionalism. The word exceptional can have opposite meanings:

What's so exceptional about Sarah Palin's America? Why should Americans be the only people entitled to love their country and be filled with pride about it?

France, Italy, Turkey, Japan, Brazil, Uruguay, Greece, Lebanon, Poland, name any country, they are all populated by people who love their countries.

America is an amalgam of a great number of people from different backgrounds, different cultures, none of them believing they're better than the others.

Other countries are very wary of America's exceptionalism, about how she felt entitled to invade a number of countries over the decades. The cost of these wars in terms of human lives is well known and yet, recent wars were started with no clear, legitimate motive. America also meddled in the politics of other nations, going against the will of the people of those countries. Chile is one example of this.

The Iraq war showed a side of America that struck me as indeed exceptional. Americans bombed the craddle of our civilization to smithereens. Baghdad was a historical (and biblical) monument that belonged to all of us. In my eyes, the bombing of that city and others in what used to be Mesopotamia was a crime against civilization. I was shocked and awed by the fact that one of the most advanced nations on earth did not value that monument, that historical legacy. Baghdad wasn't historically exceptional.

If only American monuments and American history are worthy of preservation for future generations, are we supposed to be content with around five hundred years worth of history?

Are we supposed to look to Mt Rushmore instead of the pyramids when looking for our past? Are we to hail Ronald Reagan as the most accomplished leader in the history of the world? Are we to forget all that came before Sarah Palin's sacred Constitution and model ourselves on the skewed picture she paints?

Sarah Palin famously said to Joe Biden: "Say it ain't so, Joe. There you go, looking to the past again."

Yes, we look to the past for inspiration. We look to the past for lessons, so we don't make the same mistakes again. We don't wish to go back to the past, though.

Sarah Palin doesn't understand the Constitution of the United States, she doesn't understand the history of her own country. All her educational One Nation tour could offer was the usual load of soundbites about "time tested truths" and other equally shallow catchphrases. I won't bother to mention Paul Revere again.

If her vision of her own country is so deeply rooted in her completely idiotic interpretation of the history of America, if that is what she would have in store for her own fellow Americans, I shudder to think what her vision would be for the rest of the world. Can anybody start to quantify Sarah Palin's vast knowledge of world history? America wins, the rest of the world loses?

The world has changed a great deal since her hero occupied the Oval Office. New alliances were formed, the balance of power has shifted in the context of a global economy. Exceptional America's wars and her economy are being bankrolled by the "enemy."

Sarah Palin doesn't understand what any of this means and seems to believe that turning the clock back to the 1770s or to the Reagan years will solve every problem of every American. She thinks it would make America really exceptional and all other countries would quake in their boots when faced with so much greatness.

The way I see it, Sarah Palin's exceptional America would fall under the last definition: Being handicapped to the extent that special measures are required.

Say it ain't so, Sarah.

Sunday 26 June 2011

Open Thread - Sunday

Every year we get floats going past on our road and every year I go and grab my camera. Today was no different and I would like to share the pictures with you. The weather is splendid and we've been out for a walk and a drink. Life is good!

As you will see, floats are pulled by good old tractors in rural France.

The theme seems to be transport 
You can see our old Volvo in the background

Is that Pallottine on a quad bike?

Hey Pallottine, you should have stopped for some pie!

Will Sarah Palin go to the heartland to watch the propaganda film with fellow Americans?

Will she, won't she? Stephen K Bannon's fantasy epic The Undefeated will open in the small town of Pella on Tuesday and Sarah Palin is supposed to attend, unless that jury duty thingie gets in the way.

In accepting the invitation to attend the premiere, Sarah Palin stated, “We are very excited to visit historic Pella and its opera house and look forward to seeing the finished film for the first time with fellow Americans from the heartland.”

Pella is a very pretty place, much nicer than Wasilla. The opera house looks very nice.

If the premiere had been scheduled to take place in Wasilla, I suppose it would have to be at the Valley Cinema, as Wasilla doesn't have an opera house...

An alternative venue would be the Curtis Menard Sports Center, an old favourite for Sarah Palin events.

Wasilla could have been a pretty place, but a certain mayor thought it was a good idea to transform it into a soulless strip mall.

Alas, pretty or not, Wasilla is nowhere near the heartland. It has its fair share of "Real Americans," but doesn't carry much weight in deciding the future of presidential candidates.

What a pity. If Wasilla had been considered as a venue, Sarah wouldn't run the risk of having to embark on another wild ride back to Alaska to fulfill her civic duty...

Saturday 25 June 2011

Open Thread - Saturday

Amy sent me these photos a while ago, but they were lost in the commotion of losing my old computer and all that. Amy said one of them wasn't for the blog, but I'm going to be disobedient, these sweet peas are too beautiful!

Sweet peas are seriously gorgeous and I'm happy the snails ignore them. Sorry, Amy, I know they go for your eating peas...

At least you have some beauty, even if you don't get a side dish out of them.

Thanks Amy, we need something beautiful every now and then.

An actual documentary about Sarah Palin is screening for buyers next week

Here's a little snippet from Nick Broomfield's documentary about Sarah Palin.

The film is screening for buyers next week in Los Angeles and might even get a premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September.

It's funny to watch Sarah Palin admit how she feels without her BlackBerries.

John Bitney was a key aide in Sarah Palin's 2006 gubernatorial campaign. She had known him since high school. When she took office, she gave Mr. Bitney a job as her legislative director, and a few months later stood beside him at a news conference and praised his work. Seven weeks later she fired Bitney for what her spokeswoman described as "poor job performance." What really happened? Governor Palin got a call from another old friend, Scott Richter, informing her that his wife, Debbie Richter, and John Bitney were having an affair. Scott and Sarah's husband Todd are great friends. In her book "Going Rogue," Sarah Palin gave this description of Bitney: "He turned out to be a BlackBerry games addict who couldn't seem to keep his lunch off his tie."

What goes round comes round and John Bitney will win this BlackBerry game. It looks like Sarah Palin doesn't seem able to keep her lunch off her clothes either!

Many people have reported Sarah's addiction to her BlackBerry, including Piper, during the filming of Sarah Palin's Alaska:

Piper tells an interviewer behind the camera, "My mom is super-busy. She is addicted to the BlackBerry. She's like, 'Hang on, Piper; I'll be there in a second.' When she doesn't have cell phone service, she doesn't have to answer email and all that stuff."

We may have to wait until September to watch Broomfield's documentary and the reviewers will be busy comparing it to another "documentary" about Sarah Palin, The Undefeated, by Stephen K Bannon.

Nick Broomfield

Of course, Nick Broomfield's documentary is not all about BlackBerries, and the rest of the film should be very enlightening indeed. Broomfield is a very accomplished film maker. Wikipedia lists several awards:

British Academy Award (BAFTA)
Prix Italia
The Dupont Columbia Award for Outstanding Journalism
The Peabody
The Royal Television Society Award
First Prize, Sundance Film Festival
John Grierson Award
Robert Flaherty Award
The Hague Peace Prize
The Chris Award
The Blue Ribbon
The California State Bar Award
First Prize, Chicago Film Festival
First Prize, US Film Festival
First Prize, Festival of Mannheim
First Prize, Festival di Popoli
Special Jury Award, Melbourne Film Festival
Broomfield was also given a BAFTA tribute evening on March 8, 2005.

Stephen K Bannon

Stephen K Bannon doesn't have a Wikipedia entry and the IMDb page doesn't offer any references to any award winning films.

Bannon has been giving interviews and has invited Sarah Palin to the premiere:

When a documentary about Alaska Republican Sarah Palin premiere in Iowa next week, it will help Iowans understand her humble history and what it took to rise into leadership, the filmmaker said today.

“I believe it sets the record straight that she clearly deserves to be at the table when you talk about leaders of the country,” said Stephen Bannon, the writer, director and producer. “Her record (as governor) is far greater than Governor Romney or Governor Pawlenty.

The two presidential candidates — one ran Massachusetts for four years and one led Minnesota for eight years — didn’t set a high bar, Bannon said in a telephone interview.

“The Undefeated” will play at the Pella Opera House in Pella at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Bannon said.

“It’s a very complex film and it was a very complicated shoot, but the hardest thing I had to do was pick a place for the premier,” said Bannon, who scouted over 100 locations and found many tempting.

Bannon invited Palin, who was Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain’s running mate in 2008 and has been flirting with jumping into the 2012 presidential race, but she has not yet RSVP’ed, he said.

The fact that Sarah Palin quit seems to have escaped Bannon. "Running" Alaska for half a term sets the bar really high...

Anyway, Sarah won't be able to attend, she's on jury duty, isn't she?

The comparisons between the two films should be quite interesting. One is a serious documentary, the other is pure propaganda...

Friday 24 June 2011

Open Thread - Friday

Three of our readers are celebrating their birthdays today. Many happy returns to Sleuth, MariaT and Queen of Sheeba!

Sleuth, MariaT and Queen of Sheeba

Mrsgunka sent me something that I consider a gift, to the three of you and to all of us. It's the gift of hope in the next generation. Thank you, Mrsgunka.

Happy Birthday!

How's Sarah Palin's gift from God doing?

Catherine Just is the proud mother of our little friend Max. I'm really glad Catherine shares Max's achievements with others.

Catherine posted a series of photos taken by Max, please have a look.

I wish we could have the opportunity to learn more about the progress of another little friend, but the best his mother can do is tell the world that God knows best and chose her to be the mother of a forever dependent little person...

Excerpt from Sarah Palin's letter, dictated to her by God himself:

"And Trig will be the cuddly, innocent dependent little brother that his siblings have been waiting for... in fact Trig will - in some diagnostic ways - always be a mischievous, dependent little brother, because I created him a bit different than a lot of babies born into this world today."

Perhaps she doesn't have much to share about this miracle baby, the best thing that ever happened to her.

It surprises me that an opportunist like Sarah Palin doesn't use her prop baby in a more effective way. She could have put her enthusiasm for Facebook and Twitter to good use and kept everybody posted on Trig's progress, making him a real person. She could have highlighted the everyday challenges of raising a child with Down syndrome and how she meets them. She could have promoted various organizations and pointed out what good work they do and how they help the children and their families. She could have raised their profiles and a lot of money for them, as a true advocate.

Sarah Palin missed the opportunity to look good and to do some good for a change, but she has done none of the above.

OK, let's be fair. She gave $1,000 of other people's money to one Down syndrome organization once...

Thursday 23 June 2011

Open thread - Thursday

Our reader View_From_Here, who lives in Puerto Vallarta, has contributed to many an open thread and even dedicated some hilarious cartoons to dear Mrsgunka. I would like to dedicate this video to our friend in Mexico.

(Understanding Spanish is not necessary!)


Ripley posted this video earlier. I'm embeding it so nobody misses it, it's absolutely hilarious!

Sarah Palin's civic duty

Sarah Palin explained that the reports of her bus tour cancellation were greatly exaggerated:

Imagine our surprise when reading media reports today that the “One Nation Tour” has been cancelled.

As I said myself at the end of the east coast leg of the tour, the summer is long, and I’m looking forward to hitting the open road again. The coming weeks are tight because civic duty calls (like most everyone else, even former governors get called up for jury duty) and I look forward to doing my part just like every other Alaskan.

[I suppose this is the scheduling conflict that caused her to cancel the trip to Sudan. I wonder if Franklin is still going...]

It has been reported that judges granted new trials or overturned verdicts in dozens of criminal and civil cases due to jurors' online diversions, and bored citizens waiting for jury selection are tweeting and blogging.

As jurors go online, U.S. trials go off track

The explosion of blogging, tweeting and other online diversions has reached into U.S. jury boxes, in many cases raising serious questions about juror impartiality and the ability of judges to control their courtrooms.

Courts are trying to figure out how to keep jurors unplugged. Some judges now confiscate all phones and computers from jurors when they enter the courtroom. California last year updated its civil jury instructions to bar jurors from "all forms of electronic communication." Florida courts added a stricter instruction, stating that jurors using the Internet "must not disclose your thoughts about your jury service or ask for advice on how to decide a case." At least six other states have taken similar steps. In January, the Judicial Conference of the U.S., which oversees administration of the federal court system, recommended that federal judges use instructions stating that jurors cannot "search the Internet, websites, blogs, or use any other electronic tools."

I wonder if the judge in Alaska will confiscate Sarah's BlackBerries? Her addiction to them is legendary.

I'm sorry, but I find it very difficult to take Sarah Palin seriously these days. I expect she will throw a tantrum if not elected forewoman of the jury...

This spoof tweet looks like one of hers, eh?

Sarah Palin couldn't fulfill her civic duty as an elected public officer and found many lame excuses to justify quitting that position, but now she's looking forward to jury duty? Sheesh...

Why not have some jury duty humour to accompany this post?

Just remember: when you go to court, you are trusting your fate to twelve people that weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty!


Judge: Is there any reason you could not serve as a juror in this case?
Juror: I don't want to be away from my job that long.
Judge: Can't they do without you at work?
Juror: Yes, but I don't want them to know it.

Steve Martin tweeted some jokes when he was called for jury duty.