Archive for death

Oscar-nominated Actor James Garner Dies at 86

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Image by the AP, via the Los Angeles Times

Image by the AP, via the Los Angeles Times

Everyone has a favorite era of James Garner, surely … whether it was from his origins in oldies like "Maverick" or more classic tv years like "The Rockford Files" and a late-life reemergence with comedy in the series that witnessed the loss of John Ritter, "Simple Rules …" .

From the Los Angeles Times.

Actor James Garner, whose whimsical style in the 1950s TV Western “Maverick” led to a stellar career in TV and films such as “The Rockford Files” and his Oscar-nominated “Murphy's Romance,” has died, police said. He was 86.

There was no immediate word on a more specific cause of death. Garner had suffered a stroke in May 2008, just weeks after his 80th birthday.

Image by the AP, via the Los Angeles Times

Image by the AP, via the Los Angeles Times

His quick-witted avoidance of conflict provided a refreshingly new take on the American hero, contrasting with the steely heroics of John Wayne and the fast trigger of Clint Eastwood.

Now this I remember as a terrific film, but wouldn't have thought most non-feminist or women's movement-ey folks would have nailed it right away as a James Garner role: the ultimate straight man in  Lillian Hellman's "The Children's Hour" - post film-writer.  {Would love to hear anyone else's take on the differences between Hellman's words and the screenwriter's message …  but would they have made the flick at all now? A bit hilarious that the L.A. Times stayed with 'lesbian drama', below. Like 'The L Word' but with Audrey Hepburn?}

Image by the AP, via the Los Angeles Times

Image by the AP, via the Los Angeles Times

His first film after “Maverick” established him as a movie actor. It was “The Children's Hour,” William Wyler's remake of Lillian Hellman's lesbian drama that co-starred Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine.

The Youtubes obliged, here he is with Miss Hepburn:

One of the most remarkable facts to be found in Garner's obit was near the end. He had married his wife, television actress Lois Clark,  in 1957, and despite stormy weather, they remained wed. That's 56 or 57 years, by my math.

A life well lived, and well loved.

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Overnight: Bob Hoskins Died Today

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Actor Bob Hoskins died today of pneumonia at the age of 71. A versatile actor who worked in films from 1972 t0 2012, he is probably best known for Who Framed Roger Rabbit? but, in fact, had a much wider range. Here's the Wiki

Here's a Chicago tribune article about him.

And here's an excerpt from a Bob Hoskins film I've never seen: A Prayer for the Dying.

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"Why Save Lives? That Costs Money," Maine Gov. LePage

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HuffPo:

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) appears set to oppose a bill increasing access to a lifesaving anti-overdose medication because of concerns rejected by public health experts that it could encourage more drug abuse, according to the bill's chief sponsor.

Fatal heroin overdoses in Maine quadrupled from 2011 to 2012. Naloxone is a drug that can reverse overdoses from heroin and other opioids like morphine. State Rep. Sara Gideon (D) is sponsoring legislation that would place the drug [naloxone], which is sold under the trade name Narcan, in the hands of police, firefighters, at-risk users and their families.

With statistics like those above, why wouldn't any caring public servant not want to provide all possible life-saving options to all first responders? Do they send firemen to fires without water? Do they send cops out on the street without guns? So why this stand by the governor, and why now?

Part of the problem is this man is insane. He's no stranger to controversy. For a quick refresher course on his antics, he's the man who  had some words for Democratic State Senator Troy Jackson, whom he battled over the state's budget.

"Senator Jackson claims to be for the people but he's the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline," LePage told Portland station WMTW.

So now who's shoving something where it doesn't belong without lube? Here's LePage's twisted logic: he believes increasing the availability of Narcan will lead the drug user or drug abuser to have this feeling of invincibility. Therefore, why save their lives? Why should we keep alive someone who's a drug user?

Heroine overdosers

Ask Janis Joplin, Philip Seymour Hoffman, River Phoenix, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cory Haim, Lenny Bruce, Billie Holiday, Heath Ledger, Jimi Hendrix, Chris Farley, Curt Cobain, Whitney Houston, or tragically so many more. Maybe the cost of carrying the drug on first responders is a concern. But think of the value these drug overdosers' lives would have had for all of us if they had lived. You can't put a price on a life, but this GOP ultra-conservative believes he can. And he's not alone. Maybe they need to look at this:

In 2010, police and firefighters in Quincy, Mass., started carrying Naloxone as part of their standard equipment -- a scenario similar to that envisioned in Gideon's bill. Since then, Naloxone has been credited with reversing 188 overdoses in Quincy alone, and the head of the Boston suburb's police narcotics unit has become a Naloxone evangelist.

People of Maine, you deserve better. Whatever your reasons for putting your life into this wachadoo's hands, he has certainly not earned your trust. Make sure your state representative knows that the cost of saving lives is nothing compared to what a living person can contribute to you and the rest of society.

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Finally, A Good & Novel Use For Guns

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The President is going to be delivering his State of the Union Address tonight and most likely he'll avoid any serious mention of the rampant injuries and wanton loss of life that guns and rifles have wreaked daily on this country over the recent past.

From Columbine to Sandy Hook, to the thousands wounded on the streets of Chicago on weekends alone, to mall and campus shootings to domestic disputes....those memories are swept under the carpet by the cowards collectively known as our Congress. They bow before a false God, a deity known as the NRA. Their flock is made up of gun toting zealots shouting over everyone else's rights for a peaceful, safe existance. Their mantra is "Second Amendment Rights." It echos as loudly as "Remember the Alamo!" and "Remember the Maine!"

Sadly most of those doing the yelling have never read the Constitution nor the Bill of Rights. But they stand behind what they don't understand and truthfully their vote counts just like every other legal citizen's. At least those legal citizens whom the Republican's haven't knocked off the voter registration logs yet.

We've all seen, heard or read about the the brutal and devastating loss of life that guns can bring. There's really not a lot of good press for these killing instruments. As their sales numbers rise, their basic purpose becomes much more for harm rather than for good-- heightened fear and reckless killing more than putting food on the table or true, personal safety. More people get shot senselessly than wild game gets bagged for actual consumption. Shooting for sport is fine, when the prize isn't other people. 

As reported by Bill Moyers & Company:

Estimated real number of people killed by guns, including homicide, suicide and accidental death since Newtown (using most recent CDC estimates for yearly data): 33,173

Those are just deaths. The number of gun related injuries are tenfold.

Now I step off my anti-gun soapbox to share with you a rather novel use for guns. One which I don't think you've seen before. I know I haven't. Weapons of destruction are used to provide the "cover" rendition of the iconic John Lennon peace song, "Imagine." Yes, music, not death, is the bi-product of these deadly devices. Gun barrels, triggers, butts, muzzles, safeties, sights, action, stocks, trigger guards, magazines and any other part of a shooting mechanism you can think of are put to novel use.

Fellow Political Carnivalites, I proudly share with you some musical peace made entirely from some deadly weapons of destruction:

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A Friend To The End

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Cancer patient and his dog

 

Courtesy of MailOnline:

Mike Petrosino, 21, was diagnosed with cancer in the eighth grade. He has been in and out of Massachusetts General Hospital since then but last week doctors said there was nothing more they could do.

So on Friday, his family brought his dear dog Rusty to the hospital to say a final goodbye. The emotional image of the pet by his bedside was shared on Reddit and has since gone viral.

This is the time of year for miracles -- actually any day and any time is right for an act of God or any other deity. Here's wishing for a safe journey -- perhaps delayed, for a stranger to me, but a friend to all including his dear Rusty.

And for those who think dogs don't understand a friend and relationships, read on:

John Petrosino [Mike's brother] told TheBlaze the moment was deeply moving, and Rusty, who is now 10 years old, seemed to understand the gravity of what was going on.

'That was by far one of the most touching moments of my life,' he told the website.

'Rusty was very emotional when Mike said his finale goodbye. Every time I come home these past two days, he sits near Mike's favorite couch and whines, which is rare from him.'

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VIDEO: President Obama Speaks on the Death of Nelson Mandela

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President Obama eloquently delivered remarks on the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela. Here are a few excerpts, transcript courtesy of WaPo:

He achieved more than could be expected of any man.

Today he's gone home and we've lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth...

His journey from a prisoner to a president embodied the promise that human beings and countries can change for the better...

As he once said, "I'm not a saint unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying."

I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela's life. My very first political action -- the first thing I ever did that involved an issue or a policy or politics was a protest against apartheid. I would study his words and his writings. The day he was released from prison it gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they're guided by their hopes and not by their fears.

And like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set...

I only hope that the time spent with him these last few weeks brought peace and comfort to his family.

To the people of South Africa, we draw strength from the example of renewal and reconciliation and resilience that you made real: a free South Africa at peace with itself. That's an example to the world, and that's Madiba's legacy to the nation that he loved.

We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again, so it falls to us as best we can to (forward ?) the example that he set -- to make decisions guided not by hate but by love, never discount the difference that one person can make, to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice.

For now, let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived, a man who took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice.

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LIVE VIDEO FEED- Pres. Obama's statement on the passing of Nelson Mandela 5:20pm ET

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over

Paddy posted the sad news here: R.I.P. Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

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