Saturday, March 17, 2018

Shirley Temple

I had an e-mail asking about Shirley Temple.

First, I was in college when President John F. Kennedy was murdered by our own government.  So that means that I was not a little girl when Shirley Temple became a child star and made movies in the thirties and forties.  I was not even born yet.

But Shirley Temple is a movie star who each generation tends to learn about.

She is famous for her acting, her tap dancing, and her singing.  Outside of film, she is also famous for her political work in the second half of her life.

But to focus on her film making, she is a cute little girl and a charmer -- whether she's in a short playing Polly Tix (politics) or playing the lead in LITTLE MISS MARKER.

She was a star the minute the camera found her. 

1934's LITTLE MISS MARKER was her first big hit film.  It is a story that has been remade many times (I enjoy the Bob Hope and Lucille Ball remake SORROWFUL JONES).  She gets to charm America as the "marker" on a gambling debt. 

Her films are known not just by casual observers like myself but by a devoted following.  I do not mean her original fan clubs are around, I mean that each generation has discovered her and formed their own following.  Her devoted fans know every film and short film she made.

I know many of her movies but I would not consider myself an expert on all of them.

She worked with many famous actors including Carole Lombard, Gary Cooper, Lionel Barrymore, Claire Trevor, Hattie McDaniel, and, most famously, Bill Robinson.

THE LITTLE COLONEL was the first of four films they made together and contains what many consider their best dance routine.  This film, like THE LITTLEST REBEL, is considered racist by some commentators.  In THE LITTLEST REBEL, Bill Robinson plays a slave and he and Shirley do dance routines for money to try to get President Abraham Lincoln to pardon him.

On racism, I am sure they had racist scenes.  It is the 1930s after all.  That said, Mr. Robinson was making his way in a racist industry in a racist country and he broke down many barriers.  So I have never agreed with the efforts by some to paint him as an "Uncle Tom." 

In REBECCA OF SUNNYBROOK FARM, Ms. Temple and Mr. Robinson are dressed as toy soldiers for their big dance.  Their final film was JUST AROUND THE CORNER. 

All four films were big hits and Mr. Robinson remains the dance partner for Ms. Temple.  She never danced as often with any other performer.

Her films also include HEIDI and A LITTLE PRINCESS. 

I noted that she danced and provided the big film examples but, as I said earlier, she also sang and some of her better songs include "On The Good Ship Lollypop," "Animal Crackers In My Soup," "The Right Somebody To Love,"

She was a hit with audiences for many reasons.  First of all, she was very talented.  Second, she was a very cute kid with her hair ringlets and dimples.  Third, she projected optimism and that was something Depression era audiences were eager to embrace.

This is C.I.'s ''Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, March 16, 2018.  Seven more US service members dead in Iraq.

The Iraq War hits the 15th year anniversary in a matter of days and the ongoing war was brought to the world by so many -- most of whom have never faced any real accountability.  Take US Senator Dianne Feinstein.  From the state of California, she voted to support the war.  Opposing the war was no problem in California.  Barbara Boxer, for instance, was also in the Senate at the time and she voted against the Iraq War.

California US House Reps who voted against it?  Susan Davis, Loretta Sanchez, Hilda Solis, Bob Filner, Joe Baca, Lois Caps, Juanita Millender-McDonald, Maxine Waters, Grace Napolitano, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Diane Watson, Xavier Becerra, Gary Condit, Sam Farr, Zoe Lofgren, Mike Honda, Anna Eschoo, Pete Stark, Barbar Lee, Nancy Pelosi, George Miller, Lynn Woolsey, Robert Matsui and Mike Thompson.

Her vote is not forgotten.  For example, in October 2017 this letter was published by THE LOS ANGELES TIMES:

To the editor: Feinstein has made a highlight-free Senate career out of the feckless "third way" triangulation that treats bipartisanship as though it were an end in and of itself.
She lost my vote in 2002 when she voted for the Iraq War. Now, she says we should give the race-baiter-in-chief a chance. What brave, bipartisan sentiment.
California has now wasted 25 years of precious Senate representation on someone who thinks the best outcome is the precise midpoint between right and wrong. Feinstein needs to retire, but since she refuses to do what's best for her constituents, I'll be casting a vote to send her packing.
Branden Frankel, Encino

Feinstein has remained in office all this time because she's never had a serious challenger.  Now she does: Democrat Kevin de Leon who is currently the leader in the California state senate.  The primary is in June and Dianne will likely be on the general ballot in November.  But this is California and our state doesn't operate like every other state.  The June primary?  The top two vote getters -- regardless of party i.d. -- will be on the November ballot.  If the primary were held today, the top two would probably be Kevin de Leon and Dianne Feinstein.

Last month, Alexei Koseff (SACRAMENTO BEE) reported:

Then de León launched into a list of policies he would never vote for, obliquely highlighting some of the most controversial moments of Feinstein’s tenure in the Senate: supporting school vouchers in Washington D.C., authorizing the Iraq War, and voting for a law that allows intelligence agencies to sweep up Americans’ communications without a warrant as they are spying on foreign nationals. De León also criticized Feinstein for using young undocumented immigrants as “bargaining chips” with Trump.
“I’m running because California’s greatness comes from acts of human audacity, not congressional seniority,” he said. “Who do you trust to have the courage of your convictions?”

Kevin was on CSPAN's WASHINGTON JOURNAL yesterday.

While he was talking about how we move forward, the state was reminded last night of how Dianne Feinstein is our past and not a pleasant past at all.

Dianne stood for -- and continues to stand for -- the Iraq War.

That would be the ongoing war, that would be the war that cost another 7 US lives yesterday.

Thanks, Dianne.

. mourns the loss of personnel in yesterday's helicopter crash in western Iraq. Our thoughts are with the families, friends, and fellow service members of our fallen troopers.

All 7 troops onboard a U.S. military helicopter died when their helicopter crashed near the Iraq-Syria border on Thursday evening

JUST IN: All 7 US military members on board a helicopter that crashed Thursday in western Iraq near the Syrian border were killed, a US military official says


Again, thanks Dianne Feinstein.  You made your choices.  Your choices came with consequences.  Others have paid for their choices, it's time Dianne did as well.

Tomorrow, THE DAYTONA BEACH NEWS-JOURNAL will run their count of the US service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.  It's one of the few US outlets that regularly notes the US dead in these wars.  Their count should be 4542.  The seven who've died from the helicopter crash will bring the total number of US service members who've died in Iraq since the 2003 invasion to 4542.

Let's do some more figures because the US media ignores those killed in Iraq -- the Iraqi civilians and the US service members.

We are in the third month of 2018.  And?  Already more US service members have died in Iraq in 2018 than died in 2012 in Iraq, than died in 2013 in Iraq, than died in 2014, than died in 2015, than died in 2017.  Of recent years?  Only 2016 has had more deaths.  That number is 17.  We're only in the third month of the year and the number of US service members who have died in Iraq for the year is 9.

Along with the seven from last night's crash, two had already passed in Iraq: Sgt Christina Marie Schoenecker and Spc Javion S. Sullivan.

Melanie's "Till They All Get Home" (first appears on her album CRAZY LOVE):

Pray that the souls of the 7 U.S. servicemen who passed away in western Iraq RIP and their families and units have the strength to cope.

7 US service members killed in Iraq helicopter crash

Senator Dianne Feinstein turns 85 this year (June 22nd).  She's gotten to live a long life.  How sad that her actions have ensured that so many others did not have that same opportunity.  She's supported this war -- this ongoing war -- since 2002.

Time should be up for Dianne when it comes to serving in the Senate.  She should be sent packing.

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, DISSIDENT VOICE and PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated: