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Archive for the ‘San Anselmo’ Category

Artist takes aim at Governor in “Color Me Arnold”

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Beth Winegarner
News Pointer Editor
August 24, 2004

Marin native Conor Buckley didn’t imagine his passion for drawing would lead him to co-create a coloring book based on actor-turned-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger. But the book, also written by Lawrence Gipe, is already selling well online and will hit stores in September.

“Color Me Arnold” is about 70 pages of cartoonish drawings, word-search games, connect-the-dots exercises and other amusing meditations on California’s newest governor. It pokes fun at Schwarzenegger’s movie career, personal history and quotations — many of which come from his campaign and post-election period.

“Larry was a drawing professor of mine at the University of California at Santa Barbara,” Buckley said. “He has a 2- or 3-year-old daughter and he said he saw her coloring in a coloring book right after Arnold got elected, and he said he would enjoy scribbling all over [Arnold’s] face.”

Gipe knew that Buckley’s drawings were often similar to coloring-book art, and suggested working together on a coloring book satirizing Schwarzenegger. Buckley went home and began working on drawings, based on a magazine distributed during the Austrian actor’s gubernatorial campaign.

Buckley came up with about 20 drawings. “We would meet up periodically and look online for quotes, and came up with games and puzzles,” he said. “Once we found the quotes, we saw that the book was basically going to write itself.”

Early in the book, readers are greeted with a connect-the-dots that reveals multiple women hanging from Schwarzenegger’s sides. Later on, he is depicted with a pinwheel of arms, like a Hindu god, nicknamed “The Gropenator” — a reference to allegations that Schwarzenegger groped multiple women without their permission.

The book features quotes such as, “I think that gay marriage should be between a man and a woman,” and, “Keep your ammunition and your gun separate, so if you get emotional, by the time you get your gun from the glove compartment and your ammunition out of your trunk you have a chance to cool down.”

There’s a paper-doll page, where readers can envision dressing Schwarzenegger in a suit, his Conan the Barbarian costume or a ballerina’s tutu. In the “road to Sacramento” maze, the reader must guide him through environmental meetings, press conferences, San Francisco hippies and energy companies.

It took Buckley and Gipe about seven months to develop the book, working in their spare time after work. Gipe’s sister-in-law, who works at a publishing house, showed the book to officials at Manic D Press, which jumped at the chance to publish “Color Me Arnold.”

When asked whether he was a fan of Schwarzenegger before the book, Buckley deadpans, “I think his work in ‘Jingle All the Way’ was breathtaking.” He pauses. “I liked him as a kid in movies like ‘Kindergarten Cop’ and ‘Terminator.’ I don’t have anything against him, particularly.”

Buckley grew up in San Anselmo and graduated from Marin Catholic High School in 1999. From there he went to UCSB, where he earned his degree in art studio. “I’ve always been drawing. I didn’t have a lot else going on when I was young, and when I was in high school, I was in a ska band with friends. We went to punk shows, and that’s where the politics and everything comes in,” he said.

He recently moved from Santa Barbara to Redondo Beach with some friends, and is in a hardcore metal band called the Fierce Urgency of Now, based on a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.

Buckley doesn’t know what his future holds, but he hopes for a career in the art world. “Any kind of illustration would be really fun,” he said. “But no matter what, I’ll keep doing that in my own time. [I could do political cartoons], or if I could make a living publishing stupid books where I make fun of people, that would be great.”

This article originally appeared in the San Rafael/Terra Linda News Pointer.

Written by Beth Winegarner

August 24, 2004 at 6:40 PM

Posted in Politics, San Anselmo

Marin man pleads guilty to serving with Taliban

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By Beth Winegarner
News Pointer Editor
July 23, 2002

A 21-year-old Marin County native has pleaded guilty to charges he provided service to the Taliban and carried weapons and explosives while doing so.

John Walker Lindh — who grew up in Fairfax — gave his pleas in federal court last week. They were part of a plea bargain in which the United States government will agree to drop more serious charges of treason against Lindh if he tells them everything he knows about the Taliban and terrorist leader Osama bin Laden’s al Quaeda network.

“I provided my services as a soldier to the Taliban last year from about August to November. During the course of doing so I carried a rifle and two grenades.” Lindh, said, describing his crimes to the court last Monday.

Lindh’s father, San Rafael resident Frank Lindh; his mother, Fairfax resident Marilyn Walker; his 13-year-old sister Naomi and his 23-year-old brother Connell attended the hearing. He faces up to 20 years in prison for the charges against him.

Before the plea bargain, he had faced a 10-count indictment with a potential sentence of life in prison plus 90 years. If the judge agrees to the terms of the deal, Lindh will serve two consecutive 10-year prison sentences. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 4.

Lindh’s path from Marin County to the mountains of Afghanistan was a circuitous one. He attended Tamiscal, an alternative high school in the Tamalpais Union School District, before discovering Islam. He studied the religion locally, then traveled to the Middle East to immerse himself in the language and culture of Islam.

According to court documents, in mid-2001, Lindh crossed the border from Pakistan into Afghanistan and took up arms with the Taliban against the Northern Alliance. He reported to the Dar ul-Anan Headquarters of the Mujahedeen in Kabul, Afghanistan, which was used as a Taliban recruiting center, and told personnel at that facility that he was an American and that he wanted to go to the front lines to fight.

He agreed to attend a training camp, and from there traveled to al-Farooq, for additional and extensive military training. The facility is thought to be associated with Osama Bin Laden. During the summer, he remained at the camp and took courses in weapons, orienteering, navigation, explosives and battlefield combat.

Lindh swore allegiance to jihad after completing his training and traveled to Kabul to assist the Taliban. He was given an AKM rifle to carry and sent with 150 non-Afghani fighters to the front line in Takhar in northeastern Afghanistan. Between September and November, his company was divided into smaller groups that rotated in one- to two-week shifts in the Takhar trenches. When he was on duty, Lindh also carried grenades, court documents said.

He continued to serve the Taliban until November of 2001, when he was captured by American forces in Afghanistan. He was kept in a prisoner camp, where CIA agent Johnny “Mike” Spann was killed.

In January of 2002, Lindh was taken to a prison in Virginia. There, according to photographic evidence and defense attorney statements, he was stripped, handcuffed, blindfolded and duct-taped to a stretcher for two days.

Because some of Lindh’s statements were extracted during this time, it was unclear whether they would be admissible as evidence in court. In addition, there was some doubt as to whether Lindh had been read his Miranda rights before officers interrogated him.

“The U.S. government should not be able to plea out of its obligation under international law to protect those in U.S. custody from ill treatment. All allegations of abuse in custody should be investigated and the use of such methods should be strongly condemned,” said Vienna Colucci, International Justice Specialist for Amnesty International USA, speaking about allegations Lindh was mistreated in prison.

Although many called the outcome a victory, both for the federal government and Lindh, some disagreed. “I don’t think it’s a victory to the American people, to the ordinary people. I don’t think it is a victory to my son, who gave his life,” said Gail Spann of Winfield, Ala., the mother of the CIA officer killed in a Taliban prison uprising after interviewing Lindh and other prisoners.

Lindh’s family remained supportive, however. “I’m proud to have him as a son.” Frank Lindh said.

This article originally appeared in the San Rafael/Terra Linda News Pointer.

Written by Beth Winegarner

July 23, 2002 at 10:05 PM