Marine's Book and Film on Early Days of Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan Discussed at Library

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A free series that marries books, films and discussion about them kicks off Saturday at Santa Ana Public Library with a Marine's account of the early days in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The author's hand-held video journal from that time will be shown later in the month.

The Blue Cascade is First Lt. Mike Scotti's raw, hard-hitting memoir from the early 2000s, when he participated in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He shares what it was like from him and his fellow Marines serving in those wars.

Limited copies of The Blue Cascade will be available at the library for card holders, or you can buy a copy at the bookstore or through Amazon.

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Peter Capaldi's Debut in BBC America's Doctor Who on Big and Small Screens Throughout OC

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BBC America
See Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who this weekend on cable TV or in a movie theater.

I never got into Doctor Who, but I respect its devoted following, which treats every changing of the guard (and by "guard" I mean "doctor") as a grand media event. Indeed, BBC America is pulling out all the stops for Saturday night's debut of Peter Capaldi in the title role--on both small and big screens in Orange County.

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Azul y no Tan Rosa, Gay Dad/Straight Son Drama, Rolls at 2014 Long Beach Qfilm Fest

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Cines Unidos
Like father, not like son ...

A Venezuelan drama about a gay photographer adapting to his closed-minded teenage son (and vice versa) will make its Southern California premiere at next month's 2014 Long Beach Qfilm Festival presented by the LGBTQ Center of Long Beach.

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Weekender Updater: Gangs, Alleged Cruise Ship Killer, Discriminating Cops and TED Talkers

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Illustration by Cameron K. Lewis/OC Weekly
Lonnie Kocontes failed to get a grand jury indictment against him for murder dismissed.

Read on, Garth, for links to previous Navel Gazing posts and updates to those stories.

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Director Todd Douglas Miller Talks About His Passion Project Dinosaur 13 Screening Tonight

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Lionsgate
(From left:) Neel Larson, Peter Larson, Sue Hendrickson, Terry Wentz and, under the dirt, Sue.

Speaking from a cab taking him to a hotel before tonight's screening of his film Dinosaur 13 at Lido Live Theater in Newport Beach, the documentary's director/producer/editor Todd Douglas Miller mentioned that he hopes audiences understand the importance of science education and natural history because, "We need more people out there digging."

But if that leaves you expecting a dry cinematic tutorial on the largest, nearly complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever found, are you in for a wild ride. The little indie hit of Sundance packs elements of a legal thriller, David vs. Goliath (in the form of a rag-tag band of paleontologists vs. the U.S. government, Native American tribes, powerful museums and academic paleontologists) and a love story (between man and woman and, especially, man and a T.rex named Sue).

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Rob Boston Pushes Religious Freedom Book and Philosophy in Irvine Saturday Afternoon

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Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Rob Boston argues religious freedom is an individual right.
The Supreme Court's recent Hobby Lobby ruling notwithstanding, the religious freedom guaranteed in the First Amendment does not give organizations and businesses license to discriminate against and control others, argues an author speaking in Irvine Saturday afternoon.

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Border Wars: Crystal Cove Panga'd; Irvine Becomes Murrieta; Rohrabacher Backs Boehner

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Photo courtesy of Pam Hinkle
Irvine becomes Murrieta for a second time this weekend.

As if on cue, a panga presumed to have carried undocumented immigrants (but no drugs this time) was found abandoned at Crystal Cove State Beach Thursday morning--providing yet more fodder for folks holding what they call "another planned National Anti-Immigration Protest" in Irvine Saturday afternoon.

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Assemblyman Tom Daly, State Bar and Labor Groups Hold Fraud Prevention Meet TODAY

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http://asmdc.org/members/a69/
Tom Daly hosts a fraud prevention workshop in Spanish and English.

Assemblyman Tom Daly (D-Santa Ana), the State Bar of California, the Orange County Labor Federation and Laborers Local 652 host a "Fraud Prevention Workshop" from 5:30-7:30 this evening at the Laborer's Hall, 1532 E. Chestnut, Santa Ana.

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PETA Calls for USDA Inspection of Ringling Bros. Elephants in Anaheim Due to "Wound"

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Courtesy of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
The area above the eye of the elephant at left prompted PETA's call for an inspection in Anaheim.

Unlike past years, I had not heard from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in the days the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was setting up for a 10-day engagement in Anaheim, where PETA has staged eye-opening demonstrations in the past. But then, hours before opening night at the Honda Center Friday, PETA emailed over the photograph above, which is said to show an elephant with a pressure sore on the side of its face in Ontario, the previous stop for "The Greatest Show on Earth."

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Neel Kashkari Lets His Rainbow Flag Fly

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Photo by Derrick Roach
Neel Kashkari waves to the crowd at the 40th San Diego LGBT Pride Parade in Hillcrest July 19.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pete Wilson and perhaps even George Deukmejian didn't really care if same-sex couples won the right to marry, not that they'd let their Republican base in on that before their first elections as California governors. So give Irvine's Neel Kashkari, the GOP nominee squaring off against Jerry Brown in November, credit for freely flying his rainbow flag.

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