Monday, July 25, 2016

News for Monday

Obituary: Marnie Nixon, the voice of the twentieth century (both the century and the studio) since her voice was used in countless films for dubbing for tone-deaf actresses, has died. She was 86.

She never received much credit and in fact was silenced because her golden voice was used for actresses who couldn't sing a lick, and even actresses like Audrey Hepburn, who could in fact carry a tune:

Nixon, who was born Margaret Nixon McEathron Feb. 22, 1930, in Altadena, California, also acted in films and on TV and Broadway. Her film credits include "The Sound of Music" and "I Think I Do." She also appeared on TV's "Law and Order."

Her greatest fame, however, came after she dubbed the singing voices for Deborah Kerr in the Rodgers and Hammerstein film adaptation of "The King and I," for Natalie Wood in "West Side Story," and Audrey Hepburn in "My Fair Lady."

It is the timing, not the email content, that is the issue:

The FBI suspects that Russian government hackers breached the networks of the Democratic National Committee and stole emails that were posted to the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks on Friday. It’s an operation that several U.S. officials now suspect was a deliberate attempt to influence the presidential election in favor of Donald Trump, according to five individuals familiar with the investigation of the breach.

The theory that Moscow orchestrated the leaks to help Trump, who has repeatedly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin and practically called for the end of NATO, is fast gaining currency within the Obama administration because of the timing of the leaks and Trump’s own connections to the Russian government, the sources said on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing and developing quickly.

Another obituary to note: Religious right activist and best-selling author Tim LaHaye, 90, has died after suffering from a stroke several days ago.

LaHaye helped co-found the Moral Majority with Jerry Falwell in the late 1970s, while his wife (from 1947) Beverly founded Concerned Women for America. In the meantime, the pair, together and separately, found the time to write numerous books meshing self-help pop psychology with Biblical admonitions. They were especially big on marriage and sex manuals.

However, it was much later in life that Tim hit the big time when he co-authored, with Jerry B. Jenkins, the Left Behind series of novels based on the book of Revelation.

Born in 1926, LaHaye had a hardscrabble upbringing in Detroit, served in the Air Force at the end of World War II and graduated from Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C., where he met his wife. He earned a midcareer doctorate at Western Seminary in Portland, Ore., and joined the Southern Baptist Convention.

After leading churches in South Carolina and Minnesota, he moved to Southern California, and for a quarter-century led a thriving congregation that eventually became Shadow Mountain Community Church. After 1981, he devoted himself to writing, promoting his view of Bible prophecy, family life seminars and political activism.

Some fellow conservative Christians pushed back against LaHaye's end-times views, known as premillennial dispensationalism, emphasizing that the books were fictional and should not be read as an exact theological interpretation of the Bible. Still, his books strongly shaped evangelical views of Jesus' Second Coming and popularized the ideas to the broader public. Jenkins called LaHaye a "spiritual giant."

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