May 24th, 2006

Chris Keeley

He earned a master's degree in environmental science at Stony Brook University and worked at the Bro

Cops: Looks killed in Bada Bing case

Cafe Bada Bing
Cafe Bada Bing (Photo by James Carbone)
May 21, 2006


BY JOSEPH MALLIA
Newsday Staff Writer

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-limurd0524,0,7809323.story?coll=ny-linews-headlines&track=rss

May 24, 2006

The slaying of a part-time bouncer at the Cafe Bada Bing in Port Jefferson Station was sparked by what police say was suspect Daniel Callahan's "bizarre" reaction when the bouncer told him he looked like a police officer, authorities said.

Callahan, 37, who was arraigned on second-degree murder charges in the death of William Moschinger on Tuesday, was ordered held at Suffolk County jail without bail.

It was after spending hours Saturday night at the bar drinking and using cocaine with Moschinger, 46, of Selden, that Callahan responded with murderous rage to the comment about his appearance, said Lt. Det. Jack Fitzpatrick, commander of the Suffolk County homicide squad. The bar's owners have declined to comment.

"They ended up on the rear deck of the cafe and Mr. Moschinger asked Mr. Callahan if he was a police officer, apparently because of his clean-cut appearance," Fitzpatrick said. "Apparently that angered Mr. Callahan, and a fight ensued."

In a fistfight, Callahan knocked Moschinger to the ground, then "Mr. Callahan picked up a nearby cinder block and crushed his head," the detective said.

Fitzpatrick said he did not understand why someone would take offense at being told he looked like a police officer, but "it certainly seemed to provoke Mr. Callahan."

Moschinger did odd jobs at the bar, and Saturday night checked IDs at the door, police said. His family could not be reached for comment.

Police said Callahan told them about the fatal fight after he was arrested in Lindenhurst at the Venetian Shores Park where he was getting ready to run a youth soccer clinic.

His lawyer, John LoTurco of Huntington, said Callahan acted in self defense. "There was an altercation, with both of them punching," LoTurco said.

Though police said Callahan is homeless and sometimes sleeps in his car, he told his lawyer he lives in West Babylon, LoTurco said.

Before a series of personal disasters and drug use landed him at the scene of the Bada Bing murder, Callahan led what his defense lawyer called an upstanding and wholesome life as a soccer player and trainer.

"The police are alleging an intentional homicidal act, yet that allegation is completely divergent from Daniel Callahan's background and character," LoTurco said. "Mr. Callahan led an impeccable life. He was an all-America soccer player ... and has no prior criminal record."

Raised in Port Jefferson Station, in the 1980s Callahan was all-Long Island goalie for Comsewogue High School; an all-American goalie for Farmingdale State University of New York; and an all-conference, record-setting goalie at Fordham University after transferring there, according to Newsday stories. He later played for the Long Island Rough Riders, a professional soccer team, before going into business as a trainer under the company name Direct Soccer, his lawyer said.

He earned a master's degree in environmental science at Stony Brook University and worked at the Brookhaven National Laboratory before he lost the job due to substance abuse, police said.

Copyright 2006 Newsday Inc.

Chris Keeley

President Bush Embraces “Bold” Israeli Plan To Annex West Bank Settlements

I have always been amazed and intrigued of the self-inflicted impotence of American diplomacy in the Middle East. America is a superpower around the world, yet on Israel-Palestine it suffers from what I call self-inflicted impotence. 

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/05/24/1435247

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/05/24/1435247

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is in the United States for his first official visit since coming to office. On Tuesday, President Bush embraced Ehud Olmert’s proposal to annex the major settlement blocs in the West Bank. We get reaction from Afif Safieh, the PLO ambassador to the United States. [includes rush transcript]

 


President Bush yesterday embraced Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s proposal to unilaterally redraw Israel’s boundaries in the occupied West Bank. Olmert is in Washington for his first official visit since winning elections in March. Speaking after the talks, Bush described the Israeli plan as “bold.” But he urged Israel to resume direct negotiations with the Palestinians and said a unilateral solution was a last resort. Olmert’s proposal would remove around 60,000 Israelis from isolated settlements in the West Bank but would annex larger settlements which house some 200,000 Israelis, excluding East Jerusalem. Olmert said Israel reserves the right to impose final borders over Palestinian objections if peace talks remain stalled and reiterated he would not negotiate with a Palestinian government led by Hamas. The militant group won a sweeping victory in legislative elections in January. President Bush also condemned Hamas and said he believes a negotiated settlement could still be reached between Israel and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Meanwhile Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh repeated Hamas’ overture that it would call a long-term ceasefire if Israel withdrew from all the land it occupied in the 1967 war. But the statement falls short of western demands for Hamas to recognize Israel’s “right to exist.”

  • Afif Safieh, PLO ambassador to the United States.
 .....

AFIF SAFIEH: Well, I believe Mr. Olmert wanted to create a chemistry between him as the newly elected prime minister in Israel with the President of the U.S.A., and he’s working on it during the last 48 hours. It’s unfortunate that the perception was that President Bush gave his blessings to the future plan of Mr. Olmert of unilateral disengagement, one, because Olmert isn’t capacitated to speak about it with authority, because it doesn’t create a consensus within his newly elected coalition. Number two, I think if America was again to align itself on that Israeli preference, it would complicate its relations with its partners in the quartet, meaning Europe and Russia, and number two, it will antagonize the Arab world. You’re not without knowing, ma’am.

We perceive the unilateral inclination of Mr. Olmert not as a step in the peace process, but as a diversion. Israeli policy, unfortunately, so far is to absorb and accaparate and acquire as much of Palestinian geography as possible with as little of Palestinian demography as possible. We are not perceived as the victim of Israeli expansion. We are not seen as a people with national rights. We are seen as a nuisance, a demographic threat. And the purpose of withdrawal, as the way they are conceived, is to get rid of our demography and acquire as much of our geography.

Mr. Olmert, you’re not without knowing, has sworn out 50% of the West Bank during his election campaign, and I, for one, take election campaigns seriously. He said he will accelerate the building of this wall, the apartheid wall, which swallows 15% of the territory and most of the aquifer of water, but he also said the valley, the Jordan Valley, and the beaches or the shore of the Dead Sea will never come to Palestinian or Arab sovereignty, and this Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea shore is around 30% of the teeny-weeny West Bank, where we plan in the future to resettle and bring in three-quarters of a million returning refugees to their homeland. So, 50% of the West Bank was swallowed during an election campaign. It will be really detrimental if the American foreign policy is perceived as aligned on the Israeli preference.

I believe the peace process has been damaged and nonexistent in the last years for two reasons. There is a Palestinian partner: Abu Mazen, the democratically elected president, is available for serious negotiations. What is detrimental is we don’t have an Israeli willing partner, and what is lacking is the third party evenhanded broker. And I have always been amazed and intrigued of the self-inflicted impotence of American diplomacy in the Middle East. America is a superpower around the world, yet on Israel-Palestine it suffers from what I call self-inflicted impotence.

Chris Keeley

believe AIPAC is wounded as a lobby group, yet Capitol Hill is still unaware of that fact.

House Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act: A Debate

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/05/24/1435257

The House yesterday approved a bill to ban U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act would make it difficult for nongovernmental organizations, except those providing healthcare, to receive U.S. funds. PLO Ambassador Afif Safieh, the Heritage Foundation’s Ariel Cohen and Brit Tzedek V’Shalom’s Rob Levy debate the issue. [includes rush transcript]

 


The House yesterday approved a bill to ban U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act was passed by a vote of 361 to 37. The measure would make it difficult for nongovernmental organizations, except those providing healthcare, to receive U.S. funds. The bill also denies U.S. visas to members of the Palestinian Authority, prohibits official U.S. contact with Palestinian officials, and cuts off U.S. funding of United Nations agencies that directly assist the Palestinian Authority. The White House, which has already cut off direct aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian government, said the bill went too far. A less restrictive measure is being considered in the Senate. The US-led international boycott of aid to the Palestinian Authority has plunged the Occupied Territories into a financial and humanitarian crisis.

 

  • Afif Safieh, PLO ambassador to the United States.
  • Rob Levy, Washington representative of the US Jewish organization Brit Tzedek V’Shalom, one of three Jewish organizations active in lobbying against the legislation.
  • Dr. Ariel Cohen, Senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

AMY GOODMAN: For a debate on the bill, PLO Ambassador Afif Safieh stays with us in Washington. On the phone with us, we're joined by the Ariel Cohen, Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, and also in the Washington studio, Rob Levy of the U.S. Jewish organization Brit Tzedek V’Shalom, one of the three Jewish organizations active in lobbying against the bill. We'll go first to our telephone guest, Dr. Ariel Cohen of the Heritage Foundation. Why did you support it?

DR. ARIEL COHEN: Good morning. It's a pleasure to be here. I think that the bill calls a spade a shovel. The Palestinian Authority, the P.A., is today controlled by a terrorist entity, an entity that is on the U.S. State Department terrorism watch list, the entity that is responsible for deaths of numerous Americans, as well as numerous civilian Israelis, women, children, old people, and the latest victim just died in a Tel Aviv hospital. It was a kid from Florida, a 16-year-old who was blasted away by a bomb in a falafel stand in Tel Aviv, and the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority, just like the PLO-led Palestinian Authority before that, is doing precious little, if at all, to combat terrorism.

And I think that any support, any money, any assistance given to a terrorist control entity is just like giving support to a Taliban-led government in Afghanistan. We have soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan. We brought down the Taliban. This is a part of a global Jihadi wave that is attacking the West, attacking Europe, Israel, the United States, and this has to be stopped. And thank God that the United States Congress, by a majority of over 300 members representing the will of the American people, is doing what it is doing.

AMY GOODMAN: Rob Levy, your response, with one of the Jewish groups that oppose this bill?

ROB LEVY: Thank you for having me. As an American Jewish organization, we were incredibly dismayed by the election of Hamas to the Palestinian Authority, and we recognize that Hamas must renounce terrorism, recognize Israel and agree by all past agreements. However, this legislation goes far beyond those demands and truly undermines the U.S.'s ability to play a constructive role in bringing Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table towards a two-state resolution of the conflict.

It does this in three ways. The first is this bill ties the administration's hands. It removes their ability to have flexibility and discretion to promote negotiations. Secondly, this legislation weakens moderate Palestinians. These are exactly the people that we think we need to be supporting right now. The legislation makes no differentiation between those that are members of Hamas and those that are not members of Hamas, in particular, President Mahmoud Abbas, who, as the President has recognized, is a strong supporter of peace. And thirdly, this legislation severely restricts humanitarian aid going to NGOs that goes towards the Palestinian people, as you mentioned, as a small exemption for health, water and food, but it does not address the building of schools, the building of hospitals, water sanitation plants, creating economic opportunities and building a stable democracy and an independent judiciary.

AMY GOODMAN: Your response, Dr. Ariel Cohen of Heritage?

DR. ARIEL COHEN: Well, I think Abu Mazen, President Mahmoud Abbas, failed on two accounts. Number one, he was given a chance, since he took over after the death of Yasser Arafat, to seriously follow the roadmap, the roadmap on which the quartet -- the United Nations, Russia, the European Union and the United States -- have agreed. And the first thing the Palestinian party was supposed to do was to clean up terrorism infrastructure. Very little was done. There was no stop to incitement to day-to-day propaganda in Palestinian schools, mosques, on television and radio, to stop comparing Jews and Christians to monkeys and pigs, just like the Saudi sponsors of the Palestinian Authority were exposed yesterday in the Washington Post in a report by the Freedom House, authored by the Religious Freedom Center at the Freedom House headed by Nina Shea. The Palestinian Authority is educating the next generation of Jihadis.

Moreover, President Abbas, unfortunately -- and I grant to our listeners and to our guests, I grant to you that he is a more pragmatic man, not necessarily a more moderate man -- more pragmatic man than his predecessor. President Abbas did not do anything to clean up the corruption of the Palestinian Authority. And that, as well as hatred of Israel and Jews, was the root cause of the Hamas victory. Now, the Palestinians represented by the ambassador have a real problem. Their political power, of those who are more nationalist and secular, is threatened by Hamas, but they don't have the support of the people. And the calls to more negotiation with Abu Mazen is like calling for more negotiation with an impotent puppet that has no authority, no popularity, and doesn't do anything to promote the peace process.

AMY GOODMAN: Ambassador Afif Safieh of the Palestine Liberation Organization, ambassador to the U.S.?

AFIF SAFIEH: First of all, I would like to say that the piece of legislation that was voted upon yesterday is extremely unfortunate, and even this administration found it going beyond board. But I would like to take other aspects that have been insufficiently analyzed the last two, three days.

It's my belief that AIPAC is no more in its golden age. It took AIPAC three months of lobbying to assemble enough sponsorships. For the first time, AIPAC-supported legislation has been defied by so many legislators who either voted against or abstained or were not present at the vote. And I believe AIPAC is wounded as a lobby group, yet Capitol Hill is still unaware of that fact.

Why is AIPAC, in my opinion, having today a diminished status? And today, that vote does not reflect the mood in public opinion, where I perceive a lot of sympathy for the Palestinian society under occupation. I believe four factors. One, AIPAC today, which sponsored this legislation, is challenged in its monopoly of representation of Jewish American preferences. And the fact that we have other voices, three respectable institutions, Jewish American, lobbying against that legislation showed that there is plurality of voices within the American Jewish community and that AIPAC is questioned and challenged in its monopoly of representation.

Fact number two, I believe at least one-third of the political establishment in Israel is becoming increasingly uncomfortable with AIPAC, and this goes back to Rabin, Peres in the early ‘90s, when they noticed that AIPAC increasingly is siding and aligning itself with the maximalist Israeli position, not because it is the most rational, but because it's doable, because legislators on Capitol Hill cave in and succumb too easily to the pressures of that lobby. So, one-third, at least, today of the Israeli political establishment favors the emergence of alternative Jewish American voices.

The third factor, ma'am, I believe the fact that two senior officials of AIPAC are going to be taken to court for espionage case very soon. I believe this shows a beginning of enormous irritation and exasperation, even within this administration, towards the excesses of AIPAC, that junior partner.

Number four, ma'am, I believe around the country today the mood is increasingly allergic to the power of lobbies and interest groups that poisons and distorts and pollutes the political life. And I believe AIPAC is thought of as a major lobby group that has too much power to be in a democratic debate, etc. And I believe the Harvard study, called Harvard study, by a professor from Harvard and another prestigious professor from Chicago, showed that in a way American decision making, in terms of foreign policy in the Middle East, has been in a way monopolized by a lobby that has grown accustomed to using one muscle too many and going one pressure too far.

I remember as a student of American politics that the late Senator Moynihan once said, “An election year is rarely our finest hour.” Unfortunately, you are in an election year. That translates in not being the finest hour. And many legislators caved in too easily to the pressure of AIPAC, but many for the first time did not succumb and even defied the lobby by saying this resolution is not well written, it handicaps American foreign policy, it does not give us the instruments and tools of having a presence and an influence. And even one congresswoman defied AIPAC, because she was attacked and criticized as supporting terrorists, an argument that’s thrown too easily into the political debate. She said, “AIPAC from now on is forbidden of having access to me or to my office, as long as they have not publicly apologized to me.” I believe that’s a new first --

AMY GOODMAN: That was Congressmember McCollum. Yeah, we talked about that yesterday. But we're going to have to leave it there, though we are going to continue on the essay that you referred to on the Harvard University website around the issue of AIPAC and the Israel lobby with Michael Massing. I want to thank you all for being with us: Ambassador Afif Safieh, the Palestinian Liberation Organization ambassador to the United States; Rob Levy, also joining us in Washington, the representative of the U.S. Jewish group Brit Tzedek V’Shalom; and Dr. Ariel Cohen of the Heritage Foundation.

Chris Keeley

The “Anti- Hamas bill that passed in the House yesterday was heavily supported by AIPAC, the America

Study Alleging Dominant Influence of Israeli Lobby Sparks Heated Fallout

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/05/24/1436205

In the recent study “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy", two distinguished political science professors charge that the United States has willingly set aside its own security and that of many of its allies in order to advance the interests of Israel. In addition the study accuses the pro-Israeli lobby, particularly AIPAC of manipulating the U.S. media, policing academia and silencing critics of Israel by labeling them as anti-Semitic. Media critic Michael Massing joins us to talk about the fallout from the study.

 


The “Anti- Hamas bill that passed in the House yesterday was heavily supported by AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. In fact, one critic of the bill, Congresswoman Betty McCollum of Minnesota, accused AIPAC of threatening her because she voted against the bill. She said an AIPAC activist called her office to say that her QUOTE “support for terrorists will not be tolerated.”

We turn now to look at a recent study that has caused an uproar in the academic community and in the media. The study is titled “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy." The authors of the paper, Professor Stephen Walt of Harvard University and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, charge that the United States has willingly set aside its own security and that of many of its allies in order to advance the interests of Israel. In addition the study accuses the pro-Israeli lobby, particularly AIPAC of manipulating the U.S. media, policing academia and silencing critics of Israel by labeling them as anti-Semitic. Well, a new article in the New York Review of Books examines this controversial report and the reaction to it. It’s titled "The Storm over the Israel Lobby". It was written by media critic Michael Massing who joins us our in the Firehouse studio.

  • Michael Massing, contributing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review and board member of the Committee to Protect Journalists. He frequently writes for the New York Review of Books, the American Prospect and the Nation.
.

 

Chris Keeley

intelligence experts that Ahmadinejad's letter was a major overture.

White House Rejects Renewed Iranian Diplomatic Overtures
The Washington Post is reporting Iran has followed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent letter to President Bush with new overtures for direct negotiations. According to the Post, the White House has ignored these requests, despite the conclusion of intelligence experts that Ahmadinejad's letter was a major overture. Several anonymous officials said the Bush administration is coming under pressure from government experts to respond to Iran’s letter. Paul Pillar, who served as the senior Middle East intelligence analyst with the CIA until last year, said: "There is no question in my mind that there has been for some time a desire on the part of the senior Iranian leadership to engage in a dialogue with the United States."

House Votes To Ban Assistance to Palestinian Authority
On Capitol Hill, the House voted Tuesday to ban U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act would make it difficult for nongovernmental organizations, except those providing healthcare, to receive U.S. funds. The bill also denies U.S. visas to members of the Palestinian Authority, prohibits official U.S. contact with Palestinian officials, and cuts off U.S. funding of United Nations agencies that directly assist the Palestinian Authority.

Bush Supports Israeli Plan To Annex Settlements
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is in the United States for his first official visit since winning national elections in March. On Tuesday, President Bush embraced Olmert’s proposal to unilaterally redraw Israel’s boundaries in the occupied West Bank. Olmert’s proposal would remove around 60,000 Israelis from isolated settlements but would annex to Israel larger settlements that house some 200,000 Israelis, excluding East Jerusalem. Meanwhile Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh repeated Hamas’ offer of a long-term ceasefire if Israel withdrew from all the land occupied in the 1967 war.

Chris Keeley

Gabriëlla Cleuren: Feuilles uniques d'une vie

Gabriëlla Cleuren... Effet de la médecine (huile sur toile). From Gabriëlla Cleuren: Feuilles uniques d'une vie. "...Mon oeuvre artistique est un journal qui fixe les traces de ma vie. Ma raison de vivre est l'art, cette partie de mon oeuvre est un ensemble de fragments de la réalité : des visages, des figures, des animaux, des jardins, des paysages mixte (mêlée) avec une réalité virtuelle : des rêves, des pensées en pictogrammes, des visions, des angoisses, tout ça comme une force artistique puissante qui fait preuve  d'une existence. C'est une manière d'explorer le 'Ich - soi même'  et sa relation avec le monde extérieur. Ma peinture est aussi une force physique qui donne naissance à un monde réel virtuel,  comme il existe au 21ème  siècle."



http://www.lagalerie.be/gaby/peinture-gaby-14.JPG
Chris Keeley

Ken Botto

Rather than taking the camera into the real environment of landscapes and household interiors, Ken Botto resorts to staged tableaux of his own making. Using toys, props and other miniature domestic objects, he fabricates and photographs worlds that reveal much of how we view our cultural identity. Botto received his B.F.A. from the California College of Arts and Crafts and his M.F.A. from the Claremont Graduate School. His color photography has exhibited in New York, Chicago and Paris, and is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. 

http://www.kochgallery.com/artists/contemporary/Botto/index.html



Ken Botto
"resorts to staged tableaux of his own making. Using toys, props and other miniature domestic objects, he fabricates and photographs worlds that reveal much of how we view our cultural identity."

Chris Keeley

Building the giant C-17 Globemaster III cargo planes provides employment to 30,000 workers in 42 sta

 C-17 cargo plane the "Spirit of Ronald Reagan.

Back in Washington, though, the C-17 Globemaster III cargo jet, a $200 million flying giant, is at the center of a different kind of war involving the White House, the Pentagon, Boeing and lobbyists. They are battling over whether the military needs any more C-17's at a time when resources are being squeezed.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/24/business/24plane.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Graphic: C-17 Globemaster III 

Graphic: C-17 Globemaster III