January 8th, 2007

Chris Keeley

The Devil’s Publishing Dictionary Part I: A through M:

The Devil’s Publishing Dictionary Part I: A through M:

Advance: Short for “Advance against Hoped-for Royalties.” A sum paid by the publisher to the author in satisfaction of a debt, consisting of royalty payments, which has not yet and may never be incurred. If at some point in the far future this debt in royalties is actually incurred in full, the author will complain that the advance (which they’ve long since spent) was disgracefully stingy for such a successful book.

Advance Reading Copies: A prepublication edition of the book that is distinguishable from regular editions by having no price on the cover, and by costing the publisher more per copy than the reviewers will ever realize by selling them at the Strand or on eBay.

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Chris Keeley

the men had a sweetly clueless exchange about how to talk to women (“Pretend you’re putting a saddle

the men had a sweetly clueless exchange about how to talk to women (“Pretend you’re putting a saddle on a skittish horse,” Pullo suggested), a discourse that concluded with tentative musings on the clitoris. 

“Rome” is profligate with its curses: Mark Antony swears of Brutus and his co-conspirators, “I’m going to eat their livers!” Octavia says of Servilia, her former lover, “I’ll see her eaten by dogs.” And Servilia execrates fickle Caesar with chilling precision: “Let his penis wither, let his bones crack, let him see his legions drown in their own blood.”

“Rome” returns to HBO.
Issue of 2007-01-15
Posted 2007-01-08

HBO has become hostage to its own success. We now expect its dramas not only to make us feel—a trick that any scriptwriter can perform by giving a tot a limp or a dog—but, rarest of joys, to make us think. The corpse-eating pigs and baroquely obscene insults on “Deadwood,” for instance, served an argument that democracy in America emerged as the by-product of ruthless men’s determination to preserve their wealth—in other words, as a cost of doing business.

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Chris Keeley

Global Warming Heat Wave? January Temps Hit Record Highs Across Northeast

Global Warming Heat Wave? January Temps Hit Record Highs Across Northeast

Temperatures this weekend reached record highs across the Northeast climbing to 72 degrees in New York and New Jersey and hitting almost 70 in Boston and Connecticut. The world's 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1994 with 2006 the sixth warmest on record. We take a look at global warming with Greenpeace USA executive director, John Passacantando.
Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid...Norman Finkelstein and Gil Troy Debate Jimmy Carter's Controversial Book

Controversy continues over Jimmy Carter's recent book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid." We host a debate on the former president's book with two leading scholars: DePaul University professor Norman Finkelstein, author of "Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History" and McGill University professor Gil Troy, author of "Why I Am a Zionist: Israel, Jewish Identity, and the Challenges of Today."
Chris Keeley

Quagmire of the Vanities

Quagmire of the Vanities

The only real question about the planned “surge” in Iraq — which is better described as a Vietnam-style escalation — is whether its proponents are cynical or delusional.

Senator Joseph Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, thinks they’re cynical. He recently told The Washington Post that administration officials are simply running out the clock, so that the next president will be “the guy landing helicopters inside the Green Zone, taking people off the roof.”

Daniel Kahneman, who won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science for his research on irrationality in decision-making, thinks they’re delusional. Mr. Kahneman and Jonathan Renshon recently argued in Foreign Policy magazine that the administration’s unwillingness to face reality in Iraq reflects a basic human aversion to cutting one’s losses — the same instinct that makes gamblers stay at the table, hoping to break even.

Of course, such gambling is easier when the lives at stake are those of other people’s children.

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Chris Keeley

Iraq Prepares to Open Up Oil Reserves to Foreign Companies

Iraq Prepares to Open Up Oil Reserves to Foreign Companies
The Independent of London is reporting the Iraqi government is drafting a new law that would give big oil companies such as BP, Shell and Exxon 30-year contracts to extract Iraqi crude. The law is expected to come before the Iraqi parliament within days. Foreign oil companies would be allowed to take up to 75 percent of the profits until they have recouped initial drilling costs. After that, they would collect about 20 per cent of all profits -- that is about twice the industry average for such deals." The oil law would allow the first large-scale operation of foreign oil interests in the country since the industry was nationalized in 1972. 

Report: 17,000 Iraqis Died in Last Six Months of 2006
New data from the Iraqi Health Ministry shows that more than 17,000 Iraqi civilians and police officers died violently in the latter half of 2006. That is more than three times the number of Iraqis reported to be killed during the first six months of the year. A Health Ministry official provided the data to the Washington Post. The actual number of violent deaths in 2006 is believed to be higher because the official said these numbers were incomplete. 

More Details Emerge Over Haditha Massacre
More information has come to light about the U.S. massacre in the Iraqi town of Haditha in 2005. The Washington Post has obtained an internal military report and photographs that show U.S. Marines gunned down five unarmed Iraqis who stumbled onto the scene of a roadside bombing in Haditha. The squad's leader, Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich shot the men one by one after Marines ordered them out of a white taxi in the moments following the explosion. Another Marine fired rounds into their bodies as they lay on the ground. The shootings were the first in a series of violent reactions by Marines on the morning of Nov. 19, 2005. By the end of the day, 24 civilians had died -- many of them were women and children. 

Report: Israel Preparing to Use Tactical Nukes Against Iran
Israel has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons. This according to the Times of London. The paper is reporting that two Israeli air force squadrons are training to blow up an Iranian facility using low-yield nuclear “bunker-busters." The attack would be the first with nuclear weapons since 1945, when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Israeli weapons would each have a force equivalent to one-fifteenth of the Hiroshima bomb. The Israeli Foreign Ministry denied the report.

Chris Keeley

Donald E. Camp... Man Who Hears Music/ Andre Raphael Smith (from Dust Shaped Hearts series, 2006, Ph

Donald E. Camp... Man Who Hears Music/ Andre Raphael Smith (from Dust Shaped Hearts series, 2006, Photographic Casein Monoprint, Casein and raw earth pigment on archival rag paper. From Donald E. Camp: Dust Shaped Hearts. "...Donald Camp’s intimate portraits resemble great American landscapes. The weathered plains and deep ravines are the terrain of men and woman who have been tested and challenged throughout their lives. Camp’s recent work builds upon his earlier portraits, which confronted negative stereotypes of African American men. 


Donald E. Camp
Man Who Writes/ David Bradley (from Dust Shaped Hearts series), 2006
Photographic Casein Monoprint
30 x 40 inches


Casein and raw earth pigment on archival rag

Chris Keeley

Israel Plans Nuclear Strike on Iran" (SUNDAY TIMES)

Israel Plans Nuclear Strike on Iran" (SUNDAY TIMES)

TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck

Transmitted below is a stimulating news story published in yesterday's

This story was characterized by Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark
Regev as "incorrect", which might be viewed as something less than an
outraged denial.

   Revealed: Israel Plans Nuclear Strike on Iran
   By Uzi Mahnaimi, New York and Sarah Baxter, Washington
   The Sunday Times (London)

   Israel has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran's uranium
enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons.

   Two Israeli air force squadrons are training to blow up an Iranian
facility using low-yield nuclear "bunker-busters", according to several
Israeli military sources.

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Chris Keeley

David Grossman Speech

Looking at Ourselves
By David Grossman, Translated from the Hebrew by Haim Watzman

The following speech was given at the Rabin memorial ceremony, Tel Aviv, November 4, 2006, in the presence of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
At the annual memorial ceremony for Yitzhak Rabin, we pause to remember Yitzhak Rabin the man, and the leader. We also look at ourselves, at Israeli society, at its leadership, at the state of the national spirit, at the state of the peace process, and at our place, as individuals, within these great national developments.
This year, it is not easy to look at ourselves.

We had a war. Israel brandished its huge military biceps, but its reach proved all too short, and brittle. We realized that our military might alone cannot, when push comes to shove, defend us. In particular, we discovered that Israel faces a profound crisis, much more profound than we imagined, in almost every part of our collective lives.
I speak here, this evening, as one whose love for this land is tough and complicated, but nevertheless unequivocal. And as one for whom the covenant he has always had with this land has become, to my misfortune, a covenant of blood. I am a man entirely without religious faith, but nevertheless, for me, the establishment, and very existence, of the state of Israel is something of a miracle that happened to us as a people—a political, national, human miracle. I never forget that, even for a single moment. Even when many things in the reality of our lives enrage and depress me, even when the miracle disintegrates into tiny fragments of routine and wretchedness, of corruption and cynicism, even when the country looks like a bad parody of that miracle, I remember the miracle always.
That sentiment lies at the foundation of what I will say tonight.

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Chris Keeley

Max Baer Jr.

Max Baer Jr.

Max in black

The portrayal of heavyweight boxing legend Max Baer Sr. in "Cinderella Man" incensed his son, Max Baer Jr.
(Damon Winter / LAT)

Max Baer Sr. put a Star of David on his trunks for his fight with the Nazis' Max Schmeling at Yankee Stadium in 1933.


Max Baer Jr., top right, starred as Jethro Bodine in 'The Beverly Hillbillies.' His father never saw him break through as an actor

Chris Keeley

Quote about Abe Sirkin for possible obit


Jan 8, 2007 6:23 PM 

Quote about Abe Sirkin for possible obit 
   I am sending this message to you at the suggestion of Susannah
Sirkin for possible use in an obit in the Times about her recently
deceased father. I have known the family for 40 years. Abe and I served
at the American embassy in Athens in the period 1966-70, he as the
Public Affairs Officer and I as a Political Officer. I later served as
the American ambassador to Greece from 1985 to 1989. Here is a suggested
quote that may be used in the obit or as the writer sees fit:
      Abe Sirkin and I served together in the American embassy in
Athens in the second half of the 1960's. He was known for his strong
advocacy of human rights.  When a gang of Colonels seized control of the
government in a military coup d'etat in 1967--forty years ago next
April--Abe was one of the very few officers in our embassy who clearly
foresaw and predicted what damage that would do not only to Greek
democracy but also to America's standing in that small but important
ally in Europe. His views were not heeded, and they turned out to be right.

   Please phone or email me if you need further information.
Robert V. Keeley
Chris Keeley

Member News: Chas W. Freeman Jr., Remarks to Congressional Research Service Seminar

Distinguished recipients (as John Whitbeck likes to address you):
This is the most important speech, article, op ed, or rant that I have
read in many months. If you have difficulty reading it, please let me
know and I will try to send the full text in an email. It should be
easy. It is no longer than it should be. Bob Keeley

The American Academy of Diplomacy
/Member Article/NEWS /

*National Security in the Age of Terrorism
*Remarks to the Congressional Research Service Seminar for New Members
Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. (USFS, Ret.)
January 6, 2006
Williamsburg, Virginia

This is not a happy time for national security policy. There is the
strategic ambush of Iraq to manage before it explodes into a wider war.
North Korea is back to trying to get our attention, and this time it's
got missiles and the bomb with which to do so. Iran is well along in
replacing us as the dominant influence in the Middle East and is widely
believed to be working on a nuclear deterrent to the air raids on it by
Israel or us that leaders there and here are threatening. Hamas, which
has never run an operation against Americans, and Hezbollah, which
hasn't done so for decades, seem to be psyching themselves up to respond
in kind to our violent efforts to crush them. The Taliban are making a
comeback in Afghanistan, which just brought in the largest poppy harvest
in history. The Venezuelans are replacing the Cubans as our adversaries
in this hemisphere, and, unlike the Cubans, they've got oil and money to
buy allies for their endeavor. China is rising and the dollar is
declining. We have never been so politically estranged from or so much
in debt to foreigners. Our only committed ally in Europe, Tony Blair, is
about to leave office. And this is just a partial list of the problems
threatening the general welfare, domestic tranquility, and liberties of
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Chris Keeley

January 26, 1947

January 26, 1947

The New York Times Photo Archives/Times Wide World PhotosAl Capone

Capone Dead At 48; Dry Era Gang Chief

MIAMI BEACH, FLA., Jan. 25 --Al Capone, ex-Chicago gangster and prohibition era crime leader, died in his home here tonight.

"Death came very suddenly," said Dr. Kenneth S. Phillips, who has been attending Capone since he was stricken with apoplexy Tuesday.

"All the family was present. His wife, Mae, collapsed and is in very serious condition."

Dr. Phillips said death was caused by heart failure.

Six Years of Power

Alphonse (Scarface) Capone, the fat boy from Brooklyn, was a Horatio Alger hero--underworld version. More than any other one man he represented, at the height of his power from 1925 through 1931, the debauchery of the "dry" era. He seized and held in thrall during that period the great city of Chicago and its suburbs.

Head of the cruelest cutthroats in American history, he inspired gang wars in which more than 300 men died by the knife, the shotgun, the tommy gun and the pineapple, the gangster adaptation of the World War I hand grenade.

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o the Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore to take treatment for paresis. Later he settled at Miami Beach.

Chris Keeley

January 31, 1948

January 31, 1948

Mohandas K. Gandhi: The Indian Leader at Home and Abroad

January 31, 1948

Mohandas K. Gandhi: The Indian Leader at Home and Abroad


The assassin was a Hindu who disagreed with Gandhi's ideology. Gandhi was shot at point-blank range as he was going to delive his daily prayer meeting message. The assassin was immediately seized by the crowd and later told a foreign correspondent, "I am not at all sorry."

Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru said in a radio address the evening of Gandhi's death: "Gandhi had gone out of our lives and there is darkness everywhere. ... The father of our nation is no more -- no longer will we run to him for advice and solace. ... This is a terrible blow to millions and milions in this country ...

"Our light has gone out, but the light that shone in this country was no ordinary light. For a thousand years that light will be seen in this country and the world will see it ... Oh, that this has happened to us! There was so much more to do."

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