January 19th, 2007

Chris Keeley

Henri Cartier-Bresson, lately returned from Africa, saw a photograph of African children charging in

Spontaneity and Pizazz 


Boys Running Into the Surf at Lake Tanganyika," from around 1930, is 

Innovator and Master, Side by Side

In 1932 the young Henri Cartier-Bresson, lately returned from Africa, saw a photograph of African children charging into waves on a beach. “I must say that it is that very photograph which was for me the spark that set fire to fireworks,” he recalled years later. “I couldn’t believe such a thing could be caught with the camera. I said, ‘Damn it,’ took my camera and went out into the street.” What Cartier-Bresson produced during the next few years, as the curator Peter Galassi once wrote, became “one of the great, concentrated episodes in modern art.”

How much the African photograph actually shaped this work is debatable, but it struck a chord. It epitomized the combination of serendipity and joie de vivre that Cartier-Bresson admired: three naked boys, their silhouettes against white spray and sun-drenched water, making a perfect geometry.

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Chris Keeley

The exception that proves the rule--1/19/07

The exception that proves the rule--1/19/07

  Today's Washington Post has a lengthy front-page story on the
struggle between the Senate Democrats and Republicans to craft an ethics
bill that was eventually adopted 96 to 2.  But there was one aspect on
which there was no conflict, according to the report:
  "Opposition from so many conservative activists had raised
accusations from Democrats that Republicans were doing their bidding by
blocking passage, but other opponents were less partisan. Lobbyists for
the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, also talked to
lawmakers about excluding from the measure's travel ban trips to Israel
sponsored by the group's nonprofit foundation affiliate. The
legislation, as written, would allow those trips to continue."

Robert V. Keeley
Chris Keeley

Bill Peck R.I.P.

It is with sadness that I pass on the news that one of our predecessors succumbed to liver cancer on Wednesday, January 17. Bill Beck was better known as The Fat Addict in our Little White Booklet. He also went by the name Allah Ram. Bill died with 39 years clean, celebrating his clean date on July 9 (which coincidentally, is the date Jimmy Kinnon passed away). Bill started up most of California's early treatment centers that utilized the 12th Step approach to recovery, notably Impact House, Cri-Help, and Crysallis. These treatment centers served as a safe haven for recovering addicts to rest, clean themselves up, get medical treatment, be introduced to meetings outside the center, and most, if not all the counselors were recovering addicts themselves. The programs usually lasted anywhere from 6 to 9 months and addicts were not required to have health insurance or money to finance their stay at these centers. Bill's model of assisting addicts in their early recovery led to thousands and thousands of addicts finding their way to a new way of life, for once they completed treatment, they re-entered society with a sponsor, meeting lists, literature, and a new host of friends who were also in recovery. For those who relapsed, a seed had been planted and they always knew they had a seat saved for them in N.A. Bill was an early pioneer in N.A.'s history, lending his time freely to serving at the area level, the regional level, and the world level. He served on the Board of Trustees for a number of years before he tended his resignation from that Board at a World Service Conference, along with Jimmy Kinnon who also resigned, in the early 80's. He was a close and loyal friend of Jimmy Kinnon's to the day he died. I recall Bill was always seated at Jimmy's bedside during his final days, quiet and in prayer, and always there when Jimmy opened his eyes. Bill always encouraged addicts to seek a teacher and find a spiritual path that suited them. People enjoyed and admired Bill's sense of humor, his frankness, and his way of stepping up to the plate and saying what needed to be said. He had a tremendous amount of compassion for others and he also loved beautiful women and good food. He was a pretty good barber and set up shop just outside San Diego during the last years of his life. Although Bill was small in stature, he was a giant of a man. I shall miss him. I give thanks to having known him and the knowledge that we were friends. Perhaps a moment of silence can be taken at your home groups in remembrance of him. May God keep him close to Him. Thank you Bill Beck.

In fellowship,
Fawn F.

Chris Keeley

Big Bucks, Big Pharma

Big Bucks, Big Pharma
Marketing Disease & Pushing Drugs 

Big Bucks, Big Pharma: Marketing Disease & Pushing Drugs

The new documentary “Big Bucks, Big Pharma: Marketing Disease & Pushing Drugs ” looks at how illness is used, manipulated, and in some instances created by pharmaceutical companies to make greater profits

the new documentary “Big Bucks, Big Pharma: Marketing Disease & Pushing Drugs.” It was produced by the Media Education Foundation



Big Bucks, Big Pharma pulls back the curtain on the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry to expose the insidious ways that illness is used, manipulated, and in some instances created, for capital gain. Focusing on the industry's marketing practices, media scholars and health professionals help viewers understand the ways in which direct-to-consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical advertising glamorizes and normalizes the use of prescription medication, and works in tandem with promotion to doctors. Combined, these industry practices shape how both patients and doctors understand and relate to disease and treatment. Ultimately, Big Bucks, Big Pharma challenges us to ask important questions about the consequences of relying on a for-profit industry for our health and well-being.

Featuring interviews with Dr. Marcia Angell (Dept. of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Former Editor New England Journal of Medicine), Dr. Bob Goodman (Columbia University Medical Center; Founder, No Free Lunch), Gene Carbona (Former Pharmaceutical Industry Insider and Current Executive Director of Sales, The Medical Letter), Katharine Greider (Journalist; Author, The Big Fix: How the Pharmaceutical Industry Rips Off American Consumers,), Dr. Elizabeth Preston (Dept. of Communication, Westfield State College), and Dr. Larry Sasich (Public Citizen Health Research Group).

Chris Keeley

For a long time the administration nonetheless seemed untouchable, protected both by Republican cont

Surging and Purging

There’s something happening here, and what it is seems completely clear: the Bush administration is trying to protect itself by purging independent-minded prosecutors.

Last month, Bud Cummins, the U.S. attorney (federal prosecutor) for the Eastern District of Arkansas, received a call on his cellphone while hiking in the woods with his son. He was informed that he had just been replaced by J. Timothy Griffin, a Republican political operative who has spent the last few years working as an opposition researcher for Karl Rove.

Mr. Cummins’s case isn’t unique. Since the middle of last month, the Bush administration has pushed out at least four U.S. attorneys, and possibly as many as seven, without explanation. The list includes Carol Lam, the U.S. attorney for San Diego, who successfully prosecuted Duke Cunningham, a Republican congressman, on major corruption charges. The top F.B.I. official in San Diego told The San Diego Union-Tribune that Ms. Lam’s dismissal would undermine multiple continuing investigations.

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Chris Keeley

Ex-Ohio congressman gets 30 months

Ex-Ohio congressman gets 30 months

By Joel Havemann
Times Staff Writer

10:58 AM PST, January 19, 2007

WASHINGTON — Former Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) today became the second onetime member of the House of Representatives to draw a prison term for his role in the lobbying scandals that helped doom the Republican's majority in Congress in November's elections.

Ney, 52, was sentenced to 30 months in jail, to be followed by two years of supervised release, and was fined $6,000. U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle ordered Ney to perform 200 hours of community service. She also recommended that Ney enter a prison alcohol rehabilitation program for an admitted drinking problem.

"You violated a host of laws that you, as a congressman, are sworn to enforce and uphold," Huvelle told Ney.
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Chris Keeley

Former Congressman Bob Ney of Ohio leaving Federal District Court in Washington today after being se

Those gifts included overseas trips, the use of skyboxes at Washington-area sports arenas, meals, concert tickets and thousands of dollars worth of gambling chips in London casinos.

Plea Agreement (pdf)

Basis for the Plea (pdf)

Allegations (pdf)

Ex-Congressman Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 — Former Congressman Bob Ney was sentenced to 30 months in prison today for accepting tens of thousands of dollars in illegal gifts in return for using his legislative influence to help his benefactors.

Prosecutors had sought a sentence of 27 months and Mr. Ney’s lawyers had asked for no more than two years.

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Chris Keeley

Some days Bob will go to as many as three recovery meetings

Matthew D. Parker, a former aide and friend, said that Ney began to drink more heavily in 2004 when he first came under federal scrutiny for his relationship with Abramoff. "Bob was a functioning alcoholic who could rarely make it through the day without drinking and would often begin drinking beers as early as 7:30 a.m.," Parker said.

Some days Bob will go to as many as three recovery meetings

Ex-Ohio Rep. Ney Sentenced to 30 Months

By James V. Grimaldi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 19, 2007; 2:40 PM


A federal judge today ordered former Congressman Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio) to serve 30 months in prison for accepting gifts, favors and campaign contributions in exchange for official actions, making the six-term congressman the first elected official to be sent to prison in the influence-peddling investigation of lobbyist Jack Abramoff's activities.

U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle rejected the recommendations of both prosecutors, who asked for a 27-month term, and Ney's lawyers, who sought leniency. Instead, Huvelle doled out a slightly tougher 2 1/2 -year sentence because, she said, Ney had "seriously betrayed the public's trust."

Huvelle told Ney: "You have a long way to go to make amends for what's happened."

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