June 22nd, 2007

Chris Keeley

CIA to Air Decades of Its Dirty Laundry

CIA to Air Decades of Its Dirty Laundry
Assassination Attempts Among Abuses Detailed

By Karen DeYoung and Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, June 22, 2007; A01


The CIA will declassify hundreds of pages of long-secret records detailing some of the intelligence agency's worst illegal abuses -- the so-called "family jewels" documenting a quarter-century of overseas assassination attempts, domestic spying, kidnapping and infiltration of leftist groups from the 1950s to the 1970s, CIA Director Michael V. Hayden said yesterday.

The documents, to be publicly released next week, also include accounts of break-ins and theft, the agency's opening of private mail to and from China and the Soviet Union, wiretaps and surveillance of journalists, and a series of "unwitting" tests on U.S. civilians, including the use of drugs.

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Chris Keeley

Barry Won't Go to Prison For Late Taxes, Judge Rules

Barry Won't Go to Prison For Late Taxes, Judge Rules
Prosecutors Claimed Action Was Willful

By Carol D. Leonnig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 22, 2007; B01


A federal judge ruled yesterday that prosecutors failed to prove that D.C. Council member Marion Barry "intentionally" and "willfully" failed to file his 2005 tax returns in violation of the probation he received for a tax conviction.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson said Barry's action could have been an innocent mistake, so there was no cause to revoke his probation and order him to prison.

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Chris Keeley

Hirst took the title on Thursday when Sotheby's sold his "Lullaby Spring" pill cabinet for 9.6 milli

June 22, 2007

CORRECTED: Hirst Most Expensive Living Artist In Record Week

Filed at 10:28 a.m. ET

(Corrects details of Johns' tenure as most expensive living artist at auction in first and fourth paragraphs, and removes reference to Johns' "False Start" in paragraph three)

By Jeremy Lovell

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Damien Hirst has been crowned the world's most expensive living artist at auction, lifting a title held for years by America's Jasper Johns.

It was the high point of a frenetic week of London art auctions that saw records tumbling like ninepins and which is likely to get close to $1 billion when it ends later on Friday.

Hirst took the title on Thursday when Sotheby's sold his "Lullaby Spring" pill cabinet for 9.6 million pounds ($19.1 million).

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Chris Keeley

U.S. warplanes dumped about 18 million gallons of the poisonous dioxin during the Vietnam War. The V

U.S. warplanes dumped about 18 million gallons of the poisonous dioxin during the Vietnam War. The Vietnamese government says this has left more than three million people disabled.Earlier this week a delegation of Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange traveled to New York where they are suing over three dozen chemical companies for manufacturing the toxin. The list of companies being sued include Dow Chemical and Monsanto. Two of the victims visited our Firehouse studio and described how Agent Orange has affected their lives. Nguyen Thi Hong was exposed to Agent Orange in 1964. She gave birth prematurely to three underweight children one of whom had a congenital heart defect. She was found to have cancer of the left breast. In addition, she also has cerebral anemia, bone metastasis, cirrhosis, gallstones and bladder-stones, varicose limbs, limb-skin ulcer, weak legs and limited range of movement. Nguyen Muoi wasn't born until after the war ended but has also been affected by Agent Orange. His father was a farmer who served as a cook in Aluoi Valley a ‘hot spot’ where Agent Orange was stored. I asked them to describe how the dioxin has affected them.


  • Nguyen Muoi and Nguyen Thi Hong. As Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange, they are both plaintiffs in a lawsuit against over three dozen U.S. chemical companies.


  • Merle Ratner and Jonathan Moore. Attorneys for the Agent Orange Victims. Ratner is co-coordinator of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign.
Chris Keeley

She sewed his zipper shut because she didn't trust him," he said.

The government has made a deal with the devil," he said.

Assistant U.S. Atty. John Scully walked over to the defense tables and pointed out the men on trial one by one as he addressed jurors in a low, tense voice. Frank Calabrese Sr., a reputed Outfit hit man charged in 13 slayings, sometimes used a length of rope to strangle his victims, Scully said on the first day of the landmark Family Secrets mob trial.

Reputed Outfit boss James Marcello, he said, lured Anthony Spilotro, the mob overseer in Las Vegas, and his brother, Michael, to their violent deaths.

Joey "the Clown" Lombardo, a reputed mobster for 40 years, was behind the slaying of a businessman who was shot in front of his wife and young child before he was to testify in court against Lombardo, the prosecutor said.

Paul "the Indian" Schiro, an associate of the Spilotros, assisted in the murder of a longtime friend, he said.

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Chris Keeley


Chris Keeley

Orgasm Addict

Orgasm Addict

Works by Linder Sterling 

Works by Linder Sterling Works by Linder Sterling at Galerie LH in Paris. "...Artiste plasticienne et musicienne issue de la scène rock de Manchester, Linder Sterling alias Linder est connue pour son travail de collage et de photographie (notamment pour la pochette d’ «Orgasm Addict» des Buzzcoks , 1977 ou bien «Your Arsenal» de Morrissey, 1992) et pour ses performances (The Working Class Goes To Paradise) mêlant musique expérimentale et danse mystique." (fr). Also... Embracing Many Mediums to Focus on the Message (New York Times, June 21, 2007) - Linder at the P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center.

Chris Keeley

Percilla Bejano

Percilla Bejano


Percilla the Monkey-girl 

Percilla Bejano - The Monkey-girl
postcard, 5.5 x 3.5 inches, circa 1940
photographer: unknown

Percilla was born 26 April 1911 in the town of Bayamon, just south of the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan. Percilla's claim to fame was a condition known as hypertrichosis, which is characterized by excessive hair growth and abnormal dentition (two rows of teeth in her case). Even as a child Percilla's hirsuteness drew attention from both the public at large and the medical community. As a baby, Percilla and her parents traveled to New York City to be examined by a team of doctors. She remained in New York for seven months before returning to Puerto Rico. 

Percilla's father, a native of Spain, thought his hairy daughter would make an excellent sideshow attraction, but didn't know how to go about it himself — especially as his knowledge of English was scant. On a subsequent trip to the States, Percilla's father approached showman Karl L. Lauther, who took an immediate shine to Percilla. Lauther put her on his show and hired a woman to help her father look after the little star, now known as "the Little Hairy Girl". Percilla's father stayed with her for a while, but was tragically shot and killed one night in Gainesville. According to Percilla's father's wishes, and with the help of an attorney, Lauther became Percilla's new adoptive father.

By all accounts Lauther treated Percilla well, but did not fail to exhibit his daughter at every possible opportunity. It was while in his employ that Percilla acquired the stage name she would carry for the rest of her career: The Monkey Girl. Lauther disliked the name (he is reported to have said, "She's my daughter, not some freak."), but it struck a chord with the crowd and stuck. To drive home the comparison, Lauther would exhibit Percilla with a trained chimpanzee named Josephine who rode a bicycle and smoked cigarettes.

It was while performing with the Johnny J. Jones Exposition that Percilla became acquainted with the love of her life, Emmitt Bejano, the Alligator-skinned Man (a.k.a. Lobello). A romance blossomed between the two and — to escape Lauther's protective wrath — the couple eloped one night in 1938, returning to the stage platform as the World's Strangest Married Couple. A year later Percilla gave birth to a daughter, Francine, but the infant quickly succumbed to pneumonia.

Percilla and Emmitt worked together for Ringling Brothers and other shows for a number of years. However, after spending several decades in the business the couple retired to a life away from prying eyes — where as Percilla put it, "The show's over." Percilla and Emmitt enjoyed many years of restful retirement together at their home in Tampa. Their long romance ended with Emmitt's death in 1995. Percilla herself passed away in her sleep in February 2001.


All grant my exterior appearance is strange and unusual but that does not hinder me from enjoying life to the fullest extent and from participating in the goodness life has to offer the same as yourself.
– statement from one of Percilla's pitchbooks
Chris Keeley

Owens said he believed Albert suffered from histrionic personality disorder, in which people have di

Owens said he believed Albert suffered from histrionic personality disorder, in which people have difficulty modulating their emotions and crave attention.

JT LeRoy: Is It Hoax or Business Fraud?

Filed at 12:25 p.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- For years, writer Laura Albert went to strange lengths to hide her identity behind an alter ego named JT LeRoy.

Friends donned wigs and posed as the fictitious LeRoy at book signings. They snookered journalists with a phony back story about a past as an underage male prostitute. Albert even made phone calls to a psychiatrist while posing as the troubled teen, and grabbed the attention of such authors as Tobias Wolff and Dave Eggers, and filmmaker Gus Van Sant.

A literary hoax? Yes. But is it fraud?

A federal jury in New York City began deciding Friday whether Albert defrauded a film producer who optioned the rights to her book ''Sarah'' by failing to reveal that LeRoy didn't exist.

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Chris Keeley

Attu sees all

Chris Keeley

The Radio for People Coalition at radioforpeople.org, which consists of the Pacifica Network, of gro

The Radio for People Coalition at radioforpeople.org, which consists of the Pacifica Network, of groups like Free Press, the Future of Music Coalition, many associated churches, schools, civil rights organizations are doing their best to get the word out. If listeners to this program care about building an infrastructure that can talk about local peace issues, about local political issues, about youth issues and about the diverse news that we need to survive, it is everyone's responsibility to tell people that now is the chance to build their own full-power stations, as well.

Chris Keeley

When you make a major documentary about the catastrophic state of the American health-care system, y

When you make a major documentary about the catastrophic state of the American health-care system, you’re bound to reassess your own personal health.

I caught up with “Sicko” filmmaker Michael Moore Thursday at the Ritz Carlton, and he shared his thoughts on weight loss, running and diet pills before rushing off to his rally at Millennium Park. Sicko opens June 29th. 

Here’s an edited transcript.

Q. How much sleep did you get last night?
A. Thank you for asking that. I got seven hours. A common denominator among big guys like me who are trying to take care of our health; we’re not getting enough sleep, and it’s an important part of the [weight loss] equation, but it’s rarely discussed.  What I’ve been telling people, especially guys like me from the Midwest who are never going to go to a spinning class, is get up and go for a walk, a good walk, 30 to 40 minutes a day. Sweat a little bit.

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Chris Keeley

The band's new album, ''Zeitgeist,'' is set for release next month.

Smashing Pumpkins to Perform in N.C.

Filed at 3:14 p.m. ET

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- When the Smashing Pumpkins reunited after seven years to plan a U.S. concert series, they made a surprising choice for their first shows: a small club in the mountains of North Carolina.

The Orange Peel, which has a capacity of 942 people, will host the alternative rock band when they open Saturday for a nine-show run in Asheville.

''It's a legendary band in a small setting,'' said Cory Gates, 33, of Asheville, a longtime fan who saw the Smashing Pumpkins play in New England in the mid-1990s. ''I don't know if you can get much better.''

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Chris Keeley

First introduced in 1987, anti-retroviral drugs—ARVs for short—block H.I.V.'s assault on the body's

First introduced in 1987, anti-retroviral drugs—ARVs for short—block H.I.V.'s assault on the body's immune system. 

Silvia Ng'andwe, 28, in late March 2007, Zambia.

Silvia Ng'andwe, 28, in late March 2007, Zambia. Below, Silvia after just 40 days on anti-retroviral drugs. Photographs by Antonin Kratochvil.

on a hilltop on the outskirts of Rwanda's capital, Kigali, where some 7 percent of the population is infected with H.I.V., the human retrovirus that causes aids.

Chris Keeley

travelling breeze