December 31st, 2007

Chris Keeley

Steve Clemons/Agonizing Over the Candidates and Who They Really Are

From: Steven Clemons <>
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2007 16:37:08 -0500
Subject: From Steve Clemons/Agonizing Over the Candidates and Who They Really Are

December 30, 2007
Agonizing Over the Candidates and Who They Really Are
by Steve Clemons

Will Hillary Clinton really keep stroking the most anti-Castro crazed elder generation of Miami's Cuban-American community? Or will she look at the demographic and polling data that show that most Cuban-Americans want a new course in US-Cuba relations, particularly with regard to travel to and from Cuba for Cuban-American families?

Some near Hillary Clinton tell me that given Fidel Castro's recent hint that he is moving from the front line of Cuba's political machine to a row further back (or up) in order to make way for a new generation of leaders, she is considering a full-scale policy review of her stated US-Cuba policy (i.e., potentially changing her position away from embracing the Bush administration's direction in US-Cuba relations).

This would be good -- but the bottom line is that we are forced to guess about what she might do and don't have certainty about what she will do.

Will Barack Obama tilt more towards campaign advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski's vision of tough-minded calculation of how to re-sculpt America's place in the world or will he tilt more towards the priorities of his other campaign advisor Anthony Lake?

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Chris Keeley

Woah -- Sacha Baron Cohen (Ali G, Borat) will play Abbie Hoffman in an upcoming Spielberg adaptation

Woah -- Sacha Baron Cohen (Ali G, Borat) will play Abbie Hoffman in an upcoming Spielberg adaptation of the Trial of the Chicago 7. I'm a huge Hoffman fan -- his (somewhat fictionalized) autobiography is one of my favorite books -- and Cohen's the kind of merry anarchist who strikes me as the perfect and unlikely casting choice.

Hoffman went on to become an irascible celebrity who, later diagnosed with a bipolar disorder, killed himself with pills in 1989.

Baron Cohen will not have to undergo a big transformation to play the part. Hoffman, who was Jewish, attended Berkeley University in California, while Baron Cohen, an urbane Orthodox Jew more than 6ft tall, cut his teeth entertaining friends at Christ’s College Cambridge with subversive wit and surreal pranks.

Link (via Digg)

Chris Keeley

Dr. Keeley said in 1892. "There is a happy and cordial enthusiasm over a friend's recovery."

If Dr. Keeley Could See You Now,
You'd Be Headed for 'Jabs'
WSJ December 31, 2007; Page B1

Dr. Leslie E. Keeley would be appalled by how many people are getting drunk -- "inebriated," he would say -- on New Year's Eve. More than a century ago, Dr. Keeley predicted that in the future, "alcohol would be banished from the face of the earth, and drunkenness would be dead."

In the late 19th century, Dr. Keeley claimed he had invented a scientific cure for alcoholism with a 95% success rate. His Keeley Institute in the small town of Dwight, Ill., was the Betty Ford Center of the era. At its peak, the institute treated some 700 patients a day, and "gone to Dwight" became shorthand for checking into rehab. He promised his patients that at the end of their four-week treatment, they would not only be sober, they wouldn't be tempted to drink alcohol again.

His slogan was, "Drunkenness is a disease, and I can cure it."

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Chris Keeley

American voters will have the wisdom to grant the awesome powers of the presidency to someone who ha

American voters will have the wisdom to grant the awesome powers of the presidency to someone who has the integrity, principle and decency to use them honorably

NY Times - 

December 31, 2007

Looking at America

There are too many moments these days when we cannot recognize our country. Sunday was one of them, as we read the account in The Times of how men in some of the most trusted posts in the nation plotted to cover up the torture of prisoners by Central Intelligence Agency interrogators by destroying videotapes of their sickening behavior. It was impossible to see the founding principles of the greatest democracy in the contempt these men and their bosses showed for the Constitution, the rule of law and human decency.

It was not the first time in recent years we’ve felt this horror, this sorrowful sense of estrangement, not nearly. This sort of lawless behavior has become standard practice since Sept. 11, 2001.

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Chris Keeley

UK declares War on Terror over

UK declares War on Terror over
Chris Spurgeon says: "According to a story last week in the London Daily Mail newspaper, the British government has had enough with the "War on Terror" hype. (Link is to, one of the many sites that has reprinted the Daily Mail article.)"
Sir Ken Macdonald said terrorist fanatics were not soldiers fighting a war but simply members of an aimless "death cult."

The Director of Public Prosecutions said: 'We resist the language of warfare, and I think the government has moved on this. It no longer uses this sort of language."

London is not a battlefield, he said.

"The people who were murdered on July 7 were not the victims of war. The men who killed them were not soldiers," Macdonald said. "They were fantasists, narcissists, murderers and criminals and need to be responded to in that way."

Good to see the UK coming to its senses. Hopefully the US won't be far behind. Link
Chris Keeley

Smith immediately launched into Jefferson Airplane's psychedelic-rock classic "White Rabbit." ("One

Smith immediately launched into Jefferson Airplane's psychedelic-rock classic "White Rabbit." ("One pill makes you larger/And one pill makes you small/And the ones that Mother gives you/Don't do anything at all.")

Smith's vocals were somewhat ragged, but the godmother of punk's performance set an often quiet tone, including a tender version of the Christmas carol "O Holy Night."

Patti Smith Has Spoken
Singer Takes Liberties With Lyrics, and More

By J. Freedom du Lac
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 31, 2007; C01


Most rock artists pump up their performances with instrumental solos. The iconoclastic Patti Smith fills hers with verbal solos.

It's not for nothing that she's known as punk rock's poet laureate.

As always, Smith wasn't content to let the scripted lyrics carry her sold-out show Friday night at the 9:30 club. She spent a good chunk of her 135 minutes onstage extemporaneously singing and speaking (and sometimes speak-singing), treating the set list as a mere outline.

"My Blakean Year," for instance, was embellished with words about human hearts and peace and love and mercy. Forever the provocateur, Smith even prefaced the song with an ad-libbed verse about the District's campaign for statehood. Nodding to the news of the day, Smith also addressed the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in an apparently improvised spoken-word piece set to buzzing music.

Smith took lyrical liberties, too, with pieces that weren't her own. (No surprise, really, given that she opened her very first album, 1975's epochal "Horses," with a version of Van Morrison's "Gloria" to which she'd added the now-legendary opening line: "Jesus died for somebody's sins/But not mine.") Here, a downshifted version of Nirvana's raging anthem "Smells Like Teen Spirit" included a few extra words about its author, Kurt Cobain. And a dramatic cover of the Jimi Hendrix classic "Are You Experienced?" included a poetic flourish in which Smith referenced Pinocchio, the belly of the whale, human flowers and tiger maulings. (It sounded significantly better live than it looks on this page, reader. Really.) More than three decades after she shook up the rock scene with her raw, electrifying blend of street poetry and garage-rock passion, Smith remains a mesmerizing and potent presence.

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Chris Keeley

Further Comment on Benazir Bhutto Assassination

This is a column by my friend and correspondent Elizabeth Boleman-Herring, who writes a weekly commentary under the rubric "Ruminant With A View" on the free website . Once there click on Opinion, and scroll down to Ruminant With a View and find her latest column at the top of the archived list. I'll now copy the text (if I can manage that) to save you the trouble. Apologies for her mention of me and the Moral Minority (that's y'all, as we say in the South).

It's Never A Lone Gunman Above The Grassy Knoll
Ruminant With A View

by Elizabeth Boleman-Herring

TEANECK, NJ — (OfficialWire) — 12/31/07 -- Elizabeth Boleman- Herring Two articles caught my basilisk eye in November (which now seems so long ago, it could be another century).

On November 26, Time Magazine, one of the plethora of tilted, condensed, Journalism-for Dummies "journals" we publish over this way (and sell for $4.95, which is extortion, pure and simple), ran a story on "The Average American." They called the piece something else, but that's really what it covered: who we (mostly) are; what we (mostly) think; what we (mostly) do.

The statistics confirmed something I've long suspected: despite my passport, annual IRS payments and birth certificate, I am not an American. In fact, I'm so far from the average, that I wonder if I'm even human (something many of my acquaintances have long suspected).

Let me just offer for your delectation some figures. Average Americans are 36.6 years old; only 17 percent of them exercise for over an hour a week-the rest, zip; only half can name a single Gospel and ten percent think Joan of Arc was Noah's wife; most prefer figure skating to NASCAR; most live in the states where they were born (Ignorance and Indifference?); most pray, but do not floss, daily; most huddle for 95 percent of their day indoors where they spend 2-hours online, consume 20 teaspoons of added sugar per diem, and save no money.

The average American family (2.6 members) owns more TVs than it has people, watches 2 hours and 35 minutes of TV a day, uses google and yahoo, predominantly, and spends more time in restaurants than grocery stores.
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