January 25th, 2008

Chris Keeley

A Growing Desperation

 A Growing Desperation
Housing, Economic Slumps May Portend Rise In Ranks of Region's Homeless, Survey Shows

By Mary Otto
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 25, 2008; B01


Faith McHale sat on a mattress in a Laurel church hall, pondering a photograph of her toddler daughter. Her eyes welled up with tears. The mother ached for her child, whom she hadn't seen for a week. The girl is living with friends so she will not have to stay in a shelter.

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Chris Keeley

French Bank Says Rogue Trader Lost $7 Billion

French Bank Says Rogue Trader Lost $7 Billion

PARIS — A French bank announced Thursday that it had lost $7.2 billion, not because of complex subprime loans, but the old-fashioned way — because a 31-year-old rogue trader made bad bets on stocks and then, in trying to cover up those losses, dug himself deeper into a hole.

Société Générale, one of France’s largest and most respected banks, said an unassuming midlevel employee who made about 100,000 euros ($147,000) a year — identified by others as Jérôme Kerviel — managed to evade multiple layers of computer controls and audits for as long as a year, stacking up 4.9 billion euros in losses for the bank.

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Chris Keeley

An Expressionist in Albuquerque

An Expressionist in Albuquerque

Like Georgia O’Keeffe, Stuart Davis and others, Richard Diebenkorn went to New Mexico and had a breakthrough. He arrived in Albuquerque in January 1950, with his wife, Phyllis, and their young son. He had been teaching at the California School of Fine Arts but had decided to go to graduate school at the University of New Mexico, courtesy of the G.I. Bill, so that he could paint full time. He was 27 years old. 

Diebenkorn’s progress during his 30-month stay in New Mexico is the subject of a radiant hodgepodge of a show, full of striving, stumbling and sudden effortless glides at the Grey Art Gallery at New York University. Diebenkorn would later go on to make grander, more complex paintings, both figurative and abstract, than the ones here. But too many of these later works are tamped down by his studious reserve and exquisite touch; they balance on the cusp of vitality without really getting their feet wet. In many ways his painting was never freer, less predictable or more full of the future than in New Mexico.

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Chris Keeley

(no subject)

 Ali Campbell Says He's Leaving UB40

Filed at 2:01 p.m. ET

LONDON (AP) -- Ali Campbell has quit UB40 after almost 30 years, citing management problems.

His bandmates, however, said the 48-year-old singer left to pursue solo projects.

In a statement on his Web site, Campbell said Friday that ''management difficulties, which have been ongoing for almost five years, had become intolerable.''

''No words can express how upset I feel today that I have been forced to make this decision,'' he wrote.

UB40 was founded in Birmingham, central England. The band fused reggae and pop to popular effect, notably on hit versions of ''Red Red Wine,'' ''I Got You Babe'' and ''(I Can't Help) Falling in Love With You.''

The band was named after Unemployment Benefit Form 40, the government document used by welfare claimants.

Campbell said UB40, which includes his brother Robin, would continue without him.

In a separate statement, UB40 said Campbell ''has taken the decision to focus on his solo career and in doing so, could not give his full commitment to UB40.''

''The other band members of UB40 are naturally disappointed and saddened after being together as a band unit and as good friends for almost 30 years,'' the statement said.

UB40's upcoming ''24/7,'' which was recorded with Campbell, will be released as planned in May.


On the Net:



Ali Campbell:


Chris Keeley

Marijuana vending machine

Marijuana vending machine

Two medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles have installed pot vending machines. They're accessible 24 hours a day and monitored by security guards. From Thrillist:
 Images Maps 2048 After cinching up your doctor's consultation, hit an AVM location to get your prescription approved, fingerprint taken, and a prepaid credit card loaded with your profile: dosage (3.5 or 7 grams, up to 1oz a week) and strain preference (choice of five, including OG Cush and Granddaddy Purple, the mildly hallucinogenic forebear to Prince). Then day or night, all you do is hit a machine and walk away with enough vacuum-sealed, plastic-encapsulated cheeba to adequately treat your illness.
Chris Keeley

giving a Mancunian guitarist a ride to a downtown airport hotel after he had just played the big are


giving a Mancunian guitarist a ride to a downtown airport hotel after he had just played the big arena north of Atlanta. When he saw that Van Halen were scheduled to play at the same venue in February, he proceeded to tell a very funny story about when he met Van Halen in the year after Diamond Dave was kicked out of the band in 1986. Names and places to this story are unimportant (if I were telling the story in person, they obviously would though) but he tells of Sammy Hagar being overly friendly, Eddie Van Halen looking like a smiling retard the entire time on stage and Alex being the worst drummer he'd ever seen. Utter hilarity.

Then again, if Van Halen just kept with what worked, the "dark years" (aka "Anything With Sammy") would never have happened. Sure, they had number one songs and albums, but dammit, Dave was the soul of the band! The zen-cum-slapstick comedian of the group! I defy you to prove me otherwise.

Chris Keeley

Uri writes, "It is impossible not to feel exhilaration when masses of

Distinguished Recipients
> FM: John Whitbeck
> Transmitted as an attachment are some thoughts on the recent Gaza events
> from Uri Avnery, who, tomorrow, will be one of the leaders of an Israeli
> relief convoy of trucks bearing necessities of life and seeking to break
> the siege of Gaza from the north.
> Hosni Mubarak had ordered that the Rafah Wall be resealed by 1300 GMT
> today. However, Palestinians have continued to knock holes in the wall,
> and, at least as of now, the Egyptian police and soldiers have not
> resorted to the lethal brutality necessary to to achieve the difficult
> task assigned to them.
> Something momentous MIGHT be happening before our eyes. After all, why
> should Egyptian police and soldiers collaborate in the persecution of
> their Palestinian brothers for the benefit of the worst enemies of their
> country, their people and their religion? Wouldn't it be more worthwhile
> and satisfying for them to restore Arab rule and a sense of self-respect
> to Egypt?
> It may soon be prudent for Mr. Mubarak to emulate the example of his own
> moral and spiritual brothers in the former South Lebanon Army and cross
> the border into Israel (or fly into exile) before his compatriots can deal
> with him as they feel he deserves.
> The fall of the Berlin Wall after the East German armed forces decided not
> to fight to defend injustice and oppression brought a wave of democracy
> sweeping across Eastern Europe. It is not inconceivable that the fall of
> the Rafah Wall after Egyptian armed forces decide not to fight to defend
> injustice and oppression could bring a wave of democracy -- or at least
> long overdue change toward governments more responsive to the will of
> their people -- sweeping across the Middle East.
> It would not be the "New Middle East" sought by the Bush regime, but it
> could be a new Middle East.
> As Uri writes, "It is impossible not to feel exhilaration when masses of
> oppressed and hungry people break down the wall that is shutting them in,
> their eyes radiant, embracing everyone they meet." When the Berlin Wall
> fell, people throughout the West felt exhilaration. It is only to be
> expected that people throughout the Middle East should feel exhilaration
> in witnessing the breakthroughs in the Rafah Wall. If, in fact, it were to
> be successfully resealed -- and by an Arab regime at the demand of Israel
> and America -- it is only to be expected that people throughout the Middle
> East would feel rage.
Chris Keeley

Worse than a Crime

Worse than a Crime

Uri Avnery

Jan 26, 2008


IT LOOKED like the fall of the Berlin wall. And not only did it look like it. For a moment, the Rafah crossing was the Brandenburg Gate.


It is impossible not to feel exhilaration when masses of oppressed and hungry people break down the wall that is shutting them in, their eyes radiant, embracing everybody they meet - to feel so even when it is your own government that erected the wall in the first place.


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