February 27th, 2008

Chris Keeley

Ramzy Baroud: "Abbas Needs a Miracle" (ARAB NEWS)

TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck
In the article transmitted below, PALESTINE CHRONICLE Editor Ramzy Baroud provides a real-world analysis of the dead-end, lose-lose situation currently faced by the Ramallah-based Palestinian leadership.
However, for all his professed optimism, Mahmoud Abbas does not appear totally divorced from reality. He has recently made public statements to the effect that the year 2008 offers the last chance for "peace" based on a "two-state solution" and that other alternatives will need to be considered if such a peace is not achieved this year.
Unfortunately, it appears that the "international community", having gathered for a few hours in Annapolis in November, sees no further role for itself beyond watching impassively as the habitual ritual of drift and delay plays out yet again.
The only hope is that the Palestinian people themselves, with or without the Ramallah-based leadership, will say "Enough!" at or before the end of 2008 and will then take their fate into their own hands and strike out in a new, more promising and more just
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Chris Keeley

Rami G. Khouri, "Muslims and Americans Want the Same Things"--2/27/08

Rami G. Khouri, "Muslims and Americans Want the Same Things"--2/27/08   

by Rami G. KhouriReleased: 27 Feb 2008

WASHINGTON, DC -- Every few years a book is published that has the potential to change perceptions of millions of people, and, by doing so, perhaps to change policies of governments for the better. I believe that just such a book is the one being published in a few weeks entitled Who Speaks for Islam, co-authored by John L. Esposito of Georgetown University, and Dalia Mogahed of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies.

This book analyzes the results of a global sample survey of one billion Muslims carried out in recent years, representing more than 90 percent of all Muslims in the world. It is published by Gallup Press, and comes out at a time when there is urgent and increasing need for more accuracy and breadth in dealing with the tensions, conflicts and misperceptions that plague relations between many in the United States and Muslim-majority societies.

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Chris Keeley

Victoria Falls Jacket.

Victoria Falls Jacket.

Victoria Falls Jacket     Unfortunate incident at Victoria Falls Hotel.
     Chap wearing a safari jacket asks for a table in the Livingstone Room and is refused: “Jackets are required, Sir.”
     The fellow protests, but the maitre d’ is firm; that safari jacket is merely a shirt.
     This jacket will prevent such embarrassment.
     It’s born to travel, with lots of big pockets, made of a cotton twill that’s more comfortable than canvas or artificial stuff.
     (How fabric that creates a sauna above 70° F. can be called “breathable” is beyond me.)
     At the same time, it has the look of a true jacket. Substantial and trim, not flimsy and baggy. You could navigate down the Zambezi and then proceed directly to high tea on back viewStanley’s Terrace without raising any eyebrows.
     Victoria Falls Jacket (No. 1636). Four buttoning, flapped pockets outside, three inside. Crisp notched collar with chin strap. Airy mesh half-lining. Pointed yoke, deep inverted pleats, and stitched-down Norfolk-style waist in back.
     Carry on, gentlemen.
     Men’s even sizes: 38 through 48.
     Color: Tobacco.

Chris Keeley

Ashcroft to Testify on No-Bid Contract

Ashcroft to Testify on No-Bid Contract

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft has agreed to testify before Congress on a lucrative no-bid government contract. Under the deal Ashcroft’s consulting firm would receive as much as $52 million dollars to monitor out-of-court settlements between prosecutors and corporations. Ashcroft was awarded the contract by New Jersey’s top federal prosecutor, Christopher Christie. Ashcroft was Christie’s boss during his stint as Attorney General.

Supreme Court to Rule on Exxon Oil Spill Damages

The Supreme Court is expected to hear opening statements today in a near twenty-year battle over the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Exxon is appealing a ruling ordering it to pay two-point-five-billion dollars in damages to Alaskan residents affected by the spill. Two years ago the company won a ruling halving the initial five billion dollar claim. In Washington Tuesday, Alaska governor Sarah Palin accused Exxon of corporate negligence.

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin: “That more than 32,000 Americans have suffered and continue to suffer from the devastating effects of the worst oil spill in our nation’s history. As the high court prepares to hear oral arguments in the is case, I’m going to remind them that it was almost 19 years ago that the Exxon Valdez tanker struck that reef, spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil on 1300 miles
of Alaska’s majestic, resource rich coastline.”

Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito has excused himself from the hearings because he owns ExxonMobil stock.

Chris Keeley

William F. Buckley Jr. Dies at 82

William F. Buckley Jr. Dies at 82

By Bart Barnes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 27, 2008; 1:16 PM


William F. Buckley Jr., 82, the intellectual founder of the modern conservative movement, who helped define the movement's doctrines of anti-communism, military strength, social order and a capitalist economy, died today at his home in Stamford, Conn. He had diabetes and emphysema, but the precise cause of death has not been determined.

Buckley was an editor, syndicated columnist, television and radio talk show host, novelist and a witty and gifted orator and raconteur. In 1955, at the age of 29, five years after graduating from Yale, he founded the National Review, a magazine whose mission, he declared, would be "to stand athwart history, yelling, 'Stop!' "

In his public persona, Buckley was often described as a "Renaissance man of the right." He had been a covert operative of the Central Intelligence Agency. He spoke with a patrician accent and he was urbane, charming and erudite. His wit was trenchant and his sarcasm biting. Lyndon B. Johnson, he once said, was "a man of his most recent word."

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Chris Keeley

Dan Shomron, Leader of Entebbe Airport Rescue, Is Dead at 70

Dan Shomron, Leader of Entebbe Airport Rescue, Is Dead at 70

Lt. Gen. Dan Shomron, a former chief of Israel’s general staff and the paratroop commander who planned and led the storied 1976 raid in which Israeli troops freed 103 hijacked hostages at Entebbe Airport in Uganda, died yesterday in Israel. He was 70.

The cause was the effects of a stroke he suffered three weeks ago, a spokeswoman at Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv, where General Shomron had first been treated, told The Associated Press. He died at the Beit Lowenstein Rehabilitation Center in Raanana, The Jerusalem Post said.

On the night of July 3, 1976, Israeli commandos and paratroopers flew 2,500 miles in transport planes to the Entebee airport, surprised and killed hijackers who had demanded the release of Palestinian prisoners, rescued the captives taken from a hijacked Air France plane, and flew back to Israel with them.

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Chris Keeley



Roland Kelts is a keen observer of both American and Japanese pop culture, placing him in a unique position to discuss the rise of anime in America and the West."
- Martha McPhee, author of Bright Angel Time

pete, book

Pete, Kay, book
Japanamerica, by Roland Kelts

Japanamerica is the book I have been waiting for. It tells the incredible story of the way the colorful and eccentric world of Japanese entertainment and popular art has enriched our lives in the West. But it also deals with why it has a poetry that has taken Americans many years to understand and feel able to echo. Japan's holocaust was equally traumatic to the ones experienced by many Americans, and perhaps more sudden, more extreme and more focused. This story shows how today we all use movies, comics, music, art and advertising to face our past and its traumas, rather than to escape. The Japanese methods of facing the past are restrained and unusual, but ultimately glorious, and mean more to us in our post-9/11 era than ever they could before. Roland Kelts, part American, part Japanese, brings real insight to the way this union of hearts and souls through entertainment will continue to grow and draw two very different worlds together.”
- Pete Townshend, The Who


Chris Keeley

Mr. Bulger, 77, is wanted for 18 counts of murder and other charges, has a $1,000,000 bounty on his

Mr. Bulger, 77, is wanted for 18 counts of murder and other charges, has a $1,000,000 bounty on his head and the expectation that he is “armed and extremely dangerous,” according to the F.B.I.’s news release (pdf).


Photograph of James J. Bulger taken in 1994
Photograph taken in 1994
Photograph of Jams J. Bulger taken in 1994
Photograph taken in 1994
Photograph of James J. Bulger taken in 2000
Photograph altered in 2000

Graphic link to a video of James J. Bulger
James J. Bulger Video
[no audio] Transcript
of video below

Icon of audio speaker
Audio with voice
of James J. Bulger

Transcript of Bulger Video:

Video footage of Top Ten Fugitive, James J. Bulger, at the Lancaster Street Garage and the Howard Johnsons in 1980 in Boston, Massachusetts. Video provided by Massachusetts State Police, a member of the Bulger Fugitive Task Force.

Aliases: Thomas F. Baxter, Mark Shapeton, Jimmy Bulger, James Joseph Bulger, James J. Bulger, Jr., James Joseph Bulger, Jr., Tom Harris, Tom Marshall, "Whitey"




Date of Birth:September 3, 1929Hair:White/Silver
Place of Birth:Boston, MassachusettsEyes:Blue
Height:5'7" to 5'9"Complexion:Light
Weight:150 to 160 poundsSex:Male
Scars and Marks:None known
Remarks: Bulger is an avid reader with an interest in history. He is known to frequent libraries and historic sites. Bulger is currently on the heart medication Atenolol (50 mg) and maintains his physical fitness by walking on beaches and in parks with his female companion, Catherine Elizabeth Greig. Bulger and Greig love animals and may frequent animal shelters. Bulger has been known to alter his appearance through the use of disguises. He has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, and Mexico.
Chris Keeley

Noam Chomsky: International Terror Most-Wanted List By Noam Chomsky, Tomdispatch.com Posted on Feb

Noam Chomsky: International Terror Most-Wanted List

By Noam Chomsky, Tomdispatch.com Posted on

February 26, 2008, Printed on February 27, 2008




On February 13, Imad Moughniyeh, a senior commander of Hizbollah, was assassinated in Damascus. "The world is a better place without this man in it," State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack said: "one way or the other he was brought to justice." Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell added that Moughniyeh has been "responsible for more deaths of Americans and Israelis than any other terrorist with the exception of Osama bin Laden."


Joy was unconstrained in Israel too, as "one of the U.S. and Israel's most wanted men" was brought to justice, the London Financial Times reported. Under the heading, "A militant wanted the world over," an accompanying story reported that he was "superseded on the most-wanted list by Osama bin Laden" after 9/11 and so ranked only second among "the most wanted militants in the world."


The terminology is accurate enough, according to the rules of Anglo-American discourse, which defines "the world" as the political class in Washington and London (and whoever happens to agree with them on specific matters). It is common, for example, to read that "the world" fully supported George Bush when he ordered the bombing of Afghanistan. That may be true of "the world," but hardly of the world, as revealed in an international Gallup Poll after the bombing was announced. Global support was slight. In Latin America, which has some experience with U.S. behavior, support ranged from 2% in Mexico to 16% in Panama, and that support was conditional upon the culprits being identified (they still weren't eight months later, the FBI reported), and civilian targets being spared (they were attacked at once). There was an overwhelming preference in the world for diplomatic/judicial measures, rejected out of hand by "the world."


Following the Terror Trail


In the present case, if "the world" were extended to the world, we might find some other candidates for the honor of most hated arch-criminal. It is instructive to ask why this might be true.


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