March 10th, 2008

Chris Keeley

Bush in December 2002: War “Inevitable”

Bush in December 2002: War “Inevitable”

One of the key architects of the Iraq war has revealed new information on the run-up to the invasion. In a new book defending the war and his own role in planning it, former undersecretary of defense Douglas Feith quotes President Bush as telling National Security Council meeting in December 2002 that “war is inevitable.” The statement came weeks before UN weapons inspectors reported their findings in Iraq and months before Bush delivered his ultimatum that Saddam Hussein leave the country or face invasion. Feith also criticizes former Secretary of State Colin Powell for publicly cultivating an image as a war skeptic without ever expressing any private opposition. The Senate Intelligence Committee is expected release a long-awaited report this week on the Bush administration’s intelligence claims in the run-up to invading Iraq.

Judge Rules Chertoff Broke Law in Pushing Border Wall

And in Texas, a federal judge has ruled Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff violated federal law in his efforts to build a massive wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. The ruling says Chertoff failed to adequately negotiate with homeowners before he filed suit to condemn their land and allow building efforts to begin.

Chris Keeley

Miroslav Tichý

Miroslav Tichý 

http://www.tanyabonakdargallery.com/exhibit.php?exhibit_id=194



Miroslav Tichý Miroslav Tichý at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York. "...Using self-made cameras, constructed from tin cans, bottle caps and plastic, Tichý captured the poetry of everyday life in photographic images. Making only one print from each negative, Tichý created compositions featuring mainly anonymous female characters who lent themselves unwittingly to his practice. Taking mothers, students, waitresses and others as his live models, situated on park benches, sunbathing, or even on TV screens, these intimately scaled black and white prints often feature hand-drawn details and a washy, mottled print quality. Some of the works feature elaborate ink or watercolor, cardboard framing elements. The resulting works fall dynamically between painting and photography, between image and object, embracing chance, and time in a unique process of presentation and production."



http://www.tanyabonakdargallery.com/exhibit.php?exhibit_id=194
Chris Keeley

the blunderbuss impact

the blunderbuss impact 

March 10, 2008
Editorial

Prison Nation

After three decades of explosive growth, the nation’s prison population has reached some grim milestones: More than 1 in 100 American adults are behind bars. One in nine black men, ages 20 to 34, are serving time, as are 1 in 36 adult Hispanic men.

Nationwide, the prison population hovers at almost 1.6 million, which surpasses all other countries for which there are reliable figures. The 50 states last year spent about $44 billion in tax dollars on corrections, up from nearly $11 billion in 1987. Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan and Oregon devote as much money or more to corrections as they do to higher education.

These statistics, contained in a new report from the Pew Center on the States, point to a terrible waste of money and lives. They underscore the urgent challenge facing the federal government and cash-strapped states to reduce their overreliance on incarceration without sacrificing public safety. The key, as some states are learning, is getting smarter about distinguishing between violent criminals and dangerous repeat offenders, who need a prison cell, and low-risk offenders, who can be handled with effective community supervision, electronic monitoring and mandatory drug treatment programs, combined in some cases with shorter sentences.

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Chris Keeley

4 results for: blunderbuss

4 results for: blunderbuss
blun·der·buss      [bluhn-der-buhs] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1.a short musket of wide bore with expanded muzzle to scatter shot, bullets, or slugs at close range.
2.an insensitive, blundering person.

[Origin: 1645–55; < D donderbus (equiv. to donder thunder + bus gun, box1) with donder replaced by blunder. See harquebus]
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This
blun·der·buss       (blŭn'dər-bŭs')  Pronunciation Key 
n.  
  1. A short musket of wide bore and flaring muzzle, formerly used to scatter shot at close range.
  2. A person regarded as clumsy and stupid.


[Alteration of Dutch donderbus : donder, thunder (from Middle Dutch doner; see (s)tenə- in Indo-European roots) + bus, gun (from Middle Dutch busse, tube, from Latin buxis, box; see box1).]

(Download Now or Buy the Book)
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Online Etymology Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This
blunderbuss 
1654, from Du. donderbus, from donder "thunder" + bus "gun" (originally "box, tube"), altered by resemblance to blunder.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper
WordNet - Cite This Source - Share This
blunderbuss

noun
a short musket of wide bore with a flared muzzle 

WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.
Chris Keeley

please thank Rep. Paul for his brave actions on Wednesday

 

On Wednesday, March 5, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 951, which condemns the ongoing Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, holding both Iran and Syria responsible for "sponsoring terror attacks." Additionally, the resolution claims that "those responsible for launching rocket attacks against Israel routinely embed their production facilities and launch sites amongst the Palestinian civilian population, utilizing them as human shields …". For the full text of House Resolution 951, please click here.

This resolution problematically includes a strong defense of the recent Israeli incursions in Gaza. The following is one such exert: "Whereas the inadvertent inflicting of civilian casualties as a result of defensive military operations aimed at military targets, while deeply regrettable, is not at all morally equivalent to the deliberate targeting of civilian populations as practiced by Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist groups…"

The resolution passed the House with an unequivocal majority of 404 to 1 with four representatives voting present and nineteen abstaining. Who was the lone Member of Congress to stand up to the Israel Lobby? Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) not only voted against HR 951, but also made a very strong statement explaining why he opposed such a biased pro-Israel statement. 

Below is Rep. Paul's statement he gave to the House before the vote:

Mr. Speaker I rise in opposition to H. Res. 951, a resolution to condemn Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli civilians. As one who is consistently against war and violence, I obviously do not support the firing of rockets indiscriminately into civilian populations. I believe it is appalling that Palestinians are firing rockets that harm innocent Israelis, just as I believe it is appalling that Israel fires missiles into Palestinian areas where children and other non-combatants are killed and injured.

Unfortunately, legislation such as this is more likely to perpetuate violence in the Middle East than contribute to its abatement. It is our continued involvement and intervention - particularly when it appears to be one-sided - that reduces the incentive for opposing sides to reach a lasting peace agreement.

Additionally, this bill will continue the march toward war with Iran and Syria, as it contains provocative language targeting these countries. The legislation oversimplifies the Israel/Palestine conflict and the larger unrest in the Middle East by simply pointing the finger at Iran and Syria. This is another piece in a steady series of legislation passed in the House that intensifies enmity between the United States and Iran and Syria. My colleagues will recall that we saw a similar steady stream of provocative legislation against Iraq in the years before the US attack on that country.

I strongly believe that we must cease making proclamations involving conflicts that have nothing to do with the United States. We incur the wrath of those who feel slighted while doing very little to slow or stop the violence.

The Council for the National Interest denounces H.R. 951 and encourages our members to call their Representative to let them know that this approval of Israeli aggression and flagrant human rights abuses is unacceptable. To find out how your Representative voted, please click here.

In addition, please thank Rep. Paul for his brave actions on Wednesday. Contact his office today and express your gratitude by calling (202) 225-2831.


Council for the National Interest Foundation
1250 4th Street SW, Suite WG-1 · Washington, DC 20024
800.296.6958 · 202.863.2951 · Fax: 202.863.2952
http://cnifoundation.org/
Chris Keeley

House to Hold Hearing Wed. on Military Aid to Israel

House to Hold Hearing Wed. on Military Aid to Israel

 

Thanks for signing up to help us organize to cut off military aid to Israel and/or endorsing our letter to the Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs calling on it to cut off military aid to Israel.

We've just learned that next Wednesday morning, March 12, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs will hold a hearing on the FY2009 budget for international affairs, including the President's request for $2.55 billion in military aid to Israel, a 9% increase in actual spending from 2007.

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Chris Keeley

Colorado

 Colorado
1. Colorado Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Denver
2. Friends of Sabeel-Colorado, Boulder
3. Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, Boulder
4. Students for Peace and Justice, Boulder
5.
Women's International League of Peace and Freedom-Boulder Chapter, Boulder 

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Chris Keeley

Nicholas Kristof on the "Muslim slurs" being leveled against Barack Obama

TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck
 
Transmitted below is a timely article by NEW YORK TIMES columnist Nicholas Kristof on the "Muslim slurs" being leveled against Barack Obama and what they say about America and Americans.
 
For several decades, it has been apparent that, in the United States, the only socially acceptable form of racism is anti-Arab racism and the only socially acceptable form of bigotry is anti-Muslim bigotry. Needless to say, this reality has not gone unnoticed in the Arab and Muslim worlds.
 
In this context, it was reported in today's ARAB NEWS (Jeddah) that a Republican Congressman from Iowa, a certain Steve King, has suggested in a published interview that, if Obama were to be elected president, "Al-Qaida, the radicals and their supporters will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on September 11, because they will declare victory in this war on terror."
 
On the contrary, as I have previously discussed with my Saudi Arabian partner (who knew Osama bin Laden before he was a superstar), Osama's preferred candidate for president would unquestionably be John McCain, a professional killer who proclaims fighting "Islamic terror" to be the preeminent challege of the 21st century and who promises perpetual war.
 
Osama and those similarly inclined wish their Muslim market of potential supporters to believe that America is as evil -- and as irremediably hostile to Islam and Muslims -- as they have long proclaimed it to be. For jihadis, George W. Bush has been a dream come true beyong imagining -- which is no doubt why Osama weighed in with a helpful video "against" Bush just before the 2004 election. It is also why my partner fears that, if there is not a "false flag" attack against America, designed to ensure McCain's election, just before this year's election, there may well be a genuine one inspired by Osama, designed to achieve the same result.
 
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Chris Keeley

In the finale Marlo walked out of a meeting of real estate developers and found himself back on a co

In the finale Marlo walked out of a meeting of real estate developers and found himself back on a corner, confronted by minor hoodlums, no longer really welcome even there. And that was a vindication for Omar, whose Ahab-sized obsession to punish Marlo rose from the grave: Omar died goading Marlo to come back down to the street, and Marlo finally did, only to be taunted by corner boys loyal to Omar’s legacy. 

March 10, 2008
Television Review | 'The Wire'

So Many Characters, Yet So Little Resolution

After all these years, all those dead bodies and so many criminal contortions of the law, the wiretap in “The Wire” didn’t bring the bad guys to justice.

Perfect.

Technology and good intentions couldn’t win out in Sunday night’s finale of “The Wire.” The best and most dyspeptic police drama on television would never conclude with a triumph of good over evil. Victories were few, and Pyrrhic.

Truth flickered here and there, but never really came to light. Some people received their comeuppance, but most didn’t. Police work faltered and recouped — a tattered, tainted form of justice was meted out, sort of. Some people were killed or worse. (Alma, an honest reporter at The Baltimore Sun, was exiled to the Carroll County bureau.) A few deserving people came out ahead, or at least even, but nothing really changed: the drug trade thrives and the system in Baltimore drifts on, corrupt and self-sustaining, held together by convenience and a lie too big to bring down.

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Chris Keeley

NINE INCH NAILS

By JON PARELES

NINE INCH NAILS

“Ghosts I-IV”

(The Null Corporation)

Anything Radiohead can do, Trent Reznor can do his way. Nine Inch Nails, his recording project, has joined Radiohead among the million-sellers who are now free agents in the digital era, and his first move is radical: “Ghosts I-IV,” an album made to be shared and altered freely.

“Ghosts I-IV” is 36 instrumental tracks (or near-instrumental, since human voices are among the sounds) and a coordinated set of elegantly eerie photographs. It’s available as a high-fidelity, easily copied download for $5, a two-CD set for $16.99 (including shipping) and in deluxe versions from ghosts.nin.com; in April there will be a retail four-LP vinyl version for $39. The opening nine tracks are also available free, from ghosts.nin.com. Instead of a standard copyright, Mr. Reznor gave the music a Creative Commons license; it can be shared and reworked as long as music built on “Ghosts” is noncommercial and attributed to Nine Inch Nails.

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Chris Keeley

Diseases Of The Eye

The fine folks at Morbid Anatomy spotted this delightful 1905 book, "Manual Of The Diseases Of The Eye" by Charles Henry My on Google Book Search. It's filled with curious illustrations, some more tear-inducing than others. Seen here, "The Media As Seen with Oblique Illumination and the Ophthalmoscope at a Distance. Pupil Dilated."
Link  

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Chris Keeley

Sam Hamrick, RIP

Sam Hamrick, RIP

This obit does not do Sam justice, but it is something at least, in the NYTimes. Sam was one of the greats of the Foreign Service in my time there, outspoken, ethical, serious, intelligent, humorous, reliable, and "not successful" for all of the wrong reasons. His passing depresses me. He redeemed himself with his wonderful post-retirement writing, which is covered somewhat in this obit. The wonderful people are passing on. Bob Keeley

March 10, 2008
Samuel J. Hamrick, Who Wrote as W. T. Tyler, Dies at 78
By STUART LAVIETES

Samuel J. Hamrick, a former officer in the Foreign Service who, under the pseudonym W. T. Tyler, wrote spy novels about the adventures of burnt-out cases, died on Feb. 29 at his home in Boston, Va. He was 78.

The cause was colon cancer, said his companion, Nancy Ely-Raphel.

Mr. Hamrick, who served in United States embassies in Lebanon, Congo, Somalia and Ethiopia, published his first novel immediately after leaving the State Department in 1980. The novel, "The Man Who Lost the War" (Dial Press), tells the story of a disillusioned Central Intelligence Agency operative at the time of the Berlin Wall crisis in the early 1960s.

In his next novels, Mr. Hamrick turned his attention to the East-West proxy wars in Africa. "The Ants of God," also published by Dial, in 1981, is about an American mercenary in Sudan, and "Rogue's March," published the next year by Harper & Row, focuses on a traitorous intelligence officer in Congo based on Kim Philby, the notorious British counterspy.

"Rogue's March" was rejected by Mr. Hamrick's British publisher. That decision only reinforced the author's admitted anti-British attitudes, a predisposition reflected in his earlier decision to choose a pen name echoing Wat Tyler, the leader of a particularly bloody peasant rebellion in 14th-century England.

In 1984, Mr. Hamrick turned a critical eye on the Reagan administration and its nuclear policies in "The Shadow Cabinet" (Harper & Row), then returned the setting to Africa in "The Lion and the Jackal" (Linden Press/Simon & Schuster, 1988) and "The Consul's Wife" (Henry Holt, 1998), his last novel.

Critics over the years generally praised Mr. Hamrick's powers of description but sometimes found fault with his plotting.

Samuel Jennings Hamrick was born on Oct. 19, 1929, in Lubbock, Tex. A graduate of the University of Louisville in Kentucky, he served in the counterintelligence service of the Army.

In addition to Ms. Ely-Raphel, he is survived by his former wife, Joan Hamrick; their four children, Samuel III, John, Hugh and Anne Hamrick Burns; three sisters; and five grandchildren.

Mr. Hamrick did write one book under his own name, "Deceiving the Deceivers" (Yale Press, 2004), a revisionist history of the Philby spy case. In it, he argues that Mr. Philby and his four associates, who had been exposed in 1967 for passing top-secret information to the Soviets, had in fact been unwitting tools in a disinformation campaign staged by their superiors in British intelligence.

Still, Mr. Hamrick remained best known for his novels, whose covers often featured blurbs comparing him to the British writers John le Carré and Graham Greene. Those comparisons did not totally please him. As he said in a profile about him in The New York Times in 1984, he felt that both authors were hostile to Americans.




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