September 3rd, 2008

Chris Keeley


A girl plays in a pile of coca leaves at the coca market in the Bolivian jungle town of Chimore as her mother gathers the leaves together into 50 pound bags. (Photos By Evan Abramson For The Washington Post)

Despite U.S. Aid, Coca Cultivation On Rise in Andes

By Juan Forero and Joshua Partlow
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, September 3, 2008; A01

COROICO, Bolivia -- Benito Cocarico admits that some of the coca leaves he grows to sell as tea and a traditional pick-me-up are channeled off into the broad stream of the global cocaine trade. But as he trudges on the muddy trails of his farm, located in a region where the raw material for the drug grows on narrow terraces, he explains how central the crop is to his family's well-being.

"The prices of oranges, mandarins, coffee and other products are too low, and they do not give you enough to survive," said Cocarico, 50, adding that he plans to double the size of his coca crop. "So we are obligated to plant coca."

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Chris Keeley

An Alaskan Voter re Sarah Palin

The author is unknown to me. I received this email from one of my correspondents, who said it came to her from Monaco. That doesn't make it illegitimate, just mirrors the stretch of the internet.

As an Alaskan, I am writing to give all of you some information on
Sarah Palin, Senator McCain's choice for VP. As an Alaska voter, I
know more than most of you about her and, frankly, I am horrified that
he picked her. 
The most accurate description of her is red neck. Her husband works in
the oil fields of Prudhoe Bay and races snow mobiles. She is a life
time member of the NRA and has worked tirelessly to allow
indiscriminate hunting of wildlife in Alaska, particularly wolves and
bears. She has spent millions of Alaska state dollars on aerial
hunting of these predators from helicopters and airplanes, dollars
that should have been spent, for example, on Alaska's failing school
system.We have the lowest rate of high school graduation in the
country. Not all of you may think aerial predator hunting is so bad,
but how anyone (other than Alaska wolf-haters, of which there are
many, most without teeth), could think this use of funds is
appropriate is beyond me. If you want to know more about the aerial
hunting travesty, let me know and I will send some links to
informative web sites.Collapse )
Prior to her one year as governor of Alaska, she was mayor of Wasilla,
a small red neck town outside=2 0Anchorage.The average maximum education
level of parents of junior high school kids in Wasilla is 10th grade.
Unfortunately, I have to go to Wasilla every week to get groceries and
other supplies, so I have continual contact with the people who put
Palin in office in the first place. I know what I'm talking about.
These people don't have a concept of the world around them or of the
serious issues facing the US. Furthermore, they don't care. So long as
they can go out and hunt their moose every fall, kill wolves and bears
and drive their snow mobiles and ATVs through every corner of the
wilderness, they're happy. I wish I were exaggerating.
Sarah Palin is currently involved in a political corruption scandal.
She fired an individual in law enforcement here because she didn't
like how he treated one of her relatives during a divorce. The man's
performance and ability weren't considered; it was a totally personal
firing and is currently under investigation. While the issue isn't
close to the scandal of Ted Steven's corruption, it shows that Palin
isn't "squeaky clean" and causes me to think there may be more issues
that could come to light. Clearly McCain doesn't care.
When you line Palin up with Biden, the comparison would be laughable
if it weren't so serious. Sarah Palin knows nothing of economics
(admittedly a weak area for McCain), or20of international affairs,
knows nothing of national government, Social Security, unemployment,
health care systems - you name it. The idea of her meeting with heads
of foreign governments around the world truly frightens me.
In an increasingly dangerous world, with the economy in shambles in
the US, Sarah Palin is uniquely UNqualified to be vice president. John
McCain is not a young man. Should something happen to him such that
the vice president had to step in, it would destroy our country and
possibly the world to have someone as inexperienced and inappropriate
as Sarah Palin. The choice of Palin is a cheap shot by McCain to try
to get Hillary supporters to vote for him. when McCain introduced her
today, Palin had the nerve to compare herself with Hillary and
Geraldine Ferraro. Sarah Palin, you are no Hillary Clinton.
To those of you who, like me, supported Hillary and were upset that she
did not get the nomination, please don't think that Sarah Palin is a
worthy substitute. If you supported Hillary, regardless of what you
think the media and the Democratic party may have done to undermine
her campaign, the person to support now is Obama, not Sarah Palin. To
those of you who are independent or undecided, don't let the choice of
Palin sway you in favor of McCain. Choosing her shows how unqualified
McCain is to be president. To those of you who are conservative, I
guess you have no choice for president. But please try to see how the
poor choice of Palin tells us a great deal about McCain's judgment.
While the political posturing inherent in the choice of Palin is
obvious, the more serious issue is the fact that the VP is, literally,
a heartbeat away from the presidency. Sarah Palin is totally and
unequivocally unqualified to be vice president, let alone president.
I know this is a lengthy and emotional email, but the stakes are high.
I thought it might help for all of you, regardless of political
affiliation, to know something about Palin from someone who has to
live with her administration in Alaska on a daily basis.
Jackie S.
Robert V. Keeley
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Chris Keeley

September 3, 2008

September 3, 2008
Op-Ed Columnist

Life of Her Party


For many years, reality was out of vogue with Republicans. They ignored the reality of Iraq and Katrina, of Pakistan and Osama bin Laden.

When confronted with their colossal carelessness around the globe and here at home, their mantra was, as Rummy put it, “Stuff happens.”

Now reality, in all its messy, crazy, funky glory, has flooded the party, in the comely, crackling form of Sarah Palin.

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Chris Keeley

September 2, 2008

September 2, 2008
Arts, Briefly

Victoria and Albert and the Rolling Stones

One of the most famous logos in popular culture is now in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The original artwork of the Rolling Stones “tongue and lips,” was bought by the museum at an auction in the United States for $92,500. The logo was acquired with the help of the Art Fund, a British charity, which provided 50 percent of the total cost and announced the sale on Monday. Designed by John Pasche in 1970, it was first used on the cover of the band’s album “Sticky Fingers.” Mr. Pasche, a former design student at the Royal College of Art in London, was commissioned to produce the image after Mick Jagger approached the school in 1969. Mr. Pasche worked with the band from 1970 to 1974. The original artwork was sold by Mr. Pasche through Mastro Auctions, an online auction house based in Chicago, over the weekend.

Chris Keeley

(no subject)


Antanas Sutkus in conversation with Ben Lewis
Thursday 11 September, 1.15pm, National Portrait Gallery, London
Lithuanian Portraits

Sutkus_image1 pluk magazine is pleased to present the Lithuanian master of documentary photography - Antanas Sutkus - in conversation with Ben Lewis, an award-winning documentary film-maker, author and art critic.

Celebrating the opening of a two-part exhibition of his vintage work in London and Moscow, this talk will explore the historical perspective of Sutkus' photography, which has had a strong impact on the medium's development in the Baltic, and whose lucid and extraordinary images of everyday events in his Lithuanian homeland have been compared to the humanistic approach of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Andre Kertesz.

The exhibition Lithuanian Portraits takes place at Anya Stonelake / White Space Gallery, 13 Mason's Yard, London, from 11 September - 10 October, and at, Bottling Hall, Winzavod Contemporary Art Centre, 4th Syromyatnicheskiy Pereulok, 1/9 Moscow, 26 September - 26 October.

This is a free event, but please email
or call +44 (0)20 7839 9300 to reserve a place.

The talk will be held in The Ondaatje Wing Lecture Theatre at the National Portrait Gallery, London, at 1.15pm, Thursday 11 September 2008.

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