September 22nd, 2008

Chris Keeley

Gershon Baskin

From: Gershon Baskin
Date: Mon, Sep 22, 2008 at 4:47 AM
Subject: Tzipi, you can do it! (Gershon Baskin



Tzipi, you can do it

Gershon Baskin

 

September 18, 2008

 

Tzipi Livni, Prime Minister elect. We have great expectation from you.  We can't help it. Our disappointments from your predecessor are so great and the challenges before you so immense, we need you to succeed. If you do, your success will be the success of all of us, and if you fail, your failures will impact our lives for negatively for years to come.

 

There are very few Heads of State around the world who have to face the kind of decisions that are in front of you.  It is hard to imagine why a sane person would even desire to be in your place. But those of us who grew up in an ideological movement and were educated that we have a "mission" in our lives, can understand the notion of "din hat'neuah"  - the judgment and determination of the calling of "the movement".  The decision to lead is ingrained in your soul, in your spirit and the belief that you are "the right person at the right time in the right place" is the driving force that brought you into the seat of Israel's Prime Minister. For you, it is not ego, for you it is the drive of mission and commitment, that is how you were brought up and it is obvious from the kind of person you have become.

 

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Chris Keeley

Cash for Trash

Cash for Trash

Some skeptics are calling Henry Paulson’s $700 billion rescue plan for the U.S. financial system “cash for trash.” Others are calling the proposed legislation the Authorization for Use of Financial Force, after the Authorization for Use of Military Force, the infamous bill that gave the Bush administration the green light to invade Iraq.

There’s justice in the gibes. Everyone agrees that something major must be done. But Mr. Paulson is demanding extraordinary power for himself — and for his successor — to deploy taxpayers’ money on behalf of a plan that, as far as I can see, doesn’t make sense.

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Chris Keeley

BARTLET I know, I have a problem, but admitting it is the first step.

BARTLET I know, I have a problem, but admitting it is the first step.

OBAMA What’s the second step?

Aaron Sorkin Conjures a Meeting of Obama and Bartlet

Now that he’s finally fired up on the soup-line economy, Barack Obama knows he can’t fade out again. He was eager to talk privately to a Democratic ex-president who could offer more fatherly wisdom — not to mention a surreptitious smoke — and less fraternal rivalry. I called the “West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin (yes, truly) to get a read-out of the meeting. This is what he wrote:

BARACK OBAMA knocks on the front door of a 300-year-old New Hampshire farmhouse while his Secret Service detail waits in the driveway. The door opens and OBAMA is standing face to face with former President JED BARTLET.

BARTLET Senator.

OBAMA Mr. President.

BARTLET You seem startled.

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Chris Keeley

Annals of Crime

The Chameleon
The many lives of Frédéric Bourdin.
by David Grann August 11, 2008


Bourdin once wrote, “When you fight monsters, be careful that . . . you do not become one.” Photograph by François-Marie Banier.


On May 3, 2005, in France, a man called an emergency hot line for missing and exploited children. He frantically explained that he was a tourist passing through Orthez, near the western Pyrenees, and that at the train station he had encountered a fifteen-year-old boy who was alone, and terrified. Another hot line received a similar call, and the boy eventually arrived, by himself, at a local government child-welfare office. Slender and short, with pale skin and trembling hands, he wore a muffler around much of his face and had a baseball cap pulled over his eyes. He had no money and carried little more than a cell phone and an I.D., which said that his name was Francisco Hernandez Fernandez and that he was born on December 13, 1989, in Cáceres, Spain. Initially, he barely spoke, but after some prodding he revealed that his parents and younger brother had been killed in a car accident. The crash left him in a coma for several weeks and, upon recovering, he was sent to live with an uncle, who abused him. Finally, he fled to France, where his mother had grown up.

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Chris Keeley

Annals of Crime 2

Bourdin went to stay with Carey and Bryan rather than live with Beverly. “I work nights and didn’t think it was good to leave him alone,” Beverly said. Carey and Bryan owned a trailer home in a desolate wooded area in Spring Branch, thirty-five miles north of San Antonio, and Bourdin stared out the window as the car wound along a dirt road, past rusted trucks on cinder blocks and dogs barking at the sound of the engine. As Codey puts it, “We didn’t have no Internet, or stuff like that. You can walk all the way to San Antonio before you get any kind of communication.”

Their cramped trailer home was not exactly the vision of America that Bourdin had imagined from movies. He shared a room with Codey, and slept on a foam mattress on the floor. Bourdin knew that, if he were to become Nicholas and to continue to fool even his family, he had to learn everything about him, and he began to mine information, secretly rummaging through drawers and picture albums, and watching home videos. When Bourdin discovered a detail about Nicholas’s past from one family member, he would repeat it to another. He pointed out, for example, that Bryan once got mad at Nicholas for knocking Codey out of a tree. “He knew that story,” Codey recalls, still amazed by the amount of intelligence that Bourdin acquired about the family. Beverly noticed that Bourdin knelt in front of the television, just as Nicholas had. Various members of the family told me that when Bourdin seemed more standoffish than Nicholas or spoke with a strange accent they assumed that it was because of the terrible treatment that he said he had suffered.

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