Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Breakin' the Law...

Just disgusted and angry with the Obama admin. They continually break or ignore the laws. And so underhanded. And what the hell are they doing, trading with Iran? They're mighty good at saying one thing and doing another. So is the DOJ doing anything? Hell no.

What's this business with jailing people whenever they want with no trial? Why are those Gitmo prisoners still down there?

What are they doing, paying the Taliban to let trucks cross into Afghanistan? Nice to finance the people we're fighting.

And how much are we giving Pakistan? Something like $900 million a year? So they can protect the Taliban hiding in their territory?

And on and on and on. Scared shitless about what Assange might leak about what? He's's terrorism.

But Obama taught law. Glad I wasn't one of his students. Suppose he taught how to blantantly break the laws? Constitutional? Hell, he doesn't need to be in a classroom. All his students need to do is watch he and his administration in action.

And he gets people like Timmie G in his admin to deal with Wall Street when that s.o.b. was part of that despicable outfit. Really brillant.

Hope he just stays in Hawaii and disappears from our view.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Obama has got to go...

Never thought I'd say this, but Obama has got to go in 2012. I've had it with his bending over for Repub positions. He has no guts. And is not likely to get any either.

So who would be the best candidate to take his place? At this point, he's become so cowardly that almost any Dem would do. And that's all I have to say on the matter.


Saturday, December 04, 2010

Fascinating Books On the Way...

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


Owen Laukkanen's THE PROFESSIONALS, pitched as comparable to the work of John Sandford and Thomas Perry, a state policeman is teamed with an FBI agent to track down four recent college graduates who, facing the worst job market in recent history, decide to create their own jobs as professional kidnappers, to Neil Nyren at Putnam, in a two-book deal, by Stacia Decker at the Donald Maass Literary Agency (World).

Patrick Flanery's THE CENSOR, set in contemporary South Africa, about the relationship between a renowned, elderly female author and the man she has selected to be her official biographer - and the powerful unspoken link between them in the author's daughter, an active member of the anti-apartheid movement, who disappeared without a trace many years ago, to Sarah McGrath at Riverhead, by George Lucas at Inkwell Management, on behalf of Victoria Hobbs at A M Heath (US).


William Kent Krueger's two more books in the NYT bestselling Cork O'Connor crime series and the stand-alone ORDINARY GRACE, a coming-of-age story about a tragedy that strikes a Methodist minister in 1961 and what it does to his faith, his family, and the fabric of the small town in which he lives, told forty years later by the minister's son, to Sarah Branham at Atria, by Danielle Egan-Miller at Browne & Miller Literary Associates (World).


Julianna Baggott's PURE trilogy, a YA/adult crossover dystopian novel about a society of haves, who escaped an apocalypse in a futuristic dome-covered city, and have-nots, who survived the nearly destroyed outside world, to Jaime Levine at Grand Central, in a three-book deal, by Nat Sobel at Sobel Weber Associates (NA).


Silver Dagger and Hammett winner Dan Fesperman's THE DOUBLE GAME, in which Cold War spy novels and other classic works of espionage become the clues to uncover a possible double agent, to Sonny Mehta at Knopf.
UK rights to Nick Cheetham at Corvus, by Jane Chelius at Jane Chelius Literary Agency.


Spanish novelist VĂ­ctor del Arbol's THE SAMARAI'S GRIEF, about multiple betrayals, personal and political, pitched as evocative of Le Carre's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind, and set alternately in the pro-Nazi Spain of 1941 -- when an aristocrat becomes involved in a plot to kill her Fascist husband, only to be betrayed by her lover -- and during the attempted Fascist coup of 1981, when a young lawyer is accused of plotting the prison escape of the man she successfully prosecuted for attempted murder five years earlier; with the Japanese sword of the title providing -- and ultimately severing -- the link between the two women's lives, to Aaron Schlechter at Holt, in a pre-empt, for publication in February 2011, by Thomas Colchie of The Colchie Agency, representing the Spanish publisher Alreves on behalf of principal agent Antonia Kerrigan in Barcelona (world English).

Rachel Hore's A PLACE OF SECRETS, when an auction house appraiser of old books and manuscripts, a woman struggling to come to terms with the death of her young husband, is asked to value a collection belonging to a reclusive 18th century astronomer, she jumps at the chance to escape London to be closer to her sister and niece and begin deciphering the mysteries of the astronomer's world, only to find all sorts of disturbing links with her own family's history, to Aaron Schlechter at Holt, for publication in February 2012, by Lisa Bankoff at ICM, on behalf of Sheila Crowley at Curtis Brown UK (NA).


Debut author Marissa Meyer's four-book YA futuristic, fairy-tale inspired series, starting with CINDER, Cinderella is re-envisioned through teen heroine Cinder, part girl and part machine, who must piece together her mysterious past before she can fulfill her destiny and save the kingdom -- and the rest of planet Earth -- from an otherworldly enemy; as Cinder's quest continues through the series, she finds allies loosely based Little Red Riding Hood (SCARLET), Rapunzel (CRESS), and Snow White (WINTER) -- as they join forces to conquer evil and find their happily-ever-afters, to Jean Feiwel of Feiwel and Friends, at auction, by Jill Grinberg at Jill Grinberg Literary Management (NA).


Coauthor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning AMERICAN PROMETHEUS Kai Bird's THE GOOD SPY, centering on the career and tragic death of CIA legend Robert Ames, whose passing marked a dramatic shift in foreign policy that still haunts America's relationship with the Muslim world, to Rick Horgan at Crown, in a pre-empt, for publication in 2013, by Gail Ross of the Ross Yoon Agency.

With the royal engagement news comes the pre-planned announcement of author of The Day Diana Died Christopher Andersen's WILLIAM AND KATE: The Love Story, about how Prince William and Kate Middleton "defied all odds to forge a storybook romance amidst the scandals, power struggles, tragedies, and general dysfunction that are the hallmarks of Britain's Royal Family," promising "intimate details of their celebrated courtship" and more, to Jennifer Bergstrom at Gallery, with Mitchell Ivers editing, for publication in February 2011, by Ellen Levine at Trident Media Group (NA).

Pulitzer Prize winner Eileen McNamara's untitled biography of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, telling the story of the often-overlooked Kennedy who founded the Special Olympics and left behind one of the family's most enduring civil rights legacies, to Priscilla Painton at Simon & Schuster, by Colleen Mohyde at the Doe Coover Agency (World).


Former CBS anchor Dan Rather's SUMMING UP, with the 79-year-old saying "the time had come for me to sum up my career in a candid memoir, and now I feel the time is right. Plus, with the changing climate -- and attitude -- about news and journalists, I feel I can give readers an honest perspective on the present, and, more important, on the future of news," to Rick Wolff at Grand Central, for publication in 2012, by Paul Fedorko at N.S. Bienstock.


NYT bestselling and Emmy Award-winning DESPERADOS Elaine Shannon's LEFT OF BOOM, a narrative of the DEA's mission-critical operations in Afghanistan and what they portend for the future of war fighting, to Rick Horgan at Crown, in a pre-empt, for publication in early 2012, by Gail Ross of the Ross Yoon Agency (world).


Major league catcher and winner of two World Series rings Bengie Molina's PAPI, an account of fathers, sons, and baseball that tells the story Molina's family and specifically his late father, Benjamin Molina Santana, who rose from poverty in Puerto Rico and worked in a factory for thirty years while coaching his three sons (Bengie, Jose, and Yadier) into the major leagues, where they became the first three brothers in history to all win World Series championships, written with Little Girls in Pretty Boxes author Joan Ryan, to Jofie Ferrari-Adler at Simon & Schuster, at auction, by Betsy Lerner at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner (World).


Wednesday, December 01, 2010

About Wikileaks...

From Secrecy News...

Sifting Through the Fallout from Wikileaks
December 1st, 2010 by Steven Aftergood

The ongoing release of U.S. diplomatic communications by the Wikileaks organization is “embarrassing” and “awkward,” said Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates yesterday, but its consequences for U.S. foreign policy are likely to be “fairly modest.”

“I’ve heard the impact of these releases on our foreign policy described as a meltdown, as a game-changer, and so on. I think those descriptions are fairly significantly overwrought. The fact is, governments deal with the United States because it’s in their interest, not because they like us, not because they trust us, and not because they believe we can keep secrets… Other nations will continue to deal with us. They will continue to work with us. We will continue to share sensitive information with one another.”

Coming from the Secretary of Defense, that measured statement should help to deflate some of the more extreme reactions to the Wikileaks action.

The Obama Administration should “use all legal means necessary to shut down Wikileaks before it can do more damage by releasing additional cables,” said Sen. Joe Lieberman on November 28.

Wikileaks leader Julian Assange should be designated an enemy combatant, suggested Rep. Steve King (R-IA) on the House floor yesterday. Then he could be “moved over to a place offshore of the United States outside of the jurisdiction of the Federal courts…, and adjudicated under a military tribunal in a fashion that was designed by this Congress and directed by this Congress. That’s what I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to do.”

Such fantastic notions probably cannot survive the judgment of the U.S. Secretary of Defense that what is at stake is “embarrassment” and “awkwardness,” not the defense of the realm.

That does not mean that the policy consequences of the latest Wikileaks release will be insignificant. Information sharing within the government is already being curtailed, and avenues of public disclosure may be adversely affected by the Wikileaks controversy. In a November 28 email message to reporters, the Pentagon spelled out several security measures that have already been implemented to restrict and monitor the dissemination of classification information in DoD networks.

“Bottom line: It is now much more difficult for a determined actor to get access to and move information outside of authorized channels,” wrote Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman.

Meanwhile, the Office of Management and Budget ordered (pdf) each agency that handles classified information to perform a security review of its procedures and to reinforce the traditional “need to know” requirements that strictly limit individual access to classified information.

“Any failure by agencies to safeguard classified information pursuant to relevant laws, including but not limited to Executive Order 13526, Classified National Security Information (December 29, 2009), is unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” the OMB memo stated.

The possibility of prosecuting Wikileaks as a criminal enterprise is reportedly under consideration, and has been publicly urged by some members of Congress and others. The feasibility of such a prosecution is uncertain, and nothing quite like it has been attempted before. The most “promising” legal avenue of attack against Wikileaks would seem to be a charge of conspiracy to violate the Espionage Act (under 18 USC 793g), based on the allegation that Wikileaks encouraged and collaborated with others in violating the terms of the Act. But these are dangerous legal waters, fraught with undesirable consequences for other publishers of controversial information.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Corporations Have Personal Privacy?

From Secrecy News:

Do Corporations Have Personal Privacy Rights?
November 18th, 2010 by Steven Aftergood

The Supreme Court will decide next year whether corporations are entitled to “personal privacy” and whether they may prevent the release of records under the Freedom of Information Act on that basis. FOIA advocates say that assigning personal privacy rights to corporations could deal a crippling blow to the Act.

The case before the Court — known as FCC v. AT&T — arose from a FOIA request to the Federal Communications Commission for records of an investigation of a government contract held by AT&T. The FCC found that the requested records were subject to release under FOIA. But AT&T challenged that decision and won an appeals court ruling that the documents were law enforcement records that were exempt from disclosure because their release would constitute “an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy” — namely, the “personal privacy” of AT&T.

The appeals court noted that the word “person” is defined in the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) to include corporations, and it went on to infer from this that the FOIA exemption for “personal privacy” in law enforcement records must logically extend to corporations as well.

But “that analysis does not withstand scrutiny,” the government argued in its petition (pdf) to the Supreme Court for review of the case. Personal privacy can only apply to individual human beings, it said, and not to other entities. “The court of appeals’ novel construction would erroneously create a new and amorphous ‘privacy’ right not only for corporations but also for local, state, and foreign governments [which also fall under the APA definition of 'person'].”

A concise description of the pending case as well as key case files and amicus briefs filed with the Supreme Court by several FOIA advocacy organizations are conveniently available from the Electronic Privacy Information Center. (EPIC prepared one of the amicus briefs and I was among the signatories to it.)

Corporate information that qualifies as a “trade secret” has long been exempt from disclosure under the FOIA. But prior to this case, no court had ever held that a corporation also has personal privacy rights.

If affirmed by the Supreme Court, the appeals court ruling “could vastly expand the rights of corporations to shield their activities from public view,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy this week, and it “would close a vital window into how our government works.”

“Congress never intended for this [personal privacy] exemption to apply to corporations,” he said. “I also fear that extending this exemption to corporations would permit corporations to shield from public view critical information about public health and safety, environmental dangers, and financial misconduct, among other things — to the great detriment of the people’s right to know and to our democracy.”

“I sincerely hope that our nation’s highest Court… will narrowly construe the personal privacy exemption, consistent with congressional intent,” said Sen. Leahy. “Should the Court decide to do otherwise, I will work with others in the Congress to ensure that FOIA, and specifically the personal privacy exemption for law enforcement records, remains a meaningful safeguard for the American people’s right to know,” he said.

FCC v. AT&T is scheduled to be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on January 19, 2011


Friday, November 12, 2010

Selection of Interesting Books On the Way....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


I. J. Kay's MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON, about a woman newly released from prison and the mystery of who she is and what led her there; taking us from a casino in Bristol to the Ruwenzori mountains of Africa as she bounds backwards, sideways, and ultimately forward with her many selves, to Carole De Santi at Viking, at auction, by Zoe Pagnamenta at the Zoe Pagnamenta Agency on behalf of Anna Webber at United Agents (NA).
UK rights to Dan Franklin at Jonathan Cape, by Anna Webber at United Agents, at auction, and German rights to Helga Frese-Resch at Kiepenheuer & Witsch, by Jessica Craig at United Agents on behalf of Anna Webber.

Dana Gynther's CROSSING ON THE PARIS, chronicling the lives of three women of different generations and classes whose lives intersect on a majestic ocean liner traveling from Paris to New York in the wake of World War I, exploring the power of chance encounters, to Erika Imranyi at Dutton, at auction, by Michelle Brower at Folio Literary Management.

Brandon Jones's ALL WOMAN AND SPRINGTIME, about human trafficking that follows two orphaned girlfriends as they are taken from their factory jobs in North Korea, smuggled across the Demilitarized Zone, and eventually shipped to the United States, to Andra Miller at Algonquin, by Wendy Weil at the Wendy Weil Agency.


Pulitzer Prize winner and NYT bestselling author of I, SNIPER Stephen Hunter's two untitled thrillers, the first featuring a Marine sniper, to Sarah Knight at Simon & Schuster, in a two-book deal, for publication in Fall 2012 and Fall 2013, by Esther Newberg at ICM.

COLD and THE ANARCHIST author John Smolen's THE SCHOOLMASTER'S DAUGHTER, a tale of historical intrigue featuring a young girl who is caught between family loyalties during the American Revolution as the city of Boston burns, to Claiborne Hancock and Jessica Case at Pegasus, on behalf of Noah Lukeman at Lukeman Literary Management (World).


Charlotte Rogan's THE LIFEBOAT, a story set at the turn of the twentieth century, about a wealthy young woman whose life is forever altered when the ship she is honeymooning on mysteriously explodes and she is cast adrift on an overcrowded lifeboat with thirty-nine strangers, to Andrea Walker at Reagan Arthur Books, in a pre-empt, by David McCormick at McCormick & Williams Literary Agency (World English).

Past fellow of the NEA and the recipient of the NBCC Citation for Excellence in Reviewing Carol Anshaw's CARRY THE ONE, spanning almost three decades and following four characters whose lives are forever altered and entwined by the events of one night, to Trish Todd for Touchstone, in a nice deal, for publication in spring 2012, by Joy Harris (NA).

Jo-Ann Mapson's MIRACLE OF MIRACLES, in which a woman begins a new life with a man and their adopted daughter, whose sister's kidnapping and disappearance formed the backdrop of the first novel, to Nancy Miller at Bloomsbury, for publication in the US and UK, by Deborah Schneider.



Veteran publishing executive, attorney and consultant Martin Levin's ALL I KNOW ABOUT MANAGEMENT I LEARNED FROM MY DOG, a 91-year-old management guru's touching account of the insights he gained from his experiences with a golden retriever named Angel, to Mark Weinstein at Skyhorse, in a nice deal, for publication in Spring 2011, by Levin (world).


Author of 2010 James Beard Award winner Pasta Sfoglia, Chef Ron Suhanosky's THE FAMILY TABLE, family-style meals featuring Italian-influenced "new traditional" cuisine with an uncomplicated, family-friendly approach, to Anja Schmidt at Kyle Books, by Celeste Fine at Folio Literary Management.


Journalist Elizabeth Nickson's A SOFT PLACE TO FALL, an expose about the destructive and obsessive side of environmental movement that has run amok, to Adam Bellow at Broadside, by Don Fehr at Trident Media Group.

Daniel Ellsberg's THE AMERICAN DOOMSDAY MACHINE, a memoir of his experiences as a high level nuclear planner for the US Department of Defense and detailing the shocking and untold story, much of it still secret, of the approved US nuclear stategy calculated to kill 600,000,000 people, to Peter Ginna at Bloomsbury Press, in a very nice deal, by Andy Ross at Andy Ross Agency (World)


Charlotte Silver's CHARLOTTE AU CHOCOLATE: Memories of a Restaurant Girlhood, tracing the author's childhood through scenes in her mother's famous, sumptuous restaurant, Upstairs at the Pudding, located above Harvard's Hasty Pudding Club: a life of foie gras and Shirley Temples on school nights; of candied violets, pink linens and party dresses; of front room vs. kitchen; and of a rotating cast of eccentric staff members as parental surrogates, to Sarah McGrath at Riverhead, by Emily Forland at the Wendy Weil Agency (World).


NYC-based Guardian writer Emma Brockes's untitled memoir, about something that happened in her mother's family in South Africa fifty years ago, the repercussions it continues to have on her family, and the author's journey, after her mother died, to reconcile the person she had known her mother to be with the person who emerged from the story she uncovered, to Ann Godoff at Penguin Press, at auction, by Zoe Pagnamenta at the Zoe Pagnamenta Agency (NA).

UK rights to Hannah Griffiths at Faber, by Simon Trewin at United Agents, Dutch rights to Arbeiderspers and German rights to DTV, by Jessica Craig at United Agents, all at auction.


Expert on the scientific study of death and near-death experiences, Dr. Sam Parnia's THE LAZARUS EFFECT: The Science that is Erasing the Boundaries Between Life and Death, a work of narrative nonfiction that brings together compelling stories with the latest research at the frontiers of resuscitation medicine to shed light on the ultimate mystery -- what happens to human consciousness during and after death -- and to show how medical science is rendering previously unthinkable outcomes entirely plausible, to Roger Freet at Harper One, at auction, by Andrew Stuart at The Stuart Agency (World).
UK: Robert Kirby at United Agents


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thoughts on Veteran's Day...

Today is Veteran's Day...and I'm thinking of my better half, plus all my brothers, uncles, and the rest of the extended family back to 1630 when they first landed on these shores...knowing that in every single war the US has been in since then has had one of my family in the service, including 2 of my sons. That's pretty amazing.


Monday, November 08, 2010

One Unhappy Dem Calls It Like He Sees It....



Keith Taylor

Okay I've had it. You are Tea Party dudes, Dittoheads, America Firsters, Birthers, Minutemen, and, Republicans from places like Ohio. The names are different, but your message doesn't change. You've bitched, strutted around, brandished your damn fool guns all in the name of . . . uh what was it you wanted?

Oh yeah, you wanted your country back. Or, maybe, you wanted it back like it was. If you get your wish will you be the one to tell your wife she can't vote? That's the way it was. Or did it mean you wanted to own another person? Tell you what go make an offer to buy one of them football players, maybe a guy who makes eight or nine million a year because he can take another guy's head off.

And do you really want our good old religion and no other to provide a wisdom and morality for our country? Thems the guys who gave us the inquisition, crusades, witch burning, countless wars, and priests who rape little boys knowing the worst the holy church will do is move you to another parish where you can find new children for you to rape. Or, maybe, you want to torture those who believe in evolution?

Just what the hell is it you want? You got the megaphones and the signs but you shout so loud it's hard to figure you out!

I know you don't want gays in the military cause we didn't never have none, and by cracky we won all those wars -- uh, most all of them anyhow. Yeah, I know that. I was there for 22 years, 9 months, and 11 days. But is it really that bad? In this new world you protest, the CIA has openly gay people spying for us. So does the outfit where I worked, NSA. Also damn near every police department in the country including the FBI has lifted the restriction. And overseas we see no other country in NATO has a prohibition against them except Turkey. We're in good company there my jingoistic friends.

I also hear from your strutting, shouting, and sign waving you don't want the government to have be involved in your health care. No sir. No socialistic medicine for you! And that's too bad because ours is easily the most expensive in the world. YES THE WORLD!! It consumes nineteen percent of our gross national product and is rising faster than inflation. Ask any high school math teacher where that will lead. That brick building is the school house. Now go ahead, take your stupid gun down there ask for an answer.

The answer ain't good, you dimwit redneck. It means the country can now look down the road and see where keeping folks alive will take more money than we got unless we do something about it except whine.

Maybe we could limit medical care to those who can prove they are able to think good enough to be productive. Wouldn't that be a hoot, unless you are actually as dumb as you act?

And what else? Oh yeah, you don't want no new taxes and you want to eliminate waste. That a way you can pull off a miracle and pay down the national debt without using no money. Sure, you betcha, and good luck. On this weekend's "Meet the Press" Alan Greenspan and Michael Bloomberg, both conservative Republicans, flatly stated that tax cuts will do nothing to reduce the deficit. It seems pretty simple except to them deadheads you just sent to Congress.

But you go right ahead and bellyache about it. And bring your shootin' irons when you do your bellyaching. Those fat bellies you dudes sport will look just dandy, them and those tea bags hanging from your hat and those misspelled signs you wave.

Now I apolygize for mocking your looks, idiotology, signs, and six shooters; but I'm kinda pissed myself right about now. It's been bad enough listening to the idiots in congress shouting "Like Hell I Will," and now you cretins brought us a new bunch of dummies -- no telling what they will do.

The country has been in terrible shape lately, and you just made it worse.

*//Keith Taylor lives in Chula Vista, Ca and can be reached at


Friday, November 05, 2010

Controlled Unclassified Info...

From Secrecy News:


The White House today issued an executive order to establish a uniform policy for handling "controlled unclassified information" (CUI), which is information that is restricted from disclosure because it involves personal privacy, proprietary data, law enforcement investigations, or for certain other reasons besides national security.

The new CUI framework will replace the multiplicity of agency markings such as "sensitive but unclassified," "for official use only," and over a hundred more. By prohibiting the use of such improvised markings and by adopting a standard CUI marking which is subject to external approval and oversight across the executive branch, the new policy is expected to facilitate information sharing among agencies without fostering new secrecy.

CUI policy had been an open, unresolved item on the government's information policy agenda for nearly five years, ever since President Bush directed agency heads to "standardize procedures for sensitive but unclassified information" in a December 16, 2005 memorandum.

Significantly, the executive order on CUI does not create any new authority to withhold information from disclosure. It limits the use of the CUI marking to information that is already protected by statute, by regulation or by government-wide policy. Furthermore, it requires agencies to gain the approval of the CUI "Executive Agent" before using the CUI marking on any particular category of information. And it mandates that all such approved categories are to be made public on an official Registry.

In short, the CUI program seems well-crafted to streamline information handling in the executive branch without creating any new obstacles to public access.

But it almost turned out very differently, and one of the most important secrecy policy stories of recent years is what did not happen in the lengthy deliberative process over CUI. What was poised to happen -- but didn't -- is that CUI nearly became an adjunct part of a vastly expanded national security classification system.

As recently as last summer, the proposed CUI concept had all of the essential attributes of classification. Under a July 2010 draft of the executive order (pdf), agencies would have been permitted to impose CUI controls using a loose, undefined standard ("compelling need"). Access to CUI would have been conditional on a form of "need to know." And unauthorized disclosure of CUI would have been subject to administrative or criminal sanctions.

In every significant respect, CUI would have constituted another level of classification, by another name. It would have overwhelmed efforts to rein in and reduce official secrecy.

Fortunately a different path was chosen. To an unusual extent, the Obama Administration consulted with public interest groups on the emerging CUI policy. In response to their comments, the attributes of classification that appeared in previous drafts were not merely modified but were eliminated altogether. The result is a tightly focused executive order that clearly articulates a problem and advances a sensible solution to it.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Some Choice Books On the Way....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


Anna Funder's ALL THAT I AM, about German refugees from Hitler's Germany living in London during the mid-1930s, and the nonfiction STASILAND: STORIES FROM BEHIND THE BERLIN WALL, investigative journalism that offers an account of life in Communist East Germany under a regime of terror and persecution maintained by the infamous secret police, the Stasi, to Terry Karten at Harper, for publication in Spring 2012, by Sarah Chalfant at The Wylie Agency (US).

Robin Yocum's FAVORITE SONS, in which a teenage boy's murder in 1971 sends an innocent man to prison and the boys responsible for the death vow to each other to keep their secret; thirty years later, one of the boys, now a candidate for state attorney general, is being blackmailed by an ex-con with knowledge of the crime; with a week to go to the election, the candidate tries to sort through three decades of the deceit he helped create, to Lilly Golden at Arcade, for publication in Spring 2011, by Colleen Mohyde at the Doe Coover Agency (World).


Kalyan Ray's multi-generational novel, NO COUNTRY, that winds its way through 19th and 20th century Ireland, America and India, touching on the Irish famine, Ireland and India's parallel quests for Independence, and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire; exploring themes of diaspora, the making and unmaking of emigrant lives, and ultimately, the few intimate degrees of separation that lie between love and murder, to Anjali Singh at Simon & Schuster (NA), and UK rights to Alexandra Pringle at Bloomsbury UK, both by Elizabeth Sheinkman at Curtis Brown UK.

Philippa Gregory's THE KINGMAKERS' DAUGHTERS, for publication in 2012, followed by THE WHITE PRINCESS and THE LAST ROSE, all continuations of her writing about the women of The War of the Roses, again to Trish Todd at Touchstone, with Suzanne Baboneau at Simon & Schuster UK co-editing, in a three-book deal, by Anthony Mason (world).

Writer's Trust shortlisted Trevor Cole's PRACTICAL JEAN, in which a middle-aged artist sets about killing her friends in order to spare them a painful death, to Kate Nintzel at Harper Perennial, for publication in Fall 2011, by Carolyn Forde on behalf of Bruce Westwood of Westwood Creative Artists (US).

Author and syndicated columnist Dan Savage and his husband, Terry Miller's IT GETS BETTER, a collection of essays where celebrities and ordinary people in the LGBT community share their personal and inspirational stories, inspired by a series of popular YouTube videos they created that have gone viral, to Brian Tart at Dutton, for publication in March 2011, by Elizabeth Wales of Wales Literary Agency.


Sorbonne professor Luc Ferry's LEARNING TO LIVE, a short history of Western thought that shows what philosophy can teach us about how to live a better life; reported as a 300,000-copy bestseller in France, to Peter Hubbard at Harper Perennial, for publication in 2011, by Andrea Joyce at Canongate UK (NA).


Author of Career Renegade, entrepreneur and lifestyle blogger at Jonathan Fields's BEYOND CREATION: How to Stake Your Claim To Genius Without Losing Your Mind, to Courtney Young at Portfolio, in a pre-empt, by Wendy Sherman (World).


ABC News senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper's ENEMY IN THE WIRE, the investigative and inspiring story of US forces' deadliest battle to date in Afghanistan, in which 54 US soldiers fended off 300 to 400 Taliban fighters, to Geoff Shandler at Little, Brown, for publication in late 2011, by Christy Fletcher at Fletcher & Company (world).

Author of RECOLLECTIONS OF REAGAN and public affairs consultant, Peter Hannaford's PRESIDENTIAL RETREATS, an in-depth history of presidential vacation homes, such as Mount Vernon, Kennebunkport, Hyannisport, and the political plotting and planning, meetings with foreign dignitaries, and stories about the families that lived at these monumental locations, to Anthony Ziccardi at Threshold, with Kathy Sagan editing, for publication in 2011, by Joy Azmitia at Russell & Volkening (World).

World Spanish rights to veteran Chilean journalist and PR executive Manuel Pino's ALIVE UNDERGROUND, a behind-the-scenes account of the Chilean mining disaster and rescue, including exclusive interviews with several of the miners and analysis of the government and corporate interests and leaders involved, to Erik Riesenberg at Penguin, to launch their new, Spanish-language imprint Acento, for publication in January 2011, by Diane Stockwell at Globo Libros Literary Management.


David Haskell's FOREST MANDALA, an expansive portrait of nature's complex ecological and biological web, drawn from the author's year-long observation of a one-square-meter patch of old-growth forest in Tennessee, to Kevin Doughten at Viking Penguin, for publication in Winter 2012, by Alice Martell at The Martell Agency (World English).


Friday, October 22, 2010

Some Leaks Are....????

From Secrecy News:


It seems that some disclosures of classified information can lead a person to poverty, ignominy and a jail sentence, while others provide a royal road to fame and fortune. Some leaks are relentlessly investigated, while others are tolerated or encouraged.

This apparent inconsistency, as notably illustrated once again in the phenomenon of author Bob Woodward, was examined by Michael Isikoff in "'Double standard' in White House leak inquiries?", NBC News, October 18.

In the wake of an earlier Woodward book in 2007, Rep. Henry Waxman noted a similar discrepancy in the Bush Administration's response to leaks.

"The administration seems to be inconsistent in their approach in these cases, and it's troubling," Rep. Waxman said at a March 16, 2007 hearing. "They raise very serious questions about whether White House policies on sensitive information are driven by political considerations. If it's a critic [who discloses classified information] they are going to investigate, they're going to really stop it. When it comes to people in-house, people they like, people they trust, well, the investigation hasn't even started with regard to those people."


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Better Not To Have These!



Keith Taylor

My computer had 390 e-mails on the screen name "DipsyDmstr" alone when I returned from a five-day, ultra expensive vacation at Sharp Chula Vista Hospital.

One was five-day old and from Neika, my magnificent great grand niece back in Indiana. She and I often exchange e-mails. I tell her what it's like to be old and grouchy and she tells me LOL.

My last had been about an exchange with a woman in Bangladesh who didn't understand "Dipsey Dumpster talk" or Midwestern humor. Neika learned the exciting news that the computer had survived the two language restoration and I was now relaxing before tackling the problems of the day -- saving the world from itself.

But, as it ensued, fate doesn't always work according to plan. About the time I sent my note to Neika I was besieged with a series of chest pains -- just the thing to help an octogenarian relax. I figured it was the result of my internet frustration and would soon pass.

But not this time. The pangs kept getting worse. I have no idea how to measure a threshold of pain, but this was ridiculous. A comparable excruciating pain may have been when, as a ten or eleven-year old, I pissed on an electric fence. Although I don't keep records of such things, I'm sure the fence pissing caper didn't compare with my recent screaming thorax.

The best medicine for recovery from the pain of hangovers had always been to lie down. Maybe it would work for angina, But no! I simply could not lie down. That made things worse. And don't even ask about the result of trying to maintain the good old Hoosier farm boy treatment for any pain, emitting methane though my anus!

Finally my wife summoned help by punching 911. It fetched the only public service left in debt stricken California, an ambulance.

Away I went, lights a'flashing and siren a'blazing. The medics were too busy exchanging pulse rates, blood pressure readings, breathing rate et al with the rapidly approaching hospital to spend any time with me except to reassure me with promises that "you,ll be fine" and "we're about there," I knew that the first was as true as what we get from most any of today's politicians, and the second was true in fact.

Back in the days of strenuous exercise I often ran from my house to the hospital, got a drink, then ran back. It was about five miles round trip! The ambulance ride broke my existing record for the distance. My wife followed behind in Spiffy, our shiny, modern car with multi colored lights in the coffee cup holders.

At the hospital things brightened up a teeny bit for a teeny while. One of the medics was a well constructed middle age lass. She positioned herself at my feet when they rolled me and my gurney out of the ambulance. In fact my feet were directly on her boobs. Why had I insisted on wearing shoes?

Into the emergency room we went. There the pain continued and the questioning commenced. My wife hugged me as I suffered, crying with me on the overwhelming spasms. I looked at her and realized she looked more like Theresa Wright every day.

Then the questioning: Eighty years and 258 days after my date of birth I was asked for it and again, eventually by every employee of Sharp General, and again every time any one of them had occasion to have intercourse (in the classical, not coital, sense) with me.

And all sorts of other shit! At times it seemed they were lined up to ask me "On a scale of one to ten, how much pain do you have."

My answer, "If this isn't a ten I've never had one. I've never hurt so fucking much in my life."

I couldn't tell if they recorded the entire answer or not. A guy, I presume was a janitor, did seem to get a kick out of it.

It was now back to the loud moaning, bitching, and bellyaching. This set off my neighbors in the ER where deathly sick or deathly poor patients were waiting in quasi rooms -- actually partitions separated by a curtain. They started praying. Most went at it by reciting the Rosary. I already had learned it in English and Portuguese.

Portuguese: Ave maria chia de gras

mumble mumble

mumble mumble

agora e em a' hora de sus muertos

mumble mumble

'e sua filho Jeeeeeezus.


Now, I had the delight of recognizing and misunderstanding the words in espanol. It didn't help calm me, nor did it seem to bring any miracles. Of course the supplicants were also patients in the emergency room so they had their own problems and likely weren't including me in their pleas.

After a few minutes which seemed like hours I managed to see some doctors. Each would ask me the "one to ten" question. Then he'd poke and prod a bit, look at one of the two, maybe three, EKG printouts. Then he'd go back to his cubbyhole and write an order for a test. One after the other they put me into contraptions which squealed, schreeched, binked and boinked.

Together the robotic monsters told him that I had not had a heart attack after all.

How disappointing! I still have one coming! I wonder if they'll have to come up with a new scale to measure the pain.?

The robotics and medicos diagnosed my pain as something that sounds like pericarditis -- and I have no idea how close that is to the korrect speling. This peri thing is an inflammation of the area where the sternum hooks up with the rib cage. Possibly it's caused by a virus, and I'm guessing it isn't detectable by McAfee.

The medicos increased my pill count from the one good-sized handful I'd been taking to two good sized handfuls including one to control the fibrillation which showed up in the tests. After a couple of days, and after my heart beat returned to normal I was set to go home. At three in the morning of my anticipated departure a nurse woke me with the news that my heart had gone into fibrillation again.

That meant one more day of bland food, ersatz coffee, and a continuous stream of solicitous needle pokers and blood pressure takers.

The last night I was treated to a gran fiesta without the mariachis and aye yi yi music, but with two giggling teenagers who aperiodically told my antediluvian roommate who had just been admitted: "oh grandpa you'll outlive us all."

Please pass the word I do not want to ever hear that? It's hard enough making it through this world in 80 years. Outliving those giggling girls would make it unbearable.

The fiesta commenced at 9 p.m. and ended with the last round of "you'll out live us all" at 12.30." I did not pray for him. Surely he needs to get some rest and those kids and their idiot parents who laughed at how cute they were, put they old boy through hell enough for one lifetime.

If he ever asks for my help I'll notify my grand/greatgrand relatives to come visit him. They all know enough to avoid making a grumpy "papa" even grumpier by uttering bullshit, and they are too smart to stay up until the next day with an octogenarian. Few of us are much fun!

Finally that ephemeral balance was achieved. The ol' ticker was beating normally, or within some sort of "normal range." That morning the cardiologist came in, said I was good as new and I could go home. I didn't want to complicate things by bitching about a fiesta that continued hours after visiting hours were over.

My exit wasn't as I had imagined. Surely I would walk through the lobby waving at loving doctors, nurses, and various attendants, all of whom knew my date of birth. Out the door I'd go into the waiting arms of Theresa Wright.

But, wouldn't you know it, there were more papers to be signed. These were by a woman who also wanted to know my date of birth. How long will so many retain the knowledge of that event which took place in Atwood, Indiana on 2/10/30?

Finally, with the help of Spiffy, Theresa drove me home. I'd again eluded the grim reaper and lived to tell about it.


Thursday, October 07, 2010


From Secrecy News:


The Pentagon's heavy-handed attempt to censor the new Afghanistan war memoir "Operation Dark Heart" by Anthony Shaffer has predictably turned a volume of narrow, specialized interest into a mainstream bestseller.

It has also focused attention on just what information the government was seeking to conceal, and why. For a review of the material that was blacked out in the second edition of the book, see "Censored book masks sensitive operations" by Sean D. Naylor, Army Times, October 4. A side-by-side view of the book's Index, in censored and uncensored formats, is here (pdf).


Saturday, October 02, 2010

Whole Mess of Good Books Coming....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


Ayad Akhtar's unsparing debut novel, AMERICAN DERVISH, about an American Muslim family struggling with faith and belonging in a diverse yet divisive heartland community, to Judy Clain at Little, Brown, by Donna Bagdasarian at Publication Riot Group (world).

Erin Morgenstern's THE NIGHT CIRCUS, set at the turn of the 19th century, which tells the story of two young magicians, pawns in an age-old rivalry between their mercurial, illusionist fathers, and the enchanted circus where their competition (and romance) plays out, leaving the fates of everyone involved - from creators and performers to patrons - hanging in the balance, to Alison Callahan at Doubleday, by Richard Pine at Inkwell Management (World).

Alan Lazar's ROAM, the story of a little dog who gets lost for eight years, and when he is miraculously reunited with his owner, has traveled thousands of miles and lost a leg, in an epic journey across America that includes many narrow escapes and living with a pack of wolves for a time, while never losing his longing for the Great Love, his first owner, to Sarah Durand at Atria, by Henry Dunow at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner (NA).


Lisa Lutz and David Hayward's HEADS YOU LOSE, a collaborative crime novel written in alternating chapters about a pair of pot-growing siblings who find a decapitated body in their yard and are forced to deal with the consequences, pitched as Weeds meets Adaptation with the humor of The Spellman Files, to Marysue Rucci at Putnam, for publication in Spring 2011, by Stephanie Kip Rostan at Levine Greenberg Literary Agency (world English).


Janice Steinberg's AN INTELLIGENT JEWESS, about an 85-year-old woman, finding a clue to the whereabouts of her twin sister, who disappeared from the little-known Jewish mecca of Boyle Heights, LA on the eve of WWII, and plunging back into memories of her childhood and the momentous historical facts that impacted her family; along the way there are stories within this story - those from the Old Country, and tales of immigration travails - not only about the stories we tell but more importantly those that we believe, especially the ones about ourselves, to Kendra Harpster at Random House, by Susan Golomb at the Susan Golomb Agency (NA).

Natasa Dragnic's EVERY DAY, EVERY HOUR, pitched as reminiscent of The Solitude of Prime Numbers and The Time Traveler's Wife set in Croatia and Paris, about a couple who are meant to be together, but fate keeps them apart; beginning with their meeting as children, when a young boy faints at the sight of his beguiling kindergarten classmate, and following the brief episodes when they reconnect over the course of their lives, through marriages and children, careers and personal tragedies, to Stephen Morrison at Viking, with Alexis Washam editing, by Gesche Wendebourg at DVA.

Rights have also been sold to Chatto, De Bezige Bij, Seix Barral, Flammarion, Feltrinelli, Doubleday Canada, and Gyldendal (for Norway and Denmark).


THE CHRONICLES OF HARRIS BURDICK: 14 Amazing Authors Tell the Tales, in which fourteen notable authors will each contribute a short story for middle-grade readers based on an illustration, including an introduction by Daniel Handler and stories Sherman Alexie, M.T. Anderson, Kate DiCamillo, Cory Doctorow, Jules Feiffer, Stephen King, Tabitha King, Lois Lowry, Gregory Maguire, Walter Dean Myers, Linda Sue Park, Louis Sachar, Jon Scieszka, and Chris Van Allsburg, to Margaret Raymo at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's, for publication in Fall 2011.


Veronica Rossi's UNDER THE NEVER SKY, about forbidden lovers from radically different societies - following a girl banished from her enclosed, technology-bound city out into the deadly natural world, where she encounters a savage boy who becomes her only chance to survive and return home, to Barbara Lalicki at Harper, in a three-book deal, for publication in Winter 2012, by Josh Adams at Adams Literary (NA).

CLA Award-winning author Lesley Livingston's trilogy STARLING, pitched as a supernatural Bourne Identity that blends Norse, Egyptian, and Greek mythologies with paranormal elements, to Laura Arnold at Harper Children's, by Jessica Regel at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency (NA).



CLA Award-winning author Lesley Livingston's trilogy STARLING, pitched as a supernatural Bourne Identity that blends Norse, Egyptian, and Greek mythologies with paranormal elements, to Laura Arnold at Harper Children's, by Jessica Regel at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency (NA).


NYT bestselling author Stephan Talty's AGENT GARBO: How a Brilliant and Eccentric Double Agent Tricked the Nazis and Saved D-Day, the little known World War II espionage story of Spaniard Juan Pujol, whose intrinsic role in leading Hitler's Abwehr on a wild, several-year goose chase for the landing area of D-Day aided in the success of the famous mission and saved thousands of lives, moving to Bruce Nichols at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, by Scott Waxman at the Waxman Literary Agency (NA).


Grammy-winner Shania Twain's autobiography, ranging from her difficult childhood to her recent divorce from music producer Robert "Mutt" Lange, driven by a "sudden urgency to document my life before I ran out of time," to Atria, by Robert Barnett at Williams & Connolly.

Richard Seaver's THE TENDER HOUR OF TWILIGHT, about the publisher, editor, and translator who died in 2009 after twenty years at the head of Arcade Publishing, covering his years in Paris in the 1950s and New York City in the 1960s at Grove Press, as he brought the likes of Samuel Beckett, William Burroughs, Jean Genet, Henry Miller, Octavio Paz, Pauline R�age, the Marquis de Sade, Hubert Selby, Jr, and Malcolm X to American readers -- often finding himself embroiled in what are now landmark censorship battles to do so, to Jonathan Galassi at Farrar, Straus, for publication in spring 2012, by Leon Friedman representing Jeannette Seaver (world).


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

For Truth Seekers, A Must Read Book....

From Secrecy News:


By censoring Anthony Shaffer's new book "Operation Dark Heart" even though uncensored review copies are already available in the public domain, the Department of Defense has produced a genuinely unique product: a revealing snapshot of the way that the Obama Administration classifies national security information in 2010.

With both versions before them (excerpts), readers can see for themselves exactly what the Pentagon classifiers wanted to withhold, and can judge for themselves whether the secrecy they tried to impose can be justified on valid national security grounds. In the majority of instances, the results of such an inspection seem disappointing, if not very surprising, and they tend to confirm the most skeptical view of the operation of the classification system.

The most commonly repeated "redaction" in Operation Dark Heart is the author's cover name, "Christopher Stryker," that he used while serving in Afghanistan. Probably the second most common redactions are references to the National Security Agency, its heaquarters location at Fort Meade, Maryland, the familiar abbreviation SIGINT (referring to "signals intelligence"), and offhand remarks like "Guys on phones were always great sources of intel," which is blacked out on the bottom of page 56.

Also frequently redacted are mentions of the term TAREX or "Target Exploitation," referring to intelligence collection gathered at a sensitive site, and all references to low-profile organizations such as the Air Force Special Activities Center and the Joint Special Operations Command, as well as to foreign intelligence partners such as New Zealand. Task Force 121 gets renamed Task Force 1099. The code name Copper Green, referring to an "enhanced" interrogation program, is deleted.

Perhaps 10% of the redacted passages do have some conceivable security sensitivity, including the identity of the CIA chief of station in Kabul, who has been renamed "Jacob Walker" in the new version, and a physical description of the location and appearance of the CIA station itself, which has been censored.

Many other redactions are extremely tenuous. The name of character actor Ned Beatty is not properly classified in any known universe, yet it has been blacked out on page 15 of the book. (It still appears intact in the Index.)

In short, the book embodies the practice of national security classification as it exists in the United States today. It does not exactly command respect.

A few selected pages from the original and the censored versions of Operation Dark Heart have been posted side-by-side for easy comparison here (pdf).

The New York Times reported on the Pentagon's dubious handling of the book in "Secrets in Plain Sight in Censored Book's Reprint" by Scott Shane, September 18.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Our Own Terrorism....

From Secrecy News:


An apparent spike in Islamist terrorist plots by American citizens and residents is examined in another new report (pdf) from the Congressional Research Service.

"This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11." The report uses the term "jihadist" to refer to "radicalized individuals using Islam as an ideological and/or religious justification for their belief in the establishment of a global caliphate."

The 128-page report describes the radicalization process and the responses of government and law enforcement agencies. An appendix provides details about each post-9/11 incident of "homegrown jihadist terrorist plots and attacks" while a second appendix describes engagement and partnership activities by federal agencies with Muslim-American communities. See "American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat," September 20, 2010.

Other new reports from CRS include the following (both pdf).

"The Mexican Economy After the Global Financial Crisis," September 9, 2010.

"Deflation: Economic Significance, Current Risk, and Policy Responses," August 30, 2010.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Rule of Law Should Come First....

From Secrecy News:


The inherent tension between the state secrets privilege and the rule of law reached the breaking point last week when an appeals court dismissed the claims of several persons who said they were illegally transported and tortured through a CIA "extraordinary rendition" program. They would not be permitted to litigate their case, the court decided, because to do so would place "state secrets" at risk.

"This case presents a painful conflict between human rights and national security," the 9th circuit court of appeals noted in its September 8 opinion (pdf) in Mohamed v. Jeppesen Dataplan, and by a 6-5 majority the judges determined that security considerations would take precedence.

"We have thoroughly and critically reviewed the government's public and classified declarations and are convinced that at least some of the matters it seeks to protect from disclosure in this litigation are valid state secrets, 'which, in the interest of national security, should not be divulged'," according to the majority opinion.

At the same time, the majority acknowledged, "Denial of a judicial forum based on the state secrets doctrine poses concerns at both individual and structural levels. For the individual plaintiffs in this action, our decision forecloses at least one set of judicial remedies, and deprives them of the opportunity to prove their alleged mistreatment and obtain damages. At a structural level, terminating the case eliminates further judicial review in this civil litigation, one important check on alleged abuse by government officials and putative contractors."

For these reasons, "Dismissal at the pleading stage" as in this case "is a drastic result and should not be readily granted." Yet grant it the court did.

But the majority seemed conflicted and apologetic about its own ruling. It ordered the government to pay the parties' costs, and it devoted several speculative paragraphs to identifying potential "non-judicial remedies" that might be available to the plaintiffs. Perhaps Congress could investigate the matter, the court weakly noted, or maybe pass legislation on behalf of the plaintiffs.

And just because the court ruled against the plaintiffs, the majority suggested, that "does not preclude the government from honoring the fundamental principles of justice" and providing reparations to the plaintiffs anyway.

But these suggestions range from "impractical" to "absurd," five dissenting judges wrote. "Permitting the executive to police its own errors and determine the remedy dispensed would not only deprive the judiciary of its role, but also deprive Plaintiffs of a fair assessment of their claims by a neutral arbiter."

Attorney General Eric Holder's September 23, 2009 policy statement on the state secrets privilege did hold out the possibility of seeking Inspector General review of allegations of misconduct whose adjudication was blocked by the use of the state secrets privilege:

"If the Attorney General concludes that it would be proper to defend invocation of the privilege in a case, and that invocation of the privilege would preclude adjudication of particular claims, but that the case raises credible allegations of government wrongdoing, the Department will refer those allegations to the Inspector General of the appropriate department or agency for further investigation...." (section 4C).

Given the court's extended discussion of non-judicial remedies, this case would seem to be a fitting subject for an Inspector General investigation under the 2009 Justice Department policy. But it could not immediately be learned if the Department has made such a referral to an agency Inspector General in this or any other state secrets case.

"The state secrets doctrine is a judicial construct without foundation in the Constitution, yet its application often trumps what we ordinarily consider to be due process of law," the five dissenting judges wrote. "This case now presents a classic illustration."


Friday, September 17, 2010

Selection of Unusual Books On the Way....



Author of the memoir A Slippery Year, Melanie Gideon's debut novel WIFE 22, about a woman amidst a midlife crisis who agrees to anonymously participate in a survey about marital happiness only to experience a reawakening through the power of confession -- told through a story that unfolds via Facebook statuses, Google searches, questionnaires and first-person narrative, satirizing our obsession with the internet and the ease with which we can reveal things to strangers but not to those we love, to Jennifer Hershey for Ballantine, by Elizabeth Sheinkman at Curtis Brown UK (NA).
Film rights optioned to Working Title. Dutch rights to Bruna.

Aatish Taseer's A TREMOR IN THE EARTH, a family saga about India, Pakistan, and a young man straddling these two worlds as he attempts to make his way in an environment full of toxicity and moral danger, to Mitzi Angel at Faber, for publication in Fall 2011, by Anna Stein on behalf of Andrew Kidd at Aitken Alexander Associates (NA).

Princeton undergraduate writing award-winner and New School MFA graduate Julie Sarkissian's THIS IS HOW TO FIND ME, in which a mentally disabled girl is sent to live on a farm where she discovers the dark secrets of her caretakers, befriends a pregnant teen whose baby is taken after its birth, and ultimately, with the help of a talking chicken, embarks on a brave, captivating journey to reunite mother and child, to Sarah Knight at Simon & Schuster, by Judy Heiblum at Sterling Lord Literistic (World).


Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee Senator Bob Graham's THE KEY TO THE KINGDOM, a topical and provocative debut political thriller, to Roger Cooper at Vanguard Press, for publication in Spring 2011, by Ed Victor at Ed Victor Ltd. (NA).


Author of A COMPLICATED KINDNESS Miriam Toews's SMALL BIRD, BEATING HEART, the story of a nineteen-year old who, with her thirteen-year old sister, is forced to flee their punishing Mennonite community in rural Mexico, and SWING LOW: A LIFE, about manic-depression that reads like a novel, to Terry Karten at Harper, for publication in Fall 2011, by Sarah Chalfant at The Wylie Agency (US).

Author of Governor General's Award-winning THE LAW OF DREAMS Peter Behrens's CALLING ME THROUGH THUNDER, which follows a man and his family during the first half of the twentieth century, as he leaves behind abject poverty to become a North American railroad magnate; about the pressure of history on a family over time, how the generations layer and reflect back on one another with both love and incomprehension, to Deb Garrison at Pantheon, by Sarah Burnes at The Gernert Company (US).
Canadian rights to Sarah MacLachlan at House of Anasi.

Winner of the Somerset Maugham Prize for White is for Witching Helen Oyeyemi's MR FOX, reinventing the titular "Bluebeard"-like English fairy tale in nine variations on a twisted love story about a novelist and his frustrated muse, to Megan Lynch at Riverhead Books, by Jin Auh at The Wylie Agency (US).


Former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and honorary president of Oxfam and president of the International Commission of Jurists, Mary Robinson's EVERYBODY MATTERS, sharing the story of her lifelong fight for the voiceless around the world, to George Gibson at Bloomsbury, for publication in Fall 2012, by Lynn Franklin of Lynn Franklin Associates (NA).

UK/Commonwealth and Ireland rights to Rowena Webb at Hodder and Stoughton and Breda Purdue of Hachette Ireland, by Mary Clemmey in cooperation with Lynn Franklin Associates.

Tim Parks's TEACH US TO SIT STILL, about his transformative journey through a debilitating medical condition that eluded diagnosis or conventional treatment, ultimately finding relief through a self-awareness, Buddhist meditation and a process of "emptying the head," with detours into the realms of literature, art, religion and philosophy, to Colin Dickerman at Rodale, by Henry Dunow at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner on behalf of Antony Harwood (NA).


THE TRANSFORMERS VAULT, covering more than 25 years of the Transformers Universe history, from the toys to the animated series, live-action movies, comics, and collectable merchandise, and feature never-before-seen images and inside information, to Eric Klopfer at Abrams, for publication in Spring 2011, by becker&mayer!

Chief legal analyst for NBC News and MSNBC and founder of the Abrams Media Network, Dan Abrams's MAN DOWN: Proof Beyond A Reasonable Doubt That Women Are Better Cops, Drivers, Gamblers, Spies, World Leaders, Beer Tasters, Hedge Fund Managers, and Just About Everything Else, to Jennifer Levesque at Abrams Image, for publication in May 2011, by Laura Dail at Laura Dail Literary Agency
(World English).


Duke University distinguished professor Adrian Bejan and columnist J. Peder Zane's THE CONSTRUCTAL LAW OF DESIGN IN NATURE, an examination of the universality of design in nature providing a broader understanding of evolution that unites the animate and inanimate through the Constructal Law, a first principle of physics that describes the natural tendency of all systems to generate configurations that evolve to flow more easily over time, to Melissa Danaczko at Doubleday, by Tina Bennett at Janklow & Nesbit (NA).


Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Pentagon to Press.....Work With Us...

From Secrecy News....

from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2010, Issue No. 71
September 7, 2010

Secrecy News Blog:



The Department of Defense last week increased its efforts to require that Department contacts with the media be monitored and approved by DoD public affairs officials.

"I am asking the heads of the Military Services, the Joint Staff and the Combatant Commands to reinforce to all of their employees to work closely and effectively with their public affairs offices to ensure full situational awareness," wrote Douglas B. Wilson, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs in a September 2 memorandum (pdf).

The latest Pentagon move follows up on a July 2 memo (pdf) from Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, who stated that the DoD Office of Public Affairs "is the sole release authority for official DoD information to news media in Washington, and ... all media activities must be coordinated through appropriate public affairs channels. This policy is all too often ignored," he complained.

"We have far too many people talking to the media outside of channels, sometimes providing information which is simply incorrect, out of proper context, unauthorized, or uninformed...," Secretary Gates wrote.

Both memoranda assert prohibitions on unauthorized disclosures of classified information as well as on unclassified but sensitive or predecisional information.

As a practical matter, the degree of control over DoD contacts with the media sought by the Pentagon may be impossible to achieve. The Department is too large (with millions of employees), too decentralized (with thousands of locations) and, perhaps, too open (with hundreds of reporters holding building permits at the Pentagon alone) to allow rigorous monitoring or "coordination" of more than a fraction of all external contacts and communications.

And though it may not be convenient for Pentagon officials to say so, almost everyone understands that freedom of the press means something more, and something different, than reproducing authorized government releases. Unauthorized disclosures -- even incomplete or partially inaccurate ones -- often serve a valuable public policy function, at least when they do not trespass on legitimate secrets, because they enable reporters and others to develop an independent account of events and to generate a more complete public record. When the short-term institutional interests of the Pentagon or other U.S. government agencies lead them to overclassify or otherwise impede public access to information, unauthorized and "uncoordinated" disclosures help to fill the void.


Last year, the number of "original classification decisions" -- or new national security secrets -- actually declined by almost ten percent from the year before.

This and other empirical measures of government secrecy were compiled in a new Secrecy Report Card (pdf) that was issued today by, a coalition of public interest advocacy organizations. The Report Card presented data on classification and declassification activity, classification costs, Freedom of Information Act requests, Presidential signing statements, assertions of the state secrets privilege, and other aspects of official secrecy.

While new classification activity slowed last year, the Report Card noted, so too did declassification, with 8% fewer pages declassified in 2009 than in 2008. A National Declassification Center that was established in December 2009 is supposed to sharply increase the number of pages declassified in the coming months and years.

Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

The Secrecy News Blog is at:


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stepping Out With Secrets...

From Secrecy News:


The Obama Administration continued its pursuit of individuals who leak classified information to the press with another indictment of a suspected leaker. The Department of Justice announced last week that Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, a State Department contractor, had been indicted (pdf) under the Espionage Act for the unauthorized disclosure of national defense information and for lying to the FBI. Mr. Kim pleaded not guilty to both charges.

The classified information, which was not specified in the indictment, reportedly consisted of a 2009 intelligence assessment conveyed to Fox News stating that North Korea was likely to respond to United Nations sanctions by conducting another nuclear explosive test.

"The willful disclosure of classified information to those not entitled to it is a serious crime," said Assistant Attorney General David S. Kris in an August 27 news release. "Today's indictment should serve as a warning to anyone who is entrusted with sensitive national security information and would consider compromising it."

Mr. Kim's attorneys blasted the decision to indict him.

"In its obsession to clamp down on perfectly appropriate conversations between government employees and the press, the Obama Administration has forgotten that wise foreign policy must be founded on a two-way conversation between government and the public," said Abbe D. Lowell and Ruth Wedgwood in an August 27 statement (pdf) on the case.

"It is so disappointing that the Justice Department has chosen to stretch the espionage laws to cover ordinary and normal conversations between government officials and the press and, in doing so, destroy the career of a loyal civil servant and brilliant foreign policy analyst," they said. "There is no allegation that a document was given, that any money changed hands, that any foreign government was involved, or that there was any improper motive in the type of government/media exchanges that happen hundreds of times a day in Washington."

Mr. Kim was released pending trial on a $100,000 property bond. A status conference in the case has been set for October 13, 2010.

In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month, former Defense Secretary William J. Perry said that more criminal prosecutions were needed to deter leaks of classified information.

"When I was secretary, we had an example of an egregious leak which I thought compromised national security," Secretary Perry told Senator McCain on August 3. "We prosecuted a case and sent the leaker to prison. And I think more examples of that would be useful in injecting better discipline in the system."

However, he may have misspoken. There does not seem to have been a leak prosecution during the years that he served as Secretary (1993-1997), and Dr. Perry's office was not able to provide clarification of his remarks.


Friday, August 27, 2010

On the Nukes...

From Secrecy News...


In "The Twilight of the Bombs," the fourth and final volume of his epic history of the nuclear era, author Richard Rhodes examines "how the dangerous post-Cold War transition was managed, who its heroes were, what we learned from it, and where it carried us."

Covering the years 1990-2010, from the collapse of the Soviet Union onward, much of the latest history is familiar. But by focusing on nuclear weapons development, proliferation and testing, Rhodes fashions his own narrative arc, enriched by new interviews and insights.

In the end, he sees a hopeful trajectory of "nuclear limitation and foreclosure: from Mikhail Gorbachev's and Ronald Reagan's initiatives to end the Cold War, to the voluntary disarming of the former Soviet republics and the security of nuclear materials, to the U.S. and Russia's deepening mutual arms reduction, to the up-and-down negotiations with North Korea that have nevertheless prevented another Korean war, to international diplomatic pressure brought to bear effectively on India and Pakistan, to the persistent march forward of negotiations toward treaties to limit nuclear testing and proliferation." (However, Rhodes does not specifically address the case of Iran's nuclear program, as noted by Tim Rutten in an August 18 review in the Los Angeles Times.)

In the concluding pages of the book, Rhodes posits an analogy between previous campaigns to eradicate or limit disease and current efforts to abolish nuclear weapons, which he deems both necessary and feasible. "In 1999, for the first time in human history, infectious diseases no longer ranked first among causes of death worldwide" thanks to the discipline of public health. In a similarly efficacious way, he says, the ingredients of the analogous discipline of public safety against nuclear weapons "have already begun to assemble themselves: materials control and accounting, cooperative threat reduction, security guarantees, agreements and treaties, surveillance and inspection, sanctions, forceful disarming if all else fails."

"The Twilight of the Bombs" cannot match Rhodes' first volume on "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" for sheer mythological power, but it is fluidly and eloquently written. The author's prose ranges widely, sometimes vertiginously: In the book's Index, Scott Ritter comes right after Rainer Maria Rilke, the Ayatollah Khomeini is just above Nicole Kidman, and Sig Hecker of Los Alamos is separated from Jesse Helms by G.W.F. Hegel.

Mr. Rhodes (who I should say has been a consistent supporter of Secrecy News) ends the book with Acknowledgments, including a valentine to his wife: "She, not thermonuclear fusion, makes the sun shine."


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Assholes Abound....

As a writer friend of mine says, "I fear for my country." Precisely. The Republicans have become an evil force, far as I'm concerned.

Worse is the massive number of flat out stupid people who will swallow any damned thing the Repubs say.

Right off the top, those people need to know that Obama is NOT a Muslim. I don't care what his father was. That man has nothing to do with Obama. He disappeared from sight almost as soon as he impregnanted Obama's mother. Obama was raised a Christian and still is one.

Our Bill of Rights in this Republic of the United States of America says very plainly that we have freedom of religion...which means that Muslims have the right, as US citizens, to build their social center any damned place they please so long as they own the land legally. Which they do. And that's that.

The Republicans have instilled fear in those who buy their bullshit. I cannot imagine why anybody does, but far too many of them do. Pitiful, that they cannot think for themselves.

Of course part of the reason for their stupidity is the fact that our Republican owned news media are yellow journalists of the first order.

And why anybody with brains pays the least attention to assholes like Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck is beyond me. I guess they're hearing what they want to hear, not realizing they're swallowing idiocy whole...evil idiocy. It's all about the money, people!!! Rush and Beck are being paid plenty to continue to cram that crap down people's throats every chance they get.

Media, by the way, includes TV and radio. Yellow journalism. I hope those corporate owners strangle.

And then there's the Supreme Court. Majority are Repugs. So of course they made the decision that corporations are people. Like hell they are. $$$$$$$$$$ rules. And may they rot while still living.

More, they own too many politicians, lock, stock, barrel. It's a hell of a thing that it costs so much to run for office, the way it's set up. Be much cleaner if campaigns were publically financed. And if the reputations of the people running were checked out first for crimes of one kind or another committed.

I do wish that Obama would not try so hard to work deals with both Repugs and Dems to get their joint agreement. It ain't gonna happen.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Replacing Obama...

Okay then, Dems don't like Obama, you're not gonna have a who the hell do you want to replace Obama? Gotta have somebody. Maybe Kucinich? But would he want that lousy job?

Ah...I can hear some people yelling, "HILARY".

Best give some thought to that. Nov 2012 is on its way.


Sunday, August 08, 2010

Good Books On The Way....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly...


InStyle magazine deputy and books editor Nancy Bilyeau's historical thriller THE LAST NUN, about a novice who is imprisoned in the Tower for breaking the sacred rule of enclosure and, in exchange for her freedom and her father's life, is charged to find a hidden legendary relic that could save the way of life that she loves from Cromwell's advancing army of destruction, to Trish Todd at Touchstone Fireside, in a very nice deal, at auction, by Josh Getzler at Russell & Volkening (NA).

Former analyst at Goldman, Sachs and corporate attorney Cristina Alger's debut THE DARLINGS, a family drama about a New York high society finance family and the race to uncover -- or cover up -- the truth behind a tragic event that sets off a scandal with enormous financial and personal implications, with great insights into a NY world rarely glimpsed by outsiders, and pitched as having echoes of THE FIRM, BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES and Clare Messud's THE EMPEROR'S CHILDREN, to Pamela Dorman at Pamela Dorman Books, in a pre-empt, for publication in winter 2012, by Pilar Queen at McCormick & Williams Literary Agency (world).


Two-time Edgar nominee Charlie Huston's SKINNER, the first in an epic series about a man raised in a box who becomes the world's most skilled assassin, to John Schoenfelder at Mulholland Books and Bill Massey at Orion, in a three-book deal, for publication beginning Spring 2012, by Simon Lipskar at Writers House (World English).

Four-time Edgar and Shamus Award-winner and Edgar Grand Master Award recipient Lawrence Block's A DROP OF THE HARD STUFF, a new Matthew Scudder novel, to John Schoenfelder at Mulholland Books, for Spring 2011 publication, by Danny Baror at Baror International (NA).


Duane Swierczynski's FUN AND GAMES, HELL AND GONE and POINT AND SHOOT, a thriller in three parts, starring an ex-cop who lives in exile to protect his family and is driven to uphold justice no matter the personal cost, to be published over a period of six months, to John Schoenfelder at Mulholland Books, in a three-book deal, for publication in Spring through Fall 2011, by David Hale Smith at DHS Literary (World English).
Translation: DHS Literary/Baror International


Tony D'Souza's MULE, in which a young professional couple with a new baby fall into a life as drug mules after they lose their jobs in the economic downturn, to Jenna Johnson at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, for publication in Spring 2012, by Liz Darhansoff at Darhansoff, Verrill, Feldman (NA).


IMMORTALS author Alyson Noel's SOUL SEEKER series, a supernatural story that will "explore themes of Shamanism and the ability to walk through the Upperworld and the Underworld and to walk amongst the dead," again to Rose Hilliard at St. Martin's, for publication beginning in 2012, by Bill Contardi at Brandt & Hochman.


Washington Irving biographer Brian Jay Jones's Jim Henson biography, with the cooperation of the Henson family, beginning with Henson's days as an early TV pioneer, innovative artist and businessman who created a whole new way to present puppetry, covering Henson's creations, such as The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock and his important contribution to the development and success of Sesame Street, and describing his groundbreaking artistic and technological work that continues to this day, to Jill Schwartzman at Ballantine, by Jonathan Lyons of Lyons Literary (world).


THE LONGEST WINTER and THE BEDFORD BOYS author Alex Kershaw's 500 DAYS: An Epic of Liberation, a closely focused but expansively painted war saga about an American infantry commander's descent into the deepest maelstrom of World War II Europe, from the landings at Sicily in July 1943 to Anzio, where he was the lone survivor of his company, to the drama of the liberation of Dachau, developing a transcendently human story of fortitude, faith and sacrifice, to Charlie Conrad at Broadway, for publication in 2012, by Jim Hornfischer at Hornfischer Literary Management (world).

NYT bestselling author of Renegade: The Making of a President and political analyst for MSNBC Richard Wolffe's untitled book based on exclusive and extensive interviews with President Obama and White House Staff; an in depth study of the Obama Administration at work, to Crown, for publication in November 2010.

Former UK prime minister Gordon Brown's book on the global financial crisis, with insight into the events that led to the fiscal downward spiral and the reactions of world leaders as they took steps to avoid further disaster, and suggestions for measures Brown believes the world should adopt to regain fiscal stability, to Free Press and Simon & Schuster UK, for publication in November 2010, by Philippa Brophy at Sterling Lord Literistic (world).


New York Magazine online editor Carolyn Murnick's THE HOT ONE, a memoir about women, friendship and the murder of her childhood best friend at the age of 22, which takes us from the suburbs of New Jersey to the seedy underworld of Los Angeles, to Amber Qureshi at Free Press, at auction, by Larry Weissman at Larry Weissman Literary (world English).


Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and senior associate in neurology at Children's Hospital Boston Frances Jensen, M.D., with Amy Ellis Nutt's THE TEENAGE BRAIN, the latest scientific research to unlock the secrets of adolescent behavior and explain what is happening at the interface of a teenager's brain and the world, to Claire Wachtel at Harper, in a major deal, at auction, by Wendy Strothman at The Strothman Agency (World).


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Secrets? What Secrets....

From Secrecy News:


The release of some 90,000 classified records on the Afghanistan War by Wikileaks is the largest single unauthorized disclosure of currently classified records that has ever taken place, and it naturally raises many questions about information security, the politics of disclosure, and the possible impact on the future conduct of the war in Afghanistan.

But among those questions is this: Can the national security classification system be fixed before it breaks down altogether in a frenzy of uncontrolled leaks, renewed barriers against information dissemination, and a growing loss of confidence in the integrity of the system?

That the classification system needs fixing is beyond any doubt.

"I agree with you, sir," Gen. James R. Clapper, Jr., told Sen. Ron Wyden at his DNI confirmation hearing last week, "we do overclassify."

That makes it more or less unanimous. What has always been less clear is just what to do about the problem.

In what may be the last opportunity to systematically correct classification policy and to place it on a sound footing, the Obama Administration has ordered all classifying agencies to perform a Fundamental Classification Guidance Review. The purpose of the Review is to evaluate current classification policies based on "the broadest possible range of perspectives" and to eliminate obsolete or unnecessary classification requirements. Executive Order 13526, section 1.9 directed that such reviews must be completed within the next two years.

"There is an executive order that we, the [intelligence] community, are in the process of gearing up on how to respond to this, because this is going to be a more systematized process, and a lot more discipline to it," Gen. Clapper said.

"Having been involved in this, I will tell you my general philosophy is that we can be a lot more liberal, I think, about declassifying, and we should be," Gen. Clapper said.

It is unclear at this point whether the Fundamental Review will be faithfully implemented by executive branch agencies, whether it will have the intended effect of sharply reducing the scope of the national security classification system, or whether the system itself is already beyond repair.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

ComicCon Is Up & Running....

Well, ComicCon is rolling. Doors opened at the Convention Center at 6:30PM this evening.

So Skip, the doorman who has been there for 20 years is suddenly asked about what to do when one of the ComicCon folks says, "There's a sea gull in the lobby!"

Not much can be done since the ceiling of the lobby is 2 stories high and thus the sea gull can and will fly around until he finds a way out.

Attendees, who drive into San Diego, can park at Qualcomm stadium in Mission Valley and ride one of the red trolleys non-stop to the Conv Ctr. The problem for the locals will be trying to get across the tracks downtown between trolleys. Apparently the Padres may be playing at Petco Park downtown...across from the Conv Ctr...sometime within the next three days. Fans are gonna have fun trying to find parking. Be good if they take the trolleys too.

Me, I'm gonna enjoy Seaport Village which is a decent distance down Harbor Drive from the Conv Ctr. Was there this afternoon. When I left, to drive down Pacific Hwy, the first cross street was Harbor Drive. Nothing but a solid mass of cars heading toward the Conv Ctr. Ah me. Having ComicCon in town is always intersting.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Read This Book In Feb, 2011....

Harriet A. Washington was kind enough to email me a photo of her book jacket, but I can't figure a way to get it over here. In any case, the title is "Deadly Monopolies", and here are quotes from some of the reviews:

Harriet A. Washington has unearthed an enormous amount of shocking information and shaped it into a riveting, carefully documented book.'
—The New York Times

'Medical Apartheid is fascinating and compelling. ...The book’s analysis challenges the reader to question established paradigms in the history of medicine.'
—Marius Turda, Oxford Brookes University, Social History of Medicine

Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans
from Colonial Times to the Present

Winner, National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, PEN/Oakland Award, BCALA Nonfiction Award, Gustavus Meyers Award

Also, she says, "Deadly Monopolies will be published in February 2011, and I posted an essay on HuffPo that dicusses a few of the topics it addresses. I thought you might be interested, so here's the link.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Military Contractors Outnumber Military....

From Secrecy News:


The Department of Defense has more contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan than it has uniformed military personnel, another newly updated report from the Congressional Research Service reminds us.

"The Department of Defense increasingly relies upon contractors to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has resulted in a DOD workforce that has 19% more contractor personnel (207,600) than uniformed personnel (175,000)," said the CRS report -- which forms a timely counterpoint to this week's Washington Post "Top Secret America" series on the tremendous expansion of the intelligence bureaucracy, including the increased and often unchecked reliance on contractors.

The explosive growth in reliance on contractors naturally entails new difficulties in management and oversight. "Some analysts believe that poor contract management has also played a role in abuses and crimes committed by certain contractors against local nationals, which may have undermined U.S. counterinsurgency efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan," the CRS said.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Westboro Baptists vs Navy SEALs....& ComicCon..

From Tom Blair's column in the San Diego Union-Tribune paper this morning:

"Last item in Tom Blair's column this morning...
: The Westboro Baptist Church, famed for picketing the funerals of American soldiers, will picket Comic-Con here on Thursday. The controversial church, headed by Fred Phelps , accuses conventioneers of worshipping comic book idols. Says the Westboro website: “If these people would spend even some of the energy they spend on these comic books, reading the Bible, well no high hopes here.” Batman and the Green Lantern garner most of Phelps’ wrath"

So now everybody wants me to make sure the Navy SEALs...their base is just a couple of
miles away...know. And the Camp Pendleton Marines...just about 25 miles up the coast, as well. Thursday may be those assholes' waterloo.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Conv Ctr Tour Plus ComicCon Plus Secret Services.

The powers that be gathered at the San Diego Conv Ctr this morning to tour the place. The idea was to help them decide whether to expand its size, and thus keep ComicCon holding their conferences there. Right now, ComicCon has become such a large size that there is simply not enough space to hold all they'd like to do. We shall see.

My opinion is that expanding the Conv Ctr is the smart thing to do. A better choice than building the proposed new library downtown near Petco ballpark. And if the Chargers need a new stadium, let Spanos build it. We're still losing money on Qualcom.


Additionally, there are two books that I consider must-reads. The first is fiction and entitled "Crashers". Normally, when a passenger jet crashes, there are pictures of the crash site in the MSM. Later, the media might have pictures of the sections of the jet all laid out nicely in a large hanger. "Crashers" deals with the activity that occurs between those two events. Lemme tell you, I had no idea of what goes on. Absolutely a hair-standing novel and when I tell you that you won't be able to put it down, I mean exactly what I say. One absolutely terrific piece of work.

The second book is a non-fiction, entitled "In The President's Secret Service" by Ron Kessler. Talk about shock value! I was astounded by the difference between our presidents' public and private behaviors. And no, I'm not gonna give examples. This is a book that seriously needs to be read. It doesn't cut any of those guys any slack. The Secret Service knows all, I kid you not...and in this book, tells all.
More, you'd best read it BEFORE the next presidential election.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Special Forces & Green Berets New Book ....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly...


Cornell MFA and former University of Chicago mathematics scholar Catherine Chung's FORGOTTEN COUNTRY, the story of a Korean American woman sent by her terminally ill father to find her missing sister, leading to a larger journey that forces her to confront her family's tragic history and to understand the consequences of the truth coming to light under the weight of national, cultural, and personal traditions of silence, to Megan Lynch at Riverhead, at auction, by Maria Massie at Lippincott Massie McQuilkin (NA).

Madeline Miller's IN THE ARMOR OF ACHILLES, yielding a tender love story and a chronicle of the Trojan War; narrated by Patroclus, best friend and lover of the Greek hero, Achilles, these childhood friends suddenly face the rising tide of war when Helen is captured by Troy; following him to the distant battlefields, Patroclus is willing to sacrifice anything to prolong the mortal life of his immortal love, to Lee Boudreaux at Ecco, at auction, for publication Summer 2012, by Julie Barer at Barer Literary, and to Alexandra Pringle at Bloomsbury UK, by Caspian Dennis for Barer Literary.


Two-time Agatha Award winner and NYT bestselling author Jacqueline Winspear's 9th and 10th novels in the series featuring psychologist and investigator MAISIE DOBBS, again to Jennifer Barth at Harper, in a major deal, by Amy Rennert at the Amy Rennert Agency.


Three new FBI thrillers by No. 1 NYT bestselling author Catherine Coulter, featuring her lead characters Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savich, to Ivan Held at Putnam, for publication once a year, by Robert Gottlieb at Trident Media Group (NA).

David Jack Bell's CEMETERY GIRL, in which a couple who seemingly has it all, loses almost everything when their twelve-year-old daughter disappears without a trace, and then, four years later, is found and returned to them, but refuses to talk about where she was, what happened to her -- and why, to Danielle Perez at NAL, in a two-book deal, by Laney Katz Becker at Markson Thoma (World English).


Jodi Meadows's trilogy, beginning with ERIN INCARNATE, about the only girl who is new in a world where everyone is perpetually reincarnated, and her quest to discover why she was born, and what happened to the person she replaced, to Sarah Shumway at Katherine Tegen Books, at auction, by Lauren MacLeod at The Strothman Agency (World English).


Houston Chronicle business columnist Loren Steffy's untitled book on BP, tracing how the current disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is only a part of a larger pattern of corporate cost-cutting and image-making that has compromised safety across BP's operations for years, to Mary Glenn at McGraw-Hill, by Matthew Carnicelli at Trident Media Group (World).

Huffington Post blogger and CEO Steve Rosenbaum's CURATION NATION: How to Profit in the New World of User-Generated Content, illuminating one of today's hottest business trends -- curation: the art of discovering, sorting, and giving context to the explosion of content on the web in order to make it relevant to one's consumer, to Leila Porteous at McGraw-Hill Professional, by John Wright at John Wright Literary Associates.


Tony Schwalm's THE GUERRILLA FACTORY, a narrative of the author's experiences in the U.S. Army's legendary training crucible, the Q Course at Fort Bragg, which produces elite Special Forces operators, also known as Green Berets, and his tour of duty as its commander, to Dominick Anfuso at Free Press, for publication in 2012, by Jim Hornfischer at Hornfischer Literary Management (World). board president Eli Pariser's DONT BE EVIL: Filter Bubbles, Click Signals, And Why It Matters That the Net Knows Your Name, on the unprecedented rise of personalization on the web, revealing what it's doing to us, where it's going, how it will increasingly restrict the news we consume and curb innovation, and why we can - and must - change course, to Ann Godoff and Laura Stickney at Penguin Press, at auction, for publication in May 2011, by Elyse Cheney at Elyse Cheney Agency (NA).

Author of the newsmaking Rolling Stone article The Runaway General, journalist Michael Hastings' untitled book, promising "an unprecedented behind-the-scenes account of America's longest war," with an unfiltered look at the war, and the soldiers, diplomats and politicians who are waging it, to Geoff Shandler at Little, Brown, by Scott Moyers at The Wylie Agency.

Oceanographer and MacArthur fellow Carl Safina's BLOWOUT, on the environmental consequences of the BP disaster, to John Glusman of Crown, by Jean Naggar of the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency (World English).


Co-host of the Emmy-winning TV show "The Doctors" Dr. Lisa Masterson, PAPER DOLLHOUSE, tracing her path from an unconventional childhood with a larger-than-life, "flim-flam the rich, fund your dreams" mother to the firing lines of medical school, her charity in Africa, and co-hosting a hit TV series while remaining first and foremost a doctor, to Janice Goldklang at Globe Pequot, for publication in May 2011, by BJ Robbins at BJ Robbins Literary Agency (World English).