World Stories

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ejjus
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Re: World Stories

Post by ejjus » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:40 pm

THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA

Decades before he ran the Trump campaign, Paul Manafort’s pursuit of foreign cash and shady deals laid the groundwork for the corruption of Washington.

FRANKLIN FOER MARCH 2018 ISSUE

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ar ... er/550925/

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I. The Wisdom of Friends

The clinic permitted paul manafort one 10-minute call each day. And each day, he would use it to ring his wife from Arizona, his voice often soaked in tears. “Apparently he sobs daily,” his daughter Andrea, then 29, texted a friend. During the spring of 2015, Manafort’s life had tipped into a deep trough. A few months earlier, he had intimated to his other daughter, Jessica, that suicide was a possibility. He would “be gone forever,” she texted Andrea.

His work, the source of the status he cherished, had taken a devastating turn. For nearly a decade, he had counted primarily on a single client, albeit an exceedingly lucrative one. He’d been the chief political strategist to the man who became the president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, with whom he’d developed a highly personal relationship. Manafort would swim naked with his boss outside his banya, play tennis with him at his palace (“Of course, I let him win,” Manafort made it known), and generally serve as an arbiter of power in a vast country. One of his deputies, Rick Gates, once boasted to a group of Washington lobbyists, “You have to understand, we’ve been working in Ukraine a long time, and Paul has a whole separate shadow government structure … In every ministry, he has a guy.” Only a small handful of Americans—oil executives, Cold War spymasters—could claim to have ever amassed such influence in a foreign regime. The power had helped fill Manafort’s bank accounts; according to his recent indictment, he had tens of millions of dollars stashed in havens like Cyprus and the Grenadines.

Manafort had profited from the sort of excesses that make a country ripe for revolution. And in the early months of 2014, protesters gathered on the Maidan, Kiev’s Independence Square, and swept his patron from power. Fearing for his life, Yanukovych sought protective shelter in Russia. Manafort avoided any harm by keeping a careful distance from the enflamed city. But in his Kiev office, he’d left behind a safe filled with papers that he would not have wanted to fall into public view or the wrong hands.

Money, which had always flowed freely to Manafort and which he’d spent more freely still, soon became a problem. After the revolution, Manafort cadged some business from former minions of the ousted president, the ones who hadn’t needed to run for their lives. But he complained about unpaid bills and, at age 66, scoured the world (Hungary, Uganda, Kenya) for fresh clients, hustling without any apparent luck. Andrea noted her father’s “tight cash flow state,” texting Jessica, “He is suddenly extremely cheap.” His change in spending habits was dampening her wedding plans. For her “wedding weekend kick off” party, he suggested scaling back the menu to hot dogs and eliminated a line item for ice.

He seemed unwilling, or perhaps unable, to access his offshore accounts; an FBI investigation scrutinizing his work in Ukraine had begun not long after Yanukovych’s fall. Meanwhile, a Russian oligarch named Oleg Deripaska had been after Manafort to explain what had happened to an $18.9 million investment in a Ukrainian company that Manafort had claimed to have made on his behalf.

Manafort had known Deripaska for years, so he surely understood the oligarch’s history. Deripaska had won his fortune by prevailing in the so-called aluminum wars of the 1990s, a corpse-filled struggle, one of the most violent of all the competitions for dominance in a post-Soviet industry. In 2006, the U.S. State Department had revoked Deripaska’s visa, reportedly out of concern over his ties to organized crime (which he has denied). Despite Deripaska’s reputation, or perhaps because of it, Manafort had been dodging the oligarch’s attempts to contact him. As Deripaska’s lawyers informed a court in 2014 while attempting to claw back their client’s money, “It appears that Paul Manafort and Rick Gates have simply disappeared.”
The world is deep,:
And deeper than even day may dream.

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Re: World Stories

Post by ejjus » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:43 pm

WHAT MAKES US HAPPY?

Is there a formula—some mix of love, work, and psychological adaptation—for a good life? For 72 years, researchers at Harvard have been examining this question, following 268 men who entered college in the late 1930s through war, career, marriage and divorce, parenthood and grandparenthood, and old age. Here, for the first time, a journalist gains access to the archive of one of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies in history. Its contents, as much literature as science, offer profound insight into the human condition—and into the brilliant, complex mind of the study’s longtime director, George Vaillant.

JOSHUA WOLF SHENK JUNE 2009 ISSUE

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ar ... py/307439/

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Case No. 47, continued

You are the study’s antihero, its jester, its subversive philosopher. From the first pages of your file, you practically explode with personality. In the social worker’s office, you laughed uproariously, slapping your arm against your chair. He “seems to be thoroughly delighted with the family idiosyncrasies,” Lewise Gregory, the original staff social worker, wrote. “He has a delightful, spontaneous sense of humor … [a] bubbling, effervescent quality.” “My family considers it a great joke that I am a ‘normal boy,’” you wrote. “‘Good God!’”

You ducked the war, as a conscientious objector. “I’ve answered a great many questions,” you wrote in your 1946 survey. “Now I’d like to ask you people a couple of questions. By what standards of reason are you calling people ‘adjusted’ these days? Happy? Contented? Hopeful? If people have adjusted to a society that seems hell-bent on destroying itself in the next couple of decades, just what does that prove about the people?”

You got married young, and did odd jobs—including a stint as a guinea pig in a hospital study on shipwreck survival. You said that you were fascinated by the “nuts” on the psychiatric ward, and you wondered whether you could escape the “WASP cocoon.” You worked in public relations and had three kids.

You said you wanted to be a writer, but that looked like a distant dream. You started drinking. In college, you had said you were the life of the party without alcohol. By 1948, you were drinking sherry. In 1951, you reported that you regularly took a few drinks. By 1964, you wrote, “Really tie one on about twice a week,” and you continued, “Well, I eat too much, smoke too much, drink too much liquor and coffee, get too little exercise, and I’ve got to do something about all these things. “On the other hand,” you wrote, “I’ve never been more productive, and I’m a little wary of rocking the boat right now by going on a clean living kick … I’m about as adjusted and effective as the average Fine Upstanding Neurotic can hope to be.”

After a divorce, and a move across the country, and a second marriage—you left her for a mistress who later left you—you came out of the closet. And you began to publish and write full-time. The Grant Study got some of your best work. When a questionnaire asked what ideas carried you through rough spots, you wrote, “It’s important to care and to try, even tho the effects of one’s caring and trying may be absurd, futile, or so woven into the future as to be indetectable.” Asked what effect the Grant Study had on you, you wrote, “Just one more little token that I am God’s Elect. And I really don’t need any such tokens, thank you.”

In the early 1970s, Dr. Vaillant came to see you in your small apartment, with an old couch, an old-fashioned typewriter, a sink full of dishes, and a Harvard-insignia chair in the corner. Ever the conscientious objector, you asked for his definition of “normality.” You said you loved The Sorrow and the Pity and that, in the movie, the sort of men the Grant Study prized fought on the side of the Nazis, “whereas the kooks and the homosexuals were all in the resistance.” You told Dr. Vaillant he should read Joseph Heller on the unrelieved tragedy of conventionally successful businessmen.

Your “mental status was paradoxical,” Dr. Vaillant wrote in his notes. You were clearly depressed, he observed, and yet full of joy and vitality. “He could have been a resistance leader,” Dr. Vaillant wrote. “He really did seem free about himself.” Intrigued, and puzzled, he sent you a portion of his manuscript-in-progress, wanting your thoughts. “The data’s fantastic,” you replied. “The methodology you are using is highly sophisticated. But the end judgments, the final assessments, seem simplistic.

“I mean, I can imagine some poor bastard who’s fulfilled all your criteria for successful adaptation to life, … upon retirement to some aged enclave near Tampa just staring out over the ocean waiting for the next attack of chest pain, and wondering what he’s missed all his life What’s the difference between a guy who at his final conscious moments before death has a nostalgic grin on his face as if to say, ‘Boy, I sure squeezed that lemon’ and the other man who fights for every last breath in an effort to turn back time to some nagging unfinished business?”

You went on to a very productive career, and became an important figure in the gay-rights movement. You softened toward your parents and children, and made peace with your ex-wife. You took long walks. And you kept drinking. After a day in your “collar,” you said, you let the dog loose.

“If you had your life to live over again,” the study asked you in 1981, “what problem, if any, would you have sought help for and to whom would you have gone?” “I’ve come to believe that ‘help’ is for the most part useless and destructive,” you answered. “Can you imagine Arlie Bock—God bless his soul—trying to help me work out my problems? … Or Clark Heath? The poor old boys would have headed for the hills! The ‘helping professions’ are in general camp-followers of the dominant culture, just like the clergy, and the psychiatrists. (I except Freud and Vaillant.)”

Around this time, Dr. Vaillant wrote about you: “The debate continues in my mind, whether he is going to be the exception and be able to break all the rules of mental health and alcoholism or whether the Greek fates will destroy him. Only time will tell.” Dr. Vaillant urged you to go to AA. You died at age 64, when you fell down the stairs of your apartment building. The autopsy found high levels of alcohol in your blood.

In Adaptation to Life, where you appeared as “Alan Poe,” Vaillant had admired your altruism and sublimation, and your eloquence, but worried you were “stalked by death, suicide and skid row.” You had written in retort, “Of course, the prognosis of death is a pretty sure bet … Hell, I could be dead by the time you get this letter. But if I am, let it be published … that—especially in the last five years—‘I sure squeezed that lemon!’”
The world is deep,:
And deeper than even day may dream.

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Re: World Stories

Post by ejjus » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:47 pm

Forensic Science Put Jimmy Genrich in Prison for 24 Years. What if It Wasn’t Science?

A special investigation reveals a disastrous flaw affecting thousands of criminal convictions.

By Meehan Crist and Tim Requarth FEBRUARY 1, 2018

https://www.thenation.com/article/the-c ... forensics/

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Al Capone’s Valentine’s Day Massacre resulted in one of the earliest uses of forensic ballistics.

2: THE ORIGIN OF FORENSICS

On a bitterly cold Valentine’s Day in 1929, four men hired by Al Capone entered an unheated garage on Chicago’s North Side and ordered the seven men inside to line up against a brick wall. Two men in suits and two men dressed as police officers carrying Tommy guns unleashed a barrage of bullets into henchmen of the infamous Chicago mobster George “Bugs” Moran. The police were stymied until they raided Fred “Killer” Burke’s house and found guns they suspected might have been used in the massacre. Burke wouldn’t confess, and the guns were the best evidence linking him to the crime, so they sent the weapons to Calvin Goddard, a former physician and pioneer in the new field of “forensic ballistics” at one of the nation’s first crime laboratories. (His new method of matching bullet casings to guns had played a role in the controversial 1927 execution of Italian-American anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti.) Goddard fired “test” bullets from Burke’s guns and, using a “split-image” comparison microscope he had helped invent for the purpose, matched grooved marks left on the test bullets and casings to those on bullets and casings found at the crime scene.

Goddard’s forensic ballistics is now known as “firearm and toolmark analysis,” and the field has since grown to include hundreds of examiners in crime labs nationwide. While making matches with household tools is less common, convictions have been secured in part based on marks left by knives, bolt cutters, bayonets, scissors, screwdrivers, pipe wrenches, or—as in Genrich’s case—pliers and wire-strippers. These marks are often harder to parse than those on bullets, because while all bullets fired from a gun follow the same path down the same metal barrel, toolmarks depend on multiple variable factors such as the angle and pressure with which a tool is applied to a surface, which may be hard or soft, spongy or brittle.

“We don’t want to create hysteria but there is a person out there with no regard for human life.” — Grand Junction police lieutenant to the local newspaper

Firearm and toolmark analysis emerged out of a national push in the early 20th century to professionalize police investigative techniques at a moment when Americans were particularly enamored with science. Law enforcement borrowed terms from science, establishing crime “laboratories” staffed by forensic “scientists” who announced “theories” cloaked in their own specialized jargon. But forensic “science” focused on inventing clever ways to solve cases and win convictions; it was never about forming theories and testing them according to basic scientific standards. By adopting the trappings of science, the forensic disciplines co-opted its authority while abandoning its methods.

Amid the swirl of new forensic techniques, the courts realized there had to be a gatekeeping mechanism to filter out quackery. In 1923, the DC Court of Appeals provided that mechanism in Frye v. United States. The judges rejected a doctor’s dubious claim that he could use a polygraph to detect when a person was lying from a rise in their blood pressure. In the ruling, the court said that in order for scientific evidence or expert testimony to be admitted, it must be offered by an experienced practitioner making inferences from a “well-recognized scientific principle” that has “general acceptance in the particular field in which it belongs.” In Frye, the judges deemed the scientists in the “particular field” relevant to polygraph use to include psychologists and physiologists—not just polygraph practitioners who would, presumably, be biased toward preserving the technique’s reputation. The effectiveness of Frye in keeping dubious science out of the courts depends on whom judges include in their definition of the “relevant scientific community.” But as the decades wore on, and the forensic disciplines gained influence, judges tended to restrict their definition of the “relevant scientific community” to the forensic examiners themselves. Judges began taking advice on what counted as good forensics from the very people who invented the techniques and made a living off of them.

In the American criminal-justice system, where prosecutors regularly battle defense attorneys over what constitutes valid evidence, judges’ rulings on admissibility are the final word. Once a technique has made it into court and survived appeals, subsequent judges, most of whom have no scientific training and little ability to assess the scientific validity of a technique, will continue to allow it by citing precedent. Forensic examiners, in turn, cite precedent in order to claim that their techniques are reliable science. Prosecutors point to guilty verdicts as evidence that the science brought to court was sound. In this circular way, legal rulings—which never really vetted the science to begin with—substitute for scientific proof. This is Frye’s fatal flaw: Nowhere in this process is anyone required to provide empirical evidence that the techniques work as advertised. Frye aimed to keep pseudoscience out of the courts, but instead has helped create the perfect conditions to keep it in.
The world is deep,:
And deeper than even day may dream.

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Re: World Stories

Post by ejjus » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:38 pm

TO BE, OR NOT TO BE

This essay was delivered in a slightly different form as the Robert B. Silvers Lecture at the New York Public Library on December 18, 2017.

Masha Gessen FEBRUARY 8, 2018 ISSUE

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2018/02 ... not-to-be/

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Masha Gessen at her apartment in Moscow in the early 1990s, when she was in her mid-twenties

1.
FETUS


The topic of my talk was determined by today’s date. Thirty-nine years ago my parents took a package of documents to an office in Moscow. This was our application for an exit visa to leave the Soviet Union. More than two years would pass before the visa was granted, but from that day on I have felt a sense of precariousness wherever I have been, along with a sense of opportunity. They are a pair.

I have emigrated again as an adult. I was even named a “great immigrant” in 2016, which I took to be an affirmation of my skill, attained through practice—though this was hardly what the honor was meant to convey. I have also raised kids of my own. If anything, with every new step I have taken, I have marveled more at the courage it would have required for my parents to step into the abyss. I remember seeing them in the kitchen, poring over a copy of an atlas of the world. For them, America was an outline on a page, a web of thin purplish lines. They’d read a few American books, had seen a handful of Hollywood movies. A friend was fond of asking them, jokingly, whether they could really be sure that the West even existed.

Truthfully, they couldn’t know. They did know that if they left the Soviet Union, they would never be able to return (like many things we accept as rare certainties, this one turned out to be wrong). They would have to make a home elsewhere. I think that worked for them: as Jews, they never felt at home in the Soviet Union—and when home is not where you are born, nothing is predetermined. Anything can be. So my parents always maintained that they viewed their leap into the unknown as an adventure.

I wasn’t so sure. After all, no one had asked me.
The world is deep,:
And deeper than even day may dream.

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Re: World Stories

Post by ejjus » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:36 pm

The Old and the Restless
An indecent proposal, a crime of passion, and legends of murder in an enclave of bohemian retirees.
By Chris Walker
The Atavist Magazine, no. 75

Chris Walker is a staff writer at Denver alt-weekly Westword.
Prior to living in Colorado, he spent two years bicycling across Eurasia,
during which he wrote feature stories for NPR, Forbes, The Atlantic, and Vice.
His website is chrisallanwalker.com.

Editor: Seyward Darby

Designer: Jefferson Rabb

Fact Checker: Tekendra Parmar

Copy Editor: Sean Cooper

Illustrator: Bijou Karman


https://magazine.atavist.com/the-old-an ... ico-murder

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Ajijic. Such a strange word, Jackie Hodges thought as she rode in a Porsche convertible through a stretch of lush, rolling mountains in central Mexico. The 45-year-old American knew virtually nothing about the small town where she was headed, including how to pronounce its name. “Ah-hee-heek,” locals would patiently repeat again and again after she arrived. In Mexico’s indigenous Nahuatl tongue, the word means “place where the water is born.”

It was the fall of 1969, and Hodges needed a distraction. Her second marriage was coming apart at the seams. Eager to get away from her home in Pasadena, California, she’d seized upon an invitation to visit Lona Mae Isoard, a friend who lived in Ajijic. Hodges had always puzzled over Isoard’s decision to move there. A talented painter who liked to wear her gray hair in a French twist, Isoard was a seasoned traveler who’d lived in Paris and Rome. Why settle down in a Mexican pueblo of barely 5,000 people just south of Guadalajara?

The environs were pretty, at least. Hodges spotted Ajijic as the Porsche, in which Isoard had picked her up at Guadalajara’s airport, crested a mountain pass. She took in the expanse of Lake Chapala, Mexico’s largest freshwater lake. It stretched some 11 miles south and 50 miles east to west. Dotting its northern edge were picturesque fishing communities, one of which was the women’s destination.

They wended their way down the highway until the convertible’s tires met cobblestone. The Porsche rattled into the heart of Ajijic, where blue tin placards proclaimed the narrow streets’ names, children ran around shoeless, and bare-chested men hawked fish pulled from the lake. Hodges spied a pig strung up outside a home, rivulets of blood running from a gash in its neck down its snout to the ground. Nearby a group of caballeros with spurs on their boots rode sidestepping horses. The women drove past the Posada, a lodge and watering hole that had served as the de facto center of Ajijic’s expatriate scene since it opened in 1938. Eventually, they came to a row of brightly painted brick-and-mortar homes, one of which was Isoard’s.

“Rest up,” the painter told Hodges after they’d gotten settled. She would need energy.

The following evening, Isoard threw nothing short of a bacchanal. Some 60 people came, martinis flowed, and conversations slurred. “Have you met Jackie?” Isoard said to guest after guest, nudging the newcomer into the night’s starring role. The air was thick with smoke from Cuban cigars; a group of businessmen had just returned from Havana. At one point, they launched into a spirited argument with a couple of former diplomats over America’s embargo of the island nation. Rolling her eyes, Isoard directed a five-piece band she’d hired for the night to stand close to the men. Then she gathered up several women and displaced the debate with a dance floor.

Before the party was over, Hodges had a good if drunken understanding of Ajijic’s expats. Most of them were retired or nearly being so, but they refused to act like they were aging. Among them were many artists, writers, and actors—both has-beens and still-wannabes—who made the town feel like a Shangri-la for sun-setting bohemians. The wild party scene was fabled among those who’d experienced it, and some impressive names had made cameos. D.H. Lawrence wrote the first draft of his novel The Plumed Serpent while residing in the area in 1923. During the 1950s, Beat writers swallowed a drink or five at the Posada. Then came the hippies, who earned Ajijic a shout-out in Tom Wolfe’s 1968 book The Electric Acid Kool Aid Test as a stopover during a drug-fueled escapade by the LSD evangelists known as the Merry Pranksters.

The discomfiting contrast between their privileged existence and the substantially poorer one of the Mexicans they lived among didn’t seem to bother many expats. Ajijic’s low cost of living was a draw, along with its bucolic setting and temperate weather. To foreigners, whatever the town lacked—paved roads, telephones, TVs—it made up for with characters who embodied a popular saying: Once a private crossed the border into Mexico, he could be a general. People’s pasts became whatever they said they were. Take Zara Alexeyewa, known as La Rusa, who’d lived in Ajijic since the 1920s and claimed to be a ballerina from Russia. Over time local journalists and historians would uncover some 18 aliases she’d used and pinpoint her birthplace as New York. Alexeyewa fancied herself queen of the expats. Her attitude was imperious, and she was never seen walking anywhere. She rode around on a black horse, sitting sidesaddle in a long dress and wide-brimmed hat.

Hodges, a free spirit who’d always lamented that she missed visiting the Paris of Gertrude Stein by a generation, was enamored. After her visit with Isoard, she returned to Ajijic for longer stretches over the next three summers. By 1972, she was looking to buy a casita. By 1976, she was divorced and living in Ajijic year-round. She began dating a housing contractor, got married again, and never looked back.

I know this because she’s my grandmother. Now 93, Hodges has lived in Ajijic all my life. The place has changed since she first arrived. Development has altered the landscape, and Mexico’s drug war has taken a toll. My grandmother, though, is a time capsule. A flamboyant raconteur, she embellishes stories of parties that evolved into orgies and acquaintances who turned out to be CIA spooks with dialogue she couldn’t possibly have been privy to. I take everything she says about Ajijic with a grain or two of salt.

In 2015, she told me a story I couldn’t shake, about a person she couldn’t shake. Around Thanksgiving, we were in her living room discussing the litany of outrageous people and situations she’d encountered. Short and rail thin, with a dyed platinum-blond bob, she gesticulated as she spoke. Suddenly, with dramatic flair, she declared, “I’ve only met one person in my lifetime that I thought was truly evil.” The way she emphasized the last word jolted me. She meant it.

That person was Donna McCready, a charismatic, controversial figure in Ajijic in the 1970s and 1980s. So incredible were the instances of seduction, betrayal, and violence in which McCready is said to have played a part that they are now the crown jewels of local lore. Many of the old-timers who got entangled in McCready’s web are long gone, as is the woman herself, but some are still alive. I sought them out to hear their accounts, which added layers both macabre and poignant to the story my grandmother told me.

It boils down to this: In Ajijic, Donna McCready’s name is synonymous with murder.
The world is deep,:
And deeper than even day may dream.

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ejjus
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Re: World Stories

Post by ejjus » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:43 pm

THE MAN IN THE ROCKERFELLER SUIT

By snatching his seven-year-old daughter from her mother’s custody, after a bitter divorce, the man calling himself Clark Rockefeller blew the lid off a lifelong con game which had culminated with his posing as a scion of the famous dynasty. The 47-year-old impostor charmed his way into exclusive communities, clubs, and financial institutions—marrying a Harvard M.B.A.; working at Kidder, Peabody; and showing off an extraordinary art collection—until his arrest brought him face-to-face with his past and with questions regarding skeletal remains dug up in a California backyard.

by MARK SEAL
JANUARY 2009


https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2009/0 ... table=true

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From left: Christian Gerhartsreiter, high-school student, late 70s; Christopher Chichester, U.S.C.-campus denizen, mid-80s; Christopher Crowe, Wall Street executive, late 80s or early 90s; Clark Rockefeller, divorcé and father, 2008. Left, from TZ Munich; second from right, courtesy of Cosgrove/Meurer Productions, Inc.; right, by Essdras M. Suarez/The Boston Globe.

On a sunny Sunday last July, Clark Rockefeller left his stately accommodations in Boston’s venerable Algonquin Club, the gentlemen’s establishment founded in 1886. Dressed in khakis and a blue Lacoste shirt, he was carrying his seven-year-old daughter, Reigh Storrow Mills Boss, whom he called Snooks, on his shoulders, walking toward Boston Common, where they were going to ride the swan boats in the Public Garden.

“Good morning, Mr. Rockefeller,” people greeted him, for he was well known in this Beacon Hill neighborhood. He had lived here for a year and a half in a $2.7 million, four-story, ivy-covered town house on one of the best streets. But that was before his wife, Sandra, left him and dragged him through a humiliating divorce, taking not only the Boston house but also their second home, in New Hampshire. In addition, she won custody of their daughter, moving her to London with her, and restricting him to three eight-hour visits a year, in the company of a social worker, who was tagging along that morning like a third wheel.

Nevertheless, he was still Clark Rockefeller. At 47, he still had his name, his intelligence, an extraordinary art collection, close friends in high places, and his memberships in clubs up and down the Eastern Seaboard, where he could sleep and take his meals, having long ago decided that hotels and restaurants were for the bourgeoisie. He also had a divorce settlement of $800,000, at least $300,000 of which he had converted into Krugerrands and then into gold U.S. coins, keeping the rest in cash. And now he had his beloved daughter with him again, for a blissful day together.

As they approached Marlborough Street, a tree-lined avenue on which Edward Kennedy has a house, a black S.U.V. limousine cruised to the curb. Rockefeller had told the driver that he and Snooks had a lunch date in Newport, Rhode Island, with a senator’s son, and that he might need help getting rid of a clingy friend (the court-appointed social worker), who might try to get into the limo. Having assured Mr. Rockefeller that nobody would get into the car without his consent—the ride, after all, was costing him $3,000—the driver wasn’t surprised, as he looked in his rearview mirror, to see Rockefeller with Snooks on his shoulders and a clingy sort of guy right behind them.

Suddenly, Rockefeller pushed his pursuer away, put his daughter down, yanked the car door open, and pulled the child into the limo so fast that she hit her head on the doorframe. “Go! Go!” he shouted, and the driver stepped on the gas, dragging the social worker, who had hold of the back-door handle, several yards before he let go and fell to the pavement.

Within minutes, according to Rockefeller’s indictment, he told the driver to pull over. Then he hailed a cab, explaining to the limo driver that he wanted to take his daughter to Massachusetts General Hospital in order to make sure the bump on her head was not serious. He instructed the limo driver to wait for him in a nearby parking lot. The driver did as he was told, and waited approximately two hours, but his $3,000 customer never showed up. Meanwhile, Rockefeller had taken the taxi to the Boston Sailing Center, where one of his many female friends was waiting for him. She had agreed to drive him to New York in her white Lexus for $500. “Hurry!,” Rockefeller implored her, saying that he and Snooks had to catch a train that would get them to a boat launch on Long Island by eight p.m.

Soon after they arrived in Manhattan, they got stuck in traffic near Grand Central Terminal. In a flash, Rockefeller swept up his daughter, threw an envelope full of cash onto the front seat, and took off without even saying good-bye. Then the woman’s cell phone rang. It was a friend asking if she had seen the Amber Alert concerning Clark Rockefeller’s abduction of his daughter. That was when she realized that she had been fooled into providing the transportation for what the Boston district attorney would later charge was a custodial kidnapping. (Rockefeller has also been charged with assault and battery by means of a deadly weapon [the limo], assault and battery, and furnishing a false name to the police.)
The world is deep,:
And deeper than even day may dream.

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Re: World Stories

Post by ejjus » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:03 pm

A Reporter At Large February 12 & 19, 2018

THE WHITE DARKNESS
A solitary journey across Antarctica.

By David Grann

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018 ... e-darkness

Image

I. MORTAL DANGER

The man felt like a speck in the frozen nothingness. Every direction he turned, he could see ice stretching to the edge of the Earth: white ice and blue ice, glacial-ice tongues and ice wedges. There were no living creatures in sight. Not a bear or even a bird. Nothing but him.

It was hard to breathe, and each time he exhaled the moisture froze on his face: a chandelier of crystals hung from his beard; his eyebrows were encased like preserved specimens; his eyelashes cracked when he blinked. Get wet and you die, he often reminded himself. The temperature was nearly minus forty degrees Fahrenheit, and it felt far colder because of the wind, which sometimes whipped icy particles into a blinding cloud, making him so disoriented that he toppled over, his bones rattling against the ground.

The man, whose name was Henry Worsley, consulted a G.P.S. device to determine precisely where he was. According to his coördinates, he was on the Titan Dome, an ice formation near the South Pole that rises more than ten thousand feet above sea level. Sixty-two days earlier, on November 13, 2015, he’d set out from the coast of Antarctica, hoping to achieve what his hero, Ernest Shackleton, had failed to do a century earlier: to trek on foot from one side of the continent to the other. The journey, which would pass through the South Pole, was more than a thousand miles, and would traverse what is arguably the most brutal environment in the world. And, whereas Shackleton had been part of a large expedition, Worsley, who was fifty-five, was crossing alone and unsupported: no food caches had been deposited along the route to help him forestall starvation, and he had to haul all his provisions on a sled, without the assistance of dogs or a sail. Nobody had attempted this feat before.

Worsley’s sled—which, at the outset, weighed three hundred and twenty-five pounds, nearly double his own weight—was attached to a harness around his waist, and to drag it across the ice he wore cross-country skis and pushed forward with poles in each hand. The trek had begun at nearly sea level, and he’d been ascending with a merciless steadiness, the air thinning and his nose sometimes bleeding from the pressure; a crimson mist colored the snow along his path. When the terrain became too steep, he removed his skis and trudged on foot, his boots fitted with crampons to grip the ice. His eyes scanned the surface for crevasses. One misstep and he’d vanish into a hidden chasm.

Worsley was a retired British Army officer who had served in the Special Air Service, a renowned commando unit. He was also a sculptor, a fierce boxer, a photographer who meticulously documented his travels, a horticulturalist, a collector of rare books and maps and fossils, and an amateur historian who had become a leading authority on Shackleton. On the ice, though, he resembled a beast, hauling and sleeping, hauling and sleeping, as if he were keeping time to some primal rhythm.

He had grown accustomed to the obliterating conditions, overcoming miseries that would’ve broken just about anyone else. He mentally painted images onto the desolate landscape for hours on end, and he summoned memories of his wife, Joanna, his twenty-one-year-old son, Max, and his nineteen-year-old daughter, Alicia. They had scrawled inspiring messages on his skis. One contained the adage “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Another, written by Joanna, said, “Come back to me safely, my darling.”

As is true of many adventurers, he seemed to be on an inward quest as much as an outward one—the journey was a way to subject himself to an ultimate test of character. He was also raising money for the Endeavour Fund, a charity for wounded soldiers. A few weeks earlier, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, who was the patron of the expedition, had broadcast a message for Worsley that said, “You’re doing a cracking job. Everyone back here is keeping up with what you’re up to, and very proud of everything you’re achieving.”

Worsley’s journey captivated people around the world, including legions of schoolchildren who were following his progress. Each day, after trekking for several hours and burrowing into his tent, he relayed a short audio broadcast about his experiences. (He performed this bit of modern magic by calling, on his satellite phone, a friend in England, who recorded the dispatch and then posted it on Worsley’s Web site.) His voice, cool and unwavering, enthralled listeners. One evening, two weeks into his journey, he said:

I overslept a little this morning, which, actually, I was grateful for, as the previous forty-eight hours’ labor has been hugely draining. But what greeted me opening the tent flap was not my favorite scene: total whiteout and driving snow borne on an easterly wind. And so it remained all day and has showed no sliver of change this evening. Navigation under such circumstances is always a challenge. I certainly made a dog’s breakfast of the first three hours, at one stage wondering why the wind had suddenly switched from the east to the north. Stupid error! The wind hadn’t changed direction—I had. I reckon I lost about three miles’ distance today from snaking around, head permanently bowed to read the compass, just my shuffling skis to look at for nine hours. Anyway, I’m back on track and now happy I can part a straight line, even through another day of the white darkness.

By the middle of January, 2016, he had travelled more than eight hundred miles, and virtually every part of him was in agony. His arms and legs throbbed. His back ached. His feet were blistered and his toenails were discolored. His fingers had started to become numb with frostbite. In his diary, he wrote, “Am worried about my fingers—one tip of little finger already gone and all others very sore.” One of his front teeth had broken off, and the wind whistled through the gap. He had lost some forty pounds, and he became fixated on his favorite foods, listing them for his broadcast listeners: “Fish pie, brown bread, double cream, steaks and chips, more chips, smoked salmon, baked potato, eggs, rice pudding, Dairy Milk chocolate, tomatoes, bananas, apples, anchovies, Shredded Wheat, Weetabix, brown sugar, peanut butter, honey, toast, pasta, pizza and pizza. Ahhhhh!”

He was on the verge of collapse. Yet he was never one to give up, and adhered to the S.A.S.’s unofficial motto, “Always a little further”—a line from James Elroy Flecker’s 1913 poem “The Golden Journey to Samarkand.” The motto was painted on the front of Worsley’s sled, and he murmured it to himself like a mantra: “Always a little further . . . a little further.”

He had just reached the summit of the Titan Dome and was beginning to descend, the force of gravity propelling him toward his destination, which was only about a hundred miles away. He was so close to what he liked to call a “rendezvous with history.” Yet how much farther could he press on before the cold consumed him? He had studied with devotion the decision-making of Shackleton, whose ability to escape mortal danger was legendary, and who had famously saved the life of his entire crew when an expedition went awry. Whenever Worsley faced a perilous situation—and he was now in more peril than he’d ever been—he asked himself one question: What would Shacks do?
The world is deep,:
And deeper than even day may dream.

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ejjus
Posts: 103
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:35 pm

Re: World Stories

Post by ejjus » Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:39 pm

THE POLAROIDS OF THE COWBOY POET
He captured a crumbling city and almost went down with it. Then one man saw his photos.

By Dan Zak Published on Jan. 13, 2016

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics ... /earnshaw/
http://www.chrisearnshaw.com/

Image
(A 1980 self-portrait of Chris Earnshaw)

CHRIS EARNSHAW IS AN ODD AND BRILLIANT and sloppy man who vibrates with great joy and grand melancholy. For decades he has ambled through bandstands, major motion pictures and demolition sites, searching for prestige and permanence, all while being ignored on the gray streets of a humdrum capital.

“You know, I believe in the inevitability of the spirit,” he says. “I’ve heard about people gripping the rails of their deathbed, thinking the void awaits them. But that can’t be it, can it? There must be something next, something beyond, for all of us. I don’t want my life to end with people not knowing, or people saying, ‘He could’ve been something!’ ”

So several years ago, he put rubber bands around some of his photographs.

The photos were mostly Polaroids from the ’70s and mostly of Washington, but from a certain angle that saw past its monumentality. The images went straight for the city’s brickness, its wrought-ironness, its grotesquerie, its deterioration and destruction. There were portraits, too, of its nameless inhabitants. The photos were crimped and smudged, though, and seemed like one man’s trash.

Chris took the Polaroids in fistfuls to Georgetown, to the office of a man named Joe Mills, the head of photography at the Dumbarton Oaks museum. Joe flipped through the photos, offered a kind word about their strange beauty and shrugged off their rumpled owner.

But Chris kept coming back. He insisted that he had a notable volume of work, a legacy, until Joe said: “Fine, I’ll sort through them. But you have to bring them all in.”

And so Chris did. Three thousand of them, in plastic bags and green metal filing drawers. The photos showed a city that was going, gone.

Polaroids hold a lot of detail, but at a remove. The intricacy isn’t immediate. Whole worlds are caged by those small frames. You can’t see that at first. But scan them into a computer, enlarge them 200 percent, and —

“It was like hacking through the jungle and finding El Dorado,” Joe says. “Like stumbling on Tutankhamun’s grave.”
The world is deep,:
And deeper than even day may dream.

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ejjus
Posts: 103
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:35 pm

Re: World Stories

Post by ejjus » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:33 am

A Reporter at Large May 28, 2012 Issue
The Yankee Comandante
A story of love, revolution, and betrayal.

By David Grann

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012 ... comandante

Image
William Alexander Morgan being applauded by Fidel Castro, in Havana in 1959. Morgan said that he had joined the
Cuban Revolution because “the most important thing for free men to do is to protect the freedom of others.”


or a moment, he was obscured by the Havana night. It was as if he were invisible, as he had been before coming to Cuba, in the midst of revolution. Then a burst of floodlights illuminated him: William Alexander Morgan, the great Yankee comandante. He was standing, with his back against a bullet-pocked wall, in an empty moat surrounding La Cabaña—an eighteenth-century stone fortress, on a cliff overlooking Havana Harbor, that had been converted into a prison. Flecks of blood were drying on the patch of ground where Morgan’s friend had been shot, moments earlier. Morgan, who was thirty-two, blinked into the lights. He faced a firing squad.

The gunmen gazed at the man they had been ordered to kill. Morgan was nearly six feet tall, and had the powerful arms and legs of someone who had survived in the wild. With a stark jaw, a pugnacious nose, and scruffy blond hair, he had the gallant look of an adventurer in a movie serial, of a throwback to an earlier age, and photographs of him had appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world. The most alluring images—taken when he was fighting in the mountains, with Fidel Castro and Che Guevara—showed Morgan, with an untamed beard, holding a Thompson submachine gun. Though he was now shaved and wearing prison garb, the executioners recognized him as the mysterious Americano who once had been hailed as a hero of the revolution.

It was March 11, 1961, two years after Morgan had helped to overthrow the dictator Fulgencio Batista, bringing Castro to power. The revolution had since fractured, its leaders devouring their own, like Saturn, but the sight of Morgan before a firing squad was a shock. In 1957, when Castro was still widely seen as fighting for democracy, Morgan had travelled from Florida to Cuba and headed into the jungle, joining a guerrilla force. In the words of one observer, Morgan was “like Holden Caulfield with a machine gun.” He was the only American in the rebel army and the sole foreigner, other than Guevara, an Argentine, to rise to the army’s highest rank, comandante.

After the revolution, Morgan’s role in Cuba aroused even greater fascination, as the island became enmeshed in the larger battle of the Cold War. An American who knew Morgan said that he had served as Castro’s “chief cloak-and-dagger man,” and Time called him Castro’s “crafty, U.S.-born double agent.”

Now Morgan was charged with conspiring to overthrow Castro. The Cuban government claimed that Morgan had actually been working for U.S. intelligence—that he was, in effect, a triple agent. Morgan denied the allegations, but even some of his friends wondered who he really was, and why he had come to Cuba.

Before Morgan was led outside La Cabaña, an inmate asked him if there was anything he could do for him. Morgan replied, “If you ever get out of here alive, which I doubt you will, try to tell people my story.” Morgan grasped that more than his life was at stake: the Cuban regime would distort his role in the revolution, if not excise it from the public record, and the U.S. government would stash documents about him in classified files, or “sanitize” them by concealing passages with black ink. He would be rubbed out—first from the present, then from the past.
The head of the firing squad shouted, “Attention!” The gunmen raised their Belgian rifles. Morgan feared for his wife, Olga—whom he had met in the mountains—and for their two young daughters. He had always managed to bend the forces of history, and he had made a last-minute plea to communicate with Castro. Morgan had believed that the man he once called his “faithful friend” would never kill him. But now the executioners were cocking their guns.
The world is deep,:
And deeper than even day may dream.

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