Ernest Hemingway’s Masculinity Impugned


“Please write me at length about your adventures– I hear you were seen running through Portugal in used B.V.D.s, chewing ground glass and collecting material for a story about Boule players; that you were publicity man for Lindbergh; that you have finished a novel a hundred thousand words long consisting entirely of the word ‘balls’ used in new groupings; that you have been naturalized as a Spaniard, dress always in a wine-skin with a ‘zipper vent and are engaged in bootlegging Spanish Fly between San Sebastian and Biarritz, where your agents sprinkle it on the floor of the Casiono. I hope I have been misinformed but, alas! it all has too true a ring…”
Letter from F.Scott Fitzgerald to Ernest Hemingway quoted in, Hemingway vs. Fitzgerald: The Rise and Fall of a Literary Friendship, Scott Donaldson, The Overlook Press, 1999

“When we were shooting The Sun Also Rises in Moralelia, he never stopped talking about his little Margaux. Couldn’t hear everything because he never talked to me directly. Never looked at me directly either.. The first time he saw me on location, he looked at me, pointed his finger square at my nose, turned to the director–‘Him playing Pedro Romero opposite Ava Gardner? No way! Not if I have anything to say about it!'”… I laughed. ‘Yeah, but he couldn’t convince Zanuck. Zanuck was the producer, and he wanted only one person to play Romero the bullfighter–me.’ Though I didn’t want to, I couldn’t help but laugh again. ‘Papa? Nothing would have gotten him off more than seeing me stabbed in the cojones by a bull’s horn. Yeah, one thing– seeing me dead.’
Pouring the last of the bottle’s pink champagne, I reflected, ‘Instead, he’s dead and I’m alive, drinking pink champagne with his favorite of favorites.'”
Robert Evans to his then-girlfriend Margaux Hemingway, The Kid Stays in the Picture, Dove Books, 1995

“Hemingway was a show-off! He was trying to be something he wasn’t! He had no confidence! If I got him in a boxing ring, I’d give him a whupping.”
Mariel Hemingway’s boyfriend Bobby Williams, “The Importance of Not Being Ernest,” Amanda Fortini, The New York Times Magazine, October 24, 2013

Q: What does a launch feel like?


A: In a Russian Soyuz capsule, which is how astronauts who are part of expedition missions get to the space station, three people are crammed into a small space. The crew gets in the Soyuz about two and a half hours before launch. Once the crew is all strapped in, they perform a series of pre-flight checks of all the Soyuz systems. When the checks are finished, the crew waits while workers on the launch pad do the final rocket preparations.

Shortly before the time of launch you start hearing different noises below you and you know things are getting ready to happen. Then, it is as if a giant beast is waking up. You hear and feel the thumping and bumping of valves opening and closing as engine systems are pressurized. When the first engines light there is a terrific low frequency rumbling and things start to shake. Then the main engine lights and the rumbling and shaking get even louder. Slowly, slowly you begin to move up and away from the launch pad. But, very quickly you build up speed and the g-load, or the force of gravity or acceleration on a body, increases. You shake and rattle along and then there is a bang when the rescue system is jettisoned, another bang when the four strap-on boosters separate, and another bang when the nose faring comes off. Now the windows are uncovered and you can see light coming in. At the second stage separation there is another bang, and the g-load drops immediately. You go from about four and a half g’s down to about one and a half or two g’s. Then the third stage engine lights; you have a big push forward and the g-load builds again.

Eight and a half minutes after launch there is a loud bang and jerk and the last section of the rocket is jettisoned from the Soyuz spacecraft. And just like that, you are there– in space. It feels like you are hanging upside down in your shoulder harness. This is simply because there is nothing pushing you back into your seat anymore. Everything floats, including you.

Astronauts Answer Student Questions, NP-2011-06-040-JSC, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center

Words of Inspiration

Nixon by Jack Kightlinger“We can be – each of us is of different religions, you know? But goddamn it, Ron, we have got to build peace in the world, and that’s what I’m working on.” President Richard Nixon on the phone with California Governor Ronald Reagan, April 30, 1973

“I was just trying to pay a few bills that night. Lo and behold, I got a celebrity. I’d agreed to go with him for $50, but ended up with more than ten thousand times that. God has a path for us all.” Divine Brown, The National Enquirer, September 2010

“Life after all that has been said of its brevity is very, very long, and more persons feel reason to complain of its slowness than of the swiftness of its course.” Lady Caroline Lamb (1785-1828)

“Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years when they could just say, ‘So what.’
‘My mother doesn’t love me.’ So what.
‘My husband won’t ball me.’ So what.
‘I’m a success, but I’m still alone.’ So what.
I don’t know how I made it through all the years before I learned how to do that trick. It took a long time for me to learn it, but once you do, you never forget.” Andy Warhol, THE Philosophy of Andy Warhol, 1977

“I must find my self-worth and love myself, and I just won’t settle for anything less. After 22 years of raising my two amazing daughters it’s time for me to mother myself.” Sarah, The Duchess of York Finding Sarah (2011, OWN Network)

Photo: Jack Kightlinger

Marie Skłodowska Announces her Betrothal


“When you receive this letter your Manya will have changed her name. I am about to marry the man I told you about last year in Warsaw. It is a sorrow to me to have to stay forever in Paris, but what am I to do? Fate has made us deeply attached to each other and we cannot endure the idea of separating.

I haven’t written, because all of this was decided only a short time ago, quite suddenly. I hesitated for a whole year and could not resolve upon an answer. Finally I became reconciled to the idea of settling here. When you receive this letter, write to me: Madame Curie, School of Physics and Chemistry, 42 Rue Lhomond.

That is my name from now on. My husband is a teacher in that school. Next year I shall bring him to Poland so that he will know my country, and I shall not fail to introduce him to my dear little chosen sister, and I shall ask her to love him…”

Letter from Marie Skłodowska to her friend Kazia, July, 1895

Madame Curie, Eve Curie, translated by Vincent Sheean, Doubleday, 1937

Ungodly Servants


“John Moody came to the land in the year 1633. He had no children; he had two menservants that were ungodly, especially one of them who in his passion would wish himself in hell and use desperate words, yet had a good measure of knowledge. These two servants would go to the oyster bank in a boat, and did, against the counsel of their governor, where they lay all night. And in the morning early when the tide was out, they gathering oysters did unskillfully leave their boat afloat in the verges of the channel, and quickly the tide carried it away so far into the channel that they could not come near it, which made them cry out and hollo, but being very early and remote were not heard til the water had risen very high upon them, to the armholes as it’s thought. And then a man from Rockbrough meetinghouse hill heard them cry and call, and he cried and ran with all speed, and seeing their boat swam to it and hasted to them, but they were both so drowned before any help could possibly come. A dreadful example of God’s displeasure against obstinate servants.”

Reverend John Eliot, “Record of Church Members, Roxbury, Massachusetts,” transcribed by William B. Trask, New England Historical Genealogical Register, XXXV, 1881.

Drawing: Jacques Reich, Appletons’ Cyclopædia of American Biography, 1900, v. 2, p. 321

The Drudgery of Treason

Screenshot (2)Aldrich “Rick” Ames was one of the Central Intelligence Agency’s own. His father Carleton was an officer who headed up the agency’s Burmese desk. Rick Ames joined the CIA after studying drama at the University of Chicago.  In 1985,  he was named chief of the Soviet counterintelligence branch of the C.I.A’s Soviet/East European Division at headquarters in Langley, Virginia. He stopped reporting all of his meetings with K.G.B. officers. On April 16, he walked into the Soviet Embassy in Washington, D.C. where he handed the duty officer a note with the names of two of the CIA’s sources inside the KGB. “The reasons that I did what I did in April of 1985 were personal, banal, and amounted really to kind of greed and folly, simple as that.” Ames sold his first collection of secrets for $50,000.

“It came home to me, after the middle of May, the enormity of what I had done. The fear that I had crossed a line which I had not clearly considered before. That I crossed a line I could never step back.”

Screen shot 2014Aldrich Ames compromised over one hundred Western intelligence operations and sent ten officers to their deaths. The KGB gave him a two million dollar wedding present. He paid cash for his house in Arlington and drove a Jaguar. His wife Rosario earned a doctorate in philosophy at Georgetown and bought five hundred pairs of shoes. The CIA had suspected a mole almost from the beginning.

“In ’85, ’86, as a result of the information I sold to the Soviets, it was as if neon lights and searchlights lit up all over the Kremlin, shone all the way across the Atlantic Ocean, saying, ‘There is a penetration.'”

Both Ames’ claimed that Rosario thought the money was coming from a friend who was good at investments and didn’t know about the spying until 1992.  Electronic surveillance revealed she was actively involved in her husband’s espionage. They were arrested on February 24, 1994. Aldrich Ames was sentenced to life in prison and Rosario served five years.

Criminal Complaint, ALDRICH HAZEN AMES, a/k/a Rick Ames, MARIA DEL ROSARIO CASAS AMES, a/k/a Rosario Ames, 2512 North Randolph Street, Arlington, Virginia

1. Based on information obtained from electronic surveillance, from information found in AMES’ trash at his residence relating to his 1992 trip to Caracas discussed in paragraph 12 above, and from cash deposits made to domestic accounts by AMES subsequent to his return from Caracas in 1992 and Bogota in 1993, I believe AMES received a cash payment from the SVRR in Bogota in November 1993. Examples of information obtained from electronic surveillance include conversations substantially as follows:

October 25, 1993

Rosario: [Losing your luggage] worries me a lot with your trip to Bogota. It’s happening more and more and you know exactly what I mean. You cannot afford to lose your suitcase and so perhaps you should use a carry-on.

Aldrich: I am going to use a carry-on.

Rosario: Well, yeah, you’re putting the bulk of the stuff in that suitcase, right?

Aldrich: Sometimes, yeah, but I think I’m going to use the carry-on.

Rosario: You are going to have to be a little more imaginative about you always have this envelope with this big hunk, I mean really.

October 28, 1993

Rosario: … Now the other thing we have to do is, if you get the money, and you think it might be available, I would, what I would do would be to leave in cash, although it’s a big amount of cash to leave, but I guess it’s better. You get the money in dollars, right?

Aldrich: Right.

October 29, 1993

Rosario: I don’t want you to bring back anything that will make them want to look in your luggage.

October 30, 1993

Rosario: [Discussing a garment bag that was delayed by the airline arriving in Bogota] I am very, very nervous.

Aldrich: I know.

Rosario: I know you don’t give a shit about the suitcase, I mean okay, fine.

Aldrich: The suitcase will turn up.

Rosario: Um, okay.

Aldrich: I’m sure it will.

Rosario: I’m just hoping you hadn’t decided to pack your… and you didn’t have anything… uh.

Aldrich: What?

Rosario: You didn’t have anything that shouldn’t have been in that bag in that bag?

Aldrich: No, honey.

(p. 14-15).

Aldrich Ames Criminal Complaint:

James Jesus Angleton Suspects Kim Philby

Image“What [Kim] Philby does not seem to have realized was that Allen [Dulles] was almost as good an actor as he was, that he too had built up a persona over the years, and that all was not as sunny, lighthearted, and easygoing inside as it seemed on the surface. There were, too, senior members of his staff to whom he listened carefully, even when it was only small talk between them, and the one to whom he paid most heed was his director of Counterintelligence, James Jesus Angleton. Angleton was Allen’s antithesis, a cold fish, unsociable, introverted, relaxed only with Englishmen and his friends in the Israeli intelligence services, with whom he had close connections. But underneath his distant manner and snobbish air, he had an acute skill for sensing the phoney in men, and an unerring eye for the chinks in their armor. And at a late night session with Allen, he had once talked about Kim Philby. He described how, one day in London shortly after the war, they were on their way to a ceremony at Buckingham Palace where King George VI was to present an award to Philby for his wartime services. Perhaps Philby was disenchanted that it was only an OBE when, as many of his friends thought, he had really earned himself a knighthood. At any rate, he stopped just before they entered the yard of the Palace, and, turning to Angleton, said: ‘You know, what this country could do with is a good dose of socialism.’

To Angelton, the remark rang bells.

‘From that moment on, I’ve been wary of the fellow,’ he told Allen. ‘You know, he sounded like a Commie. I have a feeling in my bones about him.'”

Dulles: A Biography of Eleanor, Allen, and John Foster Dulles and their Family Network, Leonard Mosley, The Dial Press/James Wade, 1978.

What it Means to Wear Eyeglasses


“I always think about what it means to wear eyeglasses. When you get used to glasses you don’t know how far you could really see. I think about all the people before eyeglasses were invented. It must have been weird because everyone was seeing in different ways according to how bad their eyes were. Now, eyeglasses standardize everyone’s vision to 20-20. That’s an example of everyone becoming more alike. Everyone could be seeing at different levels if it weren’t for glasses.”

THE Philosophy of Andy Warhol. Andy Warhol, A Harvest Book, 1977.

Linda Tripp’s Limited Edition Historical White House Ornaments


Linda Tripp’s Limited Edition
‘First in a Series of Historical White House Ornaments’

Price: $85.00

“Large mouth blown and hand painted White House Ornament depicting the First White House Christmas in 1800. This ornament comes with a signed brochure that details the significance of the ornament. The White House Christmas Ornament is the first in an annual series of White House history ornaments designed by Linda Tripp and created by hand in Germany.
In a fanciful way, this ornament depicts the first White House Christmas, when our second President, John Adams, took up residence in what was then called ‘The President’s House’.

When President Adams moved in on November 1, 1800, the White House was not yet fully completed and the President’s house looked somewhat different from what we see today. This ornament was inspired by words John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail on his second evening in the damp and yet to be completed President’s House:

‘I pray to Heaven to bestow the best of Blessings on this House and all that shall hereafter inahbit it. May none but honest and wise Men ever rule under this roof.’

Mouth Blown and Hand painted in Germany, numbering only 100.

Available Exclusively at THE CHRISTMAS SLEIGH, Middleburg, Virginia. Designed by Linda Tripp.”

This Record is Closed



Closed SERETSE KHAMAFor 40 years
Reference: FCO 105/29

Date: 1979 Mar 12 – 1979 Dec 31

Held by: The National Archives, Kew

Legal status: Public Record

Closure status: Closed Or Retained Document, Open Description

Access conditions: Closed For 40 years

FOI decision date: 2010

Exemption: International Relations – prejudice

Record opening date: 01 January 2020

Section 27 of the Freedom of Information Act contains two closely related provisions: an exemption for information whose disclosure would or would be likely to harm UK interests, dealt with in s.27(1), and an exemption for information obtained in confidence from another state or international organisation or court, dealt with in s.27(2) and (3).

a) Prejudice to UK Interests – Section 27(1) S.27(1) focuses on the effects of the disclosure of information and provides for

information to be exempt under section 27(1) if its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice:

•relations between the United Kingdom and any other state

•relations between the United Kingdom and any other international organisation or international court

•the interests of the United Kingdom abroad

•the promotion or protection by the United Kingdom of its interests abroad

Freedom of Information Act Awareness  Guidance No. 14, Information Commissioner’s Office