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Iraq nor had the money ever been accounted for. That is the pool of money which now has been ordered turned over to the Development Fund for Iraq.

The U.N. can never make up for the deprivation caused to the people of Iraq by its own corruption. This, at least, is a down payment.
LOAD-DATE: August 31, 2005

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The Boston Herald
August 31, 2005 Wednesday

LENGTH: 755 words
HEADLINE: Letters to the Editor

Addicts on their own

John Gagliardi's death is a heartache for his family and reflects the uphill battle in the face of addiction (Aug. 27). For many, this disease's grip is stronger than the fear of jail or even death. But not every story has to end in an overdose.

The Herald rightly noted the dearth of detox centers. It also must be noted that treatment for addiction doesn't end with detox. After four days in detox, few, let alone those with decades-long addictions, are ready to face their fears, their guilt, even their love and success. Recovery programs give people the skills and support to deal with their monsters.

Yet, statewide, only 8 percent of those exiting detox can access next-step programs. Insurance firms (even Medicaid) do not consider addiction treatment medically necessary, leaving those who don't have a few thousand dollars to spare to face this uphill battle alone.

- Sana Fadel, Public Policy Coordinator, Rosie's Place, Boston

Small can be safe

I'm compelled to inform columnist Jay Ambrose that small cars did not kill 40,000 people last year (``By saving gasoline, we're wasting lives,'' Aug. 29). I have a Volkswagen Golf and last time I got into it I was not killed upon sitting in the driver's seat. Speeding motorists, uneducated drivers, unmaintained vehicles, weather conditions etc. kill drivers, but the cars themselves do not.

Let's stop looking for an excuse to guzzle gas and take the T, ride a bike or walk.

- Melissa Brinkerhoff, South Boston

Mr. Six due apology

Seldom have I read a more ill-conceived hatchet job than the one committed by Cosmo Macero Jr. on Mr. Six, the marketing character for Six Flags (``Red flags go up over fun parks' strange marketing mistakes,'' Aug. 29).

Macero was apparently trying to indicate that Six Flags' marketing decisions were less than intelligent, given the lack of business generated. Perhaps that conclusion is correct, although there may be many reasons why attendance is down, including the cost of travel and living, the safety of the rides, decisions to do other things and limits on discretionary funds, as well as some people not liking Mr. Six.

What is totally out of line is to intimate the man is a ``dancing fool, freak, Pee Wee Herman-like, and would entice kids into a van.'' These are vicious conclusions of perversion about a man unknown to Macero, who should examine his own mind, which certainly seems to run in a vein I would not want around my children, before he starts accusing another who is simply playing the part he was hired to perform.

- Richard Maranville, Raynham

Gov's sons not issue

It was harsh to condemn Gov. Mitt Romney for his sons not being in the military (``Mitt backs war but HISboys are safe at home,'' Aug. 27). His sons are grown men. It's their choice to be or not to be in the military. And, honestly, even if someone does support the war, do you really think any parent would want to urge his or her child to go to war? I don't think so.

Those of us who join the military do it at our own bidding - not because mom and dad said so.

- Rachelle Rocca, Burlington

Think twice, Cal Thomas

I don't disagree with Cal Thomas (``In retreat, no shelter from the storm,'' Aug. 26). Pulling back now would be irresponsible because, like it or not, enough of us bought into the war that our country has effectively absorbed a 51st state.

That said, Thomas appears to be too blind in his worship of George W. Bush to see one of the roots of the president's problems. Thomas concludes by saying, ``The president has repeatedly stated his objective in Iraq.''

To which objective was Thomas referring? Protecting us from the imminent danger of weapons of mass destruction? Removing the evil dictator? Freeing Iraqis? Kicking off the domino effect of spreading democracy across the Arab world? Getting terrorists where they live?

In his zeal to attack Iraq, President Bush resorted to tactics best left to evil dictators trying to squash small minorities. In his rush to attack anti-war activists, Cal Thomas ends up blowing in the wind by holding aging hippies to a higher standard than he holds the leader of the free world.

- Andy Gatchell, Stoneham

Reilly's off base

The federal government, not the state, owns the Air National Guard planes (``Reilly files suit to save jobs at Cape Cod base,'' Aug. 28). Even if the courts and pols like Attorney General Tom Reilly prevail - a highly dubious proposition - the federal government could simply move the planes elsewhere. What good is a base without planes?

- John Krogstad, Burlington ΓΏ1A
LOAD-DATE: August 31, 2005

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The Boston Herald
August 30, 2005 Tuesday

LENGTH: 265 words
HEADLINE: The Ticker

* Hewlett-Packard Co. said customers of its Snapfish online photo service can pick up prints in one hour beginning today at Walgreen Co. stores in Boston, New York and San Francisco.

* Apple Computer Inc.'s plan to issue $50 vouchers to settle a lawsuit filed by consumers who complained about the battery life of older versions of the iPod music player was approved by a California judge.

* Merck & Co.'s request to delay the second trial over the painkiller Vioxx was rejected by a New Jersey judge, who said publicity from a Texas verdict won't prevent a fair hearing for the drugmaker.

* Bunny Greenhouse, a former top Army procurement official who raised concerns about Halliburton Co.'s contracts in Iraq, plans to sue the Army after being demoted.

* Microsoft Corp., whose Windows software runs almost 95 percent of the world's personal computers, released a test version of the delayed WinFS system for storing, retrieving and naming files.

* Teen retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co. said president and chief operating officer Robert Singer will leave the company Aug. 31 as a result of differences over the company's pace of international expansion.

* Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan will buy Doane Pet Care Co., the largest U.S. maker of private-label pet food, for $840 million.

* Corrections: Due to production errors, several facts in two columns were reported inaccurately in yesterday's print edition of the Herald. Six Flags currently has more than $2 billion in debt. And the company's profit last quarter was $11 million. The correct price for the Samsung SCH-i730 smart phone is $599.
LOAD-DATE: August 30, 2005

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The Boston Herald
August 29, 2005 Monday

LENGTH: 749 words
HEADLINE: Letters to the editor

Weakness unveiled

I was surprised to see the self-considered ultra patriotic Boston Herald's front page (Aug. 25). It would seem that public announcements of flaws in America's homeland security would fall into the same shadow of ``aiding and abetting the enemy'' that your paper accuses anti-war protesters and Bush administration critics of. What next, a full-page color Sunday supplement of vulnerable civilian targets in Boston?

- Kevin Anderton, Malden

Lord help us all

Wacky religious leaders, Let's get ready to rumble!

First Pat Robertson sort of apologizes for wishing U.S-sponsored assassination upon Hugo Chavez.

Then we read that during a visit to Grove Hall to drum up support for his next march, Louis Farrakhan - that perennial standby of devout daffiness - reveals that the government is improving highways in order for U.S. tanks and troops to more easily invade and ``slaughter'' inner-city blacks (``Farrakhan in Hub to rally support for Millions More march,'' Aug. 25).

Lord have mercy.

- Charles Winokoor, Fall River

Dems' double standard

I found Democratic spokeswoman Jane Lane's comments about Mitt Romney and Kerry Healey being millionaires who only try to buy elections totally laughable (``Dems blast Healey for GOP election buy-try,'' Aug. 24). For years our state has been led by Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, both of whom are also millionaires (certainly not self-made) and who also have used their own monies to build up their war chests.

This is nothing new in the political arena, but in other states I would have more faith in people to vote for someone with good ideas instead of a fat wallet. Here, having a ``D'' next to your name is enough.

- Thomas C. Wahlberg, Dedham

Novak, restrain thyself

How ironic to read Robert Novak, a leader of the GOP press pack of attack dogs, criticizing Sen. Ted Kennedy's aide, James Flug, for his expected role in ``Kennedy's attack machine'' in the confirmation hearings regarding Judge John Roberts (``Kennedy aide Flug to flog Roberts,'' Aug. 25).

In typical Novak fashion he smears the purported messenger as ``Teddy Kennedy's gunslinger.'' Novak also portrays the opposition as enemy combatants but avoids discussing the message which will be sent by this appointment.

Would Roberts have voted with the majority in Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education, Griswald vs. Connecticut and Roe vs. Wade? Would he have supported women's suffrage in the 1920s? Don't hold your breath waiting for Novak to discuss the message implicit in the answers to those questions.

- Eugene Lucarelli, Arlington

No faith in Walsh

The ubiquitous Sen. Marian Walsh is either devious or ignorant, as she keeps misstating details of fact regarding her proposed church filing requirements with the attorney general's office (``State role in church regs intrusive,'' Aug. 15). She states the law is mindful of churches with small budgets, and only those with receipts over $500,000 would be affected.

First, all churches would be required to prepare financially detailed Federal Form 990s, which the federal government does not even require. Second, churches with more than $100,000 of receipts would need a Review Report prepared by a CPA. Finally, churches with more than $250,000 of receipts (not $500,000) would be required to have audited financial statements, prepared by a CPA. The additional administrative cost will be significant for all churches.

- John Maxwell, Marshfield

Bad news in Baghdad

Assuming that the Herald really does want to measure progress in Iraq, I propose the standard should be the Saddam Hussein administration compared to the current reality (``Media, G.I. clash on the `real' Iraq picture,'' Aug. 17).

Before the invasion, schools, hospitals, economy, oil production and infrastructure were functioning reasonably well. Saddam was a secular tyrant. He was ruthlessly, but effectively, suppressing Islamic jihadists. Women were reasonably independent compared to Saudia Arabia and Iran, and compared to my reading of the early drafts of the new constitution. There were no weapons of mass destruction.

Over 25,000 Iraqi civilians were alive, as well as almost 2,000 U.S. troops. Thousand of families, on both sides, did not have to deal with war's physical and mental costs. The United Nations was on site effectively monitoring Saddam at a cost far below the billions of dollars we are squandering on Iraq.

Reality in Iraq is what is - not what the Associated Press, the Brookings Institute or the Herald think it should be.

- Tom Larkin, Bedford
LOAD-DATE: August 29, 2005

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The Boston Herald
August 29, 2005 Monday

LENGTH: 366 words

Keith lets it rip in name of partying, patriotism
BYLINE: By Sarah Rodman

Toby Keith, with Lee Ann Womack and Shooter Jennings, at the Tweeter Center, Mansfield, Saturday night.

The big dog was let off his leash Saturday night and a capacity crowd at the Tweeter Center was more than happy to hear him bark.

On The Big Throwdown II tour, Toby Keith let loose with his raucous brand of beer-drinking, flag-waving, boot-stomping outlaw country in an hour-and-45-minute set that would've prompted even the most die-hard blue-stater to let loose with at least one yee-haw.

Hard-charging songs such as the Mr. Right Now number ``I'm Just Talking About Tonight,'' the swaggering ``Country Comes to Town'' and vigilante jamboree ``Beer For My Horses,'' featuring duet partner Willie Nelson on video, went down like they knew the way and spotlighted Keith's gift for anthemic melodies and catchy slogans.

The brawny Oklahoman owned his big stage - a multitiered replica of a spaceship with a pickup truck busting through that tied into his sponsor's obnoxiously loud preshow commercial - and graciously spotlighted his big band.

That band included an indispensable horn trio and female backup singer who not only added bright flavors to songs such as ``I Wanna Talk About Me'' and ``You Ain't Much Fun,'' but also jazzed things up with simple but spirited dance steps. And ``Should've Been a Cowboy'' featured some of Keith's best vocals of the night.

It was disappointing that Keith ignored the many fine ballads in his catalog that help offset his rowdy redneck image.

Though the singing was solid, the band tight and the production values high, the party-hearty vibe could've used a few breaks for emotional substance.

But for some in the crowd, that void was likely filled by the aggressively patriotic tunes he dedicated to our armed forces, including the closers ``American Soldier'' and the fire-starting ``Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American).'' On the latter he played footage of him putting his money where his mouth is: meeting and playing for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Luckily, Lee Ann Womack took care of emotional business with her shimmering middle set. She classed up the joint with ``I May Hate Myself in the Morning'' and ``I Hope You Dance.''
LOAD-DATE: August 29, 2005

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The Boston Herald
August 29, 2005 Monday

Correction Appended

LENGTH: 553 words

Sunny attitude means endless summer
BYLINE: By Rosabeth Moss Kanter

The end of summer sits on the cusp between little things and big things. In August, we can still enjoy the small joys of summer, before September reminds us of the hard work of the world.

In summer, we focus on little things. Grains of sand. Cotton candy and carousels at county fairs.

Summer is when many families gather across generations to delight in playing with their children. Even the hardest-driving professionals remember what it's like to be a child again.

In summer, cities empty out and Americans return to the land. Small towns are in their element, their remoteness linking us to wilderness.

Summer is the ultimate off-road experience. World events seem far away not just in miles but in time.

In summer, commercial interests and consumer interests are least aligned. Merchants pray for rainy days to force people into stores while everyone else craves sun. In the stretch between June weddings and back-to-school shopping, credit cards can take a rest. Summer has none of those Hallmark holidays (who sends Fourth of July cards?). Instead, many summer pursuits cost little to nothing. You can live off the land and waters, catching dinner and surrounding it with backyard-garden salad.

Summer is also the great leveler. The ubiquitous uniform of T-shirts, jeans and flip-flops makes ethnicity, occupation and age disappear. Americans didn't invent the picnic, but surely we've democratized the art. Parks are open for grilling, ready to receive families of vastly different incomes, who are united in their burgers and corn.

Lakeside cottages, campgrounds and cabins in the woods are still within reach of working-class families. The rich can't monopolize the simple pleasures of summer. And the trust that exists on public beaches always amazes me - that people spread their blankets near strangers, yet have no fear of leaving their belongings when they go for a swim.

Soon (too soon), it will be sober September. That's when the big things command attention again. Algebra.

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