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GRAPHIC: SHINING STARS: Master Sgt. Joe Young of Orange, left, and Sgt. Philip Rand Jr. of Plymouth received Bronze Stars. PHOTO COURTESY OF MASSACHUSETTS NATIONAL GUARD
LOAD-DATE: August 24, 2005

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Copyright 2005 Boston Herald Inc.

The Boston Herald
August 24, 2005 Wednesday

LENGTH: 182 words
HEADLINE: Soldier chases down ribbon-stealing `rugrats'

A gung-ho Newton soldier home from Iraq and nursing his wounds took off after two ``rugrats'' ripping off ribbons supporting the troops.

Army Spc.

Richard Busa hobbled down the street in a cast, catching one of the teens.

``I caught these two little rugrats pulling (the yellow `Support the Troops') ribbons off cars,'' Busa said. ``You can be against the war, but you have to make it clear that you support the troops. If you don't, keep your mouth shut. There are men and women over there that are being shot at and dying.''

Busa said he and his fiancee saw two 17-year-old Newton neighbors pulling the magnetic ribbons off several cars.

Busa, who returned from Iraq after injuring his ankle and overextending a ligament, was able to catch the ``turds,'' as he calls them.

One of the two boys, the one who was actually stealing the ribbons, fled immediately. But the other boy froze.

``I told him, `Don't you dare go anywhere. Call your buddy back,' '' Busa said, who alerted the cops to report the petty larceny.

It was a police item from last week, but a story this soldier feels needs to be told.
LOAD-DATE: August 24, 2005

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Copyright 2005 Boston Herald Inc.

The Boston Herald
August 24, 2005 Wednesday

LENGTH: 570 words
HEADLINE: Hat act;

Country singer Toby Keith is ready for his close-up

Toby Keith has a lot to talk about but he can't say much.

Strike that. The voluble country superstar can say plenty - he can't release certain choice details just yet.

For instance, the strapping Oklahoma native, who plays the Tweeter Center in Mansfield Saturday night, is starting a new record label.

What's it called, you ask?

``I can't even tell you,'' he says.

The singer-songwriter, who's sold 25 million records the past 12 years, is also ready to throw his cowboy hat into the acting ring, following in the boot steps of Dwight Yoakam and Tim McGraw. But of his two potential films - one a romantic dramedy, the other based on a screenplay he wrote - Keith says, ``I don't know how much they'll let me talk about it.''

He's excited about the film work - having read roughly 300 scripts during the past four years - and is ready to doff his Stetson and get into character, not just transfer his big dog presence to the silver screen.

``I feel pretty comfortable,'' he says from a San Jose, Calif., tour stop, addressing the potential of leaving his rough and tumble persona behind. ``We're going to wade out, not dive right in the deep end,'' he says. ``I'm not going to be in a position where I've got to be Jack Nicholson quality.''

When not contemplating moguldom or movie stardom - and he also just opened Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill in Las Vegas - the 44-year-old former semi-pro footballer is enjoying his day job, touring for his most recent No. 1 album, ``Honkytonk University.'' The solid CD is a mix of bereft ballads - including a melancholy, hard country duet with Merle Haggard - and more uptempo stuff for fans of ``Who's Your Daddy'' and ``Beer for My Horses.''

``Pretty much the whole night from top to bottom is just rocking,'' says Keith of his set list, which he cherry-picks from his 21 No. 1 singles. ``It's more like a rock atmosphere with a country vibe,'' he says of his pyro-fueled stage production and 10-piece big band, including horn section.

There are some quieter moments with songs like ``American Soldier,'' which Keith says he sings for the scores of soldiers' families who come to his shows.

Keith also includes his aggressively patriotic, post-9/11 reaction song ``Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)'' - the hit that helped fuel that dust-up with the Dixie Chicks a few years back. He takes pains to point out the song reflected his support for invading Afghanistan to search for Osama bin Laden, not for the Iraq war.

``I never supported the Iraq war,'' says Keith, who describes himself as lifelong Democrat who has been unfairly portrayed as a warmonger.

He may be unsure about the war, but Keith puts his money where his mouth is when it comes to supporting the troops.

``I go over(seas) every spring and stay for 16 days,'' says Keith of the USO tours that have taken him everywhere from Iraq to Afghanistan to U.S. military bases throughout Europe.

It's those trips that make it easy for him to shrug off the image some people have of him as an angry redneck.

``I get painted with a lot of different kind of brushes that are usually wrong,'' says Keith.

So if some people want to paint him red, white and blue, that's just fine by him. He's just not going to say too much about it.

- Toby Keith plays the Tweeter Center, Mansfield, Saturday night with LeAnn Womack and Shooter Jennings. Tickets are $28.50-$64.75. Call 617-931-2000 or go to
LOAD-DATE: August 24, 2005

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The Boston Herald
August 23, 2005 Tuesday

LENGTH: 756 words

Moms misbehave too

I read with great interest the Herald's coverage of deadbeat dads (Aug. 12). But, where are the stories about deadbeat mothers?

I have a friend in his late 20s who attends college and works full-time while raising three children under 7 years of age. He has never received a dime from the children's mother. Does he not exist?

- Chris Ryan, East Bridgewater

Romney team justified

I am writing to correct a significant distortion of fact in the story about Gov. Romney's advance team (``Advancing Mitt's image; Romney team twice size of Weld's, Cellucci's,'' Aug. 19).

I have had the honor of serving five governors: Michael Dukakis, William Weld, Paul Cellucci, Jane Swift and Mitt Romney. While Martin Polera is technically correct in saying that at the beginning of the Weld administration almost 15 years ago he was the sole advance person on the governor's staff, the need to regularly borrow staff from other agencies for logistical assistance led to a gradual increase in advance staff. By 1993, the staff had grown to three, with an occasional increase to four, where it remains today. It is simply not true that the current advance team is twice the size of Weld's or Cellucci's.

To my mind, the most significant point omitted in this article is that the cost of running the governor's office has decreased almost 10 percent since Romney took office.

- Theresa Dolan, Director of Administration, Office of the Governor

Cartoon clears air

Thanks to Jerry Holbert for his breastfeeding cartoon (Aug. 11). It definitely put the controversy into perspective.

- R.J. Carroll, Woburn

Murphys play positive

In reading Michele McPhee's article, I was deeply touched by the efforts of the Dropkick Murphys to honor Andrew Farrar, a soldier and a hero who died earlier this year while fighting in Iraq (```Murphys' always faithful to Marine,'' Aug. 18).

In a time where celebrities, athletes and musicians are deified by the media for selfishness and greed, the Dropkick Murphys constantly go out of their way to use their celebrity influence for good. Kudos to the Murphys. People may not agree about the war, but all of us should do our part to support our fallen heroes.

- Matthew Tierney, Weymouth

Leave Cuba alone

Columnist Kathleen Parker raised intriguing questions with her rant concerning the birthday of Fidel Castro (``For totalitarianism, he takes the cake,'' Aug. 17).

Interestingly, the religious organization IFCO/Pastors for Peace recently wrote about increasing U.S. efforts to subvert the Cuban government. The Cuban government, like the U.S. government, forbids foreign seditious activities to proliferate under the umbrella of ``civil liberties'' with attempts to overthrow their government.

Also, the United States, like Cuba, has laws against hijacking, sedition and treason, and enforces them, regrettably also with capital punishment.

Despite restricted political activity in Cuba, polls show that most Cubans support the government's economic endeavors since most participate in decision making, unlike the United States. Their strategy is to provide an antidote to the grinding poverty and misery of other unpopular Latin American governments that are shamefully supported by Washington.

- Bruce T. Boccardy, Allston

Disclosure defended

Churches are public charities indistinct from educational, civil rights and social welfare organizations and should file an Annual Financial Report like other tax-exempt organizations. The Rev. Diane Kessler concedes that Senate Bill 1074 does not expand the attorney general's power (``State role in church regs intrusive,'' Aug. 15). So how does this bill affect the ``authority and oversight of financial matters''?

This bill is not an attack on any church, nor is it being pursued with ``blinding anger'' in response to a Roman Catholic problem as portrayed by the Rev. Kessler. Undoubtedly, many donors will applaud their religious organization when they review the annual report.

Also, charitable law is already mindful of congregations that run on shoestring budgets. It is unlikely small congregations will have to file the CPA-audited statement only required of charities with donations of $500,000 or more annually. The form is not cumbersome. Many of the 30,000 charities that now file are quite small and answer ``not applicable'' to questions.

Ultimately, we hope that all religious charities will support this bill and will eagerly file this report for the benefit of the taxpayers, the membership and the charity itself.

- Sen. Marian Walsh, Suffolk and Norfolk District
LOAD-DATE: August 23, 2005

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Copyright 2005 Boston Herald Inc.

The Boston Herald
August 21, 2005 Sunday

LENGTH: 580 words

Stones raise voices against war

``George Bush doesn't listen to us,'' Keith Richards said.

But that's not the only reason the Rolling Stones, who open their world tour at Fenway Park today, won't be getting an invitation to the White House anytime soon.

The Brit rockers' new CD, ``A Bigger Bang,'' comes out Sept. 6, but Matt Drudge and other right-wing media types are already foaming at the mouth after discovering the lyrics to one of its songs, ``Sweet Neo Con,'' a scarcely disguised savaging of the commander in chief.

``You call yourself a Christian

I think that you're a hypocrite

You say you are a patriot

I think that you're a crock of (expletive)

. . . How come you're so wrong?

My sweet neo con.''

Mick Jagger, who wrote the lyrics, goes on to criticize the war in Iraq as well as Bush's motives for starting it.

``It's liberty for all

Democracy's our style

Unless you are against us

Then it's prison without trial

But one thing that is certain

Life is good at Haliburton . . .''

``I've got strong opinions,'' Jagger said in a phone interview last week. ``I'm obviously very interested in the way that we conduct foreign policy in the West. It's one of my interests, if not passions. So obviously I have opinions about it.''

But never in the 42-year history of the Rolling Stones has he expressed such partisan opinion. You can count previous Stones political songs on one hand: the wishy-washy ``Street Fighting Man''; ``Sweet Black Angel,'' widely construed as an ode to black activist Angela Davis; and ``Undercover of the Night,'' a denunciation of South and Central American dictators and death squads. There's not much more to add to the list.

``There's been other social comment before from the Rolling Stones,'' Jagger said. ``This one's a bit more direct. Perhaps it's the times we're living in. I was being more direct than metaphorical.

``I think right-wing commentators get fed up with pop singers getting involved with anything but pop singing. But artists have responsibilities too. Everyone has responsibilities. As long as you don't bang on about it every day - because people get pretty bored with that - I think comments from artists, whether they are painters or any kind of creative people, is part of what you do.''

Richards supports his partner Jagger's song, but he worries that fans will think it's a calculated publicity ploy - or simply boring.

``I spoke to Mick about it,'' Richards said in a separate phone conversation. ``Personally, I find politicians a very pallid subject. I said to Mick, `Are you sure these guys are worth a Rolling Stones song?'

``But he felt strongly about it and he writes the songs as well as myself. I said, `If you feel like that about it and you feel it needs to be said, then I'm backing you up, pal.' That's the way it is. But my fear is that one little track like that would be a storm in a tea cup and distract from the rest of the record. But that was my only reservation. Otherwise, hey, it's free speech, right?''

And just wait. Those with their knickers in a twist over ``Sweet Neo Con'' have yet to discover that there's another pointed anti-Iraq War jab on ``A Bigger Bang.'' In ``Dangerous Beauty,'' Jagger addresses the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal with some very dark humor.

``Who you got there in that hood

You look so fancy in those photographs

With your rubber gloves on

But you're a favorite of the Chiefs of Staff . . .''

``You're almost the first person to bring that (song) up,'' Jagger said. ``I never hustled that one. But, yes, it's pretty strong.''
LOAD-DATE: August 21, 2005

241 of 675 DOCUMENTS

Copyright 2005 Boston Herald Inc.

The Boston Herald
August 21, 2005 Sunday

LENGTH: 139 words

CBS4 Political Analyst

(Spinometer needle halfway between spin and truth)


``She's really just trying to get the same answers to questions we've been asking for three years: Why are we there?''

- A supporter of anti-Iraq War protestor Cindy Sheehan at a Concord vigil last week

Poor Mrs. Sheehan, who lost a son in Iraq, looked like she might be the symbolic spark to ignite mainstream anti-war backlash - until she started spouting sympathy-smothering hate speech about Israel and America. She isn't looking for ``answers,'' just a forum to vent. That's the spin part.

But the ``why are we there'' question exposes a troubling truth about the Michael Moore left: They really don't believe the 9/11 attacks were wrong and justified an American military response. And that's the key reason their protests remain marginalized.
LOAD-DATE: August 21, 2005

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