INSIDE A.R. TODAY

Vol. 13, No. 3,068 - The American Reporter - January 10, 2007



Back To Baghdad

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American Reporter Correspondents

Editorial: The New Iraq Strategy: Too Little, But Maybe Not Too Late
Chiran Paudyal: UK's Skilled Immigrants Angered By Retroactive Change In Visa Rules
Elizabeth Andrews: The Elusive Art Of Writing Real Poetry
Randolph Holhut: For The Bush Administration, Is 3,000 'Just A Number?'
Joyce Marcel: Saddam's Hanging Shames The United States, Not Saddam
Constance Daley: Not All Tales Of The Lost End Badly
Walter Brasch: Son Of A Dung Beetle Vs. Buzilla
Erik Deckers: All Of This Spinning Is Making Me Dizzy
Ron Kenner: 2006 Is Memorable As The Year When No One Got Justice
Andy Oram: 'Yousers' Free Content Builds The Web - So What's It Really Worth?;
Special Report: President Gerald Ford Was The Right Man At The Right Time;

________________________________

Newslink Roundup

Breaking News New Bush strategy for Iraq separates him from his generals;
Breaking News Report on theft of 'code word' documents by Sandy Berger says extent of loss unknown;
Breaking News Steve Jobs wows 'em in San Francisco with iPhone intro at MacWorld;
Breaking News 'Chorus of dawn' is silent as thousands of dead birds fall from sky in Perth;
Breaking News 34 die in crash of cargo plane carrying Turkish construction workers;
LA traffic engineers hacked system to create traffic jams during strike;
US forces mount air assault on suspected al-Qaeda units in Somalia;
US asset markets headed for a 'severe correction,' '87 stock guru says;
Israel denies plans to strike Iranian A-enrichment plants;
As new law moves toward passage in Iraq, Exxon, BP and Shell ready claim to its oil;
Scientists discover non-controversial source of stem cells to grow new tissue;
In disputed Florida Congressional race, winner's wife reported voting problems;
United pilots, workers reported UFO hovering over O'Hare Airport;
Scientists discover super-efficient stomach bacteria that cause obesity;
'Truly phenomenal' new AIDS drugs said to work in all first-time users;
New obesity pill keeps your metabolism running to promote steady weight loss;
Scientists cure diabetes in mice overnight with one injection, but are widely ignored

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Video Newslinks

Video Ride a motorcycle as it hits 213 m.ph. on a busy highway

Video Amazon founder Jeff Bezos tests his private space rocket

Video Spectacular breakup of Russian rocket showers Denver with debris

Video Incredible! British man flies like a bird in wings Icarus would envy

  • His 'wings' let him fly like a bird ;

    Video UFO hovered over Chicago's O'Hare Int'l Airport, Tribune says

    Saddam Hangs

    Graphic Video To The Gallows

  • 100 attend his funeral near Tikrit

    A-R Video Edwards: Let's Bring
    Reserves Home From Iraq

  • Washington Post Video John Edwards' 2008 campaign opens in New Orleans
  • Editorial
    THE NEW IRAQ STRATEGY: TOO LITTLE, BUT NOT TOO LATE
    by Joe Shea

    There is no easy way out of Iraq, and no easy way to strike an agreement for peace with that misguided part of the Muslim world that wants to destroy America and all it represents. [MORE]

    One Woman's World
    PUTTING POETRY IN MOTION
    by Elizabeth T. Andrews

    CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Let the record show that I don't claim to be an expert in anything except maybe "How to get up again when the world knocks you to your knees, clips your wings, and slaps your dreams into the next county." [MORE]

    Make My Day
    ALL THIS SPINNING IS MAKING ME DIZZY
    by Erik Deckers

    INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- After the New Year got started, I looked down at my stomach and realized I had broken last year's resolution. And the year before that. And the year before that. [MORE]

    Reporting: England
    CHANGE IN VISA RULES ANGERS SKILLED BRITISH IMMIGRANTS
    by Chiranjibi Paudyal

    LONDON, Jan. 4, 2007 -- Thousands of highly skilled professionals and entrepreneurs from around the globe will be forced out of the United Kingdom following the introduction of "unjust" Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HMSP) rules in November, immigrant leaders say. The retroactive change in rules has raised questions about the credibility of a country known throughtout the world as a haven of democracy and justice, they add. [MORE]

    On Native Ground
    THE BUTCHER'S BILL: 3,000 DEAD, AND COUNTING, IN IRAQ
    by Randolph T. Holhut

    DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The butcher's bill - the human and financial costs of the war in Iraq - continues to grow. [MORE]

    Momentum
    DANCING IN THE END ZONE
    by Joyce Marcel

    DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- America used to run on oil, but now it seems to run best on blood and death. [MORE]

    One Woman's World
    SPIRITUAL EQUALITY IS A DIVINE RIGHT
    by Elizabeth T. Andrews

    CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- We Americans talk a lot about rights. Constitutional rights. Civil rights. The rights of women. The rights of gays. The right to keep and bear arms, and even the rights of animals. We demand the right to live, work and play as we please, and we have the right not only to pursue happiness, but the right to define "happiness" for ourselves. And all these rights have in common the unspoken premise that we must not interfere in the rights of others. [MORE]

    Hominy & Hash
    SOME STORIES OF THE LOST HAVE HAPPY ENDINGS
    Constance Daley

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Two stories occupied my mind during the 12 days of Christmas this year; one was heard around the world, the other just among family and friends. What is sort of the same is the sense of loss they both began with, and what is different is the way they ended. [MORE]

    Andy Oram Reports
    'YOUSERS' CONTENT BUILDS GIANT WEBSITES, BUT WHAT'S IT REALLY WORTH?
    by Andy Oram

    CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- It was a remarkable moment when that staunch pillar of American media, Time Magazine, chose the entire population - "You" - as Person of the Year. [MORE]

    Make My Day
    HOW TO ENGINEER IMPACTFUL DELIVERABLES
    by Erik Deckers

    INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- It's that time of year when geeky humor columnists throughout the world (okay, only me) quiver with anticipation at what the new year will bring. [MORE]

    Brasch Words
    BUSH, BIN LADEN CONTEND FOR NO. 1 BAD GUY CROWN
    by Walter Brasch

    BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- Deep in a cave or high on a mountain, in Pakistan or Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Yemen, Uzbekistan or, maybe, sunning on the French Riviera, is a furious Osama bin Laden. [MORE]

    A.R. Essay
    2006: THE YEAR OF 'JUSTICE NOT SERVED'
    by Ron Kenner

    LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- December 31 marks the 15th anniversary of the most important event in the second half of the 20th century: the official collapse of the Soviet Union. And January 1st marks the 15th anniversary of the start of a new post-Cold War age with the U.S. as the world's only remaining superpower. [MORE]

    Passings: President Gerald Ford
    FORD WAS THE RIGHT MAN AT THE RIGHT TIME
    by Randolph T. Holhut

    DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Shakespeare wrote that, "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em." [MORE]

    Momentum
    A PROBLEMATIC YEAR IN REVIEW
    by Joyce Marcel

    DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- News flash! This just in. "Pope calls for peace." This also just in: President Bush calls for "surge" of American forces in Iraq. [MORE]

    One Woman's World
    THE INVISIBLE GIFT
    by Elizabeth T. Andrews

    CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- The in-laws and the out-laws were there. The kids, cats, cousins, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers - and the two who were responsible for this annual shindig, Grandma and Grandpa. [MORE]

    Make My Day
    I DON'T BELIEVE IN THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY
    by Erik Deckers

    SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Christmas is fast approaching, and that can only mean one thing: Erik is waiting until the last minute to do his shopping again. That gives us a chance to run his favorite Christmas column. [MORE]

    On Native Ground
    OUR DIRTY SECRET: THE GOVERNMENT IS BROKE
    by Randolph T. Holhut

    DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The Financial Report of the United States Government, the summation of the 2006 fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, found that had the federal government used the same accounting practices used by the private sector, the 2006 federal budget deficit would have been $449.5 billion, not the widely reported $247.7 billion. [MORE]

    Momentum
    PEACE & LOVE & HOLIDAY
    by Joyce Marcel

    DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- At a Hanukkah party the other night, I spent a long time looking at the mantel full of glowing candles. I felt blessed, peaceful and safe. [MORE]

    An A.R. Exclusive
    DIABETES RESEARCHERS SAY CURE FINDINGS ARE 'SOLID'
    by Joe Shea

    BRADENTON, Fla., Dec. 18, 2006, 3:15 a.m. EST -- The scientist who serves as spokesman for a group of Canadian researchers that reported discovery of a cure for diabetes in mice in the peer-reviewed journal Cell on Friday says the ground-breaking findings are "solid" but the study's complex approach may take time to replicate. Clinical studies will begin in January, he said. [MORE]

    One Woman's World
    LANGUAGE HAS A HAIRY CHEST
    by Elizabeth T. Andrews

    CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Even the language fails women. [MORE]

    Hominy & Hash
    BOOTLEG BOOZE AND BATHTUB GIN
    Constance Daley

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- This year when my December birthday rolled around, I had the pleasure of talking with friends and family who called with greetings and warm conversations - usually about how quickly the years are going by. "It seems we were just talking about this same thing and it was a whole year ago." [MORE]

    Make My Day
    GOBBLEDYGOOK, DRIVEL, AND TRIPE - OH MY!
    by Erik Deckers

    INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- As we bring closure to the annual calendar, it behooves us to examine the various linguistic gaffes that occurred over the past 12 month period. [MORE]

    On Native Ground
    IMPEACHMENT AS PRELUDE TO THE WHITE HOUSE
    by Randolph T. Holhut

    DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The conventional wisdom is that Americans have no stomach for impeachment proceedings against President Bush. [MORE]

    High Tech
    THE DIGITAL PEN COMES OF AGE
    by Joe Shea

    BRADENTON, Fla. -- Writing is hard work any way you do it, but an innovation that is going wireless soon can make it easier for those who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome - like myself - and others who simply prefer writing longhand but hate the typing job that awaits them afterwards. [MORE]

    Momentum
    LOVE, ACTUALLY
    by Joyce Marcel

    DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Is love the last social taboo? [MORE]

    One Woman's World
    MAN, ARE THEY OFF BASE
    by Elizabeth T. Andrews

    CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- He leads an all-male prayer group at his church. That means he hates women. [MORE]

    Hominy & Hash
    MORE DOES NOT MEAN BETTER
    by Constance Daley

    ST. SIMON ISLAND, Ga. -- The checkout line was growing but customers moved along quickly. The associate - as sales clerks are called now - was a bright and bubbly girl with a brass name tag identifying her as Julie. She appeared to be a high school student working her first after-school job, and she couldn't be happier. It was contagious; she smiled, the customers smiled, the transactions ran smoothly and genuine harmony filled the air on this day when everyone was shopping for just the right things to buy for their family and friends. [MORE]

    Opinion
    ISRAEL'S NUCLEAR WEAPONS MUST BE ON THE TABLE
    by Joe Parko

    JERUSALEM -- Ever since Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli nuclear technician, confirmed the existence of Israelís nuclear weapons program with his photographs of the secret underground bomb facility published in the London Sunday Times in 1986, the world has known Israel has been making nuclear bombs but has pretended they do not exist. [MORE]

    Make My Day
    SILENT NIGHT? FAT CHANCE
    by Erik Deckers

    INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- "Okay kids, we need to buy one more Christmas present for Mommy. We don't have much time." [MORE]

    On Native Ground
    THE LIST: WHO MADE AMERICAN HISTORY?
    by Randolph T. Holhut

    DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Who are the 100 most influential Americans of all time? [MORE]

    Momentum
    MAYBE, JUST SAY YES?
    by Joyce Marcel

    DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The war on drugs is back in the news. Where to start? [MORE]

    From The A.R. Archives: 2001
    I REMEMBER PEARL HARBOR
    by Constance Daley

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- I remember Pearl Harbor. That was the day I went from hopscotch to knitting needles. Yes, I once knit a scarf for the boys in Greenland. Oops! I'm not supposed to mention they're in Greenland. [MORE]

    One Woman's World
    THERE IS NO GOD OF WAR
    by Elizabeth T. Andrews

    CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Every flag-draped coffin that comes home to America from Iraq feels to me as though it contains the broken body of my son or daughter, for I am an American and I cannot separate myself from them. [MORE]

    Hominy & Hash
    CASUAL OBSERVATIONS ON INTENSE TOPICS
    by Constance Daley

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- I like to think I'm an observer, and an opinionated observer, at that. Yet I rarely write strong opinion pieces. I'm not a philosopher and I avoid political comments unless it's to defend a misstatement. I'm more an observer like our national treasure, Yogi Berra: "You can observe a lot just by watching." [MORE]

    Tom Kerrigan
    MY PERILS - AND PAULINE'S - AT THE MOVIES
    by T.S. Kerrigan

    LOS ANGELES -- When I read a book by Joan Didion or a poem by Dana Gioia about what it's like to be a native Californian, I'm always puzzled because their experiences and impressions are so different than mine. Perhaps if they had grown up in Los Angeles when I did - that provincial city that no more resembles its present self than it did the original pueblo - they would have an altogether different view of what it meant to be reared in this state. [MORE]

    Make My Day
    SQUIRREL VIOLENCE GRIPS ILLINOIS
    by Erik Deckers

    INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I like nature and the creatures that live in it, provided they stay away from me. I'm what the outdoor-types call a Wilderness Wuss. In the wilderness, there are grizzly bears, timber wolves, snakes, and, squirrels. [MORE]

    On Native Ground
    A YOUNG MAN'S CHRONICLE OF HELL
    by Randolph T. Holhut

    DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- What happens when one of the most important news stories in the world happens literally in your front yard? [MORE]

    Momentum
    BALLOON MAN
    by Joyce Marcel

    DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I went to New York last week to see the Thanksgiving Day parade balloons and found my father. [MORE]

    One Woman's World
    WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN EDEN
    by Elizabeth T. Andrews

    CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- God created a garden and rested. God created man and rested. Then God created woman and since then neither God nor man has rested. [MORE]

    Hominy & Hash
    WHEN THE SCARLET LETTER IS BLUE
    by Constance Daley

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Sometimes, long-established laws don't mean anything to me at all. I don't mind seeing a sign affixed to a telephone pole saying NO SPITTING ON THE SIDEWALKS. The law is on the books; the sign upholds the law. It has nothing to do with me and I'm not going to look around for offenders. [MORE]

    Make My Day
    BEWARE HOLIDAY FRUITCAKES OF DOOM!
    by Erik Deckers

    INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I don't like fruitcake. [MORE]

    On Native Ground
    SO, WHAT'S THE PLAN FOR IRAQ?
    by Randolph T. Holhut

    DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Go big. Go long. Go home. [MORE]

    Momentum
    FOR SOME AT THANKSGIVING, EMPTY CHAIRS, EMPTY SLEEVES
    by Joyce Marcel

    DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- At a concert last week in Massachusetts, Bob Dylan sang an old, old song called "John Brown," while I imagined his head spinning with whiplash from the deja vu. [MORE]

    Hominy & Hash
    MORNING COFFEE AT BLOODY MARSH
    by Constance Daley

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- My morning routine starts with an "aquacize" class at the fitness center and this morning's air was bracing, to say the least. Stepping into and out of the heated pool, despite my thick terrycloth robe, I was shivering. I fell into line at McDonald's drive-thru and decided I would rather drive out to avoid the fumes-filled parking lot to relish my favorite brew. [MORE]

    One Woman's World
    LEARNING TO UNLOVE
    by Elizabeth T. Andrews

    CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- For every relationship there is a season; a time to stay and a time to go; a time for loving and, sometimes, a time to unlove. [MORE]

    Make My Day
    'TWAS THE MONTH BEFORE CHRISTMAS
    by Erik Deckers

    INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Erik's note: In the true Laughing Stalk Thanksgiving tradition, we offer Erik's "'Twas the Month Before Christmas" column, so he can grouse about stores that have their Christmas decorations out before Hallowe'en is over. [MORE]

    May She Rest In Peace
    + Honora Theresa Dooley Shea +
    May 11, 1914 - November 11, 2006

    The Soul of Kindness, The Heart of Good

    Eulogy: Nina D. Shea
    'BY A LIGHT, SHE LEADS'

    by Joe Shea

    MONROE, NY., Nov. 17, 2006 -- Good morning, and on behalf of the Shea Family, our thanks to each and every one of you who came here to be with us this morning. [MORE]

    On Native Ground
    A WOMAN-POWERED VICTORY FOR DEMOCRATS
    by Randolph T. Holhut

    DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- I'll admit it. I'm still trying to get my bearings after seeing the Democrats prevail in last week's mid-term elections. [MORE]

    Momentum
    MOM AND THE JEWEL THIEVES
    by Joyce Marcel

    DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The scamsters are out in force these days. Lately I've won many lotteries in England I never even entered. And there's a never-ending supply of respectful former Nigerian government officials who are trying to send me millions of their dollars. My local bank wants to correct my online account, although I don't have an online account. And eBay wants to update my financial information, even though I've never bought or sold anything on eBay. [MORE]

    Media Beat
    THE COMING MEDIA WAR OVER IRAQ
    by Norman Solomon

    SAN FRANCISCO -- The American media establishment has launched a major offensive against the option of withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. [MORE]

    One Woman's World
    DON'T THINK PINK
    by Elizabeth T. Andrews

    CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- I know women who would rather die than grow up. [MORE]

    From The A.R. Archives: 2001
    IF I WAS INDONESIA'S CHRISTMAS BOMBER
    by Andreas Harsono

    JAKARTA, January 4, 2001 -- Last week, a few hours after examining a Jakarta church where a bomb in a parking lot killed three people on Christmas Eve, I returned to my home psychologically shaken, vividly recalling the face of a grieving mother whose son was among the victims. [MORE]

    Make My Day
    WE NEED 'DRESS LIKE A PIRATE' DAY
    by Erik Deckers

    INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- I wish we didn't live in a society that frowned upon what we wear in public. I'm not talking about savagely-ripped jeans and t-shirts with quotes that encourage people to perform anatomically impossible acts on themselves. [MORE]

    On Native Ground
    WHEN IS 'NEVER AGAIN?'
    by Randolph T. Holhut

    DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. [MORE]

    An AR Editorial
    FOR VETERANS, NOW IS THE TIME TO WAKE UP AND FIGHT
    by Joe Shea

    BRADENTON, Fla. -- This low-tech backwater on the southern Gulf Coast of Florida observes Veterans Day today with unusual zeal. At all the American Legion posts the public is invited to lunch for free or a dollar or five, there's a parade in nearby Palmetto, across the Manatee River, and a week-long American Patriotism Celebration has been underway for days. The local Bradenton Herald is full of articles and ads about the various events, and every state, county and city office and agency except the police department is closed down. [MORE]

    Momentum
    BAREFOOT ON GLASS: AN ELECTION NIGHT DIARY
    by Joyce Marcel

    DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- This election almost killed me. [MORE]

    Market Mover
    THE ELECTION AND THE RUMMY FACTOR
    Mark Scheinbaum

    LAKE WORTH, Fla., Nov. 9, 2006 -- Yukyukyukyuk. Eiyaaaaoh! Eiyaaaaoh! Nnyack, nya, nyaaaaack! "Paging Dr. Bush, Dr. Kerry, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard." [MORE]

    One Woman's World
    AIN'T GOT NO ELOCUTION
    by Elizabeth T. Andrews

    CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- I have learned the error of my ways. I was wrong. I am reformed, born again, forever humbled. [MORE]

    Campaign 2006: Florida
    13TH DISTRICT BATTLE ROYALE ISN'T OVER YET
    by Joe Shea

    SARASOTA, Fla., Nov. 8, 2006, 3:49 a.m. -- Florida has done it again. A tight and very costly Congressional race has gone into extra innings over votes that were cast on electronic machines without a paper trail. [MORE]

    Campaign 2006: Florida
    DEMOCRATS ARE FIGHTING HARD FOR FLORIDA
    by Joe Shea

    BRADENTON, Fla., Nov. 5, 2006 -- Until a short time ago, this tourist-friendly, laid-back town of 50,000 on Florida's southern Gulf Coast wasn't on anyone's map of political hotspots. But even the Washington Post's Website had a Bradenton, Fla., dateline on its top story this morning until Saddam Hussein's death sentence topped it. Even so, by Sunday afternoon, judging from the cameras, crowd and reporters present at a last-minute Democratic rally in front of the Manatee County Democratic headquarters, the nation's eyes were back on big little Bradenton. [MORE]

    Hominy & Hash
    NARROWING THE WONDERS OF THE WORLD TO SEVEN
    by Constance Daley

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Scanning e-mail messages is a speedy process with so much to see and so little to absorb. Today, however, a date jumped out at me: 07.07.07. There it is! Our 50th anniversary is close enough to start marking the event. [MORE]

    On Native Ground
    WHEN THE WARRIORS SAY 'ENOUGH!'

    by Randolph T. Holhut

    DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- When a man or woman signs the enlistment papers and raises their right hand to swear allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and to protect it against all enemies, foreign and domestic, they take on an awesome responsibility. They are pledging to defend this nation and sacrifice their lives, if necessary, to do so. [MORE]

    Make My Day
    TAG, YOU'RE DUMB!
    by Erik Deckers

    INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- In yet another assault on childhood fun, the game of tag has come under fire from Addle-minded, er, Attleboro, Massachusetts. Willett Elementary School has banned tag from recess. [MORE]

    Momentum
    VERMONT: AHEAD OF OR BEHIND THE CURVE?
    by Joyce Marcel

    DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Some say the soul of the nation is up for grabs in the coming elections. [MORE]

    One Woman's World
    FAITH ISN'T 'SHOW AND TELL'
    by Elizabeth T. Andrews

    CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Headscarves do not a Muslim make, nor does a cross make a Christian. [MORE]

    Hominy & Hash
    LIVING HAPPILY EVER AFTER IS FOR FAIRY TALES
    Constance Daley

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Once upon a time there were newspaper ads and shiny magazine pictures telling readers there were ways to improve their health and well-being, and for a small investment (the purchase price) problems would be solved. Prior to the printed page, "snake oil" salesmen worked from the back of a wagon verbally seducing listening customers into buying a pint of their magic elixir - 40-percent alcohol not listed in the ingredients. [MORE]

    Reporting: London
    BIN LADEN'S TORA BORA CAVE TO BE A RESORT, TABLOID SAYS
    by Chiranjoni Paudyal

    LONDON, Oct. 30 -- The rugged, wild Tora Bora region of Afghanistan, once the hideout for the world's most-wanted terrorist, will be converted into a luxury tourist attraction with the construction of a holiday resort at the scene - at least that's what a tabloid paper in London says. [MORE]

    American Way
    THE TOOLS OF THE CARPENTER
    by Joe Shea

    MONROE, N.Y. -- In a plain red stable on a verdant, historic farm in Monroe, N.Y., a young carpenter is using an unconventional set of tools to craft a reputation for quality design and workmanship that has traveled throughout the Hudson River Valley and beyond. Those tools go beyond the adze and axe, the plane and saw, the hammer and nails that are also part of his trade, neatly arranged throughout the intimate shop; the unconventional tools are those designed not just to restore an ancient piece of furniture or recreate the grandeur of a dilapidated mansion, but are tools to build a life and a reputation through work that will endure. Joe Varcadipane calls them "The 10 Rules of C." [MORE]

    Market Mover
    THE $10,000 HEALTH INSURANCE DEDUCTIBLE?
    by Mark Scheinbaum

    LAKE WORTH, Fla. -- It seemed to be a sad truth about the health care insurance industry today when the Blue Cross agent explained the monthly premium for one person would be about $850. But the real sticker shock came when he said, "That's for the $10,000 deductible with no co-payments." [MORE]

    Make My Day
    MUSIC APPRECIATION FOR GUYS
    by Erik Deckers

    INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- In my constant quest to help Guys transform themselves into Men, I've provided guidance on cooking, dining out, ordering wine at a fancy restaurant, and even relationships. I've taught Men how to become Guys with lessons on home remodeling, designing the perfect garage, and basic tool usage. Now it's time to discuss one of my biggest challenges: How to appreciate classical music. [MORE]

    On Native Ground
    WHY ARE THE DUMB STATES RED?
    by Randolph T. Holhut

    DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- For the second year in a row, Vermont was ranked the smartest state in the union by the Kansas-based research group Morgan Quitno. [MORE]

    One Woman's World
    A WINTER OF DISCONTENT
    by Elizabeth Andrews

    CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Comes now the first frosty breath of winter, the hint of something different on its way, the silent going of the honeybees, the hummingbirds, the last buzz of a lone fly looking for warmer quarters. [MORE]

    Hominy & Hash
    YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE ALONE TO FEEL ALONE
    by Constance Daley

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- My son Tom told me his five-year-old daughter wept as she watched "Castaway" with Tom Hanks when "Wilson," a volleyball that survived the crash along with Hanks (soon becoming his only companion), was floating out of reach forever. [MORE]

    Media Beat
    CHANNELING THOMAS FRIEDMAN
    by Norman Solomon

    SAN FRANCISCO -- Get ready for a special tour of a renowned outlook, conjured from the writings of syndicated New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. [MORE]

    Reporting: South Africa
    PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION A SORE POINT IN JOHANNESBURG
    by Christine James

    JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Oct. 20, 2006 -- It was Car Free Day in Johannesburg today. Not that there was a noticeable difference from any other day. [MORE]

    On Native Ground
    THE NUCLEAR MENACE IS BACK, THANKS TO BUSH
    by Randolph T. Holhut

    DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- For the past six decades of the Atomic Age, humankind has somehow managed to avoid nuclear annihilation. [MORE]

    Market Mover
    WHAT WE DON'T NEED
    by Mark Scheinbaum

    MIAMI -ó The sparse crowd roared at the sure three-pointer, until it bobbled around the rim and popped out to the mid-court line. [MORE]

    Momentum
    VERMONT NEEDS A NEW GOVERNOR
    by Joyce Marcel

    DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Writing a column about why Republican Gov. James Douglas should be voted out of office is a little like trying to explain why you should shoot your puppy. [MORE]

    One Woman's World
    AMERICA'S LOST TRIBE
    by Elizabeth T. Andrews

    CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- For want of a word a nation is lost. [MORE]

    Hominy & Hash
    WHEN NEW YORK NEWS HITS HOME
    by Constance Daley

    NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Is it only when I go to New York City that these high-profile news events take place, or is it because in New York, we see and hear firsthand news accounts on the street all day? Here, there's always something going on. [MORE]

    Brasch Words
    THE FOLEY AFFAIR: SEX, LIES AND FAMILY VALUES
    by Walter Brasch

    BLOOMSBURG, Pa.-- The parents of a 16-year-old Congressional page contacted their congressman, Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.). [MORE]

    Make My Day
    I'M WATCHING THIS GAME IF IT KILLS ME
    by Erik Deckers

    INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- "Some men will do anything to watch their sports," said Karl, plunking his beer on the table. Karl, my friend and part-time curmudgeon, often plunked his beer as an exclamation to his declarations. We were at my house, watching the Indianapolis Colts play the New York Jets. [MORE]

    AR Opinion
    JUST FOR FUN, FOLLOW THE FOLEY FOLLIES' FUNDS
    by Mark Scheinbaum

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- When former Florida GOP Congressman cum fundraiser Mark Foley resigned in scandalous disgrace two weeks ago, New Mexico GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson disgorged $8,000 in Foley Funds faster than you could say "Jack Abramoff." [MORE]

    On Native Ground
    IRAQ, IRAN AND THE FOLLY OF FAITH-BASED FOREIGN POLICY
    by Randolph T. Holhut

    CHESTER, Vt. -- The latest New York Times/CBS News poll has President George W. Bush's approval rating down to 34 percent. More telling, though, is that 83 percent of those who responded to the poll say Bush is either "hiding something or mostly lying" about how things are going in Iraq. [MORE]

    Momentum
    A HILL OF BEANS
    by Joyce Marcel

    DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Under a bright blue sky, this year's foliage is extravagantly beautiful. [MORE]

    Reporting: South Africa
    SCHOOL VIOLENCE AN AFRICAN PROBLEM, TOO
    by Christine James

    JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- "Children will be children. They merely did things teenagers do." These were the words of a South African diplomat working at the South African High Commissioner's Office who, along with his family, was requested by the British Government to be out of Britain by October 17. [MORE]

    One Woman's World
    THE PROZAC PARADE
    by Elizabeth Andrews

    CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- We live, we Americans, in a time of the quick fix for every woe, every twitch of discomfort, every mood. [MORE]

    Copyright 2007 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.

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