Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - November 18, 2005, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
IN THE KNOW How would you finance a calling?
A briefing on what’s news
Iowa schools adopting tougher standards in math, science Iowa prison escapee captured near prison in Illinois Growing number of clinics deal with sleeping problems Pet elk killed; Fairfax couple offer reward for information
CASINO BLOCKED — Nearly three dozen members of Congress, including Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-lowa, and other leaders from both parties, pressed the government to block a Louisiana Indian tribe from opening a casino while the lawmakers collected large donations from rival tribes and their lobbyist, Jack Abramoff. Details, 4A
ABDUCTION FILMED — A
mechanic with a long criminal record was convicted Thursday of kidnapping, raping and strangling an 11-year-old girl whose abduction was captured by a car-wash security camera. Details, 3A
WAR IN IRAQ
WITHDRAWAL DEMAND — One
of Congress’ most hawkish and influential Democrats called Thursday for an immediate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, sparking bitter and personal salvos from both sides in a growing Capitol Hill uproar over President Bush’s war policies. Details, 3A
MILITARY DEATHS — As of
Thursday, 2,083 U.S. service members have died since the beginning of military operations in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.
ROYAL SCENERY — Britain s Queen Elizabeth ll watches a flypast by RAF Jaguars in a diamond 9 formation at RAF Coltishall, in England, during a visit to the air base Thursday. Her visit marked the 65th anniversary of the airfield.
BURLINGTON SLAYING — A drug counselor found dead Wednesday in a locked drug storage room at a Burlington rehabilitation clinic likely was strangled to death, investigators said Thursday. A North Liberty man has been charged with murder in the case. Details, IB
BATES WRITE-IN — Robert Bates, who finished ninth among nine candidates in the Nov. 8 at large race for council, said he has begun a write-in effort for the District 3 runoff race on Dec. 6. Bates said he’s running to protest current council member Wade Wagner’s write-in candidacy. Details, 3B
BIODIESEL PLANT — Plans for a $7 million biodiesel plant in southeastern Washington County received a $400,000 boost from the state on Thursday. Details, 8B
Tribune Media Services
Two entrepreneurs just came to my attention, both through readers who found their stories as perplexing and poignant as I did.
- One is Ido Cohen, who
wants to earn a technology degree at Rutgers University by financing a Web site and selling space to people who want to be seen (www.bethemost popular.com), his goal a collage of colors and images. He hopes for a billion hits. By mid-October, he’d had 20,000. And no buyers.
The other is David Har-ris-Gershon of Georgia, who married, became a father, and — after seven years of teaching high school wants to get his Creative Writing MFA. But he’s expecting another child. He wants to be a writer, without burdening his “family with the debt that student loans for those three years would generate.”
And so he is offering a piece of the rocket. He’s seeking “investors” in his future income as a writer. They’ll receive some portion of 20 percent of Ger-shon’s earnings.
Some responses have been unkind, telling him to quit whining and write, others express sadness for his “Faustian” bargain. What Gershon wants is “to be an artist in a pure setting.” He assumed that most people would see that his quest “isn’t about money.” Most haven’t.
“Many artists,” Gershon wrote, “are forced to strike a balance between artistic integrity and commercial opportunity ... they shop manuscripts to publishers, (get) book deals and give paid lectures to put food on the table.”
I know how he feels. That’s what I do.
On the other hand, I think Cohen, who wants a billion people to stop by and advertise their own wares, may offer the better deal.
Gershon (www.mywritingfund.com) is a skilled and talented writer. And I don’t think that his wish to have a family and a literary life is fatuous. But he’s somewhat disingenuous about writerly obligations. He worries that his gratitude to his investors might “affect the integrity of (his) art.” He worries he might try to make it “commercially appealing,” as Faulkner did.
If I were going to start worrying, it wouldn’t be about the possibility of turning out like William Faulkner — or William Shakespeare, for that matter, who had to rely on patronage to write his plays (and who had three children).
The essence of writing (if it’s published) is, to some degree, compromise. What we produce will be edited, even selected, based on the marketplace. Even great writers cannot write only what pours from their souls onto the page.
I’m devoutly certain that I would be a better writer if I had:
Written in a pure environment.
Written my books absent the pressures of raising a family.
Written my books free of economic or time constraints.
I’m also sure that I would not be as interesting or worthwhile as a person. I think I would be spoiled. When I first tried creative writing, I was a widow with three young kids and no advanced degrees. Now I’m married with seven kids and no advanced degrees. I have to write around their needs. Hemingway wrote sports. Hawthorne weighed salt. William Carlos Williams became a doctor. Jay Mclnerney did research at the New Yorker.
I honestly wish there were a service program that would spare people the onerous hell of loans. Education already is an aristocracy instead of a meritocracy — unless you’re possessed of specific ethnic characteristics or absolute, utter brilliance.
College grows daily more expensive. People shouldn’t have to spend every cent they’ve ever earned to educate their kids or themselves. In the end, the outcome will be unequal. Everybody can’t be an MBA; someone has to major in philosophy. It’s an intransigent question. Even doctors need years to pay back. What if you want to be a chef? Yet loans are the only way many get higher education at all. Cohen and Gershon exhibit good, old-fashioned capitalism. Maybe it’ll work. I hope it does. I think.
Jacquelyn Mitchard welcomes readers’ responses sent to Tribune Media Services Inc., 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114,
Buffalo, NY 14207 or via e-mail at tmseditors(atribune. com
Bush, Putin trying to show unity
BUSAN, South Korea (AP) — Though their political relationship is strained, President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin are trying to speak with one voice about the war on terror and the campaign to stop North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
The two leaders were meeting today, apparently still at odds over how to address Iran’s nuclear programs and with long-running differences
over the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and U.S. concern that Russia is retreating from democracy.
Far from home, Bush President
was on the de- Bush fensive about Takes issue
Democrats’ with critics
criticism that he had misled the nation about the need to
go to war in Iraq. He also was confronted with an announcement that South Korea intends to bring home a third of its 3,200 troops in Iraq.
At a news conference Thursday, Bush took issue with his critics and said it was “patriotic as heck to disagree with the president.” But he added, “What bothers me is when people are irresponsibly using their positions and playing politics.”
Today’s meeting was the
fifth between Bush and Putin this year, following talks in Moscow; Washington; Bratislava, Slovakia; and Gle-neagles, Scotland. Despite their disputes, they emphasize their friendship, which was strengthened when Putin stepped forward and supported Bush after the terrorist attacks of Sept. ll, 2001.
Bush and Putin were meeting in a hotel before the opening of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
RUN HAPPY — Minnesota, the Iowa football team’s opponent Saturday in Iowa City, is ranked No. I in the nation this year at 295 rushing yards per game. Details, IC
GOING ONCE, GOING TWICE: Reporter Christy Lemire is being auctioned on eBay. Sort of. Actually, by someone she doesn’t even know. It’s not really her. Just a picture. And a few other semi-famous media folks. Check the bidding at www.GazetteOnline.com
WHAT COMICS DO YOU READ? — Rate The Gazette’s comics and puzzles. Use the survey on page 7A of today’s paper or complete an online survey at www.GazetteOnline.com/comics
INCORRECT CONVICTION FOR ESCAPEE — Robert Joseph Legendre was convicted in Nevada of kidnapping, use of deadly weapons enhanced and attempted murder. Stories this week about his escape from the Iowa State Penitentiary have said he was convicted of murder because of incorrect information supplied to The Gazette and Associated Press.
YEARS INCORRECT — Larry Zaruba, found guilty Wednesday of vehicular homicide after a three-day trial in Linn County District Court, faced a maximum prison term of 25 years. The number of years was incorrect in a Thursday story, because of an editing error.
The Gazette welcomes comments about the accuracy, fairness and completeness of news articles, headlines and captions in the newspaper.
When the content is found to be wrong or misleading, a correction or clarification will be published in this space.
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Cocaine prices up, purity down
Drug czar says signs indicate key victory
Knight Ridder Newspapers
WASHINGTON — Declaring a key victory, U.S. drug czar John Walters Thursday said cocaine has become more expensive and less pure on U.S. streets this year — the first sign that billions of dollars in counter-drug aid to Colombia may be having an impact.
Walters’ aides said the new data reverse three years of steadily declining cocaine prices, which had perplexed policymakers as Washington poured more than $4 billion into Colombia since 2000.
While a gram of cocaine cost just over $120 this April, the price rose steadily to more than $170 in September, according to the data from the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy. And cocaine purity — a key indicator of availability — fell 15 percent between February and September. The data showed similar trends for Colombian heroin.
FOA to examine Tamiflu deaths
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health advisers are looking into the deaths of 12 Japanese children who took Tamiflu, part of their annual safety review of the anti-flu medication and seven other drugs.
There have been no reports of deaths in the United States.
“Based on the information we have, we cannot say definitively there is a causal relation between the drug and the children’s deaths,” Dr. Murray Lumpkin, the deputy commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said Thursday.
An update by FDA staff also includes reports of 32 “neuropsychiatric events” associated with Tamiflu.
Looking good for the new year.
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