Time to face fact that the war is lost
We've had enough discussion of timelines, benchmarks, anticipated progress reports and other such nonsense regarding the war in Iraq. It is time to face the fact that the war, which we never should have started, is irretrievably lost and was a colossal mistake from the beginning ("Iraq debate renewed," July 10).
The very best outcome we can possibly expect in Iraq is a shaky, Shiite-dominated theocracy that would be part of Iran's sphere of influence, subject to unending unrest, insurgent violence and infiltration by outside terrorist groups.
We might as well let it happen now, rather than continue to add to our staggering loss of blood and treasure.
Unfortunately, there is practically no one in our government, including Congress and the military, who has the courage to acknowledge this fact.
Edward Leslie Ansel
What if war billions went to our schools?
The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service estimates that the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has reached $12 billion a month ("Cost of wars now $12 billion a month," July 10).
As an educator with 34 years experience, I can't help but contemplate what $12 billion a month could do for our schools.
Indeed, there might be some truth to the suggestion that we have "No Child Left Behind" if this mind-boggling amount of money could be redirected to education.
MaryLee A. Stritch
Weather was wrong focus for front page
I have to question The Sun's choice of front-page articles on Tuesday.
Among the big Page One stories were that some people are playing baseball in Israel ("Baseball makes game try in Israel," July 10) (Did we really need to know that?) and that it has been hot recently ("Sizzling in the city," July 10) (We already knew that).
Meanwhile, a single paragraph on Page 4 announces that our government is spending $12 billion of our tax money every month in Iraq and Afghanistan, and more than $450 billion so far in Iraq ("Cost of wars now $12 billion a month," July 10).
The way our government spends our money is important to all citizens and deserves to be on the front page. But for some reason, The Sun decided to hide this story inside and say very little about it there.
Just imagine what could be accomplished with $12 billion a month used on the education or health needs of our citizens.
I want to be informed by my paper of important things that are not already obvious.
The weather belongs on the back of the Maryland section, and we all already know it is hot in the summer.
Let's have real, relevant news on the front page, please.
Jailed father posed little real danger
Charles Murel has made several bad decisions in his life. And, yes, he should be punished if he is convicted for the firearms charges he faces.
However, if he would have been shackled while escorted by police officers to his son's funeral, how much danger could he have posed ("Dixon sought release of jailed man," July 7)?
Releasing someone from jail for one day to see his son buried is not inconsistent with cracking down on gun crimes.
The writer is a law clerk for the Baltimore Public Defender's Office.
Furlough for funeral an empathetic idea
I applaud the efforts of Mayor Sheila Dixon to secure a short furlough for Charles Murel so that he might attend the funeral of his 3-year-old son, who was the innocent victim of a freak car accident in West Baltimore.
Although political flak has caused the mayor to now characterize her request as a mistake ("Dixon says she regrets efforts to secure inmate's release," July 10), I think it was, in fact, a courageous act of compassion prompted by the plea of a grieving mother.
William R. Garrison
New fees will limit access to area artists
SONiA from disappear fear has hit the nail on the head: The Copyright Royalty Board's decision to more than triple the rates Internet radio stations pay to stream music - especially when combined with the burdensome reporting requirements also required - will drive many out of the business and curtail the activities of those who remain ("Independent artists fear the demise of Internet radio," Opinion * Commentary, July 4).
Internet radio will not be as diverse as it is today under this decision. And the losers in all this will be the independent artists and the public.
This decision not only creates a financially untenable situation but also erases the current distinction between the copyright fees charged to public and commercial radio.
Public radio stations around the country, including the one I work for, provide free, unlimited, commercial-free access to our broadcasting streams to bring independent, especially local, artists to the widest audience possible.
While no one debates the need to fairly compensate the creators of the works of art we play, the CRB's decision and its administration through the Sound Exchange will surely reduce the number of artists who receive enough airplay to actually receive that compensation.