The Baltimore Sun

President poses peril to our nation

It is hardly surprising that President Bush, a man who routinely treats the Constitution with all the reverence most of us would extend to an acorn squash, would engineer the kidnapping of a civilian; unilaterally declare him an "enemy combatant"; order him held incommunicado in a military brig for 15 months; revoke his Fourth, Fifth and 14th Amendment rights; and subject him to physical and mental torture ("Attack on America," Opinion * Commentary, June 13).

What is surprising, however, is that the American people continue to look the other way, in the illogical belief that we must voluntarily surrender our precious liberties to stay safe from terrorists who would take away our precious liberties.

As far as I am concerned, one of the most dangerous men in America today resides in the White House, and it is high time for freedom-loving Americans to demand his impeachment.

What we already know about this president's abuse of power is sufficient to require his removal.

And given his record, it's a sure bet that what we know is only a small fraction of what is going on - all of which threatens to reduce our Constitution to a quaint relic of bygone days and values.

Arlene Ehrlich


Pulling out no cure for the mess in Iraq

I think everyone agrees we are in a big mess in Iraq ("When will we finally pull the plug on mess in Iraq?" Opinion * Commentary, June 13).

The single biggest complaint I have heard is that the Bush administration did not really think through the consequences of its decision to invade Iraq.

Now many of the new leaders in Congress and some presidential candidates are calling for America to get out of Iraq. But it looks like these people are committing the same mistake the Bush administration made in invading in the first place - that is, they want to do something, but there is no evidence that they have thought through the possible consequences of their desired action.

We have a big problem in Iraq because we have made a huge number of mistakes since the fall of Baghdad.

But saying, "Things are really bad and we need to come home," is childish.

And saying, "Let's stay the course," without fixing our obvious mistakes, is irresponsible.

We already went into Iraq, and we can't take that back.

Where are the leaders who will admit that we have made major mistakes, then figure out ways to correct those mistakes?

Jacob Hodge


People must push leaders to pull plug

I appreciated Thomas F. Schaller's column "When will we finally pull the plug on mess in Iraq?" (Opinion * Commentary, June 13).

He makes the point that the war has been an unmitigated disaster and skewers the suggestion that the United States must stay in Iraq or the situation will get even worse.

Unfortunately, we citizens do not have the power to pull the plug. And the hard part here is persuading our elected officials to stop funding the war and the occupation of Iraq.

Those who vote for more funding claim it is necessary to support the troops.

But how can you claim to be supporting the troops by leaving them in a hostile situation in which the majority of the local people do not want them around?

That kind of support means that many of the troops will return home in a box or with massive injuries.

More people must join the protests against the war so that we can persuade our legislators to finally do the right thing.

Max Obuszewski


A foolish dispute with dry cleaner

You've got to be kidding me - a judge suing for $54 million for a missing pair of pants ("Judge reduced to tears by million-dollar pants," June 13)?

Who hasn't had a problem with a dry cleaner? But a judge making so much over one pair of pants is completely insane.

And running from the courtroom in tears - over pants? Give me a break.

Barbara T. Schofield


Dance program is community asset

There are so many thousands of stories that parents and children could tell the readers of The Sun about how important Towson University's Children's Dance Division has been in their lives ("A victim of success," June 12).

My daughter began dancing in that program five years ago.

The excellent teachers, magnificent music and countless new friends and experiences offered in the program have transformed my daughter and her friends forever.

What a gift Towson University has offered us: access to terrific dance studios and to caring and compassionate teachers, and the opportunity for our children to learn to love music and movement.

As the university's dance department charts its course, it is regrettable that it may no longer have room for this magnificent community resource.

The Children's Dance Division has helped make Towson University a good neighbor to the thousands of children who have passed through its doors for so long.

When it has such a successful, nationally recognized model for an arts program, how can Towson University consider letting it go?

David Kandel


Pastor offers lesson on the value of life

In opposition to the view expressed in The Sun's editorial "Not very Scout-like" (June 12), I hold that Monsignor James P. Farmer's outstanding fortitude in doing his duty to God, his country and his parishioners stands as an example of courtesy, respect and properly exercised citizenship for every Scout in his troop.

The Sun's confusion of morality and politics, absurd comparisons and conjectures and lack of understanding and respect for the obligations of a Catholic cleric should be apparent to any reader and warrant an apology to Monsignor Farmer.

Paul Spause


The Sun seems to miss the essential point on the subject of embryonic stem cell research and why the Catholic Church and Monsignor James P. Farmer find it so abhorrent as to disqualify a person who promotes it from attending ceremonies honoring Boy Scouts.

The reason is simple: an embryo is an innocent, live person.

So it is just as wrong to kill an embryo now for the sake of medical research as it was for physicians in the Third Reich to perform experiments on more fully developed humans.

William R. O'Brien

Ellicott City

Greener city can be a healthier city

I applaud Mayor Sheila Dixon for her efforts to make Baltimore a greener city.

In addition to shading buildings and sidewalks, absorbing pollution and helping to cool the earth, trees and gardens can help ease stress.

Studies have shown that greenery is beneficial to the emotional health of neighborhoods.

Baltimore has many important problems that need attention. But adding greenery will help to soothe some troubled minds.

Carole Nadeau


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