Sunday, June 13, 2004

Letters to the Editor

Ray Charles was an American treasure

It may take a long time for the loss of Ray Charles to sink in. What he added to the landscape was as natural, and taken for granted, as the sun coming up every morning.

We'll think of him every time we hear one of his songs, but sooner or later we'll hear a song that's OK, but if Ray would have sung it ... That's when his loss will sink in.

George Corneliussen


Reagan's policies didn't help poor

Now that the funeral is over I'd like to express my thoughts on Ronald Reagan. As a working class person and a former union member, I'll never be able to forgive him for firing the airline controllers rather than negotiating. He was no friend to unions and no friend to society's less fortunate citizens. His policies piled up huge amounts of debt and beneficial social programs were wrecked. Personally, I saw nothing trickle down to me except more grief from my government.

Dan Hadley


Not all issues receive same treatment

Regarding the article "Advocates of smoking ban in workplace plead case" (June 9): It appears, according to Vice Mayor Alicia Reece, that a smoking ban for Cincinnati must be affordable and that City Council must not be responsible for its enactment or the potential loss of business customers. Many events considered by some council members never receive the same economic consideration, such as the program Cops, the verbal abuse heard in council chambers, or the events in Cincinnati that have occurrences that force people to leave the city and seek shelter and entertainment elsewhere.

A peaceful city or a city in anarchy is only separated by the thin blue line, supported by the city governing bodies; that has an indisputable positive economic impact.

George A. Fortner

Price Hill

Jonathan Kramer's contributions linger

It is with great regret that we learn of the untimely death of Jonathan Kramer. We appreciate his years of erudite yet understandable program notes for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. It was a privilege to have known Jonathan and Norma when they lived in Cincinnati and added much to area cultural life.

Richard and Deirdre Dyson


Dedication is key to better schools

The editorial ("Powerful, but imperfect, reform" June 9) presents a very superficial view. The perfect should not be the enemy of the good.

An effort to pamper the teacher's union and other apologists for our failed educational system is not constructive. The No Child Left Behind Act merely attempts to establish a modicum of accountability.

Educational achievement requires dedication and hard work, not lots of money.

The federal government should demand increased accountability or abolish the Department of Education.

Joe Darby

West Union

Abuse of soldier demands more response

The treatment of Sean Baker, formerly of the Army 438th Military Police Company, is shameful. He suffered brain damage after he was ordered to pretend that he was an uncooperative prisoner and was beaten by fellow soldiers. The army then tried to deny what had happened.

If the army treats one of our own (Baker is from Georgetown, Ky.) that way, imagine how deep the current administration's lies must be regarding Iraqi prisoners. It is time for our elected representatives to call for the resignations of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and others responsible for failing to properly oversee (and perhaps even authorizing) the subversion of the Geneva conventions on torture.

Steve Carlton-Ford

Hyde Park

Tyrant appeasement never reasonable

Regarding Armstrong Williams' syndicated column "America-bashing decadent, dangerous" (June 3): The French must have short memories. If they had stood up to Hilter in the 1930's World War II might not have happened and millions of lives would have been saved.

I'm not forgetting their help during our revolution. Without their intervention we would not have won that war. We paid back that favor twice in the past century. They were a different kind of nation in 1781.

Thank God for Tony Blair. He understands that it doesn't pay to appease evil leaders. Can anyone doubt that this is a better world without that mass killer leading Iraq?

Floyd Smith


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