Regarding John Hughes's July 23 Opinion column "A ring of Churchillian courage in Blair's words": I find it ironic that Mr. Hughes, in praising Prime Minister Tony Blair, should compare him to Winston Churchill. Mr. Blair spoke to the US Congress in support of deposing Saddam Hussein, a dictator who has been accused of possessing biological and chemical weapons, and who has used chemical weapons against the Kurds.
The irony is that the first country to use chemical weapons against the people of Iraq was the United Kingdom in 1920 - to quell an uprising against British rule. Winston Churchill, the secretary of state for war and air, authorized this policy, writing, "I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poison gas against uncivilised tribes."
Your July 23 editorial, "Linking money to laws," repeats the time-worn charge that the only reason "special interests" contribute to incumbent members of Congress is to buy their vote on issues. Yet many political action committees give to candidates who don't always vote in lock step with the organization's agenda, and the vast majority of contributions go to candidates who generally share their philosophy and policy views. As someone who used to run a PAC for a segment of the food industry - as well as raise money for incumbent members of Congress - I have never attended a fundraiser the purpose of which was to influence a specific legislative outcome. Trying to link contributions with votes creates a false impression, and that is a disservice to the public and the elected officials who serve them.
Kelly D. Johnston
Newtown Square, Pa.
Regarding your July 25 article "The next big rebate from the IRS": First off, let me say that I think the tax credit for families with children is a wonderful idea; they need it. But so do the families that make under $25,000 a year, whether they have children or not. Why not either lower taxes altogether or figure out a tax credit for the individual who consistently lives under the national poverty level - who works hard to pay bills and does not ask for welfare of any kind. Why not help those people as well?
Regarding your June 18 article "'Don't call me a pirate. I'm an online fan.'": Although the recording industry has responded to MP3s by lowering the price of CDs, I still go to the retail stores and see my favorite CD for $14.99. Is this fair? And out of the $14.99, how much does the artist get? Maybe a dollar? I will still download music. I couldn't care less that the RIAA isn't getting the kickbacks it was getting 10 years ago. Business is business, and if the industry is changing, then you change.
"File sharing" is a euphemism for taking property that is not yours, and no amount of rationalization will change that fact.
The entertainment/music industry has not failed; it is the parents and schools that have failed. The fact that kids take what they want from the Internet because they want to is a sad commentary on the ethics of the younger generation. The music industry has every right to take them to court, and I hope they prosecute a large number of these thieves to teach the rest an important life lesson: Steal, and you will pay the consequences.
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