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Sunday, December 28, 2014
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Published: Friday, 5/19/2006

Keep a sharp eye on NSA's phone project

Why should we accept the President and his supporters when they claim the NSA is only going after terrorists? All these programs have inadequate oversight; in fact, the Bush Administration denies access to the information needed to provide this oversight.

Until we have thorough knowledge of what is going on here, no one can say that this is a "terrorist only" program.

I want a check on the executive branch. Otherwise, we are no longer a democracy.

Note also: If you don't care about this because "you're innocent," please remember the Supreme Court agreed that our President can declare anyone an "enemy combatant" and hold him or her incommunicado, without trial, simply on his say-so.

A lot of people in Guantanamo are innocent, but they're still there.

Think that can't happen to you?

Ask the Japanese interned in World War II and all those "communists" who lost their jobs under Sen. Joe McCarthy.

Jill Berkana

Courville Avenue

Watch out, Grandma. You'd better skip your Sunday call to Osama bin Laden.

We learned that the National Security Agency, with help from Verizon, AT&T, and BellSouth, has been tracking the phone calls of "tens of millions" of Americans - in secret, without a warrant, and without Congress' approval.

This is a waste of resources. President Bush will never stop al-Qaeda by tracking millions of innocent Americans - grandparents, veterans, and you. Instead, he should start guarding our borders, ports, nuclear plants, and chemical facilities.

According to the Homeland Security Department, only 6 percent of cargo containers are inspected.

Five years after the terrorist attacks, this is not only dangerous but treasonous.

In addition to being a waste of resources, this expansion of government power invades our privacy and tramples our freedoms. Such intrusions into our personal lives belong in Russia, not the United States.

Thankfully, Republicans and Democrats are upset. A Newsweek poll shows that 57 percent of Americans think the President has "gone too far in expanding presidential power."

And to people who say "I've got nothing to hide": In America, we are innocent until proven guilty. These programs, however, assume that we're all guilty, and they require us to prove our innocence. That is un-American.

We must speak up now. Talk to your neighbors. Call your politicians and your phone company. Tell them to stop spying on patriotic Americans and start protecting our country, our freedoms. Because if our government continues to spy on ordinary Americans, then the terrorists have succeeded in destroying our way of life.

Robert Boden II

Tecumseh, Mich.

I commend The Blade for its outstanding achievements in reporting the news to the Toledo community.

By this compliment, I am appreciative that you are not bound by the reporting tactics of other media outlets.

If, in every other word, I had to read "The Toledo Blade Action News in Print at 5, or 5:30, or 6, or 'Good Morning,'‚óŹ" or "The Toledo Blade, Toledo's Weather Station," and of course "Toledo's Newspaper, Getting Action, Seeing Results," or "Toledo's Newspaper," there would be little or no room left for the news.

Is it just me or is it a tad extreme to name every camera shot and reporter with the gimmick of the day as if the locals don't know which station they are tuned in to and need to be reminded so many times in a 30-minute broadcast?

So I thank The Blade that each time I sit down and read the paper, I am not reminded every 50 or so words that I am reading The Blade. I am aware of what I am reading, and I would bet that most viewers are aware of what station they are watching.

James Murra

Sylvania Township

What chutzpah. The Bush family is encouraging Jeb Bush to run for president, and the American public has not even asked him to run for dog-catcher.

Louis J. Hattner

Wicklow Road

When Thomas Jefferson packed up his books to send to the new Library of Congress, he wrote: "I cannot live without books."

We at Emmanuel Baptist Christian High School were also in great need of books when our school was destroyed last December. The Outreach Services manager at the Toledo-Lucas Country Public Library, Pat Nigro, and her team were a wonderful godsend and came to our rescue with their book hauler. They made stops at our interim school building every other week so our students could have access to books. The team was helpful, dependable, cheerful, and loved by the students.

How grateful we are for their help in our time of need.

We are privileged to have such great library services in Toledo!

Jenifer Christiaanse

Librarian at Emmanuel Baptist

Coldstream Road

Our Toledo Symphony played a beautiful program at Glenwood Lutheran Church as part of its Neighborhood Series.

Kudos to Conductor Chelsea Tipton II and the musicians. The program he directed was a beautifully balanced one, appealing not only to classical musicians but to the public at large.

Not only was the musical performance great, but the inclusion of audience participation made this a special evening program.

We must not forget this wonderful treasure we have, nor how it strives to keep in touch with its audiences on all levels.

I am sure that my colleagues at Glenwood share my enthusiasm for the wonderful things the TSO has done and is still doing. Bravo!

CLAIRE WILSON-OPFERMANN

Music Director

Glenwood Lutheran Church

What a difference 55 days makes. From The Blade's March 27 editorial "Disservice to the Great Lakes" to your May 11 opinion "From rhetoric to reality," you have done a total 180-degree turnabout.

Gone is your long-held concern for the ecological and economic threat posed to Lake Erie (and Toledo) by an invasion of giant Asian carp.

In recent years, The Blade has frequently warned readers of the Asian carp's devastation, with articles by environmental reporter Tom Henry and outdoor editor Steve Pollick.

On March 27 and in previous editorials, the paper has strongly favored funding for an effective barrier to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes, Lake Erie, and Maumee Bay.

The $400,000 directed by Sen. George Voinovich to this cause is a retargeting of already-budgeted funds, not a new addition to the federal budget.

He knows that funding for the Asian carp barrier is critical if we are to stop this invader from entering the Great Lakes and eventually destroying Ohio's Lake Erie fishery.

As earlier Blade coverage has pointed out many times, that would be a devastating prospect for fishing, boating, and tourism in Toledo and across the North Coast.

Sens. Voinovich and Mike DeWine are the consistent ones here, as they work to attain a sensible federal budget and - as always - protect Lake Erie, Ohio's most important natural and economic resource.

Sam Speck

Director

Ohio Department

of Natural Resources

What does it say about the competency of our intelligence agencies if they have so little to go on in the fight against terrorists that they have to suspect every single American by collecting everyone's phone records (and doubtless e-mail and cell phone records too - look for that revelation to come out eventually)? Do you feel safer? I don't.

Paula Reich

Scottwood Avenue



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