Power and control
Data mining is a wondrous thing. It permits the holder of the information to know a number of things the holder would otherwise be unaware. For example, who you phone, how long you talk, where you were at the time, who calls you and what sites you visit on the Internet. In other words, it reveals your interests and much of how you live your life.
Whether you are a good citizen is strictly in the view of the observer. I may think so and you may think so, but how about the other guy? In this case the other guy is the government of the United States. Perhaps you trust the government always to "do the right thing." If that is so, then you trust the IRS. Maybe, at this moment, the government can largely be trusted, but what about the government 10 or 20 years from now? Can that be guaranteed?
We must understand that the information being collected on a mass scale is more than sufficient to form profiles of attributes the government deems troublesome or politically dangerous to the party in power, and allows it to seek out the individuals matching that profile for whatever form of retribution they find appropriate. That could be anything from jail to the personal destruction of a sitting congressman or a person running for office, much less you or me. An enormous data facility in Utah soon will open that will be capable of storing years of this information, so we are not dealing with just what occurred last week or last month, but what has occurred over a very long period, adding to the accuracy of the profiles that can be constructed.
Do you want the government to be capable of knowing how you live, what you believe and how you live your life? They say it's for our safety. Yes, it is, but beyond that the temptations are almost irresistible. Can a burgeoning bureaucracy withstand the temptation to further its power? That's what it's all about: Power and control. Have you read George Orwell's "1984"? If so, you know what I mean when I say you are close to becoming Winston Smith.
Land O' Lakes
Regarding "A troubling military gap" (Our Views, June 8).
You are 100 percent correct - this country needs the draft reinstated. Freedom is not free, and freedom has to be maintained with a military. With the sophistication of computers in the military, you would have people with a broad range of knowledge and this also would give these people time to think about what career choices to make.
Knowledge also would be gained by the people being in the military. I was drafted for the Vietnam War, and I have no regrets. This is still the best country in the world, and I would like to see it continue.
Don't judge others
Regarding "Lack of backbone" (Your Views, June 4) by Jack Carr.
The writer says allowing openly gay boys into Boy Scouts shows "lack of courage." I have a different opinion. If the Boy Scouts of America was just an ordinary "Christian organization," they would not have made a difference in so many boys lives. If you are not of the Christian faith, can you become a Boy Scout? Yes.
Boy Scouts is an organization where oftentimes the boys who don't quite fit in anywhere else at that time in their life can find their way toward becoming young men. There have been many gay scouts in the past and many currently in scouting. Maybe they do not choose to wave a rainbow flag, but nonetheless they are gay.
I think the Boy Scouts of America has done the right thing, especially in a time so many young people are made to feel not welcome and are bullied. Isn't Scouting about helping boys become better young men? My family has strong Scouting ties, with two generations of Eagle Scouts. They are all wonderful, nonprejudiced young men who still follow the values they learned in Boy Scouts. I am very proud of them.
Isn't it true that as Christians we are not to judge others? When was the last time you were not welcome in a church because you were different?
If my church or religious organization were to pull their support for the Boy Scouts, that would tell me they are not really Christians and not focused on the Lord's work but their own agenda.
Being different doesn't make you right or wrong - it just makes you different.
God accepts us all.
Winner deserves privacy
In response to Joyce Neville's letter stating that everyone has a right to know and that the Powerball winner should grant interviews ("Powerball winner," Your Views, June 7): Says who?
Is that on fine print on the back of the ticket? Perhaps you missed the story of the lottery winner who was murdered by supposed friends to get to his money.
If the winner wants to remain private, she has every right and I don't blame her.
The part of the letter telling her that she should split it with the woman who let her ahead in line is nobody's business but hers. Would you like to tell her how she should spend the money as well?
Sounds like sour grapes to me.
Land O' Lakes