Opinion: Letters to the Editor

Letters for June 13

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Letters to the Editor

Is bigger criminal NSA or whistleblower?

As a former law enforcement officer way back in the day, I remember a few things when it comes to the law. You can't arrest someone for thinking about committing a crime; you can only act after one is committed. In other words, you can't speculate and surmise as to what someone may do -- such as when our government is speculating that terrorists may commit a crime against us. The Patriot Act was designed to detect and stop our enemies, not gather information on private citizens in our country for future use against them.

I believe whistleblower Edward Snowden was caught between a rock and a hard place. I can't say that I agree with his decision to go public, but if he was aware that he could be charged with being an accessory to crimes against our citizens after seeing what the government was doing, he was left with little choice.

As for our government, I believe that the citizens of our country don't need to know every sordid little detail as to what goes on behind the scenes as long as the government isn't violating the very laws that protect us.

Gregory J. Topliff

Warrenville, S.C.

Some jobs not wanted at any wage

Re: "Farmers should raise pay if they want more workers," June 10

Thomas Sowell asserts an old argument that if farmers simply increased wages, there would be no labor shortage. In the real world of labor-intensive farming, farmers compete for workers in what is essentially a closed system. The number of workers available when their perishable fruits and vegetables must be harvested does not expand or contract based on wages offered.

We have seen California growers raise wages as high as $30 per hour for strawberry pickers (plus health, vacation and retirement benefits) and still end up short-handed. That is because migrant workers are the only people willing to do this hard work at any wage.

While we might wish Americans would take these jobs at wages substantially higher than what one can earn at most fast-food restaurants, experience proves otherwise. Congress must enact reform that allows these workers to contribute to our economy in a legal and regulated way. The alternative is not only higher prices for American fresh produce, but also the offshoring of our fresh produce to Mexico and other countries. This cannot be good for America's food security, not to mention our economy.

Tom Nassif

President and CEO,

Western Growers Association

Irvine, Calif.

Eric Holder should be fired now

Transparency and accountability are not hallmarks of the Obama administration. When a government operation calls for distribution of thousands of guns to Mexican drug cartels and results in the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent and at least 200 Mexican citizens, someone better start explaining.

Unfortunately, Attorney General Eric Holder has skirted responsibility in revealing what he knows about a government sting operation gone tragically wrong. When the nation's highest law enforcement official perverts his public duty by deceiving the American people instead of protecting them, he must go.

Holder should also be investigated as to whether he committed perjury about his involvement in approving a search warrant for email and phone records of Fox News reporter James Rosen.

Regarding the IRS scandal targeting conservative and Tea Party groups, it should be pointed out what kind of disgrace this is to target conservatives like this just for their beliefs.

With each developing scandal, the picture of an arrogant administration abusing its power grows clearer.

Eric Holder's Department of Justice has failed to comply with a subpoena issued by House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa that requests all of Holder's communications regarding Operation Fast and Furious.

To date, no one has been held accountable for Holder's debacle, and the Obama administration's response has been too slow and too infuriating. Eric Holder should have resigned or been fired long ago.

Al Eisner

Silver Spring

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