No probable cause for airport searches

To the editor:

I read in Saturday’s newspaper that a couple who were carrying marijuana in their car and had freezers full of it at home had the evidence against them ruled inadmissible. The judge decided police had no probable cause to search the car and, later, the house (“District judge tosses evidence in drug case”).

This led me to think that only at the airport do you lose your rights. If you are outside the airport and the police give you the type of pat-down performed by the TSA inside the airport, they have to have probable cause.

I am a 70-plus great-grandmother, born in the USA. I’ve had a passport for decades and I have never been arrested. What probable cause does anyone have to see through my clothing or pat me down? If you give up your rights because you want to see your grandchildren, then why can’t you give up the right to not be profiled as a terrorist?

It seems to me that folks who fit the terrorist profile should be the ones to give up their rights, not people who have absolutely no reason or intent to cause harm to others.

Charlene Hopkins


The common good

To the editor:

Much has been said recently by incoming House Speaker John Boehner and the tea party faithful regarding the national health care reforms passed this year: It will bankrupt the country and is tantamount to socialism, which all good Americans should regard with knee-jerk hatred. Therefore, it should be repealed, according to the right.

To the first criticism, it should be asked, why does there seem to be little or no hand-wringing about the astronomical cost of two wars in the Middle and Near East? Might that not bankrupt the country? And to the second the thoughts of E.J. Dionne, Washington Post columnist, who wrote recently that part of America’s greatness is about “a healthy and ongoing tension between our love of individualism and our reverence for community.” Mr. Dionne goes on to suggest that while capitalism is a vital component of the fabric of our nation, so is solidarity, and that no one ever really “goes it alone.”

Have we forgotten the value of the common good, helping to look out for one another, or do we just not care because doing so inhibits personal profit?

John Esperian

Las Vegas

Information leaks

To the editor:

The federal government is pushing hard to have all medical information electronically compacted and sent off to headquarters for inspection. They have promised that good doctors who comply will be given an extra 1 or 2 percent to help with the cost of setting up their offices to make such efforts happen. I will not be one.

I have a number of objections to electronic medical records that no one seems to want to hear. Fine. Tell me though, how can one now defend sending off our most sensitive information to Washington? They now tell us that many of their own most sensitive communications have been leaked. Information that is so sensitive that agents are at risk and, indeed, lives may be lost, has been stolen (“Cables expose U.S. diplomacy,” Monday Review-Journal).

I’m sorry, but I do not trust a federal government that can’t even keep its own private information secure to be more dutiful to the public in general. I simply cannot believe they will make an even greater effort on behalf of my patients, my family and myself. Electronic medical records are a bad idea. This issue with WikiLeaks proves it. Other objections are just not necessary.

Michael Clifford, M.D.

Las Vegas

This is restraint?

To the editor:

Social Security notices for 2011 have been mailed. Medicare deductions have been increased, prescription allowances have been decreased and net monthly individual Social Security income is 12.5 percent less.

Congratulations to Congress for demonstrating its infinite wisdom for controlling wasteful government spending. Sen. Harry Reid continues his special deals; this time with representatives from Oklahoma in an effort to curry support for really important government spending.

President Obama now announces a freeze of federal “civilian” salaries. However, rest assured, all six-figure salaried czars will remain secure. Congressional salaries, health care and other insurance perks will remain secure. GM — Government Motors — union perks will remain secure. President Obama’s vacation excursions and 2012 presidential campaigning program will remain secure.

We can expect President Obama to be an absentee president, just as he was an absentee senator, while spending the next two years campaigning for his second term.

So while the average citizen is urged to be patriotic and do more financial belt-tightening, all — and I do mean all — politicians who have gained the insularity of Washington, D.C., will continue to spout rhetoric and will do nothing to ameliorate the fiscal damage done to our country during the past 20 months.

Robert S. Tobias

Las Vegas

Political correctness

To the editor:

Trying jihadi terrorists in our civil courts on one hand and the treatment of air travelers on the other leads me to the following conclusion: We are treating terrorists as Americans and Americans as terrorists.

That is how far we have gone with our policies of political correctness.

Marc Jeric

Las Vegas

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