The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

July 7, 2013

Readers' Forum 7-7 | Giving up privacy as a price of freedom

— During the dark days of World War II, a slogan familiar to Americans was “Loose lips sink ships.” Accordingly, mail between members of the military and their families, friends and loved ones was subject to being opened and read by military authorities.

There was very little protesting or complaining about this enforced loss of confidentiality. Americans knew and appreciated that an entire way of life was at stake, being threatened daily by the forces of subjugation and tyranny.

The opponents of our country, and of our way of life, are different today than the ones we encountered during the worldwide conflict of the 1940s. Our enemies are not as easy to identify. And destruction unimaginable during the days of World War II is now a day-to-day reality. Most of us remember all too well the nightmares of our own airliners being turned into weapons against us.

During the missile crisis in October 1962, President Kennedy noted in his address to the nation: “The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose ... is the path of surrender or submission.”

My nephew, who knows more about computers than I do, cautioned me a year ago to get used to the fact that nothing – nothing – is private anymore.

If the cost of freedom – of, say, my loved ones returning safely home from a plane trip – includes the National Security Agency reading my letter to an aunt in Columbus, I say this: Read away, gentlemen.

Carl Schultz

Johnstown

Poor leadership comes back to bite Johnstown

According to The Tribune-Democrat articles of July 3 and 4, in order to eliminate a drug and crime problem in Johnstown, the city proposes to close the halfway house on Washington Street by 2015 because it’s too difficult for those being released from prison to find jobs in town.

Here’s my question: Whose bright idea was it to put a halfway house in an area that’s already full of unemployment?

What were the chances that it would be successful in the first place?

It’s only after all government money has come into the city and is spent foolishly on a plan that is bound to fail, that the town council announces that it needs more money to try something else.

Poor leadership created the problem, and now that same leadership sits and complains that the problem is out of control.

Have they really been concerned about making progress in Johnstown? Or have they secretly been protecting Johnstown’s welfare status by implementing plans that they know will fail?

I think the truth of the matter is obvious. You reap what you sow and God is not mocked.

Luke 14:28-30: “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘this person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ ”

Kirstin DiNinno

Central City

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