Herald-Mail Forums

August 04, 2008

Last week's question:

An American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit revealed that a unit of the Maryland State Police spent 14 months in 2005 and 2006 doing surveillance on people who opposed the death penalty and the Iraq war. Is there any good reason for this?

o People who get passionate about causes sometimes get violent. - 7 votes (6 percent)

o You never know who's doing something wrong unless you watch them for a while. - 9 votes (8 percent)

o No, it violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantee that the people may peacefully protest government activities. - 46 votes (42 percent)

o If you're not doing anything wrong, why worry about it? - 22 votes (20 percent)

o No, the police should spend their time on real crime.- 25 votes (23 percent)


o Posted by knahs -I believe that a warrant should be required before surveillance can be done. President Bush's administration has continually infringed on the privacy of its people. Reminds me of the "communist" witchhunts of the 50's when so many were blacklisted just because they donated money to different causes.


The causes of those who oppose the death penalty or the Iraq war are not enough justification to investigate them. What about surveillance on some of the right to life groups or right-wing Republican groups? Why are they always investigating the people on the other side?

o Posted by blessedbe, - Isn't this type of "surveillance" what was landing people with any sense of individuality in the Gulag? Benjamin Franklin said it in his day and it's still true today: "Those who are willing to trade security for freedom deserve neither."

o Posted by hummingbird - "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." Your version has it backwards.

o Posted by blessedbe - Doesn't change the fact that you can't trade one for the other.

This week's question:

The Washington County Commission on Aging this week reported that senior citizens are calling local oil companies, worried about the prediction that heating oil might hit $5 a gallon this winter. Is there any way government can help seniors on fixed incomes?

o Make sure anyone who gets assistance with heating oil has also been helped with weatherizing their home.

o Governments could purchase their homes and help them get into subsidized apartments.

o Give seniors sweaters, long johns and sleeping bags.

o Nothing; the taxpayers always get stuck when people who don't plan for the future get in a jam.

o Let the nonprofits handle this problem because they know what seniors need.

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