US privacy rights issued a death warrent

Re: the June 9 article "Domestic spying: What you need to know."

As one who experienced Soviet communism, I have watched in disbelief and frustration the continual naïveté of far too many of our citizens vis-à-vis the government since 9/11. Will the revelations of a spy network of totalitarian proportions change that?

If not, I fear this country will descend ever deeper into a nightmare, an oppressive maze of secrets and lies from which an exit will be extremely difficult. In the name of security, the National Security Agency issued a death warrant for privacy rights.

Yet, what purpose does this monstrous mining of personal data really serve when, for example, it could not even shield us from the horrors of the Boston Marathon bombing? One can only hope that this is a wake-up call shrill and alarming enough to shake the American people out of their slumber.

Rosemarie Carnarius

Retired minister, Tucson

Lions, sheep coexisted before human intrusion

Re: the June 7 article "Problem pumas to be hunted down."

The premise that lions will need to be killed in order to protect the proposed herd of big horns in the Catalinas is absolutely unacceptable.

The statement that cougars were in part responsible for the disappearance of the previous herd is a patent falsehood. Every person mentioned in the article should be aware of the fact that cats and bighorns, to say nothing of the other animals native to that area, have coexisted there for thousands of years. It was the intrusion of humans and domestic animals that caused the bighorn ewes to cease lambing and cause the population to wither.

The idea that Arizona Game and Fish Department, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Wilderness Society and the Sierra Club could go along with the shooting of these lions to protect an artificially introduced herd which will likely dwindle for the same reasons is truly appalling.

Rebecca Cramer

Writer, Tucson

Covet 'free things,' lose liberties

Regarding the recent scandals involving the State Department, the Internal Revenue Service and the National Security Agency, I would like to state the following: Those who covet all of the "free things" that big, powerful, growing governments bestow must be willing to accept the loss of the liberties that they appropriate.

Never in the course of human history have societies been able to have one without the other.

David Jackson

Retired, Tucson

Foster care confirms family planning need

Re: the June 2 column "Infant's death leads to tragedy for 5 kids."

The alarming statistic in Tim Steller's column that there are about 4,000 children in foster care in Pima County confirms the number of unwanted and unsupportable children being born into this world and the critical need for family planning.

Our Legislature, many religious groups and ultra conservative ideologists must assume responsibility because of their aggressively irrational battle against Planned Parenthood and unreasonable restrictions on a woman's right to control her own body. This is shameful.

Robert Swaim

Retired, Tucson

Believes in adoption and right to choose

I think it is time to educate some of the pro-lifers that must have been too young to understand Roe v. Wade. It was partially designed to stop a medical procedure that was getting out of hand.

The "back alley abortion," where the most popular surgical tool was the coat hanger, was dangerous and caused serious damage to numerous young ladies.

I cannot understand how any individual, political party or religious group would want to turn back the clock to those days. I pray often that there would be no need for abortions but we do not live in a utopian society.

I am the father of an adopted son. I am glad that his birth mother gave her son to our family, but I still believe that she should have the choice.

Kurt Ohlrich

Retired, Oro Valley

Old numbers, rhetoric don't support assertion

Re: the June 3 guest column "Debunking the myths against tort reform."

We can read and understand the Internet, and even your number manipulations, Sen. Melvin. First, you cite statistics that ended in 2010. The same ones Bloomberg used in 2011. Secondly, Bloomberg is being sued as a stop-and-search, racial profiler, much like your beloved Sheriff Arpaio - hardly a liberal darling. Using comparative, old numbers like "ranked 44th … now 20th" doesn't give any real information about access to or quality of health care.

Finally, your assertion that professors are linked to trial lawyers, all of whom are liberal, is another example of how you insult our intelligence. We read between those lines. Besides, who wants to live in a state that lets bad doctors practice on them with no real penalties?

Hollace D. Lyon

Retired, SaddleBrooke

The reader caption contest is on vacation this week.