I am writing in regard to the recent release of Office of Legal Counsel memos that formerly authorized the CIA to use interrogation techniques that I believe amount to torture. Among the allowed techniques were: slamming detainees against walls, slapping them, placing them in small boxes, restricting their diets, forced nudity, abdominal "slaps," water dousing, sleep deprivation of more that 48 hours, and waterboarding. President Obama has put a halt to the use of these techniques, and I thank him for that. As a person of faith, however, I do not believe it is enough to simply stop doing wrong. We must also acknowledge the full extent of what we have done and take steps to ensure that it never happens again. I believe that the President should work with Congress to establish a non-partisan Commission of Inquiry that is tasked with reviewing interrogation policies and practices in the years after Sept. 11, 2001, and making recommendations for how we can prevent the future use of torture. A great nation does not hide from the truth, but rather learns from its past mistakes to grow and improve. So too, I, and many other people of faith, from the multitude of this country's great faith traditions, strongly believe that a sin must be fully acknowledged before it can begin to be absolved.
Connie Rae Altman
When will officials be satisfied?
While President Obama is working hard to turn our economy around by making tax cuts and providing stimulus money for people and businesses, our so-called city leaders are working in the opposite direction. In hard times like these, our part-time, well-paid city officials want to increase our taxes. What are they thinking? Or are they thinking?
They have requested millions of dollars in stimulus money, but they want us to pay more taxes but for what?
They recently raised our property taxes and now want more out of out paychecks. When will enough be enough?
One public official who is in favor of tax increases attended the Tea Party against taxes at Tracy Park last week. It's a shame the only time they make an appearance is at election time, when they ask us to put their signs in our yards.
Let's give them an anti-tax Tea Party on May 5 and vote no to more taxes. How many times will we have to vote no before they understand?
No more cost of living increase for Social Security
Do you know that our Social Security annual cost of living increase for you and I will be wiped out for the next "three years"? This means "0" increase in our monthly/yearly income for the next three years. However, our politicians will get their annual raise, various county and city governments, villages, townships and school districts will ask us to pass levy after levy so they can get their pay increases.
Gov. Strickland informed me that all senior citizens throughout Ohio should contact their state representatives and insist that they introduce new legislation before the Ohio General Assembly to "freeze" all property and school taxes (2006 level) for all senior citizens who have homestead exemption for as long as they own their home.
It is time for seniors to unite, vote "no" on any levy that is on the ballot. Enough is enough. Call or write your state representative today.
John L. Kleja
Portsmouth has no master plan
I am a skilled tradesman but since work is scarce in Portsmouth I must travel out of town for employment. Since I live in the city I am required to pay city income tax, but people who live out of the city but work within the city also must pay this tax. But they are denied a vote on this tax and do not receive any services for their tax payments.
This is not a fair tax, but neither the mayor nor city council gave a good reason for this tax increase. Their only reason was to get an extra $2 million dollars or so!
This is typical of how our city operates. It lack a goal or any type of master plan to move the city forward, just more waste. Does our mayor and council president think they're doing such a great job that the citizens are willing to give them a blank check? For what, new cars, pay raises, and the Marting building.
Some businesses are leaving the city, partly because of taxes and costs. One business is moving to Rosemount and we will lose income tax money.
I ask all voters of Portsmouth to join me May 5 in sending a message to city hall, that our vote does count. Vote no on the city income tax increase.