Checks-and-balances system effective in guarding against overzealous government

Editorial U.S. District Court Judge John Bates has set a July 5 deadline for the FBI to hand over documents relating to the bureau’s possible misuse of what are known as National Security Letters, or NSLs, under the Patriot Act. An earlier Justice Department audit found the FBI had improperly and sometimes illegally misused the […]

Smoking ban starts

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer The era of smoking in public places has come to an end as The Dee Johnson Clean Indoor Air Act takes effect today. The law has been designed to eliminate smoking in enclosed indoor workplaces that include restaurants, bars and other workplaces such as retail and office spaces and […]

Libby’s jail sentence miscarriage of justice

Editorial As one of the major behind-the-scenes architects — from his position as Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff — of the lamentable war in Iraq, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby has a great deal to answer for, whether in the depths of his conscience or in the annals of history. For the crimes of which […]

Watchful citizens provide better protection than Patriot Act

Freedom Newspapers The six men arrested on charges of plotting a terrorist action against the Fort Dix Army base in New Jersey may turn out to have been the gang that couldn’t shoot straight, a bunch of wannabes who might never have gotten their destructive act together. Even if that’s the case, however, it might […]

Media must work as government watchdog

By Robert Trapp: Columnist Community advocates, activists, volunteers and journalists with true grit will celebrate National Sunshine Week today through Saturday. The week is set aside annually to celebrate our freedom to access information under the U.S. Constitution and enlighten the public of its rights to access the records it owns and public bodies it […]

National security should be top priority

Editorial Nearly everywhere the U.S. military trains, it now finds itself fending off flanking attacks from an enemy within. These environmental extremists say they are concerned about the impacts training activities have on plants and animals, but they also undoubtedly relish the opportunity to champion two liberal causes at once, by undermining the military’s ability […]

Foley’s e-mails another example of excessive power

Editorial The media and the blogosphere are brimming with comments on the sad story of Mark Foley, the Florida Republican who resigned from Congress after ABC News made public some of the suggestive — and well beyond suggestive — e-mails and text messages he had exchanged with young male congressional pages. Did the leadership fail […]

Chance to act on Endangered Species Act slipping away

Editorial With each day that passes, the chances diminish that Congress will act on Endangered Species Act reform this year. Should Democrats make substantial gains in this fall’s elections, or take control of the House or Senate, the opportunity to update ESA will slip away, just when it seemed within reach. The House approved a […]

Americans deserve more accountability from government

Freedom Newspapers The FBI has committed at least 13 violations of the guidelines governing its conduct under the Patriot Act serious enough to be referred to the Intelligence Oversight Board. That’s an arm of the president’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, which is charged with examining violations of laws and directives. These facts came to light […]

Local Brief 9-16

Group to present film Friends for Democracy will present “Beyond the Patriot Act,” a 30-minute film by Robert Greenwald at 7 p.m. on Wednesday in the meeting room at the Portales Public Library. There will be free popcorn and discussion following the showing of the film.