NSA questions

I read the Trib editorial about the National Security Agency with great interest and appreciate your opinion. But I’m concerned you stipulate that the government cannot indiscriminately listen in on conversations. Where did you get the facts? All I have ever learned is that the government should not listen unless there is a court order in hand. And representatives of the government at congressional hearings did not answer this question.

You also describe Edward Snowden as an “unaccomplished misfit.” Based on which facts? Apparently, he was accomplished enough in his specialty of work to be employed by the U.S. government prior to being hired as a consultant with top security clearance. He does not appear to lack IQ and technical know-how.

Karl Swoboda, Woodway

EDITOR’S NOTE: The editorial quotes U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, about what the government can and cannot do by law and the checks and balances in place to ensure this. As far as Snowden’s credentials, our questions about how he got hired to work with the NSA hinge on such factors as his failure to graduate from high school, the five months he lasted in the military and the fact his high-tech wizardry was limited to a few “computer” classes he took at a community college to get his high school equivalency degree — courses he did not complete. We wonder how he got his job too.

Good move, BAA

Thank you, Baylor Alumni Association and Baylor University, for tirelessly working to resolve our differences and develop an agreement that (if approved by Baylor alumni Sept. 7) will allow us both to move forward to better serve Baylor alumni. The agreement, while not perfect, would retain an independent alumni voice from the university through the new nonprofit Baylor Line Corp. and would effectively work on alumni relations and scholarships within the university.

John Howard, Austin

Audio assault

Paula Deen is in trouble for using the “N-word.” Yet recently I was at a local convenience store getting gas when a young man pulled up in front, windows rolled down and music blaring. He got out and went inside with the car running, and I had to listen to obscenities over and over coming from his stereo.

I work with a young woman who plays that kind of noise on the computer. And when I stop at red lights these days, too often the car next to me has this trash blaring.

Maybe someone needs to start controlling the words used in songs and clean up the music industry. What happened to respect for others?

Jill McLearen, Hewitt

Beyond belief

What? The United States now wants to negotiate with the Taliban? Who actually believes that the Taliban would stand by their word?

If so, let me introduce you to P.T. Barnum, who just met his latest sucker a minute ago.

George Ray, Waco