Need a natatorium

The letter from Flynn Adcock (Eagle, Feb. 4) was right on target. I was most elated when I proudly voted for Bryan school bond Proposition 2 and it passed. How na•ve I was to think that an indoor natatorium would soon be a reality. In this day when we are encouraged to become active in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you would think that the powers that be would take a long look at the value of swimming in maintaining that healthy lifestyle.

I have six children who all swam competitively in their younger days.

We were fortunate to live in an area that had the proper facilities and encouragement for this sport.

Today, our older sons (both older than 50) swim daily for their health. They also live in areas where indoor facilities are available.

Our local high schools have swim teams that deserve credit for their discipline. I note that our sister city, College Station, has an indoor swim facility as part of its educational system. I am confident that many more students would avail themselves of the art of swimming if they had an indoor facility.

Please, Bryan City Council members, won't you consider the needs of our young swimmers and swimmers of all ages?

Let's encourage our citizens in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Swimming and water therapy can't be beat.

MARGARET YOUNG

Bryan

Not carte blanche

As I am watching all the brouhaha in the Islamic world over the caricature of the prophet Muhammad, and Muslims' demand for an apology from the Danish government, it appears how little Muslims know about freedom of press.

In most Islamic countries, the media is state-controlled. In Western countries, the press cherish the right of self-expression.

As an American Muslim, I will go further and say that freedom of speech is our constitutional right and it should be held sacred.

Having said that, I also believe that with the right of free speech comes responsibility.

It's not carte blanche to ridicule other religions or ethnicities, regardless of how offensive they may appear to some Americans.

The European press in their mind may have exercised their sacred right of self-expression, but was it serious journalism or tasteless ridicule?

WAJAHAT MIRZA

College Station

Deeply alarmed

President Bush's widespread illegal spying by the National Security Agency on American citizens

should deeply alarm everyone who values their liberties, liberties that American soldiers have fought and died to preserve.

This alarming warrantless - and apparently unproductive and wasteful - spying is especially worrisome because this administration has persistently tried to conceal its activities while expanding its surveillance of everyone else.

The government has procedures to authorize electronic spying.

By all accounts, this system, which includes a provision for emergency short-term spying without a warrant, has worked well.

If the administration thinks this law needs revising, it should work with Congress, not work around it. Otherwise, why have a Congress if the administration simply believes it can do whatever it wants?

American patriots two centuries ago fought to create a government of laws, not individuals, a government accountable to its citizens and not a government hiding its actions from us. Al-Qaida is a serious threat.

But, as the 9/11 Commission pointed out, more effective coordination and cooperation within the government as well as more translators would be better tools than widespread and illegal spying.

In fighting against violent religious extremism, the cure should not be worse than the disease.

JONATHAN COOPERSMITH

College Station

More Democrats

If Lyle D. Stockmoe (Eagle, Feb. 6) believes that Democrats are "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" in Iraq, why have an overwhelming majority of the Iraq war veterans running for Congress this year declared as Democrats?

DAVID C. NELSON

College Station

Also a vegan

Coretta Scott King was much more than a devoted wife and partner of the celebrated civil rights leader.

She traveled throughout the globe on behalf of peace and nonviolence, racial and economic justice, minority rights, religious freedom, the poor and homeless, educational opportunities, nuclear disarmament and ecological sanity. She helped found dozens of organizations advocating social justice, received honorary doctorates from more than 60 colleges and universities and authored three books and a nationally syndicated column.

King was also a vegan, who eschewed all products of animal suffering, including meat, dairy, eggs, leather, and cosmetics containing animal ingredients or tested on animals.

Her strong belief in peace and nonviolence extended to the violence perpetrated against billions of innocent, sentient animals in America's factory farms and slaughterhouses.

Her passion for justice extended to the most downtrodden living beings on the planet: the animals bred, abused and killed for food, fur, research and entertainment.

Coretta Scott King truly practiced what she preached.

For that, I salute her.

BOYD SCHEIBLER

Bryan

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