We shouldn't put national security in the hands of contractors

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Thankfully, the phone companies are already resisting taking on the role. Obama gave Attorney General Eric Holder 60 days to come back with a recommendation on who could take on the task. Best of luck to you, Mr. Attorney General.

These types of intelligence programs are crucial in our war against terrorism. In order to protect American citizens, the NSA and other security agencies must monitor and track these calls. It is almost unimaginable to think that a company like Google could have more access to personal information than the NSA. At some point we must ask, whose rights are we protecting?

You may call it spying, but to me it’s just protection, and these programs have and will continue to protect us from attacks overseas and within our country.

Another topic: Over the years, I have certainly traded barbs with Newsday, but it seems that, for once, the paper may have gotten something right. In an editorial on Jan. 16, Newsday called out Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman for his proposal to reduce the number of years municipal managers have to work before they’re eligible for retirement benefits.

“At a time when most municipalities are driving toward tightened budgets and benefits,” the editorial stated, “Long Beach is flirting with a wrong turn.”

Currently, a manager must be on the job 15 years, but the new proposal would allow that to be reduced to 10 years, or five if the employee also has five years with the state, another municipality or the military.

I respect Schnirman for a job well done during the challenging times after Hurricane Sandy. He should be commended for his tireless work in getting the boardwalk and the surrounding area rebuilt. But I’m really disappointed by this proposal. It’s a major step in the wrong direction. He is liberalizing the pension program.

The plan was supposed to be voted on last week, but was questioned by Long Beach City Council members and many residents, so it was tabled.
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