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What's On Your Mind?
What's On Your Mind?

AIR DATE: June 24, 2013


Suzette LaGrange, Senior Vice President, Colliers International

Jose Melendrez, Assistant Vice President, Office of Diversity Initiatives, UNLV

Robert Fowler, Senior Pastor, Victory Baptist Church

The federal government has been collecting an unprecedented amount of personal information from phone records and internet searches. Is that an invasion of privacy? Or is it a small price to pay for increased security?

Here’s what our panelists said:

Jose Melendrez, Assistant Vice President, Office of Diversity Initiatives, UNLV:

For me on a personal level, it does send some concerns. If I’m talking on a cell phone or if I put something on Facebook – and I don’t even use Facebook that much. It’s still concerning when you think about what might be on there. What are they looking for? I understand why they need to do it given the world we exist in today, with the threat of terrorism and cyber terrorism, and those things that can happen, I understand that. But given the history of America and what we stand for, there’s got to be a smarter way and a better way of doing it so that we can still ensure our privacy and our rights that were given to us as Americans.

Robert Fowler, Senior Pastor, Victory Baptist Church:

There are a lot of questions I have as to the appropriateness of this. I don’t have a big law degree, but I did study criminal justice to some degree when I was in college, and I remember something along the lines of the fruit of the forbidden tree, and there was the possibility that an individual could obtain good information in a bad way, then it is no longer useful in the judicial system. If we’re going to handle things that way, we should make sure that we’ve dotted our “I’s” and crossed our “T’s,” handle things appropriately with a whole lot more transparency. I don’t see any reason why we can’t be transparent. I think the American people are intelligent people, I think we’re smart enough to realize that there’s terrorism in this world, that we’ve got to do something as a nation to provide safety for each and every individual.

Suzette LaGrange, Senior Vice President, Colliers International:

I like my freedom and liberties and my privacy – it’s very important as an American. And so if we allow the government to just come in and monitor everything we become like some of these communist countries in our past history. I want my privacy. I think we need to understand the policy that existed. Let’s discuss it. So for that I think I kind of weigh on the side that he should have whistle-blower status. Cause I don’t know what real issues he brought out having to do with espionage. I mean he brought to light a program that our government was implementing and I think we need to discuss that program. I’d also be interested in knowing the 50 terrorist attacks that were avoided. I’d like to better understand how was the information gathered that led to those 50 cases being avoided. I think that’s an important part of this discussion too. Maybe the program is working.

Our panelists also talked about affirmative action, gun ownership and more. Listen to the audio and share your comments below.


    comments powered by Disqus
    Here is a way to answer some of the problems associated with background checks for guns. First, make it very easy and inexpensive to get a background check. Make it a requirement. The problem is enforcement at this time. Therefore, have a clause in the bill that if the gun is used in an in appropriate manner after an period of say one year and in checking for who sold the weapon it is found the seller did a background check there is NO penalty - assuming the check did not revel the person was ineligible to won a weapon. If there was not background check then the seller would be charged as an accessory before the fact and would be criminally and civilly liable. There are enough attorneys out there that the straw sell would vanish quickly, and/or the illegal seller would be behind bars.
    Chad HensleyJun 24, 2013 15:22:48 PM
    I called today and was abruptly cut off while answering a question the host asked me. I do not believe I said anything inappropriate having been a broadcaster in another state for four years, I do understand most rules. If I did I apologize. I had pulled over during my morning commute to call into your show. One thing your host should not ask an open question as to why a caller thinks agencies are doing something they do not like, his inexperience with open call in format was evident. Because I was on side of the road and really had not prepared a response I spoke from law enforcement information and experience that obviously his producer or PD was not equipped to handle and panicked abruptly cutting me off. I am a long time listener to KNPR and apologize if my comments were not appropriate for your audience, panel, or host.
    johnJun 24, 2013 10:28:53 AM
    My apologies for what happened this morning. I did not mean to cut you off but when we have lots of other callers trying to have their say, I have to judge when every caller has had a fair turn and when we need to turn to other voices. In your case, I clearly was too abrupt and I apologize for that. If youd like to add a longer comment or a clarification as to what you were saying, we would certainly welcome that. Your comments were certainly not inappropriate for our show and we would value them.
    Ian MylchreestJun 24, 2013 15:10:34 PM
    All of the data the government is collecting is already gathered by the telephone companies and internet providers. If you want to keep your privacy don't have a telephone and don't use the internet or pay your bills or book travel through an agency. If I'm safer because of the data collection I am thankful for our government.
    Nancy PearsonJun 24, 2013 09:40:48 AM
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