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Letters to the Editor

Readers write about taxes, NATO, Internet gambling, and REAL ID.

Reasons to pay taxes without complaint

In response to Walter Rodgers's April 2 Opinion piece, "Taxes – my patriotic duty": It will hurt a little bit as I fill out my checks to the IRS and the State of Oregon this month, but I subscribe to Mr. Rodgers's view that we are all in this together and we all gain something from the common good.

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Whether my money is still in my wallet or the government has it from the taxes I pay, it's still "my" money. And if I don't like the way the government is spending it, I can always exercise that other precious right Rodgers mentioned: I can vote to change things.

Regarding Walter Rodgers's recent Opinion piece on taxes: There is another reason for gratitude when one pays income taxes: There are many unemployed people in this nation who would welcome the chance to pay income taxes.

NATO's expansion threatens Russia

In response to Eugene Rumer's April 1 Opinion piece, "NATO's message to Russia": With the dismantling of the Warsaw Pact forces, there is no need for the Atlantic Alliance. NATO is not an economic alliance after all; its purpose is military. NATO knows that its expansion to the borders of Russia, while unnecessary from a military strategic point of view, is highly provocative and disingenuous. This is because the expansion of NATO will inevitably be followed by the construction of military forward bases that, when configured around the deployment of a missile defense system, will provide the possibility of a "first strike" against Russia.

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Web gambling ban oversteps privacy

Regarding your March 25 editorial, "Don't fold on Internet gambling ban": Would you want the government looking into your life and deciding what is good for you? Adults can make these decisions for themselves.

I gamble responsibly only with money that I can afford to lose. How is it just or reasonable for the government to keep me from pursuing my hobby? I shouldn't be punished for others' irresponsibility, and it isn't properly the government's job to save irresponsible people from themselves anyway.

There are countless ways that people get themselves into financial trouble. Some people spend money they don't have with credit cards, some "gamble" in the stock market, others give substantial sums to churches. I think we can each decide how to spend our money and time without the government's help.

Thoughts on the REAL ID Act

In response to your April 4 editorial, "REAL ID, real resistance": It's not just about the unfunded mandates. REAL ID will be a national ID card, with bureaucrats nationwide able to access your personal information. And there are already threats that without a REAL ID American citizens will not be allowed into federal buildings. Like Soviet citizens, we will be required to "show our papers" to any government employee who asks.

Regarding your recent editorial on the REAL ID Act: We want it both ways, personal autonomy but also accountability, so our Social Security number has become the de facto national ID. And then we want "homeland security" but no way to hold individuals accountable for their ID except a state driver's license?

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.