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To protect our privacy, make the FISA court act like a real court

The expiration of key surveillance authorities this spring will force Congress to grapple with the sprawling spying activities exposed by Edward Snowden. Defenders of the status quo sound a familiar refrain: The National Security Agency’s programs are lawful and already subject to robust oversight. After all, they have been blessed not just by Congress but by the judges of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA court.

Annie Cubberly — Money spent on kids now saves us a bundle later

The Grays Harbor Early Learning Coalition applauds the Washington State Legislature for its strong bipartisan effort to pass the Early Start Act. Now, as we launch into the state budget process, we encourage the Legislature to fully fund the bill and affirm our state’s commitment to high-quality early learning programs that create long-term, positive outcomes for our children.

Anne Steckel — Without immediate renewable fuels standard, biodiesel industry faces uncertain future

The large-scale production of domestic biodiesel should be something President Barack Obama strongly supports, due to his commitment to slowing the pace of climate change and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. After all, the Environmental Protection Agency has certified that biodiesel can cut greenhouse gas emissions by almost 90 percent when compared to diesel made from petroleum.

Let’s debate the Trans-Pacific Partnership before OKing it

This spring, President Barack Obama and Republican leaders in Congress want to use an outdated process used to pass the North American Free Trade Agreement more than 20 years ago — a rule called “fast track” — to force through trade deals without a real debate or any amendments. And fast track would be used to speed passage of the giant Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, trade deal.

Dave Gauger — Law and justice game is rigged

In 1947 the United States charged Japanese Officer Yukio Asano with war crimes. He was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison for torturing American prisoner Morris O. Killough. The method of torture was waterboarding. For more than nine decades waterboarding has been illegal according to U.S. government criminal code.

Christine M. Flowers: Patriots’ antics a disgrace

My favorite Martin Scorsese film happens to be one of the few that doesn’t revolve around Italians from New York: “The Departed.” Instead of paisanos we have Paddys, and instead of the Big Apple we have the Big Baked Bean. Boston and the Irish mob got Scorsese his long-deserved Oscar for Best Director, but it also gave me the name for what just happened in Foxborough last Sunday:

QMart construction followed stringent permit process

When citizens of the Grays Harbor area consider the future, we hope they will see it in the same light we do at the Quinault Indian Nation. We live in a region that has struggled with more than its share of economic challenges. But the good people of Grays Harbor region who have chosen to work with us have found, time and again, that when we work together we find solutions and we all make strides toward a brighter, more sustainable future.