Criminal activity by IRS needs to be punished

Re: "Top IRS official pleads the Fifth amid scandal," May 23

While thescandalof theInternal Revenue Servicetargeting conservative and Tea Party groupscontinues to be in thenews, the picture of an arrogant administration abusing its power grows clearer.

TheIRSis feared, loathed and resented. Thus, it tends to attract workers who are insensitive to the needs and problems of others, some of whom may even enjoy being bullies. The tax code is so complex that no individual can understand it, including those who work for theIRS.

The Individuals in the IRS responsible for this criminal conduct need to be called to justice and punished for their misdeeds. I myself have been targeted recently because of my conservative views and Tea Party associations.

Al Eisner

Silver Spring

Mining could boost America's high-techsector

Re:"Silicon Valley-area hub becomes factory town," May 18

Thousands of newly-employed residents in the Silicon-Valley suburb of Fremont, Calif. provide a prime example of how an American manufacturing revival can be reinforced by expediting regulatory process and economic policies designed to attract business.

Companies that are developing next-generation technologies -- in Silicon Valley and across the United States -- cannot truly thrive without minerals. Whether it's copper in solar panels, lithium in vehicle batteries, or silver in microchips, minerals are absolutely vital to advanced manufacturing.

Our nation has these resources. There is more than $6.2 trillion worth of minerals beneath U.S. soil. Yet domestic manufacturers have to rely on imports to meet the majority of their mineral needs, largely due to an outdated, overly burdensome mine permitting process hat can drag on for ten years, deterring investors from developing American resources.

The result? Our manufacturers are threatened by unstable supply chains of minerals often originating across the globe. American workers miss out on high-paying jobs and the economic growth increased U.S. mining would bring.

Leaders in Washington should note the effectiveness of Fremont's pro-business policies, and take steps to streamline this duplicative regulatory process. With increased production of domestic minerals, the benefits will be reaped by U.S. manufacturers and newly-employed Americans .

Hal Quinn

President and CEO,

National Mining Association


Resettlement can eliminate costly war in Mid East

Vast areas of the U.S. - including the Mohave, Chihuahuan, Sonoran, and Great Basin Deserts - have gone undeveloped for centuries simply because of their relative lack of water. If we can build a pipeline from Alaska for oil, we can build a pipeline to carry water to these areas for peace..

Do the math: We have spent more than a trillion dollars in the Middle East for what has been termed "stability in the region."

Israel has about 7.1 million people ( or approximately 3 million households.) Back in the mid-80s, Ryland Homes built prefab housing for Israeli settlers for $8,000 a peace. Even if they cost $80,000 today, that would be only $240 billion, less than 25 percent of what we are currently spending for stability.

The cost of peace in the Middle East is clearly affordable, especially when you compare the cost of war to your water bill.

Michael Powers