Forum, May 7: There Are Bigger Threats Than DNA Searches

Sunday, May 06, 2018
Bigger Threats Than DNA Searches

Many are pleased that an alleged serial killer has been caught some 30 years after the killing spree, and some are alarmed about the availability of the genetic information used to identify the suspect (“Genealogy Site Led to Suspected Killer,” April 29). Has anyone pinpointed exactly what they are concerned about? Perhaps, but I am not aware of any specifics.

Let’s think about privacy in these times. Many people post so much information about themselves on websites, social media sites, in emails to one another and more. We even submit personally identifying information for enhanced logins to sites such as banks or credit card companies. I think these are bigger concerns for most of us than our DNA being searched.

While internet chatter may be mined for targeted threats, I’d suggest that stolen credit card or identity information is a greater concern for most, compared with inappropriately used information from genealogy services in terms of the time, effort and cost to us.

Perhaps a greater concern, which also is in the news and which can impact any of us, are inappropriate actions by law enforcement. I truly believe that most people choose to serve in such capacity with good and honorable intent. These events of inappropriate police action I believe are a greater threat to most of us than any harm done via DNA searches or data mining of our posts or emails.

Many have concerns or live in fear of threats to their person or property. In other words, the biggest threats to our well-being may be right in our backyards, whether it be from a troubled friend, neighbor, relative or official. What can we do about these potential threats? We can love our neighbors as ourselves. We can show compassion and have empathy toward others. Through kindness, we can change the world around us.

Ann Perbohner

West Lebanon

Making the Fun Run Fun

Thank you to the student-athlete volunteers from Dartmouth College. Your cheerleading directions along the 3.4-mile “Big Green Fun Run” course were inspiring and entertaining. Participants included maybe 100 students, dogs, kids in strollers, moms with novice bikers and slow-but-steady walking parents with little children.

The Fun Run is one example of how Dartmouth College sports enriches life in the Upper Valley. Make the time to see a game or a match if you can. Go Big Green.

William Young


No Cause for War With Iran

Let’s not go to war with Iran. There is no sane, rational reason why we should.

Donald Trump’s pretext is the insufficiency of the nuclear deal, and he is wrong about that (surprise, surprise). Iran has complied with the spirit and letter of the agreement. The 2025 expiry date was approved by all parties involved in the talks. It should be noted that our allies informed us that if we walked away from the table they would end the sanctions that they put in place against Iran, leaving the U.S. isolated in its sanctions. In reality, any agreement that involves perpetuity is one forced on a country that is under the boot of the other.

The “payments” Trump claims we made to Iran are the release of assets frozen by the sanctions — in other words, Iranian money. The other “payment” was returning money Iran had paid us for military equipment before the revolution interfered with completion of the contract. We simply returned the money, along with interest. We know from Trump’s history with contractors that he has no real understanding of what honoring a contract entails.

It is also clear that Trump will not consider his presidency complete until he can preside over his very own war. He wanted one with North Korea until Russia and China faced him down.

As for his other casus belli, the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia present Iran with real, existential threats. Since when is a country not allowed to defend itself? And considering all the rebel groups to whom the U.S. has supplied military and economic assistance, there’s considerable hypocrisy in the U.S. position that another country can’t do the same. There is also the fact that Saudi Arabia is the all time champion at funding radical Islamist groups and we consider them allies.

The best way to keep Iran from developing a nuclear arsenal is to stop threatening them with war.

Mark R. Allen


The Evidence Was There

Your front-page article of April 26, under the headline “N.Y. Rabbi Settles Case With Vermont,” notes that an official review of the incident found “no evidence ... of bias or profiling.” The evidence of both is unmistakable in your headline, and in the statement that the rabbi, “a Hasidic Jew, was wearing a yarmulke.”

Aaron Streiter