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Saturday's Letters to the Editor

Living in '1984'

EDITOR: George Orwell said, “If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.”

Let's place Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden in a broader context:

Americans' phone calls and email are logged. Our credit records are owned by private companies. Credit card companies know everything about us. Our health records belong to private companies. Letters and packages in the mail are photographed. GPS devices in autos and phones follow us everywhere. Surveillance cameras scan us in offices, restaurants and stores, watch us on our streets and at public events. Internet companies surrender our private lives to “security” agencies. Social media can reveal our most intimate matters. Online companies sell our purchasing information. Stores record our purchases. Security agencies can seize records from libraries, revealing what books, newspapers, magazines we read. Our financial records are not secure. Drones are on the horizon. Are telescreens next?

The year is 2013, but we are terribly close to “1984.”

GENE A. HOTTEL

Santa Rosa

Split the difference

EDITOR: Why all this haggling over the purchase price for land needed to extend the airport runway (“Woman says airport 'stealing' property for devalued price,” Wednesday)?

I'm sure the principals will spend a large amount of money on attorneys in their fight for justification of a fair price to all. How about just splitting the difference between the two prices mentioned and concluding the settlement?

Any extra costs would be far less than litigation. I'm sure that an extra dollar or two added to the price of an airline ticket over the next one or two years will not stop people from flying; it surely would be less than taking transportation to SFO.

We the people from Sonoma County have spent more than 30 years waiting for a larger airport. Stop this haggling over a minuscule percentage of the cost of a runway extension. Just spend the few extra dollars, and get it built.

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