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Tuesday's Letters to the Editor

  • Efren Carrillo attends a Sonoma County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. (The Press Democrat)

Government snooping

EDITOR: Buried on Page A10 of the Friday's paper was an article that, thanks to Edward Snowden, revealed how the U.S. government, without our knowledge or consent, has spent billions of tax dollars to break the encryption codes that give our Internet use some level of personal privacy and security (“Report: U.S. cracked most online encryption”).

Anyone wanting to know where public interest and opinion is heading these days need go no further than our Internet searches and email. Collectively they are the pulse of the nation. Studying that pulse clearly shows what we are thinking before we even know we are thinking it. But Google and now the U.S. government knows.

All the government needs to do now is hire teams of psychologists expert at tweaking public opinion to “guide” us in the right direction. Already happening? Maybe. One thing is sure: Knowledge is power, and to paraphrase Lord Acton, absolute knowledge corrupts absolutely.

Too bad this article got equal billing with “Zimmerman's wife files divorce,” while the front-page lead article was “Sleepy in school.”

Just a wake-up call.

GARY SCHOUEST

Santa Rosa

Presumed innocent

EDITOR: In regards to Supervisor Efren Carrillo, please remember four powerful important words that we honor in the United States: innocent until proven guilty.

LORI BLACKBURN

Sebastopol

Loud leaf blowers

EDITOR: You often hear that it isn't the pit bull dog that's a problem, it is the owner. That being said, it isn't the leaf blower that's a problem, but the user of the blower (“Sonoma closer to gas leaf-blower ban,” Thursday).

With proper training, the use of a leaf blower doesn't have to be such an enormous issue. It is when the leaf blower is constantly revved up and down, rather than used at one consistent speed, that the noise and aggravation begins.

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