Government should be given some slack

The government has been accused of collecting a lot of information of people using the Internet. Some of it has become public via leaks in media reports. That is not a good sign.

But have people ever wondered and/or experienced their own privacy being invaded by just browsing the Internet for goods and services? Doesn't Google, Yahoo, Facebook, YouTube, etc., collect data when using their websites? Whenever I have used any of those browsers, I get ad pop-ups of the products I had interest in the next day and for many days thereafter.

If we were to find out how much private information browsers collect, would we be as perturbed as the media as it waves the finger at our government for its wrongdoing? Google, Yahoo, Facebook, YouTube, etc. -- are they not guilty of doing the same?

Seems like when the word government is connected to this behavior, hell breaks loose. I am saying all data collectors are infringing on our privacy.

Our government is trying hard to avoid another terrorist attack. Give it some slack, please.

Hans Wolff

Fremont

Workers' dedication should be rewarded

This is regarding the recent articles about Valley Springs Manor.


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I don't own a business, but if I did I certainly would offer jobs to Miguel Alvarez and Maurice Rowland. Dedication to duty is a rare quality these days. They deserve a reward for their dedication.

Flo Samuels

Hayward

Coming around to thinking of dictators

On television and in newspapers, I've seen dictators from countries previously condemned for their political differences meeting with our senior representatives. All parties are smiling and warmly enjoying each others' company.

Maybe this is because, over the past year, our democratic policies have changed their way of thinking:

Paula Deen, a well-known cooking celebrity, was financially persecuted for answering in deposition questions that she said a bad word. What is most disturbing is that her representatives in Congress didn't stand up for her constitutional right to free speech.

Another thing the Constitution guarantees is the right to bear arms. Over a year ago, young children were killed by a mad gunman. It is unlikely this event would have been changed by gun control laws. But now we see many gun control laws enacted.

The Constitution guarantees our right to privacy, yet the NSA collects information on thousands of citizens without any suspicion and without a search warrant.

Maybe the dictators pictured smiling with our representatives are thinking: "Hey, these guys in Washington are not so bad after all. They are finally coming around to our way of thinking."

Robert Bean

Hayward

What is really scary is the meat industry

I was not scared of all the witches, zombies and assorted goblins wandering about on Halloween. What really scares me is the meat industry.

This is the industry that:

Mutilates, cages and butchers billions of cows, pigs and other sentient animals; feeds carcasses of cats and dogs killed in pounds to chickens; exposes undocumented workers to chronic workplace injuries at slave wages; exploits farmers and ranchers by dictating wholesale market prices; punishes documentation of its abuses through unconstitutional ag-gag laws; promotes world hunger by feeding nutritious corn and soybeans to animals; generates more greenhouse gases and water pollution than any other human activity; creates a permanent "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico that dwarfs the BP oil spill, creates deadly antibiotic-resistant pathogens by feeding antibiotics to animals; creates epidemics of salmonella, listeria and other infectious diseases; and promotes mortality from diabetes, heart failure, stroke, cancer, and other diseases.

Now, that's really scary. And this is why I am dropping animal products from my menu.

Milton Connley

Oakland

Stuck with paying BART unions' bills

Hurrah for the unions. Looks like they won. However, two workers are dead.

Taxpayers and riders will pay for their raise in salary and benefits for the next four years.

I understand the unions are demanding bulletproof glass for the ticket booths. What are they afraid of? BART workers don't deal with cash.

The real winners are the gas stations who filled up the trucks, buses, SUVs and cars the 200,000 stranded riders had to rely on.

Well, we are back to normal and now we can look forward to riding a dirty, worn-out, crowded and noisy BART train.

Al Paltin

Orinda