Ryan Hockertlotz

Convenience at the price of freedom

I do not expect Google, Apple, Microsoft to read or search any emails, nor to collude with the government in domestic spying

It has been widely reported that last year, Google filed a motion in U.S. District Court last year to dismiss all claims against the company for violations of Gmail privacy, claiming that a Gmail user has “no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties.”

Google and others claim that assertion is supported by the U.S. Electronic Communications Privacy Act. The laws permitting and expanding domestic spying created or modified after Sept. 11, 2001 in the name of national security were enacted in fear and haste and have degraded our nation is so many ways.

But they have not degraded my expectations.

So let me be clear about what those expectations are.

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Another local business closes its doors in Jamaica

Our community has lost yet another local staple. At noon on Friday, Feb. 4, the Jamaica Coffee House closed its doors, never to open again. For eight years, Jamie and Dave Phillips were pillars of what remains of the downtown Jamaica business community. In good weather and bad, they...

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Absolute authority

Sexual assaults are not about sex, they are about power, control, and domination. And our military — my military — we teach every troop these values

Let me be perfectly clear about this: I do not speak for the U.S. military. My views are my own, based on personal observations and experiences, and are not endorsed by the military. I will never make excuses for the behavior of a military member who commits a sexual...

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Unacceptable tyranny

The public chooses to be ruled by fear. And the Rutland police are willing to encourage that behavior. On Aug. 2, the Times Argus informed us of the police detention and harassment of one Joshua Severance, whose only “crime” was openly displaying his willingness to defend himself. Rutland police responded to a complaint that Mr. Severance was openly carrying a firearm, as permitted under Vermont law, an act that made the caller “uncomfortable.” The exercise of rights of any nature...

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Stronger gun laws are not the answer

RE: “When you throw a gun into the mix” and “Easy access to a gun” [Letters, July 31]: Just what type of law, Isabel Loudig, would you like the governor to propose that might have prevented the killing at the Brattleboro Food Co-op? Murder is already illegal. Do you sleep better when people are killed with other tools? We don't need more government control; we need a community that cares for its own instead of exploiting tragedy for a personal...

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No excuse for sloppy town governments

Failure to keep adequate and appropriate records is a liability to our small towns. When municipalities become unable to provide documentation to substantiate or disprove accusations, it points to a deficiency in management. Over the years, I've seen town officials and employees who do not document incoming complaints, but rather ask the caller to call a different elected official (who also does not document the complaint). When we fail to centralize or even keep records, we forego the ability to...

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Townshend Selectboard members can do better than their ‘can’t do’ attitude

It is not the place of local government to be the voice of negativity. Selectboard members are the public image of our town, and to hear many of them openly disparage the character of the townspeople with perpetual pessimism, as was the case in the closing minutes of Townshend's Aug. 6 Selectboard meeting, is disappointing, to say the least. Realism and realistic expectations rightly have a prominent place in public discussion, but to hear a Selectboard quibble about the value...

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My firearm, my statement

I carry a sidearm, usually on my hip. I also wear a smaller, concealed backup firearm. I wear them when I go to the bank and when I do farm chores. I wear them when I go grocery shopping and when I attend meetings. There is a shotgun in the back of my car and a rifle in my pickup. If you see me, then I'm not far from my tools. Look around: I'm not the only one. If you...

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