The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Letters to the Editor

September 19, 2012

Letters to the Editor: September 19, 2012

Why protest a pipeline?

As I stated in an earlier letter, I worked on pipelines near Owego and Cortland in the 1950s. There was not a single protest.

A pipeline has no poles or wires. When reseeded, it’s great for deer, turkeys, etc. You can harvest crops over it, ride ATVs and snowmobiles, cross country ski, plant berries, etc. Your property value and assessments will not change.

I read of protests. Someone please reply informing me the reasons for protesting.

Doug Fessenden


Cameras infringe on our freedom

 Despite opposition (mine), the plan is to move ahead with the installation of surveillance cameras on Main Street in Oneonta. 

Police Chief Dennis Nayor said, “When people are in public, there’s no expectation of privacy.” I disagree. In a free society, people expect to be free of clandestine surveillance, especially by the police. They expect to have a private conversation or a latte at an outdoor cafe without some unseen lens zooming in on their person, and some unseen observer taking notes. 

Larger cities have now moved away from human monitoring. With an estimated 100 million cameras now deployed in this country, there aren’t enough citizens to watch them. Computers now monitor our movements. They utilize face recognition, and are able to analyze behaviors. Why is that human lingering?

The knowledge that someone may be watching has a chilling effect on human behavior. Psychological studies have borne this out. People who may otherwise exercise their legal right to assemble or protest may think again and decide not to. In a nutshell, it breeds conformity. This is not freedom. 

Also, the images captured and stored by cameras can now be shared with state and federal agencies that are empowered by poorly considered legislation to demand such data from local municipalities.

“The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.” Justice Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941)

“There is no ‘slippery slope’ toward loss of liberty, only a long staircase where each step down must first be tolerated by the American people and their leaders.” U.S. Sen. Alan K. Simpson (1931- )

“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” William Pitt (1783)

Michael Perry




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