Another tempest in a teapot


A frequent letter writer to this newspaper expressed concerns about government interest in financial transactions and political beliefs of Americans. This seemed very odd to me given that:

Three credit companies regularly monitor all your financial accounts.

The banks issuing your credit and debit cards know every purchase you make.

Google knows every online keystroke you make.

Alexa hears every word uttered in your home.

Amazon knows what kind of boxers you wear.

And in case this isn’t enough information, most Americans invite the rest of the world into their lives through their social media feeds by:

Posting pictures of their food and descriptions of their vacations.

Identifying everything they like and dislike about what anyone else posts.

Forwarding political materials to a whole host of cyber friends (many of whom they have never met in person).

Distributing videos of the most mundane aspects of their lives across the world.

Etc., etc. etc.

If none of the above raises the letter writer’s concerns about anybody’s ability to access virtually anything about him, he might not worry so much about his next Venmo transaction. And if he is overly concerned that others have too much access to his political beliefs, he might refrain from airing them so publicly every week in this newspaper.

Or maybe he just likes to complain about his issue du jour.

D. Aycock

Fayetteville, Ga.


  1. Mr. Aycock might want to look across the border to see what’s happening in Canada……the Canadian gov’t is freezing bank accounts of people associated with the Freedom Convoy. They’re breaking into small businesses that fed & supported the truckers when they were in Ottawa. We ALL need to be wary of an over-reaching federal government……because even if you aqree with them now, sooner or later you will cross them and they’ll come for you.

  2. D. Aycock,

    Are you privy to first hand knowledge regarding Mr. Hoffman’s history as a consumer or user of the products and services you described in your letter? In my opinion it is reasonable to assume his data is being monitored by the credit agencies and a bank. For all other aforementioned products and services, you simply made a hasty generalization to support your position, which serves to undermine and invalidate the entirety of your argument.

    “And if he is overly concerned that others have too much access to his political beliefs, he might refrain from airing them so publicly every week”. Mr. Hoffman has not demonstrated concern about “too much access” to his ideas. I infer his concerns are 1) an increase of government regulation equates to less freedom 2) an increase of government activity results in more frequent displays of institutionalized incompetency and 3) the recent history of the IRS weaponizing their legitimate power to target political groups.