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<b>A case of genocide</b>

EDITOR: I was among the 100 at the pro-life rally Sunday at Old Courthouse Square ("Antiabortion rally draws 100," Monday). In reply to what one of the online commenters wrote, we were not all old and gray, and we were not celebrating "antiquated beliefs." Two of the speakers were 17-year-old girls. I saw several young families with children, and I counted at least 20 who were under the age of 30.

Yes, we were celebrating a belief, a belief in the sanctity of life: life of the unborn, life of the elderly, life in general. All life is sacred, a precious gift from God. If that is an antiquated belief then heaven help our nation.

The rally was also a time for mourning and to ask forgiveness for our nation that has allowed the killing of 56 million babies through abortion since the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade ruling in 1973, which made abortion legal.

Is this any different than other nation that has allowed the genocide of its own people? Or is it any different than ancient times when parents sacrificed their own children to some pagan god? Only today the god has a new name -#8212; it is being done in the name of "choice."

ORLEAN KOEHLE

Santa Rosa

<b>Krauthammer on war</b>

EDITOR: I would agree with columnist Charles Krauthammer that President Barack Obama and some Democrats made a distinction between the bad war in Iraq and the good war in Afghanistan so that they would appear sufficiently tough to the electorate ("How in good conscience?" Saturday).

However, I find it offensive that Krauthammer is outraged at Obama's lack of enthusiasm for continuing the war. The outrage should instead be directed toward Krauthammer himself and all the other right-wing pundits and cheerleaders who enthusiastically supported both wars and are in part responsible for all the death and suffering that has resulted.

Has Krauthammer or any of the other warmongers offered an apology to all the soldiers they helped put in harm's way unnecessarily and who have come home damaged physically and mentally, if they've come home at all?

Has he offered an apology to the thousands of innocent men, women and children who have been killed or seriously injured as a result of his enthusiasm?

Krauthammer now has the gall to point his bloody finger at Obama, who has been trying to extract us from the madness that he and his friends enthusiastically helped throw us into.

MICHAEL GILLOTTI

Sebastopol

<b>A new world?</b>

EDITOR: Reading Joe Manthey's letter ("Carlstrom's ambition," Friday), I had a long-ago memory resurface, which seems currently apropos. Manthey stated flatly that "an androgynous society has never existed and never will." (If so, more's the pity.)

The memory: It was 1945. Another big war had just ended. Europe was in shambles. Pacific islands shot to smithereens. Two large Japanese cities decimated by the A-bomb. I was 17 and fresh from an Idaho farm, working an office job in San Francisco and trying to comprehend the adult world.

While waiting for a street car one afternoon, a portly security guard swaggered up and stood too close for my comfort. After a long up-and-down-appraisal of my young person, he joyously announced, "Yes, it's a man's world out there." Being young and inexperienced, I didn't attempt to form a response, but the words just flew out of my mouth: "Ah, but haven't they made a mess of it!"

The guard's mouth fell open. He seemed frozen in place, eyes staring at me. I glanced back at him from my window in the street car. He was still standing there, agape, unmoving for I don't know how long. Maybe a whole new thought had dawned?

DOROTHE PRIOR

Sonoma

<b>Inside job?</b>

EDITOR: The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors made an extremely shortsighted decision on project labor agreements ("Supervisors back project labor rules," Jan. 15). Clearly there is a conflict of interest between the construction unions that benefit from this decision and those supervisors who were financially supported by them.

What bothers me most is that in this competitive market when our government needs to be lean and efficient and competitive, our supervisors are selling out to give public money to the construction unions without any value added to the public.

Inside job, graft, worthy of investigation by the grand jury? What do you think, Mr. and Ms. or Mrs. Sonoma County? At what point do we say enough is enough?

WM. MARK PARRY

Santa Rosa

<b>Unwinnable wars</b>

EDITOR: The war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, the war on drugs -#8212; each of them not only ill-conceived, unwinnable and not only a failure but counterproductive and tragic misuses of good money and good lives. Yet the party chiefly responsible for launching all three of these disasters, the party that now wants to cut back on food stamps and unemployment benefits, is happy to go on throwing $2 billion-plus a week down the war hole. And who profits by this? No mystery there.

J.B. GRANT

Sebastopol