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Friday's Letters to the Editor


<b>A manner of speaking</b>

EDITOR: The English language has a rich tradition of borrowing words and expressions from other languages for their ability to convey concepts in a succinct and colorful way. Consider these examples in the context of recent news:

; Fait accompli. In the Trayvon Martin case, was anyone truly surprised or shocked by that jury's verdict?

; Faux pas. Given that two teenagers had died in the Asiana Airline crash (and, more recently, an even younger girl succumbed to her injuries), who really cared about the identity of the pilots? Why the rush at KTVU to air those names? Was it that important to get it first rather than to get it right?

; A priori. In the sad saga of Supervisor Efren Carrillo, police investigators appear to know what his intentions were, and they've been all too happy to share those thoughts publicly. Meanwhile, in the court of public opinion, Carrillo already is being referred to as something of a "sexual predator." Doesn't one have to be convicted of a sex crime in order to be labeled as such?

; Schadenfreude. Paula Deen. Enough said.

MARK WARDLAW

Santa Rosa

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<b>Seeking a moral compass</b>

EDITOR: Our 19-year-old son walked out one morning recently and said with sadness, "I've learned something new today. I've learned that anybody can kill a black man in America and not have to suffer the consequences." We all sat quietly thinking of Trayvon Martin and his family. What has happened to our country, and where do our young men and women find a moral compass from which to steer their lives when such an injustice occurs?

MICHELE PLACE

Santa Rosa

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<b>Media overkill</b>

EDITOR: Over the past two months, one would think the earth revolved around the Zimmerman/Martin tragedy. And as tragic as it was, the default position of the media, virtually on every station, has been and continues to be spending inordinate amounts of time and money on any story involving even a hint of race.

While not offering an opinion one way or the other as to the outcome, I would opine this degree of national coverage is a national embarrassment, with so many other important issues fading daily into relative obscurity. To name a few: the shameful state of our VA hospitals, numerous other crimes ending this tragically, an epidemic of veteran suicides, crumbling national infrastructure, our national debt, our dysfunctional government, the list is legion. And yet we spend 24/7 on this one, admittedly, tragic event.

The Edward R. Morrows, Eric Sevareids, Ted Koppels and Walter Cronkites of yesterday wouldn't recognize today's hyper-frenzied media, worshiping ratings above all else. And who is really to blame? We listen to it as if it's the most important issue in the country. Shame on us.

BILL EDELEN

Santa Rosa

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<b>Religious symbols</b>

EDITOR: Aren't freedom of expression and religious freedom fundamental rights guaranteed to all Americans ("No apology needed," Letters, Saturday)? I am not offended when someone wears a cross, a Star of David, a Muslim head covering, a Sikh turban or any other individual symbol. Have we become so narrow in our attempts to be politically correct that we fail to recognize and celebrate the diversity of all the people who live here?

Our beliefs and traditions must be strong enough to affect others in a positive way, allowing us to learn and grow with each new experience and not to be threatened by them.

JUDITH CONNORS

Petaluma

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<b>No savoir-faire</b>

EDITOR: We may never know for sure whether Supervisor Efren Carrillo had an ulterior motive when he lurked around his neighbor's bedroom window and then knocked on her door in the wee hours of the morning. But one thing that is certain, as with sexting photos of body parts, most women are not attracted to men knocking on their door clad only in their socks and underwear.

DIANNE MAHANES

Santa Rosa