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Friday's Letters to the Editor

Council vacancy

EDITOR: Some citizens argue that the most logical, fair, and obvious decision would be to appoint Don Taylor to the Santa Rosa City Council vacancy. However, as your editorial pointed out, in the seven instances of mid-term vacancies since 1954, the council has never appointed the runner-up ("The good and bad of filling SR vacancy," Jan. 10).

Furthermore, only 17 votes separated Don Taylor and Caroline Ba?elos — and Ba?elos is the candidate whose positions are more similar to those of departing Susan Gorin. (But I suppose if Ba?elos had been 17 votes ahead of Taylor instead of the other way around, as a Ba?elos supporter I would be tempted to put forth that "no-brainer" argument myself.)

I understand that Taylor's supporters want him to get into office, but we've had the choice of Taylor for City Council before and have always selected other representatives. Why would the council automatically appoint someone who had been defeated by the voters four times?

ELLEN SKAGERBERG

Santa Rosa

Selling out

EDITOR: I was stunned by the excellent article on Sonoma State University's ethics program ("Sonoma State launches ethics center," Jan. 17). I have a doctorate in ethics, and I felt ashamed that a colleague would grossly misrepresent the purpose of ethical study. The implications of sacrificing academic freedom in the name of ethics are mindboggling.

What if a corporation based in the South had provided a grant to a university's history department but forbade teaching the history of slavery in America? Would the grant make the surrender of academic freedom acceptable?

Sadly, we are witnessing the privatization of reason. Once reason is sold to the highest bidder, it ceases to be reason and becomes propaganda. Once morality is sold to the highest bidder, it ceases to be morality and becomes tyranny.


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