Questionable judgment

EDITOR: We were appalled by the Mike Luckovich cartoon regarding the pope's retirement that appeared on the editorial page on Thursday. Shame on Luckovich for creating it, and a pox on your house for publishing it.

Publishing such an offensive piece of work calls into question your editorial judgment and sensibilities. Given the new ownership of The Press Democrat, we are hopeful that this is not predictive of future choices on the editorial page.


Santa Rosa

Life is not fair

EDITOR: A man spends more than 40 years of his life bringing joy to thousands of parents by trying to redirect their wayward sons back to self respect — with great success ("Hanna Boys Center head resigns," Thursday).

A lone anonymous accuser says he or she heard, second hand, of "sexual misconduct" by the Rev. John Crews, which occurred over 40 years ago. The victim is now said to be dead.

Crews is no longer a priest, 40 years of hard work gone. His own church refuses to defend him. And his accuser? I can only hope he doesn't get a settlement from the church.

I can't believe this is actually happening.


Santa Rosa

Roseland's contributions

EDITOR: Your Wednesday editorial ("Fulfilling a promise to Roseland") was on point except, perhaps, for the lament that "it's a given that tax and other revenues generated from the Roseland area will be less than the cost of providing services to that part of town . . . "

I'm not sure that is fair. Does any urban development anywhere, especially predominantly residential developments, pay the full cost of providing services?

And shouldn't the economic equation include the contributions Roseland residents and businesses, stores and restaurants have made to the city and county treasuries in terms of property taxes and sales taxes? Plus, consider the revenue the private sector takes in from the 7,000 Roseland residents who spend at Santa Rosa and Sonoma County stores and businesses.

If you fold in the labor and intellectual expertise that Roseland brings to the larger Santa Rosa metro area in which it resides, and the county at large, one could argue that over the years Roseland has already paid more than its share for the public improvements that annexation would bring to "that part of town."



Evans' oil tax

EDITOR: In Staff Writer Derek Moore article, state Sen. Noreen Evans is quoted as saying "it's just common sense" when asked about the bill she introduced seeking a tax on oil extraction in California ("Evans calls for tax on state oil extraction," Wednesday).

Merriam-Webster defines common sense as "sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts." I would love to know how Evans thinks placing another tax on business, which will surely be passed on to the consumer, is "common sense."

She stated that 93 percent of the money would go toward public colleges and universities and the rest would be used to "shore up the state's beleaguered parks system." Didn't California voters just pass a tax to fund education? Didn't the state Department of Parks and Recreation recently get caught hiding $54 million?

Ah, but Evans says we don't need to worry because "the agency has new administrators who are subject to stricter legislative oversight."

And, of course, there is no mention of cutting or even controlling spending.

We now live in a country where earning your money no longer entitles it to you but wanting it does.



Killing U.S. citizens

EDITOR: NBC News reporter Michael Isikoff has gotten a copy of a white paper addressing the legality of killing Americans who join al-Qaida. This white paper is 16 pages long, and the answer is yes. The solution is a drone strike kill rather than capture.

President Barack Obama's choice to head the CIA, John Brennan, has given the Senate Intelligence Committee his version of English: "What we need to do is optimize transparency on these issues, but at the same time, optimize secrecy and the protection of our national security."

After the 9/11 attack of 2001, an armed drone operator saw a man whom he believed to be Osama bin Laden, standing very tall on the ground; and rather than fire, he asked for orders. I would have fired.

The killing of Americans who are believed to have just joined anything is not lawful. Two paragraphs, not 16 pages.


Rohnert Park