EDITOR: Congratulations to Judge Ren?Chouteau for his international studies on justice administration in China, Russia, and Iran ("Judge bans protests at SR courthouse," Tuesday). Freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of religion? Flush them down the toilet.
Dignity and decorum? For what? For whom? Certainly not our Constitution, Bill of Rights and the many who gave their lives to preserve these freedoms in America.
It also appears that justice is not blind in Sonoma County. God forbid the high crimes and misdemeanors occurring if he actually saw (gasp!) a belly button. Apparently our presiding judge has never contemplated the birth process — like democracy, it's obviously too messy for his delicate sensibilities.
We the people pray for relief:
; When some bright attorneys who believe in the rule of law take this case to the Supreme Court.
; When an attorney who believes rule of law trumps an inflated ego will run against Chouteau in the next judicial election cycle.
EDITOR: Having raised two sons, I am aware that kids will play war with imaginary guns. Nonetheless, I found the "For Better or For Worse" comic in Sunday's paper, romanticizing and therefore trivializing war, appalling. In a family paper where the comics are shared with children, that seemed at least a questionable message to send.
<b>Is justice blind?</b>
EDITOR: Maj. Nidal Hasan is found guilty and sentenced to death for the unprovoked jihadist killing of 13 Americans at the Fort Hood military base. Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for the nighttime slaughter of 16 unarmed Afghan civilians (mainly women and children). What is wrong with this picture? Are we to conclude that American lives and Afghani lives are of unequal value? Do not be surprised if an Afghani looks at the results of these two verdicts and decides that American justice is far from blind and is moved to take a different version of justice into his or her own hands. We reap what we sow.
EDITOR: Regarding Pete Golis' Aug. 25 column ("Public spaces, livable cities"): Every worthwhile endeavor starts with an idea, a dream. To make things happen, people have to get involved, not simply rant. We basically get the communities we deserve. If we point fingers and spread blame nothing is going to happen.
So much of our local community planning is done by volunteers. Who wants to spend their time trying to improve their community and get berated for it?
Sure there are obstacles. There have always been obstacles. But good ideas will never be realized without perseverance. Well-designed public places have created great reputations for many cities. It can happen anywhere there is some imagination and will to see it through.
Vice chairman, Petaluma Planning Commission