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<b>Getting it backward</b>

EDITOR: As a retired attorney, I'm baffled by the actions of Santa Rosa City Council and its city attorney and city manager ("SR council waives privilege on Lopez emails," Wednesday). The attorney-client privilege is a tool that permits clients to confidentially communicate with their attorneys, and it is for the benefit of the client, not the attorney.

The client, not the attorney, has the right to waive the privilege. An attorney has no right to order a client to not waive the privilege, only to advise the client on the legal consequences of waiving the privilege. Attorneys serve their clients and work for them.

In Santa Rosa, it appears the power structure is reversed: the city attorney is in charge, telling her client what to do, and the City Council has rolled over.

Indeed, the city attorney is so confident she scolds and embarrasses her client in public. In the private sector, an attorney who did this would be fired on the spot.

The same problem exists with the city manager. She, too, acts as if the City Council works for her and she can order the members around. Since tax dollars are involved, elected representatives should be in charge, not their hired hands. Is there a non-sexist way to tell City Council to "man up"?

HUGH HELM

Santa Rosa

<b>Shoot or be shot</b>

EDITOR: Have you seen how realistic some "toys" are? Columbine, Sandy Hook and other massacres have prepared us as a country to expect a child to carry and use a weapon against innocents. The deputy requested that Andy Lopez put the gun down. He didn't. Given the history of deadly shootings by children, I'm sure the deputy felt he had no choice.

I feel sorry for the parents. I too, have lost a child. But Andy should not have had that toy and should have been taught to obey an officer of the law's orders.

I feel more sorry for the deputy. He will face persecution for the rest of his life. His reaction to Andy's non-compliance was fully justified. It was not race, neighborhood, ignorance, naivete or any other excuse. It was shoot or be shot. Put it down means put it down now.

The deputy will be forever haunted by this tragedy, as will Andy Lopez's family. Teach your kids respect for the law.

CHRIS DORREGO

Cotati

<b>No comparison</b>

EDITOR: To claim a parallel between Kristallnacht and the treatment of Palestinians in Israel, as did Therese Mughannam-Walrath ("Kristallnacht lessons," Letters, Monday), is to show ignorance of the most heinous crime against humanity, in this case Jews.

To invoke Desmond Tutu as a moral, unbiased authority is to be ignorant of his well-documented antipathy toward Jews and Israel. Search the Web for "Desmond Tutu and the Jews." That he was awarded the Nobel Prize is not impressive. Yasir Arafat, an internationally known terrorist, was awarded the Nobel Prize.

On Dec. 23, 2009, Jimmy Carter apologized to Jews for his "criticism for improvement," which has been misused "to stigmatize Israel."

Kristallnacht was state-sponsored destruction of synagogues and Jewish businesses. By contrast, mosques, churches and synagogues in Israel are protected as "makom kodesh," or sacred sites.

Go into any Israeli hospital and you will see Arab patients alongside Israelis, treated with the same care. Apartheid? I think not.

Any intellectually honest person realizes that understanding the Israeli-Palestinian situation is more complex than Mughannam-Walrath's virulently libelous opinion. Her conclusions are condemnable.

JERRY DANZIG

Santa Rosa

<b>Paying Obama's tab</b>

EDITOR: I heard that President Barack Obama is coming to the Bay Area for another Democratic Party fundraiser. Hooray. That must mean that the sequestration is over, and we have economically recovered. I imagine that the White House will now be open again for citizen tours. I truly hope that the Democratic Party will be picking up the entire tab for his trip and won't stick the rest of us for his excursion. I will not be holding my breath as I am afraid that I would be soon rendered unconscious and have to be cared for by the Affordable Care Act.

ANTHONY MORGAN

Petaluma

<b>Toy guns</b>

EDITOR: My heartfelt sympathy to the Andy Lopez family, friends and neighbors.

Having read many of the letters to the editors, I have a suggestion: I would like parents of teenagers to describe to the readers the logic for buying AK-47 look-alike guns for children. Please enlighten us about how this family decision is made and why?

JOANNE K. HURLEY

Sonoma