<b>How do we cry?</b>

EDITOR: It's the holiday season, and we are supposed to be enjoying the season of giving with open hearts and family and friends. However, the recent tragedy brings home so personally that life is not easy or safe, even for our precious young. How do we handle the killing of anyone, especially our children? How do we move through this time and remember what this season is all about? Here we are facing another devastating killing of innocents that makes us go numb.

But we can't do that. We must feel something. And to give into all the negative things being said in the incessant media blitz of this horrible act is not the right thing to cave into for so many reasons.

We must give into love and remember whom we love and why we love. Most of all, we must clean up our act as a civilization and produce more love around us — in our families, in our culture, in our media and in our life in general.

How do we cry? Out loud for all to see. We must show our sorrow for what has happened and remember to bring in love.



<b>Women and sexism</b>

EDITOR: I want to comment on Steven DeLuca's letter ("Distorted views," Dec. 21). He argued that it isn't sexism that's keeping the percentage of women in the U.S. Senate low (compared to the percentage of women in the overall population). He said the reason cannot be sexism because women voters outnumber men.

However, this argument unreasonably assumes that only men hold such views. All of society, men and women, are exposed to traditional stereotypes of gender roles. The reasons for the low percentage of women senators includes sexist stereotypes held by both men and women. Elections based on merit alone cannot take place until society gives up long-held views of gender roles that link to each sex (e.g., males are competitive, while women are emotional).


Santa Rosa

<b>Saving the planet</b>

EDITOR: There was a ray of hope amidst the recent storm of sad news — on Dec. 21, The Press Democrat reported a "U.S. population slowdown." Less pressure on Earth to provide will prolong our collective time here.

Nature provides resources for food, homes, clothes, metals and jobs. These finite resources cannot grow along with an infinite population. More people means destruction of the land, water and air that allow survival. Climate change is real, as is the increase of pollution-caused medical problems.

We can buy time if we lessen the mathematical pressure of reproduction. Men must stop equating the number of their offspring with masculinity. Religions need to drop the notion of defeating rival faiths by unbridled procreation. Governments should let women chose whether bringing in another child to care for is something they are currently capable of.

We are one part of nature — we can't be killing it while continuing our own existence. I hope this recent population trend becomes the future pattern.


Santa Rosa

<b>Bad expenditure</b>

EDITOR: I would not know where to begin blasting Andrew J. Cherlin's column on Monday's op-ed page ("Do unmarried poor have bad values or bad jobs?"), but I can say that a better use of $150 million per year for three years (or more?) would be to make birth control readily available to the "unmarried poor" and anyone else who wants it.



<b>Christmas cheer</b>

EDITOR: A big thank you goes out to the customers who took ornaments with wishes from the Home Instead Senior Care trees and purchased a gift. The seniors who received these gifts are from all over Sonoma County in settings such as low-income apartments, nursing homes and mobile home parks. They are least likely to get a gift or visitor at Christmas time. It is common for them to have no sign of Christmas in their home, not a card, phone call, treat or decoration. The shoppers carefully chose the gifts, truly in the spirit of Christmas.