<b>Holiday greeting</b>

EDITOR: Did Interior Secretary Ken Salazar at least accompany the devastating closure news to the owners and employees of the Drake's Bay oyster farm with a Merry Christmas and/or Feliz Navidad? Oops! Shame on me, I am not being very PC — I meant to say, did he at least wish them Happy Holidays as their jobs and livelihoods were taken away by a government agency?



<b>Trading off safety</b>

EDITOR: Since moving to Sonoma County in the fall of 2008, I've noticed in the news an alarming number of pedestrians being hit by automobiles. I've also noticed that the sparse number of streetlamps lit during dark nights are yellow in tone with low wattage, barely illuminating the streets. Do you see the correlation? It seems that Sonoma County is being penny-wise and pound-foolish by replacing high utility costs with human injuries and death. Time to make a change.



<b>Outstanding tribute</b>

EDITOR: The story about cast-off Siberian orphan Val Silcock by Chris Smith was outstanding ("From cast-off Siberian orphan to tech wizard," Monday). This young man overcame adversity through the caring of strangers who valued his life — an amazing tribute to overcoming all obstacles. It is a tribute to all who consider that every life has a purpose and is worthy. It is also a tribute to everyone in Silcock's life who provided love, housing and education for, in the words of his boss, "one of the nicest, gentlest, most competent young people I know."


Santa Rosa

<b>Preparing to teach</b>

EDITOR: I do not understand why American Federation of Teachers is calling for a written exam before teacher candidates can enter the profession. ("Teacher's union seeks tougher rules," Tuesday)

True, in the 1950s it was possible to "teach" a subject you knew nothing about. You could have a college degree in "education" and be assigned to an academic subject without sufficient knowledge.

But that changed around 1960 in California. Today, the education major no longer exists. You must have a bachelor's degree with an academic major and minor to obtain a teaching credential. Passing all of those courses is certainly enough proof of knowledge that one needs for any subject, grades K-12.

Also, what "teachers are tossed the keys . . . and left to . . . sink or swim"? A California teacher must complete a semester of unpaid practice teaching before anyone "tosses them the keys." Our teachers certainly know what is happening in the classroom before they begin their "swim."


Camp Meeker

<b>U.S. imperialism</b>

EDITOR: When various Democratic and Republican regimes plan to eliminate some other regime abroad, Wall Street puppet masters never allow Americans to hear the other side. OK, rather it's that mainstream media cheerlead for violent intervention without debate.

When prepping to employ our tax dollars for the overthrow of such heads of state as Noriega, Milosevic, Hussein, Gadhafi and now Assad, the puppet media initiate the demonizing of the target. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, CNN's Anderson Cooper, Fox's Bill O'Reilly join equally in the warmongering.

Today, the Obama-Clinton-Rice target — Syria's Bashir Assad — is no more a brute than the Saudi and Qatari monarchs financing for us this latest "humanitarian" war. Those who've investigated the issue know the carnage in Syria is the result of U.S.-inspired armed and often terroristic Islamist rebellion.

Where are those my age who challenged LBJ's war 45 years ago? Where are the "end this war" Democrats who marched against the invasion of Iraq during a Republican presidency? Still mesmerized? Snap out of it so we can challenge the new American proxy and drone-based imperialism.



<b>Hidden motive</b>

EDITOR: The reason Republicans are trying desperately to create a scandal about the non-issue surrounding U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice is because they are trying to force President Barack Obama to go to his second choice for secretary of state, John Kerry, thereby opening up a senate seat in Massachusetts. Politics is a dirty game.


Santa Rosa