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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

June, 2005

Letters To The Editor
BY Readers

The and poor, exorbitant tax cuts for the rich, minimum wage for the underprivileged, viaducts and sidewalk grates are the home for tens of thousands, an 8 trillion dollar national debt and $275 billion annual interest to pay for the self-indulgence.
So welcome back to America, George. We just wanted to bring you up to date on what's happening here at home.
David A. Whelan
Forest Knolls
Not As Bad As Cloning Your Pet
Ever since Dolly rolled off the assembly line, I have worried myself into peptic ulcers and alopecia thinking about what would crawl out of the DNA test tubes next. Admittedly, I was initially optimistic about the prospects: I imagined zillions of Britney Spears clones. Then my Teutonic pessimism regained control: I read that mad scientists had the technology to clone pets. I immediately envisioned carbon copies of the dog that routinely relieves himself on the hubcaps of my Pinto wagon. I don’t know what the owners are feeding this pooch, but the rims and lug nuts are completely welded with rust and the tires have the cratered complexion of Sponge Bob.
Assemblyman Lloyd Levine is prudently crafting a bill to ban the sale of cloned or genetically modified pets. Assemblyman Levine says pet cloning is a moral issue and I could not agree more fervidity. In the secular, existential, politically correct world in which we have been slam dunked, it gets harder every day to identify the moral high ground. For me, pet cloning is just the moral compass I have been looking for. Truthfully, my ethics gyro has been processing since my college fraternity days when I began reading Camus, Sarte and Doonesbury.
As an agnostic, I have no idea of where the soul of Joseph Stalin is residing, but I like to imagine Old Joe wading into the pet cloning debate. He might say, “I may have killed off twenty million Russians and Ukrainians, but at least I never had my pets cloned.” Or Kenneth Lay of Enron saying, “So maybe the stock wasn’t so healthy, but at least I never cloned one of my pets.”
Governor Schwartzenegger thinks our state assembly should be a part time job. The visionary, Assemblyman Levine is ample evidence to the contrary. Perhaps Levine should put in for overtime in order to better pursue his inspired mission.
Truthfully, I think enforcement of anti-cloning laws might be difficult. We may have to pull the police from low priority crimes like jay walking and littering. DNA laboratories would definitely have to refocus their electron microscopes. How will police know that the Muffy they see frolicking in Dog Park or the Woofy that wets down my tires, has not been cloned from the original road kill of Muffy or Woofy?
I know many people, who look honest enough, yet they have confided in me that they would not hesitate to clone their favorite Gold Fish, Iguana, Boa or Badger if something unfortunate were to happen. Even my Uncle Cusper has put Oscar, his pet Opossum, on ice, and is patiently waiting for the day that he can pay for pet cloning with food stamps.
Assuming our namby-pamby Distnected disabilities. The LEVEL III disabled Agent Orange Child receives little in the way of medical care from the VA. And nothing in the way of personal attendance care from them.
My wife and I are seeking others who will join us in advocating for the US Congress to provide full medical care and personal attendance for the fewer that 200 LEVEL III Agent Orange Children. My wife has been at Honey Sue's side to care for her almost around the clock since her birth. I joined her in this effort when we married in 1992. What will happen to Honey Sue when we pass away? Or become too old to care for her? One might also ask this about the fewer than 200 other LEVEL III Agent Orange children like her.
If you are a member of the US Congress or in a position to influence a member of that body please speak up for Honey Sue and the others like her. If you are a Veteran or simply a concerned citizen please pass this letter along and call your Congressman. It is time to make amends to these A/O children.
Ron and Suzanne Nesler
Las Cruces, New Mexico

Controlling The Color Of Paint
Do I need to ask the City Planning Dept for permission to buy chicken from the store? Well, that might be "compatible" with the City Code, but if I was to purchase ground buffalo, this might be in violation of the City Code. Not "Compatible" with the norm.
I need the city's permission to paint my fingernails a certain color? NOT!
As soon as the city steps in to control which color we may/may not paint our house (Marin IJ, Saturday, May 14th, "Hue and Cry in Mill Valley") our city government has overstepped its legal bounds. So-called "legal" legislation permitting this invasion of our freedom of self-expression, was a practice once upheld in former Communist Russia. To add, Communist Russia fell for a reason. Its ways did not work.
When my neighbor painted his house a shocking lemon yellow with deep forest green trim, I did not "disturb the peace"—a legal phrase—by giving him any grief about it. Guess what? I got used to the color, even began to like it, as time went on. Any home owner in a development, must assume that it takes all kinds to make a world. And if someone objects to the color painted next door, they have no right to fight the matter, unless they themselves have purchased the house whose paint color is in question.
We must let the City of Mill Valley know that they are praciticing Dictatorship, not Democracy. We, the People, "buy" the "fact" that the City Council is doing a "good" thing by controlling house paint colors, because—look, see?— the neighborhood looks so nice.
Yeah, and at what cost? To our private choices? Such is the brainwash which has Communist governments a practicing success. There is always a "good" reason to control peoples' lives. We in the Land of the Free, have to understand that democracy comes with a few sacrifices. I myself, much prefer freedom to so-called "law and order", or better said, to violation of mine or anyone else's personal rights. Which certainly, I would hope, includes the freedom to choose which color to paint my own house.
Name withheld by request
Novato

Erring On The Side Of Truth
The president's advisers who prepare the current administration’s road map are over spending what little credibility and respect remain with this president in his five years of dismal performance.
The image the American people have of their president is already terribly embarrassing. They know that he is less than average in intelligence. They know that this cannot improve much as he does very minimal reading. They know that he won the last two presidential elections under some very questionable circumstances. They know that he has been running his government the way an incapacitated pilot flies his plane—on auto pilot. They know a great number of other not too complimentary truths about their president but they are forcing themselves to believe that same are the product of smear tactics employed by his political detractors. It is the only rational way out of their dilemma, other than having to admit the sad truth about the man occupying the highest office in the land.
But alas, even this flimsy, fragile argument, masquerading as logic, has evaporated when no less than the First Lady, the president’s wife herself, described her husband so candidly in the recently held party in honor of the president by the US media. She interrupted the scheduled speech of the president, made him sit down, and delivered a very candid profile of the honoree.
One wonders whether it was meant as a joke or whether it was Laura’s honest desire to publicly make an act of contrition. Whoever planned that part of the program should by now, have been fired.
Laura Bush is not a rough and tumble lady of questionable humor. She is a proper, decent, well bred, religious person. If the skit she read were written by anyone else to illicit humor, in order to amuse an audience, I am certain that the First Lady would not have approved of it. She will not allow herself to be used as an X-rated comedian performing to entertain the representatives of the media, who incidentally, are by and large, not supporters of her husband. It was just way below the dignity of her persona, not to mention the prestige of her public status.
The only logical explanation to the First Lady’s surprising behavior in that fateful event, is her desperate desire to prop up the dangerously dropping approval rating of her husband in the American public’s mind. She must be one who desperately believes in the proposition that when everything else fails, it is best to err on the side of truth.
Antonio R. Serna
Rohnert Park

Kicked Out Of Church
Nine members are kicked out of church because they voted for Kerry in the 2004 presidential election. This is not a Pravda storyline or fiction. It is American reality in 2005. In North Carolina an East Waynesville Baptist pastor and board of deacons gave nine members of the flock their walking papers for the sin and transgression of not voting for George W. Bush in 2004. How can anyone who believes in the sanctity of religion indulge in this type of hypocrisy? Is East Waynesville Baptist the new prototype of the State Religion?
* * * *
Mr. Frist To Go Nuclear
Mr. Frist goes to Washington and breaks the rules to change the rules. President Bush has come out in the open joining forces with Senator Frist R-Tenn in an effort to scuttle the filibuster. Bush, Frist and Hatch defend their efforts to eliminate the 200 year-old filibuster from Senate rules. How can you defend the undefendable? While they're at it why don't they change the archaic and 200 year-old Electoral College that put Bush in the White House.
The President, Frist and Hatch want "up or down" votes. There is nothing fair about up or down votes when these same Republicans have a 55 to 45 advantage in the 100 member Senate. How dumb do the Bush forces think Americans are? The results of every vote will always favor the bloc-voting Republicans.
Senate majority leader Frist won't compromise on his filibuster attack instead he will use the "nuclear option" and end all discussion.
* * * *
All The Religious Extremists
The religious extremists in America are no different than the religious extremists in the Middle East except that they drive nicer cars. Same MO: Secrecy, deception, intimidation and infiltration. We saw the same modus operandi used by the Taliban and we see it with the fanatics in the Middle East. Religious zealots have infiltrated the US government, the Bush administration, the Republican Party, the Kansas school board and boards of education around the country. It is time we stop using flowery language when we talk about this takeover crowd. If you don't see this happening you've been very inattentive and are in for a rude awakening. These crusaders use the pseudonyms of fundamentalist, evangelical, and Christianity as covers for their extremism. Pervasive is the only way to describe this spreading cancer.
Ron Lowe
Nevada City

McCarthy Already Dead
"Senator Joseph R. McCarthy in his anti-Communist campaign during the Nixon Administration..."
Would you please inform Edward W. Miller, MD that McCarthy died in 1957.
Gerald Woodard
Internet

Miller Corrects Information
Sheldon Whitten-Vile ( Letters May 2005) quite properly corrects the error in my April column in which I reversed the political order in Egypt. As Sheldon points out, Nasser did serve as Egypt’s president prior to Sadat. ( who was later murdered for betraying his Muslim Brotherhood by making, a separate peace with Israel.) Mea culpa.
Sheldon, however, is very wrong in his assertion that those, including myself, who criticize the fascist behavior of Israel’s Likud government, its present leader, Sharon, or organizations in the United States that support the Likud agenda, are either “anti-semitic” or “anti-Jewish” . Such name -calling has long been a political weapon of Zionists to thus silence critics of Israel’s misbehavior.
In Israel itself, polls have shown that at times, almost a third of her Jewish population would exchange their illegally-occupied settlements for a secure peace with the Palestinians. Too often, such Jews are then targeted by their Zionist neighbors as “self-hating Jews”.
As writer Naomi Klein wrote in THE GUARDIAN ( September 10th, 2004) :” Under the guru Sharon and driven by the Likud Party, Israel has become a country driven by fear,. A country which has adopted a policy of extrajudicial assassinatrion and illegal settlements, and a daily terrorist brutality. Desperate for friends, Israel has nevertheless surrounded itself with enemies.
Thomas Paine, pamphleteer and staunch defender of liberty and democracy in his 1776 pamphlet “COMMON SENSE’ , once said that the first responsibility of a citizen is to defend his fellow men against their government. Sheldon, if he really cares about the State of Israel and her future as a “ light amongst nations” , should join me and other activists, to end Washington’s financial and political support of a Zionist Israel whose followers in this country, “the Neocons’ maneuvered the Bush administration into destroying Iraq and today are targeting Syria and Iran.
Edward W. Miller, MD

Objects To Miller's Column
Once again, Edward Miller shows that if truth and justice are on one side, he will be on the other. Once again, he is so egregiously offensive that his lies cannot go unchallenged.
His latest outrage begins with a fabricated quote from Einstein regarding the Likud in Israel. The Likud did not come into existence until the 1970’s. Putting these words into Einstein’s mouth would be like quoting Lincoln’s opposition to the Internet.
Einstein was, in his own words, “a strong devotee of the Zionist idea.” He gave speeches, raised money, wrote letters and engaged in debates on behalf of the Jewish state. To use him as a weapon against Israel would be like saying Martin Luther King was pro-slavery. Here are some things Einstein actually DID say (in “The Jews and Arabs in Palestine,” 1944):
The big Effendis fear the example and the impulse which the Jewish colonization of Palestine presents to the peoples of the Near East, they resent the social and economic uplift of the Arabian workers in Palestine. They act as all fascist forces have acted: they screen their fear of social reform behind nationalistic slogans and demagoguery.”
Miller then baldly states that Israel's "military expansionism" is the source of all the Middle East’s (and the world’s) troubles. He must assume that his readers were literally born yesterday. Any adult who has been paying attention would remember that Israel withdrew from over 90 per cent of the Disputed Territories and tried to create a Palestinian state in the 90’s. Arafat and his henchmen rejected the offer, insisting instead on continuing their campaign to destroy Israel. Anyone alive in the 70’s would also remember Israel giving the Sinai Peninsula (an area as large as the rest of Israel) to Egypt in 1978 in return for a peace treaty. Although not as well-knorict Attorneys manage to convict these sentimental pet owners, is there room in our prison system for them? Would we blend these nefarious DNA felons in with rapists, music pirates and inside traders? Or would we have special, high security, gulags reserved for them? But, before any serious anti-cloning laws get passed, could we maybe experiment by cloning Barry Zito and Eric Chavez?
Jeffrey R Smith
Alameda

Help For Child Victims Of Agent Orange
I am writing to seek help in advocating better treatment for children with Agent Orange related Spina Bifida. In total, nation wide, the US. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) officially recognizes the existence&didjdČdäd–d—dee_e`eÄeĀeņeŃeŕeÁe f
of fewer than 1100 such children of Vietnam veterans as "Agent Orange Children."
I am the stepfather of such an Agent Orange child. Her name is Honey Sue Newby. My wife is Honey Sue's natural biological mother. My wife and I are co- legal guardians and care givers for this beautiful 34 year old profoundly handicapped daughter. Her biological father was exposed to Agent Orange during three combat tours as a Marine Rifleman in Vietnam.
Honey Sue was born at Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital on June 2nd 1971. Her birth defects included but were not limited to spina bifida, cerebral palsy, paralyzed palate, clubbed feet, urinary and fecal incontinence, severe speech impediment, limited vision, and mild mental retardation. She is totally and permanently disabled from birth. She is not mentally competent and requires round the clock attendance and supervision. In spite of all these problems she is beautiful and is the joy of our lives. The generosity of the Shiners organization has insured she can walk and speak and alleviated many of her physical problems.
The VA has officially recognized Honey Sue as an Agent Orange Spina Bifida Child. She is one of FEWER THAN 200 Agent Orange Children rated at LEVEL III of disability by the VA. This is the highest level of disability at which an Agent Orange Child may be rated. And would correspond to a service connected disability rating of 100% for a disabled military veteran. She receives a stipend of approximately $1400 per month from the VA under the VA Spina Bifida program to off set her living and medical expenses. For this we are very grateful.
The problem for us, and we suspect for other care givers for LEVEL III Spina Bifida Children, is health care and personal attendance. Just like many 100% Service Connected disabled military veterans (a group whose situation most nearly matches her own) Honey Sue is totally disabled and permanently in need of medical care and personal care and attendance.
Unlike the 100% Service Connected disabled military veteran she receives only very limited medical care from the VA. And no personal attendance care. The bulk of her medical care is through Medicaid. Or public welfare. While all of her personal attendance care is from her mother and I.
Both her disability and her need of care and attendance are clearly connected to the sacrifice of military service. Not her own military service. But that of her biological father. Who was exposed to the effects of Agent Orange during three combat tours in Vietnam prior to Honey Sue's conception.
I see two major differences between the situation of a 100% Service Connected disabled military veteran and a totally and permanently disabled LEVEL III Agent Orange Child like our daughter. First the disabled military veteran had some degree of choice in exposing himself to disabling military service. Our daughter had no choice at all. Secondly the 100% disabled military veteran receives the compensation of full medical care and personal attendance for his military Service Conrn. However, you should ship the "For Sale" copies. You would have to do a "cost benefit analysis" or whatever to determine whether it would be worth shipping. Does the price, say $3 per copy, pay for the cost of shipping, etc.? Do you boost your subscriptions significantly via the copies in these areas or not?
This same procedure could apply to cities across the country. It would be a labor of love for the distributors, but it wouldn’t necessarily take that much time per month, maybe just one day of distribution.
2) Add to your Ad. Another suggestion is to amplify your new large subscription advertisement on p. 15 and move it to page 2 or close to the front. Frank Scott and Edward Miller would probably understand the need to have a portion of their columns bumped for the sake of increased subscriptions. Or you could put it on page 4 in front of the Letters. You probably know better about ad placement. You should put in the ad all the points you have in your article, "What Now for the Coastal Post?" You could add text such as:
"If you care about the kind of news and editorial point-of-view you see in this independent newspaper, please support us with a subscription at the highest level you can afford. Independent newspapers are an endangered species as the large and small media conglomerates gobble up the independent publications, radio and TV stations. Help to preserve the ones that are left --- subscribe today."
This way, you will give the readers the big picture, a larger reason to subscribe and donate and advertise.
(3) Add to On-Line Links. It’s good you have the links on your webpage to "Donate" and "Subscribe," and "Advertise." However, I would add the same text as above to each, to give viewers a larger reason to donate and to subscribe and to advertise.
Also, I would advocate you have a box somewhere on the website indicating that you are looking for a successor publisher(s) to replace you eventually.
Thanks again for your wonderful newspaper, Don.
Dan Stone
San Francisco

Update For George
Bush's administration has spent $300 billion destroying Iraq in his quest to bring them democracy while giving short shrift to his countrymen's domestic agenda. He sent the National Guard and reservists overseas to bring a questionable democracy to others while leaving many cities unprotected to an increasing rate of homelessness and drive by shootings. But we do have the comfort of knowing that our soldiers and tax dollars are being used "benevolently" protecting the lives of others in foreign lands?
And yes we were blessed to have him preside over our country's destiny, especially if you admire a country awash in war, 50 million medically uninsured, mean streets, widening gap between the ricdonate and advertise.
(3) Add to On-Line Links. It’s good you have the links on your webpage to "Donate" and "Subscribe," and "Advertise." However, I would add the same text as above to each, to give viewers a larger reason to donate and to subscribe and to advertise.
Also, I would advocate you have a box somewhere on the website indicating that you are looking for a successor publisher(s) to replace you eventually.
Thanks again for your wonderful newspaper, Don.
Dan Stone
San Francisco

I was active in the Jarvis-Gann movement. About the only one among the Marin Board of Realtors to do so.
I would support a 55% majority vote if Corporations were removed from Prop. 13. It was intended for home owners, not corporations. As it is, corporations currently pay only about 9% of the Federal taxes collected, verse the 30% previously. And on top of that some get a tax refund with out paying any taxes. Politicians can not continually go to the middle class, working poor and cut benefits to the elderly and disabled to raise more money. They are taped out! With gas prices, cut pensions, raising prices on everything, how is one to save for retirement, education of children, etc. They can not save if politicians think of them as a blank check to pay for the mess that has been created by the very same politicians. The mess we are in now is because of the politicians. The people have long been disenfranchised. Money is not the answer, and is not the problem.
I support your move to close San Quentin. I would, among other things, like to see affordable housing built. I mean built, not in-lieu of funds to get out from building. You may remember we talked about the use of "in-lieu of" funds several times when you first ran for the Assembly. We talked of the need for these funds to be used for the purpose in which they were collected, not be added to the General Funds. Now with the gutting of HUD by this administration, and ALL the politicians allowing the elderly, sick land disabled to be cast out onto the streets, we need the "in-lieu of" funds to fill in this gap more than ever.
Because of your ignoring and not taking action on these funds I am finding it hard to support your run for the US Assembly.
Jerry R. Bakken

Met Jim Once
I met him just twice but he tried to help me with a matter in the Marin Family Courts.
He seemed like a fine man. A person with integrity.
I never had a chance to thank him.
John Olagues

We Have Told The Truth
Carol Sterritt's review of the SwiftVets' activities is carefully crafted to avoid clear and concise statements that could be refuted, but she is clear about what is most important: “there is only one thing that matters: is he telling the truth?" Apply that standard to the SwiftVets and the documentaries we posted at www.swiftvets.com. None of our facts have been refuted. We have told the truth about John Kerry's service in and after Vietnam.
We gathered together because we believed John Kerry was wrong in criticizing the performance our service members and our country in Vietnam. These gatherings gave us the opportunity compare notes and memories, and we found that John Kerry took advantage of the system for his personal benefit while he was in Vietnam. We didn't discuss politics and we weren't asked or told what to do or say. It's so much easier to remember the truth.
Carol Sterrill's attempt to somehow link SwiftVets with issues concerning George Bush is baseless. She hasn't examined the facts of our activities and chooses to craft the issues to her point of view, quite similar to the approach used by CBS's Dan Rather and Mary Mapes. "Real Journalism" can certainly be an opinion, but it should be based on facts.
Tom Wright
Savannah, GA

Say This Prayer
Ron Lowe stating that Randall Terry wants babykilling abortionists killed is debatable. I don't know if Mr. Terry does or not. I do know that unborn babies deserve to be protected just as much as born babies and whatever is justified to protect a born baby is justified to protect an unborn baby.
Rev. Don Spitz
SAY THIS PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I am a sinner and am headed to eternal hell because of my sins. I believe you died on the cross to take away my sins and to take me to heaven. Jesus, I ask you now to come into my heart and take away my sins and give me eternal life. http://www.ArmyofGod.com

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