Coastal Post Online

December 2000

Letters To The Editor

Stalin Said; Gore Said

Josef Stalin said: "The people who vote decide nothing. The people who count the vote decide everything."

Al Gore said: "I'm not like George Bush. If he wins or loses, life goes on. I'll do anything to win."

The unquestioned proof of those two statements is being starkly demonstrated these days in Florida.

Fielding Greaves

Lt. Col., US Army, Retired

San Rafael

Something About Kinsey

This letter is about Supervisor Kinsey: What must we do to rid us of this obstructionist to the public good and a scofflaw to boot?

Aside from the whole school debacle out in San Geronimo Valley, he's now involved in the poisoning of folks out in Nicasio. He must be behind the MMWD and Joe Nation's (watch out for Nation -- he's dangerous) gang over there to bring that foul Russian River water to Marin. Let's get this fellow Kinsey out of office quick -- and make sure to remember never, ever in the future is he to be allowed to presumably save the public (i.e., his own interests) in any capacity . A pariah, a criminal, a poisoner.

P.S. The fact of his being on the Marin Board shows the travesty of the current county Board's stated purpose of being to serve us. His posturing on other fiscal affairs is laughable given his having placed the county in a $100,000,000 liability situation.

George Norf

San Rafael

Thanks From Parnell

I want to thank all of those who voted for me for their support in the work that we have done. Congratulations to Esther Blau and John Severinghaus, the other successful candidates elected along with me. I look forward to serving with them and the other members of the Marin Healthcare District Board and to working with the new administrator of Marin General, Margaret Sabin.

I have confidence that our new Board will work effectively together to support the highest possible quality of patient care at Marin General Hospital. I look forward to a resolution of the legal issues and the opening of the trauma center. Expanded psychiatric services and the creation of a stroke center will continue to be my priorities.

Diana D. Parnell, M.D.


Voters Want Marin General Back

The message from Marin Healthcare District voters on Nov. 7 is clear. Voters want Marin General Hospital returned to community control. Three Healthcare District director candidates, lavishly supported by Sutter/MGH, lost to three strong pro-consumer candidates. Esther Blau, RN, Dr. Diana Parnell and Dr. John Severinghaus were elected. The fourth pro-consumer director. Dr. Lawrence Arnstein, was elected in 1998. The next Healthcare District election will be in 2002.

Had the Sutter sycophants been elected, they would have kept their promise to stop a Healthcare District lawsuit to retrieve MGH from Sutter Health of Sacramento. The suit is being heard in Sacramento Superior Court. I expect the court to void the lease and return the hospital to the Healthcare District some time before the 2002 election, based on alleged illegality of the lease.

Shortly after Sutter became lessee early 1996, MGH CEO Henry Buhrmann asked the elected board's permission for MGH to join Sutter's "obligated group." It took the votes of Dr. Larry Bedard, Valerie Bergmann and Suzanna Coxhead to accomplish this. There are two obligations. First of all, Sutter can siphon money out of the hospital till any time there is more money than needed for 14 days operating expense. Sutter decides. The second obligation probably is more dangerous. MGH became one of the guarantors of Sutter's $1 billion plus debt. For the privilege of MGH largesse to Sutter, MGH pays a $2 million "affiliation fee" to Sutter annually. Realistically, we cannot afford Sutter!

The Healthcare District election was much more than three superb candidates winning. It was a stunning victory for the welfare of the residents of the Healthcare District (all of Marin except Novato).

Norman Carrigg, M.D.

San Rafael

Revenue Racism

OK, who am I? My credit report is trashed, my driving record is damaged, my passport is restricted, my wages are subject to seizure at 50 percent before taxes. I am not on probation or parole, nor have there been charges or convictions. In addition, $11k interest dollars have been added to a balance due of $22k that could have been paid down by half had not the last $11k paid disappeared into the black hole of 10 percent interest (in 16 years I've paid in at least as much as is owed). Of course, when the government says 10 percent, they really mean 100 percent.

I'm a single dad for the last five years, starting with the final 18 months of my kids' mother's life. A good person and mom, sadly, who was addicted to Public Assistance for about 15 years until her death. I owe back Welfare, apparently for the rest of my life. This debt could outlive the entire family. I can't help but wonder, is this what legislators had in mind when they created Welfare? That the counties should turn a profit through draconian methods of collection. Feels too much like oppression and discrimination to me. And the headlines shriek the word "Deadbeat" with impunity, condemning legions of non-custodial parents as if we don't care about our children. Bullshit! If parenting is going to be measured in dollars, that's only 20 percent of the equation. The other 80 percent is involvement, availability and conduct and character by example.

Take the case of a friend of mine. A loving daughter caring for her elderly father suffering from Alzheimer's Disease 24 hours a day. She's being subjected to an investigation by Solano County Adult Protective Services based on false and vacuous allegations by an anonymous informant (estranged family) for the third time in two years. Hello! Do I hear the thunder of Jack boots marching in unison? This man's not being abused in any way. I know more than any informant. I became so enraged. I did a free moving job for an attorney and he took the case.

These agencies empower venomous busybodies to exact retribution through manipulation, and take the word of informants as if it were Moses himself. What they really want is control of his pension. Is that due process now?

What I know is these insidious attitudes result from intrusive arrogance and manipulation duplicity or regimes in Sacramento and Washington, DC. Speaking as the son of an Allied soldier, and on behalf of the elderly veteran mentioned above, the intent of such policies has a curious vapor, a similarity to the reasons men fought their way to Tokyo and Berlin. So with dislogic as my guide, the next group on deck should be gun owners. Welcome to the disinformation age, where Political Correctness (a paralytic neurotoxin) is in the cockpit and we're the passengers... peanuts anyone?

V.H. Klockzien


Reasoned Response to Caldarraro

Recent public comments by Fairfax Council member Caldarraro invite a reasoned response. It is good to have opinions, but acting as a stalking-horse for anti-mountain bike extremists diminishes his credibility. This summer he noted that he would not have run for office if anyone else had been running. This is extremely disrespectful to Judy Anderson, Maurice Weitman and myself, Chris Lang. All of us had worked/volunteered for the Town of Fairfax, and attended many more public meetings than Mr. Caldarraro.

Now he is creating negative publicity regarding the Bicycle-Pedestrian Master Plans being considered by virtually every jurisdiction in Marin. As federal, state and local philanthropic funds are spent in Fairfax to reduce traffic congestion and pollution by making is safer for children to walk and bicycle to school, we do not need prejudicial and ill-informed comments in the public forum. This does a grave disservice to hundreds of local families who recently participated in the International Walk/Bike to School Day, Oct. 4.

The Town of Fairfax has begun to treat the subject of bicycles as a political football. It is time for people who wish to create an ecological and sustainable community to stand up and be counted. it is also time for Mrs. Alviller to stand down or be excused from voting or discussing bicycle plans at the Fairfax Planning Commission. Her well-documented, public prejudice against bicyclists disqualifies her from making rational decisions.

There is a strong public perception that bicyclists will not get a fair hearing from this biased political appointee. I respectfully request that the Town of Fairfax issue a definitive legal opinion on this matter immediately.

Christopher H. Lang


Proposed Measures To Suspend Gas Tax

Suspension or reduction of the gasoline tax would be contrary to all rational efforts to reduce our over-consumption, and its relate adverse environmental and economic consequences. It would only encourage continuance of wasteful and environmentally destructive practices by shifting the tax burden to other revenue sources that do not entail this conservation incentive. At the same time, it would discourage development and use of fuel efficient vehicles, public transit, alternative energy sources, efficient routing systems for airlines and commerce, etc.

Gasoline tax reductions in response to such price increases would demonstrate our unwillingness/inability to overcome our addiction to fuel over-consumption. This myopic reaction would send a clear signal to the OPEC countries that they can continue to raise fuel prices without recourse from us. Since petroleum imports are now the greatest contributor to our trade deficit, such price increases would ultimately threaten our economic stability. In any case, one can be sure that only a small portion of any tax reduction would appear at the pump.

Increased development of our own reserves may ease the economic crunch for the short term -- but it would only result in greater dependence on foreign oil after their depletion. Moreover, this would entail the same adverse environmental consequences as imported oil.

All practical experts agree that the most effective (if not the only) means of achieving meaningful conservation measures would be to transfer a greater portion of our tax base to non-renewable resources, especially gasoline. This need not result in an overall increase or inequitable tax redistribution. All other developed countries have much higher gasoline taxes than us -- and there is good reason for this.

Such a gasoline tax reduction would not only reverse our efforts to develop a rational conservation and environmental preservation program -- but it would also demonstrate to the world our indifference to the global environmental problems, for which we have been the greatest contributors and bear the greatest responsibility. Our wasteful and environmentally destructive practices are an international disgrace as well as an embarrassment.

If those who support this tax reduction measure understood its real economic and environmental consequences, most would be compelled to reverse their position.

Robert H. Settgast

Professional Geotechnical Engineer

San Rafael

Did Columbus Discover America? No!

Did Columbus Discover America? No! He didn't! The Vikings were the first Europeans to discover it. But the Asians were the first Americans. They walked from Asia to North America over the Bering Strait when it was land.

Should we have Columbus Day? No! Because Columbus was murderous to the native people in the Caribbean. He enslaved them, worked them to death in the Caribbean, and he sold them to Spain.

I am a thirteen-year-old girl and I want the President and Congress to end this holiday! I studied the explorers and I realized that Columbus was a really evil man.

When Columbus first came to the Caribbean, the Arawak Indians offered them food, water and gifts. The Indians, Columbus reported, "are so naive and so free with their possessions that no one who has not witnessed them would believe it. When you ask for something they have, they never say no. To the contrary, they offer to share with any one..." But Columbus was cold hearted. This is the sentence in his diary: "...With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do what ever we want."

On his second expedition, Columbus wanted sixteen ships and his goal was slaves and gold. Queen Isabella took 7 years to fund Columbus' business trip. When she finally agreed that he could go, he thought he'd better succeed or the Queen will be angry or think he was crazy. But there was very little gold on Hispanola and Cuba where he landed.

So he forced the Indians to try to find gold. The ruthless Spaniard soldiers ordered all people 14 years or older to bring them a certain quantity of gold every three months. If they didn't find any gold, then their hands were chopped off and they bled to death." In two years, through murder, mutilation, or suicide, half of the 250,000 Indians on Haiti were dead." They were forced to work in the mines for gold. They tried to run from Columbus or even fight him. The cruel Spanish rode the Indians on the back if they were in a hurry.

Columbus also kidnapped and enslaved them to be sold in Spain. On the way, almost half of them died on the voyage.

Las Casas was a priest who transcribed Columbus' diary. Las Casas was a slave owner, but he changed his attitude when he saw how the Native people were treated. When Las Casas arrived on Hispanola in 1508, he wrote, "there were 60,000 people living on this island, including the Indians, so that from 1494 to 1508, over 3 million people had perished from war, slavery, and the mines. Who in future generations will believe this? I myself writing it as a knowledgeable eyewitness can hardly believe it."

On the islands, the husbands died in the mines, the mothers died on plantations, and the babies died of lack of milk. Columbus worked them so hard that when the mothers came home, they were too tired to take care of their children. The newborns died because their mother's milk dried up. Las Casas wrote, "...Some mothers drowned their babies from sheer desperation... 7000 children died in three months and in a short time this land which was so great, so powerful and fertile... was so depopulated."

The Native Arawak people had welcome Columbus and he destroyed their culture and lives.

If you don't believe what I'm writing, you should read A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn, Ph.D., professor at Boston University. It's really hard for kids to read by themselves, so they might need help. For adults, it's easy to understand, excellent and fascinating!

Would you please write to the President and Congress and make this the last Columbus Day ever?

Mirabai Collamore



The story is simple. All sides agree on this much; Israel launched a blitzkrieg attack on its neighbors in 1967 taking the West Bank and Gaza, the United Nations voted unanimously for resolution 242 requiring Israel to withdraw from these territories, Israel has refused to leave and has been steadily building settlements in these occupied territories against resolution 242, other UN resolutions and the Geneva Conventions. These illegal settlements and 32 year military occupation are what the Palestinians are protesting.

Imagine the Palestinian frustration as peace talks grind on for decades while Israel continues to expand its settlements, outside of Israeli borders, in an attempt to consolidate its hold on the last remaining Palestinian land, the little that remains after Israel took the lion's share for its creation in 1947. Now imagine what it would be like to live under a harsh military occupier who not only doesn't like you but believes in a fundamentalist ideology that casts you as the usurper of his land 2000 years ago. Israeli policies based on racist animosity expropriate Palestinian land and human rights daily.

The solution is equally simple; Imagine Israel pulling back to its borders and allowing the Palestinians to have a little state on their remnants. This is basic playground ethics-you cannot steal someone's ball, if you do there will be conflict until you give it back.

Arguments like these are often called anti-Semitic but they are political and ethical not racist. Some of us have higher hopes for Israel which could become the "peaceful home for the Jewish peopleâ" as was envisioned. Israel's current racist policies require that it remain an armed, fortified encampment that is anything but peaceful. Israeli policies make it the most expensive overseas American project since WW2. We not only pay tens of billions to defend the occupation but must brace against the "terrorist attacks" on planes and ships that the injustices inspire. Ethics are economical, imagine that.

Al Mayberry

Stinson Beach

Wake Up About The Middle East, America

Once again Zionist propaganda rattles its truthless and misleading tail, this time under the signature of Nissim Ezekiel and Norman E. Mann. Nissim would have us believe that the Israeli war criminal Ariel Sharon "simply visited" the Harem al-Shareef, aka Temple Mount, that he claims to be "the disputed Jewish-Islamic site." He also falsely accuses "Moslems" (sic) of using the "Koran" (sic) to "kill, subdue and subjugate others and convert them by any means."

Lie Number One: War criminal Sharon did not "simply visit" the Harem al-Shareef. He did so as a deliberate act of provocation evidenced by the presence of over 1,000 Israeli soldiers to protect him against the obvious and expected heated reaction from the Palestinians. I wonder what might happen if Sheikh Yasin decided to "simply visit" the Wailing Wall, where even Jewish women were barred from praying, accompanied by over 1,000 armed members of Hamas?

Lie Number Two: The Harem al-Shareef is not "disputed" territory, it was illegally annexed by Israelis in blatant contradiction to international law and Fourth Geneva Convention accords for which Israelis have no respect or recognition.

Lie Number Three: The Harem al-Shareef is not a "Jewish-Islamic site" as alleged by Nissim. There are no Jewish temples atop this site or below it. A wall remains from the second Jewish Temple of Solomon below and to the far side that was destroyed by the Romans hundreds of years ago.

Lie Number Four: Neither the Holy Quran nor Muslims exhort the forced conversion or subjugation of any people. If a Jew blows the brains out a Muslim father's 12 year old son he would not need to use the Quran as an excuse to bury a hatchet into the skull of his cold-blooded murderer...or throw him out a window.

Jews are indebted to Arab Muslims for the birth of their Golden Era in Muslim-ruled Spain, and then their Sephardic ancestors' lives when the Moors sent ships to rescue them from the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition when Spain fell back to the Christians. However, the Quran does say that greatest in friendship to Muslims are the Christians and greatest in enmity are the (Zionist-minded) Jews with good reason, to which every Palestinian and most Lebanese can attest.

Nissim asks that we stop condemning Israel. Sure, we will, when we stop condemning Hitler, Mussolini, nazism, and fascism. Norman E. Mann also deliberately detracts from the truth by admonishing the Palestinians for their anti-Israel sentiments in textbooks and airwave broadcasts, which he calls "propaganda" but are in fact historical truth. Israelis, many of them war criminals, are among the worst oppressors and human rights violators in the world today, and they lead all others in their violations of international law, refusal to comply with scores of UN Resolutions, and adherence to human decency.

Norm claims that without Israel the Arabs would be at each others' throats, which may be the case considering their tyrannical, despotic so-called leaders. In that, Mann cleverly side-steps the real issue, i.e., that Israelis are committing and have continually committed war crimes against the people of Palestine and Lebanon which will have to be addressed before a war crimes tribunal after Americans win back our Congress and Oval Office from their Zionist stranglehold in Washington.

Norman irresponsibly is concerned that Israel will be "nibbled away" to form a Palestinian state ignoring the fact that all the land illegally seized and annexed by the Zionists since the 1948 division of Palestine is still in violation of every body of international law and is legally the rightful property of their original Palestinian and Syrian inhabitants.

Norm asks that Israel's friends "hold fast." Amnesty International has recently declared that Israeli atrocities against Palestinian civilians constitute war crimes. Do the Israelis have friends that support war criminality other than the likes of Senator Joseph Biden and his enslaved brethren in Congress who have been bought outright by their Zionist slave masters? This revives the aged, wise statement: "With friends like you, who needs enemies?" Wake up, America, and smell the nauseating stench of Zionism!

Yousef Salem


How The Feds Control Local Schools

The House debate on "a motion to instruct" the House Managers how to spend $1.6 billion on FY 2001 School Construction was televised on CSPAN today. Good I thought. Better we pay for it from our federal taxes than with our state and local taxes. And then Reps Nita Lowey (D-NY), Lynn Woolsey (D-Cal) and Nancy Pelosy (D-Cal) speaking to the issue, shamed their GOP colleagues: we need to reduce class size by adding 100,000 teachers. Huh?

Not long ago, someone asked me how the Feds control the schools system with only 6% of the funding. Well, there's your answer: by tying strings to every federal dollar they are micromanaging the classroom down to the number of teachers needed per school district. Transferring the decision making from our elected School Districts to the District of Columbia is a hefty price to pay just because we want to pay for the "improvements" to our educational system from the credit card in our left pocket instead of cash in our right pocket.

There is a bigger picture here to be seen. The fact that when compared to the rest of the industrial world, our schools are lacking is indisputable. It is understandable that Nita, Lynn and Nancy feel the need to use their position of power to help America's children. And, if it requires exceeding the powers granted them in the U.S. Constitution, so be it, the end justifies the means. It's how business is done in Congress every day.

Rich Martin

Grand Prairie, TX 75050

Clinton's Vietnam Trip Offensive

I read recently that during his upcoming trip to Vietnam, Bill Clinton plans to, "... visit the site of an excavation for the remains of some of the 1,500 U.S. servicemen still listed as missing in action from the Vietnam War [and] later preside over a ceremony for the repatriation of such remains."

Clinton's presence will have all the subtle dignity of a child molester crashing a funeral service to lay flowers at the grave of a little girl whom he has raped and murdered. As the son of an American Serviceman still unaccounted for in Vietnam, I can think of little that Clinton could do that would be more personally offensive to me than to use the dead and missing soldiers in Vietnam in a desperate attempt to salvage some shred of honor for his legacy.

Recalling the crass and insulting "photo opportunities" from Clinton's D-Day Anniversary appearance in Europe ("finding" the stones on Omaha Beach and using them to arrange a cross in the sand, "discovering" the small flag at the grave site of an American Serviceman lying on the ground and "thoughtfully" righting it), anticipation of the upcoming Clinton grandstanding horrors makes my skin crawl. I understand he will begin by ordering the US Navy to lower the American flag below the level of the Vietnamese flag-something the US Military has never done for any country.

We should not forget those missing and dead in Vietnam. Nor should we forget that Bill Clinton dodged the draft and stood on foreign

soil during Vietnam to denounce this country and the brave men in arms who answered the call of duty. Clinton's presidency has been a non-stop exercise in perversion and dishonor. Now he plans to spit once more into the eye of every serviceman who has ever worn a uniform by reducing the honored missing and dead to a public relations ploy.

I personally will not forget the November 2, 1993 letter I received from Bill Clinton assuring me that, "...until the Vietnamese government has done more to address fully the POW/MIA issue, we will otherwise preserve the trade embargo." Clinton lifted the embargo less than 4 months later, throwing away America's last, best chance to find out what happened to those fathers, husbands and sons missing in Vietnam.

What has Clinton to do with honorable men anywhere?


There is no connection.

Kurt Amesbury

Son of Major Harry A. Amesbury, USAF

MIA April 26 1972

An Loc, Vietnam

We Can Change The World

Many respected sources, such as the Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, writings of the Essenes, and modern researchers, state that there is great power in good thoughts and prayer which can be applied as a force to bring about change. Even as few as 1% of the world's entire population can affect the turn of events if people, working together, combine their positive thoughts. I would like to suggest that the readers join me in the following experiment, to run through January 1, 2001:

Devote just 15 minutes each day at noon to send your thoughts of Peace and Love to the World.

You have seen how ripples spread over water when an object is dropped into it. Think of yourself as the object in the center. Your good thoughts, beginning with you, widen outward covering your city, your state, the whole country and the whole world. Surely it's worth our spending a few minutes a day, to bring Peace to our world. Please ask a friend to help.

A. DuVall

Gold Hill Oregon

Mercury Poisoning Article Doesn't Go Far Enough

I noticed your editorial on mercury poisoning Vol. 24, #12 Dec. 1st 1999. I agree this is a major problem, however you did not mention that vaccinations have mercury in them. That when given to children 2 or 3 times a visit the level of mercury is 100% more than the FDA has approved for pediatrics. That the MMR vaccination because combined is 3x the mercury level. So if combined with any other shot you are getting 3 or more shots of mercury at that visit.

For proof look in a PDR. All of the doctors I have spoken with have refuted that mercury exists in any vaccination. It shows exactly how our medical system is being run-by the salespeople from the pharmaceutical companies! Mercury has been shown to cause autism in children and it has been said that children usually become autistic at around 15 months to 2 years of age.

You also mentioned that one of the places you could find mercury poisoning was at a dentist office. That is because the amalgam-silver fillings contain 50% mercury!!!! Only 30% silver. It has been scientifically proven that the mercury escapes into your mouth as you chew and of course because your brain has no protection form mercury it goes straight to it and begins destroying.

There are machines that are used to check the amount of dangerous chemicals in the air (such that they use in industries) that some dentists have used to check the amount of mercury leaking out of the amalgam fillings into your mouth. The statement "after eating an 8 oz. steak the amount of mercury that leaks out into your mouth is enough to shut down a major industrial plant" has been made by one of them.

You can find the quote in a book called "Toxic metal syndrome." Please take this information and draw your own conclusion based on a very in-depth investigation. Please do not continue to allow our children be poisoned and destroyed.

Quatrain Anderson

[email protected]

Untold Bush Story

While yesterdays exposure of a Drunk Driving arrest in Governor Bush's past is a problem for his campaign, I think a much greater lapse of judgment and patriotism on his part is displayed by his record, or lack thereof, in the National Guard.

In a story in Wednesday's Boston Globe, Medal of Honor winner, Senator Bob Kerry questions Bush's record in the National Guard. He was apparently absent so much of the time that a person of lesser influence would have been charged with being AWOL.

We here in Alabama have been aware of these discrepancies between his claims of service and the actual facts for months. When the Governor came to Tuscaloosa, Alabama early in the campaign and mentioned his National Guard Service here the local press tried to confirm the extent of his service but could not. This absence of documentation was reported locally but not mentioned in national stories until recently. Now the Boston Globe, the Daily Oklahoman and the Chicago Tribune are covering the story. Senators Kerry and others are calling for an investigation.

I think the claims made by the Bush campaign of a military record that cannot be substantiated should be exposed, especially at this late date, by the press. It is your responsibility to let the American voters know what you can find out. Enough evidence of another problem or cover-up exists to warrant your coverage and investigation. We need to know what is going on before we vote.

For your information the complete article from the Boston Globe follows.

Ed Rudd

Gadsden, Alabama

Kerrey blasts Bush on service

By Walter V. Robinson, Globe Staff, 11/1/2000

Senator Bob Kerrey, a Nebraska Democrat who won the Medal of Honor for his service in Vietnam, expressed disgust yesterday at evidence that George W. Bush sidestepped National Guard duty for months in 1972 and 1973, a lapse that Kerrey said amounts to Bush being AWOL-absent without leave. ''It upsets me,'' Kerrey said in an interview, ''when someone says, `Vote for me, I was in the military,' when in fact he got into the military in order to avoid serving in the military, to avoid service that might have taken him into the war. And then he didn't even show up for duty.''

Bush, Kerrey said in an interview, ''needs to explain where he was when he was supposed to be fulfilling his military obligation. If he is elected president, how will he be able to deal as commander in chief with someone who goes AWOL, when he did the same thing?''

Dan Bartlett, Bush's spokesman on the issue, said Kerrey's remarks were ''an outlandish claim to make in the closing stages of a campaign.'' Bartlett noted that Bush received an honorable discharge and said Bush fulfilled his obligation.

Kerrey was reacting to a Globe article, published yesterday, that cited evidence that Bush, as a Texas Air National Guard pilot in 1972, stopped flying after 22 months with his unit. Then, during a six-month stay in Alabama, Bush failed to report for required Guard drills. And six months after he returned to his home in Houston, his superior officers wrote that they had not seen him at his Houston air base for the previous year. Shortly after that, Bush was given an early discharge.

Neither Gore nor officials in his campaign would comment publicly on the issue, because, Kerrey said, they are fearful that the Bush campaign will respond by pointing to President Clinton's active avoidance of the draft-as a Bush spokesman did last week when the Globe asked questions about Bush's service.

Kerrey, who is not seeking reelection, said he called the Globe of his own volition, and in expressing his anger at Bush's service record referred twice to Clinton as a ''draft dodger.''

But, referring to Bush's attacks on Gore's character, Kerrey said the Texas governor has a moral obligation of his own to search his conscience and answer questions about where he was when he was supposed to be attending National Guard training.

''For someone who wants to be commander in chief, this stinks,'' Kerrey declared. ''I can understand if he forgot a weekend. But 18 months?''

Since the Globe first reported on the absences in May, Bush has declined to be interviewed on the issue. Bartlett has said Bush did appear for drills in Alabama. But there are no records that he did, and the commander of the Alabama unit which Bush was assigned to in 1972 has said that Lieutenant Bush never showed.

In both Alabama and Texas, Vietnam veterans and Gore partisans have recently offered reward money for any Guardsman from that period who can verify that Bush appeared for duty between mid-1972 and mid-1973.

Kerrey, who won the nation's highest award for heroism as a Navy SEAL in a 1969 action that cost him part of his right leg, said he is amazed that Bush's military service has escaped any real scrutiny. ''George W. Bush got into the Guard because of his father, and he got out because of who he was,'' Kerrey said.

A followup article appeared in Thursday's Chicago Tribune.

Smoke That Pollutes

We reside in Forest Knolls and each winter a vast majority of San Geronimo Valley residents (many of which are environmentalists)

use firewood as their primary source to heat their homes, instead of propane gas.

Burning firewood, however, has a negative affect on the entire Valley because of the toxic by-products of smoke from these fires. The thick smoke from these fires settles in the Valley and makes it difficult to breathe when one steps outside. Imagine opening your door in the morning to go to work/school and getting a blast of acrid smoke from your neighbors smoky fireplace. Think of how difficult it must be for people with respiratory ailments or asthma. We know because, we suffer from asthma.

We think an informative and consistent series of newspaper articles addressing the negative and toxic effects of using firewood or if firewood must be used, the proper way to tend a fire to produce less smoke could benefit San Geronimo Valley and all of Marin residents.

What do you think? Is there a problem here which has been overlooked or ignored? Doesn't anybody care about the negative effects of burning firewood?

I believe the City of Petaluma has created an ordinance banning the use of firewood in new single family residential developments. Does Petaluma know something about the harmful effects of firewood burning that Marin doesn't?

The Valley conversationalists are concerned about polluting Lagunitas Creek so the salmon can S.P.A.W.N., but aren't concerned about how their chimneys are polluting their neighbors' environment and community. There's a mis-connect here, fish are more important than the human species.

I truly hope you would consider this topic newsworthy and beneficial to our all of Marin communities. Save the Valley and all of Marin from Toxic Firewood Burning Pollution.

Denis and Mercedes Poggio

Forest Knolls


Attacks On Hinduism

As an American Hindu, I am appalled to see yet another juvenile attempt by an American Christian to desecrate Hinduism.

Lamar Van Dyke is, undoubtedly, personally responsible for this outrage. Nonetheless, she as an individual is insignificant. What matters is the soul of the religion that taught her to behave this way. So, we will condemn, not the sinner, but the sin - and the religion responsible for it.

We have learnt that such behavior is to be expected not just from in-your-face lesbian activists like Van Dyke. Last year, the 80 year-old Pope visited India, not to celebrate Christianity, or to mark a Christian festival, but to disgrace the joyous Hindu festival of Diwali. A few weeks before that, the Southern Baptist Convention published a hate booklet denigrating and demonizing Hinduism, and called it Christian prayer. And the Southern Baptists are not some lunatic fringe element. They are the largest Christian denomination in the US, with thousands of churches and millions of members, including President Clinton and VP Gore. Clearly, there is a pattern of behavior amongst Christians that is disturbing, and warrants a closer scrutiny of the foundational principles of Christianity.

Christianity is based on the tenet that salvation is possible only through Christ; it is the result not of your actions, but of the grace of Christ who has already paid for your sins, and is available only to those who accept Christ as their savior. Combine this with the prescribed fervor for proselytization, and you have a deadly mix.

The destruction it has caused is there for all to see. Christianity destroyed Greco-Roman and other native European civilizations, and plunged Europe into the Dark Ages, giving us phenomena such as the burning alive of intellectually honest scholars during the Inquisition. The problem was not solved with the resurgence of Greco-Roman values during the Renaissance. It simply gave Christian dogma and exclusivist bigotry the tools to commit genocide on three continents.

If you think all this is ancient history, that the problem has now been solved, let me remind you that the Jewish holocaust happened just 55 years ago. The holocaust was the doing of a lot of ordinary Christians, not just one lunatic. And for all we know, that lunatic - who was a Christian - could have sincerely repented and accepted Christ as his savior before committing suicide. In which case, since salvation is not dependent on deeds, he might very well be sitting in heaven!

Sounds far-fetched ? Let us look at the facts. According to Christianity, there is no sin that a person can commit that the love of Jesus cannot absolve. Jesus has already paid for the sins of humanity with his own life, and all you need to do to achieve salvation is accept him as your savior. Christianity explicitly holds that deeds alone cannot get you salvation. If they could, then Christ's death would have been needless.

I find this abhorrent, and believe that it is the direct cause of a lot of mayhem we have seen. This nonsense is not very different from Communism's "ends justify means", and is also an integral part of the belief system of Islam. In contrast, the Hindu law of Karma holds that no living being can escape the consequences of one's actions. You are what you do.

So, if you are a Hindu, then, when faced with similar attacks in the future, don't lose sight of the relative merits of your own religion, specially when compared to some of the lunatic cults that plague this planet. And I do choose my words carefully - right is right and wrong is wrong, even if it is labeled religion.

If you are not a Hindu, don't be complacent under the belief that this is happening only to those Hindus. If you don't speak up now, your turn will inevitably come. Western culture is the result of an ongoing battle between the Greco-Roman values of reason and science on the one hand, and of Christian dogma and exclusivist bigotry on the other. Do your part to help build an intellectual consensus against the fundamentally flawed foundational beliefs of Christianity.

Gopal Saraswat

[email protected]

Falls Church, VA 22042


Over the years I've come to realize cocaine and amphetamines stimulate a person's paranormal ability to the point of being able to control our minds. I've written a poem trying to explain. I believe we'll all be safer when this information becomes common knowledge

(an accepted truth).

William D. Carper


Omniscient murdering fiends

Raping the root of thought and emotion

Reach having no bounds

Our minds, our very beings, controlled

Victims lives lost, possessed

Our children's sake

God help us


Two 800 Pound Gorillas

Two 800-pound gorillas have bashed the living daylights out of the Florida electoral system.

On the morning of November 8th, one of the gorillas thought he had the banana and was happy. The other gorilla did not have the banana and was not happy.

The unhappy gorilla started swinging away. War erupted as the gorilla who thought he had the banana launched counterattacks.

The clash of Godzilla and King Kong flattened the Florida electoral system, and the good citizens who try to run it. The combatants trashed millions of decent Floridians who patriotically voted and unleashed on them an unprecedented barrage of party operatives and operations, legal swat teams, spinmeisters and assorted other garbage.

The Florida courts are attempting to referee between the gorillas. The state Supreme Court has already received a ponderous swipe or two at the head. The Florida courts are in for a whole lot of bone crushing bludgeoning as they try to pacify the marauding beasts.

The bottom line is that the gorillas destroyed the capacity of the Florida electoral system to determine a winner that will garner the agreement of the people.

My guy happens to be the 800-pound gorilla who thought he had the banana on the morning of November 8th. I am biased accordingly.

I think the citizens of Florida, as well as the rest of the America, should send the gorillas a message that the citizens do not appreciate the mauling and trashing that Godzilla and King Kong dished out to the people and their electoral system.

The Florida legislature should pass a bill entitled "The Florida Citizens Protection Against Gorilla Mauling and Trashing Act of 2000" and award Florida's 25 electoral votes to George W. Bush.

That would send a pretty strong message to the two gorillas that next time they need to cool it come election day and just let whichever one gets the banana on the first toss to keep the banana. It would tell them, in no uncertain terms, never again, repeat, never again launch a Thrilla in Manila slug fast that bashes to kingdom come the electoral system and the good honest citizens who try to run it, and sullies all the voters, the way the two beasts have bludgeoned Florida during the past three weeks.

Robert D. Shattuck, Jr.

Birmingham, AL 35223





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