The Coastal Post - February 2000

Letters By Readers


Youth Violence Mirrors Militarism

What a waste of energy for us to continue to worry about youth violence! It will most certainly continue, and possibly increase, so long as we as a nation (and as human society) officially and unofficially glorify violence, honor and reward violence. As a nation we also officially practice, honor and reward violence. At certain times we even legally require young people to learn and practice violence.

If militarism is not the very essence of violence, then what is? What else to call the deliberate killing of men, women and children, the massive destruction of homes, schools, hospitals? Are not those who participate in such actions given special honors and privileges?

What have we, as a nation, done to change this state of affairs? Has our Congress ever appointed a special commission to investigate effective remedies and alternatives?

Or have we rather fallen back on that old, tired, false cliche, "If you want peace, prepare for war"?

Preparing for violence is an important step towards its use, and the threat of violence is but one form of violence. If we would lessen or prevent youth violence, it seems logical that we must begin by addressing the violence of adult examples.
Guy W. Meyer
Inverness

Bike Bust Unjust

While riding my bike towards Terra Linda from Las Gallinas, there is a stoplight on Las Gallinas and Lucas Valley Road. The light is red by the time I slow down towards it to stop on my bike. Then the light turns green just as I come up to the stoplight, and I start to go. But then, just as I start to peddle across the intersection, the light flashes yellow and red very fast, in less than two seconds! Fortunately, being out at 9 pm, there was no traffic out there.

The same thing happened again. I was one block from Ignacio and Alameda del Prado when I came up to the stoplight on my bike. After a patrol car went by on the other side of me, the light had just turned green as my bike came to a stop. Just as I turned left while going past the pedestrian walkway, it turned red very fast! I had no choice but to keep moving, since I was halfway through the intersection. At that time, there were no pedestrians, no animals, and I didn't endanger my life or the lives of others as I made my left turn. The police officer had made a U-turn on the other side and came up to me with the lights flashing, and I stopped my bike.

Though getting at ticket over this minor infraction was very upsetting, I as cooperative at all times towards the officer. I feel the fine of $271 is very stressing and a great financial hardship to a person riding a bike. I do not have a driver's license or drive a vehicle. At all times I am a very safe, very courteous bike rider. I never take up road space, as I think of everybody on the road.

I wonder if other bike riders have ever received a fine of $271 dollars while riding a bike, or anyone else on a non-motor vehicle? It is hopeful they will come forward with letters to the editor.
Darren Schivo
Novato

Recall Governor Davis

I have discovered something that I think every Californian should be informed of. I'm referring to the petition to recall Governor Gray Davis for his act of preventing Proposition 187 from being heard by the Supreme Court, thus effectively nullifying Proposition 187 and eliminating it as the protective bulwark from the massive invasion of illegal immigrants now threatening our state and our nation! This petition, which can be obtained by calling 1-800-600-8642, is, I feel, a worthy and urgent project that concerned citizens of California should pursue immediately to remove this Governor who has clearly and brazenly gone against the will of the voters of California in this case, and is also attempting to impose Draconian totalitarian gun control and gun confiscation laws reminiscent of Hitler's gun control laws of the 1930s that disarmed and rendered the German people helpless against Hitler's Gestapo. We should not allow such things to happen to California or our nation and this petition is a good place to start. For we should remember that when guns are outlawed, only criminals will have guns (with the most successful criminals residing in the government, of course), and the illegal invasion of our state must be stopped! Let's call 1-800-600-8642 and recall Davis now! And it will certainly be educational also to future governors of California.
Ed Nemechek
Landers

Bill Of Rights Day

Our Bill of Rights, the envy of all the world, was ratified and became an integral part of our Constitution on December 15, 1791.

The 18 letters I wrote to Marin's 11 municipal councils, the county supervisors, and elected representatives Kerry Mazzoni, John Burton, Lynn Woolsey, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, and Bill Clinton, urging them to support the adoption of a Resolution celebrating December 15 as Bill of Rights Day, elicited only two responses.

Kerry Mazzoni appreciated the idea, but said she would do nothing because it was a federal matter. And congratulations to the San Rafael City Council, because San Rafael did indeed accept the idea and adopt a December 15 Bill of Rights Day Resolution.

It's shameful that none of the other addressees considered it of sufficient importance to compete with such vital observances as "Condom Awareness Day" or "Take Your Daughter to Work Day."
Fielding Greaves
San Rafael

Thanks...

This is for a subscription to the Coastal Post. I like the reporting of your writer Jeannette Pontaque.
Jerry Bakken
Novato

GE Food Article Must Reading

So many thanks for all your great info. Article on GE food is must reading. Please send me 20 copies to pass around.

I've worked with both Ed Stewart and Dave Maggone-found them both to be men of service and integrity. Go, Ed!
Blessings,
Maya del Mar
Sausalito

Virginian Gives Thanks

Thanks to an old outlaw, I'm able to read about magical Marin via the Coastal Post. It's great to know that creative folk still populate Marin! And, if old pals are still alive, then they continue creating fine tunes to hum on chilly, winter mornings and sing as the sun sets beyond Bolinas!

In fact, the best album I've listened to in many years comes from the mind and soul of Carlos Santana-"Supernatural."

Nice to know "Seed Cover" Haggerty is still around...that if the younger brother of "Fretless Wonder" John Cippolina is around, John, too, must be.

In fact, I enjoy the whole paper but the whining of the prisoner who writes begging and complaining. Just maintain, man-you'll be out again soon! I've done 19 flat years and wouldn't consider crying like he does in issue after issue!
Peace,
John Corcoran
Louisville, VA

Dear Mr. Scanlon

Thank you for your reporting like it is. You had the courage.

I volunteer at Novato Hospital and all the doctors have been telling me about your great reporting on our son Ed.

I went to the Civic Center to reserve a seat at the hearing. There I discovered your paper. In Novato the Pacific Sun is the only independent paper around.

I've passed copies around to my neighbors to make them aware about what's going on.

Thank you again for having the courage to match the courage the editor has.
Rita Stewart
Novato

P.S. I cancelled the IJ. I told them to look at your paper for good reporting.

Letters From Prison

The Prison Industrial Complex

During the week that America celebrated Independence Day of 1999, California's Governor Gray Davis exercised his first bill veto rejecting legislation that would have shifted some parole violators to community-based programs instead of sending them back to prison. Some of the Governor's critics have argued that his action was motivated by his allegiance to the prison guards' union which gave him two million dollars towards his campaign for governor and then another $100,000 AFTER he was elected.

As reported in the October, 1996 issue of the periodical California Lawyer, the members of the California Correctional Peace Officers' Association (CCPOA) have long denounced rehabilitation. The personnel in this union are employed by the California Department of "Corrections" (CDC). Before a bastardization of the term was brought about through the government, the word "correction" meant making something right. The word "rehabilitation" means to make something good or usable again. Most people would probably agree that the two terms (correction and rehabilitation) closely parallel each other in meaning. Would Gray Davis align himself and his policies with doctors, supposedly dedicated to the science of medicine, if they were to collectively denounce healing?

The California Department of Corrections has been consistently maintaining an 85 percent recidivism rate amongst parolees released into the community. The overwhelming majority of them are returned to society with less than $200 to their names. Throughout California's prison building rampage (mid-1980s to present), hundreds of thousands of parolees have been released with a lack of stable residence or employment awaiting them. Thus, in the most crucial period of time for an acceptable reintegration into society (immediately following release), most parolees have been and continue to be faced with being dumped back on the streets in dire straits with unrealistic chances of making a successful transition from prison to life in the free world. These conditions (lack of stable residence, lack of employment, and being destitute) have been acknowledged by experts around the world as being the most fertile ground for alcohol and drug abuse, which in turn factor into approximately 90 percent of all criminal offenses. Is there one bit of common sense or fundamental fairness exhibited in standing parolees up for an appearance at the plate in the state's Three Strikes game shackled to circumstances so surely to see them fail? Society does not benefit from this practice and the lying parasites in government implying otherwise should be removed from public service and sued for all their financial worth.

Some rehabilitation-oriented programs geared towards the treatment of drug and alcohol abuse, job placement, counseling and vocational training have success rates diametrically opposing the CDC's recidivism rate. One very basic fact that needs to be given much weight is that in order for there to be recidivism, there must be new offenses committed and that, of course, means more people become victims of crime.

Governor Gray Davis' decision to veto the bill mentioned should be challenged because it is a dishonest act, counterproductive, and definitely not in the best interest of the public. His administration includes former Senator Robert Presley, who is now being touted as "California's Prison Chief." This man has paid barely lukewarm lip service to the issue of recidivism and did not pay $2,100,000 to Gray Davis, the CCPOA did. Their agenda includes building more prisons, adding more personnel to their ranks, killing off sensible alternatives, and intentionally maintaining a steady supply of faces to walk on in order to further their financial and political interests. They are investing in prison-related industries while simultaneously bleeding more money out of taxpayers every year. The CCPOA's leader, Don Novey, seems to like playing the role of a behind-the-scenes king-maker in state politics, while also pulling strings to dictate policy. Mr. Novey is known to political observers as the Three Strikes Kingpin for his rabid support of the Three Strikes law. His union is reported to be the most powerful in California. So it is highly unlikely that Robert Presley, a career politician, will display the courage and integrity to energetically pursue the implementation of policies to reduce recidivism. Any meaningful efforts in that direction will interfere with the CCPOA's objectives and be politically incorrect behind closed doors amongst the other key players in what is now commonly being referred to as a "Prison Industrial Complex."

California's new Attorney General, Bill Lockyer, should be obligated to take some action in behalf of the people regarding this issue, but there exists the complication of his office being the legal representative of the CDC. Bill Lockyer made many promises during his campaign to get elected, including that he was going to be very active in the areas of consumer advocacy. Taxpayers are consumers who are supposed to receive services from the government for their money, aren't they? When Gray Davis vetoed the bill mentioned, he forced all of California's citizens to continue to accept inadequate services from what amounts to a monopoly. If Attorney General Lockyer were not a career politician himself, and correctly viewed taxpayers as consumers, he might be quick to publicly acknowledge the valid reasoning behind the outlawing of monopolies. They have historically ended up providing inferior goods and services at higher costs to consumers. Would the Attorney General legally defend, rather than sue for the good of the people, a private company whose repair services resulted in an 85 percent failure rate, causing highly-publicized harm to citizens? Hmm.

Why veto the legislation in question, closing off an avenue to programs that have proven to be successful in the salvaging of human lives and reduction of recidivism? Why go to the extreme of using veto power, forcing millions of people to accept the intentional perpetuation of failure? Why? Well, it has been said that "money talks," hasn't it? In this instance, the CCPOA's $2,100,000 million dollars seems to say, very loudly, that the democratic process continues to be bought out from under the people it is supposed to belong to. The majority of the people do not benefit from an 85 percent recidivism rate. Personnel within and connected to the criminal justice machine do benefit from it. That makes them a special interest group, doesn't it? What their business has been allowed to develop into is a truly evil game of easily predictable probabilities characterized by something resembling cannibalism. The government manages to feed upon the misery of other human beings via failure it is PURPOSELY sustaining.

The public is being deceived and needs to think about what is really being said in the denouncing of rehabilitation. It is not a statement about the prisoners who are needing better preparation for release. That should have been a part of the system decades ago. It is, instead, a statement about the true motives of those who have the power but will not try to make things truly better for the good of the majority. The Governor's veto plainly says he does not think California's citizens deserve better than they are getting. He is not being loyal to the people of California, but rather is beholden to the CCPOA, the CDC, Adult Corrections and others making up California's criminal justice juggernaut. The methods being employed by these people and agencies have been the basis for many negative news stories in recent years, and are part of the reason that Amnesty International chose the United States as the very first Western nation it has ever targeted for investigation. Decent, civilized human beings cannot possibly be proud of that. It is an indictment against those operating the criminal justice system and a clear signal that this nation is no longer the bastion of human rights the government continues to dishonestly and hypocritically pretend it is.

California's citizens should get angry and not passively accept Gray Davis' idea of better results, which include more people becoming crime victims as a result of the intentionally sustained recidivism rate. There is not a shred of common sense involved in maintaining the status quo by closing doors to alternatives proven to be successful. The facts pertaining to this issue give strong support to an argument that the Governor is not living up to his own words he spoke upon being elected: "I will govern neither from the right nor from the left but from the center, propelled not by ideology, but by common sense that seeks better results from all of us."

George Bernard Shaw probably had society's responsibility to remain vigilant over the government's behavior in mind when he said, "We shall only be governed as well as we deserve." The voice of the people is called for. Actual better results rather than rehearsed lip service need to be DEMANDED. They are attainable, but will not come through a lying, bribe-taking politician or a special interest group. Ideally, the public will realize that a decision to remain silent and apathetic is a decision to further enable the purveyors of failure. Can that be the will of the people?

"America-the land where a new kind of man was born from the idea that God was present in every man, not only as compassion, but as power, and so the country belonged to the people; for the will of the people-if the locks of their life could be given the art to turn-was then the will of God. Great and dangerous idea! If the locks did not turn, then the will of the people was the will of the devil. Who by now could know where was what? Liars controlled the locks." - Norman Mailer, Armies of the Night
In contempt of court,
James S. Kor
Centinela State Prison

No Civil Rights

On this day as the nation takes a holiday in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. for participating in civil rights advocacy for us people of the USA (and the World), one man standing up for our rights sorrowfully knows that overall the civil rights movement was basically a failure.

Today marks nine months to the date that I have been imprisoned here in California, because of the scofflaws in the courts of this $tate who wrap themselves in black robes and so warp their minds into thinking they are above all of us people and our laws and can violate us en masse and individually with odious perfidy and total disregard for our rights. Such dastardly criminals perch upon benches in what they erroneously think are their throne rooms. Such evil officious criminals are an extreme, direct threat to every child, woman and man in the United States and beyond.

In this treacherous situation which I refer to, there are specific judges who have blatantly violated our most crucial rights and laws (which were written for our protection with some sense of humane feeling and care). The black-wrapped criminals who continue by their actions to violate us people of the state of California are the judges of Mendocino County and John Stephen Graham of Marin County.

Because of the illegal acts of the buzzard-brained judges perched upon their benches, there is NO LAW AT THIS TIME, nor do we as people have one single right. Such are not only the professionals (expert criminals) involved, but also the doctors of demented minds that are as bad or worse than any the Nazi regime of Germany employed, and also lawyers (DA, DDA and its executive officers of Marin County) and public defenders mired in criminal acts under the color of authority in Marin (Mendoland judges also).

The Mendocino County judges that are directly culpable and criminally involved that one knows of for sure are Combest, Labowitz, and Orr; others are involved also.

The odious-as-hell doctors are committing the vilest form of crimes with training in such mental torment, such having the titles of psychiatrist/psychologist. They sadistically violate one with knowledge of what they intentionally do. There are no adequate words or combination of words to relay the hellish acts of such criminal doctors, but they do have names: McKinsey, Blinder, Wunderlich, Heinze, Riley, Osrin, Dansareau, Boyd, Heying.

It must have something to do with black graduation gowns from their college education? And so such privy perching privileged agents of the state are so job prejudiced they don't see the laws of us people!

I challenge you, dare you, to find out more of the truth about such wide-ranging treachery of these agents of perdition listed, to take a closer look inside this miserable prison pit that the demented doctors and state figures of authority call a hospital.

Tonight they are showing a movie about a miserable society back approximately 220 years ago in France, Les Miserables, and the irony is that one does not need to look back any farther than this very moment to see such vicious cowards sadistically preying upon my fellow men. So the movie plays on, but in real life, as such described satanic authority rips and poisons with cutting edge poisons and treatment, they try to mint a man into a cold form of stilled life such as theirs is.

Care to find out for yourself, first hand? Do you think you could stand tall or would you fall? One would not advise that you take such a dare because fair doesn't even come into this picture. Not last fall, nor today, two days post the celebration date of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday.
Mark Andrew Hall
DOB January 15, 1963

Oust Steve Kinsey

Like a blood-sucking parasite, Steve Kinsey is a man with his fangs buried in the public's neck. Just as he deceitfully pretends to be acting in the best interest of the public, he has also falsely represented himself as being an architect. Kinsey has more than a mere penchant for involving himself in land deals and development schemes. they seem to be his raison d'etre. Only an idiot could believe that he is, instead, motivated by an honorable intent to serve the public. Rather, he has used his position and influence to ingratiate himself with those intent on exploiting property in Marin.

I have paid some attention to his words and deeds and more than a year ago became convinced that Marin's citizens would show some brains and gumption by voting him out of office or impeaching him as soon as possible. When the subject of the closing of San Quentin was again broached several months ago, Kinsey made some comments on what should be done with the property: "One could really go wild." And (paraphrasing), We should step back and take a deep breath before we begin. I found myself comparing the San Quentin real estate to a dead or dying animal and heard Kinsey's comments as those being spoken by a salivating vulture preparing to carve up the corpse. Is this what he was elected for? To maneuver himself into position to capitalize every time a land development possibility arises? To promote himself and a select group of other opportunists through actions he takes in office? And now he wants Marin to vote for him again so he can further entrench himself like the cancer he is?

Maybe I would not have taken the time to express these views had I not read Bob Mellin's "Watching Recent Marin Whistleblower Hearing Was an Exercise in Futility," recently published in the IJ. His comments came after watching a hearing conducted before the Board of Supervisors. "...whistleblower cites county wrong-doings, county investigates claim, county finds itself innocent. Duh. I got an education in the futility of the system. The Board's unanimous 5-0 vote refusing to investigate sends a clear message to anyone courageous and foolish enough to confront the system. Sadly, several of these same supervisors will soon be re-elected, including the one who appeared to sleep through much of this hearing." My. Mellin is amongst the minority of citizens waking up to the FACT that Marin County has quietly become infected by government corruption. I think he was far too polite in expressing the truth, though. Steve Kinsey probably read of Mr. Mellin's frustrations equating them with the caliber of whining printed in Dear Abby columns. Maybe a deluge of caustic social criticism is needed to slap the air of impunity out of those in office.

Prior to Mr. Mellin's comments being published, there had already been allegations that Kinsey was pulling strings behind closed doors to retaliate against those who had the courage, integrity and human decency to oppose his actions. It appears very obvious that he is the coward, bully type who throws his weight around to avenge and discourage challenges directed at him. In part, I offer this input as a symbolic gesture of my spitting in his bully face.

Why is Kinsey devoting time and effort to matters outside the area he was elected to represent? Hmm. Let me guess. Do these matters have anything to do with land development? Hmm. Why is it that his name pops up so regularly where real estate development is at issue? Does he serve the majority of those he represents by being a facilitator, an enabler for developers? When you (public) elected him, did you realize he was gong to focus so much effort and power to further development? Did you have any idea he was the type of person to use government agents, including the Sheriff's Department as a demolition crew/security force, to further his agenda against the will of the people? The implications need to be assessed collectively. He will use force, he will retaliate, he has (at least) crossed the line of ethics, he has and presumably will continue to do deals behind closed doors. This man projects an arrogance of power that says, "I answer to nobody!"

For the citizens under 18 who may read this: If your parents care enough about you, they should tell you the truth. The future belongs to you and the children you'll have, rather than to scumbag politicians and special interest groups. Your mothers and fathers should tell you, or better yet, show you, that the strength of a democracy rests on the participation of its citizens. They (parents and adults) should admit that they have a responsibility to act and speak out in your behalf because you aren't old enough to vote yet. They should acknowledge that when they don't vote against bad government representation, they do you children a great disservice. "Democracy" crumbles into a "We don't gave a damn"-ocracy. They are supposed to set an example for you by picking up the phone to friends, neighbors and family, getting on the internet, and rallying all voting age people around to remove from office those who are prostituting themselves to special interests instead of serving the majority, in this case STEVE KINSEY.

If you are older than 18, you have a civic duty and a moral responsibility not to be a passive sheep. You owe it to minor children and future generations not to stand by and allow the land, resources and the democratic process to be raped away from their future. You can be proud of showing unity with other decent citizens in the upcoming election by replacing Mr. Kinsey. Show the kids how to bring about a healthier democracy. Throw the rotten apples out via the ballot box.
In contempt of court,
David Shapiro
Calipatria

More On Kinsey

This writer takes issue with Mr. Steven Kinsey, Supervisor of District 4, castigating us as narrow-minded, mean-spirited and the purveyors of fear and hostility towards him. His attack upon people like us in a local paper dated December 21, 1999 only further begs questions be answered. It is indeed sad that those of us who believe in the democratic process are denigrated as narrow-minded by Mr. Kinsey.

Supervisor Kinsey, you should address the issues. Is the disapproval of various projects by Mr. Stewart, our Environmental Marin County Chief, valid? If so, the citizens should be protected. If not, an independent evaluation of rejected projects should be pursued by an independent source for clarity.

In America, Mr. Kinsey, dissent is most healthy. To vilify us is only to cloud the issue. Our First Amendment gives us freedom of speech, religion, press and assembly with the right to petition our government for a redress of grievances. Nearly four years ago, Mr. Kinsey, you took the oath of office when sworn in as a Supervisor, with words that you would uphold and defend the Constitution of these United Stares of America. A cornerstone of our Constitution is our First Amendment. People like myself and hundreds of thousands more went forth over 50 years ago to fight in World War II and in part, Sir, for our freedoms here in America to be preserved.

We citizens must be ever vigilant of the people we elect to serve us, or soon the tail will wag the dog.

Get involved.
Stanely Schriebman
Fairfax

Dismayed By IJ

Thanks for your fine articles on the goings-on with Ed Stewart, et al. I, too, have been dismayed by the IJ's stance on the thing. You mentioned my beloved dad, Dr. Ted Hiatt, in your last article. Made his day, but don't tell him I told you.
Rebecca Bentley
[email protected]

Stupid Is Free

I believe a newspaper should be free to print whatever it pleases. Do you accept unsolicited fabrications, or do I have to know someone to get printed in your tabloid (and paid)?
Jim Lamb
[email protected]

Losing Anti-Drug Advertisers

Kudos to the Coastal Post for printing a letter advocating the decriminalization of marijuana. Few newspapers are willing to risk losing lucrative, taxpayer-funded anti-drug advertising by publishing views that run contrary to the official party line. I did, however, notice a typo. McCarthyism should be spelled McCaffreyism.
Robert Sharpe
Washington, DC

Prohibition Doesn't Work

Thanks so much for running Mike Tidwell's criticisms of militant drug prohibition. It's crystal clear, in retrospect, that alcohol prohibition was a tragic failure. So, too, is our current ban on other recreational drugs. I don't want to be perceived as promoting drug use. That would be irresponsible. But so are the drug warriors' actions. Our current policies cause very significant increases in infection rates, violence, theft, and corruption. And the explosion of the non-violent prisoner population, coupled with our diminished civil liberties, insure that the scars of this idiocy will last for generations.

This week we are hearing that five million dollars is being offered to settle the Donald Scott case. Scott, you may remember, was shot to death by a multi-agency task force during a surprise raid on his home. The cops didn't have a good reason to be there, but seizure of his ranch would have been quite the coup. They had hoped to find several hundred pot plants, but that just begs the question: If he was supposed to have so much evidence, why the invasion tactics? It's not like he could flush a field down the toilet in the ten seconds between the door knock and the house search. One might think that the cops would change their ways after such a debacle, but the Mario Paz homicide proves otherwise.
Danny Terwey
Santa Cruz, CA

Not On Dead Trees

Don't you think it is about time you printed your "TRUTH" on something besides dead trees?
Mike Dunne
[email protected]
archangeles.com

George W.'s Intentions

Everything's coming up roses for George W. Bush. He has been able to use the debates to voice his adamant rejection of campaign finance reform on the grounds that it would be detrimental to the conservative cause. A Republican official pointed out that, "The election of Bush is essential to give conservatives solid control of the U.S. Supreme Court," thus the needed votes to strike down Roe vs. Wade. Money continues pouring into his coffers from the party faithful. Through all this, we see George W.'s intentions becoming clearer each day.
Ron Lowe
Nevada City, CA
[email protected]

Left Out Of Healthcare Miracle

I wanted to send an e-mail regarding the article written by Stephen Simac. I enjoyed his style of writing in this particular article, but I also think that he left out a few things that the general population might be interested in, and he might want to know for himself. I have done research on what marijuana can do for our country, not just out of a medical perspective. I think that it can save our planet, I know that sounds quite outlandish and I can understand your hesitation to go on reading this, but please indulge me.

In college I did a few research papers and term papers on marijuana, its uses, and untold history. Marijuana has a history as long or longer than ours here in America. It was grown for hemp in the tobacco plantations and was even re-legalized during WWII to help the war effort! There is a movie called "Hemp for Victory" that I have heard can still be obtained. It was a film that they showed to farmers to get them to grow hemp instead of other crops during WWII. Hemp can be used for clothing, ropes, shoes, canvas, and paper. In fact, it takes less than 1/2 of the chemicals used to recycle the paper that we use now than it takes to recycle hemp paper!! The seeds can be used for oil. Oil from these seeds can be used to make motor oil, lamp oil, and jet fuel. It is a fantastic lubricant. Then the left-over mashed up seeds can be fed to grazing animals such as cows and horses and is very good for them. There are so many uses! So, if we, as a nation, would work together, we can save ourselves by legalizing marijuana.

I am not saying that I have not seen the negativity of marijuana, I have close up and first hand. But I have not seen anyone rob a liquor store or beat someone up for a joint, either! I don't believe that it should be sold to anyone under 21 years of age. Not that I don't think that they will get it anyhow, there are underage drinkers everywhere. I just think that if we educate our young people instead of telling them to "just say n," they will use their brains in making the right choices in life, not just doing it because it is wrong.

I must be honest and tell you that in all of the research that I have done most of the information that I picked up was from High Times. I have not picked up a copy in years but must say that they used to have some very informative articles and some really wonderful people on their staff.

I was just so inflamed by this article and think that it is time to re-educate America, if not the world, about it!! Thank you so much for making me think much more about this and now I am going to find out what I can do about it.
Jennifer Bell
[email protected]
Fairfax, Ca

Is Profit The Problem?

Cannabis has no lethal dose and its pharmacological effects have never caused a single death in over 5,000 years of recorded history.

The (unseen) driving force against medical (or unrestricted adult) legalization of cannabis is the fact that cannabis can't be patented. This precludes the need for big business to be involved and that fact makes cannabis commercially unattractive, pharmaceutically speaking. It seems that if it can't be profitized successfully, the government can't justify legalization even for the sick and dying.

Unfortunately, a change in current policy (prohibition) would necessitate that the alternative (legalization) reap more profits (seen and unseen) than our present policy does.

Maybe the politicians are required to adhere to the party line of prohibition because law enforcement, customs, the prison industrial complex, the drug testing industry, the INS, the CIA, the FBI, the DEA; the politicians themselves can't live without the budget justification, not to mention the invisible profits, bribery, corruption and forfeiture benefits that prohibition affords them. The drug war also promotes, justifies and perpetuates racist enforcement policies and is diminishing many freedoms and liberties that are supposed to be guaranteed by the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Myron Von Hollingsworth
Fort Worth, Texas 76116
[email protected]

How Much Has Already Been Promised?

"Past commitments made by the Israeli governments cannot be ignored. " This is from a statement made by Ehud Barak over the Israeli Armed Forces Radio. Is he telling the world that he is accepting the promise of Rabin to pull out of the Golan? It seems that way to me. Someone ought to prod him into explaining just what he was referring to. Is this in the document presented to Syria and Israel enumerating facts which are already acceptable and points which are still on the table. Pulling out of the Golan should still be on the table and there should be no preconceived idea that any suggestion of a pull out is a "past commitment."
Dr. Norman E. Mann
San Diego, Ca.
[email protected],com

Global Threat Of Islamic Terrorism

An Indian Airlines aircraft on a routine flight from Kathmandu, Nepal to New Delhi on December 24 was hijacked, and after a traumatic journey that took it to Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates, is currently in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan since the early hours of December 25, where over 160 passengers and crew members continue to remain hostage in rapidly deteriorating conditions. A team of officials from India is presently negotiating with the hijackers in Kandahar in order to secure the safe and speedy release of all the hostages.

The hijackers have demanded the release from jail in India of Mohammad Masood Azhar, whom sections of the international media have euphemistically described as an Islamic cleric from Pakistan, but who is in fact the General Secretary and ideologue of the Harakat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM), an organization based in Pakistan which was in October, 1997 designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States Department of State. The HUM was re-designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the State Department in its latest list released on October 8, 1999. Azhar is an Islamic cleric only in the sense that Sheikh Omar Abdel Rehman of the World Trade Center bombing notoriety was also said to be one.

In its Background Information on Foreign Terrorist Organizations released on October 8 1999, the Office of Counter-terrorism of the U.S. Department of State has described the Harakat-ul-Mujahideen, a.k.a. Harakat-ul-Ansar, HUA, Al Hadid, Al Hadith, Al Faran, as an Islamic militant group based in Pakistan whose leader Fazlur Rehman Khalil has been linked to Bin Laden and signed his fatwa in February 1998, calling for attacks on U.S. and Western interests. Khalil, who was the Commander-in-Chief of the Harakat-ul-Jehad-e-Islami International (HUJI), broke away from the parent organization in 1985 to form a separate group Harakat-ul-Mujahideen. There were subsequent attempts to re-unite the two breakaway factions, and the merged group came to be known as the Harakat-ul-Ansar. It changed its name to Harakat-ul-Mujahideen in 1997 after it was designated a terrorist organization by the United States. Masood Azhar, the General Secretary of the organization, who hails from Bahawalpur in Pakistan, entered the state of Jammu & Kashmir in India in January, 1994 on a false Portuguese passport and was arrested by the Indian police the following month because of his involvement in terrorist activities.

There have been several earlier attempts by the HUM to secure the release of Masood Azhar by resorting to abduction as a bargaining tool. Two British nationals were kidnapped on June 6, 1994 at Pahalgam in Jammu & Kashmir. Another group of three British and one American citizen was abducted in Delhi in September the same year. Six foreign tourists, including two American nationals, were kidnapped again at Pahalgam in July, 1995. One of the hostages, John Childs, a citizen of the USA, escaped, another, a Norwegian national, was beheaded by the Harakat, and four others, including an American national, are still missing. The recent hijacking of the Indian Airlines aircraft is the most brazen terrorist attempt yet by the HUM to secure the release of its General Secretary Masood Azhar.

The United States Government has condemned in the strongest terms the hijacking of the Indian Airlines aircraft and the holding of 160 passengers as hostages. The U.S. President has long since warned that the greatest threat to the free world in the new millennium will come from international terrorism. This ordeal once again strongly indicates that the United States and India must forge closer ties on every level and particularly in combating terrorism. There is an IMMEDIATE need for the international community, particularly the U.S., to rally as one to address the problem and to build a concerted international strategy for pre-empting and dealing with such terrorist strikes in the future.

Please do your best to address this international threat of Islamic terrorism.
Sudhir Malhotra
Chicago, Il.

Countering International Terrorism

When terrorism is confined within the borders of a nation, the responsibility to curb it falls within the realms of that nation alone. But when terrorism crosses national borders and knows no bounds, the world has a definite role to get involved. This is because any one nation, particularly the affected nation which is the target of the terrorists, may have a very limited leverage to effectively counter international terrorism by its own efforts alone. This was clearly the case in the recent hijacking of an Indian airplane. India was forced to deal with that incident alone without much outside support.

No matter how "noble" a cause may be, any uncivil means to achieve it clearly qualifies it as terrorism. In this regard, every civil nation has a very important role to play wherever international terrorism occurs. Unfortunately, in today's world, the international attitude is such that any one nation has no active interest in such incidents unless that nation's interests are directly affected. As an example, the U.S. did not have very much to protest until after one of the released militants publicly proclaimed in Pakistan the intention to "destroy India and the U.S."

It is time for the world community to be more proactive than reactive to counter the threat of international terrorism. If the existing organizations, such as the U.N., are ineffective, we must create and enforce new protocols, like the CTBT, to which every nation must be a signatory. Such protocols must ensure unconditional involvement and action by every nation to counter international terrorism. Even if some nations do not like to work with each other or otherwise have no direct stake in terrorist incidents, they should still take collective accountability. Otherwise, international terrorism will dangerously be repeated again and again, holding the international humanity and peace at ransom. As the world enters a new millennium, mere words of condemnation alone are still inadequate to address this problem.
Murali Natarajan
Schaumburg, IL 60194
[email protected]

Pakistan Is Terrorist Country

In 1995 Al-Faran, an Islamic militant group, kidnapped four Europeans and one American. John Trials, a U.S. citizen, escaped safely.

Hans Kristen Ostro, a citizen of Norway, was beheaded, and the words "Al Faran" were scribbled on his headless body in Arabic.

DNA testing in 1999 revealed Paul Wells body.

Remaining victims' whereabouts remain unknown, suspected murdered by Al-Faran.

Al-Faran is a Pakistani funded and trained Islamic terrorist group. Al-Faran demanded the release of Pakistani Muslim cleric Maulana Masood Azhar, jailed for terrorist activities in India. Maulan Masood Azhar was released December 31, 1999 by the Government of India in exchange for the hostages of Indian Airlines' hijacked flight IC-814. December 24 the airplane was hijacked. Three persons of the Pakistani embassy were seen at the departure lounge of Kathmandu airport minutes before departure of the Indian aircraft. Pakistani embassy people use diplomatic immunity to bypass security.

On January 1, 2000, Nepal declared a Pakistani diplomat persona non grata for being caught distributing counterfeit Indian currency. Pakistan has been playing a game, wherein its diplomatic staff distributes counterfeit currency in the sub-continent. Counterfeit currency is printed in Pakistan and distributed through its terrorist network.

On January 3, 2000, the Indian Prime Minister asked the U.S. to declare Pakistan as a terrorist state. On January 4, the U.S. State Department spokesperson James Rubin asked for proof, ruling out declaration of Pakistan as a terrorist state at the moment. January 6, the Government of India in a press conference published the names, identity, nationality, photographs of the Pakistani hijackers, and their code names.

The world is watching the US for action against Pakistan, especially now that proof has been provided. Identity of Pakistani hijackers:
1. Ibrahim Akhtar, hijack code name "Chief," resident of Bhawalpur, Pakistan
2. Sayeed Akhtar Sayeed, hijack code name "Doctor" of Karachi, Pakistan
3. Sunny Ibrahim, hijack code name "Berger" of Karachi, Pakistan
4. Mistry Zahur Ibrahim, hijack code name "Bhola" of Karachi, Pakistan
5. Shahid, hijack code name "Shanker" resident of Shakar, Pakistan

The hijack was a Pakistani operation, funded by the Pakistani government, with assistance of the Islamic terrorist group Harkat-ul-Ansar.
Vishal Sharma
Mumbai, India

Millennium Starts Now, Not 2001

Several people are claiming that the new millennium starts next year, but they are wrong. They reason that there was no year zero and therefore the first year was the year one, and because of that the year 2001 is 2000 years later. I disagree.

Supposedly the calendar began with the birth of Christ, which we now think occurred somewhere between 4 - 7 BC. Christ was not born on January 1st, 0001. That date is an arbitrary date. The reason there was no year zero was because the Romans didn't have a concept of zero in their number system. Since the starting point on the calendar is arbitrary, I contend that the first millennium started in 1 BC or was short a year due to the primitive math at the time.

Since Roman times we have discovered that the earth doesn't rotate around the sun exactly 365 1/4 days and that in the year 1752 they skipped 11 days on the calendar to make up for the difference. For the purists out there who think the millennium starts in 2001, you can't ignore these 11 days. That means the third millennium really begins on January 12th, 2001 rather than the first and it would have to be at midnight Bethlehem time rather than local time.

Today we are able to measure time more accurately because of new technology. Therefore it makes more sense to me to say that the third millennium starts on January 1, 2000, and that the first millennium was a year short, and the second millennium was 11 days short. For those who still insist on the 2001 date, then you can celebrate the real millennium on January 12, 2001, but I won't be there to party with you.
Marc Perkel
[email protected]

Race To Save The Planet

Best evidence strongly suggests that many years ago the earth was struck by some natural disaster and has been dying ever since. This may have been a huge meteor striking the earth, a shift in the sun's magnetic fields, or one of many other theories could be correct.

If all human life had disappeared at the time of the disaster, or consequently never appeared, did you know this would still be a dying planet? Then should humanity be held most accountable for the dying planet Earth? The world is dying even without us! As intelligent beings and caretakers of the Earth , we are the saviors of the world, not the destroyers of the planet.

Is there Global Warming? If the days are not getting hotter, as some factors indicate, they are getting colder. What does the evidence really show? Summer days are getting hotter and winter nights are getting colder. Average Earth temperature does not vary much except as a function of sun spot activity. Yet clearly the healthy balances are becoming harder and harder to maintain.

Human fossil fuel activity has not altered the direction of a dying planet and accounts for only a fraction of carbonic emissions. Although the process may be accelerated by some animal and human activity, it is also true that life in general has been trapped by the disaster's consequences of survival of the fittest, the most vicious wins; and the predator-prey relationships existing in a brutal world. Mother Nature, what a bitch.

The world was a very different place with the water canopy in place. No harsh weather conditions existed in any form. Before the disaster struck, it rarely even rained. A mist would rise up from the lakes and seas at night and gently water the land. Are we now better off having the land watered by rainfall? All rain is acid-rain. Watering the ground by rain (instead of the pre-deluvian mist) leaches out nutrients and minerals from the soil. Similar to the way drinking distilled water leaches minerals from your body. Observe the weak rain forest soil as a case in point. Deficient soils now must be replenished by chemical fertilizers. After flooding comes the other extreme which is drought. First there is too much of an element then too little; from erosion washing the soil away to dust bowls and high winds.

Concerning over-population and our "Race to Save the Planet, we need all the help we can get." Over-population is a dirty Nazi lie to justify their desire for mass-murder. As the population increases, so does the standard of living and innovative ideas that can restore planet Earth become more common. We need to work together.

Many big lobbying organizations in Washington DC are owned by big business. There was a near monopoly of power in our nation's capitol and without competition, we have no choices. Breaking up the Washington monopoly would also help small businessmen. Pluralism is the democratic answer to the singularities of monopoly. This can be done by moving power and sovereignty out of the one Washington and down into the fifty states, creating a more "level playing field" for the little guy. As structured now, big business can manipulate the economy by concentrating all of its massive resources on a single point. Having to spread out its resources over 50 states will weaken massive corporations considerably. At the same time, a small business starting out in some particular state will have a smaller lobby to compete with. This offers no guarantee of success, yet democratic ideas (such as pluralism) give little people a real chance at winning. Both de-regulation and State Rights are on the agenda of the Republican Party. Then, in our "Race to Save the Planet", we need to make a hard turn to the right.

What must life on Earth have been like before the disaster struck? If humans were on Earth at that time, it would have been much like the ancient philosopher Philo relates, "Nature seemed almost to cry aloud in so many words...they were to spend their days without toil or trouble surrounded by lavish abundance of all that they needed." Hence all were vegetarians in the original paradise state. A state of living we must restore. "So the Creator made man after all things, as a sort of driver and pilot, to drive and steer the things on earth, and charged him with the care of animals and plants." Consequently, we are the ones who must assume the role, Saviors of the Earth.

Death is not indigenous to this planet. As the next chapter will verify, it came down on us from above, the fourth level of life on Earth. The creatures in this world have been in a fight for life ever since.
Rick N. Moss
[email protected]

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