The Coastal Post - March 2000

Letters To The Editor


Company Drugs

Regarding Carol Sterrit's article on her concerns about malathion: According to a book on psychoactive substances, called Primer on Drugs (or similar title), malathion was first experimented with by the U.S. Army for use as a chemical weapon for causing the enemy troops to become disoriented. It is a low-grade psychedelic/psychoactive drug that causes disorientation, anxiety, and confusion in people. Then later it was stumbled on that it killed insects. Also there was documented proof mentioned by Dave Emory of KFRC, Foothill College radio station, that the company providing the 'copters in malathion spraying of Palo Alto was owned by the CIA ('82).
John Betts
Mountain View

The Propositions
Prop. 22: Pro Marriage Straight-Up

I am urging a "yes" vote on Prop. 22.

At 58 years of age, I have observed that all sexual activity outside of heterosexual committed marriage eventually results in broken lives, broken homes, disease, and sometimes death. Upon reflection, I believe we would all agree this is the case.

We have the responsibility spiritually, socially, and legally to provide for and promote the welfare of our people now and in the future.
Donna Galli
Blairsden

Prop. 22: Exclusion The First Step Toward Fascism

Proposition 22, also known as the Limit of Marriages Initiative, is anti-gay and lesbian, anti-marriage, anti-Christian, anti-American and anti-Constitutional. I predict if Proposition 22 passes, it will not survive a court case.

A modern person cannot think about what Proposition 22 could do without thinking also of what the Nazis did in World War II. If Pastor Martin Neimoller were alive today, he would be saying, "In America, they first came for the gays and the lesbians and I did not speak up because I was not a gay or a lesbian. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak up because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Blacks, and I did not speak up because I was not a Black. Then they came for the Catholics, and I did not speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me-and by that time, no one was left to speak up.

The Conservatives might ponder how they would feel if the roles were reversed and another group in society would do to the Conservatives what the Conservatives are trying to do to them. The Conservatives might end up condemning Proposition 22, and sheepishly taking it off the market, and out of circulation.
Ranier Penkert
San Francisco

Prop. 22: Knight Initiative A Personal Vendetta

Three years ago when California State Assemblyman W.J. "Pete" Knight was running for State Senator, I warned Californians that he was California's David Duke, and if elected, he would lead California into "The Mire of Bigotry."

Sure enough, this embittered man got elected to the California State Senate, and because his brother died of AIDS and his own son, David, is also a homosexual, he has embarked on a campaign to destroy the lives of 25 percent of all Californians-the gays and lesbians of this state. He has sponsored Proposition 22, which is now on the March 7 ballot. I previously wrote to Pete Knight to tell him to get educated about gays and lesbians, since he claims he doesn't know how they got that way.

Five minutes ago, I answered my doorbell and found a very professional-looking couple handing me a brochure with 26 color photographs of happy heterosexuals-mostly in wedding attire-and wanting to know if I was aware of Proposition 22 that can protect the "sanctity of marriage" for all Californians.

I answered, "Yes, I am familiar with Proposition 22, but how can that protect the sanctity of marriage when 57 percent of all married heterosexuals are divorced?" I then said to the gentleman, "Are you aware that you were conceived as a female, and that a little later on, your X-Y chromosomes kicked in and you then changed into a male?" And then I said, "Just because we heterosexuals are in the majority, does that give us the right to tell the minority that they can't love or have sex or have the security and happiness of marriage?" I said, "If the homosexuals were in the majority and ruled that we heterosexuals were sinning and therefore could not make love and marry, I, for one, who at puberty became extremely heterosexual, would disobey those laws and I would love, and make love, to a woman."

Then the lady spoke up. She said, "We know many people who are homosexuals-we are not persecuting them. We just don't want them violating the laws of the land. In California, the law states that only a man and a woman can marry."

I replied that 20 years ago-after I was already married 30 years, I went to City Hall and inquired as to the criteria for marriage. I was handed a brochure that stated that three people are involved-a man, a woman and an officiator.

I said to the lady, "Some laws are wrong and have to be changed. A hundred years ago, the law said a woman could not vote. Two hundred years ago, the law said all Blacks must be slaves, and children were allowed to work in factories instead of going to school. Laws are made by human beings, and when we get smarter, we change those laws."

At this point, the man and woman excused themselves and left.

* * *

The two infamous bills submitted by Knight when he was a State Assemblyman failed to pass the Senate in 1996-trying to legalize most Californians carrying concealed weapons and banning the recognition of gay marriages.

Knight's racist views on Latinos, homosexuals, and other minorities is in sharp contrast to my civil rights record of the past 35 years in defending women, Blacks, Latinos, homosexuals, Kurds, Armenians, Palestinians, and Israelis, and my campaigning against apartheid, terrorists, arsonists, homelessness, hunger, bad politicians, and my financially supporting the bilateral nuclear freeze movement and campaigning for AIDS funding, aircraft safety and dozens of other worthwhile causes.

Knight's attacks on homosexuals obviously springs from racism and ignorance, as he admits he has no idea of how they got that way. Why doesn't he research the subject of homosexuality as I have done? If he cared to study, he would learn that his son and his brother did not "choose" to become homosexuals just as he and I did not "choose" to become heterosexuals.

In my 10 aerospace companies 20 to 30 years ago, I employed 1,500 gays and lesbians out of 6,000 employees because 25 percent of all homo sapiens worldwide happen to be born as gays or lesbians. Should we really write off this minority as Hitler wrote off six million Jews?
Robert A. Felburg
Costa Mesa

Prop. 26: Control Rising Property Taxes

Proposition 26 would allow school bond measures to be passed with a simple majority vote. Pro Proposition 26 TV ads call it an investment in schools, but it's really about money. Proposition 26 is a discriminatory call for higher taxes to be paid exclusively by property owners.

A Proposition 26 victory would add momentum to a movement already underway to make it easier to raise taxes by overturning the 2/3 vote requirement. Bills to abolish the 2/3 vote requirement for all local taxes and bond measures are pending in the Legislature. An initiative is planned for the November ballot that would allow the Legislature to raise taxes by a simple majority vote and another to require a tax increase for education.

The State has a $9 billion surplus, and taxpayers have been passing bond measures at a record rate. Since 1996, $11.8 billion in local school bonds as well as a $9.2 billion in State education bonds were approved. Two-hundred eighty school districts that tried to pass school bond measures in recent elections were successful in the first or second attempt.

Of 37 recent ballot measures requiring a 2/3 majority, only four failed to pass, six received at least the required 2/3 vote, 17 received more than 70 percent of the vote and 10 got more than an 80 percent majority.

Bond measures lock in property taxes for a long period of time, usually for 20 to 30 years. Once bonds are passed they cannot be repealed. Like a lien or second mortgage, the property owner is responsible for the bonds for as long as it takes to pay them off.

The public has always voted to pass bonds or raise taxes when they were convinced the need was real. Voting to issue bonds is a long-time commitment sometimes extending from generation to generation and should not be taken lightly-some control is necessary. The 2/3 vote requirement provides the necessary control.

If passed, Proposition 26 could open the floodgates to repeal the 2/3 vote requirement as mandated by the California State Constitution since 1879 for the protection of property owners who have the exclusive responsibility for paying the higher taxes generated by a long-term bond commitment.

From the beginning nearly 2/3 of all school bond measures have been voter approved. There is no need to change the rules.

The voters should say no to Proposition 26 on March 7.
Bill Gillen
Novato

No Monkey Business

I wish I could recall just when or by whom I read bout AIDS, Africa and monkeys in your newspaper. I know it was there, as one of my jobs as a volunteer in the Mill Valley Library History Room is to read and decide what to keep for our files from the Pt. Reyes Light and the Coastal Post.

Often your paper is quite outlandish, but always straight, and with many seeds of truth. Thank you!
Dory Bassett
Mill Valley

Killing For A Cause

We, patriotic Americans, understand and support the killings in Chechnya. The lives of little children, women, and men are not as important as the cause of Freedom. The Chechnyan soldiers must be honored for courage and sacrifice in their struggle for independence. So once we Americans killed for Liberty in our War for Independence. In our history books, we glorify that struggle.

We, patriotic Americans, understand and support the killings in Chechnya. The lives of children, women, and men are not as important as the Cause of National Unity. The Russian soldiers must be honored for courage and sacrifice in their struggle for the Indivisibility of the Nation. So once we Americans killed for National Unity and to prevent secession. In our history books, we glorify that struggle.

So, also, we understand and honor the Kosovar Freedom Fighters and the Yugoslavian National Unity Fighters, as well as the East Timor Freedom Fighters, and the Indonesian National Unity Fighters.

The day approaches when a movement of awakened youth will take up the cause of those who have not mattered as much-the men, women and children of the world and their lives, hopes and dreams. It is these which will be honored as of supreme worth, not their glorious killings.
Guy W. Meyer

Letter From Jail

What has an elected official succumbed to when he chooses by complacency or neglect, to ignore the very fiber of human or legal ethics that they are to represent, or epitomize by the nature of their job in our society? To act as God by deciding to take a life or never allow a person to have one again? I wonder-how does that feel? To actually be God.

Is this what is meant to be taught by this country's law schools? Someone said a long time ago, "You can judge a country by its prisons and judicial system."

How cruel do we need to be so that we, as a country, vote by majority and complacency, to accept a fallible judicial system as our conscience? Knowing that not only does it discriminate, but at best, is capable of error. And any error in relation to a life and law is a grave one.

What do we assent to-"Oops, I'm sorry"-when we're wrong? Complicity seems to apply here. By us all.

How many judges and jurors would vote for death if they were the ones that had to "pull the switch"? How do our elected officials sleep at night knowing that they support the criminal industry rather than humanism? They can because they represent our conscience. Or do they?

I was reading about raising children. And it said, "In order for a child to learn forgiveness, the parent must apologize as well to the child." Our judicial system is neither compassionate, nor fair. Nor its keepers.

Our society today has not evolved enough to afford ourselves the luxury of complacency. For I firmly believe that if we were the best there ever would be, the world would never have been created!

Please vote "No" against that criminal industry. Vote "No" against prisons and discrimination. "Yes" for schools and equal standards of education.
Tony Walkinhawk
Marin County Jail

Radioactive Metal Recycling

An open letter to the NRC, DOE, the Association of Radioactive Metal Recycling, U.S. Ecology, et al:

Unspeakable Lowlife, what have we done to you that you would do this to us? You are Evil. The Devil has a fiery lake just for you. It's getting crowded down there with all the politicians over-running the place not to mention the School of the Americas and all the arms merchants. Hurry on down!

Your lives must be truly miserable, since you would gladly give 100,000 people per year terminal cancer (a free gift with every purchase) and defile the earth and all its inhabitants for four billion years. Who gives you the right? What do you get out of this? What could possibly balance that out? Answer me that.

May you all go straight to Hell this minute. The Devil's got plans for you. May your children curse your memory.
Charlotte Bertram
Sausalito

Egger Endorsement

We are writing to ask you to support one of Marin's leading citizens for California State Assembly in the March 2000 primary election.

Frank Egger is running for this important office, and the time has come for all concerned voters to stand with him.

When we needed elected officials in Marin County to stand up to the powerful interests behind the Buck Center for Research in Aging, we turned to Frank Egger.

When few elected officials had the courage to take a principled stand on the politicians' "done deal" on Mt. Burdell, Frank Egger stood with us.

These would be reasons enough to support Frank for Assembly, but the issues facing California in the next millennium are even more challenging.

When the Federal government and America's largest oil companies stand poised to turn California's coasts into a forest of drilling rigs, who can you trust to stand in their way?

Frank is the only candidate with a proven history of sound, principled action in government. Frank has been an effective and practical fiscal conservative for 33 years. His experience in government is matched only by his integrity.

Frank's experience is exactly what we need to restore California's status in educational excellence. It is time to stop the torrent of tax dollars flowing from our education system into our prison system. Frank will fight to send California children to safe schools, not San Quentin, making our communities more secure and our economy stronger. Won't you please join us in supporting Frank Egger with a financial contribution today?

Your $50 will help Frank contact another 150 votes. Please help Frank get his message out.
Craig Perrin
Susan Ristow
Suzanne Roy
People for Frank Egger
Fairfax

Simac's Dispassion, Kinsey's Sellout

Stephen Simac is right. Steve Kinsey works hard. So did Hitler. So did Mother Theresa. So hard work is not, in itself, a commendation. Simac goes on, however, to cite some of Kinsey's accomplishments as 4th District Supervisor, and many of these are quite real. He might have added that Kinsey is personable, articulate, and intelligent. He might also have added that Kinsey is most certainly a fine husband and father. He should have added that Kinsey is smooth-sometimes to the point of being clever and slick.

More to the point of the coming elections, however, Simac brushed off the legitimate local San Geronimo opposition to Kinsey as emanating from "irrational" and self-centered "NIMBY folks" who don't want affordable housing units in their "viewsheds" (Simac demeans beautiful vistas as if they were some kind of commodity). Did Simac ever consider that "affordable housing" and Marin County are contradictions in terms? Did he ever consider that affordable housing is the developers' Trojan Horse designed to weaken local opposition to the eventual development of once-bucolic West Marin county? If Simac had ever been emotionally connected (yes, Stephen, emotions are "irrational") to a beautiful, semi-rural valley for much of his life, would he not stand up and protest its destruction by the introduction of the valley's first-ever suburban tract, especially if there was nothing imperative about the tract development other than someone's profit?

Stephen Simac repeats the myth that Kinsey was part of the "resistance" to the French ranch development, forcing significant changes to the initial plan which included gaining 400 acres of public lands as open space for the people of Marin. Yet Kinsey, and those who worked with him, came up with a plan, subsequently approved by the Board of Supervisors of which Kinsey was not yet a member, to give the developer full buildout. What kind of "resistance" was that? And as for the 400 acres of open space, the law requires that a developer has to retain 90% of his developed land as agricultural open space on land classified as A-10. During the Kinsey-LeMieux campaign, two of us were told at the Planning Department that developers don't like to retain 90% of their A-10 property as agricultural open space and usually give it away to the County as public open space. So Steve's claim that he "won" us some open space is misleading. But then, so what? How aesthetic are hiking, biking, or horseback riding on 400 acres within sight of a million-dollar suburban housing tract?

Simac totally ignores the fact that Ed Stewart, a County public health official with 28 years of service, was summarily dismissed and thrown out of office with five minutes notice, and then fired in the wake of his charge that the sand filter sewage system, championed by Steve Kinsey for the French Ranch and elsewhere, are unproved and a danger to public health. Simac ignored the fact that the official reasons for Stewart's dismissal were flimsy and irrelevant. I am not an authority on sewage systems, but when a public official in charge of public health calls foul, I want his position fully explored, not thwarted by a summary dismissal by those who have a vested interest in the sewage system in question. Under the circumstances Stewart's abrupt dismissal is suspect at the very least.

More important to me, there is something else about Simac's article that is troublesome. I find his article totally dispassionate. I get the sense that Stephen would not voluntarily risk his life for something he passionately believed in was right (go ahead and challenge me on this one, Stephen), much less stand on a picket line, refuse to pay his taxes for an unjust war, engage in civil disobedience in behalf of minorities suffering discrimination, help political refugees escape the country of their oppression, or even publicly protest a development he didn't like, and other "irrational" actions. My sense is that he has never so passionately loved a river, a forest, a mountain landscape, a sweeping field of flowers, rolling hills, or even a semi-rural valley to the point of being profoundly touched, to the point where his soul is recreated and renewed, to the point where he feels a powerful kinship, a spiritual bonding with his natural surroundings whatever and wherever they be.

The Steve Kinsey I met in the early '80s impressed me as a man who, among his other virtues, had a passionate love for nature and for San Geronimo/West Marin in particular (I will never forget his euphoric description of his first experience with San Geronimo Valley), but, being all too human, he has succumbed to the seductive lure of power and position. To do this it is necessary to at least compromise with, if not succumb to, the sources of power and position: the monied people. Thus he has compromised and in the compromising become the developer's candidate.

Developer's candidate? I went to the Election Office at the Marin County Civic Center (Room 121) to look up Kinsey's financial supporters as is anyone's right. Between January 1 and December 31 of 1999, before the current campaign really began, five contributors gave $1000 or more and 11 contributors gave between $100 to $500. All 16 were either appraisers, realtors, venture capitalists, mortgage brokers, construction people, independent investor, or, in one case, a "library developer." There were a number of retired individuals from San Francisco who made contributions. Why is a San Franciscan interested in Kinsey's campaign unless he has lots and lots of personal friends there? A landscape gardener from San Geronimo Valley offered a $5000 loan. These contributors were exercising the right we all have, of course, but voters ought to know where the Kinsey money is coming from. And remember that the contribution record I inspected is not current. Now that the campaign is well underway, you can expect much more to be coming in to Kinsey's treasury. And you can bet it will be coming from more of the same sources.
Phil Arnot
San Geronimo Valley

Kinsey's Signs Torn Down

This week something very upsetting happened to me, and I felt I had to express my feelings in writing. Twice I had two signs supporting Supervisor Kinsey placed on my fence. Both times at night they were taken down and stolen. In commenting about this to others I discovered that this has been a prevailing problem in the entire neighborhood and beyond.

I can't believe that in our society today we cannot express an opinion without fear of being vandalized. This is unacceptable.

Please, whoever you are, stop doing this. This cowardly and scurrilous act is unworthy of the members of this community and does not show respect or support for either candidate.
Mary Anne Kolanoski
San Geronimo

Great Kinsey Article

Stephen Simac's endorsement article in the March Coastal Post, "Steve Kinsey: A Workhorse for West Marin," may be the single best article written about Kinsey in this election cycle. It documents in detail the astounding workload this man carries, and the steady skill and passion he does it with.

The job of District 4 County Supervisor involves perhaps twice the responsibilities of any other Marin Supervisor. The district is huge, and just making it to any given day's community meetings can take a supervisor from Civic Center to Tomales, then off to Corte Madera for a session on flood control funding, then back to Civic Center for conferences, off to Stinson to meet with the Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee, supper and a meeting in Point Reyes Station, and an evening address in Novato. Beyond the sheer mileage involved, though, most of Marin's County-jurisdiction land and population lie in the 4th District, so permits, problem-solving, road safety, community funding--all the myriad oversight that's a Supe's basic job--is much higher volume than for the other districts.

Kinsey does all this with grace and unfailing courtesy. I suspect that only his wife Jean and his son Breeze really know just how hard he works, day after day.

I've known Steve for a lot of years. I've watched him put in his time and grow his skills as a community leader. I've marveled at his patience and fairness and inclusiveness. I've been amazed at his ability to absorb information and analyze issues--from Northern California water policy, to Open Space preservation, to Marin's profound affordable housing crisis. I've watched him serve a number of years with great distinction on Marin Conservation League's board. He became its water policy expert and was honored with its highest award. I've been proud that this modest, self-effacing friend from Forest Knolls has the broadest understanding of environmental problems--and their intricate relationships to social, political and economic issues--of anyone I know in the county.

How does someone react to the month-after-month harangues of a Jim Scanlon in the Post, or the non-stop personal attacks from the self-styled "Save the Valley"? First, maybe, by pointing out that it's all the creation of an alarmingly tiny bunch of people with their own heavy political agenda. Second by noticing that the charges are simply propaganda: stereotyped smears, a hateful cookbook demagogy of the sort repeated over and over all over the USA. Third, by taking the time to notice that the smears aren't true: read the League of Women Voters findings about the "sewage" rants; puzzle over Lynnette Shaw's marijuana ramblings, then hear the real facts about the County's medical pot programs from Marin's Health and Human Services director. See the ugly cartoons about the "Olema Meadows Gated Estates" and remind yourself there is no such thing. Or the "2,099 units at St. Vincent's" and remember that it's Steve, and John Kress, who created the citizen process that has reduced that scary development potential by an order of magnitude! Notice that Steve has, so far, more than 400 individual campaign contributors (most of them small) from every imaginable community constituency--from many, many of Marin's major environmentalists to education, childcare and social issues advocates, to ranchers, organic farmers, and, yes, all sorts of professionals and folks in the business community. It's because he's earned their cooperation and respect. He has also earned endorsements from just about every endorsing civic and environmental organization in Marin, and he has won every significant press endorsement--while his opponent appears to be funded almost entirely by a handful of multi-thousand dollar donations and loans.

Steve and Jean live in a tiny fixer-upper in a very modest neighborhood in Forest Knolls. Their unassuming life seems to me to be a part of their spiritual practice and their commitment to community. Their years of caring and service have made a huge difference to many, many lives.

If we want government to work for us, let's honor good people who go into public life, not try to drag them down. It'll be a privilege for me to go the polls to vote for Steve Kinsey on March 7.
Bill Noble
San Geronimo
[email protected]

Searching The Web For The Coastal Post

I have read with great pleasure the many articles on environmental issues that appear in your news paper. However, when I search on the web for information regarding, for example, RoundUp, I do not find anything from the Coastal Post. Yet I know that Carol Sterritt did a very complete article on the subject just in the past few months.

Since all past issues of the Coastal Post are indeed on the web I believe the problem must be with the html title coding of your web pages.

Your paper has the potential to impact may people beyond the boundaries of Marin. I wish you great success and hope you can correct this situation. Seve And Ginger
San Geronimo Valley
EDITOR'S NOTE: It has nothing to do with our coding. It has to do with the ineffectiveness of the search engines. If you go to www.altavista.com you will find a search engine that works proper and every issue of The CoatalPost is indexed. In order for us to be indexed properly, we would have to submit every article every month to every search engine. Search engine's robots are supposed to do this for us but they don't. Jim Fox

Warhammer

One of your writers wrote a piece on warhammer 40,000. In it she said that true fans call it warhammer 40k. I would like to point out that most fans call it 40k unless they are new to it.

Have a nice day!!!
Violatre
[email protected]

Open Letter To President Clinton

We are deeply concerned by the Administration's failure to condemn Israel's most recent massive attacks on Lebanon.

For more than 20 years now, Israel has bombed both Lebanese and Palestinian civilians and targeted the infrastructure of Lebanon in repeated attacks against that country. As a result of the failure of our government to respond more forcefully to these attacks-to denounce them, to express compassion to the Lebanese victims and to call on Israel to make restitution for damages-the Israelis have felt unrestrained in their actions and the Lebanese have felt abandoned.

Israel remains in occupation of Southern Lebanon in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 425 and its attacks against Lebanon's civilian infrastructure are in violation of the US-sponsored April 1996 Understandings.

We call on the Administration to demonstrate a firm resolve to end Israel's assaults on Lebanon and bring about the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon.
Huwaida Arraf
[email protected]

GOP Anti-abortionists

What is the one thing all GOP presidential hopefuls (even G. W. Bush} have in common besides being Republicans? They are all anti-abortionists in varying degrees, meaning that if by some fluke of nature, the Republicans would regain the White House in November, our next sitting president would be an anti-abortionist and everything else that goes along with it.

Does this bother anyone?
Ron Lowe
Nevada City, CA

Rad Waste Recyling

Thanks so much for publishing the article on rad waste recycling. Although plans to recycle radioactive nickel are "on hold"--radioactive metals such as copper and steel are still being recycled despite public protest. I hope people are not misled to believe plans have been stopped. A very clear, present, and future danger exists as the recycled radioactive metals will find their way into consumer products.
Kathy Barns
Sherwood, Mich.
[email protected]

"her"
skin
white as snow
and just as beautiful
glowing with natural simplicity
silky
smooth
soft as a snow bunny

pleasing to the touch

curves
like flowing dunes of sand
casting their beautiful shadows
as time passes by

fingers and toes
abundant with life
shaking faintly
with vibrant
youthful energy

such beautiful extremities
with glowing decorations
a red ring
on the toe next to the big one
my favorite toe

hair the color of a rose
so soft
flowing
like a river
constantly changing
but forever alive
and always beautiful

a neck
so fragile
and so beautiful
sweet to the kiss

paving the way
to such a pretty face

on the back
a teal and yellow dragon
perfect for this lively
incredible
original

beautiful girl
from washington

with eyes the color of lake tahoe in the spring
dyed by snowmelt
with a hint of sand
to form such a beautiful color

eyes that could make a blind man see
and bring tears of joy to anyone else

a snow queen
as beautiful
and as pure
as life itself

like the sun glowing up over the nearest ridge
the morning after a snowstorm

and the way that she makes me feel
when i touch her
when i hold her in my arms

it's like
i'm warm
i'm safe
i'm happy
and it's like
all of the good
all of the beauty
all of the wonderful magic
that i have ever loved
anywhere in the world
is racing through my body

i will always love her
elan Holdorf

It's A Game

Are you really this stupid comon'... It's a GAME not reality. Don't you guys have anything better to do???
[email protected]

Insanity: 'There's Nothing Gentle About A Candle Flame."

For humans, there's two no-nos: you're not supposed to kill yourself, and you're not supposed to allow yourself to go crazy. But, actually, there's just one no-no, because killing yourself is the craziest thing a creature could do.

The conventional wisdom is to not dwell on these things (The Catholic Church says, don't even think about it, it's against the rules). Actually, only the squeamish of us need timidly walk the earth, avoiding heights, open windows, afraid to walk out on catwalks, especially those about thirty-four feet off the ground. Actually, there is a part (normally small) of each of our brains which is obviously insane, these teeny cerebral neuron bundles which have experienced too much emotional pain, hunkered up there somewhere between our ears, subconsciously encouraging us to jump. Anyway, we are in general agreement that off-ing oneself is unquestionably insane.

So, how does one go about gauging and preserving their sanity? Answer: all the time, using every possible method. Take the time to apply your lipstick carefully. Select clothing that looks good; keep up your general appearance. Don't cross your eyes. Pay attention to how you walk; develop your gait (this is quite important). Develop a generally graceful method of movement; it will definitely contribute to the general impression you exude, one of sanity, and composure. Speak carefully; don't fly off at the mouth. Stand tall, and don't pick your nose in public. In fact, don't pick your nose, period; even a privately picked nose undermines one's composure. Protect your extremities. Observe the tremendous activity dogs expend on their grooming, with their mouths, and do likewise.

Once you've protected and assured your sanity through these lifelong activities, you can pursue a creature's higher goals: happiness internally, and, externally, beauty. Every creature knows what happiness is, though, rarely is one able to constantly maintain it; just do the best you can. Beauty actually is in the eye of the beholder, and can be found anywhere, under the most horrific circumstances. Examine inside even the dirtiest garbage can with an open mind, and you'll find it. I'm not talking movie star beauty here; I'm talking about being happy enough to look around you and observe the beauty in everything you see.

Love is the by-product of experiencing happiness and discerning beauty. Love is attraction; gravity is love
Harry Holdorf

Israel's Defense Posture Suffers From Barak's Dual Roles Israel Has a continuing serious problem. As with former Prime Minister Rabin who was also Minister of Defense we have Ehud Barak acting in both capacities. It is not possible for the Prime Minister to pay enough attention to the Defense of the Northern Border as was the case during the Rabin era. Lebanon was really neglected and permitted to deteriorate whilst these two "supermen" acted in dual capacities. It's hard enough for the current Prime Minister to clearly understand the foreign affairs of the country and to try to deliver the maximum attention to defense. Much of the terrible tragic increase in casualties in the defense perimeter of Lebanon is due to the inability of the current Military Commander to develop a plan to protect his troops. Now if Barak is the whiz kid of the army and military strategy, he should give up the post of Defense Minister to some one capable of defending the lives of the troops not only in Lebanon but in all the danger theaters of conflict.

My advice to Barak is that you can't conduct peace talks with Syria, PLO and also maintain the necessary military responsibilities where they are critically needed.
Dr. Norman E. Mann
San Diego,

Genocide, American Style

I have just read "Genocide, American Style" by Edward W. Miller and am absolutely flabbergasted by its straightforward, pull-no-punches, exposition of the issue. I would like to know whether such opinion pieces in your newsmonthly are put "on the wire" for other media to access and reprint. Please let me know asap. I doubt that it will do any good, but I would like to recommend to our local newspaper, the Houston Chronicle, that they consider printing it in the interests of fairness.
Ken Freeland
Houston, TX
P.S. According to the May-June 99 issue of Foreign Affairs magazine, excluding the Nazi Holocaust, "Sanctions [on Iraq] have contributed to more deaths than all weapons of mass destruction throughout history."

Print The Truth

Well, I am glad you print the "Truth." I wish it were on hemp paper, but the fact that you are on the internet makes a big difference to me. So I am going to resume writing letters to you.

Marin Alliance for Medicinal Marijuana is doing just fine, and I can only say thank you God about that subject for the moment.

Although I have a profound faith in the individual people, I feel the political situation in our wonderful land is beyond repair and the only thing in that arena to be looked forward to is: After we are nuked we can have another constitutional convention and repair the system.

Beyond that, let me impart to everyone, that you are a potentially eternal being and whether you realize it our not, there is no way out and nothing you can do but what is good and right.

Over 65000 of you in the county subscribe to cable TV, so to those of you who subscribe don't forget to watch my show, "Merchants of Marin," Saturday and Sunday at 10 p.m. on Marin 31. Bless you.
Mike Dunne
[email protected]

Bush Should Worry About Republican Voters

As a Democrat, I find it somewhat amusing to hear George W. Bush worrying about Democrats in South Carolina crossing party lines to vote for McCain because McCain is the weaker candidate. Bush is beginning to sound a little paranoid to me. Next Bush will try blaming Republicans who are crossing party lines to vote for Bradley and not vote for him, or accuse Democrats of supporting Pat Buchannan to undermine the Republican race.

Maybe we Democrats are using reverse psychology. By saying good things about McCain we're trying to scare Republican voters into voting for Bush because Bush is the weaker candidate? Bush is kind of spooky, has that smirk, and doesn't seem real bright. Bush would be the easy one to beat.

Democrats don't think like Republicans. We have our race between Gore and Bradley and that's what we're interested in. If I were Bush I'd be focusing on getting those Republican votes in my own party. Bush might want to be nicer to us Democrats because in the general election he's going to want our vote. If he's going to win, he's going to have to win over Clinton supporters, and that will not be easy no matter who the Republican's choose for their candidate.
Marc Perkel
Springfield, Missouri

Better English

On "Meet the Press" with Tim Russert (NBC) on Sunday morning, George W. Bush repeatedly talked about others "subscribing" to him viewpoints which were not his. Obviously, what he meant was others were "ascribing" viewpoints to him.

George W. Bush makes it clear that the level of reading and writing in our schools needs to be raised dramatically. Also, George W. Bush again talked repeatedly about "Checehnyans", when he meant "Chechens".

So while improving the reading and writing skills of our school kids, I suggest we must also improve the geography!
Kwame Mbutu
[email protected]

Political Blackmail

The recent statement by Pakistan's military ruler General Pervez Musharraf that Indo-Pakistan tension would escalate if US President Bill Clinton skipped Islamabad from his coming tour to South Asia, are tantamount to nothing less than heinous political blackmail. Earlier, in an interview with TIME in late November 1999, by saying that Clinton's absence in Pakistan would give leverage to the extremists there, Musharraf had issued veiled warnings to the US. The US cannot and should not succumb to these kinds of pressures from the dictator of a country that has seen many of its governments exit through non-democratic means.

At a time when two of the biggest democracies in the world are trying to devise a cohesive strategy for countering terrorism, it is imperative that the President of the most influential nation in the world send out a strong signal by not visiting the country that the indisputable training ground for thousands of terrorists. Including Pakistan in President Clinton's visit would only seek to embolden the breeders of terrorism in Pakistan to multiply their activities with increased impunity. The only ones to be hurt then will be millions of people around the world who will continue to be affected by terrorism.
Amar Karvir
Indianapolis, IN.

Creeping Socialism

Socialism is creeping into our society degree by degree. The total American tax burdens of Federal, State, County, Cities, Schools . . . etc. now takes close to 40 percent of income to pay the cost of running government, and some areas may be higher. I believe that America will move toward socialism and more of your paycheck, or American voters can say no too big government getting bigger and maybe even reduce the cost of government. The great engine of capitalism has been chugging along with about 4 percent growth of GDP, and worker productivity is at an all time high, many Americans have not seen much increase in their paychecks, yet their taxes continue to climb. Your standard of living is slowly being eroded away by the use of foreign labor, and your own labor is being marginalized by some corporations. The result is a lower standard of living, and many all across America have seen corporate mergers, followed by downsizing and layoffs. America has won the war against Communism in Russia, but is losing the battle here.

Americans don't like or want socialism, but America moves toward socialism degree by degree. Wow, How ironic.
Dan Go
Mexico, Mo.

Writing Home To West Marin

I am a former Pt Reyes resident who went away to college, and now lives in Chico, CA. The predominant political climate here is slightly different from West Marin, and intelligent, relevant conversations are harder to come by. (Too many duck hunters and farmers.) That aside, I very much enjoy reading your paper online, especially Simac's material. Thank you for going to the effort to post your paper on the web. Just out of curiosity, have you done, or could you do an article on renewable electricity sources? Thanks again. Stranded Democrat.
[email protected]

Don't Go To Pakistan, Mr. President

President Clinton appears to be vague and wavering about whether or not to include Pakistan in his proposed itinerary to the Indian subcontinent next month. Because the U.S. is the only remaining superpower today, the American presidential visit to a particular nation will not only be construed as a privilege to that nation but also be interpreted as supporting the policies and practices of that nation. In this regard, it is very important for Mr. Clinton to carefully weigh the consequences of visiting Pakistan, before making any final decision.

The U.S. and several other nations have criticized the military takeover in Pakistan and demanded a timetable from the Pakistani regime to return to civilian rule. This underscores the strong American policy to support only democratic rule in the world. To this date, there has been no clear response from Pakistan on the agenda to return to democracy. Also, the U.S. has openly acknowledged the presence of international terrorists in Pakistan and is actively pressurizing the Pakistani government to ban any support for them. Again, the gestures from Pakistan are at best vague and symbolic in this regard. Pakistan does not appear to be genuinely interested in weeding out the international terrorism operating from its soil. No matter however noble the cause may be, Pakistan is not justified to actively support terrorist acts in Kashmir or anywhere else.

If Mr. Clinton visits Pakistan despite these issues, Pakistan will be inclined to interpret his visit as the American endorsement to its policies and practices and will continue to engage in them. Thus, Mr. Clinton's well-intentioned visit to Pakistan will only help perpetuate the existing problems in that region. Moreover, it is not fair for the U.S. to equate India, the world's largest democracy, to the militarily ruled Pakistan on the same footing. The U.S. should practice the policies it preaches to the world by not including Pakistan in Mr. Clinton's itinerary next month.
Murali Natarajan
Schaumburg, IL 60194
[email protected]

Indian Zionists?

The three letters written by Sudhir Malhotra, Murali Natarajan, and Vishal Sharma regarding the hijacking of an Indian Airline aircraft and international terrorism uses racist diatribe to paint Pakistan as a nation of terrorists and falsely ascribing violent acts to Islam. It sounds like India has been tutored by the racist Zionists in Israel.

Living among 100 million Muslims in India one would think that at least these three literate persons, who I opine are Hindus, would know by now that Islam forbids any act of violence. Might it be that knowing this fact these three, individually or in concert, are using this opportunity to vent their anger at the people of Pakistan, who valiantly dared to effectively challenge India's nuclear weapons program. It would appear that they also still cannot get over the fact that Pakistan, a nation of a much smaller number of people, were able to break away from India and create their country and have since stood in rigid and brave defiance of India's racist aggression.

All three writers have conveniently failed to mention that India and Pakistan have been in a constant state of war readiness since 1948 and have been involved in several conflicts since. Too, they might have mentioned the terrorist and sub-human treatment of the people of Kashmir since its occupation by Hindus, who refuse to honor their promise to withdraw from that war torn area where untold thousands of Muslims were massacred.

Using the allegation that one of their gods was born at the same exact spot of the centuries old Babri Mosque, where the stain of Muslim blood might figuratively be seen even amidst the transformation of that holy site into a Hindu temple. That singular act of infamy is enough to justify violent response from Pakistani Muslims in defense of their Kashmiri Muslim brothers. These atrocities have their birth in the hands of Marajah Gulab Singh, who bought Kashmir from the British in 1846 for $800,000 and two years later declared himself the owner of that territory and its Muslim population. He ordered his executioner to flay, or peel away the skin from the bodies of Muslim resistors, making certain that they remained conscious during that barbaric ordeal.

The three persons wrote of Pakistani terrorism, but I urge those interested in this topic to read "Kashmir: Happy Valley, Valley of Death" by Dr. William Baker of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, CA.

In his revealing book Rev. Baker sums up Hindu terrorism rather succinctly: "DO NOT FORGET WE HAVE GIVEN OUR TODAY FOR YOUR TOMORROW." So reads the Epitaph on the headstone of a fifteen year old Kashmiri boy, laid to rest among a sea of gravestones and markers in a special cemetery for martyred children. I visited that cemetery on three occasions, during two of which I witnessed the burials of a thirteen and ten old who were being lowered beneath the soil. At both burials I approached the grieving families with a sense of guilt and helplessness. As their parents, family and friends realized who I was, despite the agony and grief which resulted, they lovingly unwrapped the bodies of their children for me to see the bullet holes, [and] the torn flesh of innocent youth. Then, with hardly a word and [with] tears streaming down their faces, the mothers lifted their outstretched arms with palms turned upward and looking into my eyes asked simply, "why?" Yes, that breed of Hindus in India have learned well from Zionist Israelis.
Yousef Salem
Sunnyvale, CA
[email protected]

Alienating Islam

Sen. John McCain and Gov. George W. Bush both have said that they would act strongly against Iraq, Iran and other countries if these countries try to acquire weapons of mass destruction.

What hypocrisy! Today, USA is the country with the largest arsenal of various kinds of weapons of mass destruction. In fact USA is the only country to have used nuclear weapons causing innumerable civilian deaths.

But when Muslim nations try to acquire nuclear weapons for self-defense, some American politicians conveniently turn them into scapegoats to appease powerful anti-Islamic lobbies in Washington.

If our politicians do not remove their blinkers, we stand to alienate the entire Islamic world against the West.
Lund Katwa Mohammad
Detroit
[email protected]

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