The Coastal Post - July 2000

Letters To The Editor

Anti-Israel Bias

Ms. Nakamura's editorial masquerading as news article (May 1, 2000) was as unbalanced as it was inaccurate. Betraying her blatant anti-Israel bias, as well as her lack of understanding of Middle East geopolitics, Ms. Nakamura unjustly denounced Israel as being the sole cause of delays in the complex multi-party negotiations, known as the "Middle East Peace Process." Contrary to Ms. Nakamura's assertions, Israel has been pursuing peace since its independence. In recent years, Israel attained its long sought after goal of formal, stable peace treaties with both Egypt and Jordan, as well as other countries in the region such as Morocco, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Oman. Israel has returned 100% of the Sinai Desert territory it had won from Egypt, and has given the Gaza Strip and much of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority. Moreover, Israel has withdrawn its security forces entirely from Southern Lebanon. Finally, Prime Minister Barak has said that given reasonable security guarantees, his government is willing to withdraw from most of the remaining West Bank territory and the Golan Heights.

Ms. Nakamura fails to cite Syria's Dictator, Assad, as the real barrier to real peace in the region, including his illegal occupation/hegemony of Lebanon, his refusal to negotiate with Israel, and his disguised, but real antipathy for Palestinian national aspirations.
David J. Blumberg
San Francisco, CA

Kinsey's Latest Conflict of Interest.

When Steve Kinsey says he want to get "to the core of the issue" and "turn the lights out on the old way of doing business" with regard to environmental protections (IJ, 6/11/00), such as those pertaining to septic systems, Marin should respond with alarm.

Mr. Kinsey has never liked regulations much.

His personal disdain for rules came out last March, when it was disclosed that his own septic system was not up to code and had been illegally constructed. At the time, he managed to turn away scrutiny by claiming to have applied for permits last November, something he still has not done; perhaps he is planning to wait until he has had the chance to change the pertinent septic regulations.

His professional disregard for regulations was apparent much earlier. As a developer and contractor, he was purportedly known to some county permit inspectors by the nickname "Red-Tag Steve", referring to the red "stop work" tags applied to construction sites lacking necessary permits, a serious violation.

Mr. Kinsey's peculiar set of ethics is also accustomed to accommodating conflicts of interest. Referring again to French Ranch, in that case, often touting the title "volunteer consultant" to Lagunitas School, Steve Kinsey was paid $65-$85 per hour for things like walking people around the property, and attending meetings, and funneled approximately $140,000 to his own construction company. Kinsey's pivotal roles in French Ranch, both before and after taking office, profited only development interests and left the school spiritually and financially tortured.

Since Mr. Kinsey took office, 'rubber-stamp' approvals for under-evaluated, ill-advised septic system implementations have swiftly and quietly proliferated.

Examples such as towering, three story homes, on small, steep lots, with septic systems on a 70% grade, with leach lines that are perilously reduced in length, and questionable, large flow community systems, have been approved without any form of reasonable caution.

Of local waterways, perhaps only the Russian River has been as fouled and impaired by human discharges of various kinds as the Tomales Bay watershed, which receives insalubrious contributions throughout its domain, from Lagunitas and Walker Creeks out to the Ocean.

Marin County's septic laws currently reflect the minimum standards required by the Regional Water Quality Control Board. If Steve Kinsey is aware of it, he has been less than vocal that state approval would be required to further reduce those standards.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kinsey is apparently preparing to stack a technical advisory committee, to review the matter, with people he finds easy to influence.

Making permitting processes more affordable and convenient is very different from making them more permissive to the detriment of public health and environmental safety. Enabling increased development in West Marin by weakening environmental protections may profit pro-development interests but can only have negative results for the vast majority of Marin's existing residents.

The fact that Mr. Kinsey's own violations continue clearly make any involvement by him in regulatory or procedural reform a conflict of interest. He should not participate in any such endeavor, nor should he be involved, at any level, in selection of participants to be involved in review of rules he is currently breaking.

Considering what Mr. Kinsey has gotten away with, and allowed, in broad daylight, one shudders to think what will come if he succeeds in putting the lights out on intelligent environmental protections.
Louis Nuyens
Forest Knolls

More Cameras Along Roads

On March 30th I emailed you following message: Briefly- have you noticed the cameras that are posted along roads? There's two on the traffic-light-intersection of Tam Junction, there's one on the south-bound Stinson Beach freeway exit, there's at least two along the freeway between Sausalito and the GG bridge, there's one along the freeway in Greenbrae by Big 5, and one at the highest point along the freeway between Larkspur Landing and San Rafael. (That's the extend of my travels around the neighborhood, there might be many more that I don't know about.)

My questions:
Why are they there?
Who decides to put them up?
Who has access to the tapes of the cameras?

Today I want to tell you that the camera in San Rafael where 580 merges with 101, is aimed at the Canal area, NOT at any traffic.

What's up. Please check it out.

I don't have the time to check it myself since I spend all my time trying to change society through the kids.

I hope you can.
Dave And Sophia
[email protected]

Could Use Your Help

My friend just bought a house in Novato. There are 10 fruit trees on the property. Four Pear trees, and six Apple trees. My friend would like to cut them down. I was wondering if you knew anyone that could transfer the trees to a different area. My friend would rather pay for there destruction instead of moving them. I personally won't lose any sleep over this. It's just really sad to see the world so backwards.
Tree Huger
[email protected]

Pure Water, No Pipeline

In the coming weeks Marin Municipal Water District will decide whether to spend $20 million of the ratepayers' money for a pipeline to the Russian River. At present, 25% to 30% of Marin's water supply comes from the river, using in part a Novato pipeline. It is my hope that this will not turn out to be the boondoggle we had a few years back when our Water Board voted for the expenditure of $5 million to build a pipeline across the Richmond Bridge. This was built, never used and removed from the bridge, the pipe being sold for scrap.

This writer is skeptical of spending more money for a pipeline. The September 22, 1998 and May 31, 2000 issues of the Pacific Sun spell out quite a few reasons as to how good the Russian River water will be down the road. Presently, during the winter months, Santa Rosa and other cities dump up to 20 million gallons a day of treated waste water, which flows into the Russian River.

Periodically, levees break, depositing raw sewage into the river. It is our fervent hope that MMWD monitors all water supplies closely, so we may be assured of what we are drinking.
Stanley Schriebman
Fairfax

Building Permit Granted Over Cesspool

Mr. Stewart (ex-Marin County Environmental Health Department Employee)

Sorry you got canned. It is who you know at Civic Center. For instance: Parcel 192 161 11, 174 Elm St., Bolinas. Owner purchases this zoned one bedroom because of cesspool on small property. He immediately puts another building on property to rent without permits because he knows he would not get the permits. He gets caught and then the county lets the building stand which was built on top of septic. They let him get the permits after the fact! Crime pays-build what you wish, you may not get caught; if you do, then they will give you the permits. Crap all over in the winter at this address. No one cares. Suffer getting staph infection at times. You did your best. You tried to do a good job, I hope you get your job back. Hope this helps you, check it out. I'm tired of my neighbors getting away with things like this. This is a real health issue. Anon

Airplane Pollution

I really appreciate the May articles on airplane noise, pollution and the increased air traffic over Marin and the revealing politics behind it. I especially was interested in Stephen Simac's article on the contrails and chemtrails which I have been regularly seeing over Marin and which prompted me to call you several months ago (I left a message asking about this). Please keep us posted on specific information regarding these chemtrails/contrails as it becomes available also. Stephen implied in his article that the chemtrails seemed to have influenced flu season this past winter; is there any link to allergies and asthma flareups for the spring, as this seemed to be a particularly intense allergy season?

Thank you for doing such a great job of covering stories that the mainstream media won't touch.
Brian Cremmis
Novato

No Honor Among Thieves In Government

Governor Gray Davis has stated that the Legislature's role during his tenure is to implement his policies. He also said that if the decisions of the judges he appoints do not reflect his views, those judges should resign.

If Graydolf thinks the people of California are fairly and accurately represented by a bribe-taking tyrant in the State's highest office, he is the one who should resign.
* * *

I read Mr. Fielding Greaves' article re. the County Supervisor's credit card scandal and Da Paula Kamena's attempted whitewashing of the matter. Mr. Greaves asks why the D.A. isn't doing her sworn duty as she is paid to by taxpayers. Why? First of all, that sworn oath means absolutely nothing to the majority of those in government swearing them these days. That Civic Center is literally infested with lying, cheating, lawbreaking vermin on two feet, several of whom put the sick joke of a label "Honorable" in front of their names. More why? Because there is ZERO accountability in the Sheriff's Department, D.A.'s office, and those cesspools of shame and disgrace being pimped as courtrooms.

That's right, if you accept money under false pretenses in the State of California you are a thief, a criminal. If on top of that, you swore a solemn oath to uphold the law rather than break it, or watch it be broken, you should be viewed twice as guilty of wrong. It is theft. They are all stealing from the public every single time they break a law, violate someone's rights or stand by and do nothing as other government personnel engage in wrong-doing. In the name of "The People."

It is unlikely that the average, unenlightened citizen could overestimate the scope of corruption down at that Civic Center. It is like some sort of vortex of evil, amoral black hole and the thought of any of them denying it makes me want to puke. So, Mr. Greaves, you can thank God you're an angry taxpayer instead of a family member of one of those false oath swearing criminals. You'd be having to pretend you're not ashamed that your kin is part of the most corrupt government this nation has ever been disgraced by. Ponder the words of Abraham Lincoln: "If we ever lose our country, it will not be from without, for we are strong militarily. If we lose our nation, it is because it rotted from within."
In contempt of court,
James S. Kor
Calipatria

Adult Child Abuse

This week (June 13) in the news, a former pro basketball star held a press conference to ask for help in finding his missing 19-year-old son.

In the process, the father butchered the privacy of his son (who at 19 is a legal adult, mind you) by revealing that his son is a recovering crack cocaine addict who has been in treatment programs several times. He also revealed that his son has a learning disability.

The father attempts to portray himself as a caring parent, but I hardly see the act of exposing his son's addiction and learning disability status to the entire nation as caring. It is an unconscionable violation of his son's boundaries and privacy.

To me this is a clear example of the abuses done to children in a sick patriarchal society.
Alex Caylee
San Rafael

Dear Edward Miller

With regard to your cynicism of American foreign policy, you have a kindred spirit in Philip Isely of the World Constitution and Parliament Association.

Isley's WCPA has been repeatedly messed with (CIA?) when they try to have international meetings to establish a democratic world federation under the constitution for the Federation of Earth, a brilliant document designed to replace the obsolete UN Charter.

Isely, like you, has doubted the propaganda put out by the media with regard to the likes of Iran, Libya, and a host of other countries that do not play 100% with the capitalistic party line.

It is interesting to note that as recently as last year Isley had wanted to hold meetings in Baghdad. He also wrote to Saddam Hussein. Subsequently, WCPA decided to abandon this idea, probably because travel there for people from around the world would prove too complicated.

You and Philip Isely share the trait of being very independent in your thinking, and outspoken.
Roger Kotila
San Rafael

Killer Cops-What Is To Be Done?

Since the overthrow of Radical Reconstruction in the decades following the Civil War, police violence has been a necessary institution of the ruling capitalist class to intimidate the Black minority, other oppressed minorities and workers in general in this country.

Although, as a result of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, Jim Crow segregation is no longer legal in this country, we are witnessing a new drive of the ruling rich to make de factor Jim Crow the rule of the land! As the capitalist class and the Republicrat whores are leading a war on those in poverty, they are turning prisons and the welfare system (workfare) into institutions of forced labor (de facto slavery!).

It is noteworthy that on February 15, 2000, the prison population of the United States reached two million. The U.S., with merely five percent of the world's population, now has 25 percent of its prison population, consisting primarily of blacks and other oppressed minorities. This at a time when the crime rate has been dropping for decades!

At the same time, this country's rulers are systematically destroying affirmative action and reinstitutionalizing unequal opportunity for the Black masses. Police violence is necessary to this process of resubjugation of the Black community.

In order to stop this process, it is necessary to stop supporting the twin parties of capitalist rule! And return to the mass action strategy of the civil rights movement in opposition to the government. Such a strategy could lead to Black control of the Black community, and the end of the police state conditions in that community. This strategy might even serve as a catalyst toward independent working class political action in its own class interests.

A good first step in this process would be the establishment of a nationwide network of community alert patrols, with police-band, radio-equipped vehicles for the monitoring of the police! Had there been Community Alert Patrols in Philadelphia 20 years ago, the innocent Mumia Abu-Jamal would not be on death row! And it's quite likely that the dead cop, Faulkner, might not be dead!
Harold Schultz
Sebastopol

Term Limits

Dear Senator Perata

California voters expressed their strong support for legislative term limits when they passed a constitutional amendment in 1990 by voter initiative. All public opinion surveys continue to show that Californians favor their term limits law, and that they will reject efforts to repeal or alter it.

Senator Perata's bill, SCA 20, attempts to destroy California's constitutional term limits provision by extending the limits, and by starting the clock over.

This bill will assuredly be met by vigorous opposition from state and national term limits activists.

Term limits came from Californians who were fed up with what they perceived as lawmakers who were more concerned with keeping their positions than with doing the work of the people. The continued assault against term limits only reinforces that negative image of election officials. Such an image is inescapable when you consider the fact that SCA 20 would lengthen the terms in office of the very same Assemblymen and Senators who support it.

The benefit of term limits of the California Legislature have been tremendous. For the first time, a Hispanic Speaker of the House was elected. More women are running for office, and winning important legislative seats. And budgets are being passed on time.

We encourage you to listen to your constituents and respect their support for the existing term limits law, which was passed by their initiative. We urge you to reject SCA 20.
Stacie Rumenap
Washington DC
U.S. Term Limits

How About Hianny?

The concerted efforts of the Republicans to make a major issue of the Elain Gonzalez case is again demonstrating the propensity of the GOP to march against the will of the American people. The are still smarting from the embarrassing fiasco they suffered as a result of their pathetic failure to unseat an effective and popular president over a highly person and private matter that was strictly between the President and his wife-and here we go again, championing another lost cause. Don't they ever learn? The American people are getting tired slapping them down always for these annoying, useless, counter-productive political shenanigans that are costing the taxpayers a lot of money. How do they expect to capture the White House when they cannot even distinguish between a worthy cause and a national disaster?

If it is true, for instance that they are concerned about the future of Elian if he is returned to Cuba, and are fighting for his right to stay in the U.S.-how about Elian's baby brother, Hianny? Is that baby not also entitled to their heroic efforts to save him from Castro's tyranny? Why do they not include him in their pending child custody battle, inasmuch as they consider the wishes of the parents to be irrelevant? The law makes no distinction between a one year old and a six year old. They are both minors. The GOP's hypocrisy and dishonesty in pursuing this case is already established. Can they not at least be consistent about it?
Amado Rocha
Rohnert Park

Health, Hogs and Ham

Planning a weekend picnic? You might want to skip the ham sandwiches, unless you like a little listeria with your mustard and Swiss cheese. California's Dermes Gourmet Corporation recently recalled 1,800 pounds of ham that may be contaminated with listeria-a potentially deadly bug that can cause flu-like symptoms, meningitis, and blood infections. Eight-eight percent of people who are seriously infected with listeria end up in the hospital, and 25 percent die.

Listeria isn't the only nasty ingredient lurking in your ham: every single bite contains a hearty dose of animal suffering. On a typical factory farm, pigs are crammed into crates barely larger than their own bodies, pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, fed offal and other junk, and then unceremoniously shipped to slaughter. Each year, 92 million pigs are killed in the United States alone.

And don't forget that meat consumption has been linked to heart disease, cancer, obesity, and many other debilitating diseases. Studies have shown that vegetarians are 30 percent less likely to suffer from heart disease than are their meat-eating counterparts, and 40 percent less likely to die from cancer.

Fortunately, consumers can still enjoy "ham" sandwiches without incurring health risks or promoting animal abuse. Health food stores and most large supermarkets sell a variety of vegetarian deli slices by companies like Lightlife and Yves Veggie Cuisine that have all the taste of the "real thing"-but none of the added cruelty or contaminants.
Paula Moore
Staff Writer
PETA-People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Toxic Chemtrails From Mystery Planes

Please thank Stephen Simac for his article, "Toxic Chemtrails From Mystery Planes; Epidemics Of Respiratory Illness Follow."

For the latest findings from my 19 month investigation into the chemtrail phenomenon, he can phone me or visit www.islandnet.com/wilco
William Thomas
author: Scorched Earth, Bringing The War Home, Alt. Health, Probing The Chemtrails Conundrum, Chemtrails Over America

Dangerous Initiatives

Unfortunately, many Americans do not understand that there is a difference between the American voting procedure (democratic) and the American system of government (republic). Because of a willingness to profit from the lessons of history, the Founding Fathers adopted a constitution that nowhere mentioned a democracy, as neither did the Declaration of Independence, nor a single constitution of the states.

Alexander Hamilton stated, "The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity."

James Madison wrote, "....democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property, and have in general been as short in their lives as they have violent in their deaths."

Samuel Adams warned: "Remember, Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself! There never was a democracy that "did not commit suicide."

But, why doesn't democracy work? The answer lies in a fatal tendency of man to aspire to live off the labors of someone else. To live, man must either work or steal. Experience shows that he will do whichever is safest and easiest. Thus, the majority will always follow demagogues who promise to use the law to give them other men's property. Once the law is perverted into a system of legalized plunder to redistribute wealth, a right sense of justice is destroyed. Special interest groups are then formed to lobby government for their share of the wealth. Class hatred is generated, violence and anarchy then usher in the fall of the government and the establishment of a dictatorship.

At the present time there is a movement to nationalize voter initiatives thus changing the American system of government from a Constitutional Republic to a Democracy. Following is a noteworthy report on this subject that appeared in the March 26th issue of the Washington Post: "An alternative form of government - the ballot initiative - is spreading in the United States. Despite its popular appeal and reformist roots, this method of lawmaking is alien to the spirit of the Constitution and its carefully crafted set of checks and balances. Left unchecked, the initiative could challenge or even subvert the system that has served the nation so well for more than 200 years."
Dee Zahner
Hesperia, CA 92340
[email protected]

Don't Shift Your Vote

Environmentalists and like-minded Democrats are deserting Vice President Al Gore for Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader because Gore, in their view, is not "green" enough. In shifting their vote, they will be helping Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush.

Environmentalists will have no one to blame but themselves if Bush becomes the next president and implements his myopic environmental vision. Does the saying, "cutting off your nose to spite your face," apply here?
* * * * *
There Go The Supremes

The Supreme Court will grab a share of the spotlight along with health care, education, and the environment, during election 2000. Supreme Court judges set precedents on issues that stand and shape society for years in advance. They are appointed for life by each current president in office. If George W. Bush is elected president, he has already said he will appoint judges in the same mold as Antonin Scalia and Clerance Thomas. With two more conservatives appointed (three judges are over 70 years old), the balance and control of the Court will be shifted far enough to the right that Scalia and Thomas will get their wish. Prayer will be returned to the schoolroom; gay rights will again be shackled, and abortion will be recriminalized. It will be a done deal with a conservative Court.
Ron Lowe
Nevada City, CA
[email protected]

Who Decides What Porn And Violence To See

The Libertarian Party announced today that "a group of powerful Senators has demanded that the Federal Communications Commission crack down on "vulgar and sexual content" on television-but it shouldn't be up to politicians to decide what you can watch on TV..."

As a freedom-lover, I have to agree. It shouldn't be up to the politicians. It should be up to "We the People".

I am, as an individual, tired of being told what I can and can't watch, what I can and can't put in my mouth, and what I can and can't do for my kids. I am tired of being told who I can and can't hang out with, where I can and can't go, where I can and can't pray, and what I can and can't believe and support. I am tired of paying taxes to institutions that support things that I don't, as an individual condone. So, having said that, isn't it time that we the people stop blaming the government for all of our problems and start taking the responsibility for ourselves?

After all, as a Christian, I have heard time and again that "if you don't like it, turn it off." As an individual who can actually think for myself, I tend to agree. However, you have sponsors out there like Proctor and Gamble who refuse to support such shows as Dr. Laura Schlessinger's, so people like me who wish to change the channel have no choice but to watch something else that is just as violent or sleezy.

This is where we stop it. If you want shows that are not violent or sleezy, then all of those business owners out there who share my views shouldn't be supporting them. Stop spending your advertising dollars on them. Start investing them in shows that you do believe in. Start sponsoring magazines you believe in. Start advertising in newspapers you trust to give you the truth. If you can't trust them, don't do business with them. After all, they don't want your money, they want your life.

If you are a consumer, and you do not own your own business, stop buying from those companies that support those shows you don't support! Simple! Make a list of those sponsors you see who are supporting those things you dislike and put your money where your mouth is.

You want choice? Then pay for it. This is America. You do have that right. It is not the government's job to tell us what we can and can't do, and we should not have to pay those politicians we do not support. Vote them OUT! Simple!

If the government then steps in your way, it is time to go back and re-read the Declaration of Independence and scribble your John Hancock somewhere below his.

I do not blame those people who like to watch violence and sleezy stuff on television, nor do I wish to take away their choice. After all, even violent and sleezy people who have not been caught committing a crime are still "We the People." They have as much a right to support what they believe in as we do. So LET them.

This is where we have gone wrong. We have let them intimidate us by using the power of the almighty dollar rather than investing in the power we have with each other. Until we take on that responsibility and take the chance to invest in our children's future, then we, as individuals cannot gripe about what is on that mind-control box sitting in our living rooms.

After all, we paid for it.
Shonda M. Ponder, president
Freedom-Lovers International
[email protected]

Half The Students Aren't Getting Much At School

June is a hard month for math teachers; when they're forced to admit that half their students really hadn't gotten much math out of the year's classes. It's the same old story: the good kids get it, the others don't. The kids who get it, sit uneasily quiet, while the others have gotten to know their teachers well enough to make it a pleasant sort of disruptive experience in most cases; but by June, they're not even faking the display of the basic knowledge of adding fractions.

The political climate is rapidly changing; I fully expect public schools, teachers, and their unions to be legally and socially attacked for failing to educate the lower half of the nation's youth.

What aggravates the situation with math is that, but for the existent education structure, we could have been quite successful in electronically transferring basic math skills to students for the last twenty years. But the money wasn't there for that; the money was there for a steadily deteriorating group of teachers to stand in front of the students, endlessly boring and confusing the majority, creating extremely unhealthy learning situations, and ending up convincing the marginal students that they were no good at math, hated math, and were eventually turned off to the whole process. The steadily decreasing bucks ended up in the teacher's pockets, with the most important product, adequate universal math education, conspicuously absent.

We need to get real serious about product. Especially in math, we need to concentrate on universal results-based education. Award every student a specific math ranking upon entry into your institution, and allow them the equitable comfort of spending four years nursing their math number up through the ranks. Also, if a student reaches ninth grade without the ability to add fractions, placing them in a teachered classroom is non-productive: they need to sit in front of a computer screen until they thoroughly understand fractions. And when they eventually obtain a math teacher, it's essential they be sufficiently engaged to increase rather than decrease their math functioning.

I'm Martin Luther Teacher, a big fan of computerized education, taking the math Bible away from ineffective omnipotent teachers; I also believe this is the socially responsible answer to a general teacher shortage. Sentence structure, vocabulary, history, languages, logic, literature, philosophy, and Shakespeare can also be successfully machine taught.

Perhaps in ten years, instead of this teacher/machine debate, we'll be debating conscious/unconscious machine education. There will always be a place for professionals in a classroom, but, most assuredly, not all the classrooms; and where they do appear, they will be significantly more successful, and highly appreciated.
Harry Holdorf
[email protected]

About Flight Noise Complaints

The Coastal Post devotes a lot of space to covering the flight noise complaints. While these complaints may be well intentioned, the people are ignoring reality. During the past two decades, the Bay area has seen tremendous growth. There are now thirty-million people living in California. In twenty years, there will be fifty-million, and a large percentage will be living in Northern California. Logic says that air traffic will almost double. Do Marin residents think that they have some God-given special right to escape the sound of jets flying overhead? Do they really believe that jets should fly over every county except Marin? Of course they do. The rest of the state must be chuckling over Marin resident's whining.
Jason Warden
[email protected]

Misunderstanding The 2nd Amendment And Gun Control

I hope this letter will clear up any misunderstanding as to what the United States government's position is regarding the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. On June 13, 2000 a 2nd Amendment (civil right to keep and bear arms) case was heard in the United States 5th Circuit Court of Appeals by the presiding three judge panel.

Judge Garwood asked the United States government prosecutor the following question: "You are saying that the Second Amendment is consistent with a position that you can take guns away from the public? You can restrict the ownership of rifles, pistols and shotguns from all people? Is that the position of the United States?"

Answer by United States Attorney: "Yes."

Question by Judge Garwood: "Is it the position of the United States that persons that are not in the National Guard are afforded no protections under the Second Amendment?"

Answer by United States Attorney: "Exactly." The United States attorney went on to explain that even the National Guard does not have the right to privately own a firearm.

It seems many people think that the government just wants to take away certain types of firearms from law-abiding citizens. The fact is they want to completely disarm all private citizens. This case proves it! They claim it's for safety reasons. Why would Clinton release convicted bombers into our society if he were concerned with safety? Is anyone so naive as to believe Clinton after his record of dishonesty and lying?

If the government achieves this sinister goal we as a country could be reduced to the same status as countries like China and Kosovo. Our most sacred right of personal defense will be gone. The government will be able to impose its will upon us as it sees fit without fear of resistance from the citizenry. Criminals will not give up their weapons. The police will still take ten minutes to respond.

The tactic of disarming citizens as a means to control them is an old one. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and Hussein all used it successfully. If Gore is elected president we will most certainly lose our right of self-defense and eventually many other liberties. Why must history keep repeating itself?
Daniel Cook
Lodi, CA
[email protected]

Attention Korean War Veterans

I often read that the Korean Veteran's are known as the "forgotten" veterans. I'm happy to report that the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington, DC has established the "Navy Log" in an effort to honor all naval veterans that have served our country. The Navy Log includes Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Merchant Mariners. The Navy Log has thus far collected the names, service information and photographs of over a quarter of a million service personnel.

All enrollments form a part of America's enduring naval heritage, a permanent and publicly accessible video register available for reviewing at the Naval Heritage Center next to the Navy Memorial on Pennsylvania Avenue, midway between the White House and the Capitol, or on the Memorial's Internet web site, www.lonesailor.org. Write to: U.S. Navy Memorial Log, Dept. A, 701 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 123, Washington, DC 20004-2608.
David J. Michael
Master Chief, USN Retired
Dale City, Virginia

St. Petersburg Russian Wants To Hear From Americans

Let's me from Russia wish to readers of your newspaper well-being and happiness. I'm 43 years old and I live in Saint-Petersburg - the former capital of Russia. I'm not married and work as a designer.

I want to know what your readers think about Russia and Russian people. And from myself and from many inhabitants of Saint Petersburg I want to say: "Let's communicate direct". May be you want to interchange by ideas, suggestions; to be friends; to come to us during vacation; to exchange by stamps, coins, phone cards, badges; to find joint business; to meet for friendship and marriage; to get instant information about life in Russian (politicians and events...). I'd like to receive an answer from readers of your newspaper who is interested in. I'll be glad to meet with single woman who needs approval. Also I'd like to know what your readers think about the following: what intelligentsia of Russia, Saint-Petersburg must do in order to build such democratic state as yours? The matter is the people and the government have nothing in common. Corruption, theft, murders of opponents, total deception of people... I, as an inhabitant of Russia, can difficult understand why not helping to common people of Russia in building democracy. We ask you to help in restoration democratic administration in Saint-Petersburg. Say how to live in the city where rights of people are violated. Residents of the city live in the beggary but the money which administration of city get from abroad disappear in unknown direction. We, residents of Saint-Petersburg, want you to help us to build the structure of people administration such as in your beautiful country.

And about my hobby. I'd like to gather collection of fire medals and fire metallic badges of different countries. May be somebody among readers of your newspaper have something and want to help me in collecting. I'll send in exchange the collection material from Russia. May be somebody have friends among firemen or can come to the Fire Department (Fire Museum or special shop) in order to inquire about fire medals and fire metallic badges. Fire metallic badges and medals you can send me with your wishes to my address:
Vladimir Nedelski
P.O. Box 257
Saint-Petersburg
191025 Russia
[email protected]
Telephone:
+7 (812) 484-15-26
P.S. Dear editor, I ask you to publish my letter in your newspaper, may be in reduction. If it's impossible then please tell to your Fire Department, Fire Museum or firemen you know about my wish to exchange by fire medals and badges.

About collaboration residents of Saint-Petersburg with residents of your country please tell to the special organizations of people and administration which can really help us in reconstruction of order and democracy. My web site address is www.afire.chat.ru
Best regards,
Nedelski Vladimir

Stop The Navy From Hurting The Whales

Thanks for publishing my letter, "Whales in Danger from New Navy Technology" and the letter on the same subject from the President of the National Resources Defense Council. We need to get the word out about the U.S. Navy's low-frequency active sonar system (LFAS) which seriously threatens marine mammals and other oceanic life. Because the Navy has been testing this system secretly (and illegally, breaking environmental laws), there is very little public knowledge as to what is going on.

In the May 29th San Francisco Chronicle's Science Section, there was a full page article titled, "A Growing Graveyard of Grays: Increase in Pacific whale deaths leaves scientists foraging for clues." The article included a graph showing the dramatic increase in gray whale strandings in California waters. Between 1990 and 1997, the annual average number of beached whales was 11, never higher than 15. Then in 1998, 30 whales were stranded; 1999, 32 whales, and this year, 45 whales. The beached whales appear to be well-nourished adults. The article notes that whales are deviating from the regular migratory routes, some coming right into the San Francisco Bay and in the Pacific Northwest and Puget Sound, and dying in the inlets.

The gray whale is the only whale species that has made a comeback after being driven to the brink of extinction by commercial whaling. In the article, some scientists say they believe that the increase in whale deaths may simply be a sign that the population has reached its natural limit. But they are concerned. "This die-off has come on so suddenly and dramatically. It has caught us by surprise, because we expected it to be much more gentle. Both the mortality rate is up and the birth rate is down, and both happening at the same time is troubling." John Calambokidis, a research biologist with Cascade Research, Olympia and a government contractor.

Amazingly, amongst the theories put forward for the whale deaths there is not a word about the Navy's LFAS tests. This, despite the fact the Navy has been testing since 1997 near the San Francisco Bay and all up and down the west coast. During the tests, gray whales were seen swerving dramatically off their normal route, and fin and blue whales in the Channel Islands area responded to the tests by decreasing the number of their vocalizations -- they stopped singing.

During just some of the other Navy LFAS tests, three humpback whale calves and one dolphin calf died after being separated from their mothers in Hawaii and there have been mass strandings of whales off Greece and in the Bahamas. Many of the beached whales ultimately died. Two had bleeding eyes, suggesting acute shock trauma.

The Navy claims that these injuries and deaths are coincidental. The Navy claims that marine mammals, with their extraordinary sensitivity to the slightest sounds, can withstand a sound ten thousand times more intense than that proven to cause human beings immediate and lasting damage.

Well folks, WE GOTTA DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS!

And fortunately, we're not alone in feeling that this has to be stopped.

On February 29th 2000, ten environmental organizations filed suit in Honolulu challenging the U.S. Navy to halt testing until we can study the long-term impacts of LFAS and can be assured of the well-being of whales and other marine life. We need to support this law suit and raise public consciousness.

AND WE CAN SUCCEED!

Recently public outcry was responsible for stopping the enormous salt works expansion project in San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja, California. This new plant was slated to be near a nature reserve, a breeding ground for gray whales.

Also just recently Japan was stopped from reinstating commercial whaling.

I'm helping to raise funds for the lawsuit to stop the U.S. Navy's deployment of this dangerous technology. The attorney, Lanny Sinkin, is donating his legal time, but there are other costs that need to be covered.

For a donation of $10 or more, I'll send you this great bumpersticker:

"NEVER DOUBT THAT A SMALL GROUP OF THOUGHTFUL, COMMITTED CITIZENS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD. INDEED IT'S THE ONLY THING THAT EVER HAS." - Margaret Mead. If you'd like to help protect the whales and other marine mammals, please send your checks made out to "Stop LFAS". If you'd like the donation to be tax-deductible, make it out to ISF/Stop LFAS.

Thank you for caring.
Vivienne Verdon-Roe
P. O. Box 176, Bolinas, CA 94924
[email protected]

Execution Brings Shame On Justice

I support the death penalty in that I believe that there is a legitimate place in society for the execution of some people who murder other people. But the execution of Gary Graham in Texas was an act that brings shame upon our justice system and our nation as a whole as we put to death a man who is most likely innocent of the crime.

In this case we have a situation where the weapon found on Mr. Graham did not match the one used to kill the victim, and several eye witnesses, who were never called by the defense to testify, said that Mr. Graham was not the person who committed the murder. I find it very troubling that we have executed a person where the witnesses at the scene never testified, and the gun did not match the bullet.

I believe that before we use the death penalty that we should be pretty darn sure we're executing the right person. This case doesn't get anywhere close to pretty darn sure. What this execution shows us is that we have a judicial system that is sloppy and incompetent and that at least 5 pout of 9 members of the United States Supreme Court who voted against staying the execution believe that it's OK for the government to kill people even when serious questions are raised as to whether or not we are killing an innocent person.

This execution was a test between justice and process. When the gun doesn't match the bullet, justice demands at least a stay of execution. But our courts put process ahead of justice and they take the position that it is more important to be procedurally correct and that people should die to preserve the procedure. I say that it is morally wrong to put procedure ahead of justice and that our courts should no longer use the word "justice" when they kill people to conceal the misconduct of prosecutors. Gary Grahams blood is on our hands because we as a society, through our collective insanity, tolerate the corruption of our courts and allow this to occur.
Marc Perkel
Republican Candidate for United States Senate for the State of Missouri
http://www.perkel.com/senate/index.htm

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