Letters To The Editor
CP Is Not Propaganda
I have no idea where my subscription came from! Just started receiving this when I arrived in San Antonio. It's an interesting paper and I'm interested in any news information I can gain access to that is NOT propaganda or "spun." CSpans I and II are a gift from heaven -- especially Brian Lamb and the book interviews.
I played on the sands at Bolinas as a child! I am now 92!
San Antonio, TX
Worried About The World
Hello! I'm a boy from Scandinavia. I hope you Americans not do anything that would hurt this horrible world more than necessary.
Trade Embargoes Are Failures
Why not use a carrot instead of a stick to stop the terrorism? It is not a coincidence that the countries on the US's trade embargo list are also those that harbor terrorists and are also very poor. Starving people can not overthrow their government (Cuba is a perfect example). The trade embargoes are a failure and are creating these terrorists (and the CIA's meddling). Drop all trade embargoes and help these people. This is the only way to end terrorism.
MUTA Letter To Davis
The Marin County Board of Supervisors (BOS) has written you of its 4-1 vote in support of AB 104, to add $4 to the registration tax for each registered motor vehicle.
Marin United Taxpayers Association (MUTA) urges that you disregard the Marin BOS letter for the following reasons:
1. The endorsement of AB 104 and its $4 add-on tax was adopted as an alleged "urgency" action at the BOS meeting of 9/18/01 by four "aye" votes and one (Murray) abstention.
2. This action item was not agendized. The BOS action was thus an egregious violation of the Brown Act's Section 54954.2(a), which requires that agendas include "a brief, general description of each item of business to be transacted... [and]... no action shall be taken on any item not appearing on the posted agenda." The Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Section 1125) has essentially the same requirement. Thus, the public was not properly informed of the action to be taken, nor of its tax implication, and therefore was not given a reasonable opportunity to express its views for or against the measure.
3. The action was taken under paragraph 3 of the 9/18 agenda, identified solely as "Administrator's Report," without any reference to either AB 104 or its tax implication.
4. AB 104 had already passed both Senate and Assembly on 9/14, four days earlier. There was thus no justification whatever for any "urgency" designation.
5. According to Assemblyman Nation's staff, no "urgency" label was attached to the measure by its author. The "urgency" designation apparently was added by the Marin County Administrator in his report to the BOS.
6. The only conceivable reason for the so-called "urgency" label would appear to be to lend spurious authenticity to Marin County's action of approving AB 104, in a last minute effort to have Marin listed as a supporter of AB 104 in order to help persuade you to sign the measure.
7. It has long been an accepted precept that tax measures levied on motor vehicles and fuel should be for transportation-related purposes of improving our transportation system, means and infrastructure, not for such peripheral matters as wetlands and the Coastal Conservancy.
For all of the foregoing reasons, we ask that you disregard the spurious "support" letter sent by Marin BOS, and we further urge that you veto AB 104.
$21,000,000 Communication Plan?
Twenty one million dollars -- only those who slurp and gobble from the public trough could even begin to conceive of a communication plan within Marin County for $21,000,000.
The idea is beyond absurd to any normal tax paying citizen.
If, in our lifetime, there is another earthquake or other such disaster, and if this system is not already obsolete, let's see what might take place.
"Hello Novato. This is Sausalito. We've had an earthquake."
"Yeah, we know."
"Hello Mill Valley. This is Corte Madera. We've had an earthquake."
"Yeah, we know."
"Can you come and help us?"
"Hell no. We have enough troubles of our own."
I have a better idea. I'll bet that 50 percent of the police and firemen already have cell phones. Can't they communicate that way? Everyone else does. How about going to some garage sales and buying old C.B. radios -- they're about $5 each. Pick one channel and have instant communication.
How in the hell did anyone come up with $21,000,000?
Red Cross Bombing
The U.S. forces struck Red Cross facilities in Afghanistan? How could they do such a thing?
It's actually quite logical. We Americans cannot make up our minds on how to handle the terrorist threat. We're not sure whether we should bomb Afghanistan, since their government harbors the terrorists who attacked America on 9/11 -- or whether we should feed Afghanistan, show them compassion and turn the other cheek (as we’re all taught is the right thing to do).
So we do both.
Consequently, it should come as no surprise that the U.S. bombed some of its own humanitarian facilities. When you set out to achieve completely contradictory goals, you will tend to do dramatically contradictory things. It's not possible to be both at war with a country -- and to rescue a country -- at one and the same time.
The real question is this: why can't our elected leaders understand this simple fact?
Michael J. Hurd Ph.D.
Chevy Chase MD
We the People of the United States of America are facing two enemies. One enemy is the terrorists who blew up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The other enemy is our own government who has launched a war on freedom and the Constitution. Congress is in the process of passing laws that overturn our civil liberties and undermine the very freedoms that make us who we are.
The new laws, which are being passed in the heat of the moment, give the government the powers to spy on law abiding citizens, to search your home, to listen in on your phone calls, to read your email, and to arrest anyone they don't like under the pretense of terrorism laws. These laws give the government the same powers of the former Soviet Union to oppress people who love freedom and care about the vision of our forefathers who founded this nation as a country of free people.
Before we return to McCarthyism, I urge Congress to slow down and think before overturning the Constitution in the heat of the moment. We the People are prepared to fight for our freedom, even if the enemy is our own government. We ask Congress not to finish the terrorist work by taking away the very freedoms that makes us a great country. We can't fight a war on terrorism if we are fighting a civil war at the same time. All I am asking is for Congress to slow down and think before they act.
Letter to Our DC Reps
To: Rep. Gephardt, Senator Hastert, Senator Biden, Senator Reid
Re: National Security and Foreign Relations Interface
As seen on C-Span this week, Senator Helms introduced a bill to disaffiliate the US from International Court and Tribunal... in order to protect our military and citizens, is a ploy to remove self-serving actions by our government from international investigation.
This is the same logic offered by Slobodon Milosevic in that he does not recognize the purview of the International Court of indicting him for actions in his position as a leader of a sovereign nation of Serbia.
I would appreciate very much your reply to my inquiry of this most latest conundrum in our foreign policy.
Your attention is appreciated.
bin Laden's Gang Like US Judges
Osama bin Laden's gang of thugs, claiming that their actions are done in the name of God, are not unlike American judges facilitating the violation of people's rights in the name of justice. There is no excuse for the continuation of such corruptions, and not an iota of integrity or "honor" in the pretense that there is. If you believe that there are two forces in the universe, good and evil, take a second to think about which side both of the above groups now serve.
Al-Qaida and their ilk are as faithful to the force of good as the lying, cheating, Constitution-crushing judges are loyal to the "American Way." And as we watch and condemn the helpless Afghans for seeming to have surrendered so passively to the Taliban, should we question our own capitulation to those who have betrayed our American freedoms to what would now seem clearly to be a growing police-state?
Perhaps we are more like those poor starving Afghans than we want to believe? Fanatics come in all sorts of robes; those of the Taliban, and those of corrupt American judges. It is sadly human nature not to recognize such threats in our own homeland until it is too late.
James Samuel Kor
Yesterday I heard a lot of talk about "bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age." Ronn Owens, on KGO Talk Radio allowed that this would mean killing innocent people, people who had nothing to do with this atrocity, but "we're at war, we have to accept collateral damage," and he asked, "What else can we do? What is your suggestion?" Minutes later I heard a TV pundit discussing whether we "have the belly to do what must be done." And I thought about these issues especially hard because I am from Afghanistan, and even though I've lived here for 35 years I've never lost track of what's been going on over there. So I want to share a few thoughts with anyone who will listen.
I speak as one who hates the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden. There is no doubt in my mind that these people were responsible for the atrocity in New York. I fervently wish to see those monsters punished. But the Taliban and Bin Laden are not Afghanistan. They're not even the government of Afghanistan. The Taliban are a cult of ignorant psychotics who captured Afghanistan in 1997 and have been holding the country in bondage ever since. Bin Laden is a political criminal with a master plan. When you think Taliban, think Nazis. When you think Bin Laden, think Hitler. And when you think "the people of Afghanistan" think "the Jews in the concentration camps." It's not only that the Afghan people had nothing to do with this atrocity. They were the first victims of the perpetrators. They would love for someone to eliminate the Taliban and clear out the rats nest of international thugs holed up in their country. I guarantee it. Some say, if that's the case, why don't the Afghans rise up and overthrow the Taliban themselves? The answer is, they're starved, exhausted, damaged, and incapacitated. A few years ago, the United Nations estimated that there are 500,000 disabled orphans in Afghanistan--a country with no economy, no food.
Millions of Afghans are widows of the approximately two million men killed during the war with the Soviets. And the Taliban has been executing these women for being women and have buried some of their opponents alive in mass graves. The soil of Afghanistan is littered with land mines and almost all the farms have been destroyed. The Afghan people have tried to overthrow the Taliban. They haven't been able to.
We come now to the question of bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age. Trouble with that scheme is, it's already been done. The Soviets took care of it. Make the Afghans suffer? They're already suffering. Level their houses? Done. Turn their schools into piles of rubble? Done. Eradicate their hospitals? Done. Destroy their infrastructure? There is no infrastructure. Cut them off from medicine and health care? Too late. Someone already did all that.
New bombs would only land in the rubble of earlier bombs. Would they at least get the Taliban? Not likely. In today's Afghanistan, only the Taliban eat, only they have the means to move around. They'd slip away and hide. (They have already, I hear.) Maybe the bombs would get some of those disabled orphans, they don't move too fast, they don't even have wheelchairs. But flying over Kabul and dropping bombs wouldn't really be a strike against the criminals who did this horrific thing. Actually it would be making common cause with the Taliban--by raping once again the people they've been raping all this time.
So what else can be done, then? Let me now speak with true fear and trembling. The only way to get Bin Laden is to go in there with ground troops. I think that when people speak of "having the belly to do what needs to be done" many of them are thinking in terms of having the belly to kill as many as needed. They are thinking about overcoming moral qualms about killing innocent people. But it's the belly to die not kill that's actually on the table. Americans will die in a land war to get Bin Laden. And not just because some Americans would die fighting their way through Afghanistan to Bin Laden's hideout. It's much bigger than that, folks. To get any troops to Afghanistan, we'd have to go through Pakistan. Would they let us? Not likely. The conquest of Pakistan would have to be first. Will other Muslim nations just stand by? You see where I'm going. The invasion approach is a flirtation with global war between Islam and the West.
And that is Bin Laden's program. That's exactly what he wants and why he did this thing. Read his speeches and statements. It's all right there. At the moment, of course, "Islam" as such does not exist. There are Muslims and there are Muslim countries, but no such political entity as Islam. Bin Laden believes that if he can get a war started, he can constitute this entity and he'd be running it. He really believes Islam would beat the west. It might seem ridiculous, but he figures if he can polarize the world into Islam and the West, he's got a billion soldiers. If the West wreaks a holocaust in Muslim lands, that's a billion people with nothing left to lose, even better from Bin Laden's point of view. He's probably wrong about winning, in the end the west would probably-whatever that would mean in such a war; but the war would last for years and millions would die, not just theirs but ours. Who has the belly for that? Bin Laden yes, but anyone else?
I don't have a solution. But I do believe that suffering and poverty are the soil in which terrorism grows. Bin Laden and his cohorts want to bait us into creating more such soil, so they and their kind can flourish. We can't let him do that. That's my humble opinion.
Tamim Ansary, an Afghan-American woman and writer
living in the US.
More Afraid of Bush Than Terrorists
Our family is much more afraid of what the Bush Administration will do than what the terrorists might do. This administration is deciding what the terrorists will do. We and most of the neighborhood were devastated when we realized that the only way Geo. W. could become president was to break the Ten Commandments and steal the election through the help of his conservative mob friends stopping the voters from voting, thus creating Votegate 2000 and setting the stage for this countries' spiritual backbone -- integrity being out of alignment and, as a result, attracting one big trouble after another: the ozone hole getting bigger; the Texas energy connections behind the California energy crisis; Geo. W. trashing the economy causing the stock market crash; heading toward a full fledged recession; and the latest being the terrorist attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon.
We can visualize the possibility while everyone had known that the terrorists were going to attack, it was the Bush Administration (through thirty billion dollars spent on intelligence annually) that knew when and where the terrorists' attacks would take place. They did nothing. They let it happen (just like the authorities let it happen at Pearl Harbor to start World War II) for one reason -- because this month the 5,000 member National Lawyers Guild was to vote to ask the House of Representatives to start impeachment proceedings against the Supreme Court majority that let Geo. W. steal the election. (Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi's book, "The Betrayal of America; How the Supreme Court Undermined the Constitution and Chose Our President," was to be the legal foundation for this request.) If the five justices got impeached, Geo. W. would be the next to be impeached. He takes the attention off Votegate 2000 by letting terrorism happen. It took considerable staging. He sends in the troops and up goes his popularity. Stealing the election attracts trouble. Like attracts like.
America needs to stop its bully foreign policy -- our arrogant moral certainty forcing other countries to subordinate to the needs of the American economy and US corporations to maintain a welfare state for the rich. If America was not supporting Israel's 34 year brutal occupation of Arab land; If America had not occupied Saudi Arabia; If there were no "starving" of up to one million Iraqi children because of UN sanctions against Iraq; If no atomic bombs were dropped on Japan at the end of World War II (we did it primarily to send a message to the Soviet Union for them to stop their colonialism of Asia), our family strongly believes that the World Trade Center and the Pentagon would still be intact. Impeaching Geo. W. Bush and stopping the bully foreign policy would be the best memorial for the victims of the Pentagon and the WTC. We could start with a Christian attitude toward the children of Iraq. Our family are students of the teachings of Noam Chomsky.
Where Is The Support For Us?
Dear Supervisor Brown,
It is my understanding that the Marin County Board of Supervisors recently adopted a resolution urging residents toâ "seek ways to offer comfort, reassurance and solace to community members of Arab, Middle Eastern, Indian and South Asian descent." I ask that you specifically amend your resolution to include Israelis, American Jews, Jews of Arab, Middle Eastern, North African, Central Asian, European and all other ethnicities and countries of the world. I believe that there should also be inclusion of Christians and all other religious (and non-religious) and ethnic groups that were targeted and victimized by the horrifying acts of murder perpetrated against America.
Yes, we need to make sure that innocent Muslim people are not blamed for the acts of fanatics connected to terrorist organizations. However, let us not forget that the reason these acts were perpetrated in the first place was to initiateâ "jihadâ" with the goal of eliminating Jews as a people and Israel as a nation.
All American Jews have family, religious or spiritual ties to other Jews and to Israel. I personally have at least one Israeli friend -- an American citizen -- who has received death threats. Where is the support for us? Let us not forget that innocent and peace seeking Jews have faced discrimination and have been the targets of hate crimes for thousands of years, both in Israel and in the Diaspora. They have been oppressed, tortured and expelled from many parts of the world, especially Arab, Middle Eastern and North African countries. Israel in many cases has been the primary -- if not the only country -- willing to rescue and take in Jews -- and others fleeing persecution -- from countries like Yemen and Ethiopia.
Despite the propaganda disseminated by fanatics dedicated to eliminating Israel from the face of the earth, Israel does warrant being demonized for the so-called â"Palestinianâ" conflict. In fact, Palestinians who want peace with Israelis are threatened and murdered by Islamic fanatics for being "conspirators." Innocent, peace seeking Palestinians have been rejected by their own people, so that they could be used as scapegoats to turn the world against Israel and all Muslim countries against the United States. Israelis have been living daily with acts of terrorism committed by Muslim fanatics connected not only to Al Qaeda, but also groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.
Jews are among the most patriotic of Americans and Israel is America's friend and ally. We need assurance and we need the support of our community.
Media Mindless Irresponsibility
A gross example of media mindless irresponsibility surfaced on Fox News channel Thursday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. PDT.
In the promo for the upcoming news, talking head Laurie Dhue read the words advertising the segment on how "the anthrax panic spreads."
Later, in the news report itself, she referred to what was happening, "as most Americans focus on anthrax hysteria."
Surely those two quoted phrases from the Fox News do more to induce panic and hysteria than insure calm and a common sense response. Ms. Dhue deserves our sympathy, but the news writer who composed those words for her to read should be kept after school to write 100 times, "There is neither anthrax panic nor anthrax hysteria in America."
Lt. Col., USA, Retired
Terrorism In The Oceans
In the last few weeks our nation has been focused on the grief, anger and protective reaction in response to the terrible attacks of September eleventh. I've been encouraged that amidst the calls for revenge, for "wanted dead or alive", there have been calls to look to the roots of the horrific events of that day. Even in mainstream media I've heard calls to face our own nations responsibility for acts of violence against the people of other nations.
I heard a professor of ethics say that the more inclusive our community, the more ethically developed we are. At this crossroads, humanity has an incredible opportunity to extend the definition of "we", beyond tribal and national, to global. And beyond human, to include all of the Earth's community. Science is showing us what mystics have known. All species are a single sacred community. Everything is inter-related. I like the way John Muir said it: "When we tug at a single thing in nature we find it is attached to the rest of the world." We are a part of the web of life, and our survival depends upon the well-being of the entire web.
Those of us who understand that what is good for the living Earth is good for us have an opportunity to be the voice for those who cannot speak. We must speak up to prevent a global catastrophe.
The US Navy is about to deploy Low Frequency Active (LFA) sonar. The Navy broke environmental laws when they secretly developed this technology to detect "quiet submarines". If deployed, LFA sonar will blast 80% of the world's oceans with a noise about 10,000 times the intensity of the Challenger at take-off. During tests of active sonar, whales and dolphins mass-stranded and died. Their eyes were bleeding, their lungs were ruptured, and there was hemorrhaging in their ears and brains.
The Navy has recently developed two new passive sonar systems that can detect enemy quiet submarines. LFA is not necessary. Nevertheless the Navy still plans to deploy this active technology that will torture and kill whales and dolphins. This remnant of "Cold War thinking" will not protect us from terrorism. It will cause terror and death on a massive scale to life in the ocean.
SEAFLOW, a volunteer organization I co-founded last year, initiated a grassroots campaign. Through community events, house parties, and media presentations we've activated thousands of people to contact their representatives. These efforts, centered in California and Hawaii, have fostered a growing awareness and concern in Congress. Hearings on LFA sonar were scheduled. But after the tragic events of 9/11/01 the hearings were postponed. Now the Navy is trying to get Congress to grant it an exemption from the Endangered Species Act. To stop this catastrophe from happening, it is absolutely essential to increase the public's awareness and show our representatives a passionate widespread concern.
Please write your elected officials. If you'd like to join our efforts or send a tax-deductible contribution, please contact me.
I believe we can only build real security when we stop hurting others in order to protect ourselves, and we honor and celebrate the diversity of life.
With hope and love,
Vivienne Verdon-Roe, Ph.D
Missing Great Opportunities
America's war on terrorism is a just war. Unanswered barbaric attacks encourage madmen. The Bush administration has repeatedly said: You are with us, or you are with the terrorists. Friendly nations like India have unhesitantly supported America in its quest for justice.
But how many Americans know that their government, while talking about a global war against terrorism, is pressuring India to sit tight and not respond to the murderous terrorist activities sponsored by neighboring Pakistan? Nobody except the Taliban asked the US to negotiate with terrorists. So why does America demand that nations like India display restraint and compromise with evildoers?
In its quest for next-quarter results, America is missing great opportunities for strategic synergy with like-minded free democracies. America would be wise to not blindly trust the reformed bandits in its posse. America should strive to eliminate terrorism, not redirect it away from itself.
Bloomington IL 61704
The Unraveling Of A Breakdown
When tragedy strikes and we find ourselves engulfed by a crisis of the magnitude that we are now in, we instinctively ask ourselves what we could have done to prevent it. As citizens of this great country, have we done everything possible within our constitutional rights to guard ourselves against it? Have we fulfilled all of our civic duties as responsible citizens to ensure that our government is of the people, by the people, and for the people as prescribed by the preamble of our national charter? Have we asserted our rights to defend our constitution from insidious forces that are endeavoring to undermine it for their own hidden and selfish agendas? Half of us will feel a tinge of guilt when confronted with these questions.
Who, for instance, can now tell if the over 6,000 victims of the 9-11 WTC and Pentagon onslaught could be alive today if we all went to the polls last November? We all know, as the whole world knows, that our democratic system broke down during the last presidential election. It is not a secret that the power of big money crushed the power of our electorate in that closely contested race. Could that have happened had we all gone out to vote? Big money was encouraged to play the clever game that they played in Florida when the election, nationwide, appeared to be too close to call. Would it have been too close to call had we all cast our votes? There would not have been the scheming spoilers that added to the country's electorate in the polls spawned all kinds of exploiters whose only purpose was to promote their own insidious and selfish agendas. The five Justices of the US Supreme Court who reversed the decision of the American people for partisan and political reasons would never have had the opportunity to commit such a shameless and immoral act if we had all gone to the polls.
But what has all of this got to do with the 9-11 disaster? They key word is "breakdown." There was a terrible breakdown in our democratic system last November because half of our electorate just didn't give a damn. The whole world is still talking about how the world's bastion of democracy settled a closely contested presidential race by not counting the vote. And no less than the highest arbiter of the land swore that such travesty of justice served the majesty of the rule of law. As a consequence, the greatest democratic country in the world has now a government that is led by a man who is not the choice of the people and therefore has no mandate nor authority from them. If this is not a breakdown in our democracy -- what else could it be?
It is therefore not surprising to see the incumbent US government, which after only ten months of administration has already reversed the hard earned achievements of the previous one. We can see our economy faltering like no one would have ever imagined. We can see the evaporation in our society of the once fast growing middle class, while the chasm existing between the rich and the poor had dizzily widened. To most Americans, the American dream has transformed into a nightmare. Our foreign policy is in shambles. We walked out of a sensitive UN conference negotiating peace between warring countries in the Middle East. We have abrogated long standing international treaties that protect the environment and world peace in the name of corporate profits. We arrogantly took sides in religious disputes between parties with long-standing records of terroristic activities simply to prove how tough we are. Our government is behaving like an international bully itching for a fight. Having apparently intimidated its perennial adversaries, it is now picking on the little pockets of defiant radicals that somehow refuse to surrender. "Resist us and we will bomb you back to the stone age. Surrender and we will rule you with compassion" seems to be the advocacy behind our current foreign policy.
Sad to say, the 9-11 tragedy appears to be a pricey wake-up call for America. The loss of over 6,000 lives is a high price to pay for any kind of wake-up call. But if it can awaken us to save more lives in the future, the victims of that tragedy would not have died in vain. Being awakened does not mean waving the American flag and shouting to the world that we are proud to be Americans. Being awakened does not mean to cry for blood and fight terrorists with terrorism. We go deeper than to just analyze the problem. We seek the reason that is causing it. The 9-11 is merely the symptom of a more serious problem. The problem is not external in nature. It may only appear that way. In fact, our problem could be from within. We had a breakdown in our system and its consequences are merely unraveling. We are called upon to look within ourselves and seek a resolution to what has caused that breakdown. We can show our love of country more intensely by going to the polls when we are called upon to do so than to physically display or wave the American flag when we are visited by disasters like the 9-11 attacks. The former essentially precludes the latter.
No Hindu Supports Terrorism
Our nation's righteous struggle to eradicate terrorism has filled Hindu American students with the patriotic fervor shared by fellow Americans. Yet today, when our pride for this country soars higher than ever, we now struggle with misunderstanding, suspicion and fear from so many. A Sikh-American in Arizona was murdered, several Hindu Americans have been physically attacked and Hindu temples have been defaced. Muslim students, of course, share the consequences of the ignorance we face-- but our distress differs in a significant way. For while President Bush to Oprah, and television networks to public radio, have undertaken a concerted effort to focus on the teachings of Islam and its distortions the terrorists promulgate, there has not yet been a similar societal attempt in this country to understand even the basic tenets of Hinduism- a religion born to India and whose practitioners share the "Eastern" or "brown-skin" appearance that has now become a liability. Most ironic is that the war against the Taliban and terrorist camps of the al-Qaeda network is a war against a common enemy for all Hindus and Indian-Americans. These same terrorist networks have for ten years attempted the very disintegration of India by fomenting terrorism in the beautiful state of Kashmir that has left over 35,000 Indians dead. Support from Hindu-Americans in this country and throughout India for the American campaign has been unfailing.
We beseech fellow Americans to realize only that tolerance, acceptance, non-violence, and full responsibility for one's actions (karma) form a basis of a religion that has never attacked or invaded any country in over 5000 years of history. No Hindu seeks converts and it is the antithesis of Hindu thought to force our way on others. Our tolerance is encapsulated well by a Sanskrit Scriptural verse, "Ekam Sat Viprajh Bahudha Vadanti", enjoining that there is only one Truth that is worshipped by different names. Hindu philosophy has been the wellspring from which Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism were born-grand traditions that guide more than half the world.
We ask only that fellow students, and all Americans, see in Hindu students, and in all Indian-Americans, proud citizens. Our appearance, far from identifying us with the murderous philosophies of the terrorists of the Taliban and the evil of 9-11, identifies us with a religious tradition which grants us the strength and resolve to see ourselves through this, the carrying out of our Dharma (righteous action), in our nation's finest hour.
Hindu Students Council Public Relations Team
Hindu Students Council
Low-Cost Housing Truths
In a letter of Sept. 8, 2001 to the Marin Independent Journal, Ms. Deborah Callis asks who I am. I am a scientist who collects facts and writes about them. Ms. Callis does not like the conclusion to my recent article in the IJ. But my article reflects the facts about Marin's history. Slow growth has been the tradition and neither I nor Ms. Callis can change that history. Ms. Callis finds Marin's housing situation unacceptable in its lack of affordable housing. There is no such thing as "affordable housing." The entire Bay Area has a housing shortage and the cost of housing has continued to rise over the past five years in astounding leaps. This cost rises with demand and as our population shows no sign of declining, we can expect this situation to continue.
Ms. Callis is critical of what I am doing to provide low cost housing. Fairfax's Town Council has taken steps for our employees in this problem by increasing staff salaries without increasing taxes. Lew Tremaine and myself supported fellow councilman Frank Egger's emergency ordinance banning monster homes which are reducing our town's low cost housing stock and placing pressure on the moderately priced stock. This was opposed by Mayor Ghiringhelli and Councilwoman Brandborg.
Increasing the housing stock is not the ultimate answer either and Ms. Callis should read Fodor's Better not Bigger book which details how in our economy, in community after community, increasing housing also decreases services and increases taxes. In recent years, I conducted research on European housing costs and found in Sweden housing is affordable as it is heavily subsidized by the government. Swedes also pay for this which taxes which are more than twice what Americans pay. It is unlikely that Americans would be willing to see their taxes increase to accomplish this task. Over the past 30 years, I have worked with a non-profit housing corporation to provide low cost housing. But this is a very difficult process, as in our society people expect a high return on their investments and low cost housing does not return such profits. As a result, banks seldom provide financing for low cost housing. One project I worked on succeeded in acquiring funding from a union, but even here, do the union members benefit from a low rate of return?
In the end the question is "who will pay?" Increased property taxes or sales taxes have been used to build low cost housing in the past. Large projects are the most cost effective to build but most large projects built in the past 50 years had many undesirable side effects. Most have been replaced in recent years. There is also a vicious cycle to this: If we build more housing, we get more people who need more business to serve them, which requires more employees who need more housing, this requires more city services and staffing which means higher taxes which leads to higher rents which will require higher salaries which will require higher taxes which will result in higher housing costs, etc.
Perhaps Ms. Callis could join a non-profit housing group like Ecumenical Housing and donate money to build low cost housing. Private financing could do something, but the real problem is growth and it affects the entire Bay Area. Limits on monster housing are one sure way to reduce pressure on existing low cost and moderate housing and also to slow demand for low cost housing and reduce traffic growth as monster houses demand low wage workers to service them: nannies, gardeners, handymen and these workers are those least able to pay for housing in Marin. Therefore, Ms. Callis could join me and many other Fairfax citizens in voting for Frank Egger and Steve Shaiken so we can pass the ban on luxury homes.
Will The US Take Its Advice To Israelis?
The United States urging Israel to abandon incursions into Palestinian Areas is comparable to Israel demanding along with other Islamic friendly nations that US stop bombing Afghanistan. Israel must act in self defense and it should be obvious to all that the Palestinians have the ability to throw out those Arabs whose activities are exacerbating the terror which is wrecking their lives. Just as the US would give the cold shoulder to an Arab request for the Bush Administration to sit down and discuss terms with Osama bin Laden any untimely Israeli unilateral withdrawal would give a green light for more terrorist activities against Israelis. My suggestion would be to position US peace keepers within Palestinian areas from where attacks are made against Israel. They would be able to verify any Arab reduction in attacks against Israelis for six months and might help reestablish confidence between the parties which could jump start peace talks.
Dr. Norman E. Mann
I have been advised that Mike Ghiringhelli is calling a special meeting of the Town Council to have me kicked off the planning commission. I called Town Hall and was advised that the Town Administrator "can't" talk to me about it. These are the details:
Every year, the Town sponsors a Commissioners' Dinner (this year, 10/21) to show appreciation for those on the Park/Rec, Planning commissions and Design Review Board. Each year it's the mayor who picks the venue. This year Mike selected Deer Park Villa, his family's restaurant. Last I heard in the press, Mike was an employee and co-manager of Deer Park with his sister, Debbie. My understanding is that a Town council member can't make a decision which would benefit a company where he or she is employed and I did not want to support the event if there was a conflict of interest. So I called Deer Park to see if the cost to Town was equivalent to other banquet clients. I also asked for and received a copy of Mike's Statement of Financial Interests, a public record. Mike's aunt, Dolores, told me that Mike doesn't work there any more, that he was co-manager for only six months. That settled the matter for me, so Ric and I made our reservations for the dinner.
This issue has nothing whatsoever to do with the planning commission. It has to do with denying the exercise of rights guaranteed to all persons by California State law. The fact is that Mike Ghiringhelli does not understand what open government means, as evidenced by his persistent interruptions of public speakers who express a different viewpoint from his own at Town Council meetings, and by his frequent violations of the Ralph M. Brown Act regarding noticing and required public comment periods. Hopefully, on November 6th, Fairfax voters will end the embarrassment this councilman brings to our Town.
Yes To Nakamura And Miller
I very much enjoyed the articles by Karen Nakamura and Edward Miller in this month's Coastal Post. Very insightful and right on the money.
PS: You might correct the middle initial in Ed Miller's byline; It is W (Waite) not R.
For Or Against America
Our president has declared that If you are not For America then You Stand Against America
America has a Constitutional form of Government. The Constitution can only be changed by Amending it and since laws aren't amendments;
When the constitution was amended to read; Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof", that changed any part of the constitution that might allow laws to be made saying where or how religions can be practiced, even in our schools or on government property.
Further more when the constitution was amended to read, "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed", that changed any part of the constitution that might allow any infringements, like saying who, where or what arms Americans can keep or carry.
Also, since the right to the pursuit of happiness was declared a right by The Declaration and by State constitution before The Federal Constitution, that means when the Constitution was Amended to read; "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.", all parts of the constitution were changed that might allow disparagements , that right has never been "legally" diminished to exclude the use of recreational drugs And, since Laws aren't Amendments but merely Disparagements when trying to limit freedoms, the right to buy and sell medicines without prescriptions is also still a legal right of We the People, even if these rights have been disparaged by the domestic enemies of America.
When the Constitution was Amended to read; "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States" All freedoms of the people not at that time claimed by the governments then fell into the realm of federal constitutionally protected rights of We the People and Amendments became the only legal way to diminish them.
Therefore any person working for either the Federal or the State Governments who Makes or Enforces any Law that violates any of the above mentioned rights or other freedoms, by doing so, becomes a Domestic Enemy of Our Federal Constitution and Any American, who adheres to them or gives them aid, Violates; Article 3 , Section. 3. , Clause 1: "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort..."
I stand for America and I will not support any of Our Enemies. Any person or persons who Make or Enforce any laws that cross the lines drawn by our Constitution are its Enemies and Mine, even if they have been appointed to the Supreme court, Congress or have joined some law enforcement agency. Where do You Stand?
Do You stand for the Constitution or do You stand against America?
It was asked, why I focus on medicines and drugs? I do not focus on those however I do point out those rebellions because they do seem to be important ones at this point in time because it seems that the money these rebellions have put into the "black market" was used to fund the latest attacks on America. A prime example of Our Constitution's Domestic Enemies giving aid to Our Foreign Enemies so they can attack America.
Weston, Oregon 97886
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