Coastal Post Online

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September 2001

Letters To The Editor

Pleasure to Renew

Hope all is well in West Marin. I have received the notice once again to renew my subscription to the Coastal Post. It is with great pleasure that I renew this subscription. The last time I renewed my subscription I had a few extra dollars.

Due to the recent economic slowdown, I can only give you enough for the required six month fee. I am sure "W" will jump start the economy through various tried and true methods. I patiently await our leaders response to this economic dilemma. What this all means, guys and gals, is no extra money for beer at the Western Saloon.

Keep up the good work and remember, humor is the best defense.

James M. Anderson

Berkeley

Chaos at Stinson

IJ reporter Mark Prado wrote a timely article on the chaos at Stinson on the 4th. I was there with my wife and the beach was overrun. There was only one Park Service employee (a life guard) in sight all day and he stayed in his vehicle most of the time. No one was there to enforce parking regulations, beach rules, or to monitor waste. The facilities were simply inadequate for the number of people. The parking lot should have been closed at 10 a.m. If this is an example of how the Park Service is going to manage our natural resources, it is a shameful disaster. It appears that the Park Service is putting all its resources into building conference centers in the Headlands rather than caring for our beaches and parks. They appear to be more interested in making farming impossible in West Marin and not with being the responsible stewards of the land Congress intended. I hope this was only a bureaucratic blunder which will not be repeated.

Niccolo Caldararo

Fairfax Councilman

Merchant Marines Too Late

One sympathizes with those complaining that the Merchant Marine was not included on the WWII military veterans monument. However, they were not strictly "military" in the true sense of the word.

Surely nobody can deny that our merchant mariners suffered just about the most hazardous and toughest service of any groups who served, facing bombs and subs in "Iron Bottom Sound" off Guadalcanal, not to mention sharks, or freezing on the icy runs to Murmansk, with no tropical skies or warm seas to survive in, no comfortable slit trench or cozy foxhole to shelter in.

But those complaining are just too late. Their input should have come six or seven months ago, during the planning phase. Besides, the Merchant Marines and many other groups who served can and will be represented on a plague on the monument. Besides, the monument itself is dedicated "Too All Who Served."

Fielding Greaves

San Rafael

"Verb-ate-him"

1) Enclosed is two (2) pieces of Yankee toilet paper with which yew kin wipe the ass of the ruling class - but only if yew affix said toilet pay-purr to a rusty, bent wood rasp.

2) Thanks for getting the paper out a couple days early - I usually pick it up atop sumbodheehee elz paper container adjacent to Kinko's, TL. Please continue to publish/distribute a couple days B-4 the end of the month. Everbuddy izz flat-broke/depressed @ end of month -- Coastal Post early is a great pick-em-up. Thanks for publishing.

3) "Death - The Final Frontier" by Stephen Simac sure is timely. In a few weeks, I start a seventh decade: appallingly, I have outlived virtually all the interesting people I met. No wonder the "elderly" (unwilling survivors) are crabby/crotchety. Nobody left to have fun with... A boring, thin facsimile of living. Instead of vegetating with TV/keyboard/phone, the elderly should put their accrued experience=wisdom to work/play, rectifying the rot/rotten/rotters so plenty-full around here. It is not fair to expect the youngers to do it all: they have much to lose - forty-five years of rent/wage slavery. Humanoids who make it to a seventh decade ought to repay society's benefices by becoming harpoons to puncture the bloated rotters, one and all. "Do not go gently into that great good night."

4) I.E. whoever let the swamp gas out of the Not. (um balloon, I won a case of beer = good job!)

5) I am reorganizing my tiny studio, may have some wurtz for yew on "Death - The Final Frontier (II)." Been there and came back 2X, regretted it every day. Cheers,

D. Mazer

San Rafael

 

Better Off In the Dark

Mr. Harry Holdorf is not alone in his understandable cynicism towards man's celebrated moonwalks back in the 1960s. The observations he highlights in his article entitled, "Was There Ever A Moonwalk?" are astute and well taken. The problem, however, with bucking an established consensus is that the burden of proof is on the disbeliever. Who will be willing to provide us with any kind of proof that our doubts are valid, assuming that the proof is available? Who will want to be the maverick who is out to discredit, for instance, not only NASA but the American people for staging such a hoax, and the whole world for its naivetŽ in believing it?

If we expect to get to the bottom of the numerous moonwalk adventures and have an explanation for all their ambiguities, we should also have the answers to the numerous questions surrounding the still unsolved President Kennedy assassination, the TWA flight #800 explosion, the whereabouts of the alien recovered from the New Mexico UFO crash during the early forties, and the other mysteries buried in oblivion. With the numerous tangible evidences of unidentified flying objects visiting our planet since the early stages of mankind, we should by now have established the authenticity of these alien visitations, but for whatever reasons, are still mere pigments of our imagination. We are now even claiming to have recently landed a probing device on the surface of one of the most threatening asteroids, with probably mankind's number, orbiting around our immediate space, but we have no predictions on the time frame of a probable collision. All we are saying presently is that it has happened before and, with certainty, will happen again. Probably soon. But who wants to know? For one thing, if we can land a device on the surface of this threatening asteroid, it is a given that it can land on the surface of our planet as well. These are the imponderables that will remain so, mainly because we are really better off if we did not know. We are happier that way.

Antonio Serna

Rohnert Park

Social Security and Your Drivers License

Identity theft has become a national crisis, and more Americans than ever before are looking from personal information to scam artists. For $39.95, a thief can buy someone's Social Security number on the Internet, use it within minutes to get a credit card. Congress should bring back then pass a privacy plan to ban sale of Social Security numbers and prohibit agencies requiring citizens to divulge their numbers. Social Security numbers should not be used as identifying tools by any organization.

Upon receiving a renewal notice for my California Drivers License from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), I returned it with the $15 fee for my new license which was set to expire on my birthday. When I returned from a trip, the new license was no in the mail. I received instead a letter from DMV stating my Social Security information was wrong.

I went to the DMV office and was told the Social Security records showed a wrong birthday and they would not issue me a new license. The DMV would not accept my military DD 214 or my hospital birth certificate that I had.

I asked DMV what business is it of the State what my Federal Society Security number was. DMV responded that they need four pieces of ID now for a drivers license, and a Social Security check by DMV was one of them. They issued me a temporary paper license. DMV further informed me I would have to get a certified copy, with seal, of my birth certificate to obtain my new California drivers license. They further informed me to call the Office of Vital Records, Department of Health Services, PO Box 730241, Sacramento, CA 94244, (916) 445-2684.

First I called Social Security and they informed me they didn't care what my birthday was as long as it was correct when I was going to apply for Social Security. After four calls and two hours, I was able to get the office of Vital Records in Sacramento. They informed me that a charge of $17 and an eight week wait would get me a certified copy, with seal, of my birth record. They suggested I contact the city I was born in which was San Francisco. I then called (415) 554-4176 ext. 2700 - Birth Records. The recorded message said to leave your name and phone number and date of birth and they would call you back.

I waited two days and they didn't call back. So upon going to San Francisco, I went to the Hall of Records and paid $7 for a certified copy, with seal, of my birth certificate, which was a 30 minute wait. Upon writing a check for the $7, the clerk asked to see my drivers license for ID. I showed her this and was told its expired and they couldn't except the check. I told her it might be expired, but I wasn't and asked for a supervisor. How stupid these people are.

Upon driving home a few days later, I was pulled over by the CHP as my car was jerking as I was setting the automatic cruise control. The CHP asked for my drivers license, insurance information, and car registration -- all of which I gate him. He came back to the car and asked me why I only had a temporary paper license. I told him of the above run around and he went back to his car and came back again. He asked if I had a picture ID of some type with me. I showed him my Costco card. After he check again, I was able to proceed on my way.

About 10 days later, my certified copy of my birth records arrived and I went to the DMV, waited 30 minutes. A new picture was taken and a new fingerprint. Two weeks later, I received the new license in the mail. Years ago a fingerprint would be taken by the police if you were stopped and it was checked with the one visible on your drivers license on the spot. Now look at what one has to go through in the drivers license renewal process.

I think that our California Representatives missed something important here to let this slip past them. The State should not have access to your Social Security number nor should any other agency.

Walter Schivo

Novato

Another Child Care Center in Peril

My name is Dorothy Cullen Vesecky and I am the Chairperson of the Pickleweed Park Advisory Board. Our Board makes recommendations to the San Rafael Park & Recreation Commission and the City Council on issues relating to the Canal neighborhood of San Rafael.

I have enclosed in this letter a copy of an emergency resolution put forth by our group. This resolution has been developed in response to a crisis in our community. For over two decades, the Canal Child Care Center has served our community by offering high quality child care to hundreds of Canal families. This program has been recognized many times for their compassion, dedication and work on behalf of the community. Operated by Community Action Marin (CAM), this program is housed at 46 Louise Street. Over the years, CAM has worked hard not only to maintain the property, but also to make improvements in order to make it a healthy and enriching environment for the children.

Recently, the landlord has informed CAM of their intention of ending the lease of the property in October of this year. Since this notification, many efforts have been made to help keep the program at its home, including a fair market value offer to buy the property. All efforts have been to no avail as of this date.

The goal of this letter is to bring this situation to your attention. Thank you very much for any assistance that you can provide in this important matter.

Dorothy Cullen Vesecky, Chairperson

Pickleweed Park Advisory Board

San Rafael

Second Unit Accusation

To: Ms. Debbi Poiani, Senior Enforcement Officer, Marin County Community Development Agency

On July 18, we received a certified letter from you dated July 12, 2001 stating that the Community Development Agency has received a complaint alleging that a second unit exists on our property without required County authorization. The letter cites the Marin County Code Sections (22.57.022 & 22.56.040) we would have violated "if this complaint is found to be valid."

Your letter further states that we should contact you at 499-7196 within 10 days of the receipt of your letter "to discuss the allegation and schedule an inspection," and we are given the dates to call of July 16, 17 or after the 31st. Since we received the letter on July 18, 2001, we have chosen to "contact you" in writing setting forth the difficulties we have with this accusation and its demands.

After great effort and time, we have plowed through many pages of County Code Sections. In our search we discovered that Section 22.57.022 to which you refer has nothing to do with residential Second Units. That Section pertains to agricultural uses such as raising and breeding fish, cows, sheep and chickens. It is outrageous that the County you represent can hurl intimidating code numbers at its citizens, erroneous numbers at that.

We are convinced that this complaint was instigated by the scary band of rule breakers, rogues and misfits associated with Shakespeare at Stinson. This "alleged violation" appears to be a retaliatory action by them for our opposition to their 7 years of continuous County code and permit violations. Whatever your source is for this alleged violation, be advised that it is totally unreliable because, in fact, we do not have a second unit on our property!

We demand to know who filed the complaint against us, and exactly where on our property he or she claims that this "alleged violation" supposedly exists. This complaint constitutes harassment by its perpetrators to which the County appears to be a willing accomplice. We believe we have cause to file an action against all responsible parties.

Webster & Virginia Otis

Stinson Beach

Stinson's Shakespeare Scofflaw

Dear Supervisor Kinsey:

I am writing you today because, in good conscience, I can no longer accept what is happening between the citizens of Stinson Beach and Shakespeare at Stinson. I have hesitated to write because I know that this situation takes a disproportionate amount of your time just as it does mine. I have worked for the last 18 months, both through the Stinson Beach Village Association and through the Marin County Planning Commission, to help correct some of the problems that Mr. Trotter and "his" theater are causing in our small community but, to my surprise, the problems have only become worse. Further, I hesitate to put anything in writing about Mr. Trotter because it has been my experience with him over the years (for three years I served as president of the Shakespeare at the Beach Board of Directors) that he will seek revenge on anyone who crosses him.

Those of us who took our time presenting well thought-out statements for the Planning Commission hearings on the Shakespeare at Stinson permit tried very hard to be fair and to never insult Mr. Trotter or his few allies. We took the moral high road and, perhaps, we were wrong in making that choice. But because of recent events, I can no longer afford to take that road. The truth of the matter is that Mr. Trotter is a scofflaw who will obey no rules and will confound the truth so that, at the end of the day, he gets exactly what he wants.

When he doesn't get what he wants, bad things happen to the people Mr. Trotter believes have thwarted his agenda. He has made it clear to the business owners with whom he shares a parking lot that he will destroy their businesses and he appears to be doing just that. One of his targets is Scott Tye, who has been a resident of Stinson Beach for years and owns the kayak business adjacent to Shakespeare at Stinson. He received a very strong letter form Debbi Poiani telling him that he can no longer display his boats where they have been colorfully displayed for years. Scott serves a real business need in our community plus he is a well-informed and hard working citizens of West Marin. Can I prove who made the complaint? No. But in a town as small as Stinson Beach, everyone knows.

Another neighbor of Mr. Trotter's Willow Camp Catering, a valuable local business, is suddenly hearing from the Health Department and from the Planning Department. Though all Health Department inquiries have been dropped, this is too much of a coincidence to be overlooked. Not only do many senior citizens and people unable to do their own cooking depend on the Willow Camp take-out meals, this business supplies employment to many local residents, one of whom is a single mom who depends on this job in the evenings so that she is free to drive her daughter to school.

I have, today, learned that Web Otis, Stinson Beach Village Association Coordinator, has a Marin County complaint filed against his home. Mr. Trotter has publicly denounced the Village Association for their position regarding his permit compliance. Is this just another coincidence?

Then there is the issue of permit violations. Mr. Trotter has violated many of the provisions of his operating permit, including parking, traffic control, use of "red tagged" buildings, number and placement of signs and encroachment into the Eskoot Creek setback. All of these are public record and are, I'm sure, known to you.

We know that when challenged, Mr. Trotter is both vindictive and dangerous. He says that the people who "run Stinson Beach" are against him, and he is right. We are not against the idea of a small, seasonal theater, but against it being run by an outlaw.

Supervisor Kinsey, my first question to you is, why does Mr. Trotter get everything he wants from the County and the Planning Commission when we know that they can be very strict in granting permits to others? My second question is, if this theater remains in the center of Stinson Beach with Mr. Trotter as its manager, who will enforce the terms of this permit? I think that those of us who really care about our community, who put our time and our money into making it work, deserve answers.

Sandra Thomas Francis

Stinson Beach

Business In the Cause of Allah

I write this in response to a letter which appears in your July 1, 2001 issue (page 8) entitled, "King and Ghandi Teach Non-Violence as Arafat Seeks Jehad." I'd like to first correct Dr. Norman E. Mann on a few basic things. The word I think he was looking for would be "Jihad" as opposed to "Jehad" (Dr. Mann is evidently a Jew). Secondly, the word "Jihad" means (Lit.) "to fight or struggle in the cause of Allah (God)." Arafat is not, therefore, seeking Jihad as he is already clearly fully engaged. Further, I find it appalling and an insult that Dr. Mann would have the audacity to suggest to African Americans that we shun our brother (Yasser Arafat) and, in effect, the plight of the Palestinians. What we should be doing, in fact, is moving the US government to suspend all aid to Israel until it complies (fully) with UN resolutions which calls for the removal of Israeli troops and settlements from (illegally) occupied Palestinian territories. I, for one, am of the opinion that if the roles were reversed and Palestinians were slaughtering the Jews and illegally occupying their territory, the United States and its European allies would have intervened long ago on behalf of the Jews. However, it is no secret how the US feels about Africans and Muslims. It would be an honor for me, Dr. Mann, if I could strap on 500 lbs. of explosives and visit some of those who stand in the path of Allah. Tumult and oppression is worse than slaughter. This is not considered suicide, Dr. Mann, its referred to as handling your business in the cause of Allah.

True, Dr. Martin Luther King did teach and practice a non-violent form of civil disobedience. He was then conspired against and violently murdered. So your point is what? You couldn't be suggesting that African Americans are better off today than they were 35 years ago as a result of King and Ghandi, are you? We are still a people systematically oppressed. We are still a people engaged in the struggle. The physical chains have been removed, but the mental chains remain. The Israeli government's hands drop with the blood of murdered Palestinian children and this is inexcusable.

Freddie Roberson

Susanville

IJ Propaganda Spigot

The Marin Independent Journal, once again, exhibited its propensity for being a government propaganda spigot when it printed law enforcement Officer Ken Canziani's article about his pro-death penalty stance. It should disturb everyone that in America the government-controlled press hasn't the integrity or courage to print the truth where it clearly throws government spin doctoring into question.

It has been said that: "The most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." The Marin IJ routinely prostitutes itself to the District Attorney, Sheriff, and other law enforcement personnel in Marin. Their scripted propaganda is a tool wielded by the government to control the minds of the masses who are too distracted, apathetic, or short-sighted to look for truth and, instead, passively accept the State's deceit. And a deceived public is the greatest contributor to the government's ability to intentionally perpetuate failure.

Death penalty, Officer Canziani? Oh yes indeed! And let's get real busy at it ASAP! But did this officer's parents instill enough courage in him so that he will publicly advocate going after the worst of the worst to be put to death? I think not, but let's see: In the 1980s, the criminal justice system in Canada redefined its mandate toward safely reintegrating offenders back into society. The rate of recidivism (repeat offenders) dropped to less than 50 percent of what it was two decades before. It is as simple as 2+2=4 math; good people with good motives got good results. If Canada's law enforcement personnel were parasitic scum of the earth, only caring to profit from intentionally perpetuated failure, they would not have taken the course they did. But human decency prevailed and their actions conformed to an observation by Cicero: "The welfare of the people is the highest law."

Officer Canziani , Sheriff Doyle, DA Paula Kamena, and every lying, cheating, dishonest judge on the Marin bench are part of the California criminal justice system. Even a moron would not fail to see the stark contrast already known to these so-called public servants: in the same period of time that Canada's justice system evolved towards a more efficient, civilized and human model, the State of California went on the most ambitious prison construction rampage in history, building 23 of them. One state university was built in that time and education of the state's children fell to a ranking of 48th in the nation. Human garbage, with the most evil motives, caused this to happen. Prison officials and others in California's criminal justice juggernaut "denounced rehabilitation" and the recidivism rate has thus been artificially sustained at about 85 percent through a diabolical manipulation of circumstances and policy. In the name of "the people," right Paula Kamena? In the interest of justice, right Judge Graham?

In 1997, Nelson Mandela claimed that the government had been causing crime in his country. I have been saying the same thing of the State of California for more than 15 years. The vermin on two feet pretending to be serving and protecting society are only playing out a carefully choreographed charade of doing so. And collectively, those down at the Civic Center do not possess the human decency, integrity, or concern for citizens to stand up and say: "Yes, we have been wrong to willingly be part of these failing policies and it is time for change to be brought about in behalf of society." Yes, not now, but right now. You see, it is an IQ test question a chimpanzee could answer correctly but those like Officer Canziani, Sheriff Doyle, DA Kamena, Judges Graham, Boren, Sutro, et al don't want people to look at the real questions and hence the propaganda and expertly practiced deniability. The question? Do the citizens in our so-called democracy want to maintain the 85 percent recidivism rate or would the majority of people like to see crime reduced by cutting that rate in half, at the very least, as Canada did for its people? Here, let me reach into the hearts of those who still have one, not sacrificed to the machine: go back in time 20 years and ask the families of Polly Klaas and Kimber Reynolds that same question. There's better than 50 percent chance those victims and many others would be alive today if criminal justice system personnel and politicians were held accountable for the failure (recidivism) they have been and are causing on purpose.

George Bernard Shaw said: "We shall only be governed as well as we deserve." There is voter initiative in California. If Officer Canziani's bloodthirst for use of the death penalty comes from a motive of putting evil to death, he should prove it by starting a crusade to get voters to enact legislation making it a death penalty offense for those who hinder rehabilitation or manipulate policy towards sustaining recidivism. Their crime is tantamount to breaking the wings of a bird, then blaming the bird for not being able to fly. It is Nazi-style justice that only the lowest scum of the earth could be proud of.

In a "more peaceful union," those truly motivated towards effective criminal justice policies would demand such legislation. Everyone can be sure that positive change could not be long in coming. After the lawful executions of a handful of the involved scumbags, there would be better policies implemented quick, fast, and in a hurry. it would be real justice, the people would be served and much safer, and the most evil of crimes would be deterred on a large scale. Feel that truth.

And parents? Tell your children more of the truth; it has been those in governments throughout history who have inflicted the worst atrocities on other human beings. Only the naive believe that our government today is not infected with such evil. There is a whole pack of such vermin down at the Marin Corruption Center who would have fit in perfectly amongst Adolf Hitler's Nazis. And to any who'd be offended by that comparison, let me point something out; it is the very same source of evil with just a different disguise this time.

"Seeking justice is not a threat to our democracy or our society. Ignoring injustice is the real threat."

James S. Kor

Soledad

Funky Town Bizarre Battles

I am writing regarding the "Friends of Chris Lang" benefit concert at "19 Broadway" in Fairfax and the rally organized by Fairfax Planning Commissioner Terri Alvillar and Fairfax Police Officer Ric Alvillar, to protest this event. I am acquainted personally with both the Alvillars and the Langs.

At times the political battles in our "funky" little town have been pretty bizarre. It is no secret that Chris Lang and Garry Graham (owner of 19 Broadway) have clashed with Terri Alvillar on issues ranging from mountain biking to medical marijuana. But come on, a "fundraiser" to assist with legal fees after Mr. Lang's truck "clashed" with the Alvillars' gate??

Cindy Ross

Fairfax

Worker Relief Looks Like Amnesty To Me

With regards to President Bush's "unequivocal" rejection of amnesty for Mexican illegal aliens while simultaneously promoting his novel 'worker relief program': If it quacks like an amnesty, walks like an amnesty, and looks like an amnesty, it's an amnesty.

Wanda Gomez-Berger

El Cerrito

[email protected]

Not Going To Miss Cloning

It was a relief to learn that the US House of Representatives voted to ban the cloning of human beings. I always suspected that there was moral leadership to be found somewhere in Washington. Which reminds me, does anyone know how Representative Condit voted?

Actually a ban on cloning is a pretty safe place to draw a line in the shifting moral sands of our popular culture. This may sound cynical coming from a man who's only 53 years old, but with the exception of a few rock stars, super models and pulp fiction writers, there is no one I would want to see cloned in the first place. Cloning is one of those science fiction art forms I am not going to miss very badly.

The ban on cloning is a real bargain price for a piece of the elusive moral high ground. It is not as though the nascent human cloning business has really taken off. The would be cloners will not react to the ban by discontinuing the shucking out mega campaign contributions to grease political hacks and parties. Like stem cell research, cloning is still just a cottage industry, barely a blip on the radar screen of campaign finance with very little dollar representation in Washington.

Given the US image for resisting and side stepping real moral choices, the cloning ban could not have come at a better, face saving time. Just after we got universally excoriated for back pedaling out of the Kyoto Treaty, the cloning ban is an inexpensive face lift for restoring our moral image. It costs us nothing but the opportunity to turn out extra copies of bozos whom we don't need more of anyway. I mean really, which would you rather do? Give up the possibility of a carbon copy of yourself? Or, pull your rapacious snout out of the fossil fuel feed bag? It basically comes down to the clone versus the SUV and central air conditioning.

It is nice that the biological sciences provide us with such lamb chops as cloning and stem cell research to offer up as moral sacrifices. Why don't the astronomers suggest colonizing Pluto. Then we could pass bills protecting the environment of Pluto from global warming, overfishing and lumber roads. What a windfall!

Congress is correct to enlist a little xenophobia and fundamentalism to promote the proper climate of hysteria conducive to lynching cloning in the bud. It keeps the well-meaning public from fixating on all the ham stringing international treaties the rest of the civilized world is forever waving in our face. Given all the pressure from the international community, we are constantly forced to abrogate, renege or recuse ourselves from real moral issues. Do we really want to limit our ethical options and trading opportunities by signing off on such things as the Nuclear Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty of 1996, the Biological Weapons Treaty of 1995 or the Small Arms Control Treaty of 2001?

While it may be true that we are not ready to sign the Land Mine Treaty of 1997, we are on the verge of protecting human stem cells, if not human legs and feet. And what about that Kyoto Treaty, it already has 178 signatures; does it need ours? We turn out a mere twenty-three percent of the world's green house gases AND we are banning human cloning. Jeepers, what more will it take to appease the international community?

Jeffrey R Smith

Alameda

Democracy Could End The Violence

Genoa Italy, one protester shot dead. Papua New Guinea, 4 protesters killed. Gothenburg Sweden, 3 protesters shot but survive.

This is clearly disturbing news, but even more disturbing is the fact that there is no end in sight for this escalating violence. These nations are trapped in the Vietnam mentality where they believe they can terrorize the people into submitting to their will.

In Vietnam the Americans threatened to bomb the people of Vietnam back into the stone age if they did not submit, but as history clearly shows this tactic only made the people of Vietnam fight harder until they drove the Americans out of their country If these nations want to stop the protests against the World Trade Organization, the IMF and the FTAA, this can easily be done if they would only put away their guns, tear gas, pepper spray and clubs and use the democratic process to stop the violence. The reason the democratic process to stop the violence will work is because the protesters have a strong belief in democracy, it is so strong in them that anybody who has spent any time with them knows that they spend most of their time in meetings trying to work things out by open discussions and voting on issues to come to consensus, so the democratic process will certainly work here.

The leaders who we voted into public office because they convinced us that they have all kinds of superior intelligence, don't know about using the democratic process where it is clearly called for, they are instead moving away from the democratic process where ever they can. For example, just a few weeks ago the American congress defeated a proposal for campaign reform that would have limited the flood of corporation money that is keeping Washington afloat on a sea of money. The reason they gave for this was that they could not agree on the rules of debate. This is funny because the rules of debate were decided over 200 years ago just after the American revolution of 1776, but this none the less allowed them to kill this democratic measure without taking the blame for it. But to my way of thinking this only proves the basic dishonesty and drift away from democracy that is running the world today.

It must also be realized that the politicians in our governments have a responsibility to REPRESENT the people, not have secrete meetings with the people who financed their campaigns to work around labor and environmental laws. but instead of acting as representatives to listen to the peoples point of view, they are acting like little monarchs who are accountable to nobody.

Clearly the recent protests we are seeing are the failure of our leaders use of the democratic process and this can only lead to more violence. Establish a democratic forum for the protesters and listen to their concerns. we will all be better off with democracy instead of violence.

Jose Lugo

Direct Democracy TV

New York, N.Y.

www.ddtv.org

Bush Isn't, Frank Scott Is

Frank Scott is "totally the asshole." How dare our President put the interests of the U.S. before our foriegn "friends"? F. Scott probably thinks Mr. Bush should sign the Kyoto Treaty immediately. Let's handcuff America and level the playing field, it's only fair!

William Hoffman

[email protected]

Falun Gong Article Missed

I've read your paper for years. Mostly it's great. I really look forward to it ( now online, since I am overseas). But this month's article on falun gong was disappointing. If you need to make a case against them, do some serious investigative work, gather all the hard facts, then present your findings.

chot

[email protected]

Is Dr. Miller Accurate?

While reading Edward Miller's descriptions of Israeli brutality, racism and nasty mayhem and the accompanying American compliance one might think that his accounts are just too extreme to be real. After all can the good old democratic US and poor little Israel really be involved in things like "Illegal Jewish settlements... Arab house demolitions... mechanisms of strangulation and control... increasingly brutal Israeli Occupation... political blackmail... brutal Nazi-like territorial expansion... Israeli bulldozers destroying one Arab farm after another... Israeli army has cordoned-off Arab villages from one another, with military tanks poised at crossroads... political blackmail... and shooting children?" Is this possible that the shining knight of freedom and democracy that we train our kids to salute has been heavily involved in the lowest side of human nature?

I'm very sorry to say that my investigation into many, many accounts by both sides of these issues confirms Dr. Miller's vitriolic descriptions. Many accounts of Israeli solders shooting Palestinian kids who are in their own towns, the expansion of Jewish settlements by bulldozing Palestinian homes and farms are regularly reported with photographs and video in the mainstream media and are available to anyone who wades through the pages of filler and obfuscation to find it. Studying the writings of the original founders of Israel like Menachen Begin, Golda Meir, David Ben Gurion and others will actually corroborate Dr. Miller's claims. Looking at Jewish writers such as Noam Chompsky and Albert Lillienthal who have massively footnoted hundreds of accounts will also backup Miller's vehemence.

But what of the other side, the Israeli perspective? I can find no accounts, with sources, that would tend to discredit a severe castigation of American-Israeli policies. The definition of Zionism tends to seal the argument. "Zionism is a an organized political movement, separate from world Jewry that arose in Europe in the late 19th century, with the aim of setting up a Jewish State in Palestine. "The Zionist writers openly admit to Miller's charges that they moved in and took the Palestinian's homes, land and sources of sustenance. Zionists always justify their crimes with the claim that God gave the land of Palestine to the Jewish people in a covenant with Moses 4,000 years ago. Many Jewish people disagree with the claims of Zionism. The problem is that the modern world is trying to stop perpetual war and misery by recognizing our rights to live in peace. With the myriad of historical human migrations all over the planet we could never satisfy the innumerable ancient claims. What if a stranger walked into your living room and demanded that your family vacate your home because his god gave it to him thousands of years ago? Would you gather your family and walk out the door never to return? You would if he pointed a gun at you and openly killed anyone who objected. This is the story of Palestine. Why does the US support one of the worst injustices of our times?

I am pro Israel and want very much to see Israel live in peace. The perpetual wars in Israel have prevented her from ever being the 'Peaceful Jewish Homeland' that was envisioned by some. If Israel would simply pull back to its borders, get out of Palestine and grant Palestinians equal rights the fighting can stop. UN resolutions agree with this as does the Mitchell report and all peace agreements of the last 25 years.

Al Mayberry

Stinson Beach

Sharon Does Not Understand Arab Mind

Why is it taking so long for Ariel Sharon to recognize that Israel is in a full scale war with the Palestinians? Arafat is joyous that his legions are destroying the Israeli belief in their ability to defend themselves. The Prime Minister when he took office should have gone on air and explained to his nation that their country is facing a horrendous obstacle and that their lives must be altered if they want to counteract the vicious attacks of the Palestinians. There should be an immediate beefing up of security options regardless of the inconvenience the Israelis face. They can't have "guns and butter". At the moment they are playing Russian Roulette with their lives. The sanctuary offices of Hamas and other guerrilla organizations must be utterly destroyed, Immediate use of bomb sniffing dogs and magnetic devices must be employed to uncover terrorist. All large scale congregating of people must be canceled with bomb detectors used as though one was going to enter an airport. These are desperate times and the owners of nails and all sorts of blasting powder must be accounted for and controlled. Extraordinary measures must be instituted otherwise all confidence will be lost and Arafat will reign.

Dr. Norman E. Mann

San Diego

US Can't Safeguard Cole! Protect Mideast?

Mr. Bush did the right thing by rejecting Arab demand for monitors and observers. If the United States cannot protect its own border from illegal immigration and smuggled drugs how could the United States or any other body secure the more complicated borders between Israel and Palestinian Authority. It just didn't make sense.

Dr. Norman E. Mann

San Diego

Missile Defense System?

Recently it was reported that the US Military had successfully intercepted and destroyed a test rocket at an altitude of 140 miles, implying that the Missile Defense System (MDS) could be a viable reality in the near future.

The President failed to mention that this success followed two misses, one out of three, 33% accuracy rate, who knows what the true success rate would have been if they had continued the testing after their one and only success. But all of that aside, we're dealing with a man who still isn't sure if there is a Greenhouse Effect, even though The American Academy of Sciences and many other organizations state unequivocally that there is. So needless to say President Bush Jr. probably is not too familiar with nuclear explosions in the atmosphere and there affects upon life on Earth.

If a nuclear missile (which carry several warheads each) is intercepted and detonated high in the atmosphere the explosion will be omnidirectional (in all directions) and most of the heavy radioactive isotopes will fall to Earth or be disseminated throughout the atmosphere to an even greater degree than a land based explosion. And with the majority of atomic bombs currently being used, at a strength of 500 to 700 times as powerful as those dropped on Japan, this Missile Defense System could become mankind's genocide.

To date there has never been an atomic weapon detonated in our upper atmosphere because of the obvious potential for disaster of epoch proportions. If these Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) were not atomic this plan would work because there would be no fallout or Nuclear Winter that followed. But ICBMs are all loaded with many nuclear warheads, some of which are already equipped with a system that causes nuclear detonation upon the force of impact which leads to the nuclear explosion in one millionth of a second!! So how could this make the US a safer place?

All of our cities would become eerie ghost towns over the next few years following these explosions. Nuclear Winter, toxic water and air, radiation sickness, and the list goes on. And it could, and most probably would, affect the entire planet in this way.

Remember poisonous radiation has no national, political, or species allegiance. What President Bush Jr. is really proposing is a way to spend trillions of our tax dollars on building up the Military Industrial Complex during a time of relative peace for absolutely nothing, except perhaps genocide, while US citizens are living on the streets or worse, because our government can't find the financial resources to help them?

If what I have suggested here is not true, then why not detonate a few nuclear bombs high in our atmosphere to study the affects on the planet ? Because our government is mortally afraid of the possibility of irreversible damage to life on Earth, as we have come to know it. If the MDS were operational today, at no cost, it would be the most dangerous weapon ever created by man. The Missile Defense System looks great on the surface until you analyze the final outcome of a nuclear explosion in our atmosphere.

Saving the buildings and killing most of the plants and animals on the planet is not my idea of a national defense system. I guess the forty or so Nobel Laureates who oppose this MDS just aren't as well informed as our "Brilliant" President.

Gus London

Biologist & Environmental Scientist

San Anselmo, CA.

The Case Of The Missing H-Bomb

In 1958, a US B-47 Stratojet bomber collided with an F-86 Saberjet off the coast of Georgia. Before going down, the bomber pilot jettisoned a particularly deadly piece of cargo: a hydrogen bomb packing more than 100 times the power of the atomic bomb that leveled Hiroshima 13 years earlier. According to recently declassified documents, the Air Force spent six weeks searching for the wayward warhead, before abruptly calling off the quest after another nuclear device was inadvertently dumped off the coast of South Carolina. Since then, the Pentagon's been busy covering the incident up.

"In the first three months of 1958 alone, the Air Force had four major accidents involving H-bombs," writes Jeffrey St. Clair in the online edition of In These Times. And that wayward H-bomb still rests somewhere in the fertile crabbing grounds of Warsaw Sound, near Sylvania, Georgia. Though the bomb was most likely fully armed, it was never detonated. But it does have a trigger, volatile nuclear materials, and 400 pounds of TNT. Worse, it may have leaked radioactive Plutonium into the sound. Plutonium, St. Clair notes, gets more dangerous with age.

Like the other H-bombs lost by the Pentagon in various locales over the past 50 years (11 in all), this time bomb resting just off the southeast coast of the United States could be disturbed by dredging or construction, St. Clair warns. But it's not the threat of radioactive fallout the generals are worried about. "The wizards of Armageddon [see] it less as a security, safety, or ecological problem, than a potential public relations disaster that could turn an already paranoid population against their ambitious nuclear project," he writes.

--Al Paulson

Pendragon

[email protected]

No Social Security In 2016?

In a report issued last month, the Social Security commission said the system would stop running surpluses in 2016, and it warned that deep benefit cuts, tax increases or massive federal debt were inevitable without changes that include private accounts.

In other words: Based on population projections, by 2016 there will not be enough young or middle-aged people from whom to transfer wealth to the elderly-in part because there will be so many elderly.

Social Security is an income transfer program: a transfer of wealth from one segment of the population (the young and middle-aged) to another segment (the elderly-rich, poor, whatever, so long as you're old). We call it a retirement system, but in actual fact it's an income transfer system.

That's why 2016 will be a crisis point. The gig will be up. Reality will come crashing down. If Social Security had in actual fact been a retirement program, it would have gone on for centuries, at a surplus-maybe forever. Under genuine retirement systems, you put your own money into an account of some kind, and take it out years later, with interest. As a Social Security beneficiary, you're actually taking money from people currently working and putting it into your pocket-just as earlier generations of elderly did the same thing to you. Social Security never was-and, I would maintain, was never intended to be-about self-interested, self-responsible retirement protection. It's about self-sacrifice, plain and simple. It's Communism Lite.

Of course, the picture painted by the commission for 2016 is the rosy scenario. We're assuming that the young adult and middle-aged population in that year-turned out by today's public schools-will be capable of producing any economic wealth at all. If the strangulation of our economy via taxation and regulation-and the dumbing down of our minds through government education-continues unabated, we'll be lucky to have an economy at all in 2016. Assuming that we're even alive-as government managed health care continues to threaten our very lives.

Michael J. Hurd Ph.D.

HOST, "Solutions-Not Excuses" radio show

Chevy Chase MD

[email protected]

 

 

 

 

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