Letters By Readers - March 2002
Coastal Post Gives Relief
Although I've been getting your paper for free, I want to subscribe for a year to show my support and appreciation for the relief I feel in reading your articles and letters.
Thank you so much.
Train Israeli Suicide Bombers
Perhaps the fastest way for the Mid East peace talks to get back on track would be for several Israelis to train as suicide bombers. Perhaps one would be able to get through and blow up Ariel Sharon.
Your giving two and one half columns to Edward W. Miller, to lecture us about surviving as a Democracy was excessive. You could have summed it up with less ink and certainly with less paper. Miller feels that what we do as a nation is just wrong, has been wrong and likely will continue to be wrong. I am sure as he sits on his mountain dispensing wisdom, as he knows wisdom to be, he is drinking coffee from Central America--where they hate us; reading his newspaper made from trees in a virgin forest--causing the environmentalists to hate us and letting himself go entirely in support of the Muslims and further hating those damned Jews in Israel, who do not hate us.
Pardon me, I could care less about this dilettante and his tantrums.
Jerrold A. Weissman
Great Falls, Montana
CP in Union-Trib Land
Hello - when I'm up in Marin, I always pick up a copy of the Coastal Post at my best friend's book store, Oliver's in San Anselmo.
Please send a subscription to me down here in San Diego (land of the Union-Trib!). Enclosed is my money. Thanks so much.
Mary Anne Brown
Losing Our Constitutional Rights
If your readership might be interested in a very readable (in layman's terms) update on the condition of the California legal system and law enforcement in a current, concise, and direct manner regarding three local counties - i.e., Santa Cruz, San Mateo and Marin -- have I got a story for you! It's concise, it's accurate, and all backed up by recent court records, and it's f_____ sick!
We no longer have many 5th and 6th Constitutional Amendment rights. In fact, the real reason I am being pursued so harshly in Marin is simply because I choose to exercise 1st Amendment rights. You no longer have them either, unless you are tough and durable enough to be thrown in jail and don't mind watching them melt down the key.
All this without any legal change of Constitutional verbiage. In fact, not even a bill introduced in Congress, which of course is the only way that's done.
Box 1133, Sausalito 94966
Help Save Endangered Guns
The US Senate has already passed "The National Defense Authorization for FY 2002." Section 1062 of the Act gives the Department of Defense (DOD) authority to require "demilitarization" of any "significant military equipment" that was ever owned by DOD. This includes firearms, such as WW II Garand M1 rifles & M1 carbines, M1911 pistols of both World Wars, Civilian Marksmanship Program training rifles, even Grandpa's "sporterized" WWI surplus M1903 bolt rifles, as well as gun barrels, parts, ammo, and gun powder. "Demilitarization" means "rendering them permanently inoperable." Sec. 1062 allows it to be done at owner's expense or by DOD - but allows DOD to claim the cost of returning the demilled item is prohibitive, and DOD therefore can refuse to return it, paying owner only for its fair market scrap value.
Thus Sec. 1062 would give DOD power to confiscate and destroy legally sold and lawfully owned items, the private property of private citizens perhaps for generation, an outrageous, foully-conceived, scoundrelly-initiated, unconstitutional measure that probably violates the 2nd, 4th and 5th Amendments.
The Senate version has no exceptions. The House version exempts from the Act arms sold through the Defense Civilian Marksmanship Program and requires "just compensation" for any seized firearms.
Sec. 1062 would require owners to determine if any item they own is subject to demilitarization, and to face criminal penalties for noncompliance. DOD would have no obligation to notify law-abiding citizens that an time they own, or that may have been in the family for generations, is subject to Sec. 1062. Probably millions of Americans own items subject to Sec. 1062 and would be affected. You could unknowingly become a criminal overnight.
Contact your Senators at 202-224-3121 and your Representative at 202-225-3121 and ask them to strike this outrageous Sec. 1062 from "The National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2002."
Stop Our Terrorism First
New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in a November 8, 2000 New York Times article said, "A process called projection in psychology means accusing someone of what you are doing." This one sentence statement allowed our family to see the political world as it really is.
All fundamentalists everywhere have the same beliefs and the same arrangements. One can visualize George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden saying the same things to the same God. George W. would say, "God help us destroy the terrorists that helped do the nine/eleven attacks (a partial list). They are evil. Osama would say, God help us to destroy the terrorists that occupy Saudi-Arabia; that starve up to a million Iraq children because of UN sanctions against Iraq; that support Israel's 34 years of the brutal occupation of Arab land; (a partial list). Both leaders have lost their moral compass. Both leaders are loathsome to humanity.
The W. Bush Administration needs terrorism as an excuse to achieve its goals: the about 20 billion barrels of oil discovered in Khazakstan, perhaps lots more, and worth about $3 trillion; war profiteering; the control of other countries' economies; and The New World Order under the George W. Administration.
This country needs to stop its bully foreign policy. What we do determines what they do. If we stop our terrorism, they will stop their terrorism. Stopping our terrorism is the best tribute for the victims of the nine/eleven attacks. If our country had practiced Christian behavior before nine/eleven, there would not have been a nine/eleven attack and everyone and every place involved would be intact.
What would we do and how would we feel if the roles were reversed and another country were occupying our country: starving and killing our children, to see our family with heads missing and arms blown off, demolishing our houses and stealing our land. I believe that many of our own people would become terrorists -- I for one. Every person and family has a breaking point.
Belief in Great Results.
Pregnant Mares Abused for Urine
The most widely prescribed drug in the US today -- Wyeth-Ayerst's estrogen drug Premarin -- may increase the risk of breast cancer. A report published earlier this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that women who had taken estrogen for at least five of the preceding six years were about 70 percent more likely to develop the disease than were non-users.
This is just the latest strike against Premarin. Researchers with the National Institutes of Health's Women's Health Initiative, a 15-year endeavor exploring ways to prevent heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, have warned women that Premarin can increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots in the lungs during the first two years of use. Previous studies have linked estrogen drugs to an increased risk of uterine and ovarian cancers. And animal rights activists have linked Premarin to animal cruelty.
Premarin contains a nasty secret ingredient: pregnant mares' urine (PMU). To produce Premarin, some 75,000 mares are impregnated, fitted with rubber urine-collection bags, and confined to stalls barely bigger than their own bodies for months at a time. The foals born on PMU farms are considered "byproducts"; most are sent to feedlots where they are fattened, then slaughtered for meat.
These horses do not have to die. Many women find they can control their menopausal symptoms by making simple lifestyle changes such as eating a low-fat vegetarian diet and getting regular exercise. For women who prefer hormone-replacement therapy, synthetic and plant-based estrogen drugs are readily available. Readers who would like more information are welcome to visit PETA's Web Site MenopauseOnline.com.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Terrorists Keep Bush in Power
When you have a president who is in the White House not because the American people voted him in office but because big money in general and the oil industry in particular put him there, it is obvious that our democracy is not working. When you see this president dedicating the efforts of his administration, since day one, to the promotion and enhancement of the interests of the rich at the expense of the poor, you know that he is simply rewarding the efforts of those who bankrolled his ascension to power. Can you blame him for that? When you see the popularity of this president rise directly proportional to the increase in the rate of terrorist activities in this country and the unprecedented loss of innocent American lives, something is awry with the way our government is operating. When you see the performance rating of this president ratchet up in proportion to the amount of death and destruction that our armed forces deliver to poor and destitute countries in the name of fighting terrorism, we should be ashamed of ourselves. When this president uses the threat of terrorism as a convenient venue to guarantee his tenure in office, we need to wake up. When this president speaks of the biggest and most despicable crime in the history of American business, but refuses to go after the perpetrators of the crimes because they are his friends and supporters, we should say: enough is enough.
When we have a president who claims to declare war against terrorism and goes around germinating the seeds of dormant terrorist cells in order to perpetuate a state of war, we are really asking for more carnage of the September 11 magnitude. Terrorism is a state of mind. It is the product of fear and hatred. While we sow the seeds of fear and hatred in the so called Axis of Evil, we are in effect fanning the fire of anger and provoking the devil himself. The American people do not deserve a leadership that is dedicated to put our people in harms way just so that he can stay in power. Terrorism has existed since time and memorial and we have always dealt with it through the effectiveness of our intelligence and diplomacy. Declaring war with terrorism as we are now doing is simply fanning the fire of death and destruction. Any responsible government that wishes to minimize the ravages caused by terrorism can tell you that the only effective way to right it is to prevent any reason or opportunity for terrorists to strike. Anyone who benefits from mankind's conflict with terrorism is in effect a terrorist himself. Declaring war with terrorism is like declaring war with the devil. It is an unending escalation of chaos and mayhem which will inevitably self perpetuate with no one being declared as a winner. That is, except for President Bush.
Here's The Tip Of An iceberg For Biker Bill
At Lake Lagunitas, perhaps 1/4 mile from the spillway, bikers were riding up the hillside above Lakeside fire road for their roller coaster "fix", denuding and eroding the soil for about 200 square feet. My repeated attempts to place branches as a deterrent were unsuccessful as they were just cast aside and there would be many fresh mountain bike tire tracks the next week. Finally, I dragged a substantial dead tree to cover and block this scar and, lo and behold! this year grass is growing and maybe a few Douglas irises might pop out! Better than looking at tire track ruts!
The MMWD is trying very hard to restore the native flora in the watershed, so in the area between Bon Tempe and Lagunitas they used large logs to block off an area. If the logs were not enough of a message, there were signs stating "MEADOW RESTORATION. PLEASE KEEP OFF. (Emphasis mine). Naturally, there were countless tire tracks bypassing the logs and the signs, riding across, and totally denuding what should be a meadow. Once again I blocked off as well as possible, with branches and rocks, the small space between the logs to discourage violators. Sure enough, next time back, numerous bikers had ridden around the obstacles to cut across the meadow and save perhaps 5 OR 6 SECONDS! More blocking efforts, and this winter the grass is growing back. This is not just one or two bikers: it takes a lot of pounding to keep grass from growing in its native soil!
Last weekend, while doing volunteer erosion control and trail maintenance for the MMWD, I was nearly hit by a speeding mountain biker while loading tools onto an MMWD truck on the Old Railroad Grade! With a Ranger standing there, who said he was almost hit the other day!!! There are many spots along that fire road, as everywhere on Mt. Tam, where bikers have carved out little jumps and humps above the grade with no regard for the environment. These are used at high speeds which will clearly cause disruption and danger for other users as the bikers careen back onto the grade. These are deep ruts that indicate more than just the "few rogue bikers" that the BTC and IMBA claim cause all the problems which will be solved with "education". Right, and Michael More will teach the class!
I blocked off as many of these illegal trails as possible with large rocks and branches, but no doubt, self-righteous mountain bikers who feel that they have some God-given right to a
jihad against responsible environmental behavior will remove my barriers and continue to ride as if they ruled the world.
Clearly, since the core appeal of mountain biking has always been the thrill of going fast, it is an activity that needs to be tightly regulated, as are dune buggies, snowmobiles, etc. The fundamental physics of the activity are inherently troublesome. The probability of damage to the environment and to other users is too high to allow biking to take place on 99% of public trails and fire roads. I would suggest that mountain biking is pretty much like allowing drunk driving on public roads. Think about it!
Want more examples? There is a bottomless pit of the MTB "Hall of Shame" items that have not made the papers.
Carlo V. Gardin
Why We Appease Israel
In your February issue, Karen Nakamura's letter, "One Large Palestinian Prison," was excellent and right on target. However, when she stated that "the Bush administration and the Congress seem to want to appease Israel for some strange reason," she was missing the obvious. The strange reason we blindly support Israel is all about money. The reality is, that the American Jewish lobby is well organized and very aggressive. They donate $millions in campaign contributions to American politicians who support sending $billions and military equipment to Israel. In addition, they spend $millions to defeat any national politician
who doesn't support this massive aid to Israel. Spending $millions to get $billions in aid, is a very cost effective investment. If Americans are dumb enough to allow this, they will not understand why Middle-Eastern terrorist attack us again.
Bill Gates recently criticized the US government as "the laggard" among world aid donors. In reality, the industrious hard working Americans should be distributing their hard earned taxes, assigned to foreign aid, more evenly. We should not be sending the bulk of it to two countries. Israel, and Egypt. Egypt gets its share as a bribe
for signing a peace treaty with Israel. It makes me sad that Americans don't get it, and will suffer more for it.
Chasing Away Defense Witnesses
Federal courthouses should stop demanding photo identification from everyone who enters. The policy is resulting in court security refusing entry to witnesses (even defense witnesses in criminal cases) when their testimony is needed in a hearing. Worse still, the Courts are not being informed that witnesses are being turned away at the door. It is a miscarriage of justice and a violation of a party's civil rights and a denial of every defendant's right to due process of law and the right to call witnesses in his/her own behalf.
Some people may even being using the ID policy as an excuse to avoid coming to court, or testifying. All they have to do is show up without identification and they will be refused entry.
Many people who are summoned to Court are people who do not customarily carry ID. Many do not even have ID, photo or otherwise. It is not uncommon for people to lose their ID or for ID to be stolen.
There is no law that requires anyone to carry photo ID nor any ID at all. Thanks to our country's libertarian heritage, there is no law that requires anyone to even have photo ID nor any ID at all, much less to carry it. That is what makes our government not-quite-so-offensive as governments elsewhere.
The ID policy is again playing into the stereotype of the federal government as a growing leviathan, forcing everyone to routinely carry and display identification, and forcing everyone into a police state with a national ID card and the routine command "show me your papers!!"
That's why the Lawyers Association Against Searches (LAAS) was organized, to say no to searches. This letter is written as a pro bono public service to end the unethical courthouse policies. This letter may have been shortened for space, and more info is available at http://snts.topcities.com.
Attorney at Law
Lawyers Association Against Searches (LAAS)
Edie Bukewihge Is Running For Governor
My name is Edie Bukewihge, and I am running for Governor of California. I filed my first papers for this race in May of 2001, now certified as a candidate for the primary race seeking the Republican nomination on March 5, 2002. You will find my name on the ballot, and my statement is in the sample ballot you have received.
We voted for Prop 187, and Gray Davis ignored the fact that we asked for English Only, and insisted that we do it his way. Mr. Davis made mistakes with several contracts and our tax dollars were used to nearly bankrupt this state with De-regulation, though he claims in 1996 he was not the governing body that created the problem in the first place. However he may explain this, Mr. Davis completed the task during his tenure, he has proven that he is not a leader, yet a follower in the least. All in all this state has been served in the lowest of regard and outrage is in order.
I am a regular woman, who has never run for an office, married to a hard working man, and mother of an adorable son who is my best friend. My business credentials are not as wealthy as Jones, Riordan, or Simon, yet I have the integrity that will spill over into this state and get the job done without hurting the state with friends in high places, and dues that will be paid for favors made along the campaign trail.
I am asking for your confidence, and will not fail this state. The Golden State is my home since 1957, and I would like the pleasure of securing our borders, insuring that illegal immigrants do not ruin legal Americans dreams of hope and prosperity. Seniors will have a free-medicine plan, and vouchers on a state level will prevail, most of all a secret security will keep our citizens safe from terrorists, there is no need to tell the whole world what our protections are. I will not compromise our solutions of a safe home. We need new leadership, not more friends of big business and friends in high places. Our government is becoming a corrupt system of games and rules that hinder our lifestyles increasingly.
I am asking for your vote, as your neighbor in Orange County, now for the last ten-years.
Candidate for Governor of California
email: [email protected]
You Want Big Money Out Of Politics?
As government involvement in private enterprise grows, so too does the incentive to bribe politicians and obtain special favors. The fewer activities in which the government involves itself, the fewer incentives there will be for lobbying and outright bribery. This was the simple but profound wisdom behind the Constitutional concept of strictly and severely limited government. We should not be surprised that abandoning this wisdom has led to corruption and disaster.
The government should also stop funding political campaigns with tax money. It's clearly not working. Decades of tax-subsidized political campaigns have not resulted in higher quality candidates. Quite the contrary. Consider how dreary and unprincipled our campaigns, especially for President, have become in the last several decades (the period in which public campaign financing has sharply increased). Evidence suggests that public financing leads to the election of "safe," unprincipled candidates who, once elected, become hostages to the demands of the subsidized special interests.
Funding campaigns with tax money is not necessary to keep wealthy candidates from "buying" elections. Steve Forbes and Ross Perot both failed to win the Presidency, despite the fact that each had huge amounts of personal money at his disposal. Forbes and Perot are living proof that money is not by itself a guarantee of success in the political system.
The only proper campaign finance reform is less government, which means no more tax-funding of campaigns, no more arbitrary restrictions on spending, and, most of all, a massive downsizing of government (starting with corporate welfare). The incentive for large-scale corruption will disappear.
Michael J. Hurd Ph.D.
Chevy Chase MD
We Are NOT At War
I am tired of the media myth – "America at War" – when we are not at war. If there was a war – it was in Afghanistan and we won it. Now the Bush administration is actively shopping around for another war to replace the one we just won. Why are we looking for war?
In order to start a war with the "Axis of Evil" there will have to be some kind of attack against America to justify it. I am concerned that the Bush administration needs to create such an event to start a war in order to keep the public's mind off the growing Enron scandal. Bush needs war to maintain political power and I'm concerned he will find it.
Never in the history of America have we gone out looking to start a War. So why are we doing it now? We live in scary times and our scariest enemy may well be ourselves.
Sharon Should Hit Terrorist Cells Not Buildings
The evidence all seems to point to a severe lack of strategy on the part of Ariel Sharon in fighting the savage and brutal attacks on Israeli civilians.
His only response seems to be a ineffective "tit for tat" attack of PA office structures where the occupants have been warned of an impending blow. To my knowledge he has not gone on the airways to address the seriousness of the Arab confrontation against Israel and that there must be a change in their way of life if they are to overcome the Arab blows. Thanks to previous Israeli administrations gun and ammunition have been supplied to the PA for them to control terror and crime. Israel has been unable to prevent PA resupply of dangerous materials which have been made into missiles and mortars.
Keeping a happy Arafat under house arrest in Ramallah is seen to be a meaningless activity. Israel which prided itself on being able to reduce airhijacking must be smart enough to work out some plan to eliminate suicide bombs. The Arabs must be hurt by sanctions to get them to turn against the terrorist organizations. This will not be easy and will bring on the wrath of European opinion and condemnation. None of the civilized nations would put up with such attacks on their civilians. If Sharon can't come up with a strategy other than the ineffective "Tit for Tat" meaningless response then someone else should take the helm. Enough is enough. If it takes going into all Arab controlled areas and removing Israeli provided guns, nails, gasoline and dynamite then this must be done. Israel must change its way of life. Parties and other large meetings of people must be thoroughly protected with mental detectors and bomb sniffing dogs or other devices, or eliminated. Make the PA hurt. Cut off gas, electricity and water if necessary until they turn in the killers. Since the population is supporting the terrorists they must be made to feel the pain. Islamic religionist can no longer be compared to fighters for freedom that inspired Martin Luther King or Mahandas Ghandi. Islam teaches Jihad and the Palestinians are doing a good job at it. Modern Arab history has shown their warlike nature. This in no way denies that western man is immune from violence.
Dr. Norman E Mann
To My Fellow Thought-Criminals
I'm glad to see by some of the email lists and other Internet sources that there are a lot of people who share my concern about the crackdown on dissent and the de facto repeal of civil liberties in the massive backwash of the undeclared war against a phantom enemy. I hope someone is keeping a file somewhere on the flood of cases in the USA where people are getting harassed, arrested, suspended from school, visited by the FBI, etc., etc., not only for performing Constitutionally-protected acts of dissent or publicly expressing the newly-forbidden views, but sometimes simply because they are known to hold those views or have performed such acts in the past. Thus a woman was mobbed by armed soldiers and refused passage on an airline for no other reason than that she had been identified as an "anti-war activist." Another person was bounced from a flight simply for carrying a book by the respected author Edward Albee, who happens to be an anarchist. But the most disturbing report to me was the story that the Czech Republic passed a law which permits the prosecution of people expressing sympathy for the attacks on New York, and also of those who criticize the new law! The report said that one journalist has already been arrested and charged as a "supporter of terrorism" for criticizing this law in a story he wrote. Is this outrage against civil liberties merely a product of an ex-communist country with no tradition of freedom of speech or of the press? The fact is that some of the reports from the USA are even more disturbing, viz. of official action being taken against people who do NOT express sympathy for the attackers, but who assert that neither are they in sympathy with the actions of the US government in waging a war of vengeance against millions of people who were not even involved in the attacks. The trend is clear, and terrifying: anyone who is NOT IN SYMPATHY with the bloody new crusade is in danger of having bad things happen to him -- not only from his fellow citizens whose passions may be inflamed to mob action by the unchecked media frenzy in support of the government, but even by the government itself. The situation goes beyond public acts and outward expression, and intrudes into what we feel in our heart of hearts. If I don't feel the same way about these issues as do my neighbors or the majority of people, then I am in danger of being called a criminal -- a "supporter of terrorism". To find an accurate label for such a thing, we would have to turn to Orwell's "1984," where the all-pervasive all-intrusive government rigorously monitors the citizens for THOUGHT-CRIME. I think that in such dangerous times, it's vital for people to speak out and share the views they hold which buck the momentum of the mass stampede to death and disaster. In other Internet posts, I've noticed that some Americans who were once unambiguously proud of their country have now recoiled with horror at the actions of its government and begun to speak of it as an EMPIRE. This rings a bell with me, because I have seen it that way for many years. I share some of the views of those who are aware that the hidden elite are pushing for a massive centralization of power and money in a New World Order -- except that I've always preferred to call it the New World Empire. And there is no doubt that this global Empire has its financial headquarters in the Wall Street complex of New York City, and that the armed forces of the United States are the backbone of its arsenal. I think the worst thing that could happen to the human race would be if the New World Empire achieved a final consolidation of its power such that no one could ever oppose it. The result would be a worldwide totalitarian state like none the planet has ever known -- unless perhaps you believe in the legends of Atlantis. So it was that I experienced the events of September 11, 2001 with profound ambivalence: the shock at the magnitude of the event, the horror at the deaths of so many people, compassion for all the victims -- yet at the same time I had a feeling of exultation that someone, as yet unknown, had finally struck a decisive blow against the Empire. So there it is -- I actually felt SYMPATHY for the 911 attack and its perpetrators! Will the Thought Police show up at my door? If they do, I would hope that other people might speak out on my behalf, just as I am trying to speak out on behalf of all those who have already felt the heel of the new oppressor. The new form of tyranny is incredibly insidious, for the high tech not only lends great force and accuracy to its actual weaponry, but also to the instruments of mind control, namely the mass media, which enslave people from the inside and make them believe that they freely choose their oppression. But my hope is that the small and ever-shrinking minority still capable of thinking for ourselves will find some common ground to resist the tide of Empire and help each other to remain free enough to speak our minds.
Against the fall of night,
Congress Fails To Curtail Contemptuous Administration
The Sept. 11 tragedy and related terrorist acts, mandate our full support in our war against terrorism--however, its devastation will only be compounded if we allow Mr. Bush and his supporters to succeed in using his inevitable (and undeserved) surge in popularity from this horrific event to continue and further promote his damaging and misleading pre-Sept. 11 policies to benefit of his supporters at the detriment of the populace.
We now see the Bush team seizing this opportunity, just as they had used the California "energy crisis" to promote oil exploitation of the Arctic refuge, even though it was unrelated to that crisis. Their current assertion that this Oil will be necessary for this war effort, even though it would not be available for many years, is only one example.
Although GWB has changed his rhetoric to appease public opinion, his anti-environmental course has never changed. With the same misinformation and invented logic, they still advocate increased exploitation of our oil and coal reserves. Meanwhile they are eliminating or substantially weakening meaningful conservation and alternative energy development even though they only real means of reducing pollution/greenhouse gasses, our trade imbalance, and our dangerous dependence on foreign oil--even alleging that they have only moral significance (Cheney).
GWB's ill founded abandonment of from the Kyoto Conference has damaged our world credibility and trust while prolonging desperately needed world wide environmental reforms. Sadly, he is telling the world that the profits of US petroleum related industries (his staunch supporters) come before their environment and health, and the economic benefits associated with alternative energy development and conservation--not to mention our own--and that we need not and will not restrain our environmentally destructive and wasteful practices even though we generate 25 % of the global warming gasses (and related pollution) with less than 6 % of the world population. His invented justification, and his allegations that the concerns of the dedicated scientists are not relevant despite the ongoing information supporting their findings, only underscores this outrage.
GWB's withdrawal from the international conference on curbing tobacco (early August) also tells the world that the profits of our tobacco interests (also his supporters) mean more to us than the health and well being of millions of third world youth who are enticed to smoke by USA advertising.
His refusal to identify the industrialists who participated in formulation of his anti-environmental energy policy is not only scandalous but illegal. He has damaged our democracy with his unexplained blockage of our rights to past presidential records, which could only have been done to cover misdeeds by his allies. Can anyone believe that he is withholding this information to protect the citizenry?? Are there any special attributes in GWB's character background that would render him trustworthy for such secrecy??.
Despite his recent rhetoric to the contrary, his indifference for women's rights is clearly illustrated by his vindictive and instant reinstatement of his fathers gag rule on international family planning. This program was perhaps the most successful (and cost-effective) means of assisting deprived women work toward some degree of esteem. He justified this in the fabricated pretense that it funded abortions--when it actually provided safe alternatives and reduced the frequency of infanticide.
GWB has deprived the populace of possible relief from Alshimers, Parkinson's, and related diseases by essentially cutting federal funding to stem cell research to satisfy his radical supporters. He has tried to appease the populace with claims that funding would be allocated for research on 60 available stem cells lines already separated from the embryos--when in fact such usable cells are virtually useless or non existent It now appears that many existing embryos from which useful cells could be derived, will be discarded unless congress intervenes.
Our current quest for international cooperation would surely have more legitimacy had this administration not displayed such unprecedented disregard and arrogance toward the international community. One can be certain that his policies have also alienated much of the Islam population, who would otherwise have been more supportive (or at least less opposed) toward our current efforts against terrorism. The international disdain and dis-trust from his policies will certainly resume after the alarm from the 9/11/01 event fades.
As I had outlined in an April 2001 letter to your office (which was not answered), Mr. Bush has placed the interests of his supporters before the well being of the world and this nation to an extent that I have never known in a president--and its tragic that congress has allowed him to do this with virtual impunity.
The urgency for congress to force this administration onto a course that benefits the populace instead of his supporting special interests, prevails even more now then before Sept. 11. So long as we are aggressive in our fight against terrorism, such corrective action would not impair these efforts. Instead it would enhance our fight while restoring our image, by showing the world that USA may not be the greedy and irresponsible brute portrayed by the GWB policies, which reflect the mischievous behavior of a spoiled child more than a world leader.
At this point, I can only express my chagrin with our legislators for neglecting these essential duties for which they were elected and have been entrusted.
Robert H Settgast
Professional Geotechnical Engineer
Faith in Politics
The Republican Party has made great electoral progress by exploiting and distorting the Christian faith. Separation of Church and State has been the single most important element in making America a great nation. This tradition is the greatest contribution toward worldwide political thought to develop from the American Revolution and our Founding Fathers. This tradition defines the spirit of America. This tradition is under severe attack from the "so called" Christian Right at the direction of the national Republican Party.
Separation of Church and State protects both from the corrupting influences inherent in mixing them together. Republicans seeking to exploit faith to achieve political ends are damaging the Christian religion and our democratic nation.
Many Christians understand that the doctrines of the "so called" Christian Right arise out of a misunderstanding of Christian theology. Christianity differs from Jewish traditions by emphasizing the personal and internal nature of salvation. Christ taught that merely following external Law would never provide salvation. Just following Laws of Behavior does not make us free from sin. The "so called" Christian Right is trying to ignore this revolutionary doctrine by emphasizing the changing of laws to make us a more Christian nation. This is simply impossible. Salvation is personal and internal. According to the Bible, salvation is only achieved with the help of Jesus Christ. A law book provides no help in achieving salvation. Laws belong in the realm of Caesar instead of God.
The Christian doctrine of "Free Will" is ignored by the political activities of the Republic "so called" Christian Right. We are given the choice to select sin or salvation by God. Legislation is simply irrelevant to salvation. Salvation is the purpose of Christianity, not legislative or political victories by Republicanism.
Christianity also teaches us to care for the poor and helpless. This is not reflected in the lobbying or electoral activity of the "so called" Christian Right. The Republican agenda is a political statement that essentially glorifies Greed. Since when is the Christian religion an advocate of Greed?
The Democratic Party agenda more closely reflects mainstream Christian values than does the Republican agenda. The Democrats do this while protecting our Constitutionally mandated Separation of Church and State. We need to explore the radicalism of the "so called" Christian Right.
We are all aware of the outrageous comments of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson after the September 11 attacks. These political preachers seem to think that God is opposed to civil liberties and Free Will. God is not a Republican or supports Republicanism. God is the only source of judgment regarding sin according to the Bible. This right to judge morality is reserved to God. Political preachers have no right to usurp God's authority in this manner. The "so called" Christian Right has set itself up to judge the morality (the sin) of our political figures in violation of this authority. The "so called" Christian Right does not show a tendency towards Christian forgiveness when judging Democrats. The political preachers and their organizations like the Christian Coalition routinely forgive Republicans. Why the double standard? Is it because it promotes Republicanism?
We recently located some interesting quotes by Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson on "The Conservative Hall of Fame" website (see http://451world.com/fame/html). Ralph Reed was formerly the head of the Christian Coalition and now head of the Georgia Republican Party. In a speech to the Christian Coalition, he said, "Tell em what they want to hear; when elected do as you please. Lie if you have to." Ralph Reed must have missed the Ten Commandments.
Pat Robertson said, "I think one man, one vote; just unrestricted democracy would not be wise. There needs to be some kind of protection for the minority which the white people represent now, and they need and have a right to demand a protection of their rights." Pat Robertson attacks democracy and advocates white racism. There is nothing Christian about these comments by Ralph Reed or Pat Robertson.
We recently heard anti-Clinton zealot and Republican commentator Ann Coulter defend the comments of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson concerning the September 11 attacks while addressing the College Republicans in Oregon. Her comments included a spirited defense on our treatment of the American Indians as being an advance for Christianity. Her most outrageous comment advocated placing in detention, under John Ashcroft, anyone who criticized the use of references to God in our schools. She seems to be against the Freedom of Speech provided by the Bill or Rights in our Constitution. We do not imprison anyone for his or her religious or political views in America.
The "so called" Christian Right is acting like an American Taliban. Their political agenda is both un-American and un-Christian. They have become nothing more than a tool of the Republican Party in their quest for power. Voters beware! Christians beware! It is time to exercise our Free Will in the ballot box and in our Churches.
& Al Lawrence
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