Coastal Post Online

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December, 2002

Letters To The Editor

Editor's Note: The Coastal Post tries to publish as many letter as it can each month. The volume in letters has increased considerably over the last 60 days. Apologies to those whose letters are not published.

Wouldn't Be Without CP

Please find enclosed a check for $72, i.e., for a three year subscription to the Coastal Post, which we wouldn't be without.

J. Northfield

Sardis, British Columbia

Hitler Would Praise Bush

"Mein Kampf" and the "National Security Strategy of the United States" both have a plan to conquer and to control other countries' economies and political climate. Considering that George W. Bush stole the election (read the book "Jews and Buchanan" by John Nicholas) creating Vote-Gate 2000, I suspect that he plagiarized "Mein Kampf." Adolph Hitler's book preceded World War II. Will W's 33-page document precede World War III? From his final resting, Hitler must be thinking and saying about W. Bush -- "Well done, my son. Your war is going to make my war look like a Sunday School picnic."

Ranier Penkert

San Francisco

A Possible Scenario?

Given the way the Bush government is conducting itself both in foreign and domestic policy, will it come to pass that in just a few years some Americans, perhaps, by then, a small minority, will paraphrase the German pastor, Martin Niemoeller, and lament: "First they came for the illegal Muslim aliens, but I was not one of them so I did nothing. Then they came for the legal Muslim immigrants, but I was not a legal Muslim immigrant so I did nothing. Then they came for the American citizens who were leaders of prominent organizations which opposed Bush's domestic and foreign policies, but I was not a leader so I did nothing. Then they came for private citizens who wrote letters to local editors or who were photographed in peace marches, but I did not write letters or march in protest to anything so I did nothing. Then, after I grumbled to my neighbor about Bush's policies over a cup of coffee, he reported me to the FBI so they came for me, but, by then, it was too late." Could this come to pass or is it simply not possible in the United States of America, the leader of the "free world"? Perhaps we should all write a letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft and ask him if he thinks this scenario is possible.

Phil Arnot

(WWII combat vet.)

Lagunitas

We're Already At War

Let us not be too hasty to denounce war as an altogether unblemished evil. Are you a Christian? Then recall that Christianity survived its darkest hour in the fury of the Battle of Tours? Do you believe in law? The rule of law became a human institution in the shelter of the Roman legions. Do you subscribe to the value of individual worth? Only by the success of the phalanx at Marathon did the Greeks repel the Persian horde and make possible the Golden Age. Are you a materialist? Do you regard as a human good the satisfaction of economic want? The Pax Britannica, made possible by the unchallengable supremacy of the British fleet, gave mankind the opportunity to lay the broad foundation of the Industrial Revolution... Do you care about freedom? Dreams may have inspired it, and wishes promoted it, but only war and weapons have made it yours.

Those who think war with Iraq is wrong should heed the above words of Robert Ardrey (African Genesis, p. 330). Because of Iraq's multiple and continued cease-fire violations and repeated missile attacks on our planes, we're already at war with Iraq.

History is a recurring pattern of battles of civilization facing envious barbarians at the gate. Today's barbarians are hammering at our gates, hoping to destroy, conquer and pillage, as we face our own potential Marathon, or Tours.

Fielding Greaves

Lt. Col, USA, Retired

San Rafael

Grand Jury's Acquaintance

I am the current Foreperson for the Marin County Civil Grand Jury. After reading the October 1, 2002, edition of the Coastal Post I felt it appropriate to acquaint you with certain procedures applicable to grand jury operations.

Under Penal Code sections 924.1 and 924.2 the operations and workings of the grand jury and its members is confidential. The grand jury and its members can not comment on or discuss any subject presented to the grand jury. The remarks that follow address strictly operational procedures for the grand jury with regard to receiving citizen complaints.

The Civil Grand jury is available for any citizen to contact and present information they feel deserves grand jury attention. Once that information is presented to the grand jury a review will take place to determine if any action by the grand jury is appropriate. The receipt of information does not commence a grand jury investigation. This means some matters forwarded by a citizen will generate a grand jury investigation and some matters may not. No one should assume (or report) the mere submittal of information as commencing a formal grand jury investigation. Such reporting would in my opinion be reckless.

Conrad Kloh, Foreperson

Marin County Civil Grand Jury

The Good, The Bad & MGH

First, the bad news! A published decision of the Sacramento Court of Appeals mid-November I found disappointing, but the decision will be appealed to the California Supreme Court. The Marin Healthcare District (all of Marin except Novato) filed suit in Sacramento Superior Court in 1997 to void the lease by which Sutter Health, the Sacramento-based hospital chain, operates Marin General Hospital. A preliminary ruling by a superior court judge that the statute of limitations had expired was expanded to a 41 page ruling concluding that this action was "time-barred."

Never mind the basic contention of the plaintiff that the 1985 lease is illegal. When the 30 year lease was written by the hospital CEO and hospital attorney, both were public employees of a hospital owned by the district residents. It is a violation of California Government Code, section 1090, for government employees to make contracts to benefit themselves. That's exactly what CEO Henry J. Buhrmann and Quentin Cook, the lawyer, allegedly did. They installed themselves in identical, more lucrative positions in the privatized hospital.

Since the 1985 lease has been in place, millions of dollars of patient revenue have made one-way trips out of Marin. Monies have gone as far as the Cayman Islands. There are many other compelling reasons to return MGH to community control. All hospital-generated income could then be reinvested in patient care where it is sorely needed.

Now, the good news! Three incumbents were re-elected to the Marin Healthcare District board of five this November: Lawrence Arnstein, Suzanna Coxhead and John Severinghaus. Drs. Arnstein and Severinghaus are strong consumer advocates; Ms. Coxhead is the board's sole MGH/Sutter Health advocate. Possibly as a token for her past pro-Sutter stance, Dennis O'Connell, Sutter Health board chairman, contributed $1,000 to her campaign. The local daily reported that the Marin Medical Society contributed $500 to her campaign. Actually, it was the medical society's PAC which should have known better. The PAC could well have supported the two doctors.

What with four of the five current directors strong consumer advocates, the board will continue everything possible within lease constraints to upgrade hospital services and care. Hopefully, before long the hospital will be back in community control.

Norman Carrigg, M.D.

San Rafael

Close Indian Valley College

The closing of the Kentfield campus is just a diversion, the result of a lack of fortitude of the Board and the President. The College of Marin Kentfield is a historical location, there is no way it would be allowed to be abandoned and certainly not developed. The School board and the President knows that IVC is never going to be viable and because of Novato's continued opposition to closing IVC, the board does not have the courage to simply say that IVC has to be closed now. So the Board decides to "save face" and announce that it will look into closing both campuses. This move is just to keep Novato happy. The board has supported the IVC campus for years and will not admit it was a mistake. Novato has told them that they would not protest the closing of IVC, if the board closes the Kentfield campus as well! So the president would prefer to tell Novato, "Well you see I tried get rid of the Kentfield campus but Marin residents will not allow it, so I am forced to close IVC."

Novato's population can not support a college campus, which is what this really is all about! The demographics studies of Novato 20 years ago have said this, but the Board and Novato ignored the facts. These facts have not changed if anything the Novato population is even less likely support a college now. Novato says that they want a college campus but have not supported the IVC campus, (they can not even support, the pool that they insist on using.) If the IVC campus was up to capacity with Novato residents then I would say that Novato can support a college campus. This is not the case and never will be. They have had a couple of decades to make IVC work and have not been able to. Since Novato wants IVC open so badly maybe the College Of Marin Board should give it to them! Let them put their money where their mouth is!

Which brings us to the possibility of the State of California stepping in and forcing the issue? IVC has been sucking the college district dry for years. If the State steps in, it could be the end of a Community College in Marin! This is because, on paper I am sure that overhead costs of IVC and the fact that we have lost enrollment because of IVC, makes the college district look like it can never be viable. I believe the Presidents stalling on closing IVC is bringing us closer to this.

IVC has brought College Of Marin down. If IVC is closed College Of Marin enrollment would increase! Students do not have free time. They work and have families. They can not spend 3 hours a day commuting to IVC for a couple of classes. Over the years of attending classes, I have talked to many people, all but the people living in Novato dislike going to IVC because "it is too far away to drive or it's is like a graveyard."! Then of course, there are the degree programs that have required classes in both campuses. This has really chased students away. Many can not take required classes at IVC and end up taking them elsewhere or wait until transferring to a state College to take their needed classes. Can you imagine taking classes in Kentfield and then having to go to IVC for one or two classes and come back the same day to Kentfield! A couple of hours wasted in driving (this time could be used for studying). If it was not for classes only offered in IVC, only people living in Novato would be taking classes there!It is very clear that most people going to College Of Marin live closer to Kentfield than to IVC. Anyone living is Southern Marin would find it much quicker to go to San Francisco for classes as opposed to IVC. This is another reason College Of Marin has lost students. It is very common to have classes with enough on the waiting list to open another class in Kentfield, and the same class half full or closing in IVC. Of course there would be no instructors available to take the overflow in Kentfield, loosing a class room of students. I know for a fact that classes are closed at IVC for lack of enrollment and the same class is closed at Kentfield for the lack of enrollment! If IVC were closed these classes would have remained open. I am sure that this happens every semester to many classes, (this could be verified with admissions).

When students have required classes close on them, this can cause a real problem. Today's students are on a time-line, some of these classes are only offered once a year if their class is closed then they will have to take it in another school. Do not think that only poor students go to College Of Marin as it has been suggested, it the convenience and great campus that brings people here. If that convenience is gone like moving the campus or forcing students to take needed classes at IVC then the parents of students will sent them else ware!

It makes no sense building a campus in San Rafael, because it is "centrally located.". One has to consider the freeway traffic as well as to really look at what is "central" to the College Of Marin's population not Marin population or Marin geography center. Actually Nicasio is probably geography center of Marin! A professional census and survey of Marin's population, (demographic analysis), to determine who uses College Of Marin, is what is necessary. What I am sure that one will find is that North Marin (Novato) population demographics cannot support a college campus. The Kentfield is about as "central" to College Of Marin's student population as one can get. The central location of College Of Marin's student population has not been considered in any proceedings involving College of Marin's or IVC's enrollment problem, but they can very easily get these facts out of the admissions database.

Consider the financial aspects of closing both campuses and opening another one in San Rafael. It is laughable! This 120+ million mentioned in the IJ to fix up the College Of Marin campus is not realistic and deceiving. It is IVC that needs the 102+ million of fixing. Kentfield campus simply needs to have a couple of buildings made, (maybe) for the shops and IT Department moved from IVC . There is some work to be done at Kentfield but not millions. The reason that Kentfield has been neglected is because of the drain from IVC. The Kentfield campus miss-manages space; much is waited or inefficiently used and there is much duplication. I really doubt that making new buildings would be necessary. From what I have heard of the science building and the lack of enrollment in science classes, there would be candidate for remodeling. Putting the IT department there, would be my first thought.

Lets be realistic, it would cost much more than 120 million to build a new campus. Think about the loss taken on the sale or leasing of IVC and Kentfield campus, and the cost of years of litigation and no doubt the cost of putting approvals on a ballot measure. Also consider the added traffic problems to the freeway and the local road with the cost of improving the roads. Not to mention even if a suitable lot is found and purchased the red tape, litigation would go on for years and in the end a new campus would not be allowed to be built. (In the meantime IVC would still be dead overhead all those years, making the situation even worse!)

The Kentfield campus is a historical site, Marin residents (except Novato) would never support its closing. The Board would never be able to get the market value for either campus, because of the opposition of the local residents against it being developed. Who would purchase these "lots" knowing it would take at least 10 years of red tape to even build a small number of homes, after reserving most of the land to open space? The only prospect of selling them would be to a non-profit organization. Then, of course there is the State Of California. It is not likely that California would allow these campuses to be sold at a loss and pay millions to purchase land in San Rafael and hundreds of millions to build a campus for a community college district that has been loosing students. The President talks of making room for College Of Marin expansion, even though this campus is nowhere near capacity now!

What has the College done to promote classes? Most of what I have seen is when they send out schedules. I see them pilled up at the post office in a nice neat pile. People do not even look at them they simply put them in this pile directly from their P.O. boxes or put them in the garbage. The back page in the IJ about College Of Marin success stories is cute but serves no purpose. A perfect example of College Of Marin lack of marketing is the fact that people with new computers I have talked to did not know that they could take computer courses at College of Marin! They were going to take one of those at community centers for $50 or more! I have also talked to people that were going to take painting or dancing classes from private instructors not knowing that College Of Marin has courses at a fraction of the cost. Of course people that I have talked to about the shop classes do not have enough time to go to IVC! College Of Marin advertising and marketing is non existent; this is one of the reasons why the enrollment is down!

A concerned staff member

of ten years who wants to remain

anonymous to keep the job

Arabs Colonizing Free World

Just think of when you last heard of an Arab or other total Islamic country having a government crises such as we see in Israel? Its kind of strange how the free world completely ignores the fact that every Arab nation is for the most part a dictatorship and that there is no fundamental freedom to speak out

freely without getting thrown into jail. This is another example of the world demanding that Israel answer to a higher standard to the limit of disabling itself for the glory of democracy. It's high time that the free world see the light that they are all being colonized by the Arab nations as the Arab nations cast off

its unwanted and cleanses itself from possible terror. The non Arab countries should demand that all Islamic countries immediately throw out the welcome mat to the refugees in the Middle East. For too long the Arab nations have been demanding that Europe, the United States, Australia and Canada take in Arab emigrants as they refuse to do. The Arabs are their own brothers worst enemy. Doesn't anyone see that?

Dr. Norman Mann

San Diego

Looking Forward To CP

I look forward to and thoroughly enjoy each month's issue of Coastal Post and now mail a copy to my son in Pennsylvania who has been in Bolinas once in his life and never forgot it.

I'm hoping to get him back out to Marin for a visit in the spring. I am still interested in a distribution job should a part time situation ever turn up for someone like me (retired in San Rafael!).

Gloria Potter

San Rafael

An Open Letter to the President of the United States of America

Mr. Bush:

Good morning sir. Like you, I am a father and an American. Like you, I consider myself a patriot. Like you, I was horrified by the events of this past year, concerned for my family and my country. However, I do not believe in a simplistic and inflammatory view of good and evil. I believe this is a big world full of men, women, and children who struggle to eat, to love, to work, to protect their families, their beliefs, and their dreams. My father, like yours, was decorated for service in World War II. He raised me with a deep belief in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, as they should apply to all Americans who would sacrifice to maintain them and to all human beings as a matter of principle.

Many of your actions to date and those proposed seem to violate every defining principle of this country over which you preside: intolerance of debate ("with us or against us"), marginalization of your critics, the promoting of fear through unsubstantiated rhetoric, manipulation of a quick comfort media, and position of your administration's deconstruction of civil liberties all contradict the very core of the patriotism you claim. You lead, it seems, through a blood-lined sense of entitlement. Take a close look at your most vehement media supporters. See the fear in their eyes as their loud voices of support ring out with that historically disastrous undercurrent of rage and panic masked as "straight tough talk." How far have we come from understanding what it is to kill one man, one woman, or one child, much less the "collateral damage" of many hundreds of thousands. Your use of the words, "this is a new kind of war," is often accompanied by an odd smile. It concerns me that what you are asking of us is to abandon all previous lessons of history in favor of following you blindly into the future. It worries me because with all your best intentions, an enormous economic surplus has been squandered. Your administration has virtually dismissed the most fundamental environmental concerns and therefore, by implication, one gets the message that, as you seem to be willing to sacrifice the children of the world, would you also be willing to sacrifice ours.

I know this cannot be your aim so, I beg you Mr. President, listen to Gershwin, read chapters of Stegner, of Saroyan, the speeches of Martin Luther King. Remind yourself of America. Remember the Iraqi children, our children, and your own.

There can be no justification for the actions of Al Qaeda. Nor acceptance of the criminal viciousness of the tyrant, Saddam Hussein. Yet, that bombing is answered by bombing, mutilation by mutilation, killing by killing, is a pattern that only a great country like ours can stop. However, principles cannot be recklessly or greedily abandoned in the guise of preserving them.

Avoiding war while accomplishing national security is no simple task. But you will recall that we Americans had a little missile problem down in Cuba once. Mr. Kennedy's restraint (and that of the nuclear submarine captain, Arkhipov) is to be aspired to. Weapons of mass destruction are clearly a threat to the entire world in any hands. But as Americans, we must ask ourselves, since the potential for Mr. Hussein to possess them threatens not only our country, (and in fact, his technology to launch is likely not yet at that high a level of sophistication) therefore, many in his own region would have the greatest cause for concern. Why then, is the United States, as led by your administration, in the small minority of the world nations predisposed toward a preemptive military assault on Iraq?

Simply put, sir, let us re-introduce inspection teams, inhibiting offensive capability. We buy time, maintain our principles here and abroad and demand of ourselves the ingenuity to be the strongest diplomatic muscle on the planet, perhaps in the history of the planet.

The answers will come. You are a man of faith, but your saber is rattling the faith of many Americans in you.

I do understand what a tremendously daunting task it must be to stand in your shoes at this moment. As a father of two young children who will live their lives in the world as it will be affected by critical choices today, I have no choice but to believe that you can ultimately stand as a great president. History has offered you such a destiny. So again, sir, I beg you, help save America before yours is a legacy of shame and horror. Don't destroy our children's future. We will support you. You must support us, your fellow Americans, and indeed, mankind.

Defend us from fundamentalism abroad but don't turn a blind eye to the fundamentalism of a diminished citizenry through loss of civil liberties, of dangerously heightened presidential autonomy through acts of Congress, and of this country's mistaken and pervasive belief that its "manifest destiny" is to police the world. We know that Americans are frightened and angry. However, sacrificing American soldiers or innocent civilians in an unprecedented preemptive attack on a separate sovereign nation, may well prove itself a most temporary medicine. On the other hand, should you mine and have faith in the best of this country to support your leadership in representing a strong, thoughtful, and educated United States, you may well triumph for the long haul. Lead us there, Mr. President, and we will stand with you.

Sean Penn

San Francisco, California

from the Washington Post

Fingerprinting Americans

Why should Canadians worry about Canadians being fingerprinted and photographed at the US border-after all, only criminals and terrorists would fear this, right? In fact, Canada could help the US by requiring all Americans to be fingerprinted and photographed when they entered Canada. Then Canada would catch more criminals, and then Canada could share all the prints and photos with the US, which doesn't permit such arbitrary fingerprinting of ordinary citizens.

Perhaps that is what Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister has discussed with the US Secretary of State November 14?

After all, isn't this similar to Echelon, where the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand eavesdrop on satellite and microwave signals the US is forbidden to listen to by US law, and vice versa, and then share the information?

We will then be able to further emulate much more secure countries, where all that citizens have to fear is the police and the government-like Iraq.

Tom Trottier

Ottawa ON Canada K1R 7V8

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little

temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Deadly Gay Linguists

I guess George W. Bush is more afraid of homosexual men than he is of Osama Bin Laden.

The Dept. of Defense has very few Arabic speaking personnel, thereby delaying the translation of the threats to attack the World Trade Center prior to September 11.

Thousands of people died in that attack, but at least we are now kept safe by the elimination of gay linguists in the military.

Pathetic.

Meg Brizzolara

San Rafael

Existence Of Americans

I was sipping on my coffee as I was reading Coastal Post and I saw your article "US And Israel....." written by Jim Scanlon.

I just wanted to admire his daring work and to tell you guys how right and on target this writer is. I was

born in the Middle East and have been exposed to variety of different news from different sources outside of the US. This is the first time that I see a newspaper writing such a daring "very true" article. I wished the killing would stop all over the world and people(to be more precise) the governments, specially bigger powers would learn to live side by side and help us all to make this world a better place for the next generation.

I hope you could market this paper to other country so other people will learn about the existence of such people(Americans) like you.

Keep writing.

Arman

[email protected]

Mill Valley Beautiful Dream

Mill Valley is surrounded by love each and every day. The people of Mill Valley are surrounded by the beauty of nature. The beauty of the redwood trees and the innocence of wildlife and the beauty of the wildflowers and their fragrance and the beautiful waterfalls. We were once blessed by my people but now the people of Mill Valley are blessed.

Dedicated to the Miwok Indians

White Cloud

Who Defends The Constitution?

Does the GOP congressional victory legitimize the Bastard Presidency? Does it render the dictatorial

powers granted this illegitimate junta constitutional? At least when Lincoln shredded the constitution, he was opposed by the Supreme Court. Who is left to defend it now, but we the people?

Jay Taber

[email protected]

Curiouser And Curiouser

To revisit a line from Alice in Wonderland , "things are becoming curiouser and curiouser" regarding the Homeland Security albatross being steamrolled through congress and around the necks of Americans and our local police departments to effect a federal takeover of local police in the creation of an American Gestapo (national police).

The suspicious origin of Homeland Security is surfacing in news reports that it was first proposed by the Hart-Rudman commission, created at the urging of President Clinton years before the strangely curious events of 9-11 which, some say, conveniently stampeded congress toward enacting the national Gestapo of Homeland Security now in the Senate (see: www.thenewamerican.com / search-homeland security ).

The historical precedent of this can be seen when in the 1930s Hitler's Enabling Act gave him blanket authority for what he curiously called "Fatherland Security" after his created incident when his storm troopers reportedly set fire to the Reichstag building (their congress), and blamed it on the communists ,creating enough panic to pass the Act. Of course the advent of Hitler's "Fatherland Security" was the death knell for freedom in Germany and the precursor of world-wide horror. We must contact our senators and congressmen immediately and demand that George W's deceptively named Homeland Security be stopped or rescinded and thus preserve the independence of our local police, and our freedoms, from federal destruction, and further to reinstate the House and Senate Internal Security Sub-committees to prevent further terrorism before our lemming-like leaders try to elect Chicken Little as Speaker of the House. Lets remember that old political axiom, by Lord Acton I recall, "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."-We must act NOW!

Ed Nemechek

Landers, Ca.

To The President

Now you've won. No more worry about being an illegitimate or a minority President. The historic election victory for the party in power -- in an off-year, no less -- represents surprising support for the direction you have slowly, at times haltingly, taken the country in its defense against terrorist thugs.

America grew up on 9/11/01, and it appears that a majority of the voters are now becoming hawks. So end the self-doubt. You're in charge. There is evil in the world, and evil must be defeated. Stop worrying about what countries like Russia and France think of us.

Tell the UN what they can do with their Security Council, as if security could be achieved by making deals with dictators who gas and terrorize their own people in the pursuit of power. Take out and demolish Saddam Hussein once and for all. Treat the axis of evil -- your own term -- as if they are indeed evil, and stay consistent to this premise no matter what the rotten intellectual and diplomatic Establishment tells you.

For example, terminate all aid to North Korea's dictatorship and put them on notice that after Iraq they will be next. Show Saudi Arabia what the consequences will be if they don't cooperate with us in taking out Saddam Hussein. Stop treating the PLO, a known terrorist organization that rational Arabs will not support, as morally equal to Israel, a democratic republic which respects freedom of worship and individual rights.

Stop listening to the "moderates," for they are not reasonable so much as compromising and appeasing of terrorists. (While you're at it, why not fire Colin Powell?)

On the home front, aggressively use your clout in Congress to put your words into practice: continue to lower taxes, increase defense spending, get the government out of the business world and keep it involved where it belongs, in the realm of safety and security. Push for Social Security privatization. Reverse your bloating of the Department of Education and move in the direction of localizing and, better yet, privatizing education. The same goes for health care. Find your convictions, and then exercise the courage to put them into action. Your victory represents a rare opportunity over the next two years to push the country in the right direction. You've won. If you follow the right principles we all will win as well.

Michael J. Hurd Ph.D.

Chevy Chase, MD

www.DrHurd.com

Why Not Israel?

Here's an interesting question that no one in the dominant media seems wont to ask.

Given that:

o Iraq is a direct threat to Israel, which is only 500 miles from Bhagdad

o Israel is America's closest ally in the Middle East

o Israel has the world's fourth most powerful military

Why hasn't Israel volunteered to march shoulder to shoulder with her American allies in this attempt to regime change Iraq and rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction? Why hasn't George Bush asked Israel to assist?

Why has George Bush, instead, asked Canada and Australia to assist militarily?

Not only are Canada and Australia not threatened by Iraq, their military capability is not nearly the equal of Israel's. Moreover, their proximity to Iraq nearly as favorable.

Does this make sense to you? That Israel would sit this war out and let American soldiers fight its battle alone? Or with allies that have no quarrel with Iraq? Makes no sense to me.

George Josiban

Hamilton, NJ

Marin General Article Biased

I have long read your paper because I have felt it was balanced and informative.

I was very disappointed at your ?article? on page one about Marin General this week. It is obvious

that this reporter did not research any of her facts, did not interview people on different sides of this issue and very inappropriately ended the article by asking voters to vote for

candidates that she preferred. It is unfortunate that many residents of Marin have not had a chance to review the real issues of this problem and have sought a positive resolution.

Please do not allow your paper to be used in this manner unless you label it as an advertisement or an editorial.

Walter Kopp

San Anselmo

Help Needed At Stinson Montessori

Hi I am writing on behalf of The Stinson Beach Montessori School. This school is in a bit of financial trouble do to low enrollment. The future of the school is in question. It would be a great help to us if you could print an announcement of our upcoming Silent Auction. Here is the information:

The 6th annual Stinson Beach Montessori Silent Auction is happening on December 8th from noon until 5:00. Admission is free. There will be live music by Cole Tate, delicious hors d'ourves and fine wines offered. Hundreds of local and regional items will be up for auction.

If you could help us out in this matter it would be so appreciated. Thank you for your time,

Mary Greenwood

War Is About Oil

The November 17 morning news stated that we are now at war with Iraq. It is my belief that the USA is taking a wrong turn in initiating a war. I believe that although Sadam has weapons of mass destruction, he has not currently waged war on another nation and we should not first strike war on any nation.

I am also concerned that wars against Islamic nations are begun during Ramadan, the holy month of fasting and prayer. It seems a violation of religious freedom and tolerance to have wars at this time. As a Christian, I would wonder about a nation who started wars up against my country during Christmas.

I believe this war is more about oil than anything else.

Our country should lead the world in an example of peace and freedom, not war and aggression. I do not want to see the terrorism that American people will probably fall victim to here at home because of the policies of the oil men.

Pray for Peace. We are a good and peace loving people and we all need to remind our so-called leaders of it. We also have weapons of mass destruction. Are WE being investigated, threatened, and bombed because of it? Do we not also pose a threat to world peace? Do we have the right to be judge and jury of other nations? Have we the intelligence to decide for others who and what their governments should be? Does not our Constitution forbid meddling in foreign governments and foreign wars?

Our forefathers added that to the Constitution so that our country would not be weakened and destroyed. I believe that war is a bloody and horrible thing, and that we have begun a path of pain and suffering to many people.

Kathryn Barnes

Sherwood, MI

Goose And Gander

How can the US expect Iraq to obey the UN, when we openly admit that we refuse to obey it also, if it doesn't do what we like? It is hypocrisy like this that has engendered anti-American sentiment around the world. We don't even pay our UN dues on time!

Mike Vandeman

San Ramon

When America Starts Not To Give A Damn

One may not totally agree with what the Republican Party stands for but it cannot be denied of a well deserved recognition for its very impressive performance in the recently concluded midterm elections. I have been very critical of President George W. Bush to the extent that I have branded him as an illegitimate president. He may well have been one, but the results of the midterm elections clearly establish a certain form of mandate that the American people have given his administration. I continue to disapprove of his methods, beliefs and values, but in fairness to the man, I have to congratulate him for his demonstrated effectiveness as a politician.

The American people are not stupid. They fully understand what George W. Bush is all about. They can appreciate the value of their votes in an election process. If they had wanted to repudiate their president's two year performance, this was the time to do it. Instead, only 40% of the registered voters bothered to exercise their most important right as American citizens. Sixty percent of American voters declared, loud and clear-that they did not give a damn. Those of us who went to the polls gave a damn, regardless of whether we agree with the Bush administration or not. Unfortunately, a greater number of us have chosen to give Bush more rope to do whatever he pleases to do with it and hope for the best.

One cannot however dismiss the very poor electoral participation of the American people in the recent polls as a manifestation of disinterest or disaffection. We are not a third world country where the electorate is oblivious of the nuances and consequences of their non participation in an electoral process as important as a midterm election, particularly one that follows a presidential election that was stolen. No. It is obvious that those of us who did not cast their ballots, expected exactly the results that we got.

The curious and unusual behavior of the Democratic Party during the elections betrayed such a mood. The opposition to the incumbent administration's agenda was glaringly perfunctory because the American people may not be happy with what President Bush is doing but do not necessarily disapprove of his motives.

We are beginning to ask ourselves some rather pragmatic questions. Being the most powerful country in the world, why should we not wield that power in our relationship with the international community? Why for instance, should the totalitarian governments in the Middle East dictate to the world their energy agendas. With Russia, France and China literally neutralized, and the U. K. behind us, why should we not be dictating that agenda instead? A rather imperialistic stance, one may say, but let us not kid ourselves-it is the only way to stay in power.

The recently concluded midterm election clearly shows that the American people approve of the US Oil Industry's energy agenda. It is an indirect affirmation of the American people's willingness, not only to stop international terrorism by going after the terrorists, but to make certain that the major source of their logistic support is plugged up. It is an endorsement of the long established axiom that whoever controls oil controls everything, including terrorism. It will not be easy. America will have to invest blood, money and lives in the process. But whoever said that it will be a piece of cake?

With the three branches of our government under Republican control, President George W. Bush has absolute power to carry through with his program of government. His first two years of frantic efforts, in satiating his wealthy friends will look like child's play compared to what he can now do during the balance of his term. Either he continues to do that or he starts to strengthen his chances for re-election, knowing full well that the US Supreme Court cannot always be in a position to hand him the presidency on a platter. It really all depends on what he will do with the rope that the American people have so graciously given him in the midterm election. He can either lasso them with it, or take the second option. The only caveat is whether he can overcome the intoxication of absolute power (which his detractors are hoping against) or use that power for the benefit of mankind. History is replete with sad memories of a number of great leaders who fell on their swords on account of it. It is incumbent upon the president to keep in mind that the 2002 midterm election results are a reminder to him that his administration is no longer indentured to big money alone but to the American people as well.

Antonio R. Serna

Rohnert Park

Plant Extinction

Sorry if I sent this to you twice. As the horrendous news that 50% of all plants species on Earth now face extinction reaches the newswire, and the plight of animals is the same in the face of too-seldom discussed human overpopulation and encroachment on nature, I submit this to you...

We've been here since the dawn of time, and are the latest in this fantastic journey. I looked forward to the one chance at life I have been given, yet it is rumored that something is coming...

A sound comes to my valley, one never heard before.... a yellow monster spewing death. Life that can move fast enough flees from burrowed home or tree. The young who cannot yet move, are left to die, crushed or smothered by the beast so ironically named caterpillar. Rumbling and snorting the monster comes- caring not for life or limb, heritage or history... lineage spanning back billions of years snuffed out in an instant, not to return again. Mindless destruction perversely named development, but often are lighthearted and deceptive names made to cover the truth. The REAL development of earth has taken billions of years to attain its perfect balance, beauty and harmony. Through it's wondrous animals, our planet has developed the miraculous ability to see itself, to wonder about itself, and after all that precious time and growing pains, the animals have achieved the ability to think, change their environment, and choose their own future. To visualize things that are not, and make them so.......Truly, the power of gods!

Webster defines god as "one having special powers over the lives and affairs of people and the course of nature." As the pinnacle of thinkers on our planet, we have attained god status. With our knowledge, the ability to create and make virtually anything happen is now in our hands. Many religions also tell us that we are children of god, which indeed would make us gods by direct lineage. What kind of god are you? Every act you perpetrate on a less powerful being is an act of god-every act of injury or healing we impart to another being less powerful is surely seen as an act of god to them. In their eyes we are magical beings with power over their lives and deaths. Do they wonder why these gods choose to destroy them, expanding and overpopulating until there is no room for them or their young? Stripping them of the very right to exist? What kind of gods are we?

Shall we be gods enslaved to a once necessary, but no longer healthy primitive instinct, the instinct of domination? Shall we be merciless gods, destroying as needless and useless all the other life forms under our command? Gods driven by greed and profit?

Gods who would destroy the incredible ancient lineage of all that went before? A god with no room in his heart or world for the ancient connections that brought him to his power? To see as dirty the very roots that nurtured his own tree of wisdom, hacking at them, severing them one by one until the tree itself dies? Gods who would destroy their own flock?

As gods our greatest joy is to create-with this power of creation must reside wisdom, that in our passion to create, we don't destroy our roots and that which we cannot yet create. We gods have eyes to see the lives that lie bleeding, powerless beneath the wheels of our creations. We gods have ears to hear the cries of terror and dismay as we kill our one and only planet. Take not lightly the responsibility of your status. Know you, that you are a god, and you recreate the world in YOUR image.... a hell on earth, or a miracle of life adrift against all odds in an unimaginably vast and lonely ocean, a priceless showpiece of the heavens for us to cherish and protect. The time has indeed grown short and we must decide...

David Singelyn

Warner Springs

[email protected]

 

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