Coastal Post Online

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May, 2003

Letters To The Editor

Saddam Hussein Ungrateful
          I hate that ungrateful Saddam Hussein. Not only do we install his Baath Party in 1963 and support his faction's murderous coup of 1968, but we even supply them with the names of all the Communists in Iraq. A young assassin like Saddam couldn't ask for a better opportunity to move up the ranks and yet how are we rewarded? They nationalize their oil!
          Then after we arm Saddam to the teeth, he goes and gasses the Kurds instead of those fanatical Iranians who had thrown out our trusted ally the Shah. It makes me so angry to think of our generosity in ignoring this atrocious behavior and continuing to arm him that I'm even glad that so many in our current administration committed treason and perjury and subverted Congress to sell Iran all those missiles.
          Well, at least in Kuwait we showed him what happens to those who would attack a sovereign nation in order to steal their natural resources without Uncle Sam's permission . Yet even then he continued to audaciously live in opulence while we killed more than a million of his innocent civilians through crushing sanctions. I bet few of the royal family's children were born without eyes or brains due to radioactive shells or died from treatable diarrhea when we wouldn't allow water treatment chemicals or the needed medicine to enter their country. No, those monsters were living the good life.
          They were even bold enough to start selling their oil for Euros instead of good old American dollars. As if they didn't realize that this would threaten the very lifestyle of America's wealthiest citizens.
          Well now we've beaten him and I don't even care that he'll be lionized in his martyrdom. If this breeds a generation of terrorists who hate us, so be it. How could their unsophisticated weapons ever harm us? Yes, I hate Saddam Hussein. And don't even get me started on Manuel Noriega or Osama bin Laden.
Richard Marshall
Mill Valley

Our Media Same as Hitler
          Early in his rise to power, Adolph Hitler said, "We will incite the masses. We will lash them to a frenzy." It would seem that the American main media, especially television news, is doing just about the same thing today.
Phil Arnot
Lagunitas

MUTA Bumper Stickers
          The response to Marin United Taxpayers Association's offer of free "Support our Troops" bumper stickers has been outstanding, but MUTA still have a small number of them remaining. For your free bumper sticker, call MUTA at 456-7910 and leave a message with your phone number, name and mailing address.
Fielding Greaves
Secretary, MUTA

Which One Are You?
          America is currently polarized by the current crisis in Iraq into two distinct groups. One consists of those of us who fully understand and value the meaning of freedom and democracy and are therefore willing and ready to protect it from impostors any time and at any cost. The other are those who find it convenient to follow the impostors they call their leaders, particularly when they are made to march in the name of patriotism.
          To the former I say, right on and more power to you. To the latter, however, I say, shame on you. Grow up and wise up. Earn the right to be called an American and be deserving of the honor and blessings that go with it. As far as your leadership is concerned, don't you know that it has all along been serving only the special interests that put it in power and is now asking you to do the same? You should, indeed, be shocked, but hardly awed.
Antonio Serna
Rohnert Park

Thoughts From Aspiring Rancher
          I have a few thoughts in response to your staffer Elena Belsky's article, "New Ag Proposals Giving Away the Farm" in your April issue. Is Ms. Belsky, who so relishes the "rural character" (how quaint!) of West Marin a farmer or rancher? I doubt it, because every rancher I know supports Supervisor Kinsey's efforts toward keeping agriculture viable in West Marin. Although Ms. Belsky acknowledges that balancing "human desires" and "environmental needs" (as if the two were forever incompatible) is "not easy," she gives Steve Kinsey no credit for attempting to achieve that balance.
          Ms. Belsky mentions the concerns of "citizen groups," in the plural, but quotes only one spokesperson, the ubiquitous Catherine Caulfield of the Environmental Action Committee. The ever-dramatic Ms. Caulfield trots out her usual "trophy homes" images, again enabling the more paranoid and imaginative of us to envision Saddam-like palaces glistening on top of the verdant East Shore hills. Folks, if ranchers and farmers had the same "political clout" and access to "special interest groups" as the EAC, they would be driving BMW pickup trucks and dining on truffles tofu every night!
          I would implore the readers to not let Ms. Belsky scare them... our elected officials, including Steve Kinsey, are elected and supported by the citizens of Marin because they consistently act in the best interest of all, including those of us who cherish the West Marin environment and "rural character." Speaking of "rural characters," perhaps Ms. Belsky should wander over to the Eest Shore and try on the workboots of one, and then walk a mile through their ranches and lives... she might understand a bit more of what Steve Kinsey is trying to do.
Joe Brubaker,
aspiring West Marin rancher  

CP Singular-In-Marin
          Enclosed is a double sawbuck for minimum contribution for 2K02 and 2K03. Anyone a regular reader of this singular-in-Marin publication ought to send at least one fiver per annum. On certain nights of the fuller moon, countless shades of dire wolves sally forth to seek out cheapskates...
          Phone: "out of service" since December's double slam storm. SBC (Standard Bullshit Corporation) alleges it is "short somewhere on building wire, not our responsibility, we will take a look for $45 for 30 minutes..." Uh huh, $90 per hour. I guess the cactus eaters in El Paso are getting lean and hungry since their energy brothers-in-crime are temporarily in reduced circumstances. I think I can find the time and energy to file a complaint with the CA Public Utilities Commission.
          Nice to see some transportation available. I hope to try out "The Stage" soon.
Dennis Mazer
San Rafael

Lieing Made Easy
          In the April Coastal Post, we saw Frank Scott in his editorial "Lies and Other Market Forces" quoting Adolf Hitler about lying, Edward W. Miller writing about, "Lies, Lies -- The Weapons of Mass Deception," and an article by the Green Party condemning the US government for using lies as "weapons of mass distraction."
          Of course, the Bush Administration's campaign of lies and deception is made easier by the gullibility of the American public!
          Poet, author and social critic Robert Bly in the poetry anthology, "The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart" (1992) asserts that "the United States has achieved the first consistent culture of denial in the modern world... This habit of not-seeing and lying about life has been attached like a limpet to the American soul."
          If people are being lied to, they must take responsibility for questioning and confronting the lies in order to avoid being deceived. It takes two to tango!
Keith Bramstedt
San Anselmo

All Consuming
          No event in the short or long life of a man or a woman effects them as deeply, more profoundly, nor as emotionally as the premature loss of a great love, a supreme passion. Such a loss fills us with an immeasurable void and hangs as an unbearable weight so near our hearts as to almost effect its beating.
          Nothing can supplant such a loss, not even another love. The loss of an all encompassing love, one which completes you and keeps step with even your shadow as you drift from day to day, keeps you company through nights you wished would never end, cannot be weighed against any other tragedy you may experience. None.
          Especially since we can only take on faith the existence of a consciousness after we pass from this earthly existence, one cannot even take comfort in the promise of anything better than that in which we partake, in this, the only realm we can be certain of.
          Taking the previous statements as reasonable, if not factual, we can only take steps to ensure that while we experience a grand love and a great passion, we thoroughly enjoy and appreciate and stay grateful for the experience. For as in a perfectly executed oil painting, once great love and grand passion are beyond our reach, not even a great master can paint those elements back into the picture that is our life.
          Of course, not everyone is so fortunate as to experience such a great love and grand passion or so unfortunate as to lose them. So who is to say is the most fortunate? The optimist says it is better to have loved and lost then to have never loved at all. The pessimist simply shrugs and leaves the room. There is no remedy for such a loss. It is simply All Consuming.
L.L.
Novato

Wake Up About Immigrants
          I find it absolutely unbelievable when I hear people in this country, Americans like me, complain about how immigrants are taking jobs away from Americans, bogging down the educational systems and sucking the welfare system dry. America wake up and look around you! Go to your shopping malls, movie theaters, etc. Most of the foreign faces you see and disdain are from countries like Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Cuba, Haiti, Korea, Philippines, Chile, Argentina, Columbia, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Panama, Yugoslavia, Somalia, Iran and Iraq, just to name a few.
          They are all recent immigrants to America. One must understand that most have come here for simple reasons: their home countries have been either destroyed outright or manipulated politically and economically to the point where they can no remain safely or make a decent living in their own countries.
          Any American who has studied any history (I'm not talking high school text books) will know the United States government has had a hand in this mass displacement through outright illegal war, economic and political manipulation through sanctions and elections, violation of trade treaties, or blatant support/creation of dictatorial puppet governments (e.g. Adolf Hitler, Shah of Iran, Saddam Hussein, Ngo Dinh Diem, Manuel Noriega, Ferdinand Marcos, Saloth Sar [Pot Pot]).
          Why is it a shock to so many "Americans" that we have so many immigrants? They come because they have nothing left. If people were paid a decent wage for work, granted free elections and treated like equals in international trade and diplomacy, there would be no need for them to flee their homelands.
          When all is said and done, Americans will still bitch and whine about the "Damn refugees" from Iraq and possibly Iran, Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan, North Korea and wherever else trouble is "stirred up" in the name of "freedom." Give me a break!
Orpheus Stephens
Bolinas

"Fake" Drake Plate Facts
          In reply to the recent headline, "Drake Claim Plate Fake," just because it was planted at Drake's Bay does not prove anything. Drake's Claim Plate of Brass is authentic. The joke is on the perpetrators. They planted the real Claim Plate that was found by Jefferson Graves 70 years ago on a remote hill at Agate Beach, Bolinas, Jeff's story has been investigated and is true. It is a convoluted story of the Plate being lost and found five times before being given to Prof. Herbert Bolton of Bancroft by Beryl Shinn. The Plate was authenticated by Columbia University.
          The "great post" that the Plate was nailed to was found by Lt. Col. Besby Holmes and myself where Jeff found the Plate. The post was carbon-dated to Drake's time by Roger Kelly of the Dept. of Interior. A spike was found that was used to nail the Plate to the post. There is a series of indentations on the face of the Plate and the post. According to Dr. Thomas Snead, former president of the Marin Historical Society, they were made by a stone axe which was found. Frank Norick of U.C. Berkeley identified the axe as being ancient English.
          Six brass pikes, which were used to letter the Plate, were found.
          Five scrape cutting of brass from the sixpence hole cut into the Plate to hold a sixpence showing a picture of Queen Elizabeth I of England was found, along with four pieces from the spike holes to hold the Plate to the post. A piece of wood attached to the largest cutting was dated on the accelerator at Tucson to Drake's time.
          Prof. Cyril Smith did scientific work on the Plate in 1979. He was puzzled by the way the Plate was cut. It is apparent that the Plate was scored and snapped like sheetrock. You can do this with ancient cast brass. If you try this with modern rolled brass, it will just bend.
          Jefferson Graves, who found the Plate, and I attended the Clamper meeting where the 70-year-old hoax was revealed. Two weeks later, I held a meeting at the same place to show the authenticity of the Drake Plate from 20 artifacts found on Agate Beach. Director Peter Hanff and some scientists were there to inspect these pieces. The meeting was immediately disrupted by a Clamper member. He played devil's advocate for over half an hour. He was looking for proof and I held all the aces. Hanff brought out Drake's Plate, and I could see that everything fit perfectly. He then brought out the sixpence Slaymaker found at Olompali that fit the hole cut in the Plate and had dated to Drake's time. Hanff remarked that the sixpence did not it the Plate. I made a rubbing of the coin years ago and noticed it was bent down on the side to go under the brackets cut in the Plate to hold the coin and up on the top for the upper ear. It was held on the bottom by a shelf which contained ancient petrification which proves that the Plate is very old. Someone has flattened the sixpence; now it won't go into the hold. Who would have done this? Is it meant to be another joke on the country's oldest and rarest document which claimed our land from the Pacific to the Atlantic for England in 1579?
George Epperson
San Anselmo

Letter to Ex-Columnist Ferris
          Dear Mr. Kirby Ferris,
          I am an inmate in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).
          Mr. Ferris, I am writing to you concerning the book you wrote, "A Mountain of Lies." I want to ask you if you would send me a copy, please sir? I won't be able to pay you until I get out of prison.
          Me and my wife was sent to prison in January of 1998. I am indigent and have been for two and a half years. I promise you that I will send you the money plus shipping and handling for the book when I get out of prison.
          I found out in "Ambush at Ruby Ridge" the name of your book as well as your name. Only by the grace of God have I been able to get this address to write to you.
          Please Mr. Ferris, send me a copy of your book. I just feel that it will help me with our case and other people here in prison. I will be grateful and in your debt, sir.
          P.S. Mr. Ferris, if you have anything else that you have written like your book, would you please let me know? Thank you, sir.
Don DorrŽ  #933730/L1-05
Childress, TX

Invited By Our Apathy...
          Upon accepting his long overdue Nobel Prize, former President Jimmy Carter made a statement which included, "...the world is now, in many ways, a more dangerous place." Yes, it certainly is and it is going to get worse as long as the majority of people continue to deafen their ears and number their hearts and consciences to please for genuine justice from powerless people.
          John F. Kennedy observed, "When peaceful protest is made impossible, violent protest is made inevitable." It is a dangerously ignorant public mistakenly believing we have a judicial system fairly weighing our peaceful protests for everyone ("...and justice for all."). Human beings driven to violent protest are aware, consciously or subconsciously, that we do not have a fair legal system. Those with money and/or status are afforded their rights, and often immunity from laws. And in today's American, the poor have their legal rights granted to them only through the whims of a majority of corrupt judges.
          If it needs to get worse before it gets better, then you supposedly good people just continue to not give a damn that injustice has been done, and is being done, in your name: "The People." Invited by your apathy, an escalation of "violent protest" is going to make your society "a more dangerous place." It is already happening.
          "History will have to record that the greatest tragedy... was not the strident clamor of the bad people but the appalling silence of the good people." - Martin Luther King Jr.
          "Seeking justice is not a threat to our democracy or our society. Ignoring injustice is the real threat." - Unknown
James Kor Jr.
Soledad

On Trimming Trees...
          Plan in the Fire Department is for trimming the trees a lot. I don't like any trimming because it requires the experience of the whole tree to understand if it is exotic, fascinating and interesting to yourself including your friends. Like how you find things in the store for yourself and also appropriate to your friends. This appropriateness without science is medically substantial to find plants. What you see as exotic, extremely interesting, extremely fascinating is good to you; boring things different for different persons --- broccoli better than broccoli sprouts, better than iron, calcium, enzymes, protein and other inedibles in dirt.  Broccoli the best.
          Vote for Bolinas, Socially Acknowledged Nature Loving Town. Because to like to drink the water out of the lakes, to like to eat the blueberries, to like the bears is not hatred to hotels and motorboats.
Dakar
Bolinas

Incomprehensible?
   The US Ambassador to Canada, Paul Celluci, finds it "incomprehensible" that Canada's ships in the Persian Gulf would not automatically turn over possible Iraqi war or human rights criminals to the US. I find it "incomprehensible" that the US should have such an ignorant and undiplomatic ambassador.
   There is now a world court for war criminals, the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands. The US signed the ICC treaty in December 2000, though it hasn't ratified it yet. The US State department should keep its ambassadors informed.
   No wonder Bush isn't coming to Canada. With advice from this ambassador, many stupid decisions are possible.
Tom Trottier
Ottawa ON, Canada

American Looters
   Concurrently with the fall of Baghdad there were press stories with graphic picture of Iraqis looting stores, public buildings and museums. It brought to my mind visions of the looting of Los Angeles which was compounded with rioting and deaths of innocents. Not a very pretty picture.
   I have come to realize that there are no devastating pictures of what I call "white Collar" looting which is hardly recognizable here in America. The looting of the wealth of our nation is taking place every day in the Congress of the United States, the billions of dollars going to war, the oil companies on the corners, the utility providers, the healing arts professions and many of the rental housing developments to list a few.
   The wealth of our great nation should guarantee a full education, complete health care with full prescriptions, reasonable safe and clean housing and nutritious diets for all in a clean and safe environment.
   Unfortunately our national wealth is being looted and we sit idly by. We have learned to accept this rape of our nation especially if we are fortunate enough to be one of the looters. A looter by any other name is still a looter.
   We can put an end to looting the wealth of America. It can happen when the Congressional pork barrel is locked, when the healing arts profession decides to heal itself and think of the unfortunate, when the largess of this great nation will not be distributed to "executives" as their underlings take pay cuts and foreign aid is eliminated. These are but a few of the measures which can plug the looting hole in the dike.
   We better start now before the "White Collar" looting turns to the looting in the streets which may be as violent as the scenes from "Black Hawk Down." Do we have the courage? I hope we do before it is too late. If we try too hard to save the world we may lose our selves.
Dr. Norman Mann
San Diego

Anti-war Is Not Pro-peace
   In 1990, the general response from the peace movement was that war wasn't the solution. They called for sanctions. After Saddam's cronies were ousted from Kuwait, Saddam's
government signed a cease fire agreement to give up his weapons. To force the issue the United Nations Security Council with the full support of France and Russia put sanctions in
place. It should be obvious to all that Saddam Hussein hijacked the oil for food program and used the petro-Dinars to continue to oppress the Iraqi people, withheld much of the food aid to brutalize the Iraqi people, Shiite, Sunni, Christians and others.
   How many lives have been saved by this war cannot be measured, but certainly the demonstrations of relief from oppression demonstrate that this has been as morally justifiable war as any
ever fought.
H. Michael Sarkisian
[email protected]

Burning And Looting
   The crude and callous looting of Baghdad hospitals amid the urban nightmare of gratuitous violence and desperate survival is certainly appalling, but it was not unpreventable, nor unique. Rather, it is the very predictable outcome of reckless disregard perpetrated on peoples and nations around the world on a daily basis. From the malign neglect of the IMF in South America to the brutal dismemberment of the Balkans by the World Bank, America's ruling class gives not a whit about the suffering of humanity. They never have.
   To disparage people driven to violate social norms after a decade of the most cruel economic sanctions in history is almost laughable, considering the state-sanctioned looting that has taken place in the US and its sphere of influence since being turned loose by Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill.
   Do you think America's cities will not again burn and descend into chaos as millions lose access to basic necessities? I for one will not ask that those who have betrayed us be spared from the wrath of the injured. Let the traitors hang.
*   *   *

Gone Berserk
   It should come as no surprise that US troops were unprepared psychologically for the occupation of Iraq. Infantry training is geared toward overcoming the non-murderous inclinations of the 98% who join up because they couldn't find a job or pay for college. Any post-training residue of naturally empathic feelings toward other human beings, in this case, were cruelly ravaged by post-9/11 media rage.
   So when more experienced British commanders this week criticized American forces in Iraq for "gratuitous violence" by "trigger-happy" US soldiers against "frightened Iraqis," it seems only US central command is surprised by the fact that they were unprepared to deal with civilians. The grunts--now emotionally scarred for life by being placed in situations where they think they have to waste women and children--will bear the brunt of this oversight.
   The Vikings had a word for warriors who went nuts in battle, violating the norms of violent conflict. They called them "the Berserks." If this week's reporting of atrocities is any indication, this war is likely to produce more than its share of berserks. American military and media indoctrination can take credit for the tragedy.
Jay Taber
Mill Valley

Depleted Uranium Aftermath Of War
   Although the potential human cost of the war with Iraq is obvious, not many people are aware of a hidden risk that may haunt us for years. Depleted uranium, or DU, is a highly toxic heavy metal that continues to emit low levels of alpha radiation.  DU warheads are essentially dirty bombs -- not very radioactive, but poisonous, and this is why there is an increasing global outcry against using DU in combat as tips for armor-piercing rounds as well as in artillery shells and Tomahawk missiles, among others. Such warheads were used very successfully by the US in the Gulf War 1, when more than 350 tons of depleted uranium were dropped on Iraq - there is no way of knowing how many thousands of tons of depleted uranium will find "permanent storage" in the rubble of Iraq, its soil and the bodies of its people and US occupying forces.
   DU is implicated in respiratory and kidney problems, rashes and, longer-term, bone cancer, as well as damaged reproductive and neurological systems. Of the 504,047 eligible veterans of the 1991 first Persian Gulf War, about 146,173 (29%) are now considered disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the highest rate of disability for any modern war. Families of soldiers should be very worried about what our government is not telling us. Bring our troops home now.
Michael Lind
Ojai

Recycle For Earth Everyday
     The idea that we can achieve energy independence while we continue to rely on oil places us on Planet Bizarro since we have only 3% of the world's oil reserves yet consume 25% of the world's oil. 
   Oil dependency underscores the benefits of recycling and with Earth Day April 22, please begin to make everyday Earth Day since recycling:
   (1) Saves energy (recycled aluminum uses 95% less energy)
   (2) Reduces pollution (97% less water pollution using recycled aluminum
   (3) Uses less water (50% less water to when using recycled glass)
   (4) Enables us to extract fewer resources from our beleaguered planet
   (5) Prevents our natural resources from getting spoiled/contaminated with our discards
   (6) Provides a connection to your actions and can improve your self-image with a caretaking feeling.
   Recycling paper can be multi dimensionally beneficial since we save trees which might be saving us since trees provide oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, the biggest contributor to global warming. So make everyday Earth Day  by sorting your waste and recycling as much as you can.

On Oil Dependency
    Considering the US has 3% of the world's oil reserves but uses 25% of the world's oil, we're living on Planet Bizarro if we believe that we are moving toward energy independence by "freeing" Iraq's oil or drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  Oil dependency only binds us further to the Middle East (66% of the world's oil reserves) not to mention the global warming implications.  Congress approved $79+ billion for the War on Iraq but with $59 billion leftover, can we see some subsidies or tax breaks for alternative energy?
    As long as we're hooked on & addicted to oil, conservation makes perfect sense but it's scandalously shameful that VP Cheney can say that conservation is more a matter of personal virtue than having any role in our energy policy.  Yes and there's no conflict of interest or might this be influenced by his former CEO position with Haliburton. 
                                     
Iraq War A Success?
   With the fighting largely over, the Iraq War's success depends upon your perspective:
   Defense Contractors(+): Our products are so good, it ended in only 3 weeks. Syria, here we come!
   France (-): Seriously weakened its world consulting contract possibilities.
   GWB (?): Seems (+) but let's draw inspiration from daddy's 1991-1992 fall from grace.  
   Troops (+): Universal support for a job well done. Now come on home. We miss you!
   Patrick O'Day (-): Our apologies are eternal to you and your expecting wife.
   Jessica Lynch (?): A real American hero but suffered fractures to both legs, right arm, spine and  getting shot to get there. Was it worth it? 
   Federal Budget (?): Cost only $20 billion of $79+ billion approved by Congress. At 20 billion per, there's room for Syria, Iran & North Korea.
   Iraqi People (+/-/?): Many shout thank you, but thousands will never shout again.
   Was it worth it?
Jay Lustgarten
San Anselmo

Heads Are Going To Roll
   I'm sure that in Nazi Germany there were compliant people who thought, "Gee, it's not really right that we're invading Poland, a country that didn't attack us; and it's terrible about the children we've killed, and all those poor, innocent people being sent to the camps there, but OUR TROOPS are there, so we have to support them! " 
   Do we mindlessly support ANY ACTION because some murderous politician decided to send "our troops" somewhere? You can despise what the troops are doing without hating them-hating costs too much. What if Bush decides to invade Syria and Iran next? Do we roll over with doublethink and say "Well, I don't support that war, but hey, now that our troops are there I have to hope for a QUICK VICTORY?"
   This murderous juggernaught started with the support Bush got for his "Good war" in Afghanistan, picked up speed with the co-depending of the immoral Iraqi invasion and "now that our troops are there we have to support them" and since some US citizens seem unable to unbind their minds from this hustle, they'll support anything.  Meanwhile, the Zionists are having a field day watching US soldiers dying in Iraq doing the Zionist's bidding and licking their lips at possibly more of the same in Syria and Iran; in country, Sharon's minions have killed one US citizen, Rachel Corrie, one British citizen (with a daily murder count of innocent Palestinians) and seriously wounded another US citizen-with no outcry from Congress; Sharon is not even trying to hide his Apartheid regime by now building walls to keep the Palestinians completely Ghettoized-how does it feel to support this, taxpayers and voters?
   Over the last forty years, US politics has always pendulated way left after a gluttonous trip to the right - and when it does this time, boy are heads gonna' roll!
Charlie Morgan
Tomales, Ca

Is It Real?
   I discovered your paper while visiting the area on vacation in March. I was so entertained that I couldn't put down the paper. Since then, I've been reading the articles on your website and I can't wait for the next edition. I especially enjoy the letters to the editor. Being from the state of Paul Wellstone, Walter Mondale and Hubert Humphrey, I thought I was familiar with progressive opinion. I have just one question: Is your newspaper real or is it parody?
Douglas J. Berg
Hastings, Minnesota

Editor's note: Glad you've found truth, justice and the American way.

Open Letter To Sen. Feinstein And Rep. Boxer
   Come home.  Get away from the Beltway madness and come home.  Washington is not the center of the universe.  For you right now, the Bay Area should be. Come home, open your ears and listen to your constituents.  Here is a summary of what we have to say:
   1)  End the war in Iraq.  Not tomorrow, not next week, not in a few weeks. Right now.  As we have been trying to tell you for months - it is an atrocity.  It is degrading us morally more and more every day that passes. Do everything you can.  Do more than you think you can.  End the war.
   2)  Immediately review and revise our Foreign Policy -- The American people do not want war in Iraq, neither do we want wars in North Korea, Indonesia, Colombia or Central America.  Our current foreign policy makes us behave as savages and fools.  We want none of it.  End this disgrace immediately.
   3) Reclaim our Civil Liberties.  No matter how frightened or stressed out we are, our liberties are being sold cheaply.  Our Constitution, particularly our Bill of Rights, has being trodden up.  You helped this to happen, you can make this unhappen.  Initiate a recall of all these sordid dictums of the Homeland Security Act and the Patriot Act.  We are Americans and as such have the right to certain rights.  We want them back.
   4)  Become a True Opposition Party   Bill Clinton's shenanigans notwithstanding, we don't believe that Democrats are supposed to imitate Republicans.  We believe they are supposed to oppose Republicans.  We also believe that Democrats once had a platform that included, support of our children and our schools. This platform insisted on aid to the poor, real health care programs, women's rights, minority rights, art and a respect for our wilderness  our water, air, and soil. And for goodness sake, do some things immediately to revive our economy!
   You have let the Republicans slide through the most egregious destruction of all we hold dear.  What will become of our culture, while you watch this secondary destruction occur?
   5)  Find Some Other Way of Running Besides Toadying Up to The Rich. We know campaigns are expensive.  But boy are they costing us!  Rich people are running our country and our world.  Where do the rest of us come in?  You know this cannot be fair.  Why not look to change to something fair?  Clean Elections would be a terrific boost for democracy.  Get away from the rat race of begging for money from the rich. Start a plan where you can represent us, the majority of your constituents.  The you can do a better job.
   You needn't reply to this letter. I have received dozens of computerized replies from your offices. Just get to work.  End the war, form a loyal opposition, center in an the traditional Democratic platform, support a clean election approach.  And I promise you, we will come out to the polls in droves.
Mary Ann Maggiore
Fairfax, CA

Liberty and Security
   A few readers have written letters to the Coastal Post concerning the issue of the number of cities and towns in the USA passing ordinances supporting the Bill of Rights and disowning the Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act.  I think much of this discussion is made without reference to history and the struggle for liberty in general.  Some readers complain that the Patriot and Homeland Security Acts are needed because we are fighting a new kind of war, against an enemy who can and has struck anywhere, at any moment without warning and without the form of a military or army.
   In answer to these critics, let me remind them that the farmers who gathered at Lexington and Concord in 1776 were irregulars.  They were not soldiers; they stood the fire of the greatest army in the world then for love of freedom and liberty. Their act and the British army response are often misinterpreted.  The armies of the time faced each other as professionals.
   The Americans who stood at Concord and suffered the murderous fire of the British lines sacrificed life and limb to establish their rights as free citizens against a tyrannical king and Parliament. But, the character of the war and the resistance was played out by American irregulars like them, who harassed the British everywhere they moved. Who one day skirmished columns of advancing troops, the next ambushed wagons and retreating vans. The British armies and the Tory loyalists never knew where or when the rebels would strike. The American rebels fought one day and tended their crops the next. Our freedom is based as much or more on the war delivered by Francis Marion or Burr's irregulars who engaged in night attacks and assassinations as much as George Washington's paid army. 
   In the War of 1812 England invaded our country seized and burned Washington and killed more Americans than died in 911. And yet we did not have to sacrifice our liberties to fight them. Are Americans so different today that we cannot defend our country and preserve our freedom? Have Americans changed so much since that time? Are we so different now, so weak that we cannot defend ourselves without surrendering our liberty?
   If we are at war today, it is a war we have seen before at the birth of our country.  The real challenge facing America is not whether we will win this war, but whether American freedom can survive it. In all the debate over the Patriot and Homeland Security Acts, the causes of 911 have never been explored or discussed. We are told that we must set aside our freedoms to fight this new enemy. America strikes out against Afghanistan presumably because of an assumed involvement of a man, bin Laden who was recruited by our government to fight the Soviets there and to strike against an organization, Al-Queda which grew from the army of religious fanatics we created to destroy Russian influence there in the form of the Taliban. The Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations created hundreds of such anti-Communist fanatic client armies, from Nicaragua to Angola and used every means to destroy and destabilize communist states.  Nationalist and religious hatred was beamed into Eastern Europe and bore fruit in the catastrophe that shattered the former Yugoslavia.  Some of these proxy wars have continued to the present with rampaging violence divorced from any control as in Angola.  We can only expect from seeding the world with terror that we will reap more 911s as these forces continue to cause the world to spiral into chaos. 
   The current arguments by Rumsfield, Bush and Powell confuse the issue of why Saddam was attacked in 1991.  The present Administration desired to invade Iraq, threatening to do it against all international law.  One wonders then, what separates the invasion of Grenada by Reagan in 1983, the invasion of Panama by Bush Senior in 1989 from Saddam's invasion of Kuwait in 1990? Each seems to be simply the desire of leaders of nations to exert their will over others.  In the same fashion have armed Israel against the Palestinians without regard for the international repercussions. Our corporations have a history of brutal involvement in countries all over the world, detrimental to local cultures, environment and economy.
   We are seen as an arrogant giant in the world and the acts of the USA in the wake of 911 seem more to be in defense of the benefits and policies of the corporations owned and operated by the Bush and Cheney families and associates than in defense of American traditions, security or liberty.
   This seems especially clear with reference to two recent articles on the arming of Saddam (Paul Rockwell, March 2, 2003 and Justin Hibbard, S.F. Chronicle Magazine, March 2, 2003). While we have no proof of who was behind the tragic events of 911, it does seem that the Administration's responses have been more oriented to distract the American public from corruption in corporations like Enron and Worldcom, of collusion of people  in government with corporate CEOs in events like the energy scandals and in the dismantling of freedoms and laws which allowed citizens to protect their rights and the environment and to investigate the actions of the government to assume our liberty. 
   If there is any question to ask about the movement to reject the Patriot and Homeland Security Acts it is only why more patriots are not joining in.
Niccolo Caldararo
Fairfax Town Coucilman

Don't Give Me That Old Time Religion 
  Even though Islam, Judaism, and Christianity all share a common origin with Abraham, and have inspired and given comfort to many, it is likely these "faiths" have been elaborately altered from their original truths by  "custodial" priesthoods in league with a powerful ruling elite for the chief purpose of keeping the people under control-which they continue to do  today. The heavy reliance on faith and belief is a cleverly crafted mechanism  to keep people from actual discovery and experience of spiritual truth. Add to that the inherently destabilizing and fear-inducing apocalyptic scenarios which these religions all share and one may rightly wonder if it is all merely coincidental.
   The neo-cons currently enjoying popular media success rant about the evil teachings of Islam found in the Koran.  They point out ad nauseum how this "holy" book says that everyone except the "believers" are "infidels" who must be destroyed. They have a strong point, as the Koran does say that, however much peace lovers argue otherwise. Besides numerous wars of conquest, Islam also gifted us with a secret drug-influenced Assassin cult, inspiration and forerunner of covert hit squads and mind-controlled lone gunmen. Perhaps at some level there is yet a connection. It is not exactly a state secret that Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Ladin were loyal CIA men. Maybe they  continue to play a  role and are not just dispensable US "assets." Who can say? Likewise intelligence agencies often infiltrate terrorist groups to both instigate or facilitate events  agent-provocateur-style that can be used to their advantage. Many feel 9-11 was one such event. One of the originators of PNAC (Plan for a New American Century) Richard Perle is said to have remarked that "9-11 was the opportunity of a lifetime."
   While railing against Islam and the Koran,  how  many neo-cons have  read the original Talmud, the "spiritual" basis of Zionism? (I won't say Judaism out of respect for the millions of Jews who rightly reject the Talmud and Zionism, and I mean newly recruited neo-cons because the original neo-cons are ex-Trotskyite liberal socialists masquerading as conservatives, knowing very well what they are doing). In this "holy" book (sanitized in most modern editions) are teachings  regarding the "goyim" or cattle,  which includes Christians, Muslims, and, in modern Israel, non-Zionist Jews as well, who are either to be slaves, to be destroyed, or marginalized as second-class citizens.
   Finally we have the evangelical Christians, a neo-con support team who think theirs is an  old time religion but instead is a modern Calvinist-inspired Schofield-Darby cult, an end-time philosophy preaching  a fatalistic countdown to Armageddon, now being used to further  NWO/ PNAC empire plans. This old time religion is really a new religion in drag. The "neo-Christians" believe their savior is coming (soon) to wipe out all their enemies, but if they can speed up the timetable a little they will. Ironically these believers consider the Zionists their friends, but those folks don't share the same  end-time view at all,  going along for the ride only as long as the tax-free donations keep coming. The Christians think it's all right because in the end they will convert them, but that's not going to happen.
   Radical Islamists, radical Zionists, and radical evangelicals. A perfect powder keg to further the advance-by-crisis NWO plans. We now have the choice between a left-wing-liberal-socialist-UN dictatorship-path  or a PNAC pseudo-conservative, pseudo-patriotic-American empire path, both leading to an Orwellian global plantation police-state. For the moment the empire builders have the upper hand, but that could change if a collapsing economy causes the big boys to step in with a global financial rescue proposal and revert to Plan A with the UN as the guiding force. Either way the people lose.
   Is George Bush a  Christian, as the media now proclaims? Possible, but not likely. Blue-blood acorns don't fall very far from the tree. With his father a  CIA and CFR man (Council on Foreign Relations-or  is it Carnegie-Ford-Rockefeller, longtime supporters of luciferian marxist and globalist causes), hobnobbing with pagan Skull and Bones and Bohemian Grove NWO leaders, and his grandfather Prescott a desecrator of Indian burial grounds, stealing Geronimo's bones for his secret Yale club, and a supporter of Hitler in his rise to power,  a strong Christian faith is suspect.
   John Ashcroft a Christian?  Possible, but frightening in its implications. His initial action was leading the first-ever SWAT team raid on a defenseless Christian church in Alabama, and his spirited support of Patriot Act 2, which congressmen who have actually READ (99% who voted for Patriot Act 1 never did) have said will "destroy what is left of American liberty,"  would give us the following Christian-like laws:  section 205 allows Federal officials to keep all their financial dealings secret, and anyone investigating them can be considered a terrorist;  section 231 authorizes foreign governments to spy on the American people and to share information with foreign governments;  section 109 allows secret star chamber courts to issue contempt charges against any individual or corporation who refuses to incriminate themselves or others (so long fifth amendment).
   The current Patriot Act allows very liberal guidelines as to who or what is considered a terrorist. Anyone who is rebellious or behaves arbitrarily towards the government, or anyone writing articles against injustices they see being committed by the federal government can be classified as someone who "appears to be a terrorist" and arrested and held indefinitely. Doesn't sound too Christian to me. 
   The sales pitch behind these new laws is that they are created to make us more free and protected, but a healthy skepticism warns they can be used for the opposite purpose.  We must not allow either of the "Patriot Acts,"  on the basis of expediency and mere "faith" in the government,  to remove the paid-for-in-blood safeguards created against the tyranny of men-chief among them being the US Constitution.   Christian in design,  inspired by rules of government in the book of Deuteronomy, and something even  Mohammed could support, it is a primary safeguard against the dark side of these apocalyptic religions.  If we remove such protections, surrendering precious liberty for security, the Founding Fathers will look down from above and say to us, "We knew you not."
Peter Holleran
San Rafael    

Post War Iraq Disaster
   A US occupation of post-war Iraq could incite more anti-American hatred in the Arab world, and will likely breed more terrorism.
   Major humanitarian organizations believe the Pentagon's leadership could put relief workers and starving and malnourished Iraqis at risk.
   US control of the reconstruction process will further alienate our already estranged allies, and could create a permanent rift between us and the countries we rely upon for cooperation in the so called  "war on terrorism."
   The amount of money available for the rebuilding of Iraq will depend on the degree to which other countries feel included in the decision-making process.  A US-only process could lead potential donor countries to drop out (at least now we Americans are going to get what we've asked for years; new infrasture, economic rebuilding, etc., except it's all for Iraq instead of the USA). The war in Iraq has already cost the US $1200 PER SECOND.
  The UN is equipped to build democracies; the United States government has neither the expertise nor the long-term political will to see such a process through (remember Afghanistan?).
   Donald Rumsfeld and the Pentagon want a US occupation of Iraq. That could have disastrous consequences, not only for the US, but for the future of democracy in Iraq (which I believe the US cares not a whit about).  As Prime Minister Blare said, "Iraq in the end should not be run by the Americans, should not be run by the British, should not be run by any outside force or power. It should be run for the first time in decades by the Iraqi people."
*   *   *   *   *
Sticking Values
Why is that Mr. Santorum objects to gay consensual sex in the privacy of their own homes, likening it to
criminal behavior but he doesn't seem to mind the Republicans sticking their values up our ass any time they want?
Meg Brizzolara
San Rafael

No Room For War Critics?
     I am disgusted at the behavior of some of our countrymen. In Mass. a college Prof. and student were threatened with execution for their opposition to the war in Iraq. Susan Sarandon, the Dixie Chicks, and Michael Moore have all been black listed in Hollywood due to their opposition. I thought that this was the country of free speech. This is supposed to be the place where we are supposed to be free to voice our opinions and beliefs, even if they are not in line with the popular opinion. Hasn't the military of this country occupied Iraq for the sole purpose of liberating the Iraqi people (hypothetically)? Aren't we attempting to give them some of the freedoms that we enjoy, freedom of speech being one of them?
     Why then, are so many war opposers being chastised? Why is it that the American public equates a vote against the war as a vote against America? Why do people think that just because some do not agree with the war that they do not support our troops, lovingly called "our boys" despite the fact that they are grown men and WOMEN. It is embarrassing to me that individuals are so hypocritical. You can voice your opinion... as long as it doesn't differ from that of the dominant culture. Sounds like a dictatorship to me. I have family in the military. My baby brother is being shipped to Kuwait in thirty days. I do support him. This is what he chose to do and I pray daily for his safety as well as the safety of those now fighting in Iraq. I do not, however agree with the war. I do not agree with America, being the great military power that it is, imposing our brand of democracy on the one region of the world which up to this point has refused to be westernized. My disdain for the administration's decision to go to war has no affect on my support for our men and women fighting in Iraq. They are doing their job-what they have been trained and paid to do. I support them (whole) heartedly. I will not, however support a government that ignores the cries of the people. I will not support an entertainment industry, built on the visions and creations of other Americans, that ostracizes anyone not on the "Iraqi Genocide" bang wagon.
     I feel like this country is going back to the 1930's instead of the Red Scare and a war on communism, this is a war on terror (although no one I know has been terrorized by any Iraqi or Muslim). Government offices have taken this time to tweak civil liberties. They have admitted to listening in on phone conversations, intercepting e-mails, and they are now going door to door in Dearborn attempting to get information on Sadaam Hussein. It's ridiculous. What's next? Iraqi (Internment) Camps?
     So kudos to Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore and the Dixie Chicks. Right On! to that professor in Massachusetts. Exercise this "freedom" we hold so dear. This freedom we so badly want to share with the rest of the world. I just hope that once this is over with the Iraqi people get a better grasp of democracy than what our country is displaying right now.
C. McMilian
Junior, Sociology Major
Flint, Michigan

A Shield For Our Domestic Nightmare
     With each passing day, it becomes apparent that by flexing their $366 billion (defense budget) military muscle, gwb's Administration is obfuscating their "haven't got a clue on the domestic agenda" confusion.  Criticism? Doubts?  Analysis?  Questions?  Even Devil's Advocacy are all slammed with patriotic smudginess.  Sadly, the terrorism war will be an ongoing feature of the 21st century exacerbated by gwb's Middle East military policies that provide a convenient shield for all concerns about our domestic nightmare... a nightmare that's producing unprecedented deficits to fight unprecedented wars diverting our attention from unprecedented fiscal hardship.
Jay Lustgarten
San Anselmo
 
Thanks American Media
   The ugly American just got uglier and we can thank the American media. It is unbelievable that the press would release the name, occupation, and general vicinity of the heroic Iraqi citizen that is responsible for the rescue of former POW, Jessica lynch. This man risked his life, walked several miles to find American troops and even scouted out the hospital where she was being held so that he could draw a map to give to US soldiers. How do we thank him? we release his name and other particulars on the airwaves so that he can now be a marked man, if he isn't dead already. wouldn't it be nice if the media has some
class and some morals?
Arthur Pope
Palm Springs

More Than War Protest
   Peace activists will continue to protest the war in mass marches in the days ahead. I will join them. However, simply saying "no war" isn't enough. Consumerism and America's dependency on oil and the vast expenditures of money and blood to attain and protect it, all promoted by a military-government-corporate alliance, have turned the US into the sort of war machine Eisenhower warned us about a half-century ago. How can we RESIST this US war machine that threatens to bind us to a state of permanent war across the globe and to colonize our daily lives? Here is a framework for resistance through positive action: 

REDUCE CONSUMPTION: Speak with your dollars by BOYCOTTING major US corporate brands ( for details go to www.boycottwar.net and www.adbusters.org) and Hollywood movies glorifying war; buy less; live simply. 

ENERGIZE LOCAL SYSTEMS: Eat local organic food from local markets; buy "green"; support the alternative energy movement; build community through political activism; register yourself and others to VOTE; listen to our youth, for they will reap the consequences of our deeds.

SUPPORT INDEPENDENT MEDIA: Stay informed; listen to KPFA 94.1 listener-sponsored radio; use the internet (www.commondreams.org is a good place to start); read progressive publications; QUESTION!

INVEST IN PEACE: Demand dollars for human needs not war; dollars for true educational and employment opportunities that give all our people options to military enlistment; demand that the US uphold international law and treaties which aim for global disarmament and the sustainability of life (most of which the US is now either violating or failing to sign or ratify); stand up for social justice and human rights; protest; support labor's anti-war efforts. (Visit www.mpjc.org and www.unitedforpeace.org for information about the local peace movement.)

SACRIFICE OIL NOT BLOOD: Drive fuel efficient, low emission vehicles, NOT gas-guzzling, unsafe SUVs (for details go to www.ucsusa.org and "links" at www.earthonempty.com); slow down and drive less; better yet, use and promote mass transit, carpool, bike, and walk; use non-petroleum based products.

TAKE BACK OUR LIVES: Be visionary; cultivate imagination; seek beauty; meditate not medicate; open your heart to love and kindness; TURN OFF YOUR TV!

   Multiplied by many people doing them, these actions are powerful. About the options of doing nothing, or "business as usual," Einstein said, "The world is too dangerous to live in, not because of the people who do evil, but because of the people who sit and let it happen." We can transform America's role in the international community from war machine into one that aims to create a world in balance and at peace. Let's do it for the children. 
Barbara Comnes
San Anselmo

Rave Act Passes
   I do not normally use our alert channel to send a personal message. However, I wanted to let you know that the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act (also called the "RAVE Act"), which was attached to the AMBER Alert bill, passed both the House and Senate late yesterday (April 10). 
   The RAVE Act threatens free speech and musical expression while placing at risk any hotel/motel owner, concert promoter, event organizer, nightclub owner or arena/stadium owner for the drug violations of 3rd parties-real or alleged-even if the event promoter and/or property owner made a good-faith effort to keep their event drug-free.  It applies not just to electronic-music parties, but to any type of public gathering, including theatrical productions, rock concerts, DJ nights at local bars, and potentially even political rallies. It gives heightened powers and discretion to prosecutors, who may use it to target events they personally don't like-such as Hip-Hop events and gay and lesbian fundraisers.
   Sadly, the RAVE Act was added to the AMBER Alert bill conference report at the very last minute by Senator Biden (D-DE), its original sponsor.  The AMBER Alert bill creates a system for responding to child abduction. It has nothing to do with drug policy. The RAVE Act had not passed even a single committee in the House or Senate this year. One senator's pet issue made a mockery of the Democratic process-becoming law without any public hearing or opportunity for input whatsoever.
   You should be aware that your letters and faxes clearly had an effect.  (FYI - you sent Congress 13,000 faxes this week alone!!)  For example, the word "rave" was removed from the version of the bill that passed. Eliminating such blatant discrimination is a victory for our continued freedom of speech. Also, the original bill suggested that prosecutors should view the sale of water and the presence of glowsticks or massage oil as evidence of drug use. These ludicrous "findings" were completely removed thanks to you. 
   President Bush will sign this child abduction bill, which means the RAVE Act will become law as well. We will be working with the legislators who opposed this provision-such as Senators Durbin, Kennedy and Leahy and Representatives Conyers and Scott-for its repeal.  In the meantime, however, it is up to all of us to be the watchdogs of its enforcement. 
   Attorney General John Ashcroft will have to make decisions about its enforcement priority among the many public safety issues the Department of Justice handles.  He must be held responsible when he implements this scheme. We want him to know that he is not free to shut down our dance clubs, our festivals and our freedoms. We will be watching the activities of law enforcement and prosecutors, and we will act when our rights are violated.
   We thank our many partners in this effort for your hard work: EM:DEF, ROAR, Buzzlife Productions, Davey D., electronic dance and music organizations throughout the US, club owners, hotel organizations, beverage and licensing groups, the ACLU and many, many others.  But most of all, I want to say thank you personally to our members and supporters. 
   You truly deserve credit for reacting so quickly and so forcefully.  It has really been amazing.  When Bill McColl, our Director of National Affairs, told me about this issue last June he said that he thought the RAVE Act would pass in about 2 weeks. You proved us wrong.  It took 10 months, a change in control of the Senate, backroom maneuverings and substantial changes to the bill. I'm proud of the hard work of our members, friends and our coalition.  Rest assured we will continue to work together to mobilize opposition and advocate to fix this dangerous law. 
Ethan Nadelmann
Executive Director
Drug Policy Alliance
http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/managesubscription.asp


 

 

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