Coastal Post Online


July, 2003

Letters To The Editor

Who's After Davis  
    Who is pushing the costly ($35 Million) recall of Governor Davis in cash strapped California-Democrats, liberals, progressives, Greens? No! This venture is being brought to you by Republicans, for Republicans, who have nothing better to do with their time and minds ...and the GOP spin machine is working overtime to make it appear as if this is a consensus happening. Who is backing, promoting and financing the Davis recall effort? A Republican legislator and gubernatorial hopeful from the far right, Darrell Issa, along with similar ilk of every stripe and slant. Only in California could this happen.
    It would seem an impossibility to recall Democratic Governor Gray Davis because Republicans represent only 35% of California's registered voters, but all that is necessary for Republicans to triumph is for good Democrats, liberals, progressives and Greens to do nothing, remaining on the sidelines apathetic and indifferent. Then California would have an ideological Republican political machine and derivative much like the one in Washington.
    Now is the time for all clear thinking and responsible Californians to see to it that this fallacious recall doesn't succeed.
Ron Lowe
Nevada City

Wealthiest Nation Cuts School, Healthcare
   I am a student in the TEAM Program at Tamiscal High School in Larkspur, andI am outraged by the propositions of possible resolutions to the states  deficit. While I recognize the importance of balancing the budget, I do not agree with cutting funding in education and health care. The proposition to reduce Medi-Cal reimbursement rates, and to cut or eliminate programs which provide essential and cost effective access to family planning services for low income individuals, is unethical, illogical and short sighted. While America is the wealthiest nation in the world, the state of its health care systems does not reflect its economic prosperity. When one considers the ridiculous military expenditure, the comprises placed on education and health care reflects a corrupt political system, which does not prioritize the social welfare of its people. Denying health care to the poor is hardly a democratic and just approach.
Roxanne Strohmeier Ruschke
17 years old
TEAM Program, Tamiscal High School

My Perception of GMOs
   Are you aware of the present war against creation and all life?
   Are you aware that those who inadvertently promote this war deny the teachings of religion and science? 
   Do you know about the marriage of military might, corporate greed, and technical prowess?  Or about the offspring of that union that is plundering life's traditions, abilities and cultures?
   Are we to accept this silent, massive, violence?  I hope not. 
   Our technology and political might are invading and overwhelming life.
   There has been little about this in the press which caught my attention.  An Associated Press article by Paul Elias in the Reno Gazette-Journal, June 4th, about genetically modified foods lead me to search out what is going on.  (For sources of more information, please see below.)
   I am terrified and appalled, and extremely angry. 
   Without verifiable evidence, there is no science. Without respect for all life, cultures, creation and Creation, there is no morality.
   Our national government, in service to biotech and ag-industries, is using the Department of Agriculture and State and the international trade treaties to create and distribute the weapons of this terrible war.  It is a war that sets out to dominate trade and the world's food supply. The weapons of this war, conceived and mounted as a covert trade war, are the genetically modified (or engineered) organisms, GMOs.  These are becoming WMDs, Weapons of Mass Destruction. They are self perpetuating invasive life forms, dangers to friend and foe alike. 
   The United Stated Departments of Agriculture and State, through foreign and food aid programs and the Agency for International Development, has opened a war on other countries -- and on life itself.  They are pushing genetically modified foods and other crops on us. There is no scientific evidence that these are ecologically stable or medically safe.
   Our Government is aiding and abetting the invasion of our fields and kitchens, and those of the world.  Under the guise of technical advancement and food security the corporate-sponsored system seeks to create global economic dependency.
   The industries, their trade advocates, and their sponsored Government are experimenting without control or containment. The biotech, chemical and seed industries have created exotic-actually alien--species: GMOs. They have no evidence of long term safety or future ecological balance. Once out of the laboratory these spread like weeds, like HIV, West Nile virus, northern pike, Australian rabbits, cheat grass, salt cedar and all those other disruptive invading species. They, like their human and institutional creators, are uncontrollable.
   My short research led me to a wealth of information apparently avoided by our corporate press and media. For much more information and analysis please consult:, and
  Our Government has participated in creating the World Trade Organization (WTO), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other international agencies and international agreements which take precedent over local and national interests, laws and self determination. 
   In service to Greed and World Domination our government is threatening the basis of life. Regardless of whether you consider life the present step of evolution or the Creation by God, we are in the act of altering it, desecrating it, and even, possibly, destroying it.
   Other countries have rejected GMOs.  Weaker countries have opposed and then been coerced into accepting them. Please see httm://
   In the effort to obtain allies or coconspirators in this war the US Government's Departments of State and Agriculture are sponsoring an international trade ministerial conference on Agricultural Science and Technology in Sacramento, June 23-25th.  There will be a concurrent demonstration starting June 21st in Sacramento by farmers, environmentalists and others seeking justice. See, and  The ministerial conference is to prepare a US. dominated biotech agenda for the World Trade Organization meeting in Cancun, Mexico, this fall.  See, and
   This world war is unconventional. Its violence is slow, silent and persistent. The weapons are not obvious like bullets and bombs. They are genetically engineered altered forms. 
   As people of Earth we will be victims unless we stop it. Our Government is condoning and promoting the support of Greed and power Lust.  I beg you to help control our Government.
   I do hope you get the message, and have the courage to share it.
Charles Laws
(Retired environmental engineer and biochemist)
Reno, Nevada

Love And Hate
   I love the Jews. Arabs hate the Jews. The Arabs are my enemy.
   The Americans, English, French, Jews, Scots, Welsh, Irish, Danes/Norwegians, Swedes, Finns, Dutch, Belgians and Swiss are brothers. We're Israelites. The Arabs are distant relatives like the Turks.
   The land of Israel belongs to all of us Israelites. We will have it peacefully when Jesus Christ returns. Until then there will be no peace. So why give the Palestinians anything? Get them out of Israel! And if the Muslims fuss, take them and their oil. Make them slaves until they convert to REAL Christianity.
   But then we're not under God, are we? In fact the Arabs are holier than we are in a number of very important areas. They are against homosexuality, abortion, fornication and feminism. They are against polytheism and know that so-called Christianity is full of it. The Catholic Church is pagan to the core and the Protestants are her daughters.
   So when the Saudis say they will rethink their relationship with us unless President Bush pushes for a Palestinian state, and the President caves in because we need their oil, I say screw the Saudis. We have Iraqi oil now and if they are not careful we may just take theirs. But we are such wusses. We'd rather let our brothers bleed.
Harold Reimann 
Lucerne Valley

Readers Should Learn More About Islamic Religion
   After reading the last paragraph by Eric Salthe's "Not So Unbelievable Beliefs" (June 2003) I remembered a bumper sticker that read: "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." Those words in fact apply to the majority of Americans and others who parrot the anti-Muslim hate speech of the not-so-reverend Reverends Jerry Falwell, John Hagee, Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham, and a host of other hypo-Christian preachers whose agendas are self-serving at the expense of any other faith that threatens their hierarchical survival, especially considering the fact that Islam is still the fastest growing religion in America. 
    I offer Mr. Salthe and this newspaper's readers corrections to the erroneous comments that he made about Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah (Arabic word for the same God) be upon him (pbuh). He married women from different rivaling tribes to unite them and he did not consummate his marriage to the youngest one until she was seventeen years old. His wives became the teachers to all the other women and taught them their newfound rights under Islamic law. 
    The Talmud, sacred to Jews, contains the following rulings: A Jew may marry a female child that is three years and one day old. (Sanhedrin 55b); A Jew may have sex with a child as long as the child is less than nine years old. (Sanhedrin 54b); When a grown-up (Jewish) man has sex with a little girl it is nothing. (Kethuboth 11b). Societal customs were different in ancient times, and marriage to young girls was common practice in Rome, Greece, Persia, et al. Certain tribes in Africa still wed their young daughters to older men, so who are we to impose our culture and values on others?     
    Mr. Salthe is also mistaken about Prophet Muhammad being a man of violence. A number of non-Muslims, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Edward Gibbon, A.S. Tritton, DeLacy O'Leary, James Michener, Lawrence E. Browne, Lamartinbe, George Bernard Shaw, and many others who studied his life in depth have written that he was a man of unfathomable peace and that neither he nor any other Muslim leader ever forced non-Muslims to convert to Islam. 
    Yes, he led his followers in wars to protect themselves from their enemies, but so have our own generals and heads of states. Are they violent terrorists? In fact, the Holy Quran clearly states that there shall be no compulsion in religion and the only wars that Muslims can fight are those for their defense, to reclaim what was taken from them, or to free themselves and others from oppression and restore their rights. That is what Jihad is-it is not "holy war" as our media and hypo-Christian clerics would have you believe.  
    Michael H. Hart, in his book "The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History," placed prophet Muhammad (pbuh) at the top of the list of men who contributed most to the benefit and uplifting of humankind. A vote on the Internet last year ended up with the same overwhelming conclusion. Other candidates included Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, and many others. Another analysis of the 100 most influential persons in the world placed Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) at the top of the list as being the most profound positive influence on humanity.   
    I cringe every time I hear or see the word "terrorist" used to describe Arabs and Muslims, particularly Palestinians. Since Israel is a signatory of the Fourth Geneva Convention whose accords guarantee the right of all occupied peoples to use any means at their disposal to dispel their occupiers (the French are still heralded for their bloody attacks upon nazi occupiers of France), there is, therefore, no such thing as a Palestinian "terrorist" as long as his land is under illegal occupation.  
    I urge Coastal Post readers to learn more about the greatness of the Islamic religion before making embarrassing commentary in these pages. There are vast accurate sources on the Internet and there are books in libraries yearning to be read. Muslims are told in the Quran that of those who say they believe, take the Christians as our friends for they are not attached to this world, nor are they arrogant.  
    One final thought: Christians said the most horrible things about Jews during my childhood. Today their sons and daughters cannot get down on their knees low enough to beg forgiveness for the sins of their fathers. Now they are saying horrible things about Muslims, and I wonder how soon it will be before their offspring will be down low on their knees seeking forgiveness for the shame and sins of their fathers.
Yousef Salem
Sunnyvale, CA

Send An Old Jewish Man To Palestine
   For those of us who traveled to Baghdad as Human Shields, these past months of invasion, massacre, and resistance have been dramatic and draining ones. My opposition to the US neo-imperialist takeover of Iraq remains strong, and I urge each of you to continue to demonstrate your rejection of Bush's invasion and the lies fabricated to justify it, on the streets of North America.
   Participation in the Human Shield Action in Baghdad in the days leading up to the Bush War, was a life-changing experience and I want to express my deep gratitude for your support of that international effort. Although we were ultimately unable to stop this aggression, we drew world-wide attention to the bombing of civilian targets---whether due to our efforts or Bush's omissions, none of the five sites that the Human Shields protected, were bombed.
   Now I am off again, this time with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) to celebrate Palestine Freedom Summer. The Circle remains unbroken---I was a participant in Mississippi Freedom Summer, 1964, during which time three young volunteers were lynched by racist police.
   As many of you know, in the past months, four young volunteers working with ISM have been killed or maimed by Israeli troops who are under orders to shoot volunteers "in the eyes or in the head" according to one military officer. The lives of these young volunteers are no more valuable than the thousands of Palestinians who have died in these tragic years of conflict.  Now it is time for us elders to step in and try and stop this madness.
   ISM has issued a call for elders---particularly those of Jewish heritage---to come to the Occupied Territories this summer as observers and to participate in non-violent resistance to the occupation. Old people are respected in both Arab and Jewish cultures and I believe that we can be a moral force for change.    As always, these journeys for peace with justice require a ticket that far exceeds my monthly social security check. Hope you can help to get an old Jewish man to Palestine for Freedom Summer. Consider me your personal shadow on the front line of this critical struggle.
   Please direct your donations in my name to my San Francisco address: 1030 Capp Street, San Francisco CA 94110 USA.
In solidarity,
John Ross
Mexico City
June 2003

Vest Thank You
   We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone in Bolinas, Stinson Beach, Point Reyes Station and beyond who has attended our concerts, bought our CDs, sent cards and letters, helped organize events, shopped, cooked, cleaned, mowed our lawn or otherwise contributed their time, money or energy to Sandy's recovery efforts.
   We were somewhat taken aback by Sandy's recent and unexpected recurrence of her Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  The past few months have been very challenging for both of us and Sandy's most recent surgery for a new tumor on the left side of her head is the second in less than two years.
   We are truly overwhelmed by the generosity of our community and we are beginning to realize that we may never even know, much less be able to acknowledge personally, every person who somehow found a way to support us during these challenging times.
   It seems like every day we learn more about the nature of our community and we are infinitely grateful.  
   Please know that we love and appreciate each one of you beyond words.
Sandy Leon Vest
James Vest
Stinson Beach

More About Impeachment
   The article by Frank Scott was received by me via email and the subject was titled, Positive Thoughts About Impeachment.
   It was indeed positive and  refreshing to read this article despite the repetition of criminal wrong doing by the selected president. The author actually made impeachment a real, viable solution. Though the democrats be asleep, paralyzed with fear or just "divided,  rather than "watching the world disintegrate before our eyes" .."lets work through our differences" ..."to subdue this malevolent force" .
   Much better to rally toward a solution which of course will have to come from the "people on the streets" again since Congress seems unable to muster the fire in the belly that we feel with intensity. Well of course we would feel the environmental, educational, and civil rights attacks more pungently, we are out here where it is happening. Congress people  have been calling impeachment a "distraction," a pipe dream, waste of effort.  How dare they sit by and watch one criminal act after another wreck havoc on our constitution not to mention the lives of people. They should all be charging out of their elected seats raising a thunder about, what is it three trillion dollars? disappear from the Pentagon, Nuclear Treaties ignored, countries coerced and bribed to join our craziness, fraudulent information used to deceive us into war and unnecessary military attacks on countries when peaceful means were sufficient.
   Just after the first announcement back in 2002 when Bush jacked the military/weapons budget up to $340 billion I received a phone call from a school fund raising volunteer.  I nearly took her ear off suggesting that we all march on Washington and grab that money back to where it belongs rather than run out and beg from the unemployed.  She agreed but we didn't go.  But I'm ready now to do what ever it takes to "impede the march toward oblivion," as Frank Scott said in closing.
   Before I close however I would like everyone to read the articles of impeachment by Francis Boyle and Ramsey Clark. (see enclosed below) Another author, Geov Parrish, came to impeachment recently saying that before the WMD madness only the radical left who did not like the administration's policies were talking impeachment.  Not so.. read the articles and you will agree that criminal acts violating the constitution have been merrily on the rise since the  Florida election steal.  Besides the "radical lefties" the National Lawyers Guild voted to support impeachment last October 2002.  Lets do it.
Barbara E. Sykes
Committee to Impeach
Marin Peace and Justice Coalition

Articles of Impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, and Attorney General John David Ashcroft

   The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors. - -

President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard B. Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, and Attorney General John David Ashcroft have committed violations and subversions of the Constitution of the United States of America in an attempt to carry out with impunity crimes against peace and humanity and war crimes and deprivations of the civil rights of the people of the United States and other nations, by assuming powers of an imperial executive unaccountable to law and usurping powers of the Congress, the Judiciary and those reserved to the people of the United States, by the following acts:
   1) Threatening Iraq with a first-strike war of aggression by overwhelming and indiscriminate force including specific threats to use nuclear weapons while engaged in a massive military build-up in surrounding nations and waters.
   2) Authorizing, ordering and condoning direct attacks on civilians, civilian facilities and locations where civilian casualties are unavoidable.
   3) Threatening the independence and sovereignty of Iraq by belligerently proclaiming an intention to change its government by force while preparing to assault Iraq in a war of aggression.
   4) Authorizing, ordering and condoning assassinations, summary executions, kidnappings, secret and other illegal detentions of individuals, torture and physical and psychological coercion of prisoners to obtain false statements concerning acts and intentions of governments and individuals and violating within the United States, and by authorizing US forces and agents elsewhere, the rights of individuals under the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
   5) Making, ordering and condoning false statements and propaganda about the conduct of foreign governments and individuals and acts by US government personnel; manipulating the media and foreign governments with false information; concealing information vital to public discussion and informed judgment concerning acts, intentions and possession, or efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction in order to falsely create a climate of fear and destroy opposition to US wars of aggression and first strike attacks.
   6) Violations and subversions of the Charter of the United Nations and international law, both apart of the "Supreme Law of the land" under Article VI, paragraph 2, of the Constitution, in an attempt to commit with impunity crimes against peace and humanity and war crimes in wars and threats of aggression against Afghanistan, Iraq and others and usurping powers of the United Nations and the peoples of its nations by bribery, coercion and other corrupt acts and by rejecting treaties, committing treaty violations, and frustrating compliance with treaties in order to destroy any means by which international law and institutions can prevent, affect, or adjudicate the exercise of US military and economic power against the international community.
   7) Acting to strip United States citizens of their constitutional and human rights, ordering indefinite detention of citizens, without access to counsel, without charge, and without opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention, based solely on the discretionary designation by the Executive of a citizen as an "enemy combatant."
   8) Ordering indefinite detention of non-citizens in the United States and elsewhere, and without charge, at the discretionary designation of the Attorney General or the Secretary of Defense.
   9) Ordering and authorizing the Attorney General to override judicial orders of release of detainees under INS jurisdiction, even where the judicial officer after full hearing determines a detainee is wrongfully held by the government.
   10) Authorizing secret military tribunals and summary execution of persons who are not citizens who are designated solely at the discretion of the Executive who acts as indicting official, prosecutor and as the only avenue of appellate relief.
   11) Refusing to provide public disclosure of the identities and locations of persons who have been arrested, detained and imprisoned by the US government in the United States, including in response to Congressional inquiry.
   12) Use of secret arrests of persons within the United States and elsewhere and denial of the right to public trials.
   13) Authorizing the monitoring of confidential attorney-client privileged communications by the government, even in the absence of a court order and even where an incarcerated person has not been charged with a crime.
   14) Ordering and authorizing the seizure of assets of persons in the United States, prior to hearing or trial, for lawful or innocent association with any entity that at the discretionary designation of the Executive has been deemed "terrorist."
   15) Institutionalization of racial and religious profiling and authorization of domestic spying by federal law enforcement on persons based on their engagement in non-criminal religious and political activity.
   16) Refusal to provide information and records necessary and appropriate for the constitutional right of legislative oversight of executive functions.
   17) Rejecting treaties protective of peace and human rights and abrogation of the obligations of the United States under, and withdrawal from, international treaties and obligations without consent of the legislative branch, and including termination of the ABM treaty between the United States and Russia, and recission of the authorizing signature from the Treaty of Rome which served as the basis for the International Criminal Court.

No Authority For Charges Against Stewart
   News reports on the charges against Martha Stewart for securities fraud, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making false statements fail to discuss the question of whether the US Attorney General has the constitutional authority to prosecute anyone for such acts committed on state territory.
   There is no such authority in the Constitution, which, through it delegates broad powers over federal enclaves such at the District of Columbia in Art. I Sec. 8 Cl. 17, delegates over state territory only powers to prosecute persons for treason, counterfeiting, piracy and felony on the high seas, offenses against the laws of nations, violations of military discipline, enslavement, deprivation of rights by a state agent, or deprivation of the right to vote on the basis of race, sex, and a few other grounds.
   The federal government would argue that its authority is based on Art. I Sec. 8 Cl. 3 to "regulate Commerce ... among the several States" and cite the case Wickard v. Filburn, 317 US 111 (1942), which prosecuted a farmer for eating his own corn on the grounds that it had a "substantial effect" on interstate commerce. That decision is clearly contrary to the original understanding of the Founders that the power to regulate did not imply the power to impose criminal penalties.
   Only states have authority to prosecute anyone on such charges for acts committed on state territory, as these apparently were. There must first be a constitutional amendment adopted to delegate such authority to the federal government.
Jon Roland
Constitution Society
Austin, TX

Readers Deserve Better
   On a recent trip to Marin County I picked up one of your newspapers.  I have to say, it made me sad to think that this paper is published in America.
   I absolutely believe that all viewpoints have a right to be printed, even socialist views. What concerned me was that the stories in your publication were all editorial and lacked news fact. Where studies and reports were reported, they were chosen as one very radical side of arguments with no space or credence given to any other viewpoint.  "Stories" such as the one about health care reform contained caustic comments such as "Bush possibly has one with a war theme in the works".  Again, people have the right to express opinion, but any periodical presenting itself as "Press" has a responsibility to find balance and fairness.  
   Were your periodical listed as a socialist or other pamphlet, I would have no objection, but to try and appear as any kind of a newspaper is simply a facade, and I abhor your abuse of the press. America deserves better, and your readers deserve a much more balanced coverage of any issue.
Dave Ramsdell
[email protected]

Culture Of Aggression
   I heard a reporter on the news recently describe our current world as, "an open battlefield." Having covered the range of armed conflict from conventional warfare between states(now a rarity) to civil wars (now covering nearly half the globe) to hybrid neocolonial incursions (mostly US exploits), he noted that ten-year-old Congoese kids could now pick up an AK-47 at the market for three bucks.
   As authors Hans Magnus Enzensberger and Michel Chossudovsky hasten to point out, though, this proliferation of pointless intrasocietal slaughter over the past quarter century is directly related to the subversion of autonomy by the Free Trade movement. 
  While we in the US can thank the not-so-happy accident of history that landed our Euro ancestors on someone else's secure and sacred turf, we would be wise not to ignore the lessons of empirical history: ruling the world (or attempting to) costs a lot of social capital.
   We haven't started gunning down each other with machine guns yet, but we're on that trajectory. The social rift over core values, morality, and yes, economics, is set to tear our country apart.  Maybe it's inevitable in our culture of aggression. Maybe we'll endure a forty-year dictatorship (like Portugal) while our empire and society disintegrate. Maybe we'll get lucky.
Jay Taber
Mill Valley CA

Scanlon Hits Nail On Head
   Jim Scanlon's prose poem, "Another Bogey Man Falls" hit the nail on the head. My wife and I thought it one of Jim's best pieces of writing.
   We need your paper more than ever now that the current administration is so wrong in almost every way.
   Please keep after them.
George & Virginia Hall
San Anselmo

Your Excellent Newspaper
   Here's my check for $24 for another year of your excellent newspaper, The Coastal Post. Special thanks, as always, to Edward W. Miller, Karen Nakamura, Frank Scott and all those who are writing about and advocating basic human rights and liberation for the Palestinians, and calling attention to the fact that the conflict is rooted here in this country via AIPAC, JINSA, CSP, CP-MAJO, etc. -- a myriad of Jewish groups that direct our foreign policy to benefit Israel at the expense of all else.
Dan Stone

Why Nice Guys Finish Last
   "Nice guys finish last." -- Leo Durocher, Brooklyn Dodgers Manager, 1940's.
               ...An accurate statement concerning American males participating not only in competitive sports but in a capitalist-dominated society.
   Words denoting "nice" in my Webster's Dictionary: pleasing, agreeable, delightful, amiable, pleasant, kind. I'll add some of my own: tame, docile, harmless. In short, a pushover.
   "Nice" is the most banal, overrated and useless quality for a whole human being. Nice guys finish last because nice guys can be capitalized on, taken advantage of, exploited.
   Why don't we reflect on the type of humans who gain from "nice" guys: manipulators, dominators, thieves, Charlatans, abusers. These types see the nice guy as a target because he's "nice," he won't give them any trouble, he won't fight back.
   The forces that urge our growing sons to be "nice" are the forces looking to exploit them, the forces looking for obedient, docile workers and dutiful consumers rather than whole, independent human beings.
Keith Bramstedt
San Anselmo

CP Reflects Real World
   The other day someone gave me your April 1, 2003 issue to read.  I really like what you had to say and the articles it had in it! Most mainstream news sources seem to be more into biased and slated reporting and commentary that do not reflect the real world out there. Americans seem to have more trouble with their own government and its manipulative fingers into their minds than they do with all the rest of the world.
   This is a great and beautiful country but it does have some very serious problems that need to be fixed...
   I do not have any money! Is there any way that I could get on your subscription mailings? It sure would be greatly appreciated! If you like "Letters to the Editor," I have plenty of rants and other musing running around between my ears. I am a little lacking in my ability to express myself adequately and in high linguistic fashion, but I try.
   Anyway, I hope you are having a good day and the world is treating you nicely.
   You live in a beautiful area!
Michael Skeirik

Was It Worth It?
   for George W., Dick C., and the 'others'
   Was it worth it? the pain/created by your need for war... /the suffering brought about/by your way with words,/your ability to twist meaning/to support your own aggrandizement.../your talent at quoting phrases/written by someone else.../your false, misleading 'tough guy'/stance, the clear absence of any compassion,/your warlike tones, your willingness/to wipe out nations of women/and children, your adolescent eagerness/to fight, destroy, demean, call names,/be 'better than', be 'bigger than',/be bullying, 'push harder than'.../One man stands/before a microphone,/the others sit in silence, both/call names, sling insults, slurs/give uncaring speeches, speak uncaringly,/brag that he will force 'the other' to disarm,/when it is he, himself, who slathers/after war, wanting to preempt/attack, obliterate, ignore -- send thousands/off to die on foreign shores/while he stands guarded by his hired guns,/(he has no grandsons to send away to war)/I think about your ways, and recognize you/are all the same. It is an ugly world you choose/to live, in which there is no need/for anyone to understand/your motives for this violence,/these cruel slings, your judgmental silence,/silence personal and passive. Impatient threats/declare a coward's sneer, (the 'big guys' all behind you)/and your fear of being just/who you are:/'the other' is always your axis/of evil, your justification for rage/for war...
Karla Andersdatter
Feb. 2, 2003

True Example of Free Press
   I just wanted to thank you for creating a breath of fresh air in our world of controlled media. It is so painful to watch the nightly news. Everywhere I turn, the information is being manipulated and distorted and there is no true voice for what is really going on. It seems the blind followers of Bush learned nothing from the "Pentagon Papers." I long and hunger for some truth about the lies and deceptions the Bush Administration is forcing on the American people. The more I dig for some real answers, the more corruption I find. It is truly unbelievable that we have such criminal forces operating in our government. It is very frightening and alarming. It is really far more serious than most Americans realize. If we don't stop George Bush, a free America will truly be history. In my continued search for some answers, I ran across the enclosed article on "Gold Fillings, Auschwitz, and George Bush." It is an amazing indictment of the Bush family. I realize it may be too hot to handle, but I wanted to share it with you anyway. Thank you again for printing the words of those true Americans who don't follow the sheep in step with their dictator. May your light continue to shine strong as a true example of the Free Press.
Randall Curtis

Proposition 13 Revisited
   Call me Homeowner A. Call me lucky. Call me smiley. Call me grateful. Go ahead, call me "Ms. Moneybags" if you insist (well, that might b e a bit of a stretch). Thank you, my fellow Californians, for passing Proposition 13 in 1978! My constitutionally protected privileged status dates back to that change in California's constitution (and I am not alone).
   Yes, 1978 is the year I moved to California. My husband and I bought a home that year and we still live in it. Thanks to Proposition 13, our property taxes are essentially "capped" at just over $1,000 per year. We can't thank you enough.
   Call my next door neighbor to the south "Homeowner B" (HB for short). HB pays roughly $2,000 per year in property taxes.
   Call my next door neighbor to the north "Homeowner C" (HC for short). HC pays well over $3,000 per year in property taxes. (Don't call him lucky, smiley, grateful, etc.)
   These three homes are similar to each other and were built in 1978 by a builder named Ken. They originally sold for the same price. Then why the discrepancy in property tax assessments? It is very simple. It has to do with DOP, which refers to the friendly state Department of Privilege which Doles Out Perks to non-nomadic sorts.
   I lie. Actually DOP refers to the Date of Purchase of property. HB and HC purchased their homes later than I did. Hence, they pay a lot more money for property tax than I do every year. Yes, DOP is where it's at. Is this a great state or what? Concepts of "justice for all" and "equal protection of the laws" and "all men and women home buyers -- of the same DOP - are created equal" reach their apogee under this system.
   HB and HC think DOP is DOPEY (or maybe discriminatory). But it works for me!
   Call my children smiley: property tax savings propitiously paid for a lot of orthodontic work over the years. Hey, children are expensive. My neighbors don't have any children so it's only fair that they pay more in property tax. Isn't that right?
   Once more, we of the straightened teeth thank you, my fellow Californians.
   Just one more thing: since Californians are complacently happy to endorse a sacrosanct though crooked property tax system, isn't there some way we could work a deal to have them give us "inertially" challenged homeowners some sort of additional advantage such as a sales tax exemption, too? Or how about an outright income tax credit for all individuals patriotic enough to stay in the same place for over 25 years? (I don't know what patriotism has to do with it, but the term seems somehow fitting and compelling.) Just wondering. College for kids is expensive, you know! And greed begets greed. And we're n a roll!
   Special private note to other non-nomads (you know who you are): Don't worry about me letting the golden goose escape. No politician in California has the nerve to revive the discussion about -- let alone try to repeal -- Proposition 13. Is "13" our lucky number of what? Keep smiling: your teeth are no longer crooked, but the tax system is.
Kathryn E. Pack
San Diego

Interest Rates Effect Savers
   We hear that the Federal Reserve is considering another interest rate decrease. This cannot have any positive effects. A Los Angeles Times article (11/28/02) by Kathy M. Kristof details findings by a number of economists concerning the drop in savings by retirees due to dropping interest rates. The discussion over lowering interest rates or keeping them at current rates misses one important consideration, the effect on lower rates on saving. While Greenspan and most economists have focused on government intervention by monetary policy, many raising or lowering interest rates since the 1960s, the debate has seldom addressed the issue of the effect of rate shifts on savers. While the goal is to stimulate the economy which seems to be what everyone agrees, the last 15 years of lower interest rates has had no effect on Japanese consumption and thus on the economy. The effect has mainly been to reduce the earnings of Japanese savers to zero.
   In the US, no one thinks of how lower interest rates affect savers here, but it is obvious that it punishes those who have worked hard and saved by introducing downward pressure on the money they can make from savings accounts. The outcome is that either they leave their money in the bank and earn nearly nothing, or take it out and invest or buy. Thus government policy is used by market economists to produce an environment to reward some and punish others.
   The only winners here are the bankers whose profits have soared by their failure to lower their loan rates commensurate with the downward rates on savings accounts. The inevitable result will be as in Japan where such myopic behavior by government economists and the banking industry led to stagnation. In the US, lower rates led also to the wild speculation of the internet crash. The road we are on leads today to stagflation, due to slowing industrial output, mass unemployment, bankruptcies, unstable equities markets and poor returns n venture capital.
   The behavior that is rewarded in all this is like that of the Japanese who took their money out of the banks in droves and into Post Office accounts. They lost faith in the financial industry and that is happening here in the wake of Enron, et al. The actions of the Bush Administration are not promising in this end, especially as demonstrated by the actions of Pitt and inaction in legislation to curb securities fraud. The time is long past for positive action. The alternative is one which we do not wish to contemplate, a downward spiral which could take a decade to reverse.
Niccolo Caldararo

Who Takes Responsibility?
   The Bush administration in general and NASA in particular have much to answer to the families of the seven hapless astronauts who perished in Shuttle Columbia's unfortunate re-entry last February 1, 2003. From what has already been said and done in the government's efforts to tell us what really happened to cause that tragedy, we are still in the dark on a number of issues surrounding the disaster. It is for instance pre-flexing to anyone who understands and can appreciate the lengths to which NASA goes in order to make the perilous adventures of our astronauts in space as safe as possible, when a seemingly minor mishap occurring in the launching of a space craft can end up in its total destruction. It is even more so, considering that NASA had sixteen days by which to study and analyze the effects of the launch mishap before the Columbia's return to earth.
   The American taxpayers are not daunted by the prohibitive cost of space exploration because we know that lives will never be gambled to achieve its objectives. It is difficult to believe that with the extensive and highly sophisticated system of monitoring devices on ground as well as in space, NASA will fail to have a handle on the most predictable consequences of a thermal insulation breach in a space craft as time tested as the Columbia.
   The current investigation of the tragedy is already revealing that the engineers tasked to analyze the monitoring data have indicated that the Shuttle's thermal shield has been compromised by the launch mishap, rendering the Columbia's re-entry seriously in peril. It does not require too much intelligence to understand that such a find should plunge the entire Columbia voyage n red alert. But was it? Did NASA down play the seriousness of Columbia's plight to cover the gravity of the situation? It begins to appear now that it was not a situation that could be taken as lightly as what the responsible officials who were in the know ascribed it to be. We are being given a scenario that while the NASA hands on engineers were flashing all kinds of alarms to top brass about a crisis, the latter remained unmoved.
   Could this be a true scenario in an environment as (highly disciplined and safety conscious) an organization as we know NASA to be? I don't think so. It is obvious that the top brass of NASA were fully aware of the danger that Columbia and its crew were facing on re-entry but were not in a position to make necessary decisions to address the crisis. It called for a choice of saving the crew and scuttling the Columbia through an expensive process of a space bailout or taking a chance on the lives of the crew by trying a normal re-entry procedure in the hope that the NASA Engineers raising the alarm are in error. It is also obvious that decisions of this nature are outside the authority of NASA to make. Whoever made it is where the bucket stops in a dilemma such as this.
   It is obvious that weighing the cost of a bailout which means the loss of the Columbia, its research equipment and research data gathered on board against a slim chance of a successful re-entry made that ma n or those men, bless their souls, go for the latter. The launch mishap unfortunately was an unforeseen event that no one can be blamed for, but the way NASA dealt with the very predictable consequences of that event to Columbia's re-entry is something else. This is where NASA and whoever were the authorities who addressed that problem failed to live up to NASA's commitment to the safety of the astronauts. In attempting apparently to save the Columbia and its research equipment as well as the invaluable research data gathered during its sixteen days of space probe, the lives of the seven astronauts were gambled without even their knowing it.
   Whoever made that decision is or are currently invoking the protection, clearly, of a contrived ignorance. The families of the astronauts who lost their lives as a result of that fatal decision are entitled to know who he or they are. The investigating body going after the facts of this tragedy need to let us know what NASA's contingency measures are and what procedures are followed on similar situations. This is important in order to give future astronauts a better understanding of their chances when sent on highly dangerous missions. We are also entitled to know what the bailout procedures was which NASA engineers are presently referring to, but which NASA top brass appear to be oblivious of. The families of the seven astronauts are entitled to know if their government which their loved ones trusted (will do everything possible to save them from unforeseen disasters), have betrayed that trust in the name of material gains. They have the right to know if the lives of their loved ones were wagered in a vicious, high stakes, all or nothing crap game by the powers that be. Only when all of this is made public will we know the truth behind the Columbia tragedy. And to prevent a repeat of a similar tragedy in the future, those in authority should have the courage to take responsibility.
Antonio Serna
Rohnert Park

Cry for Help!
   This is to state that the undersigned, Ali T. Agha, has been a victim of hate crime where he is living at the Bennett House which is operated by Mercy Services Corporation at Fairfax, California. He is 84 years old with multi-ailments and severe disability. He has been attacked physically, assaulted with deadly weapon with an attempt to be killed, subjected to verbal abuses, racial epithets, threats, vandalism and causing him property damages and invading his privacy in an attempt to harass him. The Mercy Corporation's management has participated in the harassment despite repeated complaints of racial harassment and continuously harassed him by giving him repeated 30-Day Notices to evict him and lately the Mercy Corporation filed a law suit to evict him, based on no substantiated reasons except racially motivated, making him a victim of hate crime.
   I, Ali Agha, due to the fact that I am on my way to my grave yard and until then, I badly need legal assistance.  I repeatedly put myself together and went to Legal Aid of Marin County seeking legal help. The last request was on Feb. 19, 2003, when I received Five-Days Notice from the Sheriff's Department to vacate the place where I am living or I will be on the street. I am indigent, living on SSI for not being able to afford a rental to move out. I will be homeless. My doctor suggested I go stay at a charity shelter until I find a place.
   Oh, Legal Aid Society, keep destroying our society by defrauding us, falsely claming that you are a Legal Aid Society. Please, please, please, American society, say go to hell fake Legal Aid Society. I am very proud to expose the Legal Aid to public for the safety of the public. Bravo, Legal Aid Society. For more information about this fake Legal Society, call 415-456-6607.
Ali Agha

Help Bring Some Justice
   I discovered your paper for the first time today. I really enjoy reading and finding truth and justice. I am writing this letter in hopes that you may help bring some justice to this truth. My name is Daniel Ray Loyd and I am an inmate at the Lake County Jail in Lakeport, California. The correctional officers (c/o's) here at the Lake County Jail provoke violence and then use the provoking of violence to justify assaulting the inmates. This is an ongoing matter here at Lake County Jail and has happened to a number of inmates here, me included.
   After the correctional officers assault the inmate causing physical injuries in most all cases, they put the inmate in a maximum security with no access to a phone or the outside until his or her physical injuries are gone. Then the Lake County Jail will file criminal assault charges on the inmate and in most cases use the three strikes you're out law to scare the inmate into taking some long prison sentence for something he or she did not do. The Lake County Jail staff and the Lake County DA's office and the Lake County Judges are all in it together.  I've seen it -- going through it right now.
   This aggressive criminal manner needs attention. We've seen this before a Corcoran State Prison and Pelican Bay State Prison; they call it blood games.
   I hope you can publish this. There is more going on here, but this is a start. If you publish this and would like more information on the unconstitutional manner of how the Lake County Jail is run and also the Lake County Courts, please let me know. Thank you for your time in this very serious matter.
   P.S. Had to send this letter to a friend and her it mailed to you from the outside. This jail will not let any mail go out to a newspaper. Wow! So much for freedom of speech and press.
George & Virginia Hall
San Anselmo



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