Coastal Post Online


October, 2003

Letters To The Editor  

   How Come Arafat?
Edith Cacciatore, Novato
If Arafat is irrelevant how come he's an obstacle to peace?

Bush Duplicity
  Before the Iraq war Americans heard a steady stream of Bush claims that: there was proof of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; there was evidence of an al-Qaeda/Iraq connection, a 9/11 Saddam connection existed; and of Iraq's capability to attack Israel and the US -Ad nauseam. Turned out to be a pack of lies and deceptions. Is Bush's road map to peace any more believable than these other inconsistencies?
   Bush deception didn't start yesterday. It began when he was head cheerleader trumpeting "Gore is trying to steal the presidential election", when in his heart of hearts George W. knew full well that his neocon buddies were already on their way to fixing the election. Duplicity in the highest circles.
   Ralph Nader was right when he said Americans won't know how bad conservatives and the far right is until they're in power.
Ron Lowe       
Nevada City

$4.4 Million Per Soldier
    Our president has just asked for 87 billion dollars for the next installment on his war, 66 billion dollars of which is "for the military action in Iraq". That comes to exactly 4 million, four hundred thousand of our tax dollars EACH for our 150,000 soldiers stationed there. That will buy a lot of bullets... where does the rest go? The funny math just never stops since big oil took the White House. Thing is, it isn't funny.
David Singelyn
Warner Springs Ca

What Happened To Cary Grime Scares Me
   I'm scared.  Every time I leave my house, and walk to the store, I live in fear that the same Marin Sheriffs who's death of Cary Grime happened on their watch, are still on duty and may stop me and beat me up.  I am not alone.  Why should I be scared?  Because all Cary did is call 911 because there were some suspicious people hanging around his car.  Now he is dead.  I am homeless and fear that a Sheriff may find me and say I am resisting arrest too.  There are too many unanswered questions in the death of Cary Grime.
   Why are these police who Cary died under their watch, still on duty?
   Who are they??
   Why is their identity secret?
   Were they tested for drugs?  A bus driver in a fender bender is tested.
   Why is everything so secret?
   Why was the Marin coroner Kenneth Holmes quoted in the SF Chronicle by reporter Peter Fimrite as saying "Cary was not injured" then Kenneth said he never said that?  I applaud him for opening up an inquire into Cary's death, for I am certain that the police departments own investigation will turn a blind eye.
   Why is the final coroner's report not public?
   Why is the Kaiser withholding the hospital report to the family?
   Why is Sheriff Doyle to this day claiming Cary was not injured when eye witnesses & Cary's family say otherwise?   Obviously he was injured or he wouldn't be dead.
   I'm scared to write this letter.
Name withheld
San Anselmo

Why Won't We Open Our Eyes About Bush
   GW Bush will again this year use the tragic deaths of September 11 to manipulate Americans into supporting his slash and burn agenda for the planet.  His callous and cynical disregard for those lives has led us not to a safer world, but to a much more dangerous one.
   A man who does not acknowledge global warming, cares not a whit about unemployment, the poor, the lack of health care, the fact that one in five children in this country live below the poverty line does not deserve to be president.
   His privatization of an entire country (Iraq) for the benefit of his corporate buddies, with his attitude that those here at home be damned is a signal for us to make sure there is a "regime change" here at home.
   "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."-- President Dwight D. Eisenhower, April 16, 1953
   We still don't get it.
Meg Brizzolara
San Rafael

Sorry EPA Appointment Attempt
   The EPA was chartered during the 1970's as a special non-political agency to mitigate  the alarming environmental degradation and waste of resources, that had become recognized as a worldwide threat.  It was to be led environmentally conscious people with sufficient knowledge and sincerity to carry out the necessary reforms, and resist coercive influence from special interests.
    Bush's attempt to appoint Governor Leavit as EPA administrator underscores his contemptuous  misuse of this agency to achieve his unprecedented sell-out of our environment and our heritages to special interests-and we cannot afford this to continue.
   With the so many well qualified people available, the senate has no option but to oppose this unsuitable appointment-and force selection of an environmentally conscious person who will follow the original EPA mandate, and act on behalf of the citizenry, rather than special interests.
Robert H Settgast
San Rafael

Hiding Among The Rabble
   Isn't it ironic that after ten years of complaining that George H. Bush should have gone into Baghdad and finished off Saddam, many of the same critics are demanding that his son, George W. Bush, pull out the troops knowing Saddam is hiding among the rabble?
Rich Martin
Crowley, TX

Political Prose
   In the political arena/Change/Is just a fictitious word/To give/We the people/Hope/And hang on to something/That just never comes!/Just one more professional lie!  
Willie Bogerworm
Santa Rosa

Woes of a Democrat
   In the early 1900s, I was born into a Democratic family. I have served the Democratic party well as evidenced by my being anointed "Democrat of the Year" in Ventura County for a half dozen years.
   I believe in the virtues of the Democratic party, but I was disappointed in McGovern, Carter and now all the presidential Democratic hopefuls except for Joe Lieberman. Lieberman won't get the Democratic nomination just as McCain stood no chance in the Republican run-off. But this is how our two-party system operates.
   Then I got disenfranchised by Gray Davis being anointed and elected for a second term as California's governor by a solid Democratic majority who was really voting against Bill Simon. Now I am disappointed Dianne Feinstein, who I always admired, now is toeing the straight Democratic party line and supporting Gray Davis, a totally incompetent Democratic governor.
   In my quest for America's and California's survival, I must support President Bush in his re-election bid to free America and the world of terrorism, and Tom McClintock's bid to be California's next governor. McClintock's record at 25 years in the California Assembly and Senate verifies his ability to trim the dead wood out of Sacramento, balance the budget and create jobs.
   Cruz Bustamante is a loyal and capable Mexican-American, loyal to Mexico -- not California. I personally admire Arnold Schwarzenegger but for the good and survival of California, I must vote for Tom McClintock for Governor, I believe the only hope for California.
Robert Felburg
Costa Mesa

Power Plants
   To: Bolinas Public Utility District and Anyone:
   In the past 10 years, T.V. showed regular airplane crashes. The radar screen in Oakland did not see the airplanes over Bolinas and it was not their intention airplanes go over Bolinas. They built new radar stations, new airplanes and a new airport. Motors have evil power, evil spiritual power, to overpower motors that there would be more machines and the old machines pile up. Regular new power plants. Pilot is a good word for a person that drives you to death. So the bible was not tricked to use that word. Drivers of airplanes are drivers of airplanes. The power problem of technology includes less motors in the future, particularity of good and bad of machines that are accepted and no stopped running motors. We would not have banks today were they not church affiliated. Wharf Road in Bolinas has four semitrucks on it at one time. The police cars are not good cars like they used to be and need to be shut off when stopped because stopped running motors, police and ambulance, disturb the ones fallen down, animals and others.

Letter to Woolsey
   To Representative Woolsey: It has been said that a patriot must always be ready to protect his/her country from their government. As a patriot, which I believe you to be, I must implore you to act against the further degradation of our constitution and country that I entrusted you with when I voted for you. The politics of fear, government controlled media, and state imposed ideology that have gone unchecked in the last two years bear too close a resemblance to travesties past.
   After the tragedy of September 11, the reaction of the government was similar to that of Nationalist Socialist Germany prior to World War II. Power was given over to the government in order to restore peace and prosperity. Unfortunately, just as in Germany, the executive branch has capitalized on the public's trust to expand its power and exploit the citizenry to serve its own purpose. I fear the growth of the executive branch will lead to the continual erosion of American legitimacy in the world. More specifically, I fear its growth will lead to the continual erosion of governmental legitimacy within the United States' borders. Yehuda Bauer, a noted holocaust historian, has documented the effects of removing or limiting the civil liberties and rights of citizens. The results have lead to the creation of polarized societies that spawn hatred and violence. We need only look at our state's division over our involvement in Iraq and our acceptance of human casualties to see the results of restricted thinking caused by the fear invoked by recent limitations to our civil liberties.
   The alienation of populations overseas is only the beginning of our troubles in my estimation. The policies passed in the Patriot Act will cause social disintegration of long trusted minority groups. The racial profiling, surveillance, and rewards paid for turning in "suspected terrorists" is segregating and isolating groups who have done nothing wrong. We need only look at the actions of the Hutus in their disintegration of the Tutsis in Rwanda to understand the need to overturn the reactionary Patriot Act and to vote down the Patriot Act II.
   Lastly, I would like to speak to the role the media has played in feeding the fear and justifying these crimes. Our most important right is freedom of speech. It is the one right that will make the difference between the success of democracy and our continual decline into an oligarchy. The control imposed by the executive branch on the press has produced such a watered down, white-washed version of reality that scarcely warrants reading. In our country's most trying time, I had to turn to the BBC and other foreign sources to receive a balanced account of events. Christopher Browning, in his book "Ordinary Men", told the story of a police battalion in Nazi Germany who participated in the Final Solution. Browning attributed their actions to a narrowly defined reality set forth by the Nazi propaganda machine. While specifically the government does not control the American media conglomerates, the role they play in condoning our actions in Iraq without question is a mark against their very character.
   I can no longer stand idle while my government repeals my civil liberties and attacks foreign nations in the name of democracy. The time has come to end the cycle of inaction between government and the people. I am not looking to you for leadership. Instead, I am writing to you with my charge. Go back to Washington and take back my civil liberties and constitutional rights. There was a light that was democracy and the United States was its protector. Go back to Washington and reestablish that light to the world. Stop the politics of fear. I understand that they got the Republicans elected in 2002, but they cannot be the foundation upon which our nation's politics are built. Stop the social disintegration of minority groups as outlined in the Patriot Act by working to overturn it and by voting down the Patriot Act II. Lastly, take this message of hope to the media and work to reform their stranglehold on what America sees as truth. Patriots must always be ready to defend their country against its government. You and your fellow democrats have a big job in front of you. It is time to start a new page in politics and our democracy.
Robert Bunce
Rohnert Park

View on Grime Death
   The Marin Sheriff's Department has killed citizen Cary James Grime. The victim's family said he was beaten to death by Sheriff Doyle's Deputies. Grime's injuries included a broken nose, a deep gash on his right arm, numerous bruises, and wounds on his genitals. I am writing this letter to guarantee citizens of Marin that the involved police will not be held accountable. Rather, despite the evidence of violence, the man's death will probably be blamed on his being intoxicated, exactly as happened when Marin police killed citizen Brian Prosser in 1997. Grime's family said he had a blood alcohol level of .03 when he got to the hospital. That is about one beer, people.
   According to the San Francisco Chronicle (8/23/03), a decent human being who witnessed the violence that caused Grime's death states, "I don't care if he was drunk or what he was being arrested for, what they [police] were doing wasn't right. I think it's disgusting."
   Marin Sheriff's Sergeant Doug Pittman said that Mr. Grime was still resisting when he was taken to the county jail's booking area. It was in this same "booking area" that the Ager marijuana case scandal originated. Mr. Ager claimed that he too was beaten by Marin Sheriff's Deputies. Although video cameras in the booking area recorded what did or didn't happen, the Sheriff succeeded in getting Judge Sutro to suppress the videotaped evidence. Why would they suppress such evidence unless it proved their guilt? You do the math. Marin citizens can be certain that the county's judges will behave similarly in Mr. Grime's case.
   At Christmas in 1997, I personally witnessed several Marin Sheriff's Deputies severely beating a slightly built man named Ellis Preston in the segregation unit of the county jail. I wrote a lengthy, detailed, eye-witness account of the brutal assault which Mr. Don Deane had the courage to print in the Coastal Post . 1028 Investigations out of San Anselmo began gathering evidence related to the crime, including photographs of Ellis' injuries. But before sufficient progress could be made, another Marin judge was persuaded to cease authorization of funds to pay the investigators thereby effectively shutting down the probe. The deputies who committed the felony assault upon Ellis were never held accountable and District Attorney Kamena's office repeatedly ignored my insistence that action be taken. The DA's office refused to even interview me about what I had witnessed.
   The family of the latest victim, Mr. Grime, is seeking justice. My advice to them is that they not stupidly rely on Marin's corrupt judges and District Attorney to get true justice. Those people will actively endeavor to suppress evidence, lie and create an avenue of non-accountability for Sheriff Doyle's Gestapo -- just as they have in the past.
   The Grime family should pursue justice through the FBI and also by publicizing the pattern of violence, rights violations, and cover-ups on the part of the scumbag authorities in Marin County. They are "the" most corrupt group of individuals I have ever encountered in my 47 years of living. It is the judges who are the worst because their cowardice amounts to a green light paving the way for abuses of power by police and prosecutors. Aside from illegally gaining convictions against those not rich enough to buy their Constitutional rights, people are being beaten, people are dying. If their [judges'] parents raised them better, they would have the integrity to do their sworn duty utilizing judicial power as a deterrent against rights violations. Their refusal to use that power is tantamount to tacit approval of wrongdoing which has become systematic at the Marin "Corruption" Center. They are accomplices in violating the very law they swore to uphold.
   "There is no greater role for a man to play than to assist in the government of a people, nor anyone lower than he who misuses that power." -- Louis L'Amour.
James Samuel Kor, Jr.

Disgraceful Newspaper
   Your pathetic hate mongering excuse for a newspaper keeps sinking lower and lower into the muck of complete infamy. Edward Miller's comment that Reagan's governorship was paid for by "Hollywood Jews" matches the vile Palestinian propaganda garbage on the front page by Tim Llewellyn about whom you are at least honest enough to admit is a bought and paid for Arab lobbyist. Every time I run across your, blessedly, lightly circulated piece of toilet paper, I'm appalled by how you keep sliding deeper into Hitlerian anti-Semitism. You're almost at the Julius Streicher level. You're a disgrace to journalism.
Michael Disend   
San Francisco, CA

Honoring Veterans-Enough Is Enough
   Enough is enough! Is there no sense of honor left in this country? When will the powers that be stop trying to void the contract that was made with Veterans many, many decades ago? What will it take and what must we do to move them away from viewing us as nothing more than an unnecessary and unwanted financial drain on "their" economy? I do believe they have forgotten there wouldn't be a country if it weren't for Veterans (we did the things these neo-cons refused to do).
   We have been insulted, dishonored and betrayed by this current administration and it's tight little group of ultra-right neo-con Republican Chickenhawks!! Over the past few months this group has not missed an opportunity to give lip service about honoring the troops. Let's briefly look at how they "honor" the troops (both past and present).
   They honor the troops by: reducing death benefit payment from $12,000 to $6,000; reduce combat pay from $250 a month to $125 a month; reduce the monthly allotment for dependents from $250 a month to $125 a month; charging the wounded coming back from Iraq $8.10 a day for meals while they recuperate from their wounds. Honor and loyalty like that no one needs or wants. Who else but a pack of spineless chickenhawks could do these things to the very people they send to fight their bullshhit war!
   How can we veterans expect honorable treatment, fair-play or respect from people that have no loyalty to their own troops? They honor and respect us by: refusing to make the VA budget a permanent line item instead of what it is, up for grabs every year; cutting VA budget forcing the closure of multiple facilities across the country at a time when the VA can't take care of the vets it has due to an overly stressed and under funded system; how many Vietnam vets are dead because of this country's refusal to properly deal with the Agent Orange issue? (My research indicates upwards of 300,000); 196,000 sick and injured Gulf War vets put out of the system, no room at the inn; Consistent use of laws, rules and guidelines to exclude vets from the system instead of what they are suppose to do, help the veteran.
   In addition to what they have already done and are currently doing, these deceitful people (and I use that tern loosely), are now looking at how they can stop having to pay service-connected disability. They want to redefine "service-connected" disability and restrict the circumstances under which service-connected disability may be established. Not only would this make it extremely difficult to be classified as service-connected (as if it's easy now), it would be retroactive. The result would be a reclassification and elimination of between 1.5 million and 2.4 million veterans who are currently receiving disability compensation.  Where is the honor?
   Congress tried taking money from WW1 veterans (right around the time of the depression) they yelled and screamed (much like us now) and finally ended up marching on Washington DC (somewhere between 25,000 and 1 million depending on the report you read). They shut down the Capitol. Granted Federal troops were called out to quell the "disturbance" but that Administration and Congress capitulated and the veterans got their just due. Those veterans had faced guns, bombs and death (sound familiar?) in Europe and then came back home only to have to face armed troops again, this time to protect themselves against their own government (sound familiar? 1972 Washington, DC) and it's wanting to get out of it's responsibilities to veterans.
   I honestly believe and do not say lightly, that it is time to once again make ourselves highly visible! It is obvious to me that those running this country (and into the ground) are people of no honor, no ethics (other than situational ethics), no integrity and whose loyalties lie with the big dollar political contributors only. These people are trying to "privatize" everything on planet earth including the military. The result has been a big logistical failure for the kids serving in Iraq. Lack of food, water and on and on. The troops exposure to all the depleted uranium over there is going to make agent orange look like child's play. More sick and dying to be excluded from the VA, after the Pentagon says DU is harmless (sound familiar?). As soon as they get out of uniform they can join us. No longer "heroes" in uniform, but now looked upon as welfare recipients and a financial burden on the nation's economy. Ask any neo-con.
   Tom DeLay (R-TX), House Majority leader pretty much heads up this new act of betrayal floating around in congress. He is very typical of the neo-cons. When asked why he was unwilling to serve in the military and go to Vietnam his response sums up for the rest of his neo-con buddies, ".there were so many minorities being called up there was no longer room for patriots like me."
   Where is the loyalty? Where is the honor? What do we do about it? It is after all up to us. We, who in some ways understand the concepts of loyalty and honor better than most. Thieves and liars have broken into our home and are trying to steal everything in sight, over my dead body! In 1963, when I went into the Marine Corps, I swore an oath to protect and defend this country from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. As I see it, the biggest enemy on the block is my own government! We must change that before those idiots kill the very "idea" of America.
Jack Dalton 
Portland, Or.
[email protected]

Wants Excess Profit Tax For War
   Since we are now committed to a long and very costly involvement in Iraq, an excess profit war tax should be enacted to counter profiteering. Revenue might be used to improve compensation for our military who are risking their lives for meager pay.
   Resistance to this measure, and even accusations of non-patriotism, can be expected from this administration in order to protect their secretive and suspect agenda.   Nonetheless, we cannot afford to allow their blockage of such vital reform measures.
Robert H Settgast
San Rafael

Illegal Drivers Are an Unnecessary Hazard
   If Senator Gil Cedillo and Gray Davis had any interest in increasing the safety of California drivers, rather than signing AB60 to allow illegal immigrants to drive on our roads, they would simply work to enforce US immigration law.   Sending the illegals home would remove the cars, hazards, and traffic created by 3 million mostly uninsured, mostly poorly trained drivers from our terribly overcrowded roads.   The illegals don't need licenses, they need repatriation. 
   Protecting our borders is the most important thing our government is supposed to do.   What a shame that Davis, Cedillo, and George Bush can't seem to grasp the concept.   We need to be rid of these incompetent "leaders"!
   There are now 10 million people in America illegally and our government is doing essentially nothing about it.   We know the illegals don't respect our laws but exactly how many of them are professional criminals or terrorists?
Cornelius McCracken, MD
San Rafael

Shoot the Messenger
    This letter is in response to Jim Scanlon's article in the September Coastal Post, "The Kinsey Report: Why Does Steve Do The Things He Does." It's a bit surprising to me that your outstanding paper would print an article by a normally outstanding writer that that makes attacks on aspects of an elected official's personal life, rather than criticize the public policies he promulgates that you find objectionable.
    Admittedly, Mr. Kinsey's policies regarding development in Marin are controversial, but such personal attacks are at the very least distasteful, and are no different from the slimy tactics of the conservative right used against President Clinton during Monicagate. When we of the progressive Left use similar snitch tactics to smear and discredit politicians that are not as far to the Left as we would like, we make ourselves no better than those dinosaurs of the dominant paradigm we seek to subvert.
    Also keep in mind the context: how many old timer West Marin homeowners do you know who have not made unofficial changes to their dwellings or properties? Or who've gone totally by the book in obtaining or implementing building permits? Get real-it's part of the West Marin credo, for better or worse. If the codes were totally enforced, 20% of West Marin's population living in illegal granny units would be homeless. I hope this isn't what Mr. Scanlon seeks to accomplish.
    Let's keep criticism limited to the public policies of the politicians we disagree with, and away from their personal lives.
Edward N.  Shober

Remove The American Flag
   How can you let such a quiche eater (as most Californians are called in Texas) write such dribble.  Yes it will take time to pacify Iraq, and no we have not found the WMD (yet).  But, evil tyrants such as Saddam must go, ALL OF THEM. 
   It's wussies like Robert Fisk and Company that set America up for terrorist attacks.  Radical Islamics thrive and exploit weakness. The biggest wussy of them all Bill Clinton did little or nothing to recognize the terrorism threat (I guess he was too busy getting a hummer...) to this great nation.  You liberals feel that you are doing the right thing by speaking out and being a devils' advocate, but what you are really doing is showing our adversaries that you are weak.  Which you are.  You are the same people that believe McDonald's is responsible for obesity, instead of recognizing that all of us have a personal responsibility for what we do (and eat) in our lives.  It's called being accountable. 
   Face it, you people (Oh, my god...did I just generalize???) are speaking out, but those of us with something known as a spinal cord (you know that thing that you people check at the door when you walk into a room...) aren't buying.  Take the American Flag off of your website, you aren't worthy to display it.  Maybe you could replace it with a nice solid pretty red one.  It is America, and you guys can say what you want, but only weak people are reading this stuff. The rest of us that are willing to make hard choices and stand up to the criticism aren't listening.  Remember Fisk, it's always easier to sit in the stands and bitch than actually play the game.
Billy Locke
San Antonio, Texas

Shame On You
   I found your article online via a petition to stop Suicide Bombing as a way to achieve a Palestinian State from the Jordan to the sea. I clicked on the link, with the comment that "Zionism is Racism" This is a onesided article filled with lies and propaganda. The truth is, Arafat never wanted peace, took the Oslo accords as a time to restragetize his terrorism, develop the suicide belt, as a way to instill fear, and still teaches jihad in elementary school. Israel is only the canary in the mine of terror.
   The entire world, that appreciates western civilization, is at risk from radical Islam, and to blame the Jews, again, if not only ignorant, but horrific. Mr. Llewellyn is an anti-Semitic hatemonger, and his words, will be the reason England, as well as France, will suffer, from the large Muslim population, who do not assimilate, and will eventually take by sheer numbers, the votes, and their way of life. Shame on you for publishing this drivel.
Allyson Rowen Taylor

Our Heroes And Theirs
    Last night's terror struck close to home. The boom of the blast at Cafe  Hillel on Emek Refaim shook the windows of our house and left no doubt that   we were hit again-this time in our own neighborhood. Our son Yossi was on  the phone with his brother Momo, asking when he would be back so they could  watch another episode on DVD of 24, the addictive US series about terrorism.  Momo was crossing Emek Refaim, which is two blocks from our house, and they  both heard the blast. Momo, 16, is a trained Paramedic with Magen David  Adom, took out his plastic gloves which he keeps in his school backpack, and  began to run the block to the cafe, to help with the injured. Yossi ran out  the door with my wife Jane to go get Momo.
   Momo was one of the first to arrive at the scene. As he described it later,  it was a scene straight out of Dante or Eli Wiesel. Victims were screaming and strewn about. A group of bystanders was attempting to put out a fire  that was consuming a man. Amputated legs and arms were lying in pools of  blood. A mans head was in the middle of the street.  Momo acted according to the training he received this summer, in a course  designed to teach him how to handle these kind of events. As soon as the  lead ambulance arrived he was told who to evacuate and he helped carry the  injured on stretchers. Within ten minutes it was over, and the amazing   Israeli emergency medical teams had again acted with alacrity and   professionalism. His mother and brother found him covered with victims blood  and walked him home.
    I was in the office when the blast hit, and was frantic with worry because I  could not find anyone by phone. Finally I got a call from my son Yossi  telling me that our family was OK and that we would meet at home. Getting home and seeing your son's clothes splattered with blood of a terror attack, is a parental experience I will not forget. The relief of seeing him unhurt mixed together with the pain and outrage and grief of an attack so close to home. After Momo showered, we together watched on TV the surreal scenes of our amazing and beautiful neighborhood hit, hurt and bleeding.
   Momo was curled up with his dog Lucy, hugging her and trying to regain some  semblance of normalcy. A sixteen year old boy, having done his heroic work  and having seen scenes that one should never see, trying to return to what's  left of his adolescence.
   We watched the scenes of jubilation in Gaza, with thousands of Palestinians  taking to the streets in spontaneous celebration, delirious with joy at the   'quality" attacks. Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and others praised the "bravery" of   the suicide bombers and shouted their satisfaction. He is particular  mentioned the "great" Abu Shnab, the "engineer" of dozens of Israeli deaths  whose death was now avenged.
   I was struck by the contrast between the two societies. Our heroes were out  on Emek Refaim and at the bus stop at Tzrifim fighting to save lives, to  practice emergency medicine, to reduce casualties. Their heroes were sowing death and  destruction, their engineering was the science of terror.
   This morning as the bright Jerusalem sun came up again over our neighborhood, most of the outward signs of destruction had been washed away and cleaned up. Despite the continued terror alerts and torrent of news about yesterday's attacks, the children need to go to school, to get on with our lives. But the news contained more bitter tidings that took your breath away.
   Among the dead in last nights blast was Dr. David Applebaum and his daughter Nava. Nava was due to be married tonight in a joyous wedding of 500 guests. David was a doctor of emergency medicine who was a fixture in Jerusalem's medical scene, having treated hundreds of terror victims. He was the founder of Terem, Jerusalem's private emergency medical clinic, and my best friends partner. He was a learned man, a kind man, a tzaddik. He was a true hero of Jerusalem.
   I am letting Momo "sleep in" this morning. I tried to wake him but he said  he needed some more sleep. His teacher from school just called to say that  he heard from Momo's friends that he had a "tough night" and was among the  first on the terror scene. He suggested that after we attend this moring's  funeral for Dr. Applbaum and his daughter that I take him to school, so he  can be with his friends and talk out what has happened. My son and his  friends, true heroes of Jerusalem.

The Undead
   Watching Pirates of the Caribbean this holiday weekend, I couldn't help thinking of the undead who've commandeered our national ship of state. Much like the sordid crew of The Black Pearl under the command of mutineer Captain Barbarosa, Rice, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Enron et al must return the people's gold-all the gold-before they can become human again. Their blood, as with the mythical pirates, must also be symbolically spilled in public ceremonies (read courtrooms and media) to remove the curse placed upon their dark souls by all those who paid exorbitant electricity rates, or lost their jobs, or pensions, or worry about their sons and daughters in the Middle East. For the role of official sacrifice, I nominate presidential pal Ken Lay. 
   God bless the guillotine.
Jay Taber
Mill Valley CA


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