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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

July, 2004

Letters To The Editor

Selling Blood To Buy Food

Cpl. Cadaver has been contracted by the heads of the NWO to supply... blood. Yep, the Bilderburgers, Rothchilds and the House of Windsor all want to know why a my corpse is so lively. I guess they want to extend their own lives no doubt.

No problem, I go in twice a week and give plasma in exchange for a little of that American currency. The center is getting the better deal because American Dollars are becoming worth less but hey I'll take what I can get. Since I don't have too many requirements I can save a little money. Only problem is that I can give a maximum of two times in a seven day period. Oh well, life goes on.

I have noticed one thing about myself since I lost my place to stay. I look twice at material goods. It isn't easy packing around the essentials, i.e. sleeping bag, two changes of clothes, tarp, propane stove, etc... so when I see something I would like to have, I have to consider how I am going to carry it and the extra weight associated with anything, so I have to consider very carefully what I do pick up. I have to admit though I am getting into better shape now that I have to walk. Have to stay in shape and I don't complain to much when I have to walk somewhere. I am also getting the hang of the local transit system. Knowledge is power.

Thomass Chittum

http://www.firebaseskull.com/Combs.html

Letters - June 2004

Criticism Not Inflammatory

Criticism of our leaders when they defame our country should not be considered inflammatory.

If there are no consequences to their actions, there are no incentives for many people to do the honorable thing.

President Reagan support Sharon's brutal invasion of Lebanon in 1982 resulting in the death of many including American servicemen. Is history repeating itself 22 years later when we see President Bush giving the green light to Sharon for the carnage of the Palestinians, our bombs, planes, helicopters, not to mention our taxpayers' money supporting this evil, but where is the outrage against such policies? Are we waiting for more carnage on our people?

Catherine Davis, RN

San Anselmo

No Crosses in Cemeteries?

I see by the news that the anti-religious bigots of the ACLU and the Ninth Circuit Court are once against busy trying to ban crosses from public property.

Is it true that their next goal will be to ban all crosses from federal cemeteries?

Fielding Greaves

San Rafael

Thanks Coastal Post

Thank you for your support of Marin County Pony Club. We are pleased to announce the Coastal Post as our sponsor for our Trail Obstacle Course. Thanks you so very much for your support of MCPC. Your donation helped make this year's show a great success and to ensure the future of our club.

Heidi Byer

Marin County Pony Club

More Abuse Photos in Hustler

Rumsfeld tells us that even worse abuse photos will surface. The problem is, they'll be so vile and repulsive that only Hustler will print them. That means the right wing fundamentalists who think Bush is their savior will never ever see them. And so there will never be a public outcry over sanctioned US military torture from one of the largest voter Glocs in this nation. That means we could have Bush for four more years. Once again, Dubya, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Ashcroft have outfoxed us all. Still trying to help.

Ken Bristol

Mill Valley

Micro Wave Murder, Electronic Harassment

I subscribed to the Spotlight for many years. A publication you might be familiar with. Unfortunately this very informative paper no longer exists.

Quite by accident, I picked up a copy of your publication and am impressed. Enclosed you will find my check in the amount of $12 dues for six months subscription.

What caught my attention was the excellent article by staff writer Jim Scanlon. Although I am a single woman and am not pressed by the problems of the lady trying to protect her daughter, my situation is equally horrendous and for years I have been trying to find an investigative reporter to no avail.

Hardly anyone addresses the under cover sanctioned murder of women and children via micro wave weapons, electronic harassment, all apparently sanctioned by the state. This heinous crime is an outrage. I am enclosing copies by Eleanor White, a female engineer who has been tortured for 24 years versus my own for 17...

She has been on many talk shows and I am happy to say that I was able to get her on the eyeonthefuture.com show recently. The Canadian hostess experienced technical difficulties (which comes with the territory every time we address the public) but instead of backing off, she rescheduled Eleanor. Meanwhile, she has been on her show twice and will appear again in July.

If you should have a brave investigative reporter among you who might wish to bring our hardship to the attention of the public, I would be very happy to come to Bolinas for a personal meeting.

I thank you Mr. Deane and remain with best wishes.

Romy Cochran

San Francisco

To: Pres., Bolinas Fire Commission, et al

Dear Sirs, This is a formal request that you instruct the Bolinas Fire Department supervisory personnel to cease and desist immediately and in the future from making community funded (from parcel taxes and donations) safety and community service property (i.e. the Bolinas Fire Station) a platform for personal political agendas. These types of actions are appropriate only on or in the individual's own private property or as private individuals in a demonstration not connected with their public position and responsibilities.

I was informed by your acting Fire Chief that she was required by federal law to fly the flag at half mast in honor of Ronald Reagan's death and that the flying of the flag at full mast, spotlighted and at night, for a period of about three months was a "mistake," that someone had "forgotten" to take it down; this is bullshit. Having now check with Marin County's Fire Department and legal council, with State Assemblyman Joe Nation's office, State Senator John Burton's office, the State's Attorney General's office, US Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey's office, Senators Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein's office, I have found that there is no such law or requirement and that this is the personal whim of a few individuals, without regard for the fact that the Bolinas Fire Department is a community agency and resides on community funded property. Until such time as you have returned all funds, time, and donations to those who have given them, it is inappropriate to use such property as a personal tool to advance any social or political agenda.

The Bolinas Fire Department, as are all fire departments, was intended to provide safety services to the community as a whole, without taking a position of any kind other than those concerned with public safety. Further, it should be viewed and act as a place of healing and of refuge for all members of the community. Ronald Reagan was not, at any time, a resident of Bolinas, and it is only appropriate to fly the flag at half mast for deaths which occur within our community or among fellow fire fighters; the flag was not flown for the death of Mother Teresa, Steve Biko of South Africa. T.E. Lawrence, Huey Newton, etc. Furthermore, flying the flag to support the completely illegal invasion and destruction of a foreign country and its people is certainly not the intended use of community safety property nor fair to those who are completely opposed to such vicious and abominable government actions.

Because of its location, the Fire Department building is the most recognizable structural feature in the entire town and virtually everyone within the community passes by it at least a few times each week. These actions on the part of our Fire Department are a constant reminder of a world gone mad and the feelings of hopelessness which all our inactions and lack of concern have brought us to. This flag flying circus has not gone unnoticed by the members of our community, but because of the vicious infighting which has become so prevalent within our community, people are afraid to speak out and avoid the issue by pretending that it is being flown in honor of a death which occurred recently in Stinson Beach or some other form of escape from the situation; we should not have to resort to escapism or hide our eyes.

Please let us return to the old way of having a fire station, let us have a fire station which is non-political and a place of peace and of healing, a place of community and of man's compassion for his fellow man. If you feel that flying the flag at full mast during this time would be inappropriate, the simple solution is to not fly it at all during this period, which shows nothing more political than abstention.

In closing it should be noted exactly who Ronald Reagan was and what actions for the "betterment" of his fellow man he performed. Mr. Reagan, as head of the Screen Actions Guild, testified and turned in his fellow actors and union members before the McCarthy Commission, clearcut from Redding to the Oregon border (creating a permanent high desert), destroyed the mental health care system and its support for California, created the largest prison system in the world, provided funding and guns to Iran to kill our fellow Americans, had secret dealings with Colombian drug lords, and on the whole did everything he could to create an even greater division between rich and poor in our country. This is not a man deserving of any honor, and while it well may be said that he was too stupid to have initiated these actions on his own, he allowed his face, his name, and his personal honor, such as it was, to be used to facilitate them.

Flags are inherently divisive, us against them, our team against theirs, but a fire station is not about an us and them, about democrats and republicans, rich or poor, Moslem or Jewish, black or white; no, it is about humanity, just that.

Tom Baker

P.S. You may ask yourselves what did Tom Baker every do for the fire department; well, the reason you finally got fire maps of Stinson Beach (which is a shared response community) is because I made them, completely alone and at my own expense, which I leased to the department at the rate of one cent per map per year to control their dispersal and usage for anything other than fire and medical. I also updated and corrected your old Bolinas fire maps. I took out a 15 by 40 foot crowned fire from directly in front of and on a 70 degree slope, while breathing poison oak smoke and clothed in highly flammable garments, at the base of Shoreline Hwy. in Tam Valley; a fire which might well have turned into one coming across the ridge to Bolinas and the National Seashore. And last, but not least, I too pay into and help fund your parcel tax, so it is my fire station too. The fire station is for all of us, please let us return it to being an apolitical place of refuge and humanity. Thank you.

Illegal Government Waging Illegal War

So, here's what we appear to have: An illegal government waging an illegal war with illegal methods and illegal weapons. Don't think so? Not sure? We have an appointed (not elected) president, and undeclared war on global terrorism (no country, just a nebulous axis), government sanctioned torture (with Larry Flynt writing the interrogation manual instead of Dr. Mengele, the Geneva Convention is still being shredded), and we use tanks and ordnance plated with depleted uranium (harder than steel, but doesn't stop it from being superheated and becoming radioactive, so we, no one else, are using W.M.D.). And with the advent of computerized voting, ballot box stuffing will be push-button ready and the overthrow of the people's will, a permanent institution. Paper trail? That would be a double count. Once the computer tally is in and the winner declared, the paper trail will be lost in the frost. Don't like it? Homeland Security and the Patriot Act will take care of dissenters. And all this, the culmination of 50 years of a wealthy oligarchy supplanting our constitutional republic. The how's and why's are covered by Gore Vidal in Dreaming War. So, who to vote for (if the election's aren't fixed)? Last time out, Bush and Gore represented the same wealthy oligarchy with slightly different philosophies on how to rape the taxpayer. So, who?

So, how do you know Osama wasn't on the CIA payroll? Or Saddam? And won't be again? In some future fake act of terrorism of Pearl Harbor proportions designed to get the voter in line with Big Oil's interests? As they say, "Follow the money." It's an "arms for oil" kind of deal. Aside from oil, all the Arab/Muslim states have is the combined gross national product of Finland. In other words, they have only two things: dirt and oil. We buy their oil and we sell them arms. And the Orwellian war continues. Our soldiers will be looking down the barrel of our own weapons in no time at all. Selling AK-47's and 9 mm's to Iraqi security forces and fronting it as an exit strategy. Indeed! I can just about hear the cigar-smoking fat cats in their board rooms gloating, "Oil and arms. Sweet deal!" Sure there's people out to get us. We train 'em, we arm 'em, we pay 'em. Like you didn't know.

Wonder why gas is climbing toward three bucks a gallon? It doesn't take a Senate investigating committee to dope it out. "Big Oil," our real government, needs you to finance their wars to get that pipeline laid in Afghanistan and to secure and upgrade the oil fields in Iraq (their hardware is ancient). It's called "taxation without representation." (Remember that?) And as long as Mad King George ("Big Oil" personified) is embattled in the courts of public opinion, you, the taxpayer, can expect to be held hostage at the gas pumps. Any questions? Look at what you're driving. You did it to yourself. Still just trying to help...

Ken Bristol

Mill Valley

No Smoking At The Beach?

As a militant chain smoker, I was dismayed to learn that certain liberal Democrats in Sacramento are trying to ban smoking from state beaches.

I mean really, are they worried about the beach catching fire or something? The beach is sand for Pete's sake: sand is what you throw on a fire to put it out.

I may be paranoid and delusional, but I strongly suspect there is some cabal of health nuts covertly putting the public's comfort and safety ahead of our first amendment guarantees. Okay, the first amendment does not spell out the word tobacco. But, Jefferson and Washington were both tobacco farmers and both were signatories of the constitution. That alone speaks volumes on original intent.

Nowadays, encroachments on our smoking section, by the anti-smoking Gestapo, are relentless.

First they banned smoking in hospitals. There might be oxygen in use and smoking could start a fire, overly cautious nurses used to primly recite. What? Did they not trust the sprinkler systems?

Next it was no smoking in church, and that included the confessionals. There were no exceptions, not even if you tithed regularly and volunteered your spare time to help run the bingo games.

Next is it was restrooms. I can't tell you how many cigarettes I wasted in high school because some vigilante teacher or careerist principal came dashing in to the boys' room loaded for bear.

In 1994 California banned smoking in restaurants. The ban totally ignored popular urban legends, which unequivocally suggested that smoking aided in the digestion of high-density lipids and enhanced the absorption of sodium and MSG. For me a cigarette was not only an appetizer, a salad bar and a dessert, it was something to do while waiting for my date to finish her chow, or while anticipating the next course.

Then in 1998 the ban was extended to include bars. Gone were the days when you could put a fresh pack of smokes on the bar and promise yourself not go home until they were finished. The stimulant value of the nicotine gave you a certain buoyancy: it steadied the balance gyros of the inner ear; it counteracted the depressant effects of the alcohol. I noticed that if I smoked heavily while drinking, I hardly ever fell down. In California, only the homeless are allowed to drink in the streets. So if you go outside a bar, into the driving rain or fog or bright sunlight, for a smoke break, you can't take your drinks outside with you.

Marlboro country has already been reduced down to an area the size of a cemetery plot and now AB1808 seeks a smoking ban on state beaches. I wonder: will the ban apply to professional lifeguards as well? Or, will they be granted waivers?

The more we cave into the demands of these so-called longevity experts and self-appointed air fresheners, the more brazen they become.

Recently I was enjoying a Virginia Slim and sipping a small magnum bucket of Cappuccino at a table OUTSIDE a local Starbucks; someone actually asked me if I would mind NOT smoking. She pointed to some tropical bird: a cutesy bird with its head feathers coifed into a Mohawk. The bird was perched on her tattooed shoulder. She said her Tweedy was, "smoke sensitive".

Oh, spare me! She was obviously neither ornithologist nor spelunker. Traditionally birds were placed in coal mines to sniff out deadly, noxious gases: exactly what I was allegedly exhaling on her Tweedy.

I was about to tell her, If it is fresh air you and Tweedy Bird seek, why don't you go inside? Fortunately I stopped myself. I did not want her to mistake me for one of those pseudo-intellectuals that loves to carp on petty cognitive inconsistencies and willfully uses irony as a crutch in sidewalk polemics.

So, to make a long story short, if you are one of those out-of-doorsy types who likes to smoke while playing beach volleyball, tossing the Frisbee or wind surfing, you better get over to the beach pronto and enjoy the last of it. Soon cigarettes at the beach will be gone, lost like a puff of smoke in the clean sea breeze.

Jeffrey R Smith

Alameda

Boxer Comments On Mercury Threat

On April 7, 2004, the "New York Times" reported that White House staff, while working with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the recently released draft mercury regulations, edited documents in order to downplay the toxic effects of mercury.

Aside from the known negative effects to human health and the environment from mercury, this news is particularly troubling in light of evidence less than two months ago that the EPA's proposed mercury standard appeared to have been inappropriately influenced by the electric utility industry. EPA's mercury proposal included whole sections of text directly from industry memoranda. It is disconcerting that here, so shortly after this obvious break from responsible environmental policy development, we seemingly find the EPA again placing the interests of a few interested parties ahead of the health and safety of millions of Americans.

I recently joined several of my Senate colleagues in writing to President Bush. We expressed our concern about questionable White House influence on the recent draft mercury regulations, suggesting a willingness to disregard proven scientific fact, as presented by scientists at the National Academy of Sciences and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and a complete lack of concern for public health.

Since President Theodore Roosevelt, presidents have generally responded to environmental threats by increasing protections for the American people. The environmental rollbacks by this Administration break with this long-held tradition. If you have comments or questions regarding this or any other federal matter, I encourage you to contact me at http://boxer.senate.gov/contact/webform.cfm.

Barbara Boxer

United States Senator

White House Council Wants Correction

I am writing with regard to Coastal Post's story below, "Bush Ignores Sick 9/11 Firefighters And Cops." I have also left a voicemail on your main line.

We are requesting a correction with regard to your report that CEQ chairman James Connaughton's was "a former asbestos industry lawyer who represented companies in toxic pollution cases," as you have written. Mr. Connaughton never represented the asbestos industry during his career. In fact, he worked with lawyers at a Connecticut firm on behalf of asbestos victims - quite the contrary to what you have reported. Please confirm that this error will be corrected in your next issue. Newsweek made the same error last fall, ran a correction, and also printed Mr. Connaughton's letter to the editor. Please see the text of that letter at the bottom of my message.

Secondly, with regard to your statements, "Specifically, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) intervened to doctor EPA press releases [5] that were supposed to warn the public about toxins near Ground Zero. The press releases were modified to claim that the air was safe-despite the fact that there was not adequate scientific evidence to substantiate that claim," I call your attention to the following quotes from the EPA Inspector General's report last fall in which she stated that her office found no evidence of concealing information. Please see below:

EPA Did Not Withhold Information: The EPA Acting Administrator stated "É EPA never withheld information from the public and made its extensive monitoring data available on its interactive website." (Office of Inspector General, Evaluation Report: EPA's Response to the World Trade Center Collapse: Challenges, Successes, and Areas for Improvement, p. 20).

EPA Inspector General Found "No Evidence" Of Concealed Data: With regard to the monitoring data, [the EPA Inspector General's office] "found no evidence that EPA attempted to conceal data results from the public." (EPA Office of Inspector General, Evaluation Report: EPA's Response to the World Trade Center Collapse: Challenges, Successes, and Areas for Improvement, p. 9).

EPA Reported Accurate Information Post-September 11th: "Conclusions from an EPA draft risk evaluation completed over a year after the attacks have tended to support EPA's statements about long-term health effects when all necessary qualifications are met." (EPA Office of Inspector General, Evaluation Report: EPA's Response to the World Trade Center Collapse: Challenges, Successes, and Areas for Improvement, p. 7).

Experts Agree With EPA's Post-September 11th Assertions: The EPA Inspector General's office "spoke to a number of experts in the field of environmental monitoring, including physicians, industrial hygienists, and researchers. These experts generally agreed that the levels of air born asbestos detected in the air outside the perimeter of Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan did not present a significant increase in long-term health risk to the public." (EPA Office of Inspector General, Evaluation Report: EPA's Response to the World Trade Center Collapse: Challenges, Successes, and Areas for Improvement, p. 18)

The safety and well-being of the people of New York were always, and remain, our highest priority. The Administration worked cooperatively to gather information as quickly as possible and then to communicate it accurately and responsibly to keep New Yorkers fully informed. EPA did an extraordinary job under the most difficult and unprecedented circumstances caused by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the Inspector General's report acknowledges the agency's efforts in her report.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 202-456-6224.

Bill Holbrook

Deputy Director for Communications

White House Council on Environmental Quality.

 

Newsweek, Mail Call, September 29, 2003

N.Y.C. Air Quality, Post 9/11

Your Sept. 8 Periscope item " 'We Were Not Told to Lie' About 9/11 and Health," was inaccurate. As you noted in a correction on Sept. 22, I did not work for the asbestos industry. You did not mention, however, that I in fact started my career working with plaintiffs' lawyers who represented victims of asbestos. My work with those victims has given me a clear understanding and deep, personal sensitivity to the risks of exposure to asbestos. In the days immediately following the 9/11 attacks, the Environmental Protection Agency and Council on Environmental Quality, working with OSHA and New York officials, worked to report on New York's air and water quality swiftly, objectively and accurately. We used the best information available, applied seasoned professional judgment and provided it to the public. As noted in an evaluation by the EPA's inspector general on the air quality of lower Manhattan, the inspector general "spoke to a number of experts in the field of environmental monitoring, including physicians, industrial hygienists, and researchers. These experts generally agreed that the levels of airborne asbestos detected in the air outside the perimeter of Ground Zero... did not present a significant increase in long-term risk to the public." With respect to the workers at Ground Zero who faced significant safety and environmental hazards, we consistently advised them to wear respirators and take extra precautions based on available data. To this day, we are continuing our monitoring, support and long-term research operations. The safety and well-being of the people of New York were always, and remain, our highest priority.

James L. Connaughton

Chairman, Council on Environmental Quality

Washington, DC

American Citizen's Rights Trashed

President George W. Bush

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW

Washington, DC 20500

June 21, 2004

Dear Mr. President:

I'm writing you on behalf of Ahmed Abu-Ali, his family, and the American Muslim community. Ahmed Abu-Ali is an American born citizen who has languished in prison in Saudi Arabia for over a year without charges. Mr. Abu-Ali, an American high school valedictorian, decided in August of 2002 to study at the Medinah University in Saudi Arabia. On June 11, 2003 at the behest of our US government Saudi Security officers stormed into the university exam room and arrested Ahmed while he was in the midst of taking a final exam.

Our concerns involving this case are as follows:

That Mr. Abu-Ali is a US Citizen who has been detained by a foreign government for over a year without any charges and that subsequent detention was requested by our Government.

That there are strong allegations that Mr. Abu-Ali has been physically and psychologically tortured while in custody.

That despite the claim by Federal law enforcement that there is no Government interest in Mr. Abu-Ali's detention, and numerous requests to members of the Justice Department and the State Department for US intervention assuring his release, Mr. Abu-Ali is still in a Saudi prison.

That Saudi officials have indicated in writing that they have no reason to hold Mr. Abu-Ali and that they are ready to release him pending a formal request from the US Government.

That Mr. Mathew P. Gillen, Director of Consular Affairs in Saudi Arabia, indicated in a May 14, 2004 meeting that he would send a written request to the American ambassador to Saudi Arabia for his approval authorizing the release of Mr. Abu-Ali from Saudi Arabia and his return to the United States. To date, no letter has been issued.

That since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, American Muslims continue to face undue hardship and harm often resultant of an attitude of guilt by association and the all to callous rush to judgment.

Mr. President, there is no doubt that the American Muslim community and all Americans are resolve to combating the scourge of terrorism. However, issues involving allegation of our government's support for torture, sending individuals to third countries to face torture, and cases like the American Muslim attorney Brandon Mayfield who was wrongly detained as a material witness, certainly raises serious concerns on how the war against terrorism is being waged and its juxtaposition against the rights of Muslims and the civil and human rights of all Americans.

Mr. President, the case of Mr. Ahmed Abu-Ali is a stain on the fabric of America's commitment to human rights due process and justice. We respectfully request that your office intervenes with all deliberate speed to return one of America's native sons to the soil of the United States of America.

Mahdi Bray

Executive Director

The Freedom Foundation is the public affairs arm of the Muslim American

Society (MAS), a national grassroots religious, social, and educational

organization. Learn more at www.masnet.org.

Justice, Democracy & Sovereignty

Those in the US military (and their superiors who are responsible) who debased Iraqi prisoners must be handed over to the World Court together with Saddam Hussein.

However, if it is true what the White House says -- that they want democracy and sovereignty for Iraq -- then the debasers of humanity need to be handed over to the Iraqi courts.

One people's liberators are another people's terrorists.

How do we think Muslims would respond to our handing over debasers to a court in Iraq?

Would this step on our part bring US and Arabs closer?

What would be the response of the Arab world?

Do we desire an endless clash of civilizations?

Olga Goldsmith

San Rafael

Nader: Rebel Without a Cause

When the small gaggle of deluded Nader supporters deem it necessary to justify their ego-driven candidate's run for the office of US President, there is always one obvious reoccurring problem that none of them want to address: Nader is a self-appointed rebel without a cause who lacks the backing of a legitimate political party. Even the Green Party refuses to do a repeat performance. It's just plain Ralph, charging windmills and dragging the politically naive with him. Show me a Nader supporter and I'll show you a person who would rather destroy the chances of a person who will vote their way 80 percent of the time for supporting a person who talks their talk 100 percent of the time, but lacks any reasonable chance of getting elected. Then again, if their guy gets elected, he and they may have to climb off the soap box and get to work. Actually getting the job done is an alien concept to the Nader supporter. It's talk-talk-talk and no walk-walk-walk.

Nader and his sorry sophomoric sillies twist, spin and distort reason and reality to enhance their vacuous arguments. Good old Ralph did no cost Gore the past election, nor will Ralphy-Boy have the slightest affect on Kerry's chances this time around. You Betcha! I suspect the Tooth Fairy will soon be Nader's running mate.

Of course, with the Nader supporter, it's not winning that is important. In fact, if Nader won he might actually have to produce something more than hot air, and they can't have that. Jawing and writing about unachievable goals is really the main turn-on for Nader and his gaggle. Re-electing the most worthless president in American history may be the result of their folly. As a consequence, the gaggle and their exalted leader will have four more years to issue their simplistic rhetoric and naive nonsense.

Richard Salton

San Rafael

The Uniform Code of Military Justice

Some commentators have suggested the soldiers and civilians involved in grossly mistreating Iraqi prisoners are somehow less culpable because they were (or claimed they were) never instructed on the Geneva Convention regarding treatment of prisoners. That's irrelevant. Every soldier, within six days of entering service, receives instruction on the punitive article (Articles 77 through 134) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), and again six months later, and again when he re-enlists. "Ignorance of the law is no excuse."

The UCMJ adequately covers those reported disgusting offenses. Persons subject to the UCMJ include, among others, all military personnel of the armed forces, "prisoners of war in custody of the armed forces," and "all persons serving with or accompanying an armed force in the field."

Any hard labor confinement sentence of one year or more is also accompanied by a dishonorable discharge and forfeiture of all pay and allowances. The UCMJ table of maximum punishments provides for the following maximum sentences of confinement as hard labor for certain offenses:

Article 93, "cruelty toward or oppression or maltreatment of any person subject to his orders".....1 year

Article 125, sodomy .....5 years

Article 128, assault (consummated by a battery) .....6 months

Article 134 (the catch-all General Article), "all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital," -- when consisting of "indecent assault".....5 years

We trust that those found guilty of such abhorrent actions as those currently in the news may receive the appropriate maximum sentences.

Fielding Greaves

LTC, USA, Retired

Planning Incentive in San Anselmo?

Consent Agenda items are considered to "be neither minor in nature of non-controversial."

On April 19, the San Anselmo Planning Commission Consent Agenda included two commercial conditional Use Permits: Peet's Coffee & Tea Store/Cafe Use Permit and Safeway.com delivery service.

None of the commissioners pulled these items for discussion. As a clarification, Commissioner Harris asked Planning Director Tom Bell why the Design Review excluded Peet's exterior signage from the design review application. After answering in a verbal style akin to stumbling, Director Bell said the signage application would be considered at a future meeting.

Why does Planning Director Bell administer a department policy that routinely fragment applications that frustrate a comprehensive planning review?

Peet's and Safeway.com will impact traffic, parking, noise, and impose a negative influence upon the nearby residential neighborhood.

The traffic generated to and from Red Hill Shopping Center will increase the traffic on Sunny Hills Drive, which intersects into the daily traffic pattern of an estimated 35,000 vehicles traveling on Sir Francis Drake.

Peet's may adversely impact the revenues of the existing specialty retail coffee and tea stores at Red Hill Shopping Center. If not, then Peet's, with its seating for 23 Peetniks, may detrimentally impact by being too successful in generating new customer car and bike traffic into the shopping center between the proposed operation hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Safeway.com, on the other hand, is an expanding multi-billion dollar grocery industry model, click and mortar, designed to solve the distribution problem that faltered WebVan.

Customer grocery orders are pulled from the local Safeway store shelves, delivered to internet customers, and then the inventory, especially perishables, are routinely semi-trucked back into town to restock the local Safeway store shelves that will supply the demand of both the in-store and internet customers.

Red Hill Safeway will become an "order fulfillment warehouse" for the delivery service, GroceryWorks.com, which was bought by Safeway and U.K.'s e-commerce grocery leader, Tesco. The customer delivery area is unspecified in the Use Permit, but a finite circular area of 20 miles or 20 minutes has been used by GroceryWorks.

After I pulled the Consent agenda items for discussion, the commissioners made two points to support the Safeway.com Use Permit that confounds logic:

Safeway grocery internet sales will decrease the existing customer traffic into Red Hill Shopping Center to shop at Safeway. Safeway.com will only use two 21' delivery vans (holding approximately 15 grocery orders) and therefore will not impact traffic.

Planning does not have to be a no-win situation, it is up to the Planning Commission to examine the project and mitigate plausible impacts, especially when the Planning Department does not provide competent direction.

Louise L. Mathews

San Anselmo

Ripe for Another 9/11

When the performance rating of President Bush was plunging a year after he stole the 2000 election, we got hit by the 9/11 tragedy, and lo and behold, his performance rating suddenly sky rocketed. From an illegitimate president, he was catapulted to a more exulted position of a "war president." The American people did not mind that the disaster occurred in his watch and was the direct result of his bungling Middle East policy, where he literally provoked the Islamic fundamentalists to hit us, facilitated by a clear invitation to do so in the face of an unbelievable incompetence on the part of his administration to protect our homeland. In other words, the loss of more than 3,000 innocent American lives was the price we had to pay for the criminal negligence of this celebrated "war president."

As an aftermath of 9/11, we lost no time attacking Afghanistan, breaking the back of the Taliban government and promised to capture Osama Bin Laden, who apparently financed and masterminded the 9/11 attacks. When Bin Laden could not be captured despite his continued efforts to defiantly lead the Al Qaeda network in his vow to kill more Americans, President Bush's performance rating took a plunge again. Before we knew it, our "war president" got us to support him in another war adventure. This time, despite the refusal of the UN to buy his arguments on Iraq's immediate threat to mankind with his purportedly amassed weapons of mass destruction, we again supported him in his decision to declare war and preemptively attack that country.

Lo and behold, our "war president's" performance rating rose again to stratospheric heights. The preemptive strike in Iraq was a resounding success. It was a piece of cake. In no time, the vaunted military might of Saddam Hussein was routed, his sons were killed and the modern Hitler was captured cowering in a spider's hole like a scared rat.

Lo and behold, our "war president" appears to be in the apex of his war mongering triumphs. But as always, truth and justice prevails. The UN was proven right. There were never weapons of mass destruction in Hussein's captured arsenals. The whole brouhaha was a concocted justification to go to war and take control of this oil rich country's black gold. It was our "war president's" friends in the oil industry with the collaboration of a coalition of economically intimidated countries that perpetuated a pack of lies to preemptively attack Iraq. The vanquished Iraqis, however, did not prove to be that vanquished after all. They want us out and are proving their point with a steady stream of home coming, flag draped coffins of our loved ones who have offered their lives as the price to pay for our "war president's" follies.

"Bring them on" is the battle cry of our "war president" in the face of our heavy casualties. It is difficult to ascertain what he means by it. But there is an alarming pattern that is emerging. Every time his performance rating goes down, we invest American lives to bring it up again. The current Abu Ghraib prison scandal has brought his performance rating to its lowest level. We are at a point where something as horrible and earth shaking as 9/11 can bring this president back to his high perch as a "war president" and he knows it. He cannot hope to be re-elected this year with a 42 percent (and dropping) performance rating. Let us hope and pray that he is enlightened enough to understand that American cannot keep on sacrificing the lives of our youth simply to keep him as a "war president." It is time for him to revert to his old image as a compassionate president and forget about his mission impossible to rid mankind of terrorists. He may lose the presidency as a result but considering that he did not really win it fair and square in the first place, who cares? Easy come, easy go.

Antonio Serna

Rohnert Park

Oh, Did I Say That?

"It is amazing how these facts are unimportant to so many, and how soon they forget to read through to the bottom."

"Subject: Oh, Did I Say That?"

The fourteen leading Democrats firmly expressed their beliefs that weapons of mass destruction existed in Iran. They are listed below:

Bill and Hillary Clinton, Madeline Albright, Sandy Berger, Tom Daschle, Bob Graham, Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore, Ted Kennedy, Richard Byrd, John Kerry, Jay Rockefeller, Henry Waxman and Carl Levin.

Examples:

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power." Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Sept. 27, 2002

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force -- if necessary -- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our country." Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Oct. 19, 2002

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983." Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Advisor. Feb. 18, 1988

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction." Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL) Dec. 8, 2002

The entire list of Democrats who believed that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction may be obtained from [email protected] Her e-mail message to me closed with the following statement: "Every one of these same Democrats say President Bush lied -- that there never were any weapons of mass destruction and he took us to war unnecessarily."

A great example of flip-flops!

Dell D. Blodgett

Fairfax

Where To Begin With Your Latest Israel-bashing?

"Anti-Zionism is inherently anti-Semitic" -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Let's start with a few questions. Do you believe that it's okay to kill people in shopping malls, restaurants and buses because they're Jews? If so there's no point in going further. If you believe that such terrorism is wrong, the next question is, what do you think Israel should do to stop Palestinian Arabs who are trying to kill them?

If you answer something like "Israel should give back their land, end the occupation" then you have not been paying attention to current events. Israel has accepted a partition solution since 1936, and offered the Palestinians everything they said they wanted in 2000. The current violence is a response to Israel's offer. Ninety six percent of the Palestinian population was under self-rule from 1995-2002, and the violence escalated throughout that time. The current Palestinian leadership has made it clear that their goal is the destruction of the state of Israel, not the creation of a Palestinian state. If they wanted a state, they could have had one just about anytime in the last 78 years.

Israel is dealing with a culture fanatically dedicated to her destruction, a culture that values the death of Jews more than the lives of their own children. Amazingly, Israel is condemned no matter how she responds. When she destroys homes, or builds a fence, people want to make that equivalent to the suicide bombers. This would be absurd if it didn't display such incredible moral blindness. Stopping people at a checkpoint is as bad as blowing people up on a bus? Building a fence is equivalent to soaking pieces of metal in rat poison, so that when it explodes in a crowd of women and children it will cause more bleeding? Only a moral coward would call this a "cycle of violence." Israel's responses have been more humane than any other country's in history, especially considering that Israel is under constant existential threat, and considering Israel's phenomenal ability to maintain her democratic institutions and freedoms.

Speaking of these freedoms, I am amused by the irony of groups such as "Queers for Palestine." These people condemn the only Middle Eastern country with equal civil rights for gays and even a gay pride parade, and praise a culture where they would be incarcerated at best, or more likely killed for the dishonor they bring on their families. The same is true of feminists against Israel. An equivalently absurd group would be "Jews for Nazism."

Speaking of Nazism, the comparison of Jews to Nazis is morally repugnant. The Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular, allied themselves with the Nazis. The first leader of the Palestinians, Amin al-Husseini, was a close friend and ally of Hitler, and spent the last three years of World War II in Berlin. He was instrumental in helping Eichman murder over 300,000 of Hungary's Jews. So here you have the allies of the Nazis, calling the primary victims of the Nazis- Nazis. This would be almost comical, if it weren't for the further fact that the purpose of calling Jews Nazis is to demonize them so that killing them becomes acceptable, even morally appropriate. Those who accuse Israelis of being Nazis are actually furthering the Nazi agenda.

So we get back to the first question, what do you want Israel to do? Negotiation is not an option, when Israel has attempted it, the current Palestinian leadership has affirmed their devotion to nothing less than Israel's destruction. Stopping people at checkpoints, building a fence, tearing down homes used for weapon smuggling - all non-violent responses mind you- are condemned for their "brutality", and offered as justification for the murder of Jews, then euphemistically referred to as "legitimate resistance."

It becomes apparent then, that the only acceptable response for Israel is to allow her citizens to be murdered. For thousands of years, this was the world's expectation of Jews, but I have news for you, those times are over. If you want to be able to murder Jews with impunity, you missed your chance in Europe 60 years ago. Now Jews fight back. Deal with it.

Sheldon Whitten-Vile

San Rafael,

It Could Happen Here, It Is

The current Administration is writing laws cracking down on Internet freedom of speech, according to a letter I received today from the ACLU. "It will never happen" said my boyfriend, "they can't do that". And that is the response of most Americans.

Here is where extreme caution is critical: The Nazi's succeeded because Germans did not believe the heinous crimes could happen. A) Passivity is what our power-hungry politicians bank on. That is how they passed the Patriot Act, under our very noses, which sniff at the possibility to object. B) Secrecy is the very fundamental underpinning of dictatorship. Where political intent is concerned, Americans have an obligation to read between the lines: This is for our own protection, under the law. For Bush to label dissent as "un-American" is un-American, fundamentally. Do not fall for this in ignorance, my friends. Ignorance enables governmental oppression. C) Government oppression is not a joke: Imagine your family members being held hostage, or murdered, because you traveled outside of the country without the government's permission. Yes, this happened routinely, behind the Iron Curtain.

It would never happen here? Think again. What is the Patriot Act all about? Lack of judicial oversight, people held at random, under the President's all-powerful wave of the hand? Capps II, censoring our freedom of travel? Come on, get real. It IS happening already, right here. And if we do not open up our eyes, right now, and ACT, it COULD happen to YOU, Dear Reader. This does not have anything to do with liberalism, partisan interests, or anything of the kind. It has to do with everybody's protection, and fundamental rights. Please join the ACLU, write your Congresswoman, Representative, Moveon.org, and Any organization you believe in. Action is more important now than it ever was before. It is reality. Please act now. There is still hope.

Name withheld

Novato, California (editor, if it makes the difference between printing and not printing, you may use my name)

Right -wing Deceivers

Right-wing deceivers and demonizers have changed their focus of attention again. During the Cold War the far right demonized the big bad commie menace, Russia; had everybody hiding under their desks. With the fall of the wall the religious right switched their target of discontent to Hussein. But then the U. S. military went and pulled Saddam from a hole in Iraq and right-wingers had to come up with a new target for demonization, i.e. they coined the phrase Bush-haters and in one swell swoop they were able to demonize their archrivals and long time nemesis, the Democrats, liberals, progressives and environmentalists. Once again the Right is in hog heaven.

* * *

Playing Death To The Hilt

It seems to me that Republicans and media are playing Ronald Reagan's death to the hilt. An awful lot of pomp and circumstance for an ordinary guy who was president. I just took a walk into town to ask around what other people thought of this proposition. "Of course they (Republicans and media) are" exploiting the circumstance, was the unanimous answer, like I should be so incredulous to ask.

Disgraceful, shameless, denigrating come to mind to describe this choreographed spontaneity. A distraction at best to deflect attention away from current White House scandals and a Bushwar. My survey may be slightly skewed because the area I live in is very conservative.

* * *

Bumping The News

Notice, no messy distractions of the Iraqi war, prison abuses, American casualties, White House scandals, nothing, since Bush/Republicans began the exploitation of Ronald Reagan's death. With all the pomp and circumstance you would think Reagan ended WWI, WWII, freed the slaves, ended the American Revolution. Actually, at heart, Ron was just an ordinary dude who liked to hang out with his wife on the ranch.

You have to ask yourself, would the Bush reelection machine have done as much for former Presidents Clinton and Carter. No! Nothing is sacred to this bunch in the White House except winning elections and advancing their extremist right-wing agenda. And like the war, media seems to have fallen for another Bush/Rove ruse.

Ron Lowe

Nevada City

Kern County Sheriff Crusade

In Kern County, Sheriff Mack Wimbush continues to go on a crusade against medical marijuana patients. Three other raids against known medical marijuana users happened last week one of which was executed without a warrant. This comes after a Kern County jury found Victor Love not guilty on all charges, and the sheriff's returned all his property. After the news aired the story Sheriff Wimbush announced that he would not allow this and he will uphold federal law in Kern County he sent deputies out to Loves residence and reseized all his medicine. I also find it funny that all those who have been raided are sick people with out the means to even hire a lawyer, and since all charges are dropped it also makes it impossible for them to have a court appointed public defender.

Even with this information a judge in Kern county ruled that the county would not return the marijuana and should not been given back in the first place. I cannot believe that sick people are being targeted yet no one is willing to stand up and support the proposition we as Californians voted in. Are the local State law enforcement supposed to protect the rights and laws of Californians. Not even one person thinks this is wrong we just all sit back and allow people who are dying to be harassed by those who were elected into STATE positions by the people. With the idea that those elected would uphold California's laws, what is wrong with this picture?

I guess when it is your brother or sister or mother or father dying and being raided then someone will be concerned, but right now it is just another ol' hippy trying to get stoned who cares that he is bed ridden with out his medicine because if "big brother" says its wrong then it must be!!!!

I have copied an article about the case for your viewing. I hope that you will join in and allow this man's story to be known, and that other Californians who believe that state law enforcement should enforce our own laws and respect the decision of California's voters, even if they disagree with that law will raise their voices and help stop this atrocity. Some Californians have spoke yet we have still not been heard and are fellow humans are dying painful deaths with out their medicine. Or we can continue to sit by and allow our laws to be followed only when it suits those who are meant to enforce them and let people like Mr. Love to die in pain with out anyone standing up for his rights.

Donovan No Runner

[email protected]

No Dissent?

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

Theodore Roosevelt

The Great Beyond

Is It My Turn To Capitulate Yet?

I live in a settlement. I wonder when my turn to be expelled will come. The Israeli government encouraged me to move here. Today I am being cast aside; I am no longer wanted. I was part of a plan by almost every previous Israeli government to prevent exactly what PM Sharon is trying to put in place today. I feel that my own leader has betrayed me. Israel did not want a sworn terrorist enemy on its doorstep. Why has Sharon decided to place all of Israel in danger of annihilation?

There is no peace, there is no negotiating partner, and there is no neighbor willing to share. Yet, Israel is voluntarily abandoning parts of its land. Jews will be required to resettle elsewhere. We are not wanted in any corner of Arafat's domain. Arabs may live in the Jewish domain; Jews may not live in the Arab domain.

What have we been promised in return for this capitulation? We have been promised that terrorists will be much closer to our population centers. We have been promised that many more Jews will be murdered. We have been promised that more land will be demanded in the next phase. We have been promised that someone may pay us off when we pack our bags and return to the Diaspora. We have been promised that the terror and the murders will not stop until the fictional land of Palestine has vomited every Jew up.

Ariel Sharon and the world leaders are promising us a bright future. The sky will be bright with the Kassam rockets moved several miles closer to our cities. Our dear friends, the Egyptians, have promised to "make sure' that the Arab Palestinians stop smuggling into Gaza the explosives and weapons that Egypt supplies to the Palestinian Arabs today via their tunnels. I am sure that this "plan" sounds reasonable to world leaders but what made Sharon buy this ridiculous idea?

The area that Israel is turning over to the terrorist leaders in Gaza is well within rocket range of the civilian population of Ashkelon and Ashdod. Have the terrorists promised to behave and stop shelling innocent civilians? Has Arafat and the Hamas agreed to anything or have they just smiled their slimy smiles and rubbed their hands together in anticipation of an Israeli retreat? Does Sharon believe as Rabin believed that once we leave we would be able to re-conquer the area if the Arabs misbehave? How many "innocent" Arab civilians will the world allow us to kill each time a Jew is murdered by a terror attack from Gaza? Will the world leaders not continue to demand Israeli reticence and patience? Other than himself, who exactly is Sharon trying to fool with his retreat from Gaza and Northern Samaria?

Everyone admits that the Arab leadership actively supports terror activities. Even the most rabid leftist fanatic is aware of our neighbor's desire to force us into the sea. Everyone admits that the murder of innocent Jewish children is seen as a Mitzvah (good deed) by Arab terrorists. I firmly believe that old age is the culprit and is seriously affecting Sharon and Peres. They have come to fear shadows and the empty threats of world leaders. They have stopped thinking. They have stopped planning. They have stopped dreaming of a better future. No more reasonable goals. No more ideology. No more Zionism. No more bravery. They have lost their love for Israel and for Jews. They have lost their hope for peace. Cash will replace ideals and the settlers will be paid off to quietly abandon their homes. "Get out quickly" is the new slogan.

I vividly recall a tour we took of the Elkana Settlement. We were escorted to a hill in the center of the community and shown that we can see Tel Aviv, Hertzlia, Raanana, Kfar Saba and Netanya from the hill. On a clear day much of Israel will be in the sights of our sworn enemies, the fanatical terrorists. This is the color of the Sharon Peace Plan. This is the new Likkud Zionist dream. Let's not talk to the Palestinian terrorists. Let's retreat and see what they do. Who needs a reasonable partner in peace? We will make peace by capitulating. Somehow this new logic escapes me. (Comments may be sent to [email protected])

Dov Gilor

Israel

Democratic Singles

Hello... does your publication have a place for a free public mention of my new free website? It would be greatly appreciated.

David Paul

DemocraticSingles.net

http://www.democraticsingles.net

Memorable Quotes About War

- "We will attack Iraq first and foremost for Israel's sake." - vice president Cheney told Sharon, in March 2002, as reported on Israeli radio

- "On terrorism: In the whole range of terrorism, state terrorism is far worse than individual terrorism, for the obvious reason that states have means of violence that individuals don't have. It is commonly said that terrorism is a weapon of the weak. That's completely false - at least if you accept the official US. definition of terrorism. Terrorism is overwhelmingly the weapon of the strong, like most other weapons."

- Noam Chomsky, "Distorted Morality"

- I would much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state.

- Albert Einstein, from a speech to the National Labor Committee for Palestine, New York, 17th April 1938 (reprinted in "Out of My Later Years" by Albert Einstein, New York:

Philosophical Library, 1950, Ch. 52)

- To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else.

-- Teddy Roosevelt in the "Kansas City Star," May 7, 1918

- If warmongers win, they are regarded as heroes; if they lose, they are executed as war criminals. "[general Curtis] LeMay said, 'If we'd lost the war, we'd all have been prosecuted as war criminals.' And I think he's right. But what makes it immoral if you lose, and not immoral if you win?"

- Robt. McNamara, in film, "Fog of War"

Daniel Stone

[email protected]

 

 

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