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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

September, 2004

Letters To The Editor

 


Dorothy Hughes
   Marin County and indeed the world has lost a gift to us given in 1969 when Dororthy Hughes moved to Marin County.
   She was a Marin institution of her own. She fought tirelessly for social justice though it is said she came from money. She had a vision of what the world SHOULD be like, given it's resources, and saw the glass as both half empty AND half full, demanding to know why it wasn't filled to the brim for everybody, not just those of means.
   For years a group of us met at her tiny apartment each month where she cooked us gourmet food and discussed politics and social issues 'til the wee hours. Even in advanced age she refused help in the kitchen saying she had a "system," as if no more needed to be explained.
   She was tireless in her advocacy for the disenfranchised, exhausting those of us half her age. She never gave up hope that another world is possible, that we have a RIGHT to health care, education, housing and the like, despite the unpopularity of some of these views. She did it all with a grace and elegance few posses.
   We are all diminished without her.
Meg Brizzolara
San Quentin Village

Swift Boaters
   A group calling themselves Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have come out with a commercial saying that Presidential hopeful John Kerry's military medals - three Purple Hearts, a Silver Star and a Bronze Star are in question.  These people have dishonored anyone who has received a Military Medal.  This isn't the Cub Scouts they are talking about.  The Military has a formal procedure to follow before awarding a Medal.  There has to be eye witnesses and a written citation giving the reason for receiving the medal. Then it is reviewed by the Awards and Decorations Board, by direction of the President, under the provisions of Executive Order 9158, 11 May 1942, as amended by Executive Order 9242-A, 11 September 1942. 
   Lets get to the Truth of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth!  I haven't heard of the Helicopter Pilots for Truth, Helicopter Crew Chiefs for Truth  or Helicopter Door Gunners for Truth.  What is it that they are trying to say?  They are a group of disgruntled Vietnam Vets still pissed off about Kerry speaking out against the Vietnam War before Congress in 1971 and they are being financially pumped up by the GOP.  The group bought $500,000 worth of airtime to run the ad in Wisconsin, Ohio and West Virginia.  I'm sure if you follow the money it will take you back to Bush's friends and the GOP. Does the Military just hand out Medals to anyone?  "I DON'T THINK SO" .
Bruce Carlton,
Mill Valley

The Probe: The Buck Stops Where?
    The recently released report on the 9/11 probe by the congressional commission, tasked to get to the truth of that tragedy  shows that it concentrated its efforts on the how and when of the whole matter, leaving the why on the assumption that the perpetrators of the crime were simply terrorists out to inflict damage on the American people. Little was done to find out if the terrorists who we all know are always poised to do so, got some assistance and even encouragement from some quarters that stood to tremendously gain from it.
   No less than Mr. Clarke, one of the most knowledgeable officials of the government dealing with terrorist threats, wrote a book indicting the current administration for purposely looking the other way when all kinds of warnings and alarms were being raised of a possible 9/11 attack. Did the commission give Mr. Clarke's input the value and credence that it deserved? Did they attempt to answer the pointed questions propounded by Mr. Clarke on the government's apparent attempts to cover-up telling facts about that tragedy? Was there for instance, an Israeli intelligence office at the Twin Towers with 200 employees who were asked to evacuate the premises immediately before the attack? Were the members of Osama bin Laden's family indeed evacuated through the efforts of the US. government? If so, why would Uncle Sam have anything to do with that effort? Who benefited most from the attack? Was it Bin Laden and the Al Qaeda? Not really, if one will come to think about it. 9/11 caused the American people to get angry and have the entire military might of their country  go after the terrorists. If you are Bin Laden, you would not want to face up with such a prospect. In the same way that the Japanese people, unlike their military leaders, did not want the United States of America to get into the war in 1941. But as historical accounts now point out, Pearl Harbor was attacked because the Roosvelt administration at the time almost invited the Japanese to do so.
   One can draw a comparison between these two most devastating attacks launched on American soil by concluding that in both events the resolve of the American people to go to war was the resultant aftermath. The Pearl Harbor attack in effect catapulted President Roosvelt into a position of power and popularity as 9/11 made an illegitimate president into a popular war president of President George W. Bush. Did the commission spend any time and effort to make that comparison and draw from it the abundantly obvious conclusions? Did they find out the reason why our government appeared to be napping when we were attacked by a well known enemy that hardly kept its plans and intentions a secret?
    The 9/11 commission report is a testimonial to what all intelligent observers already know. We always seem to go through the motions of conducting an inquiry with apparent intentions to get to the truth of a tragedy but if the truth will prove damaging or embarrassing to some powerful interests, the whole effort turns out to be an exercise in futility. The inquiry produces a voluminous report with a lot of words in it, intended to substitute for the truth but what we really get is a masterfully crafted document of imperfection. Did the commission look into the reasons behind the president's unaffected behavior in the face of gross and serious incompetence demonstrated by his key advisers as proven by the report? Did the commission look into the reasons why Osama bin Laden is still an untouchable in spite of the latest state of the art surveillance capabilities of our military? Did the commission look into the reason why heads did not roll despite an admittedly total breakdown in our intelligence and homeland security? Doesn't such a behavior prove that what may appear as incompetence could actually be the  faithful execution of improper orders from the top? The head of the commission was very explicit in explaining that the intent of the body's probe was to lay out the facts and let the American people decide on who is to blame. Laying the blame is not the intention of the probe which is why it has totally ignored the important matter of the doctrine of command responsibility. The buck is supposed to stop at the president's feet, yet the president was allowed to duck that responsibility. He did not even consent to being questioned by the panel under oath,  and without his perennial mentor - his vice president. The commission did not press the vice president to provide it with the minutes of the mysterious energy policy meetings he held with the undeniably vested interests who were so influential in the crafting of our country's  current energy policy. Had they done so, a connection could have been made, if any,  between 9/11 and the discussions during those meetings. Why is the Vice President so afraid to divulge the records taken in those meetings? And why was the commission not that interested to expose it? It could not have been for national security reasons considering that the 9/11 probe was conducted precisely to safeguard our national security.
    One of the major objectives of the probe was to debunk the conspiracy theory which up to this date is being entertained by a large portion of the well informed public. Under that theory, it is President Bush and his Vice President Cheney who are the chief suspects, not their underlings whom the commission subjected to incessant grilling, under oath. Why the chief suspects were handled with kid gloves is not only curious but highly suspect. Why President Bush refused to be interrogated under oath and unless he was literally sitting on the lap of his vice president was highly irregular and should not have been tolerated at all by the commission. This behavior is tantamount to an admission of guilt or to say the least, an abdication by the president of his duty and responsibility to the American people. By doing so, he cast a long shadow of doubt on his trustworthiness and credibility. It only reinforces the prevailing suspicion among conspiracy theorists that a strange relationship exists between this president and his vice president, making it difficult to ascertain who between the two is indeed running the incumbent government.
Doesn't this state of affairs make it so obvious that the main problem with all these factors that hatched the 9/11 tragedy rests on the anomalous situation prevailing in our top leadership? It is bad enough that the commission has neglected to lay the blame on anyone except Osama bin Laden. It is sad that a commission empowered by the people to spare no effort in getting to the bottom of that heinous crime was unable to get any further than to blame the whole tragedy to Osama Bin Laden. If we compare the 9/11 tragedy to the sinking of the Titanic, the curious question to ask is: Would the Marine inquiry that investigated that tragedy then  have allowed the Captain of the Titanic (assuming he did not commit suicide), to refuse to testify under oath and seek the advise of his Chief Mate who will do the talking for him while he invoked the special privileges of a ship captain? Let's keep in mind that  in so far as the loss of lives and resources are concerned,  the sinking of the Titanic pales in comparison with the 9/11 tragedy which up to now is taking its heavy toll.
   Failing to get anything substantive from that inquiry, would the Marine Board that investigated the case have  made  recommendations to prevent a repetition of a similar tragedy, for the compliance and execution of same, by the captain on the carpet? It is madness to even think of such a scenario. Yet that is exactly what the 9/11 commission has done. They are asking the incumbent government to follow a set of recommendations without addressing the more important point of establishing culpability and accountability under the doctrine of command responsibility. If the conspiracy theorists are right which the commission has not proven or disproven, what they have done is to allow the fox to guard the chicken coop.
Antonio R. Serna
Rohnert Park, CA

Marin Court Not Corrupt!
   The critics have missed the point and an important opportunity to cast some real light on the fundamental problem with the Marin Superior Court. It is not that the court is corrupt but rather that it is dysfunctional. The egos and personal prerogatives of certain judges blended into a hapless bureaucracy operates at the expense of the court's primary mission- justice and fairness. When the court fails to treat the public or its own employees with fairness, it should indeed be judged harshly by the public.
Name withheld
Marin County

End Alpaca Ban At The Border
   After waiting patiently for 14 long months, we are appealing to the historical sense of justice and fair play of the American people to help us get the US border open to Canadian alpacas.
   Many people do not know that the BSE or mad cow disease has prompted the US Department of Agriculture to place a ban on all ruminants (not just cattle) entering the US from Canada.
   All animals that "chew a cud" are banned, including our alpacas, even though they are not a food animal and you can only get mad cow disease by eating an infected animal.
   We can't seem to get anyone in authority to pay attention to our plight. There is no scientific evidence to support the BSE ban applying to alpacas. In fact there is much evidence to support exempting alpacas from the border ban.
   The international standards outlined in the BSE chapter of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) Terrestrial Animal Health Code identifies BSE as a disease of the family Bovidae which includes cattle, bison, sheep, goats, musk ox, buffaloes and water buffaloes. It is not classified as a ruminant disease
   A leading US alpaca vet, Dr. David Anderson of Ohio State University, has emphasized the fact that alpacas are not susceptible to BSE and the State Veterinarian for Arizona has supported alpacas being exempted from the ban. These are only a couple of qualified individuals who have publicly stated their  opinion that alpacas are unfairly caught in this ban.
   Australia from the start of this crisis has kept its border open to Canadian alpacas while closing its borders to Canadian beef products. Canada followed suit by not banning US alpacas after BSE was discovered in a US cow. This follows the World Organization for Animal Health recommendations that BSE is a bovine disease.  To make matters worse, there are a number of alpacas owned by US citizens that are trapped north of the border by this insupportable ban.
   Please help us by contacting your representatives in Washington, DC, and ask them to remedy this unfair situation.
   Thanks for any help you can give.
Stew and Barbara Lang
Fibre Finders at Turning Tide Ranch
Duncan, B.C. Canada V9L 6K3

Jewish Persecution
   Some of your articles and letters are drawn directly from "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" a pamphlet written by the Tzar's secret police in the early 1900's (copied from an earlier French novel by Maurice Joly). It purported to reveal the secret cabal of "Zionist elders" who manipulated world events-political, economic, and military- to further the secret Jewish agenda of dominating the world.
   The Tzar used this myth to further his persecution of Jews and to distract from his despotism. Needless to say, it was required reading in Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia. Henry Ford published an English version titled "The International Jew" (for which he later half-heartedly "apologized"). A good text on the history of the Protocols is "Warrant for Genocide" by Norman Cohn.
   "The Protocols" have now resurfaced as a best seller and required reading in the Arab and Moslem world, where Jew hatred has reached a level comparable to Nazi Germany.
   The idea that the Jews are secretly controlling the world serves despots well by distracting from their own tyranny and scapegoating history's most popular scapegoat. One can easily see how the Arab world would find this myth so appealing. Just as Germany blamed the Jews for their loss in World War I, Arab countries blame the Jews (and Israel) for their own backwardness, poverty and corruption. Egyptian television recently broadcast a 30-part serialized version of the Protocols, entitled, "A Knight without a Horse." You can view clips at: www.memri.org/video/
   Jews serve as convenient scapegoats for tyrants for a number of reasons. Some hate Jews simply because they are different, and refuse to assimilate into the majority culture. Some tyrants (like Hitler and many Arab leaders) see Jews as a more serious threat to their rule. It may be that because Judaism continues to inspire the ethical core of Western civilization, and dictators find these ethics inconvenient, they seek the destruction of Jews. It may be that the implausible, continued existence of the Jews, and the re-emergence of a Jewish state after 2000 years, threaten the purely materialistic world view that motivates a tyrant's pursuit of power.
   There is something improbable, to say the least, about the continued existence of the Jews, and the re-emergence of the Jewish state. For some, it might seem "creepy" or eerie. This could frighten some people and lead to their desire that the Jews would "just go away" so the world would make more sense.
   Others could see this as a hopeful sign-that if even the most downtrodden, persecuted people in history can realize a two millennia old dream, then there is reason to be hopeful about other, seemingly impossible, personal and universal dreams for our planet and our species. It may also suggest that the people who continue to champion the message of ethical monotheism need to stick around until the message sinks in.
   It is important to remember that Jews have always served as humanity's "canary in a coal mine." When Jews are attacked, it is an early warning that a terrible evil is being unleashed. The Islamofascist war against Jews is similar to Hitler's war, and will end similarly, with the eventual targeting of all non-fascists, and with Western civilization forced to fight a war of survival.
   You might want to consider that when you publish anti-Semitic attacks characteristic of Nazi Germany, under the guise of "anti-Zionism," you can look forward to history judging you with the same censure and repugnance that we now view Nazi propaganda.
Sheldon Whitten-Vile
San Rafael, CA
415-479-3040
Editor's Note: You are wrong. We are not publishing propaganda. We are providing the Palestinian side of a tragic story where both sides lose.


Amusing Bush
   Bush made an amusing statement today that I think many in America agree with. But what he said probably isn't what he meant. "Our enemies," says Bush "are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
   Bush is more right than he thinks. Apparently his idea of winning the "war on terror" is to do more damage to this country than the terrorists are doing - and in that frame of reference he is definitely winning. Clearly no terrorist could have done the kind of damage to America that Bush has done in the four years since he stole the election. Sometimes I think the reason that the terrorists haven't attacked again is because they can just sit back and watch Bush destroy America. If I were a terrorist-I wouldn't want to do anything that would interfere with Bush's reelection.
Marc Perkel
San Francisco, CA.

Is George Bush A Liberal?
   As a true conservative I am enormously upset by George Bush charading as a conservative. Conservatives want smaller government and smaller government expenditures. George Bush is only pretending to shrink government by privatizing the things taxpayers must foot the bill for. Privatizing military support for the troops in Iraq has cost taxpayers four times what it would have cost the military to perform food service and resupply costs itself. It's a way of expanding the military by pretending not to. To say nothing of turning a Œ$200 billion budget surplus into a $400 billion national debt. He's spending money like water - and it's not his money. It's ours.
   Real conservatives want to insure personal privacy. George Bush wants a "sneak and peek" provision for law enforcement so government spies can enter our houses and businesses without telling us. The Founding Fathers would weep-there's nothing conservative about this. These are Soviet tactics.
   George Bush is pushing what Europeans refer to as a "neoliberal economic agenda". Gone are the social contracts built up between citizens and their governments since the Magna Carta. Let's just let the "free market" run the world economy with no regard for people or their property or their communities. That way we can get what Asia experienced a few years ago - total financial collapse. This is radical economic Liberalism.
   George Bush has been taunted for not having a plan to rebuild Iraq. That's not true. His idealistic and untried neoliberal plan was to let US corporations rush in and run everything. Even The Economist called post-war Iraq "a capitalist dream". And look at the mess we have on our hands now.
   Jesus said forgive and make peace. George Bush says attack and make war. George Bush is no more a Christian than Joseph Stalin. To paraphrase St. James: Christians will be judged, not by their words, but by their actions. Talking about Jesus is good. Talking about Jesus and behaving like Stalin are the deeds of an anti-Christ.
   George Bush is not a conservative. He is a radical Liberal who wishes to disrupt everything we hold dear.
Rich Zubaty
Ithaca, New York

Keep Up The Good Work
   Each time we journey to West Marin, we pick up a copy of Coastal Post. We always send it to our friends back East, who agree with us that they've never seen so much hatred, paranoia, anti-Semitism, and  just plain suicidal stupidity, packed into such a small rag as yours.
   It must get awfully itchy with all those bugs and spiders crawling around inside your heads. We sympathize, we really do.
   But don't change a thing, please! We particularly appreciate the ramblings of that creaking old Nazi, Ed Miller. You couldn't make that stuff up!
Wilson Pickett
Larkspur
Editor's Note: Shame on you for calling ANYONE a Nazi.

Lowe's Letters
 Ralph Nader:
   Almost candidate Ralph Nader still says there's not a whole hill of beans difference between deep-pocket Republicans and multi-cultural Democrats ... and pigs fly. Does this man live in a deep hole that never gets light?
    In the 2004 presidential election a vote for Nader is a vote to keep religious right-wingers in power. As usual, apathetic yuppies and intellectuals, neoenvironmentalists and college idealists who carry the Nader banner won't grok the point until after the election if even.
        Republicans are a party of partisan extremists, talkshow jocks, white, and country club types while the Democrats are a diversified cross-spectrum of America. Bush/Republicans play to fear while Democrats express a politics of hope. What part of this picture doesn't
Nader get?

Bogus Terror Alerts
   Here we go again. The game's the same, only the words have changed. The new terror alert issued by the Bush administration is classified as alarming. No more unspecific, vague, unsubstantiated alerts for this group. Time to amp up the anxiety level in America, keeping the citizenry scared until election day. An elaborate reelection scheme
   The 2004 presidential election will be remembered in history as the "terror alert" special. It's chilling to see the depths and extent to which this administration will pander to hold onto power. The current alert uses new targets and words to confuse and keep the paranoia boiling in America.
   Intelligence agencies acknowledge the new attack plans have been in the works for years; something doesn't jive here. Could it be because it's all a cleverly disguised and devised game being played on America?  Does anybody else see what's going on?
 
White House Spin
   The White House spin machine says that after five days of orange alert they have cracked, undermined, thwarted the latest threatened terrorist attack. Could it be that the Bush campaign of fear got caught with its pants down, that the American public saw the latest threat for what it was; a thinly veiled reelection tool and sham.
   Bush politicos are now telling us that al-Qaeda also targeted lawmakers. Was it to be like the anthrax killer who only targeted Democratic Senators? I smell a skunk.

How Is It To Live In Iraq?
   W.'s wrongful war waged under false pretenses. Think things are going well in Iraq for the Iraqi people? Turn on the tube for the evening news, any day, and see the truth bereft the White House spin. Things have not improved and Americans are left holding the bag for the Bush/Cheney failed policy and ill-gotten war.
   Iraqis face roadside bombings, rocket attacks, suicide bombings and ambushes daily. Unimaginable violence which seems far away and unreal to Americans sitting in the comfort of their homes.
   Bush/Cheney are taking this great nation down the wrong road - from peace and prosperity to war and fear; glorifying differences and ignoring the unity that is America.
 Ron Lowe       
Nevada City,

No Place For Mountain Bikes
How selfish can humans be?! It is incredible that mountain bikers insist on bringing their machines into designated Wilderness-land that is set aside specifically to protect wildlife and wildlife habitat. Fast-moving machinery that rips up the soil, crushes small animals and plants, and drives away wildlife and other trail users obviously has no place in Wilderness-or in any other natural area! For more information on mountain biking, see http://home.pacbell.net/mjvande.
Mike Vandeman
Hayward
PS I am working on creating wildlife habitat that is off-limits to humans ("pure habitat"). Want to help? (I spent the previous 8 years fighting auto dependence and road construction.)
http://home.pacbell.net/mjvande

Grant Bush A Second Term
   Our company believes that George Bush is an excellent candidate and this country would benefit greatly if he is granted a second term.
   One of President Bush's first actions in office was push for the passage of and sign into law the bipartisan No Child Left Behind Act. NCLB is based on a principles of accountability and highs standards, and is designed to change the culture of America's schools by closing the achievement gap, offering more flexibility, giving parents more options, and teaching students based on what works.
   President Bush even wants to ensure that every child can read by the third grade; that every student is prepared for college or to enter the workforce once graduating; and that every student who chooses to attend college can get the help that they need.
   The President has contributed to the nation's schools by outfitting them with the resources necessary to meet his education goals, by providing unprecedented levels of funding-raising totals from $35.6 billion in 2000 to $57.3 billion in 2005, for an increase of 61%. With these record increases, schools throughout the nation are closer to meeting the President's goals for America's students.
   In conclusion,  President Bush has made a lot of progress in four years and has done some amazing work that no one would have thought was possible. We hope you keep that in mind when you go to the polls in November.
StarProse Corporation
401 Pine Street, PMB 703D
Abilene, Texas 79601-5163

Help Rodi Alvarado
   Compassionate Americans are taking action this month to urge Attorney General John Ashcroft to grant asylum to Rodi Adali Alvarado Pe-a, and to preserve asylum for women and girls who come to this country to escape domestic violence, sexual slavery, honor killings, and other gender-based violence.
   Rodi Alvarado's case is particularly compelling.  Over the course of her marriage, the Guatemala native's husband turned their home into a virtual torture chamber.  He beat and raped her, whipped and kicked her until she lost consciousness, threatened her with machetes and guns, and attempted to abort their second child by kicking her until she hemorrhaged.  Because her repeated pleas to police and courts in Guatemala were rebuffed, Alvarado concluded that the only way to survive was to flee her country and seek refuge far away from her husband.
   Alvarado came to the United States in 1995 and was granted asylum in 1996 and has settled in the Bay Area.  But, in the years since she was granted asylum, immigration courts have made conflicting rulings that left her in limbo.  Former Attorney General Janet Reno acted on Alvarado's behalf, but Attorney General Ashcroft took her case under advisement and has yet to rule.
   There is simply no good reason to delay.  In February, the US Department of Homeland Security announced its support for Ms. Rodi Alvarado's claim to asylum.  Still, the Attorney General has not ruled.
   Groups as diverse as Amnesty International-USA and the conservative Concerned Women for America are urging him to grant Rodi Alvarado asylum.  Your readers should, too.  Rodi Alvarado has suffered enough.  She deserves a chance at a safe and secure future.
Esta Soler, President
Family Violence Prevention Fund
San Francisco
415/252-8900

Thank You Frank Scott
   This is a quick, albeit HUGE thanks for printing Frank Scott's wonderful and insightful piece on Israel's devastating barrier! And thank you for having the courage and integrity to print it.
Kerri M. Barnhart
1451 Pacific Ave.
Norco, CA 92860

Scott Is An Idiot
   Your Mr. Scott is an idiot, plain and simple.  He has no idea of history.  He just copies and pastes text from Islamic' and White supremacist's websites!
   Ask him to write an article on the Holocaust and he will tell you that it is all a Jewish hoax.
   It doesn't matter to Scott that there are millions of pieces of historical evidence for the holocaust, and not a single piece of historical evidence for the existence of Jesus.
   Jews don't give idiots like Scott the time of day.
   Giving a man like this, with no real idea of the subject matter a public forum, you should all be working at Al-Jezerra!
   I guess that Marin County is happy to be a new entry to the 3rd world Islamic dynasty!
Jeffrey Levine
Los Angeles, CA USA
PS  I just reread Mr. Scott's article and he is a lying ASSHOLE!
   Remind him that there was never a country called Palestine, and that Yasser Arafat, is an Egyptian!  I am sure these facts are beyond his penile intellect!
Editor's Note: Open your eyes to the WHOLE Middle East and be nice.

 

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