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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

 

Letters To The Editor

Mosquito District Spraying Carcinogens

In April 2004, in Ross, I was puzzled by recurring fatigue and swollen lymph nodes. I had many sleepless nights due to painful swelling in my neck and armpits. It had been precisely a year ago since I had had these exact symptoms that I couldn't explain.

Then a nearby friend told me that she had called the Marin-Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District to show her where mosquitoes were likely to breed on her property. The technician mentioned to her that she really didn't have to worry because, "we fogged the area a few days ago in the middle of the night."

I called the MSMVC district and talked to Jim Wandersheid and asked him if they had fogged my street and what did they spray and when. He told me that they used a Pyrethrin (a synthetic pesticide) and that they do it every year at this time. In Jim's words "it's highly unlikely that the fog will make contact with the adult mosquito." Later I understood the statistic to be that 99% of pesticide fogs miss their intended target (the mosquito), and go into the general environment including my home.

According to Jim, originally one neighbor had requested that her home be fogged, so on April 27 a truck with foggers attached went up and down every street in our town at 3 a.m. and dispensed the Pyrethrins. This fogging included the street that Ross Elementary School was on. From then on, this was done every year at the same time.

I am writing this letter because as a result of pesticide exposure I have continued health difficulties. I want to write in support of earlier letters written warning people about the spraying of pesticides. No matter how Jim Wandersheid presents his program, I know that the district sprays toxic pesticides because I experienced it myself.

These facts are from the Journal of Pesticide Reform: Pyrethrin: attacks the nervous system, hormone disrupter, increased cancer risk, thyroid tumors in laboratory tests, increased asthma, toxic to aquatic animals, birds, and bees.

Shirley Collenette

San Geronimo

Opposes Lit Soccer Field

I oppose the illumination of the soccer field at the proposed Red Hill Community Park, located at 110 Shaw Drive, San Anselmo on property owned by the Ross Valley School District and leased by the Tamalpais Union High School District and Town of San Anselmo.

Louise L. Mathews

San Anselmo

Terrorism On Sale

Ghandi gained the independence of all India without resorting to terrorism. Martin Luther King Jr's campaign eschewed all violence. Those who crash aircraft into twin towers,bomb Spanish commuters, blow up Australian vacationers in Bali, etc., shoot up gatherings such as the Olympics, demonstrate they do not believe in any form of fairness, they are in fact totalitarian, in other words, stupid bullies, vermin who threaten all.

I submit that each and every one of us can do something. Most of us can do many things. The patient in the iron lung can smile at his nurse. Most of us can check the pressure in our spare tire. Most of us can stockpile stuff we use, when it goes on sale.

Please pass this on!

Frank Hills

Mill Valley

Election Abuse A Democratic Joke

There are too many instances of fraud and abuse in the US election, especially in Ohio and Florida. Electronic voting machines can't be audited. There is no way to determine if the vote was correct. The ONLY way for the US to have an honest election that we can all agree on is to re-do it with punched-card ballots, that can be checked by independent auditors. Until then, we should stop trying to pretend to Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine, and other countries that we know what democracy is.

Mike Vandeman

Hayward

(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

Who's Your Daddy?

You can thank God that the Arabs aren't Germans. With the exception of their suicide bombers, Arabs make us look good. They've made the Israelis look good. Hell, they'd make the Rwandans look good! [Have you noticed there have been no beheadings since Fallujah?]

Who makes us look bad? The traitorous Democrats who did the same thing during the Viet Nam War. Arabs know they can't beat us. They think the Democrats can.

I told George Putnam that I would not have Democrats on my radio show. When I see a Democrat I see abortion, sodomy, feminism and minorities (multiculturalism - giving America to the gentiles). So if Jezebel Clinton runs on a close-the-border ticket in '08, I wouldn't vote for her on principle.

Now George is still too much of a Democrat. He made no comment on abortion, sodomy, feminism and minorities. Instead he just said that both parties were full of greed (maybe that came from an early communist influence deep in his subconsious). There is a leftist judge where I work who has a bumper sticker "Republicans think greed is a virtue." I told the other leftist judge I talk to for fun and mind chess that Democrats think virtue is relative.

What I didn't tell George is that the Democratic Party has gone beyond the pale, over the edge, off the deep end. Conservative talk show hosts can't understand why Democrats don't learn from their mistakes. They aren't mistakes. It's evil and the Democratic Party will just become more evil. It will only learn when it is punished! If then. It has sold its soul to the devil. The big question is, has the Republican Party? You will find out soon in the House's decision to control illegal immigration. The Senate is already Blue. So is the President.

So idiots like Biden, McCain, Collins and Friedman want Rumsfeld to be fired. That means he should stay. He's the best man we've got and should have been made man of the year instead of the President because the President wants to give this country to Mexico.

We've taken a tiny hit in Mosul. Just remember Bastogne. 60 years ago 1 million men on both sides fought for 6 weeks. We lost 19,000 dead and 61,000 wounded. We won. But also remember we are not the united, white, strong USA of WWII.

Harold Reimann

Lucerne Valley

eli3.tripod.com

We Need Birds

Birds make as many as 800 trips to a day out of their nests to get all kinds of insects to feed their babies. They protect us from insects.

Feral cats kill as many as 44 million birds a year. There should be a law against feral cats, even a bounty on them.

Eucalyptus trees suffocate birds with the goop birds get on their beaks when getting insect out of the blossoms.

The wind mills that kill birds without screens around their propellers should be shut down until birds are protected by screens.

Vehicles kill an unknown number of birds.

It is obvious that we should make all due efforts to protect birds.

Charles Smith

Berkeley

Anyone But The Fools

Whenever the president of a country is severely lampooned in editorial cartoons, particularly when the humor is slanted towards suggesting that he is a lunkhead, we find it funny because we assume that it is far from the truth and that the suggestion is made in the spirit of pun. But when the joke gets too close to reality, the humor is replaced by sadness and embarrassment.

It is particularly sad to label our president as a not too bright a leader considering that he has twice proven himself to be the "choice" of the people, running against decidedly cerebral oppositions. If we now declare him to be less than intelligent, what does that make of us, the American people?

There is an axiom that is universally considered true. It states that: "One can fool some people some of the time, but one cannot fool all the people, all the time." It is indisputable that President Bush was successful in fooling some people in his first bid for the presidency. And was again successful in fooling some more people in his bid for re-election. If he can run for a third term, considering our eagerness to get fooled over and over again, it is safe to conclude that he will fool us for the third time and again get away with it. The question to ask while we are in the middle of this fooling frenzy is: When does the "all the time" and "all the people" kick in with this president, as far as the subject axiom is concerned?

Sad to admit, the question has been begging for an answer. Could it be that the universally sanctioned axiom holds true only when applied to the act of fooling anyone but the fools?

Antonio R. Serna

Rohnert Park

Earthquakes Predictable

Iben Bowning, world famous earthquake predictor, who predicted the last San Francisco Earthquake, The Loma Prieta Earthquake, within a minute of it happening (along with the Northridge Quake, Mexico City & others). His predictions use tidal loading and gravity windows. The earth, like water, moves up and down with the tides. His theory says that with extreme tides also come earthquakes. When the Loma Prieta earthquake occurred there was an extreme minus tide. Is it a coincidence that Somalian earthquake occurred during an extreme minus tide? The Somalian earthquake happened at sunrise when the full moon was rising, which was during an extreme minus tide, the same conditions as the Loma Prieta Earthquake. Unfortunately Iben is not alive today to make these predictions and his technique went with him to his grave.

Iben is not alone in unauthorodoxed techniques for earthquake predictions.

Joseph Tate of Sausalito CA in 1986 discovered that the earth emitted static radio waves (much like the static you hear between radio stations). Before an earthquake, these radio waves the earth emits become very much stronger. Joseph Tate has a patent # 4,628,299 that covers his discovery. His method, though not as accurate as Ibens method is just as predictable. He has created a device that for $5 can warn you of an impending earthquake.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) does not take seriously either Iben or Joseph Tates methods. Hopefully seismologists will examine these methods of earthquake predictions. It is time they spend more time looking into what has been proven to work, rather than the chances are 'X' percent of an earthquake happening in the next 20 years at a certain location.

Jim Fox

San Anselmo

Audubon Canyon Has Distinguished History

The Post's Dec. 1 edition carried a letter from a Mr. Daniel Jacobs accusing Audubon Canyon Ranch of sundry environmental and personnel malfeasances.

Taking the most appropriate environmental action is no easy task today. Witness the controversy over the so-called "Ecological Restoration" of Bolinas Lagoon. As was recently uncovered, the Army Corps' flawed study, which "scientifically justified" dredging 1.5 million cubic yards (the largest destruction of wetlands since the passage of the Clean Water Act), was based on one (count 'em)...one coring sample.

So I believe I am reasonably qualified, as the Sierra Club's long-time representative to the Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee, to comment on which organizations should be considered as environmental miscreants. Audubon Canyon Ranch is not on that list.

In addition to my Sierra Club responsibilities, I currently volunteer on ACR's Board of Directors and for several years also volunteered as an ACR nature guide, as Mr. Jacobs says he also did. However, unlike Mr. Jacobs, I have found ACR's staff and Board of Directors to be thoughtful and caring individuals, who are open to constructive criticism even when holding different opinions.

Regarding Mr. Jacobs accusations of ACR's personnel malfeasance, my understanding is that Mr. Jacobs told ACR that he had been asked to resign from every organization in which he had participated. Marx (Groucho, not Karl) once said words to the effect that he would never stoop so low as to join any club that would have him as a member. I suggest that Mr. Jacobs might consider taking a pro-active approach in this regard.

Audubon Canyon has a long and distinguished history in protecting the environment, in serving the educational needs of Bay Area children, and in sponsoring scientific research on environmental issues. We local residents, both avian and human, including, dare I say, even Mr. Jacobs, would all be immensely impoverished if Audubon Canyon Ranch were not here and did not continue. Regardless of Mr. Jacob's attempt to drag Audubon Canyon Ranch into his personal mud, the Ranch deserves our continuing support.

Gordon Bennett

Inverness, CA

Wake Up To Reality!

After reading several of your articles, I can't believe that people like you all are "for real." I visited Marin County several years ago. I was participating in a teacher institute at the Exploratorium. I was there for 3 weeks and took advantage of all my free time to explore, including a jaunt across the bay.

I had a wonderful time, enjoyed the sights, and tried to connect with the CA teachers I met there. Tough to do.

Just wondering if any of you ever mingle with the natives in other communities, states, or regions. You think so differently than I do, than my children do, than most of my friends do. In the article, Stolen Election 2004 By Carol Sterritt, all I can say is "Hogwash". Just because you don't rub elbows with Bush supporters doesn't mean he stole the election. I live in a county that has never elected a Republican to a county office, BUT they overwhelming supported Bush.

See official results here:

http://www.sos.mo.gov/enrweb/countyresults.asp?eid=131&cids=15151&cboCounties=15151&submit1.x=39&submit1.y=14

I guarantee you that no person played around with our election results. I personally know nearly everyone at the courthouse, I have known the county clerk for probably 20 years. I know the lawyers, judges, commissioners, everybody. I taught their children. Campaigned with/against some of them in 2000 when I ran for state representative as an Independent.

You guys are just not accepting the fact that the rest of the country doesn't THINK like you! We are educated. We read widely (I read your rag, didn't I?). We travel. But we come home because we like our values here. We feel guilty giving our money to Hollywood when we go to the movies. If ever given the chance, we would choose to return to more innocent times. It would be nice to go to the theater or sit in front of the TV and not be smacked in the face with sex and vulgar language. My husband and I laughed till we cried at an old rerun of an Andy Griffith show today.

Wake up to the reality of the rest of America.

Shirley Brungardt

(no town in email)

Editorial Note: "The rest of America" is either just a tad over or under 50 percent. Houston, we have a problem.

A Hand For Center For Environmental Education And Information

CEEI would like to stay in touch as we have picked your story REGARDING THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S TURNING AN ARCTIC SOWS EAR INTO A BUSH BUTTERFLY" to be on Endangered Species Early warning ( many stories from CEEI end up in the New York Times).

We have just completed a huge new web site that is focusing on species that have not yet made "The Official lists yet."

The ACIA Assessment Report came out Nov. 8th and the World Conservation Union came a week later that declared "15,000 more species are at risk." CEEI has decided to put humans on the list as the Eskimos are now going to have to move soon according to the GAO.

I hear that BP is planning to spend 19 billion on oil development on the Russian side, The problem is that these people are doing exactly the wrong thing! Even a hydrogen economy is problematical because it takes so much energy to make hydrogen.

Can you give CEEI's new web site at <www.esew.org> a small push? Enclosed is the press release.

CEEI has included a mission and history statement for background and you are welcome to add it to your article. As to my self, I founded the old Peninsula Electronics News and the Silicon Valley Tech News in the 60's and 80's. CEEI also was founded by myself and concerned citizens, in 1992 and is an Idaho non profit . If you have questions about the article please contact me.

CEEI will be developing web site information that is one key to understanding the environment and how it works and doesn't work as well as its record of successful restoration. CEEI's new web site should be a valuable tool for you in the future.<www.esew.org> .

CEEI has eleven more web sites on the drawing board. (Two more to be released next year). in addition to <www.wcei.org> which is being up graded and reworked.

Max Casebeau

Center for Environmental Education and Information

CEEI Exec Director

Sun Valley, Idaho

Chile Clarification

I just wanted to clarify a few points in the story Letter From Chile by Jim Scanlon. He writes the following:

Chile has not sold off (privatized) its National Oil Company like bankrupt Argentina and Russia, and the privately owned and operated copper mining industry pays a fixed royalty to the government for every pound of copper sold. The armed forces get a fixed cut of the royalty money-which seems only right, since the army and navy stole the copper mines from Bolivia. The Chilean Air Force is now using its share of the royalties to buy a fleet of used, but modernized, US F-16s from Holland to replace its aging French Mirage fighter bombers.

Chile's largest copper miner (and the world's largest copper mining company) is Corporacion Nacional del Cobre, or Codelco, which is still state-owned. Ten percent of its sales go to the armed forces and there is no royalty on copper mining, yet. Earlier this year, the government sent a mining royalty bill to congress where it was defeated and is currently working on another bill to establish a copper mining royalty. The copper mines weren't stolen from Bolivia; they were nationalized in the early 1970s during the Allende government. Their former owners were large American companies, namely Anaconda Copper Company and Kennecott Copper Company.

For more information on nationalization, you can visit Codelco's web page, www.codelco.com. For information on the defeated royalty bill, see www.senado.cl, the Senate's web site.

Finally, Chile is buying refurbished submarines from Holland, not F-16s. The US is selling Chile the fighter jets.

Carolina Pica

Reporter

Dow Jones Newswires

Why Did You Vote For John Kerry?

Was it because you thought he could stop the war?

What if the war machine is so big that even Kerry could not stop it? Ask anyone in 2005 how we can stop the war and they will just shake their heads in despair. Few have a clue.

Remember when President John F. Kennedy stopped the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba? I do, because I was there. This one action by JFK so angered the oil cartel: Bush, LBJ, Rockefeller, Dulles, Nixon, etc., that they ordered the CIA to kill JFK. If Kerry had tried to stop the war, Kerry would be dead by Nov. 22, 2005.

Come on people. Wake up. We are through the looking glass. Our democracy is a toothless baby. We need to help it grow up to meet the challenge of our secret oil government. What will it take to stop Big Oil's war? No one knows, but we know the first step it this mass march by million around the world on Thursday Jan. 20th.

Stop being depressed about Kerry losing. Kerry could not have stopped the war. JFK won, and when he ordered all the US troops out of Vietnam, in Aug. of 1963, Bush & the Oil Cartel held a meeting in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.(Google: National Security Memo #263). The CIA fired JFK. The next day, President Johnson ordered the full scale invasion of Vietnam.

What did finally stop the war, was millions of people: marching against the war, singing against the war, and Vietnamese hero's with guns driving the US troops out of Vietnam. Yes, Iraq will win, but only if we vote with our feet in the street daily. Notice Proposition N, calling for, "immediate withdrawal of all troops from Iraq" passed in San Francisco. Put it on your ballot in 2005. Notice, Kerry is not marching or speaking against the war, while Arianna Huffington, Kucinich, Kangas & Dean are. Only you marching with millions, can stop the war.

Join us Thursday, Jan. 20, march, sing, dance, walk naked, sign the petition to impeach, run for office against the corrupt Democratic Senators, make TV shows and DVD's, file lawsuits against Senators, subpoena witnesses, make arrests of Senators, create a critical mass!

CIA spies in the media print stories claiming the Bushies will smash all future demonstrations, so we should, "fear demonstrating under the Patriot Act." Non-sense. According to the NYT, "the Peace Movement is the new superpower in the world today."

Paul Kangas

Paul 7 Kangas @ cs.com

www. Healmax. com

(please include your town)

20 Amazing Facts Correction

I wish to point out a glaring error in the "20 Amazing Facts About Voting In The United States" article, posted on your website, by Bob Rowe. Otherwise the article looks accurate.

The very first statistic is horribly wrong. It is true that Diebold and ESS own 80% of the computer voting market. But Computer voting accounts for much less than 100% of all votes counted in the US (I don't know the correct data).

Otherwise, I share all the concerns you state and as far as I know they are correct. This type of mistake provides fodder for the "opposition", who may pounce on it to dismiss the entire article. I urge you to correct this immediately.

Bill Goldberg

from the Web

Freedom Graveyard

"Atta' boy, George, it won't be long now. Send in 12,000 more troops."

President Bush now has more troops in Iraq than when he first invaded and after he declared "Mission Accomplished" over a year ago on the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln.

That's a tactical lesson that ought to be put in the curriculum for West Point cadets to study. A course entitled: "Don't Take any Prisoners, Custer. Victory is near?"

Four or five years more should do it. Halliburton and Vice President Cheney should be thrilled about that. It will insure a fattening of their company's treasury far into the future.

I'm not sure what vision Bush had two years ago for the successful liberation of Iraq? Instead of the streets being strewn with rose petals and our troops being received with open arms of gratitude, the resistant fighters' arms are wrapped around machine guns. Not exactly a very friendly welcome for the illustrious liberation of their country from the brutal regime of Saddam Hussein?

Let us hope that Bush will come down from Mt. Sinai and have no further visions of how he will free Iraq and the world through shock and awe bombing.

Bush has freed tens of thousands of Iraqis all right--but too many are enjoying their new found freedom in a nearby graveyard.

David A. Whelan

Forest Knolls

Gang Prevention Bill Will Backfire

In July, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve S. 1735, the Gang Prevention and Effective Deterrence Act of 2003. The bill would send many juvenile offenders to adult courts.

Rehabilitative services are greatly diminished in the adult setting. Offenders receive much less education, mental health treatment, and ancillary services proven to reduce crime upon release. In addition, youth in an adult facility are five times more likely to report being raped, eight times as likely to attempt suicide, and 50% more likely to be assaulted with a weapon. There is no reason to wonder why youths sent to an adult facility are likely to come out more dangerous then when they went in.

There are other ways to reduce crime. In a famous study, high-risk children attended a quality preschool in Chicago for two years. Children who attended the program are thirty five percent less likely to become career criminals than those in the control group. However, that was not the only benefit. They were also 30% more likely to graduate from high school and 55% percent less likely to repeat a grade or need special education services. They were also 33% more likely to earn 20 thousand dollars or more a year and 25% more likely to own their own home by the age of 40. The enduring fiscal and societal benefits generated far outstrip the operating costs of such programs.

Punitive policies that exacerbate existing problems vs. programs designed to prevent themÉwhich approach is better?

Michael Courter, Casey Fickardt, Heather Halterbeck, Shannon Kildare, Kelly Lyster

Masters in Social Work Students

California State University Chico

Arafat Is Disgraced Person

As a Jew and a pro-Israel "Zionist", I read with interest Mr. Miller's column. Mr. Miller's and others attempts to raise Arafat to the level of a near deity to the Palestinian people falls far short of reality. Contrary to Mr. Miller's attempt to defame and denigrate the nation of Israel by referring to it as the "Zionist entity," Israel remains the only true democratic republic in the Middle East, granting full voting rights to all citizens including Palestinians both male and female.

Arafat in death (while revered by the Palestinian people) is in fact a disgraced figure. Mr. Miller conveniently glossed over the Oslo accords which would have given the Palestinian people a true national entity. He conveniently blames Sharon for the demise of the accords when he was not even in power in 1993-97 except as a member of the Israel parliament. He also conveniently ignores Arafat's status as the father of modern style terrorism. He ignores the hundreds of victims of his predations starting with the murder of 47 persons on a Swissair flight on February 21st 1970. He conveniently ignores the fact that the US and the EU gave the Palestinian Authority hundreds of millions of dollars from 1993 till just recently to implement a real Palestinian government and develop a domestic defense force that could exercise true governmental authority. Instead Arafat chose to pad his family's French and Swiss bank accounts, and operate the Palestinian authority as a corrupt gang of thugs with an infrastructure built on graft and bribery. Despite being given funds to do good public works and public service projects. Arafat chose to squander the money allowing Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other non-governmental entities to develop an alternative governmental structure with a decidedly pro-terrorist bent.

Arafat had the chance (and the resources) to become the first President of a modern Palestinian State. He lost that opportunity and only leaves a history of terrorism, corruption, greed, and failure to let his people realize their dreams.

Mike Abel

The Web

AOL Withholding Mail?

Who is towering over the heads of AOL, telling them whose e-mails to circulate, whose to intercept, which ones to let through, which ones not, and for what purpose??? A friend e-mailed me to say that a political message she sent out, was met with an AOL auto-response: "This message can no longer be forwarded". Strange, eh? To boot, another one I sent, again of a political nature, was not to be delivered for 24 hours. And those to whom it was sent, never did receive it. Hmmm.

What pitiless, self-centered egos, would squelch the free expression and action of concerned citizens? What conscience does it take to rape the will of the people, gaining at the expense of oppression to others?

I am writing this to urge citizens to please complain loudly to AOL AND the government. It is not smart of us, if we think that AOL alone is in on this. Clearly, AOL is following the command of others. Please fax your senator, your representative, and put unremitting pressure on them and on AOL. Boycotting is the best protest, as are floods of complaints in such numbers, that they practically have to shut down their operation.

If freedom of speech is being censored, what is next? Depression governs the masses, and this is no time for us to lie down. Please send them an unremitting hurl!

Chiquita Incognita

Novato, California

(please withhold my real name)

Lowe Letters-Donating Children

An overstretched military presence around the world spurs concern in the Bush administration. Will the draft be reinstated? A draft of kids who have lived a life of peace and tranquillity in the burbs; of kids who have never touched a gun; of kids who have been more interested in creating life than destroying it. As close to war as most kids have come are TV images of the war, video games and movies. Our children will be perfect warriors on the battlefields for about ten seconds and then they will be shipped home anonymously in body bags, casualties of the Bush/Cheney geo-political frontier wars.

Let the 59% who voted for Bush's war agenda and crimson bloodshed donate their children to the warfront. I prefer not to let my kids be fodder for the conservative war hegemony.

* * * *

Ukraine Is Awake, Where's America?

Ukraine's voters woke up, when will American voters arise from their slumber? The US has just gone through the largest election fraud in history and only a few are lifting a finger to challenge the perpetrators.

Was the election stolen? Of course it was, and everyone is looking in the wrong direction for the answer of how. The perfect crime. The vote was hacked with no way to verify the results of the voter's decision. There is no paper trail or proof. The Republicans in Congress took care of that as they blocked every attempt to have paper verification of each vote. This heist was a long time in the planning. Computer technology is still very vulnerable to tampering and the GOP and sympathetic touch screen computer manufacturers took full advantage of the situation to put George W. Bush back in the White House for another four years.

How was it done? Diebold and ES&S control about 70,000 to 80,000 of the voting machines, the optical scanners and the computer software. How many votes do you have to skim off the top of each of these machines to give Bush his 3.5 million plurality? 20, 30, 50 votes. They won't be missed.

* * * *

Neither Fair Or Democratic

The 2004 election was neither fair nor truly democratic. Make no mistake about it, Bush/Republicans stole another one.

Kerry really won the election; only cheating and vote rigging by his opponents robbed him of the prize much as Gore was robbed in 2000. Kerry should narrowly have won Ohio and Florida and the presidency but the game played on Democrats and America in 2000 was more expertly performed this time.

Cheating by Republicans was pre-planned and widespread, especially with the new touch screen voting machines. Swing states like Florida and Ohio were targeted and the machines were pre-programmed to change every fifth vote for Kerry to a vote for Bush.

Why do you think Congressional Republicans blocked every attempt to ratify a touch screen paper verification bill for the last two years?

Ron Lowe

Nevada City

War Crimes In Iraq

Last year, the United States, under the leadership of George W. Bush and his neo-conservative supporters, attacked, invaded and occupied Iraq. This unprovoked aggression was clearly an international war crime by our own definition at the Nčrnberg trials nearly sixty years ago. The American military now compounds that crime by engaging in the ruthless suppression of inevitable uprisings by angry and humiliated Iraqi citizens. From initial eyewitness accounts, the recent attack on the city of Fallujah appears to have been remarkably brutal and merciless. In reprisal for the killing of four American mercenaries earlier this year, the city has been utterly destroyed with casualties in the thousands and 150,000 people left homeless.

This is the sort of offense for which Nazi leaders were held accountable at the end of World War II. In addition, there are reports of hideous weapons used against the people of Fallujah-napalm, phosphorous devices, and cluster bombs. It appears there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq after all- only it is the United States who brought them and used them on Iraqis.

Donald Shipley

Sausalito

Little Magnetic Ribbons

Everywhere you go now you see magnetic yellow ribbons on cars stating "Support our Troops."

How do these ribbons support our troops? They are made in China; they don't even support American workers. If these "troop supporters" really want to support our troops they should send all their magnetic ribbons to the troops in Iraq who could then stick them all over their vehicles in place of the battle armor the Bush administration has failed to provide.

Lee Warner

Fairfax

Compulsory Voting In Australia

Read your extremely interesting article by Stephen Simac re election fraud ignored by Kerry.

He is correct in that we in Australia have compulsory voting. A benefit of that is anyone who didn't bother to vote has no real right to grizzle about the government as they got what they deserved. I believe we have a healthy voting system here in Oz.

We may be a lot less people but geographically we are not that different in size to the USA yet we seem to have no real problems in setting up adequately manned polling stations wherever needed, and conduct secure collection of votes. Our Federal electoral system is managed and controlled by the Federal Government whereas the States run there own State elections.

If I understand correctly, in the USA each State is responsible for the management and running of Federal elections in its State. This arrangement sees a mishmash of voting systems used as well as laying the system open to corruption. I am not saying Oz has the best system, but it does seem to work.

Another anomaly that appears to be in place in the USA system regards the idea of a 'Secret Ballot'. Why when registering to vote should the registration paper canvas what race you are (I thought all people are equal) and what party you support??? Such questions allow any person working at the Registry that wants to assist one party over another to simply lose/reject the registration from the 'other' party.

I and my friends cannot understand how Kerry, or the Democrats generally, have not challenged the outcome of this election when there appears to be so much documented evidence of voting 'stuff ups' (for want of a better description) throughout the country, but especially in areas known to be 'Blue'.

Brian Berry

Australia

 

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