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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

April, 2006

Letters
By Readers


Nagging 911
9/11 was the impetus for the War on Terror, the war in Afghanistan, and the invasion of Iraq. 9/11 was also the impetus for the Patriot Act and the recently revealed government spying program on US citizens. There are doubts about 9/11 that nag me. Four commercial jets were hijacked within an hour. When was the last hijacking of a commercial plane in the US before 9/11? How often do commercial planes get hijacked in the US? Almost never, and on 9/11 four planes get simultaneously hijacked? What are the odds of THAT? Astronomically small.
The Twin Towers: the official story is that they collapsed because the fires in them fueled by jet fuel weakened the steel and caused the towers to collapse. OK.

Then why did World Trade 7, containing New York City's emergency command center, collapse several hours later? The fires in World Trade 7 were small and contained NO JET FUEL.

I've seen videos of World Trade 7 collapsing. It came straight down like a building being destroyed by a controlled demolition. I've seen countless videos over the years of controlled demolitions in which the buildings collapse in on themselves straight downward just like World Trade 7 did. Look at videos of it collapsing on the Internet.

Again, there was NO JET FUEL in World Trade 7. In addition, the 9/11 Commission Report gave NO EXPLANATION for the collapse of World Trade 7.

Intriguing questions.
Keith Bramstedt
San Anselmo

Bush Is Above The Law
At last! At last! A Senator who cares about the freedoms and rights of the American people, and who has the guts to stand up for his principles. Senator Russ Feingold's speech calling for censure of President Bush, due to his unconstitutional wiretapping program, is balanced, considers both sides of the story, yet unswervingly serves the public good. Bravo, Feingold!

What scares me very much in regard to the wiretapping program, is the innocent assumption on the part of most Americans, who believe that Bush's warrantless wiretapping will merely violate their privacy. Not true! Any president who holds himself above the law, is not to be trusted. Period. Where is our American concern for those vulnerable under the Patriot Act, which would hold (and torture) those dubbed as terrorists without trial, without access to legal counsel, for an arbitrarily long period of time, determined by the wave of a royal hand?

Aren't we a bit worried that the Quaker Peace Movement has been dubbed a "terrorist" organization, that a nurse is accused of sedition for voicing her political convictions, that Greenpeace is called a criminal organization? What of THEIR vulnerability, under the Patriot Act? And doesn't that mean, then, that WE TOO, can simply be dubbed, and hauled off at a moment's notice, just for voicing our thoughts? Come on, get with it, American people. We'd better wake up, before it is too late.

Calling this "conspiracy theory" is not only just plain denial of the facts, it is also dangerous and criminally irresponsible of us. No one would have believed the circumstances leading to the Concentration Camps, yet they happened. Do we, too, want to be that blind, and enable this kind of random, unchecked evil? Don't we "get it", that the wiretapping program is not intended to catch terrorists alone, but that it and the Patriot Act, are both intended to invoke cruel and unusual punishment on politically vocal people?

IMPEACH THE CREEP. CENSURE IS ONLY THE BEGINNING. Hooray, Russ Feingold, for risking your life and your hide, on our behalves!

Drina Brooke
Novato

Outrage And Thistle Kills
I am a local 28 year old West Marin native male who feels outraged at the tenacity of landowners who have more land than they can handle stooping to pesticide use to kill off thistles. My best friends sister spent the first one and a half years of her life in a incubator from their fathers exposure to agent orange in the military.

I underwent surgery at age 5 from my fathers exposure to DDT as a child. As is, I am terrified of the repercussions these chemicals have in their ability to cause complications with every lifeform they come in contact with via drift or groundwater. I want to see an immediate stop to this method of eradication.

Maybe the landowners need to split up their thousands of acres so that families can handle smaller portions of land in more civilized manners. What would Prince Charles think of this as part of a blueprint of sustainability for the world?

Jonathan Key Shelton
West Marin

Getting Around Disability and Age Discrimination

The San Francisco Chronicle, Hearst Corporation Newspaper, implements a back to work fitness test! Can you imagine working for a Corporation for 42 years and being told after being off work for more than 90 days on SDI, State Disability Insurance‚ that you can't return to work until your attending physician signs a lengthy return to work job description form.

Then scheduled by the company doctor to take a back to work pass or fail physical fitness test that isn't in your Collective Bargaining Agreement and has never been a procedure used on any previous disability leaves.

My attending physician has sent in a letter stating I could return to work with no job restrictions. This isn't good enough.

My doctor will not sign a form that he has never had to fill out before and isn't comfortable with signing. I'm not going to subject myself to a fitness test that I may not pass! I'm a pressman running a press not a pilot flying an airplane. Lets face it this is a way of keeping some individuals from going on disability. Could this be a way of trying to get around age discrimination? Can you imagine Corporate America being allowed to make employees take back to work pass or fail physicals before being allowed to return to work. The last time I remember being forced to take a physical was back in 1965 when I got drafted! My Union and myself will be going before an Arbitrator on April 21, 2006. I would imagine if we some how loose this Arbitration it could have a ripple effect on the workers in this country!! In the meantime the Hearst Corporation has been sandbagging the Arbitration procedure and I have been on unemployment since October 17, 2005.

Bruce Carlton
Mill Valley

President Bush Is What's Happening!
It seems that President Bush never knows what's happening? First, it was 9/11. Then the outing of Valerie Plame and the attack on her husband Joe Wilson. Then the Katrina Hurricane. Then dead-eye Dick shooting his buddy with buckshot. Now it's the Dubai Ports World debacle.

Bush's press secretary said that Bush didn't know about this latest Port debacle until after the fact. Imagine, his staff secretly meeting with Dubai Ports World, a company in the United Arab Emirates, and he was only told of the negotiation of Dubai buying out the British Company which controls six U. S. ports after everyone found out about it on CNN? Bush constantly preaches before his selected audiences that he is a "great leader" and has a "vision" where to take our country. I think that he had better change the mountain that he prays on for receiving his "visions." Apparently, meditating on Mt. Sinai ain't doin' it.

As for being a GREAT LEADER, he seems always uninformed and out of the loop and exclaims after a catastrophic event happens, "Gosh, I didn't know that. Someone should warn me about these things?" Bush's leadership reminds me of the self-appointed leader who was sitting in a bar when a huge crowd roared by outside. He jumped up and ran out the door shouting. "They are my countrymen! I am their LEADER! I'll go FOLLOW them!"

David A. Whelan
Forest Knolls

No Castrated Pigs!
Students at Rosamond High School in Kern County, California, are right to be upset after their teacher castrated a live pig in front of them.

Although equally shocking cruelties happen every day on factory farms and in slaughterhouses, we think even people who eat pigs would agree that in this age of increasing violence, teaching young people to disregard animals' feelings sends a dangerous message that has no place in the classroom. This message becomes all the more urgent in light of reports that just days ago, a sheriff's deputy chased two teens carrying a loaded gun through the halls of this same high school and an elementary school.

Teaching students to have empathy for other beings is essential to reducing violence and raising kind, compassionate citizens. Educators who want to teach their students the most valuable lesson of all-compassion-are invited to visit TeachKind.org for free lesson plans.

Lindsay Pollard-Post
Staff Writer
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Norfolk, VA

Vermont Impeaches Bush?
Thank you to the citizens of Vermont who voted to impeach Bush.

Cheney needs to go too. He has shot us all. Our country has "lost face" with the world in the Bush administration's assault on democracy, human rights, decency, honesty, fairness, the environment, third world citizens, US workers, and those concerned with justice, peace, and freedom. Bush has lied to the American people for private gain. The glut of the oil companies and the war in Iraq et al. is devastating the economy. I hope Vermonters are not charged with sedition their stand. The majority of US citizens want him out. He should never have got in, and we need to pay attention to how the last 2 elections were rigged and stop the flaws in the system.

Bush et al. are out of touch with reality to promote more nuclear weapons and facilities. Chernobyl and nuclear waste, war and nuclear proliferation, death and destruction are the results.

We are in solidarity with Vermonters!

Skull and bones has to go!!
Kathy Barnes
Sherwood, MI

Where Is The Condemnation Of Israeli Behavior?

Years ago, we condemned Germany, when in its pursuit of an all-Aryan state, it committed terrible crimes against Jews. Now, when Israel, in pursuing an all-Jewish state, is committing terrible crimes against Palestinians, where is the condemnation? Where is the outrage?

Edith Cacciatore
Novato

Contempt For The Victim
On Friday March 17, in Gaza, where well over a million Palestinians live in dense quarters, people ran out of bread due to the closure of the border by Israel; the reason: the Israeli's don't like the way the Palestinians voted for Hamas and so they are punishing them collectively.

"Putting them on a diet" as one Israeli general put it. The Israeli Occupation Authority opened the border with Gaza for one half hour two days later on Saturday the 19th and let six trucks through with flour and sugar. Of course this was not anywhere near enough flour to feed over a million people walled in on all sides with 80 percent unemployment.

The Israelis claimed officially they closed border due to "security."

Two, going on three generations of Palestinian children have grown up under occupation in Gaza near enough to see and smell the Mediterranean Sea but never have been to the seashore because it is under military occupation for Jews and their security needs. The Palestinian situation is similar but worse than the " White's Only" of the apartheid South of North America.

In Israel today the Israeli Public Electric Utility serves both Arab Israelis and Jewish Israelis and has over 16,000 employee's, but only one maybe two of those 16,000 employee's are Arab Israeli according to Israel Shamir who lives in Jaffa, Israel. The reason is not security as they might have us believe, but rather good old boy racism.

Contempt for the victim of their windfall (Palestine) which is nothing more than common racism and plays out as continual fear of the indigenous Palestinian taking back what most reasonable people believe is theirs. On arrival in Palestine an early Jewish settler wrote home" The Bride is indeed beautiful but alas she is already married."

Over a million Israeli citizens are Arab Palestinians. (These are the Palestinians who weren't viciously murdered by Jews and their armed British help or who didn't flee Palestine in the 1948 White/European takeover of Arab land).You'd think if Israel were really a democracy, as claimed, the Arab Israeli numbers would somehow show up in the official labor statistics of corporations doing business in such a tiny, tiny "multi-cultural democratic" country but they don't. This is because Israel is not a Democracy, and in fact is anti-Semitic in the truest sense of the word-Arabs being the largest Semitic group in the world.

In 1948 a fabulous, truly multi- cultural Palestine, center and heart of the world, was in fact violently erased from the maps of the world.

The one and only viable solution for the conflict in Palestine is full equality for both Jew and non Jew, in Israel and the world. These are the words of not only Israel Shamir my friend but also of young Palestinians who I met throughout Occupied Palestine. This can be accomplished with a pen without violence as was done in S. Africa but would require the demise of the Jewish Only State, not the Jews, as long as they're willing to live as equals in peace with the Palestinians. Otherwise it is they who should leave.

There is one thing I know about you Sheldon Whitten Vile and I have never met you and that is that I know you are not Semite and that you have no basis in reality for a claim to Palestine. Peace I'm out.

J Kate Hart
San Geronimo Valley

LOWE LETTERS
Electronic Election Theft
Is it time to deal with electronic theft of elections? Hi-tech voter fraud began in Georgia, went on to Minnesota and spread throughout the country in 2004.

Computer software can be hacked, programmers can alter votes and never be detected, and touch-screen voting machines are manufactured by companies that have close connections with the Bush administration.

The electronic theft of elections began in Georgia where a popular Democratic governor and senator were both unseated in what media called amazing upsets with vote swings of up 16 percent from the last poll results before the election. In Minnesota, Walter Mondale, was also defeated in a large last-second vote shift. And in the last presidential election there were last-second vote swings that gave George Bush victories in states that had been voting solidly for John Kerry.

I bet if you checked, anti-abortion Republicans have won all suspect and disputed elections in 2000, 2002 and 2004.

* * *

Bush Doctrine
The President has introduced the "Bush Doctrine" to the world - pre-emptive strikes and war whenever the Supreme Commander gets the urge. Color me anti-war but I'm not ready for the Christian conservative idea of redemptive Armageddon and I'm beginning to see under George W. Bush's armor of deception.

Bush is a madman but he's our madman. Do we need this gunslinger sitting in the Oval Office as leader of the most powerful nation of the world? Send Cowboy George back to the ranch.

The song "War, What's It Good For" has been turned on its head by W. Bush and now reads 'war is good in every situation' when I can't make up my mind.

Ron Lowe
Nevada City

Hail To The Chief
It is comforting hear Bush's assurances that the transfer of management for several key ports to an Arab nation is in step with homeland security and his war on terrorism, even though he did not learn of it until it became an issue; We can now be assured that his family ties with the U.A.E. are irrelevant, and that the security concerns which have been raised are only political pandering.

Our faith in Bush's leadership can be reinforced by his insight and decisive actions with Divine guidance from his religious right and financial supporters. He has protected us from the dangerous misinformation generated by the international scientific community and damaging environmental reforms, by redefining science and the EPA's role in matters concerning global warming, poison air & water, overpopulation, etc.

Realizing that the weapons inspectors were not qualified to cite the absence weapons of mass destruction, he protected us from terrorism by invading Iraq. He recognized that the predictions of turmoil during the occupation, by the intelligence and diplomatic corps, were erroneous--as demonstrated by his classic "Mission Accomplished "speech.

For our safety, criticism of this administration can not be tolerated and merits reprimand. This is why Bush had to expose Senator Max Cleland, a triple amputee of Vietnam, as unfit and unpatriotic, for supporting the dangerous inquiry into 9/11.

With such valiant leadership, how can criticism be justified?

Robert Settgast
San Rafael

How Could This Be Happening?
I am writing in hopes that this issue will be addressed in your paper as leading news. I am completely outraged that in South Dakota virtually all forms of abortion is outlawed, even in cases of rape and incest. How is this going on in our country? How are we sitting back and letting this happen without some sort of voice? What if these women were our mothers, sisters, daughters and they were raped, would we want our women forced into having the rapist's child? Think of the suffering, yet we don't even write about it in the paper. Please bring this topic to light and write about the fact that this is going on in our country at this day and age. It's disgusting.

Gina Ioffee
Oakland

No Social Security Number Use!
Dozens of companies, schools, and agencies routinely ask you for your Social Security number--along with other sensitive information about you. Unfortunately, they don't always keep your information safe.

Last year, data security problems put 55 million Americans at risk for identity theft. In the first month of this year, security lapses at a bank, a hotel, a home health company and a newspaper have already exposed hundreds of thousands more.

Tell Congress to help you safeguard your Social Security number with just a few common sense reforms.

The social security number was never meant to be a national identifier, but today you may have to provide it to enroll in school, get health care, apply for insurance, and much more. That means dozens if not hundreds of different companies and individuals may have access to your Social Security number.

If crooks get your number, they can open new credit accounts and just start charging.

That's why Congress should limit the widespread collection and use of your Social Security number, and give you more control over the information that is collected.

We expect identity theft legislation to move through Congress this spring, but the banks and credit bureaus will be there to fight it. Lawmakers need to hear from as many people as possible, so please forward this e-mail to your friends so they can join the call for tough identity theft protections.

Jim Guest
President
Consumers Union of the US
Yorkers, NY

Happy About Living With Frogs
There aren't that many things i can say i'm happy about these days, but i'm truly happy to live in a place where frogs and salmon and others live in nature and people actually care and recognize the connection between human and non... thanks to all members of the mosquito committee and all you anti-toxic activists for keeping pesticides out of west marin.

susan scott
Inverness

Love, Loyalty And Courage
Today marks the passing of Dana Reeve, wife of Christopher Reeve who played Superman in the movies, but who real story started years later when a horseback riding accident left him paralyzed. Yesterday she died of lung cancer at the age of 44.

Dana and Christopher Reeve leaves behind a story of love, loyalty, courage, and taking adversity and turning it into advantage. They took a situation that might otherwise have been a tragedy and used it to bring them closer to each other and to be an example of not only recovering but thriving. Together they raised awareness of the plight of the paralyzed and formed an organization to fund research and became a voice for promoting stem cells as a way to regenerate spinal nerve tissue.

Although Dana and Christopher are gone as individuals their work and their foundation live on. Their legend is part of the Tree of Knowledge and they live as an example of what people can accomplish in the short amount of time we exist in reality. Their lives inspires us to live the kind of lives worthy of being remembered. Their accomplishments are not only still alive, but they leave something for the rest of us to build upon. Their lives so us that even in the absence of an afterlife that we are not without some measure of immortality. All of us have the opportunity to leave behind part of ourselves if we choose to live the kind of life worth remembering as Dana and Christopher have.

Marc Perkel
San Francisco

Testing Roe v. Wade
South Dakota OK's abortion ban to test Roe v. Wade and the states' Republican Governor Mike Rounds signs the anti-abortion bill into law. Is it a feudal system in South Dakota? How can a governor sign a bill that would not allow daughters, lovers, sisters, friends to have an abortion if they were raped or involved in an incestual relationship and got pregnant? Could it be that religious bureaucrats have taken over the statehouse and are trying to enforce their warped will on all female residents of South Dakota.

In another part of the "Red State" complex Mississippi's Republican Governor Haley Barbour waits expectantly, pen in hand, to sign a similar abortion ban into law.

Religious crusaders are on the march in America and GOP abortion politics is playing out at its best.

Ron Lowe
Nevada City

Mr. Vice President
My problem with how this story unfolded was not with the delay in notifying the press - it was the police that should have been notified immediately and granted access to the ranch and the vice president. The rest would have fallen into place. The vice president said he waited to tell the press so the "confusing details" would come out right. What was his reason for not meeting with the police? He was not conducting an investigation, he was what should have been the focus of an investigation. And who better to give the facts then the person involved. The vice president's actions were akin to leaving the scene of an accident in which there were serious injuries.

Initial reports the day after the shooting, provided by Katherine Armstrong a co-owner of the ranch, were "no one was drinking" and the injuries were "minor." Next we heard from Mr. Whittington, "foremost" making clear no alcohol was involved. We know these statements to be inaccurate (a polite word for "lies") by the vice presidents own admission, that he had "a beer" (was that "a" glass, can, kinger, six-pack, maybe a half keg) at lunch. And the "minor" injuries led to a heart attack when birdshot lodged in Mr. Whittington's heart. Further the police did not meet with the vice president until two days after the shooting at which time they checked a box that he "did not appear intoxicated." Duh! The delay appears that the vice presidents friends were "circling the wagons" as was the vice president himself.

I am not suggesting that the vice president was stumbling through the tall grass half cocked with a fully cocked shotgun, but his failure to immediately meet with the police and subsequent silence on the matter, his interview not withstanding, raises more questions then answers.

Whether or not alcohol was a factor, the shooting was unfortunate. But in addiction to being accidental it may also have been due to carelessness, perhaps even criminal.

The case may be closed but questions remain.

Michael Ash
Springfield, MA.

You Owe Uncle Sam $30,000
The Republicans voted again to increase the national debt, this time to $9 trillion dollars or $30,000 for every man, woman, child, and illegal immigrant in America. It's like having your credit card stolen by Uncle Sam and he charges $30,000 and sticks you with the bill. I'm old enough to remember when Republicans used words like "Balanced Budget Amendment" and "Paying off the National Debt" but concepts like that are now as outdated as the 4th Amendment and Civil Liberties.

This is the 4th time that Bush has increased the debt limit since he stole the election and one of these days the Middle East Arabs and the Communist Chinese are going to come knocking wanting us to pay back the money we borrowed, with interest. And on that day Freedom, Democracy and Government of the People will cease to exist as well. Everything that America stands for will be gone. We are a nation in denial. We have turned our backs on reality.

Marc Perkel
San Francisco

Neighborhood Bully
It's ironic that the biggest Jew-bashing paper in the Bay Area calls me

a bully. It brings to mind this song, "Neighborhood Bully" by Bob

Dylan. Can you guess what it's about?

"Well, the neighborhood bully, he's just one man,

His enemies say he's on their land.
They got him outnumbered about a million to one,

He got no place to escape to, no place to run.

He's the neighborhood bully.

The neighborhood bully just lives to survive,

He's criticized and condemned for being alive.

He's not supposed to fight back, he's supposed to have thick skin,

He's supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in.

He's the neighborhood bully.

The neighborhood bully been driven out of every land,

He's wandered the earth an exiled man.
Seen his family scattered, his people hounded and torn,

He's always on trial for just being born.

He's the neighborhood bully.

Well, he knocked out a lynch mob, he was criticized,

Old women condemned him, said he should apologize.

Then he destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad.

The bombs were meant for him.
He was supposed to feel bad.
He's the neighborhood bully.

Well, the chances are against it and the odds are slim

That he'll live by the rules that the world makes for him,

'Cause there's a noose at his neck and a gun at his back

And a license to kill him is given out to every maniac.

He's the neighborhood bully.

He got no allies to really speak of.
What he gets he must pay for, he don't get it out of love.

He buys obsolete weapons and he won't be denied

But no one sends flesh and blood to fight by his side.

He's the neighborhood bully.

Well, he's surrounded by pacifists who all want peace,

They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease.

Now, they wouldn't hurt a fly.
To hurt one they would weep.
They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep.

He's the neighborhood bully.

Every empire that's enslaved him is gone,

Egypt and Rome, even the great Babylon.
He's made a garden of paradise in the desert sand,

In bed with nobody, under no one's command.

He's the neighborhood bully.

Now his holiest books have been trampled upon,

No contract he signed was worth what it was written on.

He took the crumbs of the world and he turned it into wealth,

Took sickness and disease and he turned it into health.

He's the neighborhood bully.

What's anybody indebted to him for?
Nothin', they say.
He just likes to cause war.
Pride and prejudice and superstition indeed,

They wait for this bully like a dog waits to feed.

He's the neighborhood bully.

What has he done to wear so many scars?
Does he change the course of rivers?
Does he pollute the moon and stars?
Neighborhood bully, standing on the hill,

Running out the clock, time standing still,

Neighborhood bully. "

Sheldon Whitten-Vile
Oakland, CA

Third Anniversary Of Non-War
Somewhere, the 19 terrorists who brought down the Trade Center must be looking down and can't believe what they did with a pair of box cutters and 19 $200 air line tickets. It took those guys only a couple of hours to bring down 2 buildings while it is taking 3 years and counting for Uncle Sam to find out who did it, exhausting its army and resources in so doing.

President Bush thought Saddam Hussein was the source of the tragedy so he bombed Iraq. Nice going, George, but the terrorists' leader, Osama bin Laden, is still riding around on a donkey somewhere in the hills ofAfghanistan.

Now Bush is celebrating the 3rd anniversary of his invasion into Iraq by avoiding uttering the word "WAR" in touting his mission there. Some "mysterious force" is blowing up our troops everyday but its not caused by"WAR".

Bush doesn't appear to have any new solution for achieving victory in this "whatever-you-call-it undertaking" in Iraq but he is celebrating the 3 year anniversary of the "not-a-war" mission by launching a Public Relations Blitz to convince himself and a disapproving public that victory of some kindis in sight?

While he is gleefully hugging himself on the podium exclaiming that he will not retreat from his special task of freeing the Iraqi people from evil and tyranny, many Iraqis feel that Uncle Sam's occupation might be the problem and peace and freedom will come only after the "Americans scoot back across the pond."

David A. Whelan
Forest Knolls

Electronic Election Rigging Is Easy
I am a former member of SAVEdemocracy, a think tank devoted to the subject of election reform. Two of our members were computer programmers, and one of these programmers is also an election official. Here is what they both had to say about so-called paper trails:

That it is "easy" to rig the election computers to fool you into thinking that you have voted for so-and-so, yet internally, to record a vote for someone else. By simply misaligning the push buttons with the computer's internal mechanism, computer programmers can arrange for Candidate A to be voted into office, when you press the button for Candidate B. Yet, the receipt would reflect that you did actually vote for Candidate B.

We think that a recount would be accurate: Are we kidding ourselves? After the Florida election mess, was there ever a recount? Who are we trusting to accurately report these recounts, anyway?

a) The only safe and trustworthy way to elect an official, is to hand-count paper ballots. b) The way to prevent falsification of the figures, is to televise the hand-counting. c) Just as importantly, it should be American citizens, not hand-picked individuals, who do the counting. Those conducting the hand-counts should be chosen at random, like with jury duty, and it should be a public duty, also like jury duty. d) Citizen tallying of the figures MUST occur not only at the local precincts, but very importantly, at the state and federal levels. It is at these two levels, that much of the falsification secretly occurs.

FACT: Canada hand-counts its paper ballots within four hours, with very few mistakes. America has at least as many citizens per square mile, as Canada. Therefore, we can just as efficiently use paper ballots, as Canada.

FACT: Our very efficient DRE's use top secret computer programs. Only a small handful of programmers nationwide, can "crack" the secret code. How easy is it, then, to pay off a programmer, to tip the scales?

Who are we really trusting with the integrity of our votes? Why not let American citizens do the work of counting the figures? This is what American citizens should "plug" for. Summons for the civic duty of tallying the voting figures. Please send out group e-mails, asking your friends to call their local Senators and representatives, calling for this civic duty to be penned into law.

Dina Brooke
Novato

Agrees With Whitten-Vile
You may think your correspondent Sheldon Whitten-Vile (Hates Jew Haters, March 1) was "wrong on all counts," but I thought he was right on. Your paper has been a soap box for anti-Semites as long as I've been reading it, more than 20 years.

Doris Ober
Dogtown

Right Wing Compassion
Not satisfied with robbing hope from thousands of people with incurable diseases- by blocking federal funds for fetal stem cell research-Bush's religious right are now impeding California voter's initiative to pursue this promising cure.

With similar irrational, they have undermined family planning and women's rights in impoverished areas-the only real means of ending world poverty and starvation for future generations.

After justifying these policies on the sanctity of life and his brand of theocracy, Bush has further fueled world poverty and diseases by blocking vital environmental, conservation, and health reforms-either with secrecy, or disguising them as environmental friendly based on irrational logic or manipulated science.

By allowing this unlearned and arrogant president, guided by his financial and radical religious right supporters, to continue this course, Americans have only themselves to blame for the inevitable increases in world poverty, unnecessary diseases, and environmental degradation.

Robert Settgast
San Rafael

Isn't It Time For Drainage?
Dear Friends and Neighbors:
I awoke this morning, at 4:45 am, to the sounds of heavy winds in the trees and heavy rains on my roof. What concerned me the most was whether the tree in my front yard would remain standing, or give-in to the fierce battering it was taking and join me in bed. I kept telling myself that this tree has withstood many storms far worse than this, so there is no reason that it won't withstand this little storm. Nonetheless, I couldn't get back to sleep.

At 5:47 am, I got up and took my morning shower. I don't know about you, but things always seem to get better in the shower: Problems get solved, the day gets planned, the clouds part and the sun comes out. I got out of the shower with renewed confidence!

So, at 6:05 am, having dressed, I charged out on to the front porch to gaze upon that stalwart tree, that pillar of strength, that great defyer of wind and rain, that... WOW! Was that tree taking a beating! Every gust of wind seemed to explode into its great sail of limbs. Between gusts, it swayed back and forth looking confused like an over-served, 2 a.m. patron at Smiley's.

As I stood there gaping at the battle between tree and wind, I found myself cheering the tree on in its fight to survive. "You can do it," I yelled! I kept picturing that tree coming out of it like Mohammed Ali in his fight with George Foreman and the "Rope a Dope," where the Tree, like Ali, is taking hit after hit; round after round letting the wind, like Foreman, punch itself out, only to be knocked out in the late rounds by the Tree, Ali!

As I danced there on my front porch "bobbin' and weavin'" and jabbing at the air, I was staggered by a hit of reality as my eyes fell upon the stumps of trees that once stood beside my fighting tree. These stumps are what's left of those trees that fought and lost in previous storms.

It is now 10:08 am, and the rain is coming down in buckets. The wind is gusting at close to 40 miles/hour and my confidence is dwindling. Unless there is a place for all this rainwater to run, the ground will soon reach the point of total saturation. There is standing-water everywhere, the roads are already suffering, septic systems are failing, and the soil and trees are becoming unstable.

But, the fight is not over! I find myself charged with renewed energy, and am now more determined then ever to see that an integrated drainage system is installed and maintained on the Bolinas Mesa, that the peripheral drainage ditches and culverts bordering the sewer ponds are restored to proper working order, and that an alternative drainage system is designed that will redirect storm-water run-off away from the cliffs in order to reduce erosion.

Saturated soil and standing-water are a well-recognized and long-standing tradition on the Bolinas Mesa that continues to cause a multitude of problems year after year.

By installing drainage, we will reduce the kinds of problems that are associated with the saturated soil conditions that are so prevalent on the Bolinas Mesa during the rainy season. For instance, Drainage will: • Reduce the number of septic system failures, and thus, reduce the amount of harmful toxins that we are releasing into our creeks, ocean, lagoon and environment every year.

• Reduce the number of standing-water Mosquito breeding sources, and thus, reduce the need for pesticides.

• Reduce cliff erosion
• Reduce expensive tree work
• Reduce road repair expenses
• Reduce power outages
• Reduce flooding downtown
Most of all, drainage will make Bolinas a healthier place to live for us, the animals and the trees.

In order to get the Mesa Drainage Plan out of the plan and into the field, the BCPUD Board of Directors needs to hear that Drainage is important to us, and that the time for drainage is now.

Please, write, call or e-mail the BCPUD encouraging the installation of drainage ASAP. For without the BCPUD's leadership and participation, an integrated drainage system on the Mesa will never happen.

Let's all work together to install a new tradition on the Bolinas Mesa, DRAINAGE!

Please get involved!
Matt Lewis,
Bolinas Mesa Resident

We Have Lost The War
We can pretend that we are winning in Iraq but we have already lost the war. The reason is that there is no insurgency. Iraq is in a civil war and the own way we can win the war is to defeat the people who we are

trying to liberate. You can't win a war when you don't know who the enemy is. And who is the enemy? Bush is America's enemy.

Marc Perkel
San Francisco, CA.

What is a Yuppie?
You may have heard that Rush Limbaugh was recently exposed as a black lesbian in deep denial. What, you're telling me that you've actually seen "him" in person?

Even with this late, horribly suppressed "Stepford" revelation, as we all know - the Bush-voting yuppie cultural nightmare continues.

Is a yuppie merely a "young urban professional"? Most would argue not. That definition alone simply cannot explain the intense distaste and disgust that so many feel for yuppies.

Psychologist Dr. Robert Hare, a leading expert in the study of psychopathic behavior, has developed a checklist (below) of psychopathic traits and they are but a few that represent the aberrant behavior of the irresponsible independent entrepreneur or corporate employee, better known as the "yuppie".

Yuppies are irresponsible because in an attempt to satisfy their goals, others are put at risk.

Yuppies try to manipulate everything, including public opinion.

Yuppies are grandiose, always insisting that "we're number one, we're the best."

Yuppies refuse to accept responsibility for their own actions and are unable to feel remorse.

The following, is his well-known and implemented psychopathy checklist in its entirety. The reader can easily see that considering what we know about the behavior of yuppies, there are very few aspects of psychopathic behavior that they do not match.

1. Glibness / superficial charm
2. Grandiose sense of self-worth
3. Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom

4. Pathological lying
5. Conning/manipulative
6. Lack of remorse or guilt
7. Shallow affect
8. Callous/lack of empathy
9. Parasitic lifestyle
10. Poor behavioral controls
11. Promiscuous sexual behavior
12. Early behavior problems
13. Lack of realistic, long-term plans

14. Impulsivity
15. Irresponsibility
16. Failure to accept responsibility for own actions

17. Many short-term relationships
18. Juvenile delinquency
19. Revocation of conditional release

20. Criminal versatility
Steve Brooks
Mill Valley

Zionism Does Not Equal Judaism
Sheldon Whitten-Vile (letters March 1) is a slow learner. His statement that "Zionism has always been an integral part of Judaism" is simply not so.

Zionism is a political movement initiated during the days of the British mandate in Palestine to encourage world Jewry to colonize Palestine. The movement's fascist structure so worried Albert Einstein and the American Jewish intelligentsia that they published that full-page warning to the American public in the New York Times back in 1948. (see my previous columns)

Sheldon's paranoia aside, those who have criticized Israel's savage occupations of Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Palestine are no more haters of Jews than those who criticized France's military forays in Algeria are haters of the French, or those who condemn Germany's harsh restrictions on immigration are haters of the German people.

The Zionists adopted this name calling to discourage criticism. Fortunately, name-calling hasn't restrained the world from condemning Israel's malicious behavior as evidenced by the more than 80 Anti-Israel Resolutions past by the United Nations, many of which were vetoed by the US under pressure from our Israeli lobby.

I refer Sheldon to a recent article in Haaretz by Airam Barket.

Just exactly who or what is anti-Semitic?

"The situation of world Jewry is much better than Israel and the major Jewish organizations would like us to think, says historian Dr. Antony Lerman, the new director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research in London. In his opinion... the problem can be easily resolved: as soon as Israel agrees to a "just solution to the Palestinian problem."

Sheldon's attitude that Israel can do no wrong was perfectly portrayed in a famous cartoon printed some years ago in the New York papers: A mother, standing on the curbside as the army marches by nudges her neighbor, saying: "Look Sarah, everybody's out of step but Sammy." A little reading of history on Sheldon's part might improve his perspective.

Edward W. Miller, MD








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