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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

June, 2006

 

Letters to the Editor

LOWE LETTERS
Americans In The River
Americans are in denial - they can't believe a US president would lie over and over. Don't you believe your own eyes and ears? Ideology and Party loyalty have trumped the Constitution.
George W. Bush started lying to the American people on the 2000 campaign trail. George W. told America he was a moderate when it came to women's reproductive rights, that he was for little government, and a fiscal conservative. Five years have proved otherwise. WMD's and mushroom clouds are recent additions.

Aren't you getting tired of White House smoke and mirrors? Prevarications, deceptions and lies follow the Leaker-in-Chief like a shadow.

* * *
Lies In The Name Of God
How weird and what a grievious lie that wars, suicide bombings, and dark machinations can be done in the name of God.

President Bush keeps invoking 9/11 as the NSA spies on millions. Since when are Americans the enemy?

Bush and anti-tax Republicans campaigned on small government, balanced budget and fiscal sanity. Five years down the road and we have a government of inaction, lies, wars and fiscal insanity.

The Oligarchs in the White House rule with a religious certainty. We have a president who feels he is beyond the law of the land. GOP brokers have a need for absolute power and control.

Midterm elections are right around the corner and the peril of Republican control remains a possibility. Will Americans stand by in an apathetic stupor?

Ron Lowe
Grass Valley

Moms Protecting Their Child
Imagine for a moment that you are a loving, attentive, protective mom and you believe that someone is violating your child physically, sexually, emotionally. Please, try to understand the desperation, the maternal instinct to protect your young from harm. It doesn't matter who the perpetrator is, a father or a stranger, it doesn't matter. You are desperate to stop the abuse. This comes natural to most animals, and it would most likely come natural to you, if you suspected or had evidence that your child was being abused.

You fear losing custody of your child for failure to protect so you follow instructions to seek medical/psychological help as well as legal protection from the family court when the child reveals that the father is the abuser. That same desperate feeling comes to you when you enter family court and discover that the evidence you were told would stop the abuse can be used to make you look like you fabricated it to keep the father from his child.

Lawyers tell the judge and anyone else who will listen, that you are unhappy, upset because custody didn't go as you wished, and you become angry that they are covering up and ignoring the real evidence of abuse. Well, how does the dictionary define these terms? Unhappy: experiencing sadness, sorrow, discontent. Upset: in a state of emotional or mental distress; distraught. These terms can be twisted negatively to reflect an image that Annette Zender of ICFCR and myself, as well as other protective moms like us have unrealistic expectations from our family courts and law enforcement. They can also be taken literally to mean that we are truly upset and unhappy to find that we and our children are not believed when we disclose abuse.

Are those feelings so unreasonable? What parent wouldn't feel that way if they could not protect their child? More importantly, why isn't everyone feeling this way?

Why aren't more people angry that the family court is used by the more financially powerful parent, to manipulate evidence of abuse, to use the law to gain sole custody of the child that disclosed the abuse? As officers of the court, lawyers must tell the truth, but it is rare that they do so. They suppose scenarios of alternate realities, and judges buy into them.

As I was once told, the best liar wins. We wonder, why lie? And we wonder, why doesn't the truth matter? Children lose loving parents and childless mothers are often destroyed emotionally, financially and spiritually. We were na•ve and ignorant of how the legal system works to generate money for those who can keep litigation going and that our safety and protection is of little value if we can't pay for it. We don't understand why our civil rights are violated and some of us begin to fight back by telling our stories to anyone who will take a moment and listen.

Is it so wrong to expect justice and truth in the family court? Will our experiences be meaningful only when the public is directly effected by the consequences of ignoring the rights of abused women and children and this lawlessness spreads into other areas of the legal system, when it touches each of you too?

Valerie Nixon
[email protected]

The Bad In Alternative Energy
How can Alternative Energies be good when they require materials that originated from places that all environmentalists say are "evil and destructive"? Alternative Energies require "bad" materials for assembly, such as ceramics, carbons, and metals from Mines, and sometimes plastics and other carbon-based materials, which originate from Oil Wells and Coal mines. Even "natural" plant fiber materials require machinery and processing and transportation, which also require metals, ceramics, and carbon. Most solar electric panels require ceramics and special elements, such as gallium, arsenic, germanium, etc., that came from mining operations. Even fuel cells require materials originally from mines.

Environmental groups say that Mining and Oil / Gas Wells are all "bad" and "evil", even with full-scale reclamations and restorations. So, how can we go to Alternative Energy when it requires things that are not accepted by the Environmentalists?

Environmentalist point to bicycles as environmentally-friendly transportation. To make bicycles, manufacturers must get materials that originated from mining operations (iron, molybdenum, aluminum, ceramics, etc.), oil wells and coal mines for carbon and plastic materials, and sometime timber for wood. These materials are then processed in plants that also use products from mining and oil wells, and use electricity. How can this be "good" by any environmentalist's definitions?

Look at how many existing Wilderness Areas have abandoned oil / gas wells and also mining sites within their boundaries. Why is that permissible? How is it that reclamations of well drilling sites are either ignored or denied by the environmental groups now? There have been many private groups in the Pacific Northwest (like my grade school in the 1960's) that went out and planted trees, grass, and shrubs in the forests. We even saw some of the lumber companies replanting trees and shrubs. But apparently, none of those good efforts count in the mind of the environmental groups, as seen in recent publications and notifications.

Take a deeper look at what really is going on. Natural resources are needed for everything in our lives, even medical items and alternative energies. But when our natural resources are being closed up and as reclamations are either ignored or badmouthed, we are loosing the materials needed for our daily lives, even for the "nice" Alternative Energies. As a final note, my 1990 car gets the same gas mileage GPM as a modern hybrid car. Go figure.

Are you familiar with the wilderness near Ruidoso, NM, USA? The wilderness boundaries "captured" some gold and silver / lead mines. The government threatened to sue the mine and claim owners with EPA Superfund status if they did not surrender the land for wilderness designation. Now how is it that places that are supposedly Superfund sites can now be "wilderness" areas? The 1964 Wilderness Act specified that undeveloped, untouched, and natural areas were to be part of the wilderness areas.

Catherine French
Los Alamos, NM USA

Letter To Judge Candidate Meneken
Mr. Meneken,
I was glad when you announced your intention to run against Judge Sutro. I read the article about you in the Coastal Post by Georgia Sears this month.

I admire your background on civil and social issues. It is night and day from Sutro's cold, uncaring and cruel demeanor.

In my case (read the attached Aug., Sept., Oct. Post issues by Jim Scanlon) Sutro seemed to care more about clearing the Court Docket/Calendar than dispensing justice. He appeared to encourage and condone perjury in his court. To appear before Sutro is nothing more than a kangaroo court. He does not listen nor care. He is just an other rich man (lives in well-off Kentfield) who cares little for people he considers of less worth. The whole Marin Court System appears to be just and "old boys club." This needs to be addressed and broken up for the good of the Citizens of Marin.

When Jim Scanlon died last May, some of us in the Disabled Community wondered if Jim really died the way it was reported because of his critical in-depth reporting of the Marin Courts in the Coastal Post, or if he was helped along by those whose side he was a thorn in.

I strongly support your candidacy to take out a man of such low integrity (if not down right evil) as Sutro. Good luck in the race, we the citizens of Marin need you.

Jerrry R. Bakken
Novato

Another Parent Angry At Family Court
Supervisors Susan L. Adams, Harold C. Brown Jr., Charles McGlashan, and

Cynthia Murray
I am writing to you to get your view of a matter that has had dramatic effects upon me and my children.

On July 23, 2003, five Jefferson Parish, Louisiana police, with weapons drawn, busted into my residence in Louisiana to execute an arrest warrant of me and to seize my two daughters Caroline and Christine Olagues.

They did so to enforce a California criminal arrest warrant of me and a seizure order of the children issued by Judge Verna Adams of Marin Superior Court on July 22, 2003. The basis of the criminal warrant was that I violated Cal. Penal Code 278.5 a) by unlawfully removing the children from California and that my wife had sole physical custody of the children.

Neither the children nor my ex wife nor myself were residents of California as the children had been living in New Zealand with their mother for seven years prior to the incident and I had been living in Louisiana and New Zealand for those seven years.

The seizure warrant was pursuant to an ex parte proceeding, which clearly violated my Constitutional rights to notice and hearing prior to the seizure, absent the threat to physical harm to the children. That is clearly defined law.

Both the Criminal Complaint and the Application for the ex parte seizure was supported by a document called a declaration/affidavit of Marin DA Investigator Patricia Stafford.

That document was fraudulent as was the Application for the seizure and the Criminal Complaint. It was proven and admitted to be fraudulent in Superior Court in March 14, 2005 before Judge Stephen Graham.

That document attached as an exhibit the Hague Convention Access enforcement order of September 30, 2002. The Hague order stated that John Olagues had joint custody and had both rights of custody and access.

The declaration/affidavit also attached, as an exhibit, a July 15, 2003 letter from Barbara Greig of the United States State Department acting as the Central Authority for the Hague Convention to Patricia Stafford. The letter of Barbara Greig stated that there was no prohibition from Olagues removing the children from California in the Hague Convention enforcement order.

DDA Leon Kousharian stated that there was no prohibition against removing the children from California.

So the declaration/ affidavit of Stafford was fraudulent on its face.

I had picked up the children in Marin Count on July 2, 2003 pursuant to an order under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abductions and a subsequent consent order of June 20, 2003 which expanded the terms of the Hague order.

After the seizure and bringing the children to California on July 24, 2003, there was an ex parte proceeding before Judge Vernon Smith on July 31, 2003. He set aside and vacated the seizure warrant and the temporary custody order issued by Judge Verna Adams.

He agreed that the ostensible reason for the seizure (i.e. to bring the children to Marin for further custody hearings and orders) was invalid. He vacated the temporary order giving the custody to the Marin DA and ordered the return to whomever had custody pursuant to the New Zealand orders, which was Olagues, who had physical custody at the time of the seizure.

But, the Marin DDA, Leon Kousharian, and my ex-wife's attorney, Peggy Bennington instructed my ex wife to take the children to New Zealand, which she did in contempt of the order from Judge Smith.

Olagues has been deprived of his access, his custody and his guardianship rights since July 23, 2003 and has not been allowed to speak with the children since then.

Olagues was tried and found guilty in Marin Superior Court of violating P.C. 278.5a) for not returning his children at the proper time. Both the Jury and the Court stated that they "respected Olagues" for what he did. Judge Graham expressed that he would have done the same as I, given the same circumstances.

The criminal verdict is being appealed.

This is the first case ever charged or tried under P.C 278.5a) when no parent or child was a resident of California. The children were not found subsequently in California. The charging "information" charged that all acts or omissions were done outside of California when Olagues was in Louisiana with his children.

Please answer a few questions for me if you would be so kind..

1. Is it legal or the policy of Marin County to seize children from a father's custody without notice or hearing, absent threat of physical harm to the children. In other words can the Court order the seizure of children with no due process of law, based on fraudulent documents with the father never to see the children again?

2. Does the Jurisdiction of California Criminal courts extend to acts or omissions anywhere outside of California, when no party was a resident of California and the children were not in California at the time of the alleged criminal offense? In my case there was no California custody order and California courts had never had a custody hearing or made a custody order. California had no jurisdiction to issue custody orders as was ruled by Judge Smith.

3. Do the Marin County Supervisors condone the filing of fraudulent documents in Court.


If you would wish to get to the bottom of this matter, you could visit the web site or read the court documents or appear at a hearing on May 31, 9:00 AM in Superior Court before Judge Vernon Smith or on June 7th in the same court.

Please reply as soon as possible. Thank You:

John Olagues
River Ridge La.

Bush's Scientific Betrayal
Never before have Americans experienced such dangerous manipulation of essential scientific data, as used by this administration to derail vital environmental reforms, conservation, family planning--and the list goes on. The resulting long term environmental and social damages are beyond measure, and can only worsen and set dangerous precedents if not curtailed.

Despite their clandestine cloaks, or environmental friendly disguises, these sellouts have been evident since Bush first was handed the presidency. They have been exposed by defectors from the EPA, health & human services, etc; and have been documented and chronicled by numerous dedicated environmental organizations including The Union of Concerned Scientists.

The damages from these unprecedented betrayals eclipse the Monica Lewinski scandal which led to an impeachment, and pose greater dangers than Watergate which terminated a presidency. Blame for their consequences, falls mainly on the populace and our legislators for tolerating such conduct from this reckless and arrogant president.

Robert Settgast
San Rafael

Comments On The Lobby
I admit I feel personally vindicated by the Mearsheimer and Walt paper on the Israeli Lobby. "Thanks to John Mearsheimer and Steven Walt, the Issue of the Israel Lobby is out in the open and may it never be put back in the bottle." Israel's "Rat Pack" In Washington by Edward Miller. Columnist for the Coastal Post quotes Jeffrey Blankford, columnist.

I have stacks of my own stories concerning the powerful Lobby. You know that nonexistent lobby, according to Noam Chomsky and self proclaimed Christian Zionist, professor Steven Zunes, author of Tinderbox.

One of my early experiences in the struggle for Palestine was at Tomales High in 2002/3. When then principal Terry Hughie invited Alison Weir, at my request, founder of "If Americans Knew" to speak at Tomales High to Ellen Webster's 11th and 12th combined English Class about the occupation of Palestine. Ellen Webster was visibly shaken by the presence of Alison Weir standing before her class preparing to speak. Ellen was disrespectful by leaving the room five times in the course of Alison's 45 minute PowerPoint Presentation. When she was present she balanced her checkbook and carried on a conversation with her aid while Alison was speaking.

Later when I tried to reschedule Alison for another lecture different teacher at Tomales High I was told by Mr. Hughie that I would first have to speak with Ellen Webster.

I went to the school and I spoke with Ellen. She told me she and the kids did not like Alison's lecture, and that it was one sided. I asked her how she even knew what it was about when she left the room five times, balanced her check book, and chatted with her student aid. She admitted to these accusations but said nevertheless she did not envision Alison's return to Tomales High. She mentioned something about the "other side needing to be heard". I explained that we were there to present the case of the victims not the victimizers, and that it was up to her to schedule that meeting , but that she shouldn't block Alison's return to the campus to teach other youth. She made it very clear she was very confident that Alison would not be coming back, I left the campus perplexed wondering why it was up to Ellen Webster whether Alison returned or not.

Later in the year to protest enlistment officers on campus I sat in the Tomales school Library at lunch time for about 5 months as the Anti-War mom with alternative information to enlistment (the officers never came back!). I was in the process of arranging to start a Peace and Justice Anti-War Club on campus with a couple of senior females toward the end of the school year when Ellen Webster literally " Took Over " the project. Legally we had to have a teacher on campus that would be our "Advisor" and Ellen maneuvered to have this position against my wishes.

Ellen is a Zionist with a son in the army in Iraq. I thought it was inappropriate for her to be our advisor because she blocked Alison's return to campus. I wrote her a letter and told her I thought she was simply trying to disrupt the Peace movement. I never heard back from her.

Terry Hughie was fired from his job as Principle of Tomales High the next school year.

I'm not saying Terry lost his job because he let the Palestinian side of the story slip through the official Cracks and be presented for the first time ever at Tomales High.

It could be a coincidence, I can't say, I really don't know why Terry was fired, it seems to be a mystery, you'd have to talk to Stephen Rosenthal superintendent of Shoreline school district. However I'm absolutely certain an appropriate solution to get rid of him was found.

I'd like to thank Terry Hughie again for letting the occupation of Palestine have a voice in an American High school under Zionist Occupation, its a beginning.

Mahmood Ahmadie Najad President of Iran said in his resent letter to President Bush, "I'm sure you know at what cost Israel was established. Many thousands were killed in the process. Millions of indigenous people were made refugees. Hundreds of thousands of hectares of farmland, olive plantations, towns and villages were destroyed.

This tragedy is not exclusive to the time of the establishment, unfortunately it has been going on for sixty years now. Mrs. Webster, superintendents and teachers everywhere, don't even High school students have a right to learn at what cost Israel was established ?

Let American children learn from an earlier age about the Palestinian "Nakba" the Catastrophe, from a non-Jewish perspective. Demand your school be truly multi-cultural. Let the Palestinian voice be heard early on like the holocaust is, then Zionist women and men like Mrs. Webster, Lantos and Delay, Nancy Polosie, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Hillary Clinton will be seen in the light, for the Rat Pack they really are and who's interests they are really fronting for will be realized, Israel.

JK Hart

Didn't Enjoy The Party
There is one problem that puzzles me about your presidential leadership, George? You say over and over again that your job is to confront problems and solve them. Don't pass them on. I assume you don't consider the tax cuts as passing a problem on to the next generation?

With your annual budgets creating almost a half trillion dollar deficit each year for your wars and self indulgence, the annual INTEREST on the debt is $425,000,000,000 (that's billions) paid to China, Japan and others. I believe you could say that this is passing the problem on to the next president and those unborn?

What is demoralizing about this waste of taxpayers' dollars just to pay interest, is that every income tax dollar collected on the 1040s sent in west of the Mississippi River doesn't even cover the INTEREST paid on the national debt. It doesn't contribute one penny toward supporting any beneficial governmental program. It just pays INTEREST on a dead horse.

This is stealing from the next generations...and they didn't even get to enjoy the party?

David A. Whelan
Forest Knolls

Election Security In Marin
May 4, 2006
Michael Smith, Registrar of Voters
Supervisors Adams, Brown, McGlashan, Kinsey, and Murray

County of Marin
3501 Civic Center Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903

Dear Mr. Smith and Supervisors:
We are writing to follow up on the Elections Workshop held by the Board of Supervisors on February 14, 2006. While we were disappointed that the Board voted in favor of an appointed Registrar, we were encouraged that it endorsed various other election security measures and directed the Registrar to come back to the Board with recommendations for implementation.

We are very concerned that the June 6 election is just a few weeks away, the Registrar has not proposed recommendations to the Board, and the County has not formally declared that the election security measures discussed at the workshop will be implemented in time for the election. Further, we are concerned that the selection of the next Registrar of Voters has proceeded without significant community input.

While we understand the time constraints imposed upon the current Registrar, we hope you will agree with us that election security is paramount. Thus, we respectfully request that you place on the agenda of the next Board of Supervisors meeting a discussion and vote on the enclosed resolution to enhance election security in Marin County in time for the June 2006 election. While the attached resolution would not address all concerns regarding election security, the measures listed would be a positive step in the right direction for this upcoming election. We anticipate some very close races in June, and want to ensure that hand recounts are not obstructed by prohibitively high recount cost sand other factors.

Please contact us to let us know what you will do. Thank you for your consideration.

Linda Bagneschi Dorrance, Novato

Ted Newman, Mill Valley
Darrow Bishop, Sausalito
Darlene Betette, Novato
June Swan, Corte Madera
Frank Egger, Fairfax
Carl Carter, San Anselmo
Pete Newcome, Kentfield

cc: Marin Independent Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Marinscope

Newspapers, The Ark Newspaper, Pacific Sun, Novato Advance, Point Reyes Light,

Coastal Post

RESOLUTION NO. 2006-_____
RESOLUTION OF THE MARIN COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS


BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Supervisors of the County of Marin, in the interest of safeguarding the vote and restoring public faith in the security of the election process, hereby directs the Marin County Registrar of Voters to implement the following election security measures beginning with the June 6, 2006 election:

a. Establish a pricing structure for hand recounts that imposes, at most, a nominal cost to the candidate or other person requesting the recount. Structure pricing such that cost is not a barrier to hand recounts. Rather, build recount costs into the cost of an election, to be paid for by the agencies requesting the election services (cities/districts/county/state/federal.)

b. Sort, count, and store mail-in, absentee, and provisional ballots by precinct as standard operating procedure. Do not charge a sorting fee to candidates or others requesting hand recounts.

c. Select precincts for the hand-count audit in a truly random method. Notify the public in advance of the date, time, and location of the selection so public observers can attend to witness and verify the legitimacy of the random selection.

d. Audit absentee, mail-in, provisional, and all other ballot types the same way as poll site ballots. For each ballot type, hand audit all races, and audit by precinct rather than by batch.

e. Increase the percentage of precincts included in the hand-count audit to five percent.

f. Conduct a public hand recount of the absentee ballots from the November 8, 2005 election for the following races that were decided by margins of less than five percent: City of San Rafael, Novato Unified School District, Ross Valley School District, Sausalito-Marin Sanitary District, and Town of Fairfax.

Also conduct a public hand recount of the November 2, 2004 Marin Healthcare Board race, which was decided by less than 0.31 percent.

g. Establish a community input process for elections by creating an Election Advisory Committee with broad representation across diverse stakeholder groups, to meet at least once every two months.


The Right To Price Gouge
The House has approved a bill that imposes criminal and civil penalties (up to $150 million for refiners and $2 million for retailers) on any energy company found guilty of "price gouging." But selling at prices some people feel are too high violates no one's rights--there is no such thing as a right to cheap gasoline. Moreover, "price gouging" has no objective meaning or definition--it is in the eyes of the beholder. People who complain about "price gouging" merely want a product at a lower price than it's being sold for.

Perhaps recognizing the unsolvable problem of objectively defining "price gouging," the House bill does not even attempt to do it, but delegates the task to the Federal Trade Commission.

But as Jeffrey Schmidt, director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition admits, "One of the problems with price gouging is that there are a lot of different definitions of what price gouging is."

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has his own "definition": "we know price gouging when we see it."

"Price gouging" laws are like the sword of Damocles, hanging over the heads of businessmen, who at any time may be found guilty of the "crime" of selling at market prices that politicians deem too high. Businessmen should not have to live under this constant threat; as owners of the products they sell they have the moral right to set the prices.

David Holcberg
Ayn Rand Institute
Irvine, CA

Exit Exams Just Too Tough
As a high school math teacher, not yet eligible for retirement, it was quite a relief to see the high school exit exam end up in the recycling bin. Marginal teachers, marginal principals and marginal students, all took a collective sigh of relief. In the words of Winston Churchill, "Never have so many owed so much to so few."

In this case, we owe it to one man: Judge Robert Freedman. I do not pretend to be a visionary, but I fully expect to see schools named after him, to wit: "Welcome to Robert Freedman High, Where Everyone Graduates." Or, to see scholarships dedicated to him and to hear his name used interchangeably with Aristotle, Socrates and Ferris Bueller.

Although I served on a committee that crafted the Math portion of the Exit Exam, you will not hear me whining nor grousing about its eleventh-hour obsolescence. As I always say, there is only one thing worse than a lack of accountability in public education and that is accountability. In public education we have a mantra we recite whenever the rock of Sisyphus begins rolling down hill: "Change is Progress." Now that the system has had its close encounter with accountability, we can finally stop fixating on such objective, quantifiable basics as reading, writing and arithmetic and move on to more subjective, qualitative and sublime goals like respect, rights and responsibility.

The Math portion of the Exit Exam assumed that all graduating seniors would have acquired, and retained, a modicum of middle school math skills. Even the Algebra questions were based on what California has designated as an eighth grade Math curriculum.

However, Judge Robert Freedman rightly asserts that not all students approach the test from a level playing field. He correctly cites family income, English as a second language and substandard feeder schools, as correlating highly with a failure to clear the Exit Exam hurdle. But these factors are not the only gopher holes, tumble weed and quick sand in the playing field.

Many students have their education interrupted by urgent cell phone calls and emergency text messages that demand an immediate response. Some students set the volume of their iPods or MP-3 players over 85 decibels; they can barely hear their math instructor dryly droning on about adding, subtracting, teacher pay and years remaining to retirement. Some students are denied up-to-date maps of the school campus: they wander around the hallways, virtually lost, too embarrassed to ask an ogreish hall monitor for directions to their classrooms. Still other students are not given a class schedule: while they may have an inkling that school starts somewhere before 10 a.m., the exact time remains elusive.

The din of bells, chimes, gongs and buzzers, randomly sounding off, only adds to the confusion and tinnitus.

The lunch schedule is even more baffling: is it one hour, two hours or three hours? Is the flex time allotted for lunch proportional to how far a student must drive to get to a fast food dive? Should students be pressured into speeding back to campus from Jack-and-the-Box and risk a nasty coke spill to their designer jeans?

Given that the Exit Exam was cashiered because not all students could pass it, should we apply the trickle down principle to other tests, quizzes and spelling bees?

Judge Freedman ceded to the argument that students who didn't know English ended up failing the English portion of the Exit Exam and therefore the English Exit Exam was unfair. The corollary to that argument would be: students who don't know Math will fail the Math Exam and therefore the Math Exit Exam is also unfair.

When these cogent arguments reach my math classroom, I too will be in deep kimchee: If I give a Geometry Quiz to students who have not learned Geometry, they are likely to fail it, therefore that Exam should be invalidated. Being this close to retirement, I will not risk running counter to the legal precedent established by Judge Freedman: starting on Monday I am collecting the Geometry books and passing out LEGOs, Dominoes and Tinker Toys. My Geometry Final will be given in a sand box: all students must bring a bucket, a shovel and a sifter. Let's hope everyone passes: I don't want to be hauled before Judge Freedman.

Jeffrey R Smith
Room 207, Encinal High
Alameda

Haydn's Coming To Town
Oh you'd better watch out
You'd better not cry
You'd best muzzle up
I'm telling you why:

Michael Haydn's comin' to town.

He's makin' a list
And checkin' it twice
Gonna find out who's vocal or "nice"
Michael Haydn's comin' to town

He knows if you're for him or against him

He knows what's in your wake
He knows where the secret prisons are
So shut up, for goodness sake!

Oh, you'd better watch out.....
Michael Haydn's comin' to toooowwwwwnnnnnn.


Please note: Behind the former Iron Curtain, wiretapping was a routine way to

catch politically vocal citizens. The architect of the wiretapping program is a

red alert proposition as head of the CIA. Please call your Senators and

Representatives NOW!!
Dina Brooke

If The US Really Wanted What It Said It Wanted...

John H. Bunzel's pro-administration bias is revealed immediately by his inclusion of differentiation between Iraq and Vietnam the statement about people who go around the world flying planes into skyscrapers. The Bush administration tried to make a case for Iraq's responsibility for the attacks of 9/11 and presented no facts to support the case. Nevertheless that purported link is made at every opportunity. It is also widely known by people who follow the Middle East that Iraq was a strongly secular society and fundamentalist Islam was not welcome. It is likely that devout Muslims in Iraq felt as negative over the Danish cartoon as did devout Catholics about the Maplethorp art which displayed a crucifix in the toilet.

If the United States had really wanted democracy in Iraq it would not have helped to overthrow the Kasim government and install the Baath party in power decades ago and supported Hussein for many years.

If the US had really wanted democracy in Iraq, it would not have pushed for the sanctions which fell most heavily on the ordinary people of Iraq. As Professor Bossuyt pointed out in his report to the UN Commission on Human Rights Under sanctions, the middle class is eliminated, the poor get poorer, and the rich get richer as they take control of smuggling and the black market. The Government and elite can actually benefit economically from sanctions, owing to this monopoly on illegal trade. As many commentators have pointed out, in the long run, as democratic participation, independent institutions and the middle class are weakened, and as social disruption leaves the population less able to resist the Government, the possibility of democracy shrinks. In sum, the civilian suffering that is believed to be the effective factor in comprehensive economic sanctions renders those sanctions ineffectual, even reinforcing the Government and its policies.

If the United States had really wanted democracy in Iraq, the Coalition Provisional Authority would not have forbidden the local elections which were organized by Iraqi citizens upon the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. It is local democratic government which forms the basis of developing a democratic society, as we have seen in our own history.

The Iraqi people in numerous polls have made it clear they want us to go. The parties they voted for had US departure as a plank in the platform. Nevertheless the US continues to work for the establishment of a paper "democracy" run by people with close ties to the US business establishment who will support the economic colonialism established by the CPA's list of rules and enforced by the World Bank and the IMF.

It is hard for the American people to recognize this war as a war for US empire. "Imperialism" has long been a dirty word. But an analysis of the situation requires us to recognize what is really going on and give it its real name, however unpleasant. A hundred years ago the Americans who opposed the war against the Philippines were not afraid to give imperialism its proper name and oppose it. We must do no less.

Carolyn S. Scarr
program coordinator
Ecumenical Peace Institute/CALC
and member of the steering committee of East Bay Coalition to Support Self-Rule for Iraqis (EB-COSSI)


Bush Cares Enough To Listening In
Now that we know that Bush has been tracking every phone call made by every person in the United States, or at least those made by AT&T; and Verizon customers it makes you wonder what's next? Has Microsoft or Apple collaborated with the NSA to plant spy software into Windows or Apple OS-X? Are they tracking everything we do online? That would be the next logical step in the progression of illegal spying. So I would ask Apple and Microsoft, hopefully before the fact, if they intend to cooperate with the NSA to illegally tap our computers?

I'm Marc Perkel - And I approved this message!

Marc Perkel
San Francisco, CA.

Projecting Unfavorable Behavior
"Projection" is a term used in psychology to describe persons who project their own unfavorable behavior onto others, which Sheldon-Whitten-Vile seems to have done when he accused Ed Miller and Kate Hart of being among those that he classifies as being "anti-Semitic" (sic) by falsely associating them with those that apply "Double Standards, Deligitimization, and Demonizing" to (Zionist) Jews. Strange that these are the same characteristics of behavioral traits that his Zionist cohorts use to describe the Palestinians who continue in their struggle against demonic Israeli war crimes who seek to regain the lands that were stolen from them by Jews.

Vile refuses to admit that European Ashkenazi Jews have no claim to Palestine at all since their forebears were not of the blood of Abraham, therefore they are not true Semites. He should read Arthur Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe". The Israelites left the land and some were driven from it. The Sephardic Arab Jews were already living in Palestine and they coexisted in peace among their Arab neighbors. It was the former that started all the trouble and mayhem, and they drew the Arab Jews to their ranks. So, can the "longing for Zion" diatribe because it is invalid and boring. The war criminal Yitzhak Rabin himself told his people that God is not their real estate agent.

Vile stated that Jews were the majority in Jerusalem "for almost all of the last 3000 years", while cleverly omitting the fact that Arabs were the majority for centuries before the Crusades were waged, or that the only relevant part of that history is the period just before the infamous UN Resolution 181 was passed in 1947 that robbed the Arabs of their rightful land.

Vile also asserted that secular Zionism sought to establish the Jewish state in their lifetimes rather than wait for the Messiah. In other words, those European Ashkenazi Jews essentially forced the hand of God since the Hebrew Scriptures states that the Israeli state cannot be created until the Messiah returns to earth.

This means that according to their own holy book, the land that they call "Israel" today is illegitimate by divine declaration.

Vile also misleads by stating that Arabs came to Palestine "from all over the Middle East" and perhaps he is unaware that there were no borders under the Caliphate that extended from parts of Europe, to China, Russia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other parts of what was the largest empire that existed on earth. Arabs and non-Arab Muslims could travel and settle freely. It was the insecure mentality of Europeans that established borders, passports, visas, etc., not the Arabs and Muslims of that time.

He also denies that Israelis are racists and mentioned that Arabs who live in Israel proper can vote, but he does not tell us that Jews are forbidden to be in the service of Arabs, that the latter are denied virtually every advantage that are guaranteed to Jews, cannot buy land or real property, their children cannot attend Jewish schools, they are not allowed to serve in the military (except the loyal Druze), and the list of zio-racism is endless. Too, it is highly unlikely that an Arab would ever be the president or prime minister of that illegitimate "state".

Another lie is that the conflict is not over land. Any 6th grade student knows better. Vile uses the age-old propaganda of the status of dhimmi, or non-Muslims, in Islamic lands. Let's educate: Dhimmi means "the protected", thus they were the protected class in those lands. They paid a jiziya tax but that money was used to provide social services, not unlike our own Social Security. Every year, each mature wage-earning Muslim has to pay 2.5% of his/her savings, crop, livestock, or business value. If a Muslim and a non-Muslim were each worth one million dollars in that society, the former would have had to pay $25,000, while the dhimmi paid a mere $25.00. If a war broke out the Dhimmi were not required to participate in the battle since they held the status of being "the protected".

Vile accuses Arabs of being in league with Nazis, but he omitted the verifiable fact that early terrorists like Yitzhak "The Shooter" Yezernitsky (aka Yitzhak Shamir), Menachem Begin, Arik "Ariel"/The Butcher" Sharon, and others, pledged to serve the Nazis against the British who then held the mandate over Palestine. Those terrorists blew up the King David Hotel and launched scores of attacks against the British and later, as prime ministers and heads of various agencies, they committed the most atrocious war crimes against the Palestinians. The Swedish government continues to seek the arrest and trail of Yitzhak Shamir for the murder of Swedish UN Mediator Count Folke Bernadotte, who reported that the entire blame for the mayhem in Palestine was the fault of the Jews, not the Arabs. May he rest in peace.

Regarding Vile's mention of The Protocols of the (Learned) Elders of Zion as an alleged Russian forgery, it is irrelevant who authored the work, and no evidence exists of that claim. What is relevant is the fact that anyone that knows the methods employed by Zionists to achieve their schemes will know that they have followed its directives to the letter. It can be read on the Internet.

Vile lied again when he claimed that Israelis are not allowed in Arab countries, such as Egypt and others. True, some are not granted visa, but with good reason. Euro Jews in power train Arab Jews that lived in various Arab countries and who speak Arabic fluently know the society norms, the land, etc., were issued perfectly forged passports and sent as spies who were caught in places like Syria and Egypt.

Responding to Vile's claim that Hamas website boasts the drinking of Jewish blood, Islam forbids the consumption of blood, so no blood sausage on Muslim tables. An Israeli named Micha Pelled made a documentary film titled "Inside God's Bunker" that depicts Israelis in the most hateful manner. School children sing this song as they ride to school in busses: All the whole world hates the Arabs, and the main thing is to kill them one by one. With these feet I stepped on my enemy; with these teeth I bit his skin. With these lips I sucked his blood, and I still haven't had enough revenge." Asked if they ever met an Arab, they replied that they had not. Where do young children learn such curdling hatred? Teachers and parents, schools (whose textbooks are filled with such sentiments), from rabbis, and from society in general.

Yet another lie that is continually perpetuated is the allegation that Arab leaders broadcast on air that the Jews must be driven into the sea. Many years ago British MP Lord Mayhew of Twysden offered a huge monetary reward to anyone that could prove this lie. The reward remains unclaimed. The late Irish journalist Irskine Childers and Jewish author Benny Morris reviewed every broadcast from the entire Arab world that are on file in England and Jerusalem and both reported that no such broadcast was ever made. It can be verified on the Internet that Israeli prime minister David Ben Gurion declared on 10/11/1961 that "We must expel the Arabs and take their place", or "let's push the Arabs into the desert sea", and about 750,000 Palestinians were forced out of their homes and into refugee camps and over 400 villages were destroyed in violation of international law as the world stood by unaffected by that tragic horror.

Vile offers to debate Ed Miller and Kate Hart. He would do well to rethink that challenge.

Yousef Salem
San Mateo

A Reply to Jimmy Carter Piece
May 23rd, 2006
In recent years, former President Jimmy Carter has shown a growing animosity toward Israel. Just this past January, at the Herzliya Conference, President Carter must have astounded his audience when he declared that "you can't have a Palestinian state living in peace and dignity if it is filled with Israeli settlements." Doesn't he know that Israeli Jews have been trying to live in peace and dignity in their state even though their country is filled with over a million Arabs?

Ignorance of the facts or mischievous assertions? Three months later, in an article published jointly in Pakistan's Daily Times and Israel's Haaretz, President Carter made another blunder, most likely intentional:

"The unwavering US position since Dwight Eisenhower's administration has been that Israel's borders coincide with those established in 1949, and, since 1967, the universally adopted UN Resolution 242 has mandated Israel's withdrawal from the occupied territories."

No one in his right mind would read UN Resolution 242 in those terms, implying a return to the 1949 armistice line. But Jimmy Carter's latest article -published in USA Today on May 15, 2006, with the provocative title "Israel's new Plan: a Land Grab"-is definitely a tour de force of innuendoes, half-truths, distortions and blatant lies. It is said that putting someone to shame, especially a world-renowned individual, is neither fair nor elegant. But when a former President of the United States manages to include two major errors in his introductory paragraph and then goes on with a crescendo of distortions, perhaps we should dispense with the usual niceties accorded to his rank. President Carter either doesn't know what he is talking about or, worse, is knowingly and shamelessly peddling falsehoods. He introduces his article with phrases like "the Palestinian West Bank" and the "the internationally recognized boundary between Israel and Palestine."

When did the "West Bank" become Palestinian? Even UN Resolution 338, written as late as 1973, and all the preceding UN Resolutions, never mention the word "Palestinian". No such international recognition was ever granted, as clearly shown in UN Resolution 242. These allegations by President Carter are nothing short of deceitful since they imply, wrongly, that Israel took over territory rightfully belonging to another nation. He then goes on to further mislead the uninformed by saying that "the only division of territory between Israel and the Palestinians that is recognized by the United States or the international community awarded 77% of the land to the nation of Israel."

This, from a former US president, who should know (and probably knows) that no such ratio was ever recognized and that, in fact, the international community allocated in 1922 the entire territory between the Jordan River and the sea to the future Jewish State. It is also ironic that President Carter views the Gaza Strip (where there have been no Jews since August 2005) as a "politically and economically non-viable region." Gaza may be considered an experiment in Palestinian self-government which is failing owing to strife within the Palestinian community, but there is no inherent reason why small populous territories cannot be viable. Look at the success of Singapore.

Perhaps the former president could explain how "Palestine" could be made more viable when the same Jew-free status is extended to the West Bank. President Carter is obviously against the Olmert Plan of partial disengagement from the "West Bank." He is not the only one to oppose this plan. But if Carter finds it unacceptable, Probably it is because he still clings to the widely discredited Oslo-type paradigm which has only brought bloodshed since its inception.

The provisions of the Oslo Accords and the later Roadmap routinely have been breached by the Palestinians, who have shown time and time again that their real objective is not to create a viable state but to destroy Israel in whatever number of phases it would take following successive territorial concessions. The present situation in Gaza, with its simmering chaos and the rocket attacks against Israel, is a corroborating proof of the Palestinian strategy. President Carter would make us believe that "the nation of Israel was founded [by] UN Security Council resolutions." This assertion is simply astounding. Like many of his Arab supporters, President Carter's historical horizon seems to be conveniently limited to 1967 or, at best, to 1948. It is hard to believe that a former world leader of this stature would be so ignorant of history. For President Carter, any partial withdrawal from the "West Bank" is tantamount to "confiscation and colonization." Of course, having established at the outset that "Palestine's internationally recognized boundaries" would be violated by such a partial withdrawal, why is he talking about "colonization"-like the Belgians in Congo, the British in India, or the French in Indochina?

How could anyone expect truth resulting from a wrong premise? I cannot understand how President Carter can lower himself to the same scurrilous abyss as Israel's worst detractors. The proposal put forward by President Carter is to engage in "good-faith negotiations" with Mahmud Abbas, even though the "recently elected Hamas legislators will never recognize nor negotiate with Israel while Palestinian land is being occupied."

Negotiating in "good-faith" with a democratically elected terrorist government that is neither prepared to "recognize" Israel nor to "negotiate" with it? Only in President Carter's mind can such a contradiction in terms thrive. And he then tells us that Hamas would be prepared to "recognize and negotiate" when "Palestinian land is no longer occupied". What is there to negotiate, then?

President Carter apparently never reads the Arab press. Less than a month ago, Moussa Abu Marzuk, deputy-head of Hamas declared:

"One of Hamas' founding principles is that it does not recognize Israel. We [participated in] the elections and the people voted for us based on this platform. Therefore, the question of recognizing Israel is definitely not on the table unless it withdraws from ALL the Palestinian lands, not only to the 1967 borders."

The will of the Palestinian people who elected Hamas is clear; Hamas' objectives are clear; their statements in Arabic are clear; their actions on the ground are clear; only President Carter is deluded, consciously or not. Deluded, indeed, when he assures us that "a substantial number of Israeli settlers [could be] undisturbed on Palestinian land." The last time "settlers" (read "Jews", since illegal Arab settlers in far greater numbers are never mentioned) were living in so-called "Palestinian land" was before 1948, and they were certainly not undisturbed. Up to 1967, every Jew living there had been either murdered or expelled. Even their graves were not left undisturbed. Why should we expect anything different now or in the foreseeable future?

It is also interesting to note how this statement squarely contradicts his own earlier warning against "settlers" at the Herzliya Conference (see above). In his closing remarks, President Carter ominously parrots a well known piece of Arab propaganda. The Israeli-Palestinian situation, he tells us, is "one of the major causes of international terrorism. that could precipitate a regional or even global conflict."

In that, he is unison with Amr Moussa, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, Noam Chomsky and other luminaries of the far left, not to mention those enlightened Europeans who believe that Israel is the predominant threat to world peace, as shown in a 2003 poll. But the onus is on President Carter to demonstrate that Israel is directly or indirectly responsible for the Islamic terrorism that has been rampant for the past decade. Let us not forget: Paris subway, 1995; Nairobi and Dar-es-Salam US embassies, 1998; Manhattan Twin Towers, 2001; Bali nightclub, 2002; Istanbul synagogues, 2003; Riyadh western compound, 2003; Casablanca hotel and Spanish club, 2003; Madrid train, 2004; London subway, 2005; Iraq kidnappings, beheadings and internecine bloodshed since 2003; Amman wedding party, 2005, and the multiple bombings and bloody terror attacks in India.

Blaming Israel for these events certainly takes a twisted mind intent on perverting reality in a most despicable way. President Carter's many interventions in the world scene since the end of his presidency have not been free of controversy. He has been often criticized by both sides of the political spectrum. But on the Arab-Israeli conflict his positions have been routinely against Israel for the past few years and in favor of its enemies, in spite of glaring evidence.

Rachel Neuwirth

All Taxpayers Deserve A Break
Dear Editor: The taxpayers of California deserve real tax reform, no matter who we are or where we're from! Can you imagine no more federal income taxes or April 15th deadline? Can real tax reforms actually happen? You bet they can! Just think of government keeping hands off your investment income! No more taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains. In fact, no more payroll tax, individual income tax, Social Security tax, Medicare tax, alternative minimum tax, estate tax, gift tax, self-employment tax, and corporate and business income tax. It is called the Fair Tax Bill (H.R.25 & S.25), a broadly supported legislation now before both houses of Congress. Questions can be answered by visiting www.fairtax.org. Also, "The FairTax Book" should be available at local bookstores or via the internet. I urge taxpayers to write their congressman and senators requesting their support for the Fair Tax Bill. It takes real people-power to encourage Congress to make the Fair Tax Bill a federal law and a reality!

Robert J. Ransom, Jr., ChFC
Chartered Financial Consultant (Retired)

Petaluma

Wrong Way To Save Fish
Statement from Lee Crockett, Executive Director of the Marine Fish Conservation Network on the Mark-Up of "The American Fisheries Management and Marine Life Enhancement Act," H.R. 5018

When it comes to preventing overfishing and rebuilding depleted fish populations, US Representative Richard Pombo is heading in the wrong direction. Rep. Pombo's bill does not include measures to hold fishermen accountable if they exceed their annual catch limits. Without such accountability measures, catch limits are far less effective in preventing overfishing of our marine fish in US federal ocean waters. His bill also creates several loopholes for allowing fishery managers to extend rebuilding timelines on already overfished populations. Allowing fish populations to slide further downhill instead of restoring them to healthy levels as quickly as possible ultimately jeopardizes the livelihoods of fishermen and the fishing communities in which they live.

Additionally, his bill exempts federal fishery management from compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, which ensures that fisheries managers consider a broad list of alternatives and that the public has an opportunity to weigh in on management decisions. The bill also does not ensure that members of the public have greater representation on the regional fishery management councils, and Rep. Pombo does not take any initiative to create a funding source, such as a trust fund, to finance crucial fisheries research and data collection. Finally, the bill's provisions to privatize publicly-owned marine resources do not contain safeguards to ensure healthy fish populations or fishing communities. Without such safeguards, America's fish populations and family fishermen may become the next victims of global privatization.

At today's meeting, Rep. Pombo made some minor improvements to his original bill, but not enough to turn this bill around. The Network is looking for true ocean champions in the House to oppose this bill's harmful provisions and to offer an alternative that better protects the future of America's oceans and fishing communities around the country.

The Marine Fish Conservation Network is a coalition of more than 175 national and regional environmental organizations, commercial and recreational fishing groups, aquariums, and marine science groups dedicated to conserving marine fish and to promoting their long-term sustainability. For more information, please visit www.conservefish.org.

Tony DeFalco
West Coast Organizer
Marine Fish Conservation Network
[email protected]
www.conservefish.org
The Marine Fish Conservation Network is coalition of 175 conservation groups, commercial and recreational fishing associations and marine science organization dedicated to the long-term sustainability of marine fish populations.







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