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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

February, 2007

 

Letters To The Editor

Suicide Barrier Not Optional
Why isn't there a suicide barrier on the golden gate bridge?
How many gazillion dollars did it take to erect that behemoth? As a modern society that needs such a structure, an automobile society that actually spends a large amount of lucre just to cross over the painted monstrosity, a suicide disaster that generates a large cash flow, can you give me one rational reason why a barrier is not in place?
A suicide barrier should have been in the original plans given the history of the accidental deaths during construction?

If a society builds it then there is an inherent responsibility to look after and foresee the dangers that attractions like this present to the less fortunate, the young children and THE MENTALLY ILL!

Whenever a dangerous structure like this is built the pitiful will flock to it and the obvious will happen. Sadly, in this case, that last sentence works a lot truer as past tense but either way, it is a fact.

It is embarrassing to think that we taut the beauty of that bridge like some kind of egotistical blindness when in fact the death rate from suicide keeps getting larger and larger.

Of course suicide is impossible to stop but a high fence on this structure would deter a large percent of the hopeless me thinks.

What do you think?
David Michael Dunne
Fairfax

Ranting And Raving In The Candy Store
It's regrettable that an entire nation is held hostage by a stubborn and childlike president who seems hell-bent on sapping the army's strength in Iraq, destroying the U. S. Treasury and the once favorable image the U. S. had in the eyes of the world.

A recent poll shows that 90% of the Americans disapprove of President Bush's war in Iraq and yet like porpoises following a sick leader on the beach to die, the Americans too seem helpless from extricating themselves from Bush's delusional mission in Iraq who is running his country aground there.

Although most Americans disapprove of the war, the Senators and Representatives seem incapable of stopping his rampage in the Middle East. They try oftentimes but act like bewildered parents who are too timid to rein in their spoiled child who is ranting and raving in a candy store.

It is time that the child be grounded and that Congress take away his allowance so he can't do further harm to his country or others in carrying out his gunboat diplomacy.

David A. Whelan
Forest Knolls

Gathering For The White Deer
QUIET QUIET WHITE DEER is an attempt to gather and appreciate the White Deer of Point Reyes National Seashore, and to mourn the National Park Service's plan to exterminate these wild animals beginning in August of 2007. The gathering is a curation of the underground anti-mainstream musical variety.

If you own land near Point Reyes National Seashore & are open to hosting a QUIET QUIET WHITE DEER gathering on your property, please write to:

[email protected] & note that we are seeking a place to allow about 300-2000 folks to temporarily pitch a tent, sound equipment hauling & port-o potties. The music will be amplified, thusly extending beyond property lines, so the more land the better! The audience & organizers are into Peace, Crystals and worship of the Creation, and historically are attending a college.

QUIET QUIET itself is a nomadic underground music gathering, that began in Bolinas a few years ago and more recently occurred in Big Sur, where camping is legal. The most recent QUIET QUIET FOREST SPECTRUM was held at Henry Miller Memorial Library.

N. Shineywater
San Geronimo Valley

Nothing To Do With 911
In the beginning, there were the 9/11 attacks. It's important to stress that no one can fairly blame George Bush for them.

Do you believe Bush had nothing to do with 9/11? What about ignoring the intel briefing from a month earlier...and telling Richard Clarke he had covered his ass? What about WTC Building 7 having been admittedly intentionally imploded on 9/11, according to the buildings' owner? When were the explosives placed in Building 7? Were explosives not placed, then, in Buildings 1 and 2 also? Who planted them? Why was the intelligence community running drills that morning that confused air traffic controllers about which planes were really hijacked and which were just some radar bleeps of fictional hijacked planes? Why were planes not scrambled to intercept the hijacked planes?

What about Mr. Bush's relationship with the Bin Laden family and their privileged evacuation when all other US aircraft were grounded? Not to mention the USAPATRIOT Act, passed without being read by congress while two Democratic Senators: Leahy and Daschle-the only Senators who could have delayed or obstructed passage of the bill-were evacuated from their offices after someone sent them envelopes of weapons-grade anthrax from a government lab?

How about that the PATRIOT Act has yet to be used in the prosecution of terrorists, but has been used to detain dozens of Americans who were exonerated without having been charged? How about all of us who are being wiretapped without court warrants? And held by our country in foreign countries and tortured? Or tried before a system of military commissions that can withhold evidence and use testimoney elicited by torture? This is all a coincidence? And you see no connection between the cause and effect?

Richard Aleksander
Austin, Texas

Time For Action Against Bush
The unbelievable arrogance exhibited by President Bush in continuing with his irresponsible pursuit of a failed Iraq policy dramatically illustrates his utter contempt for the American people. Other presidents (who were duly elected by the people) would have been jolted to their senses if and when the electorate gives them the kind of trouncing that Bush got in the just concluded mid-term elections.

That was a resounding repudiation of his performance and a clear signal that he is not measuring up to their expectations. But the problem here is that this president believes he owes his office, not to the American electorate but to his wealthy neo-con friends who handed it to him in a platter. He firmly believes that they are happy with his performance and will therefore keep him in office. It is obvious that it is his unbending loyalty and obedience to his benefactors that has resulted in our current woes.

The control of congress is now in the hands of the American people. They can now fully exercise their power to put the feet of this president to the fire.

Congress can now direct this wayward president to do what they want him to do or face the prospects of impeachment.

This president should understand that his neo-con friends may have had the capability to install him as president, sans the nod of the American people but they cannot save him from impeachment should they now decide to do so. It is however understandable that impeaching the president is a serious matter which will not only disrupt the normal run of government but will drive a divisive wedge between the government and the people. The president, more than anyone, should understand this and should therefore do his utmost to forestall such a wasteful perturbation.

He is currently in a position to wisely use his judgment, not as George W. Bush, but as the president of the United States of America. He can choose between abiding by the wishes of the people or continue to serve the interests of his benefactors.

The American people simply want to put a stop to the carnage and absolute squandering of our country's resources which is what the war in Iraq is all about. On the other hand his benefactors are pushing for an endless war in order to continue reaping the profits that they derive from it's huge and juicy contracts. They realize that without American military presence in Iraq, American contractors will not have the virtual monopoly that they now enjoy there. President Bush knows the real reason why we are in Iraq. The weapons of mass destruction, the cruel dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and the democratization of that country, as we all know now, were simply convenient excuses for our military to be able to get in there.

The apparent insistence of this president to listen to his neo-con friends rather than the American people-is an affront to our democratic principles. If we allow him to continue thumbing his nose at the American electorate, notwithstanding their having expressed their will in the last mid-term elections, he will have proven to the world that the power of money prevails over the power of the people in this, our capitalist democracy.

The people have spoken last November 7, 2006. It is time to put their words into action. Let us prove to this president that in our democracy, it is only the people who can truly hire and ultimately fire their president.

Antonio R. Serna
Rohnert Park

Five Wars at Once
The Bush Administration shows all the signs of adding two more wars to the three we already have - the domestic war against illegal drug users, the war in Afghanistan against our former allies, the Taliban, and the illegal war against the sovereign country of Iraq.

The fourth war will begin with the mutual bombing of Iran's nuclear facilities by the US and Israel. This will give Iran's president a reason to declare a jihad against the two aggressors, the Great Satan and the militant Israeli's. An actual invasion of Iran by American soldiers would first require approval from Congress to reintroduce the Draft.

The fifth war against North Korea will also require bombing of nuclear facilities and lead to a declaration of war. An outright invasion of North Korea with its million-man army should make even our corporate military industrial complex blink.

The question of how to pay for all this unholy carnage remains uncertain. The national debt is 8.6 trillion dollars ($28,000 per person) with $650 billion owed to our former enemy, communist China. Our debt to China should rise to one trillion dollars over the next two years to avoid raising taxes.

The Bush Administration pushes forward with its plan to dominate the Middle East with permanent military bases in Iraq. The gamble is whether the new pipeline from the Iraqi oil fields to the Persian Gulf will survive terrorist attacks long enough to sell Iraqi oil to India and China.

* * *
What Does "Inalienable" Mean?
When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he chose the word "inalienable" to describe something that cannot be taken away. According to Webster's Dictionary, the word "inalienable" means "absolute, sacred, and incapable of being surrendered."

Jefferson believed that God has bestowed on all human beings, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as "inalienable rights." Further, he stated that congress cannot take away those rights.

Anyone who has studied the war on drugs over the last century knows that Jefferson was wrong. A large number of self-serving individuals in powerful positions have frightened Americans into giving up those rights for a greater good. This greater good is an unrealistic fantasy called "a drug-free America."

The truth is that after 93 years of persecution, one trillion dollars of our tax money and twenty million prison sentences, illegal drugs are cheaper, more potent and more available than ever.

A century of drug prohibition has failed because it is a war against people. Prohibitionists fail to understand that economics - not morality, regulates the illicit drug market. The use of mind altering, pleasure inducing substances can damage moral standards but no more so than a huge pile of drug money.

When the drug war becomes too expensive to prosecute, and enough of us wake up to its failure - then we will reconsider the 19th Century policy of education and regulation.

In the meantime, the illegal and profitable war on drugs will continue.

For more information or to help police reform drug laws visit www.leap.com (law enforcement against prohibition.)

James Wiley
San Anselmo

It's Laughable
Judges who "apply an activist philosophy that stretches the law to suit policy preferences, they actually reduce the credibility and authority of the judiciary," Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says. "In so doing, they undermine the rule of law that strengthens our democracy."

What's funny here is that in so stating, Alberto Gonzales is describing himself exactly.

His attempts to strip the judiciary of its power as a co-equal branch of government, and a critical factor in enforcing the system of checks and balances, is "stretching the law to suit policy preferences" (of the Bush "Executive Privilege" administration) and "undermines the rule of law that strengthens our Democracy." Not to mention "actually reducing the credibility and authority of the..." well, er, Administration. Amazing how people project their own shadows onto other people, so accurately!

FYI the ACLU has documented that more than 800 Guantanamo detainees are proven innocent, remain in captivity and continue to be tortured. So what "national security" matter is at risk here? Why should judges NOT be involved in "activist philosophy" ruling of such cases? Thank you Mr. Gonzales: It is either YOU are for US or you are against US. This is TREASON. The man must be removed from office, immediately, and people are simply irresponsible---and unwittingly complicit--- if they don't give a public shout.

Sabina Leicht
Ignacio

New Congress
The congressional Democrat majority is on the right track in their FIRST HUNDRED HOUR, list of goals. It would enhance the esteem of Republican leaders, and others, to get on board, instead of resisting.

A rejuvenated, new congress could also create laws to bring more citizens into American participation.

New laws could: forbid use of voter-database to select jurors, and there will be more registered voters; require public employees to pay into Social Security, and the system will grow; re-affiliate with the Inter- national Criminal Court, even if it means prohibiting the death penalty and enabling criminal charges against Americans; and initiate single-payer-plan (government agency) for American health care.

John Bauer
Martinez

No Fly Lists Are Stupid And Dangerous
Why have a no-fly list at all? It is supposed to safeguard flyers, but ends up restricting the free movement of people who have done nothing wrong. And what terrorist would use their own name these days anyway?

What is next? A no-drive list forbidding people driving trucks like those used in the Oklahoma and 1993 World Trade Center bombings? A no-knife list? To what extent will the police state overtake us?

Many need to fly to keep their jobs -- their name on a no-fly list may make them unemployable. Many need to fly to a loved-one's deathbed. Many people fly on vacation. Flying is a right.

A no-fly list violates the right to movement we all have. It is especially egregious that the list is populated by gossip and innuendo from unreliable informers and torture by secret agencies without the possibility of the passenger confronting his accusers or the secret evidence.

We do need to safeguard flyers, but this can easily and safely be done while respecting human rights better. Change the no-fly list to a special-scrutiny list. Let the listees be carefully examined for possible weapons. Require their luggage to go in the hold. Let the listees be seated furthest from the cabin. Let all the airplane crew know of them.

This will still be hugely embarrassing to the listees, but at least they will be able to fly, to go on vacation, to keep their jobs, to be with someone close facing death.

tOM Trottier
Ottawa, Canada

No Peace President
All Bush talks about is more war. It's the same old same old all over again. It was as if his speech was written by the department of redundancy department. You don't get to peace by increasing the war.

War is what happen when peace fails and peace is what happens when war stops. What we need to do is talk to everyone and form a plan for peace.

The people in the Middle East do not want a regional war and we have a common interest with them in preventing it. But this opportunity for peace is going to be wasted. It's unfortunate that we have a loser for a president that's just going to run American into the ground for 2 more years.

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

* * *
True Public Servant
Republicans who under estimate the new Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi do so at their own peril. Nancy is a lot sharper than your average Democrat and she is only in politics for one reason, to make America a better place. She is independently wealthy and doesn't have any favors that she has to repay to get reelected. She is a true public servant. I especially like it that her first order of business was to put Congress back on a 5 day work week. Unlike the last Congress they won't get to sit around and do nothing. Go Nancy go!

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

Marc Perkel
San Bruno


Slander And Disinformation
The Bush Republicans have distorted and capitalized on an indiscreet--but valid--comment by John Kerry concerning the merits and direction of the Iraq war.

Contrast this with their vicious & shameless character assassination of Senator Max Cleland, a distinguished triple amputee Vietnam vet, when they branded him as unpatriotic for supporting the crucial inquiry into the causes of 9/11, which Bush opposed and then withheld information.

Contrast this also with the Swift Boat Scam where they recruited men to falsely testify against Kerry's war record, which helped them steal another election for their draft dodger--and the list goes on.

Those who base their votes on such slanderous disinformation deserve the worst government money can buy.

Robert Settgast
San Rafael
* * *
War Against Family Planning
Bush's appointment of the worst imaginable person to oversee our nations family planning only underscores his relentless wars against our environment and health.

Dr. Kerkoack opposes birth control, and had headed an anti-contraception family planning organization. They even provide scientifically false health information to promote their agenda--just as Bush has done.

Bush has already undermined family planning and women's rights in impoverished areas--the only real means of ending world starvation and poverty for this and future generations, including the unborn.

His alleged concern for the unborn is rendered void by the unmeasurable deaths and illnesses resulting from his blockage of vital environmental, conservation, and health reform's using secrecy, or environmental friendly disguises based irrational logic and manipulated science used to a degree never before experienced in our history.

By allowing such outrages from this unlearned and dangerous president, guided by his financial and radical religious right supporters who planted him in office, Americans have only themselves to blame for the resulting medical setbacks, expanded world poverty, sickness, and degradation of our planet.

Robert Settgast
San Rafael


President Carter Has My Support
Fourteen members of a Carter Center advisory board resigned on Thursday, the latest fallout from Carter's book that criticized Israel's treatment of the Palestinian people and the violation of their human rights. Most of the 14 members, if not all, were Jewish.

These 14 members stated that the reason for their resigning was because of Carter being an advocate of one side. Gee, I wonder what side these 14 Jewish members were on? Isn't it obvious that the side they were on was the side that Carter criticized?

According to these members, and many more like them, it's wrong to favor one side, unless the side you favor in on the Israeli side. In their view, a balanced Middle East Policy is a policy that is never critical of Israel.

This latest resignation by these 14 advisors only strengthens the notion that anyone who dares to speak out against the anti-democratic power of the Israeli lobby will suffer the consequence, making public debate on the issue virtually impossible. Truth has become socially illegal in America and that is not healthy for any so-called "democracy."

James J. David
Marietta, GA
James J. David is a retired brigadier general who served 3 years US Army active duty in the Middle East. He is a property owner in Brevard County.


Service In Vietnam?
Congressman Steve Pearce Supports President Bush's decision to send even more American soldiers into the Iraqi civil war. An entanglement in religious hatred and civil collapse created by Bush and Pearce's own wrong headed bungling. Bungling that has already claimed the lives of over 3000 young Americans, permanently maimed and crippled tens of thousands more and killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians.

Congressman Pearce campaigns as a "Vietnam war veteran". His staffers and campaign workers repeatedly refer to him as a "Vietnam war veteran". However, I just visited this web address CLICK HERE FOR CON PEARCE'S CQ PROFILE for the Congressional Quarterly and found his profile there. Of his military service it says only:

"Entered active duty, US Air Force; released as Capt. after service in Philippines and during Vietnam Conflict and with Strategic Air Command, Blytheville AFB, Arkansas (1972-76); Distinguished Flying Cross; Air Medal ".

If I were a politician like Congressman Pearce I would insist that my profile in the Congressional Quarterly at least mention my service in Vietnam? I am very curious as to why Congressman Pearce does not so insist?

Most Vietnam war veterans tell people very quickly where in Vietnam they were assigned for duty. To which MILITARY UNIT they were assigned in Vietnam. And the "from" and "to" dates during which they served in Vietnam. We Vietnam vets spout this info to each other like a secret pass word. Partly to weed out "wanna be" impostors who did not actually serve in Vietnam. But want to claim they did.

As an example, I myself served in "B" Battery--- 6/32 Field Artillery-- 1st Field Forces-- II Corp.-- Republic of Vietnam. From Sept. the 20th of 1970 until Oct. 21st 1971. That is all a matter of record. Every day that I served in Vietnam is recorded on paper. I am very proud and very honored to have had that opportunity to serve my country. Especially at that particular time and place.

I would like to hear Congressman Pearce tell us where in Vietnam he was stationed? And with what unit in Vietnam? And from what date to what date did he served in Vietnam ?

I would like to hear clear straight forward plain English answers from Congressman Pearce. Just three simple answers to three simple questions. I think I have good standing to ask these questions. As a Vietnam veteran. As a constituent. And as a long time member of Congressman Pearce's own political party.

Is it possible that I may have accidentally stumbled across the real reason for Congressman Pearce's arrogant disregard for the lives of American soldiers? As well as Pearce's lack of Congressional support of military veterans? And his several years of zero ratings from the Disabled American Veterans organization?

What about it, Congressman? Where in Vietnam were you assigned? With what unit? And from what date to what date?

Ron Nesler
Las Cruces, NM




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