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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, 2007



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Letter To The Editor

Receive Spam Go To Jail: How Police Can Harass
The CA Supreme Court the other day ruled that just the act of receiving an email is grounds for a search warrant. That means that by receiving Spam they can search you, your computer, house, etc. All in the veil of protecting children.
One time, 10 years ago, I received an email and it said click here to meet Lolita that was all. It looked innocent and I clicked on it and about 100 pages of child porn popped up on my screen, and the site took over my computer.

Every time I turned on the computer the 100 pages would pop up. I had to resystem my computer. The feds would definitely had enough evidence to convict me of child pornography just be mistakenly clicking a link.

Should be an article there. I am considering an article about how police can and do harass innocent citizens. Here is the basis for it:

You can be totally sober walking down the street and they can charge you with Drunk In Public. They don't have to give you a test and they don't. No breath test; touch your nose test, no test at all. If you are driving a car they a required to give you a test. If you are not driving they can do anything they want. This is a serious crime (up to 6 months in jail, at least 1 year probation) and your life becomes hell. This happened to me 4 times. Twice it went all they way to jury trial, twice they dropped charges, after being booked, arraigned, going to court many times.

One time I was a passenger in a car that got stopped for an expired registration. I had 2 beers all day and that was it, this was 2:AM. I am sitting minding my own business in the passenger seat and his lady cop asks me to get out of the car. There were 5 cops at least, (for an expired registration). She shines a light into my eyes, and has a little credit card with different pupil sizes and compares my pupil size to a match on the card. If your pupil is too big, they can arrest you for being under the influence of a controlled substance, and they did, booked and charged. They interrogated me for hours on end, demanding I give them a blood test, I refused. Cocaine, LSD, and other drugs dilate you eyes. So does adrenaline. Fear dilates your eyes. It is part of the fight or flight syndrome. Your pulse goes up, blood pressure rises, eyes, dilates and in extreme cases you pooh in your pants. They can arrest you for being scared. Of course you are going to be scared with a bunch of cops shining lights in your eyes, probing your brain. This was almost 20 years ago and they still do it to this day.

Twice police have pulled guns on me for nothing. I was a passenger in a car that was pulled over and was eating a sandwich. The cop thought I was destroying evidence. I could have easily been killed for eating a sandwich. The other time I lost the keys to my house and crawled through my kitchen window. Somebody called the police and cops surrounded next thing I know the house with guns to my head.

Being homeless is a crime, and you are a homeless alcoholic it is much worse.

In Fairfax, and most anywhere, it is illegal.

Jim Fox
Mill Valley

The Problem Isn't Us
The problem with some "environmentalist" is that they are "blaming" the problems and solutions of the environment on us, the middle and low income home owners. We are not the cause of the problem. I go out of my way to recycle and keep the environment clean. I am not the enemy, as some environmentalists are making us. It seems to me if they want our cooperation they need to work with us, not threaten, as they have done!

In fact, the problem should be blamed on those that deliberately caused the problem, the oil and power industries the auto industry the timber and paper industry, agriculture and food and textile industry. Also the US Department of Forestry, USDA, FDA, EPA and most other federal and State agencies.

These industries and the Government are cause of the problem and they should pay for the clean up, not us homeowners.

Here are some of the problems:
Deforestation has put sediment in the streams and dried up the ground water supply. FYI: redwoods are the only trees that get 45% of their water from fog! Ever been in a redwood forest in the fog, it is like being in a rain storm.

Hemp could have supply us with about 90% of our paper but the timber oil and paper industry stopped it and the DEA pulls out all hemp if finds. Hemp products last longer so the textile industry does not like hemp. Hemp products are legal in the US but not the growing of it. Hemp has to be grown in Canada!

Most of Marin used to be covered in Redwoods. They kept the water in during the summer and took the water out of the fog so the streams had plenty of water during the summer. This is the main reason for the drop in the water table. A high water table means the ground water keeps water in the streams.

Water use: farms do not irrigate, they flood, no reason to irrigate, they pay a fraction for water than you and I do.

Solutions:
Solar panels: can power your house with no PG and E bill you will get a check at the end of the year. You meter is reversed during the day and goes forward; most homeowners will put more power back in the grid than use!

Composting toilet: No need to be ripped off by the septic companies that charge 40,000 to 60,000 for a dome septic system when it costs less than $10,000 everywhere else.

Electric Radiant heat, under sub floor, can be retrofitted

Electric cars and motorcycles, yes they are around only the Big 3 killed them

Tankless (instant) hot water heater, ours is made in France will never have to be replaced.

Electric "wood stove" to replace your wood stove or an insert for the fire place.

SIERRA Antifreeze: Formulated with propylene glycol (PG). As compared to ethylene glycol, propylene glycol is less toxic and safer for children, pets, and wildlife in the environment.

Live Christmas trees, Millions of Christmas trees are bought every year if they were live trees then the forests would be back in no time.

Compost your food waste: Great for the garden.

Garden composer, keep you garden waste out of the land fills.

Buy a live redwood Christmas tree and plant it. Lets get the redwoods back in the San Geronimo Valley, Whites Hill and Big Rock Ranch. They will eventually get the water back in the streams year round. (Too bad Lucas films did not cover Big Rock Ranch with Redwoods, with all that fog they get they could keep water in the stream year round in just a few years!)

Maybe it is about time that a class action law suits by the people of the world against the proceeding companies and government agencies for the deliberate destruction of the environment.

Kevin West
Forest Knolls

Police Accountability
I am writing on behalf of the ACLU of Northern California to urge you to support SB 1019, a bill that was introduced in the California Legislature by Senator Gloria Romero.

This urgent piece of legislation would overturn a misguided California Supreme Court decision in Copley Press (2006) that closed down the public's access to police records and hearings, effectively drawing a cloak of secrecy over police misconduct.

The ability of members of the public, community organizations, and the press to have access to information about police complaints is critical to maintaining good community-police relations. SB 1019 is an important first step in restoring the public's right to know and to holding police officers accountable to the communities they serve.

The California Newspaper Publishers Association, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles Chief of Police William J. Bratton, National Black Police Association, Inc, and others have joined to endorse SB 1019.

Unlike all other public employees, the public is now prevented by state law from learning about police misconduct and discipline issues. California now provides far less information to the public about police complaints than most other states including Texas, Florida, Ohio, and South Carolina. SB 1019 will shine a light on policing in our communities and hold police officers accountable. We strongly urge you to support SB 1019. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to call me at 415-621-2493 or visit www.aclunc.org for a copy of the bill and dozens of resources related to it.

Stella Richardson
Media Relations Director
ACLU of Northern California

Marin County's Screwed Up Spending Priorities

There is a lot of IJ space devoted to letters, articles and editorials from various activists about the money needed for resurfacing our roads, wider roads to accommodate bicycles, tunnels for improved access for hikers and bicyclists, and a myriad of other important needs.

The County needs money to clean the brush off the mountain to make living here safer. The supervisor's answer is to increase the sales tax-the very tax that burdens the lower income levels of our society. In San Rafael the sales tax was raised just to accommodate that city's billowing pension and benefit plans.

At this rate we will soon have a 10% sales tax-unheard of when I was a boy! Each Marin town also adds various property fees which amount to additional burdensome taxes to cover increased costs of roads, sewers, flood control, schools, etc.

Meanwhile, last summer the U.S. Congress including our own anti war Democrat Lynn Woolsey voted 410-8 to support Israel's massacre of the Lebanese people. A lot of little Lebanese children got their arms blown off because of that vote.

Ms. Woolsey backed up her vote with lots of money that could be spent widening our roads for bicycles. In fact, every year, Ms. Woolsey and her cohorts in Congress vote to issue billions in paper notes which are sold to China. We taxpayers pay over 4% interest to China on these notes. The billions of dollars that China gives us are GIVEN to Israel free at no charge whatsoever.

The US also spends billions on bombers and bombs, which lately have blown the arms off a lot of little children in Iraq. The money could have been spent buying land for more parks, ocean access, boat launch ramps, buying up right of ways to widen City highways, constructing new mass transportation systems, and helping those in need who have no money.

Next time you are stuck in traffic think about it. We do not have to live like this.

Next time you are driving your car on a narrow road and you see a bicyclist with no room to ride, think about how your money is being spent. You don't have to drive all puckered up worrying about running over somebody on two wheels. And don't forget the bicyclist isn't using any gas.

Why not widen the roads and use less gas? All it takes is money...the same money that is spent blowing the arms off of those little children in Lebanon and Iraq.

Marin County, you have your spending priorities screwed up...and so does Woolsey, Feinstein and Boxer.

Don Dickey
Mill Valley

Wrong Signal To The Enemy
The arrogant stance maintained by President Bush in his insistence to continue with his lost war in Iraq is beginning to be a monumental embarrassment to all decent, patriotic Americans in particular and all freedom loving people, in general.

Whatever is compelling this president to pursue such a disgraceful course of action must be so overwhelming that he appears to be blind of it's dire consequences to him, personally, and his administration. His noble and trustworthy friends and advisers are beginning to abandon him. The only people who have not left him are those who have no choice but to support him because of personal loyalty to him or those who are directly deriving huge profits from the adventure.

His staunchest ally in this misadventure is UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is about to lose his job as a price to pay for that mistake. The British do not appear to be as nonchalant and forgiving to their erring leaders as we Americans are. Bush and Cheney are still holding on to their jobs and defiantly surging on, notwithstanding the expressed wish of the American people in the last elections, to the contrary. The president's guru and mentor, who is more identified with the Iraq fiasco than any member of his administration, including himself, is the only survivor among his supporters who still talks and acts like the whole matter is a blessing from Heaven. He appears to believe the falsehoods that he spouts to the media with regularity. These war mongers accuse the peace advocates who oppose them as traitors to their country because they are sending the wrong signal to the enemy.

If they are that concerned about the signals that we are sending to the enemy, should they not focus on what signals we have already sent? And they are far from being wrong. They should also make certain - who the enemy they are referring to is. The enemy knows that the American people were hoodwinked and lied to about the real reasons we pre-emptedly attacked Iraq. The enemy knows that as far as our constitution is concerned, the whole war effort has been orchestrated by our incumbent government illegally. The American people have sent to the whole world the message that they now know this and do not approve of it. They have sent the signal that they want to end this cruel aggression to a country that has never meant to harm us. We sent the signal that we are correcting a wrong by firing the chief architect and executor of this illegitimate war and will be endeavoring to go after the others who have betrayed the trust of the people.

It is not a secret that the war in Iraq was launched by the Bush administration, based on lies and deceit. The American people will never have supported the effort at the time they did, had they known then what they know now about it. Consequently, the American people are now sending to the whole world the message that the war was a mistake and is no longer tolerating its furtherance. Just like in Vietnam, our leaders led us to war in Iraq for reasons other than what we understood them to be. We pulled out of Vietnam and we are pulling out of Iraq as well. It is the honorable thing to do. We are not afraid to send this signal to the Iraqis, particularly because they have never proven to be our enemy. They are as much our enemy as our American Indian brothers were when we took their land away from them.

Antonio R. Serna
Rohnert Park

Dell Computers Being Monitored
A pop-up on my brand new Dell Laptop alerts me that Dell is monitoring the on-line activity of us, your Customers. Ahh, the threat of terrorism may be real, but based on personal experience, I really don't think you know what you are enabling to happen. All I can say is that behind the former Iron Curtain, wiretapping was a way to catch and detain political dissidents. That's why we have a first amendment, guaranteeing our free speech, and of which it would appear you are not only in violation, but further you are even playing Spy on the Us, your PAYING customers.

Clamping down on politically vocal people would never happen here in the USA? Nonsense. Under the Patriot Act, University of California Berkeley students against the Iraq War have been dubbed "terrorists" by the Administration and are being tracked by surveillance cameras, queried by police about on-campus speakers, etc. The Secret Service arrested a man who had the good sense to tell Cheney at a mall that he opposed the Iraq War. Hey and get this: According to the ACLU, more than 850 Guantanamo Detainees are proven innocent, yet are being tortured without access to attorney or judge.

Dell, is this what you want to help along?

I write this letter to you and the newspapers in the hopes that other concerned citizens will do the same.

Sylvia Drake,
Dell laptop customer
Novato, CA

C02 Tips For The Environment
Let's all work together to "clear the air". I offer the following thoughts in the hopes that you may consider starting a weekly reader's forum on C02-reducing tips:

When my aging Corolla began to burn oil, I decided not to sell it. Instead, I bought a Toyota Prius and am using the Corolla as a workhorse: I figure it's money in the bank to extend the life and new looks of my Prius. Therefore, I perceive the non-sale of the Corolla as a financial gain, not as a loss. And my conscience rests easier knowing that one more oil-burning car is not frequently on the road.

I am surprised to find out how much baking time is reduced when I cut potatoes into quarters, use miniature muffin tins, bake cake batter into cupcakes, cut the roast in half, cut vegetables small before steaming them, etc.

Rather than turn on the air conditioner, try hosing down the roof: The evaporation (on a hot day) cools the roof, which in turn cools the house. And what if blooming wrap-around trellises became a fad in California, shading the walls and keeping them cool? What if snow country adapted the trend of glass wrap-around porches for insulation?

To any skeptics out there, may I suggest that debating is healthy, but that where a potential survival issue is concerned, to also take the protective view--and action--- while continuing any debate? Plus, who doesn't like to save money on their energy and gas bills, and what's wrong with "clearing the air" we all breathe? Win-win!

Editor, I also hope you will tip readers off to PG+E's marvelous, empowering FREE book, 30 Simple Energy Things you can Do to Save the Earth. If anybody even questions how effective our individual "pitching in" will be, this book will make them think again for sure. It's truly empowering to know how much CO2 is produced by what portion of our energy use, to be armed with simple---and non-sacrificial----ways to cut back, etc.

What if school kids started to plant trees as part of required environmental education courses, pre-arranging the plantings with the local cities and starting the saplings from seeds? What if our education stressed environmental and health awareness? What if cancer rates dropped as we "clear the air", and... even big corporations gratefully realized that reliably healthy staffing is to their own benefit? (I can dream, can't I?)

And if I may dare to dream even further, perhaps we all can help the government to wake to the reality that rebating the impounding of gas-guzzling SUV's and inefficient refrigerators, etc would actually save money: Extinction sure is not cheap, eh? Multiply Hurricane Katrina by storms across the nation, and bingo! To spend becomes the savings, in the long run. Let's all "pitch in" and write our legislators, urging them to put their thinking caps on about this! Thanks!

Drina Brooke
Novato

It Has Always Been About Their Oil
The only Iraq Study Group recommendation out of 79 adopted by Bush calls for the United States to "assist" in privatizing Iraq's national oil industry, opening Iraq to private foreign oil and energy companies, providing direct technical assistance for the "drafting" of a new national oil law for Iraq, and assuring that all of Iraq's oil revenues accrue to the central government." http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/120806K.shtml. This law would reverse Iraq's 1971decision to nationalize its oil reserves to expel exploitative foreign profiteers. Bush dissimulated renewed exploitation benignly: "To give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country's economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis." Bush, Big Oil's huckster, made passage of this oil law a "benchmark" of progress for Maliki's government.

Iraqis are rightly suspicious.
"Kurdish and Sunni Arab officials expressed deep reservations on Wednesday about the draft version of a national oil law and related legislation, misgivings that could derail one of the benchmark measures of progress in Iraq laid down by President Bush..."

"The draft oil law would allow regions to enter into production-sharing agreements with foreign companies, which some Iraqis and critics of the Bush administration say could lead to foreigners reaping too much of the country's oil wealth." New York Times, May 3, 2007.

It's always been about the oil. This "war" has been fought to advance the fortunes of Big Oil and to establish a toady regime that will allow permanent American military bases in Iraq.

Michael L. Marowitz
San Rafael

Fail To Accomplish Failed Mission
Bush and the Congress are talking about authorizing funding for Iraq based on "benchmarks" which require Iraq to accomplish certain feats to get continued funding. But on the eve of the Iraqi parliament starting a two-month vacation we already know that Iraq isn't going to meet the benchmarks. So why bother?

This is all about stalling. Bush wants to stall because he wants to stick the failure on the next president. The Democrats want to stall because they are too chicken to cut off funding and a bad war helps them in the next election. And the Republicans have an adverse relationship with reality and are trying desperately to hold on to their denial. But the real problem is with the American people because if we aren't going to accept reality as a nation then our leaders won't either. If we continue to elect leaders because they lie and tell us what we want to hear, then who are we to complain when we believe it?

The war was fatally flawed to begin with. So if we win the war then we succeed at a failed plan. Maybe a better way to win is to fail to accomplish the failed mission. This is a war where losing is actually better than winning and the sooner we lose this war the quicker America can get back to reality. Reality is reaching out to tap America on the shoulder. The time has come to listen to the voice of reality.

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

Marc Perkel
San Bruno, CA.






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