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January, 2008



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Letters To The Editor

Republicans Make Immigrants Terrorists
The Church of the Mighty Dollar and the party of the wealthy have joined forces in Iowa to promote politics of religion and division. Campaigning reminds one more of a Bible revival than a pre-presidential primary.
The GOP's number one wedge issue for the coming 2008 election campaign is anti-immigration. Forget about the war, debt, mortgage meltdown and health crisis. Republican presidential contender Tom Tancredo gives us a taste of upcoming dirty tricks with a recent campaign ad that depicts an immigrant crossing the border in order to blow up a shopping mall. Since when are hard working Hispanics the terrorists?

Poll leader Mike Huckabee stands for the hypocrisy that has become the Republican Party: Pro-life, on the one hand and pro-war, pro-death penalty and pro-gun on the other.

Ron Lowe
Grass Valley

Group Urges Standards Committee To Stamp Out Israeli Influence That Paralyzes British Government

As the twenty-one month long siege of Gaza becomes a death sentence for yet more civilians, a group in the UK with experience of the Occupied Territories is urging the Committee on Standards in Public Life to examine whether there is undue Israeli influence at the heart of British government.

The blockade stops vital medical supplies going in and prevents chronically sick patients (including children) transferring to proper hospital treatment outside Gaza. Israel's deep penetration of our political system, says the group, is preventing Britain from taking a principled stand on Middle East matters, including the long catalogue of grotesque violations of Palestinian human rights, of which the Gaza siege is only the latest example. Conservative Friends of Israel, for example, claim the support of 80 percent of Tory MPs.

Signatories to the letter include Mona Baker, Karl Sabbagh, Derek Summerfield and Felicity Arbuthnot.

Spokesman for the group is David Halpin, a trauma surgeon, who has spent all of the last five years of his retirement standing with the Palestinians for Justice. He has seen the destruction of lives, limbs, livings and hope at first hand. He advised the Hamas government how they should investigate the use of illegal weapons by Israel. In March, he led a team of seven UK doctors into Gaza. The Dove and Dolphin Medical Centre was opened then. This is named after the symbolic voyage he led five years ago from which the charity was named...

He says: "It is insufficient that humans should weep beneath the crucifixion of the Palestine people in 2007 AD. They must halt it forthwith."

Businessman Stuart Littlewood, who was in Gaza last month, remarked: "When you urge the British government to act for justice you are blocked at every turn by Friends of Israel in high places. No one, it seems, is prepared to break the siege and land humanitarian supplies on Gaza's beach. What happened to our Christmas spirit?"

Felicity Arbuthnot campaigned for many years in Iraq. She says: "The horrors inflicted on Gaza and Iraq and threatened elsewhere in the Middle East are encapsulated for me by a young doctor. She had the skills but was denied the facilities and medications so she watched helplessly as her young patients died. 'There is a hole where my heart should be,' she said. In the name of our common humanity, as Eid, the Jewish Festival of Light and Christmas are celebrated, ENOUGH!"

The group invites readers to join them in pressing the Standards Committee to uphold the seven Principles of Public Life and banish lobby groups acting on behalf of foreign military regimes. Write to:

Mr. Peter Ramsden
Secretary to the Committee
Committee on Standards in Public Life
email: [email protected]

Bum Deal For Bicyclist In Seashore
A Petaluma man, Barry London, is appearing before Federal Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James Tuesday December 11, 2007, charged with possessing a bicycle in the Philip Burton Wilderness in Point Reyes National Seashore. (10:30AM, 450 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco, 15th floor, Courtroom B.)

London was riding his bicycle on a former ranch road and apprehended by park rangers driving full size trucks. Hikers, horses and rangers' vehicles are allowed on these so-called "Wilderness trails" but bicycles are not. The roads in the area formerly served dairy ranches that occupied the Point Reyes Peninsula before it was purchased by the federal government as parkland. Prior to decisions in 1984 and 1985, bicycles were allowed on these roads, some of which retain traces of pavement. Some of these roads are still open to bicycles, but none go all the way through the park. They are "cherry stemmed" into the designated Wilderness and dead-end at campgrounds.

What is unique about this case is that London was cited for the same offense in 1999. He challenged his citation in federal court. Although he was fined $50, Federal Magistrate Judge Elizabeth D. Laporte ordered London to work with US Attorney Cohee to determine which trails and former ranch roads should be reopened to bicycle use. Park administrators were supposed to comply. Although London and Cohee drew up a map of routes to be reopened, the administration of PRNS has not yet complied with Judge Laporte's order. To make matters worse, the federal courts have misplaced the records of London's 1999 trial, which are crucial to his defense in the matter at hand. All he has is his receipt for the $50 fine he paid in 1999.

As of this writing the records of the 1999 trial cannot be found by federal officials. Barry London's goal in continued challenges to these laws is to reopen safe and scenic bicycle routes from Inverness to Bolinas, California. The only route currently available to cyclists is State Highway One, which is notorious for its substandard lane width, lack of a consistent shoulder and high motor vehicle speeds, resulting in many cyclists' deaths and injuries since the alternate routes through Point Reyes have been closed.

Barry London,
[email protected]

Cheney-Pelosi Love Affair
"Cheney criticizes Pelosi for Syria visit": Has this man no shame!. He and Rush Limbaugh got together to bad-mouth Nancy for her travel and diplomacy, playing to the lowest common denominator in the GOP. What about the three Republicans who just recently visited Syria? No, this is more hysterical hypocrisy from the harpies of hell.

Ron Lowe
Grass Valley

"Homegrown Terrorist Bill" Is Fear Mongering

The message rings loud and clear: Fear ye thine American neighbor! They are all to be suspiciously eyeballed as terrorists, and they are coming out of the woodwork!

Such thought coaching is what underscored the rush to war with Iraq, which, as it turned out, was hoaxes and soap bubbles, anyway.

So it would appear that with S 1959, "To Establish the National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism, and for other purposes" we are similarly being coached. And this time, it's our own "homegrown terrorist" neighbors we are being coached to fear.

Full PDF text if the bill:
Status of the bill in the House and Senate:

A) Why is it necessary to draft a bill specially to crack down on violent activists? We already have laws in which violence is disciplined. So why target activists, specifically?

B) What is the implication of the words in the title, "And For Other Purposes"? Those remain unspecified throughout the entire text of the bill. That leaves a conveniently open-ended interpretation to.... Let the imagination wander: Anything goes.

C) "Radicalization" is not defined in the bill. So politicians can (and will) conveniently interpret what that means. Nobody wants to be publicly exposed for his or her wrongdoings, especially corrupt politicians. Of which there are many.

D) The bill creates a Commission to study the thoughts giving rise to "ideologically based violence", which "means the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual's political, religious or social beliefs". (Emphasis added). So in order to promote our political beliefs, if we use "force" such as throwing a hurl of faxes and phone calls at a Politician's office, we risk being labeled and treated as terrorists. Don't laugh: The ACLU's website is full of examples of post-911 activists being dubbed "terrorists" After all, the definition above specifies the words "use of force OR violence" and does not define "force" in violent physical terms.

E) Note that the Commission studying the thought models leading to violent radicalization "should not" (a recommendation) crack down on civil liberties, and "should not" conduct racial profiling. Yet, the words "Shall not" (an imperative) are used unremittingly throughout the text of the bill, when protecting Congress and its members. That's a hint.

F) The bill makes it a crime to "coerce" the government. Yet that term "coerce" also is not defined. Being left open-ended, and given the statistics which are all over the ACLU's website of activists (not terrorists) being clamped down on as "terrorists", it is possible and even likely that our letters to the editor or any other attempts to hold our officials accountable will be misconstrued as "coercion". After all, to hold them accountable is a way to publicly "force" them into cooperating with our best interest and the Constitutional rule of law.

G) Imagine FBI and CIA infiltrating our College campuses. Such is the proposal, in which the Commission to study the beliefs yielding "violent radicalization" would be headquartered in unspecified Universities, nation-wide.

Considering that our college students are our most vocal and impassioned citizens, the intention to quell dissent and free speech has been openly confessed by this. And contrary to the claims of the bill, to place government spies into our college campuses is an act of discrimination against our youth, endangers their free speech, and by analysis, is clearly intended to do so.

The historian Henry Steele Commager, denouncing President John Adams' suppression of free speech in the 1790s, argued that the Bill of Rights was not written to protect government from dissenters but to provide a legal means for citizens to oppose a government they didn't trust. Of course to quell violence is at all times indicated, but to specifically target any one group, and to cleverly wrap up free speech prohibitions with innocent-looking words and "ideologies", is never the way to go.

Please call Sen. Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein immediately, urging them not only to vote "no" on S.1959, but also to promise a filibuster if it passes. Our free speech may be on the line. Thank you.

Sylvia Drake

WE Must Stop This "Terrorism" Bill
A year ago at the community center in SG we invited the distinguish Costal Post writer Dr. Ed Miller who I believe is 88 now, to speak to a crowd of about 45, organized by the Forest Knolls Peace Center. After his informal presentation covering his [exceptional] life, during questions and answers, the question was put forth: What words of hope can you give us for our future concerning the liberation struggle for Palestine, and what's the most positive thing that has happened in your lifetime?

And to the disappointment of some he said "The Internet".

He basically said that because of the internet Americans and people all over the world are quickly learning about the brutal occupation of Palestine by Israel and other undemocratic naughty things that the Jewish lobby is responsible for behind the scenes in American politics as well, and that a critical mass type thing will happen and 'change' will be inevitable.

Just how 'change' will manifest is still uncertain, hopefully it will be as simple as with ink from a pen but one thing for certain is this: this internet critical mass thing has put the Zionist Organized Government police state into high gear to stop it.

Rep. Jane Harman a democrat formulated the bill HR 1955 also called S1959 with APIAC. (American Israeli Political Action Committee) also known as one of the most powerful Jewish lobbies.

This treacherous bill will create a 'Thought Police' commission with 10 members, one each chosen by Pres. Bush and head of Homeland Security Israeli/American duel citizen, Rabbi Michael Chertoff and the other 8 chosen between Dems and Repub.

According to the "Ms. Harman's proposal includes an absurd attack on the internet, criticizing it for providing Americans with " access to broad and constant streams of terrorist -related propaganda", and legalizes an insidious infiltration of targeted organizations. The misnamed " Center Of Excellence" which would function after the commission is disbanded in 18 months gives the semblance of intellectual research to what is otherwise the suppression of dissent.

Every thinking person should be worried about this bill. This commission will have sweeping expanded powers to investigate, gather testimony, and a mandate to propose laws prohibiting whatever the commission labels " homegrown terrorism."

We will have 10 little Zionist Joe McCarthy's, who will tour the country to hold private hearings. The bill defines "violent radicalization" as promoting an "extremist belief system."

It defines homegrown terrorism as "planned' or "threatened" use of force to coerce the government or people in the promotion of "Political or Social objectives" That means that no force need actually have occurred as long as the government charges that the individual or group thought about doing it.

The problem is that the bill does not adequately define "extreme belief systems." As someone who was actually banned in Nov. of 04 from writing letters to the award winning Point Reyes Light paper because of my alleged extremist beliefs concerning the occupation of Palestine, and by the way, I was banned while the paper was in the midst of a sell to the new owner who is a Zionist ex prosecutor, and, as one having been labeled a terrorist by several local letter writers to the PRL, I can tell you this bill will have a chilling effect on decent by ordinary people.

This bill swept thru the Zionist occupied House of Representatives on Oct. 23 by a treacherous vote of 404-6, 23 members not voting and is set to fly thru the senate where Zionist Joe Lieberman will head it.

Organize today.
Kate Hart
San Geronimo

Bush & Cheney Should Give God A Break
President Bush and VP Cheney should give God a break during the Holiday Season and stop beseeching Him at the end of every speech to bless their mission in Iraq. I don't think the Lord is too enamored about bailing them out on that one.

And I don't think He is too interested in their bombing innocent citizens in oil-rich countries just because Bush and Cheney want to suck up another barrel of oil. The Lord is probably sick and tired of being asked to participate and give His blessing to their pre-emptive strikes in the Middle East for these resources. I'm sure He has better things to do than help them out every time they foul up in getting same.

If they'd stop getting into trouble by starting unnecessary wars, they wouldn't have to beg for God's help in the first place. Perhaps the next president will make a New Year's resolution to stop spending so much time overseas interfering in another country's un-winnable civil wars, especially when not invited to do so, and stay home taking care of his own countrymen first.

David A. Whelan
Forest Knolls

Just A Little Blatant Disconnect
In your November Editorial Comment you implored us to "speak out, act out and hear other opinions" and "Don't throw out hate at someone who has a different opinion than you, or that has spoken out on something you disagree with."

The irony of what followed a few pages later in your newspaper is too great to ignore. Judy Borello proceeded in her Moo Town News column to accuse "two wives of ranchers" (I believe the wives are both ranchers as well) of having "drawbridge mentality," a "discriminatory, elitist and bigoted attitude," and spewing "discriminatory dogma." Hateful word like these are usually reserved for dictators and criminals and not neighbors and fellow ranchers, no matter how much you disagree with their views.

And then, the icing on the cake, "These women are not interested in preserving agriculture." To disagree on the house size limits is one thing but to imply that the motivation for embracing their point of view is to benefit them financially or to cut out other ranchers is below the belt It shows clearly that the columnist either didn't hear their argument or respect their point of view - maybe both. No wonder Mike Gale immediately resigned as head of the Farm Board. To do otherwise would implicitly condone an attitude of disrespect that he clearly will not tolerate towards his wife or others. It wasn't chivalry, just common decency among people He modeled the high road. It's a nice reminder for all of us.

I found the article to be distasteful, hateful and completely contrary to the values I believe to be deeply held in this community - dignity, respect, understanding and tolerance.

Doug Haner
Point Reyes Station

Just Dropping Dead
Sure, Dennis Kucinich's brother could have just dropped dead of a heart attack. That's possible. Then again, "foul play" is something that MUST be investigated by an independent counsel, no matter what anybody claims: The timing of this death is very suspicious. Kucinich put impeachment of Cheney "on the table" and was, at this very moment, preparing articles of impeachment against Bush. And then his brother dropped dead, at that same moment in time. Hmmmm... Does anyone doubt this possibility? What of the fact that two men brought our kids to war based on lies? Could YOU, dear reader, do such a thing if YOU were president of the USA? Could YOU abandon the Katrina victims? Are you telling me that this is normal psychology at work? Better think again. I have "had it" with the whole scenario, and while the mass depression is understandable, the fact remains that sometimes the greatest evils are committed by the silence of good people.

Time for Americans to get up off their duffs and say "NO! We will not PAY taxes to fund the death of our own kids for lies! NO! We will not PAY to have you rape our Constitution and our civil liberties!" If we believe Congress and Bush won't care, trust me they will care plenty when they see lawsuits coming from all across the country for.... undue emotional distress. ...wrongful death...murder....treason.....How about it, folks? And please sign Rep. Robert Wexler's petition for hearings to impeach Cheney at and pass it on!

Drina Brooke

Since When Are Oil Spill Cleanup Volunteers Terrorists?

It would seem that bird watchers, Greenpeace, et al are officially designated terrorists. And so are other ordinary do-good citizens like you and me:

And now, according to KPFA Radio, that same "terrorist" definition would appear to extend to volunteers cleaning up the San Francisco Bay Area oil spill.

A man who volunteered his back yard as a dump site for oil glops to be stored when cleaning up a West Marin beach, was handcuffed and tasered. Not tasered on his shoulder as was Andrew Meir: This time, it was his head that was tasered.

Why was the police summoned to an oil spill clean-up scene in the first place? This is the Patriot Act at work, folks:;,, which allows the police and FBI-at their own unilateral whim and without judicial review-to arrest ordinary Americans without probable cause or connection to criminal activity.

To let the public know that it really is only "terrorists" do-good citizen groups who are being thus targeted, I want to ask readers to see this actual declassified FBI "International Terrorism Matters" investigation document, as posted to the ACLU's website:

Please contact Congress members and demand that they overturn the Patriot Act, sum total.

Demand the name of the officer involved in this case, demand his arrest and job termination, then sue him.

If we don't show the stuff we are made of now, things will only get worse until such scenarios, and even worse ones, become the norm in America, the Land of the Free.

Drina Brooke

Party Of Prejudice
GOP, the party of prejudice. Hypocrisy at its best. On Thursday Dec. 6, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney asked Americans to view his candidacy with a sense of tolerance. "We believe that every single human being is a child of God", he said. "We are all part of the human family." In the next breath he demeans and demonizes immigrants (part of the human family) playing to the lowest common denominator of the Republican Party, the intolerant Southern white base. Republican presidential candidates are diving all over each other to be the best anti-immigration hardliner.

Hey Mitt, why don't you just call hard working, brown-skinned Hispanics, terrorists - it works for Homeland Security.

Ron Lowe
Grass Valley

Understanding Single Payer
Your November 1st editorial, "What is Single Payer?" should be widely distributed as the clearest exposition of this most important issue.

Single Payer Medical Insurance (SPMI) exists now in the form of Medicare (ME). Single Payer Systems are "not-for-profit medical care" in the precise words of Dennis Kucinich. All other candidates are using the imprecise term "Universal Health Care" (UHC). Hillary Clinton made progress towards not for profit medical care (the third rail of politics in 1993) when she brought forth her plan after locking herself up for 3 months in Jackson Hole with 300 insurance executives, resulting in a plan so bad that she kept secret the minutes of the meetings for years. UHC plans mandate citizens' money be shoveled into the pockets of the insurance executives, who then use 20% to 30% of your dollars for their overhead. This overhead includes obscene $67 million payouts to CEO's, as was the case with Oxford Insurance last year. Compare this to the 3% overhead of Medicare (ME). Blue Cross of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania administers New Jersey's ME for this 3% fee.

Opponents of ME call it socialized medicine, but doctors under ME are private practitioners in private offices, and their patients are private patients, free to choose their doctors and hospitals. Doctors negotiate in Washington with ME administrators, who are civil servants, and Congress oversees the process. This is preferable to dealing with over 100 private insurers, whose modus operandi is to corner large segments of the population into their plans, and then boss doctors and hospitals around. Ridiculously low fees result, for example, $860 (Aetna's payment) for a surgeon to perform major surgery, such as colon resection for cancer, including pre and postoperative care.

HMO's act like WalMart, which asks for suppliers' lowest price and then works for 20% below that, often resulting in HMO's forcing their patients into other than their usual hospitals and doctors. Most HMO's now pay doctors less than ME fees and co pays have risen too much greater sums than ME's co-pay of 20% for doctor visits.

Mr. Kucinich's plan is estimated to cost taxpayers a 2.5% tax rise, much lower than the $12,000 to $15,000 cost for commercial for-profit insurance.

Polls in England and Canada, whose medical care is attacked by right wing USA propagandists, show that 97% of the people prefer to stay with their single payer systems. Media control in the USA is so pervasive that I haven't even seen such a poll of ME enrollees, but my tally so far shows 100% of ME patients prefer not to be devilled by the rapidly rising costs of commercial insurance companies' policies.

Also hidden by the US corporate press is that the internists' American College of Physicians (ACP), The American College of Surgeons, and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology all came out in 1991 for SPMI, and Al Gore's pre-Hillary plan speech to the ACP in 1993 in Washington, D.C. espoused SPMI.

Leaving medical payments in the for-profit sphere has led to medical problems being the main cause of bankruptcy in the USA. This is unknown under Medicare. Industry should strongly support SPMI, since HMO policies cost them dearly and inhibit our country's competitiveness with more enlightened countries, where huge political contributions are known as "bribes."

Supporters of SPMI can call any House or Senate member at (202) 224-3121 or (800) 828-0498 to let their opinions be known. Let them know your support for House bill H.R. 1200.

M.E. Kostelnik, M.D.
Newton, New Jersey
Dr. Kostelnik practices Gastroenterology in Succasunna, New Jersey. He wrote this article while visiting his son Leo Kostelnik and daughter-in-law, Megan Matson, of Bolinas

Thank You Chris Dodd
I want to thank Chris Dodd who put aside his presidential campaign to come back to Washington to stop the Republicans and week Democrats like Harry Reid from selling out our freedom allowing the government to spy on us without warrants. With stories of spying and torture being revealed I was beginning to think that everyone in Congress had forgot what it was to be an American. It is about time that someone stood up to Bush and the sell out Democrats who want to sign away our freedom so they can start their Christmas vacation.

Finally someone gets it that America is heading towards becoming like Nazis and that it take a hero to stand before the Senate and say no more! I was going to vote for Hillary and she will probably make the best president. But even though it will be a waste of my vote I'm going to vote for Chris Dodd because he has earned my highest respect. Although Obama and Clinton supported Dodd, Dodd is the one who flew to Washington to make it happen. Maybe the rest of the Democrats will wake up and stop funding the Iraq occupation.

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

Marc Perkel
San Bruno

'Tis a thought before Christmas
Twas a country quite listless, for in the White House

All the shredders were shredding fed by the dry souse.

The Department of Justice did not have a care,

Full knowing that Congress would never go there.

The Cabinet was smirking, with zero street creed,

While visions of pardons danced in their pinheads.

And Bush in his flight suit with Dick spewing his crap,

Called up party faithful to cheerlead their pack.

When from the front lawn there arose such a clatter -

Twas an army of citizens (as if they would matter).

Junior and Cheney were up in a flash,
And to the back exit they carried the trash.

Trucks took the confetti away to a dump
And Junior was giggling, like a lame frat-boy chump.

When, what to their wondering eyes should appear,

The Statue of Liberty, and for all to hear,

She roared at the duo that they made her sick.

The scoundrels, they trembled (especially Dick).

And, with a bald eagle, she hurled out the blame,

At appointees and annointees, she called them by name.

"Out, Dubya! Out, Cheney! Out, Rice and Mukasey!

Out all the enablers, both crooked and lazy.

You've ruined a nation, with your greed and gall!

Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

Junior was frightened. He squealed like a sow.

Cheney retreated. "Feets don't fail me now."

So into the White House, they ran and they hid.

They both called their lawyers. What facts could they rig?

And then, in a twinkling, they saw in the hall

A figure approaching, both regal and tall.

He had a white beard, wore a star spangled hat.

He sneered at the duo. "Your uncle is back."

He was dressed like a flag, from his head to his feet,

But the flag was all tarnished from lies and deceit.

He stared at the culprits. "Do you know who I am?"

They both nodded dumbly. It was Uncle Sam.

"To the words of the law, you have turned a deaf ear.

You've squandered your power. You've made people fear

For their lives and their families. You've tortured the facts.

You've never been leaders, just political hacks."

Uncle Sam bristled, rolled paper in hand.

"It's the Constitution! The law of the land!

This land isn't your land. This land isn't mine.

It belongs to the people and you've run out of time.

"They'll no longer listen to vows learned by rote.

In next year's election, they'll turn out and vote.

They'll fix up this nation. They'll bring freedom back.

We'll no longer torture. We'll get out of Iraq."

Old Dick tried to argue, but as the Veep rose

Sam launched a haymaker upside Cheney's nose.

Bush began spinning, and whined like a girl

As Sam opened the window and spoke to the world.

"Trust in your Uncle, Lady Liberty, too.

We'll be back here in '08, after this wrecking crew."

And the people all cheered as Sam called through the night.

"Don't give up on freedom. Don't give up the fight."

Women For 1,000 Years
For thousands of years women have been relegated to second tier status in world societies. Many cultures look at women as property of men that same way that cattle are considered men's property. In Arab countries women are not allowed to drive cars to travel without the permission of male relatives and women who are raped are whipped and imprisoned so as not to bring dishonor on their male relatives. Here in America women are often taught to be submissive and to accept that they are inferior to men.

America is still the most powerful nation on the planet and the president of the United States becomes the world's most powerful person. I believe that if a woman is elected president that it would change the way women see themselves throughout the world. I think it is time, for the first time in history, for a woman to be the most powerful person on the planet. It would send a message to little girls around the world that they have the same rights as men and that they can dream of becoming a great leader when they grow up just like little boys can do.

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

Marc Perkel
San Bruno

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