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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, 2008


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Letters from readers

Absence Of Coverage On Palestinian Missile Attacks
I am writing you because I am puzzled. I have noticed a complete absence of coverage of the constant missile and rocket attacks perpetrated by the people calling themselves the Palestinians. The damage caused by these missile attacks is devastating to the people of Israel. These arms are being supplied by Iran and their terrorist allies. Israel has given the Palestinian people several pieces of land in the hopes of bringing peace to the area. Each time Israel extends its arm in peace, the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists fire more rockets into Israeli homes. Israel supplies the Palestinian people with electricity and fuel and once again they respond with rockets and missiles. Why is the American media turning its back on our friends and allies in Israel?
I have had a lot of faith in the media up till now. If you would look at the situation it is clear that all editors should condemn the Palestinians for their barbaric and chaotic responses to Israeli peace efforts. Please, I beg of you, shed some light on what is really going on in Gaza, not the Palestinian biased articles I have read up till now. Send some reporters into the area to see what is really happening. I have heard first hand what is going on, and what your papers report is completely false and biased. As many as 220 rockets were fired in 4 days, 4000 since Israel evacuated its citizens from Gaza. 300 Israelis have been injured and THIRTEEN have been killed. The media silence must end...

If you would like to discuss this situation then I would be glad to explain it to you. Please call me at (707) 758 6084.

Michael Uman
Vallejo,

Go Figure
House Resolution (2 Oct 07), recognizing the importance of Ramadan and the Islamic religion, passed 376-0, with 58 not voting.

House Resolution 847 (11 Dec 07), recognizing the importance of Christmas and Christianity, passed 372-9, with 50 not voting

Their constituents deserve to know that Bay Area Reps. Lynn Woolsey, Barbara Lee and

Pete Stark voted YES for Islam and NO for Christianity.

Fielding Greaves
San Rafael
PS CORRECTION to earlier message, this subject: BARBARA LEE of Oakland, who voted NO on Christianity, is recorded as "not voting" on H RES 635 (Ramadan & Islam).


Israel Gave Up Gaza For Peace
Enough is never enough! Israel gave up Gaza in an effort to forward any peace negotiations. Now Gaza continues treacherous bombing of innocent citizens whose crime is no more than living close by. How can Israel trust anymore concessions, when Heditoramas insists that Israel does not have a right to exist. Israel has even, in the spirit of humanity, lifted many of the sanctions, realizing that the Palestinian people in Gaza are the victims. Severe international pressure must be brought on Gaza which will not penalize it's people, but which will force it to stop it's aggressive and non-productive bombing of Israel.

Lesli Sachs
El Granada

Letter to George W. Bush
Gulf News Editorial
(Published in Dubai in United Arab Emirates), Thursday, January 10, 2008

http://www.gulf-news.com/opinion/editorial_opinion/region/10180995.html


Dear Mr. President;
Lest you forget. Invasion of Iraq. Thousands of dead. Looting the National Museum. Disbanding the Iraqi army. Donald Rumsfeld. Shock and Awe. Jay Garner. Paul Bremer. Inciting sectarianism. Abu Ghraib. Thousands of detainees without charges. Torture. Oil. Ghost WMDs. The Niger connection. Halliburton. Blackwater. Deadly security contractors. Mercenaries. Fallujah. Haditha massacre. Blind support of Israel. Instigating the suffering of Gaza. Ignoring the expansion of illegal colonies. Defying United Nations resolutions. Securing "a Jewish State". Allowing Israelis to extend the destruction of Lebanon in the 2oo6 war. Providing Israel with new Bunker Buster bombs to attack Lebanese towns. The War on Terror. "The Crusade". Clash of civilizations. Where is Osama Bin Laden? Afghanistan. Bagram massacre. Bombing media offices. Guantanamo Bay. Kangaroo courts. Indefinite detention. Presidential orders to ignore Geneva Conventions. "Unlawful enemy combatants". Illegal National Security Agency wiretapping. Fingerprinting visitors. Black prisons. Kidnapping foreign citizens on foreign lands. Khalid Al Masri. Abu Omar. Maher Arar. Central Intelligence Agency. "Aggressive interrogation techniques". Destroying the torture tapes. Iran tension. Isolating Syria. Embracing Syrian opposition Iraq style. The Chavez coup. Denial of global warming. Rejecting Kyoto Protocol. Marginalization of the United Nations. John Bolton. Paul Wolfowitz and the World Bank. Carl Rove. Alberto Gonzales. Firing attorneys. Nepotism. False democracy promises. Dick Cheney, Dick Cheney and Dick Cheney.


Mr. President;
The list goes on. You might not be able to recall some of it. But the people around you, Cheney and Condoleezza Rice especially, would. And they realize that on the subject of human rights, your administration has had the worst record of all, surpassing most Third World countries. The tension and the misery in parts of this region can very well testify to this.


Mr. President;
In a famous speech in 2003 you announced an "historic" shift in US foreign policy. You pledged to support democracy and liberty while declaring "victory" in Iraq. More than four years later, Iraq is in chaos. It has virtually disintegrated and "the surge" did little to stop the killing or ease the sectarian tension. At the same time, you gave up on your freedom-for-all prophecy. We are all back to the old ways of doing business - arms and oil. The agenda of your current tour is evident.


Mr. President;
This is your first official trip to a land you long claimed has a very special place in your heart. The land of the Prophets. However, you started out wrong. By maintaining your support of an Israeli "Jewish State", you are flouting your own ideals upon which your great country was founded more than two centuries ago. So much for the promise of democracy. What you advocate in fact is the creation of states on religious and racial lines, thereby justifying the atrocious actions of terrorists who hate and seek to eliminate the followers of other religions: The same terrorists you like to blame for every ill on earth and every failure of yours.


Mr. President;
It has been reported that you are here to "lecture" us on democracy and human rights. But with a record like yours, you will not be very convincing. The people you are addressing have greater respect for human rights and dignity.

You also said that your current tour aims to realize the long neglected peace in the Middle East. Regional peace, Mr. President, will not be achieved by escalating tension and threatening to change regimes. And most importantly, it will not be achieved by supporting Israel, which continues to defy international law, occupy Arab lands, oppress the Palestinians and rebuff peace initiatives.


Mr. President;
We hope you have enjoyed the trip so far. The scenery is great. The food is exotic. As for the more "serious" things, it is unlikely you will make any difference.


Lowe Is Wrong Headed On Republican View Of Immigrants

Ron Lowe's letter castigating Republicans for being anti-immigration and for characterizing Hispanic immigrants as terrorists is so misplaced and simply wrong-headed that it defies response. But never to be deterred, here's a shot at it.

It's been clear form quite awhile that the Bush administration has been anything BUT anti-immigration; the longtime failures of the Federal government to control the border with Mexico was nothing if not intentional. One could easily argue that Bush and the immigration-related agencies in the Executive branch have been PRO-immigration for years.

The problem the Administration has faced is that they have been FORCED by the American people--yes, actually by WE the PEOPLE--to do at least a bit more about controlling the southern border and to deal more seriously with immigration and national security issues. Hence the amazing reversal of the Dubai deal involving the ports a year or two ago, a deal that was slicked-up by the Bush administration. But the American citizenry actually forced the Administration to back away from that deal. We've rarely seen such a direct relationship between an outbreak of citizen outcry and the reversal of an almost-done deal by the Federal government.

And this brings us to another important point. It is the American people--a majority of the American citizenry--who are opposed, not to immigration, but to ILLEGAL immigration. Who would want to welcome people from ANY country whose first act--in fact the very act of coming into this country--is the consequence of violating a valid American Federal law? The very presence of such people in this country is like a raised middle finger in the face of Americans everywhere. What arrogance!

Oh, they're 'hard-working', 'family oriented', 'God-fearing people', 'and are only trying to get a better life for their families'. All the canards that surround the issue of ILLEGAL immigration. Big deal. So are many millions of Americans. But obviously they are NOT law-abiding citizens. Or perhaps they are EXCEPT for American immigration laws. It is not really possible to get around this immutable fact about illegal immigrants.

And there is the very big issue of Mexico itself--how does a country that is already in the economic doldrums survive the departure of, if we are to believe the numbers, millions of its people to the northern neighbor? Well, it doesn't appear that the government of Mexico cares much about that. After all, billions of dollars of American dollars are sent into Mexico from illegal immigrant workers in this country, money that the Mexican economy absorbs without having to actually create or improve its own economic opportunities or infrastructure. What an EASY deal for Mexico!

But it is also the case that a large number of communities in Mexico have been economically devastated by the departure of so many local citizens who headed to the United States. This is the real absurdity of illegal immigration, as our unwillingness to enforce our own laws has gutted parts of a supposedly friendly southern neighbor. Is THAT what this country is about? I don't think so.

As for the absurd claim that Hispanic immigrants are being broadly brushed with the 'terrorist' paint, such is NOT the case. But it IS true that people with proven links to Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah & Hamas have been captured trying to come across the border from Mexico; given the numbers of illegals who flow into the U.S. from Mexico without being caught, we can only estimate the number of dangerous Islamic extremists intent on killing Americans and damaging the United States who make it across the border. For ANY country an open border is an open wound inviting infection.

And let's not forget, technically illegal or not, the Islamo-fascist extremist dirtbags involved with the horrors of 9/11 were immigrants.

Chris Rasmussen
Vallejo, CA

LOWE LETTERS
Bizarre Group
After seven years of the ventriloquist and the dummy at the helm, the GOP has come up with a truly bizarre group of presidential wannabes.

You have Rudy "9/11" Giuliani, John "we're making progress in Iraq" McCain, Mitt "I believe everything in the Bible" Romney, and Mike "let us pray" Huckabee.

If you want four more years of the Bush-Cheney doctrine you'll vote for one of these candidates.

If you want a new direction for the country and realize there is a vast difference between the two parties then vote for a Democratic candidate.


How Much More Damage?
First there was the bait and switch - substituting war in Iraq for the apprehension of Osama bin Laden.

There were non-existent WMD'S, War in Iraq, and "Mission Accomplished".

There were Bush tax cuts for the most wealthy using Clinton-era surpluses to hoodwink the public. Since then Bush and anti-tax Republicans have run up deficits in the trillions.

There was Abu Graib, Gitmo, Gonzalez, secret prisons and always the coverup.

Along came Hurricane Katrina, 'Brownie', and Bush administration ineptness.

There was the White House outing of Valerie Plame, and U.S. Attorneys, "Scooter" Libby taking the fall for higher ups in the Oval Office.

Now the missing CIA torture tapes.
How much more damage can Bush do in the remaining year?

Ron Lowe
Grass Valley

Soaring O'er The Storm
Some die before the storm and will lie buried under it. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, president of the World Chess Federation, said Bobby Fischer was "a phenomenon and an epoch in chess history, and an intellectual giant I would rank next to Newton and Einstein."

While most wonder what more Bobby could have done for chess if he hadn't dropped out, I wonder what he could have done for God with his 181 IQ if he hadn't dropped out of the true church, The Worldwide Church of God (a fringe church according to the NY Times report and cult-like according to the Wall Street Journal - that's one reason they don't get my letters).

Bobby had his problems. In '67 he walked out of a championship-qualifying tournament because he was supposed to play on the Sabbath (in "Chariots of Fire" the hero doesn't run in the Olympics on Sunday - Bobby had the day right, Saturday). When he withdrew he had 7 wins, no losses and no draws.

But in '72 on his way to the world championship against Spassky he won 20 straight games without a draw, never equaled before or after! He lost the first game to Spassky, forfeited the next and then went on to beat him 7-3. 20 years later he beat him again but this time the US government was going to arrest him for doing business in Yugoslavia when the US was busy saving Moslems in the area. Our cold-war hero, a half-Jew or maybe a full-Jew, didn't have a country. He renounced his citizenship and I don't blame him.

In '94 he was detained in Japan and in custody for 9 months until Iceland came to the rescue and gave him citizenship. Thank you, Benjamin (Denmark, Norway and Iceland are of the tribe of Benjamin).

I listened years ago when Bobby gave a little talk on chess to the students of Ambassador College in Pasadena. He was a tither to the true church but I don't know if he was ever a member. He left that church but then so did everyone else.

So I've been soaring alone for 20 years. I knew exactly what was happening when the human head of the church, Herbert Armstrong died in '86 and didn't put the church back on track in healing. His successor took the church further from the truth, even changing the Passover Service. I said it was heresy and was kicked out. All the others stayed in the chicken coop and agonized. Eventually, other ministers split and started their own lukewarm churches. I never had to agonize over which one was right because I knew none were. The herd is wrong. I'm right and I'm not mad.

So Bobby Fischer and I, both 64, were against the world. He's dead. I'm still soaring.

Just received my Medicaid card from Social Security. I sent it back. My wife said she would have to pay my doctor bills and I reminded her there would be none. I don't go to doctors. I soar. The herd is wrong.

I plan to soar during the coming Tribulation. You'll go thru the storm. I don't want to see America wiped out. But 1/3 will die in war, 1/3 in famine and pestilence and 1/3 will be taken into captivity.

PS: I'm on sabbatical every election year, soaring above it all.

Harold Reimann
Lucerne Valley

The Strangulation Of Gaza
Time awakens us with temporal opportunities to foster coexistence whereas politics dictates exactly how we are supposed to comply or counteract. This manifesto today is nowhere else more damningly evident than in Gaza, where the politics of the quartet has fossilized any prospects for a Palestinian state.

Initially, at the urging of the quartet, the Palestinian people went to vote and Hamas was the legitimate outcome. If the quartet lacked the sincerity and goodwill to acknowledge the Will of the People, then it ought not to have advocated democracy in the first place. Instead, the quartet took its duplicity even beyond by instantly beheading the Hamas-led government and then strangling the entire Palestinian populace with aid embargoes. And in further endorsement of this collective punishment for embracing democracy, Israel now intends to additionally tighten the noose by cutting off fuel and agricultural supplies to Gaza's 1.5 million inhabitants.

As far as the eye can see, there is only one Promised Land and it is quite plainly called 'coexistence'. However, if the narcissistic fantasy that Palestine was a "land without people for a people without land" is allowed to reign with impunity, coexistence will continue to acrimoniously progress towards wider conflicts and reciprocal annihilation.

Dom Martin
Mill Valley

Vile's "Say It Isn't So" Letter On Zionism

Your review of The Israel Lobby was up to, or should I say, down to, your usual journalistic standards. The contents of that book have been thoroughly debunked by many people, including some (like Benny Morris) who were grossly misquoted in the book, and issued strong, detailed critiques. The best review is by Jeffrey Goldberg in the October 8, 2007 New Republic, entitled "The Jews Don't Control America."

Some of the most damning criticism is the fact that the authors did no research. Like Edward Miller, and your other "reporters," when they have no facts to support their prejudice, they make things up. For instance, they didn't interview a single member of Congress, or a single representative of AIPAC, yet confidently state, "if we had interviewed every member of Congress and every lobbyist at AIPAC we would not have found a substantially different story than the one we reported." Really? What a novel way to do reporting. Must save a lot of time.

This screed would be laughable if it didn't recycle the old anti-Jewish libels. The idea that a secret cabal of powerful Jews control foreign policy, that Jews are more loyal to each other than to their country, has been used for centuries as justification for genocide. Jews have faced this accusation in just about every country in the world, throughout history. Your paper is serving as a modern-day "Dearborn Independent" (Henry Ford's paper that printed over 90 issues detailing how Jews controlled the world).

Like your writers, Walt and Mearsheimer claim to be victims of the pro-Israel lobby, yet the existence of their book, and its attendant publicity, negate their self-pity. There is a whole niche market of Israel bashing books, including Jimmy Carter's, Norman Finkelstein's, Noam Chomsky's, and at least a half-dozen others. They all portray themselves as free speech martyrs, believing that anyone who disagrees with them is denying their right to say it. The truth is that critics don't want to suppress their ideas, they merely want to refute them.

While paying lip service to condemning anti-Semitism, they go on to state, "while the charge of anti-Semitism can be an effective smear tactic, it is usually groundless." Usually when and usually where? And wouldn't Jew haters naturally be Israel haters? How would you differentiate the "Jew-loving" Israel haters from the "Jew-hating" Israel haters?

Speaking of Jew-hating Israel haters, it appears that Kate Hart has finally gone off the deep end. Her hatred has consumed her, and she has become psychotic. Apparently Zionist demons lurk all around us. I hear they control the weather now, and, in conjunction with the devil, beam sinister messages into gentile heads. Interestingly, her choice of the term "Zionist Organized Government" to describe the United States is the same term used by neo-Nazis. Isn't it heart-warming that the extreme left and extreme right can join together in a common cause, Jew hatred?

Sheldon Whitten-Vile, MD
Oakland, CA

P.S. I have no illusions that you will have the guts, or the fair-mindedness to print this letter. The truth will come out eventually, and when it does, you may look better for having printed the morsels of truth in this letter, rather than just the despicable lies that fill the rest of your columns.


Editor's Note:
Dear Sheldon, It is always wonderful to get one of your cheerful letters to the Coastal Post and out readers, but saying it isn't so doesn't make it not so. Please read the review again in this month's paper and have a lovely day.


Waiting For Raoul
January 17th will mark the 63rd anniversary of the disappearance of Raoul Wallenberg.

A protestant by faith and the son of a powerful Swedish family of industrialists and bankers, Tenacious, courageous and with a persuasive personality, in 1944 a group of prominent countrymen suggested that he should be entrusted with the dangerous mission of saving the lives of the Hungarian Jews. He accepted this mission, risking not only a comfortable way of living but also his own life. He was only 32 years old and saved tens of thousands of lives.

He was last seen on January 17th 1945, when Soviet military men escorted him to the headquarters of the Red Army in Debrecen. Since then Wallenberg's whereabouts remain unknown.

We find that life comprises things that are more important than life itself. One of these things is truth. When we renounce truth the fall is unavoidable and unlimited.

Perla Graisman
New York
www.raoulwallenberg.net

Impeachment
The constitution does not say impeachment should be postponed if it is not politically expedient. It does not mention war time or peace time or election time. It says the president should be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors. Mr. Bush broke the law. Wire-tapping is just one example. Congress is sworn to honor the constitution and start the impeachment proceedings. As simple as that. No politics. Just follow the law and the constitution.

Bogos Paul Torikian
Forest Knolls

Articles On World Affairs, Please
As a reader of many years standing of the Coastal Post, I do hope that you keep the publication afloat. I especially enjoyed the letters to the editor from all corners of the world. I particularly looked forward to reading Ed Miller's column.

The change of the masthead was a mistake. The colors scattered hither and yon give a messy appearance to the newspaper. Avoid this.

If you decide to concentrate on local West Marin news, I will probably not pick it up again.

The articles on world affairs were most refreshing.

(Mrs.) Emy M. Peterson
Berkeley

How About Yes Or No Questions For The Candidates

Moderators of the presidential candidate debates ask too many marshmellowed questions and give the candidates too much wiggle room.

How about a "Yes oar No" forum where the candidates are limited to "Yes" or "No" (or "I don't know") with no further explanation.

How about:
Do you see Global Warming as a threat? Will you sign the Kyoto Protocol? Should health care be controlled by insurance companies? Does the United States have a military presence in approximately 90 nations? Did President Bush mis-lead us in justifying our invasion of Iraq? Is diplomacy better than warfare? Do you feel empathy or sympathy for the people of Darfur? Do you believe international trade combines should dictate American health and safety standards and laws?

Do you believe we should be building huge military bases in Iraq? Should we support anti-democratic regimes? Do you know the difference between "socialized medicine" and "single payer health care?" Will you support stem cell research? Will you veto special interest legislation? Will you oppose "no child left behind?" Do you feel the bridge to nowhere was a good idea? Would you use public funds to support your illicit lover? Would you appoint cabinet members who will actually regulate business interests? Will you normalize relations with Cuba? Do you believe hordes of Pakistanis enter the U.S. from Mexico illegally?

There are so many other "yes or no" questions I will leave it to you and your readers to propose more. We should all ask them if we have a chance. We need to know how these people stand. We don need wafflers.

Oh, I forgot one. Will you bring the troops home?

G. Dave Teta
Yuba City

To Stimulate The Economy
If I were in Congress I would do something very different to stimulate the economy. The first thing I'd do it end the war in Iraq. Then I'd change the law that prohibits the government from shopping around to get the best prices from the drug companies. Next I'd implement universal health care so the costs of insurance doesn't go way up every year.

Then we need to get off of oil even if we have to convert to diesel from coal until we can develop electric car technology. We can take away corporate subsidies for oil companies using the money to develop green technologies. Eliminate tax breaks for the rich so that they have to pay the same tax rates as the middle class. If we do all that then we will go back to the problem being what are we going to do about the surplus rather than what we are going to do about the deficit.

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

Marc Perkel
San Bruno





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