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Secretary A.G. Kawamura,
Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture
What you are calling misinformation about the light brown apple moth is from Board Certified Entomologists. The evidence is that the LBAM is not the terrible pest it is being made out to be but is a minor pest in the countries it has lived in for many years. The natural predators described in the Harding report ( he IS an Entomologist) are here in California as well. Congressman Farr and Marin County Supervisors are working to have the moth reclassified federally!
Two court judges have ruled that there is no evidence that the pest merits an "emergency" status you have said there is and that allowed you to spray citizens of California without an EIR. Talk about false claims.
As for the proposed testing of the spray by the Governor, as Marin County Supervisor Charles McGlashon says, "It's a joke". It's like the fox guarding the hen house." There must be a complete and independent EIR.
The testing has already been done on the people of Santa Cruz and Monterey and then, when the people give evidence of harm, the health officials could "find no link" even though the reactions were the day after the spraying and are the same reactions that are described in the warnings for the "inert" ingredients in CheckMateLBAM-F.
I personally know and have talked to people who live in Santa Cruz and were adversely affected by the spraying, have seen many interviews of first hand accounts, and have viewed the documented evidence. You don't have to be a Doctor to know that it is not safe.
Yes, I hear you that you take the responsibility seriously of protecting the public but your actions do not reassure me AT ALL! People have been made ill by your actions. That is not all right. STOP this madness! STOP THE ERADICATION PROGRAM - NO SPRAYING OF PESTICIDES ON PEOPLE AT ALL.
Bad, Bad, Baloons Kill Wildlife
We are outraged and deeply saddened that the Palestinian government chose to symbolize a national event with the environmentally reckless release of tens of thousands of large pieces of litter - balloons - into the atmosphere!
It is not "just OK" to have released 21,915 black balloons for this event. In fact, the release of balloons should never to be condoned or applauded, whatever the occasion, however strong, or tragic, the sentiments of the moment may be.
Here is the reality: latex balloons may take a year or more to deteriorate, while often the ribbons and strings, as well as Mylar balloons, never degrade in the environment. 70% of the time airborne balloons fall to the earth over the oceans, or another body of water. The wet wriggly fragments of deflated balloons resemble jellyfish, plankton or even vegetation and are frequently eaten by ever-hungry sea birds, endangered sea turtles, marine mammals and even fish. Balloon fragments are part of the usual non-degraded synthetic contents found in the stomachs or intestines of dead whales, birds and other marine animals.
Whether one sympathizes with the cause or not, to be frank, releasing balloons into the environment, especially the enormous amount in this instance, is a condemnable and mindless assault on the environment. The action sadly betrays a disregard for the environment and the species that are now struggling to survive in this era of climate changing and extinctions. In these days, we hope for better from governments in the world, and what we received here is an environmental slap in the face. Beyond that is the insult to those who struggle to engage in meaningful beach clean-up events, knowing full well that most of the balloons that are released into the environment don't make it onto shores but are lost at sea to become a deadly part of the marine food chain.
For all the media coverage of the Palestine-Israeli 60-year events and the balloon release, the press should also ask how many marine mammals, sea birds or endangered turtles would become the victims of an unnecessary and thoughtless massive balloon release from afar! Wildlife are not fighting this battle, have nothing to do with the problems in the Middle East and do not deserve to become victims, no matter how impassioned is the "cause".
We are not saying, "Don't commemorate an event!" but we are saying that whatever the occasion, however serious or even frivolous it may be (as balloons are released even at birthday parties!) there are other non-destructive ways to make the statement. This action will always bring shame upon the offenders, as there is millions of people around the world who understand the problems connected with the release of balloons, and find the action ridiculous and damnable.
As was reported on this same day, human beings have caused 25% of the world's species diversity to disappear, with many more following as we continue through this unstoppable sixth great extinction cycle. If human beings do not start thinking of the consequences of their mindless actions, there will never be any hope for the living species on the earth, and that includes us.
Taffy Williams, Director
New York Whale and Dolphin Action League
A Project of Cetacean Society International
Save The Remaining Fallow And Axis Deer
Imagine my surprise upon seeing a gruesome photograph of a white deer wearing a bulky radio collar and large numbered tags on both ears. Heading for a day of sun and fun, my husband and I saw the mutilated deer poster at Stinson Beach Store. An information sheet near the poster announced the arrival of exterminators hired to kill the remaining 200 Fallow and Axis deer in the Point Reyes National Seashore area. I was shocked and devastated to learn of the deer's impending demise.
Just two years ago, my husband and I showed the beautiful and majestic white deer to my sister at Christmas time. The white deer looked so beautiful among Marin's hilly and green scenery. I was lucky enough to see the white deer one more time at the Five Brooks trailhead. Now, I have not seen any white deer a long time and I know why...
National Park Service hired exterminators to kill all of the deer, beginning in the summer of 2007.
The remaining 200 deer will be killed by the exterminators beginning today. I would like you to publicize the total extermination of the Fallow and Axis deer. The exterminators have already killed 800 Fallow and Axis deer. That is enough for now...
The Fallow and Axis deer are culturally significant to California. In the early 1940's, William Randolph Hearst brought white Fallow deer from Africa to his zoo at San Simeon. On a recent trip to Hearst Castle, the only state park that generates a profit, my husband and I learned that all deer white in color must be descendents of Mr. Hearst's white Fallow deer. To fully exterminate the white fallow deer is to deny Californians' a part of their rich cultural heritage.
Please help to save the remaining Fallow and Axis deer. NPS could make up for this awful tragedy by saving the remaining deer, removing all tracking devices, and providing medical treatment to these wounded creatures. Slaughtering the deer is bad for tourism, real estate, and general state of mind of Bay Area residents. Please, Please, Please help to save our remaining deer.
Bush Already Gave Up Golf
President Bush recently revealed that he had given up playing Golf because of the Iraq war stating, "I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf. I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them.
And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal." But now that McCain has indicated that we might be in Iraq for 100 more years it makes you wonder if he might vote for Obama or Clinton so that he can start playing Golf again in his lifetime.
I'm Marc Perkel - And I approved this message!
California Election Laws Reminder
In each election campaign, it seems that some people manage, deliberately or inadvertently, to violate California's election laws.
Once again we are approaching an election, so again its time to remind everyone that the State Supreme Court in the June 1976 case of Stanson v. Mott (17 Calif. 3rd 206) ruled:
A PUBLIC AGENCY MAY NOT EXPEND PUBLIC FUNDS TO PROMOTE A PARTISAN POSITION IN AN ELECTION CAMPAIGN.
The Supreme Court's ruling, written by Justice Tobriner, also said that government must be neutral. He wrote:
A FUNDAMENTAL PRECEPT OF THIS NATION'S DEMOCRATIC ELECTORAL PROCESS IS THAT GOVERNMENT MAY NOT 'TAKE SIDES' IN ELECTION CONTESTS OR BESTOW AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE ON ONE OF SEVERAL CONTENDING FACTIONS.
At MUTA'_s request, Marin's Supervisors, County Counsel and County Administrator in the past have notified public employees that it is improper for school district, county and municipal workers, and other public officials to use publicly funded materials, postage, publications, facilities, equipment or personnel to support or oppose any ballot measure or candidate.
In the current election cycle, MUTA again urges all county, municipal, school district and other local administrators to pass on this reminder to all public employee personnel.
Dear Sheldon Whitten-Vile, MD
First of all I would like to know why on earth you found it necessary to put your profession behind your name in an article about Israel. Is it because Jews, Israeli's, Zionist have killed more Arabs than vice versa? About 10 to 1? Are you helping ease the suffering caused by the Israeli ruthlessness?
It is unclear to me why somebody who is able to study and graduate from medical school is willing and able to distort facts, just to call people "a group of genocidal maniacs." That anti-Semitic statement about Palestinians shows that you are not operating with a balanced mindset and maybe that is the reason you are letting people know to be aware of you as a MD?
My final question is why on earth are you living in the USA?
Are you aware that no Jews or Caucasians lived here 2000 years ago?
This land belongs to Native Americans, why don't you give the land back to the people it belongs to?
Just because you took the oath of Hypocrites, that doesn't mean you have to be a hypocrite!
Deer Kill Could Threaten Children
I saw your article about the deer reduction. If the deer go away the cougars will be after your kids and small animals. In 1976 when I lived in Fairfax my 4 year old came into the kitchen and said mommy there's a big dog standing up at the door (sliding glass door) I went to see and it was a cougar! I'm glad the door was shut that day. I never again let her play on our patio by herself.
Eliminating Gas Tax A Bad Idea
The proposed elimination of the summer gas tax contradicts all logic. Not only would it undermine our efforts to reduce pollution and warming--but it would increase our dangerous trade deficits from our dependence on foreign oil, which also provide funding for terrorists. Its adverse impacts on maintenance of our failing infrastructure and resulting unemployment would only add to its determent.
A more rational short-term approach would be an elimination of the telephone taxes, which are now as burdensome, but would not pose these adverse consequences.
Fatal Flaw In Democratic Nominating
Regarding the fact that the political pundits have declared the democratic race over, I think they are ignoring the fatal flaw in the Democratic nominating process. I have not read one article or heard one pundit talk about why the caucuses do not necessarily reflect the will of the people. Senator Clinton's opponent owes his lead in pledged delegates to the twelve caucuses, not to the votes of a majority of the voters.
So, what is the problem? Caucuses unfairly disenfranchise Hillary's main voter base: older voters, working people who cannot afford baby sitters or take time off to participate in the lengthy caucus process, and,last but not least, the many women who are intimidated or feel pressured by the public aspect of caucuses. Many of these voters use absentee ballots in primary states. To prove to yourself that the caucus results do not represent the voting population of a state, compare the results of caucuses to the results of primaries (For example, see the Map on the website election.msn.com .)
I call on the superdelegates to study the caucus issue and what it means in this election before the media makes the decision for them. Hillary Rodham Clinton has shown that she is the most electable Democrat based on the results in primary states. In the general election in the Fall, the Electoral College votes of each state are not proportionally awarded, unlike the Democratic primaries. They are winner take all. The Electoral College votes of the states Senator Clinton has won will give her the Presidency in the Fall. The votes of the states Senator Obama has won will not.
Think about this: Where's the money coming from to fund the costly plan to spray poison from planes over urban California beginning August 17th, 2008? It's federal tax money, which we just coughed up-right? The growers aren't paying for the spraying-though they may have bought the politicians. Global markets and global warming guarantee more traveling bugs, which means more spraying. Big Ag has externalized these costs to us, and so we collude in our own demise.
Isn't the price too high?
Every year, pesticides kill an estimated 72 million birds in the United States at a cost to society of over $2.1 billion dollars. There are 14 million fish deaths, at a cost of $56 million dollars. Bees, and other pollinators are dying all over the world. Without pollinators, there will be no food.
There is something fundamentally wrong with a system of agriculture that makes the earth uninhabitable. Isn't it time for a real green revolution? Total organic farming would solve all these problems, wouldn't it? More organic farming-hold the poisons-please!
Forget The Wailing Wall
The reason given for culling the Point Reyes deer being a non-native species is somewhat imbecilic!
If culling a non-native species was valid, why hasn't California killed off the Pheasant??
Seems to me the Park Service has way too much time on its hands and way too many morons making decisions.
Forget the wailing wall, the only thing government official fears is having his ass kicked by his boss, go to the top and kick his ass!! Go NATIONAL, who has more public appeal a lovely deer or some pus gut stiff hat bureaucrat??
Hate Piece II
Under the pretense of "debating" Israeli policy, you have published a vile anti-Semitic attack on Jews, complete with conspiracy theories about "Jewish Control of the Government and Media," a defense of a French Holocaust denier, and praise for an American Nazi, Charles Lindbergh, who was a friend of Hitler. The author even managed to blame Jews for the disaster that followed the Tsunami in Thailand.
In cowardly form, the article you published declares in advance, that Jews who defend themselves from racist attacks are part of a "swarm."
But you know all this. You went after the Jews anyway.
You should have resisted the temptation.
Editor's Note: Writing about civil rights for people of color in the 50s and 60s wasn't about attacking white people; it was advocating equal rights for African-Americans. Such is also the case with advocating for Palestinians.
More Lies, Another War
More Big Lies on the way from the Bush administration as they prepare to push us into another Middle East conflict. Not satisfied with two ongoing wars, Bush the "War President" and Republicans are looking to spread the killing fields into Iran or Syria.
Pentagon spokesmen say, yes, even though the military is stretched to the limits, we can still rain down more shock and awe on the helpless citizens of another Mideast country.
Can't you feel the excitement as Fox News, Bill O'Reilly's No Spin Zone and Rush Limbaugh gear up for another conflagration? Anti-abortion, the immigration debate and same-sex marriage, main staples, have lost their election year edge.
Meanwhile, John McCain's "Straight Talk Express" sails merrily along. A question for Senator McCain; What say you about additional conflict in the Middle East?
* * *
42% To War
It's still about the war and the devastating effects it is having on the U.S. economy and balloning deficits. Are the force-fed wars in Afghanistan and Iraq really making Americans any safer at home?
Would it surprise you to know that 42.2 percent of every federal tax dollar last year went to military spending? This figure includes 28.7 percent for current military and war spending; 10 percent for interest on military debt and 3.5 percent for veterans' benefits.
In contrast, we spend just 8.7 percent to combat poverty, 4.4 percent on education, and 2.6 percent on the environment, energy and science programs.
The military industrial-complex has got a hold on your wallet and is warping American ideals and priorities. And, if this isn't bad enough, John McCain wants to "stay the course" if elected president.
* * *
Wright Is Not Obama
Since when has presidential candidate Barack Obama become Rev. Jeremiah Wright? Since Fox News, Republicans and now John McCain, have made guilt by association an issue.
Rev. Wright is Barack Obama's "former" pastor, he is not Obama. Barack Obama is his own man, Rev. Wright is his own man. Obama has no control over what Wright says. Do any of us have control over what George Bush does or says? The words that came out of Rev. Wright's mouth did not come out of Obama's mouth.
The Rev. Wright affair is a sideshow on the way to the presidential election in November. This short term spin offensive orchestrated by the GOP, conservative pundits, and even some rival Democrats is meant to harm Barack Obama's presidential chances.
The presidential campaign is still about issues that affect all Americans; the economy, war, soaring food and gas prices, and voters know it and won't be distracted by Republican dirty tricks.
No Fooling This Time
The American people gave the Democrats control of congress in 2006 because they want to have full accounting of the activities engaged to by the Bush administration during it's seven years of abuse and lies. The people have already drafted the articles of impeachment, detailing the charges and was already submitted for discussions in both houses of congress. What is holding it is the Speaker of the House who does not have the guts to calendar the proceedings.
Time is running out as the matter needs to be attended to before the Bush term expires. The people want to know what transpired in the closed door secret meetings held between Bush officials and their Republican backers. The minutes for instance, of the secret meetings held by Cheney with his oil buddies during the formulation of the country's National Energy Policy needs to be made public. It could hold the solution to the current run away price of oil. Two 9/11 Commissions miserably failed in getting to the truth of that tragedy because they could not interrogate the President and his Vice President under oath.
Why are our top officials acting like criminals who have something to hide? This cannot be tolerated in an impeachment proceeding. Our two top officials who are the subject of indictments in the articles of impeachment will have no choice but to cough up the truth or face perjury charges.
Speaker Pelosi should understand that if the people fail to put the feet of the President and his Vice to the fire on account of her inaction, she should be charged with abstraction of justice and willful betrayal of her responsibilities as Speaker of the House. If she is incapable of performing her sworn duties as Speaker, she should resign her position and hand over the gavel of power to a more deserving official who can discharge the duties of that office with courage and honesty.
The American people cannot afford to have officials in the government who are protecting each other at the expense of public interest. Let us get rid of all the hypocrites who are masquerading as patriotic public servants.
One In Five At $100,000 plus!
An Infantry lieutenant colonel, commanding a battalion of 567 men, is responsible for their health, well-being, safety, morale, tactical training, and combat leadership, even while each of the 567 may face risks of imminent wounding or death from enemy action.
If married, and having at least 16 years service, he draws a monthly salary of $7,683 with allowances for housing ($1,426), subsistence ($203) and combat pay ($225), for an annual total of $111,780. His executive officer, if a major with at least 14 years service, also married, would make $100,812 a year.
Yet he and his EO are only 2 in 567, or 0.35 percent of the unit, compared to Marin's such astonishing generosity with the taxes we pay that it can afford to shell out $100,000 to 1 in every 5, or fully 20 percent of its work force who don't have to face daily threat of death or dismemberment in a 120-degree desert, but can eat at their choice of restaurants or home, and sleep in their own beds every night, in placid, peaceful Marin.
Does anybody else see the grotesque incongruity in such recklessly profligate distribution of our hard-earned taxes by the County to its pampered, union-protected troops whose most serious inconvenience is twice daily traffic congestion?
Paranoia From Sheldon-Vile
Sheldon-Vile's May letter repeats his previous paranoia: that those who criticizes Israel's misbehavior are automatically Jew-haters.
Criticism of the behavior of governments and their leaders around the world occupies much of our media, but nothing we see or read or hear explains Sheldon's paranoia.
Hundreds are accusing Burma's junta of mishandling the cyclone crisis, but no one hates the Burmese people. We don't like Turkey's bombing the Kurds in Iraq, but no hate letters are directed at the Turkish people.
In a 2003 a poll of over 7000 citizens from 15 countries of the EU, almost 80% voted Israel as the greatest threat to world peace with the US running a close second. Does Sheldon really believe that almost 7000 Europeans hate Jews or Americans?
Zionists have for years employed this "Anti-Semitic" approach to stifle criticism of Israel's fascist treatment of her neighbors, and her repression and slow genocide of the Palestinians. Sheldon is playing the Zionist game. Readers of the Coastal Post are not fooled
Edward W. Miller, MD
The Manipulative Process In The Tam District
A commonplace development is under control of Tamalpais School District. Under most circumstances, a public school as designer, controlling moneyman, property owner, and overseer of the people's business is an inconvenience and loss of representation. Now the situation is critical; health and safety are under future threat.
John Wright and Peter Breen got the first $750,000 TAM District General Fund. Now since the voters had approved Red Hill Park as part of the Measure A Bond Modernization project list more money can be taken from Measure A bond.
A friend and I attended the first bidders' conference in 2006. We discussed the planned concept to install FieldTurf, and a contractor questioned us since he was bidding a different product. We encouraged him to contact RHCP JPA Executive Director Doug Long.
Emails between Doug Long and Landscape Architect Peter Arnold reveal that the contractor questioned the legality of the Town's public project bidding process that specified the name brand, FieldTurf and therefore denied competitive bidding. Peter Arnold's response, "Oh, here we go again." A second bidding process began in April 2008, but first... SLAPP.
TAM District attorneys opened the bidding season with a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Process. Legal notices published in 2007 informed all persons that they are being sued by TAM District.
Was TAM District going to take sole control of Red Hill Park and hand the park over to Drake High School? Residents were concerned because the site was renamed Drake High Red Hill Field. Trustee Wright's usual unwelcoming disposition toward questioning citizens turned acutely miserable and he closed the RCHP JPA meeting mid-sentence.
At the May 5, 2008, the CEQA hearing, Planning Director Lisa Wight advised the Planning Commission not to consider Drainage and Electrical Plans for Red Hill Community Park prepared by Peter Arnold in making their determination on the project. Planning Director Wight acted in a manner that borders on misfeasance since necessary mitigations may have been disregarded.
There have never been actual drainage plans for Red Hill Park approved at any public hearing. At the May Planning Commission hearing, Planning Director Lisa Wight abused public process by denying the public's opportunity to review the field surface, drainage, runoff, and night lighting plans.
The Department of State Architects did review the plans submitted. But the synthetic turf, drainage, and electrical plans were not part of the plans submitted to DSA. Landscape Architect Peter Arnold added drainage and electrical designs later. This odd sequence probably was an impetus for Director Wight to protect herself and the Town by denying the Planning Commission any authority to approve the plans that were never submitted to DSA.
Commissioner Daniel Harris voted "no" on the Negative Declaration but for a secondary issue: if TAM trustee John Wight's intent only spends Measure A tax money on Phase One- FieldTurf field/track and bleachers, will the public access parts of the Park in Phase Two- Dog Park, multi-use court and picnic tables ever be built?
FieldTurf is an engineered material designed to be playable within one hour after a rainfall of 4 inches per hour. Engineered subsurface drainage. Subsurface drainage is what Director Wight refused to be part of CEQA.
FieldTurf is a patented product. It is installed at Tamalpais, Redwood and at Drake High School fields. It is installed at Grayslake Central High School in Illinois.
TAM District's new Superintendent, Laurie Kimbrel comes from Grayslake District 127. What happened in Grayslake may be happening in Marin. In Grayslake, it appears that the School Board wrote the bid specifications in such detail that it ensured the contract criteria could only be met by FieldTurf.
I spoke with George Baranoff at TAM District and he told me that the bid was going to FieldTurf. I asked when the bidding process began; he said that the bid package had not yet been prepared. When there is no fair competitive bidding process, the TAM District (taxpayers) may pay too much for installation.
A current proposal for a $1 sale written by Trustee Wright will split Red Hill Park into two parts- the part with access to funding and the part that can't be built because of no financial access to a "legalized" slush fund.
Why a Sale? The existing LEASE AGREEMENT provides Ross Valley School District:
1. Ownership of all improvements (valued at $2.5 million)
2. Free field maintenance by TAM District
3. Free liability insurance from the Town
4. Free recreation management by the Town
5. Cash credit under the Civic Center Act
Why would RVSD Board President Gina Feiner support a sale to TAM District? What is her motivation and who is her motivator?
One scenario is John Wright realized all he needs is time to line up the ducks. TAM District knows that as a school district it can build without public restraints, unlike a Town that seems to depend on misfeasance.
Louise L. Mathews
Disappointed With Supreme Court Decision
I wish to express my disappointment with the California Supreme Court for overturning the state's ban on same-sex marriage. The decision does not reflect the true heart and soul of a state in touch with its democratic roots and moral foundation.
The family is the fundamental cell of society. The family - and through it, all human society - have their source and origin in marriage. Marriage is ordered to the procreation and education of offspring. As the basic expression of man's social nature, marriage can only be understood as the lawful union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. One does not need to have any particular religion or belong to a particular political party to recognize this, or that the family based on marriage is the best way to bring up happy, productive children.
There is, in fact, no scientific evidence to confirm homosexual activity as a normal behavior. The so-called "gay gene" has never been found. As natural law implies, sexual orientation does not constitute a quality comparable to race, ethnicity, gender or age in respect to non-discrimination. Unlike these homosexual orientation is an objective disorder and evokes moral concern.
Hopefully voters of California - the majority of which oppose same-sex marriage - will work diligently to overrule this decision and trend toward decadence and hedonism. They can do this by supporting the marriage amendment which will be on the November ballot.
Today's Foreign Policy
The Bush Administration reminds me of the Reagan Administration when the joke around Washington about Ronny was that he oftentimes came to the cabinet meetings asking, "What's my foreign policy today? Am I bombing Iran or selling them arms?"
You feel that President George Bush is about as confused when it comes to foreign policy. First, he wasn't sure whether Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs or nukes but attacked Iraq anyway. Yet, he now criticizes Sen. Barack Obama in a speech before Israel's Knesset on the 60th anniversary of Israel's independence for being inexperienced and naive in handling foreign affairs should he become president.
Obama couldn't do worse than his predecessors who at one time during the Iraq-Iran War gave Iraq "gas and guns" to use against Iran and then was naive enough to think that later Iraq would not use the leftovers against the United States. As for the Bush Administration, Obama sure can learn a lot from observing his sterling performance?
The U.S. has spent 5 years fighting an unwinnable civil war in Iraq, cost of a barrel of oil is sky-high, the U.S. influence over OPEC and Gulf oil productions has been diminished, Bush is threatening war with Iran at every turn of suspicious events, the U.S. has lost respect around the world but oh no, let's not be foolish by wanting to bring our enemies to the table to talk about problems over lunch before grabbing a gun to settle disputes? That would be naive?
David A. Whelan
The Other Side Of The Story
Carter And The Swarm-Daring The Wrath Of The Jewish Lobby By Israel Shamir, was written from a Jewish writer who makes his living writing anti-Zionist propaganda. He probably denies that there was a Holocaust, and attended that conference in Iran.
Better yet, he probably was a paid speaker. I can't believe that a West Marin newspaper would publish this as a leading article and not a letter to the editor.
For all of you with amnesia and limited short-term memory, here is the other side of this story... (This was forwarded to me. Author unknown).
I am not a creature from another planet, as you seem to believe, I am a Jerusalemite - like yourselves, a man of flesh and blood. I am a citizen of my city, an integral part of the Jewish people.
I have a few things to get off my chest. Because I am not a diplomat, I do not have to mince words. I do not have to please you or even persuade you. I owe you nothing. You did not build this city; you do not live in it; you did not defend it when the Arabs came to destroy it. And we will be damned if we let you take it all away.
There was a Jerusalem before there was a New York. When Berlin, Moscow, London and Paris were nothing more than forest swamp, there was a thriving Jewish community here. It gave something to the world, which your nations have rejected ever since you established for yourselves - a humane moral code.
Here the prophets walked, their words flashing like forked lightning. Here a people who wanted nothing more than to be left alone, fought off waves of heathen would-be conquerors, bled and died on the battlements, hurled themselves into the flames of their burning temples rather than surrender; and when finally overwhelmed by sheer numbers and led away into captivity, swore that before they forgot Jerusalem, they would see their tongues cleave to their palates, and their right arm wither.
For two pain filled millennia, while we were unwelcome guests, we prayed to return to this city. Three times a day, we petitioned the Almighty: "Gather us from the four corners of the world, bring us upright to our land; return us in mercy to Jerusalem, Thy city, and dwell in it as Thou promised ... Next year in Jerusalem".
On every Yom Kippur and Passover, we fervently voiced the hope that next year would find us in Jerusalem. Your inquisitions, pogroms, expulsions, the ghettos into which you jammed us, our forced baptisms, your quota systems, your genteel anti-Semitism and the final, unspeakable horror, the Holocaust (and worse, your terrifying disinterest in it) - all these have not broken us. They may have sapped what little moral strength you still possessed, but they forged us into steel. Do you really believe that after Dachau and Auschwitz we are frightened by your threats of blockades and other obscene U.N. sanctions? We have been to Hell and back - a Hell of your making. What more could you possibly have in your arsenal that could scare us?
I have watched this city bombarded twice by nations calling themselves civilized. In 1948, while you looked on apathetically, I saw women and children blown to smithereens, this after we had agreed to your request to internationalize the city. It was a deadly combination that did the job: British officers, Arab gunners and American-made cannons. Today again I have seen Jews blown to bits and all you can say is the peace process must go on. How little has changed. For too long we have been your victims, your moral vision is still non-existent.
And in 1948 the savage sacking of the Old city; the willful slaughter, the wanton destruction of every synagogue and religious school; the destruction of Jewish cemeteries; the sale by ghoulish Jordanian government of tombstones for building materials, for poultry runs, army camps - even latrines. And you never said a word.
You never breathed the slightest protest when Jordanians shut off the holiest of holy places, the Western Wall, in violation of pledges they made after the war - a war they waged, incidentally, against a decision of the U.N. Not a murmur came from you whenever the legionnaires with the spiked helmets casually opened fire upon our citizens, from behind the walls.
Your hearts bled when Berlin came under siege. You rushed your airlift "to save the gallant Berliners". But you did not send one ounce of food when Jews starved in besieged Jerusalem. And when the same thing happened 19 years later, and the Arabs again unleashed a savage, unprovoked bombardment of the Holy City, did any of you do anything? The only time you came to life was when the city was at last liberated by a Jewish army and reunited. Then you wrung your hands and spoke loftily of "justice" and held out the charade of peace ... but for the Jews of Israel, unless they are dead there is no talk of justice.
The truth is - and you know it deep inside your gut - you would prefer the city destroyed rather than have it governed by Jews. No matter how diplomatically you phrase it, the age-old prejudices seep out of every word.
If our return to Jerusalem has tied your theology in knots, perhaps you had better re-examine your catechisms. After what we have been through, we are not passively going to accommodate ourselves to the twisted idea that we are to suffer eternal homelessness, until we accept your demands.
For the first time since the year 70, there is now complete religious freedom for all in Jerusalem. For the first time since the Romans put the torch to the Temple, everyone has equal rights. (You preferred to have some more equal than others). We loathe the sword - but we are not going back to the peace of 1948, as you would like us to. In your heart of hearts you now know that this peace process of 1993 is just another charade to try to once again drive us out of our Land and our City. It is time for you to make atonement for your sins and acknowledge that land for peace is fraud, chaver.
We are home. It has a lovely sound for a nation you have willed to wander for 2000 years over the face of the globe, and we are not leaving nor giving up one centimeter. We have redeemed the pledge made by our forefathers; Jerusalem, the Jerusalem of the Jewish people, is being rebuilt. All of Jerusalem, east and west, north and south, our Jerusalem. "Next year"-and the year after, and the year after, until the end of time. -"Next year in Jerusalem."
Spraying Toxics On The Inhabitants Of California Is Political Suicide
The ensuing sickness and death will be too large to keep hidden. Poisoning watersheds and water in the San Francisco Bay and Monterey Bay will not go unnoticed. The lap dog media will not be able to hide this from the world.
Consider the dead humming birds, if you will. Or the cats, which keel over. Or the children who stop breathing. Or the elders who succumb. Or those who must leave their communities, because their chemical burden is too great already. Consider the long-range implications, if you dare-autism, Alzheimer's, cancer.
You will be known as "Governor Regardless-the humming bird killer." The leader who poisoned "his own people." I feel sorry for anyone who voted for you. How do they feel, knowing you could be a party to the destruction of their health and habitat, industries of tourism, fishing and real organic farming? As well as outside sports, recreation, and real estate values. And let's not forget all the dead birds, and fish, and crabs. The money lost to California will exceed many fold the money Bush earmarked for eradication. People are already talking recall.
There is something fundamentally wrong with a system of agriculture that is so precarious that it must poison millions of people to survive, so deadly that it makes the earth uninhabitable. And what about trade agreements that cause farmers to drink pesticides because they just can't make it anymore? An estimated 72 million birds die in the U.S. every year from pesticides. Birds who, if left alive, would eat bugs. Big Ag needs to learn a responsible way of farming. The death and destruction has gone on way too long. It's time for real positive change and you have the power to begin it.
What Ever It Takes To Save The Deer
It has recently come to our attention that the White Deer (Axis and Fallow Deer) of Point Reyes seashore are being exterminated, not through simple contraception methods, but through outright violent killing. It is our understanding that this is being done for ecological reasons of preserving the indigenous species. We are writing this letter in outraged protest against this atrocious and unethical act of violence against a harmless species. These deer are being brutally murdered, and at a danger to park visitors, who have witnessed dead and dying deer throughout this bloody campaign.
We understand that there are valid reasons for wanting to control the White Deer population, but strongly encourage the Park Service to undertake this task using more humane methods. Although these deer are a non-native species, they are established in the Park and have become an important cultural and historic resource for the surrounding community. The National Park Service has the means to control the deer population using humane, non-lethal contraception methods, and we demand that these methods be adopted. All around the world, indeed in other National Parks throughout the country, these contraceptive population control methods are being used, and there is absolutely no valid or ethical reason why the Axis and Fallow Deer of Point Reyes Park should be treated any differently. They are living beings that deserve our respect, not our vengeance.
Our organization would like to request that your newspaper do anything in its power to help make the public aware of this matter, as well as anything possible to help persuade or local and state leaders to take this matter more seriously. Thank you for your time and help.
Heather Bishop, Office Manager
Ananda Deviika Ma, Co-director
Dr. Megan Nolan, Co-director
Ananda Seva Mission
Ananda Seva Yoga, Meditation & Training Center
Wilderness Is Not Recreation
"The government's highest level of protection" is not enough! That is grizzly habitat. Grizzlies can smell humans from 5 miles away, and hear them from a mile away, according to biologist Ed Grumbine (Ghost Bears). It's unfortunate that people consider wilderness to be primarily recreation areas for humans.
Have we already forgotten that natural areas are first and foremost, WILDLIFE HABITAT? The very fact that they ARE wildlife habitat is what makes them attractive to people! Can you imagine wilderness without wildlife? Have you ever visited a quarry? Did you have fun?
Wildlife protection should be given top priority. It's unfortunate that many compromises had to be made to please such groups as Boy Scouts and snowmobiles. Hopefully, in the future, these compromises can be eliminated, and most of the Wilderness can be designated off-limits to humans, so that the wildlife can live as nature (or, if you prefer, God) intended.