The Coastal Post - February, 1996

Letters Feb 96

Newtzis' Pro-Corporate Policies

The Newtzi wing of the Republican Party seems bent on de-democratizing government by downsizing it and building up the corporatocracy by subsidizing it through tax loopholes and favorable legislation. How about a cost of living tax deduction for income earners similar to the cost of doing business tax write-offs that corporacrats enjoy? What's so unconservative about a 100% tax deduction for personal medical costs, and why don't we have one?

We are rightfully proud of some of our capitalist heritage, we are awesome, but so-called free-capitalism of the robber baron era of the late 1800s and early 1900s monopolized us into the one-dimensional, de-democratized economy that led up to the Great Corporate Collapse of the early 1930s. This is the Neo-Newtzis' solution for our social and economic woes that by turning the intrinsically monopolistic instincts of capitalism free rather than fine-tuning and focusing it, we can perhaps miraculously avoid another collapse and somehow grow ourselves out of the social and economic mess we have subsidized and tax-loopholed ourselves into. It didn't work before, why is it such a sure shot now?

Whoa, can you feel the power that the Republicans have given us back to the states? Now we'll all be better able as individuals to fight Corporate Hall, Inc., individually on a case by case basis, without City Hall getting in the way. Right?

If the press is considered the Fourth House of government, perhaps we should view the Corporatocracy as the fifth house, and make sure that there are appropriate checks and balances on its power over us and the other houses of government. This seems especially prudent now that corporate and shareholder profitability is leading to radical downsizing and restructuring and an imploding top-heavy economy. Power on?


San Rafael

Stop Taxes During Government Shutdown

The federal shutdown has affected me and others I know in various ways. One of my co-workers was given a $75 ticket for using federal (our!) land, a bike trail, that he uses daily. The first day of the second shutdown a ranger waved to him as if to say hello. The second day he received a ticket. The rangers say they are essential personnel. They are staying on the job not to help us use our land, but to keep us out.

Also as a result of the shutdown, the business where I work is suffering, and so is my pay (based on revenue from tourists and people using the parks surrounding us).

I think pro-rating taxes for the time the government is not doing the job we pay for is one way to wake up the government to the fact that they need to balance the budget. Pro-rating also would make the shutdown less equitable. As this would be about eight percent of federal income tax, it is sufficient to make that statement. I just don't believe in paying for what we aren't getting!


San Anselmo

Truth About Mideast Denied

It was nice to see the items about Yitzhak Rabin by Edward Miller and James Powers in the December issue. All that's missing is some acknowledgement of just who is committing the horrors the essays touch upon. It's not Bill Clinton or "some Zionists," or Yitzhak Rabin, or "the media." Every voter and taxpayer who has failed to loudly protest his or her lavish support for the Jewish state has been the key trigger person in these decades of ethnic violence against the undesired Palestinian Arabs and their brutalized region.

The media has never suppressed the truth about this; there's never been any need. Americans have been quite willing to bankroll the ethnic cleansing, in full view of it. If the media provide a "spin" that soothes our conceits, it doesn't negate the plain and frequently reported facts. Disregarding them is our free choice, and no one is surprised when that "spin" displaces real education at our local high school. When Tam High's flag flew at half-mast to paint Rabin's death as The Martyrdom of a Great Peacemaker, it was done seriouslynot as some wacky joke on Outrageous Day or sick re-enactment of Beevis and Butthead. And not a peep of protest. There has never been the slightest protest by any "progressive," leftist," or "peace" group, against the bloody horrors so plainly inherent in forcing a "Jewish State" into multi-ethnic Palestine. So, in effect, they have tacitly led our demand for levels of racist bloodshed that have overruled the Pentagon's and State Department's much less violent wishes for the Mideast. There's no excuse.

As the Palestinians gradually force us to admit the truth, as they will continue to do from now on, we should take advantage of the enormous opportunities this new realism provides. That degree of neglect and brutality could not have been confined to one issue alone; no real social progress could possibly occur in such vapid communities. We need to wake up and question all our complacencies. Wonderful new hopes could open up for us if we do.

Let's start being realistic with each other; that's what free speech is about. This polite code of phony discretion shifts our discontents off onto faceless abstractionsgovernments, "the media," all sorts of fictional bad guyswhen the real problems and answers are utterly local. If we start talking to each other, the ideas that hold together best might just have a chance. Let's start some serious prodding.


Mill Valley

CommunityTo Be Or Not To Be?

Irrespective of the mayhem created by the Republicans as they roar through Congress with their power plays, like kids in a candy store, they have opened the country's question box. And America 1996 has a lot of unposed and poorly posed questions that we simply haven't gotten around to yet. For one thing, acknowledging the difficult issues facing us is painful and time-consuming. The issues crept up on us. What we "were" worked so well for so long. And, we are all disturbingly busy keeping the roof over the head and food in the babies' bellies. In addition, Americans are not inclined toward philosophical/political considerations. Note our voting record. Unless our personal well-being is at stake, we occupy ourselves with the latest jeans, the hottest cars and football scoresdistracting toys of a materialistic society. One of the biggest questions before us, if not the question, is the question of "Community." Are we a community nation with some responsibility for one another, or mere individuals beating one another out in the money place and using the same streets and fire hydrants?

A recent forum in the San Francisco Chronicle touted "individualism." The author, Frederic Hamber, declared, "Self-sacrifice as a moral ideal represents an attack on the American virtues of independence and individualism." I'm thinking he missed World War II, with its overwhelming sense of community, completely; must not have a wife or mother either. He also claims we have lost our appreciation for excellence, citing several accomplished peopleEdison, Charles Lindbergh, Mary Lou Retton, Bill Gateswhom he deemed "heroes" for traveling their own individual paths.

Heroes ride on the backs of those who go before them and those who support them in their efforts to excel. That's the way human beings and the species evolve. Without the discovery of fire and the wheel would he have electricity and trips to the moon? I don't think so. Ideas build upon one another over time, and that continuity relies on community. Falling prey to the glamor of "individualism" is not the answer. Falling into the dependency trap inherent in "community" is not the answer either. Nor is the issue merely secular. No, it's far more complicated, with man's spiritual needs and nature very much a part of the question. Who and what is this human being that gathers together in tribes, villages and cities to utilize collective strengths and energies? What is his destiny? Some sociobiologists consider our tendency toward "community" a survival mechanism built into our genes.

Clearly we are distressed and grasping for solutions. Workable solutions demand clear questions: Who are we? What is a society? What should it be? What do we want it to be? What is realistic, given technology, world population and the human condition in 1995 and beyond? Where are the lines between community and individualism optimally drawn? Can they be drawn? Should they be drawn? Is it really an either/or question? Is our only choice the conservative's sentimental romance with individualism or the liberal's blind insistence that life is infinite freedom, with no need of personal responsibility, that carries no consequences? Both ideas have led us down the primrose path. The liberal viewpoint got us into this quagmire in the first place. But the Republican's current rumble, with all of its aftershocks, isn't providing livable answers either. I suspect a vibrant, healthy society lies somewhere in between.

America's job today is to design a thriving 21st century America. This demands we look into the future with clear, open eyes and draw the line between community and individualism with honesty and good sense. We need also to expand our vision beyond what "used to be" to see the new century as it might bein all its possibilitiesand move accordingly. Success, maybe even survival, depends on wise choices. Wise choices require clear questions. If, and how, we are a community are major among those questions.



Horses Don't Belong On Open Space

The Marin County Open Space Preserve in the Alto Bowl, Mill Valley, is being destroyed by trampling and polluting horses. The area at the end of Lomita Drive is now an eroded, muddy and polluted mess. Rare and endangered native plants are being trampled and eaten. Fecal waste sites on the ground until storms wash it into our creeks and bay. The area looks like it has been ripped apart by bulldozers and tanks.

The Marin County Open Space District is supposed to protect our Open Space for future generations. Allowing this natural treasure to be used as a horse paddock is wrong, and must be stopped now. The horse owners should be held responsible for repairing the damage they have caused.

Keeping horses on this site also amounts to animal cruelty. In violation of both the law and human decency, there is no protection from the sun or from winter storms. It's sad to watch the poor horses stand in this unprotected field during gales and worse. Please move these animals to a protected stable on private property. They don't belong on our treasured county Open Space Preserve.


Mill Valley

Power Outages and Globalization

Although I did not suffer very much during the recent storm, it seemed to me that it took inordinately long for Pacific Gas and Electricity to completely restore power. While efforts to get "lean and mean" by "cutting out the fat" are understandable and desirable, a public utility must be able to perform under all circumstances and therefore must guard against becoming "thin and emaciated," so to speak.

A few days ago I read an account in a national newspaper of the tragic fire which took place in India which killed several hundred people, mostly children. I was struck by the following quotes, "Studies have shown that emergency services...are more likely to respond, if at all, in well-to-do neighborhoods."

And, "Among the causes of fires, electrical short circuits and overloads are the most common. Often the causes lie in shoddy workmanship and corner cutting by profit hungry contractors."

And, "Whole towns go without any power at all for days, and sometimes weeks on end, then face brief power surges...with resulting fires and explosions...hundreds die from electrocutions and burns."

In our rush to compete and "globalize" our economy we should, it seems to me, proceed carefully.


San Rafael

No Trophies

I can think of nothing so shameful and cowardly as to kill an animal for a trophy, to display one's gun-killing advantage over a relatively helpless creature.

To any bill or initiative legalizing the killing of mountain lions for the purpose of control, let us append a condition like this:

"The entire carcass, including all fur, teeth, claws, etc., shall be cremated, except such as may be provided to an authorized biological laboratory. Possession of any part of a mountain lion, with the above exception, shall be classed as a misdemeanor, carrying a penalty of confiscation of said part(s) and fine of $1,000."



Population Control Needed

Am I the only one who is scared? In 1995 the world's population grew by 100 million people, the largest increase in history. Only 27 years ago, in 1968, there were 3.5 billion people on planet Earth. Today there are 5.75 billion. The projections are for as many as 14 billion in 2015, just 19 years from now.

Where does it end? We are on a suicidal course and nobody (including all levels of government) seems to give a damn!



Illusions Of Growth

Politicians and economists talk about stimulating growth: more jobs, more industry, more resource development. More malls, cars, super-highways, toys. More paper towels, disposable diapers. More, more, more.

Growth experts seldom mention more mouths to feed; more unwanted, abused kids and violent crime; more toxic waste and ozone depletion; more pollution, deforestation, garbage and landfill dumps; more traffic jams and frayed nerves.

Some say we shouldn't worry about such things, which have been fabricated by extremist environmentalists. Many think that as the most intelligent species, humans will utilize technology to save us from ourselves, and that everything on Earthincluding Earth itselfwas created for man to use and control. Laws of nature are for the birds. Some regard what happens to the Earth as ultimately unimportant; it's a test for the next life. The bottom line: look out for ourselves and our jobs.

Suppose this formula is wrong? Suppose continual growth isn't the only or most important indicator of our nation's health. Today much of the planet reels from over-population, over-development and diminishing resources. People wonder what things will be like in 50 years. Models of continual growth in our economy and within our population need to be honestly and openly reassessed. It may not be the answer to short-term economic problems, but in fact one of its root causes. In the long term, uncontrolled human population growth and its corresponding economic development will be an undeniable and inescapable threat to all life on the planet.


Fairbanks, Alaska

Guns and Tyranny

To interpret what the framers of the U.S. Constitution had in mind when writing the Second Amendment is simpleall one has to do is to look at what was occurring at the time of the Revolution and afterward.

The colonist government, the British, started taxing the colonists without representation. When the colonist government saw the colonists were going to be trouble, guns were outlawed and confiscated. Taking away their arms, of course, was intended to prevent the colonists from being able to force their government to allow them rights.

The colonist army was simply a volunteer militia made up of colonists who brought their own personal arms. Their government army was British! The colonists answered only to themselves and would only take a command when they wanted to. An example was in one battle with General Washington in charge, when the British charged most of the colonists fled into the forest. Leaving Washington with only a few trained soldiers and wondering how he was supposed to win a war with volunteers who flee!

The colonists fought and freed themselves from their government with their own personal arms, forming a private militia to fight their government. This is the Second Amendment. If the colonists did not have the right to bear arms and to form a private militia uncontrolled by the government, there would not have been a Revolution and we would be British now.

Today's National Guard is part of the U.S. government army. It is not a private militia to keep the U.S. government in line. The colonists needed guns for survival and self-defense and to defend their freedom. The framers of the Constitution knew they had to give the people of the U.S. the ability to fight the government if all else fails and it becomes necessary for the people to win back their freedom. They had to be armed on equal terms with the government army. A government cannot enslave armed people.

So why is there such a problem with interpreting the Second Amendment?


Forest Knolls

Dear Judy Borello

"I don't need to sell her, she sells herself."

If your little column wasn't an unabashed sales job for your Buddy Arnold, I don't know what was. You should take another look at your January 1st "Happy Daze" column. Do you honestly believe that you did not "sell" Arnold as a possible replacement to Giacomini?

Come clean...she's your candidate and you will use your "News" to sell her over the next few months, and you know it. You just ain't got the guts to admit it.

On the other hand, Steve Kinsey stands head and shoulders above the newly-arrived to Marin (again) Judy Arnold.

Get a clue!

I will withhold my name because I enjoy tossin' back a few in the Western and don't want to get 86ed.


Forest Knolls

Surely You Jest

Boy, it sure is great to see all the highway infrastructure being updated or added onto in the Bay Area! The massive 680/24 interchange project in Walnut Creek, the 580/238 interchange improvements in Hayward/Castro Valley, the SR 85 freeway around the southern rim of San Jose, the widening of I-80 in the Richmond/San Pablo area, the Richmond Parkway, diverting traffic around Richmond from the Richmond Bridge to I-80 (what a bonanza for Marin skiers going to Tahoe!), the Cypress freeway replacement in Oakland which will have a much more direct route from downtown Oakland to the Bay Bridge, the Oakland "maze" being improved, the 280/101 interchange retrofitting project in San Francisco.

And you folks in Marin getting a wider U.S. 101 between Larkspur through San Rafael! But we have to do something about U.S. 101 in Sonoma Countystill only two lanes on each side, even in sprawling Santa Rosa!

We must continue to expand and improve and retrofit our great California highway infrastructure at all costs (economic, social, etc.) to insure that our children and grandchildren can have an even greater opportunity to operate automobiles in the 21st century!



P.S. And isn't it time for a freeway to West Marin for those Point Reyes tourists?

Post Views Welcome

Please renew my subscription for another year. The Post is a welcome breath of fresh views in the otherwise endless pall of corporate propaganda that I hear up here. The recent events in the U.S. Congress remind me that environmental vigilance must be unblinking. The life of a four hundred year old tree can end in a chainsaw minute! In Anchorage I see reminders of that fact constantly. The major development forces here are more than aware of that fact. They have been waiting like a potent virus for the momentary weakness in the body politic to push their development plans for ANWAR and the Tongass National Forest. The local newspaper is awash with their "Let's work together for our common good" swill. They are, in essence, saying, "If you don't let us have the Arctic Refuge, we'll just have to trash someone else's environment and give them the obligatory token jobs." It is being pushed simultaneously on the television and the radio, and even on the advertising space on the sides of the transit buses. And of course, our Congressional delegation, the finest that money can buy, are at the forefront of this onslaught. Senator Frank (Money is my best friend) Murkowski, Senator Ted (Tongass is for timber) Stevens, and last but not least, Representative Don (He who speaks with both feet in mouth) Young, are falling all over each other trying to be seen as the most pro-developmentally conscious candidates. There is little chance of abating their efforts here. Alaskans view environmentalists as something just below mosquitos on their most beloved list, and if you've ever been here during mosquito season, you'd know just how low that is!

Anyway, keep putting the information out there. I truly appreciate it!


Antioch, Alaska

Everybody's Fault But Mine

I have a socially-disparaged disease, a so-called "mental illness" (obsessive-compulsive disorder) which prevented me from finishing college and which has prevented me from working, so I am on SSI. Therefore, I am poor, even with financial and material help from a parent and a pharmaceutical company. Being poor is another disparagement. I don't drive because of my illness and my lack of finances. I've suffered great degradation, humiliation, and intolerance because of the above disparagements. And all along, all I have wanted was to recover from this illness.

But it seems there has been a great Force working against me all these years. I'll tell you what it is: It's YOU, the people who take part in the American System, the people who at best can only project indifference toward me. The words "love" and "compassion" are illusory in my mind.

I've always heard about "opportunity" and how that's one of the great things about this country. Well, you people in the American System won't even give me a chance at an opportunity for a halfway decent life, I assume because most of you are imbeciles or because your brain neurons have been decimated by too many chemical substances, whether licit or illicit.

Thanks for nothing.


San Anselmo

Hillary Hiding The Truth?

Some are saying that Hillary Clinton's past prevarications are not actionable because they weren't sworn testimony. I think we should all take a look at the federal false statement law (18 USCS 1001), which says:

"Whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States knowingly and willfully falsifies, conceals of covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact, or makes any false, fictitious or fraudulent statements or representations, or makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or entry, shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both."

Have I miscounted, or is Mrs. Clinton already up to about $30,000 and 15 years?


San Rafael

The Hypocritic Oath

Don Deane did not allude to the wheeling and dealing that must have preceded the California Healthcare System merger with Sutter Health. What nice monetary things did Henry J. Buhrmann do for himself in the process of double dipping? He remains the CEO of Marin General and now he's the Marin plus Sonoma boss for CHS/Sutter.

Then there is Quentin Cook who as Buhrmann's lawyer wrote the 1985 lease of MGH to Buhrmann. Cook is #2 an in the merged CHS/Sutter hierarchy. He was the CEO of California Healthcare System.

If there is any money left, it can be allotted for patient care in hospital redesign. As I said before, if you get sick, bring your own caretaker to the hospital. You won't be sorry that you did.


San Rafael, CA 94903

Call For Anti-Drug Message

The Partnership for a Drug-Free California is actively working to curtail the use of illegal drugs in California, but it is an enormous undertaking that requires your assistance. The numbers are startling: of current adults users, 88% started using illicit drugs as teenagers and 50% started before their 16th birthday. In the last thirty years, the number of Americans who have tried illegal drugs has risen from fewer than 4 million to more than 80 million. Put simply, more children than ever are being introduced to illicit drugs.

Specially, we'd like to highlight the fact that rates of marijuana use among younger teens have risen to levels that are now staggering and quite alarming. Studies have suggested that this increased use results from deteriorating perceptions of risk and social disapproval of the drug. As a result, the Partnership for a Drug-Free California is requesting your help in stepping up the effort to discourage experimentation and use of this "harmless" drug.

We are not only doing this because of increased use, but also because marijuana, like tobacco and alcohol, is often a gateway to other illicit drugs. Our immediate goal is therefore to get the message to our fellow Californiansparticularly children and young adultsthat experimenting with marijuana can have devastating consequences. However, we cannot accomplish this alone. Our campaign is based entirely on volunteerism. Through a coordinated effort, we can combat the erosion of anti-drug attitudes and reduce the demand for illegal drugsstarting with marijuana.



Program Coordinators

San Francisco

Prevent Parole Of Murderer

Alan Fredericksen murdered Audrey Evans in her home on the Little Mesa in Bolinas on January 29, 1983. He is now serving time in the State Medical Facility in Napa. The Board of Prison Terms will hear his case on February 15, 1996. Without vigilance on the part of people who remember this event, he will be back on the streets.

Mrs. Evans' family requests that interested parties write to the Board of Prison Terms in time for its meeting in February. Kathryn Mitchell, the prosecutor on the case, has informed us that a strong showing of public concern does influence the decision of the Board to approve or to deny parole.

Letters should be addressed to Mr. Carpenter, with a copy to Ms. Mitchell:

Larry Carpenter

Classification and Parole Representative

California Medical Facility

P.O. Box 2000

Vacaville, CA 95696

Re: BPT Hearing February 15, 1996

Alan Fredericksen

Kathryn D. Mitchell

Deputy District Attorney

County of Marin

Room 183 - Hall of Justice

San Rafael, CA 94903

Thank you for your support in this matter.




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