Totalitarianism, and Rebuttal to Greaves
Fifty years ago a man named George Orwell wrote a book and in a very special way painted a picture of a totalitarian police state. The book is called 1984 and he wrote it just as World War II had ended. What he and the world saw Hitler and his Nazis do through their abuse of power no doubt added to his inspiration to give mankind a message.
Orwell uses the term "doublespeak" which refers to the government saying two things that conflict with each other yet wanting both to be accepted as truth. The use and endorsement of doublespeak now, 50 years after 1984 was written should be looked upon as a warning sign that history is gearing up to repeat itself and the seeds of totalitarianism have sprouted.
On Sunday, August 3, 1997, the U.S. Court of Appeals stayed the execution of Thomas Thompson. Judge Betty Fletcher cited "flagrantly inconsistent theories" used by the same prosecutor in two different trails. Governor Pete Wilson and Attorney General Dan Lungren publicly criticized the decision and Pete called the court, "The gang that couldn't shoot straight." Because a human being's life is on the line it can easily be argued that this comment by the Governor writes in stone his approval with his adoring public which of the prosecutor's theories he considers to be the "straightest shot." And this prosecutor so practiced at the art of deception (with his blood-stained hands) got two different juries to believe he was a "straight shooter" utilizing-doublespeak.
Since 1973, 69 human beings have been freed from death sentences when exculpatory evidence (much of it DNA results) proved they'd been unjustly convicted. As the Rodney King beating was NOT an isolated incident, these 69 cases represent only the tip of the iceberg of criminal injustice inflicted upon mostly poor people of color.
To gain the bogus convictions in these cases and thousands of others, prosecutors lied, exaggerated, played to the jurors' fears and prejudices, intimidated defense witnesses, manufactured and misrepresented incriminating evidence, utilized perjury and did all they could regardless of the law in order to cripple defenses. (I am in the midst of this, a Kafkaesque nightmare, as I write.)
According to Marsha Clark's recently released book, the key element in proving guilt beyond "doubt" is the credibility of the prosecution. In the Thompson case, the validity of the conviction should automatically be suspect due to the prosecutor's deceptive and reprehensible methods. This throws "doubt" into the equation and average, intelligent people-not being led by the nose via government-induced media hype like a mindless lemming-will ask themselves, why? Why either say or believe two different things that conflict with each other and particularly in a life and death situation? Doublespeak.
And, of course, Mr. Pete Wilson and Mr. Dan Lungren are enraged! These two gentlemen are telling you it's ok for the government to lie/ (Hear this, kids?) And you all should remember that well next time they go on the campaign trail endorsing something equally as questionable as the California criminal justice system-themselves. Look for the opposite of what they say to be the truth. They count on you being numb to a lying government by now and too thoroughly stripped of your true American spirit to throw the yoke from your necks.
When seven pro-death penalty prosecutors go public and basically say, "Don't do this one," when two of the man's jurors courageously step forth and let you all know they have "doubt" and don't want to live with his death on their consciences, when even the death row guards around the man are feeling a mistake and saying, "The system screwed up here," there's "doubt." You don't kill. Otherwise you condone the illegal taking of a life, which is murder.
Pete? Dan? We have not heard a peep out of either one of you as to the State-sanctioned murders of prisoners in Corcoran and other prisons by correctional guards making $50-100k per year while perpetuating the barbaric brand of justice you both advocate. But then again, it wouldn't make much political sense to seek true justice from those making up your most fanatically loyal group of constituents, now would it? Your toleration of the injustice is your participation in it, and spotlights another very obvious sign of totalitarianism-when some are "more equal" than others.
And people, please believe me when I tell you that it all comes back on you, you who pay for it both coming and going. They make sure it comes back on you, and they're standing there pointing their fingers everywhere but at themselves when it does. If you want a glimpse of the future in your mind's eye that these leaders are building for your children, picture a "boot heel stamping a human face-forever" which Orwell asks you to imagine in 1984.
The possibility is remote, but towards the tail end of a very long night of excessive moonshine drinking, a complete and total moron whose family has inbred with each other in the hills of Appalachia since before the Civil War might be duped into believing that a politician or a crooked prosecutor should be consulted when the concept of "straight shooting" needs to be clarified.
Finally, when Pete and Dan find themselves in the lobby of Motel Hell, there will probably be a lying prosecutor unnecessarily spouting off "flagrantly inconsistent theories" (doublespeak) that aren't even relevant to what truly validates their eternal reservations in the Devil's Dungeon. There will most definitely not be a decent judge like Betty Fletcher from the U. S. Court of Appeals to save their behinds, and that will be justice.
* * *
Sheep, lemmings, mice-or men?
Can people consciously make themselves susceptible to government-induced media hype, bogus statistics, and the fear and hate mongering perpetuated by power-drunk politicians? Mr. Fielding Greaves is grievously misinformed on the subject of the criminal justice system. Before I go on, let me suggest he read the book 1984 by George Orwell and concentrate on the term "doublespeak" and also on what the "Ministry of Truth" was truly intent on spreading in the story (lies).
How about some verifiable truths for everyone to consider alongside the reverently cited statistics Fielding has obviously swallowed hook, line and sinker?
The famous "War on Drugs" was declared at great expense to the public and with much political grandstanding. The results of this war include the fact that junkies can now go down to the Mission District in San Francisco and buy a gram of heroin for $5 instead of the $250-300 they paid before this war which the public was forced to finance. A new heroin epidemic has been acknowledged. Cocaine prices have also fallen dramatically and there are more drugs on the streets now than ever before.
That's a reality, Fielding. How about an IQ test question for you, Mr. Greaves? Are you game? What sort of war does it seem the government truly fought against drugs?
As this war was going on, the State of California went on the most ambitious prison-building rampage the nation has ever seen and built 22 new state prisons in 12 years. Also coinciding with the war on drugs and the frenzy to build prisons a peace was declared on public education and social programs which took systematic beatings via budget cuts. Hope (another word cheaply tossed around) was thus reduced and the poor black and Hispanic areas were simultaneously inundated with cheaper dope. Dope equals crime, crime equals government jobs and government jobs equal more POWER wielded by the government.
Also during this exact time frame-mid-80s to present-peace was also declared on programs in prisons intended to facilitate rehabilitation.
One by one they've been done away with, and if Mr. Greaves cares to consider a recent example, he can read Steve Heimoff's early August, article in the Pacific Sun re. the closing of San Quentin's Boot Camp program. Here was another one of many programs actually working and so the State is killing it, and even free people working as part of it don't understand why. Why, Mr. Greaves? Because people like you are too short-sighted to see beyond their own mindless hysteria and ignorantly support doing the opposite of making things work.
The government's agenda is to cause crime in order to grow bigger, more powerful and to continue to chip away at the U.S. Constitution and the rights of all. I'm sure they count on being able to program armchair aficionados like Fielding to help spread the hype and further their true aims. I doubt, though, that Mr. Greaves would care to share his expert opinion as to what has happened throughout history when governments have gone unchallenged in building themselves up at the expense of races and classes of people. Tell the children.
Finally, my assertion that the government causes crime is supported by a like opinion of a well-known black ex-convict who served 27 years in prison. No, I don't mean Geronimo Pratt, whose political beliefs and the government's frame-up cost him 27 years of his life. I mean another well-known black ex-convict. His name is Nelson Mandela, he's the President of South Africa today, and in February he said that the police and courts in his country cause crime. And, yes, Mr. Greaves, it is a disease (abuse of power) that doesn't recognize international boundaries. It is the devil's game.
JAMES SAMUEL KOR, JR.
Marin County Jail
San Rafael, 94903
Boxer's Record-Animal Protection
The first session of the 105th Congress has been a particularly productive one for U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer in terms of her work to protect wildlife at home and abroad. During July, Senator Boxer stood up against efforts by Republican leaders in Congress and the Clinton Administration to weaken America's dolphin protection laws. Just a few years ago, the Congress passed legislation-introduced by Boxer when she served in the House of Representatives-to protect dolphins from commercial tuna fishermen who set nets on dolphins as a means of catching the tuna that swim below them. Hundreds of thousands of dolphins suffocated in these deadly purse seine nets every year. Boxer's legislation protected dolphins and guaranteed that canned tuna sold in this country be affixed with a "dolphin safe" label, assuring consumers that the tuna were not caught by intentionally harming dolphins.
Mexico and other Latin American nations with major tuna fishing fleets in the Pacific have been agitating to weaken the dolphin protection standards in order to gain access to the billion-dollar U.S. canned tuna market. Using their political muscle and threats of the imposition of trade penalties, these nations enlisted the Clinton Administration and leaders in Congress to weaken our laws. Senator Boxer was the leading voice against their political offensive. While the legislation pushed by Mexico did pass, its most harmful provisions were softened and the dolphin-safe label has been safeguarded for at least the next two years.
In addition to protecting dolphins, Senator Boxer has also come to the defense of the imperiled African elephant. Since 1989, the U.S. Agency for International Development has spent $25 million of Americans' hard-earned tax dollar on a Zimbabwean program known as Campfire, which generates revenue for rural villagers by promoting trophy hunts of elephants. Campfire has also vigorously worked to overturn the international ban on the commercial trade in ivory.
During consideration of an appropriations bill, Senator Boxer secured passage of an amendment stipulating that no tax dollars directly finance trophy hunting or promote lobbying to overturn the ivory trade ban. The amendment was applauded by fiscal conservatives and wildlife advocates alike.
The Humane Society of the United States is very grateful for the extraordinary leadership Senator Boxer has provided in Congress to protect animals and the environment.
President, The Humane Society of the United States
Mountain Of Wealth
It was high drama to read bout the candidates of the Fairfax Town Council seats; with the obvious exception of Frank Egger, the Marin Builders Exchange must be insanely ecstatic. We definitely do not need a Ph.D. and a wall of computers to know that they will push for building on the Marin Town and Country Club. Thank God that these kind were anticipated in the crafting of the ordinance and the vote was placed entirely with the people.
How about this for irony: honest Mark O'Hara who brought us such a trusting experience with the Buck Center on Aging swindle, now proposes to lead us country yokels, who voted almost 90% against the Buck swindle, to tax ourselves to make the fabulously wealthy Friedman heirs yet wealthier. And we should do this while our town suffers for tax revenue, so that it would need to increase even further the town services to administer and protect the extra buildings, people, traffic congestion, etc. Plus, the real irony of the charming union of the Friedmans and Ghiringelli-two rich kid family heirs bonding for mutual additions to their family fortunes! As a final ironic note, wasn't candidate Ghiringelli the past owner of the Fairfax bar that was shut down for drug usage?
And what's wrong with expecting the Friedman heirs, who have benefited so extravagantly from the Town of Fairfax, to donate in its entirety the property at the Marin Town and Country Club? This would still leave them with a bundle of inherited wealth tall enough to legally require an Alpine climbing permit to reach the top of.
Marin Gas Too High
I see no reason why we here in Marin County have to continue to pay much higher gas prices than elsewhere in the state.
The zone pricing forced on us is only going to continue and affect our pocketbooks in more ways than just filling our personal cars. Small and large businesses are adding extra fees to their goods to cover the additional costs for gasoline.
City and County vehicles are paying more for gas, which means more taxes on some level to cover the costs. Police, fire and public services, parks and maintenance trucks-all use gas.
The oil companies see that we keep on paying with no complaining, so as we all can see, the price continues to rise.
The people at Automotive Trade Organizations of California, specifically Jan Speelman, are anxious to talk to local officials on ways to stop the unnecessary price hikes of gas. Please call them: 1-800-432-3083.
Road To Life
I was born January 20, 1941, the day Franklin D. Roosevelt started his third term as president. My mother was 16 years old and my father was in prison for armed robbery. He was released when I was three years old. Since my mom had divorced him, he soon married another woman, but visited Mom regularly and then supported both families later. I was raised by my mom and her English Victorian mother, but Dad's influence on me was great. He always packed a .45 cal. automatic in his car. He would later do two more prison terms, having graduated from armed robbery to business fraud.
When I was about four years old, I was introduced to a leather walking harness with a leash. These were the style about 1945, but it left deep scars on me. I remember the feeling of seeing other children secured on walks to their parent by a warm, loving hand while dogs were harnessed and leashed as I was. Mom and Grandma Small also employed a leather belt or willow switch to my body (not always the rump) for anything I did out of line, including poor school grades.
My first crime was shoplifting play money at age eight from the five and dime store. I guess the love of money is the root of all evil, as St. Paul warned us. At age 11, I started setting fires, first vacant grass lots, then school lockers, trash cans, our family garage and finally a vacant house, for which I was arrested. Perhaps this was rebellion against things like my dad dropping hot matches down the inside of my shirt or Grandma Small locking me in closets. I don't know.
I had been picked up by the police twice before as an overnight runaway, but now, at 14, I was committed to Napa State Hospital for 90 days observation. However, after only 18 days there, I and two other boys my age strangled another male patient, age 13, to death. We did this out of boredom and for sport. I was transferred to Atascadero State Hospital, California's maximum security place for the criminally insane.
A homicidal heart was nothing new to me, however, for I had plotted to kill my dad several times, coming a trigger's pull for shooting him in the head once, but I hesitated a second too long, and he was spared.
Now Atascadero was two-thirds child molesters and homosexuals. I had a hate for child molesters. I had been propositioned by the husband of Mom's best friend when about 10, and was never believed when I told Dad. Later in juvenile hall, a guard had entered my cell while I pretended to be asleep wondering what he was up to. He lifted my sheets and felt a part of my body that excited him, then he left. This deepened my hatred for both authority and homosexuality. Now I had to live amidst both.
I conned my way into getting ground privileges after almost two years and walked off. I was picked up the next morning. Two years later, in 1960, I was part of a mass escape in which we took over four wards, liberating 11 patients, including five from the hole. Everyone was picked up again within 24 hours (except one who stayed out for about 48 hours). Sixty-six technicians from Atascadero had been specially deputized to search for us, along with all local police authorities and troops from a nearby army base. For my part in the escape, I was transferred to a regular state prison.
At the Deuel Vocational Institution near Tracy, I burned up my cell in the Adjustment Center where I had been transferred from the California Medical Facility's Isolation and Segregation Unit a few weeks before. However, in late 1961 I was transferred back to Atascadero after doing about seven months clean time. But three months later I was put in the hole for an "escape plot" that didn't exist, along with 12 others. I was strapped waist to wrist and ankles, then given a knock-out shot. The next day I was put on 900 mg of thorazine per day. I was too weak to eat for three days, then the muscles in my tongue, eyes and neck started locking from the drug's side effects. These lasted the whole 11 days I was in the hole.
The "hole," normally, has a real hole in the floor for a toilet, flushed from the outside when our keepers wanted to do it. Since I was in "overflow isolation," I had a sink and a real toilet. The rest was standard issue-that is, a one-inch mattress, blanket and pair of boxer shorts, no eye glasses and you had to beg for toilet paper.
Being innocent, as were the others, and victims of a paranoid staff, didn't heighten my respect for authority, but I was determined to do good this time and get out some day. Atascadero was like the movies Snake Pit and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, except it was an all-male, prison-type institution.
In 1963 I was returned to court in Napa to stand trial for my part in the 1955 homicide. I was charged with first-degree murder as I had been at 14, and I was to stand trial as an adult. I was found not guilty of voluntary manslaughter, by reason of insanity. I returned to Atascasdero for another two years, making 100 months or 8 1/3 years total.
I then transferred to a minimum security state hospital at Stockton, my home town, in 1965, where at age 24 I had sex with my first woman. I then had every woman I could get and plenty were willing, including Liz, who I would later marry in 1968. Liz was in for attempted suicide. When I got weekend leaves, I would spend them with her in a motel or at her folks' place in Fresno. If she wasn't out on a weekend, I got drunk with my oldest half-brother, buying his booze for him, since he was only 18. Meanwhile, I got a job at a gas station during the day and went to adult high school at night to get my diploma. I was discharged in December, 1966. At that time I was on continuous three-day leaves.
After quitting or losing several jobs, I decided to take the monthly government checks given to most former mental patients, call SSI. I was already back into petty crime somewhat, but now with time on my hands, I got into it full swing. I married Liz and got trained as a barber, but was soon divorces, due to my smoking marijuana, which another half-brother had introduced me to, and Liz's lust for material things. She remarried and when that marriage failed, killed herself. She was 27.
Freedom was one growing party. I joined an outlaw bike club called the Diablos. I was never really fond of two-wheelers, but agreed to get a three-wheeler "trike." Then at the club president's request, I bought a truck which blew up on me. So another club member and I robbed a bar so I could buy another one and keep my "patch" (club membership). I partied at the Altamont rock concert in December, 1969 with the Hell's Angels.
On my 29th birthday, the BATF raided my apartment and confiscated a 7.62mm Russian rifle. They were operating under a new gun law passed after Sirhan Sirhan had killed Senator Robert Kennedy. This angered me and drove me to become an anarchist, because I had fought for a year, after my 1966 discharge, to obtain a rare certificate of competency to own a gun. Now I felt all governments violated someone's rights.
I would remain an anarchist for seven years. I joined or formed organizations centering around Socialist-anarchism. In addition, I supported every anti-authority or rebellious cause from Gay Lib to Communist fronts like the Black Panther Party.
The '60s to '70s were a time of social revolution which at times was violent. I did my share. Between 1965 and 1982 I was involved in burglary , shoplifting, kidnapping, drug dealing, pimping, sabotage, devil worship, street fighting, and a host of other things-too many to recall.
I married again in 1970. Beth shared my love of drugs. Besides pot and hash, I was into LSD, PCP, STP, speed, downers and all the hippy-style dope.
I joined what was left of the once-famous Industrial workers or the World, or Wobblies, and became a General Officer in it. I marched alongside Caesar Chavez once, and we supported his United Farm Workers on the picket lines and elsewhere. I bought an underground newspaper and ran it as editor and publisher for three months, during which time Beth and I, our lawyer, as well as an artist were all arrested for hiding a Youth Authority parole jumper there. Beth and I got three years probation. It would be one of only two arrests between 1996, when I was discharged, and 1982. The other would be in March, 1978, for "possession of marijuana for sale."
But this time, Beth was a burned-out boozer and drug user. Partying and a free sex lifestyle had taken its toll on her, and was taking its toll on me. We had a boy in 1972. It was only staying sober barely enough to care for him that kept me somewhat normal. Beth had made two trips to County Mental Health. Eric was run over at age four because she wasn't watching him. He suffered a broken leg. I feel this added to her drinking and doping to dull the guilt she felt.
In 1977, I became disenchanted with the revolutionary left, which I then abandoned to become a Neo-Nazi ( I later held a dual membership in the Ku Klux Klan for a year). The reason for this change was, in part, due to an act of black racism where I was attacked by a mob of drunk black kids who had left their party in search of a white man to kill, because they felt all our ancestors had owned slaves. I was lucky that a police car happened by when it did.
Also, I was the victim of crime, and since I lived in an area which housed mostly minorities, I figured that they were to blame. My dad also had been some sort of Nazi before World War II, as were thousands of white Americans. Now I decided to return to my "roots." I secretly maintained my drug use, however, and continued to get drunk when I couldn't get high.
After I was arrested for possession of pot for sale, I returned to the carnival so I could travel and find a new place to organize a Nazi group. The National Socialist White People's Party had not kicked me out because of the pot arrest, largely due to my Unit Leader covering for me. I had to leave Stockton because I'd turned the narks who raided my house into the Internal Affairs Division of the Stockton Police for stealing anything they wanted from my house that wasn't case-related.
At the end of summer, I rented a place in Oroville (pop. 10,000), the county seat of Butte County. A Neo-Nazi couple had been killed there in 1976, which led to the group breaking up, but I started it up again. I hooked up a "Dial-A-Nazi" telephone message. I stamped paper money with that number until the Secret Service told me to "stop advertising on money," because our U.S. Senator had received complaints. I leafleted, wrote newspapers, and in a year or so had a small group going. I drew the attention to Headquarters and others.
An Ohio-based Nazi-Manson cultist asked me to visit Charles Manson at the Vacaville prison. I was surprised when they let me in to see him. I visited him four times in 1982, which led to some popularity for me amid local rebellious youth.
I then formed a local Nazi youth group. We leafleted two local high schools in September. This always drew lots of media attention. This time a $1,000 reward was offered for proof to who did the midnight school locker stuffings. One in our youth group turned informer and was found two weeks later on a swamp road with eight shots in his head. He was six days short of 18. The news media dubbed it an "execution-style murder" for which I was arrested and convicted.
While in jail, I got a flood of mail, about 10 pieces a day, some from Christians, most from white racists. Eric went to a secret foster home. I went on a hunger strike to protest. After seven months in the hole at jail, I went to Vacaville, then to San Quentin's Security Housing Unit.
After nine months there, I went to "Celebrity Row," a lockup unit in Soledad, where Sirhan Sirhan, Juan Corona, Dan White, and other readily recognized criminals were housed. While still a Neo-Nazi, I had become a member of "Identity Christianity," which is the pseudo-Christian cult that has built a racist dogma around a twisted version of British-Israelism.
But as I continued to study the Bible, with my mind open to God's Holy Spirit, I discovered the Identity cult's views were not God's truth of racial equality. Cult ministers could not explain away Moses' black wife in Numbers 12:1, nor Simon called Niger (as in the African nation of the same name) in Acts 13:1, nor many other things I found. In December, 1988, I fully accepted the truth, pulled the Nazi stuff off my cell wall, and became born again.
Since then, my life has changed 180 degrees. I took a prison job as a barber and stopped laying around the cell all day. This returned my blood pressure to normal. I haven't smoked since 1988. I was transferred to general population. My son started visiting me. My mom, dad, and sister also visited me. I have Christian pen pals from the Philippines to Romania for fellowship. God's blessings have been countless for one still in prison, though I truly feel freer inside here than I ever did out. But my greatest of these blessings is my salvation from that Lake of Fire. I'm now promised eternity with Christ through grace.
"Road to Life" has a double meaning. This road that led to a life sentence has also led to eternal life.
Fellow sinners, if you are tired of crime, racism, death, sexual sin, drugs, booze, violence, or whatever you're trapped in, pray to God and ask, "Lord, please have mercy on me, a sinner, and save me for Jesus' sake." I praise God for the day I did! His forgiveness, mercy and grace will bless you if you only ask it of Him.
PERRY BERNARD WARTHAN
CMC POB 8101
San Luis Obispo
To Art Brook, Transportation Engineer
On September 16 I wrote you concerning the center line striping on the main roads in Bolinas and the long time between refreshing those center lines. By Monday, October 6 all the lines were restored to their bright yellow best.
Kevin Hicks, our Fire Chief, joins me in thanking you, on behalf of all of using these roads, for your quick response in getting my request into the right hands, and for their quick response in doing the work.
No Answers Yet
It has been over a year since the TWA flight 800 exploded, minutes after takeoff from New York City, and the bereaved families of the unfortunate passengers killed in that tragedy are still waiting for our government's final report of its finding after a long, exhaustive and expensive investigation.
It is rather inconceivable that the FBI and the NTSB still appear to be guessing as to the exact cause of that disaster, given the advanced technology and state-of-the-art capabilities available to these government investigating agencies.
It is understandable that they may not yet presently have established responsibility for the tragedy, but if they still do not know what caused it, they never will. With almost 100% of the plane's wreckage already recovered and analyzed, what else is there to find out?
There are three main theories that have not been ruled out, namely: ground missile, bomb on board, and combustion within the plane's fuel tank. Of the three, the missile theory appears to enjoy more and wider credence. Over 200 witnesses, some of whom are reliable professionals, reported seeing a streak of light heading towards the plane, from the ground immediately before the explosion. Government investigators are attempting to blunt these reports by explaining that what was seen by the witnesses was burning fuel streaking down from the plane, not towards the plane, and after the explosion, not before.
It is rather difficult to stretch one's imagination into accepting such a ridiculous hypothesis. How can over 200 separate individuals, viewing the same phenomenon from different angles, places and distances, be so grossly mistaken as to the direction of the streak of light they saw and the time of occurrence, relative to the explosion?
Our government's slip is showing by postulating so absurdly over such vital and extensive evidence in their hands. Government investigators apparently cannot publicly announce their findings if they are not yet in a position to pinpoint the perpetrator(s) of that heinous crime, and much less if they are unable to persecute the guilty party.
If the plane exploded because of a bomb on board, or an ignition within its fuel tank, these could have been revealed earlier as was the case with previous, similar disasters. The involvement of a missile, however, is entirely a different matter. It opens up very serious and far-reaching ramifications, once made public. It will do more harm than good for us to know that the plane was shot down by a missile, unless the circumstances surrounding the incident can be explained. Apparently, our government is not yet in a position to do this.
Until the whole story of that tragic event can be told, the world in general and the families of the victims, in particular, can only rely on their abiding trust and faith in our government's understandable handling of an unusually critical dilemma.
Where is the justice in Marin? Can anyone explain to me why I should be getting the same sentence as a first-degree murderer when I have never done a violent crime in my life? Yet the same court hands out puny sentences to child molesters, stating that the crime doesn't merit prison. What about the physical and mental damage to the children?
I accepted a ride home in a car that I didn't know was stolen, and because of past burglaries I had committed, I am looking at 25-to-life, which at my age is an effective death penalty. I guess that California taxpayers would rather pay the million plus it will take to house me for the next 20 years under Wilson's 3 strikes bill and not worry about the predators seeking their children.
Marin County Jail
Marin City is back in the news in Bolinas. Unfortunately, there are a number of inaccuracies in the reporting as well as the related letter printed in the October 1 issue. For example, your headline on Karen Ashby's letter claims "corruption" exists-rather than accurately stating that it has been alleged by a political candidate.
I will limit my comments to factual errors directly connected with the Marin City Community Development Corp., and leave it to others to respond to the potentially libelous allegations against them.
I have never entered into a contract for management services with the Marin City Community Services District, and no such contract is currently under consideration by me. Currently, none of MCCDC's employees serve as County officials on the elected CSD board. (The CSD is a unit of the County government.) In the recent past, one regular employee and one part-time temp for CDC also served on the CSD board. As residents of this community, of course, that was their constitutional right, and I wouldn't dream of interfering.
More to the point, there is no reason local residents who happen to be on staff at MCCDC, a private, non-profit corporation, should not be involved in their local government, the CSD.
The real issue is that we need more involvement from the community, not less. As reported accurately in your story, I urge long-time Marin City residents to volunteer, serve on boards and get involved in all of Marin City's local institutions.
Marin City Community Development Corporation
Several weeks ago my wife and I began to make plans to have a large group of friends over for an evening of beer, BBQ and boxing on October 4. The main event that night's the Heavyweight Championship fight between Andrew Golota and Lennox Lewis. The fight was to be presented on PayPerView by Chambers Cable, the local TV cable service.
On Monday, September 30, I went to the Chambers' office to purchase the PayPerView. Inside were flyers with the faces of Golota and Lewis advertising the fight. That night I confirmed with over a dozen friends that everything was ready on Saturday for an evening of championship boxing and great fun. Many of my friends whom I had not seen in a long time would be driving in from out of town for this long-anticipated sports event and a chance to just get together.
On Wednesday evening I was informed by Chambers that they would not be showing the fight. I was told the Mormon Conference would be on PayPerView instead, and that I could either have my check returned or get credit. I was livid.
I urge you to look beyond the embarrassment and inconvenience this incident created. Rather, consider these questions: Is there a hidden agenda going on here that the general TV public is not aware of? What can be done in the future to stop this despotic, unfair business practice? Doesn't Chambers have a responsibility to the public to be forthright? Is there a professional code of ethics for the cable industry that presents this sort of conduct? What recourse can be made available to the public?
Chambers claims that there were hundreds of people who wanted to see the Mormon Conference and just a fraction who had purchased the fight as of Wednesday. That is a weak and deceptive argument. Chambers Cable is not a Mom and Pop operation that must deal with competition and can move around inventory or services as they see fit. Chambers is a monopolistic franchise operation that has a contract with the city, county and citizens to provide a service. Chambers offered a service and I purchased it. Arbitrarily and arrogantly they reneged. Is this any way to treat the public?
The destruction of life as we know it on Planet Earth looms ominously close. It will not come from a Russian missile, but rather from "friendly fire." The friendly Dr. Strangelove, NASA Chief Daniel Goldin, is firmly committed to the imminent launch of a rocketship to Saturn, the Cassini probe, with 72.3 lbs. of plutonium on board. Should it accidentally get dumped overboard, you and I will have only one thing left to say to each other, if we get the chance-good-bye!
Calculating on the basis of previous high-tech failures like the Challenger disaster, our chances this time are 1-76. Sounds pretty risky. Why not call it off? Well, the European Space Agency has paid nearly $1 billion toward its cost. That's the reason Goldin gave for going ahead with the compromised launch. "We've made a commitment to the Europeans, and I believe America's word has to count for something." Good-bye.
Social Security In Jeopardy
The free Social Security Preservation kit is now available. I am the author of the "Thomas Paine Caslander Amendment" which says, "Congress shall be prohibited from borrowing money from Social Security."
I wrote that proposed Constitutional Amendment back in '95, when I learned that Congress owed Social Security more than $2 trillion. And now the bad news-Congress now owes our trust fund nearly $3 trillion.
This is their dirty little secret. Every year Social Security winds up with billions of dollars in surplus money. Every year Congress borrows our surplus money and fills our trust fund with their worthless IOUs.
The situation is really serious. Senator Alan Simpson, a former chairman of a Senate committee, wrote me and said this, "By the year 2003, entitlements and the interest on the national debt will account for 72 percent of the federal budget."
There is a second hole in our entitlements that needs plugging-I am talking about an additional loss of $54 billion annually. This seems incredible, but 400,000 immigrants that never even worked one day in the USA are collecting $54 billion annually. I am not bashing immigrants, but I do have more sympathy for American senior citizens.
To obtain your free Social Security Preservation Kit, send a SASE to: Thomas Paine Caslander Amendment, 123 Lionshead Drive West, Wayne, NJ 07470. Please cut this letter out of your newspaper and make and circulate extra copies.
THOMAS PAINE CASLANDER
I am black and American. I have opposed illegal and excessive legal immigration for the past nine years. The reason for my opposition has nothing to do with race. It has to do with principle.
Illegal and excessive legal immigration has had a devastating affect on the black community and the American society at large in the areas of employment, health care, and housing. Americans are increasingly standing up for their communities and their country.
REV. JESSE LEE PETERSON
Treasurer, National Grassroots Alliance
Buck vs. Novato Citizens
The Novato City Council's plan to meet behind closed doors October 14 regarding the Partridge Knolls landslide at Mt. Burdell is typical of events concerning the Buck Center. The only "parties" who won't be privy to what happens behind those closed doors are the homeowners and the citizenry. But the Buck Center with its inside track in city government will be aware of all that transpires and may even influence what transpires. It has happened before.
After all, this is the city government that risked illegal ballot procedure to meet the Buck Center's election goals about three years ago. In addition, individual council members such as Pat Ecklund have long demonstrated their Buck Center loyalty.
I vividly remember Ecklund's pro-Buck Center comments at two county Environmental Impact hearings on the Buck Center. She invoked the presence, and thereby approval, of the Environmental Protection Agency by identifying herself as an EPA administrator with ability to approve underground industrial tanks. However, Ecklund conveniently left out the fact that the Buck Center failed to include mention of its need for massive underground tanks in its EIR disclosures. These underground tanks are needed mostly for the storage of fuels to run emergency generators for maintaining power to the high containment laboratories at the Buck Center's Mt. Burdell research plant now under construction.
No thanks to Ecklund, citizens doing independent research complained about this troubling oversight. Regrettably, the greased slide at the county level ignored this complaint and other examples of Buck Center disregard for safety issues, and the Buck Center juggernaut kept on going.
When the project passed to Novato jurisdiction, the Council and city staff took the roles of cheerleaders and by-passed public scrutiny by depriving Novato citizens of city environmental impact hearings, and instead, rushed the annexation of Mt. Burdell without even one public hearing of the environmental risks.
And what now? As the mediation process crawls along, the Buck Center continues to rush ahead, speeding up its construction despite an active landslide. The Buck Center still plans to put huge quantities of emergency fuels in tanks underground in unstable soils. And from the newspaper reports, it appears the Buck Center would be laying electrical and sewer lines in actively shifting soil at the Partridge Knolls subdivision if the utilities had not said "no."
The Buck Center's disregard for safety has spread like a disease to politicians and eager-to-please government personnel. And it's a disgrace. Those who continue to be locked out of meetings are the ones who will end up paying the bills, the homeowners at Partridge Knolls and the taxpayers.
Even now, when the environmental concerns which citizens warned about in the environmental impact process are proving inescapable, the Buck Center's friends inside city hall are more loyal to the Buck Center than to the community at large. It certainly is time for a wake-up call.
Tam Valley-You Decide
Environmental/Community planners like myself don't "defect" from the public sector; we continue to do planning for the good of the community at no public cost. After eight years as a public sector planner in Marin County, it became clear to me that land planning starts when a property owner decides to change land use, not just when they apply for a zoning permit.
I agree with Gary Giacomini, "Thank God for Pacific Union." They are planning development consistent with the goals and objectives of the Tam Community Plan. Their plan substantially complies with the County of Marin Community Development Agency approvals for site development. They are responding to Tam Community Plan goals and objectives, and I am proud to be on their team.
I worked on the zoning permits for the subject Tam Valley site while in the county's employ. I also worked for three years with the Tam Community Plan group to develop land use policies to guide future development in the area. The major planning issue at that time, and now, in my opinion, is how to deal with all of the very small, individual historic plots of lands that have no public infrastructure and no comprehensive plan for development.
These historic lots were created without any regard for the natural features of the land and/or the resulting impacts of the urban density created by the historic plats and ownership patterns. The historic maps for this areas tell a story about the place and people in Tam Valley which is still true today. By dwelling unit/per acre Tam Valley is the most urbanized area, except maybe for Marin City, in unincorporated Marin County.
The County approval for the subject site development in 1989 results in a 46% reduction in density from that permitted under the historic ownership. Of the 41 historic lots, only 19 building sites are permitted. A complete project EIR was certified by the County. The development approval includes improvements to existing neighborhood fire safety, drainage, and street pavement. The project includes open space, creek setback and riparian habitat protection and restoration, scenic and pedestrian access easements. Now the community is rejecting this project after the planning approvals are in place.
The community energy in Tam Valley is impressive. However, it is my opinion that this energy could be better spent focused on a planning effort for the 70-plus historic lots that surround the subject property.
If the community appeal, of the planning approvals back in 1989 is granted, the property could end up with more, or less, density. The community open space, scenic and pedestrian easements will be lost and thousands of public agency tax dollars will be spent in litigation. But maybe the most politically correct plan for the site in 1997 is the development of 41 very small, non-luxury homes that could provide an affordable housing opportunity that is greatly needed in Marin County.
Tam Community, you decide. Will the historic plat maps and ownership patterns continue to tell the story about place and people in Tam Valley or will the comprehensive Tam Valley Community Plan, and approved projects consistent with the plan such as the Pac?
On September 14th, I, along with my daughter and granddaughter attended a protest rally against MAXXAM Corporation and their intention to clearcut the Headwaters Forest in Humboldt County.
I saw, with my own eyes, the ravaged land, witnessed the effect oil and herbicides have on the earth, in effect killing it. Though I have financially supported those brave activists who defend this State and National treasure, I felt compelled to join this rally along with some of my family. It's one thing to sit in the comfort of your home and discuss the destruction and rape of the Earth Mother, our home, and another to find yourself in the midst of the devastation, standing in a ravaged and dying place that only recently held ancient trees, more majestic and miraculous than any machine, any technological gadget man ever invented. I wonder, is part of the cynicism and indifference because we see a tree as an object rather than a living entity? Have we strayed so far from an attitude of reverence for life that we objectify everything and everyone, all life? Do we so worship and deify the almighty dollar, genuflect at the altar of capitalism, that we have become deaf, dumb and blind? Is this all that we hold sacred? This fragile planet, our home, the birthright of our children and grandchildren, is more miraculous in its exquisite diversity, beauty and wonder than anything man who would play God can create.
Some facts: In 1985, the Pacific Lumber Co. of Scotia, California, was victim of a hostile takeover by corporate raider Charles Hurwitz and his Maxxam Corp. of Texas. By selling $750 million worth of junk bonds, Hurwitz orchestrated a buyout of Pacific Lumber. For over 115 years Pacific Lumber has attempted to manage its redwood lands for the future of the forests and its workers. Since taking control, Hurwitz has raided the pension fund, tripled the cut of ancient redwoods and sold off hundreds of millions of dollars of company assets to pay interest only on the junkbond debt.
Meanwhile, Hurwitz's United Savings Association of Texas failed in 1988, costing U.S. taxpayers $1.6 million, one of the largest S&L; bailouts in U.S. history. Clearly Charles Hurwitz is a criminal, yet he walks free as he continues to destroy the birthright of future generations.
The mill in Scotia now runs three shifts 24 hours a day. Maxxam uses scare tactics on their employees, causing them to threaten their neighbors with boycott if they protest against Maxxam. Where does business end and wanton rape of the earth and greed begin? Who decides? Public opinion does count, can even bring about change. Where are the protesters? Who cares?
For those who want to help, call or write Trees Foundation, P.O. Box 2202, Redway, Calif. 95560, 1-707-923-4377.
In These Times
Enclosed please find a check for a year's subscription. The Coastal Post continues to stimulate, educate and at times amuse me, and God knows in these times we need a laugh. Bravo!
A plan to build 425 homes in the section of Novato known as Bahia comes before the Planning Commission on October 20, but will residents of Novato and the rest of Marin get a fair hearing considering the developer's promise to pay Bahia homeowners $6,000,000 if the proposed project is approved? Although local residents do not favor the additional development because of the traffic impact and the planned destruction of hundreds of acres of California wetlands, they do not expect anyone from Bahia to openly oppose it.
Some people that live in Bahia told me that they have no idea what the developer is proposing, because Marshall Levey, who is the person running the association, stopped the monthly publication of their newsletter and rarely communicates with the homeowners. They said that the reason they voted to support the development was because Levey wrote in a memo that was sent to homeowners with their ballot that their choice was to support the developer and get $6,000,00, or to not support the developer and be assessed $15,000. Levey also made this assessment threat in a later memo sent to homeowners about a requirement that they show up at city hearings to demonstrate their support of Debra's plan. Reports that the project is supported by 86% of the Bahia residents are open to question when you consider this blatant blackmail. Homeowners have privately complained about Levey's tactics and his lack of communication, but can't do anything about it. The city planners should get copies of these memos so that they can assess whether Bahians really do support the building plan.
An IJ editorial regarding the Black Point Project said it was significant that 250 Black Point Homeowners supported the Black Point project. The IJ also reported the 86% of the homeowners in Bahia support the Bahia development. But is this really true or are Marin communities being blackmailed into supporting developers by threats and pie in the sky promises? In an article appearing in the October edition of the Coastal Post by Marian Breeze, she suggested that development projects are being railroaded through Marin local governments by developers that hire government insiders, circumvent state environmental laws and threaten legal action if the local government doesn't roll over. The Bahia developer seems to have added an additional facet to this formula in its effort to steamroller the Novato city government with a show of local support. Novato's city counsel is coming up for election and I wonder how much money developers are giving to the candidates. Ernie Gray said Bahia was already a financial loss for the City, so how much money will Debra have to pay the City to offset the cost of the additional services it has to provide? How much of Bahia's millions will find its way into public coffers to offset the loss of our wetlands and to offset the impact that 425 homes will have on 101 traffic? Zero, I'll bet. Bahia get $6,000,000, but the rest of us inherit the ongoing problems. As usual, Novato and Marin County residents will get the short end of the deal.
DON DE LA VEGA
I must thank Morton H. Tallen (Letters, October 1) for converting my meters into kilometers. Mea culpa, not the editor.
As some of God's Chosen People seem to enjoy going, Morton identified me as an "anti-Semite." This childish name-calling intended to stifle criticism of Israel's misbehavior is no longer effective. In the latest UN General Assembly response to her murderous attacks on Lebanon, the vote was 132 to 3 against Israel. Following Tallen's logic, he must now count tens of millions of additional anti-Semites around the world.
A famous caricature of this paranoia appeared years ago as a New York newspaper cartoon: A Jewish mother, watching on the curbstone as the army marches by, nudges her neighbor to exclaim: Look, Sarah, everybody's out of step but Sammy.
EDWARD W. MILLER
Information On Cassini False
Pictures of Mars taken in Arizona? Oh, come on! Disseminate news, not gossip. I am searching the internet to become more informed on the Cassini Project. I am an advocate of space exploration, but not of nuclear-powered missions. Your assertion that very little information is out there on the plutonium of the Cassini project is just false. For the last several weeks, I have heard nothing else and much of it is disinformation. It's hard to find and hear of the science mission of Cassini.
Humboldt State University
Your little paper is DOPE, or should I say HEMP. Keep up the good work.
Lagunitas School Board Doesn't Get It
At their October 7th meeting, the School Board majority made it clear that they are continuing to try to make the open-water sewer system (AIWPS) or some other joint deal with developer Burman and the Honjo Corporation work, despite overwhelming community opposition.
Community opposition and legal opinions do not seem to matter to this Board-yet-even after being shot down by County Counsel and other legal opinions that clearly indicate the school is opening itself-and us taxpayers-to major liability issues. Nonetheless, Charrier, Dodd and Marlow (with Sloan dissenting) seem to be unwilling to budge and abandon this folly.
Community opposition is broad and reflects two different lines of thought.
¥ Opposition to AIWPS. Many people believe an open pond sewage facility next to a school in a wetland is inappropriate for various reasons, including environmental, aesthetic, health, and safety issues. Many people are legitimately concerned that the first sewer system will set a bad precedent that will open the Valley to increased development in the future.
¥ Opposition to school-developer union. Many people do not believe the school should get involved with a private development on strictly ethical grounds, while some fear the very real liability and legal issues that such a union brings.
The community has spoken. In just two weeks, 650 Valley residents have signed a two-part petition opposing AIWPS and/or ANY joint agreement with the developer: 600+ oppose AIWPS; and 550+ oppose any joint agreement between the school and Burman/Honjo. And 375 of those folks agreed to have their name and position published in a full-page ad paid for by Save the Valley Committee.
It's time for the school board to listen to the people. If not, it appears the community has but two options: an official referendum or a school board recall. Hopefully it won't come to that. It would be much more productive to unite to solve our school's sewage problem, and leave the developer to
solve his own sewage problems.
The message to the School Board is clear. Separate the school's sewage problem from the developer's sewage problem and the community will unite to solve our school's sewage problem.
Because definitions rule in the minds, behavior, and institutions, it is essential to specify that distinction which naturally and most uniquely defines the human being.
We are earth's Choicemaker, by nature and nature's God a creature of choice and of criteria. Our unique and definitive characteristic is, and of right ought to be, the natural foundation of the environment, institutions, and respectful relations to fellow human being.. Thus, we are oriented to a freedom whose roots are in the natural order of the universe.
Human knowledge is a fraction of the universe. The balance is a vast void of ignorance. Human reason cannot function in a void, thus the intellect can rise no higher than the criteria by which it perceives and measures values.
Humanism makes man his own standard of measure, however, as with all measuring systems, a standard must be greater than the value measured. Based on ignorance and an egocentric carnal nature, humanism demotes reason to the simpleton task of excuse-making for the rule of feelings and glands.
Because we cannot invent criteria greater than ourselves, the humanist lacks a predictive capability. Without transcendent criteria, humanism cannot evaluate options with foresight for survival and progression. Lacking instinct and foresight, man is blind to potential consequences and
is unwittingly committed to averages, mediocrity, and regression.
The void of human ignorance can easily be filled with a functional faith while not-so-patiently awaiting the foot-dragging growth of human knowledge and behavior. Faith, initiated by the Creator and revealed and validated in the Bible, brings a transcendent standard to humans, the Choicemakers. Other philosophies and religions are human-made and thereby lack transcendent prophetic validation. The foresight vision of faith in God and His Word is survival equipment for today and the future.
JAMES FLETCHER BAXTER
Man Who Feeds Homeless Gets Jailed
"It is hard to begin moving into the information age while we are still fighting an octopus-like state government that is determined to control every aspect of our daily lives," said gubernatorial candidate Steve Kubby.
"Politicians say they want citizens and volunteer groups to join in helping the community solve their problems. As the Food Not Bombs group has found out, these same politicians have made it a crime to feed homeless people," said Kubby.
Kubby charged that a member of Food Not Bombs, an activist group that tries to provide food for the needy, was recently sentenced to two months in jail for the crime of feeding hungry people, because the food didn't meet state standards.
"It's hard to believe that feeding hungry people could be a crime-especially with our jails at 198% of capacity-yet the state of California actually has a law that makes it a crime to feed starving people without state approval," said Kubby. "I have seldom heard of such nonsense. It's bad enough to put people in jail for nonviolent, victimless, arbitrary crimes, but to make criminals out of Good Samaritans, demands action by our voters to address this injustice."
"In a Steve Kubby administration, such civic-minded citizen groups will be encouraged to help make their communities better places to live, instead of being thrown into jail for their humanitarian efforts. It is time for a change," said Kubby. "It shouldn't be a crime to feed someone who is hungry. Laws like this only create more disrespect for our system of justice."
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