The Coastal Post - March, 1997

Letters Mar 97

Tam Junction Jam

If you think traffic on Highway One is bad now, just wait. Seventy-one more homes are currently in the planning stages less than a mile from Tam Junction in Mill Valley, with many more to follow. According to traffic studies performed 10 years ago, this area already exceeded maximum traffic capacity during peak times, and anyone who drives Shoreline Highway knows it's become worse since then. Imagine adding 180 cars that want to turn left across Shoreline, just before a hairpin turn.

Local residents and visitors alike have all noticed the urban-style development on Shoreline Highway at Loring Avenue. Most have also observed the removal of trees on the downhill side of that development. What few people know is the extent of development planned for that clear-cut area. On the sections where the trees have already been removed there will be 19 new homes. This has already been approved by the County, and we can't change that decision.

What we can impact is the two current applications (and certainly more to follow) to build 52 more homes in that same area. This section of Highway One was originally modeled after 19th Avenue and Daly City developments. Some of these lots are just 26 feet wide. If we throw up our hands, then take one last look at the remaining trees on the hillside south of Highway One, they'll be gone. The Tam Area Community Plan specifically states that we must preserve the semi-rural character of our neighborhood. These applications promise the opposite: more urbanization with another development that mirrors the Loring Avenue hillside.

If your readers find this scenario as disturbing as we do, please write to Johanna Patri, AICP, Planner, Marin County Community Development Agency, 3501 Civic Center Dr., #308, San Rafael 94903-4157.

If you want more information, please feel free to call Mary Hunter at 383-3654.

MARY HUNTER

BILL HANLEY

Mill Valley

Share The Wealth-Save The Trees

To Mr. Bill Gates

Your business savvy and technical brilliance is respected and held in the highest esteem by virtually everyone in this country. You now have the opportunity to upgrade this respectability to a level to which world leaders can only aspire. To this point, it would be honorable of you to purchase the 60,000-acre Headwaters Forest in Northern California from Charles Hurwitz and turn it over to the American people for permanent safekeeping. This could be your way of showing thanks for the business millions of us have given Microsoft. And let's face it, your thoughtful contribution to this last vestige of redwood treasure would be a public relations coup of the highest order. This generous act would permanently fix your name in history next to Teddy Roosevelt and Ansel Adams. On behalf of potentially millions of grateful Americans and citizens of the Earth, please give this idea your greatest consideration.

TOM VASGIRD

e-mail: [email protected]

Novato

COAST's Real Issues Not Yet Heard

On December 20, Judge Gary Thomas ruled that COAST (Citizens for Open Access to Sand and Tide) can't sue the Seadrift Association on behalf of the public. They can sue on behalf of their individual members, but they can't claim more access for the public. The judge did not rule on the merit of COAST's case, which is that the public has the right to use the beach as they always have under the Local Coastal Plan based on the law of implied dedication. This question will not really be settled in my mind until both sides have had their day in court. If COAST and Seadrift were allowed to present their evidence to a jury or impartial judge, I would be ready to live by the decision. As it is now, we are prevented from discussing the legal issues before a jury and settling them once and for all.

California has a strong tradition of protecting public access to its oceans, lakes and rivers. In 1976 the Coastal Act was passed which said: "Development shall not interfere with the public's right of access to the sea where acquired through use or legislative authorization, including but not limited to the use of dry sand and rocky coastal beaches to the first line of terrestrial vegetation." (Pub. Res. Code, Sec. 30211) The right of public access is currently being tested in the context of easements over oceanfront property from San Diego to Crescent City. The acquisition of a right of access across and use of real property by the public has been alternately referred to as an implied dedication or a public easement. Common law has long discouraged "absentee landlords" and prevented such landowners from asserting long-delayed rights of exclusion. To obtain public prescriptive rights, the following must be shown:

1. Significant public use for five years in a manner resembling use of ordinary public recreational areas.

2. Continual use with the actual or presumed knowledge of the owner.

3. The absence of clear objections or bona fide attempts by the owner to prevent such use.

COAST can prove all of the above regarding the Seadrift beach. This is the law and it seems a shame to me that the real issues haven't been heard by a judge or jury, at least not yet.

JEANNE SHERFEY

Stinson Beach

Immigrants Jailed Unjustly

My name is Leonard Fegan. I am a prisoner at Marin County Jail. Previous to my current conviction, I had no viable criminal record. I have never been involved with the law. I was committed to San Quentin without a sentence or conviction. My case is a tale of lies, denial of due process, blackmail and abuse of power. My case is not unique; I know of others. Sentencing of immigrants is discriminatory. It is way out of order. Immigrants are being sentenced to longer and harsher terms. These people include Europeans as well as Latins. The power structure in this country is out of control. I request your assistance in this matter. All residents of Marin County should be able to count on fair justice.

LEONARD FEGAN

Marin County Jail

13 Memorial Dr.

San Rafael

MarinWeb's Site of the Week

Just wanted to let you know that The Coastal Post has been selected as MarinWeb's Site of the Week for February 3, 1997. You have done a great job. Thanks for taking the time to put so much online -- it has made your site a valuable resource!

Rick Freeman

M a r i n W e b

Marin's Home on the World Wide Web

http://www.marinweb.com/

Gary, Gary, Quite Contrary....

Dear Mr. Jordan,

I judge from your letters that you are not only insecure, self centered and mean, but also rather stupid. If you had a few more functioning brain cells and some intestinal fortitude you'd author some legislation that

targeted those that are lining their pockets with the cheap labor of people who are trying to escape poverty and corruption in a country that our leaders and ignorant voters helped defile. Most of the immigrants (legal and illegal) that I know are hard working and family oriented, just like my ancestors were. Frankly I'd rather have a few more of them around and a few less of you and your Chicken Little, "the sky is falling," let's all run down to the wolf's den and get eaten, friends. By the way you really expose your naivet when you call the I J, or any other main stream news media, "liberal." By that scale, Mein Kampf falls somewhere in the middle of the literary road. Find out who owns the media and then you'll see how "liberal" they are.

You should thank the immigrants for giving you something to focus your, "my life isn't working, it must be the boogie man", anxieties on. Do us all a favor, Gary, and extract your head from your gluteus maximus, take a clean breath and look around. You'll find that the boogie man was hiding in there

with you where the sun don't shine.

Art Jimson

Pt. Reyes Station

P.S. Liberal means: to be open minded.

To Frank Scott And Other Thinker-Activists

I've been picking up your stir-em-up paper at Olema grocery last summer en route to Stinson for my weekly plunge and lately get it in Fairfax -- I dread the imminent stench of the lagoon. Soon as I can I aim to subscribe, not freeload, but having lost half selling my Mexico city condo due Dec. 94 peso devaluation am tight, give a little to So Pov Law center, Amnesty Internatl, NRDC, the Marin Unitarian fellowship, the Fish Dance poetry calendar etc.

About three years ago (my Mexican wife died April 12 '93) I attended a seminar with Richard Barnet on his Global Dreams, at the economics faculty of the National Univ and obtained just the intro and conclusion sections. I'm more or less some mix of socialist-capitalist (say in the modes of Schumacher, Ilich, Lovins, Terkel) -- and inclined to go for Vicente Fox of the PAN in Mexico, for example. I'm a retired member of the Typographical Union now attached to the CWA, worked 1964-1983 in the SF Chron-Ex composing room.

Anyway, I've been and am obsessed with the obscene super-powers of certain giant corporations thinking they may be more basically destructive than the ecological degradations, treating people as expendable, or worthless, or invisible.

But Barnet's book and that of Chas Reich Opposing the System offer almost no ways out, whereas -- maybe ? -- Rifkin does. I've read his book, have bought it and aim to dig into it more. A main aim is to work up a small workshop for our Marin Unitarian Fellowship "Retreat" in May at the Walker Ranch. This should and must include contrary views, different perspectives. And won't pretend to be anything definitive. Yesterday at the beautiful Fairfax library I obtained printouts of two review of Rifkin. One review brings in education, "Schooling and 'The End of Work' " by Peter Slavin condensed from the May 96 Phi Delta Kappan. Rifkin is very appealing and persuasive (AOL is threatening to log me off, tho I seldom use it, usually cannot get on and am promised unlimited hours!) - when Rifkin gets rolling on his theme of the CIVIL SOCIETY, SOCIAL ECONOMY, wherein many many millions of us, become unemployable, would give of our best to fellow citizens etc. If the 20 percent KNOWLEDGE ELITIST fat cats will only ante up with tax money to support us -- a rather critical question.

Another review I got printed out is from the June 96 Monthly Labor Review, by Eugene P. Coyle, PLAY ALL DAY? and Coyle is critical, for example: "his proposal for how to achieve a massive cut in working hours is unrealistic." Coyle critiques Rifkin blaming labor for allowing tech unemployment referring back to Taft-Hartley and the conservative witchhunts of aggressive labor people. He also thinks Rifkin is crazy to dream of people accepting taxation to pay volunteers.

I do think -- though I'm very inadequately informed -- that lately many labor and also downsized middle class people are fighting back. I get a bunch of stories of scattered successes, and valiant efforts, out of my ListServer: "[email protected]", newman, garnet, etc., which no doubt you are in contact with. There are these stories of a "NEW PARTY" guy who appears to have a good shot at becoming mayor of Madison, Wisconsin. The anti-labor actions have been so effective, so scary, that I think various union people and so-called community activists are getting angry and figuring out ways to do something.

Well, hell, I'm going on 79, and I guess don't need to worry about getting downsized or marginalized (which I am in some respects) but it's that old desire to give something to help SAVE THIS WORLD, corny 19th-centurish as it may sound, somewhat perhaps as Helen Caldicott did for us about nuke war

There is such common smog of bitter-raging doomsday cynical pessimism, or just an unyielding, but stymied, anger as you get with the poems of Philip Levine. And Christ we humans at our best have such terrific, great powers of creative imagination and action, and inventing some major new ethical-political culture in which as Rifkin thinks we give to and for each other, instead of slashing each other, reciprocate, learn and grow and enjoy, live, try to make the most, the best of ourselves. I will be greatly indebted to you for any thoughts, I know you keep pounding away on this theme anyway, any suggested reading or ideas. Thanks.

Dick Andrews

[email protected]

On "Economics For Idiots"

The article "Economics for Idiots" by Kirby Ferris is just that. You have to be an idiot to believe everything you read in it. Much of what is said was not true when it was first printed in 1989 and is not true today.

So let's get to it.

1) Kirby says "You and I and Congress have nothing whatsoever to do with it." Conspiracy theories aside, The Federal Reserve System was created by a 1913 act of Congress. And the record shows that Congress has passed dozens of acts since then detailing how operations of the Federal Reserve are to be conducted. Since we elect Congress, we do have something to do with it. And we elect the President who appoints Federal Reserve Governors in the first place. We (through Congress) have the constitutional authority to eliminate the Federal Reserve System at any time. Just check the constitution under powers of Congress. It's there. Write your congressperson.

2) Kirby seems to whine that our money is not backed by gold. So? Anyone who doubts the value of their money and wants to trade their paycheck every Friday for gold or silver can go get some. Or get wheat or pork bellies or whatever commodities they want. That's why money exists.

3) Kirby says the Federal Reserve controls the prime interest rate. That's incorrect. Banks can set rates as low as they wish (the maximum rate is subject to usury laws). As a matter of practice they tend to follow each other's lead, just as airlines set fares, but that's a result of market competition, not Federal Reserve policy. And just to clarify, all but the shortest of overnight interest rates are created through supply and demand on the open market. Treasury Notes and Bonds are priced -- and interest rates set -- via auction on the open market (and you can participate) not through the Federal Reserve.

4) Kirby implies that the Fed is somehow responsible for taxing us to pay off a big national debt. The big national debt is the result of Congress not taking action to curb spending. The simple fact of the matter is that if our government did not spend what it doesn't have, it wouldn't need to tax us so highly.

I cannot tell from the article how Kirby suggests our monetary policy be handled. A "tight money" policy return to the gold standard? Or perhaps let Congress (ultimately in charge of it -- read the Constitution) vote on our money supply and interest rates each week? Or maybe each bank in the U.S. should make its own decisions on how much money it can create each day?

Oh well, no matter. I'm merely correcting the errors above.

R. Bloch

Oh, and before I forget...

It's your paper and I support freedom of press, but don't you think the letter "Sinister Machinations" goes just a bit beyond responsible journalism? It doesn't add anything to the debate or the issue.

R Bloch

[email protected]

War: The Deadliest Disease

I had no idea until I looked at an AIDS quilt how many children and teenagers died of this dread disease.

While I do not personally know anyone so afflicted, it takes little imagination to be aware of what it is to be a suffering, slowly-dying child, or one of those family members helplessly watching the oncoming, almost certain death of the little one.

What can we do? Research is continuing to find ways to prevent and cure AIDS, to stimulate and strengthen the immune system. The rest of us can lobby our state and federal representatives to provide more funds for research, education and health care. Fortunately, there is wide public awareness and outspokenness about this disease.

We can also find some measure of comfort knowing that many, possibly most, sufferers experience the presence of caring family and friends. These loved ones help administer pain-killers and other medications. Most importantly, they give the support of love.

There are, however, millions of other children dying in entirely different circumstances. Envision a child, broken and bleeding, facing almost certain death. This child also has family members nearby. Only they are not helping the child, because they cannot.

A little sister lies nearby-dead. A brother is also wounded-possibly not fatally, but unable to move. Somewhere in the ruins of what had been his home are his parents-dead or helplessly pinned-he will never know.

Instead of widening worldwide compassion and care, as for AIDS sufferers, there is in at least one nation-possibly a major, developed, and rich nation-gloating and cheering. "Our mission accomplished," "target obliterated," "a lesson" to a political leader. Flags wave, yellow ribbons flutter as "we support our troops," praise our "brave soldiers and airmen" and "our great victory."

This dying child is not merely a figment of my imagination. Daily news reports tell of destruction and massacres in more than one land. Nobel prize-winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa cites a U.N. estimate that "about two million children have died in dozens of wars during the past decade." This child exists wherever there is military activity-international, intertribal, inter-religious, inter-class.

Why is this child widely ignored?

Millions of people throughout the world want to stamp out AIDS and HIV-completely, permanently and unconditionally. What signs do we see of these same people fervently determined to stamp out wars and weaponry?

While we are willing to change any condition that leads to AIDS, why are we so loath to even question those excuses that lead to war?

Humans could put an end to war completely and permanently if enough of us were to speak out loudly, clearly, and firmly. Do we truly believe that national sovereignty (international lawlessness), privilege and power is worth the cost of all these little lives?

Or can we demand that these presently worshipped false gods be replaced by an ordered world community and a global economy whose primary objective is to heal and uplift those most disadvantaged and suffering?

Why do we persist in playing around the fringes of this issue-the symptoms of particular wars, revolutions, and terrorism-but not the basic disease, militarism and nationalism?

Why are not the letters to the editor filled with demands for world community, a democratically-enacted world constitution that ends all weaponry and all plundering and polluting of the environment?

Why are we not questioning for-yes, demanding, as many did some decades past-a global economy that fills the basic needs of all humans, while ending the concentrations of wealth and power?

Where are the voices that could speak out, and the private compassion that could be shared?

The essential world movement, ready and waiting to be kindled by daring visionaries calls for no blood sacrifice, but rather for committed, universal CARING!

Controversial? Of course. Provocative and adversarial? Inevitably. The success of a global caring Movement rests upon our willingness to JETTISON COMPLETELY all honoring of militarism, sanctifying of nations, races, creeds and other abstractions, and our approval of competitive wealth- and power-questing. Once we have broken these chains to a destructive and wasteful tradition we shall be free at last! Once we have developed our immunity from these deadly viruses, our children can live at last without fear of meaningless suffering and death.

It is time to recognize that all children are our children and that their lives and future must come first!

GUY W. MEYER

Inverness

In Defense Of Self-Righteousness

I'm flattered that so many of your readers responded to my original letter printed in your January issue. However, I notice that it seems slanted in that you ONLY PRINTED those letters written in opposition to my position, NOTHING in support. Surely you received a ton of letters in support...did you use them to wipe your asses with because you couldn't afford toilet paper (you just don't make enough money?).

To make some points which your uninformed readers seemed to miss, I'll try and answer each of them personally. First of all, the heading over my letter, "Poor and Spoiled," is not my wording. The heading was written by one of YOUR writers...and it's obvious that's what YOUR writer thinks of the poor people who want to live in better housing.

R. Rabiega states that, "It's a God-given right to live in Marin." What God is she praying to? The "God of Victims" as she claims to be. She doesn't even understand the concept of "free education" in this country, and yet she claims to have a B.A. What does that stand for...Bad Attitude? Free education means that even if parents are homeless and pay NO taxes, their children are entitled to attend public schools until high school-all for a FREE education. Perhaps if R. Rabiega had been enrolled in a FREE Head Start program, she might be able to make more money than she does. Living in Black Point when the good jobs are in San Francisco would put her at a definite disadvantage in making a living.

Anna Ione of Lagunitas was truly a victim at a young age. I assume she's a grownup now and can stop pissing and moaning about her disadvantaged childhood. She is correct in saying that we should ALL HELP people who need help. But I find that the old adage still goes: "If you give a starving man a fish, he'll eat for a day, but if you teach him to fish, he'll never go hungry." I'm glad that Anna has been helped to heal..."HEALING" is what it's all about, not wallowing in self-pity and being a victim. It seems that most of your writers seem to be doing just that.

Now we have P. Taylor or Pt. Reyes who claims a utility bill of $350 a month. I HAVE NO HEAT in my house, and heat it with wood in a fireplace insert. My PG&E; bill runs $30 a month in the winter...and I DON'T have the luxury of a dishwasher or washer/dryer. Maybe she should try putting on warm clothing. It's easier and cheaper to heat your body than to try and heat an entire house. Pt. Reyes is not exactly a bustling metropolis where you can find decent paying jobs. Did it ever occur to her to move where the jobs are? If you're living in such poverty in Pt. Reyes, surely you can move to another poverty area in San Francisco and at least find a decent-paying job. You sound like another "victim." YOU chose to have children and stay home with them; nowadays that's a luxury few women choose to do, unless they have husbands who can support the entire family. You make a choice to do that, and now are angry that you can't find a decent-paying job because you were out of the job market for so many years. How "smart" can you be if you haven't figured out yet that you're not going to find a good-paying job in Pt. Reyes, and yet have done nothing about it. You are correct, I don't have children to support. But I notice that even a bird builds a nest before it lays an egg. Having children that you can't support once again makes you a "victim"...a "victim" of making bad decisions in life and now pissing and moaning about them.

Patricia Pall of Bolinas seems to "have married the wrong man" which means SHE made a bad decision and now we all should feel sorry for her because she feels sorry for herself. Yes, I feel sorry for you, but not responsible for your decisions. You mentioned that you could have gotten child support if you'd return from where you came from...well, why didn't you? Didn't your children deserve to see their father? Didn't they deserve to be supported on some level? Why were you living in Bolinas if not for your own selfish reasons?

For everyone's edification, I live in shared housing. I've worked all sorts of jobs to make a living since I was 16 years old, working in the summers while I went to school the rest of the year. I only have one year of college, yet I learned early on that even if I took on poor-paying jobs (and I had plenty of them) that I'd be rewarded with at least the education of knowing how to work, job skills, etc. I do not own and support 3 dogs and 5 cats, thus forcing myself to live in sub-standard housing in the country because decent housing isn't available to people with MANY pets...when you want to do "sharing housing." I live where the work is; I live in areas that affords me decent housing and I worked my way up until I could better my position in life. I now live modestly in a poor section of San Rafael...and I don't claim to be a "VICTIM" of anything. I'm sure if I dig into my past I can dredge up reasons why my childhood wasn't blessed and why my life now isn't perfect. But I made choices in my life (some good, some bad) and I alone am responsible for those choices...which seems to elude all of you "VICTIMS" in West Marin.

MARCIA BLACKMAN

San Rafael

Copy Editor's Note: All letters received by the Coastal Post are published, even the most vitriolic. There were no letters in support of M. Blackman. The question mark after "Poor and Spoiled?" was there for a reason.

Buck Center Doesn't Need Government Help

As with most well-meaning governmental efforts, social programs begin with the best intentions. Government codifies the procedure, and policy implementation is put in place.

In the mid-'90s, an economic development program, the California Economic Development Financing Authority, was established whose mission was to provide financial assistance, through low-interest redevelopment loans, to low-income, high-unemployment, distressed inner-city areas throughout the state. Apparently the agency arose out of a need to revitalize and encourage the re-establishment of small local industries in areas such as Watts where obtaining small loans through conventional lenders was costly and difficult.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, as with most bureaucratic endeavors, this responsible agency seems to have reconsidered its priorities and rather than abide by its mission, turned instead to self-perpetuating entrenchment.

Section 15720 of the code establishing CEDFA determines criteria for which disbursement of loans shall be made, i.e.:

A. The assistance to be rendered is in an area of high unemployment;

B. The financing will provide employment or retention of employment having a reasonable relationship to the amount of financing. The population of Novato is approximately 50,000 while the rate of unemployment within the county is 3.1 percent-an acceptable rate is 5-7 percent. In addition, upwards of $55 million in funding loans is factually not in keeping with a reasonable ratio to needed or number of jobs created. What an ironic twist of fate that an agency, CEDFA, established to address the needs of the most distressed areas of the state, should be manipulated into service for one of the wealthiest counties in the state as a participant in redevelopment financing for the extravagantly proposed Buck Center for Research in Aging.

CLARENCE BRACEY

Novato

Alternative Energy Attempts Snuffed

As a scientist and engineer, I find Mr. Scanlon's essay on fusion uninformed. Not yet forgotten is the fact that fusion-related devices existed here in Bolinas.

In the 1930s, a man by the name of Philo Taylor Farnsworth II was creating radio and tv tubes far more advanced than the usual tubes in use then or now. The theories of Dr. Einstein found practical form in these tubes, one in particular, the multipactor tube, showed signs of producing electric energy directly from the primordial medium with no fuel or mechanical force. The study of these phenomena by Farnsworth led him to the construction of a successful fusion tube. He called this the fusor. I had the good fortune of witnessing the existence of these devices and the notebooks relating to them.

In conjunction with the investor's son Philo III and a young lab assistance, I set out to recreate important aspects of these fusion devices with equipment donated by the RCA Bolinas station at 451 Mesa Road (not to be confused with Commonweal). A lab was set up in the old Marconi building. The process of stellar energy creation was produced successfully at the RCA site. No nuclear waste or violent instability problems exist with this type of phenomenon.

At the point at which Farnsworth became successful in his work, his lab was closed. Several years after he died, his work was forgotten. Our lab was closed and all important devices vanished. The important old RCA equipment was destroyed by hired vandals. Later on, important historical tubes began to disappear from Philo's home at the end of Elm Road. Philo died a short time later, his ashes dropped upon the RCA station. Presently, the last vestige of RCA is being snuffed.

So ends the history of workable fusion. Such discoveries are a threat to a thermodynamic culture. Both the part that operates it, and the part that wants to save us from it are very wealthy from its existence. No alternative is to be tolerated, particularly in Bolinas.

E.P. DOLLARD

BREAK: KDGOSX

Bolinas

Taxation And Pensions

Let us go back into the political mists of time-December 8, 1941. The President is Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The country, after several years of funnelling money to Britain via the lend-lease plan, Bundles for Britain; and to Generalissimo Chang Kai-Shek for fighting the Japanese invasion of China; and to other countries about to become allies; and the engulfing of WWII of the whole world, a U.S. Senator whose name is Beauregard Rummel comes up with the brilliant idea that all the U.S. population who work and receive paychecks weekly, bi-weekly and monthly should pay federal income taxes, called withholding, on their immediate earnings.

The plan of taxation was named pay-as-you-go, and Senator Rummel was given the nickname Pay-As-You-Go Rummel by other Congressmen in Washington D.C. As of March 15, 1943, the plan of taxing the paycheck takes effect.

Government had a new instant money pipeline to pay for WWII and its overhead, plus supplying all our Allies in goods of pre-packed K- and C-rations, armaments, jeeps, boats, wearing apparel, ordnance, etc.

The Office of Price Administration, a bureau given life at this time, began issuing monthly coupon books to the civilian population, a separate book for meat, sugar, shoes, cigarettes, gasoline, butter, canned goods, etc. Luxury items, such as jewelry, furs, cabin cruisers, liquor and cigarettes, as well as entertainment, are hit with a 20% surcharge on all sales.

All civilian factories producing goods in the U.S. and for export to other countries were turned into government contract suppliers of war goods. Men of all calibre, including specialists from manufacturing companies in the U.S., arrived in droves in Washington, D.C., and when hired onto government payrolls were paid $1 a year for contributing their know-how to the war effort.

The dollar-a-year men continued into the '50s. The coupon books were withdrawn when war ended. Taxes on luxuries continued into the '50s, then ended, and only the taxes on entertainment were left and reduced to 10%. Then Congress removed the last entertainment taxes, and the country was left with only Senator "Pay-As-You-Go" Rummel's payroll taxation. A tax on people's salaries is with us to this day.

WWII and the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe and the Asiatic countries, restore economic stability commercially to the world at large so commerce could flow again, is finished.

The payroll tax sucks people's earning power, while inflation has risen since WWII by ten thousand percent.

Congress fiddles and hums and haws over reducing taxes to the population at large, but nothing ever comes of this weary refrain. It is time to take a good, long look at this decimation of the paycheck and remove this disability from the wage earner.

We elect presidents and governors of the state who receive a salary plus free housing, food, utilities, transportation, medical services, toilet paper. If they serve in the U.S. Congress or become a governor, they get a pension and medical care for life. If they become presidents, a pension and medical care which includes their widows, for life. All our politicians who receive pensions are freed from the daily grind of making a living and worrying about putting food on the table and shelter over their heads. No wonder they put their salaries into stocks and bonds and commercial enterprises.

The pay-as-you-go Rummel payroll pipeline is never-ending. It is time to shut down this enormous money machine and let the wager earners have the first crack at their earnings.

When Social Security was enacted into law in 1936, it was a one percent deduction only, then two percent, then three, which remained for many years, then five percent in 1973. Social Security has four trust funds and supports itself.

With the Viet Nam war, President Lyndon Johnson, in order to pay for this debacle, had Congress place the Social Security trust funds in the yearly federal budget.

Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) is paid out of general U.S. Treasury yearly funds, and the states are the bookkeepers for those who qualify.

Give the hourly worker and the individual independent contractor who pays estimated taxes every three months and their 15.5 percent Social Security taxes as self-employed (salary workers and employer combined pay 15.5% Social Security taxes on paychecks) their wages to pay the monthly bills and expenses. And go back to collecting taxes on the salaried worker at the end of the year. The economy would improve for the ordinary wage earner, the Federal Reserve and Alan Greenspan would not have to come out like the bird in the Swiss cuckoo clock and cuckoo that inflation has risen or remains the same.

Obviously, none of these people have ever gone grocery shopping. They should.

R.L. GILDAY

Novato

Games As Training For Society's Purposes

After reading the letters section of the February Costal Post, I went back through my collection of Posts and dug up "Teaching Kids To Kill," by Sandy Leon.

I have listened to Ms. Leon's shows on KPFA and thought I had read all of her work in the Post, but I had missed that one.

It is too bad that Kevin Rank seems to have completely missed the point of Ms. Leon's article. Not once did she assert that killing games are "dangerous," or cause kids to be violent, as his letter seems to imply.

The whole point of her article, which was, by the way, a brilliant critique on the cultural double standard in the U.S. with respect to violence, women, children, etc., is that we need to look very carefully at what these games symbolize.

It is not that games like Warhammer 40k "teach kids to kill," as the title of the article might imply to someone invested in missing the point. It is not quite so simplistic as that. The point I thought Ms. Leon was making is that when consumers accept without question a role-playing game that reinforces the concept of violence as an acceptable tool for change, we play right into the bigger "game"-the "Military-Industrial Market Economy Game."

Ms. Leon's analysis of the propagandistic nature of the military-industrial economy is right on the money. Her wry observation that the same parents who look the other way or even approve of their kids pretending to tear each other's guts out would likely be horrified if those kids wanted to play "The Child Abuse Game," "The Abortion Game," or "Wife-Beater Action Figures," I think drove the point home quite cogently and humorously. Most "pacifists" do not have Ms. Leon's wit. It is hypocritical and twisted.

I loved the article, and I hope the fact that people like Mr. Rank are either too illiterate or too brainwashed themselves to understand the bigger picture of a nation that teaches kids one thing in school while actively marketing another does not discourage Ms. Leon.

I notice she is not writing in the Post so often these days. Maybe she went looking for a more literate readership.

I do love the paper.

RANDALL MILLS

Mill Valley

Falling Down

Does anyone else feel as I do, in a state of atrophy? I feel that all my efforts and the help I receive from others merely keep me alive, just existing. Anybody else feel this way?

I feel as if I exist physically in nature, but not in this society-that this society has no use for me. Anybody else feel this way?

Does anybody else feel that despite your best efforts, you're falling by the wayside and merely existing while trying to fend off any further misfortune?

I'm interested to know if anybody else feels this way. I figure the Coastal Post would print these letters. After all, if you feel that you're atrophying despite your best efforts not to, who are you going to talk to about it without exposing yourself to social disparagement?

K.B.

San Anselmo

Government Supports Cigarette Smoking

"A custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black, stinking fume thereof, nearest resembling the Stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless."

So said England's King James I (1566-1625) in describing the "loathsome, stinking" practice of smoking.

Known for over three centuries to be harmful to the lungs, and proven scientifically in recent times, beyond any scintilla of a shadow of a doubt, to be destructive of life, we nevertheless still find lawyers, industrialists, and even members of Congress willing to participate as unindicted co-conspirators contributing to the mass killing of some 400,000 Americans and perhaps millions of the peoples of other nations each and every year.

The big question now is: Who were the Congress members attending the recent Scottsdale, Arizona, golf junket/smokeout meeting hosted by the Tobacco Institute to help plot the millions of future deaths scheduled in the coming decade?

FIELDING GREAVES

San Rafael

Scrooge You

To think that Willie Sutton robbed banks for money when he could have administered a hospital and done much better. Legally, too!

For Christmas, 1995, and again in 1996, Marin General administrators gave themselves $30,000 bonuses. For the employees who care for the patients, the usual annual gift is a $10 certificate good only at the hospital gift shop. Thank you, Pietro Pratl, for keeping us informed.

MGH administrators think only of themselves, having little concern for their patients, or their employees.

JAMIE PHILLIPS

San Rafael

Green Hate

According to Brad Erickson, coordinator of San Francisco's Political Ecology Group, "Right-wing organizations hiding behind green-sounding names like Carrying Capacity Network (CCN) and Negative Population Growth (NPG), have proliferated in recent years, giving a new voice to anti-immigrant rhetoric." The radical Erickson says his group has been tracking this growing phalanx of anti-immigrant "environmental" organizations, a development that he calls "the greening of hate." He goes on to say, "This focus on population over all else has been used by anti-immigrant groups to woo environmentalists."

According to his misguided theory, Erickson claims, "These green organizations are using immigrants as scapegoats rather than dealing with the root problem-namely, corporate greed and a government that supports it."

"The basic argument of anti-immigrant 'greens' is that population pressures from liberal immigration policies are drawing on natural resources and exacerbating pollution faster than nature can sustain it," Erickson whined to the radical left San Francisco Bay Guardian tabloid (2/19).

The highly respected progressive "green" organizations, CCN and NPG, recognize the detrimental effects that continued high levels of immigration place on national environmental degradation and increasing population pressures, and have proposed an immediate moratorium on further legal immigration. Radical leftist organizations, such as Erickson's PEG, are hysterically worried that the giant environmental organization, the Sierra Club (700,000 members) whose current position is neutral on immigration reform, might be swayed by CCN, NPG, and other prominent national groups like the Audubon Society, Population-Environment Balance, the National Wildlife foundation-to join them in acknowledging present high levels of immigration as damaging to fragile Mother Gaea.

It is intriguing to observe this huge internal battle rage among national environmental organizations, and to hear Erickson's demented theories of a right-wing conspiracy. One thing you can bet on-the controversy is likely to become white hot in the near future.

GARY E. JORDAN

San Rafael

Block Buck

"Just because something smells bad doesn't mean it's illegal." - Judge Ronald Robie regarding the Buck Center's bond deal.

We agree with Judge Robie of the Sacramento Superior Court. We Think the Buck Center smells bad and we think it's illegal. Our battle against this wealthy development project has certainly been an eye-opener about the ways in which power and money can prevail over the forces of democracy in our county. There have been setbacks, but we will not let that stop us from continuing to watchdog this project every step of the way. Right now, as I write this, we are exploring our legal and political options for challenging the Buck Center, whether by initiative, lawsuit or action by the County Board of Supervisors or the Civil Grand Jury.

We need your help to carry on this fight.

From day one, we've done everything in our power to stop this massive research complex from being built. We organized the first successful county referendum drive in decades. We fought successfully in court to qualify our referendum petitions when the County Clerk illegally rejected them. We went toe-to-toe with the Buck Center's political allies and big money campaign and won a countywide election, despite being outspent 10-1.

In November of 1995, the people of Marin had their say. They soundly rejected the Buck Center boondoggle. But the Buck Center wouldn't honor the vote. Instead, they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to qualify and win a Novato-only initiative. Our legal challenge to their end run on the countywide vote did not prevail. The Buck Center stole the election fair and square. But, politically, the project has alienated itself from the people of Marin, who are supposed to be the beneficiaries of Mrs. Buck's generous legacy.

At the close of 1996, we were in court again, this time attempting to block an obscure state agency from giving the Buck Center $55 million in revenue bonds to finance Phase I of their $100 million Taj Mahal research complex. Our legal team of Dan Hempey and Larry Fahn did an excellent job of preparing our case. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Ronald Robie found that our lawsuit had merit, but in the end, he allowed the bond deal to go through after the agency made some minor procedural corrections.

The good news is that our lawsuit delayed the project for another month, pushing it into the heart of the rainy season. This winter's heavy rains have already taken their toll on the Buck Center's inappropriate and unstable development site. It will be several months before heavy construction can resume, giving us yet another opportunity to influence the type of project that will eventually come to fruition on Mt. Burdell. The bad news is that our last legal battle has left us with several thousand dollars debt that we must clear up before we can take further action against this project.

Please remember that just because the Buck Center is built, doesn't mean it will ever open its doors. The Center may have finally gotten construction money, but it lost the Scientific Director, Ed Schneider, who resigned sometime last year. Schneider, a former National Institute on Aging official, was the Buck Center's biggest cheerleader in the research industry. His departure does not bode well for the Buck Center's ability to attract federal research grants.

On the local political front, the Center's biggest booster, Gary Giacomini, has departed from the Board of Supervisors. (Despite vehement protests that he would not take a job with the Center, Giacomini now works for a big San Fransisco law firm. The first client he brought in? The high-paying Buck Center for Research in Aging!)

Steve Kinsey, Giacomini's replacement on the Board, has publicly pledged to seek a Buck Center that is more responsive to the interests and needs of the community. We intend to hold Mr. Kinsey to his campaign promises. His presence on the Board may shift the balance in favor of action against the investigation of the Buck Center.

For nearly a decade, we have held off development of the powerful and wealthy Buck Center. Every person involved in this David and Goliath battle can take pride in our achievements. By no means have our efforts been wasted. We have put the bad guys on notice, and they have had to fight every step of the way to build their monument to human arrogance, cruelty and greed. The outburst of civic concern and caring that resulted in our victory in the countywide election must be celebrated and built upon.

None of this could have been accomplished without you.

This fight is not yet over, and we need your help once again to see it through the end. Your contribution of $35 will help us settle our debts and muster the legal and political resources we need to create a Buck Center that all of Marin can be proud of, a Buck Center that serves the needs of the community without conducting toxic, wasteful and cruel research on Mt. Burdell.

We will keep you updated on our progress. As always, we remain deeply grateful for your support.

CRAIG PERRIN, Chair

SUSAN RISTOW, Co-Chair

Committee To Save Mt. Burdell

POB 352

Corte Madera 94976

Harrassment of Pregnant Women, And Guns For Blacks

"The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." - Ninth Amendment

If the Ninth Amendment means anything-and the courts have repeatedly said it protects our privacy-then surely it must also protect people's civil rights and their right not to suffer oral harassment, vicious intimidation, and the malicious "in-your-face" shouting of imprecations and insults as practiced by the un-Christian boors, hooligans, and cretins of the so-called religious right-or, as they were more aptly characterized recently by President Clinton, terrorists.

The worst decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in months, if not years, was its recent ruling striking down the previously approved protective 15-foot safety and privacy "traveling bubble" surrounding female patients and clinicians entering or leaving clinics where abortions are performed.

By their ruling, these justices disgraced their profession. They have thereby authorized and legalized the harassment, gross intimidation, and even terrorizing of young women at a critical time of life when those young women are most likely already in extreme states of emotional and perhaps also psychiatric and physical distress, thus exacerbating their distress and possibly even causing permanent emotional or psychiatric disorders.

An outraged public outcry for justice should compel the Court to reconsider that ruling. Meanwhile, contemplate the aptness in this case of the bumper sticker that says: The Religious Right Is Neither.

* * *

Sen. Barbara Boxer claims her bill, S.70, would ban only certain handguns she refers to as "junk guns-also called Saturday Night Specials." (The latter is an anti-black racist term.) Boxer lied, In fact, S.70 would also outlaw many fine American-made handguns.

Boxer says S.70 would subject American-made handguns to the legal standards currently required of imports. She lied. Those standards are not determined by law but by the politically-driven whims of the BATF, that notorious rogue organization with no compunction about trampling civil and constitutional rights of Americans, the same group that was part of Baby Killer Janet Reno's infamous team, The Butchers of Waco.

Boxer says she seeks to ban the guns because they are "unreliable." She lied again. If they are "unreliable," why did her S.70 include a special exemption allowing police to have them? Does she encourage cops to use unreliable guns in order to endanger their lives-and ours? If they're reliable enough for cops to have for defense, why not for us?

She claims her bill would ban only easily concealable handgun that are cheap and poorly made. She lied again. Her S.70 would allow banning any U.S.-made handguns that don't meet the same physical criteria required of imported handguns. That includes any revolver with barrel of less than three inches, and any semi-auto less than six inches in overall length and four inches in height. Those criteria would outlaw a number of models of Colt, Smith & Wesson and Ruger revolvers, and Colt, Walther, and Beretta semi-autos, all of them fine, reliable, expensive, well-made, superior arms. And the criteria can change at the whim of the BATF.

Boxer claims her bill outlaws the guns most often used in crimes, and most frequently traced to crime scenes. She lied again. The Justice Department, respected criminological studies, and even the anti-gun former New York police commissioner and anti-gun Police Foundation, testify that both claims are false, misleading, counterproductive and mythical.

Boxer even lied about how many children die from gunfire, basing her remarks on data that lists anybody under age 20 as a "child."

Boxer's S.70 is elitist and racist. It seeks to disarm blacks by banning the only affordable arms available to many of the poor, especially poor blacks, the most frequent victims of violent crime, for defense of themselves and their families against criminal predators.

Like all anti-gun freaks. Boxer proves once again that on gun issues she is a total stranger to truth, logic, honesty, accuracy and common sense.

FIELDING GREAVES

Lt. Col., U.S. Army, Retired

San Rafael

Northern Exposure

Please renew my subscription for the coming year. You're still the best source of original thought and un-censored news. Keep the presses rolling! Hello to all my friends in Marin.

JERRY HUDSPETH

Anchorage, Alaska

7:Mill Valley

She's Really Not Dead

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