with his back to me he stood-a silhouette in the field
even the gray light of the twilight sky couldn't hide his tears from me
we stood upon the porch watching the cloud formations grasping for an explanation from the heavens
the evening was quiet and filled with flowers
their sweet scent masking the bitter sorrow
the tears are still there
the expectation still lingers
empty stares and downturned mouths in every room
no one ever quite knows what to say
we stood in the cool kitchen grasping each other tightly
as trees slowly swayed outside
a bird's call echoes in the thicket and far away a dog barks
i can't quite keep my eyes from turning upwards
i half-expect to see Michael again riding his bike down Brighton with his arms stretched out
saying, "look, no hands"
we miss you, kamikaze...
STEFANIE & ANDREW
What's Hard News?
I appreciate your asking for input and offering your own view-and I'm curious about what you mean when you say hard about news. I assume it means more coverage of Supervisors' meetings and other local politics.
I look for the Post each month to see what's there regarding environmental issues-local and global. Of particular interest to me lately are the pieces on aviation and air-because I've been noticing aviation clouds over the past year or two and wondering. I appreciate writing which draws attention to the connections between what we humans do and what is taking place worldwide: destruction of living systems.
Your letters section as a forum for opinion and expression is invaluable. Thanks for your work.
Time I quit being a freeloader. Also, now that I've heard Mark Dowie speak at Oliver's, June 19, and am reading his book, I think I'll not renew a subscription to one renowned old environmentalist magazine (and beautiful production) and look for some ways of more local action, as with the Coastal Post.
I hope you can and will gain many more paid subscribers. As to attracting readers, I know one long-time activist woman who says there are no free pickup places for the Post in Corte Madera where she lives.
In response to your request in the July issue, you do an excellent job. I have previously said I wish there were 100,000 comparable small papers across the U.S.
There is no reason at all for you to duplicate the regurgitated pablum that passes for "news" in the U.S. mainstream press, and no possibility to cover the world. Local issues and concerns are, well, our local concerns.
The DMV-CHP article was a superb example. The extortion arrogance and authoritarian potential are a scandal before God and all these people.
In necessary fairness, I have never been treated terribly. But others are, and I could be. It's fear: don't leave home without it. OK, don't stay home without it. Intimidation is great social control.
Forgive an apparent digression: There is a point. My beloved country is Ghana. There are hundreds of rules and regulations, and they are there just so nice officials can bend or break them for you, if you in turn show that you are a good guy. Then in turn you have to be helpful to others, and on and on.
Guess what? It works! One of the lowest violence rates in all the world, and rates of imprisonment, hunger, homelessness, etc., hardly two percent of the U.S.
A "poor" country.
But 200 years ago the Ashanti had created a real bad-ass empire. They found catching war captives from the north and selling them down the sea as slaves was even more profitable than the old gold trade. High old times!
Then, catastrophe, when 150 years ago the British abolished slavery and slaving all over their empire. Oh, after fierce wars they had subdued Ashanti. For reasons as good as gold.
What were the poor Ashanti to do?
Not to worry. The authoritarians made more and more and more things capital offenses. The constituent "states" of old Ashanti, which had craftily maintained a lot of their proper autonomy, were brought to heel.
Did the rulers build expensive prisons and feed the hapless people on death row? And waste useful people? Of course not. If you committed a capital offense, such as spitting on the ground on Thursday, you were simply allowed to "buy your head" with a great fine, which of course your relatives raised. Asantahene's government grew richer. So "police" forces could be increased. So more spitters caught, etc. Everybody wins! You get to live! Right?
Welcome to Merrie Olde Ashanti.
They got over it, in a very big way. Will we? I do not see that train speeding down the track. We "buy our heads" with great money to the authorities and the lawyers.
Those of us who believe in common law have an immense task ahead. If you all should feel overwhelmed or frustrated, I suggest reading S.O.G. by John I. Plaster, Special Forces recon in Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia. If those guys could do that, the least we can do is raise keyboard hell.
In response to your feedback article, just keep doin' it. I can't stand the IJ with its preachy slant-like, I need a newspaper to give me direction in my life? I remember wondering about all that jet exhaust in the atmosphere many moons ago. And only after the Coastal Post printed the story did it ever make the TV news.
And finally, once I got my license back, I went to Yellow Cab in S.F. to get my job back. They gave me a song and dance about putting the company at risk by driving on a suspended license-come back after summer's over. This society is the definition of Catch 22. The enemy has us surrounded, but we're armed with a sense of humor and irony.
I'll be sending a check for a subscription. Good work.
Hippie Event Cancelled
To the Bolinas Community Center Board of Directors
My husband and I came to Bolinas on June 21, 1997 for the "Hippie Celebration," and we were very disappointed to find out that the event had been cancelled!
I hardly ever come into Bolinas, because the winding road makes me car-sick, but once in awhile, once every two or three years, I may make it out for a special event.
I just don't see how or why the Board of Directors would prevent a program from happening simply because it was announced outside the community. Nowhere have I ever heard of a policy like this. Even if the merchants downtown don't want to benefit from visitors, you would think the town would be concerned not only that they are not hospitable, they are limiting their own resources, and what's worse is not sharing the beautiful resource that Bolinas is. Do you really think you have that right?
I volunteer for a non-profit charitable organization, Marin Artists International Network (MAIN). Several years ago I tried to apply to do a special event at the Bolinas Community Center, and even though many of the artists and performers were from Bolinas, I was told because I, the facilitator for MAIN, did not live in Bolinas, we could not hold the event in Bolinas!
The evening of June 21st, while in Bolinas, we met several other couples who came for the event; even though the event had been cancelled, there had been no way we could know. Even though the event was not held, Bolinas benefitted. Dinners were bought, several of us ended up at Smiley's Schooner Saloon and Hotel. You may have thought that the crowds would be more than Bolinas could handle. I think not; most people will not make that trip. Since there was not enough time to announce the cancellation, the people that would have come, came anyway.
In the future, maybe the Bolinas Community Center Board of Directors in the interest of community could broaden their horizons. As a community program facilitator and promoter, I know that it is very important to list events in outside papers.
MARIPOSA DE LOS ANGELES
Street Surface Graffiti
The graffiti on a city street (Angela Avenue in San Anselmo) remains unchanged since last spring. A street repair crew created a series of graffiti patterns that stand out in strong sunlight as well as in car headlights at night. The shiny black substance was applied to cover cracks, presumably. However, the crew went wild and left a mess which is ugly and most unpleasant to look at.
One resident of Angela Avenue likened the visions presented by the crack repairs to a series of snake pits. One complaint was of feeling queasy while driving or walking over the formerly pleasant town residential street.
The City of San Anselmo needs to correct the situation.
Baptists vs. Disney
In the matter of the southern Baptist boycott of the Walt Disney Company:
Our family has several both Walt Disney Company employees and Southern Baptist members.
The Southern Baptists are expressing their own suppressed tendencies, striving for recognition similar to the accused in the disguise of an outcry. It is almost like the Southern Baptists are feeling jealous about the Walt Disney Company's profits, happiness, creativity, lifestyles, love of life, popularity, decision-making, racial diversity, accomplishments, and world-wide influence. Their outcry has nothing to do with morality or Judeo-Christian values. The problem is their intolerance. It is a psychological process called projection. In the Holy Bible it is the mote/beam concept. The Southern Baptists would do well to practice the mote/beam truth and to look within themselves for the answers to successful Christian living.
Good has and will come of the boycott. The controversy will increase the credibility of the Walt Disney Company, because an untold number of Christians (including our own family) have been severely hurt by the authoritarian teachings of the church; therefore, when the Southern Baptists boycotted the Walk Disney Company, these Christians viewed and are viewing the Walt Disney Company with more value, feeling, respect, thought, interest, attention, learning and awareness.
Once in a great while a person whose unerring knowledge of Middle Eastern events, led by his concern for the arrogant and destructive force of Zionism in the world, refuses to be shaken by attempts from American Zionists to muzzle his expose of Israeli atrocities and crimes against humanity by being labeled with their infamous and disgusting charge of "anti-Semitic."
And, ignoring the same false, demeaning charge from the same group of accusers, a newspaper continues to admirably uphold our freedom of the press by continuing to print Ed Miller's informative pieces that ought to shake the conscience of every decent American and move us to question the illicit love affair that Washington has with a foreign state whose government sanctions torture and whose military, police and civilian vigilantes commit murder and mayhem with complete impunity while we taxpayers continue to support their barbaric and savage conduct with over five billion dollars each year.
In that regard, readers of the Coastal Post should be aware of the extreme lengths that Zionists will go to in order to suppress any criticism of Zionism, the state of Israel and its outrageous criminal conduct, or Jewish misconduct, no matter how appropriate that criticism may be. Their first attempt is to pull you away from criticism with reminders of the Nazi attempt to eradicate Jews in Europe, horrible as it was and exaggerated though it may be. If that fails, they then seek to buy you off, and if that fails, they try to discredit you in your community or to cause you economic ruin by attempting to get you fired or to ruin your business.
One of the most popular methods, as if suggested in a sort of Zionist handbook, is to accuse critics of being "anti-Semitic," a ridiculous term that is a misnomer, since the Semitic peoples from North Africa and the Near East also include Arabs, Ethiopians, Phoenicians, et al. Other accusations in this regard are "bigot," "hate-monger," and "intolerant."
Examples of these attempts to muzzle and suppress our freedom of expression are clearly stated in three letters in the May, 1997 issue of the Post that attempt to discredit Ed Miller. Barbara Bergen, of the notorious Anti-Defamation League, whose letters alternate with those of Gail Wolf, describes Miller's enduring articles that rightfully criticize Israeli and Jewish misgivings as "the ravings of an anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist pest" and "a bigot." We wouldn't tolerate attempts by other groups to muzzle appropriate criticism of wrongful behavior of its members or respective foreign governments, so let us not be duped by such clever cover-ups by the ADL, which, by the way, was caught spying on Arabs, Muslims, African-Americans, and other groups and then selling or giving that information to the governments of Israel, South Africa-which was then still practicing apartheid-and others, resulting in at least one execution. A lawsuit filed by former California U. S. Representative Pete McCloskey is still pending. He, too, is labeled as an anti-Semite.
The letter by William Nathan, another user of the anti-Semitic muzzle, is replete with diatribe, and he should be told that to be an anti-Semite, or more accurately, "anti-Jew," is to hate Jews qua Jews, which certainly does not apply to Ed Miller. Why is it that one can regularly criticize the unethical conduct of our government and the misgivings of certain Americans and will never be called anti-American, yet the slightest criticism of any Jewish wrongdoing becomes anti-Semitic? Nathan excuses the factual offers by Palestinian Jews to support the Nazis during WWII as "misguided," uses the worn-out phrase anti-Semitic numerous times, continues the West's erroneous description of jihad in order to deceive and elevate the tainted image of Zionism; he has probably never reviewed the enormous ADL and Zionist thrust to convict Sheik Omer Abdul Rahmanon on spurious charges, and denies that Judaism lacks forgiveness, when the Talmud overflows with teachings such as only Jewish men are real men and all others are human cattle, or that only Jewish women are pure while all others are whores, and the Jewish phrase "Never forgive, never forget" is still oft repeated.
The letter by Gerson Jacobs is almost laughable. He complains of anti-Jewish sentiments over the past 2,000 years, but fails to realize that such a remark makes many people wonder just what it is that the Jewish people continue to do that keeps such alleged sentiments alive. He lauds Jewish and Zionist writer and New York Times columnist Judith Miller and her contemptible book, God Has 99 Names: A Report from a Militant Middle East, in which she shields Israel as the worst aggressor in the region by omitting criticism of its conduct. She was caught lying when she wrote a piece for the Times during the Gulf War in which she claimed that Libyan dictator Moamar Qaddafy attempted to sexually assault her during a private interview, when in fact her request for a visa was denied. So much for her credibility.
Further, Jacobs' referral to Detroit's Father Coughlin only because he has the same surname as Edward Coughlin, who was mentioned in the Ed Miller article, is a good example of Zionists' desperation to silence their critics. He also fails to recognize that not all Jews are Zionists, and not all Zionists are Jews. Jews are adherents of various forms of Judaism, while present-day, cold, calculating Zionists are adherents of the ideological movement of Zionism, and it is this differentiation that Ed Miller makes. Many Jews are virulently opposed to Zionism, and Arabs and Muslims despise Zionism for the reasons that the West despised Communism.
Typically, all above-mentioned letter writers condemn the Coastal Post for publishing Miller's articulate and accurate pieces, that no one has ever been able to prove untrue, with the use of such emotion-evoking words as "ashamed," "hiding behind the First Amendment," "sad," "giving a forum to a bigot," "It is a shame," "The Post should be able to do better," "I accuse," and "I am disgusted."
Lastly, while Michael Franzblau may have a 45-page report that allegedly documents Dr. Hans Hoachim Sewering as a war criminal, he should be told of the immense volumes that document hundreds of Israeli war criminals that he has never publicly condemned.
As a child, I once returned home from school and told my father that I learned that as an American I should support my country right or wrong. Saddened by this he asked: "Should it not be, 'My country if right, and if wrong, let me try to make it right'?" I offer that same advice to the Zionist-prone members of the Jewish community, for if its members continue the trend of covering up Israeli atrocities and Jewish wrongdoing by falsely crying anti-Semitism, it won't be long before a thunderous roar of anger rises in protest of what seems to be an attitude that Jews can do no wrong and therefore should be above criticism and the law.
Bolinas Residents Persecuted
This was given to the Point Reyes Light but censored by them a year ago.
The recent press coverage of the campaign waged against selected Bolinas residents brings to light the growing danger of the cult of law enforcement, not only in Marin, but in the nation as whole. They are murdering their opposition and the press is silent, information being available only on foreign short wave broadcasts or ham radio nets.
The situation in Marin prompted me to ask around Bolinas for information on their problem with the County. I was surprised at the amazing quantity of horror stories involving sheriffs and commissioners vs. Bolinas residents. Here are some of the highlights the public should know.
The famed deputy Johnson is but one of the freaks employed by the county; however, he is by far the most advanced case. He freely states he is a "Super Cop," and is "above the law." He goes on to state his desire to "kill people that live in their cars." He has been known to force out people sleeping in cars along Hwy. 1 at gunpoint.
We also have Deputy Henderson and his "free-form" vehicle abatement program. This consists of trespassing on private land and seizing cars not abandoned. He proudly states that all cars made before 1985 will be seized. Henderson ties the seized car to his sheriff wagon and drags it up and down the street, often hitting roadside objects. Upon blowing cigar smoke in a resident's face, she was informed that he did not like her registered car and will cut her fence down to take it.
Perhaps the most ominous case I found is that of a fellow ham radio operator on Overlook Road. His property was destroyed by no less than 10 sheriffs and eight county highway workers. I found a FBI report from Boxer's office stating that the Bolinas drug cartel feared that he monitored their cell phones, thus the county took offense, despite his station being federally licensed and a registered civil defense station.
So, do we have a town cleanup as claimed, or is it systematic political assassination? I was told that an immigrant farm worker with no less than five hit and runs in one week was allowed by deputies to stagger out of the bar and commit yet another hit and run despite numerous complaints by angry residents!
Obviously, the county program is harassment, not public safety. Organic farmers and ham radio operators, normally community assets, are beaten into the dirt. Meanwhile, the dope and the sewage flow freely. There are many more reports but no space here. When's the press going to get on it?
HENRY CORWIN, K6DX
In mid-July, the National Council of La Raza had its yearly convention in Chicago. One of dozens of extremist ethnic organizations to spring forth begun and sustained by liberal foundation funding, La Raza president Raul Yanguiree commented, "Before, we didn't face organized opposition from the very well-funded, very mean-spirited, anti-immigrant organizations and very virulent English-only groups." That's "very" well said, Raul, but...
Who is Yanguiree kidding? Other than the upcoming state initiative challenge to end the death grip of bilingual education in California schools (personally funded by pro-immigrant businessman Ron Unz), I hardly think anti-immigration organizations could claim but a small fraction of the mother mode of money financing extremist groups such as La Raza. So what's to fear, why the hysterics? It's widely known these extremist ethnic organizations are merely empty shells with no real membership within the communities they pretend to represent. Furthermore, polls show the majority of native and immigrant residents favor rapid social assimilation and the sharp curtailment of high immigration numbers. With such popular indigenous opinion, La Raza and dozens of its other radical brethren organizations realize they are a shaky house of cards just waiting to fall!
They saw Americans voting in droves for California Prop. 187 and 209, circumventing the usual political process, and winning. The message is clear, and becomes more obvious-pro-immigration forces (both Left and Right) are scared to death of grassroots populace because they know it works! It's the kind of pressure politicians readily respond to, and with their legislative will continually stymied, many middle Americans are ready to hit the streets, at least figuratively speaking.
What this nation needs is a resurgence of patriotism and a healthy dose of nationalism. Since WWII, those two words have been much maligned by the Left and its liberal mainstream media (especially the Chronicle!). Populism was shown to be alive and well via Pat Buchanan and the success of the Reform Party. Don't underestimate its national appeal. It's the anathema of the liberal establishment, and responsible for sinking the neo-conservative Republican presidential bids.
So what's the point: The immigration reform battle will ultimately be won by pumping available resources not only into Washington-based national organizations, but the long-neglected community grassroots movement. Make no mistake, utilizing populist sentiment and technique, build the houses well and the patriotic will come. It has been often noted what ended the Vietnam war was just such populist activism using a highly visible and disagreeable bunch of committed folks. It doesn't take millions, mere thousands of bodies will do fine. I think the time is ripe for Americans to stop being so damn nice, get down and fight for this nation's future. The National Council of La Raza and its left-wing buddies are betting native Americans lack the will to stand up and say "no mas!" They may soon be in for the surprise of their politically-correct and multi-culturalist lives!
GARY E. JORDAN, Director
Immigration Control Advocates of Northern California
Crying Game Imposter
Just to set the record straight, the person calling "herself" Sarai Virgili, and being quoted in telephone interviews (IJ 7-21) is none other than a 6-foot tall, muscular male with longish dark hair calling himself "Ric Virgili" who has been submitting the applications for "Sarai's Place." I do not know what the real name is of this person. As you may or may not know, a transvestite's greatest fantasy is being accepted as a female in straight society. It seems to me that he has been dishonest in identifying exactly who, or what, "Sarai" truly is.
We continue to be amazed by the ridiculous, absurd spin put out by der Slickmeister, Marc O'Hare, in the obvious attempt to swindle Fairfax and San Anselmo residents into making the two Friedman millionaires even richer. We are told with a straight face that the bogus telephone survey, which everyone who was contacted states they were against, turns out to show that the local voters chose to tax themselves for the supramonetary benefit of the mega-wealthy Friedman heirs! And this amazing result from O'Hare, who gave us the last county survey showing a 78 percentile of voters in favor of the construction of the Buck swindle, which turned out to be less than 47 percent, even after almost two million of Mrs. Buck's dollars and Honest Abe County Clerk Hanson doing the counting!
The Marin Town and Country Club is just fine as it sits: no traffic congestion, nor crime, nor pollution-no problem! If we truly desire to change our zoning, it will not ever be to displace low-income residents for a glut of much higher income strangers to be subsidized by one of the lowest per capita towns in the state so as to increase the inherited personal wealth of two out-of-towners, under the obvious guise of enjoying a tiny bit more regulated grass. If we are truly so concerned, how about the same ultimate mega-bucks directed towards our schools, roads, health care and child care.?
And speaking of these mega-bucks-to paraphrase a speech directed toward a similar type of attempted extortion-never before has so much continued to be asked by these two who have already inherited too damn much!
Guns For Rich Men Only
The Marin daily's June 28 editorial, "Gun ban: A good idea," once more displays the overwhelming ignorance on the parts of both that paper and supervisor Harry Moore and his colleagues where gun matters are concerned.
The IJ paper said Moore and the Board of Supervisors voted their support for the so-called "junk gun" ban because of such guns "low price, compact size and easy availability on the street... The issue here is easy accessibility."
Why should low price be a valid reason for banning anything? Only a desire to discriminate against the poor would account for that.
Why should compact size be a valid reason? A desire to discriminate against the smaller hands of women? Or against police, active and retired, who prefer small handguns as auxiliary weapons?
Police Officers Research Association of California (PORAC), the largest contingent of police officers in California, representing over 640 local peace office associations with some 43,000 rank-and-file members, strongly opposes the ban. PORAC president Steven Craig writes that the bills Marin's daily and the Board of Supervisors' support would ban "many of the quality firearms used by law enforcement personnel for backup and off-duty protection," as I had testified earlier at the BOS meeting on June 17.
As to gun accessibility, the paper's (and Supervisor Moore's) ignorance is as inexplicable as it is astounding. Small, cheap handguns are no more legally accessible than are huge hunting handguns. For a generation, since the Gun Control Act of 1968, federal law has rigorously controlled access to all handguns. Some state laws (e.g., California's) have been even more stringent. It's already illegal for minors, convicted felons, and adjudicated mental cases to acquire handguns.
Why does Marin's daily-and the grandstanding Harry Moore and his equally gun-ignorant, rights-trampling colleagues-support more useless "feel good" laws that are promoted by deception and lies, and whose only impact is to infringe citizen and police basic self-defense rights?
Why do they infringe also the constitutional provision they swore an oath to uphold and defend?
The Other Side Of Humane Society
In 1996, the Marin Humane Society received 1,006 calls for service from the City of Mill Valley alone. Of these calls, 126 were for emergencies involving animals injured or hit by cars. So, it makes sense that the City requires dogs in public areas to be leashed, even if the animal is nearby and capable of responding to voice control. Continuing problems in the city square have led both officials and merchants to request broader enforcement of the leash law.
The standard officer response is to advise people of the strict leash law, offer a free leash and encourage compliance. Citations are relatively rare and a dog accompanied by a person is never seized for a leash violation. If a resident perceives the approaching truck, a uniformed officer, a looped leash and an effort to talk as threatening, then the mission to promote responsible guardianship can lead to an emotional misunderstanding. This is unfortunate because the message becomes lost in the melee.
Director of Public Relations
The Marin Humane Society
I learned English through total immersion in the English language and the American culture. The Berlitz School of Languages, and many U.S. agencies, teach foreign languages the same way because it works. And children in all countries learn their native languages naturally by being immersed in the culture of their families.
Therefore, it makes no sense to me that children of Spanish-speaking families in California are being taught to speak English by Spanish-speaking teachers in Spanish!
All immigrants have preserved a part of our heritage that we pass on to our children at home in our families, and through community institutions. There has never been anything wrong with taking pride in one's heritage in America. What is different now, and dead wrong, is the attempt by Latin-American chauvinists, Affirmative Action scammers, and left-wing, American tunnel visionaries to try to subvert the American culture through the California educational system at the American taxpayer's expense!
I oppose all native-language bilingual education, and California Senate Bill 6 (SB 6) in particular, while wholeheartedly supporting English as a second language (ESL) programs that emphasize immersion in the language and culture of the United States. Let's put politics aside and do what works, and what we know is best for all the children of California.
Rebuttal To Miller
I ask your indulgence in allowing me to respond to Edward Miller's continuing comments regarding Israel and the Jews. It is frustrating to have to go to such lengths to correct someone who has a regular forum for expounding inaccuracies, but in the name of intellectual honesty, I must do so. After all, Miller devoted roughly half his July column to responding to my June letter. I will try to be as brief as possible.
It should be abundantly clear to thoughtful readers that Miller-who has now positioned himself as a faithful supporter of the Arab struggle against Israel-is being dishonest when he castigates me and other Jews for abhorring Israel's human rights abuses (even though that is what he is asking us to do), claiming now that by not speaking out we are ipso facto guilty of the abuse ourselves.
This petty fault-finding, absent any knowledge of me or my friends, is a kind of reverse tautology: no matter what I say I am wrong. Because I am a Zionist Jew, whatever I say must lack merit or integrity. Of course, Miller is utterly ignorant of the activism I have engaged in, protesting (and supporting Israeli protest), through letters and e-mail, Israel's interrogation procedures against some Palestinian prisoners. For over two years, aligning with the philosophies of Peace Now and Meretz, I have used the internet (primarily) as an effective forum for lodging protests in Israel about numerous issues. Other Jews I know have done the same thing.
Miller's false condemnation that I have been "silent" (as if he monitors my activities)-and heaping blame on me for all of Israel's questionable policies to boot-clearly reflects a larger and deeper issue, one of Miller's attitude toward Jews in general. It seems to me that Miller has been labeled an anti-Semite by more than one reader in part because he chooses to put Jews in these kinds of Catch-22s. As Jean Paul Sartre wrote in his excellent essay, Anti-Semite and Jew, [anti-Semitism] "precedes the facts that are supposed to call it forth," e.g., Miller not knowing the nature of my activism before castigating me.
* * *
Miller claims that I "fail to understand" jihad. If so, most all modern historians, journalists, commentators, politicians, Arabs and Muslims misunderstand it as well. The following should clarify the issue once and for all:
� Jihad is defined in Webster's New World Encyclopedia as "a holy war undertaken by Muslims against non-believers."
� Islamic Jihad-the group responsible for murdering 241 American servicemen at a Lebanese airport-is translated by the group itself as "Islamic Holy War."
� The Dictionary of Comparative Religion defines jihad as "fighting against infidels."
� Historian Robert Wistrich defines jihad as a "potentially worldwide Holy War for Islam against unbelievers."
� Abd al-Halim's 1974 book al-Jihad wa an-Nasr is translated as Holy War and Victory and discusses the concept in terms of armed struggle.
� And Bernard Lewis, considered by many to be the world's foremost English-speaking scholar on Middle East issues, states decisively that "The term jihad [is] an Arabic word with the literal meaning of 'effort,' 'striving,' or 'struggle.'
� In the Qur'an and still more in the Traditions, commonly though not invariably followed by the words "in the path of God," it has usually been understood as meaning "to wage war."
� The great collections of hadith all contain a section devoted to jihad, in which the military meaning predominates.
� The same is true of the classical manuals of shari'a law.
� The overwhelming majority of classical theologians, jurists, and traditionalists understood the obligation of jihad in a military sense, and have examined and expounded it accordingly.
No more discussion on this issue is necessary. I have clearly exposed Miller as either ignorant on this issue or a whitewasher of Arab militant rhetoric, emulating Arab propagandists hard at work today in the Middle East.
* * *
Regarding Sewering and Franzblau, it is apparent that Miller engages in a measure of Nazi apologism. He advises Franzblau to redirect his energy away from Nazi-hunting and toward correcting Israel's human rights abuses, as if the continuing search for this century's most notorious murderers is without merit, and the only valid issue Jews should concern themselves with is Israel.
I do not know the Sewering story very well, but if Franzblau has deemed it appropriate to investigate and complain, he has every right to do so, and just because Miller believes that the public is bored with Holocaust issues (another stereotypical anti-Semitic claim) does not obligate Franzblau to discontinue his important activism.
Why is Miller interested in all of this anyway? Beyond the fact that Sewering is a physician, the answer is not immediately clear, but can be deduced when one puts two and two together. Miller (a non-Jew) feels strangely compelled to take the following positions: defending living Nazis, excoriating Israel and AIPAC, denying anti-Semitism is real, supporting Arab extremist rhetoric (while ignoring Arab terrorism), bashing the Torah, and diminishing the Holocaust
Is there a pattern here? Yes. It is, I'm afraid, a very common pattern I see in anti-Semitic writing on internet services and from those putting up anti-Jewish web sites. What's more, I have found that it is a predictable tactic of anti-Semites, when backed into a corner about some issue or another, to confront their opponent with issues regarding Israel, contriving absurdly to blame all Jews for the actions of the Israeli government, or comparing Israel to Nazi Germany and fascism.
Note that Miller concedes or is silent about other points I make in my original letter (asking what comprises the Zionist community, his false comparison of Israel with the worst aspects of fascism, examples of forgiveness in the Torah). His primary arguments, this time around, concern Israel and her controversies.
It is apparent throughout his polemics that Miller reserves all of his venom for Israel and Jews. He defends Arabs-even violent Arabs, such as Rahman-while referring in hyperbolic fashion to "Israel's crimes." Israel's leaders have not committed any international crimes. Many Arab leaders have manifestly supported murder, terrorism, and international crime. They routinely lie to the world about their development of chemical and nuclear weapons, and they foster the dissemination of the crudest forms of anti-Semitism, such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Israel's system of governance is at least pseudo-democratic, while the Arab world is filled with brutal dictators. Even the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (from which I receive weekly transmissions) has recently condemned Arafat's crackdown on his own people. It has been shown with near-certainty that Arafat has condoned the order to kill any Arab selling land to a Jew, and he continues to use militant, anti-Jewish rhetoric in his speeches.
Nevertheless, I believe Arafat has the power to develop a workable peace with Israel. Two years ago in Jerusalem, I and a few other American Jews had an informational meeting with Ran Cohen, a Meretz leader in the Knesset. His opinion makes the best sense to me: There is no one but Arafat to bargain with, so let's bargain. Let's create a Palestinian state. Let's give Israeli Arabs equal rights. Let's stop the settlements. Let's not obstruct Palestinian economic endeavors. Let's create a bill of human rights in Israel.
But my gut tells me that Miller is not aligned, as he claims to be, with these liberal-Semitic Arabs, for which no Israeli compromise is good enough. Miller strikes no balance in his arguments, and for that reason his comments should remain suspect.
* * *
Miller also claims that "Jewish teaching denigrates the prophet Christ," that the Jewish God only is a God of revenge, and (in his first column) that Jesus "paid with his life for challenging the Judaic teachings." If readers were able to see how much these are common denominators of anti-Semitic propaganda, Miller would be roundly castigated. Only one controversial passage in the Talmud possibly indicates a negative portrayal of Jesus, which is pretty amazing considering that some leaders of the early Church engaged in virulent anti-Semitic campaigns, the devastating effects of which have been felt by Jews throughout the ages, including this modern age.
The Christian God is also, undeniably, a God of revenge-all one has to do is witness the rhetoric of fundamentalist Christian denominations to see that aspect with harsh clarity. Incidentally, the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament are the same, in case Miller was unaware of that most basic fact.
Jews have long been falsely reviled as the "killers of Christ," but in this century most Christian denominations have finally and utterly rejected that old canard-concocted by early Christian zealots-and as early as 1965 the Pope's Second Vatican Council issued the Nostra Aetate, declaring definitively that the Jews did not kill Jesus. Interestingly, Muslim dignitaries and Arab diplomats chose to ignore Nostra Aetate, just as Miller does in his writing.
As I have stated before, Miller shows his colors with these kinds of statements, which are so far from the norm.
* * *
Miller goes on to state unequivocally that "Muslim teaching is not anti-Jewish." This "fact" is for those readers who know nothing about Islam and are willing to take a columnist's word for it. But the statement is a lie.
The relationship between Jews and Arabs is a long one, at times one of toleration of Jews as dhimmis (a severely restricted, but tolerated, religious minority), to one of outright oppression and annihilation. Countless "holy men" of Islam in this century have engaged in anti-Jewish rhetoric, most notably Ayatollah Khomeni and others in recent Islamic regimes.
But the Qur'an itself contains a multitude of anti-Jewish teachings. It speaks of the Jews' abasement, and being "laden with God's anger" for their disobedience (Sura 2:61/58); that Jews are cursed by both David and Jesus (Sura 5:78/82); that the penalty for Jews is to become apes and swine (Sura 5:60/65); that "they [Jews] whose hearts God desired not to purify, for them is degradation in this world..."(Sura 5:41 /45); accuses Jews of falsehood (Sura 3:71), distortion (Sura 4:46) and of being the corrupters of scripture (Sura 3:63), along with applying to Jews as a whole the vices of cowardice and greed. Sura 5:85 declares that Jews and idolaters are the most powerful enemies of true believers.
There is plenty more of this ancient fuel for the modern anti-Semitic fire burning in some Arab camps. Miller once again is exposed as either ignorant or as engaging in a whitewash of Arab Jew-hatred.
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Finally, Miller repeats that "Americans are becoming aware that this Jewish campaign of name-calling ("anti-Semitism"), so well demonstrated in the June Coastal Post, is only an attempt to silence those who criticize Israel." Once again we see how Miller places a chilling Catch-22 on Jews (all charges of anti-Semitism lack validity), and gives carte blanche to anyone who castigates Jews (since no one can be an anti-Semite, no problem exists).
This is a horrific declaration. It is the same irrational reasoning offered by Western European Jew-haters of the 19th century (who informed Hitler) and by modern anti-Semites whose blind credence in the inherent evil of Jews is undergirded by an innocuous-sounding claim that they are "just telling the truth."
Again, I quote Sartre: "How futile and frivolous discussions about the rights of Jews appear to [the anti-Semite]...it is his adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. [Anti-Semites] delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert."
* * *
Examined in isolation, I appreciate some of Miller's positions, but when the jigsaw of his arguments is made whole, I condemn it all as anti-Jewish extremism. Miller labels my letter "hate mail," but he has not made his case, and seems, by reader consensus, to be guilty himself of writing more than one "hate column." I suggest he contain his views to subjects for which he has a measure of balanced comprehension and sensitivity.
Gun Nuts And The Coastal Post
I love the Coastal Post but lately find it very disconcerting that the paper has become a soapbox for the "gun nuts." I have always considered it the eighth wonder of the world that some otherwise intelligent, rational, normal Americans become totally irrational and foolish when discussing gun laws. What is now even more upsetting is that the Coastal Post seems to be taking up the gun nuts' cause.
Guns kill 40,000 Americans EACH YEAR. How many are killed in England? Case closed. Please reconsider providing such a positive forum for these dangerous and foolish people.
French Ranch Is Opening For Developers
The approval of French Ranch 31 homes will create the opening the developers need to develop West Marin. Up to now the county has restricted developers, with exceptions like Lucas, who put aside millions of dollars of land for permanent open space. Other developers would not take the offer when given it. The county can not justify allowing 31 homes in the valley while not allowing any other ranches to be covered with homes.
This is the beginning of the end of the valley and West Marin. It will be slow of course but it will happen. By allowing the 31 homes, they have increased the value of ranch land for homes. The pressure to sell for homes will be overwhelming. The ranch owners will eventually succumb to it and the more there are, the more the pressure to sell.
The so-called low-income housing is just another gimmick to get around the control on housing in West Marin. An example is one developer who tried to make a Indian reservation to get around the controls, so he could build his hotel and golf course!
Here is our experience with low-income housing. My wife and I bought a condo in San Rafael through low-income housing. We wondered why it was not on the lottery. Unfortunately we found out why when we told the Marin County Housing Board that we wanted to sell. The truth was that there was no one on the waiting list who wanted it and could qualify for the $130,000 condo when we bought it and when we tried to sell it.
The Housing Board could not sell it and could not afford to buy it (we were told it was a guaranteed sell when we bought it!) to keep it in the low-income housing program. After the Housing Board wasted two months trying to sell it, they released it from the Low-Income Housing Program and allowed us to sell it at market price. They, of course, got 85% of the profit! It cost us hundreds in higher monthly payments for the house we purchased because the interest rates increased after the two months. Low income housing is a fraud! They force builders to sell housing at below market price or build small, cheap homes or condos and then have to get the cities to put up the down payment for qualified buyers.
If the supporters are really trying to provide housing for the low-income elderly, then why not use the existing homes and lots for sale in the Valley? There are plenty of homes and lots for sale. For example, the French restaurant in Lagunitas is for sale, and the land next to it has been for sale for years. Both lots could house tasteful, period-looking, low-income duplexes. Sky Ranch lots that have been for sale for years with only one sold.
Why not buy up the lots for sale and homes, fix them up and sell them at below market value? After all, profit cannot be the motive, and non-profit organizations qualify for many government and private grants, possibly even the Buck fund. Then the French Ranch can be turned into open space or made into a park with a wading pond, picnic tables, lawn and a duck pond, so our Valley children have a place to play. This would save the Valley, help out homeowners short on money by buying their land and fixing up old neglected homes.
Again, why not use what is available instead of ruining a peaceful country area with 31 homes which will open up the area for more development? Not only that, Sir Francis Drake Blvd. cannot handle the extra load. Do the supporters of developing really want a four-lane highway to Point Reyes Station? The people who live in the Valley come here for the serenity and country living, not to see more cars and tract housing.
With all these lots and homes for sale all these years why in the world does anyone think that these 31 homes will sell? It makes no sense to destroy a ranch to build more homes when there are plenty of lots and homes for sale not selling. Use what we have!
Here is what I feel will happen if French Ranch is developed. A small number of the homes will be sold to low-income persons with subsidies from the government, then when the developer gets tired of sitting on the rest (like our condo developer), the county will release the rest for sale to anyone. The Valley will end up 31 yuppie homeowners, who could not care less about the serenity of the valley, and will try to turn it into suburbia. Thank you Mr. Kinsey for ruining the Valley forever!
Acumen And Courage
Dear Mr. Deane and Mrs. Reutinger:
I am sure this expresses the admiration many more readers feel at your remarkably creative and unusual journalistic feat-it is what America was supposed to mean, all too often doesn't, and should be reminded of, which the Coastal Post does so intelligently and well, for example, Frank Scott's incredibly honest editorial in the July 1st issue.
Would you convey congratulations to your very brave Dr. Edward Miller, who has never turned his Hippocratic oath into the hypocritic oath that distinguishes some of his fanatic critics. Let him cite also the Jewish, non-Zionist author's book What Price Israel? One of the best greased lies today is that anything anti-Israel (a terrorist, theocratic police state of the most violent sort) is anti-Jewish. "Anti-Semitic" is a term that is either ignorant or dishonest: ALL Arab peoples are Semites!.
Anyone who can possibly believe that Israel has poor P.R. in the US of A is purblind or extremely disingenuous. There have been numerous American cinemas putting nuns or priests or ministers in ludicrous or immoral portrayals-never ONE with a denigrating portrayal of a rabbi. And never one depicting the oppression of the Palestinians who were invaded and then most humiliatingly colonized by Europeans, mostly German Jews-the ones who have mostly run Israel since its inception.
The U.S. while sanctimoniously saying the bomb should never be in irresponsible hands, turned a blind eye to the sneaking out of almost 70 pounds of Plutonium, more than enough to start a breeder reactor-Golda Meier's favorite toy. And now there are in the "holy" land at least 200 nuclear warheads stashed underground and ready to be launched by a fanatic state whose leaders actually believe they are divinely chosen and favored. This is one of the most dangerous paranoias in the history of racial elitism. But a morally cowardly Congress keeps pouring over $5 billion annually into this bottomless pit of war-mongering-a country whose chief export business is arms manufacturing, including land mines, which should have long been outlawed, yet which war-criminal corporations also in the U.S. are blithely permitted to go on making and exporting. How many armless and legless little children do these people demand to satisfy a pathological greed?
And let no one try the lie that the Palestinian land was bought from the Turks! There are countless Palestinian families whose land, houses, and personal goods were outright confiscated by the Israeli invaders, who didn't hesitate to use the most violent terrorist tactics, beginning with callously hanging British army personnel that once were trying to protect Palestine from brutal colonization.
Eli Wiesel, who in grotesque travesty was given a Nobel prize, wrote in his novel Dawn that such murders were perfectly fine and moral! We can easily accept the fact that such a man, when faced with the fact that as many Gentiles as Jews were killed under Nazi rule, said in effect that their deaths don't really count as part of the Holocaust because they weren't the chosen people.
No, it is time for all clear-thinking people regardless of religious allegiance to recognize that the government of Israel has been from its inception a terrorist police state. We pretend not to support tyrannies anywhere, whether in South America, Cuba, North Korea, or elsewhere. Why, then, turn a blind eye to the miseries of the people in places like East Timor or Palestine? And let the tired lie die that criticism of an intolerant police state like Israel is by any stretch of the imagination anti-Jewish.
Edward Miller has done a signal service in bringing this truth to a wider segment of the public. Now let the foreign aid appropriation movers and shakers in Washington, D.C. take heed. It is high time the life earnings of the American people are no longer drained out of them by so called "representatives" who, like dishonest lawyers, don't represent them at all.
Keep up the fight for truth and justice, Coastal Post, and your discerning writers and reporters!
Fix The Problem, Not The Symptoms
California legislators pass 12,000 laws each year. Most legislators don't even have time to read these new laws before voting in favor of them. How can any citizen possibly know and obey so many new laws? How many of these 12,000 new laws are really necessary? How many of these new laws will only cause more harm and misery to ordinary citizens?
Our founding fathers did not believe that laws passed by legislators were necessarily inviolable. It was still up to juries to rule on the soundness of new laws. This is just what happened in Colonial America, where juries vetoed bad laws sent over from England, by refusing to convict anyone charged under those laws. Jury veto power is also the reason that slavery was ended in this country. With public sentiment in the northern states heavily in favor of ending slavery, juries refused to convict those who helped slaves escape bondage.
The difficult issues of our day: Big government, drugs, gangs, and gun control, are issues that must be decided by The People, serving on impartial juries, judging the soundness of these laws, as well as the guilt or innocence of those accused under them. These are all serious problems, but they are only symptoms of a deeper, underlying problem.
The real problem is that "We the People" have lost our constitutional control over our own government. The system of checks and balances, through which we control government, has been usurped by legislators who enact unjust laws with impunity, and by judges who have illegally robbed citizens of their veto power over bad laws. Until our power to veto bad laws is restored, government will continue to grow out of control.
Just look at what's happened as a result of not asserting our right to veto bad laws. We are now afraid of our own government. We are required at every turn to obtain and pay for permits, licenses, and endless approvals. If we screw up, we face taxes, tickets, audits, forfeitures, seizures, fines, drug tests, or incarceration in the world's largest prison system, a prison system rife with AIDS, drugs, and violence.
As your Governor, I will represent ALL points of view, even if I disagree with that view, because I know that empowering citizens to veto bad laws is the real answer to the problems we face today. After all, any changes I could make as Governor could be undone by the next group who comes to power. California deserves to have a Governor who will fix the real problem, not one who will pander to special interests by fixing the symptoms.
Only by fixing our broken system, and restoring the people's right to veto bad laws, can we hope to return to the freedom and dignity that is our birthright as Americans.
Candidate For State Governor
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