The Coastal Post - May, 1998

LETTERS

by readers

Appreciation and Donations

Having just been reading the April issue of the Coastal Post, I had to tell you how fortunate I think we Marin residents are to have such a fine paper.

I finished the articles on electromagnetic fields; the amusingly contrasted news pieces on the poppy; and shall enjoy the rest of the paper in detail, as I always do. The intelligent and quietly humorous but serious Letter to the Editor on breast cancer and sex was cogent evidence of the quality of your readership as well!

The Coastal Post is professionally produced, the layout is well-designed and good-looking, and the paper provides, with its excellent editorial judgment, the most useful and interesting information available to us.

My only wish is that you could or would become able to publish more than once a month.

Continuing congratulations to staff and contributors. Enclosed is my check for $24 for the coming 12 months.

MARJORIE KENT JACOBS

San Rafael

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Enclosed please find our check for $25. This is for a one-year subscription ($24) and a contribution ($1) as requested.

Discovered your paper (March 1 edition) at the Pelican Inn the other night and found it to cover many topics we are interested in, a point of view that is generally compatible and a depth of discussion that is not found in any paper available in the Bay Area.

HOWARD AND SUE LAMB

Tiburon

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Enclosed in this envelope find a check for $20 as a contribution towards a great newspaper, a people's forum, if I may say so. I have been picking it up at the San Anselmo post office and have been passing it on to a friend, James Morris, who was brought up in Bolinas in his younger days. He is now 78 years old, still active and working as a mechanic on big semis. Like me, he enjoys your paper, especially hearing about his old stomping grounds.

EDWARD TREMBLAY

San Anselmo

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I had the pleasure of reading the Coastal Post for the first time while spending Easter weekend at the Golden Hinde in Inverness.

I enjoyed all the articles and comments, especially the editorial by Frank Scott on racism.

So here is my buck and as we have family in Olema, I will probably be reading the Post again.

RALPH AND JUDY GREEN

San Luis Obispo

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As usual I enjoyed reading your paper after I got home from two days at Golden Hinde in Inverness.

Saw a lot of flood damage. Saw great wildflowers at Limantour Beach Road. It was good to get away from home.

Thanks for your paper.

JANET BOSSETTO

Hayward

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What would all of us wild-eyed radicals do if we didn't have the Coastal Post? Long life and good fortune to you!

VIRGINIA DAVIS

Nicasio

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Good paper. My son always enjoyed it and likes seeing it from time to time.

SHEILA BERG

Lucas Valley

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In response to your request. Thanks for your good work.

JOHN K. ROBINSON

Mill Valley

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Thank you for the great newspaper. I am on general assistance because of knee injury-best can do.

JOE SHANKS

San Rafael

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I enjoy reading the Coastal Post and I am happy to add my dollar to the fund.

ELIZABETH SCHERBA

Novato

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Wishing you prosperity and the best of luck!

(NO NAME)

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Have been meaning to subscribe for a long time. You're a real newspaper, not a bunch of fluff and restaurant ads. Your articles generally pack a lot of information. And for interpretation, opinion and the like, you have no rivals. Miller, in particular, is a marvel to read. I'm sure he takes a lot of flack, but he doesn't waver. Keep up the good work!

WIMBUR BLUE

Fairfax

Vote Down Transportation Tax

The trumpeted $300,000,000 Transportation Tax plan reads more and more like, "Would you like to buy a gold brick?"

For starters, proponents keep referring to relieving the congestion on Highway 101 as if it were the whole 101 in Marin. Actually, what they are planning is a railroad for the round trip commuters between Healdsburg and San Rafael (at $75 million the biggest part of the whole tax). Southern Marin gets virtually nothing except the same, or more traffic and a larger tax bill.

When two of the hired guns made the tax presentation in Tiburon, they were asked about solutions to the congestion on 101 south of San Rafael. Both said there was not a congestion problem there, so they were not addressing it. So, Greenbrae, Larkspur, Corte Madera, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley and Sausalito commuters, what say you?

Even with the proposed rail in their back yard, Novato and Petaluma stories in the IJ definitely prefer a wider 101 in their areas. And how about West Marin, what do you get?

There is an insidious but important factor here. If this tax passes it could well jeopardize future state and/or federal funds for congestion relief in all the areas outside the Healdsburg/San Rafael corridor. Approval of this tax would gobble up outside help funds for most of the 20 years of tax planned.

Oh, there are "free lunches" for almost everyone. Thirty-five million for local streets for 20 years, which Supervisor Hal Brown described as "zilch." Fifty-five million for land acquisition-that amount could be spent just acquiring land around the initial 14 rail stations: conservationists would do well to demand "where" and "when."

The clever method of doing the tax proposition skirts the requirement for a two-thirds majority for new taxes. You are given a menu of many things to more or less rank them (Prop A), then whether you want to be taxed for 20 years (Prop B). Only a fifty percent "yes" vote is required. Therefore, "no" votes are very important.

L.J. KELLER

Tiburon

Partisan Denunciations

A few years ago our two female senators, Boxer and Feinstein, were leading the Anita Hill cheering section in an attempt to crucify a Republican candidate for the Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. These two arbitrarily accepted Ms. Hill's unproved accusations as a basis to destroy Mr. Thomas' reputation, attempting to prove him to be a "callous womanizer."

In today's headlines, following years of accusations, and responding denials by our good president, he has been caught with his pants down. Proof has been established and tape of conversations verify verbal accounts of his actions. The only evidence not included are photos of President Clinton in action, adding another notch to his collection.

During the past years I have yet to hear one word of criticism from our Democrat Senators regarding any of the President's capers. Their "Crash of Silence" is so apparent that the public can finally see through their distorted and biased tunnel vision, decision-making policies. Hopefully, this present investigation will help in finalizing the political careers of both senators.

NATHANIEL MARANS

Tiburon

Oppose Development

To: Save Marin Town & Country Club Committee

At the January 15, 1998 Board meeting of the Environmental Forum of Marin, action was taken to oppose the developer initiative requesting rezoning of the Town and Country Club property for residential use.

This issue was brought to us through a recommendation of our Land Use Committee where Nancy Helmers addressed the issue and requested our support. We hope that our position will help you in your efforts, and wish you success.

JULIE GRANTZ

President

The Environmental Forum of Marin

Larkspur

Town & Country Club Allegory

Fairfax Spends Last Dollar On Lotto

I have been a renter in Fairfax for many years now. My dream has been to own a patch of land here and build a modest home. Last week I was offered a deal I don't think I can refuse.

My neighbor, who owns two acres, plans to build a home for himself, and nine other homes for his family members, on one of the acres. He told me I could have one of his acres and all I would have to do is build a couple of things on it. He showed me a written proposal and I think I can swing it. He even offered to give me some money to get started.

The proposal says I would have to pay for the driveway because the only access to his acre is across mine. The only other thing I would have to do is drill a well to supply water to his 10 homes, but I could use it too.

I told him that I only had one thousand dollars, but he assured me that, with the additional three thousand dollars he's going to give me, and the government grant I could surely get, that I should have no problem. Also, I could ask my friends to help me out.

Then I asked my neighbor: "What if I build the road but can't pay for the well? What if I can't afford to drill where the water proves to be? What if I can't afford to maintain the road? How could I afford to build my own house after going into debt to build your road and your well?"

And my neighbor replied: "Then, I'll just have to take my acre back, pal. After all, this deal is conditional. If you don't appreciate my generosity, I'll have to find someone else who wants my property."

So I decided to keep my thousand dollars, keep working and saving, and then buy my own land. Oh, well.

THERESE F. WALTER

Fairfax

Paving Paradise

I would like to voice my support for the development of the Marin Town and Country Club property.

One of the main concerns has been the traffic. Personally, I'll be really excited by having another 70-90 cars in front of me each morning and evening so I can really enjoy the beautiful scenery. Why, I'll probably be able to personally know everyone who lives along Center Blvd. and Sir Francis Drake. Plus, add in the additional thrill of first watching all those new traffic lights going up and then waiting at those new six- or eight-way stoplights that will be coming to at least every corner of Center, and you've got yourself just about the most fun you can have. It will be just like living in Orange Country or Fresno.

Another benefit that will be derived from this development will be the opportunity for jobs for those displaced by the brand new 79 homes built on less than 10 acres of land. The former residents will be able to vend to all of us as we wait in the traffic jams. Most of the people who now live at MTCC waste their time playing music or doing art or some other such nonsense. Soon they will be able to join society in a positive way by selling guns, muffins, and maybe even coffee to those of us enjoying our new, slower paced commute. They will not become a burden on society and will be able to pay those higher rents that seem to be the norm for the rest of us.

Another solution for those Type A personalities who don't enjoy a leisurely commute is to just build a nice new road that leads directly to 101. It would be built right through Mount Tamalpais. Let's face it-those curving, winding roads, all those trees just waiting to fall over or burn, all those elevation changes are a drag. I mean, how long can you look at the same mountain? A nice new straight road to the bridge will be as much a Godsend as this rezoning initiative.

And let us not forget the biggest benefit, the new zoned recreation space that will be created from the existing zoned recreation space, by the addition of 79 new homes gracefully placed on less than 10 acres of land. Not only will we have new ball fields and a swimming pool in summer, in winter we will have a lake that covers the fields and pool. We will be able to jet ski and sail during the winter storms. And then the following spring the town of Fairfax will be able to redo the ball fields and clean out the pool with the unlimited funds that the town possesses.

New homes, new additions to the commute, new traffic lights, and really valuable jobs for artisans, new roads, and new friends...who could ask for anything more? Except that we should take this opportunity to increase this new awareness to downtown Fairfax itself. Let's begin knocking it down and remodeling in the same spirit as that beautiful mall in Novato called the Vintage Oaks. It would only be fitting, don't you think?

MARK BELL

Fairfax

Curb Development

An Open Letter to Marin County's Political Community

To refresh your memories and to introduce myself, I am the same Gene Prat who qualified the initiative for the Marin County ballot to Stop Toll Increases on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Many of you will recall that my initiative was approved by 72% of the Marin County electorate, telling our Marin County Supervisors not to vote for toll increases on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Today I am calling on the same voters who worked to stop toll increases on the Golden Gate Bridge to step forward and join our fight to stop the unbridled development of Marin County.

The Marin County politicians and developers supporting a sales tax increase for Marin County are being noticed that our Committee will solicit, organize and supply an army of voters and taxpayers to stop the urbanization of Marin County.

For those politicians and citizens who are interested in joining our campaign to Stop the Developers' Money Machine, call or write: 454-5252 voice mail; 461-8347 fax; POB 1, Kentfield 94914.

Political power will not force through a sales tax increase no matter how much money is spent by special interests to spin public opinion on the issue of more asphalt and more development for Marin County.

GENE PRAT

Chair, Citizens To Stop the Developers' Money Machine

U.S. Entanglements In Iraq

In his January letter, Morton H. Tallen was quick to defame Edward Miller as a so-called "anti-Semite," lash out at anyone who criticizes Israel's infamy, and support America's hatred of Iraq and Saddam Hussein. It's time someone set the record straight on the souring U.S. relations with Iraq.

The U.S. threw its support behind Saddam Hussein by encouraging, arming and funding its war against Iran that lasted for eight years during which about one million human lives were lost. In the mind of Washington, surrogate Iraq was in fact fighting our war against Iran for holding U.S. hostages for 444 days. When the war finally ended, Iraq was financially bankrupt. Israel was scared stiff, fearing a possible attack by Iraq, whose army stood at a half million strong and had not forgotten Israel's illegal bombing of the French-built Iraqi nuclear reactor that was later proven to not have had the capability of making nuclear weapons regardless of false Israeli allegations.

Unknown to most people Iraq had successfully launched its own communications satellite into outer space, and Washington was wary of Iraq's rapid technological growth, but mostly feared its economic advancement towards modern industrialization and would not tolerate Iraq leading the entire Arab and Muslim world towards manufacturing its own machinery, appliances, and eventually automobiles, military, air, and marine craft. Iraq's "naked aggression" was not the motive for its destruction. It was based solely on economic interests and Israeli arm twisting. It also served as a warning to the Arab and Muslim world.

When the Iraq-Iran war ended Hussein renewed his request for continued grain credits to feed his people, but Washington turned him down at the behest of the wheat state politicos Nancy Kassebaum and Bob Dole. Meanwhile, Saddam Hussein discovered that Kuwait, using U.S.-supplied technology was side drilling to pump billions of dollars of oil out of the Ramailah oil field that was about 90 percent inside Iraqi borders. Asked to desist, Kuwait refused, and later walked out of the conference that was convened in Taif, Saudi Arabia in a failed attempt to reconcile the dispute.

Saddam Hussein then called in April Glaspie, then U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, and asked her what position the U.S. would take if Iraq took "drastic action," diplomatic jargon for "war," against Kuwait for its continued oil thefts. She told him that her boss, then-Secretary of State James Baker, had already informed her that the U.S. had no formal defense treaty with Kuwait and would therefore remain neutral. Saddam may have heard the same reply broadcast over CNN when then-Assistant Secretary of State John Kelly testified before a Senate subcommittee hearing, and perhaps from then official spokesperson Margaret Tutwiler, who parroted the same response during a press conference.

In truth, the U.S., at the behest of Israel and seeing an opportunity to test its own stockpiles of weapons and mass destruction, had set up Saddam Hussein, and let us not forget that all this happened on former President George Bush's watch, whose family owns Hollywood LPG, whose son held rights to Kuwaiti offshore drilling, and who later flew to that mini-state after the carnage in Iraq to accept an 80 million dollar payoff from the corrupt ruling Sabah family.

Tallen is right about one thing only: The Iraqi people and its totalitarian dictator Hussein hate the Israelis for its illegal land thefts in Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon, its brutal and barbaric treatment of their peoples, and Israel's massive stockpiles of nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare weapons. But so do the world's 1.5 billion Muslins, excluding some of their corrupt dictators, of which only about 18 percent are Arabs.

Tallen and his Zionist comrades should consider that the U.S., presently a strong ally of Israel, has a history of patting its "friends" on their backs in feigned friendship when in fact it seeks a soft spot to later stab them when they no longer serve its perceived economic or military interests. The bombardment and the continued U.S.-enforced sanctions, is a good example of U.S. exploitation.

Zionists should be concerned that one day the U.S. will have a president and Congress that will no longer tolerate Israel's war crimes, will terminate U.S. support of that mini-state that still refuses to declare its borders, thereby nullifying its legitimacy along with its illegal land thefts, occupation, and annexation of Arab lands, and will throw the Israelis to the wolves. Change is inevitable.

YOUSEF SALEM

Look At Both Sides

There are many things that Israel does that are unjustifiable, but there are many things they do that are ignored or unknown by the rest of the world (I believe because Israel has the worst P.R. in its own defense.). Many write about Israeli torture but ignore the fact that Arab and U.S. torture has also been condemned by the United Nations, as have all forms of torture worldwide (the Israelis use "sleep deprivation" and "shaking" as their primary methods, relatively tame compared with having a hand cut off in "chop-chop square" in Saudi Arabia or being beaten by a U.S. cop's club or having a heart attack from taser electronic shock, etc.).

Not many people, yourself included, realize that Arab land was never "stolen by the Jews." It was purchased. Usually from Ottoman Turks (who may not have had the right to sell land they didn't own, but as the ruling administrative authority they took real estate transactions into their own hands, as did the U.S. government when they took Indian land. The Turks were in the Middle East for about 600 years, longer than most Nomadic Arab tribes that now claim rights to the land also. I might add, the land that was sold to the Israelis (for extremely high prices) was usually mosquito-infested swamp. The Israelis made this swampland bloom, and now the Arabs want it back. The Israelis put land to use that the Arabs left untouched. Arab villages were usually on the high ground, like Yafo. All of Tel Aviv was swampland close to the ocean.

Another point that should be made is that a country (Israel) would be stupid to give back "high ground" (the Golan Heights-from which their enemy attacked them five times). Without rock-solid security guarantees, they'd be foolish to give this land back.

These points should also be made, if you want to be a truly objective reporter. I lived in Israel for about four years, part of the time in an Arab Village (Beit Furik) in the West Bank. I've heard both sides. I question your credentials. They sound like they are based upon something you read, rather than experienced.

TODD MILLER

Mill Valley

U.S.-Israeli Involvement

Francine Levien (April Coastal Post) was "mortified" that I had identified by name three Washington Jews who, on international TV (CNN) from Columbus, were demanding another holocaust be visited on an already devastated Iraqi people. Francine, however, has not been mortified by Israel's use of live ammunition against Arab children, her political torture of prisoners, theft of land and water or even her demolishment of homes, since no letter from her on these aspects of Zionism has appeared in the Coastal Post.

Francine, who feels anti-Semitism "is alive and growing in the United States" should note that Americans who have donated over $100 billion to Israel since its founding in 1948 see their hard-earned cash being squandered by Zionist military misadventures in Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank, while over 70 UN Resolutions speak to Israel's violation of human rights. Many of our representatives, whores of Jewish money, routinely contact AIPAC before voting even on domestic issues.

Since Francine wants to "talk about who is really running things" in Washington, let's start with Clinton's appointees to top government posts where a recent critical examination shows that over 80% are Jews. Our president's chief advisor on Mideast policy, Martin Indyk, an Australian citizen, made an instant American citizen by Bill Clinton, had earlier served as advisor to Prime Minister Shamir in Israel, from whence he journeyed to Washington to head the most powerful lobby in our capital, AIPAC, the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee. Indyk, also our recent ambassador to Israel, in his famous foreign policy address in April of 1993, had announced that "Washington's policy in the Mideast will be to keep Israel strong and both Iraq and Iran weak."

Francine believes in freedom of the press, except when criticism of Israel or her American agents is involved. The Nazis likewise permitted criticism so long as their party or its agents or policies were spared.

Is it possible, Francine, that Israel and her American supporters are the source of this anti-Jewish feeling as they continue to politicize the Holocaust, attack the Pope and now, the Swiss bankers? There is a growing realization, worldwide, that the only people who learned nothing from those deaths in Nazi labor camps are the Jews themselves.

EDWARD W. MILLER

San Rafael

Peccadillos Irrelevant

I suspect that President Clinton's five girlfriends (their pictures are on the front page of the March 14 San Francisco Examiner) have a common denominator of a Republican conservative plan to undermine President Clinton and his administration, to overthrow the government, to control Congress, and to implement the "Contract Out to Get America."

Our family has it easy (compared to the days of the Republican presidents) with better jobs, wages, working conditions, housing, and health care. And we well remember the Republican conservatives trying to dismantle HUD, only because HUD was working too well for the people.

The Clinton Administration's concern for all people to achieve the American dream helps explain his popularity.

RANIER PENKERT

San Francisco

Dangerous Dogs

A mellow Friday evening hike with my dog along the Bolinas Ridge trail was ruined recently by an unexpected confrontation with local "wildlife." About two weeks ago, I took advantage of the first clear, sunswept evening in many weeks to stretch my legs after work. From the access gate above Olema, I walked through soggy grass, mud and puddles to reach the fireroad that follows the ridge. I turned into the landscape and noticed right away a wild form in the distance. Without binoculars, I couldn't tell exactly what it was, but felt sure it was a resident predator. Fortunately, a fellow hiker on his way back had carried his. We were able to identify, without a doubt, a healthy, good-sized bobcat hunting small critters on the hillside. Feeling satisfied after such a precious sighting, continued on my way. As I reached a vantage point and turned to take in a view of Tomales Bay, I noticed cattle behind me heading from below onto the trail. That was no surprise. Soon after, as the vernal sun fell behind the pinecomb ridge of Pt. Reyes, I turned around back toward the cows, I leashed my dog just in case her shepherding instincts kicked in. Suddenly I noticed two dark shapes behind the cattle. Deer? A pair of bobcats? Unlikely. Wild pigs? Coyotes? But the silhouettes were strange. Since most wild things don't worry me, I kept going without much thought. Just before I reached the herd, I was startled and froze in fear. Two rottweilers, Loose, And their eyes on me. And my dog. Just 50 feet away. I am a dog person, but I don't like rottweilers. A neighbor's once tried to attack me in my own front yard. What the hell were these dogs doing out here, roaming the open space all alone? I yelled at them over and over to "Go Home." And pitched rocks their way, one slinked away, out of sight, while the larger just sat down. Calmly. Faced me off. I stood firm, my dog pulled to me, quiet. The big black and rust dog sat silent, clearly defiant. He refused to go home. I was scared and had no idea what to do. I yelled, "Oh, shit." Visions of torn flesh and blood. Would I pick up my dog to save her? Or sacrifice her hide for my own escape? Slowly I began to move laterally away, neither retreating or advancing. Then, after a minute or two, the dog disappeared after his companion. I was safe, but terrorized. And f----king angry.

I hope whoever owns those dogs-I'm sure they lived nearby-will read this ad realize how far afield these animals roamed. They are a danger to the cattle, to the bobcat, to other wildlife and hikers, to me and my dog. Keep them home where they belong. Or get rid of them.

TERI SHORE

Forest Knolls

P.S. Here's a couple of Coastal bucks

Dangerous Dog Doo

Don't the people who keep dogs care about the diseases dogs bring to them and to everyone else? Or is it that they just don't know any better?

Let them be aware, then, that dog waste is swarming with poisonous and deadly bacteria and viruses. The odor alone turns our stomachs as a warning to stay away.

Flies smell it and fly from far away to eat it and lay eggs in it. Then they bring it into our kitchens, dining rooms and market displays.

Dogs drop their noxious waste on public streets and sidewalks, on the grounds of our parks and on the sands of our beaches. Then rainwater washes it into our ditches, creeks, rivers and lakes, bays and lagoons.

Even if it is only dropped in a private garden, watering the garden can carry it onto public land.

We pick up this awful stuff on our shoes and then we bring it into our homes. If we walk barefoot at home, we bring it onto our furniture and into our beds.

Our automobile tires bring it into garages or parking spaces.

Even if the droppings are no longer visible, the bacteria are still around the spreading.

This list from a veterinary handbook shows 65 known diseases people can get from dogs. Yet the only disease we care to recognize is rabies.

An example of how rapidly and fatally their diseases can spread: a year or so ago the entire local population of raccoons was destroyed almost overnight by dog distemper. The raccoons had as much right to be here as the dogs and humans; perhaps even more right. If raccoons turn over an occasional garbage can, so do dogs.

What are the rest of the diseases dogs give us and our free-roaming school children? How many "colds," stomach cramps, headaches, diarrhea, flu, and even more serious diseases, for which scientists have been searching for the causes, with never a clue to dogs.

No matter how many people are sickened and killed by dog waste, no matter how much pain, misery, loss of income, and costs of doctor bills and medicines, no one dares to say a word.

Dogs are sacred animals, as sacred as the Hindu cows and the ancient Egyptians' cats. Whoever suffers from their waste is just considered a sacrifice to the sacred dog.

Instead, we focus our attention on cow manure in our waterways and horse manure on our roads.

Some oriental people have more sense than the descendents of Europeans; they take off their shoes before entering their homes.

Nothing shows us how barbaric, or silly, or stupid, we "civilized" people are than this absurd concern over the wastes of some animals while ignoring the truly toxic wastes of dogs.

If you keep a dog, then tack this list up where you can see it and please try to be more aware and considerate about your dog and its wastes.

Thank you.

No, I don't dare give my name, lest dog owners attack me for blasphemy.

According to a standard veterinary handbook,* diseases human populations share today with domestic animals number as follows:

Poultry: 26

Rats and mice: 32

Horses: 35

Pigs: 42

Sheep, Goats: 46

Cattle: 50

Dogs: 65

"Most, and probably all of the distinctive diseases of civilization transferred to human populations from animal herds."

"Among the herd animals, a disease could be endemic, bacteria easily finding a host to which to transfer. Once it had killed one animal, it could go on to afflict the rest, unless the species had built up resistance by evolving together with the bacteria, as African antelopes became resistant to the tsetse fly, but our domestic cattle are not."

Plagues and Peoples by William H. McNeill

Twisted Taxes

Representative Woolsey:

I have been trying to figure my 1997 taxes for about a week now and am disgusted with the insane paperwork involved!

I have called IRS on four different occasions to try and ascertain where to report the new reduced 20% capital gains tax on the sale of some stock.

Of the four different individuals two have told me they were not aware of a 20% rate, the other two have said to fill out part IV of Schedule D, but could not tell me just where to enter the information on the stock! The last one hung up on me!

Is it possible that AmeriCorp troops are now manning the IRS?

Whoever they are, they should be sent to attack Saddam Hussein!

Take a look at 1040 Schedule A, Part IV (36-thirty-six-lines of gibberish-and it gets worse every year)-it probably could be cut down to one or two lines, i.e.:

(Enter on 1040-Other Taxes)

From Schedule D:

a. 28% gains

b. 20% gains

c. 15% gains

PAUL ROBINSON

Santa Rosa

P.S. I am still trying to figure out where to enter my 20% gains! It is way past time to abolish the IRS and initiate a flat tax! It is also time to give all the people a real tax cut!

Punish Perjury

TV's McLaughlin Group on March 27 quoted DC District Judge Royce Lamberth's comment when sentencing Mike Espy assistant Ronald Blakely to 27 months in prison for perjury:

"A lawyer recently claimed on national television that no one is ever prosecuted for false statements under oath in a civil proceeding.

"The defendant stands before me as a high-ranking government official convicted of making false statements under oath. This Court has a duty to send a message to other high-level government officials that there is a severe penalty to be paid for providing false information under oath.

"There is a strong reason to deter such conduct, and to dispel all the nonsense that's being discussed and debated about the seriousness of lying under oath by government officials. A democracy like ours depends on people having trust in our government and its officials. The fact that the proceeding is civil or administrative does not make the crime less serious. We cannot fairly administer any kind of system of justice if we do not penalize those who lie under oath."

Thank God for a judge willing to enforce the Federal False Statement Statute (Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001), which says:

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

FIELDING GREAVES

Lt. Col, US Army, Retired

San Rafael

Fight Crime, Not Drugs

Attorney Dan Lungren presents a fallacy in his article on methamphetamine in the April Coastal Post.

Murder, child assault, arson, vehicular assault, reckless driving and, no doubt, misappropriating government property-a tank-are all criminal acts in and of themselves. Thus, what Lungren presents as the "common ingredient" in these cases-methamphetamine-is not the common element, as he claims, nor even the most important one-criminality is. These cases could all be successfully prosecuted absent the methamphetamine charge.

The hidden contextual element should not be ignored either. Since California has chosen to legalize drugs of all kinds-with draconian penalties for transgressors-an element of paranoia is introduced into the culture which was not there before. Thus substances heretofore relatively benign become forcibly attached to a dangerous and hostile mindset.

Were methamphetamine really as "deadly and dangerous" as Lungren would have us believe, all we would have to do about the "problem" is precisely nothing. Users would quickly eliminate themselves from the gene pool by the operation of natural selection or the operation of the legitimate criminal justice system. End of problem.

Strange, isn't it, that as soon as Lungren gets elected, all the 58 counties' law enforcement agencies suddenly come to agree with Lungren that methamphetamine, not criminality, was their number one problem?

Perhaps what is really needed is a little pill which would raise the I.Q. of law enforcement people about 50 points so they could manifest critical thinking skills slightly higher than their alligator boots-and perhaps even a respect for history, which teaches both the futility of prohibition and the danger of governments which usurp citizens' independence. After all, the original law of our great country acted to limit and restrain not the activities of citizens, but the scope, power and legitimacy of government.

If we need to move towards more law-abiding civilization, which I myself would welcome, I would hope we can begin to elect public officials who are not only law-abiding themselves, but have the integrity not to manufacture phony and self-serving "problems" which they then set out, cynically, to "solve"; then cry for more money, cops, prisons, etc., to once again try to beat the problem into submission.

Or maybe I am really the stupid one. Maybe the real reason for the present dope laws is really to fill up the prisons. But I keep thinking, when you put everyone in jail, who will pay the taxes?

There are millions of us out here-you could put a mountain of meth, coke, heroin on our table and it would still be there 10 years later. Ho-hum! Why don't you find out what makes us tick? I am willing to grant that some people have other tastes, but am unwilling to grant that the government is capable of deciding which drugs harm or benefit which people-let alone a universal prohibition.

But I am convinced that its insistence in doing so is harmful. It may be fun, in a perverse sort of way, to go around kicking in people's door and yelling, "Freeze!" but it echoes Germany in the '40s, and I fear our own country will find the same fate, using the same methods and the same rationalizations.

OCTAVIUS PALOMA DEL NINO

San Rafael

Composting Invention

A Federal mandate requires 50 percent reduction in landfill by the year 2000. Our landfills are full of reusable organic matter. Home composting of kitchen and yard waste will be the rule.

Most compost bins all over the world are anaerobic-they lack air-they stink. Bins that are "tumbled" will get air, but require great physical strength.

I have just received a patent for CompostAir¨, a tool that will allow air to flow into compost. CompostAir¨ is powered by a power pac drill. It is so simple to use that even the retired, aged and handicapped will enjoy making compost using CompostAir¨ for only three minutes a day.

This low-priced tool is hand-crafted in America with a lifetime guarantee and packaged by Handicapped Industries.

If you have any questions, call 1-800-58COMPOST.

RUTH BECKNER

San Rafael

Sausalito Paper Inadequate

The Marin Scope is a Sausalito weekly that is cloaked in respectability with its front page community calendar. Look inside and you find a dirty old man exposing himself to kids in the school yard.

On the same page as this notice ("...Marin Scope does not publish letters from or about candidates running for public office.") there also appeared six letters and one picture, all about candidates, all kind of similar in tone-nasty.

What's wrong with this picture?

Do the editors have attention deficit disorder? The same thing happened in that election.

It's quite clear to me that their editorial policy is to stifle democratic debate. Maligning with lies and innuendo is no substitute for facts. It's mean and sick.

I'm ashamed to have this newspaper in my town. Sausalito deserve to have a quality newspaper, like yours, one that reflects and respects the intelligence of our citizenry.

CHARLOTTE BERTRAM

Sausalito

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