The Coastal Post - July, 1998

Letters July 98-Don

Contributions

I'm sending my bucks to thank you for a consistently interesting paper. Now I won't have to feel that pang of guilt when I pick up a Coastal Post.

Keep rolling,

JUDITH CHAMPAGNE

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Here's $20 for all the months I've been meaning to send you a buck.

Thank you for Jim Scanlon's truthful reporting on what's happening in the San Geronimo Valley.

LAURA SZAWARZANSKI

Lagunitas

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Thanks for the Coastal Post. I'm broke, but can spare this. Don't waste money on writing or soliciting me-I'm just trying to help.

Keep those great articles coming!

STACEY

Mill Valley

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Here's for a year's subscription + $12 to the cause of freedom of the press! We need more papers like Coastal Post (and A.V.A.) to keep us from turning into a "nation of sheep" (the book by Wm. Lederer-1961).

Muchas gracias!

CARLOS FELDMAN

Menlo Park

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We are already regular subscribers, but here's an extra $10-to help with postage. We hope you feel needed-because you are!

BARBARA ZRNICH

San Rafael

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My name is Owen Gump. I'm the son of Nancy Gump, who is Caroline Brown's cousin. My mother said you might remember me, but only as a little pre-schooler running around Bolinas. Well, I'm about to finish high school now, and move on from the place we call home-Bolinas/Marin County.

Anyway, I've been reading the Post for some time now, and I'm proud to say that I like it. We've lived "over the hill" for some time now, but whenever I read the Post, I feel as if I'm back on the shores of the Lagoon in the "open ward."

No, really, the paper is wonderful-the articles, particularly those by Kirby Ferris and Josh Churchman-well done. And the paper really gives me the feeling that I'm back in my real home-Bolinas! Here's a buck to keep it going.

OWEN GUMP

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A buck is not enough-here's $20.

In this country, the truth is as scarce as a gold-backed dollar, and I really appreciate your voice.

S. RAMSEY

Interest In Independent Press

I would think there's little mystery behind the expansion of interest in the Coastal Post which you mention in the current issue. It's been so long since there's been any kind of independent press in this country that people just hone in on it. Below is a forwarded post which I believe is germane to the issue. I truly hope you keep up the good work, but you know as well as I that if you get too big and keep doing it, they'll crush you like a bug. Or they'll sure try hard.

Up from the bug spray,

Joseph Kerrick (San Rafael)

[email protected]

Note: The following is a 'toast' offered by John Swinton, the former Chief of Staff at the NEW YORK TIMES, before the prestigious New York Press Club in 1953...]

No Independent Press

"There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalist is to DESTROY the truth; to LIE outright; to PERVERT; to VILIFY; to fawn at the feet of MAMMON, and to SELL the country for his daily bread. You know it and I know it and what folly is this TOASTING an independent press. We are the tools and vassals of THE RICH men BEHIND THE SCENES. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the STRINGS and we DANCE. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the PROPERTY of other men. We are intellectual PROSTITUTES..."

Prop 13 Not The Problem

June 6th marked the 20th anniversary of the passage of Proposition 13. The political establishment has blamed it for just about everything from the economic recession to the state deficit to the ineffectual education system. Proposition 13 is as much to blame for them as it was for the California earthquakes, fires and floods.

Proposition 13 was not responsible for California's economic problems-they were caused by a nationwide recession, a cutback in defense spending, high taxes and bureaucratic inefficiency.

It does not in inhibit reasonable government growth-the California general fund budget grew from $15 billion in 1978 to more than $50 billion in 1992, surpassing both inflation and population growth. The politicians gave themselves credit for the 1988 tax surplus but were quick to blame Proposition 13 for the 1994 deficit.

In 1995, two separate studies were made at Pepperdine University and the University of Southern California, and both concluded that after adjustments for inflation and population growth all levels of government in California-cities, counties and state-had more revenue and were spending more money, per capita, than they were before Proposition 13 was passed.

There are many reasons for the decline of the California Public Schools, but Proposition 13 isn't one of them. In 1978, Californians were spending $5 billion, one-third of the general fund budget, to educate their children grades K through 12. In 1980-81, that figure had grown to $7.34 billion. In 1983, the figure had more than doubled to $10.4 billion, and it took a 32 percent jump in 1986 to $15.3 billion. By 1988-89, it had risen to $22 billion, more than half of the general fund budget. In 1993, it hit a staggering $27 billion, and by 1996-97, the figure was more than $30 billion.

The schools began to deteriorate in 1970, eight years before the passage of Proposition 13. Student test scores reached their peak in 1969. They dropped in 1970 and continued to drop until about 4 years ago when they hit bottom and began to slowly creep back up. The bad news is that the test scores are still well below the 1969 level.

Only California has Proposition 13 and yet the entire US Public Education System is ineffective. In international scholastic competition, America's finest students habitually finish last or next to last in math and science.

It's true that under Proposition 13 long-time homeowners receive a lower tax bill than recent purchasers. But recent purchasers also benefit from Proposition 13 because, for the first time, the tax rate is based on the purchase price of the home, and for the first time, new homeowners know exactly what their tax bill will be when they buy the home, and because it limits how much their taxes can grow each year, recent home buyers can predict what their future tax liability will be. Ten years from now their tax bill will be smaller than their new neighbors'. It's the leap-frogging process that makes Proposition 13 fair for everyone. Each generation will have its turn.

Proposition 13 has done its job-it has given the greatest tax relief to those who need it most, the low and middle income taxpayers and the elderly, who for the first time, can sleep soundly with the knowledge that they won't be forced out of their homes because property taxes have skyrocketed beyond their ability to pay.

There are two kinds of people who want to abolish Proposition 13. There are the politicians who would like to return to the good old days when all they had to do to balance a budget was to sock it to the property owners by raising taxes and then there are those who think that by repealing Proposition 13 they will somehow bring their own taxes down.

The truth is, without the protection of Proposition 13, everybody's taxes will go in only one direction, and that is up.

BILL GILLEN

Novato

Disneyland Cool, Pat Robertson Not

On May 3rd, our family (from three different California cities) had a family reunion at Disneyland, Anaheim. I was skeptical at first at what I thought was a very high admission price, but after eight hours of fun, walking, talking, eating and riding a variety of rides, the price seemed too low. Was sorry that we waited so long for our first visit. Now we are planning another visit before the end of this year. I think I am safe in saying that everyone in our group thoroughly enjoyed themselves. It was an unforgettable visit. We will remember our first visit and am certain future visits forever.

It is unfortunate that there are a few mean-spirited people in our world that would threaten such a beautiful and important part of American life. Actually, Pat Robertson's "terrorist bombs, earthquakes, tornadoes, and a meteor" weather forecast about Orlando, and his braggadocio about being able to change the weather is his defense against this own suppressed gay tendencies striving for recognition similar to the accused, but because of his already learned intolerance, these suppressed gay tendencies (or any other suppressed tendencies) can only express themselves in the disguise of an outcry to the accused. (Perhaps a reason why some people have frequent temper tantrums.) Mr. Robertson is fighting a civil war within himself. This civil war is a psychological phenomenon called projection. In the Bible, projection is in Matthew 7:1-5, the mote/beam truth where we are admonished to clean up our own act instead of having scapegoats and imaginary enemies. The problem is the intolerance (a sin against God) of the accuser; it is not what the accused is doing.

The religious right often complains about other groups persecuting them. I suspect that the religious right are the cause of these problems. We all develop our outside world according to our inside beliefs. If every day we are mad at the world and do not like people and groups different from us, then "them not liking us" is exactly what we will attract to ourselves. This is a universal law.

DICK KING

San Francisco

Interested In Nuclear Earthquakes

First of all I would like to congratulate you and your editorial team for your magnificent publication.

I am very interested in the Nuclear Test-Earthquake Watch, as described in Karen Nakamura's article posted on 1995. She wrote that The Post will continue monitoring the relations between nuclear test and earthquakes, if this is so, I would appreciate very much if you could inform me where can I have the data, otherwise please let me know if there is a source of information about this matter on the www.

I am writing from Mexico, a country that has been seriously damaged by earthquakes in the past and as you know, the nuclear tests have been reactivated lately, so this is a good time to prepare for them, and try to make the people aware of the lethal consequences of the nuclear tests.

Alfredo Malo

Mexico

Violence Condoned From Nukes To Guns

Gun control and no gun control is a disagreement between the gun owners who believe in giving guns to everyone, and the gun owners who do not believe in giving guns to everyone.

Children shooting children and adults, criminals shooting innocent victims, the bad guys having more firepower than the police and therefore exposing the police to more danger, the wrong and self-serving interpretation of the Second Amendment, and guns for everyone, is the reason that our family and a growing number of Americans believe that the NRA is a neo-Nazi organization that is hell-bent on destroying the fabric of American society (and so far they are doing an excellent job). The NRA should be outlawed, and be put out of business. Ultra-conservatives have always been blind to the consequences of their actions.

Tom Jefferson, James Madison, Tom Paine, and Samuel Adams must be tossing and turning in their graves about Charlton Heston connecting these early Americans with today's NRA support of violence.

I suspect that the worship of nuclear weapons is giving a seal of approval to every type of violence. This country-a leader in domestic violence, and giving weapons to both sides fighting a war-has much work to do to turn things around. One of the questions that must be answered is "Do we really want to save our country?"

RAINER PENKERT

San Francisco

Gun Ownership Good For Economy

From time to time witless anti-gun politicians and anti-gun physicians sound off on "the high cost of gun crime" and claim "shooting-related injuries are costing taxpayers millions." As they strive to ban our guns and destroy our fundamental constitutional right to possess arms, they never bother to consider the far greater economic and life benefits from lawful gun-related activities.

Each long-term incarceration for a Three Strikes conviction takes a career criminal out of circulation, saving society over $400,000 a year per criminal in the total cost of his crimes not committed, according to a Rand Corp. study. Recent exhaustive criminological studies by researchers Fleck, Lott and Mustard show that law-abiding gun owners every year use firearms to prevent more than two million crimes, in the process saving society up to 400,000 lives and roughly $6 billion annually from crimes prevented.

A recent report with data from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Small Arms and Ammunition Manufacturing Institute provides startling evidence of the economic value of sport shooting, hunting and related activities. Whereas the movie Titanic grossed $376 million in nine weeks, the shooting sports and hunting generate that much in just over four days. The entire motion picture industry's gross income is about $5 billion annually. Hunting and shooting sports exceed that amount in only two months!

Altogether, hunting and the shooting sports generate about $30.9 billion of economic activity annually. At, say, a 5% average sales tax, that would amount to some $1.5 billion in taxes added to government coffers. With some state sales taxes at 7% or more, that $1.5 may be a tad low.

When anybody on any pretext says they will save tax money by taking away our guns, tell them about that $30.9 billion in economic activity and the $1.5 billion in sales taxes, not to mention the millions in excise taxes from people buying guns, and don't forget the annual $6 billion society saves (in property, medical, burial, insurance, police, legal, court and related costs) by the defensive gun use that prevents over two million crimes from happening.

So let's hear no more mindless bull bleep about "the high economic cost of gun crime," and remember instead the vastly higher economic and life-saving benefits accruing from lawful use of firearms in America.

FIELDING GREAVES

San Rafael

Freedom Is Not Free

(The following poem was read during the Veterans' Day program November 11 at the Glasgow Civic Center, 1990.)

I watched the flag pass by one day,

it fluttered in the breeze.

A young marine saluted it,

and then, he stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform

so young, so tall, so proud;

with hair cut square and eyes alert,

he'd stand out in any crowd.

I thought how many men like him

had fallen through the years.

How many died on foreign soil?

How many mother's tears?

How many pilots' planes shot down?

How many died at sea?

How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?

No, Freedom is not Free.

I heard the sound of taps one night,

when everything was still.

I listened to the bugler play,

and felt a sudden chill.

I wondered just how many times

that taps had meant "Amen,"

when a flag had covered a coffin

of a brother or a friend.

I thought of all the children,

of the mothers and the wives,

of fathers, sons, and husbands,

with interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard,

at the bottom of the sea,

of unmarked graves in Arlington,

No, Freedom is not Free.

-by Cadet Major Kelly Strong

Air Force Junior, ROTC

Homestead Senior High School

Homestead, Florida

Ozone Endangerment

Your concern about ozone depletion is shared by Philip Isely, principal writer of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth, which, unlike the United Nations Charter, addresses directly the environmental problems such as the ozone issue.

Last year Philip's wife died. In honor of her memory and her activist concerns, he established the Margaret Isely Foundation, and the July 18-19 meetings ("More Oxygen for the World") are Philip's way of expressing his deep care for his beloved Margaret.

And also Philip Isely has been trying to warn the world of the global pollution, air pollution, ozone danger, etc. for many years now. In my opinion he is a genius (and a visionary).

Dr. Rashmi Mayur of Global Futures Network, one of the experts who will be presenting, is quite outspoken and articulate and will be in San Francisco June 20-21 for the "Pilot Peoples Assembly" at San Francisco State University's Seven Hills Center.

Keep up the good work.

ROGER KOTILA

San Rafael

MGH: Nothing's Changed

From my perspective, things have not changed at Marin General Hospital. Press the call button and pray that someone takes notice. When will the business of paying excessive salaries to administrators end and taking adequate care of patients resume?

Please keep me anonymous as I want to go out the front door my next MGH stay.

ANONYMOUS

San Rafael

Prisoners Appeals For Clothing Aid

Here I am, with an 80-day violation vacation at a wonderful historic landmark, San Quentin. I was starstruck yesterday on 6-13 when I met Jerry Graham, the ex-convict evangelist who was Merle Haggard's former cellmate here in South Block. Consider my amazement, and imagine my surprise when the Christian motorcycle association showed up with him to give us all posters and share with us that life-affirming message of love, spirit, fortitude, and faith. Ad infinitum.

Now I have to wonder, as a guitar player-singer, Neon City Rambler: Hey, Judge Stephens, are you sure Merle Haggard started out like this? 'Cause I'm getting too addicted to incarceration, and I actually like it here in San Quentin, even though I'm locked down 22 hours a day. My time is short, however, and I got blessed with a great cellmate who is hearing-impaired and a master at arts and crafts. I've got projects backed up all over Alpine Section. I'm on the first tier, talkin' about 499 other guys here, 5 tiers high. So without much ado, allow me to address a few pertinent issues, and I'll lace it with some shameless name-dropping and some of my drifting cowboy adventures (latest installment series of 30 days on the street 4-8 to 5-8 prior to my violation for missing my urine test).

Now my urine test would have been clean. I was in the City in a North Beach hotel studying and cramming for it all the night before. It was Cinco de Mayo, and I had met a lovely couple just flown in from Lyons, France, at the Green Tortoise hippie alternative to Greyhound International Room on Broadway and Kearny. I had my 12-string guitar, and a gig down at 100 First Street, San Francisco. We got down there, finished about 2:45, I got on the ferry to go to the Armory at Civic Center in San Rafael for my urine drug parole test. Then I discovered I didn't have my cheat sheet or study guide for the test. So in a frantic rush I dove off the ferry somewhere around Alcatraz and swam back to the City doing the elementary backstroke and a few butterflies (case some sharks were sweatin' me about bein' in their 'hood, thought I might be a swim-by). I get to Ghiradelli Square and there's Don Johnson and crew doing the Nash Bridges segment for their show. They say they need an extra for a crowd shot, so I do the shot, grab the cash, grab a taxi, haul ass back to the hotel, get my notes, and study guide to Urine 101, and then my friend's motorcycle won't start. The clock is ticking, you can imagine my tension! If I miss this urine test, I'm gonna have to stay after prison and do a makeup test. Eight days worth! So I make it back down to the Ferry Terminal, the boat is just pulling out when I lasso the back railing and start water-skiing behind the boat barefoot and it's burnin' my feet, man! I feel like the wicked messenger in a Bob Dylan song-damn! I hate it when that happens. Well, the sharks bite the line, I lose the boat, then they ate my homework for the test! (The urine test, remember?) So there I am, treading water in shark-infested territory stuck on stupid. My daddy told me I had a twin brother that died at birth 'cause it's impossible for one guy to be so dumb. Well, you do watcha can, know howdoyamean?

Looks like my divorce ain't final to Miss Adventure. I've been courting Miss Nomer lately and she's been a big help. Well, I did have some big things happen to me on the positive side. I trust ya'll saw me, Marc "Texas Tad" Adams on the front page of the IJ on April 14. That was the day I was to meet my parole office, the Italian Stallion, for the first time. I went to his office with my NCR bodyguards and my red-haired baby (who was wearin' spike-heeled shoes), slapped that paper down on his desk and showed him the news. I said, "Yes, sir, I'm back and I'm nationwide," then I gave him a smuggled Cuban cigar ( a parole violation right there) and fixed him a cappuccino out of my portable espresso machine. He got really uppity with me when I spoke Italian it to him. That was just a little over the top. He was glad to hear I had a semi-fixed nominal address with my washed-up rock musician friends in Fairfax and was elated to discover me addicted to organic nutritional performance boosters, that I was still subcontracting waste management to study and Sgt. Dan Johnston and the whole town of Fairfax on the splendido parkade esplanade, my personal neo strip owned and operated by Gabe, Raff, Sherman the Tankin' mayor, Neon City Ramblers, Fairfax Division, et al. So, apart from doing my 12-step program in some lovely Emerica tennies I found in the free box outside the skateboard shop in San Rafael, I'm doing quite rather niftily here in San Quentin. I'm wearing the Emerica's right now as I write. I've got colored pencils, paper, and smokes, coffee and love. But, I ain't got no dressouts for parole and lemme tell ya son, it ain't no fun be dropped off at the San Rafael bus depot in a dumb-ass paper suit the color of cardboard. Probably make me carry clashing accessories! But, you can help! If you're a civic-minded philanthrowpissed of a Marinite citizen, you now have a splendid opportunity to get rid of those 30 w, 30 in. jeans and medium T-shirt that scoundrel left behind when you threw him out of the second story window of your favorite daughter's bedroom. Send 'em to me! I can parole in 'em! And all you gotta do is send 'em to: Marc Adam, K#42653 San Quentin, San Quentin, CA 94974, before July 15! And I'll bless you with some genuine historical San Quentin artifacts and souvenirs when I hit the bricks! C'mon people, now, smile on yer brother, everybody get together, try to love one another right now. Can you really say that you're proud to be a hippie from Olema? All the best to the best,

MARC 'TEXAS "TAD" ADAMS

Prezident, Neon City Ramblers

Name-Calling Obscures The Issues

Mickey Disend joins the ranks of his foul-mouthed cronies who can't take the heat of legitimate criticisms of Jewish wrongdoing. There must be some kind of Zionist Handbook To Muzzle Critics that directs these people to attack reputable persons like Ed Miller with phrases such as "anti-Semitic" and "Jew-hater" whenever their articles and letters that expose the questionable tactics of Zionists appear in the Coastal Post and other print media.

To call Ed Miller a "Jew-hater" is absurd and childish. To call him an "anti-Semite" simply because he exposes Jewish wrongdoing reinforces the belief that the term no longer refers to those that dislike Jews qua Jews, but rather to anyone that Zionist Jews dislike no matter now appropriate their criticism may be. The phrase has become an obscenity.

Miller is correct when he states that Zionists have politicized and exaggerated the Jewish holocaust. I believe that it was Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver that urged European Jewish leaders not to put too much pressure on the US to allow their people to immigrate here since that would have diminished the power that Jews could later wield in America. And why do we still hear "six million Jews were killed by the Nazis" after the Simon Wiesenthal Center agree with the Polish government several years ago that their figure was off by at least two million?

Let me be clear that the wrongful taking of one life, whether Arab, Jewish, Irish or otherwise, is as heinous as the killing of millions, but it is as much of a crime to exploit those lives for political and monetary gain, which seems to be the case with the Jewish holocaust.

Disend and his Zionist colleagues ought to be concerned that the world may soon tire of the constant politicizing of their bereaved and the enormous power that Zionists increasingly gain by their unending demands for the "goyim" (i.e., human cattle, according to Talmudic teachings) to compensate and bow to their will. Comments such as "The Jews have cornered the market on suffering," "The Holocaust' applies only to Jews and no one else has the right to use it," and "There's no business like Shoa (Jewish holocaust) business" should be of concern to Jews, and how long will Americans tolerate the building of Jewish holocaust memorials on American soil at taxpayers' expense for crimes committed in Europe when there are no plans to erect similar memorials to our own fallen soldiers?

YOUSEF SALEM

Sunnyvale

Zionists Blind To Racism

Maybe you won't be too surprised to learn that our community recently celebrated 50 years of racist attacks against those hapless Mideast locals who lack the proper ethnic pedigree for our pet Jewish State in Palestine.

The huge "Israel in the Park" birthday party in San Francisco was particularly telling, Is it not astounding that-in this wonderland of hyper-progressives, this world capitol of body-piercings and liberated (i.e., nude) photography of children, this Paris of alternatism, a mass celebration of official ethnic cleansing was held right at the entrance of Golden Gate Park and not one person protested? Yes, it is astounding.

Actually, two people did protest-my brother and I (we're from Milwaukee and know what a real party town is all about). Here's what happened. I think it's told best in our letter to the Chronicle, to which the masses of artists and coffee-shoppers stand little risk of being exposed:

To Open Forum, Chronicle

Your centerpiece about Israel's 50th birthday-"What binds San Francisco to Israel" (June 4)-appears to be a misprint. Surely it should read "What blinds San Francisco to Israel." The four featured articles, with their gushy rhetoric, neatly represent the blather that has blinded Americans to the plain reality of Israel for 50 years.

Israel was conceived and is maintained as an officially "Jewish" settler-state. There is no excuse for not knowing this basic fact, which is proudly vaunted in the four articles in question. And it is no secret that "the Jewish State" was created in a multi-ethnic area, Palestine, in which most of the locals were ethnically unsuitable for a Jewish "democracy." Of course, the policies inherent in the creation of the Jewish State would be unthinkable and grossly illegal here in the US, but we go on financing them with billions of our tax dollars every year-without a peep of protest. Thus we freely impose ethnic bloodshed on any Palestinian who lacks the proper genetic pedigree and does no submit to ethnic cleansing "peacefully." For people who like to suppose themselves liberated, modern, or alternative, this is some pretty radical blindness.

Official racism and ethnic cleansing may have been normal in the 40 years before WWII, when Israel's founders were laying its political foundations in the imperial capitals of Europe and America-but we are supposed to have learned a few things since then. Mainly, we're supposed to know by now that official racism serves no one, except those politicians willing to make personal capital from fear and desperation. In the long run, institutions based on ethnic prejudice bring disaster to the favored as well as the direct victims. And present atrocities justified by historic atrocities only create future horrors-which simply must stop.

In fact, the realities of official racism exposed themselves quite proudly for a few hours during the June 7 birthday party for Israel-which was falsely advertised in your June 4 "Open Forum." You called it "the Bay Area's celebration." In reality, it was Israeli through and through-as violently opposed to the Bay Area's openness and diversity as an ethnically exclusive settler-state would, in reality, have to be.

The sign above the entrance to the event, in Golden Gate Park's Sharon Meadows, read "Welcome to Israel," and they really meant it! A friend and I paid the admission and entered this temporarily foreign soil to quietly pass out leaflets expressing opposition to ethnic discrimination. A number of people thanked us kindly for our much-needed views, but before long an official asked us if we are Jewish, and we said we are spiritually, but not genetically, "Jewish." He then made a call on his walkie-talkie. Soon afterwards, another official (with a "staff" tag and walkie-talkie) assaulted us. He didn't ask us to stop distributing our leaflets. He didn't ask us to leave. He just walked up and tried to grab my friend's stack of leaflets. Failing this, he tried to yank away his backpack or fling him to the ground with it. We did nothing to defend ourselves, except call for the police. At that point, a number of onlookers, apparently realizing we were not genetically welcome, began shouting obscenities at us, despite the presence of children.

When the San Francisco police arrived, they told us that this piece of San Francisco had been leased to Israel for the afternoon and it was their job to enforce any eviction the renter dictates-even if the offense is nothing more than the wrong genetic pedigree or the peaceful expression of banned ideas. Since we were not Palestinian Arabs being ejected from our homes, we did not resist.

There was only one thing that proved our point better. During the hour before we were attacked and driven out, we engaged in quite a few discussions with a variety of pro-Israel individuals. Some were Jewish fundamentalists who agreed with our position except on one point. They agreed that no claim to a Jewish State could be valid-except that God had given this land to "the Jews." They said "the Arabs" could enter and leave only if they behaved as obedient guests, with no vote and no political rights. (This fundamentalist view apparently applied as well to those entering little "Israel in the Park".) Others were young "progressive" or "alternative" wannabees who tragically needed to deny that Israel is in fact a "Jewish State." Others were sweet older people who praised our ideals but told us we were not being realistic. Yet, amid all this diversity, each and every person who spoke at any length made glib pejorative comments about "the Arabs." Gross generalities that would bring howls of amazement and protest if directed at "Blacks," or "Jews," or "Asians" were perfectly acceptable about "Arabs." It was like a nightmare birthday party in Germany in 1936; the target of anti-Semitism has merely been shifted, from "the Jews" to their less Americanized Semitic cousins, "the Arabs."

Overtly racist attitudes against "Arabs" quickly proved to be the basic unit and standard currency of pro-Israel consciousness, among men, woman and teenagers, young and old, fundamentalist and "liberal." When we asked, in amazement, "Don't you hear what you yourself are saying?" no one had any idea what we were talking about. We had to start all over at square one again-trying to explain the basic wrong of gross ethnic generalizations, even against "the Arabs." The need to excuse an officially Jewish settler-state has dangerously obliterated the meaning of "racism" itself.

This situation is extremely dangerous for everyone in the Mideast-and it is the natural result of a 50-year blind spot in Western realism about the conflict. For the sake of everyone involved, we must start refusing to finance policies that contradict everything we believe. There can be no peace in the Mideast as long as we blindly finance ethnic domination, new Jewish-only settlements, and continued ethnic cleansing of non-Jewish Palestinians. The Palestinian people have never asked for an exclusive Arab state, but there can be no peace as long as we require them to make way for the ethnically exclusive settler-state we have been blindly supporting all these years.

DAVE KERSTING

Greenbrae

Dear Edward Miller

Thank you for your article about marijuana. The crime of the century is that the truth about such a wonderful gift from God is being desecrated by the evil warmongers. More people need to speak out, but I guess the fear of retaliation is too prevalent. If anyone knows about that, it's me. The medicinal value of marijuana is so great! I've been using it since I was 25 years old. Haven't been to a doctor in 25 years. It can be used for recreation, it can be used for health, it truly is God's gift to ease the suffering.

If you are a smoker, I would like to meet with you for a smoke and conversation about this important subject that nobody seems to want to talk about. I guess they would rather talk about where Bill Clinton is putting his pp! Ha! Indicative.

ARVILLA

Bolinas

More Money For Schools

What is the matter with Republican politicians in Sacramento? Did their mothers have rubella while pregnant with them, or what? The last thing California needs is more cars-more pollution, more freeways, more urban congestion, and more dead-end suburbs!

I have to side with the Democrat devils on this issue: Invest the budget surplus in education, don't give it away as a tax break for new car buyers.

ART LLEBREZ

San Rafael

Wish List for Slimmed Down Tobacco Bill

I have mixed feelings about the demise of the tobacco bill and hopes that a slimmed down bill will be better. I think it was wrong to make a big tax grab out of a health and addiction issue. So here's my wish list on tobacco legislation.

First of all, I'm against sin taxes. If we tax sin then the government gets hooked on sin money. I only support tobacco taxes that are used for tobacco related issues. I want to see the FDA regulate tobacco as an addictive drug. I want to see the total elimination of all tobacco advertising. I want to see the elimination of tobacco companies paying movie producers to add smoking scenes. I want stronger warning labels on tobacco products. I want the elimination of tobacco subsidies to farmers.

What worries me is that the tobacco lobby owns the Republican party and half the Democratic Party and that no serious change is going to come of this. However, the public is no longer going to stand for politicians selling out the lives of our children just to raise a few bucks. I want the government to know the we citizens are serious and that we are no longer going to elect people who don't put America ahead of big tobacco.

Marc Perkel, [email protected]

Springield, Missouri

"Gay ol' 90's in San Francisco"

I, and many other mainstream Americans, give a heartfelt thanks to the Salvation Army for saying "No Way!" to San Francisco City Hall.

The pro-gay agenda extremists who reside on the Board of Supervisors, are using coercive and strong-arm tactics in forcing businesses and non-profit agencies contracting for city services to abide by their radical resolution to give fringe benefits to "domestic partners." You guessed it -- once reserved as the exclusive domain of heterosexual marriage, gay extremists wish to have this privilege extended to their own extraneous live-in arrangements.

Hoping to jump-start a national movement to extend these work related benefits to homosexuals and their partners is beginning to backfire. Traditional and highly regarded institutions such as the Salvation Army, simply refuses to be blackmailed into implementing a social policy it sees as morally repugnant and against its founding core values. Obviously, this is one "army" that doesn't tolerate a frivolous "no show, no tell" personal policy for its recruits!

All sanguineous humor aside, sometimes it takes a real courage and moral conviction to stand-up to overwhelming political pressure and bullying from a city government that has run amok and has no inkling how imprudent special interest policy-making can destroy the very fabric of a decent and stable society. Thanks again to the Salvation Army for showing us the way -- for a more safe and sane world.

Gary E. Jordan

San Rafael

White America

I wish I could say that I had written the enclosed article. I can't, but it is probably the best short essay I have ever read that symbolizes the fast growing movement among European Americans to rally and organize, in order to protect our civil rights as a fast dwindling majority in this nation. Perhaps, as a public service, the Coastal Post might consider reprinting it.

Gary E. Jordan

San Rafael

A Call to White Americans

By Jennifer Passmore

Today's white American faces a frightening and uncertain future. As his race falls from majority to minority status, he often fears losing his place in the world. All around him, persons of other races raise the flags of their mother nations, adorn themselves with traditional costumes, and celebrate ancient and invented holidays as expressions of their ethnicity: generally, he has no one flag to raise except the Stars and Stripes.

In the great melting pot, before the salad bowl conception, his ancestors put aside their ethnic differences and intermarried: Irish and Italian, English and French, Polish, Dutch, Swedish or German, all mingled over the generations to produce the white American. He lost his ethnicity, and retained only his race. During his father's generation, that was enough: his father had a strong identity as an American. His father had an American history, an American mythology, an American set of values. He celebrated American holidays and ate American foods. Above all, he knew what it was to be American: the American identity needed no definition. Now, in the salad bowl era, the American identity has no definition. America has no one history, no one value system, and in the current conception should not. The American nationality has been reduced to mere citizenship, the common fabric of American life unraveled to a single thread. And so the white American drifts, his group identity reduced to nothing but a passport and a color - a lack of color. Blanc, Blank.

On that blank white page of his withered identity, many people write their stories. The white American child learns he is the son of rapists and enslavers, murderers and thieves, liars and hypocrites. The accomplishments of his ancestors and brothers, he is told, belong to the entire world: the guilt of any white criminal belongs to him and him alone. Among all the races, ethnicities, and other variously defined demographic groups, the white American alone cannot feel pride in, defend, or even define his racial identity without arousing suspicion and outright hatred. He cannot form a Congressional White Caucus. He cannot hang the works of white artists on a gallery wall and identify them as such. He has no month, no week, not even a day set aside to teach his children, his neighbors, and his countrymen about the origins of the white race, ancient and modern white history, the accomplishments of white individuals and the issues facing modern white people. Deprived of his true history and a healthy sense of himself, the white American can turn to either of two extremes. He can fall in with his own slanderers, giving himself over to self-flagellation, with guilt for his tradition and a hairshirt for his ethnic costume; or, he can follow the slanderers of others, substituting hatred of others for love of himself, clad forever in battle gear, paranoid and joyless. Neither path leads to a better future: the responsible white American must blaze a new trail.

If we want to live, white Americans must begin today to lay the foundations for our future and our children's future. An individual without a strong group identity, a racial, ethnic, religious or national identity, will be lost like a lone snowflake among glaciers in the near future: we white Americans must rebuild our ruined sense of self. We must raise a fortress to defend ourselves against slanderous attacks: we must create a school in which to teach our children, our neighbors and our countrymen about ourselves. We must clear a festival ground on which to celebrate our achievements: we must plant a quiet grove in which to contemplate the errors of our past. We must remember to leave a door and leave it open to mutually respectful relations with all other people and peoples. Perhaps most important of all, we must erect a freewheeling marketplace where ideas and stories, histories and traditions from all the white world come together, complex and wonderful, diverse and still unified, showing that we are not the white of untinted paint but the white of sunlight, formed by the perfect balance of a whole spectrum of vibrant colors.

Start today, fellow white Americans. Look at the faces around you: find the faces like yours, and see them as your brothers and sisters. Find the fair-skinned babies, and see them as your children. Think about your great-grandparents and love them as they were. Think about your history, American history, European history, world history, from the weavers of Xinjiang to the poets of Ireland, from the horsemen of the Caucasus to the seafarers of Scandinavia - all of them your brothers! And if the papers insult you today, if a stranger or your neighbor eyes you with suspicion or hostility because of your whiteness, resist the urge to respond in kind. Defend yourself--love yourself--but rise above savage tribal struggle. You are better than that. Tonight, talk openly about being white with anyone. Do it again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. Form groups to discuss issues, trade ideas, and educate one another; however, don't forget to have picnics, play games, and enjoy yourself. This is how we must begin: proceed with joy.

Ms. Passmore is an American student, studying for an MBA in International Business at Schiller International University in Heidelberg, Germany. She completed her undergraduate studies in Russian at the University of Florida.

Web Site For Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's, a disease affecting millions of people, is one of the greatest mysteries in the medical field today. People have a need to know more; those that have been diagnosed with the disease, and those who are caring for family members that are afflicted. See the fact sheet about Alzheimer's that covers symptoms, diagnosis, and family support issues, at http://freeyellow.com/members4/forgetable/

Clinton's China Trip

I'm looking forward to President Clinton's trip to China. President Clinton is following a diplomatic policy towards China started by former president Nixon when he first sent his ambassador, former president George Bush to China in 1973. Breaking the ice with China was one of the greatest accomplishments of the Nixon presidency, and today Red China is a lot less red than it used to be.

President Clinton is a world class leader. He avoided a war in Haiti, ended the war in Bosnia, and was a major player in bringing peace to Ireland. Now President Clinton can build on the work of his predecessors, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush, and better relations with our Chinese neighbors, advance human rights, and perhaps pave the way for Tibetan autonomy and the return of the Dalai Lama. I believe I speak for all Americans in wishing our president a successful and prosperous trip.

Marc Perkel

Springfield, Missouri

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