The Coastal Post - August, 1998

Busted Within The Law

I am a member of the Cannabis Buyers' Club of Marin. I've been a union cement mason since 1979. I've had numerous injuries to my lower back, requiring extensive rehabilitation. I suffer chronic pain in varying degrees every day. I also suffer from vertigo and cluster headaches, for which I smoke marijuana to get relief.

Despite the knowledge that I was a CBC member, Twin Cities police arrested me July 9 for felony cultivation. They spent all day ransacking my house, breaking things and making a huge mess. After snipping the locks on my shed, they hacksawed their way in, as I had interior locks as well, to keep everybody but myself out. Once inside, they confiscated three or four ounces that I had drying there.

I don't intend to be another victim in this uncivil war on drugs. I'm a devoted parent, an on-going student at the College of Marin with a 3.7 GPA. I'm also a journeyman musician, cement mason, carpenter and licensed general contractor. If you walk down 4th Street in San Rafael, shop the malls, or drive on 101, you will come into contact with my work, for which I have sacrificed my back. I should be able to smoke a joint to relieve my pain.

Nothing short of freedom itself is at stake for all of us. How can we call ourselves a free people if we let the federal government act like Big Brother and dictate our behavior. The people of California voted in Proposition 215 that citizens could use and grow marijuana for medicinal purposes. This is the way we are supposed to change the laws, right?

ROBERT VOELKER

Greenbrae

No Future In Personal Transportation

There is no future in personal transportation. It is a luxury of a society that thinks it has unlimited energy and unlimited room, of which the world has neither. Twenty years ago a mathematician created a graph, using graphs of known oil reserves, use and rate of increase of oil use, and projected oil discoveries using the rate of past oil field discoveries. He projected the graph to the future. He came to the conclusion that there was 20 years of oil left in the world! His predictions are on the mark to this date, 20 years later. A few years ago the Wall Street Journal made similar prediction. This is a conservative business newspaper that will over-estimate the amount oil reserves.

The rate of oil consumption in the world is exponential; in other words, 10 years from now we will be consuming double the oil we are now. In 20 years we will be using four times the oil we are now! How long do you think the oil will last with that rate of consumption, even if we do have more than 20 years of oil left? What was not said is what will happen long before the oil runs out.

Shipping by trucks, trains, ships and planes is necessary. Generation of electricity and heat is necessary for our survival. Emergency vehicles, hospitals, government operations and the military will have high priority. Personal transportation, is it necessary? Sorry to say, it is not. Most of us could get to work without a car. Yes, it will be inconvenient and very time-consuming, but can be done. Personal transportation is a luxury!

When the world governments decide that the world is getting too close to the "bottom of the oil barrel" they will start hoarding the oil that is left for necessities. The price of gasoline will skyrocket and the gas lines will return, and this time be permanent. There will eventually be rationing, probably using coupons.

By the way, to those car sales persons that laugh at electric car stores, electric cars will be the only personal vehicle in 20 years! (All that the government has to do to make EV's price competitive with gas vehicles is to purchase a fleet of EVs for government use.) Does anyone think that we can wait to the last minute to convert to electric vehicles?

Back to the subject, governments are notorious for procrastination. The chances are that they will wait to the "last minute" to "discover" that we will run out oil in 10 or so years. Ten years is not much time to change a society.

The experience in Los Angeles taught them that making freeways wider will not work; they finally put the light rail back. As everyone knows, L.A. made their freeways larger and larger only to have them fill up again. Marinites, do not think that the so-called growth control in Marin will stop growth. Marin supervisors have reversed a 50-year policy of not allowing developments in West Marin with the go-ahead of the French Ranch development (33 homes, a possibility of 100 more cars on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. and 101) and is seriously considering another development in Point Reyes Station. There, of course, is Novato's development in Black Point, Hamilton and the old Navy housing in Ignacio. I do not want to forget to mention the development of Marin Town and Country Club in Fairfax. (There is at least a potential of 1000 or more cars.) Development cannot be stopped now; big money will prevail as it did with French Ranch.

Destroying homes and/or the railroad right-of-way to create one HOV lane that will be used only slightly and which will not remove the bottleneck, is idiotic and a gross waste of taxpayers money. Caltrans is in a fantasy world. The problem is that the traffic in and out of Marin to Sonoma County has quadrupled in the last 25 years. Widening the freeway will only encourage growth in Novato and Sonoma County where the definition to the "growth control" is unknown. Within 20 years, Sonoma County will look like San Jose (wall-to-wall homes), and Sonoma will have to live with it, but Marin will have to live with the extra cars driving through Marin.

Leave the freeway the way it is and make it miserable for people to drive, thus forcing those that have the option to use alternative transportation, before it is too late!

KEVIN WEST

Forest Knolls

Widen Highway 101?

"Yes," say the people. "Yes," say the politicians. "Yes," say the bureaucrats.

The politicians know they are in a good position. The people want something. There is money to be taken from the people, to be spent on the politicians, the bureaucrats, and their friends.

"How shall we pay for this good thing?" ask the politicians. They are sly. They know how to make many foolish proposals, so that their own preferred solutions look less foolish.

The politicians know how to spend the people's money, and they know how to lie.

"We need a sales tax increase to pay for widening 101," they lie. They lie? Yes, they have already taxed the people for 101. They have spent the money.

"What money?" say the people. The politicians are silent. They do not want the people to know that they and their bureaucrats have stolen the money that was set aside to widen 101. They do not want the people to remember that the money from gasoline sales taxes, which the people have paid for years, and which were intended for highway maintenance and improvement, has been stolen, year after year, by the politicians.

Wake up people! They are lying again, as they plot to increase our taxes. They already have the tax money needed. They don't even need to give back what they've already stolen. All that is needed now, is for government to stop stealing gas tax money to support the bloated bureaucracy, and to turn gas taxes to their intended purpose: highway maintenance and improvement!

If you want to do something about lying politicians and runaway taxes, the same organization that successfully fought for Prop 13 is your best bet. Contact the Redwood Empire TRIM Committee at 707 542-3686.

Phil Graf

Sebastopol

Fix Y2K Problem With Total Recall

I read the articles recently reporting on Newt Gingrich's proposal to spend 4 billion dollars in tax money to fix the millennium computer problem. This seems to be to be a pork barrel giveaway to the computer companies, one might say "welfare for the corporations." We should keep in mind that the government passed legislation forcing the auto industry to spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year to repair mistakes in design or fabrication of cars they produce, even to makes and models years after their date of sale.

The same is true of other consumer products, and should apply to the computer industry. The computer companies had the choice to design computer systems which could compute the millennium or not and they chose not to. They should now be forced to recall all the devices they have produced or produce software to fix the problem. It is nothing less than a design flaw and they should be responsible for the problem, not the American taxpayer. If Newt's solution were to be passed, the computer industry would be in the position to profit from their mistakes; this is never a good idea. They should instead, as in the case of the auto industry, be punished for their mistakes. Perhaps the State Attorney General, who often corresponds to this paper, could address this issue and his role in protecting the consumer.

NICCOLO CALDARARO

Fairfax

Keep Taxpayers Out of Private Projects

To the Marin County Board of Supervisors

On behalf of Marin United Taxpayers Association (MUTA), I wish to register MUTA's strong opposition to Supervisor Kinsey's plan to make Marin County the public entity of record for the private developer of the French Ranch subdivision and its sewer system.

In MUTA's view, it is time to introduce more stringent controls over further growth within the county. The environmental aspects of this proposed development project have been insufficiently addressed, and the entire project should be subjected to the scrutiny of public hearings in order that the public may be more fully informed on the issue.

It is most certainly not in the best interests of the taxpayers for our tax dollars to be used to subsidize private development, placing taxpayers in the position of being legally and financially responsible for centralized sewer systems serving private homes in a private development.

In view of the strenuous objections raised by your own county counsel, and his warning that your proposed action could put the taxpayers of Marin at risk and subject them to potential financial liability, MUTA views any action taken in disregard to his warning to be not only improper but also reckless. Furthermore, it would establish a highly dangerous precedent, one which not only puts taxpayers at risk but additionally would also most likely spur further undesirable growth in Marin County.

FIELDING GREAVES

Secretary and Past President, MUTA

Wrong Stats

Time blew it again with shamefully careless journalism! Time (July 6, p. 35) said, "...gun murders in the U.S. are still far more common than they were 30 years ago." Absolutely false!

The FBI's latest estimated homicide rate is 6.7 per 100,000 population for 1997. That's a tenth less than the 1967 rate of 6.8 and five-tenths less than the 30 years ago (1968) rate of 7.3.

On a graph of homicide rates from 1910 to 1997, that 6.7 is admittedly higher than the lowest point, 1957-58's rate of 4.5 But despite vastly more firearms in private hands today, that 6.7 is an astonishing 31 percent below the rate of 65 years ago when the 1933 rate peaked at 9.7 for 100,000.

FIELDING GREAVES

San Rafael

Reclaim Money Power

"Money power" is on the offensive. They attack the working people and their unions via the Proposition 226. They attack the newly-arrived children via Proposition 227. They attack teenagers with their anti-abortion campaign. They attack seniors with their anti-Social Security campaign by proposing Social Security privatization; by proposing that Social Security deductions go into banks rather than into the Social Security funds-they even propose that Social Security funds go into the stock market, making Social Security a gamble rather than a secure fund; by trying to privatize schools, prisons and hospitals; by attacking rent control ordinances as they did in San Francisco and are doing in Cotati- mobile home park owner is trying to increase rents in a San Jose park over $300. If you are retired, if you are still work, if you have children, this is no time to relax. Get involved. At least write letter, call up talk shows or whatever method you use. Start fighting back. If you belong to a union, organization or association, get them to fight back!

COLEMAN C. PERSILY

San Rafael

Farm Owner's Rights Abrogated

For too long now I've put a buck in an envelope to send to the Coastal Post when I had something special to say. This and other enclosed "note$" testify that the time is now-prompted by Judy Borello's Moo Town News in last month's issue. Not only did she put the Farmland "Protection" Act itself in proper perspective, she focused a penetrating light on Lynn Woolsey's dubious claim for its support.

To put myself in proper perspective, I must admit I am profoundly disappointed in Congresswoman Woolsey's inability to help me and several other constituents owning small waterfront lots in the same protection area. Some nine years ago a congressional bill, appropriately, I believe, put all such right-on-the-water's edge lots in an NPS acquisition bill, but without funds for their purchase!

So for all those years we've had the owner obligation to pay taxes, but not the right to build! When a suggestion was made to Woolsey that she try to really represent us, at a cost of less than 10% of the Farmland Bill, her reply was, in effect, "Sorry, the wrong party is in power...so be sure to send me more money!"

HOWARD WAITE

Inverness

Anti-Union Ads

The Newspaper Association of America (NAA) recently kicked off a national advertising campaign to promote reading of newspapers and literacy. This consisted of running full-page ads and cinema advertising in nine major market areas, plus 30-second spots on 14 national cable channels. The campaign included the following celebrities from the world of sports, politics, fashion and entertainment: Christy Turlington, Grant Hill, George Bush, Barbara Bush, Jimmy Carter, John Elway, L.L. Cool, J.H. Norman Schwartzkopf, and Tabitha Soren. The ads all show the celebrity reading a newspaper.

The San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner ran the ad showing Grant Hill, basketball superstar for the Detroit Pistons, reading the Detroit News and Free Press. This paper has been out on strike since July, 1995. Over 2,000 employees from the Gannett & Knight Ridder joint operating agreement paper have been replaced by scabs. Families have been torn apart, people have lost their homes, jobs, income, health, pensions and personal security. During the first year of the strike, the paper lost $112 million and still continues to lose. That tells you the kind of money these media giants are making and willing to spend in order to create a union-free environment.

What was the message? Could this have been an oversight by the NAA? I do not think so. Out of all the ads, it is the only one which clearly displays the masthead. This was a cheap shot to all union members. It seems to me that there is a national movement going on in this country to create a union-free environment or a union without any power.

I have been a union member for 34 years and in the last 20 years or so we have been getting the shit kicked out of us. I sometimes feel like a scab paying dues. The AFL-CIO slogan is, let's organize the unorganized. That is fine, but let's organize the organized.

Germany, France, Korea and some Third World countries have recently had general strikes that have shut down their country. I think big business needs a wake-up call. We have got to get our heads out of the sand. The grievance, arbitration procedure is a joke. I have been waiting over three years for a decision. No one pays attention to the MLRB, which gave the unions of the Detroit Free Press and News a 10(j) injunction which ordered the newspapers to immediately reinstate locked-out workers. Request was denied by a U.S. district court judge. Hearings are continuing. Local unions are being litigated into bankruptcy.

The only way labor is going to get back some respect is to have an organized one-week sickout. What better day to start than on Labor Day. This would definitely get corporate America's attention. The new world order is not about bringing Third World countries' standards of living up to ours, but bringing ours down to theirs. This can only be done when unions are out of the way.

BRUCE CARLTON

Mill Valley

Murderous State

The state of California is maliciously hypocritical in regard to murder. The state says, "Murder is unequivocally wrong," but in executing a convicted murdered, the state itself is a murderer. That is hypocrisy to the extreme.

If a person is convicted of murder, put him/her in prison for life; study the forces that drive a person to kill: personal, social, economic, etc.

But in carrying out the death penalty, the state is saying to its citizens, "We have the privilege of murder, but you do not."

KEITH BRAMSTEDT

San Anselmo

Deep Pockets Impact?

I have an economist friend who has postulated a theory based on the current arousal of the America public's attention by the movies Deep Impact and Armageddon. These movies depict the threat of asteroids, meteors, and comets that are on collision courses with earth. They showcase space defense technologies that are implemented by the United States in order to prevent a catastrophic disaster.

The summary of my friend's theory:

The corporations who stand to profit from a new 21st century space program are currently conducting a propaganda campaign in issues concerning space technology.

The new U.S. space program, a government financed endeavor, would require public support to get through Congress. Since the corporations that comprise the military industrial complex would profit greatly from such a program, they are spending large sums of money on a media campaign to get the American public's support.

Pay attention to media coverage of the threat of NSD (natural space debris)!

KEITH BRAMSTEDT

San Anselmo

Prisoner Seeks Support For Community Forum

It's nice to write ya'll a letter and just let it rip, get things off my chest. I sent my last letter that got published October, 1997, while I was in state prison. I paroled to Marin April 8. Not much is changed in Fairfax. I'm still disdained by the old brain farts at 19 Broadway. Old Chuck, the owner of Peri's, is making sure that no Italian-speaking gorgeous stud guitar playing Neo City Ramblers are allowed in his cheesy two-bit dive, where...never mind.

Got a new formation of Ramblers brewing. Dallas is back from Norway sans Yvonne, alas. Dallas meno male abastanza bene grazie. So I meet the charmingest people in San Rafael, genuine down-hearted, do-gooders like Rev. Chris at the Free Meal who holds services, and Helene-people who are grassroots fundamental activists.

What's up with some kind of response to MAPS-Music, Art, Politics and Sciences, a multi-media showcase forum in conjunction with San Francisco Art Institute and College of Marin? Just what the hell is happening to our country, the good old USA (Untied States of Amnesia) and who's gonna pay for the damage to the planet like a hotel room that's been trashed by some asswhole rock band, uh? Ain't no managers or agents or lawyers that'll make that better, boy, hell no, son-it'll take scientists, lots of 'em! That's why we gotta get the pedal to the metal on this MAPS thing, where we been, and where we be going!

Now, I gotta go do this little tidbit parole violation time here at Santa Rita or parole from San Quentin. I've yet to receive a response from any parties interested in pursuing this multi-media, open mike, front porch on America open line. I seriously don't think this is too far-fetched a concept. It will be live and give an exhibition quality to some of our most crucial and critical impending issues demanding our attention. So please write me.

* * *

James Adams H#05098, Gabriel GRGILHJ #98022, and Jerry Petersen K#95380, and countless others too numerous to name, we all salute you with a rowdy halloo! Remember our motto: What's hard to endure, is sweet to recall. That'll work. Keep that in mind.

It's time to address serious poetical and ideological trends within our sociological vacuum of Bay Area and Marin. It's time for dialog, and pursuit of negotiable solutions beyond rhetoric and dogma, to secure some optimal streamlined agendas, that will ignite some zeal and unite us as a community.

There are too many brilliant minds, hands at large, in this readership to shirk our duty to our local and global contributions. Editor Don Deane has, and is, playing his part above and beyond the mere gainsayers and showboaters that thread their way through the narrative of other tangent-ridden and irrelevant sensationalistic publications. We have no other excuse than slothfulness and inertia not to become active in the mix. Granted, we are comprised of a wide spectrum of socio-ideological backgrounds, but we can only use ideas as our map.

North counties should be a national model for water management. Likewise, education, a commerce and trade capital to secure futures, provide resources, recycle human lives, and establish a steam of collective consciousness that will provide aspirations for our youth. Not hypothetical speculation, but a means of practical application. The only means and manner of pursuing this agenda is a multi-media open forum. A means to exhibit, not inhibit, the concepts that are flourishing amongst the unsung heroes of our populace. People of every persuasion on common ground, instituting and executing some viable community solutions, programs and commitment to retrofitting some of our governmental social, spiritual and technological ills.

Where are all the visionary zealots? Somebody write me c/o Rev. Chris Highland, St. Vincent de Paul, B St., San Rafael, CA 94901 (look up street number or fax). I'll be out of prison August 1st.

To quote the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band off the CD Working Band on the song "Corduroy Road," "What're we gonna do when the kids get older? Sit around, get fat and watch MTV? Who wants to die with a quiver fulla arrows, pull the string back now, and let 'em all go!"

All the best to the best.

MARC "TEXAS TAD" ADAMS

CDC #K42653

San Quentin Prison

Tamal, CA 94901

Impeach Clinton

I saw a bumper sticker recently that gave me a new lease on life. It said "Impeach Clinton Now! Call 1-888-LEAVEDC." So I did, and was sent a petition to Congress urging the commencement of impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, believing that sufficient evidence of gross misconduct exists, pointing specifically to the mounting evidence of multiple acts of bribery, a constitutionally impeachable offense.

This petition, I notice, has been developed by the National Impeach Clinton Action Committee, an affiliate of the John Birch Society headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin. I certainly wish to congratulate the John Birch Society for this effort in view of the virtual criminal negligence exhibited by Congress in failing to initiate impeachment proceedings against this president long ago when media reports indicated that agents of Communist China (one of our most dedicated enemies) were pouring money into the Democratic National Committee with the apparent effect of gaining presidential favors and influencing our national elections.

One such agent reportedly raised three million dollars for the Democratic National Committee, then received top secret security clearance, attended 109 security briefings and frequently contacted Communist Chinese agents and officials and visited the Chinese embassy.

The list seems endless; however, I think the most blatant quotation reported comes from one who reportedly gave $366,000 of illegal funds from China to the DNC and then stated, "I see the White House is like a subway-you have to put coins in to open the gates."

After Hubbellgate, Filegate, Chinagate, and now Floozygate, I for one have had enough of a president and administration that make the Watergate perpetrators of a by-gone era look like choirboys by comparison. Let's sign this petition and regain control of our great Republic once again as courageous Americans worthy of our heritage purchased with the fortunes, blood, and sacred honor of those who have come before us on the myriad battlefields of history. Their heroism, faded in the mists of time, must now be remembered, for we are the inheritors of their great commission to preserve the greatest Republic the world has ever known. We must act now!

ED NEMECHEK

Adelanto

Clinton Deserves Prize

President Clinton deserves to receive the Nobel Prize for the promotion of peace in his trip to China.

President Nixon must be smiling from his grave and saying, "Well done, son. Well done."

ED KING THE IV

San Francisco

The Melting Pot-Magical Thinking?

Congratulations to the editor of the Coastal Post for printing Kirby Ferris' review (in May issue) of the provocative book Civil War II by Thomas Chittum. It is this book that has caused such outrage both among the self-righteous revisionists and the silent majority.

Through this writing, the author envisions an America of the 21st century of dividing into three separate countries: Aztlan, a Latino country occupying what is now California and the Southwest, New Africa, comprising the Deep South, and the rest of America controlled by American people of European ancestry. This separation, so the author contends, is the result of the Balkanization now going on and the historical narrative that people of widely different backgrounds have never been able to get along with each other.

We can most assuredly see this Balkanization, considering the tens of millions of Mexicans and other Hispanics flowing through our open borders with the full encouragement of our country and their henchmen, the mainstream media. We are fully aware of the unanswered racial attacks on Americans from the militant minorities who refuse to acknowledge any improvement in their status regardless of their sacrosanct safety net. And we know of the millions of Americans that have been brainwashed over the past three decades into believing that any pride in their country or their race is pride of racist oppression.

However, such separation is never going to happen. It's hyperbole. Our government is never going to let it happen. And why should they?

All the knowledgeable polls indicate that Americans of traditional ancestry will become a minority in their own lands by 2050. The leadership of America will then be transferred into the hands of the majority. Why should the government do anything more that what they're already doing? Opening our borders, granting preferred and sacrosanct status to minorities and immigrants while debasing the race of those who oppose, plus combining with private agencies in the granting of billions to these people, is enough.

Our government's dream is that there is something magical about America. Due to this magic, once America has been revised into a multi-racial, multi-ethnic society with the present majority not in control, all people, all ethnic groups, all racial groups will live in harmony. For those who question this magic or for those who have doubts, further brainwashing is needed.

No need for three separate countries. One will do just fine as long as there is house cleaning with a new majority.

ROBERT SIMMONS

San Rafael

Education, Not Prohibition

Congratulations to Frank Scott for his sensible editorial in the July issue on the ubiquitous smoking problem. Conspicuously and commendably absent was any reference to Prohibition, and what we supposedly learned from the failure of the Volstead Act in the 1920s.

The corollary to his proposal is to recognize the contrasting carnage, waste and futility of the Drug War against illegal but relatively harmless drugs while the use of lethal but legal tobacco is rapidly declining through education and social pressures-without prohibition.

We must persist in a crusade to expose the Drug War fraud.

BENSON B. ROE, M.D.

Stinson Beach

Successful Socialism Attacked

The Nicaragua socialist plan to give all of its people the basic things of life was a total success in the early 1980s. It was outside the orthodox Communist and capitalist models. It worked too well. They were showing up this country in economic justice, equality and results. The Reagan-Bush administration, because of its jealously and greed for excessive profit, was afraid that these changes would come to this country. This is why they broke laws, supported drug dealers and terrorists to stop this work and to make Nicaragua an economic basket case. The Reagan-Bush administration and Congress were breaking international law and United Nations Charter in giving aid to the Contras. This is why our own leaders sometimes, unfortunately, compare unfavorably to those leaders of other countries.

The censorship of Ronald Reagan's wrong-doings will not help matters. Let us not sanitize the Evil Empire (the Reagan administration's projection). We need to face our wrong-doings, stop them, and find solutions.

RANIER PENKERT

San Francisco

Ibogaine And Addiction

I am curious if you have ever heard of the indole alkaloid Ibogaine, extracted from the African plant Tabernathe Iboga?

The Bwiti tribe in Africa has used this plant in sacred ceremonies for centuries, as a coming of age ritual and in smaller doses, as a stimulant for hunting trips. During their rituals visions are induced by this substance, which are of a spiritual/shamanic nature. In the early 1900's the active alkaloid Ibogaine was identified and separated by European Pharmacologists and used as a stimulant (see http://www.ibogaine.desk.nl/ for more history/science, etc.)

In the 1960's it was discovered that Ibogaine had addiction interrupting qualities, especially in eliminating the withdrawal symptoms from opiates, including longer acting ones like Methadone.

I came across Ibogaine info on the www about a year and a half ago, being an opiate addict and methadone patient, it immediately grabbed my attention. after searching in vain for an affordable source, about a year later I finally discovered one (Ibogaine was made a scheduled substance here in the USA shortly after its addiction treating properties were announced... big surprise, eh?) in Europe.

In short, Ibogaine eliminated withdrawals off a 3 year methadone habit. It changed my life. in addition, I had the most incredible spiritual experience ever, and I HAVE TAKEN MANY PSYCHEDELICS MANY TIMES, and Ibogaine blew them ALL away.

I have been reading your newspaper for several years now, and since experiencing Ibogaine firsthand, I wanted to share this with you, for I personally feel that Ibogaine would be a great topic for your paper, considering the heroin epidemic that now plagues the country. (gee, now where do you suppose all that heroin is coming from, who is letting it in, and just who profits??????... the answer to this is obvious....)

There is much, much more and I could put you in touch with key players on the Ibogaine scene, if you are interested in this story.

Dave Hunter

Immigrants Assimilating Native-Born These Days

I read Domenico Maceri's editorial with interest. He, like others, obscure the issue of mass immigration with the old historical "we are all immigrants" argument. Sometimes, too much of a good thing can kill you. Immigration should depend on the national interest of the sponsor country.

When Americans are outcompeted by those not accustomed to labor laws, the native born tend to suffer. When my ancestors came over, there was room and we needed more people. Now we have exceeded our carrying capacity and are beginning to resort to drinking sewage water. There were only a few years when we had the massive influx we are seeing today. At the time, the people coming were of a similar culture. Those coming now refuse to assimilate. Further, they have accounted for 60% of our population growth since 1970, in an era when Americans consciously lowered their birth rates.

Now California is growing at a rate faster than India. Not by their choice, but because of immigration. Every respectable poll ever done shows Americans want the numbers reduced, even Latino polls. The last thing they want is create the overpopulated conditions that drove them from their home countries. In fact, the non-assimilated (includes the children of illegals) are tearing the very fabric of our education system apart. Note that without all of the LEP students counted, our public schools rate at the top, but factor them in and we are at the bottom.

On the Fourth of July, NONE of my immigrant neighbors (and I have mostly immigrant neighbors) had flags displayed. Then note what happens whenever Mexico plays soccer here. Note the political style of Miami and L.A. Note George Washington's name being taken off of public buildings and revisionist history. All due to unprecedented and unassimilated immigrants.

My ancestors assimilated and created a unique culture. I have no problems with new Americans who respect, not spit on the graves of my ancestors. The common culture of this country has been all that has kept us united as Americans. Now we are balkanized, polarized by ethnic group. The only ethnic group denied the right to form (via accusations of racism) are European-Americans, those who made this country what it is.

So the editorial writer must learn to take things in historical context. There are economic, environmental and other considerations, we cannot afford to use illogical arguments in favor of uncontrolled numbers of immigrants tantamount to "This chocolate is good, therefore I will eat a pound a day. Don't worry, I won't gain a pound." We do have a right to regulate immigration. In the last five years, immigration levels have doubled and we are bringing people in faster than they can assimilate. In fact, we are being assimilated.

Kelly J. Cowan

Spring Valley

Congressional Accountability And The Energy Policy

DEVELOP AN ENERGY POLICY so we are not dependent on the mid-east oil. That area has always been combustible and it isn't worth the life of one single Yank. If the American oil companies want to "protect" that area let them pay for a private mercenary army not the US military. Are you willing to have your kid killed or wounded by the folly of an ill conceived energy policy? I think not! After all, what are we paying those yokels in Washington $135,000 a year for-to continue depleting our human and financial treasury?

Approximately 50% of our oil is imported. And the projections, over the next few years, are due to rise dramatically. And where's the foresight? What are we doing about what will undoubtedly be a not-so-distant problem? Nothing! Our leaders only react to crises.

There is no reason why we are not creating incentives for the dramatic increase in wind power. The Research & Development has brought down the cost to where it is equal to oil in power generating plants. Yes, I've heard all the baloney, that wind doesn't power generators on a consistent enough basis to make windmills economically viable. But power can be generated in different time zones and easily transferred to where it is needed. I understand the great plains area would be a tremendous resource. Everywhere from Montana and the Dakotas down through Texas could be wind-farms. And they needn't interfere with existing crops or the cattle industry.

Solar-voltaics (creating energy directly from sunlight) and fuel-cells (producing electricity by strategically combining ingredients like hydrogen & oxygen) have been close to being competitive in price for a long time, but they don't seem to break the expense barrier. I suggest that a wealthy private individual, a foundation, or as a last resort, the government, step up to the plate and award a lotto size prize for some inventor that meets a set of standards that would make alternate energy sources viable!

But to depend on the incendiary middle-east for oil is folly. Between Saddam Hussain, the mullahs of Iran, the Palestinian/Israel problem, not to mention Egypt's increasingly dire predicament, that area is one gigantic powder-keg just waiting to blow. And what does the US do? We figuratively keep walking around with our finger in our ear. As they say, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what is sooner or later going to happen.

The sooner we become energy independent, the sooner we can clear our military and diplomatic concerns out of the area. I am for sooner rather than later. How about you?

Robert Jay

Thousand Oaks

E-mail: [email protected]

The Fourth Of July Tradition

The Fourth of July is traditionally a time of reflection, a time to consider the sacrifice of our forefathers -willing to weather persecution, even death, in their conviction that all men are created equal.

Part of this year's celebration was the release of government statistics-figures that lead to a collective sigh of relief when America heard the Brady Law prevented 69,000 criminals from purchasing a handgun last year.

We felt better about our children's walk to school and our spouse coming home to an empty home. Unfortunately, the Brady Law is the historically disastrous combination of publicity machine posing as effective legislation.

According to the Justice Department's haunting statistics, while nearly 250,000 criminals walked into a gun store in the past four years, filled out an application and either waited around to be denied, or came back in a week, only nine have been prosecuted.

That's what makes last year's bumper crop of 69,000 still-free felons so tragic. Dozens of innocent Americans will come face to face with these criminals in the next few years-with many encounters ending in tragedy.

It's an undeniable fact. Some people should not have a gun. But should the Brady Law deny a handgun because you failed to fill out the "optional" section of the paperwork? Should failure to license your dead dog deny you the right to own a handgun? Should a 10-year-old ticket for failing to wear a life preserver keep a single woman working night shifts from owning a gun? Does the Clinton Administration really expect anyone lucky enough to survive encounters with these 250,000 criminals to believe the lies?

Should we release a quarter of million potentially dangerous criminals and brag about it in the media? Proponents of the Brady Law apparently think so.

G.J. Sagi

Communications Director for Citizens for A

Safe America (CASA)

Looking For Friends

My name is Deane Bristow and I'm looking for friends from the past. One of them is Geoff Schlant and I'd like to think he's still in Marin County making music (Neon City Ramblers). When I search for his name, the last reference is in the Coastal Post from about 1996. When my spouse Ellen and I last saw him, he was keeping company with a woman by the name of Joan Erin Lareau who originally came from Fairfax. The two of them had a squatter's houseboat in Spencer's Bay. We lost touch with the two of them when we moved back to Oregon in the early 70's. Distinguishing characteristics? Geoff played the carpenter's saw and Joan Erin was a profound belly dancer. Anyone who could direct them to contact Deane and Ellen Bristow @ 541-265-4154, 128 S.E. Coos St., Newport, OR 97365-4211 would have my great gratitude and thanks.

Deane Bristow

[email protected]

West Marinites In Chiapas

Along with Doug Orcott of Lagunitas and Carolina Dutton of Marshall, I recently (July 2-9) attended the Tri-National Friendship Delegation to Chiapas, Mexico, where we delivered some $13,000 in emergency refugee relief and witnessed the dirty war being conducted in that troubled land by the Zedillo Administration.

We urge all readers to contact the White House and their congresspersons and demand that they use the full power of their respective offices to end this rotten campaign against the autonomous indigenous communities of Chiapas. Please contact me for more information as needed.

Ramon Cadiz

Inverness, CA

[email protected]

PS. Here's the official Mexico Solidarity Network press release pertaining to this delegation....

Press release July 9, 1998

Contact: Mexico Solidarity Network 773-583-7728 [email protected]

Initial Report on the Tri-National Friendship Delegation to Chiapas

"We are overwhelmed by the generosity of the indigenous communities we visited, especially in the face of widespread fear and rampant poverty," reports one of the leaders of the Tri-National Friendship Delegation to Chiapas. "We will return to our countries of origin with a renewed commitment to our indigenous brothers and sisters."

The Tri-National Friendship Delegation, organized by the Mexico Solidarity Network, spent a week in Chiapas from July 2-9. Eighty-six members from the US, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala and Bolivia divided into ten groups and visited 30 indigenous villages throughout the state. Ten Native Americans from the US, Canada and Guatemala led the delegation, and delivered traditional gifts of sage and tobacco to several communities.

The Mexico Solidarity Network is a newly formed coalition of 57 organizations from the US and Canada. The Network is dedicated to promoting democracy, economic justice and human rights in North America.

A fundraising campaign, centered mainly in the US and organized in conjunction with the delegation, raised over $13,000 for refugee relief. The funds will be used to purchase food and seeds for some of the 19,000 internally displaced refugees who have been forced from their communities by paramilitaries associated with the ruling PRI government.

Delegates were not prevented from visiting any of the communities on their itinerary, although in several places they encountered judicial police and military who demanded identification several times a day. In one case, heavily armed troops surrounded a group of ten delegates while judicial police insisted that they meet with PRI representatives from the area (something which the delegates intended to do in any case). Indigenous women from the community surrounded the delegates, offering themselves as protection against the military. The women accompanied the delegates to the PRI meeting and waited nearby to help insure the security of the delegates.

One group of delegates attempted to visit prisoners in the state prison, Cerro Hueco, but were denied entry without explanation. Five days earlier a US group led by Con. Gutierrez and Rush were able to visit the same prison and conduct interviews with two prisoners.

The Tri-National Delegation will prepare a full report on their visit to Chiapas which will be available within a few weeks.

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