I am astounded that you would write such a letter to Chris Harrington of Oceanic Realty. Since Chris Harrington is a friend of both of ours, I feel it necessary to respond to this issue. I am someone who is privy to your lives. I know that Pema in fact owns property in Stinson Beach that her father left her years ago and that the property is rented for that same high price that you are complaining about.
I am also privy to the fact that in order to get a higher rent for the property, you sub-lease in downtown Stinson Beach, you put a long-time local business out of business, with no regard to the former occupant or the people that were working there who are now without a job.
I am also privy to the fact that Chris Harrington offered to sell the property that you were renting to you and forego his commission to help you out. I am also privy again to the fact that when you were out of work, Rocky, that Chris Harrington offered to send you to real estate school and pay for it. This guy has been your friend and mine for a long time and does NOT deserve the kind of letter you have written. Pema and Rocky, get a grip!
You win! You lose! Good-bye!
...Should Not Throw Stones
This letter is in response to Rocky and Pema's submission in last month's issue. The letter was directed towards Oceanic Realty and Christopher Harrington of Stinson Beach. I have known Chris for many years and he has always been a hero to me. Chris is a very generous man and goes beyond the call of duty to help the people of his community. He has worked very hard to accomplish becoming a successful businessman. How can one man and one real estate agency be responsible for all of the rent hikes throughout Stinson Beach? What about the roles of the other landlords and real estate agencies? The increase in rents are a sign of the times, and we all know that is what happens when too many people want to live in beautiful West Marin.
Rocky and Pema, how can you not be able to live in Stinson Beach when you own your own house there? How much do your charge your tenants for rent each month? You two really should collect some more facts before you publicly and falsely point fingers. It makes for more interesting reading.
Re: "Hoteling Stinson Beach"
Rocky and Pema: Have you looked into the mirror lately? NAME WITHHELD ON REQUEST
The Pot Calls The Kettle Black
It's hard to believe that two people who gave a shopkeeper 30 days notice and put someone out of business would accuse someone else in Stinson Beach of corrupting the town.
You failed to mention that you, Pema, own a home in Stinson Beach, and that you lease a shop space that you do not use, that you choose to sublease for increased rent, for personal profit. You could have lived and worked in Stinson Beach but you chose not to do so.
In other words, you are the very thing that you criticize others as being. Will this not have "long-term effects to the area"?
I have been following with great interest the accounts of Jerry and Susan Knight's struggles with various groups in the county, all claiming it seems, some kind of authority over the Knights property. Rather than passively submit to these various groups claiming such authority, the Knights have instead chosen to question it. Wasn't that a part of the social revolution of 30 or so years ago? Hasn't that been a part of every era in human history when the common man becomes fed up with the abuses of power by those who lay claim to authority over others?
I agree with some historians of recent history that we, as American citizens, have been paralyzed in feelings of fear and helplessness. The message of authority in the '60s and '70s was clear: "You may rise up in the cause of justice and equality but we have the power. We can and will stop you from bringing about changes even if we must kill your leaders and heroes to do so." And so it came to pass. Fear of dissent and speaking truth to power the winds in this land, our home.
Laying blame does nothing to remedy the situation. Having the courage to speak and act is the only possible remedy. Whether the authority comes from federal, state or county government, this or that interest group, secular or religious makes no difference. Don't we all know and quote: "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely"? Do we truly understand that unchecked unquestioned power is what is tearing the fabric of our country apart.
The disgusting show coming out of Washington D.C. on a daily basis demonstrates to us in living color the disintegration of our society. We are a fragmented people, one self-interest group against another, each group only for themselves. The soul of the American people and the unifying principle of "the common good" is a small flickering light. Are we going to remain silent and divided as the flame dies?
It's not just the responsibility of each one of us to speak and act, but it is our duty to the future of our children. The promise of this country to flower. We have yet to realize our potential. To realize the ideals our forefathers believed in as well as the ideals of the indigenous people who were here before us. We live in a crucial time. Will our dreams and ideals be realized? Will we remain paralyzed in fear, cynicism and hopelessness? Can we have the courage to open our hearts and minds to focus on the good we hold in common or will we choose our special interests and those things that divide us?
Not so long ago those in government called themselves public servants. We considered them to be public servants. Slowly but ever so surely they are becoming masters, bought and paid for by one interest group or another, no longer seeing themselves as guardians of the common good, servants of all the people. We see this everywhere from D.C. to San Rafael. The on-going story of Jerry and Susan Knight touches me because what is happening to them can happen to any of us. It is not an unusual story. The Knights are a courageous symbol of the classic David and Goliath story. Standing up to the giant in defense of what is right and good and just. Speaking their truth to power acting in the spirit of the common good for us all. The little people, the common man and woman. Their actions give rise to the hope that all is not yet lost. As a people, we may yet stand to say ENOUGH, even in the face of our fear.
Injustice In The Courts
From a IJ article written by Jane Futcher I learned of there having been a public forum at the Marin Veterans Auditorium billed as "Meet Your Judges Night." Miss Futcher's article was entitled, "Meeting Marin's Judges Lands Man Behind Bars." Reading the article made me feel like puking, and I felt compelled to write and put forth a few facts, questions and possibilities for all to consider.
First of all, WHY was this forum held and whose idea was it, specially? The purpose seems vague at best and almost like some sort of damage control device that backfired. Judge John Stephen Graham is quoted in the article expressing concern that there is a "building of an aura that the courts are somehow unapproachable, doing things that the public doesn't like or understand." The stench of hypocrisy and deceit from that statement would probably gag a maggot.
One of the ways the courts make themselves accessible to the public is via the media. The law provides that with a legal motion known as a 980, properly filed and granted, a television station can record the proceedings in any given case. Thus the media gets to act as a conduit of information for the public who once were the bosses and owners of government. There was a 980 motion filed and granted in my case, giving legal authority to KFTY-Channel 50 to film the proceedings. John Stephen Graham signed the order and is on record saying that the authorization applied to all the involved proceedings of the case.
On August 10 Channel 50 did show up with a film crew to record my closing argument and the 980 order legally authorized them to do so. Obsequiously bowing to the prosecutor's wishes, John Stephen Graham refused to allow the public to have access via Channel 50's filming of the closing argument. He rescinded the 980 order without legal justification and not one bit of the argument was recorded. Every person who sat through the argument in the courtroom gallery that responded to an informal poll taken that day said it was very obvious that the police and prosecution had not conducted a fair investigation or trial. It was nobody but the crooked government that was shielded by the rescinding of the 980 order. John Stephen Graham was in control of what the public would hear that day. The public's interests combined with mine as a defendant (Sixth Amendment-Public Trial) outweighed any contrived interests. This opinion is shared by the Supreme Court, who said in a pertinent case (Gentile v. Nevada State Bar) that nothing safeguards against abuse of the judicial system better than public scrutiny. In further support is a quote from former Supreme Court Justice Cardozo: "Sunlight is the best disinfectant." So what is the last thing in the world an infection wants? Treat that as an IQ test question, ok?
It appears that the same sort of shielding, evasiveness and lying by omission took place during the "Meet Your Judges Night" forum. In her article, Miss Futcher describes John Stephen Graham ordering bailiffs to forcibly arrest an attorney who was complaining that the judges have refused to answer his question. Mentioned in the article was a complaint by Mill Valley resident Anna Gregorian that her question was also not answered and she disagreed with the government resorting to use of force with the attorney/citizen. A 13-year-old child was quoted in the article having said, "I learned about issues of divorced families." How nice. But still, is this WHY the forum was held? I trust that an attorney at law could formulate a more meaningful question than a 13-year-old or the average citizen. I happen to know that Anna Gregorian has worked within and/or on the fringes of the criminal justice system with attorneys. So I also trust that she had a good and probably tough question.
How about a little trip into the reality zone using some logic in order that some of the real truth can prevail, ok? Former Marin judge and prosecutor Gary Thomas screened the questions submitted by the citizens. The other judges answered the questions that were permitted. Got the picture yet? The judges were in charge of both the questions and the answers. How convenient, but do you remember what the Ministry of Truth was truly about in George Orwell's book 1984? If the purpose of the forum was to benefit the government, then only the questions and answers serving government interests would be allowed, right? My ears hear this message, "We are approachable as long as you don't ask questions where the truth doesn't suit us." From personal experience I know that trials in Marin are conducted in a very similar fashion and the truth suffers for it.
Public perception of the judiciary once was a very important consideration back in times when more citizens paid closer attention and the government was less corrupt. What does the public perceive when a judge would rather arrest a citizen-attorney than answer his meaningful question? If this isn't giving you a crystal clear view of his capacity to fairly exercise judicial discretion, perhaps I should punctuate the intended message by pointing out that this particular judge is most likely the only one in the entire world to sentence a man to 25 years to life in prison for failure to appear at a court date! He had the discretion to do otherwise, but would have had to bravely (?) differ with the prosecution's idea of justice.
These things are taking place in an age where we have governors being convicted (Arizona), former governors being indicted (Louisiana), the President and Vice-President continuously in and out of scandal. Are you watching, kids? And don't forget the lying Judge Ware or Long Dong Silver Clarence Thomas or how the prosecution and a couple of involved cops retired from public service richer after playing their parts in the O.J. circus. I mention these few examples of many I could to preface putting forth the possibility or likelihood that the "Meet Your judges Night" was an attempt by the judges to serve themselves rather than the public. Black robes and the title "Honorable" in front of their names or not, they are part of the corrupt government. They not only rub shoulders with the malignantly infected Executive Branch of government, but most of them also began their careers in that branch. Playing politics and maintaining a comfortable standing in the "Good Old Boy" network take precedence for them over truly serving the public, in doing genuine justice, and protecting the U.S. Constitution against its biggest threat, the government itself. Remember what the PIGS did to the animal's constitution/rules in Orwell's book Animal Farm so that some became more equal than others.
I hope people begin to grow a healthier and more meaningful vigilance over the way the government is operating. If there are not more people waking up their spirit to exercise civil responsibility, then the government's arrogance of power will continue to escalate.
And like a pressure cooker with the screws tightened down and the heat turned up, conditions will progress to encourage more of the McVeighs of this world to detonate their style of protest.
I also hope that Miss Gregorian and the attorney who was arrested, Mr. Schmier, are not discouraged by what did or did not take place at "Meet Your Judges Night." There are other avenues to uncover the truth they seek. Ideally, it will be that one of these days soon the liars will be snatched up by the scruff of their expertly practice deniability and be made to take a long, honest look at the parts they've played in retarding the civilized evolution of this nation and thus the world.
Probably fitting for the unanswered questions mentioned is the following short excerpt from Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago, "In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that so sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousandfold in the future... We are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations."
James Kor, Jr.
Press Not Free Enough
John Swinton, the former chief of Staff of The New York Times, known by his peers as "The Dean of his profession," was asked to offer a toast to America's independent press at the New York Press club in 1953. He spoke as follows:
"There is no such thing at this date of the world's history in America as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinion, and if you ever did, you know beforehand that it will never appear in print.
"I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion 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 papers, before 24 hours my occupation would be gone.
"The business of the journalist is to destroy truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the foot of mammon, and to sell his country and his race 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 for 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."
I am grateful that this does not apply to the Coastal Post.
* * *
Behind The Attack On Iraq
Another pretentious bombing attack on Iraq by the U.S. aided by arrogant Great Britain has furthered the destruction of that once great nation known as the Cradle of Civilization and left thousands more of its civilian citizens dead. Americans can now better understand why the population of U.S.-bombed and shelled countries such as Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Afghanistan, and Lebanon regard the American government and its supportive citizenry as "the Great Satan." Palestinians burned American, British, and Israeli flags while shouting "Clinton, you coward, you should be looking for women!"
One of the pilots that launched missiles against Iraq suggested that Operation Desert Fox be changed to Operation Free Willie, apparently referring to zipperhead Bill Clinton's attempt to thwart an impending vote of impeachment by the House of Representatives.
What Americans have not heard from the drum beating, war mongering Jewish-controlled press is that Israel and its fire-breathing Jewish lobby in Washington have been pressing Clinton to bomb both Iraq and Iran, thus we have good reason to believe that the recent attack had a dual motivation: to influence Congress and to kiss the hands that choke him.
There has been much talk from Washington about assassinating Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein (in violation of U.S. laws, of course), and replacing him with someone that we can "deal with," defined as "control." This is yet another grand lie. It is well know that Saddam Hussein's successor would probably be one of his two sons who love to kill people for the pure joy of killing.
It is important to the U.S. to keep Saddam Hussein, dubbed "the New Hitler," alive and in power, since it follows the miscreant lead of Israel's policy of protecting at all cost the lives of its most hated Arab rulers, such as Syrian dictator Hafez al-Asad and Palestinian despot and tyrant Yassir Arafat, since so much effort was made to label them as "terrorists," a moniker that they could not easily attach to their successors. Recall when Arafat's plane crashed in the Libyan desert before the Oslo "peace" accords and Israel commanded the U.S. to use its satellite technology to locate and rescue him from impending death.
Strangely Israel is touted in the U.S. as being one of our "favored allies," which reminds me of my father's warning to beware of those of pat me on my back in pretended friendship while seeking a soft spot to stab me. In that regard we have been repeatedly stabbed in the back by Israel that spies on us, steals Top Secret documents, illegally sells U.S.-supplied sensitive technology to Red China, defies Oslo and Wye agreements, and on. Recently Prime Minister Benny "Sly Fox" Netanyahu was quoted in an Israeli newspaper telling liberal Israelis that he was not concerned about offending Bill Clinton by refusing to implement the peace agreements because Jews own and control Washington, confirmed by former Congressman Paul Findley in his shocking book, They Dare to Speak Out, available from the Washington Report of Middle East Affairs (1-800-368-5788. $6.95)
It is time to re-assess our "friendship" with the outlaw state of Israel against which more U.N. resolutions have been passed than any other country. It is time for America to demand that Israel also now fully comply with all 60 or 70 U.N. resolutions passed against it or be subjected to the same fate of Iraq. Just as Clinton extended a "courtesy" to the soon-to-be-decimated Iraqi Muslims to cease bombing on the eve of the holy month of Ramadan, the U.S. might keep in mind the Jewish holidays of Chanukah, Yom Kippur,
Rosh Hashanah, and Passover.
Israel Is Anti-Semitic
In response to the recent "anti-Semitic" accusations against Mr. Miller, I would like to add a couple of clips to the melee.
¥ The vast majority of Jews are not Semites, but are of Eastern European origin.
¥ Most all Palestinians are Semites.
¥ The people of Eastern European origin have no historical or Biblical right to the land of Palestine.
¥ The Palestinians have a right to be angry because their historical land was taken from them.
¥ Israel is an anti-Semitic state.
Technology and Forbidden Fruit
Each time Hollywood destroys a building, a bus, a train, a truck, a plane in a cloud of orange flame, it is the result of an explosive charge surrounded by liquid petrochemicals for affect. Most of the orange is superheated soot from gasoline, kerosene or a related petrochemical. A gallon of any of these goes a long way toward creating large volumes of flame and smoke, while especially inexpensive when compared to the cost of high explosives, less dangerous outfall, too. Be it England, Ireland, the Holy Land of Hollywood, the dust goes into the creation of weather. There we see the years of research, refinement and diligent work of thousands of people treated as cheap trash. Blown into thousands of pieces, flung from cliffs into pristine valleys, forests and rivers with no apparent concern for the environs. This is obscene, this is tragic, and it affects the living and the yet to be born as well.
Oxygen is one of our most important nutrients which we consume through our lungs. We eat oxygen with every breath and every bite and every swallow we take, and so does every living thing. And we feed this oxygen to our cars, and they eat more than you. In return these cars fill the air and our lungs with toxins, these things that have no life by our use reduce life's viability to continue.
There is a language in the world older by far than the scripts we use and recognize. Spoken and written languages have changed, been forgotten and even lost, but the barking of dogs, the sting of a bee has remained unchanged. The story of a tree that represented technology was a metaphor, and the snake that lived in that tree a symbol designed by matriarchs and patriarchs who encrypted a warning that is now clear: consume technology, close paradise, for within that tree is poison. Pandora's box will remain open, too.
Regarding "New County Pesticide Law is a Joke"
Jim Bramell raises some good points in his critique of Marin County's new pesticide law. His goal seems clear and laudable: reduce reliance on toxic pesticides and do it now. However Bramell made no mention of the alien plant invasions occurring in Marin's open spaces and the serious threat these pose to the remaining native vegetation. The judicious use of the less toxic herbicides to manage or eradicate some of these exotic species could prevent further impoverishment.
This is no small matter. Bioinvasions are now considered to be second only to habitat loss as a threat to biodiversity. Some experts believe that bioinvasions will become the primary reason for species loss in the coming decades due to all the fragmented habitats being filled in or forever altered by the introduced species. Plant invasions are a major part of this phenomenon and now constitute a form of global change. In other words, the wildlands weeds running amok in Marin's open spaces are, writ large, part of the extinction crisis raging around the world.
Most of the invasive species of ecological concern have been introduced by people, either accidentally or intentionally. It seems fair to expect people to take some responsibility for this and to act, when feasible, to lessen the harmful ecological effects. Sure, prevention is preferable (that is the long term solution), but it fails to address ongoing invasions. Manual methods are fine, but the labor force, including volunteers, are too few to turn the tide on all the serious invaders (and there are many). Weed whackers and heavy equipment pollute and disturb the soil, as does manual work. Biological control can only be used for the most widespread infestations; it is also very expensive to implement. All have drawbacks; there is no silver bullet.
Pesticides are one of the imperfect arrows in the quiver. Land managers like the Marin County Open Space District (MCOSD) may need to use herbicides if we want them to protect and preserve our natural heritage. Inflexible laws with arbitrary limits could hamstring MCOSD and other land managers. Long term, this could be worse for the environment than the use of chemicals and a mistake our descendants will resent.
Lest I be labeled a puppet for chemical companies, let me reassure you that I am a serious chemophobe. There is no Raid or Blackflag in my cabinets. I filter chlorine out of my drinking water. I often select organic produce. I avoid Saran wrap because it contains plasticizers and phthalates which are suspected carcinogens and endocrine disrupters (gotcha didn't I?). And so on. There is ample opportunity to reduce our reliance of toxic chemicals. But I also know that we are in the early stage of a huge extinction spasm with horrific implications for humanity and evolution itself. I submit that there is far too much complacency and more action needs to be taken. Besides, using chemicals is inescapable and may be, in matters of preventing extinctions or irreparable ecological damage, highly justified.
For example, when a person brushes their teeth they are using chemical and mechanical methods to control the buildup and harmful effects of certain bacteria (e.g. Streptococcus mutans). Same thing with bathing to dispel body odor. The law requiring food handlers to wash their hands seeks to reduce the risk of spreading things like the hepatitis A virus. However, such standard hygiene practices might not be enough if a person steps on a rusty nail. That person might be advised to get a tetanus booster not just to be stabbed in the arm with chemicals, but to prevent death by infection from tetanus bacteria. And what are antibiotics if not microbial pesticides? These chemicals also have side effects and have often been misused. But to banish them based on exaggerated fears of toxicity to humans would be disastrous...
Viewed on the landscape level, many harmful invasions (read infections) are occurring. The health and integrity of many ecosystems are being compromised, even sacrificed. Some bioinvasions are benign. Others are untreatable, or efforts to control them would cause more harm than good. Best to let these run their course. But some can be managed or eradicated--especially if caught early and hit hard...
For those who love the land as living, as an extension of their own body even, these comparisons will ring true. Indeed, they are homologous (i.e. the same in structure and function). Blanket statements to use no pesticides is naive and ecologically unsound given the highly disturbed state of the system we now live in.
Editorial Rebuttal - The Clinton Issue.
The decision to impeach a president (This or any other) should never be decided based upon whether he has offended some person's or group of person's moral standard.
The reason that we always have an appointed group in place to arrive at any judgment of an individual is so that we can avoid the specter of having a person judged solely on the either tolerant or intolerant attitude of any one individual. We strive however vainly to arrive at the appearance of fairness or "JUSTICE".
Individuals should never be placed in a position of having the dreadful weight of responsibility for determining the fate of another person. However, appointed groups of individuals should and do have the collective responsibility to represent the people.
In a Democratic form of government (of, for and by the people) the bottom line in any judgment is: What is in the best interest of the people? The collective people
Laws are in place in various jurisdictions to help us define what is in the "public" best interest, but the bottom line is always: What is the best interest of Society?
The governments we elect to represent us become the foundation for building our entire civilization (scary isn't it?). None-the-less this is true. All of our hopes and our dreams for the advancement of civilization rest upon this foundation. It is, therefor, imperative that this foundation be made strong, efficient and dependable. It must be tried, tested and proven over and over. It must be modified and adjusted continuously as civilization evolves until, someday, it becomes the pure and perfect vehicle for the advancement of a perfecting civilization. None of the actions that I have just spoken of are even remotely possible until "the people" become interested and active in working with government to accomplish goals. The people are not going to become interested and active in working with government until they feel that they can trust government. History has shown us that the "Silent Majority" will remain silent until a means is found to place a government in place that the people can trust. Placing a government in place that the people, "Collective Society", can trust is the very 1st step that is necessary to begin the process of advancing civilization. To begin to accomplish this 1st step, we the people must resolve that nothing or no one will be permitted to cast even a shadow of doubt on the "Public Trust". Public Trust is the prime building block of this strong, efficient and dependable foundation that we rest our hopes and dreams upon for the progressive advancement of civilization.
Violation of a public trust is , therefor, the worst crime that can be conceived of as it strikes at the primary building block to the very foundation of civilization.
Did President Clinton lie to "the people"?
Did President Clinton Perjure himself in our Judicial system?
Did President Clinton Violate "Public Trust"?
If we ever hope to arrive at an advanced civilization, then we are going to have to elevate and define all facets of a Violation of Public Trust to the crime category that befits the most heinous of crimes against society.
All of the rest is but distraction as the facets of a diamond distract us from it's true value as the strongest substance known to man.
I personally really don't care about his sexual exploits and I don't want anyone looking for skeletons in my closet either so that they can magnify them by comparison to their intolerant and hypocritical moral standard. We are all human and possess both animal and spiritual natures. We cannot deny our genetic heritage, we can only strive by personal effort to develop the positive and allow the negative to disappear with our progress.
These things are just distractions - The real issue is: Dare we tolerate and set precedent that we will tolerate a Violation of The Public Trust.
Just an old man who is sick of watching us squander our heritage.
Great Idea But A Loss Of Dough
Now that most all of your newspaper can be read on-line (except the ads!), there is no longer an incentive to give a subscription as an x-mas present.
Have you considered providing only a couple of mouth drooling stories to encourage viewers to subscribe on line -- plus the ability to subscribe to hard copy, or at least to make donations with a credit card?
To The Esteemed And Honorable Mr. Don Deane
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR ME? AS you know I ran for Governor of California in 1992 and for President in 1996. I have the aids cure and want a billion dollars for it. I also have a cure for lung cancer. Anybody interested. Extra Extra read all about it, the East Coast Blizzards of 1996 were caused by Nuclear testing in the S. Pacific. The heat in Texas as well, the fires in Florida, when the rains mysteriously moved Northward, causing massive flooding across the great plains and midwestern States.
The first thing I would do, if I were president, , and I have heard a lot of opinions thus far; is to take Paula Jones in for questioning and book her, for treason, I have a list of other names as well. You know who we're talking about, you read it in the news every day. Basically the Republican party needs to be disbanded, much like the Republic Guard, they are a threat to not only themselves but the future of the free world.
Would you like to consider giving me a monthly column? Would you like to do an interview with me? Would you like me to play jazz in your nightclub?
I think the school systems should be disbanded, congress dismantled. Let the people vote directly on the issues, no political parties, no censorship. Except when national security issues are at stake.
I could win the next election, if people were to learn that I sent over 750 faxes to leading media for over a year in the Presidential Theatre. The day Bill Wilson lied to his constituency, and announced his candidacy was the very same day I entered the arena. Coincidence, I think not!
My most major contribution was to petition congress to ban the letter
O due to the extreme shortages of vowels. Bob dole would have to change his name to Bob Dale in the interim, we all must do our part.
I offered the legalization, and cultivation of marijuana, to ease the deficit, to fund Social Security and the programs. Universal Healthcare coverage for all Americans. Other politicians have talked about it. I would have made it happen and it would not have cost the taxpayer a penny. I also would have provided homes for the homeless. And gone into space with the Chinese, soviets, Koreans, etc.
What disturbs me the most is of course the Nuclear Test reports. I remember articles about Global warming and the ozone. No one ever mentioned the Gulf War, the 500 Oil fields burning. Thousands of nuclear tests, many of which, (atmospheric)), had their toll on the Ozone.
Nuclear test, earthquake, Nuclear test earthquake, after a while about 15 years ago, I began to notice, Nuclear Test, major earthquake. In Mexico, and China, Afghanistan. Worldwide Floods, famines, disasters, censorship of the media. Embezzlement and high treason on capitol hill. Maybe that's why so many people are taking heroin, and smoking marijuana.
Maybe the military wants to keep LSD for themselves, so that they can build faster computers, and keep humanity behind the veil. Maybe we lead Iraq into a trap in Desert Storm. Maybe Jesus is the Christ, Maybe Christmas is a Satanic plot to replace Jesus by and idol we've all grown to know and love, Santa clause. Yes that's right, Christmas is about Jesus, the birth of Jesus. And even if you don't believe in Jesus, it is almost 2,000 years since he was born. Santa clause is harmless, but somewhat misleading.
I think Bill Clinton should be given another term, considering how much hassle he has had to endure, by self supporting, special interest wielding private club of privateers who will stop at nothing to get what they want. And that's absolute power, complete control, obedience, acquiescence.
That's why I'm a musician instead of a politician, because politicians lie.
Fill in the blank. OK ready go!
Politicians do what, they
Yes right class, they lie to their constituency to get votes.
They usually keep their word though to their special interests, which is why our country is in a decline, instead of the Divine.
Painless Money For The Schools
Now, while gasoline prices are at historic lows (below 70 cents a gallon in some places in the country), let's put an additional 15 cent a gallon tax on gasoline and give every dime directly back to the counties where it was collected for our schools and it won't really cost us anything!
Please follow this reasoning:
When market forces return gasoline prices to their traditional levels and they will surely do this ó we will pay that market price and only that price whether there is a new 15 cent per gallon tax or not.
If we don't add this tax, the first 15 cent per gallon rise in prices will go to oil companies and/or the oil producing nations no doubt about it. But under this plan the first 15 cent price rise will go to our county schools. Either way and this is the fascinating part gasoline buyers will pay only the market price for the gasoline and not a penny more.
To my mind this is very interesting economics an anomaly a momentary opportunity to partially adjust the way we finance our school system. It is not a new tax on gasoline buyers. (If anything, it's an annual transfer of wealth from oil producing countries and the oil industry to our schools.)
Based on the most recent national gasoline consumption figures our schools would receive over 18 billion dollars every year from such a tax. California alone would receive about 2 billion dollars every year a chance to dramatically upgrade our educational system permanently.
To put it another context: this is more money by almost twice than the 206 billion dollars over 20 years the States will receive from the tobacco industry in their recent settlement.
But we must act while prices are at these historic lows for the economics to work this way. This is a unique moment not to be missed.
Impeachment Double Standard
It seems that a majority of Republicans want to impeach the current president. At the same time I suspect most Republicans would suggest that the amiable moron, Ronald Reagan, was a "great" president.
The double standard is a little confusing for me. I know what Clinton is accused of, and at the same time, it is a matter of record that Ronald Reagan committed grave offenses against the Constitution that he had sworn ("...so help me God") to defend.
We know that Ronald Reagan conducted a secret, undeclared war against a sovereign foreign nation, and that to avoid the oversight of Congress, he used a hired army of mercenaries and drug smugglers who were paid with funds raised from the sale of weapons to other countries.
These are activities specifically reserved for the Congress in the Constitution. Article I, Section 8, states in part:
"The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States...
"... To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations...
"... To declare War...
"... To raise and support Armies..."
When initially confronted with the arms-for-hostages deals, Reagan denied he had done any such thing. Later of course, when the evidence was irrefutable, he "admitted" that he had done so, and had lied with an actor's utter sincerity to the people about it.
Are there any Republicans who can clarify for me why Reagan's defiance of Constitutional law and lies about his illegal acts were not impeachable offenses, while Clinton's far less important acts are?
On The Stinson Housing Flap
Seems I've caused a bit of a flap.
First let me say that that prelim paragraph of my first letter was not meant to be printed, but there was nothing in there that I haven't said to you, personally, ten times over. We had, in fact, talked of taking this-our disparate points of view-to the papers in hopes of having an open, honest debate. Well, what do you think?
I'll start-oops, I guess I've already started-so how about a rebuttal? ...and residents of Stinson, am I right? ...clearly wrong? ...somewhere in-between? There's always a campaign to "save" this or that, how about "Save Stinson" (although I realize that is not possible in the sense that I would truly want)? ...but if you think I'm Pollyanna, burn me with your own letters, either here or my email is: [email protected] and if you think I'm right, get off the couch, and say so.
PS. and yes, I can spell "good bye"
Re: "Mr. Pinochet Loses a Round"
NY Times November 26, 1998
In calling for British Home Secretary Jack Straw to allow the extradition of General Pinochet to Spain for crimes alleged to have been committed in Chile and Argentina, you state, "Mr. Straw should let British justice, and then possibly. Spanish justice take its course." I believe you oversimplify and distort the situation.
It is not that the former General's "extremist supporters are noisy but few" as you state, but that there is great resentment in Chile towards European intrusion in their internal affairs. For most Chileans, I believe, it is a matter of a principal, not a person.
Just having returned from a month long stay, and as a frequent visitor to Chile over the past ten years, I witnessed the slow, steady transition from military to civilian rule. This transition was often tense but it avoided the serious violence and bloodshed.
The efforts of the Chileans to solve their problems their way were obviously not enough to satisfy the Special Spanish Prosecutor, or the British Labor Government. Understandably, these efforts did not, and perhaps, will never satisfy, those persons victimized by military rule---an all too common situation this century. Be that as it may, it is the Chileans who live in Chile who must make their rules--and live with the consequences.
Any American country, would be sensitive to being judged by Spain, a country with a long history of oppression, and a short tradition of democratic government. Additionally, it is hard to imagine how a trial for Pinochet would be more than a show trial, given that during Spain's transition to democracy after forty years under the dictatorship of General Franco, there was, at least so far, no judicial process for Spanish violators of human rights.
It is distressing to see England and Spain acting as if they were dealing with a colony. This is an unwarranted intrusion into the affairs of a small country and if it isn't stopped soon, who knows where the mischief will end.
Mr. Yousaf Salem's letter full of hate and mistakes was an amazing letter for the Post to have printed. Do you not check your letters for accuracy?
The mention of the discredited false "Letters of the Protocols of Zion" was incredible! This hideously viscous anti-Jewish document was exposed as a fallacious lie forty or fifty years ago!
Mr. Salem discloses his ignorance of factual matters as thoroughly as his bitter racist beliefs. Secretary of Defense William Cohen is NOT Jewish! The Secretary was raised in the faith of his Christian mother, and is a faithful church-goer.
I suggest to the Coastal Post that it should check out the factual content of the letters that it prints.
So-called opinion polls cited by some political columnists and letter writers reveal a largely dysfunctional society which believes the following:
¥ We should admire and excuse a president who is able to lie sincerely and convincingly to his cabinet, other government officials, the courts, and the American people.
¥ Character has no place in evaluating leadership.
¥ Money is more important than integrity.
¥ While lesser mortal (e.g. Packwood, Thomas) are pilloried for groping or off-color remarks, presidents should be rewarded by acceptance, or at most, mere censure.
¥ To cooperative fully in official investigations means to delay, lie, obfuscate, ignore subpoenas, lose documents, and above all trash the reputations of investigators, witnesses and opponents.
¥ No one is above the law, except the president.
¥ Governments decisions should be made by pollsters, eliminating any need for either Congress or Constitution.
¥ Hitting on junior employees is a perk of the presidency. * * *
Eating One's Words
In the debate on whether to impeach or not, two key witnesses whose words should carry great weight have testified earlier. We should heed their words.
"You can't place yourself above the law, even if it's for moral or historical reasons," said a young staff attorney in the Watergate investigation. Her name? Hillary Rodham.
Another young attorney has affirmed that there was "No question that an admission of making false statements to government officials and interfering with the FBI is an impeachable offense." His name? William Jefferson Clinton, as quoted in the Arkansas Gazette of August 8, 1974.
Who Is M. Levy?
The letter written by M. Levy attacking my friend and fellow council member Steve Vanni was indeed erroneous and mean-spirited. Steve has led many a drunken brigade to cathouses all across this great nation of ours, and I might add, with grandiose success.
In addition, who is M. Levy and is that the letter writer's real name? I say this only because there appears to be more than one M. Levy who writes letters to your paper, and the M. Levy I'm familiar with never wrote the letter.
And something else to consider, M. Levy, now that you have shown you have the capacity to attack people ruthlessly and without merit, hurling insults and lies, why not step forward and let the community know what your great democratic participation has been to date. Who have you led and what contribution to society have you made?
To Kirby Ferris
I just finished reading your column of December 1 ("Y2K: Time To Almost Panic"). You are unequivocal in predicting, among other things, "looting and burning and killing and massive insanity in every major city in America (and the rest of the world)." You also state that, "Not one single urban area will be unaffected in some catastrophic way or another."
Perhaps I have too much faith in my fellow man, but I find it difficult to believe that so many people in responsible positions are either stupid, naive, or self-serving liars. Therefore, I disagree with your predictions.
I'd like to make a bet with you. The loser will have to perform a horrible and personally disgusting act.
If your predictions turn out to be wrong, you admit in print that you're an alarmist and apologize for upsetting people needlessly. If your predictions turn out to be right, I'll pay for a subscription to the Coastal Post.
Plan First, Then Finance Transit
I thought Marin Citizens for Effective Transportation made a very good presentation in the IJ (November 15 Opinion page) for possible financing of improved Marin transportation. And they write, "Develop a transportation plan that addresses the problem rather than catering to special interests."
Develop a good plan first. Then go for financing.
But beware of the Trojan Horse of the quarter-cent tax increase now! Without a different, more acceptable plan, the taxes raised would probably go into a railroad (appearing next to last of nine voted options in a supervisors' survey, but supported by the supervisors in the last election).
In the last campaign, the half-cent tax would have produced $300 million over 20 years. This so-called "self-help" funding would have only qualified for $11 million state and federal aid, a mere pittance. It could have jeopardized future possible aid.
Without an acceptable plan, the "What's a quarter cent" thinking could jeopardize real Marin traffic improvement.
L. J. Keller
No More Transit Taxes
When supervisor-elect Cynthia Murray tested political waters with his one-fourth, two-thirds voted sales tax plan,(IJ, November 15), her headline grabbing idea was quickly dismissed by the Marin Board of Supervisors. Now former supervisor Gary Giacomini has wrapped up a last-minute Christmas present for Marin taxpayers in the form of a one-half, 50 percent plus one vote sales tax (IJ Opinion, December 3), the same tax turned down by voters on November 3 in the bruising defeat of Measure B. Giacomini wants to place this back on the ballot in the next three weeks in order to quality for a June 1999 a special election, at a cost to the taxpayers of over $400,000.
I am confident that our supervisors will not let this happen and will dismiss Giacomini's minced, layered and unpalatable proposal. He writes: "Everywhere I go, people are talking about wanting another chance to vote." We must be walking on separate paths for everywhere I go people are saying Marin is at the carrying capacity of the land. Increasing the carrying capacity of 101 will fuel development. Wasn't Peter Calthorpe's plan's first item that nothing will help 101? Marin cannot control the tremendous development now going on in Sonoma County.
I would like to comment on a statement made by Supervisor John Kress who chaired the late Transportation Steering Committee. His words were, "People seem to like our ideas, but they just don't want to pay for them, and they think there is some other source of money to get these things done...or people are just cheap...the free lunch syndrome." He's right. Not only do people think but they know there are other sources of money out there with great potential to be tapped. Marin voters have sent a clear message they are not willing to pay for any new or additional sales taxes for roads and transportation on the basis that these taxes already exist.
Gasoline consumers are now paying approximately 40 cents per gallon in state and federal sales taxes. In 1996 there were 115 million gallons of gasoline sold in Marin County. This resulted in approximately $46 million dollars in gasoline taxes being sent to Washington and Sacramento-all earmarked for roads and highways. Sacramento's share of these sales tax revenues that year was approximately $21 million dollars, yet in fiscal '97-'98, Marin County received back only $4,343,747. What is the state of California doing with our fuel taxes? Are these funds being diverted for non-road purposes? Have our legislators in Sacramento been attempting to fool us into thinking their profligate waste is not as bad as it is, by stealing from the road tax for their ill-advised spending? Incidentally, effective January 1, 1999, our legislators' salaries in Sacramento are being raised 25 percent, from $79,000 to $99,000!
Gasoline sales taxes have been providing and should continue to generate ample revenue for road improvements, provided our county officials aggressively pursue Marin's representatives in Washington and Sacramento, and inform them we expect them to do their job in getting our share of fuel tax money back to us here in Marin. The easy way out, so far, has been to assess the taxpayer. It's called taxation without representation. A sales tax for all, to benefit drivers only, is unfair to those who do not drive. Let those who benefit from traffic mitigation pay for that mitigation. For example, developers, large employers and drivers using special toll lanes. A general sales tax should not be the source of funding for transportation improvements. Federal and state funds from our gas taxes are available for Marin's transportation woes, so let's go after them! In two years, there will be a measure on the ballot to raise the gasoline tax in the nine Bay Area counties. Any elected official who tries to place another sales tax on the ballot just doesn't get it!
No Group Free From Hate Crimes
The European/American Issues Forum, a moderate and thoughtful Bay Area civil rights group of volunteers, finds the ADL Director Barbara Bergen's letter rather interesting.
On the one hand, she extols the virtues of free speech, however distorted, being exercised with relative impunity and tags the free speech of Edward Miller as being twisted and bigoted, of which we have no opinion, but she has easily forgotten her own exercise of distorted free speech that has passed with impunity.
Her own twisted and bigoted speech appeared in the San Mateo County Times on July 13, 1997, wherein she is quoted as stating, "Frankly, protecting Europeans [Americans] against hate crimes is not the burning issue of the day." And "I don't see how the people who have set the agenda for this country are being discriminated against or attacked."
Ms. Bergen knows that European Americans have often tallied the greatest number of victims of hate crimes in San Francisco. Although ADL was invited to the recent Zebra Memorial Ceremony commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the first Zebra killing in San Francisco, they failed to make an appearance. Thereafter, in 1973, there was 179 days of terror on the streets of San Francisco that resulted in 22 other European Americans being targeted for attacks and 14 of them were murdered. There was a total of 71 similar murders throughout California.
Apparently the San Francisco Human Rights Commission saw no problem with her distorted statements that challenge reality, because they took no adverse action on a formally filed complaint. What's good for the goose should be the same for the gander.
European/American Issues Forum
San Bruno, Virginia
Buses Leave Riders Out In The Cold
An update for you on GG Transit local bus riding:
Tonight I stood in the cold with several others in downtown Fairfax waiting for a local 23 eastbound bus toward San Anselmo. Service was off kilter because of the water main repair going on at the San Anselmo Hub, so a late bus was to be expected.
The tough part to endure, though, was the fact that commute buses, Route 24, kept passing us by on their way back either to the Financial District or to the bus yard.
After waiting 35 minutes and watching at least half a dozen of these Not in Service commute buses pass us by, I lost patience and walked home.
To me it was interesting that the Financial District commuters seemed taken care of despite the problem at the Hub, but local riders were left out in the cold.
I cannot believe GG Transit charges $1.50 for a local bus ride.