The Coastal Post - November 1999

Letters To The Editor

New Ways to Treat Cancer

Despite the enormous progress of medicine, cancer is generally incurable. Patients usually take a cancer diagnosis as a death sentence, which should not be so, since most chronic diseases are also incurable and none is viewed as catastrophic as cancer. Diabetes mellitus is an incurable disease, and yet patients live a relatively healthy life. True, many cancer patients die within several years after diagnosis, yet there are many who live for prolonged periods of time. They learned how to live with cancer and feel healthy. Unfortunately this significant achievement is still ignored by medicine.

Dr. G. Zajicek, a member of the Faculty of Medicine in Jerusalem, stumbled upon this phenomenon while examining the Cancer Survival Report No. 5 from the U.S. National Institute of Health. It describes survival of 3,369 patients with regional breast cancer diagnosed during 1950-1954. Treatment consisted of mastectomy with or without irradiation. While 76 percent of the patients succumbed to the disease, 24 percent survived 20 years. Most of the time they were in remission and appeared healthy. None received chemotherapy. Since they eventually died from their disease, we can conclude retrospectively that all carried undetected micro-metastases. Some carried metastasis for at least 19 years. For example, in a woman who lived with micro-metastasis that long, during this prolonged remission her organism apparently "knew" how to live with, and adapt to micrometastasis. Such knowledge was defined previously as Wisdom of the Body.

Dr. Zajicek realized that these women "solved" for themselves the riddle of cancer. If we could harness this knowledge to enable them to live for ten more years, cancer might be livable like any other chronic disease. He presented this analysis in a meeting on Breast Cancer in Brugge that was organized by the medical journal The Lancet. Soon he discovered that many patients with other cancers, e.g., colon, prostate, or lung, also live with their disease in good health for prolonged periods of time. While the medical establishment ignores this important phenomenon, it is the main concern of alternative medicine, and the principal reason why patients seek the help of its practitioners. Realizing this, Dr. Zajicek concluded that while medicine is competent to handle emergencies, alternative medicine is effective to handle chronic diseases.

In view of the hostility of the medical establishment toward alternative medicine, Dr. Zajicek decided to communicate his conclusions directly to patients and physicians. He created an Internet site,, with the following messages: There is more to cancer than just its tumor. Cancer is a systemic disease manifested locally by a tumor. The organism has a wisdom, or Wisdom of the Body (WOB), that controls all processes in the body. It also controls healing and protective processes, like immunity. Healing processes other than immunity operate in cancer. The WOB communicates with our consciousness, and we may communicate with it. It has a language which we can apply for boost healing processes in cancer. The site illustrates how this may be accomplished.

The first task when creating the site was to replace the demonic cancer metaphor with a better one, emphasizing the ability of the body to heal itself. Dr. Zajicek adopted and adapted the yogic metaphor. While the yogi controls his/her mind, senses, and body, the cancer yogi controls cancer. The longer s/he lives with cancer the better her/his control. The lump in the women's breast is a message sent by the WOB that her life take a new course. From now on her task is to become a cancer yogi. She can join other cancer yogis and learn from their experience.

The site is dedicated also to physicians disappointed from the progress of cancer treatment. What went wrong? Medicine is in a conceptual deadlock that is most pronounced in cancer. It has the best means to treat disease, yet the basic tenets of treatment are false. They are exposed and discussed in depth. A new medical theory is presented, with its special brand of philosophy, in which concepts like health and disease, normal and pathological acquire a new meaning:

"Health is a margin of tolerance for the inconsistencies of the environment. To be in a good health means being able to fall sick and recover-it is a biological luxury." (Georges Canguilhem)

"Diseases do not exist in nature but are constructed by physicians for didactic reasons."

"It is easier to find one's way in a forest than in botany. It is easier to cure a patient than really to know what his disease is." (Ludwik Fleck).

The new medical theory is based on the concept of a dynamic, non-linear process. Life is a process composed of processes. A process is like a stream that originates in the past and is heading to the future, and ultimately reaches the sea. You may never find the spring, nor travel to the sea; still, you know that they exist and belong to the history of this creek. Health and disease are variations on the dimension of life. This representation is much more powerful than that of medicine; it provides a common denominator for allopathic medicine and alternative medicine, and introduces the reader to the future mathematics of medicine, known as the theory of chaos.
Professor of Experimental Medicine and Cancer Research
The Hebrew University
Hadassah Medical School
[email protected]
(From M. Kennedy [email protected])

Burned By The Man

I just got done reading Stephen Simac's article on Burning Man in your current issue. Of the dozens of essays and reports from and about this year's Burning Man, this stands head and shoulders as the most self-absorbed, smug, clueless piece of work I've seen. Every other paragraph had something in it that made me think, "Wow-this guy's an asshole."

I'm truly happy that he didn't enjoy himself, and hope that he decides to go somewhere else next year. Like Greenland.
Brian Rust
[email protected]

Remembering A Grand Lady

Marin County's public advocate with the best of intentions, a heart of gold mixed with determination and the dedication of a winning spirit, was the lady Betty Machado, as I remember meeting her about a decade ago. She gave insights into the political, health and environmental issues concerning Marin County with a very specific focus on the city of Novato and its neighboring Hamilton Air Force Base.

Betty, who wasn't afraid to speak out, challenging politicals who weren't up to their jobs, was the perennial teacher who gave the best of her character to her family and to her community. Frightful to public slackers and governmental polluters, she opened doors and minds to the remaining toxic hazards polluting Hamilton Air Force Base by giving support to the former facility manager, Mr. Larry Gallager, who exposed the oversight of not-inventoried cancer causing toxic chemicals still remaining on site.

Betty, challenged with the knowledge that Marin County has the highest rate of breast cancer on the globe and the highest rate of prostate cancer in the United States, was a force to be respected. She gave the Novato city council and it's mayor as much of a challenge as any investigative group could.

This lady will be missed by an increasingly aware and concerned community who has few such public advocates that can match her. Maybe someone in her grandchildren's generation infused by her spirit can take up the crusade of truth. It's not for everyone, change comes at a price-it's called commitment, remembering Betty.
Ron Frazier
Global Garden Projects, Inc. [email protected]

Republicans Risk Safety of Planet for Political Gain

The Republican party has put at risk the safety of every living being on the face of the Earth for political purposes by blocking ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty that would prohibit all nations from testing nuclear weapons. This treaty, if passed, would be a major step towards preventing smaller rouge nations from developing atomic weapons and using them for terrorist purposes.

If these weapons fell into the wrong hands, they could be used not only to blow up entire cities, but also to dump enough ionizing radiation into the air to eventually destroy all life on earth. Even if it didn't kill everybody and everything, it could spread radiation that would cause cancer and genetic mutations for hundreds of thousands of years. And what is it that justifies such a risk? This is being done to make some sort of political point for next year's elections.

I am sitting here with my mouth open in amazement that the Republican leaders are taking this position on an issue as important as protecting the entire world from atomic war, and that they will only consider it if the vote is postponed 'til after the November, 2000 election. I want to hear the Republicans explain how they can put the elections ahead of the safety of the entire human race.
Marc Perkel
Springfield, Missouri
[email protected]

Musicians' Complaint

As local musicians, we would like to bring to the public's attention the fact that the minimum wage in our field has not increased since the 1950s. What's worse, work opportunities for club musicians have diminished steadily since the mid-1980s, partly due to the affects of changes made in the laws concerning drinking and driving. Because of the excessive behavior and abusive lifestyles of some of our colleagues, club owners have been forced to reduce the number of free drinks and food that they give out.

These factors make it difficult for artists to provide their services to the public, resulting in a cultural wasteland in what was once an oasis. The end result is everyone winds up having a lot less fun.

To illustrate our point, we recently came to find out that the Smiley's three-dollar bills were devalued by 50 percent for musicians trying to redeem them on the night of their gig. This only adds insult to injury, completely degrades us and makes us feel two inches tall.

It's a shame that things ain't like they used to be.

Tax Cut

Journalists of the national media should be called "repeaters" instead of reporters. The White House counts on the oft-repeated lie being more believable than any simple truth and practices propaganda in a style that would have been the envy of Stalin or even Hitler. Is it journalistic laziness or collusion?

Bill Clinton has said that the Republican tax cut is "huge" and "risky." The media continually repeats that "the American people would rather preserve Social Security or pay down the debt using the current tax surplus."

In fact, the Republican tax cut lock-boxes the Social Security surplus and does indeed use some of the tax surplus to pay down the debt. Furthermore, only 25 percent of the non-Social Security tax surplus would be used to provide this puny tax reduction.

On the other hand, Bill Clifton's "tax cut" proposals envision 81 new spending programs which would consume all the non-Social Security tax surplus and SOME of the Social Security surplus while paying down NONE of the debt!

Democrats will tell you that the Republican tax cut does not reduce taxes for nearly 40 percent of the American people. What they do not tell you is that nearly 40 percent of the American people pay no federal income taxes now! Tax cuts are for taxpayers.

Bill Clinton has vetoed a modest tax reform that ended an unfair ($1-$5 thousand per family) marriage penalty and reduced a confiscatory (up to 55%) death tax.

Thank you, American Journalism.
Roger W. Cain
Somerville, Alabama
[email protected]

Real Gun Control

A culturally and democratically defensible tact to take toward real gun control is to phase in a comprehensive system of public and private civilian armories, shooting ranges, game [sic] preserves, free-fire zones (subject to public approval and individual waiver of public liability) and the like,--where, and only where civilian weaponry may be legally borne, possessed, owned, swapped, purchased, traded, and used.

Tough-minded conservative public scrutiny, supervision, security, accountability and control of the use and possession of civilian firearms would further public health, safety, and welfare interests, and individual freedoms--the rights--life, liberty and happy pursuits (e.g., reasonably casualty-free educational, employment, and shopping opportunities and experiences).

A more relative absence of uncontrolled guns in society, along with a more democratic and publicly responsive and responsible governance at all levels will make us all more secure in our persons, homes, communities and the nation.

Real gun control measures will make guns less necessary for personal self-defense. Fewer loose guns in society will give the majority of law abiding non-gun-owning citizens a fighting chance with non-lethal means of personal protection.
Rand Knox
San Rafael

Afraid of Y2K?

Why? Corporate America, international and multi-national companies are not going to lose billions of dollars a day over a computer glitch. Time to put Y2K to bed.
Ron Lowe
Nevada City, CA
[email protected]

Major World Earthquakes

Austin, Texas-Three major earthquakes have occurred in the last six weeks, in Turkey, Taiwan, and Mexico. All registered above 7.0, and thus were quite severe. Most people probably believe they were random, natural events. Others might say they presage the millennium. I say there is a scientific explanation, or at least that we should be looking for one!

As an engineer in exploration drilling with Exxon, I learned a lot about geology and the mechanics of the earth. One of the most important concepts is that fact that oil is not produced from big pools deep under ground, and drilling for oil is not like sucking fluid out of a juice carton with a straw. Oil is contained in billions of tiny pockets, often widely separated like pebbles in a mixture of concrete. We drill into this porous media, and the pressure in the drill pipe is less than that in the ground, so the fluid flows up and out of the ground. The pressure that pushes the oil out is due to the ground water above the oil formation. Like the column of water in a water tower that maintains pressure in your home faucet, the water table keeps the oil in the ground under pressure. So we pump a few million gallons of oil from an underground reservoir, and the vacuum left by the departing oil is immediately filled up with ground water. The overall pressure of the rock formation is greatly reduced, however, acting now more like a sponge full of air than one solidified in concrete. Consequently, the ground weakens, and the results are eventually transmitted several miles up to the surface.

All the major earthquakes happened near major oil producing areas. Turkey uses a lot of geothermal energy, too, which pumps scalding hot water from the ground for use in power generation. Thus, I believe we are seeing the long-term results of producing vast quantities of hydrocarbons from two or three miles deep in the earth. We will probably be seeing many more tremors worldwide. I suppose, eventually, fresh surface water aquifers will be depleted by nearby oil reservoirs that have been produced, causing localized depression of the water table, perhaps even draining some surface water.

As they say, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, right?
William H. Clark II
Lago Vista, Texas

William Clark is past vice-chairman of the American Society of Mechanical Engineer's Geothermal Energy Committee
[email protected]

Asbestos In Tampons

Women: If you use pads, but especially if you use tampons, read this and pass on to your friends.

Men: Please forward this to your friends, significant others, sisters, mothers, daughters, etc.

Have you heard that tampon makers include asbestos in tampons? Why? Because asbestos makes you bleed more. If you bleed more, you're going to need to use more sanitary products. Why isn't this against the law since asbestos is so dangerous? Because the powers that be, in all their wisdom (not), did not consider tampons as being ingested, and therefore asbestos wasn't illegal or considered dangerous.

This month's Essence magazine has a small article about this and they mention two manufacturers of a cotton tampon: Organic Essentials (800-765-6491) and Terra Femme (800-755-0212).

A woman getting her Ph.D. at University of Colorado at Boulder sent the following: Read on if you value your health.

"I am writing this because women are not being informed about the dangers of something most of us use-tampons. I am taking a class this month and I have been learning a lot about biology and woman, including much about feminine hygiene. Recently we have learned that tampons are actually dangerous (for other reasons than toxic shock syndrome). I'll tell you this: After learning about this in our class, most of the females wound up feeling angry and upset with the tampon industry, and for one, am going to do something about it. To start, I want to inform everyone I can, and e-mail is the fastest way that I know how. Here is the scoop: Tampons contain two things that are potentially harmful-rayon (for absorbency) and dioxin (a chemical used in bleaching the products). The tampon industry is convinced that we women need bleached white products-in order to view the product as pure and clean. The problem here is that the dioxin produced in this bleaching process can lead to very harmful problems for a woman. Dioxin is potentially carcinogenic (cancer-associated) and is toxic to the immune and reproductive systems. It has been linked to endometriosis as well as lower sperm counts for men; for both, it breaks down the immune system.

Last September, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that there really is no set "acceptable" level of exposure to dioxin given that it is cumulative and slow to disintegrate. The real danger comes from repeated contact. I'd say using about four to five tampons a day, five days a month, for 38 menstruating years is "repeated contact," wouldn't you?

Rayon contributes to the danger because it is a highly absorbent substance. Therefore, when fibers from the tampons are left behind in the vagina (as usually occurs), they create a breeding ground for the dioxin. They also stays in a lot longer than they would with cotton tampons. This is also the reason why toxic shock syndrome occurs.

What are the alternatives?

Using feminine hygiene products that aren't bleached and that are all cotton. Other feminine hygiene products (pads/napkins) contain dioxin as well, but they are not nearly as dangerous since they are not in direct contact with the vagina. The pads/napkins need to stop being bleached, but obviously tampons are the most dangerous. So, what can you do if you can't give up using tampons? Use tampons that are made from 100% cotton, and that are unbleached. Unfortunately, there are very, very few companies that make these safe tampons. They are usually only found in health food stores.

Countries all over the world (Sweden, Germany, British Columbia, etc.) have demanded a switch to this safer tampon, while the U.S. has decided to keep us in the dark about it.

In 1989, activists in England mounted a campaign against chlorine bleaching. Six weeks and 50,000 letters later, the makers of sanitary products switched to oxygen bleaching (one of the green methods available). (MS magazine, May/June 1995).

What to do now

Tell people. Everyone. We are being manipulated by this industry and the government-let's do something about it!

Please write to these companies: Tampax (Tambrands), Playtex, O.B., Kotex. Call the 800 numbers listed on the boxes. Let them know that we demand a safe product.
Sally Moon
[email protected]
(from: Donna C. Boisseau, Stephanie C. Baker; Assistant to Dr. B.S. Katzenellenbogen Professor University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology & Sylvia Bishop Law & Government Affairs)

One Level III Facility for Marin

I have recently become aware of the fact that Kaiser, San Rafael, is lobbying the Board of Supervisors to recommend to the State a trauma plan that calls for two Level III facilities in Marin. I urge the Board to vote, at their meeting on October 19, against that lobby and for one Level III facility as recommended for very specific reasons by our Department of Health and Human Services, Emergency Medical Services Program in their sound, thoughtfully developed Trauma System Plan.

The rationale for the recommendation of one Level III facility is comprehensive, and presented in detail in the EMS report. However, there are a few particularly salient points which I would like to highlight:

1) The primary rationale for limiting trauma center designation is "to ensure that surgeons and trauma center staff treat sufficient numbers and types of trauma patients to maintain proficiency." (Bazzoli G, et al "Progress in the Development of Trauma Systems in the United States," Journal of the American Medical Association. 1995;273(5):400.)

2) "It is fundamental to the development of a system that the number of designated trauma centers be limited to those necessary for the patient population at risk.... One of the most common failings in system development is to designate too many centers. This weakens the system, as too many trauma centers dilute the experience necessary to maintain trauma expertise.... Most important, duplication of service increases global expenditure." (Emphasis in text) (American College of Surgeons:1999:8)

3) Only one Level III facility in Marin is advisable based on the expected number of critically injured patients. In 1997, fewer than 3 -87 patients would have required Level III care, had the currently suggested EMS plan been in effect.

4) The majority of trauma victims are most appropriately served in an ED (Emergency Department) or EDAT (Emergency Department Approved for Trauma) designations less costly to maintain than a Level III.

5) Confusion as to where to transport a critically injured victim can be eliminated with one designated Level III facility.

In summary, comprehensive trauma care can best be provided to all injured in our jurisdiction by focusing our desire for excellence on the creation and maintenance of one Level III facility and two EDATs in Marin County. Under the EMS-recommended plan, either Marin General Hospital or Kaiser Hospital, San Rafael, would acquire a Level III designation, while both would provide EDATs.
Connie Peirce
Tiburon, CA

Don't Take Bolinas For Granted!

"People come and go," we say, "but Bolinas always remains the same."

Most of us take Bolinas for granted. We shouldn't.

The Bolinas that we love in 1999 didn't just happen. It came about in the 1970s through a massive commitment of time and energy by people just like us. In those years, Bolinas people brought into being the water moratorium and the sewage ponds and the outlook that characterizes Bolinas today. During the 1980s, Bolinas came under siege. A massive lawsuit backed by the Pacific Legal Foundation attacked the foundations of life here. It was turned back by the pluck and intelligence and the same kind of committee energy shown in the 1970s. Today Bolinas exists to be enjoyed and loved by us in its present form only because of those earlier efforts.

There are few people in our town more responsible for the present character of Bolinas than Paul Kayfetz. Under his leadership, the BPUD turned back the assault of the Pacific Legal Foundation and changed "water moratorium" from a dirty word to a Supreme Court-sanctioned tool for a utility district to deal with local limitations. Paul has been absent from the BPUD for the last six years and during this time was struck by and recovered from a devastating illness.

Even during his time off the BPUD Board, however, Paul contributed to many efforts benefiting Bolinas. For example:

He attended Bolinas Lagoon meetings and suggested novel restoration options now being studied by Army Corps of Engineers.

Paul donated $18,000 of film, crew time and engineering expert witness testimony services to persuade the county to award a $1,000,000 settlement to a local teenager seriously injured at the dangerous curve on Mesa Road. Publicly, he's never mentioned this quiet good deed.

He counseled the BPUD in forcing the County to enforce bluff erosion standards and even paid half the cost of a successful appeal of the permit for a huge new addition above the beach at the surfers' lookout at Terrace.

Paul recently put his shoulder to the task of eliminating the private driveway through our cemetery. His knowledge of County government and days of behind-the-scenes efforts produced three meetings which headed off a court battle and pointed the way to a possible positive settlement.

Paul has agreed to return to the BPUD Board. We need his knowledge of how things work in this county. We need his intelligence, his courage and his commitment. We need his kind of leadership if our community is to survive and prosper. In a free society like ours, eternal vigilance is the price we pay for living in a community like Bolinas. We can't take it for granted.

Elect Paul Kayfetz to the BPUD Board.

Ralph Camiccia, Rob Rich, Nancy McDonald, Matt Lewis, Josiah Thompson, Ken Gardner, Rudi Ferris, David Gleason, Dale Polissar, Ilka Hartman, Stacey Henderson, Nancy Thompson, Cindi Rich, Miriam Bustamante, Mary Lindheim, Jim Bohman, Judith Elliot, Suzanne Bartlome, Nancy Condy, Mary Lu Ross, Sherry Cracknell, Al Hettich, Marisa Willow, Tomas Krakauer, Chuck Alexander, Barbara Kayfetz, Charlie Ross, Ian Cracknell, Barbara Fitzgerald, Barbara Kovach, Reiner Altermann, Carla Krakauer, Vic Amoroso, Peter Gubbins, Miguel Bustamante, Sr., Judith Weston Hawk, Joel Kramer, Roger Kovach, Miguel Bustamante, DDS Bolinas

Thanks and Questions

Would you thank Edward Miller for me-his series on Israel, Zionism, etc.-excellent! I feel less guilt about not visiting the Holocaust Museum nearest me-somewhere in Texas-heh-heh.

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Any chance of finding out if bombing the hell out of Yugoslavia for 72 days had anything to do with the subsequent earthquake in Turkey? It took 45 seconds to do what we did in 72 days-is there a lesson there?

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Do you know what happened to the German photographer who arrived back in Germany a month or so ago with ebola? The hospital he was in was quarantined, I think.
Annie Balfour
Columbus, New Mexico

Subscribers Say...

Thanks for the good news.
Alice $ Chuck Eckart
Pt. Reyes

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Congratulations on having the best paper in the county-it's honest and unbiased. Robert M. Coman
San Rafael

Dear Carol Sterritt

Thank you for putting the facts out about Monsanto's glyphosate. I've been an organic landscape maintenance person for 10 years now and I have always tried to steer unsuspecting consumers of this product away from it and other toxic and non-necessary chemicals. Household chemical pollution is as big as any source and probably effects people more than industrial in that we are right there in it-it's in our own home or yard. Now I have a few facts other than that Monsanto has been the #2 largest polluter in the U.S.
Jeff Noleen

Noble & French Ranch

Bill Noble of San Geronimo makes a number of unsubstantiated charges (Point Reyes Light, August 26), to vilify those of us who oppose the French Ranch development, the contract between the Lagunitas School District and the developer, and the EAH development plan for Pt. Reyes. He says some of us slashed pipes, loosened horses, raised irrelevant issues, indulged in fabrications, and screamed obscenities. But he doesn't cite locations, dates and names.

Throughout the conflict over the French Ranch, Noble has perceived any criticism of County officials, senior citizens and school trustees as "attacks" in an attempt to demean any objection, no matter how strong, to anything he holds dear. Underlying his vilification of those who actively and legally pursue a cause he vehemently opposes is the same self-righteousness of the "true believers" he labels his opponents. So, it follows that those who do not prescribe to the gospel according to Noble are "destructive."

Noble's unloving and uncompromising coup which removed his political enemies of the San Geronimo Valley Planning group flies in the face of his admonition to "build as much love and community as you can." His continuing support for the beginning of urban sprawl in West Marin (French Ranch and EAH) flies in the face of his line, "You and I live in villages in the midst of beautiful wild places." Wild places in the midst of urban settlements.
Phil Arnot Lagunitas

Reports of Demise Wildly Exaggerated

Donna Sheehan moved away from West Marin about three or four years ago, and is now slowly recuperating, resting up for health reasons, back in West Marin. We keep in touch. As a past active member and assistant to Donna, I have been filling in as a so-called "coordinator" to continue MOW!'s educational and political role and status from past accomplishments. There is certainly nothing "deceased" about MOW! We are a sub-group of EAC of West Marin for fiscal and advisory purposes. We still have a few of our old Advisory Committee still very much in existence.

Teach Evolution Critically, Not Coercively

Public school teachers should present the theory of evolution to students in a critical manner that allows for scientific rebuttal. For example: Textbooks show pictures of human embryos and argue that the gill-like structures near the neck demonstrate the common ancestry that we share with fish. Students should also be told that these are not gills; they are pharyngeal pouches that serve no respiratory function and that this region develops into organs unrelated to respiration.

Evolutionists argue that vestigial organs, like the coccyx, provide proof of evolution. Students should also know that there are muscles attached to the coccyx that are essential for defecation and labor during childbirth. Students should also be reminded that over 170 human organs, like the tonsils, were previously classified as vestigial, but have subsequently been removed from the list as their functions were discovered.

When students are told that population shifts among finches on the Galapagos Islands or among moths in England prove that evolution is occurring today, they should also be told that these are merely variations within a kind which both evolutionist and creationists believe. The finches remained finches and the moths remained moths. Creationists believe that there are strict limits to the variation, while the evolutionists maintain that, given enough time, one kind of animal will produce a new kind (macro-evolution). This extrapolation has never been observed.

Students should be taught the difference between facts and interpretation of facts. Fossils are facts and the transitional status given to a certain fossil by evolutionists is interpretation. Students should be exposed to other interpretations and should be reminded that fragmentary fossil remains have resulted in false interpretations in the past, such as Nebraska Man, the ape-man that turned out to be a pig.

Those were just a few examples. Numerous other scientific rebuttals are available at websites like and

This idea of exposing students to refutation of evolutionary arguments infuriates many influential evolutionists who demand that evolution be taught as an irrefutable fact, totally exempt from critical analysis. Teachers must not succumb to pressures from these sectors, understanding that the purpose of education is not to perpetuate a belief in a theory. The goal of the instructor should be for the students to understand both the strengths and weaknesses of the theory and to show them how to critically examine the conflicting arguments so that students can make a better informed decision regarding the theory's credibility. Educators who present only one side of a controversy have abandoned education to embrace indoctrination.

Parents must insist that public schools dispense with the unethical practice of using coercion, censorship, ridicule and concealment of relevant data to promote a belief in evolution. If evolution is true, it can survive an environment of open debate.
Steve Sobek
Allison Park, PA
[email protected]

Goof-Up By Foreign Relations Committee

Under pressure from Pakistani pressure groups, the Foreign Relations Committee, under the Chairmanship of Rep. Jesse Helms (R-NC), goofed up by supporting Pakistani attempts to take international attention away from the events happening in Pakistan by trying to belittle India.

In their letter addressed to President Clinton, dated 28/29th September, and signed by over 46 representatives and 15 senators, including Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), and Reps. Dan Burton (R-IN), David Bonior (D-MI), Tom Campbell (R-CA), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), tried to undermine Indo-U.S. relations, and put the U.S. on the false path of pacifying Islamic Pakistan and its Military dictatorship. One wonders whether such letters are indeed genuine or are they an attempt to please the Islamic lobbies in Pakistan and gain monetary benefits. These are the same Islamic lobbies that could be connected to the various Islamic organizations which have financed the U.S. embassy bombing and cost American lives. These Senators and Reps need to be more aware of the realities of such pseudo-pacifist Islamic lobbies operating the US.
Vishal Sharma
Mumbai, India
[email protected]

U.S. Hindu Report Partisan

The U.S. Department of State Annual Report on International Religious Freedom for 1999 is a partisan report.

This report calls any Hindu organization a militant organization for no apparent reason. While it describes it as an allegation that Hindus are being converted to Christianity, it reports about police involvement in Coimbatore's religious clash and the army's role in Kashmir as if it witnessed it first hand and had been proved in the court of law.

This report depicts a picture that is far from the truth in this regard. It attempts to create an indigenous religion for tribals and doesn't understand that Hinduism is a philosophy and a way of life that embodies everyone who lives that way. (Religion is the closest western equivalent) Apparently it tries to create a separate religion for tribals because Christian missionaries often convert these communities to Christianity and more often than not, use monetary advances.

It should seek to understand what Hinduism is and then form conclusions. Hinduism is so secular that it includes atheists. It doesn't preach it is the only way to reach God, whereas Christianity and Islam preach theirs is the only way to reach God. Hinduism was not originated because of a single person. Hinduism is an evolutionary philosophy and just a way of life.

The partisan nature of the report clearly exposes the author's (Mr. Stipple's) preference for Christianity over any other religion. He is a wrong choice, amongst the 280 million people of U.S., to be an ambassador-at-large for religious freedom. He can do a big favor by making way for a truly non-partisan person to head this noble job.

Like any other developing nation, it has its own share of problems either created by its own or by external factors. It is important to note that while we (any well-wisher for India, be it a person or a country like U.S.) are trying to change things for better, we cannot lose sight of the facts, and it is imperative that we make sure that we deal with actual facts and not impressions of regulatory and administrative bodies.
Vidya S. Ranganathan
Fremont, CA
[email protected]

Test Ban

I couldn't stop my temptation to write this letter after watching U.S. Senate's Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty debate. The U.S. was the first country to sign it and first to KILL it and pressured everybody to follow the U.S. The reason used in favor of singing the treaty is not because it could be first step towards a "non-discriminatory total nuclear disarmament." It is just to "lock in" U.S.' lead in nuke technology and it can test in the laboratory itself.

The reason used for opposing is not that the treaty is bad. It is because U.S.' lack of faith in other countries. The U.S. thinks it will honor the treaty, but that others are bound to cheat. It doesn't even want to believe the 30-nation committee which will inspect the suspected sight. The U.S. wants to be able to verify "independently" if it has to ratify, an argument never used when it was ratified in UK and France. It just highlights the U.S.' suspicion at everyone else, while other nations are willing to believe their earthly neighbor.

The Pakistan coup added spice to the debate. It has been cited to show how dangerous the world has become and the U.S.' need to "strengthen" it's "nuclear deterrence." The reason the U.S. is not willing to accept India's "minimum credible nuclear deterrence"? The U.S. dubs it as a "step in wrong direction." How to explain this step?
Venkat Sellappan
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Premarin & Equine Abuse

The FBI could do millions of women a huge service if in its search (reported in the Washingon Post, September 10) for foul play by American Home Products in getting approval to market the killer diet drug Redux, it also looked at another American Home Products' drug, Premarin.

Marketed by its maker with a vengeance that has made millions of women think of natural menopause as a disease, Premarin has dominated the women's hormone replacement therapy market for decades. Yet always there have been worries that it increases the risk of breast cancer, and the alarming rates of breast cancer today certainly lend credence to these fears.

It came to light this year that American Home Products Corporation's Wyeth-Ayerst unit uses a ghostwriting firm called Excerpta Medica, owned by publishing company Reed Elsevier, to prepare reports which are then passed along to "prominent researchers" (Associated Press, May 24, 1999). Naturally a Wyeth spokesperson insisted that the papers regarding the fen-phen cocktail, one-half of which is Redux, "were not written with a slant toward selling the product." But the Dallas Morning News (May 23, 1999) noted allegations that Wyeth tried to play down or eliminate references to side effects that sometimes turned out to be fatal.

The damaged hearts and deaths from fen-phen shocked the entire country.

We at People for Ethical Treatment of Animals have seen first-hand the lengths to which this pharmaceutical giant will go to deny the cruel conditions under which approximately 75,000 pregnant mares produce Premarin (made from pregnant mares' urine) each year and the slaughter of their foals for the European meat market.

Further, not long ago this same company settled lawsuits with more than 36,000 women who had used its contraceptive Norplant.

Is all this frightening? You bet it is.

Is it cause for investigating American Home Products Wyeth-Ayerst unit's Premarin research regarding breast cancer and other possible side effects that may be threatening the lives of millions of women? Absolutely.

Despite the fact that newer, gentler natural and synthetic hormone replacement therapies are now available and many women have switched to them. Premarin is still the most prescribed drug in America.

The FBI's scrutiny can't come too soon.
Carla Bennett
Senior Writer
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Remembering Betty Machado

The tributes keep coming to Betty Machado of Novato, who passed away September 21, 1999. I recall when Betty telephoned me five years ago to suggest that we run as a team for the Marin College Board. A strange concept, but I was flattered and said "yes" without hesitation. One could learn much from Betty-the quintessential civic "watchdog." She was someone who pinpointed exactly what needed to be done to cut through the layers of bureaucracy with wisdom and insight, a walking encyclopedia regarding civic matters.

Betty telephoned her close friends daily, always ending conversations with one of her trademark phrases," Other than that, all is quiet," "Life goes on," or "I'll call you tomorrow and give you the next chapter." Now there will never be another call from Betty or a next chapter. Dear Heart, I was privileged to have had you as a friend. You have left a void in my life that can never be filled.
Basia Crane

More Federal Jurists Needed

It should be obvious to all that the corporate giants wield substantial influence over our elected officials. Because of our electoral system and national apathy of the electorate, the corporate elite have developed effective control of the Executive and the Legislative branches of our national government. Laws are made to enhance the power of these corporations. Many of the largest of these multi-national entities pay absolutely zero income tax.

Unfortunately for these giants, the court system still stands as a bastion of inconvenience as citizens are still able to bring suits against these conglomerates to eke out some crumb of justice. Not for long.

From Bush to Clinton, the list of federal court jurist openings have grown. There are fewer and fewer jurists available to hold court. We might be tempted to blame the Republican and Democratic residents of the White House, but the scheme is more complex than that. Please note that on the rare occasion that the President nominates a potential jurist (and how difficult can that really be?) there is a big ballyhoo in Congress to stop the nomination from taking place.

Clearly, a Federal court system that is understaffed cannot respond to the needs of the citizens. The people must act quickly before our last slim resource of justice fades away.
Adam Selene

Borello Bashed

Regarding Judy Borello's October Moo Town News deploring what she sees as hypocrisy committed by people who lived through the 1960's:

I'm afraid that Ms. Borello's right-wing extremism, as well as her own brand of hypocrisy, is showing. She apparently harbors a great deal of resentment for those who actually enjoyed their lives during the 1960s in America.

Borello takes the typical extreme position of gathering loads of misinformation in order to frame her erroneous conclusions.

Horror of horrors, the "love generation" is now out to steal private property and rob the poor ranchers of all their "rights." What an incredible generalization, not to mention that Borello is full of more stuff than one of her famous sewer ponds.

In monthly column after column, she bashes all those who care about West Marin's natural environment and the protection of the waters of Tomales Bay. Beats the hell out of being a responsible landowner. Don't dare interfere with her "rights."

Unfortunately, the so-called "property rights" canard is being pushed by many folks who want to do anything they damn well please with "their" property. To hell with the neighbors, community and environment, the property rights extremists want their rights and your right can take a back seat. Sorry, Judy, most of us live in the real world, not some right-wing make-believe planet of the greedy.

Borello compounds her typical tirade by then attacking the proposed low-income housing project currently proposed in Point Reyes Station. She apparently wants us to forget that the project was supported by an overwhelming vote of the local citizens. I guess Borello isn't a big fan of the democratic process either.

Hold the hay! Doesn't someone own the property in question? Don't the owners of the property have their rights also? Not according to the wisdom and words of Judy Borello.

Hypocrisy indeed, Ms. Borello. You got your bar and ranch and those other people can live somewhere else, as long as it's not in your town, or in this case, a legally-zoned piece of property in Point Reyes Station.

If landowner Borello wants to bash someone who is a threat to property rights, she my want to start with a two-by-four to her own head.
David Capps

The Strange Case Of The Disappearing Beaches

If you have been to the beach in many parts of California lately, you have a good memory. For as long as any of my high school friends or I can remember, most of the beach in our town of Encinitas has been replaced with long stretches of rocks where sand used to be. Where people used to be. But no more.

There are lots of reasons why this happened, most having to do with people upstream and upcoast doing things to stop the natural ebb and flow of sand from much of the Encinitas area. When sand leaves our beaches, it doesn't come back.

We can't do much about sand leaving, but we can do something to bring it back. The state legislature voted this year to spend $7 million to replenish these beaches with sand. But today, this bill is sitting on the governor's desk, awaiting an uncertain future as he decides whether we should spend that money to restore beaches. Which, of course, are state property.

Let's hope he does.

Now you might think that in California you would not need an excuse to put sand back on a beach. Or that the state government, as landlord, would maintain its property without being cajoled to do so.

After all, everybody loves a beach. But there are lots of reasons to restore sand to beaches other than the fact that kids like to go there. And hopefully the governor will listen to at least one.

The first good reason is that this is the most cost-effective way to build a park. We don't have anything to plant, or water, or cut, or trim. Just dump some sand there every once in awhile, and voila, instant park.

Compare that with all the planning, planting, bulldozing and engineering even a small park needs, and this beach restoration plan could be the greatest-and easiest-park builder in the history of San Diego.

But if creating some parks isn't reason enough-and it should be-what about the jobs and economic activity that beaches create?

People from all over the world visit California for the beaches. And we all know how many clean jobs tourism creates, and how many of us depend on those jobs. More people go to beaches than amusement parks, baseball stadiums, and even concerts.

Tourists leave behind more than $1 billion every year-just in state taxes.

Surely some of that should go to protect this valuable investment.

If creating jobs and happiness are not enough, sandy beaches also protect property, private and public. Sand is a natural buffer that stops waves from tearing down the cliffs that border so many parks and houses.

No sand. No cliffs. No cliffs? That means no houses or parks or trails or other coastal property that make our state so distinctive. Sand is the best erosion control tool we have.

Coronado, Mission Beach and Santa Monica are just a few of the state's beaches that are replenished with sand. So we know it can be done. We know it works. And we know it has benefits.

What we don't know is why we are letting too much of our 1,100-mile coastline just fade away, when other states have shown us we can prevent it.

In Delaware, the state spends 50 times (on a per person basis) to replenish its shoreline. Florida and New Jersey spend almost 25 times per capita what we in California spend. It's ironic that the state that created the beach culture is so far behind in spending just a few dollars to help save it.

Next time you drive through your local beach area, look at all the teenagers hanging out in convenience store parking lots. Wouldn't you rather have them at the beach? Swimming, surfing or playing volleyball, the way kids used to? If you knew what kids were doing in these parking lots, you would say yes. And we would, too. But first we need sand.

Governor Davis is known as an avid golfer, even playing on the team at Stanford. So if he has any reservations about sand, perhaps they are understandable.

But for us non-golfers, sand is not hazard, but a part of our life. Even our heritage.

We're not asking the governor to create it. Just give it back. Just sign the bill. Just save our beaches. Our sandy beaches.
Caitlin Flaherty

Dear Speaker Hastert

I totally disagree with your beliefs and particularly with your actions.

I also believe that not only are the days of Republican majority over, but that the Republican Party as a whole has come to its end.

Per C-Span yesterday we were again informed that you have raid $30 billion from Social Security, despite the fact that it was the GOP throughout the past 20 years that harped on spending less and paying off the national debt. Your actions confirm that you have been lying all along.

We want the budget reduced, especially the military budget.

You state you want to beef up the military to stand strong against foreign threats, but it is America that is attacking various countries around the globe for the purpose of colonizing our multi-nationals-for their profit-at the expense of us taxpayers.

We taxpayers are not your constituents nor are we the constituents of the Democrats.

Your constituents are in the military industrial complex and they have moved offshore, while we have to support them with 50 percent of our income and, after death, 65 percent of our assets that we have worked for all our lives to create something for our children so that they can carry on at a higher level.

We resent subsidizing the military industrial complex and the constant lies we are being fed about money laundering by the Russians in U.S. banks. It was U.S. banks that rushed in to buy up Russian assets, and the Russians that sold the assets deposited some of those sums in U.S. banks.

We resent the stories about espionage in our nuclear labs and hi-tech institutions. It was under Reagan that Boeing sold its factories to China. And it was under Reagan and Bush that scientific, including nuclear, exchanges were encouraged with Russia, China and other nations.

We resent the paranoia you are propagating against the citizenry in order to foster the expansionism of your multi-nationals at our expense.

We abhor the moral, sexual and religious propaganda you stuff down our throats.

These are private matters and government should stay out of them.

You, no doubt, are cognizant of the fact that there is a major paradigm shift going on, and the untruths foisted on us by government are coming to light, and you are finding yourselves irrelevant to the public which you have been exploiting and dividing in order to gain your own power.

The special interests you refer to in your letter are yourselves.

In your letter you are again hitting me up for contributions-but we all know your major contributors are the multi-nationals.

We may not be able to compete with the multi-nationals but we certainly do not feel we are in any way indebted to them or to you. Why should we support a Republican/Democratic system that is against us?

You have asked me, as a voter and a citizen, to tell you where I stand and what I believe and I hope this letter clarifies matters for you.
Olga Goldsmith
San Rafael

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