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Letters to the Editor

Wednesday September 06, 2000

Father: Jeffrey is a caring human being 




There have been allegations that my son Jeffrey Schilling went to the Abu Sayyaf camp to negotiate about weapons. I just want to make it clear to Abu Sayyaf and the world that he is not now nor has he ever been involved in arms dealing. My son is not a CIA agent. These allegations are groundless. 

Before he went to the Philippines, Jeffrey had worked with friends in several small business ventures: contract painting, landscaping and goat herding. He had also had part-time jobs as a fitness instructor and a hotel desk clerk while going to school at UC Berkeley. I encouraged him to consider more conventional jobs so that he could have a steady income. 

Jeffrey wanted to start his own businesses instead. My son is a hard worker. He worked many hours a day last summer tending goats as part of a fire prevention business in the East Bay. 

Friends and family know Jeffrey as a man with a good and caring heart.  

He has a very generous spirit. He was concerned over the plight of the Filipino Muslim people. So he would send money, food and clothing to the Philippine Muslim community. 

He converted to Islam six years ago in the fall of 1994. Jeffrey married a Filipina Muslim this past April. Jeffrey went to the Philippines in search of a deepening of his Islamic faith. Now the Abu Sayyaf is holding him.  

I call on Abu Sabaya, as a Muslim and as a human being, to release my son unharmed. 


George Schilling 



Great city employees; treat them right! 




On Friday night there was a medical emergency at my house. We called 911. 

Minutes later we heard reassuring sounds: the sirens of the approaching emergency vehicles. 

The personnel were first rate. They were polite and friendly, swift and thorough with their questions, professional in their assessment of the situation, and adept at putting people at ease. 

To quote the victim, they were “just beautiful” in their handling of what was to us an extremely unsettling and confusing situation. Within minutes we were on our way to the hospital. 

During the ride I learned that the union of these stellar city workers is currently engaged in contract negotiations with the city on their behalf. 

I understand that these negotiations are beginning to drag on. 

The City should not permit these labor negotiations to continue much longer. These people work extremely hard, their job is difficult, and they are indispensable.  

Berkeley's Emergency Medical paramedics are a treasure, and they should be treated as such. We never know when we may need them. 

Grateful to the team and glad all is well again, 


Doris Willingham 




Homophobia in Falun Gong needs exposure  



In his Op-ed piece, Professor Franz Schurman provides an interesting historical perspective concerning the Falun Gong cult. I hope that in the near future I will see a follow-upon their cultist preachings, one of which is virulent homophobism.  

I often visit China and have several personal friends there. The rights of Chinese gays has never been greater and is gradually increasing since Deng Xiao Peng overthrew maoism and under the greater liberalism of President Zhiang Zemin. 

It would be tragic to see Falun Gong spread its bigotry and superstition into Chinese society much the same way as the fanatic elements within the US evangelical community. 

Only the International Herald-Tribune has exposed this fanatic cult's anti-human rights position on this issue. Every one else ignores this issue, especially anti-Chinese politicians seeking votes like Nancy Pelosi. 


Armand Boulay 




Libertarian says get rid of sales and income tax 



Fred Foldvary, Libertarian Party candidate in the 9th District (Berkeley-Oakland area), declared on Labor Day that he would be the best friend in Congress that labor could possibly have. 

“Libertarians would repeal all taxes on labor,” said Foldvary, “including not just taxes on wage income but also sales and excise taxes. Workers would be totally tax free.”  

Untaxing the American worker would effectively double the typical wage, enabling workingfamilies to afford housing, health care, and better education.  

“Taxing wages is unjust,” said Foldvary, “because the labor belongs to the worker, and so does the wage.” 

Since the Democratic incumbent is the likely winner, voters in the 9th District will not really be voting on who will represent them, but on what policy they favor. 

Voting for Foldvary will show that workers want to raise wages by shifting taxes out of wages. 

Foldvary says that the federal government should not tax workers or consumers directly, but instead obtain public revenues from the State governments.  

These federal revenues can be supplemented by federal rental charges for pollution and for the use of natural resources such as oil, forests, grazing, and other land values.  

Foldvary calls on labor unions and all groups working to improve the condition of labor to join him in advocating an end to the taxation of labor. 

Foldvary challenges the other candidates for Congress to state their position on taxing labor. 


Fred Foldvary 

Libertarian Party candidate for House of Representatives, 9th District