Letters to the Editor

Tuesday January 04, 2005



Editors, Daily Planet:  

Bush is always prattling on about democracy and freedom, but he is profoundly anti-democracy and anti-freedom. Bush & Co. have stolen two U. S. presidential elections. Abroad, Bush has overthrown the democracy of Haiti, having kidnapped President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and taken him to a remote location in central Africa. In place of democracy in Haiti, Bush has installed gangs run by death-squad leaders and other common thugs. In Afghanistan, his CIA-sponsored puppet has recently been “elected” in a rigged election. In his illegal criminal invasion and occupation of Iraq, Bush is trying to set up a string permanent U. S. military bases and create a corporate puppet dictatorship to his business buddies to steal Iraq’s vast oil reserves.  

In terms of freedom, Bush & Co., with the assistance of Attorney General John Ashcroft, are dismantling the Bill of Rights of the U. S. Constitution as fast as they can. Since 9-11, Bush has asserted that he possesses dictatorial powers and that he can order the indefinite lockup of any American citizen on the grounds that such persons pose an alleged terror threat. Torture, kidnapping and murder are common tools of the Bush regime outside of the U. S. borders. 

To reclaim our democracy from the death-grip of the Bush gang, we first need to have our votes counted openly and publicly, not to have them “counted” by hackable insecure proprietary secret software owned and operated by right-wing-supporting corporations such as Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and SAIC. We must demand the immediate creation of auditable paper trails for all electronic computerized voting machines. Before the next federal election in 2006, we need to return to traditional hand-counted paper ballots and real American democracy.  

The Jan. 6 joint session of Congress to approve the selections of the Electoral College will be the last good public chance to openly and publicly discuss the massive election fraud in Ohio and elsewhere in the nation. Please call or write to the remaining 45 Democratic Senators and urge them to take a gutsy stand and challenge this fraudulent election and demand a re-vote with hand-counted paper ballots in Ohio. If they can re-vote in the Ukraine, we can re-voter in Ohio. 

Who knows, maybe if some representatives and senators can talk and talk and thus delay the re-crowning of King Bush, maybe we can get our democracy back before it is too late.  

James K. Sayre 





Editors, Daily Planet:  

What a missed opportunity. That was my first reaction to Red Lander’s diatribe (Daily Planet, Dec. 24-27). Here he has the opportunity to respond to all the anti-Bush commentary, and he doesn’t say a word. Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction. No response. Bush has flouted the Geneva conventions (Guantanamo and Iraq), and curtailed civil rights (the Patriot Act). No response. Bush is trying to eliminate wildlife conservation standards (some put in place by Ronald Reagan no less), and environmental and health protection standards. No response. Bush is trashing the economy, public schools, family planning, women’s rights and our foreign relations. No response. On just about everything he does Bush lies. No response. 

Upon further reflection I realized that the totality of no responses is a response. The above concerns weren’t important enough to him to elicit a response. Mr. Landers has studied Mao’s little Red book in college, and he is “Reagan Red”. It’s his team versus our team. It doesn’t matter if people and the environment are getting hurt; he is doing okay, and his team won. 

Robert Clear  




Editors, Daily Planet:  

The City of Berkeley Housing Department is undertaking a review of historic resources in the neighborhood surrounding the east parking lot of the Ashby BART station. This western portion of this lot is proposed for development as Ed Roberts Campus, a universally-accessible community resource center for people with disabilities.  

The area the city is interested in is within Ashby Avenue on the north, Shattuck Avenue on the east, Woolsey Street on the south, and Martin Luther King Jr. Way on the west. This area, coincidentally, corresponds to the approximate boundaries of a ranch owned by Mark Ashby, an early Berkeley resident.  

This neighborhood was originally developed at the turn of the 20th Century as a streetcar suburb, and possesses a number of prominent examples of Colonial Revival-style homes. According to records assembled by the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association, this area saw six different electrified trolley lines going through. These lines linked together downtown Berkeley and the University of California campus with south Berkeley, north and west Oakland.  

In addition, state of California records indicate there are three historic buildings that may be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, including the Webb Building at 1985 Ashby, the Hull & Durgin Funeral Home at 3031-51 Adeline, and Luke's Nickelodeon building at 3192 Adeline. 

Ed Roberts Campus has received funding awards from the federal government toward its development. To receive funding commitments from the government, the campus must have the City of Berkeley (acting on behalf of the federal government in this instance) consider what, if any, effects the campus would have on historic resources in the Ashby BART, and the city wants to hear from the public about the history of this south Berkeley neighborhood.  

Members of the public who wish to contribute their knowledge, photographs, testimonies, or memories of this neighborhood—or who know someone who might be willing to contribute such information—are urged to contact Tim Stroshane, senior planner, City of Berkeley Housing Department, (510) 981-5422, or via e-mail at tstroshane@ci.berkeley 

.ca.us. We look forward to hearing from you! 

Tim Stroshane 

Senior Planner 

City of Berkeley Housing Department