February 21-27, 2007

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Letters to the Editor

Not just the evil Republicans

Peter Byrne's story on Dianne Feinstein's conflicts of interest ("Senator Warbucks," Jan. 24) was truly eye-opening! Now I see that Machiavelli's political writings have been incorporated into business-as-usual by representatives of both parties, not just the "evil Republicans." Thank you, Peter, for helping me to get wise about how the game is played today in Washington! Your story was extremely valuable.

Carla Normand, Petaluma

Misappropriating appropriations

Peter Byrne's recent story on Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her husband Richard Blum raises serious ethical questions. If she had any notion that her participation on the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee (MILCON) might in any way have a positive impact on Mr. Blum's financial interests, it would have been most appropriate for her to resign from the committee to avoid the slightest appearance of a conflict of interest. Despite this potential conflict of interest, she chose to continue as a MILCON committee member.

One wonders if Sen. Feinstein would have been re-elected if the facts cited in Byrne's story were made public prior to the 2006 election. It is likely that questions would have been raised about her ethics and the decisions she made as chairperson of the MILCON committee.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein needs to respect the fact that there are many, in addition to this writer, who question her ethics and values.

John Pizzuti, Soquel

Outshining in our field

Thanks for your important article about Dianne Feinstein. I did not vote for her in the primary because she was not opposing the Iraq War or denouncing Bush's assault on the Constitution. Your research explains why.

I regularly read several national newspapers and magazines, but I open the Bohemian confident that Peter Byrne's column will outshine the big-city publications and contain the substantial, critical journalism we desperately need. Courage.

Lois Atchison, Glen Ellen

For more shocking truths about the tangled riches of Dianne Feinstein's husband, Richard C. Blum, see the Byrne Report. This time, Mr. Blum goes to college!

Someone's seat is a little narrow

Hooray for our heroes, the drugged, garishly clad rolling corporate billboards! And hooray for their Tour of California sponsor, Amgen, manufacturer of EPO, the widely used illegal drug for which the riders are not tested! Yay!

Brian Boldt, Santa Rosa

Piss artist

I paused as I read the opening paragraphs of your article ("Hair of the Dog," Jan. 31) as writer Alastair Bland described how Lagunitas owner Tony Magee left town so he could avoid chipping in to clean up the environmental impact of his brewery.

I was perplexed as I finished the article that no mention was made about the waste handling in his new home, Petaluma, a situation that could only have more of an impact today as he, Bland writes, rolls out "the Lagunitas--bottle by bottle, case by case and flush by flush."

Lesley Bruecks, Santa Rosa

One crazy mofo

Read your article on Feinstein. Maybe you should ask her how she voted on the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and why this government gave the media $70 billion worth of public airwaves. Ask her about the true origin of HIV/AIDS and how U.S. servicemen were used as carriers of this disease in 1971 and where this disease started. Ask her about the $2.3 trillion in missing funds from the Department of Defense that Donald Rumsfeld spoke of on Sept. 10, 2001. Ask her about the covert/shadow government that actually controls this nation and was headquartered in the WTC. That's why it had to be destroyed. Ask her, who are the NSA and other agencies actually spying on? If you want to contact me, GOOD LUCK! I don't think that the government, AT&T and Yahoo will let you.

Steven R. Gillespie, Stockton

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