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May 23-30, 2007

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Letters to the Editor


Spreading Around The Globe

VISALUS ("Pill Power," Cover Story, May 2) is now in Jamaica. My wife and I have been approached to become distributors. However I am very cynical about the claims and have decided definitely not to become a distributor. My wife is interested, as she wants to have a BMW.

I have advised her that she is on her own as the recruitment is spreading real fast and she will soon have no one to recruit or sell to.

These schemes are confidence trickster schemes and they should be investigated thoroughly before being allowed to make the miraculous claims they do.

Courtney Brown, Kingston, Jamaica

Blum Behind UC Problems

RE "Feinstein Resigns." (News&Views, May 2): This is not about Politics, is not about Science, is not about Art, is not about Philosophy. This is about the survival of our species. This is an emergency call. It has nothing to do with "national security," but global security.

It is clear that much of the problems UC is facing now come from the current chairman of UC Regents Richard C. Blum. And the connection with Feinstein cleared any doubt.

We need to spread the word now. Americans have to awake from this terrible nightmare. The future of our species is in danger.

If you want to be a rebel, be kind. Human-kind, be both.

Francisco Ramos Stierle, Berkeley

Feinstein Responds ... Sort Of

DON'T KNOW if you saw this, but Sen. Feinstein has responded to your story about Milcon, point by point: http://capitolideaortwo.blogspot.com/ 2007/05/feinstein-responds-to-conflict-of.html.

I can't find this response on her website, so I figure she's only releasing it to those who ask for it--but she doesn't want to put in on her site because that would cause reporters inside the beltway to think she was really worried about these allegations.

Here's my take on her points, for what it's worth:

1. You suggest she quit from Milcon because she was getting too much heat; she says it was just part of the normal rotation of committee assignments when the Dems won Congress. On this one, there's no clear winner, no smoking gun. Yes, committee assignments change when terms end, but why would she quit from this committee if it is as noncontroversial as she claims, with no conflicts for her, etc.? And why wasn't this switch announced earlier?

2. She said she sought the advice of the Senate Ethics Committee on her own. OK, when? The date of her request, and the request itself, should be a public document. If it was after your investigation began, then she's a crook. If it was years before your investigation began, then you shot at her with a blank.

3. She makes the distinction between approving appropriations for projects that have not been awarded to contractors, and awarding contracts. Her argument is pretty convincing on this one--that she, as a senator, should be in a position to designate money for projects, but that the decision of who gets the contracts to do those projects falls to others. It's this point you guys should address. Maybe she had influence over the contracting process? If so, say how she did it--or admit that she bested you in this contest!

Anyway, be honest journalists and present her side of the story. Then address it. I think it's entirely possible that she put billions into companies owned by her husband, but you've got to prove that point--put out the evidence that refutes her points. Then let readers decide.

Bob Gamboa, Redwood City


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