A little girl asked her daddy if all fairy tales begin with “Once upon a time… ”

“No, dear,” he replied. “Many of them start with ‘If I’m elected… ’” Bill Cox | Marina


I am in the Middle East as an American – before, during and after WikiLeaks posted the hundreds of thousands of Iraq War documents. I feel no less safe than I’ve felt before. In my hotel – a Swiss hotel – I must pass through a metal detector and X-ray station. A Darfur peace summit has been going on here during my stay. Normally this hotel does not have these security measures.

I work for a Sudanese man who now calls Doha home. The work I do is with schoolteachers who teach science. They are mostly Egyptians and Jordanians (from two different continents) who have come to Qatar to teach students physics.

This is my sixth trip here. English and Arabic are the two main languages in this country. The great thing about science is that it is very hard to hide the truth no matter what nonsensical dogma tries to obscure it.

On a previous trip, a bookstore manager gave me a ride back to my hotel from the mall. He’s Palestinian. He speaks Arabic. He’s a Christian and wears a cross.

I find the teachers complain about work about as much as I do. And they complain about their students about as much (probably less) as my teachers did about me. They like to eat and wish they had more time with family and friends and had more time to sleep. I too have these feelings. They like to laugh and have fun. I like that, too.

The Middle East is a huge region made up of so many different people of different nationalities, origins, languages, beliefs, religions and more. Very few Americans have even the slightest clue about this. Many Americans couldn’t tell a Hindu wearing a turban from an Arab wearing a dishdash (it’s like wearing a baseball cap verses a cowboy hat) or realize that Iranians are Persians not Arabs (they have a different language, too).

I first flew over Bagdad en route to Doha in November 2009. From seven miles up, it looked like any other city, and the Iraqi countryside looked about the same as the American Southwest.

When the truth is buried, it is easy to be blind. Dan Linehan | Monterey


I have known Sheriff Mike Kanalakis for almost 50 years and Chief Scott Miller for about 20. Being an ex-Sheriff’’s “insider,” I was surprised when the sheriff made certain statements while being questioned by the media in the Commander Fred Garcia investigation. My suspicions were later confirmed when the sheriff changed his story and admitted he knew about the investigation.

The issues of the purchase of the helicopter and the possible development of a new jail on land owned by Sheriff’s supporters only cast more doubt on his integrity.

The sheriff needs to be trusted by not only the citizens but by the law enforcement personnel. I believe the trust has diminished substantially and know that this would change dramatically if Scott Miller were elected sheriff. Terry R. Pfau, undersheriff, Monterey County (retired) | Seaside

CORRECTION: A news brief reported the local air pollution control district advised against the Oct. 8 Fort Ord burn (“The Buzz,” Oct. 14-20). It did not.

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