Wednesday November 7, 2018

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FIRE WEATHER WATCH IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY EVENING THROUGH
FRIDAY MORNING FOR GUSTY WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITY FOR FIRE WEATHER – PG&E has issued the possible power outage warning .
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Community Meeting to plan future of Advanced Medical Services for western Sierra County, Thursday, November 8th at 12 noon at the Masonic Hall, Downieville.
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JOLLY HOLIDAY BAZAAR: SIERRA CITY 11/10/2018 – 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM -Sierra City’s Community Hall. You know what’s interesting about this is it is on my birthday, so anyone who hasn’t got my birthday present yet…this is like the perfect place to find just the right thing for me… I suppose you could find gifts for other people for Xmas too, like family and friends, but figured it wouldn’t hurt to remind you it is my birthday….
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ALL SIERRA COUNTY SOLID WASTE COLLECTION SITES WILL BE CLOSED ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2018 IN OBSERVANCE OF VETERAN’S DAY.   ADDITIONALLY, LOYALTON WILL BE CLOSED ON MONDAY THE 12TH. http://www.sierracounty.ca.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=254
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Sierra County Transportation Commission will meet on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 10:00 a.m. at Sierraville School.
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TACOS and TALENT!!  Enjoy an evening of Mexican food and entertainment provided by the Drama Class and various elementary student performers.  The drama class skit—“My Miss Right”– is a blast to the past with Johnny Rock and all of his teenage followers.  Thursday, November 15 in the DHS Cafeteria.  Dinner at 5:30 and entertainment to follow.  Limited seating so get there early!!  2 taco meal with sides—$10.   1 taco and sides—$6.

Sierra County Deputy Clerk Melissa Kinneer swears in Election Results Board Kristy Folsom, Anne Hutchison and Sharon Dobija

I guess we all know the election results by now and we are either happy or hoping for the best with what we got. I’m writing this on Tuesday afternoon and have been deliberately avoiding the news all day, don’t want to waste my time worrying or gnashing my teeth so, I will continue this Wednesday morning.. WED- well, thank goodness Prop 6 has not passed so the gas tax will help keep our roads in shape and plowed if it ever snows… I didn’t put my studded tires on yet as my son feared that would jinx our chance of snow. Andy Genasci is the new Sierra-Plumas Joint Unified School District member. Here are final but not yet official Sierra County Election Results. National results are good for the country as far as our checks and balance system. Democrats in the House and Republicans in the Senate.. Gad, Trump’s on a news conference right now talking about The Wall… is he envisioning the Great Wall of China.. the Berlin Wall? I think he doesn’t realize what a waste of time and money. As to releasing his tax forms, a promise he made during the campaign. We won’t- “we” being the people of America- “won’t understand the tax forms he files… and his company is so big and complex…we wouldn’t understand it”… he hasn’t changed overnight… still a total prick. Yep and just in at noon today Jeff Sessions has resigned at Trump’s request… resign or be fired… that’s a fired.. last night was a respite of no news for me.. I think I need a nap. We don’t like you Mr. Trump, people don’t like you, you are a “rude terrible person”.

Local news and events, Carrie’s Corner is calming if necessary, Fringe Editor DeVita has returned as the Contributing Editor and wrote an up to date article on the reality of Climate Change. Sheriff’s Public Log, Board of Supes met Tuesday and made some decisions…  Columnists Robert Koehler, Kary Love, Wim Laven are worthy reads.  J.P. Linstroth offers a column about the Brazilian election, at first I wondered if it was even relevant to us but then I read it again and found it is extremely relevant discussing the effects of socialism and fascism, the dangers that could lie ahead and what we are facing if sanity doesn’t return to our political representatives in the federal government.
The peaceful and calm photo of the falls on the Downie River was taken by local Michele Foster.
So some readers have told me they only receive the Wednesday column link so if you want to see what else is here go to the website sierracountyprospect.org
and just scroll down… each article has the date published with the title so just keep scrolling you are on last weeks articles when you hit last Wednesdays date. Sometimes it continues on to page two. At any this is a free site, we do not charge to read or to advertise. The editors try to accommodate writers and readers, we hope you enjoy the opportunity of information we put forth.

Marilyn Tierney Honored 11/7/18

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BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, COUNTY OF SIERRA, STATE OF CALIFORNIA

RESOLUTION OF APPRECIATION MARILYN TIERNEY

WHEREAS, Marilyn Tierney, who served as Wildlife Biologist for the United States Forest Service from May 1990 through December 2018, has announced her retirement, and  this Board wishes to express its appreciation for her service and acknowledge her contributions to Sierra County; and,

WHEREAS, Marilyn Tierney, in her capacity as Wildlife Biologist, worked collaboratively with numerous agencies, including the County of Sierra, to  understand,  protect,  and  enhance  wildlife  and  fishery  resources  in the County, including herpetological surveys and analysis of.distribution across the Tahoe National Forest; development of the Forest Carnivore Network;  bat  surveys  and  analysis  for  the  preservation  of  the Thompson Big Eared Bat at the Kentucky Mine; relicensing for the ensuing thirty years the complex hydropower projects on The Tahoe National Forest; actively participating in the Highway 89 Stewardship Team  prom_o ting highway wildlife under crossings; provided a leadership role in the development  of  the Yuba  Project;  and  authoring countless biological reports and analyses to mitigate impacts to fishery and wildlife resources; and,

WHEREAS, Marilyn Tierney, has inspired the trust and admiration of this Board of Supervisors, her co­ workers, and the public in her volunteer contributions exemplified by her service as a long-standing member of the Sierra County Fish and Wildlife Commission, her twenty-one year dedication  to organizing the annual Packer Lake Fishing Derby for children; and her strong and effective commitment to the wildlife and fishery resources of the County.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board  of Supervisors  of  the County of Sierra does hereby publicly acknowledge, and with sincere appreciation  proudly recognizes, the public service provided by Marilyn Tierney a Wildlife Biologist with the United States Forest Service as well as her countless volunteer hours serving on  the County Fish and Wildlife Commission  and other community  events, and  as such has earned the trust, confidence, and respect of this Board of Supervisors and the residents of the Count,y and with pleasure and gratitude, the Board of Supervisors subscribes  her name hereto in recognition  of all that is contained herein, and wishes her good health and happiness in retirement.

Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Sierra on November 6, 2018, at Downieville, California.

CPR Recertification 11/7/18

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 BLS CPR Recertification Class on November 12, 2018 – Veterans Day 5:30pm — 9:30pm  Downieville Community Hall for anybody with a non-expired American Heart Association CPR Card Please make a reservation, as class size is limited. Contact Marty: firebear62@hotmail.com  Office (530) 289-0213  Cell (530) 307-0576  Class instructor is Marty Creel, Paramedic with Downieville Volunteer Am-bulance. Course costs sponsored through Public Health Emergency Pre-paredness Grant. 

Carrie’s World Corner 11/7/18

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Right now, we live in a very impressive world of technology, and innovation. We also live in a world where the stress levels are at an all time high…especially this time of the year. We feel the urge to buy this, and to do that. To go here, there and everywhere. Then, after all that is done, we have house work, cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids’ school projects. Then, there are the pets, and why, for the love of God, is your pet shedding enough to create a whole new animal every time you give it a good brushing?! We try to tie up all of the loose ends before the end of the year, as if we were on some sort of epic adventure with a 2 month time limit on it. Before we know it, our brains have turned into one large, twisted puzzle….and the mice in there have given up trying to find a way through the puzzle. Instead, they’re just starting to gnaw through the walls, just to get to the cheese prize at the end. Only, there’s no end.

     I see this happen to folks every single year. We rush to get ourselves stocked up as best as possible for the long winter months ahead. On top of that, we try to get everything we need for Halloween, followed by everything we need for Thanksgiving, followed by everything we need (and then some) for Christmas, and by the end of all that, it’s now time to try and get everything we need for the new year…including making a list of resolutions that most of us will never completely follow through on, but hey, it looks good when we write it all down on a list! Huzzah!
      Basically, we are entering what is the most stressful time of the year. This year, take time to just stop. Stop stressing out over the little stuff. Stop trying to be super human (that’s for Hollywood, and Photoshop). Stop trying to be super mom/dad. Stop trying to compare yourself with someone else. Stop trying to be the best pet owner on the planet. Don’t know where to start learning how to stop everything? Start with 1 hour a day, just for yourself. If you have to, write it on your daily calendar. Yes, yes, we know you have to work, and take care of the kids, and get the chores done, and walk the dog. I mean after all that. Take 1 hour for just you. Take a walk, a hot bath, read, sew, enjoy a hobby….something that helps you completely relax and unwind. You’ll thank yourself for that. Just try and not stress out so much. Besides, the dog loves you anyway, and the cat will always be apathetic towards everything anyway. Enjoy the week….calmly.

Last Barbarians #3 11/7/18

Letter: Propensity

Dear Last Barbarians,

Why did we destroy the rich and heartbreakingly beautiful Earth? We preferred things.
Here is a list of our propensities:

We wanted to live.

We wanted our children to live.

We wanted to be comfortable.

We wanted to be well fed.

We wanted to be loved.

We wanted to be admired, by many.

We wanted to stand in the sun or lay in the shade as we chose.

We feared death.

We feared hunger.

We feared beasts that eat us, both very great beasts and beasts too small to see.

We feared being ostracized.

We feared strangers and enemies.

We feared the darkness, where we are naked and ignorant of what might find us.

If you New Barbarians have all of these, you, too, might destroy the Earth.

A “propensity” to something, like “a propensity to want to live”, means a “tendency towards”. See the magic? It doesn’t mean all people did these things all the time; sometimes people acted inverse of these tendencies.

But, in the scheme of things, in the great churning plow of the universe, marginal differences make all the differences; a tendency towards something means that eventually it will tend to dominate. It can imply “exponential growth” where each iteration, each generation, is bigger by the degree that the former was bigger.

In complex systems, which repeat themselves (like generations of humans do), small differences make all the difference.

Those propensities, and the emotions which guided us towards them, are what struck the Earth nearly lifeless.

We will talk of these again, many times. It is important for you to understand them, and how they bring about the body, and then the end.

Climate Change Reality 11/7/18

Is Climate Change Real?  by Laurenc DeVita

Donald Trump, climate denier in chief, has just come out with a new position:  Climate change is real, and it will go to 4 degree Centigrade above pre-industrial temperatures, but don’t worry, it will change back.  He actually said, “I’m not denying climate changeb, ut it could very well go back. You know, we’re talking about over a … millions of years.”   He didn’t indicate if he still intends to be president when that happens.

It is important to note that climate change was real before Trump noticed it (and actually, in the past Trump did accept human caused climate change), in fact, we’ve known for over a hundred years. 
In 1895 Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius realized that we were releasing CO2 and it would warm the planet.  This was before the surge of Modernity, before industrializing took over the globe with an orgy of fossil fuel use.  Even so, back then Arrhenius realized that fossil fuels would raise the planet by a number of degrees.
In 1938 Guy Stewart  Callendar put forth the notion that we should be worried about the changes it would bring. 
In the 1950s Gilbert Plass and Roger Revelle warned that the increase might bring negative effects to nations, and in 1962 Mikhail Budyko warned we were on course for disaster.

In 1968 David Rockefeller founded the Club of Rome, a group intending to globalize all humankind with the intention of improving lives and protecting the environment.  Since then, the Club has continued to be a source of information on the various aspects of climate change, from the impacts on low income persons to strategies they feel would work toward deescalating what was increasingly seen as a global problem.  The group released, in 1972, “Limits to Growth”, which cautioned that increasing population coupled with increasing resource exploitation was an approaching crisis.   The COR released a video from Australia, with an old computer model of a number of variables demonstrated that, about 2940 or so, human productivity would rapidly decline, and population would drop.
Reaction to the Limits to Growth and the model it was based on were immediate, and vitriolic.  The premise is that humans can not continue to both increase in population and use more resources on a finite planet.  The more the system works the Earth for resources, the more the cost per outcome; it is a closed system, you can’t argue with ecological science.  Yet, people do, people for whom the continuation of economic growth was essential.  

More recently, however, there is less criticism and more support for that early model, as a 2014 study found that on whole, the primitive model was amazingly on point. https://history.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm

Since 1972 there have been many models, both of the climate and of the impacts likely to humankind; relatively few differ drastically from the rough outline of that original model.  

Since Limits to Growth, the UN has stepped forward to discuss global climate change.  Since its inception in 1988, the International Panel on Climate Change has produced publications documenting both the changes in the climatic system, and the impact on humans.  The IPCC has issued five assessments, the first in 1992 and the fifth in 2015.  They document a worsening crisis, and suggest policy changes to mitigate the worst of the outcomes.  Sadly, more people listen to Rush Limbaugh than the IPCC.  

Look at the IPCC material yourself: http://ipcc.ch/   Look at the latest report here: http://report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_spm_final.pdf 

Who believes in climate change?  People who live with the immediate circumstances; and those who are enjoying a comfortable life are less willing to.  Note the chart.

CHART Percentage of people who believe in global climate change.

In the US, belief in human caused climate change is split along party lines, with nearly seven in ten Democrats believing in climate change, while among Republicans, the percentage is less than two in ten, though now that Trump has acknowledge it.

The Pentagon did back in 2004, and then again in 2014.  You can read the Pentagon’s report here: http://archive.defense.gov/pubs/150724-congressional-report-on-national-implications-of-climate-change.pdf?source=govdelivery 

Why should we believe that human caused climate change is real?

Science, and pretty easy science at as we recall, that goes back to 1898.
Below are two charts; the first on a time scale of 400,000 years, showing CO2, global temperatures and sea level rise.
Wait, how do we know what the sea level was, and what the temperatures and CO2 were hundreds of thousands of years ago?  It takes these people and more: microbiologists, chemical paleontologists, people who study the chemical composition of rock, and of ice and from things like fossil mold spores.  When you see a chart like the one below, imagine thousands of people contributing to it, for our understanding.  On this important chart, notice that CO2 has risen as not before in over 400,000 years.

The second chart spells it out for us at a scale of a couple of hundred years; it is the rise of CO2 since the start of the industrial revolution. 

But, wait, climate change denialists call out, it isn’t us, it is the planet tilting, or the sun getting hotter, or just a natural cycle.  Guess what!  If it is a real thing, and you know about it, then the professionals who study this for a living also know about it.  
Yes, human caused global climate change is real.  No, there is no doubt about it.  Who believes in climate change?  Climate scientists, about 90%, and a study in 2013 found that of 14,000 peer reviewed articles on human caused climate change, only 24 studies disagreed.
Who doesn’t believe in it?  People who might have to admit their entire lifestyle is killing the planet. As we saw, Republicans, mostly.

What happened to “global warming”?  The term remains correct, the complex systems which compose our climate are heating up, absorbing more energy.  However, not everywhere will be warmer all the time, and the thermohaline conveyor, the great system that moves water around the world’s oceans, might slow or stop, and if they do, weather in many place, including the British Isles, will get much colder.  Sea level rises comes from ice sheets melting, but the death of the sea comes from plastic pollution, absorbed CO2 making it acidic, and from absorbed temperatures directly.  

Of particular concern is the melting of the ice caps at the poles, and on Greenland; the poles are heating the most quickly.  Those differences in temperature keep our weather moving in a reasonably constant way.  If the difference between the poles and the equator change too much, weather will become unstable and the oceans may become hypoxic, meaning they would not have enough oxygen to support fish. 

This picture shows the reduction in old ice in the Arctic in the 27 years leading to 2013.  Since 2013 the Arctic has lost even more ice; this year, the passage across the Arctic shipping lanes was kept open all year.  We are likely only a few years away from a “blue water Arctic”.  Antarctica, we remember, is rock surrounded by ice, while the Arctic is ice, surrounded by rock.   To see a time lapse, go here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vj1G9gqhkYA

How are we causing climate change?
By overpopulating!  There were about 50 million humans or less through most of our history.   In the last few tens of thousands of years, our numbers began to grow (the weather got mellow), but even so, human population didn’t really begin to grow until we started exploiting fossil fuels.  We were at one billion about 1800; two billion a hundred and thirty years later, three billion in the 1950s and is topping 7.7 billion right now.

See how quickly our numbers grew!  This is called “exponential growth”, and it nearly always ends in what some call the “Seneca Cliff” or “Seneca Event”, which is a sudden drop in things, like social complexity and population.  For more about the Seneca Effect, go here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/406824673049557/ 

What can be done to prevent a real disaster?
A lot, but it would take a lot.  Wealthy people, like nearly everyone who we know, would have to sacrifice comfort.  The economy would have to learn to live without constant growth.  We would have to disallow banks the right to create money by making a loan.  We would have to reduce population, fully legalize and support birth control and termination.  We would have to eat closer to home, instead of having five things on our plate, all of which came from thousands of miles away.  We would have to curb the military and spend money on civilian projects.
In short, we would have to become much more poor than we are.

Very few of us are happy to do that.

For Americans, the problem is complicated by the fact that the UN and the Club of Rome and other organizations trying to curb global climate disaster are global organizations, calling for action from the global community.  Yeah, America don’t rock like that, see, we want to control our own stuff.  Now, we will get together to make war on someone, or to make someone rich, but we won’t be told to use LED lightbulbs by someone from some other country.
And, it is good we feel that way, too, because there is a growing sense that, as Donald Trump also said in his memo, there is no way to do everything that needs to be done.  For all its well meaning approach, the UN will not get the rich nations to share, not get them to accept two billion new immigrants, will not shut down the oil refineries and build a million new solar panels.  People are not going to give up their cars, not going to stop flying, not going to stop eating beef that was raised a thousand miles off.

In that case, many, including apparently Trump, feel it is best just to let the beast fall.  The sooner the collapse, the more of the planet will be left.  

Of course, with six out of seven people on the planet fully dependent on fossil fuels for food, water, warmth and consumer goods, the likely outcome of such a collapse would be very unfortunate, indeed.

Is collapse inevitable?  According to a model conducted in 2012, a stable state is possible, but not likely if we continue as we are. 
Read the study yourself, here: www.riversimulator.org/Resources/Economic/HumanNatureDynamicsModelingInequalityUseResourcesCollapseSustainabilityOfSocieties2014.pdf  

What do you tell a climate change denier?  Nothing!  As Upton Sinclair said, It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.  

Club of Rome, who still hopes to save everyone and give them a decent life, though likely that is not possible: https://www.clubofrome.org/activities/reports/

Laurenc DeVita is a Founding Editor of the sierracountyprospect.com and a contributing Editor of this publication sierracountyprospect.org DeVita’s credentials include an MA in Sociology.

No Sigh of Relief 11/7/18

THE ISSUES THAT WON’T GO AWAY –  by Robert C. Koehler

Robert Koehler

How much real change manifested itself in the 2018 midterms? How deeply does the outcome reflect the American soul?

Apparently, about 113 million Americans, basically half the electorate, felt compelled to vote in the midterms, revved up either by intense opposition to or support for Donald Trump. This is a lot more than usual for a non-presidential election, but still fairly pathetic for “the world’s greatest democracy.”

How much closer did we move to becoming a nation able and willing to focus on the real issues that threaten the planet?

To the extent that the election was about Trump and Trumpism:

“. . . keep in mind,” Tom Engelhardt reminds us, “that he entered an unsettled world already well prepared for such a presidency by his predecessors in Washington. If the fascist . . . tendency that lurks in him and in the situation that surrounds him does come out more fully, he will obviously be aided by the ever more imperial presidency that was created in the decades before he left Trump Tower for the White House.

“When he entered the Oval Office, he found there a presidency in which — particularly on the subject of war (the president was, for instance, already America’s global assassin-in-chief) — his powers increasingly stood outside both Congress and the Constitution. The weapons he’s now bringing to bear, including executive orders and the U.S. military, were already well prepared for him.”

This country has been spiraling in the wrong direction for a long time. Some progressives determined to change the game were among those who gained office in this election, which is something worth celebrating — but hardly reason to heave a sigh of relief. Most of the issues that truly matter, that require a fundamental shift in American politics, remain rawly unaddressed and unacknowledged. They were essentially invisible in the mainstream election coverage, which, as usual, presented it as a horse race for the entertainment of Spectator America, not the creation of the future.

These issues include:

  1. Militarism, endless war, unconscionable military spending, nuclear weapons. This was utterly off the table in the midterms. As Chris Hedgespointed out, some 85 percent of Senate Dems voted for this year’s $716 billion military spending bill, indicating a “unity” of surrender to military-industrialism. We no longer glorify our wars, we ignore them. And even progressive candidates seldom declare an intent to challenge the culture of war. Is there any political traction whatsoever for the antiwar movement? I fear there hasn’t been for four and a half decades — since the defeat of George McGovern.
  2. Climate change, environmental catastrophe. This is not unrelated to the issue of war, since the world’s militaries are by far the biggest polluters. While environmental sanity is at least something that can be addressed politically, the urgency of global warming hardly has political traction. And, as a headlineon Vox summed things up regarding the midterms: “Fossil fuel money crushed clean energy ballot initiatives across the country.”
  3. Poverty, inequality. “In the wealthiest country in the history of the world,” writes Maria Svart, national director of Democratic Socialists of America, “many of us live in quiet desperation. Farmers are committing suicide, and so are taxi drivers in New York City. That’s why in the battle for the soul of our country, we must win.” Capitalism is still sacrosanct and Donald Trump, the alleged working class populist, cuts the taxes of the rich and is, as Hedges notes, an “embarrassing tool of the kleptocrats.” But socialism is no longer a taboo word in American politics and self-declared socialists are getting elected. Medicare for all and publicly funded college tuition are gaining political traction. The 99 percent have a voice. But of course the rich still have almost all the power; for the most part, this means that their self-interest rules.
  4. Guns, violence, mass murder, a culture of violence. This issue still carves a deep gouge across the American electorate. Mass murders keep occurring. Should we get serious about gun control or should teachers and rabbis be armed? There is no real dialogue across the divide. We still live in a culture that worships violence. Just as we will not, as a nation, consider demilitarizing, neither will we disarm. And war keeps coming home.
  5. Militarized police, police shootings and racism. The antidote emerges in concepts such as community policing and restorative justice — security that involves connecting with and understanding others, even those we dislike and distrust. This transformation is taking place across the whole planet, quietly, and for the most part beyond the world of politics. From my point of view, it’s one of the biggest sources of hope — it’s the cultural path beyond the worship and glorification of violence.
  6. The prison-industrial complex. The United States has the largest prison system in the world (and it’s becoming increasingly privatized), with 2.3 million people — mostly impoverished people of color — behind bars. Our prison system is a regrouping of Jim Crow America, which can’t stand having a country without second-class and tenth-class citizens. But here’s some good news from this year’s midterms: “Florida restored voting rights to more than 1 million people with felony records, which amounts to the biggest enfranchisement since the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the women’s suffrage movement,” Vox reports.
  7. Immigrant scapegoating, hatred and fear. Because our unwinnable, endless wars can no longer serve the function of unifying the country, Trump has turned to immigrants — in particular, that “invading caravan” of desperate, shoeless Central Americans — as the Other he needs to rev his base and get the vote out. However, the Trump administration’s treatment of immigrants, including the cruel separation of parents and children, has shocked and enraged much of the country, putting the country’s long-standing policy of cruel indifference to global suffering (and of course one of its leading creators as well) into the national spotlight like never before.
  8. Voter suppression, gerrymandering, hacking. Ah, democracy, a nuisance to the powerful, a system to be gamed! If the voting can’t be controlled, my God, Republicans could lose. Witness Georgia and North Dakota, where bureaucratic twists deprived African-American and Native American citizens of their right to vote in large enough numbers to skewer election results. Stacey Abrams may yet prevail in her quest for the governorship of Georgia over Secretary of State and Purger in Chief Brian Kemp. But American democracy is not safe from itself, no matter how much the media insists on blaming all its flaws on the Russians.

Robert Koehler, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is a Chicago award-winning journalist and editor.

Mountain Messenger (Elected)11/7/18

Yes there was an election on Tuesday and despite everything The Don has been retained as the Editor of the Mess. Apparently readers have decided regardless of the right arm issue he should be the primary news giver for Sierra County, I mean sure they love Jan at the Booster and what’s her name at the Prospect but he is the only male newspaper in the County and so is a protected breed. I should have a point here but I don’t really, I’ve heard that Tyrone is not really an employee of the paper and he has been using an alias and that is not his real identify. We will investigate this more thoroughly someday. Meanwhile the midterm elections are over and it worked the way it was supposed too, some people are happy and some are not so happy, but we the people of the United States were able to vote and make changes in an orderly and peaceful way.  Unrelated to the election there is a brand new employee at the Mess, she goes by Penny, apparently she is the new office manager and if Jill or Don isn’t able to help, just ask for Penny Skadi and she will get the job done.

What did you do with Milly?

Send anything you need published to Jilly the most important person in the office, or at least the one who does the work at yesdearyousuck@yahoo.com or you may call directly to 530 289-3262 and talk to Don, (and suggest he give a raise to Jilly). For a subscription: send money to Mountain Messenger at P.O. Drawer A, Downieville 95936 or call 530 289-3262 with credit card in hand.. Write to Don Russell at mtnmess@cwo.com and tell him you subscribed because you read about it on Sierra County Prospect….. Subscriptions cost –In Sierra County $30 1yr- $50 2yrs / Out of county $35 1 yr -$60 2yrs

Sheriff’s Public Log 11/7/18

Sierra County Sheriff’s Public Information Log

ACT-Active ARR-Arrest Completed CIT-Citation Issued CNC-Cancelled or No Report Required  INA-Inactive   RPT-Report Taken   TRA-Transferred to Other Agency   UNF-Unfounded UTL-Unable to Locate or Gone on Arrival – and here is Ca Code Source

10/29/18

0854 – Dead deer in Verdi – CNC SCSO
1421 – Assistance needed with elderly in Verdi – CNC SCSO
1703 – Civil standby in Downieville – CNC SCSO
1748 – Suspended license citation in Hoke Valley – CIT SCSO
2331 – Suspicious person in Pike

10/30/18

0900 – Control burn near Independene Lake – TRA SCSO
1428 – Illegal dumping in Sierraville is just accidental – CNC SCSO

10/31/18

0840 – Speeding tractor-trailer on Hwy 89 – TRA CHP
1017 – Control burn near Independence Lake – CNC SCSO
1745 – Static calls 9-1-1 from Sierra City – UNF SCSO
2051 – Two gunshots heard in Loyalton – UTL SCSO

11/01/18

1020 – Hikers yelled at and chased near Calpine Lookout – TRA USFS
1344 – Toddler without adult nearby is in Auburn – TRA PCSO
1515 – 9-1-1 hangup in Downieville – UNF SCSO
1657 – Burglary report in Loyalton is civil issue – CNC SCSO
1701 – Lost dog reported in Alleghany – CIT ? – SCSO

11/02/18

0027 – False identification given to Deputy near Sattley – CNC SCSO
1127 – Identity theft reported in Calpine – RPT SCSO
1149 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance in Loyalton – TRA LOAM
1324 – Parole warrant arrest in Loyalton – ARR SCSO
1404 – Static called 9-1-1 from north of Sierra City – UNF SCSO
1330 – Dog bite reported in Loyalton – RPT SCSO
2044 – Subject taking items from trailer owns trailer in Loyalton – CNC SCSO

11/03/18

1252 – Missing patient in Loyalton returned to facility by Deputy – CNC SCSO
1416 – Control burn on Pliocene Ridge – TRA USFS
1756 – Phone found in Downieville – CNC SCSO
2050 – Welfare check needed on family member in Calpine – CNC SCSO
2348 – Medical assistance needed near Sierraville – TRA LOAM

11/04/18

1331 – Marital dispute in Loyalton is civil – CNC SCSO
1521 – Missing dog reported in Loyalton – CNC SCSO
2210 – Disabled vehicle off roadway near Loyalton – TRA CHP

Board of Supervisors 11/7/18

COUNTY OF SIERRA BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
AGENDA REGULAR MEETING
The Sierra County Board of Supervisors met in regular session at 9:00 a.m. on November 6, 2018 in the Board of Supervisors’ Chambers, Courthouse, Downieville, CA. This meeting will be recorded for posting on the Board of Supervisors’ website at www.sierracounty.ca.gov.
The Clerk of the Board may be reached at 530-289-3295 or at the following addresses:
Heather Foster clerk-recorder@sierracounty.ca.govREGULAR AGENDA

9:00A.M.

STANDING ORDERS

  • Call to Order
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • Roll Call – Adams, Beard, Roen, Schlefstein present- Huebner absent
  • Approval of Consent Agenda, Regular Agenda and Correspondence to be addressed by the Board – Approve 4/0

PUBLIC COMMENT OPPORTUNITY

The Board limits public comment to three minutes per person and not more than three individuals addressing the same subject.
3.

COMMITTEE REPORTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

4.

DEPARTMENT MANAGERS’ REPORTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

5.

FOREST SERVICE UPDATE

Marilyn Tierney
5.A.

Presentation and adoption of Resolution of Appreciation to Marilyn Tierney, USFS Wildlife Biologist for the North Yuba Ranger District.

6.

HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES – VICKIE CLARK

6.A.

Resolution of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Sierra pursuant to California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 – Resolution for exception to the 180-day wait period in accordance to California Government Code Sections 7522.56 & 21221(h).

Documents  Board.pdf
7.

PROBATION – JEFF BOSWORTH

7.A.

Further discussions on Bail Reform (AB10) and the implications for Sierra County

8.

PUBLIC WORKS/TRANSPORTATION – TIM BEALS

8.A.

Resolution of intent to vacate Oregon Creek Road (#295) as depicted on attached Exhibit A to the resolution.

8.B.

Professional Services Agreement with MGE Engineering, Inc. for Professional Engineering and Environmental Services for 2017 Storm Damaged FHWA ER Projects.

8.C.

Amendment to Professional Services Agreement 2018-07 with MGE Engineering, Inc. for Phase 2 of the engineering and design services for the 2017 flood sites.

Documents: MGE Fema Item.pdf
8.D.

Update on Tire Grant TA4 170055 and upcoming free tire disposal event scheduled for November 17, 18, and 19, 2018.

8.E.

Discussion and direction on setting a date and time for formal Board review and adoption of any comments on the Plumas National Forest Over‐Snow Vehicle (OSV) Use Designation Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).

8.F.

Continued discussion and direction regarding points raised during presentation by CalFire Unit Ranger George Morris III on September 4, 2018.

8.G.

Resolution authorizing Director of Transportation to execute official ballots on behalf of the County of Sierra for County Service Area 5, County of Sierra Assessment District 2015‐01 (Sierra Brooks Water System) Ballot Proceeding for Assessor’s Parcel Numbers 016‐110‐041‐0, 016‐110‐043‐0, and 016‐110-042-0.

Documents: SBH2O Ballots.pdf
8.H.

Discussion of status of Sierra County snow grooming program for 2018‐2019 and adoption of resolution authorizing Director of Transportation to seek and secure an equipment lease agreement for a snow groomer and authorization create a temporary extra help position to provide a grooming program for the 2018‐2019 grooming season. Approved 4/0

9.

PLANNING / BUILDING – TIM BEALS

9.A.

Discussion and direction for approval of priority list for First Responder Network (FirstNet) Broadband Service in Sierra County. Approved 4/0

9.B.

Resolution authorizing the Auditor to allow certain county employees to continue to accrue vacation hours over the maximum allowed hours. Approved 4/0

10.

CLERK-RECORDER – HEATHER FOSTER

10.A.

Authorization to fill an Account Technician I-III in the Auditor’s office and a Deputy Clerk-Recorder I-III in the County Clerk-Recorder’s office due to vacancies within said offices. Approved 4/0

10.B.

Request for the Sierra County Board of Supervisors’ Personnel Standing Committee to meet to discuss employee recruitment and retention issues including review of the current salary and benefit structure and the proposed parity study.

11.

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

11.A.

Discussion/action to approve letter to Pacific Gas & Electric Company regarding concerns of new policy to shut off commercial power during times of high fire danger conditions. (SUPERVISOR ADAMS) Approved 4/0

Documents: PG and E.pdf
11.B.

Designation of the 2019 Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) and Golden State Finance Authority (GSFA) Delegates and Alternates. (CLERK OF THE BOARD)

12.

COUNTY SERVICE AREA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Meeting of the County Service Area (CSA) Board of Directors.
12.A.

Discussion/action regarding the continuation of the agreements between the City of Loyalton and County Service Area 5 and County Service Area 5A for fire protection services.

13.

TIMED ITEMS

13.A.

10:00AM

TAX EXCHANGE – EASTERN PLUMAS HEALTH CARE DISTRICT

Resolution approving a tax exchange between the County of Sierra and Eastern Plumas Health Care District for the annexation of the Sierra Valley Hospital District.
13.B.

10:15AM

TAX EXCHANGE – SIERRA COUNTY FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT NO. 1

Resolution approving a tax exchange between the County of Sierra and the Sierra County Fire Protection District No. 1 for the annexation of certain property into the Fire District.
13.C.

11:00AM

CLOSED SESSION

Closed Session pursuant to Government Code Section 54957 – public employment – Chief Technology Officer.

Documents:

  1. Closed Session.pdf
14.

CONSENT AGENDA

14.A.

Approval of Board of Supervisors Travel Reimbursement for Lee Adams, RCRC annual meeting September 18-21, 2018. (AUDITOR)

14.B.

Approval of Board of Supervisors Travel Reimbursement for Lee Adams, CSAC Executive Committee October 3-5, 2018. (AUDITOR)

14.C.

Approval of Board of Supervisors Travel Reimbursement for Peter Huebner, August 2018. (AUDITOR)

14.D.

Approval of Board of Supervisors Travel Reimbursement for Peter Huebner, September 2018. (AUDITOR)

14.E.

Resolution approving the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) 2018/2019 Victim/Witness Grant. (DISTRICT ATTORNEY)

Documents:

  1. 2018-19 WVGrant.pdf
14.F.

Governing Body Resolution naming authorizing agents for Sierra County Emergency Management Performance Grant for the Fiscal Year 2018 Grant Year (OES). (PLANNING)

14.G.

Acceptance of surplus trailer from Downieville Fire Protection District for use in Solid Waste, valued at $399.00 and authorization to add to solid waste equipment inventory. (PUBLIC WORKS)

Documents:

  1. Trailer.Item.pdf
14.H.

Approval of purchase order (SW‐216) to Cretecraft Concrete Construction, Inc. for construction of a concrete slab at the Loyalton Transfer Station which will accommodate the compactor. (PUBLIC WORKS)

14.I.

Review and approval of applications for expiring terms on the Nevada County Resource Conservation District. (CLERK OF THE BOARD)

14.J.

Minutes from the special meeting held on September 28, 2018. (CLERK-RECORDER)

14.K.

Minutes from the regular meeting held on October 2, 2018. (CLERK-RECORDER)

14.L.

Minutes from the special meeting held on October 22, 2018. (CLERK-RECORDER)

15.

CORRESPONDENCE LOG

15.A.

Letter from Luis Rodriguez, P.E., Director for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regarding notifications on March 3, 2014 and August 19, 2015 of proposed modified flood hazard determinations affecting the Flood Insurance Rate Map and Flood Insurance Study report for the unincorporated areas of Sierra County.

Documents:

  1. FEMA.pdf
15.B.

Letter from Alison Kearns, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regarding Sierra Valley Flood Study and Mapping Project.

ADJOURN

Dance Party in Grass Valley 11/7/18

The Center for the Arts OnTheGo series presents a double-bill dance party featuring two of the area’s hottest dance bands, Mojo Green and Kadija, on Saturday, November 17 at the Grass Valley Elks Lodge.

Mojo Green is a 7-piece funk band from Reno featuring a high energy, hard-hitting horn section. Their albums “Funk in Public” and “Soul Phatasaxtion” won Best Albums of Northern Nevada from the Reno News and Review and the 2017 Forte’ Award for Best R & B Soul Band Performance.

Their west coast tours have included performances at The Great American Music Hall, The Independent, The Chapel, Sweet Water Music Hall, Mateel Music Fest, TreeFort Fest, Hangtown Halloween, For The Funk Of It, Squaw Valley Funk Fest, The Bounce, Ridgestock, Burning Man, Guitarfish, Sandpoint Summerfest and more.

They’ve shared the stage with Lyrics Born, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Lettuce, The Funky Meters, The Motet, Trombone Shorty, Orgone, Dumstaphunk, Galactic, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Turkuaz, The Monophonics, Rusted Root and Poor Man’s Whiskey.

Kadija is the sonic, coming of age story of the Diaspora featuring the musical duo musician/producer Aja Salvatore and singer/songwriter Melike Konur. Equal parts funk/soul/jazz heavily inundated with breakbeats and African rhythms.

Singer Song/writer Melike Konur is a self proclaimed Afro-Turk spending the last 5 years reconnecting to her paternal homeland of Istanbul, Turkey. At once nostalgic for a time where temples devoted to Aphrodite were alive in the fertile valleys of the Mediterranean; she also taps in to the aching voices of her maternal lineage of West African ancestors. Since hitting the professional stage at 14 at the Kennedy Center, Melike has worked with Debbie Allen, Orchestra Italiana del Cinema, members of Incognito, and studied jazz at Point Park Conservatory of the Arts.

Aja Salvatore is a drummer and guitarist with roots in jazz and an extensive background of studying in Mali Africa. He was a student of the late renowned guitar master Zani Diabate and djembe grand master Abdul Doumbia. He is also a film producer and spearheaded the film, Music in Mali: Life is Hard Music is Good, along with Grammy award winning sound engineer, Oz Fritz. As an artist Aja has worked intimately with Bill Laswell, Toumani Diabate, Cyhi the Prince, Fat Trell, Les Nubians, Earl Chinna Smith, and Danny Glover. As composer and rhythmic maestro of Kadija, Aja guides the listener gracefully into complexity.

www.facebook.com/kadijaofficial

DVL Students at Mondavi 11/7/18

On Monday, November 5, the 4th-6th Grade Class from Downieville School journeyed to the Mondavi Center for the Arts at U.C. Davis, for a matinee performance by the Akram Khan Company.  The 50-minute, one-man performance, entitled Chotto Desh (meaning “small homeland”) told a story in dance, visual animation, and music, interspersed with Bengali and English text, of a young British Bangladeshi man who wants to dance, even though his father has other plans for him.  The performance’s director says, “Chotto Desh is very pertinent right now as our young people are experiencing increased pressure associated with a multicultural society.  It will inspire children to think about their own stories and perhaps make their own autobiographical art full of truth and beauty”.

The Downieville 4th-6th Grade Class at U.C. Davis’ Mondavi Center for the Arts (from left to right): Logan Kineer; DJ Ashby; Nick Martinelli; William Baker; Jasmine Smeltzley; Serenity Downs; Mariah White (in front); Ariann Jackson; Colton White; Lily Antrim; teacher Maire McDermid.

FireHouse News 11/7/18

“AT THE FIREHOUSE ”

ALLEGHANY: October 29th Dispatcher meeting in Downieville.  * Firefighters performed maintenance on engine #7150. November 1st Responded for an ill male,  at the Lower Plumbago Mine, who was transported to SNMH.
CALPINE: November 3rd Responded for an ill male, who was transported to the Hospital.
DOWNIEVILLE: October 29th Dispatcher meeting.  November 1st Firefighter training.
LOYALTON: October 29th Firefighters trained on chimney fire ‘s. November 2nd Responded for an ambulance assist, a juvenile with a head injury.
PIKE CITY:  October 39th Board of Directors meeting,  to plan the annual Christmas party.  November 1st Mutual aid response to Alleghany,  for an ill male, at the Lower Plumbago Mine, who was transported to SNMH.  * Firefighter training.
SATTLEY: November 3rd Responded for an ill male, who was transported to the Hospital.
SIERRA CITY: All’s quiet……
SIERRAVILLE: November 1st Business meeting.  November 3rd Responded for an ill male, who was transported to the Hospital.

Kevin’s Story 11/7/18

Sierra County Prevention in collaboration with Sierra-Plumas Joint Unified School District is excited to have Kevin Brooks come to our schools Thursday, November 8th, 2018. He will be presenting in Loyalton middle & high school gym at 10:30 am -11:30 am and again in Downieville school gym 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm. During his presentations, Kevin will talk to middle and high students about his life experiences. And how one poor choice can change one’s life forever, or even end it.

Kevin’s story:

What started as a typical Saturday night of partying quickly turned tragic with a fateful poor choice. Fueled by a deadly combination of alcohol and that fearless “it will never happen to me” attitude often held by young people, Kevin left a party. Driving intoxicated, distracted and at excessive speeds, he was not alone. Besides him sat his passenger and childhood friend Brendon… Weeks later Kevin would learn the devastating news as he lay in a hospital bed on life support. He was paralyzed from the chest down and would now rely on a wheelchair to get him around. As if this news not bad enough, Brendon had not survived the crash.

Kevin’s honest and straightforward presentation reaches students like none other. Kevin’s unique style of motivation inspires people to appreciate life in profound new ways, and audiences leave his presentation with real-life strategies for making better, smarter moment-to-moment decisions.

National Statistics:

High school students self-declared that during the past 30 days:

  • 30% drank some amount of alcohol.
  • 14% binge drank.
  • 6% drove after drinking alcohol.
  • 17% rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.

California Statistics:

  • Drunk driving accidents account for 31% of all California traffic fatalities; that equals 1,120 deaths.
  • 29% of 11th-grade students used alcohol before the age of 15.
  • 18% of 11th-grade students binge drink.

Sierra County Statistics:

  • 32%; almost 1/3, of Sierra County youth start drinking alcohol before the age of 15.
  • 13% of 11th-grade students in Sierra County self-declared binge drinking.

Kevin’s presenting is designed for high school students but we welcome the community at large to attend one of Kevin’s presentations.

 

REFERENCES__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alcohol and Public Health: Facts Sheet- Underage Drinking (2018) https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/underage-drinking.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, High School YRBS (2017) https://nccd.cdc.gov/youthonline/App/Results.aspx?LID=CA

Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community, Facing the Facts, Sierra County (2016) http://healthystoreshealthycommunity.com/counties/sierra/

U.S. Department of Transportation; Traffic Safety Facts (2018) DOT HS 812 603 version,https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812603

 

Country Xmas Faire 11/7/18

Country Christmas Faire Coloring Contest

The Nevada County Fairgrounds is offering a coloring contest for children and adults as part of the annual Country Christmas Faire, November 23 – 25, at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. 

Coloring sheets are available at the Fairgrounds office on McCourtney Road or they can be downloaded at NevadaCountyFair.com. 

There are two drawings to choose from, and it’s free to enter the coloring contest. Simply choose your favorite drawing, fill out the entry form, complete the drawing, and return it to the Nevada County Fairgrounds – either by mail or in person – before November 16.  The coloring contest is limited to one entry per person. 

The coloring contest is divided into seven categories: five years old and under, 6 – 8 years, 9 – 12 years, 13 – 17 years, 18 – 64 years, 65 and over, and special needs. First, second and third place prizes will be awarded.  Winners will receive carnival ride coupons for the 2019 Nevada County Fair.   

All entries will be on display in Ponderosa Hall with the gingerbread houses during the Country Christmas Faire.  Winners will be announced with ribbons on opening day of the Country Christmas Faire. 

The Country Christmas Faire features four exhibit buildings filled with handcrafted gifts and unique crafts. Visitors to the Faire also enjoy strolling musical entertainment, festival foods, wagon rides, a visit with Santa Claus, and a community bonfire. The Country Christmas Faire begins Friday, November 23, and runs through Sunday, November 25.  The hours are 10 am – 5 pm on Friday and Saturday; and 10 am – 4 pm on Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, and free to children 12 and under. Parking is free.  On Sunday only, bring a can of food and receive $1 off admission. All food will be collected by the Interfaith Food Ministry and distributed in December to those in need.  

For more information, visit NevadaCountyFair.com or call (530) 273-6217.

Creeping Suppression 11/7/18

The Right to Vote Is the Foundation of Lawful Government—No Consent = No Government – by Kary Love

Kary Love

One of the great things about being a small-town country lawyer is you get to meet so many “ordinary” Americans going about their business, raising their kids, volunteering in their communities and working day after day to make a better tomorrow.  One of the troublesome things about being a country lawyer is you encounter the contrast between those ordinary people and their so-called “leaders” and “law enforcers.”  Though many of the latter reflect the good qualities of “ordinary” Americans, many, if not most, as taught by experiments in psychology, abandon their moral codes and embrace the psychopathology of those granted governmental power.

Power is dangerous.  Unless constrained by law, there is no difference between the power of a police officer to shoot an unarmed person and that of a mafia enforcer.  The sole difference is the police officer is only empowered to kill in accordance with the law.  If he kills, like a mafia hit man, outside the law, then he is, too, an “outlaw.”  So too, the FBI, the CIA, the US Army and every other governmental agent authorized to kill.  Either it is done in accord with the law or it is illegal, possibly criminal.  “Law enforcers” voluntarily swear an oath to the Constitution not to deprive persons of life, liberty or property without due process of law.  Those who live up to it may rightly be considered heroes.  Those who do not may rightly be considered Mafioso.  I don’t make the law, but I have been trained to understand and interpret it.

In that training, I have learned American law has a principled foundation.  It is known as the Declaration of Independence (DOI) passed by Congress July 4, 1776, it is the law that established America, and it remains in force to this day.  Because America was going to “secede” from the British Empire, possibly to engage in “revolution” and war against the “mother country,” the American revolutionaries thought they had a duty to state the principles of law that justified such otherwise “treasonous” action.

The main justification was declared to be the fact that the English government was not based on the “consent” of the American people and was therefore “illegitimate” (which means unlawful).  Not legal.  How could the Americans claim that?

Simple.  Americans’ did not have the right to vote for representatives in Parliament.   Thus, the Americans argued, laws passed by Parliament were not lawful in America because they did not “have the Consent of the Governed.”  The DOI declared government “derives its just powers from the consent of the governed.”  Without such consent government powers cannot be exercised “justly.”  It that event the DOI continued, “it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it” (government).

The foundation of America is the idea that true representation of the people, meaningful consent to the laws its government passes, must be obtained by the government or it risks being “illegitimate” or a government of “outlaws.”  This consent, in a republic such as the American, is derived from periodic votes of the people electing “representatives” or agents of the people representing the peoples’ input to lawmaking—since having direct votes was not technologically possible at the time—election of representatives (not “rulers”) was deemed prudent.  But, should voting not be representative, consent would not exist, and government would be of questionable legitimacy.

          Sadly, voting is apparently becoming less and less reflective of the consent of the people.

          Keith Sellars, one of the 12 Alamance County, NC residents prosecuted for voting in 2016, tellingly wrote at Counterpunch:

For me it’s important that we call this what it is: voter suppression. Other policies — including a proposed voter ID constitutional amendment, polling site closures and early voting restrictions, and partisan and racial gerrymandering — hope to do the same.

One in three black men in the United States has been charged with a felony. In North Carolina, black men are incarcerated at four times the rate of white men. And here, as in most states, that can mean harsh restrictions on your right to vote. So even if we think these laws are unfair, the opportunity to influence them is taken from our hands.

As reported in the Guardian:

The two most recent Republican presidents have entered office despite receiving fewer votes than their opponent in a national election, thanks to the electoral college, which systematically over-represents small states. (California gets one electoral vote per 712,000 people; Wyoming gets one per 195,000.) With the presidency in hand in the run-up to the 2020 census, minority rule will be further entrenched by adding a citizenship question to the census. This will result in systematic undercounting of the population in heavily Democratic areas, which will in turn further reduce their influence as legislatures draw maps based on the data.

Then there’s the Senate. Because of its bias toward smaller, rural states, a resident of Wyoming has 66 times the voting power in Senate elections as one in California. Thus, in 2016, the Democratic party got 51.4 million votes for its Senate candidates. The Republicans got 40 million. And despite losing by more than 11 million votes, the Republicans won a supermajority (22 of 36) of the seats up for election, holding their majority in the chamber.

The hideously malapportioned Senate and electoral college permit the last piece of the minority rule puzzle to snap into place: the supreme court. In 2016, after losing the contest for the presidency and the Senate by millions of votes, the Republicans were able to install two supreme court justices. There may be more.

In fact, when the Senate confirmed Trump’s first nominee, Neil Gorsuch, it was a watershed moment in American history. For the first time, a president who lost the popular vote had a supreme court nominee confirmed by senators who received fewer votes – nearly 22 million fewer – than the senators that voted against him. And by now, it will not surprise you to discover that the senators who voted for the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh represent 38 million fewer people than the ones who voted no.

I am just a small-town country lawyer.  But I am also an American.  I have been honored to work with many ordinary Americans to build their communities, support the education of their children, raise money for charity, and I have learned they have a wisdom and a decency far beyond that of those who claim to be their “rulers.”  I have witnessed their capacity for judgment as they sat on juries, small township Boards, and in private organizations doing good in their communities.  The record of their success at self-governance is manifest all around us every day.  I thank them for their service!

          I have also witnessed the creeping suppression of their right to vote, and to have their vote counted and respected.  It may not be my place to warn those who think they rule, who think they are above the law, and who believe they have power to disregard the “consent of the governed,” and so I do not.  The Declaration of Independence does that.  The dust bin of history is replete with the bones of failed governments that tried to rule without the consent of the people.  “With a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence” the Declaration launched a government based on the consent of the people.  Those who would undermine it, by imperiling the right to vote, do the work of another power that shall not be named.

Kary Love is a Michigan attorney who has defended nuclear resisters, including some desperado nuns, in court for decades and will on occasion use blunt force satire or actual legal arguments to make a point.

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