Wednesday August 16, 2017

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CAROL SAYS: ” In your paper coming out this week please remind “the people” that the eclipse is Monday the 21st , and will reach 86% at around 10:15 AM in Downieville. Not to confuse things , but in your paper this week you would word it “this Monday” , August 21. Now I am writing this Sunday night and this Monday would be tomorrow which is not the “this Monday” that you would have in your paper . When your paper comes out on Wednesday for Liz and Thursday for Jill, you would write “this Monday” because at that point in time it would be “this Monday” . I am excited about it !”

Hey mark you calendars, the Clampers will be in town on the weekend of August 26th, surely a festive weekend, AND what you don’t want to miss is the Native Daughter’s Ice Cream Social on Clampers Weekend. It’s the 26th from noon to 2 pm, $5 per adults, $3 for kids 10 and under. Raffle prizes and cookies! 

Get your tickets for the Lost Sierra Hoedown before they are sold out, a very popular event with lots of fun, friendship and great music on September 21 through 24th.

I’m sick to my soul over this last weekend’s violence in Virginia and the many awful messages from the lips of #O.N.E. Trump. The one comment made by a “supporter” of #O.N.E. keeps playing back in my mind. It was by a Nazi, White Supremist being interviewed on camera. He  justified being armed, carrying a gun, being always ready to be violent, “I want to be violent” he said…and then….. and then he said, “it’s good to have a racist for  President… we need someone more racist… someone who didn’t give his daughter to a Jew.”  How do we have a President who is so ignorant to what a huge part of his “base” believe and wish for. There is no way to step away from Donald Trump being a dangerous man. Dangerous for our country, our families and the world.

Read Robert Koehler to understand North Korea, lest we forgot… and he writes about profit motivations, Lawrence Wittner talks about mentally unstable leaders,  Jose Orosco discusses the meaning of love, and Kary Love discusses what exactly nonviolent resistant is and why it is a good thing. Local news, the Board of Supervisors and things to do this week. Carol reminds us about the Eclipse, and the Marmots on the Sierra Buttes.

So speaking of the Buttes the photo this week was taken by David Marshall and shows the final leg of the trip to the spectacular view from the Sierra Buttes Lookout, in case you want something to strive for before the snow comes.

Mock Potemkin Trial 8/16/17

The fourth branch  – by Kary Love

Kary Love

I am a lawyer. My pro bono clients are often those who offer nonviolent resistance to wrongs committed by our own government.

I read that, this week past, some nonviolent resisters entered a nuclear weapons storage facility in Germany.

Damn if it is not a list of many of my clients. These people are incorrigible. Next time at sentencing I will argue jail is a waste of time and public money for those sorts; you just cannot deter some people from a life of “crime.”

What a world, in which those acting peaceably for peace are criminals while those in power ordering the killing of people “for their own good” are not.

I still subscribe to law professor Francis Boyle’s view; nuclear weapons and related materiel are not property–property rights attach to legitimate things, not to criminal instrumentalia that have no use but criminal annihilation.

I’ve argued all this a few times with success and many other times not. As to the juries in cases of nonviolent resistance to injustice or in defense of higher laws, I trust them if they are allowed to hear all germane facts.

In one case in which I argued that the nonviolent defendants—who had used hand tools to dismantle a portion of a US nuclear Navy command facility—did not interfere with the defense of the USA because technical experts—whose published work the defendants had read—those defendants were innocent of sabotage charges.

We won this case in great part because of Captain James Bush’s (Ret.) testimony; the members of that jury were fully informed. Bush told the jury of 12 that as he commanded a United States nuclear submarine loaded with ‘city-busting’ weapons that he was also earning a graduate degree in International Relations and that he came to understand that he was in violation of the law every day. Hearing that from a retired commander made quite an impression. The jury rose to the occasion and acquitted, even with a hostile judge.

But it’s degenerating. The recent Espionage Act prosecutions have prevented defendants such Kiriakou et al. from even saying the word “whistleblower.” Reality Winner will be so shackled in her defense.

I have experienced this abuse of the law in nuke protest cases in US federal court–to the point I conclude such trials are Soviet Mock Potemkin Trials (back in the US, back in the US, back in the USSR).

In my judgment the jury is the 4th branch of government. The Founders knew power corrupts, and that sooner or later, the Congress, the President and the judges would abandon the Constitution for power and that only fully informed juries could stem the tide of corruption.

The Federal judges who issue orders in limine so jurors do not hear all the evidence (as to both the law and the facts) are complicit in destroying the check and balance the jury must be–as all others involved, i.e., Congress, President, judges, are beholden to the system.

In the case to which I referred above, the State Court Judge had some residual fidelity to the Constitution and we kind of boxed him in to allowing Bush to testify as he did–though I expect the Judge did not think a “military man” would have such a complicated mind, capable of rational thought and a moral code superior to his willingness to “just follow orders.”

Kinda tricky of me, I guess. But my oath is to the Constitution, not Congress, White House, or Judge–all of whom are creatures of the Constitution deserving of no respect nor obedience when they violate same (as is the ordinary course of all branches these days.)

Despite many disappointments, I still have faith in juries of ordinary people when fully informed to make “just” decisions even if necessitating deviation from the law. Thus, government fears the people so long as there is trial by jury.

This is as it should be. A government making unjust laws as ours does ought to fear its ability to convict when justice is not served by conviction. The three branches have become unmoored from being “bound down in the chains of the Constitution”–with the result it is a lawless beast.

Ultimately it will be up to the people: a nation of law, or a nation of beasts? Our “leaders” have no interest in curbing their own abuse of power. As victims of such abuse, the people are responsible, for the sake of their progeny and the future of liberty.

Kary Love is a Michigan attorney.

 

Love Means 8/16/18

What Did Dr. King Mean by Love?  – by Jose-Antonio Orosco

Jose-Antonio Orozco

As someone who regularly teaches about the political philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr., I often spend time discussing with students the ways in which King’s ideas are taken out of context and turned into sound bites in order to support positions he would not himself have taken. The most obvious example is how his most memorable line from the “I Have a Dream” speech about not judging people based on the color of their skin but the content of their character is used to justify attacks on affirmative action—a policy he definitely endorsed—or cited in a way to claim that the best path forward for racial justice is to somehow ignore race and become colorblind. The white supremacist violence in Charlottesville is proof that we cannot simply try to ignore the problems of racism now.

All across the country, marches and vigils are scheduled to honor the victims of racist violence and to stand against the surge of white nationalist groups in the United States. People are seeking guidance about how to think about the public and proud resurgence of this form of bigotry. Inevitably, the words and ideas of Dr. King are being invoked, especially his thoughts on the power of love in times of hate. One of his quotes, often bandied about, is this: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

But the hard question is what does it mean to love and not hate in the aftermath of Charlottesville? Does it mean it’s somehow wrong to feel angry or violated about people proudly brandishing neo-Nazi symbols on their weapons and shields? Does it mean the best response is to forgive the purveyors of violence like the young man who ran down protestors, killing Heather Heyer, in Charlottesville?

In the speeches in which King talked about love, he often spent time explaining what he meant; love has several meanings. In saying that supporters of racial justice had to have love in their hearts, he didn’t mean that they had to be continually positive and upbeat, or that they had to approach racists in friendship. That’s the kind of love we share with intimates or friends. King said the love that we ought to have in the struggle for justice is the kind that acknowledges all people, even the white supremacists, as human beings. And human beings are capable of making their own moral choices and being held responsible for their actions. We aren’t called upon to like or be friendly to those who are racist. It means we ought not to dehumanize or kill them as part of our fight for justice.

Someone asked me recently if, out of love, King wouldn’t have asked to sit down with a white supremacist and try to listen to their concerns and understand where they were coming from, in hopes of some kind of reconciliation and dialogue. I thought about this and realized that the answer was probably no. King never asked, for instance, to meet with Bull Connor, the rabidly racist police chief in Birmingham, Alabama who sent police dogs to attack protestors. He never called for public meetings with ordinary Black and white citizens to dialogue. Instead, he called for marches, boycotts, and urged legislation that would halt business as usual in that city, deplete the pocketbooks of segregationist business owners, and criminalize racist attacks and intimidation. He wrote in 1963: “It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me but it can keep him from lynching me and I think that is important also.”

This is not to say that fellowship and dialogue are not important, especially when friends approach one another to talk about their fears, hopes, and biases. But in thinking about responses to white supremacy in the country today, we ought to be clear that King’s emphasis on love did not mean only sticking to individual efforts and trying to change the implicit racism of our friends and relatives.

Toward the end of his life, he called for a revolution of values that would utterly transform the United States and its commitment to materialism, racism, and militarism at institutional levels. The fight against white supremacy must be tied to issues of poverty, jobs, reducing our military and nuclear weapons, curbing police brutality, and providing decent health care and education for everyone. These were all issues of concern for King; this is what he meant by love.

José-Antonio Orosco, Ph.D, writes for PeaceVoice and is Associate Professor of Philosophy: School of History, Philosophy, and Religion Director, Oregon State University Peace Studies Program. He is the author of Toppling the Melting Pot: Immigration and Multiculturalism in American Pragmatism (2016) and other scholarly works.

Wednesday August 9, 2017

When the Western Sierra Medical Clinic is closed or if you call 289-3298 and get mired in their Grass Valley voicemail web and you have an emergency, or even if you are unsure of  whether it is an emergency dial 9-1-1 and request an ambulance.You will get help and if the responding EMT’s/Paramedic/Medical Provider determine your situation requires transport by ambulance, you’re all set, meanwhile if you don’t need to go by ambulance you can refuse transport and you, family or friend can take you to the nearest open facility, but MOST importantly you will have an experienced first responder giving you immediate first aid care to assess the urgency of the situation. Also it is possible Downieville Fire Dispatch will know if the Clinic Provider is available and should be able to contact the medical provider directly just in case it is a convoluted phone system causing the problem.

This coming Saturday is the Downieville Mountain BrewFestSATURDAY, AUGUST 12  2pm – 6pm lots of fun and a pleasant way to spend the afternoon. You need to get your tickets in advance as there is a limited number. You must be 21 to enter the Brewfest area and please no dogs there and do not leave them in your car, it will be hot, “hotter than a snakes butt in a wagon rut”… (anybody know where that line comes from)?  The Sierra County Arts Council awarded the Downieville Improvement Group an Art & Music Sponsorship and so thanks to SCAC  Bob Mora & the Third Degree Blues Band  will perform at Downieville Brewfest Saturday, August 12, from  2 – 6 PM.  AND then you can dance to the Dyin Breed the Downieville Dance Party at the St. Charles Place from 6-11 p.m. Have fun, be safe and have designated drivers.

So this week Gabby has an update on Claire, we have our thinking thoughts from Tom Hasting, Mel Gurtov and Robert Dodge, The Downieville Races were great and this weekend will be fun too… lots of local news and things to do.

The photo this week taken by Victoria LaFond (she and Paul spend part of every summer up here on the river) is of one of my favorite swimming holes on the No Yuba River between Downieville and Indian Valley, fond memories of Samantha, Sherlock, Patty and me in the summer, except for that one time between me and a bee.

 

Wednesday August 2, 2017

I’m sorry to have to mention this. but there’s only four more months left in 2017, I’m not counting August cause we’re already two days in and if it is like the previous 7 months it will be over in a flash.

Hey… this is the Downieville Classic Bike Races weekend, have fun, enjoy all the festivities, be nice to our visitors, help each other stay cool, buy raffle tickets, eat, drink and be merry. Have fun and be good. Hey… next weekend is the Downieville BrewFest.. save some fun energy for that event.

The Blues Brothers At the Yuba Theatre August 4, 2017 Friday, 8:00 PM  – Rated “R” – The Blues Brothers is sponsored by SANTA CRUZ BICYCLES and presented by the Sierra County Arts Council on the weekend of the Downieville Classic Mountain Bike Race.

 This is important on the Board of Supervisors this week an item for EMCC came up if you have any interest in Emergency Medical Care in Sierra County please listen the item starts at the 50.07 mark on the audio tape. After listening you might contact Supervisor Lee Adams and OES Director Tim Beals about why it is important to reinstate an independent  operating Emergency Medical Care Commission, advisory to the Board of Supervisors,  the events throughout the county involving emergency response and the general health care situation in the past five years  makes this Commission more necessary than ever. All of the comments during the Board meeting makes me understand the necessity to help others understand why the EMCC should be brought back as an independent commission separate from the OAEC to address and maybe get in front of negative situations before it’s too late. Diminishing citizens participation in government is not the answer. They don’t know everything even when they think they do. So let’s offer to step up and help solve problems at the get go.

The Downieville VFD was recently reminded by Sheriff Standley there is a Chain of Command in the DVFD if they want to communicate with the Sheriff’s Office  just as they have a Chain of Command, and they start at the Top with the Fire Chief contacting the Sheriff. Seems like a wieldy process during an emergency. I wonder if there is a Chain of Command the average public citizen needs to follow or are we allowed to speak directly to a lowly worker, you know the ones who do all the work…. Just wondering.

I read the article on Kings Beach multi use  trail renovation which will be open to “mountain bikes, motorbikes, hikers and equestrians” … hmmm what could possibly go wrong? Robert Koehler brings thoughts about fat wars and then Gitmo Tom Hastings reminds us we are not alone when it comes to nuclear options and it isn’t good news, Winslow Myers gives us more time…. hmmm…Gabby wants us to be without fashion, Carrie wants us to be cool, The Mountain Messenger has a side business for THE Don (no not Trump…Russell). The Board of Supervisors is trying to serve us all… and of course Carol went to the movies and visited the Goodyears Bar Schoolhouse Museum.

The great photo this week was taken by David Marshall and reminda us the Lakes Basins is a great place to go find a little cooler spot.

Caretaker Needed at KM Museum 8/2/17

Kentucky Mine Museum and Park Caretaker Needed! Apply by August 11

Sierra County Historical Society is seeking a year-round, live-in caretaker for the Kentucky Mine Museum and Park in Sierra City. The position entails maintenance, security, minor repairs, and occasional assistance with events. The two-bedroom apartment above the museum will be provided at a reasonable rental rate, with several hours of in-kind work per month required. For more information, contact Mary Nourse at 530-862-1123 or by email. Please complete the SCHS application for employment and postmark it by August 11 to: SCHS P.O. Box 260 Sierra City, CA 96125. The completed application may also be scanned and emailed.

Wednesday July 26, 2017

So this weekend there are two great events in Sierra City, Oso Blue is performing at Sorocco’s from 4 to 7 p.m. at Wine in the Woods, a fundraiser for Sierra Co SAR and Sierra City VFD, meanwhile starting at 6 p.m. is the BBQ at Kentucky Mine Museum Ampitheater followed by the Music at the Mine show Achilles Wheel. Support the SCFVD and SCSAR have a glass of wine and then go support and enjoy to the BBQ and Show at Music At the Mine.

August is going to be a busy busy month, we start off with the Downieville Downhill    Bike Races  August 3rd to 6th and then Plumas-Sierra County Fair begins August 9th to the 13th in Quincy, as always be there or be square, this is fun local fair for us all. Downieville Brewfest  Saturday August 12th and the next up is the ECV Clampers Weekend in Downieville  August 26th to 27th.

Local news and events are here, Gabby gives a science lesson, Carol shares her photos, Columnists Ali King, Kathy Kelly, Andrew Moss, Robert Byers and Mel Gurtov weigh in on the things we need to know and think about. Watching world news is fairly dismaying and makes one wonder how we got to this place, I mean really don’t you just want to bury your head in the sand and pretend all is well. Don’t do that – things are not going well at all unless of course you are corporate status with mega millions or an individual who has made big bucks over the backs of the disadvantaged and marginalized, there is no one I know in Sierra County who fits in with the Trump crew and yet he is supported by those who need fair government for all the most, well actually we all need fair government, led by representatives who understand government’s role in society and it isn’t to make the rich richer, it is to make sure we all get a fair deal without favoritism to cronies and the wealthy. The problems we face aren’t because we care and help those who need assistance, it’s because we get in the way of those who want more for themselves at the expense of a healthy world with the ability to obtain liberty and freedom for al. The future of being great is not gained by turning on each other. So please keep paying attention and question authority and when something is happening that just isn’t right speak up please.

Darcy White’s said her gorgeous photo was taken in “Sam White’s beautiful flower garden”. Sam is Darcy’s Dad and deserves the praise for raising beautiful flowers and wonderful kids (of course Mom, Joyce, was equally responsible for the great kids).

Carol’s Photo Gallery 7/26/17

Carol was in the shower and looked out the window and saw the bear first thing this morning. Then they went to Webber Lake. Near Sierraville way. And a squirrel and still snow on the ground. Waterfalls There is a tree here that has fallen down and it looks very artistic.

FireHouse News 7/26/17

“AT THE FIREHOUSE”

ALLEGHANY: July 17th Firefighter training. July 19th Pliocene Ridge Community Service District meeting, in Pike City. July 21st Responded for an ill male, who was transported to rendezvous with ALS ambulance & taken to SNMH.
CALPINE: July 19th Responded for an ill female. July 20th Wildland fire training. July 23rd Community assist, for a leaky fuel line at the Campground. * Responded for a motorcycle -VS- truck accident, with an injured male air lifted to the hospital in Reno.
CAMPTONVILLE: July 17th Responded for an ill male. July 18th Firefighter training. July 20th Responded for a vehicle accident. * Responded for a structure fire at Burgee
Dave’s, the fire was contained to the rear of the building. July 21st Mutual aid response to North San Juan, with the water tender for a vegetation fire, the”Grizzly Fire”, that was extinguished. July 23rd Responded for an ill male.
DOWNIEVILLE: July 19th Board of Commissioners meeting. July 20th Firefighter training. * Responded for an ill male, who was transported to SNMH. July 23rd Responded for an injured male, who chose to “self-transport” to the hospital.
LOYALTON: all’s quiet….. no activity reported….
PIKE CITY: July 19th PRCSD meeting. July 20th Firefighter training. * Mutual aid response to Camptonville, for a structure fire at Burgee Dave’s, the fire was contained to the rear of the building. July 21st Mutual aid response to Alleghany, for an ill male, who was transported to rendezvous with ALS ambulance & taken to SNMH.
SATTLEY: July 19th Responded for an ill female. July 20th Wildland fire training. July 23rd
Community assist for a leaky fuel line at the campground. * Responded for a motorcycle -VS- truck accident, with an injured male air lifted to the hospital in Reno.
SIERRA CITY: July 19th Responded for a smoke check.
SIERRAVILLE: July 19th Responded for an ill female. July 20th Wildland fire training. July 23rd Community assist for a leaky fuel line, at the Campground. * Responded for a motorcycle -VS- truck accident, with an injured male air lifted tor the hospital in Reno.

Friendly, Courteous, Kind 7/26/17

Jamboree travesty – by Robert J. Byers

Robert Byers

I don’t blame the Boy Scouts for President Donald Trump’s bizarre speech at the National Jamboree in West Virginia on Monday.

The U.S. president is, after all, the honorary president of the Scouts. If he wants to speak at the National Jamboree, it would be hard to say no.

I don’t blame the boys in the audience who took the bait and booed Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama or who chanted “USA! USA!” in response to Trump’s childish cues. They’re impressionable kids.

I’m long past laying blame at the feet of the electorate. It gets us nowhere.

And, honestly, it’s hard to even blame Trump. He’s just being himself — inappropriate, unhinged, narcissistic.

But, as an Eagle Scout, I’m still disappointed at what is yet another stain on the Boy Scouts program.

After finally pulling itself from the mire of discrimination against gay Scouts and leaders, Scouting is on a path to right the ship and lure another new generation to its ranks. West Virginia’s Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, home of the National Jamboree, is proof of that.

Throughout the past week, this paper has had numerous stories and photos showing Scouts having fun and working in our communities. We’ve also explored the economic impact that 40,000 Scouts, troop leaders and others can bring to an area.

And, unfortunately, we’ve also shown how quickly all of that can be tarnished for the benefit of one man’s ego.

Speaking to the children as if they were voters, Trump said his election was “an unbelievable tribute to you and all of the other millions and millions of people that came out and voted for ‘Make America Great Again.’ ”

He recounted the Electoral College breakdown, trying for the umpteenth time to relive the victory he claimed on that night in November. He revisited the Merry Christmas non-issue. He made false claims about the press. He made threats about the health care vote.

He basically defied most of the 12 points in the Scout Law — you know, the one that includes terms like trustworthy, loyal, friendly, courteous, kind.

But, then again, Trump has made his presidency about defying storied American institutions. The free press comes to mind.

The backlash against the Boy Scouts over Trump’s speech led the organization to put out a statement on Tuesday:

“The Boy Scouts of America is wholly nonpartisan and does not promote any one position, product, service, political candidate, or philosophy. The invitation for the sitting U.S. president to visit the National Jamboree is a long-standing tradition and is in no way an endorsement of any political party or specific policies.”

Of course, that’s not really a response, just a reiteration of the Scouts’ stance on these matters.

The response has been largely panned as not being strong enough.

I can’t say I’m surprised the Scouts wouldn’t say more. It would be a tricky move to come out and disavow some of Trump’s remarks, embarrassing their honorary president and making an enemy of the nation’s top loose cannon.

But, just for the sake of argument, what if the statement included a few more sentences:

“Furthermore, the Boy Scouts of America is first and foremost about kids, about building strong kids with a strong resolve. It is about honesty. It is about succeeding — with humility. It is about service and instilling the drive to help others. It is about encouraging our peers to rise to the challenge and offering a hand when needed. It is about civility.”

That’s the Scouting that I remember.

One man playing the fool can’t change that.

Robert J. Byers, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is the executive editor of the Charleston Gazette-Mail in Charleston, West Virginia.

 

Gabby Electric Fringette 7/26/17

The Body Electric – by Gabby Fringette

Gabby Fringette

No, I’m not doing a review of the famous Whitman poem, the human body really does produce electricity. Actually, all animals do. A tiny electrical current runs out body, it carries signals from point A to B, so to speak. That’s why being electrocuted is so dangerous, it basically fries our circuits.

Now, how our body produces this electricity, that’s interesting. It’s a process called the sodium-potassium gate. When you cells are ‘resting’, and doing nothing, there’s more potassium inside the cells than sodium. Sodium ions are positive so the area outside the cell is positively charged. Potassium is negatively charged so the area inside the cell is negatively charged, and if you know just a little bit about how atoms work, atoms want to be balanced, so the sodium wants to be where the negative charge is, and the potassium where the positive charge is. When the cell sends a message , it ‘opens the gate’ and the ions change places. This rapid switch in negative and positive makes and electrical impulse.

The less technical version? The cells make the electricity. This is how your whole body operates, it’s how your brain operates, and if you over-think how incredible it is that this exists, you’ll give yourself an existential crisis. And you will be using these impulses the entire time!

All animals do this, electric eels do it far more in order to stun prey. But how much do humans make? Could we really be used as batteries?
Nope! We produce between 10 and 100 millivolts. Millivolts are one thousandth of a volt. We are incapable of making more. Even so, pretty cool!

Private Prison Nightmare 7/26/17

What is Adelanto? – by Andrew Moss

Andrew Moss

If you take Interstate 15 about two hours north from Los Angeles, heading into the high desert of San Bernardino County, you’ll reach a for-profit federal detention facility called the Adelanto Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Processing Center. The center’s named for the neighboring town of Adelanto, which means “advancement” or “progress” in Spanish, and it’s not an inappropriate title for a town founded a century ago by the inventor of the Hotpoint Electric Iron. But the name now carries a rather different set of associations due to the ICE facility’s presence there.

This year, eight asylum seekers from Central American countries who had been “detained” (imprisoned) at this facility went on hunger strike to affirm the right to asylum as well as to protest excessively high bail, substandard food and medical care, and other abuses. Three detainees at Adelanto have died since March, one found hanging in his cell on March 22, the other two suffering from serious medical issues that, advocates say, had been inadequately addressed at the facility.

This year’s protest follows a previous hunger strike in 2015, when 26 detainees protested prolonged imprisonment and excessive bail while awaiting resolution of their asylum cases. Earlier that year, over two dozen members of Congress wrote a letter to the Justice Department and ICE officials, citing numerous cases of medical neglect and calling for a halt to the facility’s expansion. More recently, an immigrants’ advocacy organization called CIVIC (Community Initiatives for Visiting Inmates in Confinement) issued a report asserting that Adelanto had the third highest number of sexual assault complaints of all U.S. immigration detention facilities.

Last year, the Obama administration ordered a phasing out of private federal prison facilities like Adelanto. Citing an Inspector General’s report that faulted the prisons on issues of safety and security, and noting a decline in federal inmates, Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates stated in a memo that the private prisons “compare poorly” to public facilities: “they simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs, and resources,” she said, and “they do not save substantially on costs.”

All this changed with Donald Trump’s inauguration as president. The new Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, reversed the Obama administration’s initiative to phase out the private facilities, and the stock prices of private correction companies like the GEO Group, which runs Adelanto, and CoreCivic, went up substantially (about 80 percent for GEO and 120 percent for CoreCivic since the election).

Once again there is official support for the unholy union of two policies: the criminalization of anyone “without papers,” including those seeking asylum from terror elsewhere, and the affixing of dollar signs to incarcerated immigrant bodies. The more bodies that can be captured and held, the higher the proceeds for prison companies and the higher the earnings for shareholders. As I read various commentaries on these developments, I was struck by one comment in particular. Terry Dwyer, an analyst with KDP Investment Advisors, was quoted in the New York Times as saying, “The deportation crackdown is doing very good things for these companies. On a personal level, it leaves a sour taste in my mouth, but I guess business is business.”

Business is business.

Inflicting for suffering for profit may once again be sanctioned as official policy, but the new regime has prompted resistance. Aside from hunger strikes inside the walls and activists’ sympathetic protests outside, there have been movements to restrict or eliminate the prisons altogether. In California, for example, the legislature last month approved a budget measure preventing any privately run facilities from expanding the number of beds for inmates involved in civil immigration proceedings, and it now requires the state’s Department of Justice to audit the facilities in order to ensure that they provide proper food, medical care, and access to legal assistance. More fundamentally, a group called the Detention Watch Network, together with MoveOn.org, has begun a petition drive calling for defunding the private prisons altogether.

So what is Adelanto? Until the walls and criminalized borders fall away, it will remain a deep stain – a composite image of cruelty, greed, and indifference – that we will see if we’re willing to gaze squarely into the mirror of American self-identity.

Andrew Moss, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is an emeritus professor at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where he taught in Nonviolence Studies for 10 years.

 

VETRAX August 7/26/17

VETRAX AUGUST 2017 -USDVA HOME LOAN GUARANTY
USDVA Home Loans can be used to:
-Buy a home. – Build a home. – Simultaneously purchase and improve a home.
– Improve a home by installing energy-related features or making energy efficient improvements; and – Buy a manufactured home and/or lot.
Veterans do not have to be a first-time homebuyer to use a USDVA Home Loan Guaranty. The benefit may be used more than once so long as the prior USDVA loan has been sold and the loan paid in full, or a qualified Veteran-transferee (buyer) agrees to assume the USDVA loan and substitute his or her entitlement for the same amount of the entitlement originally used by the Veteran seller.
To be eligible, a service member or Veteran must have suitable credit, sufficient income, and a valid Certificate of Eligibility and a copy of their DD-214 (Discharge document). The home must be for the Veteran’s personal occupancy.
After establishing eligibility, the Veteran will need a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). The COE verifies to the lender that the Veteran qualifies for a USDVA-backed loan.
Veterans may apply for a COE through the lender, online at the eBenefits portal, www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal, or by completing USDVA Form 26-1880 (Request for Certificate of Eligibility which you can print online or get from your local Veterans Service Office) and mailing it to:
USDVA Loan Eligibility Center, Attn: COE (262), P. O. Box 100034, Decatur, GA 30031. Plumas County Veterans Service Office (530)283-6271 can assist in providing you the COE application. For more information about eligibility, call CalVet at or (916)503-8359 or (866) 653-2510 toll free. More information is available at www.calvet.ca.gov/homloans.
The Plumas County Veterans Service Office can complete the DMV Veteran Status Verification Form for the new California Veteran Designation on your driver’s license. To find out if you are eligible for any of these benefits, visit or call our office at 283-6271/6275 Mon-Fri from 0800-1600. We can and will assist you in completing all required application forms. You can get information on the Web from the Plumas County Veterans Service Office webpage by accessing the Plumas County Website under Veterans Services.

The VA Van departs at 0700 Tues and Thursdays from the County Annex upper parking lot. Ensure you call Kyle Short County Veteran Service Representative at 283-6271 three days prior to your appointment at the VAMC Reno to schedule a reservation on the VA Van. The Van can transport up to five veterans first come first served.

 

Devotion to Country 7/26/17

In Our America: Community Building 101 – by Ali King

Ali King

As the night of Tuesday, November 8, began to go downhill, like many Americans, I felt stunned and sickened. I hadn’t actually allowed myself to imagine things going the way they did and the unthinkable had happened. Just a few months earlier, everyone was scoffing at the idea of Trump becoming the president and, inexplicably, he had just won.

When I woke up from my restless sleep the next morning, I could barely function. Over the next two days, I went through the usual stages of grief – disbelief, anger, sadness, but with so much on the line, I just couldn’t get myself to the acceptance stage.

I knew sitting around and watching things crumble was not an option. I decided I was going to do something to help and so I created a Facebook event and named it “Nasty Women Get Shit Done.” I invited all of my female friends over for a glass of wine and a brainstorming session. Thirty-five eager women showed up and we discussed ways we could take action. We divided ourselves into different groups – one group researched local places where we could volunteer, one group compiled a list of contact info for all local legislators, one group discussed ways to provide resources and education to our community, and one group worked on creating a positive message of inclusion to put out to the world.

Within a couple of weeks, we collaborated with a local artist and a graphic designer to create a modified American flag design worthy of the definition of patriotism – “love for or devotion to one’s country.” The flag includes and upholds the rights of all people, along with the preservation of our planet. We then had 250 yard signs printed and spread the word via social media. We decided to donate any proceeds to local organizations who support the values stated on the flag.

Little did we know how deeply our version of the American flag, a symbol of inclusion and care, would resonate with the American people. Over the past six months, a team of volunteers has worked around the clock to distribute “In Our America” merchandise. So far, we have sold over 50,000 yard signs, stickers, posters, postcards, buttons, fabric flags, and hoodies. In Portland, Oregon, we have over 30 retail locations who have graciously volunteered to sell our merchandise and we also ship”Power Packs” (five signs, five stickers, five posters) all across the US. We have also partnered with Syracuse Cultural Workers who sell our signs, stickers, posters, mugs, t-shirts, buttons, postcards, and magnets.

Many celebrities and politicians have posed for photos with our sign, which has now been translated into 14 languages. We filed for our 501(c)4 status and formed a board of directors. We host monthly meetings with educational guest speakers and we gather for social events, marches, and rallies. In May, we organized and presented our first full day social justice conference for 250 attendees. As of early July, we have almost 6000 members in our Facebook group, a website that receives visitors from around the world, and we have donated over $47,000 to local organizations.

These last few months have been a rollercoaster of emotions and a whirlwind of action, resistance, and empowerment. Never in my wildest dreams, when 35 women gathered in my living room on that dark Sundayevening after the election, did I imagine that we would build such a strong and powerful community. The willingness of this community and thousands like it across the US to listen, learn, and lead has been the silver lining during this very dark time in our nation. The tenets listed on our flag are alive and well “In Our America” and people are stepping up to defend them.

Ali King, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is the founder and president of Nasty Women Get Shit Done, an organization of women that dedicated to peace, justice, and supporting real American values.

 

Mountain Messenger Survey 7/19/17

The Mountain Messenger has a new survey out on Survey Monkey, you must take this survey and standup for Penelope Snow who wasn’t even mentioned or acknowledged. I have been working relentlessly attempting to get the link so you can access it from here… it will happen I am determined to make this happen… so will be right back with results… well dang I don’t know how to make a link to the survey, we have to work on this… we’ll fix it so just stay tuned…

7/19/17 I wonder why the Don doesn’t like kids… I like kids..kids like me…maybe kids don’t like the Don…maybe that’s why Don doesn’t like them…I wonder if he would like me…he likes Brutus…I am just as cute as Brutus…I think I think more though…that could be a problem…

Send anything you need published to Milly, the CEO and most important person in the office, at yesdearyousuck@yahoo.com or you may call directly to 530 289-3262 and talk to Don, (and suggest he give a raise to Jill, Milly’s secretary). For a subscription: send in as below 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…..

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