Wednesday May 17, 2017

Plumas Sierra Cattlewomen Spring Tea Party is on Saturday, May 20th at Sierra Brooks Lodge 2 p.m. till 4 p.m. Call for reservation Lynn at 994-1031, Stacey at 320-0764 or Flinda at 258-6522

To learn more about SFMR and the Paramedic Project, attend the community meeting at the Sierra City Community Hall on Thursday, May 25 at 6:00 PM, visit

Loyalton Landfill will be closed in observance of Memorial Day on Monday, May 29, 2017.

My friend Joyce and I were discussing how we (us humans) got to stop thinking for ourselves, was it the Walk/Don’t Walk signs that started it all, is it GPS navigation that teaches children and us elderly we don’t need to know street names or addresses or when to turn right or left, is it the internet that only feeds us information we have already shown an interest in (no more accidental information given or taken) . Where ever you are there will be a sign with instructions about what you can or can’t do, where to go, how to think and for heaven sakes don’t walk on the grass. It doesn’t bode well for the future. Those who chisled messages in the rocks may have been the smartest of all… dang auto correct just corrected the way I spelled chisled and now it says it is wrong again. I give up.

Well, a Special Prosecutor has been selected… gadzooks… let’s hope we all survive this..they say it could be years to finish… you know it would be so much easier if President Trump would resign, save him and us the heartburn.

The photo this week is once again by the Davey’s either Brian or Mary but we thought winter was over, it came back for day over the Buttes but prepare for a heat wave this weekend.

Free Taco Reward 5/17/17

5/15/17 An unusually height challenged woman has been caught feeding treats to visiting dogs… she is being investigated by  SCARF,  if anyone can identify this woman there is a reward of a free taco  at La Cocina Del Oro in Downieville 

Golden Rays Are Exempt! 5/17/17

Golden Rays Senior Citizens of Sierra County, Inc are now a tax exempt charitable non-profit!  Note that the effective date of this status is November 4, 2016, back when we filed our request. So remember this for your taxes when you donate. Contact Joyce White 289-3250 if you need more information

Sheriff’s Public Log 5/17/17

Sierra County Sheriff’s Public Information Log


  • 0842 – Caller reports a black lamb is in her parents’ yard, unknown who it belongs too in Sierra Brooks – CNC SCSO
  • 0856 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance in Loyalton – TRA LOAM
  • 1258 – Caller reports ongoing disagreement about Little League documentation only wanted in Sierra Brooks – ACT ?
  • 1801 – Approximately 4 YOA juvenile walking alone along Hwy 49 in Loyalton picked up by two subjects and driving away – UTL SCSO
  • 1950 – Request for welfare check on Help Line activation  near Loyalton – UTL SCSO
  • 1958 – Welfare check requested on mother and brother in Alleghany – CNC SCSO


  • 0648 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance in Loyalton – TRA LOAM
  • 0846 – Notification of slash pile burn at Ramshorn Transfer site – TRA DVFD
  • 0932 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance in Loyalton – TRA LOAM
  • 1122 – Report of residential burglary in Sierraville – RPT SCSO
  • 1420 – Motorcycle down on Hwy 89, disoriented driver – TRA LOAM
  • 1523 – Property check needed somewhere – CNC SCSO
  • 1545 – Citizen dispute involving profanities in Sierra City – CNC SCSO
  • 1602 – Reckless driver purposely attempting to sideswipe on Hwy 49 – CNC SCSO
  • 1806 – Subject passed out in front of bar in Downieville – TRA DVAM
  • 1827 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance in Loyalton – TRA LOAM
  • 2057 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance in Loyalton – TRA LOAM
  • 2111 – Suspicious man with duffel bag on a bike in Sierraville – UTL SCSO


  • 0939 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance in Loyalton – TRA LOAM
  • 1000 – Arson Registration as required at Courthouse Downieville – CNC SCSO
  • 1130 – Arrest in Downieville for 1203.2 PC – ARR SCSO
  • 1322 – Arrest in Loyalton for 1203.2 PC and more – ARR SCSO
  • 1406 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance in Loyalton – TRA LOAM
  • 1439 – CHP reports hearing loud noise on Hwy 49 MPM 6.7 – UTL CHP
  • 1520 – Rollover vehicle accident, driver refuses Medical near Loyalton -TRA SCSO
  • 1718 – Motorcycle down injured rider Hwy 49 MPM 24.9 – TRA CHP


  • 0822 – Report of vandalism in Loyalton –  RPT SCSO
  • 0922 – Another report of vandalism in Loyalton – CNC SCSO
  • 1019 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance in Sierra City – TRA DVAM
  • 1117 – Lost county property reported in Downieville – RPT SCSO
  • 1605 – Overdue juvenile reported in Loyalton – CNC SCSO
  • 1654 – Report of unattended campfire Little Truckee Campground- UNF
  • 1707 – Controlled burn reported near Sierraville – TRA SCSO
  • 2342 – Large boulder on center divide Hwy 49 MPM 43 – TRA CALT


  • 0953 – Controlled burning west of Stampede Reservoir – TRA USFS
  • 1058 – Juvenile problem reported in Loyalton – RPT SCSO
  • 1425 – Suspicious person reported in Alleghany – RPT SCSO
  • 1641 – Suspicious person driving around school in Loyalton – CND SCSO


  • 0156 – Arrest on multiple Nevada County warrants in Downieville – ARR SCSO
  • 0848 – Treats being made in Loyalton – RPT SCSO
  • 1530 – Civil dispute between neighbors in Sierra City – RPT SCSO
  • 1606 – Guest at business in Sierraville being verbally hostile – ARR SCSO
  • 1828 – Firearm found on trail near Gold Lake Rd at SVDO – RPT SCSO
  • 2349 – Citation for traffic violation Hwy 49 MPM 49 – CIT SCSO


  • 1210 – Residential fire alarm turns out to be false in Loyalton – CNC LOAM
  • 1714 – Intoxicated parents throwing things at juvenile child, – UNF SCSO
  • 1924 – Investigation – ACT SCSO



Plumas County Picnic 5/17/17

The traditional Plumas County Picnic will make its 30th appearance on Saturday, June 3, 2017. Or will it? There will be a picnic;2017 Picnic Poster with the famous Sierra Cascade Street Rodders Show and Shine, the Lions Club Breakfast, and loads of other activities, but have we really only done this 30 times? No. Due to recent exhaustive research, as well as a scratch on the head, it was discovered the first recorded county picnic held at the fairgrounds was in 1952. When you do the ciphering, that works out to this being the 65th Annual Plumas County Picnic. When did this oversite begin? Why did it happen? Don’t know, don’t care. 64 is the new 30!

Back in the 50’s and 60’, literally thousands of people would show up for a free beef lunch, motorcycle racing, baseball games and kids games. There’s no more free lunch, but the County Picnic hosts the largest American Valley Speedway race of the year, which starts at 7pm in the grandstand. Be sure to try out the Little League Tri Tip BBQ during the day.

It all starts at 7am with the Lions Club Breakfast served on the patio of the Mineral Building. Vendors begin opening around 10am with food, products and public information around 10am. Of course, the big attraction is the Sierra Cascade Streetrodders Show and Shine. Take a walk along hundreds of beautiful cars, with a chance to vote for your favorite. It’s the biggest classic car show in the county.

A good time horseshoe tournament will begin at high noon. Bring a partner, or, find someone standing around and make them your new partner. There are no forms to fill out, no entry fee and you don’t have to bring your own horseshoes.The first and second place teams will walk away with valuable cheap trophies. The tournament begins at noon, unless we have to wait for someone to get off work, in which case we may wait for them. Pretty sure it will start at noon though. Come have some fun!

If you want to kick off things early, come to the fairgrounds the evening before. On June 2, at dusk, the PSCF Foundation will be offering a free drive in movie. Atom Age Vampire, Atom Age Vampire poster along with cartoons and shorts will be shown on the big screen. Bring your car, or your blanket. A concession stand will be offering snacks and drinks. Several of the classic cars that will be displayed on Saturday are planning on coming to the drive-in, so it should be a truly nostalgic event.

“The County Picnic is one of those opportunities we have in a rural area to get back to what we all say we want.” Says Fair Manager John Steffanic. “All it really takes is for people to show up and be part of the fun. The more people, the more fun. It’s that simple.”

FireHouse News 5/17/17


ALLEGHANY: May 8th Firefighter training.
CALPINE: May 11th EMT training.
CAMPTONVILLE: May 8th Responded for an injured male, who was air lifted to the hosp[ital. May 9th Firefighter training.
DOWNIEVILLE: May 8th EMT Continuing Education. May 10th Responded for an ill male – cancelled. May 11th Mutual aid response to Sierra City, for an ill male, who was air
lifted to the hospital.
LOYALTON: ……all’s quiet…
PIKE CITY: May 8th Mutual aid response to Camptonville, to set-up an LZ, for an injured male to be air lifted to the hospital. May 11th Firefighters trained on heat stress. May 13th Ethics training.
SATTLEY: May 11th EMT Training.
SIERRA CITY: May 10th Firefighters trained on Rescue Truck #7930. May 11th Responded for a motorcycle down, an injured male was air lifted to the hospital. * an
ill male was air lifted to the hospital. May 13th Board of Commissioners Meeting.
SIERRAVILLE: May 11th EMT Training.

Criminal Charges Filed 5/17/17

Forest Service Files Criminal Charges Against Fraternity

SUSANVILLE, Calif., May 16, 2017 –United States Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations have filed a criminal complaint against the Pi Kappa Alpha- Chico State Fraternity and its President, Evan Jossey in the United States District Court, Eastern District of California.

Pi Kappa Alpha is alleged to have cut down approximately 32 trees at the Deer Creek Trailhead campground on the Lassen National Forest, during an initiation of new pledges the weekend of April 21, 2017.

The criminal complaint against the fraternity charges 32 violations of 36 CFR 261.6 (a)-cutting or damaging any timber, one (1) count of violating 36 CFR 261.8 (b)-possessing a firearm in violation of federal or state law and 18 USC 371-conspiracy to commit offense or defraud United States. Pi Kappa Alpha and Evan Jossey are scheduled to appear in court on June 26, 2017 in Redding.

The Tehama County Sheriff’s Office has been instrumental in assisting with this investigation. They have since turned it over to the Forest Service. This is an ongoing investigation and additional charges are expected to be filed at a later date. All subjects are innocent until proven guilty.

My Empire is More Fun 5/17/17

Watergate II? A Scenario for Trump’s Resignation – by Mel Gurtov

Mel Gurtov

“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” said Donald Trump to James Comey on February 14, a day after General Flynn was fired as national security special assistant. With those words, which Comey is said to have dutifully recorded in a memo, Trump may have put himself on the path to political oblivion. For the first time we have proof that the president directly interfered in a federal investigation, a criminal offense. To his credit, Comey did not “let it go.”

Every day brings bad news for Trump’s presidency. Every day is a reminder that this man is mentally, temperamentally, and politically unfit for the highest office. Every day also brings new risks to national security, which is in the hands of a commander in chief who is impulsive, uninformed, impervious to expert advice, and given to sudden movements that could mean war. Donald Trump must go, but how?

Up until now I thought our and the nation’s best hope was that somehow, some way, the Republican leadership in Congress would feel compelled by Trump’s outrageous behavior to start the ball rolling toward impeachment. Trump’s bald-faced interference on Flynn’s behalf leads me to a different denouement: his resignation, forced by the same Republicans who would otherwise never be persuaded to start impeachment proceedings.

What is the decisive factor now? Trump’s clear obstruction of justice may be the tipping point for Republican leaders who see no way that a conservative social and economic agenda can be achieved with Trump in office. Trump’s criminal interference shortens the timeline, and feeds their well-reported impatience with him. The Republicans knew all along that Trump was a wild card; but they had no idea how extraordinarily difficult his conduct would make their job. Now they surely must see that their preferred road ahead is going to be eternally blocked by Russiagate investigations. Immigration, taxes, health care, infrastructure jobs, environmental protection laws, abortion, border security—dramatic legislative changes the Republican leadership had planned in all these areas simply cannot move forward with Trump at the helm.

In short, I believe the Republicans are going to decide that they cannot keep sitting on their hands, making up excuses for Trump while watching their moment for remaking America slip by.

The other side of the coin for Republican leaders is a Pence presidency: Would it make their life easier? From their perspective, I believe they would think so. To be sure, Pence would lose a fair number of Trump working-class supporters as well as the Breitbart-Bannon wing of the conservative elite. But Pence would be much more ideologically in tune with Ryan and McConnell, and far more devoted to pushing their legislative agenda. The Republicans would still have the edge in Congress, and under Pence would have a better chance than under Trump to keep that edge in 2018. Maybe they would have to bend a little when dealing with the Democrats, but bending might now look much better than breaking.

So at the risk of engaging in wishful thinking, I am going to predict a Republican turnabout on Trump. Its leaders are going to push Trump to resign “for the good of the country and the party.” And Trump will decide that resignation—“I never liked the job anyway, and running my empire in more fun”—is a better way out than suffering the prolonged indignity of the impeachment process. To which the Republicans will say, amen.

Mel Gurtov, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Portland State University.

Earthquake & Tsunami 5/17/17

This is a reprinting of the original publishing by The Times-Standard; Posted: 05/13/17

Professor honored for seismic safety contributions

Lori Dengler

Local earthquake and tsunami expert Lori Dengler was named the recipient of the 2017 Frank Press Public Service Award for her “exceptional leadership as a scientist, writer, educator, communicator and advocate of tsunami research and preparedness,” according to a Humboldt State University announcement on Friday.

According to the Seismological Society of America, the Frank Press Public Service Award honors outstanding contributions to the advancement of public safety or public information relating to seismology.

“For more than 30 years, Dengler has been a tireless force in preparing coastal communities in California and around the world for tsunamis,” the society’s website states.

Dengler, an HSU professor emeritus of geology, has served as the director of the Humboldt Earthquake Education Center since 1986. In 1996, Dengler helped found the Redwood Coast Tsunami Work Group to bring together local, state, tribal, and federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations and businesses to reduce seismic risks along the North Coast.

According to HSU, Dengler’s preparedness guide “Living on Shaky Ground: How to Survive Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Northern California” has become a model for similar citizen guides throughout the state. Dengler received her bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees in geophysics at UC Berkeley. She has participated in field teams studying tsunamis in 1998 in Papua New Guinea, 2004 in Indonesia, 2010 Chile, and 2011 in Japan, and as a result was a coordinating co-author on the UNESCO-IOC’s International Post-Tsunami Survey Field Guide.

She also helped develop of the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program and — as the scientific lead from California — authored the program’s initial Strategic Implementation Plan for Mitigation Projects. According to HSU, in 1996 Dengler received the California Emergency Services Association Gold Award for contributions to emergency services in the public sector; in 2002 she received the Richard Hagemeyer Tsunami Mitigation Award; and in 2009 she received the Alfred E. Alquist Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Earthquake Safety.

Dengler has received two awards from the Western States Seismic Policy Council: in 1998 for earthquake education outreach to schools and in 2009 for community outreach for the Redwood Coast Tsunami Work Group.

In 2015, Dengler co-authored “The Extraordinary Voyage of Kamome: A Tsunami Boat Comes Home,” a bilingual Japanese-English children’s book about a small fishing boat that was swept across the Pacific Ocean by the 2011 Japan tsunami and came ashore in Crescent City two years later. According to HSU, the book and a surrounding outreach project are the basis of a new school curriculum in California on earthquakes and tsunami preparedness.

“California’s level of preparedness for earthquakes and tsunamis, particularly along the north coast that is part of Cascadia, is very much due to [Dengler’s] efforts to bring the science to the public, the local, regional, tribal, state and federal officials who must make and support preparations, and the emergency managers who have to deal with the effects of earthquakes and tsunamis,” Peggy Hellweg, operations manager at the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, said in a statement.

According to its website, the Seismological Society of America is a scientific society that was founded in 1906 in San Francisco and has members throughout the world representing different of technical interests, such as geophysicists, geologists, engineers, insurers, and policy-makers.

The society’s other award recipients this year are all employed by the U.S. Geological Society, and include Harry Fielding Reid Medal winner George Plafker; Charles F. Richter Early Career Award winner Annemarie Baltay; and Distinguished Service Award winner Keith Knudsen. Dengler is set to receive her award at Seismology of the Americas — a joint meeting of the Seismological Society of America and the Latin and Caribbean Seismological Commission — in San Juan, Puerto Rico next year.

Grange Hall Dinner/Dance 5/17/17

Howdy, our 2nd. “3rd. Sat. Dinner/Dance” at the Sierra Valley Grange Hall in Vinton, Ca. will be this Saturday, May 20th…..Serving a “chicken dinner’ for only $10, from 5:30-6:30pm…..Need your “YES OR NO” by Thursday, for our head count !!!!!!!
Since I will be gone on that date, Craig will be teaching the dance class…..SKI-BUMPUS (contra), GET UP AND DANCE (partner), and a review of last months dances : “Annies Dance”(p) and “Tennessee Waltz Surprize” (L)
Thanks to all of you who came out last month, it was the most successful dinner/dance we have ever had since we started…..Since our insurance went up over $10,000 for the year, you can see how important it is to us for your support to our fund raisers. Thank you again, and , reply to this e-mail or call: 530-993-1182 by this Thurs…..
God bless, and keep those boots a’dancing !!!! annie
p.s. don’t dance ?? come eat ! don’t want to eat ?? come dance !

Board of Supervisors 5/17/17


The Sierra County Board of Supervisors met in regular session on May 16, 2017 in the Loyalton Social Hall, Loyalton City Park, Loyalton, CA. This meeting was recorded for posting on the Board of Supervisors’ website at
The Clerk of the Board may be reached at 530-289-3295 or at the following email:
Heather Foster Board of Supervisors may hold a Closed Session as the agenda schedule permits.REGULAR AGENDA


  • Call to Order – by Chair Peter Huebner
  • Pledge of Allegiance –led by Supervisor Adams
  • Roll Call – Supervisors Adams, Beard, Huebner, Roen, Schlefstein present
  • Approval of Consent Agenda, Regular Agenda and Correspondence to be addressed by the Board – Approved as presented




Supervisor Schlefstein spoke on the upcoming Ham Radio Class. Supervisor Adams talked about the CSAC Legislative meeting his week.


Director Tim Beals spoke on a number of upcoming issues (listen to the Board Tape


Update by Sierraville District Ranger Quentin Youngblood also spoke on items that may affect the County of Sierra. listen to the recording



Discussion/direction to staff regarding development of a priority list for potential transportation projects to be funded under SB 1. Sent to the Road and Transportation Committee approved  4/1 Supervisor Beard voted NO Doesn’t support SB 1 taxes.



Resolution approving application for grant funds from the Federal Lands Access Funding Program for the Smithneck Creek Road Rehabilitation and Smithneck Creek Bicycle Trail Project. Approved 3/2 Supervisors Roen and Adams voted No.




Discussion/direction to staff regarding Loyalton Mobile Home Park Estates. – Discussion, no action Code enforcement to start, listen to tape




Discussion/direction regarding letter from Irving Christensen, Downieville Fire Protection District in regards to AT&T lines and equipment throughout the western portion of Sierra County. (SUPERVISOR ADAMS) Letter supporting the DFPD letter approved, Supervisor Adams to draft letter for Chair Huebner to sign.


Ordinance rescinding Section 2.04.100 of the Sierra County Code pertaining to compensation for County Supervisors. (FINANCE COMMITTEE)  Didn’t pass 3/2 Supervisors Adams and Roen voted to take all longevity pay away, Supervisors Huebner, Schlefstein and Beard voted No …you’ve got to listen to recording


Appointment to the Cemetery District #5. (CLERK OF THE BOARD) Gretchen Selfridge of Sierraville  was re-appointed. 


CLOSED SESSION – No Action direction given to Staff


Closed session pursuant to Government Code Section 54957 – public employment – Director of Health & Human Services.


Closed session pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9 (c) – initiation of litigation – 1 case.



Items placed on the Consent Agenda are of a routine and non-controversial nature and are approved by a blanket roll call vote. At the time the Consent Agenda is considered, items may be deleted from the Consent Agenda by any Board member or Department Manager and added to the Regular Agenda directed by the Chairman.

Agreement for Indemnification and Reimbursement for Extraordinary Costs for Sharon Lane, applicant and Mudita, LLC, landowner: Consideration of an amendment to a Conditional Use Permit on Big Springs Gardens to allow expansion of the resort with additional buildings and overnight guests, and for a Site Plan Review on the project. The project site, identified as APN 008-110-022, is located at 32613 Highway 49, Sierra City. (PLANNING)


Resolution approving agreement for Federal Apportionment Exchange Program and State Match Program California Department of Transportation-NonMPO County (X17-5913(072). (PUBLIC WORKS)


Public Works Contract with Campbell’s Carpets of Nevada in the amount of $8,638.73 for replacement of flooring at the Health and Human Services office at 704 Mill Street. (PUBLIC WORKS)


Amendment 04 to Agreement 2016-128 between the California Department of Public Health and Sierra County. (PUBLIC HEALTH)


California Automated Consortium Eligibility System Amended and Restated Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement. (SOCIAL SERVICES)


Memorandum of Understanding between the California Automated Consortium Eligibility System and the County of Sierra. (SOCIAL SERVICES)


Endorsement of nationwide Save Our Air Medical Resources (SOAR) program to amend federal medicare reimbursement for air ambulance services. (SUPERVISOR ADAMS)


Minutes from the regular meeting held on April 4, 2017. (CLERK-RECORDER)


How About You 5/17/17

Radical Love – by Rivera Sun

Rivera Sun

I used to think of love as a side dish to social political change – the green beans next to the meat and potatoes of power and struggle. But, the more I live in the gritty world of honest humanity, the more I suspect that love is the essential mineral lacking in our nation’s veins. We’ve got deficiency symptoms: tremors, shakes, deliriums, rages, madness, fits, addictions, and lashings out. Every cell in our collective and individual bodies is screaming for this nutrient called love. And because we can’t get it, we crave paltry substitutions such as power, domination, money, and violence.

Privilege provides no shelter from this deficiency. In fact, it tends to make it worse. For the structure of success in the United States of America has been built on a centuries-old devil’s bargain in which we cut out a piece of our heart to secure money, power, and position. From the early colonists massacring Native Americans to ensure their place on this continent to contemporary politicians giving tax breaks to the wealthy while cutting healthcare funding for the poor, we see the trade off of love over and over again. Our compassion atrophies in the dog-eat-dog version of reality that we’ve created in the United States. It shrinks down to a peanut-sized organ capable of loving only one’s family, or dog, or the people who look, act, and think just like one’s self. The withered hearts sold piecemeal for wealth and power have lost the capacity to love boldly and widely, in broad and inclusive ways that extend to their fellow citizens or even to the whole of humanity worldwide.

When our souls cry out in shakes and rages from lack of love, we lash out to the extent our power permits. The poor hurt each other. The rich pass policies that hurt millions of people. Some pull guns on one another; politicians drop bombs on foreign countries. We start fights in our families; our military wages war overseas. A child steals candy from a younger sibling; the wealthy steal trillions from the rest of us. The neighbor refuses to help us when we’re sick; our Congresspersons cut funding for healthcare. Rich, poor, powerful and marginalized, wherever this deficiency of love arises, cruelty and suffering abound. Beneath the screaming torrent of other rationales and excuses are broken human beings shuddering in the grips of a multi-generational deficiency that is slowly – or rapidly – killing us, our nation, and the earth.

Hundreds of campaigns are launched on all sides of the political spectrum to “save the world” or the whales or the workers or the economy or family values or civil rights . . . everything! Most of them deliver a right-left punch to the other side that essentially shouts, “you bad, evil people, stop that at once!” Every time we attack each other in such a manner, our mineral deficiency drops lower on both sides of the conflict.

Perhaps people in the social justice movements don’t notice. The feelings of solidarity that can arise within movements can mask the ways hate for one’s opposition depletes the soul. More obvious is the effect within the opposition. Sensing hate from the movement, their hearts close off, the deficiency of love drops further, and they lash out violently, entrenching in defense of their actions. It’s ironic, because the very behaviors or policies the movement objects to came about because the people involved in the injustice sought to satisfy their aching craving for love through greed, domination, control, power, violence, or discrimination. By attacking them, we’re sowing the seeds for more of the same vicious cycle.

Vilifying people often fails to address the root of the problem, the deep hurts and wounds, fears and insecurities that people carry. There are thousands of wounded people in positions of power, millions waiting in the wings to take their places, and a whole nation raging and moaning for love, hurting one another in large and small ways.

So, I propose a radical approach: that we bring love into our movements for change, adopting Dr. King’s principle to be against injustice, not against people. We cannot condone destructive and harmful behaviors and policies. However, we can learn to see each other with the eyes of love, to look at our fellow human beings with compassion and sorrow over such actions, rather than hate and fury. In so doing, we can begin to replenish that mineral deficiency that is killing our nation’s soul, not to mention the bodies of our brothers and sisters, and the vitality of the planet. We can recognize the underlying void in the cells and marrow of people that causes them to behave in such destructive ways. We can begin to satisfy the deep craving for respect and understanding – which are often ways that love is expressed in public settings.

I believe we will go further in our efforts toward justice if we break down the walls of hate and fear that have arisen between factions of our populace. I think bringing groups who currently stand opposed to one another into face-to-face encounters is as radically transformational as protests, boycotts, and strikes. Creating situations where people must listen to each other’s viewpoints, hear each other’s stories, and deal with real humans, not just statistics, can be as positively confrontational as direct action. And, I have faith that approaching one another with basic love and respect even in the midst of opposing unjust policies and practices allows the humanity that exists in all of us to resurface. It helps those who have made devil’s bargains to reclaim pieces of their hearts. It prevents us from making the same mistake and cutting off a part of our broad love for humanity in order to hate our opposition. I think this approach is complementary to a movement’s use of firm, strategic, nonviolent action to stop injustice and harm. In addition, it offers us a powerful path toward healing in a deep and profound way.

Our other option – the one we’ve been using – is to hate each other more, attack more, despise one another in increasing cycles of animosity and division. We are locked in modes of trying to overpower our “enemies,” prove them wrong and punish them for their bad ways of thinking. In response, they attack us back, defend their positions, and try to dominate us in response. We have dug ourselves into a deep and dangerous hole that has led to horrific suffering, cruelty, and pain. I’d like to climb out of that hole. If that requires a radical act of love against impossible odds, I’m willing to do it.

How about you?

Author/Activist Rivera Sun, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is the author of The Dandelion Insurrection and other books, and cohosts Love (and Revolution) Radio.

Fellow Human Beings 5/17/17

Resisting the Politics of Fear – by Andrew Moss

Andrew Moss

Some time ago I attended a “know your rights” workshop sponsored by an immigration rights organization near my home in Los Angeles. The attorneys conducting the workshop offered a broad array of ideas and suggestions, but one piece of advice stood out for me. It dealt with potential workplace raids conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers, and the attorneys’ advice was straightforward: if you are told at your workplace to get into two lines – one for those “with papers” and one for those “without” – simply refuse. Stay in one group.

I thought about that suggestion when reading the text of a recent address by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly at George Washington University. In his address, Kelly hammered home a basic theme: “we are a nation under attack,” and this attack, he claimed, is directed at us from many quarters: from transnational criminal organizations, and from “failed states, cyber-terrorists, vicious smugglers, and sadistic radicals.” As he declared, “we are under attack every single day. The threats are relentless.” And, as Kelly also maintained, the policies and approaches of the Trump administration represent a new level of support for Homeland Security personnel, a support that finally allows them to “do the jobs they were hired and trained to do, and recognize them for doing it.”

In an editorial published a few days later, The New York Times editorial board criticized the address for its ominous, apocalyptic tone, maintaining that this kind of fearmongering – and the policies it justifies – actually make us less safe, “driving segments of immigrant communities underground, making them fearful of any encounters with law enforcement.” The Times board rightly chastised Kelly for this fearmongering and the threat it poses to civil society. But they also neglected to take two important additional steps: naming the political functions performed by this rhetoric and exploring the deeper implications it carries.

One function, of course, is to distract. If crafted skillfully enough, the rhetoric helps draw attention from the administration’s utter incapacity and unwillingness to address the needs of citizens, whether these have to do with health care, job growth, the ensuring of workers’ rights and benefits, or the protection of our air and water. A fear-based rhetoric also helps divert attention from the administration’s various efforts to promote the Trump brand worldwide while it helps out wealthy allies and friends.

But fearmongering doesn’t simply distract. It also casts a veil of complicity over unwitting listeners and readers. Nowhere in his long address does Kelly once mention the new rules on immigration enforcement promulgated this past February by the Trump administration, rules that vastly expanded the government’s potential net for detention and deportation. No longer is the emphasis on individuals who have committed violent crimes; now anyone who has committed a crime, including the “crime” of illegal entry, is subject to this new regime of enforcement. And it is this regime that has inflicted untold suffering upon families wrenched apart by detainments, deportations, and fear – families I know, or know of, personally through my affiliations with immigrant rights groups in Los Angeles.

In his omissions as much as in his declarations, Kelly presents a persona more sophisticated than that of race-baiting, scapegoating candidate Trump in last year’s presidential election. Yet Kelly’s words and omissions are just as repressive as those of his boss insofar as they enable the criminalization of people not on the basis of crimes they’ve committed against others but simply on the basis of who they are. We don’t expect Secretary Kelly to recount the events leading up to this benighted moment, but some attention must be paid to a history of intentional, conscious disenfranchisement. Only four years ago, the US Senate passed an immigration reform bill (Senate Bill 744) providing some kind of path, albeit a tortuous one, to citizenship for 11 million undocumented people, and it wasn’t long after that Speaker John Boehner, under pressure from the Tea Party and others, allowed the bill to languish, then die, in the House of Representatives. There is a direct link between the nativist, anti-migrant politics that long pre-dated Donald Trump and the suffering and fear experienced by so many people today.

This is why the sanctuary movement – and the kind of workplace solidarity strategy I mentioned above – are so critical in resisting the politics of fear and the complicity it can easily induce. But as the rhetoric of fear gets more sophisticated, it is equally important to take it on frontally and expose it for what it is. To do so means that one recognizes that citizenship is not simply bestowed by a protective piece of paper (a birth certificate, a “green card,” a certificate of naturalization) but by the fulfillment of one’s responsibilities to one’s fellow human beings and to their rights – and to the democratic institutions that sustain those rights.

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.

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