Firehouse News 9/13/17


ALLEGHANY: All’s quiet….no emergencies, no training, no meetings….
CALPINE: All’s quiet….no emergencies, no training, no meetings….
CAMPTONVILLE: September 5th Responded for a vehicle roll-over. September 9th Firefighter training. September 9th CVFD 25th Annual Picnic,
DOWNIEVILLE: September 5th Officers meeting. September 6th Mutual aid response to Sierra City, for a fire at the Yuba Pass, USFS took over command. *Mutual aid response to Loyalton for the “Ranch Fire”, USFS took over & DVFD was released. September 7th Fire Fighters trained for a “disaster at a school”. September 8th Responded for an ill female,
transported to SNMH.
LOYALTON: September 6th Mutual aid response to the Sierra Valley, for USFS on the “Ranch Fire” September 7th Responded for an ambulance assist, a possible stroke victim was air lifted to the hospital. * Responded for an ambulance assist, a toddler had swallowed a Lego piece. September 9th Responded for an ambulance assist, a person with a possible dislocated hip was transported to the hospital.
PIKE CITY: September 5th Mutual aid ressponse to Camptonville for a vehicle roll-over. September 7th Firefighters trained on map locations.
SATTLEY: All’s quiet…no emergencies, no training, no meetings….
SIERRA CITY: September 6th Responded for a fire at the Yuba Pass, USFS had command. Firefighters were diverted to a vegetation fire in Loyalton – cancelled.
SIERRAVILLE: All’s quiet….no emergencies, no training, no meetings….

Drive Thru Flu 9/13/17

Local Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinics 2017

Flu vaccine is the best protection we have from flu and its complications. Flu vaccine also helps prevent spreading flu from person to person.

Flu can make some people much sicker than others. These people include young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions – such as heart, lung or kidney disease, or a weakened immune system. Flu vaccine is especially important for these people, and anyone in close contact with them.

  • Downieville – Tuesday September 26th behind the Community Hall entering on Maiden Lane from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm
  • Loyalton – Saturday September 30th entering on 4th Street, passing through the Loyalton High School parking lot and exiting onto A24 from 10:00 am until Noon

There is a Questionnaire to print off, complete and bring with you. Copies are also distributed to the Post Offices and some local businesses. View the Information sheet about this season’s vaccine.

  • Walk-in Clinics will be held in Calpine, Sierraville, Alleghany, Pike, Verdi, Loyalton, Downieville and Sierra City. Dates and locations listed on this flyer.

Provided by the Sierra County Health Department, fee is $2.00 each or $5.00 per family. Nobody will be turned away for inability to pay.

Gimme That Music 9/13/17


The Downieville String-Alongs will join Johnny Cash/June Carter tribute performers, Jimmie and Cyndi Cantrell, at the Methodist Church this Sunday, September 17 for some old fashioned Gospel music and fun. Everyone is invited for this event that will praise the day at 4:00 and continue through the “Battle of Jericho” (well, maybe not seven days).

The String-Alongs will start the show and then Jimmie and Cyndi will join in a spiritual celebration followed by the Cantrells performing some of their signature gospel songs. All donations will be divided among the three denominations of Downieville and half going to the Cantrells to cover their expenses. We are looking forward to seeing all of you and we’ll give ya Some of That Old Time Religion.

Sheriff’s Public Log 9/13/17

Sierra County Sheriff’s Public Information Log


  • 1131 – Parking problem in Loyalton, warning given, vehicles moved – CNC SCSO
  • 1339 – Vehicle driven erratically on Hwy 89 SB from Sierraville – TRA CHP
  • 1640 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance in Loyalton – TRA LOAM
  • 1800 – Stolen vehicle in Brandy City results in arrests for 10851CVC – ARR SCSO
  • 2228 – Citation issued for 12500CVC on Hwy 395 Bordertown – CIT SCSO


  • 0915 – Purse stolen out of a vehicle in Downieville parking area –  RPT SCSO
  • 1057 – Traffic collision on Hwy 89 near Truckee – TRA CHP
  • 1413 – Confidential investigation somewhere – ACT SCSO
  • 1536 – Elevated electric bill at vacant Downieville residence – CNC SCSO
  • 1606 – Subjects stranded on island at Stampede Reservoir – RPT SCSO


  • 1140 – Lost vehicle key on the PCT near Sierra City – CNC SCSO
  • 1434 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance in Loyalton – TRA LOAM
  • 1437 – Report of possible fire near Sierra City – TRA USFS
  • 1447 – Fire near the Bar 1 Ranch  Loyalton -TRA  LVFD
  • 1819 – Driver crossing yellow lines on Hwy 49 – UTL SCSO
  • 1837 – Civil standby requested in Sierraville – RPT SCSO


  • 0633 – 9-1-1 request for an ambulance in Loyalton – TRA LOAM
  • 1025 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance in Loyalton – TRA LOAM
  • 1552 – Stolen blowup Kayak at Snag Lake – RPT SCSO
  • 2037 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance in Loyalton – TRA LOAM
  • 2039 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance in Loyalton – TRA LOAM


  • 0824 – Request for ambulance in Loyalton – TRA LOAM
  • 1041 – Cattle in the roadway Hwy 89 in Sierraville – TRA CHP
  • 1312 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance in Goodyears Bar – TRA DVAM
  • 1438 – USFS requests water tender respond to Calpine – TRA SCVFD
  • 1639 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance in Sattley – TRA LOAM
  • 1839 – Possible fire north of Sierra Buttes – TRA USFS
  • 1932 – Fire near Badenaugh Rd Loyalton – TRA USFS


  • 0210 – Alarm activation at Pike City residence – CNC SCSO
  • 1021 – Possible break-in at the Ramshorn Transfer Stn – RPT SCSO
  • 1208 – Multi motorcycle accident, no serious injuries – TRA CHP
  • 1411 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance in Loyalton – TRA LOAM
  • 1813 – Driver reckless driving speeding Hwy 49 Loyalton – TRA CHP
  • 1817 – Possible DUI near Weber Lake Campground – TRA CHP
  • 1834 – Missing person  safe and sound and still at work in Sierra City – UNF SCSO


  • 0959 – Vehicles parked too close to railroad near Verdi – TRA CHP
  • 1004 – 9-1-1 was called by mistake from Sierraville – CNC SCSO
  • 1114 – Overdue party from Gold Lake area located – CNC SCSO
  • 1625 – Possible illegal camper near Independence Lake – TRA USFS
  • 2255 – 9-1-1 request for an ambulance in Sierra Brooks – TRA LOAM

Camptonville Courier 9/13/17

Submissions for the October Courier are due Monday, September 18th, by 9 pm.

I am calling for submissions two days earlier than before so that I and the volunteer staff have more time to edit articles, layout, proofread, and prepare the Courier for mailing. Every issue has been a squeeze to get the paper into your mailbox by the first of the month. We think this will help, and greatly appreciate your support.

If you’d like to write up events that happen after the 18th, please let me know and I’ll work to cover them by saving a place for them.

As always, if you know you’ll be submitting something, drop me an email to let me know ahead of time – it’s always helpful!

And kudos to the CVFD picnic crew and volunteer firefighters! They’re the best and it’s our honor to support them. In fact, if you’d like to write up your own kudos for the September Courier, I’ll print a bouquet of them for our CVFD!
Shirley DicKard, Editor- The Camptonville Courier -Connecting the Community Since 1997

Our Own Suicide 9/13/17

Begging for war  –  by Robert C. Koehler

Robert Koehler

“There are no good options,” Brian Williams said the other night on MSNBC, launching a discussion about North Korea with the implication that war — maybe nuclear war — is the only solution to the problem it represents.

We’ve been cradling our own suicide for seven decades. The baby’s eyes open¼

And Williams was right, though not in a way that he understood. When war — forceful domination, victory through threat, carnage and, if necessary, annihilation — is the ultimate limit of one’s consciousness, there are no good options. Even the peace negotiated in the context of war is bound to be temporary and grudging and therefore a bad option — sort of like the “peace” achieved at the end of the Korean War, after which both sides still, as Reuters reports, “have thousands of rockets and artillery pieces aimed at each other across the world’s most heavily armed border.”

Only beyond the context of war are there any options at all. Only beyond the context of war does humanity have any hope of avoiding suicide. And contrary to the consensus viewpoint of mainstream politicians and reporters, this is not completely unexplored territory.

Because Donald Trump is president, reaching for this trans-war consciousness is as crucial as it has ever been.

Maybe the best place to begin is by noting that there are some 22,000 nuclear weapons on the planet. This fact is almost never part of the news about North Korea, which has, as of this week, when it detonated an alleged hydrogen bomb, conducted six nuclear tests. The fact that Kim Jong-un’s tiny, unpredictable country is a member of the nuclear club is disconcerting, but the fact that there’s a “nuclear club” at all — and that its members are spending as much as a trillion dollars a decade to modernize their nuclear weapons — is even more disconcerting. And the fact that the modernization process is happening so quietly, without controversy or public debate (or even awareness) exacerbates the horror exponentially.

North Korea may be “begging for war,” as U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley exclaimed, but it’s not alone in doing so. None of the planet’s nuclear-armed nations have abided by the 1970 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which explicitly calls for complete nuclear disarmament. How easy this has been to ignore.

As Simon Tisdall wrote recently in The Guardian: “. . . the past and present leaders of the U.S., Russia, China, France and the UK, whose governments signed but have not fulfilled the terms of the 1970 nuclear non-proliferation treaty, have to some degree brought the North Korea crisis on themselves. Kim Jong-un’s recklessness and bad faith is a product of their own.”

Preparing for war produces, at best, obedience, which usually comes with hidden resentments. Because North Korea has displayed defiance rather than obedience, the mainstream media have portrayed the country and its leader as, essentially, evil cartoon characters: a crazy country that doesn’t know its place and is therefore begging for war.

To reach beyond war, to reach toward the future and create the possibility that it will arrive — to create sensible options — first of all requires dealing with one’s enemy with respect and understanding. In the case of North Korea, this means revisiting the Korean War, in which some 3 million North Koreans died and, as Anna Fifield pointed out recently in the Washington Post, “the U.S. Air Force leveled the North, to the extent that American generals complained there was nothing left to bomb.”

“Ever since,” she writes, “North Korea has existed in a state of insecurity, with the totalitarian regime telling the population that the United States is out to destroy them — again.

“It is in this context that, following the collapse of its nuclear-armed benefactor, the Soviet Union, the Kim regime has sought weapons of its own.”

She points out that this is not irrational behavior — certainly not for a small, isolated country in the crosshairs of the United States. On a planet with no good options, North Korea’s capacity to produce a little mutually assured destruction may be its best bet to curtail invasion. Indeed, no nuclear-armed nation has ever been invaded.

With that understanding in place, John Delury, a professor at the Yonsei University Graduate School of International Studies in Seoul, has some further advice to offer:

“Now is the time,” he wrote in the Washington Post in April, “to jump-start a diplomatic initiative that reopens channels, lowers tensions and caps North Korea’s capabilities where they are. Then, working closely with the new government in Seoul and others, the United States should support a long-term strategy that integrates North Korea into regional stability and prosperity. . . .

“By simply inflicting economic pain, threatening military strikes and keeping tensions high, the United States is playing into the worst tendencies of the North Korean system. Kim’s nuclear intentions will harden and North Korea’s capabilities will only grow. It’s time to reverse course.”

The time is now: to stop pretending that war will keep us safe, to stop cradling humanity’s capacity to commit suicide.

And the United States is not Donald Trump. Our collective consciousness is bigger than that of a bully. That means we have the capacity to understand that the threat posed by North Korea is a reminder that nuclear disarmament for the whole planet is long overdue. There are no good nuclear weapons.

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


Conflicted Management 9/13/17

The Endangered Nuclear Deal with Iran  – by Mel Gurtov

Mel Gurtov

Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the United Nations, said the other day that Iran had violated the spirit of the 2015 nuclear accord and that President Trump was likely not to certify Iran’s compliance with it next month. There is no legitimate reason for such a step, but if Trump—who must certify compliance every six months—takes it, he would almost certainly set in motion another nuclear crisis side by side with the one with North Korea.

Two basic facts are before us: first, that the nuclear accord is very much in the interest of all parties, the US in particular; and second, that Iran is not in violation of the agreement. Far from being “the worst deal ever negotiated”—one of those absurd Trumpian generalities—the Iran nuclear deal is a model of conflict management. While the accord doesn’t permanently denuclearize Iran, it does ensure that Iran cannot produce or test a nuclear device for at least 10 years. As a group of 29 scientists and engineers well-known for their expertise on nuclear weapons and arms control wrote in an open letter to President Obama, the agreement

limits the level of enrichment of the uranium that Iran can produce, the amount of enriched uranium it can stockpile, and the number and kinds of centrifuges it can develop and operate. The agreement bans reconversion and reprocessing of reactor fuel, it requires Iran to redesign its Arak research reactor to produce far less plutonium than the original design, and specifies that spent fuel must be shipped out of the country without the plutonium being separated and before any significant quantity can be accumulated. A key result of these restrictions is that it would take Iran many months to enrich uranium for a weapon. We contrast this with the situation before the interim agreement was negotiated in Lausanne: at that time Iran had accumulated enough 20 percent enriched uranium that the required additional enrichment time for weapons use was only a few weeks.

The letter points to other innovative terms, including challenge inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities, a ban on nuclear weapon research and not simply manufacture, and verification procedures that last through 2040. Thirty-six retired admirals and generals wrote in a similar vein, pointing out that the nuclear accord “is not based on trust; the deal requires verification and tough sanctions for failure to comply.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is given an exceptionally intrusive role in verifying Iran’s adherence to the agreement. It has verified adherence a number of times. Iran’s ballistic missile tests since 2015 and its support of Hezbollah have nothing to do with the nuclear accord. The administration knows full well that Iran is in compliance; Trump has twice certified to that effect. Trump’s national security team, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, supports continuation of the nuclear accord. Haley’s comment that we shouldn’t pay attention to “technicalities” is simply an attempt to evade the issue, playing to Trump’s base and perhaps pitching her personal ambition to replace Tillerson. She attended a meeting of the IAEA in late August on Iran’s compliance, and is quite familiar with the fact that IAEA inspections have turned up no violations of the accord. Nor has the US provided evidence of any Iranian military sites that should be inspected for violations.

The Trump administration is simply looking for a pretext to scrap the nuclear accord, and there may well be enough votes in the Senate to bring that about if Trump chooses to make a clean break. (He could also declare Iran’s noncompliance but continue to seek enforcement of the agreement, thus avoiding Congressional action.) In either case, Iran would be free to produce enriched uranium and heavy water for plutonium, putting it back on the road to becoming a nuclear weapon state. Once Iran stops complying, expect Israel to gear up for another attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities—this time, with full US support. Trump would then find himself facing two nuclear-weapon crises without a diplomatic strategy for preventing either one from spiraling out of control.

Rather than keep threatening and sanctioning Iran—a path already shown to be totally unproductive with North Korea—the US ought to be thinking about how to improve relations. The accord gives both countries, along with the other parties (Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany), plenty of time to find common ground and essentially make the nuclear option moot. Iran wants foreign investment, recognition of its important role in a Middle East peace process, and especially respect from the United States. Offered those things, Iran’s policies in opposition to the US in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen may be open to change. That possibility needs to be tested through engagement, which is clearly preferable to pressuring Iran in ways that ensure the ascendance of Iran’s—not to mention America’s—hawks.

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


Pay for Democracy 9/13/17

Democracy Insurance  –  by Hardy Merriman

Here’s a basic rule of public policy: If a society wants a capability, it has to pay for it.

Hardy Merriman

If we want a fire department, we have to direct our time, energy, people, and funds to build and support it. If we want a Center for Disease Control, or a Federal Emergency Management Agency, we likewise have to pay for them. We hope we don’t have to use them, but we live better knowing that they are there if needed. And although we can’t predict exactly when, the probability is that we will need them, often when we don’t expect it. They serve as a kind of insurance policy.

In the same vein, what if there was a kind of “democracy insurance”, consisting of capabilities that we can support to deter and defend against democratic weakening and authoritarian encroachment? There certainly is a need. We know that according to the organization Freedom House, aggregate freedom scores have fallen in the world for 11 years in a row. Democracies in many countries are backsliding, such as in Hungary, Poland, the Philippines, South Africa and the United States. And some former democracies such as Russia, Turkey, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe are now authoritarian states—overthrown through functional coups d’état by once-democratically elected leaders, who subsequently cemented authoritarian rule by rigging the laws and cracking down on civil society and opposition.

What might such an insurance policy against democratic backsliding and usurpation look like? It would contain a number of components, and one of them would be strong investment in the grassroots nonviolent civil resistance capacity of a society. We know that a unified and mobilized population—capable of imposing costs on unaccountable powerholders through nonviolent tactics such as strikes, boycotts, and civil disobedience—is often essential to protecting and expanding civic space. There is an art and a science to how ordinary people have done this, and nonviolent civil resistance has proven remarkably adaptable at addressing a variety of situations relevant to democratic backsliding, including:

• Driving successful democratic transitions • Defeating coups d’état (one of the primary means by which authoritarian governments are established) • Curtailing corruption (a major contributor to democratic backsliding) • Advancing human rights • Defending against violent non-state actors

Research further tells us that when nonviolent civil resistance movements succeed, they have an incomparably high chance of leading to democratic outcomes, and that even when nonviolent movements fail to achieve their stated immediate objectives, they nonetheless can set the stage for democratic gains in the coming years. The act of forming and sustaining a movement develops and incubates democratic skills, norms, processes, and associations. Nonviolent movements build democracy where it’s been stamped out, and can revitalize it where it has been broken.

How, then, do we support the nonviolent civil resistance capacity of a society?

We can start by supporting the development of educational infrastructure for grassroots activists and organizers. These brave women and men have one of the hardest jobs in the world—mobilizing societies that are often fearful, disunited, and lacking hope and confidence to challenge entrenched and oppressive powerholders. Any other profession (e.g. doctor, lawyer, engineer, or soldier) has infrastructure and established processes to support the growth and learning of individuals in those professions, alongside the development of related knowledge and skills in the field. We should organize along similar lines for nonviolent civil resisters. Since they are a cornerstone of defending and advancing democratic self-rule, here are some specific ways that we can support them in their learning, their work, and in making strategic choices that are as effective as possible:

1. Support workshops and other educational opportunities (such as online learning) for nonviolent activists and organizers to learn from relevant research, practitioner insights, and case studies of civil resistance movements from around the world.

2. Develop peer-to-peer networks of practitioners and supporters, so that activists across borders can learn from each other’s experiences and mentor each other.

3. Support translations of high quality educational resources on nonviolent civil resistance and grassroots movement organizing. The literature and audiovisual resources in this field have proliferated, and every new language translation can dramatically multiply impact, making knowledge accessible to millions.

4. Support the development of new educational resources (websites, video, books, articles, and curricula) in this field, so that new research, insights, and cases are continually incorporated into new and existing educational materials.

5. Support research in the burgeoning field of civil resistance. You can find a list of some key research issues here. In particular, documenting case studies is important. Civil resistance has occurred everywhere in the world (what country has not had a labor strike?), and people should be able to identify it as part of their heritage. For example, there are many under-documented cases in sub-Saharan Africa. We should be raising the visibility of past cases, reaching out to the people who made those movements happen, and highlighting lessons learned.

These are just some of the ways in which support can be given. Notably, all of these options can be done fairly indirectly so that they create an enabling environment for movements, rather than directly supporting (and possibly disrupting) a particular movement.

We’re at an inflection point in the world. Authoritarian resurgence has become a major problem, and this contagion has spread now for over a decade with severe (though still widely underestimated) consequences. Those who care about rights, freedom, and justice in the world must work together to reverse this trend. We must insure against further backsliding.

Doing so will require a holistic approach. In the field of nonviolent civil resistance, there is no substitute for sustained, multi-faceted support for education, stretching over months and years, recognizing the primacy of grassroots activists and organizers, and enabling their learning and practice in the field. To support this capacity is an inherent good. We don’t know exactly when or how an abusive power will rise, but we know that investing in civil resistance creates a malleable force that can be applied to defend against, deter, and correct threats that, sooner or later, afflict most societies.

Building democracy insurance will also require a proactive mindset—insurance is most important before trouble sets in, and much more expensive after misfortune has struck. For those who engage in work related to democracy and human rights—whether through direct organizing, advocacy, grantmaking, education, media, or otherwise—think of a country that is already experiencing backsliding. You’re likely considering what you can do now to stop and reverse the trend. But equally as important, think also about what you would do if you could go back in time and support an initiative in that country two years before the democratic downturn began. What initiative would you design and support? What resources would you apply to it? What capacities would you aim to build? And what do you wish others had done, if they had known then what we all know now?

The next set of countries facing authoritarian pressure are already out there, and others that are already facing such pressure need attention to help turn the tide as well. Insurance represents a potential that protects against a variety of threats, and helps restore and heal after a loss. An organized and empowered citizenry who know how to create powerful nonviolent pressure against unaccountable rule can do the same in their own country.

Hardy Merriman is President of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. This piece was first posted on Minds of the Movement.

Doctors VS Bullies 9/13/17

Nuclear Weapons, Natural Disasters, Bullies and Your Doctor – by Robert F. Dodge, M.D.

Robert Dodge, MD

The world watches as the natural disasters of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and the earthquake off Mexico wreak their devastation, waiting for their final tolls of death, destruction and devastation. Yet on a daily basis the world faces a far greater manmade threat, that of nuclear war, as tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, the U.S., its NATO Allies and Russia over Ukraine and Syria, and between India and Pakistan play out. The actuality of nuclear war which has grown since the Cold War, would dwarf the devastation of these natural disasters, potentially bringing about the extinction of humans. Even a limited nuclear war between India and Pakistan, who are always on a war alert, using half of their arsenals, about ½ percent of the global nuclear arsenals, could kill up to two billion people, or a third of the world’s population, from the dramatic global climate change that would follow.

While these climate events were occurring this last week, more than 400 health professionals representing 33 countries including the U.S., Russia, Japan, and North Korea, met in York, England for the World Congress of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and Medact for the “Health Through Peace” forum. Meeting to discuss the effects of war and conflict on health and to reinforce their efforts to provide for the health, well being and security of people throughout the world, the conference celebrated the recent Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and worked on how to facilitate its ratification including the Nuclear Weapons States (NWS) and Nuclear Dependent States (NDS).

These doctors and health professionals who deal with public health threats that arise from disease, poverty, climate change and war on a daily basis, recognize that the greatest public health threat we face is the threat of nuclear war. No other public health threat even comes close. They also acknowledge that there is no adequate medical response to nuclear war and prevention is the only response. And the only way to prevent nuclear war is to eliminate all nuclear weapons.

While President’s Trump and Kim Jong un taunt and threaten each other and the U.S. ignites the new nuclear arms race with our proposed trillion dollar buildup over the next three decades, each of the other nuclear nations follow suit not to be outdone, and the world moves closer to nuclear war. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientist’s Doomsday Clock has moved to 2 ½ minutes till midnight or nuclear Armageddon. This is the future we face, though it is a future that does not have to be.

The non-nuclear nations have spoken and taken action, having grown weary and fearful of the nuclear nations. For 47 years the nuclear powers have failed to abide by their obligation in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to eliminate their nuclear arsenals. Tired of being bullied and threatened any longer they have come together with Indigenous peoples, victims of atomic war and nuclear weapons production and testing particularly harmful to women and children. The coalition also included civil society, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, NGOs and the entire international health community armed with the health and humanitarian consequences of nuclear war report of IPPNW.

Led by the decade-long efforts of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a global campaign coalition of more than 400 organizations in 100 countries, the Ban Treaty case was developed. The resulting “Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Treaty” (PNWT) was adopted July 7, 2017. The Treaty explicitly condemns and declares illegal nuclear weapons because of their medical, environmental, and humanitarian consequences, placing those who continue to possess and rely upon them on the wrong side of a powerful new international norm.

The Treaty will be open for signature when the U.N. reconvenes on September 20. Once ratified or signed by 50 nations, it will go into force 90 days later. Thereafter, those nations who maintain their nuclear arsenals will be stigmatized, de-legitimized, and will be on the wrong side of history.

Moving forward, nuclear weapons will be eliminated. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “Nuclear abolition is the democratic wish of the world’s people, and has been our goal almost since the dawn of the atomic age. Together, we have the power to decide whether the nuclear era ends in a bang or a worldwide celebration.”

The world’s physicians and health community are committed to a world free of nuclear weapons that provides for the health, well-being and security of people throughout the world. This Treaty provides an “Rx for Survival,” What will we tell our children’s children when they ask what we did when the world was threatened? The choice is ours.

Robert F. Dodge, M.D., is a practicing family physician and writes for PeaceVoice. He is co-chair of Physicians for Social Responsibility National Security Committee and the President of Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles.


Dangerously Obsolete 9/13/17

Common Sense and North Korea- by Winslow Myers

Winslow Myers

The phrase “common sense” implies practical and prudent good judgment, with a further implication that the obviousness of common sense is “common” because it is shared by many or even all. For example, 122 nations just signed a Treaty on Nuclear Prohibition, confirming a majority planetary common sense that these weapons have become dangerously obsolete as a foundation for international security.

North Korea and the United States do not appear to share much of a common sense about anything with each other. Evan Osnos of the New Yorker has written a concise and intelligent summation of our mutual bewilderment and paranoia that should be required reading for the U.S. military-diplomatic-political leadership.

Given that the Korean War was never genuinely resolved so long ago, substantive reasons for conflict remain. But the destruction of both Koreas by further war would be all the more tragic and absurd if it happened less from misguided attempts at resolution by military means than from the present complete lack of communication, a lack that includes ignorance and puzzlement in North Korea about U.S. politics, historical amnesia in the U.S. (“the forgotten war”), and destabilizing brinksmanship bluster on both sides.

It is no harder to grasp the historical causes of North Korea’s paranoia than it is to understand our own fears: Korea was invaded and brutally colonized by the Japanese from 1910 to 1945.

At the end of World War II, the victorious Americans and Soviets divided the country into two separate zones of occupation. No agreement ever ensued as to where the capital of a unified Korea should be. When the North attacked the South in 1950 in a forced attempt at reunification, the Americans came in one side and the Chinese on the other.

Military stalemate followed three years of a war that included the deaths of a million Chinese soldiers, more than 400,000 North Korean soldiers and 600,000 civilians, and almost 100,000 Americans. Our air force bombed and napalmed the North until there was no intact target left, a shattering level of devastation not forgotten by North Koreans to this day. The aim of the North ever since has been to avoid a repeat of such helplessness, and the major means of avoidance became the acquisition of a credible nuclear deterrent—ironically ensuring that war in Korea today would be far worse than in 1950.

Meanwhile, in order to protect its ally below the 38th parallel from invasion, the United States surrounds North Korea with ships, flies along its airspace with bombers, and conducts military exercises that are seen by the North as highly provocative—just as the U.S. would see red if similar massive shows of force were conducted so close to our own coasts and up and down the edges of our own airspace.

The philosophy of nuclear deterrence pursued by both sides is all about credible threats, which drown common sense in an ocean of anxiety. The philosophers call this a performative contradiction: the weapons are there to prevent their use by anybody, but the threat of their being used must be seen by all as real, which means they must be instantly at the ready, which cuts the margin for error in crisis, which can lead to mistakes etc. etc. When will the experts see how there is no good way out of this death spiral waiting to happen?

Additionally, credibility requires not only that threats be credible to one adversary, but intended as a warning to all. This was the catastrophe of Vietnam in a nutshell, where the U.S. could not afford to be perceived by the Soviets as weak, so it fought, and lost, a futile proxy war.

Therefore the ultimate resolution of the North Korean challenge must include a total shift in paradigm on the part of the U.S. away from the credibility of deterrence to the credibility of gestures of good will, such as a solemn pledge of no first use, in all potentially nuclear conflicts around the globe. The United States must cease to obstruct, and instead encourage, a grand plan of verifiable, reciprocal global denuclearization.

In the long term it is a virtuous circle of nuclear disarmament that will most effectively undercut North Korean motives for its own destabilizing nuclear gestures. Kim Jung Un’s regime will not last forever in its present form. If the U.S. could contain the Soviet Union through a half-century of Cold War, we can cooperate with the world community to contain a small, impoverished nation and await its inevitable transformation.

Meanwhile, we need to talk with them! The first “common” sense North Korea and the United States presumably share is a desire to survive. To strengthen the shared common sense that possession of nuclear weapons is a probable cause of the eventual use of nuclear weapons requires slowly nurtured relationships and a ratcheting down of the rhetoric of threat.

While there is international agreement that Kim Jung Un is worthy of collective sanction, it doesn’t hurt to remember how many countries feel that the United States itself is dangerously militaristic, and further that we have not lived up to our obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1970 to make good-faith efforts to cut and finally eliminate our arsenal. Part of getting North Korea to change includes realizing that we have to change. Without weakening ourselves, we can initiate diplomatic feelers that could lead to threat reduction on both sides. We can build trust on the basis of a shared interest in survival—not capitulating to each other but capitulating, like those other 122 nations, to the common sense that nuclear weapons have no constructive use.

Winslow Myers, syndicated by PeaceVoice, author of “Living Beyond War: A Citizen’s Guide,” serves on the Board of the War Prevention Initiative.


Be Encouraged by Angela 9/13/17

Hurricane Harvey brought our family members in Orange, Texas a year’s worth of rain in just four days. Crazy. Damage to a house, and a job lost because of flood destruction are two headaches with which they must now deal. But other families fared even worse, losing not only material possessions and employment, but loved ones as well. With hurricanes hitting places like Texas and Florida, and California inundated with fires, it is hard enough for many to make ends meet without extra devastation piled upon the hill of sorrows.

Apparently, the percentage of American folks living paycheck-to-paycheck is a staggering 78%. I pray my sister quickly finds a new job. Calamity comes in many forms. I’ve previously written of my husband’s return from the dead – well, almost dead. He endured a feeding tube for weeks, to stabilize him for the surgery that saved his life. Because of the debts racked up over the decade he was ill and unable to work, I knew going into our marriage that we would join that 78% living check-to-check for a very long time (this is why paying your employees what you owe them is important, because you never know what people are dealing with).

When I think of folks devastated by flood, or who lost everything to a hurricane or fire, it really hits home because we are living the reality that it can take years to recover from a heavy blow, get re-settled, and have some form of normality – let alone be prosperous. I made a choice, a conscious decision to climb a steep financial mountain with him. Yet, not everyone chooses the hot mess they get handed. Like many, we do the monthly budget with our backs against the wall.

So yes, I’ll pray and ask God to send angelic mechanics down to work on our old car while I sleep, so that it continues to run; and that our dogs don’t encounter any rattle snakes, thus racking up vet bills; or my kids don’t fall off bunk beds, etc. God has never failed us.

Every month, somehow, we make it through. I’ve teased my husband that he is lucky he married a low-maintenance wife, who loves shopping at Goodwill, and will continue to enjoy thrift stores whether she is rich or poor. But seriously, while believers in Jesus have an eternal joy which the chaos of this world will never steal, happiness is ever-fluctuating due to the currents of the ups and downs of cards we either choose or get dealt. Being content, and having a thankful heart are fundamental in keeping that happiness meter in check. Whether you are in crisis mode, recovering, or just coasting along with minimal cares, be grateful for what IS going good.

One song I wrote talks about pushing yourself through heartbreak to find beauty somewhere. It is a dedication to, and written in memory of a high school friend who took his own life. When this world beats us down, and it is just hard to breathe, and it hurts to cry – we must push forward, and find beauty somewhere. Even if it is only one thing, find something, cling to it like a life raft – and be thankful. Whenever I feel stressed, the quickest path to peace is being thankful. When I choose to give thanks to God for who He is, not just for the prayers He answers in my favor, I find supernatural peace surrounding me like a warm blanket. When you are rebuilding from scratch, the simplest things mean everything – a couch to sit on, a dinner table, not to mention a roof over your head, and food to eat. And when you are getting back on your feet, and have somewhat bounced back in life, be ever-grateful for those little things, because they once upon a time meant everything.

This week, I encourage you to pray for those dealing with the ultimate hell, who are having to rebuild either physically, emotionally or materialistically. For some it is all of those. If you can pay it forward and do more to help, do more. We reap what we sow. God is good! Always!

The CrackPotEtte Desk 9/6/17

Downieville–Tuesday’s regular Board of Supervisors meeting held little that would have kept the editor of this rag’s attention. Expert in the art of crafting vowels and consonants into paragraphs,however, keeping himself probably even more amused than his readers – Don Russell can stir pots, create discontent, read between the lines – and write stories. Covering subjects the supes themselves didn’t know had been discussed, Russell reports what he knows, truthfully, factually, intelligently (depending on who you ask…)
But Russell is M.I.A. Somewhere is Texas, if rumors hold any truth at all. Looting, no doubt, using his hat as a net, scooping up items that float rather than sink. His eye will naturally be drawn towards anything old, rusty, and holding little monetary value. Lug nuts, radiators, a cassette player, doohicky’s and thing-a-ma-bobs. Yep, Russell’s in his own little paradise, feeding off the sorrow of others.
Not a care in the world does he have for the little newspaper he’s left behind. So what if his readers depend on him to report local news? Shedding light on the secrets the supervisors try to keep from us, the public, is what Russell was born and bred to do! Do we need him to keep us up to date with water levels in Texas? Hell no! We’ve Facebook and the Union for that!
The supervisors are no doubt delighted with Russell’s absence. Oh the horror of it – the violations that board can commit, and no editor to write of their sins. Anyone with two bits can buy their fill of Russell’s every other week coverage of our county’s elected board.
Ah, such a sad day for us all. Russell in Texas with Irma, his hat of straw, waving goodbye to Harvey, not thinking we need him, after all. The tale of Tuesday, an agenda, gone, not so much as a single word written, of the recent boards votes, descisions or our county and its fate. (by Millicent)

Wednesday September 6, 2017

Is there anyone who doesn’t think 2017 is just whizzing by? What happened…

The Downieville Antique Bottles and Collectibles is happening for the very last time on September 9, 2017 @ 8:00 am – 3:00 pm Downieville School Gym  more information check with Rick Simi at 530-289-3659 E-mail

This week there is much news, things to do places to go and columnists to read. I am late putting this issue up so just try to be reasonable and read this anyway..

Myself I don’t know what to say, this week and the issue with the DACA and Trump’s take on it… they are all young adults…. ah duh… exactly, they were brought into the country from many different countries escaping war, terror, poverty, disease, hunger, and a myriad of many horrible events and they were babies, adolescents, teens, children brought here to save their lives be their parents, yeh, they may not have the proper documentation but when you are fleeing for your lives, there is no time to wait for papers or have the documents you need to prove why you need haven here in the United States under the arm of the Statue of Liberty “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” We need to remember who we are, and why these words were written about us by Poet Emma Lazarus, do we no longer deserve this praise to our country? So write letters, make phone calls, make our government understand the DACA were raised here, went to school here, believe America is their country and want to continue making their lives and America the best we can be. Do what you can to keep our reputation as a shining light in the darkness for all those with hope lit.  This is the time to Resist, don’t let this happen to our friends and neighbors.

The photo this week was taken by David Marshall some where in the Lakes Basin area… I want to go to there….

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