Food Drive at Christmas Faire 11/22/17

Donate a can of food on Sunday, November 26, and receive $1 off admission

The Nevada County Fairgrounds and the Grass Valley Elks are teaming up at the Country Christmas Faire for a canned food drive to help feed those in need in Nevada County.
Bring a can of food (or two or three) to the Country Christmas Faire on Sunday, November 26, and you’ll receive a coupon for $1 off general admission to the Christmas Faire on that day. Volunteers from Grass Valley Elks will collect the cans at the food collection bins at the Fairgrounds from 10 am – 4 pm at Gates 1, 3 and 5, which is also where you’ll receive your coupon. One coupon per person. All food collected by the Elks will be distributed in their Christmas baskets in December.
The Country Christmas Faire is happening Thanksgiving weekend, November 24, 25 and 26 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. Hours are 10 am – 5 pm on Friday and Saturday, and 10 am – 4 pm on Sunday. Cost is $5, and free to children 12 and under. Parking is free.
For more information about the Country Christmas Faire, visit NevadaCountyFair.com or call (530) 273-6217.

Mountain Messenger (happy tofu day) 11/22/17

Ok, it is the day before Thanksgiving and since Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday and the Mountain Messenger is always on the newsstand on Thursday, there is a conflict and Don Russell appealed to the rulers of all holidays to change Thanksgiving to Friday and lost, so the Mountain Messenger is being distributed to all today, and not tomorrow which means the Mountain Messenger, …. you know it is difficult to continuously write the Mountain Messenger, so I am just going to go with Mt. Mess. What was I saying… oh the Mt Mess will be out before the Prospect. Don told me he hopes that you have or had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you get a subscription to Mt Mess. He also wants your cards and letters to continue to flow into his mailbox, all checks accepted. Pretty soon it will be the Merry Christmas issue, this is the ultimate in editions, along with the 4th of July one… anyhow Merry Xmas issue is special because this is where everyone gets ads wishing other family, friends and foes a very Merry Christmas. But fiirst Happy Thanksgiving and eat vegetables and tofu.

Jim Beard and Scott Schlefstein attempt to school Don on the proper way to cook a Tofu.

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 money to Mountain Messenger at P.O. Drawer A, Downieville 95936 or call 530 289-3262 with credit card in hand.. Write to Don Russell at mtnmess@cwo.com and tell him you subscribed because you read about it on Sierra County Prospect….. Subscriptions cost –In Sierra County $30 1yr- $50 2yrs / Out of county $35 1 yr -$60 2yrs

Carrie’s Veggie Corner 11/22/17

  by: Gobbi L. Turkey

Vegetables and Tofu are really good……

So, Carrie’s out this week, as she’s busy with some kind of horrific display of whimsical madness in her kitchen. I’m assuming it’s for this up-coming holiday you humans call ‘Thanksgiving’. Me? I’m typing this from a dark corner in her pantry, trying to save myself from the slaughter. So far, only her dog has picked up my scent, and, much to my relief, the dog (unlike the cats) can’t manage to open this door…yet. If this holiday of giving thanks is to be followed by us turkeys, then I’m going to add my list of things that I am thankful for. It’s a short list. OK, there are only 2 things on that list. Vegetarians, and Vegans. I’m extremely thankful for them. Sadly, those types of humans do not live in this house, and I fear that I will soon be discovered.

Speaking of which, this pantry really isn’t all that bad, as far as pantries go. I mean, there are house plants, and tons of baking supplies. Oh, and a LOT of reading material. Mostly cook books, but there are a few handy mechanic journals, and some random book about a human named ‘Churchill’. I haven’t yet figured out why that would be next to the cook books, but at this point, I’m sure it really doesn’t matter. This solitude, however, has left me with much ado about nothing, so I’ve taken to perusing the cook books. One night, as I was browsing through some soup recipes, I over heard the humans talking about this stuff they call ‘brine’. They said it was good for turkeys. A bath perhaps? A massage? I’m not sure, but I looked it up, and sure enough, I found a recipe for brine. So, I’m going to share it with you.

So, apparently, it’s fairly simple. You have 1 gallon of water, 2 cups of Kosher salt (I’ve never heard of a Kosher ocean, but whatever), 1 1/2 cups of dark brown sugar, 12 whole cloves, 3 bay leaves, 1 Tbls. Whole black peppercorns, 1 1/2 tsp. Dried rosemary and 2 1/2 tsp dried thyme. So, it looks like you bring the water to a boil, stir in the salt and sugar (until it’s dissolved), bring to a boil again (good gravy there’s a lot of boiling to this), add the rest of the stuff into the water, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for about 20 minutes. Then, throw it into the fridge until it’s completely cooled. Oh wait, it says here that the container you place this brine stuff in should be large enough to hold your turkey, and ‘non-reactive’. Good idea there, as I think the turkey will be reacting enough as it is. So, you put a thawed turkey (OMG they deep freeze us first!?) into the brine, and add enough cool water to cover the turkey with liquid. Refrigerate over night. Remove from brine, and let it sit awhile before roasting.

OK, well, um, it looks like I won’t be brining myself any time soon. Not if I have to be defrosted beforehand. I don’t want to be frosted to begin with. That’s the snowman’s job, not mine, and it’s not even December yet! Oh no! I think one of the cats heard me. I need to hide. Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Bear, Darby, USFS 11/22/17

Who? Me?

Darby is out sick with the flu, to stay home doctors orders till at least Monday…but that did not stop him from answering the door and helping the Forest Service chap that is staying in the barracks last night.

In the middle of watching a scary crime drama late last night, we were startled by a loud very rapid banging on our door…Darby peeked through the drape and noticed the Forest Service worker standing outside our door holding a small hammer.

The bear had broken in the back door of the barracks and was tearing up the kitchen. Darby sick, still chugged out, grabbed his shotgun out of his patrol car and off the two went…they entered the kitchen only slightly torn up and the bear exited out the rear door….the one scared, hammer holding Forest Service worker went around the building to make sure a second door was open so the bear could exit all the way…as the bear did.

Fun times! Hungry Bear!

Just the Excuse 11/22/17

Donald Trump, Congress, and War with North Korea by Michael Eisenscher

Michael Eisenscher

On August 8th Donald Trump threatened North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” He ordered the Pentagon to prepare for all military options. In the interim, he has ordered mock invasion war games with South Korea on North Korea’s borders and coasts, sent nuclear weapons-capable bombers to fly over the Korean Peninsula in a clear sign to Kim Jong Un he is prepared to follow through on his threat, and has ordered three US aircraft carrier armadas to the oceans just off North Korea’s shores, while escalating his belligerent rhetorical exchanges with his North Korean nemesis.

Hampshire College Professor Michael Klare, writing in The Nation, suggests, this extraordinary naval buildup could provide Trump with the sort of military extravaganza he seems to enjoy and/or to prepare for a pre-emptive military strike on North Korea. It may also trigger a North Korean response that will serve as a pretext for military aggression.

As if these developments were not alarming enough, the Washington Post reports that in the last week the Pentagon sent a letter to members of Congress in which it said the only way to locate and secure all of North Korea’s nuclear weapon sites with complete certainty is through an invasion of ground forces. In the event of conflict, the generals said, Pyongyang might also resort to biological and chemical weapons, raising the specter of great American casualties.

Given the mercurial bellicose character of the Commander in Chief, and his view that diplomacy is a “waste of time”, the generals’ letter could provide Trump with just the excuse he needs to unleash US nuclear weapons on North Korea – “to save (American) lives” (as if bombing or invasion were the only alternatives available to him). ‘Saving American lives’ was a justification offered by Truman for dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

A single 150 kiloton nuclear armed cruise missile fired from our off-shore fleet at Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, is predicted to immediately kill a half million Koreans. More than another million would be severely injured. That estimate of the initial death toll alone is approximately equivalent to wiping out the population of Oakland or Tucson.

Kim Jong Un has no incentive to attack the US first unless convinced the US is about to attack North Korea. He might be provoked to preempt or answer it with an attack of its own. With the nuclear weapon and intercontinental ballistic missile it has already developed (assuming it can miniaturize the bomb to be carried by its ICBM) its missile could hit a U.S. West Coast city like San Francisco, where almost 225,000 would die immediately and another 330,000 would suffer horrific injuries and radiation sickness, many of whom would die later. Seoul, South Korea, a city of 25 million people, is just 35 miles from the North Korean border. If it were targeted with a nuclear bomb, immediate casualties could easily top one million.

This is what’s at stake in the game of nuclear chicken Donald Trump seems to want to play with Kim Jong Un. We have to stop it.

Recent polling demonstrates that more than two-thirds of the American people believe that the United States should attack North Korea only if North Korea attacks first. But Donald Trump doesn’t think much of the ‘will of the people’ if our will doesn’t coincide with his ambitions or interests.

It is imperative that Congress enact a law that prevents Trump from ordering such a premeditated attack without prior consent of Congress, as required by our Constitution.

A bi-partisan letter to President Trump has been initiated by Congresswoman Barbara Lee reasserting Congress’s role in authorizing and overseeing military actions, and Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), joined by more than 60 other members of Congress, introduced new bipartisan, bicameral legislation to do just that. The No Unconstitutional Strike Against North Korea Act of 2017 (H.R. 4140/S. 2016) restricts funds available to the Department of Defense or to any other federal department or agency from being used to launch a military strike against North Korea without the prior approval of Congress or the imperative to respond to an attack against the United States or its allies.

This legislation has been endorsed by a broad array of peace, veterans, faith, civil liberties, social justice, Korean American and other civil society organizations.

Contact your member of Congress and Senators to urge them to cosponsor and vote for this critical legislation. Defense of our Constitution, our national security and global peace require members of Congress on both sides of the aisle do their duty, pass this legislation and restore the separation of powers dictated by our Constitution.

Michael Eisenscher is National Coordinator Emeritus of US Labor Against the War.

 

Sheriff’s Public Log 11/22/17

Sierra County Sheriff’s Public Information Log 

111317

  • 0825 – 9-1-1 Request for ambulance in Loyalton – TRA LOAM
  • 0903 – Controll burn by USFS at Treasure Mountain – TRA SCSO
  • 0934 – Trespassing by neighbor in Sierra City – CNC SCSO
  • 1044 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance in Loyalton – TRA LOAM

111417

  • 0751 – Control burn by USFS at Loganville – TRA SCSO
  • 0754 – Control burn by USFS at Packer Saddle and Butcher Ranch
  • 0908 – 9-1-1 from Mental Health in Loyalton – TRA SCSO
  • 1600 – Juvenile problem in Downieville – CNC SCSO
  • 1729 – Canine bite to juvenile in Loyalton – CNC SCSO
  • 1738 – Truck pulling large trailer with no lights – UTL SCSO
  • 2100 – Assistance with a large raccoon in fireplace in Loyalton -TRA SCSO
  • 2226 – Cow outside the pasture near Lombardi Point – TRA CHP

111517

  • 0718 – Control burn at Treasure Mountain – TRA SCSO
  • 0905 – Controll burn at Carmen Valley – TRA USFS
  • 0943 – Bovine aka cow traffic hazard on Hwy 49 near Loyalton -TRA CHP
  • 1055 – Reckless driver Hwy 49 near Ramshorn – TRA CHP
  • 1109 – 9-1-1 static call at Clark Station – CNC SCSO
  • 1304 – Deputy requests ambulance for injured inmate Downieville – TRA DVAM
  • 1431 – Subjects stuck in snow and lost located by SO near Sierra City – CNC SCSO
  • 1526 – 9-1-1 static call from Clark Station – CNC SCSO
  • 2033 – Trespasser reported in Loyalton – CNC SCSO
  • 2053 – Black cow in Hwy 49 north of Loyalton – UTL SCSO
  • 2156 – 9-1-1 request for an ambulance near Loyalton – TRA LOAM
  • 2335 – Loud music in Sierraville – UTL SCSO

111617

  • 0006 – Suspicious vehicle near gas station in Downieville – CNC SCSO
  • 0636 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance in Loyalton – TRA LOAM
  • 0926 – Juvenile left school, SO returned Juvie to school – CNC SCSO
  • 1025 – 9-1-1 report of possible arson in Loyalton – RPT SCSO
  • 1143 – Suspicious circumstances in Loyalton – RPT SCSO
  • 1204 – 9-1-1 static call from Clark Station – CNC SCSO
  • 1500 – Burglary at the Alleghany Transfer Stn – RPT SCSO
  • 1708 – Registration for H&S conviction at Courthouse – CNC SCSO

111717

  • 0943 – Clark Stn static hangs up on 9-1-1 – CNC SCSO
  • 1001 – Control burn near Sattley – TRA USFS
  • 1628 – Suspicious low flying aircraft near Sattley – CNC SCSO
  • 2136 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance near Loyalton – CNC SCSO

111817

  • 0842 – 9-1-1 request for ambulance near Sattley – TRA LOAM
  • 1210 – Accidental burglary alarm activation in Loyalton – UNF SCSO
  • 1331 – Citation issued for trespassing in Loyalton – CIT SCSO
  • 1608 – Possible trespassing and squatting in Loyalton – CNC SCSO
  • 1627 – Citation issued for trespassing and squatting – CIT SCSO
  • 1701 – Re-arrest for 311.11, 311.31(d), 626.84(a) in Carmichael – ARR SCSO

111917

  • 0916 – Solo vehicle accident near Cold Creek Campground – TRA CHP
  • 1707 – Illegally parked vehicle in Loyalton – CNC SCSO

Calpine Thanksgiving Yoga 11/22/17

Start your Thanksgiving with a gratitude practice!

All levels Hatha Flow with Sarah J at the CIA Building in Calpine (downstairs in the conference room) 9-10:45 (mats available for borrow) $15 suggested donation Bring a friend and leave with a heart filled with gratitude  ***This will be the only class offered on Thursday, regular class schedule will resume the following week (8-9:15 Flow & 9:30-10:45 Therapeutics)

Kangaroo Court 11/22/17

Reckless – by Tom H. Hastings

Tom Hastings

I’m heading to court from my home in Portland, Oregon, to Missoula, Montana.

Leonard Higgins is going to go on trial in a Montana courtroom for his role in the October 11, 2016 coordinated shutdown of several of the dirtiest tar sands oil pipelines that increasingly and dangerously traverse North America.

Leonard simply shut off a valve, turning off the Express pipeline in Montana, an act of supreme nonviolent symbolism because he and everyone involved knew that the pipeline company would open the valve quickly and get the filthy tar sands oil sludging along again.

Four other climate chaos resisters also shut down sections of tar sands oil pipelines in Washington, North Dakota, and Minnesota the same day. All either face trial or have gone to trial. For the most part, thus far, the courts have disallowed the necessity defense, that is, effectively eliminating the chance for the jury to hear why these resisters did their actions.

This means that, for the most part, they have been kangaroo courts, a travesty of the judicial system.

Another valve-turner, Michael Foster, a mental health counselor in his 50s from Seattle, went on trial in North Dakota and one of the charges–the only one the jury found him Not Guilty of–was reckless endangerment. The other charges resulted in convictions and he faces possibly 21 years in prison. His sentencing will be January 18.

He is sitting in the packed van across from me as we travel to Leonard’s trial. I ask him about the 210,000 gallon spill that just occurred in South Dakota from a part of the Keystone pipeline.

“Yeah, I don’t think I was the one engaging in reckless endangerment,” says Michael.

And, as in Michael’s case, the Montana judge has refused to allow the jury to hear the necessity defense, so we are going to hold a mock trial (view it here) to at least share with anyone interested what we would have presented, had Leonard been allowed to receive a fair trial.

The necessity defense would allow the jury to hear that the pipeline is carrying highly polluting tar sands oil, that the climate catastrophes we are starting to see–more fires, larger fires, longer fire seasons, more hurricanes, worse hurricanes, longer hurricane seasons, rising seas–will intensify with the ongoing failure to transition now to clean renewable energy. The jury won’t be allowed to hear that the resisters had at least some reasonable expectation of a positive effect as a result of their actions.

Instead, the jury will only learn that the defendants did turn off the pipeline, however briefly. Since the resisters had others call the pipeline company a few minutes ahead of time to warn them, this is hardly in question. The resisters did not admit their actions; they claimed them.

Meanwhile, the tar sands oil are polluting our groundwater and contaminating our soil at every step, even as the Trump representatives in Bonn are the only rogues promoting the use of more fossil fuels. The entire world knows better. Only the US is going out of its way to act with demonstrable reckless endangerment.

Dr. Tom H. Hastings is PeaceVoice Director and on occasion an expert witness for the defense in court.

Carrie’s Gobble Corner 11/22/17

 by: Gobbi L. Turkey

So, Carrie’s out this week, as she’s busy with some kind of horrific display of whimsical madness in her kitchen. I’m assuming it’s for this up-coming holiday you humans call ‘Thanksgiving’. Me? I’m typing this from a dark corner in her pantry, trying to save myself from the slaughter. So far, only her dog has picked up my scent, and, much to my relief, the dog (unlike the cats) can’t manage to open this door…yet. If this holiday of giving thanks is to be followed by us turkeys, then I’m going to add my list of things that I am thankful for. It’s a short list. OK, there are only 2 things on that list. Vegetarians, and Vegans. I’m extremely thankful for them. Sadly, those types of humans do not live in this house, and I fear that I will soon be discovered.

Speaking of which, this pantry really isn’t all that bad, as far as pantries go. I mean, there are house plants, and tons of baking supplies. Oh, and a LOT of reading material. Mostly cook books, but there are a few handy mechanic journals, and some random book about a human named ‘Churchill’. I haven’t yet figured out why that would be next to the cook books, but at this point, I’m sure it really doesn’t matter. This solitude, however, has left me with much ado about nothing, so I’ve taken to perusing the cook books. One night, as I was browsing through some soup recipes, I over heard the humans talking about this stuff they call ‘brine’. They said it was good for turkeys. A bath perhaps? A massage? I’m not sure, but I looked it up, and sure enough, I found a recipe for brine. So, I’m going to share it with you.

So, apparently, it’s fairly simple. You have 1 gallon of water, 2 cups of Kosher salt (I’ve never heard of a Kosher ocean, but whatever), 1 1/2 cups of dark brown sugar, 12 whole cloves, 3 bay leaves, 1 Tbls. Whole black peppercorns, 1 1/2 tsp. Dried rosemary and 2 1/2 tsp dried thyme. So, it looks like you bring the water to a boil, stir in the salt and sugar (until it’s dissolved), bring to a boil again (good gravy there’s a lot of boiling to this), add the rest of the stuff into the water, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for about 20 minutes. Then, throw it into the fridge until it’s completely cooled. Oh wait, it says here that the container you place this brine stuff in should be large enough to hold your turkey, and ‘non-reactive’. Good idea there, as I think the turkey will be reacting enough as it is. So, you put a thawed turkey (OMG they deep freeze us first!?) into the brine, and add enough cool water to cover the turkey with liquid. Refrigerate over night. Remove from brine, and let it sit awhile before roasting.

OK, well, um, it looks like I won’t be brining myself any time soon. Not if I have to be defrosted beforehand. I don’t want to be frosted to begin with. That’s the snowman’s job, not mine, and it’s not even December yet! Oh no! I think one of the cats heard me. I need to hide. Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday November 15, 2017

Caltrans is alerting motorists that the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch in the Northern California area for Wednesday through Friday.. The storm is forecast to include heavy valley rains, high winds and up to 12 inches of snowfall at the higher elevations, including Donner and Echo Summit passes.

This is a great article about the (click here> Girls of the Golden West opera in San Francisco, good for Sierra County, looking forward to more visitors and tourists. It would be nice if we could get parts or all of the performance at the Yuba Theatre in Downieville, let’s work on it happening.

Gosh, I must really be turning into a little old lady. A while back I complained about car ads demonstrating totally irresponsible reckless driving on roads, kinda saying you can drive anyway you want with new technology and you still won’t kill a deer (or child) crossing the road. So it is before the holidays and Victoria Secrets new lingerie ads are irritating me, young women dressed in skimpy lingerie are depicted in sexual poses inside a residence and outside on the porch. It isn’t just VS, but perfume and jewelry and music… In today’s climate of accusations of sexual assault, rape and harassment it seems even more inappropriate than usual. Soft porn on network television, You know the advertising business needs to get “woke”. Hillary Clinton is a excellent example of what happens to a professional woman dressing in a professional way, she was constantly ridiculed for her pantsuits (and still is I might add). The news programs on television are interesting, the difference in the male and female reporters attire is striking and shoes…OMG… women’s heels are designed to accent sexual posture and think of all the back, feet, knee, hip problems as they age. I want to look pretty too, but there has to be some fairness to women and how they’re presented, children see these ads too, especially today with the advent of recording shows to watch during the day. … OK, finished with this rant, on to politics. Someone please tell t-RUMP to resign in a orderly fashion to save himself from self destruction, it may be too late for him, but not for us. Gadzooks, listened to his press conference today about his Asian trip…. apparently it was all about him, he started out trying to be gracious but then it all turned to his wonderful being.. blah blah blah .. lots of self praise and no substance, poor fool or is it poor us.

Mel Gurtov words on Congress, Patrick Hiller, Lisa Fuller and Robert Koehler provide our brain food this week, don’t miss out. Carrie’s Corner, Carol’s Movies, holiday happenings, places to go, things to do and lots of local news here for your reading pleasure. The Mountain Messenger is featuring a contest of sorts, be the first one to pick up the phone and see what awaits you as a new subscriber, remember Don loves subscriber is the key.

The photo this week was absolutely taken by Lee Adams at Haskell Peak while cutting Christmas Trees for the Downieville Lions Club and we are beginning to live in our winter wonderland of Sierra County,

Carrie’s Wintry Corner 11/15/17

– by: Carrie A. Blakley

With the cold Winter months upon us (yes, I used the W word), we need to really start taking stock of our stocks. Food, wood, emergency and pet stocks. While many folks up here have become used to the power going out every time the wind sneezes the wrong way, or when ever the local squirrels have a tree party that involves power lines (on any level), most folks get the town’s generator power relatively soon (read that as: ‘before Hell freezes over, and we can float Noah’s Ark down Main St’). That being said, even with power, we still have mud slides, land slides, mountains sliding into the river, hills sliding into the ravines and the over all laziness of the boulders, which tend to take naps in the middle of the highway whenever it suits them to do so.

If you haven’t already, prepare for these power outages, and other such problems, now. First, and foremost, play it safe. Make sure you have a good escape route you, and your family members, can take in case it becomes necessary. We have very active bears right now (no kidding, right?) in the area, but be rest assured, they are not the only native members of this local tribe of ours that are active. At this point in the year, every living creature (including humans) is preparing for the long winter months ahead. They too are stocking up, so be aware of this when you think about keeping coolers handy to store your cold items outside. If you have no choice but to take that route, make sure the coolers are locked and anchored to something a large animal can not move, even with a back hoe and a lot of leverage.

Keep a land line phone handy (if you don’t already use one regularly), in cases of emergency, or to contact friends and relatives to let them know your situation. Keep a phone book, and an address book, near the land line phone. No power means that your cell phones, cordless phones and computer systems will not be able to recharge that quickly, even if you’re able to use a car battery for charging purposes. Be safe at all times. Do not risk illness, just for a can of soup. Check the expiration dates on your food items, especially canned meats. If they’re beyond the expiration date, do not take chances…throw the items out, and replace them with new items. You’ll also want to be sure your pets are well taken care of. Add extra blankets to the dog/cat beds. If they have medical conditions that require daily treatment, stock up if possible on these treatments. If it’s a snow storm that knocks out the power, that also means that you might not be able to easily get out of your home. Also make sure that your own medical needs are met (if you have an). Talk to your doctor about the possibility of a power outage, and see if there is an alternative treatment that you can use during those outages. This especially holds true if your medication requires cooling/refrigeration (as is the case with some Diabetics).

Finally, keep a running list of the items you will need to keep on hand. Batteries, lamp oil, candles, working flashlights, matches, fire starters, wood, kindling…whatever it is that you will need, make a list, check it twice and when you buy them, buy them thrice. Remember, during power outages, our emergency services are stretched beyond their capacity. You will need to be able to keep yourselves as healthy, and warm, as possible during the outages. When an outage occurs, unplug anything possible, so that a potential power surge can not damage your electronics. This is also true for a brown out condition. So, be prepared, and don’t wait to start stocking up. You can do it! Have a warm, and safe, week everyone!

Child Arrested by BPA 11/15/17

Bureaucracy vs. Humanity – by Robert C. Koehler

Robert Koehler

Basically, it’s kidnapping.

Were the Border Patrol agents wearing MAGA hats when they grabbed Rosa Maria Hernandez as she left her hospital room?

“It’s a shocking case — the most outrageous case I’ve ever seen. Is it a preview of things to come?” ACLU attorney Michael Tan said to me about the incident, shortly after the civil-rights group filed suit against the federal government demanding the 10-year-old child’s release from a detention facility in Texas, 150 miles from her home in Laredo.

Rosa Maria, who has cerebral palsy, was arrested at a children’s hospital on Oct. 25, the day after she had emergency gall bladder surgery. She’s been at the detention center for a week now, under the bureaucratic “care” of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which wants to ship her back to Mexico.

The child’s problem is that, although she has lived in the United States since she was three months old, she’s illegal. Her mother brought her into the U.S. — from Nuevo Laredo to Laredo — so she could get better medical care.

But there’s no mercy for the illegals. Last week, Rosa Maria’s ambulance, which was taking her to a children’s hospital in Corpus Christi in the company of an adult cousin, a U.S. citizen, was stopped at an immigration checkpoint. The Border Patrol agents demanded the little girl’s papers. She had none. They determined that she was illegal and followed the ambulance to the hospital; agents stood outside the child’s door for a day.

According to the ACLU:

“Throughout the time that Rosa Maria was in the hospital, male Border Patrol agents followed her every move, sitting next to her in the waiting room, remaining in a nurse’s screening room while her vitals were taken, and even peeking into the operation area while she was awaiting surgery. The agents stayed in the hospital over the objections of hospital staff. . . .

“Following surgery, Rosa Maria was experiencing pain and needed to stay in a recovery room overnight. Agents followed her to the recovery room and stood guard at her door until she was discharged. They physically took her into custody, directly from her hospital bed, on October 25, 2017. The agents did not obtain a warrant before taking Rosa Maria into custody.”

The agents told the cousin that the child and her mother had two options: The mother could agree to Rosa Maria’s immediate deportation to Mexico through “voluntary departure,” or she would be arrested and held in a detention center. The family chose the lesser of these two evils: arrest and detention.

I repeat: The little girl was recovering from gall bladder surgery when she was arrested, i.e., bureaucratically kidnapped. She was still in pain.

Tan told me that when the ACLU initially contacted the Office of Refugee Resettlement to demand Rosa Maria’s immediate release, “we were still hoping it was a case of overzealous Border Patrol agents. If we could get the case before the right people in the agency” — you know, reasonable, sane people — the child would be released back to her family. “That did not happen. The government doubled down.

“This,” he said, “sends a disturbing message.”

He added that the conditions of her detention are “awful, traumatizing. She’s never been apart from her family. Now she’s 150 miles away from them. [Holding her in detention] is especially dire in the wake of surgery. I think what the government is doing here is incredibly cruel. It’s also unconstitutional.”

The ACLU filed suit against the federal government on Oct. 31. It has also filed a temporary restraining order calling for Rosa Maria’s immediate release to her family, stating: “The government cannot plausibly contend that Rosa Maria Hernandez poses any danger to public safety, given that she is a 10-year-old child with serious medical needs who is currently recovering from needed surgery. . . .”

Enough, enough! What’s taking place here is institutional racism, aggravated in the Trump era by an uptick in border patrol aggression. The idea that a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy, who has lived in the United States since she was three months old, could be illegal — that any human being, in his or her very existence, could be illegal — freezes my soul. This is bureaucracy vs. humanity.

And it rips open the hypocrisy of the “limited government” crowd, who cringe at resources being used to help people — universal health care, free college tuition — but are OK, I presume, with money being allotted to maintain the various, enormously costly, wars against our enemies.

Rosa Maria Hernandez is not my enemy. And I have no tolerance for government resources being used to dehumanize people. It may be that this young girl’s arrest is partially a function of Trump policies — immigration arrests went up 37 percent shortly after he took office, the Washington Post reported — but, as usual, his reckless feeding of the bigotry of his base illuminates institutional prejudices that were already present.

The ACLU has urged people to call the Office of Refugee Resettlement and demand Rosa Maria’s release, and it has a website to facilitate the process. This may be a good place for us to start reclaiming the country.

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

 

Vehicle of Terror 11/15/17

How to respond when someone uses a vehicle as a weapon of terror – by Patrick T. Hiller

Patrick Hiller

The use of vehicles as weapons to kill civilians has sparked global fear and attention. Such attacks can be carried out in any populated area, against any random group of people, by anyone with or without connections to a network of ideologues promoting fear, hatred and terror.

We do not need experts to tell us that it is almost impossible to prevent such attacks. Two notable attacks in the US were those by James A. Fields Jr., who rammed his car into a crowd of nonviolent protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia killing one and injuring 19, and by Sayfullo Saipov who deliberately drove a truck down a bike path killing eight and injuring at least 11. They acted on behalf of an exclusively “white America,” and the establishment of a new Islamic caliphate across the Middle East, respectively. A crucial, immediate and long-term response is to separate the ideology of hate from those people and beliefs the attackers claim to represent.

Those who commit such acts never represent the majority of the people they claim to champion. Fields did not represent the 241 million white people in the United States, just like Saipov did not represent the approximately 400 million Muslims in the Middle East or the 33 million Uzbeks of his native country. Nevertheless, baseless blanket accusations pitch “us” vs “them,” with “the other” being a group to be feared, hated, and destroyed. This response is used by designated terrorist group leaders and our own government officials alike.

Social relations are far more fluid than the “us/them” propaganda suggests. Peace scholar John Paul Lederach invites us to look at a spectrum where we have organizations and individuals who actively promote and pursue terror and violence on one end, and those who have absolutely no connection on the other end. The broad center of the spectrum is made up by those who have some connection—wanted or unwanted—through a shared common (religious) background, extended family links, geography, race or other factors. Passivity, silence, and neutrality on that spectrum is not helpful. Broad condemnation and unity by those who the attackers claim to represent takes away their claim of acting for a greater good. Just like New York City’s deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism John Miller clearly stated that Islam had no role in the attack by Saipov, the fact that diverse groups denounced and protested white supremacy in Charlottesville, helped isolate both attackers and their ideology. The “us” becomes a clear majority of those taking a side against violence in the name of an ideology. The “them” now are isolated violent actors without legitimate support, the latter being a key ingredient for recruiting members, safety, and resources.

The gut response when innocents are killed is to do something. In the case of the New York attack, calling the attacker a “degenerate animal,” calling for fear-based immigration policies, and increasing military attacks in a country halfway across the globe—all tweeted responses by President Trump—are worse than useless.

If we can learn anything from vehicle attacks on civilians, it is that the militarized war on terror is as helpful as banning cars. The militarized war on terror is not winnable by design. Increasing military responses sends a signal that the vehicle attacks are working as tactics by a militarily inferior party. Research shows that military action is often an ineffective and even counterproductive tool for countering terrorism. The grievances and narratives employed by terrorist groups are fed by military action—new recruits fall into their arms. The only feasible way is to address the root causes.

Not surprisingly, some root causes for white nationalist-and ISIS-inspired attacks are similar—perceived or real marginalization, alienation, deprivation, and unequal power relations. Admittedly, these causes require more profound societal transformations. While hard, the numerous rights movements –human, civil, women, LGBT, religious, etc.—demonstrate that we can build on those even in challenging times.

And how do we deal with terror groups in the meantime? First, the stated and actual path toward addressing the root causes already takes away incentives and legitimate support for any form of terror. Second, ISIS can be countered directly by initiating arms and ammunitions embargoes to the Middle East, support for Syrian civil society, pursuit of meaningful diplomacy with all actors, economic sanctions on ISIS and supporters, withdrawal of US troops from the region, and the support of nonviolent civil resistance. Creative nonviolence is also one of the best ways to directly counter public acts of white supremacy. When white supremacists march, they can outnumbered, they can be mocked, and they can be made friends and changed. Daryl Davis, a black musician, asked many clansmen “How can you hate me if you don’t even know me?” He got 200 KKK members to leave the Klan.

There is no magic solution to eradicate the discussed forms of terror. There are, however, many ways we can respond to vehicles being used as weapons that make such incidents less likely in the future. If we don’t use these alternatives, it is not because they are not available, but because of artificially imposed constraints, lack of interest, or self-interest. The broad social spectrum gives us ample opportunity in our respective contexts to take the contested area away from the terrorists and dissolve any hateful ideology at its roots.

Patrick. T. Hiller, Ph.D., syndicated by PeaceVoice, is a Conflict Transformation scholar, professor, served on the Governing Council of the International Peace Research Association (2012-2016), member of the Peace and Security Funders Group, and Director of the War Prevention Initiative of the Jubitz Family Foundation.

Children Need Boomers 11/15/17

Dear Baby Boomers, Your Children Need You – by Lisa Fuller

Lisa Fuller

Dear Baby Boomers,

Your children and your grandchildren need you right now- their lives may depend on it. I know, because I am one of them.

My only memory from the Cold War is the fall of the Berlin Wall. The only reason I remember that day, however, is because my mother told me I would remember it. At the time, I had no idea why she was so excited about the demolition of a ugly concrete wall that was covered in graffiti. I was six-years-old.

I never had to do duck and cover drills in school. I was born 20 years after President John F. Kennedy went on national television to urge Americans to build fall out shelters. I was still a baby when Carl Sagan and his colleagues discovered and publicized the prospect of nuclear winter- a development so significant that it helped initiate the de-escalation of the nuclear arms race.

My generation never felt the anxiety of the Cold War, and few of us feel anxious about the current North Korea crisis. Although the risk of nuclear war is now as high as it was during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the majority of Americans “believe a major war is imminent,” we don’t seem to grasp the gravity of the situation, nor understand that even our own families could be at risk. Nuclear expert Alan Robock confirms that “most people, including high-ranking defense officials, are unaware that a nuclear war occurring halfway around the world from the U.S. could seriously harm the homeland.”

A few months ago, we mobilized in record numbers to prevent Congress from repealing the Affordable Care Act because we understood how losing Obamacare would negatively impact our lives. Now we are barely mobilizing at all around an issue that could have even more dire consequences for our health. Instead, we argue about nuclear war as if it was just one more issue on the political battleground that divides us. Even the activists amongst us are focused on other issues.

Author Jonathan Schell seemingly foresaw our predicament in 1998 when he wrote, “a new generation, innocent of the divisions of the Cold War… do not feel the urgency to escape the nuclear danger that some of its parents felt. The call for abolition should therefore be, among other things, a call from an older generation to younger one.”

In 1982, your generation organized the (then) biggest demonstration in American history to protest nuclear escalation. Your success was largely a result of your visceral understanding of the devastating effects of nuclear war.

I know many of you are retired, and even more of you are tired. I know you already did your part in the 1960s with peace and love and all that. I know it is supposed to be our generation that takes responsibility and demands an end to the senseless escalation of threats. But we’re not doing it.

We need our parents and our grandparents to help us one last time. We need you to speak out again.

Love,  Generation X and the Millennials

Lisa Fuller spent the past eight years working in war zones such as Iraq, South Sudan and Sri Lanka as a senior staff member at Nonviolent Peaceforce. She recently discovered that she is a member of the Xennial microgeneration. Follow her on Twitter: @gigipurple

 

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