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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, May 9, 2012 11B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE Vote: Participate in democ.racy, not politics WHERE I STAND TRISH WELSH TAYLOR CHAIRWOMAN, PLUMAS COUNTY DEMOCRACTIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE People sayto me, "Trish, I won't vote. I won't get in- volved in politics. I can't stand politicians." I can't blame them for feel- ing that way. I used to teach U.S. government to high school students. The class was not called "U.S, Politics." It was called "Gov," and we studied U.S. democracy. But, it's politics that flus our news and conversations. And politics is mean and dirty, full of big egos and deceptive language. It can be truly ugly to watch. Why would anyone participate? Why vote? So, I must caution you. Voting is not a political action. Voting is a democratic action. Democracy is government by the people, directly or through representatives, with equality of rights, opportunity and treatment of people. That is what my Webster's Dictionary says. Politics, on the other hand, is defined with these words: methods, tactics, factional scheming, seeking gain. No wonder I feel ashamed when I hear myself described as being "into politics." Goodness, no. It is democracy that I love and support. And it is democracy that I want you to participate in, not politics. The fewer the voters, the weaker the democracy becomes and the political methods we abhor gain strength. The people become ever more vulnerable to the will of politicians and power- ful forces inside and outside our nation. Democracy was designed to protect the people from powerful political forces, but it depends on people being engaged. How? By voting. Just vote. That's enough. But when voters become so disgusted with politics' nasty methods that we stop voting, politics wins and democracy dies. The political forces get their way. No voters, no democracy. People also tell me, "My vote won't make a differ- ence." It won't? Because it is just one among many? Well, a single vote isn't supposed to make the differ- ence. Rather, the votes add up, each vote having equal weight, and all together, the people's will can be seen. The evidence of the people's will is in the many votes, the many voices. And it would be an accurate accounting of the people's will if everyone voted. In politics, the louder voice, the moneyed voice, the bullying voice, the manipulative voice has tremendous power. It over- whelms the civil voice that speaks un-schemingly. But in an actual democratic election, the votes all count, one each. So I caution you again. Every time someone does not vote, the corrupting force of politics gains strength over democracy. And I tell you, the crude politics would not continue if all citizens voted. Don't give away the power of democracy because you don't like politics. I don't like the irresponsible behavior of politicians. But I don't like litter in my creeks either. So I pick it up when I see it and I support efforts to keep our streams healthy. I don't like the manipulative smear tactics Of campaigning, but I don't like child abuse either. I took an oath as a teacher to report suspected child abuse. Everyone should. I don't like the scheming, partisan filibustering and lobbying, and I don't like the absurd amounts of money influencing elections. It ruins us. Neither party wins because the people (the purpose) of the democracy lose. I absolutely agree with those who don't like politics. I like public education and preventative medicine. I like public parks, clean air and renewable energy. I like a true justice system and practicing the religion of my choice. That is why I vote. That's why you should vote. The deadline to register is May 21 to be eligible to vote in the June 5 presidential primary election. Voter registration forms are available at most U.S. post offices and county libraries. LETTERS to th.e EDITOR Guidelines for Letters All letters must contain an ad- dress and a phone number. We publish only one letter per week, per person and only one letter per person, per month regarding the same subject. We do not publish third-party, anonymous, or open letters. Letters must be limited to a maximum of 300 words. The editor will cut any letter in excess of 300 words. The deadline is Friday at 3 p.m. (Deadlines may change due to holidays.) Letters may be taken to any of Feather Publishing's offices, sent via fax to 283-3952, or e-mailed to mail@plumasnews.com. Corn fed I want to compliment Trent Saxton for his terrific letter and his apt analogy in the May 2 issue of this paper. To very briefly summarize, Mr. Saxton. used the example of catchingwld pigs by using corn as bait. As the pigs learn to get the free corn, they return. One side of a fence is placed by the corn. Soon the pigs acclimate to the fence and continue to return for the easy food. Eventually, but very gradually, all four sides of a fence are added. When all the pigs learn to go through the gate for the free food and relax in their enclosure, the gate is slammed shut. The pigs are captives, whether they know it or not. But most of the pigs acclimate to their captivity. They're comfortable -- but only as long as the corn continues to be provided, How many people will take the time to look objectively at what we are witnessing in our country and in Europe today? We can see what happens when countries run out of corn. It doesn't require pre- science to predict our future, if things don't change. Too many people enjoy the free corn and don't seem to mind the fence. They are comfort- able, secure, distracted and oblivious to what is happen- ing outside the fence. John Adams said, "Those who trade liberty for security have neither." America was founded on a concept of freedom and liberty, but freedom requires responsibility and the price of liberty, according to Andrew Jackson, is eternal vigilance. Those who prefer freedom and the risks and challenges that come with it seem to be outnumbered by those who are happy with free corn. Unfortunately, we are all in the same cage. And the corn is running out. Ralph Higgins Quincy On charters I read the Plumas News article summarizing the 7-11 committee recommendations. These members exemplify the true meaning of public service. I congratulate the members and thank them. . However, I am trying to figure out how Portola and Indian Valley members feel they have the right to recom- mend, totally or partially, charter schools. They were PUSD committees -- not charter committees. They must feel our PUSD schools are awful, lousy teachers and failing miser. ably. I wondered too, because that would be the only reason to dump the real public education system for the one that operates outside of the rules of the California Education Code. I went to the ed-data.kl2. ca.us website that provides the STAR Accountability scores. In the "Proficient and Advanced" category, PUSD scores were above California averages for years 2008 through 2011. Seems PUSD does well; however, they met the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirement only one school year out of the last three. For Plumas Charter, the STAR scores for 20.08 - 2011 were significantly lower than California averages, and they failed the AYP all three years. Plffmas Charter has about 217 students compared to PUSD's 1,941 enrolled stu, dents. If the parents in these communities want charter schools, all they have to do is enroll their kids in Plumas Charter. Nothing is stopping them. Is it the cas that the only way the "Plumas Charter School industrial complex" can get more students is to have the school board force parents to send their kids there? Is it more about the money than the education of our children? Parents have the right to send their children to charter schools if they want to. In the meantime, the mission of the PUSD board of trustees is to insure the viability of the Plumas Unified School District, and not Plumas Charter. Mark Mihevc Graeagle Tempest in a tea party For those of you who read Robert Meacher's blog regarding his allegfitions that the Plumas-Sierra Tea Party Patriots were sponsoring the April 14 Republican candi- dates forum, I must offer you the actual facts behind his accusations (robert meacher.com/node/40). I am an associate member of the Republican Women and a P-S Tea Party partici. pant. These are separate entities. In keeping with our goal to educate and inform, the P-S Tea Party Patriots sent an announcement to our email list regarding the forum. As a non-partisan organization, we are happy to email similar announce- ments about other groups holding such forums if they so request. After hearing about our email, Supervisor Meacher contacted me, erroneously assuming that the tea party was sponsoring the event. I spent considerable time on the telephone with Mr. Meacher explaining that the forum was sponsored by the Republican Central Commit- tee Chair and the Plumas County Republican Women, and my participation was as a member of the Republican Women, not as a tea party representative. As for there being some nefarious reason for cancel- ing the April 14 meeting, although the weather on the 14th was clear, the forecasts on the 13th indicated a con- siderable chance for bad weather. Several candidates were concerned about travel and the Republican Commit- tee chairman and the candi- dates chose to cancel the event. I can only guess at Mr. Meacher's reasons for purposely misrepresenting the facts of this situation in his blog. Unless he feels my freedom of speech and assembly are somehow re- stricted because I belongAo the local tea party grdup: I can see no reasonable expla- nation for his attack. I invite Mr. Meacher and any other person or candi- date to engage in meaningful dialogue over the issues this county and our state and country face. You can join us at plumassierrateaparty.org. Sandy Hopkins Clio 'Meaningless' Larry Douglas has again constructed another one of his meaningless letters that contains no facts. It gets easier for me to see why he couldn't make it on the Portola City Council or the BOS. Here are a few facts. These Belden events ran for years without permits or rules. The district supervisor (Meacher) knew about them, but did nothing. Meacher denied the county out of thousands of dollars in permit fees by his failure to get involved. In 2009 there was a huge event (Bobolink) -- thou- sands of partiers. They completely blocked off the county road I live one. Porta-Potties were overflow- ing on the road; it was disgusting. I called the health department, sheriff's department, road depart- ment. Belden Town didn't even have permits for the events I found out. The BOS finally got in- volved, and a meeting on May 4, 2010, took place. At that meeting rules were set. PG&E rules were ordered as follows: no camping and parking on Howells Road and no open fires. Signs were posted. My phone calls to these county agencies were the start of the county finally getting permit fees. In the last two years of events, Belden Town has followed the rules one time. I'll give credit when it's due. I told the woman security guard she's doing a good job. Every event since then rules were not followed. Public safety and fire safety should be top priority. How can this be achieved whefl there's no clearance to get fire trucksthrough? Darrel Smith Belden Tyranny I'd like to applaud Con- gressman Tom McClintock and Congressman (and Re- publican presidential candi- date) Ron Paul to have once again opposed and voted against the latest power grab by Congress to muzzle and control the people's use of the Internet called CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing Protection Act). McClintock rightly states, "The House passed a measure that makes a mockery of this cherished protection (against unwarranted searches). Under the guise of cyber- security, it allows the govern- ment to pressure and cajole Internet providers to turn over their subscribers' data for the government to use participation in the program (possibly jeopardizing access to care for beneficiaries)." So we could have Medicare coverage but no doctors who accept it? Great! I think our fear is not that Medicare must be reformed, but that we don't trust our representatives to fix it right and protect our interests. They usually screw things up, not make them better. So, seniors, it's time to roll up our sleeves (again!) and get the job done. Confront the candidates on Medicare re- form. Attend their forums, write letters, call their offices, join their bloBs, make your voices' heard and hold their feet to the fire -- question with boldness! Our medical care security depends on it! Lynn Desjardin Portola that data -- without the consent or even knowledge  President Cttmma's "official of the individuals affected -- for a wide variety of vague purposes unrelated to cyber- security -- all without war- rant." This received a majority of votes from both parties, not surprising, but sickening nonetheless, as both parties have been responsible for un- dermining our liberties and the rule of law (the Constitu- tion). Over-taxation, over- regulation, over-litigation and over-indebtedness are not just political slogans. They are the tools of tyranny. While we still can, we must find and elect candidates who will stand in the face of tyranny and help restore our republic. Barbara MacArthur Lake Almanor Shovel ready; .... Old car Medicare works, but like an old car that doesn't start on cold mornings, has tires going bald and a battery that runs down, Medicare has underlying problems that are slowly eroding its usefulness and accessibility. So, like an old car, what do we do? Trade it in for a new model? Scrap it and take the bus? Fix only the parts that need fixing? Unfortunately, reforming Medicare is not optional. Ac- campaign season" began May 5, the birthday of Karl Marx, the father of socialism and communism, and prominent in the founding of the labor union movement. Marx and Obama have much in common. Unions donated hundreds of millions of dollars to Obama's election campaign in 2008, and in return Presi- dent Obama funneled hun- dreds of billions to benefit unions. Remember all those "shovel ready" projects, and grants to states so unionized teachers, police, firefighters wouldn't lose their jobs? He subsidized union jobs, while funding unemployment for everybody else. Communists around the world celebrate Labor Day on May 1 in honor of the 1886 Haymarket Square Riot in Chicago. When police tried to disperse a union gathering, dynamite was thrown at a police line: seven killed. Eight anarchists were convicted of conspiracy. Occupiers chose that communist holy day for their national protest events. In cities across America they snarled traffic, smashed win- dows and caused property damage. Encampment sites have just been repaired from last season's occupations. Themes favored by these anarchist occupiers are right out of Marx's Communist Manifesto. "Corporate per- sonhood" refers to Marx's theory that private corporate ownership by the wealthy is bad. Overlooked is the fact that countries which favor private ownership of business have flourished, and citizens prospered. "Inequality" is the justifica- tion for communism, that equality can be achieved by eliminating private owner- ship -- a path that inevitably leads to loss of freedom, tyranny and poverty. Marx said workers, but occupiers include shirkers and ne'er- do-wells. Richard Trumpa, president of AFL-CIO, told a gathering of union workers last Labor Day, as Obama sat listening, "If the tea party wants a war, .......... we,ll give ,em war, President Obama, we are your army." Gene Kailing Portola Failed Our county is in crisis. We face high unemployment, struggling businesses, mas- sive home foreclosures and huge fiscal deficits. Our political leadership have not made it their priority to create jobs or support struggling businesses. Their discretionary use of public resources have had little impact on small business development. Another deficit in our county is the moral and leader- ship deficit. Our leaders have been resigning or retiring. Leaders like Shawn Mont- gomery are still committed to the county but have left the political turmoil. Jim Murphy has retired and has medical claims of stress against the city. A moral revolution ha's been taking place in the city of Portola. Ex-leaders op- posed the appointment of John Larrieu to the City Council. A battle for taxpay- ers' rights started a year ago when the incumbent politi- cians imposed a water and sewer rate increase. Their See Letters, page 12B cording to the Social Security Administration, as currently financed, Part A will go bust in less than 12 years. To maintain Medicare as it stands will require increased payroll taxes, increased premiums and/or decreased benefits. If the program be- comes a totally socialistic program, then the U.S. may also need to increase taxes, borrow more money or decrease other spending to support it. (Maybe they could do things like sacrifice paying someone to watch shrimp run on a treadmill and use that money for Medicare -- you think?) According to Medicare's Atuary, "... providers for whom Medicare constitutes a substantive portion of their business could find it difficult to remain prof- itable and ... might end their Contact your elected officials.., PLUMAS COUNTY SUPERVISORS - 520 Main Street, Room 309, Quinc35 CA 95971; (530) 283-6170; FAX: (530) 28,3-6288; E-Mail: pcbs@cotrotyofplumas.com. Individual supervisors can also be e-mailed from links on the county website, countyofplumas.com PRESIDENT - Barack Obama, the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington, D.C. 20500. (202) 456-1414. Fax: 202-456-2461. E-mail: whitehouse.gov/contact / U.S. SENATOR - Dianne Feinstein !D), 331 Hart Senate Office Bldg. Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3841; FAX: 202-228-3954; TrY/TDD: (202) 224-2501. District Office: One Post Street, Suite 2450, San Francisco, CA 94104; Phone: (415) 393-0707, Fax: (415) 393-0710 Website: feinstein.senate.gov. U.S. SENATOR - Barbara Boxer (D). District Office: 501 1 St., Suite 7-600, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 448-2787; FAX (916) 448-2563; OR 112 Hart Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3553. FAX (202) 22843454. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, 4TH DIST. - Tom McClintock. 508 Cannon HOB Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-2511; FAX (202) 225-5444. mcclintock.house.gov. DISTRICT OFFICE: 8700 Auburn Folson Rd., Suit( #100, Granite Bay, CA 95746; (916) 786-5560, FAX: (916) 786-6364. STATE SENATOR, 1st DIST. - Ted Gaines. State Capitol, Room 3056, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 651-4001, FAX: (916) 324-2680. Roseville office: 2140 Professional Dr., #140, Roseville, CA, 95661. (916) 783-8232, FAX (916) 783-5487; Jackson office: 33 C Broadway, Jackson, CA 95642, (209) 223-9140.