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June 6, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, June 6, 2012 .11B COMMUNITY PERSPE C.T IVE Don't ,blame victims of foreclosure crisis WHERE I STAND JUDY HOUCK FRAUDULENT FORECLOSURE TEAM OCCUPY QUINCY In 2004 there were 13 fore- closures in Plumas County. In 2012 there were 294 fore- closures in Plumas County. Property values and tax revenues are still going down, meaning less money for schools and county ser- vices: teachers laid off, one- third of the county employees laid offor gone, no visitors bureau, library hours cut, the list keeps growing. As long as foreclosures continue all these things will get worse and our local economy will continue to suffer: restaurants and stores will close and more people will have to move away to get jobs. The county is not power- less over this. The Board of Supervisors can pass a mora- torium on fraudulent foreclo- sures. Supervisors can tell the sheriff not to evict people who are the subject of a fraudulent foreclosure. They can pass a resolution autho- rizing the county clerk- recorder's office to refuse to issue a Notice of Default if the bank can't prove it actu- ally holds the mortgage -- more than half cannot. The Plumas County economy is in great turmoil. Because of this foreclosure crisis there isn't enough money for schools and county services. People are afraid and angry and blaming each other. This problem was not caused here. It is the result of the behavior of the large financial institu- tions, banks and multination- al corporations who have manipulated things for their own benefit. They have moved jobs out of the country, written millions of sub-prime mortgages, failed to register them with counties and pay the fees; falsified paperwork in order to hide the fact that they don't have the original documents. They bundled the mortgages (securitized) and sold them over and over, and foreclosed on them when people couldn't pay because of lost jobs, rising interest rates and falling property values. It is not the fault of the homeowners at all. The big banks and corporations spend billions of dollars to elect people who will support their interests. They spend millions more to hire lobby- ists to convince elected officials to write tax laws and legislation that makes them richer and has ruined our economy. During the buildup of the "housing bubble" the banks realized that they could make more money by writing more mortgages. The people writ- ing the mortgages found they sold more mortgages faster if they falsified the people's income records, fabricated data, forged documents and hid fees. All of this drove home costs higher than their actual value and the bubble finally burst in fall 2008. A report by the FDIC revealed that 85 percent of financial institutions were cited for significant violations of truth-in-lending laws. Of these, 26 percent were failure to disclose the cost of credit, such as interest rate and payment schedule. So, don't blame the victim! They were lied to and their financial statements were falsified by eager lenders. People accepted mortgage documents in good faith, not realizing that the financial records had been tampered with, that the interest would go up and then the payments. And they certainly didn't know that the property value bubble would burst and the value of the property would drop down below the value of the mortgage. It is not their fault either that their jobs are gone. In this f'mancial vacuum people are accused of being stupid and felonious for not paying their bills. It is often treated as a moral issue, which it is not. The victim is not responsible for being victimized, cheated and lied to. We all believed we lived in a country ruled by laws. It is not so anymore. LETTERS to the EDITOR Lives at stake I live on the road to Round Valley Lake. Not Hideaway Road, where it's 45 miles per hour, but on Main Street/ Round Valley Road, where . the speed limit is 15 miles per hour. Not, that's not a typo -- it's 15 miles per hour from town and for good reason: it's a neighborhood, a neighbor- hood without sidewalks. So, when the pedestrians with baby strollers, neighbors with pets, caregivers with wheelchairs, students going to and from school, runners and bicyclists are out and about, they're on the road with the cars. That's why it's 15 miles per hour in this neighborhood -- to make it safe for everyone. Just the other day a car came speeding down the road, oblivious to a woman walking her 9-year-old dog and 9-week-old puppy. It wasn't until the car was upon hem and,'ti'.pedestr Jan screamed tlttli/t {h4 dri4r became aware of them. This could have been a horrible tragedy, and unfortunately this isn't an isolated incident. So I'm writing to ask that if you're in a hurry to go to Round Valley Lake or even just to get home or leave for work, take Hideaway Road so you can drive the faster 45 miles per hour. You'll proba- bly save about one to two minutes -- and more than likely, a life or two. Travel on Round Valley Road when you are aware of and doing the speed limit, aware of who is on the street in this neighborhood; and aware that there's never really any need to be in a hurry when lives are at stake. Lauri Rawlins-Betta Greenville Moving forward All of the people of Indian Valley are being handed a great opportunity to move forward towards peace and healing. Thanks to the brave, hard work of the 7-11 commit- tees, PUSD Board, and PCS Board, an idea to work to- gether to provide education for our valley's youth has come to our table. May we move beyond any fears and look at the possibility that this is an amazing opportu- nity to show our children how to co-exist with those who think differently than themselves. Isn't this the definition of peace? As parents and community elders, it could be our great- est gift to be the example that diversity is to be celebrated and upheld. For it is in our diversity that we are strong. Isn't this the definition of democracy? Our local farmers are moving to bring biodiversity back which has been lost to corporate agriculture. Our budding CSAs, local markets and co-ops are sparking new ways to experience food and celebrate biodiversity. Let us too celebrate biodiversity among ourselves and nurture it, all the while remembering that at our core is a shared humanity. This is a call for hope that we can all work together to raise our children to under- stand that just because some- one makes different choices than ourselves, it does not make them any less of a person. May we foster a deep curiosity in our children to explore these differences in order to come to empathy and understanding. May we honor that different people learn in different ways. If each of our children lives this way each day and is fully able to bring their special gifts to the world, then isn't that what success looks like? Pat Bradley Greenville Dads deserving Mother's Day in May and Father's Day in June honor those who have filled extraordinarily important and often difficult roles. Traditionally, fathers were family providers who worked outside the home: The role of Quincy's resolution to protest the political clout of big corporations. Supervisor Lori Simpson and Terry Swofford were advocates while Supervisor Jon Kennedy questioned the number of citizens that sup- ported them. "I think everybody in this nation is pretty fed up federal (and) state representativeS who get in office and start campaigning non-stop for their next election," Super- visor Simpson said. "They need to get down to business. And corporations need to take that money and create jobs in the USA. I think many in Plumas County are fed up with their representatives. Supervisor Simpson needs to attend to her job and stop advising the professional businessmen on how to spend their money. Businesses have relocated to environments that are busi- ness friendly and working to mothers, sifted .th abilities,.attr0t,them. Citizens are t0bearadurte chiidrenl uniteclin Portola to help our was more home-centered. Both roles were very impor- tant and the model worked well in most cases. As a genealogist I've seen that in my extended family couples usually married young, had large families and never broke up despite hard- ships. They were teams, for life. As a history buff I know many times wives died, often in childbirth, and their hus- bands promptly remarried to reestablish a workable family structure. He could not earn a living and be home with the children, too. But too often, widowers put their children up for adoptions. My mother died of leukemia when I was one, but Dad kept his three children together by moving in with his widowed mother for a few years. We were lucky to have a wonderful dad. Mothers left without hus- bands (abandonment, death, etc.) often faced much more difficulty. Discrimination in employment was horrible. Even in my naive youth in the 1960s, I understood the need for equal treatment between men and women, and for civil rights as advocated by Dr. King. Judge a person based on the content of his character, he said. Feminist and civil rights movements turned into struggles, not for equality, but for advantages. Schools and news media preach victimhood and advocate entitlements. Reverse dis- crimination has become the new norm, but too complicat- ed for this letter. In the 12 years I've read this newspa- per, there has been a special Mother's Day section most years, but never one for Father's Day; and, frankly, hardly a mention. Fathers are important, and deserve equal treatment. Gene KaUing Portola Not their business Policies and resolutions of our representatives are devastating our economic recovery. The Board of Supervisors symbolic deci- sion adopted the Occupy representatives rebuild the city. B.J. Pearson and I have presented job plans to the BOS to help rebuild the economy of the county. It is time that the BOS get down to business. It isnot the business of the BOS to reject a Supreme Court decision or to push for a constitutional amendment. Mark Mihevc of the Occupy Quincy group believes "this conservative corporatist Supreme Court made law saying 'corporations are people' and 'money is speech'." In the California Public Records Act a "person in- cludes any natural person, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, firm, or association." I think our representatives need to accept the state law rather than challenge the opinions of the high court. Money talks whether we like it or not. We need to get to work attracting big corporations to create jobs in Plumas County to replace the big businesses that once sustained our community. Larry F. Douglas Portola Clarify corporations I was delighted to learn that the Plumas County Board of Supervisors sup- ports the effort to deny that "corporations are people." To those who are working as advocates in this effort, I have a question: Why aim for a constitutional amendment? A simpler and more effec- tive course is available. De- mand that each state clarify the difference between corpo- rate "fictitious persons" and human "natural persons." The only federal corporations are ones created by the US government for its own purposes. Almost all actual corporations are registered as such in one of the 50 states. If a corporation wishes to operate in another state, it must register as a "foreign corporation" in the new area of operations. Ordinarily, it is very difficult to change corporate law because, ordinarily, the corporations care much more about such tangled things and can outfight the reform- ers. But now we are asking for a simple principle that people of all political stripes can understand and support. Instead of a negative, na- tional constitutional amend- ment saying, "Corporations are not people," we should demand a clear declaration in state law that, "Corporate rights are not identical to the Constitutional rights of natural persons." This would do three things. It would avoid the accusation that this campaign is "tinker- ing with the Constitution." It would more clearly enfran- chise laws that recognize the distinction we want to make. It would allow nationally organized resources to be targeted sequentially on the states that have the biggest impact on corporate law. Delaware and Nevada tradi.tionally have the most tolerant rules., Large states like California, New York and Texas have dispropor- tionately great shares of corporate business. I think working first on those states is the way to get results. Scott Corey Quincy Calls it out It is called "inciting violence." We see it time and time again. Sarah Palin put gun sights on, maps indicat- ing Democratic candidates. "Don't retreat -- reload," she said. Gabby Giffords was subsequently shot and others killed or wounded. Glenn Beck's history of in- citing violence is stunning. The constant drumbeat of violence and hatred against progressives and liberals serves to entice the violent and mentally ill to do harm. Conservative TV host Bill O'Reilly's "Tiller the Baby Killer" led to the murder of Dr. George Tiller. Congresswoman Michele Bachman stated, "I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue (cap and trade)." Nevada sen- atorial candidate 8harron Angle suggested "Second Amendment remedies" as a "cure for the (Senator) Harry Reid problem." This never-ending hatred takes other forms with the condemnation of the "other." Muslims, illegal immigrants, Hispanics, Blacks, gays, lesbians and now, women, are all subject to this disgusting denunciation. There is no place in a civilized society for this hatred and inciters of violence. Mature and decent people must call out this abhorrent behavior so that it is stopped. So, when I read a Letter to the Editor that con- tained phrases such as "want to defeat Obama?," "...be determined," "execute it with precision and stealth," "take one trusted person," "orga- nize, overcome, adapt, re- hearse," "be patient, right time and place, attack with all your resources," "take it out," and, finally, "pull the trigger" -- I call it out. This is the procedure for a sniper attack on President Obama. Our democracy depends on civil and intelligent con- versation. Our democracy depends on people working together to solve problems. People can disagree with one another, but it is never a reason for hatred and violence. Every moral, ethical and honorable person who read that letter should be absolutely appalled and outraged. Mark Mihevc Graeagle Exorbitant prices The reasons that the cost of prescription drugs is so high is that the pharmaceutical companies spend so much on advertising and promotion (24.4 percent) and lobbying ($700 million during the past three years alone). Although they claim that the cost of making their drugs safer and more effec- tive necessitates their high prices, they spend only 13.4 lercent on research and development. Perhaps if they spent more on research than on promo- tion and advertising, there wouldn't be so many deaths attributed to their products, especially painkillers. About 14,600 people a year die from prescription painkillers, about 40 a day. Someone came up with the statistic that prescription drugs cause 16,400 percent more deaths than terrorists. We are paying exorbitant prices for prescription drugs for the pleasure of risking our lives. Salvatore Catalano Taylorsville Marriage defined How things have changed. Marriage is defined as the union of one man and one woman in at least 42 states. Currently, 31 states have added amendments banning same-sex unions to their con- stitutions. There are current- ly eight states that recognize same-sex marriages, and a to- tal of six (plus the District of Columbia) that recognize some form of same-sex civil unions or domestic partner- ships. The biggest lie the "left" is trying to sell is that some- how conservatives are oppos- ing a homosexual's right to "marry." We're not: a homo- sexual man can marry any woman crazy enough to have him- which is the same right that the rest of us have. Using the term "marriage" describes a heterosexual's "under God" relationship performed in a church; unlike a "heterophobe's" (on the courthouse steps with news cameras running) relationship. Imposing one's beliefs on others works both ways when it comes to traditional values. Why will "marriage" always remain between a man and a woman? Those of us in the majority that are "married" or in a "marriage" will know those two words describe "opposites" in "gender" as well as "joined by God," because it defines our three-way bond and relationship under his laws of "marriage." We differentiate ourselves from today's "evolved" but- terfly relationships by being "married." We are different from a Freddie and Frank "relationship" we are not a "significant other" or "union." Using our term "marriage" is "defining" socially when speaking on a phone, listening to a radio program or talking with friends. If someone says how wonderful their "union" or "marriage" is, the rest of us will understand who you are describing. Therefore, if you had to de- scribe a democrat in as few words as possible, you might say he and he or she and she are members in a "union." Get it? I'm laughing. Trent Saxton Lake Davis Lost Heard of the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST)? Originated in 1982 it has taken on a new urgency by the liberal left environmentalists. The treaty is backed strongly by the Oba- ma administration, Senator John Kerry (D), former Senator Trent Lott (R) and Senator Richard Luger (R). The treaty gives the Inter- national Seabed Authority (ISA) "the power to regulate 70 percent of the earth's sur- face, placing seabed mining, fishing rights, deep-sea oil exploration and even the activities of the U.S. Navy under control of a global bureaucracy." In addition, "Maritime and jurisdictional disputes would be settled by the ISA, which presumably would tell the U.S. Navy where it could and could not go." "LOST is an attempt at the global redistribution of power and wealth, the em- bodiment of the progressive dream of the end of the nation state as we know it and the end of political freedom by giving veto over all of mankind's activities to a global body." The administration is pushing for ratification of the treaty "that would end America's sovereignty on the high seas, limit our freedoms on land and speed up the global redistribution of wealth and power." Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said, "The freedom of the sea._should be in the hands of the United Nations bureaucrats in...Jamaica," the enforcers of the treaty, which he said "we must ratify." China contends the treaty bans the Proliferation Security Initiative under which we can stop and search ships on the high seas suspected of trans- porting WMDs on behaff of or for use by terrorists. See: unlawoftheseatreaty. org - news.investors.com. Search LOST Treaty - blog. heritage.org/2012/04/30. They named this treaty appropriately -- if it is rati- fied, the sovereignty of our republic will indeed be "lost." Contact your representa- tives and the White House and tell them "no." Lynn Desj ard in Portola