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July 1, 2015     Feather River Bulletin
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lOB Wednesday, July 1, 2015 Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter EDITORIAL AND OPINION ........ EDITOBI L ......... courage This Saturday, July 4, Americans will joyfully celebrate Independence Day and the Second Continental Congress' adoption of the Declaration of Independence -- but do they realize all the Founding Fathers risked to secure our freedom? The declaration, drafted largely by Thomas Jefferson, was approved by 12 of the 13 colonies on July 2, 1776, and most of the 56 signers put quill to parchment on Aug. 2, a month later, famously pledging "our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor" to the fight for liberty. New York's delegates finally approved the declaration July 9 after consultation with their home assembly. Every school child probably can recite the opening lines of the declaration's second paragraph, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed... " The uniquely American struggle for independence began in earnest more than a decade earlier in 1765 when some colonists questioned the British Parliament's right to levy taxes and duties on commodities such as sugar and molasses. The rebels began to refer to themselves as Patriots while the loyalists, or Tories (the conservative party in England to this day) continued to pledge their allegiance to the British crown. Tensions rose with the Boston Tea Party in 1773 and eventually Patriot militias and British soldiers squared off in a bloody civil war that began at Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill in 1775. The declaration was signed in 1776, but the Patriots would not achieve victory until they and the French captured the British Army at Yorktown in 1781, essentially ending the armed conflict. We should always remember the courage of the Founding Fathers who, by signing the Declaration of Independence, also signed their own death warrants. According to 18th-century English law, those who committed treason against the king would be drawn and quartered -- that is, dragged to the gallows behind a hprse; hung by the neck but cut down while they were still alive; had their entrails i'~m6v'6d ~11~ ~u~f~ while they Wefe~st~:: alive; be decapitated; have their bodies divided into four parts; and fmally the head and quarters would be disposed of at the king's discretion. The punishment for treason by women was only a little less severe -- they would be drawn to the gallows, hung and then burned alive due to the indecency of "exposing and publicly mangling their bodies." Punishment even reached the extended family of those who committed treason against the king due to the "corruption of blood." Family members would lose all lands and property to the state and their immediate family and heirs could never again own property or conduct business. Forever. The Founding Fathers risked absolutely everything -- not only for themselves but also for all the generations who followed them. This Fourth of July each of us should remember them and offer our humble thanks and appreciation for the freedom and liberty their courage provided. Feat fiblishing =Wspaper / 1 For breaking news, go to plumasnews.com Michael C. Taborski .............. Publisher Keri B. Taborski .... Legal Advertising Dept. Dan McDonald .......... Managing Editor Jenny Lee .................. Photo Editor Ingrid Burke ................. Copy Editor Staff writers: Michael Condon Makenzie Davis Ruth Ellis Will Farris Stacy Fisher Susan Cort Johnson Susan Jacobson Greg Knight Debra Moore Josh McEachern Ann Powers Sam Williams Feather River Bulletin (530) 283-0800 Portola Reporter (530) 832-4646 Lassen County Times (530) 257-5321 Indian Valley Record (530) 284-7800 Chester Progressive (530) 258-3115 Westwood PinePress (530) 256-2277 Printed on recycled paper Member, California Newspaper Publishers Assoc. Jeff ers nland a ta f i l California." I have yet to hear a convincing plan. From what I can tell, it is business as usual in Sacramento. The past as prologue After I left Plumas County in 1990, my family moved to Siskiyou County for a spell, living in Etna, a mere 30 miles south MY TURN GREG KNIGHT Sports Editor gknight@plumasnews.com I'm constantly amazed at what little (or too much bad stuff) happens when politicians get together to discuss and try to pass legislation. A case in point is the seemingly interminable debate about why Plumas County should join the State of Jefferson bandwagon, voting aye along with other counties like Lassen, Siskiyou, Modoc, Glenn, Yuba, Tehama, Sutter and Lake. In short, while taking off my sports writer cap and donning that of a pundit, I will holler from my very tall soapbox that the supes should spend their time (our money) focused on what is truly affecting us locally, rather than this non-starter. When I listen to pro-Jeffersonians, I hear a range of folks who seem to have at least a passing grasp of constitutional orthodoxies and the need for proper representation in the northern part of the state, and then it goes all the way down to those who I consider to be strictly anti-establishment, low-information voters that seem to want something for nothing, all while paying next to or no taxes to the great Satan of government. And then there are the Keep California anti-Jeffersonians -- the ones who, while well-meaning and fairly succinct in discussing the budgetary numbers game that will logically follow, have not seemed to acknowledge the lack of north state representation in Sacramento. The Keep California group, through a press release reported widely, stated, "Our mission is to advocate for better representation of rural California and to oppose breaking away to form a new state." Yet, what are they truly doing? What is the plan, as Keep California states, to "encourage local agencies to evaluate the financial risks and uncertainties and will inform voters and elected officials of the consequences of separating from This week's special days NOT JUST AN ORDINARY DAY COMPILED BY KERI TABORSKI Not just an ordinary day....a sampling weekly notable special days and facts throughout the year. of 1964 -- President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act prohibiting segregation in public places. July 3 1852 --Congress establishes the country's second mint, located in San Francisco. 1886-- The New York Times becomes the first newspaper to use the 90 character keyboard linotype printing machine, eliminating typesetting by hand. July 1 1890 -- Idaho, (The Gem State) is admitted 1847 -- The in:st postage stamps are issued as the 43rd U.S. state. The official state by the United States Postal Service: the bird is the bluebird, the official state Benjamin Franklin 5 cent stamp and the flower is the syringa and the official state 10 cent George Washington stamp, tree is the Western white pine. 1874 -- The fin:st zoo in the United States July 4 Today is the Fourth of July or opens in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with 1,000 animals. Admission prices are 25 Independence Day. cents for adults and 10 cents for children. Today is free fishing day, where a valid California fishing license is not required 1963 -- The United States Postal Service by the California Department of Fish and begins using the ZIP code, an acronym for ,Wildlife. ....... .... Zone Improvement Plan, nationwide. 1865- "Alice's Adventures of 1979 -- The Susan B. Anthony coin, the Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll is fiEst fwst U.S. coin to honor a woman, is placed published. in circulation. 2009 -- The Statue of Liberty reopens after eight years of closure for security measures following the September 11, 2001 attack. July 2 1962 -- The first Wal-Mart store opens in Rogers, Arkansas. of Yreka via Highway 3. There is a reason we didn't stay long there and returned to Plumas County, where my dad retired honorably from the U.S. Navy. It was the people. Yreka, and Siskiyou County in general, as I remember it, is full of people who make my personal politics look downright leftist in retrospect. Are these the people you want within screaming.(voting) distance of a new "libertarian" state government in Yreka? The path to statehood? Even more daunting is the legislative and judicial process which would need to be played perfectly, better than a Nolan Ryan no-hitter, to get this new state to be a reality. Let's say the movement gets the 12-county assent it wants and the proposed legislation is forwarded to the California Senate and Assembly, where it passes and angels sing Hallelujah as it is signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. Then, it's on to Congress -- where the Barbara Boxers and Dianne Feinsteins of that that body will push harder than anything to see it is voted down and abandoned to the annals of history. And then come the court cases. Cases that you, the taxpayers of California and Oregon, will end up paying for. What I would like to see is the Plumas County Board of Supervisors be the smartest people in the room and vote this idiocy down once and for all. If not for ideological reasons, they should do it based on sheer economics and the human nature of politicians. As the editorial board of this newspaper has written, any citizen (read: taxpayer) in the State of Jefferson is still going to be beholden to both Yreka and Washington, D.C. when it comes to dollars and cents. No amount of pie-in-the-sky hope for change, laced with words like "freedom," "lower taxes," "destiny," or "under-representation," will ever compensate for the fact that small government always gets bigger -- and is always infiltrated and taken over by moneye& intere ts k o,am as- the political. ,, lobby. Jeffersonland will never control its forests and public lands (and thus its economic destiny) as those will continue to be annexed and controlled by the crony capitalist state government in Yreka and the feds in Washington, with a 51st layer of bureaucracy simply being foisted upon the proletariat. REMEMBER WHEN KERI TABORSKI Historian 100 YEARS AGO ..... 1915 Announcement is made from Washington, D.C. that the salaries of numerous California postmasters have been increased by $100. The postmasters in Portola and Quincy are among the offices to receive such increases. 50 YEARS AGO ..... 1965 The 16th annual Taylorsville Silver Buckle Rodeo will be held this weekend. Congratulations to Gee Gee's Deerwood Lodge, located three miles west of Quincy on completion of the newly constructed, ultra modern motel units. 25 YEARS AGO ..... 1990 Four are vying for the Taylorsville Silver Buckle Rodeo Queen this year: Leanna Near, Becki Davis, Genesee Velasco and Shawneen Blazer. Local bus service is coming to Plumas County. Nearly 140 years after McElhany, Thomas & Company organized the fwst stage coach service in Plumas County out of Onion Valley, located near La Porte, Plumas County will again have regular public transportation, connecting Chester, Portola and Quincy. The county operated system, utilizing two 11 passenger vans, will begin in mid-August. Free speech comes with risks, but it's our right With the Fourth of July just around the corner, I'm reminded of the freedoms that we enjoy and how easy it is to take our freedoms for granted. This holiday celebration is fiUed with family fun, parades, and fn:eworks. But it's also an occasion to reminisce and appreciate those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our rights. Back in the day, my college history professor told the class that freedom of speech was purposely positioned as the First Amendment because it guaranteed all our other freedoms. A poster hung on the classroom wall that we students would read at least once a day -- the celebrated maxim attributed to French writer and philosopher, Voltaire: "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." Recently we've seen the freedom to express one's mind under attack around the world and even here at home through belligerent confrontation, even violence. I've had a few somewhat heated-- yet civil -- discussions with a friend or two who claim that free speech doesn't include protection for objectionable ideas that might provoke offense. Expressing an opposing view may elicit umbrage, and in a world full of short-fused, thin-skinned people, anyone can claim offense against any idea they oppose. Who then might fred themselves caught up in the web of hate-speech accusations? Free speech carries the risk of offending others. It can't only be about pleasantries or supporting popular or majority views alone. I think the right to hold whatever beliefs we choose; to question authority, or to hold contrarian opinions, without fear of persecution is paramount to a free society. We all have the capacity to argue a MY TURN STACY FISHER Staff Writer chesternews@plu masnews.com viewpoint -- preferably in a reasonable and civil manner -- and the right not to feel threatened by having one. That is the guarantee of the First Amendment. Famous British author Salman Rushdie, under death threats by extremist groups for his book, The Satanic Verses, once said, "The moment you say that any idea is sacred, whether it's a religious belief system or secular ideology, the moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible." If my opinion causes offense, so what? There are many issues that need to be addressed in the life of our nation, even if certain segments of society consider such discussions contrary to 'political correctness,' defmed by American journalist and columnist Joe Klein as "avoiding hard truths in order to salve soft sensibilities." Political Correctness is the attempt to restrict debate. Adults have the option to walk away from those who they feel are wrong-headed, or use counter speech to argue their position. An enlightened mind can dismiss or challenge individuals that it disagrees with without subjecting anyone to verbal bullying-- or worse. That is the definition of a civilized people, to reject ideas we fred unacceptable without resorting to intimidation or fear mongering. In my view, giving extremists veto power over our rights borders on cowardice. Violence isn't sanctified because some feel offended by ideas they disagree with. Unfortunately, a number of people have surrendered to the fear of the threat of violence and are ready to submit to self-censorship so as not to attract the wrath of extremists or demagogues. According to the Constitution, every citizen is free to debate any subject, religious or secular, political or scientific, or any other idea. Allowing for free expression doesn't mean agreeing with every message, but defending an American core value. We always reserve the right to say loud and clear that which we find to be wrong. The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that the Constitution is about the rights of individuals, and the limits of government to trample on those rights. In other words, people have rights, not ideas. James Madison, our fourth president, worked out the philosophical and political principles that allowed him to articulate a vision, so eloquently captured in these well-known words of the Bill of Rights, which state: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." I think he had a good idea. 1 l i 1