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December 31, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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December 31, 2014

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014 9B COMMUNITY PE I<S PE C T IVE Cultural change requires intimacy with our sexuality Sexual violence consistently takes a back seat as a focus of concern or even interest in our county and yet it is an ongoing and very real community and individual issue, with far-reaching impacts. Many of us never question the social norms of today to see if we agree with their basic tenets or if they are supportive of healthy sexuality. This creates a certain level of complacency and tolerance towards sexual violence and we need to re-create a positive basis for overall well-being. Sexuality is not just about sex. Sexuality is about who we r e m Q xxrt'-tl.'ltan rPht word encompasses your sexual knowledge, how you feel about yourself, how you express yourself, how you make decisions, how you define your boundaries. This all morphs and changes as you move through life experiences, def'mitely a bumpy, sometimes a painful and, for some, a wild ride into seif-awareness. Included in the term "sexuality" is gender. We think of gender as "male" and "female." Sexual experimentation and sell-knowledge reveal sexual preferences and sexual orientation. Although heterosexuality has been the more "established norm" for WHERE I STAND ANNE GAUDET PROGRAM MANAGER THE RESOURCE CENTER. RAPE CRISIS CENTER centuries, it is generally accepted today that choices in sexual orientation are more diverse. The shame and violence heaped upon people with divergent sexual orientation from the "accepted" norm is well documented and a painful reminder of a lack of tolerance rather than a personal investigation into our own rigid conformity, fear or 19nrnop There are definitive biological differences between men and women strongly based in survival needs as a species. The pre-established differences in masculine and feminine qualities need to be studied to understand the often painful sense of separation between the sexes. Compassion, love, caring, emotional intelligence and nurturing are shared qualities, qualities that counteract the conditioning that states that men need to be "tough, in control and unemotional" and women should be "compliant, and look like air-brushed Barbie dolls." These fLxed labels keep us in a sense of suspended imprisonment, as we try to conform to someone else's way of thinking, someone else's ideology. We cannot continue to live in a real relationship with ourselves or others if we are contracted into a context of ignorance, fear and shame. We need to become informed, to see if we are willing to live by these standards or create our own value system. Sexual aggression is certainly triggered because of the expectations, pressures and stress of these unspoken rules. Tension, distrust and disconnection can run rampant in partnerships and c.nmrmmitJes unless there is a mutual vulnerability in conversation. Ask questions, research information, become self-aware so that your choices are more in alignment with a healthy expression of your sexuality. Sex, in many ways, is still in the dark, hidden under a blanket of needs because of our agendas attached to sex. Sex becomes a receptacle for our unmet, often unspoken wants, many of which are based in societal expectations. We give consent to sex because the consequences of saying no carry too much emotional weight. We have sex because we want to feel better about ourselves. We want release from tension, stress, alienation, loneliness, boredom and anger. We think that sex will help us get this or that, resolve emotional issues, keep our partner from leaving us or will make us feel loved, wanted or more attractive. This all gets entwined in the sexual act, but the release from the tension to get these needs met is temporary. So the need for sex is amped up to get more release from these emotional tensions or we change sexual partners, we close down sexually, we have multiple sexual partners, we force sex on our partners or we are unwilling participants. None of these "solutions" works to create a closer intimacy with ourselves or others. When we don't acknowledge and work on our personal issues, we turn to sex to distract us, thinking that sex will dissolve the pain of the separation that we feel from ourselves. Intimacy, genuine intimacy, is stuffed into the closet. Arguments, fights, shaming and blaming take over the relationship, whether short or long term. When sex is used as a trade-off, connection withers under the barrage of violence and the sex act is tolerated, buried or becomes nonexistent. Sex sells; it is big money. Pornography, including a massive child pornography industry for adults, is at the forefront of degrading sexual activity into a multibillion-dollar industry. Hardcore pornography has been normalized in society, strongly influenced by Internet availability to everyone, including our teens. Addiction to pornography is rampant in our society. This cannot be called sexual freedom or liberation. Pornography contributes to sexual violence, through its cold-hearted promotion of nonintimate fantasized sexual arousal that is based on a bang for the bucks. Rape has been tolerated, accepted and subliminally encouraged throughout the centuries. Sexual assault, and this includes rape, gets the attention of the press, and the public, and then attention peters out. Many victims of rape get blamed for the act, whether covertly or overtly, despite the unflagging efforts of those in the field intent on changing this additional rape of character. Most rape does not get reported because of the inner ambiguity around sexual and emotional boundaries, the process that a victim goes through after the rape to get the rapist to be held accountable for the crime, and the underlying issues that lead to rape that cannot be investigated because of the unknown personal complexities of the individual, which have little to do with a criminal investigation and more to do with the acceptance of sexualized violence by the population as a whole. This is not a diminishment of the violence of rape but a declaration of the need to look at the full spectrum of sexual violence that includes rape. Any form of violence is a diminishment of another human being, a branding of inequality, an expression of denigration. There are ongoing efforts by organizations to effect change locally and nationally but we need the awareness of the public and your ongoing support in introducing and promoting healthy sexuality. We need to become intimate with our sexuality, in all its aspects, and change what doesn't work for us. Lip service is not enough. We need a full-bodied awareness of how we accept sexualized, eroticized violence. Awareness and action will help to bring about a change that is so deeply needed in this area and one that we and our children so richly deserve. Government needs to focus on economic growth for everyone Recent economic news has been broadly reassuring. Retail sales are strong, November saw the best job gains in three years, the federal deficit is shrinking, the stock market is robust, and the Fed is expressing enough faith in the economy that an interest rate bump next year is considered a certainty. Yet the public remains unconvinced. This is partly because perceptions haven't caught up to reality. For many middle- and lower-class families, economic circumstances have not changed very much. Average wages, adjusted for inflation, have not risen in keeping with the good economic news. The median net worth of households is actually a bit less than it was in 2010, just after the official end of the recession -- and the gap between the wealthy and the rest of us is wider than ever. Strong numbers do', vv , XYTH00D I STAND voters' concerns, the ....................................... temptation for the LEE H. HAMILTON policymaker is to support DIRECTOR another tax cut or the next INDIANA UNIVERSITY CENTER ON CONGRESS move to stimulate the economy in the short term. Now is the time for however, offer one policymakers to resist this unambiguous piece of good and try to understand the news: The pressure on large forces -- technology, policymakers to focus on automation, globalization -- near4erm:,or immediate that drive our economy. As problems has eased, which Princeton economist A!,a p means they can now focfis 0n Btinde, poiffical strategist Al the fundamental question of From and others have pointed economic growth. That's out, the key is to concentrate where their attention should on creating the environment turn. in the country for sustained, A strong economy that is noninflationary economic growing for everyone, not just growth. the people at the top, offers To begin with, we have a many benefits. The quality of chance to get our fiscal house people's lives improves, in order and pursue long-term Political problems become deficit reduction. This is a more manageable. More crucial early step for people have greater economic government to take in opportunity: There's more creating a sound environment social mobility and more for economic growth. tolerance of diversity. This means modernizing Because the economy is ' entitlement spending and always at or near the top of shaping atax-reform package that focuses on investments to boost productivity and help the economy to grow for everyone, through research and development, job training, upgrading skills as well as technology, and reducing outsourcing. At the same time, it means eliminating public subsidies to individual enterprises. That money can be spent on boosting the economic skills f oi'dary Americans ' through education and training. Policies aimed at strengthening our education system from prekindergarten to graduate school, and at promoting lifelong learning and a workforce capable of upgrading its skills to meet changing needs, will have a far more salutary effect on our economy than singling out politically connected enterprises for tax and other benefits. There are other steps government policymakers can take to improve broad economic growth. We need to expand trade through open markets and simplify the regulatory structure so that it protects Americans without burdening companies beyond reason. And we must address our nation's deferred infrastructure needs, which hinder the smooth functioning of every business Finally, policymakers need to remember that economic growth means providing a ladder out of poverty for the truly needy. Providing opportunity for low-income Americans through the Earned Income Tax Credit and programs to upgrade their skills is vital. No one who works full time should be poor that relies on transporting its : h t:count}T. . :: ::i goods: * ...... reel coti{ive-markets The same applies to reforming government itself. A government that does not work well-- that wastes money, fails its regulatory responsibilities and cannot make timely decisions -- undermines economic growth. You can see this, for instance, in our current inability to pass comprehensive immigration reform: We cannot increase economic growth without the people our labor force needs, from mathematicians and engineers to migrant farm workers. are the best way to deliver goods and services to Americans. Government must not get in the way of that system. Nor should it stand idle. The right response by government to our economic challenges is not to focus on the immediate economic problems of the day, but to invest in economic growth for all. Lee Hamilton is director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was a member o the U.S. House of Representatives for 34years. LETTERS t.o the EDITOR. Guidelines for letters All letters must contain an address and phone number. Only one letter per week per person will be published; only one letter per person per month regarding the same topic will be published. Feather Publishing does not print third-party, anonymous or open letters. Letters must not exceed 300 words. Writers responding to previously published letters may not mention the author by name. The deadline is Friday at 3p.m.; deadlines may change clue to holidays. Letters may be submitted at any of Feather Publishing's offices, sent via fax to 283-3952 or emailed to A reckless lynching I believe that those who have organized and those who have signed the petition for the Indian Valley Community Services District board's recall have absolutely no grounds for their actions. Envision yourself on the board as money was being embezzled by a seemingly trustworthy person. Be honest now, would you have been any more aware of what was going on than those mentioned in the recall? The targeted members have done absolutely no wrong. They have not been guilty of malfeasance nor of any deliberate unlawful act. I can't think of any other members of Indian Valley who have done as much for the good of Indian Valley and Plumas County in general as the members of this board. Ironically, since thousands of dollars were lost, the recall committee has decided to waste many more thousands of dollars to punish the scapegoated innocent. The recall effort has served no purpose except to create dissention and discontent among our good citizens. Indian Valley deserves better than this kind of reckless lynching. Salvatore Catalano Taylorsville Knight's editorial great Greg Knight's article in the Dec. 17 paper titled "Law of the land: Study your Constitution" is the best article I've seen in the newspaper since I started reading the paper in 1998. Carl Felts Lake Almanor Why did Republicans win? One nagging question remains. Economic prosperity is back. The unemployment rate has steadily gone down. Millions of uninsured people now have medical insurance. The auto industry is healthy again. The stock market has hit an all-time high, which in turn has improved 401(k) holdings of the middle class. Gas prices keep going down, and Ebola is under control. So why did voters give Republicans a lopsided victory in the midterm elections? Were voters unhappy that there are millions of more jobs, that the president has stimulated economic growth, worked at boosting wages, improving infrastructure, controlling health care costs? Do the Republicans with their base of anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-immigration and tea party reactionaries represent mainstream America? Were American voters saying they want continued tea party Republican obstruction, gridlock and dysfunction? Were American voters saying they wanted more Republican voodoo economics? Where were the American voters coming from? Ron Lowe Nevada City Voters should have axed Republicans It's now normal for Republicans to wait until the last minute to present an omnibus-spending bill. They sneak in extremely harmful riders that would never pass on their own. Then they threaten to "shut down the government" if they don't get their way. A commonsense populace would have thrown out the Republicans (and the republicanized Democrats) for these traitorous Taliban-like tactics. One anti-American rider allows trustees to slash retirees' guaranteed pensions. You work your entire life earning your pension, and our government says "screw the retiree." Remember the 2008 fiscal crisis caused by unregulated banks where Americans got screwed and the banksters got bailed out? The Dodd-Frank regulations addressed that issue, but another rider nullified that protection. Get ready for another bank bailout where banksters get richer and we get screwed -- again. Another rider allows rich individuals to contribute $300,000 in elections. It's lawmakers giving themselves raises as this flows right back as bribes. Who do you think lawmakers listen to -- you contributing $100 or millionaires giving $300,000? In actual spending provisions, over 50 percent of the spending ($554 billion) is for the military. You would think that America is at war with every country in the world. No, war is simply the cold-blooded legalized murder and destruction industry that makes war profiteers filthy rich. To add pain and suffering for Americans, the WIC nutrition program was cut by $93 million and Pell grants cut by $303 million. Lawmakers could care less about Americans, and the last thing they want is an educated populace. EPA and IRS funding was also cut. Certain lawmakers have a death wish for our planet and less funding for the IRS allows more people to cheat and will hamper Obamacare implementation. Is the American populace so delicate and childlike that the truth now offends them? Happy New Year. Mark Mihevc Graeagle m Contact your elected officials... PLUMAS COUNTY SUPERVISORS - 520 Main Street, Room 309, Quincy, CA 95971; (530) 283-6170; FAX: (530) 283-6288; E-Mail: Individual supervisors can also be e-mailed from links on the county website, PRESIDENT - Barack Obama, the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500. (202) 456-1414. Fax: 202-456-2461. E-mail: / U.S. SENATOR - Dianne Feinstein (D), 331 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3841; FAX: 202-228-3954; TTY/TDD: (202) 224-2501. District Office: One Post Street, Suite 2450, San Francisco, CA 94104; Phone: (415) 393-0707; Fax: (415) 393-0710 Website: 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) 228-0454. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, 1ST DIST. - Doug LaMalfa. 506 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-3076. DISTRICT OFFICES: 1453 Downer St., Suite #A, OroviUe, CA 95965; 2885 Churn Creek R., Suite #(2, Redding, CA 96002. STATE SENATOR, 1st DIST. - Ted Gaines. State Capitol, Room 3070, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 651-4001, FAX: (916) 324-2680. El Dorado Hills Constituent Service Center:. 4359 Town Center Boulevard, Suite 112, E1 Dorado Hills, CA 95762. (916) 933-7213, FAX (916) 933-7234; Redding Constituent Service Center: 1670 Market St., Suite 244, Redding, CA 96001, (530) 225-3142, FAX (530) 225-3143. STATE ASSEMBLYMAN, 1ST DIST. - Brian Dahle, State Capitol, Room 2174, Sacramento, CA 94249, (916) 319-2001; FAX (916) 319-2103. District Office, 2080 Hemsted Dr., Ste. #110, Redding, CA 96002; (530) 223-6300, FAX (530) 223-6737. GOVERNOR - Jerry Brown, office of the Governor, State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814. Website: (916) 445-2841. FAX: (916) 558-3160.