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Readers write

Let’s work to make our country right

I have noticed that many of those who loudly proclaim their distrust of the government, even to build a doghouse, not only blindly trust but encourage that same government to send our finest young men and women thousands of miles away to a land that we know little about to kill and be killed for an ill-defined cause, and they label anyone who even questions it as unpatriotic.

Patriotism is not “my country, right or wrong.” True patriotism is working to make our country right. This involves holding our government, which is supposed to act at our behest, accountable. We must ask questions and demand answers without being treated as traitors or we will lose our democracy.



As President Theodore Roosevelt said: “To announce that there is to be no criticism of the president . . . or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong . . . is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”

Kenneth Tonge




Grass Valley

Should high schools be recruiting sites?

As part of the “No Child Left Behind Act,” signed by George W. Bush last January, there exists Section 9528 which gives military recruiters access to our secondary schools and to the personal information of the students.

It says that upon request, recruiters may obtain names, addresses and phone numbers of students. This allows recruiters to make unsolicited calls and to send direct-mail recruitment literature to a young person’s home. Section 9528 also says that a student or student’s parent may request that the above information not be released without prior written parental consent and that the school must notify parents of this option and comply with any request.

In addition, this section states that schools “receiving assistance under this Act shall provide military recruiters the same access to secondary school students as is provided generally to post-secondary educational institutions or to prospective employers of those students.”

The military is not the same as post-secondary education or prospective employment. Military service requires unquestioning obedience, willingness to destroy people, property and infrastructures; to possibly sacrifice one’s life or health to forward the interests of a distant and possibly untrustworthy leadership. Should public schools be military recruitment facilities?

Jo Wamser

Nevada City

‘Gang of three’

has no mandate

Drew Bedwell won the election, but does he represent District 3? The statistic getting the most attention is Bedwell’s slim 19-vote margin, but the more telling fact is that only 3,469 people voted for Bedwell – a mere 30 percent of the 11,528 registered voters in the district. And this number doesn’t account for all the people over age 18, whom I conservatively estimate (based on official data) to number about 13,493. Using this figure, Bedwell garnered votes from less than 26 percent of the district’s eligible voters, or about 1 adult in 4.

With support from only a quarter of the district’s adult population, Bedwell and his like-minded supervisorial colleagues cannot claim to have a mandate to bring about any radical changes in the way the county regulates land use. This is especially true in light of the overwhelming defeat of Bedwell’s beloved Measure D.

If the new “gang of three” attempts to gut the laws that are protecting Nevada County from runaway growth, they can count on determined resistance. Despite the election results, a majority of us don’t want our streets clogged with cars, our hillsides covered with housing developments, and our highways lined with strip malls.

Eric W. Engles

Grass Valley

Why put a park in North San Juan?

What is wrong with this picture? The county has no place to house the homeless but we can give raises and put a park in North San Juan? Who needs a park in North San Juan?

Well, I for one refuse to pay any monies towards a park. How about a sheriff’s substation to stop the drugs running rampant in North San Juan? A shelter for the homeless! Do something for the good of the community. . .

Excuse me. I guess this might tick some people off. Well, sorry folks, but what a waste of money! We voted these clowns into office? Why not put together another rehab center or safe houses for abused men, women and children?

So I pray that the others in our county who really need help get some kind of assistance other than the [they usually get! “We can’t help you because you have no address.” We do not need low-income housing; we need help.

Have a Happy New Year, dear county supervisors!

Claire Grondona

Nevada City

U.S. must look at human rights here

It is written that “A house that is divided will fall.” The United States of America insists on human rights in other countries while it practices racial profiling and persecutes the homeless. America puts people in jail (even three strikes and you’re out) for using amphetamines while they insist that their Air Force pilots use them for fighting wars.

That is why 9/11 came and continues.

Robin McBlair

Grass Valley

Mohammed has

lessons for us

I watched a television show the other day describing the life of Mohammed, as successive revelations led him to define a way of life to serve as a model for all. The model revealed by the show struck me as surprisingly like the United States of America, today.

With all people defined as being equal, under “God,” with liberty and justice for all as a goal. With freedom of thought and religion as an absolute right.

We may not have got it perfected yet, but we are on the right path.

Sig Machlanski

Penn Valley


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