Of cowardice and anonymous pamphleteers | SierraSun.com
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Of cowardice and anonymous pamphleteers

JOHN A. BAYLESS

Ever think about what real cowardice is? Generally, you visualize a person who abandons his friends in danger, a deserter from the army, a thief who strikes by night – all common images of cowardice.

Me, I write for a living.

To me, there’s no greater coward than a person who uses the written word to attack someone, then hides behind anonymity because he’s afraid to own up to what he’s written.

And that’s how I feel about the person who spread leaflets around town this weekend accusing a Nevada County Sheriff’s deputy of being responsible for the Fourth of July riot last year at Donner Lake.

It took a lot of gall to accuse the officer who was injured while trying to break up a fight of provoking the riot.

That would have been the fault of the drunken mob which assaulted her, and which kept ambulances and fellow officers from coming to her rescue.

It took a blatant twisting of the facts to refer to the same plainclothes officer, who was there to enforce drinking laws, as an “undercover agent of a police state.”

But, while the person who spread the leaflets might have had gall, and enough intelligence to twist the facts, he or she was lacking one thing – courage.

If you believe in the facts the way you presented them, sign your name to it.

Then it’s a statement.

Otherwise, your little leaflet is nothing more than exceptionally scratchy and uncomfortable toilet paper.

And as for the allegations that “fascism” exists in Truckee? Get off it. Go to a council meeting.

There’s not a much more democratic place than this – unless, of course, you’re drunk and rioting down at the beach.

Propaganda was a key part of fascism in Nazi Germany, and that’s exactly what your leaflet is – anonymous propaganda. Who’s the fascist now?

The decision not to have fireworks this year came from a number of agencies – Truckee Fire Protection District and Nevada County Sheriff’s Office among them.

Both of those agencies also agreed that it would be possible to have the fireworks at Surprise Stadium, but Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District denied the request.

Nevada County Sheriff’s Office reported an exceptionally peaceful Fourth of July, and, amazingly enough, it was possible to get in and out of the Donner Lake area all day long.

From all accounts, that’s quite different from previous years, and it was a welcome change.

John A. Bayless is the news editor of the Sierra Sun.


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