Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, October 23, 2010



 Mountain Views News Saturday, October 23, 2010 

 First, I’d like to 
address readers 
who share Greg’s 
viewpoint, and who 
read his column last 
week: He’s right; 
you’re going to win. 
It’s going to be such a blow-out, in fact, 
that you needn’t bother voting - just 
stay home, kick back, and watch the 
returns come in. Thank you. Now, 

 Are they gone? Good. Ever since 
those too-smart consultants came up 
with the idea of stressing inevitability 
in order to discourage Democrats into 
staying home, I’ve wondered if the 
same strategy could work in reverse. 

 The “other side” will have to come 
up with something, now that polling 
shows a nearly irreversible momentum 
- sure to accelerate through election 
day. In U.S. Senate battleground races, 
Democrats have widened their leads in 
Washington and West Virginia, while 
Colorado and Pennsylvania are now 
seen as “virtual ties”. Republican leads 
in key House races have been cut in 
half. Among independents, a 21% edge 
for Republicans in June has shrunk to a 
13% margin.

 A lot of this is due to voters who, 
coming down to the wire, shift from 
broad questions of philosophy and 
policy to the more fundamental 
question: “Do I really want this ‘nut 
case’ (term used by Sen. John McCain’s 
daughter Meghan) representing me in 

 Greg warned of those who offer 
“the next personal scandal of some 
Republican or Tea Party 
candidate”. I agree we should 
discuss issues as well as 
personalities. But I can’t resist: 
U.S. Senate candidate John 
Raese of West Virginia advocates doing 
away with the minimum wage while 
boasting he made his wealth “ . . .the old 
fashioned way. - I inherited it.”; Alaska 
U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller’s 
private security detail handcuffing and 
detaining a journalist at a public event, 
following Miller’s speech extolling our 
Constitution; congressional candidate 
Rich Iott of Ohio getting his jollys 
dressing up in a Waffen SS uniform.

 Pushing this idea we should continue 
funneling our nation’s wealth to the 
richest few (“the most productive”, as 
Greg calls them, otherwise known as 
“our betters”) only makes sense if one 
assumes voters have short memories. 
September 2008 was not that long ago, 
and many remember from history class 
the events of October 1929.

 The 50,000-60,0000 new jobs 
a month we’re creating is clearly 
unsatisfactory, especially as analysts 
say 100,000-200,000 a month are 
needed for full recovery. Regardless, 
it probably won’t be until 2015 that 
we’ll see our economy back where it 
should be. Those 50,000-60,000 new 
jobs we’re gaining, though, is still a big 
improvement over the 500,000-plus 
jobs we were losing every month at the 
end of Bush’s term - losses that came 
as a result of policies Greg and others 
want to revive.

 It’s not just the “recession”. Early into 
his first term, George W. Bush pushed 
an agenda of tax cuts for the wealthy 
and de-regulation. After eight years, 
he could look back on a net gain of 1.1 
million new jobs. Bill Clinton’s first 
budget (passed with no Republican 
support) included tax increases to 
address the deficits rang up during the 
Reagan years. He could look back after 
eight years on a net gain of 23 million 
jobs, along with a budget surplus left 
for his successor.

 We could go back to the previous 
Democratic administration. 10.3 
million additional jobs were created 
under Jimmy Carter. In other words, 
our economy saw a net gain of almost 
ten times as many new jobs in the four 
years under Carter as it saw during 
the eight years under Bush. This was 
followed by eight years of Reaganomics, 
with the United States devolving from 
being the world’s biggest creditor 
nation to its biggest debtor.

 Greg writes, “When you tax the rich 
or the entrepreneur, ultimately you tax 
the blue collar worker”. No, you don’t. 
When you tax the rich, you’ll find 
more choosing to put their money into 
businesses and job creation, when the 
alternative is sending it to Uncle Sam. 
When you tax blue collar workers, 
or lower their taxes, well - nobody 
mentions it. 

 Only 1 in 10 Americans are aware 
that a third of President Obama’s 
stimulus bill went to middle-class tax 
cuts. We saw Tea-Partiers protesting 
tax increases while unaware their own 
taxes were being cut because, according 
to their corporate manipulators, the 
only tax cuts that matter are those 
going to the wealthiest. Greg states that 
“ . . . the administration and Congress 
have proposed across-the-board tax 
increases”. What in fact is happening 
is that the Bush tax cuts are due to 
expire, and Republicans refuse to allow 
middle-class tax cuts to remain unless 
we agree to go $700 billion further into 
debt to maintain cuts for the wealthiest 

 The tens of millions poured 
into this campaign is seen as a 
business investment. There are 
significant relocation, shipping and 
communication costs involved in 
moving factories and jobs overseas. It 
would be much cheaper to elect those 
who’d ensure businesses could enjoy a 
similar absence of worker protections 
and environmental regulations, along 
with a third-world starvation-wage 
workforce and compliant ruling 
oligarchy, right here at home.

 In our own district, we have a 
candidate who supported torture 
and warrantless spying on American 
citizens by their government. He 
remained the Bush Administration’s 
biggest cheerleader as military and 
civilian casualties mounted in Iraq. 
As Chairman of the House Rules 
Committee, he rammed through a 
partisan agenda while stifling debate. 
Beholden to corporate benefactors, he 
championed policies that led to the 
economic meltdown. 

 Recently, he opposed measures 
to protect the jobs of thousands of 
teachers and the health of 9/11 ground-
zero first-responders, in order to 
protect taxpayer-funded incentives for 
companies to move factories and jobs 

 Despite a record often at odds 
with editorial positions taken by this 
newspaper, David Dreier has received 
the paper’s endorsement. I haven’t 
seen explanations for the paper’s 
endorsements. Such an explanation 
would be especially warranted in this 


As I See It

Mountain Views


Publisher/ Editor

Susan Henderson

City Editor

Dean Lee 


Patricia Colonello



Art Director

Allison Kirkham

Production Assistant

Richard Garcia


Jacqueline Truong

Lina Johnson


Teresa Baxter

Pat Birdsall

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Stuart Tolchin

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Hail Hamilton 

Rich Johnson

Chris Bertrand

Mary Carney

La Quetta Shamblee

Glenn Lambdin

Greg Wellborn

Ralph McKnight

Trish Collins

Pat Ostrye

Editorial Cartoonist

Ann Cleaves


John Aveny 

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HAIL Hamilton

STUART Tolchin..........On LIFE 

My Turn


Marijuana Prohibition: 



might our 
government buy if it had an extra $42 
billion spend every year? What might 
our government do if it suddenly had 
that much money dropped onto its lap 
each and every year?

 For one thing, it might pay for the entire 
$7 billion increase in the Children’s 
Health Insurance Reauthorization 
Act President Barack Obama signed, 
expanding the health care program to 
an additional 4 million children and 
pregnant women, including for the first 
time legal immigrants without a waiting 
period -- and there would still be $35 
billion left over.

 Or perhaps hire 880,000 new 
schoolteachers at the average U.S. 
teacher salary of $47,602 per year.

 Or give every one of our current 
teachers a 30 percent raise (at a cost of 
$15 billion, according to the American 
Federation of Teachers) and use what's 
left to take a $27 billion whack out of the 
federal deficit.

Or use all $42 billion for a massive tax 
cut that would put an extra $140 in the 
pockets of every person in the country 
-- $560 for a family of four.

The mind reels at the ways such a 
massive sum of money could be put to 

 Why $42 billion? Because that's what our 
current marijuana laws cost American 
taxpayers each year. According to a 
new study by researcher Jon Gettman, 
marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers 
$10.7 billion in law enforcement , 
and $31.1 billion in lost tax revenues. 
And that may be an underestimate, 
at least on the law enforcement side, 
since Gettman made his calculations 
before the FBI released its latest arrest 
statistics in late September. The new FBI 
stats show an all-time record 858,408 
marijuana arrests in 2009, 10,545 more 
than in 2008; while the total arrests for 
trafficking and sale was 99,815. 

 That's like arresting every man, woman 
and child in Long Beach, Pasadena, and 
Glendale on marijuana charges ... every 
year. Arrests for marijuana possession 
alone -- not sales or trafficking, just 
possession -- totaled 758,593. By 
comparison, there were 581,765 arrests 
last year for all violent crimes combined.

Basing his calculations mainly on 
U.S. government statistics, Gettman 
concludes that marijuana in the U.S. is 
a $113 billion dollar business. That's a 
huge chunk of economic activity that 
is unregulated and untaxed because it's 
almost entirely off the books.

 Of course, the cost of our marijuana 
laws goes far beyond lost tax revenues 
and money spent on law enforcement. 
By consigning a very popular product 
-- one that's been used by about 100 
million Americans, according to 
government surveys -- to the criminal 
underground, we've effectively cut 
legitimate businesspeople out of the 
market and handed a monopoly to 
criminals and gangs. 

 Strangely, government officials love to 
warn us that some unsavory characters 
profit off of marijuana sales, while 
ignoring the obvious: Our prohibitionist 
laws handed them the marijuana 
business in the first place, effectively 
giving black market marijuana 
dealers a multi-billion dollar free ride. 
Prohibition doesn’t lessen marijuana 
use; it subsidizes the illegal cultivation, 
distribution and sale of marijuana.

 All this might make some sense if 
marijuana were so terribly dangerous 
that it needed to be banned at all costs, 
but science long ago came to precisely 
the opposite conclusion. Compared 
to alcohol, for example, marijuana 
is astonishingly safe. For one thing, 
marijuana is much less addictive than 
alcohol, with just nine percent of users 
becoming dependent, as opposed to 15 
percent for booze. And marijuana is 
much less toxic. Heavy drinking is well-
documented to damage the brain and 
liver, and to increase the risk of many 
types of cancer. 

 Marijuana, on the other hand, has 
never caused a medically documented 
overdose death. Scientists are still 
debating whether even heavy marijuana 
use causes any permanent harm at 
all. Marijuana has also been found 
to have numerous medicinal uses for 
such diseases as cancer, AIDS, and 
Alzheimer’s. And then there's violence. 
Again, the scientific findings are 
overwhelming: Booze incites aggression 
and violence; marijuana doesn’t.

 Legalization of the marijuana in 
California is a step in the right direction. 
Let’s be the first state to reject this 
annual $42 billion boondoggle. 


America’s $42 Billion Annual Boondoggle

 I have no 
unique knowledge 
regarding Magic 
Johnson but like 
many Laker fans I 
have followed his 
career pretty closely. 
As I recall he left 
Michigan State after 
his sophomore year and came to the 
Lakers ready to take over the world. 
Immediately, upon his arrival he was 
on the radio, even performing on one 
program as a Disc Jockey. He was very 
brash, cocky, and seemed, like so many 
others, headed for a fall. Sports reporters 
predicted he would fail because at 6’9” 
he was plainly too tall to be an effective 
point guard. The ball would bounce too 
high and speedy professional defenders 
would take advantage and steal the 
ball. He couldn’t play off the ball (the 
term shooting guard had not yet been 
invented) plainly because he couldn’t 
shoot. He never did learn how to shoot 
a jump shot but instead sort of pushed 
the ball. He wouldn’t be able to play in 
the front court and rebound because he 
couldn’t jump, wasn’t quick and as a front 
court player was undersized and lacked 
the necessary brawn to fight for position.

 Right! An injury to Kareem 
during the play-offs demonstrated 
that Magic could play and dominate 
anywhere. He adapted to every position 
using hiswn unique skills. As a shooting 
guard he really didn’t have to jump much 
because he was generally half a foot 
taller than his opposing defender. As a 
front court player he developed a deadly 
accurate eye and actually led the league 
in free-throw shooting accuracy. And 
when forced to play in the middle he 
created a repertoire of finesse baby-hook 
and up and under moves that seemed to 
baffle the larger, slower, centers.


 One day, in l992, during the 
prime of his career a bulletin announced 
that Magic had a disease and would play 
no more.. His admission helped the 
world to become aware of the need for 
condoms even in hetero-sexual relations. 
His admission helped other people to 
seek medical treatment and for sports to 
develop protective procedures.

Furthermore, Magic fought the disease. 
He maintained a program of physical 
conditioning and diet. The next year, 
although ineligible to play during the 
season, he played and starred in the All-
Star Game. Unable to play in the NBA 
he created a touring team that played 
all over the world and popularized the 
game. He even coached the Lakers for 
a short time, quitting when he realized 
that he could not adapt to players who 
did not focus on the game and did not 
maximize their own abilities. So Magic 
became a businessman. He opened 
theatres in ghettoes across the nation and 
invested in low-income areas that others 
feared. He maintained contacts with 
powerful people and obtained a small 
ownership percentage of the Lakers. 
He bought a hundred Starbucks and 
continues to appear as a highly paid and 
visible basketball analyst and who knows 
what else. Today it was announced 
that he is selling his Lakers interest and 
his Starbucks and is harvesting cash to 
make some surprising business move. 
Remember, this is almost twenty years 
after being diagnosed with what was then 
thought to be a fatal disease.

 My description of Magic Johnson 
described an individual with great abilities 
and resources who faced problems by 
utilizing his unique resources to adapt 
to his present situation. He made many 
changes but stayed alert to the present 
situation and thrived. The United States 
too has unique resources and abilities. 
Instead of using our resources to meet 
the changing needs of the present day a 
great many of us numb ourselves to the 
situation through our chronic use of 
drugs. We do not face our awareness of 
vulnerability and insecurity. Similarly I 
believe, and I know many of you do not, 
that our irrational embrace of guns and 
opposition to gun control demonstrate 
an absolute refusal to see reality. We 
do not want to notice global warming, 
or polluted air, or dwindling supplies of 
drinking water or any of the real present 
day problems. We will hold onto our 
guns and all the other problems will go 

 Magic Johnson no longer wears short 
pants and does not spend most of his 
time holding on to a basketball. We too 
must do the same. Get rid of our drugs 
and diversions, drop our guns, and open 
our eyes to the real problems of the world 
and try to do something about them. 
Really, we don’t have to be 6’9’’ tall to 
see high enough to know that we need 
to take better control of the ball that is 
our lives. Let’s keep our eye on the basket 
and understand that it is now necessary 
to play a little differently if we want to 
stay in the game for a little while longer. 
Maybe, we’re already approaching 

Mountain Views 

Mission Statement

The traditions of 
the community 
newspaper and 
the concerns of 
our readers are 
this newspaper’s 
top priorities. We 
support a prosperous 
community of well-
informed citizens. 
We hold in high 
regard the values 
of the exceptional 
quality of life in our 
community, including 
the magnificence 
of our natural 
resources. Integrity 
will be our guide.

MVNews this week:  Page 10