Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, August 6, 2011

MVNews this week:  Page 13



 Mountain Views News Saturday, August 6, 2011 

HAIL Hamilton My Turn




Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 


Joan Clayton-Smith


Patricia Colonello




Richard Garcia


Lina Johnson

Ivonne Durant


John Aveny 


Jeff Brown

Pat Birdsall

Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Stuart Tolchin

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Hail Hamilton 

Rich Johnson

Chris Bertrand

Ron Carter

Rev. James Snyder

Bobby Eldridge

Mary Carney

La Quetta Shamblee

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Greg Wellborn

Dr. John Talevich

Meaghan Allen

Sean Kayden

Thrown under the bus...AGAIN!

Monday was not 
a good day for liberals 
and progressives. 
The U.S. Senate 
voted 74-26 in favor 
of the $2.1 trillion 
deficit-reduction bill 
passed the Republican-
led House. President Obama signed the 
bill into law shortly after. The signing came 
only hours before the deadline to raise the 
nation’s debt limit and avoid default. 

In a statement from the White House 
after the vote, Obama called the passing 
of the bill an “important first step.” Senate 
Democrat Harry Reid said the Republican-
opposed tax increases must be included in 
additional deficit cuts. 

Rating agencies Fitch and Moody’s both 
affirmed Tuesday that the U.S. would maintain 
it’s triple-A status. However, both 
warned of the potential for a future downgrade. 
Stocks, meanwhile, dropped by more 
than two percent on reports of lower consumer 
spending and slowing in the manufacturing 

In exchange for raising the nation’s debt 
ceiling, Congress will immediately slash 
over a trillion dollars from government 
spending. A “supercommittee” in Congress 
will then propose additional cuts of nearly 
two trillion dollars late this year. If Congress 
cannot agree to specific cuts, then the cuts 
will be made across the board.

Significantly, the debt compromise only 
includes spending cuts. It does not include 
a mechanism to increase revenue, even 
though both lower revenue and higher 
spending have caused the historically high 
deficit. Also, President Obama initially said 
that revenue must be a factor in any compromise. 
He later abandoned that position.

Predictably, and rightly so, many on the 
left are up in arms about the compromise. 
Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor during the 
Clinton Administration, offered a scathing 
critique of the proposal. Reich argues that: 

“Anyone who characterizes the deal between 
the President, Democratic, and Republican 
leaders as a victory for the American 
people over partisanship understands 
neither economics nor politics.

“The deal does not raise taxes on America’s 
wealthy and most fortunate -- who are 
now taking home a larger share of the total 
income and wealth, and whose tax rates are 
already lower than they have been, in eighty 
years. Yet it puts the nation’s most important 
safety nets and public investments on 
the chopping block.”

Liberals in Congress have also begun to 
criticize the deal. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, 
chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, 
described the proposal as “a sugar-coated 
Satan sandwich” and as a “shady bill.”

The debt deal apparently doesn’t appeal to 
Nancy Pelosi either. The Washington Post 
reports that Pelosi offered lukewarm reactions 
to reports of the compromise. First, 
Pelosi said of the deal: “We all may not be 
able to support it, or none of us may be able 
to support it.” then, later followed up with 
this lukewarm comment: “I look forward to 
reviewing the legislation with my caucus to 
see what level of support we can provide.”

Michael Hudson, president of the Institute 
for the Study of Long-Term Economic 
trends says the Republican proposal dubbed 
“Cut, cap, balance” is horrible legislation 
and that Obama is manufacturing a crisis to 
play ball with Wall Street instead of Main 

“[The deal] is an awful piece of legislation, 
and it’s too bad that Mr. Obama supports it. 
But you could see it all coming even before 
Mr. Obama took office, when he appointed 
the Deficit Reduction Commission. He appointed 
opponents of Social Security to the 
commission: Republican Senator Simpson 
and Bowles, who was Clinton’s chief of staff. 
Obama really believes in trickle-down economics. 
He believes Wall Street are job creators, 
not downsizers and outsourcers and 
foreclosurers. That’s the tragedy of all this.

“Now, how--the question is, how can a 
Democratic president put forth a Republican 
program? There has to be a crisis. Now, 
in reality, there is no crisis at all. In reality, 
the raising the debt ceiling has been done 
for a hundred years automatically. There is 
no connection between raising the debt ceiling 
and arguing over tax policy. Tax policy 
takes many years to work out.

“All of a sudden, Mr. Obama is going 
along with the charade of saying, “Wait a 
minute, let’s create a crisis.” As his former 
manager, Rahm Emanuel, said, a crisis is 
too important an opportunity to waste. And 
Wall Street doesn’t like real crises, so there’s 
an artificial non-crisis that Obama is treating 
as a crisis so that he can put forth the 
recommendations of the Deficit Reduction 
Commission to get rid of Social Security 
that he has supported all along....”

In other words, the first black president, 
elected by progressives is really a shrill helping 
Wall Street plunder the U.S. treasury... 
Meanwhile, here on Main Street, the rest 
of us have been thrown under the bus... 

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


RICH Johnson

American Graffiti and More

Shameless plug #1 - 

My band, J J Jukebox will be 
performing 1960’s and 1970’s 
hits at Mary’s Market Wednesday 
night from 6:00 to 9:00 for their 
once a month barbecue. (355-
4534) for information and directions. 

Shameless plug #2 - THURSDAY NIGHT ALERT! 

My Comedy Improv Troupe will be performing at 
Café 322 Thursday night from 7:00 to 8:30. (836-5414) 
for information and directions. 

Shameless plug #3 - SATURDAY NIGHT ALERT! 

My band, J J Jukebox will be performing 1960’s and 
1970’s hits at Corfu Restaurant Saturday night from 
6:30 to 9:00. Come for great Mediterranean food (355-
5993) for information and directions

Now for some graffiti around the world (translated 
into English)

“Bad spellers of the world – untie”

“Coffee, a person who is coughed upon”

“Cole’s Law: Thinly sliced cabbage” (Say the first two 
words fast)

“Deja moo: The feeling you’ve heard this BS before”

“Dwn wth vwls”

“Earn cash in your spare time – blackmail friends”

(sign over urinal in pub) “Express lane: five beers or 

“Help wanted: Telepath. You know where to apply”

“Indecision is the key to flexibility”

“Laugh and the world laughs with you. Snore and 
you sleep alone”

“Love is grand; divorce is a hundred grand”

“My daughter thinks I’m nosy. At least that’s what I 
she says in her diary”

“My mother was the travel agent for guilt trips”

“Perforation is a rip-off”

“Veni, Vidi, Velcro: I came, I saw, I stuck around”

“Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again”

I’m often afforded the luxury of reading Stuart 
Tolchin’s column before it’s submitted and printed. And 
I love the fact that Stuart waxes philosophically. For 
one reason, it permits me to be the court jester writing 
trivial columns knowing he is dealing with the deeper 
issues of life. One important issue he deals with is the 
desire to fix our system of government. And who isn’t 
for that? 

This gives me motivation to restate some suggestions 
on restructuring government that I made only a few 
weeks ago. I resubmit them for your consideration:

1. Let the president serve one (1) six year term and 

2. Have congressional elections every four years. 
The current two-year system forces legislators and 
wannabes to constantly be campaigning. If we have 
four-year terms, just maybe we might get a couple years 
of true governing between election slugfests.

3. Designate one Senate seat in each state as a one 
term only seat. Take California for example. Senator 
Feinstein’s seat could be occupied by the same person 
for as long as they can win an election. Senator Boxer’s 
seat, on the other hand, is good for one term and 
out. If that senator wants to run again, it has to be for 
Feinstein’s seat.

4. Finally, let me suggest the really big change. Let’s 
have a ten year moratorium on men running and 
holding political office. Us men have been in charge 
since time began and look at our track record. What 
would it be like to have women in the seats of power? 
They certainly couldn’t do any worse. Of course there is 
that every 28-day cycle to consider (will I get in trouble 
for that?) Probably. Oh well.

Have a good week everyone.

Lately I’ve been reading a lot about evolution. 
I’ve become very interested in the animal which 
is considered to be the nearest relative to human 
beings, the Bonobo. The Bonobo is said to share 98.4 
percent of its genetic make-up with human beings. 
This is about the same figure as is shared by the 
chimpanzee and human beings; and these three hominoids, human beings 
and the two great apes, shared a common ancestor about six million years 
ago. Although it is common for people to speak of human beings coming 
from apes, scientists tell us that each of the three separate species are highly 
evolved, well-established separate species that share a common ancestor. 
Still we can learn a great deal about ourselves by noting similarities and 
differences between these close relatives.

Right now theses differences seem very significant to me as the 
most obvious difference among theses species is that, on the one hand, 
chimpanzees and humans tend to react to differences by acting aggressively, 
while Bonobos settle differences through sexual activity. As I mentioned in 
my last article, Bonobos are the model for the “make love not war” method 
of resolution conflict. It is very possible that this capacity for peaceful 
resolution remains within the unconscious abilities of human beings, 
although at this particular time in history it is very difficult to recognize.

One of the surprising facts about the mechanics of evolution is that 
traits which are no longer useful still are retained as a part of the genetic 
make-up and may at some later stage of evolution be utilized for other 
purposes Remember, evolution is not a decision-making process. No 
Creator or overall intelligence is present to guide the process. What allows 
and creates change is the passage of huge amounts of time. This particular 
aspect of evolution reminds me of the continued presence of the qwerty 
keyboard I am utilizing right now. This particular configuration of keys, 
I have learned, was designed in the 1870’s. The keys were set up for the 
specific purpose of putting commonly used letters in difficult places and 
at a considerable distance from one another. There was a reason for this 
seeming madness, as early typewriters tended to jam if the typist was able 
to strike the letters very rapidly; consequently the keyboard was setup to 
make typing tough.

Obviously the problem of jamming typewriters was solved long ago and 
there is no particular reason to maintain this strange qwerty set up. Still 
it remains, and this archaic configuration has become an integral part of 
our most modern contemporary electronic technology, even though other 
keyboard designs would be better suited to contemporary needs. I think 
the same is true as related to our present governmental structures. The 
recent posturing and time-consuming senseless activity regarding the 
debt-limit has demonstrated the absolute senselessness of maintaining 
two houses of Federal Legislatures. The main and almost only thing these 
elected officials do is to try and get re-elected. The different parties march 
to the tunes dictated by their huge financial contributors who actually 
control the Country. The needs of the actual population of the Country 
are continually ignored. It is a broken system which almost by definition 
is unable to act quickly and respond to the real needs of the population.

IT IS TIME TO CHANGE THIS SYSTEM! We don’t need these guys 
and their duplicative, expensive staffs which exist only to attempt to secure 
re-election. We can get rid of them! 

Politics need not be like evolution. We individual humans can make 
some aware attempt to make changes. We need not hold on to the old 
qwerty keyboard. We can throw it out the window. How do we individual 
Americans make the change? Even the President, our number one elected-
official, seems to be pleading with Americans to stop being passive and do 
something. All of this electronic technology makes it possible for us to 
communicate with one another and organize something or other. Forget 
marches, we need boycotts. If we stop buying stuff for a couple of days, 
or take our money out of banks, or stop buying gas on certain days, the 
rich and powerful will have to take notice. What are our goals? Well, jobs 
for starters, and a fairer distribution of income, and a serious attempt to 
protect the planet. But most important is to somehow get money out of the 
equation so that there can be meaningful and reasoned discussion about 
what needs to be done; a discussion not polluted by greed. For some reason 
evolution has resulted in a unique human consciousness and awareness. I 
believe we have still contained within us a capacity for fun, and love, and 
compassion, and fairness. If the Bonobos can do it so can we—at least we 
can give it a try. By the way, Bonobos are on their way to extinction; I hope 
we do not follow suit. 

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OUT TO PASTOR A Weekly Religion Column

Mr. Uncle Sam, Don’t Touch My Apple Fritter!

I usually live life on an 
even keel. I once had an odd 
keel, but fortunately, I had 
the good sense to throw it 
back into the water from 
whence it came. I take pride 
in maintaining a certain sense of balance in my life. 
But, there are those times when all balance is thrown 
out the window.

 Just this past week when I was enjoying an unusually 
wonderful sense of balance in my life, the Gracious 
Mistress of the Parsonage changed my whole 

 We were watching the news on television. When I 
say “we,” I am not insinuating in any regard that I was 
paying any attention whatsoever to what was happening 
on the television screen. I usually have a book in 
hand I am perusing while I am allegedly watching TV.

 Out of nowhere, I heard her exclaim, “They just 
wouldn’t do that.”

 I continued in my book and paid no attention to 

 “What in the world is wrong with those people?” 
I heard her say.

 By now, my curiosity had gotten the best of me and 
I laid my book down and said, “What has got you all 
riled up tonight?”

 “Didn’t you hear what they just said?”

 “I’m sorry; I was looking at my book.”

 “Well,” she said in a very disgusted manner, “the 
government is thinking about taxing junk food. Can 
you imagine anything more ludicrous than that?”

I always like to, at least try to think of the positive 
side of things. With the way our beloved politicians 
have been going these days, it is very hard to find the 
positive side. Although I am not in favor of taxes, I 
know that as a citizen I need to pay my fair share. I 
have no problem with that. I’m not, however, in favor 
of tacking on some new taxes. What’s wrong with the 
old ones?

Then my wife said something that turned my 
thinking all the way around.

“You do know what junk food is, don’t you?”

 That was a crazy thing to say. Of course, I knew 
what junk food was. I stay away from that food category 
and pride myself in eating healthy food every 
day. No junk food for me, thank you.

I shrugged it off at the time and replied to my wife, 
“Oh well, the government has to do whatever it has to 
do in times like these.”

 “You do know that Apple Fritters are considered 
junk food by our government? And when they start 
taxing junk food they will be taxing your Apple 

 “They don’t.”

 “They wouldn’t.”

 “They better not!”

 At this point, my even keel was experiencing some 
very turbulent tendencies. I try to be a good citizen 
but there comes a time when a person has to put his 
foot down. I had come to the point where as that old 
philosopher who said, “That’s all I can stands, I can’t 
stands no more!”

 What I want to say to good old Mr. Uncle Sam is 
simply; do not touch my Apple Fritters. Some things 
in life are sacred and for somebody to fool with them 
will only rile the anger of those religious people devoted 
to Apple Fritter Veneration. Believe me; you do 
not want the Apple Fritter Gang to get riled.

 The Creed of these Apple Fritter followers is simply, 
an Apple Fritter a day keeps the blues away. Nothing 
cheers the day like starting it with a freshly baked 
Apple Fritter. Regardless of the problems I have to 
face during the day, if I start with an Apple Fritter the 
day seems to go much better.

Now, Mr. Uncle Sam, let me explain some of the 
facts of life to you.

First, “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” is 
one of the most famous phrases in the United States 
Declaration of Independence and considered by 
some as part of one of the most well crafted, influential 
sentences in the history of the English language. 
These three aspects are listed among the “unalienable 
rights” or sovereign rights of man. Everybody 
knows that the phrase “the pursuit of happiness,” is 
a reference to Apple Fritters. No more pure form of 
happiness exists then enjoying a freshly baked Apple 

And another thing, why blame the lowly Apple 
Fritter on the debt problem? I have been associated 
with Apple Fritters most of my life and I have never 
known an Apple Fritter to spend money it does not 

I have given this a lot of thought. Apple Fritters are 
not responsible for the debt problem in our country 
but rather politicians are responsible. My thought is 
simply this. Instead of considering Apple Fritters as 
“junk food,” why not consider politicians as “junk 
politicians” and tax them. That would make much 
more sense.

Out in the real world everybody operates along 
these lines; if you create a debt, you have an obligation 
to pay that debt and not shove it off on somebody 
else. The only ones who do this are all those “Junk 
Politicians” who have no sense of how much a dollar 
is really worth let alone where it comes from.

I still stand by the words of Jesus. “And he [Jesus] 
said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the 
things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things 
which be God’s” (Luke 20:25 KJV).

 Mr. Uncle Sam, touch my Apple Fritter at your 
own peril.

Curbing Bad Behavior: 

Self-Preservation Society

The current “Debt Ceiling” debate caused me 
a lot of anguish. I am quite sure it made many 
Americans angry. Even the politicians who voted 
“for” or “against” raising the Debit Ceiling were 
agitated about casting their votes.

With remarks such as “President Obama 
should be more engaged in the process,” “John Boehner cannot control his 
caucus,” “Harry Reid is not telling the truth,” “This is $3 trillion package,” 
“Will a deal save the United States AAA rating?” “This is one of the most 
critical times in the 21st century,” “American are anxious,” “The world is 
watching America,” “Will the USA leave its soldiers high and dry?” “Don’t 
cut Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security,” “We need to generate revenue,” 
“We must raise taxes,” “We are leaving our children too much debt,” “We 
can’t continue to kick the can down the road,” “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs,” “We are 
cautiously optimistic,” “Rich Americans must contribute to help balance 
the budget,” “We cannot balance our budget on the backs of middle class 
and poor Americans,” “The damage to America’s creditability has already 
been done,” “Triggers,” “How will the stock market react?” “Targets,” “We 
are very close to a deal,” “A compelling narrative has been constructed,” 
“This crisis is appalling,” “We’re down to the wire,” “Principles,” “Government 
spends too much money,” “We have to avoid a default,” “There is a 
financial catastrophe looming over our country,” “Rank and file members 
(who are these individuals?),” “Framework,” and my favorite “This is sausage 
making in full view of the American people,” how can you blame 
anyone for being angry with our politicians in Washington, D.C.

We are a self-preservation society, so I have resolved myself to be patient 
and allow the politicians to complete their task. Especially, since the 
debate is not quite finished; the United States of America Congress will be 
debating the “Debit Ceiling” again in the Fall of 2011. You go figure!

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