Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, July 28, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 13



 Mountain Views News Saturday July 28, 2012 

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

HAIL Hamilton My Turn




Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 


Joan Schmidt


Patricia Colonello




Richard Garcia


Lina Johnson


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


 Recently I had the privilege of visiting my deceased 
friend’s grandchild. My forty year old son and I happened to be in 
the neighborhood and called and went for a quick visit. The baby’s 
father had been among my closest friends for over sixty years and 
had lived with my son, daughter and I for a couple of months. 
Right before his brain tumor was diagnosed he was staying with 
my wife and me. In fact it was my wife who first suggested that he 
see a doctor to try and understand his loss of balance and forgetfulness. Anyway, 
now he,s gone and I’m not really close with the baby’s mother and it’s sort of strange 
to go over and visit a ten month old. I wouldn’t have gone alone but my son wanted 
to go and so we did.

 The mother is a business woman, filled with responsibilities and worries. 
The child we knew had been ill a few times. She asked us to take off our shoes, wash 
our hands, nd not breathe into the baby’s face. She even added that the baby was not 
really comfortable with men and that it was probably best that we not expect to hold 
him. That was fine with me as I probably had gone over thirty years without holding 
a baby and felt no real need to end that streak. Maybe it would be better if we hadn’t 
come at all.

 We sat down and the three of us beganto chat as she held the baby. She tells 
ua that she still thinks of her dad every day and shows us a picture of him at the baby’s 
age and they look identical. I began to feel a bit more comfortable and I noticed how 
much the mother looks like she did when she did when she was ten years ago and all 
at once I noticed that my son was holding the baby

 The baby and my son looked very happy together and the baby sees me 
looking and begins to stare right into my eyes. He has eyes just like his father’s and 
he reaches out to me and now I’m holding him. He’s jumping up and down in my 
lap. What powerful legs he has. He’s laughing and I’m laughing. There’s a wonderful 
connection and before we leave the mom asks my son and I to act sort of like 
surrogate grandparents. We say we will and are intending to be at the baby’s birthday 
next month.

I’m telling you this story as I think of another baby. Another perfect baby named 
James Holmes. This baby grew to be a privileged, gifted, successful honor student 
working toward a PhD in a very difficult scientific field. We all now know the 
unimaginable horror story of this young man senselessly killing or wounding almost 
seventy people. Among the most frightening parts of the story is when his mother, a 
mental-health nurse herself, was contacted and told that her son had committed this 
horrific act she was told

“We’re not sure we got theright man.”

 “You’ve got the right man,” she said.

 To me that response by the mother meant that she had feared some sort of 
catastrophe for a long time. I believe she suffered and tried to close her eyes to what 
was happening. She probably felt isolated and powerless. After all, her brilliant son 
was a thousand miles away living in some honor doem. What could she do?

 For that matter what could her son do as he felt his life coming apart. We are 
told that he was dropping out of the program without getting the degree that he had 
worked toward all his life. I imagine him, like many highly gifted people, to be fairly 
isolated and without confidants. Alone he fantasized about doing some extreme act 
that would leave his mark upon the world.

 In writing about this monstrous act it seems appropriate to speak about gun control 
legislation and increased mental health outreach. Perhaps periodic psychological 
evaluations should become an integral part of graduate programs. I am not opposed 
to such potentially helpful changes but I think they will be of only limited assistance. 
The real problem is that modern societies have failed in their major responsibility to 
raise and nuture the perfect babies born to them. Instead of reaching out supportively 
raising children in tribes we have allowed, and even encouraged these vulnerable 
young people to go out on their own. As the kids face inevitable, but still unexpected, 
disappointments, they have no one to lean on. Adults , fearing being inappropriate, 
are removed and distant. In this increasingly over-populated world we all seem to be 
more and more alone.

 I hope by reaching out to my old friend’s grandson, my son and I might just 
be doing a little something to hold this world together; meanwhile other kinds of 
needed reorganization can take place. Anyway it will be really nice to go to the party.


 I am disappointed 
by the LA City 
Council’s decision 
Tuesday to outlaw all sales by 
previously legally licensed and closely 
monitored marijuana dispensaries. 
The decision is clearly a step backward 
in the fight to decriminalize pot and 
a step forward in the increased drug-
related carnage that is sweeping the 
nation and the world (Mexico has had 
58,000 narcotic-related murders since 

 It is one more victory for the 
drug lords, DEA, prisons, and local 
narcotics enforcement officials who are 
making billions of dollars year on the 
brutal misery of others, and the spin 
being perpetrated by the mainstream 
media that Council’s decision is in 
some perverse way a affirmation that 
the City of Los Angeles supports of the 
failed War on Drugs

 The truth be told, the War on Drugs 
is a sickening cesspool of hypocrisy, 
incompetence, and corruption that 
has left a wake of human destruction 
almost beyond comprehension in its 
magnitude. Originally declared by 
President Nixon in 1971, the War on 
Drugs became institutionalized two 
years later with the creation of the 
Drug Enforcement Administration 

 U.S. involvement in the 
international narcotics trade began 
during the Vietnam War when the 
CIA began shipping home heroin 
from the Golden Triangle in the body 
cavities of dead American soldiers. 
Our involvement has continued 
unchecked from transporting cocaine 
from Columbia to pay for the Contras 
in Nicaragua to the reintroduction of 
heroin production in Afghanistan. 

 That’s right, the CIA is importing 
the same illegal drugs the DEA and 
local law enforcement are arresting 
street drug dealers for, and it is 
this involvement that has added an 
extra 1.25 million non-violent drug 
offenders to our already overcrowded 
prison system. More insidious has 
been the laundering of CIA profits 
by some of America’s largest, most 
respected banks, and offshore by CIA-
run financial operations like BCCI, 
aided and abetted by U.S.-supported 
dictators like Panama’s Manuel 

 Since January 1, 2011, the War on 
Drugs has cost the American taxpayer 
approximately $1 trillion -- or more 
than $700 million a day! This is a total 
waste of tax dollars; and we just began 
the new year!

 The human cost is much worse. 
Drug prohibition has decimated 
generations and criminalized millions 
for behavior which is entwined in 
human existence, and for no other 
purpose than to uphold the defunct 
and corrupt thinking of a minority of 
misguided, self-righteous, degenerate, 
racist demagogues who wish nothing 
but the unadulterated destruction of 
blacks and Hispanics.

 Based on the unalterable proviso that 
drug use is essentially an unstoppable 
and an ongoing human behavior 
which has been with us since the dawn 
of time, any serious reading on the 
subject of past attempts at any form 
of drug prohibition (including alcohol 
prohibition) would point most normal 
thinking people in the direction of 
sensible regulation.

 By its very nature, drug prohibition 
cannot fail to do anything but create 
a vast increase in criminal activity 
and, rather than preventing society 
from descending into anarchy, it 
actually fosters an anarchic business 
model -- the international illegal 
drug trade. Any decisions concerning 
quality, quantity, distribution and 
availability are then left in the hands of 
unregulated, anonymous and ruthless 
drug dealers, who are interested only 
in the huge profits involved.

 Thus, the allure of this reliably 
lucrative industry, with its enormous 
income potential that consistently 
outweighs the risks associated with 
the illegal operations that such a trade 
entails, will remain with us until we 
are collectively forced to admit the 
obvious -- our failed drug prohibition 

 There is therefore an irrefutable 
connection between drug prohibition 
and the crime, corruption, disease and 
death it causes. Anybody who’s not 
mentally challenged should be capable 
of understanding that it is not simply 
the demand for drugs that creates 
mayhem, it is our refusal -- despite all 
evidence to the contrary -- to allow 
legitimate businesses to meet the 

 Because drug cartels -- the largest 
being the CIA -- will always have an 
endless supply of ready cash for wages, 
bribery and equipment, no amount of 
tax dollars, police powers, weaponry, 
wishful thinking or pseudo-science 
will make our streets safe again. Only 
an end to prohibition can do that! 
Remember the positive effects of 
ending national alcohol prohibition 
in 1933? How much longer are we 
willing to foolishly risk our survival 
by continuing to ignore the obvious, 
historically confirmed solution?

 If you support the mass suicide cult 
of prohibition, and erroneously believe 
that you can win a war without logic 
and practical solutions, then prepare 
yourself for even more death, tortured 
corpses, corruption, terrorism, 
sickness, imprisonment, economic 
tribulation, unemployment and the 
complete loss of the rule of law. The 
only thing prohibition successfully 
does is prohibit the regulation while 
turning our schools and streets in 
black markets for drugs. Regulation 
would mean the opposite.

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A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder


I just celebrated 
another birthday, 
which got me to 
thinking about the "good old days." You 
can usually tell how old a person is by 
how many times they refer to the "good 
old days," or the phrase, "when I was a 

I have come to the conclusion that getting 
old is not something to be ashamed of in 
the least. A person reaches a certain age 
simply because they have not died yet, 
which is nothing to make a person feel 

Although I do not think too much of 
birthdays, I intend to have as many as 
possible. Don't get me wrong. I am ready 
to go when my time is up, but, in the 
meantime, I am going to enjoy life.

My recent birthday got me thinking about 
the "good old days" of my youth. Memory 
is a funny thing. For the most part, we remember 
the good of our youth and rarely 
the bad. I often hear some old geezer say, 
"I wish I were 16 again." If their memory 
was serving them correctly, 16 was not a 
very good year for any of us. I am glad I 
have gotten beyond my 16th birthday. As 
I remember it, it was a terrible year.

I can honestly say that the best years of 
my life are the ones I am living now.

Sure, I have some regrets. I have done 
things I probably should not have done, 
and I did not do some things I probably 
should have. If I had to live my life over 
again not only will I make the same mistakes 
but also I probably would add to 
the list quite significantly. I do not want 
to live my life over again. Once is enough 
for me, thank you.

But as I was thinking of those "good old 
days," I could not help but think what I 
was thinking about back then. It went 
something like this.

When I was in school sitting in Ms. Ammon's 
class, I was daydreaming about going 
fishing. All I could think about was 
what kind of fish were biting out by the 
lake this afternoon. Ms. Ammon would 
call upon me and I would have no idea 
what she was talking about. In my mind, 
I was fishing. In my body, I was suffering 
under classititis. It is what students, 
especially boys, get when they are bored 
with the class they are in at the time. It 
involves a lot of jittering.

"Where was your mind?" Ms. Ammon 
would ask. "I hope you weren't fishing, 
now, were you?"

One thing about good ole Ms. Ammon, 
she could read a boy's mind like a book. 
Maybe because there are so many blank 
pages in a young boy's mind.

I would suffer through counting down 
the hours and minutes and seconds until 
the school day would end.

You did not hear it from me, and this is 
not a confession, but on those rare occasions 
when I would skip school and 
go fishing, I had another problem. I was 
where I wanted to be, doing what I wanted 
to do, but then as I threw out the line 
waiting for a bite all I could think of was 
what was happening back in school I was 
missing. I often wondered if Ms. Ammon 
was missing me.

I would smile and then the fish would 
bite and my attention would be on the 
task at hand.

It was not long before my mind would 
wander back to the classroom. What were 
they doing? What was I missing? For the 
life of me, I cannot understand why, but I 
could never enjoy fishing and when I was 
playing hooky from school for thinking 
about what I was missing back in school.

One of the advantages of getting older 
is developing a sense of maturity. Don't 
ask me to define maturity, because I am 
not quite sure what it really means. As a 
person matures, he begins to learn how to 
enjoy the moment. This, I say, comes with 
age. A lot of age in some instances. By the 
time you learn to enjoy the moment, it is 

I have come a long way from good ole 
Ms. Ammon's classroom. I will not tell 
you how many years it has been, let's just 
say a lot. I still find myself doing the same 

I am in the middle of doing one thing 
and I begin thinking of what I could be 
doing. I could be home reading a book. 
Then when I go home and begin reading, 
I think about what I could be doing in the 

I have tried to take a day off for many 
years. I just cannot seem to manage it. I 
take a day off and think of what I really 
could be doing if I was working. When I 
am working, I think of how much fun I 
could have if I was taking the day off.

I hope to live long enough to be able to 
bring these two opposites together in 
some magnificent activity. I have not got 
there yet. I am aspiring, to be sure.

David was right. "This is the day which 
the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and 
be glad in it" (Psalms 118:24 KJV).

The only thing I need to do today is to 
rejoice in the goodness of the Lord.

RICH Johnson


 When it comes to funny anecdotes regarding ones’ own 
children, I am a rich man. Particularly when it comes 
to my daughter. She will remain nameless in this article 
because if she gets a whiff I am writing about her, my 
life will truly be in jeopardy. That being said, there 
were a couple occasions in her early years where her 
comments were priceless and memorable.

 When she was four (and her brother six) the two of 
them decided to experiment with a pair of scissors. Unfortunately for my 
daughter, the experiment involved the scissors and her hair. She sacrificed 
her beautiful bangs to the pursuit of knowledge, not realizing they wouldn’t 
suddenly reappear at the end of the experiment. Apprised of the tragedy 
on the way home from work, I prepared to somehow “fix” the situation. 
And there she was, waiting for me at the garage with a look of true grief. I 
shouted out to her how much I liked her new hair do (you know, now with 
a good chunk of it gone). She instantly perked up, smiled and said, “Yes, I 
wanted my hair to look just like Daddy’s”. Grrrrrr.

 When my daughter (who shall continue to remain nameless) was 3, her 
favorite stuffed animal was an orangutan. She referred to this fuzzy, cuddly 
orange primate as her husband, possibly because he slept right next to her 
every night. One early morning my daughter was storming around the 
house with a particularly sour expression on her face. I asked her,”What 
was the matter.”: She replied, “I can’t find my stupid husband.”

 As cultural icon Art Linkletter once said on television, and in a book or 
two, “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” Here are some more you might enjoy:

 When you breath you inspire. When you do not breath you expire.

 H2O is hot water, and CO2 is cold water.

 When you smell an odorless gas, it is probably carbon monoxide.

 Mushrooms always grow in damp places and so they look like umbrellas.

 Vacuum: A large, empty space where the pope lives.

 To keep milk from turning sour, keep it in the cow.

 The president has the power to appoint and disappoint the cabinet.

 Parallel lines never meet unless you bend one or both of them.

 When two straight lines come together, they form an angel.

 To find the number of square feet in a room, multiply the room by the 
number of feet.

 A triangle is a circle with three corners to it.

 Horse power is the distance one horse can carry a pound of water in an 

 By the way, I haven’t mentioned Fresco’s Coffee shop in a while, so let me 
give them a shameless plug: Great food and great parking. They are open 
every day until 2:30, so plan on a great breakfast and/or lunch there. They 
are in the Albertson’s shopping center just on the other side of the border 
at Michillinda and Sierra Madre Blvd.

 Also, keep August 12th on your calendar. Sunday night from 6:00 to 8:00 
the band I have the privilege to perform with JJJukebox. JJJukebox will be 
headlining the Concert in the Park at Sierra Madre Memorial Park. It is 
sponsored by the Kiwanis and the Friends of the Library. So come out and 
enjoy the celebration.


Mountain Views News

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