Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 8, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 15



 Mountain Views News Saturday, September 8, 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


The Myth of the Outside Enemy

 On Sunday morning 
I was driving over 
to Pasadena to play 
badminton while 
listening to the radio. 
The program I was 
half-listening to is an 
NPR staple, Click and Clack, the Tappet 
Brothers. There is something unusual 
about the telephone interchanges that 
take place on this program. Often, while 
chit-chatting about motor noises or the 
problems of overheating radiators, the 
seemingly aimless talk will touch upon 
something very vital and personal. On 
this particular Sunday morning the caller’s 
question involved his desire to change the 
name of his recently purchased previously-
owned car. The former owner had called 
the car by a masculine name and the caller 
preferred his cars to have a feminine name. 
Did the Radio Hosts think that changing 
the car’s name would have any drastic 

 Both hosts pondered the question for 
a moment and finally rhetorically asked 
why would anyone want to name their car? 
These hosts are life-long car mechanics and 
both said they had never and would never 
have a pet-name for their car. A car is not 
a person; it is a machine composed of parts 
which need to be properly maintained. 
The caller butted in at this point and 
suggested that maybe by giving the car a 
name the car-owner indicated his affection 
for the car which would lead to proper 
maintenance and care. 

 “Not true”, said the Radio Hosts. In 
their years as repair shop owners they had 
seen multitudes of vehicles brought in that 
had been obscenely neglected by their 
owners, many of whom had called their 
car by pet-names. A light went on in my 
head. I always call my car by a pet name 
and think of it as a friend and companion. 
Many years ago I had a name for my bike 
and even then was derelict in bicycle 
understanding and .maintenance. Today 
I remain neglectful of the need for proper 
automobile maintenance. Forgetting the 
radio program, I thought about other 
inanimate objects to which I feel a kind 
of affection and attachment. There is my 
Magic Briefcase that I more or less carry 
every day. It is magic because, when I 
purchased it from a street stall at the edge 
of the Bufadora in Baja, I had asked in my 
clumsy, inadequate Spanish what was the 
briefcase made of. The response came in 
English, “What do you want it to be made 
of, Señor?” 

 “Alpaca”, I said.

 “Si, es alpaca.”

 We both laughed and I bought a new 
friend who has outlasted most of my other 
friends although it has never been properly 
cared for. I begin to vaguely understand 
something about myself. I treat many 
things with affection and great attachment 
as they become a part of my ongoing 
fantasy world. Take my thousands of 
books for example. I scribble all over them, 
underlining and writing in the margins. 
People, sometimes even strangers, tell me 
that one shouldn’t be writing all over the 
books. These people don’t understand. The 
books, my brief case, my car, and even the 
old clothes I wear to the displeasure of my 
wife, are not separate from me. They are a 
part of me and I treat them as I treat myself. 
I do not cut open my body and replace my 
vital organs and I do not go poking around 
my car and open its hood and obscenely 
stare at its inner workings. A car is not 
something to fix, it is something to ride in 
and enjoy.

 Now things begin to come clear. I may 
not cut into my own body or take much 
interest in its inner workings but when 
necessity requires, as it does more and 
more these days, I go experts who have 
made adjustments to my eyes, teeth, colon-
--we need not go on. The same thing is true 
of my cars. When even I become aware of 
a problem, I take it to an expert to fix and 
pay whatever it costs. When the cost is 
too high, I go out and buy another car and 
say good-bye to my old friend. Will I say 
good-bye to myself in the same way? 

 Well, we’ve reached the part of the article 
in which I try and make sense of the whole 
thing and locate any possible lessons. The 
article isn’t about cars, or briefcases, or 
radios, or even badminton. It’s about me 
and my attitudes. There are plusses and 
minuses to my way of approaching the 
world. Viewing non-humans as friends 
allows me to be continually surrounded by 
a kind of affection. These are loyal friends, 
whose imperfections I see, but generally 
ignore. Imperfections or not, these friends 
will not reject me and I will not reject them 
(until absolutely necessary). Predictably, I 
guess, I am much more successful with my 
anthropomorphosized pals than I am with 
the real flesh and blood types. That’s the 

 The minus is that I don’t take very good 
care of my things. So, what? When the 
time comes most things can be replaced. 
Only some can’t. Things like our health and 
our overall social welfare. Maybe it would 
be a good idea to pay closer attention to 
the maintenance of these few precious 
gifts. Also it’s a good idea when driving 
to pay more attention to road conditions 
and less attention to the radio and aimless 

 Oops, I forgot my friend and dog, Milo, 
wasn’t really human. Really!

This Tuesday will 
be the eleventh 
anniversary of 
9/11. I wrote a 
column last year 
questioning the official government 
explanation that an outside enemy -- 
namely, Al Qaeda -- was responsible 
for the attacks. Apparently, I am not the 
only person who remains skeptical of 
the official account. Results from recent 
polls in Germany and the UK about 
9/11 seem to support my contention 
that we have not been told the truth 
about the worst tragedy in U.S. history. 

• In its January 2011 issue, the 
popular German magazine “Welt der 
Wunder” published the results of a poll 
conducted by the Emnid institute on 
1,005 respondents. The poll indicated 
that nearly 90% of Germans are 
convinced that the government of the 
United States is not telling the whole 
truth about the September 11 attacks 
• A new poll conducted in 
England by ICM shows that more UK 
residents agree than disagree that the 
official account of what happened on 
9/11 might turn out to be wrong in 
important respects. Only 8% strongly 
agree that they have been told the full of 
the 9/11 attacks. 

I thought reprinting my 2010 article, 
“9/11 and the Myth of the Outside 
Enemy,” might help garner support for 
a new, truly independent investigation.

 “At eleven o’clock, on the morning of 
September 11, the Bush administration 
had already announced that AL 
Qaeda was responsible for the attacks 
on the World Trade Center and the 
Pentagon. This assertion was made 
prior to conducting any in-depth police 

 “That same evening at 9:30 pm, a 
“War Cabinet” was formed integrated by 
a select number of top intelligence and 
military advisors. And at 11:00 pm, at 
the end of that historic meeting at the 
White House, the “War on Terrorism” 
was officially launched.

 “The decision was announced to wage 
war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda 
on retribution for the 9/11 attacks. The 
following morning on September 12th, 
the news headlines indelibly pointed to 
‘state sponsorship’ of the 9/11 attacks. 
In chorus, the US media was calling 
for a military intervention against 

 “Barely four weeks later, on the 7th of 
October, Afghanistan was bombed and 
invaded by US troops. Americans were 
led to believe that the decision to go to 
war had been taken on the spur of the 
moment, on the evening of September 11, 
in response to the attacks and their tragic 

 “Little did the public realize that the 
decision to launch a war and send troops 
to Afghanistan had been made well in 
advance of 9/11. The ‘terrorist, massive, 
casualty-producing event’ as it was later 
described by CentCom Commander 
‘Tommy’ Franks, served to galvanize 
public opinion in support of a war 
agenda which was already in its final 
planning stage.

 “The tragic events of 9/11 provided 
the required justification to wage a war 
on ‘humanitarian grounds,’ with the 
full support of world public opinion and 
the endorsement of the ‘international 

 “Several prominent ‘progressive’ 
intellectuals made a case for ‘retaliation 
against terrorism,’ on moral and ethical 
grounds. The ‘just cause’ military 
doctrine was accepted and upheld at 
face value as a legitimate response to 
9/11, without examining the fact that 
Washington had not only supported 
the ‘Islamic terror network,’ it was also 
instrumental in the installation of the 
Taliban government in 1996.

 “In the wake of 9/11, any opposition 
to the war was completely isolated. 
The trade unions and civil society 
organizations had swallowed the media 
lies and government propaganda. They 
had accepted a war of retribution against 
Afghanistan, an impoverished country of 
30 million people.

 “The official story described nineteen 
Al Qaeda sponsored hijackers involved 
in a highly sophisticated and organized 
operation. This myth of the ‘outside 
enemy’ and the threat of ‘Islamic 
terrorists’ was the cornerstone of the Bush 
administrations’ military doctrine, used 
as a pretext to invade Afghanistan and 
Iraq, not to mention the repeal of civil 
liberties and constitutional government 
in America.

 “Without an ‘outside enemy,’ there 
could be no ‘war on terrorism;’ The 
entire national security agenda would 
collapse ‘like a deck of cards; and ‘the 
war criminals in high office would have 
no leg to stand on.

 “Amply documented but rarely 
mentioned by the mainstream media, 
Al Qaeda was a creation of the CIA 
going back to the Soviet-Afghan war. 
This was a known fact, corroborated 
by numerous sources including official 
documents of the US Congress. The 
intelligence community had time and 
again acknowledged that they had 
indeed supported Osama bin Laden, but 
that in the wake of the Cold War: ‘he 
turned against us.’

 “After 9/11, the campaign of media 
disinformation served not only to drown 
the truth but also to kill much of the 
historical evidence on how this illusive 
‘outside enemy’ had been fabricated and 
transformed into ‘Enemy Number One.’”

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A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder


RICH Johnson


 Well, they’re off and running. The 2012 Republican 
and Democratic Conventions are history and the 
candidates are at the starting gate. As I consider the 
potential animosity that will exist between the two major 
parties I am reminded of a portion of the lyrics to a song 
from the 1970’s. The song, by the group 10cc is a song 
about relationships called, “The Things We do For Love.” 
The portion of the lyric we all need to aspire to with our 
friends on the other side of the political track is this: “…agree to disagree 
but disagree to part.” In other words, agree on disagreeing but don’t let the 
divide and end the friendship. I’m going to let my friends be wrong if they 
want to. You should too.)

 Tongues will be wagging incessantly. The severe verbal thrashings 
shall be fast and furious. To avoid permanent voice damage I recommend 
vocal exercises to keep the muscles of the mouth in peek condition. These 
exercises involve the use of tongue twisters.

 For those of you who don’t remember, a tongue-twister is a sequence 
of words difficult to pronounce quickly and correctly. The trick is to try to 
say a tongue twister as fast as possible, and correctly! We’ll start with what 
might be the most famous tongue twister. 

 Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. 
Did Peter Piper pick a peck of pickled peppers? 
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, 
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

But wait…there’s more: 
A proper cup of coffee from a proper copper coffee pot.

 Around the rugged rocks the ragged rascals ran.

 Brad’s big black bath brush broke.

 She sells sea-shells on the sea-shore.

 The sixth sick Sheik’s sixth sheep is sick.

 Fred fed Ted bread, and Ted fed Fred bread.

 Give Mr. Snipe’s wife’s knife a swipe.

 If Stu chews shoes, should Stu choose the shoes he chews?

 Old Oily Ollie oils old oily autos.

 Sam’s shop stocks short spotted socks

 She sells seashells on the seashore. The shells she sells are seashells, I’m 

 Toyboat, toyboat, toyboat

 Three grey geese in green fields grazing.

 We surely shall see the sun shine soon.

 And one sometimes described as the hardest tongue-twister in the 
English language. (You decide).

 Swan swam over the pond, 
Swim swan swim! 
Swan swam back again - 
Well swum, swan!

 Is this the first column you’ve ever read on tongue twisters? Practice 
these at home so you’ll be ready to jump into the debate.

 See you around!!

All we hear these 
days are complaining about the economy 
and nobody seems to be doing anything 
about it. Politicians talk about it all the 
time and yet do nothing creative in the 
area of improving our economy.

If you could put all the political speeches 
end to end, there would positively be 
no end to it. What we need to stimulate 
our economy is some kind of stimulation 
that does not come from the government. 
They stimulate me, all right, but not in the 
right way.

This is where I step in.

I assure you I am not running for any office. 
If the truth were known, I am running 
away from every office I can think 
of, especially my church office. I have no 
political agenda or aspirations; I am just a 
plain ordinary American citizen. I understand 
such creatures are an endangered 
species in today's economy. I am proud to 
be just a plain ordinary American. I am 
not middle-class, lower-class and certainly 
not high class. In fact, I have no class 
at all, and I am glad to leave it like that. I 
couldn't pass the test anyway.

But I am doing my part in stimulating the 
economy. The secret plan I have can be 
boiled down to one word: vacation.

This past week I have bravely gone where 
I have not been for a long time and that is 
on vacation. There is nothing like a vacation 
to stimulate many things, including 
the economy. It takes me a whole year to 
scrimp and save so the Gracious Mistress 
of the Parsonage and I can go on a vacation. 
But in the end, it is well worth it.

After a weeklong vacation, I am highly 
stimulated to return home where I can 
recuperate from all that stimulation. My 
wallet is still vibrating.

I must confess that the primary stimulation 
in a vacation has to do with my credit 
card. It was stimulated in more ways than 
I care to remember, and at the end of the 
month the credit card company will remind 
me of all that stimulation.

If the government does not have enough 
money in its coffers to balance the budget, 
it is not because I have not done my 
part. Every time I turned around there 
was a tax on something. Do not let this get 
out, but if the government knows I turned 
around so many times, they will find a 
way to tax that.

I am not a conspiracy enthusiast, but I 
believe I stumbled onto a most blatant 
conspiracy with the United States government. 
I am here merely to give my humble 

The conspiracy, as I found it, focuses in on 
the airlines. I know this may sound like a 
far-fetched idea but I can only give my observation. 
The airlines are in a conspiracy 
with the United States government to take 
as much money from me as they possibly 
can. Not that I have a lot of money, I just 
would like to keep as much of it as possible 
for those occasions when I would like 
to take my wife out to a restaurant and just 
have a relaxing evening. That takes money.

It began with checking in our luggage. 
Two bags for me and two bags for my wife 
equals too much luggage. We put our luggage 
on the conveyor belt and then were 
informed by the check-in clerk that each 
bag cost an extra $50. She swiped my 
credit card and even though I am not a 
mathematical wizard, I believe it was in 
the neighborhood of $200. I do not like 
that neighborhood.

Later on, I sat down to figure it out and 
discovered it would be far cheaper not to 
take any luggage and then when arriving 
at my destination buy a new set of clothes. 
My entire wardrobe does not equal $100. 
Of course, on my wife's side of the closet it 
is a different story.

We got our boarding pass and then the 
young woman behind the counter looked 
at me and asked a strange question. "Sir, 
how tall are you?"

It has been a long time since anybody 
asked me that kind of a question. Why 
she wanted to know how tall I was could 
not be found in the corridors of my empty 
mind. I then informed her that I was 6'3".

"I see," she said as she stared at her computer 
screen. Then she explained. "The average 
height of a male passenger on our 
plane is 5'11". You exceed that limit by 4 

I looked at my wife and we both shared 
a wonderful laugh. Then I look back at 
her behind the counter, but she was not 

"There will be an extra charge for your exceeding 
our height limit."

"Let's see," she said as she studied the computer 
screen, "that's 4 inches times $15 per 
inch which equals $60." She then swiped 
my credit card, again, and charged it with 
the $60 extra fee.

That was just the beginning of the "swiping" 
by the airlines. By the time our vacation 
was over, I was totally swiped out.

When I got home I meditated a little bit 
on what Jesus said, "Render therefore 
unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, 
and unto God the things which be God's" 
(Luke 20:25 KJV).

 I really do not mind rendering to "Caesar" 
but I just wish he wasn't so greedy.

Mountain Views News

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