Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, October 13, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 19



 Mountain Views News Saturday, October 13, 2012 

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

HAIL Hamilton My Turn




Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 


Joan Schmidt


LaQuetta Shamblee


Pat Birdall


Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 


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

Ben Show

Sean Kayden

Jasmine Kelsey Williams


 Mitt Romney’s involvement with the Salvadorian elite is much 
more than guilt by association, it being an accessory before 
and after the fact for the mass murder on tens of thousands of 
El Salvadorian civilians under the guise of counterinsurgency. 
Anybody who knew diddly-squat about what was happening 
in El Salvador had heard of Roberto D’Aubuisson. Under his 
leadership, U.S sponsored and trained government death squads were responsible 
for the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero 1980.

 In the “Rockefeller Report on Latin America,” the National Security Council 
warned: “If the United States cannot maintain a constructive relationship in 
the Western Hemisphere, we will hardly be able to achieve a successful order 
elsewhere in the world.” As National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger put it: “If 
we cannot manage Central America, it will be impossible to convince threatened 
nations in the Persian Gulf and in other places that we know how to manage the 
Global Equilibrium.”

 Under US government AID programs (USAID), “public safety missions” 
organized, trained, armed, financed and advised local police forces in Latin 
America which have later been accused of human rights violations. The United 
States was “developing within the civil security forces ... an investigative capability 
for detecting criminal and/or subversive individuals and organizations and 
neutralizing their activities,” wrote Byron Engle, director of the AID Public Safety 
Program, in a 1967 memo to his staff. “This requires a carefully integrated effort 
between the investigative element and the regular police, paramilitary or military 
force, operating separately or in conjunction with each other.” 

 Engle referred to 33 countries, including El Salvador, in which the Public Safety 
Program was operating. The US State Department instructed its security forces on 
their role, stating that: “The police will normally be those who first sense internal 
order problems and first detect discontent among people. They are the eyes and 
ears of the government and should serve as one of the major means by which the 
government assures itself of acceptance by the majority. Effective policing is like 
‘preventive medicine.’ The police can deal with threats to internal order in their 
formative states. Should they not be prepared to do this, ‘major surgery’ may be 
required in the sense that considerable force would be needed to redress those 

 In the 1984 exposé, “Behind the Death Squads: An exclusive report on the U.S. 
role in El Salvador’s official terror”, award winning investigative journalist, Allan 
Nairn, reported that the CIA routinely supplied ANSESAL, the security forces 
(National Guard, National Police, Treasury Police), and the general staff with 
electronic, photographic, and personal surveillance of suspected dissidents and 
Salvadorans abroad who were later assassinated by death squads; and trained 
Salvadoran intelligence operatives in the use of investigative techniques which 
included, according to a former Treasury Police agent, “instruction in methods of 
physical and psychological torture.”

 Beginning with the Carter Administration and continued by the Reagan and 
Bush administrations, the U.S. sent seven billion dollars of foreign and military 
aid to El Salvador in twelve years. The silent-partner role of the United States in El 
Salvador’s Civil War became public when the National Guard raped and murdered 
four American nuns and a laywoman on December 2, 1980; Maryknoll missionary 
nuns Maura Clarke, Ita Ford, Ursuline nun Dorothy Kazel, and laywoman Jean 
Donovan were on a Catholic relief mission providing food, shelter, transport, 
medical care, and burial to death squad victims.

 If Romney has nothing to hide he should answer the questions he’s being asked 
about how he started Bain Capital with $9 million from a group of wealthy right-
wing elite Salvadorians who supported the death squads and wanted to reinvest 
their stained money in the U.S.

 So the question is, Mr. Romney: “What did you know about your unsavory 
Salvadorian investors, and when did you know it?”


 I awoke this morning faced with my usual decisions. Do I 
do what I feel like doing now or should I ignore that feeling and try 
and do what will be best for me later, assuming there is a later. To 
make it simple let’s focus on something concrete like orange juice. 
I absolutely love fresh-squeezed orange juice. There is an orange 
tree growing in our neighbor’s front yard and I have continuing 
permission to pick the oranges when they are ripe and take them 
home and squeeze them. I think it’s hard for native Californians to understand what 
this means to someone born in Chicago. When you live in Chicago you hear fairy-
tales about places like California where the oranges just grow on trees in front of your 
house and any anytime you feel like it you can just go out and pick one.

 Eventually my family moved to Los Angeles and, at that time, there really were 
oranges growing everywhere. Everywhere, that is, except in front of the apartments 
where we lived. Really, up until I moved to Sierra Madre about thirty five years ago, I 
never had the chance to pick oranges from a tree and then enjoy them. When I finally 
did get that chance it was magical and for a few years I had the opportunity to aid 
my children and later my young seven or eight year old nephews in using the orange-
picking pole to reach the high growing oranges. We would take them home and 
squeeze them and enjoy the juice as part of a wonderful weekend family experience.

 Now it’s a few years later and I don’t get to see my nephews as much anymore. 
I still love orange juice though and as you can tell orange juice has a special meaning 
to me and sort of marks off different stages in my life. Today I am diagnosed with 
Diabetes and I am told by my doctors and my wife that I should not be drinking 
orange juice. It has high sugar content and will raise my blood sugar level. Similarly I 
am told not to drink coffee because the caffeine adversely affects my heart condition. 
Bacon and sausage and lox are also forbidden because of their high salt content. There 
are many other no-nos but for me a particularly difficult one is the doctor’s order to 
forego soup in restaurants because of high salt content. This seems like a terrible loss 
to me as I like soup almost as much as I like orange juice. My grandmother, gone 
now for forty-five years, would make chicken soup just for me when I was sick and 
had to stay home from school. Somehow the soup became linked to a feeling of being 
special and cared-for and the feeling that I would get well soon. Maybe that was 
because my grandmother had other things to do and it was a real sacrifice for her to 
have to spend time taking care of me. But she was always willing to do it; at least for 
a day or two. I was never sick longer than that.

 Well the problem today and every day is that I still want orange juice and 
I still want soup. More than that, notwithstanding my diabetes, I still crave sweet 
desserts. Why shouldn’t I have them? They won’t kill me today. Really, I could get 
hit by a car on the way to work and then what difference would it make if I had a 
glass of orange juice in the morning? It’s the same question that all of us face every 
morning. What’s more important –short term rewards or long term consequences?. 
Yes, it’s the same question this whole country faces. Really the whole world faces 
the same dilemma. Many of us, especially in North America and Europe, have had 
the opportunity to indulge our desires and in doing so we have used up the world’s 
resources and destroyed fragile global ecology. We are told that soon there will be 
shortages of water, food, and energy. We are vulnerable to plagues and there are 
continued possibilities of earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes. Our leaders tell us 
that we will have sacrifice and learn to follow practices of austerity. Demonstrations 
in Greece and Spain make clear how unwilling great portions of the population are to 
make these changes. 

 On top of all this there is the ongoing horror of possible global devastation 
from nuclear war. Human beings must learn to get along together. We all must 
learn to cooperate and conserve our resources in order to insure that our specie has 
a continued presence on this planet. So, what can individuals like you and I do? 
Maybe we can start by gaining a little control over ourselves. All right today no 
orange juice, no soup, no sweets and I’ll take the train to work. If I can do that and 
today is still worth living I’ll try and do the same tomorrow. Wish me luck and you 

Mountain Views News 
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Case number GS004724: 
for the City of Sierra 
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A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder

RICH Johnson


Most people 
know what the 
Murphy’s Law is. 
“Anything that can 
go wrong will go 

Before we get to the fun let me define 
what is going on here. Murphy’s Law is 
an example of a logical fallacy known as 
an appeal to probability or possibility. 
What’s that mean Rich? Logical fallacy: 
The mistaken presumption that because 
something could happen it inevitably 
will happen.

Okay, enough of that. Now let’s have 
some fun. A fellow by the name of 
Arthur Bloch wrote a book called 
Murphy’s Law 2000. The 2000 signifies 
that the book was published right before 
the turn of the century. This column 
will be the first of a series on Murphy’s 
Laws that we can keep and use to our 
distinct advantage. Each of these laws 
has a name. But I state the name (if 
you want the name buy the book). It 
is available on for just a 
couple of bucks. Here are a smattering 
of Murphy’s Laws:

If anything can go wrong, it will.

If anything can’t go wrong, it will.

Nothing is ever as simple as it first 

Experience enables you to recognize a 
mistake when you make it again.

A good scapegoat is almost as good as 
a solution.

We can solve problems by using the 
same kind of thinking we used when 
we created them.

If you are in a hole, stop digging.

If you know something can go wrong, 
and take due precautions against it, 
something else will go wrong.

You never run out of things that can 
go wrong.

When things go wrong, don’t go with 

Murphy’s Law always hits at the worst 

You never know how soon it is too late

Being punctual means only that your 
mistake will be made on time.

Things go wrong all at once, but things 
go right gradually.

There is no right way to do the wrong 

First things first, but not necessarily in 
that order.

The shortest distance between two 
points is a downward spiral.

It takes less time to do something right 
than it takes to explain why you did it 

If we knew what we were getting into 
we would never get into anything.

It’s always hard to notice what isn’t 

To learn from your mistakes, you 
must first realize that you are making 

A good place to start from is where you 

Careful planning is no substitute for 
dumb luck.

Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently 
talented fool.

If at first you succeed, try not to look 
too astonished.

Here’s an opportunity to get more use 
out of your kids Halloween costumes. 
Plan on coming to the Fairy Tale 
Theatre’s production of “The Halloween 
Show” at the Sierra Madre Playhouse.
It’s participation by the kids as they 
come up on stage and practice their 
line, walk around the theater teaching 
Frankenstein how he should walk. 
The special effects are great and the 
characters are fun and definitely not 
scary. The writing is top drawer so even 
us adults can really enjoy the program. 
Showtime is Saturdays at 11:00 (for 
about an hour). Upcoming show dates 
are on Saturdays: October, 12, 20, 27, 
and November 3rd. Tickets are $18.00 
for adults and $12.00 for kids 12 and 
under. The theater is located at 87 W. 
Sierra Madre Blvd in Sierra Madre. 
Reservations call (626) 355-4318.


My father was not what you would call a literate person. Apart 
from the Bible, he did not read much of anything else on a regular 
basis. I can remember as a young person him quoting a great 
American patriot, Benjamin Franklin. The only quote he knew of 
this man was, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

 For a long time I thought he was making it up and then one day, I happened to 
run across a book in the library about Benjamin Franklin and, there it was. Benjamin 
actually did say that.

 I had to give my father that one.

 It seems that every time it got close to what my father termed as “my bedtime,” he 
would remind me of this famous quote. It got so I hated when bedtime came.

 At the time, I had my doubts about the validity of this quote because, if my father 
followed this quote as he encouraged me to do, why was he not healthy, wealthy and 
wise? At the time, I was in no position to question his wisdom. I was wise enough to 
know that the best part of wisdom was not to challenge the wisdom of my father. This 
has attributed to my length of life to date.

 Incidentally, I have carried this over into my married life.

 According to my father, if I simply obeyed Franklin’s advice I would have a life filled 
with health, wealth and wisdom. The three things absolutely needed in life to make a 
person happy. Or, so Franklin would lead us to believe.

 After what seems to be a lifetime of living, and living in as much harmony of these 
two aspects of life, I must say that there is very little truth to be said concerning good 
old Franklin’s saying. No matter how early I go to bed or how early I get up, I do not 
seem to be any wealthier or healthier. Perhaps, and this is only a guess on my part 
because I am not as wise as old Benjamin Franklin, you had to do something when you 
got up that contributed or created your wealth. Just a suggestion from me.

 That is the way it is with most sayings. They sound good; you sound wise in quoting 
them; but after every saying is quoted, nothing seems to change. They just do not cover 
the whole spectrum.

 It is not that I have not given it the good old college try; it just does not work for me.

 This past week I had an occasion to think about this quote. I have tried keeping 
the early to bed and early to rise objective in full focus throughout my life. I am not 
up partying until the wee hours of the morning. At my age, my party time is early 

 I have made a concerted effort to get enough rest and just to make sure I have 
enough rest I indulge in an afternoon nap. I am not sure where this comes in Benjamin 
Franklin’s quote.

 Recently, I had cause to reflect upon the validity of Benjamin Franklin’s sage advice.
My quarterly taxes were due, and you know what good old Uncle Sam thinks about 
being late on his payments. If confession is good for the soul (another famous quote), 
I need to confess that while I was writing this check to Uncle Sam I had some rather 
harsh thoughts about him in the process. There, I said it.

 During the same week, some other bills were due and none of them would take no 
for an answer. Again, I must confess, while writing these checks I was sputtering to 
myself quite a bit. As I looked at my checkbook, I knew that the “wealthy” component 
of Benjamin Franklin’s quote did not come in my direction. I was simply out of wealth.

 Not only that, but I recently spent about four weeks sick with bronchitis and 
pneumonia and spent about three weeks in bed. Not only was I early to bed, but I was 
glued to my bed. How does that fit into Franklin’s saying? The “healthy” aspect of that 
quote has not fallen in my direction either.

 If you want to know about the wise element, simply query the Gracious Mistress of 
the Parsonage.

 Another old phrase says, three strikes and you’re out. Well, according to the Franklin 
saying, I must concede that I am out. I am not wealthy, in many regards I’m not healthy 
and for sure, I’m not wise.

 It is my opinion that there is a lot more to life than wise old sayings from some old 
man from the past. Benjamin Franklin, for example, no doubt practiced early to bed 
and early to rise but in the end, he died. That does not sound too healthy to me.

 Of course, the best place for wisdom is the Bible. I like what the wisest man in 
the world said, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine 
own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” 
(Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV).

 I am not too sure about the healthy and the wealthy components, that is up for grabs, 
but I am convinced the wise part comes from the Lord. After all, the Bible teaches us 
that God is Omniscient. If God knows everything and I know God, I am in a good 

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