Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, November 3, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 17



 Mountain Views News Saturday, November 3, 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


 Long ago I went to a concert in which the famous folk singer, 
Theodore Bikel, an older man maybe in his forties or fifties, spoke 
of the young Bob Dylan as the voice of his generation. Sure 
listening to Bob Dylan himself sing was a lot more challenging 
than listening to Peter, Paul, and Mary, or Simon and Garfunkel, 
or Joan Baez but still there was enjoyment in listening. Bob sort 
of sang, or not exactly sang but talked and shouted. Still over the 
years and after listening to him perform many songs I came to treasure his unique 
renditions of songs like Lay Lady Lay, The Ballad of the Thin Man, Hurricane, and 
the Death of Hattie Carroll. As I write this article I hear his version of Masters of War 
which vilifies the plutocrats who kill and destroy and who have made us fear bringing 
our own children into the world.

 Imagine now this past weekend on a Friday, a beautiful night, when my wife 
and I decide to celebrate our wedding anniversary by attending a Bob Dylan concert 
at the Hollywood Bowl. On line we obtain tickets for the concert and for the shuttle 
that wisks us to the Bowl from Pasadena. We need not even pay to park our car in 
the parking structure and we feel that the world is right as we get on the specially-
provided shuttle bus and sit in comfortable seats and enjoy the ride across town. Now 
we are older people, I’m close to seventy, but we are gratified to see people of all ages 
on the bus. I hear some people talking about having loved Bob Dylan’s music for ages 
way back into the eighties on nineties when they were just kids.

 We arrive at the Bowl and climb to our seats in the upper reaches of the 
stadium. My wife has thought ahead and we have our own sandwiches and beverages 
and are able to avoid the outrageous food and drink prices at the site. Sure the tickets 
were expensive, even at the on-line discount price; but as the sun goes down and 
the night gets cooler we snuggle beneath our blanket we are prepared to enjoy the 
beautiful night which is a part of our privileged life. Soon the opening act musicians 
appear. It is Mark Knopfler, a wonderful guitarist, who offers a beautiful set.

 Soon the new individuals on the stage are completely unidentifiable but 
whoever they are, without warning, suddenly begin to make sounds. No one is 
introduced but strange sounds now engulf the audience. There is a vocalist of sorts even 
though I can’t pick him out on the stage. The sounds made have been characterized 
in another review as resembling a cement mixer with bronchitis. That description is 
perhaps too charitable. The sound in unidentifiable song after unidentifiable song is 
an unvarying death-rasp continuing without nuance or intelligibility. Behind me I 
hear a father telling his pre-teen son to listen to the lyrics as these very words have 
influenced the father’s whole life. “Shut up Dad”, the kid says, “I can’t understand one 

 My wife and I agree with the kid. She keeps laughing at the unrecognizable 
really detestable sounds that surround us. We know the songs but cannot tell one 
from the other as everything sounds the same. Eventually we hear what must be 
“Like A Rolling Stone” and we scream out “How does it Feel to Be Out on Your Own” 
at more or less the same time as the invisible singer utters the same words. Really it 
is difficult even to scream along because Dylan, or whoever it is was up there, kind of 
delays his screeching so as to make singing along impossible.

 What is going on? Some people are heading for the exits when suddenly I 
hear a few familiar chords and recognize one of my favorites,” The Ballad of the Thin 
Man”. I know the whole lyric. 

 You walk into the room

 With your pencil your hand

 You see somebody naked

 And you say, “Who Is that man?”

 But you don’t understand’

 Just what you’ll say

 When You get home. 

 All at once I get it. I know what Bob may be trying to do in his unending 
tour that involves over seventy performances a year. As Bob comes to the next verse 
I screech it with him.

 Because something is happening here

 But You don’t know what it is

 Do you, Mister Jones?

 I get it! I scream to the audience, “We are all Mr. Jones”. The audience of 
thousands does not hear me or does not care. During the next couple of days I read 
a review which described some people in the cheap seats as a father trying to explain 
the lyrics to his son and also “a lovely grandma and grandpa, snuggling beneath a 
blanket trying to sing along to “Like a Rolling Stone”. Sounds familiar doesn’t it. 
Maybe Dylan’s performances are intended to make us all wonder how much longer 
can we safely snuggle, Mr. Jones? Many of us already know that these times require 
that we wake up and do something to save ourselves and our planet. Thanks for the 
reminder Bob. 


Those of you who read my 10/20/12 column about the 
billionaire political opportunists and environmental polluters 
David and Charles Koch will not be surprised that they are at 
it again. This time their target is California with Prop 32, the 
so-called “Stop Special Interest Money Now Act.” 

This isn’t the first time the Kochs have bankrolled a bogus ballot measure aimed 
at tricking California voters for their own personal gain. In 2010, the Kochs were 
among the primary funders of Prop 23, an intentionally confusing measure that 
would have repealed California’s landmark climate change law, AB 32. It’s no 
surprise that Big Oil magnates like the Kochs hate AB 32, because it would cut 
into their massive profits by shifting our dependence away from their fossil fuels 
and investing in alternative energy sources and green jobs.

But when they tried to undo the law with Prop 23, Labor united with environmental 
advocates, scientists, academics, and an angry public to stop them, because we 
all share the same vision for California’s clean and green economic future. Now, 
two years later, those same clean-energy advocates are once again uniting with 
California’s working families to stop the Kochs–-this time by defeating Prop 32.

It’s not enough for the Koch brothers to pollute our air, to pollute our water, 
to pollute our atmosphere and now they want to pollute our elections as well! 
Whether it’s Prop 32 or Prop 23, you can switch the numbers around but the 
story’s still the same. We still have Big Oil Billionaires seeking to undermine 
the very foundation of a clean energy economy by rolling back green energy 
measures, rolling back global warming solutions, and rolling back the policies 
that strengthen our middle class and allow our economy to grow. We didn’t stand 
for it then – we defeated Prop 23 two years ago, and we’re going to defeat Prop 32 

The International Forum on Globalization released a new report, “The Kochs and 
Clean Energy Jobs,” outlining that the same billionaire funders seeking to silence 
the voices of working families through Proposition 32 have a dual agenda to 
attack clean energy and environmental laws. According to IFG’s Victor Menotti, 
“the Kochs are the single largest funder of anti-environment and anti-worker 
activities,” including

• $1 million in 2010 to overturn AB 32 
• $4 million through the American Future Fund to support Proposition 32
• At least $656 million on attacks on environmental protections and workers’ 

These overt, well-funded attacks on labor rights are in the same realm as the 
overt, well-funded attacks on science -- and both, if successful, will weaken our 
democracy. Make no mistake: Prop 32 would be the first step in a renewed effort 
to kill California’s environmental advances and threaten hundreds of thousands 
of green-technology and clean-energy jobs. The Union of Concerned Scientists 
sees through this phony reform of Prop 32 for what it really is-– “a way for 
corporations to buy a Legislature that will roll back California’s environmental 
advances, reduce the rights of workers and silence the voices of Californians.”

The Kochs know that, given the number of strong environmental leaders in the state 
legislature, they have challenges pushing their anti-environment, anti-regulation 
agenda through the policy process. So they’re shamelessly going back again to 
our initiative system, to try and fool voters- this time, laughably, to promote a 
proposal that claims it would stop the influence of special interest money. IFG’s 
Menotti says, “With Prop 32 it’s déjà vu all over again, with many of the same big 
corporations and the same billionaire, right-wing extremists doing their best to 
get their way by misleading voters and corrupting the electoral process with a 
deceptive ballot measure.”

Greed, as we know, is a dangerous thing. But greed doesn’t just relate to fortunes. 
It can also relate to power. The greed of the Koch Brothers and other billionaires 
in this country aren’t satisfied with just the Citizens United decision which 
prohibited independent political contributions by corporations. They want more. 
They don’t think their ability to override every other voice with the size of the 
fortune they’re spending in the political process is enough. They want to snuff out 
that last bit of opposing voice. And they believe Prop 32 will provide them with 
that so the working people won’t have a chance at all.

It is important for every Californian who cares about growing clean energy jobs, 
fighting climate change, and protecting organized labor to understand the threat 
Proposition 32 poses to realizing that vision. On Election Day environmentally 
minded Californians should stand together against this outrageous fraud--Say 
NO to Deception, Vote NO on Prop 32!

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A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder


I was off to the airport 
on another trip. 
I started out early, 
arrived at the airport 
on time but when 
I arrived the plane 
had canceled and I had to apply for another 
plane. The next plane headed for my destination 
was about two hours away. This 
would in fact, make me miss my connecting 

I suppose I ought to be grateful that I was 
able to catch a later flight. It gave me some 
time to sit in the airport with nothing to do 
but think. Talk about a boring afternoon!

One of the things I thought about was never 
flying again. But, necessity is the mother 
of inconvenience, or something like that.

While I was thinking in the airport, I 
thought of a wise old man who, waxing 
philosophical, once said, "Time waits for 
no man." I know he was wise because he 
did not include women in his observation. 
Although time will wait for no man, it has a 
different approach to women.

Usually speaking, a man welcomes the 
passing of time. Proudly he displays those 
wrinkles and calluses as marks of manhood. 
Until recently, gray hair was a crown 
of authority. Even Solomon, the wisest man 
said, "The hoary [gray] head is a crown of 
glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness" 
(Proverbs 16:31 KJV).

The grayer the head, the wiser the man. Although, 
I must confess I have seen my share 
of dumb gray-headed men.

A woman, however, has an altogether different 
philosophy when it comes to time. 
As a man with gray hair, I do not fully understand 
their philosophy.

I suppose there are some men who would 
like to be 25 again. Most men, however, 
are happy to be as old as they are. Women 
are different. They live upon the concept 
of ageless beauty. Who am I, as a man, to 
counter that philosophy?

I discovered this many years ago. A woman 
casually asked me how old I thought she 
was. I have long since discovered that this 
is no casual question and she is not looking 
for exact information. I, at the time, took 
it as a challenge and tried to guess her age.


I have since learned that the correct response 
to this question is, "Why, you don't 
look a day over 25." I do not know exactly 
what that means, but I have often gotten 
smiles from this response. No matter how 
old the woman is, in her mind she is still 25.

The man has a different idea.

"I'm 60," he will boast to whoever will listen, 
"and I can still do a whole day's work." 
Then he will go out and throw his back out 
just to prove it.

Time has a different effect upon a man as it 
does upon a woman.

There is nothing wrong with trying to look 
younger. I suppose it is an easier task to do 
if you are a woman than if you are a man.

Every morning before I leave the house I 
try to make myself as non-scary to the public 
as I possibly can. I will scrape my face, 
pat down my hair, and douse myself with 
aftershave and in 10 minutes I am done and 
ready for the world.

I have noticed that the Gracious Mistress 
of the Parsonage takes a lot longer than 
10 minutes to get ready to face the world. 
I must admit she does a very good job of 
it, but I also must admit it takes a long time 
and it seems each year it gets longer.

I do not want to call attention to myself. I 
just want to get through the day and back 
home again. I know I am not as young as I 
used to be but I take consolation in the fact 
that I am older than I used to be. And hand 
in hand with good old Father Time, I have 
walked down the wonderful timeline.

For me personally, I like to celebrate each 
birthday as a once-in-a-lifetime celebration. 
My goal in life is to get as old as I possibly 
can and with the good help of Father 
Time, I am well on my way. Time has not 
stood still for me, for which I am most 

Just like getting to the airport on time for 
my flight, I want to be on time for everything 
happening in my life. I do not want to 
miss a thing. Too often people look backward, 
stumble over today, find themselves 
in tomorrow and do not know how they got 
there. I want to enjoy the time I have in real 

There is no time like the present to enjoy. 
Memories are wonderful. Aspirations are 
delightful. But, nothing can take the place 
of right now.

The Bible has a lot to say about time. We 
are in a timeline established by God and it 
will not slow down into we come to the end. 
The apostle Paul understood this when he 
wrote, "And that, knowing the time, that 
now it is high time to awake out of sleep: 
for now is our salvation nearer than when 
we believed" (Romans 13:11 KJV).

There is no time like the present that as 
someone said, "This is the first day of the 
rest of my life." I am going to celebrate my 
"Now" with all the energy I have.


RICH Johnson

Well the home stretch to the election. I know that either 
President Obama or Governor Romney will prevail on 
Tuesday. My prayer is that it is not so close as to encourage 
a prolonged legal battle. 

Possibly my role as court jester of Sierra Madre has never 
been more important than this week. The election has 
spawned a elevated level of Hatfield-McCoyism polarizing each side of the 
political spectrum. We would all do well to realize that neither Barack Obama 
or Mitt Romney are evil people. Though we may question the sanity of anyone 
throwing themselves into the presidential arena, we should remember these men 
have thrown themselves into a boiling caldron. That also includes every other 
man and woman running for political office. 

What this country suffers from is a runaway media. A 24/7 ravenous media 
pouring gasoline on the fires of conflict and that that separates us. This exacerbates 
the divisiveness and polarization of our society. Only we can stop this. How? I 
have no idea. So, instead I will try to light up the environment around me. Here is 
something that was forwarded to me recently.

Men Funnies

Ladies, if a man says he will fix it, he will. There is no need to remind him every 
6 months about it.

I heard a guy complaining about how expensive his wedding is. Wait till he finds 
out how expensive his divorce is going to cost him.

My mother-in-law’s coming… I had to clear out half my closet so she could have 
a place to hang upside down and sleep.

NASA’s robot Curiosity landed on Mars. Early pictures show no signs of ESPN, 
beer, or porn. This makes it very clear that men are not from Mars.

I once won an argument with a woman…in this dream I had.

I’m writing a book about reverse psychology…Please don’t buy it.

I tried exercise, but I was allergic to it. My skin flushed, and my heart raced. I got 
sweaty and short of breath. Very dangerous.

I want one of those jobs where people ask, “Do you actually get paid for doing 

It is funny when my girlfriend gives me the “silent treatment”. She thinks it is a 

If there was a way to read a woman’s mind, I’m not sure I would want to. I hate 
shoes, shopping, gossip, and I already know I am annoying.

Men have feelings too. For example, we feel hungry.

Finally, a person in the back of the room wanted to know my choice for president. 

Mitt Romney. I believe the guy who has had experience taking over distressed 
companies and turning them around is the best choice for addressing the 
particular issues that face us.

There, I’ve said it. Make sure your choice is based on a careful analysis of the pros 
and cons of each candidate and their platforms.

And Wednesday morning, we are all still Americans and we will have the task of 
making it work regardless of who wins. May God bless us all.

Mountain Views News

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