Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, November 24, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 15



 Mountain Views News Saturday, November 24, 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

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Greg Wellborn

Dr. John Talevich

Ben Show

Sean Kayden

Jasmine Kelsey Williams


 It doesn’t surprise me; I was already expecting it. It 
petrifies me. I knew it would come. What I am talking about is 
the unexpected knock at the door or even the random telephone 
ring. That kind of stuff always frightens me because I know they 
are coming for me. I’m innocent I want to tell them—you have 
the wrong man. It’s a case of mistaken identity – I haven’t done 
anything bad.

 Really, I haven’t done anything bad that I can think of right now—but maybe 
I forgot. Who am I kidding? Inside I know I’m guilty. Do these feelings seem familiar 
to you? Someone out there must share them. I know my wife doesn’t. When the 
telephone rings she goes over to the phone and tries to determine who’s calling. If 
she doesn’t recognize the number or thinks it’s somebody selling something she just 
lets it ring. Sometimes she just doesn’t even go over to the phone because-- now get 
this-- she doesn’t feel like talking right at the moment. If it’s important they’ll call 
back or leave a message.

 This is different from my experience. When the phone rings I am already 
sure it is to alert me to some impending disaster. Emergency action is required and 
I can feel my heart beating and cold sweat dripping down the sides of my face. The 
knock at the door is the cops coming to take me away. At this moment I hear a voice 
in my head saying “They’re coming to Take Me Away”. The lyric just changed now I 
hear “ They’re Coming to take YOU away”. So you better worry too!

 I don’t think this is all craziness. Some of us live with anxiety that leaves 
us continually on edge. As soon as my ex-wife would hear on the news about an 
earthquake or a rainstorm she would prepare to evacuate. She would stock up on 
canned goods and prepare survival packages. This was forty years ago and it seemed 
crazy to me then. Actually it wasn’t crazy as we all know that the next disaster is just 
around the corner and we better be ready. 

 You would think I would be ready and that my flashlight and water would be 
all stocked ready to be used in an emergency. You would be wrong. My anxiety does 
not direct itself to natural disasters I experience them as kinds of adventures. Just 
a couple of weeks ago I received some e-mails from people in the north east which 
described trees falling on their houses and electricity being cut off and the flood 
waters approaching. You would think this would scare me and cause me to worry 
about my family’s safety. I should know how to turn off the electricity and the gas and 
the water and how to change fuses and what one does with water heaters.

 I admit it. I don’t know how to do any of these essential things. I like to 
think that my wife knows all this but I’ve never asked her. Right now I’m trying to 
understand myself and all I can speculate is that inside I’m so busy trying to suppress 
my fears that I am afraid to acknowledge them and to take the proper precautions 
to be ready for emergencies. Maybe this is similar to the reluctance of many older 
people who refuse to wear those electric emergency buttons. .

 . Right now, natural (or maybe they’re unnatural) disasters seem to be 
regularly occurring. We should all be prepared. Furthermore, all of our telephones 
ring at strange times sometime and even up here in the canyon sometimes there are 
strange not easily explainable sounds.

 . A couple of days ago my wife remembered at 10 p.m. or so that she hadn’t 
checked for the mail. She opened the door, with me right behind her, and we heard 
the sounds of something being knocked over right across the narrow canyon street. 
We raced back into the house and in the morning discovered evidence that the bear 
was around again and knocking trash cans over. I have talked about the bear in 
previous articles and this time we were really not surprised. This time we took action 
and are making sure to keep our trash cans are no longer kept in front of the house.

 That’s all I want to be able to do. I want to be alert enough to make some 
changes when changes need to be made. I want not to be paralyzed by my own 
fear and to be able to cope with this ever-changing and ever more frighteningly 
unpredictable world. For me, the first step always seems to talk about and think 
about a problem. Maybe this article will help me to act more appropriately in the 
future. At least it’s nice to recognize that I have moved the trash cans. Actually my 
wife moved them.

 Happy Holidays!!


 For those of us who are old enough to remember 
November 22, 1963, this year marks the 49th anniversary 
of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Back 
then, unlike this year, the 23rd was the Friday before 
Thanksgiving which was the following Thursday, the 28th. 

 One thing has always troubled me about the JFK 
assassination and, come to think of it also about the 911 attacks, is the speedy, 
almost instant, identification of the alleged culprits. 

 In the case of Oswald, within fifteen minutes of the assassination and long 
before Oswald was picked up in the Texas Theater, the Dallas police put out 
on the police network, and possibly other networks, a description of the killer 
– five foot ten – 165 pounds, which exactly matched what was in his FBI file, 
and in CIA documents about him. 

 One problem was that this didn’t match the actual height and weight of the 
man picked up and charged, which was five foot nine and 140 pounds. But that 
fact has been forgotten. The 5’10” measurement of the suspect was attributed 
to Howard Brennan, a witness, who saw someone in the sixth floor window, 
but only from the waist up and from a distance. Brennan subsequently failed 
to pick out Oswald in a police line-up. That fact has also been forgotten.

 So how were the police able to get that exact measurement and weight 
of the suspect, even if later shown to be incorrect? It appears someone had 
already determined that Oswald would be the designated culprit, before the 
police found him in the Texas Theater.

 In both JFK and 9/11, the designated suspects – Oswald and the hijackers 
– made their detection easy by implausibly laying paper trails leading to 
themselves. Oswald is supposed in March 1963 to have purchased by mail 
order, using the name A. Hidell, the notorious Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, 
when in Dallas he could have bought a rifle anonymously by walking a few 
blocks to any gun shop.

 This irrational self-incrimination via paper trail was again repeated in 2001 
by Mohamed Atta, the principal alleged hijacker. Atta’s trove of information 
allegedly “provided the Rosetta stone enabling FBI agents to swiftly unravel 
the mystery of who carried out the suicide attacks and what motivated them.”

 The FBI already had a list of alleged hijackers by 9:59 am on September 
11, which was when the second tower collapsed. 9:59 AM was at least four 
minutes before Flight United 93 had hit the ground. But even within the 
bureaucracy there were suspicions that the FBI was drawing on pre-9/11 files 
for its identifications.

 “I don’’t buy the idea that we didn’t know what was coming,” a former FBI 
official with extensive counter-terrorism experience has since said. “Within 
24 hours [of the attack] the Bureau had about 20 people identified, and photos 
were sent out to the news media. Obviously this information was available in 
the files and somebody was sitting on it.” 

 Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer of the Pentagon Able Danger had a similar reaction:

 “We were amazed at how quickly the FBI produced the name and pictures 
of all 19 hijackers. But then again, we were surprised at how quickly they’d 
made the arrests after the first World Trade Center bombing. Only later did 
we find out that the FBI had been watching some of these people for months 
before both incidents.” 

 It was in this context of suspicion that Warren Flagg came forward in 2006 
with the explanation of Atta’s paper trail:

 “How do you think the government was able to identify all 19 hijackers 
almost immediately after the attacks?” Flagg asked. “They were identified 
through those papers in the luggage. And that’s how it was known so soon 
that al-Qaida was behind the hijackings.” 

 It is of course possible that an instantaneous investigation of Atta’s effects 
would explain how the FBI could tell Richard Clarke that they had a list of 
suspected hijackers by 9:59 AM on September 11. But this would imply that 
the FBI had the names of all nineteen hijackers by then, including the four on 
Flight 93 which had not yet crashed.

 Thus the incriminating paper trails laid by Oswald and Atta were crucial 
to the speedy identification of the alleged culprits of both crimes. A curious 
coincidence... perhaps... but curious just the same.

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A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder



Let me make it clear right up front that Thanksgiving is one of my favorite 
holidays. I admit I am not too fond of many holidays. Can a week 
go by without some holiday that shuts down everybody?

I celebrated Veteran's Day, for example, on Sunday and the next day I went to the bank and 
discovered the bank was celebrating Veteran's Day on Monday. Don't they know what day it 
is? I trust these people with my money?

Of all the holidays we have, Thanksgiving is high on my list. I used to have a high regard for my 
birthday but so many of them have come that I do not like them anymore. I am ready to cancel 
that holiday. My birthday only means I am one year older and not one whit wiser.

I am not thinking just about the scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner. Okay, maybe I am, a little. 
Down through the years, I have been great fraternity buddies with eating. We have bonded so 
great throughout the years that even now that bonding is beginning to show.

I like Thanksgiving, and so I am a little confused about these Sanity Challenged Buffoons who 
are allergic to the word "Thanksgiving." They want to use names like, "Turkey Day," and the 
latest one "T-Day." What the "T" stands for is anybody's guess. I know what "D-Day" stands for 
but all the gray matter has leaked out of my skull trying to figure out what "T-Day" stands for.

Given the rationality of these purveyors of insanity, I can only guess.

Looking at what is happening to this great holiday, I have uncovered a con so convert that 
most people do not know it is going on. I call it the great Thanksgiving con. This is especially 
true for those who call it Turkey Day.

First off, everybody says nice things about the turkey. The more the turkey struts, the more the 
compliments flow his way. What the turkey does not know is that when these "Turkey Day" 
people are looking at the turkey they are also licking their lips. It is not the beautiful feathers 
that interest them. It is not the way the turkey proudly struts back and forth. The frame these 
people want to see the turkey in is a roasting pan.

They want to get rid of all those feathers that the turkey is so proud of and strip him bare so 
that he fits nicely in the roasting pan.

The last few weeks of the turkey's life are rather remarkable. These people will give the turkey 
everything it wants. More food than the turkey can gobble up. What the turkey does not know 
is that there is a destiny in store for him. With all the attention paid him, he has the idea that 
everybody appreciates him for his looks.

If this turkey would ever spend an evening watching television with his human host, he would 
gather the idea that the most important thing in all the world is how you look. Looking into 
the mirror the turkey is quite proud of what he sees. He assumes that what he sees looking in 
the mirror is what his human host sees when they look at him.

How wrong can a turkey be?

The con begins to unfold. Rumors are flying about that there is a great banquet being prepared 
in his honor. Any turkey would be proud of this kind of development and look forward to 
being the guest of honor.

In fact, as the turkey struts back-and-forth in front of his human hosts, he hears them saying, 
"Won't that turkey look good at our dinner table?" Whose head wouldn't turn hearing this 
kind of a compliment?

What the turkey does not know is that being a guest at a dinner table is a one-time event for 
a creature like himself. Any turkey worth his feathers does not think beyond this great feast 
being held in his honor.

I can imagine the gobble back in the turkey pen with the other turkeys. This great big, good-
looking turkey, is telling all the others how important he is on the other side of the fence. Being 
the kind of turkey that he is, his gobble wins over the admiration of the other turkeys.

"I'm so special," the turkey gobbles to his inferiors, "that those humans are having a special 
banquet and I am the special guest of honor." The rest of the turkeys are ooohing in his direction 
for they never seen anyone quite as special as this turkey.

The fatal day arrives. People come for the turkey and the rest of the turkeys have gathered 
around giving him a special turkey sendoff. They cannot wait to hear his report when he gets 
back from the special banquet.

I say this is a con to beat all cons. Wrong messages are being sent to the turkey population. 
Thinking they are the guest of honor, they turn out to be the main dish on the banquet table.

This is why I am against the term "Turkey Day." It sends the wrong message. The focus around 
our table on this special occasion will not be the turkey but rather giving thanks to God who 
has been so good to us.

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, 
and bless his name" (Psalms 100:4 KJV)


 I know it’s late for a Thanksgiving column. But, it’s what’s 
on my mind, so we are. And with the current state of my mind 
some of us are lucky there is anything going on up there. I’ll let 
you determine if you fall into the lucky column after you read 
the column.

 Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. Here are some 
interesting bits of information about this Autumn event.

 There was no turkey at the first Thanksgiving (the first Thanksgiving that was a 
three-day meal shared between the pilgrims and the Wamponoag tribe in 1621). 
So what was there? We’re told a lot of venison (deer meat) and seafood.

 There were no forks at the first Thanksgiving. The fork was introduced ten years 
later by the governor of Massachusetts. So what did the pilgrims use? Easy. A 
knife, a spoon and their fingers.

 Frozen T.V. dinners can thank Thanksgiving for their existence. In 1953 the 
Swanson folks created T.V. dinners because it needed to find something to do with 
all the leftover frozen Thanksgiving turkeys.

 Does eating turkey really make us sleepy? Well, tryptophan, and amino acid 
makes us tired and is found in turkey. But wait a sec: It’s also found in soybeans, 
parmesan and pork. We think the sleepiness experienced on Thanksgiving is not 
related to what we eat but how much we eat.

 Did the Pilgrims consume green bean casseroles? Sorry but no. The popular 
Thanksgiving side-dish was invented in 1955 by the Campbell Soup Company, 
led by a guy named Dorcas Reilly. It was successfully created to help sell cream of 
mushroom soup. Which it did in spades. (See, where else do you get this quality 
and necessary information.)

 How many turkeys are consumed on Thanksgiving? 46 million eaten on 
Thanksgiving, 2010. Christmas serves up 22 million and Easter 19 million.

When did Thanksgiving become a public holiday? If I tell you the year, can you tell 
me the president who declared it so? Ready? The year was 1863. Who was the 
president? (hint: a penny for your thoughts.)

 When did the traditional Thanksgiving football game come about? 1934, the year 
the Detroit Lions were bought by a G. A. Richards. The crafty marketing CEO 
scheduled the Thanksgiving Day game to play the reigning world champions: 
the Chicago Bears. The game was sold out, and broadcast live on radio. Hugely 
successful it soon became a yearly tradition. And by the way, the Detroit Lions 
have played 67 Thanksgiving games.

 When did the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade start? That would be 1924 when 
400 Macy’s employees marched down the streets of Manhattan. What about the 
big inflated balloons? They didn’t show up for 6 years. The first parade borrowed 
live animals from the Central Park Zoo. This included animals from camels to 

 Two holiday events are taking place in Sierra Madre that I would like to 
continue to promote. The Sierra Madre Playhouse will be showing the Fairy Tale 
Theater production of “A Cinderella Christmas” the next four Saturdays. The 
productions are an hour long and showing at 11:00 am on Saturdays. They are a 
joy to watch particularly the interaction between the cast and the young children 
in the audience. I have seen the previous versions of Cinderella about 8 times. 
(626) 355-4318 is the number to call to make reservations. Most of the young gals 
who attend dress up in costume and are individually invited to dance with Prince 
Charming during the Royal Ball. 

 And as I reported last week, my friend Jane Fuller is performing a one woman 
Christmas show at the Sierra Madre Playhouse, Sunday, December 9th at 7:00. 
Tickets can be purchased at the number above or at Hope to 
see you there.

RICH Johnson

Mountain Views News

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