Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, December 15, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 5



 Mountain Views News Saturday, December 15, 2012 



“What’s Going On?” 

News and Views from Joan Schmidt


By Christoper Nyerges

[Nyerges is the author of “Self-Sufficient Home,” “How to Survive Anywhere,” and 
other books. He can be reached at Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or www.ChristopherNyerges.

In the March 17th issue of this publication, I wrote an article, “What were 
you thinking, Governor Brown?” I had attended an Arcadia City Council Joint 
Meeting with Supervisor Mike Antonovich, Deputy Chief Reaver E, Bingham 
and Anna Prmvedjian, LA Probation, and other City Officials. I had been blown 
away by what I learned about AB 109, regarding transfer of inmates from state 
prisons to county jails. Supervisor Antonovich began by explaining the Governor 
had other options. The prisoners could have been transferred to out of state 
facilities at HALF the cost! Also that cost did not include medical, mental health 
and drug problems. When I went on line, I learned 58 counties in California were 
dealing with the problem. Riverside Sheriff Stan Sniff Jr. said jails in 36 counties 
are already crowded, and his county has a federal court order not to pack too 
many inmates in!

 The last few days this issue has been on the news. Everything that I wrote about then is being reported 
on now. When I wrote the article, some 5526 PSP’s (Low level parolees) were under county probation 
supervision. 1127 PSP’s had been assessed by the Department of Mental Health, with 262 refusing 
services. 1993 PSP’s were transferred to substance abuse treatment for assessment, but only 722 had 
shown up. By February, 1316 PSP’s had been arrested for new crimes! Over these past months, the 
situation has escalated, as reported in the news the last few days.

 Then there were the “N3”s.(Non-violent, non-serious, non-sex offenders). At that time, 3518 had 
been sentenced to county jails. What really infuriated me was learning that their status was based on 
their LAST offense, not previous ones! Someone could have committed violent crimes in the past, but 
it didn’t matter.

 I have been heartsick for the Northridge victims and their families. Could this tragedy have been 
prevented? I believe so. But unfortunately, the general public seems to be unaware or oblivious to the 
governor’s shortcomings.

This week, I got a 
call from a popular 
TV “news magazine” 
show. I was told that 
they were planning to 
air a program the following 
day about the 
December 21, 2012 
end date of the Mayan calendar cycle. They were 
aware that I teach survival skills and they saw my 
name associated with the Mayan date. 

 “We’d like to talk to you about the Mayan 
prophecies,” I was informed.

 “Which Mayan prophecies are you referring 
to?” I asked.

 “You know, the end of the world prophecies,” 
she casually responded.

 “I’d be happy to talk to your viewers 
about the Mayan calendar,” I said, “and I’d let 
them know that there are no Mayan prophecies 
of doom-and-gloom that anyone knowledgeable 
is aware of.” I explained that I studied in Mexico 
and Guatemala with Mayans. “Are you aware of 
specific prophecies?” I asked.

 “No, just in general that the world is going 
to end.”

 I explained that all the Mayan end-of-the-world 
hype was media fabrication. What would be happening 
on December 21, according to most scholars, is that a large cycle of the Mayan calendar – 13 
Baktuns lasting 5,125 years – will end, and another cycle will begin the next day. I told her that I’d be 
happy to ease her viewers’ fears, and explain that zealous media pundits somehow confused “end of a 
calendar cycle” with “end of the world.”

 The TV show representative explained that she’d seen me on the National Geographic’s “Doomsday 
Preppers” show, and said she’d really like to see me with my survival gear. (I was offered no compensation 
for the time I expected to give.) I explained that I was driving to work (yes, I do work!) and that 
I only had the minimal gear that I always carry, but not my full wilderness pack. 

 “I’d still be happy to share with your viewers how knowing survival skills is a good thing all the time,” 
I continued, “considering all the very real problems that we all have to contend with, such as earthquakes, 
floods, hurricanes, economic disasters, terrorists, diseases, and so on.”

 “Actually, we’re really looking for someone who is seriously preparing for the December 21st date. 
We really want something more dramatic and sensational,” I was told.

 It was becoming clear that I would not be on their show.

 “Well, if you’re looking for a nut who’s frightened about the Mayan calendar and who is taking radical 
action based on panic and fear, then I’m not your man,” I told her. “Still, I’d be happy to talk to you 
to give your show some balance.” I continued, telling her that there is no special planetary alignment 
associated with December 21, no comet that we know of that’s about to hit the earth, no mysterious 
planet about to show up, and no heightened sun spot activity. I again explained that we never really 
know what might happen, but we shouldn’t listen to the fear stories about things that have no relation 
to the Mayan calendar. She politely listened.

 “I tell people that whenever you act out of fear or panic that you nearly always make bad choices,” 
I added.

 “Yes, well, we really want something more dramatic. We want to show people who are very concerned 
about this December 21 date and who are doing something about it.” She told me she would 
talk to her producers and might call me back for a taping later in the day for a show that was already 
planned for the following day. 

 To no surprise, I never got a return call.

 This taught me a lesson I’d experienced many times. The modern media are all too often so focused 
on ratings and sensationalism that they will twist and distort (or ignore) the facts if this helps maintain 
viewers. Though many of us might view the “quest for truth” to be a high ideal, not everyone 
does. In this case, it was clear that the producers of this TV program were not concerned about 
whether or not there were in fact any Mayan “prophecies” at all. 

 It is not just distortion and lies that we should protect ourselves against. We also need to be equally 
concerned about that the reporters and journalists do not tell us. 

 Sadly, TV, despite its vast potential, has increasingly become a wasteland.


Foothill Unity Center’s Holiday 
Food Distribution and 
Angel Program has become 
a community tradition. Last 
year, almost 2,000 pre-qualified, 
low-income families 
and 3,000 children received 
food, toys and clothes to help 
brighten the Holidays and 
stabilize the budgets of these 
families on the edge. 

On Sunday, December 
16, 2012 from 9:00 AM to 
5:00 PM at the Los Angeles 
County Arboretum, the 
Center again will be distributing 
food, toys and clothes 
to almost 2,000 families and 
neighbors in need. But as 
food prices continue to go up 
and unemployment remains 
high, the Center is in urgent 
need of toy and clothing donations 
for the children we 

Everyone is invited to stop by 
the Center to adopt paper angels 
bearing the gift wishes of 
client children and then shop 
for those gifts. Entire flights 
of angels also may be adopted 
by businesses or service 
organizations to help meet 
the need.

Donations of food, turkey 
certificates and funds also 
are needed to help with the 


Foothill Unity Center always 
welcomes food donations, 
but never more than during 
the Holiday Season. All 
holiday donations may be 
dropped off at the Center’s 
Monrovia location between 
9:00 AM and 5:00 PM on 
the weekdays. In addition, 
donated funds will help fill 
in the gaps, particularly for 
children whose angels were 
not adopted. Donors may 
contribute securely online by 
clicking the Donate Now Button 
on the Center’s website 
at www.foothillunitycenter.
org. Checks may be mailed 
to Foothill Unity Center at 
415 West Chestnut Avenue, 
Monrovia, CA 91016.