Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, July 13, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 16



 Mountain Views News Saturday, July 13, 2013 

Sometimes I feel like I’m nothing more than 
some sort of giant voyeur that does nothing 
but watch other people do things. The 
main thing I do is watch sports (baseball, 
professional Basketball, and professional 
tennis) on television. During the College Football Season, for 
the past fifteen years I attended UCLA football games at the Rose 
Bowl. This represents almost my total active participation in 
getting out of the house on weekends to do something other than 
going to the movies or going out to eat. So my active participation 
in life during the weekend is to watch other people play games, eat 
food that other people have prepared, and watch movies created 
by other people.

 The past two weeks my body has awakened at 5:a.m. to watch 
the Wimbledon Tennis matches. Now Wimbledon is completed 
and I had nothing particular to do this morning but think and, as 
usual, my thoughts centered on the plight of the world. I thought 
about the increasing problems related to demands for clean water 
and rising global temperatures. Today is a ridiculously hot day 
and I went out to breakfast and felt myself over-privileged as I 
started my meal with unlimited amounts of clean, cool water and 
followed that up with a delicious quiche and fresh fruit. I had 
decided upon fruit rather than potatoes but even I realized that, 
as usual, I was doing nothing to improve the world’s situation or 
even my own. Breakfast tasted good and I almost felt like hitting 
some golf balls but it was too hot and so I used some fossil fuel 
and drove home ready to watch more television. 

 As I entered the house, my wife was watching some news program 
that mentioned that Marion Bartoli, the women’s champion at 
Wimbledon had been described by some commentator as being 
brutally ugly. My wife asked if she was brutally ugly and I said 
no she was just kind of different looking. She had no waist and 
she wasn’t a 6 foot tall blonde and she moved in an inelegant 
way using two hands on every stroke. When she drank a sip of 
something during the break she used two hands to hold the bottle 
and just looked very weird.

 If she’s so weird and unathletic how did she win, was my wife’s 
next reasonable question. Well, I said, she’s not fast or quick, 
she’s not strong, she doesn’t dive for balls, and she doesn’t have 
a particularly strong serve. So, how did she win? I answered; I 
don’t even know if this is relevant but she was tested as a little kid 
and found to have an I.Q. of 175. You know Einstein and Stephen 
Hawking have I.Q’s of 160 and the average person with a College 
Graduate Degree has an I.Q. of about 130.

 My wife asked, “So how does her I.Q. help her?” I have no 
idea-my I.Q. is not that high. But suddenly the idea hit me and I 
raced upstairs and tried to put this article together. There are in 
this overly-populated world a certain number of spectacularly-
able people. These people are often socially challenged and 
have difficulty ever fitting into society. They have these great 
intellectual gifts but often are unable to find the proper place to 
apply these gifts I think of Einstein and his future physicist wife 
having to give up their first child for adoption because no one 
would even hire Einstein for a future teaching job. I think of the 
brilliant but not particularly disciplined young Stephen Hawking 
depressed as he learns that he has an incurable debilitating disease 
and deciding just for the hell of it to think about something 
important to keep his mind off his own problems. He thought 
about the formation of the universe and the big bang theory was 
the result. 

 There are quite a number of “geniuses” but few leave their mark 
on the world. Marion Bartoli, through the help of her physician-
father, has been able to focus her genius on something concrete 
like tennis. Notwithstanding her other limitations, this focus and 
twenty years of perseverance were enough to create her own Big 
Bang in tennis, the Wimbledon Championship.

 I think, at least for this moment, there is hope for the world. All 
that need be done, globally, is to identify these geniuses as early as 
possible and put them into a position to come up with solutions 
to the global problems related to our deteriorating planet and 
our increased population. They need the kind of support that 
Marie Bartoli’s father gave to her and in a certain way we and our 
children and grandchildren are all part of the support team. As 
Hilary Clinton said, “It takes a village.” That’s all we have to do 
and it can be done. The rest of us need to learn how to support 
these geniuses and how to make our own personal adaptations 
so that we become part of the solution rather than part of the 
problem. Really we, and me too, are not just voyeurs; we can and 
must be participants in new ways of being that will meet the needs 
of the future. Thank you Marion … Oops, it’s now time for the 
Dodger game. They have a new weird “genius” playing. Let’s see 
if he gets screwed up. 

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





Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 


Joan Schmidt


LaQuetta Shamblee


Pat Birdsall


Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 


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


(This column is in response to the commentary of Greg Welborn on the 
previous page.) 


Greg Welborn, in all of 
your pontificating about 
the Zimmerman trial, 
and the accusations you 
hurdled at the current 
administration, I have to 
ask, did you infuse the 
President's name because 
he is African American 
as well as Mr. Holder? Has it not been the practice 
of every administration since Eisenhower to step 
in when the outcome of a heinous act causes the 
public to be on the brink of civil unrest? 


Were you aware that Trayvon Martin is not on 
trial? Did you forget that this is about the death 
of a teenager, who wasn’t even old enough to join 
the military or vote. A teenager - 16 years and 
21 days old, who was walking home to his Dad’s 
house from the store? Aren't you big on citizen's 
rights? Did Trayvon not have rights? He wasn't 
committing a crime. He didn't have a criminal record. 
Zimmerman knew nothing about him. He 
singled him out because of the color of his skin. 
That’s a fact. And that was the first thing that Zimmerman 
did wrong. 

Your assessment of the facts leading to trial in an 
effort to justify Zimmerman and condemn those 
who abhor his actions, overlook a lot of critical 
information. You have included recite facts that 
are not true. Trayvon Martin, according to the 
coroner’s report, had a trace amount of THC in his 
system (marijuana) and the ingestion of marijuana 
has never been known to make a person combative....
it’s affects are quite the opposite. The amount 
was so minute that Zimmerman’s defense attorney 
who asked that the results be entered into evidence, 
never brought it up to the jury.


 You question why civil rights leaders became involved. 
The reason is because the police should 
have taken Zimmerman into custody on the spot 
as there was a dead human being that he admitted 
shooting. The procedure is take the person into 
custody, question and make a determination as to 
what charges should be filed if any. You seem to 
suggest that it is okay to shot someone and then 
wait for the police, admit that you shot them, and 
then go home. That’s why people (and not just 
minorities) are upset. What the police did was 

 Even if Zimmerman had been a police officer 
that had shot an unarmed teen, that officer would 
have been put on leave immediately until an investigation 
was held. Peace officers are afforded that 
luxury because they are paid to serve and protect. 
Zimmerman had no such authority and should 
not have been allowed to take one step away from 
that crime scene without being in police custody.


Are you advocating that armed citizens are now 
free to walk around and shoot teenagers just because 
of how the teen looks? Are you saying that 
the United States has regressed back to the days 
when blacks could not walk the streets after dark? 
By ignoring the obvious facts in this case it appears 
to me that you are.


And what about two other important facts. One, 
the police told Zimmerman NOT to follow Trayvon 
but he did anyway. Secondly, Zimmerman 
grew up in a household where his father was a 
Magistrate for the Supreme Court of Virginia. 
He grew up under the direction of an officer of 
the court, and it is hard to believe that Zimmerman 
did not clearly understand what he was doing. 
Further, Zimmerman had previous scrapes 
with the law (2005 he was arrested for assaulting 
a police officer which makes Trayvon’s suspension 
from school several times for smoking marijuana 
pale in comparison). So the notion that he was 
afraid of a barely 17 year old boy at age 28 but held 
no such fear when he assaulted a cop at age 20 is 
really a stretch.


 Zimmerman’s actions were absolutely unjustified. 
Even if Trayvon had turned and confronted Zimmerman 
for stalking him, it did not warrant shooting 
that young man to death. And, if as his defense 
team claimed, Zimmerman was afraid, then why 
didn’t he stay in his car? He had already called the 
police and reported Trayvon as suspicious, so why 
stalk and shoot him? 

 Zimmerman wasn’t fearful for his life. How 
could he be? He had the gun. He was acting out 
what he believed to be his civic duty, getting rid 
of ‘them’. Watch his Sean Hammity interview, he 
wasn’t remorseful. At the time he thought his actions 
would be embraced and he would finally be a 
hero. Being a media darling was his goal, as is his 
father’s who has already written a book about the 
shooting before the blood on the sidewalk is dry.


This tragedy is about race but it is also about who 
has access to guns and what authority they feel that 
gives them. If Zimmerman did not have a gun, 
this man who is clearly somewhat mentally unstable, 
may have called the police but he definitely 
would not have shot and killed an innocent, unarmed 


My partner and I raised a foster child in Sierra 
Madre from the time he was 10, when he was cute 
and adorable, to the time he was a 6'2" tall 18 year 
old, when perhaps in some people’s eyes, when he 
wore a hoody he appeared to be a threat. He is 
African American and he lived, worked and played 
in Sierra Madre, a town with less than a 2% African 
American population. He worked in Kersting 
Court and often walked home, in a hoody, at 
night and never was followed or accosted by an 
out of control ‘wanna be’ law enforcement officer. 
He wasn’t harassed by anyone when he walked the 
streets just because he was black and I am certain 
there may have been many people who saw him 
and didn’t know he lived here. When Treavor 
started driving, he was never pulled over by the 
SMPD because he looked suspicious. He drove his 
own car, not one that anyone could associate with 
our household. He had friends in the Canyon, on 
the other side of town, and he enjoyed his life as 
a teen in a community that was safe. And, Sierra 
Madre had and has too many burglaries, some no 
doubt committed by people of all races, but that 
didn't make my son a target. NO ONE, ESPECIALLY 
OR FEARS. And no one should overlook 
the fact that Trayvon was still a child.


 Mr. Welborn, to try to blame President Obama 
for the anger that some harbor over the handling 
of this incident is absolutely outrageous. Are you 
so ashamed of Zimmerman's behavior that you 
feel the need to make excuses for him? 

By the way, just how many burglars do you know 
that walk to their crime scene with an Arizona Iced 
Tea and bag of Skittles. Not exactly burglary tools 
in the thieves handbook. 

The jury hasn’t delivered their verdict but regardless 
of what it is, we need to seriously ask ourselves, 
“Is this what we want our country to become? 
Have we gone back to being judge, jury and executioner 
based upon a person’s ethnicity? Is American 
now a place where someone can take your life 
because they have a gun and want to?”

Is it?

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A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder



All through my life, 
I have been awkward 
when talking 
to someone of the opposite gender. I had 
thought by the time I got to this stage of 
life, post-young, I would have left a lot 
of this behind. Just when I think I have a 
good handle on this situation, something 
happens setting me back at least two 

I was doing fine until I heard a news report 
giving information that the word 
"freshman" was no longer a politically 
correct word to use when speaking of 
college students. They are now referred 
to as "First-Year Students." According to 
this report, the word freshman is offensive 
to women.

How and why it is offensive, they never 
did say but being in a politically correct 
world this word may no longer be used. 
This is where my confusion comes in. 
Where are these individuals offended 
by the word "freshman?" I wish they 
would come and explain to me how this 
word offends them. This word has been 
used for generation after generation and 
this is the first time it is hurting certain 

I brought this to the attention of the Gracious 
Mistress of the Parsonage to see if 
maybe she could shed a little bit of light 
on the situation. Unfortunately, she was 
as much in the dark about this as I was.

I try to keep up with the latest trends and 
I must say that I am around 18 years behind 
my schedule.

So, I am trying to retain a wee bit of sanity 
in this politically correct world around 
me. Frankly, I do not know why anybody 
wants to be politically correct. Being the 
sensitive kind of person that I am, I am 
going to give it the old college try.

I sat down with my wife and we began to 
figure out how that I, a very sensitive and 
politically correct person, could address 
somebody of the opposite gender.

"I guess I can still call them women," 
I said with a degree of certainty in my 

My wife looked at me and slowly shook 
her head. "I'm afraid that the word 
'women,' is offensive to some of these politically 
correct individuals because the 
word ends in 'men,' which is a masculine 

I looked at her and scratched my head 

"It also applies," she continued, "with the 
word 'woman' because it also ends with 
the masculine 'man.'"

I never really gave this much thought before. 
It never occurred to me that the last 
three letters of a word could be offensive 
to someone to the point that they are offended 
by that word.

"So," I said rather thoughtfully rubbing 
my chin, "I will have to begin calling 
those individuals females." I smiled and 
thought I had come up with a solution. 
I looked at my wife to get her approval.

Shaking her head, she said, "That word 
is not acceptable anymore, either. If you 
look at the word, you will find that it 
ends in the word 'male,' and as you know 
that is masculine."

I am really getting bogged down with all 
of this political correctness nonsense. 
How people can be so sensitive to be 
upset by a word. My father used to say, 
"Sticks and stones may break my bones 
(but words will never hurt me)."

"Well," I said in a little bit of desperation, 
"I guess I'll just have to call them lady."

"Not so fast," she said looking at me. 
"How do you spell lady? The first three 
letters spell the word 'lad,' and everybody 
knows a lad is a boy."

It has been a long time since I have been 
this frustrated. For the life of me I do not 
intend to offend anybody if it all possible. 
I am just getting to the point where I am 
not sure it is going to be possible not to 
offend persons of the opposite gender.

I finally came up with the word I thought 
would solve all my political correctness 
dilemma. And I threw it at her. "I will just 
call them a person." I was proud of my 

Someone, no names will be mentioned, 
laughed hysterically at me while shaking 
her head.

"Buster," she said, "you still don't get it, 
do you? The word person ends with the 
word 'son' and everybody knows a son is 
a male child."

I cannot call them women or woman or 
female or lady or person because somewhere 
in those words someone sees 
something masculine.

"I know what I'll do," I said to my wife 
with a smile dancing across my face, 
"whenever I see someone of the opposite 
gender I will shout out loud and clear 
'Hey, you.'"

"I think you're getting worse as you go 
along here," she said. "You do know what 
the word 'hey' begins with?"

I thought for a moment, sadly shaking 
my head, I looked at her and said, "He?"

I will never arrive at any degree of political 
correctness, at least during my lifetime. 
And, I will never understand any 
one of the opposite gender, whatever you 
call them. I do take a little consolation 
in God's Word. "Thy word have I hid in 
mine heart, that I might not sin against 
thee" (Psalm 119:11 KJV).

I do not have to be politically correct 
when I come to God because His Word 
is final.

Mountain Views News

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