Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, August 31, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 11




 Mountain Views News Saturday, August 31, 2013 

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


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder




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



upon the recent tributes 
to Martin Luther 
King, my memory of 
the era is that Martin 
Luther King was 
written about as 
some sort of enemy of the People who 
was causing dissension and was bringing 
the Country to the brink of a Race 
War. I know this is hard to believe but 
on the day Martin Luther King was assassinated 
I managed to get into arguments 
with African-American students 
who considered Martin Luther King to 
be some sort of Uncle Tom who was a 
highly-educated and over-privileged 
elitist and who, therefore, had little relevance 
to the vast majority of struggling 
people on the streets.

 The movie, Lee Daniels The 
Butler, makes a similar point as it displays 
the difference between the older 
Generation of Black People who conformed 
to the roles to which they were 
assigned by the White Power Structure 
while their educated children made 
militant demands upon that power 
structure demanding an end to the 
nation-wide continuation of enforced 
inequality between the Races. In the 
mid 1960’s I was part of a small group 
of UCLA STUDENTS (I was in Law 
School by then) that were flown to Grenada 
Mississippi to work with Martin 
Luther King’s Southern Christian Leadership 
Conference. I am very proud of 
my small part in working with this organization. 
The experience of participating 
in the marches connected to voter 
registration and organizing boycotts of 
local stores that maintained discriminatory 
policies were of course memorable. 
Also memorable was the experience of 
marching past beautiful, wholesome appearing 
Southern Whitegirls who spat 
at me as I passed. I had a beard in those 
days which made me a particularly noticeable 
target not only for spittle but for 
occasional thrown bricks.

 One particular memory involves 
participating in a march along 
the side-walk when a huge and angry 
policeman stood in my way. I was unsure 
what to do and was about to walk 
around the police officer when one of 
the local kids in the march, who looked 
to be about ten years old, somehow got 
my attention and told me just to ignore 
the cop and walk right past him but to 
be sure and stay on the sidewalk. For 
the moment I had forgotten that restraining 
orders were in effect which 
gave marchers the right to parade along 
the sidewalk but who became subject to 
arrest once they walked onto the street 
and potentially impeded traffic.

 This incident made a great impression 
upon me and I spent a great 
deal of my time in Mississippi talking to 
the parents folk were hesitant about letting 
their kids participate in the activities 
any many parents were frightened about 
their kid’s safety if they volunteered to 
attend the newly integrated elementary 
school. I certainly understood their 
fears but I tried my best to present the 
position that these young kids were participating 
in something very important 
that could make the world a better place 
and that individually their children 
might well gain new respect for the importance 
of their own existence. These 
conversations may not have made much 
difference to the parents but they had a 
profound effect upon me. I realized that 
the most important thing to me was to 
do something that I felt to be important.

 Maybe this Mississippi experience 
had something to do with my 
participation, 50 years later, in the 5 
Day Community Emergency Response 
Team Training Program. During the final 
question and answer session I asked 
the instructor what he felt the actual 
purpose of the program to be. He explained 
that the thought behind the program 
was that if people could be taught 
to take care of themselves and their families 
and maybe even a few neighbors it 
would make things easier for everyone 
else because they would not need to be 
taken care of by other people.

 Is participation in these kinds 
of Community Programs a cure for the 
passivity that has overtaken many of 
us. After all we voted to elect Obama, 
isn‘t that enough? Is it better for us to 
imitate the rich just have as much fun 
as we can until the world crashes down 
around us. What I’m saying is that in 
the 60’s it, in retrospect, seemed pretty 
easy to find something important to do. 
It took a little work and it was a little 
scary but it was there. What do we do 

 I want to suggest that the first 
thing we must do is to understand that 
we as individuals are important. It is 
time for us to wake up and look around 
and see if we are proud of the way we 
are living. Our goals should not be to be 
living on a permanent Las Vegas vacation. 
The important thing is to take care 
of ourselves and our families. We need 
to know ourselves and our children. We 
should actually talk to one another and 
learn to cooperate rather than compete. 
It feels pretty good from what I’ve heard. 

For my wife's birthday 
(I am not allowed 
to mention 
which one) I surprised 
her with round trip tickets to her 
family reunion in upper New York State. 
Out of courtesy to her, I elected not to include 
myself in her little vacation. After all, 
it is her family and that is just the kind of 
man I am.

I must say I was looking forward to a week 
in the house by myself, where I could be 
the absolute boss. Nobody to tell me what 
to do. Nobody to tell me where to go. For 
a week, I would be the king of my castle; 
the captain of my ship; the pilot of my 

Actually, I need more than one week to do 
all of these things.

The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage 
deserves time off and away from Yours 
Truly. All year long, she works hard and 
most of the time has her hands full trying 
to untangle me from one foil after another. 
Lately, it has developed into a foil-time job.

The day finally came for me to take her 
to the airport and see her off. As I kissed 
her goodbye, my thoughts roved back to 
the week that lay before me as a freelance 

All the way back from the airport I played 
my Barry Manilow CD. I like Barry Manilow 
because he can't Smile without Me. 
Believe me, a smile creased my clock all 
the way home.

One difference between men and women, 
or maybe I should say husbands and wives, 
is the notion of cleanliness. Wives have the 
idea that cleanliness is next to godliness. 
If true, ours is the godliest house on the 
planet. Even God must wipe his feet before 
coming into our home.

As a man, I see absolutely no connection 
between cleanliness and godliness. I do my 
best thinking, not to mention praying, in 
the midst of clutter. If godliness is related 
to happiness, then I am in heaven when 
I am in the midst of hodgepodge — the 
podgier the better.

Along about Friday afternoon I was absolutely 
in heaven. The house was a complete 
wreck and I could not have been happier. 
About this time, an incident developed 
that brought me to my senses.

I was about ready to take a shower when 
I noticed the soap and shampoo in my 
shower were gone. I knew reserves are 
somewhere in our house but for the life of 
me; I could not put my fingers on any of it. 
This is by my wife's design.

Notwithstanding, and I was standing in 
my birthday suit, I needed to take a shower. 
Then a brilliant idea struck me. Since 
my wife has not been home all week, the 
shampoo and soap in her shower should 
be in great supply. Snatching my towel 
from my shower, I headed for hers.

One thing I noticed in my wife's shower 
was the variety of bottles. Not wearing my 
glasses, I could not read the labels on any 
of them. However, I was not here to read 
bottles, but to take a shower, and so I disregarded 
the labels.

I turned on the shower, adjusted the water 
temperature and began my shower. 
I reached for the nearest bottle, which 
I assumed was shampoo. After dousing 
my hair with a generous portion, I began 
scrubbing my head. I noticed, however, no 
suds. I grabbed another bottle and repeated 
the procedure with the same results.

After using 17 bottles, I finally found one 
that produced suds.

I remember thinking to myself, what does 
my wife do with all these bottles in her 
shower that do not do anything? Nevertheless, 
in a moment I forgot the whole 
incident, stepped out of her shower and 
toweled off.

I made a cup of coffee and settled into my 
easy chair to watch a little television. As 
I sat there, I noticed a strange fragrance. 
This is the difference between men and 
women. A man enjoys strange smells. A 
woman, on the other hand, enjoys fragrant 

I smelled a fragrant aroma with a strong 
tinge of fruit about it. It smelled as if someone 
had brought me a bowl of mixed of 
fruit. I knew for a fact, there was no fruit in 
the house, so this fruity aroma puzzled me.

I got up and walked around the house looking 
for this bowl of fruit. No matter what 
room I was in, I could smell the fruit. It 
was the strangest thing I ever experienced.

Finally, I went back to my easy chair and 
cup of coffee not knowing where these 
fruity fumes were coming from. Some 
mysteries are tough to solve.

Then something hit me right between the 
eyes. The fruity bouquet was coming from 
me! I took several healthy sniffs and discovered 
I smelled like a bowl of fruit. I 
could not understand this phenomenon. 
Then I remember the bottles in my wife's 

I went back to investigate and discovered 
my wife had bottles of fruity concoctions 
of every variety.

A verse from the Bible came to mind. "But 
I have all, and abound: I am full, having 
received of Epaphroditus the things which 
were sent from you, an odour of a sweet 
smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing 
to God." (Philippians 4:18 KJV.)

The only fragrance worth dwelling on is a 
life well pleasing to God.

Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God 
Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He 
lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. 
E-mail His web site is www.

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HOWARD Hays As I See It

GREG Welborn


“We’ve had universal health insurance for all our kids for twenty years. 
They have 22% of their children uninsured in Texas. I don’t want anything 
to do with Texas’ healthcare system in Vermont.”

- Former Gov. Howard Dean (D-VT)

Syria’s use of chemical weapons to wantonly 
kill at least 1,000 innocent, unarmed 
civilians crosses the line demarking 
barbarity which until now has only been the 
domicile of Saddam Hussein and Adolph 
Hitler. No other tyrants, dictators or evil 
souls have flirted with, much less crossed, 
this line. A civilized world cannot allow 
this to continue or go unpunished. The 
necessity of immediate and forceful action 
today against Bashar Assad, and everyone 
else who planned or carried out this crime, 
is irrefutable.

And yet, that is exactly what we seem to 
be witnessing: weak-kneed politicians 
on both sides of the Atlantic dithering 
and desperately scrambling to find some 
justification for inaction in the face of 
butchery. The U.N. will not act because 
Russia continues to protect its Ally, Assad; 
England’s parliament has just today 
voted against a Syria strike; and President 
Obama’s own inner circle (Secretary of 
Defense, Chuck Hegel, being one of many) 
is advocating indecision and delay as a 
substitute for moral courage and principle. 

This was all so avoidable, but now a 
problem which President Obama converted 
to a crisis must be addressed. The years of 
dithering and deference to various “resets” 
with putative allies and overt adversaries 
has not generated goodwill or peace, as the 
left has forever dreamt, and lines drawn 
carelessly in the sand have only produced 

There were, of course, many valid arguments 
for intervening in Syria, just as there were 
against such intervention, but the luxury 
of debate ended when President Obama 
publicly ventured into the debate. Two 
years ago, the President stated to a world 
audience that Assad must go. When Assad 
was allowed to stay in power, the prestige 
and, more importantly, the credibility of 
the U.S. was damaged. When Assad then 
proceeded to cross the red line a year ago 
by using chemical weapons – albeit on a 
significantly smaller scale than this month’s 
episode – Obama’s mettle was tested.

There were, at the time, small doubts 
that perhaps those attacks weren’t really 
chemical or biological in nature. Fine. But 
the administration insisted on inspections 
– a demand which should have been 
respected, had the U.S. possessed the clout, 
or pushed, had the U.S. possessed the will. 
We had neither, and Assad, along with 
every other dictator and tyrant the world 
over, took notice. The direct result has 
been the slaughter of 100,000 Syrians, the 
displacement of 1 million refugees, and 
now the gassing death of thousands more. 
Just as Hitler started small, tested the West’s 
will, and then expanded his actions, so too 
is Bashar Assad. 

This is what the administration, specifically, 
and the left, in general, fail to grasp. There 
in the 
is not an 
option, and for 
whom empty 
threats are not 
They don’t 
desire a negotiated settlement reflecting 
anyone’s definition of a reasonable, fair or 
just outcome. They don’t care about their 
citizenry, world opinion, or invitations to 
Georgetown or Manhattan cocktail parties. 
They seek to conquer and will do so until 
they are stopped.

Compounding this problem is Secretary 
of State Kerry’s remarks Monday where 
he spoke with obvious conviction about 
the “moral obscenity of using chemical 
weapons” and the need to enforce 
“accountability for those who would use the 
world’s most heinous weapons against the 
world’s most vulnerable people”. Make no 
mistake; Kerry was right in his assessment, 
appropriate in his emotions and righteous 
in his demand. But it compounds the 
problem if nothing is done. The more that 
the U.S. condemns as unacceptable that 
which it continues to tolerate, the more our 
credibility and effectiveness suffer, and the 
more dangerous the world becomes.

Perhaps that last statement comes as a 
surprise. How could this situation really 
become significantly more dangerous? 
Despite the obvious fact that without 
reprisal or severe penalty inflicted, Assad 
is liable to use these weapons again and 
more will die, there is the issue of global 
deterrence. The fact that the mad Mullahs 
of Iran are watching and calculating again 
changes the dynamics.

President Obama has stated on numerous 
occasions that the development of an 
Iranian nuclear capability is unacceptable. 
The Israelis have thus far acted with 
restraint, forcing upon themselves a belief 
that the American President can be trusted 
with such matters of principle and life-
and-death. They, too, are watching and 
calculating. If Assad remains in power after 
this blatant violation of clearly delineated 
thresholds, the Iranians will push ahead, 
and the Israelis will be forced to act.

President Obama has created a crisis that 
need only have been a problem. He has one 
last chance at a reset, but it must be done 
correctly. Assad must be dispatched, and 
he must go swiftly and violently. There can 
be no mercy, or there will be none shown 
Israel or us.

About the author: Gregory J. Welborn is a 
freelance writer and has spoken to several civic 
and religious organizations on cultural and 
moral issues. He lives in the Los Angeles area 
with his wife and 3 children and is active in the 
community. He can be reached gregwelborn2@ 

Gov. Dean was commenting 
on the suggestion of 
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) that 
one of the alternatives to 
the Affordable Care Act 
could be allowing consumers 
to buy insurance “across state lines”. This 
means that states with well-regulated systems 
designed to protect the health and pocketbooks 
of their citizens can be opened to infection by 
companies from states where the only concern 
is to make a buck.

 Sen. Cruz is one of those (along with Sens. 
Mike Lee R-UT, Marco Rubio R-FL and Rand 
Paul R-KY) arguing that the threat posed by 
the impending implementation of the ACA is 
so great that a shutdown of the federal government 
would be preferable. Jim DeMint, 
who cashed in his Senate seat for a million-a-
year gig as head of the Heritage Foundation, 
doesn’t take the prospect of a shutdown lightly, 
but adds, “The risk of that is so much less 
than the risk to our country if we implement 

 Another issue facing Congress is, once again, 
raising the debt ceiling to allow us to pay our 
bills. And again, there are threats to renege on 
the full faith and credit of the United States, 
welch on our debts and suffer the higher interest 
rates coming from a dinged credit rating, 
unless the ACA is defunded and prevented 
from going forward.

 Voters are tired of politics played with our nation’s 
economy. A CBO analysis requested by 
House Speaker John Boehner as he embarked 
on his series of votes to repeal the ACA (forty 
so far and counting) found that repeal would 
increase government costs $5.6 billion over the 
next ten years, and increase deficits by $109 
billion. Left in place, the ACA would trim the 
deficit by $210 billion over ten years, and by $1 
trillion in the decade after that.

 Four years ago, Republicans used the ACA as 
an effective campaign tool. Talk of “death panels”, 
“rationing” and “pulling the plug on grandma” 
helped them win a House majority in 2010 
elections. Next year brings another round of 
mid-terms, and in January, implementation of 
remaining major provisions of the ACA. This 
time, however, it looks like they’d best find another 
issue to campaign on.

 The reason it won’t work as an issue is that, 
with roll-out of the statewide “exchange” insurance 
marketplaces only a month away, voters 
already like what they see. Republicans might 
tout a recent CBS News poll showing only 40% 
support for the ACA, but the same poll shows 
that of the remaining 60%, a third are in opposition 
because they feel the ACA doesn’t go 
far enough.

 Fourteen states and D.C. have already announced 
plans and prices that’ll be available 
on their soon-to-open exchanges. In Colorado, 
Deputy Insurance Commissioner Peg 
Brown described “a wide variety of choice and 
healthy competition in the Colorado insurance 
marketplace”. She pointed out that comparison 
with current plans would not be “apples-
to-apples”; under new regulations, rather than 
required details on pre-existing conditions, the 
main factors here are your age, where you live 
and whether you smoke.

 In Montana, State Auditor Monica Lindeen issued 
a statement; “I’m pleasantly surprised by 
these prices and pleased that Montanans who 
have survived cancer and other serious illnesses 
will no longer be denied health insurance 
or priced out of the market . . . Not everything 
about Obamacare is perfect, but these market 
reforms were a long time coming.”

 According to Rebecca Pierce, Executive Director 
of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, 
“Under the new law uninsured residents of the 
state will receive improved access to health coverage, 
necessary preventative care, a more secure 
financial future and peace of mind.”

 Chief Executive Kevin Counihan of Access 
Health CT, Connecticut’s new exchange, says 
lower-than-expected rates show “insurers seem 
somewhat confident that younger, healthier 
people will be entering the marketplace – many 
of them for the first time.”

 New York State already had regulations on the 
books about charging all consumers the same 
rate and prohibiting denials for pre-existing 
conditions. With the ACA’s added mandate 
that all get coverage, the NY Times figures premiums 
for individuals will drop by 50%.

 Those preparing the Cover Oregon exchange 
saw the benefits of an open marketplace early 
on. When they publicly posted submitted rates 
from participating carriers last May, the mere 
fact of seeing their rates up there side-by-side 
with competitors caused at least two carriers to 
come back and re-file with lower rates.

 California is among states reporting lower 
than expected premiums, where 5.6 million 
will be eligible for coverage through the exchanges, 
with 2.6 million of those qualifying 
for federal subsidies.

 As was the case when the ACA was initially 
debated, polling is mixed for the Act itself, but 
shows strong support for its individual components. 
A Kaiser Family Foundation survey 
finds 80% and higher support for providing 
tax credits to help small businesses insure employees, 
closing the Medicare “doughnut hole” 
to lower prescription costs, and setting up 
statewide insurance exchanges – though only 
around half of respondents knew these were all 
components of the ACA. 

 Whatever voters know now, they’ll be learning 
more in the months ahead and will likely have 
had first-hand experience with the ACA by the 
time campaigns heat up next year. For now, 
there’s the example related by Kentucky public 
health worker Reina Diaz-Dempsey, of an 
incident that occurred while she was explaining 
the ACA at a state fair. A man came to her 
booth, and she described to him how he’d likely 
qualify for federal subsidies to purchase insurance 
over Kynect (the Kentucky exchange), 
or perhaps qualify under the state’s expanded 
Medicaid program (also part of the ACA). The 
man was obviously pleased that health coverage 
was in reach (in a state where one in five 
adults are uninsured), and remarked, “This 
beats Obamacare!” 

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