Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, November 9, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page B:4



 Mountain Views News Saturday, November 9, 2013 

TINA Dupuy 

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

Merri Jill Finstrom

Lori Koop

Rev. James Snyder

Tina Paul

Mary Carney

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Greg Welborn

Renee Quenell

Ben Show

Sean Kayden

Jasmine Kelsey Williams



Let's imagine the junior senator from 
Kentucky were a woman. Not just any 
woman — let's call her Randi — but, 
for the sake of this argument, a beautiful 
woman. The "men want to sleep with 
her — women want to be her" echelon 
of physical attractiveness. Everything 
else is identical: self-certified eye doctor, 
first-term senator, and she got the job 
with a boost from her father.

While the Republican Party is taking a 
nosedive in popularity, she says: "Does 
anybody remember Charlie Sheen when 
he was kind of going crazy ... And he 
was going around, jumping around saying 
'Winning, winning, we're winning'? 
Well I kind of feel like that, we are winning. 
And I'm not on any drugs."

People snicker about how dumb she is. 
Twitter erupts into sarcastic hashtags: 
#RandiLulz, #CandywithRandi and 
#RandiLogic. She's considered a ditz -- 
the Senate's reliable airhead. Still, Randi 
gets ratings!

People tune in to her media appearances 
just waiting for her to say something 
stupid. It's like NASCAR—part fandom, 
part hoping for a crash. It's self-perpetuating: 
Because she's shameless and 
not too bright, she becomes fascinating 
at a Real Housewives level. Her profile 
grows, and soon the conventional wisdom 
is that she's very popular. Pundits 
deem her a kingmaker. "People find her 
very compelling," liberal talking heads 
concede. Conservatives say Randi is Everywoman, 
the voice for mothers and 
career women alike. "And look, we're 
talking about her again!" they all agree.

But Randi has a problem with the facts. 
They seem to elude her. She repeatedly 
says we have a trillion-dollar deficit 
when, according to the CBO, it's only 
$378 billion. Plus she mixes up deficit 
and debt when she tries to show off her 
political philosophy. The Beltway press 
diligently points this out with a smirk. 
She's "ambitious"—a word her detractors 
say with a snarl. "But easy on the 
eyes," her supporters counter. The debate 
becomes Pretty vs. Pretty Dumb.

Randi tries to position herself as above 
this fray. "The fact-checking is not fact-
checking. These are people with a bias. 
It's purely an opinion. The stuff is so ludicrous 
I don't even read it," she says of 
her critics.

The headline is: "Randi Admits She 
Doesn't Read!" 
The Internet 
breaks out in a 
rash of mansplaining. 
dubbed Bluegrass 

Then an interview with Businessweek 
comes out. Asked specifically for a 
"nondead" ideal Fed Chairman, Randi 
answers, "Friedman would probably be 
pretty good, too, and he's not an Austrian, 
but he would be better than what we 
have." Milton Friedman died in 2006. 
The next two news cycles are guffawing 
about Madam President's zombie cabinet: 
Paul of the Dead.

"Hacks and haters!" decries Randi.

The media hangs on her every word. 
They use her lack of civics knowledge 
as a peg to write explainers. On Syria, 
Randi says: "I think the failure of the 
Obama Administration has been we 
haven't engaged the Russians enough or 
the Chinese enough on this, and I think 
they were engaged." And because it's the 
Drone Bimbo, we'd have weeks of blog 
posts about Cold War proxy battlefields 
pointing out how Russia is not on the 
same side as the U.S. in Syria.

Randi inspires a genre of columns: Ms. 
Paul said this, what she doesn't understand 
is this.

Next come the serious think pieces asking 
whether Randi Paul is smart enough 
to be president. "Ms. Paul has drive and 
voter appeal but her grasp of basic economic 
and foreign policy issues makes 
even her most ardent supporters pause," 
pundits write. They all entertain the 
idea that sexism plays a role in how the 
media treat her, but solemnly insist that 
doesn't negate her basic lack of competency 
when it came to policy issues.

"If I were their journalism teacher in 
college, I would fail them," Randi says 
in response to being caught plagiarizing 
a couple of speeches, an op-ed and a a 
few pages of her book. She had no credibility 
to lose. She was already a national 
punch line. A meme. A joke. A shiny 
distraction. And now she's also a proven 
plagiarist. She's referred to as "silly." A 
silly airhead.

There's a collective condescending 
chuckle at the thought of a girl like her 
in the Oval Office. Right?

I have no regrets. Oh, 
I’m sorry I wrote that. 
Really, what I mean to 
say is that from my point of view it makes 
little sense to ruminate upon what should 
have been rather than focusing on what 
I want to do next. Still, as I approach 
my seventieth birthday I find myself 
wondering about what else I could have 
done with my life. The other day I had 
this conversation with my wife about her 
activities while she was in Elementary 
School and High School. She told me 
that she and many of her Catholic School 
friends regularly visited old age homes 
and homeless shelters for the hopeful 
purpose of bringing some light into 
people’s lives.

 My wife related this in a very 
matter of fact kind of way. I told her that 
this was certainly not my experience. 
As a Jewish Kid growing up in Chicago 
who then moved to the San Fernando 
Valley in about the seventh grade I had 
never heard of such a thing. What all 
my friends were about, at least what I 
was about, was always trying to be the 
smartest kid in the class. It would be 
okay to become a Nobel Prize Winner 
and save the world by curing cancer or 
something that sounded noble; but the 
real important thing was to become 
somebody who was rich and important 
and made their mother proud. In a 
way I guess I viewed the world as just a 
background for my accomplishments 
whatever they might turn out to be.

 Yes, I know that this all sounds 
very narcissistic and selfish and narrow 
but that does not mean that it is not 
accurate. Maybe the differences between 
my wife and I are not best explained by 
the difference between our religions. It is 
true that her mother to this day remains a 
regular church-going Catholic while my 
mother, as far as I know, never entered 
a Temple except to attend someone’s 
Bar Mitzvah or perhaps a wedding. I 
remember not being allowed to attend 
School on Rosh Hashanah and Yom 
Kippur but we never attended services. 
I think the only reason that I wasn’t 
allowed to go to School on the Holidays 
was to demonstrate to all the Christians 
that I was different from them and played 
by different rules even though I didn’t 
know what these rules were.

 I think there were many Jewish 
kids like me who received little or no 
training in the religion but still wore 
their Jewish identity as a kind of badge 
of honor. As a part of class enrollment 
in Chicago it was necessary to fill out 
forms that had spaces for Nationality and 
Religion. I remember going home and 
asking my mother what I was supposed 
to write and she explained that I should 
answer both questions as Jewish. I tried 
to get her to explain what this meant and 
as best as I can remember she said that 
our religion was Jewish because we were 
born that way and that it had nothing 
to do with whether or not we went to 
Temple or ate ham. Specifically we did 
not go to Temple but also we did not eat 
ham or pork although we loved bacon, 
lettuce, and tomato sandwiches. I never 
understood that but I think many other 
Jewish families followed these same 
rules. As to the nationality business 
she said that the answer was still Jewish. 
Jews were not defined by the country in 
which they temporarily resided. That 
country might well begin to export their 
Jews or to murder them. After all Hitler 
had only recently been defeated. 

 It’s a complicated thing. It’s like 
we felt ourselves to be above the rules 
of the religion but still felt identified by 
it. As long as I can remember f I never 
believed that human beings could talk 
to invisible non-existent Gods. I never 
believed in Heaven or Hell or the Word 
of God business. .

 All I am doing in this article 
is attempting to be truthful and trying 
to explain my confusion as to the path 
of my own life and maybe part of this 
confusion is integral to my own Jewish 
experience. I am still confused as to what 
it means to be a good man. The only 
answer I have found is that it is important 
to live within that question and to strive 
by my own actions and thoughts to live 
each moment, each ordinary moment as 
the best person I can be. Yes I am still 
so vain as to believe that even my own 
thoughts and attitudes are an important 
component of the world. I know this 
may make little sense but in my seventy 
years of thinking and living it’s still the 
closest I can come to answering the 
question. Maybe I’ll know more after the 

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For some inexplicable 
reason, the Gracious 
Mistress of the 
Parsonage is under the impression that my 
favorite hobby is flying kites. I have no idea where 
she got that notion. Last Thursday, for example, 
she said to me in one of her sterner voices, “Why 
don’t you just go and fly a kite?”

 The joke, of course, is on her. Ha! That is not 
my hobby and I have not flown a kite since I was 
nine years old, when my mother made the same 
request. Who does she think I am? Benjamin 
Franklin? If she actually knew what my hobby 
was, I wonder if she would be so anxious for me 
to indulge. Some secrets are worth keeping.

 Two things guide me in my pursuit of life.

 I never fool around with fate and I never 
second-guess the Gracious Mistress of the 

 She suggested on Friday evening that we go 
out for supper. When younger I would have tried 
to figure out if she was up to something or if I 
was in some trouble, but not anymore. One of the 
great advantages of growing older is shedding the 
necessity of trying to figure everything out.

 Life has been much easier since I have 
started to live in the moment. So much in life 
is unexplainable that I have stopped wasting 
my time trying to explain it. Moreover, the 
greatest thing is, I am not under any pressure to 
understand everything or figure anything out, 
especially when it comes to the female side of 
the matrimonial equation. Let the mystery of 
romance do its thing.

 Just one thing, in spite of everything, still 
bothers me. I know it may be a minor matter to 
most people, but for me it is important. Do I have 
to pray for everything?

 On Friday, my wife and I made our way to our 
favorite restaurant and to our great delight, our 
favorite waitress was on duty and we requested 
her table. Stay with a sure thing, I always say.

 After our first cup of coffee, we were ready 
to contemplate our order. It is not good to order 
your meal right away; get settled in your seat, 
have a good cup of coffee and then decide on 
the meal for the evening. I chose the delicious 
meatloaf dinner while my “better half” ordered 
the pot roast. Both came with what our waitress 
called a vegetable medley.

 Let it be known that a “vegetable medley” was 
not harmonious with my primeval appetite. With 
an air of masculine sophistication, I ordered 
the vegetable of the day. It was too lovely of an 
evening to get hung up on such small matters. 
After all, I was unwinding and did not need to 
put my little gray cells in high gear. Taking our 
order, our waitress disappeared into the kitchen 
while we sat back to enjoy each other’s society 
while our meal was being prepared. Luxury, in 
my book, is where you find it.

 After a busy week in the church, it is always 

beneficial to settle back and relax. Nothing is 
more important than getting balance in life and 
keeping it.

 Before we knew it, the waitress brought our 
meals and set them before us. Much to my 
surprise, the vegetable of the day was broccoli. 
The waitress quickly disappeared amidst some 
unsuccessful muffled giggling from across the 
table. Gaining some measure of composure, my 
wife requested I offer the prayer for the meal.

 My question: does God really expect me to 
pray for broccoli?

 I was reminded of an incident with my good 
friend and spiritual mentor, the Rev. Frank 
Simmons. After a Sunday morning service, a 
woman approached Frank with a simple request.

 “Oh, Brother Simmons,” she said in a dramatic 
fashion that always irritated Frank, “would you 
pray that my daughter gets married?”

 Without giving her request any thought, he 
replied in the negative. The thing I always liked 
about good ole Brother Simmons was that he was 
always Frank.

 “Why won’t you pray for my daughter,” 
demanded the woman.

 “Well,” Frank said, “tell me something. Does 
she have any special friend? Is she dating?”

 Frank later told me that many people want 
God to do everything for them. “There is plenty 
for us to do,” he said with a mischievous grin.

 Of course, Frank firmly believed in prayer 
but he also believed people have personal 
responsibility in their lives. So many blame God 
for the bad in their life. Then when they get in 
trouble, they want God to bail them out. One 
of Frank’s favorite sayings was, “Many folk sow 
their wild oats Saturday night and then Sunday 
morning pray for crop failure.”

 Some things should not be a matter of prayer 
but of simple obedience. Prayer is no substitute 
for action. In fact, in some cases it is not in order 
to pray. For example, it is wrong to pray about 
anything clearly forbidden in the Bible. I do not 
have to pray about hating somebody. It is always 
wrong to hate and no amount of prayer could 
ever change that fact.

 The apostle James set this forth rather clearly 
in his epistle. “Confess your faults one to another, 
and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. 
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man 
availeth much” (James 5:16 KJV).

 No prayer is worth praying if it is prayed 
outside of that righteous zone.

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. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or 
e-mail His web site is


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder

RICH Johnson 


 Our resident Sierra Madre pig, Neil, 
has become somewhat of an activist for 
porcine (pertaining to swine) causes. 
Apparently, knowing he is secure in his 
home, he has had internet installed in his small studio home. 
And he combs the airwaves for news of the plight of other 
pigs ravaged by municipal bigotry. 

 And municipal bigotry has struck again, right here in 
Southern California. Now one might think a city, actually 
named after an animal, would have an animal friendly 
sentiment. Not so down in “Seal Beach”. Just this week they 
adopted an anti-pig law, adding pigs to their list of illegal 
animals. That list includes hogs, mules, cows, horses and 
goats. And get this: Regardless of size, kind, or sex. We’ll 
get back to you on whether Neil is organizing a expedition 
to Seal Beach. I’m sure he will have his people contact your 
people. Stay tuned to future developments.

 I asked Neil what future projects, if any, he may lend 
his newfound celebrity to. He responded he would like to 
correct the inequity that exists between two classic porcine 
films. He went on to say everyone knows and loves the 1995 
film “Babe”. It scored an incredible 97% rating on the Rotten 
Tomatoes film review website. But why, oh why, demands 
Neil, does the other classic pig film made the very same year, 
“Gordy” only rate a measley 14% on Rotten Tomatoes? He 
thinks it’s a travesty! Why, he says “Babe” even got a sequel, 
“Babe: Pig in the City”. Look for future press on this issue.

 By the way, Neil is organizing an official fan club. And Neil 
does have a Christmas list if you would like to become his 
BFF (best friend forever). He told me he was hoping for a few 
Christmas gifts from his BFF’s and that he has a list (these 
are actual items). First on his list? The “Miss Piggy 1983 
Calendar”. It’s available on Ebay for about $29.00. If that’s a 
bit pricey for you the 1980 and 1981 calendars go for $19.95 
each. Neil also asked for a “Pet Pig Busy Ball (PPBB)”. The 
ball has little holes in it. You pour small pig treats in the ball 
and when he rolls the ball around food falls out of the small 
holes. (I’d like one of these.) The ball retails for only $24.95 
and has a 9.5 inch diameter. Finally, he whispered to me very 
quietly that he would like some PetPig Piggy Lax. Neil told 
me a constipated pig is an aggressive pig. A “regular” pig is 
much more friendly. Piggy Lax is good for Neil. It’s high in 
fiber, vitamins and minerals. And a 5 lb. bag is only $13.95.

 Be sure to check out the Barry, Rich and Lisa internet radio 
show. You can access it on It is also up on (Photo courtesy.....Neil!)


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