Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, March 29, 2014

MVNews this week:  Page 17

Mountain Views News Saturday, March 29, 2014 
Susan Henderson 
Dean Lee 
Joan Schmidt 
LaQuetta Shamblee 
Pat Birdsall 
Patricia Colonello 
John Aveny 
Chris Leclerc 
Bob Eklund 
Howard HaysPaul CarpenterStuart Tolchin 
Kim Clymer-KelleyChristopher NyergesPeter Dills 
Hail Hamilton 
Rich Johnson 
Merri Jill Finstrom 
Lori KoopRev. James SnyderTina Paul 
Mary CarneyKatie HopkinsDeanne Davis 
Despina ArouzmanGreg WelbornRenee Quenell 
Ben Show 
Sean KaydenMarc Garlett 
Mountain Views News 
has been adjudicated asa newspaper of GeneralCirculation for the County 
of Los Angeles in CourtCase number GS004724: 
for the City of SierraMadre; in Court Case 
GS005940 and for the 
City of Monrovia in CourtCase No. GS006989 and 
is published every Saturday 
at 55 W. Sierra MadreBlvd., No. 302, Sierra 
Madre, California, 91024. 
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reserved. All submissions 
to this newspaper becomethe property of the Mountain 
Views News and maybe published in part or 
Opinions and viewsexpressed by the writersprinted in this paper donot necessarily expressthe views and opinionsof the publisher or staffof the Mountain Views 
Mountain Views News is 
wholly owned by GraceLorraine Publications, 
Inc. and reserves the rightto refuse publication ofadvertisements and other 
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Letters to the editor and 
correspondence should 
be sent to: 
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Phone: 626-355-2737 
Fax: 626-609-3285 
A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder 
Predator Vs. Alien was one of 
those movies that only the diehards 
really could appreciate. I don’t know 
if it’s become a cult classic, but in the 
entertainment world, that’s where 
it’s stuck. In the real world, we have 
our own version of the movie: Putin 
Vs. Obama. No chance that this will 
become the focus of just a small cultish 
minority; the fact that it’s being played 
out on the world stage (still!!) means 
we all have to watch yet another 
installment of this movie franchise. 
In response to Putin’s response to 
Obama’s response to Putin’s response 
to… you get the idea, President Obama 
just couldn’t let the dead horse of his 
foreign policy and world view die in 
peace. He had to beat that poor old nag 
one more time. He rose to the occasion 
at the G-7 conference to instruct us 
that, “The United States does not view 
Europe as a battleground between East 
and West, nor do we see the situation 
in Ukraine as a zero-sum game. That’s 
the kind of thinking that should have 
ended with the cold war.” For those 
with a good memory, these comments 
echo Obama’s UN speech several years 
ago in which he told us, “no one nation 
can or should try to dominate another 
That’s the alien speaking. Alien, not 
in his appearance or origin (I’m not 
one of the “birthers” still questioning 
where Barack was born), but alien in 
his total ignorance of how the world 
really works and the true nature of 
human kind. Intellectual and moral 
aliens react to international relations, 
crises and confrontations as they think 
the world “should” be, rather than as 
the world really is. 
This is the realm of liberal ignorance 
and arrogance. They do not really 
know human nature, but they don’t 
care. Because they want human 
nature to be a certain way, they simply 
assume – or command – that it be 
the way they want it, and then move 
forward with policy prescriptions that 
appear eminently logical to nobody 
but them. Once they’ve granted the 
assumption – no matter how out of 
touch it is – their logic compels them 
to absurd conclusions. 
Certainly, the way liberals see the 
word is unique from how predators see 
it, and Putin is a predator. This doesn’t 
make Putin unique, by the way. The 
world is full of predators and full of 
people who are rightfully wary of them. 
Most of Eastern Europe understands 
the ways of the predator, since they’ve 
lived in proximity to, and suffered 
under the many periodic spasms of, 
various Russian predators. Eastern 
Europe has been, and continues to be, 
Russia. No speech 
or pronouncementfrom the White 
House or The 
Hague will change 
President Obama 
was unaware of Putin’s escalation 
of his territorial claims, believing 
that Putin had been thwarted by 
earlier comparisons to 19th Century 
plutocrats. In a speech last week, Putin 
went beyond the claims of Russian 
kinship with Crimea and leveled some 
historical contempt on those early 
Russian communists who “added 
large sections of the historical south 
of Russia to the Republic of Ukraine”. 
Putin no longer simply begrudges 
the Ukraine its Crimean territory; he 
begrudges Ukraine its independent 
Obama’s response was to get pissy and 
further rile Putin with the accusation 
of leading “nothing but a regional 
power” - once again demonstrating 
just how alien an understanding 
of human nature is to him. Does 
Obama believe such a comment will 
force Putin to cower, to rethink his 
predatory actions of the last several 
weeks? Most of us – whether educated 
at Harvard or lacking a high school 
degree – understand human nature 
enough to realize how fool hearty such 
bluster is. 
President Obama and most of those 
with leftward tilts in their world view 
want human nature to be different 
than it is, want the world to be different 
than it is, and want America to be able 
to act differently than it has to. They 
are blind to reality. 
The reality of human and foreign 
affairs alike is that someone has to 
enforce a world order of some sort. 
Liberals seek unity and peace between 
predators and prey, putting their 
hope into the thoroughly corrupt 
U.N. Conservatives understand that 
The U.S. must enforce a peaceful 
world order for the alternative is 
a world devoured bite by bite by 
predators. Furthermore, the existence 
of predators is not an alien concept 
to Conservatives because it’s been 
the norm of human history from the 
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 
“A conspiracy is nothing 
but a secret agreement of 
a number of men for the 
pursuance of policies which 
they dare not admit in public” 
- Mark Twain 
I wrote two weeks ago 
on the new “Cosmos” series 
with Neil deGrasse Tyson; a 
welcome antidote to the trend 
of treating science as “belief ”, 
and faith- (or media-) based 
belief as a legitimate “other side” to a “debate”. 
The trend encourages simply accepting what 
we’re told, avoiding consideration of facts, and 
going with whatever conspiracy theory we find 
most engaging. 
I’ve used examples of policymakers 
dismissing global warming as a “hoax”, and 
the characterization of minimum wage and 
overtime laws as “job-killers” – while facts 
show otherwise. What’s most troubling is how 
this dismissal of science in favor of “belief ” in 
imagined conspiracies affects our health. 
A report this month from the University of 
Chicago shows that nearly half of us believe 
some medical conspiracy theory – unsupported 
by science. One-in-five believes cellphones are 
linked to cancer, with an additional 40% not sure 
whether the government is involved in covering 
it up. 12% believe the Ford and Rockefeller 
Foundations are involved with Monsanto in 
“Agenda 21” – using genetically modified foods 
for population control. 46% aren’t sure either 
Another 12% (or are they the same folks?) 
believe the CIA intentionally infected African 
Americans with the HIV virus under the guise 
of hepatitis inoculations. 37% think it may have 
One-in-five believes the government and 
medical community are conspiring to hide the 
link between childhood vaccines and autism. 
36% aren’t sure. 
Researchers found that those buying into these 
conspiracies are more likely to eat organic foods. 
They are less likely to get annual check-ups, use 
sunscreen, see the dentist or get a flu shot. 
Those likely to give Jenny McCarthy credence 
over the medical community are more likely to 
endanger their own kids and others by forgoing 
vaccinations, contributing to outbreaks of 
diseases that, thanks to science, had hardly been 
seen over the past twenty years. 
The Centers for Disease Control reports the 
131 cases of measles in the U.S. in 2008, double 
the national average over previous years, was 
“largely among school-age children who were 
eligible for vaccinations but whose parents chose 
not to have them vaccinated.” The Journal of 
the AMA says unvaccinated kids are 35 times 
more likely to contract the disease. The largest 
outbreak so far this year has been among 58 
unvaccinated members of an Orthodox Jewish 
community in Brooklyn. 
The CDC says more cases of pertussis 
(whooping cough) were reported in 2012 than in 
any year since 1955. A 2010 California epidemic 
led to the hospitalization of 455 infants, with 10 
The AMA Journal reports that incidence of 
the disease is twice as high in states that make 
it easier for parents to get exemptions from 
vaccination requirements for their kids, because 
of religion or “personal belief ”. 
(In the meantime, scientists are finding real 
links between autism and air pollution and other 
environmental toxins.)
Court this past week, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, 
throws the question of allowing beliefs to guide 
healthcare decisions in an ominous direction. 
It’s not about a patient’s beliefs determining 
treatment, but rather, if she’s a woman, having 
those determinations made according to the 
faith and beliefs of her employer. 
Initial arguments seemed straightforward; 
imaginings of a Jehovah’s Witness employer 
who objects to providing coverage for blood 
transfusions on religious grounds, Scientologists 
objecting to psychiatric care, not to mention 
Christian Scientists objecting to most 
everything. It was pointed out that no employer 
is required to provide health coverage, anyway. 
Employers could instead pay an additional tax, 
and employees could find insurance options for 
themselves on their state exchanges.
Then, Justice Anthony Kennedy threw in 
another bizarre consideration: What about 
abortion? It’s true; abortion coverage is banned 
under the Affordable Care Act, but this case is 
about contraception – specifically “emergency”, 
Plan B, “morning-after” and IUD contraception 
– that prevents ovulation, and doesn’t go after 
fertilized eggs. 
According to the faith and beliefs of the Hobby 
Lobby owners, however, life begins at conception. 
The scientific and medical communities might 
call these procedures contraception but, if 
only according to the faith and beliefs of these 
particular employers, it’s abortion – and that’s 
banned under the ACA. 
The decision is expected sometime in June. 
The real “conspiracy” behind this matter, 
however, has little to do with faith or healthcare 
The establishment of corporate “personhood” 
has been pursued by our oligarchs for over a 
hundred years. In the early 1800s, corporate 
books were open to the public. By mid-century, 
outside access to accounting records was 
limited to the Secretary of State in the state of 
incorporation. By early in the next century, even 
this was closed off – by asserting a corporation’s 
“constitutional” right to protection against 
“unreasonable search and seizure”, the same 
right as a person’s. 
In the 1970s, courts heard more claims of 
a corporation’s “freedom of speech” as applied 
to misleading ads, objections to labeling 
requirements, media consolidation, etc. (Dow 
Chemical lost in the 1980s, however, when the 
court ruled the EPA inspectors flying over its 
chemical plant didn’t violate a “right to privacy”).
Corporations have fought to appropriate for 
themselves rights established by the Founding 
Fathers for the benefit of We the People. Their 
biggest victory came a few years ago with the 
“Citizens United” decision, bestowing First 
Amendment blessings on corporations seeking 
to buy our elections for corporate interests. 
The conspiracy here is to further two 
fundamental goals: hobbling the Affordable 
Care Act and further establishing corporate 
“personhood” – this time by asserting 
corporations are entitled to their own religious 
The identities of conspirators filing rafts of 
amicus briefs with the court are no secret - from 
the Koch Brothers and their front groups on 
This has nothing to do with religious 
conviction or women’s health, but since the true 
goals are those they “dare not admit in public”, 
they’ll continue pretending it does. 
Within the confines 
of our blissful 
domicile, an ongoing 
controversy has all 
but come to an end. I 
like it when things are 
solved and I happen to be right. This time 
I was right. After all, if it is on TV it must 
be right! 
Controversies are not really that bad unless 
somebody is a sore loser. Nobody likes a 
whiner or a sore loser. Of course, I have 
come close many times to be a sore loser. 
Fortunately, I have chosen to be just a loser. 
It makes for quietness in the home, if you 
know what I mean. 
For as long as the Gracious Mistress of 
the Parsonage and Yours Truly have been 
married the one reoc-curring controversy 
is in the state of chocolate in our home. 
According to one side, chocolate is bad and 
shall not be brought into this house. 
The other side, and I am not stating exactly 
which side I am on, says the chocolate is 
delightful and wonderful and should be a 
regular consumption item in the house. 
No matter how eloquently I presented my 
case, the house rules were simply this; no 
chocolate in our mansion. 
This has caused me a great deal of pain in 
trying to smuggle in the delicacy without 
getting caught. Ap-parently, someone in 
our house can smell chocolate 13 blocks 
down the street. 
I tried some experimental strategy in this 
area. On my wife's birthday, I would always 
get her a chocolate cake with chocolate 
icing and then have 13 candles on it. For 
several years, all she could focus on were 
the 13 candles. I love it when a plan comes 
Finally, she caught on and that plan had to 
be trashed. 
One of the busiest times around the 
parsonage is Thanksgiving. All of the 
family in the area comes in for a delicious 
dinner as well as several friends who have 
nowhere else to go. On these occasions, I go 
out of my way and order a large chocolate 
cake with chocolate icing with a miniature 
turkey on the top. Eve-rybody is focused on 
that miniature turkey. 
After a few years someone in the house 
caught on to my plan, kept the turkey, 
but threw out everything underneath thatturkey. As she was doing so, she looked at 
me with one of those looks. 
Back to the drawing board again. 
I did have some reprieve when the 
grandchildren were visiting. Everybodyknows grandchildren love chocolate and 
need chocolate to boost their energy level. 
For some reason, Grandma knew exactly 
when the children had consumed chocolate 
of any amount. 
"You do not have chocolate," grandma 
would scowl at the grandchildren, "do 
As all good grandchildren do, they looked 
at grandma with chocolate all over their 
phase and said as cute as possible, "Oh, 
no grandma." It took a lot of practice for 
me to get them to that point of thespian 
excellence. I usually awarded them with 
another piece of chocolate, of course 
behind grandma's back. 
I cannot tell all of the pain and agony I 
have gone through in this area of chocolate. 
Then, some medical research geek solved 
all of my problems in this area of chocolate. 
According to some medical research, there 
is something in dark chocolate that is 
beneficial to our health. I do not know the 
details, but that is all I needed to know to 
bring my case to our home. 
I knew I had to present this in a manner 
that would be irresistible to my wife. She 
is big on healthy eating. Every time we eat 
there is so much green on my plate that I am 
not sure if I am eating grass or what! She 
calls them vegetables; I have other names 
for them, which cannot be published. 
I knew I had to make the initial presentation 
a great presentation. Chocolate just wouldnot do and I needed to come up with some 
kind of medical name. Then it suddenly 
struck me. I knew exactly how I could 
present it. 
I purchased some special chocolate, dark 
chocolate that is, to bring home and 
make the presentation. As soon as I got 
into the house, the question reverberated 
throughout the halls. 
"You do not have chocolate, do you?" 
It was the question I was waiting for. I have 
heard this question for as long as we have 
been married. I never knew quite how to 
deal with that question, until now. 
"No, my dear," I said parsing my words 
very carefully, "this is Medical Chocolate." 
I presented it to her with the biggest smile I 
could slap on my face. 
Before she could respond to that 
presentation, I began explaining to her 
all of the medical and health benefits to 
chocolate. I quoted the doctor who claimed 
chocolate had some mysterious and 
wonderful medicinal properties unnoticed 
before now. 
It is hard to argue with a doctor even one on 
TV. Before she could respond, I presented 
her with a piece of this ravishingly delicious 
dark chocolate. 
I was rather proud of myself and I was 
reminded of what old King Solomon said 
in the Old Testament. "Where the word of 
a king is, there is power: and who may say 
unto him, What doest thou?" (Ecclesias-tes 
Not every word is good and trustworthy; 
but every word of God can be trusted and 
has the power to lift me up into the heavens 
and delightful worship and praise. 
Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family 
of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, 
FL 34483. E-mail 
For a person 
like myself 
who was 
reared in a 
very large 
city, life in a 
small town is 
really quite 
w o n d e r f u l . 
That is, until 
except at 
election time when you happen to be the 
editor of the local newspaper! 
Elections in this Sierra Madre remind me 
of the challenge of choosing which friends 
will be on your dodge ball team as a child. 
No matter who you choose, someone is 
going to be unhappy, and so it is with the 
endorsements of the Mountain Views News 
for this April 8th City Council election. 
Earlier this week I announced via social 
media that the paper endorsed Candidates 
Gene Goss, Noah Green and Rachelle 
Arizmendi for the 3 vacant council seats. 
This was done after careful consideration of 
their backgrounds, stated positions during 
the campaign and their demonstrated 
commitment to the City of Sierra Madre. 
After all, this election isn’t about any one 
individual, it’s about the future of our town. 
I want to say however, that I applaud all 
four candidates for having the courage to step 
forward. Because of the amount of public 
scrutiny, vitriol and mean-spiritedness 
that comes along with praise and support, 
stepping up to the plate takes a lot of courage. 
The endorsement of the Mountain Views 
News is not solely dependent upon my 
assessment of the candidates, but also 
the influence of others in Sierra Madre. 
Ultimately, the decision is based primarily 
on what we feel is best for the City of Sierra 
The decision is also a reflection of who 
we feel will put the needs and concerns of 
the residents of Sierra Madre first. Those 
endorsed appear to have the commitment 
to work together as part of a team that 
represents the entire city, not just a circle of 
GENE GOSS, whom I have known 
personally through his involvement in 
community activities around town, says it 
best on his website, “Sierra Madreans expect 
that the City Government’s budget should be 
managed like their own budgets—responsible, 
transparent and efficient. As we work to 
preserve essential city services, especially 
public safety and water, I intend to watch every 
penny of our tax dollars with the utmost fiscal 
responsibility. He gets it! He is a man with 
strong convictions, has extensive knowledgeof American governance through his 
professional career, and knows the difference 
between ‘theory’ and ‘practice’. He is vested 
in this community and will put keeping our 
independent village’s character first. 
NOAH GREEN, about whom I’ve heard 
some criticism, is a competent young 
attorney who has lived in Sierra Madre for 
just a few years. Many think it is too soon 
for him to run for counsel. However, in 
that short time Noah has become involved 
in numerous activities, demonstrating his 
understanding of one of the things that keeps 
this town vibrant, volunteerism! It is one 
thing to always complain about what should 
be done … and quite another to be willing to 
do something. 
Noah has been active on both the Creative 
Arts and Chamber of Commerce boards, 
served on the Utility Users Tax Oversight 
Committee and is always looking for ways 
to enhance the profile of the city without 
compromising Sierra Madre’s village 
character. He has articulated specifics during 
his campaign that indicate his ability to 
come up with solutions rather than sound 
bites, including a focus on reducing the city’s 
expenditures on legal fees. 
Green is a strong person, having persevered 
a gruesome attack on his personal life by 
an invader of his wife’s Facebook page. 
Clearly Noah is seen as a strong leader for 
our community or there wouldn’t have been 
such an effort by ‘the blog’ to distract us from 
talking about what he has to offer 
As a member of Sierra Madre’s City Council, 
he will use that same strength to stand up for 
what is in the best interest of the community. 
I have no doubt that he will use his 
professional background and commitment 
to the city to work with the ‘team’ that sets 
the policies for our future. He’s also smart, 
and well qualified. Should we care if he 
sunbathes in a hammock? No! Should we 
care whether or not he will put Sierra Madre 
first, absolutely! 
strong professional candidate who 
understands the need to be involved. As a 
member of the town’s Community Services 
Commission, she has made independent 
decisions based what she believed was in the 
best interest of the city. Her campaign has 
been characterized as having been influenced 
by outside funding, but as it turns out, she has 
personally invested into her quest to sit on the 
town’s council. Why? Well, as she mentioned 
in her response to the Mountain Views News 
editorial questions, “I am running for City 
Council to help maintain and enhance the 
quality of life in our neighborhoods.” Like the 
other two candidates, she shares a concern 
for how the city manages development issues. 
Although she is not a supporter of Measure 
UUT, she has committed to supporting the 
measure if it passes. She will also be a good 
member of the city’s leadership team. 
All in all, the question is, who will be 
committed to putting the needs of all Sierra 
Madreans first? Who will stand up for what 
they believe is the right thing to do? Who 
will not pander to special interests? Who 
will represent you and your neighbor’s best 
interest? T 
he evidence provided during this campaign 
leads me to believe the answer is clear, 
SUSAN Henderson WH0’S BEST 
Mountain Views News 
Mission Statement 
The traditions of 
community newspapers 
and the 
concerns of our readers 
are this newspaper’s 
top priorities. We 
support a prosperouscommunity of well-
informed citizens. 
We hold in highregard the values 
of the exceptionalquality of life in our 
community, includingthe magnificence of 
our natural resources. 
Integrity will be our 
the battleground between the West and The matter argued before the Supreme 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: