Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, July 26, 2014

MVNews this week:  Page B:4



Mountain Views-News Saturday, July 26, 2014 





Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 


Joan Schmidt


LaQuetta Shamblee


Pat Birdsall


Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 


Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

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

Marc Garlett


GREG Welborn

HOWARD Hays As I See It


“There are two kinds 
of people in the world; 
those who divide 
people into two kinds, 
and those who don’t.” 

 - Robert Benchley 

 I like to think I 
treat everyone as an 
individual, but with 
last week’s events, I’ll state flat-out there 
are good people and bad people. I have 
a simple rule: those who harm people are 
the bad ones – especially if they harm 

 The Times last week reported on 
students from Carlsbad High School 
who’d put together a documentary 
promoting childhood vaccinations. 
They weren’t prepared, though, for 
the vilification coming from the anti-
vaccination crowd once the subject of 
their film got out. A PTA screening was 
cancelled when it threatened to become a 
lightning rod for pumped-up activists. 

 I don’t question the sincerity of those 
choosing internet gossip over science. 
But with outbreaks of whooping cough 
and measles in places like neighboring 
Orange County, where parents are 
opting-out of routine vaccinations, kids 
are being harmed - and sincerity doesn’t 
let you off the hook. 

 A three-judge panel from the D.C. 
Circuit decided in favor of Halbig in 
Halbig v. Burrell. I figured Burrell was 
our HHS Sec. Sylvia Burrell, but had 
to dig to find that Jacqueline Halbig 
is a former lobbyist for the Christian 
Coalition and “faith-based” advisor in 
the Bush Administration who’s since 
established her own corporate lobbying 
and consulting firm. 

 In the suit, she was joined by business 
groups and attorneys general from states 
that have refused to go along with the 
Affordable Care Act. 

 Halbig contended that language in the 
ACA providing subsidies to those buying 
insurance through “state” exchanges 
implied that subsidies shouldn’t be 
available to residents of states where they 
had to go through the federal exchange. 

 The purpose of the action wasn’t to 
clarify language, but to kill the ACA 
– doggedly pursuing the goal after 
fifty failed attempts in the House and a 
Supreme Court decision that didn’t go 
their way. Politically, those behind it, 
along with leaders of states that rejected 
the ACA, hope to stick it to the president. 

 They didn’t succeed with the 
propaganda war; enrollments are up 
(including for younger, healthier folks) 
with the number of uninsured Americans 
dropping to the lowest on record, 
premiums holding steady and overall 
healthcare costs down in the first quarter 
of 2014 from the previous quarter. 
According to the Commonwealth Fund, 
74% of Republicans are happy with their 
new plans under the ACA. 

 In states that expanded Medicaid 
under the ACA, the rate of uninsured 
among the poor dropped from 28% to 
17%. In states that refused to cooperate, 
it remains at around 36%. According to 
an MIT economist, should this week’s 
initial ruling hold, 6.5 million Americans 
could lose their insurance. The cheapest 
available plan could cost a quarter of a 
person’s income in states without their 
own exchanges. 

 Chances are, this isn’t going anywhere. 
A three-judge panel from a Virginia court 
unanimously ruled it’s not the judge’s job 
to interpret language in the law. 

 I don’t begrudge operatives making 
a buck off corporate clients or serving 
party honchos strategizing the next 
election. But as to those able to do so 
with no consideration of the potential 
harm to millions of Americans – families 
and kids – from losing health coverage, 
these aren’t good people. 

 In the Middle East, there are clearly 
good people and bad people. There 
are Israelis and Palestinians who strive 
for peace, self-determination and the 
well-being of all. There are Israelis and 
Palestinians who seek to stifle prospects 
for peace and promote unending conflict. 

 With both Israeli Prime Minister 
Netanyahu and President Abbas of 
the Palestinian Authority, I get the 
impression of a Speaker John Boehner 
(R-OH); not adverse to making progress, 
but stymied by, and unwilling to stand up 
to, a small minority of hot-headed tea-
baggers in the wings. 

 Over the past several months, 
negotiations between the two, led by 
Secretary of State Kerry, have floundered 
over issues like West Bank settlements, 
prisoner releases, Jerusalem, a “Jewish” 
state, imprisoned spy Jonathan Pollard 
and Palestinian status at the U.N. 

 Politically, this failure is a winner 
for Israeli factions that would love to 
see occupation become annexation 
of Palestinian territories (factions 
Netanyahu relies on to maintain a 
majority in his ruling coalition). In this 
they are allies with Hamas, who sees 
the exchange of rocket fire into Israel 
for Israeli attacks on Gaza as useful 
confirmation of the futility of negotiation 
– and a guarantee of continued popular 

 In the meantime, there’s the suffering 
in Gaza; an area smaller than Bakersfield 
with half the population of L.A.; some 
25 miles long and 4-to-7 miles wide. 
Hundreds are dead, two-thirds civilians, 
many children. 

 Two-thirds of Gazans are under 25, 
43% under 15. Many have no memory of 
life except for under a crippling blockade; 
unable to travel or dream of a future. 

 There are good people among 
Palestinians and Israelis working 
cooperatively so kids in both lands might 
have those dreams. And there are the bad 
ones, on both sides, who see their hold 
on power as dependent on unending war. 
People, especially kids, being harmed 
are not a factor – except for propaganda 

 It seems to be mostly the bad people 
who make the news. We heard about 
good people, though, when President 
Obama paid tribute to the AIDS 
researchers on board the Malaysian 
airliner downed over Ukraine: “These 
were men and women who had dedicated 
their lives to saving the lives of others . . 
. In this world today, we shouldn’t forget 
that in the midst of conflict and killing, 
there are people like these . . . who are 
focused on what can be built rather than 
what can be destroyed . . . how they can 
help people that they’ve never met . . . it’s 
time for us to heed their example.”

 There are good people and bad people. 
Sometimes, it helps to look in the mirror 
and think about what kind we see.

Where the President spends his time is important – as much for 
what he’s actually doing as for the message it communicates to 
the world. In the same vein, what the President says is equally 
important for the message and tone it delivers. While there 
have been plenty of examples of this particular president’s tone 
deafness to what Americans and the larger world audience 
need to hear, the White House’s most recent pronouncements 
communicate a level of detachment and disinterest which is dangerous.

 In response to a question about the wisdom of the President’s aggressive fund 
raising trips while much of the world seethes in war, White House Communications 
Director Jennifer Palmieri responded that changes in the President’s fundraising 
schedule “can have the unintended consequences of unduly alarming the American 
people or creating a false sense of crisis”.

 If that’s meant to be reassuring, it missed the mark by a wide margin. It assumes, 
presumes and postulates that we shouldn’t be alarmed right now; that things are 
going swimmingly enough that he can spend half a week jetting up and down the 
west coast to attend fundraisers. But anyone who can read a newspaper – heck 
even those who don’t read but just watch T.V., even with the sound off – can see 
that the world is spinning out of control toward dangerous shoals. If ever the 
winds of another world war were blowing, they are now.

 Putin’s Russian separatists have seized control of eastern Ukraine and are so 
confident in the security of their booty and the unlikeliness of facing any serious 
consequences that they shot an unarmed, fully loaded commercial airline out of 
the sky with a SAM. Hamas and Israel are engaged in a serious ground war. Hamas 
shows so little contrition about having started the whole damn thing that it makes 
economic “demands” before it entertains any cease fire. ISIS has consolidated its 
control over roughly one-third of another nation state, whose sovereignty we paid 
dearly in lives and treasure to protect. Syria’s Assad basks in the glorious pomp 
and ceremony of his inauguration for yet another term as murderer-in-chief. 
Boko Haram still holds “our girls”, continues to kill people in Nigerian villages, 
and just exploded two bombs which killed 75 more people. Most troubling about 
this little fraternity of thugs is their willingness to wantonly kill fellow Muslims 
and specifically target other Muslim leaders. Their willingness to take on other 
offshoots of the broader Al Qaeda community tells us that Al Qaeda has not been 
defeated and has now gone beyond metastasizing. Al Qaeda’s resurrection under 
our current president has prompted competing terrorist organizations to take 
bolder steps in their own attempts to lay claim, through intimidation and murder, 
to territory for their own mini nation-states and fiefdoms. 

 My question to the President is how much more needs to happen on your watch 
before we should be alarmed? One of the great civilizing accomplishments in 
human history is on the verge of being reversed. It took centuries for the world to 
“civilize” enough to eliminate right-of-conquest as a legitimate means by which 
land is simply taken or carved out from another nation. Even as we civilized and 
came to the adoption of this unique Judeo-Christian moral value, it was clear that 
at least one “moral” nation would have to be strong enough to enforce the ban. 
The moral ban, after all, was not on war. The ban was on unjust war – on the use 
of force to take that which does not belong to you. War was not banned, nor can 
ever be, because military action is sometimes the only means by which a moral 
nation can enforce a civilizing norm on those thugs and tyrants who would seek to 
conquer and plunder their neighbors.

 When war becomes unthinkable, or when the moral nation on whose shoulders 
a just world order rests shirks from its responsibilities, then evil fills the void and 
the right-of-conquest regains its allure as an affective political strategy. President 
Obama is the leader of one such moral nation who has made clear he does not 
believe in his own country’s morality, let alone its moral call to duty, does not 
intend to bear the responsibility which is his alone to bear right now, and cannot 
think of a legitimate reason to pursue any war to the logical conclusion of defeating 
an immoral, evil enemy.

 Mr. President, the furthest thing from your mind should be any concern about 
creating a false sense of crisis or alarm. There is no other earthly power on this 
globe which can, nor, sadly, any constellation of lesser earthly powers willing 
to, right the world order. The world is spinning out of control, thousands are 
dying and whole people groups are being subjugated. Europe has lost its nerve, 
depending too heavily on Muslim immigrants for much of its basic labor and on 
Russian for its energy. It will not confront evil; witness the muted reaction to 
the downing of Malaysian flight 17 – strong words but little action. Europe will 
not defend Ukrainians, Syrians, Jews, Muslims or Africans. I doubt they’ll even 
defend themselves. 

 It is time for the United States of America to resume the role which only it can 
fill. The world needs a moral leader up front and confident, not detached and in 
the rear. Right now is the time to step up to the plate. If you can’t do it, please get 
the hell out of the way; maybe Biden’s got it in him, or John Boehner. Right now 
we don’t seem to have a leader; let’s hope we have some bench strength. So, right 
now seems like a pretty good time to be alarmed!

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 HYPERLINK “” gregwelborn2@gmail.

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OUT TO PASTOR A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder


I think I am in a rut. No matter 
how hard I work, I do not seem 
to be getting any further along in 
life. Could it be that somewhere 
in my past, I peaked and did not 
realize it? If so, I wish I knew about it so at least I 
could have the consolation that I have peaked.

 This week I celebrate another birthday. This is 
a rut I am talking about. After all, I celebrate my 
birthday every year on the same day. The only reason 
I celebrate it on that day is because my mother said 
that was the day I was born. What if she lied about 
my birthday? After all, there is that issue with Santa 

 I cannot prove one way or the other that I was 
born on a particular day because knowing what I do 
know now it is very easy to manipulate paperwork 
and birth certificates. It might be old age, but I just 
do not trust anybody about anything these days. I do 
not even trust myself.

 In the early days of my life, my parents told a few 
things that have proven not exactly true. I would not 
say they were lying to me they were just protecting 
me from the gruesomeness of truth.

 I mentioned Santa Claus. The thing that irks me 
about Santa Claus is that now that I am older and 
have children and grandchildren I am supposed to 
be Santa Claus. Who in the world made up that rule?

 Then there is the whole issue about the tooth fairy. 
It took me a long time to figure out that the tooth 
fairy did not really exist. Several times I extracted 
teeth ahead of time in order to get some cash from 
the tooth fairy. I frequently questioned why the tooth 
fairy was so stingy with his giving until I figured out 
that the tooth fairy was none other than my father, 
known for his closed cash policy.

 Growing up in Pennsylvania one of the big factors 
had to do with Punxsutawney Phil. It took me a long 
time to figure out that that little rodent was not who 
my parents said he was. If he was who they said he 
was, he sure was not very good at predicting the 

 A lot of things my parents told me turned out not to 
be true, so why should I put a lot of stock in believing 
that my birthday is the exact day I was born?

 According to them, I get to celebrate my birthday 
one day out of the year and a specific day that I 
believe they picked out. Now what I want to know is, 
why can I pick my own birthday? After all, it is MY 

 While I am on that subject, why can’t I celebrate 
my birthday whenever I want to, why can’t I celebrate 
my birthday every month? After all, nobody gets 
tired of eating birthday cake.

 Now that I am older (I am not quite sure how old 
I really am because I am not sure my parents were 
exactly forthcoming in telling me the year I was 
born) what am I supposed to do?

 Personally, I would like to establish a set of rules 
associated with ”my birthday.” I do not care what 
other people do about their birthday, it is my birthday 
and I should be able to set the rules.

 I think the first rule I would establish is, there 
should be no ”surprise” birthday parties. If it is my 
birthday, I know when it is. If it is my birthday, I 
should be in charge of planning the party. After all, I 
know what I would like.

 Who in the world started putting birthday candles 
on a birthday cake. I have been to several birthday 
parties and watched the ”birthday boy” blow out 
those candles. After seeing him blow out those 
candles, I had no desire to eat the cake subjected to 
his spit-laden breath. After all, germs and I are not 

 Do not let this get around, but when there are 
candles on my birthday cake, I make sure my tongue 
is well lubricated before I start blowing out those 
candles. After all, I love to share.

 Another rule I would like to put in place has to do 
with birthday presents. It seems quite hypocritical 
for somebody to go out and buy a birthday present, 
wrap it up in fancy birthday wrapping paper and 
then bring it to me so that I can unwrap that paper 
to get to the birthday present.

 If I am going to have birthday presents I think I 
should be the one to buy those presents. Everybody 
who wants me to celebrate my birthday could slip me 
a fiver and let me go out and buy what I really want. 
Nobody knows what I want better than I do.

 Finally, I think if it is my birthday and I am 
celebrating it, I should get to pick what year I am 

 Good old King Solomon had it right when he 
wrote, ”The glory of young men is their strength: and 
the beauty of old men is the grey head” (Proverbs 

 You are only young once but you can be old for a 
very long time. I am learning to live with it.


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 or website www.

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