Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, November 22, 2014

MVNews this week:  Page B:4



 Mountain Views-News Saturday, November 22, 2014 


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder




Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 


Joan Schmidt


LaQuetta Shamblee


Richard Garcia


Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 


CoCo Lasalle

Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Dr. Tina Paul

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




I awoke a little groggy 
and made my way to 
the kitchen only to 
be confronted by the 
Gracious Mistress of 
the Parsonage. There 
are times to confront her and then there are 
times to run the other way. Being in such 
a groggy state of affairs, I was not really 

 "Here is your coffee and breakfast," she said 
rather sternly, "go to your study, eat this and 
stay out of the kitchen."

 As usual, I did what I was told, collected 
my breakfast and headed for my study. As 
I sat in my chair and started consuming 
my breakfast, I suddenly noticed I was 
surrounded with an overpowering aroma I 
knew was not my breakfast. Until I have had 
my first cup of coffee in the morning, I am 
really not sure that it is morning. 

 As the little grey cells begin to wake up 
after a half a cup of coffee, it dawned on me 
that the aroma was a familiar aroma but I 
just could not place it. Then it hit me. It was 
Thanksgiving and my wife was preparing 
the family Thanksgiving dinner. If this 
Thanksgiving preparation time was like 
all the times before, I needed to avoid the 
kitchen area as much as possible.

 Just saying.

When she is in her family Thanksgiving 
turkey-roasting mode, I need to stay out of 
her way. This is an important history lesson 
for me unless I want to be history.

 Then she poked her head through the 
doorway and said, "I have to go for several 
hours, I do not want you to go to the kitchen."

 "What if I need another cup of coffee?"

 "OK, but that's it. Don't get anywhere near 
the turkey. Understand?"

 I understood, at least I thought I understood. 
I have been married long enough to know 
not to take anything for granted when 
instructions are coming from your celebrated 
spouse. I was going to stand up and salute, 
but she disappeared before I could get into 

 Everything went well for the first half hour. 
Then I noticed my coffee cup was empty 
and I needed to refill it. I am at the stage of 
life where I cannot do anything without my 
coffee. I am not addicted to it, but I think it 
just might be addicted to me. I cannot afford 
a psychiatrist to straighten me out on that 

 I want everybody to know, my intentions 
were good. I was going to go into the kitchen 
and get a refill on my coffee and then come 
back to my study and resume the project I 
was working on. Anyway, that was the plan.

 Something happened as I poured my coffee. 
I smelled the most wonderful aroma in the 
world. I should have stopped myself when I 
had the strength, but I did not. I looked in the 
direction the aroma was coming and there it 

 One of the most scrumptious looking roast 
turkeys I have seen in my life. There it was 
on the counter waiting for the family to 
assemble and then dig in.

 I can identify with that person who said 
that the only thing they cannot resist is 
temptation. I guess it all determines on your 
definition of temptation.

 There it was in all of its glory. The smell was 
just overwhelming. I thought that it would 
not harm anything if I just went over and had 
a closer look at that magnificent delicacy. It 
just looked so good.

 I then began thinking to myself, I always get 
in trouble when I think to myself, what harm 
would it be if I just tasted a wee bit of that 
turkey? After all, there was plenty of turkey 
for everyone.

 I pulled off a little sliver of the turkey and 
examine it rather carefully and then popped 
it in my mouth. Oh, did my taste buds dance 
for joy. I was about ready to turn around, get 
my coffee and resume my project in my office 
when the taste buds clamored for just one 
more taste.

 After all, what would it harm to have just 
one more little sliver?

 I am not sure how many little slivers I had, 
I lost count, but I thought I had better stop 
and go back to my office before I went too far.

 About an hour later I heard someone coming 
into the house, I knew it must be my wife. I 
went back to my work and busied myself.

 "Honey," a familiar voice yelled from the 
kitchen, "did you get into that turkey?"

 It was then that I had one of those "uk-oh" 
moments. At first, I did not comprehend 
what she was talking about, and then it came 
to me that I had devoured several slivers of 
the roast turkey. From the tone of her voice I 
knew I was in deep "uk-oh" trouble, the kind 
of trouble you cannot talk your way out. The 
evidence was sorely against me.

 After her formidable lecture, she left me to 
my solitude to, as she said, "think about what 
you just did." As I reflected upon the situation, 
I thought of a verse in the Bible. "But if ye will 
not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the 
Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out" 
(Numbers 32:23).

 Good intentions have never taken away the 
sting of doing something wrong, especially 
when you are caught.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), a senior Member of the Intelligence 
Committee and author of legislation providing a limited 
and narrow authorization for use of military force against 
ISIL, sent a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner 
calling on him to schedule a debate and vote on a new war 
authorization against ISIS during the lame duck session after the midterm election. 
During his press conference today, President Obama called for Congress to approve a 
new authorization for use of military force against ISIS. The letter is below:

Dear Speaker Boehner:

 As you prepare for the session that will close out the 113th Congress, I urge you 
to schedule time for consideration of an authorization for the use of military force 
(AUMF) against ISIL.

 As you know, American forces have been engaged in combat against ISIL since 
early August with operations currently underway against targets in both Iraq and 
Syria. President Obama has made repeated reports, as required by the War Powers 
Resolution, detailing these operations. Now, after three months of presidentially-
directed airstrikes and other activities undertaken to “disrupt, dismantle and defeat” 
ISIL, Congress must meet the obligations of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution 
by deciding whether to grant the president the power to conduct this new war in the 
Middle East.

 The use of the 2001 AUMF as legal justification for current the military action 
requires an extraordinarily broad and problematic reading of that measure. While 
ISIL may share al Qaeda’s hatred for the United States and the West, the group did 
not exist in 2001 and had no role in the 9/11 attacks. Nor is ISIL affiliated with or 
aiding al Qaeda, having been expressly repudiated by the Zawahiri leadership, and, 
despite reports of talks between the two groups, little evidence of an alliance between 

 Vehement opposition to Bashar al Assad’s brutal government in Syria and the 
harshly sectarian policies of Nouri al Maliki in Iraq, not 9/11 or allegiance to Osama 
bin Laden, has fueled the rise of ISIL and allowed it to capture a huge swathe of 
territory in those two countries. From this redoubt, ISIL threatens tens of millions 
and the group’s extreme violence and barbarity, including the recent mass murder of 
a Sunni tribe in Iraq’s Anbar province, cannot be underestimated.

 I believe that the threat to core American foreign policy interests and our 
national security from ISIL is sufficient to warrant military force as an element of a 
multifaceted campaign. But, I also believe that no President has the power to commit 
the nation’s sons and daughters to war without authorization from Congress. This is 
not a decision that can or should wait until 2015; this action was begun during the 
sitting of the 113th Congress and it is well within our ability to authorize it properly 
before adjourning sine die. 

 In September I introduced a draft Joint Resolution (HJ Res 125) that provides for 
an 18 month authorization for continued airstrikes and limited special operations 
activities in Iraq and Syria and against ISIL. While I believe that my proposal merits 
consideration, whether it, or some other form of authorization, is ultimately taken 
up, the most important thing is for us to do our duty to American people and the 
Constitution. I look forward to working with you on this most important issue.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) is a senior member of the House Intelligence 

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TOM Purcell

Exclusive Excerpt from: “Comical Sense: A Lone 
Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!” by Tom 
Purcell available at

HOWARD Hays As I See It

“Doubt is our product, since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body 
of fact’ that exists in the minds of the general public. It is also the means of 
establishing a controversy.”

(Attribution for the above comes later.)

 In his column last week, Greg Welborn expressed doubt about 
President Obama’s greenhouse emissions agreement with China. He 
had concerns over the “tsunami of new regulations” sure to come 
from the president’s commitment to reduce our emissions 28% from 
2005 levels by 2025. Those levels had already been reduced 10% as of 
2012 – which means to reach the president’s goal we simply have to continue at the pace 
we’ve been on the past several years.

 Greg also doubts China’s commitment. Back in 2011, China surpassed the U.S. to take 
the number one spot as the world’s top producer of wind-generated power. In 2012, China 
unilaterally announced plans to quadruple solar energy production by 2015. It’d already 
been a world leader in solar manufacturing; now it would turn more of its products over 
to domestic use, no doubt spurred by the pollution choking Beijing and Shanghai.

 In citing dismal poverty statistics in metropolitan areas of L.A. and San Bernardino 
counties, Greg attributes them to the inevitable move of businesses to states with “lower 
burdens and costs”. According to the U.S. Census, California’s poverty rate ranks a none-
too-impressive 34th worst out of the 50 states. Some of those states with presumably 
“lower burdens and costs”, however, fare worse. There’s Texas (39th), South Carolina 
(41st), Kentucky (44th), Arizona (45th) and Louisiana (48th), for example.

 It’s hard not to doubt the sincerity of those interests fighting regulations, environmental 
or otherwise, as they express concern over “poverty”. They will simultaneously fight 
minimum wages and worker protections, while encouraging employees to avail 
themselves of food stamps and local charities in order to survive at poverty incomes. 
Their aim, though, is to raise doubts about businesses’ being able to continue providing 
jobs at all under “excessive” regulations. 

 There were arguments fifty years ago which raised doubts about the ability of our 
nation’s preeminent automobile industry to survive under additional regulations. The 
concern was that cars would become so expensive consumers would no longer be able to 
afford them, should seat belts, and later air bags, become mandatory.

 The tobacco industry also warned of the demise of a legacy American industry in the 
face of threatened government regulation. In doing so, its public relations firms developed 
strategies that have since been adopted by the fossil fuel industry in its fight against 
regulations responding to global warming. Indeed, some of the same parties making the 
case for Big Tobacco by raising doubts about medical science decades ago later became 
involved in protecting the profits of Big Oil by questioning climate science.

 This week’s opening quote is taken from an internal memo of the Brown and 
Williamson tobacco company from 1969, reflecting a strategy that had been in the 
works since a decade earlier when the connection between cigarettes and cancer became 
undeniably established. 

 As described in a 2007 report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, the strategy 
originally developed by the tobacco companies, later replicated by the fossil fuel industry, 
included: raising doubts about “even the most indisputable scientific evidence” and 
shifting the debate to one over “sound science”; creating front organizations to put out 
information favorable to the industry; recruiting members of the scientific community, 
regardless of area of expertise, to give the propaganda an air of credibility; and establishing 
close ties to government officials and members of Congress.

 The enemy is the ”’body of fact’ that exists in the minds of the general public”; accepted 
realities such as that seat belts are a necessary safety feature, cigarettes cause cancer, 
global warming is a threat demanding action, and sending Canadian crude through our 
agricultural heartland to Louisiana for shipment overseas is a dumb idea.

 Last week on Fox News, columnist Jonah Goldberg took a page from the tobacco 
industry’s decades-old playbook by casting doubt on the veracity and motivation of 
climate scientists; accusing them of being “deeply invested in the whole industry of global 
warming”, and “financially incentivized to go one way.”

 Goldberg appeared as a “fellow” of the American Enterprise Institute, a front group for 
fossil fuels like those formed to protect tobacco interests half a century ago. AEI took $3 
million from ExxonMobil from 2001 through 2011 and another quarter million in 2012. 
The Guardian reported in 2007 that AEI offered $10,000 to scientists and economists 
who’d write articles that would “emphasize the shortcomings” of the UN’s report on 
climate change – to raise doubts.

The front groups backing the Keystone XL pipeline have apparently given up trying to 
suggest it has anything to do with gas prices or energy independence. The “body of fact” 
recognizes that oil is not a national resource, but a privately-manipulated commodity in a 
global marketplace, with the Saudis now threatening to curtail production in response to 
our low prices and record-high production.

 But now doubt in the wisdom of letting it die has been raised, because we’d be 
sacrificing much-needed jobs. First there were estimates of 42,000 jobs at stake. Then it 
was down to 4,000 with qualifiers that this includes both “direct and indirect” jobs, most 
temporary and lasting no more than a couple years. Finally, there’s the admission that 
full-time permanent jobs will ultimately number about fifty.

 It’s been part of my lifelong liberal DNA to “question authority”, to doubt. It’s also 
clear that raising doubt has long been a strategy of those trying to discount basic science, 
such as the link between tobacco and cancer and between carbon emissions and global 
warming, and ignore basic history, such as the ideology and policies that brought us the 
Great Recession as differentiated from those that brought us out of it.

There’s no doubt about that.



It’s bound to happen at Thanksgiving 
tables across America: A progressive liberal 
Democrat discovers he's sitting next to a 
conservative Republican.

There’s no need for mashed potatoes to fly.

Harry Stein, an author, columnist and 
contributing editor to the political magazine 
City Journal, offers advice on how to navigate 
the situation.

Stein, an erstwhile ‘60’s radical who evolved 
into a conservative, faced a similar dilemma 
at a dinner party a few years ago.

When the guest next to him discovered his 
conservative/libertarian thinking, the fellow 
said loudly, "I can’t believe I’m sitting next to 
a Republican!"

"It was," says Stein, "as if I was wearing not 
only a white hood, but a Nazi armband."

So accustomed had Stein become to 
such broadsides -- common experiences 
for conservatives living in progressive 
bastions -- he wrote a humorous book on 
the subject: "I Can't Believe I'm Sitting 
Next to a Republican: A Survival Guide for 
Conservatives Marooned Among the Angry, 
Smug, and Terminally Self-Righteous."

So what to do when bipolar political 
philosophies are seated next to each other at 
the Thanksgiving table?

Make a concerted effort to get beyond "straw 
man" stereotypes.

"In theory, liberalism is predicated on 
openness to varied perspectives, but talk to 
lots of liberals and what you’ll hear is that 
all conservatives are greedy, hardhearted 
knuckle draggers," says Stein. "To them, 
'conservative' is another way of saying 
‘warmongering,’ ‘racist,’ ‘homophobic,’ not 
to mention ‘aching to wipe out every last 
polar bear for the sake of Big Oil.’"

Who wouldn't loathe a fellow with beliefs 
like that?

The truth is conservatives, just as liberals, 
come in all shapes and sizes; many are 
as nuanced, complex and thoughtful as 
anybody else.

The truth is 
progressives and 
conservatives agree 
with each other 
more than they are 

"Discovering the common ground can only 
occur when discussions proceed in a logical 
and factual manner," says Stein. "If you 
want to argue a point and demonstrate the 
truthfulness of your position, be sure to have 
your facts straight."

Stein gave one example pertaining to the 
health care debate.

"Some progressives believe that conservatives 
are simply dupes of the insurance industry 
stampeded by phony propaganda, and, yes, 
that we are racists," he says. "The fact is, it’s 
a lot easier to name-call than deal with our 
arguments, starting with the likelihood that 
not only will a government takeover of health 
care have devastating effects on the economy, 
but it will not be good for health care."

Another example: Some progressives believe 
that conservatives could not care less about 
the poor.

"What we believe is that conservative polices, 
such as tax incentives to hire, are a great 
deal more beneficial to the poor than the 
polices that came out of the Great Society," 
says Stein. "Such policies encouraged women 
to raise children without fathers. Today, in 
some communities, 70 percent of children 
are born to single mothers."

Stein used to think it best to avoid such 
discussions at the Thanksgiving table, but his 
position has changed over the years.

"We are facing a lot of challenges in our 
country and we really need to discuss them 
in a civil and thoughtful manner."

Still, if you’re a conservative and fearful of 
being discovered, Stein says, you may want 
to plan ahead.

"You might want to sit beside a large liberal 
behind whom you can duck in case the 
mashed potatoes fly."

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