Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, July 2, 2016

MVNews this week:  Page B:5

Mountain Views News Saturday, July 2, 2016 OPINION B5 
Mountain Views News Saturday, July 2, 2016 OPINION 
Susan Henderson 
Dean Lee 
Joan Schmidt 
LaQuetta Shamblee 
Richard Garcia 
Patricia Colonello 
John Aveny 
Chris Leclerc 
Bob Eklund 
Howard HaysPaul CarpenterKim Clymer-KelleyChristopher NyergesPeter Dills 
Dr. Tina Paul 
Rich Johnson 
Merri Jill Finstrom 
Lori KoopRev. James SnyderTina Paul 
Mary CarneyKatie HopkinsDeanne Davis 
Despina ArouzmanGreg WelbornRenee Quenell 
Ben Show 
Sean KaydenMarc Garlett 
Pat Birdsall (retired) 
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 80 W. Sierra MadreBlvd., No. 327, Sierra 
Madre, California, 91024. 
All contents are copyrighted 
and may not bereproduced without the 
express written consent ofthe publisher. All rights 
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 
materials submitted for 
Letters to the editor and 
correspondence should 
be sent to: 
Mountain Views News 
80 W. Sierra Madre Bl. 
Sierra Madre, Ca. 
Phone: 626-355-2737 
Fax: 626-609-3285 
Mountain Views News 
Mission Statement 
The traditions of 
community news-
papers 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 
DICK Polman 

To quote poet T. S. Eliot, the House Select Committee on Benghazifinally folded its tent Tuesday - “not with a bang, but a whimper.” 

Most of us — with the exception of paranoid conspiracytheorists and fact-impaired trolls — have long assumed that thispartisan Republican concoction would fail to nail Hillary Clintonfor the deaths of those four Americans at the Libyan outpost in2012. We have not been disappointed.

None of the previous investigations unearthed any evidence that Clinton, in her role assecretary of state, had done anything perfidious or criminal. The Republican-led HouseIntelligence Committee, in its 2014 report, had found no such evidence. The Senate 
Intelligence Committee found no such evidence. The Senate Armed Services Committeefound no such evidence. The House Foreign Affairs Committee found no such evidence.
The House Oversight & Government Reform Committee found no such evidence. TheSenate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee found no such evidence.
Nor did the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Nor did Benghazi investigator ThomasPickering, a three-time ambassador who served Ronald Reagan, who concluded way backin 2013 that nobody in the Obama administration — Clinton or anyone else — had tried toconceal anything for political purposes. In Pickering’s words at the time: “The notion of a,
quote, ‘coverup’ has all the elements of Pulitzer Prize fiction.” 

At a cost to the taxpayer of $7 million — money that would’ve been better spent shoringup the U.S. embassy security that Republicans profess to care so much about — Gowdy’spanel basically told us what we’ve long known already. I’m frankly too bored with this topicto detail the redundant findings, but suffice it to say that there was no politically motivatedattempt to play down the terrorism angle.

In fact, Gowdy was asked if there was any evidence at all that the military could’ve savedthose lives? 

His reply: “I don’t know.” 

Yes, that T.S. Eliot poem captures the essence of those Republican sleuths:

We are the hollow men 

We are the stuffed men 

Leaning together

Headpiece filled with straw

And thus ends the probe that took longer than investigations of Pearl Harbor, the 1983Beriut bombing, Iran-Contra, 9/11 and George W. Bush’s “weapons of mass destruction” conjob in Iraq.

Why in the world was this latest Benghazi panel created in the first place? Kevin McCarthy,
a House Republican leader, gave the game away last October when he accidentally revealed,
“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazispecial committee. A select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers aredropping.” 

Three weeks later, the committee grilled Clinton on live television for 11 hours and neverlaid a glove on her. All they got, as a video moment, was the coughing fit she suffered nearthe end, which prompted this headline on the right-wing Drudge Report: “Hillary HealthWarning.” And last I checked, her “numbers” have been climbing anyway — at least whenmatched against Donald Trump, who is viewed by a landslide majority of Americans as unfitfor high office.

Nevertheless, as we well know, Gowdy’s nothingburger won’t sate appetites on theRepublican right. As the historian Richard Hofstadter wrote more than a half-century ago,
there is “a paranoid style in American politics,” characterized by “heated exaggeration,
suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy.” 

Which probably means we’ll get a new Benghazi committee to investigate the unfinishedwork of this Benghazi committee.

Perhaps there are ways to link Benghazi to the death of Vince Foster. Someone shouldlook into that. 

Copyright 2016 Dick Polman, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspapersyndicate.

Dick Polman is the national political columnist at NewsWorks/WHYY in Philadelphia( and a “Writer in Residence” at the University of Pennsylvania.
Email him at 

TOM Purcell 


I became angry when I saw the neglected World War II


 The stone tribute sits on a triangular piece of property at the

junction of Brownsville and Piney Fork roads in South Park. OnMemorial Day 2015, it was surrounded by clumps of dead, brown grass and overgrownweeds. 

It was a disgrace.

After making some calls, I learned that Allegheny County was responsible for maintainingit — that the county cut the grass “now and then” but not with the attentiveness the oldmemorial deserved. 

So I took ownership of it. I began maintaining the grounds with my lawn equipment. Iweeded the flower bed. I pressure-washed the dead, clumpy grass that had been matted tothe pavement.

Then, after doing some research, I discovered that the memorial had a remarkable history.

It dates back to 1912, when Primo Bastianini immigrated to America from Italy.
Primo worked in the mines in West Virginia. He saved his money and sent for his parentsand younger siblings (three brothers and three sisters).

The family members settled in Snowden, now South Park, and continued to work in themines. 

They got a couple of cows, which they grazed in a pasture below their homes.

To provide fresh water for the cows, they dammed the stream, Piney Fork Creek, that ranthrough the pasture —— unaware that the dam would change their fortunes.

You see, the dam created a watering hole. People from downtown Pittsburgh 12 milessouth began coming to it on weekends to swim, picnic and escape the city heat.

In the early 1920s, the family members combined their resources and took out a loan.
They purchased the 22-acre pasture. They hired farmers and striking miners and built aconcrete pool 100 feet wide by 200 feet long.

Piney Fork Beach opened in 1927 and was an instant hit.

Over the years, the family added pony rides, miniature golf, a bar/restaurant, severalcottages and a dance hall. Business boomed.

In 1941, as America was drawn into World War II, the Bastianinis wanted to show their 
gratitude to neighbors serving in the armed forces —— to show their gratitude for beinggiven the chance to live the American dream.

They hired a stonemason friend to erect their monument. It has three sides, like thetriangular ground where it sits, and, at first, it proudly displayed the names of all servicemembers from Snowden. 

Bruno Bastianini, who lived in the family’s multi-generation home across the street fromthe memorial, would maintain the memorial grounds for the rest of his life — until hebecame ill and died in 1976. 

By 1977, the fortunes of Piney Fork Beach had reversed. High insurance costs caused thefamily to close the pool. In 1982, vandals burned several structures to the ground.

The family members sold what was left and moved on, leaving the county to care for thememorial, maintaining it “now and then” ever since.

That changed when I started caring for the memorial more than a year ago.

I give it a fresh trim and surround the grounds with flags every Memorial Day, VeteransDay and July Fourth.

Better yet, the county maintenance crew —— not wanting to be outdone by a citizen andhis lawn mower —— is now maintaining the grounds regularly with greater care. The oldmemorial is flourishing once again.

So if you come across a neglected war memorial in your community, grab your lawnequipment and go to work. It’s a small sacrifice we can make to honor those who haveserved and show our gratitude to wonderful people like the Bastianinis, whose historic warmemorial continues to inspire.

©2015 Tom Purcell. Tom Purcell, author of “Misadventures of a 1970’s Childhood” and 
“Wicked Is the Whiskey,” a Sean McClanahan mystery novel, both available at,
is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist and is nationally syndicated exclusivelyby Cagle Cartoons Inc. For info on using this column in your publication or website, or call (805) 969-2829. Send comments to Tom at 

MAKING SENSE by Michael Reagan 


How many more Istanbuls and Orlandos and Brussels do we needbefore we wake up and smell the gunpowder?

ISIS started World War III years ago, but apparently no one inthe Obama administration noticed. 

We’re in a bloody war with radical Islamic terrorism, but we’renot fighting in it. No one else in the West is, either.

The United Nations, NATO, the Germans, the Israelis – they can’t do anything aboutISIS and won’t. 

America must now do what it should have done years ago -- take the lead and destroyISIS. The world can no longer afford to wait for us to get off our butt.

No other country has the resources to take the fight to ISIS’ backyard – and front yard.
No other country except us can provide the international leadership that’s needed tounite the Muslim countries of the Middle East in an all-out war against ISIS.

We know where ISIS lives. They aren’t a bunch of fighters living in tents and wanderingaround in the desert in Japanese pickup trucks.

They’ve built a religious state in Iraq and Syria, a caliphate, that has assets that can bebombed, attacked and captured.

They have headquarters, buildings, mosques, military equipment, training camps,
trucks, communications gear. They hold territory and oil fields.

We don’t need any more Obama administration pin pricks. We need to show we arereally pissed at ISIS – post-Pearl Harbor pissed.

We need an all out, organized attack by land and air that leaves no doubt about ourintention to obliterate ISIS and all of its supporters, which includes men, women andchildren if they don’t get out of the way.

The United States can’t do it all – and shouldn’t. But only we can assemble a coalitionof Muslim countries in the area who can smash ISIS and destroy their ability to incite,
organize and provide logistical support to terrorists around the world.

It’s long overdue.

It’s too late for the Obama administration. It’s been a total failure. It’s dithered over 
how to hurt ISIS and dodged its responsibility to lead the fight.
President Hillary Clinton offers no hope.

Her misguided Mid-East policies are partly responsible for creating the problem inthe first place.

Plus, she’s more likely to blame the next inevitable terrorist attack in the USA oninsufficient gun control, not insufficient ISIS control.

The way I see it, our only hope is President Donald Trump.

It’s a horrible thought. He’s an arrogant ass. He has a million negatives.

But he’s the only candidate who has the potential to do the right thing and declare an

all-out war on ISIS – and win it. 
The Number One priority for me at this point in this election is who’s going to stopISIS. 
It’s not about jobs, the economy, immigration or abortion. It’s about American livesand how to save them from being taken by terrorists.
And the only way you save them is by taking the fight to where ISIS lives. 

Copyright ©2016 Michael Reagan. Michael Reagan is the son of President RonaldReagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’sPress). He is the founder of the email service and president of The ReaganLegacy Foundation. Visit his websites at and
Send comments to Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.

Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Forinfo on using columns contact Sales at 

We’d like to hear from you! 
What’s on YOUR Mind? 
Contact us at: or www. AND Twitter: @mtnviewsnews 
Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: