Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, October 21, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page B:3

B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, October 21, 2017 OPINION B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, October 21, 2017 OPINION 
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She came home with a high temperature, feeling very ill.

The next morning, her legs gave out when she tried to get

out of bed. By that evening, she was so weak she could

barely move.

It was 1951 when polio struck her. She was 12 years old,
just starting the 8th grade. The nation was in a panic then. The ambulancedriver wouldn’t take her to the hospital for fear other patients might becomeinfected. 

Her father told her not to worry. He said she had a new virus and called it“Virus X.” Her uncle had a car and he drove her to the hospital. She was placedin a ward with other children with polio. She found this odd. She told the nurseshe didn’t have polio. She had Virus X - just like her father said.

The nurse nodded, but said there was a possibility it was polio. Now she wasreally worried - worried about her family. She wrote her parents a letter. Shehinted that she may have polio, but that she’d be OK. Her father cried aloudwhen he read it. 

The Health Department quarantined her family. They posted a notice on thefront door of her home. For two weeks, the life span of the virus, no one was tovisit. Only her father could leave to go to work.

Within two weeks, the polio had ravaged her body. Her arms and legs werein various degrees of paralysis. She could barely lift her head. She was relocatedto the D.T. Watson Home for Crippled Children in Sewickley, PA. Her long,
painful rehabilitation would just begin.

It was one year before she could move back home. She wore leg braces andneeded crutches to get around. Her school’s principal feared for her safety he 
recommended she not return. But her father would have none of that. He 
was determined that she be treated no differently than anyone else, and shereturned to school. 

She did get help, though. Neighbors who had cars took turns transportingher. The school scheduled her classes so that she had to ascend the stairs onlyone time a day. Classmates carried her books.

Her rehab continued two years. She would need crutches the rest of her life,
but her braces were finally off. Then one day, sick of depending on others, shedecided to walk to school - a journey up a steep Pittsburgh hill more than onemile away. Her mother, worried, went with her that first day. It was a long,
painful walk, but she did it.

And in time, she walked to school every day. In time, she was no differentthan anyone else. Like her sisters, she was beautiful, lively and full of wit. Shehad many friends. Her senior year, her classmates voted her Queen of CarrickHigh School for a spring track event. Eventually, she married and had fourchildren (she now has seven grandchildren).

Her name then was Cece Hartner, my mother’s sister.

When she and others were suffering from polio, there was an abundance offear and doubt in America. But the nation didn’t dwell on what was wrong.
We did what Americans always do. We focused on the solution. The March ofDimes mobilized millions to raise money. A long line of researchers, includingDr. Jonas Salk, refused to accept defeat. Together, we won. On April 12, 1955,
almost one year after the trial began, Salk’s vaccine was declared safe andeffective. 

It’s easy to hold clarity over events that took place more than a half centuryago, but harder to do so in current times. We are in the midst of many challengesand the nation would appear to be divided. There are many negative voicesdwelling on what is wrong. But I know we must pull together and dwell insteadon what we can make right.

Just like my Aunt Cece did.

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 



Before we inevitably face Trump’s next phantasmagoria, let’s 
briefly pause to celebrate the speedy downfall of a apparatchik 
of the president. Because it speaks to the resilience of our 
democratic institutions. 

The free and independent press - The Washington Post, partnering with CBS News’ 
“60 Minutes” - reported in great detail that Trump’s choice to head the Drug Enforcement 
Administration, Pennsylvania congressman Tom Marino, was a drug industry toady 
who’d worked for two years to undercut the DEA’s efforts to combat the burgeoning 
opioid crisis. On Monday, Trump acknowledged that “we’re going to look into the report, 
and we’re going to take it very seriously.” And on Tuesday, Marino said he no longer 
wished to helm the DEA. 

That’s how accountability journalism is supposed to work. In this particular case, 
the evidence against Marino was so strong that it prompted Trump to park his pap 
about “Fake News.” Far from fulfilling his so-called promise to “drain the swamp” in 
Washington (a promise he broke long ago), he got caught trying to hire another swamp 
creature, and, amazingly, this time he didn’t respond by digging his hole deeper.

The gist of the story - in case you missed it, amidst Trump’s lies about Obama 
supposedly not calling war widows - is that Marino has long been “a friend on Capitol 
Hill of the giant drug companies that distribute the pain pills that have wreaked so 
much devastation around the nation.” On behalf of those companies, he successfully 
championed a law that makes it far tougher for the DEA to speedily stop those drugs 
from getting to the street.

Reportedly, Marino’s law is “the crowning achievement of a multifaceted campaign 
by the drug industry to weaken aggressive DEA enforcement efforts against drug 
distribution companies that were supplying corrupt doctors and pharmacists who 
peddled narcotics to the black market.” Prior to the law (which President Obama signed, 
so he rates a share of responsibility), the DEA had broad authority to halt drug shipments 
that it deemed to be an “imminent danger” to a community. But under Marino’s law, the 
DEA can’t halt shipments unless it can prove that the drugs pose “a substantial likelihood 
of an immediate threat.” As a DEA whistleblower told the journalists, “There’s no way 
that we could meet that [higher] burden ... because ‘immediate,’ by definition, means 
right now.” 

Why didn’t Trump condemn the Marino stories and retaliate in his usual manner? 
Perhaps it’s because The Post’s story was amplified by the parallel “60 Minutes” 
investigation that reportedly reached more than 13 million viewers, and if there’s one 
thing Trump respects, it’s ratings. Or perhaps Trump realized that it was stupid to 
sponsor someone who’d undercut the fight against opioids - after having reaped a lot of 
2016 votes in struggling communities devastated by opioids.

All of which prompts us to ask a few questions:

What can possibly explain the political stupidity of the Trump team - choosing a DEA 
leader who’d done the drug industry’s bidding, weakening the DEA’s efforts to help the 
very communities that fueled Trump’s thin Electoral College win? What kind of vetting 
process produces a Tom Marino?

Thanks to the free and independent press, the administration’s tone-deaf ineptitude 
has been exposed anew. And this latest vetting fiasco fits the longstanding pattern. 
Trump’s second Army Secretary nominee had to pull his name after it was discovered 
that he’d made a slew of disparaging remarks about gays, Muslims, and Latinos. Trump’s 
first Army Secretary nominee, a Wall Street billionaire, withdrew rather than face 
scrutiny for potentially benefiting from federal contracts. Trump’s first Navy secretary 
nominee, a private equity investor, dropped out rather than divest his business holdings. 
Trump’s first Labor secretary nominee, a wealthy restaurant executive, withdrew his 
name amidst attacks on his labor record (he opposed minimum wage hikes) and his 
personal hiring practices (he’d employed an undocumented worker). And of course this 
list doesn’t include notables like Michael Flynn, the short-lived national security adviser 
who somehow got vetted for that job despite his long track record toadying for Russia.

The good news is that Trump is at least prone to being held accountable. On Fox News 
Radio on Tuesday, he duly lauded Marino(“a supporter of mine from Pennsylvania, I 
won Pennsylvania”) and said that Marino told him that “if there is even a perception of a 
conflict of interest, he doesn’t want anything to do with it,” which we can take as Trump’s 
tacit acknowledgment that The Post and CBS News stories were correct.
Granted, he was back online Wednesday with his rote rant - tweeting about “so much 
Fake News” in places like CBS News. “Fiction writers!” - but that’s fine. Bluster is no 
match for accountability journalism. 



We know Hollywood moguls are infamous for taking 
advantage of aspiring young actresses.
The movie producer’s casting couch has been a “tradition”
since Tinsel Town began.

But Harvey Weinstein must be setting some kind ofrecord. His sexual rap sheet gets longer every day.
Since the New York Times broke the stories about his 

serial misconduct earlier this month, more than 40 actresses, studio workers 
and models have come forward to accuse the powerful producer of everythingfrom sexual harassment to rape.

Now the L.A. Times is reporting that the LAPD is investigating charges by anItalian model-actress that Weinstein raped her in 2013 - within the statute oflimitations. 

She’s the sixth woman to accuse Weinstein of rape or forcible sex acts. Overthe years eight others reportedly received civil settlements from Weinstein’smovie company.

What a charming guy.

I feel for all these women who are coming out and telling the world what sexacts Weinstein allegedly did to them or in front of them when their dreams andcareers were at his mercy.

It takes courage for those women to admit that they too were humiliated,
abused and taken advantage of by an A-list Hollywood slime ball.

But everyone knows Weinstein isn’t the only powerful producer or directorin Hollywood who regularly expected sex in exchange for making someone amovie star.

 There are other Weinsteins, and lots of people in the film community knowexactly who they are.
Actresses and actors warn their friends to watch out for Producer X or Director 
Y, but they never make their names public. They should.

Instead of merely tweeting “Me too,” the women who say they have beensexually harassed and assaulted in Hollywood (and everywhere else) need tostart naming names.

This could be a chance for women in Hollywood to put a stop to the castingcouch culture Weinstein took full advantage of for three decades. 
Times have changed. Women are listened to now when they report sexualmisconduct by their bosses or colleagues.

They’re protected by harassment laws and supported by the media. They’reno longer shamed publicly for revealing that they have been victims of sexualpredators in the workplace.

In the end, Hollywood is all about money. You can even be an open conservativeRepublican in Hollywood -as long as Hollywood is making money off you.

It’s the same with top actresses - the A-listers. They make a lot of money forHollywood, so they have power to change things.

A-list actresses need to join together and start naming the names of the otherWeinsteins. 

That way they can protect the B-listers and the future young stars ‒ girls andboys ‒ from becoming new victims of an immoral and rotten culture that hasbeen tolerated in Hollywood for way too long. 

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant,
and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). 

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