Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, February 3, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:3

B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, February 3, 2018 OPINION B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, February 3, 2018 OPINION 
Mountain Views 
Dean Lee 
Joan Schmidt 
LaQuetta Shamblee 
Richard Garcia 
Patricia Colonello 
John Aveny 
Kevin Barry 
Chris Leclerc 
Bob Eklund 
Howard HaysPaul CarpenterKim Clymer-KelleyChristopher NyergesPeter Dills 
Rich Johnson 
Merri Jill Finstrom 
Rev. James SnyderDr. Tina Paul 
Katie HopkinsDeanne Davis 
Despina ArouzmanRenee Quenell 
Marc Garlett 
Keely TotenDan Golden 
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, 
and reserves the right torefuse publication of advertisements 
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 high regard thevalues of the exceptionalquality of life in our 
community, includingthe magnificence of 
our natural resources. 
Integrity will be our guide. 


If I were Punxsutawney Phil, I might think twice before

coming out of my burrow this year.

Groundhog Day 2018 is upon us. Every Feb. 2, Phil emerges

from a stump in Punxsutawney. If he sees his shadow, there

will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, spring will bejust around the corner. Millions have enjoyed this ritual for years, but in these oh-
so-serious times, problems may abound.

For starters, Groundhog Day evolved from Candlemas Day, a Christian holyday commemorating the Virgin Mary’s purification. As this tradition evolved inGermany, Germans believed Candlemas Day could also predict the weather - whichculminated with playfully pulling a hedgehog out of a tree stump. The tradition wasbrought to Punxsutawney in 1887 by German immigrants.

But how, some busybody critics may be thinking, can any government bodyimpose on our diverse society any celebration that has its roots in Christianity?
Aren’t the people of Punxsutawney supporting one religion over the others? Whatabout their insensitivity to atheists?

Other critics may complain that the event is too male-centric. The “Inner Circle,”
the “local dignitaries responsible for carrying on the tradition of Groundhog Dayevery year,” is comprised of ONLY men. Critics may note that all weather-predictionresponsibilities for the past 132 years have been assigned to a MALE groundhog.
What about Punxsutawney Phyllis? Has she been too busy making Phil’s coffee?

The Inner Circle talks of how it pampers Phil. He lives in a heated home. He’sfed delicious treats. He receives excellent medical care. But People for the EthicalTreatment of Animals says Phil is being abused - that yanking a groundhog out of astump before bright lights and a large crowd induces incredible stress. PETA wantsan animatronic groundhog to replace Phil.

All such criticism will pale in comparison to what may happen if critics learn thistidbit about Phil’s private life: Phil has a harem. To take the edge off of Phil’s lonelybachelor existence, the Inner Circle provides him with three female companions.
That’s right: Punxsutawney’s finest dignitaries are trafficking in “woodchucks of thenight”!

I, like millions of others, greatly enjoy Groundhog Day. I believe such traditionsenrich our world and bring much-needed levity to our chaotic lives. I believe manyAmerican traditions evolved from a hodgepodge of cultural influences, and the bestcelebrate our common humanity - rather than pull us apart. I believe too many of ustake ourselves too seriously. As we seek to correct the imperfections of our past - toembrace everyone and offend no one - we sometimes end up lost in the narrownessof our own best intentions. 

It’s Groundhog Day, a lighthearted occasion that offers a respite from a long, cold,
brutal winter. Aside from PETA’s protestations, I’m joking about Phil’s potentialcritics, but we all could use a little lightening up about now.

Which is the whole point of Groundhog Day. 

Copyright 2018 Tom Purcell. Tom Purcell, author of “Misadventures of a 1970’sChildhood” and “Wicked Is the Whiskey,” a Sean McClanahan mystery novel, bothavailable at, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist and isnationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. For info on using this columnin your publication or website, contact or call (805) 969-2829. Sendcomments to Tom at 

Follow us online at 



President Donald Trump, who’s never been shy about hammering

his rivals and skewering his opponents, used his first State of the

Union speech Tuesday night to call for unity as the nation attacks

some of its biggest challenges.

In a nearly 90-minute prime-time speech that saw the president’s

Republican allies rise to their feet while Democrats sat stone-
faced, Trump reiterated his call for an immigration reform plan that puts a premium onborder security even as it provides an eventual path to citizenship for nearly 2 millionundocumented immigrants.

“My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defendAmericans -- to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to theAmerican Dream. Because Americans are dreamers too,” Trump said.

But rather than arguing the case for an America made stronger by the contributions ofimmigrants, Trump raised the specter of MS-13 street gangs, which he said had exploitedweaknesses in American immigration law to illegally enter the country and kill innocentcitizens. 

Trump’s guests for his speech included the surviving family members of two LongIsland teens who had been murdered by MS-13 gang members, as well as a member of

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement whom Trump promised “reinforcements’ inefforts to keep the border secure.
“It’s time to begin moving toward a merit-based immigration system,” encouragingimmigration by people “who are skilled and who will love and respect our country,” Trumpsaid. 

And if they’re Norwegian, hey, all the better.

Trump’s remarks about immigration evoked only the dangers posed by illegalimmigration and by what he said were the risks posed by legal, family-based immigrationand a visa Lottery program that brings diverse immigrants to the United States. His scriptedremarks echoed those he’d made as a candidate, where he characterized immigrants fromMexico as criminals. 

Democratic lawmakers, meanwhile, hosted “dreamers,” undocumented immigrantsbrought to theUnited States as children who have found themselves unwitting pawns in thehigh-stakes battle of immigration reform.

The contrasting visions for a country that is growing steadily more diverse - and browner

- by the day could not have been more stark.
As expected, Trump touted the effects of a tax reform package passed along party linesand sent to his desk late last year.
“Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and smallbusinesses,” he said, adding later, “There has never been a better time to start living theAmerican Dream ... This is your time ... . Together, we can achieve absolutely anything.”

Yet it remains to be seen how many Americans will share in Trump’s projected prosperity.
Trump called for the passage of an infrastructure plan that calls for $1.5 trillion ininvestment, leverage state and local resources and, where appropriate, private investment.
Like most matters of policy, Trump did not offer much in the way of concrete detail on howhe’d realize this effort, instead offering broad outlines.

He sounded an appropriately bellicose tone on national security and defense issues,
talking tough when it came to such foreign regimes as North Korea.

“We know that weakness is the surest path to conflict and unmatched power is the surestmean to our true and great defense,” he said, raising eyebrows in the hall of the House ofRepresentatives and hackles elsewhere in the world.

Trump’s scripted rhetoric and appeal to unity clashed with public statements he’d madeon Twitter only days and hours earlier.

On Sunday, for instance, Trump criticized the rapper Jay Z. in a dispute over the African-
American unemployment rate. Trump similarly blasted Congressional Democrats, towhom he’d appealed for cooperation, as “only interested in obstruction.”

And without mentioning them by name, Trump appeared to continue his feud withprofessional football player who took a knee this season, rather than stand for the nationalanthem. 

“Americans love their country and deserve a government that shows them the same loveand loyalty in return,” he said.

The president’s rhetoric is unlikely to survive the night. But for a moment, it was temptingto think he actually meant what he said. 

Copyright 2018 John L. Micek, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

An award-winning political journalist, Micek is the Opinion Editor and Political Columnistfor PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. Readers may follow him on Twitter @
ByJohnLMicek and email him at 


Donald Trump sure hit it out of the park Tuesday night.

Like millions of other people in America who tuned in to thepresident’s first State of the Union Address, I’m still cheering.

I wasn’t in Washington, in Soviet California, or anywhere else inTrump’s America.

I was actually on a cruise ship with my wife on the other side of the world in the TasmanSea between New Zealand and Australia. 

After I watched Trump’s prime-time TV address live in my cabin on the CelebritySolstice - Wednesday afternoon, my time - I tweeted that it was so phenomenal I wanted towatch it all over again.

I wasn’t kidding - or seasick.

I hadn’t heard such a great speech by a president in a long, long time. And 75 percent ofits 46 million viewers said they liked it, too, according to the polls.

The Hate Trump Media disagreed, of course. They thought the address went on too long.

But that was because they couldn’t wait to start picking it apart for being too gloomy, toomean to illegal immigrants or for mentioning “America” too many times.

Trump was interrupted more than a hundred times by the applause of everyone in thechamber except a bunch of bitter and sullen Democrats.

The Democrats - some of them dressed in black as part of some phony protest - refused toshow the slightest sign of approval for the president when he pointed out how well America’sworkers and the economy are doing.

Lowest black unemployment rate in recorded history? Lowest Latino unemployment in 
history? Lowest overall unemployment rate in years?

Republicans stood and cheered every time.

Democrats sat and stared with their arms folded. 

Or they showed disgust by rolling their eyes or making hideous faces that the GOP isalready turning into deadly TV ads for the fall election.

The Democrats couldn’t have clapped for President Trump even if they wanted to - evenif he had brought Nancy Pelosi back from the dead - because they were sitting on theirhands. 

What the Democrats did to disrespect the president with their body language and pettybehavior only helped the president, who proved he knows a thing or three about staging astate of the union address. 

My father was the first to invite special guests or heroes to the address, where he couldintroduce them, praise them and tie them to what he’d say in his speech.

And on his first try President Trump has perfected the idea.

Every person he introduced during his speech told a story he wanted to tell, from the NewMexico policeman and his wife who adopted the baby of a heroin addict to the businessowners who gave their employees bonuses because of Trump’s income tax cuts.

For a long time I’ve been waiting for the president to deliver a great quote that wouldoutlive his presidency - other than his latest tweet.

My father and John F. Kennedy did it many times.

And on Tuesday night I think Trump finally did it when he said it was his duty - and theduty of every elected official in the chamber - to defend the right of every American “to theAmerican Dream. Because Americans are dreamers, too.” 

For me that was his best moment. 

Everyone watching had to agree with the fact that everybody in America is a dreamer except 
of course the Democrats and their teammates in the liberal media who saw Trump’sstatement as a cruel insult to the DACA kids who were brought here illegally at a young age.
The Democrats will never admit it, or understand it, but they hurt themselves badlyTuesday night.

They looked like a bunch of losers and only made the president look better, morereasonable and more presidential.

They also proved that they hate Trump more than they love America.
And they did it in front of millions of American voters as the president was giving his bestspeech yet. 

Copyright 2018 Michael Reagan. Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, apolitical consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). He isthe founder of the email service and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation.
Visit his websites at and Send comments Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.

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

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