Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, May 5, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:3



 Mountain Views News Saturday, May 5, 2018 


Mountain Views



Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 


Joan Schmidt


LaQuetta Shamblee


Richard Garcia


Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 


Kevin Barry


Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Merri Jill Finstrom

Rev. James Snyder

Dr. Tina Paul

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Renee Quenell

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden


The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) has been 
called the Magna Carta of our nation’s environmental laws. 
Passed in 1969, Congress designed NEPA to provide for environmentally 
informed decision-making and public outreach 
on the part of federal agencies. NEPA requires that all the 
consequences and potential environmental problems of an agency’s actions must 
be carefully considered before an agency acts.

 Though signed into law by President Richard Nixon, a Republican, the championing 
of environmental causes is more likely to be heard now on the Democratic 
side of the aisle. For instance, at the end of 2016, Democrats on the House Committee 
on Natural Resources accused Republicans of waging a “campaign to attack 
NEPA.” The Democrats of the committee stated:

 “NEPA has proven to be a remarkably effective tool for ensuring that people have 
a say in federal government decisions that could impact the places they live. Because 
of NEPA, the public has the ability to know in advance about major federal 
actions and the right to provide input and have their voices heard. Before NEPA, 
a disproportionate share of heavily polluting projects ended up being sited in poor 
and minority communities that lacked political connections.”

 President Donald J. Trump picked Scott Pruitt to head the EPA, a person who 
doesn’t believe CO2 emissions are a primary contributor to climate change and who 
has been accused of working to “cripple the agency.” With the election of President 
Trump, perhaps the world’s most famous real estate developer, many in the environmental 
movement fear more than ever that environmental regulations will be 
on the chopping block.

 When President Trump signed Executive Order 13766 and 13807, which called 
for shortening the environmental review process under NEPA for infrastructure 
projects, it seems the president sees environmental regulation only as unnecessary 
and burdensome “red tape” to be cut away. Many environmentalists expressed dismay 
that this “hacking” away at regulations is not helping the environment.

 But does there exist a reason why Trump would embrace NEPA? I would argue 
there not only exists a reason why he’d embrace it but become its greatest 

 The effects of population growth on the environment are undeniable. When 
NEPA was first passed, only a modest portion of U.S. population growth was attributable 
to immigration. Today things are very different. Mass immigration drives 
American population growth almost entirely.

 There was a time when environmental hardliners correctly connected the dots between 
population growth and its harmful impact on the environment. Sadly, those 
folks along with their views were pushed to the side decades ago. Moreover, environmental 
organizations have retreated from the topic, knowing that their own big 
donors and Democratic politicians want unrestrained immigration policies.

 The connection among immigration, population growth and the environment 
may be conservationists’ best chance of preserving our nation’s bedrock environmental 
law. NEPA has never been applied to immigration policy, although the law 
contains no waiver for immigration. On the contrary, DHS implements mass immigration 
programs leading to the importation of tens of millions of foreign nationals 
without any environmental review whatsoever.

 There is no justification under the law for this neglect!

 If the administration were to be the first to apply NEPA to the nation’s immigration 
programs, it would only further Trump’s agenda. The public has only a poor 
understanding of the connection between the environment and immigration. The 
use of NEPA would allow those “poor and minority communities lacking political 
connections” to finally weigh in on how mass immigration affects the quality of 
their daily lives and their environment – the expressed concern of open border proponents 
who claim to want to protect the public against environmental degradation.

Indeed, the public should have been allowed to do so before the nation’s immigration 
agencies implemented their programs. Until this is done, the Trump Administration 
should pause these programs.

 Our current system is mass immigration on autopilot with no analysis of the environmental 
consequences. NEPA does not allow this. Neither should President 


Kevin Lynn is the Executive Director of Progressives for Immigration Reform. Contact 
him at

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With summer just weeks away, teenagers and college students 
looking for seasonal employment will have to compete 
with the annual influx of international workers.

 The State Department’s Summer Work Travel Program 
(SWT) will once again, as it has for decades, provide an unlimited 
number of J-1 visas to young foreign nationals who 
will come to the U.S. to work at a variety of jobs. The State Department defends 
SWT as a valuable cultural exchange tool when in reality it’s a cheap labor bonanza 
for employers.

 The jobs include lifeguarding, waiting tables at resorts, guiding tourists through 
national parks, scooping ice cream and providing child care as au pairs. These are 
jobs that most American kids would eagerly do, given the opportunity.

 But since the J-1 has no prevailing wage requirement, employers can pay the visa 
holders lower wages than those U.S. workers earn in similar occupations and in 
the same geographic region. Furthermore, employers are exempt from paying the 
Social Security, Medicare, federal and state unemployment taxes on J-1visa holders 
who are often required to work overtime without extra compensation.

 Because international students pay an average of about $1,100 in fees to private 
organizations that sponsor their participation in the program, the program generates 
well over $100 million in annual revenues for those organizations. Participants 
pay out millions more in visa fees to the State Department, and in travel expenses to 
and from the U.S. In the end, sponsors pay government dues to be part of the program; 
students pay the fees associated with the program and their own roundtrip 
travel expenses; employers pay nothing. Many unsuspecting SWTs return home 
disillusioned, often with little money saved.

 The State Department’s failure to oversee its own program has led to multiple 
instances of exploitation like last year’s Myrtle Beach case. Ten Dominican Republic 
college students were promised jobs at an Italian ice shop, plus adequate accommodations, 
but ended up keeping house and living in a bed bug-infested motel. Similar 
abuses have been documented in Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Mississippi.

 Last year, The Wall Street Journal reported the Trump administration is considering 
reducing the number of visas issued under SWT. And as usual when employment-
based visas are scrutinized with an eye toward cutting the total granted, 
businesses cry foul and falsely predict that without cheap foreign labor they’ll go 

 Yet, despite well-deserved and documented criticism from labor experts who 
point to multiple SWT flaws, the program carries on year after year even though 
the unemployment rate among young Americans, and especially minorities, is high. 
Last summer, a survey showed that teens were about three times as likely to be unemployed 
as other Americans.

 A few takeaways: serving gelato or waiting tables on the Boardwalk can’t reasonably 
be considered cultural exchange. If employers offered decent wages and 
working conditions, they’d have little trouble attracting American kids. Moreover, 
shutting Americans out of the labor market has negative long-term consequences. 
Unemployed young adults don’t learn how to interact with their peers or their often 
demanding bosses. They don’t acquire essential work qualities like timeliness and 
accountability that will lead to a productive career.

 The most obvious and important conclusion of all to draw from SWT is that the 
federal government cannot enact or efficiently monitor any type of immigration 
legislation that helps American workers.


Joe Guzzardi is a Progressives for Immigration Reform analyst. Contact him at jguzzardi@


Get this: the average American can’t get through the day without 

 So is the finding of a recent 9Round Kickbox Fitness survey, as 
reported in the New York Post.

 Why are Americans cursing so much? One reason is stress. 

 Fifty six percent of survey respondents say financial worries are their biggest source 
of stress. A lack of sleep (36 percent), health concerns (35 percent), work (30 percent), 
the environment (9 percent) and our $20 trillion deficit (4 percent) are other sources of 

 The survey didn’t explore politics, but the names “Trump” and “Pelosi” are generating 
an explosion of salty-tongued originality across our great land.

 Whatever the source of our stress, cursing DOES relieve it.

 A 2011 Keele University study, reports Forbes, found that yelling out curse words 
increases pain and stress tolerance.

 Volunteers were asked to hold their hands in freezing-cold water twice. The first 
time, they shouted curse words. The second time they used inoffensive phrases. Each 
volunteer was able to keep his or her hands in the cold water longer while cursing.

 “The researchers found that the enraged yelling raised the heart rate, which, they 
hypothesize, means that the yelling triggered a fight-or-flight response, ‘downplaying 
feebleness in favor of a more pain-tolerant machismo.’”

 That’s one reason why, concluded the researchers, that “swearing has been around for 
centuries and is an almost universal human linguistic phenomenon.”

 Cursing has certainly improved my capacity to deal with stress. I studied cussing 
under the tutelage of my father, now 85, a maestro in the art form. He perfected his 
skills while attempting plumbing repairs in our home.

 Over the years, cursing has helped me ease the pain of financial setbacks, a broken 
heart and unpleasant co-workers. On a daily basis, it helps me cope with people who 
write checks in front of me at the grocery store and moronic drivers who drive too 
slowly in the passing lane.

 But the question is, why are so many Americans cursing these days? 

 Some argue that it reflects a breakdown in manners and civility and a growing 
coarseness in our culture. San Diego State University psychologist Jean M. Twenge 
offers a more intriguing theory.

 According to the National Post, Twenge conducted a 2017 study that explored how the 
use of the “seven dirty words” featured in comedian George Carlin’s 1972 monologue, 
“Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television,” changed in literature between 1950 
and 2008.

 Twenge found that the rise in profanity was dramatic — she measured a 28-fold 
increase between 2005 and 2008. She said the increase can be blamed on growing 
individualism, which is “a cultural system that emphasizes the self more and social rules 

 Twenge says that “as social rules fell by the wayside, and people were told to express 
themselves, swearing became more common.”

 That makes perfect sense to me.

 Whereas younger generations are being taught to freely express their innermost 
feelings and frustrations using words that were once considered taboo, prior generations 
were taught the opposite.

 When I was a kid in the 70s, we knew we were pushing the line if we used words such 
as “son of a gun,” “gadzooks” and “h-e-double-hockey-sticks.” 

 If we got caught using real curse words, we’d be enjoying a bar of Dove soap for 

 In any event, now that cursing is no longer considered taboo, I see one big problem.

 As more people cuss freely, curse words will lose their shock value and their capacity 
to relieve our stress.

 The h-e-double-hockey-sticks with that!


Copyright 2018 Tom Purcell. Tom Purcell, author of “Misadventures of a 1970’s 
Childhood,” a humorous memoir available at, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-
Review humor columnist and is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. 
For info on using this column in your publication or website, contact or 
call (805) 969-2829. Send comments to Tom at

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