Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, June 30, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:5



 Mountain Views News Saturday, June 30, 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


“We the People of the United States, in 
Order to form a more perfect Union, 
establish Justice, insure domestic 
Tranquility, provide for the common 
defence, promote the general Welfare, 
and secure the Blessings of Liberty to 
ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain 
and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” 
Preamble to the United States Constitution

 It is under above statement that we, Americans, celebrate the 
establishment of our country each July 4th. It is the ‘birthday’ that 
we all share in common. In a recent column I mentioned how 
my dad taught me that birthdays are our own ‘personal’ holidays! 
That being said, as a nation, our own personal holiday - July 4, 2018 
should be a great cause of celebration. After all we will be 242 
years old and formerly the beacon of a free and democratic society 
to the world. Instead, regardless of which side of the argument 
you are on, this ‘birthday’ is one where we are divided by hate, fear, 
intolerance, alienation and ignorance.

 On this birthday we are being scorned and ridiculed around the 
world. We have withdrawn from just about every effort to be a 
part of the world community. We are portraying ourselves as the 
victims of everything and everybody by an administration that 
needs to read and reread our great Constitution. If they would just 
read the preamble, perhaps with a tutor, they might get a clue. 

 “We the People”….not just this administration and their business 

 “..form a more perfect union:….” Most of us recognize that 
our country and its laws are not perfect and we need to strive to 
improve, not focus on destruction.

 “establish justice”…….and that means for everyone regardless or 
race, religion, creed or national origin.

 “Insure Domestic Tranquility”…….not feed the bear (my 
apologies to bears worldwide), not stir the pot of divisiveness and 

 “provide for the common defence” - defense of all, not some.

 “Promote the general welfare”…….this country was not founded 
on the ‘Friends and Family’ plan. The rest of us matter also

 “Secure the blessings of Liberty for ourselves and our Posterity”…. 
i.e., life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness now and for future 

 Just this morning I heard Donald J. Trump say, “My 
Government…” and therein lies a major part of the problem. It isn’t 
his government, it is OUR GOVERNMENT and we need to start 
acting like it. Right or Left, Independent or Green, it is OURS…..
not one side or the other. 

 I used to be a proud American. I am not now. Nor would my 
father and grandfather, WWII and WWI Veterans respectively be, 
if they were alive today. Both risked their lives for a country that 
did not even respect them as men, yet they fought regardless in an 
effort to make things better for all. That is what we are all supposed 
to do, fight to make things better for all, together! 

 Our country has gone from a beacon of freedom and liberty to a 
cesspool of selfish and inhumane actions, and we have done so in 
just 525+ days. Ironic isn’t it that this destructive administration 
has a leader who touts the slogan, “Make America Great Again”. 
Clearly what he refers to as great, based upon his 525 days of action, 
is something we have never been before.

 So as we prepare to pay homage to OUR COUNTRY on July 4th, 
let’s all, left and right, demand of all elected officials that they focus 
on upholding the tenets of the Constitution and restoring America 
back to being a true democracy, a system of government by the 
whole population. If we do that, then maybe our 243rd birthday 
will truly be a joyous one.

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“The Pew Research Center quiz was harder than I expected.”

 “Ah, yes, you speak of the recently released survey in which 
Pew quizzed 5,035 adult Americans to determine their ability to distinguish between 
factual information and opinion statements in the news.”

 “That’s right. The Pew website lets anyone take a quiz featuring 10 statements, five 
that are true-or-false factual statements and five that are opinion statements. Pew 
told me to ignore whether or not a statement is accurate and also to ignore whether 
or not I agree with it. I follow the news and figured I’d ace the quiz, but I didn’t.”

 “Let’s take a look at the quiz. Pew’s first statement says, ‘Abortion should be legal 
in most cases.’ Did you classify that as a fact or an opinion?”

 “I classified it as an opinion and got it right. This is a contentious issue, but the 
statement is still an opinion.”

 “Pew’s second statement said, ‘Immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally have some 
rights under the Constitution.’ How did you classify that one?”

 “It’s factual. Look, it’s true that undocumented immigrants don’t have the full 
rights of a U.S. citizen, but, according to the ACLU, our Constitution does afford 
them some rights, such as freedom of speech, religion, privacy and others. I struggled 
with Pew’s next statement, however.”

 “That ‘Democracy is the greatest form of government’?”

 “Yes. I classified it as a fact, because I strongly believe that democracy - in our case 
a representative republic - is the greatest, but the statement is, in truth, an opinion.”

 “It’s not always easy to separate one’s strong beliefs and opinions from facts. Pew 
found that each participant was more likely to classify both factual and opinion 
statements as factual when the statements validated his or her personal politics or 

 “That’s probably why Pew chose 10 statements that may get people fired up, 
depending on their political points of view. Such as this one that’s still driving 
conspiracy nuts crazy: ‘President Barack Obama was born in the United States.’ I 
correctly classified that as a fact.”

 “Which others did you get right?

 “It’s a fact that ‘Health care costs per person in the U.S. are the highest in the 
developed world,’ that 

‘Spending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid make up the largest portion 
of the U.S. federal budget,’ and that ‘ISIS lost a significant portion of its territory in 
Iraq and Syria in 2017.’”

 “Which opinions did you classify correctly?”

 “It’s an opinion, not a fact, that ‘Immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally are a 
very big problem for the country today,’ and that ‘A $15 federal minimum wage is 
essential to the health of the U.S. Economy.’”

 “That leaves us with one more statement: ‘Government is almost always wasteful 
and inefficient.’”

 “Even though I know that statement is an opinion, I couldn’t resist classifying it as 
a fact!”

 “You did better than most. Pew reports that only 26 percent of the adults surveyed 
correctly identified all five factual statements as factual, and just 35 percent identified 
all five opinion statements as opinion.”

 “That’s worrisome.”

 “To be sure. Our republic depends on a well-informed populace to remain strong. 
If the majority of our people can’t differentiate between fact and opinion - or fact 
and fiction, for that matter - they can be easily misled. That doesn’t bode well for our 


 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 Sales@cagle.
com or call (805) 969-2829. Send comments to Tom at



 People keep wondering how the hell we got here. How did America become a 
country that forcibly separates kids from their parents? The answer is obvious: we got 

 Since the election of the 45th POTUS, everything we know is wrong. Racism is good. 
Health care is bad. Coal is the future. Rich people need more money. North Korea is 
our friend. Canada and the free press are the enemy. Judges aren’t necessary, since we 
can tell who’s guilty just by looking at them.

The very phrase “President Donald Trump” should be surreal. Like saying Pope Charlie 
Sheen. It’s a Saturday Night Live skit. One of those not very funny SNL skits they 
slap on after the second appearance of the band.

 The Golden Canopy drags us down to his level, and just when we think we’ve reached 
a new low, another sub-basement gets dug. In a year and a half we’ve sunk so low we 
can feel the heat on our feet from the core of the earth.

 Absurdity has become normalized. We’ve built up a tolerance to delusions. We’re 
constantly jonesing for another shot of narcissistic confusion. We’ve turned into 
adrenaline junkies demanding our larger daily dose of preposterousness.

On April 6th, Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III announced the administration’s 
zero tolerance policy. He then used the Bible to justify its policy of separating 
immigrant parents from their children. Citing the same passage the south used 
to defend slavery. Maybe the plan was to rent the kids out to corporate farms. That 
cotton isn’t going to pick itself, you know.

 Trump and other administration officials proceeded to hold a competition for the 
most ludicrous excuse with a veritable bevy of them. “The Democrats are responsible.” 
“We’re just upholding the law.” “Using kids as hostages is not our policy.” “The courts 
made us do it.” “Only Congress can undo it.” “Our hands are tied.” “The Torah says 
it’s okay.” “Obama did it first.” “The kids are drug mules.” “They’re tiny future rapists.” 
“Crooked Hillary is to blame.” “Mexico is to blame.” “Bill Clinton had an affair.” “911 
was an inside job.” “Putin should be emperor of the world.” “What kids?”

 The problem was the optics. Kids in cages may look good on paper, but it doesn’t 
play so well on TV. And the rest of the Republican Party has tied their future to him 
with knots that would earn a boy scout merit badges. These enablers have already 
revealed themselves to being anti-logic, anti-environment, anti-democracy and anti-
fidelity. What difference does anti-family make?

 Under pressure from his own party, especially from that select group of members up 
for election in November, the President signed an executive order to change the policy 
he claimed wasn’t a policy and couldn’t be changed.

 And both Republicans and Democrats are planning partisan political ploys to highlight 
evidence that the other side is using the immigration crisis as a partisan political 
ploy coming up in the Midterms.

 Then to put the oddest of exclamation marks on the proceedings, the First Lady 
visited a detention center while wearing a $39 jacket that had the words “I don’t really 
care. Do U?” painted on the back. And the overwhelming response of seeing toddlers 
crying for absent parents was “Yessss.” At least she didn’t offer to bring the kids cake.


 Copyright 2018, Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former sod 
farmer in New Berlin, Wisconsin. For a calendar of personal appearances, including his 
new one-man show, “Durst Case Scenario,” please visit

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