Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, January 19, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page B:3



 Mountain Views News Saturday, January 19, 2019 

TOM Purcell

Mountain Views



Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 


Joan Schmidt


LaQuetta Shamblee


Richard Garcia


Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 




Mary Lou Caldwell

Kevin McGuire

Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Lori Ann Harris

Rev. James Snyder

Dr. Tina Paul

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton


We’ll celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and 
legacy next week. In these angry and divisive times, we all 
could benefit by reminding ourselves of his words’ truth, 
civility and wisdom.

 Too many of us are consumed with hatred and anger, 
which have reared their ugly heads in our public discourse lately. Dr. King, who 
endured hatred so ugly and excessive that it led to his assassination, spoke often 
of the futility of hating anyone or anything - of how hating harms the hater than 
the hated: 

 “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive 
out hate: Only love can do that.”

 “I have decided to stick to love ... . Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

 “Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”

 Our political leaders’ courage has always been in regrettably short supply. If 
only those leaders - who are more concerned with partisan interests than with our 
country’s many challenges - would heed these words from Dr. King: 

 “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort 
and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

 “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor 
politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.”

 “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”

 Pride, the worst of the seven deadly sins, blinds us and holds us back. Dr. King 
taught us that forgiveness is the way to defeat pride: 

 “Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude.”

 “Forgiveness means reconciliation, a coming together again.”

 “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the 
power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of 
us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate 
our enemies.”

 Something my father did in the military in the 1950s still makes me proud. 
He was raised in Pittsburgh in an era when he had limited interaction with the 
African-American community. In the Army, however, he became best friends with 
an African-American who was being harassed by another fellow solely because of 
his skin color. 

 My father, a large, powerful man, used his fists to put an end to the harassment. 
His friend went on to become a physician. My father says of him, “He was the 
finest man I ever met.”

 Dr. King understood that each of us walks the same path - that only a lack of 
good communication is holding us back: 

 “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other 
because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have 
not communicated with each other.”

 Dr. King’s dream was that his “four little children will one day live in a nation 
where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their 

 My dream is that one day, we’ll get there - that one day, we’ll realize Dr. King’s 
wisdom, fully embrace it and act on it, fulfilling his dream and America’s promise 
of equality for all


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. 

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Threats to withhold 
federal emergency 
relief funds to aid 
victims of the forest 
fires that recently ravaged California offer 
further evidence that Donald J. Trump knows 
how to harbor a grudge. 

 The president is not popular in California. 
Results of the 2016 election, in which Hillary 
Clinton garnered nearly 9 million votes and 
trounced Trump by a margin of almost 2-to-
1, are the most obvious indicator. Although 
having his star on the Hollywood Walk of 
Fame sporadically come under siege by paint 
and pick-ax wielding fans appears to be further 

 No matter. Californians are just a bunch of 
losers anyway. Trump doesn’t like losers. Nor 
does he like to lose. And when he does, it’s 
inevitable someone else will be made to pay. 
Big league. In this instance, that might mean 
the 6,646 individuals who have already applied 
for Federal Emergency Management Agency 
assistance to find temporary housing, pay for 
home repairs, or buy groceries, new clothes 
and furniture. 

 The men, women and children who have 
lost homes, friends, family members, pets, 
possessions and livelihoods to conflagrations 
in both the northern and southern parts of 
the state are already victims. Any actions on 
Trump’s part to keep them from gaining access 
to the nearly $50 million in FEMA aid that had 
already been earmarked would only further 
victimize them. 

 Then again, why should they be any different 
than the 800,000 federal employees who 
are now jobless as a result of the president’s 
intransigence over funding for his wall or steel 
picket fence or whatever he wants to call it? Or 
the 13,000 migrant children currently held in 
detention centers? Or the thousands of family 
farmers and small business owners whose 
livelihoods are threatened as a result of his ill-
conceived and poorly executed trade wars? 

 Playing with the lives of working-class men 
and women is nothing more than a means to 
an end for Donald Trump. No matter the cost.

 While the president’s declaration of Ventura, 
Los Angeles, and Butte counties as disaster 
areas was a momentarily presidential move, he 
couldn’t leave well-enough alone. It was quickly 
followed by his pronouncement that the 
devastation wreaked by wildfires in California 
was a result of “poor forest management.” 

 This analysis was part of a thoughtful, 
thoroughly-researched screed unleashed 
by the president via Twitter that went on to 
say, “Billions of dollars are given each year, 
with so many lives lost, all because of gross 
mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, 
or no more Fed payments!” 

 What to do with those already-allocated 
funds? Here’s a great idea: take them back 
from people in need and use them to pay 
for the president’s steel slat monstrosity 
on the southern border. Better yet, how 
about clawing back disaster relief funds set 
aside for Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas as 
well? Why go to the trouble of declaring a 
national emergency when so much money 
is readily available? After all, those billions of 
dollars would be much better spent fulfilling 
ludicrous campaign promises rather than 
helping struggling U.S. citizens. And by 
throwing a few Republican bastions in the 
mix, no one could possibly accuse Trump 
of red-blue bias (that bias is limited to other 
colors in this president’s box of crayons). 

 Questions of the legality of the president’s 
use of funds apportioned for disaster relief, 
as well as bipartisan antipathy toward the 
proposal, have resulted in some of the 
president’s more lucid advisers walking 
back his more outrageous suggestions. Still, 
the president’s transactional approach to 
governance is disturbing and should serve as 
a clarion call no matter what one’s political 
beliefs or place of residence are. 

 True national emergencies arise. At any 
given time, any one of us could fall victim to 
fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, earthquake 
or volcanic eruption. Catastrophic events 
happen. And insurance doesn’t always 
provide a solution to the problems that ensue. 

 Americans need to trust that petty 
partisanship will in no way interfere with our 
health, safety and well-being. We should feel 
confident that our leaders will have our backs 
regardless of whether one lives in a state that 
did or did not vote for the president. Left to 
his own devices, that appears unlikely so long 
as Donald Trump continues to occupy the 
White House and dominate members of the 
Republican Party.

 Sadly, the trail of destruction left in the 
wake of this administration and the toll it’s 
taking on all of us may one day rival any 
natural disaster yet to befall this nation.

Blair Bess is an award-winning journalist 
and columnist. He can be reached at bbess@


No matter where you look, you can’t escape it.

“Government Shutdown - Day 27…” 

“Government Shutdown - Day 28…” 

 The partial government shutdown - and who’s to blame for it, who’s 
being hurt most by it and who’s going to blink first - is the top topic on 
television, cable, talk radio, the internet and in the papers.

 It’s so pervasive in all the news media it feels like you’re watching a daily “Groundhog Day” movie 
about partisan politics and biased journalism.

 Everyone who is interviewed about the shutdown on Fox, CNN, NBC and elsewhere says the 
same predictable things over and over.

 If Republicans are asked who’s to blame, it’s Pelosi and Schumer. If a Democrat is asked, they blame 
the President and Republicans.

 You already know by now nearly everything you’re going to see or hear in the future about the 
shutdown. You don’t have to listen to today’s repeat questions because you already know the answers.

 The same thing was true for those who watched this week’s Senate hearings on Trump’s Attorney 
General nominee William Barr.

 It was the same bad TV movie starring politicians we’ve all seen in DC many times before. You 
knew every politician would go by the script, play to the cameras and pander to their party’s base -- 
and they did.

 You also knew how the media coverage would go down: You were going to love what Fox said and 
hate what CNN said, or vice versa.

 So the big question is, why should you waste a minute of your time on the daily news coverage of 
the government shutdown? Why torture yourself? Why get frustrated and angry?

 You know you can’t do a thing about ending the government shutdown or brokering a compromise 
deal between the Democrats and the president.

 Instead of getting so mad you feel like throwing your beer bottle or coffee cup at the TV set, why 
not find something more enjoyable to do with your time?

 Maybe you should do what I do. 

 Turn off the TV and talk radio for a few days. Don’t listen to the news. When you’re in the car, tune 
into to Y2 Country, the Highway or the Bridge on Sirius XM.

 Turn on sports radio. Binge on Netflix. Watch an NFL playoff game this weekend.

Better yet, try to find a good laugh or joke in everything you do or see in your political world, as I do 
as often as possible.

 Sometimes my search for humor in the swamp of politics goes a bit too far, I admit.

For example, when I had a colonoscopy a while ago the doctors found a bit of colon cancer. They cut 
it out and I’m good, thanks. (By the way, everyone should get colonoscopy. It could save your life.)

 When I told people about my medical procedure, my little joke was that, “The president was lying 
next to me in the recovery room and he had a colonoscopy too - and they found Fox News. They did 
one on Chuck Schumer too - and found CNN.”

If I told that joke on TV, they’d never have me on the air again, but I still think it’s an example of good, 
bipartisan political humor.

 The sad truth is, in the Age of Trump, jokes and humor of any kind are getting harder to find - or 

 Too many Americans have not only lost their sense of humor, they’ve lost their ability to take a 

 Comedians like Seinfeld won’t perform on college campuses because students are such over-
protected snowflakes. 

 Meanwhile, people like me who grew up in the 1960s can’t bear to watch “Saturday Night Live” or 
late-night television anymore.

 The openly partisan hosts of those shows today are not only not very funny, they think their 
nightly job is to prove how much they hate the president and Republicans. 

 They don’t want to send you to sleep with a smile on your face the way Johnny Carson, Jay Leno 
and even David Letterman did in his early days. 

 They want you to go to bed angry - especially at Trump. 

 The late-night hosts and their liberal soulmates in Hollywood have not just poisoned our pop 
culture with their political correctness and left-wing politics.

 By making it harder and harder to find a good laugh when you need one to make our bad politics 
go away, they’ve taken a lot of the fun out of America.


 Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “Lessons 
My Father Taught Me: The Strength, Integrity, and Faith of Ronald Reagan.” He is the founder of the 
email service and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at www. and Send comments to Follow @
reaganworld on Twitter. 

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