Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, March 2, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page B:3



 Mountain Views News Saturday, March 2, 2019 


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


With America’s 
national debt surpassing 
a frightening 
$22 trillion, it 
makes sense that 
fewer people are 
volunteering their 
hard-earned dough 
to help reduce it.

Since 1961, the Bureau of the Public Debt 
has allowed Americans to “gift” money to 
the Treasury Department - on the condition 
that the money be used only to pay down the 

Last year’s donations totaled about $775,000 
- “only the fourth time in 20 years that the 
fund didn’t reach at least $1 million in actual 
dollars,” says U.S. News & World Report. 

“Over the last five years the amount of gifts 
to reduce public debt has shrunk substantially 
from about $5 million to under a million,” 
a Treasury spokesman told U.S. News.

Why the drop? Nobody’s certain. But I have 
a theory. 

It isn’t related to politics. The pattern of annual 
donations, high and low, is nearly even 
during both Democratic and Republican 

So, who volunteers their money? And why 
do they even bother?

When I looked into this a decade ago, a Bureau 
of the Public Debt senior adviser (now 
retired) told me the givers she encountered 
seemed to be patriotic citizens wanting to do 
their small part to help their country.

She said most givers mailed checks without 
notes. Some signed tax-refund checks over 
to Treasury. 

Occasionally, individuals left large portions 
of their estates to the government. The largest 
estate gift on record, $3.5 million, came 
in 1992.

The Congressional Research Service reports 
the largest single gift came in fiscal year 1994 
- $12 million from someone who remains 

“In total,” says U.S. News, “about $100 million 
has been donated since President John 
F. Kennedy signed the program into law in 

Regrettably, that’s a drop in the bucket - and 
perhaps the reason donations are dropping.

In 2014, Americans donated $5.1 million. 
That fell to $3.8 million in 2015, $2.7 million 
in 2016, $2.6 million in 2017 and $775,000 in 
2018. Only $185,000 has been donated so far 
in 2019 - despite a roaring economy. 

Perhaps donations are down because government 
spending has long been out of control 
- regardless of which party is in charge.

Perhaps donations are down because they 
are, essentially, useless.

Say the national debt stopped growing at 
$22 trillion (quit laughing!). Say that for the 
rest of time, our government would never 
spend a penny more than it takes in.

And say well-meaning Americans then gifted 
$5 million every year to pay down that 
$22 trillion - with zero interest on that debt.

Even then, it still would take 4.4 MILLION 
YEARS to reduce the debt to zero.

What’s worse: These gift donations technically 
aren’t paying down the debt anyhow. 
The donations are recorded on the receipts 
ledger of the federal government’s general 

So, rather than actually paying down the national 
debt, these donations just reduce the 
amount of money our government will borrow 
as it continues to run massive annual 

That’s why, in my humble opinion, fewer 
good-hearted Americans see any point in 
gifting their hard-earned money to our 
spendthrift government. No matter how 
much patriotic citizens want to do their 
part, and no matter how much they donate, 
it won’t make a real difference. 

They know that. And they know that so long 
as our politicians remain unserious about 
reducing spending and deficits, the national 
debt will continue to explode.

It’s no wonder why fewer Americans are 
willing to throw good money after bad.

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

Mountain Views News 
has been adjudicated as 
a newspaper of General 
Circulation for the County 
of Los Angeles in Court 
Case number GS004724: 
for the City of Sierra 
Madre; in Court Case 
GS005940 and for the 
City of Monrovia in Court 
Case No. GS006989 and 
is published every Saturday 
at 80 W. Sierra Madre 
Blvd., No. 327, Sierra 
Madre, California, 91024. 
All contents are copyrighted 
and may not be 
reproduced without the 
express written consent of 
the publisher. All rights 
reserved. All submissions 
to this newspaper become 
the property of the Mountain 
Views News and may 
be published in part or 

Opinions and views 
expressed by the writers 
printed in this paper do 
not necessarily express 
the views and opinions 
of the publisher or staff 
of the Mountain Views 

Mountain Views News is 
wholly owned by Grace 
Lorraine Publications, 
and reserves the right to 
refuse 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






The Trump regime has trafficked in self-parody since its inception, 
so perhaps we’re already numb to the news that it intends 
to challenge the scientific consensus that climate change 
is a dire international emergency.

You heard that right. Even though the federal government’s 
National Climate Assessment officially warned in November 
that the planet is truly imperiled, and even though a U.N. report 
in October compared the climate change crisis to “a deafening, 
piercing smoke alarm going off in the kitchen,” and 
even though Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats 
warned in January that climate change poses a significant national security risk, Donald 
Trump is nevertheless hiring some flat Earth believers who will likely ratify his belief 
that climate change is a “hoax” that poses no threat to our national security.

This ad hoc coterie of deniers reportedly will be spearheaded by a National Security 
Council adviser named William Happer, a guy with no formal training as a climate 
scientist. Happer, who has taken money from the fossil fuel industry, says the carbon 
emissions that precipitate climate change are “not a pollutant at all,” that they’re “actually 
a benefit to the Earth.” Happer has stated in the past that “the demonization” of 
carbon emissions “is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler,” which is 
apparently his way of comparing climate scientists to Nazis.

How did we wind up with quacks who are so blind to reality?

One credentialed climate expert - retired Navy Rear Adm. David Titley, former chief 
operating officer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - expressed 
his disgust: “I never thought I would live to see the day in the United States where our 
own White House is attacking the very science agencies that can help the president understand 
and manage the climate risks to security of today and tomorrow. Such attacks 
are un-American.”

Unfortunately, this day was guaranteed when 46 percent of the electorate chose as its 
president a flat-Earth crank who tweeted in 2014 that “GLOBAL WARMING bulls- 
has got to stop!” and has never masked his hostility to science. A pivotal 77,000 swing 
voters in three Rust Belt states decided that it didn’t matter.

Trump aides told the press that he’s looking for a “mixture of opinions” on whether 
climate change is a threat to the United States because he “wants people to be able to 
decide for themselves.” In truth, the American people - echoing the scientific consensus 
- have already decided for themselves. According to the latest NBC News-Wall Street 
Journal survey, 66 percent say climate change is a “serious problem” that requires action, 
while only 30 percent say otherwise.

At a time when “we are adding planet-warming carbon dioxide to the atmosphere at a 
rate faster than at any point in human history since the beginning of industrialization” 
(in the words of David Wallace-Wells, author of the forthcoming book “The Uninhabitable 
Earth”), we can ill afford a “leader” who mimics the attitude of the 17th-century 
church when it was confronted with Galileo’s conclusion that the Earth circles the sun. 
We’re saddled with someone who disses the expertise of the Pentagon - which warned 
way back in 2003, during the Bush administration, that climate change “should be elevated 
beyond a scientific debate to a U.S. national security concern.”

When Trump was asked last November whether climate change poses a major threat to 
America, he replied: “I don’t see it.” Hence his desire for a “mixture of opinions” that 
would ratify what he doesn’t want to see - even though the Pentagon has repeatedly seen 
it. In 2008, the Pentagon weighed in on a report that outlined “the National Security 
Implications of Global Climate Change.” In 2010, it again detailed its concerns in a 
“defense review.” In 2014, it did so again, writing that “he pressures caused by climate 
change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, 
societies, and governance institutions around the world.”

That Pentagon report was five years ago. Since then, the severity of the crisis has only 
worsened. If Trump were to stop playing tin soldier on our Mexican border, perhaps 
he’d be capable of confronting our true national emergency. But that’s a futile hope. 

Only a regime change in 2020 would reorient us toward science - if it’s not too late.


Robert Kraft is being charged with soliciting prostitutes. 
That's not news, sadly, since a lot of people 
- including high-profile people - pay for sex.

It's a misdemeanor under Florida law, the jurisdiction under which he's being 
charged, and the maximum sentence he is facing is four months in jail.

So far, not a really big story, even though the 77-year-old billionaire at the 
middle of it is well known to the football world as Tom Brady's biggest fan.

The owner of the Super Bowl champion Patriots follows in a long line of 
lonely, old men who seek solace in the arms of women who, behind their 
backs, are raising their eyebrows and counting the dollar signs.

But this time, it appears that the women in question were sex slaves, trafficked 
into the United States with promises of legitimate jobs and forced 
to service men who either couldn't, or didn't want to, earn the affection of 
their "date."

As an immigration attorney, I have met some of these women (because 
they are virtually always young, young women), and I can tell you that the 
look in their eyes is a cross between terror and emptiness. None of them 
knowingly entered the world of sex trafficking. For most, it was a promise 
to leave their small town in the Balkans, or in Asia, or in Africa and earn 
money and a ticket to a better future. Very few, if any, intended to become 
what some people call "sex workers," which is a euphemism that makes me 
cringe. We can leave for another day the discussion about whether prostitution 
should be legal, but regardless of how you feel about grown women 
choosing to use their bodies as a way to make money, there is no question 
that a pre- or barely postpubescent youngster trafficked into this country is 
immoral. It is also a crime.

Immigration has known that for a while, and I know numerous individuals 
who have obtained what is known in the trade as a "T" visa, which protects 
the victim of trafficking and gives them a path to legalization. The problem 
is, as long as there's a market for this living and breathing commodity, 
there will continue to be a pipeline of victims.

That's why what Kraft is alleged to have done is disgusting, immoral, 
and criminal. It's unfortunate that the laws make it worthy of only a few 
months in the cooler.

I've actually heard some people supporting Kraft, and their arguments 
fall along three general lines: (1) He's a lonely, old man who lost his wife 
and shouldn't be the target of moral zealots; (2) he's being targeted only 
because he's a friend of President President Trump and (3) prostitution 
should be legal. The first and third reasons are connected.

The problem is, all three arguments overlook the fact that our sympathies 
are misplaced if we're worrying about the billionaire owner of a championship 
football franchise, instead of worrying about how to dry up that 
pipeline of trafficked children and youth. I'd be saying the same thing if 
Kraft were a 57-year-old carpenter who wanted a little "fun on the side," or 
a multimillionaire who spent his holidays with Bill and Hillary.

The point is, the identity of the guy paying for his pleasure is irrelevant. 
The only thing that matters is that all of them represent a market, and if 
there is the prospect of someone at the end of that pipeline willing to shell 
out money for a few moments of inauthentic love, the people I see in my 
immigration practice will continue to be in danger.

Trump talked about the importance of building a wall to stop the flow of 
trafficking. It's debatable whether that would work, but, even if it would, 
it's better to eliminate the reason for the wall: prosecute the men who represent 
the demand for that achingly human, achingly vulnerable supply.

Robert Kraft is old, and he has money, and he'll find a way to avoid the 
horror of being trapped in a room without any control over his future.

The real victims in this scenario don't have that luxury.

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 prosperous 
community of well-
informed citizens. We 
hold in high regard the 
values of the exceptional 
quality of life in our 
community, including 
the magnificence of 
our natural resources. 
Integrity will be our guide. 

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