Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, September 28, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page 11



Mountain View News Saturday, September 28, 2019 






Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



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

Joan Schmidt

LaQuetta Shamblee

Many of us 
born in the 
United States 
and “educated’ 
here have had 
some exposure 
to foreign 
Spanish. In 
we were 
exposed to 
something called the subjunctive 
but without understanding much 
about its significance. As I begin this 
article relating to the importance of 
recognizing truth, please be aware 
that I have no specific guideline for 
its recognition and that, therefore, at 
the conclusion of this article you may 
remain as confused as I am.

 Returning to the subjunctive, 
or the subjunctive mood, it is 
contrasted with the indicative mood. 
The subjunctive mood is to be used 
when what is being described is 
imagined or wished or possible. 
Alternatively, the indicative mood is 
to be used to describe facts and other 
statements that are known to be true 
and correct.

 That’s the point. In order to 
properly use language one must be able 
to differentiate truth from conjecture. 
As language was painstakingly being 
constructed the words themselves, 
not their meanings but the words 
themselves, indicated to the listener 
how certain the speaker was of the 
correctness of the information he was 
conveying. This is the root of language. 
If the speaker is saying, “it is safe to 
eat this food or there is a predator 
behind that tree” the listener must be 
highly concerned as to how certain the 
speaker is of the truth of his statement. 
Is he just guessing, or is he sure there is 
a bear behind that tree. 

 In today’s world, for me at 
least, it has become almost impossible 
to separate truth from fiction. Is “fake 
news” really fake or is the speaker the 
one faking. Let’s begin with that entity 
I have called “me” or sometimes ”I”. 
Although I wake feeling myself to be 
mostly the same as I have always been 
I am quickly aware that there are some 
differences. In order to function in the 
world I must insert my hearing aids, 
put on my glasses, find my denture, 
swallow pills to mysteriously keep 
organs functioning and still I am not 
quite the same. Is this the “true me’. 
Actually I must concede that this 
me is a bit different than the “me” to 
which I had been accustomed. This 
“me” is 75 years old and forgets names, 
incidents, directions, phone numbers, 
and passwords that at one time came 
immediately to mind. Of this I am 
completely sure--there is no doubt, 
subjectively or indicatively.

 Based upon this awareness 
I state indicatively that no person in 
their mid to late seventies should ever 
be expected to competently execute 
the responsibilities of the Presidency 
of the United States. As ex-President 
Carter explained, persons of that 
age may not have full command or 
recognition of the facts underlying 
their own positions which they have 
maintained for long periods. I know 
that this 70 plus category includes 
Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Joe 
Biden, and Elizabeth Warren (almost- 
even though she seems to have a plan 
for everything she has no plan to stop 
herself from aging. Yes, this fear of 
aged less than complete competency 
causes me to question the decision 
making of Nancy Pelosi. I do believe 
that seventy-six year old Bernie does 
still appear to be the most progressive 
hopeful but he has been saying the 
same stuff for forty years.

 Contrast any of the above-
people with fifteen year old Greta 
Thunberg who informed the United 
Nations Climate Conference “I will not 
beg the world leaders to care for our 
future. I will instead let them know 
change is coming whether you like it 
or not. (Shades of the YOUNG Bob 
Dylan.) In the Scientific Community 
there is a hallowed expression, “Science 
advances one death at a time” meaning 
that the older leaders of a specific 
Scientific Branch are often identified 
with discoveries made years ago and 
as leaders of the profession they tend 
to protect the continued acceptance of 
their discoveries and principles after 
the time has come o recognized that 
such principles have become obsolete 
or even disproved.

 I maintain that older people 
are often stubbornly and willingly 
contained within the bubble of their 
own subjective reality maintaining 
beliefs that now are, at best, only 
subjectively plausible rather than 
indicatively truthful. If you question 
this viewpoint, review the ability of 
our oldest President, Ronald Reagan, 
during the latter years of his eight 
year term. So, don’t you agree that I 
am right when I say oldsters are often 
wrong and I guess that applies to me as 


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 Donald Trump has become our worst nightmare, 
acting out his role as President, albeit 
on a much grander stage, of the ultra-corrupt, 
autocratic, dictator, a mega-version of 
his malevolent role as the corporate-gangster 
in The Apprentice. Playing his part to the 
hilt, but without any of pathos of Richard 
Nixon. I can assure you, there will be no 
President Trump on his knees praying with 
his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, like Nixon and Henry Kissinger, praying together 
the night before the President leaves the White House never to return.

 To be fair, Ms. Pelosi you didn’t become Speaker again until Democrats returned 
to power in January this year, but you were in the House to witness all of President 
Trump’s constitutionally impeachable, abuse of office offenses since he was inaugurated 
on January 20, 2017. 

You were there when on May 9, 2017 when President Trump fired FBI Director James 
Comey, later admitting in a NBC interview with newsman Lester Holt that his reason 
for the firing Comey was “This Russia thing…” That is, the investigation of National 
Security advisor Michael Flynn and Russian influence in the 2016 Presidential 

 It is noteworthy that even before the Holt interview, President Trump’s disregard 
for norms of government and his willingness to ignore the Constitution, became apparent 
that he had no intention to fulfill his oath “to preserve, protect, protect, and defend 
the Constitution of the United States.” Again Ms. Pelosi, you and the Democratic 
Party should be forgiven because it wasn’t until the 2018 Blue Wave that Democrats 
took back the House in 2019. 

 Still after witnessing all the instances of Trump’s abuse of presidential power—
separating asylum-seekers and incarcerating their children in cages, Trump’s 34-day 
shut-down (Dec. 22 - January 25) of the federal government unsuccessful attempt to 
fund the border wall, finally succeeding without Congressional approval by stealing 
money from FEMA and DOD, to fund the border wall, in the face of the devastation 
caused by four Hurricanes since Trump took office—Irma, Michael, Maria and 

 Taking money from one federal Department and giving it to another is in effect 
STEALING! Think of all the lives that could have been saved had just FEMA been 
fully funded. Ms. Pelosi, did you look at the arial images of all the dead after the hurricanes 
subsided. If not, you can Google them. Seeing is believing: these are real people, 
not mere statistics, with real lives, families and dreams for their future, many of who 
died unnecessarily because of silence.

 Ms. Pelosi, you are now the Speaker of the House. As a result, the question becomes: 
What have you done concerning President Trump since your party returned 
to power, what have you done took over as Speaker? It’s hard to say. It’s easier to say 
what you haven’t done. You didn’t immediately initiate impeachment hearings. 

 Ms. Pelosi you have procrastinated, using the Mueller Investigation as an excuse 
not to begin impeachment—knowing from the get-go that Mueller was only investigating 
two aspects of Trump’s many possible grounds for impeachment—conspiracy 
and/or obstruction of justice regarding Russia’s interference in the 2016 Presidential 
Election. In effect turning a blind eye on every other impeachable offense Trump had 
committed, indeed continues to commit.

 You professing that impeachment will doom Democrats in 2020 seems baseless 
now. All you have done is make the Democratic Party look weak, and unable to rise 
to the task of impeaching Trump and campaigning against him. Rather than exposing 
Trump as the national crook he is, like Watergate did to Nixon, you have emboldened 
him to move further down road of impeachable offenses without a credible response 
until here we are—the “Whistleblower Complaint” about Trump’s trying to extort 
the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyto to intervene in the 2020 election as a 
condition the U.S. to release $400 Million in military aid to defend themselves from 
the Russian aggression in its five-year war in the Crimea.

 Note: By the time that Watergate was done in over 85 percent of Americans had 
watched some part of the hearings. Madame Speaker, it is time to strip the emperor 
of his clothes—like what was done to Nixon during the Watergate hearings—and 
display to his subjects Trump’s defects of character to finally see, consider and act 
upon in 2020.


I never met my great-grandfather, although I’ve seen pictures 
of him. The one I treasure most is a family photo, 
similar to those images on an commercial, 
where he is sitting with his wife and older daughters. 
(The sons would arrive later.) He’s wearing a hat and a 
solemn expression, but you get the impression that he’s 
content with the life he’d created since emigrating from 
Italy a few years before.

You would be wrong, though. Some years after that photo was taken, this patriarch 
of five daughters and three sons took his own life. He went to the basement 
of their home in West Philadelphia, found his daughter’s jump rope, and 
hanged himself. My grandmother Mamie was the one who found him, and felt 
guilty for the rest of her life, since she was the one who’d thrown her sister’s rope 
down the basement steps while cleaning.

No one knows why he did it. He was a man in his middle years with a loving wife 
and beautiful children, a respectable job, and the immigrant’s pride. The impact 
of the suicide had a ripple effect on later generations, from my grandmother to 
her daughter Lucy and to me, the great-granddaughter who looks at his photo 
and shakes her head in sorrow.

Suicide does that. It brings sorrow and raises questions that linger. It begs for 
answers that rarely come, and solutions that are only hoped for, not probable. 
While it might seem that the numbers of suicides has increased in the last few 
decades, that might just be a function of people being more open. I can promise 
you that my great-grandfather’s obituary did not include his cause of death. 
Now, however, families are talking about their loved one’s painful choices, and 
it is not unusual to see an obituary with the sentence, “She took her own life.”

Some think it’s good to be candid about the manner of death, so that we bring 
suicide out of the shadows and treat it like a psychological ailment no different 
from the diseases of the body. They think it helps erase the shame that people 
of my great-grandfather’s generation suffered. I’m not so sure, but I respect the 
choices and the grief of others.

When my brother Jonathan ended his own young life, we did not include the 
manner of death in his obituary. This was not a conscious choice, it was simply a 
personal decision. Jon’s life was much more than the manner in which he chose 
to leave it, and it was necessary to reflect on that as opposed to his last moments 
on Earth. But there was no shame, only sadness.

This tension between wanting to stop the scourge of suicide and not wanting to 
normalize it in our customs and acknowledgements has always been a problem 
for those left behind. I didn’t even know about my great-grandfather’s death 
until I was in my early 20s, but I always sensed there was something wrong by 
the sadness in my grandmother’s eyes when she talked about her father. The 
pain was compounded by the Catholic Church’s position of the time, which 
prohibited burial in consecrated ground to those who took their own lives. Since 
the 1960s, that custom has thankfully been eliminated, but you can imagine the 
anguish it caused to a devoutly Italian Catholic family in the early part of the 
last century.

September is National Suicide Awareness Month, although anyone who has 
been touched by the tragedy will tell you there is no moment in their lives when 
they are not aware of its consequences. We have evolved to a certain degree in 
our attitudes about suicide, but it will always be one of the most difficult things 
we have to face: the deliberate choice to leave.

I come from a family where suicide is a multi-generational legacy. That does 
not mean it is our future. The best I can do is remember them, Sebastiano and 

I’d ask you to do the same.

If you or someone you know is thinking of suicide, call the National Suicide 
Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text TALK to the Crisis Text Line at 

Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and can be 
reached at

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