Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, October 26, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page 11



Mountain View News Saturday, October 26, 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


I gave up trying to 
sleep at about 4:30 this morning. Last night I read 
that diabetes and limited sleep time contribute 
to the likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease. I have 
struggled with the first two conditions for years and 
am increasingly worried about early indications of 
the third. Additionally, as a result of composing 
these articles I have become aware of my need for 
feedback, a kind of deeper conversation regarding 
things I have been thinking about. I have consciously tried to have more 
meaningful conversations with people, even people that I usually have 
trouble conversing with in any way—like my sister.

 She is the person who I rode to Elementary School on the handlebars 
of my bicycle. At one time we were very close but now seldom personally see 
each other and have tried to stay in touch by telephone. This hasn’t worked 
out very well because we are both now hard of hearing and live on hillsides 
which make phone connections unreliable. Many of our phone conversations 
consist of one or the other, very often me, yelling STOP TALKING, meaning 
shut up and listen to me.

 Last night we tried communicating through multiple e-mails and it 
was disastrous. She accused me of failing to proofread which indicated to 
her my lack of concern for other people in addition to overall ignorance of 
acceptable social behavior. I responded by pointing out that she repeatedly 
misspelled Judaism which is demonstrative of her overall cluelessness. 
Subsequent emails rapidly descended into social critiques of the families 
of in-laws and a final insult in which she accused me of not knowing how 
to dance at the time of my High School Prom. That prom was sixty years 
ago and her comments seemed to be an irrelevant and insulting and painful 
accusation. The end result is that by mutual assent we will not communicate 
again unless circumstances make it necessary.

 As silly as all this sounds, the conversation was painful and, 
combined with my worries about Alzheimer’s, I found sleep impossible. I 
needed to talk, to express feelings, feelings about a lot of things and my wife 
was happily fast asleep. In the hope of calming myself I got dressed, left 
home and decided to walk around waiting for the sky to change colors and 
eventually to watch the sunrise, doing jumping jacks and still feeling pretty 
agitated. Out of the blackness I saw a man wearing earphones approaching. 
Uninvited, I asked what are you listening to, “music”, he said;” what music”, I 
said; “my own music “, he responded. With this inauspicious beginning we 
talked so long that I failed to see the sky changing colors and the sun rising.

 I needed to talk and it was a wonderful conversation talking about his 
music, his poetry, his world travels, his disabilities, and his hallucinations. He 
described how a cactus could morph into something else. More surprisingly 
he was familiar with Zizek and Peterson, social-philosophers that I read 
about and have great difficult in understanding. He knew all of the Leonard 
Cohen songs and was familiar with Cohen’s songs and his poetry.

 He shared his feelings about his privilege and his coddled life as 
his parents and grandparents had all been medical doctors. He described 
his feelings of present inferiority as he had been diagnosed with bi-polar 
disorder and was now receiving Social Security Disability Payments. I had 
the opportunity to talk a little about myself. My feelings that my way of 
life had not allowed me the opportunity to express myself very fully and to 
just appreciate who I am. We walked back to my house and when my wife 
awoke I introduced him to her and they too had a very nice conversation. 
Consistent with his old profession of school teacher he gave us assignments 
to view documentaries relating to subjects we had discussed. Eventually he 
made his excuses and said he had to get home to take his medication.

 I feel better. From out of the darkness came this gift to me as I was 
able to leave my own worries and notice the present opportunity to speak to 
this stranger in the dark. There is a new present arriving at every moment if 
one is ready to receive it. WHAT A GIFT! 

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Did you catch the important news story about Hillary 
Clinton the other day? I’m guessing you missed 
it, because it was buried beneath the latest bombshells 
about the Russia-abetted grifter who barely 
beat her. Indeed, if you happened to see the print version 
of The New York Times, the story was inexplica-
bly consigned to page 16:

“A years-long State Department investigation into 
former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private 
email server found that…there was no systemic or 
deliberate mishandling of classified information.”

Let’s repeat that conclusion, this time by quoting the report released by Trump’s 
State Department:

“There was no persuasive evidence of systematic, deliberate mishandling of classified 

Gee, whattaya know. The fake scandal ginned up by candidate Trump and amplified 
by a complicit mainstream media turns out to be a nutrition-free nothingburger. 
Too bad the hyperbolic brouhaha about her private server tilted the 2016 
election to an aspiring authoritarian who vandalizes the Consti-tution and sells 
out America to its enemies. Compared to Trump’s impeachable acts, what Hillary 
did was tantamount to jay-walking in traffic.

The lesson for the mainstream media, a lesson that by now should be obvious, is 
that false equiva-lence is a crime against fact.

Candidate Trump’s sordid past – his mob ties, his multiple bankruptcies, his financial 
dependence on Russia, his stiffing of small contractors – got a fraction of 
the media coverage that Hillary’s emails re-ceived. By the late summer of 2016, 
that’s basically what most Americans “knew” about her – the vague unfounded 
suspicion that she might be a risk to national security.

That suspicion, preposterous back then, looks especially so now thanks to a new 
report by the Repub-lican-led Senate Intelligence Committee. The reporth documents 
the Kremlin’s systematic 2016 cam-paign to get Trump elected, a campaign 
so successful that Russian operatives literally drank champagne on election night. 
And they’re still celebrating. Trump’s military retreat from Syria is a boost for 
Russia, according to Russia. As one Moscow commentator wrote this week, “Putin 
won the lottery!”

It’s weird that Trump assails reporters as “enemies of the people,” because he arguably 
owes his as-cent to their obsession with Hillary’s emails. For most of 2015 
and 2016, they covered the “story” re-lentlessly, despite the dearth of actual evidence 
she’d breached national security. Most of the time, the nothingburger was 
stuffed with fillers like “Questions are being raised.” This was a typical New York 
Times paragraph in August 2015; “But the email account and its confusing reverberations 
have become a significant early chapter in the 2016 presidential race 
and a new stroke in the portrait of the Democrats’ leading candidate.”

Even last Friday, while reporting on Hillary’s exoneration (and burying the story), 
The Times wrote that the State Department report “appears to bookend a 
controversy that dogged Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 pres-idential campaign.” Oh please. 
She was “dogged” by the “controversy” precisely because the press saw it as “a new 
stroke in the portrait.”

One commentator, legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin of CNN, has at least copped to his 
complicity. Bravo to him. On the air Monday, he discussed the exoneration and 
said: “This is also a story about the news media, about how much time we spent 
on (Hillary’s emails) and that’s something that I have felt a great deal of responsibility 
for, because I talked about the emails here at CNN. I wrote about it in The 
New Yorker, and I think I paid too much attention to them, and I regret that, and 
I hope a lesson is learned.”

We’ll see about that. Eying 2020, Trump is already running the same false-
equivalence playbook. He’s trying to sucker the media and citizenry into believing 
that the Biden family’s so-called “corruption” is worse or no worse than his 

Hillary’s exoneration should be a wake-up call. Shame on this benighted nation 
if we sanction a second con.

Dick Polman, a veteran national political columnist based in Philadelphia 
and a Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, writes at Email him at


With so much happening in the world, you probably don’t want 
to read about my own personal dark night of the soul.

But at the risk of sounding narcissistic, I do think there is some 
value in examin-ing why a person like me would feel compelled 
to leave the Republican Party.

It was only four years ago that I proudly, defiantly and publicly 
abandoned the Democrats. I’d left them in spirit many years 
before, mostly because of their in-sistence on treating abortion rights as fundamental. 
Nevertheless, apathy kept me from changing my registration for several years longer 
than I probably should have.

In 2016, John Kasich was my escape hatch. Changing my registration just in time for 
the Pennsylvania presidential primary gave me the sense that even if he didn’t win the 
nomination, I was able to cast my vote for a genuinely pro-life candidate: pro-child, 
pro-mother, pro-worker, pro-immigrant, pro-faith. He spoke a language I understood, a 
language that had become mangled in the mouths of Democrats.

Watching the debates this week, I heard that confused rhetoric again, with the candidates 
all declaring their horror at the carnage of gun violence but com-pletely at peace 
with legalized abortion. If I needed any reminder of why I stopped supporting the Democratic 
Party, it was right there on that stage.

But the comfort and fellowship I thought I’d found in the GOP was shattered last week, 
when President Trump took a phone call from Turkey’s president and de-cided to withdraw 
our troops from Syria, abandoning our Kurdish allies. While some GOP lawmakers 
spouted off righteous indignation and some invoked real pushback, for me, it was too 
little, much too late. The abandonment of the Kurds and the almost cavalier attitude of 
some of my Trump-supporting acquaintances was a wake-up call that this was no longer 
a party I wanted to belong to.

This was supposed to be the party that valued our relationship with NATO, the party of 
a strong national defense, the party that respected our military. This was supposed to 
be the party that didn’t take a knee when the National Anthem was played, that wasn’t 
embarrassed by overt expressions of patriotism.

My angry feelings toward the Republican Party were further compounded this week 
when two agencies of the federal government — ICE and the FBI — threat-ened to 
deport one of my immigration clients. My client has spent the last few years providing 
valuable information to them in exchange for being allowed to remain in the United 
States — but now that the investigation has closed, he’s been taken into custody and it is 
likely that he’ll be deported.

I believe strongly in loyalty. It’s everything to me. That’s why I can’t get behind a Republican 
Party that is disloyal to everyone from our Kurdish allies, who sup-ported us in the 
Middle East, to my client, who risked a lot to help America and was repaid by being sent 
to a detention center.

I’ve had enough. I will never return to the Democratic Party, because of how they embrace 
abortion, play games with identity politics, and think that gender is a matter of 
opinion. But I no longer feel that the Republican Party represents my morals.

This is my own Declaration of “Independent.” This week, I registered as an Inde-pendent. 
I will never again 
be a Democrat, particularly 
not Philadelphia, 
where that party is filled 
with people like DA Larry 
Krasner and Mayor Jim 
Kenney. Their principles 
are anathema to me. But 
the GOP abandoned the 
principles I loved.

And so, I abandoned 

. Flowers is an attorney 
and a columnist for the 
Philadelphia Inquirer, and 
can be reached at cflowers1961@

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