Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, November 2, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page 11



Mountain View News Saturday, November 2, 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



Tensely I walked through a dark, foggy night looking 
for my car. Really unclear where I was going, I saw 
a light on in a second floor apartment that looked 
vaguely familiar, Really not knowing what I was 
doing I tried the door and it opened allowing me into 
a kind of familiar room. The only thing I was clear 
about was that there was something very important 
to do that related to my mother. I knew that she was 
in trouble and needed me. I wanted to call my father 
but how could he help? He’s been blind for years and 
I suddenly realize he’s been dead for forty years and 
my mother has been dead for ten. Wait a minute- where”s my cell phone and 
all at once it hit me-THIS MUST BE A DREAM! 

I opened my eyes, found my cell phone, and saw the photo of my daughter, 
son and granddaughter and was brought back to the present. As my head 
cleared I vowed to always have my cellphone with me to help rescue me from 
difficult situations that made no sense--like this one. Slowly I remembered I 
was on the second day of a vacation with my wife. We were in Palm Springs 
in some TimeShare place that I vaguely remembered having stayed in some 
other time. I felt the pressure of a deadline to write an article--this article--or 
I might be banned from being able to publish any more articles. I would not 
want to lose the opportunity to continue writing these articles because of a 
missed deadline. Without the articles my life had a different character. I could 
not think, think about my thoughts in the same way. When I was writing the 
articles every occurence in my life took on an increased importance. What 
this had to do with the articles being published, I can’t really explain. Why 
not write a diary, a daily journal and keep it for myself or not keep it. It’s like 
losing weight. I really would like to do it and I think I know how to do it as 
I had recently lost about 60 pounds by going to a doctor and paying a lot of 
money and seeing him every two weeks and paying additional amounts for 
blood tests. 

This is not a dream to which I am a passive observer this is my life and I 
want to be in control. It’s all a matter of habit. I want to write the articles 
in a timely fashion and I want to follow the correct diet and exercise. Right 
now my energy level is down, I’m not sleeping well and I have this kind of 
foggy feeling and I’m very confused about what I want to do after I retire next 
year. I don’t know where I’m going just like in the dream. This little vacation 
symbolized a break for me- a recognition of my last chance to take control of 
the direction of my life. 

As I write this I wonder if it is possible that these words are of any interest but 
me. You, unknown perhaps non-existent reader are probably a better judge 
than I am. Do you have nonsensical troubling dreams from which you awake 
confused and often still trembling? Do you want to follow a life pattern you 
know is healthy but for the moment is so appalling that you can’t even begin. 
A couple of other things might help me follow the right path. My wife and I, 
thanks to my daughter, recently had our first and only grandchild. My wife 
somehow created a cell phone case with a picture of my daughter and son 
holding the baby. I show this picture to someone everyday and I know I want 
to be healthy for my family - still I haven’t begun. 

Something happened yesterday that might help. My wife and I went to a Wal 
Mart to buy some shorts that would stay up so I could hit some golf balls at a 
nearby driving range. As we approached the mens activewear section I heard 
a laughing man speaking loudly to a store employee, “Here comes another 
double extra-large, see if you can find anything big enough for him.” 

Sixteen hours later I still hear him. If I’m allowed to keep writing these articles 
I let you know if I’ve been able to take some control of my life. If you want to 
reciprocate and let me know if I’ve been of any help to you please let me know. 

My advice to you is to put a picture of what’s most important to you attached 
to the back of your cellphone and maybe pay a little attention to the hidden 
messages of your dreams. Remember it’s your life and not a dream - take 

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The trade wars are hitting me where it hurts.

One of my few respites from these rough-and-
tumble times is to sit by an autumn bonfire with 
good friends, a Leaf and Bean cigar and some fine 
Scotch whisky.

 But, reports Forbes, the U.S. government announced 
last week a “25% tariff on all single malt 
Scotch whisky imports, as part of a wider set of 
tariffs aiming to punish the European Union.”

 As of Oct. 18, Scotch whisky – and Parmesan 
cheese from Italy and olives from France and 
Spain, tasty goods I also enjoy – will be more expensive.

 Regrettably, that means I have to pay attention to government trade actions 
– which is about as fun as spending hours watching spirits be distilled.

 Forbes says the origin of my costly-hooch woes dates back to 2004, when 
the U.S. got steamed that the E.U. was subsidizing Airbus’ development of 
its A380 and A350 planes, which made competing harder for America’s 

 To retaliate, the U.S. raised tariffs on the E.U., which caused the E.U. to 
raise tariffs on, among other things, American bourbon, which led the U.S. 
to raise its tariff on Scotch whisky.

 I’m certainly no expert on tariff diplomacy – I found trying to grasp Economics 
101 at Penn State unpleasant – but it seems much like a playground 
fight among children:

“You’re a meanie!”

“You’re a dodo head!”



 Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) explains that tariffs used to be how 
America paid its bills – until 1913, with the introduction of the income tax 
(and later, payroll taxes).

The average U.S. tariff then fell until 1930, when – early in the Great Depression 
– the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act hiked the average U.S. tariff by about 

 This protectionist action spurred retaliation. IBD says “economists generally 
argue that Smoot-Hawley helped dry up global trade and exacerbated 
the Great Depression.”

Since then, tariffs had steadily trended lower – until recently.

 “Before Trump took office, half of U.S. industrial imports entered the country 
duty-free, with no tariff imposed,” IBD says. “In 2016, the average U.S. 
tariff rate was 1.6% across all products, according to the World Bank. … After 
Trump’s escalation of tariffs in May 2019, the average U.S. trade-weighted 
tariff rate stood at about 7.5%, according to a Deutsche Bank calculation.”

China, no stranger to unfair trade tactics, is a primary target.

“In 2018, Trump became the first president to systematically threaten and 
impose tariffs to try and reshape the flow of trade,” IBD says. “Trump’s 
stated purpose for new and higher tariffs? Shrink the 2017 U.S. trade deficit 
of $566 billion, boost U.S. production and increase manufacturing jobs.”

Now we’re in a bona fide trade war – which isn’t going well. The trade 
deficit is getting worse, not better. Americans are paying more for low-cost 
imported goods they depend on. And American farmers, who depend on 
exports to pay their bills, are getting hurt as China retaliates.

It’s a game of “chicken” that’s imposing uncertainty and pain on global markets, 
including ours.

I don’t know how it’s going to turn out. But I do know these stresses and 
strains get more troubling by the day.

They’re so troubling that I can’t even escape them by sitting by an autumn 
bonfire with good friends, a Leaf and Bean cigar and some fine, though 
ever-more-costly, Scotch whisky.


Tens of thousands of acres scorched by unstoppable wildfires.

Thousands of people evacuated from their homes near San Francisco 
and Los Angeles.

Electricity shut off to millions to prevent hurricane-strength 
Santa Ana winds from downing transmission wires and starting 
new fires.

Wildfire season in California makes headlines every year, but it’s 
nothing unnatural and nothing new.

It’s been a cruel fact of nature up and down the once Golden State since before I was 

When I was growing up my father had a ranch near Malibu. We had some wildfires out 
there, but what got burned were barns, stables and lots of grass and bushes.

0last year north of San Francisco, which is why the company has declared bankruptcy.

PG&E’s got billions in legal claims to pay off, which is why the state gave it permission to 
raise its electricity rates, though they are already some of the highest in the U.S.

Like most regulated monopolies that are protected for decades by government from 
competition, PG&E is a poorly run, inefficient and antiquated company that charges 
customers higher and higher prices and provides lousier and lousier service.

What’s worse, the company has been forced by the Democrats who run this one-party 
state to do a lot of really dumb things for environmental or politically correct reasons.

Instead of, say, spending the money to put powerlines underground decades ago or upgrading 
its transmission equipment, the company has had to blow billions on solar panels 
and other forms of green energy.

Other green policies mandated by the state have prevented PG&E from clearing enough 
trees and brush away from their powerlines to prevent fires.

Meanwhile, poor forestry management by governments has left gigantic amounts of 
wood and undergrowth that make wildfires bigger, more destructive and impossible to 

Because the state has given PG&E and smaller power companies monopolies over their 
regions, energy consumers like me get screwed again and again.

Unlike lucky citizens living in more sensible states like Pennsylvania, we have no energy 
choices. We pay whatever the monopolies and their political friends in Sacramento tell 
us we have to pay.

Keeping the electricity, gas and water on in my 4,300-square-foot house in the San Fernando 
Valley, for example, costs me about $1,500 a month – the same as my mortgage.

About $400 of my bill goes to underwrite the cost of water and power for those who can’t 
afford to pay for their own.

California, which has been putting the Green New Deal into practice long before AOC 
thought of it, is becoming like a Third World country.

Thanks to our idiotic politicians, we have tens of thousands of homeless people and drug 
users living in tents on the streets of our beautiful cities.

We can’t manage or market our water supply fairly or sensibly. We can’t produce energy 
that’s affordable, reliable or safe.

And after all these years we still can’t prevent wildfires from burning down our homes.

Mountain Views News

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