Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, November 30, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page 13



Mountain View News Saturday, November 30, 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


Well, how did it go? By the time you read this you have 
had the time to digest, both physically and mentally, the 
experience of your Thanksgiving Holiday. It is remarkable 
how devout we Americans are in our determination 
to celebrate the day with a dinner involving our family 
and relatives seated at the same table and doing the best 
they can to talk to one another. The food and the turkey 
are most frequently the centerpiece but varied human 
interaction also occur. What is unique is -as this same 
celebration is enacted year after year the participants 
although remaining the same keep changing as they age and older participants 
disappear and the parties take on new age appropriate roles and inwardly notice 
and mourn the absence of the often beloved older family members.

 I am writing this piece the day before Thanksgiving and am wondering 
what the day will be like without the presence of my mother-in-law. The beloved 
Grandma Sugar passed away during this last year after convalescing in our living 
room for six months. She was a delightful lady who sang Spanish songs to herself 
in the morning and did her very best to be positive when I was near her. She was 
often in great pain but hid that from me as best she could. It was different, my 
wife told me, after I left for work. Then her poor mother would complain and say 
that she really could not take it anymore and wanted to bid the world good-bye.

 On her last day of life, as I was leaving for work in far-away San 
Fernando, she told me to get home as soon as I could as she planned to die 
that day and wanted me to be around if possible. I tried to laugh it off and told 
her that she would still be there for a long time. She told me with a kind of 
certainty that, I am not making this up, that she did not want me to forget her 
and that after she was gone she would send butterflies, bright yellow butterflies 
to fly around me and remind me of her continued presence. She was a religious 
Christian Lady who watched Mass in the mornings. I am not religious and 
specifically non-Christian and I had been cautioned by wife to refrain from any 
questioning, discussion, or complaints. Okay I thought, if she believes in yellow 
butterflies, let it be and off I went to work.

 In the afternoon I got a call from my wife telling me that her mom 
was not doing well and I should get home as soon as I could. By the time I 
got home my wife, her two sisters and her brother-in-law were there gathered 
around my mother-in-law whose hospital bed was in the living room. I wish 
I could remember exactly what happened then but I know my mother-in-law 
noted my arrival perhaps just with a look that said “See smarty, I told you so” or 
perhaps she even spoke to me and perhaps she said something then about the 
yellow butterflies.

 Anyway, within a very short time the sisters gathered around her while 
I think her sons-in-law held back, at least I did. In a few minutes it was clear that 
she was gone. I am not a good reporter of what happened next but calls were 
made and people came and went and a funeral was planned. On the day after 
the funeral, or maybe two days after, as I returned home, there in the driveway 
lay an extremely bright yellow butterfly. I, a few months ago had a small heart 
attack, and that was nothing compared to my reaction to the yellow butterfly in 
the driveway. I left it there and went in and got my wife to look at it. She saw 
it and laughed, picked it up and showed me that it was plastic and that she had 
wanted to put it in the casket or something and that it must have fallen. “Here, 
you can keep it.”

 Well, I have kept it and tacked it up to the bedroom wall and think of 
my mother-in-law every time I see it. Tomorrow, before guests arrive, I am going 
to attach the butterfly to a wall and just note what follows. It really promises 
to be an unusual day anyway as, believe it or not, tomorrow, Thanksgiving, 
November 28, is the birthday of both of my children. No, they are not twins, 
as they are born two years apart. AND tomorrow my daughter will be arriving 
as a new mother with my brand new baby granddaughter age 4 months and 4 
days who will be attending her first Thanksgiving Holiday celebration. It ought 
to be quite a day and in the midst of the celebration, if I get a chance to hold the 
baby, I will introduce her to the butterfly. After all, this is the first time in my 
probably over 70 Thanksgiving celebrations that I will be the oldest person in the 
room discounting possible mystical presence behind the butterfly. That also is 
something special! 

I hope we have all shared a memorable Thanksgiving 

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Twelve so-called “battleground” states will once again 
command nearly 100 percent of the candidates’ general-
election time and attention. The remaining 38 “spectator” 
states will be totally ignored because they have voted for 
the same party over the past five presidential elections. 
That’s the bad news.

The good news is that the National Popular Vote Interstate 
Compact has been enacted into law in 15 states and 
the District of Columbia. Those 16 jurisdictions possess a 
total of 196 electoral votes – just 74 shy of revolutionizing 
the way we elect our president by making every voter politically 
relevant. The Compact would guarantee the presidency to the candidate 
receiving the most popular votes across all 50 states and D.C.

The reason presidential campaigns are concentrated into only about a dozen 
states is that existing “winner-take-all” state laws award all of a state’s electoral 
votes to the candidate getting the most popular votes within that state. Candidates 
see no reason to campaign for votes in states where they are so far behind 
that they cannot possibly win – or where they are so far ahead that they cannot 
possibly lose.

In 2016, almost all (94%) of general election campaign events occurred in the 12 
closely divided battleground states where Donald Trump’s percentage of the two-
party vote was in the narrow eight-point range between 43% and 51%. In 2012, 
100% of general election campaign events occurred in 12 battleground states 
where Mitt Romney’s percentage was between 45% and 51%.

Unfortunately for our nation, policymaking becomes distorted when presidents 
base important decisions on the interests of the small handful of politically 
friendly states. And battleground states receive seven percent more presidentially 
controlled grants, twice as many disaster declarations, and disproportionately 
more presidential waivers and exemptions.

With a keen eye toward the Rust Belt, free-trader George W. Bush imposed steel 
quotas. Environmentalist Barack Obama largely ignored the 2010 Gulf oil spill 
in the waters off reliably red Louisiana and Mississippi until tar balls washed up 
onto the shores of the battleground state of Florida. Donald Trump imposed 
tariffs and exited the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Paris Climate Agreement understanding 
that his Electoral-College majority came via 44,000 votes in Pennsylvania, 
23,000 in Wisconsin, and 11,000 in Michigan.

It is also important to understand that today’s system of electing the president 
was not created by the 1787 Constitutional Convention. It was not debated at 
the Constitutional Convention or mentioned in the Federalist Papers. The Constitution 
left the choice of how to award electoral votes to the states, stipulating: 
“Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, 
a Number of Electors….” Only three states used the winner-take-all method of 
awarding electoral votes in the first presidential election in 1789.

Widespread adoption of winner-take-all came after Thomas Jefferson lost the 
presidency by three electoral votes in the nation’s first competitive presidential 
election in 1796. Jefferson lost because presidential electors were chosen by district 
in Virginia and North Carolina, and he lost one district in each state to John 

In 1800, Jefferson wrote Virginia Governor James Monroe, “it is folly and worse 
than folly” for Virginia not to adopt a winner-take-all law to prevent Adams 
from receiving any future electoral votes from their home state. Likewise, Adams’ 
supporters in Massachusetts repealed the state’s district system so Jefferson 
would not receive any of their electoral votes. By 1832, the dominant political 
party in almost every state had passed a winner-take-all statute to maximize its 
clout and stifle the state’s minority party.

We can’t change history, but we can affect the future to benefit our great nation. 
The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would make every vote equal 
throughout the United States and ensure that every voter, in every state would be 
politically relevant in every presidential election.

John R. Koza is the lead author of the book “Every Vote Equal: A State-Based Plan 
for Electing the President by National Popular Vote” and originator of the National 
Popular Vote legislation.



Chinese President Xi Jinping wants his country’s economy to 
become the world’s largest within our lifetimes. He may succeed, 
thanks ito the desire of western business to sell goods 
and services to the nearly 2 billion people who live there.

The balance of trade between our two countries is decidedly 
skewed in China’s favor. The only thing blocking Xi’s ambitions 
is President Donald Trump, whose tough policies are 
helping get things balanced so American firms and farmers 
can compete fairly. At the same time, it’s important not to 
take eyes off the ball where the development of new technologies is concerned.

China’s expertise in persuading western firms to part with important intellectual 
property as a condition of doing business in their market is well known. It gives 
them an edge they cannot generate themselves, even as they’re taking the lead in 
crucial new technologies, like cryptocurrency.

Recently the Chinese parliament passed a new cryptography law to facilitate “the 
development of the cryptography business and ensuring the security of cyberspace 
and information.” In August, the People’s Bank of China announced that after five 
years of research, it is just about ready to launch a state-backed cryptocurrency 
that could be used in place of the Yuan. The China Construction Bank has expanded 
its finance blockchain platform by adding new applications – including 
cross-chain and inter-bank transactions – as trading volume reportedly surpassed 
$53 billion, according to

These developments are too big to ignore. While the United States busies itself 
figuring out federal regulations, Beijing’s corporate lackeys are developing and introducing 
product into the global financial system.

Alarm bells should be going off as the Chinese cryptocurrency industry positions 
itself to offer the world a product more attractive to global investment dollars 
than anything under development here. Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire told CNBC’s 
“Squawk Box” in mid-September, what China’s central bank has planned for its 
digital currency “is a way for the Chinese yuan to be distributed globally.” If that 
happens, it would go a long way toward fulfilling China’s long-held ambition to 
find a replacement for the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

It’s hard to tell what’s around the next technological corner. As China continues 
to roll out unchecked applications and developments, it furthers Beijing’s goal of 
integrating itself into the global financial fabric. Look no further than what’s happening 
with the Chinese technology firm Huawei and the move to 5G to imagine 
how that might play out.

China is already the world’s biggest miner of Bitcoin. A June 2018 Princeton University 
study concluded 80 percent of Bitcoin mining “is performed by six mining 
pools, and five of those six pools are managed by individuals or organizations located 
in China.” With a simple majority needed to veto or approve Bitcoin transactions, 
China has essentially gained control over the Bitcoin space.

The U.S. government has a lot of catch up to do, but unfortunately there’s little sign 
these developments are troubling to policymakers. Dozens of legitimate American 
companies are working on cryptocurrency applications of their own. But rather 
than help, the feds are hampering innovation by imposing unconsidered regulation 
and failing to deliberate the issues at hand properly. In the case of blockchain 
and cryptocurrency, policymakers are even interfering with innovation and hesitating 
to defend American companies trying to enter the marketplace.

U.S.-based developers need to know where they stand with respect to the law so 
they can keep us in the race. U.S. lawmakers must promote American innovation 
and stem the tide of Chinese crypto control before Beijing gets so far out 
ahead there’s no possibility of catching them. American innovators deserve better. 
They need a federal regulatory framework to guide their activities toward breakthroughs 
that improve our lives, not obstacles that slow them down and let the 
Chinese retain their lead.

Peter Roff is a senior fellow at Frontiers of Freedom and a former U.S. News and World 
Report contributing editor who appears regularly as a commentator on the One America 
News network.

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