Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, December 7, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page 11



Mountain View News Saturday, December 7, 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


 It’s really easy to forget how privileged we are 
living in this paradise. It’s easy to complain about 
how much traffic there is and how just getting home 
avoiding the detours and the construction has made 
each day a perilous adventure. Although I had a very 
nice Thanksgiving Holiday I was in a kind of angry state 
when my wife and I, accompanied by my son and his 
girlfriend, hit the road on Saturday to begin a short Palm 
Springs Vacation. True, the ride was beautiful as the 
mountains were snow-covered and majestic. Still, there 
was traffic and a long slowdown near Redlands and there 
was this pain associated with my hernia that I was trying 
to forget and of course other things bothered me.

 On the way out there, once we reached the Palm Springs Highway, 
we thought of stopping and going up the Palm Springs tram-way but the 
idea frightened my son’s girlfriend. I should let you know that both my son 
and his girlfriend are Learning Disabled adults who have difficulty finding 
many things they can enjoy. Both of them have their own particular fears and 
limitations which continually get in their way. Be that as it may, they both love 
animals. My wife thought the night experience at the Living Desert Zoo was 
something they could and would both enjoy.

 As usual she was right. The zoo was all lit up at night. Please 
understand that this is not a typical zoo made up of animals in cages. This is a 
huge vast area of desert land in which the animals roam about freely appearing 
and disappearing according to their own whim. Near each enclosed area 
were life size statues that captured the animals in motion and, just when you 
thought you were looking at statues, real-life giraffes would appear. It was all 
pretty great but the statue that really got to me was a huge wolf {maybe it 
was a coyote) standing on his hind legs with his mouth wide open seemingly 
howling into the night.

 The zoo was fun; but the fun was easy to forget. In the morning I 
awoke, still thinking about the wolf-coyote howling in the night. For one of 
the first times in my life I tried to write a poem on a scrap of paper I found. 
won’t bore you with the rest of the poem but it captured my feeling. I am 
frustrated and often angry without much sense of why. Early in the morning I 
went down alone to the hot tub and found myself surrounded by Trump fans. 
Somehow I ended up sharing my story about wanting to howl into the night 
and these middle-Americans from Montana surprisingly related to what I was 
saying. They too wanted to howl and when my wife came down and joined us 
in the hot tub we were invited to visit them at their ranch-- they would even 
pick us up at the airport. We probably will never visit but I was delighted but 
I forgot the delight when my son and his girlfriend came down to the pool. 
The pool was only 4 feet deep but my son’s girlfriend was so afraid she could 
not even get into the water. My wife and I tried coaxing her in and were 
unsuccessful and left the two of them outside the pool. My wife and I looked 
at each other commiserating silently on how hard it was to be around her. We 
ignored them for a while and then, to our surprise, noticed the two of them 
dancing in the shallow water. I felt so proud of my son, realizing that despite 
his disabilities, he had hooked up with someone he could help, and experience 
his own abilities, and maybe love. While I was thinking about my son my wife 
said “Can you imagine how hard that is for her?” It’s easy to forget.

 I do wish I was different but so often I have plans for other people that 
are simply inappropriate and I forget my good feeling and clam up and feel 
misunderstood and want to go howling into the night. 

 One final note. I was told last night by my son that his girlfriend has 
been told something frightening by her Social Worker, He did not want to 
discuss it but finally told us that if she doesn’t start taking better care of herself 
she is going to end up being moved to a group home. Imagine. They have 
been semi-together for fourteen years but live apart and see each other only on 
weekends. I don’t like to even Imagine the pain they are going through while 
you (I mean I) are judging them. It’s easy to forget what it’s like inside other 
people and when you do feel it maybe you try and forget it but sometimes it’s 
not that easy to forget and you want to just howl into the night and maybe 
even move to Montana and just worry about yourself. I think it’s better to 
howl into the night and keep trying. 

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don’t blame millennials 
and Gen 
Z for mocking 
baby boomers 
with the trending 
“OK boomer” 

I’ve had my issues 
with baby 
boomers, too.

“OK boomer,” reports dictionary.
com, “is a viral internet slang phrase 
used, often in a humorous or ironic 
manner, to call out or dismiss out-
of-touch or close-minded opinions 
associated with the baby boomer 
generation and older people more 

It’s sarcasm used to tell baby boomers 
that they’re too critical, condescending 
and dismissive toward 
younger folks’ anxieties and concerns. 
I feel those younger folks’ 

Technically, I’m a boomer, born 
near the tail end of that generation, 
which began in 1946 and concluded 
in 1964 – but that 18-year span is 
far too lengthy to accommodate a 
single generation.

Sociologist and author Jonathan 
Pontell argues that Americans born 
between 1954 and 1965 are actually 
part of their own Generation Jones.

Boy, is he right. I have little in common 
with front-end boomers.

When front-end boomers were 
indulging in drugs and free love, 
we tail-enders were doing our 

While they were traveling the country 
in VW Beetles and partying 
at Woodstock, we were doing our 

While they dreamed of changing the 
world, we dreamed of getting collegiate 
business degrees and good-
paying jobs.

Front-enders have criticized, dismissed 
and condescended to us tail-
enders for years.

It’s human nature: Older people always 
complain that younger people 
aren’t doing things right.

If you’re young, don’t be so sensitive. 
Who else do old fogies have to complain 

I know younger generations worry 
about their six-figure college loans, 
climate change and many other issues 
– I know you blame preceding 
generations for these woes.

But this tail-ender doesn’t see gloom 
and doom. Sure, we need to address 
lots of things, but the truth is there’s 
never been a better time to be alive 
– there is evidence that the world is 
doing better than ever. Our economy, 
envy of the world, is expanding.

Technological innovation, already 
massive, is increasing rapidly. I 
can’t wait to see the solutions – for 
disease, poverty, climate change – 
it will bring in the not-so-distant 

According to, today’s 
typical middle-class American 
lives better than billionaire John D. 
Rockefeller did 100 years ago.

He didn’t have air conditioning, sophisticated 
medical treatments, safe, 
fast travel and limitless dining and 
entertainment options.

He certainly didn’t have social media 
to create humorous retorts that 
silence whole generations.

Here’s more to be hopeful about: Bill 
Gates’ charity reported in 2018 that 
childhood deaths fell from 12 million 
in 1990 to 5 million in 2017. 
More than 90 percent of children 
now attend primary school. The 
proportion of people living in extreme 
poverty declined from one-
third in 1990 to one-tenth.

Younger generations have much to 
look forward to. They’ll do lots of 
good work with powerful tools. We 
all should agree on that.

Hey, I’m a tail-end boomer who’s 
heard plenty from my elders about 
shortcomings. If you’re young, I 
hope you’ll take my well-intentioned 
optimism about your generation 
in that spirit, rather than dismiss it 
with a trendy catch-phrase.

But I can understand why you might 
meet my optimism with a quick “OK 
tail-end boomer.” I just hope you’ll 
be as understanding when your 
generation one day goes codger and 
your children’s generation dismisses 
your generation with a humorous 
catch-phrase of their own.

Democrat and Republican 
members of the 
Senate Intelligence 
Committee recently 
announced that no 
direct evidence of a 
conspiracy between 
Russian intelligence 
operatives and Trump 
campaign officials has 
been uncovered by their investigation into 
Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential 

 Despite the president’s mistaken belief that 
he has been fully-exonerated (he hasn’t), 
the more pressing issue is whether he’ll 
finally accept the U.S. intelligence community’s 
well-documented conclusion that 
Russian operatives did everything in their 
power to shape American public opinion 
and exert influence over voters.

 Based on newly-disclosed actions taken 
by his administration, it appears that he either 
doesn’t or (more likely) doesn’t want 
to. The Daily Beast reports that two teams 
of federal officials whose mandate was to 
fight foreign election interference are being 
dramatically downsized. This will leave 
the U.S. woefully unprepared to address 
election threats in 2020. Apparently, the 
president is quite pleased by the past work-
product of his comrades in the Kremlin 
and expects them to deliver once more.

 The U.S. Intelligence Community’s Worldwide 
Threat Assessment, presented to Congress 
a few weeks ago, states “we anticipate 
that all our adversaries and strategic competitors 
will increasingly build and integrate 
cyber espionage, attack, and influence 
capabilities into their efforts to influence 
U.S. policies and advance their own national 
security interests.”

 That appears to be confirmed in reports 
from multiple media outlets detailing attempts 
to use Facebook and Twitter to 
launch disinformation campaigns. According 
to Politico, Twitter recently removed 
2,617 “malicious accounts” that may have 
originated in Iran. Facebook announced 
that it had suspended 783 Iranian pages 
and accounts on its platforms, including 
Instagram, for “engaging in coordinated 
inauthentic behavior.”

 Twitter has suspended 418 accounts that 
appear to emanate from Russia for mimicking 
behavior similar to that exhibited by 
the Internet Research Agency – the Russian 
troll farm responsible for many of the 
propaganda campaigns that raged during 
the 2016 election. It also took down 2,000 
accounts located in Venezuela that have 
engaged in a “state-backed influence campaign 
targeting domestic audiences.”

 No reasonable (emphasis on reasonable) 
leader could possibly ignore ongoing 
assaults on the hearts and minds of the 
American people. Nor would he ignore 
the advice of his hand-picked intelligence 
chiefs. Yet, this leader does. Because his 
friends in the Motherland continue to employ 
cyber warfare as an ongoing offensive 
strategy, quite possibly designed to bolster 
his stranglehold on the White House. It 
should come as no surprise then that the 
Trump administration is taking steps to 
ensure that this barrage of disinformation 
continues to rain down on the American 
people unimpeded.

 Not so within the Putin Regime. They’re 
very much afraid that outside forces will 
employ tactics like those used against, 
causing the Russian people to rise and challenge 
Putin’s leadership.

 Legislation passed in 2015 by the Duma, 
the lower chamber in the Russian Parliament, 
requires that personal data of Russian 
citizens be stored on servers located 
in Russia. This should not by any means be 
construed as a measure designed to protect 
that country’s citizens. Instead, it is an attempt 
to circumvent external servers that 
power Facebook, Twitter and Google, allowing 
security officials to monitor dissident 
activities and deny the Russian people 
access to sites where the free-flow of information 
and speech might threaten those in 

 Officials at the highest levels of the Russian 
government and our own are in both 
instances taking steps to solidify their positions 
of power. In the case of Putin and 
company, attempts are being made to close 
the floodgates to information, while Team 
Trump is doing everything it can to leave 
them wide-open.

 Clearly, the president fears that concerted 
efforts on the part of our intelligence community 
to prevent our adversaries from 
tampering with elections, sowing discord, 
and spreading disinformation might cause 
the Trumpian knot to unravel. And the legitimacy 
of his presidency to be called into 
question yet again.

 Whether Trump directly engaged or conspired 
with outside forces to corrupt the results 
of the 2016 presidential election is still 
unclear. Results of both the Mueller investigation 
and a more vigorous investigation 
by the Democrat-controlled House Permanent 
Select Committee on Intelligence may 
paint a more accurate picture once their 
work is finished.

 Believing he has been vindicated by the 
Senate Intelligence Committee, President 
Trump continues to grow more emboldened. 
Which, to use one of his favorite expressions, 
is “sad.” And a mistake. Because 
his administration’s recent efforts to stymie 
future cyberattacks call into question 
whether there really is “No collusion.” And 
that will only cause government watchdogs 
to sniff around his administration more 

Mountain Views News

Mission Statement

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concerns of our readers 
are this newspaper’s 
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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. 

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