Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, January 18, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 11



Mountain View News Saturday, January 18, 2020 




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

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We were on the way 
to ballet rehearsal. 
It’s my favorite 30 
minutes of the day. 
It’s a chance to 
break away from 
work, and to touch 
base with my only 
child. She’s 14 now. 
And it won’t be 
long before she’s driving herself. I treasure 
these moments.

“So,” I asked her. “How was school today?”

“We were arguing about whether we’re 
more likely to die from World War III or 
climate change,” she said.

Her response stopped me cold, but I guess 
I shouldn’t have been surprised.

With the dogs of war straining at the leash, 
the missiles flying in Iran, and our bellicose 
and unstable commander-in-chief lurching 
from one scarcely believable justification 
to the next, the prospect of another 
American forever war on the other side of 
the globe didn’t seem all that far-fetched.

First up, I disabused her of the notion that 
any of her classmates might be drafted, reassuring 
her that there was no such movement 
afoot on Capitol Hill. Nor would 
there likely ever be one. The American 
military remains an all-volunteer force 
comprised not of the nation’s elite, but 
of the sons and daughters of Main Street 
America. Trump’s voters. Some of my 
daughter’s classmates – if they ever heed 
the call to serve – may well be among 

She seemed relieved at that news. Talking 
to her about the threat of climate change 
was another matter entirely.

it seemed to me there were decades remaining 
before the Earth might ever be 
rendered uninhabitable because of climate 
change, I offered. Which didn’t mean that 
we shouldn’t do all we can right now, I 

“But Australia is burning,” she countered, 
her brown eyes wide with alarm, anger 
creeping into the edges of her voice.

She had me there. I’d seen the photos of 
scorched koalas and dead kangaroos. The 
endless walls of flame. It’s difficult to find 
the words to describe the scale, and the 
scope, of the ecological and human catastrophe 
that’s unfolding on the other side of 
the world.

As of this writing, NPR was reporting that 
a hellish “megafire” comprising an unfathomable 
1.5 million acres, an area three 
times larger than any known brush fire in 
California, had taken shape in New South 
Wales and Victoria, the country’s most 
populous states.

That’s on top of the 135 bushfires in southeastern 
Australia that have left at least 26 
people dead, killed more than 1 billion 
animals and damaged or destroyed nearly 
3,000 homes.

Writing in the New York Times, columnist 
Paul Krugman observed that, in a more 
rational time, the fires, which have been 
partially a result of climate change, “would 
have represented a turning point.”

“After all, it’s exactly the kind of catastrophe 
climate scientists long warned us 
to expect if we didn’t take action to limit 
greenhouse gas emissions,” he wrote. “In 
fact, a 2008 report commissioned by the 
Australian government predicted that 
global warming would cause the nation’s 
fire seasons to begin earlier, end later, and 
be more intense – starting around 2020.”

And all this got me to thinking about the 
world that we’re bequeathing to my daughter 
and her classmates.

While much is better about the planet, 
there’s still much to be concerned about. 
And the threat of an uninhabitable globe 
should lead us to a united search for solutions, 
not juvenile taunts hurled at a teenager 
by one of the most powerful people 
on Earth. Even one dead child in an elementary 
school classroom should motivate 
us to find ways to reduce violence, not 
watch hopelessly as more bodies pile up.

I’m still firm in my belief that it’s not too 
late for us to shrug off all that divides us, 
and to work together to fight these existential 

But that means having a nation that engages 
with the global community not denigrates 
it; one that rejects the false choice 
that less gun violence somehow means 
fewer rights; and one that doesn’t stare 
each over the trenches, each irrevocably 
convinced that its way is the only way.

My daughter – and all our children – deserve 
far better answers than the ones 
we’ve been giving them.


An award-winning political journalist, 
John L. Micek is Editor-in-Chief of The 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star in Harrisburg, 
Pa. Email him at jmicek@penncapital- and follow him on Twitter @

morning I rolled 
out of bed fairly 
pain free for 
the first time in 
about a month. 
As I have written 
before I endured 
a double 
inguinal hernia 
surgery about a month ago and 
the post-surgery recovery period 
has been excruciatingly painful 
requiring me to take prescription 
opioids. These opioids have caused 
all kinds of mental confusion and 
that combined with the prohibition 
against driving and my difficulty 
in walking have left me irritated, 
isolated, and confused probably like 
manty other Americans.

 But today is a new day. It is 
Wednesday and this is the day my 
wife and I act as caretakers for my 
granddaughter who is approaching 
her first semi-birthday (6 months 
old.) Because of my lack of mind 
diverting pain pills and the lessening 
of pain I have been able to intensely 
experience my granddaughter today.

 I must admit that I had 
forgotten the ethereal bliss of 
spending time with a newborn. My 
first marriage was a stressful one 
resulting in a separation when my 
daughter was less than 5 months. 
My son, who has spent the day with 
my granddaughter, myself and my 
wife was diagnosed very early with 
cerebral palsy and I am afraid that 
most of the time during his first year 
I was more concerned with worry 
than appreciation.

 Anyway, that was not the 
case today. I was able to experience 
and appreciate the bliss of being 
with a newly born human being as 
she experimented with her body, 
moving her arms, making all kinds 
of sounds, looking intensely at me 
and then, best of all, being allowed to 
watch her face light up as she smiled 
at me. One forgets the wonderful 
essential nature of every human 
being which so easily becomes 
obscured by our judgments, our 
competitive nature, our fears, our 
prejudices, our habits, and our 
memories. Really it is important to 
keep in mind the beauty, the miracle 
of all human beings, and to act 
respectfully towards all humanity 
and to al life.

 I compared these thoughts 
today with my reaction to the 
Democratic Debates televised last 
night. There were 6 Democrats 
competing for public favor against 
one another according to Rules I 
believe set up by the Democratic 
National Committee. As a result 
of these rules the only qualifying 
participants were White People, 4 
males and 2 females. In order to 
qualify certain amounts of money 
needed to be raised which allowed 
one billionaire to qualify by donating 
money to himself. All of the other 
participants qualified by raising 
money from various sources and to 
my mind squabbling for money in a 
truly degrading exercise.

 My total experience of 
the debate, in contrast with the 
experience of being near my 
granddaughter was that it was totally 
uninspiring and non-memorable. 
The individual participants argued 
about who said what first or who said 
what to whom. A final summation 
by Elizabeth Warren mentioned 
many of the important issues which 
were never discussed. 

 Specifically, what was 
never discussed was what it meant 
to be a Democrat. What is the 
difference between Democrats and 
Republicans and why should any 
voter care about Party identity. It is 
already clear to many of us that the 
Republican Party has united behind 
an incompetent, dishonest, disloyal, 
self-dealing, fraudulent narcissist 
who is indifferent to and ignorant of 
American ideals, and history.

 As voters we all need to 
be reminded of what are in fact 
American ideals and further 
reminded of the progress that has 
been made toward reaching the 
goals of diversity and overall equality 
and humanitarian ends. The danger 
to the habitability of the planet and 
the Republican denial of the dangers 
associated with climate change 
cannot be overemphasized. The 
willingness of the Republican Party 
to once more bring the country 
to the brink of war is a theme that 
must be common to all Democratic 
Candidates. It is not one candidate 
against another; it is sanity versus 
insanity. We must be reminded of 
what the United States has stood for 
and hold that sacrosanct in the same 
way that the unique miracle of every 
newborn child must be recognized 
and appreciated.

 Please voters get it together 
and go the polls recognizing what 
must be protected. 

Mountain Views News

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