Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, April 11, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, April 11, 2020 




Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 



Stuart Tolchin 

Audrey Swanson

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

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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No, that’s not a 
misspelling on the top 
of this article. You’ve 
heard of suicide, the 
act of killing oneself; 
homicide, the act of 
killing another human 
being, matricide, 
patricide, infanticide- 
all involving the willful 
and knowing acts of 
destroying life. Well 
folks, I believe we are 
all involved in and potentially participating 
in this system’s unknowing, but we should 
have known, act of killing itself. No, I don’t 
believe there is such a word as “countrycide” 
To put it more bluntly, I am trying to say that 
we are all to blame based on our indifference 
willful ignorance, and inaction. We have 
allowed partisanship to so cloud our views that 
incompetence, or simple greed, or perhaps the 
influence of an enemy, to so affect our precious 
United States of America that it is possible 
that we are facing what Jared Diamond has 
described in his 2005 book entitled Collapse, 

 Looking around today which of those two 
alternatives seem more applicable today. On 
Tuesday, the day I write this, Americans in 
Milwaukee Wisconsin who wish to vote in 
a Primary election were forced to choose 
between following public health orders to stay 
home and miss the opportunity to vote or to 
risk their lives standing in line for hours at one 
of just five polling places the city kept open 
amid the corona virus pandemic. Is America 
finished? In an attempt make sense of all 
of this confusion I thumbed through Jared 
Diamond’s book which I read something like 
fifteen years ago when the book first came out.

 One of the first things I noticed was his 
discussion of periods when societies fail to 
perceive a problem which is when the problem 
takes the form of a slow trend concealed by up 
and down fluctuations. Diamond states, “As of 
the time that I write these lines, President Bush 
of the U.S. is still not convinced of its reality, 
and thinks we need more research”. Diamond 
is talking about Climate Change and the book 
was written more than fifteen years ago. Today 
our perhaps elected leader still refuses to take 
necessary actions to positively respond to 
Climate Emergency that faces the entire planet 
and there is no need for further research to 
believe that the health of the entire world 
is imperiled. So how can this inaction be 
explained and why have Americans tolerated 

 Diamond creates another category to explain 
the failure of societies even when the danger is 
perceived. This is the term used by economists 
and other social scientists as “rational 
behavior” arising from clashes of interests 
between people. “That is, some people may 
reason correctly that they can advance their 
own interests by behavior harmful to other 
people. To call this “rational behavior in the 
face of global catastrophic consequences I 
find not only irrational but disgusting and 
unforgivable. It may be “rational” but it 
is morally repugnant and violates all basic 
values except the desire to make a quick buck. 
Another unbelievable but hardly unexpected 
fact revealed today is that Donald Trump, 
his sons, and some close friends are investors 
in the company that is attempting to push 
the drug hydroxychloroquine typically used 
against malaria and lupus as a treatment to be 
used against the coronavirus. Trump’s own 
medical people have explained to the public 
that this drug has not been approved for that 
purpose and may be harmful at it lowers 
immunity to other illnesses. 

 All right, how do we explain the 
behavior of the President, his cohorts, and 
his supporters? First there is Trump and his 
one-percenters. My view is that these guys, 
like Trump define themselves as “risk-takers”. 
Even if like the Orangeman they started out 
with substantial inheritances they have taken 
chances and live different kinds of lives. They 
are frequently out of touch with the rest of us 
as is illustrated and pretty proud of themselves 
feeling kind of entitled and invulnerable. 
Forbes magazine printed music and film titan 
David Geffen’s now-deleted instagram post 
from his resplendent $400 million superyacht 
saying “I’m hoping everybody is staying 
safe” while he was isolated in the Grenadines 
avoiding the virus. He also included a picture 
of the beautiful sunset. The very sad thing 
is that he was surprised to receive negative 
comments representative of the feelings of the 
other 99% unable to even leave their homes, 
that is, if they had homes. 

 What about Trump’s other 
supporters—the millions of non-rich 
struggling folk that still support him. My 
only explanation is that Trump managed to 
talk directly to these folk. He gained their 
allegiance as if he was a team they rooted for. 
By his actions he showed them he was different 
from those other effete, over-educated elite do-
nothing politicians. He talked directly to his 
constituents, not afraid of being boorish, or 
vulgar and gaining their loyalty because he 
was not afraid of doing things that his rivals 
wouldn’t do. I’m afraid that his supporters 
feel that they would love to act just like him 
if they could get away with it which is really 

 The question remains—why are 
there so many of them. My only explanation 
is that it is a complete failure of education at 
every level. The intellectual life of America 
has been completely neglected. Colleges and 
Universities are now viewed only as a place 
to collect credentials and get a job. Even 
graduate schools have become so specialized 
that the idea of inner contemplation and 
theorizing in a search for meaning and values 
and ultimate satisfaction is something to be 
laughed at. Something horrible is missing 
from our education—something about what it 
means to be human and to develop a vision of 
what it means to be a moral person and to try 
and live in accord with that vision. Maybe the 
fault lies within capitalism, a system based on 
greed which for a great many of us has resulted 
in a material life beyond our expectations 
even though our families are broken up and 
we still harbor feelings of jealousy, anger, and 
isolation. Right; why should I care about 
other people? What have they ever done for 

 It is all too sad. If there is a post-
coronavirus American Society that wakes up 
in time to deal with the Climate Emergency 
and adapts to a live with robots I do hope there 
will be some changes. I won’t be around but I 
do care. Really this is a country worth saving. 
In the meantime, Stay Home and Be Safe

Kia Ora 






Donald Trump is running against himself.

Coronavirus has shut down just about everything, including 
the presidential campaign. With Bernie Sanders out 
of the way, former Vice President Joe Biden is holed up 
in his basement with little to do or say. His best chance 
- and, considering how the administration has botched 
things during the crisis, a good one - is that Trump will 

Few Americans care to think about politics during this 
time of widespread suffering. Yet, subordination of the presidential campaign, along 
with other factors related to the pandemic, will certainly affect the election.

Conventional wisdom suggests that a prolonged health emergency and resulting economic 
collapse would be ruinous to Trump’s chances. Trump seems to realize his 
political vulnerability, which is why he has turned daily coronavirus briefings into a 
new incarnation of a Trump reality show.

Hogging the microphone as a national television audience looks on, the president 
rambles through a mixture of self-aggrandizement, exaggeration and outright distortion. 
As foolish as he often appears to critics - including many reporters in the briefing 
room - he is relying on the axiom: Any publicity is good publicity.

Trump’s approval rating has tracked closely with the amount of TV time he has 
commandeered. The Real Clear Politics polling average shows him with about 50 
percent approval in handling the crisis, up sharply from a few weeks ago.

Biden, on the other hand, is stuck in a small TV studio, sending out messages that at 
the start looked eerily like hostage videos. He is fighting against the axiom: The only 
thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about. It’s fine to say more 
coronavirus tests are needed, appropriate to say the nation should not be rushed back 
to work, understandable to defend the Obama Administration regarding pandemic 
preparedness. But that’s hardly a platform for a presidential campaign.

Biden faces a serious challenge in appearing relevant as the coronavirus outbreak 
continues. Consider: On April 2, PBS posted briefings by key political figures regarding 
the crisis. California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom got 40,000 views the first day; New 
York Mayor Bill de Blasio, 20,000; Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, 37,000; Massachusetts 
Gov. Charlie Baker, 16,000. And how many views did Joe Biden get? Answer: 7,400.

Understandably, citizens want information from their state and local leaders; they 
don’t care much right now about national politics. But what impact will this communication 
gap have over the course of many months? During the Senate impeachment 
trial several Democratic candidates were forced off the campaign trail and 
found that it hurt to be silenced, even briefly.

It’s possible that no matter what Biden and Democrats do, and despite epic failures 
in Trump’s presidency prior to the coronavirus outbreak, November’s election 
will hinge on what happens with the health crisis and the economy. A warning about 
that came at a White House briefing from an unlikely source.

The president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, probably didn’t realize the significance 
of what he was saying when he told reporters: â€oeWhat a lot of the voters are 
seeing now is that when you elect somebody to be a mayor or governor or president, 
you’re trying to think about who will be a competent manager during the time of 
crisis. This is a time of crisis and you’re seeing certain people are better managers 
than others.†

Considering Trump’s incompetence so far, it could be that come November he’ll 
not only be running against himself, he’ll be running on empty.

Peter Funt is a writer and speaker. His book, “Cautiously Optimistic,” is available at and

When my mother passed away, I was sleeping in the same 
room. We had taken her home from hospice, and her hospital 
bed was in the bedroom she had shared with my father 
for decades.

The night that she died, I was able to sit with her and hold 
her hand and monitor her breathing, laborious and pained, 
as she moved from one life to the next. I sang â€oeYou are 
are my sunshine†into her ears, not knowing if she heard 
me, but hoping that there was some recognition of that 
song, the one that her father used to sing to her as a child. She died in the early 
hours of an August morning, before sunrise. To have been with her, along with my 
siblings, was a gift and a grace.

I thought of my mother’s passing when I heard of the family in Washington 
state who lost their own mother to coronavirus. Six children, all under the age of 
25, were deprived of those last moments of connection and farewell because of the 
highly communicable infection that has shut down our cities and made us prisoners 
in our homes. Six children were forced to say goodbye through a walkie talkie 
that had been placed by their mother’s pillow, since none of them were able to 
be in the same room with her. They could only watch, through a glass, as she died.

The thought of six orphaned children deprived of their mother’s touch, her 
scent, the rhythm of her breathing and the look in her eyes, crushed me because I 
knew what it had meant to me. It was especially tragic since their father had passed 
away a couple of years before. These children had each other, true. But in a very 
real sense, they were alone against the world.

There have been many similar stories have touched me, including the sad history 
of an Italian-American family in New Jersey that looked so much like my own, 
and lost four family members to the virus in less than a week. Another incident 
that literally stopped me in my tracks was the story of the British doctor who had 
died after spending days on end treating victims of COVID-19, before becoming 
infected herself. Only a few weeks before, she had posted on Twitter that she was 
excited and honored to be hired by a hospital in the National Health System after 
years of study and apprenticeship.

COVID-19 is a disease of incredible cruelty. Unlike AIDS, which was not airborne, 
or Ebola, which seemed foreign and didn’t really touch us in the United States, 
this virus is a silent, creeping killer. It is in our neighborhoods, in our streets, in 
the 6 feet between us as we wait in line for groceries or as we walk in public places. 
Fear of it flickers in the eyes of strangers, eyes we can only see above masked 
mouths and covered noses. It is unpredictable, and for that, profoundly unsettling.

We are all adjusting to life in the post-coronavirus environment. We have learned 
new habits, and are weighing both our options and the repercussions of going out 
to take the dog for a walk, something that might never again be second nature. 
We see empty shelves, and for those of us born after the Great Depression, we are 
learning what it means to be hungry, even though a hidden American population 
could have told us what that means if we’d asked.

But there are some things you cannot adjust to, and never will. Not being able to 
hold your loved one as they leave, and being forced to keep a physical distance 
from the mothers, fathers, spouses, children and other loved ones who only days 
ago were an arm’s length away is a sacrifice and a suffering that no one should 
have to bear.

Only now, many of us will.

 In that number are six mourning sons and daughters in Washington state.

 Keep them, and those for whom grief is but days or weeks away, in your prayers.

Christine Flowers. is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily 

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