Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 9, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, May 9, 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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Today as the death toll from the Coronavirus keeps rising every individual is 
faced with a very difficult decision. Is it better to stay home removed from 
the possibility of infection (or at least as far removed as one get)? Or, is it 
better to take one’s life into one’s hands and go back to work, if your work is 
still there, in order to help yourself and the economy at large. It is an almost 
Shakespearean question much like the decision faced by Hamlet:

 “ To be, or not to be—that is the question

 Whether t ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer

 The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

 Or to take arms against a sea of troubles

 And by opposing them end them.

 Enough Shakespeare, but I think by using this quote it gives this article a little class which it 
can certainly use. As a few of you might recall Hamlet made his decision and chose to do battle 
because he was disgusted by what he had learned about the behavior of his Uncle, the King. 
Hamlet tries to avenge the wrongs that have been committed and by the end of the play just 
about everyone dies. There are some real parallels here. I, along with many of you, am truly 
disgusted by the behavior of our President, who would love being King. He has lied to the public 
over ten thousand times. He has dismissed important officials and even Cabinet members who 
have tried to stand up to his lies and to tell the public the truth. He has appointed members of 
his family and their cronies to important positions for which they were completely unqualified 
and inexperienced. He and his friends have corruptly used inside information to profit from his 
position. Worst of all, I believe, is that he is in over his head, incompetent, and unable to perform 
the responsibilities connected to his position. And one more thing—he doesn’t seem to care. All 
that is important to him is to WIN re-election or whatever game he is playing.

 I know that many of you (my treasured imaginary readers) will agree with my assessments 
and perhaps many of you (I don’t know how) will completely disagree and will have tuned into 
another reality. Nevertheless, one undisputed reality faces all of us today. The death toll is rising 
and the economy is failing. What are we to do- stay home and protect ourselves until it is safe 
to emerge or go out into the world, back to our jobs and businesses and attempt to pay our bills 
and take care of our families. Let me tell you at the outset that I am in a very privileged position 
in that I am 76 years old with multiple underlying serious medical conditions. I retired at the 
beginning of this year after 51 years of lawyering and am living now off fixed monthly Social 
Security payments combined with my wife’s (also retired) pensions. 

 Additionally, recently my daughter gave birth to our first and only grandchild. Fortunately 
for us, and perhaps few others, day care facilities have closed and my daughter, an overworked 
attorney, has requested our help in taking care of the baby. For me this has been an immense, 
unimaginable pleasure. Really my wife does most of the work changing diapers and preparing 
bottles but lately I have been able to be of more assistance. What I basically do is play with the 
baby. Together we make sounds and faces at one another. We look deeply into one another’s 
eyes. I encourage her to roll over and sit up and to begin to crawl. Today she pulled my thumb 
(as always before playing with her I had just my hands) into her mouth and rubbed it against 
her lower gum where he first tooth was about to emerge. For me at least, I don’t know about 
her, it was an unforgettable experience. Because of restrictions associated with the virus and 
my daughter’s unforgiving work schedule I am allowed to have one of the most meaningful and 
precious experiences of my life. I wish that I could say that I had similar experiences with my own 
two children. I was working, there were medical problems with one child and my first wife and 
I separated when my daughter was younger than my grandchild is now. I missed out or never 
noticed or have forgotten the wonderful, unduplicatable experience of being with a baby and 
having the time and space to appreciate it.

 I admit that this recent experience with my grandchild has awakened to the wonders of a 
human life. When I hear Press Conferences measuring the numbers of deaths versus the numbers 
indicating the health of the economy I am completely disgusted. These numbers to me are not 
comparable. Hearing politicians and governors and mayors state that it is necessary that losing 
lives are part of the inevitable sacrifice necessary to save our economy and maintain our place in 
the world makes absolutely no sense to me. As I write this piece I hear on the television that the 
Mayor of Los Angeles is lifting many restrictions starting Friday. What is important to say here is 
that it would be so much easier to follow the recommendations or even the orders of politicians 
if one could believe in their integrity, competence, and expertise.

 As I have said above I know that the President lacks these qualities and although I seem to watch 
the news non-stop I do not feel that I, or anyone else can look into the minds of these elected 
officials and judge their motives. Who can we trust? After considering all the factors and possible 
consequences each of us must make the decision for ourselves. For me the decision is easy. I will 
stay at home for as long as I am able and will always try my best to stay informed. Hamlet made 
another decision and ended up giving away his life. No matter the recommendations or the laws 
which are probably unenforceable it will still be up to you to make your own decision. Please 
remember though that while staying at home, confined or not, to enjoy your family as much as 
possible. Such time is precious and once passed cannot be recovered unless, perhaps, sometime 
later you have a grandchild.

Kia Ora Please take care and be safe 






Ever since our local mayor issued a COVID-19 shelter-in-place-
and-go-completely-cocoa bananas order, my family and I have 
found ourselves cooking more than we have for our entire lives. 
Weve even been following recipes and using the actual stove/
oven thingy, much to the relief of our exhaustipated microwave. 
And considering the Mad Max-wasteland conditions in the 
cooking-stuff-from-scratch aisle at Walmart, we arent the only 

It all started on the first night of quarantine when we all got tired of sitting around 
and staring at our iPhones while drooling into our belly buttons. We decided it was 
time to lift our spirits and get some exercise by making a batch of homemade Nestlé 
Tollhouse cookies - minus the nuts, since my three daughters didnt want to ruin the 
experience by including something natural and healthy.

Because these were the first cookies we had made in a while that didnt start out in a 
refrigerated tube, we had to locate the ingredients. After rifling through the bowels of 
our pantry, we found some prehistoric flour, Crisco, baking soda and vanilla extract 
- the remnants of a sad attempt at making Christmas cookies a few months ago. Im 
not sure whether any of it was expired, but it didnt stink or fight back, so I assumed 
it was ok.

We had plenty of chocolate morselsÂ- 
thanks to my middle daughter regularly adding 
them to the grocery list so she can hide in a closet with a bag of morsels larger than 
her head, a serving spoon, and a jar of creamy Jif to binge on her own twisted version 
of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. (Ok, thats me, but Im pretty sure she does it, too.)

The cookies were delicious, including the ones that we actually baked. And were hoping 
to get all of the flour out of our clothes and hair before school starts next fall. The 
cookies were so addictive, in fact, that weve had to resist making them too often and 
have managed to cut it down to a couple of batches per day.

After we had rocked the Nestle Tollhouse, I decided to try my hand at the deep magic 
of Grandmas old-fashioned pound cake. I never really understood why its called 
pound cake until I saw that the recipe calls for enough ingredients to support the 
American farming industry for the foreseeable future. I actually felt guilty while I 
was cracking the required number of eggs, like I was back in junior high vandalizing 
somebodys front windows - not that I ever did that - not even to that cute girl who 
wouldnt go to the movies with me to watch Meatballs Part 2. 

Despite following the recipe right down to the last shipping container of pure cane 
sugar, my pound cake clung to the Bundt pan like that infernal Dance Monkey song 
thats been stuck in my melon for the past three weeks. We tried everything to get the 
cake to turn loose - steaming it, freezing it, threatening to make it watch Joe Exotics 
music videos. Nothing worked.

Finally, I just gave up and gouged out the cake in chunks, until I wound up with a heap 
of freshly-baked wreckage. I was so disappointed in the disgraceful presentation that I 
could only bring myself to eat three servings that night after supper.

Despite a few mishaps, Ive thoroughly enjoyed regularly trashing the kitchen with my 
wife and daughters to get my mind off the COVID-19 crisis. Theres just something 
about sitting around a table loaded down with dangerous levels of homemade carbohydrates 
that brings a family closer together. And even though I still cant call myself 
the Rembrandt of baked goods, at least I can pretend to be Mad Max when I go to 
Walmart for more Crisco.

Graves is an award-winning humor columnist from East Texas. His columns have been 
featured in Texas Escapes magazine, The Shreveport Times, The Longview News Journal, 
and The Kilgore News Herald. Contact Graves at

There are many things I love about my country. But 
rugged individualism, when taken to its extreme, does 
not make my list. Nor does religious zealotry, when its 
practice threatens the welfare of other people.

For instance, heres Nino Vitale, a Republican state 
representative in Ohio, explaining why he refuses to 
wear a face mask during the pandemic: I will not wear 
a mask. Thats the image of God right there, and I want 
to see it in my brothers and sisters.No one is stopping 
anybody from wearing a face mask. But quite frankly 
everyone elses freedom ends at the tip of my nose. 
Youre not going to tell me what to do. 

And heres Cheryl K. Chumley, the online opinion editor at the conservative 
Washington Times: Mask requirements are a blatant violation of an individuals 
right to choose - of an individuals right to self-govern. Mask requirements 
are fine in a socialist country. In an authoritarian society. In a communist, 
dictatorial, tyrannical kind of country. But this is America. 

Yeah, thats America all right - the worst of America. We're all in this together 
is the slogan du jour that speaks to the best of America, but the sadly predictable 
truth is that millions dont share that communitarian spirit. Your freedom 
to stay healthy ends at Vitales nose. Chumley thinks the rest of us are mask 
nazis. And Fox News Laura Ingraham says that masks are an elitist plot to 
impose suppression of free thought and sell the message that you are not back 
to normal, not even close. 

Mask defiance has become the latest weapon in the polarized culture war. Not 
even a deadly health crisis can bring us together anymore. Marching mask-
free for the freedom to get a manicure is deemed by many to be more important 
than the well-documented reality of further contagion. Going mask-free 
is the new dont tread on me. If more people die on the altar of others selfishness, 
well, I guess thats the price of freedom.

The anti-mask impulse is partly ideological, a new, lethal way to own the libs. 
Conservative commentator Rob Dreher admits, Its hard to deny that many 
conservatives have reacted to COVID-19 more out of ideology and fact. And 
its a new way to march in lockstep with Trump, who this week demonstrated 
his hostility to masks by refusing to wear one while visiting a mask factory. 
(The factorys PA system blasted Live and Let Die. As Jimmy Kimmel tweeted, 
I can think of no better metaphor for this presidency. )

But ideology aside, its also clear that masks are widely viewed as a sign of 
weakness. Why do you suppose Mike Pence refused to wear a mask while visiting 
the Mayo Clinic, even though Mayo requires all visitors to wear one, and 
even though everyone Pence met was masked? Because he didnt want Trump, 
or Trumps cult, to think he was weak. 

Trump didnt create the selfish strain in the American character, or the anti-
expertise strain, or the God-wants-to-see-my-face strain, or the pigheaded 
macho strain, but the tone hes setting is self-evidently toxic. This paragraph, 
in a new Associated Press story, says it all:

White House aides say the president hasnt told them not to wear (masks), but 
few do. Some Republican allies have asked Trumps campaign how it would be 
viewed by the White House if they were spotted wearing a mask. 

Thats pathetic.

Tom Nichols, a national security professor at the U.S. Naval War College, 
wrote a great Twitter thread this week about why the mask-haters behave as 
they do: Its a child-like understanding of autonomy.Yelling ˜No! is empowering, 
but only in the sense (that) children understand power: The raw ability to 
defy someone else. Its not in any way about citizenship, which is how adults 
balance group obligation and individual freedom.Citizens are adults, and we 
have to get through this despite the overgrown children among us. 

Dick Polman, a veteran national political columnist.

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