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

MVNews this week:  Page A:10



 Mountain Views News Saturday, July 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 



I read somewhere that humor has had a profound effect 
on the way Jewish people see the world. The old Yiddish 
proverb, “we plan, God laughs” explains that things have a 
way of turning out not quite as we expected. The way I heard 
it was that this old guy Abraham, who was about one hundred 
years old and his wife Sarah were sitting around in their tent 
one day along with his kid Ishmael who Abraham, about 
thirteen years earlier, had fathered with their handmaiden 
Hagar. So one day these three guys show up at their tent, 
and let them know that God has ordained that in nine months 
Sarah will give birth to a child fathered by Abraham and that 
the child should be named Isaac. Anyway, the old couple who 
have not had sexual relations in many years got a big laugh 
out of this and maybe someone or something somewhere got 
a big laugh too. Anyway, to everyone’s surprise, a son Isaac was born nine months later and 
the Joke kept going as a few years later Abraham was commanded by God, I guess, to go up 
this mountain with Isaac and execute him as a tribute. Big joke! So old Abraham and his 
son climb the mountain and then just at the last moment Abraham gets a message that God 
was only kidding and that Abraham should sacrifice a ram instead. 

 To understand the story one should know that Isaac’s name means “he will laugh” 
which reflects the disbelief of Abraham and Sarah when told that they would have a child. 
Jewish tradition teaches that perhaps God was try with God in a futile attempt to spare the 
people of Sodom and Gomorrah, sinners all. We know God loved Abraham and chose him 
to become the father of His Chosen People and also knew that these Jews, these Chosen 
People would never stop arguing and would never just passively accept the message of God. 
In fact Isaac’s son Jacob much later gets into a wrestling match with an Angel and beats the 
Angel who then reveals Himself to be G-D and gives Jacob a new name, “Israel” meaning 
“wrestled with an angel”. 

 This is all the Judaism I know and it has guided me through most of my life. The 
first awareness is that one should never take the present too seriously as God might just be 
kidding around just testing you. The next lesson is to attempt to defend those who seem 
to be oppressed by God and realize that you and they are being tested. Always fight for 
the underdog! There are many ready to fight for the other side. God wants arguments and 
questions but always makes us aware that we only know part of the story. I think God 
laughs when he sees His creations become so confident that they see themselves as more 
knowledgeable and better than everyone else as has been our American Way. 

 This is all introduction as to why I think somebody, maybe God, (perhaps only a 
mythical presence) is laughing at the United States today. Americans, who have been so 
fearful of the arrival of immigrants and whose President (whom I also wish was similarly 
a mythical presence), has proclaimed the necessity of building a giant wall to keep the 
foreigners out, as they would infect our pristine American culture with disease. Well this 
week it has been reported that Europe and the U.K. and Mexico have prohibited Americans 
(as we call ourselves) from entering their countries because there is a substantial threat that 
We will infect Them. Ha, ha, the laughs on us now! Maybe the Wall will function to keep 
us locked in. 

 So, who’s laughing now? Not me and not you. Maybe Him. 




Here’s how far Donald Trump is willing to go to ensure his re-election: 
After trying to normalize COVID-19 deaths among senior citizens 
and asking us to just get used to the fact that more people will die, he’s 
now willing to use America’s schoolchildren as pawns in a proxy fight 
with Democrats. 

That is the only reasonable way to read the vitriol packed into the 
presidential Twitter feed recently, as Trump upped the pressure on 
state governors to reopen schools in the fall (news update, Mr. President, 
many districts have been working on that for months): 

“In Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and many other countries, SCHOOLS ARE OPEN 
WITH NO PROBLEMS,” Trump bleated. “The Dems think it would be bad for them politically 
if U.S. schools open before the November Election, but is important for the children & 
families. May cut off funding if not open!” 

Read that again: Trump has just made it clear that he’s perfectly willing to (try) to cut off 
funding to cash-strapped school districts to punish his political rivals. 

As an added bonus, Trump’s heartless bluster is couched in a falsehood. As the New York 
Times reports, Germany reopened its schools only after containing the spread of the coronavirus. 
That’s not the case in the United States, which crested 3 million confirmed cases this 
week, with 1 million coming in the last 28 days alone. 

The Times also notes that “most countries also implemented virus-control steps in the 
schools, including mask-wearing, reduced class sizes, and keeping children in small groups 
at recess and lunchtime.” Sweden, which never closed schools, has been faulted in its management 
of the pandemic. The Scandinavian nation has “seen the death of a teacher at one 
school and at least two staff members at other schools, though it’s not clear whether they 
were infected in school or elsewhere,” the Times further reported. 

On Wednesday, after Trump thundered at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
on Twitter, Vice President Mike Pence announced the public health agency would 
revise its reopening guidance, which Trump had decried as “very tough & expensive.” 

“Well, the president said today, we just don’t want the guidance to be too tough,” Pence said. 
“That’s the reason why next week, the C.D.C. is going to be issuing a new set of tools, five 
different documents that will be giving even more clarity on the guidance going forward.” 

The CDC’s director, Robert Redfield, said Wednesday that the agency’s directives were not 
intended “as a rationale to keep schools closed.” 

“We are prepared to work with each school, each jurisdiction to help them use the different 
strategies that we proposed that help do this safely so they come up with the optimal strategy 
for those schools,” Redfield said. 

In guidelines posted to its website in May, the CDC had recommended, among other things, 
using cloth face coverings to halt the spread of respiratory droplets; regular cleaning and 
disinfecting, and modifying classroom layouts to keep students at least six feet apart where 

In other words, all the lessons that most Americans have internalized since the beginning 
the pandemic. 

But as the Times further notes, Trump’s blustering comes “as scientists grapple with rising 
concerns about transmission of the virus in indoor spaces,”which most assuredly cramped 
school classrooms. In response, officials have been looking at alternatives. 

In New York, for instance, classroom attendance will be limited to one to three days a week. 
And while it’s true that children aged 12 and younger are the least at risk for illness, there’s a 
concern that they could spread the virus to classmates and teachers, who would then bring 
it home to potentially vulnerable family members. 

None of this matters to Trump, of course, whose callous indifference to the pandemic that’s 
now claimed 134,000 American lives, has been proven again and again, from predicting that 
the virus will just “disappear” to continuing to use a racially offensive epithet to describe it. 

With his strongest political tool, the economy, taken away from him, and the American 
public breaking with the president on his racist defense of Confederate monuments and 
iconography, Trump needs a win someplace. And for reasons that, as usual, have only to do 
with his own self-preservation, he’s now using school children as pawns in a fight against 
Democrats that he’s most assuredly losing. 


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You can add another item to the list of shortages in our current age of the 
China Flu. 

Political trust is harder to find than disinfectant wipes. With the suspicion 
level this high, one would think political leaders on both sides would be 
working hard to make sure the November election runs smoothly, and results 
up and down the tickets are reported quickly. 

Unfortunately, this time suspense may be killing us before and after the polls 

The Washington Post (better known here as the WoePost) once again has the 
bad news. In an analysis of the upcoming presidential election, the headline 
reads: “Barring a landslide, what’s probably not coming on Nov. 3? A result 
in the race for the White House.” 

With the exception of the victory by Donald Trump in 2016, nothing could 
be better calculated to create suspicion among the losers of the presidential 
contest than delaying the final result for a week or more. 

Voters want the results of elections to be clear, prompt and final. Waiting 
while ballots are counted in some backroom only creates suspicion that 
someone is monkeying with the count. 

Our culprit here is mail balloting. Voting by mail doubles the cost of elections 
for candidates at a minimum and makes money – along with its handmaiden, 
wealthy candidates – all that much more important. 

Before the advent of mail balloting and early voting, the greatest expenditures 
for candidates occurred in the final two weeks of the election, just prior 
to election day. That’s when voters began to really focus on making their 

Mail and early voting expands that high–expenditure window by at least two 
weeks and sometimes four. When the window for persuading voters doubles 
in length, so do the expenditures. I worked in the very first mail–only election 
in Colorado. Research showed in the past about 8 percent of the electorate 

The mail ballot upended that. Polling showed 17 percent were likely to cast a 
mail ballot and even worse, there was no way to predict which voters would 
be among the 17 percent. 

Instead of concentrating communication efforts on frequent voters and new 
registrations, my client had to mail EVERY voter EVERY time we communicated. 
The cost to conduct the campaign exploded. 

Mail balloting is also anonymous and atomized. Instead of meeting at the 
polling place on election day in a community effort to reaffirm our public 
commitment to democratic participation, voters are isolated, connected 
only by the glue on the back of a postage stamp. 

Thanks to the Flu Manchu, this is shaping up to be an election–by–mail and 
bureaucrats aren’t prepared. “In Kentucky, nearly 1 million voters requested 
mail ballots, vastly more than the roughly 50,000 voters who usually vote 
absentee. In New York, roughly 10 times the number of ballots mailed four 
years ago have been requested for Tuesday’s primary,” the Washington Post 

Beginning the mail count on election day is going to produce extraordinary 
delays in tabulating final results. As the WoePost says counting isn’t easy, “for 
a process that includes opening envelopes, verifying voter identity and scanning 
ballots into machines.” 

The Democrat secretary of state in Pennsylvania identified the problem and 
convinced the legislature to allow her to begin counting mail ballots the 
morning of election day. It wasn’t enough. It still took 10 days to complete 
the count. 

In a primary election where the results are intramural this lengthy delay will 
cause grumbling, but not insurrection. In a general election, for all the marbles, 
this delay is courting disaster. 

The real solution to the delay dilemma is to revert to in–person voting with 
limited absentee voting. The stopgap solution – which will require new law 
in state legislatures – is to make the final day for postmarking a mail ballot at 
least one week before election day. Mail ballots should be counted on a daily 
basis as they arrive, thus avoiding a democracy cram session where all ballots 
are counted the night of the election. 

The daily count must be absolutely secret – with felony penalties for leaking 
information – and the mail ballots retained in a secure location in the event 
of a recount. 

That way on election night after in person ballots are counted, the mail totals 
are added and voters know the outcome that evening. 

None of that will happen. Election bureaucrats are too hidebound and legislators 
aren’t focused on the problem. Unless there is a landslide for either 
President Trump or Gropey Joe Biden, the nation will be hit with another 
divisive controversy that will further alienate an angry electorate. 

Michael Shannon is a commentator and public relations consultant, and is the author of 
“A Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times.” 

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