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

MVNews this week:  Page A:12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, July 18, 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 



During these Covid 19 times of limited professional day 
care my wife and I are helping take care of our granddaughter 
two or three times a week. This allows my daughter to work 
fairly undisturbed from her home and still keep her Law 
Practice going. My wife does all the changing and feeding 
and bottle warming. You know the unimportant stuff, while 
I try to be helpful. Mainly, I just make faces and laugh with 
the baby and have a wonderful time just observing. I’ve seen 
how hard it is to be a baby. Sitting up and turning over is 
really tough and then comes crawling and now she is working 
on standing. She works so hard and often fails and then fails 
again but always keeps trying. She is quite the chatterbox 
already and obviously is experimenting. I think listening 
to our speech is necessary to make the subtle decisions 
necessary to limit her sound making to sounds that we might 
understand. I am pretty sure that within a few months she will be able to “talk” which means 
according to us adult-types that she will make sounds that we recognize and understand. 

 From what I’ve seen all humans learn to talk and communicate and go on to lead 
their lives. What happens afterwards differs from person to person. Different individuals 
experience different motivations to continue learning. This is a very opportune time to 
think about learning, motivation, and the function of Public Schools and Education. How 
do Public Schools affect the desire to learn that seems to belong to every infant but often 
seems to vanish when that hard working-energetic, curious being reaches adulthood? 

 The first question I guess is what are Schools really for? Listening to the arguments 
on the news it seems that many believe that the purpose of Public Schools is for parents to 
have a place to take the kids somewhere so that they can go out into the world and earn 
money to support the family. C’mon now! If that was the major purpose of School it could 
be done a lot more cheaply and the kids could have a lot more fun doing almost anything 
else. Let’s face it, sitting in a closed room listening to some adult yapping at you about things 
you don’t understand and are probably not interested in is not very much fun. In fact it’s 
not a very good way of doing anything with kids except keeping them quiet and orderly and 
controlled. Students are expected to learn to do what they are told and to meet the demands 
of others. Great emphasis is placed on test results which often destroy fragile self – esteem. 
Depending on your performance, much like a trained animal, you may possibly get a “good 
job“. Not necessarily a job you like, or that gives meaning to your life; but a well-paying job. 
If it pays well enough you can form a new family and raise your children and get them stated 
on a new merry-go-round of sitting in boring stifling classrooms. What about freedom and 
creativity and the just plain joy that every infant seems to have? What about pleasure and 
play and happiness. Frankly, I have almost never seen the joy exhibited by a ten month old 
child duplicated by many adults. It seems to me if we are going to have Public Schools the 
thing that must be done is to observe our children and learn how they learn and support 
them in that learning. We should not put them in positions where they are told to answer 
other people’s questions but instead better to ask their own questions and creatively find 
their own solutions. 

 Oops, the baby is crying what do I do? What about a School for grandfathers here 
in Sierra Madre After all, All Grandfathers Matter!! 



“My fellow Americans, I am today ordering that Monday, August 
3, shall be a national day of mourning. All of us should take 
time on that day to honor the memories of more than 134,000 
souls taken by COVID-19. Flags will be lowered to half staff.” – 
Donald J. Trump, President 

“When our leagues resume play for their shortened seasons, 
all players will wear black uniform patches to acknowledge the 
tragic coronavirus deaths.” – Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner; Rob Manfred, MLB 

“I am asking all New Yorkers to observe a moment of silence at noon each day until 
further notice, as we remember the lives lost to COVID-19. I urge people in cities and 
towns across the nation to join the citizens of New York in expressing our collective 
grief.” – Bill de Blasio, Mayor 

None of these statements has been made, and a reasonable question is, why? 

What’s happening to us? Are we already experiencing what could be called the 
“thoughts and prayers” phenomenon? 

So often, when tragic events have leapt to the top of our collective consciousness, 
Americans have pledged to never forget, to take action, to work for social and political 
change and, of course, to offer thoughts and prayers to the victims and their 
families. Then, as has happened so often with gun violence, we quash our emotions 
and move on. 

One thing is certain: the public and its news media can’t rely on the Trump administration 
to acknowledge the gravity of the pandemic. Our president is never seen 
shedding a tear or leading the nation in grieving. Better to resume campaign rallies 
in a display of reckless disregard for the well-being of the living and the memories 
of the dead. 

Police brutality is absolutely worthy of protests and outrage, but the overpowering 
national objection to it in recent weeks is in strange contrast to the failed pandemic 
response. Yes, many Americans complied with social distancing and other rules – 
at least for a few months – but why hasn’t the nation stood in protest over scandalous 
conditions at nursing homes, prisons, and meatpacking plants? 

With a U.S. COVID-19 death toll greater in five months than the 14 years of American 
combat in the Korean and Vietnam wars combined (95,000 lives lost), many 
of us are in deep despair over this horrific loss, while others seem unable – or 
unwilling – to process such staggering numbers. America’s difficulty in putting the 
pandemic’s toll in proper perspective is causing significant emotional, social and 
political problems. 

Where do senior citizens, particularly those who are in nursing homes, rank? I’ve 
heard some right-wing talk show hosts shamefully scoff that many of the dead are 
old, some already suffering other illnesses. Between the lines: These deaths are less 
newsworthy because they don’t count as much as those of younger persons. 

Even the basic math has become controversial. Some conservatives claim death 
counts are being inflated to make the Trump administration’s handling of the crisis 
appear worse than it is. Others, including the head of the Centers for Disease Control, 
Robert Redfield, believe the toll is much higher – as much as 10 times higher 
– than has been reported. 

When some politicians and their misguided followers choose to treat death counts 
as mere points on a graph, much like a stock table, it leads to reckless decisions 
about reopening public places before safety conditions are met. It creates a national 
numbness. It allows politicians to frame the deaths as collateral damage in their 
self-proclaimed war. It twists a national crisis into a political pretzel. 

No one’s death, regardless of age or pre-existing medical condition, should be dismissed 
as a statistic. Why aren’t we wearing pins or ribbons in remembrance of 
the dead? In addition to 7 p.m. tributes for heroic doctors and nurses, why isn’t 
there also a national moment of silence at noon each day to honor those who have 
passed? Or a national day of mourning? Why aren’t more flags at half staff? 

News organizations have devoted enormous space and airtime to the pandemic. 
Most, including this one, have worked vigilantly to track down individual stories 
and give names and faces to the dead. But it’s not enough. 

Our friends and neighbors are dying in unthinkable numbers. When we stop giving 
that proper focus it’s the first step in allowing a president and his cowardly allies 
on Capitol Hill to escape retribution at the ballot box in November. 

We talk a lot these days about a “new normal.” If by normal we mean treating so 
many deaths as routine, then we should be ashamed. I can think of over 134,000 
reasons why. 

Peter Funt is a writer and speaker. His book, “Cautiously Optimistic,” is available at and © 2020 Peter Funt. 

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Let’s begin today with Joe Biden, who is far too oft
en trumped by the tumultuous roar of the MAGA 
train wreck. Biden, who currently leads Trump by 
nine points nationally and by as many as five points 
in Texas (Texas!), had a few choice things to say 
about the Trump regime’s treacherous efforts to 
discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci. 

The presumptive Democratic nominee tweeted: “Donald Trump needs to 
spend less time playing golf and more time listening to experts like Dr. 
Fauci.” And the Biden campaign said: “The president’s disgusting attempt 
to pass the buck by blaming the top infectious disease expert in the country 
– whose advice he repeatedly ignored and Joe Biden consistently implored 
him to take – is yet another horrible and revealing failure of leadership 
as the tragic death toll continues to needlessly grow.” 

Trump’s cultists will surely view those complaints as “partisan,” but let us 
recall how the senior George Bush responded, during a presidential debate 
in 1988, when he was asked to name some of his heroes: “I think of Dr. 
Fauci…He’s a very fine researcher – top doctor at the National Institute 
of Health – working hard doing something about research on this disease 
of AIDS.” And indeed he was, while serving the first of six presidents – of 
both parties. 

The problem now is Fauci serves an anti-science ignoramus who can’t 
abide anyone who outshines him in the public eye, and therefore it was inevitable 
that he would be marginalized and kept off TV. A national poll recently 
reported that 67 percent of Americans trust Fauci to deliver “accurate 
information” about the pandemic, while only 26 percent trust Trump. 
Nobody who tells the truth – not Alexander Vindman, or James Mattis, or 
Marie Yovanovich – can breathe free in Trump’s fetid swamp. 

Fauci recently told the Financial Times, “I have a reputation, as you probably 
figured out, of speaking the truth at all times and not sugar-coating 
things.” No wonder Trump is trying to put him out to pasture. 

It does seem foolish, as a re-election strategy, to attack the nation’s top 
infectious expert in the midst of a roaring pandemic. But this hapless husk 
of a regime, plagued by a mounting death toll and horrified at the prospect 
of defeat, has gone off the deep end. In the words of conservative commentator 
Michael Gerson, who served in the second Bush White House, 
the baseless assault on Fauci “indicates an administration so far gone in 
rage, bitterness and paranoia that it can no longer be trusted to preserve 
American lives.” 

Lest we forget, Fauci started to draw heat way back in March, when he was 
already warning about the dangers of “community spread.” Trump, at the 
time, was already in sugar-coat mode, dreaming of packed churches on 
Easter Sunday, and his fans on the rabid right were already circulating the 
hashtag #faucifraud. 

So what we’re seeing now is merely an acceleration of the MAGA rage 
against reality. Fauci, assessing the pandemic, is trying to warn us that “we 
haven’t even begun to see the end of it yet,” even as Trump lied last Friday 
that “we are winning the war.” But what about the titanic spikes in Texas 
and Arizona, spikes triggered by the insane decision (goaded by Trump) to 
reopen too early? No problem at all, according to Trump: “They’re going to 
have it under control very quickly.” 

But there’s one cure for the virus of ignorance: 

Just ignore Trump and heed Fauci. A landslide share of Americans are doing 
that already. 

Technically, Trump can’t even fire Fauci, at least not without waging a protracted 
bureaucratic battle that will backfire against the guy whose credibility 
outside the cult is already nil. Trump can’t thwart Fauci’s impulse to 
speak truth to power – or stop Americans from listening. 

Trump’s sole motive is selfish – to stay in office and out of jail. Fauci’s sole 
motive is selfless – to keep Americans alive and healthy. Game over. 

Of all the stupid things Trump has said and done, fingering Fauci as a fall 
guy is surely in the top tier. 

Dick Polman, a veteran national political columnist based in Philadelphia and a Writer 
in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, writes at Email him at 


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