Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, September 5, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, September 5, 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

The day before yesterday, it might have 
been Thursday, but I’m never very sure 
anymore. It really doesn’t matter because 
all the days are the same except when 
my wife and I are allowed to spend time 
with our granddaughter. If there was a set 
schedule there would be a point to keeping 
track. We take care of the baby two or three 
times a week. So after getting the baby my 
wife drives up the winding road, goes up 
the hill and there’s a detour sign which she 
ignores based on my foolish advice. 

 We go around the next curve and 
now are able to see our house. Unfortunately, in front of the house 
is not one, but two huge trucks that completely block the road. They 
block our driveway and three-quarters of the street. It is impossible 
to drive around them and my wife realizes that she is going to have to 
turn around. Just then, the giant trash truck pulls up behind us which 
proves it is in fact Thursday. There is no backing up now and there 
is no going forward and now the baby begins to cry. Normally when 
I am in the back seat and the baby starts to cry I am slightly pleased 
because I can demonstrate to myself that I still have some purpose as 
I am quite skilled at quieting the baby through facial expressions and 
gentle touching and by finding her pacifier. I am so enamored by our 
granddaughter that I sometimes imagine that she cries only to give me 
the opportunity to prove my worth by quieting her and calming her 
down. Of course, it is also true that she is teething and that may be the 
actual reason for her distress. I want to stay in the back seat with her 
but the giant truck behind us is honking and the two trucks in front of 
us are not moving. It is actually over one hundred degrees outside of 
the car—so do you get the picture—we can’t go forward, we can’t go 
backward, and I have to leave the car with the baby crying and my wife 
glaring at me for giving such poor advice. A perfect picture of my life 
as I now often see it—I’m still around but do nothing but make things 
more difficult.

 Eventually, I leave the car, go out into the heat, explain to the 
hard-working sweating men that they are blocking our driveway and 
that it is impossible for us to back up and that there is a crying baby 
in our car. One of the men actually walks back to the car, looks at the 
baby, says something to my wife, nods his head and says something 
to the truck in front of his truck. Soon they both move and we now 
we’re home. I try to get the baby out of the car seat, fumble with the 
straps and my wife comes back and removes the baby. I want to at 
least carry her into the house and up the stairs and place her in her 
high chair. I know I will have trouble adjusting the restraints. At least 
I want to carry the baby up the stairs because I know my wife’s back is 
hurting. Without me telling you, you can probably guess that my wife, 
especially when she’s already angry, doesn’t trust me to carry the baby 
up the stairs and she carries the baby up the stairs which requires me to 
try and hook her into the high chair which I do not do very well.

 I think I am having some problems with self-esteem which 
has never been my long suit. I know as an older person I should have 
acquired some wisdom along the line but that also seems like something 
else I forgot to do. I hope there is still time. What is today, anyway? 

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CENSUS 2020: 



If you’re looking for the biggest difference between Donald Trump’s 
ac-ceptance speeches in 2016 and last week, it helps to channel 
your inner real estate developer. It’s all about location, 
location, location.

In 2016, Trump delivered a darkly tedious and overlong 
speech from the frigidly air-conditioned Quicken Loans Arena 
in Cleveland. At least it had the virtue of being on private 

In 2020, he delivered a darkly tedious and overlong speech from the White House’s 
South Lawn, blasting through the traditional and legal prohibitions against using 
federal property and resources for electioneer-ing.

In 2016, Trump insisted that he alone could solve the nation’s problems, warning 
that “the attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way 
of life. Any politician who does not grasp this dan-ger is not fit to lead our country.”

In Washington last week, Trump complained that Democratic nominee “Joe Biden 
and his supporters remained completely silent about the riot-ers and criminals 
spreading mayhem in Democrat-run cities. They never even mentioned it during 
their entire convention. Never once mentioned.”

Even as Trump blasted what he said was “left-wing anarchy and mayhem in Minneapolis, 
Chicago and other cities,” he also honored police officers – a recurring 
theme of convention week. But he remained utterly silent on the reason those same 
demonstrators were taking to the streets: To pro-test the killings of unarmed Black 
civilians at the hands of law enforce-ment, and the decades of institutionalized racism 
that has resulted in a le-gal system weighted against people of color.

Elsewhere, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany laughably claimed that 
Trump “stands by Americans with pre-existing conditions.” In fact, Trump and his 
Republican allies are in court fighting to overturn the Affordable Care Act, which 
provides legal protection for 130 million Amer-icans with pre-existing conditions, 
the Guardian also noted.

And if you needed a reminder that the Grand Old Party, which left its con-vention 
week without an actual platform, is now really the Party of Trump, you didn’t need 
to look any further than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Four years ago, in a joint appearance with then-House Speaker Paul Ryan, McConnell 
took to the stage looking like he was starring in a hostage vid-eo while undergoing 
a root canal. McConnell’s antipathy to Trump at the time was well-documented.

But with control of the Senate on the line this year, McConnell, in record-ed remarks, 
spoke of “my friend, Donald Trump,” even as he inveighed against Democrats 
and cynically warned that granting statehood to Wash-ington D.C. would result 
“in two more liberal senators,” making it impossi-ble for Republicans to “undo 
the damage they’ve [Democrats] have done.”

In a July analysis for Inside Elections, Jacob Rubashkin blew up that narra-tive, noting 
that “history reveals that two additional Democratic senators would rarely have 
made a difference in control of the Senate over the last half century.”

The Senate Republican resistance to D.C. statehood has always been root-ed as 
much in fear of a dilution of political power as it has been in a rac-ism that has 
trained them to view the overwhelmingly Black city as little more than a personal 
plaything. I covered Congress in 1997, during an-other push for D.C. statehood, 
and saw the same scenario unfold at the time.

Even the language that McConnell used Thursday was couched in racism. Democrats, 
he complained, wanted to cement their agenda by “making the swamp itself, 
Washington, D.C., America’s 51st state.” But it wasn’t a message for “Chocolate City,” 
as the increasingly diverse D.C. was once called. It was a scare-tactic and dog whistle 
for middle America.

McConnell, like other Republicans who flushed the GOP’s legacy this week, was 
simply following the lead of their Dear Leader. In Cleveland four years ago, Trump 
trafficked in racism and fear, warning of “illegal immigrants with criminal records” 
who were “roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens.”

In Washington last week, Trump bleated that if “the left gains power they will demolish 
the suburbs, confiscate your guns and appoint justices who will wipe away 
your Second Amendment and other constitutional free-doms.”

During both conventions, Republicans claimed they had a bold, new vi-sion for 
America. They don’t. They’re members of a party bereft of ideas that can only do one 
thing: Peddle division and fear.

It’s right there. In their own words.

An award-winning political journalist, John L. Micek is Editor-in-Chief of The Pennsylvania Capital-
Star in Harrisburg, Pa. 

I hope we get it right.

Data collection for the 2020 U.S. Census ends 
soon. This census, the 22nd in U.S. history, has 
faced its share of challenges and controversies.

The goal of the census has remained the same 
throughout its 230-year history: to count every 
person living in the United States.

The Constitution requires the federal government to do so every 10 
years. The population count determines the number of U.S. House 
seats each state will have – which can become highly political.

When a state gains or loses seats, the party in power sometimes redraws 
congressional districts in hopes of making it impossible for the other 
party to win. That’s why census results are so important to politicians.

The census also determines how much federal funding your neighbor-
hood will receive. The more people counted in a region, the more 
money that region will receive for roads, bridges and other government 

From the start, this census has faced no small number of controversies 
and challenges.

“From cybersecurity issues to administrative problems to a legal drama 
over a possible citizenship question, there are plenty of reasons to worry 
about the decennial head count,” noted The Atlantic in July 2018.

Cybersecurity certainly is a concern. This is the very first census that 
al-lows answering questions online – which may put respondents and 
their data at risk of cyberattack, particularly amid COVID-19, which 
has brought thousands of scammers out of the woodwork.

Wired reported in 2019 that “experts fear the (census) bureau is opening 
itself up to a range of new risks, from basic functionality and connectivity 
failures to cybersecurity threats and disinformation campaigns.”

Disinformation in the era of social media? I’m shocked.

To stay secure, remember that the Census Bureau will never ask for 
your full Social Security number, or your bank account or credit card 
numbers, or for money or donations – but scammers pretending to be 
from the bu-reau will.

Ten questions ask about respondents’ name, sex, age, race, telephone 
number and whether they own or rent. There are no questions about 
reli-gion, whether one is a legal resident or whether one has a Social 
Security number.

When the Trump administration proposed adding a citizenship question, 
opponents cried foul. They said the question would intimidate 
noncitizens into not responding, which would result in undercounts 
in districts with many noncitizens. The administration eventually 
dropped that idea.

Here’s the latest battle, according to Roll Call: “Under pressure from the 
Trump administration to end the count early, the (Census) agency will 
conclude all enumeration efforts on Sept. 30, and then comb through 
data before wrapping up the whole process by Dec. 31 – half the time 
the agency originally anticipated after delaying its initial schedule because 
of the pandemic.”

Trump opponents say this could cause undercounting in minority 
com-munities. The administration says modern technologies and efficiencies 
enable an accurate count and meeting its statutory deadline 
of Dec. 31, 2020.

In an era when everything is hopelessly political and political opponents 
loathe and distrust each other, one thing really matters.

It’s essential that we get our census data right.


Tom Purcell, author of “Misadventures of a 1970’s Childhood,” a humorous 
memoir available at, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 
humor columnist and is nationally syndicated. 

Mountain Views News

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