Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, November 21, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, November 21, 2020 


I want to be a better person





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

At the end of the U.S. Masters Golf Tournament 
this giant seemingly emotionless guy, Dustin 
Johnson, broke down in tears as he explained how 
hard he had worked to get better. Immediately I 
thought of the Jack Nicholson line in As Good As 
It Gets, “You make me want to be a better person.” 
Exactly, that’s what I want—to be a better person! 
Great, but what does that mean? Better at what—
richer, handsomer, younger, more energetic? 
Kinder, more powerful, more caring, a better writer, 
a better parent, a better driver? Maybe, sort of, 
but that’s not really what I’m feeling. That’s the real 
problem I think. I need some CLARITY about what 
it is I am wanting. Perhaps a vision of where I want to go or at least some idea 
of how to get there even if I don’t know where it is that I want to go.

 As I think about it, being a better person does not necessarily involve 
going anywhere, or even achieving anything. It’s not a competition, not about 
winning or losing. I believe it involves a constant recognition of the gift of life 
and how as a single person one fits into the great mosaic of existence. We have an 
ever present responsibility to ourselves to live our life as if it means something. 
To recognize that our life is something we care about and this caring extends to 
everyone around us. Let’s look at the major questions of today—to wear a mask 
or not to wear a mask. To shelter in place or travel about and not restrict one’s 
life unnecessarily. Is worrying about one’s own survival, or the survival one’s 
family, or the future of the next generations, or the future of the planet enough 
or too much? All of these questions co-exist at the same moment.

 Kipling’s poem “If” seems applicable.

 “If you can keep your head when all about you 

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you

But make allowance for their doubting too” 

 Kipling’s reputation has changed with the social and political climate 
of age. After all, he is the author of The White Man’s Burden, but the advice 
contained in “If” seems relevant. To be our best selves we must keep an open 
mind, trust ourselves and still realize we might well be mistaken but at every 
moment do the best we can. If the whole world is going crazy we must Hold On 
and maintain our responsibility to our own vision which might change from 
moment to moment. How does this thinking apply today? First do not despair. 
Keep your faculties together. Exercise the self-restraint necessary to keep from 
blaming those around you and realize that getting on each other’s nerves is 
pretty inevitable but everything may feel very different tomorrow. Note the 
positive things such as saving money because we aren’t allowing ourselves to 
go out and spend unnecessarily. Value your home (I do not mean its present 
market sales price) and your ability to stay in touch by cell phone and text and 
face time. Take a little time to evaluate the person you are and realize the many 
things you have done for others and the many things others have done for you.

 It is important to realize that you do not constantly need to be entertained 
or kept busy. Notice that you are completely capable of being satisfied just by 
spending time with yourself. If it feels right take a little time to actually compose 
letters to others and even to yourself and to perhaps future grandchildren 
explaining what it is like living through these times. Finally, note when you are 
able to laugh. It’s not so easy but this is the remedy that has made it possible for 
many persecuted and oppressed people to survive for thousands of years. 

Right now it seems that almost all of us are in that same category. 

Please take care! 

Mountain Views News 
has been adjudicated as 
a newspaper of General 
Circulation for the County 
of Los Angeles in Court 
Case number GS004724: 
for the City of Sierra 
Madre; in Court Case 
GS005940 and for the 
City of Monrovia in Court 
Case No. GS006989 and 
is published every Saturday 
at 80 W. Sierra Madre 
Blvd., No. 327, Sierra 
Madre, California, 91024. 
All contents are copyrighted 
and may not be 
reproduced without the 
express written consent of 
the publisher. All rights 
reserved. All submissions 
to this newspaper become 
the property of the Mountain 
Views News and may 
be published in part or 

Opinions and views expressed 
by the writers 
printed in this paper do 
not necessarily express 
the views and opinions 
of the publisher or staff 
of the Mountain Views 

Mountain Views News is 
wholly owned by Grace 
Lorraine Publications, 
and reserves the right to 
refuse publication of advertisements 
and other 
materials submitted for 

Letters to the editor and 
correspondence should 
be sent to: 

Mountain Views News

80 W. Sierra Madre Bl. 

Sierra Madre, Ca. 

Phone: 626-355-2737

Fax: 626-609-3285


A member of 







As challenging a year as 2020 has been, we still should be 
thankful that it has been the best year in human history to 
be alive.

Consider: In 1920, according to the book “Enlightenment 
Now,” the average person spent 11.5 hours each week doing 
laundry. By 2014, he or she was completing laundry chores in 
less than an hour and a half.

Or, in my case, five minutes – which is how long it takes me to 
drop off my laundry at the laundry-cleaning shop.

Right now, humans are living longer, more productive lives than ever before in human 

“For 99.9% of our species’ existence, a newborn baby could expect to live, on average, 
to about the age of 30,” reports Tom Chivers for BuzzFeed. “According to the 
Encyclopaedia Britannica, that age dropped even lower in classical times, to perhaps 
28 for ancient Greece and Rome. And as late as the start of the 20th century, according 
to the World Health Organisation (WHO), it was still just 31.”

But today, says Chivers, the global average life expectancy is 71.5 years, according to 
a study in The Lancet.

And life expectancy will keep increasing.

According to the World Future Society, we are in the early phases of a superlongevity 
revolution. Thanks to advances in nanotechnology and cell and gene manipulation, 
scientists may eventually learn how to keep humans alive for 120 to 500 years.

I hope I don’t live that long, though. I have zero desire to participate in one more 
presidential election, let alone several dozen.

COVID-19 has disrupted global markets, but the fact is that free markets and capitalism 
have been leading millions of people out of poverty – and will continue to do 
so as the world eventually returns to normal.

As poverty decreases, the global population enjoys a continually improving quality 
of life.

In 2017, Bill Gates reported global improvement across several indicators: Childhood 
deaths fell from 12 million in 1990 to 5 million in 2017. More than 90 percent 
of children were attending primary school. The proportion of people living in extreme 
poverty declined from one-third in 1990 to one-tenth.

Today, the average American family is living better than the world’s wealthiest lived 
just 100 years ago.

Cafe Hayek says the lifestyle of today’s typical middle-class American is better than 
billionaire John D. Rockefeller’s was 100 years ago.

As rich as Rockefeller was, he didn’t have air conditioning; sophisticated medicine; 
safe, fast travel; limitless dining and entertainment options; and many other wonderful 
things that we have.

Of course, Rockefeller didn’t have social media or talking heads on 24/7 cable news, 
so his lifestyle was not without its benefits!

This year has been no picnic. Many people are without work and are suffering terribly 
as they face an uncertain future.

Despite 2020’s setbacks, however, now is still the best time in history to be alive. We 
have our problems, to be sure, and have plenty of work ahead of us.

Then again, technological innovation is in the process of unleashing marvels – and, 
hopefully, much-needed economic growth – that will benefit us all.

This Thanksgiving, in addition to toasting the good health of my family and friends, 
I’ll toast the many blessings and opportunities that abound, but are harder to see 
during this most peculiar year.

More than two weeks since being named President-elect, Joe 
Biden is anxious to plan as best he can to save the lives of as 
many Americans as possible. Yet, oh so predictably, we still have 
a Trump apparatchik gumming up the works.

How does Emily Murphy sleep at night, knowing that every day 
she refuses to launch the presidential transition with a stroke 
of the pen, she makes it more difficult for the incoming Biden 
team to fully weaponize its war against the worst pandemic in 
102 years?

Murphy heads the General Services Administration, and it’s her job to sign off on 
what Biden needs -namely, $6.3 million in public and private money that’s earmarked 
for the transition team, federal office space and equipment, and, most importantly, 
access to the insiders who are handling threats to the American people at home (the 
pandemic) and abroad.

But alas, as CNN reports: “Murphy is struggling with the weight of the presidential 
election being dropped on her shoulders, feeling like she’s been put in a no-win situation, 
according to people who have spoken to her recently.”

Where’s my violin?

The only reason she’s “struggling” with a “no-win situation” is because she’s terrified 
of ticking off the authoritarian toddler who gave her the job. The toddler doesn’t care 
whether Biden gets up to speed on the pandemic, or whether more Americans die 
needlessly. He’s too busy sucking on his Twitter binky, thumbing inanities about how 

Murphy has gotten the message, and that clearly trumps her duty to follow the law. 
That’s how things work in a cult.

According to the federal statutes, it’s the GSA administrator’s job to ascertain “the 
apparent successful candidates for the office of President and Vice President.” That 
ascertainment is a slam dunk.

Biden is on track to win 306 electoral votes, with no evidence whatsoever that his 
win will be reversed. His combined winning margin in the pivotal Rustbelt states 
(Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania) is now three times larger than Trump’s winning 
margin in those states, and Biden’s 51 percent share of the popular vote is bigger than 
9 of the last 15 winners, including JFK’s in 1960 and Ronald Reagan’s in 1980.

But because Murphy remains fixated on her bat-crazy boss’ bat signal, she’s clearly 
deaf to what sane Americans are saying. Walter Shaub, ex-director of the federal Office 
of Government Ethics, writes: “Expertise will carry the Biden-Harris transition 
team for a while, but there are limits to what can be done (on the pandemic) without 
then government’s cooperation if Murphy remains obstinate.” And four ex-leaders of 
Homeland Security – two Republicans, two Democrats – are pleading with Murphy 
to act in the national interest: “At this period of heightened risk for our nation, we do 
not have a single day to spare to begin the transition.”

The business community is weighing in as well. Tom Donahue, longtime Republican 
insider and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has issued a statement: “President-
elect Biden and the team around him have a wealth of executive branch experience 
that should allow them to hit the ground running…(F)or the sake of Americans’ 
safety and well-being, (Trump’s regime) should not delay the transition a moment 

And the National Association of Manufacturers, citing the public health crisis and the 
need to ensure the efficient distribution of vaccines, released this statement yesterday: 
“It is highly appropriate that the Trump administration allow key individuals from 
the Biden team to access critical government personnel and information now…We 
call on the administrator of the General Services Administration to sign the letter of 
ascertainment immediately so that this consistent process in American democracy 
can begin and the exchange of critical information can commence.”

How tragic it is – how predictable – that the narcissistic loser of this election is holding 
American lives hostage, and that a key flunky in a key post continues to abet him. 
In 2017, when Murphy testified at her confirmation hearing, she said her sole goal 
was to make government “more efficient, effective, and responsive to the American 
people…I am not here to garner headlines or make a name for myself.”

Too late. But if she wants to salvage her name at this late hour, she’ll shred the MAGA 
armband and be truly responsive to the American people. Because in this election, 
the people have spoken.

Mountain Views News

Mission Statement

The traditions of 
community news-
papers and the 
concerns of our readers 
are this newspaper’s 
top priorities. We 
support a prosperous 
community of well-
informed citizens. We 
hold in high regard the 
values of the exceptional 
quality of life in our 
community, including 
the magnificence of 
our natural resources. 
Integrity will be our guide. 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: