Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, July 17, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page B:4

B4 OPINIONMountain View News Saturday, July 17, 2021 B4 OPINIONMountain View News Saturday, July 17, 2021 




Susan Henderson 


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Dinah Chong WatkinsAudrey SwansonMary Lou CaldwellKevin McGuire 
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A couple of days ago I met a friend at a golf course. 

My friend and I are both retirees in our late seventies and 

both suffer the terrifying and inevitable medical conditions 

typical of our geriatric compatriots. Nevertheless, we are 

very different Individuals. He is a conservative businessman 

responsible for creating company which employs hundreds 

of people. He tells me that he only hires people that he likes 

and I believe him. He is a person who has never tasted alco

hol, or smoked a cigarette, or used recreational drugs. He has 

one marriage lasting over fifty years and in total has over sixty children, grandchildren, 
and great grandchildren which regularly gather together for annual celebrations.

I could go on pointing out the virtues of this man, but he is not the intended 
subject. My point is that he is a pleasant, honorable man possessing many admirable 
qualities. My golfing companion is a Republican nevertheless we have always enjoyed 
playing together and I respect him. We never compete largely because of my perpetual 
ineptitude until this particular time wherein I devised a scoring system that seemed fair. 
Now I, very uncharacteristically, paid close attention and actually CARED about our 

Now we reach the point of the article. My friend and I had been joined by two 
other retirees, probably more than a decade younger than us. They too were entrepreneurs, 
conservatives, and proud Republicans. The heat of the afternoon was extreme 
but somewhere on the back nine I completely lost my composure. Inadvisably we had 
begun talking politics and these men all agreed that Biden had done absolutely nothing 
worthwhile and that Democrats were trying to take away everything that made life 
worthwhile. The seemed to believe in the “Big Steal” and took pleasure in the chaos that 
was overtaking America as the Texas State Democratic Legislators had fled to Washington 
to prevent a quorum which paralyzed the Texas legislature and made them subject to 
later arrest. Frankly. I don’t remember who said what but suddenly there I was screaming 
at the three of them at the top of my lungs accusing them of being stupid, racist and 
any other insult I could think of. They laughed it off with the attitude of “what else can 
you expect from a Democrat”; but I was shocked at my own behavior. 

Thinking about it now I think my explosion was connected to the Pandemic and 
what I believe to be the environmental crisis that may well affect the entire human habitability 
of this planet. Meanwhile the billionaire boys’ club race into space perhaps looking 
for a place where they and their friends can relocate. Anyway everything, including 
caring about my golf score was enough to engender my feelings of anger and outfight 
fear. What was wrong with these people as they willingly stepped on my most important 

Today it strikes me that I was experiencing an existential threat much the same 
as the antebellum South considered the emancipation of the slave; or how many experienced 
the horror of Darwinian evolution which contended that humans were mere animals; 
or the oppressors of Galileo threatened by his discovery that our planet was not the 
center of the universe; or how present day Whitefolk and Trumpists are threatened by 
the very idea of “racial equality”; or Catholics threatened by abortions that are the willful 
taking of a human life. I now better understand the reaction to threat of ideas which 
make a mockery of one’s most cherished basic personal, special, and religious values. 
Such conflicts, especially when encountered in people one would expect to respect, will 
often lead to anger, violence and even out of control yelling at strangers on the fifteenth 

 Is the inevitable result for most humans to court indifference and ignorance, retain 
civility and expect that things will work out better at some future time? I hope not. 
Truthfully, I believe it is better to risk anger and outbursts and actually to CARE even if 
you have to play alone. 




I’ve got PHAS - Panty Hose Aversion Syndrome. It began 
when my mother made me wear extra-long, chunky, woven 
tights in grade school. They were itchy, hot, spun from an oil-
based polyester blend, and squeezed my baby fat like farmer 

link sausages. The gorilla strength waist band strangled the 
middle of my emerging pot belly, and the frayed threads from the elastic waistband 
poked constantly. 

The surplus fabric from the extra long size slumped sadly in front, giving me old 
man knees. I tried to get rid of the tights; I threw them behind the dryer, tossed 
them in the trash, drew cartoons on them with permanent marker, but my mom 
was more than resourceful and every laundry day, they landed in my drawer 
nice and neat. The tights were seemingly indestructible, until the evening of our 
annual school pageant. 

It was a huge honor to get the role of the Narrator in our third grade class play. 
Not only did I escape wearing JoAnne's mom's life-size vegetable costumes but 
my role had me onstage the whole time, dressed in a pinafore frock and tights. 
My mom checked my outfit minutes before the show and returned to her seat. 
Before the curtain rose, I grabbed my prop, a giant 3 foot wide storybook and 
waited by the wings. On the other side of the stage, my teacher waved madly at 

“Dinah! No shoes on stage!” she whispered. 

She mimicked taking the shoes off so I quickly unbuckled my Buster Browns 
and kicked them away. The music started, the curtain rose and I strode to the 
front of the stage and began to read out loud. 

“Once upon a time…” 

My adrenaline was pumping, I was assured, confident, my mastery of enunciation 
was a wondrous thing to behold. Silently, I gave kudos to my teacher for 
being smart enough to bestow on me this critical role. And though the audience 
was filled with parents coming to see their sons and daughters, ultimately, they 
would be rewarded by my acting prowess. Three pages in, I could hear a couple 
of soft giggles from the audience. I glanced over at my parents whose faces were 
a mix of fluster and mortification. My mom was wiggling her thumb to me. Giving 
me a “thumbs up”? 

A little confused, I remember my dad telling me not to mumble so I began to 
speak louder and took a couple steps closer to the edge of the stage. My mom 
hid her face in her hands. A couple more giggles lofted up from the audience. 
My dad finally caught my eye and jabbed his finger down. I looked, nothing was 
amiss. He jabbed the air again, and mouthed words I didn’t understand. Slowly 
I tilted the enormous storybook towards my chest and saw underneath my big 
toe on my right foot - laying there naked and unsheathed from the rest of my 
piggies. My holey chili-red tights showcased my massive pale toe. 

My face felt warm and flushed, I stammered but continued the narration quickly, 
too quickly. The children in the play tried to keep up with my faster pace. 
They jumped, they hopped, they crashed into each other, their cues and marks 
so painstakingly arranged by my teacher now in the wind. 

It was supposed to be my night of glory and instead became a family classic, the 
tale to be dredged up at every Christmas and gathering. I would like to say my 
mom never forced me to wear tights again but she did make a point to check for 
holes after that. 

When I look back on that fateful day, with my naked toe for all to see, I imagine 
if I could do one thing over, I would've had a pedicure. 

Email me at 

Read more at: 



I know we are three years away from the next presidential 
election in 2024. 

Nevertheless, we should pay close attention to electing 
our next President based upon his OR HER ability 
to interact with the media. 

Imagine if the commander in chief could turn the 

tables and dish it out to the media. Take that… Jim 

Acosta! Bravo. What scintillating press conferences 
we could have. 

First up is Mark Twain. Imagine President Twain during a press conference in 
the White House: (All of my candidates responses are their actual quotes.) 

Reporter: “Mr. President, Should we go into Iran?”
President Twain: “It’s easier to stay out than get out.” 

Reporter: “Mr. President, what do you think of the gridlock in Congress?”
President Twain: “Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member 
of Congress. But I repeat myself.” 

My second choice is Humorist Will Rogers. 

Reporter: “Mr. President, Your prediction for the future of our country?”
President Rogers: “Things will get better-despite our efforts to improve them.” 

Reporter: “Mr. President, What is your political affiliation?”
President Rogers: “I’m not a member of any organized political party. I’m a 

Alright my personal favorite would have been Julius Henry Marx, aka Groucho 

Reporter: “Mr. President, how would you define the political process?”
President Marx: “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing 
it and then misapplying the wrong remedies.” 

Reporter: “Mr. President, Care to comment on your recent budget proposal?”
President Marx: “A four-year-old child could understand this report. Run out 
and find me a four-year-old child. I can't make heads or tails out of it.” 

Reporter: “Finally Mr. President, how are you and the first lady doing?”
President Marx: “I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.” 

And finally, our greatest and only (so far) female President, President Mae West. 

Reporter: Madam President, your first world summit is next week. Do you 
think President Putin and Chairman Xi Jinping will find you shocking?
President West: Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often. 

Reporter: Madam President, You are the first truly beautiful President. Does 
that bother you at these summit meetings?
President West: I believe it’s better to be looked over than it is to be overlooked. 

Nano Café, who lets my band, JJ Jukebox make noise, is having real good musicians 
next week. Thursday night, uber guitarist, Eric Byak is playing. The right 
dinner, the perfect wine, a wonderful companion and Eric’s guitar playing could 
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and roll with Skinny Ties. Dining, drinking, dancing and ??? 6:30 to 9:30. Make 
reservations (626) 325-3334. 




It was hard to miss the challenge that President Joe 
Biden posed to Americans as he burned through a 
fiery speech at the National Constitution Center in 
Philadelphia this week. 

Led by “bullies and peddlers of lies,” Republicans in 

Congress and state legislatures around the country 

are engaged in an historical assault on the right to 

vote that poses the most serious threat to “the American experiment” since 

the Civil War. 

“Hear me clearly, there is an unfolding assault taking place in America today 
to subvert the right to vote in free and fair elections. An assault on 
liberty, an assault on who were are,” Biden said. “Bullies and peddlers of 
lies are threatening the very foundation of our country … We’re facing 
the most significant threat to our democracy since the Civil War. That’s 
not hyperbole. Since the Civil War — the Confederates never breached the 
Capitol as the insurrectionists did on Jan. 6. I’m not saying this to alarm 
you, I’m saying it because you should be alarmed.” 

And in a sentence, Biden nailed it. You should be alarmed. And if you’re 
not, you’re either not paying attention, or you’ve bought the myth. And 
both are equally destructive. 

Egged on by the Florida retiree who is still actively perpetuating the myth 
of the stolen election, Republicans at the state and national level have engaged 
in a wholesale rewriting of the events of Jan. 6. 

They’ve downplayed the carnage of that day and have worked feverishly to 
block a badly needed comprehensive inquiry of the worst violence in the 
nation’s capital since the War of 1812. 

At the same time, they’ve conducted a systematic attack on access to the 
ballot box, passing laws and pushing legislation — including in Pennsylvania 
where Biden spoke — that would deny the franchise to millions of 
Americans, most of them Black and voters of color. 

This isn’t academic. It’s not up for debate. Biden’s speech came on the same 
day that Democrats fled the Texas Capitol to deny Republicans the quorum 
they needed to push through a voter suppression bill in the Lone Star State.
And remember — this can’t be said loudly enough — they’re doing it in 
response to an absolute fiction, one that was put to rest by dozens of state 
and federal judges, and the U.S. Supreme Court not once, but twice. 

“In America, you lose, you accept the results, you follow the Constitution, 
you try again,” Biden said, inveighing against his predecessor without ever 
mentioning him by name. “You don’t call facts ‘fake’ and try to bring down 
the American experiment just because you’re unhappy. That’s not statesmanship, 
that’s selfishness. That’s not democracy, it’s the denial of the right 
to vote.” 

And that is precisely what is unfolding, in real time. 

And the challenge that Biden issued, not only to policymakers and activists, 
but to all Americans is a real one, and the test of our times: To stand 
against attacks on voting rights and to work together to rebut the culture 
of untruths that have sprung up around our what’s been billed as the most 
secure election in history. 

Biden called for the passage of two sweeping pieces of voting rights legislation 
that have hit a brick wall in the narrowly divided U.S. Senate. The 
consequences of failing to do so are high, he warned, adding that the world 
was watching.
“Time and again, we’ve weathered threats to the right to vote, and each 
time, we’ve overcome. That’s what we must do today,” Biden said.
“We have to ask, are you on the side of truth or lies, fact or fiction, just a 
true injustice, democracy or autocracy?” he asked. “That’s what it’s coming 
down to.” 
This is the challenge of our times. And we cannot fail to meet it. 
John L. Micek is Editor-in-Chief of The Pennsylvania Capital-Star in Harrisburg, 
Pa. Email him at and follow him on 
Twitter @ByJohnLMicek. 

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