Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, October 2, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 13

Mountain Views News Saturday, October 2, 2021 OPINION 13 
Mountain Views News Saturday, October 2, 2021 




Susan Henderson 


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello 


John Aveny 



Stuart Tolchin 
Dinah Chong WatkinsAudrey SwansonMary Lou CaldwellKevin McGuire 
Chris Leclerc 
Bob Eklund 
Howard HaysPaul CarpenterKim Clymer-KelleyChristopher NyergesPeter Dills 
Rich Johnson 
Lori Ann Harris 
Rev. James SnyderKatie HopkinsDeanne Davis 
Despina ArouzmanJeff Brown 
Marc Garlett 
Keely TotenDan Golden 
Rebecca WrightHail Hamilton 
Joan Schmidt 

Mountain Views News 
has been adjudicated asa newspaper of GeneralCirculation for the County 
of Los Angeles in CourtCase number GS004724: 
for the City of SierraMadre; in Court CaseGS005940 and for the 
City of Monrovia in CourtCase No. GS006989 and 
is published every Saturday 
at 80 W. Sierra MadreBlvd., No. 327, Sierra 
Madre, California, 91024.
All contents are copyrighted 
and may not bereproduced without the 
express written consent ofthe publisher. All rights 
reserved. All submissions 
to this newspaper becomethe property of the Mountain 
Views News and maybe published in part or 
Opinions and views expressed 
by the writersprinted in this paper donot necessarily expressthe views and opinionsof the publisher or staff 
of the Mountain Views 

Mountain Views News is 
wholly owned by GraceLorraine Publications,
and reserves the right torefuse 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 

Mountain Views News 

Mission Statement 

The traditions of 
community newspapers 
and the 
concerns of our readers 
are this newspaper’s 
top priorities. We 
support a prosperouscommunity 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. 


On the Bill Maher show last Friday I saw Tris

tan Harris being interviewed. In the interview Harris 

explained how today’s major technology platforms have 

increasingly become the social fabric by which we live 

and think. He explained that the defining quality of any 

individual is that to which he or she is focused upon. He 

described the different levels of focus as consisting of, of 

course, our conscious attention.

This conscious attention is like our “to do lists”. We 

focus on these things that result in our intentions and 

eventually our actions. There is another kind of attention 
that exists below our consciousness. This level is the result of all the experiences to 
which we are subject and is responsible for our attitudes, beliefs, and ideals. We are 
not readily aware of these influences but rather experience ideas just popping into our 
heads which often lead to specific intentions, and finally to actual actions. Tristan 
Harris asserts that social media is solely concerned with obtaining attention from its 
consumers such that more can be learned about them which is designed to increase 
susceptibility to persuasive techniques used by the advertisers who fund the platforms. 
What the advertisers want is to sell something and make money. This was certainly no 

What was also no surprise is that the kind of thing that most grabs people’s attention 
is spectacle, confrontation, negativity, competition and fear. This is the content 
of much of social media and according to Tristan Harris the result has been t0 create an 
underlying experience of fear and negativity which exists below the surface in many of 
us of which we are not aware. David Foster Wallace, in a 2005 commencement speech, 
delivered the following anecdote:

There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen 
to meet an older fish swimming the other way who nods at them and says “Morning, 
boys. How’s the water.” And the two young fish swim on for a bit and then eventually 
one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?’

David Foster Wallace, explained the anecdote by saying that what is important 
to any individual is not really freedom of thought or freedom of speech but rather 
freedom of choice about what to think about. He makes the similar point as does 
Tristan Harris that it is the totality of our underlying experiences, of which we are 
basically unaware, that is responsible for the very ideas that pop into our head rather 
than exercise of freedom by the individual.

I thought of Wallace’s speech as I read this morning about 39 year old five 
time Olympic medalist Klete Kelter, a USC product (I’m a UCLA guy which partially 
explains my point) who stood out amid the chaos in the Capitol Rotunda on January 6 
thanks to his 6 foot 6 height, beard and distinctive U. S. team jacket with USA written 
in large letters on the back. Later he admitted to throwing away the jacket in the hope 
that his participation would not be discovered.

In attempting to understand what Kelter had been thinking about that lead to 
his intention to participate in the insurrection and the subsequent action he took I, 
parenthetically, mentioned the fact that he was a USC product. Without any conscious 
decision to focus on that particularity the thought popped into my mind, frivolous and 
irrelevant is a living example of how our subconscious works. Certainly the college 
he attended was irrelevant but the non-stop rivalry between the two Southern California 
colleges, surrounding me for sixty years, subconsciously initiated the thought 
which popped into my mind. This is not freedom of thought; it is no exaggeration 
to say it is a kind of mental imprisonment in which we barely understand ourselves. 
If our society is ever able to bring about an understanding between the highly partisan 
composition of our electorate it is necessary that we understand the underlying 
thoughts, prejudices, experiences and whatever else is in the water that has resulted in 
actions seemingly unthinkable to others. Tristan Harris asserts that social platforms 
in their never ending quest to please advertisers and make more money have wittingly, 
or unwittingly, created a partisan society afraid of itself and unwilling to learn why. 
It would be wonderful if social media somehow did a turnabout and presented more 
compassionate, humane, material that would therefore bring about a more congenial 
society and a congenial world. I don’t participate in social media and I won’t hold my 
breath but the water around me, unnoticed or not, will let me know what’s happening. 




In my continuing effort to improve the quality of relationships 
worldwide, I offer some new awareness of 
how men might continue to make the significant woman 
(or women) in life happy as clams. 

Fellas, there is a point system hitherto unknown to 
most men. Do something she likes and you get points. 
Do something she dislikes and you lose points. So

mething she expects net you zero. Here is a guide to this point system: 

Make the bed (+1) forget the decorative pillow (0) throw the bedspread over 
rumpled sheets (-1) 

Buy her something she wants (+5) in the rain (+10) return with beer (-5) 

Stay by her side during a party (0) leave to chat with an old school friend 
(-2) if the friends name is Tina (-10) if Tina is a dancer (-20) 

You take your wife out to dinner (+2) not to a sports bar (+3) if it’s a sports 
bar (-2) if it’s all you can eat (-3) if it’s all you can eat and your face is painted 
the colors of your favorite team (-10) 

Take her to a movie (+1) it’s a movie she likes (+3) if it’s a movie you hate 
(+6) if it’s a movie you like (-2) called “Death Cop” (-3) 

You develop a potbelly (-15) you exercise till its gone (+10) you cover it up 
with baggy jeans and Hawaiian shirt (-30) you say, “it doesn’t matter cause 
you have one too.” (-8000) 

She asks, “Do I look fat?” (-5) (btw, there is no way you can get plus points 
in this discussion) any hesitation in responding (-10) you reply, “where?” 
(-35) Any other response (-20) 

She wants to discuss a problem and you listen looking concerned (0) you 
listen for over 30 minutes (+5) you listen for 30 minutes without looking at 
the TV (+500) you fall asleep (-4000) 

Don’t know the last time you cracked open a Bible, but you might find the 
book of Proverbs useful in living your life. A good percentage of the individual 
“proverbs” were penned by King Solomon, acknowledged as the wisest 
man in history. 

God was happy with Solomon because, when asked by God in a dream what 
he wanted, Solomon asked for wisdom. Not wealth, power, a long life, and/
or the death of his enemies. 

So, acquaint yourself with the book of Proverbs in the Bible and you might 
avoid some of the really dumb mistakes. 

And what happened to Solomon? Well, after all he was human, so he found 
a way to make really big mistakes, lol. He is said to have had a harem of 700 
wives and 300 concubines (back up wife). 

Oh, and also, since Solomon asked for wisdom, God permitted him to become 
very rich. In today’s dollars, estimates of Solomon’s accumulated wealth 
exceeded $2,000,000,000,000 (that’s $2 trillion dollars). 







News that a federal judge had approved the unconditional 
release of John Hinckley Jr. next June set my phone to 
ringing furiously earlier this week.
Journalists naturally wanted to know what I thought 
about the decision to let Hinckley go free after serving 
nearly 40 years in a mental hospital for trying to assassinate 
my father on March 30, 1981.
Hinckley, now 66, has been living on his own outside the mental facility for several 
years without incident and doctors say he is no longer violent and shows 
no signs of mental illness.
But my sister Patty and many conservatives think approving his release was the 
wrong decision.
They believe Hinckley, who was found not guilty by reason of insanity, is still a 
threat to society or doesn’t deserve to be fully released.
I totally understand their emotional reactions, but none of them ever talked to 
Ronald Reagan about forgiving Hinckley like I did.
This week when people asked me about Hinckley, I told them I don’t have a problem 
with him becoming completely free because I’m going to side with Ronald 
My father publicly forgave Hinckley long ago.
He did it within days of being shot and before he went back to work at the White 
House on April 11. He even wanted to visit Hinkley, but the Secret Service 
wouldn’t allow it. 
What was good enough for my father is good enough for me.
He was one of those rare people who didn’t just recite “The Lord’s Prayer,” he 
lived it. 
When he asked God the Father to “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those 
who trespass against us,” he meant it.
I’m not going to be angry for the rest of my life at a mentally disturbed guy who 
tried to take my father’s life. My father didn’t hate Hinckley, why should I?
He was never a hateful or vengeful man – even after almost dying from an assassin’s 
In private, and with his family, he was the same affable guy who quipped to 
Nancy “Honey, I forgot to duck” and said to the emergency room doc-tors “I 
hope you’re all Republicans.” 
To prove what I say, here’s a loose retelling of the conversation I had with him 
six hours after he got off the operating table at George Washington University 
When my wife Colleen and I walked into his room, my dad looked up at me 
from his bed and said, “Mike, if you’re ever going to get shot, don’t be wearing a 
new suit.” 
“Excuse me?” 
“Well, yesterday I was shot.” 
“That blue suit I was wearing was a brand new suit. It was the first time I ever 
wore it. The last time I saw it they had cut it off me and it was in shreds in the 
corner of my hospital room. So that’s why I’m telling you, ‘If you’re ever going to 
be shot, don’t be wearing a new suit.’ ”
Then he said, “That young man who shot me – Hinckley.” 
“Yes,” I said, “John Hinckley.” 
“I understand his family is in the oil business.” 
“Do you think they have any money?”
“They’re in the oil business and they live in Denver. Of course they’ve got money. 
“Well, do you think they’d ever buy me a new suit?”
That was what my father was really like. Unlike so many people in and out of 
politics today, he was never angry – even after being shot.
Humor was his way of putting people at ease, whether it was his worried son, his 
doctors or the entire country. His good-natured temperament – and the virtue 
of forgiving the trespasses of others – are what we miss and what we could all use 
a lot more of today. 

Michael Reagan, the son of President Ronald Reagan, is an author, speak-er and 
president of the Reagan Legacy Foundation.