Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, December 18, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 11

OPINION Mountain View News Saturday, December 18, 2021 
OPINION Mountain View News Saturday, December 18, 2021 




Susan Henderson 


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello 


John Aveny 


Peter Lamendola 


Stuart Tolchin 
Audrey SwansonMeghan MalooleyMary 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 
LaQuetta Shamblee 

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 Basically I have no reason to leave the house because I 

don’t have to DO anything. I start the day with Democracy 

Now on PBS at 7 a.m. every weekday morning. The show 

describes, often accompanied by terrifying videos, the cur

rent horrors of the world. Also included are presentations 

by individuals who have done their best, and are still doing 

their best, to combat these horrors. I watch every morning 

and even tape it so that I can re-watch it. The host of the 

show is Amy Goodman, whose maternal grandfather was an 

Orthodox Rabbi while she was raised by secular parents and 
graduated from Radcliffe College. In 1991 she was badly beaten by Indonesian soldiers 
after witnessing a mass killing of peaceful demonstrators. I was not beaten, maybe spat 
upon a few times, but I still identify a bit with Amy. 

The content of the show and the background of Amy contribute to my maintenance 
of a certain attitude about myself. I am proud of being a Jewish person, a secular 
Jewish person, with no religious belief or religious education or much knowledge of Jewish 
traditions but who firmly believes in authentic Jewish principles. These principles 
are fairness, equality, and compassion for the oppressed. I like knowing that an elitist 
education at Radcliffe (now Harvard) and an orthodox grandfather are not necessarily impediments 
to engaging heroically with the present horrors of today’s world. Democracy 
Now guarantees that I remain aware but it is accompanied by a strong dissatisfaction with 

 I still want to help the world but have lost my way. As an attorney representing 
mainly indigent and politically persecuted people I tried to do my best. But now I am retired 
and am rarely out in the world. My wife takes loving care of me, prepares our meals, 
washes our clothes, and uses technology to shop for our food and to pay our bills. She 
even presses the right keys so that my weekly articles are sent to the editor of this paper. I 
bemoan the fact that I don’t do anything and she says “so learn”; but I don’t. So why not? 
Like Lady Gaga was “I born this way?” After all I was raised in a home with mothers and 
grandmothers who told me not to touch anything. I never went to the refrigerator myself 
and never thought of saying that that I wanted to pick out my own clothes or that I had 
much preference for anything. I never had any particular ambition as far as professions 
were concerned and I went to College because my friends did. I went to Law School because 
I didn’t want to get drafted—that was one thing I knew. My present inaction and 
indecision leaves me feeling dissatisfied with myself. Probably this feeling is intensified by 
watching Democracy Now. Maybe that’s what I like best is this continual dissatisfaction 
with myself. It is familiar and comfortable and does not require that I do anything else. 

Well, I spend a lot of time thinking, mainly about myself, I guess. Notwithstanding 
my internal disapproval I still manage to quite like myself. Without comparing myself to 
others I think I am okay. Forgetting infants and toddlers I am one of my favorite people.
I know there is a kind of unforgiveable privilege and complacency associated with this 
overall picture and, as typical of me, I do think about it. I wonder what else I should be 
doing. It is not my desire to be beaten by soldiers as Amy Goodman was. But I know that 
there is more that I should and want to be doing. I keep writing but writing isn’t enough. 

Let’s think about that because that’s probably all that I will do. Remember the Hippocratic 
Oath (not hypocratic—but sometimes you wonder) First: Do No Harm. Right now I’m 
just trying for honesty and believing my curiosity and continuing to talk with all kinds of 
people and carefully listening will help me to find the right track. Strangely today, in these 
impossible times, I am continually delighted by my experience of existence. Being alive is 
pretty great and beatings are not required. 
Happy Holidays 




Rand Paul has long been a laughable lightweight – at Senate 
hearings, Dr. Fauci beats him up on a regular basis – but now 
he has outperformed even himself. 

Republicans like him always equate “big government” with 
“socialism” and routinely condemn it as a matter of principle – 
until catastrophe hits their own backyard, and then suddenly, 

without even a scintilla of embarrassment, they dump their doltish boilerplate 
and plead for big government socialist money to rescue them. 

Look, the tornado victims in Kentucky deserve all the help that Joe Biden can 
possibly provide, and he’s already doing it. But we can still take a moment to 
laugh ourselves silly at the letter Paul sent to the president over the weekend, 
where be begged for federal assistance and asked Biden to “move expeditiously to 
approve the appropriate resources for our state.” 

Isn’t it amazing how all the idiot talk about the evils of “socialism” gets blown 
away as soon as killer weather ( the “new normal,” thanks to climate change) 
comes calling?

If memory serves, Paul is the purportedly principled “libertarian” who voted in 
2013 not to send billions in federal relief aid to the New Jersey victims of Hurricane 
Sandy, who voted in 2017 not to send billions in federal relief to the Texas 
victims of Hurricane Harvey, who voted in 2017 not to send federal relief money 
to the Puerto Rico victims of Hurricane Maria, and who voted in 2019 not to appropriate 
billions in new relief money to several federal agencies.

As he once explained, “This (relief spending) has to stop. We spend too much. 
We owe too much. We cannot keep spending money we do not have.” 

But now that his state has been hit hard, he wants to spend as much as possible 
with all expeditious speed. In the past he always insisted that if the feds wanted to 
hike disaster spending, they should offset those costs by cutting the budget somewhere 
else. But lo and behold, you can read the entire letter that Paul sent to the 
president, and not once is there any insistence that Kentucky should be helped 
only if the federal budget is cut elsewhere.

No amount of air freshener can erase the stench of his hypocrisy.

Actually, that’s standard Republican behavior. Mick Mulvaney, the Trump budget 
director, was a congressman who voted in 2013 not to send money to New 
Jersey, insisting that Sandy relief should happen only if budget cuts were made 
elsewhere. But in 2015, when his state of South Carolina was flooded by a killer 
storm, he pleaded for federal money without first insisting on other budget cuts: 
“There will be a time for a discussion about aid and how to pay for it, but that 
time is not now.” 

The state’s senior senator, Lindsey Graham, did the same thing. He’d voted No on 
the Sandy package, but suddenly, after his flood, he declared: “Rather than put a 
price tag on it, let’s just get through this, and whatever it costs, it costs.” 

There’s much more. Tom Cotton, the Arkansas senator, voted No on the Sandy 
package, but pleaded for expeditious federal money a few years later after Arkansas 
was hit by floods. Four House Republicans from Colorado voted No on the 
Sandy package, but a pleaded for socialist help a few months later when Colorado 
was hit by floods. In 2011, the two Republican senators from Oklahoma voted 
No on the Sandy package and in 2011 they tried to cut the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency budget – only to pull a miracle switcheroo in 2013 when 
Oklahoma was hit by tornadoes.

One of those senators, Tom Coburn, told his constituents: “As the ranking member 
of the committee that oversees FEMA, I can assure Oklahomans that any and 
all available aid will be delivered without delay.” 

So Rand Paul is merely one rotten egg in the basket of deplorables. Nevertheless, 
he was still a committed scrooge as recently as last month. When Biden’s 
infrastructure package reached the Senate floor – with its $47 billion outlay to 
combat climate change; with its $6.8 billion for FEMA – Paul again voted No. 
How fortunate for his benighted citizens of Kentucky that he was powerless to 
stop its historic passage.

And how fortunate Kentuckians are that Paul’s hypocrisy has been trumped 
by Biden’s sense of responsibility. The president has already approved massive 
federal relief aid with all deliberate speed – without fuming that the state’s red 
electorate had voted against him, without ranting that the state’s two red senators 
were horrible people or whatever, without offering to throw paper towels, without 
telling Kentuckians that maybe the tornadoes would’ve never happened if they’d 
bothered to rake their forests. 

That’s called governing. 

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



‘Twas the night before Christmas and Santa’s a 
How to live in a world that’s politically correct.
His workers no longer would answer to “Elves,” 
Vertically challenged” they were calling themselves. 

And labor conditions at the north poleWere alleged by the union to stifle the soul 

Four reindeer had vanished without much proprietyReleased to the wilds by the Humane Society.
And equal employment had made it quite clearThat Santa had better not use just reindeer.
So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid,
We’re replaced with 4 pigs and you know that looked stupid! 

The runners had been removed from his sleigh;
The ruts were termed dangerous by the E.P.A.
And people had started to call for the copsWhen they heard sled noises on their roof-topsSecond-hand smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened.
His fur trimmed red suit was called “Unenlightened.” 

And to show you the strangeness of life’s ebbs and flows,
Rudolph was suing over unauthorized use of his noseAnd had gone on Geraldo, in front of the nation,
Demanding millions in overdue compensation. 

So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife,
Who suddenly said she’d enough of this life,
Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz,
Demanding from now on her title was Ms. 

And as for the gifts, why, he’d ne’er had a notion 
That making a choice could cause such commotion.
Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls. Or just for the boys. 

Nothing that claimed to be gender specific.
Nothing that’s warlike or non-pacific.
No candy or sweets…they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth. 

And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden,
We’re like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden. 
For they raised the hackles of those psychologicalWho claimed the only good gift was one ecological. 

No baseball, no football...someone could get hurt;
Besides, playing sports exposed kids to dirt.
Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passe';
And Nintendo would rot your entire brain away. 

So Santa just stood there, disheveled, perplexed;
He just could not figure out what to do next.
He tried to be merry, tried to be gay,
But you've got to be careful with that word today.
His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground;
Nothing fully acceptable was there to be found. 

Something special was needed, a gift that he mightGive to all without angering the left or the right.
A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision,
Each group of people, every religion;
Every ethnicity, every hue, Everyone, everywhere...even you.
So here is that gift, it's price beyond worth...
"May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on earth."

(c) Harvey Ehrlich, 1992 
Notice: This poem is copyright 1992 by Harvey Ehrlich. It is free to distribute, without changes, 
as long as this notice remains intact. All follow-ups, requests, comments, questions, distribution 
rights, etc should be made to Happy Holidays! 

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