Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, January 1, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 13

OPINION Mountain View News Saturday, January 1, 2022 
OPINION Mountain View News Saturday, January 1, 2022 




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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Don’t you think that the subtitle to this article is very surpris

ing? I believe it is a sentence, or at least a partial sentence or 

phrase that has never before been in print. Contrast that sen

tence with the phrase “To be, or not to be” generally described as 

the most popular phrase in English Literature. Most of you, my 

imagined readers, are still familiar with the name of our former 

Vice-President. The “to be or not to be” phrase is uttered by the 

title-character in Act 3, Scene 1 in William Shakespeare’s play. 

This morning I awoke thinking about the usual subjects: the 

Pandemic, Global Warming, and the importance of a peaceful 

transfer of power. In addition to the frequently talked about 

potential madness of the former President notwithstanding his 

incredible ability to skillfully use language to manipulate the actions of others. Actually there’s 

more that worries me. The prevalent incompetence and corruption of people in high places, 

the continual conversations regarding imagined conspiracies all contained within a weakened 

country that has lost international prestige. You and I are living in a world of moral ambiguity 

against a background of familial instability, domestic violence and confusion.

Given all these concerns perhaps it is understandable why I felt an almost compulsion 

to reread or at least view once more Shakespeare’s Hamlet. First I actually tried to reread the 

book which I found on my bookshelf. One of the most remembered lines in the play is the 

statement “There is something rotten in the state of … Denmark! 

Substitute the United States, or the Western World for Denmark and I believe you 

will understand the connection. First thing in the morning I tried to read a little book that I 

had helped myself to from one of little libraries placed in front of a neighbor’s home. Alas, the 

writing was too small and the Shakespearean language often arcane and difficult. I switched 

to watching television where I found multiple filmed versions of the play. Finally I settled on 

the Sir Laurence Olivier version in which he starred and directed and which garnered four 

Academy Awards including Best Picture. I thought I had watched the whole thing but when 

the movie finished I realized that I had fallen asleep and missed important parts of the movie 

such as when Hamlet actually spoke to the ghost of his father and learned about his murder.

Next, I moved to consult reliable Cliff ’s Notes which I had not looked at since College. 

Finally I got the connection. Denmark is a weakened country largely because of the behavior 

of its new leader Claudius. Claudius, according to the ghost of the former King, Hamlet’s 

father also named Hamlet (which doesn’t make things easier} became King by murdering his 

brother, and then marrying his former sister-in-law. In the film confusingly, at least for me, 

young eponymous Hamlet looks to be the same age as his mother. In the play, Hamlet and his 

mom have a very physical relationship which Sigmund Freud, about which four hundred years 

later speculated.

Even in Cliff ’s Notes the play is described as purposely confusing. Is there really 

a ghost or is all an illusion something like Trump’s (ok I’ll say the name) baseless claims of 

falsified voting counts which he so artfully used to attempt to retain power after Biden’s elec

tion? Although, in the play the country is falling apart, Claudius succeeds in using courtiers 

to maintain that everything is fine and that all the problems are someone else’s fault. He tries 

to involve Hamlet in this charade promising him that he will be next in line to assume power. 

Are you beginning to get the connection to Mike Pence?

Trump had his minions in place, Giuliani, Cruz, Bannon et al., beginning the process 

wherein Vice-President Pence would refuse to certify the election which would delay, perhaps 

permanently, prevent Trump’s loss of power. At the last moment, as we all know, Mike Pence 

refused to go along with the lies and certified the completed fair election of Joseph Biden. 

Nevertheless, Trump, today, still claims the election was stolen and there is a threat the he will 

run again in 2024 l attempting to prevail by suppressing voting, claiming foul and thereby 

further weakening the country. See how literature written 400 years ago may help to under

stand the present and make some predictions? Oh by the way, you may wonder how the play 

ends. At the end everyone dies and it is assumed that Denmark will be powerless to combat 

its enemies. Scary, isn’t it?

Have a good New Year. 



Has this been a great year or what? Don’t answer.
Thanks to the work of the House’s Jan. 6 committee, and thanks to our still-free 
and independent press, we’ve been showered with fresh information about the insurrectionist 
attack on our democracy – the planning, execution, and aftermath. 

Have you kept up with the dirty details? Here are 10 brain-teasers to test your 

knowledge. Afterwards, you can al-ways shower off the stink. The answers are 
down at the bottom – but no peeking or Googling! 

1. Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows urgently emailed a Justice Department official with breathtaking 
news about an evil conspiracy that he believed warranted investigation. What was it?
a) Biden supporters in the National Security Agency had used Chinese satellites to cancel Trump votes 
in five swing states.
b) Biden supporters in the CIA had used Italian satellites to remotely switch votes from Trump to 
c) Biden supporters in the Defense Intelligence Agency had used Russian satellites to trick Venezuelan 
computers into altering the results in Georgia and Arizona.
d) Biden supporters in NASA had threatened to jam all transmissions from Japanese satellites unless 
that nation agreed to remotely throw Michigan and Pennsylvania to Biden. 
2. The Jan. 6 committee has released a 51-page report that nails Meadows as a core player in the failed 
coup. But acting deputy attorney general Richard Donaghue concluded long ago that Meadows’ various 
election fraud theo-ries were: 
a) ”pathetic idiocy.” 
b) ”laughable fraudulency.” 
c) ”pure insanity.” 
d) ”dangerous lunacy.” 
3. Jim “Gym” Jordan texted Meadows, prior to the ceremonial counting of electoral votes, advising that 
Vice Presi-dent Pence: 
a) ”should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all.” 
b) ”should kiss the ground our President walks on, because if not for our President, he’d be a loser.” 
c) ”should get with the program, or else something will land on his head worse than that fly at his 
d) ”should announce that not a single word in our Constitution says that the vice president shall certify 
the benefi-ciary of massive election fraud.” 
4. Like the Wicked Witch dispatching her flying monkeys, Trump at his rally commanded his followers 
to march to the Capitol and 
a) ”be tough very strongly.” 
b) ”fight like hell.” 
c) ”tell Crazy Nancy I said hello.” 
d) ”get me a bigly beautiful souvenir.” 
5. Prior to the insurrection, one scholarly Proud Boy wrote on a group chat that he and his manly MAGA 
men in-tended to storm the Capitol in order to 
a) ”target the black cops.” 
b) ”spread our feces with extreme prejudice.” 
c) ”burn it all down and pose for selfies.” 
d) ”smash some pigs to dust.” 
6. Texas real estate broker Jen Ryan, who flew to the insurrection on a private plane and predicted she’d 
never be jailed because “I have blonde hair and white skin,” wound up jailed for 60 days. In court she’d 
insisted that the pris-on sentence was unfair, because 
a) ”this is not anything that remotely resembles who I am.” 
b) ”I’d been invited to exercise my free speech rights by my President.” 
c) ”I never thought I’d be persecuted so badly for being white.” 
d) ”I have two condo closings next month that I really can’t miss.” 
7. Jacob Chansley, the moronic invader who wore horns on his head, ultimately landed in the slammer 
– where he requested, in his words, 
a) ”a Trump 2020 pillow.” 
b) “a special organic diet.” 
c) ”a Jesus coloring book.” 
d) ”a TV so I can watch Tucker.” 
8. Who is retired Army Col. Phil Waldron? 
a) He claimed that dead Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez fixed the election for Biden.
b) He waited in Dallas with the QAnon people for JFK Jr. to show up undead.
c) He wrote the coup PowerPoint that was shown to congressional traitors.
d) He hugged Trump at the Jan. 6 rally and cried very strongly. 
9. A few months after the insurrection, Trump told ABC’s Jonathan Karl that the goons’ demand to hang 
Mike Pence was: 
a) ”so beautiful, very strongly.” 
b) ”what you’d expect from very good people.” 
c) ”so heartfelt, very strongly.” 
d) ”common sense.” 
10. The other day, referencing the work of the Jan. 6 committee, someone remarked: “It was a horrendous 
event, and I think what they’re seeking to find out is something the public needs to know.” Who 
said that? 
a) Jamie Raskin
b) Liz Cheney
c) Kamala Harris 
d) Mitch McConnell 
Bonus. True or False: The Jan. 6 committee is trying to turn over every rock. But no matter what it ultimately 
un-earths, roughly half the people in this country will sleepwalk to the end of democracy.

1) a 2) c 3) a 4) b 5) d 6) a 7) b 8) c 9) d 10) d Bonus: Take a wild guess.
Dick Polman, a veteran national political columnist based in Philadelphia 
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