Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, February 19, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page B:5

OPINION Mountain View News Saturday, February 19, 2022 B5 OPINION Mountain View News Saturday, February 19, 2022 B5 




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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I have conflicted feelings about a lot of things 
including the Rams and professional football in general. 
I was happier when games were played in the Coliseum 
reminding me of the ancient game of Christians versus 
Lions. That didn’t offend me. Now the new stadium 
where the Super Bowl was played carries the name SoFi 
Stadium in recognition of the pursuit of money, a kind 
of money I do not understand and don’t want to. This 
offends me! Recently, the former coach of the Miami 
Dolphins, Brian Flores, brought attention to the racist 
nature of the whole National Football League. He 

describes the entire League as a “plantation” where a closed society of all-white 
owners hire almost all white coaches who direct the activities of the players about 
three quarters of whom are black. In keeping with the name of the new stadium 
the real competition is the pursuit of money, more money for the League and team 
owners. We fans need our diversions, especially now and I admit that I am an avid 
fan. Still, I was very distressed to learn that many times at the end of the season 
the coaches are not even playing to win. Flores explained that he was offered an 
extra one hundred thousand dollars for every game his team did not win because 
the teams with the worst records are entitled to the first choices in the selection of 
players in the following year. Flores did not comply with his “owner’s” dictates. The 
Dolphins had a winning record and despite this, or more accurately because of this, 
Flores was fired. 

Sadly team owners resemble the corporate heads of movie studios who don’t 
care much about the quality of their films but are more interested in the money 
the films generate. After all this is capitalism and the name of the real game is 
making more and more money. I read today that even scientific research is directed 
more towards disease treatment rather than disease prevention because ongoing 
treatment generates money while disease prevention stops the constant money flow. 
Actually I am grateful for the continuing medical treatments, operations, and daily 
medications that have kept me alive so far and, among other things, have given me 
the opportunity to keep rooting for the Rams; but the more I know, the harder it 
gets. For a while we can forget about racism, brutality, and questionable ethics. 
Yes, for a while we can forget about the possible impending demise of humanity; 
forget about the pandemic that has already caused close to a million deaths in the 

U.S. alone, forget about possible wars, even forget about the inflation that has given 
us five dollar a gallon gas and even three dollar newspapers. Forget about it all and 
celebrate! Our team won ---hooray! 
As to the business of the three dollar newspaper, I was so excited by the 
victory that I went out the next day planning to buy a couple of L.A. Times as 
mementoes. Surprisingly it was very hard to find a place where newspapers are 
actually sold. You know newsstands used to be everywhere but now those stands 
have disappeared. Finally I saw a few papers outside the Liquor Store and poked 
my head in the door planning to buy two or three papers. I asked how much was 
each paper and was told each one was three dollars. Why is the price so high? It 
seems clear to me that the paper publishers could keep the price down by selling 
more advertising or raising revenue in some other way. Suddenly, it hit me- The 
Times owners do not want to sell their papers on the stands. There’s probably more 
money to be made selling on line, or home delivery subscriptions, or some other 
reason that I don’t understand. 

Yes once more there’s lots that I don’t understand. Sometimes I realize that 
I am like an ignorant domestic animal satisfied to have a home and food and not 
really understanding the true purpose behind anything. At these times it’s like 
I’m watching a movie that I really don’t like, but don’t know how to get out of the 
theatre. Maybe it’s best to just sit back and try to enjoy the movie and stop thinking 
too much. The parade for the Rams is scheduled for today and by the time you 
read this you may have joined the parade and had a good time and perhaps didn’t 
notice the people living on the streets. I have to leave right now for a sure to be 
painful dental appointment which I am doing my best not to think about. If there 
was another Super Bowl today I would have cancelled the appointment. Too bad! 
Happy President’s Day. 


A quarter of a million dollars. 

That’s the amount that I’ve paid in FICA payroll taxes during my working 
career, according to my recent Social Security statement. 

FICA, which stands for “Federal Insurance Contributions Act,” “is a 
payroll tax that helps fund both Social Security and Medicare programs, 
which provide benefits for retirees, the disabled and children,” 
says the Social Security Administration (SSA). 

The FICA tax also will partially fund — at least I hope it will — my 
retirement years. 

My statement says I am eligible to begin receiving Social Security payments of $1,851 a 
month when I hit age 62. 

If I wait until I am 70, I’ll receive $3,370 a month — which is a nice little chunk of dough. 

However, if I had invested the $250,000 FICA deducted from my earnings on my own, I’d 
have, according to my money manager, more than $1.5 million socked away. 

If I drew a conservative 4 percent of that $1.5 million every year, I’d be collecting a $5,000 
retirement check every month right away. 

Of course, that is assuming I would have saved and invested all the money that FICA took 
from my weekly paychecks. 

More likely, me knowing me, I would have blown most of it on nicer cars and more vacations. 

Saving money for your future is hard, even for more-disciplined people. 

My parents raised six kids on one income and had a lot of big bills along the way, so saving 
money for the future was not always possible. 

They now rely on the Social Security payments they receive every month to help them cover 
their basic expenses. 

Millions of elderly Americans are in the same precarious financial boat. 

The Social Security Administration reports that about 40 percent of Americans 65 and older 
receive half of their retirement income from Social Security — and about 13 percent rely on 
it for 90 percent or more of their income. 

It takes some of the sting out of the 15.3 percent FICA tax that is imposed on my self-
employed earnings to know that my contributions are helping others get by in their old age. 

But will Social Security be around to help me in my old age? 

Social Security is now paying out more than it is taking in and the funds working taxpayers 
contribute now go directly to Social Security recipients. 

But what about the Social Security “trust fund,” which saved trillions of the surplus tax contributions 
that had rolled in for years? 

The partially good news is that it will not run out of money until 2034 — at which time Social 
Security payments will have to be reduced, taxes will have to be raised or more money 
will have to be borrowed. 

The bad news is that its funds were “invested” in government bonds, which the federal government 
happily spent on day-to-day budget expenses, such as foreign wars, food stamps 
and the national debt. 

As the great columnist Charles Krauthammer explained in 2011, the Social Security trust 
fund is filled not with money but with special-issue government IOUs that can only be repaid 
by raising taxes or borrowing even more money. 

In any event, it’s anybody’s guess how much my monthly Social Security checks will be, so 
let me make the guys at the Social Security Administration an offer. 

How about you give me back my 250 large in return for removing me from your rolls? 

What do you say, SSA? Hello? 

Tom Purcell is an author and humor columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. 



Several years ago while my children were 
still somewhat maneageable (that means in 
their early elementary school years) I regularly 
helped out at their school (Bethany 
School in Sierra Madre.) Typically I would 
entertain the kids while simultaneously 
trying to motivate parents into greater 


It was here that I garnered an even greater respect for the role of mothers. 
There is no doubt when comparing mothers and fathers, mothers 
ended up with the short end of the stick. The following answers were 
generated by young elementary aged kids…which makes them great. 

Why did God make mothers?

1. Think about it. It was the best way to get more people 
2. To help us out of there when we were getting born. 
How did God make mothers? 

1. God made my mom just the same like He made me. He just 
used bigger parts. 
What are moms made out of? 

1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair, and everything 
nice in the world, and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men’s bones. Then they mostlyuse string, I think. 
What kind of little girl was your mom?

1. I don’t know because I wasn’t there, but my guess would bepretty bossy.
2. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other 
How did your mom meet your dad?

1. Mom was working in a store and dad was shoplifting 
What did mom need to know about dad before she married him? 

1. His last name. 
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook. Does hemake at least $800 a year. Did he say no to drugs and yes to chores? 
Why did your mom marry your dad?

1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my momeats a lot. 
2. My grandma says that my mom didn’t have her thinking cap 
What’s the difference between moms and dads? 

1. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them. 
2. Moms work at work and work at home. Dads just got to workat work. 
3. Dads are taller and stronger, but mom’s have all the real powerbecause that’s who you gotta ask if you want to sleep over at yourfriends. 
What does your mom do in her spare time?

1. Moms don’t do spare time. 
2. Mom says she pays bills all day long. 
Thank you moms everywhere for being moms. There is little more 
valuable in the land. 

I would like to take a moment and thank a certain city official for extending 
an act of gracious kindness toward me. You see, I didn’t know 
robbing banks was illegal. And this public servant let me off with a 
warning. Thank you. By the way, is robbing banks illegal all over the 
San Gabriel Valley or just here in Sierra Madre? 

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