Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, April 2, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 13

13 Mountain Views-News Saturday, April 2, 2022 OPINION 13 Mountain Views-News Saturday, April 2, 2022 OPINION 






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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APRIL 8, 2022! 

The culinary arts have always been a favorite 
topic of mine. Probably because 
my Scandinavian heritage is not known 
for enjoyable (let alone edible) delicacies. 
At last count how many Norwegian 

Restaurants have you dined at? Zero! 

Am I right? 

The day, at the tender age of 13, after arriving in sunny Southern 
California from the frozen tundra known as Minnesota, I 
discovered Mexican food. 

OMG! My taste buds discovered flavor for the first time. Little 
did I realize I was suddenly thrust into an eternal struggle 
known as the battle of the bulge. 

About a year ago, I experienced my first empanada. The pinnacle 
of Latin food. Empanada literally means “stuffed pastry”. 
The beauty of the empanada is you can have empanadas stuffed 
with just about any filling your heart (and palate) desires. Meat, 
cheese, vegetables, fruit, chocolate. Empanadas can be an appetizer, 
breakfast, lunch or dinner entrée, dessert, even a bedtime 

So where can you get the perfect empanada? Remember two locations. 
First “Lord Empanada”! Not all empanadas are created 
equal. You want the best…go to Lord Empanada. 1540 So. Myrtle 
Ave (a block south of the 210 freeway Myrtle offramp (East 
side). Their phone number (626) 415-1044. Enjoy a meal there 
or “Lord” Empanada, aka Ryan Lopez, will also tell you of other 
local dining spots where you can enjoy his empanadas. By the 
way, their website is And Lord Empanada 
serves a lot more than empanadas. Check out their website. 

If you are near South Pasadena, you can also enjoy delicious 
empanadas at the Waverly Bookshop Café and Cooking School. 
1010 ½ Fair Oaks Ave. (626) 460-6027. Stop in, meet proprietor 
and single mom, Sandy Olivas (she raised her kids in Sierra 
Madre). Enjoy an empanada or three with delicious coffee. 
Their website is Waverly also has a variety 
of vegan empanadas, vegan pastries and pies. Plus a cooking 
school for all ages. And Waverly commits a percentage of sales 
to various charities. Visit Waverly’s website at 

And if you like fun rock from the 60s and 70s, April 23rd is 
the next JJ Jukebox concert at Nano Café. 322 W. Sierra Madre 
Blvd. Sierra Madre. Best time to make reservations is Wednesday 
through Saturday after 4:00pm. Call the restaurant at (626) 

Have a good week! 

Of course we 

do: That is all 

anybody seems 

to be talking 

about. Today is 

Wednesday and 

perhaps by Sat

urday or Sun

day when you 

have a chance 
to read this article the furor will have died 
down. It’s been a week since Will Smith, the 
6 foot 2 inch Black Male celebrity, struck 
or slapped 5 foot 10 inch Chris Rock, also 
a Black beloved celebrity, right in his face. 
This occurred during the presentation of the 
OSCARS program and as Chris said it was 
“unforgettable television”. Frankly, I wish I 
could forget. 

Why do I mention that both Will 
Smith and Chris Rock are Black male celebrities 
well known to huge audiences across 
America? Like all other attendees at the 
ceremony, Smith and Rock wore fancy tuxedos 
and the whole presentation was an attempt 
to market the worthiness of the Black 
People and the entertainment industry. This 
particular OSCAR presentation was for the 
first time produced by a Black producer, Will 
Packer, who employed an all Black production 
team all with promise that the show

 So why do I emphasize the racial component. 
Remember, I’m an old guy with 
memories of times when Black people were 
thought incapable of playing quarterback or 
of being smart enough to be coaches or of 
being admitted to prestigious colleges or of 
being considered able enough to produce a 
show like the OSCARS. Those times are not 
far behind us and this 2022 Oscar presentation 
was intended to increase viewership and 
to demonstrate the abilities to the world of 
people for whom those opportunities were 
formerly foreclosed. 

As I began watching the show 
there appeared the Williams Sisters, Black 
female athletes born anything but rich in 
Compton and new world-famous, wealthy 
and admired. There they were presented in 
beautiful dresses with their boobies falling 
out. Maybe the dresses were fashionable and 
beautiful, I really didn’t notice. What I did 
notice was their almost completely exposed 
breasts and I was repelled. In these “Me Too” 
times displaying women in this matter to the 
ogling eyes of audiences plainly gives the 
wrong message. Certainly if women wish to 
dress this way certainly they have that right 
I guess but to me it gives the wrong message. 
Frankly, I am glad that prospective Justice 
Ketanji Brown Jackson did not present herself 
in that manner at her confirmation hearing 
and I believe there is something off-kilter 


about Russian President Vladimir Putin baring 
his chest to display his toxic-masculinity 
which somehow makes him qualified to preside 
over a nation or even he whole world. 
(I hope Vice-President and potential future 
President Kamila Harris agrees with me.) 

Back to the Oscars. Do you think 
Will Smith would have acted the same way if 
the person telling the joke which arguably insulted 
Will’s wife was a more powerful Black 
Man, or a White Man, or a Black Woman, or 
a White Woman? As far as I am concerned 
Smith’s explanation that the innocuous joke 
caused him to lose complete emotional control 
is complete nonsense. There must be 
other factors involved and I really don’t have 
enough information to speculate. The fact 
that Smith was simply allowed to resume his 
seat and minutes later was allowed to receive 
his Oscar to a standing ovation absolutely 
disgusted me. To my mind the producers 
of the show should have required that he be 
immediately escorted out of the theatre as he 
retook his seat. 

There is an important racial element 
to all this as has been expressed by my old 
UCLA classmate Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. 
Kareem, an extraordinarily famous successful 
Black Athlete, wrote a column saying 
that Will Smith’s behavior “perpetuated 
stereotypes against Black People advocating 
violence, diminishing women, and insulting 
the entertainment industry.” In his column 
Abdul-Jabbar noted that Smith’s action will 
allow pundits to push a narrative that “Black 
People are more prone to violence and less 
able to control their emotions.” 

I would like to think that those stereotypes 
no longer exist in the minds of 
people, or at least younger people, but for 
older people like Kareem and me it is still 
necessary for Black people, and particularly 
Black celebrities, to understand that their actions 
contribute to the way an entire Race is 
judged. Listening to the Brown Jackson confirmation 
hearing I was especially moved by 
her explanation of the importance of racial 
modeling to young people. What are we 
teaching our children when obviously wrong 
behavior is ignored and everyone stands to 
applaud the wrongdoer. 

Sure, Chris Rock’s current tour in 
Boston is sold out and he’s making lots of 
money that he doesn’t need and that’s not 
the point either. Meanwhile global warming 
continues, the war in the Ukraine is unresolved, 
there’s possibly a new threatening 
virus variant but the public discourse seems 
to center around whether Will should be 
required to return his Oscar. What else is 
there to talk about? Oh yes, gas prices are 
real high! 


If or when Merrick Garland bestirs himself to action, he’d do well to ponder 
the new federal court ruling that drops the hammer on coup conspirator 
John Eastman. 

On Monday, the case for indicting Donald Trump was succinctly framed 
and arguably wrapped in a bow. And this was without even knowing what Trump may have said 
to fellow conspirators during seven key hours on Insurrection Day, the 7 hours and 37 minutes 
that are mysteriously missing from the White House phone logs.
Seriously, folks. What is it gonna take?
First, some quick housekeeping: Eastman, you may recall, is the Better-Call-Saul lawyer who’s 
been outed for concocting a “legal” memo that was designed to help Trump overturn his election 
loss. Sort of a fascist instructional sheet for dummies. 
Monday’s court ruling, authored by U.S. District Judge David Carter (a former decorated Marine), 
commanded Eastman to cough up 101 emails – mostly exchanges with Trump – and to 
share them with the House’s Jan. 6 Committee. That was the narrow issue at hand. But, fortunately, 
Carter took it upon himself to connect the dots that situate Trump at the center of the 
blessedly failed coup. Carter’s warning was an implicit plea for Merrick Garland to wake up:
“If Dr. Eastman and President Trump’s plan had worked, it would have permanently ended the 
peaceful transition of power, undermining American democracy and the Constitution. If the 
country does not commit to investigating and pursuing accountability for those responsible, 
the Court fears January 6 will repeat itself.” 
It would seem that our accountability sleuths at the Justice Department still need to be enlightened 
about the evidence that shines with the strength of 100 suns. Whatcha got for us, Judge 
“Dr. Eastman and President Trump launched a campaign to overturn a democratic election, 
an action unprecedented in American history…Their campaign was not confined to the ivory 
tower – it was a coup in search of a legal theory. The plan spurred violent attacks on the seat of 
our nation’s government, led to the deaths of several law enforcement officers, and deepened 
public distrust in our political process.” 
As Judge Carter reminds us, Eastman insisted in his Jan. 3, 2021 memo that Mike Pence, during 
his ceremonial task of counting the Electoral College votes, could simply throw out seven 
Biden states, thus reducing the tally to 232-222; and that Pence could then announce that since 
no candidate had reached the magic 270, the election would decided by the House, where each 
state would get one vote – and since the GOP at that time controlled 26 of the 50 state delegations, 
presto! Trump would win the election.
The problem, of course, was that Pence had no power to toss Electoral College votes, because 
there’s no such provision in the Constitution. But that mattered not a whit to Trump, who spent 
days trying to muscle Pence into executing the plan that Eastman had touted as “BOLD.” 
The judge zeroed in on one particular provision of the federal criminal code – 18 U.S.C. § 
1512(c)(2) – which, as he explained, “criminalizes obstruction or attempted obstruction of an 
official proceeding. It requires three elements: (1) the person obstructed, influenced or impeded, 
or attempted to obstruct, influence or impede (2) an official proceeding of the United 
States, and (3) did so corruptly.” He thus concluded:
“Because President Trump likely knew that the plan to disrupt the electoral count was wrongful, 
his mindset exceeds the threshold for acting ‘corruptly.’…After filing and losing more than 
60 suits (in court), this plan was a last-ditch attempt to secure the Presidency by any means.” 
The potential hitch in all this evidence is that to prove Trump’s criminality to a jury beyond a 
reasonable doubt, prosecutors need to successfully argue that Trump knew in his mind that 
his coup conspiracy was wrong. Hence the potential problem: This mope doesn’t have a moral 
compass. He tends to believe that whatever he wants or says at any given moment is right and 
For instance, one possible explanation for the seven-hour gap in the White House phone logs 
is that Trump communicated with fellow conspirators by using burner phones. In a statement, 
he denied doing that because, he insisted, “I have no idea what a burner phone is, to the best of 
my knowledge I have never even heard the term.” 
I’m sure he believes that lie in his mind. The problem is, he used the term “burner phones” at 
least three times in his recent lawsuit against niece Mary Trump. And former national security 
adviser John Bolton told CBS News, “Wait a minute, Trump knows burner phones.” 
The Jan. 6 Committee members have been calling on the Justice Department “to do its job,” 
but alas it’s possible that Garland is hesitating to indict Trump precisely because it’s so hard 
to prove that someone so amoral has any consciousness of wrongdoing. Heck, just this week 
Trump asked his 2016 campaign ally, war criminal Vladimir Putin, to release some dirt on 
Hunter Biden. 

I know, I know. Just like you, I’m rolling my eyes. Again. 

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