Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, June 25, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 13

OPINIONOPINION 1313 Mountain Views-News Saturday, June 25, 2022 OPINIONOPINION 1313 Mountain Views-News Saturday, June 25, 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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The final straw hit me a few days ago. I spent a great deal of last 
week glued to the television watching the January 6th hearings and then 
later in the day diverting myself by watching sports. The hearings were 
a terribly disquieting review of things I already knew and tried not to 
think about. Sports were unable to divert me as I watched baseball games 
sneaking in extra commercials right while the game was taking place. 
Commercials between innings were no longer enough; now they were inserting 
commercials between pitches. Additionally I read somewhere in 
a magazine that opioid deaths are probably due “to strategic supply strategies 
by the pharmaceutical industry to influence doctors to prescribe unnecessary 
huge amounts of these potentially deadly medications with no concern about addiction. I 
read that hospitals concerned about post-surgical patients who complained of pain feared that these 
complaints would lead to lost rating points which would lead to lost revenues. Doctors were urged to 
prescribe opiates after surgery so that the complaints would disappear and hospital ratings would be 

As I read this I was reminded of what told by a neighbor who was a researcher formerly attached 
to our local City of Hope. He described his frustration when realizing that this respected 
facility was not interested in the prevention of disease but rather was interested and invested in the 
ongoing treatment of disease which was so much more profitable than prevention. He advised me 
to go out and have fun while I still can. Anyway, why would anyone want to bring another child into 
this world?” My Jewish heritage screamed.

Something else struck me which may seem disconnected to you. My almost three year old 
granddaughter does not seem to differentiate between “children” and “people”. As we sat around 
the table on Father’s Day she explained that she had five “children” grandparents, father, mother and 
uncle and we all had to love and take care of each other. She happily counted each of us but wasn’t 
sure if she should count our dog but felt we all should also take care of the dog. I know she’s a toddler 
but she is also a remarkable example of what is a human being and I believe she is right! Life is not 
about just having fun; it is about caring and loving and learning from one another.

All of these weekend experiences combined to become that “straw” which lead me to the 
strange conclusion that it would be best for me to forego watching television in order to gain perhapsa better perspective on what is going on around me. The Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tale titled 
the Emperor’s New Clothes came to mind”. 

Rather than watching television I read the fairy tale and then reread it. To me it has a very 
modern relevance. The tale describes an emperor who was indifferent to the true tasks of being an 
emperor but was just more concerned about showing off. He had one major concern which was that 
he might be surrounded by people who were disloyal, and stupid, and unfit for their job. It so happened 
that one day a pair of swindlers turned up claiming to be weavers who boasted that they could 
provide the emperor with clothes that had the virtue of being invisible to anyone who was stupid or 
not fit to hold his job. You probably remember the ending of the story in which everyone including 
the emperor himself pretended to see the clothing because they did not want to appear stupid or unfit 
for their job. So everyone pretended to see the emperor’s clothing until one child exclaimed “But he 
hasn’t anything on. “ 

The actual end of the fairy tale is very disheartening. I had forgotten that the Emperor, even 
after having the uncomfortable feeling that the child was right, realized that he had no choice and 
decided “I must go through with it now”. He walked proudly on followed by his loyal followers who 
carried on the pretense. This disturbing ending is reflective of my actual experience as a well educated 
American person. I grew up being a proud American the child of an immigrant family that was 
very proud to offer me opportunities that they never had. Inevitably I read Howard Zinn, went to 
Berkeley, and represented poor people for over fifty years. I have learned about a whole different not 
very honorable America. I now know about the restrictive covenants that insured racial residential 
discrimination and inequality in education, job opportunity, and even health services. So what’s 
to be done? Do we just go on acting like the Emperor acting out a fairy tale in which we no longer 
believe? All I can do right now is to avoid the lies which television continually provides and maybe 
learn a little from my granddaughter as we both try to be good and responsible human beings. I recommend 
reading as an educational tool—even fairy tales. 



If you want to know 
what the slide into 
fascism looks like, 
go back and review 
Tuesday’s session 
of the U.S. House 
committee investigating 
the Jan. 6, 
2021 insurrection 
at the U.S. Capitol.
It was a tragic parade 
of public ser

vants relaying the vile acts of harassment 
they were subjected to as they did the hard 
work of making sure the wheels of American 
democracy turned smoothly during the 2020 
There was Georgia election worker Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, who, along with her mother, RubyFreeman, were harassed by Trump supporters after the former president publicly falsely accused 
them of engaging in voter fraud.
In one instance, Trump supporters even broke into Moss’ grandmother’s home, looking to 
make a “citizen’s arrest,” Capital-Star Washington Reporter Jacob Fischler wrote Tuesday.
Freeman said the FBI told her that she had to leave her home for her own safety and stayed 
away for two months to escape the danger, she told the committee in taped testimony.
“It was horrible,” she said.
And you don’t have to agree with – or even like – Pennsylvania House Speaker Bryan Cutler 
to be repulsed by the same harassment he and his family were subjected to by Trump loyalists 
and their enablers. 
Cutler, of Lancaster County, the top Republican in the state House, revealed that he was bombarded 
by near-daily calls from Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, as they sought 
his support in illegally toppling the results of the 2020 presidential election.
The calls from Giuliani and Ellis, now an adviser to Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial 
nominee Doug Mastriano, persisted even after Cutler, who described the outreach as “inappropriate,” 
asked them to stop.
“I understand that you don’t want to talk to me now,” Giuliani said in another message. “I just 
want to bring some facts to your attention and talk to you as a fellow Republican.” 
Cutler also discussed the impact that Trump supporter Steve Bannon’s calls for protests outside 
Cutler’s home and district office had on him and his family. In one instance, Cutler’s 
15-year-old son was home alone as protesters massed outside, according to the Washington 
In newly released footage, Cutler said he was forced to “disconnect [his] home phone for 
about three days,” after his personal information was shared online. Cutler said his phone 
“would ring all hours of the night and fill up with messages,” as the Capital-Star’s Marley Parish 
reported Tuesday.
Now you can argue that Cutler, an elected official, is fair game for protesters. And you can 
justifiably say he deserves criticism for joining with 63 other legislative Republicans who 
sent a letter urging Congress to object to Pennsylvania’s electoral votes, which went to now-
President Joe Biden. 
But there’s no universe where a 15-year-old boy deserves to be terrorized by a crowd after his 
father’s was doxxed by people who already are subscribing to the lie of the stolen election.
But that’s what fascists do: They bully and intimidate. And they work methodically, as the 
House committee’s sessions have shown, to undermine the legal underpinnings of the elected 
government so they can seize power.
And when they don’t get their way, they set their goons loose, as was the case on Jan 6. And 
they don’t lift a finger to stop them, even when it becomes clear that the lives of the vice president 
of the United States and other senior officials clearly are at risk.
Fascists purge the disloyal from their own ranks. And when mere rhetoric doesn’t work, they 
resort to violence – as a horrifying new ad by Missouri GOP U.S. Senate candidate Eric Greitens 
makes all too clear. 
In it, the gun-wielding candidate exhorts his supporters to go “RINO hunting” with him — a 
reference to so-called “Republicans in Name Only” who are judged not to be toeing the line 
on orthodoxy.
After the chants of “Hang Mike Pence,” it’s not far-fetched to imagine deranged MAGA supporters 
taking Greitens both literally and seriously, engaging in their own Night of the LongKnives, as Hitler’s thugs did in 1934 when they took out the paramilitary SA and other opponents 
of the Nazi regime.
There already are eerie echoes of the 1933 Reichstag Fire in the sacking of the Capitol. In both 
cases, fascist thugs were looking for a pretext to seize and consolidate their hold on power.
Trumpism is fascism, American-style. And if these committee hearings accomplish anything, 
they finally will awaken our fellow citizens to the clear and present danger that Trump and 
his allies pose to our system, so they can move to reject it before it sets fire to our elections 
this fall and in 2024. 
And if they don’t, they can’t claim they weren’t warned. The evidence was staring them in the 

An award-winning political journalist, John L. Micek is Editor-in-Chief of The Pennsylvania Capital-Star in Harrisburg, 
Pa. Email him at and follow him on Twitter @ByJohnLMicek. 



Ahhh, summertime; a season filled with backyard barbecues, 
pool parties and other groovy social gatherings.
Good friends, good food, good grog and good grief…THE 
PRICE OF GAS? No, no, no, that just won’t do. I know the 
temptation to focus on these turbulent times may be too 
hard to resist at our backyard events. 

Your unofficial Sierra Madre Court Jester and Famous 
have compiled a list of conversation starters that promises 
to take our eyes off the depressing news of the day. We can 
shift to the deep, perplexing mysteries of life. There are 
literally (and figuratively) a world of imponderables that 
go begging for consideration. Here are but a few: 

If a man speaks in the middle of the woods and no women 

hear him, is he still wrong? 
What should we do if we see an endangered species eating an 
endangered plant? 

What do you plant to grow a seedless watermelon? 
How deep would the ocean be without sponges? 
What is a free gift? Aren’t all gifts free? 
What was the best thing before sliced bread? 
Why isn’t there mouse-flavored cat food? 
Why does your nose run and your feet smell? 
If we are here to help others, then what are the others here for? 
Can atheists get insurance protecting them from Acts of God? 
How can there possibly be self-help groups? 
How come super glue doesn’t stick to the tube? 
If a rabbit’s foot is so lucky, what happened to the rabbit? 
What’s another word for thesaurus? Or synonym? 
How do “Don’t walk on the grass” signs get there? 
Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains? 
Why is abbreviation such a long word? 
Does that screwdriver really belong to Philip? 
Why is there an expiration date on sour cream? 
Who is the wise guy who put the letter ‘s’ in lisp? 

And finally, the ultimate question: “What if there were no hypo

thetical questions?” 
If you see this column Saturday morning, (June 25th) and 
have a free evening come down to Nano Café on Sierra 
Madre Blvd. and experience my “Fun Rock” band JJ Jukebox. 
We do the fun rock songs from the 60’s-70’s. If you 
like Neil Diamond, Creedence, the Beatles, Queen stop byfor dinner, drinks and dancing…in that order. 6:30-9:30. 
And if not tonight, we are playing at Nano’s again on July16th! 

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