Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, August 13, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 14

1414 Mountain Views-News Saturday, August 13, 2022 OPINIONOPINION 1414 Mountain Views-News Saturday, August 13, 2022 OPINIONOPINION 




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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Last night, after a rare game of Scrabble, my wife and I 

went out to dinner at Mimi’s. It’s a local restaurant that I’ve been 

going to since about 1979 when I first moved to Sierra Madre. A 

part of me likes to keep going to the same places, because I think, 

the familiarity lends a sense of security and stability in this world 

that seems to be changing way too fast. At the end of our dinner, 

when the place was pretty empty and about to close, our server 

actually took the trouble to ask how things have changed since 

we’ve been coming to the restaurant. I asked him about his own 

ambitions and if he thought we could provide him with any valu

able guidance. After all we were educated folk with advanced 

degrees in the liberal arts and humanities. 

The young man laughed and explained that, as far as he was concerned, all humanities 
and liberal arts were just a bunch of historical myth-making by people who weren’t 
there and didn’t know what they were talking about. What was repeated in these academic 
classes was just a bunch of old stuff that was presented years ago. The only reason to study 
such stuff was so that you could get a ticket to become a social worker, or a therapist, or a 
teacher who pretended to understand stuff that no one really understood. He wanted to 
become an engineer and learn how things really worked.

I thought about this discussion a lot today. I entered College at about the time Jack 
Kennedy assumed the Presidency. His election was a great relief to people like me. He was 
young, erudite, handsome, eloquent, and cool. For the previous eight years the President 
was Dwight Eisenhower who was none of these things and a soldier to boot. Then within 
a few years after the election came the assassination and LBJ and the Viet Nam war and 
my friends and I all worried about being killed. That first feeling of post-election elation 
reminds me of how I felt right after Biden’s election. Do you remember the relief we all felt 
when Biden’s first Press-Secretary, Jan Psaki, held a press conference?

What a change from the unbelievable nonsensical lying presentations of the TrumpYears. Miss Psaki was well-prepared, intelligent, truthful, and seemed to be what we all had 
the right to expect. A well-informed, competent person representing an administration 
that was looking out for the best interests of the country. We could now relax and feel safe 
and secure knowing that the Democrats now controlled the House and Senate such that the 
President and the Legislature could do what had to be done and everything would be fine.

How long did that feeling last? Does anyone feel safe and secure today and, by the 
way, what has become of Jan Psaki? The huge change that has happened in my lifetime is 
that we emerged from a time of communal conformity in the 1950’s realizing that there was 
work to be done to avoid a nuclear holocaust but educated people believed that modern 
man knew all the answers and was preparing its most educated people to be of service to the 
rest of us. 

Today our therapists need therapists and our lawyers need lawyers and our ex-President 
refuses to answer questions under oath because, on the advice of Counsel (good old 
lawyers) he has been instructed to refrain from possibly incriminating himself. Everythinghas changed including our concept of the universe within which we live and the certainty 
of a continuation of our species within that universe. Nope, going to the moon was not 
enough! Perhaps this is one of the many factors that have caused the change within ourselves. 
But the main change is how we feel about ourselves. We are very reluctant to talk 
with one another. Who can we believe? For nineteen years I watched Walter Cronkite,
known “as the most-trusted man in America” and I trusted him. Now he is gone and never 
has been replaced. In sports I listened to Vin Scully describe the Dodgers until the day he 
retired in 2016. I asked the young waiter if he had heard of Vin Scully but he wasn’t sure. 
He was mainly interested in soccer.

All right—change happens and keeps happening. I try to slow it down by going to 
the same restaurants and by playing the same games with my wife but I doubt if there can 
ever be another Walter Cronkite or even a Jan Psaki. We now know too much about what 
we don’t know. What else is there to do?

 Is it too late to become an engineer? 


I bought my first lottery ticket recently. 
It was a $20 scratch-off that paid me a $40 prize. 
Winning produced a nice little thrill, so I bought another $20 ticket 

right away. And lost. 
I put out $40 to win $40 that day. 
I’ve bought three $20 scratch-offs since then and won nothing. 
To date, I’ve paid out $100 to win $40. 
The house always wins in the end. 
Still, some people enjoy big paydays playing the state-sponsored lotteries. 
I know a fellow who hit twice for over $100,000 or so. That would be a nice little bump, 

to be sure. 

Of course, winning $100,000 offers a teachable moment for many who have no idea 
how high our taxes really are. 
According to one lottery-tax-calculation website, I’d have to pay about $33,000 in state 

and federal taxes right off the bat. 

However, the feds take only 24% out of the initial lottery payment. I’d still owe more 
taxes, as that $100,000 would put me into much higher tax bracket. 
I’d probably get to keep about $60,000 of that $100,000 and the government would get 

The house always wins in the end! 
Then there is the dark side of government-sponsored gambling that isn’t talked about 

enough. A fair bit of the revenue generated by the lotto is generated by people with 

addiction issues, according to Florida Council of Compulsive Gambling. 
When big payoffs hit the news, as has been the case in recent weeks, there is a surge of 
people spending money they don’t have to buy lotto tickets. 

And the lotto has announced some big winners in recent weeks. 
One poor human being holds the winning ticket in Illinois for a $1.28 billion payout. 
I say “poor human being” because if that person has neighbors or relatives he’s been 

trying to avoid, he’d better plan on spending lots of time with them, as they’ll be 

pounding on his front door at all hours begging for a handout. 
One had better be prepared to manage the massive burden all that money will soon 
visit on him — and better hire a skilled accountant and attorney for starters. 

If he manages that massive payoff well, he can do a lot of good for the world — support 
a lot of legitimate charities — and maintain a comfortable lifestyle for the rest of 
his days. 

Or that money will be the root of all evil in his life, as no small number of past lottery 

winners have experienced. 
Yahoo Finance tells the stories of 23 lottery winners whose lives spiraled out of control 
after winning big payouts, some of whom ended up broke or worse. 

In any event, one thing that fascinates me about money is that we don’t need so much 

of it as we think. 
As I’ve written before, once a person has enough money to pay the bills and enjoy 
going out to dinner now and then, massive increases in wealth do not necessarily correspond 
with greater increases in happiness or life satisfaction. 

The key to human happiness is spending time with people we love, who love us back 

— people who value our presence even though we’re not million-dollar-lotto winners. 
In my case, I suppose a few scratch-off tickets does no great harm every now and then 
— and funds some good programs for those in need. 
Just so long as I remember that the house always wins in the end! 
Tom Purcell, creator of the infotainment site, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-
Review humor columnist. Email him at 



The below “cleverisms” are not necessarily paraprosdokians in 
the truest sense, but they are fun. And worth having in your 
quiver of clever conversation starters or stoppers. (For those of 
you who missed last week's column, a paraprosdokian is a linguistic 
scrambler in which the latter part of the sentence isn’t 
what you expected following the first part of the sentence) 

One paraprosdokian that particularly applies to me: “He’s a 
writer for the ages…ages four to eight.”: Dorothy Parker 

Now, cleverisms for you to peruse, muse, use and abuse if 

The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good 

Where there’s a will, I want to be in it. 

If I could just say a few words…I’d be a better public speaker. 
People say nothing is impossible…but I do nothing every day.
Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president 
and 50 for Miss America? 

Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity they 
can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw 
them fish. 

To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first, and call whatever you 
hit the target. 

If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong. 

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting 
it in a fruit salad. 

The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets 
the cheese. 

Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then 
proceed to tell you why it isn't. 

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire 
Department usually uses water.
You're never too old to learn something stupid. 

Concert coming up:

This next Saturday, August 20th, JJ Jukebox is performing at Nano 

Café again. 6:30-9:30. Come join in the food, fun and festivities. Dance 

to tunes such as “Born to Be Wild”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”,

“Your Mama Don’t Dance” and more. Even some slow songs. Drop 

me an email ASAP if you want to come. Give me a head count of your 

group and we will slot in as best we can. is the 

best email to reach me. Act quickly as we are fortunate enough to sell 

out regularly.

 Jane Fuller and Mike Gallegos are performing at Corfu Restaurant,

Saturday, August 27th from 6:00-8:00. This versatile musical duo per

forms well known jazz and pop rock favorites from Peter Frampton 

to Frank Sinatra, Linda Ronstadt to Ella Fitzgerald. Perfect music to 

accompany a fine dining experience at Corfu Restaurant in Sierra 

Madre. Call (626) 355-5993 to make reservations. Corfu is at 48 West 

Sierra Madre Blvd in Sierra Madre. 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 
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