Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, March 4, 2023

MVNews this week:  Page 14

14 Mountain View News Saturday, March 4, 2023 OPINIONOPINION 14 Mountain View News Saturday, March 4, 2023 OPINIONOPINION 




Susan Henderson 


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello 


John Aveny 


Peter Lamendola 


Stuart Tolchin 
Audrey SwansonMeghan MalooleyMary Lou CaldwellKevin McGuire 
Chris Leclerc 
Dinah Chong WatkinsHoward 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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A couple of mornings ago I awakened with a temporary 
understanding of the importance of faith. I felt a kind of 
envy towards those folk who know that all they need do is 
to trust God, follow his rules and, consequently, experience 
the actual joy of knowing they are doing the right 
thing. How do they know what God wants? Concurrently, 
I wonder if there is a set of beliefs that encompasses 
the willingness to betray a trust and lie to those who you 
know have trust in you. 

I wonder about this sort of thing all the time. Sixty five years ago President 
Dwight Eisenhower signed into law the resolution that enshrined “In God we trust” 
as our nation’s official motto and affixed those words to all paper currency. At 10 I 
was a confirmed atheist certain about my disbeliefs, but wondering who I could really 
trust. I was uncomfortable pledging allegiance under God and singing Christmas 
songs at School. I told my mother and she told me it was okay to just pretend 
I was singing and remain silent; but not to make a big deal about it. I really didn’t 
understand but followed her advice, of course believing I could trust her.

 Until I was ten my parents owned a small grocery store on the South side, 
the scary side, of Chicago. The customers who came to the store were probably all 
Christians and my mom was probably sure that the store would lose customers if it 
was learned that the son of the owners would not sing Christmas songs. Keeping 
customers was more important than allowing free religious expression. Economic 
survival was most important. This has always seemed wrong to me and, not surprisingly 
I have thought about it in the aftermath to the revelations emerging from 
the public release of depositions taken in the Fox-Dominion case. 

Released depositions taken under oath have displayed the willingness of celebrity 
newscasters to knowingly lie to their loyal audiences. The “news” presented 
on Fox TV is generally in sharp contrast to the “news” presented on the other news 
channels I watched. I just assumed that these differences resulted from differingbasic beliefs and a consequential acceptance of facts supporting these beliefs. I never 
thought the Fox folk were “lying”; it was just that they had different “beliefs”. It turns 
out my ”belief” was wrong! They were lying, knew they were lying, and kept lying. 
Ok; why were they lying? It turns out they were lying in order to protect ratings as a 
part of the relentless quest for money. I don’t want to say “earning” money because 
such money, to my mind, is not earned. I also realize that this kind of lying is ubiquitously 
done by all, yes all, powerful organizations here in capitalist America. The 
only true American religion practiced by powerful media institutions and their minions 
is the continuous quest to accumulate money. I think this is a kind of necessarydis-ease that had co-opted many of us before we even know we are infected. 

I began this article talking about the importance of” faith”. I had awakened 
believing that religious people believe in the truth of their beliefs and acted in accord 
with those beliefs. I admire that and am always willing, even eager to discuss those 
basic faiths. I would have valued talking about the sources of faith but most people 
do not favor being questioned about their beliefs. I want to know but now realize 
for many there are no beliefs. There are just calculations as to what will bring in the 
most money or social approval and that disappoints me. Going all the way back to 
my mother’s warnings I should have known all along that it is often preferable for 
me to keep my mouth shut. I know we are living in a capitalistic society where it 
may turn out accumulating money may be the only true God. I don’t like knowing 
this. It makes all moral questions irrelevant. Public figures, no matter what they 
say, have no faith in anything but their continued quest for money. To my mind this 
inevitably of prioritizing money over the important values such as honesty, integrity, 
and compassion leads to direct negative consequences such as moral corruption and 
overall dishonesty. If there is no God but money and no Superpower is telling 
us what to do, where do we go now? Media reports the overall despair of manyAmericans which I believe is connected to the loss of values and resultant confusion. 
Friends tell me to forget all this and stop worrying and go out and “have fun”. Sorry 
to say but worrying and questioning are a big part of having fun for me. I search for 
“truth” and enjoy the search contained in my creation of these articles and I value 
those who believe in that search. What I despise is “lying” and the realization that 
so much of what is publicly presented is lies is like being caught in a monstrous Hell. 
So my final word is that true faith and those words “In God we trust” are of great 
help only if the God can be trusted. And really the presence of those words on all 
currency is of course great cause to worry. I guess that should make me happy----- it 



Not since the days when I beheld the ferocious beauty of the mightyNiagara Falls (from the more scenic Canadian side), did I face this 
other thunderous cascade of rippling water roaring off the clay 
shingles in its attempt to flood my homestead. A rain of biblical 
proportions, the kind no living creature has ever seen - unless theylive in Seattle. 

Panicked, I for the closest gutter cleaning company. Busy 

signal after busy signal until finally, like a hand outstretched from heaven, a man answered. 

“Gutter and Go Cleaners. Bob here.” 
“Hi Bob, my gutters are blocked and overflowing, I need someone to come out and fix them.” 
“Lady, you know we’re in the middle of biggest storm in the century.” 
“Yes, yes, I know I should have gotten them cleaned in October, and you must be busy, but…” 
“Busy? Hah! I got so many jobs, I had to get my granddaddy Big Big Bob to help me. Who knew 

gutter spouts and a EZ Walker don’t make a good combination? But you sound like a nice lady

“I’ll take whatever time you can give me!” 
“Okay, lemme see… oh, I have an opening - February 23.” 
“Tomorrow? That’s fantastic! Thank you so …” 
“February 23 of 2024.” 
“What? This storm is supposed to last another week, what can I do?” 
“Do you own the home or rent?” 
“I’m the homeowner.” 
“Then lady, you better get out to them gutters lickedy-split and do it yourself.” 

Being a renter was in my blood. From my vulnerable growing years, my parents provided me 
with food and shelter. Then, after my coming of age, coming to adulthood, and my parents 
finally coming to their senses; I pulled up my bootstraps and took on 2 jobs to make it on my 
own. But with the cost of Tim Horton's donuts on the rise, I boomeranged back to my rent-free 
childhood home because this woman cannot live on bread alone, she must have donuts. 

Later on with marriage, children and constant home relocations, buying a house was near impossible. 
The upside to renting was that any problem was just a quick phone call to the property 

“Golden Moon Properties, James speaking.” 

“Hi James, this is Dinah. There’s a ravenous, vicious coyote in our yard and he’s mistaken our 
chihuahua-corgi mix for a Lunchable. I need your help.” 

“Certainly Dinah, I’m on my way now, fortified with my trusty Yip-No-More Stun Gun. I’ll 
have that ruffian out in a New York minute.” 

Ah, James. Our time together was so fleeting. And for apartment dwellers, the go-to person is 
the building superintendent. Famously or infamously - known as the Super. 

To further illustrate this, Adam Neumann, the former CEO of WeWork describes the position 
as such; 

"If you're in an apartment building and you're a renter and your toilet gets clogged, you call the 
super," Neumann said. "If you're in your own apartment, and you bought it and you own it and 
your toilet gets clogged, you take the plunger." 

Wow! He must have a super Super! 

So here I am, struggling with a 20 foot gutter rake, scraping out dead leaves and animal bits 
in one hand and in the other, a Callaway Big Bertha driver to ward off those hungry-for-achihuahua 
I miss you James. 

Dinah Chong Watkins column appears every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month. 


Rich Johnson… on Conflict 

“I exhort you also to take part 
in the great combat, which is the 
combat of life, and greater than 
every other earthly conflict.” 

What is the opposite of conflict? Peace? Well, alright, peace is 
A opposite of conflict. For purposes of this discussion, the opposite 
of conflict is BOREDOM. 

Sound preposterous? Consider the following: When was the last 
time you played the card game “War” with a six year old? Whydo people even play chess? There’s no time limit between moves. 
And why do you prefer to play poker, cribbage, or gin rummy 
with someone capable of whipping you? 

Ever play a video game? Tell me, what happens when you master 
a level? Do you keep replaying that same level over and over 
again? No. Why not? Because it becomes boring. You advance 
to the next level because the challenge to master is what we all 
were created to do. 

Imagine how the quality of your life might dramatically improve 
if you could shift the paradigm and view conflict as challenge. 
Even conflict that is personally painful can be a tool to build 
character in us. And to also equip us to empathize with others 
who are suffering. 

Learn and grow from conflict. 

Let’s lighten it up a bit. I’m feeling conflicted lol! So, maybe it 
would be appropriate to remind you of a handful of “Murphy’s 
Laws of Combat.” 

If the enemy is in range, so are you. 

Try to look unimportant. They may be low on ammo. 

Teamwork is essential. It gives them someone else to shoot at. 

Never draw fire. It irritates everyone around you. 

Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than yourself. 

Anything you do can get you shot, including doing nothing. 

If your attack is going well, you have walked into an ambush. 

The enemy invariably attacks on two occasions:

A. When you’re ready for them. 
B. When you’re not ready for them. 
Expect and embrace conflict. Work through it. After all, it’s inevitable 
and unavoidable. 

And speaking of conflict, the band with which I have the pleasure 
of being a part of, JJ Jukebox, is playing yet again at Nano 
Café, March 18th. That’s a Saturday night within two weeks of 
you reading this column. If you enjoy fun rock from the 60s, 
70s, and 80s (without 10 minute drum and lead guitar solo’s) 
come join us for dinner and dancing. Call the restaurant (626)
325-3334 and make reservations soon. The best time to call is 
after 4:00pm Wednesday through Saturday. 

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