Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, October 28, 2023

MVNews this week:  Page 14



Mountain Views-News Saturday, October 28, 2023 







Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 


Peter Lamendola


Stuart Tolchin 

Harvey Hyde

Audrey Swanson

Meghan Malooley

Mary Lou Caldwell

Kevin McGuire

Chris Leclerc

Dinah Chong Watkins

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Lori Ann Harris

Rev. James Snyder

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton

Joan Schmidt

LaQuetta Shamblee




Last week I was 
pretty optimistic 
and I titled my 
column THINGS 
DO. Well, to put 
it mildly, this has 
been a pretty tough week. To me it 
felt like I was viewing the death of 
rationality and I really did not want 
to see it. I have always been an advocate 
of free speech and championed 
the need for transparency and 
the People’s right to watch whatever 
they wanted to watch on television. 
I never talk about Social Media 
largely because I don’t participate in 
it and have no idea what is out there. 
But I do watch television.

 What I saw, could not help 
but seeing, was I thought, the end 
of rationality. Hour after hour I 
viewed babies, completely innocent 
babies, being dismembered. I 
saw babies dying in incubators because 
the energy necessary to keep 
the incubators functioning in order 
to keep the babies alive, had been 
purposely turned off. In addition 
to this these was the constant description 
of the seemingly senseless 
and irrational murder of thousands 
of civilians who happened to be living 
in the wrong place with no other 
place to go.

 Meanwhile, here at home 
there was continual chaos as the 
members of the House of Representatives 
were embroiled in continual 
bickering and could not agree 
among themselves on the selection 
of a person to become Speaker of 
the House. Of course, without a 
Speaker no work could be done and 
the entire shut down of the Government 
seemed likely. In conjunction 
with all this I was beginning to read 
a book called The Maniac---I still 
haven’t read much beyond the first 

 The book, published this 
year written by Benjamin Labatut 
has graphically pictured on its front 
cover a huge picture of a mushroom 
shaped cloud. I, who has paid and 
watched the movie Oppenheimer 
three times and do wonder if scientists 
are participating in destroying 
the world, opened the book and 
read the first chapter entitled “The 
Discovery of the Irrational”. The 
book begins “On the morning of the 
25th of September l933 the Austrian 
physicist Paul Ehrenfest walked into 
Professor Jan Waterink’s Pedagogical 
Institute for Afflicted Children 
in Amsterdam, shot his own fifteen 
year-old son, Vasily, in the head, 
then turned the gun on himself.”

 Quite a beginning, don’t 
you think? Who was Paul Ehrenfest 
and what were the surrounding 
circumstances that contributed to 
his suicide and the murder of his 
son? Well, as a physicist Ehrenfest 
enjoyed the full respect of such towering 
figures as Neils Bohr, Paul 
Dirac and Wolfgang Pauli. Albert 
Einstein wrote that, “no more than 
a few hours after having met Paul, 
he felt as though our dreams and 
aspirations were meant for each 
other”. Paul was unquestionably a 
genius among geniuses; but in the 
early 1930s he experienced a vast 
sprawling world, infected by nonsense, 
and lacking any meaningful 
intelligence behind it. He could perceive 
the rise of the irrational in the 
mindless chants of the Hitler Youth 
spewing over the radio waves, in the 
rants of warmongering politicians, 
and in the proponents of endless 

 This 1930 awareness reminds 
me of the increasing progression 
of Artificial Intelligence 
combined with the rantings of the 
American Political Parties. I see the 
murderous conflicts occurring in 
Israel and Palestine as senseless religious 
wars stemming from myths 
originally foisted upon populations 
to maintain power and control. 
(Sorry if I offend you but to me it is 
clear that religious wars are responsible 
for more deaths than anything 
else you could name.) The genius, 
Paul Ehrenfelt, saw what was coming 
and during the last year of his 
life he used his contacts and influence 
to help Jewish scientists find 
work outside Germany. (Ironic, 
isn’t it that probably some of these 
same German Jewish Scientists 
were instrumental in the final Allied 
(that is the United States, Europe, 
and Russia) defeating the Axis 
Powers.) Yes, as I said last week “life 
goes on” and there is always change. 
Additionally, I am nobody’s genius 
and certainly do not see the future 
as clearly as Paul Ehrenfelt thought 
he did. He coped as best as he could 
but decried to Einstein that he saw a 
world in which rationality had become 
somehow confused with its 
very opposite. 

 Today we can all probably 
understand what Ehrenfelt experienced 
almost one hundred years 
ago. Nevertheless, with all its problems 
our human world has continued. 
Today, in fact, I learned that a 
Speaker of the House of Representatives 
has been elected, or selected, 
or whatever. There are delays in the 
planned Israeli bombings in Gaza 
(“Israeli bombings) the phrase actually 
makes me sick and maybe negotiations 
can temporarily stop the 
carnage. I am no genius but I want 
to hang around as long as I can and 
do the best I can. After all, tomorrow 
is my Wedding Anniversary 
and all in all right now I feel pretty 
good. I think it will be a while before 
I go back to reading the Maniac 

 Have a Happy Halloween 
and if you feel like it contact me at 

Ok, I was in the hospital for a few days last week. You know that crazy 
place where a medical professional comes into your room several times a 
night and wakes you up to ask if you are sleeping okay.

And the “gowns” they make you wear don’t quite come together in the 
back. Hospital humor tells us that’s where the term, “ICU” comes from… 
looking at you from the rear. Yay! I pity the person who was forced to walk behind me. 
Years of therapy await them!

Being in a hospital does tend to make you view your own mortality through an existential 
lens. Of course, when the term “existential” enters one’s consciousness, who else comes to 
mind other than my favorite existentialist, Friedrich Nietzsche.

But Rich, you’re a Christian. How can you think of Nietzsche? Well, truth can come from 
almost anywhere (with the possible exception of my columns). Why exclude looking outside 
your comfort zone? Fred Nietzsche was quite clever. Here, let me share a couple of his 
rather profound quotes:

Want to improve the quality of your marriage? Read on…

“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”

Friedrich’s next quote demonstrates, metaphorically, how first impressions of others can 
be incomplete without all the facts:

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear 
the music.”

Of particular importance to this aging rock and roller is Herr Nietzsche’s profound 

“Without music, life would be a mistake.”

And a few more gems of truth:

“If we possess our ‘why’ of life we can put up with almost any ‘how’.”

“Truth tends to reveal its highest wisdom in the guise of simplicity.”

“What does not kill me makes me stronger.”

Good advice can come from almost anywhere and anyone. And often from those mini 
people aged in one digit:

“Fog is just clouds that have fell down” Dylan, age 6

“Mama, thanks for picking out the best sister for me” 

Michael, age 3

“It was fun being famous on my birthday” Ashlyn, age 6

“Are we taking the stairs or the alligator?” Royal, age 4

“Mommy, I love you. When monsters come, I will save you” 

“Mommy, stop dancing. Your body looks like it’s falling 
down!” Henry, age 4

(Talking to the new stuffed dog) “You don’t like potatoes? 
I don’t like potatoes too!” Stella

“I will miss you while I’m sleeping” Bryce, age 4

“A B C D E F G H I J K wiggle wiggle P.” Holly, age 2

“My daddy works so much because he loves me” Brandon, 
age 3

“Darth Vader is a really crabby guy. I think he lives in Australia.” 
Henry, age 3

(Thank you for these terrific quotes!)

Have a great week good friends…and, of course, you too enemies!



Mountain Views News 
has been adjudicated as 
a newspaper of General 
Circulation for the County 
of Los Angeles in Court 
Case number GS004724: 
for the City of Sierra 
Madre; in Court Case 
GS005940 and for the 
City of Monrovia in Court 
Case No. GS006989 and 
is published every Saturday 
at 80 W. Sierra Madre 
Blvd., No. 327, Sierra 
Madre, California, 91024. 
All contents are copyrighted 
and may not be 
reproduced without the 
express written consent of 
the publisher. All rights 
reserved. All submissions 
to this newspaper become 
the property of the Mountain 
Views News and may 
be published in part or 

Opinions and views expressed 
by the writers 
printed in this paper do 
not necessarily express 
the views and opinions 
of the publisher or staff 
of the Mountain Views 

Mountain Views News is 
wholly owned by Grace 
Lorraine Publications, 
and reserves the right to 
refuse publication of advertisements 
and other 
materials submitted for 

Letters to the editor and 
correspondence should 
be sent to: 

Mountain Views News

80 W. Sierra Madre Bl. 

Sierra Madre, Ca. 

Phone: 626-355-2737

Fax: 626-609-3285


A member of 




Halloween is upon us, 
which means you’d 
better be cautious 
about the costume you 

Halloween has long 
been a staple of childhood, 
but in the past 
few decades it has been 
increasingly celebrated 
by adults — and for 
good reason.

Until recently, it was 
the one day where 
adults could dress up 
in funny, outrageous costumes that satirized popular 
culture and the complexity of modern life.

Dressing up as a rock star, Albert Einstein, a famous 
sports figure or some other pop icon could be fun and 

There should be some limits to our costumes, of 

Any costume displaying blackface is certainly out, 
which is obvious to everyone, with the exception of 
some fools who one day aspire to run for political 

Any costumes that appropriate or mock different cultures 
— dressing up as a Native American, such as 
Pocahontas — are no longer considered fun.

But, according to Good Housekeeping, Bustle, The 
Independent and others, any attempt to satirize or 
mock covid-19, one of the biggest events in the past 
100 years, is also off limits.

The Independent explains why: “The coronavirus 
pandemic killed millions of people, and continues 
to seriously affect those who are unvaccinated. Any 
costume that resembles the SARS-CoV-2 virus, anti-
vaxxers, or someone with covid-19 are to be avoided.”

I get the point, but I don’t fully agree.

Look, satire is a powerful way to ridicule, in a humorous 
manner, who and what are wrong and ugly or 
hateful in our society.

A biting, satirical joke — or a wacky Halloween costume 
— can cut to the heart of the matter better than 
a direct criticism of a government policy.

Satire is the centerpiece of a healthy and truly free 
society, but it is now considered unfashionable by 
entities that are more worried about offending someone 
than they are about encouraging our freedom to 
think, question, speak and express ourselves honestly 
and openly.

In other words, it’s now in bad taste in America to 
not do exactly what the government tells you to do or 
to question overzealous government health policies, 
such as lockdowns and mandates.

Sorry, but where covid is concerned, I think some 
“bad taste” — or gallows humor — is warranted.

Merriam-Webster defines gallows humor as “humor 
that makes fun of a life-threatening, disastrous or terrifying 

That is, it diffuses our tension and fear in our very 
worst moments and mocks death, evil and suffering 
— giving us the strength to fight on.

Comedian Joan Rivers once said about tragedies she 
suffered, “If you can laugh at it, you can deal with it.”

But in today’s bi-polarized society, regrettably, half 
of us believe in freedom of thought, speech and expression 
— and the benefit of satirical Halloween costumes 
that may sometimes offend.

The other half are so terrified that something we say 
or do may slight someone, we are fearful of poking fun 
or even chuckling at anything amusing.

I can understand the desire to avoid a Halloween costume 
that might offend your boss and cost you your 

But I’m afraid our once raucous and robust American 
sense of humor is slowly dying.

To me, there are few things scarier than that this 

Mountain Views News

Mission Statement

The traditions of 
community news-
papers and the 
concerns of our readers 
are this newspaper’s 
top priorities. We 
support a prosperous 
community of well-
informed citizens. We 
hold in high regard the 
values of the exceptional 
quality of life in our 
community, including 
the magnificence of 
our natural resources. 
Integrity will be our guide. 

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