Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, March 30, 2024

MVNews this week:  Page 11



Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 30, 2024 







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



I really don’t want to see what’s going on around 
me. Everything seems so confusing and depressing. 
Maybe it’s just this getting old stuff that’s difficult? 
I send my articles out to about thirty people as soon 
as I complete them and contemporaneous with 
sending them off for publication and I treasure the 
replies I receive. 

Most often the criticism I receive is that I am only writing about 
myself. What about the rest of the world? My responding thought 
is something like I barely understand myself; how can I pretend to 
understand anything else? Now many of my old friends have stopped 
even replying. Their excuse being death or illness or just disinterest 
or not wanting to take the trouble to write. When I finally receive a 
belated response, it is frequently a detailed description of illnesses, 
surgeries, and concerns.

Yesterday, after nine holes of golf during which my partner, who 
is in his seventies, walked and I rode in an electric cart, which is 
embarrassing, we went out to lunch. Sadly, I could not hear much 
of which my partner said as we waited to be served. The problem 
might have been that my hearing aids had been placed in the wrong 
ears -anyways it left me confused and annoyed. Finally, the manager, 
or somebody, came to our table and asked how we were doing, I 
complained that we had been waiting forever to be served and no 
server had even come to our table. Unbelievably, the manager seemed 
to understand. “Yes, we are understaffed but there’s nothing that 
can be done about it right now.” My golfing partner is a Republican 
and explained to me that because of the increased wages required 
by Democrats, commercial establishments could not afford to hire 
sufficient staff without raising prices and losing business. I really 
didn't care, I just wanted to eat.

 Yesterday, I received a long-awaited telephone call from a doctor 
who called to review the CT contrast test of my liver. This phone 
consultation was necessary because no in-person appointments with 
a doctor were available for over a month. Okay, now get this, the first 
thing the Doctor said to me was “you have to stop drinking.” This was 
absolutely crazy to me, and I told the doctor that I never drink. He 
went through this whole, “You mean you never had a drink in your 
life” stuff which really offended me. I am diabetic, my father was 
diabetic, and alcohol has absolutely never been a part of my life.

The doctor tried to explain to me that tests indicated that I had 
cirrhosis of the liver which was associated with alcohol abuse. I told 
him I didn’t care what the tests showed; I had never had ten drinks 
in my whole life. The doctor began to look at the whole test result, 
probably for the first time, and finally said that there was such a 
thing as non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver and that he would place a 
referral to a gastroenterologist. Of course, I have not yet received such 
a referral and his last piece of advice to me was to be sure not to drink 
alcohol. Great.

Yes, I shouldn’t complain. After all I am a privileged 80-year-old 
American White Man in no actual discomfort. Somewhere along the 
way I picked up a copy of THE WAY OF NAGOMI, The Japanese 
PHILOSOPHY OF FINDING PEACE. The book begins by explaining 
that the Japanese are famous for keeping a low profile. This is 
contrasted with the Western way of being assertive, controversial, and 
occasionally disruptive. (I wonder who they’re talking about!)

Still I’m trying to understand the book and to bring some peace and 
balance to my life. Part of that process is to keep writing these weekly 
articles and if you’ve gotten this far, I congratulate you for continuing 
to struggle along with me. I hope we survive the storm and all the 
other terrifying news, and of course. I promise not to drink; although 
that’s getting more difficult.

By the way, in case you missed it. There is a subtle overall point to this 
little essay. The economy and the resultant understaffing may well 
be one of the causes of the entire society’s reported confusion and 
depression. Maybe, I am not just writing about myself. 


This week is known in our western culture as Easter Week. The week we 
annually remember the arrest, trial, execution, and, for many of us, the 
resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

Think about Jesus Christ’s impact for a moment. Even those countries with 
zero ties to Christianity still use the BC and AD distinction to separate all of time. Many now 
call it B.C.E. (before common era) and C.E. (common era). We still live to this day centered 
around the same time frame. “B.C.” stands for “before Christ”. And “A.D.” stands for, no, not 
“after death”, but “anno domini” (Latin for “in the year of the Lord”) referring to the birth of 
Jesus Christ.

And though many Asian and most Muslim countries use a different system internally with 
different years, they also stick with the common system for what should be obvious reasons.

So, methinks me will come out of the closet. Yes, I am a Christian. As you know, it doesn’t stop 
me from trying to be funny, trying to make you laugh (or at least chuckle now and then) and 
enjoy life. I also, (as my grandmother would say, “for land’s sakes”) perform rock and roll at 
Nano Café, Corfu Restaurant and wherever they will give me an opportunity…even in church.

Do I think I’m better than anyone else? LOL! Quite the contrary. But I do believe Jesus is who 
He said He is. And he has a keen interest in all of humanity. God considers us the “apple of His 
eye” (though I think dolphins could overtake us someday soon, lol). What’s more He has an 
eternal purpose and destiny for us if we want it.

I leave you this week with a poem, written 98 years ago about Jesus. The poem written by James 
Allan Francis is entitled “One Solitary Life”. 

“He was born in an obscure village. The child of a peasant woman.

He grew up in another obscure village where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty.

 He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never went to college.

 He never visited a big city. He never traveled more than two hundred miles from the place where 
he was born. 

He did none of the things usually associated with greatness. He had no credentials but himself. 

He was only thirty-three. His friends ran away. One of them denied him. He was turned over to 
his enemies.

And went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. 

While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth. 

When he was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. 

Nineteen centuries have come and gone. And today Jesus is the central figure of the human race. 

And the leader of mankind's progress. All the armies that have ever marched. All the navies that 
have ever sailed. All the parliaments that have ever sat. 

All the kings that ever reigned put together have not affected the life of mankind on earth as 
powerfully as that… one solitary life!

P.S. If you haven’t ever checked this show out, look for the series “The Chosen”. It marvelously 
portrays Jesus very much like I think He was and still is. Go to for more info. 

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My 13-year-old goddaughter still can’t understand 
how telephone busy signals used to work.

She can’t help it. At 13, she’s a member of the Gen 
Alpha generation, kids born between 2010 and 
2024, which is the first generation to NOT know 
what life was like before social media and artificial 
intelligence were everywhere.

I tried to explain that before call waiting was commonplace in the mid-
1980s, a caller would get a busy signal if a phone line was being used.

When I was in high school, I told her, we only had one telephone line. 
My father, a Bell Telephone man, installed five heavy-duty phones in 
our house, but all of them were connected to a single landline.

When someone called us, the ringing brass bells created such a 
hullabaloo, it sounded like someone was breaking into the Fort Knox 
Bullion Depository. But the bells didn’t ring often, because, between 
my mother and five sisters, somebody was always tying up the line.

When I needed a ride home after football practice, I placed a dime 
into the pay phone, turned the rotary dial with my finger and was then 
greeted by an annoyingly loud buzzer that suggested: Loser! Try again!

This silly story illustrates the stark contrast between the innocent 
childhood I experienced as a tail-end Baby Boomer and the all-
digitized childhood she is experiencing as a Gen Alpha.

Modern childhood is fraught with digital landmines.

According to The American Academy of Child and Adolescent 
Psychiatry, children between 8 and 12 spend 4 to 6 hours a day using 
digital devices, such as smartphones, while teens spend up to 9 hours.

AACAP says unmonitored children are likely to be exposed and 
influenced by risk-taking behaviors, sexual content, substance use, 
negative stereotypes, misinformation and advertising aimed at 
motivating a child to buy or act.

It’s no wonder, according to AACAP, that children exposed to too 
much screen time suffer things like sleep problems, lower self-esteem, 
too little face-to-face social interaction with family and friends and less 
time outdoors enjoying physical activity.

Research psychologist Dr. Jean Twenge says that a surge in Gen Z 
mental health issues is the direct result of the rise of smartphones and 
social media, which began in earnest in 2012.

“Happiness started to decline, life satisfaction declined, expectations 
went down,” Dr. Twenge told the New York Post. “Depression went up, 
and this pessimism really took root among young people.”

She says the hyper-connectivity of social media proved to be an 
unmitigated experiment for Gen Z — and also an unmitigated disaster 
for nurturing our most anxious and unhappy generation yet.

Twenge and others argue that all parents need to unite and make sure 
their kids are not exposed to social media too early.

Parents also need better tools to monitor and regulate their kids’ 
social media usage and she says the government must play a bigger 
role, giving them more robust tools to monitor and restrict the content 
children are able to access.

The debate around regulating social media and, now, AI, is going 
to be robust, as it should be – especially since we already know that 
unfettered social media has damaged one generation.

I called my goddaughter to warn her about the perils of social media, 
but she never answers.

Apparently, talking on the phone is something only a “pre-millennial” 
dork would attempt to do.

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