Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, June 22, 2024

MVNews this week:  Page 13



Mountain Views-News Saturday, June 22, 2024 




Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 


Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 


Peter Lamendola


Michele Kidd

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






Movies and tv shows play at best, a significant role in our quality of 
life, or at least, a diversion from the day-to-day realities of well…living!

We have our favorites. If you’re like me, there are a few movies we 
could watch over and over again. Other movies connect us to a special 
time in our lives, whether it be connected to a romantic memory or a 
movie you saw with your favorite group of guys or gals.

Stop and think about this. Many of the movies we love were not 
originally cast with the actor or actress we so associate with the film. Let’s take a peek at 
some “almost stars” shall we?

Michael Corleone, played marvelously by Al Pacino, would have starred Jack Nicholson 
had Jack said yes to the role. Nicholson said “Indians should play Indians and Italians 
should play Italians.”

Speaking of Al Pacino, had he said yes to some director with the last name Lucas, Indiana 
Jones would have had an Italian accent.

Who can forget Keanu Reeves breakthrough role in the three Matrix movies? I hope 
Keanu sends a Christmas card every year to the actor who turned down the role and still 
regrets turning it down to this day. His name is Will Smith (and he seemed to do okay 

Remember Clarice in The Silence of the Lambs? Jodie Foster won a Best Actress Oscar for 
her performance. Had director Jonathan Demme had his way, Clarice would have been 
played by Michelle Pfeiffer. Michelle thought the film was just too evil.

Speaking of Academy Awards, Jennifer Lawrence won one for her role of Tiffany in Silver 
Linings Playbook. Anne Hathaway turned down the role signing onto The Dark Knight 
Rises. Don’t feel too bad for Ms. Hathaway. She also won an Academy Award the same 
year as Jennifer. The award was for Anne’s supporting role in Les Miserables.

One of my favorite movies was Legally Blonde starring Reese Witherspoon. Role turned 
down by Married…with Children actress Christina Applegate. 

You may remember Titanic the movie. The powers that be wanted Gwyneth Paltrow to 
play the part of Rose. Gwyneth turned it down to play the lead in Great Expectations. So 
Kate Winslet ultimately won the role.

Back to the guys: Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance in Titanic would have gone to 
Matthew McConaughey had the studio had its way. Director James Cameron preferred 
DiCaprio and got his way. Maybe Cameron made the studio an offer they couldn’t refuse 

Speaking of Best Actor Oscars, the award Tom Hanks earned for his role as Forrest Gump, 
might have gone to John Travolta. John turned down Forrest Gump to Play Vincent Vega 
in Pulp Fiction. Probably the right move for Travolta…or so the critics say.

A couple of roles I reported on a few years back are worthy of revisiting: If you are old 
enough to remember the 1938 film The Adventures of Robin Hood, you know it starred 
Errol Flynn as Robin. Believe it or not, James Cagney was originally slated to play Robin. 
On a side note, if you look closely at Maid Marion on horseback in the film, her stead 
looks a lot like Roy Roger’s horse, Trigger. Wanna know a secret? It is Trigger, in his first 
movie role.

In closing one of the most sought after roles in Hollywood history, was the lead in the 
movie Patton. Four actors turned down the role: Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum, Telly 
Savalas and Rod Steiger.

One actor who wanted the role badly, was turned down by the producers. That actor’s 
real name was Marion Robert Morrison. You might know him better by his stage name, 
John Wayne. The role was played magnificently by George C. Scott. Mr. Scott won the 
Oscar for best actor. Mr. Scott also refused to accept the award. Too bad, his presenter 
was Goldie Hawn.

I just watched a tape of Monday’s the Daily Show with Jon 
Stewart and perhaps I shouldn't have. Prior to watching 
the replay of the show, I was all set to create an article 
describing the problems I see around me and wondering 
how they came about and what could be done to solve or 
at least alleviate these conditions. I was going to write 
from my vantage point as “a fly on the wall” and admit 
that I knew nothing and understood even less. Please understand that I am 
a retired person with almost no responsibilities. I almost never leave the 
house other than to go to the nearby Kaiser medical facility to keep medical 
appointments or to pick up medications.

I am aware that people are not feeling very safe. Not only do they not feel 
safe in the present, but they are petrified of what might happen in the future. 
Friends talk about moving elsewhere if Trump is elected. I received the 
following email from a friend; “If Trump wins expect him to completely gut 
government institutions and all Federal agencies and fill them with partisan 
hacks only loyal to him. He will weaponize the DOJ to file fraudulent charges 
against his political enemies then he will move to mass deportations. After 
four years, he will create chaotic circumstances to avoid leaving office, thus 
extending his “Presidency” indefinitely.” There are even more predictions 
including the fear that Trump would encourage his followers to violently riot, 
then use it as an excuse to impose martial law.

Another friend, an old friend from college, is fearful concerning the welfare 
of his Jewish Granddaughter (I too have one of those) and rants that all Jews 
should buy guns for protection. This suggestion particularly disturbs me as 
I can imagine well-armed Jews, inept and fractious like myself, getting into 
arguments and shooting each other.

In last week’s article I tried to explain or at least try and understand the 
thoughts of Trump supporters. This article so angered a longtime friend who 
thought I was suggesting not to vote for Biden that he has now requested to 
hear no longer from me and has terminated our70 year friendship. Another 
more recent friend, with scientific credentials, has told me not to worry 
because human beings, like all other animal species, will eventually become 
extinct. I did not find this very satisfying. 

I intended this article to explain how the present world-wide chaos came about 
but now I don’t feel I need to. Rev. Dr. William Barber explained that the 
popularity of Trump which has engendered all kinds of lawless misbehavior 
results from the perpetual plight of the working poor. In his book “White 
Poverty” Rev. Barber explains the kind of elitist attitude that has always 
existed in America from the days of the founding fathers forward. Many of 
us learned in School that the original privilege of voting was only available 
to Adult White Male Property Owners. He quotes statistics emphasizing 
the huge blocs of the working-poor of all races that simply do not vote and 
have never voted. According to Barber, no major American Political Party 
has ever made any attempt to appeal or involve this huge class of people. 
Rev. Barber maintains that change will come about, and everything will 
be okay again as the Political Parties realize that they must involve those 
who formerly have not been involved. That was the message on the Daily 
Show which I was ready to ignore until I looked up Jon Stewart on the web. 
I learned that his date of birth is November 28, the very same date as the 
birthdays of my two children born two years apart. What a positive omen. 
I now choose to believe that eventually all present problems will be brought 
under civilized and moral control. Believe me, such a belief, is infinitely 
more acceptable than the need to go out and buy a gun.

 Can not yielding to fears lead to a safer world. I believe it might and I am 
reassured by the fact that the aged ex-President cannot live forever and that 
his all-encompassing need for attention and power will no longer be a threat. 
That alone is reason to feel better.


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I’ve mixed feelings about Stuart Tolchin’s column last week on “Caretakers”. 
I agree Trump’s “adoring supporters” are “not mature adults. They need 
someone to take care of them . . .”, like an autocrat and/or cult leader – 
especially one with the enviable ability to get away with whatever.

Eight years ago, Trump’s response to Hillary Clinton’s charge he hadn’t paid 
federal income taxes was “That makes me smart.” Four years later, he said 
the upcoming election could have but two outcomes; either his winning or 
a “rigged” vote. Violating tax laws, dismissing our democracy or “grabbing 
beautiful women’s private parts” - the appeal is in not having to take 
responsibility or ac-cept consequences.

Stuart’s troubled by President Biden’s age, but what’s important is what one’s 
able to accomplish – at whatever age. In terms of historical consequence, 
Biden already ranks up there with LBJ: American Rescue Plan, Inflation 
Reduction Act, CHIPs and Science Act, etc.

Job growth with unemployment under 4% for the longest period since the 
1960s (11 million new jobs – 750,000 in manufacturing). Student debt relief 
for 40 million borrowers. 4 million workers newly qualified for time-and-
a-half overtime. Crackdowns on food monopolies in support of American 
farmers, and on illegal corporate union-busting. 

The most significant gun violence legislation in thirty years. Infrastructure 
projects in all fifty states (with Republicans once in opposition happily 
attending ribbon-cuttings). Renewables becoming our second-biggest 
source of electricity - surpassing coal and nuclear, second only to natural 
gas. More Americans than ever with health insurance, with costs coming 
down. Additional protections for reproductive rights and for those simply 
wanting to identify as who they are. A more diverse federal judiciary, 
including public defenders and civil rights attorneys – not just Federalist 
Society ideologues.

Post-covid economic recovery with inflation reduction swifter and more 
dramatic than any other nation. Once again, a respected leader on the 
global stage - no longer an embarrassment to our allies.

But Stuart loses it for me with his complaints about how Biden “can’t take 
care of his own family”, and how “problems within his own family makes it 
impossible to act as a responsible caretaker.” Say what?

We have a wonderful First Lady. Their daughter Ashley served fifteen 
years on Delaware’s Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their 
Families; a fashion designer dedicating her company’s profits to community 
programs, married to a physician. 

Is it Hunter that Stuart’s referring to concerning the president’s ability to 
“act as a responsible care-taker”? Hunter Biden is a 54-year-old adult with 
kids of his own, for gosh sakes!

He received three felony convictions (31 shy of Trump’s 34–and-counting) 
for illegal gun posses-sion and lying on paperwork to get the gun. Father 
embraced son, assured him of his love and support – and might’ve reminded 
him of what fathers tell sons from an early age; about the importance of 
taking responsibility for your actions and accepting the consequences. 
Which is precisely the reminder Trump and his supporters wouldn’t want 
to hear. Howard Hays, Sierra Madre


Here’s a story that is growing bigger by the day: Cyber scams are 
on the rise. My elderly family member fell for a common scam 
a few weeks ago: His screen appeared be locked by “Microsoft” 
and he was urged to call the number the phony security alert 

If you call that fake number, a fake Microsoft representative 
will ask you to provide access to your computer, so he can steal 
sensitive data or download malicious apps. To be sure, in the 
digital era in which we all now live 24/7, you must assume that 
every email, text and phone call might be a scam!

Google “ransomware attack” and you’ll see a sizable list of big companies and entire cities 
that have been completely shut down by scammers.

Scammers also spoof text messages. Apparently from reputable companies, such as banks, 
these messages trick individuals into revealing passwords or credit card numbers.

Scammers continue to succeed with the good old landline telephone, too. I received a call 
this year from a man claiming he was from the Social Security Administration, who told 
me my account was blocked and he would help me reactivate it.

Aware that Social Security never makes phone calls (unless you’re having a legitimate 
conversation with it), I knew what the scammer was after: my full name, birthdate, 
address and Social Security number.

I asked him how he could sleep at night, knowing he was hurting innocent people. He 
cussed at me and hung up.

The greatest worry about scammers is that elderly people are especially at risk. They’re 
more trusting of callers from government agencies and more likely to fall for one especially 
mendacious tax scam.

Using phishing techniques, scammers access data on a taxpayer’s computer, then use that 
stolen information to file a fraudulent tax return in the taxpayer’s name and have the 
refund — often larger than is actually owed — deposited into the taxpayer’s actual bank 

According to Intuit, the scammers then “contact their victims, telling them the money 
was mistakenly deposited into their accounts and asking them to return it.”

Many victims, fearful of the IRS, readily comply.

According to Pew Research, Americans view cybercrime as their greatest security 
concern. But what are government agencies doing to combat it? Not enough.

Americans are often victimized by scammers operating from elsewhere in the world. How 
can the bad guys be tracked down and forced to make amends?

Nation-states are often behind sophisticated attacks on organizations. Russian-financed 
scammers are actively targeting our utilities, election systems and other systems.

Creating new laws and agencies to combat cybercrime is a daunting challenge.

Cybersecurity bills passed by the U.S. House move slowly through the Senate. Even if the 
Senate passes them and the president signs them, regulators could take months to draft 
and implement actual policies. Scammers aren’t bogged down by such bureaucratic red 

What it comes down to is that every individual must learn to detect and avoid cyber 
scams. The Department of Homeland Security has helpful info at

Always verify that an email, text or link is legitimate before you click. Always be suspicious 
— because scammers are getting more sophisticated by the day.


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