Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, March 13, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 14

OPINIONMountain View News Saturday, March 13, 2021 14 OPINIONMountain View News Saturday, March 13, 2021 14 




Susan Henderson 


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello 


John Aveny 



Stuart Tolchin 
Audrey SwansonMary 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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These are troubling times. Americans are surrounded 

by discussions involving the appropriateness of Dr. Seuss 

books and the behavior of the British Royal Family regarding 

the shades of skin color of their great grandchild. Is there 

perhaps too much attention paid to presently controversial 

inconsequential matters while important extremely visible 

problems are overlooked. Jonathan Swift, an Anglican Priest 

reacting to what he believed to be the confusion of combining 

separate social problems and reaching inappropriate 

solutions made the “modest proposal” that problem of 

famine in Ireland together with the chronic misbehavior 

of children could both be solved by encouraging the Irish 

to simply sell their misbehaving children for money which 
could then be used to purchase food. 

 Today, in these post “Me Too” movement times Americans are increasingly 
aware of potentially male injurious sexual and/or violent behavior of various degrees. 
In an attempt to solve very different problematic categories a one solution fits all 
offensive behaviors of any kind has been the result. Inappropriate Male sexual behavior 
ranging at the extreme of one end characterized by rape or murder and on the other 
end to potentially insulting comments or stares or perhaps frequent inadvertent 
touching or displays may now result in immediate ostracism, required resignations or 
firings. Previous achievements of the now dishonored individual are almost asked to 
be erased from memory. As a result of this policy the offending person is perpetually 
humiliated, his achievements are erased but furthermore the public can no longer 
benefit from the talents of the individual. Furthermore the offended person rarely 
receives benefit from these future penalties.

 At this time last year, Governor Cuomo of New York was thought by many 
to be a future American President. Today, based upon improper sexual comments 
(comments) which may have been misunderstood, there are strong demands that 
he resign from office I do not deny that Men especially Men in power often act in 
impolite and offensive ways toward women. President William Jefferson Clinton was 
impeached relating to consensual sexual-behavior while the succeeding President 
remained in office for two terms after admittedly providing false information and 
commencing an unnecessary war. which has resulted in the continuing destabilization 
of the Middle East. Returning to that name Jefferson, should that little document 
known as the Declaration of Independence be ignored and prohibited from public 
view? I agree that it is completely improper to include these individuals together for 
very different classifications of offensive sexual behavior and that is my very point 
consistent with the satirical point made by the Modest Proposal satirist, Jonathan 

Obviously MEN, all Men are the potential problem. Today, there haves 
been prohibitions affecting men and their work after demonstrated questionable 
(maybe some unquestionable) sexual past misconduct. Frankly, I still miss Charlie 
Rose interviews and Kevin Spacey movies and I wish Al Franken was still in the Senate 
and I want Woody Allen to keep making movies until he dies or even after, if possible. 
Is there a possible deterrent that will stop all unacceptable behaviors? Lewis Carrol 
in Chapter 9 of the famous children’s book Alice in Wonderland describes the Red 
Queen who much like Trump supporters of prior election year cycles yelled threats 
at speakers before anything is even said. Rather than the threatened “Lock her up” of 
today, yesterday, and I hope not tomorrow, the Queen yelled “Off with their heads” for 
no particular reason. Perhaps the threat today should be redirected; rather than “Off 
with their heads” the threatened penalty should be “Off with their ___”. You can guess 
what I mean. Perhaps this threat will stop all offensive behavior before it happens; or 
is my suggestion an offensive and confused overreaction? If such is the case I am not 
alone in my confusion. At least I received my inoculation shots but am still confused 
as to whether I am protecting myself or everyone else. These are troubling times! 




How fortunate we are that Joe Biden is in the room where it 


As evidenced Thursday night, during his Fireside Chat-style as

sessment of America on the cusp of recovery, he is the manifest 

inverse of the fraud who preceded him.

Granted, Trump set the bar so low that even an ant could hurdle 

it. Never-theless, it was refreshing to be reminded what a real 

president sounds like. A real president focuses on us instead of 

flattering himself. A real president levels with us instead of lying. And a real presi

dent actually tries to summon the powers of his office to help people instead of 

killing them off.

Ask yourself whether we’d be mass vaccinating – and on track to normalcy by 

the fourth of July – if we were still stuck with The Former Guy. Not a chance. 

He had already done enough damage. As the New England Jour-nal of Medicine 

reported last fall, “Instead of relying on expertise, the ad-ministration has turned 

to…charlatans who obscure the truth and facilitate the promulgation of outright 

lies…Trump’s rejection of evidence and pub-lic health measures has been cata

strophic.” And as The Lancet, a British medical journal, concluded last month, 

Trump’s “appalling response” to the pandemic caused “tens of thousands of un

necessary deaths.” 

But enough about him.

Biden is demonstrating – his newly signed Rescue Plan buttresses his rhetoric – 

that the federal government can be a force for good in bad times. He said last 

night: “Put trust and faith in our government to fulfill its most important function, 

which is protecting the American people. No function more important. We need 

to remember, the government isn’t some foreign force in a distant capital. No, it’s 

us, all of us.” 

Republicans and conservatives have spent decades maligning and seeking to sabo

tage “big government.” Ronald Reagan famously quipped, “The nine most terrify

ing words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the gov-ernment and I’m here to 

help.’” Well, guess what: When tens of millions of people are suffering – medically, 

economically and spiritually – and when states and localities can’t shoulder that 

burden, it behooves “big govern-ment” to step up.

Indeed, many Americans who normally mouth the tiresome talking points about 

“socialism” are more than happy to accept that proffered help. Check out the CNN 

report from red West Virginia, where a Trump voter says he’ll gladly use his stimu

lus check “to pay off the rent, pay off the bills. People are behind, you know? I’m sure 

I’m not the only one.” Check out the polls that show 75 percent support for Biden’s 

rescue package – including 59 percent support from self-identified Republicans.

Biden lamented that, in recent years, “we lost faith in whether our gov-ernment 

and our democracy can deliver on really hard things for the American people.” 

His abiding mission is to rekindle that faith – to save lives and ultimately save 

democracy from the threat of home-grown fas-cism – by delivering for the Ameri

can people, regardless of whether they voted blue, regardless of what “the loudest 

voices say on cable or online.” 

There are times when the urgent need for federal help transcends ideolo-gy, when 

it is not a matter of “left” or “right,” when it is merely the logical decent course of 

human events. Biden instinctively understands that this is one of those times.

Arguably Biden’s best asset, as evidenced again Thursday night, is that he connects 

with people’s pain. An empath is someone who’s highly attuned to the emotions of 

those around them, to the point of feeling those emo-tions himself.

Perhaps any president (except the last one) would’ve said these words: “We are 

fundamentally a people who want to be with others, to talk, to laugh, to hug, to 

hold one another. But this virus has kept us apart. Grandparents haven’t seen their 

children or grandchildren. Parents ha-ven’t seen their kids. Kids haven’t seen their 

friends. The things we used to do that always filled us with joy have become things 

we couldn’t do and broke our hearts.” But Biden – by dint of his DNA and seasoned 

by his own tragedies – exudes the emotions behind the words.

With 20/20 hindsight, it’s lucky for us that he bombed as a presidential candi

date in 1988 and 2008, because – a bit like Winston Churchill, who finally became 

prime minister in wartime 1940 after serial setbacks – Biden has landed in the 

moment that suits him best. 

He will suffer defeats, as all presidents do. But this is his time. And he wants it to 

be ours. 

–Dick Polman, a veteran national political columnist based in Philadelphia 



World Hearing Day is celebrated every March, with 
this year’s theme, “Hearing Care for All.” Down 
through Major League Baseball’s rich history, several 
deaf players have enriched the national pastime.
In his book “Deaf Players in Major League Baseball: 
A History 1883 to the Present,” R.A.R. Edwards explained 
how players’ deafness enhanced their diamond skills, and helped 
broaden Americans’ understanding about the hearing-impaired community. 
Luther Taylor, one of John J. McGraw’s most reliable New York Giants’ 
hurlers, won 116 games during his nine-year ca-reer from 1900-1909.
In 1945, the Cincinnati Reds’ Dick Sipek played left, center and right field. 
Sipek’s career ended prematurely when he broke his collarbone diving for 
a fly ball. More recently, Curtis Pride, who studied at William and Mary 
College and currently coaches at Gallaudet College, enjoyed productive 
years in the big leagues from 1993 to 2006 where he hit a career .250.
The most well-known among hearing-impaired baseball players is the 
Dead Ball era superstar William Ellsworth Hoy who had the then-acceptable 
but today unthinkable nickname “Dummy.” Hoy’s nickname never 
offended him. He promptly reminded those who addressed him as Bill or 
William that he preferred “Dummy.” 
In Hoy’s 14 years that began in 1888 and ended in 1902, he demonstrated 
Hall of Fame credentials. Hoy, who played in four different major leagues, 
could hit, .288, steal bases, and cover a wide swatch of center field grass; he 
set long-standing games played, assists and outfield double plays rec-ords. 
In 1889, playing for the Louisville Colonels, Hoy also set an MLB rec-ord, 
since tied twice, by throwing out three runners at home in one game. The 
catcher who recorded the outs was baseball immortal Connie Mack. 
A historic baseball moment occurred in 1902 when Hoy, then with the 
Reds, batted against the Giants’ Taylor – the only time two deaf players 
faced each other, pitcher versus batter. When Hoy first took his place in 
the batter’s box, he signed to Taylor, “I’m glad to see you!” and then singled 
crisply to center. Modern day fans mistakenly attribute Hoy for having 
developed hand signals for outfield play. Instead, his fellow outfielders 
waited to hear Hoy’s call – his roommate Tommy Leach called it “a little 
squeaky sound” – indicating that he was about to make the catch. Efforts 
to get Hoy inducted into the HOF, mostly led by the USA Deaf Sports Federation, 
fell short. But Hoy was a beloved figure wherever he went until his 
1961 death at age 99.
Post-1961, medical science made huge advancements in hearing impairment 
treatment. The improvements helped New York Yankee jack-of-alltrades 
Gil McDougald who played ten seasons, including as part of eight 
pennant-winning teams and six World Series crowns, while alternating 
between second, third and shortstop with equal skill. All-Star voters elected 
McDougald, the 1951 Rookie of the Year, to the mid-season classic six 
times at all three positions.
McDougald is inexorably linked to Cleveland Indians’ flamethrower 
Herb Score when in 1957 his line drive struck the lefty in his eye and 
nearly blinded him, a tragedy from which the Yankee batsman never fully 
Years later, and well after his Yankees’ 1961 retirement, McDougald would 
have his own sensory challenges. Struck by an errant batting practice ball 
back in 1955, McDougald, now a Fordham University coach, noticed a 
hearing loss that gradually became more pronounced. Eventually, Mc-
Dougald withdrew from society. He sold his businesses, stopped using 
the phone, and unable to understand family table-talk, dined alone in his 
By the late 1980s, McDougald was totally deaf. But when a New York 
Times sports reporter wrote about McDougald’s deafness, New York University 
Medical Center’s otolaryngology chief received the struggling explayer’s 
permission to perform a cochlear implant. Six weeks later, Mc-
Dougald could hear again, and he campaigned until his death at age 82 for 
others to undergo the procedure.
Like Taylor, Sipek, Pride and Hoy before him, McDougald was admired 
among his peers, and is an inspiration to the world’s 400 million hearing-
impaired, and baseball fans everywhere. 

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