Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, April 3, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 12

12 Mountain View News Saturday, April 3, 2021 OPINION 12 Mountain View News Saturday, April 3, 2021 OPINION 




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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My boyhood ended in 1961, the year that I graduated 
High School and began College carpooling with friends 
from North Hollywood to Westwood. Until then I lived a 
very sheltered life bicycling to and from school, doing my 
newspaper routes and then rushing back home to help my 
dad fill orders in the truck in which he carried cigarettes, 
candy, and sundries his next day deliveries. My world was 
small but it didn’t feel that way. Working nightly with my 
Dad and knowing that he was losing his eyesight but trying 
to keep that secret from the rest of the family gave me a sense 
of responsibility together with an overall anxiety about what 
was going to happen if he could not pass his eye test to renew 
his drivers license and continue to support our family. 

One of my proudest moments was when I snuck into the DMV office and 
memorized the eyechart, then went over the letters with my Dad. To this day I still 
remember those letters and am proud of myself and my Dad. My Dad seemed to have 
one goal and that was to take care of his family. We all worked together to survive. During 
the day my mom would take the orders from customers over the phone and at night my 
friends and I would fill the orders for delivery. As far as I knew the friends that helped 
were never paid and didn’t expect to be paid. 

During high school I never went out on a date or had much contact with girls. The 
telephone was off limits as it had to be kept clear for business calls and calls from distant 
relatives that we worried about. Also, there were charges for toll calls which meant that 
phone calls were a huge luxury which should be avoided; avoided as much as leaving the 
lights on in a room when the room wasn’t being used. (My wife says I still forget.) In the 
summer, every week day I would drive with my dad in our truck helping him to deliver 
the orders to the customers. On occasion when my Dad was unable to drive, he suffered 
from gout and diabetes just like I do, I would actually make the deliveries myself and my 
parents would congratulate me and I felt very proud. Really I had very few dreams for 
myself other than perhaps hitting a home run in a baseball game which I never did. 

What is the point of recounting this history to you? Right now I’m contemplating 
putting all of my articles into a book, there are over 400 of them, and sending that book 
out to my friends with little expectation that the book will ever be read. Even in this 
time of forced inactivity associated with the Covid Virus, my friends to whom I send the 
articles each week seem to have barely enough time to read them and then reply to me 
with their reactions. I long to receive these replies and hope that something in my articles 
moves my friends and my imaginary readers to experience their own feeling and fears and 
achievements in the privacy of their own minds. When this happens I feel very proud and 
complete and believe I am fulfilling my responsibility to the world. 

Of course, another reason is that I want my granddaughter to someday read them. 
It is my dream that in twenty years, when I am no longer around, she may be interested 
in looking at the articles. I like to imagine that at this time she would share the writings 
with my son who has always had great trouble reading. Today my wife and my son and I 
took my granddaughter to a local park. My wife and I are getting older and more fatigued 
each day and it was a great pleasure to me to watch my son supervise his niece on the 
swings and slides. I loved hearing her call him “Uncle” and I imagine them having a 
close and affectionate relationship for the rest of their lives. Really, if that relationship 
grows to allow her to share my articles with him I couldn’t be more proud and I imagine 
my deceased parents experiencing a kind of cosmic pride as well. Alright, I have done 
my best to explain to you why these articles exist and why they are important to me. 
I know that this is an inadequate and incomplete explanation of why these articles are 
written in the first place. The further explanation is that the articles arise as integral to my 
responsibilities to my parents, my children, to you, and to the rest of the world and that I 
am doing the best that I can. 

We have all learned during this virus crisis about what is important to us. Right at the top 
of that list is our connection with those we love, past, present, and future, and to the whole 
world. Times have changed and we all live very differently but with a kind of privilege that 
could absolutely not be imagined even at the time I graduated High School. 




What welcome words these were, from a newly elected president: 
“We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure…our highways 
bridges, tunnels, airports…which will become second to none, 
and we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.” 

That must be Uncle Joe, right? 

Think again people. That was Trump, riffing in the wee hours 

of the dark night he was elected in 2016. But predictably, his 

purported quest to repair our crumbling infrastructure turned out to be just an

other con. 

So how refreshing it is to finally have an administration that’s willing to go big, 
because nothing less will suffice. 

President Biden’s progressive infrastructure plan carries a price tag 10 times bigger 
than the one Trump failed to fight for. He wants to pay for it by hiking taxes 
on those most able to afford it, and the public is on board. According to the latest 
national poll, 54 percent of Americans support a plan financed by a higher corporate 
tax rate and tax increases on people making more than $400,000 a year. 
(Only 27 percent oppose the idea.) 

With the wind at his back, Biden is well aware that now is the time to push hard 
for necessary transformational change. He clearly wants to be an acronym president 
in the mold of FDR and LBJ. “I’m convinced that if we act now, in 50 years 
people are going to look back and say this was the moment that America won the 
future,” he said Wednesday. 

Will he get everything he wants? Probably not. Republicans have already rediscovered 
their hostility to debts and deficits, neither of which they cared about 
during the MAGA era, so they’ll likely do nothing to help Biden repair America 
and put people back to work. The whole concept of using federal spending to 
address long-festering crises (economic, social, foundational) is anathema to a 
cult-of-personality party that equates governance with trash talking on Twitter. 
And it’s hard to foresee the GOP buying Biden’s provisions to expand Amtrak. 

In the end, it may be necessary in the Senate to squeeze the infrastructure plan 
through the “reconciliation” procedure (as happened with the COVID-19 rescue 
plan) because it’s budget-related and thus would require only a simple (Democratic) 
majority rather than the artificial 60-vote filibuster threshold. And along 
the way, some wish-list provisions that don’t quite meet the definition of “infrastructure” 
(strengthening labor unions; spending $400 billion on home caretakers 
for the elderly and disabled) could wind up excised. 

Nor are all Democrats united on everything. Some progressives still don’t think 
the infrastructure plan is big enough, while some centrists think it’s too ambitious 
for the business groups that need to be brought on board. On the other 
hand, surely there’s some common ground, even between the parties, because 
who can possibly be “against” repairing highways and bridges – which will create 
jobs in every state, red and blue? 

The time is now to go bold, because if not now, when? Biden’s plan in the broadest 
sense connects with Democrats and independents – and by any measure 
of self-interest, it theoretically should appeal to Republican Senate and House 
members who care about bringing home the bacon to their states and districts. 
They’ll probably vote against it anyway, then boast in press releases about the arriving 
bacon – as many have done with the COVID-19 rescue benefits. 

Most importantly, a president whose election derailed America’s march to autocracy 
feels the weight of this historic crossroads. As he said Wednesday, “I truly 
believe we’re in a moment where history is going to look back on this time as a 
fundamental choice having been made between democracies and autocracies… 
It’s a basic question. Can democracies still deliver for their people? Can they get 
a majority? I believe we can. I believe we must.” 

When Obamacare was enacted a decade ago, Biden famously blurted that it was 
“a big f-g deal.” What he’s proposing now is far more ambitious – much to the 
surprise of those on the left who fought him in the Democratic primaries. 

If he can pull off a sizeable chunk of the sweeping infrastructure package, that 
BFD could put him in the history books as JRB. 

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



The Pandemic of 2020 was a tragedy 
for the whole world. 

But our all-out war against the coronavirus 
taught Americans a bunch of 
important lessons. 

It proved that our political system in 
Washington is a partisan train wreck. 

It proved that you can’t teach kids by 
Zoom as well as you can in person. 

It proved that the CDC doesn’t know 
what it’s doing and Blue State governors 
will issue sweeping lockdowns 
even when they have no idea how 
much collateral harm they’ll do to 
the rest of society. 

And on a much, much lighter note – 
and as a way to mark Opening Day of 
the 2021 Major League Baseball season 
– the pandemic proved to us that 
America’s former national past-time 
doesn’t need a 162-game season. 

Last year, because of lockdowns, 
teams played only 60 fan-free games, 
but the shorter season was probably 
good for everybody except ushers, 
vendors and betting parlors. 

I’m not the first baseball fan who 
watches the Weather Channel regularly 
to point out that starting the 
season in April and ending it in November 
in North America is crazy. 

For instance, on Thursday in Chicago 
the Cubs and Pirates started 
their opener at 2:30 p.m. with the 
temperature at 34 and a wind chill in 
the low 20s. 

The game slogged on for nearly four 
hours and the Pirates won. No word 
yet on survivors. 

The toll of frostbitten fans was held 
down only by Mayor Lightfoot’s determination 
that “her” city’s current 
COVID-19 statistics allowed 20 percent 
capacity at Wrigley Field. 

In other words, instead of 41,374 
shivering baseball nuts in Wrigley 
there were 8,274 – wearing masks 
when not eating or drinking hot 
chocolate and bunched together for 
about three hours in pods of four or 

In Pittsburgh, where it snowed on 
Thursday, the governor of Pennsylvania 
has kindly allowed the Pirates 
to fill PNC Park to 50 percent capacity 
for their home opener next week – 
about 19,000 fans (roughly the 2019 
season attendance average). 

Other stadium capacities are all over 
the lot: 25 percent in Miami, 20 percent 
in Yankee Stadium and just 12 
percent in Boston. 


In the still great 
state of Texas, 
the capacity at 
the Rangers’ 
Globe Life Field 
was set at 100 
percent, a figure 
that made a 
nerdy writer at the New York Times 
gulp in fear and loathing. 

Baseball is a great game, and I’m glad 
it’s back. But it’s just not as much fun 

The last time it was truly fun was in 
1998 when Mark McGwire’s of the 
Cardinals and Sammy Sosa of the 
Cubs had their epic home run chase 
and both erased Roger Maris’ season 
record of 61 set in 1961. 

McGwire ended up with 70 homers 
and Sosa 66 and the league promoted 
the heck out of the race. 

Though it was tainted by McGwire’s 
admission that he used performance-
enhancing drugs – “juices” that were 
legal at the time – it made baseball 
exciting, fun and something for fans 
to follow day by day. 

Baseball was fun for Los Angeles fans 
last year when the Dodgers won the 
World Series, but the best part of the 
2020 season was its shortness. 

Now we’re back to 162 three-hour 
games that won’t start to mean anything 
for the best teams until September, 
when the fight for the playoffs 
gets serious. 

I have friends who just paid $14,000 
for four season tickets to the Dodgers. 
That means 81 long days and 
nights ahead at Dodger Stadium. 

I don’t care how good L.A. is this 
year, you’ve got to be a certified baseball 
addict to endure that kind of 

After last year’s shortened season, 
baseball probably needs a 162-game 
schedule this year to satisfy its hardcore 
fan base. 

But except for the major market 
teams with deep pockets, most teams 
will be out of the pennant race by 
mid-May and for the rest of the year 
they’d be thrilled to see their ballparks 
even a third filled. 

If those teams want to pretend they 
are bumping up against the COVID-
19 capacity limits, they better 
keep about 10,000 of their cardboard 
cutout fans ready. 

–Michael Reagan, the son of President Ronald 
Reagan, is an author, speaker and president 
of the Reagan Legacy Foundation. 

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