Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 15, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 12

12 Mountain View News Saturday, May 15, 2021 OPINION 12 Mountain View News Saturday, May 15, 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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Yesterday, the editor of this newspaper asked me to create a 

title for my weekly columns. I have been writing and submit

ting the columns to the paper, on and off, for fourteen years 

and have managed quite well to survive without requiring 

a title but times change. All right; “Put The Lights On” will 

be the heading above all of my future articles unless I am 

asked again to make a change. Like everything else I have 

little control over what changes may be required but I will do 

what I must in order that my column will survive. The first 

question you might have is why do I write these columns in 

the first place? Good question—I wish I could answer it. Let 

me say at the outset that I have no intent to convince anyone 
of anything. I am not an advocate of any particular position---okay I take that 
back. I do advocate in favor of reason, in favor of independent thinking, in favor of 
educating myself about present day happenings and sharing what I have learned, or 
what I have thought I have learned with others.

I admit that writing these articles does meet some very personal needs. After 
I write the articles I do my best, together with my wife, at proofreading them. 
Anyone who has followed these articles will realize straight away that we are not experts 
at this task. Really, why should she have to participate at all in the submission 
of these articles which frequently contain opinions and conclusions with which she 
disagrees; or even worse, when she finds the entire column disorganized, difficult to 
understand, and perhaps banal. 

So why does she help? I think I know the answer. She helps because we 
have been married twenty five years and without ever discussing it she deeply understands 
that the writing and submission of the columns are deeply important to 
me and the unwritten and unstated rule of our marriage is that when something is 
very important to one of the partners the other partner will do his or her best to go 
along. Perhaps that is the secret of all good marriages and one of the main secrets 
to survival of our entire specie. I read recently that 99% of all species of animal life 
that have ever walked, crawled, flew, or swam across this planet have now become 
extinct. Since the dropping by this country of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and 
Nagasaki almost seventy five years ago it has become indisputably clear that Science 
and Technology have progressed to the extent that a number of countries have the 
capability of initiating the process whereby the whole specie destroys itself. 

Stop and think about it! How has humankind managed to maintain a kind 
of overall global saving peace while there continues every day to be local wars, inequalities, 
continuing religious differences, and a deep distrust of every other country 
often including one’s own. Really our survival, just like the survival of a long 
marriage is a remarkable achievement that seems to get much more difficult each 
day. My wife knows how important these articles are to me and she is willing to 
do what is necessary to make peace. That, I believe, is how world peace has been 
maintained through understanding the most important needs of our allies and enemies. 
It is maintained by tolerating differences, agreeing to disagree but keeping 
these disagreements within limits and uniting together when global cooperation is 
necessary. Today of course the pandemic, the continual global warming, and the 
stockpiling of nuclear weapons threaten all of our survival. Nevertheless, I choose 
to believe that this specie will continue to survive for a very long time. I assert that 
one of the ways each of us can assist in this survival is by maintaining happy marriages, 
having good caring relations with our extended families and friends and 
even strangers and to do our best to understand our own motivations and actions. I 
would like to think that my writing and your reading my articles contributes to the 
saving of the world. Probably not—but if it’s okay with you I still want to consider 
that as a possibility. 

If anything that I write motivates you to contact me please email at stuarttolchin@ 



It wasn’t the Welcome Wagon I had hoped for. A week after we 
moved in, a flicker of movement in our backyard caught my eye.
There he was, lounging in our hot tub, buck naked. I froze. We 
were new transplants to the West Coast, was this what people 
meant when they described Californians as liberal and laid back? 
Our eyes locked. He yawned and submerged into the bubbling 
froth. Inside, my dog barked furiously, specks of white foam dot

ted her whiskers. He took the hint and clumsily lumbered out. Shoulders high, he 
swaggered to the rear of the yard, his jiggly bits leaving a trail of chlorinated water. 
I yelled an unneighborly epithet at him. He let loose with an unprintable response 
and hopped the fence. 
That afternoon I ringed the backyard with a dozen cans of bear spray. 

I've spent most of my life in mega cities. Skylines full of buildings commonly topping 
100 stories or more. Mega cities where the population count exceeds 75% of all 
nations. Where “personal space” is something you read about in travel magazines. 
There are no sounds of silence in the city. When I lived in Shanghai, thick rubber 
earplugs designed for heavy metal stage managers were essential sleep gear. Most 
nights, drunken revelers bumped into the parked cars lining the street, setting off a 
calvacade of car alarms below my apartment window. But though these cities had 
an over abundance of people, undomesticated animals - not so much. Even Pizza 
Rat was AWOL. 

My first impression of living up in the foothills was the stillness of it. No car horns, 
police sirens, wild romantic altercations. It was jarringly quiet. 
Then came the birds. Gabby parrots. Flocks of green and red splotched motormouths. 
Camouflaged in the tree canopies, they start squawking hours before 
roosters even see sunrise. We tried blaring recordings of their predator, a red tailed 
hawk. The parrots chattered - I think laughed actually - even louder. 

Then weird poop showed up in the backyard. Right away I knew it wasn’t my dog's 
because she doesn’t like acorns, especially whole and unshelled. One evening at 
dusk, a blood-curdling howl pierced the house, was my husband trying to sing 
“Midnight Train to Georgia” again? Nope, it had to be coyotes. Sure enough, photos 
of coyote packs popped up in the neighborhood Facebook feed the next day. 

My dog, an urbanite through and through, was ecstatic upon our move here, to 
discover “SQUIRRELS!” Her current arch nemesis, a gray tree squirrel, lives far 
above her reach in our backyard. Their life goals are symbiotic. My dog's is to catch 
and eat it. The squirrel's is to drive my dog crazy, teasingly keeping a few inches 
away from her salivating chompers. Together they’re boisterous like the comedy 
duo Laurel and Hardy, that is, if Hardy wanted to eat Laurel. 

But then I came upon the most dangerous animals in town. Weekend mornings, 
mobs of cyclists flew through the village streets - stop signs be damned. They stuffed 
themselves in neon hued spandex tube shorts. Their jiggly bits all tightly packed in. 
They would congregate at the corner Starbucks, hoarding the few outdoor seats our 
local seniors hoarded the rest of the week. The cyclist with his caramel-half-shotoatmeal-
milk Frappuccino and the senior with her chipped “Best Grandma Ever” 
mug of Folgers squared off over the last empty chair. It looked like a beat down was 
coming but then a bear plodded by and there were empty chairs as far as you could 

Sung to the tune of “Green Acres”
Green acres is the place to beFoothill livin' is the life for me 
Bears and coyotes run canyon wideKeep DTLA, just give me that countryside 

Email me at 
Read more at: 



Decades ago my sister Maureen often used to call the Republican 
Party “The Stupid Party.” Today, the Party of 
Lincoln – the Party of Reagan – is again proving her right. 

Instead of concentrating on retaking the House next year 
and regaining control of the Senate, the GOP is looking 
backwards and engaging in in-tra-party squabbles. 

Instead of uniting to attack – and stop – President Biden’s 

plans to turn the U.S. into the United Socialist States of America, the GOP is 
still fighting over the results of the 2020 election. 

The party’s leaders aren’t able to take advantage of Biden’s early blunders because 
of one man – Donald Trump. 

By refusing to shut up about how he was cheated in 2020, and teasing everyone 
about whether he’ll run in 2024, Trump is not just splintering and distracting 
the Republican Party. He’s also giving the lazy national media an excuse 
to focus on him every day, instead of covering the Biden-created crisis at the 
southern border and other Biden fiascos-in-the-making. 

I agree with Rep. Liz Cheney when she says Trump has to get over Nov. 3. He 
lost. It’s over. It’s history. He has to face it and stop branding it “The Big Lie.” 
Given his ego and need to make headlines every day, I don’t think he’ll be able 
to shut up about the past and look to the future. 

But Republicans in federal and state office have to stop buying in to “The Big 
Lie” to make Trump happy with them. 

The best thing they can do is ignore Trump, forget about primaries, get unified 
and figure out how to win the general elections next year. 

Republicans also have to figure out how to stay at the top of the news, talking 
about what our view of America is, what we are doing and how we’re going to 
do it – as a party. 

We should leave Cheney in her position as House GOP conference chair, the 
No. 3 spot in the party. (It’s not like she’s a maverick. She voted with Trump 92 
percent of the time.) 

In any case, I don’t want a 100 percent party of conservative robots. 

We are always going to have people on the fringes of the party who are going to 
agree or disagree on certain issues. 

We can’t say if you don’t agree 100 percent with the Republican majority or the 
leadership we’re going to kick you out of the party. 

Cheney simply got tired of Trump talking about Nov. 3. 

She spoke out because she doesn’t want “The Big Lie” to be used against the 
party in the 2022 elections. 

I’m tired of “The Big Lie” too. So are lots of other people. 

Cheney wants the party to move on and work on winning back the House and 
Senate. So do I. 

The GOP will never win back Congress or block the socialist visions of Biden 
if the focus continues to be about Donald Trump and his vision for America. 

It’s got to be about the Republican Party’s vision, and it’s up to GOP lead-ers in 
Washington to lead – so please lead. 

Trump can be a supporter of the party or even its leader, but he has to behave 
like a leader. 

By teasing about running in 2024 or hinting that he’d choose Florida Gov. De-
Santis as his VP, he’s hurting other Republicans. 

He prevents other potential presidential candidates like DeSantis from fundraising 
and doing what they need to do to prepare for 2024. 

Trump can make the party stronger if he does what my dad did and puts the 
party and the country above himself and works with others to get things done. 

What Biden and the progressive Democrats are trying to pull off is a huge giftto Republicans. Biden is going to be Jimmy Carter 2.0. 

But to take advantage of the mistakes of the power-hungry Democrats, the Party 
of Reagan has to stop being stupid and start being smart. 

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

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