Monday, July 2, 2012

Susan Henderson's Annual 4th of July "Everybody Shut Up!" Message Is Now Available

"... when you are in politics you are in a wasp's nest with a short-shirt, as the saying is." - Mark Twain

It usually happens just before something serious is about to occur. When elections get near, Susan Henderson invariably prints up one of her "everybody shut up!" editorials. And then there is the one that usually comes before the 4th of July, which is odd because this is normally a holiday when freedom of speech and all that is given a lot of the kind of phony baloney lip service that Susan specializes in. And, best of all, there are those times when serious issues are about to come to a head. We got multiple "shut ups!" around the time the dishonest water rate hike was going down, and this new one could additionally have something to do with Mayor Moran and his cronies trying to steal our Measure V vote. Something being done to benefit those very people who advertise in Susan's paper.

And I'm sure the remaining dotty old dears who still read the Looney Views News and Susan's oft repeated "everybody shut up!" messages heartily concur with her suggestion. After all, if it isn't about tatting doilies, the Police blotter, cooking the very best chocolate chip cookies in town or how long you've lived in Sierra Madre, what is the point of even discussing it? Beyond that they really don't care to know. Just as long as everyone is nice, and appreciates them for all that they do for the community.

Over the years, of course, Susan has committed more scathing and at times absurdly untrue attacks in her paper than there are glass figurines at the Womans Club. Which, I have been told, there are quite a few of them. I know that I personally have been accused by Susan of things like going through peoples' garbage cans, and on more than one occasion. Decidedly outre' behavior that was allegedly reported to the police. Upon further examination, and an interesting conversation with the SMPD, this turned out to be as bizarrely untrue as Susan's claims of possessing a law degree from UC Berkeley. A fib that, as most know, got her booted from the 2nd highest position in the California State Democratic Party (click here) for resume' padding. So there is that tang of audacious hypocrisy to her words as well.

The irony here being that the people in town who talk the most about civility and "everyone working together," are invariably among those who practice these virtues the least. They often turn out to be a lot less Rodney King and a whole lot more Vlad the Impaler.

Susan's column this 4th of July is entitled "236 Years Later And ...," and it appears that she is not very happy about how things are in America. Actually she seems unhappy about the whole 236 years. The reason being that, in her opinion, people have never respected each other as much as they should in this country.

I know what I wanted to say today, but I followed my habits and looked at the last six July 4th columns I had written. One of them, written just last year, really was disconcerting. It starts out, "Well, it's America's Birthday and hopefully we are getting old and wiser as we get older, right? I don't think so. Right now this country is in a mess."

Those words still hold true today and that is not good. Then, and now, I was not speaking of the economy which is actually better than it was last year, but rather speaking of our "inability to stop acting so sophomorically when it comes to everything else in our society."

Every day we seem to become less civilized in our dealings with each other, especially when it comes to our idealogical (sic) differences. I have watched with great dismay the level of respect that we have for those who think differently than we do deteriorate rapidly. However, isn't that supposed to be one of the premises that we will be celebrating on "Independence Day"?

Those "idealogical" differences aside, I am not certain that Susan is correct here. While I do not claim to be a Constitutional scholar by any means, I cannot recall anywhere in the United States Constitution any clause or edict, or even a polite suggestion, saying that politically correct behavior or imposed civility was to be a cornerstone for what became the most powerful and greatest nation on Earth, the United States of America.

Quite the contrary, what the Founding Fathers did guarantee was freedom of speech and the freedom of the press to say whatever it is they might wish to say. No matter what that might be, or who it may offend. And rather than being this nation's mighty avenging behavior nanny, the Constitution of the United States has been defined time and again by the United States Supreme Court as being the protector of just the kinds of speech Susan claims that it was written to oppose. Which is fortunate as the free press in America ranks among the world's most vital and respected. In part because there are no legally empowered Susan Hendersons around to tell folks what they can and cannot say.

Despite Susan's poor-mouthing of this country, somehow we did rise to become the envy of the world. And we did this despite the fact that people here are allowed to communicate pretty much whatever they wish, and about anything or anyone they so desire. It is one of our Constituionally guaranteed, and greatest, freedoms.

Of course, Susan isn't talking about all speech in this town, only that which contradicts what she wants to hear. There is nothing in this week's edition about Mayor Josh Moran's completely over-the-top attacks on a fellow Councilmember on Gene Goss's "Village Intersection" radio show. To my recollection the first of its kind ever committed by someone sitting in Sierra Madre's highest political perch. Nor was there ever anything about the nasty whispering campaign against MaryAnn MacGillivray during the last election. A smear campaign that many suspect Susan herself played a big role in helping to spread around town.

During the last Sierra Madre council race, I interviewed one of the candidates and asked why, when given the opportunity to publicly, and peacefully, stop an unnecessary attack on himself, he failed to address the issue. It would have been a perfect opportunity to set a good example to others. His answer was, "Well, I guess I didn't think about it." And therein lies one of the problems that we are letting destroy this country. As individuals, when given the opportunity to change the tone of the discourse, we just don't think about it. That's a problem that will destroy the country faster that (sic) a falling stock market.

Any candidate that doesn't reply to attacks during a campaign could very be something of a knucklehead and not deserve anyone's vote in the first place. Candidates who turn the other cheek usually end up with a very sore cheek and no office. Despite what Susan said earlier in her screed.

Somehow the United States, now 236 years old, the oldest and greatest democracy to ever rise in this troubled old world, did so without Susan Henderson telling everyone what they can and cannot say. And what we truly celebrate on the 4th of July are our freedoms here, freedoms that include the right to speak one's mind on whatever topic one chooses. To say, as Susan does both this week and year after year, that free speech is somehow destroying this country, is just flat-out crazy talk.

Of course, what Susan is actually saying here is that those who do not share her opinions, or choice in candidates, are uncivil and should be constrained from speaking. And that by "working together to solve our problems," she means that everyone should be doing things her way. Which makes her very much like some of those she grouses about in her opinion pieces. Her partisanship being no less rancorous than some of those mysterious figures she largely invented to complain about. And while it is certainly her right to say such things, it is also anyone's right to call her out on it. That's how it works.

In his Politics Daily (click here) article entitled "Mark Twain Has Been Gone 100 Years, But His Political Wisdom Endures," political correspondent Robert Schmuhl has this to say:

In his posthumously published "Autobiography," a comment on how people form their opinions sounds like a perception more pertinent to our time of continuous, multimedia political chatter: "In religion and politics peoples' beliefs are convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them are not worth a brass farthing."

And what about excessive partisanship? Mark Twain couldn't abide it over a century ago, fulminating in the same work: "Look at the tyranny of party -- at what is called party allegiance, loyalty party -- a snare invented by designing men for selfish purposes - and which turns voters into chattels, slaves, rabbits, and all the while their maters, and they themselves are shouting rubbish about liberty, independence, freedom of opinion, freedom of speech, honestly unconscious of the fantastic contradiction; and forgetting or ignoring that their fathers and the churches shouted the same blasphemies a generation earlier when they were closing their doors against the hunted slave, beating his handful of humane defenders with Bible texts and billies, and pocketing the insults and licking the shoes of his Southern master."

I wonder, would Susan Henderson, our noted local purveyor of second-hand and unexamined opinion, have informed Mark Twain that he should shut up as well? After all, many self-appointed arbiters of proper decorum did so when he still walked the earth. And, except as examples of perfect fools, who remembers them now?

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

51 comments:

  1. Best. Graphic. Ever.

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  2. Susan would fit nicely into the rear portion of that horse. I hope Jughead gives her the honor.

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  3. So when's Susan's chance to be interviewed by Village Interceptions? Can't wait to hear Goss' pithy hard hitting interview to get to the bottom of her education claims and the reasons for switching from Republican to Democatric registry. Maybe she'll volunteer how she co-opted the Observer. Time to rehabilitate the DIRTS and fellow travelers and who's better qualified than NEWBY Gene Goss, failed City Council candidate.

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    1. She was already on there. One of Gene's very first guests. He asked no hard questions.

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    2. I am really surprised that the Civility Party will have anything to do with Henderson.
      Anyone who knows her for any length of time will be hit up for money - or will see people around Henderson trying to get their money back.

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    3. The Civility Party seems to be OK with friends of questionable character.
      As far as I know, Bart Doyle is still under investigation, Susan Henderson has not paid a $40,000 court judgement against her, or the equally important $700 debt she has to a maid, and don't forget Robert W. Matheson. Stalwarts of the Civil.

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    4. I sure hope that every parent in town knows that Bob Matheson could be in attendance at the Fourth of July parade. With a camera.

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    5. Don't leave Nick Conway off the Civilty list. He's not ours, but our CP let him get away with theft.

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    6. Indeed. The Civility Party is like something left out in the sun too long, and whatever it is it's sure drawing a lot of flies.

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    7. Mosca, Buchanan, Walsh and Moran all refused to even consider our leaving the COG over what was very evident corruption. They are all culpable in my opinion.

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    8. Matheson. One of the Civility Party's brightest stars. They sure attract a fine class of folks.

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    9. There are still people who to this day insist that Joe Mosca did not lie repeatedly. To them, Mosca was just "misunderstood."
      They are good at looking the other way.

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    10. I believe that in the mental health field it is known as repression.

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  4. John Capoccia will be on the next Village Impairment episodes. I'm sure Gene will be asking harder questions.

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    1. Why would he do this? Where does he stand? I hope he is not trying to play both sides.

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    2. He is a man of integrity who has the opportunity to bring his good sense to the airwaves.

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  5. You would think that Henderson would be the greatest advocate for free speech ever. That way, her right to lie is protected.

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  6. No, Susan. You shut up.

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  7. Few people can equal the genius, the master of the english language, the wit and scarscasm, the full understanding of the real division of church and state as written in the constitution, people who attend church on Sunday and hate their neighbor on Sunday, School Boards, how "goood" church going folk refuse to help the poor and obey the Beatitudes, how easily we blame the first person arrested rather than follow justice: You are innocent til proven guilty.

    Mark Twain taught us about the real American and how too many are just plain hypocrites in his wonderful novels.

    Doubt if few are scholarly enough to read and understand the point. Just pick up Twain's fabulous quotes. A joy in American Literature.

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  8. If the latest Poole-Henderson editorial was free of grammatical errors and had passable sentence structure, it wasn't just Susie who wrote it.

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  9. Susie is the Triplet sister of Rush and Glenbo. All three mean and looking forlove/attention in all the wrong places. No respect/No rational No normal.

    Really, who listens?

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  10. 9:26 doesn't even deserve an answer. We all should respect lefties as we do righties, and "Susie" doesn't even come close to being compaired to the two referred to as Rush and Glenbo. They are national entertainers who have a large following. Henderson is not and does not have a following.

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    1. She most definitely is not in their pay bracket.

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  11. You can be sure that with John Cappocia fielding questions from teacher Goss it will be an informed and articulate response.

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    1. He should not join the ranks of those who have been before him . This is an effort to swing him their way.

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    2. Don't be silly.

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  12. Did Susan Henderson take over the same paper that Beth Buck had? I dont follow to closely. Seems to coincidental that both Beth Buck and Susan flew into town started a newspaper, created controversial issues, lied, deceived, backstabbed and became one of the most unwanted people in town. Then split town to start another career in "Hollywood". Just seems to weird.

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    1. Beth Buck sold her paper to Steve Tobia. Steve muddled along then sold his paper to Susan. Susan was also a partner with Katina Dunn. The Mountain Views Observer is the progeney. After a court order...

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  13. Strange, isn't it that the two who ran for city council two years ago ran on the "civility" ticket. Both Moran and Walsh have been the most uncivil of any council members I have known in the past 40 years. With Walsh calling for MaryAnn's resignation as liaison to the GPU Committee and maligning her character,(at a council meeting no less), to Moran blasting both Koerber and MaryAnn, I can't imagine a more uncivil duo and their followers. Moran should be publically dressed down for his speaking ill personally of another council member. If he wishes to discuss policy differences, it's his choice, but to slander another's personal beliefs is beyond the pale.

    Since I didn't actually hear the radio show, I can't be the one to speak, but surely there is one among you that did her the show and can comment.

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    1. For whatever reasons Fishy Bowl has not rebroadcast the Moran incident. This seems very odd. On Sunday they rebroadcast the one with Carol Canterbury two times in a row. It is hard to explain this. I too would like to hear it. Did anybody tape it? Maybe we could make some bootlegs.

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    2. That's why there's "public comment for iems not on the agenda" at the beginning of every City Council meeting.

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    3. Let's hope that Faulkner was too ashamed at Moran's outburst that he has chosen to not replay it. He has worked too hard to get the radio show going to let it be messed up by the likes of Moran. Mr. Faulkner is a very honorable man, I believe he just did the right thing. Who did hear the broadcast? 12:41 is right -- Public Comment would be a good time to address the error of Moran's ways.

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    4. I overheard Josh tell a council candidate after a city wide social event, that while the campaign may be a bit nasty, afterwards all the council members get along well "just like family".

      Glad I'm not part of that family!

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  14. Susan always writes one of these editorials when something big is about to happen. My guess is has something to do with the Kensington and Measure V.

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    1. Suzie is a clever small time hustler, but she is also very predictable. She will come out against Measure V, for the Kensington, and then work very hard to make it look like being for the Kensington requires being against Measure V.
      Like I said, very predictable.

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    2. So who tips Henderson off on what message she needs to deliver on the big issues? You think it is Elaine? A paper that is totally subservient to city hall can hardly be considered the "free press."

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    3. There was an amazing transition for Henderson, when she went from being suspect as, get ready, it's shocking, possibly lying about her subscription numbers, the printer numbers, to being enfolded in city hall's embrace. And if anyone doubts that city hall serves at the will of the council, just look at how Henderson was regarded when we had an honest mayor who questioned her.

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    4. It's pretty simple.
      Susan Henderson will publish whatever you pay her to publish.

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    5. If you want to know where Susan stands, just follow the money. When she was mooching off the Dunns she was all about slow growth and Measure V. Now she gets her money from City Hall and real estate advertising, and wouldn't you know. She is all about their development agendas. There really isn't much more to Susan.

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  15. Anyone who is surprised that Moran was inappropriately personal is not a council watcher. Same goes for Walsh. Both of them are easily offended, and comfortable ridiculing others' opinions.

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    1. I am comfortable ridiculing others opinions. Especially theirs. What else would they be good for?

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    2. Yes, 1:55, but unless you are a sitting council member, you are not expected to bring a diplomatic and essentially impersonal approach to city business. Walsh & Moran seem to have no conception of the obligation to set their emotional responses aside for the term of office.

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    3. I think they work from the assumption that they are admired and respected, and therefore everyone will want to share in these kinds of emotional moments with them. You know what they say about assumptions ...

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  16. Remember the wasp's nest Twain wrote about? Well, that's part of it - how you well you tolerate the stings.

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  17. "Most people assume the fights are going to be the left versus the right, but it always is the reasonable versus the jerks."

    Jimmy Wales, Keynote Speech, SXSW 2006

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    1. Ain't it the truth?!

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    2. Political correctness is now a corporate value system.

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    3. Jimmy spoke the truth.
      The greatest amount of reason comes from the left sometimes, the right sometimes, the fringe parties sometimes, and same thing with the jerks.
      Long live reason, whichever side it comes from.

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  18. It is beyond ethics & reason how anyone can support Susan and her paper. Liars are cheaters. They cheat us of time and our emotional lives. Susan and those who support her, are only mirrors of her character.

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  19. Gene Goss was Joe Mosca's pick for city council candidate..that will give you a hind of where his mind lies. Anyone notice that Eric Olsen editorial in Susan's paper touting the Kensignton Project. He also pushed the Downtown Specific Plan big time a few years back. So the development group is back to shove over building down Sierra Madre's Throat once more. The is a difference between reasonable development and rape!

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