Claremont Insider: January 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Donnelly Busted at Ontario Airport

45-Caliber Colt in Briefcase

Our Assemblyman, Tim Donnelly, the guy who has guns hanging on the wall of is Sacramento office, was busted today at Ontario Airport for trying to carry a loaded weapon onto a flight to Sacramento. What a way to start the new year.

We don't have anything against guns, and subscribe to the school of thought that we would have a lot more polite society if everyone were armed, but really? Where has this guy been the last--say--10 years and almost 4 months?

The LA Times reports there is a lot of chortling in Sacramento legislative circles, but it might be a lot less humorous for Tim when he is sentenced to a stretch in County Jail for this--er--transgression. It's OK to pack when you're tripping with the Minutemen; not OK to pack when your tripping in seat 11C.

Maybe it would be just smarter all the way around for him to hire a bodyguard like Supervisor Antonovich does. And drive to Sac't'o instead of taking Southwest.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Corn-pone Opinions

You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what his 'pinions is.

More than 100 years ago Mark Twain recollected an incident from his youth along the river in Missouri. His point has quite a bit of relevance to Claremont (and elsewhere) today.

...I had a friend whose society was very dear to me... He was a gay and impudent and satirical and delightful young black man -a slave -who daily preached sermons from the top of his master's woodpile, with me for sole audience. He imitated the pulpit style of the several clergymen of the village, and did it well, and with fine passion and energy. To me he was a wonder. I believed he was the greatest orator in the United States and would some day be heard from. But it did not happen; in the distribution of rewards he was overlooked. It is the way, in this world. ...I listened to the sermons from the open window of a lumber room at the back of the house. One of his texts was this: "You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what his 'pinions is." ...The black philosopher's idea was that a man is not independent, and cannot afford views which might interfere with his bread and butter. If he would prosper, he must train with the majority; in matters of large moment, like politics and religion, he must think and feel with the bulk of his neighbors, or suffer damage in his social standing and in his business prosperities. He must restrict himself to corn-pone opinions -- at least on the surface. He must get his opinions from other people; he must reason out none for himself; he must have no first-hand views.

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We can't tell you how many variations on this theme we've heard here in Claremont: from a local businesswoman quitting a local election campaign because she was given to understand that pursuing that course would harm her business prospects, to very smart people declining to speak up on--say--local school issues because they believed to do so would harm their kids' standing or prospects in Claremont schools.

The Claremont 400 has that kind of power and are not afraid to use opprobrium and more tangible means to enforce it.

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Original essay here.