2010-12-01 / Opinion

Up The Creek Without A Paddle

The American Dream is UnAmerican
by Terry Toole

There is a saying by an English poet, Alexander Pope, "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."

Don't know why, but this came to mind as I started this scribbling.

Those who know me best and those who read some of my writing understand that there is no other place on earth that I had rather be than right where I am, but -

as I get ready to hit the big 75 this month, the good Lord willing, I tend to think back on what I can remember about how it used to be in the "good old days."

We probably all can remember the good, old and not so old, times much better than the bad times, thank the Lord.

We older heads, really had it so much better than our children or grandchildren. We didn't have to worry as much about time as our youth do today. In fact, best I remember, we had to be home or near home when the sun started going down.

Back when I was a boy, our parents didn't have to worry about where we were, or what we were doing. Everyone in town or in the county would let them know. It was called, tending to business.

Yes, we had telephones, such as they were.

There was this lady named Mrs. Poston. If she were living today, she could run the CIA, FBI and TSA without help. She not only knew where we were and what we were doing, she knew where our parents were.

I could ring the operator of the telephone company and say, "Mrs. Poston, I need to speak to Mama."

She knew my voice, and who Mama was and where she was.

I can hear her now saying, "Wait a minute, Terry, I think she is up at your Aunt Nell's house."

There was no such thing as YDC. If we got in trouble, the law called our parents, and talk about trouble, it would be child abuse today.

As I said, we children had it so much better. There were no illegal drugs, alcoholic children, and the likes. Most of us were taught at home that we should respect our elders, or they would let our parents take care of us.

If we messed up at school, after going to the auditorium every morning to hear a devotional and Pledge to the Flag, the worst punishment would not be the teacher or principal getting the paddle to us, but those dreaded words, "I’ll let your parents know about this."

Thinking back, it was our teachings and respect taught for others.

The worst things we did were fight, wrestle or not listen to the teacher. When the teacher disciplined us as much as they wanted to, we were sent to the principal. When the principal thought we needed more discipline, the principal would ask me, "Terry, what's Joe's telephone number?"

You could see angel wings sprouting out of my back. If my dad was called, I knew that a Model T fan belt would be waiting, not that day, but the next. My dad wouldn't put that fan belt on me the day I did something; he waited until the next day. There was a day of dread for me, and a day for him to cool off, so he wouldn't nearly kill me.

I think of the things we have today. Bless your hearts.

We have to blame someone, so we blame the parents, and then everyone else.

Since the good old days, it seems that our government wants to take care of our every need. Not really, most of the entitlements come just before an election. My first remembrance was when President F.D. Roosevelt was going to give everyone a job and put a chicken in everyone's pot. For over three-quarters of a century, government has been taken away from those who worked and given it to those who didn't. Now some 70 odd years later, almost half the people of this nation think they deserve to be taken care of. The government and unions have raised wages so high that most of the jobs regular people can handle have been sent to other nations because the wages are too high for us to produce.

We all know better than to give more than we can afford, but almost a majority have gotten used to it. All entitlement programs are good for a few, and bad for those who have to pay for them. Our grandchildren are now the payees for what years of abuse have caused, especially the past two years.

To give to those who did not earn it, must be taken from those who did. It's just that simple.

We can switch our leadership, or go down as Greece and Ireland have.

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