Over the years you’ve heard different generations talk about their good old days. When things were simpler. A few weeks ago I stopped by Hendry’s Beach, aka Arroyo Burro Beach, to kill some time. I
recently had a new hip installed, which I still can’t believe. Me, a new hip! I’m too young for that!
With my temporary handicap placard, I was able to park front and center on the beach where I spent most of my youth. It was our own MoonDoggie, our “Gidget” movie set. We called it the Pit. Though we surfed there every minute we could, it was still a terrible surf spot, but it was ours.
So there I was, parked in a handicap spot, walking to a bench with a cane and sat down. I turned to see a young man taking his surf board off the roof of his car, and I flashed back, picturing myself having done that a few thousand times so many years ago.
To my surprise, I became quite emotional wondering where all the time went. Those carefree days doing nothing all summer but getting sunburned and waiting for those south swells to come in. In those days, there was a small snack shack owned by the Crawford family. You could get a burger for less than a buck, and they had the best soggy corn strips on the planet that was paired with a hot sauce better than any steak and wine combo. We scrounged, begged and checked for dimes in the phone booths to pull together a quarter to buy a small basket of those greasy mouthwatering delights.
Sitting on that bench, I watched two other guys I labeled as old boys, then realized I was one of them, and I was the one with a cane. Then I thought, I could likely even know them, but time had done its thing and changed us. In my head, I still feel like a 16-year-old kid full of excitement who can’t get his wetsuit on fast enough for fear of missing even one wave. On the outside, I’ve become invisible to the kid with the surfboard.
For those of us who grew up in this era, we have seen some very radical changes. In our youth, we drank water out of a hose. We rode bikes without helmets. Doctors made house calls. Today you’re lucky to get a doctor.
Milk was delivered to your front door, and we played outside every chance we had, sometimes well into the night if your parents let you. Our other forms of entertainment were maybe a TV (25-inch was huge), books, comics and board games. And we were happy.
We often ask ourselves, “How did this or that happen?” When you don’t pay attention, things sneak up on you. Our first cars had no seatbelts. You could pile as many kids as you wanted in the back of your pickup. Adults made the decisions. They controlled their own lives and their family. The American people were in charge. They decided the “what,” “when” and “how.”
Eventually seat belts became law, baby car seats became mandatory, and I used to carry my hunting rifles on the gun rack in my truck. Today I’d be considered a white supremacist — oh wait, President Joe Biden already told me I am. I’d be locked up and run through the Jan. 6 pasta grinder by that circus act for displaying that evil MAGA insurrectionist weapon.
Over those years, thousands of new laws and regulations were enacted I cannot possibly list, or you would want to read, but here are the more recent and most dangerous.
Our government can now waltz into your house and put a wiretap on you without probable cause. We are no longer the rulers of our castle. The government is.
The government is conveniently using the domestic terrorist label giving them the license to put you on a watch list, including if it doesn’t like your religious beliefs.
This “new” constitution and law give the government a whole new set of powers to basically do what they like and strip you of what used to be your rights.
As seen with the unfortunate Jan. 6 marchers, the government can hold Americans indefinitely and doesn’t even have to say what the charges are. That’s a very different America.
There is no longer a First Amendment. Put aside the censorship applied by big tech, the government is equally as egregious. As we’ve witnessed the past couple years, you have to be careful who your friends are. Any connection to former President Donald Trump, even with six degrees of separation, could come at a great cost. Our government who at one time was designed to have our backs, are now stabbing us there.
If you’re conservative or don’t buy into the woke agenda, fair trials rarely exist. Only the left gets a free pass. The media pre-determines the outcome, and the riled up public march to the ideological drums telling you what the outcome should be.
Supreme Court justices are coerced, and their lives threatened to force them to think like a Woker. And the left is working and manipulating the system telling you who can run for president. They’re making the decision before you even get to vote.
We’ve lost so much so quickly, faster than David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear. At the time Mr. Copperfield said, “how precious liberty is and how easily it can be lost. I can show with magic how we take our freedom for granted.”
You speak up against the political wrongs and you become a target. You can be watched, listened to and followed with your cell phone and even GPS in your car. If you criticize the government, you’re arbitrarily labeled as a domestic terrorist. Ignore all those terrorists flooding across what used to be a border.
Back in the day — before we were controlled by the CIA, FBI, the Department of Justice, Google, Twitter and Facebook — free speech was real. About the only thing you couldn’t do was yell “Fire!” in a theater.
Now if you debate the climate hysteria or say Joe Biden is doing a lousy job, you better watch your back. A knife may be coming for you.
Henry Schulte welcomes questions or comments at email@example.com.