Louis Roney: Slices of time

Louis Roney

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• In my errant teenage hitchhiking days in the ’30s, I saw many Civilian Conservation Corps camps in the woods of the far west. At that time unemployment was rampant, but our national debt was not yet “out of sight.” The CCC camps put men to work cleaning our forests and lowering the risks of forest fires. They built roads and many lovely parks where travelers could stop and picnic on redwood tables and benches. Now our august president gets the brilliant idea that he can copy Roosevelt by attacking today’s unemployment by using a 1930’s method. Today we have towering national debt, and the solution is not to put the unemployed on the national payroll dole to lower their number and make things appear as though we have stumbled upon a solution for unemployment. An invented job working for the government is not a genuine job — not the kind of job we need for those out-of-work. It is simply sleight-of-hand that produces, at best, a cosmetic illusion.

• In the ’30s Hope Strong and I, along with other members of our Scout Troop, would canoe with our leader Fleet Peeples down the Wekiva River and camp out overnight on Shell Island. This was Florida jungle as wild and untamed as it was when Ponce de Leon landed in Florida. Alligators, bobcats, all the different poisonous snakes, and the devilish insects abounded, and we human beings were invaders taking a big risk just for the hell of it! That none of us were ever badly injured was a miracle of sorts, a miracle that kept us coming back to tempt fate. Paddling back up the river against the 2 to 3 mph stream to Wekiwa Springs was a laborious task. We were boys then. We were crazy. What else is new?

• If you are not a basketball fan, and I am not, the Super Bowl is the end of big sports until baseball gets well underway. My b.w. and I have learned to enjoy watching golf, and I marvel at the camera work able to bring a big golf course right into our home office. I also remember when I was a little kid visiting my grandmother in Atlanta, where Bobby Jones lived right up the street. As an amateur, Bobby won everything there was in sight, both amateur and professional, and he never turned “pro.” He was the Babe Ruth of golf and has never been equaled.

• Tell me if I’m right about our president being bonkers — or at least stupid. He often seems to be courting those with Moslem overtones. How did we elect this guy? More to the point, how do we get rid of him? The five most dangerous prisoners at Guantanamo have been released and are now free to do their mischief among us all over again, thanks to Obama.

In return, we get one American prisoner, whom the president’s people referred to as a “hero” — but could actually be a “bad apple” who walked out on the U.S. How many men did America lose in order to capture the five terrorists? Now that they are free, how many more of us will they kill when they reenter terrorist pursuits? Our president’s machinations are becoming a danger to our national security. I sometimes wonder what George Washington or Thomas Jefferson —even Dwight Eisenhower — would think of the logic that that our present leaders are dispensing as “justice.” Obama, who claims to be a protector of women, has done nothing for a female prisoner languishing in a jail in the Sudan with her two American children, a 20-month-old boy and a week-old baby girl. She is sentenced to be given 100 lashes before being hanged. Her crime: converting to Christianity and marrying a Christian. She is a doctor by the way.

And then there is the story of a real hero Marine still being held in a Mexican jail after crossing the border unwittingly. What would happen if we stopped tourism to Mexico until he is released, and, as well, the dollars that Mexico receives from us in trade?