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His waxing nostalgic was certainly less rigorous than the statistics in the first bit of his tirade. Again, it is my perception that we did used to care more about our neighbors, and the politicians actually did try to do at least some good rather than merely march in lock-step partisanship. Facts used to matter. People used to outrage over real stuff (Vietnam, Watergate, etc), and not made-up BS (like the birthers).

When I was a girl - admittedly, a long time ago - we actually knew our neighbors. By name. By occupation. And their children. And their parents. If we misbehaved, the neighbor would see to it that our parents knew about it.

We were free, as kids, (like Scout in "To Kill A Mockingbird") to run all over creation playing. Our parents weren't paranoid that someone was going to snatch us up and run off with us.

Sometimes we walked a couple of miles (or more) to go to the movies. Or to pass by and dream about the rich people's homes in the other direction.

I don't recall slasher movies when I was young. I don't recall so much nudity or swearing. And, for sure, I don't recall television ads for products that, we are told, benefit every conceivable bodily part and function.

I also remember "Impeach Earl Warren" billboards - but was too young to know what it was all about.

I lived, probably not more than 25 miles, from a person described in the book "The Warmth of Other Suns" (which I HIGHLY recommend) who migrated (not under the best of circumstances) to New York.

I believe we were a less violent society then. But there were fewer of us. We still believed in manners then. But - there is always a "but" - those manners were generally confined to our circle of look-alikes. If you weren't white and Christian, something was amiss with you. You might be a fantastic person - but you somehow could never measure up. You were the fat girl who had "such a pretty face". Even if you WERE white and Christian you didn't always measure up.

It was the best of times.
It was the worst of times.
But it WAS different from THESE times, to be sure.

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