By David Wargo

tneditor@tnonline.com [1]

Sometimes I think the world has disappeared while I was asleep and replaced with this Bizarro clone of Earth in which good is bad and right is wrong.

For example, when I was a child, I was taught that the police were there to serve and to protect the public through the enforcement of society's laws. To enter the United States, one had to immigrate here and if they sneaked in and were caught they would almost automatically be deported. Thirty years have passed since those lessons and I look around wondering what in the world has happened to this free society, this beacon of freedom in which law was sovereign and just.

In my grandfather's day, the government would never have gotten away with the bunk it passes off as laws today. Almost 100 years ago, we recognized that monopolies were killing this country and free enterprise and they were broken apart to make everyone's opportunity to succeed equal. Buying a house required proving responsibility with money and saving enough for a down payment. Twenty percent was the norm. Bureaucracy and red tape were minimal and anyone with an idea and elbow grease could prosper and grow.

A century later these are figments of the past. We have government officials who put their political ambitions ahead of the Constitution and restrain officers from determining if a criminal is a legal citizen. Last year in Beaver Meadows, a person was stopped for a traffic violation and the suspicious police officer discovered several different identification documents on this person. Further inquiry was learned this alleged con artist may have been an illegal alien.

Was the officer praised for his diligence by Immigration officials deporting this low-life?

No. He was scorned for daring to ask the person if he was a legal resident, basically being accused of profiling this person.

Now, I totally understand the point of those who are against profiling. The idea that stereotypes would be used to determine if someone might be committing a crime is not pretty or politically correct, but let's face facts. All of us profile every day. Did you ever drive by someone hitchhiking? Did you pick them up? Why or why not?

You may have found yourself making a snap judgment about the person weighing some criteria quickly to determine if it was a safe thing to do. Some items might be: Do they look dangerous? Do I know this person? Do they look honest?

I don't know what qualities of the person in question you require to determine the results of each of those type questions, but in essence you profile that person as well as every new person you become acquainted with each day. To forbid police officers from using common sense when it comes to protecting us is absurd. Can it be abused? Everything can be abused, but that is not a sufficient reason in my opinion to forbid its use.

The stupidity of not profiling is seen every few weeks in the newspaper for people boarding airplanes. The Traffic Safety Administration is consistently scorned for strip searching 95 year old women and six year old children claiming they are trying to protect us from terrorists. Those people are forced to work near X-Ray machines emitting high levels of radiation without sufficient protection because some bozo in the bureaucracy referred to as our government thought it was a smart idea. All because we don't want to look like we are profiling when a possible terrorist might be in line.

How insane is that?

Ask 10 strangers what a terrorist might look like and eight of them will describe a similar person I am willing to wager. We have a good idea what a terrorist looks like, but in this society we are scared to say it publicly.

Last week Blazing Saddles was on television. I have the original cut of the movie when it first was released in 1974. While I have not seen it in years, I would be reasonably confident to say this classic comedy on television today bears little resemblance to the original theatrical release. In fact I would bet it has been dubbed with less offensive language.

The idea behind the movie was to satirize stereotypes and make people laugh at themselves. In today's climate it would be considered racist. We have bent over so far in the direction of not offending anyone that this society is more Puritanical now than when it was run by Puritans.

What really is dumbfounding is all of this fake political correctness is breeding a society of lawbreaking ego-centrists who have no idea how to handle criticism. Adversity is a keystone of building character and developing a thick skin is necessary.

As a person whose childhood had more than its share of the receiving end of bullying, I think it helped me strive to be a better person. It helped me deal with a world that was not necessarily my cheerleader and it toughened me for the myriad of disappointments all of us share.

We need to wise up and realize that peace, love and harmony are standards for which we strive but in reality they are mythical.

Is it better to live in a society that is sterilized and fake or one that is challenging and not always pleasant? What do you think?