Twain was right: Past isn’t really past

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Every time you turn on the television or the radio, nine times out of 10 you’re going to hear some kind of talk about a budget.

It could be the national budget, where they’re talking about shutting down the federal government.

Or perhaps it’s a winded statement about our state government, where we’re cutting teachers, closing down court offices or letting prisoners loose in the streets.

You know, it’s quite alarming if you really get down and think about it.

Now, let’s ponder this for a minute.

Yesterday marked the 150th anniversary the beginning of the Civil War.

It was just before dawn on April 12, 1861, with the start of a Confederate bombardment of Union-held Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, that the war began. It ended nearly four years to the day with the surrender of Confederate forces in Virginia on April 9, 1865.

At countless locations throughout the nation, groups are busy re-enacting memorable battles and scenes of war to commemorate the event.

It was with the line of discussion that talks in out Tuesday news meeting turned to recent events and the parallels between then and now – and how we could be on the cusp of a new civil war.

Look at then – there were huge economic and social differences between the North and the South, and a giant debate between state rights versus federal rights.

Sound familiar?

Nowadays, one of the biggest debates on television – and in our Court Square – is the debate about how much influence should the federal government have in our every day lives.

This weekend there are two events scheduled by local Tea Party groups who will tell you what their exact view is of the matter – should you be willing to listen.

Then add to that, these interesting points:

We’re at war in Afghanistan and Libya.

We’ve got natural disasters wrecking havoc from one end of the world to the other.

Gas is nearly $4 a gallon.

It makes you wonder where we are heading as a state, a nation and as the human race.

Someone said the other day that the Mayans must have had it right when they said the world was going to end in 2012.

It makes me think I need to study up on ways to grow corn and potatoes or buy some cows, horses and chickens in the event I need to feed my family.

When my daddy was alive, he used to say that we needed to learn to live off the land, because one day, it would be the only way of life we had to live.

I think he may have been right.