FROM THE VALLEY: 'You can't handle the truth'

Tom Valley

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941 a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

There are few alive who actually heard Franklin D. Roosevelt's address to Congress on that bleak, winter day, December 8th, 1941, the day he asked its members to declare a State of War between the United States and Japan. But only the history-illiterate are unaware of that speech and the ramifications that followed. Patriotism and volunteerism soared to unprecedented heights to fight a common foe which threatened our American way of life.

But what hogwash, huh?! Why would he say such stuff?

The country didn't need to hear the reality of the situation. What a load of crap. It wasn't like Pearl Harbor attacks would be hitting every nook and cranny of the United States. There was no need to unleash widespread "panic." It wasn't like it was contagious and could literally put everyone, everywhere, in danger. People can't take that sort of trepidation and truth telling. For gosh sakes, man, he shoudda thunk!

The President should have simply "downplayed" the situation and gone off golfing. Or possibly misdirected Americans' attention by reminding them of the horrible decisions they made by electing "losers" to office, and how much "in love" he and dictators like Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini were. I'm just saying, no need to "scare" people.

And of note, in his first (1933) inaugural speech, F.D.R. inspired a depression-scarred nation by declaring: “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.” (Most likely inspired from Thoreau's “Nothing is so much to be feared as fear.” No biggie.)

But, seriously, FDR. What a phony baloney hoax about him being one of the top three presidents ever. In retrospect, don't you think instead of a “nothing to fear, but fear itself” sermon, he should have advised “nothing to see here”? Thank God, we learned an important lesson from that shameful episode in American history.

• • •

Alrighty then, that ought to generate enough hate mail to last me awhile. (And every letter will try to misdirect its writer's inability to directly answer the charge, the beef, that they have with what I said. They will, I guarantee, unfailingly mention either Nancy Pelosi or Andrew Cuomo, or both. Or someone else who is not directly responsible for the issue at hand.) Never fails.

• • •

Moving on: Let's see who and what else I can stir up. Ah, environmentalists/nature lovers will do.

By the way, after I finish this, I'm headed fishing. So what better time to switch gears and tell my favorite joke about the beloved, relaxing pastime of angling. (I've told it before, but as a senior, I've a free license to retell the same story. It goes with the territory.)

Bagman Butch was a legendary, well-liked old-timer known for his success at fishing. But there was a problem. Rumor was that he used dynamite to catch his fish. And that rumor got back to the game warden who decided to pay the "Bagger" a visit.

“Bagman Butch,” the game warden inquired, “is it true that you are using explosives to catch your fish?”

“Well ...” the veteran fisherman started to explain.

“Wait," the officer interrupted, “first, let me just tell you that if it's true, I can take your license, your boat, fine you ten thousand dollars and possibly throw you in jail.”

With that warning playing in his head, Bagman Butch invited the officer to show up early the next morning and go out in the boat fishing with him. He could judge for himself. The officer agreed. After all, Bagman Butch was a likable chap.

That next day, they loaded up the boat and headed out to the middle of the lake. After coming to a stop, and without breaking stride, Bagman Butch bent over and grabbed a stick of dynamite from his tackle box. The game warden watched in horror as the old-timer lit the explosive and tossed it overboard. Naturally, all the fish in the area floated to the surface.

Totally aghast at what he'd just witnessed, the uniformed officer declared, “Bagman Butch, I told you I can take your license, your boat, fine you ten thousand dollars and lock you up. Don't you care?”

The grizzly outdoorsman simply bent over, pulled out another stick of dynamite, lit the fuse and handed it to the game warden and asked: “You gonna talk or fish?”

I always like ending this column with a bang.

And that's the way it looks from the Valley.

Contact Tom about surf and turf (your fish or beef) at: Tvalley@Rochester.RR.com

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