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Old headlines would never make today#039;s paper

It's too bad we can't relive the "good old days," at least on a part-time basis.

The activities and naivete of past eras, when men were men and women were glad of it, are times that us ancients would welcome a taste of, betimes, with open arms.

You'd be drummed out of the corps of modern journalism should you dare put pen to some of the items that appeared in newspapers of a century ago, an example of which follows:

"The Grand Fancy Dressed and Masquerade Ball of the Improved Order of the Red Men will take place in the City Hall on Tuesday night. The grand sachem and his tribe will be there. There will be six prizes. The grand march takes place at 9 p.m. Tickets are 50 cents, and ladies are free. Only those of good character will be admitted."

The above item was lifted in toto from the files of the Montgomery Advertiser of 1894; it reflects the attitudes and humor of the gentry of 107 years ago.

Citizenry of that bygone time were blithely unaware of anything untoward in having someone judge whether or not they were of "good character."

Fast forward to the future that is "now" (2001) and just imagine the glut of libel suits that'd be filed if anyone dared sit in judgment, separating those of good character from the ne'er-do-wells at a public gathering, allowing only those who passed muster to attend.

In today's society, there are so many causes and so many demonstrators agitating against any and everything that we feel the masquerade ball described here would be the object of great scorn and derision of certain factions.

As a matter of fact, in today's scheme of things, it's not unthinkable that such an activity would bring on the drive-by shooters, the arsonists and other insurrectionist types.

Terrorists of that stripe have become commonplace in modern times, more's the pity.

We hold with the opinion that's wed to the notion that today's activists should, like Napoleon Bonaparte, be banished to an island somewhere and be allowed free rein to have at one another until they become extinct.

Since that is not a likely solution that will be used in solving today's problems, then we strongly exhort "modern" folks to return to the basics (now almost non-existent) that the founding fathers espoused when they created this great nation.

That, we feel, is the only avenue to follow, returning us to the God-fearing advocacy of a true democracy.