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Where has all our freedom gone? Long time passing …

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FromEditorsDesk Tony CroppedBy Tony Farkas
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Sometimes my need to rummage through the cut-rate news bins leaves me with a deep sadness, mostly because it reaffirms my belief that the ship of liberty done sailed.

I constantly find that there is nothing in our lives — birth to death — that doesn’t have the unmistakable touch of control by people who should be representing us.

For instance, I recently read about a government agency I didn’t even know existed is being sued by Atlantic herring fisheries because the regulations it put out smacked of Soviet-era Russia, or at least life aboard the Red October.

The National Marine Fisheries Service, which apparently exists to tell fishermen what and how much they can catch in coastal waters, also requires that fishing vessels pay for NMFS apparatchiks to be onboard to enforce regulations, sort of like a Soviet political officer onboard Russian vessels (hence the Red October reference).

At play here is the ability of non-elected officials to create regulations and then enforce them, all without any laws passed by government as a basis, which when you think about it, exists everywhere and pretty much at every level of government.

The rights enshrined in the Constitution — life, liberty, pursuit of happiness — have all been co-opted by people representing their own beliefs and half-baked theories instead of their constituents. Federal and state agencies change the rules to suit their needs, and cities and counties dictate what property owners can do on their property (while exacting a price simply for owning said property).

In case you missed it, the feds hate your ceiling fans (mandatory in East Texas, I’m sure) and will require very strict energy conservation measures, which will cost millions and will probably mean the death to small manufacturing firms.

Soon your dishwasher will be replaced, your water heater and stove will be replaced, your air conditioning will be deemed evil and replaced, your refrigerator will be replaced, and everything anyone uses ever will come with warning and limitations because our fearless leaders want to keep us safe whether we like it or need it or not.

I’ve heard those arguments, that the regulations are necessary because the government must protect the fish in the sea from overfishing; Mother Nature needs to be protected from the ravages of evil people, evil cows and evil coal- and oil-burning devices; and consumers must be warned of the dangers of buying things they want, cause bad things could happen.

There are certain dangers, I agree, that need solid oversight, like keeping people from swan diving into active volcanoes or creating their own nuclear power plant in their backyard, but all of this tends to fall into what I call the Pinky Toe Theory: once the nanny state dips its pinky toe into the regulation pool, it’s a short stampede from there into a cannonball of rules.

(As an aside, those self-same regulators find way to circumvent those very rules, since only the serfs and peasants require watching.)

There is a lot of back-and-forth about this year’s election is crucial because our democracy is at stake and that if the Republicans have their way, we’ll all be back in indentured servitude.

My point is that’s already happened, and all that’s left is two parties fighting over the scraps of freedom that are left. Keep that in mind in the ballot box.

Tony Farkas is publisher of the San Jacinto News-Times and the Trinity County News-Standard. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The views expressed here are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of this publication.

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