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Bits and bobs rampaging through the news

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FromEditorsDesk Tony CroppedBy Tony Farkas
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While you were busy looking up the phrase “thirst trap” and wondering what that has to do with Martha Stewart, there were other shenanigans going on that ultimately serve to distract us from the mess the world, and in particular the country, has gotten itself into.

Such as a T-shirt is singularly responsible for putting Donald Trump in his place. Apparently, Nikki Haley has a shirt regaling the world in her glee of being barred permanently from the MAGA camp. That’ll show him, amirite?

Yet, on the same page, in tiny type, an Ohio court says that tossing in stun grenades during a raid, without determining the status of the occupants, is okey dokey in their book. Seems during a raid, a 1-year-old with heart and breathing issues ended up in intensive care after police swarmed the apartment with grenades and battering rams. (There’s a strong possibility that it was the wrong apartment, too.)

•People protesting for (or against?) the environment pelted the Mona Lisa with soup, but not to worry, since it was protected by a glass case.

There also is a surge of Texans fleeing the state because of the recent law banning gender-affirming care, because the stigma of being transgender makes them “feel” unwelcome.

However, a story on the $34 trillion national debt and the government’s plans to deal with that before the economy becomes just like the Confederate economy during the Civil War is nowhere to be found.

•Taylor Swift is being painted as the “Mona Swifta” or something wearing a Ravens jersey, and, of course, there’s more about her relationship Travis Kelce.

More scarily, Swift has been made into something of a porn star through the use of artificial intelligence, which the White House is alarmed by. Yet, nothing came from them about a comedy special using the likeness of George Carlin, without the estate’s permission, also done by AI.

I’m betting that there was boatloads more traffic on the web looking for Swift’s fake photos that there was about the U.S. soldiers killed in a drone attack in Jordan, apparently launched by a militia group backed by Iran.

When you hear the word fascism, as has been bandied about frequently in the last couple of years, you wouldn’t think it would apply to our country. Yet, given the content and direction of the national news media, it seems that fascism in some form has gripped the nation’s leaders.

(Looking online, fascists are normally associated with conservatives, but in this day and age, the descriptive “uniparty” is appropriate, since there’s very little distinction between Democrats and Republicans.)

One of the tenets of fascism is a media that is essentially a cheerleader for the perceived proper view, or more simply, the population is spoon-fed information that fits with the current narrative of leadership, along with pablum that serves to distract.

Which ultimately is my point. While we lap up stories about entertainers, or focus on faux controversies like climate change and how many made-up genders there are as of 4 p.m. Thursday, our freedoms and rights are being stripped away in favor of a government that is for itself only. We won’t notice it, and we’ll be happy.

Or, in the words of Charles Baudelaire, “the greatest trick the devil every pulled was convincing the world he doesn’t exist.”

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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