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Doug Wrenn

Newspapers In New Britain And Bristol Should Sink Or Swim On Their Own
By Doug Wrenn
Dec 30, 2008 - 2:43:32 PM

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"OK, ready? Here it comes, just a little pinch..." As children in the doctor's office, we often heard that phrase as we grimaced during a vaccination. Little did we know that the brief little "pinch" from the needle would free us from a potentially more serious suffering. Our parents made us endure the slight pain for good reason. It was clearly the lesser of two evils. Now, we children have grown into adults, but we have forgotten that vital life lesson we learned years ago in the doctor's office.

Not just as adults, but as Americans, we have also lost our way. Our politically correct and abysmal schools have dumbed us down, substituting the essential subjects for the trendy causes celebre. As a result, fewer of us today know or appreciate what our Constitution says and means and how and how not our government is intended to work.

P.J O'Rourke recently wrote a satirical column, floating what he must have then considered to be the ludicrous notion that the next entity the government should bail out is the press. The renowned sarcastic libertarian would get quite an awakening if he took a short drive down from his New Hampshire abode to see what is now occurring in what is ironically called "The Constitution State."

Connecticut's elected state officials have no business meddling in the newspaper business. Their doing so was also the specific subject of another recent column penned by Michelle Malkin, rightfully lampooning the intended excessive government intrusion. If the fledgling newspapers in the New Britain/Bristol area fail, it is indeed a tragedy that will cause suffering for some people directly effected.

That suffering still does not excuse government from its proper role. Our forefathers rightly envisioned a free press, also known as the fourth estate, to be truly free, without government interference. Such is a necessary check and balance to our free society. How "free" from censorship and propaganda can any form of media be when it owes its existence to the government dole? And why should taxpayers be forced to subsidize any failing business in a so-called free market economy?

Much like in the school science project, we are the dumb and happy frog, contently sitting in a pot of cool water as the burner underneath ever so gradually heats up the water, eventually boiling us to our well-deserved demise because like the frog, we neither recognized nor responded to the very subtle but still perilous changes around us.

On the federal level, the government has now forcefully, albeit with the passive acceptance of the lemming faction of the public, taken a huge and irreparable step forward toward nationalizing our banks. Like the good salesman with his foot now firmly planted in the door, the government will never leave, and that door, to Pandora's Box, will only open further. What free enterprise is next for government accrual, and how many more after that? And who then bails out our various levels of government, which are now also all struggling to survive as desperately as many citizens and businesses?

Liberty can be taken in battle by a hostile force, or simply surrendered by a lazy, naïve and clueless electorate. That is happening now before our very (teary) eyes, for those of us paying attention.

Economics is like physics in that for every action, there is a corrective reaction. Businesses routinely come and go and are either taken over by other businesses, or more modern technology, such as the Internet. I get my news from a variety of sources, including a good, old-fashioned newspaper, which I will sorely miss if it ever goes by the wayside in my area. But I am still willing to forsake my beloved newspaper of a truly free press, before I ever sacrifice my cherished liberties. Even if with a grimace, I'll take the pinch. For those unwilling to do so, Karl Marx would be proud, and repeated history will eventually fill in the blanks to a tragic and needless tale that will not have a happy ending for most of the formerly contented characters involved.

Doug Wrenn

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