CHECKLIST CHARLIE

Fake news, better news, better government

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My husband came up with a wonderful idea for an enterprising entrepreneur: The Better Government Bureau. Why not invent a business to hold our government accountable for foolishness?

My favorite recent example of government ineptitude was the paperwork necessary to get my new septic tanks installed. Over $600 later in required plans and fees, but we still hadn’t put a shovel in the ground. Fortunately, the proper governing agency approved our plans, but what were we going to do, if they didn’t? Quit flushing the potties? Oh my!

Heck, I’m afraid to mention which agency because what if they decide to make my life miserable? That seems like just a little too much power, if you ask me.

Apparently, I am not the only one who gets frustrated when government gets in the way of common sense. I did a web search and there are countless nonprofits devoting themselves to trying to police overreach by our government. I suspect some of them have party affiliations on both sides of the aisle.

As I questioned folks who voted for Trump in the primary, I uncovered a trend. Among all genders and ethnic backgrounds in east Texas, small business owners desperately want government to get out of their way and let them work. You better believe government oversight can completely shutdown any progress in a small business. I’m pretty sure my septic guy agreed with me as he made several trips with the required paper work, hired additional experts, and waited months on approval.

The best policing agency for government foolishness already exists, though. It’s the free press, which brings me to the topic of fake news. The internet inundates us with tons of stuff, most of it weirdly irrelevant.

That’s why I love local news. Many of our readers find us on the web, of course. But the great thing about local news is you see the editors, publishers, reporters, and yes, columnists at church or at the grocery store each week. Heck, most folks have our cell phone numbers. At the Banner, like all local newspapers and stations, we have to face up if we get it wrong.

There’re so many strange things happening around politics these days, for instance having free speech intentionally disrupted at town hall meetings by folks with malicious intent. I am so grateful to live in a country where we can still get local news from a free press, written by folks we know and can hold accountable. Please remember, dear reader, we can still email a letter to the editor and expect to see it in the next edition. God bless America. Please.

Cathy Primer Krafve, aka Checklist Charlie, lives and writes with a Texas twang. Comments are invited at cathykrafve.com.

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