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Who promulgates us now that the government's gone?

Dear Diary: Ninth day of the government shutdown with no end in sight. The liberals are right, it is anarchy out there.

Amish people are drinking raw milk without fear of gendarmes from the Food and Drug Administration arresting them.

Move over War on Drugs; there's a War on Dairy.

"A yearlong sting operation, including aliases, a 5 a.m. surprise inspection and surreptitious purchases from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania, culminated in the federal government announcing this week that it has gone to court to stop Rainbow Acres Farm from selling its contraband to willing customers in the Washington area," the Washington Times reported on April 28, 2011.

"The product in question: unpasteurized milk."

But with the shutdown, people in black buggies are toasting their newfound freedom from the clutches of Big Pasteurization.

Out in Cape Cod, fishermen are freeing whales from their nets at will without fear of a $100,000 fine.

The shutdown comes five years too late for Robert J. Eldridge, 44, of Chatham, Mass.

In June 2008, he freed a whale, despite the federal Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

On Sept. 30, 2009, the government allowed him to plead guilty in exchange for a $500 fine.

"As part of yesterday's plea deal, Eldridge acknowledged he should have called in licensed marine mammal rescue workers instead of disentangling the whale himself on July 2008 off the coast of Chatham, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston," the Cape Cod Times reported on Oct. 1, 2009.

Meanwhile, President Obama had workers barricade national monuments just to show all the good things we get out of the government: the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore and Mount Vernon.

However, the federal government had nothing to do with the creation of any of the three — Mount Vernon actually receives no federal aid — by golly, he shut them down because he is the president of all he surveys.

But the worst fallout of the shutdown is the halt of the promulgation of rules by federal bureaucrats.

Each year, thousands of government civil servants work tirelessly to add more than 80,000 pages of new regulations to the Federal Register.

The shutdown has cost us 2,000 pages of promulgation — rules and mandates for living our lives that we will never get back.

This is important stuff.

The Federal Register is the official law of the land, which every American is expected to know down to the last letter or else face a $100,000 fine — as Mr. Eldridge, the errant whale releaser, learned the hard way.

Without federal promulgators, unlicensed marine mammal rescue workers would be freeing whales.

Maureen Dowd outlined the danger in her column on Sunday in which she imagined what Washington will be like 71 years from now.

"The white marble monuments are now covered in ash, Greek tragedy ruins overrun with weeds," she wrote.

"Tea party zombies, thrilled with the dark destruction they have wreaked on the planet, continue to maraud around the Hill, eager to chomp on humanity some more."

But Dowd's fantasy is my horror.

If Washington is ruined it will be for lack of maintenance, not by Tea Party protesters.

The federal government spends more time promulgating than it does maintaining the national monuments that the people own.

Over the next 71 years, federal bureaucrats will add another 4 million pages of law to the Federal Register.

President Obama has shown what his priorities are and keeping the national parks open is not on that list.

By erecting barriers instead of negotiating, our president shows he has forgotten that he works for the people of the United States of America.

Dear Diary, the shutdown has given me time to consider a daring question: If I want to drink raw milk, what business is it of the federal government?

If I get sick, so what?

My body, my life, my choice, as they say.

Surber may be emailed at


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