Joe was able to scrounge up a turkey on the black market, and Mary has been squirreling away enough toilet paper for all who might come. Meanwhile, Manny has finished painting the basement windows black and stacking tree limbs against the back wall so that the governor's COVID police can't detect who is coming and going through the basement door. Everybody had better be gone by 9:30 p.m. so they don't get caught breaking curfew. Thanksgiving underground: welcome to America in 2020.

Governor Gina Raimondo has announced the imposition of seven new restrictions on the people of Rhode Island, including a Massachusetts-style curfew and further restrictions on the free practice of religion.

Raimondo has promised she is “going to be taking a very serious look” at how Rhode Islanders might be allowed to observe Thanksgiving this year. She plans a further directive in that regard this week.

Governor Charlie Baker has already prohibited singing, dancing, and shouting on Thanksgiving in the People's Republic of Massachusetts. Baker also recommends that Granny and Gramps be isolated from the rest of the family for the holiday. If I pick up my 90-year-old in-laws in Rhode Island and bring them to my home in Massachusetts, is that smuggling seniors across state lines?

With the Christmas season in full swing, Raimondo has declared new restrictions on shopping, apparently hoping to crush the remaining merchants who survived her previous mandates. The new regs for malls and big-box stores state that for "retailers with more than 30,000 square feet of space – capacity will be reduced to one person per 150 sq. feet."

Gina must have received a lot of coal in her stocking as a kid. I can see why.

Churches are targeted under Gina's new rules, as "capacity will be reduced to 50 percent, with a maximum of 125 people," says the queen of misery. So don't even think about celebrating the birth of Jesus in church this year.

And masks are mandatory. "Masks will be required at all times –inside and outside – when around “people that you don’t live with,” Raimondo ordered.

Raimondo has also imposed a curfew that mirrors Comrade Baker's. All who reside in Gina's fiefdom must remain under lockdown between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

The great Ronald Reagan foresaw these days of dwindling individual liberties and warned the American people what was to come.

Reagan said, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."

Just a reminder that some things are worth fighting for.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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