I thought that a government shutdown meant that the government would just stop providing services. I was wrong. Here is an example of how wrong I was from the Mt. Rushmore National Memorial.
I could see how the trash would not be picked up and the Library and the bathrooms would be closed during the shutdown. But I would not expect the see bunch of federal employees erecting the barriers by the entrance to the Mt. Rushmore National Memorial, making sure that nobody walks on the path to the monument.
If the government is so broke that it is in danger of the default, why spend money on preventing its citizens from simply walking around the park? If the government is “for the people”, shouldn’t the government prioritize spending in a way that benefits the people? Evidently not.
I have heard stories on radio (Talk 650 KSTE, Armstrong and Getty Show – http://www.kste.com/media/podcast-the-armstrong-and-getty-show-armandgettypodcast/) about government employees being asked to go and close parks, paths – or whatever on federal land. In some cases, they were instructed to “make it as uncomfortable for public as possible”. Regrettably, you hear that scoop only on conservative radio. You would think that in a free society, such stories of government abusing its power would be on the front page of every paper, and Americans would be up in arms about it.
Here is another story of the government gone wild. Cliff House, a popular privately owned restaurant in San Francisco, was ordered to close, by Obama administration on October 3rd, 2013, because it sits on land controlled by National Park Service. Some 180 employees (the “little guys” that Obama claims to fight for) were out of work overnight, without warning.
Again, there is absolutely no reason for the government to act. No government action is necessary for the restaurant to run. But the government goes out of its way to make it as uncomfortable as possible for the public…
The Cliff House closing really made me wonder about how the feds came up with a list of ways to punish the people they are supposed to represent, for it’s own inability to do their job. How did they even come up with an idea to shut down Cliff House? It is a (relatively) small business, some 2800 miles away from Capitol Hill. Now I wonder, how many government employees were paid (and how much) by American taxpayers to search for any venue located on federal land, that they could close.
You probably heard the story reported about Vietnam War Memorial in Washington DC. There the veterans protested the closures (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/veterans-protest-closure-of-monuments-and-memorials/2013/10/13/adaf699c-342e-11e3-be86-6aeaa439845b_story.html) – but it was reported that they were upset with lawmaker’s inability to compromise over the budget, not the fact that the government went out if its way to prevent them from entering their memorial.
When I visited the memorial (and government was operating), I saw no government officials at the memorial – you just walk up to the plates. There is no expense associated with keeping the memorial open. I get that it takes money to keep it up, but there is no need for anyone to be there for the vets and other Americans to visit their memorial.
But wait, maybe it is a government for SOME people, just not ordinary Americans. As reported in the USA Today, a week after World War II veterans were booted from their memorial on the National Mall, another, much more important group was cleared by the government to proceed with a concert and rally Tuesday on the Mall.
The march was dubbed the “Camino Americano”. It was hosted, according to USA Today, by groups like Service Employees International Union and Casa de Maryland. Nancy Pelosi and other congressional “leaders” were trying to score political points at the rally. By now you probably figured out who the rally was for – the ILLEGAL immigrants!
I am an immigrant myself but I find it offensive that the same government that goes out of its way to boot the WWII vets out of the Mall, invites illegals to party there.
The concert was by the Mexican band Los Tigres del Norte, by the way. If these poor folks whose first act on the US soil was braking the US law want to be Americans, why not have a concert by an American band? Oh that’s right. Nobody bothers to learn the language of their host country (see related blog). They should have dubbed it the “Camino NO Americano”. (Here is a link to USA Today story: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/10/08/government-shutdown-immigration-rally/2942257/)
Long story short, the US government has reached the point where it is no longer the government of the people, by the people, for the people. It is increasingly a government of politicians, by the lawyers, for themselves. Oh yeah, and screw the people.