Patterico's Pontifications

10/10/2013

“Essential” Government Employees Actively Going Out of Their Way to Screw Up Your Day

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:22 am



With the government slowdown, government is stripped down to the bare minimum of “essential” services.

What is “essential” these days?

  • “Essential”: telling grandma to stop looking at Old Faithful, or taking pictures of the first bison she ever saw . . . or she is going to jail:

  • “Essential”: making sure the Grand Canyon stays closed even though locals are capable of funding, and willing to fund, the park:

    With the partial suspension of U.S. government services showing no signs of ending, tourists will continue to be turned away from the Grand Canyon, despite a push by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and local businesses to reopen the state’s signature national park.

    Brewer wants the iconic park reopened and has offered to pay for it with state money, but her proposal was rejected Thursday by a park official who said that as long as the federal government remains shut down, such a plan isn’t an option.

    (By the way, if you’re the L.A. Times, make sure that you write a sob story about the Grand Canyon closure without mentioning Brewer’s offer, or the fact that the House has voted to fund the National Park Service. Because informed readers!)

  • “Essential”: closing the Cliff House in San Francisco, which sits on federal land but operates without the help of federal workers:

    As we reported last Thursday, the historic Cliff House Restaurant — a privately owned profitable business which sits on land controlled by the National Park Service — was suddenly ordered to close by the Obama administration on October 3.

    Then on Monday, October 7, with little fanfare, Cliff House’s owners Dan and Mary Hountalas decided to defy the government’s closure order and instead re-open for business, to the delight of the hundreds of tourists and locals who dine there every day. When word leaked out that the Cliff House had re-opened, the local National Park Service office consulted with Washington DC and then issued a second (and apparently firmer) order to the owners to re-close the restaurant —who were then forced to unwillingly comply for a second time last night at midnight:

So: we have cut off funding for nonessential government services. (I know, I know: temporarily. It’s actually a paid vacation for those workers. Don’t bother me with the facts. I’m trying to make a rhetorical point here, OK? Now I have to start all over. Jeez.)

So: we have cut off funding for nonessential government services.

Can we cut off the “essential” ones next?

A PERSONAL NOTE: I have always been a fan of the National Park Service, mainly because I love the national parks and equated the two. They seemed to do a good job and my experiences were always positive. So, when we would enter a park, I would buy the Golden Eagle pass. Maybe I would use it again and maybe I wouldn’t. But I felt good about it, like my money was going to a good cause.

I’ll still go the parks. I love the parks. But I now hate the NPS — or at least the people in charge of it. I’m sure the line people are OK (except for the ones following orders and telling grandma not to “recreate”). And from now on, I’ll buy the pass only if I know it is going to save me money. And next time I am at a national park, I am going to tell the people there what a disgrace I think their bosses are.

I bet they’ll (perhaps silently) agree with me.

143 Responses to ““Essential” Government Employees Actively Going Out of Their Way to Screw Up Your Day”

  1. Time for civil disobedience. I would love to see footage of senior citizens arrested for looking at a geyser. That would hurt these goose-stepping proto-fascists.

    It’s what Alinsky would have recommended, right?

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  2. This made me feel better. I think Jon Stewart should run his show one night from the Mall.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/bennyjohnson/brave-tourists-are-blatantly-defying-the-us-governments-dema

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  3. I’m supposed to take my mother to the Grand Canyon for the first time in her life this weekend, in celebration of her birthday. I’m trying to figure out a way to get past any barricades and sneak in if it is still “closed.” I am also trying to find out if the helicopter tours are still going on amidst all this slowdown nonsense.

    JVW (93c84b)

  4. I would like to see that when the impasse is over and full funding is restored to NPS that one in ten positions at every G- level NPS is eliminated. Just to give the GOP a 10% boost in the polls in 2014 if nothing else.

    nk (dbc370)

  5. Did this happen during the Ford, Carter, Reagan, or Clinton administrations?

    Michael Ejercito (b371e1)

  6. Oh, and Alinsky would probably like more people going around Old Faithful with bared genitals and signs that said “I’ve got a geyser you can close, Obame.”

    nk (dbc370)

  7. Never Michael.

    Screw the NPS. Their cooperation with Obama’s illegal Intolerable Acts won’t be forgiven nor forgotten.

    SPQR (0bad1d)

  8. Its amazing how polarized our federal workers have become

    IRS acting maybe on their own in harassing conservatives

    EPA – ohh don’t get me started

    OSHA – another don’t get me started

    The Capitol police – clubbing wheel chaired heros?

    And now the NPS?

    What next tanks on the highways?

    EPWJ (c3dbb4)

  9. By their actions, the NPS would be a better fit over at DHS, reporting to TSA.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  10. What next tanks on the highways?
    Comment by EPWJ (c3dbb4) — 10/10/2013 @ 8:25 am

    From what I’ve heard, “only” armored personnel carriers designed to withstand IED’s.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  11. Yes, and with their tires, they are less stressful to the pavement than tank treads.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  12. I do believe that the Emperor has lost the mandate of Heaven.

    Bar Sinister (b48c12)

  13. This commentary and accompanying photos are well worth a few minutes of your time. Lawbreaking anarchist tourists!! And even evidence of a lawbreaking squirrel. Quite amusing. Could the NPS look any more stupid?

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/bennyjohnson/brave-tourists-are-blatantly-defying-the-us-governments-dema

    elissa (8d66d6)

  14. Does anyone see the invisible hand of the good reverend in all of this?

    The reverend that our president disavowed while sitting in the front pew for more than a decade of hate spewing sermons?

    EPWJ (c3dbb4)

  15. 13- Well Done, elissa.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  16. Great link, elissa. Hey, does happyfeet know you’re around? Keep a bucket of cold water handy, just in case.

    nk (dbc370)

  17. At elissa’s link, the photo of the WWI memorial said it was closed “except for 1st Amendment activities.” That would be a good exception to make at every park.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  18. I like seeing our congresspeople push back. At least they are pro-actively fighting the absurd power plays. Hopefully more of our representatives will take note and jump on the bandwagon…because what happens if total anarchy occurs by elected officials peacefully protesting by walking behind a barrier or moving an orange cone?

    Utah state senator Steve Urquhart wants to take roughly 400 friends on a stroll this Saturday through Zion National Park, one of his state’s five national parks and a 229-square-mile reserve that the federal government has tried to shutter.

    He and anyone who joins him risk getting cited for trespassing or arrested, so he’s characterizing the hike as a First Amendment action. The National Park Service allowed an immigration-reform rally Tuesday on the closed National Mall and retroactively allowed visiting World War II vets into their memorial last week on the same grounds.

    Dana (6178d5)

  19. p.s. Who knew the First Amendment would become so pesky at this point in time…

    Dana (6178d5)

  20. Patterico: (By the way, if you’re the L.A. Times, make sure that you write a sob story about the Grand Canyon closure without mentioning Brewer’s offer, or the fact that the House has voted to fund the National Park Service. Because informed readers!)

    At least Gail Collins’ column in the New York Times today has a somewhat accurate summary:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/10/opinion/collins-first-the-good-news.html

    ….This is how members of Congress fill up their time during the current crisis. The Republicans introduce bills to fund a particularly sympathetic sector of government. The Democrats respond with a proposal to fund the whole government. Then the Republicans say the Democrats are the enemy of veterans, parks, national guardsmen or food inspections.

    “Why don’t we open the parts of government that we agree to?” demanded Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.

    “We’ll be here in December, doing agency by agency,” responded Dick Durbin, the assistant majority leader.

    And the Environmental Protection Agency would still be on furlough. Also the Labor Department. And the Internal Revenue Service.

    The I.R.S. would probably be the last to return. That would be very tough on people who have serious issues they need to resolve. For instance, my husband, Dan, recently received a notice from the agency announcing that he was dead. Apparently this is a fairly common error, but Dan wants to be bureaucratically resurrected, and there’s nobody on the other end of the phone to talk to…

    Sammy Finkelman (bec8ba)

  21. If the feds will attempt to close down the WW2 Memorial and prohibit people from taking photos from highway turnouts, why would any rational American want the same feds in charge of their health care ?

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  22. to: JVW Re: Grand Canyon

    According to the Washington Times, inkeepers are providing instructions on using (open) forsest service roads to overlooks that provide grand canyon views without “tresspass” upon National Park land:

    The Jacob Lake Inn, at a key crossroads above the north rim of the Grand Canyon, is losing business because of the shutdown. Matt Rich, one of the family owners, said this is the peak month and the make-or-break season, but 25 of the inn’s 62 rooms were empty Tuesday.

    He said the inn isn’t trying to run afoul of the rules, but if visitors ask, they will receive directions to Forest Service roads that provide glimpses of the canyon without entering the park.

    Douglas2 (3b2af5)

  23. Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 10/10/2013 @ 9:31 am

    Just showing up is a 1st-A activity:
    Our right to “Peaceably Assemble”,
    and in accordance with SCOTUS decisions (in the case of strippers) that “activity” is “speech”.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  24. Hey, I just heard that supposedly the Dept. of the Interior is going to start talking to states that are interested in paying to keep parks open.

    The dems must not only be losing out, but realizing they are losing out.

    but we’ll see.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  25. Obama has finally deployed Drones here in the good ol’ US of A.

    They are called “Park Rangers.”

    Tom (bea0bc)

  26. If the feds will attempt to close down the WW2 Memorial and prohibit people from taking photos from highway turnouts, why would any rational American want the same feds in charge of their health care ?

    Because they know that the government would never screw good, caring people like them.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  27. MD, more states are finding ways to push back, even Murkowski in Alaska (making a very salient point…see bold print). See 18. These states simply can’t afford to be losing the tourist dollar like this.

    Also, even Murkowski in Alaska is fighting back,

    When the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began shutting down lands in Alaska because of the shutdown, Alaska lawmakers pushed back. Citing the 1980 law guaranteeing state residents access to the land, these Alaskans are not only calling the practice wrong, but illegal.

    “It seems that agencies are working harder to keep people off federal lands than they have ever worked before to get them to visit federal lands,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski.

    The Alaska National Interest Land Conservation act demands that the government give notice of any closures before blocking access to public lands, according to a Washington Times report. Though the Park Service and Bureau of Land Management have left their lands open, the Fish and Wildlife Service has closed access to their lands in spite of the law.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/360908/feds-closure-alaska-land-violates-state-law-alec-torres

    Dana (6178d5)

  28. Civil service isn’t supposed to mean enemy of the people.

    Amphipolis (d3e04f)

  29. Comment by Dana (6178d5) — 10/10/2013 @ 10:34 am

    You know, just saying, there’s a lot of space in Alaska to hide things.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  30. “Fish and Wildlife Service has closed access to their lands in spite of the law.”

    There’s that word.

    Sarahw (b0e533)

  31. This is a profound argument against Obamacare. These guys are ruthless. If you oppose Obama you get an audit, and if you don’t actually cooperate with Obama, well maybe he’ll deny your family medicine next time. What’s to stop him?

    Dustin (303dca)

  32. If the open air federally-funded WW2 Memorial needs to be shut down, then why doesn’t Obama just man up and go all the way with his punishment of the American people by attempting to shut down the federally-funded open air interstate highways ?

    C’mon, Barack, you Choomin’ Gangsta wannabe toughie, you should go for broke (oops, that pun is too literal!) go all the way with your Alinskyite tactics.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  33. R.I.P. astronaut Scott Carpenter

    Icy (db391e)

  34. there you are!

    unpredictable as weather you’re as flighty as a feather

    elissa this is the most boring government shutdown I ever seen my whole life I’m glad you’re back. You know what would be fun? National slap a park ranger upside their stupid nazi head day.

    happyfeet (c60db2)

  35. keep this in mind when the federal funded cops say they won’t comply with second amendment restrictions. They’ll enforce this bull sh*t, but not a federal law? Don’t buy it.

    Ghost (476943)

  36. .
    Warren, At Coyote Blog, has a lot to say about this topic, being as he’s a private park operator
    .

    He says he’s applied for an injunction to force them to stop requiring this of them.

    .

    Smock Puppet, Gadfy, Racist-Sexist Thug, and Bon Vivant All In One Package (afdedb)

  37. Geez, talk about spite. They won’t even let your computer sync its clock with the time.gov servers anymore.

    Does anybody really know what time it is?

    Chris (0ba377)

  38. It’s Howdy Doody Time!

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  39. Comment by Douglas2 (3b2af5) — 10/10/2013 @ 10:09 am

    Thank you! I’ll see what mischief I can get into.

    JVW (93c84b)

  40. .
    The level of ridiculous spite gets even better:

    In what looks like a spiteful move, the NPS even
    removed handles from water spigots along the
    Chesapeake and Ohio canal where bikers and
    joggers exercise as well as along the Great
    Allegheny Passage, just to ensure people
    don’t get any water from them.

    Story here

    Wow. Does this seem as politically stupid to you as it does to me?

    Smock Puppet, Gadfy, Racist-Sexist Thug, and Bon Vivant All In One Package (afdedb)

  41. is this really america?!what president ever in history in the u.s.a. ever would do this to it’s people who voted them and got them where they are w/out us all in leadership would be no where but working in some law firm or something other.now we all know just what kind of people were voted into office… what difference does it matter at this point we will see next election won’t we.

    anne (693cc2)

  42. the NPS even
    removed handles from water spigots…just to ensure people don’t get any water from them.

    Comment by Smock Puppet, Gadfy, Racist-Sexist Thug, and Bon Vivant All In One Package (afdedb) — 10/10/2013 @ 4:10 pm

    Wow. Does this seem as politically stupid to you as it does to me?

    Only if people realize this is not the fault of Congress.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  43. “Only if people realize this is not the fault of Congress.”

    Because Congress forced Obama to close parks and plazas, sites that have always been open 24/7/365, threatening arrest for anyone who dared to walk onto the grounds. Yeah, that makes lots of sense.

    pst314 (ae6bd1)

  44. Comment by Chris (0ba377) — 10/10/2013 @ 2:57 pm

    They won’t even let your computer sync its clock with the time.gov servers anymore.

    All the government computers have ben shut down??

    Does anybody really know what time it is?

    This is still working: (I think)

    http://tycho.usno.navy.mil/cgi-bin/timer.pl

    Although the time doesn’t change once you hit it.

    Try this: http://www.timeanddate.com/

    This is the one that’s shut down:

    http://www.nist.gov

    But they say this can be used: http://tf.nist.gov/tf-cgi/servers.cgi

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  45. Comment by pst314 (ae6bd1) — 10/10/2013 @ 4:30 pm

    Because Congress forced Obama to close parks and plazas, sites that have always been open 24/7/365, threatening arrest for anyone who dared to walk onto the grounds. Yeah, that makes lots of sense.

    This is all geared toward people who don’t know what causes what. Obama is claiming everything is “due to a lapse in government funding.”

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  46. I would love to see footage of senior citizens arrested for looking at a geyser.

    geezers looking at a geyser?

    Milhouse (b95258)

  47. By their actions, the NPS would be a better fit over at DHS, reporting to TSA.

    Harvey and Sheila,
    Harvey and Sheila,
    Harvey and Sheila,
    Oh, the day they met…

    Milhouse (b95258)

  48. Well, this is certainly interesting. Due to the shutdown, the WH has had to take down their visitor logs, which are part of the administrations *commitment* to transparency.

    “Due to Congress’s failure to pass legislation to fund the government, the information on this web site may not be up to date. Some submissions may not be processed, and we may not be able to respond to your inquiries,” reads the index page for the visitor logs.

    “This dataset is currently private,” says the exact location on the page where the visitor logs used to be.

    Fine. Another dopey move by the WH. What’s new…

    But then we find out that this is also one of many cases in which the shutdown has been cited as a reason to disappear information that is potentially embarrassing to the administration.

    Bureau of Labor Statistics quickly deep-sixed its September unemployment statistics as other employment proxies indicated the work situation has worsened once again. The Department of Agriculture has buried its September food stamps statistics which are also expected to show increased poverty, dependency and economic regression under Obama.

    The White House is currently embroiled in a growing scandal following revelations Wednesday that senior White House officials exchanged confidential taxpayer information on groups with IRS officials at the center of the IRS conservative targeting scandal.

    The White House visitor logs include records of numerous White House meetings between IRS official Sarah Hall Ingram and White House official Jeanne Lambrew, who exchanged confidential taxpayer information in emails sent to one another.

    The vanished visitor logs have been a key source of information on corruption at the IRS and the Obama administration throughout the scandal over targeted auditing of the president’s political enemies.

    http://dailycaller.com/2013/10/10/white-house-takes-down-white-house-visitor-logs-blames-republicans/

    Dana (6178d5)

  49. National slap a park ranger upside their stupid nazi head day.

    As long as there are enough of us that we can fill the jails with our civil disobedient selves, I’m up for it.

    Smock Puppet, Gadfy, Racist-Sexist Thug, and Bon Vivant All In One Package (afdedb)

  50. Following those orders makes them as bad as the rest. Sorry.

    These are union guys with lots of discretion and job protections.

    Rodney King's Spirit (5afc40)

  51. This letter press release was posted on the House Armed Services Committee website yesterday.

    http://armedservices.house.gov/index.cfm/2013/10/hasc-vice-chairman-thornberry-pentagon-playing-political-games-with-death-benefits

    HASC Vice Chairman Thornberry: Pentagon playing political games with death benefits

    Washington, DC — Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-TX), the vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following comments in response to the Pentagon’s decision to freeze death benefits for families of the fallen:

    “I am very concerned that the Administration’s attempt to play politics with the lives of Americans has extended even to military families who have lost loved ones.

    “Ten days ago, before the government was partially shut down, the House and the Senate passed a bill to pay troops, civilians, and contractors in DOD. The President signed it into law on September 30.

    “Amazingly, Pentagon lawyers seem to have gone out of their way to interpret that death benefits to surviving family members of fallen service members were not covered in this bill. Rather than squabble with lawyers, the House arranged an immediate vote to make it abundantly clear that such benefits should be paid. It passed the House today by a bipartisan vote of 425 to 0…

    The Pay Our Military Act appropriated funds for military pay and allowances. You can see that the death gratuity is listed on the DoD’s pay and allowances summary attached to this letter.

    http://armedservices.house.gov/index.cfm/files/serve?File_id=e6120e62-f895-45c7-b73a-3ae63a4e3685

    What’s more the non-partisan Congressional Research Service determined that the death gratuity would be included in pay and allowances.

    The HASC has demanded Hagel explain his rationale for not paying this benefit. And also what other types of pay and allowances he arbitrarily plans to withhold from the troops and why.

    Just wanted to point out what President Mean Girl thinks are “Essential” Government Employees. Lawyers who’ll work round the clock to screw over the troops in order to make the biggest media splash.

    How many times have we heard Obama say “If Congress doesn’t act, I will.” He’ll invent new immigration law, and find ways to give people money when it’s politically expedient for him.

    Such as give people subsidies through the exchanges and give Congress members and their staffers their employer contribution even though the ACA is clear. You can only get a subsidy through a state exchange, and if you buy on the exchange you lose your employer contribution, if any.

    As CinC that’s one area where he can act since he has broad authority. He could have authorized the death gratuity with a stroke of the pen. And it would have been entirely legitimate.

    Instead he went out of his way to screw over the troops for his own political purposes. Yes, he really is that much of an a**hole. Which explains why the one group of government employees he deems essential in a partial government shutdown are those who work at the Dept. of A**holes.

    Steve57 (51ff17)

  52. *through the federal exchanges*

    Steve57 (51ff17)

  53. The jackwagon, appropriate term, who is the PEntagon controller ‘resents the remarks’ of his negligence,

    narciso (3fec35)

  54. Well, he can “resent” comments about his negligence all he wants, but I’ll bet he’ll have a very nice day on The Hill explaining that negligence and more to the HAFC, and probably to Issa’s committee too.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  55. Hagel will probably get the chance. The HASC subcommittee dealing with personnel matters asked for his rationale for denying this death gratuity. As well as any other pay or allowances he plans on arbitrarily denying, and his rational for each of those.

    The deadline was today. I don’t believe he responded to the letter. If he has, and Rep. Thornberry’s statement is the result, then they definitely aren’t satisfied with it.

    Either way, if he missed the deadline or if he forwarded some sort of inadequate explanation, Hagel can expect to be in the hot seat before the HASC.

    And as we all saw (if you watched) during his Senate confirmation hearings, we can expect him to embarrass himself.

    Steve57 (51ff17)

  56. Comment by Steve57 (51ff17) — 10/10/2013 @ 6:36 pm

    The HASC subcommittee dealing with personnel matters asked for his rationale for denying this death gratuity.

    Well, the answer would be, that’s what the lawyers said. Of course that kind of ignores who told the lawyers to go and look for what kind of hardshness they could create. The legal rationale has obviously got to be that a death benefit is not pay to the soldier (although if the Adminsitration wanted it to be, it could be very easy to describe it as just that)

    As for the letter they sent the committee, Justice Scalia would not rely on that, but only on the text of the law..

    Sammy Finkelman (bec8ba)

  57. Just showing up is a 1st-A activity:
    Our right to “Peaceably Assemble”,
    and in accordance with SCOTUS decisions (in the case of strippers) that “activity” is “speech”.

    Not all activity, just activity that expresses something. Such as contempt for 0bama and his jackbooted park rangers.

    Milhouse (20dddd)

  58. I’ve seen all of these useless SOB’s I care to ever see at Cape Lookout and Hatteras. To them it’s their property and no one should be there but them. The citizens will defile their parks and should not have access. After all, they are the only ones that care.

    Agitator (0bcbec)

  59. keep this in mind when the federal funded cops say they won’t comply with second amendment restrictions. They’ll enforce this bull sh*t, but not a federal law? Don’t buy it.

    I assume they’re not the same people.

    I can also understand if there are some people who are willing to put their careers and freedom on the line for a core value like the 2a, but not for a relatively trivial cause like keeping the parks open.

    Milhouse (20dddd)

  60. learning about the National Park Service’s penchant for fascism is one of the most valuable things to come out of Government Shutdown 2013 so far

    I had absolutely no idea those people were fascist anti-American whores.

    Did you?

    happyfeet (c60db2)

  61. time.nist.gov works just fine.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  62. Only if people realize this is not the fault of Congress.

    Yeah, Congress ordered the park service to remove handles from drinking fountains. Sure. These would be especially stupid people, I guess.

    Next up: removing the white lines from the Interstates.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  63. No feets, I did not know. I just thought they were public servants with interesting jobs who had to wear unattractive clothes so as not to distract from the nice historic and natural sites they were guarding and guiding. I am shocked.

    elissa (18305b)

  64. Removing the handles for faucets is sadistic and sick.

    elissa (18305b)

  65. As for the letter they sent the committee, Justice Scalia would not rely on that, but only on the text of the law..

    Nope. Scalia is a big fan of governmental immunity. When it comes to government employees, they can only do wrong if their lawyers and three layers of courts have told them in advance that what they propose to do is wrong. Otherwise, they are not presumed to know what every kindergartener is taught — to respect the rights of other people. And that’s what immunizes the SCOAMf’s (snicker) dick holders here.

    nk (dbc370)

  66. I predict a Leatherman tool, with pliers, becoming recommended gear for hikers and even casual tourists.

    nk (dbc370)

  67. No matter how this works out, has anyone considered the damage to the reputation of the National Park Service?

    In our culture, Park Rangers have always been heroes, from adopting Lassie to spoiling Yogi Bear’s raids on visitor’s food. Nevada Barr made a living writing about how great and smart Park Ranger’s are. I remember in old films how they sat atop towers to spot forest fires and thinking that would be a great job.

    And now, they are just armed government thugs stopping old people from watching Old Faithful.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  68. Officer Friendly now carries a collapsible baton, a Taser, a sidearm, and a submachine gun or assault rifle, and wears body armor and a Nazi-style helmet. Things change.

    nk (dbc370)

  69. Ag80,

    The Park Service is part of the federal government. Given how bloated, authoritarian, wasteful, and useless the federal government has become, I never tire seeing it exposed for what it has become.

    Let state and local government take over park management and I think we’ll see the Park Service become much more responsive to what people want and what the parks need.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  70. 56. …The legal rationale has obviously got to be that a death benefit is not pay to the soldier (although if the Adminsitration wanted it to be, it could be very easy to describe it as just that)

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (bec8ba) — 10/10/2013 @ 7:09 pm

    The rationale will be that DFAS doesn’t categorize the death gratuity as pay or an allowance, but as a benefit.

    http://militarypay.defense.gov/Benefits/index.html

    So the Obama administration that can read anything into the law when it suits them will argue that they have been newly converted to fundamentalist interpretations of the law. And since Congress didn’t use the right word, even though DoD also lists the death gratuity under pay and allowances, they just had to screw over the troops’ families.

    Sorry for your loss.

    Note that other things such as separation pay and SGLI are categorized as benefits, but also listed on the DoD document under pay and allowances.

    But you’re right about one thing Sammy. If Obama wanted to, they could have interpreted the pay and allowances to include the death gratuity. After all, even though the ACA explicitly says that subsidies are only available through the state exchanges, the Obama administration decided to interpret that to include the federal exchanges since so many states declined to participate.

    Except in the case of the death gratuity the CinC actually does have the authority to make that interpretation.

    Steve57 (51ff17)

  71. “I do believe that the Emperor has lost the mandate of Heaven.”

    Well played sir. Well played.

    Rick67 (b238bb)

  72. From SayUncle, the reason the volunteer was turned away from mowing the Mall. http://www.saysuncle.com/2013/10/10/no-you-cant-volunteer/ It’s a pretty sick reason, too.

    nk (dbc370)

  73. There is a reason I mention Nevada Barr. She is a former Park Ranger who became a popular mystery novelist based on her experiences and knowledge of the park system. Many of her books were written while still a Ranger. They are good books and I would encourage anyone interested in the National Park System to read them.

    However, during the Bush administration, she not only retired, but she also started introducing conservative characters into her books which she enjoyed portraying as evil. She also managed to condemn President Bush as the leader of all who seek to damage the parks and our nation.

    The reason I mention this is because up until President Bush’s administration, her books were fairly apolitical.

    Since then, I think we have ample evidence that the bureaucratic class no longer has a devotion to the people paying its livelihood, but rather it has an allegiance to a federal bureaucracy under the control of the party it approves. Re: the IRS and the NPS and many others too numerous to name.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  74. I think it’s time Sally Jewell and Jonathan Jarvis were tarred and feathered.

    People need to start calling them out personally on this.

    crosspatch (f08108)

  75. Officer Friendly now carries a collapsible baton, a Taser, a sidearm, and a submachine gun or assault rifle, and wears body armor and a Nazi-style helmet. Things change.

    Who knew the palace guards were gonna be the NPS law enforcement arm… next thing you know the parks will be run by the dept of homeland security and they’ll be driving around in surplus MRAP’s with a 25MM on the roof

    steveg (794291)

  76. The HASC has demanded Hagel explain his rationale for not paying this benefit. And also what other types of pay and allowances he arbitrarily plans to withhold from the troops and why.

    Remember, this is Hagel who was supposedly a Republican, and whose confirmation we were castigated for opposing. Any second thoughts now, by those who supported him?

    Milhouse (b95258)

  77. How do you get a reputation back when you’ve sold it?

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  78. Meghan’s coward daddy was an enthusiastic Yes! vote for Sally Jewell

    http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=113&session=1&vote=00094

    I think he’s definitely bitter cause of he failed fairly spectacularly in his quest to become America’s first fascist president and now Food Stamp will get all the glory, but he’s not bitter enough to vote against a fellow fascist.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  79. the local National Park Service office consulted with Washington DC and then issued a second (and apparently firmer) order to the owners to re-close the restaurant — who were then forced to unwillingly comply for a second time last night at midnight:

    Wow. Ponder the mindset behind such a galling and diabolical act. How ruthless and dishonest such people have to be to initiate a truly Machiavellian routine. How arrogant such behavior has to be, even more that it occurs in light of the well-publicized scandals at the IRS, State Department and NSA.

    The USA is becoming a northern version of Venezuela or Argentina, and there may be no turning back.

    Mark (58ea35)

  80. there may be no turning back duh looked at the debt lately

    a simple return to normative interest rates and bingo bango this pitiful little country’s oh so exceptional ass lands in the dustbin of history

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  81. For the next few years, removing the handles from toilets used by NPS personnel should be encouraged.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  82. Just so everyone knows, at least in Texas, it looks as if healthcare.gov is working.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  83. The HASC subcommittee dealing with personnel matters asked for his rationale for denying this death gratuity.

    Well, the answer would be, that’s what the lawyers said.

    The lawyers aren’t in charge. He is. “My lawyer told me I could get away with it” doesn’t fly in court, and it won’t fly here.

    “Very well, after you’ve paid the penalty feel free to sue your lawyer for malpractice.”

    Milhouse (b95258)

  84. Why would the Park Rangers goose step with the Obama Nazis?

    American sucks.

    AZ Bob (c99389)

  85. Famed investor Warren Buffett told Fortune that refusing to raise the debt limit is so dangerous that it should be “banned as a weapon … like nuclear bombs, basically too horrible to use.”

    would it were Team R used the debt limit even half as mercilessly as you’ve used your whore secretary

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  86. Never mind, it’s not working. I got the try again later page.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  87. Blast from the past. Highlight videos from Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearings. The first is my favorite. It’s when he recaps all the defense related subjects upon which he revealed his cluelessness, and promises to learn on the job. But then goes on to reassure people that as Secretary of Defense he won’t actually be in charge of anything.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6-EKoUIfyQ

    Hagel: If Confirmed, I Intend To Learn About The Defense Department

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=eUwN0ZaynVM

    Fumble: Chuck Hagel Stumbles Answering Questions – Fireworks at Confirmation Hearings

    Another one of his highlights apparently isn’t on video. It’s when he expounded on the fact that he supported the President’s policy of containment of the Iranian nuclear threat. One of his flunkeys handed him a note informing him that wasn’t Obama’s (publicly expressed) policy. I always thought that was a Freudian slip; Obama let him in on the secret that the whole prevention thing was just for the dim bulbs in flyover country.

    So Hagel had to backtrack and say he misspoke. Then he went on to say we don’t have a policy on containment. Democrat Carl Levin had to gently correct him and let him know we do have a policy on containment. We’re against it.

    Anyhoo I said at the time it was an insult to the members of the armed forces that Obama nominated him for SecDef (and that the Senate confirmed him). Now he and Obama have teamed up to give an even bigger insult to the members of the armed forces.

    I hope he gets a good grilling over this death gratuity fiasco. I hope there’s somebody on that House subcommittee who can take him apart.

    Steve57 (51ff17)

  88. 82. Just so everyone knows, at least in Texas, it looks as if healthcare.gov is working.

    Comment by Ag80 (eb6ffa) — 10/10/2013 @ 8:56 pm

    Did you have to check a block attesting to the fact that you answered everything truthfully under penalty of perjury?

    That’s what a reader from Texas told Jim Geraghty at NRO’s Campaign Spot today.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/360901/obamacares-next-big-problem-high-deductibles-high-co-pays-jim-geraghty

    Steve57 (51ff17)

  89. 84.Why would the Park Rangers goose step with the Obama Nazis?

    American sucks.

    Comment by AZ Bob

    Why wouldn’t they AZ Bob? They are, after all is said, government employees, i.e. G-men.

    When Patterico ended his post with the line: “I bet they’ll (perhaps silently) agree with me.” I chuckled to myself. No, they won’t my friend. They know which side their bread is buttered on and it ain’t us small government types.

    It was mentioned above that some guys would like to see the parks run by states. The NPS is the result of a progressive, Teddy Roosevelt and his desire to grab land “to protect and preserve it”. If parks are worth anything they should be sold to private contractors. The Feds own too much land as it is. Our tax money isn’t used to support Disneyland, Epcot, Dorney Park and hundreds of others. But for some reason only gov’mnt union workers can run Old Faithful. I don’t buy it.

    Hoagie (0cccd8)

  90. I think he’s definitely bitter cause of he failed fairly spectacularly in his quest to become America’s first fascist president and now Food Stamp will get all the glory,

    Oh, he was decades too late for that.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  91. Oops. Didn’t see your 9:05pm comment.

    Steve57 (51ff17)

  92. Smock Puppet, Gadfy, Racist-Sexist Thug, and Bon Vivant All In One Package: is that story about the water handles corroborated in any way? It sounds so crazy over the top — but I wouldn’t put it past these thugs. Still, I’d like to see more proof than a couple of lines in this one story.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  93. I’ve read that removing the water handles may not be so sinister. It may have something to do with prepping for winter so the pipes don’t freeze.

    Steve57 (51ff17)

  94. Famed investor Warren Buffett told Fortune that refusing to raise the debt limit is so dangerous that it should be “banned as a weapon … like nuclear bombs, basically too horrible to use.”

    Wow. He can’t really be that dumb, can he?

    Milhouse (b95258)

  95. He just thinks the rest of us are that dumb. Like when he calls for higher taxes on the rich, knowing he won’t pay them.

    Steve57 (51ff17)

  96. I bet they’ll (perhaps silently) agree with me.

    Perhaps not—and that is a truly disturbing thought, one which now truly forces me to realize just how decadent and corrupt a society can become.

    FWIW, I had lunch today with a group of people who are pretty much of the left, one who even described himself as being an extreme liberal. These people’s backgrounds and professions were not that of, for example, Hollywood schmoozers, Silicon-Valley hipsters or Manhattan elitists living in a fantasy world. Instead they were fairly mainstream professionals, all middle-aged to older.

    The willful naivete and absurdly immature idealism expressed by most of them was astonishing and galling. Their kids-lashing-out-at-mommy-daddy type of anger towards conservatives/Republicans was also quite a sight to behold.

    It was like listening to a crowd of what some of Patterico’s forumers label as “trolls,” but applied to the faces of people I know personally and who in general are rather friendly souls. But the lack of basic common sense evident in all of them was ridiculous and disturbing. And, again, they weren’t youngsters about ready to enter high school or in the middle of their college-grad years.

    It reminded me all over again of why liberal bias really does need to be studied, of why it’s so pernicious and corrosive. Moreover, such bias ain’t a laughing matter, a case of something that when scrutinized and described deserves to trigger the rolling of the eyes from those who aren’t necessarily of the left and who should know better. Simply put, ignoring the dynamics of left-leaning sentiment in the human race is at our own peril.

    Mark (58ea35)

  97. Anyone surprised at this news?

    JVW (93c84b)

  98. You should try the reservation side of the Grand Canyon. It’s just as grand standing on the non-federal side of the river, plus they have a glass bottom Skywalk.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Canyon_Skywalk

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  99. I work for the government. State Government, but it’s Illinois. The rank political bias of the professional civil service is unforgivable. Once you declare yourself to be a lackey of the president, you make yourself a party hack for his party. And they should have taken other options. Leak orders to the press. Call in sick. Slack off on the job when these orders come in. Claim it breaks your union contract to act as a crowd control officer. If the governor decided to make us screw people over, I’d find ways to avoid it. I don’t blame them for not quitting, I do blame them for acting as political enforcers and hired thugs.

    Quite frankly, the next president needs to apply a blowtorch to the civil service system. Remove dysfunctional leaders, and get turnaround artists in there with orders to shape the place up by any means necessary. I don’t think that the majority of the park service is filled with assholes, because I would have thought that my family would have run into them in our many visits to the parks, but the culture needs to change immediately if they want to ever be a respected entity again.

    Bureaucrats need to respect, even fear, the American people. The American People are the CEO, the head honcho, the big cheese. If government workers cannot live with that reality, find someone else who can.

    OmegaPaladin (f4a293)

  100. 98. You should try the reservation side of the Grand Canyon. It’s just as grand standing on the non-federal side of the river, plus they have a glass bottom Skywalk.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Canyon_Skywalk

    Comment by papertiger (c2d6da) — 10/10/2013 @ 10:24 pm

    Wow. That’s great. It confirms my earlier conclusion when I heard how petty the NPS was when they were closing all these sites of magnificent natural beauty. And went so far as to put up traffic cones to prevent you from taking a look.

    We should take the land away from the feds and give it back to the Indians.

    Steve57 (51ff17)

  101. If we fast forward one year, we’ll likely see a similar financial situation … massively excessive federal spending supported by Federal Reserve “quantitative easing”, continued special (illegal) waivers by the goons in the WH to spare political allies the pain of Obamacare, and a House with the power of the purse but little else. The difference when it comes time to shut down the government will be that the goons in the WH will have their tentacles securely wrapped around various regulatory bodies that will have the power to close emergency rooms, medical testing facilities and the like by simply asserting that their inspectors are not essential, meaning they can go deer hunting for a few weeks, and any medical facility that dares to provide service without these overseers will be breaking the law. Instead of being denied access to resturants and roadside viewpoints, we’ll discover that medical care is no longer available. And Homeland Security will have 2717 armored personnel carriers that they can man with essential personnel and park infront of the emergency facilities to enforce the dictate. Do we really want to have this battle next year?

    bobathome (c0c2b5)

  102. What next tanks on the highways?
    EPWJ (c3dbb4)

    Unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s next. Tomorrow, the word is that Obama is putting National Guard and their tanks (and guns and jeeps) on the beltway surrounding DC in order to shut down the Trucker Constitution Protest.

    I don’t know what he’s going to do to the Vets yet, but we’re talking about Obama so…it will probably be bad. He really hates us.

    Bets (717964)

  103. Sounds like these guys should be wearing redcoats with those green uniforms

    PMRich (2da478)

  104. After hearing Juan Mccain latest words, we should have left him in nam.

    mg (31009b)

  105. he doesn’t add value

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  106. Fence that danged straddler.

    nk (dbc370)

  107. ==It reminded me all over again of why liberal bias really does need to be studied, of why it’s so pernicious and corrosive.==

    Oh, I think that most people who read here regularly already know that liberalism is pernicious and corrosive. I think we all know that the public education system, universities, Hollywood, and the East Coast based media have influenced the liberal outcomes both subtly and not so subtly over several generations while America slept. How much more study and theorizing about this is really required, Mark? How much does repetition and additional hand-wringing help us now?

    You said on this very thread that there may be no turning back. Yet you also stated that we “ignore it at our peril”. I’d wager that most of us here agree with that. But we’ve all already got the diagnosis pretty well nailed down and have plenty of supporting examples, don’t you think? I for one would very much enjoy seeing you enhance your approach by moving your analysis on to offer some possible (even baby step) workable solutions or some specific current actions toward a cure. Besides venting on the internet what might you, and individual Conservatives and others on the right do to better contain or ameliorate things–even if a full turnaround back to classic American values seems unlikely at this point. Do you think you could contemplate on, and then write a post about that?

    elissa (18305b)

  108. Feds or State gub’mint
    THEY are not the boss of US
    all you need to know

    Colonel Haiku (101cd9)

  109. #108 Very well said, Elissa.

    felipe (70ff7e)

  110. Q: Does anybody really know what time it is?

    A: Does anybody realy care?

    Chicago was ahead of its time (pun intended)

    felipe (70ff7e)

  111. A geyser with geezers is called a geezer-geyser. The geezers wear visors called geezer-geyser-visors. The cheap geezers usually purchase geezer-geyser-miser-visors.

    Enough, already.

    felipe (70ff7e)

  112. I agree with felipe. Well said, elissa.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  113. I for one would very much enjoy seeing you enhance your approach by moving your analysis on to offer some possible (even baby step) workable solutions or some specific current actions toward a cure.

    Elissa, if various people — in this forum, for example — really understood what’s going on below the surface, they wouldn’t place all the responsibility for the leftward tilt evident in America but also societies throughout the world on factors exclusive to this nation and internal forces such as the American media and academia. BTW, I count myself among that crowd (ie, various people), in that it wasn’t all that long I caught myself actually musing that perhaps the Republican Party didn’t have an easier time marketing itself because it’s associated with the word “Republican,” which may sound too fuddy-duddy, stuffy or non-emotional to the average Joe Blow out there. Then it suddenly occurred to me that the counterpart version of it in Mexico — whose name is PAN, or the National Action Party (which sounds fairly okay or ambiguous, or neutral to me) — is treated by a majority of Mexicans in a similar way.

    Also, if various people really accepted what’s going on below the surface (ie, the quirks of human nature), they wouldn’t immediately suspect it was mainly nefarious or tricky forces that were preventing Republican candidates who — in their mind — fit a suitable ideological profile from getting nominated or being elected. IOW, I truly dislike philosophically untethered politicians (ie, the squish of people like John McCain or, even worse, Jon Huntsman), yet I’m forced to accept the fact that they merely reflect a portion (regrettably, an overly large one) of the American (and human) populace.

    BTW, how much of what I post here quite frequently ever crops up in public, certainly in conversations in the media, in conversations you or others may have with friends, family members and acquaintances? How many people instead go, “shhh, don’t be too explicit or candid when talking about a person’s political biases! Don’t mention the way those biases run contrary to what he or she or others of like-mind think is reality!! That’s analogous to raising the topic of bad breath or body odor (THEIR bad breath, THEIR BO)!!”

    Mark (58ea35)

  114. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chapman/chi-how-i-visited-a-closed-national-park-20131009,0,1987602.column

    This is how you deal with a ridiculous mandate. The rangers state the company line, politely, and then make no real effort to enforce it.

    OmegaPaladin (f4a293)

  115. Mark,

    Could you respond to elissa’s point?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  116. Q: Does anybody really know what time it is?

    It’s twenty-five or -six to four.

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  117. #117 HEH.

    felipe (70ff7e)

  118. Old days seem so long ago… Looking forward to Saturday, in the park

    Colonel Haiku (9a1c93)

  119. Cuz, I’m lowdown, feelin’ pretty bad

    Colonel Haiku (9a1c93)

  120. Could you respond to elissa’s point?

    DRJ, I thought I did.

    Again, how much of what I have read about through the years (eg, surveys that indicate liberals ironically enough are just the opposite of what they fancy about themselves, or issues like the surprising bigotry of liberal figureheads such as Franklin Roosevelt) is even pointed out in casual conversations? I know I rarely or never hear such observations made in both formal or informal discussions.

    Mark (58ea35)

  121. wish it was the 4th of July

    elissa (18305b)

  122. Many federal workers get the day off then, but the parks aren’t closed. Presumabably, all those who work on the 4th of July are essential.

    Sammy Finkelman (bec8ba)

  123. He came from Planet Claire.

    Colonel Haiku (1a103d)

  124. Steve, #102: I’d say that the photo was photoshopped (note the byline on the lower left of the closure sign) but this is certainly what concerns me. It gets down to the Rule of Law and accountability, neither of which are held in much regard by the current administration. It’s the community organizer/union thug side that’s being revealed. But now his victims aren’t management and stock holders, but everyone who has any dependence upon the government. I think the Hte One has a lot more to lose at this point as the curtain is pulled back. Not sure what his prospects for avoiding an impeachment would be if his approval drops another 15 points. Especially if everyone has a personal anecdote about his misuse of power. As I’ve said in previous posts, the newcomers to the Republican Party are using aggressive tactics to shed light on what’s been going on too long in DC, and they are inside the response cycle of the D’s. Let’s hope they can keep punching the ball down field with a variety of options. Our friends, neighbors, and their kids are basically decent people. They are just very complacent and unimaginative. The more angry Hte One becomes, the larger the number of victims of his pettiness, the more likely these passive voters will figure out what’s at stake here.

    If only we could convince the old guard Republicans in the Senate that they really need to take a back seat, watch, and perhaps learn something about politics. What a pack of clowns.

    bobathome (c0c2b5)

  125. I think the federal government’s move to allow states to fund the national parks in order to keep them open is an inadvertently smart move: It moves the argument for privatization into the public square – which is a good thing. It also reveals how inefficient and apparently meaningless the laws on the books regarding NPS are in general.

    I had also thought that ownership of these sites by the states would be most beneficial to individual states and get it out of the hands of the federal government’s control, until I read a very persuasive argument for the opposite here: http://spectator.org/archives/2013/10/11/privatize-the-national-park-se.

    The author makes the excellent point re the two issues which had not occurred to me:

    …one of the most crucial things about privatization that most people don’t understand: privatization frequently involves not ownership but operation. It’s often wiser to privatize not ownership but operation. (Roads are an example. Let the government own the roads, but their maintenance should be contracted.) That’s particularly true when government employees operating a service became unionized, entrenched, bloated, and over-extended. And that’s precisely what we should now consider with the National Park Service. We should privatize not the parks but the service that operates, manages, administers them.

    The beauty of privatizing management rather than ownership is that ownership is permanent but management is not. This means that if one management group doesn’t perform up to expectations, a new one can be hired. The hiring process should always be regularly competitively contracted. This “competitive bidding” process keeps the current management group on its toes and accountable. If it performs badly, it can be fired and replaced — unlike the current group of government employees running the National Park Service, which is a protected class with a monopoly on its service.

    As of today, Arizona and Utah are planning to fund their national parks, with Wyoming and Montana refusing to as they do not want their states to bail out the federal government; South Dakota is considering the move.

    Dana (6178d5)

  126. bobathome, that was photoshopped.

    By the way if you don’t visit IOwnTheWord.com and The People’s Cube you’re missing out.

    The point is a lot of people are convinced that once Obamacare is implemented it’s going to be rationed based on political considerations. Not unreasonable considering some of the comments by Obamacare supporters. Such as that UCSF administrator tweeting that Obamacare “deniers” should be denied health care.

    And when you look at the federal bureaucrats/public employee union members who target conservatives for special treatement, such as EPA regional director Al Armendariz’s “crucifixions,” because they represent an existential threat. How dare you oppose profligate spending, draconian taxation, and ever larger and more oppressive government, serf!

    Michael Barone called the Obama administration “gangster government” when it attacked Chrysler secured bondholders for daring to assert their rights under US bankruptcy law when Obama wanted to suspend the rule of law during the bailout.

    That’s nothing new. Other administrations have strong armed the wealthy and powerful. Those they viewed as their peers. Look at how Al “no controlling legal authority” Gore called to shake down donors from his office. But what’s new about the Obama administration is that he’s unleashed gangster government on the ordinary citizen.

    Steve57 (51ff17)

  127. There is a way, and one way only, to deal with “gangsters” in government, but “Soccer-Moms”, and others prone to knicker-knotting, may get upset.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  128. •“Essential”: closing the Cliff House in San Francisco

    But not the Presidio Golf Club -golf course, clunbhouse and cafe, accoridng to the Blaze (hat tip Morning Jolt

    http://www.theblaze.com/blog/2013/10/10/national-park-service-allows-golfers-to-tee-up-during-shutdown/

    http://www.golfcalifornia.com/presidio1.htm

    I suppose some of the users are people whom Obama might want to ask one day for money.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  129. I can also understand if there are some people who are willing to put their careers and freedom on the line for a core value like the 2a, but not for a relatively trivial cause like keeping the parks open.

    sorry, just saw this, Milhouse. I have to disagree. It doesn’t matter that the cause was trivial. They didn’t hesitate to follow orders.

    Because they know which side their bread is buttered on.

    Ghost (476943)

  130. 129. …I suppose some of the users are people whom Obama might want to ask one day for money.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 10/11/2013 @ 11:20 am

    I guess the people who Obama hits up for money cringe at the thought that The Cliff House will let anyone in off the street as long as they can cough up 20 bucks for an Ahi Tuna Tartare starter and 44 bucks for a Colorado Lamb Rack.

    Why, you can get out of The Cliff House for less than $200 for a dinner for two including drinks and desert. None of the people who are shelling out $20k a plate to meet Obama at Harvey Weinstein’s would be seen in that dive. Shut that place down!

    Steve57 (51ff17)

  131. Agreed, Ghost. The road to perdition starts with baby steps. Demanding small surrenders of integrity.

    You don’t go for total capitulation from the jump.

    Unless you’re dealing with John Boehner.

    Steve57 (51ff17)

  132. you have any idea how many pop tarts you can get for $200?

    you can get at least one box of every different flavor!

    and they never go bad so you’d be pretty well set

    you could have a whole cabinet just for pop tarts and when people come over you could say hey check out my pop tarts I have every flavor you can get

    but you’d have to say it where it didn’t sound like you were bragging

    happyfeet (c60db2)

  133. Dana, Colorado is paying Danegeld to Obama to open Rocky Mountain Natl Park. In part because post-flood the city of Estes Park just outside the entrance needs tourist dollars desperately.

    And because Gov Hickenlooper is tanking for his lemming follow of Blomberg.

    SPQR (81f171)

  134. Unless you’re dealing with John Boehner.

    Hahahahahahahahaha! thanks, I needed that.

    Ghost (476943)

  135. sorry, just saw this, Milhouse. I have to disagree. It doesn’t matter that the cause was trivial. They didn’t hesitate to follow orders.

    Because they know which side their bread is buttered on.

    That’s easy to say when it’s not you. But what would you do in their place. Resisting an illegal order will land you without a job, no way to feed your family, and quite possibly could cost your freedom. Before deciding whether to resist or go along, wouldn’t you take into account how important the issue was? Is it worth taking that sort of risk for even the slightest wrong?! Or do you save your righteous indignation and self-sacrifice for the important fights, and let the trivial ones go by?

    Milhouse (ce9b15)

  136. Comment by Milhouse (ce9b15) — 10/12/2013 @ 6:19 pm

    Resisting an illegal order will land you without a job, no way to feed your family, and quite possibly could cost your freedom.

    In most cases the order probably wasn’t illegal, except that in certain places they had no right to close the facility.

    (in some places the powers that be seemed to have decided they could not prevent people from crossing parkland, because the road was open to through traffic, but they could prevent people from “using” it, like by stopping and taking pictures, although that’s not using the park in any way.

    Generally orders like that are legal until overturned by a judge. Probably anybody who openly refused on grounds this was not part of his duties might be upheld in the long run by civil service protections, or suffer a minor penalty)

    Sammy Finkelman (bec8ba)

  137. In most cases the order probably wasn’t illegal, except that in certain places they had no right to close the facility.

    If nothing eslse, they were illegal because Congress had not appropriated funds for them, and whatever legal rationale is used to allow “essential government functions” doesn’t apply.

    Milhouse (ce9b15)

  138. milhouse, I don’t know if you saw, but there were reports of seniors being unlawfully detained inside a hotel at (I think) Rushmore or Yellowstone.

    not to completely go Godwin, here, but the Nazis didn’t start by gassing the Jews on day one. they just followed the law, which at the time, said Jews weren’t allowed to own businesses. then property. then they just had to stay in the ghettos. then they just had to get on the trains. at what point were they supposed to stop thinking about their jobs and start doing the right thing?

    these f**ks were all to excited to hold just a little bit of power.

    Ghost (476943)

  139. Re Godwin: Who the f*** is Godwin that he can make rules about what analogies we use?

    And Ghost’s point is right on the money about both the incremental desensitization of government thugs to the incremental escalation of the brutalities they are asked to carry out; and the populace’s tolerance of their incremental erosion of liberty.

    nk (dbc370)

  140. nk, hehe, I love the line about “who the hell is Godwin”.

    Although I met Mike Godwin in the early ’90’s and he’s a nice guy. He told a great anecdote about internet community. He told of being on The Well – a pioneer BBS / forum in the ’80’s – and telling of his house fire where he’d lost his book collection. And just to be geeky, he had posted the list of books he lost.

    He said for years thereafter, he’d periodically get a package in the mail containing one of the titles he’d listed as lost in the fire.

    SPQR (9c5bd8)

  141. 136. That’s easy to say when it’s not you. But what would you do in their place. Resisting an illegal order will land you without a job, no way to feed your family, and quite possibly could cost your freedom. Before deciding whether to resist or go along, wouldn’t you take into account how important the issue was? Is it worth taking that sort of risk for even the slightest wrong?!

    Comment by Milhouse (ce9b15) — 10/12/2013 @ 6:19 pm

    Exactly the kind of calculations secret police forces worldwide rely on.

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1986-02-13/news/8601110730_1_avital-soviet-dissident-anatoly-shcharansky-soviet-jewish-emigration

    JERUSALEM — Newly released Soviet dissident Anatoly Shcharansky said Wednesday that he was able to withstand nine years of Soviet imprisonment with the help of a small black book of Hebrew psalms and a dream of his wife and Israel.

    “All the time I was in prison,“ he said, “I kept having a dream that I would come to Israel and see Avital again, but each time I would wake up. Now for three days since I left the KGB prison in Moscow, the dream continues, and my only fear right now is that I`ll wake up again.“

    The Soviets tried to take that Book of Psalms from Shcharansky as he was en route to his plane to freedom. He sat down in the snow and refused to board until they gave it back.

    He didn’t spend all those years in prison just to let them walk all over him on the way out.

    history.hanover.edu/courses/excerpts/165havel.html

    {5}I think it can safely be assumed that the overwhelming majority of shopkeepers never think about the slogans they put in their windows, nor do they use them to express their real opinions. That poster was delivered to our greengrocer from the enterprise headquarters along with the onions and carrots. He put them all into the window simply because it has been done that way for years, because everyone does it, and because that is the way it has to be. If he were to refuse, there could be trouble. He could be reproached for not having the proper decoration in his window; someone might even accuse him of disloyalty. He does it because these things must be done if one is to get along in life. It is one of the thousands of details that guarantee him a relatively tranquil life “in harmony with society,” as they say.

    {6}Obviously the greengrocer . . . does not put the slogan in his window from any personal desire to acquaint the public with the ideal it expresses. This, of course, does not mean that his action has no motive or significance at all, or that the slogan communicates nothing to anyone. The slogan is really a sign, and as such it contains a subliminal but very definite message. Verbally, it might be expressed this way: “I, the greengrocer XY, live here and I know what I must do. I behave in the manner expected of me. I can be depended upon and am beyond reproach. I am obedient and therefore I have the right to be left in peace.” This message, of course, has an addressee: it is directed above, to the greengrocer’s superior, and at the same time it is a shield that protects the greengrocer from potential informers. The slogan’s real meaning, therefore, is rooted firmly in the greengrocer’s existence. It reflects his vital interests. But what are those vital interests?

    {7}Let us take note: if the greengrocer had been instructed to display the slogan “I am afraid and therefore unquestioningly obedient;’ he would not be nearly as indifferent to its semantics, even though the statement would reflect the truth. The greengrocer would be embarrassed and ashamed to put such an unequivocal statement of his own degradation in the shop window, and quite naturally so, for he is a human being and thus has a sense of his own dignity. To overcome this complication, his expression of loyalty must take the form of a sign which, at least on its textual surface, indicates a level of disinterested conviction. It must allow the greengrocer to say, “What’s wrong with the workers of the world uniting?” Thus the sign helps the greengrocer to conceal from himself the low foundations of his obedience, at the same time concealing the low foundations of power. It hides them behind the facade of something high. And that something is ideology.

    EPWJ not withstanding, I am NOT opposed to women in the military (just to affirmative action promotions). One of the women I was privileged and pleased to serve with was a Vietnamese chick (she wouldn’t have been offended so neither should you) we nicknamed Low Westwoman. It was sort of a play on her name in Vietnamese. If Low Westwoman hadn’t already been married, I would have married her. She had to climb onto a chair to get in your face, but get in your face she would. I actually, believe it or not, found myself holding her back. “Now’s not the time.” Damn she was fierce. And impressive, which is why I’m talking about her.

    She had seen what happened to her country.

    So no Milhouse. Not an inch. That’s how it starts.

    Steve57 (4bf843)

  142. 141. Comment by SPQR (9c5bd8) — 10/13/2013 @ 12:07 pm

    He said for years thereafter, he’d periodically get a package in the mail containing one of the titles he’d listed as lost in the fire.

    Didn’t he get duplicates?

    What did he say about that?

    Sammy Finkelman (6f9f42)


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