A government punishing its subjects.....
Embarrassing, maddening, unacceptable
Modified: Thursday, Oct 10th, 2013
BY: Jeanie Wright
Jeanie Wright is the publisher of the Lake Powell Chronicle.
I’m fed up.
I am a pretty good American. I’ve voted in every presidential election since I turned 18. I abide by the law and pay ever-increasing taxes. Because I put myself through college, and raised my daughter on my own while working hard every day, I have the privilege of giving a large chunk of my earnings to the government. I understand that I should, and I want to pay my share, but while every other hardworking American and I are holding up our end, our government continues to spiral. The corruption and games in Washington are an absolute outrage and have been for much too long. It’s bad enough when they keep the games among their ranks, but when they start dropping financial bombs in our front yard, well that’s enough.
Incredulously, I watched as federal employees on the government time clock used government vehicles and gas to block off open-air memorials on the Washington, D.C. mall. No admission gate exists. It’s a sidewalk to and through the memorials which honor great leaders like President Abraham Lincoln and war heros from Vietnam, World War II and more. To block these open-air, free-admission sites is a blatant slap in the face to the thousands of visitors turned away and all Americans. The government does not own these. The people do. Good for the WWII vets who marched into the memorial regardless of the outrageous actions of the government they defended with their lives decades ago.
Nearly every person Chronicle staffers have had contact with in the past week has been affected by the shutdown of the National Park Service at Lake Powell. German tourists wandering out front of our office jested that if Ronald Reagan can “tear down this wall” why shouldn’t they be able to “take down this gate?”
Local residents who have ventured to the Chains or inside other barricades have been ticketed by NPS personnel and ordered to appear in federal court. Wait, I thought NPS was shut down! It is absolutely preposterous that the feds can roll up in enough unfamiliar SUVs to block the gates to Lake Powell and find enough law enforcement officers to issue citations, but refuse to use those resources to keep the gates open. This is the same agency which just weeks ago purchased an $18,000 conference table for the office at Lake Powell. Angry yet?
Every business in Page has been hit by this shutdown. We are a tourism-based economy, and shortening the season by about a month is a huge hit to all of us, from big businesses like Aramark and Walmart to the individual guy who takes kayak tours and has counted on October income all year.
Beyond that, those of us who service the businesses which are directly related to tourism have felt the domino effect.
Also consider the thousands of tourists both domestic and foreign, many of whom planned for months or years to tour the Grand Circle. What a disappointment. I wish I knew what to say to the droves of foreigners wandering Page, but my embarrassment over the actions of the United States government has rendered me speechless. I should be able to offer a legitimate reason why they can’t visit our national parks—why we can’t visit our national parks.
There is no legitimate reason. Not one. This is a power play by the administration and perpetuated by partisan bickering on both sides of the aisle in Congress. Reading news reports from a wide variety of sources reveals that only 17 percent of the government is actually furloughed.
Several major media sources report the administration passing the word not so surreptitiously through the ranks to make the selected shutdowns as painful and inconvenient as possible.
Democrats blame the Republicans for planning and forcing the shutdown. Republicans blame the Democrats for not negotiating.
Meanwhile, in addition to closing public lands, the shutdown includes the complete blackout of websites with information which doesn’t require updating, military chaplains who are not allowed to work for free, and canceling the television feed of sports games and other programing for our troops overseas.
Not just maddening, all of this is unacceptable. This act and the lack of willingness to end it are clearly a government punishing its subjects. The feds are betting we will lie down and take it. And we have. If I had my way, there would be an organized protest nationwide in which millions of people would simply circumvent the gates to our national parks and go hiking, fishing, biking, boating, and every other type of recreation they could normally enjoy. Would the National Guard be deployed to contain the rebels? Would NPS law enforcement run out of citation books? Would it glut the federal court system? Or would we call Washington’s bluff?
At this point, I don’t care which party or leader is responsible. Americans are being hurt by their government. Americans are being bullied by their government. Don’t believe me? Check out this link (also vailable on the Chronicle Facebook page), http://www.newburyportnews.com/local/x1442580373/Gestapo-tactics-meet-senior-citizens-at-Yellowstone
, which is a story about a bus load of senior citizens being escorted out of Yellowstone by armed agents.
Is this America?http://www.lakepowellchronicle.com/v2_main_page.php