"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Government Shutdown Day #2

Frankly, I couldn't give a damn.   The government shutdown does not affect me in the least.   It's like a TV show that I don't really like gets cancelled.   I might find an article about the cancellation mildly interesting if it appeared in the Entertainment section of my local newspaper, but I mostly have better things to do wth my time.

David Freddoso has an interesting article about it, though, in which he notes that the feds sure seem to want to shut down things that will produce the most pain and the most publicity, like keeping WW II vets from visiting the memorials on the Mall:
When bureaucrats are threatened with irrelevance or face appearing unneeded, they respond by inflicting as much pain as possible, in hopes that they can prove they’re necessary and get their budgets increased. And even worse, an administration trying to make a political point — as Obama’s is — has every incentive to make a shutdown felt as acutely as possible. So obviously, we need to cancel the Navy-Air Force game as quickly as possible, even if the event is a voluntary activity by students requiring no expenditure of taxpayer funds. 
The barricading of the World War II Memorial has now become the most visible incident in this case — and to be clear, it’s not a “closing” because there’s no such thing as “closing” an open-air stone memorial in the middle of a large field like the National Mall. People walk past and through this memorial unaccompanied at all hours of the day and night. (And really, if they’re going to close that, why aren’t they closing the entire National Mall?)  
To my knowledge, no one has been arrested yet for walking through Sherman Circle (in a completely residential section of D.C.), but technically, that’s an NPS park, too. (And they’ve always done a lousy job keeping the grass mowed, so I doubt the shutdown will even be noticed there.) If NPS wants to be consistent, they should rope it off. But they won’t do that, because nobody from out of town visits Sherman Circle. The entire point here is to harass people only in the higher-profile parts of town that NPS controls.

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