Archived Story

Shutdown is embarrassing

Published 4:31pm Saturday, October 12, 2013

I am embarrassed and scared. Our government is doing its best to hurt “We the People.”

The World War II Memorial was closed despite the fact that there were old soldiers from all over the country coming to visit the memorial. These soldiers did what I would have done. They tore the barricades down and entered the memorial. The government’s response was to strengthen the barricades and add more guards.

The VA has been shut down. The medical needs of our soldiers apparently does not matter.

A priest coming to the VA to administer last rites was turned away.

We stopped paying death benefits to our fallen soldiers’ families and are not paying travel expenses for families to travel to Dover, Del., to be on hand when the remains are returned.

The White House has been closed just because our commander in chief can.

“We the People” own the national parks. Yet this administration has seen fit to prevent us access to our property. Not to save money, but to punish us, so that we will rise up and back a political agenda.

Closing our national parks will have unintended consequences.

Busloads of Japanese and European tourists, on chartered trips, are being turned away from our parks. Buses stopped while driving through Yellowstone to let passengers off to take photos of buffalo. The passengers were ordered back on the bus by armed guards.

A busload of foreign tourists were staying at the Old Faithful Lodge when the shutdown was ordered. They were given one night to find other lodging and were not allowed to leave the lodge’s grounds.

Armed guards were posted to ensure the rules were obeyed.

Many of the non-English speaking tourists were terrified that they were under arrest.

A skeleton crew remains on all sites to ensure that no one trespasses. Our parks and memorials could remain open, for less than it costs to keep them locked down.

This is not about saving money; it’s about control.

Individuals have been forced to vacate their homes, simply because these homes were on national park land. The fact that the owners had long-term leases did not matter.

Private businesses with leases on the periphery of parks were forced to close. Their lease payments are still due. Because of lost income these places may go bankrupt.

Individuals walking on state park paths that went through areas of national parks have been given citations costing a hundred dollars for trespassing.

I am embarrassed by the way our service men and women are being treated. I am embarrassed by the way our foreign guests have been treated.

The ugly American has come home.

If you were a foreign tourist would you come back?

I am scared by the ease our government is willing to use strong armed tactics against its own people.

How much leverage will the government have will when it controls our health insurance?

America is only a short step from tyranny.


Don Sorensen

Albert Lea

  • kmd

    “The VA has been shut down. The medical needs of our soldiers apparently does not matter.”

    The VA is NOT shut down nor has it been. I am currently receiving medical treatment at the VAMC in Minneapolis and it is business as usual. The medical need of soldiers is taken care of by the Military and the VA.

    “A priest coming to the VA to administer last rites was turned away.”

    Please provide the location, date and a name and address/phone number to the “Priest”. I saw several clergy at the VA on Thursday and know I will also see them there during my week stay starting on Wednesday.

  • Nikki Kirsch

    I don’t see how the shutdown is the administration’s fault. It was forced by House Republicans and there’re really no denying that. If you think this is bad, wait until you see what happens when they shatter through the glass debt ceiling in the next few days. I too am scared, but this all could and should have been never happened. And it can all end with a simple vote, but that vote can’t be cast in the People’s House of Representatives because of a last minute rules change made by Republicans so that only bills approved by both the majority and minority leaders can be brought to the floor. Not even close to the way the Founding Fathers set up the system. Entirely Un-American and increasingly dangerous.

  • Erik Schminke

    No Nikki, I’m afraid you have that all wrong. The House of Representatives have no obligation to pass the budget that the Chief Executive wants, or even demands. Perhaps without knowing it, more people voted for Republicans in the house giving them the ability to control what the federal government spends money on.

    There have been dozens of bills passed in the House, but when they are received, they are immediately tabled by the majority leader. So, remind me again, which House of Congress isn’t allowing bills to the floor for a vote?

  • Nikki Kirsch

    No, obviously they don’t have to pass anything based on other people’s demands- anybody other than their constituents, that is. I never sad they can’t vote, I said what could have avoided this entire mess. Which is the “clean continuing resolution.” Yes, there have been many bills passed in the House, unfortunately none of them will re-open the entire government- they won’t even return the entire previous funding level of whichever branch’s name is at the top of the bill- and so none of them will do America any real good. Just time wasting talking points for the next news cycle. I think you are the one who has it all wrong and I also think it’s clear to see.

    • Erik Schminke

      A “clean continuing resolution” involves spending another trillion dollars more than is brought in in revenue. Sound’s clean to me. Let’s just keep running deficits, increase the debt ceiling and borrow into perpetuity. Sounds like a fantastic idea…. until the lender calls the note.

  • Nikki Kirsch

    You’re right, we shouldn’t spend more than we bring in. The problem is that debt increase that is upon us now- the only one we’re talking about- covers money that has ALREADY been appropriated by congress, that is it has ALREADY been spent. That is why this entire debate is stupid- cuts have been made, sequestration has taken effect there’s nothing more that can be done in the short term to lower the debt without sending the economy into a recession and/or starving children and the elderly. There’s a lot of things we can do to lower the debt and fix our country, but how does a default help anyone??

    • Erik Schminke

      Thank you for conceding that we can’t spend more than we bring in. And I agree, we have a problem here and now. The cards are on the table, and we have to play the hand we’re dealt.

      But here we are again, the same as before when they wanted to increase the debt ceiling. Everytime, it’s a crisis. Everytime, it’s “we can’t let the children and elderly starve”. Everytime it’s “we can’t go into default.” Yet we keep running it up.

      The most recent CBO Long-Term Budget Outlook Report shows a narrowing gap between spending (outlays) and revenue (receipts), but their long term protections show that gap widening starting in about 2016. (pg. 2, fig. 1). On the very next page it explains the “Harmful Effects of Large and Growing Debt”.

      There is only one way to address this problem. Outlays must be less than receipts. But in the long run, there is no plan in place to do this. It continues to get worse and prolonging it will not make it better. So when DO we address this? When WILL it be a good time? What do we cut and what do we ask people to do without? I’m not saying it will EVER be easy. Regretabbly, it WILL HURT. I am NOT looking forward to it. I will certainly not be embracing it.