Shutdown is embarrassing

Published 4:31 pm 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.

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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