(The following appeared on Planet Moron on October 7, 2013.)
Driving south on the George Washington Parkway Friday night we noticed the Park Service had already replaced the barricades on the scenic overlook/vacant parking lot that someone (not us, we swear) had taken down.
As the government shutdown enters its second week, scenes such as that were repeated all over the country, as guards removed vets who were attempting to look at the Vietnam Memorial, which consists of a wall of granite set into a hill outside in the open mall that runs from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol Building that was otherwise open.
Likewise, barricades were placed around the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. These were pushed aside by the vets who had actually taken Iwo Jima in the first place despite, if we remember our history correctly, Japanese positions heavily fortified with orange cones and withering displays of yellow police tape.
Additionally, the feds also closed large parts of the ocean, tried to block people from seeing Mt. Rushmore, and physically pushed an alternative rock singer who was already peacefully leaving the Jefferson Memorial as asked with the explanation that “it’s quicker this way.”
He was just following orders. With relish.
And of course, the National Park Service continues to live up to its sacred and solemn duty to close down valid businesses operating legally on leased federal lands, throwing scores of people out of work.
They still want you to, “see America first,” they just want you to do it at a discreet distance.
As you can see, you cannot possibly expect the federal government to have the resources to benignly ignore these completely open areas during a shutdown. Only when the government is fully up and running and everyone is on the job do they have the time and personnel to do nothing. Really, they have no choice during these lean times to vigilantly barricade and enforce arbitrary restrictions on open areas.
Here at Planet Moron we believe it’s time we all do our part in helping the National Park Service, the Capitol Police, and everyone else charged with ensuring we are unnecessarily inconvenienced. To that end, we offer these suggestions:
When passing federal properties, be they monuments, buildings, scenic vistas, or obscure plaques be sure to avert your eyes. There’s just not any money available for you to look at these things.
When driving through federal lands that have not yet been barricaded try not to breathe. That’s government air, and they can’t guarantee it.
Consider not listening to the radio or watching TV. Those airwaves belong to the government, broadcasters are only permitted to use them under license.
You might also want to consider not using your cellphone. Sure, your carrier paid for use of those airwaves, but, they belong to the government, and the government is closed.
Suggest to the airlines that they might want to change their flight paths so as not to inadvertently fly over federal land. Why? Because closed.
Some readers might be annoyed to learn that a bill we had mentioned last week that would ensure furloughed federal employees would get paid for not working passed the House unanimously.
But, hey, at least elderly people are being thrown out of their own homes.
Copyright 2013 by Planet Moron. Reprinted with permission.
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