Viva La Shutdown: Statists Panic, Others Celebrate

There are people at Mother Jones who I respect.  There are journalists there asking some tough questions about our Federal Government.

Tim Murphy is not one of those.  Here’s his fear-mongering list that was supposed to freak me out until I demanded resumption of funding for our central government.  I’ve copied his 48 points and added relevant information that causes me to feel quite the opposite.

“Here’s a quick guide to who and what will be most affected:”, Mr Murphy writes…

Anyone who might get sickThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would lack funding to support its annual flu vaccination program.”

Let’s put aside the evidence that Flu shots often result in delayed side effects and long-term injury, that the Flu Vaccine May Actually Make Flu Symptoms Worse, or that 23 seniors died after receiving this year’s flu shot sold by pharmacies.  With a budget of $11.2 billion in 2013 alone, what has the CDC learned about HIV, cancer, influenza or even the common cold?  The only thing I tend to hear from them is how important it is to take a flu shot.

Military personnel: Barring last-minute congressional action, members of the armed forces would have their paychecks put on hold while they continue to work.”

I’m convinced that most fundamentalists that want to kill Americans around the world are mostly driven by the way we keep murdering their countrymen, family members and children in various ways from our 900 or-so military outposts across the planet.  I would love to see the over $700 billion we’re currently spending on this be re-directed…hell, we could all have single payer health care for less than this amount.  Despite all this Godzilla-like spending, bombs are still exploding and people are still losing their lives, in our republic and many others.   I’m not concerned by the idea of drastically cutting back our defense spending, in fact it brings me a sense of relief.

People who use boats: The Coast Guard will cut back on routine patrols and navigation assistance.”

Last year for SeaFair, Seattle’s largest boat oriented event, Coast Guard vessels and personnel were everywhere.  The assault rifles carried on loading docks and the harassment by these Feds won’t be missed next summer, if the furlough goes that long.  In one case, a CG member admitted that it was their job to “create an intimidating presence”.  Wrong, it’s your job to defend the Constitution.

Civilian defense employees: 400,000 Department of Defense employees will be given unpaid vacations.”

Similar to my point above regarding military personnel in general.  The waste in the Pentagon has got to be staggering.  Just before 9/11 it was revealed that the DoD had inexplicably lost track of Trillions of dollars…TRILLIONS.  The Pentagon’s own auditors admit the military cannot account for 25 percent of what it spends.

Family members of fallen soldiersDeath benefits for military families will be delayed.”

This one sucks.  Unfortunately even when DC is running strong, vets and their families have been getting shafted by the US Gov far too often.  I consider this an essential thing to spend on.

Gun ownersDuring the 1990s shutdown, applications for gun permits were delayed due to furloughs at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.”

Hey gun control people- here it is!  You get what you wanted.  It now takes way more time to arm yourself…unless you are a criminal of course, in which case you aren’t going to be going through the ATF in the first place.

Trees: Hundreds of US Forest Service workers face furloughs in California during peak forest fire season.”

Every year that I lived in Cali during  fire season, it was brave local fire departments that were going out into the hills and fighting these blazes.  There will be firefighters in California as there always has been.

Visa applicants: Furloughs at the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs mean tens of thousands of visa applications are put on hold.”

This gets us closer to my favorite immigration policy, which is an open borders approach.

People traveling abroad: A shutdown would cause delays in the processing of passport applications.”

It’ll be interesting to see how this one shakes out.  It already takes a couple months to get one.

Sick peopleThe National Institutes of Health will not admit new patients unless ordered by the director.”

We’ve got the ACA now, so this is a moot point…right?  Right?

Factory workersThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration will halt regular inspections.”

OSHA is one of those agencies that creates a false sense of security.  Since its inception, OSHA has referred only 151 cases to the Justice Department for prosecution. Of those 151 cases, most were not pursued and, as of 2011, only eight had resulted in convictions.  The only oversight that will do this job is an engaged and critical populace, who are not afraid to boycott corporations that mistreat people.

Hikers: All 401 National Park Service sites will be closed.”

This one is the stupidest of all.  By closing the parks DC is preventing volunteer patrols by average people and leaving these precious lands abandoned and vulnerable.  Furlough the staff, fine.  Close the parks?  Now only criminals will be inside.

People who make money off tourists: Shuttered national parks are bad news for the hotels, restaurants, and other attractions that feed off them.”

Hopefully this isn’t as bad for them this time of year.  There are still plenty of State Parks to enjoy, for those few who are able to vacation this time of year.

Small business loan applicants: The Small Business Administration will furlough 62 percent of its workforce.”

Um…why is the Federal Gov handling small businesses in the first place?  Can we not oversee this more efficiently and effectively at local levels?

EmployersThe Department of Homeland Security’s e-Verify program will be offline for the duration of the shutdown.”

Has the e-Verify program solved the ‘problem’ of undocumented workers?  Hardly.

Fountains45 of them will lose water.”

Oh no!  Not the FOUNTAINS!!!  All 45 of them!  This is truly the death of the American Dream.

People applying for mortgages: The Federal Housing Administration and the USDA won’t guarantee new loans.”

The USDA is involved in loans, in addition to protecting Monsanto?  Who knew?

Oil and gas exploration: The Bureau of Land Management will stop processing permits for oil and gas drilling on federal lands.”

This just sounds like a really good idea to me.  I was sickened when the encroachment of Federal Lands began to ramp up under GW Bush’s watch 10 years ago.

Chemical site facility security: Funding for Department of Homeland Security regulatory program ends October 4.”

The private security at those sites will undoubtedly continue, despite a lack of DHS regulatory oversight.

FOIA requestsThe Social Security Administration says it won’t respond to Freedom of Information Act Requests during the shutdown.”

Thanks to Mr Snowden, we’ve got enough government corruption evidence to sift through for another 10 years…this should not impede the efforts of whisteblowers, since going through official channels is currently disastrous for them anyway.

Docents: All Smithsonian Institution museums in Washington, DC, will be closed.”

I’ve seen them.  They kinda suck anyway, IMO.  Go support your local museums.

@CuriosityRover: 98 percent of NASA’s staff will be furloughed, and the agency’s website and live-streams will go dark.”

SpaceX has been basically shitting all over NASA for a decade, so I’d rather watch their feeds.  Maybe some of those NASA guys can get on with Musk’s team and figure out how they are able to do things like this.

Renewable energy permits: The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will stop all new offshore renewable-energy projects.”

Oh, you mean the projects that the petroleum industry systematically destroys if at all successful?

Campers: People living (or vacationing) in national parks and forests will have 48 hours to relocate.”

They are going to have their hands full asking these campers to leave.

Animal voyeurs: Watch the National Zoo’s Panda-cam while you still can.”

American ideals are at stake, with the impending stoppage of the Panda-cam.  I’m guessing China has one that can fill the void.  How much does it cost to let a webcam run?  Probably 4 cents a day.

Native Americans: The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement will suspend oversight of active and abandoned coal mines “primarily in Tennessee and on Indian lands.”

I’m sure the First Nation folks will be devastated to see fewer Federal employees on ‘their’ land (land that is still fully under Federal Control).

Pesticide regulatorsThe Environmental Protection Agency will all but shut down at midnight.”

And they were doing such a bang up job of keeping nasty things out of the food supply- see Monsanto and the various Federal efforts to protect GMOs.

Veterans pensionsThe Department of Veterans Affairs says it will run out of funding for regular payment checks after a few weeks.”

This is awful, but again par for the course in terms of how our vets get (mis)treated.

US Geological Survey researchers: The agency would stop most new scientific research and water analysis.”

Again- if there was any major breakthroughs coming from this agency, it didn’t make the papers.  Universities will continue their research unimpeded.

Disability paymentsAlthough the VA will continue to provide medical care, disability payments may also be disrupted after a few weeks.”

Part 3 of our vets getting it in the rear with no lubricant…again.

Winery permits: Couldn’t they take the wine coolers instead?”

Why, oh why is this not a State level concern in the first place?  Is wine a national security matter, or just another example of the Interstate Commerce clause being shamefully abused.

Ponies: The Bureau of Land Management’s wild horse and burro adoption programs would cease.”

“There’s some donkies.  Let’s bring them back to the ranch.” “We CAN’T!  We need the Feds to do that sort of thing!”  Nonsense.

Infectious disease surveillance: The CDC will be unable to track outbreaks and monitor infectious diseases at a local level.”

Finding e coli in spinach is a byproduct of massive, Federally sheltered industrial farming practices.  While it’s nice that the CDC was there to clean up the Fed’s own mess, I’d much rather have sustainable food production able to flourish- something it can’t do under Federal regulatory measures like S 510 and others.

People on food assistanceThe USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) will stop making payments on October 1.”

I hate to see people having the rug yanked out from under them like this.  I see this as far more of an essential expense than continuing to pay congress through the shutdown.  How to avoid this?  Here’s one man’s strategy.

Food inspectionsThe Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration warned of “inability to investigate alleged violations” due to a lack of funding; food imports will also go unexpected.”

I think Murphy meant ‘uninspected’ there at the end, but who am I to question a professional journalist?  Speaking of journalists, I trust them to blow the whistle on nasty food far more than our corruptible central government.  Big food corporations can afford big payoffs to get preferential treatment.  Buy local, know where your food comes from and you don’t need this expensive layer of ‘protection’.

Automobile recall inspectors: “Routine defects and recall information from manufacturers and consumers would not be reviewed,” according to the Department of Transportation.

Consumer Reports, the internets…there is no way to make cars truly safe, but we have other ways of creating accountability.

Food and drug safety research: The Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the FDA, will furlough 52 percent of its staff.”

THANK YOU for the wonderful news Mr Murphy!  Maybe now vitamin manufacturers, herbalists, raw food suppliers,  and other preventative health professionals can stop worrying about armed FDA thugs raiding their businesses.  One can only hope this also means an end to DC cramming GMO crops and GM Salmon down our throats with no labeling or education on the effects of these experimental foods- not to mention dangerous pharmaceutical medications that regularly kill people who trust anything as long as it’s ‘FDA approved’.  We’d be happier and healthier without the FDA- current state level efforts to increase food standards would finally succeed.

ARPA-E: The Department of Energy’s cutting-edge research arm—and one of the crowning legacies of the stimulus—will shut down, putting projects such as “squirtable batteries” on hold.”

Squirtable batteries have nothing on this completed research.  Bureaucratic incentives almost never result in DC’s efforts being cutting edge, unless the task is blowing things up.  They are really, really good at that.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission: The agency could furlough more than 92 percent of its employees next week, with much of the remaining staff handling inspections.”

I imagine States will respond by performing their own inspections, rather than sit and wait on the next Fukushima.

People without heatIf the shutdown persists, it could affect the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which funds heating assistance programs.”

Since the word ‘could’ is used, I’ll skip this one.

ConsumersThe Commodity Futures Trading Commission will furlough 652 of its 680 employees and maintain only a “bare minimum level of oversight and surveillance” to stop fraudulent practices.”

Again, they were not doing a bang up job of preventing fraud in the first place.  In fact, they’ve left behind this handy guide, so we can take responsibility for our own financial reality.

People trying to pay taxes: The Internal Revenue Service will shutter its tax hotline, and stop processing tax payments.’

What?  Noooooo!!!  Khaaaaaaaaaaaaan!!!!  Your state and local governments, i.e. those that provide most of your basic quality of life services will be happy to collect your taxes as usual.

College students: Cutbacks at the Department of Education could slow Pell grant and student-loan payments.”

This will suck for current students dependent on these programs- but it might just reverse the trend of ever inflating tuition, which would be a BIG net positive and bring education back to within reach of everyone.

EconomistsThe Bureau of Economic Analysis will cut back on its data collection.”

If this means Paul Krugman does less work and vacations more, I’m in full support.

Welfare recipients: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families—welfare—runs out of funding on October 1, although individual states may pick up the tab.”

Somebody will step in.  Americans know how to take care of each other, we’ve just been told for so long that Big Brother is in charge that it’s been a while since we’ve seen it.  Bonus is community based support rises from these ashes, which would be much better.

Head Start: The child development program, already hammered by the effects of sequestration, will stop doling out new grants on October 1.”

This program was already being gutted, perhaps because it wasn’t effective.

Air monitoring: A 94 percent reduction in staff won’t leave the EPA much room to enforce its new carbon regulations.”

Regulations that can be sidestepped through the trade of carbon credits?  Seems legit.  Time to recall that the most egregious polluter in the US is the Federal Government Itself.  Every day that bad boy remains shut down should elicit applause from environmental advocates.

Golf: Courses at National Park Service sites will close for the shutdown. So at least we have that going for us.”

Because golf is evil and only the baby-eating GOP types use them…is that your point Mr Murphy?

I just got a LOT happier- VIVA LA SHUTDOWN!


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