Free Markets, Free People

Shutdown Theater

Some interesting things are happening for this government shutdown. The most interesting thing about them is that they’re entirely unnecessary.

For instance, the National World War II Memorial is in the middle of the Mall in Washington DC. Like the Korean and Vietnam memorials, it is an open-air monument that consists mainly of a oval arrangement of stone plinths, with a fountain in the center. It is unmanned by government personnel. Yet, for some reason, the Administration has set up fences around it—and other open-air monuments, with festooned with signs declaring the monument “closed”.  In other words, the Administration intentionally spent the time and money to close off open-air monuments that aren’t manned by government personnel anyway. They’ve even tried to prevent actual WWII veterans from entering this unmanned, open-air memorial. These vets didn’t like that, and essentially ignored the barricade.  I suppose that using unmanned, portable fencing to try and intimidate the guys who landed on Omaha Beach in the teeth of withering machine gun fire is not an optimally effective strategy. Apparently, not even the threat of arrest was particularly effective.

Happily, others are resisting these shutdowns, too, as on the Great Appalachian Trail, where the public ignored the barricades put up by the National Park Service and went to the park anyway. But the park service is serious about doing what they can to ensure that the public can’t use any national parks, going so far as to order the closure of the nation’s only privately-run park.

In addition, a number of government web sites have been shut down. Moreover, the government’s position is that all the web sites need to be shut down even if it’s cheaper to keep them running. Now, I can see if there are no personnel available to update the web sites, but the sites themselves are still up. They are merely either shunting off visitors to a “We aren’t going to let you see our web site” page at USA.Gov, or they are simply hiding their content with some extra Javascript coding. So, the sites are actually operational, the content is still there, and in some cases, still being delivered to browsers—along with additional code that hides it. So, essentially, none of the web sites are being shut down. They’re just not allowing you to look at them—even though the sites are still up and running. They aren’t unplugging their web servers, shutting out the lights, and going home, they’re just hiding them from you.

Let’s be very clear about what’s happening here. None of these things are unfortunate consequences of the government shutting down. These things are nothing more than intentional attempts to make the shutdown as inconvenient as possible.  This is shutdown theater, and nothing more. It is enraging, because it is just a cynical PR move to make the shutdown seem more inconvenient than it actually is.

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63 Responses to Shutdown Theater

  • Even the usually left-leaning humor sites know it’s BS.

  • And don’t forget, Harry Reid voted to kill cancer kids….

    • Ironically, even with the government shutdown, the progress on the investigations of Fast & Furious, IRS, and Benghazi go on at the same pace.

  • Hey, make the GOP pay for their tactics.  I’ve studied Niccolo Machiavelli – it’s time the Democrats start using his tactics!  Make the GOP pay, and win in 2014.  It’s hardball now.  The GOP is handing the Democrats a gift – if the Democrats are ruthless in turning this to their advantage, they’ll come out with a major victory (and Obamacare here to stay!)  The GOP is letting ideology lead them to incompetent politics.

    • This assertion that Democrats are gentle souls who always roll over for the hardballers in the GOP is one of the most galactically stupid things I’ve ever heard. It’s nonsense on stilts.
      Naturally, you repeat it without hesitation.

    • Once again, our wise “analyst” who pretends to be objective, puts on his little cheerleader outfit and waves his pom-poms for the Democrats, uncritically taking their side.
      And, the sun rises in the east.

      • Isn’t it strange that Scotty is suddenly getting very aggressive when he scents what he thinks is a “victory” for himself? All this talk of “mano a mano”, Democrat “ruthlessness”, supposedly having the attention span to read Machiavelli… He’s kind of like the weedy kid who hangs round with the local street tough and gets very loud and pompous when he can stand behind the tough but is nowhere to be found when the tough meets his match and lies bleeding on the floor. Either that, or Scotty is just not getting any and needs an outlet.

        • Imagine what a shock it was for the new squeeze to find that cheerleader’s outfit, and wonder if Scott wanted her to wear it.
          then the shock she got when she found out it wasn’t for her.

          • Hey Scotty you’re so fine
            You’re so fine you blow my mind
            Hey Scotty, hey scotty!
            Seriously dude, that was disturbing, hilarious and probably more accurate than we care to think, all at once.

          • Anything I can do to help cultivate the proper ‘mano a mano’ image of himself he’s been crafting lately.

        • The short answer is: it’s all just noise.  It may be halfway interesting to try to figure out what’s behind the façade, but it ultimately doesn’t matter.  Liar, troll, delusional nut…the result is the same.

          Attempting to engage in a serious exchange with him is like trying to pick up mercury with a spoon.  But when you point out how he is using childish tactics and being pathologically disingenuous , he gets his dander up and starts attacking you personally.  But making faces at a monkey in a cage to get it to scream at you and fling poo at the glass gets boring quickly.

          • I think of it more like coming home and discovering the puppy has peed on the carpet again.

          • More like a cat has peed in your basket of clean towels.
            Sorry, I’m a dog person so I won’t insult canines by comparing them to Scott.

          • Fair enough.   Same here.
            And I like your version better anyway.

    • So the Democrats are shutting down the government because there isn’t funding for their pet project   A spending bill is passed, the Democrat just have to stop acting like spoiled children holding their breath and funding will resume.  The only reason this reflects badly on Republicans is because of Media Spin Control that favors the Democrats.  I’m not sure the spin control works all the time anymore.  Are you willing to bet on that too?

      • I am more and more convinced that media is the whole shebang. Sort of like curling where they act like the broom guys for the Dems.

    • oooooooooooooooooooooooo ruthless! ruthless!
      Whatever, Gollum.
      What happened to pragmatic compromise, you absurd liar.
      You’re two college degrees from posting about the last episode of Honey Boo Boo and lamenting the demise of the late Jersey Shore.   You have an education, so instead feel like you should watch national and international politics.   Honey Boo Boo, Barack Obama, deep down inside it’s the same thing for you.

      • Well the interesting thing is we find the level at which Scotty is prepared to drop his own theatrical performance (non-ideological non-partisan, my lily-white ass) and come out of the closet. OK he worked for a Republican once and will no doubt point to that again and again to “prove” he is non-partisan. But all you need to do is point back to these threads to demonstrate exactly how much BS that claim is.

    • Scott, you need to lay off the ‘erb.  “Hey, make the GOP pay for their tactics.”  To what are you referring? To the (Democrat’s) absolute refusal to negotiate anything?  To the executive branch (I.e. Barry O and cronies) spending money they don’t have to barrycade open-air, unstaffed parks, and shut down privately-managed parks that bring in revenue?
      Who is using hardball tactics again?
      Maybe you forgot the /sarc tag, or maybe you really are this clueless.  Hard to tell – but it’s one or the other.

    • So Erb supports lying, therefore probably a liar himself. Liars can be safely ignored.

    • Erp, Collectivist tool.
      Sad to see such a pathetic, slavish liar.

    • I’ve studied Niccolo Machiavelli – it’s time the Democrats start using his tactics!
      Gee, Erp.  How ’bout we kill or get raped a few children in your government-by-malice administration?
      You think this is good messaging?  I actually am loving this…where you pukes are coming out in your full plumage.

  • The National World War II Memorial was funded almost entirely by private contributions, as specified in Public Law 103-32. The campaign received more than $197 million in cash and pledges. Support came from hundreds of thousands of individual Americans, hundreds of corporations and foundations, veterans groups, dozens of civic, fraternal and professional organizations, states and one territory, and students in 1,200 schools across the country.
    Donated and pledged funds were used to cover the total project costs of approximately $182 million. These costs include site selection and design, construction and sculpture, a National Park Service maintenance fee required by the Commemorative Works Act, groundbreaking and dedication ceremonies, fund raising, and the 11-year administrative costs of the project from its inception in 1993 through completion in 2004.
    Remaining funds are held on deposit with the U.S. Treasury in a National WWII Memorial Trust Fund. The funds will be used by the American Battle Monuments Commission solely to benefit the World War II Memorial.

    So obviously, Obama is using the funds to operate the National World War II Memorial for operations other than the National World War II Memorial

  • Here’s my prediction.
    The shutdown will last until Dear Golfer wants to head back to the links.
    I give it till the middle of next week.

  • See here for more information on the unnecessary closure of privately-run parks that aren’t funded by the Federal government:

  • Meanwhile, Obama reverting back to campaign mode (when your only tool is a hammer…) on this issue, so if that tactic works as well on this issue as it did on the Gun Bill and the Gang-of-Eight Amnesty plan, the GOP will have nothing to worry about.

  • And Obama….smartest man in the room – proclaims that workers who shut down factories because they can’t get what they want are FIRED.
    Really?  Someone better tell the UAW.   This will come as a shock to them.
    ‘Zat another one of the clauses in the Obamacare bill that no one read?
    What a dumbass.

  • And now we find out we’re not being eavesdropped on because they’ve all been furloughed!   OMG!!!!!!

  • Leftwinger Assaults Congressman on the Street

    U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) was involved in a minor alteraction Wednesday night with an individual while he was walking to the Capitol, his office reported Thursday.
    The congressman was not hurt.
    Cassie Smedile, a Duffy spokeswoman, issued this statement: “We will confirm that a minor incident happened last night as the congressman was walking to the Capitol for final votes. A random individual, unknown to the congressman, began screaming at him and grabbed his arm. Mr. Duffy was unharmed. He reported the incident in compliance with House security procedures.

    • And some whackjob chick just tried to ram the White House gates with a car and then led them on a chase  up to the Capitol.
      Either to cops popped one of their own, or she had a gun too…
      I’m trying to confirm there was a tea party woman loose in DC today.

      • Capitol Hill police officer got hit by the car, not a gun.

      • There was also apparently a baby in the car.  There’s a picture of a couple of cops carrying her (I assume it’s a her, from the barettes in the hair).  The baby was black, which likely explains why the media haven’t gone spouting off their usual ‘raaaaaacist’ narrative.

        • We were all ready for ‘tea party racist right wing whackjob’.
          Now they can go about covering up why they had to kill her.
          I mean, it’s not like DC is Ch-Iraq, right?

          • They were quick to pile on that she was mentally ill.  So I’m assuming she is from the left end of the spectrum. 

  • The Humungus: There has been too much violence. Too much pain. But I have an honorable compromise. Just walk away. Give me your pump, the oil, the gasoline, and the whole compound, and I’ll spare your lives. Just walk away and we’ll give you a safe passageway in the wastelands. Just walk away and there will be an end to the horror.
    [Soldiers start up their vehicles]
    I await your answer. You have a full day to decide.
    [Everyone drives away]

  • Day 4 opens with Obama’s Scaremacht wiring the Barry-cades together at the WWII memorial to stop the American 1st Elderly Veteran Corp from visiting the monument they earned with their blood.

    What they don’t get at the government-by-malice headquarters…
    there is just some shit we will not eat.

    Yes.  Yes, it IS disgusting.
    And we WILL NOT forget this conduct by “public servants”.  Not when it puts in stark relief the differences between what is SUPPOSED to be the “peoples’ property” and what some little dick-tator decides to put up saw-horses around.
    Fuck that.

    • And we WILL NOT forget this conduct by “public servants”
      >>> You and I won’t, but then again we’ve been onto this little game from the beginning (and even before, back to the sequester and cancelled school tours of the WH)
      But the rest of the country? The Low-Info rabble we’re cursed with?  They won’t remember because they’ve never noticed in the first place.

      • But a LOT of LIVs JUST became aware of their dad-grandpa-great-grandpa hero being treated like dog-spit over a political game…for NO reason except malice.
        THAT works for us.

  • This week’s “shutdown” of government, for example, suffers (at least for those of us curious to see it reduced to Somali levels) from the awkward fact that the overwhelming majority of the government is not shut down at all. Indeed, much of it cannot be shut down. Which is the real problem facing America. “Mandatory spending” (Social Security, Medicare, et al.) is authorized in perpetuity — or, at any rate, until total societal collapse. If you throw in the interest payments on the debt, that means two-thirds of the federal budget is beyond the control of Congress’s so-called federal budget process. That’s why you’re reading government “shutdown” stories about the PandaCam at the Washington Zoo and the First Lady’s ghost-Tweeters being furloughed.

    Nevertheless, just because it’s a phony crisis doesn’t mean it can’t be made even phonier. The perfect symbol of the shutdown-simulacrum so far has been the World War II Memorial. This is an open-air facility on the National Mall — that’s to say, an area of grass with a monument at the center. By comparison with, say, the IRS, the National Parks Service is not usually one of the more controversial government agencies. But, come “shutdown,” they’re reborn as the shock troops of the punitive bureaucracy. Thus, they decided to close down an unfenced open-air site — which oddly enough requires more personnel to shut than it would to keep it open.
    —Mark Steyn

    Same-same with various data and science web-sites the Feds have.  It costs MORE to take them down than to leave them up.

    So, what do the government-by-malice types do…???

    And WHO hates science…???

  • BREAKING:  the federal government shutdown will last longer than a Kardashian marriage

  • In a stunning development, some military priests are facing arrest if they celebrate mass or practice their faith on military bases during the federal government shutdown.

    “With the government shutdown, many [government service] and contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases worldwide are not permitted to work – not even to volunteer,” wrote John Schlageter, the general counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA, in an op-ed this week. “During the shutdown, it is illegal for them to minister on base and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.”

    Hmmm… What would be great is if several of these folks got arrested for holding services.
    I would LOVE to see that…and the aftermath.
    See, THIS is how you violate the First Amendment WHILE demonstrating how you “support the troops”.
    EXCELLENT optics to show who the Collective really is.

  • It’s not just our Syria non-policy that has the Saudis at arm’s length. The newfound cooperation between President Obama and President Rouhani of Iran has put an added strain on the US-Saudi relationship. The Saudis, like the Israelis, are displeased with the prospect of US-Iranian non-proliferation talks. They see them as an Iranian ploy to ease UN sanctions while continuing to press toward getting the bomb. And while the Saudis are a key American ally, they are adept at securing their interests in the region and are not beholden to Washington. If they continue to be dissatisfied with US policy, they might hinder, or at a minimum do nothing to help, other US interests in the Middle East.
    One really has to wonder what the FLUCK Erp is using for brains…

    • Erbes has to be right, by extension Obama has to be right because Erp thinks he’s the bee’s knees. Admitting Obama is a bozo would force Erp to admit he was wrong. So no matter how stupid, petty and childish Obama gets Erp is behind him.

    • Call me when Tehran sells-off their centrifuges…
      (For the technically illiterate (e.g. Scott Erb), the only use for those centrifuges is making The Bomb.)

      • Bu…bu…but there’s a fatwa against making a bomb…
        So all those centrifuges are for making camel milk smoothies…

  • Want to watch some excitement.  Someone should either add this phrase to the cards that state the memorials are closed due to gov’t shutdown or replace them with cards with this statement.
    Because of the Federal Government SHUTDOWN

    • Well, you know….
      I think that’s speaking truth to power isn’t it?

    • In all seriousness though, we ALL know that the parks were ordered closed by some unknown and unknowable intern at the White House, or possibly by some low level National Parks Department personal in Cincinnati.

    • Even more seriously.
      I wonder how long it would take for them to notice.