Government Shutdown

Shutdown Shows a Government Based on "Fear, Guns, and Control"

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Park Service
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About ten years ago, I had a drinking buddy who worked in National Park Service law enforcement at Petrified Forest National Park (a great backpacking destination, by the way). He'd head to Flagstaff on his days off to vent some steam and, incidentally, share stories good and bad about his experiences with the NPS. Among his complaints was the paramilitary turn recruiting efforts had taken since 9/11. He said the new promo materials were heavy on assault rifles and action. "I don't know what they think we do out there, but they're going to end up with a bunch of psychos." Flash forward ten years and NPS rangers are barricading tourists in their hotels, threatening them with arrest for photographing wildlife, and being accused of "Gestapo" tactics. "We've become a country of fear, guns and control," complains a woman on the receiving end.

Yes, we have.

The original story of the ordeal suffered by a bus full of tourists at Yellowstone National Park appeared in the Livingston Enterprise, where passengers and the tour guide spoke with local journalists who were chased from the park by rangers trying to make a point:

As Liz Kearney wrote for the Livingston Enterprise:

A 41-passenger tour group spent two nights at the Old Faithful Inn. They spent Monday touring Yellowstone National Park like such groups do, entering at the North Entrance and making their way to Old Faithful by afternoon. 

But when the federal government shut down when the House of Representatives couldn't pass a budget resolution on the night of Sept. 30, Oct. 1 dawned to a different Yellowstone. 

The tour director, Gordon Hodgson of Utah, learned his group would not be allowed to walk on any of the boardwalks located just outside their hotel, or visit any other geyser basins in the area. 

Hodgson said the group was scheduled to spend two nights at the Inn. When they got up on Tuesday morning, they headed out to see Yellowstone for the day, planning to return to the Inn for their second night's stay later in the day. Hodgson said they headed north out of Old Faithful and pulled over to let passengers out to take photos of bison.

Hodgson said in a phone interview Tuesday that a ranger pulled up behind the bus and told him he would have to get everyone back on the bus — recreation in Yellowstone was not allowed. 

"She told me you need to return  to your hotel and stay there," Hodgson said. "This is just Gestapo tactics. We paid a lot to get in. All these people wanted to do was take some pictures." 

Hodgson said the ranger told him he could be convicted of trespassing if he disobeyed.

Hodgson, who has to do business in the area, was a bit more restrained in his description than was Pat Vaillancourt, who returned home to Salisbury, Massachusetts and told her story to the local media.

From the Newburyport Daily News:

Vaillancourt took part in a nine-day tour of western parks and sites along with about four dozen senior citizen tourists. One of the highlights of the tour was to be Yellowstone, where they arrived just as the shutdown went into effect.

Rangers systematically sent visitors out of the park, though some groups that had hotel reservations — such as Vaillancourt's — were allowed to stay for two days. Those two days started out on a sour note, she said.

The bus stopped along a road when a large herd of bison passed nearby, and seniors filed out to take photos. Almost immediately, an armed ranger came by and ordered them to get back in, saying they couldn't "recreate." The tour guide, who had paid a $300 fee the day before to bring the group into the park, argued that the seniors weren't "recreating," just taking photos.

"She responded and said, 'Sir, you are recreating,' and her tone became very aggressive," Vaillancourt said.

The seniors quickly filed back onboard and the bus went to the Old Faithful Inn, the park's premier lodge located adjacent to the park's most famous site, Old Faithful geyser. That was as close as they could get to the famous site — barricades were erected around Old Faithful, and the seniors were locked inside the hotel, where armed rangers stayed at the door.

Vaillancourt added that, on its 2.5 hour journey out of the park, the bus was not allowed to stop at a private in-park dude ranch to use the bathroom as scheduled. "The dude ranch had been warned that its license to operate would be revoked if it allowed the bus to stop."

"We've become a country of fear, guns and control," said Vaillancourt, who grew up in Lawrence. "It was like they brought out the armed forces. Nobody was saying, 'we're sorry,' it was all like — " as she clenched her fist and banged it against her forearm.

This is petty, abusive treatment of people, intended only to expand the pain felt by Americans when the government is "shutdown." You can see it in the rangers deployed to barricade the Pisgah Inn, a privately owned business on federal land along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. Perfectly able to function whatever the state of the government, the inn's owner vowed to remain open—so "shutdown" rangers were sent to cool their heels at the entrance and prevent that from happening.

You also see it in the closure order against the privately funded and managed Claude Moore Colonial Farm, also on federal property, but perfectly able to carry on without help from the government. Fortunately, the barricades there were lifted after Managing Director Anna Eberly and her staff not only defied the feds, but publicly shamed them into backing off. "Obviously, the decision would not have been reversed without the news coverage, forwarded emails, blogs, tweets, Facebook posts and personal appeals from all of you," Eberly writes.

Putting this thuggish behavior into context, a Park Service ranger told the Washington Times, "We've been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It's disgusting."

This may seem like an NPS-specific problem, but that's only because the NPS interacts with the public so widely at the retail level—and perhaps because its leadership has been so enthusiastic in its efforts "to make life as difficult for people as we can." After all, it was NPS efforts to hire gung-ho arm-twisters that had my ranger buddy so upset a decade ago.

But these efforts to inflict as much pain as possible on the public go well beyond shutting down services, and show government apparatchiks determined to punish Americans who show any sign of being able to carry on in their absence.

We do need them, federal officials insist, and they'll be in the kitchen boiling bunnies until we admit it.

The problem for the feds is that, according to polling (PDF), 81 percent of us say that nobody in their household has felt any impact from the federal government shutdown, and 60 percent say they prefer a smaller government providing fewer services over a bigger government providing more.

As it turns out, closing the government just doesn't inconvenience most of us, and many Americans would just as soon live without much that the feds do—and easily grow accustomed to their absence.

So, if we won't feel the pain on our own when they go away, the feds will inflict the pain. They have the guns and control to make us feel fear, if that's what it takes.

NEXT: Arrested Undercover NYPD Cop in Bike Gang Road Rage Incident Could've Ruined Larger Case

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  1. I give it a week before they start shooting these fuckers in the Smokey Mountains.

    http://www.americanthinker.com….._wild.html

    1. That’s home turf for my family. In fact, I may have a cousin/uncle buried in the park on one of those “Quiet Walkways.” For people who go there when it’s not an act of civil disobedience–actually, whether or not you’re there as an act of civil disobedience–those quiet walkways can be very cool. Generally short, but they almost always lead to something interesting–natural or historical. Or both.

      The one I’m talking about was one we did right at dusk, so the lighting was all weird and orangey. We hiked for a bit, then walked up a hill right smack into an old graveyard. The kids were freaked out, but I knew I had enough family in the area that I might have a relative there. And, sure enough, we found one (not 100% sure but most likely–very rare name and knew they were there back then already).

      1. And that’s the grave of Delmar Libertate, your great-great-Cousin-Uncle.

        1. Cousin-Uncle or Daddy-Brother?

          1. I doubt it’s a lineal ancestor, but this is Tennessee, not West Virginia.

            1. A direct, lineal descendant of the impenitent thief on the Cross?

              /best political insult evah

        2. Care for some gopher?

    2. No wonder they bought all that ammo.

  2. “She responded and said, ‘Sir, you are recreating,’ and her tone became very aggressive,” Vaillancourt said.

    Best sentence ever written?

    1. ” Lord. You can imagine where it goes from here. ”

      “He fixes the cable? “

      1. Don’t be fatuous, Timmy.

    2. “Suddenly a shot rang out!”

    3. I picture it spoken by Edwina ‘Ed’ McDunnough.

      Goddamn that woman is sexy.

    4. I’m afraid I would have punched that bitch in the mouth.

    5. So good I tweeted it . Thanks for highlighting it .

  3. Remember this when peoplr tell you we could never loose our democracy. The government’s full of shitty little thugs right down to the park rangers.

    1. loose our democracy

      And cry havoc?

    2. I’ve come to the conclusion that the only good park ranger is a dead one.

  4. I don’t think this is about “government” in general as it is about Obama and the current state of the Democratic Party. This isn’t the result of something inherent in our government. If the President were anyone but Obama, this would not be happening. It didn’t happen in the 1990s when Clinton was President nor in the 1980s when Reagan was President. It is only happening now because Obama and the Democratic Party have embraced a sort of punitive form of politics. This is not the Washington Monument strategy. It is worse than that. The point of this is not to force the Republicans to fold. The point is to punish the American people for having the nerve to defy Obama. That is really all it is.

    1. But… If the Park Service was what I thought it was, we would be reading stories about them flatly refusing these orders.

      They aren’t refusing – they are enthusiastically enforcing them. This is about policy and the people in our government.

      1. Enforcers are gonna enforce. Any excuse to assert their authority is a good one.

      2. True. They are following orders. And that isn’t good. But they are not doing this on their own. And would not be doing it if they had not been ordered to.

        1. Not decent human would follow those orders. It’s coming from them as much as Obama.

          1. I wouldn’t go that far. They are terrible orders. But they are not putting people in ovens. The problem is the people in charge.

            1. But they are not putting people in ovens.

              Only because no one has given the order.

              The problem is the people in charge.

              The problem is the kind of people attracted to that kind of work.

              1. Judgement at Yellowstone

                “Ve vere only following ze orders!”

              2. The problem is the kind of people attracted to that kind of work.

                Probably, but government always seeks to expand and people who are part of or dependent on that government are psychologically invested in protecting the status quo. So, it’s completely predictable that government employees – law enforcement and otherwise – would get all bitchy when you seek to limit their base of power and attack their identity.

              3. Maybe the ovens aren’t ready. You know how those government projects are always late.

                They have, however, stocked up on hollow point ammunition.

            2. But they are not putting people in ovens.

              Do you doubt that most of these employees would not refuse to do even that?

              1. Do you doubt that most of these employees would not refuse to do even that?

                I have no doubt that they would cheerfully comply.

                1. Obviously if that order was given, it was given for the common good, so yes – they would Obey.

              2. Maybe I’m insufficiently cynical, but I am going to keep believing that even among government employees, most would not be willing to start putting people into ovens.

                1. Think they go with an outside contractor instead?

                2. most would not be willing to start putting people into ovens.

                  Who said anything about people?

                  Domestic terrorists aren’t people. Sex offenders aren’t people. Drug dealers aren’t people.

                  Once you dehumanize your enemy, putting them into ovens is easy.

                  And once the ovens are up and running, finding new people to dehumanize is also easy.

                  Bitter clingers aren’t people. Libertarians aren’t people.

                3. most would not be willing to start putting people into ovens.

                  What you ARE is insufficiently historical. Germans said much the same thing in the early 1930’s. Shit, you can go back to the crusades, you can go back to the missions in the Southwest, you can even go back to the War On Drugs.

            3. The people following these orders will be held accountable. There is a tidal wave coming and they will be swept away like the detritus they are.

              1. They need to be reminded that Nuremberg is also a small town in the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania, with plenty of room to build tribunals.

                And gallows.

            4. OK, Yogi, we know you’ve always wanted to eat those tourists, and not just the contents of their picnic baskets. Well, we’re finally giving you the green light.

          2. Not decent human would follow those orders.

            Humans (notice I left out the adjective “decent”) have followed much more vile orders than this. Never underestimate people’s ability to do evil simply because someone in a position of power told them to.

            1. Wasn’t there an experiment in the early 70’s that demonstrated this? Someone was told that a prisoner had his balls wired to wall current and ordered to throw the switch? Name escapes me…

      3. The Park Rangers are Obama’s new gestapo.

        They better back off, or some one is gonna get hurt.

    2. I’m not sure that the government isn’t more rotten than it was when Clinton was in there. Maybe a different leader could tame some of the punitive instincts, but ‘Sir, you are recreating’ comes from the bottom, not the top.

      Dubya or Clinton in charge? Some of these people would still be doing this, and the only thing that would slow it down would be a public smack-down of someone for throwing vets out of a memorial.

      1. I don’t doubt that you are right but Obama could just as easy as not tell these assholes to stand down. That he isn’t doing it, and is actually defending this level of asshattery shows what a nasty SOB he really is. Can you imagine Bush or Clinton if this crap happened under either of their administrations. Neither of them would let this stand.

        1. Neither had their thuggery enabled, even cheerled, by the media that way that Obama has.

          1. True but I work for a labor union affiliated credit union and I’ve noticed that even the most faithful of the faithful have been awful quiet of late. I hate to give anyone too much credit but it seems like a few of the usual suspects around here might be feeling embarrassed by Obama’s thuggery.

            1. I’ve also noticed that our two most relentless and voluminous leftist trolls (both of whom happen to be fairly prominent media members) haven’t been around here nearly as much lately. So there might be something to what you’re saying.

              1. They have probably assumed that since the government is “shutdown” Al Gore’s invention no longer works.

                1. That was freakin’ awesome, Mad Scientist.

            2. it seems like a few of the usual suspects around here might be feeling embarrassed by Obama’s thuggery.

              Only because he didn’t warn them first so they didn’t have creative excuses handy.

            3. I hate to give anyone too much credit

              Didn’t you just write that you worked at a credit union?

          2. Yes. The corrupt media gives Obama the courage to do this crap because he knows that he will never be held accountable.

            We need to start with the media.

        2. Let me put it another way.

          Let’s say there wasn’t a leader there to direct things/pull the reins back on asshole park rangers.

          No communication to Washington, or something. They get the message that things are shut down and people can’t use stuff because they might leave trash or get hurt and need to be rescued or whatever.

          Do the rangers act substantially different?

          Blame is on Obama for not stopping them. Maybe for ordering them to punish people. In the absense of that, though, would they have done the same thing? Yea, I think so. Saying you can get by without the park service is an attack on those ranger’s livelihood.

          It’s pretty awesome to think, both Bush and Clinton had some pretty terrible faults, and yet, you can’t imagine them doing something like that.

          1. Yes, I think Clinton could. I don’t think he would, because he wouldn’t see enough gain in it, but he definitely could. Neither of the Bushes, Reagan no, Carter surely no, Ford…hmmm…no, Nixon like Clinton could but wouldn’t, LBJ definitely could, JFK might do anything, Eisenhower no, Truman yeah even though he’d be skewered.

    3. People complain about Nixon’s tapes but if it were up to me we’d video and audio everything the President does from election night until 90 days after he leaves office.

      1. He should have an unstoppable GoPro camera embedded in his forehead. Any blocking of the video or audio means instant removal from office. No exceptions.

        1. Yes, but then we’d see the Wookie’s O-face…. /shudder!

          1. How can we if she is the one riding his ass?

          2. Hardly, we’d probably be seeing the back of some bathhouse rent boy’s head a heckuva lot more often than M’chll’s skull ridges..

        2. The requisite dub-step soundtrack to The Obama Tapes could get tiresome.

    4. John, you are very wrong… it *is* about government.

      Yes, Obama is a shit for directing an overall punitive strategy. But the people obeying those orders and the managers making the tactical decisions weren’t hired by Obama, nor will they be fired by his successor.

      This is the modern federal civil service… I’m sure there are plenty of guys like you in there who would disobey such a stupid and vicious set of orders. But most won’t. Some will worry that they could lose their cushy federal jobs. Some will embrace a chance to break civilian heads. Some will go along for other reasons. Whatever their calculus, they act on the insane directives.

      Nor is it uniquely a modern phenomenon. Remember federal agents destroying livestock and crops under FDR’s insane plan to raise food prices while Americans were going hungry? How many people refused then…?

      The issue is to organize the government so that even if multiple madmen like Obama and Reid and Pelosi and Santorum and Gingrich and Romney are holding the reins they are not capable of injuring too many people by the limits on their power.

      Clearly the U.S. government is very far from being limited in such a way.

      1. Yeah, government will often do bad things if the people in charge decide to do it. But that doesn’t really say much about government. It says a lot more about the people in charge. I am more concerned that we have a President who would order this than that a bunch of park police don’t feel like being martyrs to stop it.

        Lets not kid ourselves. This is bad and it sucks. But it is not sticking people in ovens.

        1. It says a lot about the people in charge, yes that’s true.

          It also says a lot about the people taking the orders.

          Isn’t that whay we have a Constitution founded on the notion of limited government? Because the Founders were well schooled in the history of Greece and Rome to know that people with power will not exercise discretion unless forced too?

        2. But that doesn’t really say much about government.

          Yes it does. Governments are governments. The whole point of a limited government is that without limits, the result is always the same. As our government increasingly ignores the limits put onto it by the constitution, it increasingly looks like every other despotic regime that has existed. It’s the nature of the beast. Blaming the people in charge is like saying socialism or communism will work if the right people are in charge.

          1. ^Dead on.

          2. Right. And it’s not surprising that people who depend on the government for employment or welfare would defend the interests of government. If you’re inside then you seek to protect your turf. That’s what the NPS Rangers are doing.

      2. It’s like a low-stakes version of the Milgram experiment.

        1. Actually, Stanley Milgram’s experiments predict exactly this sort of behavior.

          1. Now I have to go google. ;-0

            1. Don’t forget to check out the related, but different, stanford prison experiment.

              Milgram: People will ignore their personal ethics and commit immoral acts if asked by an authority figure.

              SPE: Given power over others, many people will become sociopathic and act in sadistic ways towards their wards.

              1. Depressing to see the implications of the two sets of experiments taken together.

                1. Depressing to see the implications of the two sets of experiments taken together.

                  Government in a nutshell.

              2. SPE: Given power over others, many people will become sociopathic and act in sadistic ways towards their wards.

                Kind of helps explain yesterday’s nutpunch about prison rape.

                1. If I were ever to be imprisoned, it would be the guards that scare me. Not some fictional bad guy named “bubba”.

          2. Ha, a minute ago I was talking to a friend about the Milgram experiment. It came up after reading this article.

          3. So what happens in the experiment when one or more of the ‘prisoners’ have guns?

          4. All Milgram’s experiments predicted was the same as Candid Camera: that people will play along and even ham it up when they are less naive than the people who think they’re putting them on.

      3. We need to bring back the Nuremberg trials and put this Park Ranger scum in the dock. Hang a few of them for treason and they may get the message. I’ll be more than happy to put the noose around their neck.

    5. I don’t think this is about “government” in general as it is about Obama and the current state of the Democratic Party.

      The problem with that theory is that government is now full of little Eichmanns that gleefully execute operation public pain. Whereas in the past the front line employees would have told the president to go fuck himself and run to the media with horror stories.

      1. “in the past the front line employees would have told the president to go fuck himself and run to the media with horror stories.”

        When would that have been?

    6. There’s probably a number of things that go into it. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s that government, and government power, has become so entrenched, no one involved with government wants to give it up. That probably includes a lot of park rangers.

  5. We do need them, federal officials insist, and they’ll be in the kitchen boiling bunnies until we admit it.

    Tuccille brings it hard.

    Ya’ll better stop recreating.

  6. “She responded and said, ‘Sir, you are recreating,’ and her tone became very aggressive,” Vaillancourt said.

    The seniors quickly filed back onboard and the bus went to the Old Faithful Inn, the park’s premier lodge located adjacent to the park’s most famous site, Old Faithful geyser. That was as close as they could get to the famous site ? barricades were erected around Old Faithful, and the seniors were locked inside the hotel, where armed rangers stayed at the door.

    Hey seniors… this is why you charged up the beaches at Utah and Omaha.

    1. Many of these same people and their children are also ultimately responsible for the government we have now, so it’s hard to feel too bad.

      1. I’m glad my dad died in 2003. He went to his grave with Nazi flak in his ass.

        1. I took my 11 year old son to see a B-17 and B-24 at a local airport this past weekend. Impressive machines. Even more impressive are those that flew in them. Glad I didn’t have to do it.

          1. My dad flew in (and eventually jumped out of) the B17. Bloody 100th.

            1. God bless him. Several years a go I read a book about the air war over Europe. It sounded just awful until the Mustang came along.

              1. It sounded just awful until the Mustang came along.

                With the drop tanks. Fighter escort wasn’t much use when you got abandoned by your little friends around the time you got across the English Channel.

              2. Those guys and their fathers/grandfathers saw war on a scale we can’t even begin to fully understand.

                The 8th Air Force alone in WW2 suffered over 47,000 casualties. The AEF suffered 117,000 casualties in the span of two weeks during the Meuse Argonne offensive. It would take a complete cultural shift to accept those kinds of numbers today with anything other than horror.

        2. My grandfather was an army officer in WW2. He would not only be appalled at things today, he’d be calling up his army buddies to lock and load.

          This is why Jackboot Janet Napolitano wants to classify returning vets as terrorists and psychos.

  7. on its 2.5 hour journey out of the park, the bus was not allowed to stop at a private in-park dude ranch to use the bathroom as scheduled. “The dude ranch had been warned that its license to operate would be revoked if it allowed the bus to stop.”

    Would taking a leak on the side of the road be considered “recreating”?

    Seriously, I hope the dude ranch operator is publishing the name(s) of whoever issued that warning so that others may, um, appreciate the great work being done by this civil servant.

    1. How the hell can the government tell a private business that it is not allowed to have people stop at that business? That should scare the hell out of people.

      1. How is this any different from the ten thousand other asinine regulations that business and individuals cope with every day? This is just bringing the cockroaches out into the open.

        1. If Obama’s actions during the shutdown make people more aware of just how pissy government power can be then the shutdown may end up being a real blessing.

          1. Well, it’s probably not going to change the minds of O-lovers, but it will strengthen the resolve of AnarchTeaThuglicans and libertarians (like us).

        2. This. Now it’s everybody else gets to experience the petty tyrants taking it out on them.

    2. Hey, they never made potty stops with the the cattle car trains, did they? Why make exceptions for these softies riding in a bus?

    3. I am more then willing to personally look them up and show them the error of their ways.

    4. How about taking a leak on a gestapo “park ranger”? I’d certainly call that quality entertainment.

  8. barricades were erected around Old Faithful, and the seniors were locked inside the hotel, where armed rangers stayed at the door.

    Jesus fucking fucksticks. What kind of cretin performs that duty without throwing his badge on his boss’ desk the next morning, hanging his (or her) head low while saying, “This isn’t why I became a park ranger…”

    1. “Seniors Burn To Death Inside Locked Hotel”

    2. But it is why they did it. They didn’t want to risk joining a ‘law enforcement’ service where the people they confronted might actually shoot at them.

      1. While the behavior of the NPS has been completely unacceptable, I seem to recall that LEO Rangers actually have one of the highest, if not the highest, rate of assaults against them of an LEO flavor.

      2. This may change if this shit keeps up.

      3. Don’t be so sure. My friend Will was a US Marine, then a fireman (including EMS, actual fire fighting, then communications), plus on the side a bar bouncer and an undercover de-escalation agent at Occupy Wall St. for the NYPD, and now he’s going to the fire academy of the Forest Service. Says he feels like going out & fighting a bear (watch out for Stokey). Once took gunshots to a helmet he was wearing just to prove it could stop bullets. And rescues little kitty cats and other animals, and kept a wolf.

        1. Sounds like a complete nut-job.

    3. Then there was the slob who was ordered to pound a giant cork into Old Faithful. He’s expected to recover.

      1. Tim…

        Thank you! The absolute insanity of that image made me laugh so hard that I’ll be coughing up unchewed sandwich all afternoon.

      2. Is there not a Bugs Bunny cartoon where he did that as a prank?

    4. The kind that enjoys it.

      What the hell do we do about people like this running the whole damn government regardless of who we elect? Petty tyranny does not stay petty. Eventually they will start killing people. I see no plausible way to ever fix this short of starting over with a blank slate.

      1. Firstly, the NPS should be disarmed.

        Secondly, the assholes that are giving the orders need to be fired and lose their benefits. Now this won’t happen, but if it did it would send a clear message to the underling assholes about to be promoted.

        1. But that’s the thing. We all know that won’t happen. There’s no one you can elect or no where you can protest that will actually introduce accountability into government. Instead, these assholes will be promoted for their blind loyalty as enforcers, and that will also send a clear message to the underlings, and it will get even worse.

          1. I know. That’s why I think alternative actions of some kind are coming.

        2. Firstly, the NPS should be disarmed.

          Dude, that’s going too far. Those guys are called upon to go out and do things in the wild… with wild animals!

          Depriving a park ranger of a gun is like depriving a football player his pads.

          1. Anyone ever read the Last Season about Randy Morgansen, a back country ranger that disappeared, later found dead in a stream? NPS management was dicking his widow over, suspecting him to be a suicidal deserter until it was proven he was wearing his uniform shirt and carrying his pistol (in his backpack since he didn’t think rangers should be armed) at the time of his accidental death.

          2. BS. I hope you are being sarcastic, otherwise you are a fool.

    5. What kind of cretin

      A cretin living way beyond his means.

      AKA, most people.

  9. Why aren’t these rangers furloughed? They are far from essential. I wish the seniors would have defied them. It would have highlighted that they have no power unless they actually shoot people. And if the rangers actually did shoot people, that would have shown just how awful the armed feds are. I don’t think they would have shot anyone. Arrested, perhaps. For taking pictures. On land “owned” by all of us.

    1. Keeping seniors from recreating is hardly non-essential.

      1. Sun City Center is considered a veritable den of recreating. Those old people recreate early and often.

    2. On land “owned” by all of us.

      Ohh…. how quaint. “Public” property.

    3. They would have to shoot me to stop me. And if they did, they damn well better kill me. For their sake.

  10. I hope the Shutdown Theater continues so we get more of this fascistic behavior from the NPS.

    1. “Now we see the violence inherent in the system!”

      1. timely quote

    2. If Boehner saw this as a way to let Obama expose himself and discredit the entire federal government, I take back everything I said about him.

      Brilliant way to make cutting the Department of Interior in half a popular cause.

      1. I’m not sure I’d like to see Obama expose himself.

    3. the NPS

      National Park Socialists?

      1. National Park Stasi

      2. National Park Scumbags

      3. Nazional Park Sicherheitspolizei.

    4. The House needs to stop all funding for the NPS. Turn the authority over to the individual states. Then these jackasses would have to go back to flipping burgers for a living.

      1. Unfortunately, BATFE would be happy to take them on…

  11. If this is how vicious government workers get merely for being forced to take a few days of paid vacation, you can imagine how nasty things would get if whole departments were permanently eliminated.

    That’s why significant spending cuts are popular with politicians only if they happen in the future.

    1. Once they are fired, standing up to them carries far less risk.

    2. To its core, government is nothing but force. Of course those who work for it will come to understand that (they are predisposed towards it anyway or they wouldn’t work for the government), and will act accordingly.

    3. My plan for closing an agency would be to pay the fired employees their salaries and benefits for the rest of their lives if they signed a contract to stay out of any government job forever. You could shut an agency with no squawks from the employees at all. Any union that objected would be decertified by its members before you could say “vacation forever”.

      The damage caused by these malicious time servers is not their wages, it’s what they do while they’re at work.

      1. if they signed a contract to stay out of any government job forever.

        Sounds like a subsidy.

        You’ll have most of the people cheating as soon as the contract is signed.

      2. That’s too good for them. I propose putting them all in work camps as in the movie Papillon.

        1. Papillon is too good.

          I want to rebuild Tule Lake just for scum like this.

    1. My backyard. I know a kid who goes to that school.

      1. Then you will be swilling space brew any day now!

        1. My hypothesis:
          Of course the Krebs cycle doesn’t stop in zero G BUT without the compacting affects of gravity, unless the container is completely filled with wort, it will be more challenging for the yeast to get to the sugars thus making an inefficient and unpredictable quality brew. If however the container is say an expanding vessel which has little to no “airspace” i think it would work similar to normal.

        2. Pity the Space Shuttle isn’t still flying….think of the hi-jinks a shuttle full of astronauts fueled up on space PBR could pull!

          1. I have the weirdest vision of two drunk rednecks piloting a space shuttle painted like the General Lee. Odd.

            1. “Hey Houston! It’s dark as crap up here!”

          2. “I love you, Sarge.”

            1. +1 Zerg

  12. It is hard to blame a bunch of tourists for not standing up to the thugs. So why isn’t the governor of Wyoming and Montana going to Old Faithful and asking to be arrested? Where is Donald Trump? Or Ron Paul? Or the Tea Party congressmen? Amash and Lee and Cruz and Paul should have been at the WWII monument with freaking wirecutters! This shit won’t stop until prominent people say “enough.”

    1. This is exactly what we need. Plus it will have the benefit of putting it on the front page.

    2. I thought Congressional republicans have asked for permission to open up the parks.

      1. That’s just evil Republican action, attempting to tempt the Transparent One into evil.

      2. I thought Congressional republicans have asked for permission to open up the parks.

        Yeah, but Obama won’t let them because they refuse to compromise by giving him everything he wants in return for nothing.

        1. Truly, he has a dizzying intellect.

          1. He’s just getting started.

          2. He uses his tongue prettier than a $5 whore, too.

          3. Too bad he missed the bit about not getting into a land war in Asia.

        2. As far as I’m concerned that’s a good thing. The more intransigent Obama is about this whole thing the longer we’ll have gridlock. And the longer we have the gridlock, the more people will discover that the only pandemonium resulting from the shutdown is the pandemonium actively caused by the government.

          1. pandemonium resulting from the shutdown is the pandemonium actively caused by the government.

            If you deny your toddler a toy at the store and he screams and throws a fit, you give the toddler what he wants. Every parent knows that.

            1. If you deny your toddler a toy at the store and he screams and throws a fit, you give the toddler what he wants. Every parent knows that.

              You mean I didn’t have to shake the toddler until it stopped screaming?

              1. Let the nanny do the shaking, it’s better that way.

            2. No you don’t. That is enabling bad behavior. I guess you are not a parent.

            3. Obama(lamadingdong) needs a good spanking. And not by Michelle and her riding crop…

          2. I think it’s great that Obama is being so heavy-handed and obvious in trying to make it look far worse than it is. Even his faithful flock can see that. Let alone the opposition and the “moderates.”

            He’s truly inept and petty on a scale perhaps never seen in American government before. He’s like a black Nixon, with more power and media cover.

            1. He’s like a black Nixon, with more power and media cover.

              Yes, imagine if Nixon had been liked by the press…

              1. I don’t have to imagine it at all!

              2. Nixon was a saint compared to this piece of crap.

            2. I think it’s great that Obama is being so heavy-handed and obvious in trying to make it look far worse than it is. Even his faithful flock can see that.

              Something I’ve been noticing…all day long on Scroogle news the top spot is sycophantic headlines about how Boehner shall cave and that His Beneficence shall meet with those pesky lawmakers (of course, only after they capitulate).

              The media seem so hard pressed to preserve his image, lest he cast them out.

      3. That’s the problem. You don’t ask. They should demand.

    3. Remember that every story about the shutdown thugs takes attention away from the Obamacare trainwreck and the machinations behind the curtains to get an illegal immigrant amnesty bill quietly passed.

      It’s fine go get all fired up over the National Park Stazi, but keep paying attention to the other shenanigans as well.

      1. Should be “STASI”.

    4. At lease one governor is resisting:

      http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wi…..r-shutdown

      1. What is this, secession?

        1. It may be war.

  13. “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”

    Fuck these assholes. Not the guy who says “It’s disgusting,” unless of course he’s just meakly going along with it. But fuck his superiors at the NPS. Fuck them in the ass with a broken, spintered broom handle.

  14. It’s time to privatize so we can recreate.

    1. Um, what, precisely, are they recruiting for?

      1. Hot chicks (or guys depending on the recruiter) who can hang on for the ride. Isn’t that what all recruiters are looking for?

  15. So why isn’t the governor of Wyoming and Montana going to Old Faithful and asking to be arrested?

    The governor of Montana is a left wing authoritarian who is probably rooting for the park rangers.

    1. Does he look like this or more like this?

  16. We should close the NPS and devolve the park management to the states. Same for the BOP.

  17. It’s a bit depressing that our normally congenial park rangers may have become brownshirts in service of partisan policy.

    I fully understand that parks have a right to control their “property” using rules. However, I seem to remember leaders like Stephen Mather acting like they actually wanted people to see the parks. You know, like a business. Oh, the horror!

  18. The World War II memorial is open for “1st Amendment activities”. It wasn’t a week ago. That means the NPS didn’t know about “1st Amendment activities” a week ago.

    Now though, at least Americans can unleash an anarchy of 1st Amendment activities up in the World War II memorial.

  19. WTF is “recreating”?

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