Sorry, we're closed
Today is October 4th, 2013 and the United States government is closed while our "representatives" have a tantrum. Now if you know me, you know I'll usually stay away from politics or religion on my blog, but today I think I'm going to make an exception.
How do you close a government? You would think they would be hanging a closed sign on the big offices in Washington D.C. and all the politicians would go home until it was time to re-open. That's not what happened though. All the politician's offices stayed open and they keep getting paid. However they decided that a lot of other things will be closed and other people won't be paid. So let's take a look at how things work when the government decides it's closed.
Meet Moe. Moe goes to work and pays his taxes. He's been waiting all year for his vacation and now it's here! He's been planning his vacation for almost the whole year. He has booked and paid for a lot of really neat things to do. Moe loves the outdoors and is ready to head out on his trip to visit a few national parks. His first stop will be the Grand Canyon. He's paid up front for a really neat mule ride down into the canyon and can't wait to see all the natural beauty.
Imagine Moe's shock when he gets to Arizona and finds out that he not only can't go on the mule ride he paid for, he also can't go into the canyon at all because it's closed. Moe is pretty upset. He paid a lot of money ahead of time for the mule ride and a few other tours. How the hell do you close a canyon as big as the Grand Canyon? The tour company explains to him very nicely that the government has closed all public parks and no one can enter. His money is refunded, but the trip he's been looking forward to for almost a year isn't looking good. Moe can't understand how you can close something as huge as the Grand Canyon, but there are no park rangers to explain it to him. They've all been "furloughed" while the government is closed. So park rangers aren't getting paid, but the politicians still are. Moe is getting angry now.
But it's still vacation and Moe decides to just move on and maybe visit the Grand Canyon another time. He rents a car and heads out for the Petrified Forest National Park to see some of the nature there.
He's not allowed to drive into the park. There is an empty booth nearby, and Moe rants away at the booth. "How can you close a national park? What is all of this madness?" Moe figures he will just drive around the gate or find somewhere else to enter, but everything is blocked off and locked up. He sees a squirrel sitting just past the gate and near a tree. The squirrel looks to Moe as if it's laughing at him. "Silly humans, closing their parks!"
Moe is really angry and looks up a phone number to call his congressman. He dials, but only gets a recording that goes on and on about "Obamacare". Moe doesn't care about "Obamacare"! Moe wants in the park! Moe wants his vacation! Moe feels cheated and screwed by the people he's paid his taxes to! Moe is now furious!
Moe gets back into his car and thinks that getting angry is doing him no good. Moe loves pandas though and thinks that maybe watching a bit of the "Pandacam" at the National Zoo will help calm him down. He tries to use his cell phone to see the pandas but finds out that the National Zoo has been shut down and the "Pandacam" turned off. What the hell? How is all this stuff closed while the politicians are still getting paid?
At the end of his vacation, Moe went home very upset. His entire trip was ruined. He wasn't allowed in any national parks, he couldn't see the pandas, and there were no park rangers anywhere to discuss nature with. Moe hates the government and thinks that maybe for the next election he should vote against anyone who is in office right now. He doesn't want to hear any excuses about how it wasn't this congressman's fault, or how they're trying to take care of him. Moe wanted his park trip. And because some idiots couldn't agree, he's been screwed out of it.
As a side note, this blog was meant to be amusing. On the serious side, there are possibly hundreds of thousands of people "furloughed" and out of work now so our "government" can argue. This is not representation, this is abuse of power. If you want to close the government, then the politicians shouldn't be paid during the shutdown. Rape crisis centers have been closed, home loans have been put on hold and can't go through, and a lot of people won't be paid. All of this because a bunch of grown men and women want to scream "I want things my way, or else!" at each other. Remember all of this the next time you go to vote.