Ethics Quote Of The Week, Government Shut-Down Ethics Train Wreck Division: Unidentified Park Ranger

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

An unidentified U.S. Park Ranger, quoted by the Washington Times, in connection with a story about the Park Service shutting down the parking lot at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home, which is not run by the Park service.

My Dad would have been in this picture. Having his own nation that he risked his life for intentionally target him as a pawn would have hurt and angered him deeply. For the first time since Dec. 1, 2009, I'm thankful that he's dead.

My Dad would have been in this picture. Having his own nation that he risked his life for intentionally target him as a pawn would have hurt and angered him deeply. For the first time since Dec. 1, 2009, I’m thankful that he’s dead.

My late father, a decorated World War II veteran, loved the World War II Memorial. He was an invited guest at its dedication, and I accompanied him. Up until a few days before Dad died, he would wear a vest covered with his patches, insignias and medals, including the Silver Star, and just hang out there, often signing autographs for young visitors who treated the real life World War Two relic as both part of the Memorial and as a celebrity. Sometimes I accompanied him. It is a large, wide open space, without a discernible entrance. No government employees were ever in evidence while I was there. Beyond routine maintenance and cleaning, there is no need for any. Security? Just try vandalizing that space with the veterans there, old as they are. I dare you.

So why has the Park Service expended extra funds to block access to that memorial, where visitors just wander in and out, as well as non-government attractions like Mount Vernon, and even private operations that serve visitors to government attractions, like the Pisgah Inn, a private hotel that holds a concession on the Blue Ridge Parkway?

The Ethics Quote of the Week explains it. The Obama administration is trying to inconvenience as many Americans as possible during the government shut-down, and then plans to focus the anger on Republicans. It tried the same dastardly, miserable tactic when the sequester, which was a device planted by the White House itself, went into effect. As I wrote about that situation, “Intentionally hurting American business, American security and American citizens is an ethically indefensible strategy, a despicable, traitorous strategy, whatever the grand objective.” I also wrote that I could not comprehend why all of the media, not just the conservative side, wasn’t up in arms over this, and I feel that way still.

Can they really not see the crucial, material and ethical difference between  a) shutting down the government as the  consequence of an important budgetary policy stalemate in an attempt to force negotiation and reconciliation—-a maneuver which has the unavoidable collateral effect of causing inconvenience and hardship to many, but in which causing that pain is not the objective, and b) intentionally trying to maximize the harm to specific citizens, like tourists and veterans, for political leverage?

If an inconvenience or harm to American citizens during the shut-down can be avoided without added expense, then it is vicious, mean and a betrayal of the duty of government to help its citizens to instead actively seek to maximize that harm.

That’s the difference.

Is is not obvious? If it is obvious, is not the Administration plainly engaging in exactly such a mean and vicious betrayal? If the Administration is engaging in such a mean and vicious betrayal, why is anyone—citizens, Republicans, Democrats, journalists—tolerating such disrespect and disloyalty?

In an astoundingly demonstration of gall, indicating that the attitude on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is “we can get away with anything with these idiots,”  the White House is soliciting shut-down horror stories with the question, “How has the government shutdown affected you?”-–all while it is trying to “affect” innocent citizens, including the elderly, the patriotic and the young, as much as possible.

It is indeed disgusting. A President who would target his own citizens, even his supporters—we know he allows his agencies to target his critics and opponents, if we will accept the awful truth—is contemptible, as is any partisan or journalist who would argue that he should be allowed to get away with it.

__________________________

Pointer: Drudge

Sources: National Review, Washington Times 1, 2, The White House

 

 

85 thoughts on “Ethics Quote Of The Week, Government Shut-Down Ethics Train Wreck Division: Unidentified Park Ranger

  1. Obama is an unprofessional,unethical,narcissistic asshole. There are those of us who have known that from day one but what does it take to convince Obamabots who were caught on video gladly signing a petition to annul the Bill of Rights because they were told their little god told them to. To them,Obama can do no wrong. And those of us who criticize him are dismissed as simply racist.

  2. Karla, you ask a good question. Unfortunately, the answer is grim. Statistics tell us that almost exactly half the population of this nation is of below-average intelligence. Now, given that you’ve introduced THREE parameters (un/professional, un/ethical, narcissistic/non-narcissistic) the math becomes more difficult; it ain’t almost exactly half the population, but there’s a lot of ’em.

    There’s also a lot completely ignorant gimme guys and gimme girls, and a whole bunch of well-meaning people who just don’t pay enough attention to recognize this for what it is.

    Add ’em all together, and that’s why Obama gets away with this bilge.

    Personally, I think the Republicans are making a strategic mistake with the shutdown. But I AM sympathetic to those driving it.

    PM to Jack – check your email for one from me.

  3. A few posts back, I enjoyed a couple of back-and-forths with another commenter about the movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I avoid making links; our comments are in the thread, “Rationalization #35…” of September 24. This post, or rather, the behavior of certain persons in power which prompts this post, reminds me of the movie.

    The more I observe Obama, the more convinced I am that what we are all seeing in the impasse over funding government operations is an example of what Ferris Bueller would have done, if anyone with any competence and integrity had stood up to him.

    All Bueller wanted to do was to skip school for a day, and do everything his way on that day, while enjoying the company of his captive, easily manipulated enablers. Thinking about that yet again got me to pondering what-ifs – alternative plot lines.

    What if, say, the school principal had, instead, contacted Ferris’s resentful sister (You know? Something a competent principal would do, knowing that a suspected truant had a sibling at the same school?), and teamed-up with her to rat-out Ferris to his Mom?

    I am convinced that Bueller, in a tantrum over being “busted,” would have deliberately wrecked “his” coveted car – which was “his,” if only for part of one day, but which actually became “someone else’s toy” for a much bigger part of the day – even if Ferris knew in advance that his mother had her heart set on trying to close a real estate deal, the commission from which would have been spent to give him that very same car.

    Behold: Barack Bueller (Ferris Obama).

    I highly recommend the movie for its allegorical instructiveness about short-term gain vs. long-term pain – and about self-imposed powerlessness; power (and drunkenness on same); the effects of power and powerlessness on people, and power abuses.

    I don’t know what to suggest or recommend about resolving the funding impasse.

  4. I can’t write a haiku, and am not much more competent at designing acronyms, so…

    “EEYOUREKU”

    TEAM: Together, Everyone Achieves More
    DAMNED: Divided, All May Never Enjoy Democracy
    PEOPLE: Pride: Envy Others, Pretend Liberty’s Expendable
    BUSH: Blamed Universally, Scapegoated Hilariously
    OBAMA: Odious, Business-Annihilating Malevolent Anarchist
    HILLARY: Hell Is Literally Looming, Already Reaching You

  5. I don’t think the shut-downs of these private organizations are legal. Another good example are campgrounds in national forests. Yes, the Feds own the land BUT the campgrounds are often privately operated with the private operator paying RENT to the Feds.

    Its my understanding that a landlord cannot simply throw a tenant off the property, with NO advance notice, particularly if the rent is current. I’m not a lawyer, but if I were of the site operators I would definitely hire one, perhaps seek injunctive relief. I might even go as far as to call the county Sheriff and have the feds arrested for trespassing when they show up to kick me out. Yes, a landlord on site without permission IS a trespasser.

    What is really despicable: WHERE is the left on this. Support of parks, forests, and national monuments WAS one area I was in agreement with the left/middle. I guess this just furthers the political divide as *I* support these LARGELY SELF-SUFFICIENT, EVEN PROFIT GENERATING PUBLIC ENTITIES and the Democrats and other leftists do not. I think that Obama and Co. are doing a LOT more damage to the Democrat/Left brand than most people realize right now. The mask has finally come off and its now obvious they care about nothing but POWER. They are closing the parks, not to save money, not because it is legal, but to prove that they can do it and get away with it.

    Damn them all.

  6. Jack,

    I don’t disagree with you about the disagreeableness of urging the Park Service et al to make life difficult. But I must take issue with the far, far bigger issue you raise.

    Your words: “an important budgetary policy stalemate.”

    I cry foul.

    We have had important budgetary discussions before, including stalemates, and including government shutdowns.

    But we have never, I believe – never – had the nation’s budget held hostage to an unrelated policy initiative. This is a first. Unique. One of a kind. De novo. Never before.

    If this precedent is set, what is to prevent a minority from either party from holding the budget hostage to any one of a hundred policy initiatives with which they might disagree. If healthcare, then why not foreign policy? Environmental policy? Food and drug standards? Gun control? Abortion?

    This is hostage-taking pure and simple. This is not “negotiating” any more than it’s negotiating when talking to a suicide bomber with his finger on the trigger of his vest.

    We’ve all learned the lesson – never negotiate with hostage-takers. You just encourage them to raise the ransom and try again. The only defensible position from the point of future public policy is to flatly refuse to deal with the hostage-takers.

    In the light of this spectacular stick-up, I still find Obama’s “make life difficult” scam contemptible, but frankly it’s a pimple on the far larger scam the GOP is pulling.

    I can agree with your point, but point out that the point you are making is, relatively speaking, trivial.

    • Charles, we face a United Flight 93 scenario. A crash is inevitable. It might indeed be unsurvivable by anyone. Which of the “crews” will most deliberately crash us (and when)? Which crew can be trusted to do its best for the immediate safety of everyone aboard (even if futile)? And what’s the point of continuing to fly on, when everyone who’s capable of striving to prevent a survivorless crash (and minimize collateral damage) knows a crash is coming?

      • Eeyoure,

        I think you’re confused on your history. United Flight 93 was hijacked. The hijacking was not inevitable by any means. The problem was – hijackers.

        The hijackers here are those who are holding the budget hostage, the radical wing of what used to be one of our great political parties.

        Are you trying to claim that an economic crash is “inevitable?” Piffle. You are wrong on the economics. Far from being inevitable, we’re seeing the deficit declining daily, interest rates have not gone screaming skyward, the dollar has not crashed, China has not cashed us in, the stock market is up, etc.

        Most of the doomsayers have scaled back their apocalyptic claims in the face of impending normalcy; I urge you to go read the stats and join them.

        • No Charles, I am sure that I am not confused on history at all. You and I obviously interpret current events and history differently. I wish I could say more right now, but must log off because of a prior commitment. If you are enjoying this ride, and expect to keep enjoying it, I can’t fault you for trusting someone, even if that someone (or, those someones) happen to be the last persons on earth whom I would trust on anything.

    • If this precedent is set, what is to prevent a minority from either party from holding the budget hostage to any one of a hundred policy initiatives with which they might disagree. If healthcare, then why not foreign policy? Environmental policy? Food and drug standards? Gun control? Abortion?

      Well, for one thing, if the government weren’t spending SO FAR BEYOND the tax revenues that come in, we would never be butting up against the Debt Ceiling.

      That would most certainly prevent either party from “holding the budget hostage” in perpetuity.

      –Dwayne

      • Dwayne,

        Econ 101. No democratic government in the history of the world has taken in more in taxes than they’ve spent; no people would tolerate it. Debt is a natural phenomenon of government, just as working capital is for companies.

        Do you seriously think that if our tax revenues exceeded our expenditures you’d be happy parking your money with the Feds?

        Not to mention, in the real world, the “debt ceiling” has nothing to do with that anyway. It’s an artificial level set by Congress so that they can periodically debate it. As we are painfully seeing now.

        • I’ll put it better…

          Debt is a natural phenomenon of government, just as working capital is for companies.

          No, it is the natural phenomenon of spending more than they take in. There is nothing about government that requires the overspend.

          To think otherwise is to basically reject the need for a budget at all.

          Do you seriously think that if our tax revenues exceeded our expenditures you’d be happy parking your money with the Feds?

          False choice. The money would (or at least it fucking better) be put towards the debt. How else do you think the debt would go away, hmm? Magic? To reduce the debt, the government has to take in more than it spends. That’s how you pay off debt – you “earn” more than you spend.

          Not to mention, in the real world, the “debt ceiling” has nothing to do with that anyway. It’s an artificial level set by Congress so that they can periodically debate it. As we are painfully seeing now.

          You are completely correct – there is nothing in the Constitution about limiting the amount of debt the US Government takes in.

          Damn those Obama-hating reactionaries in 1917 for putting it in place.

          If you had any sense you would know that the Debt Ceiling was put into law to reduce political squabbling.

          You see, prior to 1917 Congress authorized each bond issue separately, limiting the debt via Congress’s authority to approve or disapprove each individual bond. During WWI Congress put the debt ceiling in place to allow the Executive Branch to issue bonds, so long as it stayed under the statutory limit.

          So in fact, vicious fights over the debt limit are entirely appropriate.

          And anyways, I would think you would be against raising the debt ceiling, what with any increase being the sign of a failed administration. Right?

        • Dwayne,

          Econ 101. No democratic government in the history of the world has taken in more in taxes than they’ve spent; no people would tolerate it. Debt is a natural phenomenon of government, just as working capital is for companies.

          No disagreement. Government can and should borrow for large capital expenditures for the same reasons that we individuals do.

          (Also, the “Econ 101” bit was unnecessary.)

          Do you seriously think that if our tax revenues exceeded our expenditures you’d be happy parking your money with the Feds?

          It would be used for paying off the debt, not just piled up in the vaults under the Treasury building. So YES, it would make me VERY happy for my government to be responsible about debt service and balancing reasonable deficit spending with periodic surplus spending.

          Not to mention, in the real world, the “debt ceiling” has nothing to do with that anyway. It’s an artificial level set by Congress so that they can periodically debate it. As we are painfully seeing now.

          Irrelevant to my post. My premise was that if the government did responsible budgeting, they could borrow and pay off debt (which IS the Keynesian model BTW, but people conveniently forget the “paying off” part) for centuries and never have to borrow above the Debt Ceiling.

          That was a direct answer to the question you posed, which I quoted (and, as I pointed out myself, didn’t visually present correctly).

          If you want to actually address my point, go right ahead. You haven’t.

          –Dwayne

          • Dwayne,

            You’re right, the “Econ 101” comment was inflammatory. I apologize. And thanks for your measured tone.

            I do agree with you about the proper use of debt and surplus.

            I suspect we still disagree about whether better budgeting is the sole solution to debt ceiling problems. There is also the issue of where the ceiling gets set, or so it seems to me.

    • I don’t know how you can say this. Against Reagan, Democrats held up the debt limit increase to reinstate the so-called “Fairness Doctrine.” How is that a related policy initiative? Another one involved abortion funding. Why is the ACA special? It is true that a a shutdown never involved Obamacare before, but that’s kind of a forced argument…

      • Charles, I was writing another post, and your comment kept gnawing on me.

        I’m not a fan of the shutdown (but due to the media’s reaction and Obama’s rhetoric, it is growing on me), but it is easy to make an argument why in this case, with this imperious and inept President, it is valid move. Obama, thinks the Presidency is a kingship. His governing style, if one can call it that, is strikingly anti=republic and undemocratic. He wants to rule by polls and edicts. Even media lover Chris Matthews concedes that beyond speech-making, he has no idea how to work with Congress, compromise, build alliances, or get broadbased support. He has refused to do this, and is lousy at it when he “tries,” such as a media-pitched “charm offensive.” Good policy doesn’t get made that way. I cannot think of a single past President who whould have allowed, or wanted, to pass massive megislation like the ACA without a single opposition party vote, as Obama did with healthcare. Nicholas Kristoff, wring in the Times, tried to counter this fact by saying that Obama “compromised” with Republicans by dropping the so-called “public option.” That’s a blatant distortion of history: Obama knew his own party wouldn’t vote down the line of the public option, aka nationalized health care, and dropped it under pressure from Democrats. That was the best “compromise” Kristoff could come up with!

        The minority is still supposed to be part of the lawmaking process, and if the GOP decided that this stance was the only way it could force an essentially dictatorial, narcissistic President to the table, I can see the logic.

        Meanwhile, there is an easy way to eliminate the debt ceiling as the target of your slippery slope, worst case scenarios. Pay down the deficit, and start sticking to responsible budgets. That so many Democrats seem to think that’s a silly suggestion tells us exactly how perilous things are with the current leadership in control.

        There is nothing trivial about a President defying his oath and duty by trying to make conditions for the citizens of the US worse as an extreme utilitarian tactic. I regard it as just short of treason, and treason is serious.

        • Jack,

          The following is from the current issue of The Economist – a pro-capitalist publication if there ever was one, and (I hope you’d agree) hardly a bastion of social-left thinking.

          “Battles over spending are nothing unusual – indeed, Congress has not passed a proper budget on time since 1997. But this battle represents something new. House Republicans are blocking the budget not because they object to its contents, but because they object to something else entirely: Barack Obama’s health care reform…
          “The Republicans are setting a precedent which, if followed, would make American ungovernable. Voters have seen fit to give their party control of one arm of government – the House of Representatives – while handing the Democrats the White House and the Senate. If a party with such a modest electoral mandate threatens to shut down government unless the other side repeals a law it does not like, apparently settled legislation will always be vulnerable to repeal by the minority. Washington will be permanently paralyzed and America condemned to chronic uncertainty.”

          You view Obama as imperious, with delusions of kingship, and nearly treasonous. Personally I think that’s over the top, but never mind; my point is – where’s your equally-appalled article on the ethics violation of a political party doing its best to win a political point at the cost of making the country ungovernable?

          Obama is 100% guaranteed to be gone in a few years, even if you never write another word against him. But a legislative precedent will live on. Don’t you see that as a far more serious concern to address here?

          • . If a party with such a modest electoral mandate threatens to shut down government unless the other side repeals a law it does not like, apparently settled legislation will always be vulnerable to repeal by the minority.
            There were previous shutdowns due to abortion funding and the Fairness Doctrine.

          • You do this often, you cite a dissenting view from a source that is generally of a certain mindset and pretend like it’s a complete endorsement of the dissenting view by the at source. It isn’t.

            Additionally, it is a lot of chicken littling. The “governing impossibility”, would only arise in situations where Party A controls one House and Party B controls the other House, the White House is occupied by an incompetent who can’t rise above partisanship and be a leader, and the two Parties are arguing over legislation that one party feels will be the doom of America.

    • This is not trivial at all. The Feds are evicting private operators from their land for no other reason than they think they can place the blame elsewhere. Its unnecessary, abusive and illegal. That might be trivial to you, Charles, but I’m sure the folks who run these places WITHOUT ANY FEDERAL FUNDING would disagree. If that were to happen to YOU I’m sure you wouldn’t consider it “Trivial”.

      I’m surprised Jack has not called you out on an “end justifies the means” fail, so I will. Do you think the Liar in Chief should have his power limited in ANY way at all? How about he order the Air Force to start bombing our suburbs? I’m sure THAT would get those evil repubs to cave in a heartbeat. Would THAT be going to far for you, or is full implementation of ObaMAOCare THAT important?

      • Bill,

        It’s a rather extraordinary exercise in agility to shift the blame FROM the people who are holding the bomb to blow up the economy TO the ones in charge of the economy.
        If a suicide bomber walked into your home and threatened you with explosion unless you gave them $100,000, and you in turn offered $90,000 – would the suicide bomber be justified in indignantly calling you unnecessary, abrasive, illegal, intransigent ?
        I’ll stand with “trivial, relatively speaking,” thank you very much.

        • Take your phony metaphor and stuff it. How about he were to demand I were to kill YOU? Nothing going on here justifies your Messiah in behaving criminally. Moreover, I know the bomb is fake. The government has enough money to cover their debt obligation. Again, if we “default” it will be due to bad spending priorities. Sure, they’ll have to back off spending on SOME things: Hint… that is what grown ups do when they are in a financial crunch.

        • The ‘hostage taker’ analogy is tired and worn out. Also it’s a false analogy.

          Our economy is the dangerous tangle President Eisenhower so prophetically warned us about a half century ago. A much better analogy is that our economy is sitting on huge kegs of gunpowder. Every time the Keynesian left wants another reckless program, they shove another keg of gunpowder under us. The fuse is burning and every time we raise the debt ceiling we extend that fuse by a small amount. Only, each year the fuse burns faster and faster. We’ll never keep up and it WILL explode. It’s only a matter of when, unless we start moving those kegs of gunpowder out from underneath us.

    • The “point the GOP is pulling”…well sir they are doing exactly as one would in the game of chess. The voters tried extensively to oust those that supported the ACA a/k/a O’BummerCare. Although the SCOTUS ruled that the law is good and stands there are now over 51% in this country who know this will be the financial doom of many. Our class will divide into 2, upper and lower, and soon we will be on the same path as those countries where the illegals have ran from.. to get here.

      The Prez is narcissistic and it shows. Look back at video speeches/clips from the past and compare to today. Look back at his success rate in Chicago…ok one would just have to laugh and find another bottle of tequila at this point.

      This is the last stand the Reps can take to show their voters what they are really up against in this country. They are doing as directed by their voters so while you blame the individuals you really need to blame the voters. God knows how many letters I have sent to them to hold their ground.

      Now it is time and I say hey Reps, go ahead throw in the towel and sit back. The Dumbocraps will do their termite damage. In the end this will assure the American public that the damage the insects did will be nothing a good gallon or two of pesticide needed to clean up the mess. The Dumbocaps will fall to the wayside and the biggest clean up mess in American history will be done by the very party you are blasting.

      Closing and shutting down iconic historical areas that never required “security” such as the WWII memorial is nothing but a slap in all veterans faces. WWII vets are the last remaining real men in this country.

      And just when should a government much less a President use his power or authority to go after the name of a football team? Really, if that does not prove this country, under Obama is not in trouble then the fools will be looking for their eggs elsewhere.

      We are going to raise our credit standing in the end and Obama will spend it to the limit…so get ready…it’s a comin’….but to those that flunked math will never know until they don’t get their “stay at home checks”. China does not like free-loaders.

      • “there are now over 51% in this country who know this will be the financial doom of many.”
        I don’t know where you get that kind of information, but here’s some data from Fox News:

        Percentage looking to repeal Obamacare:
        June 22, 2013 39%
        October 2, 2013 30%

        Looks like a decline to me.

        The same Fox News survey says, as of October 2:
        Regarding cutting off funding for ObamaCare from the Federal budget:
        In favor (cut it out) 41%
        Opposed (leave it in) 53%

        Here’s the link to Fox News:
        http://www.foxnews.com/politics/interactive/2013/10/03/fox-news-poll-voters-support-obamacare-delay-disapprove-congress/

        • I will have to watch Fox news now….I independent survey….and a lot of them are in the medical field…considering that variable….100% are against this style of insurance. If you think it is good for you, well you let me know how that goes in a couple of years….

          Obama pitched his lies to the masses “free health care for all”…tell me how free is it going to be for you and your family? Kennedy passed the food stamp program…look at the expensive nightmare that has become.

          Surveys and percentages are never a true actual but can be used to sell opinions and drive causes…

          When the gov’mint got their medical degree and without medical experience to get involved in health care ‘kinda shows me the nightmare it will become all the while the lawyers licking lips to sue…

          • My wife is a nurse with a medium size hospital network. They’re financial projections for the cost of Obamacare is that their network will lose about $450,000,000 of efficiency and their only solution is to raise prices and simultaneously lay off workers as well as lower salaries.

            All because a massive government program supposedly to fix the evils of a free market is being applied to a market that is most definitely not free. Of course we can’t try that solution, the lefties will never cede control of something once they have it.

  7. It’s amazing to me that Obama doesn’t “get” that he’s driving a stake though the heart of the trust people have for government. But he doesn’t care about anybody anyway except his family and his narcissistic glory. At least Nixon had the decency to resign once he was caught with his pants down.

  8. Hmmm… “a maneuver which has the unavoidable collateral effect of causing inconvenience and hardship to many, but in which causing that pain is not the objective”. Think you just said the blue collar government workers worrying about groceries and the mortgage and whether they will ever see their back pay are collateral damage like napalmed Vietnamese children? Just checking.

    • One of my sources (a federal employee) has indicated that the federal employees will receive back pay, when full operations resume.

      Sweet deal, compared to us contractors, who can’t bill when we don’t work.

    • The whole point is discussing a deal to make a very overwhelming budget work and to raise the debt limit which will give us a better credit rating.

      What does this mean to the layman or dumbass? It is like a person who spends his credit card to the limit but the bank goes and raises it upwards of say two grand. By doing so your credit score may remain healthy thus allowing you to borrow for those high dollar emergencies. You have a spread between debt and credit limits. But folks spend to the limit, to the limit, to the limit which is what Obama has done. Nothing to stop him again if the debt limit is raised. ObummerCare will financially impact every moving piece in this country. Including your paycheck, your taxes whether you are rich or poor.

      And if no one ever told you consider it done. War is hell! The only reason you did not hear about the innocents killed in battle in WWII, example France is ’cause there was no such thing as a liberal media back in those days. Once the media had class.

      You could be collateral damage to Obama you just don’t see it comin’….

  9. More on ” a maneuver which has the unavoidable collateral effect of causing inconvenience and hardship to many, but in which causing that pain is not the objective”….

    “Ends justify means” I suppose….”You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs…”

    By the way, while we’re at it, that “unavoidable” is a weasel word. Someone once said, “When men say, ‘Its necessary’,” (a similar weasel word) “it means they are about to do something cruel”. Maybe if an action causes “unavoidable” pain you make a moral choice not to commit it?

  10. One last word….I think “a maneuver which has the unavoidable collateral effect of causing inconvenience and hardship to many, but in which causing that pain is not the objective” IS the “Ethics Quote of the Week”….

  11. I find nothing trivial about the shuttering or barricading of these national memorials and monuments. The attempt by some to say yes it is trivial, a mere pimple versus the actions the other party, are engaging in yellow dog ethical relativism. It fails to take into account the purpose and function of memorials and monuments.

    These memorials and monuments are not just tributes to the men and women they memorialize. They are public monuments to Freedom itself, and the part those who are represented played in keeping this nation free from acts of oppression – both foreign and domestic. In the case of the war memorials, a cathartic tribute to the ultimate sacrifice paid for our freedom. They are also meant to be a source of pride and comfort to the public, an assurance that the ideals and goals of the nation endure. It is not happenstance that most of these monuments echo designs of the Romans, Greeks and Egyptians, they have been designed to bear witness for the ages.

    What makes the motives and actions of partisan bureaucrats who went along with this anti-public political profanity especially repugnant, is that it trades on the public being ignorant of the fact that most of these memorials and monuments are not “opened” and “closed” by the government in the normal sense. If you looked up the official web pages of each of these barricaded public places… oh, wait, you can’t because despite not needing to be taken down, the same people are responsible for taking down the websites too! Courtesy of Archive.org, you can look up the National Park Service’s pages on these places. On all the major outdoor sites, like the World War II, Lincoln, Jefferson, and Vietnam Memorials you will see wording like this:
    Operating Hours & Seasons
    The public may visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial 24 hours a day. However Rangers are on duty to answer questions from 9:30 am to 11:30 pm daily and to provide interpretive programs every hour on the hour from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.
    (http://web.archive.org/web/20121023030811/http://www.nps.gov/vive/planyourvisit/hours.htm)

    Erecting barriers to take away public access to these places and to enforce expulsions of the public from the memorials, all the while saying they are closed because there isn’t any money to keep them “open” is much, much more than trivial. It is a bright letter breech of the public trust, done cynically, deliberately and with malice of intent and outcome. This particular shame falls squarely and totally on the administration. Too bad there isn’t another Joseph Welch here today to call them on it.

    • If Joseph Welch were indeed here today – Harvard Law graduate, distinguished partner at Hale & Dorr – I seriously doubt he’d be faulting the administration. He’d be quietly criticizing the modern incarnation of Joseph McCarthy, Ted Cruz (have you noticed how they even look alike?).

      • While I grant you the point that Welch’s views on the shutdown itself would likely be supportive of the administration, I firmly believe he would not support the tactic of barricading open air public monuments under the craven lie that the government being shutdown forced them to be closed. The administration’s actions regarding the monuments are akin to those who commit looting during a disaster. It cannot be justified, minimized, or swept under the rug.

        • I think you’re probably right about both those points. (Of course, it’s speculative on both our parts, but nonetheless…)

      • – Appeal to authority
        – Wholesale speculation
        – Hyperbolic Metaphor
        – Ad Hominem
        – Unrelated to replied-to post

        So…literally NOTHING worthwhile in that post, Charles.

        –Dwayne

        P.S. Am I starting to miss TGT too?

    • Well said, Jeff. We the people own these monuments and we have a right to experience them.

      And, as I keep saying, many of these attractions are paid for at the point of use. Another example, out of many: My brother lives in AZ and the Grand Canyon is SHUT DOWN. Note that the attraction in question rakes in massive USER FEES. Want to set foot in the place? $20 admission. Want to camp there? That is another fee ON TOP OF the gate admission. Want to hike to the bottom? Another fee for that. Often, many of these fees are paid IN ADVANCE. I took my camper to the Canyon years ago and I booked a camping reservation weeks in advance (had to… the place is usually booked solid). Are the feds going to refund those fees or are they just going to keep them? The fact that the urban leftists that support Obama haven’t considered that in their calculus doesn’t mean those facts don’t exist.

      Moreover, the Grand Canyon (and Yellowstone, and Yosemite, etc… etc…) are WORLD attractions. People come from ALL OVER THE WORLD to spend money (again, often in advance) to experience these things. We are blowing social, political and financial capital THERE, too.

      But, as the MaoBama worshipers keep saying, ObamaCare is the greatest thing since penicillin and we have to break some eggs to make that particular omelet. I’ll have mine with a big tax increase.

      • I wonder if enough voters could tell the difference between say, shutting down a museum (which at least needs electricity and staff to keep it functional) and a monument that costs almost nothing to run, and in fact costs more to keep people away.

        • Its not so much the “cost” to run, it is who is paying those costs. Your home costs money to run… who is paying that?

          On that note, another shutdown outrage:

          “Joyce Spencer is 77-years-old and her husband Ralph is 80. They’ve been spending most of their time in the family ice cream store since going home isn’t an option.

          The Spencers never expected to be forced out of their Lake Mead home, which they’ve owned since the 70s, but on Thursday, a park ranger said they had 24 hours to get out.

          “I had to go to town today and buy Ralph undershirts and jeans because I forgot his pants,” Joyce Spencer told Action News.

          The Stewart’s Point home sits on federal land, so even though the Spencers own their cabin outright, they’re not allowed in until the government reopens.

          Park officials said property owners can visit only to retrieve belongings; they sent Action News a statement which reads in part, “Unfortunately overnight stays are not permitted until a budget is passed and the park can reopen.”

                • The nice way to say that is that the current President is the worst narcissist we have had in the White House since JFK, who was, in turn, the greatest narcissist since Teddy Roosevelt. Most leaders have a lot of that in them, and its not necessarily fatal. But it’s always a problem..

                  • Can I spot ’em, or what? After writing this, I checked the following list, which I had never seen. It ranks Teddy #2, and JFK #5, the worst since Teddy. The list has LBJ as #1, however, which may be right…I missed him. Obama is not considered. Many of the top narcissists were better leaders than the non-narcissists, but the top 10 also contains many of the worst Presidents too.

                    • That’s a fascinating list, thanks.
                      You’re right, narcissism appears to be associated with extremes of behavior, good and bad, judging from that list.
                      By contrast, the bottom of the list is populated by what history has come to judge as pretty ineffective: Fillmore, Coolidge, Taft, Hayes, Garfield, Cleveland among them.

            • Before the shutdowns of 1995-96, Congress had already passed numerous appropriations bills to finance main areas of government. Congress today has passed zero, the net result of an earmark ban (money to fix a bridge tends to be the best fixer for hurt feelings) and a divided opinion in the House and Senate over how much money the government is actually allowed to spend.

  12. Obama has called for FEMA funding. This while the House has passed – over rather strong Democrat objection – FEMA funding, and while the Senate refuses to vote on the measure.

    Which Obama has threatened to veto.

    And NBC Nightly News did a story of people (children, damn your eyes) being turned away by the NIH, while failing to mention that Republicans in the House passed NIH funding and Reid refuses to let it come up for a vote in the Senate.

    I think the Dems have overplayed a slightly stronger starting hand, and have managed to fuck themselves into a very nasty corner.

    • There’s the counter-point i’m running into which is along the lines of ‘If the government is shut down, why should the Republicans get to pick what isn’t shut down?’ Which, on one hand, is a mildly sensible esponse – the couple who works for the DMV doesn’t get an out, then the kids with cancer shouldn’t, either.

      On the other hand, if the president were not so dedicated to ensuring that the 15% be the most painful possible 15% to shut down, I may be more inclined to being sympathetic. Not likely, but possible.

      • ‘If the government is shut down, why should the Republicans get to pick what isn’t shut down?

        Because the Constitution explicitly gives Congress the power to decide what gets funded and what doesn’t.

        Then again, this administration has long since proven that it doesn’t give even the slightest of fucks about what the Constitution says…

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