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Government shutdown

 
 
In today's headlines, the government has been shut down, which is simply untrue. It's not shut down, merely slimmed down.

Says here in the Chronicle that almost two-thirds of federal workers are still working. The people shit outta luck are anyone applying for government aid, tourists at national parks, etc, and any government employees deemed non-essential.

I'm not even sure what "non-essential" means. In my world, if your job is deemed non-essential, your employer lays you off. 

To too briefly recap: President Clinton vetoed the Republicans' spending bill from Congress, because Republicans wanted to cut spending, because they're Republicans and Republicans always want to cut spending. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and his cohorts aren't about to reconsider, so now there's no budget authorization, so there's no money to unlock the doors of the District of Columbia and a thousand other places Republicans hate.

My simplistic and under-informed knee-jerk response is that shutting down the government, especially its "non-essential" functions, is what Republicans want anyway. The "non-essential" functions are mostly things Republicans would love to axe permanently.

From what I've read, at least 60% of which I understand, it's all a ginormous clusterfuck. If you need to get something done and it involves dealing with the federal government, you're shit outta luck, and I'm against anyone getting shit-outta-lucked by Republicans, but a tiny blurb deep in the Chronicle shows how the "government shutdown" has affected a few people: 

A group of 39 illegal immigrants detained by police in Colorado were sent on their way when the local Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) office furloughed much of its staff.

So these people, who'd otherwise have been penalized for a crime that harms no-one — being on a piece of dirt where they weren't born — are instead free to go.

Hey, that's good news! Right up there with laws illegalizing certain herbs and laws banning the best sex acts between consenting adults, laws against crossing an imaginary line are evil and ought to be ignored.

If such laws weren't so cruelly written and enforced, untold thousands of "furloughed" INS workers could be laid off forever, the people they'd arrest and deport could get jobs instead, the economy would improve, and America could have an occasional taste of the freedom we the people are so often promised but denied. And also, the quality of burritos would improve across the country.

If that's the worst example of the horrors of this government shutdown, please keep it shut down as long as possible. Buy a few hundred thousand more locks, send home the rest of the government staff, and please, President Clinton and Speaker Gingrich, don't forget to padlock your own offices on the way out the door.

From Pathetic Life #18
Wednesday, November 15, 1995

Addendum, 2022: "Simplistic and under-informed," indeed. Back then I was an anarchist, or close to it, and shutting down the government didn't bother me much. On the big map of my political progress, I still had a long ways to go.

Republicans were already bugging me more than Democrats, though, and I like that about this snapshot from way back when. Even wet behind the ears in my late 30s, the difference was obvious to me: Republicans are cruel bastards who want the worst for everyone who isn't them. Democrats don't really want to hurt anyone, they just don't give a damn.

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

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