Saturday, November 11, 2023

Government shutdown imaginary threat

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for October 8, 2023)

Someone recently asked me if the "government shutdown" had happened yet, and I didn't know. I didn't care enough to find out at the time.

Later I learned, purely by accident, that Congress had delayed it for a month and a half with some procedural hi-jinks. Instead of doing the responsible thing and shutting it all down, they kicked the can down the road.

Calling it a "shutdown" is dishonest, anyway. The truly harmful parts of the federal government-- the FBI, CIA, BATFE, TSA, Congress, etc.-- will keep on doing the anti-American things they always do. There's no shutdown there because no one would complain if life kept going as usual but free of the interference of those gangs. If you believed the lie about "safety" you've played right into their hands.

I suspect that if you can feel an imaginary government shutdown affecting your life, you've allowed government to have too much influence over you. If you waste any time worrying about whether a promised government shutdown will happen, you need to distance yourself from anything which would hurt you if it shuts down.

This may be hard. The shutdowns are more like a hostage situation than a real shutdown. The only things the federal government will stop doing are things it hopes will make you uncomfortable enough to complain. They want the shutdown to hurt you so you'll be fine with them passing more rules (hidden in the spending bill) you otherwise wouldn't want them passing. They are trying to hold you hostage so you'll let them get away with things they shouldn't be doing.

It's why they shut down things they hope will inconvenience you. Maybe you won't get checks. Maybe you won't get government permission to do something you already have a right to do, but which government likes to ration. Often they shut down places you want to go-- like forests and restrooms. Why anyone asks government permission to go into a forest baffles me, and anyone can relieve themselves responsibly in forests and other wild areas without federal help. I neither need to be babysat nor to have them provide toilet facilities.

Don't play their game by their rules.

The best response to government shutdown theater? Call their bluff. Tell them you're okay with shutting the whole thing down and you hope they never open again. I can say this and I wouldn't be lying.
I couldn't do this without your support.

Justifying present wrongs with past wrongs

Everyone wants to justify the archation that they do (things they have no right to do) by pointing to what someone else did in the past.

That's such a bad idea.

You can only judge current rightness or wrongness by the present. 

You can't demand reparations for historical wrongs. Those you'd steal the money from didn't commit the wrongs and you weren't the victim.

You can't justify a war by what "the other side" did in the past. (I don't think you can ever justify a war where you are doing more than killing individual invaders and the politicians who sent them, but that's a separate issue.)

I can't hunt down my second ex-wife because of the things she did to me at the end of our time together.  

If you go back through the past to look for ways to justify your current actions, you'll always be able to find something. History is a neverending story of who did what to whom. How about you just do what you have a right to do now and leave the past in the past.

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Thank you.