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Gibson writes: "This is simply another shot fired across the bow from the GOP's sinking ship in the class war they're waging on America's most vulnerable. So let's stop calling this a government 'shutdown.'"

The U.S. Capitol looms in the background of a sign on the National Mall reminding visitors of the closures to all national parks due to the federal government shutdown in Washington October 3, 2013.  (photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)
The U.S. Capitol looms in the background of a sign on the National Mall reminding visitors of the closures to all national parks due to the federal government shutdown in Washington October 3, 2013. (photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)


Don't Call it a "Shutdown"

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

06 October 13

 

s a current resident of Wisconsin, I'm not in California very much. I've wanted to see Yosemite National Park ever since my parents went there a few years ago and showed me some of the breathtaking photos they took of the Sequoias and the mountains. Ironically, I'm finally in California for an entire week, staying just a few hours from Yosemite, and now I can't legally go inside because some knuckle-dragging ideologues who get paid with my tax dollars and get free government healthcare for life don't want poor people to have better access to private health insurance.

But this isn't really about Obamacare or the debt ceiling, that's just more dog-wagging. This is simply another shot fired across the bow from the GOP's sinking ship in the class war they're waging on America's most vulnerable. So let's stop calling this a government "shutdown." Everybody knows that's a misnomer. If you like, call it a government amputation, or a dry run of the minimal state, or escalated class warfare. All of those are accurate descriptions. But the US government is, by no means, shut down.

If there were a "shutdown," there would be no more monitoring of our calls/emails/texts/social media by the NSA and other alphabet agencies. There would be no more dead children labeled as "collateral damage" on drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. There would be an end to the billions in free handouts for the big banks and the big oil and gas companies. There would be no more scumbag congressmen and congresswomen still getting paid six figures, with more paid time off than they know what to do with, getting raises while kids on Head Start get sequestered, and having guaranteed pensions while actively supporting the efforts of their campaign donors to bust the unions of workers who have pensions that amount to just a fraction of what Congress gets. If the government were actually shut down, these members of Congress would be locked in their offices and cowering under their desks, instead of grandstanding in front of media cameras next to the memorials they closed.

What they did shut down was the jobs of 800,000 federal employees. Cops in DC are working without pay even as they respond to someone attempting to drive her way into the White House and a guy who self-immolated on the National Mall (he recently died from his injuries). They shut down food assistance for hungry moms and their kids. They shut down food inspection, so biotech companies and slaughterhouses can poison our food with impunity. They shut down EPA inspectors and regulators at oil drilling sites, so the polluters can keep making big bucks without having to worry about consequences for ruining the Earth. They've shut down the National Institutes of Health, so kids with cancer can't get treated. And they've shut down hospitals and nutrition assistance in indigenous communities. They've shut down NOAA and FEMA, making it harder for these agencies to respond to the people directly affected by Tropical Storm Karen. But they never gave a fuck about those people and those programs in the first place, and as long as they keep getting paid and not being thrown out of office or chased out of the capitol by pissed-off constituents screaming for their heads, they'll continue to give zero fucks.

Scum-of-the-Earth congressmen like Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), Lee Terry (R-Neb.) and Renee Elmers (R-N.C.) have shown us that there really is no human being underneath their expensive suits, flag lapel pins, and meticulously-manicured appearances. The same people who voted to furlough 800,000 federal employees are telling them all to eat cake. This video of Rep. Neugebauer shows him haranguing a poor park ranger standing guard at the World War II memorial, telling her she should be "ashamed" for doing her job at the memorial he closed with his own vote. Rep. Terry said he shouldn't have to give up any paychecks, because he wants to keep his "nice house." Rep. Ellmers famously said, "The thing of it is, I need my paycheck. That's the bottom line." To Ellmers' credit, she quickly asked to have her pay withheld after US Uncut made her famous to our weekly audience of 1.6 million pissed-off Americans. But these are just three members of Congress. And the Democrats are just as bad.

Harry Reid and the Senate's Democratic majority already gave up when, in their rush to cave to the fascist GOP's every demand, they agreed to fund the government at almost RYAN BUDGET levels of $986 billion. The GOP is still kicking and screaming over Obamacare, but they've already moved the goalposts far to the right on the negotiating table. Even if they agree to a "clean bill" to fund the government, they'll have already won, since the Senate has signed off on wholesale austerity. Anyone who blames Republicans for their callous intransigence without lambasting the Democrats for being a spineless, worthless, pitiful bunch of buffoons who suck at negotiating is simply being dishonest.

If they haven't shut down oil drilling and fracking sites, and if there are no federal regulators to stop we the people from shutting those operations down ourselves, why haven't we already? Accountability for these high crimes cannot wait until November of 2014. Each day we aren't attempting to storm the Capitol is another day we tell our corrupt government to keep doing what they're doing, we don't mind. I, for one, will be part of Anonymous' Million Mask March on November 5th, 2013, and will be meeting tens of thousands of others at the Washington Monument who have had enough and are ready to take direct, militant, nonviolent action. In times of universal corruption and great distress, revolution has now become our civic duty.



Carl Gibson, 26, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin. You can contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and follow him on twitter at @uncutCG.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

 

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+62 # Tje_Chiwara 2013-10-06 06:48
Democrats are NOT "just as bad" . . . that wonderful stupid lie helps keep this ridiculous situation ambling along as if it were a nice balanced dance of the idiots . . . which it is not. Only when you get it accurate, is there a solution. Until then, happy moralistic equivalence gridlock.
 
 
+12 # tedrey 2013-10-06 11:27
We don't have to put up with "D" students running the country because the only alternative are "F" students. If you know 100 adults, I'll bet you can think of at least one of them who would make a better representative than yours. Well, draft and support them!
 
 
+17 # NOMINAE 2013-10-06 17:00
Quoting tedrey:
..... If you know 100 adults, I'll bet you can think of at least one of them who would make a better representative than yours. Well, draft and support them!


Thoroughly accurate, but when we attempt to choose our gifted neighbor, where are we to locate the literal *millions* of dollars that will be required to so much as get his or her name on the ballot ?

The reason we *do* have such morons in power, is that morons are more likely to do what their corporate masters require of them, without the pesky interference that can be generated by those rare people who think for themselves.

In the same way that legislation that is *wildly* popular with the electorate (gun control) is not even allowed by the Moron Minority to come up for VOTE, our "gifted neighbor" will *never* be allowed on a major party platform, for lack of being Corporate approved, and for lack of party funding.

The system is rigged, and rotten to the core. The "fix" is not to be found working within the system with the illusory power of our imaginary votes. Votes allow us to "blow off steam", but I hope I don't pop anyone's balloon in observing that votes don't, in the Big Picture, really change anything.

Obama was to be a refreshing change from Bush. How much *really* changed, except that having Obama in office significantly reduced protest from the Left (as has losing our right to protest) while continuing and expanding Bush domestic (NSA) and foreign policy ?
 
 
0 # Walter J Smith 2013-10-09 06:53
RE: "...when we attempt to choose our gifted neighbor, where are we to locate the literal *millions* of dollars that will be required to so much as get his or her name on the ballot?"

That notion is exactly what the BIll & Hillary Clintons, the Paul Ryans, and all of the major party leaders want you to believe. There is not one state in the Union with any laws requiring "millions" of dollars to get one's name on a ballot. If you know of one, name it.

Electoral Democracy begins with introducing the candidate to the citizens. Even Hillary Clinton knows that well enough to pretend to actually do it. Remember her famous 'listening campaign' in NY when she ran for the Senate seat? She was blessed with a totally incompetent GOP opponent. And gobs of Wall Street money.

That is not democracy. That is kleptocracy. And the Clintons, like Obama, are good at calling it democracy because they love rubbing elbows with the kleptocrats and getting that money to buy elections. Just like the GOP.

Electoral Democracy invites candidates and their supporters to file petitions with a certain number of names supporting a candidate, and then pay a nominal filing fee, rather than pay the hundreds or thousands in filing fees.

With civic thinking dominated by money there is no wonder the major parties are about to collapse, or already in collapse, as is the GOP. Until citizens decide to again introduce themselves to democratic practices, there will be no democracy.
 
 
0 # NOMINAE 2013-10-10 15:11
Quoting Walter J Smith:
RE: "where are we to locate the literal *millions* of dollars that will be required to so much as get ...... on the ballot?"

That notion is exactly what the BIll & Hillary Clintons, the Paul Ryans, and all of the major party leaders want you to believe. There is not one state in the Union with any laws requiring "millions" of dollars to get one's name on a ballot. If you know of one, name it.

Electoral Democracy begins with introducing the candidate to the citizens. Even Hillary Clinton knows that well enough to pretend to actually do it. Remember her famous 'listening campaign' in NY when she ran for the Senate seat? She was blessed with a totally incompetent GOP opponent. And gobs of Wall Street money.


You do a splendid job above of making my point.

I am talking about the world as it *IS*, not about Democracy
as we might *WISH* it to be. This country has not been a functioning representative Democracy for eons.

Experiment : Try introducing a candidate - *any* candidate, in the *absence* of a financial war chest. Introductions require media - media requires money. The internet alone will not do it. Prove it to yourself.

Extra credit : find a case in recent (50 years) history of even a Third Party Candidate *WITH* money who has ever done more *than* get on the ballot in this two party oligarchy.

There's the Ivory Tower *ideal* of Democracy, and then, there's life in the *real* world.

Good luck.
 
 
+6 # Third_stone 2013-10-06 17:00
I am ready to vote for men who have done jail time. If Bradley Manning were offered I would rush to his support. We have not done very well at all with university graduates. They have lived cloistered lives and don't get it.
 
 
+5 # RLF 2013-10-07 02:59
Government employees also vote republican while those same try to remove their benefits. The police and firemen often vote republican because "law and order" lines their pockets and the rest of us can get f#*ked. They are no better than the rich!
 
 
+1 # RLF 2013-10-07 02:57
Your a fool if you believe this. The Dems are just more stealthy at pleasing their corporate overseers. They work just as hard to please them but are smarter at not having to take the blame. They all suck...pay attention.
 
 
0 # Walter J Smith 2013-10-09 06:43
You are correct. The Democrats are not just as bad. They are worse.

They had both houses 2009-2001, and what did they do about the major Bush Depression?

Why, they threw almost all (all but a token amount) of the government's fiscal credit upon the very Wall Street criminals who brought on the depression! The depression still depresses our economy, because there were no effective Finance & Banking reforms tied to all that nearly interest-free largesse!

As we all know or should know, that largesse, still nearly interest-freee, is still flowing to Wall Street worst most corrupt. Thanks to all that Democratic Party Political Superiority.

You may want to clarify what you mean.
 
 
+21 # Tje_Chiwara 2013-10-06 06:50
Oh yes. . . and let's have a "March" to reopen government . . . . .
 
 
+18 # tedrey 2013-10-06 07:18
Agreed. But I can't drive, bad leg, so I'll have to car-pool. Hope to see you there.
 
 
+41 # fredboy 2013-10-06 07:26
I call it a tantrum. A rich kid, spoiled brat anti-American tantrum.
 
 
+92 # kochadoodledoo 2013-10-06 07:27
The Greek philosopher Plato reserved the word tyranny "for a government in which the rulers were excessively devoted to the maintenance of their own power and to the pursuit of their own interests regardless of the interests of the governed" (Lancaster). The Tea Party won neither Election 2008 nor Election 2012 and Barack Obama was re-elected by the majority of American voters with full knowledge of the Affordable Care Act already passed. John Boehner's actions in our government are nothing short of tyranny. IMPEACH JOHN BOEHNER FOR THE ACT OF TYRANNY!
 
 
+3 # RLF 2013-10-07 03:01
How about recall elections on all congressmen and senators?
 
 
+49 # kochadoodledoo 2013-10-06 07:31
Scum-of-the-Ear th congressmen...C arl Gibson tells it like it is. Pass it on everyone!
 
 
+21 # cymricmorty 2013-10-06 07:36
"Anyone who blames Republicans for their callous intransigence without lambasting the Democrats for being a spineless, worthless, pitiful bunch of buffoons who suck at negotiating is simply being dishonest."

In the end I'm only a Dem because I'm not a Rethug. I'm something far beyond a Democrat. Metaphorically speaking, the Dems have already given R's an inch...and another inch...and anoth...I can only hope this time that the Dems give 'em enough rope and don't cave.
 
 
+5 # RLF 2013-10-07 03:02
The Dems have swung further to the right than Nixon and approaching Raygun.
 
 
0 # Walter J Smith 2013-10-09 06:56
With the licentious Drone wars and the ungoverned NSA, they have made both Nixon and Reagan look like the petty amatuers they were.
 
 
+17 # bingers 2013-10-06 07:51
Austerity = ignorance = death wish.

Every Republican needs tarring and feathering and the teabaggers deserve drawing and quartering, but do not take that as a suggestion to do so. They deserve it, but they're not worth committing a crime to do the job.

We need every vote we can get, so, no jail time please?
 
 
+44 # sharsand 2013-10-06 07:59
The media's at fault. They keep talking about the Tea Party hatred for Obamacare and that's why their shutting down the government. Americans accept their lies and propaganda. They have much more in mind than just that. The Right uses the Frank Luntz talking points--but they're just puppets for ALEC/Koch Brothers/ Pete Peterson's Fix the Debt/ Club for Growth, and other right-wing and neo-con groups that care only about increasing their own riches and plutocratic power. And corporate Democrats aren't much better. The President is pushing for the horrendous Trans Pacific Partnership, up for a fast-track vote, another "free" trade agreement on steroids that will devastate jobs and reasonable regulations even more. Come on media--forget your corporate self interest and tell the real story. And Americans, wake up, go online and research what's really happening. It's all simply a move by the far-right and neo-cons and corporatist Democrats to privatize everything and have all of us work for nothing. The deficit is a problem of revenue (if there even is a deficit), and corporations who refuse to pay their fair share of taxes via vast loopholes while their CEO's sit on billions. These corporations shouldn't even have rights as American corporations since they've shipped everything overseas and brought back shoddy products, high prices, and pay nothing in taxes. Turn off your TV's and do that research. That's the only way to find out what's really being done to you and me.
 
 
+8 # dick 2013-10-06 08:05
It is one little skirmish in ethclass, racial & ethnic, class WARFARE.
Soon they will draw all those expensive assault weapons they've been stockpiling.
Wake up and smell the bloodletting.
 
 
+34 # Madmedic 2013-10-06 09:46
What the tea partiers and their fellow travelers in the republican party are engaged in is TREASON. Plain and simple.

Their efforts to cause economic pain to the US is just as much domestic terrorism as what Osama Bin Laden attempted to do on 9/11. His goal was to destroy the American economy by the destruction of the World Trade Center and other symbols of US power. The 3,000 to 4,000 deaths of innocent victims were "collateral damage." So there you have it. Subtract the "collateral damage" deaths from 9/11 and you have exactly the same attack on the US by the tea partiers as that of Osama Bin Laden on 9/11. It's time our leaders realized this. Economic terrorism is just that, whether conducted by radical Muslims or by home grown economic terrorists.

It becomes increasingly obvious to me everyday that Abe Lincoln made one huge mistake after the Civil War. He showed mercy to the leadership of the Confederacy. They were allowed to continue flying their stars and bars rag, even today.

That flag should have been just as illegal in the US as the Nazi swastika is in Germany. Many of the leaders of the Confederacy should have been sent into permanent exile and their lands confiscated and distributed to the slaves that had been conscripted into transforming them into viable enterprises. Instead, the North was magnanimous in victory and we now have a new insurrection led by the same states that dragged this nation into the last civil war.
 
 
0 # RLF 2013-10-07 03:03
When the country falls it will go left or right...looks like right to me.
 
 
+30 # Billy Bob 2013-10-06 08:26
A M E N !!!

I'm glad to hear someone call this what it actually is. When we close our military bases, stop torturing people, stop spying on all ORDINARY LAW ABIDING AMERICAN CITIZENS, and stop giving money to "contractors", this will be a "shutdown".

Until then, it's just a ploy to reinforce conservative ideology, that "government is the problem", by only ending things people won't complain about missing.
 
 
+19 # Saberoff 2013-10-06 09:32
I very much agree with you Billy Bob. I think it is a marvelous observation, Carl has made here. The only things "shut down" are those the government social pile-drivers want dismantled anyway.

Carl Gibson has voiced plainly, a keen observation. Then why do I think most of us commentators are not getting it?
 
 
-5 # DeadlyClear 2013-10-06 11:31
He's complaining because he can't get into Yosemite - we've got tourists in Hawaii that have saved up all their lives and can't get into the National Parks - yet Congress votes to pay them anyway!

Just a few years ago, we maintained the Seven Sacred Pools just fine without the invasion of the government. Now, they charge per car to just take a hike and if there is a problem they have to call the county firemen and police anyway. So, they have closed off access altogether for locals as well as tourists... We didn't need them 15 years ago - don't know why we need them now - they're just another obstacle.

They are all nuts... To many millionaires spoil the soup.
 
 
+2 # Saberoff 2013-10-06 12:29
Ya, if we privatize, everything will be just fine.

I don't quite understand though. So, Congress is paying the tourists?
 
 
-7 # RLF 2013-10-07 03:08
Agreed...Gov. workers should get shit. They never felt the pain of 2008 or the loss of anything...spoi led...time for a wake up call.
 
 
-8 # RLF 2013-10-07 03:06
If Obummer wants to stop it, he just has to make it a REAL shut down...No FAA, TSA, Military, etc. We might do better with no national gov....only states.
 
 
+9 # EmilyCragg 2013-10-06 10:01
SHUTDOWN WILL CONTINUE; IT'S THE BOYCOTT OF UNFAIRNESS.

This shutdown is NOT ABOUT Obamacare.
It's NOT ABOUT Republicans versus Democrats.
It's NOT EVEN ABOUT the Economy at all.
It's about the DETERIORATION OF LAW until Laws are enforced UNEVENLY.

The Rich get to play at doing whatever they wish; the poor don't even get the scraps. The working poor will not benefit from this Law; nor will we Retirees.

I paid into Social Security for FORTY-FIVE YEARS, and I live in deep poverty. For reasons that are mine, I am DISQUALIFIED from State Coverage, and I have no money for private insurance. My books do not sell enough to support me ... I'm too arcane for the popular market.

I am SEVENTY YEARS OLD, a prolific writer, inventor, radio commentator, and under this legislation I am SCRAPPED if I get sick. This is no way to run a health insurance program. And if Congress
balks, good for them. That is doing their job.

And if this government no longer has the wherewithal to function any longer, then maybe we the American people need to form and finance a new government that operates openly and honestly for a change.

This government has been TAKEN OVER BY SOME OTHER AGENDA. We need to get rid of it and start over.

EEWC
 
 
+14 # Madmedic 2013-10-06 10:33
A reposting of a previous post of mine addressing the issue of "starting over" to create a new government.

Beware the "Constitutional Convention", or "Conference" as you call it. This is just what the tea baggers and their fellow travelers want. An event where they can "reset" all the laws in the land back to where they want them (pre Civil War).

Far better to continue to change the Constitution one piece at a time over great periods of time than to give these wing nuts the opportunity to put everything into play, where they can then blackmail the delegates into passing exactly the provisions that they so dearly want back.

Make no mistake. The refusal of the entire group of states that comprised the old south (with the notable exception of Kentucky) to accept the ACA is not simple "nullification" of that law. This is simply a small part of an insurrection that is just playing out over a longer period of time than the Civil War that took place in the 1860's.

The descendants of the losers of that war don't intend to lose a second time. they are playing for keeps and the sooner the rational folks in the rest of the country realize this and fight back forcefully, the better off the nation will be.

If not, those Russians who predicted the imminent breakup of the United States may very well prove to be right.
 
 
-1 # Kathymoi 2013-10-06 12:20
Our constitution is a good start, and as you say, better to make adjustments than to start over completely. But, our best bet for the near term is to get involved in selecting who gets on the ballot. And get some intelligent, knowledgeable non politicians who know solutions to some problems on the ballot. Independents are better than good sounding democrats or, if there is such a thing, a good sounding republican. Let's see if we can elect someone without getting money from billionaires to do it. Let's do it without tv commercials. If the campaign is too expensive for people to afford, the candidate is not free to represent the people. He or she has to represent the donors to campaign financing.
 
 
+10 # bingers 2013-10-06 11:46
Ever heard of Medicare? If you're 70 you qualify and the ACA doesn't apply to you.

But the government does have its' problems, every one caused by the stupidity of conservatives.
 
 
-20 # Kathymoi 2013-10-06 12:15
I'll go with a dry run of the minimal state. This is the beginning of what they've been shooting for. STill a few agencies to get rid of, but this is a start.
 
 
+7 # angelfish 2013-10-06 12:46
The best thing that ANY of us can do is talk to ALL our friends and family and convince them to Vote in the next election. Only through Citizen Activism will this Bull-Puckey EVER end!
 
 
+1 # Cappucino 2013-10-06 13:26
"Anyone who blames Republicans for their callous intransigence without lambasting the Democrats for being a spineless, worthless, pitiful bunch of buffoons who suck at negotiating is simply being dishonest."

People, this armchair game-playing gets us nowhere. This is the REAL WORLD, and we have to fight for what we can actually get, not spend all our time fantasizing that we live in Happy Perfect Land and dismissing any hint that we just cannot have that now. I will save thousands... and thousands.... and thousands of dollars every year if I can get affordable health care. And I'd actually be able to GO to doctors!!

I have to fight for that. I can't afford the luxury of pretending that we CAN get everything we should, so let's just throw up our hands and give up if we can't reach the unreachable ideal. I have to fight for what's possible... and so do you.
 
 
+7 # Ted Voth Jr 2013-10-06 14:36
The corporate overlords are using the pols. They figure the destruction of the GOP/Tea-Baggers … or the worthless neo-'dems'… doesn't matter because by the time that happens they'll be as firmly in control of the government of the US of Murka as any other entrenched fascist third-world ruling élite class…
 
 
+11 # mscw42 2013-10-06 16:44
US code: 18 USC § 2383 - Rebellion or insurrection: "Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States. " Shouldn't the GOP in the House be under arrest?
 
 
0 # Walter J Smith 2013-10-09 07:06
The National Journal, a Republican Journal, challenges the Boehner House with violating Article 14 of the US Constitution. And they make a solid argument for that.

The GOP either pulls a miracle out of its hat (Paul Ryan hopes his NYT Commentary today will do that) or it is in a heap of divisive doo doo.

With the Ds splitting between Hillary and Warren heading into 2014 & 2016, it appears the Ds are also in for some divisiveness.

Thank heavens. Without disagreements, what is there worthwhile in a democracy to learn from?
 
 
+4 # ishmael 2013-10-06 20:33
Dems are completely at odds with the Party of No. Except for that misrepresentati on, a lot of the piece is perceptively well-written.

It is not a govt shutdown: mail is being delivered and the Armed Forces are working.

Call it what it is: a GOPee tantrum. Please include WA State Rep Ms Cathy McMorris Rodgers among the GOP US-haters who are living in lalaland.
 
 
0 # fernly2 2013-10-07 16:22
Don't call it a shut down call it a well conceived plan to stir up the people to accept ending QE's and begin bail -ins. Moynihan, Dimon and other CEO's can't wait to get on with this and will bury any talk of Glass-Steagall standards of banking stat. Ditto any talk of NAWAPA to return US agricultural and industrial production with 6 million jobs and a concomitant tax base with which to run a country.
 

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