Conspiracy theorist

Scenes from the phony federal shutdown

by Mark Luedtke


I don’t care much about the pseudo-shutdown or its politics (it has no impact on the vast majority of Americans), but the spectacle is entertaining.

The details of the deal to end the farce, at least temporarily, will likely be determined shortly after Wednesday, Oct. 16, the date of a special senate election in New Jersey. Our rulers in Washington will wait to see that outcome, considering it a referendum on the shutdown, before finalizing a deal. Not long ago, that election was a given. Democrat golden boy Cory Booker, who had millions showered on him by everybody from Michael Bloomberg to Silicon Valley plutocrats, was considered a shoe-in. But scenes from the pseudo-shutdown vaulted, unknown Republican Steve Lonegan, running on a shoestring budget, into contention in one of the most solidly Democrat states in the country. Pharaoh Obama’s plan to cause as much pain to Americans as possible is backfiring, contrary to the claims of government’s media propagandists.

The biggest mistake Obama made was waging war on U.S. veterans.

CBS reported veterans blame Obama for shutting down war memorials: “A crowd converged on the World War II Memorial on the National Mall on Sunday, pushing through barriers to protest the memorial’s closing under the government shutdown.” And they didn’t stop there: “Later, some protesters carried memorial barricades to the White House and rallied outside the gates, confronting police in riot gear. Protesters carried one sign reading ‘Impeach Obama.’”

Protesters realized Obama made the decisions on what to close. Worse for Obama, this gave Republicans a chance to grandstand with veterans in protest. CBS continued: “Republican Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, along were [sic] former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, were among those gathered Sunday morning. Cruz said President Barack Obama is using veterans as pawns in closing the memorial.”

It’s hard to imagine how Obama’s team miscalculated so badly. More than any other, this event boosted Republicans in the stand-off.

But Obama’s self-inflicted wounds don’t stop there. He also barricaded the Vietnam Memorial, angering more veterans. The Weekly Standard put this in perspective: “It takes more manpower and costs the government more money to close down an outdoor wall than to let people walk past it and pay their respects.” The government also spent money on a helicopter to monitor protesting veterans. A charity took over paying military death benefits that were cut off.

This isn’t the only place the government spent money to cause people pain. Instead of allowing government websites to run unsupported, saving money, Obama ordered administrators to shut websites down, costing taxpayers money and causing them pain. Government even blocked new craft beer recipes. If Republicans had controlled the White House, they would have done similar things. Our rulers have nothing but contempt for the American people.

This illustrates the folly of allowing the government to control anything. If those monuments were privately owned, the owner, seeking profit, would keep them open for the public to meet demand. Only government can get away with abusing people like this. The same argument applies to every other pseudo-service provided by government. No private service would be shut down. Every government program is a political tool.

In one of the more hilarious scenes, the government shut down the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and a mile deep, but for some reason, the government thinks it owns this natural wonder, so Obama closed it. Seriously. As if people couldn’t still walk up and look at it.

The same thing happened at the Statue of Liberty. The Washington Times quoted an anonymous park ranger: “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.” This backfired on Obama, too, as states took charge and opened many sites themselves.

The farce is playing out locally, too. After a few days, the Pentagon ordered all 400,000 of its civilian workers back to work including the 95 workers at the Air Force Museum, but the Air Force Museum remains closed. You can’t make this stuff up.

One of the biggest travesties so far is the Dayton Food Bank opened a pantry outside Wright Patterson Air Force Base in a publicity stunt as soon as the pseudo-shutdown started, as if pampered federal workers who get paid money stolen from taxpayers and who receive higher salaries than their private sector counterparts who pay them might be going hungry. Furloughed workers are on an extra paid vacation – House Republicans passed a bill guaranteeing furloughed workers full back pay – but the food pantry showed up to much fanfare anyway. The Dayton Daily News documented what happened: “The food pantry was open to the public, but most of the estimated 400 to 500 people who received assistance were civilian employees at WPAFB, according to reports.” Food pantries are supposed to feed needy people, but I guess taking food out of the mouths of poor people doesn’t plague the consciences of people who make a living stealing from others. No wonder Americans are angry.

The views and opinions expressed in Conspiracy Theorist are the views and/or opinions of the author and do not reflect the views and/or opinions of the Dayton City Paper or Dayton City Media and are published strictly for entertainment purposes only.

 Mark Luedtke is an electrical engineer with a degree from the University of Cincinnati and currently works for a Dayton attorney. He can be reached at


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