Monday, September 30, 2013

The Furlough

Not worth blogging about this, though it affects me directly;  the whole pseudo-crisis being a twice-refried rehash of that nonsense about the fiscal cliff.
To update Marx:   History happens, first as tragedy, then as farce; then as slapstick re-runs on cable channels.

For anyone who might care to sample what we have written about all this, here you go:

[Late-breaking update!]  Nearing midnight, 30 September:

In an eleventh-hour attempt to avert a government shutdown,  House Republicans this evening  crafted a bill that would continue funding operations, provided only that President Obama personally slaughter a baby panda on the White House lawn with his bare hands.
Unnamed Administration officials hinted that the motivation for the proposal was the same as has ruled the GOP for the past several years,  namely to make the President look bad.  Tea Party Stalwarts meanwhile loudly proclaimed that it was for the good of the country.

… Aaaaaah, t’ heck with it.  This dreck isn’t even worth satirizing.

[Update 1 October 2013]  O B.T.W.  What you’ve been reading in the media, about how this “won’t impact national security”? -- Don’t believe a word of it.  It already has.

[Update later this evening]  Don't take my word for it.  A friend just sent this link:

Those morons among you, who rely on FOX for your news,
have simply been lied to.  (But then, you don't care.)

[Update, 2 Oct 13]  And now this.  The facts are dribbling out at last:

-- Wait -- Don’t think I’m complaining.  Our motto on this site, carrying on the grand old Wobbly tradition of  Don’t mourn -- Organize!”, is

Don’t kvetch -- Satirize!

So let us observe, that for the minority that remain on-mission, they’ll be enjoying REALLY GREAT PARKING.

This whole business is distressing.  Here, therefore, is a relaxing hamster.


Thrust suddenly into leisure, I have been re-reading Gordon Craig’s celebrated history of Germany.  Of the Bismarck era, he writes:

The Reichstag did not attract the best in the nation, and those who came to it  did not seem to grow in its service.

Remind you of anyone?  What man in his right mind  would want to run for Congress now?  It’s a downward spiral, a vicious circle.

Update 2 October 2013]
Incoming FBI Director James B. Comey was stunned to discoverthat his agency has had to stop training recruits, close criminal cases and even deny gasoline money to agents because of budget cutbacks

[Update 3 Oct 2013]   It has been pointed out that some non-governmental workers are indirectly affected by the shutdown -- the proverbial coffee-shop across from the IRS.  But’s not only Federal employees who are directly affected.  This, from a friend with a linguistics Ph.D., who works at a sort of academic think-tank, that has contracts with the government:

 You think you are in weird-land; we cannot get into the building because our security is run by the feds, but because we are employed by the university, we are expected to continue our work. Everything's on hold anyway, because there was just a huge raft of layoffs and the rest of us are walking around in various stages of disbelief.

[Update 4 Oct 2013]  And now many non-furloughed (non-government) astronomers have gone effectively blind, since their telescopes have been dry-docked.

[Update 5 Oct] Now this:

Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin said Friday that it will furlough about 3,000 employees next week due to the government shutdown.

No comments:

Post a Comment