A recap of where we seem to be today from the “You Can’t Make This Up Department.”
And it just keeps getting better.
Mallory Micetich, spokeswoman for the House Natural Resources Committee provided an example of where the privately owned Pisgah Inn located on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina had its parking lot blocked by park rangers. The government was shut down, and so was the Inn until 5 p.m. yesterday.
So much for privately owned property in a Federal Park area.
When the owner confronted the rangers he was told, “Sorry, we’re following orders,” describing it as a “24/7 blockade.” The owner has hired an attorney and is seeking a temporary restraining order in federal court.
The Claude Moore Colonial Farm said the National Park Service ordered it to close until “Congress agrees to a deal to fund the federal government.” It too sits on federal land, but the government provides no funds for its maintenance or operation.
“You do have to wonder about the wisdom of an organization that would use staff they don’t have the money to pay to evict visitors from a park site that operates without costing them anything,” said Anna Eberly, managing director of the farm
Following last Tuesday’s example set by a group of veterans from Mississippi, World War II “honor flight” veterans from Missouri, Illinois and Michigan entered the closed World War II memorial and bypassed a blockade erected because of the government shutdown.
An open air park with no assistance or supervision required on a normal basis.
In a desperate act to save face – even though the problem is of their own making – several members of Congress were on hand to open barricades, allowing the veterans access to the memorial.
John Bell, a marathoner who trains regularly in Valley Forge National Historical Park is headed to Federal Court to fight his battle. The 56-year-old man parked his car in a lot there Sunday before going for a run.
“When he returned to his car, Bell’s attorney, Jeremy Ibrahim, says, his client found himself confronted by two armed park rangers with their cruiser lights flashing.”
“They told him, ‘Don’t you know the park is closed?’ Whereupon Bell told them, ‘Well, look around, there are people walking their dogs, riding bikes, running.’ They said, ‘Well, the park’s closed’ and wrote him a $100 ticket for violating an administrative closure, even though there was no sign saying the park was closed.
Then on Wednesday, came the big enchilada; The Camino Americano: Concert and March for Immigrant Dignity and Respect, hosted by national Latino groups, the Service Employees International Union and the AFL-CIO.
SEIU; ever heard of them?
With 20,000 plus in attendance, 200 people – including some Congressmen – were arrested for blocking the steps to the Capital.
In an exhibit of rather poor taste, one Republican member of Congress was reported as tweeting, “Obama closed the National Mall to WWII vets. You can visit it tomorrow, but only if you’re in the illegal alien rally”.
This is all such ridiculous posturing.
The National Park Service has furloughed about 300 employees who work on the mall but it’s the U.S. Park Police responsible for policing events and visits; they’re working “at full capacity…to protect life and property.”
As if to make matters worse, in the midst of all this, the President decided to add his two cents about the name of a sports team – the Washington Redskins – and it’s racially offensive mascot, on the heels of an immigration reform rally taking place where veterans were barely able to get in to see their own memorial.
WWII veterans, many coming in wheel chairs, to represent their fallen heroes who died for this country, threatened that they may not get in to see their own memorial. And yet 20,000 people, largely undocumented immigrants who violate the laws of this country by being here, seemingly have instant, unrestricted access to assemble.
Republican and Democrat; both sides are guilty, both sides are wrong.
When is the posturing going to stop and who’s going to have the testicular fortitude to make the first move in the right direction?