Southern Man

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Civil Disobedience

Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government. Henry David Thoreau's essay of the same title is required reading. It's readily available; Southern Man's e-copy was free at the Kindle Store. And we are - happily - seeing more and more civil disobedience as citizens push back against a tyrannical government who confuses a cessation of non-essential services to barry-cading open-air parks and monuments and even shutting down privately-funded facilities that just happen to lease their lots from the Feds. And the shutdown continues: the House passes spending bills, often unanimously, and the Senate turns them down on party-line votes. The president has openly said that he refueses to negotiate and (much to the chagrin of unions everywhere) likens his opponents to workers walking off the job.

Pushback is sweet. Obama's approval ratings continue to sink like a stone. It is rumored (Southern Man can't find a reference) that some local Republican groups are running video of Obama's 2008 statements on the debt ceiling without commentary, which must confuse the hell out of his base. Honor Flight veterans continue to openly defy the authorities and cross the barrycades and police lines. Some are, like Thoreau, willing to submit to arrest in classic examples of lawful civil disobedience. The Claude Moore Colonial Farm is re-opening. State governments are pushing to re-open national parks (one example here) and there are suggestions that the National Parks should be administered by their states. Indeed, the real casualty of the shutdown may be that the reputation of the National Park Service is permanantly tarnished, which has even gone to the trouble of removing handles from water fountains on hiking trails. If Southern Man were in charge he'd fire every top-level official in the NPS (remember, park rangers are saying that they have orders from on high to make life as difficult as possible on potential visitors) as well as every ranger or park policeman that prevented citizens from accessing parks or memorials (the Neuremberg Defence didn't work in 1945, and it damn well doesn't work today).

The Democrats ran the House during fifteen of the last seventeen shutdowns and apparently have no idea how to cope with it when they're on the other side of the table. One can only hope that the Republicans remember Napoleon's adage: don't interrupt your enemy when he's busy making mistakes. If they continue to make them it might even make the news!


At Wednesday, October 09, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NPRs prohibited foreign tourists (who had entered the park before the slim down)from taking pictures of Old Faithful. They then made it a point to be seen at the Lodge where they were staying at with guns at the waist. Some of the tourists asked the front desk if they were all under house arrest. True story.

At Wednesday, October 09, 2013, Blogger Southern Man said...

The head of the NPR is a political appointee. The next Republican president ought to completely clean house there, right down to the rangers who chose to obey these spiteful orders.


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