Perspectives: Shutdown; to make our lives difficult as they can

OPINION – The dark clouds and thunder emanating from Washington D.C. for the past week have been hard to ignore. Someone is trying to remind us how much we supposedly need our rulers. But instead, a clear silver lining for individual freedom is beginning to emerge.

Politicians and bureaucrats locked in a partisan power play are desperately trying to impose pain on the American people. They’ve ordered the shutdown of certain websites, national parks, monuments, and memorials in a misguided attempt to incite public outrage against their political opponents.

Cones were placed along strategic roadways to prevent motorists from stopping to view Mt. Rushmore. Families who live on property near Lake Mead have been prevented from accessing their homes. Veterans visiting the World War II memorial found barricades blocking their way. Visitors to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park have encountered and in some cases defied similar prohibitions. Due to the closure of Grand Canyon National Park a highway that serves more than just the park has been closed to all but local residents.

The World War I memorial was blocked by only a single barricade, presumably because there are no more WWI veterans left to punish.

Mount Vernon is a privately owned historic landmark, yet federal bureaucrats sought to block access to it because they maintain a portion of the parking lot. Even furloughed military chaplains who were willing to work for free were forbidden to perform their duties under threat of reprimand. This is only a partial list of federal government actions.

These efforts to inflict collective punishment on the American people have become so clumsy and so spiteful that they are having a very different effect than intended. Instead, they are revealing the true nature of the power-seekers who run our nation’s capital. Their masks are finally slipping.

Lysander Spooner pointed out the essential flaw in those who seek to lead by force when he said:

that no government, so called, can reasonably be trusted, or reasonably be supposed to have honest purposes in view, any longer than it depends wholly upon voluntary support

The growing disconnect between the federal government and the American people is becoming undeniable. In no way do they see themselves as selfless servants of the public; they want us to believe that they control us.

Even some of the federal employees being directed to enforce the shutdowns have had enough. One angry Park Service ranger remarked to the Washington Times, “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”

But the American people historically have not responded well to this kind of patronizing treatment. The harder our leaders in Washington D.C. try to show us that they can make us suffer, the greater our contempt for them grows.

The so-called shutdown has ended up spurring peaceful acts of civil disobedience across the nation.

At the WWII memorial, aging veterans simply moved the barriers out of the way so they could visit the site they’d waited to be built for nearly 50 years. An innkeeper in North Carolina defiantly reopened his inn for a couple of hours Thursday despite park service efforts to turn away his customers. Closer to home, a handful of protesters climbed the fence to Zion National Park and picked up trash while they hiked.

These acts of defiance show that the spirit of Rosa Parks is apparently alive and well.

When Washington D.C. politicians arrogantly presume to inconvenience us to show their power, it’s the nature of the American people to start pushing back. The more our would-be rulers try to convince us of how essential they are to our happiness, the more they reveal themselves to be morally bankrupt common bullies.

As Lew Rockwell happily points out, they’ve actually “created more anarchists than the Mises Institute.”

The federal government may be unwittingly pushing people into the corner of the states particularly on the thorny issue of federal lands and parks.

Some state leaders in Wisconsin have already pushed back against efforts to close public lands due to the federal shutdown. Their governor and state Department of Natural Resources flatly refused to obey directives to deny people access to popular recreational areas because of the ongoing federal budget battle.

More states need to recognize this opportunity to interpose themselves between their citizens and the federal leviathan.

Representative Ken Ivory has been spearheading the effort to require the federal government to relinquish control over the lands it manages in the state of Utah. Unfortunately, we have yet to elect a governor with the kind of backbone shown by Wisconsin’s Scott Walker.

No matter what one may think of our state government, it could never pull off the kind of vindictive behavior being exhibited by our federal government. Our elected state leaders are more easily held accountable than their federal counterparts.

In the meantime, peaceful civil disobedience is proving to be a useful reminder that we have more power than we realize.

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Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives talk show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.


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  • Karen October 7, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Like all things political, the reasons for closing the National Parks depends on which news source one reads. The Washington Times that Mr. Hyde relies on for this article has the view that Mr. Hyde shares about the federal government. He makes a haphazard case for fear of power brokers inflicting maximum pain, even though the Occupy Zion group, for example, cites quite different reasons for their cause.

    As usual, the truth about why the National Parks are closed during a shutdown is rather mundane and steeped in history as a Richard Seamon, a University of Idaho law professor who previously advised the National Park Service as an assistant to the solicitor general in the US Department of Justice explains.
    “I’m sure some folks believe that President Obama or his appointees are shutting down popular government facilities to inspire resentment against Republicans,” he continues. “I’m just as sure this is not happening. Government officials are just following rules laid down from past shut-downs and threats thereof. It all happens rather automatically, in accordance with detailed plans that are dusted off and put into operation during unfortunate periods like this one.”

    He goes on to say,
    “If I were a lawyer for the Park Service, I’d advise it in no uncertain terms to close the parks to the public during the government shutdown, because it would be irresponsible to do otherwise,” writes Richard Seamon, a University of Idaho law professor who previously advised the National Park Service as an assistant to the solicitor general in the US Department of Justice, in an e-mail. If parks remain open, “there are bound to be accidents or crimes that would have been avoided or ameliorated had officials been on duty to respond or patrol.” Leaving the parks open, he adds, “would be a veritable open season for criminals.”

    Always looking for someone to blame, certain elements of the populace find solace in demonizing and lashing out at supposed “rulers”. I fear for the blood pressure of some of these folks.

    Simple solution to the shutdown – bring up the clean CR in the House today and it will pass. Everyone, except Mr. Boehner, has counted the votes for it to pass.

    • jennifer October 7, 2013 at 11:18 pm

      That’s fabulous Karen, but that doesn’t explain putting up cones on state highways, forcing a private inn to close, or barricading a monument that isn’t patrolled by federal officials anyway. I totally understand the risks involved and the need to close the National Parks, but putting up cones so visitors cannot see Mt Rushmore from the side of a state highway is petty. It’s a state highway patrolled by state police, that is a state matter not a federal matter. Besides the GOP which Obama is so fond of blaming has offered to fund a lot of this stuff during the shut down to save small businesses and the White House has said no. Yet President Obama enjoys his “necessary staff” and his golf course.
      Legally shutting down Federal land is their purgative, trespassing on state land is illegal.

  • Cary October 7, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Thanks for the great opinion article and for pointing out the true nature for the shut down…To inflict as much pain on the American public as possible. I wonder why they won’t stop taking the tax out of my paycheck? There are shut down right?

  • Cary October 7, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    One more comment…That was a pretty fancy sign in the photo. I wonder when that was actually made?

  • Kevin October 7, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    This “Perspective” is nothing but a thin attempt to weigh in on the state of Utahs weak play of a land grab. They want the federal lands to to hunt for and extract polluting fossil fuels while eventually cutting off access to John Q. Public. You and Herbert can take a hike!

  • Ron October 7, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Nice try, Bryan, but a government shutdown is just that–a shutdown. And the majority of Americans know exactly who is responsible for the pain.

    • Eric October 7, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      You are correct.
      Obama is responsible.
      Whatever you think of any particular policy. Wether you are Dem or Republican. Whether you believe in actually having a plan or even the slightest intention of finding money for the things you commit spending to . Whether you believe in the highly laudible aim of provising acceptable healthcare for all Americans. There is ONE man responsible for achieving consensus and ensuring that AN(Y) agreement is reached. He is responsible for doing so despite negotiators at the table causing problems to represent THEIR position (as is THEIR job). Instead he has not only failed to bring those parties to the table, He has failed to reach agreement with the reasonable. He has not only failed in light of repeated offers to compromise – and even grant him everything HE has demanded – just delayed a bit. He has stated – very publically that he will not even TALK until he gets his every wish. Pathetic in any honest diplomat. Unforgivable in a chairman/president. Unbelievable in the president of the most powerful nation on Earth. This president not only appears to be unaware that “the Busck stops here” He seems to believe he can claim it stops elsewhere and just go fishin’… Pathetic.

  • david October 7, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    At a boy Brian. Keep it up.

  • Kevin "The Dark Ranger" Poe October 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm


    How much time did you spend researching this article? 30 minutes? You can, and have done better. This is beneath you.

    It’s very 1-sided, regurgitated, misconstrued facts aimed at demonizing government employees with conjecture that could only be taken seriously by tin-foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists. If you actually knew any Federal Employees (especially those from the National Parks) you wouldn’t title and hang your whole incendiary piece on the rouge comment (without any context in the original article) of one D.C. ranger.

    Indeed, have you watched YOUR OWN ORGANIZATION’S youtube video featuring a nice lady from Zion (that would be the park closest to you) explaining the catch-22 situation rangers are in? Does she seem like she is “out to make our lives difficult as possible?”

    If you wanted to be more helpful and exercise journalistic professionalism instead of merely blaming another population of victims, you could invite your Utah readers to contact their Republican Congressmen and remind them that Utah’s National Parks generate $4.4 million per day (5th in the nation) when they are open and that anti-obamacare ideology is not only against the will of the people, it’s also ruining the state’s economy.

    You are obviously not helping… but then maybe that’s not really your goal?

    I can’t wait to read your retraction… or if that’s too embarrassing for you and you can’t muster the dignity to be that magnanimous, then I’ll just hope your future coverage of this multifaceted issue is less like something one would here at a Nuremberg Rally in 1939.

  • Jo October 7, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    How about states taking care of the parks and get the federal government out of all the land grabs. To “karan” we have not had a budget passed in congress for over 4 years, that is the reason most are holding up our government! SS, medicare, medicaid, etc, etc are all unfunded liabilities as will Obamacare. I wish our Gov would have the guts to open all the parks and have state workers fill in for now. 80% of the federal government is running during the “shut down”…..ummmmmm If the southern border of this country with mexico was one giant federal park would our government shut it down???

    • Kevin "The Dark Ranger" Poe October 7, 2013 at 4:28 pm

      Jo, Land grab? Check you history? Zion was established as a National Park from the urging of Utahns in 1909. Where were you? Have you ever been to Utah State Parks? Have you been paying attention to how poorly Utah funds it parks? Do you really think that the 6 staff members of Coral Pink Sand Dunes can run Zion and Coral Pink at the same time? Keep in mind Utah’s state parks have been shutdown for lack of funding more times in recent years then the National Parks. I agree with you that it’s silly that Republicans think protecting our borders (which only costs $) with 100% staffing is more important then keeping national parks staffed which generate $76 million per day ($4.4 million in Utah alone) with an 11:1 economic multiplier effect.

    • Karen October 7, 2013 at 5:00 pm

      The Senate passed a budget in March at the amount proposed by the Republicans, a lesser amount that proposed by either President Obama or the Democrats. The House ignored it. As long as Ted Cruz is the “Speaker of the House”, the Republicans can’t take “yes” for an answer.

      As for “local control” of lands I have only one phrase, “The Ledges”. The Washington County Planning Commission forced the sale of land owned by Snow Canyon State Park, so the edge could be sold to developers to build The Ledges. Now, everyone gets to see monster homes overlooking the State Park instead of a beautiful skyline. With that kind of arrogant stewardship, I am more than happy to let the federal government control the National Parks and keep them safe for everyone.

      • DoubleTap October 8, 2013 at 10:40 am

        Please tell me you are being sarcastic when you say Ted Cruz is Speaker of the House.
        Because if you are serious… are really showing your ignorance.

        • Bender October 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm

          Clueless as usual DoubleTap. The quotes around “Speaker of the House” were the give away. Senator Cruz is leading a group of wacko birds in the House to who knows where and they have left Boehner a leader unable to lead.
          You best go back to the basement and polish and fondle your weapons. The end is real close now.

        • Karen October 8, 2013 at 1:32 pm

          I guess you missed seeing the quotation marks I used when referring to Cruz as the Speaker. Of course, John Boehner was elected by his conference as Speaker but to many people, Cruz is acting like the Speaker.

      • Chris October 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm

        Not to mention, Karen, that the Ledges developers who made out like bandits were none other than the Gardner brothers. At the time, one served as a St George city councilman, and the other as a county commissioner. Once the Ledges were built, the Gardners persuaded the St George city council to annex the development into the city so that city water could be pumped up the hill, at great cost to St George tax payers, so that the golf course would have water. The biggest crooks in government are our local politicians.

  • Juliel Newland October 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Poor journalism. You should take more time to collect your imagination.

  • Jean Graham October 7, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    The bio section stating “Stirrer of Pots” does not surprise me at all.

    I am really sick of people who know nothing about running national parks saying they think we should just leave them open with no staff. So the 1000 employees of Yosemite don’t do anything important? The 4 million visitors who come annually need no management, services, bathrooms, or directions? All the resources legislation requires us to protect are just fine on their own? Would it make any sense for me to opine that we should abolish the defense department? I mean come on, it’s not like we’re being attacked on our home soil…

    I fully support the spirit of Rosa Parks – but for gods sake don’t go harassing the poor park employees who are stuck working in the face of disappointment and aggression. This is not their choice, they are in an awful position, and irresponsible people like the author encouraging such behavior ought to be ashamed of themselves.

  • truthseeker October 7, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    It costs more to send security guards and police and barricades and arrest people at the monuments, then it costs to keep it open and let people walk it. And the monteary resources it takes for the things they are shutting down costs a fraction of what they spend on things that we don’t need. This is political theater. The shut down is a joke in that it’s hyped up in ways to make people think it’s worse than it is and makes it look like they are pinching pennies… It’s angered a lot of people, and that’s what the distraction was for with the wild lady in DC. It puts govt back in favor and makes them look like their the good guys and under attack and then they try rally support. It’s ridiculous trickery.

    Parks and monuments dont need to be shut down when they spend billions on things we don’t need. It’s all to make people think they are pinching pennies and doing somethng about it. This is ‘govern’-‘mental’ by the government.

    A park ranger was ordered to make the lives of people miserable bcus of this hyped up theatrical shutdown. I’d be willing to bet he will get fired or docked pay for coming forward with the info. It’s not like anythng I say is a secret or made up out of thin air.

    This is incredible. Can anyone else see the fear mongering going on with the supposed govt shut down. The govt still functions and operates, but they choose to shut down things like parks and monuments. Veterans that have travelled thousands of miles to see the war memorials in D.C. are finding there are barricades set up and are being arrested if they walk the memorials. Folks, it doesn’t take much monetary resources to keep monuments like this open and parks open. . Meanwhile, the govt builds a $100000 outhouse, spends $2 billion on a domestic spying complex. They can let trillions be looted from the treasury and bailout criminal banks, but some how things that cost only thousands get shut down? They can spend billions on unnecessary things but make the govt shut down seem legit by shutting down things like this. Ha. Does it not sound odd to you? The rest of the world is scratching their heads by the way. How does the supposed richest and best(not) country in the world have govt shut downs when they have had the highest budgets and spending in history of the world?- it’s a joke. Wake up people. This makes no sense. Forget about the games congress plays with eachother and the imaginary money called debt, and it’s supposed cieling or cliff. It’s just a show. We can negotiate with criminals, terrorists and tyrants abroad, yet we can’t negotiate with our own fellow Americans? Time to transcend this system and govern ourselves.
    P.S. Americans with a spine will revolt the moment money is garnished from our bank accounts to pay the fine for Obamacare, if that is the case. Or also if we get a tax lien taken out on our homes if we don’t take the ridiculous health care. To the nay sayers, I didn’t say it would happen, but I’m saying the possibility of it happening is enough of a warning for me. It’s called being informed people. Start getting in the govts business since they are in yours. Now!!!

    For the people that want to say who’s fault it is. By the way, I’m not a dem or a rep. I don’t know much of the Utah representstives but as far as congressman involved, I don’t think it comes down to blaming a political party repeatedly. That makes no sense to me how people do that. I’m not interested in debating little details of who did what. How about the bigger picture- Both parties are ran by the same people and the populace is stuck in a ridiculous left right paradigm. Blame game, back and forth, as if entertaining certain pointless debates should even be the focus. Spinning our f#!$ing wheels. It’s incredible that people can’t see the empty promises and lies by politicians. It’s one thing for a president to not do somethng he says he will, but it’s amazing when they do quite the opposite of what they promise. That should show people that their bulldung artists. Is it the short term memory and endless distractions that people forget about each failure, or are people unaware of the discourse that results? And why is there only 2 party’s. How bout no party, not even three party’s. Why is it so institutionalized. It’s bought and paid for, and even a former president said presidents are selected not elected. It’s rigged and the figure head we see is just a puppet like almost all.the rest of them. So I don’t blame Obama or any president. In fact, the teams of advisors and cabinet and corporate special interests are the ones that tell the president what to do. It boggles my mind that people can think that these presidents are geniuses with all the answers. Sheeple put so much trust into elected officials. Calling them officials is word magic, and another example of how the perversion of language is used as a social control device. The plans and policies these so called presidents have are not their own individual ideas. Politicians are basically paid actors, good speakers, but can’t say anything smooth unless it’s on a teleprompter. Bcus they aren’t genuine. And don’t get me started on the fake crying and pumping victims by pulling peoples heart strings. Politicians can’t fix any problem in society bcus they aren’t trained to do so. Congress can pass laws, but what have presidents and congress really improved- sure we’ve seen some good things, but its overshadowed by all of the extremely bad things. They are highly intelligent in their own way, but even if they we’re genuine it doesn’t mean they can make our lives better. Did anyone vote for wars and bailouts and loss of liberties?- no, and since all but a handful of them are full of crap, it is insanity to buy into it any longer… To the people that like Obama and to people that like Romney, to the dems vs reps.- We’re you all aware Obamacare and RomneyCare are the same?- I can list the points and send links to points listed helps for you to realize this madness.

  • Bender October 7, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Weak Bryan.
    Washington Times — the best reporting the Reverend Sun Myung Moon can provide.

  • truthseeker October 8, 2013 at 2:15 am

    Jennifer is exactly on target. Read the other shut down articles too. I’ve been trying to tell people that its hyped up political theater. There’s more to this. It’s not legit and the govt only tries to make it look like they are pinching pennies by cutting things which are fraction of what they spend and things we don’t need.
    I’ve been on this site for two weeks now and am getting a feel for certain commenters. Karen is very well educated and does very detailed and substantial research which I give her props for, but its always favoring the govts point of view. I still wonder if she can question anythng the govt says. She seems to religiously defend the govt. What will it take from all the truth members here to help people see through the lies and manipulations by the govt? We arent attacking those that are still asleep. We were once in your shoes. We didn’t originally like our views and still dont, but Its the truth and we choose to live in reality by using critical thinking skills. We don’t like to think about all the negative and have ‘high blood pressure’ as.Karen says, but we feel it’s important to inform people. Free your mind. There’s esoteric history and cultural sociology that show us trends to our lives today. So let us help the sheeple in slumber. You can break free of you conditioned ways, and all though not easy, you can then see the invisible shackles that you have. Then its time to learn how to break those. It took time and personal struggle for me, but if people could just stop and think for a moment about the world outside their own little box. It’s not as scary or worrisome or stressful once you learn about it all. It begins to make a lot of sense. Some people call their Wonderland the real world. It’s the other way around. The world isn’t as it seems. Come on, come on. Read all about it.

  • truthseeker October 8, 2013 at 2:36 am

    We need to take truth as authority rather than authority as truth. Start questioning what the men behind the govt do. But not in the same way you’ve done it. Get out of the left right paradigm. Don’t challenge the system by using the system. Transcend the system with new strategically innovative ways. The country was founded on the ideals of questioning a govt before it before it becomes tyrannical. We are past that point. It’s okay to dissent with a good govt. But sadly people are either afraid, don’t know, or don’t care. If they could just understand the implications of doing nothing then maybe they would take action. Tyranny is a natural bi porduct of big govt and there is a massive corporate govt in control right now. It’s not a govt for the people by the people. It’s for special interests and hidden agendas, by mega corporations and international bankers. Time to stop hitting tbe snooze button people.

  • Bob October 8, 2013 at 6:05 am

    Dear Kevin Poe,
    You are an idiot.
    But I do like your name The dark ranger…… Not
    That is all.

    • philiplo October 8, 2013 at 9:26 am

      Bob, thank you so much for your cogent and erudite response to Kevin’s post. You, sir, are a shining tribute to the populace of southern Utah.

  • Ken October 8, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Dear Bob… Another reason we don’t want to have anything to do with the Tea Party. Once you lose an arguement, you resort to name calling.

  • Darrell Lee October 8, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Instead of biting the hand that feeds you, Bryan should be criticizing the spoiled Congressional brats who left the National Park Service without a payroll to pay staff to keep the parks open. The parks attract millions of tourists annually to southern Utah. When they’re closed, everybody suffers.

    The blame doesn’t fall on the NPS. It falls on your Congressman, who is holding the country’s pursestrings hostage to nullify the Presidency. Let those spoiled, overpaid brats have their way, and next year they’ll demand their way on abortion, immigration, or some other crusade, pinching the park service, FDA, etc. and your local economy again – and again – and again.

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