Tomorrow morning at 12:01AM, barring a sudden and unexpected rush of sanity and adult behavior, Congress (mainly the far-right wing of the Republican Party) will partially shut down the United States government. Many thousands of government workers (including my son and daughter) and those whose livelihoods depend on their work will be furloughed, without hope of regaining pay lost during the duration of the manufactured crisis. The local and national economies will be damaged. Brainless wingnuts wearing tricorn hats will wave their Gadsden flags and trumpet their fidelity to concepts they do not understand, and the rest of the world will shake its head at our propensity for self-destructive behavior.
If you read the comments posted to online articles at CNN.com and Washingtonpost.com about the government shutdown, you will find some of the most amazing trolls you will ever hope to see, continuing the heaping of abuse on government workers that was begun by the GOP's extreme right wing. The people who keep you safe, ensure your food is wholesome, protect you from disease, allow you to fly safely, and try to prevent you from being exploited by your employers are derided as lazy, stupid, shiftless bums and jackbooted thugsTM who "couldn't run a lemonade stand" (a quote from one amazing comment I read this morning) who all deserve to be thrown to the curb so that America will suddenly return to its imagined past paradise of untrammeled, unlimited "freedom."
This afternoon, Agnes's cousin Bernadette and her husband Richard will arrive from Germany for a visit. One of the things they'll ask me will almost certainly be the question I heard so often from people while we were in Germany earlier this month: What's wrong with you people?
Sadly, the problem is that the irresponsible and narcissistic people who are causing this needless crisis are impervious to logic and reason. A great quote from the film The Dark Knight applies ... Alfred, Bruce Wayne's loyal butler, is telling his boss a story from his experience searching for a bandit leader in the Burmese jungle. In the end, the search was unsuccessful because, as Alfred explained ...
... some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.
And some men just believe so totally in their own righteousness that they're willing to take the whole country down with them.
I could go on, but I'm too angry and too ashamed of the ludicrous clown show that has replaced our government and the bizarre mouth-frothing that has replaced civil discourse. I wonder what sort of lesson we're teaching our children, and what kind of country we're leaving them.
Have a good day. Tomorrow I'll try to be more positive, and to tell you the story of this past weekend's visit to Chincoteague and Assateague Islands with the local grandchildren. Perhaps I'll be more centered, and my aches and pains a bit eased, by then.