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Topic: Shutdown< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 11:24 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Because I was on days off Tues/Wed, the furlough hadn't yet affected me or my familly, except of course make us extremely nervous about our future.  We have some money in savings, and live a modest lifestyle, so we'll be okay for a little while.  But still would much rather be working.  I worked very hard to get to where I'm at in my career.  I did years of internships and seasonal work and finally got hired as a permanent employee 13 years ago.  But here we are on Day 3 of the Shutdown, 8:00 am, and so officially I am sitting on my butt at home instead of opening the front door, hanging the flag, and running a ranger station front desk.  

I issued my Mom this letter this morning when normally I'd be driving to the station, "This is your official notice of furlough from Grandma babysitting duties due to the Federal Government Shutdown. Due to the lapse in funding for fiscal year 2014, you are now considered a "non-essential" employee and are being place in a furlough status. Do not come to work, do not pass go, and do not collect $200."

Anyway, I'd be the only employee on duty at the ranger station through the weekend.   My coworker had to have surgery this week - she has 400 some odd hours of sick leave saved up over the course of her career, but won't be able to benefit from any of it.  So she's at home recovering but not getting her leave.  She's a low-income senior who can't afford to retire.  She lives in a trailer park and talks about how nice it would be to live in a "real house" someday.  She's 73 years old.  Yeah, who needs a paycheck again?

Anyway, back to work.  This time of year at the station we talk to dozens of hunters - selling them maps, which is critical since there's a lot of private land within the forest.  We'd also be issuing campfire permits, telling them where and where they shouldn't have a campfire.  Rifle season starts next weekend and we validate deer tags for hunters.  Hopefully if we're still furloughed next weekend, hunters will be able to track down a Firefighter or Law Enforcement Officer to do so, otherwise they'll be out of luck.  

I'd also be talking to lots of hikers, issuing free wilderness permits where needed, and helping them to decide where to hike and stay the night, and selling them wilderness maps.  This year two of our campsites have no water and that is probably the most important information to impart to these folks.  We also have lots of maps for free and since I've hiked the trails myself, on my days off, I have lots of advice on unstable scree slopes, unsigned trail junctions, and where to look for bighorn sheep.

OHV'ing is a popular activity and my forest has designated roads for such.  It's the beginning of Red Sticker riding season, and since folks spent their money already with the DMV to get this registration sticker, I'm sure they'll be disappointed when they can't find out where they can ride.  We have free OHV maps that we typically give away at least a dozen a day.

Camping - we have an extremely popular campground nearby that's closed.  Across the street is an extremely popular picnic ground.  Also closed.  Volunteers help keep both areas open, due to a shortage in staffing, but they aren't allowed to work, either.

Dozens of folks come into the office just so their kids can see the animal displays.  They will probably never get close to a mountain lion, a bear, a bighorn sheep, or a badger, so it's fun to see what they look like up close.  I usually give impromptu programs on the animals, as long as I don't have other customers waiting for something else.  And even then everyone usually will have no problem sitting and listening to a spiel on our native wildlife.

Other duties as assigned - we do it all at the station.  First aid to people who get hurt, help out minors who are lost, report fires, illegal shooters, dumped toxic waste, dumped violent pitbulls on the loose - if you can imagine it happening on a forest that borders an urban area, we deal with it.  

One thing of concern to everyone, whether or not you are planning on recreating on the forest, is it's going to be a very warm end of the week and start of the weekend.  Santa Ana Wind conditions and Red Flag Warnings.  Thankfully the NWS is still operating to tell us this.  But I won't be there to educate folks about where they can and shouldn't be having campfires.  We're bracing for the worst here.  

Like I said, firefighters are exempt from the furlough.  And since one of my collateral duties is to serve as a Public Information Officer on fires, if there is a big fire I may be called and offered "essential" duties.  But who knows when we'd get paid for our services.  That just doesn't seem right to me, especially for the firefighters who are risking their lives to protect the public.

Speaking of which, one of my coworkers, who is deemed essential since he works as an initial attack dispatcher, was on paternity leave, having just been gifted with a son a few days ago (one they tried long and hard for). He was called and said your leave is now cancelled, so you can stay home but won't be paid leave (that he earned and saved up over the course of his career). Or you can come in and work and possibly get paid at some later date. He had a hard choice to make - stay home and help his wife recover from C-section (she can't get out of bed by herself - been there done that!) and get to know his newborn son? Or go to work and earn a paycheck (probably, eventually) that will help keep a roof over their heads. Oh, and prior to being a dispatcher, he was a hot shot and also on an engine for many years. Putting his life on the line to save lives and property. He hurt his knee on the job, and never recovered enough to fight fire again, so he is now a dispatcher. And a great one, because of his firefighting experience.

So, yeah, there are some people in Congress who would like to pass a bill to keep open the National Parks, NIH, and Veterans Affairs.  Those are apparently the three areas in which they've gotten the most bad press.  No mention of the National Forests.  We aren't on their radar - usually we aren't.  It's the parks that get most of the publicity on a good day.  I've worked for them, too, and side by side with them.  So no hard feelings, but can you imagine what would happen in those places where Park and Forest Service employees work side by side?  Or Park and BLM?  Awkward it would be if one was allowed to come to work and the other not.  

The reality is there are tons of government programs that are not part of this debate on the Affordable Care Act that should be allowed to continue, if that's your argument.  Not just the few that have been on the news.

I wrote and called my congressman, asking him to please end this shutdown madness. It makes no sense. We are low- to middle-class hard working Americans who take pride in doing our public service (and emergency service) jobs that we were hired to do.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 12:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There is no way to respond without being political to a post entirely grounded in politics.

John Boehner and the Republican majority in the House of Representatives do not get to dictate what parts of the government get shut down or not because they don't like what a majority of Americans [ACA was arguably biggest issue in last POTUS election] want and the the SCOTUS has determined to be Constitutional.

I'm sorry Tarol, but with all due respect and IMO this is INDEED ALL about the ACA and the lack of respect for our system of checks and balances Boehner and company demonstrate such arrogant, dismissive, and utterly unsubstantiated contempt for.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 1:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

How many times has this can been kicked down the road?  How many more times will they kick this can down the road before they actually fix it?

It may be about the ACA this time....what will it be next time?

I'd argue it's not even about Republicans and Democrats.  It's about the party not in control trying to make the party in control look bad, and obstructing things as much as they could in the hope of regaining control.  If the situation were reversed, it wouldn't change a thing.  It's not about ideology, it's just politics.

There are only two ways I can think of that things would change.
1.  One party gains full control
2.  Politicians start doing what's best for the country, instead of what's best for their own self-serving interests.

I don't have a whole lot of hope for option #2.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 1:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Lamebeaver @ Oct. 03 2013, 12:25 pm)
QUOTE
I'd argue it's not even about Republicans and Democrats.  It's about the party not in control trying to make the party in control look bad, and obstructing things as much as they could in the hope of regaining control.  If the situation were reversed, it wouldn't change a thing.  It's not about ideology, it's just politics.

I think that's largely true.

The only way to prevent future instances of this strategy is to make it not work for the party not in control. If the GOP gets nothing out of this other than the electorate blaming them for acting like children, then both parties will think long and hard about employing this tactic in the future. That, IMHO, is the only good that could come out of this.*

Unfortunately, as someone whose two paycheck household has now become a one paycheck household due to this, I suspect tis means that there will be no quick resolution.

(*Ironically, the GOP has made it fairly easy for Obama to take the high ground here, by making this fight ostensibly about his signature piece of legislation. He's obviously not going to agree to scrap or gut it. Most Dems think that Obama caves and compromises too easily, but I don't think he will in this case.)
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 1:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Lamebeaver @ Oct. 03 2013, 1:25 pm)
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How many times has this can been kicked down the road?  How many more times will they kick this can down the road before they actually fix it?

It may be about the ACA this time....what will it be next time?

I'd argue it's not even about Republicans and Democrats.  It's about the party not in control trying to make the party in control look bad, and obstructing things as much as they could in the hope of regaining control.  If the situation were reversed, it wouldn't change a thing.  It's not about ideology, it's just politics.

There are only two ways I can think of that things would change.
1.  One party gains full control
2.  Politicians start doing what's best for the country, instead of what's best for their own self-serving interests.

I don't have a whole lot of hope for option #2.

^^^^^
This

I heard almost exactly this sentiment from Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), on NPR a few days ago. He considered it government by extortion, or words to that effect. He replaced the retired Olympia Snowe.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 1:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(double cabin @ Oct. 03 2013, 12:29 pm)
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I'm sorry Tarol, but with all due respect and IMO this is INDEED ALL about the ACA and the lack of respect for our system of checks and balances Boehner and company demonstrate such arrogant, dismissive, and utterly unsubstantiated contempt for.

Agreed, I was just responding to the part about funding the NPS, NIH, and VA - and not the rest of the agencies - which was proposed yesterday I believe

Yeah, this will probably get moved to the political forum.  Yay, I don't think I've ever started a post there before :p

But if possible would like to focus on the everyday lives of the 800,000 people that are on hold.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 1:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You might consider about 50 million other Americans who are negatively impacted due to the 800,000 not being available to do their jobs.

It is the whole country impacted, not the Blue States, or the Red States, its the United States, of America!

What a disaster, and for no good reason.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 2:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yes - it goes beyond 800,000 for sure

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 2:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My older son's trucking driving company is hurt because they haul loads for the government.  Since my younger son works at the Grand Canyon for Xanterra, as does his wife, they are hurt also.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 2:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

By trying to fund the least popular of the shutdown components Boehner and company are just trying to stall the inevitable and save some face.

As much as it hurts our friends like you Tarol I believe every one of us that really considers ourselves to be part of a community of Americans is compelled to support the Administration, Senate, and SCOTUS on this one and tell Boehner and his deceitful gang to go !@#$ themselves. ****This would all end today if Boehner allowed a vote giving up the ACA extortion scheme, such a vote would without question pass. *****But the Speaker continues to hold US ALL hostage like a second grader that doesn't admit to throwing something at the teacher and lets the whole class get punished.

And with all due respect LB it is ALL BOUT REPUBLICANS on this one. NEVER before has either party gone to such great lengths to extort victory in the face of such unequivocal defeat. Beyond this issue Republicans have fillibustered against the will of a majority of Americans far more often than the Democrats have.

What this is "all about" is the fact that the Party of Lincoln has been hijacked by a bunch of hypocritical extremists that never objected to their own party on PA avenue signing off on the vast majority of our debt in relatively good times compared to the worst financial crisis of just about all of our lifetimes  that this first "Black" President inherited. When these hoodlums articulate their "arguments" with facts instead of deceitful/libelous rhetoric I'll stop labeling them the unAmerican, special interest catering, arguably racist schmucks they have thus far shown themselves to be.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 4:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Why is this thread here? Can't  you people rant over in the pA?
And yes I work for the .gov


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 4:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sorry Tarol....I sure hate to see the employee's jerked around like pawns on a board, but that's exactly what's happening.

Have you filed for unemployment?


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 4:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This right here is the best thing I have read in months.

http://thebloggess.com/2013/10/we-are-the-government/


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 5:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Going to file tomorrow for unemployment

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 5:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(double cabin @ Oct. 03 2013, 12:24 pm)
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And with all due respect LB it is ALL BOUT REPUBLICANS on this one. NEVER before has either party gone to such great lengths to extort victory in the face of such unequivocal defeat. Beyond this issue Republicans have fillibustered against the will of a majority of Americans far more often than the Democrats have.

We may disagree on this DC, but I think if the Republicans controlled the Senate, and Sarah Palin was president, the Democrats would use any tactic they could to bring her administration and agenda to a grinding halt.

It is the Republicans, but it could just as well be the Democrats.

It's not good vs evil, it's politics (evil vs evil)
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 5:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Did you take notice that Sarah Palin did not come anywhere near to getting elected?

And both the right wingers, and the left wingers, have lamented that President Obama is too reasonable, too cerebral, and too willing to compromise, until pushed to the point where there is no possibility of giving in.

Read what Lincoln had to say on this kind of process:

Such recklessness recalls the words of Abraham Lincoln to Southerners in 1860: “Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events.” The tea party’s “rule or ruin” extortion is fundamentally undemocratic; the president and the American people are right not to stand for it.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs....d-brats


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(tarol @ Oct. 03 2013, 4:25 pm)
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Going to file tomorrow for unemployment

My wife was told that furloughed workers are not eligible. I'd be interested to know what you find out about this.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 5:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

And neither did John Kerry and as pointed out by John McCain of all people Kerry RAN on eliminating the PPACA!

So this is a non-democratic play to run around a recent election result: Period. Which is why the Administration is playing very[ hard ball.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 6:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

1. Are employees entitled to unemployment compensation while on furlough?
A. It is possible that furloughed employees may become eligible for unemployment
compensation. State unemployment compensation requirements differ. Some States require
a 1-week waiting period before an individual qualifies for payments. In general, the law of
the State in which an employee’s last official duty station in Federal civilian service was
located will be the State law that determines eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits.
(See the Department of Labor website “Unemployment Compensation for Federal
Employees” at http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/unemcomp.asp.) Agencies or
employees should submit questions to the appropriate State (or District of Columbia) office.
The Department of Labor’s website provides links to individual State offices at
http://www.servicelocator.org/OWSLinks.asp.

from: http://www.opm.gov/policy-....ghs.pdf


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 6:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I, too, am sitting home waiting for the word to go back to work. Weather has been great, but unfortunately I have been ill for a few days and can't do more than walk a few hundred feet before wanting to lay down and sleep.

Anyway, I think a mass recall election needs to be held. That's all I'm sayin', because I don't want to get started on a political rant.


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(wwwest @ Oct. 03 2013, 3:36 pm)
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Read what Lincoln had to say on this kind of process:

Such recklessness recalls the words of Abraham Lincoln to Southerners in 1860: “Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events.” The tea party’s “rule or ruin” extortion is fundamentally undemocratic; the president and the American people are right not to stand for it.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs....d-brats

Several years ago, I stated that Obama was going to be the most divisive president since Abraham Lincoln.

Thanks for validating my opinion.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 8:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We as a Navy Reservist family are watching things closely. We are in the middle of trying to sell our house and buy another one. We have a VA home loan and might have to wait to purchase our new house until we can secure govt. funding.

Also keeping an eye on the GI Bill. My brother in law is using it to go to school full time.

Really sad about our national parks and forests, I have a trip planned to Dry Tortugas in November.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 8:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Here's the thing:  Everyone thinks their side is RIGHT!  And the other side is WRONG!

As far as elections, and the will of the people go...The House was lost to the Republicans.  There goes the will of the people.

If the Senate is lost to the Republicans next election, will you all submit to the will of the people?

Tarol, I'm sorry for your situation.  I've been unemployed by this economy for quite a while.  This economy was created by the Democrats.  And they could care less who is out of work.


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(TDale @ Oct. 03 2013, 7:32 pm)
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Tarol, I'm sorry for your situation.  I've been unemployed by this economy for quite a while.  This economy was created by the Democrats.  And they could care less who is out of work.

I'm sorry that you've been unemployed. That's a tough circumstance. But wow. You've seriously come unhinged.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 8:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've been unhinged for a long time.  I'm quite the loose cannon.  It used to be a very salable skill.  My current economical situation is the fault of the Democrat Party.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 9:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've always wondered what it would be like to live in a "banana republic".

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 9:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hikerjer @ Oct. 03 2013, 6:15 pm)
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I've always wondered what it would be like to live in a "banana republic".

Not me, all those expressionless manikins? Too creepy for words.

Not that safari vests aren't a good look for some.

#PocketsCanBeSlimming
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 9:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Running the country on continuing resolutions is a power Congress has stolen for itself.  Rather than have a genuine budget battle, they can hold the country hostage over any issue and never have to defend any other spending.

 Sorry for how it affects so many of you.  Always interesting to see what is listed as "essential".  Seems like if it's something ordinary Americans want or need, it doesn't make the list.


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"If people think nature is their friend, then they sure don't need an enemy."

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 10:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Tdale said
"This economy was created by the Democrats"

&

"My current economical situation is the fault of the Democrat Party."

what a bunch of bs and as a conservative this is an especially laughable claim. As a conservative
you should think the "free market" is the the one element that defines our economy rather than
the government but when you laughable say "This economy was created by the Democrats" that shows
you don't even believe in the conservative belief system you claim to hold.  Beyond that the
last recession started officially on December of 2007(according to the NBER which is the organization
that determines such things) and the Democrats only took over congress Jan of 2007. There is NO
way an economy would react that fast so negatively just based on change in party in the congress
in less than a year.

Such a statement would mean that Democrats passed legislation that caused the economy to go into
recession but I defy to point out what that legislation that supposedly passed was and when it
passed? Keep in mind that Republicans controlled the congress from about 2002 to 2006 and of course
Bush was president then. But of course all that assumes that the "free market" isn't the most
important part of the economy but you as a conservative should believe that the "free market"
is the most important part of the economy(heck as someone who isn't a conservative even I
believe in our mixed economy the so called "free market" is the most important part of it")


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2013, 10:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Lamebeaver @ Oct. 03 2013, 1:25 pm)
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How many times has this can been kicked down the road?  How many more times will they kick this can down the road before they actually fix it?

It's about the party not in control trying to make the party in control look bad, and obstructing things as much as they could in the hope of regaining control.  

Yes, how many times...it is NOT the party NOT IN control who refuses to FIX THIS!  It is the same prople who REFUSED to fix the housing situation...kept hiding their heads in the sand and saying nothing is wrong and look where that got us.  The same people who insist nothing is wrong with SSI and guess where that will get us.  Yet you keep putting these people back in office because you think you can get something for free.  Guess where that will get us? I am sorry for those of you out of work but the ones who refuse to negotiate are not the Republicans.  And once this is over you wilo get paid for these days FOR NOT WORKING.  I don't get paid if I don't work yet you will.  I don't have much hope for option 2 either because the public will believe the lie that it is the Republicans who caused this.  If Harry would let out of commitee the bills the MAJORITY already agreed to put to a vote, these tactics would be unessesary, but the dictator won't budge.  I am in danger of losing my job PERMANATLY because of the ADA, yet Reed refuses to let the democratic system fix this.  MKy job loss will be permanant, not a temporary shutdown.

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HikerJoe2
Plymouth, IN
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