Heyl: Shutdown shouldn't cramp your style
Admit it. You can live without the panda cam for a while.
So there's no reason to get into an uproar over the government shutdown. The impact, at least initially, is minimal.
Yes, it's an outrage that Washington lawmakers who couldn't agree to fund the government value posturing more than governing, but we shouldn't be perturbed over their dereliction of duty without first getting perturbed at ourselves.
We elected this less-than-august assortment of buck-passers. When their districts were gerrymandered to virtually ensure their re-election even if they flicked the off-switch on the government, we didn't notice. We were too immersed in “Family Guy” reruns.
So we are experiencing a federal shutdown that we indirectly helped cause. What's the big deal? The few significant local shutdowns that occurred recently proved to be survivable.
The Pittsburgh Mayor's Office essentially shut down in March, when an intransigent part of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's personality blocked him from continuing his just-announced re-election bid. No one seems to care that Ravenstahl since has been scarce around City Hall, although his aides reportedly resort to using a hand puppet with a stapled-on picture of the mayor's head when they need to consult him.
The Steelers shut down last month when a core group of players determined that age, lack of speed and inability to block and tackle left them no choice but to prevent the team from winning. This stubborn group has drawn a line in the sand and insisted the shutdown won't end until they are replaced with younger, more talented players.
If you can make it through the Steelers' shutdown, you should have no problem with a government shutdown. Consider some of the immediate impacts, none of which should prompt you to throw a beer toward the TV:
• National Zoo
The panda cam is dark. If this is a huge loss to you, see the forced break for what it is: extra time to be more productive on the job and one less reason for Human Resources to summon you into the office to discuss your workday Web surfing.
• Internal Revenue Service
The agency isn't able to perform audits until the shutdown ends. If you're a tax cheat, are you aghast over this delay?
• State Department
The processing of some passport applications might be delayed, but it's not as though the vacation season is at its peak. Take the kids out of school for a weeklong trip to Belize this time of year, and their guidance counselor will read you the riot act.
• National Institutes of Health
The agency stopped answering medical questions on its hot line. No big deal. People can self-diagnose their potentially serious afflictions via Google or WebMD.
• National Park Service
More than 400 parks and museums are closed until further notice. Until they reopen, the odds of your being mauled by a grizzly bear during a camping excursion to Glacier National Park in Montana are virtually nonexistent.
Eric Heyl is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7857 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- No tag for Worilds; Steelers cut Moore
- Penguins GM Rutherford not counting on Dupuis’ return
- Penguins acquire defensemen Lovejoy, Cole in deadline deals
- North Huntingdon man accused of road rage altercation in Westmoreland
- Reputed major heroin trafficker in Westmoreland County pleads guilty, gets prison sentence
- Zoning update raises fears in Ligonier Township
- ‘Time for bold change,’ Wolf says in outlining $30B state budget
- ‘Let It Snow’s’ big-name cast filming all over Western Pennsylvania
- Interstate smash-and-grab jewelry ring may be operating in Pittsburgh area, Altoona
- Pirates sickened by pic of ‘Jihadi John’ wearing Bucs ball cap
- Inmate care in Allegheny County Jail generates worries