Gov't Shutdown: Nat'l Parks Reopen, NIH in Peril, Wars, Foreign Aid Continue

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In the ongoing government shutdown soap opera, WWE style pre-determined battle lines have been drawn.

Conservative Republicans are pretending to stand on "principle" in the hopes that gullible America will be impressed by their theatrics and reward them with re-election.

Of course when it comes to rewarding questionable corporations like OSI Systems who are prime beneficiaries of government monopoly over airport security at the expense of taxpayers, "conservatives" remain as clueless as ever.

Liberal Democrats who pretend to champion "human rights", "minorities", "women and children", the American middle-class - or whatever is left of it - do not blink an eye before funneling tens of billions in tax-payer money to regimes in countries like Pakistan, who terrorize and oppress ethnic minorities with impunity.

At the same time America's great cities like Detroit and Chicago are reduced to squalid hell-holes for want of infrastructure funds. Both sides blame one another in front of the cameras, and then rush to vote for more appropriations to "help the world", except America.

Remarkably, true to the penny wise, pound foolish idiom, while billions are being plundered from Americans and funneled abroad, the Congress is unwilling to permit millions to keep the national parks open.

But lo and behold! Just when we thought that White House couldn't get anymore loathsome, the Obama administration said it would "allow" the states to break their own piggy-banks to fund park operations.

States like Utah, with some of the most beautiful landscapes and natural artifacts in the world, including the Arches national park, were thrilled to hear this "compromise" by the White House and immediately threw open the gates.

The meager Social Security and Medicare benefit stream also continues, as inflation relentlessly erodes American standard of living.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) is one of the least controversial segments of Federal Government. Research done at NIH contributes to maintaining US technological competitiveness in cutting edge medicine and biotechnology. However, when some sane Republicans want to at least fund the NIH amid shutdown impasse, the juvenile bipartisan intransigence torpedoes those efforts, leaving life-saving research in limbo.

With 66% of personnel furloughed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has its capabilities seriously threatened to monitor and track infectious outbreaks such as flu and yet unknown MERS virus from Middle-East. The FDA's bureaucratic machinery which failed to timely uncover massive fraud at India's Ranbaxy laboratories, has stopped the investigative review and approval of new drugs and devices.

Even the CIA has started complaining, and director John Brennan made it public last week that he would begin bringing back operatives working on intelligence collection, analysis, covert action and counterintelligence.

So is it time for America to switch off the 24/7 TV and radio, and do some of their own intelligence analysis to figure out the state of American Republic? You bet.


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