LETTERS: National parks shouldn’t be political pawns

To the editor:

Let’s take back our national parks and recreation areas. Obviously, the politicians believe that these national treasures belong to them and that we the people should be grateful that they allow us to enjoy the sites on their terms. As Sunday’s Review-Journal editorial pointed out, the staffing costs of closures may match or even exceed the cost to staff parks when open.

I know President Barack Obama is an advocate for the middle class, because he says so. That being the case, why would he agree to punish the middle class, the group most likely to utilize and visit our many national parks? Not only does it punish the users, the shutdown penalizes the workers in many businesses who provide numerous services for those who visit our national parks and monuments.

It’s time to pressure politicians to place our national recreation treasures into some kind of a public trust that removes them from being used as a political pawns.




To the editor:

Part of the government is temporarily closed for business. We can agree or disagree on how things got to this point. My comment, however, is how the shutdown is being managed. First we hear that the World War II veterans taking their honor tours of the memorial in Washington are being turned away. Thank heaven that didn’t last long. Then we hear that National Park Service rangers are being told to make life as difficult as possible and are even closing areas that aren’t national parks, such as Mount Vernon’s parking lot and the ocean off the Florida coast.

Now there are reports that Catholic civilian chaplains who work for the military are being told that they will be arrested if they say Mass, officiate weddings, etc., on military bases, even if they volunteer their time.

Of course, it was agreed that the furloughed workers will get paid when this shutdown ends. Mustn’t have government workers put out.

What I see, regardless of who is to blame, is a government that must get its way or the people will suffer. Do we really want to put our access to doctors and health care in the hands of those whose goal is to make any future shutdown as painful as possible?



Furloughed workers

To the editor:

Once again, our government has proved to be incompetent. So federal workers are furloughed, at the cost of parks and recreation and possibly several other services the general public uses or relies on. We the taxpayers are therefore still paying for services that are currently unavailable. Then this joke of leadership votes to give all furloughed workers their full pay while off. Unbelievable. Can anyone say “free vacation”? Where can I sign up?



Shut down tea party

To the editor:

The Republican Party no longer exists. It is the tea party, and any media outlet referring to it as the Republican Party is misleading the people. The tea party must understand that the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, is the law of the land, passed by Congress and approved by the Supreme Court. If the tea party wants to repeal it, it should be done by a vote of Congress.

No president can allow the tea party to attempt a repeal of the Affordable Care Act by holding the government hostage, refusing to pass a continuing resolution. Allowing such efforts would destroy the office of the president and the entire executive branch of government.

If President Barack Obama gave in to the demands of the tea party, that would be more harmful to the country than anything that could be done by the Affordable Care Act. Even if the shutdown were to last a year or two, the tea party must be totally and completely defeated.



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