Waiting Out The Shutdown Crisis …

      213 Comments on Waiting Out The Shutdown Crisis …

I apologize for the lengthy delay between posts.  I was (as I’m sure some of you suspected) busy all last week packing up our survival gear.  We sneaked out of town a couple of days ago, leaving at 2:30 AM and staying off the main roads to avoid bands of marauding anarachists.  We’re now living in a hidden cabin at a remote location. (Don’t ask where.  I’m not telling.)  We’ll stay here until the government shutdown is over and we feel it’s safe to rejoin society.

I’ve been monitoring newscasts on my short-wave radio and reading the news online, so I’m not optimistic that we’ll be able to return home anytime soon.  According to the last report I saw, the shutdown is so severe, only 83 percent of the federal government is still up and running.  I’m not going to expose my young daughters to that kind of chaos.  They could be psychologically scarred for life.

None of this was necessary, of course.  The current crisis is the result of obstructionism by conservative legislators who refuse to accept the will of the majority on ObamaCare.  The obstructionists claim they’re responding to thousands of constituents who are upset over some of ObamaCare’s minor inconveniences, such as having their existing insurance policies canceled by the federal government and being ordered to buy policies costing three to four times as much.

I don’t doubt that a handful of constituents objected to some of the law’s specific language, but as Rep. Nancy Pelosi correctly pointed out, they’re nothing more than anti-government extremists.  Good citizens understand that they exist to fulfill the needs of the government.  Good citizens understand that the Constitution guarantees the right of the majority to take whatever it deems necessary from the minority.  Good citizens understand that our long tradition of prohibiting people from making their own economic decisions is the reason the United States became a great country in the first place.  Unfortunately, some people aren’t good citizens, which is why we’re now expected to somehow survive as a society with only 83 percent of the federal government in operation.

Not knowing exactly what the impact of a government shutdown would be, I turned to CNN for an unbiased explanation.  I quickly learned that gun permits won’t be processed, thus depriving citizens of the opportunity to obtain federal permission to exercise a right guaranteed by the Constitution.  New passports might not be issued, which (as CNN pointed out) could force people planning their first-ever trip to Paris to cancel.  Businesses won’t be able to obtain government loans, thus depriving the government of the ability to invest in promising companies like Solyndra.  Garbage may not be collected in Washington, D.C. – a city known for producing extraordinary amounts of garbage.  But according to CNN, perhaps the biggest impact will be a hit on our collective psyche as Americans.

A hit our collective psyche?  That’s the worst CNN could imagine?  Apparently CNN didn’t anticipate the anarchy that would follow a shutdown of 17% of the federal government.

I knew it was time to pack the van and head for the hills when I turned on the news and was shocked by the lawless antics of a gang of World War Two veterans.  To make sure the public fully grasped that the shutdown had left the government bereft of funds and unable to perform crucial tasks, the government paid government workers to place government barriers in front of the open-air government monument to WWII veterans.  As the government explained, government workers had to erect the government barriers to protect the public.  I applauded the government’s decision and wished our local government were as prudent.  There’s an open-air Civil War monument in downtown Franklin, but we never visit it because there are no government supervisors on duty.

Like most Americans, I expected the World War Two veterans to see the government barriers erected by the government workers to warn the public that there’s no functioning government in place and respond by mumbling to themselves, “I could deal with the Nazi mortars and tanks and grenades and machine guns during D-Day and Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge, but a wooden barrier? Every man has a limit.”  But then the veterans pushed the barriers aside, walked over to the open-air monument and began looking at it — without government supervision.  Anarchy had come to the United States of America.

By now, you may be asking yourself, “What does all this have to do with health and nutrition?”

Plenty.  According to chatter coming in over my shortwave radio, there’s much more at stake here than just passports and garbage collection in Washington D.C.  If the shutdown continues, it will only be a matter of time before the USDA is no longer on active duty.  Once the USDA is incapable of handing out subsidies, the price of corn syrup will skyrocket — depriving all but the wealthiest Americans of a primary source of calories.  Then, like dominoes falling, the same thing will happen with wheat and soybeans.  Farmers might even respond to the lack of subsidies by refusing to continue producing vast surpluses.  Vegans on the West Coast are reportedly hoarding soy-based meat substitutes in anticipation of a shortage.

Even if grains remain cheap and readily available for awhile, there’s a real threat that Americans will forget how many of them they’re supposed to eat.  Stores and schools have enjoyed a steady supply of USDA MyPlate replicas for a couple of years now, but the plates don’t last forever.  Without proper funding, the USDA won’t be able to produce replacements.  Eventually, parents and kids will find themselves sitting down for a meal and staring at old-fashioned (read: no guidelines) plates, having no idea what to put on them.  Officials in at least one city in the Northeast are preparing to distribute leftover posters of The Food Pyramid as a temporary emergency measure.

The science revolving around health and nutrition could also face an irreversible decline. As the shutdown drags on, fewer and fewer researchers will have access to the government grants that made it possible for them to conclude that Monsanto’s grain products are health food.  Many will likely find real jobs during the shutdown, never to return.  The generation of researchers still in training can hardly be expected to take their place after seeing how easily a career in government-sponsored nutrition research can be wiped out.

The effects on research are, in fact, already being felt.  The next edition of the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines was due to be released in 2015 – just two years away.   To meet that deadline, the Dietary Guidelines Committee ought to be hard at work already.  But with only 83 percent of the federal government in operation and no end to the shutdown in sight, it’s possible the nation will be deprived of another set of guidelines telling them to eat less fat and more grains.

As the World War Two veterans demonstrated, without a fully-funded federal government, there’s also the possibility of outright disobedience, regardless of what guidelines are available.  Realizing that the USDA school-lunch inspectors won’t be visiting anytime soon, rebellious school officials in some Southern states have reportedly begun allowing children to drink whole milk – the type that’s full of arterycloggingsaturatedfat –– instead of USDA-approved skim milk flavored with chocolate and high-fructose corn syrup.  There are even reports of kids eating entire meals at lunch that don’t include any grain products.

Those are just a few of the grim scenarios we’re facing, and that’s why Chareva, the girls and I will remain hunkered down in our undisclosed location until the federal government is fully operational again.  We miss our home, but the risks of living in a partially-regulated society are too great.

I hope you are all surviving this crisis.


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213 thoughts on “Waiting Out The Shutdown Crisis …

  1. Richard Feinman

    It’s the law of the land. Grow up, Tom.

    Yes, and when slavery and segregation were the law of the land, there was nothing wrong with either and the people who resisted them should have acted like grown-ups instead of raising such a fuss. Whatever a majority of Americans decides is automatically okay, as specified in the “whatever the majority wants” clause of the Constitution. Therefore, if a majority of Americans decides to cancel my health insurance and order me to spend an additional $10,000 per year on insurance I don’t want or need, I must act like a grown-up and succumb.

    I could use some financial advice from the left, however. Since I don’t have $10,000 sitting around at the end of a year, what should I cut in order to buy the government-approved insurance I don’t want or need? If I cancel my contributions to my daughters’ college funds, that will get me over halfway to the total. If they graduate from college with a mountain of student-loan debt as a result, well, that’s fine with me. I’m a grown-up and I accept that ObamaCare needs the money I’ve been putting in their college accounts more than they do. I’d still be short of the $10,000 extra per year, though. I suppose I could also cancel their piano lessons and all other extracurricular activities to make up part of the remainder. It’s not as if they have talents that ought to be developed.

    Or I could cancel my contributions to my own retirement fund, but I’d still be well short of the $10,000 per year. The advantage of canceling my own retirement fund, however, is that it would guarantee I’ll end up as a government dependent — a.k.a. “a loyal Democrat.” Since the Social Security system is in such fine financial shape, I’m perfectly happy to depend on it when I’m 75 years old.

    Or we could sell the farm and move into an apartment, thus saving $10,000 per year in mortgage payments. As long as the rent isn’t raised over time to match our mortgage payment, that could cover it.

    I don’t know … it’s all so confusing, trying to act like a grown-up, accepting the law of the land, and figuring out how to best reduce my lifestyle and my finances so I can serve as an ObamaCare support system.

    1. Firebird7478

      My Mom will be 73 years old this Sunday. She receives $1003/mo in SS benefits. She also gets Medicare, which, contrary to belief, is not free. She pays a premium of $104. Her supplemental insurance, which she has to have because the perceived FREE Medicare that she receives does not cover everything. That supplemental policy was a zero premium policy, which her insurer just disbanded. But, they gave her two options of another plan with the SAME benefits that will cost her either $75/mo or $150/Mo. And in 2014, that FREE Medicare she is suppose to be getting will cost her $125/mo.

      In order to pay for her FREE Medicare and her supplemental policy to provide her protection from the illnesses that her FREE Medicare does not cover, she must get rid of her cable TV, her Internet Access, and her burial plan, plus a few other things she can get rid of.

      To top it off, because military spending is more important than assisting lower income Americans, her food stamps will be reduced.

      Just a small example of how affordable the AFFORDABLE health care act really is.

      The Democrats made my health care affordable by canceling my inexpensive policy and ordering me to spend an extra $10,000 per year on a policy with a higher deductible. (But hey, I’ll now have mandatory maternity coverage … just in case that surgeon in California I paid to ensure I don’t have more kids didn’t know what he was doing.)

      1. Dainon

        Your mom has cable TV and in home internet access, but qualifies for food stamps?

        Are you trolling, or is this what you perceive as hardship, somebody spending their money on stuff they decide they need, before their entertainment?

        It’s strange that your mom pays the same for insurance I do, and I’m less than half her age (with NO history of health issues).

        The only place you made sense is when you stated these insurance programs weren’t free. Of course, they wouldn’t be free even if they cost her nothing; she would just be using the force of the state to live at the expense of others.

    2. Danny

      Yeah, this is exactly like slavery. Great analogy, Tom. Keep fighting the good fight.

      Not quite like slavery, but related. People like me are being told we must labor for the sake of supporting others.

    3. Steve

      Financial advice from the left: Borrow, borrow, borrow. There is nothing wrong with your income to expense ratio that cannot be solved by mortgaging your children’s future!!

      I was thinking that according to the left’s view of what’s moral, I should take out a high-limit credit card and run it up, then hand the bill to Sara when she’s 21. Obviously, there’s nothing immoral about reducing her future standard of living in order to raise mine now.

    4. cave horse

      Says the guy who recognizes that it’s immoral to use the gun of the law to control how much sugar people choose to put in their bodies. Physician, heal thyself!

  2. Dominique (That's What Domi Sa

    A hearty “Bravo!” from here in my bunker! (Where I sit heavily “armed” with a six-week supply of heart-healthy whole grain snack products, because what other nutrition would be able to sustain a body in such a crisis as this? Naturally, I am unarmed with anything that could cause PHYSICAL harm, such as a rifle, a handgun, or a butter knife…unless you count wheat as a physically harmful constituent…but as for defending myself, I’ll just trust the government to do what’s best.)

    If home invaders show up, just feed them the grain snacks for a few years and wait for them to become diabetics. Then kick their butts.

  3. Scott Robison

    OMG! I had no idea that things were this bad! Thanks for keeping me informed! I like exclamation marks! {/sarcasm}

    This is one of the funnier things I’ve read for a while. If only the circumstances weren’t so grim.

    BTW, not only are there reports of kids eating entire meals at lunch that don’t include any grain products, there are reports of kids being allowed to eat an entire meal at lunch instead of the limited calorie fare that they’ve been restricted to in recent years.

    Well, that’s it then: if kids are allowed to eat until they’re not hungry anymore, they’ll all die of heart disease in their teens.

  4. Gregg Sheehan

    Yep, down here in Kiwiland we are sitting on the edge of our seats, glued to our TVs, surviving your crisis.

    I hope you’re not going to rub it in our faces that your government is fully functional. We may have to get the U.N. to decide if that’s even fair.

  5. Steve

    Let me be the first to point out that you’re clearly racist based upon your publishing of the truth in a manner in which other people may be subjected to it. Talking point are published daily, please stick to the script in all future communications Comrade!

    I apologize. In my panic, I forgot that resisting becoming a servant of the government in any manner is racist behavior.

    1. Chuck

      Yes, how dare you subject unsuspecting people to the truth. You mean this whole low-carb thing is just fictional entertainment? Here I thought the whole thing was real and that you were dedicated to exposing people to the real truth. Man, I’m such an idiot.

      Seriously though, I can’t believe how much hate you are getting over this. Wow! I guess you are not allowed to be outraged that you have to give up a simple plan that has served you well and forced to take a policy that could seriously put the hurt on you finances. On top of it all you don’t even receive any additional benefits from paying more.

      I am single and don’t even have health insurance. I very rarely get sick and it would be kind of a waste of money for me. I was going to get it through work at the next enrollment because even though I don’t use it, you never know what’s going to happen and it’s good to have it just in case. I don’t like the idea of being forced to get it though. I’m afraid it will be like car insurance, since it’s mandatory they can charge you whatever they want and you have no choice but to jump through all the hoops and pay it anyway. If you do need to use it, then they will jack up your rates. You’re just suppose to pay them to have it and not use it I guess.

      Car insurance is way better. You can buy from any company in the U.S. and insure yourself to just the level you desire … low deductible, high deductible, liability only, etc. So there’s actual competition among auto insurers. If auto insurance were run like ObamaCare, you’d be forced to buy a policy that covers tires, gas, tuneups, new wiper blades, oil changes, etc.

  6. Bret

    Tom, I hope you and the ladies are all armed. Without government to protect you, you may well be overrun by zombies or anarchist wacko birds. God be with you all.

    I’ll have to check with the government first and see if I’m allowed to defend myself. I believe the government prefers that I call the police — who, as you probably know, almost always show up in time to stop a home invasion in progress.

  7. Pierson

    To quote a liberal guy I know, ‘by not supporting this program, you are stealing from the poor’. Accordingly, so long as the reigning reasoning seems to be that ‘stealing’ now means not giving people your own property, it’s not hard to see why this happened. Moreover, so long as whatever forced payment is for the ‘greater good’ (yes, he used that exact term), it’s not stealing, and you’re scum for comparing what our government is doing to its citizens to ‘The great leap forward’ or slavery (never mind that these were done for the greater good (TM) as well.

    A question though, Tom; is it really true that federal taxing of private charities and insurance companies (like Blue shield, and such) had the effect of making it harder for them to insure sicker people who are more expensive to treat, hence the insurance restrictions today? If that’s the case, then why not just ease up (or stop) the taxes on the said organizations, so they can afford more clients? It’s strange to see such cynicism from people who are allegedly all about ‘investing in mankind’, as it seems that they can’t even trust their fellow man to use his own money to help people.

    You apparently haven’t read enough books on socialist economics. Here’s how it works: If you tax people less and allow them to spend their own money, that doesn’t encourage investment or production and therefore doesn’t boost the economy or create any new wealth. But if you confiscate their money and spend it as socialists see fit, a magic “multiplier” effect kicks in and creates new wealth.

    So remember … every time you spend your own money, you are stealing from the poor.

  8. Justin

    I get the sarcasm and i understand your dislike of how/why things are the way they are. 85% of my social security office is baron of it’s workers that include a 12 yr military/federal vet and 3 other career (20 yrs+) Air Force and Navy/Federal employee veterans with a total of between 20-35 yrs of service. We’ve all been jobless for almost a week now. My wife working at the Social Security field office (where all the real fun is) is, as of now working for a paycheck that will not be coming until all this is settled. I’m not trying to say all is lost, as we eventually hopefully get paid in full, but until then my GI BILL checks will stop soon, we won’t be able to pay our mortgage, or for our cars or other obligations without depleting our savings. Not looking for sympathy for myself but the stress mainly on my family has not been great and we can’t be “paid back” for that time. So not trying to blast you for your comments, your entitled to say what you want, but part of that shutdown’s 17% comment are some of your readers and this is not a comfortable time for us. As someone who has brilliant takes on most matters and provides great information to me and my family on a regular basis I kinda felt this was a little unnecessary.

    Regardless, your still the man and I appreciate your blog. Thanks

  9. Gaylia

    Thanks. I was so worried that I had misunderstood my elected representatives’ actions…nah.

  10. Katie in FL

    Good news. I heard a dietician on the radio say that she directs her clients to the USDA Food Pyramid/Plate website, but it is down due to the shutdown.

    Hooray! Maybe people will be forced to make their own choices when making their meals and might choose real food.

    That’s just one of the potential disasters if this shutdown doesn’t end soon.

  11. Cameron Baum

    I have no idea if this is serious, or a joke. Largely because Americans are crazy enough to head for the hills, like you have over all this.

    I, for one, eagerly await a default to happen. Because then, the impact on world finances and economies would then do damage to countries struggling out of recession, like Britain. This would then strengthen further the far right, and really put final nails in the coffin of the Special Relationship.

    And given how France, Austria and the Netherlands are shifting to the far right, a Defaulted America could be what tips balances towards the masses agreeing that it is time to pull out of the EU, probably to form their own alliance. Polish and Romanian immigrants are already nervous about the ending of their lucrative cash-cow, where they can work in other countries, and send most of what they earn back to their home country, and claim child benefit in their native and migrant countries, and be allowed social housing on a preferred basis. Then there is the grim reality of immigrants causing upsurges in crime, like the Kosovans in Thanet in England, and talk of getting rid of the Romanians in France, after all the chaos in the Garde-de-Nord area of Paris.

    And this is just Europe… Think about China, who is trying to propaganda its way out of a recession, whilst secretly wetting itself over what to do with a massively aging population, and a deline in exports, because everywhere is in austerity, so are not buying much.

    Think what I have posted is a joke? Sadly, it is not. The world is in a very peculiar,precarious place right now.

    Surely you know that having only 83 percent of the federal government up and running is no laughing matter.

  12. Stephen B

    Ha Ha.

    I hope you’ve remembered to pack plenty of bacon, eggs and butter. There could be long winter ahead.

  13. Richard Feinman

    It’s the law of the land. Grow up, Tom.

    Yes, and when slavery and segregation were the law of the land, there was nothing wrong with either and the people who resisted them should have acted like grown-ups instead of raising such a fuss. Whatever a majority of Americans decides is automatically okay, as specified in the “whatever the majority wants” clause of the Constitution. Therefore, if a majority of Americans decides to cancel my health insurance and order me to spend an additional $10,000 per year on insurance I don’t want or need, I must act like a grown-up and succumb.

    I could use some financial advice from the left, however. Since I don’t have $10,000 sitting around at the end of a year, what should I cut in order to buy the government-approved insurance I don’t want or need? If I cancel my contributions to my daughters’ college funds, that will get me over halfway to the total. If they graduate from college with a mountain of student-loan debt as a result, well, that’s fine with me. I’m a grown-up and I accept that ObamaCare needs the money I’ve been putting in their college accounts more than they do. I’d still be short of the $10,000 extra per year, though. I suppose I could also cancel their piano lessons and all other extracurricular activities to make up part of the remainder. It’s not as if they have talents that ought to be developed.

    Or I could cancel my contributions to my own retirement fund, but I’d still be well short of the $10,000 per year. The advantage of canceling my own retirement fund, however, is that it would guarantee I’ll end up as a government dependent — a.k.a. “a loyal Democrat.” Since the Social Security system is in such fine financial shape, I’m perfectly happy to depend on it when I’m 75 years old.

    Or we could sell the farm and move into an apartment, thus saving $10,000 per year in mortgage payments. As long as the rent isn’t raised over time to match our mortgage payment, that could cover it.

    I don’t know … it’s all so confusing, trying to act like a grown-up, accepting the law of the land, and figuring out how to best reduce my lifestyle and my finances so I can serve as an ObamaCare support system.

    1. Firebird7478

      My Mom will be 73 years old this Sunday. She receives $1003/mo in SS benefits. She also gets Medicare, which, contrary to belief, is not free. She pays a premium of $104. Her supplemental insurance, which she has to have because the perceived FREE Medicare that she receives does not cover everything. That supplemental policy was a zero premium policy, which her insurer just disbanded. But, they gave her two options of another plan with the SAME benefits that will cost her either $75/mo or $150/Mo. And in 2014, that FREE Medicare she is suppose to be getting will cost her $125/mo.

      In order to pay for her FREE Medicare and her supplemental policy to provide her protection from the illnesses that her FREE Medicare does not cover, she must get rid of her cable TV, her Internet Access, and her burial plan, plus a few other things she can get rid of.

      To top it off, because military spending is more important than assisting lower income Americans, her food stamps will be reduced.

      Just a small example of how affordable the AFFORDABLE health care act really is.

      The Democrats made my health care affordable by canceling my inexpensive policy and ordering me to spend an extra $10,000 per year on a policy with a higher deductible. (But hey, I’ll now have mandatory maternity coverage … just in case that surgeon in California I paid to ensure I don’t have more kids didn’t know what he was doing.)

      1. Dainon

        Your mom has cable TV and in home internet access, but qualifies for food stamps?

        Are you trolling, or is this what you perceive as hardship, somebody spending their money on stuff they decide they need, before their entertainment?

        It’s strange that your mom pays the same for insurance I do, and I’m less than half her age (with NO history of health issues).

        The only place you made sense is when you stated these insurance programs weren’t free. Of course, they wouldn’t be free even if they cost her nothing; she would just be using the force of the state to live at the expense of others.

    2. Danny

      Yeah, this is exactly like slavery. Great analogy, Tom. Keep fighting the good fight.

      Not quite like slavery, but related. People like me are being told we must labor for the sake of supporting others.

      1. js290

        Tom,

        Labor for the sake of supporting the slave masters cronies of state power…

        http://youtu.be/EdrBeBwHenk

        Yes, we must never forget that government officials aren’t supposed to be public servants. They’re supposed to the public’s masters, exactly as the Founders intended.

      2. Bret

        (To Danny)

        That is not the point, genius. His reference to slavery renders null and void this liberal cop-out argument that people who disagree with the ACA need to shut up, because “it is the law.”

        If our ancestors had had that attitude, then we never would have broken free from England in the 18th century. Women would not be voting. And most blacks would still be slaves.

        Silly liberals that slobber all over Obama without thinking for themselves are happy to apply the logic that existing laws need not be debated, so long as the laws under discussion are laws they agree with. When it comes to gay marriage, the War on Drugs, and the War on Terror (all three issues on which I happen to agree with most liberals), that argument logic mysteriously vanishes.

    3. Steve

      Financial advice from the left: Borrow, borrow, borrow. There is nothing wrong with your income to expense ratio that cannot be solved by mortgaging your children’s future!!

      I was thinking that according to the left’s view of what’s moral, I should take out a high-limit credit card and run it up, then hand the bill to Sara when she’s 21. Obviously, there’s nothing immoral about reducing her future standard of living in order to raise mine now.

    4. cave horse

      Says the guy who recognizes that it’s immoral to use the gun of the law to control how much sugar people choose to put in their bodies. Physician, heal thyself!

  14. Dominique (That's What Domi Said)

    A hearty “Bravo!” from here in my bunker! (Where I sit heavily “armed” with a six-week supply of heart-healthy whole grain snack products, because what other nutrition would be able to sustain a body in such a crisis as this? Naturally, I am unarmed with anything that could cause PHYSICAL harm, such as a rifle, a handgun, or a butter knife…unless you count wheat as a physically harmful constituent…but as for defending myself, I’ll just trust the government to do what’s best.)

    If home invaders show up, just feed them the grain snacks for a few years and wait for them to become diabetics. Then kick their butts.

  15. Scott Robison

    OMG! I had no idea that things were this bad! Thanks for keeping me informed! I like exclamation marks! {/sarcasm}

    This is one of the funnier things I’ve read for a while. If only the circumstances weren’t so grim.

    BTW, not only are there reports of kids eating entire meals at lunch that don’t include any grain products, there are reports of kids being allowed to eat an entire meal at lunch instead of the limited calorie fare that they’ve been restricted to in recent years.

    Well, that’s it then: if kids are allowed to eat until they’re not hungry anymore, they’ll all die of heart disease in their teens.

  16. Gregg Sheehan

    Yep, down here in Kiwiland we are sitting on the edge of our seats, glued to our TVs, surviving your crisis.

    I hope you’re not going to rub it in our faces that your government is fully functional. We may have to get the U.N. to decide if that’s even fair.

  17. Steve

    Let me be the first to point out that you’re clearly racist based upon your publishing of the truth in a manner in which other people may be subjected to it. Talking point are published daily, please stick to the script in all future communications Comrade!

    I apologize. In my panic, I forgot that resisting becoming a servant of the government in any manner is racist behavior.

    1. Chuck

      Yes, how dare you subject unsuspecting people to the truth. You mean this whole low-carb thing is just fictional entertainment? Here I thought the whole thing was real and that you were dedicated to exposing people to the real truth. Man, I’m such an idiot.

      Seriously though, I can’t believe how much hate you are getting over this. Wow! I guess you are not allowed to be outraged that you have to give up a simple plan that has served you well and forced to take a policy that could seriously put the hurt on you finances. On top of it all you don’t even receive any additional benefits from paying more.

      I am single and don’t even have health insurance. I very rarely get sick and it would be kind of a waste of money for me. I was going to get it through work at the next enrollment because even though I don’t use it, you never know what’s going to happen and it’s good to have it just in case. I don’t like the idea of being forced to get it though. I’m afraid it will be like car insurance, since it’s mandatory they can charge you whatever they want and you have no choice but to jump through all the hoops and pay it anyway. If you do need to use it, then they will jack up your rates. You’re just suppose to pay them to have it and not use it I guess.

      Car insurance is way better. You can buy from any company in the U.S. and insure yourself to just the level you desire … low deductible, high deductible, liability only, etc. So there’s actual competition among auto insurers. If auto insurance were run like ObamaCare, you’d be forced to buy a policy that covers tires, gas, tuneups, new wiper blades, oil changes, etc.

  18. Bret

    Tom, I hope you and the ladies are all armed. Without government to protect you, you may well be overrun by zombies or anarchist wacko birds. God be with you all.

    I’ll have to check with the government first and see if I’m allowed to defend myself. I believe the government prefers that I call the police — who, as you probably know, almost always show up in time to stop a home invasion in progress.

    1. Bret

      Yeah, I meant armed with karate skills and/or mace. I guess you haven’t heard: guns are evil. And as a wise man recently said, “The Second Amendment is bull****.”

      We really need to follow in Europe’s footsteps on this issue (just like we have done with our gargantuan social welfare state). They really are the most enlightened and intelligent people on the earth. England, for instance, does not even allow its police to carry guns. Although I am sure the standoffs against black-market-armed criminals are very interesting, at least they are “setting the appropriate example for children,” as one California lawmaker put it.

  19. Mark

    Gosh, Tom! Sounds terrible over there! How will you ever know what to do next? Our (African) prayers are with you.

    I won’t know what to do until the government tells me what to do. Like nearly all other Americans, I’m incapable of arranging my own affairs without government guidance.

  20. Pierson

    To quote a liberal guy I know, ‘by not supporting this program, you are stealing from the poor’. Accordingly, so long as the reigning reasoning seems to be that ‘stealing’ now means not giving people your own property, it’s not hard to see why this happened. Moreover, so long as whatever forced payment is for the ‘greater good’ (yes, he used that exact term), it’s not stealing, and you’re scum for comparing what our government is doing to its citizens to ‘The great leap forward’ or slavery (never mind that these were done for the greater good (TM) as well.

    A question though, Tom; is it really true that federal taxing of private charities and insurance companies (like Blue shield, and such) had the effect of making it harder for them to insure sicker people who are more expensive to treat, hence the insurance restrictions today? If that’s the case, then why not just ease up (or stop) the taxes on the said organizations, so they can afford more clients? It’s strange to see such cynicism from people who are allegedly all about ‘investing in mankind’, as it seems that they can’t even trust their fellow man to use his own money to help people.

    You apparently haven’t read enough books on socialist economics. Here’s how it works: If you tax people less and allow them to spend their own money, that doesn’t encourage investment or production and therefore doesn’t boost the economy or create any new wealth. But if you confiscate their money and spend it as socialists see fit, a magic “multiplier” effect kicks in and creates new wealth.

    So remember … every time you spend your own money, you are stealing from the poor.

  21. Justin

    I get the sarcasm and i understand your dislike of how/why things are the way they are. 85% of my social security office is baron of it’s workers that include a 12 yr military/federal vet and 3 other career (20 yrs+) Air Force and Navy/Federal employee veterans with a total of between 20-35 yrs of service. We’ve all been jobless for almost a week now. My wife working at the Social Security field office (where all the real fun is) is, as of now working for a paycheck that will not be coming until all this is settled. I’m not trying to say all is lost, as we eventually hopefully get paid in full, but until then my GI BILL checks will stop soon, we won’t be able to pay our mortgage, or for our cars or other obligations without depleting our savings. Not looking for sympathy for myself but the stress mainly on my family has not been great and we can’t be “paid back” for that time. So not trying to blast you for your comments, your entitled to say what you want, but part of that shutdown’s 17% comment are some of your readers and this is not a comfortable time for us. As someone who has brilliant takes on most matters and provides great information to me and my family on a regular basis I kinda felt this was a little unnecessary.

    Regardless, your still the man and I appreciate your blog. Thanks

  22. Gaylia

    Thanks. I was so worried that I had misunderstood my elected representatives’ actions…nah.

  23. Katie in FL

    Good news. I heard a dietician on the radio say that she directs her clients to the USDA Food Pyramid/Plate website, but it is down due to the shutdown.

    Hooray! Maybe people will be forced to make their own choices when making their meals and might choose real food.

    That’s just one of the potential disasters if this shutdown doesn’t end soon.

  24. Beowulf

    Like you I’ve been hunkered down trying to avoid the chaos. When I ventured out yesterday, though, I noticed several poor, confused senior citizens at the grocery store buying bacon, eggs, butter, and heavy cream since the USDA couldn’t help them find the healthywholegrains. How terribly tragic! Who knows what might happen if things continue on like this? Whatever will the poor drug companies do if seniors start getting off their diabetes medications?

    As predicted, the elderly are the first to go in a crisis like this one.

  25. Ron

    Please tell me this is all a big hoax! There is no way my family and I can survive w/ only 83 percent of the federal government operating. Snicker Snicker.

    This shutdown must end before the toll death goes any higher.

  26. Cameron Baum

    I have no idea if this is serious, or a joke. Largely because Americans are crazy enough to head for the hills, like you have over all this.

    I, for one, eagerly await a default to happen. Because then, the impact on world finances and economies would then do damage to countries struggling out of recession, like Britain. This would then strengthen further the far right, and really put final nails in the coffin of the Special Relationship.

    And given how France, Austria and the Netherlands are shifting to the far right, a Defaulted America could be what tips balances towards the masses agreeing that it is time to pull out of the EU, probably to form their own alliance. Polish and Romanian immigrants are already nervous about the ending of their lucrative cash-cow, where they can work in other countries, and send most of what they earn back to their home country, and claim child benefit in their native and migrant countries, and be allowed social housing on a preferred basis. Then there is the grim reality of immigrants causing upsurges in crime, like the Kosovans in Thanet in England, and talk of getting rid of the Romanians in France, after all the chaos in the Garde-de-Nord area of Paris.

    And this is just Europe… Think about China, who is trying to propaganda its way out of a recession, whilst secretly wetting itself over what to do with a massively aging population, and a deline in exports, because everywhere is in austerity, so are not buying much.

    Think what I have posted is a joke? Sadly, it is not. The world is in a very peculiar,precarious place right now.

    Surely you know that having only 83 percent of the federal government up and running is no laughing matter.

  27. Stephen B

    Ha Ha.

    I hope you’ve remembered to pack plenty of bacon, eggs and butter. There could be long winter ahead.

  28. Mark

    Gosh, Tom! Sounds terrible over there! How will you ever know what to do next? Our (African) prayers are with you.

    I won’t know what to do until the government tells me what to do. Like nearly all other Americans, I’m incapable of arranging my own affairs without government guidance.

  29. Wayne Gage

    Did the government shut down HUD. The blight creating government agency that gets people to buy homes they don’t want and then give the home away to people who eventually abandon them?

    If HUD is shut down, it’s only a matter of time before everyone is homeless. If memory serves, nobody in America owned a home until HUD came along in 1965.

  30. Brent Magnant

    LOL… I think I stick to your blog for nutrition advice and get my political advice elsewhere! 🙂

  31. Allen W. McDonnell

    Despite the inconvenience of having my week long D.C. vacation severely constrained by barrycades and armed National Park Rangers on guard my bride and I survived our anniversary ordeal. I was forcibly reminded of a quote ,

    “There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.” from Robert A. Heinlein.

    The good news is Amtrak is part of the 83% still more or less functioning so our return trip tickets were honored and we got back home Sunday. While in D.C. we got several pictures of those lovely ‘National Parks are all closed’ signs, and very distant pictures of the Washington Monument sheathed in scaffolding and the Jefferson Memorial surrounded by a barrier and guarded by three Rangers to keep us away. On the other hand Arlington National Cemetery is an Army base and we had full access to the grounds with the exception of the mansion in the center that belongs to the NPS. The Changing of the Guard and Wreath ceremonies at the tomb of the unknowns was worth the trip even though it was only one of the things we went to see. Of course if we had known this was going to happen in advance we would have booked our trip the week before our anniversary instead and gotten to see everything we wanted to see, but life isn’t fair and we are both mature enough to know that.

    I hope you have enough jerky to get you through the crisis, best luck to you and yours and we hope to see you on the other side!

    I hope you and yours survive as well. Someday, our children will tell their grandchildren about the Great Government Shutdown Crisis of 2013.

  32. Howard Lee Harkness

    I posted my own snarky comment about that on my Texas Concealed Handgun License site (site needs substantial updating since the last session of the Texas Legislature changed nearly everything about the CHL program). I think you probably already knew I was a CHL instructor, even though I wasn’t permitted to be armed on the LC cruise.

    What you probably *didn’t* know is that my wife and I also run a prepper blog (we accept guest posts in case you might be willing to write for us), and that I wrote a Kindle book on Firearms for Preppers. (Easy to find on Amazon, just search on “Harkness” and “firearms”)

    I was going to try selling tinfoil, but I didn’t want the hassle of getting the NSA permit…

    You may have to consider going into the tinfoil black market.

  33. Beowulf

    Like you I’ve been hunkered down trying to avoid the chaos. When I ventured out yesterday, though, I noticed several poor, confused senior citizens at the grocery store buying bacon, eggs, butter, and heavy cream since the USDA couldn’t help them find the healthywholegrains. How terribly tragic! Who knows what might happen if things continue on like this? Whatever will the poor drug companies do if seniors start getting off their diabetes medications?

    As predicted, the elderly are the first to go in a crisis like this one.

  34. Ron

    Please tell me this is all a big hoax! There is no way my family and I can survive w/ only 83 percent of the federal government operating. Snicker Snicker.

    This shutdown must end before the toll death goes any higher.

  35. S. Andrei Ostric

    Love it, Tom. Who will make the decisions that affect our lives if the government doesn’t? Maybe we will finally get a chance to…

    But if people are allowed to make their own decisions, they might not make the decisions preferred by statists. That can’t be allowed to happen.

  36. Brian

    The “no gun permits” scare tactic from CNN is not true. The ATF is not slowing down or stopping their processing of firearms transfer forms.

    Thank goodness we can still obtain government permission to exercise a constitutional right.

    1. Howard Lee Harkness

      Constitutional right?

      Interestingly, the 1st amendment does not grant anyone freedom of religion or speech, and the 2nd amendment doesn’t grant anyone the right to keep and bear arms.

      Read them *very* carefully — they expressly forbid the Federal government from infringing on fundamental human rights that you are already a priori *deemed* to have.

      Next you’ll try to tell me the 10th amendment doesn’t limit the power of the federal government.

      Here’s something one of my liberal pals once said to me in all seriousness — I’m sure you’ll love it:

      “You only have the rights the government gives you.”

      And Jefferson wept.

      1. Dave

        Contrary to popular opinion, the Bill of Rights is a list of limitations on the Federal Government, not a list of citizen’s rights. It had to be accepted by the new Federal Government before the founding states would enter into a Union. In actual practice, though, the F. G. enacts laws (and breaks laws) at its own convenience, and only when challenged on such abuse of power does it back down, …sometimes. History will teach us nothing. We are doomed to repeat it.

        And the most-ignored amendment in the Bill of Rights (the 10th) clearly states that the federal government has no powers outside of those enumerated in the Constitution. Ahh, for the days when judges actually consulted the Constitution when deciding what’s constitutional.

  37. Laurie

    You guys can always come to Canada and plea diplomatic immunity! lol We have a functioning “MyPlate” here, although we call it “Canada’s Food Guide”. I would help you all with the confusing transition. Government is alive and well here. As a bonus I can hook you up with my grain-pushing doctor who is confused by my awesome cholesterol numbers despite the fact I fry everything in bacon fat and don’t eat any grains. She’s a lovely lady but got a pretty confused look on her face during our appointment while praising my cholesterol numbers. Come to think of it you may confuse her further and I don’t know if she could handle it. I hope you are all are healthy before you get here! 😉

    If and when we feel it’s safe to leave the bunker, we’ll consider emigrating.

  38. Linda

    Ah Tom,
    I so agree with you about nutrition and I respect your differing political views. However, I come to your site to discuss and learn about nutrition and find your conservative sarcasm and angst to be an intrusion on a topic we both care about — the health of Americans. I know government plays a role in the nutrition crisis, as do giant chemical companies, food manufacturers and factory farms; so discussions of all as they relate to nutrition is fair game. However excursions into the evils of government, Obamacare scare stories and the scourge of intellectuals is distracting and annoying. So it’s your blog and have at it, but I will be visiting paleo sites that stay on topic. All the best to you.

    My sarcasm is libertarian, not conservative. Thanks to ObamaCare, the inexpensive insurance policy that served me well since moving to Tennessee has been canceled and I’ve been ordered to buy insurance that costs $10,000 more per year and gives me nothing extra I want or need.

    That isn’t a “scare story.” That’s the reality.

    ADDENDUM: The good news is that liberals who voted for Obama are discovering to their great horror that the “scare stories” are true:

    ====================================
    http://www.mercurynews.com/nation-world/ci_24248486/obamacares-winners-and-losers-bay-area

    Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama.

    Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law.

    Vinson, of San Jose, will pay $1,800 more a year for an individual policy, while Waschura, of Portola Valley, will cough up almost $10,000 more for insurance for his family of four.

    … “I was laughing at Boehner — until the mail came today,” Waschura said, referring to House Speaker John Boehner, who is leading the Republican charge to defund Obamacare.

    “I really don’t like the Republican tactics, but at least now I can understand why they are so pissed about this. When you take $10,000 out of my family’s pocket each year, that’s otherwise disposable income or retirement savings that will not be going into our local economy.”

    ====================================

    Really? You mean when you force people to spend an extra $10,000 per year to buy coverage they didn’t want or need, it will affect their ability to invest in and/or support other businesses? If only one of the economics books I’ve read would have made that clear. Next thing you know, we’ll find out forcing employers to take on huge additional insurance costs reduces employment.

  39. Leo

    Keep a stiff upper lip Bro I know you can hold on.

    Imagine if congress were to shut down ? We and they just might find out we don’t need them.

    “Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.” – Mark Twain (Smart Man, true then true now)

    Mark Twain — probably the first great American standup comedian.

  40. Andy

    Outstanding! Political satire still lives.

    If the shutdown doesn’t end soon, I expect satire to disappear due to a lack of government funding.

  41. Wayne Gage

    Did the government shut down HUD. The blight creating government agency that gets people to buy homes they don’t want and then give the home away to people who eventually abandon them?

    If HUD is shut down, it’s only a matter of time before everyone is homeless. If memory serves, nobody in America owned a home until HUD came along in 1965.

  42. Cary L

    The students in my high school Personal Finance course and I have been discussing the government shutdown in great detail, but I’ve never been able to phrase my thoughts as succinctly and brilliantly as you have.
    Well done Tom, you would receive an A- from me if this were an assignment … and it would have earned a full A if you had spelled “United States” correctly instead of “Unites States” 😉

    Heh-heh-heh … I’m an excellent speller but a lousy typist. Thanks for the heads-up.

  43. Brent Magnant

    LOL… I think I stick to your blog for nutrition advice and get my political advice elsewhere! 🙂

  44. TMA

    Tom, I’m a big fan of Fathead and your work in general. While I don’t particularly agree with your politics, you’re obviously a smart guy and have your reasons for opposing Obamacare. But did you really make a comparison between those opposing Obamacare and the movement to abolish slavery? Come on, you’re better than that.

    Dr. Feinman instructed me to grow up and accept ObamaCare because it’s the law of the land — the point apparently being that “it’s the law of the land” should automatically make any law acceptable to grown-ups. My point is that “the law of the land” has often been wrong and has often been resisted by people who believe in liberty. So yes, I chose an extreme example to illustrate that point.

    If you prefer less extreme rhetoric, I’m sure we can find hundreds of examples of liberals vehemently opposing “the law of the land” when the law infringed on their freedoms … say, laws banning sales of contraception, or laws requiring a photo I.D. to vote, or The Patriot Act, etc., etc., etc. “It’s the law of the land” as a justification for government violating personal liberties is either valid or it isn’t.

    It isn’t.

    1. TMA

      I still think that is a false equivalence you’re making–liberals were upset about any number of Bush policies but I don’t remember any government shutdowns happening.

      Of course not! Why the hell would liberals ever shut down the government that’s the source of all their power and influence? That would be like the pope threatening to close all the Catholic churches.

    2. TMA

      Invoking slavery is just one step away from fulfilling Godwin’s law.

      “It’s the law of the land” is either valid as a justification for a law or it isn’t. If it doesn’t settle the argument in one case, it doesn’t settle the argument in any case.

    3. Chuck

      Don’t forget the Boston Tea Party. I hope the British aren’t offended at the mere mention of it.

      I suspect our friends across the pond are over it by now.

  45. Allen W. McDonnell

    Despite the inconvenience of having my week long D.C. vacation severely constrained by barrycades and armed National Park Rangers on guard my bride and I survived our anniversary ordeal. I was forcibly reminded of a quote ,

    “There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.” from Robert A. Heinlein.

    The good news is Amtrak is part of the 83% still more or less functioning so our return trip tickets were honored and we got back home Sunday. While in D.C. we got several pictures of those lovely ‘National Parks are all closed’ signs, and very distant pictures of the Washington Monument sheathed in scaffolding and the Jefferson Memorial surrounded by a barrier and guarded by three Rangers to keep us away. On the other hand Arlington National Cemetery is an Army base and we had full access to the grounds with the exception of the mansion in the center that belongs to the NPS. The Changing of the Guard and Wreath ceremonies at the tomb of the unknowns was worth the trip even though it was only one of the things we went to see. Of course if we had known this was going to happen in advance we would have booked our trip the week before our anniversary instead and gotten to see everything we wanted to see, but life isn’t fair and we are both mature enough to know that.

    I hope you have enough jerky to get you through the crisis, best luck to you and yours and we hope to see you on the other side!

    I hope you and yours survive as well. Someday, our children will tell their grandchildren about the Great Government Shutdown Crisis of 2013.

  46. BobT

    Did you bring the chickens? Eggs may be hard to come by soon. BTW, have you seen this report about crime? I’m wondering if Tennessee leaped to the top before or after you moved there.

    From Lab Notes: Watch Your Back in Tennessee

    110 States with Highest Violent Crime Rates

    When it comes to remaining healthy, not living in a hotbed of violent crime is definitely a plus, and although the media tend to portray New York and California as America’s violent crime capitals, the newest FBI statistics tell a somewhat different story. In fact, the states with the nation’s highest rates of violent crime (defined as murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault) are: Tennessee (644 violent crimes per 100,000 population), Nevada (608), Alaska (603), New Mexico (559), South Carolina (558), Delaware (547), Louisiana (497), Florida (487), Maryland (477) and Oklahoma (470). In general, higher crime rates are associated with low levels of income and education. The good health news: violent crime nationwide has been steadily decreasing since the early 1990s.

    That’s what we get for having Memphis within our borders.

    1. Cyborcat

      “That’s what we get for having Memphis within our borders.”

      As someone who’s had to endure Memphis for the last 8 years, I LOL’d.

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