The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

October 7, 2013

Shutdown of government is big farce on numerous fronts

An Editor's Notes

By Jim Raykie

OPINION — The reason that federal lawmakers can get away with shenanigans like shutting down the government is that the move lacks the pain and suffering that would move the masses to vote them out office.

By pain and suffering, I mean when the government shuts down – residents still get their Social Security checks, air traffic controllers still work, as do employees of the TSA – and thus planes fly the friendly skies at will while Washington has closed shop.

Imagine if such shutdowns included essential jobs such as air traffic controllers and the TSA, which could end up providing for emergency air travel only. Then, such silly shutdowns would never occur. No vacations. No business travel. No UPS or no FedEx. As it stands, about the only pain being felt locally is that access to the grounds at Shenango River Lake has been suspended for the duration of the shutdown.

Or how about this novel approach? If Congress deems it necessary to shut down the government, members of the House and Senate don’t work and are paid nothing. That surely would end all of the silly budget games being played out in the nation’s capital. Although, that’s probably a reach, since most members of Congress don’t seem to be the proverbial “sharpest knives in the drawer.”

Shutdown affects Masury travelers

Speaking of the shutdown, Masury residents Paul and Pauline Saternow are feeling some pain during their travels West. Talk about bad timing,

For months, they planned to drive through some of the most beautiful parts of America, and stop at the national parks along the way, including Yellowstone.

The national parks are casualties of the shutdown, and they have encountered “Park Closed” signs in recent days, bringing to mind the scene from National Lampoon’s Vacation when the Griswolds arrive at the mythical Walleyworld, only to find it closed for repairs and protected by lovable security guard Lasky, played by the late John Candy.

Paul and Pauline had planned to celebrate their anniversary with a photo in front of “Old Faithful” at Yellowstone, but played golf instead after Paul put his finger over a hotel spigot and created his own “Old Faithful.”

Where’s Lasky when you need him?

Christmas around the corner?

Where has the summer gone?

When I dropped off my golden retriever Brady at Jessi’s Dog Styles in Sharpsville for his regualar grooming, I needed to make his next appointment for December.

“How close to Christmas do you want it?” Jessi asked me. It hit home that Christmas is only two months away, and I left wondering what has happened to summer?

I looked at all of the leaves that are changing colors and trees soon to be barren, knowing full well what lies in wait.

Best wishes for Dr. Dan

Here’s a shout-out to every animal lover’s friend, Dr. Dan Baker of South Pymatuning Township, who is back at work at the Baker Animal Hospital in Clark.

He’s recovering from injuries suffered during a recent accident while big-game hunting with his son near the Yukon Territory.

It had to be a frightening experience up in the desolate wild for Dr. Dan, who suffered some broken bones when thrown from his horse.

Its great to see him out and about, but don’t make him sneeze or laugh too hard – the healing ribs are still tender.

Be well, my friend.

Jim Raykie is the executive editor of The Herald and his column appears on Mondays.