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Feb 14, 2013

Mouse + mousetrap : I KNOW there is more peanut butter in here

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Posted: Thursday February 14, 2013, 9:13 pm
Tags: valentines day catch [add/edit tags]

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Gabriella Bertelmann (39)
Tuesday October 15, 2013, 8:12 pm
the US Government shutdown
Under the watchful eye of the whole world the US government has been shut down for nearly two weeks now. Can anyone imagine that a country can run without the government on the job? Well, apparently it can; we are still here, going to work everyday, getting our children to school, trying to pay our bills. Thank God teachers are still working – many of them have done so even with pay cuts.

This begs the question: are Senators and Congressmen still drawing their salaries and benefits while the rest of the country is on furlough, on stand-by, struggling along? Are they enjoying their free fitness-club memberships, compliments of the tax payer. Are they paid for doing their jobs, or for arguing to a dead-end and shutting the whole operation down? Is Speaker Boehner foregoing his salary during these times? Cue me in.

And what does the shutdown mean in more specific terms?
The Guardian reports: “The Nuclear Regulatory Commission closed most of its operations on Thursday, though on-site inspectors remain on the job and the government says it will handle any immediate safety or security issues.
Federal courts have sufficient alternative funds to run until Thursday, and possibly Friday. From then on, courts will shut down all non-essential work. It is up to each court to determine what is or isn't essential. Court-appointed lawyers and jurors could be asked to work, but might not be compensated until the shutdown ends. Some districts have requested a blanket halt to civilian cases because agencies involved with these cases have been furloughed. Attorneys have had to file stay requests for cases that have approaching deadlines.
Immigration court proceedings scheduled before the shutdown are being canceled, impeding green card applications. The US Supreme Court will continue with normal operations through Friday, its building still open to the public as usual. If Congress does not resolve its issues by that date, the court will provide another update.
The school system continues to operate, though some research facilities cannot apply for government grants or access government databases. The US merchant marine academy canceled classes this week because unlike other academic institutions, nearly its entire staff is subject to furlough. Five states had to close their Head Start programs, while other states relied on contingency funding.
Food programs
States have been relying on contingency funds to cover the WIC program, which provides healthy food to 9 million low-income pregnant women, new mothers and children. The USDA warned that this funding might not last after October. Some State programs have temporarily shut down, then reopened with emergency cash.
Military personnel remain on duty and nearly all civilian employees have been ordered back to work. President Obama signed an order on Thursday to ensure families of fallen soldiers will continue to receive death payments, which were suspended in the early days of the shutdown.
Social security
The government traditionally announces the annual cost-of-living (Cola) increase for next year's social security payments in mid-October. Because of the shutdown, that announcement – estimated to be about 1.5%, the smallest in years – has been delayed indefinitely.
Funds for the National Science Foundation's US Antarctic program will be depleted on Monday, the agency announced last week. The USAP is entering "caretaker status," which staffs the program at a minimal level at its three primary research stations, ships and other associated facilities. Some of the research operates in specific seasonal windows because of Antarctic's harsh climate, and could be indefinitely curtailed depending on the length of the shutdown. October is usually when research programs ramp up their activities in Antarctica.
The more than 12 million people who requested automatic extensions on their spring tax return must still file their returns, which are due on Tuesday.”
So, while the rest of the growing world is gaining in capacities on the level of education, commerce, science and research, will the US continue to fall behind? Will we end up in a status of “third world” country? And how is all this representing the value of democracy? Please, cue me in.
Well, maybe this all means we don’t need a government? Let’s see how long we can go without it, maybe we’ll find out.


Gabriella Bertelmann
female , single, 1 child
Denver, CO, USA
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