In his Oct. 15 opinion column, Dr. Bill Atwood has provided readers with a sterling example of the child-like ranting, raving and immature name-calling characteristic of many rabid right-wingers today.
Perhaps spending so much time teaching elementary school has affected Atwood's ability to think and express himself like an adult, although I do expect more maturity from someone who purports to have a graduate-level education. My mistake.
I won't bother refuting Dr. Bill's assertions with reasoning and data. Peter Cavanaugh and Alan Cheah have attempted to bring facts and critical thinking to Atwood's and J.R. Froelich's distortions and outright lies for years with little success, so I won't waste my time.
I do however find it amusing that when the GOP members of the House shut down the government, they immediately started whining, like Dr. Bill and J.R., that they didn't like what was shut down and began to craft legislation to exempt their favorite political constituents. They did a similar move when sequestration took effect. Apparently government actually provides some valuable services to its citizens. Who knew?
Later came flag waving and phony indignation as Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin quickly left a Tea Party meeting, ran to the National Mall and pushed veterans aside at the WWII memorial to get their picture taken. Did they really think that shutting down the government wouldn't affect the military, the VA, national monuments or veterans' benefits? Did they really think that the shutdown, or "slimdown" as Atwood and Fox News termed it, wouldn't affect our National Parks?
No surprise that their failed strategy to defund the Affordable Care Act wasn't well thought out. But I've come to expect that from those blinded by a cult-like devotion to a radical conservative ideology with no real-world evidence to support it.
Atwood should man-up and accept the consequences of the actions of the party he avidly supports. I don't hear Ted Cruz or other Tea Partiers complaining much about what was shut down. Most of them seem to wish the shutdown was still on and maintain that their strategy would have been a total success had it had more support from the rest of the wimpy GOP. Nice way to express support for the Oakhurst businesses and other job creators throughout the country which are dependent upon national park visitors.
Standard and Poor's estimates that the House of Representatives' idiocy took $24 billion out of the US economy and will reduce projected fourth-quarter GDP growth from 3% to 2.4%.
In addition, the shutdown and threats to not raise the debt ceiling have further eroded the international community's confidence in our government, something from which we may never fully recover. As Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, writes in a recent column entitled "No Way Out," China has forcefully called for a "de-Americanized world." After watching the "superpower" offshore a large part of its GDP to China and then add to the diminished tax base the burden of $6 trillion in wars that brought no booty and served no U.S. interest, China has concluded that American power is spent. The London Telegraph thinks "it is only a matter of time before the renminbi replaces the dollar as the primary currency for trading commodities and resources."
In Australia, the U.S. dollar will no longer be used as the currency in which to settle the Australian trade accounts with China. Instead of dollars, trade will be settled in the Chinese currency.
According to reports, not only are foreign governments, such as China, ceasing to buy U.S. Treasury debt, China has started to sell off its holdings, substituting gold in the place of U.S. Treasury debt."
I seriously doubt that this causes any concern to Dr. Atwood, a public school teacher supported by county, state and federal taxes, who shamelessly debases labor unions, unions which are responsible, in large part, for the fat pension and health care insurance he will receive at retirement. Or J.R. Froelich, who, I assume, continues to get his social security checks and Medicare from a government that he seems to detest. Their hypocrisy is breathtaking.
The GOP is self-destructing before our eyes and as a spectator I'm finding it enjoyable to watch. By including the most extreme right-wing elements in their "big tent," the Republican Party is assuring that they will continue to be even more irrelevant to our fellow citizens, the vast majority of whom do not subscribe to their views or their methods.
Richard Parker of Coarsegold is a managing consultant for a large healthcare organization.