I have read various articles in The Kansan about the "Government Shutdown" of United States non-essential federal agencies: I think this is a prime moment to re- examine precisely what is "essential" versus what is deemed "non-essential." First of all, I am ashamed of the dysfunction and gridlock clear-across-the-board which prevails in Washington, D.C. The two political-parties are both at fault! No matter which party has an incumbent in The White House and no matter which party controls the House of Representatives or the Senate: it seems like modern politicians have become extortionists and blackmailers. All sides threaten each other; yet it is the American People who are held for "ransom."

I am not amused by the current "crisis." I think it has lowered our beloved Nation to a hybrid of near leaderless governance and a mix of tyranny by means of abdication of accountability by our elected leaders and a smug arrogance that Congress and The President , each continue to dare each other to "blink" first.

One thing I am slightly amused by ... and also slightly baffled by ... is the phrase that "non-essential government workers will be furloughed." Make no mistake, I feel pity for those workers and their families. However, this should be a prime occasion for citizens in all 50 states  to rise-up and invoke the 10th Amendment to the Constitution that those Rights not enumerated by the Constitution itself, nor prohibited to the States are reserved to the people.

U.S. Parks being closed are a prime example. While I am proud that National Parks exist: they should not be used as pawns or as "tools of political blackmailers." I say, Let the United States Government own the grounds of whatever national park in-question, but let the various individual states receive the appropriated tax revenue directly, without being beholden to federal monies, to administer its openings, closings, and upkeep as it sees fit. By doing so we would return things to more local control. Actual needs would be addressed in a more timely way, by people who have a vested-interest as friends and neighbors. Plus, we would have no need for congressmen pushing barricades away to let war-veterans view war-memorials gain access (which I am completely supportive of) when a senseless "Government Shutdown" occurs.

—James A. Marples, Esbon.