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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Recalling Another Government Shutdown and Suspended from Twitter

I was assigned to Main State during the GREAT government shutdowns of November 1995-January 1996. This was the Clinton Administration; the President and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich got into a battle of wills over some long-forgotten issues that produced several weeks of government shutdown.

 It was a good time to be alive.

I was working in the Pol-Mil Affairs Bureau in an office that handled a mish-mash of issues, among that were two, in particular, that got us declared "essential": we had responsibility for coordinating non-combatant evacuations and (my favorite little piece of bureaucratic power) providing diplomatic clearance for foreign aircraft. Several of us in the office got declared "essential" to the national security and had to go to work, even without getting paid.

It was the most fun I ever had working at State. Halls and offices nearly empty; cafeteria shuttered; parking lot almost deserted; a tranquil silence like a comforting blanket lay over it all.

The Department never worked more efficiently.

If you got an issue that needed clearances from office X or Y, you walked over there with your little paper in hand, grabbed the first frightened, lonely person you could find, and breathlessly thundered out, "YOU have to clear this now. YOU cannot refer it to anybody else. YOU have to make a decision! YOU have to say YES or NO!"

In addition, the rules required that we be out of the building before 5 pm because of some liability issues; only in the most extreme emergency could you stay past that bewitching hour. These limited hours meant an end to long, meandering staff meetings called at 6 pm, and not starting until 645 pm. Conversations were brief and to the point. Papers followed suit.

I loved going to work, secure in the knowledge that I would eventually get paid. It also made me realize that you could get rid of anywhere between two-thirds and three-fourths of the bureaucrats and things would work just fine.

BTW, just got notified that my Twitter account has been "locked" because I challenged some BS story told by Mark Ruffalo about conversations he supposedly had in Paris in which people expressed horror over Trump. Twitter says I advocated ethnic and racial hatred . . .

This was my Tweet:

Lewis Amselem
@TheDiplomad
@MarkRuffalo I give this the coveted Five Pinocchio Award . . .

34 comments:

  1. I am so glad I never joined Twitter.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I didn't know you were that Italian fella, whutzizname - Geppetto? Twitter must be anti Geppetto, or something.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dip, I already respected you a great deal but getting locked out of Twitter? You are a rock star!

    Hollywood, land of ignorant virtue-signaling buffoons.

    Reader #7

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed. Only the best people get locked out of that particular sewer.

      Delete
    2. San Francisco.... Twitter is in San Francisco... Hollywood has *nothing* on San Francisco when it comes to a progressive's progressivism. They (not kidding) hand out wads of taxpayer cash to homeless people in SF. Then they (again, not kidding) are surprised when the vast majority of that cash winds up in the hands of drug dealers.

      Delete
    3. And equally surprised with all the health problems the homeless bring with them.

      Delete
    4. I hear their way of dealing with the problem is just bussing them to another county to deal with. That's the liberal definition of problem solving. I think Hawaii does the same thing.

      Delete
  4. A few weeks ago my wife was, as she put it, "thrown in Twitter jail" for some innocuous tweet she put out. I think it was for 12 or 24 hours.

    All it takes is a complaint or two, and some faceless, clueless millennial in Silicon Valley will click a checkbox and do that to you, regardless of the complaint's merits (although the complainants' citing the right trigger words can make it happen even quicker).

    And by the way, Sr. Diplomad, your experience at Main State helps confirm my belief that any office will be more productive with half as many people. And with three-quarters fewer bosses. Less apple-polishing for the higher-ups, less self-promoting preening for colleagues and less outright ass-covering = more work accomplished.

    ReplyDelete
  5. As a conservative woman who gets shut down every time she bumps up against the narrative, I feel your pain.

    ReplyDelete
  6. While I haven't been banned recently, a number of people have and have had it. Michael Z. Williamson, noted Baen Author was just kicked off Twitter. He gets banned regularly by Faceplant.

    I've started using Gab.ia and MeWe. They don't censor and the precious snowflakes tend to get laughed at.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. r u sure about the gab.ia url? I get a can't find message.

      Delete
    2. GAB.AI - try this instead.

      Delete
  7. "@MarkRuffalo I give this the coveted Five Pinocchio Award . . ."

    I can see why. It was necessary to exercise all my self control to avoid being triggered. Who knows what effect such inflammatory sentiments might have had on a lesser mortal.

    ReplyDelete
  8. "I advocated ethnic and racial hatred . . .": and maybe you did. To award a "coveted Five Pinocchio Award" to someone whose surname ends in a vowel may well evince deep-dyed racism.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dip, I had totally forgotten about the Great Government shutdown of 1995-96 until this weekend when I saw it mentioned in a news article. Back then, I was a consular officer in Montreal and my biggest recollection of the shutdown is that it threatened our planned trip to visit my husband's family in Toledo over Christmas (not to mention my family in Vermont just across the border). During the shutdown we were not allowed to travel out of the country, even to the US which was about 45 minutes away by car. I can't remember why exactly, but it was definitely against the rules of the shutdown. After we called my husband's dad to deliver the news, his stepmom got on the phone with an old high school friend, Congressman Marcy Kaptur, and next thing you know -- we got permission to travel to the US! :) That's all I remember about the Great Government Shutdown of 1995-96. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I belong to what I believe might be an even rarer Twitter group: those who banned themselves. I did so because I thought Twitter was a pointless waste of time. I still have my account, but only visit it about once every other month when one of their constant emails catches my eye. You know the ones: "So-and-so has just tweeted something enormously important (or earth-shaking)". Invariably, I discover the tweet I am being importuned to view was another waste of my time, and I ignore the service another month or two. My absence is made easier by my visceral dislike for Zuckerberg and his support for Obama and Hillary.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I remember that Great Shutdown fondly. The problem with the current one is timing ... shutdowns are so much nicer in October when the weather is comfortable.

    A major lesson is not that most employees aren't needed, it's that most projects and programs are a total waste. Cancel them, and reduced counts of employees will follow.

    Green Bear

    ReplyDelete
  12. Have 5 Pinocchios ever been banned on Twitter?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wasn't one of those "socially-concerned" Hollywood A-List "gals" once heard to yell, "Tell another lie, Pinocchio"?!

    Getting back on topic: if this current “shut-down” caper continues for a few more months, what will that indicate about the entire “Civil Circus”?

    Civil? Sometimes.

    “Service”? Back-handers R Us?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Zombies of the commentariat.
    You clowns are worthless sacks of shit.
    Revel in your enslavement, you sorry bastards.

    Phyuck Yu

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Be assured , Sir, it is a capital policy to read no further on encountering "zombies".

      Delete
    2. For if you doth encountereth zombies,
      Running is oft more useful than reading.
      (Shooting may also be a valid response.)

      Delete
  15. You really want to see liberal fuckery? Go to google and type american inventors.
    Notice anything?
    if you go to google and type american map you will see that google says the american govt is a liberal democracy.
    Jesus wept

    ReplyDelete
  16. Mark Ruffalo,American actor, filmmaker, and social activist

    Ahhhh! One of those!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Bridget Johnson of PJ Media has also been banned by Twitter for over a month - no reason has been given.

    Your in good company.

    The Project Veritas stuff about Twitter is eye opening on their bias.

    Gab.ai has some challenges they failed to address about defamation and working with the courts. It's too bad, they did initially look like a good alternative.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I've been shadow banned on multiple sites! I'm a uptight polite protestant for the most part. It is confusing. Twitter seems to have jumpeth the shark.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awk! A WASP
      Don't you know you should just bend over and abjectly apologize for your existence, just like Lewis is a BAD person. He's Jewish after all....

      Delete
  19. The Twits changed their rules last month, now they won't just ban you for things you write on Twitter, they'll ban for anything you've written anywhere. They've found something in this blog they don't like.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'll do you one better: I had a Twitter account when it began. I was locked out some time this past year. I didn't really care, but some local yokel decided to create a spoof account. It included my full name followed by 2. The spoofer included polls on such things as sexiest CHILD in my community. When Imreported it, I had to send a photo of my drivers license as proof of my ID. The powers that be assured me that they destroy such images after the investigation - in which they decided that there was no grounds to delete the spoof account.

    ReplyDelete