It's always the same, any bureaucracy under attack will cut the most obvious, public and desired of its services when the budget is under attack. It's never the paper shufflers who are asked to cut back but the library hours that are reduced. Or the parks are closed rather than the diversity advisers getting it in the neck. So it is with this latest shutdown of the US Govt.

NATIONAL PARKS: National parks have been closed to new visitors, and park roads, concessions and other facilities are now being closed. Overnight visitors have been given two days to depart. This will mean a loss of 750,000 daily visitors and an economic loss to gateway communities of as much as $30 million for each day parks are shut, according to the non-profit National Parks Conservation Association.

That might all seem logical enough. The non-essential bits of the government are being closed down and while parks are nice they're not really essential. Except that's not what they actually mean by "concessions". This is what they do mean:

The US Forest Service, under pressure apparently from the White House, has reversed both its historical precedent as well as its position yesterday and will close over 1000 public parks and campgrounds that are operated by private companies without using one dime of public money. Why does the fact that our landlord the US Forest Service is going on an unpaid vacation mean that tenants of theirs have to close up shop too? We have no idea.

A concession is where a private company operates the park, the Forest Service being merely the landlord. And as you might expect, the money flows from the concessionaire to the Forest Service, not the other way around.

So, in order to make the government shutdown more painful to the populace the US Government is cutting its own revenue by insisting that private businesses which pay it rent must close down.

I can never remember whether we're supposed to flog bureaucrats before or after we hang them.