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I generally avoid getting into politics here, but the current U.S. government shutdown deserves a post.  The government has been shut down since October 1, and even though some services are continuing, many others have been abruptly stopped.  For example, national parks are closed, which is causing my friend Ben to temporarily halt his plan to visit every national park in the country on a motorcycle.

The shutdown has also caused about 800,000 nonessential government workers to be furloughed, which means they can’t work and they don’t get paid until the government reopens.  Below is a map posted by the Washington Post showing the areas with the highest percentage of federal workers, and consequently, the areas that will suffer economically the most as long as the shutdown goes on.

Top 100 Metro Areas with Government and Military Workers (via http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/business/diversify-economy/)

No matter your political persuasion, the government shutdown is a huge problem with disastrous effects across the United States.  Want to see these federal employees get back to work?  Call up your congressperson and ask them to end the shutdown now!

Next time, back to our normally scheduled non-political reporting.