A View From The Overlook: The Agenda

One of our readers hinted darkly that there was an “Agenda” to A View From the Overlook.

Well, yes. Astute of you to notice!

Briefly, the agenda is this: Our political party, the National Progressives, plan to spread what some of you call “Socialism” and “Big Government” (and what our party founder would call “common sense”) throughout the land.

As our party founder said in a memorable speech in Kansas: “The essence for any struggle for healthy liberty has always been, and must always be, to take from some one man or class of men, the right to enjoy power, wealth, position, or immunity which is not earned by service to his or their fellows.”

This can be done by simply raising taxes on this class of citizens. As for the “dangers” of Big Government, our Founder remarked, “In order to deal with an 80 billion dollar industry, you need an 800 billion dollar federal government.”

A Government To Help The Private Sector

Due to the increasing complexities of dealing with climate change and looming energy shortages caused by an (eventual) sharp decline in the availability of fossil fuels, we need a government large enough and rich enough to help the private sector finance substitutes.

We should start working on that eventuality now. This will require government subsidies until these new industries are viable. Naturally, as no sane person gets sick as a hobby or pastime, we National Progressives look forward to single-payer universal medical care for all, with no exceptions. The Single Payer would of course, be the federal government.

We noticed, as you did, that in the recent election the candidates spent a stupefying amount of money on an irritating campaign that eventually caused a 4-year-old girl to burst into tears and annoyed the hell out of the rest of us. The National Progressive Party will insist on a federal funding of elections or the creation of a private trust fund to which all citizens can donate and from which all candidates can draw upon on an equal basis.

The National Progressive Party believes in the expansion of the system of National Parks and Wildlife Refuges as well the continued use of the Antiquities Act of 1906 to establish National Monuments on federal land wherever justified by independent study to protect significant areas of natural or human history in the public domain.

The National Progressive Party believes that the Executive Office must retain its ability to move quickly and decisively to preserve endangered ecosystems, history, or prehistory on federal land. The National Progressive Party believes that the highest use of National Forest and Bureau of Land Management land to be the preservation of biodiversity and for the recreation and enjoyment of the American people, coupled with the need to manage the forests as a carbon sink to mitigate global warming.

The extractive needs of ranchers and corporations will be considered on a case-by-case basis dependent upon commitment to environmental restoration. No “sweetheart” deals will be permitted.

As For Those Other Countries

In the matter of foreign affairs, the National Progressive Party believes we should skip the next war. That is, if we are invited, we should not attend. Wars are real budget busters as we found out in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rather than expensive wars, we should seek to eliminate objectionable individuals rather than whole countries or cultures. We can do this with a cost-effective program of drones and/or Special Forces.

Now, we admit that some of the National Progressive Party’s platform may seem somewhat radical, but difficult times call for difficult measures. Indeed, the beloved founder of our party was badly wounded in an assassination attempt. Asked how he felt, he stoutly replied, “I’m fit as a bull moose”!

This statement led to our colloquial name, the Bull Moose Party. Yes, neighbors, we are talking about the election of 1912 and that old radical, Theodore Roosevelt and his pinko ideas. He lost of course. Third parties don’t do well in the U.S., but he didn’t do badly either; Republican Taft got 3,486,342, Bull Moose Roosevelt 4,122,721, Democrat Wilson, 6,296,28, and Socialist Debs got 901,551.

Alternate Text
Do we need the Bull Moose again?

Did the Bull Moose Party accomplish anything besides putting Woodrow Wilson in the White House?

Well, yes it did; the 1912 platform of the Bull Moose, or National Progressive Party, looks like a litany of modern-day liberal successes. One-hundred years ago, Theodore Roosevelt was asking for:

* Social Security pension program (passed in 1935)

* A minimum wage for women (passed for everyone in 1947)

* The 8-hour work day (passed in 1937; anything more is overtime)

* A federal securities commission (passed in 1933)

* Workmen’s compensation for injuries (passed 1917)

* An inheritance tax (passed 1916, later “reformed”)

* A federal income tax (16th amendment, 1913)

* Women’s suffrage (19th amendment, 1920)

* Direct election of senators (17th amendment, 1913)

* The adoption of the Recall, Referendum, and Initiative, (No)

* Strict limits on and disclosure of campaign contributions (Not bloody likely)

* Registration of lobbyists (passed 1946; ineffective)

* A federal National Health Service (Still a work in progress)

Some Updating Is Needed

Now, we modern Bull Moose Party members have taken some literary and even historical license with Theodore Roosevelt’s Progressive ideas:

First, we have adjusted for inflation his quote about needing “An 8 billion dollar federal government to deal with a one billion industry.” He was referring to John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company and its possible influence on regulation.

As for peace and international affairs, we have also done some adjusting. Having Roosevelt in the Executive Office was a bit like having Ernest Hemingway as president; everything had to be done with brio and machismo. Roosevelt did win the Nobel Peace Prize for ending the Russo Japanese War, but he was bellicose by nature.

Although the 1912 Bull Moose platform called for eventual naval disarmament, it also called for the building of two battleships a year, a contradiction that apparently didn’t bother Theodore.

Battleships were the cutting edge in armaments in 1912, but not anymore. Therefore, we have updated the idea of war to the less expensive and much less expansive use to of drones and Special Force Commandos to take out those our president finds undesirable.

We believe Roosevelt would approve (Remember “Perdicaris alive or Rasouli dead!”)

“But,” you ask, “Isn’t that a bit like, well, assassination?”

Well yes it is, neighbor, and while we are sure the Rough Rider could have handled it, this remains one of the disturbing features of the Obama administration. We modern National Progressives would solve this moral quandary by requiring a trial in absentia for anyone before being targeted, with the accused being duly informed that he was guest of honor at an explosion.

The accused could then save himself some trouble by surrendering to the nearest American consulate for transport to the U.S. for trial. It would be worth his consideration as the U.S. would agree to a maximum sentence of life without possibility of parole. (Our tendency to execute people shocks our more fastidious allies)

So, yes, we National Progressives have an Agenda. We hope to be a source of ideas and guidance to the Republicans and Democrats. Wish us well!


Briefly, the agenda is this: Our political party, the National Progressives, plan to spread what some of you call “Socialism” and “Big Government” (and what our party founder would call “common sense”) throughout the land.

Because it been so successful elsewhere? I'll take the gift of our founding fathers, which created the greatest and wealthiest country on Earth, over the course of your "Founder" any time.

Excellent, PJ.

And thank you, Anonymous, for apparently taking Rick's suggestion and inventing an identifiable handle for yourself a day or two ago. That will make it less frustrating in trying to talk sense to someone we can now at least sort out from the rest of the background noise.

D'ya suppose that any of Teddy's DNA is stored anywhere. Maybe he could be resurrected. This nation needs some effective leadership, and if nothing, someone like him might at least get people to thinking for a change.

But then again, we do have PJ. Okay, PJ for President. I'll be first to pledge to his election coffers. Will $25 help? (I'm a normal American. I can't afford to buy any politicians like the big guys do.)

for apparently taking Rick's suggestion and inventing an identifiable handle

Had too. It appears they have gotten rid of anon posting. But then, I never wanted to post anon. Was forced to because the powers that be didn't like what I said (even though it didn't violate the TOS) and blacklisted me.

It also appears that they aren't screening the messages anymore. I thank them that for that. I always felt it was a conflict for the same person to be posting and then screening responses.

Will you answer two questions? First, can you give us some idea of those "Powers That Be" are? Second, what is a TOS?

Common sense has never been successful anywhere.

"Powers that be" are the ones moderating the board.

TOS is Terms of Service - i.e the rules.

Common sense has never been successful because its not very common.

Common sense has never been successful because its not very common.

And hence, not common sense, apparently.

For the record, founding fathers, you were not blacklisted. You know that, and we have the email trail to prove it.

Well - when I try to log in with my previous name I get "The username (username) has not been activated or is blocked. Since we know it was once activated, it must now be blocked. Is there a distinction you would like to make between "blocked" and "blacklisted"?

But, I would rather not fight over this. I merely wanted to let the other posters know that my posting as "anon" wasn't because I was afraid to standup to my comments (as implied by RB). I think the system as it is working now is transparent and fair.

Folks without accounts need not use "anonymous" as their handles; they are more than welcome to rely on their real names. We do monitor comments, but, as the site clearly points out, the Traveler is not a catchall for viewpoints and discussions that fall outside of the parks or the post at hand.

We have in the past either removed or blocked comments (both from anonymous posters and those with accounts) that either were not germane or pushed the limits of either decency or simply to agitate. And, despite the title of this particular post, we do not have a political agenda other than to support the parks, and have removed or deleted comments from both sides of the political spectrum and even stopped accepting comments to particular posts where the conversation strayed too far afield.

The Traveler was not created with the intention of being a firebrand for political debate, but rather to explore the wonders of the National Park System and to shed light on the management issues and decisions affecting the system. We appreciate there are times when politics can't be ignored, but in those cases we strive to keep things civil and on topic.

Maybe you do not monitor comments but you certainly do not monitor articles to be posted either. You and PJ have a special relationship or something? He is allowed to post an entire article about his political party, with oh yeah, one little paragragh mentioning the parks? You are bias and slipshod, for letting this site become your bud's political soapbox, Kurt. There have been other writers who surely received pro and con comments: were they allowed to post an entire article on their beliefs, regardless of the original subject? I hope enough of us complain, no matter their political pursuasion, about this totally inappropriate article on this site. Unbelievable!

PJ, great article! I Love the Bull Moose Platform and yes, we need the Bull Moose again.

Unfortunately, there is no way to completely separate parks from politics. Reality is that our parks will always be either supported or threatened by one side or another. I see NPT as one avenue of support for our parks. When someone like PJ writes something that is political, there is a reason. It may serve -- depending upon the reader -- to either upset someone whose political agenda slants one way, or it may serve as information to allow someone else to do some thinking and perhaps take a stand for or against that same agenda. Better yet, it may cause a reader to seek more information to allow them to make a wise decision as to which side of an issue they want to take. After that, they may enter the discussion informed and prepared to present their opinions. Others, then, are free to agree or disagree. Ideas and spirited discussion have a purifying effect, much like water flowing in a stream. Without a free exchange of ideas from all sides, we'd be living in an algae choked swamp.

It's part of the genius of America. It's called Freedom of Speech. It may become a bit heated at times, but that's not necessarily bad. Perhaps it's an indication that people are being challenged to actually think.

As a result, the pendulum that is America is free to swing back and forth. Sometimes it may swing too far to one side or the other, but in the end it is what's in the middle of the swing that usually survives. The recent election is an example of that. It may not be perfect, but I challenge anyone to provide a better way that will work as well as what has been built upon the foundation of our Constitution.

I can't speak for Kurt, but I have a very strong feeling that if someone wishes to prepare a well-written rebuttal to anything that appears here, it will find a place in the Traveler as a featured article.

And, as you try to tally up a grand number of complaints about PJ, put me in the column of enjoying most everything he writes. I'd love to see a Bull Moose party start up again.

"As a result, the pendulum that is America is free to swing back and forth. Sometimes it may swing too far to one side or the other, but in the end it is what's in the middle of the swing that usually survives. The recent election is an example of that. It may not be perfect, but I challenge anyone to provide a better way that will work as well as what has been built upon the foundation of our Constitution."

"Challenge anyone to provide a better way," is, in particular, the issue I took exception to, Lee. I'd say the way was better a short few years ago in the way elections were executed. With just the way the press handled itself with it's unashamed support for the incumbent to the point of fabricating and selective reporting for the incumbent. So much has been a direct assault on the Constitution and the individual's freedom for the sake of the "greater good" rhetoric. Very incremental and VERY DANGEROUSLY Corrupting, I believe.

With just the way the press handled itself with it's unashamed support for the incumbent to the point of fabricating and selective reporting for the incumbent.

Unfortunately, this has always happened in campaigns. Eventually, one candidate or the other loses the "press primary."

Respectfully disagree, Justinh. I would venture there has never been a candidate so fawned over to the point of having no seams between reporters and campaign committees. Quite an accomplishment Just not arguable.

Just how favorably the media breaks for a candidate isn't quite my point, only that it does inevitably break for one or the other.

I don't get the point. The popular candidate won the popular vote. I didn't notice the media "fawning over" him; that is itself a loaded partisan phrase. Other than on Fox News, mostly the media quoted accurately the shifting words of the less popular guy, and quoting him accurately led to him being less popular, and ending up with less popular vote.

If the media reflecting that the more popular guy is more popular is 'fawning', sorry 'bout that. Even Paul Ryan said that the President won fair & square [his words]. It is time to let the petulance fade, and start working together to improve our nation. And, back on topic, the parks too.

Where do I get my Bull Moose Party pin?

Rick - I don't know what world you live in. Or do you think getting a "thrill up your leg" is a balanced assessment?

Rick B, working together has never been the "popular one's" plan. "To fundementally change the US" and he's doing just that in and outside the constitution (with the fawning, corrupted press and anyone else he can use). Him and Putin are Bud's it would appear but yes, lets get back to Parks. If the gov't would just give the parks all the money to the Parks instead of every country in the world that wishes us ill. Hope it's not to inflamatory (PC you know) but I am getting on and getting some backcountry relief. You crack me up.


For what it's worth, Pew Study says press was negative on both candidates.


Both Obama and Romney received overwhelmingly negative treatment in the press over the general election, according to Pew. From Aug. 27 to Oct. 21, a period that encompassed both conventions and three out of four debates, just 19 percent of stories about Obama were "favorable" in tone versus 30 percent that were "unfavorable. For Romney the ratio was 15 percent favorable to 38 percent unfavorable.

Where do I get my Bull Moose Party pin?

Ebay. I gave one as a wedding gift to a close friend, who is a Roosevelt Republican.

The thrill up my leg comment was from Chris Matthews, and I'd hardly call him a member of the main stream media. Like Rush and a few others, Chris is an admitted partisan -- on the other side of the coin.

It's important to remember that all of us, before reaching and conclusions, need to carefully study. We need to read and listen to comments, examine data (hopefully from non-partisan sources), and take with a large grain of salt anything anyone tries to tell us unless we examine it very carefully. We should not allow sound bites and TV or radio commercials sway our thinking without making a sincere effort to look behind their smokescreens.

Lee, about the best post I've seen you post. Beyond the symbolism, pandering and most all words spoken looking at results, actions. Saying one thing while doing just the opposite. Accuse the opponent of something they're doing (on steroids). Words don't mean anything. Everything is spun in the realm of emotion. No wonder everyone (it seems) is on Zoloft or such. I find these parks and wild places are my favorite place of worship. Don't worship the Parks themselves but their creator. Always feel restored at some point. Kinda fun!