Recent comments

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Some will shrug off 88,000 deaths a year

    Assuming that number is true it is less than 1/2 of 1 percent of the population. Tragic for them - yes. But are we to base national policy on that?

    PS Do you have a source for "$224 billion as a result of alcohol misuse"?

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Some will shrug off 88,000 deaths a year and an estimated annual cost to the nation's economy of $224 billion as a result of alcohol misuse as "minor," ... but others of us put a different value on those individual lives that were wasted.

    As a couple of others have noted, those of us who have loaded some mangled bodies into rubber bags, or knocked on a front door to deliver some terrible news to a parent or or spouse, tend to have a different view of "minor percentages" as they relate to alcohol-related mayhem.

    I, for one, am opposed to any advertising that seeks to promote or encourage increased use of these products in parks - or to associate them in any way with those special areas. Just my opinion, and others are clearly welcome to adhere to a different standard.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Sorry, Eric. Not going there.

    Of course you aren't because the number wouldn't support your position. Yes, people abuse alcohol. People are hurt by alcohol. But then people are hurt by many items that the vast majority of people use and enjoy responsibly every day. We don't "outlaw" those items because a few are hurt. We don't punish responsible users for the misdeeds of a few. We don't judge hundreds of millions based on the relatively few that you may have been exposed to.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Sorry, Eric. Not going there.

    I gave you my professional opinion based on close to 30 years in the business. And that's as far as I'm going. Have a nice day.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Does someone commenting here have large stockholdings in Budweiser?

    I don't know Lee. Who would you suggest? Do you have any knowledge that someone posting here as a large holding in AB? Or, is this just one of your typical unsubstantiated ad hominen attacks?

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Does someone commenting here have large stockholdings in Budweiser?

    Thank you, Dr. Runte, Ron, Rick and others. To add a little to Tahoma's tip to send the letter to the Congresscritter's state office, if you live close enough, drop the letter off in person and ask to speak to the senior staffer when you do. I've found that to be very effective -- except with Rob Bishop. I even received two personal phone calls from Orrin Hatch and one from Bob Bennett when he was in office.

    Give it a shot. You might be surprised at the results.

    In the meantime, when money speaks, it often overwhelms reason.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Mr. Dan Wenk

    First of all let me say that I think many of us who support and are concerned about the future and wellbeing of our National Parks do appreciate that you took the time to respond to the growing chorus of criticism concerning the partnership between the Park Service and Budweiser.

    However we are astounded that you have no plans to review this matter and that “As with all corporate partnerships entered into by the National Park Foundation, identifying partners for the Find Your Park public engagement and education campaign was a thoughtful process executed jointly by NPF and NPS." Surely you jest and cannot really mean this.

    You further state that "In the consideration process, Budweiser’s commitment to corporate social responsibility was very apparent. They have done ample work preserving and protecting the environment and supporting local communities, and their philanthropic focus aligned well with the current needs of the national parks. As with any partnership, the relationship will be evaluated by all involved parties at the end of the contract terms."

    I must say that if you did not realize this involvement with Budweiser was a bad idea before last week you must know it now. Just read the dozens of posts on National Parks Traveler, Facebook and other social media. The message from your public is clear. We do not like the association of the Park Service with Budweiser and their "the perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night.”slogan. This is not funny. This is really bad idea.

    Your statement exhibits hubris, arrogance and if I may say a “tin ear.” Just listen to the outrage that this proposal is generating. Do you not care? Do you not understand the damage you have done to the National Park Foundation and the National Park Service by continuing to follow this course. Just admit that this was a mistake. Stop the “partnership” and cut your losses now. The Foundation and the National Park Service made a mistake-a really bad mistake.

    Is it really worth the $2.5 million Budweiser will give to the foundation to continue? Budweiser will spend 100 times that amount just on adds celebrating its association with our parks. What does the Park Service get in return? Fleas, just fleas and that is all.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 5 days ago

    would offer a different opinion,

    Fine Rick - what percentage of the population engages in rapes, drunken driving incidents, deaths and serious impacts due to alcohol? Please document.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Not to be overly argumentative, EC, but your stating that it is a minor portion of the population doesn't make it so. Some of us who have had to sweep up after the parade, so to speak, would offer a different opinion, based on hard won experience.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 5 days ago

    According to the CDC, injuries, deaths and serious impacts on the nation's economy due to excessive alcohol use involved a lot more people than "a few."

    Not as a percent of the total. You (and Alfred) have to keep things in perspective. What percent of the population indulges in "excessive alcohol use" and then creates injuries deaths and serious impacts. It is a minor portion of the population. Should we really base policy on the bad acts of a minor portion of the population?

    "Does anyone really believe the industry doesn't expect an improved bottom line and image as a result of ads linking their products to iconic places in our parks?

    Of course not. If they weren't getting an improved bottem line I would think they would be acting contrary to the interest of their shareholders. But whether they are improving their bottom line or not is irrelevant unless you concern is successful companies rather than healthy parks.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 5 days ago

    You are painting an entire legal industry and nearly ubiquitous practice with an evil brush due to the despicable behavoir of a few.

    According to the CDC, injuries, deaths and serious impacts on the nation's economy due to excessive alcohol use involved a lot more people than "a few."

    That agency notes, "Excessive alcohol use ... accounted for approximately 88,000 deaths per year from 2006–2010, and accounted for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20–64 years. Excessive alcohol use shortened the lives of those who died by about 30 years."

    "A study found that nearly 70% of deaths due to excessive drinking involved working-age adults, and about 70% of the deaths involved males. The study also found that about 5% of the deaths involved people younger than age 21."

    "The impact of these deaths affects the nation's economy and the sustainability of families. Excessive drinking cost the United States about $224 billion ...in 2006, and about 40% of these costs were paid by government."

    Am I suggesting we go back to prohibition? Of course not, but I am saying irresponsible ads by the industry such as the one mentioned in this story make a joke of their "drink responsibly" PR efforts, and using national parks to promote products that cause this amount of harm to society is not acceptable.

    Does anyone really believe the industry doesn't expect an improved bottom line and image as a result of ads linking their products to iconic places in our parks? If so, you'll likely be a candidate for some Florida real estate that's only underwater part of the year.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Actually, EC, all of the statistics here are very compelling. An estimated one half of all automobile fatalities are due to drugs and alcohol. For young people under age 24, the primary cause of death is auto accident. So, where does that leave us in the parks? As I recall the Walt Disney movie, Pollyanna fell out of a tree. In the real world, the one in which my ranger friend lost his 18-year old son 25 years ago, the cause of death was a drunken driver who took Chad out at 65 mph. Chad never had a chance.

    I just don't like the odds, nor were those odds ever meant for our national parks. But there you have it--what the widening and straightening of park roads portend, especially with alcohol in the mix.

    The parks don't "sorely need" a thing, other than a moral compass. They are supposed to be different; they were always meant to be different. That is why we call them national parks. The Park Service no longer sees that because we no longer insist on it. Got money? Do whatever you want.

    I will tell you this as a historian. This current crew managing the parks is digging themselves a hole no historian will ever let them crawl out of. Unless, of course, the public allows it. So yes, they are counting on you, EC. Look the other way and take the check. And when another kid dies in a park (although Chad happened to die outside one), shed a tear, do a news release, and get everything back to normal as quickly as possible.

    Fate I can understand. The ancient Greeks taught us about the power of fate. But encouraging fate is something else again--like walking against the light in the middle of the street. We shouldn't want to encourage fate in our national parks, nor in any way suggest that we do. If a bear gets you, that is fate. If a drunk gets you, should we now call it being Budweisered?

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 5 days ago

    believe it or not, 75% were related to alcohol or drugs. In my case I would say it was closer to 80%.

    And what percentage of those that consumed alcohol didn't result in an incident? What percentage of those that drink don't rape? What percentage don't drive under the influence? You are painting an entire legal industry and nearly ubiquitous practice with an evil brush due to the despicable behavoir of a few. Once again its an attitude of punish/shun everyone rather than just the perpetrators.

    Do I want beer banners hanging in my parks? No but I don't want any other corporate logos either. However, I am not so pollyannish as to turn down monies the park sorely needs just because the product is alcohol.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Thank you Dr. Runte. Right on. Interesting enough, people are taking notice, received a call from the local newspaper on this issue, other friends have as well. Alfred, I would like to see your post in letter form. Thinking back on my own 37 year tenure as a Park Ranger, I was discussing this with a friend who did a workup one time on all the LE incidents s/he responded to and what was the root cause of the issue, believe it or not, 75% were related to alcohol or drugs. In my case I would say it was closer to 80%.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Smokies Backpacker - my very sincere wish is that no female relative or friend of yours experiences the very real tragedy of rape, which is such a different reality from your use of the word to describe policies you disagree with that there is really no comparison. Don't let your passion for your issues belittle by comparison what women experience in these crimes.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Not too disagree with Dr. Runte's fine post, but be aware that delays of several weeks or even months are common before letters reach Congress-critters in DC. This is a hangover from the anthrax attacks years ago. This article suggests that if you must, write to the official's office in your state:

    http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=1143878

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 6 days ago

    I enjoy venting as much as the next person, but the deeper issue still remains: This is our culture. This is what we have become. If you don't want your Park Service "selling out," how might you better--and far more effectively --get your message across?

    By now, everyone should be writing his or her representatives in the U.S. Congress. To be effective, every letter should begin with the proper heading: "The Honorable Patty Murray." Then keep it short. "Dear Senator Murray: Have you watched what is going on at the National Park Service, in conjunction with the National Park Foundation and Budweiser? Are you aware that our appointed officials are promoting alcohol consumption--using our parks? As my elected official, I take exception to that, and expect you to take exception, too. I would even support abolishing the National Park Foundation if that is the best the foundation can do. Thank you for attention to this matter. Sincerely, Your Constituent."

    Make it a letter--and send it snail mail. E-mail is answered by clerks. Letters get read--and passed along. There is nothing more powerful than paper.

    Here is another secret. Every letter INDIVIDUALLY written is considered the equivalent of 2,000 opinions. A letter-writing campaign is a waste, but yes, a letter from you--speaking from the heart--will be viewed by your senator and/or representative as the equivalent of 2,000 voters.

    That is what the Foundation and the Park Service hope you will not get around to do. They hope you will just vent on these pages, and the problem will blow away. In the past, you have spoken out against the Koch Brothers--and their alleged control of Congress--but YOU are the one in real control. You just don't know it, because they don't want you to do anything. That is what they are spending their money on, as will others be betting that their umpteen millions will be able to "buy" your vote next year.

    Prove them wrong and write your letter. And don't worry about the "reply" you get. It will be noncommittal. "Dear Mr. Smith, Thank you for writing. The senator always loves hearing from you!" No, she doesn't. She really dreads it, because now you the voter have taken a stand. I want my national parks this way, not "their" way. And I want them protecting the best of America from now on.

    Meanwhile, I just love what Dan Wenk says about the "thoughtful process executed jointly by NPF and NPS." Here again, we see an adjective, in this case "thoughful," intended to mask a decision that was anything but. People with nothing to hide never have to resort to adjectives. That Mr. Wenk is using a ton of them tells us everything we need to know. Now, write your letter and don't forget the stamp.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 6 days ago

    If rape is too offensive then you may want to cover your ears. Because that is precisely what Jarvis is doing with public lands. Whoring them out to the highest bidder. Morals are great, unless they apply to the beloved NPS. Hypocrites.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 6 days ago

    "the perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night.” You find that a ridiculous accusation? Seriously? It so blatantly encourages rape and drunk driving. Those are not serious issues to you? What are? Denying climate change? Giving kids assault weapons? Tax breaks for polluters? You are truly unbelievable and breathtakingly clueless.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 6 days ago

    "The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night.”

    Removing "no" from too many individual's vocabulary is, of course, at the root of many problems today, and that includes doing something stupid during a park trip due to the influence of alcohol. It's always sad to read about a serious incident or death in a park, when the commentary includes the words, "alcohol was believed to be a factor..."

    Perhaps AB needs to modify their "drink responsibly" pitch to "advertise responsibly."

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 6 days ago

    Speaking as a former nurse who has had to care for rape victims, I don't find calling an alcohol campaign that promises to ignore no to be 'encouraging a culture of rape' to be a 'rediculous' [sic] 'aqusation' [sic].

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 6 days ago

    "A risqué Bud Light campaign that critics said encouraged a culture of rape "

    It is hard for me to get past rediculous aqusations like this and while it may serve the purpose of getting a headline, it distracts from the real issues and for me greatly diminishes any arguments used after that.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 6 days ago

    As long as we keep electing representatives that would rather spend money on wars than parks, the park service is going to have to continue to accept grants wherever they can get them.

    I serously doubt that anyone is going to skip going to a National Park over this. There may be a bunch of yelling and screeming and appoligies from AB but in the end it probably won't affect the park much and certainly won't affect it as much as turning down the money would.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 6 days ago

    Thank you for your reporting Traveler and thank you Lee, I could not agree more. I attended a function where the issue of the Bud advertising slogan on this National Park F a oundation campaign was raised, very negative reaction to it. "PEER" laid it out very well.

  • Traveler Experiences Technical Meltdown   3 weeks 6 days ago
    Welcome back.