Recent comments

  • National Park Service Signs Off on Decision Not To Allow Bombing of Avalanche Chutes in Glacier National Park   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Hats off to Supt. Cartwright & staff for not rolling over in response to commercial (and probably political) pressure as has too often been the case. Permitting these compromise permanent structures hardly seems "overboard".

  • Election 2008: Fearless Forecasts, Foregone Conclusions, and Prescient Prognostications   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I am, by nature, an optimist. I think the election means that the new administration will be represented by people who are not relentlessly anti-environment. That does not mean that I think that money will fall out of the sky and land in the budget of the NPS. It does mean, however, that superintendents will be able to count on the support of staffers in the Interior Department. There will, I believe, be greater confidence in the points of view of NPS employees. There will be better working relationships between career employees and political appointees. I think there will be greater reliance on the results of sound science and research upon which to base planning and management decisions and fewer attempts to "doctor" these results to support narrow partian interests. I also believe that the comments of the public that accompany most environmental and cultural planning processes will not be ignored or dismissed as they often have been in the recent past.

    I am hoping that transparency will be the hallmark of the new adminstration. I am tired of the secrecy, the late Friday afternoon press releases announcing major decisions, and the catering to special interests that seemed to be the order of the day at the DOI. I am hoping that I don't have to read anymore Inspector General reports
    on scandals related to oil and gas royalties or influence peddling at the highest levels of the Department. As a former DOI (NPS) employee, those stories embarrassed me. We don't need any more of this kind of abuse of the public trust.

    I was impressed by the dignity of the remaks by Senator McCain in his concession speech on Tuesday evening. As he urged, I hope that we can determine what the highest priorities are for the next couple years and work together to address the issues we face. If, in the process, we decide that some chronic NPS issues must remain unaddressed until later, we can at least be assured that the priorites were chosen based on urgency, not on narrow partisanship.

    Rick Smith

  • Plague Kills Many Prairie Dogs and Black-Footed Ferrets in Grasslands Near Badlands National Park   5 years 23 weeks ago

    what is being done to try to protect it?

  • Poets, Ports and Politics – The Long Battle for a New Kind of Park   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Current Superintendent Costa Dillon has been giving talks throughout Northwest Indiana and the Chicago area about the park's tremendous challenges to adapt to the growing industry, increasing population base and the development that goes along with it. He's hoping to re-engage a new set of dedicated individuals to take over for the groups that helped establish the park. A main goal should be to have the growing population take pride in the park again, especially in the Chicago area since it's so easily accessible by public transit, and to capitalize on it being a "national" park for everyone to enjoy. There is clearly a lot of work cut out for Costa and the park so that the next 42 years continue to keep the wonderful natural resource and historic sites intact.

  • National Park Service Signs Off on Decision Not To Allow Bombing of Avalanche Chutes in Glacier National Park   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Was the use of explosives that widespread? Was the railroad firing hundreds of rounds, or 1 or 2 in strategic places? How was it determined that wildlife were endangered? In today’s economy it would appear especially important not to hinder commerce on such an essential link, or is this more bureaucracy, people protecting their government jobs by being an overboard environmentalist?

  • Election 2008: Fearless Forecasts, Foregone Conclusions, and Prescient Prognostications   5 years 23 weeks ago

    A public works bill could spell economic disaster. "Hoover admitted that his public works program, which had nearly doubled Federal construction since the start of the depression, had failed. It was very expensive, costing over $1200 per family aided..." A new public works could have terrible effects on public confidence and could lead to further weakening of bank credit. Money printed out of thin air would increase inflation and the national deficit. Wages must fall in proportion to the decline of commodity prices, in order to eliminate unemployment. Government employment at existing high wage rates would perpetuate the unemployment problem.

    It wasn't public works that got us out of the Depression. In fact, public works may have prolonged the Depression.

    http://www.mises.org/rothbard/agd/chapter11.asp

  • Election 2008: Fearless Forecasts, Foregone Conclusions, and Prescient Prognostications   5 years 23 weeks ago

    An obvious method to support the economy in form of small and mid-size businesses is investing in infrastructure. Highways, bridges, and the like. In this the new administration might look at the New Deal. Working on the backlog of infrastructure maintenance in the parks might become a part of a larger program. It could work all over the country and involve almost exclusively small and mid-size building businesses. And it would be a relatively cheap but highly symbolic strategy if the new president wishes to portrait himself and his politics as "green".

  • Election 2008: Fearless Forecasts, Foregone Conclusions, and Prescient Prognostications   5 years 23 weeks ago

    A great question.... Here's a few of my guesses!

    1. Science will no longer be disrespected.
    2. Some sort of public works bill will be passed to put people to work and to rebuild public infrastructure in parks and forests.
    3. The Endangered Species Act will be restored to its original scope... at least.
    4. The Secretary of the Interior will actually be an environmentally concerned person!

    "There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; one must take it because it is right. ......Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Election 2008: Fearless Forecasts, Foregone Conclusions, and Prescient Prognostications   5 years 23 weeks ago

    OK; it’s your turn. Tell us what you think the election results mean for the national parks

    I don't think they mean too much. The new administration and Congress are going to be focused on the financial meltdown, and national parks won't even been the tiniest blip on their radar. As the national debt balloons and the dollar depreciates, look for national parks to be overlooked by the federal government.

  • Bush Administration Poised to Sell Oil and Gas Leases Around Dinosaur National Monument, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Beamis and Lone Hiker have touched on the idea of the Tragedy of the Commons:

    The metaphor illustrates the argument that free access and unrestricted demand for a finite resource ultimately dooms the resource through over-exploitation. This occurs because the benefits of exploitation accrue to individuals or groups, each of whom is motivated to maximize use of the resource to the point in which they become reliant on it, while the costs of the exploitation are borne by all those to whom the resource is available (which may be a wider class of individuals than those who are exploiting it). This, in turn, causes demand for the resource to increase, which causes the problem to snowball to the point that the resource is exhausted. The rate at which exhaustion of the resource is realized depends primarily on three factors: the number of users wanting to consume the commons, the consumptiveness of theirs uses, and the relative robustness of the commons.

    For this reason, I also do not believe the government should own "such vast acreages". I believe we have reached the point where non-government organizations can better protect "the commons".

  • Bush Administration Poised to Sell Oil and Gas Leases Around Dinosaur National Monument, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Jim, I wish I could share your notion that as a nation, we're smarter than that, but the evidence points dramatically to the contrary. We as a nation have been and still are consistently seeking the path of least resistance, aka, the easy way out of virtually every inconvenient truth our lifestyle "demands". If even a temporary, small-scale pool of whatever were found, be it precious metals or other minerals, oil and its accompanying natural gas reserve, or basically anything else you can think of (expect timber), we as a nation would conveniently turn a blind eye, bite the bullet and not only allow but encourage further exploration and exploitation of the land on which we live. Only after the fact would we acknowledge the wisdom in the words from previous generations regarding nuclear meltdown ("and they struggled to protect Her from them, only to be confused by the magnitude of the fury in the final hours") and the loss of our precious open spaces as noted in the infamous 60's mantra ("Don't is always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone"), and of course by then, once the horse has left the barn as they say........

    Mismanagement of the public trust by government officials is catching us by surprise? PLEASE tell me you're kidding. Funny how the reality of the situation dictates that the public has no real, substantive say in how "our" holdings are managed. What's the point in having "public" lands anyway? As a guise to appease the masses? More accurately, they were initiated by our Washington dictators over the years as investments AGAINST public development, which on the other side of the coin equates to insurance policies in favor of PRIVATE "development", in any manner deemed fit by our "trust" managers. Some system we got, eh?

    And Rachael, little in nature is indeed more sensitive than the cryptobiotic soils that are the ONLY form of "top soil" available in wide tracts of the western US, and in particular the desert regions throughout large portions of Nevada, Arizona, California, Texas, New Mexico and Utah. While most of the nation enjoys a thick, nutrient-rich layer of "dirt" for planting crops, grasses, and which support the various flora and fauna that we have come to enjoy throughout the nation, without these microscopically thin (well, almost anyway, especially in comparison to the top soils in most of the nation, which was measured in feet until modern commercial development) layers of ground cover, there is simply nothing to encourage and support germination of plant seeds, which help hold the soils in place with their root systems, which then serve to support various forms of wildlife as sources for food, shelter, etc. which in turn support ANOTHER layer of wildlife, and another, and another.........that's why what used to be commonly referred to as the food chain or pyramid is more accurately described as the food WEB. Without the most insignificant of member, the entire system begins to unravel. So the possible destruction of these soils it is indeed QUITE a sensitive issue that MUST be considered as part of the overall EIS. The replenishment of these soils, IF it happens at all, since they proliferate under a very narrow band of conditions, is measured in CENTURIES. We would effectively be sterilizing the proposed lands for longer than we can possibly imagine. In my view, the natural resource "benefits" derived from simple exploration; just considering those projects that turn out to be totally fruitless in their yield, simply aren't worth the long-term ramifications to the local landscape. The ARE other locales that can and should be prioritized for rape, pillage, plunder and profiteering with far lesser cost to the overall ecosystem, if simple RPP&P your intended goal in the first place.

  • Bush Administration Poised to Sell Oil and Gas Leases Around Dinosaur National Monument, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks   5 years 23 weeks ago

    The original intent of the Federal government's ownership of all of this land was to develop it for productive use. The General Mining Act of 1872 still guides much of the thinking towards these lands and will continue to for the foreseeable future. If you read your history you'll find that once the railroads and other connected special interests were given their slice of lucrative right of ways and choice parcels for commercial development the rest was to be held for future exploitation as the need arose. Since then gold, uranium, vanadium, natural gas, oil and other treasures have been extracted for great profit and often at a steep environmental cost with a minimum of interference from the owners of the land. This mode of operation will not change anytime soon. The symbiosis between industrial extraction businesses and government land bureaucrats is over a century old and will not readily bend to the outraged sensibilities of nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, no matter who's in the White House or Congress.

    I personally don't believe the government should own such vast acreage, whether it be an Air Force base, testing site or sage covered range land. I know it is anathema to most who read this site but private ownership is a more responsible way to go when dealing with issues of land use and development. The government has done a very poor job of protecting its own holdings and has maintained a steadfast policy of allowing maximum exploitation, especially on BLM administered lands. Why would anyone trust them to do otherwise in the future?

    The hunt is on for more domestic supplies of oil and gas, so the outrage of a rabble of hikers, photographers and mountain bikers over the despoiling of the landscape will be of no paramount importance to the powers that be. They may decide to throw a few bones your way but fundamentally this is how they conduct their business.

    If there are exploitable resources near Dinosaur National Monument expect to see extractive activity. That's what the government intends to do with this land. So get used to it. I think the readers of this site are in the minority when it comes to this issue and will find little to no interest in stopping domestic drilling from the poobahs on the Potomac. As long as they own the land this is what you can expect.

  • Bush Administration Poised to Sell Oil and Gas Leases Around Dinosaur National Monument, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Wayne C. makes some excellent points.

    Re: the comment by Beamis: "With a record like this what's a few extra oil leases to an outfit with these kinds of morals and environmental ethics?" That's the point, Beamis - with a record like that, a different branch of our government shouldn't be in such a headlong rush to hand over even more public land under a use it up and throw it away mentality – and what we're talking about are multiple thousands of oil leases.

    For those who feel the value of those public lands is determined by the potential oil and gas that can be pumped out of them, I'd point out that the taxpayers are getting a raw deal in the current headlong rush to lease them long before they can be developed. Those leases will almost certainly command a higher price in the future, and it's simply bad business to give them away at today's prices.

    I'd suggest that one indicator of an intelligent society is its ability to recognize that the intrinsic value of every acre on the planet is not equal, and to make thoughtful decisions about what might be the highest and best use long-term use for any given location.

    Under that approach, some of those Nigerian coastal wetlands and Venezuelan lake basins mentioned by Beamis certainly deserve the same consideration for protection as the lands mentioned by Kurt in this article. Yes, we could turn Yellowstone into a giant geothermal power plant, but I still hold out hope that as a nation, we're smarter than that.

  • Bush Administration Poised to Sell Oil and Gas Leases Around Dinosaur National Monument, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Before we get too carried away with the U.S. Government's supposed beneficence in preserving the environment, it would be instructive to remember that this is the same outfit that knowingly and deliberately detonated 126 above ground nuclear explosions that sentenced an untold number of innocent Americans to slow and painful death from cancer and leukemia as well as succeeding generations with birth defects and mental retardation. To this very day they officially deny any wrongdoing whatsoever.

    U.S. military bases, contracted nuclear labs and research facilities are some of the most polluted places in the nation and are totally exempt from all EPA regulations, laws and oversight. The secrecy surrounding Area 51 in Nevada has less to do with aliens who might be in residence and more to do with the alleged burning of PCB's and other highly toxic substances that would never be allowed by a private company or citizen.

    Do as I say, not as I do.

    For the latest chapter in environmental stewardship read about the burn pit at Balad Air Base in Iraq: http://snipurl.com/55tt9. It'll curl your toes.

    With a record like this what's a few extra oil leases to an outfit with these kinds of morals and environmental ethics?

  • Bush Administration Poised to Sell Oil and Gas Leases Around Dinosaur National Monument, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks   5 years 23 weeks ago

    1) Why is it in our national interest to keep giving out drilling permits when ones that have already been given out are not acted on? Oil companies, you have permits now, use them! When you run out of permits come talk to us.

    2) As a matter of national security, would we not be more prudent to make sure that the reserves in this country are some of the last to come out of the ground? Or does it make sense to you to deplete our reserves at home so that we can go hat in hand to the Arabs or Russians and ask them for a cup of oil.

    3) How 'bout a little investment in alternatives? I'm no fan of wind power (good god those things are an eyesore) but everyone has a roof just itching for grid-connected solar power. There is some research afoot that may increase the efficiency from being one of the most expensive forms of electricity to one of the cheapest (as in instead of one photon releasing one electron make it two electrons. Do that and you go from most expensive to cheapest and that may be just the start....). Then there is nuclear power. France seems to do very well with fission but I guess they never had the oil companies funding nuclear protesters. With some serious commitment (along the lines of the Manhattan or Apollo Projects we could probably make a go of fusion.......

    I just wish people would start understanding that sub $2.00 gasoline is not a god given right. Also, there is no natural law that says the only way we can enjoy our current standard of living is buy burning more and more oil. My desire and belief is that we can move to better/ cleaner/ cheaper forms of energy.

    (BTW, next time you're in the mall parking lot take a look at all the Expeditions, Excursions, Suburbans, Escalades etc carrying a single passenger and a couple of shopping bags. Are we supposed to rape the country to support that?)

  • Bush Administration Poised to Sell Oil and Gas Leases Around Dinosaur National Monument, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Pointing fingers is a poor game. Indeed, personal responsibility does play a big role in everyday society, whether it's related to energy consumption or some other issue.

    But I don't see this is as simply pointing a finger at government and asking for a solution, a panacea for our collective woes. As you point out, Frank, everyone needs to chip in. And if you believe the latest fuel consumption numbers, Americans are cutting back.

    At the same time, businesses are in business to *GASP* make money. And as the latest quarterly reports indicate, some, such as Exxon/Mobile, are doing very, very, very well, thankyouverymuch.

    Is it government's role to rein-in those profits? No. But I don't think the unfettered free market is going to take good care of our natural resources, either.

    That's the skeptic in me. I could very well be wrong. There are many companies that do good deeds. But someone has to be the watchdog, of both corporate America and the government, (whether that's federal, state or local government). When there's already an abundance of exploration leases out there that are not being acted upon, I think it's perfectly legitimate to ask why the Bush administration wants more on the market.

  • Bush Administration Poised to Sell Oil and Gas Leases Around Dinosaur National Monument, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Sorry to butt in. Here's another question:

    Should people who are concerned about our consumption of foreign oil (the vast majority of it is from Canada and Mexico) drive from Portland to Crater Lake and back (about 500 miles RT) for a weekend visit?

    We point the finger at the government and say, "Hey! You're the government! Solve this problem!" when the solution is really in our own hands. If we don't like consuming foreign oil, then we as individuals should attempt to limit our consumption. But as Beamis intimates, it is much easier to demand a solution from a coercive government than it is to change our individual life styles.

    Solutions to our energy "crisis" will occur on the free market once we take responsibility for our own actions.

  • National Park Quiz 9: The American Revolution   5 years 23 weeks ago

    You are somewhat correct. The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought on Breed's Hill, not on Bunker's Hill. The only ones who knew the difference between the hill names were the residence of Charlestown at that time. Most of the men fighting weren't even from there. Even on some of the earliest British maps from the 1770s, it is recorded as bunker hill where the battle would be fought and breeds hill will the church is now. So even the British thought that's what it was called. So today the Freedom Trail goes to both Breed's Hill and Bunker Hill. Even though it is officially Breed's Hill, it is still commonly known by many since as early as the 1830's or the people who had fought there...as Bunker Hill.

    Ed: There is no reference to Breed's Hill or Bunker Hill in Quiz #9, thanks to a revision made last July after Mookie pointed out a critical error. The point Jonathan makes here -- that the Freedom Trail leads to both Bunker Hill and Breed's Hill -- relates to this comment that Mookie posted on July 2:

    The Freedom Trail in Boston does not actually go to Bunker Hill. It starts (ends) at Bunker Hill Monument, but that is actually on Breed's Hill, where most of the fighting of the Battle of Bunker Hill took place.

  • Bush Administration Poised to Sell Oil and Gas Leases Around Dinosaur National Monument, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Beamis, please tell me you don't have one of those "When We're Done With the Earth, We'll Mine the Moon" bumper stickers on your Hummer.

    Why are so many infatuated with the "drill, baby, drill" anywhere and everywhere mentality? This isn't about "out of sight, out of mind." This is about conserving resources (both scenic and natural) for future generations, rather than hogging them all ourselves and leaving the mess and consequences for others (ie our kids, and their kids, and their kids, etc) to cope with.

    This is about moving away from carbon fuels and into alternative fuels. And yes, I realize that alternative fuels aren't anywhere near the point of development where society can fully rely on them and do away with fossil fuels to keep everything neat and tidy. And yet, I don't think we're that far away, either.... if we have the mindset.

    Let me pose three quick and easy questions:

    1. Are you concerned about our nation's energy problems?

    2. Do you worry that our reliance on foreign energy poses a national security problem?

    3. Do you worry at all about climate change?

    If you answered "yes" to any one of those three, there's one solution that addresses that one answer, as well as the other two. And that answer is to develop alternative energy sources here at home. The longer folks say that likelihood is a fairy tale, the deeper the hole will be that we dig for this country and our future generations.

  • Bush Administration Poised to Sell Oil and Gas Leases Around Dinosaur National Monument, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Rachel----I don't think you understand the mindset at work here. The people who drive their fossil fueled vehicles to recreate in these western national parks, with their very expensive aluminum framed (we won't go into the unpleasant details of bauxite mining just yet) bikes safely tethered to a fashionable rack, are quite content to fuel their excursions with oil extracted from somewhere far, far from the "pristine" wildness they have come to commune with. They won't come right out and say it but the reality of it is this: out of sight, out of mind.

    I mean come on, there's still lots of Nigerian coastal wetlands and Venezuelan lake basins that can be readily raped first. The Arabian Peninsula and coastal Mexican waters are fine and dandy places for their leisure time oil to be extracted from, just so long as their favorite playground areas won't be marred by such an unsightly scene of debauchery like, GASP, oil exploration. They seem to much prefer consuming energy derived from the swamps of Louisiana and the steamy reaches of the lower Euphrates than the delicate "wildlands" of the Colorado Plateau.

    God forbid that it should gusheth forth near one of these sacred playgrounds. It might just ruin an otherwise perfect weekend for these urban recreationists who just burned 200 miles worth of fuel to get there. Let's not go and bum 'em out.

  • Bush Administration Poised to Sell Oil and Gas Leases Around Dinosaur National Monument, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I guess I use "sensitive" because I've been out in the landscape and seen it first-hand, Rachel.

    Utah's arid climate makes it very hard for the soils to recover from trampling; access roads, while temporary to reach drill pads, create scars that last for decades. And if you've been to Vernal or Price lately, you know about all the oil-field traffic that can stir up enormous clouds of dust, which in turn can settle onto the rock art and obscure it. And then there are the various brines they use to keep down the dust, brines that also can damage rock art as well as vegetation.

    And let's not forget the seismic thumper trucks that are used at times in exploration. They're certainly not innocuous.

    Oh, and if you think there would be "ZERO effect" on the neighboring parks, I heartily recommend you make a trip to the Jonah Field, a natural gas development near Pinedale, Wyoming. Look at the air pollution that hovers over the field, listen to the concerns from the north in Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks about air pollution from this energy development.

    Or you could read what the Wyoming locals -- hunters, conservationists, residents, recreationalists -- have to say about the problems with energy developments. Here's a link to one such story.

    Heck, I didn't even mention the possible impacts to wildlife.

    Now, don't misunderstand. I'm not suggesting we pull the plug on energy exploration. But when there are thousands of leases that haven't yet been drilled this seems like pointless overkill.

  • Bush Administration Poised to Sell Oil and Gas Leases Around Dinosaur National Monument, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Why do you say it is "sensitive?" A VERY tired, worn out argument.
    With today's technology, there will be ZERO effect on any of the parks. They can drill down, then sideways miles from the park boundary and even go into the park itself (if they wanted to, but won't), sink vertical to the deposit and no one would know any different.
    Stop the fear mongering. We need the energy resources, unless ya wanna go live in a cave somewhere...but then again, make sure the cave isn't in a park!

  • NPS Entrance Fees Waived on November 11th for Veterans, Military Personnel and Their Families   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I would venture that it's largely coincidence.

    I think McCain had two main things going against him:

    1) His age. Like it or not, 72 is not perceived youthful, and with the tasks facing the next administration, that no doubt played a factor in many minds. In fact, I think that's what the exit polling indicated, that his age was a greater factor than Obama's race.

    2) Sarah Palin. Again, like it or not, she was perceived by many as a drag on his candidacy. Though perceived by some as fresh and vibrant on the political scene, nationally, she lacked the experience one would seek in a VP. She also got off to a bad start with national interviews (ie Katie Couric) and never seemed to recover. Frankly, I think she also exhibited a nasty streak. Whether that was natural or called for, it didn't endear her outside the far right.

    As for John Kerry, well, conspiracy theorists no doubt would say his campaign was Swift-boated. Al Gore lost the election in the courts, which, again, conspiracy theorists would have you believe were jiggered.

    As for George Bush senior, "it's the economy, stupid!" And Jimmy Carter, well, best intentions....

  • NPS Entrance Fees Waived on November 11th for Veterans, Military Personnel and Their Families   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Perhaps you can help me sort this one out. Why is it that, in all five of the most recent presidential elections, the candidate with the best (or only)record of military service has lost the election? What does this say about military service as something that conditions or qualifies a person for political leadership in America?

  • Lame Duck Bush Administration Hastens to Weaken Environmental Protection Laws   5 years 23 weeks ago

    In reply to the latest Anon---

    Thanks but my background is biochemistry and biotechnology, not engineering. Part and parcel of the biochem is a specific background in physics, solely pertaining to the properties of gasses, light and light energy as they are utilized in my field for diagnostic purposes. But the properties that we make everyday use of are quite similar to the technologies relating to solar cells and the compressed air vehicles now in production in France. But I digress, again. So in those instances when the topics turn to alternative energy, the overdone global warming discussions, the evils of fossil fuels, and the like, yes, I do tend to get my shorts in a knot reading the postings that were in my opinion, based in no small part by media disinformation and further misinterpretation or complete misunderstanding of data by the general Joe Poster on this and other sites.

    Insofar as the Enron situation, those responsible were the group of idiots who attempted to run an energy supply conglomerate who in reality had absolutely NO idea how to manage a power grid, and probably had difficulty understanding how to operate a light switch as well. Most people tend to point out that the rolling blackouts that many citizens of California were forced to suffer through were rooted in a lack of "cooperation" amongst utility companies, the lack of a national power grid that could serve to backup any portion of the system by diverting supplemental power sources and some justifiable environmental concerns and fears surrounding nuclear facilities in and around the state for obvious reasons. The statement you make about greed and profiteering is all well and good, but cutting to the chase, had Enron not bankrupted PG&E and forced the only experienced and legitimately knowledgeable power management professionals to find other suitable employment, then mismanaged the entire west coast network due solely to their own ineptness, in all likelihood the entire episode would have been avoided. The profiteering, as it was called, never actually materialized beyond the executive levels of the company as was discovered by a federal audit of the corporate ledgers. That's not profiteering, that's grand larceny or grand theft, I always get those two mixed up, or more appropriately, strong armed robbery. The ignorance at the corporate levels (excluding the accountants, whom I would like to do my books sometime) that created the whole problem in no way can be attributed to the nightmare that is Bush / Cheney. And didn't Enron actually receive their corporate charter under the Wet Willie Clinton / Green Al Gore holocaust?

    And I'm not now casting dispersions on anyone or their right to their opinion. Or ever. Under any circumstance.
    My point was (and is) that the gullibility factor needs a drastic reduction in order for the nation to achieve a better understanding of the issues that cause us ALL daily grief. And those cute little plays on words and flat out misnomers that are "politic-speak" need to be CLOSELY scrutinized before becoming part of one's own everyday dialect. Otherwise, you begin to sound just like the goofs that uttered the phases in the first place. And we have enough of those people already.

    And I NEVER criticize typos!!! Just what seems (to me) to be emotion over substance.