Recent comments

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park Officials to Outline Paving Options for Cades Cove   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Has anyone thought about doing a environmental safe option like using old tires grounded up and laid out in a safe way?

  • Upon Further Review - How Wet Is a Rain Forest?   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Random Walker - thanks for an excellent comment.

    Tahoma - a good reminder that the Hoh is a rain forest, and that on a lot of days, the lady in this story wouldn't have been "disappointed." Like a lot of things in life, timing plays a big role in how a visit to a park turns out.

  • Fort Davis National Historic Site, Home of the Buffalo Soldiers   5 years 37 weeks ago

    This is one of the most evocative sites in our National Park System. It should be on everyone's "must see" list. As Bill Roberts correctly points out, the bugle calls almost alone make the visit worthwhile. For those camping, the next-door state park has a great campground. The CCC buildings at the state park are also worth visiting.

    Rick Smith

  • National Park Service Signs Off on Decision Not To Allow Bombing of Avalanche Chutes in Glacier National Park   5 years 37 weeks ago

    @ Albertson:

    This is spot on.

    Among many factors, one of the reason for this was lack of regulation... the government was too stupid and it had to get out of the genius' way on Wall Street so the bubble, errr, I mean economy, could grow. Regulations were peeled back and the regulators were not doing their job. I have to ask, how is your IRA or 401(k) doing? Good thing we let the market take care of itself.

    The NPS, which can be inefficient and frustrating, does have it's own limitations, but here has made a good decision and is doing its job, which is the point. National Parks need protection and regulation.

  • Upon Further Review - How Wet Is a Rain Forest?   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Just don't forget to check the forecast. For any doubters, here's a bit of tonite's NWS Seattle:

    The flood watch continues for portions of western Washington, including the following counties: Grays Harbor...Clallam...Jefferson...Skagit... Whatcom.....

    * Through late tonight: Periods of locally heavy rainfall are expected to continue over the watch area through Friday night. Rainfall amounts of 6 to 8 inches are possible on the coast and the Olympic range...with 5 to 7 inches possible in the northern and central Cascades. There is the potential for localized amounts to exceed 10 inches on the southwest facing slopes of the Olympics.

  • Election 2008: Fearless Forecasts, Foregone Conclusions, and Prescient Prognostications   5 years 37 weeks ago

    I think that while policies might improve, tight economic times will prevent much investment in parks or wild lands.

    Whatever you think the impact of public works was on the economy, it supported people's spirits, and kept some fed. So if times get real bad, we will likely see public works again. But whether it would be a CCC-type program that built a lot of wild infrastructure - well, I'm skeptical.

    One other thing. If we do move strongly in the direction of renewable energy, we might have clearer skies in some parks.

    PS - The Depression ended with WWII, which had deficits roughly twice those of mid-1930's programs. So maybe they just didn't spend enough?

  • Election 2008: Fearless Forecasts, Foregone Conclusions, and Prescient Prognostications   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Net result: wild increase in wilderness designation at the request of the Sierra Club, which will result in banning mountain bikers from hundreds of miles of trails that they currently enjoy.

    Other than that, any new policy can't be worse than the old one.

  • Fort Davis National Historic Site, Home of the Buffalo Soldiers   5 years 37 weeks ago

    My first visit to Fort Davis wasin 1954 and it was in sadly neglected. Been there twice since and it is inspiring what has been done. Visitors need good walking shoes, but there are only slight inclines for the most part. Be prepared to spend some time and enjoy the bugle calls that are played at the correct time for the correct activity. A real western fort. Not Hollywood.

  • Upon Further Review - How Wet Is a Rain Forest?   5 years 37 weeks ago

    It is when I close the guidebook, abandon the brochures, fold up the map and walk away from my expectations that I experience happiness exploring Our National Parks.

  • Grand Canyon's Star Party   5 years 37 weeks ago

    I would like to know if there are star parties scheduled for 2009 yet.
    I enjoyed the article in Astronomy magazine, and would consider attending.
    Because of driving the Bryce Canyon would be first choice.

    Jim Marshall

  • Glory, Shame, and Remembrance at Colorado’s Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site   5 years 37 weeks ago

    No, I wish

    The best we have is the Boston Harbor Islands where Indians were held after the war in concenstration camps.

    There are many problems with this, the name of the park and its focus being the biggest.

    The Taughton River is another place we have and was the main reason why it was called a scenic river because of the battlefields along the river.

    Hope Hill is where the King was buried, there is also believed to be many artifacts in the area because it is where a famous village was as well.

    My hope is to turn the area into Grave of the King National Historical Park.

    Many sites have been lost and Hope Hill is kind of a loner.

    In addition, because of lack of funds Boston Harbor Islands can't do a Archeological survey to find out anything, but the islands have been used, a lot, so no one is quite sure what is there.

    I have talked to people about my park idea and pretty much got "wow that is a great idea good luck with that".

    This is all I know off the top of my head, and would love to see an article about this long forgotten subject.

    P.S. I am not Native American at all

  • Glory, Shame, and Remembrance at Colorado’s Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Perhaps one of our readers can shed light on this interesting topic. I don't know very much myself about the Narragansetts, King Philip's War in 17th century New England, the Great Swamp Massacre (500+ Indian dead?), and the slaying of King Philip (Metacom). Have there been any formal proposals to establish a national park oriented to King Philip's War?

  • Glory, Shame, and Remembrance at Colorado’s Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site   5 years 37 weeks ago

    I just wish they would do something with Hope Hill in Rhode Island, where King Phillp was shot down.

    I think currently it is owned by Brown but closed off, I am not sure

  • Election 2008: Fearless Forecasts, Foregone Conclusions, and Prescient Prognostications   5 years 37 weeks ago

    I have hope.................................Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm not much

  • Election 2008: Fearless Forecasts, Foregone Conclusions, and Prescient Prognostications   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Iraq, the economy, and the environment(including NPS) ARE connected. It is not so much a "left vs right", but right vs wrong, intellect vs stupidity. For the past eight years(more actually) stupid has ruled.

    On economics: Paul Krugman's "The Great Unraveling" has a columns going back to the first Bush administration's blunders, and before. "Bad Money" by Kevin Phillips spells out in more complex writing the failure of politics as economy, and the myth of "capitalism" under neocons that got us into trouble, for a long time. Barney Frank actually has spelled out how they tried to save Fannie Mae, and the public, but were shot down and shafted by Republicans, deregulation, as even Greenspan admitted this week "how could we have known", well very easily, "don't be stupid". Fareed Zakaria does a very good job in "The Post American World" in not spelling out the fall of America, but the RISE of the rest of the world, and how poorly this has been interpreted since the Reagan administration. Reagan inherited a national debt under a trillion dollars. REPUBLICAN spending and policies now have that over $11 TRILLION. "Private" debt is over $60 TRILLION, due to predatory lending policies, and unregulated inflation, especially in housing.

    On Iraq, prior to our invasion there was NO Al Qaeda in Iraq. Our operations against them in Bosnia and elsewhere have been thwarted by stupid decisions by the Bush administration. Afghanistan is a mess not so much because of too few troops, as too little intellect. WE by the way, as Charlie Wilson knew, CREATED the Taliban, and through inaction or outright stupidity, Al Qaeda. If Greg Mortenson's philosophy in "Three Cups of Tea" had dominated our foreign policy, instead of the military industrial complex(DON'T get me started), we would have been much better off. My son has been in our "areas of interest" with regard to the "war on terror", and stupid dominates. Using $68,000 Hellfire missiles to do the job a bullet can do for a couple dollars, is an example of how expensive, and stupid we've been. Especially when lousy intelligence has you bombing weddings instead of people with weapons intent on using them. A friend just back from Iraq on leave last week has "interesting" observations.

    These tie, believe it or not, directly to the environment, AND preservation of our National Parks and public lands in the fact that we must stop ignoring science, reality, real values, real priorities, real math and economics, and the quality of leadership we select.

    I am encouraged and optimistic that we ARE on the threshold of intelligent leadership, that will listen to SOUND advice, and proceed with logic, instead of dogma, as a guide.

    It is NOT going to be easy, nor quick, but our most critical resources and lands have been, like the "economy" and "wars" beset by deregulation and MISmanagement by idiots. To be any less direct in the assessment would be an injustice to the public.

  • Election 2008: Fearless Forecasts, Foregone Conclusions, and Prescient Prognostications   5 years 37 weeks ago

    you're howling in the wilderness with this crowd

    Perhaps so, but your howling helped me better understand economic theory, and I hope to help others, even if my efforts only reach one person. That's the great thing about discussion on NPT: It's a free market of ideas.

    But to clarify an earlier point I made about "investment" (even if I'm just howling into the wind--I thank Kurt for giving me that opportunity), I turn again to Rothbard:

    In recent years, particularly in the literature on the "under-developed countries," there has been a great deal of discussion of government "investment." There can be no such investment, however. "Investment" is defined as expenditures made not for the direct satisfaction of those who make it, but for other, ultimate consumers. Machines are produced not to serve the entrepreneur, but to serve the ultimate consumers, who in turn remunerate the entrepreneurs. But government acquires its funds by seizing them from private individuals; the spending of the funds, therefore, gratifies the desires of government officials. Government officials have forcibly shifted production from satisfying private consumers to satisfying themselves; their spending is therefore pure consumption and can by no stretch of the term be called "investment." (Of course, to the extent that government officials do not realize this, their "consumption" is really waste-spending.)

    Government can "improve" the infrastructure of the NPS (and the country), but it cannot "invest" in it.

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park Officials to Outline Paving Options for Cades Cove   5 years 37 weeks ago
  • Glory, Shame, and Remembrance at Colorado’s Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site   5 years 37 weeks ago

    To be fair, Chivington would have gone to trial, but for the post-Civil War general amnesty. The cost of putting the Civil War in the past, and reunifying north and south, unfortunately included pardoning a few monsters like Chivington.

  • Election 2008: Fearless Forecasts, Foregone Conclusions, and Prescient Prognostications   5 years 37 weeks ago

    It must be very important for you to believe that.

    I pray that your son comes home alive and in one piece.

    I support the troops. I want them all to come home.

  • Election 2008: Fearless Forecasts, Foregone Conclusions, and Prescient Prognostications   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Uh, Beamis...those "million deaths" in the Middle East are Al Qaida...the enemy.
    What many do not realize is that not only did we free the Iraqi people from Saddam and boys, we also successfully prepped the battlefield to destroy Al Qaida...Iraq was a sort of "vacuum" to bring them in so that we could kill 'em, thus President Bush's call to "bring it on"...that quote worked quite well to get them into Iraq and right square into our warriors' sights!
    My son proudly serves in Army special forces.

  • Election 2008: Fearless Forecasts, Foregone Conclusions, and Prescient Prognostications   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Frank C-----you're howling in the wilderness with this crowd. Unfortunately the so-called "environmental movement" and supporters of wilderness are primarily composed of state worshipers who expectantly pray at the alter of big government to pass laws and enforce regulations that will save our earth from the filthy pestilence that is the natural result of unfettered humanity.

    That this is the same savior government that is currently responsible for a million deaths in the Middle East, spends $10 billion a month on immoral war and has debased the dollar by 95% of its value against gold by inflating the currency to fund its evil machinations is consistently and conveniently side-stepped.

    They'll tell you that their savior of the environment "is a totally different branch" of government and "it's not the same mindset at work" as the one we're using as an example. Really?

    With the actual actions of their savior on unambiguous display I truly wonder where they get the idea that things are going to get a whole lot better now that their much anticipated Anointed One has been sanctified to enter through the gates of the sacred white palace on the Potomac.

    I've got news for you my deluded friends things haven't even begun to get bad yet. You are about to witness the dissolution of the American Imperium and it ain't gonna be pretty. The national parks are not in good hands and the sooner it is realized the sooner they can be transferred to more capable and loving caretakers.

    On Randy Newman's latest album "Harps and Angels" he sums it up quite well:

    The end of an empire is messy at best
    And this empire is ending
    Like all the rest
    Like the Spanish Armada adrift on the sea
    We're adrift in the land of the brave
    And the home of the free

    Goodbye
    Goodbye
    Goodbye

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park Officials to Outline Paving Options for Cades Cove   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Kurt - don't know if you receive Smokies Life Magazine (excellent publication from the Great Smoky Mountains Association) or not, but there's an extensive interview with Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson in the current issue. Ditmanson stated that he's looking for ways to solve some of the heavy traffic problems in Cades Cove. He mentioned using buses as a possible solution, but cited issues with parking as being problematic.

    FYI.

    Jeff
    HikingintheSmokys.com

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park Officials to Outline Paving Options for Cades Cove   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Answering my own question. Here's what Bob Miller at Great Smoky tells me:

    "None of the scenarios for repaving include any new construction. The existing road is in miserable shape. The Federal Highway Administration has provided the funding to fix it in-kind -- although it will be structurally much sounder than the current one. Next week's discussion is about HOW the repaving could be done.

    "The result won't include any of the things you mention, but neither would it preclude adding them once the Cades Cove Planning Process is completed."

  • Election 2008: Fearless Forecasts, Foregone Conclusions, and Prescient Prognostications   5 years 37 weeks ago

    MRC,

    It is not a "paper" by the Mises Institute, and you'd know this if you'd delved deeper. It is a book titled "America's Great Depression" by economist Dr. Murray Rothbard, a member of the same economic school of thought as Nobel Prize winner Friedrich Hayek. It's more than a "paper"; it is a treatise, as are Karl Marx's "Das Kaipital" and Charles Darwin's "The Origins of Species". "America's Great Depression" is one of the most thorough and meticulously documented accounts of the Fed’s inflationary actions prior to 1929, and I suggest you read the entire book before dismissing it as not being analytic or scientific.

    You also really didn't counter any of the claims put forth with solid data; you just called it "ideology".

    "Investing" with printed fiat money based loosely on foreign credit isn't really investing at all. It spells disastrous consequences for the economy. We've been "investing" in private banks, and look where that has gotten us.

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park Officials to Outline Paving Options for Cades Cove   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Does anyone know if there are any alternatives that mention mass transit? Perhaps some sort of shuttle system for the masses, with hiking and biking trails on the side?