Recent comments

  • Glory, Shame, and Remembrance at Colorado’s Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site   5 years 38 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 38 weeks ago

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

  • Election 2008: Fearless Forecasts, Foregone Conclusions, and Prescient Prognostications   5 years 38 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 38 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 38 weeks ago
  • Glory, Shame, and Remembrance at Colorado’s Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site   5 years 38 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 38 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 38 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 38 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 38 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 38 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 38 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 38 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?

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park Officials to Outline Paving Options for Cades Cove   5 years 38 weeks ago

    It will be interesting to see if there will be any "outside-the-box" alternatives offered at this meeting for helping to ease the traffic problems that plague the loop.

    One definite positive impact that will come out of the repavement project is that road cycling will be a much more viable option on the loop. More people will be willing to ride their bikes once this is completed. Right now, you really need a mountain bike to ride over all the pot-holes.

    Jeff
    www.HikingintheSmokys.com

  • National Park Service Signs Off on Decision Not To Allow Bombing of Avalanche Chutes in Glacier National Park   5 years 38 weeks ago

    You wrote:
    "Business has to adapt to market conditions, the government doesn't need to coddle it all the time. While the market isn't perfect, if you're somewhat against regulation and the needed bureaucracy, i suggest you google "bailout" or "savings and loans" or "sub prime mortgages."

    Don't want to stray from the subject, however you mention something that needs to be addressed with criminal indictments for those "bureaucrats" who where supposed to be monitoring and responsible for that segment of government control.

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park Officials to Outline Paving Options for Cades Cove   5 years 38 weeks ago

    It's past time to pave the cove. That road has been crumbling for a very, very long time.

  • Election 2008: Fearless Forecasts, Foregone Conclusions, and Prescient Prognostications   5 years 38 weeks ago

    @ Frank C.: Come on, you point me to a paper on the New Deal by the Mises Institute to prove something? That paper is not analytic, it's not scientific, it is pure and simple ideology. The same ideology that got us into the mess back then and now.

    Regarding the national parks this papers description of the New Deal and the Public Works is one sided and (deliberately) incomplete. It mentions that the Roosevelt administration noticed the short comings of the projects but it completely ignores that the programs were not carved in stone but used flexible and adopted over time to cover more people and more regions.

    Contracts for local businesses under the New Deal were widely spread, from building the chalet at Oregon Caves National Monument to blasting a tunnel and building a paved road on top of Scotts Bluff National Monument in Nebraska to the parkway that was recently covered here on the Traveller. The CCC worked at and around Grand Canyon and in remote parts of the West such as Devils Tower NM.

    Infrastructure has been neglected - remember the collapsing bridge in Minneapolis? Investing into it seems to be the most efficient way to support small and mid-size businesses. Invest in bridges, in insulation of public and private buildings, and in the maintenance backlog of the national parks.

  • Election 2008: Fearless Forecasts, Foregone Conclusions, and Prescient Prognostications   5 years 38 weeks ago

    LOL...you are all so funni...except Frank C.
    Obama has ONE national park in his home state...and how many people of color visit our parks? Not many.
    Frank C is right...there will be NO money to give. In fact, Bush offered up more to the parks in his last budget (Centennial money) than Obama will...as I said, I don't think The One cares much for nature, being from Chicago.
    McCain has 19 parks; Palin 17 in their respective states.
    There isn't much money to be had in this entitlement-rich government. And yes, it is ENTITLEMENTS (including welfare) and Fannie and Freddie...thanks to DEMOCRATS Barney Frank and Chris Dodd that has bankrupted us. NOT the war in Iraq. The money spent in Iraq is a drop in the bucket compared to entitlements.
    Sad to say, McCain/Palin would have given more to the parks if any smidgen of money was available!

  • National Park Service Signs Off on Decision Not To Allow Bombing of Avalanche Chutes in Glacier National Park   5 years 38 weeks ago

    @ Albertson-

    Lobbing the explosives is not really a long term option, anyway, in the grand scheme of things. Alta ski area in Utah, for example, recently proposed putting in a lift in an area where they now use this type of control because the US military has decided that having this type of weaponry out in the private usage might not be the best and is considering phasing it out. Installation of a new ski lift would get skier compaction (reducing avalanche risk) along with the ability to run control routes with hand charges and is being considered as an option.

    Additionally, when worrying about contaminants in the watershed, the residue left behind from explosives may contaminate things. It has not been proven yet, but that's with today's standards and the current science. As you are probably aware, many items from the past that weren't considered a threat are now considered harmful and detrimental to human health.

    From what I read here, it's a cost savings measure for the railroad, not a do or die situation, but I would be interested if the good folks at NPT could unearth some reports on the efficacy of these sheds.

    Business has to adapt to market conditions, the government doesn't need to coddle it all the time. While the market isn't perfect, if you're somewhat against regulation and the needed bureaucracy, i suggest you google "bailout" or "savings and loans" or "sub prime mortgages."

  • Don't Be Surprised to See Clinton Administration Influence In an Obama Interior Department   5 years 38 weeks ago

    I saw on the Missoula NBC affiliate tonight that Schweitzer took himself out of the running for any Cabinet position.

    As for Salazar, a report in the Casper Star-Tribune today has him pushing Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal for Interior. Let's hope not! Freudenthal has been an enemy of the gray wolf (pushing Wyoming's draconian wolf management plan that ultimately had a court re-list wolves on the endangered species list) and has not been a friend to environmental interests.

    I haven't a clue as to who Obama will pick; Interior Secretaries often come from the West so that's the best hunch I have.

    Jim Macdonald
    The Magic of Yellowstone
    Yellowstone Newspaper
    Jim's Eclectic World

  • National Park Service Signs Off on Decision Not To Allow Bombing of Avalanche Chutes in Glacier National Park   5 years 38 weeks ago

    When I worked at Glacier, I lived in the village of East Glacier, and drove U.S. Highway 2 that runs roughly parallel to the railroad tracks across the Continental Divide on a regular basis. As the photo with this story illustrates, the snowsheds are very effective in protecting trains from avalanches. The area in question is prime wildlife habitat - a large slope just below the highway in one spot is called Goat Lick for good reason, since minerals in the soil attract wildlife to that location.

    I'd say the park made the right call, since the snowsheds are a viable option to explosives.

  • Election 2008: Fearless Forecasts, Foregone Conclusions, and Prescient Prognostications   5 years 38 weeks ago

    I am not expecting a whole lot of change real quickly.. but am hopefully that the move to the left will result in better policies to protect our environment & endangered species. Stopping the economic slide I hope will be top on the radar.

    OnDaRoad http://www.unpavedroadslesstraveled.com

  • National Park Service Signs Off on Decision Not To Allow Bombing of Avalanche Chutes in Glacier National Park   5 years 38 weeks ago

    Albertson, there was no use of explosives. The railroad was seeking permission to use howitzers to trigger avalanches, a fairly common practice in snow country where roads or ski areas have to be protected from avalanches.

    I think there are about a half-dozen avalanche chutes of concern along the park's southern boundary. As for wildlife being endangered, the park is home to a wide range of wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolves, wolverines, elk, mountain goats, and more, that could be impacted, directly or indirectly, by this form of avalanche control.

    Snow sheds long have been used to accomplish the same goal -- to protect trains from avalanches.

  • National Park Service Signs Off on Decision Not To Allow Bombing of Avalanche Chutes in Glacier National Park   5 years 38 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 38 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