Recent comments

  • Sen. Salazar Seems to be the Interior Secretary Pick For the Obama Administration   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Beamis,
    Thanks for saying what I meant to say. You missed how government murders its citizens, but I'll cover that in a bit. I wanted to respond to d-2 that if he wants to "govern the greedy and the powerful", he needs to begin with the Federal Reserve, a pseudo-governmental cartel of bankers that operates above the law and without impunity. I was going to mention fractional reserve banking, a return to sound money, and returning to the rule of law through adherence to the Constitution, all of which government politicians sold out in 1913 and 1933, but I think your comment makes the point far more efficiently and effectively. My empirical mumbo jumbo would fall on deaf ears.

    It's how the world works.

    I'm reminded of Ludwig von Mises's motto, borrowed from Publius Vergilius Maro:

    Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito. Do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it.

    I'm not sure comparing natural selection to government is accurate. Take, for instance, the worldwide democide carried out by governments in the 20th century. Governments murdered almost 200,000,000 people in the last 100 years. This figure does not include those the state compelled to die in combat. Senseless. Evil.

    And I think Alinsky embraces, rather than proceeds against, evil. After all, he dedicates "Rules for Radicals" to Lucifer, who Alinsky terms as the "first radical". "The most effective means are whatever will achieve the desired results." It took Alinsky 11 words to paraphrase Karl Marx's far more succinct "The ends justify the means." More evil.

    I'm glad to have discovered Obama's mentor, though. It's been eye opening.

    Back to the DOI. The Department has been rife with controversy. Oh, I'm sure some will put this all on Bush while failing to consider the BIA's multicentury screwing over of American Indians.

    It's time to abolish the DOI and other agencies that have limited or no Constitutional authority. It's time to stop concentrating power in unelected bureaucrats. Enough with the czars! Our country was not to be ruled by emperors or autocrats. Returning to the Constitution and limiting government's power and scope is the only revolution that will protect everyone, not just the poor or the rich.

  • Bush Administration Publishes Proposed Rule For Mountain Biking in National Parks   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Agreed. Long day, short fuse, my comment was inappropriate. I sincerely present my apologies to Kurt.

    I had a longer reply typed, but an operator error erased it. :) At any rate, I am certainly an one issue type of guy, not that I'm insensitive to some of the other challenges that the national parks are facing.

  • Gun Rules for The National Parks: Will They Really Make It Easier To Pack in the Parks?   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Here is an easier-to-read copy of 18 USC Sec. 930.

    I believe that published assessments generally recognize a conflict, or at least the appearance of a conflict, between the new guns-in-Parks rule and "18 USC Sec. 930".

    Do note that Subsection (d), explicitly referenced in the first words of Subsection (a), contains 3 paragraphs, providing exceptions to the thrust of the ban on guns in Federal facilities. Subsection (d) and Paragraph (3) jointly state:

    "(d) Subsection (a) [no guns in Federal buildings] shall not apply to - (3) the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes." [emph. added]

    Paragraph (d)(3) certainly appears to be capable of providing for the explicitly authorized lawful Concealed Carry provided in the new regulations.

  • Sen. Salazar Seems to be the Interior Secretary Pick For the Obama Administration   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Frank C.,

    Although I am as wary as anyone of the weaknesses & foibles of Government, I don't see any unusual crisis at the moment, and feel no unique urgency to respond to their depredations.

    It's like the lions & zebras out on the Serengeti. The lions eat the zebras. Have, for quite a long time now. Is it unfair? One could say, I suppose. Is it tragic, when the mare zebra goes down, then her colt starves & dies too? Sure it is.

    But is it the end of the world? Certainly not - in fact, it's how the world works ... and in fact, it does work, has for a very long time, conflict & tragedy & all.

    The real problem with governments, is that they are "institutions". All institutions, formal and informal, show a related pattern of internally-arising malignancy. The self-limiting & destructive proclivities of institutionalization have been clearly displayed ever since hunter-gatherer groups coalesced into societies thousands of years ago. "Government" is nothing more than another example in a broad & familiar array of predatory institutional actors in society.

    But we still have zebras ... and we still have human society.

    Vigilance: it works for zebras, and it works for citizens.

    Ted Clayton

  • Gun Rules for The National Parks: Will They Really Make It Easier To Pack in the Parks?   5 years 40 weeks ago

    You need to read the US Code below and especially (3)(h) The National Parks will have to post all their buildings except for the Park Offices which fall under the law as defined below. The Camp Stores etc are not office buildings they have to be posted or National Parks would have to put up a sign at all entrances to the park stating all buildings are off limits to those who can legally carry in the National Parks. I don't write the laws I just report them. But Title 18 Part I Chapter 44 Sec 930 is what the Federal Government has passed as laws and we have to stay within the law.

    18 USC Sec. 930 01/03/2007

    TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
    PART I - CRIMES
    CHAPTER 44 - FIREARMS

    Sec. 930. Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities

    (a) Except as provided in subsection (d), whoever knowingly possesses or causes to be present a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a Federal facility (other than a Federal court facility), or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.
    (b) Whoever, with intent that a firearm or other dangerous weapon be used in the commission of a crime, knowingly possesses or causes to be present such firearm or dangerous weapon in a Federal facility, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
    (c) A person who kills any person in the course of a violation of subsection (a) or (b), or in the course of an attack on a Federal facility involving the use of a firearm or other dangerous weapon, or attempts or conspires to do such an act, shall be punished as provided in sections 1111, 1112, 1113, and 1117.
    (d) Subsection (a) shall not apply to -
    (1) the lawful performance of official duties by an officer, agent, or employee of the United States, a State, or a political subdivision thereof, who is authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of any violation of law;
    (2) the possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapon by a Federal official or a member of the Armed Forces if such possession is authorized by law; or
    (3) the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes.
    (e)
    (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), whoever knowingly possesses or causes to be present a firearm in a Federal court facility, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
    (2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to conduct which is described in paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (d).
    (f) Nothing in this section limits the power of a court of the United States to punish for contempt or to promulgate rules or orders regulating, restricting, or prohibiting the possession of weapons within any building housing such court or any of its proceedings, or upon any grounds appurtenant to such building.
    (g) As used in this section:
    (1) The term "Federal facility" means a building or part thereof owned or leased by the Federal Government, where Federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties.
    (2) The term "dangerous weapon" means a weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury, except that such term does not include a pocket knife with a blade of less than 2 1/2 inches in length.
    (3) The term "Federal court facility" means the courtroom, judges' chambers, witness rooms, jury deliberation rooms, attorney conference rooms, prisoner holding cells, offices of the court clerks, the United States attorney, and the United States marshal, probation and parole offices, and adjoining corridors of any court of the United States.
    (h) Notice of the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) shall be posted conspicuously at each public entrance to each Federal facility, and notice of subsection (e) shall be posted conspicuously at each public entrance to each Federal court facility, and no person shall be convicted of an offense under subsection (a) or (e) with respect to a Federal facility if such notice is not so posted at such facility, unless such person had actual notice of subsection (a) or (e), as the case may be.

  • Bush Administration Publishes Proposed Rule For Mountain Biking in National Parks   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Zebulon,

    I'll even tolerate people who cherry-pick their one-issue agenda ... but start slinging the hate-accusation, putting on the hair-shirt and disdainfully looking somebody else's gift-horse in the mouth ... well, no.

    It's like hikers & horse-riders & bicycles all on the same path. A few basic rules will give us a decent 80% or even 90% working-solution. Those who find it too confining to work within a few common-sense rules on National Parks Traveler ... well, the pubescent identity issues can arise in any demographic.

    Zebulon, you owe Kurt an apology.

    Ted Clayton

  • Sen. Salazar Seems to be the Interior Secretary Pick For the Obama Administration   5 years 40 weeks ago

    I find primitive freedom-loving emotionally appealing, but there is no freedom or future if there is no way to govern the greedy and powerful.

    I'm not sure I understand what "primitive" freedom means but there is no entity more greedy or powerful than one which obtains its might through coerced non-voluntary extraction i.e. government, whose greed and appetite for ever more power knows no bounds. It is the kind of "primitive" greed and power that can wage an unjust and bloody war to the tune of 1 billion dollars a month (which compared to some of the recent federal boondoggles seems quaintly cheap at this point) by simply devaluing and debasing our currency and borrowing from foreign countries it has no intention of ever paying back.

    It can give trillions to its buddies in the banking, insurance and mortgage business while letting its national parks and public lands wither on the vine. Come on d-2 don't you think that out of all of those trillions, that have been freshly printed out of thin air, that maybe a paltry few billion could have been scattered over your beloved national treasures? Where are their priorities? Are they just too busy governing the greedy? Is that it?

    I don't know about the rest of you but there is nuthin' on God's great earth more greedy and destructively powerful than the U.S. federal gummit. As it takes us down the hole in the next couple of years you just might want to ponder my words and pray for the future of the national parks under the stewardship of those power mad & blood stained warlords who burrow together along the banks of the Potomac.

  • Bush Administration Publishes Proposed Rule For Mountain Biking in National Parks   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Zeb,

    No bike hater here. There are at least four in the garage, and I'm happy to report that on more than one occasion I've actually taken a mountain bike down through some gnarly trails in the Sawtooth National Forest! And I support the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park, have ridden the rail trail at Cape Cod National Seashore more than a few times, and am happy to see that the folks at Mammoth Cave National Park finally followed the rules and developed a comprehensive trails plan (one, by the way, which exposed the tensions between equestrians and bikers. Did you see that post? I don't recall any comments from you.)

    But really, you don't think I spend all my waking hours and half my sleeping hours at this keyboard waiting for your comments to come dribbling in, do you?

    What I find interesting about one-issue folks such as yourself is that you only show up when there's a single interest dear to your hearts in the national parks, and then you do so anonymously. It makes me wonder if you really care about national parks for their intrinsic values, or simply want more landscape to rip across.

    If you find national parks to be such great playgrounds for you and your bike, why don't we see your thoughts on drilling near national parks, on coal-fired power plants and the air pollution they send into and over the national parks, on insufficient budgets that prevent proper trail management in the parks and which deny park superintendents full staffs to adequately perform their jobs? All these issues threaten the future of the parks that you want your bike to be able to access.

    What are your thoughts on concealed weapons in the parks, on mass transit options, on climate change, on wildlife issues, on the fees not just to get into parks but to camp in them, to participate in interpretive programs? What do you think about the National Park Service's inability to buy inholdings that threaten the integrity of some parks, such as the 78 historically sensitive acres on which the American Revolution Center would build its museum complex, surrounded on three sides by Valley Forge National Historical Park?

    Heck, if you're concerned about your comments not getting cleared fast enough, I invite you to join the Traveler community and create a profile in the system so your comments will get posted just as fast as you can hit the submit button. We'll even allow you to retain your anonymity!

    Zeb, I think it's great that you at least view the national parks for something beyond space holders in the urban sprawl. I just wish you'd step up for the parks in the midst of all these issues they're struggling with so the parks will be there -- largely in their current form, if not a better one -- for your kids to enjoy.

    As I've said more than a few times before, at the Traveler we invite discussion of all viewpoints out there, even ones the editors might not agree with. (Heck, Mark Eller even answers my phone calls and emails!) All we ask is that the dialog be constructive. Who knows, someone just might see something in a different light.

  • Nevada Barr’s Next Park Novel: An Unauthorized Preview   5 years 41 weeks ago

    You have a good memory for places, Lepanto. However, Liberty Falling (book #7) was published in May 1999, nearly four years before Governors Island National Monument was established (on February 7, 2003, by Presidential Proclamation 7647).

  • Bush Administration Publishes Proposed Rule For Mountain Biking in National Parks   5 years 41 weeks ago

    Interestingly enough, my first reply was not posted. Did I hit a sensitive nerve with the bike hating webmaster? :)

  • Nevada Barr’s Next Park Novel: An Unauthorized Preview   5 years 41 weeks ago

    And, Bob: I may have to re-read it again, but in Liberty Falling, didn't she also get to Governors Island National Monument?

  • Sen. Salazar Seems to be the Interior Secretary Pick For the Obama Administration   5 years 41 weeks ago

    Frank C: I agree with you on ridicule and Alinsky: ridicule is the weapon of the weak. I don't really think Alinsky was a Marxist or had any kind of belief structure, actually. It seemed to me his value as a political thinker was understanding the power of organization, rather than Movements. He had no use for Movements. Many liberals, environmentalists, and romantic right-wingers can become enthralled in Movements. Alinsky is not alone in this: on the left, right or in some more nuanced dimension inhabited by thinkers.

    Alinsky has many flaws, chiefly among them the lack of faith in (or even understanding of) altrusism. What he really was, was a labor organizer, a street-level theoritician. I think he was more preoccupied with respect for powerless individuals and in power for the underclass, more than Freedom. He would probably have hated the comparison, but I think he shared Theodore Roosevelt's belief in Countervailing Power. At the time, the moneyed class would roll right over most every body else, unless the common people could have enough structure, and disciplined supporters to stop them.

    I only bring it to your attention because I think JimB hit a nerve, in me at least. I think people who care about parks need to stop ranting, and learn to be effective. The thing I thought was useful about Alinsky in this, is his unsentimental belief in effectiveness. I think the tactics and preoccupations of the '30's do not fit in our world, but have useful lessons.

    One similarity between the 1929 and our time is the gap between rich and everybody else, and the leverage extracted by private financial interests over everybody else. Including over parks and environment. It takes a pretty silly person not to see that the threat today to freedom and a healthy future comes much more from these private financial power centers than government, except to the extent that government serves these interests, not the majority.

    As we have seen, this unbridled power even threatens the fools who exercise it. Witness the collapse of the economy, and the confused priorities and "solutions" of these financial elites. As far as Beamis' stuff is concerned, I think government can be a threat, but I think the majority needs to learn to be a force in keeping government civil, democratic and focused on a sustainable future. I find primitive freedom-loving emotionally appealing, but there is no freedom or future if there is no way to govern the greedy and powerful.

  • Bush Administration Publishes Proposed Rule For Mountain Biking in National Parks   5 years 41 weeks ago

    Mountain bikers: yeah, they can be obnoxious. Here in the Pacific Northwest, it's a transparent excuse to act like a pubescent male with esteem & identity issues. Be loud, crash, let the blood run, dry & crust (maybe smear some on the face). Revert to tribal rituals, in groups greater than two. I don't find them very likeable.

    I don't think it's that challenging to effectively address the discrepancies, though. First, bikes yield to everything else on the trail, because they are fast, have a lot of kinetic energy, sharp points & rotating metal rods, and are poorly controllable under the circumstances. Dismount and remove the machine from the path, let people & horses by, then jump back on. Second, maintain traction at all times. Since bikes don't really have the ability to peel-out, or side-slip, this problem is really about going downhill too fast and then braking into a continuous slewing skid (a surfboard on gravel). Knock it off. Get off the bike and walk it down the hill, if it isn't possible to brake within the limits of traction. (Since we know the hills where the offending behavior will occur, it is easy to make a few busts.)

    That bikes create 'user-conflicts', and therefore ought to be banned ... well, no. We have conflicts everywhere. We live with it. We make rules to control the problem. That we cannot tolerate conflicts between different sets of users of the common resource: that's facetious - of course we can.

    I do understand that in other parts of the country, mountain biking is done nicely, and that's cool. No intent here to slight those who have their act together.

    Mountain-biking could be a great asset to the outdoor & Parks venues, bring in lots of new people, for sure. We have to tone them down a few octaves, have to tolerate a few skid-marks here & there, a stray yee-ha! now & then, but most of all we just have to learn to share the outdoors with people who have a different set of attitudes. This is pretty basic stuff, isn't it?

    This may (but may not) be one of those Bush-things that Obama undoes, sooner rather than later.

  • Sen. Salazar Seems to be the Interior Secretary Pick For the Obama Administration   5 years 41 weeks ago

    Keep fightin' the good fight Frank with this statist, socialist, left-leanin' crowd of liberty hatin' government lovers.

    Trees and saguaros don't need bureaucrats to survive.

    A little sun, rain and private property works just fine.

    Long live the works of Murray Rothbard!

    Go on which yerself Frank!

  • Bush Administration Publishes Proposed Rule For Mountain Biking in National Parks   5 years 41 weeks ago

    I am 58-years old. I have visited most of the national parks in my life, where I have hiked and camped. In the last year I have taken up mountain-biking mostly for its aerobic qualities after a heart attack. What I have found is that it is a wonderful experience in itself. I am not talking about the downhill daredevil type as seen in competition, but rather the easy trail riding. I am able to enjoy the outdoors much more by riding than just walking. I cover more territory and the workout is more vigorous.

    I even do "birding" now from the back of my bicycle. Of course, I have to stop to use my binoculars, but I find that I can go on trails that may be a few miles long in only a couple of hours, and therefore enjoy the wilderness to a fuller extent than if I were walking.

    I recommend "mountain-biking" or rather "trail-riding" to almost everyone, as long as you take it easy within your own capacity. When I take vacations now, I search the internet for new bike trails to ride. I therefore supportive of the new proposal to allow mountain-biking in the national parks, and look forward to seeing and enjoying these within the parks.

    Gene

  • Bush Administration Publishes Proposed Rule For Mountain Biking in National Parks   5 years 41 weeks ago

    You’ve heard of Big Tobacco!

    You’ve heard of Big Oil!

    Now there’s the menace of Big Mountain Bike taking over our precious parks!

    But not if we take a defiant stand against this nonsense.

    We're PRUDE: Public Retirees Unanimously Denouncing Exhilaration.

    We at PRUDE want NO excitement in our parks. They are temples for worshipping nature, not places to have exhilarating experiences. If people want to be exhilarated, they may stay at home and play video games.

    PRUDE is proudly affiliated with the New Order Apostolic Congregation Cursing Every Single-Speed (NO ACCESS). The NO ACCESS creed adheres strictly to the teaching of Nolevity 4:12: "They who cast a pedal over a trail commit an abomination; the wrath of the Almighty shall be upon them; surely they shall be banished and driven into exile, yea unto generations."

    If you join PRUDE now, we’ll send you an autographed picture of our founders, Ebenezer Squint and Chloe Parboil.

    Yours Against Excessive Activity by Young Whippersnappers,

    Jasper H. Snoot, President
    Hermione (Mrs. Jarvis) Spoutworthy, Secretary

  • Bush Administration Publishes Proposed Rule For Mountain Biking in National Parks   5 years 41 weeks ago

    As usual on this website, as soon as cyclists are allowed to go ride trails in the national parks, the FUD comes fast and furious. Cyclists are just as entitled to enjoy the trails they pay for as other users. Cycling is an environmentally friendly activity that has no more impact than hiking and way less than horse riding. PEER and all the other bike haters are using all kind of fallacious arguments to oppose opening trails to bikes. The reality is that a minority of people have managed to appropriate to themselves a public good (OUR parks) and are now refusing to share it with another group, hence the FUD campaign. This has nothing to do with relaxing any kind of environmental protection and everything with selfishness.

    I dare anybody to prove me wrong.

  • Nevada Barr’s Next Park Novel: An Unauthorized Preview   5 years 41 weeks ago

    Seven out of eight ain't bad, Molly. (As they say, any landing you can walk away from is a good one.) Does this earn me pick of the litter?

  • Sen. Salazar Seems to be the Interior Secretary Pick For the Obama Administration   5 years 41 weeks ago

    Dear d-2:

    A Marxist? Really? "Alinsky's worldview was thoroughly steeped in the socialist left's collectivist, class-based doctrine of economic determinism." I have read The Communist Manifesto, have seen the failure of Marxism with the fall of the Berlin Wall, and feel no compunction to read more collectivist drivel. America was founded on individualism, not collectivism; collective "democracy" (read: the parasitic, transfer seeking economy, aka special interest politics) is what subverted our Republic. But thank you for the suggestion.

    Here's a suggestion I'm sure you'll reject with equal disdain: Murray Rothbard.

    Maybe Kurt could host a NPT book club. Shore would be interestin'. :)

    Oh, and my attacks of Salazar are not attacks on him, per se. Rather, they criticize the system of political spoils and concentrated power in unelected officials.

    UPDATE

    I have done more research on Alinsky. Love his "5th Rule": "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also, it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage." Seems the opposite of what you've advocated, d-2.

  • Gun Rules for The National Parks: Will They Really Make It Easier To Pack in the Parks?   5 years 41 weeks ago

    Kurt said:

    In [the D.C. vs Heller] ruling the [Supreme Court] said the federal government was well within its rights to regulate where concealed weapons could be carried beyond the confines of your home.

    That's not really untrue guys, but there is some rather significant & extensive nuance involved that we may want to be careful to observe.

    I have a text copy of D.C. vs Heller, and searched on the work 'conceal'. There are 14 instances, most or all of them being "concealed". Many of them occur in historical discussion, and a heavy cluster is in the Dissent-arguments. The two most-pertinent, and most-familiar uses are as follows.

    On p. 2 of the Syllabus:

    Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

    On pp. 54-55

    Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.
    ...
    Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

    The key difference between what can be found in D.C. vs Heller, and the statement that Kurt makes, is that although concealed carry can be regulated (as can other aspects of the Right), the context for regulation is quite limited and rather tightly bound to the "longstanding" qualifier.

    Specifically, I would protest that regulating bathrooms, watercraft, snowmobiles needs to show "due cause", to establish the importance & merit of the abridgement of the Right in those circumstances. That a welter of patently frivolous restrictions is supported by D.C. vs Heller: quite the opposite.

    Really, the situation with restricting & regulating the Second Amendment bears a strong (though not perfect) comparison with contexts for restricting the First Amendment (not surprisingly), i.e., Freedom of Speech, and the Press (e.g., the National Parks Traveler): it can done, and is done, but any effort to 'creatively' encumber either of these Bill of Rights Amendments will have to adhere to very firm & very high standards - and of "longstanding".

    Bluntly put, we cannot hogtie the speech of persons or groups whom we dislike, disapprove, etc, and likewise those seeking to impair the exercise of the Second Amendment with such novelties as "So, where do you think you're going to go the bathroom, buddy, Huh?" really ought to take a careful second look at their legal footing ... 'cause I think they just pulled a classic Wile E. Coyote - right off the edge of the cliff into legal thin-air. ;-)

  • Sen. Salazar Seems to be the Interior Secretary Pick For the Obama Administration   5 years 41 weeks ago

    Dear Frank C:

    reading suggestion: Saul Alinsky. Either of his 2 books. He is not a fan of "awareness" per se. He believes in organization.

    If there really is a basis to attack Salazar at this early point, and you are trying to make something happen, you need a narrative that would engage a lot of people. Usually in America, that means you usually need to be pretty pragmatic, because no time or specific activities from Salazar have been identified that could be used as a "hook" to drive a lot of people toward concerted action, or identification with an issue.

    You don't need all the public, but you need a critical mass, and you need to be focused, as JimB seems to be saying. Americans have become inured to those they perceive as attacking for the sake of attacking, and the word of these people, even if right, gets quickly dismissed. That is what I meant by "shaking your fist at the sky." As Alinsky notes you need discipline and a coherant strategy if you want to remove wool from people's eyes.

    Plus, the public at large seems to be very positive overall on Obama's behavior since the Election, and I think inclined to give Obama the benefit of the doubt.

  • Nevada Barr’s Next Park Novel: An Unauthorized Preview   5 years 41 weeks ago

    I stumbled across your article and loved it--and quite a challenge it must have been to write a review of a book as yet not written! Your forecast was close, but slightly off course. The book is now written and submitted to the publisher! It is due for release in April 2009. As a source close to Ms. Barr, I can settle the question of where the number 15 Anna Pigeon novel will take place. Anna was, indeed, tired of celibacy as well as badly in need of recreation and quality time with her husband. Contrary to popular belief it occasionally DOES take a few months between adventures for Anna to recover from having the bloody crap beat out of her. Consequently she took her hubby, Paul, on a vacation to Big Bend in Texas and THAT’S where she runs afoul of villainous bureaucracy, suffers further bodily harm and vanquishes the perps. I’m sure she will need to maneuver around several misogynists, and endure mortal combat in the process. Naturally, Paul will need to be incapacitated in some manner to allow Anna to solve the crime single-handedly, but that can be easily accomplished with a flourish over the keyboard. Anna’s fans would be disappointed with anything less.

    I don’t know where the inner demons stand these days with Anna, now that she’s happily married. Molly may be out in the cold, left and forgotten, along with Taco and Piedmont. Poor souls. At least Molly is not breed, and possibly gender, confused. I’ve had reports of both in connection to the now three-legged dog, Taco.

    Let’s see—what else? Oh! The title is a one worder. (I’m sure ‘worder’ IS a word?!) And a decade needs to be added to Anna’s age. She is now (gulp) fifty something! I hesitate to let this little figure out of the bag. As Nevada’s older, real-life sister, Molly, it doesn’t do me much good to advertise this fact.

    Thorpunious (aka Molly, Nevada Barr’s sister and website maven)

  • Gun Rules for The National Parks: Will They Really Make It Easier To Pack in the Parks?   5 years 41 weeks ago

    (I wrote this before other comments had appeared, and it is circumstance that I use some of the same examples as others. ;-)

    Yes, as pointed out in this post, some Concealed Carry Permit holders have taken weapons into Parks when it was illegal to do so. The implication that that has anything to do with the general right to be armed is on the same level as implying that because some people drive without a seatbelt, my driving privileges should be reviewed.

    Realistically, though, most of the illegal packing that has been going on for years in the Parks, has been by people who pack out of practical concerns, and not out of 2nd Amendment principles, and very often, without training or experience. I know certified tree-huggers and regular Sierra Club contributors who arm themselves ONLY in the Parks, because their instinct for survival has been triggered by bears snuffling around their tent, etc. (And, really, the fact that there are so few incidents of inappropriate gun-use in the backcountry has to point to a high level of due care by those choosing to arm themselves in spite of Park rules.)

    So, what really is the firearms problem in Parks? That CC people are two-faced by swearing fidelity to the law, then breaking it? Or is it actually a broader phenomena, that folks who are unprepared to have & use a gun, find themselves Catch-22'ed into sneaking a pistol into their backpack? In reality, I think CC'ers who compromised themselves are a minor part of the big picture, and the bulk of illegal-carry in the Parks has been and will continue to be, nice liberal eco-friendly people who can no longer square the behavior of increasingly brazen (protected, semi-sacred) carnivores with their own primal priorities. There are simply vastly more non-CC folks than CC'ers, and enough of them are sufficiently scared in the dark woods that they outweigh CC-violators as the main component of clandestine armed citizens in the Parks.

    Making clever regulations to prevent an armed person from legally going potty probably isn't a meaningful part of the ultimate resolution. This is peanut-gallery stuff. Besides, the motive for being armed is not to pack heat while shopping for trinkets, renting a paddle-boat, taking a leak, etc. This is a diversion from the substance of the issue(s), and not a compelling one. Firearms in the Parks today are primarily about carnivores, and isolation with unknown human threats. The current motives for illegal carry are about the absence of recourse to the protections of civilization, not about spooking the tourists in commerce-venues.

    That said, I must reiterate that citizens do not have to provide reasons or excuses for being armed: They have the right to be armed, and those who would prefer to abridge it are the ones who must prove their case worthy.

    Where the questions & points start to become more reasonable & relevant, is in the election of a fairly liberal & Democratic Party President, and a Democratic Party Congress. First & foremost, will Obama set as a goal to reverse the recent ruling to allow concealed carry in Parks? Although it would be an obvious thing for him to do as part of an existing policy & intent to undo as much of Pres. Bush's legacy as practical ... it could be that this is one of those items that will stay on the 'impractical' list. We will just have to wait & see on this question ... both gun-opponents and gun-supporters will have to be prepared to be disappointed, and to accept (for the time being anyway) whatever our elected Commander in Chief and Congress decide.

    Obviously, DC vs Heller was and will remain a very big deal. The historic lack of judicial interpretive guidance on the 2nd Amendment created the context for a highly charged legal & social scene. Really though, the legal drama is 'in appearance only'. The substance of the legal basis for an armed citizenry in the United States is dirt-simple & rock-solid. The 2nd Amendment stands on identical Constitutional footing with the First Amendment. There is a large, powerful, deeply committed constituency that will absolutely champion the 2nd Amendment.

    The legal & social realities of firearms will 'inform' Obama as he considers how to decide on the guns-in-Parks matter. This is a juncture at which he could definitely stick his foot in a gopher-hole, just as he is leaping forward off the starting-blocks. He knows it, no question.

    I predict that President-elect Obama will 'pass' on the guns-in-Parks dust-up, leaving it largely or entirely as-is. The new measure was crafted to stake only a modest foothold of socio-political turf, by confining itself to those with official Concealed Carry authority. That is well shy of asserting general 2nd Amendment jurisprudence (which very likely does pertain in Parks, and will eventually be asserted ... later). The antics of the peanut gallery are less meaningful, and will in due course be attended to by the courts.

    Ultimately, I think the traditional regulations of the Parks have been way too similar to those of Washington D.C.. "Draconian" is the popular term. Reading the 65 page Supreme Court decision in D.C. vs Heller, the two situations (D.C. & Parks gun-regulations) seem quite comparable. The close correspondence of the two situations makes the application of D.C. vs Heller too direct & unambiguous for informed decision-makers to try to skirt it, irrespective of their personal views and/or political obligations.

  • Gun Rules for The National Parks: Will They Really Make It Easier To Pack in the Parks?   5 years 41 weeks ago

    LH, not sure what you mean about the folks at VNP skirting existing regs prohibiting loaded firearms. Their release outlined how the landscape will look once/if the new rule takes effect next month.

    Frank, re automobiles, in theory law enforcement rangers are looking for speeders and will cite them. It's certainly easy enough to tell when one is exceeding the speed limit. It won't be so easy to tell when a CCW permit holder violates the regs.

    Jimi, I'll take your bet!

    Anonymous, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier this year on the constitutional rights regarding the 2nd Amendment. In that ruling the court said the federal government was well within its rights to regulate where concealed weapons could be carried beyond the confines of your home.

  • Gun Rules for The National Parks: Will They Really Make It Easier To Pack in the Parks?   5 years 41 weeks ago

    While I understand the intent Frank, automobile traffic is allowed and unfortunately even encouraged within the boundaries of the parks, whereas the current rules state that only unloaded firearms are currently "legal". And I would hazard a guess that by percentage, the greater majority of automobile traffic qualifies as law-abiding in contrast to the volume of visitors who make the effort to bring their weapons to "legalized" status within the parks. For that matter, the integrity of any visitor can be questioned in regards to off-trail wandering, littering, noise pollution, after hours revelry, etc. But we get the point.

    Kurt, how are the folks at VNP allowed to skirt the existing regulations that prohibit loaded firearms on NPS grounds? Don't the same rules apply across all jurisdictions of the national park service? What makes it any more acceptable (legal) to carry loaded guns there than in any other unit?