Recent comments

  • At Big Thicket National Preserve, a Combative Drug Dealer Changes His Mind When Ranger Stafford Shows Him His Taser   5 years 50 weeks ago

    I don't think legalizing marijuana will make problems go away any more than currently legal alcohol has reduced drunk driving deaths and alcoholism.

    Also, there is a difference between an officer tossing some kid's joint into the creek, and letting 5 individuals with large amounts of weed and pills waltz off into the woods to live happily ever after.

  • Lakota Gather Peacefully at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, But Still Insist that the Black Hills Belong to Them   5 years 50 weeks ago

    AMERICAN INDIAN HOLOCAUST TO DATE

    The American Indian Holocaust, know as the "500 year war" and the "World's Longest Holocaust In The History Of Mankind And Loss Of Human Lives."
    http://www.unitednativeamerica.com/aiholocaust.html

    Your support is needed to bring about Chief Crazy Horse State Park in South Dakota. Help UNA change the name of Custer State Park to Chief Crazy Horse State Park.

    Change Custer State Park To Chief Crazy Horse State Park Petition

    http://www.unitednativeamerica.com/issues/crazy_horse.html

    Information below tells how President Lincoln and Minnesota Governor Alexander Ramsey set out to exterminate Indians from their home land.

    "Largest mass hanging in United States history" 38 Santee "Sioux" Indian men Mankato, Minnesota, Dec. 16, 1862 303 Indian males were set to be hanged

    http://www.unitednativeamerica.com/hanging.html

    America's racist history was about more than water fountains and bath rooms or where you sat on a bus.

    http://www.unitednativeamerica.com/bureau/bwa_6.html

    THE BUREAU OF WHITE AFFAIRS

    http://www.unitednativeamerica.com/bureau/index.html

    NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE DAY ACT 2007
    http://www.unitednativeamerica.com/letters/NativeAmHeritageAct.htm

    National Holiday For Native Americans Petition:
    http://www.petitiononline.com/indian/petition.html

    Mike Graham, Citizen Oklahoma Cherokee Nation
    Founder United Native America www.UnitedNativeAmerica.com

    ACTION ALERT ON H.R. 2824 !!
    http://capwiz.com/cherokee/issues/alert/?alertid=10443441

    H.R. 2824 was introduced June 21, 2007 by Congresswoman Diane Watson. This bill proposes "to sever the United States' government relations with the Cherokee Nation" because of the tribe's recent constitutional amendment to limit citizenship to those who descend from Indians listed on the U.S. census of 1906 known as the Dawes Roll.

    Stop the federal governments Termination of the Uinta Ute's Indian's
    www.undeclaredutes.net

    "Get A REAL Education" http://www.californiachronicle.com/articles/viewByAuthor.asp?authorID=593

    Electing Native Americans To Office:
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    **********************************
    American Indian Contributions to the World Main Page
    http://www.kporterfield.com/aicttw/

  • Black Bear Attacks Child at Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 50 weeks ago

    I don't understand why there are so many black bear attacks these days. There are bears in my area in CT and I won't let my 6 year old play outdoors because of recent sightings. CT does not allow bear hunting like our neighboring state, Massachusettes and although I have always felt that wildlife should be left alone, I am starting to have another opinion. Predatory Black bears who are not afraid of humans are a threat to our physical and emotional stability. Relocation doesn't seem to work because the bears make their way back all too soon. In my state an 83 year old man is in jail because he shot a bear who was in his back yard. He is old and was terrified because despite making noise to shu the bear away, the bear stood his ground and would not leave thus the man resorted to his primal instinct for survival. I am starting to wonder which animal has more rights and why.

  • Lakota Gather Peacefully at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, But Still Insist that the Black Hills Belong to Them   5 years 50 weeks ago

    Historical Video: Indians Invade Mount Rushmore-1970

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Wd1uLgV7mc

    Also, Check Out This Web Link:

    http://www.myspace.com/thewashichustolethepahasa

    Black Hills FOX News - News Stories
    29 Aug 2008
    Ceremony at Mt. Rushmore remembering Native American protest
    http://www.kevn.com/NewsStories.aspx?StoryID=12280


    Thirty-eight years ago this Friday, a group of Native American activists occupied Mount Rushmore, protesting what they called the monument's desecration of Native lands. Friday, a ceremony was held at Mount Rushmore to commemorate that occupation in 1970. The event included religious rites, along with speeches by the descendants of the activists who occupied the site. The people who conducted Friday's ceremony say the battle is not yet over. They will not rest until the monument comes down. Quanah Brightman says, 'We've come here today to show that the Indian resistance is still alive and well. We've also come here today to pay tribute to the women warriors and to the men and the elders of all the people who took part in that historic occupation.' In August of 1970, after eluding authorities, a group of young Native Americans reached the top of Mount Rushmore, where they unfurled a large flag with the words: SIOUX INDIAN POWER. The occupation was largely peaceful, and the occupants later left voluntarily.

    - reported by: Al Van Zee

    MadonnaThunder Hawk-Speaking On The Mount Rushmore Take Over and Reunion That Will Take Place August 29th 2008. Take a Listen and Support The Women of The Red Power Movement.
    KPFA RADIO Archives August 6th 2008 Bay Native Circle 2:00PM-3:00PM
    http://www. kpfa. org/archives/index. php?arch=27714

    {Madonna Thunder Hawk BIO }
    Community Organizing in Native America

    MadonnaThunder Hawk (Two Kettle Lakota) is a veteran of every modern NativeAmerican struggle, from the occupation of Alcatraz to the siege ofWounded Knee.

    One of the original members of the American Indian Movement(AIM), she is a long-time community organizer with a range ofexperience in Indian rights protection, cultural preservation, economicdevelopment and environmental justice.

    Thunder Hawk grew up during the 1940s and 50s on the CheyenneRiver reservation in South Dakota. She came of age in a societydominated by poverty, alcoholism, government schools and restriction ofNative American tradition and ceremony.

    On the reservation, traditions could only be passed on secretlyand all traditional items and clothing were hidden. Rituals such as thesun Dance were performed underground in secrecy. Madonna becamedisillusioned with a life of few opportunities. She left thereservation in the 1960s and moved with her three children to SanFrancisco. Amid love beads, civil rights actions, and anti war slogans,Madonna found a home in a culturally diverse climate of openness andsocial activism. Here she began a lifelong commitment to the survivalof her cultural heritage and traveled throughout the U.S. as anadvocate of Native American Treaty rights. Madonna then returned toSouth Dakota and raised her family there.

    Thunder Hawk was a co-founder and spokesperson for the BlackHills Alliance which blocked Union Carbide from mining uranium onsacred Lakota land. She co-founded Women of All Nations and the BlackHills Protection Committee (later the HeSapa Institute). Thunder Hawkcontinues to be an eloquent voice for Native America.

    Dance is also important in her life as a means ofself-expression and cultural celebration. Madonna designs traditionalregalia for her children who dance on the Powwow dance circuit. Usingnew fabrics and contemporary sewing techniques, she produces regaliathat are complex and colorful. She also designed for the TNT productionof 'Crazy Horse

  • At Big Thicket National Preserve, a Combative Drug Dealer Changes His Mind When Ranger Stafford Shows Him His Taser   5 years 50 weeks ago

    Just a point of clarification here. Removing the cartridge from a Taser doesn't incapacitate it. The sole function of the cartridge -- a container of compressed nitrogen -- is to allow the Taser to fire the two electrodes through the air (about 21 feet, I'm told) so the officer doesn't need to get dangerously close to the individual being subdued. With the cartridge removed, you can still press the electrodes against an individual and get the desired effect. I asked a police chief of my acquaintance if a Taser with the cartridge removed was a potent device for subduing somebody. He replied, and this is a direct quote: "Oh, yes indeedy."

  • House Subcommittee Considers Bill to Relax ORV Rules for Cape Hatteras National Seashore   5 years 50 weeks ago

    Quote: Leoabnto

    To the extent possible the law was intended to interject the Fish and Wildlife Service into this "unintended" ambiguity with explicit science and actions and strategies to FORCE a change in destructive activities.

    Right, and the ESA was followed and Fish and Wildlife Service issued a no jepardy opinion on the management plan SELC challenged and changed.

    Oh, I forgot SELC trumps all federal agencies.

  • At Big Thicket National Preserve, a Combative Drug Dealer Changes His Mind When Ranger Stafford Shows Him His Taser   5 years 50 weeks ago

    d-2,

    Bob Janiskee has recently conspicuously reveled in "satire", even at the risk (in fact, "cost") of flak from the relatively clueless and overly stiff among his readership. He continues to hone his literary artistry, in this very post.

    Bob describes how one Ranger made gestures;

    "... to convince the perp that it just wasn’t his day."

    This, d-2 et al, is an "Allusion" to the famous line "Go ahead, punk; make my day" used by snarled by the Dirty Harry character played by Clint Eastwood, and this literary device is the centerpiece of Bob's post.

    The very title of Bob's post contains the 'tongue in cheek' phrase, "... Shows Him His Taser". Law officers do not deal with unruly suspects by "showing" a weapon. The carrying & deployment of weapons by officers is a matter of specific protocol. One does not (professionally) pull a weapon and indicate to an opponent, 'See? I have a weapon...'. Bob further reinforces this dramatic device in the body of his post.

    Indeed, Bob Janiskee did set a facetious & witty tone in his original post.

    Lastly, it is categorically improper for law enforcement to expose themselves to a context that might require the use of a disabled weapon. The Ranger who deployed the taser knew the cartridge had been removed and the weapon was incapacitated. Furthermore, good officers are indeed expected to evaluate a situation and modulate their response to events in view of the facts. Calling for reinforcement or to check with Headquarters for guidance is the mark of good training.

    These two Rangers managed to make the arrest, but I expect the debriefing was not all pats on the back & attaboys. Not if someone in the local unit is an actual professional.

  • House Subcommittee Considers Bill to Relax ORV Rules for Cape Hatteras National Seashore   5 years 50 weeks ago

    Lepanto et al,

    It is not unusual to see the implementation of a 'good idea' (e.g., Endangered Species Act) demonstrate the need for adjustment(s) down the road. It is also not unusual to see the emergence of a "Perverse incentive" as an unintended consequence of a law.

    Right now, environmentalists are still celebrating the Listing of the polar bear ... which is not endangered, but hypothetically could be, some day, maybe. While dedicated environmentalists are pleased, many of a more independent turn of mind chuckle & shake their heads at the clever subterfuge. This undermines the overall credibility of the environmentalist message, and the stature of the ESA.

    The Endangered Species Act (more specifically the unintended use of it, i.e., attacking the oil industry of Alaska by listing polar bears when they aren't endangered) has been a perennial bone of contention in Congress for many years.

    Essentially, the ESA is used by NGOs to effect legislation through the courts that is properly enacted only through Congress. That's wrong, it's a problem, and it is recognized in Congress that steps should be taken to stop it.

    It would be in the interests of environmentalists & the environment to modify how the ESA works (it allows NGOs to function as a virtual Fourth Branch of the Government) earlier and more-incrementally, rather than wait for the eventual loss of the political conditions that protect it today.

    Lepanto, I would ask that we all hold in mind that it is unlikely we will manage to 'save the environment' by the passage of laws alone. Without a consensus among the voting citizens that certain goals are important to us, it is unlikely that environmentalism-by-edict will stick. Credibility is important, and the ESA is not doing well with too many Americans.

    The inability of a powerful, charismatic figure like Barack Obama to gain a clear ballot majority over a compromised figure like John McCain, and the ease with which McCain has placed Obama on the defensive by picking an environmentalism-doubter like Sarah Palin for a running-mate, really tells us where the Endangered Species Act stands with much of America.

    There are a lot more Sarah Palins where that one came from, and the enthusiasm for her is only the leading hint of a potential political tsunami. Environmentalism is indeed at risk.

  • At Big Thicket National Preserve, a Combative Drug Dealer Changes His Mind When Ranger Stafford Shows Him His Taser   5 years 50 weeks ago

    I've never heard of a pot-head maxing out credit cards and ravaging bank accounts to support their habit. Crack, coke, junk, PCP, meth, even opiates, yes. But you can't smoke enough pot to clear out your bank account or credit line, unless you have a $500 limit. You'll go broke faster due to alcoholism that due to weed.

    Cigarette black markets have existed for years, especially in the prison system and states bordering Indiana. Partisanism is also nothing new. Creation of ANOTHER federal overlord? Not at all required, it already exists. (Hint: three letters......F...D...A) Our government already controls the market price of tobacco by taxation, on the national, state, city, county and local levels. The layering of taxes on tobacco, and alcohol for that matter, is enough to make you ill. How would taxing pot be any different you ask? Absolutely not at all, which is the total intent. The profits derived from sales of such products are what are funneled to the government, and in this example, the source of funding directed to the NPS. The higher the taxes the better as far as I'm concerned. Why turn a blind eye to a ready-made source of income?

    I started lobbying for this on the local, state and federal levels with representatives of my own state back in the 80's. Not surprisingly, I was almost immediately targeted for investigation on a variety of levels. Pissed them off when they didn't find anything to charge me with, although I was certain some bogus allegations would surface. Anyway, I stand not to profit from this endeavor, nor do I sanction public displays of usage. But there are laws already in place to safe-guard things "between consenting adults" and other issues that occur "on private property", or in the "confines of one's residence". I really don't see where this legalization would be detrimental to society, and if by chance some good were to be able to be harnessed from this movement, I'm all for it.

  • At Big Thicket National Preserve, a Combative Drug Dealer Changes His Mind When Ranger Stafford Shows Him His Taser   5 years 50 weeks ago

    I've never heard of a pot-head maxing out credit cards and ravaging bank accounts to support their habit. Crack, coke, junk, PCP, meth, even opiates, yes. But you can't smoke enough pot to clear out your bank account or credit line, unless you have a $500 limit. You'll go broke faster due to alcoholism that due to weed.

    Cigarette black markets have existed for years, especially in the prison system and states bordering Indiana. Partisanism is also nothing new. Creation of ANOTHER federal overlord? Not at all required, it already exists. (Hint: three letters......F...D...A) Our government already controls the market price of tobacco by taxation, on the national, state, city, county and local levels. The layering of taxes on tobacco, and alcohol for that matter, is enough to make you ill. How would taxing pot be any different you ask? Absolutely not at all, which is the total intent. The profits derived from sales of such products are what are funneled to the government, and in this example, the source of funding directed to the NPS. The higher the taxes the better as far as I'm concerned. Why turn a blind eye to a ready-made source of income?

    I started lobbying for this on the local, state and federal levels with representatives of my own state back in the 80's. Not surprisingly, I was almost immediately targeted for investigation on a variety of levels. Pissed them off when they didn't find anything to charge me with, although I was certain some bogus allegations would surface. Anyway, I stand not to profit from this endeavor, nor do I sanction public displays of usage. But there are laws already in place to safe-guard things "between consenting adults" and other issues that occur "on private property", or in the "confines of one's residence". I really don't see where this legalization would be detrimental to society, and if by chance some good were to be able to be harnessed from this movement, I'm all for it.

  • House Subcommittee Considers Bill to Relax ORV Rules for Cape Hatteras National Seashore   5 years 50 weeks ago

    Oh, come on Lepanto!

    The endangered species act was a desperation move, to absolutely stop extinctions by forcing changes in human activities that threatened those species.

    If certain human activities are causing species extinction, then they indeed must be curtailed. We are agreed on that point. However, it is not the responsibility of humanity to preserve the “snapshot in time” of species present in 2008. Natural selection must be allowed to rule, not NEPA protocols. Predator species have been “relocated” via trapping our outright killing in the name of threatened species. That to me is playing God.

    Consider how many species became extinct on this planet before humans arrived on the scene. Some species just can’t cut it in the world, and they slowly slip away. While truly sad, it is what nature intended.

    The only widespread public disapproval of the law has come when species without any charisma were ridiculed in well-funded attacks to trivialize the value of the species and undermine the respect for the public servants involved.

    Can you expand on the non-charismatic animals you cite? I have no recollection of any ad campaigns as you describe.

    I agree with Mr. Clayton completely in that simple environmentalism and caring for the welfare of species has grown into a more “Extremist” movement of late. This country finds itself mired in lawsuit upon lawsuit over circumstances that could be resolved by other means.

    The case in point with CHNSRA is that a few radical groups believe that mere human presence on the beaches is a detriment to either shorebird fledglings or sea turtle nests. This has not been proven, even under the Consent Decree. Literally millions of dollars have been spent, and resulted in 3 more fledged birds than 2007. One or two storms in the spring would have made the numbers less than last years.

    Turtle nests have seen an increase this year, but most likely due to the 3-year nesting cycle of the loggerhead. Recent storms will have an impact on those numbers as well, especially since nests are not moved for any reason on CHNSRA. However, they are moved <50 miles to the North in the Pea Island NWR if they are found to be in an area that would be detrimental to their survival. Reasons given for moving/not moving have been described as CHNSRA is under DOI/NPS. PINWR is under USFWS/DOA. I still don’t see where that makes any logical sense. But then, when have politics ever been logical or rational?

    We want to Protect and Preserve, not Prohibit. Humans have a place in this world also, and should not be excluded.

  • Visitation Decline at Great Smoky Mountains National Park Has Area Businesses, Residents, and Governments Worried   5 years 50 weeks ago

    So, I realize that this is not good for businesses however I bet the resources are seriously enjoying the break!! I was in the Smokies again this year and was mortified (once again) to see visitors chasing a Black Bear, trash on the highly visited trails and people just having no respect for nature. I know it is important for people to connect with nature but maybe this was a nice break for the bears, rivers and mountains!

  • House Subcommittee Considers Bill to Relax ORV Rules for Cape Hatteras National Seashore   5 years 50 weeks ago


    Oh, come on Ted Clayton. The endangered species law was EXACTLY written to do this because it was the last gasp of the effort to stop America from destroying its diversity of species. Real laws of nationwide land use, habitat destruction or releasing chemicals into the environment were too little too late. The endangered species act was a desperation move, to absolutely stop extinctions by forcing changes in human activities that threatened those species. Don't you remember the number of times it would be said that the destruction to the environment was an "unintended consequence" or an "unexpected side effect?"

    To the extent possible the law was intended to interject the Fish and Wildlife Service into this "unintended" ambiguity with explicit science and actions and strategies to FORCE a change in destructive activities.

    The only widespread public disapproval of the law has come when species without any charisma were ridiculed in well-funded attacks to trivialize the value of the species and undermine the respect for the public servants involved. (accompanied by constant interference by political appointees resulting in over-long administrative procedures, and critically underfunded budgets, to try the public patience.)

    The public certainly does not feel this way about shore birds. And remember, threats to birds was one of the very largest original reasons for the passage of the endangered species act.

  • At Big Thicket National Preserve, a Combative Drug Dealer Changes His Mind When Ranger Stafford Shows Him His Taser   5 years 50 weeks ago

    Ted Clayton:

    I do think you are listing over a little bit on these comments of yours. I did re-read the original post, and read it again, and don't think the facetious tone is there as you suggest.

    Do find opportunities for humor, and NPT should not be and is not humorless. Plus, I am as concerned about irrational drug laws as anyone. And I am not impressed if the policy at a park is to focus on personal-quantity-drug-busts, to the neglect the primary mission of protecting the resources and the public. (I have seen upside down priorities among law enforcement officers in parks.)

    But the fact is if a law enforcement officer walks into the middle of a drug transaction, and -- dig this -- finds "several bags" (not as you imply just the personal quantities of "weed" as you say) he must act on it. Imagine the reaction if law enforcement officers were removing substantial quantities of drugs, releasing the offending parties, and then not reporting the confiscated drugs. Many would wonder if the officer kept the drugs for himself. No?

    That is what it means to be a professional. And yes, discretion and judgement is one of the jobs of the law enforcement officer. But I think the real complaint here reflected in this thread is the law itself.

    So the drugs were not the subject of facetiousness, but perhaps if you have an attitude about the appropriateness of tasers, the tasers part of it, I guess you or the author may be holding that part of the story up to the light. Without being explicit. But even if so, this ranger did not actually use the taser, which seems to me again to possibly be good judgement, and the appropriate reaction.

    Citizens are responsible for governing our legislators and the laws they pass, not the law enforcement officer. If we don't like the laws, the citizens have to give the cover to the elected officials they need to change the laws.

    In this case, it is hard to see how Rick Smith could be wrong: we should trust the discretion of the arresting officers in this case. It does not seem there was an inappropriate use of force. It seems the arrest met 4th Amendment standards: there seemed to be probable cause and illegal substances in some commercial quantity were discovered.

    If the US Attorney or the Court decides that the commercial quantities involved were too small to justify an expensive prosecution, they often drop the case or permit a guilty plea at a lesser charge. That would stlll be the lesson Beamis seeks, without full prosecution. Although, yes, at more expense of money and time than just letting them walk in the first place. But an individual officer seemed to make a legitimate judgement that he could not ignore a drug transactions of commercial quantities, and in such a case must make an arrest.

  • Creature Feature: The American Marten   5 years 50 weeks ago

    I love storys that show how connect wildlife is with the habbit. this animal servers a role in the whole system. Without them we will be short a worker. I always wonder how people dont see a design in this wonderful world we live in.

  • At Big Thicket National Preserve, a Combative Drug Dealer Changes His Mind When Ranger Stafford Shows Him His Taser   5 years 50 weeks ago

    Rick Smith,

    Perhaps you overestimate the difficulty of assessing a law enforcement context.

    There are easily enough facts in view in this case, to see that the interdiction was probably unprofessional to the point of being "amateurish".

    The original post itself sets the snide & facetious tone, Rick (read it again) ... and I see you are happy enough to try your own hand. Nothing says that NPT has to be totally stuffed & humorless at all times.

    This looks like a 'human interest' piece to me ... and I think it does NPT good.

  • House Subcommittee Considers Bill to Relax ORV Rules for Cape Hatteras National Seashore   5 years 50 weeks ago

    dapster said:

    "The Eco groups have much to fear from sworn testimony and cross-examination."

    I daresay 'Eco groups' have become environmentalism's own greatest liability. The laws they use to tie the United States in administrative knots weren't meant for these kinds of purposes. Congress has been grappling with the problem for years, and at some point they will undertake a package of reforms that will put an end to this 'subversion & perversion' of public law.

  • National Park Service Open to Cutting Single-Track Bike Trails in the Parks   5 years 50 weeks ago

    Segways are not permitted on the National Mall and can only cross the mall at 3rd, 4th, 7th and 14th Streets. All Segway tour operators are fully aware of this ruling, however two of the three tour operators - Capital Segway and City Segway Tours consistently ignore the law. Segway speed in DC is also restricted to 10mph on the sidewalks. I suggest that if you see segway riders acting recklessly and outside the law that you report it to the nearest NPS representative.

  • At Big Thicket National Preserve, a Combative Drug Dealer Changes His Mind When Ranger Stafford Shows Him His Taser   5 years 50 weeks ago

    Gee, Ted, you must have been on the scene to be able judge the actions of the 5 individuals and the 2 rangers. And, you even have a solution for the rangers involved--a refresher course. Come on, since you weren't there, let's leave the prescriptions for more training and the snide remarks out of NPT.

    Rick Smith

  • At Big Thicket National Preserve, a Combative Drug Dealer Changes His Mind When Ranger Stafford Shows Him His Taser   5 years 50 weeks ago

    These 5 male and 1 female "perps" (buncha local kids?) could have been dangling their bodies over a precipice, risking injury & death ... and putting others at risk and costing the public money attempting to rescue them ... and that would have been 'approved recreation'.

    So they're gonna share a bag of weed, and the Rangers abandon their storm-damage assessement duties and go for a little Dirty Harry side-excitement? Got it.

    Actually, the 2 Rangers obviously need a refresher course in basic law enforcement. There were 6 suspects, one Ranger is grappling with a 'man', and the other Ranger has only a disabled Taser to back him up. Not very professional ... but all too typical of Park 'law enforcement'.

    Good cops read the situation better than these guys did ... and make a call to HQ when they (obviously) aren't ready to deal with it.

    This incident reads more like Barney Fife gettin' the low-down on Mayberry.

  • House Subcommittee Considers Bill to Relax ORV Rules for Cape Hatteras National Seashore   5 years 50 weeks ago

    Alas, it would seem that the bill may have died in committee yesterday. Voting was divided strictly along party lines. Go figure. The vote was close, though.

    From the "Island Free Press":

    Even as the witnesses were testifying in the House, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources dealt the legislation what may be a fatal blow. The Senate committee voted 12-11 not to report the bill, S3113, out of committee. The vote split along party lines, with Republicans, including North Carolina’s Sen. Richard Burr, voting to report the bill out of committee and Democrats voting against it. Since this Congress will probably recess at the end of the month for the year, it seems increasingly unlikely that the legislation to set aside the consent decree will be passed.

    A big thanks to all who fought for this bill. Special thanks the the NC and mostly VA representatives who co-sponsored the bill and fought for the rights of their respective constituents.

    Also a big thanks to everyone who has posted on either side of this issue. I have learned much from you all, and I hope you feel similarly. Spirited debate is always informative as long as one keeps an open mind.

    The bill may be reintroduced next year. Otherwise, I see no other alternative than a return to the Judicial Branch of our government to resolve this issue. This time, however, it hopefully will involve more than just a single biased federal judge. The Eco groups have much to fear from sworn testimony and cross-examination.

    Their "science" and spin will not withstand the truth in that setting.

  • Critics: Changing Gun Laws in National Parks Would Open a "Pandora's Box" of Problems   5 years 50 weeks ago

    Ms. Anon,

    Thanks for your down-to-earth account of the importance of personal protection.

    I not only disagree with Bob Janiskee, that it is somehow disturbing or that something is amiss to hold that "If you don't look out for yourself, nobody else will." - but worse, I hold that he is fundamentally & factually mistaken on the point, both in principle & in practice.

    Law enforcement' purpose - as I'm sure you know, M'am - is not to provide personal protection to the populace. Never was, never will be. They are here to enforce the laws of the land, which in no way extends to making sure that no harm comes to any of us individually. The Police' duty is to the law, not to the person. The responsibility for taking care of oneself rests with oneself.

    The confusion might arise, because we expect to pick up the phone and call 911 if something bad is happening ... then an Officer comes and protects us addresses the bad that we have brought to her attention. The Officer comes to enforce the law ... and all too often, merely to make a report of the offense, which already harmed the caller.

    The Secret Service guards the person of the President, etc, but they aren't "law enforcement". The rich & the celebrated hire commercial guards to protect them from threats, and to shield their privacy. All the rest of ya'll, indeed M'am, "look out for yourselves".

    There is also the matter of restraining orders, etc, which attempt to confer protection by temporarily abridging the Constitutional rights of a 3rd party (to stay away from a spouse, etc). This too, though, is not the Police' business, but the Court's. And all too often, graphically displays that protection cannot be assured, by writ of any kind.

    No, firearms opponents have it wrong, in the Parks & outside them. The Liberal ethos is suffering from the effects of both delusion and denial, grasping at straws to justify an essentially erroneous view of both the practical realities and the basic principles of the law, with respect to firearms.

  • Critics: Changing Gun Laws in National Parks Would Open a "Pandora's Box" of Problems   5 years 50 weeks ago

    Bob says, "I do admit it disturbs me to hear an ex-police officer like yourself say "If you don't look out for yourself, nobody else will."

    You, and those folks who take a trendy, holier-than-thou anti-gun stance, should take these words very seriously. People who are astoundingly naive enough to believe that they are safe just because there are police on duty somewhere may be in for a very rude surprise some day.

    When you call 911, the police usually end up investigating a crime that's already happened. If you believe your life and the lives of your loved ones are worth more than some scumbag willing to maim or kill you then you need to take responsibility for your safety. The police are paid to enforce laws, not protect you.

    I still laugh when I see all the brouhaha from the anti gun crowd proclaiming concealed carry permit holders will suddenly start poaching when the park regulation are finally changed. Masters of FUD, these folks.[Ed: FUD stands for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt -- at least, I think that's what Rick means here.]

  • Canyonlands National Park, Still A Work in Progress After All These Years   5 years 50 weeks ago

    Canyonlands National Park is the least visited of Utah's five national parks and is truly one of the great gems of the national park system. Near and dear to my heart, and perhaps one of the most threatened by energy development, Canyonlands deserves to be expanded to include the Glen Canyon NRA lands to the west and BLM lands to the south all the way down to Dark Canyon, which is losing some of its protected status in the newly-minted proposed final Monticello Resource Management Plan. The canyons from Dark to the current park boundary would be excellent additions to Canyonlands.

    The elements illustrated quite well for me how treacherous canyon country travel can be during a four day backpack trip in the Needles District. My friends and I had planned a Dark Canyon expedition during the very, very dry winter of 2005-2006, when by early March not a snowflake was to be found anywhere in the Abajo Mountains and Elk Ridge where our hike would begin. So, the second weekend in March, we arrived in Moab just in time for a blizzard, which cut off access to the upper trailheads to Dark Canyon west of Blanding. We made a last minute decision to spend four days in the Needles instead. When we arrived, the snow hadn't reached such a low elevation yet, so we were elated that we'd have a good-weather backpack trip. Our elation lasted until that evening while setting up camp in Chesler Park, which soon received about six inches of snow, drifting up to a foot in places. We spent the next three days negotiating icy slickrock above precipitous cliffs and slots, making an otherwise tame trail truly treacherous. During the whole hike, we encountered no other visitors and we had more fun in that wild, wild place than I've had anywhere else in a long, long time.

  • Critics: Changing Gun Laws in National Parks Would Open a "Pandora's Box" of Problems   5 years 50 weeks ago

    From what you've said, Anon, I judge that you're a very trustworthy individual who, by virtue of your fine training and long experience, could be expected to act very responsibly if allowed to legally pack in the national parks. I assure you that it's not people like you I'm worried about. I do admit it disturbs me to hear an ex-police officer like yourself say "If you don't look out for yourself, nobody else will." Is the situation really that bleak? Do we all need to pack, even when we're in a national park?

    BTW, Anon, I had occasion to fire a variety of weapons myself during basic training and the rest of my stint with the U.S. Army (three years and 13 days, mostly spent overseas) back in the Stone Age. With one notable exception, I qualified expert with every single one of those weapons, too. The .38 caliber, two-inch barrel police revolver that was my TOE weapon when I served with the 513th MI was darn near completely useless. I developed a plan for using that metallic piece of crap if I was ever called upon to do so in an emergency -- if, for example, a horde of Commie tanks burst through the Fulda Gap and descended on Oberursel/Ts. My two-step plan was to do this: (1) Fire one round when my assailant got within 30 feet -- preferably lots closer; then (2) throw the revolver at him and run like hell. Thank goodness that I never got the chance to do that. Anyway, for greater piece of mind I got myself (notice I didn't say "bought") a .45 automatic. It was heavy and ugly, but very competent.