Recent comments

  • Nevada Barr’s Next Park Novel: An Unauthorized Preview   6 years 3 days 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   6 years 3 days 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?   6 years 3 days 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   6 years 3 days 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   6 years 3 days 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?   6 years 3 days 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?   6 years 3 days 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?   6 years 3 days 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?

  • Gun Rules for The National Parks: Will They Really Make It Easier To Pack in the Parks?   6 years 3 days ago

    Does a person or a citiezen of these United States of America have a Constitutional Right to Self Defence or not? Does the same have the right to Arm oneself for Self Defence our not? Be careful People. To deny any constitutional right is a violation of US Code Title 18 Chapter 13 Section 242. Its there. Look it up.

  • Gun Rules for The National Parks: Will They Really Make It Easier To Pack in the Parks?   6 years 3 days ago

    You might as well get ready for it in the parks, the new administration will lead an all out assault on the second amendment sooner rather than later. I would bet money that by the end of 2009, you won't be able to legally carry a weapon on a hunting trip!

  • Gun Rules for The National Parks: Will They Really Make It Easier To Pack in the Parks?   6 years 3 days ago

    There are rules o' plenty being broken daily in national parks, many of which deserve far more attention than whether or not a CCW permit holder is packing heat into the john.

    Please allow me to again tweak one of your sentences, Kurt:

    But if that doesn't happen, it'll be interesting to see how many [automobile] owners actually follow the rules.

    How many automobile owners have broken park rules by exceeding the posted speed limit, either intentionally or "accidentally", in a national park? I'd gather that every last NPT reader who's stepped foot--er, uh, in this case, wheel--in a national park has broken this and other traffic rules. Yet, do we see their honesty questioned on the pages of NPT?

    Again, there are more serious rules, rules regarding "property" rights, being violated daily in parks. Petrified forest is such an example (and thank you for the recent article highlighting how some are ripping off the park and other visitors). Flower pickers, artifact hunters, and so forth have far more of an impact than imagined concealed weapons permit holders venturing into a gift shop to buy a postcard, while a 9mm rests safely under their coats.

  • Updated: Salazar Pick For Interior Secretary Labeled a Failure   6 years 4 days ago

    You betcha! Here's a link to a local newspaper, "The Island Free Press", which has covered all the NPS Negotioated Rulemaking Committee meetings:

    http://www.islandfreepress.org/CatBeachAccessIssues.html

    You can also find links to the first 2 meetings to be videotaped. The viewing is interesting, but long. Watch some if you've got the time. Some of the most intersting to me are on the 11/14 tape, where a UFSWS Turtle expert gave a presentation comparing beach/vehicle useage on Daytona Beach to that on Hatteras. That made for some interesting debate in the Q&A later on.

    I was lucky enough to attend the 11/14-15 meetings, and I don't think I've ever seen such a polarized and deadlocked panel. Word is some headway has been made during the 12/11-12 meetings, but for that group to reach consensus on a decision as simple as "What's for lunch" seems impossible. I smell more lawsuits, sadly...

    Crazy weather out your way and other points West! Snow in your rainforest, snow in Las Vegas, sounds to me like the Pacific Decadal Oscillation has indeed reversed, as has been postulated for some time now. The recent changes in the Humboldt would seem to firm up that theory also. Stay warm and safe out there. Please do share some of those pics!

    You've missed quite a bit! Guns in the Parks has been the issue du jour of late, along with the election, etc. All good stuff from Kurt et al as usual!

    Good to have you back.

    dap

  • Sen. Salazar Seems to be the Interior Secretary Pick For the Obama Administration   6 years 4 days ago

    Otherwise, what is the point

    Why, revolution of course.

    To awaken people to the wool that has been pulled over their eyes.

    "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security." --Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence

  • Updated: Salazar Pick For Interior Secretary Labeled a Failure   6 years 4 days ago

    Thanks dapster! I did see a CHNSRA comment the other day as I refreshed on NPT, but have seen nothing in the news. Can you point me to a thread that will update me?

    Our Arctic outbreak dumped snow on the Olympic Peninsula last Friday, then froze it, then the winds yanked everything around (fortunately missed the powerlines..), then we got a couple days of cold sunshine. Yesterday, the front return with more moisture and we are now getting a major dump. Six inches of powder on the beaches of Juan de Fuca Strait. A foot or more upland. With a few more minutes of daylight, I'll be out with the camera ... it would a perfect photo-op, if it wasn't still snowing fairly hard!

    Tomorrow is supposed to clear off, and I'm going over to my trail-job and do some shop-work. Hope to hike out and get some snow-pics on the trail, though I won't be able to do any cutting. I'll upload some and post links.

    Yes, I've missed the good coverage on National Parks Traveler, and the quality give & take! :-)

  • Everglades Land Bill Approved, But With a Caveat   6 years 4 days ago

    Ansley said:

    Without some sort stability in the lines of jobs, we cannot survive ... Why could they not have taken some time to develop a plan to help us...?

    Well, I offered my 'way over-priced' objection as "First of all", but Ansley's point certainly trumps the squandering of tax-payer money. This project is squandering good people & communities, as well.

    You could say this is a bad habit that environmentalism has picked up - to pursue goals without regard to human costs. However, it's actually worse than that. Even some environmentalists themselves accede, that they view the humans and the communities and cultures, as the real problem, and that they are indeed the real intended target.

    Besides the moral decadence involved, this attitude & behavior ... bears a remarkable similarity to Pres. Bush' war in Iraq, etc, generating massive hostility and providing motivation for the recruitment & organization of opposition forces.

    That so conflicted & compromised a candidate as Sen. John McCain would do as well at the ballot box as he did, against the wildly enthusiastic support for Sen. Barrack Obama, delivers a message that environmentalism should be hearing & heeding. People didn't vote for McCain because they are comfortable with his leadership - in fact, they are not!

    People voted for McCain, in large extent as a reflection of how deeply they despise environmentalism, in large extent due to its disdain for common (esp. rural) people.

    In the end, I expect that attacking the foundations of society will boomerang on environmentalism. Hopefully, the economic crisis will intervene on behalf of the central Florida sugar-workers & communities.

  • Sen. Salazar Seems to be the Interior Secretary Pick For the Obama Administration   6 years 4 days ago

    DEAR FRANK C:

    The issue in politics for you, for others, I submit, is being effective. That means either creating an advantage, or winning.

    Otherwise, what is the point, other than shaking your fist at the sky or some other form of self-expression.

  • Updated: Salazar Pick For Interior Secretary Labeled a Failure   6 years 4 days ago

    If the radical leftist Suckling doesn't like the pick, then I guess I love it.
    The Wilderness Society and NPCA are definitely more in tune with the average, working American.

    Roger, I couldn't agree more. Just goes to show that the Radicalized Enviros can't win 'em all!

    I say let's let Mr. Salazar actually work at his post for a while before we start bashing him. Kinda like the way we should let the President Elect serve a few days before we start praising him, and renaming roads and schools. Just a bit premature in both cases, IMO.

    Ted, good to see you back in the fray, Sir! Sounds like you had some great adventures during your absence. I agree with your comment as well. Perhaps Mr. Suckling will try to sue his way around this issue?

    Have you kept abreast of the CHNSRA case? Much has transpired since we discussed it last, a mixed bag for all sides, at best.

  • Everglades Land Bill Approved, But With a Caveat   6 years 4 days ago

    I could not agree with you more. I am a sixth generation Floridian and have lived in Hendry county my whole life. I was at the meetings this week, and I must say I am DISGUSTED with our government. These seven board members had their strings pulled all week by our 'great' governor. They were conned into doing what they did with the promise of God knows what. Meanwhile, our community is left with the real possibility that we have lost everything we (and those past) have worked our whole lives for. Without some sort stability in the lines of jobs, we cannot survive, and the only jobs we have are the mill. So, with all this said, I agree with you, why are they in such a hurry. Why could they not have taken some time to develop a plan to help us, the people who voted them into office? And yes, the Everglades will ALWAYS survive; it is a part of nature. It has its good times and bad, but it will be there in the end, however I cannot say the same thing for my community.

  • Everglades Land Bill Approved, But With a Caveat   6 years 4 days ago

    First of all, the price of the land is too expensive, even in good economic times. At $1.34 billion for 181,000 acres, that's slightly over $7,400 an acre, wholesale. Realistically, the price is acknowledged to be about $3 billion, or more. That's well over $20,000 an acre, in very large swaths. For cane field.

    I am tooo szzure!

    And that's in good economic times, which these ain't. Oil has collapsed to $40 a barrel. Chrysler just closed every single one of its dozens of plants - shut down the whole shebang. Obama is talking a trillion dollar stimulus package. Millions of erstwhile middle class people are losing their homes.

    I expect this deal to be scuttled, and for fiscal responsibility to intrude in other cases too where many would prefer that it not be a partner at the table.

    There are those who are willing to make such an ecological deal as this - they simply don't care what the cost is - but it is being paid for it with other peoples' money, and those people do care.

    The Everglades will survive, not as big as could be, but the biome will persist. And under perfectly natural regimes, the health of swamps such as this is very much a boom & bust affair anyway. The idea that the Everglades is a steady-state system, that it does not crash, burn, dry up, flood, drowned ... and rise up from the dead again & again, as the natural way of such places ... well phooey - it has for centuries & millennia.

    Wait for the populace to wake up to the fact that sugar-consumption beyond a few pounds per year shortens the life and reduces the quality of what we have - then we'll get all of U.S. Sugar's land holdings and much more besides, for a fraction of today's price. ;-)

  • Sen. Salazar Seems to be the Interior Secretary Pick For the Obama Administration   6 years 4 days ago

    Concentrating power in one person, a monarchical tendency, defiles the basis of which our country was founded and for which revolutionaries gave their lives. We wouldn't want to antagonize the monarch, because he might punish us or we might loose his royal favor.

    Frank C - I agree 100%. Unfortunately, that's tended to be the situation in recent years.

    Only time will tell if that changes under the new regime. Even with the best leadership, I continue to believe that wisdom dictates you shouldn't kick the anthill unless it's your goal to break up the picnic.

  • Updated: Salazar Pick For Interior Secretary Labeled a Failure   6 years 4 days ago

    I read the Wikipedia entries for the Center for Biological Diversity, and for Kieran Suckling, and what I see is very close to a one-man entity with a specialty in media-promotion, and lawsuits.

    It appears they do not actually do much of anything else.

    Kieran Suckling, in his response to prospective Sec. of Interior appointee Ken Salazar, strikes me as the fellow at the protest with extra-strong lungs, and a chunk of brick cupped in his hand.

  • Updated: Salazar Pick For Interior Secretary Labeled a Failure   6 years 4 days ago

    If the radical leftist Suckling doesn't like the pick, then I guess I love it.
    The Wilderness Society and NPCA are definitely more in tune with the average, working American.

  • Sen. Salazar Seems to be the Interior Secretary Pick For the Obama Administration   6 years 4 days ago

    "the person who holds enormous power for good or bad in terms of our parks and other resources"

    Concentrating power in one person, a monarchical tendency, defiles the basis of which our country was founded and for which revolutionaries gave their lives. We wouldn't want to antagonize the monarch, because he might punish us or we might loose his royal favor.

  • Updated: Salazar Pick For Interior Secretary Labeled a Failure   6 years 5 days ago

    When all one can say is that "almost anyone will be an improvement" or "anyone the new administration selects should be a step up", what does that say about the management of public lands? A step up from a steaming pile of poo is a cold, crusty dung patty. How can people lend their support to this broken political spoils system, this bellum omnium in omnia? Please, someone enlighten me.

    And it doesn't stop with the DOI. Take a look at what some are saying about Obama's pick for Dept. of Ag., Vilsack. In short, he supports ethanol subsidies, even though bio fuels "contributed substantially to steep increases in global food prices earlier this year" and cause "land to be plowed up which actually boosts greenhouse gas emissions".

    Government is broken, people. Take a look around. The evidence is EVERYWHERE.

  • Sen. Salazar Seems to be the Interior Secretary Pick For the Obama Administration   6 years 5 days ago

    Re Frank C's response to my earlier post:

    Ah, yes. This is the "go along, get along" philosophy of those in power in the NPS. Heave forbid we examine the voting record and actions of political appointees and make critical statements about them.

    "Go along and get along" are vastly different.

    I certainly wasn't suggesting we should "go along" with anything contrary to the best interests of parks, but I agree that for groups such as NPCA, it's important to try to "get along" with the new Secretary, until his or her actions require otherwise. If pro-park groups can't establish good communications - and a willing audience - with the Secretary and his staff, the opportunity to influence policy in the department will be greatly diminished.

    As to critical statements about new political appointees, the above also applies. Those who feel there is a potential problem for the new Secretary based on previous voting records and actions should certainly be free to speak out - but they need to consider what they'll gain by doing so. I seriously doubt an "outcry" at this point will change the Obama team's choice for Secretary, so there's a trade-off between speaking out about past voting records as a matter of principle and starting out with an antagonistic relationship with the person who holds enormous power for good or bad in terms of our parks and other resources.