Skip to comments.The Park Police
Posted on 10/10/2013 2:26:49 PM PDT by xzins
We are a nation that has a governmentnot the other way around.
The conduct of the National Park Service over the last week might be the biggest scandal of the Obama administration. This is an expansive claim, of course. Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the IRS, the NSA, the HHS mandatethis is an administration that has not lacked for appalling abuses of power. And we still have three years to go.
Even so, consider the actions of the National Park Service since the government shutdown began. People first noticed what the NPS was up to when the World War II Memorial on the National Mall was closed. Just to be clear, the memorial is an open plaza. There is nothing to operate. Sometimes there might be a ranger standing around. But hes not collecting tickets or opening gates. Putting up barricades and posting guards to close the World War II Memorial takes more resources and manpower than keeping it open.
The closure of the World War II Memorial was just the start of the Park Services partisan assault on the citizenry. Theres a cute little historic site just outside of the capital in McLean, Virginia, called the Claude Moore Colonial Farm. They do historical reenactments, and once upon a time the National Park Service helped run the place. But in 1980, the NPS cut the farm out of its budget. A group of private citizens set up an endowment to take care of the farms expenses. Ever since, the site has operated independently through a combination of private donations and volunteer workers.
The Park Service told Claude Moore Colonial Farm to shut down.
The farms administrators appealed this directivethey explained that the Park Service doesnt actually do anything for the historic site. The folks at the NPS were unmoved. And so, last week, the National Park Service found the scratch to send officers to the park to forcibly remove both volunteer workers and visitors.
Think about that for a minute. The Park Service, which is supposed to serve the public by administering parks, is now in the business of forcing parks they dont administer to close. As Homer Simpson famously asked, did we lose a war?
Were not done yet. The parking lot at Mount Vernon was closed by the NPS, too, even though the Park Service does not own Mount Vernon; it just controls access to the parking lots from the George Washington Parkway. At the Vietnam Memorialwhich is just a wall you walk pastthe NPS called in police to block access. But the pièce de résistance occurred in South Dakota. The Park Service wasnt content just to close Mount Rushmore. No, they went the extra mile and put out orange cones to block the little scenic overlook areas on the roads near Mount Rushmore. You know, just to make sure no taxpayers could catch a glimpse of it.
Its one thing for politicians to play shutdown theater. Its another thing entirely for a civil bureaucracy entrusted with the privilege of caring for our national heritage to wage war against the citizenry on behalf of a political party.
This is how deep the politicization of Barack Obamas administration goes. The Park Service falls under the Department of the Interior, and its director is a political appointee. Historically, the directorship has been nonpartisan and the service has functioned as a civil, not a political, unit. Before the current director, Jonathan Jarvis, was nominated by President Obama, hed spent 30 years as a civil servant. But he has taken to his political duties with all the fervor of a third-tier hack from the DNC, marrying the disinterested contempt of a meter maid with the zeal of an ambitious party apparatchik.
Its worth recalling that the Park Service has always been deeply ambivalent about the public which theyre charged with serving. In a 2005 Weekly Standard piece about the NPSs plan to reconfigure the National Mall, Andrew Ferguson reported:
The Park Services ultimate desire was made public, indiscreetly, by John Parsons, associate regional park director for the mall. In 2000 Parsons told the Washington Post he hoped that eventually all unauthorized traffic, whether by foot or private car, would be moved off the mall. Visitors could park in distant satellite lots and be bused to nodal points, where they would be watered and fed, allowed to tour a monument, and then reboard a bus and head for another monument. Just like at Disneyland, Parsons told the Post. Nobody drives through Disneyland. Theyre not allowed. And weve got the better theme park.
Yes, yes. They must protect Americas treasures from the ugly Americans. No surprise then that one park ranger explained to the Washington Times last week, Weve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can.
To make life as difficult for people as we canthat would be an apt motto for the Obama worldview. And now even the misanthropes at the National Park Service have been yoked to his project. This is the clearest example yet of how the president understands the relationship between his government and the citizenry.
Weve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can.
That in itself should be an impeachable offense.
We have a very petulant “king” for a President, who will not tolerate dissent from the little people (us).
It would be a dynamite video for upcoming elections (although career ending) if the guy who said that would do it on camera.
Let`s put this president into park.
Its time for House Republicans to punish the NPS for its actions during the shutdown. I have no problem targeting Park employees pay...make them feel the pain.
Tarring and feathering is warranted for these abuses of power.
When they ‘closed’ the WWII Memorial I posted that those doing it should be fired.
Boy, was I pilloried by Freepers. Mostly those who work as government contractors and were whining about being furloughed.
The punishing of innocent Americans by President Obama are evidence that he is unstable and unable to govern, are they not?
No sane and rational person carries out such unjustified acts against WWII veterans, Vietnam veterans, and visitors to our National Parks. It is unprecedented, unjustified, and aggressive behavior to hurt hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent people.
What is going on? What have these people done to warrant such vicious and outrageous behavior by our government? Are they the "enemies" of President Obama? What country is our President representing?
Or you can stop trying to incite others to violence that you yourself aren’t prepared to take part in.
Park Service Rangers are the original jack booted thugs. These guys should not be allowed to carry guns. I heard they have closed their wildlife refuges also - exactly how does it take government funds to see ducks and deer? Its time to take our country back. All of these parks should be turned over to the states or private business so they can be run correctly.
A month ago I would’ve disagreed with you but what a difference a month makes! You are most correct.
Sure is a lot of hyperbole and inciting going on...thought I had got caught in a warp of some kind and ended up at the DUmp where they promote this kind of garbage.
It's still the finest form of representative govt that Saudi oil money can buy!
To answer your question. We are vassals of the house of saud!
since no one knows where he's from, that's hard to say
I get it; people are angry. But how does making silly threats on the internet to shoot government workers get anything accomplished?
Folks need to remember how they voted or failed to vote and never put, or by lack of action allow, another administration like this in office.
I hear you, I’m not pleased about any of it either.
But the hyperbole and threats just makes FReepers look bad and quite reactionary to relatively benign events that are doing more to turn the public opinion against the government and the regime than we could’ve hoped.
Agreed. They are and will be much more important hills to die on, metaphorically speaking.
Are you trying to get FR shut down - posting crap like that.
Most of which are supported by funds from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses.
This is what Megan actually said. She didn't say "we" should go shoot anyone. She said states should take back their own land and resources.
In a sense, if you think about it, the nation taking property in individual states is an encapsulation of the philosophy of an almighty central government.
It really is just marginally different than the Fed seizing property in Canada, another free state. And we fought one Civil War already with that as one of the issues. Slavery, of course, was a gross violation of the God-given freedom of a human being, and that had nothing to do with a State's power of self-determination while within a representative system that specifically protects the real identity and authority of individual States.
Do I think you are right that violent rhetoric injures Free Republic? Yes, I do. But, the words she wrote seems to me to be about States seizing back their own authority and boundaries through the actions of that State's legitimate authorities.
Your idea sounds nice but we already have seen what local ownership often has wrought. Many states run their profitable parks into the ground and rob them of revenue to fund other programs. The unprofitable parks and historic sites often crumble into oblivion from neglect. Several National Parks and historic sites were at one time adminstered by states who practically begged the Federal government to take them over.
The NPS isn’t my favorite agency but in all fairness, they do a far better job of taking care of these parks than almost any state government would do.
Just curious, do you also condemn people who think that a 3% sales tax on commodities is justification for violently overthrowing a sovereign government? Surely you would because that’s a miniscule sufferance compared to having armed police threatening military veterans and Members of Congress who visit public war memorials.
Well while the trail has been "guerrilla opened" since at least the 4th, a nearby visitor center, The Happy Days visitor center, was closed and Barrycaded.
I just went out for a ride through the various county roads that surround the park and on my way back I noticed that the Happy Days Center was opened and holding an event for Time Warner. This in the face of NPS goons having closed numerous private establishments simply because they sit on park lands or use park lands for access roadways or vehicular parking.
I took numerous pictures with my cell phone and was wondering if there is any organized effort to push back on this issue and would those pics help in highlighting this regime`s bold faced bull shit approach?
“In a sense, if you think about it, the nation taking property in individual states is an encapsulation of the philosophy of an almighty central government.”
Um you do realize that most regular National Park property was bought or donated right ???
I want to see the NPS & the U S Marshals go in & kick out Obama & Biden-—
\They are both living inside Federal properties-—and the Federal government provides them with every whim they wish.
Many states run their profitable parks into the ground and rob them of revenue to fund other programs. “””
Ar3e you seriously suggesting that the Feds don’t have those actions down to a fine art???
Do you think Obama's bully boys are going to look at the "nuance" around "I want them fired on" when they show up at the server farm?
I don't. That comment and all alluding it should be pulled.
Posting rules are clear. No violence.
...to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;
These are the only legitimate constitutional ownings of the Federal Government that I can find. I see no authority for it to own half of Alaska, for example.
I want them fired on is not the full statement she made. She said that work was to be done by those in the quote above that actually preserves what she said.
She was NOT advocating us shooting park rangers. Her words can be misrepresented all night long, but that doesn't make the misrepresentation correct. It isn't.
She was advocating state authorities, SHERIFFS, STATE POLICE, AND NATIONAL GUARD, taking back their own land. It was clear. It wasn't even a close call. Suggesting she wrote otherwise isn't dealing with the actual words on the page.
I am saying that the Federal government generally does a better job than states or municipalities at running and maintaining their parks and historic sites. I have been to hundreds if not thousands of them across the country in 50 years and I’ll stand by that statement.
Are they perfect ?? Heck no, far from it. Just better than the alternative.
I am a simple man. Words and declarative sentences have a meaning.
This “taking back” of federal park land might be a worthwhile discussion to have. What entity has authority to “take back” The Great Smokies? That national park was created with donations from the federal Gov’t and a larger gift from Rockefeller and many small donations, including Appalachian school kids’ Depression era pennies, nickels and dimes.
Agreed that was originally the case but since that time laws and acts have been passed creating many other Federal entities. Do I agree with all of them ??? No but they are law and until they have been judged unConstitutional we will live with them whether you or I like them or not.
Can the Federal government return back to performing only it’s explicit duties and obligations as delineated in the Constitution?? Yes but it will take at leaast a hundred years to undo the past 200 years of growth. That isn’t defeatism...that is reality.
As for owning half of Alaska, I agree with you but remember, it was the Federal government that bought all that land originally in the first place. Alaska is pretty much a creation of the Federal government (thank you Seward)
That’s what I meant. However, what I posted could have been phrased a lot better and I won’t object to any moderators editing it or removing it.
The families of the people who lost their homes, land, businesses, and livelyhoods to an eminent domain process that paid $20 for every $500 acre of land?
The Federal Government should not own vast tracts of land, not even the Smokies.
And, to be honest with you, my mom is from Swain Country, NC, and they tell an entirely different story about the Fed swallowing up farms, homes, and entire villages. She knew the people who were cheated out of everything.
Gore was even trying a few years back to swallow up my grandfather’s farm that sits on the edge of the park.
See below the story of County Bureaucrats selling out their people to Federal Bureaucrats. And it truly was based on MONEY.
In the 1930s and 1940s, Swain County gave up the majority of its private land to the Federal Government for the creation of Fontana Lake and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Hundreds of people were forced to leave the small Smoky Mountain communities that had been their homes for generations. With the creation of the Park, their homes were gone, and so was the road to those communities. Old Highway 288 was buried beneath the deep waters of Fontana Lake.
The Federal government promised to replace Highway 288 with a new road. Lakeview Drive was to have stretched along the north shore of Fontana Lake, from Bryson City to Fontana, 30 miles to the west. And, of special importance to those displaced residents, it was to have provided access to the old family cemeteries where generations of ancestors remained behind.
But Lakeview Drive fell victim to an environmental issue and construction was stopped, with the road ending at a tunnel, about six miles into the park. The environmental issue was eventually resolved, but the roadwork was never resumed. And Swain County’s citizens gave the unfinished Lakeview Drive its popular, albeit unofficial name “The Road To Nowhere.”
On weekends throughout the summer, the Park Service still ferries groups of Swain County residents across Fontana Lake to visit their old family cemeteries for Decoration Days and family reunions.
The legal issue of whether to build the road was finally resolved in February, 2010 when the US Department of Interior signed a settlement agreement paying Swain County $52 million in lieu of building the road. Congressman Heath Shuler, a Bryson City naitve, was the driving force in bringing the settlement to fruition.
You’re right. Yosemite, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon subsidize scores of other parks across the country.
Jefferson bought the Louisiana Purchase and opened it up for Americans. He understood that the Federal government is the people and not a corporate business interest.
“Jefferson bought the Louisiana Purchase and opened it up for Americans.”
Yes and at the time many considered that purchase (as with the later purchase of Alaska) as unConstitutional overreaches of the Federal government.
Arguably a Constitutional purist could argue that all territories purchased from Spain and Russia west of the Mississippi should be returned to them for a refund.
Constitutional or not, I would think that’s a really bad idea.
Thanks for the thoughtful, friendly reply.
I was comparing the opening up of territory to regular people versus the Fed locking up control of Alaska to itself.
Had we done the same with the Louisiana purchase, we would have people living from the Mississippi west. It would all be Federal range.
They are not to have control of other than postal facilities, military forts & training areas, and the like.
They shouldn’t be owning half of Alaska. Would Alaska be different if they didn’t own it? I suspect it would be a lot different. Can’t prove it, of course, but I strongly suspect it.
With a dictator every MOLECULE within his grasp must be brought into alignment with his agenda or die.