07 October 2013

Part 3 On Park Shutdowns

While a number of bloggers and historians continue to mislead and offer half-truths on this topic in order to advance their Tea Party-hating agenda, the Christian Science Monitor is doing some fair reporting on the budget stalemate and the subsequent National Park Services closing of monuments and parks. I missed this headline the other day on their website:

Government shutdown: Offers that would reopen national parks rebuffed by Feds


Here's one of the most important take-aways from the article:
But given that in past shutdowns or budget standoffs, some park closings have been resolved, critics say the National Park Service is now being far too aggressive in barricading public lands. Some are accusing the agency of “showdown theater,” aimed at pinning blame on Republicans and reminding people of the importance of the federal government. (Emphasis mine.)
If you doubt that, just skip around the lefty leaning blogs and see the comments and where all the blame is being laid. It's just a convenient opportunity for many. I think many of them actually believe no one sees through the charade. The CS piece also shares the following experience of a private campground operator that has been drug into this circus:
Warren Meyer, a private campground operator in national parks, told Fox News that his campgrounds have not been affected by past shutdowns, but were ordered closed this week by National Park Service officials. Mr. Meyer said he received orders directly from the White House to close about 100 campgrounds.

In a letter to his congressman, Meyer wrote, “We employ no government workers ... and we actually pay rent into the Treasury.” Thus, “I can only assume their intention is to artificially increase the cost of the shutdown as some sort of political ploy.” (Emphasis mine.)
The CS piece does close with a statement that explains some of the closings. I accept that and it's a reasonable position. Areas with artifacts and security concerns that realistically cannot be manned should be closed. But there seems to be little doubt that the NPS is going way beyond what they have done in the past and that viable options for resolving this "crisis" are being rejected for reasons that appear contrived. I agree that neither houses of Congress are blameless in this, but the NPS is not looking much better.

You can read the CS piece here.

And the Washington Times reported this yesterday:

On Friday, the Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina decided it would buck the Park Service’s order and remain open — only to find park rangers come and block the driveway to the inn to prevent anyone from entering. The parkway itself remained open, but the administration said all concessions in national parks must shut.

“I’m questioning their authority to shut me,” Pisgah Inn owner Bruce O'Connell told The Washington Times on Friday as he fought to stay open.
More here.

And, just to remind the youngsters, the Democrats used this same tactic numerous times during Reagan's presidency so please, save us all the drama. 

Once again, be careful what you're reading on some history related blogs - many of those writing and commenting there support bigger government and "got skin in the game", so their objectivity is a bit suspect. Besides, if they were really as concerned about parks and other historical sites being shutdown as they claim, they'd be advocating the park funding bill passed by the House of Representatives. This proves they're just as focused on the larger political issues involved as are the ones they're criticizing. They think everyone is blind to that. Think again.

Of course, nothing will convince some of these folks - even when presented with case, after case, after case. They're even still celebrating the train wreck that is the Affordable Care Act which is, of course, part of this whole debate. They are completely out of touch. When confronted with the facts that absolutely destroy their position, their typical, pointy-headed response is: "Oh, you just don't understand the complexities of . . . blah, blah, blah." Yes, they're disgusted with the great unwashed who disagree with their intellectual-supremacist proclamations - even though those proclamations often fly in the face of facts. They have no response other than to claim they're more learned and intellectual than are their critics.

It's amazing to watch them lie to themselves. I think they're actually convinced no one sees through their charade.

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