Recent comments

  • How To Avoid A Bear Attack in the Great Outdoors, The Cartoon   5 years 26 weeks ago

    @ Gregg: The animation was made by Randy Boyum of Denver, CO. You can reach him at: RandomAnimation(at)aol(dot)com

  • How To Avoid A Bear Attack in the Great Outdoors, The Cartoon   5 years 26 weeks ago

    With just a lttle work this could not only be a very funny video, but very accurate and a useful teaching tool. As head of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee Information & Education Committee I would love to work with whoever made this to create another version that is totally accurate.

  • By the Numbers: Death Valley Weather   5 years 26 weeks ago

    A stiff breeze sure won't do you any good when it gets that hot. Normal skin temperature is 91 degrees, plus or minus about two degrees, so any time the ambient air temperature is hotter than that, the breeze will add heat to your body. Because summer evaporation rates are extremely high at Furnace Creek (as you've pointed out), evaporative cooling can work very well. Comfort-wise, it'd make more sense to stay out of the pool and just use the pool water to soak your clothing and a towel-turban for your head. The downside is that wet fabric dries amazingly fast in the hot breeze, so keeping that stuff wet will keep you busier than a one-armed paper hanger.

  • Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park Officials Launching Work On New Management Plan   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Hi, Although we live in Green Bay, Wi, we are often in the Fredericksburg area as our daughter and family live there....actually in Spotsylvania county. Are there any immediate plans for the Slaughter Pen Farm area which we pass every time we venture into downtown. We donated to the purchase of that land and wonder what the plans are for the future. We will not be out east for any of your meetings, but are interested in the area and preservation in general. Thanks, John and Sally Straub

  • By the Numbers: Death Valley Weather   5 years 26 weeks ago

    My wife and I were in Death Valley last July (2008). When we got to the hotel at Furnace Creek our car's thermometer read 122 degrees. A couple of observations:
    - There was a pretty stiff breeze which we thought would be a good thing. Instead, having 122 degree air blowing on you is like leaning over a hot oven and opening the door. Takes a little getting used to.
    - Swimming in the pool at the hotel was like getting in a hot tub. It was only refreshing for the 20 seconds that it took the water to dry off you after getting out.
    - When we hiked the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes at 5:45am it was still 90 degrees
    - The place is beautiful, remarkable, stunning, interesting, etc and if your car is in any kind of normal state of repair you should not have problems visiting in the summer. Just bring a bunch of water and plan to do any hiking in the early morning.

    It is an unforgettable place to visit and if I lived closer I would go back in a heartbeat.

  • By the Numbers: Death Valley Weather   5 years 26 weeks ago

    And this is why I will be visiting Death Valley in the late fall or early spring. "High hundred teens" just shouldn't be a phrase used ot refer to weather. Waaaaayyyyyy too hot!

  • Greenpeace Activists Face Slew of Charges For Their Stunt At Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Frank,

    Aren't you out of red herring cards yet?;-)

    I'd disagree that my question was a red herring. You are condemning the actions of one society for its treatment of another. And yet, the Lakota have their own history of warring with their neighbors. Plus, as Skihde put it, "who owned the lands before the Lakota? Should the land therefore belong to them?"

    I think my question is valid in light of the issues you raised regarding the Treaty of 1868, and to better understand your thinking. If you dismiss/ignore the Lakota's treatment of their peers, how can you hold the 19th century U.S. government to a higher standard?

    Now, Bob's question could truly be viewed as a red herring to this discussion.

  • Greenpeace Activists Face Slew of Charges For Their Stunt At Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Speaking of AIM, isn't Leonard Peltier about due for parole?

  • Greenpeace Activists Face Slew of Charges For Their Stunt At Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Whoa, Frank...you're advocating anarchy, even in Wiki's third definition? Really? I defy you to come up with one example of anarchy anywhere that fits this definition. People are too selfish for anarchy as defined here to work. What you will get is the first or second definitions--just look at Mogadishu. If each "person has absolute liberty," then we degrade into situational ethics, and I think that "(without the implication of disorder)" is impossible. Otherwise, you have to acknowledge that there are agreed-upon laws, and once you do that, then someone must enforce the laws, and that is a form of governance.

    Even if the land reverts to its rightful owners, there would be governance (i.e., tribal eldership), NOT an anarchic condition.

    However, I agree with your point that the U.S.'s treatment of Native Americans is abysmal, and that we don't honor our treaties with them is unconscionable. But then...who owned the lands before the Lakota? Should the land therefore belong to them?

  • Greenpeace Activists Face Slew of Charges For Their Stunt At Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Frank C, as a Native American that is a topic I don't get started on. My mother marched with AIM in her youth and would have been right up there on Rushmore demonstrating if she didn't have a young child.
    Ranger Holly
    http://web.me.com/hollyberry

  • Greenpeace Activists Face Slew of Charges For Their Stunt At Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Anonymous, apparently my point didn't come across as clearly as I meant it to. What I was getting at is yes, they broke the law and went into a closed area as many, many visitors do every single day. I was trying to say they don't deserve all the attention they are getting because to me it was no different than the person who goes past the closed sign to get a better picture. I said I could understand why they chose that spot to demonstrate but I didn't condone them breaking the law.

    There were some people commenting on resource damage caused by greenpeaace and I was trying to compare it to what the NPS has done up there and they didn't cause that much damage.

    Didn't mean to cause such an uproar! Just didn't word it well I guess

    Ranger Holly
    http://web.me.com/hollyberry

  • Greenpeace Activists Face Slew of Charges For Their Stunt At Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Oups! The incomplete sentence should have been: One of their earliest activists, the owner of the yacht "Vega" was aptly named David (McTaggert) and that is their strategy ever since: They take up against the big guys, the guys in uniforms, the guys with guns and the ones who make laws.

  • Errant Boater Hits Bridge, Forcing Closure of a Section of the Colonial Parkway   5 years 26 weeks ago

    As far as I can tell, authorities haven't said what kind of boat they are looking for. The boat that was responsible for this hit-and-run must have been fairly substantially built to have done the damage described in news reports. The direct hit on the bridge piling shattered the concrete, exposing bare rebar.

  • Errant Boater Hits Bridge, Forcing Closure of a Section of the Colonial Parkway   5 years 26 weeks ago

    How big a boat are we talking? I would imagine it would have to be rather significant in size.

  • Greenpeace Activists Face Slew of Charges For Their Stunt At Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 26 weeks ago

    This reply is sad. What is the purpose of laws if there are no consequences to breaking them? Also, did you consider those who took their vacation to go to Mt Rushmore and on the day they were there got a Greenpeace banner? Had that been the day I visited, I would have been very angry! Instead of focusing on the costs to feed, guard, and collect, maybe you should ask why it costs so much and is so hard to collect from criminals. And "thank them" for revealing potential security issues? Should we thank those who rob convenience stores but don't actually hurt anyone? Or maybe we thank the guy takes a gun into a school, but doesn't actually shoot anyone? If we really had tough laws and tough courts, perhaps we wouldn't need as much security, but if we go with your approach we will need ever increasing amounts of security.

  • Greenpeace Activists Face Slew of Charges For Their Stunt At Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Let's put this into perspective: The very first activities of Greenpeace were directed against US and French open-air nuclear weapons tests. Those tests contaminated vast proportions of the Pacific Ocean and can still be easily detected in every little amount of air all over the world, because since the early 1960 there are radioactive isotopes in the atmosphere that do not belong there. To protest they sailed into the closed zone around the Pacific islands, played cat and mouse with the Navy and did everything to delay the tests. One of their earliest activists, the owner of the yacht "Vega" was aptly named David (McTaggert) and that is their That was of course illegal, the waters around the islands were closed by law, the Navy was there to stop trespassers.

    Do you believe it was appropriate to break the law back then to protest against open-air nuclear weapons testing?

  • Triple-Digit Temps, Cool, Swift Waters Led to Drownings at Sequoia National Park   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Very sad to hear about the two girls. Many people are not aware of the extent of danger a fast flowing river provides. Even the strongest swimmers can be trapped by currents and obstructions. River Rovers are performing a great service.

  • Greenpeace Activists Face Slew of Charges For Their Stunt At Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Until the land is returned to its rightful owners, yes, anarchy, which is not chaos, as some people paint it, but simply lack of government. [See definition number 3.] See also Monopoly on the "legitimate" use of physical force.

  • Greenpeace Activists Face Slew of Charges For Their Stunt At Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Frank;

    So in your line of thinking because of the legal argument about who owns the Black Hills including of course Rushmore then federal laws should not be enforced...anarchy prevails...enter at you own risk? I honour your beliefs but am thankful they aren't reality as far as present day law keeping goes.

  • Greenpeace Activists Face Slew of Charges For Their Stunt At Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 26 weeks ago

    John,

    Say I settle a dispute with you. You relinquish your house to me but keep your car. You agree to this, even though it could be argued you are under duress or coercion. You sign your name on a legally binding agreement.

    But then a month later, I find out your car is worth a lot of money. The original agreement allowed you to keep your car, but I decide I want that, too. So I carjack you, forcing you out of your car at gunpoint. I have no legal claim to your car; the dispute has legally been settled. But I drive off with your car, which I have stolen by force.

    Then say someone vandalizes my car. If I go to the police, I cannot prosecute the vandal because I do not legally own the car. They would just give it back to its rightful owner.

    That is unless I own the police, too. Then you could sue me for the car. But I own own the courts, too, and you're screwed.

    The whole system is based on theft and lies and coercion, and any new "rules" made regarding the property (your car in this case) are null and void but enforced through a corrupt system.

    (I'll spell it out: Since the federal government does not legally own the Black Hills (your car), they have no claim against GreenPeace for damages nor do they have the legal right to establish laws regarding said property.)

    And that's your federal government.

    PERIOD.

    (P.S., yeah, I hate the CAPTCHA, but as a former blogger, I understand how frustrating spam can be.)

  • Greenpeace Activists Face Slew of Charges For Their Stunt At Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Frank;
    All points well taken. However unless Greenpeace is a Sioux Nation organization or somehow affiliated with another Native American entity, I fail to see why the law should not be enforced in regards to Greenpeace's actions at Rushmore. I guess what I am asking in light of the facts you have put forth, facts that I certainly agree with, what is your take on what should happen to the Greenpeace members who were arrested?

    BTW...I hate this frakkin captcha system!

  • Greenpeace Activists Face Slew of Charges For Their Stunt At Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 26 weeks ago

    John,

    Your summary of my argument is close, but my argument is not a red herring. The rightful owners (the Sioux) only have the right to prosecute. The federal government broke its own laws and stole the land; the government signed a LEGALLY binding treaty with a foreign nation that allowed the Lakota Sioux to keep the Black Hills:

    "...but the United States would continue its battle against the Sioux in the Black Hills until the government confiscated the land in 1877. To this day, ownership of the Black Hills remains the subject of a legal dispute between the U.S. government and the Sioux. (Emphasis added.) US Government source here.

    The Federal Government's claim to the Black Hills is legally illegitimate and nothing else is relevant (including Kurt's true red herring).

  • Greenpeace Activists Face Slew of Charges For Their Stunt At Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Frank;

    For what it's worth I happen to agree with you statement "the long federal screwing of the aboriginal inhabitants". I am trying to understand what that has to do with the original story about Greenpeace. Are you saying that because Rushmore came into being and therefore breaking the treaty then Greenpeace was somehow justified in their actions because the current laws as they are should be null and void...ignorable by any who wish to? To me these are very different discussions and the "screwing of the Native American (which I agree with you on) is a red herring to the original discussion.

  • Greenpeace Activists Face Slew of Charges For Their Stunt At Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Frank and Kevin, this is not to condone 19th century U.S. conquest in the West, but does your disdain for the way Anglo-Americans treated Native Americans also apply to how Native Americans treated others?

    The Lakota (Sioux), living on the North Central Plains, considered all Indians that did not belong to the Lakota people, lakholkichiyapi (alliance) to be enemies, thoka. The Lakotas were at constant war against neighboring tribes like the Pawnee, Crow and Arikara. Truce was only sought for the purposes of trade, and lasted usually only for a short time. -- Rani-Henrik Andersson, Ph.D. University of Helsinki/Renvall Institute/North American Studies Program

  • "River Runners for Wilderness" Lose Bid to See Motorized Rafts, Helicopters Banned from Colorado River Corridor in Grand Canyon   5 years 26 weeks ago

    River Running (floating) is entirely dependant upon the motorized world! An aluminum boat brought on an aluminum trailer behind a steel truck over a rock highway, full of frozen meat brought here a week before the turkey's flight from Boston, then shuttled however many miles again....the again...
    And it is all worth it! Imagine 8 months of no engines in your hometown. I'd say Grand Canyon is doing just fine.
    Ride a bicycle and we'll talk.
    Moab