Are republicans trying to sell national parks?

This was a local paper's official editorial today.
Proposal would sell 16 parks, 23 percent of national parks land

Rep. Richard Pombo, California Republican and powerful chairman of the House Resources Committee, has proposed the sale of 16 national parks, including the memorial to former President Theodore Roosevelt in Washington, D. C.

No, it does not greatly affect the Great Smokies, Yellowstone or any of the other major national parks. However it would amount to selling off about one out of every four acres in the National Park System.

Bill Wade, former chief ranger of the Great Smokies and retired superintendent of the Shenandoah National Park, now heads the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees. This watchdog group includes more than 400 park service veterans, accounting for 12,000 years collectively of park management.

Wade warned in August of a secret Interior Department attempt to rewrite and override 90 years of laws, rules and court rulings governing of the 388 sites in the U.S. National Park System.

It was first thought the sale of land might be some kind of spoof or practical joke. Especially the notion of a Republican Congress tearing down the Theodore Roosevelt Island memorial to the Republican president in the Middle of the Potomac River between Washington, D. C. and Virginia. It sounded preposterous.

With later actions, Wade says, it appears clear there is a full-scale assault being waged by Washington on our national parks.

It is estimated the proposal to sell parks lands would comprise 23 percent of the total park system.

Because it involves many of the lesser known parks, there is a likelihood there will not be a public outcry until it is too late.

Also on the table is the proposal for the National Park Service to commercialize parks by raising a total of $20 million in sponsorships and naming rights for park vehicles, trails, information centers and other buildings.

Most of the land likely would be used either for drilling or development.

We think this group is on target in expressing both outrage and astonishment of the sale of these 16 parks and rewrite of the National Park Service rule book. It appears aimed at benefiting energy and real estate speculators.

One doesn't have to know much American history to know that Teddy Roosevelt was the patron saint of our national parks. Destroying a monument to him for another condo high rise tops the list of the ridiculous.

We would suggest that readers reinforce their views in support of preserving our national parks to Rep. John Duncan Jr. who has been a stalwart defender of our national parks. You can phone either of his offices in Blount or Knox - 984-5464 or 544-0771 - or send a fax to 544-0728.

Our voice

On our parks


Random blog links volume umpteen +1

Again, more blogs that have randomly sent visitors here via the blogger toolbar "next blog" thing.

(check out the first one for a link to some great photos)



I discovered another giant squid!

Yesterday it was a UFO, today I'm spotting giant flying freshwater squid. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

You can see more of my squid at my other blog.


Japanese scientists capture giant squid on film

Here's something you don't see every day, in fact it's never been seen before now. Japanese zoologists Tsunemi Kubodera and Kyoichi Mori sent a camera rig 3000 feet deep with bait on a hook. A squid took it and was hooked for four hours before it's arm detatched and the squid took off. After the arm was retrieved, it was still grabbing hold of things. How cool is that?

And let's give some credit to the reporter for using the term "squid gonads" in the article. You don't see that every day either.

(more pics here)


Happy birthday

dear goog7e. The king of the internets is 7 today.

Our favorite horse lawyer

Via the CBS hurricane Rita blog
9:05 p.m.
(CBS) — Later this evening, CBS News correspondent Gloria Borger spoke with a spokesman for FEMA, Russ Knocke, who confirmed that Brown remains on the FEMA payroll. He also said that technically Brown remains at FEMA as a "contractor" and he is "transitioning out of his job." The reason he will remain at FEMA about a month after his resignation, said the spokesman, is that the agency wants to get the "proper download of his experience."
Sounds like downloading a virus to me.

I guess they have to keep him around to find out the extent of his screw-ups. Quarantine and disinfect. After that, my prediction is that he will become a lobbyist for Halliburton.

Creole Louisiana

I'm posting images of Creole, Louisiana over at my "big image" blog for anyone interested. They got hit pretty hard, with 80% of the homes destroyed. From what I'm seeing, it looks like a lot more than 80.

Killer Dolphins

Engadget passes on a report that the Navy has lost 36 armed combat dolphins in the Gulf Coast. They are said to be wearing "special harnesses carrying 'toxic dart' guns."

I obviously don't know the ins and outs of current top secret killer attack dolphin technology, but when the dolphin programs first began, they were outfitted with small charges of compressed air attached to a needle on their nose. When they encountered an enemy diver, they would move in and poke him with the needle which would then blow a lethal amount of air into his body.

NOAA has RITA aerials up

I'm going to start posting things like this at my brand spanking new blog called Common Hades (two minutes after I created it, I got a spam comment for a poker site).

Common Hades comes from the epigram Plato wrote for a sailor:

I am the tomb of one shipwrecked; and that opposite me, of a husbandman; for a common Hades lies beneath sea and earth.

It is a common thread in some Greek writings, especially epigrams, that no matter who you are, we're all in this together.

On the grave of an Athenian:
Straight is the descent to Hades, whether thou wert to go from Athens or takest thy journey from Meroë; let it not vex thee to have died so far away from home; from all lands the wind that blows to Hades is but one.

That isn't to say my other blog is going to be a straight fall to hell, but I like the idea that no matter who you are, what you believe, we are all in this world together, and I think it fits a blog on remote sensing because that is the science of looking down on the earth where everyone is in the same basket.

So anyway, I'll be posting big overhead images over there so this blog will have more room for, you know, fart jokes and important stuff like that.


Ikonos Galveston

There hasn't been much overhead imagery of Rita since it hit, but Space Imaging has a nice shot of Galveston after it was evacuated and before the hurricane hit.

(click for 1280x960 211KB view)

On a related note, all these hurricanes and satellite and aerial images have gotten me interested in that sort of thing again, but I know some readers aren't, so I will probably soon start a new blog just for that. I already have the address, I just need to iron out a design and get enough energy to start posting.

Cool kid

Sandra Luchian, 15, from Moldova, borrowed a copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince from a friend and wrote down the story word for word. The book isn't available to buy in Moldova, and her family couldn't afford to get the book sent over from the UK.

That is just cool. Not the Harry Potter part, but the devotion to reading.

Another story says it would cost $48 US dollars to get the book if you live in Moldova.

I wonder... if it were possible, would be interested in making a donation to the library in Kishinew, Moldova in her name or something? We could donate directly to her, but the last thing a 15 year old girl from Moldova needs is anonymous people from the internet getting her contact information.

Not sure how possible it would even be, but if anyone is interested, email me at spindle at gmail.com and pledge some bucks. If we get at least, say ... $200 pledged, I'll go about contacting the BBC or finding more info on Kishinew, Moldova or something.

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