The major reasons for the increase in National Park visitors breaking rules by getting too close to the wildlife and disturbing the integrity of the parks in other ways appear to be…selfies, selfies, selfies, and too many morons.
I may be over-simplifying, but not much. From a CBS report:
Record visitor numbers at the nation’s first national park have transformed its annual summer rush into a sometimes dangerous frenzy, with selfie-taking tourists routinely breaking park rules and getting too close to Yellowstone’s storied elk herds, grizzly bears, wolves and bison.
Law enforcement records obtained by The Associated Press suggest such problems are on the rise at the park, offering a stark illustration of the pressures facing some of America’s most treasured lands as the National Park Service marks its 100th anniversary.From Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains to the Grand Canyon of Arizona, major parks are grappling with illegal camping, vandalism, theft of resources, wildlife harassment and other visitor misbehavior, according to the records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
An ad currently running on the New York Times website:
Drone footage that shows Greenland melting away. Long narratives about the plight of climate refugees, from Louisiana to Bolivia and beyond. A series on the California drought. Color-coded maps that show how hot it could be in 2060.
The New York Times is a leader in covering climate change. Now The Times is ramping up its coverage to make the most important story in the world even more relevant, urgent and accessible to a huge audience around the globe. We are looking for an editor to lead this dynamic new group. We want someone with an entrepreneurial streak who is obsessed with finding new ways to connect with readers and new ways to tell this vital story.
The coverage should encompass: the science of climate change; the politics of climate debates; the technological race to find solutions; the economic consequences of climate change; and profiles of fascinating characters enmeshed in the issues. The coverage should include journalism in a variety of formats: video, photography, newsletters, features, podcasts, conferences and more. The unit should make strategic decisions about which forms are top priorities and which are not.
The climate editor will collaborate with many others throughout the newsroom, but will operate apart from the current department structure, with no print obligations. (The Times is also searching for editors to lead similar teams exploring education and gender.)
This is, of course, smoking gun evidence of a political agenda, bias, and the intent of the Times to warp policy and public opinion according to what it has already determined is “the most important story in the world.” Continue reading
The question posed by the unfolding California high-speed rail cataclysm is why the reaction to it should be a partisan or ideological issue at all. Are human beings capable of managing bias and learning hard truths from new information, or aren’t they?
High speed rail was promoted in California as a green and virtuous way to propel commuters from San Francisco to Los Angeles along at 220 miles an hour, completing the trip in a about two and a half hours. It was going to involve minimal tax-payer cash, with billions arriving from private investors. It would be profitable, not requires state subsidies and be much less expensive than flying. Thus enthused and enlightened, 53.7 percent of approved the plan and a $9.95 billion bond.
It was a scam, a hustle, and a pack of lies. Virginia Postrel writes at Bloomberg…
“California’s high-speed rail project increasingly looks like an expensive social science experiment to test just how long interest groups can keep money flowing to a doomed endeavor before elected officials finally decide to cancel it. What combination of sweet-sounding scenarios, streamlined mockups, ever-changing and mind-numbing technical detail, and audacious spin will keep the dream alive?”
Well said. I would add, “And will anyone learn from this fiasco?” Specifically, will anyone learn that ideologically-driven officials will always press policies in defiance of reality, if the public lets them, or more precisely, trusts them.
The Los Angeles Times published a stunning report on how corrupt this enterprise has been from the start. Here’s sample:
I just wrote in a comment thread,
“The one thing that could change my mind to believe that Trump is less dangerous than Clinton is that the trappings of Trump and his followers reek of stupidity, and the trappings of Hillary and her allies are redolent of totalitarianism.”
The effort by Democrats and anti-gun zealots to deliberately breach the Fifth Amendment to allow “pre-crime” anti-gun laws was one example of the Obama/Clinton/Sanders left’s creeping embrace of totalitarian principles.
Here is another.
Over the weekend, Robert Post, the current dean of Yale Law School where both Bill and Hillary learned to be unethical lawyers, authored a shocking 0p-ed for the Washington Post. In it, he attached his influence and credibility to the idea that the government should use the power of prosecution to intimidate opponents of government policy and widely accepted left-wing agenda items. I have never seen such a disgraceful breach of academic prestige. If I were a Yale grad, I would be heavily involved in calling for Post’s resignation.
Post is supporting the attempts by Democratic, climate change policy-supporting attorneys general to target Exxon-Mobil for fraud because the company opposes certain climate change measures. This comes after eco-facists like Robert Kennedy, Jr. and climate change shills like Bill Nye (The Self-Promoting Not-Really-The-Expert-He- Pretends -To-Be Science Guy) have suggested that “climate change deniers” should be jailed. That’s not the theory, though. The theory is that Exxon-Mobil has defrauded investors by misleading them about the results of their own research. Thus the company has been hit by demands for documents by the Massachusetts and New York attorneys general to reveal all of that research.
Exxon-Mobil, as well as others, has condemned this effort as an attempt to chill First Amendment debate. Post, who has allied himself with the censors because climate change is “settled science,” bolsters the political inquisitioners’ deceit. “It may be that after investigation the attorneys general do not find evidence that Exxon-Mobil has committed fraud. I do not prejudge the question. The investigation is now entering its discovery phase, which means it is gathering evidence to determine whether fraud has actually been committed,” the esteemed dean writes.
Cute. Of course, once the precedent had been established that the government can force someone into expensive legal defense for “the fraud” of disagreeing with the pronounced truths of the State, then dissent and political opinion will be repressed, suppressed, and discouraged. Continue reading
UPDATE: 6/18/13 Now this.
The responsible thing, in fact, would have been to pull out before now.
The Olympics, which were supposed to represent the ideal of pure, individual amateur (For love, not money) athletic achievement, metastasized into a bloated, hyper-nationalist insult to those ideals long ago. In addition…
…The Olympic organization is corrupt, accepting bribes to determine which nations host the games.
…The competitions are corrupt, with banned performance enhancing substances being used widely and with the assistance and knowledge of participating nations, in some cases. At the end of last year, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) issued a report calling for Russia to be banned from international athletics at all levels for flagrant doping violations and a “deeply rooted culture of cheating at all levels” within Russian athletics.
Have the Olympics banned Russia? Of course not.
Meanwhile, an IOC investigation revealed that 23 athletes have tested positive in a massive doping scandal that could ban a total of 31 yet-unnamed athletes “from 12 countries and six sports” from participating in the 2016 Olympics.
…The games now have the shadow of terrorism hanging over them.
…Expenditures by hosting nations always divert resources into inefficient and unnecessary projects, as greater national and social priorities suffer in the pursuit of pride and prestige. Following a pattern that we have seen in other countries, some poor Brazilians have lost their homes as part of preparations for the games. Continue reading
My initial impression was that this trend is another canary dying in the mine (yes, I know THAT isn’t a canary!), as being and acting stupid and unethical becomes increasingly culturally acceptable. My theory holds that the public sees so many rich, powerful, successful public figures exhibiting these traits, and yearns to adopt their habits and values
The most recent example is the episode represented by the photo above. Well-meaning but ignorant tourists in Yellowstone National Park, where no human is supposed to get within 25 yards of the wildlife, decided to “rescue” a bison calf they found away from its herd, so they stuffed the animal into their car. They drove it to a ranger station, where they were cited for violation of park rules.
In effect, they had killed the calf. When the young bison was returned to the herd, the mother rejected it, and the beast began approaching humans, seeking food and company.
The park had to euthanize it.
Said the park officials in a statement,
“In recent weeks, visitors in the park have been engaging in inappropriate, dangerous and illegal behavior with wildlife. These actions endanger people and have now resulted in the death of a newborn bison calf.”
Morons. The Park Service should release their names, or give some Yellowstone wolves their scent. This is not a new taboo; there is no excuse for any visitor to a National Park to think this is responsible conduct.
Not fatal but equally infuriating is the tale behind this photo: Continue reading