We are beginning to hear how great for the State of Texas it is that Leticia San Miguel Van De Putte will be the Democrat nominee for Lieutenant Governor in November. The story is that she will cause more Latinos to register to vote in the hopes that she will represent the 38% of Texas voters better than the Anglo man who will be nominated by the Republican Party.
Think so? I don’t.
Democrat Senator Judith Zaphirini nominated Senator Leticia Van de Putte for Senate President Pro Tempore on the opening day of the Texas 83rd Legislature on January 8, 2013:
Move the cursor to 45 minutes in, when Senator Zaphirini introduces Leticia Van de Putte’s children and grandchildren. Listen to the words, watch the faces around her.
“Six children, six grandchildren! What blessings! I’m not sure at what point in time Senator Van De Putte became such an advocate for Planned Parenthood, but her children are so glad that it wasn’t earlier than it actually was.”
I wrote a very difficult letter today. I resigned from the organization that is supposed to support Family Physicians in our education, practice management and good medical care of our patients. Instead, the American Academy of Family Physicians too often strays toward forcing its members to be complicit with controversial policies such as condoning gun control and over-the-counter contraceptive drugs, and condemnation of “reparative therapy” for homosexual patients, even when those patients are unhappy with their sexuality. I write about my main conflicts and the “final straw” in the letter:
It is with great regret that I write this letter as notice that I have decided not to renew either my Texas or American Academy of Family Practice membership. While I am still a family doctor, neither the Texas Academy of Family Practice (TAFP) nor the American Academy of Family Practice (AAFP) represent my political or ethical views.
The political, social and ethical controversies were the main reason I remained in the Academy for the last few years since I left full time practice. I hoped that I could make a difference by volunteering my time and money as an active participant in the Texas Academy, the National Conference of Special Constituencies, the AAFP list serves, the Academy Legislative meetings in DC and our annual AAFP Congress of Delegates.
From the time of Hillary Clinton’s closed meetings on healthcare to the endorsement of the passage of the ACA before it was written, the political actions of the AAFP leaders has disappointed me in Washington, DC. Our practice hassle factors have grown and grown, too often with the blessings of – and sometimes due to the experiments with alternative methods of practice by – the Academy.
The AAFP advocated for elective abortion before I joined as a Student member and I accepted that the burden of persuasion was on those of us who disagreed.
However, the Academy’s decision to advocate for the redefinition of marriage in 2012 and the refusal to reconsider the extracted Resolution on marriage neutrality at the 2013 Congress of Delegates in San Diego were the final proof that there’s no tolerance for family doctors who hold conservative politics or traditional ethics in the Academy.
Unfortunately, our TAFP spokesperson to the 2013 AAFP Reference Committee on Advocacy misrepresented the Texas Delegation’s instructions from the Directors on marriage. As I remember the discussion and vote, the intention was to allow the Texas delegates wide latitude in voting on any final form of the Resolution.
I hereby resign from the Texas Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians and as a Fellow of the AAFP.
I waited to resign after nearly 30-year membership until the last minute before being dropped (for lack of paying my annual dues). There were several reasons for my hesitancy. For one thing, I didn’t want to be an undue influence on other members when they considered whether or not to write that hefty annual check to the Academy. For another, while I will continue to work with the AAFP and the Christian Medical and Dental Association to protect the right to life, marriage, the conscience rights of doctors within the profession of medicine and the specialty of Family Medicine, I do believe that it is important to work to persuade from within the organization. The biggest problem with finally writing the letter was that I was looking for a way to somehow keep my integrity while allowing the Academy to claim to represent me.
However, now that I’ve resigned, please consider sharing my letter with your family doctor. Many of them are unaware of the policies that our professional organizations push on good doctors of today and the students and residents who will be our doctors of tomorrow.
I’m reading Republican primary run off ads stating that our Republican State Legislators and, in particular, the leader of the Senate – the Lieutenant Governor, David Dewhurst – haven’t done enough to lower property taxes. Well, those candidates are indulging in the worst sort of campaigning, since there are no State property taxes in Texas!
Here are the sources of State revenue in Texas: http://www.texastransparency.org/State_Finance/Budget_Finance/Reports/Revenue_by_Source/revenue_hist.php . The fact is that the bulk of Texas revenue comes from our sales tax and the return of tax money from the Federal Government.
Unfortunately, the local districts *and their voters* raised those taxes up to the limit in some districts.
In areas such as Houston and Harris County, the appraisals are being *inflated* and/or *rising* nearly 100% due to the good economy there. It seems that the problem is at the School Districts, City Councils, and County Commissioners Courts, not at the State legislature.
Again: there is no State property tax in Texas. The solution to high property taxes is in your home town, not Austin.
The First Amendment protects political speech, which includes donating what we want, when we want, and to whom we want.
The Supreme Court today did not get rid of the individual candidate limit with the ruling, only the limits on overall donations to multiple candidates. You still can’t give more than $5200 per campaign cycle to any one candidate for Federal office.
Like the signers of the Declaration of Independence, we may pledge our fortunes to political candidates – within limits.
What about evolution?
The Obama administration said Thursday it is placing a grassland grouse known as the lesser prairie chicken on a list of threatened species, a move that could affect oil and gas drilling, wind farms and other activities in five central and southwestern states.
The decision by the Fish and Wildlife Service is a step below “endangered” status and allows for more flexibility in how protections for the bird will be carried out under the Endangered Species Act.
Dan Ashe, the agency’s director, said he knows the decision will be unpopular with governors in the five affected states — Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico — but said the agency was following the best science available.
“The lesser prairie-chicken is in dire straits,” Ashe said in an interview. “The bird is in decline and has been in decline for more than a decade.”
The prairie chicken, a type of grouse known for its colorful neck plume and stout build, has lost more than 80 percent of its traditional habitat, mostly because of human activity such as oil and gas drilling, ranching and construction of power lines and wind turbines, Ashe said. The bird, which weighs from 1-1/2 to 2 pounds, has also been severely impacted by the region’s ongoing drought.
Biologists say a major problem is that prairie chickens fear tall structures, where predators such as hawks can perch and spot them. Wind turbines, electricity transmission towers and drilling rigs are generally the tallest objects on the plains.
Great news. If there must be abortion, and it’s “between a woman and her doctor,” shouldn’t the doctor have hospital privileges to care for complications? Or does he cease being “her doctor” when she needs him most?
A federal appeals panel on Thursday overturned a lower court decision that had deemed a portion of Texas’ controversial sweeping abortion restrictions as unconstitutional.
A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had already temporarily lifted a district court injunction that blocked a state provision requiring abortion doctors to get admitting privileges at nearby hospitals from going into effect.
Thursday’s ruling gives Texas the green light to continue enforcing the provision on a permanent basis.
More of the oligarchy that passes for Courts these days: un-elected judges acting as though the Constitution gives the big questions to the appointed members of the Judicial branch, leaving only the small, inconsequential decisions to the People and our duly elected representatives.
A Federal judge has ruled that “non-viable” human beings – healthy babies in healthy mothers who are exactly what they should be at that stage of life – are not endowed with the inalienable right to life.
Wright left in place a portion of the law that requires doctors to check for a fetal heartbeat and to notify the pregnant woman if one is present.
Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, had vetoed the bill, citing the viability standard. But Republicans, controlling the Statehouse for the first time since Reconstruction, overrode him with a simple majority vote.
A victory for less regulation in our lives. Can’t wait to see what happens next.
This month a federal administrative judge held that the FAA has no legal authority to meddle in the market and dismissed a fine levied against an operator who defied regulators by getting paid to use a drone to film the University of Virginia campus. Judge Patrick Geraghty of the National Transportation Safety Board ruled that the agency had only issued internal guidance on drones and hadn’t followed any process to apply restrictions to the public. He ridiculed the FAA’s broad assertion of power to regulate drones by saying the agency could use the same argument arbitrarily to block “a flight in the air of a paper aircraft, or a toy balsa wood glider.”
An unelected Federal judge overturned the Texas Constitution’s definition of marriage, proving the Courts’ lack of respect for our Constitutional Republic – and democracy in general.
Marriage is what it is: the union between one man and one woman. No one, least of all a lawmaker in the form of an activist judge, can make two men or two women “one flesh,” literally or figuratively. Biology isn’t destiny, but it does have consequences. The biological reality is that the male form and the female form are complementary for both pleasurable sex and for procreation.
No one ever claimed that the design of water fountains made one fountain suitable for one race and another fountain suitable for the other. In contrast, there is an obvious biological and common sense suitability in the sexual union of the male and female body – as well as potential consequences of that union– that can’t be found in homosexual sex acts.
Even in polygamous marriage, the man enters into many marriages, each between himself and an individual woman. Polygamy doesn’t create a marriage between the man, his wives and that woman. There’s certainly more history in support of polygamy than for same sex “marriage.”
In their zeal to redefine marriage and restructure society, the Left and the US Federal Courts engage in the equivalent of LaMarckian experiments with the fundamental institution of social organization of our society and government.If, as the Left claims, our Nation has “evolved” toward their definition of marriage, why must the Courts turn over State Legislature after Legislature?
That the People and the States were to be sovereign over the United States Federal government is supported both by the 9th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution and the original document’s provision for an orderly Amendment process. The Courts must stop acting as though the Constitution reserves the major decisions to the Federal Courts, while only allowing the People and our elected Legislatures to decide inconsequential matters.
“I think I’ma [sic] shoot up a kindergarten and watch the blood of the innocent run down and eat the beating heart of one of them.”
This is great news!
Government, as a tool of and with the consent of the governed, has one job: to protect the inalienable rights of humans. If some – the powerful, the ones with the most votes or most guns – can decide that some humans aren’t human enough to have the right not to be killed, then no one is safe. Our state has determined that we will license doctors and medical technology — therefore, we must restrict the single instance where one human being may decide that another is not human enough and enlist the aide of our licensed doctors and technology to end a life.
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow Texas abortion restrictions to remain in effect:
“This is good news both for the unborn and for the women of Texas, who are now better protected from shoddy abortion providers operating in dangerous conditions. As always, Texas will continue doing everything we can to protect the culture of life in our state.”
Ezekial Emanuel is Rahm’s brother. He has been one of the Obamacare pushers for years.
The new goal, according to Emanuel, should be per-capita annual health care costs by 2020 that increase no more than the annual gross domestic product.
“It’s clear and easily measured,” he said. “But it’s not going to happen overnight.”
It would require a “renewed, systemwide focus on transforming the delivery system to improve the way we care for the chronically ill,” said Emanuel, because 10% of the population with chronic illnesses now consumes nearly two-thirds of health care dollars.
Another recipe for reform was offered by Joanne Lynn, MD, of the Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness, Altarum Institute, Washington.
“We almost all get to grow old; it’s the terrific success of modern medicine,” she said, but the system hasn’t evolved to cope with this reality.
From the Texas Medical Association website:
Both Texas Oncology and ARC, for example, already participated in most major health plans in Texas before the launch of the exchange. Because not all of those insurers explicitly invited Texas Oncology to join their new marketplace networks, the group was combing through its contracts and contacting carriers to find out how to opt out of the exchange plans. All of ARC\’s existing contracts require insurers to renegotiate with the group before including it in any new products or networks. Some payers never approached the group; others came back with lower fee schedules, which ARC declined. On the other hand, 27 percent of respondents in the MGMA survey said they are participating in the exchange because their existing contract terms required them to participate in all of an insurers\’ products under so-called \”all products\” clauses.
Because a number of Dr. Buckingham\’s contracts include such clauses, the six-physician practice, Eye Physicians of Austin, faces the prospect of renegotiation in order to opt out of certain exchange plans.
\”To me, my hands are tied, and they are making me jump off of a plank I don\’t want to jump off of. And it\’s an expensive process, and it interrupts patient care,\” she said.
via Untested Waters.
First, I hope and (am praying) Marni begins to love her child and allows her to live.
The Texas Tribune has published an interview with a couple whose baby’s life has been spared – at least for a few days – by Texas law.
Here’s the interview:
However, she found 2 alternatives within 2 days, so her rights are not at all infringed upon.
Marni is mistaken about the number of abortions in Texas every year. There were 66,000, not 80,000 abortions in 2012. 72,000 in 2011, 77,500 in 2010, 77,850 in 2009.
Marni specifically asks what sorts of “resources” the State and pro-life people have made available. She should have already known – and should ask their abortionist at her next appointment – about the Texas Woman’s Right to Know “Resource Directory.” She should have been given a copy at her first abortion consult appointment with Planned Parenthood. It’s also available online here., The file in pdf includes the information she asked about. The booklet lists agencies and assistance that’s available from the State, County, and private organizations for pregnant women in Travis County.
I’m not surprised that their comments are so political, and that John talks about politicians “shoring up their base,” etc., since that’s a common talking point for abortion advocates when they talk about pro-life politicians. I’m sure that someone at Planned Parenthood fed them the inaccurate statistics and coached them on the motives of people like me and the legislators who worked to protect life.
(I do have to wonder how Marni and John missed all the press leading up to the passage of HB2. You would think they’d have heard about Wendy Davis’ filibuster at least!)
Hopefully, when they see the way they’ve been misled about statistics, they will begin to understand that the prolife activists and politicians are as honest as we can be about our motives.
Victory on two levels! Many of Texas’ abortion facilities are closed today because they don’t have doctors with hospital privileges and today, the DC Court of Appeals ruled in favor of religious conscience rights, even for people who own businesses!
From The Hill, a blog out of Washington, DC:
A federal appeals court on Friday struck down the birth control mandate in ObamaCare, concluding the requirement trammels religious freedom.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals — the second most influential bench in the land behind the Supreme Court — ruled 2-1 in favor of business owners who are fighting the requirement that they provide their employees with health insurance that covers birth control.
Requiring companies to cover their employees’ contraception, the court ruled, is unduly burdensome for business owners who oppose birth control on religious grounds, even if they are not purchasing the contraception directly.
“The burden on religious exercise does not occur at the point of contraceptive purchase; instead, it occurs when a company’s owners fill the basket of goods and services that constitute a healthcare plan,” Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote on behalf of the court.
If you’re concerned about the news that the Federal food stamp program funding will be cut 5%, take a look at this map from the June, 2013 Wall Street Journal, showing the percentage of population in each state which receives Federal food stamps.
It is accompanied by a graph of growth of food stamp enrollment depicting periods of enrollment. That bright red line is Texas’ growth, which is nearly parallel with the US average, shown as a grey-green line. (Take a look at the annual spikes of Alaska’s enrollment, which I guess is due to the disbursement of the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend.)
But take a look at the growth since the “Stimulus” was passed by the Dem-controlled House and Senate, nearly doubling funds for food stamps and increasing the number of recipients from 28 million to 48 million.Since the increase in enrollment has been over 70%, that 5% cut in payments will not bring the spending levels back to pre-recession levels. Wouldn’t it make sense to tighten up on the eligibility requirements, rather than make an across-the-board cut?
Court of Appeals says HB 2 abortion restrictions go forward
By Michael King, 7:53PM, Thu. Oct. 31
Fifth Circuit Stays Yeakel Ruling
In a decision released late Thursday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the motion of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, overturning the ruling of federal District Judge Lee Yeakel and allowing enforcement of the restrictions that will likely leave thousands of Texas women without access to abortion care.
Specifically, the three-judge panel stayed Yeakel\’s injunction against the law — specifically the provision that will require doctors administering abortions to have admitting privileges in a nearby hospital – pending an appeal to the whole Fifth Circuit that will not be heard until at least January. That means many clinics will close, because most doctors will not be able to get admitting privileges to hospitals where they do not normally practice. The ruling left in place, in part, the judge\’s ruling that medication abortions could be performed in certain circumstances, when the mother\’s life or health is in danger.
If I were being exceptionally kind, I’d interpret Texas Democratic Governor candidate (and portable urinary catheter user) Wendy Davis’ position on abortion restrictions as, “Whatever the Supreme Court rules is good enough for me.” When not so generous, I’d say she’s not answering the question.
What Wendy Davis said,
“Davis, while addressing the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2013, was asked, “Could you discuss what legal limits on abortion you do support?”
She replied, “You know, the Supreme Court has made that decision. And it’s one of the protected liberties under our Constitution. And I respect the constitutional protections that are in place today.”
So in her response in Washington, Davis signaled that she both accepts letting states limit abortions after the first trimester and limit or ban abortions after fetuses are viable, unless the mother’s life is at risk.
How refreshing it would be if one of the “fact-checkers” actually asked the hard questions of a pro-abortion Dem!
It appears that Planned Parenthood doesn’t change teen pregnancy rates – it’s neither necessary nor effective:
The study uses pregnancy rates reported by the Texas Department of Health State Services.
In 1996, a year before opposition to Planned Parenthood began, the teen pregnancy rates across the panhandle was more than 43.6 per 1,000 girls.
Two years after all facilities had closed, teen pregnancy was at 24.1 per 1,000 girls. Researchers are claiming that this is a significant confirmation that Planned Parenthood\’s presence and its sex education programs are not a necessary tool in reducing teen pregnancy.
But that doesn\’t seem to be the case everywhere across the state.
NewsChannel 10 has done some more research of it\’s own. In other areas of Texas where Planned Parenthood is a part of sex education and teen pregnancy rates have also dropped.
Labor unions are poised to score the delay of an ObamaCare tax in the bipartisan budget deal emerging in the Senate.
The bargain under negotiation would make small adjustments to the healthcare law, including delaying the law\’s reinsurance fee for one year. The three-year tax is meant to generate revenue that will stabilize premiums on the individual market as sick patients enter the risk pool.
My local Canyon Independent School District, in Comal County, Texas, has a proposal for a $451 Million Bond on the ballot in November.
“”The fast-growing district’s Nov. 5 ballot initiative is more than double its largest past bond issue, a $205.8 million package approved in 2008. Its size, and a lack of specifics on when new campuses will open, is drawing criticism.””
Out of the goodness of our hearts, Texas’ voters have agreed to “freeze” taxes for our neighbors over 65 years old. Will we be repaid by Seniors’ voting for every tax hike that comes along? Our grand-children will be paying for this bond, whether or not we will. We owe those future young adults our best judgment and our restraint.
Amen to this:
“So what do we Americans do with a feral, out of control administration, misusing and abusing their authority? Well, we can start transferring power and authority out of Washington DC back to the many states. Doing this with all public lands, National Parks, National Forests, Wilderness Areas, National Monuments and everything else the feds own and operate would be a good first start. Follow it up with moving all licensing and permitting back to the states.”
“Keep your doctor?” NOT!
Physicians across the state are reeling after they were informed that they will no longer be participants in a popular Medicare program.
UnitedHealthcare sent a letter dated Oct. 2 to 810 primary care physicians and 1,440 physician specialists, telling them that the separation from its Medicare Advantage network would be effective Feb. 1, 2014.
The business, a unit of Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group, said affected physicians have the right to appeal and told them that their agreements for other UnitedHealthcare networks will not be impacted.
The notification came as a surprise to the Fairfield Medical Association, which counts 1,499 physicians in its ranks.
“They’re letting 19 percent of the physicians in the network go,” said Mark Thompson, executive director of the association. “This is where insurance companies are using insurance contracts to interfere with the doctor-patient relationship.”
What might have been missed in all the emotional media coverage about the troubles people are having with the ObamaCare exchanges and the news that the IRS official shared tax information with the WhiteHouse:
Hall Ingram said a key piece of the healthcare law’s new infrastructure — the federal “data hub” — is working well.
When consumers apply for insurance and tax subsidies through an exchange, the exchange uses the data hub to draw information from several state and federal agencies to confirm applicants’ identity and calculate the subsidies they can receive.
Exchanges have successfully pinged the IRS’s servers to request income information about applicants, and the IRS has been able to respond, she said.
“As far as we can tell, and we are looking on a daily basis, it\’s operating well,” Hall Ingram said.
And BOR is a much better acronym than anything I could make up.
The Burnt Orange Report is Texas’ own quintessential leftist blog, spinning and twisting any stories or facts to make conservatives look bad.
Good little far-left Democrat media tool that the BOR is, it seems almost superfluous to note that the blog is pro-abort. However, the reason I’m bringing BOR to your attention is Part 1 and Part 2 of “Why Texas Women Need Access to Later Term Abortions by someone named Natalie San Luis.
The BOR enjoys bold exaggeration in its fonts, to highlight the most emotional rants. There are the usual facetious arguments that women need abortions after 5 months such as, “wealthy women who have the means can jump over the barriers, but more and more women can’t” and “Amniocentesis, which tests amniotic fluid for fetal abnormalities and genetic problems, is sometimes performed as late as 22 weeks.” (The babies of less than wealthy women and their mothers deserve protection, too. And amniocentesis is usually done much earlier and is still legal, just as it is at 30 weeks or 35.)
Ms. San Luis would also have us develop sympathy for doctors who fear the liability of making a decision about whether a baby’s birth defect is compatible with life.
After. 20. weeks.
Because: ” Accounting for factors like the woman’s health history and future complications, it is almost impossible to accurately guess the likelihood of fetal survival in each of these cases. “
(Maybe that’s why they can’t get local hospital privileges.)
While I can mock the poor logic of the author, it’s better to catch her repeating easily checked, but false “facts.”
The founder, President and CEO of the San Antonio Abortion facility, Whole Woman’s Health, Amy Hagstrom Miller, is quoted as saying, “We’ve seen a 10 percent increase in second trimester abortions just since the sonogram bill has passed,”.
Besides the fact that there’s only one year of data available “since the sonogram bill has passed” and went into effect in late 2011, the numbers don’t back up that statement, unless it’s local to the San Antonio facility. According to numbers from the Texas Department of State Health Services, there were 136 fewer 2nd trimester abortions in Texas in 2012 than in 2011.
Year Total Abortions 2nd Trimester Abortions 1st Trimester Abortions %1st
2012 66098 5204 60882 92.1
2011 72470 5340 67121 92.6
2010 77592 5542 72042 92.8
(I couldn’t resist showing the steady decrease in abortions in Texas, even though it horrified me to put those large numbers into the calculator.)
Did anyone else notice that there’s no obvious way to make comments on BOR?
Edit 10/10/13 – correcting punctuation, removing my own redundancies — BBN
After explaining his “history,” of posturing and hiding unpopular legislation by attaching it to another Bill, President Obama truly stumbles:
“And you know, we don’t get to select which programs we implement or not.”
Iguess it depends on the meaning of “select,” because as the article notes,
In the Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis notes that, “When all that says ‘it is good’ has been debunked, what says ‘I want’ remains.”
Last week, the New England Journal of Medicine published a “Perspectives” column, “Life or Death for the Dead Donor’s Rule?,” in which the authors illustrate Lewis’ point with their redefinition of non-maleficence to better serve a re-defined autonomy.
They would convince us that there is no harm in hastening the death of a dying patient even by intentionally causing it if he or his surrogates ask. They ignore a 2500 year old First Principle of Medical ethics,focused on the health of the patient in front of us: “Cure when possible, but first do no harm, “
Autonomy, like all rights, is a negative right: the patient has the right to refuse invasive medical interventions that will harm him or that he does not want. Patients and surrogates, if they can compel the use of medical skills and invasive technology, can only do so for the medical benefit of the patient himself.
Illogically, in these times of reducing costs, the authors would have us consider taking a patient from the ICU to the OR “and then take him back to where life support would be withdrawn.” The return to the ICU is nothing but our own “medical charade.”
I want to thank Nancy Valko, who runs an email list covering a range of traditional ethics issues, her email alerting me to this editorial.
Someone was paid to put this notice on the Centers for Disease Control website! On the home page, it’s on a red background! (But don’t worry: they also have a reminder to sign up for ObamaCare.)
Due to the lapse in government funding, only web sites supporting excepted functions will be updated unless otherwise funded. As a result, the information on this website may not be up to date, the transactions submitted via the website may not be processed, and the agency may not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted.
Updates regarding government operating status and resumption of normal operations can be found at http://www.usa.gov.
Update, 7:30 PM 10/7/13: The National Institutes of Health also has a disclaimer.
Judge orders Virgin Islands beach reopened
January 4, 1996
Web posted at: 12:45 a.m. EST
ST. CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands (CNN) — A federal judge Wednesday ordered the National Park Service to reopen the Buck Island Reef National Monument despite the ongoing federal budget crisis.
Two Virgin Island residents sued in federal district court to have the park reopened, arguing they were being hurt by the closure of the beach at Buck Island. They said the shutdown had denied them the ability of “freely enjoying a cherished natural resource.” They further argued that the Park Service had violated the federal Open Shorelines Act by closing the beach.
The National Park Service argued it had no choice because the budget crisis had forced it to reduce the normal staff of “two to three employees” to one employee and one volunteer.
It’s not just that this is the first time that US citizens have been barred from the Lincoln Memorial due to a government shutdown, the National Parks service is barring us from scenic drives and overlooks on public and state highways, open beaches and the waters around them, and private businesses that are paying tenants of “government” lands and waters.
One former Secretary of the Interior, Gale Norton, flatly states that these decisions are political and most likely being made in the White House.
Perhaps, instead of blaming one Party or another (or increasing government involvement in something as vital and intimate as the delivery of medical care), it’s time to decide whether our government is responsible enough to own and control so much of our lands.
Update: more closings
1. The City Tavern in Philadelphia, because the Feds own the building, not the business.
2.Nauset Knoll Motor Lodge, which leases land in Cape Cod National Seashore.
3. All sorts of fishing, rafting and hiking. Search the news on any of these topics – there are too many to post.
Edited Oct 4, 2013 at 2 PM to change the picture to one that I own.