Ed Driscoll

Gentlemen, You Can't Recreate Here, This is a National Park!

“Gestapo’ tactics meet senior citizens at Yellowstone,” as a headline is presumably a first for the North Andover Massachusetts Eagle-Tribune. Also possibly so is the Drudge-Lanche the author received for this astonishing story:

Rangers systematically sent visitors out of the park, though some groups that had hotel reservations — such as Vaillancourt’s — were allowed to stay for two days. Those two days started out on a sour note, she said.

The bus stopped along a road when a large herd of bison passed nearby, and seniors filed out to take photos. Almost immediately, an armed ranger came by and ordered them to get back in, saying they couldn’t “recreate.” The tour guide, who had paid a $300 fee the day before to bring the group into the park, argued that the seniors weren’t “recreating,” just taking photos.

“She responded and said, ‘Sir, you are recreating,’ and her tone became very aggressive,” Vaillancourt said.

The seniors quickly filed back onboard and the bus went to the Old Faithful Inn, the park’s premier lodge located adjacent to the park’s most famous site, Old Faithful geyser. That was as close as they could get to the famous site — barricades were erected around Old Faithful, and the seniors were locked inside the hotel, where armed rangers stayed at the door.

“They looked like Hulk Hogans, armed. They told us you can’t go outside,” she said. “Some of the Asians who were on the tour said, ‘Oh my God, are we under arrest?’ They felt like they were criminals.”

By Oct. 3 the park, which sees an average of 4,500 visitors a day, was nearly empty. The remaining hotel visitors were required to leave.

Linking to the above story, Mark Steyn writes that the National Park Service is “expanding its role as the paramilitary wing of the DNC.”  Gestures such as closing Yellowstone and the “move to barricade the World War II memorial reveals the mentality of a tin-pot dictator,” veteran New York journalist Michael Goodwin writes at Fox News, adding, “Move over Jimmy Carter, Obama has my vote for worst president — ever:”

He’s the first who turns political give-and-take into a crisis by refusing to negotiate with Congress.

He’s the first who thinks the way to more power is to inflict pain on ordinary people.

The move to barricade the World War II memorial reveals the mentality of a tin-pot dictator. The limited government shutdown did not need to affect the memorial because it is open 24 hours, without gates and often without guards.

But to turn public opinion in his favor, Obama’s goons trucked in barricades to keep out World War II vets and other visitors. By one estimate, the barricades and workers cost $100,000.

The same punish-the-people attitude led to shutdowns of other parks and historic sites that get no federal funding.

“We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting,” a Park Service ranger told The Washington Times.

The ranger cited the order to close the parking lot at George Washington’s home in Mount Vernon so visitors couldn’t use it. The cheap trick captured the contrast between a revered president and the current one.

Twitchy notes that “The administration refused a request from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to allow the state to keep the Grand Canyon open itself with state and private funds,” leading to this increasingly common image:


And ideally, this one as well: “Check out what’s plastered over closed sign in DC; Barrycades? You’re doing it wrong.

Update: The conduct of the National Park Service over the last week might be the biggest scandal of the Obama administration,” Jonathan Last writes at the Weekly Standard.

Read the whole thing.™