Archive for the ‘President Obama’ Tag

Sleeping Bear   2 comments

Secretary Jewell Commends President Obama, Congress for Designating  32,557 Acres of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as Wilderness

Legislation Protects Park’s Backcountry While Continuing Hiking, Fishing, and Other Non-Motorized Recreational Activities


WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today commended President Obama for signing into law S.23, legislation designating 32,557 acres of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan as wilderness, the first congressional designation under the Wilderness Act since 2009.

“President Obama and Congress have given the American people a priceless gift by ensuring that this extraordinary landscape with its towering sand dunes and bluffs will be preserved forever as wild and primitive,” Jewell said. “Hikers, anglers, paddlers and others who venture into this wilderness will find it just as the Ottawa and Chippewa tribes have for the past 3,000 years – a place of quiet solitude, spectacular views, and abundant wildlife.”

“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Wilderness Act this year, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is now our 50th national park with wilderness areas,” National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said. “Thanks to the commitment of local advocates and the Michigan congressional delegation, we can now improve our preservation efforts for this beautiful and significant national treasure.”

The Wilderness Act, signed into law in 1964, established the highest level of conservation protection for federal lands. It prohibits permanent roads and commercial enterprises, except commercial services that may provide for recreational or other purposes of the Wilderness Act. Wilderness areas generally do not allow motorized equipment, motor vehicles, mechanical transport, temporary roads, permanent structures or installation. Visitors can engage in non-motorized recreation in wilderness areas, including hiking, fishing, camping, and hunting.

S. 23 was introduced by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) and co-sponsored by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). A similar bill was introduced in the House (H.R. 163) by Rep. Dan Benishek, which had 11 co-sponsors.

Sleeping Bear. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 3/13/14.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Wilderness. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 3/13/14.

Journalism, I Mourn For Thee (part 1)   3 comments

I haven’t yet paid money for an electronic publication.  Have you?

I do pay dollars for print publications … but then, I’m old.  Older than the average reader of newspapers, come to find out.  Look at the demographics of newspaper readership, here.

But do I pay digital dimes for electronic media?  No.

Mobile pennies?  No way.

And that’s the problem with journalism today.  We as a society are reading newspapers less and less.  We are subscribing less and less.  Revenues are falling.  Quickly.

Are we paying money for electronic media as a substitute?  Not so much.  So who is paying for the journalists?

The easy answer is not enough people. That’s why newspapers are shrinking or closing all together.

We’re all quick to throw rocks at bad journalism … I was fascinated by the Manti Te’o stories over the last couple of days.  Mr. Te’o struck up an internet romance with a young lady, apparently, except it wasn’t a  real lady.  And then she died.  Or maybe she never existed, but Mr. Te’o thought she did.  It’s very confusing.  Here’s the New York Times summary, here.

In any event, there were several media critics eager to blame the other journalists that believed the story and ran it without verifying that there was an actual dead woman.  In this era of journalistic cutbacks, it’s easy to understand how sports journalists weren’t seeking out funeral homes to verify there was a body to match the alleged tragedy of a premiere football player.  But is it excusable?

Wacky times.

Bottom line is this:  we no longer have a reliable press corps that is seeking truth in every thing they report before they report it.  “Get it right, first” is no longer the slogan to live by.  Perhaps now it’s “Get it, then revise it, then update it, then apologize if you had errors.”

And by not subscribing to electronic publications, we’re not helping the big media companies pay for better journalists.

I don’t watch TV news much (meaning never outside of special coverage) … so I’m not helping the networks by watching their ads, either.

And for those journalists still fortunate enough to have a job, we have a media savvy elite that’s not cooperating. Did you know President Obama had fewer press conferences in his first term than Clinton or either of the Bushes?  He’s not talking to journalists much … and he’s hand picking those he will talk to.  At those somewhat rare press conferences, he called on ABC correspondents twice as often as he called on Fox correspondents.

I understand wanting to avoid hostile questions … but is he also avoiding discussing alternative views by not talking to journalists that don’t support him?

Journalism, I mourn for thee.

Minuteman   Leave a comment

Summer's End. Lexington Green, 11 September 2002. Photo taken in Minute Man National Historical Park. Sculpture : "Minuteman" by sculptor Henry Hudson Kitson (1863-1947), dedicated April 19, 1900. Erected 1899 : SIRIS

Summer’s End. Lexington Green, 11 September 2002. Photo taken in Minute Man National Historical Park. Sculpture : “Minuteman” by sculptor Henry Hudson Kitson (1863-1947), dedicated April 19, 1900. Erected 1899 : SIRIS

I believe this image explains America’s issue with gun control as well as any that I’ve seen.  In our hearts, we’re still minutemen, passionately defending the right to bear arms so we can throw off the oppression of a distant, unresponsive government.

No question in my mind that that is exactly what the constitution is talking about.

Unfortunately, tragedy still haunts us, even though we threw off the shackles of that government long ago. I believe we’re about to see a very frank discussion in the federal government about the limits of the 2nd Amendment.  For example … do you believe that a suspected terrorist should have the right to buy a gun in America?  They do.

But here is what American thinks, according to a 2009 study by The Word Doctors conducted by Dr Frank Luntz and commissioned by Mayors Against Illegal Guns:Should Terrorists Be Allowed to Buy Guns?With such overwhelming support among all Americans — including NRA members — why do we still allow gun sales to suspected terrorists?  If they can’t fly in an airplane, why should they be able to purchase an assault rifle?

In September, 2008, President Obama said: “I believe in the Second Amendment…. I will not take your shotgun away. I will not take your rifle away. I won’t take your handgun away… I am not going to take your guns away.”

Perhaps he should have said … well, something a bit less right of center?  I can’t imagine that he was lying at the time.  You know how I feel about that.


Kudos to a great blog, Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, which is where I first saw the photo of the “Minuteman.”

CNN: Opinion shift

New York Times: NRA Protection Racket

Posted December 21, 2012 by henrymowry in Photography, U. S. A.

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President Obama’s Victory Speech   1 comment

U.S. President Barack Obama waves to supporters after his victory speech at McCormick Place on election night November 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Obama’s victory speech last night was great.  The man is a wonderful orator, and his ability to communicate on the world’s largest stages is one of his greatest strengths (which he needs to use more, I would think).  Read the complete text of his remarks here. 

After the obligatory thanks to his supporters (and a very nice nod to the Romney family), he really hit his stride in the middle of the speech.  Here are some key passages that resonated with me:

“And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you, and you’ve made me a better president. And with your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead.

Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together. Reducing our deficit. Reforming our tax code. Fixing our immigration system. Freeing ourselves from foreign oil. We’ve got more work to do.

But that doesn’t mean your work is done. The role of citizens in our Democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on.

This country has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military in history, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture are all the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth. The belief that our destiny is shared; that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. The freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights. And among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great.

I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America….”

Posted November 7, 2012 by henrymowry in POTUS

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