XXXVIII. Citizen Greenblood< Previous Chapter | Next Chapter >


The rare, North American Numen (propheta awesomus) is a subspecies of the mammalian species homo sapiens that survives by speed and stealth rather than pack tactics. It is the fastest of all land animals and can reach speeds of up to 80 mph (120 km/h) in short bursts up to 600 yards (510 m), as well as being able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 2.5 seconds, which is faster than all supercars. Given the Numen’s agility, defensive capabilities (Numens are known to talk human beings into a paralyzed stupor) and ability to summon 35 species of trees to their aid, they are difficult to capture on film unless first restrained. A Numen has never been successfully captured and only a single known photo of the animal exists (below). As of last August there were an estimated four Numen left in the world. However, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service reports that it is difficult to calculate accurate estimations because deforestation, air pollution, noise and light pollution, and other pollution caused by their co-subspecies, the human being, have driven the Numen far into the mountains of the North American Mid-Atlantic, further decreasing the likelihood of encounters.

Numen girl drinking from mountain creek at dusk.

Numen live solitarily or in pairs, and are semi-nocturnal.

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I am writing an indie short film, two separate feature screenplays and I’m working on a chapbook.

So that’s four stories on top of all the business stuff, auditions and projects in the day. This past weekend I might have cried while in the vile clutches of The Stress, you know. But Ninjas don’t cry.

(Especially while in the middle of a mission.)

Speaking of missions, recently I posted,

If you haven’t called your local and national representatives about this* yet, then please consider the notion.

Sean Stubblefield replied,

Jess asked me to share this with the class: apparently, final revisions for the National Parks Service conservation are already done. new policy has gone active. haven't read through it (yet), so i don't know how concerned we should really be. or what we could do anyway, besides register (ignored)complaints.
here are (re)sources for info about NPS policy changes...



I have been meaning to research this issue further to see if the parks are still in trouble. If you have time to help consolidate an answer, then please post: Maybe we can catch up together and figure out how concerned we need to be.

Update: (From Sean) http://www.alternet.org/story/42121/

Updatex2: Greenblooded

*Vanity Fair has since removed this article. What a shame.

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NatGeo has a full feature that addresses the question which we have been working to answer: Are our National Parks still in the peril we discovered this summer?

June 2006 Vanity Fair: Who’s Ruining Our National Parks?

Inside the Department of the Interior, Paul Hoffman, a cowboy with a beef against land conservation, has a vision for our national parks—and it involves submitting them to the menace of snowmobiles, A.T.V.'s, and privatization. His attempts to radically alter the National Park Service mission, however, have provoked a public outcry among the parks' true stewards, including one man, in Death Valley, who's standing his ground.

. . .

Instead, Bush took office and called for a new review, which ended up costing $2.4 million. No one had much doubt how it would turn out: the snowmobilers' local champion was, after all, Interior's new deputy assistant secretary of fish, wildlife, and parks.

. . .

"What concerns me," says Reynolds, "is the idea of changing the Organic Act.… It is the law that establishes the Park Service. It is the law that binds all the Park Service areas as units. Congressional intent tells us that 'preserve and protect for future generations' is paramount, and that if we're going to err on any side of protection versus use, we're going to err on the side of resource protection. That's part of one's indoctrination. There are training sessions where the Organic Act is taken apart element by element.

"This is the issue," he says, "that many of us are willing to fall on our swords for."

October 2006 National Geographic: National Parks in Crisis

In the summer of 2005, Interior was obliged to make public—after it was leaked—a 195-page revision of the Park Service's basic policy document, essentially altering the way parks were to be managed in the future. The rewrite was the work of Paul Hoffman, at the time Interior's deputy assistant secretary for fish, wildlife, and parks, a former executive director of the Cody, Wyoming, chamber of commerce, and congressional aide to Dick Cheney in the 1980s. Among Hoffman's most radical policy tweaks were calls to open to snowmobiles all national park roads used by motor vehicles in other seasons, as well as a relaxation of restrictions on personal watercraft at some national seashores and lakeshores and on noisy tourist flights over such parks as Great Smoky Mountains and Glacier.

Charging that these revisions would override 90 years of established laws and court rulings, more than a few park superintendents expressed alarm. "I hope the public understands that this is a threat to their heritage," J. T. Reynolds, superintendent at Death Valley National Park, told the Los Angeles Times. Bill Wade, for many years superintendent of Shenandoah National Park but now retired and speaking as chairman of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, called the Hoffman document an "astonishing attempt to hijack" the nation's parks "and convert them into vastly diminished areas where almost anything goes." And it came as no surprise that the rewrite paid scant attention to the importance of promoting science-based programs in the national parks.

. . .

The House Resources Committee, presided over by Richard Pombo (R-Calif.), broke briefly into the news earlier this year when Pombo's staff drafted a budget reconciliation proposal to sell off 15 national park areas for commercial or energy development and slather the remaining units with paid advertisements on park shuttle buses. Among the places on the hit list, each selected for its failure to attract more than 10,000 visitors a year, were seven remote and wild areas in Alaska totaling some 19 million acres (8 million hectares). Pombo's staffers also proposed turning the wooded 88-acre (36 hectares) Theodore Roosevelt Island in the Potomac River—the capital city's fitting memorial to the President who put an uppercase C on the word Conservation—into a conclave of offices and condominiums.

These proposals did not rest well with members of Congress. Pombo's staff rushed to deflate their significance, describing them as a "theoretical exercise" and a "joke." The boss didn't really want to sell off national parks, it was said. Some budget-watchers suggested it was a ploy to demonstrate what it would take to offset the loss of anticipated federal revenue should obstructionists continue to block oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

. . .

After a storm of protest within the Park Service and an outcry in the press, Mainella's office last fall issued for public comment a muted version of the Hoffman policy rewrite. ("Hoffman Lite," some critics called it.) Some of the original policy changes favoring motorized recreation were toned down or eliminated altogether, but still intact was the challenge to the primacy of protection over use. Senate and House committees charged with oversight of the National Park System conducted hearings. Possibly the most persistent criticism heard was that a rewrite of a bad policy revision was without merit or justification. "To polish the apple when it is rotten at its core is a waste of time," said Bill Wade, the retired Shenandoah superintendent, referring to the attempt to lighten up Hoffman Heavy. Nonetheless, the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks heard one William Horn testify that Clinton-era policy was "overtly hostile" to traditional use. Visitors, he said, shouldn't be kept "on the other side of the . . . fence." Horn identified himself as a former Interior assistant secretary for fish, wildlife, and parks in the Reagan Administration but neglected to mention his current position as an attorney for the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association.

Now the question to be answered is: What do we do?

At Pacific West Regional headquarters in Oakland, California, Jon Jarvis, the director, pegs his own hopefulness to the Organic Act, which obliges the Park Service to hold the parks in trust for "future generations." That's the law, says Jarvis, "and unless it's repealed, you can't get any more optimistic than that."

Related: NPA Retirees

My Related: Photos,  photos,  photos… .

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Dry Update 

The following is the dry update on where things stand regarding the NPS issue we’ve been tracking.

Reader Sean Stubblefield was motivated to take on the issue, to help. Sean wrote to the National Park Service, asking,

Seriously and honestly, how concerned should the public be about these revisions? How vulnerable is the NPS to government or corporate interests, and what is the probability of those interests subverting or circumventing policy?

How much power and authority does the NPS actually have regarding policy implementation?

Here is the response Sean received:


Honestly, the NPS staff are behind these new changes. They clarify our existing policies without any danger to the parks.

Keep in mind that these are just policies. The courts have ruled numerous times that they do not carry the force of law or regulation.

Any changes in the parks still need to go through the formal rulemaking process.


David Barna
Chief of Public Affairs
National Park Service
Washington, DC

Sean also wrote an article for The SOP on the matter: The Parks… Out of Danger?

I’ve written to quite a few people myself and as of now only one has written back, that being Mr. Bill Wade, a retired park ranger who now serves on the Executive Council for the Coalition of NPS Retirees. He used to run Shenandoah National Park, which is near my hometown and one of my favorite places in the galaxy. Mr. Wade responds,

Sorry for the delay in responding to your message.

The NPS Management Policies that were finally approved about a month ago are fine as far as we are concerned. However, we are still concerned that there will be continued pressure on field superintendents when they make decisions related to the policies. So, the implementation will need to be watched very closely. Perhaps the first big test will be how the management policies are considered in the current Environmental Impact Statement regarding the use of snowmobiles in Yellowstone. That EIS is due to be released next year sometime.

Thank you for your interest and support in the National Park System.

Bill Wade

So there we have it…

Thoughts? Ideas? Interpretations? Title?

You write the editorial for this one.

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Fortunate Daughter 

Escapades are passing faster than I can keep up with them here. For instance, I rocked out with Harry and the Potters and didn’t say a word.

So I will say this, now:

Voldemort can’t stop the rock!

It’s true. I’ve seen evidence of such a claim.

I was out of town, and now I’m back. Balancing business and the creative as best I can. Actually, I’m doing alright, I believe.

This reminds me that I have always understood what JK Rowling meant when the Sorting Hat told Potter he could have gone Gryffindor or Slytherin.

Yes, I still post by secret RSS sometimes. Try and stop me.

I think Frodo is ignoring my IM.

“Please enjoy the music while your party is reached... .” Too bad I’ve never even heard of this song. That’s probably because it’s not even good.

Some people tried to blow up my favorite flight plan. Meanwhile, there are still wars. And we are still involved.

I will say that it is nice to be able to go to a big fancy library to listen to Harry Potter punk songs while Harry Potter Year 4 talks about “the man” and not have to be worried about being blown-up in the process.

Which reminds me, I need to book a flight.

Do you know how easily, how very, very easily, you might have been born on a different continent with a different wind and a different face?

It is tragic how life gets in the way of, well, life.

Or at least the way we pursue it.

Part of me hopes that I will be “poor” forever. But that might just be the Little Women talking.

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The Neverending 

Update: Yesssss! The Galloping Scared article is now available online. (Knowing VF.com they will eventually remove the link.)

There’s a story in the new Vanity Fair titled Galloping Scared. I really want to link it for you, but apparently it is not on their website. (Their website is pissing me off: All I can find are annoying photos of George Clooney.)

For now, here’s a blog with an overview,

A link to the Alliance of Wild Horse Advocates.

And a list about my feelings:

I am pissedx2 about not being able to link that article direct, much less at all: This prevents discussion.

The Department of the Interior is crossing me. Majorly. Now on two issues.

Not that Clooney usually annoys me, but for reasons I’m still deciphering the photo spread Vanity Fair produced bothers me a great deal.

I like horses.

a, e, i, o, u,
El burro sabe mas que tu,

(I learned that in Exploratory Spanish.)

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Far Away, Close to Home 

In an instant.

And all the beats thereafter.

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No News 

The trouble with reading the news is that it’s always horrible.

The trouble with not reading the news is that ignorance is the quickest way to bring the horror to your doorstep.

Just as in the rest of life, that’s the catch: A cycle that never ends, lest you strike at the roots (which run so old and deep and strong now, that I imagine them as being impossible to find). So, at our best, we walk the line of moderation.

I can’t believe the news today.

There have been a line of school shootings lately, one such tragedy having just occurred in an Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania.

I can’t close my eyes and make it go away.

I don’t even want to link to the article.

Of course people make fun of the idea of the Amish. We love the idea of Hobbits and Tolkien’s vision of how things were prior to the industrial revolution, but we reject the idea of the Amish lifestyle.

Beyond obvious reasons, this tragedy upset me because Amish Country is a pleasant place, and I’ve always considered the Amish to have tremendous will power. (Although they probably wouldn’t see it that way: They are rather modest, after all.) Along with other will-powered communities (monks, et cetera), they are a sort of Beacon of Simplicity, serving as an alternate idea of what true power might be: Knowing what you could have and choosing to lay it down, pass it by... .

We used to play softball up around Amish Country. When you drive through their towns, they wave back at you from their buggies, with their beards and bonnets and… You can imagine how this appealed to me as a child daydreamer-storyteller: It was like stepping into a period-piece movie.

It’s important that places like Amish Country exist, and I do not do well to have my last, safe little worlds tucked away in the corner of my mind, the places I think of as better places, rocked by execution-style shootings of innocent school girls.

How long... How long must we sing this song? How long? How long...

The trouble with life being that, while there exist beautiful things that are real, there also exist dark things.

I’m so worried about the whole world, you might have gathered that lately— I’ve been reading the news a lot and doing so much research… Darfur, Sierra Leone, ethics (or the lack thereof), Iraq, preserving national and international parks, deforesting of ancient forests, global warming, oil drilling, Sociology…

The frustration and lack of action and bloody melee of never ending issues is driving me into a black hole, which is why I keep expressing how relieved I am to be involved in certain projects.

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Trust Me 

Updated: Navigate to "The Word: Rip-off" (Anyone who saw that segment had to know this link was coming.)

Let’s get more specific about the things you already Know, about trust, across the board,

“We've recently had a double opportunity. The boom of the 1990s boosted trust in business; the 2001 terrorist attacks boosted trust in government. But CEOs and politicians abused these gifts with scandals and incompetence. Such is the cost of corporate malfeasance and the Iraq war: Precious social capital is destroyed by leaders' avarice and hubris.” –Full editorial via the Washington Post.

Read this: Editorial and insight on the GooTube deal.

What’s been appropriately and simply termed “the decline in trust” has been floating around in our broad understanding (and perhaps our subconscious) for quite a while. The abuse of trust is a source of many of the things we talk about here and a source of many of our frustrations. I chalk the decline in trust up to a large portion of the success of things like Loose Change. (In the spirit of: When conspiracy-myths of that sort come about, to fully understand their reach you have to look at what function the serve in society.)

If you have other examples, links, ideas, then please share. I could write a paper on my take of the topic if I had a few hours. A lot of what I would say has already been said here, however, but not drawn together in a precise and explicit manner.

This is mostly because I prefer for you to think for yourself. There is no doubt in my mind that the readers of this website are smarter and more capable than I am.

The audience always is.

So it’s a fine line between failing to say what you mean and guided discovery.

As a slight change, I feel that it is time to get more specific as our topics culminate in exact philosophies and development of better models, so you may expect said specificity to happen over time here. You may also expect me to require the same level of exploration and clarity from you and your smartness.

Not that I don’t already.

(If I used emoticons in entries, then I would have slapped a big grin on the end of that last thought.)

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Citizen Who? 

As I was researching production companies and who owns them and where the money actually comes from (I like to know where the money comes from), I came upon this article, which is relevant to our discussions:

”Consider the following scenario: It's Saturday, and you feel like going to the movies. You see the latest installment of The Chronicles of Narnia advertised in your local Examiner newspaper, part of a chain whose name has been trademarked in more than seventy cities. You decide to go to your local theater — a Regal, Edwards, or United Artists. You sit through twenty minutes of advertising, followed by the film itself, which has been delivered from studio to theater by a fiber-optic line.

The underlying theme? Every stage of your moviegoing experience — from production to promotion to distribution to exhibition — was controlled by one man: sixty-six-year-old religious conservative Philip Anschutz.

And then, as we surf on, there is this: In the present for some, the pasts of many and the futures of the comfortably-blind comes, has come and will come Murders With a Message.

“Those who ordered Politkovskaya's execution calculated well. The U.S. and Europe are shocked and indignant, but the furor will quiet down in a month or so, as it always does. And then Politkovskaya won't be around to testify against the Kremlin in the Western human rights forums. The killing was a clear message to Russian journalists and human rights activists: Those of you who choose to ignore it will be next.”

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