The Ongoing Crapification Of U.S. Infrastructure: The Smokies Edition

Remember those “someday the military will have to hold a bake sale to buy a B-52” bumper stickers? I do (boldface mine):

Law enforcement officials at Great Smoky Mountains National Park are turning to private fundraisers to try to find enough money to replace their outdated hand-held radios.

Most of the radios were bought in 2003 and are well past their typical 10-year lifespan. Some have stopped working in the middle of shifts, Smokies Chief Ranger Steve Kloster said.

“Luckily we have not had any life or death type incidents in which a ranger was in need of backup,” Kloster told the Asheville Citizen-Times .

The park, which straddles North Carolina and Tennessee along the Appalachian Mountains, needs $1.3 million to replace the radios and $1.2 million to fix repeaters and transmitters to make sure signals reach throughout the rugged national park and surrounding jurisdictions, officials said….

The idea that private groups have to help raise money for important safety equipment bothers Phil Francis, a retired superintendent of the park and a member of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks.

When we get to the point of having to replace something that is a critical need and through donated funds, it’s truly disturbing. To me, it’s the role of the Congress. It seems the budget cuts have gone too far,” Francis said.

But Don Jr. and Eric (and don’t forget Ivanka!) are getting tax cuts, so it’s all good.

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One Response to The Ongoing Crapification Of U.S. Infrastructure: The Smokies Edition

  1. John Magoun says:

    If I understand modern conservative ideology, such as dominates the Congress these days, public parks, like public schools, public infrastructure, and public security forces, have no justification for their existence in the face of clearly superior private and for-profit alternatives.
    But since outright abolition is politically impractical for now, the solution is to starve them to death through under-budgeting, while reframing the debate to prepare the next generation to complete the transition: thus, for instance, “government schools” is now the approved term, because anything to do with the government is presumed to be negative.
    In other words, this isn’t just about winning elections. It’s about rhetoric and terms of debate. If liberals, or even conservatives who believe there should always be roles for both the private and public sectors in our national life, want to prevail in this fundamental division, they’d better get a lot smarter in the propaganda department, as well as working harder to show how effective, fair, and economical public services can be in their proper contexts.

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