Something Feral

Digging up the flower-beds.

Monday, August 4, 2008

To help other people at all times

The definition of a class-act:

According to a report in the Casper Star-Tribune the Scouts, some of an estimated 1,000 members of the Order of the Arrow in the state, have "stepped in" to help firefighters in the Bridger-Teton National Forest fight the New Fork Lakes fire, about 19 miles north of Pinedale...The Scouts are staffing the supply line that provides materials and services to firefighters, officials said. Firefighters also have established a command post at the Scouts' camp.

"It is a great help to have the extra hands," fire cache manager Heidi Zardus told the newspaper. "They are helping me get the orders filled and the supplies shipped out in record time.

Considering the actions of this same branch of the government regarding ArrowCorps5, a gesture of uncommon generosity becomes one of rare magnanimity:

The plan had about 5,000 top Boy Scouts from across the country donating an estimated 250,000 hours of time to restore, repair, rebuild, reclaim and refurbish miles of trails, acres and glens at five different sites in the nation's forests. In most cases, the scouts paid their own travel and room and board expenses to participate in the biggest service project since World War II... But as WND had reported, the Forest Service decided earlier this summer to move the Scouts from part of their long-planned work sites in favor of the unorganized annual gathering of hippies, anarchists and "free spirits" who commune with nature and each other.

The group, Rainbow Family, had also scheduled a service project and revitalization program for the area, numbering some several thousand volunteers. Just kidding:

According to a statement released by the Forest Service's Incident Command Team in Rock Springs, Wyo., officers patrolling the main meadow of the seven-day event held near Sandy Springs made contact with a man who fled and was later apprehended. A second Rainbow attendee was detained for interfering in the arrest.

As 10 officers began to leave the area with their suspects, they were surrounded by an estimated 400 members of the Rainbow Family. A request for additional officers was made.

"The mob began to advance, throwing sticks and rocks at the officers. Crowd-control tactics were used to keep moving through the group of Rainbows," the news release said.

When back-up support arrived, officers made five arrests. A government vehicle was damaged and one officer was treated for injuries at a local hospital and released.

Without opening the can of worms relating to the hyperactive behavior of the Forest Service agents regarding the Rainbow Family and their subsequent near-riot in response, the group also left a significant amount of destruction in their wake:

The Casper Star-Tribune also is reporting that the cleanup effort by the Rainbow Family from the assembly estimated at about 7,000 people is "cosmetic."

"It is cleanup," said District Ranger Tom Peters. "But it certainly is not rehabilitation by any stretch of the imagination. And it is not re-naturalization, which is a term they use and I'm not really sure what that means. But it is cleanup. I would describe it as cosmetic cleanup. They're taking out the trash."

He said members of the crew that remained behind are covering compost pits with soil, covering up trenches and covering fire pits with branches and tree trunks. One of the more egregious uses of public land, he noted, was a fire pit some 40 feet in diameter and four feet deep.

Pearls before swine, it would seem.

As an Eagle Scout and a member of the Order of the Arrow, I find this situation entirely offensive on multiple levels. That the ArrowCorps5 should have been displaced to curry favor for political means is absolutely unconscionable. That the Order of the Arrow is now aiding the Forest Service in fighting fires speaks to the organization's noble character and commitment to cheerful service to their fellow man, despite the continued injury that the government seems determined to inflict upon them and the Boy Scouts at the behest of their pet mob.

I myself have experienced this divorce between our nation's leadership and our esteemed youth organizations. Whereas the Scouts could once use military installations like the now-defunct Ford Ord and the DLI in Monterey, we now must forage rather than compromise our principles. Few will dare stand for us in the public eye, despite that more than a few of our number have graced the branches of government at the highest levels in the past.

I have no words for the levels of praise that I accord to the Scouts for their humility and honor, and I have none for the shame and condemnation that I must lay at the doorstep of our government.

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