Saturday, December 14, 2013

Battlefield Reflections

(Image:  My photo of the King's Mountain Visitors Center)

Last week, I was in South Carolina visiting my daughter and her boyfriend.  One day, while they were at work, I stole away to King's Mountain.  It was a cool & cloudy Saturday and I was one of maybe half-a-dozen visitors.  At least it wasn't raining.

My first stop was the Visitors Center.  The place was manned by two female park rangers, a redhead and curly-haired brunette.  The redhead offered to start the short historical film in the theater for me and I took her up on the offer.

After the movie, I set out for a battlefield walk around and over the summit.

When I returned the brunette asked me if I enjoyed my battlefield walk.  The funny thing was--I never told either of them of my hiking plans and was surprised they noticed me.  The gals became less chatty with me when I paid for the several items I found in the gift shop.  (Maybe they saw my wedding ring).

Well whether they were flirtatious or professionally courteous, I bid them a Merry Christmas and went off to meet my daughter for dinner.

(Image:  My photo of the Cowpens Monument at the Visitors Center)
A couple days later, after a whirlwind day of running errands; my daughter, her boyfriend and I made a quick trip to Cowpens.  This time it was raining.

We were the only ones in the Visitors Center, which was manned by a couple of congenial guys instead of two flirty women.

We had less than an hour and a half to spend before the battlefield closed for the day.  The park rangers offered to show us both the fiber-optic map show and the historical movie outside the normal viewing times, along with giving us some pointers on the battlefield tour.

My daughter and her boyfriend asked me several questions about the battle and the American Revolution in general, but by this time I was more focused on recent events than 18th Century history.

My pleasant encounters with the park rangers at both battlefields were in stark contrast to what transpired during the government shutdown.  A couple months ago, I made several posts based on news reports of "Imperial Parktroopers," as I called them; barricading open-air facilities throughout the nation--most notably the World War II Memorial, close up views of Old Faithful and the scenic stops near Mount Rushmore.

I remembered this quote from an anonymous ranger to the Washington Times (via Townhall):  We've been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It's disgusting

So if Obama's version of Order 66 was so disgusting, why did he and his fellow park rangers carry it out?

When the government is your paymaster, it can also be your taskmaster.  I don't know if there were any veiled--or not-so veiled--threats about the consequences of failing to comply.  Maybe none were needed.

I'm not employed by the National Park Service, so it's easy for me to talk glibly about a "vee ver only followink ordahs" mentality during the government shutdown.

But upon further reflection, I wondered--and still wonder--if I were a park ranger, would I execute orders to "...make life as difficult for people...", or would I refuse?

I'd like to think I'd say "Hell no!" However, when I think of possibly losing my job over my righteous defiance--especially in this economy--I'm not so sure.

And this my friends, is how tyrants turn honest public servants into minions. 

All it takes is for the government to do is cut people off from their paychecks, foodstamps, healthcare, free phones--whatever--in order to get a majority of people to do it's bidding.

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