American gestapo

The last place you expect to run into a federal government goon squad is the Blue Ridge Parkway, the scenic highway that runs through Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee.

But the abuse of power spawned by the Bush administration and the rights robbing USA Patriot Act runs rampant throughout the federal bureaucracy, as I learned this week while traveling the Parkway to get to an assignment photographing a summer music festival for my newspaper.

The festival, FloydFest, draws thousands of people each July to a picturesque patch of land just off the Parkway not far from the Blue Ridge hamlet of Floyd, VA. Now in its sixth year, the festival enjoys a national reputation. It also provides an opportunity for the National Park Service police to harass patrons of the festival.

For the last two years, the Park Service has brought in its “CIT” (Criminal Interdiction Team) from Asheville, North Carolina, to police crowds that use the Parkway to reach the festival. The team, composed of swaggering young officers with little regard for due process or civil rights, is the embodiment of federal excess.

As I drove towards the site Thursday, I passed two CIT Park Police officers that had pulled cars over and were forcing the occupants to pull everything out of the car so they could search coolers, back packs, luggage, glove boxes and consoles.

I pulled off the road ahead of the second NPS patrol car, grabbed my camera and headed back to take a photo of the police action. As I approached, the Park Service officer wheeled around and pointed at me.

“Sir, if you raise that camera to take a photograph I will place you under arrest,” he barked.

I identified myself as a working journalist on assignment and said I was simply covering a news event.

“Sir,” he retorted, “this is U.S. government property and under the provisions of the USA Patriot Act you cannot take photographs of official government activity without authorization. Put your camera down now!”

I could not believe what I was hearing. I grew up in this part of the country and have photographed on the Blue Ridge Parkway since my days as a high school student. I asked for his badge number. He refused to reveal it.

“Sir, you have 15 seconds to leave or you are under arrest.” He had his hand on his gun so I left. Media General, our newspaper’s owner, has strict rules about interaction with police. At the top of the hill, I stopped and shot some photos back towards the scene.

At the festival, patrons told numerous horror stories about encounters that day with the Park Service Police. One young woman was pulled over because she had beads hanging from her rear view mirror. They detained her for more than an hour while they searched her car and found nothing. Another young man was stopped because he had a bolt missing from his license plate frame. When the cops found no drugs or alcohol, they ticketed him for “improper equipment.”

On Wednesday night, the CIT cops pulled over a car driven by Shannon Zeman, the sheriff of Floyd County, VA. Zeman later told Virginia State Trooper Andrew O’Connor that the parkway cops were rude and abusive, even to a fellow cop.

Calls to the Park Service police headquarters were not returned Friday. I called the office of Congressman Rick Boucher and they promised to check into the situation. According to the National Park Service web site, park police “provides highly trained and professional police officers to prevent and detect criminal activity, conduct investigations, apprehend individuals suspected of committing offenses against Federal, State and local laws.”

Nice to know the park service cops have professionals on board. Next time, let’s hope they send the pros instead of the goon squad from the Criminal Interdiction Team in Asheville.

UPDATE — 07/29/2007: The National Park Service recalled their CIT unit and ordered them back to Asheville after Congressman Rick Boucher, who represents the area, intervened on behalf of the festival. Boucher’s office received numerous calls of complaints about the NPS police activity on Thursday and Friday and called the director of the National Park Service. Security for the remaining two days of the festival was turned over to the Virginia State Police who patrolled the Parkway but did not harass festival attendees.

UPDATE — 07/30/2007: Talked with Congressman Boucher today. He is “very upset” over the actions of the Parkway Rangers and says he will meet personally with the director of the Parkway to “make sure nothing like this happens again.” Boucher said he does not believe the Patriot Act gives a Park Ranger the authority to prohibit a person from taking pictures and he will insist of a “full and complete investigation” of the incidents of this past weekend.


  1. bryan mcclellan

    Dear Mr. Nemo:you are dead on correct SIR, however, We do not have time to blanch.We have to run him off the ranch. Rosa Parks weighed how much, 105lbs ?

  2. Carl Nemo

    Hi Bryan McClellan…

    Thanks for the attaboy concerning my post/s, but I both winced and then laughed. Your lead line shows up as

    Dear Mr. Nemo: you are dead

    I thought at first it was a communique from Bushco’s South American “hit squad”, just joking of course, then again…?! 😐

    Nemo **==

  3. bryan mcclellan

    In the words of Harry Caray..HOLY COW. My apologies,I promise to work on my sentence structure, grammatically stunted individual here ,please forgive…

  4. Warren

    I’m hoping to retire in another couple years. A very unexpected development has thrust itself into the equation. That is, given a choice of where to live I’m really sad to say it may not be the “Good Old” USA.

  5. Carl Nemo

    Hi Warren…

    Many wealthy and not so wealthy Americans are leaving this nation annually. It’s not a subject that’s often discussed by the MSM but it’s a fact. A few years back a Senator, I believe Senator Pat Moynihan proposed that citizens that dumped the U.S. should have to give up a large portion of their wealth in order to leave the U.S.?! The theory being that they made their money while here and now they’ve decided to dump their homeland so they must forfeit some of their holdings. The idea didn’t fly but it shows how their ever-grasping political intellects operate.

    My recommendation is to look into the Scandinavian countries or North America;ie., Canada. Canada had a policy a few years back that anyone bringing a million dollars or more in assets to their country would get instant Canadian citizenship.

    My wife’s side of the family are Canadians formerly German immigrants and I always enjoy our trips to Canada. It is a stunningly beautiful country to say the least. There’s nothing quite like Canada in the fall of the year! Canada is like going back 20 years in time as far as I’m concerned. There’s both gentility and elegance about their country.

    Canadians don’t hate Americans, they simply think we are “nuts” as a nation. I can’t blame them. It seems America’s leadership is obsessed with the waging of war for the benefit of the MIC and as far as tax revenues are concerned, to hell with “we the people”; i.e, our money belongs to the M.I. Complex plain and simple!

    My wife and I are seniors in our sixties and early seventies and we’ve considered bailing from this madness lately. Life in America is simply too intense; ie., too mindlessly violent. There’s more to life than going to sleep only to awaken to some more bad news. There’s no shortage of bad news when it comes to our nation at any level. Lately I’ve referred to the phenomena as “The Empire of the Rising Scum”… :))

    So Warren, I say, “go for it” and good luck! You’ll probably find Canada as your best choice with Europe being a more radical choice unless you are willing to roll up your sleeves and learn another language and customs in your later years. Good luck on your decision.

    Carl Nemo **==

  6. Wayne K Dolik

    Good morning Doug. We had an expression for that type of behavior back in the late 80’s and early 1990’s. It was called “Jack Booted Thugs”.

    I recommend you start carrying a recording devise with you so that when “they” become abusive you can record it. The individual citizen has more technology on our side than ever before. I fear we all need to use it. And, do not forget the cell phone. It is a powerful tool.

  7. Sandra Price

    I’m posting a link to Reader Rant that does explain some of the problems that we face in America under the present Bush Administration.

    The poster is well informed on the financial mess we are in. Give it ia try and read through some of the link; they are worth keeping.

    If you want to post, you will have to register first but you can read all of Reader Rant.

  8. Carl Nemo

    Doug, I’m glad you got to witness this activity firsthand although you would have had no trouble imagining such actions taking place if someone else had told you so. Here’s the link to CIT organization in Asheville, NC.,000014,000745,000755

    What’s interesting the Park Service basically outsourced it’s enforcement needs for the festivities since they don’t have the manpower to do so. As bad as these types seemed they at least have some verifiable homebase of operations.

    There’s far worse than this going on in the country. Most of the regular enforcement agencies are short-handed so they outsource their enforcement and security needs. The U.S. Marshals service will outsource to a private security service if they have a need for prisoner escort or protection. While on this type of duty these type of guards will be paid a U.S. Marshals wage. But here’s the rub. One day a guard might simply deployed to a shopping mall as a security agent, but then his firm acquires a government contract with the U.S. Marshals service, the National Park Service or whatever Federal or State agency, then they are then deployed to higher order enforcement activities to which they are not familiar nor have the necessary training to act in a non-belligerent, professional manner. Believe it or not some of these private subcontracting firms don’t even perform adequate background checks nor do they drug test their applicants.

    I’m not saying the CIT base org fits in this category, but in the event they too outsource to another firm for such events, then one can see that the level of professionalism, deteriorates rather quickly until you’ve got basically a “billy-bob” mall guard busting heads on behalf of the National Park Service…?!

    The Third Reich rounded up many of their SA and SS goons from German prisons knowing that these type personas would thoroughly brutalize the population in exchange for their freedom and enjoy doing so with relish.

    So my admonition is not to assume when you see someone in a uniform with badge associating them with an agency of renown that they are the same caliber personnel along with the associated training.

    This type of outsourcing is right up Wackenhutt, Blackwater, and many other large security firms located throughout the U.S. A rogue government will have no trouble finding “thugs” to oppress the population for a price.

    My best advice is for folks to exit an area immediately if they see such activity occurring and don’t question them because if you do overstep their enforcement bogey for an arrest, they will use the full force and power of their vested authority to do maximum damage. It’s better to retreat, then lodge complaints through either State or Federal reps. If no response, remedial or otherwise is forthcoming then it needs to be kicked up to the elected rep level.

    Carl Nemo **==

  9. adamrussell

    Im pretty sure that was a lie when he told you it is illegal to photograph government activity. You need to get the ability to send your videos out wirelessly straight from the camera as you are taking the shots so if your equipment is confiscated it wont do them any good. Then sue their asses.

  10. SEAL

    This type of authority abuse is nothing new. It has been SOP in many southern states for decades. It’s not as bad now as it was 20-30 years ago but it still goes on. Many of the county jusidictions run a very profitable operation stopping out of state plates on large expensive autos. The sherrif, judge, and jailers are usually related.

    We had an experience many years ago with a couple of Mississippi’s deputies. Four of us were on leave and taking a trip that took us through that state. One of our guys was black and he was diving. We were pulled over for no good reason and the deputy was a “You in a heap o trouble boy!” type. We had an argument and his buddy back-up arrived. They had their guns out. To make a long story short we left both of them handcuffed to the passenger side door handles of their cruisers and scooted out of the state in a hurry. But those were the good old days. I doubt we could get away with that today. It would be better to be wired and cooperate until you could go through a proper legal authority to obtain justice.

    60 minutes set up and busted one crooked county in a southern state a few years back. They had video wired into the Lincoln Town Car they were driving. That is the type of exposure that will get results. But who has the time or money or the backing of a news organization to do it?

  11. keith

    Doug, welcome to the UPSA…The United Police States of America! This is yet another example of government incrementalism being allowed to run rampant over our freedoms.

    When I was growing up back in my hometown in NH, they used to have two police cruisers with an office (and a single jail cell) in the basement of city hall. On a vacation visit back there a few weeks ago, I counted no less than 10 cruisers in the parking lot, and God knows how many others out on patrol. The population of the city has only increased by some 10,000 since I left. The city also just built a brand new police station (at a cost of untold millions!) that looks more like the law enforcement version of the Taj Mahal with antennas than a police station

    From your story, it appears I’m not the only one who has noticed that there are more and more City Police, County Police, Park Police, County Sheriff, State Police, Highway Patrol, FBI and assorted other, so-called “law enforcement” agencies with more and more patrol cars monitoring our every move in our states, towns and cities. All of them are armed to the teeth and most are sporting more and more sophisticated radar guns pointed at us than ever before.

    Methinks this has a lot more to do with “generating revenue” than it does “law enforcement”. But, unfortunately, we have all stood idly by and let it all happen.

    As Pogo once said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

  12. CheckerboardStrangler

    Again, with all due respect I urge you to not take too much stock in the notion that a recording will do you any good, even if evidence of abuse is clearly uncovered. We’re past the point where it means anything at all. In fact, you should not be surprised if it becomes flat out illegal to even try to use such evidence at all.
    Predicating a belief that the citizen, or more accurately, SUBJECT has any power whatsoever against abusive law enforcement is a bygone concept, especially if the magic words “PATRIOT ACT” are involved.

  13. CheckerboardStrangler

    A digital video camera, laptop with firewire and Windows Media Encoder or a slingbox attached and broadband access is the rough equivalent of a satellite uplink truck in a backpack…or in a pinch one can simply use a Nokia N93, but you’re still facing off against the idea of going up against the Patriot Act.
    The moment a judge hears those words…it’s
    “Carl Nemo, you’re DEAD.”

    Sorry Carl.

  14. long_rider

    Don’t complain, next year they may contract Blackwater to provide security, Blackwater is the chimps official gestapo.

    Blackwater was hired by the (Ha! Ha!) homeland security agency to patrol the streets of New Orleans.

    So the chimp has no compunction about hiring mercenaries to enforce the laws of his relm, even in national parks.

    I guess parks are a favorite meeting place for Al Qaeda, and perhaps the White House.

  15. Helen Rainier

    In reading all of the previous comments, the first thought that went through my mind was “Blackwater?”

    This sounds like something they would be involved in and would do.

    I knew we were in trouble before the 2000 election if Bush got in. I just knew it. My research on Bush gave me a very bad feeling.

    That was exacerbated when Cheney decided HE was the best VP candidate. But then he had to fly out to Wyoming to register as a voter there, even though all these previous years he had declared Texas as his “homestead” residence.

    When you begin that way — as the Bushies did — it raises big red DANGER! DANGER! flags.

    I now officially hate ALL republicans. They just can’t be trusted or believed. The slime of the dung pile.

  16. Carl Nemo


    Many people might not realize that your supplied map link concerns the NAFTA Super Highay that Bushco et. al. have plans to run through America. As folks can see Texas is the main port of entry for trucks entering our southern borders.

    This is another building block in the NWO sponsored North American Union Scheme and their ultimate plan to neutralize our national sovereignty while spouting how great this superhighway will be for the enhancement of trade and business in general. I’m providing two links that will provide background information concering this “scheme”. One of the links has Ron Paul’s sentiments concerning this “shadow” project.

    Our Congressional “trade at any price” traitors will no doubt sneak this one through too like NAFTA and CAFTA regardless of the citizenry’s sentiments. I hate to think of all the unchecked contraband that will be loaded in the semi’s that will be moving from south to north;ie., illegals, drugs, dirty nukes, terrorists too! Now you know why Bushco isn’t seriously interested in securing our southern borders. They are turning America into simply a “doormat nation” for their ever-continuing business exploitation purposes. “We the People” and our national safety be damned…!

    Carl Nemo **==

  17. anthny

    @Nemo, You have done your homework, Thanks for all the links, Although I have seen most, the link to the Deleware Corporations was of interest.
    I saw something a few years ago about signs that seperate towns and cities and how our country has been incorpoated since 1776. The signs always say in other words New York City Incoroporated 1850.
    You will notice if you pay attention.
    Anything the police use to stop you such as a bolt from a licsense plate holder is enough to put you away for ever.
    We the People do not hold any power over the two party dictatorship that rules.
    The party is over, the boob tube has taken complete control of our society.

  18. Rich Farris


    If there is any truth to the Paraguay story, that is most intriguing. I was personally hoping Bush could retire to Guantanamo instead. He could definitely avoid extradition from there. Plus, he’s put so much in to the place, he must really care about it.

    You are right about the currency problems. A lot of trouble is on the horizon.

  19. Nicholas

    Photograph anyway –

    I don’t know that particular newspaper’s policy regarding interaction with cops, but I think you should have photographed the incident anyway. Yes, you were on federal property, as the CIT Gestapo cadet said — and that’s PUBLIC PROPERTY. Unless the rules have changed, a news photographer can shoot photographs of anyone who is in or on a public place, i.e. a public street or road, a public sidewalk, in a public building such as a courthouse, a public park, etc.

  20. Obiewon

    This might have come up in the past but it is worth saying again. I used to work with a guy who had been a Russian translator in the Navy. When our government created the Department of Homeland Security he told me that the literal translation of “KGB” is Department (komisariat) of Homeland Security. Now where did we get this bright idea from?

  21. joedupont

    Currently the police have complete authority to pull over about 1/3 of the cars because of obstruction of vision. This could be an airfreshner on the rear view mirror, a map on your dash board
    or a NY Giants Football Cap on the rear deck.
    It could also be a license plate frame.
    The point is that unlike Slogans like “Buckle UP for Safety” or “DWI you can’t afford it” no one in any local, state or federal level is promoting
    visibility safety. WHY? Because they like the ability of being able to stop up to a 1/3 of the vehicles on the road, for seat belts, unsigned regisration and other things like the smell of
    your breath.

    Look the police have a difficult job, but this state of affairs is nothing new and we should demand
    education on this issue so that these drivers
    are not just a cash cow for state troopers.
    Yes I believe in National Security, but the Government and Bush have sold out to the Mexican Government , locking up good border guards who stopped a massive amount of drugs coming into this country and are not using 911 laws to thwart the press and citizens from basic rights.
    Yet the state trooper from towanda who pulled me over for my father’s string ties never told me he was recording my voice until the stop was nearly completed.

  22. bocawayne

    I read the Paraguay posts and have to clarify some things. First, there is no city of Chaco in Paraguay. The Gran Chaco is a vast rural and sparsely populated region of Paraguay occupied mostly by ranchland. So it would be like saying there is no city of Sahara, Africa. Second, Paraguay is about to go left: a “Bolivarian” bishop named Lugo is way ahead in the polls there for the upocming presidential elections. Not exactly the friendliest climate for fleeing Neo-Cons. I do know the Bush daughters were in the region recently. One of them had their purse snatched in Buenos Aires right under the nose of the Secret Service! I won’t belabor the issue here, but I think the Paraguayan conspiracy has been pretty much discredited at this point.

  23. Carl Nemo

    Hi Obiewan…

    Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti, KGB (КГБ ) more accurately translates to “Committee for State Security” of the former USSR. It was changed to the Federalnaya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti (Federal Security Service) by Boris Yeltsin. It’s still the same all-powerful draconian org as during the darkest days of the Soviet Union feeding it’s gulags with an endless supply of prisoners based on mostly trumped up charges by the state. Nowadays political and other types of prisoners are simply placed in fetid Ruskie prisons to rot. Their justice system is a joke.

    Cross Vladimir Putin or his apparatchiks imbedded everywhere throughout the governmental structure and it’s “hasta la vista” baby! You might even get a Polonium-210 cocktail as recently demonstrated in Britain concerning a so-called ex-KBG officer. There is no such thing as “ex” when it comes to intelligence service or “mob” activities.

    The NWO crowds’ dream represents creating a hybrid world paradigm of fascism, communisim, corporatism, and pirate capitalism. They plan on controlling the world population through a world wide co-op of the FSB, CIA, MI6, Interpol, FBI, DIA, NSA, Homeland Security, and a host of other shadowy agencies all data-linked with realtime surveillance cam input feeds…ad infinitum ad nauseam. Little do the people of the world realize that these ever power-hungry mattoids are feverishly troweling in the bricks of their electronic prison.

    You asked where did they get “Homeland Security”? Well although it doesn’t translate directly, the point is dictators and political thugs in general have learned throughout history to name an agency with a moniker that has a ring of endearment to the people, meanwhile the agencies true mission is the opposite of what it connotes; i.e, security=total,absolute “insecurity” due to the incredible, over-reaching powers granted to the state by duplicit pols; allowing them to snoop into every aspect of a citizens life.

    What about Czars too? Reagan created the concept of “Drug Czar”. Bush recently was seeking a “War Czar”. How about a “Thought-crime Czar”?…on and on this this insidious nonsense goes!

    The people that are running the governments of the world in addition to being money hungry are craven for more power and as it’s said “nothing corrupts as absolutely as absolute power”…no?! America and the world is in harms way with these mattoids in control.

    I urge citizen/patriots to contact their elected reps and to start demanding serious accountability concerning the surveilling Americans without following procedures and due process. Bushco wants even more unfettered powers. If the Congress or the Senate grants Bushco one more iota of power than they already have, then it’s assured they are “all” in on the deal to enslave America. Then the world too will be enslaved by a NWO cabal of co-operation among the “Red” Chinese (commies), the Russians (commies in sheeps clothing), Euros (corporatist/socialists) and American (corporatist/fascist), all elitist thugs, in creating and controlling a planetary, consumersistic “feedlot” with docile fearful “shoppers”, all darting about feeling absolutely safe under the boot of their paternalistic NWO controllers. I guess they can up their dosage of Prozac or it’s analogs in order to ‘cope’… : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  24. Saphyre Rose

    I will tell you of the horror I went through last year at the National Archives.

    We were outside and the building has a beautiful fresco above the doorway on Pennsylvania Avenue.
    All I wanted was a photo of the fresco. I like researching what the different frescoes all over the DC are represent.

    A guard came out of the building and told me I was not to take any photos of the building.
    I was shocked! I was on a public street wanting to take a picture of a public building. Please understand I am in a wheelchair due to a spinal degeneration. It had just stopped raining and I was taking off my rain cape (it covers the whole chair, a bit like Captain Pike in the first Star Trek), while I was doing that, he was watching me very closely. I was very uncomfortable.
    I asked the guard if I looked like a terrorist to him (also why would a terrorist target the National Archives?) he told me that terrorists take all sort of forms these days.

    So I asked to my hubby to just roll me in, perhaps I could get a book in the gift shop pertaining to the frescoes.
    The guard told me in no uncertain terms that I cannot take ANY pictures in the building and if he caught me doing it, he would confiscate my camera and hold me for the DC police.

    Hubby was getting terribly angry and I thought to myself, “I should do it. I should take a picture and let them arrest me. Let’s see what the blogosphere will do with that bit of info.”
    But instead, we left.

    I felt very conspicuous for the rest of the trip that perhaps that security guard had told the rest of the rental cops in the museums and public buildings of DC that a wheelchair sitting terrorist is in DC and to watch for her.

    A trip that took me all year to plan and pay for was ruined by a minimum wage renta-cop drone.

    What has this country come to?

    Thank you for the chance to tell that to someone… I didn’t think anyone would ever believe that story, so I never told it before.

  25. remoran

    How much longer must we tolerate this crap? We are now in the clutches of 1984 and Brave New World. Doug’s experiences obviously represent the former while non stop violence/escapist flicks, non stop beer, cars and viagra ads on tv and a politicized press pandering to the status quo represent the latter. Orwell’s “He who controls the past, controls the present. He who controls the present, controls the future.” statement is rapidly becoming true under this truly horrible administration. The Constitution is in dire straits and still the people remain asleep at the switch. Doing an impeachment is NOT A BIG DEAL. All it takes is one pol to drop the hammer to start the inquiry into impeachable offenses, something the Bushies are scared to death of if someone in the House initiates the process because people would pay attention and that’s a dangerous thing in these days of a compliant press. (Jimmy Bresland’s recent article in Newsday lays this out in brilliant detail.)

    As we know, the Dems and Repugs are passive minions of the corporations getting monies on the side while we, the public, continue to get screwed. Simply unbelievable!

    I never though I would long for the days of Tricky Dick but I do now as America continues to sink under the weight of this horrific ship of fools.

    Good post. I hope they fire the bastards who hassled people for no reason except to prove their manhood but they won’t as taking responsibility for one’s actions is no longer required in the age of Bush.

    Maybe if this was the wild west, the notion of police doing this kind of nonsense would be greatly reduced because the people they were thinking to intimidate would be carrying the same hardware as the police, something that would give the cops a reason to pause before letting the situation get out of hand.

    “Never stop questioning.” Einstein

  26. roadking3322

    On July 7th at 6:15 pm we came upon a Check Point at Olympic National Perk with NPS Rangers, Forest Service and local Police we were asked for all our paperwork and Three Rangers walked the length of our SUV doing a visual search, asking if we were all seat belted, my kids sat silent, although it was clear all 5 of them were, he pointed out our insurance was going to expire in two weeks and told us to move on,they were physically searching two vehicles. I emailed Olympic Park head Ranger he said they stopped 160 vehicles that day and wrote 60 tickets, he thought it was productive.
    This seems WRONG! I have always looked at NPS Rangers to be above this kind of thing ( When I see them on Rainier and they ask for my climbing permit and ask how we are doing and give us route information I am very happy they are there and I guess that is why this bothers me so much.
    I would like other peoples thoughts. MS

  27. Carl Nemo

    Hi roadking3322…

    It’s tragic that you, your family and the other 159 people had to go through such an offensive process that day!

    Things will get far worse before it gets better. Generally speaking the people that gravitate towards law enforcement and security firms have issues; ie., they are basically bullies that have a need through governmental enfranchisement, albeit local, state or federal to excercise their will upon others. Think about it? What normal, well-balanced, person would want to be in law enforcement. They basically have a glitch in their psychological response mechanism and get-off on instructing and/or “thumping” others concerning telling them what to do, predicated on laws hatched by mostly “evil legislators” with an agenda. Notice too that many of them have semi-“skin-head” type hairstyles. They shave their heads and leave an aggressive Mohawk “warrior” type strip down the top. Most are steroid enhanced jocks with bull-necks, v-shaped shoulders (large traps) from dead-lifting 500 pounds 10 times, three sets daily… :)) Most are if not all are military reservists. You can even spot them in Iraq. Many are getting their paycheck from their departments and getting their reserve pay too while on duty in the Middle East. The war in a Iraq along with a carte-blanch check to bust route-step civilian heads is almost “orgasmic” for them. It also gives them an away from war at home experience while stateside…no?!

    I’m not anti-law enforcement. We have a need for such protections, but modern law enforcement and the military have become an ugly hybrid of a UCF cage-fighters mentality blended with a Hitlerian redux of the SS and the SA busting German citizens heads in the 30’s through the end of the war. They love their pay and percs, but basically hate “we the people”;ie., route-step civilians that pay their “wage-freight”, strange but true. Modern day cops are not our friends, they look upon us the civilians as the enemy. I’m not joking either!

    My recommendation to you is to get motivated and to email, call or even write your district Congressional Rep and Senators offices about this vacation spoiling, egregious nonsense. Also complain to the National Park Service. Although your story is appreciated on CHB it’s up to you and myself and millions of other Americans to get motivated to make change. I’m a Washington State resident and rest assured I will be sending off emails in the AM and writing to my Congressional District Rep about this National Park Service “bullshit”. I’m sorry to hear your vacation to the Olympics was ruined by overzealous enforcement “jerks”.

    I’ll also post the duty links so you can become an activist and enjoy the experience of contacting your reps. Send one to your federal Congressional rep and also to your state district rep and also to the National Park Service. Let the park service know you are contacting your elected reps. They get really antsy when they hear this type of feedback… :)) Include dates, time and circumstances and comments from the officers to the best of your recollection.

    I’ve provided you with all the necessary links including the Olympic National Park Service site. Multiple contacts about this issue have more impact than simply complaining to the park service. When I make a complaint to an org I never simply complain to the offenders direct supervisor; I go many levels above so maximum heat comes down on the offenders. Usually organizational offenders and their direct supervisors are in collusion. Tactics are important when it comes to prevailing in your complaint!

    Carl Nemo **==

  28. Carl Nemo

    Hi Saphyre Rose…

    You and your husband made a good decision that day. To put yourselves through the incredible stress of being arrested then released on minimal bail simply wasn’t worth the view of the National Archives. Most public places and gatherings have become quite dangerous in our times, not from potential terrorists, but from a legally enfranchised government acting in a “terrorist” fashion!

    My suggestion to you and your husband is to get involved with your governmental processes and to make a complaint concerning what happened that day. Silence indemnifies their ever-growing “tyranny”…!

    Carl Nemo **==

  29. bayhorse

    Not to discount all the conspiracy buffs but the National Park Service has had a problem for a long time. I was an employee in Yellowstone Park from 1987-89 and saw first had how Park Police operate. I was stopped and detained for 30 minutes one time at dusk at Old Faithful because I had on a hat and a backpack which she found “suspicious.” The pack had my night photography equipment and some high speed film for a session of night photography. I have told the story to several law enforcement officials and they laugh because of how normal my activity was.

    Another incident from 1988 involved a drunk I worked with. He got pulled over for DUI and arrested. Now he was a very unsavory fellow who needed to be arrested. He was also so drunk he could hardly stand and weighed all of about 120 pounds. I watched the same female officer that gave me the business along with another 220 pound fellow officer bend the guys arm back until they dislocated his shoulder while cuffing him. He was not resisting arrest he just was so drunk he could not physically cooperate. At no time did he present a threat to anybody. They also went out of the way to slam his head into the car while putting him in.

    I had a backpacking buddy that was also a park policeman and we talked a lot about the above incidents. He was very professional and dedicated and very underpaid. He said the park attracted a lot of people that want to be in law enforcement but really lack the psyche to do the job. It bothered him a lot.

    I wonder how much of the problem is directly policy driven and how much is simply too little pay attracting too little talent for too many years. I suspect it is lot of both. Either way the problem is unforgivable in what should be the world’s greatest bastion of freedom. Our National Parks and their visitors deserve better.



  30. nikolai

    Doug, I’m not a bit surprised to hear this due to the cops being from NC. I was back in NC a few years ago and had a run in with a CROSSING GUARD at an elementary school near “Waynesville” (we called it Wayne’s World) while we were there. It seems that when school is about to let out they(a fat, BBQ stained white-T shirted, cigarette smoking good ol’ boy named billy bob, or some such stupid moniker)make a two way road(complete with yellow line)a ONE way road and stop everybody who doesn’t realize this practice(read, OUTSIDERS)then proceed to harass them to the point of incarceration if they don’t comply with billy’s wishes. Those wishes are that you MUST pull over and park until the parents are done picking up their kids (even tho you don’t have any kids at the school). I kid you not, this HAPPENED TO ME, and the “undersheriff” DID SHOW UP and he and the crossing guard did keep their eyes glued to me until school was out and most of the parents had picked up their kids. Only then was I allowed to drive off very slowly and carefully with the “undersheriff” and ol’ billy-bob the crossing guard keepin’ a close eye on me. THey are big on this barney fife type of law-and-order down there in NC. I have found this to be true in Arkansas, Tennesse and Missouri as well.
    The movie “Deliverance” was not far off the mark…

  31. simon

    simon … PATRIOT ACT sucks

    how can we as Americans abide by a law that violates every morial fiber of our existence.
    The PATRIOT ACT is a bunch of crap … the US government uses this law as a smoke screen to cover up
    all their wrong doings not just to America but to the world.

    The current Administration has got to go.

    If we don’t wake up and smell the coffee ; then we will find ourselves living in “george orwell’s 1984”

    America and the world please wake up .. before we find our every action and thought under governmental scurtiny.

    Wake up

  32. gene

    Well Carl you sure put some effort in that comment and every word is true. This is one insidious mess we are in and it is exploding right infront of our lives, ie. happening in “real time”. Stocks will be interesting to watch come Monday morning. Subprime is fixing to be headline and all the toxic financial worthless paper is bubbling to the top of this investment cesspool.

  33. Carl Nemo

    Hi Gene…

    I’ve been trying to figure out for some time why the Bushistas would purchase a 100,000 acre ranch in Paraguay? They also had a special law approved by Paraguay’s governing body to insure that they have special, permanent immunity from being prosecuted for war crimes, international crimes, and from being deported…?! To me it says that these mattoids have something truly evil planned for the U.S. and when they pitch their bucket of engineered crap on the fan they’l end up safely in the southern hemisphere. What’s interesting is that the media said it was in Chaco, Paraguay, but there is no city named Chaco in the country at least none that I can locate via Google Satellite mapping. Chaco is located across the border in Argentina. The military base associated with Bushco’s travels is in Mariscal_Estigarribia Paraguay that was constructed by the Paraguayan government, but is no doubt headed for upgrades courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer.

    The U.S. is unquivocally dead broke! We now have 9.7 trillion of public debt over our heads with a total debt in the order the 55 trillion dollar range due to projected shortfalls in Social Security, Medicare, and government pension programs. American corporations are awash in red ink and both the current and impending credit disaster in the housing market is also working against us. American citizens as a whole are grossly in debt with a nominal $7500 of CC debt hanging over the average household. The dollar is tanking against all the worlds currencies both major and minor, even against the Mexican and Philippine peso?!

    Our stock market is the worlds worst performing market against all publicly traded markets. Our DOW index is nothing bur “smoke and mirrors”. Trade wars and impending national default is on the horizon. The result could be a massive breakdown in public confidence leading to rioting, insurrection and the possibility of nuclear war breaking out. If we can’t pay our debt or try to do so with grossly inflated currency, international investors will flee the dollar like rats from a sinking ship.

    China has already repatriated 1 trillion dollars from the U.S. during the past six months. China could use this crisis to repatriate Taiwan which could lead to the excuse for pre-emptive missile launch from either side; then the unthinkable becomes the thinkable. China’s nuclear war planners have already gamed the outcome where they already know they will be the world’s premier northern hemispheric survivors of such a holocaust.

    Bushco also has a plan to shove a North American Union down our collective throats with a new currency called the Amero as the Western hemispheric currency. If the dollar goes bust as well as all entitlement programs both public and private then they just might be able to pull this off as desperate, starving people are given an offer they can’t refuse. The dollar is now worthless, so they’l issue a new currency called the Amero with each household getting a pre-determined amount of cash to start fresh again, whatever that means…?!

    Countries going bust is not new in the history of the world. When politicians begin to debase a currency; ie.,disassociating it from being linked to anything of value they will continue to do so like termites in a house until the entire national financial infrastructure tumbles down around our ears. Johnson chucked the silver certificate from being linked to silver in the mid-sixties. Nixon cut the dollar away from the gold standard in the 70’s turning the dollar into a pure fiat currency; i.e, “faith money”. They’ve run the printing presses feverishly for the past 40 years and have totally debased our currency to the point that it’s only worth a few cents on the dollar compared to a 1947 buck.

    Supposedly Fort Knox has 8100 metric tons of gold in storage. If you convert this to troy ounces; i.e, 31.1 grams per troy oz you end up with each ounce having to be worth about $36,800 per ounce if we were to go back to backing the dollar with gold, which is ludicrous to say the least, but it gives people an idea as to how debased their currency has become to something that has true value and has had so throughout history.

    Meanwhile, Bushco and all their insider cronies from not only the U.S., but Europe too can all be partying down hearty in their Paraguayan ranch/bunker while the “groundlings” are left holding this nightmarish financial bag and their body bags too!

    All I can say is get ready down below!,-60.620037&z=13&hl=en&t=h

    Carl Nemo **==

    p.s. I suggest folks download Google Maps. It’s a fun link under any circumstances if you wish to investigate your world from space. Using the the Search function you will see that Chaco is in Argentina across the Argentine province of Formosa with Paraguay and Mariscal_Estigarribia to the north by scrolling northward. Too bad they don’t provide one meter resolution then we could watch the Bush twins poolside…:))

  34. gene

    Found something that many of you here at CHB might be interested in reading. It does seem to help explain much of the (why) of what has happen over the last several years, especially with this current white house administration.

    “The present currency and economic crisis were brought on by Bush’s and the Fed’s hyperinflationary monentary policies. These policies were executed simultaneously for maximum effect. These were entirely premeditated. Many people now believe that the Bush administration and the Federal Reserve are intentionally creating an ‘Argentina-type meltdown’ so they can privatize state owned assets and usher in the North American Union-the future ‘one state’ alliance of Canda, Mexico and US along with the new regional currency, the Amero.”

    How accurate and true the above is, I’m simply not sure but it does seem possible and again, helps to explain why all this sudden and intense (on-going) transformation of this Nation… into what has become (to many) unacceptable.

  35. CheckerboardStrangler

    Thanks Gene…I’ve been quietly trying to remind folks about “goodbye dollar, hello Amero” for a while now but no one seems to believe it.
    The reference to Argentina is quite accurate.

  36. andrew

    Doug I have NO trouble believing your story. I’ve read one horror story after another on the ‘Net. Seems like this type of behavior is sharply on the rise.

    I have one question simmering in my mind after reading this nightmare. WHY are people putting up with this goon squad type of behavior? What is to stop people en masse from putting their collective foot down and refusing to obey such unlawful behavior? What would these rogues do if citizens everywhere flat out refused to cooperate instead of behaving like scared sheep? Just what could those two thugs have done if everyone refused to cooperate with their out of control behavior?

  37. simon


    it’s a shame

    George W. Bush has made a mockery of the meaning of
    of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

    To live in a democratic society such as ours.. means to be free from any type of governmental censorship.

    Everytime something happened that affect the lives of our peoples … the government holler “executive privilege” … and I don’t think that’s right nor fair.

    No man or woman that sits in the oval office should have the right to try and bend the will of
    the people to his or her line of thinking.

    Congress should enact a new law in this country and name it “Executive Privelege” … make it a Constitutional admendment .. spelling out what a President can and cannot hide from “we the people”

    Let January 2009 come .. oh happy day

  38. Sandra Price

    Andrew. People feel safe with a Big Daddy overseeing our actions. The history of the world shows this desire to understand the overseer in everything we do. I used to feel that it was an extension of having God determine our every action and we, like other nations, have given our President this authority.

    The problem is that America stood alone in giving the citizens their own choices and we could not accept the responsibility. How many times a day do you hear “There ought to be a law” and it is often picked up by local, state and then federal powers.

    Our own citizens would rather have the government creep into their lives like a rampant cancer than take the time to face the problems themselves.

    Everyone has a story like Doug’s where the government takes on a police state just because they can. Fighting the federal government is harmful but we can raise the next generation to stand up for their own rights.

  39. Janice

    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
    Benjamin Franklin

    And we have neither liberty or safety in this country. A new trend that really bothers me is referral to the United States as the “Homeland”. It stinks of Nazi Germany and is insidiously altering the way citizens too thick-headed to see what is happening think of our country.

    If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.
    Mark Twain

  40. PeterW

    The right wing blowhards say the terrorists hate us for our freedom so if the patriot act reduces our rights the terrorists win. The fact that this happened on federal park property angers me even more. A federal park belongs to WE THE PEOPLE not the government. It would be different if it was a military base but a park is OURS!

  41. bryan mcclellan

    Judge Roy Bean is laughing his ass off in a very warm place right about now…Looks like we will all need to take a personal recording device with us when we step out to get the morning paper off the lawn.Welcome to the land of the paranoid and the home of the persecuted.

  42. CheckerboardStrangler

    Bryan, don’t take this the wrong way but we are so far from the day where a recording would help it ain’t even funny.

  43. Elmo

    I don’t know what disturbs me more, the knowledge that this thuggish behavior is becoming more prevalent or the feeling that we are powerless to do anything about it.

  44. 72XLCH

    Unfortunately this is nothing new, it is only expanding.

    Motorcycle Riders have had to put up with this on the way to events for years.
    We tried to warn you it would eventually affect others. Few listened.

  45. nigeldh

    In Asheville, NC you can’t even fly a flag upside down without the big brass balls cops kicking down your door. Maybe the good folks will have to rename it arseville?
    A couple who said they were protesting the state of the country by flying the U.S. flag upside down with signs pinned to it found themselves in jail following a scuffle with a deputy Wednesday morning.

    Even in NJ you can’t either.
    Washington Township police officer Scott E Miller filed criminal charges on June 11, 2007 against a Washington Township man for insulting the American flag.

    Should we, as good citizens, start complaining about everyone that flies a flag in inclement weather or at night with illumination?
    The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all weather flag is displayed.

    This web page sums up nicely the issue.
    …And I told him that flying the flag upside-down was as great a sign of respect for my country as I could think of. After all, America is in trouble, and flying its flag upside-down is a sign of distress*. The inverted flag calls out to everybody who sees: “Please help the United States. Don’t let the most promising nation on earth fall into tyranny.”

  46. scandals

    Interesting that they picked the one illegal thing to do.
    Why did they have to use the flag for there message?
    Again, I’m not a right wing nut job, but this is the land of the brave and home of the free. Why would you want to disrespect the flag like that? I know that they said that they weren’t, but they were. I can think of thousands of ways to show dissent about the way the country is going…but I’m not going to pick the one that is illegal. Aren’t they proud of our great land. You know…the free one, where you can come and go freely, get an education, a job, your day in court.
    That inclimate weather stuff is non-sense. Folks don’t fly there flags in the rain on purpose. These people were doing this outright, on purpose. Quote
    “Please help the United States. Don’t let the most promising nation on earth fall into tyranny.” If they are so concerned about that, maybe they should join the army and go fight those who want to destroy us.
    I would suggest that they move if they feel that way.

  47. Teresa

    Doug — I believe you contacted the wrong website and organization when attempting to locate the supervisors of the National Park Service Law Enforcement Rangers (the correct title) you encountered. The United States Park Police is part of the National Park Service but has NO law enforcement rangers among its rank. U.S. Park Police Officers are responsible for the NPS urban areas in and around San Francisco, New York City, and Washington, D.C. (I’m the former Chief of the U.S. Park Police.)

    Rangers are supervised by folks at each individual park and, ultimately, their park superintendent. Once you identify the park (and I believe you already have), you will be on your way to identifying the supervisors for the rangers.

    Please let me know if you have any questions that I can answer from this end. Thanks.

    Teresa Chambers

  48. Texino

    Hello, it is Texino here from Panama. I like to see and hear the music festivals as they happen this time of year up and down The U.S. This recent festival in VA makes me question; am I Pretty Boy Floyd, or only fan of music? Oh, I am no gangster nor am I hating the USA for being free. So when an officer wants to talk, I am willing and friendly. Now it is an ugly scene when within the beauty of the Blue Ridge-a place where much music was born-an unfriendly officer is telling Texino; get from your car and we will also look into your private luggage! Then ask, why are you here? I want to say “I am no metaphysician, and I don’t know.” Instead I say, “To hear the music.” I think the police wonder if I have not come from too far away, however; Texino has dual citizenship and with the dreams of illegal alien capture fading, the police allow me to continue. I don’t. Instead, I go visit friends in NC because my mind is rattled by this thing. Soon I turn 60 years. I have traveled extensively in my day and remember a time when going about in The States could result in unpleasant contact with police. I had thought this activity abandoned for being against the law. Now, it seems laws are suspended for reasons of “Patriotism” and “Homeland”. Having grown in and around areas where this kind of language preceded the wholesale removal of groups with like minded persons. I would say, you had best watch out and relax attitudes of “I am OK and law abiding, no worries for me.” Bad things happen with a will when people do not pay attention. I am watching and you do the same. OK? Fine. Sending my regards, I am,

    Tomas Texino

  49. Carl Nemo

    A succinct, spot-on post Tomas Texino …!

    Carl Nemo **==

    p.s. We evidently live in times where bad things will happen to good people…!

  50. scandals

    I am no big fan of Mr. Bush nor Parkway Authorities, but I do take issue with some of this article.
    1. Quote: “But the abuse of power spawned by the Bush administration and the rights robbing USA Patriot Act runs rampant throughout the federal bureaucracy”
    I think is should read “spawned by terrorists who want to kill us in our beds”.
    2. This is not a new thing. The parkway rangers are always bullies and I don’t think that the adminstration has anything to do with it. They might have to be since there are so few of them and they have so much ground to cover. Many rapes and murders happen on the Parkway. I grew up here in SW Virginia and have had many friends busted on the parkway (during the Clinton years). I am for legalizing substances, but it is against the law. I’m a pot head, but if you look like a pot head, your going to be considered one. That is fact…not a right or wrong issue. It is federally owned land and nothing to be playing around with.
    3. I don’t understand how the Patriot Act is so wrong. I haven’t seen any real evidence that it has invaded anyones privacy. Many theories and opinions about it, but no misuse. I mean real strories that actually happened.
    4. It is a shame that folks were harassed and I saw it when I was up there, but I don’t know if there’s an alternative. There is a price to living in this free society…where you can say anything and roam freely. One cost is blood and the other is things like occassional car searches by federal authorities when you’re travelling on there roads.
    At least they weren’t shooting the violators on the spot like do in some places.
    I’m not saying we should settle for anything less than free, but I am saying “Let’s be realistic”. Let’s remember that in order to have real freedom, we need real truth. Not politics.

  51. Carl Nemo

    Yo scandals…!

    “I think it should read “spawned by terrorists who want to kill us in our beds”.

    If you really believe this, then I have some beachfront property for sale in the Mohave’ for $10,000 per square foot…!

    You evidently don’t value your remaining vestiges of freedom and will settle for government sponsored lies concerning distant offshore terrorists that allegedly threaten your personal safety and the loss of your freedom…?!

    If you and others are willing to sacrifice your few remaining vestiges of freedom for government sponsored pseudo-security, then you deservedly should enjoy your chains of NWO slavery…!

    Freedom…you don’t have a clue…buy a state-sponsored insurance policy that might insure the same…! :))

    Carl Nemo **=-

  52. scandals

    As usual…no facts, no evidence, no sense. Just vague comments about loosing freedom.
    What freedoms have we lost?
    Say something specific about the issue. Not,
    “You evidently don’t value your remaining vestiges of freedom and will settle for government sponsored lies concerning distant offshore terrorists that allegedly threaten your personal safety and the loss of your freedom…?!”
    What lies?
    What? What? Say anything that has any substance to it please.
    Stop being so vague and angry sounding.
    Give me some facts already. Not your opinion of me.

  53. simon


    it just goes to show that the current administration has gotten it all wrong …that for reason it has forgotten these lines:

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

  54. scandals

    “p.s. We evidently live in times where bad things will happen to good people…!”

    Ya think. You mean like 9/11?
    Uh…check the history books. You have it better now than ever. It ain’t great, but truth is a good rule of thumb.

  55. barak

    It is not illegal to fly a flag upside down. That is the universal sign of distress. And you say that “…they should join the army and go fight those who want to destroy us.” Has the army finally gotten some sense and is it finally attacking Bush and Cheney?