Thursday, October 3, 2013

Lawless Move: NPS Barrycades Private Mount Vernon

Barrycades at Mount Vernon
I've been advising tourists to go down to Mount Vernon during the Federal Government shutdown. Mount Vernon is open and welcoming. It's privately owned and privately funded. The Mount Vernon Ladies Association is clear, stating that " Mount Vernon does not accept grants from federal, state or local governments, and no tax dollars are expended to support its purposes."

Well that's not enough for the petulant, grubby, power mongering presidency of Barack Obama. The National Park Service sent its jack booted rangers and maintenance workers down to Mount Vernon to shut down all the foundation owned parking -- Barrycades is what the barricades have come to be known. Barrycades appeared as if from nowhere to block off publicly accessible areas that are unstaffed and have never been shut down for any reason (including many previous government shutdowns). Obama's move is not only ridiculous.  It's lawless.

Now let me talk about the law for a second here.  Mount Vernon parking spaces are accessed through National Park Service land, but Mount Vernon has secured access and use through legally enforceable easements. Easements are all about. Here in Montana, for example, many public roads are built on private land, but landowners have through one means or another granted public access through and along those roads. The private owners have no right whatsoever to deny the public access through their property on those roads.  

Current Parking Situation at Mount Vernon,
Courtesy of
An easement is every bit as much of a property right as what is commonly thought of as ownership.  The owner of property who has granted an easement has no more right to eject or interfere with users of an easement than a landlord has to willy, nilly evict or interfere with the quiet enjoyment of leased property by a tenant. The NPS Barrycading was a lawless move, but what else would you expect from the most lawless administration since Richard Nixon occupied the White House?

The Mount Vernon Ladies are a cooperative crowd. Their parking is open and available to all, including those looking for a place to anchor a hike or begin a bike ride along at the southern terminus of NPS's Mount Vernon trail. Cooperativeness just makes them an easy target in the world of Obama. 

Confronted by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association, the National Park Service has backed down, removing the saw horses and police tape from the entrances to all but a distant satellite lot that fills only during the heavy summer tourist season.  
The barricading of the parking lots at Mount Vernon comes at the same time the National Park Service has blocked off many other public monuments, memorials, and parks. They’ve even blocked off small parking lots that are otherwise unmanned. In fact, every parking lot along the George Washington Memorial Parkway has been barricaded.

That includes a parking lot with a mere 3 spots located on the parkway between Mount Vernon and Old Town Alexandria.
At the moment there is no word on when the government shutdown will end, when the National Park Service will remove their barricades, or why the barricades were really necessary in the first place. Hopefully those answers will all become apparent soon.

Petulant twits carrying out Obama's will -- NPS, you are totally losing my respect dudes.

The creepy presidency continues.

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