Ken Burns: government land is "America's best idea"

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A very revealing outburst from viros who want eminent domain used to take property property has surfaced on the website of the Akron Beacon Journal in Ohio.

An upcoming Ken Burns "documentary" on National Parks planned for release next Sept. is promoting the National Park System controlling land as "America's Best Idea". It employs the usual quasi-poetic, emotional imagery of scenery and populism to manipulate viewers while omitting how the government has taken the land and steamrolled private property owners and ruined their lives across the country.

One of the classic cases of this abuse was at the Cuyahoga National Park in Ohio. The land acquisition spanned three presidencies, mostly as one of several such travesties under the presidency of Jimmy Carter and his Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus (also responsible for the big takeover in Alaska). But Cuyahoga became better known than most of them as a result of the 1983 PBS Jessica Savitch Frontlines documentary "For the Good of All", which followed several home and business owners for four years in their unsuccessful fight to save their property from being taken for "the public good".

Cuyahoga has been omitted from the Burns film, perhaps because it is far from the best landscape of the National Parks, or because of the controversy, or both. But a supplementary film is being produced to promote Cuyahoga which will accompany the Burns film on PBS. When I responded to an article promoting the film in a comment, park boosters became churlish and swinish. The article was based on a PR campaign by the producers and it had extolled the park as a "nature church" and omitted, as usual, all mention of how they got the land from the former private property owners and residents and what the government did to them. The subsequent comments reveal the nature and mentality of the viros in a way they are usually too politically savy to expose in public.

You will learn a lot from this. Read the article and the exchanges in the comments at the newspaper website here.

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Interesting, ewv. It's quite obvious none of the responders to your initial comment care anything about individual rights. They need green, and that's all that matters. And as long as the former owners weren't literally spat and stomped upon, then it was a nice, civilized "exchange".

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Interesting, ewv. It's quite obvious none of the responders to your initial comment care anything about individual rights. They need green, and that's all that matters. And as long as the former owners weren't literally spat and stomped upon, then it was a nice, civilized "exchange".

I don't think they have even that much of a concept of 'civilized'. The extreme physical and emotional ordeal that they put people through for years is no better than being spat and stomped upon. They are perfectly willing to use armed US Marshalls to drag people out of their homes if they don't leave 'voluntarily' after a condemnation. They don't care at all what they do to people -- other than it becoming politically controversial and slowing them down. Other peoples' rights are to them literally no more than temporary political or legal obstructions to be gotten around by whatever expediency is at their disposal. You can see that partially in how they demean and marginalize their victims as somehow subhuman.

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Here is an 11 minute documentary on the travesty at Cuyahoga. This film, In Condemnation: The Cuyahoga Valley, is the shortest of the three documentaries on what the National Park Service did to the people there. It was released around 1979 while the carnage was still in progress and won an amateur film award.

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What a sad video.

The later documentaries show much more about what happened there, how hard the people tried to fight back for years, and the corruption in the government behind it. One of them also shows the same thing at the Delaware River NRA, with the NPS burning people's homes there, too. One of the farmers there (Tock Island) went through much of this extending for so many years that he committed suicide.

Even sadder is that Federal land agencies have done this all over the country and few people know it.

Then you hear opponents of the infamous Kelo decision object that Kelo was only bad because the condemnation was only for the "public benefit" rather than for "public use", for which they say it is ok to sacrifice people. Even the libertarian Institute for Justice that handled the Kelo case said that it would have been ok to take people's homes for "parks" on such grounds. They concede fundamental bad premises so as to not sound "extreme".

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Burns and Duncan have been crisscrossing the country for months promoting their upcoming propaganda film for government parks. They are privately showing "previews" to selected groups and granting interviews to sympathetic writers in order to build political momentum for the campaign in the fall.

The defunct Seattle Post Intelligencer, now surving in web form only, has published a vicious, snide interview "Even one-time naysayers now back national parks" that openly mocks and taunts the victims of government land takeovers.

Can any responsible person be found, especially among folks who fought national parks, who are still pecking away at the idea?

"We're looking for 'em," joked Ken Burns.


Park boosters found themselves pitted against chambers of commerce, ports, utilities, big timber companies, big oil, mining multinationals, and rural residents scared out of their wits by mercenary demagogues warning falsely that land would be "locked up."

"In nearly every instance, (a national park) has worked out better for the communities involved," Burns said.


The 1980 act brought colorful hyperbole from the wool hats who, then and now, populated Alaska's congressional delegation.

My favorite line came from Congressman-for-life Don Young, who said new parks would become the preserve of "jet-setting hippie backpackers." Sen. Ted Stevens talked of "the effete rich" laying claim to his state.


Full article

The people who have been thrown out of their homes, businesses and farms are among the "naysayers" who don't think government land takings are "America's best idea". The Burns/Duncan propaganda for park expansion employs the usual techniques: scenic photography and poetic imagery to emotionally manipulate viewers without telling them what the National Park Service and its elitist boosters really do to ordinary people in their way.

The smears mocking and taunting their victims in this dishonest interview are reprehensible. Burns used to care about civil rights. He obviously now feels that nature worship is most important and is using his film-making talents for propaganda. For an account of what the National Park Service typically does to people to turn them into "naysayers", watch the more honest, earlier PBS documentary "For the Good of All".

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"In nearly every instance, (a national park) has worked out better for the communities involved," Burns said.

Full article

Read: it was demonstrably for the greater good.

I watched the above documentary and read the comments on the above article. One thing that struck me was the arrogance of some of the comments! I just cannot understand arrogance like that. Some were thankful that the "trailer trash" was removed from the valley! Sure, they may like it now that there's a park there, but what about the people who made their lives there! I just cannot fathom the way some of those viros think.

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Notice also how some of them try to excuse it by misrepresenting the victims of getting a good "deal" and then trashing them for not sacrificing. They do everything they can to emotionally manipulate readers into not having sympathy for the victims -- their snarling hatred in that jumps off the page.

I added another comment there. The goon squads cannot be reasoned with; the purpose of adding comments is to educate other readers, partially by describing what the actual situation is and how its political process works, and partially by exposing the nature of its apologists (with their help). Otherwise these articles appear all over the place unchallenged and people are systematically mislead. This is one way to push back.

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Burns: "what a fraud I am"

Here is a lighthearted, casual Seattle Times interview with Ken Burns that manages to bring out more about him than many do. It reveals just how contemptible this man is, starting off with a sarcastic endorsement of socialism in which he confuses American self government with the-group-takes-what it-wants democratic socialism.

Q: You say they embody an idea as uniquely American as the Declaration of Independence and just as radical: owning together the most magnificent places on the continent. That sounds a lot like socialism, buddy boy.

A: Yeah, and so be it. I think socialism has gotten a pretty bad name lately, and nobody even knows what it means. We basically said in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, that human beings were capable of governing themselves. People hadn't actually said that before. If that's socialism, I'm a socialist. What it basically set in motion is an American narrative that is filled with all of the acquisitive and extractive energies, and then some, that a country can have. But at least in a few choice and beautiful spots we have been able to check those energies and set aside land for everybody and for all time.


Q: Well, if you're going to get nit-picky about it, we'll just move on to the next question: Since we appear to be approaching another depression, do you envision another CCC?

A: The first stimulus dollars of FDR's New Deal went to the shovel-ready projects of the Civilian Conservation Corps. The National Park Service, due to the — I was going to say benign and will strike that — neglect of the past eight years, has lots of shovel-ready things and I think you will see part of the stimulus going to our national parks, which every American will welcome. It not only hands dollars to human beings that might otherwise be unemployed. It not only has work performed that helps every American, it not only brings the dignity of work, but it also helps bind us together. The strange anomaly of the Depression was that the national parks enjoyed a resurgence — not just in federal funding but in attendance. People felt more American, felt connected to each other. And I think that in hard times when we're not going to be traveling as far afield, it will be possible to meet and enjoy what the historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. always complained that we didn't have. He said we had too much pluribus and not enough unum.

Q: You're going to get me kind of emotional here.

A: Well that's what I do for a living, damn it. (Laughs.)


Q: There's a "Ken Burns" effect in movie-editing programs. Do you get a little piece of that?

A: ...

But you must know that there's this moment, it's an existential moment, when people pour out of an Apple store coming to this Luddite to talk to me in all seriousness about the ways in which they have adapted or improved upon or used the Ken Burns effect, that I have to then effect a sort of inscrutable, sort of cross-eyed look as if I'm Yoda or Obi-Wan Kenobi and get the hell out of there as fast as possible before they realize what a fraud I am.

Q: It was reported last month that GM was ceasing its funding of your work — but National Parks appears to be funded by them. What's going on?

A: It's a funny sort of thing. I don't even know where that story came from. General Motors has been an enlightened and wonderful and generous corporate funder, providing about 25 percent of our production budgets, the rest coming from PBS and private foundations. And they've been doing that since 1987. In 1999 we signed a 10-year deal, which we then knew would be the last thing. And so two or three years ago, I replaced them with other corporate funders, but their deal is just now ending, and it's nothing to with their current economic woes or the country's current economic woes whatsoever. We had just run out of deal space, and I had already found replacements. So now with the parks, we're sort of in that place where we're trading off.

Q: Is your conclusion, at the end of all that research, something along the lines of "Drill, baby, drill"?

A: (Laughs.) Save, baby, save, I think is the overwhelming thing. There just aren't enough places. You know, Dayton Duncan, who is the co-producer and writer of the series with me, and I had many years ago made a film on Lewis and Clark and we retraced their steps. And it was so poignant because we brought back exquisite cinematography, but the second we turned off, this semi rumbled through the road we were disguising. We were passed by the ominous black vehicles of the men servicing the nuclear-missile sites that dotted the area that Lewis and Clark had once claimed for the United States. A hydroelectric dam, a power line, a fence, a homesteader's attempt at pathetic manifest destiny, all interrupted our shots. So when you go to a national park, you actually get pristine, unfettered views, and that's pretty exciting for a filmmaker, and I would assume for an American.

Full interview


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I have been tracking and researching the Burns Big Park promotion and his upcoming film for a couple years now. He has been hawking 'previews' for at least a year and the full 'documentary' is scheduled for release Sept. 27. Here is an action alert and background summary on how it is being used and what is behind it politically. It is not an independent "documentary".

Maine Property Rights News August 31, 2009

ALRA Alert - Urgent, Massive Park and Landscape Land Grab Plans Revealed

As expected, there is political revival of the attempt to massively expand the National Park System by taking over private property nationally. A new Ken Burns "documentary" produced by political insiders to promote the National Park Service is part of and coordinated with this campaign in Washington. The film exploits scenery and rhetorical imagery to emotionally manipulate viewers into supporting government parks as "America's best idea". Purporting to present a history of the development of the National Park Service, the film dishonestly ignores the brutal seizure of private property nationwide by the government on behalf of politically-connected insiders for a century.

Please read this summary from the American Land Rights Association and follow the suggestions.

Land Rights Network

American Land Rights Association

PO Box 400 - Battle Ground, WA 98604

Phone: 360-687-3087 - Fax: 360-687-2973

E-mail: alra@pacifier.com

Web Address: http://www.landrights.org

Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE - Washington, DC 20003

Urgent, Massive Park and Landscape Land Grab Plans Revealed

Ken Burns, "National Parks" film will be shown nationwide on PBS in September. Ken Burns films are often very good. Those such as "Baseball" and "New York" as well as "Civil War" were outstanding. But the "National Parks" film explicitly promoting NPS as "America's best idea" is a beautifully done political advertisement.

To see important films showing the problems with the Park Service and their abuses of land acquisition and local communities, go to www.landrights.org. You can see the PBS Frontline episode "For The Good Of All" that told about condemnation and extreme treatment of landowners in the Cuyahoga Valley in Ohio.

-----Important: Please forward this message widely.

There is a funny parody of Park Service land acquisition called "Big Park" also at www.landrights.org. These will help balance out the fact that the Burns "National Parks" ignores the history of what the national parks have done to local people and communities.

-----To see "Big Park" on "You Tube", go to

It is important for you to go see "Big Park" at both sites. It builds the number of viewers on You Tube and www.landrights.org and that is good for search engine placement.

The Ken Burns "National Parks" is intended to build political support in Congress and the public for massive park expansion, land acquisition and Kelo type condemnation or eminent domain. Landowners who own land in or near National Park Service areas will be especially threatened but rural landowners in general face a threat.

The Burns film will try to build support to give more money and autonomous power to the NPS - including a huge CARA type off budget Federal land acquisition trust fund entitlement using Kelo type condemnation funding.

The "National Parks" is designed to build a public groundswell of support in Congress to fund land acquisition and regulations to force you off your land, buy as much of it as possible, and expand the parks several times over. No landowner, rancher, miner, or rural property owner will be safe.

Unfortunately, the National Park Service has become a political tool for large scale land use control using the love of parks by many people to generate public support for controlling huge amounts of land rural land and land around parks as buffer zones.

Our parks are important and need to be protected. But using them as a political tool to control more land claiming perceived threats actually hurts the parks as well as landowners and communities. Money that should go to take care of important parks is often siphoned off for land use control projects. The Park Service is over $10 billion behind in deferred maintenance according to the GAO (Government Accountability Office) in a report issued years ago.

The "greens" often claim that any activity anywhere near a national park threatens the park and endangers it, thus stopping important job producing projects such as a mine in the Yellowstone region a few years ago and others.

They use tools like designating parks as World Heritage Sites to control large amounts of land around parks with buffer zones. The Yellowstone Vision document would have added two million acres to the one million acre Yellowstone National Park. American Land Rights helped stop that enormous land grab in 1988.

Here is an outline of the huge land grabs by the "greens" and the Obama Administration coming to your area soon helped along by the National Parks and Conservation Association (NPCA), Ken Burns, American Society of Landscape Architects, the Rockefeller family, and others.

-----1. In the words of the American Society of Landscape Architects: "A New National Landscape Agenda: the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 is just a beginning." This report and maps are published on the American Land Rights website at www.landrights.org. You don't want to miss this. You will see huge areas of land they want to set aside as well as Greenline buffer zones they plan to lock up and use to throw you out.

-----2. New Obama National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis is the brother of Destry Jarvis, a long time leader in the green movement and a former official of the National Parks and Conservation Association (NPCA).

Destry Jarvis was the primary motivator behind the giant Rockefeller funded NPCA 8 volume Big Park expansion plan published by NPCA and Destry Jarvis in 1988.

Now, with Jon Jarvis in charge of the Park Service, the NPCA and their green allies have their best chance yet for an enormous park expansion plan, huge buffer zones around every park, and a multi-billion dollar land acquisition trust fund (we call the plan Big Park).

A summary of the Big Park report, written in 1990, is on our website at www.landrights.org. It is as fresh as if it were written yesterday - except that now the "green" groups want even more of your land.

Joe Wrabek, former Managing Editor of the National Inholder News that became the American Land Rights News after American Land Rights changed its name in the mid 90's, wrote this Big Park summary.

-----3. Ken Burns "National Parks" film coming in September is designed to build public motivation and Congressional support for a huge funding trust fund like CARA that will be used to force you off your land or home, mining claim, ranch or out of your private business to clear the way for their massive park expansion and land acquisition plan. They plan to use Kelo type condemnation or eminent domain and Greenline buffer zone land use prohibitions to force you off your land or out of business. Rural communities will be especially damaged with lost jobs and businesses.

Both the National Landscape Agenda and Big Park are critical to you because in September PBS will air the Ken Burns documentary the "National Parks." This film was actually led by a person highly involved in the National Parks and Conservation Association (NPCA), Dayton Duncan.

Duncan, who wrote the script and produced the "National Parks" 'documentary', was appointed by President Clinton in the 1990s as chairman of the American Heritage Rivers Advisory Committee and to the board of directors of the National Parks Foundation (NPF) where he began working on the 'documentary'.

In the past Duncan has been a big Democrat political operative involved with presidential campaigns. Obama's Secretary of the Interior Salazar has already publicly endorsed the "National Parks" film.

NPF is a non-governmental organization (NGO) created by the Federal government in 1967 (with $100 million in startup money from Laurence Rockefeller) as a "private" non-profit to promote the National Park Service.

Both Duncan and Burns have collaborated closely with NPCA and were recently given 'awards' for NPS promotional purposes. The release of the 'documentary' is timed to be coordinated with a big upcoming push from NPCA lobbying Congress for more money and power for NPS.

Unfortunately, the NPS has very little Congressional oversight because no politician wants to appear to be "anti-park." Thus the Park Service gets away with a lot of activities other agencies can't. The agency wastes huge amounts of money.

-----Burns cannot say about his "National Parks" film that he was independent and objective. He was a captive of the NPCA and the government National Park Service bureaucracy lobby.

-----The film is intended to build support for the National Landscape Agenda, Big Park, the NPCA 8 volume park expansion plan and a huge new CARA type land acquisition trust fund that could destroy rural America.

The 8 volume NPCA Big Park Plan was largely funded by the Rockefellers. See the excerpt from Robin Winks bio of Larry Rockefeller shown below. Winks was a former member of the National Park System Advisory Board and a well known historian.

While the Big Park Summary was originally written about the NPCA 8 volume park expansion plan by Joe Wrabek in 1990, nothing has changed about the goals of the National Parks and Conservation Association (NPCA)- except now they demand more.

-----The National Landscape Agenda was just released. It overlaps perfectly with and enlarges the Big Park expansion plan by the NPCA, using additional Greenline Park agenda targets also developed by NPS and NPCA from the 1980s.

-----Now, with Jon Jarvis in charge of the Park Service, and his brother Destry Jarvis still highly involved in the green movement, landowners, inholders, ranchers and anyone living in or near a Park Service managed area, or potential Park Service Area, or in rural America, are in greater danger than they have ever been.

The following shows the Rockefeller involvement in the NPCA plan from Robin W. Winks' biography "Laurence S. Rockefeller", Island Press, 1997:

"Larry [Laurence Rockefeller's son] was appointed to the Palisades Interstate Park Commission in 1979, succeeding his father, and ably defended New York's Minnewaska State Park from the threat of development.

"As staff attorney for the Natural Resources Council, he worked long hours on behalf of various projects. He took an interest in the nation's barrier islands and in Alaskan lands. He acted as go-between on behalf of the National Parks and Conservation Association and the Richard King Mellon Foundation when the Association needed money to complete its ambitious multi-volume study of the National Park Service's future requirements, leading to perhaps the fullest inventory ever of potential park units...

"For such initiatives the National Park Foundation presented him with its 1988 Horace M. Albright Award for 'sustained contributions to the enhancement of the nation's natural and scenic environment', and the Wilderness Society and NPCA likewise honored him in the 1990s."

Action Items:

-----1. Please forward this critical message to your entire list.

-----2. Go "You Tube" to watch Big Park using this link:

-----3. Go to www.landrights.org to watch the PBS Frontline episode called for the "For The Good Of All" about Kelo type condemnation by the Park Service. You can also see the short films "Big Park" and "In Condemnation, The Cuyahoga Valley."

-----4. Call your local PBS station to complain about the bias of Ken Burns film, the "National Parks." It ignores the over 60,000 people who lost their land to condemnation to create the "National Parks." It further ignores the over 100,000 people who lost their land to the Park Service under threat of condemnation.

-----Ask why PBS is not showing the PBS Frontline film "For the Good Of All" which documents the horror stories of Park Service management and Kelo type condemnation at the Cuyahoga Valley, in Ohio.

-----Ask them to show this episode of Frontline to balance things out with the Ken Burns "National Parks" film. They need to show the Frontline "For the Good Of All" episode so viewers will understand that as the National Parks were created, they often crushed landowners and local communities without reason or necessity.

-----5. Call, fax, e-mail and visit your Congressman to let him or her know you oppose any new land acquisition trust fund and the conversion of private lands into government land. Ask him or her to go to www.landrights.org to see the PBS documentary about Park Service land acquisition abuses, "For The Good Of All."

Many of the new parks created since the 70's are what we call "ego political parks" that have little to do with preserving something and more to do with land use control and making members of Congress feel important.

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park was originally set aside as a National Recreation Area. It did not qualify as a national park then nor does it qualify now. Creating ego-political parks cheapens the real national parks and dilutes the Park Service budget ability to take care of the important "crown jewel" parks.

The local people at Cuyahoga were promised easements and were supposed to be allowed to stay. Only Congressman John Seiberling and the editor of the Akron Beacon Journal got easements. Condemnation forced hundreds of others out.

Take a look on www.landrights.org our Congressional testimony on CARA, the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (we called it the Condemnation and Relocation Act). You'll see details on how the creation of new parks is used as a tool to undermine and condemn local landowners and communities.

You may call any Congressman at (202) 225-3121. Call and ask for the staff person who handles National Park issues. Get their fax number and e-mail address. Ask them to look at the films at www.landrights.org. Especially the films "Big Park" and the PBS Frontline documentary "For The Good Of All."

-----6. Call, fax and e-mail both your Senators to oppose more land acquisition funding or any trust fund and the conversion of private lands into government land. Tell him or her no condemnation or eminent domain. Follow the same instructions as above in number 4. Call any Senator at (202) 224-3121.

-----7. Don't forget to keep up your calls to your Congressman and Senators about the Clean Water Restoration Act, the big water and land grab. The bill number is S 787 in the Senate. The House bill does not have a number yet. There are likely to be votes in both houses in September or October so you must keep the pressure on.

Your help is greatly appreciated.

Chuck Cushman

Executive Director

American Land Rights Association

(360) 687-3087


You may buy a high quality personal copy of the film "Big Park" for $19.95 plus $4 shipping and handling.

"For The Good Of All" is also $19.95 plus $4 shipping and handling. You can get both for $35 with no cost for shipping.

Send your check for the appropriate amount listing the films you want to American Land Rights, PO Box 400, Battle Ground, WA 98604.

Short bio of Chuck Cushman.

His father was a ranger naturalist, what is now called an interpreter, in Yosemite National Park. Chuck was a volunteer in what are now three national parks, Yosemite, Channel Islands and Olympic. In Olympic he was a member of the Student Conservation Corps in 1959.

Chuck began to fight certain Park Service activities in the early 70's when the Park Service tried to take his house and all the rest of the homes in the community of Wawona, inside Yosemite National Park. The community existed before the park was created.

President Ronald Reagan appointed Chuck to the National Park System Advisory Board in 1981. He has visited and worked in a great many national parks and has testified numerous times before various committees of Congress about Park Service issues and abuses.

Chuck has been Executive Director since 1978 of what was first called the National Park Inholders Association. It became the National Inholders Association in 1980 as people within Forest Service, BLM and Fish and Wildlife Service boundaries joined. Finally it became the American Land Rights Association in 1995 as thousands of landowners, recreation organizations, associations and businesses throughout America joined up to help the cause.

Few, if any, have as much personal knowledge and background about the National Park Service as Chuck Cushman. For more information, go to Google on the Internet and look up Chuck Cushman, Charles Cushman, National Inholders Association and American Land Rights Association.

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"America's propagandist" Ken Burns is now lobbying for government subsidies of NPR and his own government-subsidized gravy train as he postures himself as above the menial market and promotes NPR propaganda in the name of "education":

Filmmaker Ken Burns: Cuts to Public Broadcasting Would Do "Irrevocable Damage"

April 06, 2011 3:00 PM

... Democrats have accused Republicans of demanding cuts to very small portions of the federal budget, including slashing funding for public broadcasting. In February the House passed a resolution prohibiting any federal funding for CPB, which received $430 million from Congress this year.

“This has consequences. There are lots of things that public broadcasting, public media does, that can’t be done anywhere else. And you can begin with my films,” explained Burns, whose documentaries include “The Civil War,” “The National Parks” and “Baseball.”

“Every single film that I’ve made would not have been made in the market place. It took the support of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the help of the National Endowment for the Humanities to have them made. I would hope that our legislators would really seriously consider the kind of repercussions this means for education, because we’re so devoted to not just their broadcast, but their afterlife in schools, that they could do irrevocable damage when we’re very concerned about our status in the world.”...

Full article from ABC News with reader comments.

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One of the classic cases of this abuse was at the Cuyahoga National Park in Ohio. The land acquisition spanned three presidencies, mostly as one of several such travesties under the presidency of Jimmy Carter and his Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus (also responsible for the big takeover in Alaska). But Cuyahoga became better known than most of them as a result of the 1983 PBS Jessica Savitch Frontlines documentary "For the Good of All", which followed several home and business owners for four years in their unsuccessful fight to save their property from being taken for "the public good".

Someone produced a documentary on this. I uploaded it to Youtube after they lifted the >10-minute ban:

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One of the classic cases of this abuse was at the Cuyahoga National Park in Ohio. The land acquisition spanned three presidencies, mostly as one of several such travesties under the presidency of Jimmy Carter and his Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus (also responsible for the big takeover in Alaska). But Cuyahoga became better known than most of them as a result of the 1983 PBS Jessica Savitch Frontlines documentary "For the Good of All", which followed several home and business owners for four years in their unsuccessful fight to save their property from being taken for "the public good".

Someone produced a documentary on this. I uploaded it to Youtube after they lifted the >10-minute ban:

It was produced by Mark and Dan Jury in the late 1970s during the height of the war in the Cuyahoga Valley but before it was over. The original film strip was a series of slides shown on a special projector with a synchronized audio recording -- long before today's video editing on personal computers. The documentary won an amateur film award.

They used the images in an expanded movie version called For "All People For All Time" that also included NPS burning homes at the Delaware Water Gap along the NJ/PA border.

The Jessica Savitch PBS Frontlines documentary "For the Good of All" was produced based on the Cuyahoga portions of "For All People For All Time". If you look carefully you will see that a lot of the images in that are the same those in the original "In Condemnation" filmstrip. They couldn't go back and film homes and people who had been removed.

Around that time period "For All People For All Time" was shown at a protest meeting of a large property owners association that had formed to stop the NPS from pushing people around at a newly designated Wild and Scenic River upstream on the Delaware River in New York.

The people there hadn't known what had happened down the river in another state and when they saw what was really coming on top of what they had already been subject to the whole area erupted. There were riots, cars were vandalized, NPS officials were afraid to go out in public, and the homes of the leader of the landowner association and the editor of the newspaper promoting NPS were burned.

NPS backed off (this was under the Reagan administration) and changed the plan to a Federally-mandated local "zoning" which prohibited some land use but did not include the condemnations and destruction of homes. But NPS still has the authority to do what it wants, leaving everyone up in the air as to what will happen in the future under unfavorable political circumstances and a lot of money being given to NPS, like the annual guaranteed entitlement the viros are pushing for. Inholders inside of and people near to Federal areas all over the country are threatened by this.

I have spoken extensively with people who were involved in both the Cuyahoga and Delaware River NPS wars and a lot more. The sordid history of the National Park Service is so intense and so sweeping over such a long period of time that it's hard for normal people, who have a Smoky Bear image of National Parks, to grasp that it could happen in this country. The public ignorance and the imagery is how they get away with it, and that is what the Burns/Duncan "documentary" exploits and spreads.

None of this government abuse is even hinted at in the Burns/Duncan "National Parks" PBS "documentary" film promotion and PBS no longer shows "For the Good of All". The one mention of removal of a community in "National Parks" is about the Smoky Mountains in NC and TN in the 1930s as if it were an isolated case and ancient history no longer relevant (and worse).

The Burns film is so distorted that it's hard for normal people who know the truth to grasp that a "documentarian" of Burns' reputation could be so dishonest. It's no understatement to say that he producing government and viro propaganda in an Orwellian distortion of "education".

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