By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – At my high school, the principal had a saying he was fond of. There was only one hard and fast rule: no roller skating in the hallways.

What he meant was, use some common sense, and show basic respect for your surroundings and for other people.

It doesn’t seem like too much to ask, but for some people, it is.

According to the Associated Press, one of our most precious public resources, the National Parks, are being overwhelmed by wretched visitor behavior. Among the problems exploding in places like the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone – illegal camping, theft, and that ever-popular family outdoor activity – wildlife harassment.

People don’t listen when they’re warned to keep their distance from the animals and natural hazards – the compulsion to get that selfie with the wild elk over the shoulder is just too powerful to resist.

Others are simply clueless, there’s no other way to say it. One tourist was killed for deciding that explicit instructions on how to avoid falling into a scalding-hot spring were purely advisory.

Armed with smartphones, self-confidence and ignorance, growing numbers of us are actively trashing the common natural wealth, and the Park Service doesn’t have the resources to make it stop.

I’d recommend a national effort to shame them to a halt, but something tells me they’re shame-resistant.

You can’t reason with closed minds; all you can do is take their roller skates away.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Jon Keller

Comments (22)
  1. jerry2286 says:

    People elected Obama twice so it shows there is a large pool of stupid people out there to do stupid things.

    1. Sy Clops says:

      “… there is a large pool of stupid people …”

      Jerry, if you are going to inhabit the pool, at least learn to swim.

  2. Sy Clops says:

    “You can’t reason with closed minds; all you can do is take their roller skates away.”

    “One tourist was killed for deciding that explicit instructions on how to avoid falling into a scalding-hot spring were purely advisory.”

    Sounds like God is on it!

    1. bees_knees_6 says:

      Love both of your comments. Laughed at the first and chuckled at the second because I suspect you are correct.

  3. bees_knees_6 says:

    There is a reason they are national parks. We have managed to destroy every other corner of the earth. At least we were trying to protect a postage stamp size of what we have remaining.

    Entitlement at its finest but not only from people but from our government. The right wants to return national lands to the states who show a splendid job of maintaining them (that’s sarcasms folks). Kiss the parks in those seven (was last number I have seen) states goodbye.

    For those who think this is new (Jerry – or is it Owl or Owl followers)….really???

    1. The Owl (Original) says:

      This owl on the right applauds any and all lands that are placed in the hands of the Federal Park System even though that system has a $9,000,000,000 backlog of unfunded maintenance, and the troubling behaviors exhibited by more than just a few visitors.

      You make a huge mistake in blaming these problems on the “right” since it is the Senate Democrats that insisted that ALL be based on principle of no new net tax increase to pay for the program at hand. The Right has made proposals that were unacceptable to the Democrats while the Democrats have made proposals that do not balance the tax gains and tax losses in accordance with the laws that WERE PASSED to control the spending while THEY were in power.

      Once again, you pick up a brush far beyond your capability to control, load it with a mystery color, the go slop yo glop and come up with a flop of biblical proportions.

  4. Paull Cudak says:

    Did it start with the absence of; saying a daily prayer in school, spanking children that require discipline, saying the Pledge of Allegiance, allowing sloppy dress in school (INCLUDING TEACHERS) anywhere, giving more privilege to minorities over qualified people, reducing standards to facilitate inclusion of poorly educated over others, lack of parental guidance, lack of morals in the family, lack of respect for life in general, lack of two parent family, no self determination or desire for self improvement only a desire and demand for immediate gratification. LOOK IN THE MIRROR PEOPLE IT’S YOUR OWN FAULT. keep giving time outs.

    1. The Owl says:

      It is also, Paull, the fault of the media for making such lack of respect “cool”.

      And, sorry, it’s not MY fault…I haven’t accepted the premises that allow such behavior to flourish.

      But then we sit on our tree limb and enjoy the flora and fauna around use and snack on the occasional mouse the is engaged in “natural selection”.

    2. bees_knees_6 says:

      No – it started with our forcing the Native People to adopt our Christian ways. But that you for asking.

      1. The Owl says:

        I never asked them to do that, Bees, and neither did my ancestors, who provided jobs for many of all colors and religions, and sought to form a real community where they lived.

        The community still lives today, although somewhat subsumed by a much larger small metropolitan area, and much of what they created is still in existence today.

        Paint with whatever brush you wish, my dear, but be prepared to restore what you cover over when your “enthusiasm” and wide brush hide that which is of value.

      2. bees_knees_6 says:

        Nice try, Owl, but yet another strike. The topic is our national parks. The question was when we started abusing our land. With me so far. The answer is back when we decided that we could take care of it better than our Native People. I doubt you are dumb enough to believe we have not made a mess of it. Mr. Cudak seems to believe our mistreatment of the land began a bit ago when certain people asked to be excluded from prayer. They do still recite the Pledge in schools so not sure where he was going with that. I simply pointed out it began at the same time we started for force Christian beliefs on all.

        With me???

        As far as your ancestors……maybe and maybe not. But they didn’t stop it. And despite them, it did exist. I do not remember blaming you or anyone. It is simply a fact. Or would you like to deny that is the time we began to destroy our earth?

      3. The Owl says:

        You were the one that selected the brush, Bees.

        If it is too big for you little legs and tiny wings to handle, that’s not my problem.

        But ’tis you that appears both sad and typical with your musings. Again, not my problem.

    3. bees_knees_6 says:

      Interesting, however, that you believe because people are minorities they are not qualified. Trump supporter are ya?

      1. The Owl says:

        To my ancestors Bees, they were people, skin color and religion didn’t matter.

        They came to this country because of intolerance of their religion in their home country, a nation which traded globally long before many other nations…or bees, went further than 1000 miles for the lands, or more than 300 feet from their hives.

        And as I recall, bees are somewhat territorial, and tend to drive-out encroaching foreigners.

        And you are trying to lecture us about tolerance and acceptance?

        How intolerant and bigoted of you.

        And decidedly ironic.

      2. bees_knees_6 says:

        Awww darn another strike. I’ve lost track.

        “giving more privilege to minorities over qualified people,”

        Pot…notice the broad brush.

        And your ancestors didn’t see color or race ??? They were clearly in the minority. The very minority. If you know history….and I am aware that you do….they may have well faced the same intolerance here when they arrived (e.g., the prejudice and intolerance toward the Irish).

  5. The Owl says:

    It is as much arrogance, Jon, as it is ignorance. Perhaps even more.

  6. mikey says:

    My better-half works for a park. Years ago on a July 4th weekend when she was manning a fee booth, after the lot had filled she told the next car waiting they would have to wait. The guy waiting is his big expensive black import said: “That’s BS! – I know you’re saving spaces for your friends. People like me don’t wait! Now move the cones or I’m going to run them over!”

    The young man working with my wife that day had been listening to the whatever go off on her. He comes out of the booth, stands right next to the driver’s door – looks down at the guy and in a loud voice says: “What don’t you understand about “FULL” – the LL or the FU?”

    The whatever drove off.

    1. bees_knees_6 says:

      How sad and how typical – but love the ending.

  7. Suke Madiq says:

    Of course Jon grew up back when people would think nothing of tossing a bag of trash out their car windows onto the highway.

  8. The Owl says:

    You still do. Sukie.

    1. bees_knees_6 says:

      Interesting how you take offense at the fact (repeating fact) that our ancestors have damaged this earth and then make an amazingly childish comment to someone.

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