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The leaked report from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke about shrinking or altering 10 national monuments and opening them to mining, drilling, increased grazing, logging, and other development spells trouble for the country’s open land.

But many environmental groups are threatening legal challenges to these moves. According to a story in USA Today:

Ben Schreiber, a political strategist at the environmental group Friends of the Earth, called Zinke's statement that he would shrink a "handful" of monuments "another in a long line of blatant handouts to the oil and gas industry." Several monuments under review ... overlap with possible coal, oil or natural gas reserves, according to an analysis of federal data by Greenpeace, an environmental group.

"If Secretary Zinke recommends shrinking Bears Ears National Monument it will be another slap in the face to Native American tribes who lobbied for years to get it designated as a National Monument," Schreiber said in a statement. "Zinke’s action is illegal and he can rest assured that his latest giveaway to corporate polluters will be litigated in the courts."

Zinke spent nearly four months on a “review” of 27 national monuments to see if past presidents had “overreached” in setting aside large swaths of land for protection. Donald Trump issued an executive order (at the request of oil and coal companies) seeking the review in April, and Zinke delivered his report to Trump in August. But it was kept under wraps until it was leaked to The Washington Post. The Grand Canyon Trust is referring to the draft report as “ZinkeLeaks.”

Utah state officials have been pressing for a change in boundaries—if not the complete reversal of designation—for two national monuments: Bears Ears (designated by President Barack Obama in 2016) and Grand Staircase-Escalante (designated by President Bill Clinton in 1996), and delivered their wishes to Zinke as part of his study. The Utah proposal on Bears Ears would reduce the land by 90 percent—from 1.3 million acres down to 120,000 acres.

Other national monuments on the shrinking and chopping block are Nevada’s Gold Butte and Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou, as well as two Pacific Ocean marine monuments—the Pacific Remote Islands and Rose Atoll. The “recommendation” for all of these and four other monuments is to allow outside commercial use, which Zinke referred to in the report as “traditional use” of such lands. Other monuments that would be affected by the “traditional use” Zinke wants to impose are the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine (logging), the Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks National Monument in New Mexico (grazing and—get this—border security, because of the possibility of “drug smuggling”), the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument in New Mexico (grazing), and the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Marine Monument off the coast of New England (commercial fishing).

Under the 1906 Antiquities Act, presidents have the authorization to designate land, historic places, or culturally significant areas as national monuments. While other presidents have made small alterations in national monuments, “No president has ever stripped protections from monuments in the way Zinke is proposing,” says a story in the Los Angeles Times. “At stake are millions of acres of unique geological formations, rare archaeological artifacts, and pristine landscapes and seascapes.”

[syndicated profile] io9_feed

Posted by Tom McKay on Sploid, shared by Julie Muncy to io9

There’s making an entrance and then there’s making an entrance. Beloved science educator Bill Nye made one of the latter recently while he was just trying to get beween floors.


you're in my clothes, skin, heart

Sep. 24th, 2017 12:37 pm
[syndicated profile] ao3_derekstiles_feed

Posted by <a rel="author" href="/users/Areiton/pseuds/Areiton">Areiton</a>


He knows it's werewolf behavior, the scent-marking.
But it's them, too.
This? This is them

Words: 2366, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English

Donald Trump Condoned Flag Burning?

Sep. 24th, 2017 04:17 pm
[syndicated profile] snopes_feed

Posted by Kim LaCapria

In response to a controversial 2016 remark made by Donald Trump opposing flag burning, someone faked a 2011 tweet from him expressing the opposite view.
[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Marykate Jasper

“In 1922,” the narrator begins, “a man’s pride was a man’s land. And so was his son. My wife, she wanted us to leave all this behind.”

The movie, which arrives on Netflix on October 20, is based on Stephen King’s novella of the same name. In the novella, Nebraska farmer Wilfred becomes enraged when his wife, Arlette, decides to sell her portion of their family farm and advocates moving their family to the city in Omaha. To prevent this, Wilfred manipulates their teenage son, Henry, into helping him commit and cover up Arlette’s murder. However, after they kill Arnette and conceal her body in the backyard well, rats, hauntings, sickness, and a serious spate of bad luck come for both Wilfred and Henry.

I am 200% here for a rural lady-ghost revenge flick. I love the creepiness of the rat imagery, and I love transforming the idea that women “belong in the home,” or control the “domestic sphere” from a sexist trope into a menacing prophecy. And there’s a savage poetry to a woman who was murdered for wanting to escape a place consuming it and tearing it down. The house is mine now, asshole.

However, this is also the sort of movie that could easily turn into a troubling “sympathy for the wife-killer” piece, and I am not here for that. Given the movie’s point-of-view, and what sounds like Wilfred’s voiceover narration, it’ll be difficult to tell this story without making Wilfred into the character that the audience most sympathizes and empathizes with. I’m curious about how the politics of this film will turn out.

What did you think, though?

(Featured image via screengrab)

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The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

[syndicated profile] dailykos_feed

Next week, Congressional Republicans will vote on the Graham-Cassidy bill supposedly designed to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. Shockingly, they will do so without a score from Capitol Hill’s nonpartisan scorekeeper, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). As the office led by the GOP’s hand-picked director Keith Hall warned last Monday, “CBO will not be able to provide point estimates of the effects on the deficit, health insurance coverage, or premiums for at least several weeks.”

Nevertheless, there are many things we already know with a good deal of certainty about this grotesque act of right-wing political spite masquerading as health care legislation. Graham-Cassidy begins by eliminating the individual and employer insurance mandates next year, and repealing the Affordable Care Act’s insurance subsidies and Medicaid expansion in 2020. The bill then dramatically slashes currently projected Obamacare spending and divvies up what remains as block grants to the states. The states in turn can seek waivers from requiring the coverage of Obamacare’s “essential health benefits” (EHB’s) and the current ban on discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions. Estimates from Avalere Health and CBPP forecast the GOP bill carves between $215 billion and $243 billion from ACA spending over the next decade. But those block grants—which rob billions of dollars from largely Democratic-led, Medicaid-expanding states to those red states which did not—expire at the end of 2026. Unless the bill is reauthorized, the states will lose $299 billion in federal funding in 2027 alone; between 2020 and 2036, the loss is a staggering $4.15 trillion. Based on CBO estimates for similar Republican proposals earlier this year, the Commonwealth Fund warned 32 million people could lose their insurance by 2027.

Oh, and one other thing we can count on: If Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy get their way, thousands of newly uninsured Americans will die needlessly every year. A death toll of roughly 18,000 in the law’s first full year could approach 40,000 in 2027. The question is not whether the United States will suffer the equivalent of multiple Sept. 11 attacks every year, but how many.

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Posted by Germain Lussier

The world is ending. Humans no longer have the capacity to reproduce. For the answers, they’ll send people below the surface of the Earth, where the clones humans used and discarded thousands of years ago have taken up residence.


A Good Morning

Sep. 24th, 2017 11:10 am
[syndicated profile] ao3_derekstiles_feed

Posted by <a rel="author" href="/users/Auriette/pseuds/Auriette">Auriette</a>


Stiles knows how good he has it with Derek Hale. He'd never be able to forget. Especially since Derek always knows what Stiles wants... on a nice, Sunday morning.

Words: 881, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English

Series: Part 1 of All the smutty feels

[syndicated profile] io9_feed

Posted by Julie Muncy

Based on what we know so far, it sounds like the Flash, played by Ezra Miller, will be an essential component of the upcoming Justice League movie. But if recent news is any indication, the world around the Flash won’t be getting nearly as fleshed out as we thought it would.


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