Wild Lands Activism
There's something about activism. It's on the rise. Maybe @realDonaldTrump sparked the fires, but he is a small note in the crescendo of local movements. Take Bears Ears, for example. Just as Rep. Ryan Zinke was confirmed secretary of the Interior, a group of monument supporters gathered outside his office, and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance has started a campaign of TV ads against repeal. Outdoor Retailer has decided to leave, and state Rep. Mike Noel was pictured in The Salt Lake Tribune with an apparent migraine during testimony opposing a bill to allow the state to own Bears Ears. In other wild lands news, there are protests afoot at Dimple Dell Regional Park over plans to pave the 3-mile North Rim Trail, and a Save Bonanza Flats effort by Utah Open Lands. But finally, there was a cosmic protest in the form of a landslide on the highway into Bryce Canyon—right after Rep. Jason Chaffetz vowed to investigate tweets by a park employee supporting Bears Ears.
Let's talk about the bizarre efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The operative word here is "care," which it seems your Republican lawmakers do not. There is so much anti-Obama rhetoric going on that actual lawmaking—compromise and tweaking—just isn't taking place. The New York Times wrote about how conflicted this red state is, with the public embracing Obamacare and the state fighting against it. The Deseret News noted that enrollment climbed 24 percent despite the calls for repeal. But most terrifying was Sen. Lindsey Graham who, despite his packed South Carolina town hall, said he has no idea what the GOP plan is. Graham, according to The Guardian, was surprised there were so many "liberals" in South Carolina. So the GOP persists in making a partisan issue out of basic humanity.
Where the hell is the Legislature getting their ideas about alcohol and kids? Not from the facts, of course, because we live in an era of fake news, feelings and supposition. And frankly, Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, is an idiot if he really believes visual exposure to alcohol led him and his siblings to drink. Could it have been the perverse fascination kids have when a culture vilifies normal behaviors? Or maybe the fact that his dad was an alcoholic, as The Salt Lake Tribune noted, led to some strange conduct. At any rate, the Legislature is acting on "testimonies" from the wrong people. Even the governor says it's "kind of a hunch." Restaurants and other businesses have been trying to persuade against insane curtains, walls or moats. And women, beware: Who knows what they're putting in your drink behind the curtain? Blame it on the Legislature.