Originally published 10/02/2013
Government shutdowns used to be pretty common until the 1990s, but they were skirmishes, not battles -- certainly not wars.
Originally published 07/23/2013
Cultural heritage activists in Moscow, St Petersburg and across the rest of Russia are warning that a string of important architectural monuments are falling prey to a dangerous combination of Soviet-style brutality and capitalist greed, and might soon be irrevocably lost.Landmarks such as the Bolkonsky House, which inspired scenes in Leo Tolstoy’s novels, and a seminal 1850s roundhouse railway depot that inspired similar depots in Europe and the US are hanging by a thread, they say, or have, for all practical purposes, been destroyed.Their warning calls also underscore a growing activism, or at least a sense of an active preservationist community linked by social networking resources such as Facebook.When Yevgeny Sosedov—a 25-year-old preservationist who has been battling for years to save Arkhangelskoye, the Yusupov family estate—recently raced to save an historic avenue of linden trees nearby, he was surprised by the intensity of the reaction....
Originally published 07/01/2013
The campaign to create a national park dedicated to the once-top-secret Manhattan Project is moving through Congress, but supporters aren’t ready to declare victory just yet.“It is by no means a fait accompli,” says Nancy Tinker, senior field officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.Still it’s the closest the park has come yet to being a done deal.The U.S. House approved in June the $552.1 billion defense authorization bill, which included funds to establish the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, which would include sites in Oak Ridge, Los Alamos, N.M., and Hanford, Wash....
Originally published 08/12/2014
Liberty and Power
The Improved National Monument Designation Process Act (H.R. 1459) passed the House on March 26 by a vote of 222 to 201. It is currently before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. 2608's purpose is "to provide for congressional approval of national monuments" and of restrictions on their use. It would limit President Obama's ability to designate national monuments at his own discretion through executive orders. But why are they trying to limit the president discretion? What lies at the root of this proposed law?
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