ECOWATCH: “Trump’s EPA Won’t Ban Brain-Damaging Pesticide”

“Siding with pesticide corporations over the health and well-being of kids is the new normal at the EPA. Today’s decision underscores the sad truth that as long as the Trump administration is in charge, this EPA will favor the interests of the chemical lobby over children’s safety.” 

Ken Cook – President, Environmental Working Group

 

President Donald Trump‘s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will not ban the agricultural use of chlorpyrifos, a toxic pesticide that the EPA’s own scientists have linked to brain damage in children.

The decision, announced Thursday, was a response to a petition from public health and environmental groups who had pushed for a ban. The agency ruled that “critical questions remained regarding the significance of the data” on the pesticide’s health effects.

The ruling is the latest in a series of Trump EPA decisions that weaken chemical safety rules. In April, it opted against a full ban on asbestos in favor of restrictions that critics say could usher in new uses. Also this year, it issued restrictions on a paint-stripping chemical that were weaker than a ban proposed during the Obama years. Finally, just last week, it widely expanded the use of the pesticide sulfoxaflor, which its own scientists have shown can harm bees.

“Siding with pesticide corporations over the health and well-being of kids is the new normal at the EPA,” Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook said in a statement. “Today’s decision underscores the sad truth that as long as the Trump administration is in charge, this EPA will favor the interests of the chemical lobby over children’s safety.”

The EPA’s decision came after a federal court ordered the agency to make a final call on the ban by mid-July. Chlorpyrifos has been banned for home use since 2000, but farmers have continued to spray it on crops like apples, strawberries, broccoli and corn. The Obama administration had initiated a ban on agricultural uses of the pesticide, but Trump’s EPA reversed it, setting off a legal battle with environmental advocates. In the absence of federal action, states have moved against the pesticide on their own. Hawaii became the first state to ban chlorpyrifos in 2018, and California announced it would ban the chemical in May. New York is also moving towards a ban.

Research has linked chlorpyrifos exposure to lower IQ, memory loss, breathing problems and increased risk of autism in babies born to mothers who lived near farms where it was sprayed.

“What we have with chlorpyrifos is multiple academic research projects that have shown that actual children who actually live in California are being harmed by this chemical,” said Center for Environmental Health senior scientist Caroline Cox. “It’s pretty rare that you have that kind of evidence for any toxic chemical.”

So how was the EPA able to decide that the science wasn’t conclusive? The ruling was a direct consequence of former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt‘s decision to limit the kinds of studies that regulators could use to make decisions.

Under Mr. Pruitt, the agency proposed a rule saying it could not consider scientific researchunless the raw data behind it was made public, saying the issue was a matter of transparency. Scientists argued that studies measuring human exposure to pesticides and other chemicals often rely on confidential health information and argued the E.P.A.’s real motivation was to restrict the ability to develop regulations.

In opting not to ban chlorpyrifos, the E.P.A. rejected a major study conducted by Columbia University on its effects on children in New York City. The E.P.A. said because it was unable to obtain the raw data and replicate that study, which linked the insecticide to developmental delays, it could not independently verify the conclusions.

The 12 groups who brought the petition against the EPA vowed to keep fighting.

“We will continue to fight until chlorpyrifos is banned and children and farmworkers are safe from this dangerous chemical,” they said in a joint statement reported by Earthjustice, the legal organization that represented the groups.

Former senior EPA attorney Kevin Minoli thought that federal courts would ultimately rule in favor of a ban.

“To me, this starts the clock on the use of chlorpyrifos on food crops in the US.”

 

~via EcoWatch.com

LEE CAMP: “Trump’s Military Drops a Bomb Every 12 Minutes — and No One Is Talking About It”

“Under Trump, five bombs are dropped per hour — every hour of every day. That averages out to a bomb every 12 minutes. And which is more outrageous — the crazy amount of death and destruction we are creating around the world, or the fact that your mainstream corporate media basically NEVER investigates it? They talk about Trump’s flaws. They say he’s a racist, bulbous-headed, self-centered idiot (which is totally accurate) — but they don’t criticize the perpetual Amityville massacre our military perpetrates by dropping a bomb every 12 minutes, most of them killing 98 percent non-targets. When you have a Department of War with a completely unaccountable budget — as we saw with the $21 trillion — and you have a president with no interest in overseeing how much death the Department of War is responsible for, then you end up dropping so many bombs that the Pentagon has reported we are running out of bombs.”

~Lee Camp

 

We live in a state of perpetual war, and we never feel it. While you get your gelato at the hip place where they put those cute little mint leaves on the side, someone is being bombed in your name. While you argue with the 17-year-old at the movie theater who gave you a small popcorn when you paid for a large, someone is being obliterated in your name. While we sleep and eat and make love and shield our eyes on a sunny day, someone’s home, family, life and body are being blown into a thousand pieces in our names.

Once every 12 minutes.

The United States military drops an explosive with a strength you can hardly comprehend once every 12 minutes. And that’s odd, because we’re technically at war with — let me think — zero countries. So that should mean zero bombs are being dropped, right?

Hell no! You’ve made the common mistake of confusing our world with some sort of rational, cogent world in which our military-industrial complex is under control, the music industry is based on merit and talent, Legos have gently rounded edges (so when you step on them barefoot, it doesn’t feel like an armor-piercing bullet just shot straight up your sphincter), and humans are dealing with climate change like adults rather than burying our heads in the sand while trying to convince ourselves that the sand around our heads isn’t getting really, really hot.

You’re thinking of a rational world. We do not live there.

Instead, we live in a world where the Pentagon is completely and utterly out of control. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the $21 trillion (that’s not a typo) that has gone unaccounted for at the Pentagon. But I didn’t get into the number of bombs that ridiculous amount of money buys us. President George W. Bush’s military dropped 70,000 bombs on five countries. But of that outrageous number, only 57 of those bombs really upset the international community.

Because there were 57 strikes in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen—countries the U.S. was neither at war with nor had ongoing conflicts with. And the world was kind of horrified. There was a lot of talk that went something like, “Wait a second. We’re bombing in countries outside of war zones? Is it possible that’s a slippery slope ending in us just bombing all the goddamn time? (Awkward pause.) … Nah. Whichever president follows Bush will be a normal adult person (with a functional brain stem of some sort) and will therefore stop this madness.”

We were so cute and naive back then, like a kitten when it’s first waking up in the morning.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported that under President Barack Obama there were “563 strikes, largely by drones, that targeted Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen”.

It’s not just the fact that bombing outside of a war zone is a horrific violation of international law and global norms. It’s also the morally reprehensible targeting of people for pre-crime, which is what we’re doing and what the Tom Cruise movie “Minority Report” warned us about (Humans are very bad at taking the advice of sci-fi dystopias. If we’d listened to “1984,” we wouldn’t have allowed the existence of the National Security Agency. If we listened to “The Terminator,” we wouldn’t have allowed the existence of drone warfare. And if we’d listened to “The Matrix,” we wouldn’t have allowed the vast majority of humans to get lost in a virtual reality of spectacle and vapid nonsense while the oceans die in a swamp of plastic waste. But you know, who’s counting?).

There was basically a media blackout while Obama was president. You could count on one hand the number of mainstream media reports on the Pentagon’s daily bombing campaigns under Obama. And even when the media did mention it, the underlying sentiment was, “Yeah, but look at how suave Obama is while he’s OK’ing endless destruction. He’s like the Steve McQueen of aerial death.”

And let’s take a moment to wipe away the idea that our “advanced weaponry” hits only the bad guys. As David DeGraw put it, “According to the C.I.A.’s own documents, the people on the ‘kill list,’ who were targeted for ‘death-by-drone,’ accounted for only 2% of the deaths caused by the drone strikes.”

Two percent. Really, Pentagon? You got a two on the test? You get five points just for spelling your name right.

But those 70,000 bombs dropped by Bush — it was child’s play. DeGraw again: “[Obama] dropped 100,000 bombs in seven countries. He out-bombed Bush by 30,000 bombs and 2 countries.”

You have to admit that’s impressively horrific. That puts Obama in a very elite group of Nobel Peace Prize winners who have killed that many innocent civilians. The reunions are mainly just him and Henry Kissinger wearing little hand-drawn name tags and munching on deviled eggs.

However, we now know that Donald Trump’s administration puts all previous presidents to shame. The Pentagon’s numbers show that during George W. Bush’s eight years he averaged 24 bombs dropped per day, which is 8,750 per year. Over the course of Obama’s time in office, his military dropped 34 bombs per day, 12,500 per year. And in Trump’s first year in office, he averaged 121 bombs dropped per day, for an annual total of 44,096.

Trump’s military dropped 44,000 bombs in his first year in office.

He has basically taken the gloves off the Pentagon, taken the leash off an already rabid dog. So the end result is a military that’s behaving like Lil Wayne crossed with Conor McGregor. You look away for one minute, look back, and are like, “What the fuck did you just do? I was gone for like, a second!”

Under Trump, five bombs are dropped per hour — every hour of every day. That averages out to a bomb every 12 minutes.

And which is more outrageous — the crazy amount of death and destruction we are creating around the world, or the fact that your mainstream corporate media basically NEVER investigates it? They talk about Trump’s flaws. They say he’s a racist, bulbous-headed, self-centered idiot (which is totally accurate) — but they don’t criticize the perpetual Amityville massacre our military perpetrates by dropping a bomb every 12 minutes, most of them killing 98 percent non-targets.

When you have a Department of War with a completely unaccountable budget — as we saw with the $21 trillion — and you have a president with no interest in overseeing how much death the Department of War is responsible for, then you end up dropping so many bombs that the Pentagon has reported we are running out of bombs.

Oh, dear God. If we run out of our bombs, then how will we stop all those innocent civilians from… farming? Think of all the goats that will be allowed to go about their days.

And, as with the $21 trillion, the theme seems to be “unaccountable.”

Journalist Witney Webb wrote in February, “Shockingly, more than 80 percent of those killed have never even been identified and the C.I.A.’s own documents have shown that they are not even aware of who they are killing—avoiding the issue of reporting civilian deaths simply by naming all those in the strike zone as enemy combatants.”

That’s right. We kill only enemy combatants. How do we know they’re enemy combatants? Because they were in our strike zone. How did we know it was a strike zone? Because there were enemy combatants there. How did we find out they were enemy combatants? Because they were in the strike zone. … Want me to keep going, or do you get the point? I have all day.

This is not about Trump, even though he’s a maniac. It’s not about Obama, even though he’s a war criminal. It’s not about Bush, even though he has the intelligence of boiled cabbage. (I haven’t told a Bush joke in about eight years. Felt kind of good. Maybe I’ll get back into that.)

This is about a runaway military-industrial complex that our ruling elite are more than happy to let loose. Almost no one in Congress or the presidency tries to restrain our 121 bombs a day. Almost no one in a mainstream outlet tries to get people to care about this.

Recently, the hashtag #21Trillion for the unaccounted Pentagon money has gained some traction. Let’s get another one started: #121BombsADay.

One every 12 minutes.

Do you know where they’re hitting? Who they’re murdering? Why? One hundred and twenty-one bombs a day rip apart the lives of families a world away — in your name and my name and the name of the kid doling out the wrong size popcorn at the movie theater.

We are a rogue nation with a rogue military and a completely unaccountable ruling elite. The government and military you and I support by being a part of this society are murdering people every 12 minutes, and in response, there’s nothing but a ghostly silence. It is beneath us as a people and a species to give this topic nothing but silence. It is a crime against humanity.

 

 

~via Truthdig.com

DAVID ICKE: “From 9/11 To Iran — The Long Planned War On Humanity”

 

~via David Icke

CATHERINE KIM: “’45 is a Puppet’: Trump Spoke in Front of a Fake Presidential Seal — and Nobody Knew”

“The bald eagle in the center has two heads instead of one, and its shield is swapped out for a more rectangular symbol that resembles Russia’s coat of arms. And the eagle is holding cash in its talons instead of an olive branch. Rather than grasping 13 arrows in its other talons, the two-headed eagle in the altered seal carries golf clubs instead, pointing to the president’s frequent golfing trips. Rather than the Latin phrase ‘E pluribus unum’ — ‘Out of many, one’ — it says ’45 es un títere’, a Spanish phrase that translates to ’45 is a puppet’. “

~Catherine Kim

 

As President Donald Trump spoke in front of a crowd of young conservatives at Turning Point USA’s student summit on Tuesday, nobody took a second glance at the presidential seal projected behind him. They probably should have, considering that it was altered to poke fun at the president.

The photoshopped seal contains several details that are meant to troll the president for his friendliness with Russian President Vladimir Putin and expensive golfing habits. The bald eagle in the center has two heads instead of one, and its shield is swapped out for a more rectangular symbol that resembles Russia’s coat of arms. A two-headed eagle is also a symbol of empire and dominance and is featured on the flags of Serbia, Albania, and Montenegro, according to the Washington Post, which first reported on the incident.

The letters on the banner the eagle holds in its mouth are also altered: Rather than the Latin phrase “E pluribus unum”“Out of many, one” — it says “45 es un títere”, a Spanish phrase that translates to “45 is a puppet.” And the eagle is holding cash in its talons instead of an olive branch. Take a look:

One final difference: Rather than grasping 13 arrows in its other talons, the two-headed eagle in the altered seal carries golf clubs instead, pointing to the president’s frequent golfing trips. Despite having tweeted 27 complaints about then-President Barack Obama’s golf habits from 2011 to 2016, according to SB Nation, Trump has taken frequent trips on taxpayers’ money — a total of 198, to be exact. In May, HuffPost reported that his frequent golfing had cost taxpayers $102 million so far in his presidency, due to the extra security and travel expenses.

Neither the Trump administration nor officials at Turning Point USA know how the seal found its way onstage. Turning Point USA has been playing down the incident, calling it a “last minute throw-up”, according to the Post.

“Somewhere there was a breakdown. I think it was as simple as a rushed move throwing up an image, and it was the wrong one,” the spokesperson told the Post. “It was an A/V mistake… it certainly wasn’t our intention.”

.   .   .

Ascension Avatar note: Trump IS, after all, “The Illuminati King”. ALL Illuminati members are puppets. Their modus operandi has always been, “Hide truth in plain sight”. And so, there it stands for all to see: the glorious TRUTH… shining… as broad as daylight. 

 

~via Vox.com

ADAM GREEN (Know More News): “Trump, the ‘Squad’, Israel, & Anti-Semitism”

 

~via Know More News