Owner of Old Louisville Pesticide Plant Prepares to Sell

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Black Leaf property owner gives Courier-Journal exclusive look inside a property that triggered the state’s biggest ever urban environmental cleanup.

 

Image result for BLACK LEAF PROPERTY LOUISVILLE KY

Image result for BLACK LEAF PROPERTY LOUISVILLE KY

By JAMES BRUGGERS, The Courier-Journal

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Metal roofing has collapsed.

Trees are growing tall inside buildings. Walls are heavily tagged with graffiti.

And trespassers have set up makeshift camping or lounge areas among the arsenic and long-banned pesticides, having hauled in several couches in recent months – one of them with two small toy dolls left on the cushions.

It’s now about seven years into what Kentucky officials have called their largest urban environmental cleanup, and property owner Tony Young, on a rare tour of what he calls the Louisville Industrial Park, says: “I need to speak my piece. If I don’t do it now, I won’t have any chance.”

The 29-acre property, known by regulators as the Black Leaf site for a tobacco-based pesticide once made there, is scheduled for a foreclosure sale on Friday.

After long-banned pesticides like DDT and other dangerous chemicals or heavy metals were found in the soil, Young said he became unable to pay the $20,000 monthly mortgage he owed to First Capital Bank of Kentucky. He also owes the city nearly $1 million in back property taxes and the Metropolitan Sewer District $200,000 for several years of unpaid drainage fees. But as Young this week faces the loss of the property he’s owned since 1999, he is taking steps to recover financially while he promotes his plan to develop affordable housing for western Louisville.

Young last week sued his bank, a bank holding company, and ExxonMobil, claiming in a U.S. District Court filing that businesses have entered into “a secret deal” that cut him out and could cost him more than $20 million. He said he believes a new business cooperating with the bank and ExxonMobil intend to buy the property in a process that will wipe away the liabilities for the new owner and will allow ExxonMobil’s plan to proceed.

But that plan, he contends, would require a lesser degree of cleanup than his, which would need to meet more stringent standards for residential development.

“I am going to get my money back, one way or the other,” Young told the Courier-Journal. But if the ExxonMobil plan wins the day, “it screws all the community” by leaving chemicals behind and not meeting demand for affordable housing, he added.

Still, his plan does not appear to be going anywhere.

Exxon plan favored

The state of Kentucky instead is casting its provisional blessing on an alternative proposal backed by the giant oil company, Occidental Chemical Corp., and Grief Inc. to get the property ready for recycling it into future industrial or commercial businesses, with the less extensive cleanup that would require. Each of those companies inherited liability for past pollution, state officials have said.

City officials see the foreclosure sale as potentially removing a logjam by getting the property into the hands of a business with the financial ability to bring economic development to the blighted property – and to remove a festering eyesore and safety hazard just two miles from downtown in one of the city’s most troubled neighborhoods.

Park Hill, where the property is located, is one of the crime-riddled communities Louisville Metro Police are focusing extra enforcement efforts in this year, along with Victory Park, Russell, Smoketown, Shawnee, Russell and Shelby Park

Theresa Zawacki, a senior policy adviser for Louisville Forward, the city’s economic development arm, said it is hard to predict the outcome of the foreclosure sale. But she said she expects more than one bidder on the property, now that businesses with liability for the pollution are ready to begin remediation. Friday’s sale is “another step in that process,” she said.

It’s large and directly served by rail, and suitable for industrial purposes, she said. “When things like this come up, there is typically a lot of interest,” she added.

Already, the state and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency teamed up to remove contaminated soil from dozens of homes near the industrial site.

But the Courier-Journal in 2016 reported that Kentucky Division of Waste Management officials had said they could not under state law force a full cleanup to residential standards inside the property. This week, a spokesman for the waste management division, John Mura, said state officials have accepted the technical portions of the ExxonMobil plan “with the caveat that Exxon must be able to demonstrate property access and the ability to place an environmental covenant on the property if necessary.

“To date, Exxon has not demonstrated that ability.”

He said state officials hope the Young lawsuit “does not further delay the restart of remedial work that could begin soon after the property access and ownership issues are resolved.”

Security concerns

Exxon has played a key role in working with the state on a remediation plan.

“ExxonMobil seeks access to the property to meet its environmental and regulatory obligations,” said Todd Spitler, company spokesman. “We continue to work under the direction of (Kentucky regulators) to develop and implement a remedy for this site that is protective of human health and the environment.”

A First Capital Bank of Kentucky representative did not return a request for comment.

Some of the chemicals found on the property have been measured at hundreds to thousands of times higher than state officials consider safe.

Young granted the Courier-Journal its first tour of the property on Monday, where he sought to make a case for his position. He portrayed himself as a man looking out for a neighborhood troubled by drugs and violence. He said he feels his bank, Exxon and state officials turned against him. “I’ve tried my best. I’ve cooperated with the state,” he said.

The Kentucky Resources Council, an environmental group, also supports cleanup to residential standards, said its director, attorney Tom FitzGerald.

That would best help to “redress a burden that the neighbors have borne for entirely too long, and to provide for the broadest range of future uses,” he said. Leaving polluted soils in place shifts costs to the next generation, he said, adding “it may be legal, but it does not make it just or moral.”

Metro Councilman David James, who represents the area, had also been pressing for a cleanup that would do what Young was seeking – allow for residential development.

James said Tuesday he has not yet heard from the state environmental agency on Black Leaf cleanup requirements and is frustrated that a problem discovered in 2010 remains unsolved.

“I would like to have had it resolved five years ago,” he said.

James also said he was concerned to hear that trespassers or squatters may have set up camps by bringing in couches. He said he did not see any of that several months ago on a visit to the property. “It makes it difficult for police because they don’t have access to it,” said James, a former police officer. “It’s private.”

He also said he may need to “find out why Mr. Young is not doing more to prevent people from coming onto the property he owns – like hiring private security.”

For his part, Young said the property is too large to keep everyone out.

James also said he was not aware of any discussions between Young and the city to bring low-income housing to the property. “At this point, Mr. Young has financial interests in the property and is looking for a way to cover his interests,” James said.

Young said he had been working with the nonprofit Housing Partnership Inc., on the low-income housing plan. The partnership has ties to the city – Mayor Greg Fischer is a board member – and several years ago looked into whether a several-hundred unit affordable housing plan was economically feasible prior to the discovery of the contaminated soils.

That kind of contamination “stops development in their tracks,” said Mike Hynes, president of the partnership.

Last year Hynes reiterated his partnership’s interest in the property for low-income housing if the environmental problems could be worked out. But Hynes said: “The property has to be safe for people to live there.”

Details lacking

Young said his cleanup plan, which he said has been rejected, would have piled a lot of contaminated soils in berms, where it would be permanently entombed.

But he also offered no details on its costs.

When the Courier-Journal on Monday requested details on the two cleanup plans from the state, Mura told the Courier-Journal to submit a request for documents under the Kentucky Open Records law because the matter was now in litigation.

The state, however, is not part of that litigation, and the Courier-Journal is still waiting for a response to the records.

For his part, Young tells a story of how what he thought would be a good, $1.9 million investment has turned into a nightmare that’s cost him dearly. He said he had the property checked out by environmental consultants – a bank requirement – before purchasing it, and they found none of the problems that state officials later discovered.

“I tried to do something good here,” he said. “I am still trying to do something good.”

CONTINUE READING…

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Gov’t Says Releasing Reports On Dakota Pipeline Spill Would ‘Endanger Peoples’ Lives

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A banner flies in the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S. on January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester/File Photo

Chris White

2:11 PM 04/26/2017

Releasing information about a possible Dakota Access Pipeline spill could pose a serious threat to local citizens, according to the agency responsible for approving the contentious oil project.

Army Corps of Engineers rejected a Freedom of Information request earlier this month for the assessment report on potential environmental impact of a spill, digital media group MuckRock reported Tuesday. The agency rejected the request out of concern people

“I am withholding the requested document in its entirety,” Army Corps District Council Damon Roberts told MuckRock in response to the request. “The referenced document contains information related to sensitive infrastructure that if misused could endanger peoples’ lives and property.”

Army Corps’ comments come as activists continue to push for more information about possible oil spills from the so-called DAPL.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg decided in March that the company behind the project could hide information about leak points at areas along its route. He argued the exception was necessary to prevent possible acts of vandalism in the future.

Members of the Standing Rock Sioux and other DAPL opponents believe information disclosing the route’s leak points could bolster their arguments that the line needs further environmental studies. The project will shuttle 500,000 barrels of Bakken oil from the Dakotas to parts of Illinois.

Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the project, has already “modified the pipeline workspace and route more than a hundred times in response to cultural surveys and Tribes’ concerns regarding historic and cultural resources,” Boasberg wrote, referring to the analysis that went into an environmental impact assessment the Army Corps of Engineers conducted prior to approving the line.

Law enforcement officials investigated two separate incidents in March of vandalism in Iowa and South Dakota involving holes torched in sections of the multi-billion-dollar line, which officially started shuttling oil earlier this month.

A small hole was burned into the pipe at an unguarded valve site in South Dakota, Lincoln County Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Chad Brown told reporters at the time. Nobody was arrested or punished for the sabotage effort.

Some analysts argue the vandals would have been instantly incinerated had oil been coursing through the line at the time of the torching. More than 600 demonstrators have been arrested throughout the year-long anti-DAPL protests.

Army Corps has not responded to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

CONTINUE READING…

UPDATED: Sam Girod v FDA

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Samuel Girod's all-natural herbal products

By Sally Oh on March 30, 2017 | Comments 4 | Affiliate Disclosure

First, please sign and share the petition here: bit.ly/freeamishsam.

Click here for more details and links to all court documents and the indictment.

Feel free to copy and repost on your blog, social media, or print and handout, use as a cover letter for a printed petition (click here to download petition). Since the Amish don’t use the internet, many of them don’t even know about Sam’s situation! Please share the printed petition, get their signatures, then email or mail to me here.

Samuel Girod [G as in Gee: gi-ROD] and his family have been making and selling three all-natural herbal products for nearly 20 years.

No one has ever been harmed by the products; the Girods have pages of testimonials and scores of repeat customers.

Similar products are currently made and sold online worldwide (including on Amazon) by other people using the same or similar basic ingredients. The recipes are online as well, you can make them in your kitchen.

In 2001, an FDA agent informed Sam that his product labels were making medical claims regarding healing certain conditions. At the time, Sam’s label said, ““[g]ood for all skin disorders. Skin cancer, cuts, burns, draws, and poison ivy.”

Sam had to change his label, removing the skin cancer claim specifically, or do very expensive testing proving the claims. Sam changed the label, removing any reference to skin cancer.

Sam did not receive any further communication from the FDA until 2012 when someone called the FDA and reported that a store in MO was selling Sam’s products and that medical claims were being made.

The “medical claims” were in fact customer testimonials contained in a brochure about Sam’s products! These testimonials are no different than Amazon reviews.

Then the FDA claimed to have found a MO customer who had been harmed by Sam’s bloodroot salve.

In early 2013, during the investigation on that claim, FDA agents went to Sam’s home and demanded a warrantless search. Wanting to be cooperative, Sam said OK on one condition: that no photographs were taken (the Amish are religiously opposed to photography). The agents said no problem, no photos.

Then they got on the property, whipped out their cameras and took photos of everything.

Several months later, the Girods went before a federal judge in MO re the medical claims and the person supposedly injured. Turns out, not only has this customer never been identified or produced, the bloodroot salve this customer used was not even Sam’s!!!

Yet that judge put an injunction on Sam’s products with three stipulations:

  1. none could be sold until all medical claims were removed (referring to the brochures);
  2. Sam’s bloodroot salve could never be sold again EVER (1); and
  3. Sam had to allow inspection of his property where the products were made FOR FIVE YEARS.

Sam complied with 1 and 2: he stopped selling the bloodroot salve and stopped using the brochures. He was not so compliant with the searches.

In late 2013, after the injunction, FDA agents came to do a second search. Sam informed them that nothing had changed since the first search 7 months earlier, and that, since they had lied and taken photos during the first search, they were not welcome to do a second.

Sam had a Bath County Sheriff’s deputy there who witnessed the entire event and told the agents to leave the property.

Unfortunately for Sam, he knows his constitutionally-guaranteed rights and he relied on them to make his next decisions.

These three product sales are how Sam’s family made their living. They had been denied this right via an arbitrary regulation made up by a federal agency with no true jurisdiction in the states — and with NO VICTIM.

So the Girods started selling their products again. Then, in 2014, Sam started a legal private membership club and sold his products to members via that framework. Perfectly legal.

Meanwhile, the FDA started criminal proceedings against Sam for disobeying the injunction (selling his products and refusing the search) plus two other very serious charges:

1. The FDA agents claimed that, when they came for the 2nd search, Sam and his family threatened them with physical violence. That is ludicrous enough on the face of it. Plus, the Sheriff’s deputy testified under oath that absolutely no threats were made, that, essentially, the FDA agents lied under oath.

2. The FDA also charged Sam with witness tampering. The witness who was supposedly tampered with? Read the eyewitness account of Mary Miller’s testimony, link below. (2)

The Trial 2.27.17

The Amish do not use lawyers as a rule and Sam did not. This is a decision made by the community, not just the accused. Apparently the Amish don’t trust lawyers. Imagine that.

Because he barely presented a defense against federal prosecutors for whom money and conscience are not problems, Sam was convicted on all counts. (3)

The judge ordered Sam to remain in jail until sentencing on 6/16/17. He’s been in jail since 2/27/17.

Had Sam had a good attorney, he would certainly have been acquitted on the most egregious counts (threatening federal agents and witness tampering). These charges were clearly manufactured solely to make Sam into a “real” criminal, with the FDA being the only victim.

The only other charges — selling “drugs” across state lines — were manufactured out of whole cloth as well. The FDA’s own tests proved that the products were not drugs, that they were made from all-natural ingredients!!! These charges should have been dismissed from the start.

Sam’s sentencing is 6/16 and he is looking at 68 years in prison. This is essentially a life sentence for charges stemming from an innocent labeling infraction!

Sam should not spend a minute in jail. Please sign and share our petition to President Trump for a presidential pardon: bit.ly/freeamishsam

Burning Questions

  • How does the FDA get away with determining what constitutes a “medical claim” anyway?
  • How are they able to define “drug” so broadly that a topical salve made from all edible ingredients becomes a “drug?”
  • Why are Amazon reviews ok but Sam’s customers’ testimonials a basis for criminal charges?
  • How is the FDA able to create criminal penalties for violation of arbitrary rules?
  • How does this kind of action against an Amish grandfather making salves from all-natural ingredients protect the public, particularly considering that every 19 minutes, someone dies from an FDA-approved pharmaceutical, an actual drug that has been tested and “proven safe”?
  • How will Sam’s incarceration for life make the American public any safer?
  • Considering that no one was harmed by his products, how has spending millions of dollars on Sam’s prosecution and 16 years of harassment made the world a better place?

A SOLUTION

There is a better way to handle this. Let us Americans make healing claims on our products with the disclaimer, “These claims have not been scientifically proven. Please use your internet and library to verify claims to your own satisfaction prior to use.”

Sam’s prosecution is a prime example of bureaucracy run amok, enforcement for enforcement’s sake to justify an agency’s existence. There are literally thousands of people in jail (4) for breaking agency regulations fabricated by the agencies! Their rules and regulations are as arbitrary and illegal as they can be, with the result of making us all criminals in our own homes.

Who exactly is being protected here?


Resources:


(1) In the indictment, bloodroot is repeatedly referred to as “dangerous” with no documentation whatsoever. Bloodroot is from a plant grown in North America, it’s perfectly legal and used by millions of people for centuries for healing purposes. Bloodroot products are sold all over the internet, including on Amazon.


(2) Mary Miller is the 2nd witness called: http://www.kyfreepress.com/2017/03/trial-fda-v-samuel-girod-day-2/


(3) Trial Day 1, Trial Day 2, Trial Day 3


(4) http://thefreedomcoalition.com

Sally Oh

Sally Oh

Sally Oh is a native Kentuckian, wife, mother, blogger, homesteader, chickenista, recovering REALTOR® and Functional Medicine Practitioner. A liberty activist and registered voter, that’s her falling down a rabbit hole.

CONTINUE READING…

How a Judge Scrapped Pennsylvania Families’ $4.24M Water Pollution Verdict in Gas Drilling Lawsuit

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How a Judge Scrapped Pennsylvania Families’ $4.24M Water Pollution Verdict in Gas Drilling Lawsuit

For many residents of Carter Road in Dimock, Pennsylvania, it’s been nearly a decade since their lives were turned upside down by the arrival of Cabot Oil and Gas, a company whose Marcellus Shale hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) wells were plagued by a series of spills and other problems linked to the area’s contamination of drinking water supplies.

With a new federal court ruling handed down late last Friday, a judge unwound a unanimous eight-person jury which had ordered Cabot to pay a total of $4.24 million over the contamination of two of those families’ drinking water wells. In a 58 page ruling, Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson discarded the jury’s verdict in Ely v. Cabot and ordered a new trial, extending the legal battle over one of the highest-profile and longest-running fracking-related water contamination cases in the country. Read more.

Hash Bash 2017: The Great Cannabis Betrayal Continues

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https://scontent-atl3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/17634845_1663320983684030_613999681140897365_n.jpg?oh=01f806755de41808c5b7b54c2e8ee317&oe=599970C5

Bruce Cain·Friday, March 31, 2017

I would very much appreciate it if you would re-post and republish this article as widely as possible. Whether you live in the US, Canada — or anywhere around the world — your right to “grow and sell” your own Cannabis is under assault. I have been a small voice in this movement for many decades and this is not the “end state” that I, or many other activists had envisioned. And if we don’t take a stand very soon I fear your very right to grow your own will soon be “up in smoke.” And that is why I am giving explicit permission to republish this article with no further permission. The people have a right to understand how we have been betrayed. Bruce W. Cain March 31st, 2017

The Past:

Since I first smoked Marijuana, in 1968, I always felt that adults should have the right to both grow and sell what they were not able to consume. And most of us young Hippies felt the same way as we firmly believed that “government is best which governs least.” We also favored small decentralized economies which was perfectly expressed in the book “Small is Beautiful” by EF Schumacher (1973): “among the 100 most influential books published since World War II.”

===== Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered is a collection of essays by British economist E. F. Schumacher. The phrase “Small Is Beautiful” came from a phrase by his teacher Leopold Kohr.[1] It is often used to champion small, appropriate technologies that are believed to empower people more, in contrast with phrases such as “bigger is better”.

First published in 1973, Small Is Beautiful brought Schumacher’s critiques of Western economics to a wider audience during the 1973 energy crisis and emergence of globalization. The Times Literary Supplement ranked Small Is Beautiful among the 100 most influential books published since World War II.[2] A further edition with commentaries was published in 1999.[3]

Small Is Beautiful From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_Is_Beautiful =====

Yep us Hippies were probably the first generation of Americans that understandably feared overbearing government control as well as the movement toward globalization: what Bush(1) would later call “One World Government” in the early 1990’s.

This Saturday will mark the 46th Hash Bash in Ann Arbor: one of the nations oldest Annual events calling for the legalization of Cannabis. The first Hash Bash was held on April 1st, 1972 in response to the arrest of John Sinclair. Sinclair was due to be imprisoned for 10 years for possession of 2 joints. At the time Marijuana arrests were at a very low level, compared to today, and there was little doubt that he was really arrested because he publicly advocated for the legalization of Marijuana (e.g., Cannabis).

Prior to the first Hash bash John Lennon (of the Beatles) played and spoke at the “John Sinclair Freedom Rally on December 10, 1971 at the Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor. The event drew about 20,000 people where Lennon performed a special song: “It ain’t fair John Sinclair” which you can listen to at the following link:

John Lennon – John Sinclair https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZJLInCgem8

John Sinclair Freedom Rally From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Sinclair_Freedom_Rally

Prior to all of this the Beatles circulated the first petition, calling for Marijuana Legalization, on July 24th, 1967, which was signed by many luminaries including scientist Carl Sagan. It is worth noting that the petition did not speak to the issue of personal cultivation.

===== The Beatles call for the legalization of marijuana Monday 24 July 1967 A full-page advertisement appeared in The Times newspaper on this day, signed by 64 of the most prominent members of British society, which called for the legalisation of marijuana. Among the signatories were The Beatles and Brian Epstein. https://www.beatlesbible.com/1967/0… =====

My initiation into all of this occurred a year later in 1968 at the tender age of 14. It was in 1968 that I was first introduced to both LSD and Marijuana. And from that beginning I could never understand why either substance should ever be illegal. Cannabis never impaired my motor skills as much as the Boones Farm Wine we used to drink back in the day. And the propaganda that LSD was addictive was “too cute by half.” About the last thing you would ever want to do, after a 10 hour LSD trip, would be another 10 hour LSD trip.

[I am not, by the way, suggesting that 14 year olds should be doing LSD by the way. But I have “always” been an advocate for legalizing the cultivation of both Cannabis and Psilocybin Mushrooms for adults.]

It was not understood, till decades later, that the War on Drugs (including Marijuana) was perpetrated by the Nixon administration to criminalize blacks and Hippies.

=====

One of Richard Nixon’s top advisers and a key figure in the Watergate scandal said the war on drugs was created as a political tool to fight blacks and hippies, according to a 22-year-old interview recently published in Harper’s Magazine.

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people,” former Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman told Harper’s writer Dan Baum for the April cover story published Tuesday.

“You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities,” Ehrlichman said. “We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

Ehrlichman’s comment is the first time the war on drugs has been plainly characterized as a political assault designed to help Nixon win, and keep, the White House.

Report: Aide says Nixon’s war on drugs targeted blacks, hippies By Tom LoBianco, CNN Thu March 24, 2016 http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/23/politics/john-ehrlichman-richard-nixon-drug-war-blacks-hippie/ ======

There are a few other milestones, during these early years that are worth consideration.

In 1965 Timothy Leary was arrested for Marijuana possession and was due to serve 30 years in prison. Just like Sinclair, Leary was singled out because he advocated the legalization of both Marijuana and LSD. I was asked to speak on a panel with Tim in 1993.

===== Leary v. United States, 395 U.S. 6 (1969), is a U.S. Supreme Court case dealing with the constitutionality of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Timothy Leary, a professor and activist, was arrested for the possession of marijuana in violation of the Marihuana Tax Act. Leary challenged the act on the ground that the act required self-incrimination, which violated the Fifth Amendment. The unanimous opinion of the court was penned by Justice John Marshall Harlan II and declared the Marihuana Tax Act unconstitutional. Thus, Leary’s conviction was overturned. Congress responded shortly thereafter by replacing the Marihuana Tax Act with the newly written Controlled Substances Act while continuing the prohibition of certain drugs in the United States.[1]

Leary v. United States From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leary_v._United_States =====

Leary’s successful overturning, of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, quickly resulted in something even worse: The Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The Controlled Substances Act place both Marijuana and LSD on Schedule 1, which also included drugs such as Heroin.

Controlled Substances Act From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controlled_Substances_Act

Many decades later I have decided to “self identify” as a Perennial Hippie. You can understand what I mean by that through reading through the following links:

===== Hippie From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippie

Perennial philosophy From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perennial_philosophy

The Perennial Philosophy (book) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Perennial_Philosophy_(book) ===== In 1989 I had begun publishing a magazine on Drug Policy (New Age Patriot) which was internationally distributed by 1990. I was also involved in the Hash Bash along with Adam Brook and Rich Birkett even before that. It was around that time that we arranged to have the Hash Bash on the First Saturday in April, rather than on April 1st. That way we figured that the event would draw more activists, which it did. It was also in 1989 that I met Jack Herer (The Emperor Wears No Clothes): possibly the most effective Cannabis Activist in our long history:

Jack Herer From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Herer

In 1990 I used my publication and my involvement in the Hash Bash to start a annual international event to call for the Legalization of Marijuana and an end to the Drug War in general. The event was called International Drug Policy Day (IDPD). I basically encouraged activists to set up an event which I would publish in my magazine. By 1996 IDPD was celebrated in 60 locations around the world: including Warsaw, Russia and South America. I stopped publishing New Age Patriot in 1997 which also ended IDPD. But then activist Dana Beal took the baton and IDPD became the Million Marijuana March which has been celebrated in over 300 locations world wide.

The next important milestone in the Marijuana Movement was the passage of the first Medical Marijuana Initiative in November of 1996. Prop215 was the first state initiative allowing adult to grow their own Cannabis for medical purposes. But of course as Peron once said: “all use is medical use.”

There are so many things that occurred from Prop215 (CA, 1996), to today, that it would take a book to cover it all. But certainly one of the most important Michigan events was the murder of Cannabis Activist Tom Crosslin at Rainbow Farm: about 1 week before the Terror Attack on the World Trade Center (09/01/2001). I spoke at his farm numerous times and sat down to lunch with him on a few occasions as well. In retrospect this is very important as it made clear that the “Deep State” was still more than willing to persecute and kill our activists in order to push back on the inevitable: the full legalization of Marijuana.

Rainbow Farm From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_Farm

Tom Crosslin From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Crosslin

Then in November of 2008 the people of Michigan passed the Medical Marijuana Initiative by 63% of Michigan voters and majorities in ALL Michigan counties. I personally collected about 1200 signatures in order to get this on the ballot. Since we needed over 400,000 signatures this amounted to about 1 in 400. This was backed by the Marijuana Policy Project led by sex offender Kampia and had the same poison pill going back to Prop215: you had to get “a card” to be a grower/caregiver. In my opinion this registry will be used to bust every last grower once the “big boys” get their mega grows up an running. The data mining of “smart meters” will also be used to get growers who have refused to get “a card.” You should not need a fucking “card” to grow Marijuana. You don’t need it to brew beer or make wine at home. We should have been suspicious about the need to have a card from the very beginning!

The Present

Between 2008 and today (April 1st, 2017) both our legislators and monied drug reform groups — NORML, DPA, MPP, etc. — have been pushing “tax, regulation and control” — what is also know as a “seed to sale” model. This was already beginning to occur as early as 2000 by the way.

One of the first assaults on the Medical Marijuana Initiative came in the form of local city ordinances that forbid home growing in cities like Dearborn Heights, Royal Oak, Ferndale and many other cities. This “boiler plate” legislation was pushed through by Municiple Leagues and was an obvious subversion of the will of 63% of Michigan voters.

===== Bruce Cain, resident and drug policy activist, said he’s cautiously optimistic about council’s decision. He said his worry was the city would try to prosecute patients and caregivers who are in compliance with state law. “I’m just relieved you’re doing what you’re doing,” he said. [By the way, I never said that]. Cain said he supports the complete and untaxed legalization of marijuana. It is the only way the country will stop the drug cartels, he said, and it would make cheap medicine widely available. Marijuana is not a dangerous drug, Cain said. He said it should at least be treated the same as alcohol, which is more dangerous.

Heights council OKs ban on marijuana dispensaries Friday, January 14, 2011 http://www.rockindlaw.com/dearborn-heights-passes-ordinance-prohibiting-dispensaries/ =====

Adam Brook — long time Master of Ceremony for the Hash Bash — also spoke out against these ordinances, which I believe led to his arrest and incarceration for owning a gun which he inherited from his father or grandfather.

So here we are today just waiting for the Mega Grows to open: at which point the home growers will be thrown under the bus. I will leave it to the reader to read about what is about to happen to Cannabis in Michigan as the “big boys” move in to monopolize production and distribution. =====

===== LANSING — The medical marijuana industry is poised for explosive growth in Michigan. And new laws seeking to regulate, tax and legitimize the lucrative business have unleashed a torrent of cash at Lansing decision makers, sending dozens of lobbyists, lawmakers, legislative staffers and business owners scrambling for a piece of the billion-dollar enterprise.

All the jockeying is taking place under Michigan’s weakest-in-the-nation laws outlining government ethics, transparency and conflicts of interest. And it’s happening while Lansing awaits Gov. Rick Snyder’s appointment of a five-member board that will ultimately oversee licensing of the industry, raising questions about who will truly benefit from bringing pot to the mainstream.

The stakes are high: While medical marijuana revenues in Michigan are estimated at more than $700 million, if full legalization of marijuana happens, as it has in eight other states, the revenues could be enormous. Arcview Market Research, a California-based company that tracks the marijuana industry, reported $6.8 billion nationally in legal marijuana sales — both recreational and medicinal — in 2016, and projects the market to grow to $21.6 billion by 2021.

New medical marijuana laws set industry ‘on steroids’ http://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2017/03/25/new-medical-marijuana-laws/99430088/

Medical pot draws rich, well-connected investors http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/03/25/medical-pot-marijuana-rich-investors/99415236/

===== * Registered medical marijuana users: 244,125 * Registered caregivers: 40,702 * Estimated sales with new medical marijuana regulations: $711 million * Estimated tax revenues with new law: $21 million * Number of plants for each class of medical marijuana growers: up to 500; up to 1,000; up to 1,500 * Product yield for single marijuana plant: Depending on the strain, 2 ounces to 2 pounds. * Price: $8 to $20 per gram, which would translate into a range of $448 to $18,140 worth of finished product from one marijuana plant.

Medical marijuana by the numbers http://www.freep.com/story/news/pol…

Medical pot: from ballot to regulated industry www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2…

=====

Medical pot laws ignite Lansing feeding frenzy http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/03/25/medical-pot-laws-michigan/99250684/ =====

=====

The Future?

The dream of many of us Hippies — to be able to grow and sell without “tax, regulation and government control” — is fast becoming like the American Dream: you really have to be asleep to believe it.

Under “seed to sale” state governments and millionaire gangapreneurs are going to want every last penny that they lobbied for. So instead of many small growers supporting local communities we will see them herded into the criminal justice system for doing exactly the same thing the “big boys” will be doing: growing and distributing Cannabis. And let us not loose sight of how hypocritical this really is. The very same state governments that have been persecuting Cannabis Consumers/Producers — because Marijuana was so dangerous — are now going to become our New Drug Dealers. And the very same Hippies that optimized the the technology, hybridized new strains etc. will be going to jail. Please, let that sit in for a moment.

Between 2010 and 2012 the Hash Bash was overtaken by dispensary owners like Ream, 3rd Coast (Ypsi) and others. And because of that the last time I was allowed to speak was in 2010, following a speech by John Sinclair. You can watch the video here:

Hash Bash in Ann Arbor and the End of the War On Marijuana (2010) https://www.youtube.com/edit?video_id=TtmVsOg_XZw =====

===== This video contains speeches by John Sinclair and Bruce Cain with introductions by Hash Bash “Master of Ceremonies” Adam Brook. In the second year after Medical Marijuana became legal in Michigan we celebrate the 39th Annual Hash Bash in Ann Arbor Michigan. John Sinclair, the first speaker, is the actual reason the Hash Bash began. In 1970 he was persecuted, as a political prisoner of the state, after facing 10 years in Prison for the possession of 2 Marijuana Cigarettes. In December 1970 John Lennon, of the Beatles, came to Ann Arbor to hold a special concert to raise money for John Sinclair’s defense. Soon after John was free. Bruce Cain is the second speaker and is the author of the MERP Model for Marijuana Re-Legalization. Under this model all adults would be able to “grow their own” untaxed, unregulated and unlimited in the number of plants that they can grow. This is the ONLY way that the Mexican Drug Cartels can be defeated. It is the only way that the sick and the poor will be able to afford Marijuana. And it is the only way that the PIGS (Police Instigating “Grass” Stings) can be prevented from breaking into our homes . . . much like the British broke into the homes of the American Colonists. Both Cain and Sinclair support the right for Americans to grow their own Marijuana without taxation or regulation. We both would like to see Marijuana treated like Beer — where we can presently produce home brew — rather than “hard liquor” where you can purchase, but not produce, your own product.

It appears that NORML, DPA, MPP, Obama . . . and many other “interested” parties (e.g., the Rx and Tobacco industries) want to prevent Americans from “growing their own” in order to monopolize the market and charge $300 to $500 for an ounce of Marijuana when we could essentially grow it ourselves for free. It is worth noting that many members of State Chapters of NORML no longer agree with the “tax and regulate” model. The “tax and regulate” mantra is coming mainly from National Members of NORML, DPA and MPP.

Cain is urging American Citizens to recognize, that for the first time in US history, a majority of American voters now want complete legalization . . . including the right to grow our own.

Vast forces, including the Corporate Controlled Media, are trying to “manufacture consent” for a “tax and regulate” model that will prohibit any significant “self cultivation” in order to serve the greed of those most likely to monopolize the markets: large dispensaries, the federal government, the tobacco industry and the Pharmaceutical industry.

The Mainstream Corporate Media will not allow activists, such a Cain, Sinclair, Herer, Peron etc. explain what they see wrong with a “tax and regulate” model that does not allow self cultivation.

Hash Bash in Ann Arbor and the End of the War On Marijuana (2010) https://www.youtube.com/edit?video_id=TtmVsOg_XZw =====

That was the 15th(?) and last time that I spoke at the Hash Bash. And here is what I had to say about that in 2012.

====== Bruce Cain has been a long time activist who has always believed in the inalienable right of adults to grow their own Marijuana as well as other foods and herbs. He has spoken at 15 of the last 23 events but feels that the Hash Bash has been hijacked by those intent on “taxing, regulating and controlling” it for the benefit of monopolists like Steve DeAngelo of Harborside . . . who will be allowed to speak.

Here are some of the links cited in the video:

“The Obongo Song” for Marijuana Hypocrite Obama – YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3iOHt1RKR8

I also found it unfortunate to hear your other Hash Bash planner, Charmie Gholson, expressing joy over that fact that they are busting white people. This is also unacceptable and some might even argue it to be racist in its own right. No one should be getting busted for growing or consuming Marijuana. Here is the podcast in which she makes the statement:

========================= Charmie Gholson-Comm. for a Safer Michigan, Caitlin Sampson by ROJS Radio Sat, March 3, 2012 At 43:00 Gholson states that she supports taxing Cannabis. Bad girl! At 46:00 It is good white people are getting arrested She is part of Able’s “Repeal Today” http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rojsra…

Why Bruce Cain is not being allowed to speak at 2012 Hash Bash https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeOB6J6g2F8&t=16s =====

If you are a Cannabis consumer or producer you have every right to be pissed off at the current Hash Bash Promoters, the Pseudo Drug Reform organizations and your legislators. And don’t get excited by the two initiatives for 2018. Essentially, unless we act, the door on persona cultivation is shutting fast. The state wants the revenue and the “big boys” are going to be the sole providers to the local dispensaries. Small growers will obviously be thrown under the bus and treated like criminals. And the consumer will be paying through the nose for an herb they could grow themselve for perhaps $20/ounce. Instead you will probably be paying $60 and eighth and $350 per ounce.

So I will end this with links to proposed initiatives by MPP and MI_Legalize. Frankly I don’t know why they would even bother. And neither will do what we first set out to do in the late 1960’s:

* Erase all Marijuana offenses from judicial records. * Allow Marijuana consumers/producers to own a gun. * Allow adults to grow and sell their overage. * Stop the persecution of consumers/producers.

===== MI Legalize 2018: The People of Michigan’s Movement to Legalize Marijuana http://www.milegalize.com/ http://www.milegalize.com/read_the

March 22 Draft Ballot Language Michigan Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol https://www.facebook.com/notes/michigan-coalition-to-regulate-marijuana-like-alcohol/march-22-draft-ballot-language/280551502380931 =====

There is STILL a much better solution: MERP and the Tomato Model

Here are some notes on my MERP Model for legalization as it was in 2009. The basic plan is still better than most that I’ve read but it needs some revision. My web is long gone so this is what I’m left with. MERP is really just a version of what existed since the 60’s: Tomato Model, Hippie Distribution System. At the end of the day it was really structured to insure the “industry” would ALWAYS be dependent on local growers.

===== An Overview of the MERP Model for Marijuana Re-Legalization By Bruce Cain – submitted to NeuroSoup on July 20, 2009 http://www.neurosoup.com/an-overview-of-the-merp-model-for-marijuana-re-legalization/ =====

Frankly I would summarize my better solution this way in April of 2017.

Any adult should be able to have 2-4 1000 Watt lights per home. If you stay within these limits you can sell your overage and law enforcement will be reduced to the authority of a dead ghost on a bright sunny day. And of course you will still retain your 2nd Amendment right to own a gun. I still think THAT is the end game we should be fighting for. And please let me know if you agree. I would also encourage you to join my Facebook group in case I decide to throw my hat back in the ring of this insane “fools crusade.”

Bruce Cain’s Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/BruceCain2016/

Additional Links and Articles on the Hash Bash and Cannabis Policy:

Brad Forrester thread on competing Marijuana initiatives https://www.facebook.com/normlbrad/posts/1341595895961874?comment_id=1343570582431072&reply_comment_id=1345230525598411

More on MERP scattered throughout the web. Google [bruce cain merp] https://www.google.com/#q=bruce+cain+merp&*

===== Bruce Cain, Editor of “New Age Citizen,” talks about the history of Marijuana and how its prohibition is part of a larger Globalist agenda to push us towards a Post-Constitutional New World Order where inalienable rights are no longer guaranteed. He believes that both Obama and McCain have been selected to further this agenda and that citizens should stop legitimizing the “Election Charade” by writing in the names of 3rd Party and Independent Presidential Candidates. He further believes that the American People must organize to stop either candidate from pushing us further toward a Globalist New World Order when one of them becomes our next president in January 2009.

This lecture was given before a “live audience” at the Trumbull-Plex Theatre on Sunday, October 19th, 2008: just 2 weeks before the Presidential Election. The Trumbull-Plex Theatre is located in Detroit, Michigan. He was the featured speaker at this event that was celebrating that Michigan will most probably be the 13th State to Legalize Marijuana for Medicinal use. Bruce Cain encourages the distribution of this video in order to de-legitimize the 2008 Presidential Election and challenge the New World Order in 2009.

If nothing else it is a fact filled journey tracing the history of the animal kingdom’s consensual relationship with mind alterng drugs over the millennia. But it actually goes much further, tracing the role that Marijuana Prohibition has had in the building of a “Technological Cage” by which the New World Order is slowly stripping away the inalienable rights guaranteed by the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Marijuana: Past, Present and Future from Bruce Cain November 2008 https://vimeo.com/2056650

=====

===== Bruce Cain Beyond the semantics it is rather clear that state legislators are taking what the people wanted (e.g., the ability to grow your own) and instead pushing forward with the corporate industrialization of Cannabis. All this is being done in order to trace all production from “seed to sale.” Of course in order to set up such a system it is pretty obvious that, at some point, they will “need” to smother out home growers.

A great case in point would be Michigan which passed one of the most liberal — thought not perfect — Medical Marijuana Initiatives in 2008. Ever since then our legislators have been carving away at that. And now they are setting up the Mega Grows to supply the dispensaries. And once “up and running” your caregivers (home growers) will no longer be able to supply dispensaries.

And once that occurs I predict increase raids on home growers using information from “card” registries and data mining smart meter readings/electrical usage. We are already seeing an uptick in states like CO where “tax and regulate” is further along than in Michigan. To put it in the simplest of terms: state governments smell the potential revenue and they want to be sure they capture all of that revenue. And by hook or by crook their incentive will be to further persecute those that continue to grow their own.

It is quite obvious that this “seed to sale” monopolization will have severe consequences for “home growers.” Since the 60’s millions have eeked out a living growing, trimming Cannabis. Once “seed to sale” is fully implemented these same millions will be left with “working for the man” at perhaps $10/hour and losing the accumulation of knowledge/wisdom that comes from maintaining a sustainable grow: cutting clones, maintaining mother plants, maintaining veg plants, maintaining bloom stage plants, optimizing output etc.

In the decades I have been involved in this “fools crusade” so much time has been spent on the semantics:

* Should we call our plant Marijuana or Cannabis?

* Should we talk about our plan as Legalization of by some other term.

I am a secularist like Jefferson who saw that, beyond the silly miracles, there was a lot of folk wisdom contained in the Bible. And this Bible quote seems quite relevant to the discussion:

God said, “See, I give you every seed-bearing plant that is upon all the earth, and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit; they shall be yours for food. Genesis 1:29

I have yet to see a version of this that states: “I give the corporations every seed bearing plant.”

Over the last 200 years we have seen the rise of the collectivist state.

* The Civil War effectively centralized federal authority.

* The Federal Reserve effectively put the control of our economy in the hands of globalist banks and corporations.

* The Drug War prevented us from growing our own herbs and medicines.

* If Hillary had won the TPP would have been passed and US sovereignty would have been subjugated to global elites (again global banks and corporations).

In all of this the individual has been relegated to a slave of the state. For 60 years small growers have supplied the market place with ample amounts of Cannabis. That system is what we have all been fighting for all of these years. And no matter how you want to slice it this outcome — the corporate industrialization of Cannabis — was NEVER the end game that we fought so hard for.

So regardless, of the semantics, our goal has always been to secure the rights of small growers. This has got to be one of the greatest “bait and switch” outcomes in recent history and it cannot stand. And there is no way you can characterize the corporate industrialization of Cannabis as “legalization” or whatever you want to define as our inalienable right to grow our own foods and herbs.

So at the end of the day — beyond the semantics — this has always been our goal: our inalienable right to grow our own foods and herbs.

Commentary on “What Legalization Wants” https://www.facebook.com/notes/mich… =====

The Terror Preceding 911: Rainbow Farm by Bruce Cain

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77b…

=====

So this lunatic Rick Jones wants sodomy laws and apparently he wants to sodomize us as well. When do we stop putting up with this bullshit?

“It’s time to get marijuana out of houses and put it somewhere else,” Sen. Jones said. “Let the pharmaceutical companies grow it and sell it in pharmacies.” https://www.facebook.com/notes/bruc… =====

Stopping the Michigan Legislatures War on Michigan Cannabis Consumers https://www.facebook.com/notes/bruc…

===== The Ride So Far Words and Music by Bruce W. Cain Copyright 2009

See you driving in you car How you like the drive so far babe? Will you travel very far? Or will the highway fade before your eyes?

You drive around so aimlessly Where was it you hoped to be now? Did you reach your destiny? Are you where you hoped to be today?

Chorus:

There must be a better way than this We need to talk about it They won’t even let us grow a weed It’s time to shout about it

Weed it just a symbol now Of those freedoms I hold sacred I wear this leaf to tell you now We’re here to take our freedoms back today

And all of us is all we need Peace on Earth is what we pray for The love you get will far exceed All the love you’ll ever give away

Refrain:

Come on, Come on, Come on baby Come on down and join the circle Come on little Goddess let’s get high

Come on, Come on, Come on baby Come on down and join the circle Come on everybody let’s get high

The Ride So Far https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKF…

Image may contain: 1 person, text

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What is ALEC?

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2017-meeting-web-banner_stfs

About ALEC

The American Legislative Exchange Council is America’s largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators dedicated to the principles of limited government, free markets and federalism.

ALEC’s activities, while legal,[14] received public scrutiny after being reported by liberal groups in 2011 and after news reports from outlets such as The New York Times and Bloomberg Businessweek described ALEC as an organization that gave corporate interests outsized influence.[8][9] Resulting public pressure led to a number of legislators and corporations withdrawing from the organization.


ALEC is not a lobby; it is not a front group. It is much more powerful than that. Through the secretive meetings of the American Legislative Exchange Council, corporate lobbyists and state legislators vote as equals on ‘model bills’ to change our rights that often benefit the corporations’ bottom line at public expense. ALEC is a pay-to-play operation where corporations buy a seat and a vote on ‘task forces’ to advance their legislative wish lists and can get a tax break for donations, effectively passing these lobbying costs on to taxpayers.

Along with legislators, corporations have membership in ALEC. Corporations sit on ALEC task forces and vote with legislators to approve “model” bills. They have their own corporate governing board which meets jointly with the legislative board. (ALEC says that corporations do not vote on the board.) Corporations fund almost all of ALEC’s operations.

Participating legislators, overwhelmingly conservative Republicans, then bring those proposals home and introduce them in statehouses across the land as their own brilliant ideas and important public policy innovations—without disclosing that corporations crafted and voted on the bills.

ALEC boasts that it has over 1,000 of these bills introduced by legislative members every year, with one in every five of them enacted into law. ALEC describes itself as a “unique,” “unparalleled” and “unmatched” organization. We agree. It is as if a state legislature had been reconstituted, yet corporations had pushed the people out the door.

 

 

ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC’s operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy’s ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.

Corporate Board

For a more complete list of current and former ALEC formerly “Private Enterprise” Advisory Council (formerly “Private Enterprise” Board of Directors) members, see the “Private Enterprise” Board of Directors list. Advisory council corporations have included (members as of June 2014 in bold):[1][2][3]

 

 

 

 

Reference Links:

http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/What_is_ALEC%3F

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/ALEC_Corporations

https://www.alec.org/meeting/2017-spring-task-force-summit-charlotte-north-carolina/

https://www.alec.org/about/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Legislative_Exchange_Council

Trump to order reversal of Obama water regulation rule: official

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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, in Oxon Hill, Maryland, U.S., February 24, 2017.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

By David Shepardson | WASHINGTON

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to sign a measure as early as Tuesday aimed at rescinding a major Obama administration water regulation and direct an end to the government’s defense of the rule, a Trump official briefed on the plan said late Friday.

Trump is expected to direct the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which expands the number of waterways that are federally protected under the Clean Water Act.

The rule was finalized by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in May 2015, and was blocked by a federal appeals court pending further court challenges.

The rule has faced intense opposition from Republicans in Congress, farmers and energy companies.

Critics contend the rule vastly expands the federal government’s authority and could apply to ditches and small isolated bodies of water. The EPA under President Barack Obama said the rule protects waters that are next to rivers and lakes and their tributaries “because science shows that they impact downstream waters.”

A White House spokeswoman did not comment on Friday.

Trump is also expected to issue other environmental executive orders as early as next week, including a reversal of the Obama administration’s clean power plant rule and instructing the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management to lift a ban on new coal mining leases on federal lands.

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt told The Wall Street Journal last week that he planned to quickly withdraw the clean power plant and WOTUS rules. “There’s a very simple reason why this needs to happen: Because the courts have seriously called into question the legality of those rules,” Pruitt told the newspaper.

Withdrawing the water and power plant rules will take time to meet regulatory requirements and will likely face court challenges from some Democratic state attorneys general and environmental groups.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to resolve a dispute over what court should handle challenges of the water regulation.

Also In Politics

The justices said they would hear an appeal by the National Association of Manufacturers of a Cincinnati-based federal appeals court’s ruling that gave itself jurisdiction to review challenges to the Clean Water Act regulation. The industry group wants challenges to the rule to be heard in district courts.

Dozens of agricultural groups, states and municipalities had sued to block the rule. The challengers contend the agencies’ change improperly expanded federal regulatory power.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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Morgellons Disease Scientifically Proven to Occur in Dogs

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Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation Announces Collaborative Study Linking Skin Condition to Canine Lyme Disease

The finding of skin lesions similar to Morgellons disease, first in cattle and now in dogs, confirms that the skin disease is not a delusion, as some have maintained. Marianne Middelveen

AUSTIN, TX (PRWEB) OCTOBER XX, 2016 (PRWEB) (PRWEB) December 07, 2016

Man’s best friend may help solve another mystery. A new study entitled “Canine Filamentous Dermatitis Associated with Borrelia Infection” reveals that a condition similar to human Morgellons disease can occur in dogs. The study was published in the prestigious Journal of Veterinary Science & Medical Diagnosis.

Morgellons disease is an unusual skin condition associated with Lyme disease in humans. It is characterized by skin lesions containing unusual multicolored fibers and symptoms such as fatigue, joint and muscle pain and neurological problems that are typical of Lyme disease. Similar skin lesions have previously been reported in bovine digital dermatitis, an infectious disease of cattle.

The dog study was partially funded by the Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation (CEHMDF) and was conducted by an international team of researchers, including Calgary microbiologist Marianne Middelveen, San Francisco Internist Dr. Raphael Stricker, molecular biologists Dr. Eva Sapi and Dr. Jennie Burke, and Calgary veterinarians Dr. Gheorghe Rotaru and Dr. Jody McMurray.

The dogs in the study presented with unusual fiber-containing skin lesions that lacked other explanations and that failed to respond to non-antibiotic treatments. “Generally-speaking, the fibers we have seen are teal and pink,” explains Dr. Rotaru.“Dogs are hairy, so fibers can be hard to see. Fortunately the fibers fluoresce under UV light, so we have used that diagnostic tool to identify dogs with the skin condition.”

Analysis performed by five different laboratories detected the corkscrew-shaped agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, in canine skin tissue by special staining and DNA analysis. Culture studies showed that the Lyme bacteria in skin were alive. Further analysis of the canine skin fibers showed that they were made of the same proteins as human Morgellons disease fibers.

Most of the owners of the study dogs were healthy and were not familiar with Morgellons disease or Lyme disease; however, two of the owners also had Morgellons disease. “In those cases, we do not have evidence of contact transmission from human to animal or animal to human,” says Dr. Stricker, “it may be that both owner and dog were exposed to the same disease vector.”

“The finding of skin lesions similar to Morgellons disease, first in cattle and now in dogs, confirms that the skin disease is not a delusion, as some have maintained,” said Ms. Middelveen. “We need to learn much more about this mysterious skin condition.”

About the Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation:
The Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation based in Austin, TX, is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization committed to advocacy and philanthropy in the battle against Morgellons. Director, Cindy Casey-Holman, RN, leads the foundation, named for her husband, Charles E. Holman, a pioneer in the fight against MD. The CEHMDF is the recognized authority and primary funding source for Morgellons Disease medical-scientific research. There are neither grants, nor any other public or private funding to support research for Morgellons. Donations are tax deductible in the US. To learn more about Morgellons disease go to http://www.MorgellonsDisease.org

SOURCE LINK

RELATED:

Has KY been infected with “Morgellons Disease”, or is there another type parasite that is being seen in the area?

Jeff Sessions confirmed to be the next attorney general

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By Ashley Killough, Tom LoBianco and Ted Barrett, CNN

Updated 10:25 PM ET, Wed February 8, 2017

Washington (CNN)The Senate voted Wednesday to confirm Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama as the next attorney general, surviving a vocal push by Democrats to derail his nomination.

The 52-47 vote was mostly along party lines, though one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin, joined the Republicans to back their Alabama colleague.

Who voted for and against Sessions

    The final vote for Sessions — one of Trump’s closest advisers and his earliest supporter in the Senate — came after 30 hours of debate from Democrats and a stunning fight between liberal Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Senate Republicans which ended in her being forced to sit down after she was accused of impugning Sessions.

    Sessions said he would resign from his office 11:59 p.m. Wednesday and the White House is scheduled to swear him in Thursday morning.

    “It was a special night,” Sessions told reporters on Capitol Hill after his confirmation. “I appreciate the friendship from my colleagues — even those who, many of them who didn’t feel able to vote for me. They were cordial, and so we continue to have good relations and will continue to do the best I can.”

    The fight over Sessions nomination spurred some of the most jarring, and at times personal attacks, rooted in allegations that Sessions was a racist — claims the Alabama senator and his supporters have fiercely denied. Even early in the nomination process, one of Sessions’ colleagues, Cory Booker, became the first sitting senator to testify against another sitting senator during his confirmation hearing.

    Shortly before the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor to sing the praises of Sessions, after Democrats spent hours criticizing him.

    “He’s just a likable guy, one of the most humble and most considerate people you’ll ever meet,” McConnell said. “He’s a true Southern gentleman.”

    While some left-leaning groups issued statements promising to stand up and continue raising awareness about their disagreements with Sessions, Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe questioned how effective they could be in trying to keep up the fight.

    “What are they going to do? He’s the attorney general. Where does the fight start? Where’s the ammunition?” He said to reporters.

    In the debate Tuesday evening, after Republicans already blocked a Senate filibuster, Warren reignited that debate by reading from a 1986 letter Coretta Scott King sent opposing Sessions for a federal judgeship.

    “‘Anyone who has used the power of his office as United States Attorney to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the ballot by citizens should not be elevated to our courts,'” Warren read from King’s letter. McConnell accused Warren of impugning Sessions on the Senate floor — a violation of Senate rules — and after a series of procedural votes, she was forced to sit down and stop debating.

    Warren’s censure and subsequent reaction continued to largely overshadow the Sessions fight in the hours before his vote, but the Massachusetts Democrat told CNN’s Manu Raju said Sessions, whom she served with in the chamber, is just the latest example of a poor Cabinet choice.

    “We may not have the votes to stop him,” she said, “but we sure as hell need to make it clear to the Republicans and to the American people exactly who Donald Trump is putting in charge of our government.”

    Sessions was ultimately blocked from a federal judgeship and carried that battle scar into Wednesday’s final confirmation battle.

    Democrats not done yet on nominees

    Democrats are expected to repeat the same 30-hour debate plan for Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Tom Price and could easily drag the fight over Treasury pick Steven Mnuchin into the weekend.

    Tuesday, Betsy DeVos was confirmed, 51-50, in a battle that sparked impassioned protests and the flooding of Senate switchboards by angry Democrats and liberal activists.

    The tactics have yet to work in actually defeating any of Trump’s Cabinet picks, but they have fired up a base of Democratic and liberal activists irate over a series of Trump actions, not least of which was picking a Republican mega-donor in DeVos to run the Department of Education.

    “When you get millions of calls and demonstrations and a nominee is exposed for being who they are, it’s going to have a profound and positive effect, even if she gains office. So we’re very happy with the results and we’re going to continue them,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday.

    But Republicans have chafed at what they call “historic obstruction” and have argued that Trump needs his team in place.

    “This is the slowest time for a new Cabinet to be up and running since George Washington. This level of obstruction at the beginning of an administration is really record-setting in a very unfortunate way. It’s really time for our friends on the other side to get over the election, let this administration get up and get running,” McConnell said Tuesday.

    The only nominee who appears to be in any trouble at this point is Labor secretary pick Andrew Puzder, who is embroiled in controversy following news that he hired an undocumented worker to clean his house and was forced to pay back taxes. A series of Republicans on the Senate panel tasked with vetting him declined to say Tuesday whether they still supported Puzder.

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    CREDO Statement on KXL and DAPL Executive Orders

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    For Immediate Release

    Tuesday, January 24, 2017 – 10:30am

    Credo Action

    Contact:

    Email: citizenaction@credoaction.com

    CREDO Staetment on KXL and DAPL Executive Orders

    WASHINGTON –

    CREDO released the statement below in response to reports that Pres. Trump plans to sign executive orders to advance construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines:

    “President Trump is showing that he’s in the pocket of big corporations and foreign oil interests,” said CREDO Deputy Political Director Josh Nelson. “Approving these dirty oil pipelines would poison American air and water, supercharge climate change and trample Native American rights,” Nelson continued. “Fierce grassroots activism has stopped these pipelines over and over again,” he added. “CREDO will do everything in its power to stop the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, and keep dirty fossil fuels in the ground where they belong.”

    CREDO has played a major role in the fights against the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. CREDO’s work against the Keystone XL pipeline includes:
    97,000 ACTIVISTS SIGNED THE KEYSTONE XL PLEDGE OF RESISTANCE: During the Obama administration, more than 97,000 people signed the Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance, committing to risk arrest in peaceful, dignified civil disobedience, if needed to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. As part of the Pledge of Resistance, thousands of activists have been trained to lead or participate in direct actions where they would risk arrest.

    MORE THAN 4 MILLION PETITION SIGNATURES: CREDO Activists generated more than 4.3 million petition signatures in opposition to Keystone XL.

    MORE THAN 500,000 PUBLIC COMMENTS: CREDO activists submitted 511,000 public comments to President Obama’s state department in opposition to Keystone XL.
    MORE THAN 40,000 PHONE CALLS IN OPPOSITION TO KEYSTONE XL: CREDO Activists made 42,804 phone calls to the White House, the State Department, the EPA, Members of Congress and others in opposition to Keystone XL.
    283 PROTEST VIGILS ATTENDED BY MORE THAN 10,000 ACTIVISTS: Just 72 hours after the release of the State Department’s final environmental impact statement, CREDO organized 283 protest vigils in 49 states, with more than 10,000 total participants. It was the biggest, rapid-response, on-the-ground demonstration of Obama’s presidency to date.
    CREDO’s work against the Dakota Access pipeline includes:
    400,000+ PETITION OBAMA TO REJECT PIPELINE: More than 418,000 CREDO members  signed CREDO’s petition demanding that President Obama intervene and stop the Dakota Access pipeline. Specifically, the petition calls on the president to “direct the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to revoke the permits under ‘Nationwide Permit 12’ and stop the Dakota Access pipeline once and for all.” The full petition can be found here:http://act.credoaction.com/sign/NoDAPL/

    NEARLY 3,000 #NoDAPL CALLS TO THE WHITE HOUSE: CREDO members made more than 2,800 calls to the White House urging President Obama to stop the Dakota Access pipeline. View the current number of calls and call script here:http://act.credoaction.com/call/call_obama_dapl/

    180,000+ PETITION OBAMA AND GOV. DALRYMPLE TO UPHOLD FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS: More than 189,000 CREDO members signed a petition urging Pres. Obama and North Dakota Gov. Dalrymple to “uphold the rights of Native Americans and their allies to peacefully resist the Dakota Access pipeline without threat of violence.” The full petition can be found here:http://act.credoaction.com/sign/dapl_assault/

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    CREDO Action, part of CREDO Mobile, is a social change network of 4 million activists, sending millions of petition signatures and more than 100,000 phone calls to decision-makers each year. CREDO Action members also participate in meetings, protests and other direct action for progressive change.

    Organization Links

    Credo Action

    SOURCE LINK

    ADDITIONALLY:

    Trump Pins Keystone and Dakota Pipeline Fate on Renegotiation

     

    President Donald Trump took steps to advance construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines while foreshadowing a “renegotiation” of terms and insisting that developers use U.S. steel.

    Trump stopped short of green lighting construction on either project, and reiterated an earlier campaign pledge to seek a “better deal” on TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Keystone XL to transport Alberta oil sands crude into the U.S. On Tuesday, Trump called that “something that’s been in dispute and subject to a renegotiation of terms by us.”

    “We are going to renegotiate some of the terms, and if they like, we’ll see if we can get that pipeline built,” Trump said. “If we’re going to build pipelines in the United States, the pipes should be made in the United States.”

    CONTINUE READING…

    ADDITIONAL LINKS OF INFORMATION:

    President Donald Trump took steps to advance construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines while foreshadowing a “renegotiation” of terms and insisting that developers use U.S. steel.    https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-01-24/trump-said-to-plan-orders-approving-keystone-dakota-pipelines

     

    Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reacts to Trump’s executive orders to advance construction of DAPL    http://www.kfyrtv.com/content/news/Standing-Rock-Sioux-Tribe-reacts-to-Trumps-executive-orders-to-advance-construction-of-DAPL-411666255.html

    5 Disturbing DAPL Developments You Need to Know      http://www.ecowatch.com/dapl-trump-missile-launch-2203044415.html

    The fight to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) wages on. Just this week law enforcement used tear gas and fired bean-bag rounds to disperse crowds and arrested nearly 40 people since Monday, the Billings Gazette reported. One Water Protector appears to have suffered a nasty wound in his leg after an alleged confrontation with an officer on Thursday (warning, the photo is graphic).   But that’s not the only concerning news story developing around the controversial project.     http://www.ecowatch.com/dapl-trump-missile-launch-2203044415.html

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