Ivanka Preaches 'Eat Organic' While Dad Reverses Ban On Pesticide Chlorpyrifos

As a progressive independent, Ivanka Trump talked a good game -- advocating on countless opinions that differ with the core beliefs of the mostly white men who occupy positions of power in the Trump administration.  One can track Ivanka Trump's silence on a daily basis as her father decimates countless programs and safeguards for American families. 

Ivanka's latest silence mode -- as a key adviser to her father -- fell over the president's decision to give a reprieve to Dow Chemical's pesticide chlorpyrifos. Dow CEO Andrew Liveris is the head of President Trump's new American Manufacturing Council. Oh, and he also donated $1 million to Trump's inauguration. Before his election as president, Trump called activities like this "pay to play" and he promised to end them as he cleaned up the DC swamp. What a hoot!!!

Writing for The Daily Beast, Michael Daly fills in the details of Ivanka's "mum's the word" stance in spraying fruits and veggies with a pesticide due to be banned for agricultural use after more than 24 studies finding "chlorpyrifos to be  a neurotoxin that very likely affects the development of children’s brains, most particularly if the exposure is prenatal." The pesticide was banned in residential use 17 years ago. 

Ivanka's health coach for IvankaTrump.com agrees, saying: “The average conventional apple is sprayed with over 45 different chemicals, including six that are known or suspected carcinogens, 16 suspected hormone disruptors, five neurotoxins (a.k.a brain cell killers), and six developmental or reproductive toxins… It is definitely worth the premium price tag.”

In the Trump administration, the advice to "eat organic" as espoused by his dear daughter Ivanka is only for the elite, who must protect children's brains for the elite at all cost. As for the rest of America's children, "let them eat cake" as the expression goes. Or specifically from her father's Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, let the kids eat chlorpyrifos. 

As an aside, the Trump the president believes that autism and vaccinations are connected. But he apparently has no concerns about research like this 2014 article about a California study reported in Scientific American saying: "When women in the second trimester lived near fields treated with chlorpyrifos – the most commonly applied organophosphate pesticide – their children were 3.3 times more likely to have autism, according to the study."

We don't know what causes autism, but for Trump to speak openly about vaccinations and autism -- without a single scientific study confirming the risk because the one small study was withdrawn as discredited -- and then reward his pay-to-play Dow chemical CEO with a pass on chlorpyrifos is pretty darn hard to comprehend.

Spanish Women Face Hate Crime Charges Over Plastic Vagina Protest

Three women who staged a 2014 May Day protest are facing charges of "crimes against religious sentiment" for parading "a plastic vagina a couple of metres high in the style of the Virgin Mary", according to court papers. 

The protest was designed to highlight issues of discrimination against women in the workplace and also restrictions on women's reproductive health as part of the national Workers’ Day march in Seville by the Spanish union the General Workers' Confederation (CGT).

The legal case was already dismissed in Spain's judicial system but the Association of Christian Lawyers appealed the decision and the previous judge's ruling that "not believing in the dogmas of a religion and manifesting it publicly falls under the freedom of expression". The new case claims to contain 'new evidence' that the protest was a deliberate insult to "religious sentiments of Cathlics' with "a mockery of the Easter procession."

Lawyers for the three women contend that there was no intention to offend in the act. One attorney Pastora Filigrana says:

"The objective was to reclaim the right to a choice [to have an abortion] as well as to workers' rights. There were no insults to churchgoers nor was the action directed at the Church. There were no crosses." via

Meet Emily Steel, Dedicated New York Times Reporter Who Is Bill O'Reilly Enemy #1

Marie Claire interviews New York Times reporter Emily Steel, who insists "I'm not the story" when talking about Bill O'Reilly's epic fall at Fox News. Perhaps not, but the investigative research approach that she took, together with her Times colleague Michael S. Schmidt, was absolutely awesome, inventive, meticulous and truly original. 

Three weeks ago, Steel and Schmidt dropped their explosive Times article, documenting settlements with at least five accusers over the last 15 years, to the hefty sum of $13 million. Within two days of their report, over 50 advertisers had fled O'Reilly's show. And now he's gone from his perch as the biggest anchor on cable TV.

We learn that Emily Steel has been a thorn in O'Reilly's big toe for years. She reported on his false claims about covering the Falklands War in the 1980s, when he was actually in Buenos Aires more than 1,000 miles away.  "I am coming after you with everything I have," O'Reilly said in an on-the-record phone call to Steel. "You can take it as a threat."

She may wear pearls and a pussycat bow blouse, but Steel doesn't scare easily. With the strong backing of their editor, the two reporters continued to mine Fox News for sexual harassment stories. 

In her more defeated moments, Steel found inspiration—in an instance of life imitating art imitating life—in the movie Spotlight. "I would listen to what Rachel McAdams would say. She would say things like, 'The words are really important.' And when we're telling these stories, the details are really specific," she says. She tried mimicking McAdams' character, Sacha Pfeiffer of the Boston Globe. "I'd say to sources, 'I know it's hard and I know it's scary, but we need to know. We need to know.'"

Steel put in the time to get those sources to trust her. "I think my editors thought I was crazy because I would spend two or three hours on the phone at a time, just to make people feel comfortable and get them to talk. But that's what it took," she says. "When you're talking about something that's so sensitive like sexual harassment, you can't just call somebody up and say, 'What happened to you?' You need to make them feel comfortable."

Steel's biggest get was Wendy Walsh, and Marie Claire writer Kaitlin Menza shares a good story.  The article doesn't share the background on Steel and Schmidt watching endless hours of Fox News footage, documenting women on air and then suddenly gone. This included not only the obvious Fox anchors but female experts who regularly appeared on O'Reilly shows and then 'poof', no more.

A cardboard cut-out of Donald Trump leans against a window in the New York Times building, not that any of the reporters and editors could forget about him. But Steel finds the present a "really invigorating" time to work in journalism.

"It's given people a sense of purpose of why we're doing the work that we do," she says.


Beyoncé Launches Formation Scholars With Four Full 2017/2018 Scholarships For Young Women

Beyoncé used the first anniversary of 'Lemonade', the world's best-selling album in 2016, to launch Formation Scholars -- full college scholarships for four young women -- one for each of the participating institutions: Berklee College of Music, Howard University, Parsons School of Design and Spelman College, her site explains. 

"To add to the celebration of the one-year anniversary of Lemonade, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter announces the establishment of Formation Scholars awards for the 2017-2018 academic year, to encourage and support young women who are unafraid to think outside the box and are bold, creative, conscious and confident."

Scholarships may only be used by women for the study of creative arts, music, literature or African-American studies.  The funding is part of the #BeyGOOD initiative, an organization which has in the past provided funding for such causes as those affected by the Flint water crisis and to homeless populations and sick children around the world.