Recently in the past two weeks, the U.S. fired the GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), or “Mother of All Bombs,” into a network of tunnels filled with ISIS fighters in Afghanistan. Killing at least ninety-four ISIS militants terrorizing the Afghan people, a majority of the citizens of Afghanistan supported this bomb dropped. This weapon, MOAB, was the first time the United States military have used it.
The bomb was dropped from the C130 Hercules jet and guided to its target with a GPS of sorts. It accelerated thirty-two feet per second from where it was dropped causing it to be pulled down by gravity at insane speeds. The bomb has a one mile range and practically flattened everything in its blast radius. Despite the high casualty rate of this air strike, ISIS fighters continue to attack American troops and Afghan security forces, which led the U.S. to threaten to call in more airstrikes to known militant positions throughout Afghanistan.
Along with last week’s event of MOAB, Bashar al-Assad committed genocide against the Syrian peoples in Khan Sheikhoun. After this chemical attack, the United States responded by holding the entire Assad regime accountable for the blatant human rights violations. Killing around five-hundred thousand innocent lives, the United States is taking Syria’s disregard for human rights seriously. It is intended that all financial networks that participated in the making of chemical weapons, used to attack these many innocent lives, will be shut down. Though, it is little known that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons before. “In response to findings by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons – United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism, that the Syrian regime was responsible for three chlorine gas attacks in 2014 and 2015,” A recent press release stated, shedding new light on chemical attacks by Assad. Why he has committed genocide against the people of Syria; a mystery. Just the week after the 2017 chemical attacks took place, China and Russia vetoed a United Nations resolution that was backed up by the West, the resolution imposing sanctions in Syria of its chemical weapons.
“It was the seventh time that Russia, Syria’s top military ally, has used its veto power to shield the Damascus regime,” AFP reported. The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, claimed it was “completely inappropriate” to impose sanctions on their ally, Syria, believing that it would disrupt the peace talks with them.
Last week, the Alliance for Global Justice was paid fifty grand from George Soros to fund “Rufuse Fascism” to get a group of conservatives and libertarian speakers to cease their speeches; of course, they were already funded by $2.2 million. That week, a gay libertarian speaker, Milo Yiannopoulos, spoke in Berkeley. The riot outside, the people calling themselves “Anti-Fascists,” started fires, smashed windows as well as ATM machines, looted stores in the shopping district area, destroyed cars, assaulted Milo’s fans of both gender, and accused his fans of being “Nazis.” Only one of the
participants of the riot was arrested while many policemen and women refused to intervene with the act.
Online, the Alliance of Global Justice posted on Twitter many hate comments against Milo and his fans, still accusing him and them of being Nazis, homophobic, as well as a great amount of inappropriate hateful names. A minority of celebrities did the same, yet took down the posts as did the Alliance of Global Justice. When the riot was coming to an end, Milo and his staff came back to a trashed tour bus with
many of the staff’s belongings stolen by the rioters. Milo and his staff had to then leave early from the premises because of their location being leaked online, leading to the riot outbreaking more so. A week after, four of whom were participating in the riot were arrested for vandalizing Milo’s vehicle and stealing his staff’s belongings.
Woman’s March…Story by Audrey Moore
Hundreds of thousands of women gathered in Washington as a sort of “counter-inauguration” after president Trump took office on January 20th, starting at 10:00 AM and ending at 5:00 PM. They were joined by crowds in cities across the country. In Chicago, the amount of people quickly outgrew the estimated amount of participants, and for safety reasons had to be canceled. In
Manhattan, a sea of pink hats had formed, in Downtown Los Angeles, even before the gathered crowd marched it had taken up a quarter mile deep on several streets. In Boston, the numbers had grown to 175,000. Most men and women sporting “pink pussy hats” by wearing hats with cat ears.
“A separate group of about 30 Trump supporters held a rally in Sydney. The police restrained some of them, blocking them from entering the same area as the Trump protest group.”(-CNNpoliticts.)
The idea of the women’s march was started on Facebook by Teresa Shook, a retired attorney, and grandmother of four from Hawaii. She suggested the march on the night of the inauguration, and by the time she went to bed had 40 R.S.V.PS to march. The march performed the day after president Trump’s inauguration on January 21st. Officials who organized the marches said that there were 600 marches that happen around the world.
The most popular speeches at the march were that of Ashely Judd, and Madonna. Madonna claiming to think a lot about “blowing up the white house” and Judd going on in her speech “I am a Nasty Woman” about how Trump is incestuous and a pedophile stating that “I am not as nasty as your own daughter being your favorite sex symbol. Like your wet dreams infused with your own genes” and that Trump is the new Hitler, as she can “feel Hitler on these streets, a mustache traded for a toupee.” “Electric convulsion therapy the new gas chambers.”
“We want to ensure that this country knows women are not happy,” co-founder Tamika Mallory said. “And when we get angry, change happens. We make things happen.” “This effort is not anti-Trump,”
Mallory said. “This is pro-women. This is a continuation of a struggle women have been dealing with for a very long time. In this moment, we are connecting and being as loud as possible.”
Following the march, the organizers have moved on to protest the acts that Trump has established on the first hundred days of his presidency.
On January 24th, the president officially pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, ending the ongoing efforts dating back to 2010. TPP aimed to free up tariffs and trade barriers between fourteen Pacific countries, the wealth of which added up to 40% of the world’s GDP. The deal was spearheaded by Obama’s administration, but over the campaign trail Trump rallied against it, citing globalism as a threat to American jobs.
The world’s response has been quick—in a recent Davos conference China’s President Xi Jinping attended and acted as a leader in free trade, stating, “No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war.” Jinping went on to explain how the US abandoned its role as a leader in capitalism, and as such, China was forced into this position.
In fact, an intended effect of TPP was to isolate China economically
from their neighbors. With the collapse of the deal, the reverse is quite possible—Australia cited possible deals with China, and New Zealand still hopes for a deal without US involvement. General diplomacy with the region has not been positive anyway, with a hostile phone call between the Australian Prime Minister and President Trump, and the development of Chinese encroachment on the South China Sea.
The president seems more than willing to use trade as a tool with which to negotiate, as seen with threats of an import tax on Mexican goods based on Mexican retaliation over the proposed wall, raising the possibility of a 20% tariff. This would contradict NAFTA, another
trade agreement including Canada, the US, and Mexico. NAFTA was the source of many campaign attacks from President Trump, despite evidence showing negligible economic impact on American workers.
Another example of dealing over trade was seen last week, with the British Prime Minister May’s visit to the US. In the press conference both leaders stressed
the “$1 trillion invested in each other’s economies” and “future economic cooperation and trade.” The meeting set a different tone to a traditionally protectionist President Trump, and shared optimistic views on the speed of such a deal. However, with Britain leaving the European Union’s trade zone and America pulling out of other such agreements, the two countries are likely to embrace bilateral trade.
President Trump’s official website calls for “tough and fair agreements” and does not hold back from threatening US withdrawal on deals such as NAFTA. However, most of the claims are vague and do not inform much—for example, the page says that negotiators will be the “toughest and smartest” yet doesn’t give any names or direct policy. Based on this aggressive approach, it is likely that the President will look for strategies as if they were being directed by a business. Whether this approach will reap benefits is yet to be seen.
Well, no one ever said transitions went off without a hitch. Changing entire teams of people and appointing new heads to different agencies tends to be a bit complicated, and sometimes things get changed around.
However, asking the Environmental Protective Agency to remove the page for climate change from its website is a big change (pun intended), with far-reaching implications.
That’s allegedly what the Trump administration told the EPA to do on Tuesday, January 24, or so allegations say. Employees of the agency were notified by EPA officials that the administration had requested the communications team at the agency to delete the climate change page from the official EPA website.
This move isn’t exactly unexpected; it’s just the next step by the Trump administration to eliminate the climate change initiatives put into place by the previous President, Barack Obama.
The sources from inside the agency asked to remain anonymous, not wanting to risk retribution from the administration for breaking a gag order put in place during the transition. Since then, the page itself has stayed more or less intact, seemingly contradicting reports.
In addition to the purported editing of the website, a statement given by Doug Erickson, a spokesman for the transition team, stated
that EPA scientists will likely have their work reviewed on a “case-by-case” basis before they are allowed to publish or present their findings. If such a system were to be enacted within the agency, it would directly contradict the scientific integrity policy put into place to prevent censorship and misuse of EPA findings.
The administration responded to the claims on Wednesday, with Press Secretary Sean Spicer stating: “No, there is nothing that has come from the White House. Absolutely, not.” This was in response to a question asking if the administration had sent out a mandate stopping the discussion of climate change.
President Trump has expressed doubts about the reality of climate change in the past, and previously called it a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese to make US manufacturing non-competitive in a tweet back in 2012. He has since been more open to the idea, but has made it clear that companies and businesses’ interests come first. The removal of any and all reference to climate change on the official White House website when Donald Trump took office seems to be in keeping with his stance. President Trump has stated in the past that he will pull America out of the historic Paris agreement reached by
the United Nations in November last year. The agreement seeks to “undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, with enhanced support to assist developing countries to do so.” Its goal is to limit warming of the atmosphere to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Signed by more than a hundred countries, included massive carbon polluters like the US and China, the agreement would essentially require the world to become ‘carbon-neutral,’ (abandoning fossil fuels), by mid-century or earlier.
The US leaving the agreement could inspire other countries to do the same, and could have serious impacts on the effectiveness of the agreement moving forward.
Trump has since backed off a little, stating that he has an “open mind” towards the agreement and that he is “watching it very closely.”
Meanwhile, the battle to confirm President Trump’s proposed head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, continues. Pruitt has been opposed to the EPA in the past, siding with business and fossil fuel companies in several cases. In his role as Oklahoma’s attorney general, he has either led or aided in 14 separate lawsuits against the Environmental Protective Agency. He has faced heavy opposition from many on the left and even a few on the right.
After a second day of Democratic senators boycotting the confirmation vote, Republicans suspended committee rules to push Pruitt’s confirmation through. Democrats point to his anti-regulation stance and concern that he did not adequately answer questions sent to him after his confirmation hearing. One such offense is apparent when he declined to say if he would excuse himself from ongoing cases against the EPA if he is confirmed as its new leader.
Opponents call attention to his substantial ties and financial support from the oil and gas industry, and his skepticism on the concept of climate change.
Their concerns are backed by nearly 450 former EPA employees, who urged Congress on Monday to reject Pruitt, and current EPA employees in Chicago, who participated in a downtown rally urging the Senate to reject the nomination.
“Our perspective is not partisan,” reads the letter from 447 former EPA employees who have served under Republican and Democratic administrations. “However, every EPA administrator has a fundamental obligation to act in the public’s interest…Mr. Pruitt’s record raises serious questions about whose interests he has served to date and whether he agrees with the long-standing tenets of U.S. environmental law.”
All of this turbulence leaves the EPA and climate regulations in the US in a state of flux. If Pruitt is confirmed as the head of the EPA, it will certainly have far-reaching and impactful
consequences. If he is denied, critics of his industry ties and anti-EPA mindset may get a chance for a more sympathetic candidate.
Americans must decide what they want to be done about climate change, and petition their senators to vote in their interests. They must make a decision; reject Pruitt and maintain the administrative and regulatory power of the EPA, or approve him, and weaken environmental regulations and clean air & water initiatives in exchange for more big business and fossil fuels.