Rebekah Sager

Eric Clapton now funding anti-vaxxer musicians group in the UK

I think it's time we all simply agree that Eric Clapton is a racist, right-wing, anti-vaxxer nutjob. Deny as he might that his tirades are just drug- or alcohol-fueled outbursts if it walks like a duck and quacks like a bigot, it's a bigoted ignoramus.

So I guess it's no surprise that Clapton, once again, revealed his true colors by donating £1,000 recently to a GoFundMe page to help support the group Jam for Freedom started by Cambel McLaughlin, 27. The group comprises "pro-medical choice" musicians in the U.K. who play for free while spreading their anti-lockdown, anti-vaxxer, anti-mask toxic propaganda.

McLaughlin told Rolling Stone magazine when the money turned up in the GoFundMe account, he initially thought it was a joke. So he emailed the account associated with the donation and struck up a relationship with the 60s icon himself.

According to the Jam for Freedom website, the group "is spearheading the pro-freedom revolution happening globally as a response to restrictions on our basic human rights to work, travel and live," gratefully supported by Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, members, and public donation.

Clapton, 76, claims that his AstraZeneca vaccine caused him "disastrous" side effects, leading him to become a vocal vaccine skeptic. He recently joined Van Morrison to record a song called Stand And Deliver, and another on his own, titled This Has Gotta Stop, a protest anthem of sorts against his vaccine and the lockdowns in the U.K.

"I took the first jab of AZ and straight away had severe reactions which lasted ten days. I recovered eventually and was told it would be twelve weeks before the second one," Clapton wrote in a letter to Robin Monotti, according to Rolling Stone.

"About six weeks later I was offered and took the second AZ shot, but with a little more knowledge of the dangers. Needless to say the reactions were disastrous, my hands and feet were either frozen, numb, or burning, and pretty much useless for two weeks, I feared I would never play again, (I suffer from peripheral neuropathy and should never have gone near the needle.) But the propaganda said the vaccine was safe for everyone…"

In July, Clapton announced he would not play any venue where vaccines were mandated for the audience.

"Following the PM's announcement on Monday the 19th of July 2021 I feel honour bound to make an announcement of my own: I wish to say that I will not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present," Clapton said in a statement posted to his friend Robin Monotti's Telegram account. "Unless there is provision made for all people to attend, I reserve the right to cancel the show. Eric Clapton."

He launched a U.S. tour in September, booked only in red states and only at venues that don't require vaccines or proof of a negative COVID-19 test. While in Texas he posed with anti-abortion, anti-mandate, and hater of gender-neutral toy aisles Gov. Greg Abbott.

As for the 18-time Grammy winner's history of racist comments, we travel back to an 1976 concert in Birmingham, England, where in a drunken stupor the famed guitarist began slamming immigrants, saying Britain must stop itself from becoming a "black colony," they should leave Great Britain, screaming, "Get the wogs out ... get the coons out." (Wog is shorthand for "golliwog," or anyone who is not white).

Since then, and over the years, Clapton has apologized/not apologized, explained, defended himself, paid tribute to Black musicians then slurred Black musicians, and laughed off his comments. But, all in all, he's never truly stepped away from offensive things he's said.

Now he's going after vaccines because he had a bad reaction, and he's offering plenty of fodder for the right.

Conservative talking head Michael Knowles tweeted, "Eric Clapton is a much more credible person than Dr. Fauci." He told Rolling Stone reporter David Browne that "Clapton isn't pontificating about matters of science or health — he's discussing his own experience with this vaccine," he says. "I think in many ways Eric Clapton does have more credibility on this question and many others than Dr. Fauci does."

PA attorney general announces slew of environmental charges against pipeline developer

Pennsylvania's attorney general, the man behind the explosive investigation into the Catholic Church's decades-long cover-up of sexual abuse of over 1,000 children, and who took Postmaster Louis DeJoy to court, arguing that DeJoy's cuts could damage citizens' trust and confidence in the mail, announced a slew of environmental charges against a notorious energy company on Tuesday.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro held a news conference Tuesday at the location where Energy Transfer, the corporate successor to Sunoco Pipeline LP, spilled thousands of gallons of drilling fluid last year. Shapiro announced 48 criminal charges against Energy Transfer related to the construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline—most of them for releasing industrial waste at 22 sites in 11 counties across the state, including contaminating the water supplies of at least 150 families.

Additionally, one charge is a felony for willfully and consistently failing to report the releases to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

The Mariner East pipeline project crosses 17 counties in the southern tier of Pennsylvania and moves natural gas liquids from the Marcellus Shale gas field to an export terminal near Philadelphia. The spill took place during the construction of the pipeline.

"There is a duty to protect our air and water, and when companies harm these vital resources through negligence — it is a crime," AG Shapiro said at the press conference. "By charging them, we can both seek to hold them criminally accountable and send a clear message to others about how seriously we take protecting the environment and public health."

According to the Associated Press, Energy Transfer acknowledged that Shapiro was investigating alleged criminal misconduct involving the construction and related activities of the Mariner East pipeline.

Energy Transfer has paid more than $16.4 million in fines for polluting waterways and contaminating water wells, including a $12.6 million fine in 2018, one of the largest ever imposed by the state Department of Environmental Protection, AP reports.

"Under our state laws, if convicted, this company will be sentenced to fines and restitution," Shapiro said in a statement. "There is no jail time for these environmental crimes, and fines are not enough. That's why we are, once again, calling for stronger laws to hold these companies accountable and protect Pennsylvanians' health, and demanding DEP toughen up the independent oversight we need them to provide for the industries they regulate."

The Delaware County District Attorney's office was the first to refer this case to the attorney general and assigned a prosecutor from its Environmental Crimes Unit to work with the Pennsylvania DA's office on this case.

"Pennsylvania's criminal prosecutors have made it clear that the environment and our communities will be protected, using the tools that the criminal justice system offers. I have established a unit dedicated to Environmental Crimes prosecutions that have supported this investigation and we will continue the fight for environmental justice," Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said in a statement.

Of course Mariner East 2 pipeline is just one in a long line of reasons why environmental changes need to be made. Just last weekend, millions of beachgoers were likely exposed to toxic pollutants after local officials made the decision not to notify the public about a mammoth oil spill that took place the night before, just off the Southern California coast. You can read the full story about that spill here.

Huntington Beach city officials closed the beachfront from Huntington Beach Pier down to Newport Beach and Dana Point to begin cleanup on the 5.8-mile oil plume—about 13 square miles in size.

Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley writes on Twitter that dead birds and fish continue to wash ashore. The pipeline leak, connected to an offshore oil platform know as Elly, reportedly seeped into Talbert Marsh in Huntington Beach, home to about 90 species of birds, according to the Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy.

On Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency due to the spill.

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