Last week, U.S. District Court Judge William O. Bertelsman dismissed Nick Sandmann's $250 million defamation suit against The Washington Post for its stories about a mythical racist hate-crime allegedly committed by Sandmann, a Catholic schoolboy, against fake war hero and "Indigenous Person" Nathan Phillips.
U.S. Coast Guard Day honors the military branch that protects our waters and shorelines. The U.S. Defense Department suggests that this day is largely an internal celebration for all Coast Guard personnel and their families, past and present. But, we'd like to encourage everyone to honor the brave members of this important branch of the military.
Celebrate U.S. Coast Guard Day by learning more about the responsibilities and functions of the U.S. Coast Guard. They are now playing an even more extensive role in Homeland Security to protect our country.
We here at the Sun Bay Paper salute all Coast Guard personnel today and every day. We hope you do, too.
So that we understand each other…there are normal Democrat people, with common sense, not a lot, but who believe in our Rule of Law, our Constitution and our Republic with equal rights for ALL. They have more liberal opinions on things than us but…for the most part they aren’t nuts, like the Democraps! We even have many as friends and they are traditional Democrats and good people….
Then there are those who have no honor, no conscience, no plan except for self promotion and an insatiable appetite for money and power. They would sell their own mothers to become President of this great Nation, to change it to a Socialist Nation. “Some”, to their credit …even, actually stopped trying to hide their beliefs , 'came out of the closet', so to speak and admit they’re either commie ,red, pinko’s or Socialist Democrats or Democrat Socialists or Socialist Muslims or Progressive Socialist Democrat Modified Progressive Bisexual Democraps! They define my new word…DEMOCRAP.
All they spew is ridiculous, Fairytale, impossible, implausible, unattainable, “nutso” ideas that no 5th grader would even recommend. For example, I want you to assume that 82% of your electric power comes from fossil fuel and most of the rest from 98 nuclear plants in 30 States. Less than 10% comes from other sources like hydro, solar wind, and the hot air spewing from the lips of Democraps.
Now I want you to understand that what I am about to tell you is FACTUAL…not made up by me or a grade school 1st grader or a homeless crack head. It comes from most of the 20 Democrap hopefuls you just saw on the Democrat Debate. In their New Green Deal…the one that AOC thought up, the one that they almost all promoted but none voted for( that is very telling, isn’t it?) they tell us they want to eliminate “ all fossil fuel and nuclear power plants and eliminate entirely our dependence on fossil fuel, in 12 years”! Really?! They plan on grounding all air travel that depends on fossil fuel and to eliminate totally the use of oil, natural gas and coal!!!!
WITH WHAT DID THEY SAY WOULD REPLACE THE OIL, NATURAL GAS, COAL, NUCLEAR POWER…?
All I hear is SILENCE! What do you hear? Same thing …huh!
Okay…do we go back to “off the grid Alaska living”, because all they use is wood…please don’t tell them that wood is a fossil fuel or we will really be screwed!
Folks that’s in line with what Hussein Obama did to us. Before he built the “concentration camps” to hold illegal aliens, that the Democraps blame Trump for!
Obama said that he would and almost did… bankrupt every clean coal plant in the US. He dropped our Grid from 120% of capacity to less that 100% of capacity by closing Clean Coal Plants like the cleanest of them all, the Sommerst Power plant about 15 miles from my home. I never saw black soot coming from the stack, but Obama shut them down! Why? Ask him!
It gets better…all 20 of those brain dead Democrap Candidates want to give people who are here ILLEGALLY free health care, free housing, free food …that’s what they say…not me!
They live in the Land of Oz surrounded by pixie dust that turns into money for the grabbing by waving a magic wand…! That must be why Obama said that neither he nor Trump nor anybody else could bring manufacturing jobs back to the US (that Obama and the EPA) chased away, without Trump waving his magic wand. Obama really said that folks! Yea…he probably meant Trump couldn’t do it in 1…year…after all it took President Trump almost 2 years to accomplish that feat! And we have the lowest unemployment and greatest number of manufacturing jobs in our country’s history and for the first time and the US is the largest producer of oil and refined petroleum products (than ANY country in the World) and is ENERGY independent!!!
All that, must have been what Obama “started” by shutting down the Green River Oil Reserve, shutting down the Bakkan Oil Reserve and refinery , stopping the Canadian Pipe Line, stopping oil drilling near Canada and all the other stupid and downright Treasonous Acts the Great Obama accomplished.
We can’t afford another so called Democrat for President
If you love sharks like we do, join us in celebrating Shark Week 2019! Did you know that sharks are one of the top ocean predators? They play an important role in the food web, helping to ensure balance in the ocean’s ecosystem.
Explore the sharktastic features below to glean something new about these amazing creatures. And while you're at it, get a closer look at how we study sharks and manage their populations.
Shark spine research may unlock new treatments for humans. Sharks may hold answers for doctors looking to take some of the bite out of osteoporosis and other degenerative human bone diseases.
NOAA Fisheries’ Apex Predators Program provided spinal column samples from shortfin mako, common thresher, dusky, and blue sharks to a scientist at Northwestern University working with the Department of Energy.
Shark spines are made of cartilage, not bone like most animals have. Professor Stuart Stock’s research seeks to answer questions about how shark cartilage forms and functions. Stock’s findings could ultimately lead to better methods for treating human bone diseases.
Shark spines constantly flex when they swim, yet remain surprisingly resilient during the fish’s lifespan. Human bones can’t endure the same kind of bending—they become more fragile with age. It just may be that these sharks will help scientists develop better medical treatments to help our bones be more resilient, too.
Seven Surprising Shark Facts
1. Some sharks have belly buttons.
Many sharks are viviparous, meaning they give birth to live young. Like all sharks, species such as blue, bull, and hammerhead sharks rely at first on a yolk sac for nutrition. But they also develop a placental connection similar to a mammal’s umbilical cord. After the pups are born, they’re left with a scar between their pectoral fins—effectively a belly button. This is visible for up to a few months before healing completely.
The embryos of other viviparous species remain in a thin egg envelope while they grow inside their mother. They hatch when the yolk supply runs out. Some species will then absorb nutrients from their mother’s uterus or consume unfertilized eggs before birth. The first sand tiger to hatch in each uterus—sharks have two—will also consume the other embryos before feeding on unfertilized eggs.
The remainder of shark species are oviparous, meaning they lay eggs. The egg cases often have long tendrils that help secure the egg to seaweed or rocky habitat.
2. Pregnancy lasts years for some species.
Female spiny dogfish sharks have one of the longest confirmed pregnancies of any vertebrate: up to two years. Other sharks may have them beat. Some scientists estimate that basking shark gestation lasts up to 3.5 years. Frilled sharks may also carry their pups for more than three years.
Some smaller species are at the other end of the spectrum. Bonnethead sharks, for example, give birth after around five months.
3. Some species can have hundreds of pups. Others have no more than two.
Blue sharks have been known to give birth to more than a hundred live pups at once, and a whale shark collected off Taiwan was reported to have a litter of 300. Sand tiger sharks, on the other hand, deliver a maximum of two pups at once.
Small litter size is one reason some shark species are especially vulnerable to overfishing. It also plays a big role in the timing of rebuilding plans. For example, we expect it to take a total of 100 years for dusky shark populations to return to healthy levels in part because females give birth to just 3–16 pups every two or three years.
4. Many shark species call coastal waters home as juveniles.
Coastal and estuarine waters make good homes for shark pups. These areas often have many small fish and crustaceans. Shallower nursery areas also have fewer large predators, increasing the chance of survival.
NOAA Fisheries manages two research programs to identify shark nursery areas in the Atlantic. The data collected each year is used to decide whether areas should be protected as essential fish habitats.
5. Some sharks reach maturity in their 20s.
While many fish species mature in just a few years, sharks can take many years—and sometimes decades—to mature. Male white sharks reach sexual maturity after 26 years, for instance, while female white sharks aren’t ready to carry pups for 33 years. Even the shorter-lived lemon shark can’t reproduce until they are 13–15 years old.
Sharpnose sharks have among the fastest growth periods. They reach maturity around three years after birth.
We use a range of science-based tools to help prevent too many sharks from being fished before they reach maturity, including minimum size requirements and area closures. 6. Sharks can migrate thousands of miles in a year.
Sharks are found in oceans throughout the world. Some species migrate vast distances in search of food and to breed. Blue sharks, for instance, are transatlantic travelers, with some migrating from our East Coast to western Europe and Africa. A tagging program managed by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center has recorded several additional species traveling more than 1,000 miles in a single year, including dusky, sandbar, night, bigeye thresher, shortfin mako, and tiger sharks.
We’ve learned more about the movement of some shark species in recent decades thanks to advances in electronic tagging programs and modeling. The results of these programs are incorporated into the population assessments at the heart of our fishery management strategy.
7. Not all sharks are at the top of the food web.
There are over 500 species of sharks worldwide, and most of them are less than 3-feet long. Atlantic sharpnose, for example, are on the menu for larger species like bull sharks and hammerheads. Small sharks might also have to keep an eye out for orcas, seals, sea lions, octopuses, groupers and other predators depending on where they live and what other food is available.
Did President Donald Trump launch his Twitter barrage at Elijah Cummings simply because the Baltimore congressman was black?
Was it just a "racist" attack on a member of the Black Caucus?
Or did Trump go after Cummings after a Saturday Fox News report that his district was in far worse condition than the Mexican border area for which Cummings had demagogically berated Border Patrol agents?
Here are Trump's crucial tweets:
"Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA...
"...the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cummings' District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place."
The Fox News report that triggered Trump's tweets featured a Maryland Republican strategist, Kimberly Klacik, whose videos showed piles of trash and abandoned homes in Baltimore. "A lot of people said he (Cummings) hasn't even been there in a while," Klacik claimed.
And Trump, it appears, has more ammunition than that.
Baltimore in 2018 was the murder capital of America and ranked second among her most violent major cities. With St. Louis and Detroit, Baltimore is always at or near the top of the list of the most dangerous American cities.
And what has Cummings, in office 28 years, done to alter that awful reputation?
As for the presence of rats and rodents, Baltimore has competitors.
There have lately been news reports of the homeless in LA and San Francisco living on city sidewalks, defecating where they sleep, attracting rodents and vermin, with little or nothing done about it.
Is it racist to call attention to the decline of so many of America's great cities that have long been under liberal Democratic rule?
Over this weekend, while Trump was tweeting, nine people were shot dead in Chicago and 39 wounded. Sounds like Baghdad or Kabul.
Is this the new normal that Americans must accept?
A prediction: The incidence of murders, rapes, robberies and assaults in urban America, which saw a steep decline in the last three decades, is about to rise again.
Why? Because the attitudes and policies that produced these sinking rates of crime and violence -- especially the dramatic increase in the incarceration of criminals in America -- are changing.
In 1980, some 500,000 criminals were in federal and state prisons and jails. By 2016, some 2.2 million inmates were in jails and prisons and another 4.5 million convicts were on parole or probation, being monitored.
As violent criminals were taken off the streets and put behind bars for years, crime fell, and most dramatically in cities like New York, where the backing of cops and intolerance of criminals by mayors Rudy Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg was the most pronounced.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans were not victimized by crimes in the last three decades because their would-be perpetrators were behind bars. But today, a campaign is afoot to reduce prison populations and use more progressive methods to deal with crime.
Ex-Vice President Joe Biden, who, as a senator and a chairman of the Judiciary Committee, played a role in taking criminals off the streets, seems almost apologetic about what he and the "law and order" Republicans of those decades accomplished.
And the mindset that put first the right of the innocent to be free from domestic violence is vanishing. A recent video of NYPD cops being doused with pails of water as they made their rounds in Harlem has gone viral. The number of applicants for police training programs is dropping. Verbal assaults on "white racist cops" have taken a toll on police morale.
We seem to be drifting back to the 1960s, when crime began to soar and "law and order" began to surge as a national issue.
That issue helped Barry Goldwater capture the nomination from a Republican establishment that had controlled his party for decades.
In 1966, Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan ran as a law and order candidate for governor and routed the liberal incumbent by a million votes.
In 1968, Richard Nixon ran as the law and order candidate, which helped him to stave off George Wallace and defeat Hubert Humphrey, whose Democratic Party was almost twice the size as the GOP.
In 1988, Democratic nominee Gov. Michael Dukakis' prospects for the presidency vanished when he indicated he would not impose capital punishment, even on a criminal who had raped and murdered his wife.
Calling out the urban liberals who run most of America's cities, for their failure to make those cities more livable and safe, might be a winning issue for Trump in 2020.
Is this where Trump is headed? Is it a coincidence that Attorney General Bill Barr just said he will begin imposing the death penalty?
Patrick J. Buchanan
Proponents of a prospective constitutional amendment to raise Florida’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026 gathered more than 100,000 signatures in June and are nearly half-way to qualifying for the 2020 ballot.
But with new petition-gathering rules approved by lawmakers in May going into effect July 7, Florida For A Fair Wage’s campaign will have to meet more strident standards between now and Feb. 1, 2020, to secure the 766,320 validated signatures necessary for the measure to be presented to voters in November’s general election.
In addition, those same newly imposed rules will also require the proposal to undergo a more robust Financial Impact Estimating Conference (FIEC) review by state fiscal analysts.
Such a review could produce indefinite results, similar to the way a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study released Monday projects raising the federal hourly minimum wage to $15 by 2025 would lift 1.3 million out of poverty but cost 1.3 million jobs.
According to the state’s Division of Elections, as of July 10, Florida For A Fair Wage had gathered 341,189 signatures, nearly 103,000 more than the 239,000 it had on June 1.
Championed by Orlando attorney John Morgan – who also spearheaded the ballot measure that legalized medical marijuana in 2016 – Florida For A Fair Wage has received more than $3 million in contributions.
Nearly all of that money – including $812,963.45 in May and $812,340 in June – came from Morgan’s law firm and much of it, more than $800,000, was paid to a California petition-collection firm.
As of July 7, however, out-of-state “professionals” are no longer permitted to gather petition signatures as part of a slate of rules adopted by the Legislature in the waning minutes of this year’s legislative session.
The new rules essentially extend the state’s voter registration system for absentee ballots to petition-gathering, requiring every citizen initiative organization sponsoring a signature-drive have its own numbered, serialized petition provided by county elections offices.
They require petition-gathers to register with the state and have a permanent Florida address, effectively barring out-of-state entities from ballot campaigns. The bill prohibits signature gatherers from being paid on a per-petition basis.
As a result, petition-gatherers say they’ll now need at least 1.1 million signatures to ensure 766,320 are verified, and will need to finish collecting by the end of 2019 to give elections supervisors the required 30 days to verify them before Feb. 1.
And if the FIEC review is as inconclusive as the CBO analysis, the proposal could also face tough sledding in the realm of public perception.
According to analysis by the nonpartisan CBO of the federal Raise the Wage Act, gradually doubling the $7.25 hourly federal minimum wage by 2025 would boost pay for 27 million workers, lifting 1.3 million households out of poverty, but also potentially triggering the loss of 1.3 million jobs.
According to the analysis, which used data from 11 studies published in the past four years:
• The $10 option would raise wages for 1.5 million workers who would otherwise earn less than $10 per hour. Another 2 million who would otherwise earn slightly more than $10 per hour “might see wages rise as well.” The option would have little effect on employment in an average week in 2025. There is a two-thirds chance the change in employment would be between about zero and a decrease of 100,000 workers. “This option would have negligible effects on the number of people in poverty.”
• In an average week in 2025, the $12 option would increase wages for 5 million workers who would otherwise earn less than $12 per hour. Another 6 million otherwise earning slightly more than $12 per hour could see wages rise as well. But the option would cause 300,000 other workers to be jobless. There is a two-thirds chance the change in employment would be between about zero and a decrease of 800,000 workers. “The number of people with annual income below the poverty threshold in 2025 would fall by 400,000.”
• In an average week in 2025, the $15 option would boost wages of 17 million workers who would otherwise earn less than $15 per hour. Another 10 million otherwise earning slightly more than $15 per hour might see wages rise as well. But 1.3 million other workers would become jobless, according to CBO’s median estimate. There is a two-thirds chance the change in employment would be between about zero and a decrease of 3.7 million workers.“The number of people with annual income below the poverty threshold in 2025 would fall by 1.3 million.”
The CBO report, only the second to focus on the impact of a $15 minimum wage, comes as Congress prepares to vote on increasing the federal minimum wage for the first time in more than a decade.
The Center Square
"My religion defines who I am. And I've been a practicing Catholic my whole life," said Vice President Joe Biden in 2012. "I accept my church's position on abortion as ... doctrine. Life begins at conception. ... I just refuse to impose that on others."
] For four decades, Biden backed the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of the tax dollars of Joe's fellow Catholics to pay for what they view as the killing of the innocent unborn.
Last week, Joe flipped. He now backs the repeal of the Hyde Amendment.
Ilyse Hogue of NARAL Pro-Choice America welcomed home the prodigal son: "We're pleased that Joe Biden has joined the rest of the 2020 Democratic field in coalescing around the Party's core values -- support for abortion rights."
But when did the right to an abortion -- a crime in many states before 1973 -- become a "core value" of the Democratic Party?
And what are these "values" of which politicians incessantly talk?
Are they immutable? Or do they change with the changing times?
Last month, Disney CEO Bob Iger said his company may cease filming in Georgia if its new anti-abortion law takes effect: "If (the bill) becomes law, I don't see how it's practical for us to continue to shoot there."
The Georgia law outlaws almost all abortions, once a heartbeat is detected, some six to eight weeks into pregnancy. It reflects the Christian conservative values of millions of Georgians.
To Iger and Hollywood, however, Georgia's law radically restricts the "reproductive rights" of women, and is a moral outrage.
What we have here is a clash of values.
What one side believes is preserving the God-given right to life for the unborn, the other regards as an assault on the rights of women.
The clash raises questions that go beyond our culture war to what America should stand for in the world.
"American interests and American values are inseparable," Pete Buttigieg told Rachel Maddow. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the Claremont Institute: "We have had too little courage to confront regimes squarely opposed to our interests and our values."
Are Pompeo and Mayor Pete talking about the same values?
The mayor is proudly gay and in a same-sex marriage. Yet the right to same-sex marriage did not even exist in this country until the Supreme Court discovered it a few years ago.
In a 2011 speech to the U.N., Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "Gay rights are human rights," and she approved of U.S. embassies flying the rainbow flag during Pride Month.
This year, Mike Pompeo told the U.S. embassy in Brazil not to fly the rainbow flag. He explained his concept of his moral duty to the Christian Broadcasting Network, "The task I have is informed by my understanding of my faith, my belief in Jesus Christ as the Savior."
The Christian values Pompeo espouses on abortion and gay rights are in conflict with what progressives now call human rights.
And the world mirrors the American divide.
There are gay pride parades in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, but none in Riyadh and Mecca. In Brunei, homosexuality can get you killed.
To many Americans, diversity -- racial, ethnic, cultural, religious -- is our greatest strength.
Yet Poland and Hungary are proudly ethnonationalist. South Korea and Japan fiercely resist the racial and ethnic diversity immigration would bring. Catalans and Scots in this century, like Quebecois in the last, seek to secede from nations to which they have belonged for centuries.
Are ethnonationalist nations less righteous than diverse nations likes ours? And if diversity is an American value, is it really a universal value?
Consider the treasured rights of our First Amendment -- freedom of speech, religion and the press.
Saudi Arabia does not permit Christian preachers. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, converts to Christianity face savage reprisals. In Buddhist Myanmar, Muslims are ethnically cleansed.
These nations reject an equality of all faiths, believing instead in the primacy of their own majority faith. They reject our wall of separation between religion and state. Our values and their values conflict.
What makes ours right and theirs wrong? Why should our views and values prevail in what are, after all, their countries?
Under our Constitution, many practices are protected -- abortion, blasphemy, pornography, flag-burning, trashing religious beliefs -- that other nations regard as symptoms of a disintegrating society.
When Hillary Clinton said half of all Trump supporters could be put into a "basket of deplorables" for being "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic," she was conceding that many Trump's supporters detest many progressive values.
True, but in the era of Trump, why should her liberal values be the values America champions abroad?
With secularism's triumph, we Americans have no common religion, no common faith, no common font of moral truth. We disagree on what is right and wrong, moral and immoral.
Without an agreed-upon higher authority, values become matters of opinion. And ours are in conflict and irreconcilable.
But how, then, do we remain one nation and one people?
Patrick J. Buchanan
Provisions allowing Guard members to transfer some or all of their Post- 9/11 GI Bill benefits to their spouse or children are set to change in less than 30 days, limiting the time frame Soldiers and Airmen can transfer those benefits.
“You have to have a minimum of six years (in service) in order to be eligible to transfer benefits, and after 16 years, you’re no longer eligible,” said Don Sutton, Army National Guard GI Bill program manager, describing the changes set to go into effect July 12.
Sutton said the six-years-of-service rule isn’t new. “You’ve always had to have a minimum of six years of service in order to transfer your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits,” he said, adding the big change is the cutoff at 16 years of service.
“You’ll have a 10-year-window in which to transfer benefits,” he said, stressing that Guard members won’t lose the benefits after 16 years of service, just the ability to transfer them to their spouse, children or other dependents.
“The Post-9/11 GI Bill and the transfer of benefits are two entirely different and separate programs,” Sutton said. “Even though Soldiers may be ineligible to transfer benefits, they still have the Post-9/11 for their own use.”
For those interested in transferring their benefits, an additional four-year service obligation is still required.
“The (transfer of benefits) is a retention incentive,” Sutton said. “It’s designed to keep people in the service.”
Being able to transfer benefits to a dependent may have been perceived by some service members as an entitlement, said Sutton, adding that was one of the reasons for the time frame change.
“In law, transferring those benefits has always been designed as a retention incentive,” he said.
The exact number of Guard members who may be impacted by the change wasn’t available, said Sutton, adding that among those who could be affected are those who didn’t qualify for Post- 9/11 GI Bill benefits until later in their career.
“We do have a small population of Soldiers who are over 16 years (of service) before they did their first deployment,” he said.
Some Guard members who may have earned the benefits early on, but didn’t have dependents until later in their careers, may also be affected.
“They joined at 18 and now they’re 15, 16 years in and they get married or have kids later on in life,” said Sutton, who urged Guard members who plan on transferring their benefits to do so as soon as they are eligible.
“If you wait, you’re potentially going to miss out,” he said.
Some Guard members may have been waiting to transfer the benefits until their children reach college age. “There sometimes are some misconceptions that they have to wait until their kids are college-age or that they’re high school seniors in order to do the transfer,” Sutton said, adding there is no age requirement to transfer Post-9/ 11 benefits to dependent children.
“As soon as a child is born and registered in (Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System), you can transfer,” he said.
After that transfer has been completed, Guard members can still make changes to how those benefits are divided between dependents or which dependent receives those benefits.
“Once the transfer is executed, and you’ve agreed to that service obligation, you can add dependents in, and you can move months around between dependents,” Sutton said. “It’s just that initial transfer has to be done before you hit 16 years of service.”
However, there is one group of Guard members who will not be affected by any of the changes: those who have received the Purple Heart since Sept. 11, 2001.
“The only rule around transferring benefits that applies (to those individuals) is you have to still be in the service to transfer them.”
Regardless of status, Sutton reiterated that Guard members are better off transferring those benefits sooner rather than later.
“Transfer as soon as you’re eligible,” he said. “Don’t miss the boat because you’ve been eligible for 10 years and you just didn’t do it.”
Canada intends to ban “harmful” single-use plastics as early as 2021 and hold companies responsible for plastic waste, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today.
“Canadians know first-hand the impacts of plastic pollution, and are tired of seeing their beaches, parks, streets, and shorelines littered with plastic waste. We have a responsibility to work with our partners to reduce plastic pollution, protect the environment, and create jobs and grow our economy. We owe it to our kids to keep the environment clean and safe for generations to come,” said Trudeau.
Less than 10 percent of the plastic used in Canada gets recycled. Without a change in course, Canadians will throw away an estimated C$11 billion worth of plastic materials each year by 2030.
Calling plastic pollution “a global challenge that requires immediate action,” Trudeau pointed out that plastic waste ends up in landfills and incinerators, litters parks and beaches, pollutes rivers, lakes, and oceans, and entangles and kills turtles, fish and marine mammals.
The Canadian government has not released a list of the plastic products that will be banned as “harmful,” but in his announcement, Trudeau mentioned plastic bags, straws, cutlery, plates, and stir sticks.
About one-third of the plastics used in Canada are for single-use or short-lived products and packaging. Up to 15 billion plastic bags are used every year and close to 57 million straws are used daily in Canada.
Globally, one garbage truckload of plastic waste enters the oceans every minute, and that amount is increasing. Every year, 640,000 tons of abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear enters the oceans, where it can persist in the environment for up to 600 years.
Every year, one million birds and over 100,000 sea mammals worldwide are injured or die when they mistake plastic for foodor become entangled.
“We’ve reached a defining moment, and this is a problem we simply can’t afford to ignore. With the longest coastline in the world and one-quarter of the world’s freshwater, Canada has a unique responsibility, and an opportunity, to lead in reducing plastic pollution, Trudeau said.
Trudeau said that the new measures will be grounded in scientific evidence and will align, where appropriate, with similar actions being taken in the European Union and other countries.
On May 21, the Council of the European Union adopted the ambitious measures proposed by the European Commission to tackle marine litter coming from the 10 single-use plastic products most often found on European beaches, as well as abandoned fishing gear and oxo-degradable plastics.
On May 10, 180 United Nations member countries reached a deal to restrict shipments of hard-to-recycle plastic waste to developing countries.
Exporting countries, including the United States, now will have to obtain consent from countries receiving contaminated, mixed or unrecyclable plastic waste. Currently, the U.S. and other countries can send lower-quality plastic waste to private entities in developing countries without getting approval from their governments.
Prime Minister Trudeau said that by improving how Canada manages plastic waste and investing in innovative solutions, the country can reduce 1.8 million tonnes of carbon pollution, generate billions of dollars in revenue, and create approximately 42,000 jobs.
The new measures will also support the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment’s development of an action plan to implement the Canada-wide Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste.
In November 2018, Canada’s environment ministers agreed to work collectively toward a common goal of zero plastic waste. They approved in principle a Canada-wide strategy on zero plastic waste, which outlines a vision to keep all plastics in the economy and out of the environment.
The strategy outlines areas where changes are needed across the plastic lifecycle, from design to collection, clean-up and value recovery, and underscores the economic and business opportunities resulting from long-lasting and durable plastics.
“We’ve all seen the disturbing images of fish, sea turtles, whales, and other wildlife being injured or dying because of plastic garbage in our oceans. Canadians expect us to act. That’s why our government intends to ban harmful single-use plastic products where science warrants it, and why we’re working with partners across Canada and around the world to reduce plastic pollution,” said Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
“Taking these steps will help create tens of thousands of middle-class jobs and make our economy even stronger—while protecting fish, whales, and other wildlife, and preserving the places we love,” she said.
The Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste is expected to be a driver for innovation and to create opportunities that will increase competitiveness in new business models, product design solutions, and waste prevention and recovery technologies.
Over the last 25 years, nearly 800,000 volunteers have removed over 1.3 million kilograms of trash from across Canada’s shorelines through Ocean Wise and World Wildlife Fund’s Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup program, supported by the Government of Canada. The most common litter items found on shorelines are single-use or short-lived products, many made of plastics.
“The health of our oceans is vital to the economic, cultural, and social well-being of Canada’s coastal communities,” said Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Jonathan Wilkinson. “We know plastic pollution harms Canada’s oceans, wildlife, communities and our economy. It’s a problem we simply can’t afford to ignore. We are working with industry to prevent and remove ghost fishing gear, to protect marine animals and the marine environment now and for future generations.”
Environment News Service (ENS) 2019. All rights reserved.
Tell a parent of a child with autism that 40 percent of children on the autism spectrum also have an anxiety disorder, and odds are you won’t be met with surprise.
Parents of children with autism are all too familiar with the signs of anxiety; the outbursts when a predictable routine unexpectedly changes, the self-soothing behaviors to cope with inner worry, the obsessive-compulsive rituals. While these anxiety symptoms are often masked by a child’s autism, they present a real challenge for children and their families. Children with comorbid anxiety and autism experience more behavioral issues and functional difficulties than children with one disorder or the other.
Researchers are still investigating the best approach for treating anxiety in children on the autism spectrum. While medications used to treat anxiety in people without autism show some evidence of helping kids on the spectrum, they also seem to worsen other behaviors, namely hyperactivity, impulsivity, and insomnia.
That’s not to say parents should rule out medication — research is still underway, and so far, results show that medication can help some children with autism and anxiety, if not all. However, it’s not all parents can do to alleviate anxiety in their child.
If you have a child with anxiety and autism, these strategies may help.
Identifying the anxiety triggers of a child with autism is difficult, especially if the child has developmental delays that affect the ability to communicate. However, many children with autism share similar triggers, including unfamiliar situations, changes to routines, social situations, and lack of sleep. Many children also have sensory triggers; while these tend to be highly individual, parents can familiarize themselves with sensory processing disorder to learn the types of sensory hypersensitivities and narrow in on their child’s specific triggers.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy has proven effective against anxiety disorders in the general population, and there’s evidence to support its use in children on the autism spectrum as well. CBT aims to alter a patient’s thought patterns to reduce negative responses to difficult situations. This gives children the tools they need to manage their emotions without outside intervention. Researchers have found that CBT is effective not only against anxiety but also anger, depression, and other emotional challenges.
A 2019 study found that over 80 percent of children with autism experienced improved anxiety symptoms after six months of treatment with cannabidiol-based oil. While the study in question used a CBD product with low amounts of THC, which isn’t currently available outside of states with medical cannabis, parents can access legal hemp-derived CBD products no matter where in the US they live. While CBD oil is the most available product, children who have issues with the taste or texture of oil may do better with CBD gummies. Parents should talk to their child’s doctor or therapist before adding CBD to their child’s treatment regimen, as well as read up on the different gummies currently available on the market.
Relaxation techniques quiet the intense physiological response triggered by anxiety. However, in order for relaxation techniques to be effective, children must practice them in safe situations. Parents can role play stressful scenarios with their children and teach them how to identify difficult thoughts and emotions and manage them through relaxation. Deep breathing is one technique used by neurotypical individuals and people with autism alike. Children with autism may also find calm from fidgeting or positive sensory experiences, such as playing with water or stroking a comfort object.
As you can see, there’s no quick fix for anxiety in children with autism. The experience of anxiety is a highly individualized one, and the coping strategies and treatments that work for one child may have no meaningful effect on another. However, by experimenting with different strategies and finding what resonates with their child, parents can turn their child’s anxiety into something predictable and manageable.