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Items filtered by date: November 2021
Thursday, 30 December 2021 19:45

City of Boston Now Mandates Vaccine Passports

Boston Massachusetts Mayor Michelle Wu announced Monday that the city will require COVID-19 vaccination proof to enter most indoor businesses and venues starting Jan. 15.

Employees of those businesses and venues will also have to get the vaccine, said Wu, Wu is a Democrat.

The order, which is similar to orders handed down in New York City and Los Angeles, will require that those going inside restaurants, bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, fitness centers, concerts, sports arenas, museums, and other entertainment facilities present proof of a vaccine passport such as a vaccination card, digital image of a vaccination card, or another vaccination record, as well as presenting a verification app, according to the city.

Businesses under Wu’s mandate must post a notice for the vaccine requirement to enter. The mandate also applies to anyone aged 12 and older, while children aged 5 to 11 have to present one dose to enter venues by March 1, according to the city.

“It’s time for Boston to follow the science and public health data to ease [health care workers’] burden to take the big steps that we can to help close vaccination gaps,” Wu said in a news conference.

Problem is … it doesn’t work! In New York City, where vaccine passports have been in effect for several months, city data shows that the number of COVID-19 cases hit an all-time daily last week with over 20,000 infections reported.

Critics of vaccine passports have said they create a two-tiered society of vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Many have also raised concerns that these systems infringe on an individual’s right to privacy.

Wu’s directive is a one hundred degree turnaround from policies that were favored by her predecessor, former acting Mayor Democrat Kim Janey, who told media outlets in August that vaccine passports hark back to slavery or the Reconstruction Era.

“There’s a long history in this country of people needing to show their papers. During slavery, post-slavery, as recent as—you know what immigrant population has to go through here … Here we want to make sure that we are not doing anything that would further create a barrier for residents of Boston or disproportionally impact BIPOC communities,” Janey said in response to a question about passports. At the time, Wu, who was a city councilwoman, criticized the former mayor.

Other cities in Massachusetts are considering requiring Vaccine Passports, they are; Arlington, Brookline, Somerville, Cambridge, Medford and Salem Across the nation, Los Angles, New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia and now Boston have imposed vaccine pass systems. Philadelphia’s passport system was announced earlier this month.

 

Published in Politics
Thursday, 30 December 2021 19:42

Italy Votes to Ban Fur Farming

The Budget Committee of the Italy’s Senate voted last week to approve an amendment to the budget law which will see the country’s 10 remaining mink fur farms closed within six months and a permanent ban on fur farming throughout Italy.

 

The approved measure includes:

 

• An immediate ban on breeding of fur-bearing animals including mink, foxes, raccoon dogs and chinchillas, and the closure of all active fur farms in Italy by June 30, 2022.

• Compensation for farmers, covered by a fund from the Ministry of Agriculture for a total of €3 million (US$3.4 million) in 2022.

 

Although the decision requires final approval by the full Parliament, this is expected to go through. When it does, Italy will become the 16th country in Europe to ban fur farming. Many Italian designers have already gone fur-free including Armani, GUCCI, Prada, Valentino, and Versace.

 

The committee vote follows discussions with animal protection organization Humane Society International/Europe which presented practical, strategic solutions to close and convert fur farms into alternative, humane and sustainable businesses in its recent report, “Mink breeding in Italy: Mapping and future perspectives.” 

Humane Society International/Europe’s fur farm conversion proposal, which sought an end to fur farming due to animal cruelty and public health risks from zoonotic diseases, was endorsed by Italian Member of Parliament Michela Vittoria Brambilla, who launched the political action to implement the conversion strategy with existing public funds, and Senator Loredana De Petris who formally submitted the amendment.

Martina Pluda, director of Humane Society International in Italy, said, “This is an historic victory for animal protection in Italy, and HSI/Europe is immensely proud that our fur farm conversion strategy has played a central role in dismantling this cruel and dangerous industry in our country. There are very clear economic, environmental, public health and of course animal welfare reasons to close and ban fur farms.”

“Today’s vote recognizes that allowing the mass breeding of wild animals for frivolous fur fashion represents a risk to both animals and people that can’t be justified by the limited economic benefits it offers to a small minority of people involved in this cruel industry,” Pluda said. “With so many designers, retailers and consumers going fur-free, conversion of fur farms offers people a sustainable future that the fur trade simply cannot provide.”

Michela Vittoria Brambilla, president of the Parliamentary Intergroup for Animal Rights and of the Italian League for the Defense of Animals and the Environment, commented on the vote, “In 30 years of animal rights battle this is the best victory. Finally, a parliamentary vote sanctions the end of unspeakable suffering inflicted on animals only in the name of profit and vanity. Italy is the 20th European country to introduce a ban or severe restriction on fur farming: better late than never.”

“A dream comes true that animal protection associations have cultivated for decades in our country,” Brambilla said. “It is a great achievement, which finally all those who love and respect animals rejoice!”

The Italian fashion house Prada stopped using fur as of its spring/summer 2020 women’s collections. Artistic Director Miuccia Prada said, “The Prada Group is committed to innovation and social responsibility, and our fur-free policy is an extension of that engagement. Focusing on innovative materials will allow the company to explore new boundaries of creative design, while meeting the demand for ethical products.”

The move was made in collaboration with the Fur Free Alliance, an international coalition of more than 40 animal protection organizations working together to end animal cruelty. Humane Society International is a coalition member.

 

© Environment News Service (ENS) 2022. All rights reserved.
www.ens-newswire.com

Published in Environment
Thursday, 30 December 2021 19:30

A Recap: Crime and (No) Punishment

The world changed with the first news of a mysterious virus suspected to have originated in a Chinese lab, or wet market, or wherever. An unexpected perfect storm was on the horizon. News of COVID-19 elbowed its way into our consciousness along with a failed impeachment trial in January and February of 2020. Politicians were girding for a Presidential election, and with that, a societal “perfect storm” needed only a lit fuse.

The Memorial Day killing of George Floyd became that lit fuse. The hoped-for opportunity for legitimate and peaceful protests was not to be. Legitimate much-needed reform efforts were kicked aside by anarchists and thugs, stealing the stage with violence, looting, and destruction.

Let’s connect some dots....

Fear, the most powerful human emotion, gripped many state and local governments. Law enforcement was told to “stand down” in the foolish and futile hope of letting angry emotions burn out. But violence raged for months, and in many communities it continues still. Despite a spiking crime rate, many on the left were inclined to label the violence and destruction as somehow virtuous, and “defund the police” movements gained popularity.

Old fashioned tolerance has been radicalized into intolerance and identity politics. And there is a new all-encompassing word to describe it…“wokeness.”

People are afraid of speaking out because disagreement or debate isn’t tolerated. For some, differences of opinion are considered personal offenses.

Intimidation and fear are incompatible with freedom and make it impossible for philosophical opponents to work together. And we learned another new word – “cancellation.” This new “cancel culture’s” success was nurtured by society’s fear.

New ideologies led radicalized leftists to conclude that they know better than some old White-guys who founded our country; better than those whose statues adorn our parks; and are certainly better informed than those who’ve written our history books. Rather than working to fix our many flaws, their appetite for chaos would have us start over as a society and country – surely a doomsday choice.

Eventually, the joy found in destroying historical relics and statues deteriorated. Attention turned to new destructive exploits. Leftist DAs are displaying an appetite for removing criminal accountability. For example, many jurisdictions no longer enforce shoplifting or loitering statutes. And the habit of catch and release with little or no bail is common, even for serious crimes. These measures seem intoxicating to “woke folk.”

Some radicals even support releasing much of the prison population. They believe leniency and compassion will reduce crime. Rather, we see new and ever more bold crimes, including a “smash-and-grab” pandemic and fearless car jackings.

Thankfully, the recent Kyle Rittenhouse acquittal was a potential watershed event in this 2-year chain of events. Rather than trying the young man for illegal “vigilantism,” the trial was properly about whether his actions were legal self-defense. Rather than legitimizing the destruction and violence that occurred, the acquittal acknowledged his actions were legal, however ill-advised.

The “rule of law” prevailed. Let’s build on this.

Who would ever have imagined that Americans would ever be arguing about enforcing law and order? Law enforcement is receding as violence and other crimes increase. I’m frustrated that some see justifiable purpose in the destructiveness and actions of “cancellation.” And I’m saddened by the permanence of so much of the damage.

Hopefully, the radical leftist movement to achieve what they’ve labeled as “criminal justice reform” will burn itself out. Let’s bring an end to the time that opposition to lawlessness is labeled “White supremacy.” We should no longer find chatrooms and letters-to-the-editor discussing ways to dodge violence and about where to find safety.

Gone should be the time that true crime is falsely labeled as an elite “construct” for preserving White privilege. Petty crime should no longer be accepted as an unavoidable reality of urban living. Let’s think once again about character and not just about skin color. True criminals should no longer be considered unfortunate victims. Let’s bring back responsibility, accountability, and enforced rules of law.

Public safety requires rules and stability.

Think about the things that keep us safe and secure.

How can we have a nation, or culture, and how can we be called a civilization, without them?

Begone fear, uncertainty, confusion, and societal division.

 

steve bakke small

myslantonthings.com

Steve Bakke,
Fort Myers

Published in Politics

THAT’S THE FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE OBAMA PROMISSED!

 

THE REVELATION… MANY PEOPLE BELIEVE THERE WILL BE AN ATTEMPTED HIGH TECH COUPE IN 2022…because the evidence is there…

read on...

 

From 2008 to 2016, I thought Obama wanted to create chaos so he could order Martial Law… he built all those prison like holding centers…! He said repeatedly he’ll Fundamentally Change America…apparently, he never read the Constitution…there’s no such Amendment!

 

Unless you had a recent real-estate transaction, you wouldn’t know that most all real-estate transactions (like house sales)… are all digital and you don’t get a paper original Deed, Search, Survey unless you insist! Wonder why there are, all of a sudden, Title thefts and a push to get Title Theft Insurance…that’s all due to Digital and the Internet, and the click of a button?

My opinion…insist on ORIGINAL stamped, signed blue ink, paper, for your Deed, Search, Title Insurance and Survey! If you don’t have paper copies, get them. Also…keep current paper copies of bank, fiduciary accounts.

 

WHAT IF THEY DO SHUT DOWN THE INTERNET…with the click of that same button?

 

Let’s call that step number one…shut down the Internet!

Step number 2, erase all digital data they want gone…digital Deeds, bank accounts, Social Medias and take ownership of those deeds…now prove your former house and former bank accounts are yours…there’s no records. But don’t worry, they’ll rent it back to you and give you a job to pay and good news, the government will forgive ALL debt but they have to keep your money!!!

The only bad news is you own, NOTHING, have only those Rights they grant to you, there’s no Constitution, no due process…and no appeals.

 

That’s exactly how Saudi Arabia operates…Sharia Law.

 

Step number 3 is very bad…shut down power plants…the grid. Now we are in trouble, because we can’t live without electricity. Food, water, heat, respirators, Medicines…name it …we need it! Also…many power plants cannot tolerate a shutdown to cold, they will be ruined.

Now these “A”holes can play God…because you put them in control…after they told you they will “Fundamentally Change America”…you got what you deserve…if you don’t think they are capable…better pull your head out from where you have had it stuck. The Fundamental Change they promised you…has arrived!!!

Step 4 relates to stocks, bonds, and other digital dollars. I’m not too familiar with stocks and bonds as I like to see/hold what I own…but it will probably take a dump too. Then they move to quell any uprising, if they have armed support (Military or Police)…they may not. Our Patriates (lead by our Special Forces) will refuse to violate their Oaths!!

 

 

THE EVIDENCE SUMMARY…

If you would just LISTEN to what Joe Biden and Hussein Obama say and then BELIEVE, what these two Scoundrels are TELLING YOU about their “fundamental changes”… then ask why…why would a President who swore to PROTECT, PRESERVE and DEFEND, AMERICA, the Constitution ,you and me …intentionally do the OPPOSITE??!!

In my last two columns (Sun Bay, Dec 17th and 3rd, 2021) I tried to explain to you how their actions are anything BUT protecting us! There is no sense detailing them again…read them yourself.

I have been trying to figure out how these scoundrels could accomplish the almost impossible, with 130 million legally armed citizens? “HOW”? Then I received recently, anonymous information about the Internet and its vulnerability…that sections have been shut down by the government as “tests” and BINGO, it all falls in place. This is the ONLY feasible way!

In my opinion, Biden and Obama are working together to destroy our Constitutional Republic. Look at all the Laws they are VIOLATING! By violating our Naturalization and Immigrations Laws and allowing unabated, mass invasion of aliens through open Borders (over 2,000,000 so far in2020)…Think about this…those people are NOT tested for anything, are not vaccinated, not vetted, not quarantined, they include the good, the bad and the ugly and we don’t have any idea which is which…all while WE are slapped with mandatory shots, confinement, masks, ID to buy a 6 pack of beer…to protect us?

To protect us… this is what President Trump did, he enforced the LAWs …he prohibited those who want to harm us from entering and when challenged, by those who are our current leaders ,Pres Trump took his actions to the Supreme Court and won…he then continued to enforce the Immigration and Naturalization laws, put up the wall …and allowed Customs, Border Patrol, ICE, Homeland Security to do their jobs instead of overwhelming them with baby sitting and chasing criminals through a very dangerous environment!

If you still believe that Obiden and Obama ARE protecting us and increasing safety in our homes and streets, by violating our Rule of law, by those open Borders, by closing power plants to stop “Global Warming”…please stop reading this…really. Go pick up a comic book, Marvel has many you can learn from, just wait…and see, maybe I’m wrong. When leaders turn on their people that they are sworn to protect …there must come a time when you recognize what they are really doing… “These don’t look like showers”…or you will have the same fate of those who failed to recognize the, “showers”…in the 1940s in Germany!

Patriotic leaders do not stop nor reduce the production and supply of commodities that all their citizens depend upon to live… like food, like refined petroleum products, natural gas, like ½ million acres in Wyoming and 3 trillion barrels of oil in the Colorado Green River WITHOUT viable/reliable replacement fuel for power…all for NO GOOD REASON! Neither Global Warming nor Climate Change are viable reasons…you must stop believing that nonsense “Those are showers”…it’s simply is NOT true!

First- contrary to what you have been told, there is no scientific proof that Global Warming or Cooling is actually happening as a trend… there’s no different to what Planet Earth has been doing for 4.5 Billion years…no different than all the planets in our Universe! There is proof that both happen irregularly but trying to compare 50 years of temp swings to 4.5 billion years is as insignificant as peeing in the Oceans.

There is temperature change …every freaking day…on that we all agree …HOWEVER, there is nothing man can do to slow down the Earth on its axis or its speed around the sun or warm or cool Planet Earth!…that’s a fact!

Fact: In 2015 NASA reported on a study in Antarctica and found, from core samples, that the Antarctic Ice Land Mass is colder, thicker and larger than 10,000 years ago! You never heard that did you…google it? You probably heard that the Arctic Ice Cap lost 1 million Square miles of ice over a 10 year period and the Polar Bears are all dying. But I’ll bet you never heard that the million miles lost over that 10 years was regained in “1 year from 2011 to 2012”! I’ll bet, you never heard that a study on Polar Bears by the Weather Channel founder, John Coleman, proved that from the first record of Polar Bear counting to 2018,by Officials in Polar Bear States, their population is higher than ever!

Making Planet Earth’s temperature, America’s biggest problem is a, “the sky is falling”, fantasy and a distraction from the real problem…and that is “them”, Biden , Obama and Obama’s former staff and what they are doing to this country…killing your Constitution and Rights…using every scare tactic they can think up!!!

Fact: Climate Changes have been evolving on planet Earth for 4.5 Billion years…yes it’s a fact! The only thing we can do to change, some of the Climate Changes that God has in store for us, is to “pray”! Then do like Obiden and Obama do…claim OPEC did it or the truckers did it, or… better yet, blame Trump or just make something up!

One more thing…NASA and numerous other US government Agencies have found that the data from the UN IPCC , the left’s only data source…the same source that Al Gore; his Gore-ites, that predicted the Glacer melt Down of 2015 that didn’t happen, as well as all the phony info they put out was based upon phony info from…that same UN IPCC. The IPCC is the source Obama, Obiden and all the left experts rely on for Climate Change data.

As far as, “Trump did it”, all right… he increased oil production, resupplied our emergency oil reserve, started the Keystone 900,000 barrels a day, he increased the Bakken to 1 million barrels per day, opened the government owned Green River Reserves and expanded exploration where there is oil and sold what he wanted to the Arabs! He also, in his spare time, made China pay us 1 billion dollars a month, he increased natural gas electric power and slammed the door shut on illegal alien invaders, drug and people smugglers…all to PROTECT us, and it ALL worked!!

Nothing…and I mean nothing Obiden or Obama did, helped America …not a Damn thing…everything they did and are doing, is to make your country a Socialist Nation…an Islamic Nation!!!

 

 

THE OIL RESERVES GAME…

 

Obama drained your emergency oil reserves down to nothing! Trump restored your emergency reserves …in case of an emergency. Obiden is reducing them, again and again …to help us? How does having no Emergency oil reserve help us? It certainly helps our enemies…a helpless Amerca! Obiden/Obama want to be certain we do not have emergency reserves …when they make their move! Hey Congress where’s your Checks and Balances” why is Biden draining our oil reserves…find out for Christ’s Sakes!! He said it reduces the gas price…yea ,by $.17 per gallon,. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have 50 million barrels in reserve?

Obama and Obiden promoted The Defund the Police, the release of prisoners, allow riots, looting, pigs in the parks and chaos!

 

Trump …the EXACT opposite!

 

You do not put weak sisters in leadership positions, unless you want to Rule instead of lead …positions that require quick thinking, mental and physical strength. Name just ONE of Obidens staff that you would follow, “into battle”! How about General Milley or John Kerry, or Sec of State Blinken, how about the Transportation Secretary Buttigieg (my favorite), Attorney General Garland, Homeland Security Mayorkas ( a real leader of his men and a real first man though the door…after it’s all over). How about the Secretary of Stupid, Jennifer Granholm, the one who has no idea why gas prices skyrocketed, after Biden stopped production, supply and exploration?!

Trump built the strongest Military the world has ever known…Obiden and Obama are destroying the strongest Military the world has ever known!

Do you really believe Obidens Build Back Better Bill that INCREASES the size and power of the IRS …is to protect you? If you do…you must believe chickens have lips… I swear!

From the State Department official 2019 report on terrorism… “Country Reports on Terrorism 2019, is submitted in compliance with Title 22 of the United States Code, Section 2656f (the “Act”), which requires the Department of State to provide to Congress a full and complete annual report on terrorism for those countries and groups meeting the criteria of the Act”.

“The Iranian regime and its proxies continued to plot and commit terrorist attacks on a global scale. In the past, Tehran has spent as much as $700 million per year to support terrorist groups, including Hezbollah and Hamas...” What Freaking President would read that report and then give Freaking Iran, hundreds of Billions in CASH and the Taliban $85 Billion in munitions?

 

There are TWO, Hussein Obama and Joe Obiden…that’s who…isn’t that Aiding and Abetting our Enemy, who wants to kill you?? ‘Come on man!’ How did that help protect America…just wondering?

The President of the United States’ number 1 job is to PROTECT THE PEOPLE…THAT’S YOU AND ME…well…what the hell--- are Obiden and his boss, Obama doing? They are systematically DESTROYING AMERICA, for two Presidents to do that is Conspiracy to Commit Treason and Treason!?
I know what you’re thinking…oh, my God! Can they do that…yes…they have…with a click!

 

 

How do we stop it…?

 

After dealing with criminals for several decades as an Agent…when we wanted to stop a crime …we exposed the plot and placed guards at critical locations. The major internet data center is near WDC! Other data stations are spread out. The Government claimed it has taken steps to prevent an Internet take down…but what if the Government leaders are the criminals??

Biden says some really stupid things BUT he also says some very revealing things. He issued a warning to Republicans using a loud and an angry voice, pointing his finger he said, “You Republicans had better watch out in 2022!”

He often says, “They told me not to say that” and “I’m not supposed to take questions”, and many more revealing things…you’re not stupid…who’s the “they” he mentions but the Media NEVER questions it…now put them all together!

The Dems know that they are going to lose the House and Senate in 2022! They can’t allow that to happen! They are DESPARATE! Who would have believed that they could drum up 10-15 million votes after they learned they were losing by 11 million votes at midnight of election night! Never underestimate your enemy!

America is fed-up with the Dems! So whatever they do, whatever it is …it will be before Nov 2022 and it will be BIG, but if we stick together…we can overcome!

 

Drag the President, his staff before a joint session of the House and Senate and call them out, under oath. Demand that Congress request protection at the critical Data Stations and headquarters for the Internet, the 3 Grids, Power Plants!

Talk to your relatives in the Military and tell them to stay true to God, Country and their Oaths to protect us and preserve our Constitution! Talk to all your friends and relatives who are in law enforcement and do the same…obey your Oath!

If we make it to Nov. 2022…tell your Voting Boards you want Equal representation with equal access to observe up close and personal …all elections…equal Republicans and Democrats… no water main breaks. If counting stops, it stops until both parties return with a rep from each party guarding the polling venue, when vacant!!

That’s if we make it to Nov, 2022!

And…… HAPPY NEW YEAR ! yea…right! therightsidejgarydilaura.com

 

gary small

J.Gary DiLaura
FBI RED
Retired, Extremely, Dangerous

Published in Politics
Thursday, 30 December 2021 19:00

To Make Resolutions or Not To Make Resolutions

For many people, the dawn of the new year is marked not only with celebration, but also the opportunity for personal reflection and growth.

But as the year progresses, our initial drive for self-betterment can falter but our tendency to give up can be circumvented. There are various ways we can strengthen our commitment to our new year’s goal.

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, over half of the people who set a goal for the new year will fail, finding only 46% of people who made New Year’s resolutions were successful. But me, being a glass half full kinda guy sees that as
almost half succeeded! So look to your left and then to your right when with family, friends and co-workers, almost every other one of you ...will succeed!

The study also found 74% of participants listed their most important resolution as the same, or nearly the same, as in the previous year.

And, more than half of the resolutions focused on either “Weight Loss” (29%) or “Exercise” (24%) followed by “Quit Smoking”. (less people are smoking these days so this percentage has dropped) This suggests health-related goals tend to get rebooted each year — perhaps because New Year’s Day follows plenty of end-of-year festivities and feasting.

Furthermore, despite the participants reporting a strong commitment to their listed resolution, many gave up within one month…. One Month!!! Other studies have shown similarly high rates for not sticking with new year’s resolutions. So how do we increase our odds?

 

How To Succeed This Year!

As we said many resolutions are recycled from last year… many resolutions involve losing weight. Here are a few suggestions to help with that one…. For example, the resolution to “lose ten pounds” will more likely endure in the face of obstacles and difficulties if it’s linked to higher personal values, such as beliefs about one’s health or appearance such as “I will be healthier and feel better when I lose ten pounds and drop 2 dress sizes/pants sizes”.

In general weight loss is related to intake of food and the burning of calories… “If you eat 2,000 calories a day and burn off 2,000 calories a day, at the end of the week and end of the year you do not gain or lose any weight”, my naturopath nutritionist told me a few years ago… she continued to say “If you added just one bowl of soup in the course of every week… at the end of a year, you would gain 5 or more pounds”….

Now my mind works differently than other minds (I’ve been told many times) so I immediately asked her “so you’re telling me that if I remove one bowl of soup’s calories from my weekly balance of intake/burn ratio I would lose 5 or more pounds a year?” she said “exactly”.

So………. I suggest that you eat a little less and burn a little more and you will find success this year with your weight loss resolution….. Add smaller, easier to accomplish resolutions which will work towards a weight loss resolution’s fulfillment such as “I will stop eating when I’m full, if I’m eating out, I will take the remainder of my meal home to enjoy later” or “I will eat only half of my fries or onion rings” these are easily implemented into your new year routine, are actually doable and help sustain your motivation because as you leave the restaurant with your “doggie bag” you have accomplished a resolution… Yea!

So being adaptable in the process of meeting your goals will not only improve your general well-being, it will also help you pursue/ succeed with your new year’s resolutions.

 

Tips For Setting Your 2022 New Year’s Resolutions

When it comes to sticking to resolutions, insight gleaned from psychology research can be applied into several practical and easy-to-use tips.

Set Resolutions That Match Your Deeper Values

Your personal beliefs and hopes have a key role in sustaining your motivational impetus and keeping you focused. This form of motivation is associated with increased personal well-being.

 

Set “New” Resolutions

This is preferable to recycling old ones. If you still want to pursue a resolution from last year, (weight loss being the most popular resolution) we recommend that you be more specific in your approach... see above suggestions.

Set Resolutions As Specific Plans
These should account for factors such as time, place and people. Specific plans provide the mental cues needed to stick to our goals but it is important to make small attainable goals.

This is because they’re also less mentally taxing than more vague or generic plans that require further thinking. For instance, consider this resolution: I will walk for at least 30 minutes around the nearby lake with my friend Toni on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.

It already sets a framework that provides plenty of mental cues and strategies on which to follow up. Also, including another person in the plan also sets a greater sense of responsibility, accountability and social enjoyment — compared with a more vague resolution such as: I’ll go on more walks this year.

Identify and imagine your desired positive outcome Visualizing your goals will help keep you focused on identifying the specific resources your resolution requires. It will also help mobilize a sustained pursuit of the goal. Imagine and/or See yourself in a new outfit/suit, as a leaner and healthier you!

Reward small gains along the way Enjoying small progress gains is not only pleasurable, it will also help to motivate you.

 

Review Your Resolution Regularly

Let’s face it, if you are not thinking about your resolution regularly, you are not going to follow through. Thus, a crucial part of realizing your goal is a regular review.

At a minimum, this review should be monthly, but the more frequent the better.

Also….. If You Fall Off Track, Get Back On and Quick!

For example: If you go 3 weeks without a cigarette and find yourself over a friends house holding one and puffing on it before you even know how it happened… give yourself a break!

Put it out and start again! After all, you went 3 weeks already so pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start again…!!! This is not an excuse to start smoking 2 packs a day again!

 

And Finally … Be Realistic

The more realistic your resolution is, the more achievable it will be and the less likely you are to set yourself up for failure.

 

happy new year2 sm

Published in Lifestyle

After the federal government began dolling out trillions of dollars in coronavirus stimulus money, criminals saw the windfall as an opportunity ripe for theft. Since early last year, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office began issuing consumer alerts to warn Floridians about a range of scams.

The latest consumer alert issued Monday warns Floridians about fraudulent robotexts being used to trick consumers into sharing their personal or financial information. Robotexts are sent to users’ phones from unknown numbers that often contain malware or lead to malicious websites.

With Americans on track to receive 86 billion automated texts this year, according to Robokiller.com, robotexts have become more prevalent than robocalls, and Floridians are expected to receive nearly 5 billion this year, making Florida one of the most spam-texted states in the nation.

“These automated text messages are now more prevalent, and potentially more dangerous, than robocalls since malicious links can be clicked on directly in a text,” Moody said. “These links often contain malware that can be instantly downloaded to a phone. Any interaction with this type of text will show the scammer that the phone number is active, making the targeted user vulnerable to further messages. Consumers should be wary of opening or clicking links in unrecognized texts.”

In April 2020, the AG’s office issued an alert warning Floridians of COVID-19 robocall scams.

Over the past two years, Florida has seen its fair share of bad actors committing a range of COVID-19-related fraud. From March 2020 to January 2021, the AG’s office issued more than 30 consumer alerts related to COVID-19 emergency scams as well as tips to avoid them.

“As we have seen throughout the pandemic, bad actors are looking for ways to exploit the crisis to steal money, government benefits and people’s identities,” Moody warned.

COVID-19-related scams have included robocalls, robotexts, phishing emails, and websites that claim to offer fraudulent services. Fraudsters have impersonated government officials, health care workers or others, attempting to steal funds or commit identity theft.

One example involved scammers posing as county health department officials attempting to take payments for booking COVID-19 vaccine appointments, or asking for personal information, attempting to commit identity theft. Anyone asking for money or personal information in exchange for an appointment is a scam, Moody warned.

Another scam involved fraudsters claiming to be Medicare officials offering seniors in-home vaccination appointments and requesting a copy of their Medicare card in an attempt to steal their information and commit fraud.

The AG’s office also warned Floridians about posting their vaccine cards online and called on Twitter, Shopify and eBay to prevent scammers from fraudulently posting COVID-19 vaccination cards on their platforms.

“Those who buy fake cards can fraudulently add personal information to the cards to falsely claim proof of vaccination,” Moody warned. “These deceptive cards threaten the health of our communities, slow progress in getting people protected from the virus and violate many state laws."

The AG’s office also issued an alert this summer about a COVID-19 vaccine survey scam that involved contacting people by email or phone offering them compensation in exchange for completing the survey designed to capture their personal information.

“Once a victim’s information is stolen via the fake survey, scammers may use it to access bank accounts, set up credit cards and/or steal identities,” Moody said.

Another scam this summer involved fraudsters impersonating FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan in phishing emails, claiming recipients were eligible to receive non-existent COVID-19 relief funds after they provided personal and financial information.

“These brazen scammers are impersonating a federal agency charged with investigating and shutting down scams,” Moody said. The FTC has never sent out any COVID-19 stimulus money, and encourages consumers to report such scams.

Another COVID-related scam recently thwarted involved Floridians fraudulently filing unemployment claims in multiple states in order to receive pandemic relief payments and unemployment benefits, as well as recruiting others to do the same on social media. A multi-agency investigation found that none of the alleged perpetrators were unemployed in Florida because of COVID-19 or had been employed in the states where they also filed claims. They allegedly fraudulently obtained more than $550,000 in pandemic-related, unemployment-assistance funds from multiple states as a result of the scheme and were charged with multiple counts of fraud.

“The COVID-19 pandemic may have prompted more people to use mobile payments rather than transfer cash, or even credit cards, between individuals to prevent the spread of germs,” Moody warned. The AG’s office published guidelines on how to safely use mobile payment apps.
the AG’s office also created a scam hotline and website to file complaints: 1(866) 9NO-SCAM and MyFloridaLegal.com.

Bethany Blankley
The Center Square

Published in Business

When the legislature convenes next year, one of the budget priorities it is expected to address is record funding for environmental conservation projects, which have received a wide range of support from conservation and environmental groups.

Florida continues to lead the U.S. as a tourist and recreational destination known for its Atlantic and Gulf Coast beaches, estuaries, the Everglades, fishing and other sporting destinations. In order to preserve the state’s natural resources, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ "Freedom First" budget directs $4.4 billion to a variety of environmental and water conservation projects.

“Florida’s natural resources are the foundation of our state’s communities,” the governor said when announcing his budget priorities earlier this month. “The environment drives tourism, affects property values, anchors many local economies and is central to our quality of life.”

The governor’s budget proposes more than $980 million to restore the Everglades and protect Florida’s water resources. It builds on an executive order DeSantis previously issued calling for $2.5 billion to be invested over four years for the protection of water resources. The proposed funding surpasses that, bringing Florida’s four-year investment to $3 billion, and doubles the investment of the previous four years.

The funding includes more than $660 million for Everglades restoration, $195 million for targeted water quality improvements, $35 million to improve water quality and combat the negative impacts of harmful algal blooms, including blue-green algae, and $5 million in additional funding dedicated to address red tide cleanup.

“When I took office, I outlined a bold vision to protect Florida’s environment, and we have not only kept the promises we made, we’ve exceeded them,” DeSantis said. “We have seen great results so far, but we are not yet at the finish line. It’s nice to see so many coming together to support these initiatives.”

Eric Eikenberg, chief executive officer of the Everglades Foundation, said $660 million for Everglades restoration is “the largest investment in the history of the program.” In addition to restoration efforts, the funding will “create and save jobs, boost our state’s tourism-based economy, and yield tangible benefits for Floridians,” he added.

The budget also invests more than $550 million to increase the resiliency of Florida’s coastal and inland communities, and more than $151.7 million to protect prized properties and waters in Florida. This includes $100 million for the Florida Forever program and $51.7 million for infrastructure improvements and natural resource management at Florida’s award-winning state parks.

 

water

The budget also allocates $50 million to restore Florida’s world-renowned springs, $100 million for continued stabilization, water treatment, and closure at Piney Point, and $40 million for the alternative water supply grant program to help communities plan for and implement vital conservation, reuse and other alternative water supply projects.

Last year, the governor championed the passage of the Resilient Florida Grant Program, which enhanced efforts to protect Florida’s inland waterways, coastlines, shores and coral reefs. The proposed budget builds on this by investing another $550 million.

“Florida has serious flooding challenges to tackle but has a Governor who is serious about delivering solutions that can lead the nation on resilience funding and policy,” Noah Valenstein, former Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, said. “By working with communities, the Resilient Florida Program will capitalize on environmental investments to reduce flooding and protect Florida’s water resources.”

“Coming off yet another active hurricane season, Floridians across the state face the challenges of more frequent flooding and higher seas every day,” Kate Wesner, Florida director of the American Flood Coalition, added. “With another historic investment dedicated to resilience, the funds, coupled with the historic Always Ready legislation signed into law earlier this year, will help build a stronger, better prepared Florida.”

Temperince Morgan, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in Florida, lauded the $550 million allocation, adding “a strong commitment to addressing climate change from the public, private, and non-profit sectors is the only way we will protect Floridians from sea-level rise and other impacts affecting our 1,400 miles of coastline and the communities that live along them.”

Dr. Jennifer Jurado, chief resilience officer for Broward County, said the funding comes at a critical time “as local governments across our state are increasingly pressed to address the impacts of rising seas and increased flooding.”

The budget also prioritizes Florida’s 1,300 miles of coastline, which it says “is critical to our growing economy and quality of life, as millions travel from around the world to visit our world-renowned beaches.”

It allocates $50 million in beach nourishment funding to restore eroded shorelines, $137 million to clean contaminated sites related to petroleum tanks, dry cleaning solvent, hazardous waste, and other contaminants, and $53 million to implement the State Mitigation Plan for the $166 million Volkswagen Clean Air Act settlement. The settlement addresses diesel emission reductions, including funds for electric vehicle infrastructure and electric buses.

The budget also allocates $3.8 million to protect the state’s manatee population, and up to $3 million for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to remove pythons from the Everglades, an increase of $2 million over current year funding.

The biggest chunk of the environmental budget, more than $1.7 billion, is allocated to help the state’s agricultural industry.

And while Florida hasn’t experienced the damage of wildfires like other states have, the budget also allocates $6.7 million for wildfire suppression equipment and $4 million for road and bridge maintenance.

Bethany Blankley
The Center Square

Published in Environment

Small, unique antibody-like proteins known as VNARs -- derived from the immune systems of sharks -- can prevent the virus that causes COVID-19, its variants, and related coronaviruses from infecting human cells, according to a new study published last week.
The new VNARs will not be immediately available as a treatment in people, but they can help prepare for future coronavirus outbreaks. The shark VNARs were able to neutralize WIV1-CoV, a coronavirus that is capable of infecting human cells but currently circulates only in bats, where SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, likely originated.

Developing treatments for such animal-borne viruses ahead of time can prove useful if those viruses make the jump to people.

"The big issue is there are a number of coronaviruses that are poised for emergence in humans," says Aaron LeBeau, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of pathology who helped lead the study. "What we're doing is preparing an arsenal of shark VNAR therapeutics that could be used down the road for future SARS outbreaks. It's a kind of insurance against the future."

LeBeau Aaron Sharks

Aaron LeBeau

 

LeBeau and his lab in the School of Medicine and Public Health collaborated with researchers at the University of Minnesota and Elasmogen, a biomedical company in Scotland that is developing therapeutic VNARs. The team published its findings in Nature Communications.
The anti-SARS-CoV-2 VNARs were isolated from Elasmogen's large synthetic VNAR libraries. One-tenth the size of human antibodies, the shark VNARs can bind to infectious proteins in unique ways that bolster their ability to halt infection.

"These small antibody-like proteins can get into nooks and crannies that human antibodies cannot access," says LeBeau. "They can form these very unique geometries. This allows them to recognize structures in proteins that our human antibodies cannot."

The researchers tested the shark VNARs against both infectious SARS-CoV-2 and a "pseudotype," a version of the virus that can't replicate in cells. They identified three candidate VNARs from a pool of billions that effectively stopped the virus from infecting human cells. The three shark VNARs were also effective against SARS-CoV-1, which caused the first SARS outbreak in 2003.

One VNAR, named 3B4, attached strongly to a groove on the viral spike protein near where the virus binds to human cells and appears to block this attachment process. This groove is very similar among genetically diverse coronaviruses, which even allows 3B4 to effectively neutralize the MERS virus, a distant cousin of the SARS viruses.

The ability to bind such conserved regions across diverse coronaviruses makes 3B4 an attractive candidate to fight viruses that have yet to infect people.

The 3B4 binding site is also not changed in prominent variations of SARS-CoV-2, such as the delta variant. This research was conducted before the omicron variant was discovered, but initial models suggest the VNAR would remain effective against this new version, LeBeau says.

The second-most-powerful shark VNAR, 2C02, seems to lock the spike protein into an inactive form. However, this VNAR's binding site is altered in some SARS-CoV-2 variants, which likely decreases its potency.

"What is exciting is that these new potential drug molecules against SARS-CoV-2 differ in their mechanism of action compared to other biologics and antibodies targeting this virus," says Caroline Barelle, CEO of Elasmogen. "It is another great example of how Elasmogen can effectively deliver potent therapeutic molecules."

Future therapies would likely include a cocktail of multiple shark VNARs to maximize their effectiveness against diverse and mutating viruses. This new class of drug is cheaper and easier to manufacture than human antibodies, and can be delivered into the body through various routes, but has yet to be tested in humans. LeBeau is also studying the ability of shark VNARs to help in the treatment and diagnosis of cancers.

Vaccines form the bedrock of protection against SARS-CoV-2 and future coronaviruses. But some people, such as those with compromised immune systems, do not respond as well to vaccination and may benefit from other treatments like antibodies -- which makes developing these treatments an ongoing priority.

 

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Published in Technology

 

The Town of Fort Myers Beach will celebrate its 26th year of incorporation on December 31, 2021, with the return of the annual cupcake giveaway in Times Square and a fireworks display and ball drop.

The cupcake giveaway is from noon to 1 p.m. or until supplies last. It is a tradition begun by several families after the Town was incorporated in 1995.

The annual fireworks display will start at midnight from the pier at Lynn Hall Memorial Park near Times Square with the ball drop to happen in Times Square (the pier will be closed.) Town merchants provide financial support for this display.

Traffic is expected to be heavy in the Downtown District for these events. Visitors should consider using the convenient public transportation options offered by LeeTran, particularly the park and ride lot located a few miles off Estero Island at Pine Ridge Road. LeeTran will be extending hours for its beach services until 1 a.m. Call 239-533-8726 with questions.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Matanzas Pass Bridge will be closed to oncoming traffic from midnight to 1:30 a.m. Big Carlos Pass Bridge on the sound end of the Island will be open.

For information about Town parking, text the word PARKING to 239-FMBeach (239-362-3224) or visit the parking section at www.fmbgov.com > Things to Do > Parking.

The Town’s Beach and Street Enforcement (BASE) team monitors town spaces and posts the percentage of their availability at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 5 p.m. daily.

The Town operates several hundred pay-for-parking spaces in and near the Downtown District and beach accesses and there are also several commercial lots.

Town’s 26th Birthday on New Year’s Eve Please help keep everyone safe and the festivities enjoyable by observing the Town’s ordinances that prohibit personal fireworks displays in any part of the Town, including the beach, and open containers of alcohol outside the boundaries of Times Square. Also, please dispose of trash in the proper receptacles.

Watch the Town’s website and social media outlets for updates. For information about New Year’s Eve activities and entertainment that will be going on in retail and restaurant establishments, visit the FMB Chamber of Commerce website at www.fortmyersbeach.org

Published in Outdoor

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