Saturday, September 19, 2020

No, Donald Trump! Canadians do not want the U.S-Canada border reopened now

 Donald Trump has stated that the Canada-U.S. border will reopen soon.  Yesterday (September 18, 2020),  he claimed that "Canada would like it opened."  "You know, we want to get back no normal business,"  he added.  That same day, Canada's Public Safety Minister, Bill Blair, announced on Twitter that closure of the border has been extended until October 21, 2020 (It was set to expire on September 21st).  "We will continue to base our decisions on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe," Blair wrote.

In a July 2020 IPSOS poll, more than 8 out of 10 Canadians surveyed said that they want to keep the U.S. Canadian border closed until at least the end of 2020.  That' was over 80 per cent back in July.  I bet the percentage would be even higher now.

If Trumps thinks reopening of the border is going to happen any time soon, he's wrong!  Canadians do not want the border reopened until the virus is under control.  It is certainly not under control. now, thanks to the negligence, indifference and incompetence of Trump and his supporters.  As I write this, the number of deaths from COVID-19 in the United States is 198,000.  That number will soon reach the grim milestone of 200,000.  Those are the cold, hard facts,  However, the American president's first concern is getting himself re-elected.  

Trump puts the economy before human lives.  He fails to understand that the economy will not improve until people feel safe and protected from the virus.  For him "business" comes before health and well-being.  Trump also does not understand that the stock market is not the true measure of the economy.

Canada's record with regard to COVID-19 is much better, but there has been a resurgence of new cases here lately.  We do not need or want Americans coming across the border and spreading the virus further.  We simply cannot afford to put more human lives at risk.  That is why reopeinig the border anytime soon would be foolish and immoral.  

The tragedy is that Donald Trump was aware of the deadly virus back in February.  His words on investigative journalist Bob Woodward's tape prove that he knew.  Trump's voice on Woodward's tape is clear and distinct.  He can be heard telling Woodward that the virus was "deadly." Yet, he failed to act quickly and decisively.  If he had done so, many lives would have been saved.  This was a dereliction of duty of epic proportions.  The president of the United States failed to protect American lives and he should be held accountable for that.

The Canada-U.S. border should not be reopened until the virus is under control in the United States.  That will not happen unless and until Joe Biden is sworn in as president on January 20, 2021.  This is a matter of life and death.  The choice is as stark as that.  So, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must remain firm that our border with the U.S. will remain closed until he COVID-19 is contained there.                          

- Joanne                                                                    

Monday, September 14, 2020

Some Good News in Terrible Times

Do you need a break from all the doom and gloom?  With COVID-19, climate change and the horrors of the Donald Trump presidency, it's time for some good news to brighten up your day.  Yes, these are the "worst of times," to quote Charles Dickens, so Number 16 will provide you with some much-needed relief from all the bad news.  It will not make COVID go away, but it is designed to make you feel better.


MONTREAL-BASED COMPANY HELPS DEVELOP DRONES FOR HUMANITARIAN AID

Polytechnique MontrĂ©al, an engineering research company, has partnered with other researchers who are developing technology to assist humanitarian workers.  Since 2017, the company has been collaborating with Solutions Humanitas to develop an interface for remote-control autonomous air vehicles (UAVs).  These drones will be able to inspect and gauge the safety of damaged buildings in real time, provide 3D images of the disaster site, and first and foremost, transport medicines or emergency kits. 


TEXAS TEACHER BUILDS GARAGE LIBRARY

Jennifer Martin, an elementary school teacher in Austin Texas, built a library in her garage.for students who do not have access to a nearby library (Most of her students live a fair distance (24.14 kilometres, 15 miles) from the closest public library).  Martin's garage library has more than 1,500 works and is based on the honour system.  It was designed as a temporary solution until the reopening of the neighbourhood school library.  


CHINA PLANS TO REDUCE SINGLE-USE PLASTIC 

China, one of the world biggest users of plastic, has announced plans to change course.  By the end of 2020, a ban will take effect on the production and manufacture and sale  of disposable foamed plastic tableware, straws and plastic cotton buds.  Non-degradable bags will be banned in majors cities in the country by the end of 2020 and in smaller cities and towns by 2020.  By 2025, non-biodegradable plastic products at hotels and the plastic packaging of courier deliverers will be banned. 


SOUTH AUSTRALIA BANS SINGLE-USE PLASTIC PRODUCTS

In order to protect wildlife on both land and sea, the state of South Australia has passed legislation banning non-biodegradable single-use plastics such as cutlery items, beverage stirrers and straws. Due to the pandemic, the law is not scheduled to take effect until 2021, and there are exemptions for medical needs.  It is the first state in Australia to ban single-use plastics.


FOR THE FIRST TIME, A UNIVERSITY IN NEW JERSEY CELEBRATES A GRADUATE WITH DOWN SYNDROME

On May 8. 2020, Anna Rose Rubright graduated from Rowan University in New Jersey.  Due to COVID-19, she had a virtual graduation on Zoom.  Anna has Down Syndrome, a genetic disorder causd by abnormal cell division. It impairs physical and intellectual growth and affects facial features.

The special speaker at Anna Rose's online graduation was Stephen M. Sweeney, the President of the Senate of New Jersey.  Sweeney is the father of a daughter, Lauren, who was born prematurely with Down Syndrome.  He credits Lauren with inspiring him to launch his career in politics.

 Anna Rose received an audiovisual licence.  The young graduate aspires to become an entrepreneur and launch her own production company. She enthusiastic about radio and is eager tell stories to others with Down Syndrome.  



TWO HOMELESS MEN HAVE CLEANED UP LITTER ON THE CALIFORNIA BEACH FOR THE LAST FOUR YEARS

Every morning at 5 a.m., Dave Hendon and Marc Gervais, clean Ocean Beach, California for free.  The men live in the area in their van.  They clean the beach for the benefit of their community, picking up trash and removing glass.



A COUPLE OF JOKES TO MAKE YOU SMILE




What do you call a pig that does karate?

A pork chop.


What's the best thing about Switzerland?

I'm really not sure, but its flag is a big plus.


- Joanne