ADHD and Food Additives The Honest Information

Parents of children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are faced with many challenges. Often they have incredibly intelligent kids that won’t slow down, and behavior issues can make everyday life a battle of wills.

Far too often, medications such as Ritalin and Adderol are prescribed without first examining some basic dietary issues that possibly exacerbate the issue. One of these is food additives, in particular, food dyes.

ADHD and Food Additives The Honest Information

ADHD and Potential Dietary Connections

One of the possible causes or contributors to this behavior has been a child’s diet. Many parents have reported that certain foods seem to make the behavior and impulse control worse. There have been extensive studies done as to the effects of certain foods and especially food additives that may cause a child who is ADHD to have even more trouble paying attention and sitting still. While there is no definitive evidence that this is a cause for the disorder, the studies indicate that it does have a negative effect on the existing behavior.

Columbia University conducted a study in 2004 that examined and cross referenced the data from several controlled trials. The study couldn’t make specific recommendations due to lack of additional information about the test subjects, however it did show there was a distinct consistency with the responders and the research indicating artificial food colorings having a neurotoxic effect.

Food Dyes Are Bad!
Food Dyes Are Bad!

The food dyes in particular to avoid are FD&C Yellow No. 6 (also known as “sunset yellow”), FD&C Yellow No. 5 (or “tartrazine”), D&C Yellow No. 10, and FD&C Red No. 40. The best rule of thumb is to always read the labels for the ingredients and avoid an overabundance of food dyes altogether. The list continues to grow as to what is being tested, so the less processed food in the child’s diet, the better.

In another study done in 2007 at the UK’s University of Southampton showed in double blind placebo controlled testing that when sodium benzoate, a preservative in many processed foods was given to two different age groups, hyperactivity and inattentiveness increased. Considering the amount of processed foods in the modern diet, this is indeed a concern. Although this study indicates a particular preservative that may be making ADHD worse, more research is needed to determine what other food additives may have an adverse effect on behavior and impulse control. While it has not been determined at this time that these additives can actually cause this behavior, there is the possibility of pre-existing genetic factors that canĀ make a child more prone to react adversely to these additives.

Another study done at Southampton in 2010 studied the effects of histamine degradation in test subjects of similar ages to the 2007 research. TheseĀ genetic variations, which are still being researched, may contribute to the different reactions children have.


A Brief History of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD

Written by Angela Sangster, Copyright 2011

Society and Culture

Driving While Talking on a Cell Phone is Stupid

Driving a Vehicle? Stay Off That Phone!

I was leaving the grocery store and nearly wrecked as I had to slam on the breaks to avoid hitting a car that pulled out directly in front on me. I was looking right at the car and the driver did not look in either direction, she never even glanced at all! What was she doing? She was talking on her cell phone! She came out of that parking lot without looking or even being aware that there was anyone else in the world besides her.

I drove on and less than a half a mile on farther down the road another driver, this time a man, made a right hand turn from a red light without stopping. He pulled out in front of us and if the left lane hadn’t been clear we would have had a collision. What was he doing? You may have already guessed that he was talking on a cell phone!

A little while later, maybe another mile and a half into our drive, a lady suddenly changed lanes almost right on top of us. I had to hit the brakes and swerve a little over into the median to avoid her. She was going down the 4 lane talking on her cell phone and was completely oblivious to the fact that she had changed lanes!

If You're Going to Drive Stay Off That Phone!
Hang Up That Phone And Drive!

Nearly everywhere you look people are on their cell phones. They cant seem to drive down the road, pump gas, shop, or do much of anything else without having that little phone pressed up to the side of their head! I wonder how many deaths and injuries have been caused by these people? More than a few I am sure.

Talking on a cell phone while driving is against the law in many states but not in Kentucky. However, it shouldn’t take a law for people to wake up and stop doing this! If you have to make a phone call then pull over somewhere! Better yet if you can’t stay off the phone then stay out of your vehicle or get someone else who has better sense to drive for you.

I will not apologize to anyone who is offended by this. It makes me so angry when I see things like this and someone driving a car while trying to text or talk on their cell phone. If that is you then please consider what you are doing before you end up killing yourself or someone else!

Copyright 2011

Life and Money

Hughesnet Lies and Has Terrible Customer Service

I live out in the “boonies”. DSL or even cable are not available here so I am forced to choose between dial-up or satellite.

I have been using Hughesnet for my internet for over 2 years now and I can honestly say without any reservation that they SUCK and I hate them. I am considering moving just so I cant cancel the service!

The local phone company has been telling me “any time now” on the DSL for more than 2 years but so far they haven’t gotten out here yet.

The Hughesnet Internet service is not reliable and is constantly experiencing problems. I am paying almost $100 per month (double or more than what DSL or Cable would cost) yet the service is crap.

Hughesnet Service Sucks
Hughesnet Service Sucks

When you call them up on the phone you will get someone in another country who can barely even speak English. You have to repeat what you are trying to say over and over and they usually still cant understand. I can barely understand what they are saying either. I have went to the Hughesnet website and contacted them with my complaints several different times – but not once have they ever replied back!

Although I haven’t actually kept count I have been hung up on numerous times. When you call you have to go through all the menus and it takes awhile to get hold of a person. Then they put you on hold and “oops” you get a dial tone or silence. I know this has happened at least half a dozen times. Too many times for it to be accidental in my opinion.

I was lied to by the rep when I first signed up and once you sign up there is not much you can do if you have problems. Yes I was lied to! I asked the guy on the phone if there were any limitations on the service and he said no. He told me that I could do whatever I liked without worrying about that. The reason I asked this question was because some other companies I had considered stated that there was a bandwidth/usage limit. well, the first time we exceeded the bandwidth and the service quit working I called support and after a lot of the “run around” I was told that I had exceeded the Fair Use Policy. It was the first time I had been told anything about that. The service we had signed up for did have a limit! I explained that the sales guy had lied and I was told basically “sorry but there’s nothing we can do.” It was really a quite difficult conversation as the guy I talked with could barely speak and understand English. FRUSTRATION OH YEAH.

In all fairness and honesty I can say that ONE time when I called them up I got good results from a tech who could speak English. He discovered a problem with my modem and had a replacement sent out to me.

Nearly every other time I called it was a waste of time. I really hate Hughesnet and other companies who outsource their support to other countries.

What do you think of Hughesnet? Have you had experiences similar or different than me? Feel free to comment below.

Sent in by “Unhappy Customer with no choice”


Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated Oils the Honest Information

Health conscious people search the news and the web daily to find out what new, horrible thing has been discovered about a food or food product.

In the last ten years, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils have received much international attention as more people are educating themselves on prevention of heart disease and high cholesterol.

Foods prepared with these oils are deemed harmful, and even fast food restaurants are responding to these concerns by placing restrictions on how much hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil is used.

The process of hydrogenating oil was first marketed in 1911 when the company Proctor and Gamble introduced Crisco as a solid shortening that had a much longer shelf life than other oil products. Hydrogenation takes place by adding a hydrogen molecule to vegetable oil, which consists of hydrocarbons in its natural state. The molecule is forced in by applying heat (as much as 400 degrees) where the existing carbon molecules split and the hydrogen bonds to the split atoms from the existing organic material. This process transfers the liquid oil into a solid, making it a “trans fat”. This affects everything about the oil’s properties, changing fats that were once unsaturated (which are helpful to the human body) into saturated fat. This converted fat may last longer on the shelf and is certainly less expensive than traditional oils and fats as well as being very resistant to high heat temperatures – however the health risks far outweigh any benefits it may have.

Hydrogenated oil was first marketed in 1911 when Proctor and Gamble introduced Crisco
The process of hydrogenating oil was first marketed in 1911 when Proctor and Gamble introduced Crisco

One of the first people to research and publish the facts about how fats and oils affect the body was Dr. Joanna Budwig, creator of the controversial Budwig Anti Cancer Diet in the 1950’s. She maintained that while the body needs essential fatty acids to survive, one must take caution in the amount of fat consumed and in what form. Ideally, these essential fatty acids will work together to create important nutrients for survival, but our bodies need assistance in creating them. Omega-3, Omega-4, and Omega-6 are three EFA’s needed, and can be found in many nutritious foods. Oil rich fish such as salmon and mackerel, olive and flax seed oils, leafy greens (the darker the better), whole grains, eggs and leaner meats are excellent sources of these omega-fatty acids.

Dr. Joanna Budwig
Dr. Joanna Budwig

The saturation from the hydrogenation process continues to heavily load the arteries and the inside of our bodies. Long term use of these fats can cause high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer, stroke, and other harmful health risks. Saturated fats from animals and animal by-products have often been critiqued (and rightfully so) as being extremely unhealthy, but hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils are even worse than these. They not only raise the “bad” LDL (liproprotein, or low density cholesterol) but the HDL (high density lipoprotein, or “good” cholesterol) is actually lowered in this process. In other words, trans fat is a double whammy, and should be avoided especially in large quantities.

After hearing all of this about the hydrogenated oils, the question may be – what about partially hydrogenated oils? Are they any better due to not being a complete process? In actuality, they are worse! There is not only the potential harm from the consumption of these foods, but they end up inhibiting the body’s ability to absorb the fats that are beneficial. They differ only in that partially hydrogenated oils have a thinner base. Polyunsaturated fat is used rather than unsaturated fat. These processes essentially take perfectly good essential fatty acids that our bodies need and make them unhealthy, with the only benefit being economical. It’s bad for the body on every level, but the sales of these foods continue because of their low price, pleasing taste, and longer shelf life. More sales means more profit. Yes… it’s all about the money.

Some of the foods that people should severely limit or avoid altogether (unless specified on the label) are as follows: vegetable shortening, stick margarine, many processed frozen foods and dinners, non-dairy whipped toppings, microwave popcorn, pasta and sauce mixes, cake mixes, enriched bread, cocoa mix, french fries, commercial breakfast cereals, instant potatoes, and many others. This is why it is so important to read the nutrition label on foods which are now required to show how much hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil is in the product. Anything that says “hydrogenated” should be looked at with caution and when possible, replaced with something that has more nutritional value. The hydrogenated cooking fats and spreads are not as high in hydrogenated fat as stick margarine, but should still be used sparingly.

Hydrogenated Oil Information Required on Food Labels

Toxic Trans Fat

Thanks to efforts by many activist groups who have years of medical research to support their statements, food companies and restaurants are now required by law in many places to reveal their information on what hydrogenated oils are used.

Since 2003, Food and Drug Administration regulations dictate that the exact amount of trans fats are shown in the nutrition labels on foods. It can be found directly underneath the “saturated fat” content. The higher those two numbers are, the more the food should be avoided.

It should however be noted that the words “0 trans fat” are misleading. The product may still contain more than half a gram of trans fat per serving size. Eating several servings adds to that number, and many people will do this thinking that the food is safer.

By law, the food companies are allowed to claim “0 trans fat” if there is one half a gram or under, but activists continue to push for this to be changed.

The important thing here to note is that there is no safe “number” or level set for these hydrogenated oils. The wisest choice is to look for alternatives to use a majority of the time.

A study done by The New England Journal of Medicine in 2006 surmised that more than 200,000 cases of coronary heart disease could be avoided altogether by replacing these fats with healthier alternatives.

Believe it or not, one of these alternatives is butter.

Small quantities of butter are actually less hazardous than trans fat even though it is a saturated fat. As long as it isn’t overdone, butter as well as tropical oils such as palm and coconut are viable alternatives.

Restaurants have even begun advertising the use of trans fat free cooking. McDonalds as well as Wendy’s and many other commercial fast food places have switched to non-hydrogenated oils such as corn and soy blends, dropping the fat content of the food significantly.

Hydrogenated oils stop the body from absorbing the good fats necessary to stay healthy. Because these fats are inhibited, they end up as waste, and the “hungry” feeling remains – therefore, more is consumed.

It’s much better to eat a well balanced, healthy diet full of good fats such as nuts, avocado, and olive oil as well as generous helpings of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

When buying snacks, look for the non-hydrogenated tropical oils on the ingredients, and always be aware that “0” trans fat does not necessarily mean that it is trans fat free.

Written by Angela Sangster, Copyright 2011

Life and Money

Compact Fluorescent Lights the Honest Information

The Switch to Energy Saving Bulbs

Incandescent light bulbs are joining 8-track players and Betamax VCR’s in the land of obsoletion. The switch to energy saving bulbs that last years rather than months has been in place for some time now, and the prices are not as high as they used to be. CFL’s (compact fluorescent lights) and LED’s (light emitting diodes) seem to be the way of the future in many aspects. The length of time they last and the lower amount of energy used are both very big selling points. However, before the switch is made, there are several factors to consider as well as myths that need dispelled.

The support for CFL’s has grown in the last several years, phasing out traditional incandescent bulbs. The older light bulbs would last for a matter of a few weeks, whereas CFL’s last for years. Fluorescent lighting is certainly not a new concept, as most of us are familiar with the long cylinders of bright light that are used in many businesses and schools. As far back as 1857, a physicist named Alexandre E. Bequerel was studying new theories about fluorescence and placing a phosphorus substance inside tubing to create light. There were some experiments he conducted with luminescent materials and electric discharge tubes, but the true breakthrough came at the turn of the century. An American electrical engineer named Peter Cooper Hewitt and a German physicist named Martin Leo Arons worked together to create the first mercury vapor lamp(pat. 1901).

(CFL) Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb
Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb

Fluorescent lighting is created with a glass cylinder coated on the inside with phosphorus substance and filled with mercury vapor and argon gas. At each end of the tube is a metal filament, either straight or coiled, which heats when electricity is applied. As the voltage increases, the tube begins to glow. Once the electrons start moving back and forth between the filaments, they collide with the mercury atoms, which in turn create ultra violet rays. These rays are invisible, however when combined with the phosphorus material, a bright light emerges from the tube. As time and technology has increased, this way of lighting has been made possible for the needs of the average home. Compact fluorescent light bulbs last up to ten times longer and save energy to boot, and while they are initially more expensive, in the long run money is saved because not as many need to be purchased.

These bulbs certainly save energy, and while they take a bit more to produce, the overall lifespan compensates. However, there are some flaws to the energy-saving theory, namely in regard to heating and cooling. When a fluorescent light is on, the overall heat in the room drops. Certainly during warmer months, this would be ideal in keeping cooling costs down, but in colder climates it would actually increase the amount of heating energy needed for a home or business. The energy from light usage itself with a compact fluorescent is an average of 25% less than regular light bulbs. Life spans range from 6,000 to more than 15,000 hours in comparison to a mere 700 – 1000 hours of incandescent bulbs. All in all, some very good selling points – but as with all things, there are criticisms and disadvantages.

Disadvantages to Compact Fluorescent Lights

One complaint about fluorescent lighting stems from the time it takes for one to turn on. Because it takes a minute or two for the electrons and atoms to start bouncing off of each other, it is not instantaneous light. Many people dislike the harsh lighting from fluorescent bulbs, although many CFL’s are now designed with colors to produce softer light. CFL’s do fit in incandescent light fixtures, but consumers have reported not being able to replace lamp or bulb covers due to the base of the CFL being larger. The biggest concern however has nothing to do with cost or appearance, but rather the potential for harmful mercury to be released if the bulb is broken.

How to Clean Up Broken Compact Fluorescent Lights

It is important to note, while the myth that an EPA HAZMAT team must come in to clean up the mercury released from a broken CFL is unfounded, there are crucial steps that must be taken to minimize potential damage. Mercury is highly toxic, so if a bulb is broken, do not vacuum up the pieces. This will heighten risk of the mercury becoming airborne. Instead, follow these steps in the order given to safely remove the fragments and powder.

1) Evacuate everyone (pets included) from the room immediately when the bulb is broken.

2) Open a window or door to let fresh air in the room (leave about fifteen minutes)

3) Shut off any centralized heating or cooling unit.

4) For hard surfaces, use an unyielding, disposable scoop (such as cardboard) carefully, and without touching the fragments, scrape up all of the debris and put immediately into a glass or plastic sealed container.

For carpeting, repeat above process, and in addition, take duct tape, sticky side up, and pick up all remaining visible material. Only then is it advised to vacuum the specific area, and the bag must be removed and sealed in a plastic container to await proper disposal. It is also important to remember that the next several times of vacuuming that room should be done with a separate bag that is immediately sealed and properly disposed, as well as the central heating/cooling unit being shut off while vacuuming.

5) Continue to air out the room for several hours before letting anyone back in.

6) Once properly sealed, place containers in the trash until you have contacted your local refuse service to see what is required for disposal. Some city governments require that the material is taken to the local recycling center as opposed to the regular trash service.

Following these steps will greatly reduce the risk of any damage from the mercury exposure. It is also a good idea to put some kind of paper or cloth underneath the light when a bulb is being changed. That way, if there is any breakage, it can easily be disposed of.

Compact Fluorescent Lights and the HAZMAT Myth

The myth about HAZMAT originated from a case where a Department of Environmental Safety worker in a local office advised a woman who had broken a CFL bulb in her home to call the EPA and have a HAZMAT team come out. This was, in retrospect, completely unnecessary, and it ended up causing a larger scale problem than it would have originally. Snopes debunked the HAZMAT myth, along with giving the true and accurate information for disposal of broken CFL bulbs.

The concern from possible mercury contamination is a very valid one, however it should be noted that many people use these energy efficient, long lasting bulbs with no negative results. Although they are still higher in initial cost than a regular light bulb, they have lowered considerably from their original prices. For those that are still leery of the potential mercury hazard, there are other types of energy efficient lights that aren’t powered by toxic substances. LED (light emitting diodes) lamps are preferred by some due to the safety factor and the even longer lifespan. Solid-state lighting (often used for traffic lights) are also powered by electroluminescence, or the material producing light from electrical currents. These may compete with compact fluorescent bulbs, and are going even farther in pushing out the incandescent bulbs.

If the proper precautions are taken in case of accidental breakage, the compact fluorescent bulb has many advantages. Overall, consumer feedback has been positive, and many are pleased with not having to replace light bulbs every month as well as lower electric bills. Just remember, as with any purchase, always research the information available to make an educated choice.

Written by Angela Sangster, Copyright 2011

Society and Culture

Illuminati: Masonic Organization

Among the Masonic organizations the Illuminati occupy a top position. The fact that right after it had been created it was declared to be outside the law projected into the public mind that they are a group of plotters ready to enslave the world to satisfy their thirst of power.

The Masonic organization of Illuminati appeared on the 1st of May 1776 at Ingolstadt in Superior Bavaria. It’s initial name was The Bavarian Illuminati. At its secret structure lies university teacher of canonical law named Adam Weishaupt who, apparently got his inspiration from the freemasonry model. The Latin word Illuminati is directly linked with the Illuminated Age of which Bavaria was no stranger.

Illuminati: Masonic Organization Masonic Symbols
Masonic Symbols The All Seeing Eye

In 1784 the Bavarian authorities forbid any secret organizations amongst which were the Illuminati. The restriction order was not directly aimed at the Illuminati, they were just collateral damage in the war that absolutist regimes had against revolutionary movements. Yet, the posterity remembered the official propaganda that advertised the danger the Illuminati (not only) possess and that they were plotting against the social order which is now known as New World Order.

Illuminati: Masonic Organization The Pyramid and the Eye
Pyramid and the Eye

Forbidding the organization to exist proved to be efficient on short-term because many social, political and cultural personalities joined the order. Actually, members of the Masonic cult started to worry because many of their people decided to join the Illuminati, increasing their prestige and power. It appears that Goethe and Herder were members of the Illuminati. Feared and forbidden to exist in 1785, the Illuminati found refuge in the United States where it saw a new beginning.

Today, the order is present everywhere around the world and won the sympathies of passionate researchers of conspiracies. Even so, nobody was able to draw a concrete line between legend and truth when it comes to the secret organization called Illuminate, which has a lot of copies all around the world.

Freemasonry Masonic Lodges

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Autism the Honest Information

A mother struggles to comfort a toddler who won’t stop screaming. A father wistfully holds a football as he watches his son stare into space, wondering if he will ever play with other children. Two young parents sit in a doctor’s office stunned, as they are informed their child will face a lifetime of challenges. These are scenes playing out all over the world as cases of autism spectrum disorder are on the rise.

The diagnosis of autism often brings more questions than answers. Did I do something to cause this? If not, what did cause this? What can I do for my child? There is also the feeling of disappointment, as everyone has expectations when starting a family. Knowing that a child is going to have challenges is overwhelming, and it is essential for parents to know they did not cause it nor are they alone. There are therapies to assist with communicating and behavior control, along with good support groups.

What Is Autism?

Each case of autism is unique, and cannot be simply summed up. The spectrum is inclusive of a group classified as Pervasive Development Disorders, or delays in social and communication skills.

Home Assembly Jobs

Earn Money Assembling the Disciples Cross

The Disciples Cross work from home program was started by John Raymond, Pastor of the New Horizon Christian Fellowship in Slidell, Louisiana.

He began making the Disciples Cross Necklaces in the early 90’s and selling them. They were popular and there was enough steady business to keep him busy.

But then John Raymond appeared on the CBS television show, Survivor: Thailand. And after wearing one of his unique, hand-made crosses on the show, interest skyrocketed.

You simply buy the supplies, assemble a cross necklace and mail the completed necklaces back to DC. The crosses you crafted and sent in are then inspected by quality control people and you are paid $1.25 per unit plus $1.00 to help cover the materials cost and up to $5.00 per 50 units to help cover your postage expense. Currently it takes approximately 8-10 weeks for the process and for you to receive payment. Disciples Cross sets a limit of 400 crosses per week maximum on the buyback program.

The Disciples Cross
The Disciples Cross

When you become a Certified Disciple’s Cross Producer, you’ll receive a complete start up kit that contains everything you need to get started in this incredible opportunity. Disciple’s Cross necklaces are easy to make. Once you have learned the basic steps (thanks to the step-by-step training video), you will be able to create these precious crosses in about 5 minutes.

The Disciples Cross
The Disciples Cross

Watch out for programs that use shady tactics to suck the money from your pocketbook. With Disciple’s Cross, you will never have to purchase a minimum amount of supplies each month, or pay an ongoing fee to remain “active”. We don’t require you to produce a minimum amount of crosses to get paid, nor do we require you to purchase your supplies from us.

“Because of our high volume, we are able to get quantity discounts on the materials we use, so you will be able to get them from us cheaper than from your local store. However, the materials are available at hobby and craft stores, and you are free to purchase your supplies from them if you are not planning on participating in our guaranteed buy back program. If you are planning on participating in our guaranteed buy back program you must obtain your supplies from Disciples Cross. This is to insure consistency and quality in our product.”

Many DC Producers are selling the crosses on their own on websites, at craft shows, to Christian bookstores and other markets, they are also excellent for church fund raisers. The average retail price for the crosses are $8.00 to $10.00. If you wholesale them to store owners or sell them on a consignment basis you should expect $3.00 to $5.00 for each cross.

You decide how much to earn by how much time you want to spend. Please read the Disciples Cross homepage to learn more about this program. Of particular interest to most people is the information about the “Guaranteed Buy Back.” This explains the process of buying the crafted crosses back from you. Find out how this can supplement your home’s income with the “Put Money in your Pocket” information on the Disciple’s Cross homepage.

Society and Culture

Will Solar Storms be a Threat to Life?

Solar Storms are coming. Emergency Survival knowledge, and Preparedness are key. You may be asking questions like, “Exactly what is a solar storm, and how can it affect me and my family?” “What emergency survival knowledge should I know about?” “If preparedness is the key, then what should I do?” In this four part document we are going to answer these questions and provide insight into the larger picture. We will give you the information that the media, and government are holding back.

So what is a solar storm? Well solar as you might have guessed refers to an event involving our sun. A storm is defined as a violent disturbance of the atmosphere. But instead of the disturbance occurring in the form of thunder, lightening, or precipitation, it is in the form of charged particles that are ejected from the sun. These charged particles travel in large clouds that can carry up to ten billion tons of plasma. These clouds are also called Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), when they are released from the sun.

Society and Culture

Should Plastic Bags Be Banned?

Our little town juts out into a very big lake. And everyday, I take a three-mile walk, along the lake, winding through wood and field. I love the flora and fauna along the trail, all the critters from buzzards to bobcats (Texas) and the breathtaking seasonal changes. But I hate the plastic bags snagged in the brush and branches.

Nevertheless, the cussed things are sure handy for toting groceries and stuff. What to do?

Bag bans seem to be gaining momentum.

State Delegate Alfred C. Carr (D-District 18), for example, is fixin’ to introduce a bill (The Chesapeake Bay Restoration Consumer Retail Choice Act) that would slap a nickel tax on new plastic and paper bags used by Maryland shoppers.

Last September, California senators balked at an Assembly-approved bill that would have made the state the first in the nation to ban all plastic shopping bags. AB 1998 would have outlawed single-use plastic bags in grocery stores and pharmacies, starting next year and in liquor and convenience stores in 2013. The idea was to encourage shoppers to bring their own reusable totes.

No More Plastic Bags?

Nevertheless, a couple of months later, Los Angeles County passed a law affecting more than a million residents of unincorporated areas: “No store shall provide to any customer a plastic carryout bag.” An exception would be made for plastic bags used to hold fruit, vegetables or raw meat in order to prevent contamination with other grocery items.

Plastic bags have been contraband in San Francisco since 2007.

And if you vacation on Maui, Lana’i, Moloka’i or Kaua’i, you’ll have to haul your leis and pineapples back to your hotel in a lauhala bag, because their plastic bag ban took effect a couple of weeks ago. And justifiably so. According to the Kaua’i Department of Public Works, “The world’s ‘great garbage patch’ can be found floating between Hawaii and San Francisco. This garbage patch is estimated to be twice the size of Texas and thousands of pounds of our discarded trash, mostly plastics.”

So what do you think?

Paper or plastic? Or lauhala bag?

The writer of the international bestseller, Son of Hamas, Ron Brackin has traveled extensively in the Middle East as an investigative journalist. He was in the West Bank and Gaza during the Al-Aqsa Intifada, on assignment in Baghdad and Mosul after the fall of Iraq and more recently with the rebels and refugees of Southern Sudan and Darfur. He has contributed articles and columns to many publications, including USA Today and The Washington Times. Ron is the author of other nonfiction books, including Sweet Persecution, Between 2 Fires and Iraq, My Handiwork. He was a broadcast journalist with WTOP-AM, Post-Newsweek’s all-news radio station in Washington D.C. and weekend news anchor on Metromedia’s WASH-FM. And he served as a congressional press secretary under the Reagan Administration. Visit his website at

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