Aug 202017

Today has been one of those days.  I did something I have never done before — I slept in until 1450 hours!  My furbabes did not even wake me up even though they were hungry!  Within 40 minutes, I showered, dressed, fed the babes and was half way to the bakery to pick up some bread before going to my favourite eatery to say goodbye to one of the hostesses who was leaving.  She is a wonderful young lady who will be finishing high school this coming year (Bye Andy) and says she will be checking into the blog.  Fortunately our temperatures have moderated here in Metro Vancouver so it has been quite pleasant this past week.  Nights have been quite cool so I think that autumn is truly on the way.

Short Takes

The Independent Iceland is close to becoming the first country where no-one gives birth to a child with Down’s syndrome.

Pre-natal tests were introduced in the early 2000s, and the vast majority who receive a positive test have terminated their pregnancy.

While the tests are optional, all expectant mothers are informed about their availability, and up to 85 per cent choose to take it.

It’s called the Combination Test, and uses ultrasound and blood tests – as well as factoring in the mother’s age.
This determines whether the foetus will have a chromosome abnormality, the most common of which results in Down’s syndrome.

The law in Iceland allows for abortion after 16 weeks if the foetus has a deformity, and Down’s syndrome is included in this category.

There is another video at the beginning of the article which I would recommend watching only after reading the article and watching the above video.  It is from Faux Noise (need I say more?) and is an interview with Tony Perkins (now I know I need not say more!).  To be clear, Iceland does not have a cure for downs syndrome, a genetic condition.  What they do have is a different way of looking at abortion than in the US.  As the Icelandic counsellor said: 

“We ended a possible life that may have had a huge complication… preventing suffering for the child and for the family. And I think that is more right than seeing it as a murder — that’s so black and white.”

“Life isn’t black and white. Life is grey.”

Personally, I am closer to the Icelandic view than the American view.  I believe it is up to each woman to decide what is right for her, and make that decision in consultation with her partner and her doctor. 

CBC — Around 4,000 people showed up at Vancouver City Hall to protest against a far-right rally on Saturday afternoon.

Tensions rose briefly as protesters from opposing sides began yelling at each other, but Vancouver police quickly escorted several far-right demonstrators away from the crowd. One protester was in handcuffs.  …

                                   Thousands showed up to protest an anti-Islam rally planned for Saturday afternoon at Vancouver City Hall. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Plans for the far-right demonstration began circulating on social media earlier in the week, not long after a deadly white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Va.

According to a Facebook page for the event, the rally is protesting Islam and the Canadian government’s immigration policies. The page is no longer live, but the demonstration was expected to begin around 2 p.m. PT.

By 3 p.m., a handful of far-right protesters appeared to have gathered. They held confederate flags and the “alt-right” symbols for Pepe and Kekistan. One wore a shirt in support of U.S. President Donald Trump.  …

Rowe-Codner said the coalition saw some pushback about the rally earlier in the week, and not just from the far-right.
“A lot of people [who lean left and central] are saying, maybe if you ignore this situation they’ll go away … But there are a lot of people and communities out there that face white supremacy and who can’t ignore it,” she said.

Ignoring the problem is the same as silence.  Silence is consent and THAT is just plain unacceptable!  I was very happy to see the numbers in attendance.  I had wanted to go but had another commitment.  Quite clearly, Charlottesville is having its effects felt far and wide.  It encourages me to see more people coming out in support of diversity than those showing up in support of a closed society.

AlterNet —  Felix Sater, one of Donald Trump’s shadiest former business partners, is reportedly preparing for prison time — and he says the president will be joining him behind bars.

Sources told The Spectator‘s Paul Wood that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s deep dive into Trump’s business practices may be yielding results.

Trump recently made remarks that could point to a money laundering scheme, Wood reported.

Sater, who has a long history of legal troubles and cooperating with law enforcement, was one of the major players responsible to for selling Trump’s condos to the Russians.

And according to Wood’s sources, Sater may have already flipped and given prosecutors the evidence they need to make a case against Trump.

For several weeks there have been rumours that Sater is ready to rat again, agreeing to help Mueller. ‘He has told family and friends he knows he and POTUS are going to prison,’ someone talking to Mueller’s investigators informed me.

Sater hinted in an interview earlier this month that he may cooperating with both Mueller’s investigation and congressional probes of Trump.

Read through to get an idea of a possible timeline.  If Sater’s timeline is correct, there could be a change in the leadership in the US before too long.  Of course, due process must playout.

CBC — Thousands of people took to the streets of Boston on Saturday to protest hate speech a week after a woman was killed at a Virginia white-supremacist demonstration, and their shouts drowned out the “Free Speech” rally that sparked the counter-protest.

Organizers of the rally had invited several far-right speakers, who were confined to a small pen that police set up in the historic Boston Common park to keep the two sides separate.

Police estimate that as many as 40,000 people packed into the streets around Boston Common.  …

On Saturday, Trump on Twitter praised the Boston protesters.
“I want to applaud the many protestors in Boston who are speaking out against bigotry and hate. Our country will soon come together as one!” Trump tweeted.

Boston was peaceful this weekend as a “free speech” rally mostly fizzled from poor planning, and a larger, louder counter protest in support of diversity.  Charlottesville this was not, thankfully!  However Trump’s response was in direct contrast to his response to the Charlottesville riot.  Where he talked in support of white nationalists in Charlottesville, he applauded those that spoke out against bigotry and hate in Boston.  He is at odds with himself but I am inclined to believe that his response to Charlottesville is his true nature.

CBC — Meike Muzzi is not dressed for travel.

Hospital bracelets in all three primary colours encircle her wrinkled right forearm, a gold bangle on the left.

But she says she’s ready for today’s trip — the promise of an escape from the Toronto palliative care ward in which she’s spent the past five weeks waiting to die.

David Parker is there to fulfil that promise with the help of his virtual reality goggles.

“What you’ve brought me so far has been beautiful,” Muzzi says, settling the soft black material of the goggles into the creases around her eyes.

The pair has already travelled together through the plains of Africa. And Muzzi reminds her guest that she would have liked to linger longer with the elephants.

Parker already knows this.

He listens to her stories, interviewing Muzzi and all the patients he visits at Bridgepoint Health in Riverdale, so he can store the information away and use it to help them revisit the moments of particular meaning in their lives.

Parker’s idea to offer virtual reality therapy began at Christmas.

The IT consultant received the headset as a gift. He first used them to take his wife’s grandmother to Venice, gliding through the canals on a gondola. Then he realized he could offer the same experience to those in hospice or having long-term hospital stays.

That idea has bloomed into both a pilot project at Bridgepoint and a passion project for Parker. Right now he donates his time and the equipment, but says that — even though he runs a creative agency — he can see this becoming his life’s work.

One of the things that I learned while I looked after my mother was that quality of life is most important.  Quantity means nothing if there is no quality.  And what makes quality often depends on the person and their situation.  For my mother, it was sitting quietly as I brush her hair for hours.  For Muzzi, it is travelling and seeing things that gave her joy.  Click through for the rest of the story and watch the short video of what Muzzi was viewing.  Unfortunately, I could not embed the video properly so that you could see it all.

My Universe




  12 Responses to “Squatch’s Open Thread 20 August 2017”

  1. ndependent: I believe that this is a deeply personal decision to make. Whether one decides to do, or not, I think (imho), to get counseling from a trusted source. Just don’t come to Texas. I think there’s only 3 clinics open now. “Texas is known for enacting strict, sweeping abortion laws (SB8), that have made it increasingly difficult for the vast state’s 5.4 million women of reproductive age to access abortion services.” *Buzzfeed

    CBC: Vancouver/Boston: This is great! A friend mentioned about a rally in Austin yesterday, I would have went, but I had anxiety about the fire(s) here where I live.There were about 1,000 supporters for ‘Fight vs. white supremacy ‘. Good show of support!

    AN: Well, I’ll give credit to Mr. Slater, as he’s manning up, whereas Voldemort won’t. Can’t happen soon enough, imho.

    CBC: AWE. Just awe!!!! xxx

    My Universe: Love this! Simon is like my cat, lol.

    Glad that you got your rest! Great post, Thank you, Lynn.

    • I’m not so sure that Sater is manning up as much as trying to create an opportunity where maybe he could get a little quid pro quo.  If investigators have him over a barrel, I can see him perhaps negotiating to take a year or two off his sentence.  I don’t know specifically about penalties for money laundering in the US, but here they are substantial.  I expect they would be even more severe in the US.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  2. Not being all that familiar w/ Kek, I decided I’d try to educate myself about the Alt-Right deity.  Came across a pretty good primer from Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on it here:

    They actually have their repulsive prayer that is quite mind-boggling:

    Our Kek who art in memetics

    Hallowed by thy memes

    Thy Trumpdom come

    Thy will be done

    In real life as it is on /pol/

    Give us this day our daily dubs

    And forgive us of our baiting

    As we forgive those who bait against us

    And lead us not into cuckoldry

    But deliver us from shills

    For thine is the memetic kingdom, and the shitposting, and the winning, for ever and ever.

    Praise KEK

    • I wonder how the alt right religious types feel about this little prayer?  I know I find it offensive but I don’t expect the alt right gives a damn about my feelings, or anyone else’s for that matter.

  3. Autumn on the way?  Guess again.

    A agree with you.  The decision has to be individual, not imposed.

    The US has been ignoring the problem since the Republican Southern Strategy made racism socially acceptable again.  Look where that got us.

    Let it be so!

    If Republican Nazis want tgo display their shields and clubs, let them have their “free speech” inside a cage.  I’m sure Trump’s response was forced.

    Kudos to David Parker!

    For that much agravation, a kitty should get at least a horsie to eat.

    Excellent Squatch! 23

  4. I am still sneezing here, and even when not actively sneezing, my nose feels like it is about to.  Very annoying

    Independent – I think I am probably with you, Lynn – in between, but closeer to Iceland.  And that’s all i’m going to say today.

    CBC – I was having a conversation on line with someone who thought the best thing would be to ignore them.  I pointed out that ignoring them works with lone wolves and some small groups, the ones that are out for publicity.  These people aren’t out for publicity, they are out for world domination, and they need to be shown they can’t have it, because, for one thing, they are in the minority.  We both agreed that provocateurs are always a danger. 

    AlterNet – These rumors are scaring me because they look to me like the beginning of a campaign to taint any possible jury.  Sometimes people need to shut up on the name of justice.  Whistleblowing is a good thing, but i don’t see these rumors as whistleblowing.

    CBC 2 – If he thinks he’s fooling anyone, he is not living in reality.  But I repeat myself.

    CBC 3 – Technology itself is morally neutral.  But when it is ised for good, it is very, VERY good.  Blessings to Parker.

    Universe – Isn’t “patient cat” an oxymoron?  Although this is a darling oxymoron!

    • I don’t think that ignoring the white supremacists etc is a good idea.  As Lona’s “resist” sign that I have been using recently, says: Silence is Consent.  I equate ignoring them with silence.  I certainly don’t agree with violence.

  5. Independent: The Netherlands have also started to offer the early simple blood test, replacing the risky CVS later in the pregnancy, to all women, not only those who are at risk of giving birth to a baby with Dow’s syndrome due to their age, allowing all women the choice to have the test and then again the choice what to do if the test is positive for Dow’s. Abortion up to 16, or after that up to 24 weeks with 5 days to consider the decision, are an accepted intervention for the Dutch so there’s has been little or no discussion on the test nor the termination apart from no more than usual push-back from the very religious. In Australia the conversation has just started I think, and abortion laws vary a lot from state to state. But it seems that the more secularized a country is, the more freedom women have to chose if they want the Dow’s syndrome test done and then how they want to deal with its outcome.
    I can’t view the video, but it being from American Faux News I don’t think I need to see it to know that it will not have women’s rights to choose for themselves in mind, nor that it doesn’t give any straight facts.

    CBC: Very hopeful to see that so many protested against a far-right rally against Islam and Canada’s immigration policies; So good read that these protesters outnumbered the white supremacists, whose numbers were inflated by a hard core of apparently American alt-right rally fanatics with nothing better to do than try and get most out of their investment in Drumpf T-shirts and confederate flags. These guys must have been so annoyed when they had to hand in their weapons on the border.06

    Alternet: Even the fleas know when to abandon the rats that are fleeing the ship, eh? Let’s hope this news doesn’t get to Drumpf any time soon and that the three generals in charge have enough control over Drumpf to prevent him from doing some really desperate things to get away from this all by starting a (nuclear) war somewhere. Against North Korea, or Argentina, or…he couldn’t care less which one as long as it got Mueller’s spotlight off of him

    CBC:Inconsistent? Maybe. But I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Drumpf only got his news coverage on the rally and counter protest from Faux News and thought those 40,000 plus people were all rallying for the alt-rights version of Free Speech. To the muddled Drumpf mind, and that of most Republicans, that would amount to speaking out against librul bigotry and hate.

    CBC: Until now I thought very little of those virtual reality goggles, those gadgets for those have too much money to spend. But David Parker has changed my opinion somewhat, at least for the part where they are used therapeutically and give comfort to the (terminally) sick.

    MY: Yes, I’ve had cats as persistent as Simon’s cat when it came to waiting on their prey. I’ve also had cats dumb enough not to notice when the prey had done a runner. And I’m happy to say I never had a cat who combined the two.09

    Thanks for another great Open Thread, Lynn. The quality is always high and consistent, whether you sleep in or not. 26

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