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.
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 —