2/26/2007

Fetal Development: Third Trimester

Week 28: Viability! If you had to give birth as early as this week, it is comforting to know that your baby has a 96% chance of defect-free survival. Up until this point, if your baby were to be born early, long-term problems could range in severity from anything like seizure disorder and palsy to blindness or deafness.
The baby has eyelashes and will turn its head in response to light. The baby will go through another growth spurt and begin to put on more fat. About 40% of babies will be head down this week. If you have had one or more children already, your baby may not have turned yet.

Week 29: The baby's nutritional needs will begin to peak starting this week. Omega oil for brain development, calcium for bones and iron are all critical. This week, a pregnant woman's iron level reaches its lowest point. The average baby is about 2 1/2 lbs and 15 inches long.

Week 30: The baby is about 3lbs. It can produce tears. Between now and week 40, the baby will put on weight at a rapid rate. In a very short amount of time, even the most careful of pregnant women will suddenly begin to look and feel huge.

Week 31: The baby is about 16 inches long and has put on more fat.

Week 32: The baby's toenails have finished forming. It weighs about 4lbs and is about 17 inches long.

Week 33: The baby's bones, with the exception of the skull, are hardening. The baby has also gained more weight.

Week 34: On average, the baby is about 4 3/4 pounds and about 18 inches long. The fat layers are filling out and the lungs are well developed by now. About 99% of babies born at this age survive and most have no major long-term problems related to prematurity.

Week 35: The average baby weighs about 5lbs. The kidneys are fully developed and the liver can process waste products. It is a myth that you will feel the baby move less by this point. Movement rate is the same. It is the strength and type of movement that changes. For example, you are (significantly) less likely to feel fluttery kicks, and more likely to feel hard kicks into the ribs or head-butts to the top of the cervix.

Week 36: The vernix and fine hair that covered the baby earlier in pregnancy is being lost. Some vernix will remain to assist in passage through the birth canal. The average baby is about 6lbs and 19 inches long. Between now and the end of the pregnancy, the baby could put on as much as 1/2 to 1lb per week. In most cases, the baby has "dropped," that is to say the head is fully engaged on top of the birth canal. For some women, this is a relief since it may make breathing easier if the baby's feet have been digging into the ribs. If you were already carrying relatively low however, then this may mark a time of discomfort.

Week 37: The baby is no longer premature. If you deliver this week, it is considered a normal birth. Depending on the parents, the baby may have a full head of hair. However, the hair may not be the same colour as either parent and it may be shed after birth. If the baby is not head down at this point, you could be at risk for a breach birth. However, there is no reason to panic. Not only are there manual methods of turn the baby into a head down position, but some babies do not turn until immediately before labour. This may be particularly true if you have had a lot of children and your uterus is "roomy."

Week 38 - 40: In terms of development, not much changes with the baby during these weeks. It grows longer, stronger and puts on more weight.
There is a lot more that can be said about pregnancy, especially in terms of the pregnant woman's experience. In terms of the birthing process itself (which I do not plan to cover) there is a high degree of variation from woman to woman. Statistically speaking, sisters are more likely to have similar pregnancies than mothers and daughters. However, it is most likely that your experience will be unique to you with only some similarities to family members.

Fetal Development: Second Trimester

Week 14: The neck is well defined and the body is now covered in a very thin, soft layer of hair. The body is growing faster now and the liver has begun to secrete bile. Your baby can now move the muscles in its face and is even capable of some expressions.

Week 15: The baby is about 4 inches long. The legs are now longer than the arms. Some women (like me) feel movement this early. Although the eyelids are still closed, the baby can sense light through them. Taste buds on the tongue and eyebrows have also begun to form.

Week 16: The heart now pumps on average of 25 quarts of blood a day. Although the baby receives all of its oxygen via the umbilical cord, it has learned to breathe. Inhaling and exhaling will help its lungs to properly develop.

Week 17: This is the average time a woman will begin to feel the baby move. The skeleton beings to develop from cartilage to bone. On average, the baby is about 5 inches long and weighs about 5 ounces.

Week 18: If the baby is a girl, the uterus and Fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If it is a boy, his genitals are noticeable. Myelin, a protective covering over the nerves, and vernix, a protective coating over the skin both begin to form.

Week 19: Many women choose to have an ultrasound at this point in their pregnancy, although some do it earlier. This is a crucial time for sensory development. The baby's brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch.

Week 20: The halfway point! The baby is swallowing more, which is good for the digestive system. It also produces meconium, a black, sticky substance that is the result of cell loss, digestive secretion, and swallowed amniotic fluid. (After birth, it takes about two or three days for the baby to rid itself of the meconium and produce proper poop.) The baby can hear sounds outside of the uterus and may startle in reaction to loud sounds.

Week 21: The baby begins white blood cell production. If you are having a girl, her vagina has finished forming. The baby will now enter a growth spurt and will put on more weight from week to week.

Week 22: The baby weighs almost one pound. Until last year, it was believed that no baby born this early could survive. Amillia Sonja Taylor, the world's smallest newborn changed that in a big way. Born at a gestational age of only 21 weeks 6 days, she beat the odds and lived. She is now four months old. It is uncertain what sort of long term developmental delays she will have, but the mild brain hemorrhage and digestive troubles present at birth are not expected to cause any long term problems.

Week 23: At this stage, a prematurely born baby has about a 5%-15% chance of survival. The baby weighs just over a pound.

Week 24: The baby lungs are developing branches and cells that produce surfactant, a substance that helps the air sacs inflate easily. On average, the baby is about 1 1/4 lb and about a foot long.

Week 25: The baby has grown another inch and gained another quarter pound. Reflexes, such as swallowing and grasping are also improving.

Week 26: The baby continues to grow and is on average 2lbs. If the baby is a boy, the testicles are beginning to descend into the scrotum. This process takes on average two or three days to complete.

Week 27: Although the baby's lungs are immature, they are capable of functioning with the help of a steroid. The baby can also open and close its eyes.

2/20/2007

Fetal Development: First Trimester

Pre-Conception: Women are born with more than 200,000 eggs in their ovaries. However, they will probably only release about 400 of them, beginning with their first period and ending when menopause. Each month, during the middle of the menstrual cycle, an egg reaches maturity. It is then released and is quickly sucked up by the tulip-shaped opening of the nearest Fallopian tube. The average egg lives only 24 hours, so it has to be fertilised soon if a baby is to be conceived. If the egg meets up with a healthy sperm on its way to the uterus, the two join and begin the process of creating a new life.
Unlike women, men are not born with a specified number of sperm. Sperm is made on a regular basis. From start to finish it takes about 64 to 72 days to create a new sperm cell and, and about 200 to 350 million are set free with each ejaculation. Sperm production starts in the testicles. To produce healthy sperm they have to stay at about 34ÂșC. Once the sperm is created, it is stored in the epididymis until it is mixed with semen just prior to ejaculation.

Day (or more likely night) 0: Conception!
Most sperm die on the way to the egg. Only one sperm, the strongest, can fertilise an egg. Once the egg is penetrated, a protective shield covers it to prevent any other sperm from entering. This is because the sperm and the egg each provide 23 chromosomes for a total of 46. These 23 pairs of chromosomes provide the DNA blueprint for a human being. The egg cannot accept anymore information after fertilization, or it would result in information overload. The fertilized cell would not know how to split correctly and it would not know what to make. Occasionally, two eggs are released and each are fertilized by a different sperm. This results in fraternal twins. The process of fertilization is complete within 24 hours.

Day 1: The fertilized cell will begin to divide in a process called cellular mitosis. The baby's gender was already determined by the sperm, and when the gender organs develop, the sex cells (sperm or egg) will divide by a similar process called meiosis. The fertilized cell will now travel down into the uterus.

Pre-Day 12: Implantation.
The embryo will implant itself in the wall of the uterus. In rare cases, the embryo will not make it all the way to the uterus and will implant in the Fallopian tube. This is referred to as an ectopic pregnancy. In all cases, an ectopic pregnancy will fail. If they are not treated, the Fallopian tube will rupture. Sometimes, the embryo will not implant at all and a woman will not even know she was pregnant. If no form of birth control was used, reasons for non-implantation usually relate to either the health of the mother or some form of damage to the embryo.

Week 3: On average, this is the earliest that a urine pregnancy test will indicate that you are pregnant. Pregnancy tests check for the amount of human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG in the blood/urine. There is always some hCG present in the body, but it increases dramatically when you are pregnant. Due to the amount of hCG they are testing for, urine tests usually do not give false positives. They have been known to give false negatives however. (I experienced that with my current pregnancy.) If a urine tests says that you are pregnant, the embryo has usually already implanted. Blood tests are more sensitive than urine tests as they test for lower levels of hCG. They can detect a pregnancy before implantation.

Week 4: On average, this is the earliest that a woman will know she is pregnant without a test. It is possible, although extremely rare, for a woman to make it more than half way through her pregnancy without suspecting she is pregnant. Usually, the reasons for this are health-related.
By now, the embryo has begun to develop organs. The neural tube, which will develop into the brain and nerves, is in place and the beginnings of a heart and circulatory system are also in place. The placenta has also developed.

Week 5: The heart begins to beat and blood begins to pump. The umbilical cord, through which the baby will receive its food, has also developed and the intestines have started to grow. The layer for the skin, hair, nails and sweat glands is in place and limb buds have also begun to develop.

Week 6: The eyes, ears, nose and mouth begin to develop.

Week 7: Hands with the starts of fingers can be seen, as can feet with toes. Eyelids, cartilage and bones, the appendix and the pancreas begin to develop.

Week 8: Breathing tubes extend from the throat to the lungs.

Week 9: The baby is now almost one inch long. Lips are forming. Fingers can now curve and grip.

Week 10: The baby is no longer referred to as an embryo, but is called a fetus instead. Spinal nerves are beginning to stretch out from the spinal cord.

Week 11: Fingers and toes begin to separate and hair and nails begin to grow. The diaphragm begins to develop.

Week 12: On average, this is the earliest your doctor or midwife will try to listen for the baby's heartbeat (although it may be heard as early as week 10). For a first-time parent, hearing the heartbeat for the first time is perhaps one of the most exciting moments in pregnancy. That excitement never really diminishes with subsequent pregnancies either.
Sex glands begin to develop. In extremely rare cases, a male is born immune to testosterone. Although testicles do develop, they don't develop properly and won't descend out of the body. In such cases, parents may mistake their child for a girl. I have found no instances of the same thing happening in girls.

Week 13: The baby is about 3 inches long and weighs only about an ounce. Fingerprints are now in place. A lot of people wait until this point to tell people that they are expecting.
I would never have the self-control.

This marks the end of the first trimester. For a healthy pregnancy, women should take folic acid to assist in proper neural development and calcium. Red raspberry leaf is also recommended throughout pregnancy as it is good for the uterus. If a woman is going to have a miscarriage, the first trimester is by far the most common time to have it. The effects of things such as chicken pox, measles, salmonella or e. coli food poisoning are also most extreme during the first trimester. It should be noted however that not all viruses, bacteria, drugs or other foreign substances cross the placental barrier. For example, a cold is unlikely to affect your growing baby.
On to the next three months.

2/19/2007

Abortion Myths

1. Choice = Informed Choice
This is unquestionably not the case. I have yet to find a pro-choice website which advocates that women inform themselves about what they are doing (or are about to do) to themselves and their unborn child. Information regarding the long-term physical and emotional effects, the stage of the baby's development, pictures and the like, are kept to a bare minimum if they are provided at all. "Choice" tends to focus around a nebulous term referred to as "reproductive rights," and these rights focus almost exclusively on what is legal in Canada.

2. All pro-lifers hold the same views.
There is a wide variety of differences between pro-life views. Not everyone who is pro-life is necessarily religious (although they are the majority) and not all pro-lifers believe that the abortion problem can be corrected in the same way.

3. All pro-lifers are right-wing religious fanatics who believe in shooting doctors who perform abortions.
This is a caricature, and an incorrect one at that. Very few pro-lifers believe in shooting abortion doctors. Most of us know that is not the way to solve the problem. Extremists are exactly that: extreme. They account for a very tiny percentage of the population.

4. All pro-lifers believe in the removal of your reproductive rights. They believe in compulsory pregnancy.
This is not so much a caricature as it is stupid. There is no such thing legally defined "reproductive rights" and there is no such thing as compulsory pregnancy. These are terms concocted to obfuscate the situation.

5. Before abortion was legalized, thousands and thousands of women were dying from self-abortions. Without legalized abortion, women are at risk and will die by the thousands.
This is patently untrue. There were a few cases of women dying from self-abortions. Despite the fact that abortions are widely available in Canada, there have been at least a few cases of women who insist on self-aborting (ie: Drummond) and who have died as a result (an unnamed university of Waterloo student in 1989/90). The current situation is actually more dangerous for women than it was prior to the complete legalization of abortion.

6. You have the right to an abortion.
Actually, you don't. We do not have a law that says you must be given an abortion if you request it. A doctor has the right to refuse. As far as I am concerned, this is a good thing.

7. Having an abortion will not affect your long-term physical or emotional well-being.
This is patently untrue. Long-term physical effects can include such things as future infertility and even breast cancer. The long term emotional side effects can vary from mild depression to suicide.

8. Canadians are generally in favour of the abortion situation in Canada.
The truth is that most Canadians are unaware of the situation in Canada. The overwhelming majority falsely believe that our laws mirror those of the US. The situation in the US varies from state to state and abortions may be forbidden anywhere from 16-24 weeks.

9. A fetus does not feel pain.
There is no scientific evidence to support this fact. Pain is simply an extreme sensation in the nerves. Neural tubes begin to develop somewhere around four or five weeks.

10. A fetus is just a blob of cells.
I will be dealing with this myth in an upcoming post.

11. Most abortions are performed to save the life of the mother.
The is untrue. The overwhelming number of abortions are performed as a method of late birth control.

12. It's the woman's body.
This is perhaps the worst myth of all since it is the key argument that allowed unnecessary abortions in the first place. The fetus is not a part of the mother's body. It is not a limb or an organ. It is a distinct entity carried within the mother. I will explore this myth further when I write about fetal development.

13. Some children are not wanted.
That some children are not wanted by their mother does not mean that they are not wanted by anybody. There are thousands of women in this country who are infertile and cannot have children of their own. Unfortunately, the adoption process is not always that easy.

(Note that I will add to these myths as I remember/encounter more.)

Abortion: Legal History

Prior to 1969, abortion was illegal in Canada except to preserve the life of the mother. At this time, the Liberals and Trudeau altered Section 287. Every hospital was to have a committee of three doctors who would determine if the abortion was necessary to preserve the life, health or psychological well-being of the mother. Since health and psychological well-being were not well-defined terms, inconsistencies between hospital committees and their application of the law arose.
Enter Dr. Henry Morgentaler.
Morgentaler believed that people had a right to control their own reproduction. Ironically, instead of advocating self-control, be it abstinence or any form of birth control, Morgentaler was a staunch advocate of abortion on demand. He began performing abortions illegally and eventually challenged the Criminal Code. In 1988 it was determined by the Supreme Court of Canada that Section 287 violated a woman's Charter Rights, specifically section 7. Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that "Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice." Curiously, this right was not extended to the unborn. It is a matter of continuing debate as to whether or not this section truly applies to a woman desiring abortion for no reason other than late birth control. Furthermore, challenges to the ruling were not to be permitted.
The Supreme Court advised the government to create an adequate law to replace Section 287. The Conservatives did so, and under Kim Campbell a law prohibiting abortions except to save the life of the mother made it through the House of Commons. It was blocked by the Senate in an extremely rare tie vote. There have been few attempts to restrict abortions since then. In June 2006, Private Member's Bill 338 was tabled by Liberal MP Paul Steckle. The bill, which prohibits abortions (except to save the life of the mother) beyond 20 weeks, has not yet been debated on.
The result is that Canada is one of the few countries in the world with no restrictions on abortion whatsoever. A woman may legally have an abortion until she delivers. While abortions beyond the second trimester are very rare, they can and do still happen.
Related to the state of abortion in Canada is the issue of fetal rights. In 1989 the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Tremblay v. Daigle that the father of an unborn child has no legal rights to it. Tremblay had tried to obtain a restraining order against his girlfriend, preventing her from having an abortion. That restraining order was eventually rendered moot. In 1996 in the case of Brenda Drummond, the court ruled that since the fetus is not legally defined a person, it was not entitled to any legal rights. Drummond had attempted to perform a self abortion with a pellet gun, despite the fact that by this time obtaining an abortion from a hospital or clinic was easy. The baby was born a few days later and saved with an emergency surgery. When the bullet was discovered lodged in the baby's head, the father tried to charge Drummond with attempted murder. The charges had to be dropped.
The result of these rulings are that neither the unborn nor the father of the unborn have any rights.

Abortion: Intro to the Discussion

As many of you will recall, back in December there was what I can only describe as a "big to-do" between the new leader of the Green Party, Elizabeth May, and hardcore left-wing political activist Judy Rebick. In an interview, Ms. May had expressed some sentiments on abortion that were clearly pro-life. Ms. Rebick later responded to her views by articulating the notion that even discussing abortion and a woman's "right to choose" was turning back the clock to an archaic way of life.
Intrigued by the discussion, I started looking at some of the debate around abortion in Canada. I discovered an overwhelming amount of misinformation and ignorance. In fact, there is a lot out there that borders on superstition. Discussions of fetal development and the question of "when does life begin" are not welcome. Many Canadian women are not aware that if they are pregnant, not only can they legally have an abortion up until delivery but their baby has absolutely no rights and no protection under the law at all. I also found that most people are not aware of the fact that we abort nearly one third of our incoming/non-immigrant population every year. For a country with a birth-rate as low as ours, this is sure to spell long term disaster.
I had initially planned to write series of posts all at once. However, since it will take too much time to do this, I will be writing a series of posts over the next few weeks, perhaps even months. These posts are primarily intended to inform.
It should be noted that I have no intention of hiding my personal bias in this matter. I am nearly 36 weeks pregnant. The fact that I could have an abortion, that my husband has no rights at all over my child, that someone could potentially harm or even kill my child and I would be left with little to no legal recourse, is a major concern to me. In addition to this, there are my religious beliefs. As with the rest of my life, God play the biggest role in the shaping of my views on life and how it should be treated.
Comments are welcome, of course. If you have any references that I might find useful, please provide them. I am always on the lookout for more information on the subject. If I do not provide any sources with a post, then I would recommend that you do a Google search for any of the following terms: abortion, abortion law in Canada, bill C-338, Elizabeth May and Judy Rebick, fetal rights movement and fetal development. Statistics Canada also provides some information on the number of abortions performed in this country.

Rigged Polls

Over the weekend, we were polled for the second time in a week. My husband answered the phone. The opening question was:
"What is the most important issue facing Canadians today?"
Now, this is a loaded question and it doesn't exactly take a genius to realize that the desired answer is either "global warming" or "climate change." So, of course my husband said something completely different.
"Abortion."
After a pause, the pollster asked what has to be the greatest question polling question of all time. "Can you think of anything else?"
What??
Please tell me you are not actually going to try and push for your pre-selected answer. So my husband answered her with something else (also not global warming or climate change).
"Religious freedom."
The response: "Ah um. That's a good one." She didn't ask her question again, although I am sure she wanted to.
No doubt we were scratched off their calling list. No more calling the socially conservative, right-wing, religious nutbars for them. No siree bob.

2/12/2007

Private Members Bills

Does anyone know how to attract attention to a private members bill that has been tabled and read once, but not voted on? I am actively looking for information on this. Anyone with tips or advice, please post.
Thanks.

Edit: from The Phantom Observer

2/07/2007

Strange Things Said By Christians

Last night on the Michael Coren Show, Chris Hedges went head-to-head with Charles McVety. They were arguing about the so-called Christian hard right. Of particular interest to the discussion was Hedges' new book.
Hedges is, apparently, a Christian. As such, I found his views extremely puzzling. While I may not agree with everything McVety says or believes, at least I can understand his views. At least he is genuine. The same cannot be said for Hedges.
Hedges' new book is about what he feels is a fascist movement within Christianity. The so-called socially conservative Christian hard-right has apparently misappropriated Christian language and iconography for some nefarious means in order to enslave the world and bring it under Christian control. One of the major aspects of this hard-right group is its belief in Christian education, something Hedges feels is wrong. In fact, after last night's debate I think I would go so far as to say he has a moral objection to Christian education. Furthermore, he is ardently against Christians teaching Creationism and feels that they are propagating a lie.
Yes, he used the word lie.
Not myth. Not allegory.
Lie.
Lest the true impact of such a position be lost on you, let me explain what it means for a professed Christian to believe that creationism is a lie.
It is not unusual for Christians to believe that the Creation story as outlined in the first three chapters of Genesis is a metaphor, allegory or myth intended to explain a higher truth. While I do not agree with any of these ideas, it is possible to construct a belief system from these interpretations which does not invalidate the Bible. (Please note, however, that I would say that such belief systems have obvious problems when dealing with Sin, The Fall and the subsequent Redemption of Man).
However, the use of the word lie implies that there is no truth whatsoever in the Creation story. This poses a significant problem for anyone wishing to use the Bible as the foundation of their beliefs, which Christians do. How can you accept a book premised on something which is not true and then construct a belief system around it? Are you not admitting that you have based your life on something which you believe is false? If Creation is a lie, then the premise of the Bible is a lie. If the premise of the bible is a lie, then the rest of the Bible cannot hold up to scrutiny. It is certainly a lie as well.
So, why bother to believe it?
Why not just be an atheist or agnostic?
It would have been good if McVety had caught that comment made by Hedges. Sadly, he didn't. As far as I am concerned, it is more revealing of Hedges' true beliefs than anything else said last night.

2/06/2007

The Problem With Our Justice System

(h/t Jesse)
Ever wonder what is wrong with our country?
This just in from the Globe & Mail (Read it and weep.):
VANCOUVER — Shaun Deacon, one of Canada's most notorious pedophiles, was found with the image of a young child on his personal computer, a violation of a supervision order that barred him from having any images of children under the age of 16.
And Mr. Deacon -- considered to be such a risk to reoffend that he requires constant supervision and has been chemically castrated -- stole a set of keys from his downtown Vancouver halfway house in early December in a bid to surreptitiously copy them, according to the National Parole Board's regular review of his status.
The response of the board to these violations was to loosen the restrictions placed on Mr. Deacon, who has abducted and molested several boys and girls.
Now, he is allowed to possess images of children aged 15 and younger -- so long as they fall into one of two categories. Mr. Deacon can have pictures of children that are intact, legal and commercially available, as long as they are from publications that are not sexual in nature and are not focused on children.
He can also have images of children known to him by family and friends, including pictures of himself as a child; such images must be approved by a parole officer.
Previously, Mr. Deacon was flatly prohibited from having any images of children under the age of 16. The panel decision does not describe what kind of image was stored on Mr. Deacon's computer; however, there is no indication that the image was deemed a serious enough breach to trigger a suspension, which would return him to jail.
Indeed, after the discovery of the image on his computer, he and his lawyer argued that the prohibition was overly broad.
The three-member panel of the National Parole Board agreed, saying the condition "is too broad in its scope and ultimately unenforceable." In its decision, the panel wrote that Mr. Deacon "showed some insight" that as a sex offender, he should not be allowed unrestricted access to pictures of children.
That was rare spot of praise for Mr. Deacon in the five-page decision. Elsewhere, the panel criticized him for his refusal to even attempt to avoid a relapse, and noted that his behaviour -- which has already resulted in him being ejected from one halfway house -- is getting worse. "You have a pattern of conning, lying and trying to manipulate staff in order to get your own way. Of particular concern is the fact that you seem unaware of the deteriorations in your own behaviour and consistently fail to make any use of relapse prevention skills you may have learned in program sessions to prevent the problems from escalating," the panel wrote.
Mr. Deacon has an extensive history of abusing children, starting in the 1980s, when he was sentenced to a seven-year term for assaulting a five-year-old girl, and three boys ranging in age from six to 13. He abducted one of those victims and assaulted the child again, while he was waiting to be sentenced in Kelowna.
After his release in the mid-1990s, he was caught assaulting an eight-year-old boy in a restaurant bathroom, and while on parole for that crime, he was found with a 10-year-old boy in his room in a halfway house. He went back to jail for two years.
Mr. Deacon has not been designated a dangerous offender, which would allow for his indefinite imprisonment, but he is subject to a decade-long supervision order.
That order was violated when he stole a set of keys on Dec. 7 belonging to his halfway house.
Dennis Finlay, a spokesman for Corrections Canada, said Mr. Deacon was allowed access to the keys, but that the possibility of them being copied was of concern.
"He wouldn't have had access to any kind of key that would have allowed him to breach security," Mr. Finlay said, noting that all exits other than the main door are outfitted with alarms.
The panel wrote that the incident "underscores your case management team's concern about your level of deception and manipulative behaviour," going on to note that Mr. Deacon was suspended as a result of the abortive copying -- a measure that could have resulted in him being returned to jail.
However, that suspension was cancelled by his parole officer. Instead, he was reprimanded and given "a firm warning," the panel wrote.

So, not only is this man not in jail where he belongs, when he violated the conditions of his parole, he received no punishment at all. To make matters worse, his restrictions were loosened.
Great. The panel knows the man is getting worse and takes steps that will only encourage his bad behavior. What are they thinking?
Probably something stupid like "oh, the poor man just needs to be understood."
The parole officer needs to be fired immediately. Deacon needs to be back in jail.
Now.

Yet More Global Warming

This just in from CTV:
Frigid air has descended on much of the country, and one of Environment Canada's top forecasters says temperatures could stay low for the rest of the month.

I am waiting for someone to tell us this will be the coldest winter ever recorded. So much for Wiarton Willy's prediction of an early spring.
"Cold air is like molasses, it's like a bully on the playground: very thick, dense, very heavy, and hard to kick out," Environment Canada senior climatologist Dave Phillips told CTV Newsnet.
"Once that cold air entrenches and fills every nook and cranny, every little crack in the pavement, it's kind of difficult to kick out. And so our forecast for the next five days, ten days, next month -- this month of February -- we're saying what you see is what you're going to get."
The cold air is affecting much of eastern Canada and the U.S. In southern Ontario, temperatures in cities like Windsor dipped down to minus 20 degree Celsius -- without wind chill.

Blah blah blah. Whine whine whine.
What were you expecting? This is winter in Canada.
"But you factor in the strong winds and we saw wind chills that, right across the province, were typically minus 30 in the south and well into minus 40s in the north," said Phillips.
He added that in Winnipeg, gripped by frigid temperatures for far longer than Ontario, the air temperature had been as low as minus 40.
It's a far change from just a month ago, when most Canadians were experiencing an unseasonably warm winter, adding to the political debate over Ottawa's plans to combat global warming.

And that's because people are stupid.
All through our unusually warm December I heard many a weatherman say "It's not unusual for winter to hit late in these types of situations," or "It's only December, folks. We still have a few months of winter to go."
But did anyone listen?
No. Of course not.
All we heard was "global warming blah blah blah climate change whine whine." And don't forget this slit-your-wrists article declaring that in a hundred years, Canadian children will wonder where all our snow went.
Whatever.
"Most of the buzz so far this winter has been about where was winter," said Phillips.
"We saw in Eastern Canada the warmest December on record, very warm, and it was warm in the beginning of January. It cooled off about the middle of the month three weeks ago. We had a freezing rainstorm in southern Ontario, and that sort of heralded the beginning of winter. But still, January turned out to be about three or four degrees warmer than normal."
In the U.S., where temperatures have dropped as low as minus 42, the frigid cold has left at least four people dead, prompting homeless people to seek out shelters.
"Anybody in their right mind wouldn't want to be out in weather like this," Lawrence Wiley, 57, told The Associated Press at Cincinnati's Drop Inn Center.
Schools across the country have shut down, including districts in Ohio, Wisconsin and New York.
"Americans are saying this is Canadian air; we're saying it's Siberian air. It's coming way down to the Mason-Dixon line -- pretty well the eastern half of the continent it really freezing with some very cold temperatures," said Phillips.
Two deaths were blamed on the cold in Kentucky: an elderly man who left his home on Sunday, and a driver whose car slid into a river. In Michigan, a mother and her eight-year-old daughter died when their car crashed on an icy road.

2/05/2007

Fat and Fashion

So, apparently there are people out there that think Tyra Banks is fat.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Talk about a desperate need for a reality check!
If Ms. Banks is fat, then the rest of the world is in a whole lot of trouble!!
Good for her, though. She got on TV in the swimsuit her supposed fat shot was taken in, and told the "world" to kiss her fat ass.
Fat ass!
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
As if.
It just goes to show you how out of touch the media, and in particular fashion, is. Tyra Banks is not fat. There are tons of women who would love to look like her. Too many people worry about their weight. A few don't worry enough. Most don't care enough about their general health and well-being.
People are stupid.
That's why everyone does everything.
And, for the record, I am also not fat.

Global Warming

When I woke up this morning, it was -18C. Plus windchill, it was closer to -30C. Right now, it's about -8C. This is expected to continue for most of the week.
But, we all know global warming is real, right? In the last 100 or so years, scientists have been keeping track of the temperature of the earth. There has been an overall temperature increase of roughly 0.2C every 10 years... or has there? That works out to an increase of 2C since temperature charting began. It's never mentioned whether there were any decreases in that time. Given that climate change theory states that in 100 years the earth will be anywhere from 1.8C to 4C warmer, it's safe to assume there must have been at least some decreases in temperature over the last 100 years. Otherwise, the figure would not be a range.
Something to consider. The same scientists who argue for climate change also argue that the earth is over 1billion years old; perhaps around 4.5billion. Has anyone stopped to consider the time-slice used to predict climate change?
It's only 100 years in 4.5billion.
In other words, predictions are being made on what amounts to 2.2x10-7% of all possible data.
According to the same model of the earth, man has existed for about 30,000 years or so. If you take only the data available from the time of man, then predictions are being made on what amounts to only 0.33% of all possible data.
Using a Biblical model of the world, man (and the earth) has existed for anywhere between 7,000 to 15,000 years. So, using either figure we get either 1.4% or 0.67% of all possible data. (I know most climate change scientists will reject a young earth theory, but I decided to include it anyway.)
Based on these time slices, I'd like to know how global warming ever received any attention in the scientific community. The margin of error here is absolutely enormous!! Whatever age of the earth you pick, data collected on weather patterns in 100 years is almost entirely meaningless and cannot be used to predict future patterns. There simply is not enough information. I would love to see the mathematical model these guys are using.
Oh! Wait! It's a "different" kind of science, isn't it?
Kinda like art??

2/04/2007

It's a Sad Day...

Comment moderation has been turned on until further notice. I have attracted a troll. Normally, I wouldn't care. It's not like this is my first troll. But really, I'm 8-months pregnant. I don't have much in the way of patience these days.
In the words of Homer Simpson, "People are stupid. That's why everyone does everything."

2/02/2007

Gay Marriage vs. Freedom of Religion cont'd

According to the CBC, the Saskatchewan tribunal will withhold its decision regarding until the spring.
A Saskatchewan tribunal is expected to rule in the spring whether a Regina marriage commissioner violated the province's human rights code when he refused to marry two gay men.
Orville Nichols, 70, who says same-sex marriage goes against his personal and religious convictions, was the subject of a two-day hearing in Regina that ended Thursday.
The man whose complaint led to the hearing testified he was devastated in 2005 when Nichols refused to perform the civil ceremony.
Another marriage commissioner ended up performing the service.
Janice Gringell, a lawyer for the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, said one can't accept Nichols' argument that same-sex laws were not in force when he signed on as a marriage commissioner in 1983 and that he's therefore exempt.
"It often happens that the laws change and public officials have to adapt to those changes," she said.
In the same way, police officers cannot pick and choose which laws to enforce based on what was in effect when they were hired, she said.
Nichols' lawyer, Mike Megaw, told the hearing this is a clash of rights — those of the same-sex couple, and Nichols' right to his religious beliefs.
He argued there should be a compromise, and that one set of rights should not take precedence over another.
However, lawyer Tom Irvine of the Saskatchewan Justice Department said that as a government agent Nichols' duty was clear.
"The function of a marriage commissioner is to provide the service without a distinction based on religion, without a distinction based on any of the proven grounds of discrimination," he said.
The human rights commission is seeking an order to stop Nichols from discriminating against same-sex couples. It's also recommending a $5,000 fine.
The same-sex couple cannot be identified under a publication ban.

I don't know what the reason for waiting until the spring would be. Still, this gives all interested parties some time to act. Groups like Defend Marriage Canada need to lobby the government on behalf of Orville Nichols. If there was ever a case that shows how badly the Defense of Religions Act is needed, this is it.

2/01/2007

Gay Marriage vs. Freedom of Religion

I just heard this on the Michael Coren show a few minutes ago, and sadly, the CBC confirms:
A Regina man told a human rights hearing Wednesday he was devastated when a marriage commissioner refused to marry him and his male partner.
The man, who alleges Orville Nichols discriminated against them because they are a same-sex couple, was testifying at the hearing in Regina.
"I couldn't believe, as a human being, that I wasn't treated as a real person," said the man, whose name cannot be published under order of a human rights tribunal.
He told the hearing he's a very private individual and not what one would call a gay activist.
He testified that when he and his partner made their marriage plans in 2005, they chose Nichols from a list of marriage commissioners on a website.
Nichols, 70, offered his congratulations when the man first told him he was getting married, he said. However, when he told Nichols his partner is a man, Nichols told him he wouldn't do the ceremony because gay marriage is against his beliefs.
Nichols directed the man to another marriage commissioner who performed the ceremony in May 2005.
Taking the witness stand, Nichols discussed his beliefs and said, "God hates homosexuality." He told the tribunal that he doesn't object to gays and lesbians getting married, as long as he isn't asked to perform the ceremony.
Same-sex marriages became more common in Saskatchewan after November 2004, when Saskatchewan Justice Minister Frank Quennell sent a letter notifying all marriage commissioners they must perform same-sex marriages.
The hearing was ordered when the Regina man complained to the Human Rights Commission that he and his partner had been refused the civil service.
The province's human rights code bans discrimination against a person based on sexual orientation.
Nichols had complained to the human rights commission, too, arguing that for the province to require him to perform same-sex ceremonies contrary to his religious beliefs was discriminatory. The commission did not allow that complaint to proceed, however.
Lawyer Anil Pandila has been appointed by the commission to hear the case over two days. The panel has the power to order remedies and penalties.
The office of the attorney general of Saskatchewan has been granted leave to intervene in the hearing.

This is profoundly disturbing news. It's not enough that the couple was able to marry. They wanted to be married by a man whose religious beliefs would not allow him to perform the ceremony.
How many people recall socially liberal elites telling us that this would never happen? Religious beliefs would be respected.
Now, the human rights commission has allowed the complaint of the supposedly wronged gay couple to go through. They have not allowed the complaint of the Christian marriage commissioner to be heard.
According to the article at Canada.com the requested "damages" are to the tune of $5,000. If the gay couple wins their case, Nichols will also be ordered not to refuse his services again, regardless of his beliefs.
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