Canadian Doctors state that Human Life Begins at Birth and the Thing in the Womb before that is not Human

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 25th, 2012

Week in Review

The Canadians aren’t redefining when life begins.  They’re just putting medical science behind the 400 year-old English common law that defines it.  Yes, the Canadian doctors are inserting themselves into one of the most contentious debates ever to consume mankind since the Protestant Reformation (see Opinion: doctors dodge hot-button life debate by Paul Schratz posted 8/20/2012 on The Vancouver Sun).

Canada’s doctors voted last week to take a political rather than medical position that human life begins at birth, in the process closing their eyes to science and the evidence of their own senses.

In a spectacular act of bio-redefinition that has many observers scratching their heads, the Canadian Medical Association voted to support the maintaining of a section of the Criminal Code of Canada that declares a child becomes a human being at the moment of birth…

So they’ve chosen the intellectually indefensible position that an unborn child, moments away from birth, is not human, which essentially means scores of medical textbooks, not to mention the entire field of fetal medicine, now need to be retired. After all, if doctors who are removing tumours or repairing spinal cords on unborn babies aren’t working on humans, one wonders why they would spend years training to be doctors rather than veterinarians.

If a life is only human at birth it does raise some questions.  A mother could smoke and drink during pregnancy as she wouldn’t be harming a human life.  Bad doctoring that results in birth defects would not cause harm to a human.  A new drug that has a dangerous side effect on an unborn life would not harm a human life.  Physical abuse that results in a miscarriage would not harm a human life (in the womb).  Such an act would only rise to the level of battery against the mother.  Not homicide of the unborn non-human life.  Sad as these events may be we would not be able to redress them through the courts.  As the courts are for people.  Humans.  Not things that aren’t human.  There are penalties for people found guilty of cruelty to animals.  But usually that’s because people consciously do these things.  They’re not accidents.  Or things that result un-expectantly from other actions.

But the current debate is not about changing the definition of when life begins.  It’s about leaving the definition as it is now.  Life begins at birth.  So it is confusing because we do act as if the preborn life within the womb is human.  So why do these doctors come out giving medical sanction to a 400 year-old English common law definition of life?  From an era some will say we weren’t all that smart?  Especially those who like to point to all that warfare between Protestants and Catholics around that time.  So it would appear that the Canadians are opening the door for a lot more prenatal harm in the womb.  Why?  Is it because they don’t respect human life?  That depends where you are in the span of human life.

It’s par for the CMA, however, which has been developing a habit recently of wading into political issues. At their annual meeting in Yellowknife, the MDs also passed a motion calling for a public debate that would lead to a free vote in the House of Commons on the issue of end-of-life care.

That echoes an editorial in their CMA Journal last month which called for a national debate on death and dying. The country’s leading medical journal said it’s time for Canadians to debate whether we are prepared to embrace “therapeutic homicide…”

So why is it that the same doctors who, when it comes to euthanasia, are in favour of debate and open to rethinking when life ends, are at the same time opposed to discussion that might lead to a rethinking of when life begins?

It’s especially curious since the issue of end-of-life care in Canada has been studied and voted on countless times — as recently as last November’s parliamentary committee on compassionate and palliative care, which called for improvements to palliative care and a commitment to a national suicide prevention strategy. The CMA welcomed that report, saying “End-of-life care is an area that requires urgent attention.”

Indeed, through the years and all the many debates, reports and votes on euthanasia and palliative care, there has been one consistent conclusion: Parliamentarians and Canadians want more and better end-of-life care, not euthanasia.

So if you’re sick and dying they do respect human life.  It’s just in the womb where they can take it or leave it.  So the in-the-womb life belief is more of a political belief than a medical belief.  So what are the politics behind it?  Ontario Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth’s Motion 312.  Which seeks to redefine when life begins.  In the womb.  Or out of the womb.  The fear of Motion 312 is, of course, what will happen to abortion?  As the law is right now you can do anything you want to the life in the womb.  Because it’s not human.  Which includes having an abortion.  However, if they redefine the beginning of human life as occurring at a time earlier than when exiting the womb it could make abortion murder.  Like an assault and battery that results in a miscarriage.  Which could really complicate the abortion debate.

So those who are old, sick and in pain have no choice in ending their life.  They must live and suffer even if they want to die.  As doctors will protect these lives to the bitter end.  But a baby in the womb?  You’re on your own, kid.  The best we can offer you is to wish you good luck.  And this coming from the doctors we entrust our lives to.  It makes you wonder what’s next.  Limited use of euthanasia?  As determined by the state for political reasons.  Such as the growing cost of health care can’t justify treating people that can’t fully recover and live a normal life again?  Without continuing expensive medical treatments?  Anything is possible when you play fast and loose with defining the beginning and ending points of human life.

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Clean Renewable Energy leaves India Vulnerable to more Massive Power Blackouts

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 25th, 2012

Week in Review

Hydroelectric power is the king of renewable energy.  The fuel is free.  It doesn’t burn.  It doesn’t pollute.  It’s quiet.  They can produce power when the sun doesn’t shine (unlike solar power).  And they can produce power when the wind doesn’t blow (unlike wind power).  Their reservoirs make scenic lakes and wildlife areas.  And after they’re built they don’t need a complicated infrastructure or masses of workers running around acres of land to keep them running.  They really only have one drawback.  You have no control over that free fuel (see More Power Blackouts Expected In India by Kenneth Rapoza posted 8/20/2012 on Forbes).

Between lackluster rainfall during monsoon season and a nasty political imbroglio in the capital city, India seems to be going back to the past.

And now, the northern states, including Delhi, could face power outages yet again as three small hydroelectric power stations have been shut down.  Combined, they run about 3,000 megawatts of electricity. Electricity generated at those power plants is distributed to 28 per cent of Indian households.

At the end of last month, back to back power outages gave way to power surges that unleashed quite a bit of chaos for over 600 million people affected.  In the last week of July, around 360 million people lost power in northern India due to excessive demand and a shortfall in hydropower. On July 31, power resumed in Delhi only to fail again the next day, with the chaos spreading to Calcutta and other parts of eastern India.

This is why reliable coal-fired power plants typically provide the majority of baseload power requirements.  The minimum amount of power we consistently use throughout the year.  Because a coal-fired power plant can also produce power when the sun doesn’t shine or when the wind doesn’t blow.  And they can even produce power when the monsoons don’t come.  You can call coal Mr. Reliable when it comes to power generation.  Old Faithful.  Mr. Dependable.  The Life Saver and Comfort Giver.  No matter the heat or humidity a coal-fired power plant will say, “Give me coal and I will keep your lights on and your air conditioners running.  In your homes.  In your hospitals.  In your restaurants.  Wherever you go.  Whatever your needs.  To help you back to good health.  Or so you can simply relax at the end of a hot, humid and exhausting day.  Give me coal and I will provide for you.”

But, alas, the government of India is trying to reduce India’s carbon footprint.  And is pursuing wind and solar power.  In fact they have just connected the world’s largest solar power plant to their electric grid.  Gujarat Solar Park.  Covering some 11 sites spread over 3,000 acres.  Putting some 600 megawatts onto the grid.  Replacing about 20% of what those three small hydroelectric dams were putting on the grid.  That is, the world’s largest solar power plant can only produce what three small hydroelectric dams can produce.  And that’s only when the sun shines.  An incredible investment of capital that did not prevent in any way the back to back massive power failures that left 360 million people without power.  Which is more than the entire population of the United States.  Which is about 314 million.  Just to give you an idea of how big this power failure was.

Just think what that massive investment in solar power could have done in the northern states of India.  Instead of tilting at windmills.  The global warming boogeyman.  They could have rebuilt the electric grid.  Added a coal-fired power plant or two.  And paid for who knows how much coal.  Had the Indian government done that the good people of India probably would not have suffered through back to back power outages.  Not with Mr. Reliable on the scene.  Who laughs at large power loads.  Because he can produce power every hour of every day of every season.  The way people like their power.

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Car Company misleads People with their Deceptive Electric Car Ads

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 25th, 2012

Week in Review

How do you sell an electric car?  You avoid telling too much of the truth (see Banned, electric car ad that was miles from reality: Vauxhall commercial forgot to mention model’s petrol engine by Sean Poulter posted 8/21/2012 on the Daily Mail).

For carbon-conscious drivers, the advert for an electric car with an impressive 360-mile range seemed too good to be true.

Unfortunately, it appears it was, as the real range of the electric batteries in the Vauxhall Ampera is a rather more modest 50 miles.

And to go beyond that, it relies on help from a somewhat less green source – a petrol engine…

Vauxhall insisted its claims about the Ampera were genuine and that once in ‘range extender mode’, it can indeed keep going for 360 miles…

The advert for the car – which costs just under £30,000, including a £5,000 Government grant – briefly showed the vehicle plugged into an electricity source…

Vauxhall insisted the Ampera is a truly electric car because the petrol engine does not drive the wheels, but acts as an on-board generator for the electric motor.

The US company also argued that the 360-mile claim was conservative and significantly understated the range achieved in vehicle tests in order to allow for ‘real world’ driving styles.

So the US company used a £5,000 (approximately $7,910 US) Government grant to advertise this car.  Something systemic in the electric car industry.  Government subsidies.  For they just won’t work without them.

Glossing over that petrol (i.e., gasoline) engine is pretty significant.  Because probably the biggest thing holding back all-electric car sales is range anxiety.  Will a driver be able to make it home before their battery runs out of charge?  Which is really not an issue for someone with a 20 minute roundtrip commute.  But a huge issue for someone who drives 25 minutes or more one way.  For once you arrive at your destination you have to find a receptacle to plug in your car.  And you probably won’t be able to go anywhere for lunch.  Unless you have a friend with a gasoline-powered car.  So imagine a person’s surprise if they bought what they thought was an all-electric car and marveled at their 360-mile range.  Never noticing the gasoline engine coming on.  And never buying gasoline.  Until their car coasts to a stop somewhere.  Away from home.  With no lights, radio or heat.  And probably in a unfamiliar neighborhood.

Unless you strip a car down to nothing but batteries you’re not going to get much more than a 50 mile range.  At least for now.  Because that’s about all current battery technology will get you.  Which is why no one is taking these all-electric cars on the family vacation.  Or to work.  The carbon-conscious will at best drive a gasoline-electric hybrid.  And drive most of their miles on gasoline.  But they will still have that smug look of satisfaction on their face because they know they are saving the planet by driving a hybrid.  Even though they may be burning just as much gas as they once did.  Unless they drive in the dark.  With no heat in the winter.  Or air conditioner in the summer.

Why was this car company not exactly being forthright in their ad?  Because they want to sell their cars.  In a market where so few people want to buy what they’re selling.  So they embellish the truth in advertising a wee little bit.  But it sure makes one wonder what they tell these people when they’re in their showroom.  Because it is really hard to believe that someone would actually buy a hybrid thinking it was an all-electric car.  I mean, these people are probably going to look under the hood.  And they may even ask if the car is an all-electric car.  Like that ad led them to believe.  What then?

Could there be another reason?  One that hasn’t anything to do with people buying their cars?  Could this just have been a way to help obtain further government subsidies?  By pointing out great advances they’re making in their battery technology.  As well as showing how much more was possible with just a little more government funding.  Perhaps.  It sure seems more plausible than lying to customers.  Who are generally smart.  As opposed to government bureaucrats.

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Tasmania to Ban the Sale of Cigarettes to Anyone Born after 2000

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 25th, 2012

Week in Review

Tasmania is getting serious about smoking.  Really serious.  Unlike U.S. politicians.  Sure, they’ll put a picture of a diseased lung on a cigarette pack.  They’ll ban smoking in all public areas.  They’ll tax the bejesus out of cigarettes to ‘dissuade’ people from smoking.  They’ll even sue Big Tobacco.  They’ll do just about everything under the sun to protect the people from the evils of tobacco.  Except what Tasmania’s legislature is doing (see Tasmania move for cigarette sale ban by AAP posted 8/22/2012 on The Australian).

TASMANIA’S upper house is calling for a ban on cigarette sales to anyone born after the year 2000…

The ban would begin taking effect once people born in 2000 turned 18.

Independent MP Ivan Dean said the move would stop young people from taking up the habit…

Tasmania has the highest rates of smoking in Australia.

Wow.  This is serious.  They must really care about their people.  Would the U.S. go this far?  Some simple math will answer that question.

New York City (NYC) is probably the most liberal city in the U.S.  Pretty much anything goes there.  Except smoking in public areas.  But they allow the sale of cigarettes.  And they are the most expensive cigarettes you can buy in the U.S.  For they add $5.85 in taxes to each pack they sell.

NYC has a population of about 8.2 million people.  Approximately 19.3% of people smoke in the U.S.  So approximately 1.6 million people in NYC smoke.  If they buy a pack of cigarettes a day they generate approximately $3,397,754,206.96 in cigarette taxes for various levels of government.  That’s $3.4 billion of tax revenue from cigarettes.  And this is the reason why the U.S. government will never do what the Tasmanian government is proposing.

NYC used $3.5 billion in nonrecurring resources to balance their budget.  Otherwise they would have had a $3.5 billion deficit.  So imagine what giving up that $3.4 billion in cigarette tax revenue would do to the city.  So NYC will do everything in their power to get people to quit smoking.  Except for taking away their cigarettes.  Because without those cigarette sales they could easily double their deficit.  As would all cash-strapped cities with large public sector costs.

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New Liquid Silicone Cooling allows LED Lamp to Look as Good as an Edison Incandescent Lamp

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 25th, 2012

Week in Review

Stand aside compact fluorescent lamp.  There’s a new lamp in town.  And this one is really high tech (see SWITCH60 Review: The First Liquid-Cooled LED Bulb Will Light Up Your House Like Edison by Rebecca Boyle posted 8/20/2012 on Popular Science).

The ice cream cone-shaped fluorescent light bulb was supposed to be the lamp of the future, producing just as much light as the century-old Edison incandescent at a fraction of the energy. But CFLs look terrible, enveloping rooms in an unfriendly bluish hue. LED lamps are the next future of lighting, but they have their own obstacles to overcome, including sensitive electronics that can burn out when they get warm. SWITCH, the first liquid-cooled light bulb, aims to solve that issue and light up your house with the comfortable yellow glow of the incandescent.

But we already have a lamp that can give us the “comfortable yellow glow” of the Edison incandescent lamp.  The Edison incandescent lamp.  And they’re inexpensive.  You can get a pack of three for a couple of bucks.  And they last longer than some of the compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) I’ve used.  Yes, those same CFLs rated for a bajillion hours.  Must be metric hours because they just don’t last in my household.

The weight is behind this bulb’s secret — it’s full of liquid silicone, which dissipates heat from the 10 LEDs (12 LEDs for the 100-watt version). Warmer silicone moves toward the glass exterior, where heat dissipates into the air; as it cools, the silicone drops back toward the bulb’s heart. Think of a lava lamp; this works basically the same way, said Dave Horn, chief technology officer at SWITCH. You just can’t see the gloopy circulation.

The bulb also contains a volume-compensation device that works somewhat like a piston to keep the bulb at atmospheric pressure. If the bulb breaks, it won’t explode. Plus, liquid silicone is food-safe and clear, so if you drop one and it breaks, your carpet won’t stain and your dog won’t get sick. This is a benefit over the mercury vapor-filled CFL, which can emit harmful mercury if it shatters.

You know what kind of lamp you can throw away as easily as the Edison incandescent lamp?  The Edison incandescent lamp.  If you broke one you didn’t worry about putting on your hazardous-material suit to dispose of it.  Or going to the bank to withdraw some money to buy another lamp to replace it.

Are we making lamps just a little too high tech?  Circulating liquid silicone?  These are some high-tech lamps that probably require some intensive manufacturing skills.  Are they going to make these in U.S. manufacturing plants?  Or because of their incredible cost will they have the Chinese make these, too?  Like solar panels?

Food-safe liquid silicone?  Isn’t this what was bursting inside all those women with breast implants?  According to all those lawsuits silicone wasn’t food-safe.  Or perhaps those were frivolous lawsuits like the manufacturers said they were.  Who knows?  Some say a leaking breast implant will make you sick.  While others say you can lunch on liquid silicone.  That’s the problem with science in America.  Lawyers can politicize it.

The 60-watt version will set you back $40, and the brighter ones go for $60… The bulbs aren’t on sale yet, but they were shipped earlier this month to hotels and other hospitality establishments, so you may start seeing them soon.

Wow.  That’s as high as one dollar a watt.  A pack of three can cost as much as $180.  You know what that means?  That’s right.  These lamps are going to grow legs and walk out of those hotel rooms.

Yes, price should come down over time.  Just like it was supposed to do with the CFLs.  But before the CFL got to be everything they said it would be it’s already yesterday’s technology.  So what will be the new lamp technology in the years to come while the LED lamps become more wallet-friendly and people-pleasing?  Perhaps the Edison incandescent lamp.

We have so much coal and natural gas in this country that we can keep electricity rates low long into the future.  If we give up this nonsense of windmills and solar panels.  And global warming?  Perhaps if we pump up some more carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide from our coal-fired power plants into the atmosphere we can bring down global temperatures.  Just like the volcanoes do when they spew carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere, cooling the planet in the process.  Perhaps if we stop trying to save the planet the planet may have a chance to survive.

If people want the Edison incandescent lamp we should let them have it.  It’s a good lamp.  No one is denying it.  Even the people trying to replace it.  Because the bar to measure every new lamp technology is the one lamp we all know and love.  The Edison incandescent lamp.

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Another Very Expensive and Government Subsidized All-Electric Car Burst into Flames

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 25th, 2012

Week in Review

Here’s a word of advice.  If you see one of those fascinating new all-electric cars in the parking lot when you’re out shopping don’t park anywhere near it.  Just in case (see Fisker Issues Second Recall of Electric Car by RANDY KREIDER posted 8/20/2012 on ABC News).

After the second of two mysterious fires in a Karma sedan, the government-backed electric car-maker Fisker has initiated a voluntary recall of its luxury vehicles…

As first reported by Jalopnik.com, the owner found the vehicle burning in the parking lot when he returned from shopping. At the time, the Woodside Fire Department said the immediate cause of the blaze appeared to be “heat from powered equipment,” and firefighters cut the car’s battery cable after putting out the fire. Woodside Fire Chief Dan Ghiorso told ABC News that the origin of the fire appeared to be inside the engine compartment, though Fisker said in a statement that it was determined to be outside the compartment in an area “forward of the driver’s side front tire.”

Ghiorso said Monday that he did not dispute Fisker’s new findings about the origin of the blaze. The fire did not cause any injuries but did cause damage to an adjacent vehicle, according to the Woodside Fire Department.

The fire is the second mysterious blaze in a Fisker Karma in 2012. Earlier this year, a Fisker Karma parked in the garage of a Sugar Land, Texas home caught fire, destroying a portion of the residence. Fire officials blamed the electric vehicle for the fire, according to media reports, but Fisker contended that neither the car nor its battery had anything to do with the fire, since the car was unplugged at the time of the fire and the battery pack was intact and still working after the blaze.

In March, another Karma broke down in the middle of a Consumer Reports road test, a failure that Fisker later said was due to a faulty battery.

More than 250 Fisker Karmas, out of the more than 1,000 that the company says are on the road, have been subject to a recall over the last year due to problems with the cars’ lithium ion batteries that could have led to fires in the $102,000 cars.

Gee, I’d hate to be the person who invested in these expensive cars that seem to be having so much trouble.

In 2010, the Department of Energy awarded Fisker a $529 million green-energy loan, in part to help purchase a shuttered General Motors plant in Delaware, where it predicted it would one day employ 2,000 auto workers to assemble a clean-burning gas-electric family car, known as the Atlantic.

Fisker collected nearly $200 million until February this year, when the government froze the loan because the company was failing to meet the government’s milestones. Most of those federal funds went into bringing the Karma, which Fisker assembles in Finland, to the U.S. market.

Oh.  I am the person investing in these expensive cars that seem to be having so much trouble.  Makes sense.  Obviously the technology is so questionable that they couldn’t build these cars with private money.  Like auto makers can build those cars that run on gasoline with private money.  Because that technology works.  Unlike these all-electric cars.  Based on these electric cars bursting into flames or breaking down or being recalled.

I’m not sure how this creates U.S. jobs.  Except at the port that unloads these cars from ships.  Unless the Obama administration is counting on hiring new firefighters to put out these car fires.  Firefighters do belong to a public sector union.  And the president does support public sector unions.  After all, he did say the private sector was doing well.  It was the public sector that he wanted to see some hiring in.  So maybe this was the grand plan all along.  Burning cars to support the call to hire more firefighters.

Company executives began hinting in February that Fisker would reconsider its plan and look for a cheaper place to build the Atlantic, despite the federal funding it received to build in the U.S.

“If Fisker no longer gets government monies, then obviously we are in a place where other options are open to us and have to be considered from a business perspective,” Roger Ormisher told ABC News in May…

Ormisher also said that negotiations with the DOE were ongoing. “We’re hoping for a conclusion fairly soon,” he said.

They don’t want to build in the U.S. with UAW auto workers.  Unless they get a government subsidy.  To offset the high cost of UAW labor.  Because they don’t want to go bankrupt like GM did from the high cost of UAW labor.  They’re still trying to negotiate further subsidies from Loans-R-Us.  I mean, the Department of Energy (DOE).  And they really like those loans.  Because they come with a wink.  They know they don’t have to pay them back.  Especially if they pull a Solyndra and go bankrupt.

There has to be a cheaper way to create jobs in Finland.  Then again, why should we even be trying to create jobs in Finland in the first place?  Perhaps it’s time we take junior’s credit card away.  For the DOE just doesn’t appear to be responsible enough with our money.  And another thing, why do we even have a DOE?  What?  Are they the ‘parsley’ of government spending?  Something that looks nice on your plate but has no real value?  It would appear so.  Perhaps it’s time we stop spending money on parsley.  The government should impress us with substance.  Not appearances.

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