The Love of Parents. Young Charlie Gard.

Charles Krauthammer writes:

One cannot imagine a more wrenching moral dilemma than the case of little Charlie Gard. He is a beautiful 11-month-old boy with an incurable genetic disease. It depletes his cells’ energy-producing structures (the mitochondria), thereby progressively ravaging his organs. He cannot hear, he cannot see, he can barely open his eyes. He cannot swallow, he cannot move, he cannot breathe on his own. He suffers from severe epilepsy, and his brain is seriously damaged. Doctors aren’t even sure whether he can feel pain.

For months he’s been at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. His doctors have recommended removing him from life support.

His parents are deeply opposed. They have repeatedly petitioned the courts to allow them to take Charlie for experimental treatment in the United States.

The courts have denied the parents’ petition. They concluded that the proposed treatment had no chance of saving the child and would do nothing but inflict upon him further suffering. They did, however, allow the American specialist to come to London to examine Charlie. He is giving his findings to the court. A final ruling is expected on July 25.

The Telegraph of London reports that Charlie’s doctors remain unconvinced by the American researcher. Indeed, the weight of the evidence appears to support the doctors and the courts. Charlie’s genetic variant is different and far more devastating than the ones in which nucleoside bypass therapy has shown some improvement. There aren’t even animal models for treating Charlie’s condition. It’s extremely unlikely that treatment can even reach Charlie’s brain cells, let alone reverse the existing damage.

The parents have garnered support from thousands of petitioners and from such disparate luminaries as the pope and the president of the United States, both of whom have offered to bring Charlie to their facilities.

What to do? There is only one real question. What’s best for Charlie? But because he can’t speak for himself, we resort to a second question: Who is to speak for him?

The most heart-rending situation occurs when these two questions yield opposing answers. Charlie’s is such a case.

Let me explain.

In my view, two truths must guide any decision: (1) The parents must be sovereign, but (2) the parents are sometimes wrong.

I believe that in this case the parents are wrong, and the doctors and judges are right. Charlie’s suffering is literally unimaginable and we are simply prolonging it. This is a life of no light, no sound, no motion, only moments of physical suffering (seizures? intubation?) to punctuate the darkness. His doctors understandably believe that allowing a natural death is the most merciful thing they can do for Charlie.

As for miracle cures, I share the court’s skepticism. They always arise in such cases, and invariably prove to be cruel deceptions.

And yet. Despite all these considerations, I would nevertheless let the parents take their boy where they wish.

The sovereignty of loved ones must be the overriding principle that guides all such decisions. We have no other way. The irreducible truth is that these conundrums have no definitive answer. We thus necessarily fall back on family, or to put it more sentimentally, on love.

What is best for the child? The best guide is a loving parent. A parent’s motive is the most pure.

This rule is not invariable, of course. Which is why the state seizes control when parents are demonstrably injurious, even if unintentionally so, as in the case of those who, for some religious imperative, would deny their child treatment for a curable disease.

But there’s a reason why, despite these exceptions, all societies grant parents sovereignty over their children until they reach maturity. Parents are simply more likely than anyone else to act in the best interest of the child.

Not always, of course. Loved ones don’t always act for the purest of motives. Heirs, for example, may not the best guide as to when to pull the plug on an elderly relative with a modest fortune.

But then again, states can have ulterior motives, too. In countries where taxpayers bear the burden of expensive treatments, the state has an inherent incentive (of which Britain’s National Health Service has produced notorious cases) to deny treatment for reasons of economy rather than mercy.

Nonetheless, as a general rule, we trust in the impartiality of the courts — and the loving imperative of the parent.

And if they clash? What then? If it were me, I would detach the tubes and cradle the child until death. But it’s not me. It’s not the NHS. And it’s not the European Court of Human Rights.

It’s a father and a mother and their desperate love for a child. They must prevail. Let them go.

Our Princeling and the New Governor General ——-Is There a Touch Of——————?

By Roy Urback on CBC Website

Until artificial intelligence progresses to the point where intelligent machines take over our Westminster system (yes, I’m scared, too), we will continue to appoint flawed humans to important government posts.

Some of these people will come with pasts more fraught than others, but show me a closet without a skeleton and chances are there’s a rug nearby with an ugly lump.

That’s why I look at the expunged assault charge for governor general-designate Julie Payette, as reported Tuesday by iPolitics, with little more than a shrug.

It is newsworthy, certainly: there is hardly a compelling reason why the news that Canada’s next governor general once faced a second-degree assault charge ought to be kept from Canadians, other than perhaps for Payette’s personal privacy, though that’s generally forfeited when assuming as high profile a role as representative of the Queen.

An ‘unfounded’ charge

If we take Payette at her word that the 2011 charge was “unfounded,” then it should constitute a mere line or two in her biography, and certainly not disqualify her from her soon-to-be-assumed role. The charge was laid, quickly dropped and subsequently expunged, according to reports. See “flawed humans,” above.

What makes the story exceptional, however, is the prime minister’s reluctance to address the report with anything beyond a cursory “no comment.” Indeed, when pressed by iPolitics, Kate Purchase, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s director of communications, said simply: “We’ve got no comment on this.” She also would not confirm whether the prime minister was aware of the charge before appointing Payette (though it’s difficult to imagine he wasn’t, considering the way candidates for the post are vetted).

Countdown begins for Julie Payette’s new life as governor general
Trudeau and Payette speak about her new role as GG
In a thoughtful column for iPolitics, Susan Delacourt posited that Trudeau’s response might not have been so nonchalant had reports surfaced of a male governor general-designate with an expunged assault charge in his history.

“It brings up a thought-provoking question,” she wrote. “Could the PMO simply say ‘no comment’ in response to reports about an assault charge involving a male appointee?”

“Probably not,” she answers. “Let’s all cast our minds back to Trudeau’s delivery of swift justice against two former Liberal MPs accused of pressing unwelcome advances against two female New Democrat MPs.”

Delacourt ends the discussion there, but I think it merits a more detailed comparison.

In the case of those two former Liberal MPs — Scott Andrews and Massimo Pacetti — there were no actual charges levelled against them when the news broke back in November 2014. In fact, the internal investigation of the matter came only after Trudeau announced that the pair would be suspended from caucus because of “allegations of serious misconduct.”

At the time, the MPs hadn’t even been informed of the specific allegations against them. Nevertheless, Trudeau stood before cameras to declare that he would “give the benefit of the doubt to those who come forward.”

Months went by and one of the original accusers gave a detailed account of a sexual encounter with Pacetti to Huffington Post Canada, while a Toronto human rights lawyer hired by Trudeau conducted an independent investigation into the allegations.

Finally, in March, Pacetti and Andrews were informed — via media leaks, not from their party, and before they had a chance to look at the final report from the external investigator — that they would be permanently booted from the Liberals. Trudeau confirmed the news shortly thereafter.

There are obvious differences between the Payette case and that of Pacetti and Andrews, the most significant of which being that the allegations against the latter two concern their conduct while in office, not six years prior. But the chief point here is that when Trudeau made that first public statement back in November 2014, the allegations against them were unproven.

Yet instead of quietly investigating the matter before going public, Trudeau opted for what was likely the more politically expedient move: he talked about them publicly — remarking on the importance of individuals coming forward, and about power dynamics, and about safe workplaces — even if it helped prematurely convict the MPs in the court of public opinion.

It’s not a perfect comparison, but the difference in approach is striking: a couple of men were treated as guilty before we knew the facts, and Trudeau jumped in front of the microphone at seemingly the first available opportunity. But now, with a woman at the centre of the controversy, he’s totally mum. It’s all the more bizarre considering that, in the eyes of the law, Payette’s case is settled.

It’s not far-fetched to think that if it was discovered that a male governor general had an assault charge in his past, Trudeau would seize the opportunity to evangelize about male aggression and domestic violence. Then again, I don’t think Trudeau would appoint a male governor general with a past assault charge — even one that had been dropped and expunged — in the first place.

Payette’s past shouldn’t disqualify her from the role of governor general, but it shouldn’t be ignored by the prime minister, either. Trudeau was eager to get his comments in before; he hardly has a good reason for staying quiet now.

This column is part of CBC’s Opinion section.

What? Trudeau Govt Gives $20 million to Clinton Foundation? So Says The Toronto Sun .

I mean how much more of this stuff can a country take.

Everyone knows that the Clintons are under a massive cloud as it relates to their questionable fund raising. Bill taking exorbitant speaking fees from forgiven governments who are donors to the Foundation, for example. His shady deals with the Russians on being instrumental on the Russians gaining part ownership of uranium supplies in the US. This transaction was one that Hillary had to sign off on when she was Secretary of State. Talk about Russian collusion and conflict of interest.

I mean isn’t there other less shady charities etc that the Federal Government could find in order to help the less fortunate?

It’s Not Americans Buying in Canada, Its Canadians Buying in the US !

Who would have believed it?

Sure the tidal wave of Americans coming to Canada after the Trump victory was to be overwhelming. Hollywood would be a ghost town. Properties would be flying off the shelves so to speak.

Curious then that it is Canadians with the Chinese that are driving residential sales to foreigners in the US to record heights. Tis called self interest. Why buy in over priced Vancouver and Toronto when you can get comparable residence at lower price next door. I guess Trump must not be much of a factor. Note an excerpt from an article in the Wall Street Journal:

‘ The recent surge in foreign buying was driven largely by Canadians flocking south to escape their own overheated real-estate markets. U.S. home prices are starting to look like a bargain compared with Vancouver and Toronto, where prices rose nearly 30% in the year ended in March. The gains slowed to a 6% year-over-year increase in June.

“There’s the flashing red exit sign going ‘It’s time to get out now,’” said Brent Leathwood, a broker in Florida who said he is seeing an uptick in Canadian buying.

The real-estate boom up north also helps give Canadians the cash to invest in vacation properties to the south. Mr. Leathwood said he recently worked with a couple who flew down from Vancouver.

“They’re shocked at what $300,000 or $400,000 will buy them,” he said. In Florida they can get a detached single-family house in that price range, while in Canada even an 800-square-foot condo is roughly twice that much, he said.’

The 12 months ending in March saw $153 billion of foreign buying in residential properties in the US , a record. The previous record was $105 billion. China is first , but Canada is second—all this notwithstanding all that negativity emanating from the mainstream press about the US.

Canadians may think they like our political correct , selfe obsessed Junior PM but when it comes to the pocket book and recent real estate purchases Trump’s America gets their money.

Eye on America : Are the Republicans in Free Fall?

Some blogs back I broached this topic. As the days have gone by the chances of this becoming the likely continuing trend get more certain.

Witness the latest debacle on health by the Senate. This is suppose to be the sober, intelligent, thoughtful chamber . The House of Representatives debacle would never be repeated in the Senate. Yet, here we are a few weeks later with a major defeat, embarrassment in full view. Not only couldn’t the Senate Republicans get a version of their Heath Care ideas agreed to my their own colleagues , but they could not even muster enough votes to do a repeal of Obamacare now, with a two year window for gradual replacement. So where does health care reform go from here?

Coming up next is tax reform –and given this debacle , this is far from a sure thing. Obviously, the Democrats licking their lips on this defeat, will not be that amenable to compromise where it may have existed just a few short months ago. Then there is infrastructure and other banking reforms . Looks like a tough agenda.

The market smells it , too, and hence the dollar is coasting lower and optimism that had been present in the marketplace is being eroding almost every day.

Add to the mix the ongoing formal investigations of the special counsel and the Congressional Committees on collusion etc, and the informal daily witch hunts of just about every mainstream media, assisted by a fumbling White House and Democrats looking for blood, and you have trouble all around .

And there is not much time to right the ship.

If this continues, and the mid terms see the Republicans loose the Congress, then this first two years will seem like child’s play to the final two of this Administration.

The sad thing is that some real good things are happening but are overshadowed daily by Congressional and Presidential bungling which capture the headlines and create a momentum all their own.

Not a pretty site!

American Road Map on NAFTA –First Take .

I quickly scanned the document and three things stand out. No doubt there are more :

1. No mention of Forestry. So I guess the soft wood lumber issue will have to be resolved outside this agreement. The only caveat here is that the Americans may interpret their own general wording in the Agreement to capture Foresrty although that does seem like a stretch.

2. The Agriculture provision seems like it will capture the Canadian marketing board issue. This coould be a real thorny issue give that dairy interests in both Canada and the US are very strong.

3. The American desire to eliminate the dispute settlement provision which has really helped Canada and Mexico is sure to be contentious .

Talks are due to start in August. The Americans are hoping to wrap this up by January. Very optimistic in my view and also the view of many watching this file.