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Sunday, August 4, 2013
Volume 6, No. 30
SAMMY YATIN WAS NOT THE VICTIM
Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. Well, making headlines across the land of my birth is an incident involving a knife-wielding 18-year-old Toronto man, a midnight street car with terrified passengers; and a law enforcement officer who had to decide very quickly whether said knife-wield 18-year-old man would kill the driver of the street car.
Sammy Yatin was shot and killed so what he might have done is a moot point. And of course, since it was a youth against the police, Yatin is being portrayed as a victim himself and the Toronto police are being pilloried behind a wave of accusations suggesting Yatin’s death was murder and not what it actually was, a means of saving a truly innocent victim’s life.
Yatin was not a victim. According to at least one eye-witness, he was a knife-wielding man who scared the living H out of the women and men on that streetcar. He may have also been a very good son, friend and upstanding member of the community at the time. But he was not acting like one and in a situation like this, the police don’t really have the time to check resumes.
I feel real bad that the Yatins lost a son this way. It makes me sad that a human being could feel so bad they’d do what Sammy did. But I’m also thinking about those passengers, the driver and all the others who would have been impacted had Sammy gone into a stab, slice and butcher mode.
I’m also not really up for seeing the police force of Canada’s largest city crucified for doing a job that very few of us would take on for any amount of money. It is an awesome and sacred trust they carry.
As tragic as Sammy Yatin’s death was, the Toronto Police honoured that trust.
IN OTHER NEWS
The costliest war in American history was fought to preserve the Union and end slavery. How successful was that bloody slaughter? One wonders when the F.B.I. arrests 159 men across the country for forcing teenaged girls into prostitution. Perhaps the only light at the end of this particular tunnel is the realization that those convicted will have lots of opportunities to experience what their victims went through.
I’ve had some personal experience with this one so I’m glad to see that there’s a program in New York which would require severely mentally ill patients who refuse hospitalization, deny they have problems and do not take their meds and whose behavior is a threat to themselves and others to receive outpatient treatment. In other words, no longer does a mental patient in New YorkState who is incapable of making decisions about their own care get to do so.
Well, at a time when municipal, state and federal budgets have been strained beyond reason, it’s very reassuring to know that the US Department of Agriculture paid subsidies to thousands of dead farmers.
WORLD NEWS SHORTS
TOPICAL NEWS SHORTS
MIDEAST PEACE TALKS
Disclaimer: If it was entirely up to me, this individual would not get a word of coverage. But since we are not only reader funded but editorially responsive, we’re carrying it. Yep, I’d rather have a root canal. Or three. Rusty
Is poverty still a problem in Canada? For one out of every eight families, yes, it is.
Guess what country in the G20 is best for women. Hint: it isn’t the United States and is sure is not India. To see which one is and where your nation ranks, yep, please go here.
If you do not believe in miracles, you just may after you read about this Montreal man who can see for the first time in 68 years.
OH CANADA SPECIAL
Are we looking at the Americanization of Canada’s law enforcement establishment? The answer just might chill you.
In what I’m certain history will record as perhaps the bravest, most compassionate and noble position ever taken by a pope in the history of the Catholic Church, Francis says of gays, “Who Am I To Judge Them?”
For those who think Congress is going to the dogs, nope. A part of it is going to the goats.
Well, our dependence on fossil fuel has cost another country a lot of money. Check out this vacation spot in Thailand that an oil spill ruined.
Has marijuana growing become an environmental liability? In some places, yes, it most certainly has.
Bottleneck dolphins off the American East Coast are dying in record numbers. Marine biologists have been as yet unable to identify the cause but suspect that human pollution is playing a major role. They are very much alarmed because this species is an indicator of the health of the Atlantic Ocean ecosystem in the first place.
A CHANCE TO MATTER
EXPLORATION, HISTORY, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Well, here’s something we just found out about. There’s a federal government owned remote operating vehicle (ROV) which has been mapping the Atlantic’s ocean floor off the east coast of America. For a fascinating look at undersea exploration in the 21st Century, please go here.
Now here’s something we found truly unique. Here’s what it would look like if L.A.’s freeways magically turned into subways
Here is something whose time has definitely come. It converts your pedal bicycle into an electric one and it’s small, simple and, for a prototype, inexpensive. The reviews I’ve read on this British import come from all over and they are consistently good. The manufacturers of this device are a start up and acknowledge that the cost of one of these now is a little high. But they point out that as demand for more of them increases, the price per unit will go down. Yep, for more on the Rubbee, please go here.
CLOSER TO HOME
NORTHSTAR WEEKLY READER QUIZ
Okay, gang. How much do you know about petroleum refining?
THE GREEN AGENDA
One of my skeptical friends asserts that eating a good breakfast is actually a conspiracy among the cereal, dairy, meat, wheat and vegetable industry to sell more oatmeal, milk. bacon, bread, onions and potatoes. That well may be. But here’s why it’s also a real good idea ~ personally ~ to break the night’s fast with at least oatmeal.
Despite that great commercial by Sally Fields, osteoporosis is not an exclusively female problem. To see how it affects males and what we can do to prevent it or modify its impacts, please go here.
ON THE CANCER FRONT
There is a very tiny mammal whose total immunity to cancer might unlock the key to knocking this ravaging disease out permanently. For more information, please go here.
BEST OF THE NET
Live Science Image of the Day Gallery – These are from all over the world and rival those of National Geographic and other peer publications.
Video: A Complicated Cetacean — Orcas, known popularly as killer whales, are the subject of a new documentary that hopes to bring attention to problems they face in captivity.
Video: Tunnel Vision — A short impressionistic film shot from New York City subway trains.
SITES WE PERSONALLY ENJOY EACH WEEK
BLOGS WE FOLLOW
The Tomatoman Times – Sardonic, ironic, sometimes poignantly incisive, this is also one of the longest running human interest blogs on the Net and well worth the read.
Meade’s California Coast is moving commentary and photos by one of that state’s premier photojournalists. Short, poignant and memorable, it is a tribute to both the craft and the subject.
No Camels – Weekly Israeli Innovation News is like a blend of Popular Mechanics, Scientific American and the science pages of the New York Times and the Huffington Post. I totally geek out when I read these folks.
NEWS, WEATHER & INFORMATION
BERTHA BEGINS TO DRILL
Well, at long last, that big tunnel boring machine which came over here in sections from Japan is going to work digging the infrastructure which will replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. That structure was deemed an earthquake and as traffic density increased over the years since it was first constructed, insufficient for 21st Century traffic flows. For more, please go here.
USA TODAY CALLS BURKE-GILMAN TRAIL NATION’S PRIDE
Apparently it’s one of the longest and most scenic urban trails in America. Yet the Burke-Gilman Trail was strongly opposed at its inception, despite backing from both the city and county chief executives. For an outstanding article on how the BGT was born, please go here.
KOMO 4 News (ABC)
KIRO 7 (CBS)
KING 5 News (NBC)
ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL
I am not a fan of putting wild animals in cages or tanks because doing so is the equivalent of putting a human being in prison. I understand why zoos and aquariums were created but with the proliferation of media which can bring these creatures in their natural environment right into our laps and living rooms, the need for caging creatures has ended. This is particularly true for the 36 orcas still in captivity and to see why that’s especially important to these gentle leviathans, please go here.
Justin, the fire survivor kitten who took the Net and the world by storm earlier this year, is recovering and has found a foster home. Last week, the little guy learned to climb stairs. Yep, this is another opportunity to die of “total cute”.
South Korea recently ruled the capture of three dolphins illegal and ordered their release. Two of them have rejoined their original pods and the third appears to have found a new family. Yep, for this happiest of endings, please go here.
ALL CREATURES GREAT & SMALL EXTRA
She’s a canine bomb detector who jumps from low-flying aircraft and she’s joined Columbia’s elite anti-terrorism group. For more on this super dog, yep, please go here.
FROM THOSE WE SUPPORT MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Here’s the SeaDoc Society’s August newsletter. They’re headquartered north of here on OrcasIsland. Affiliated with the University of California (Davis) School of Veterinary Medicine, their education programs, research and proactive marine mammal protection efforts are literally rewriting animal conservation history. And their newsletter is really cool too.
YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP
Well, we’re betting this could not have happened to a nicer guy. And our thanks to Aelwen & Braith in Cardiff for sending us this one. Farmer Loses Keys, Makes ‘Once In A Lifetime’ Find
AVAILABLE FROM NORTHSTAR
WRATH OF THE TESTAMENT
an exciting seagoing saga of war and rebellion
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Thought is the blossom; language the bud;
action the fruit behind it.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
On the way back from a Cub Scout meeting, my grandson innocently said to my son, “Dad, I know babies come from mommies’ tummies, but how do they get there in the first place?”
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A FINAL WORLD
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Until next week, then, take care and Godspeed. Rusty