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It’s a mixed bag of emotions as I whip out today’s HodgePodge. With a glimpse of sunlight attempting to penetrate the daunting sky I feel a sense of optimism in the weather (despite the supposed week of rain ahead). Yet the news sources in my home continually remind me of the London tragedy Wednesday.

As I write (Thursday morning) the death toll is four with as many as 40 injured. Terrorists of Isis  have claimed involvement though nothing official on that has been announced. Latest reports have as many as eight  people currently in England under arrest in regards to the tragedy.

What is clear is that the new ‘modern’ way of conducting warfare continues to be a lethal and effective tool for such vicious and vile proponents. If not one more person dies from terrorism this year in England, despite their collective upper chin the nation has been rattled. That same sense of vulnerability is not confined to British borders as the event is a callous reminder that such a form of unpredictable and destructive violence can happen anywhere and at anytime.

Yesterday’s London could be today’s Vancouver or tomorrow’s Calgary.

Canada, though perhaps not as dominant a target as England, France or other nations, certainly remains an easy target – such as witnessed in Ottawa. That aside I am pleased that our leaders tend to approach the threat of terrorism with a quiet more subtle attempt  such as London, rather than the bombastic almost intimidating efforts of late by the United States.

During recent broadcasts regarding England some reporters seemed perplexed and commented on the lack of apparent weapons regular police in England carry on a routine basis, compared to the arms display in America. That simple observation, I suggest, is the major example of the difference in attitudes of the two nations. England has long rejected the idea of guns as household items, as common as a pet. America embraces their guns like long lost children.

It is that live by the sword  or die by the sword mentality that helps clearly separate the two nations.

Today England is reeling from its horrid wounds, and eventually, hopefully, a resolve will come to pass on the event and life will go on. Darker days, I fear, may be in hand for our southerly neighbours however. Particularly if the out of control captain running the out of control boat remains at the helm. With each day it seems President Trumps intolerance and racist actions continue to escalate tension with other nations.

Trump remains determined to place significant restrictions on refugees from certain countries and faiths, failing to acknowledge proper process, protocol or courts in the process.

I admit to preferring our approach better. “In Canada, we got a very important thing right, not perfect, but right. In Canada we see diversity as a source of strength, not weakness,” Prime Minister Trudeau recently told the UN Assembly.

While his absolute intolerance not only makes Trump appear like a buffoon it also continues to poke the many lions out there circling the U.S.

Last time I noticed it seemed the United States ranked high on the hate/hit list of ISIS and other terrorist institutions or nations.

Of late, the greatest threat to world peace, North Korea, continues to stretch and yawn while flexing its nuclear power. With a long time hate on for the U.S. I firmly believe they await the slightest provocation or reason to swipe out at the U.S. Sadly, it appears that Trump is too foolish not to take the bait.

While Trump worries about danger to his people coming from outside its borders I suggest he simply look in the mirror.

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A last minute sad sidebar – it is with sorrow that I mention the loss of Cynthia Anne Hunter  who passed away March 16. A founding member and the first president of the Central Okanagan Heritage Society Cynthia was a driving force behind numerous historic restoration projects in the Valley.

Her many efforts in various forms to assist the community saw her named winner of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal. Her love of life, positive energy and love of family and friends was unsurpassed. She will be dearly missed by many.

My condolences to her husband Dr. Andrew Hunter, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Funeral services are set for April 3 at St. Andrews Church at 2 p.m.

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, and current Kelowna City Councillor. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge has also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 34 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on his third hockey book, as well as a historical/fiction novel. Charlie is proprietor of Hodge Communications based in Kelowna, B.C. Charlie’s creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. A creative thinker and innovator, Charlie believes in helping clients make their best choices; assist them with strategic plans, and decision make. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic and motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa, three cats, and a very spoiled dog.

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