Hodgepodge by Charlie Hodge – Stop the merry-go-round please

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Stop the merry-go-round please – I’d like to get off.
Like many I admit to being a tad shocked, a whole bunch saddened, and substantially disgusted by the wicked, senseless and disturbing massive shootings the past week across North America.
Wednesday night air ways were filled with the latest results of a manhunt for two Canadian killers in Manitoba, and the nationwide response to recent mass murders in the United States some suggest were partly motivated by their controversial president. Tragic and tumultuous.

With 17 victims from two separate mass shootings (in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas) earlier this week many Americans have demanded changes in gun ownership guidelines.

Naturally former U.S. Vice President (and candidate for that seat in the next election) Joe Biden took the opportunity to verbally attack President Trump for his recent comments many felt fanned the flames of racism.

“We now have more mass shootings than we’ve had days in this year. As of Monday there have been 255 mass shootings in 217 days,” said Biden while denouncing the “white supremacy” Trump, “has embraced throughout his two-and-half year presidency and has defended through his ongoing rhetoric that contain strong racial overtones.”
Biden accused Trump of not leading with moral leadership.

“Presidents who led, who opposed hate, chose to fight for what is best of the American character. Sadly, we don’t have that today. Our president has aligned himself with the darkest forces in this nation. And that makes winning this battle for the soul of our nation that much harder.”

Biden also took exception to the President’s speech from the White House Monday.
“His low energy, vacant-eyed mouthing of the words written for him condemning white supremacists this week I don’t believe fooled anyone, at home or abroad.
Biden further suggested Trump fundamentally doesn’t understand his job. “Trump offers no moral leadership; seems to have no interest in unifying this nation, no evidence the presidency has awakened his conscience in the least,” he said. “Indeed we have a president with a toxic tongue who has publicly and unapologetically embraced a political strategy of hate, racism and division.”
Gee Joe, tell us what you really think.
However even peaceful little Canada seems to be getting caught up in gun crazy killings.
This past weekend the centre of the universe (known to some as Toronto) was a maelstrom of maliciousness on the long weekend with 17 people shot. That led Toronto Police chief Mark Saunders to announce more boots on the street in an effort to stop the insanity. Seven of the fatal shootings took place in a nightclub early Monday however there is no evidence to suggest a connection between any of the other shooting incidents.
Toronto Mayor John Tory reiterated his call for a ban on handguns and assault rifles. “Anything that does remove a handgun is a good day for the city.”
It seems gun shootings are on the increase here as well. According to the most recent Toronto police statistics (as of July 29), there were 98 shooting incidents so far in 2019 with 18 deaths and 106 people injured. By the same date in 2018, there were 102 shooting incidents with 30 deaths and 103 people injured. 2018 and 2019 saw a higher number of deaths and injuries from guns compared to 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Scary.
On a slightly more positive (?) note Manitoba police have found two bodies during a massive manhunt in dense brush in northern Manitoba. Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, from Port Alberni, B.C., were facing a second-degree murder charge in the death of Leonard Dyck, a university lecturer from Vancouver and two tourists. Hopefully some closure for the victim’s family can now begin.
Thankfully, not all the weekend news was tragic. On a lighter note it seems a little research stopped the public from getting hooped. American basketball player Donell ‘DJ’ Cooper has been banned from playing for the Bosnian national team after drug testers were shocked to discover he was pregnant.
The yankee basketball player was plying his trade in Europe
since missing out on the NBA draft. He’s previously played in Greece and France.
Cooper needed to take a drug test as part of the formalities and officials found the sample he provided contained human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, a hormone produced during pregnancy.
A recently released report shows the urine actually belonged to his girlfriend, who was likely unaware she was pregnant.
The international basketball federation (FIBA) suspended Cooper for fraud and he’s not eligible to return to the game until June 2020.

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge 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 41 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 a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His 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. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.

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