Light blogging as of late…
It was bad enough for veteran bus driver Charles Dixon to have his face and well-being shattered by a vicious sucker punch from an angry passenger.But Tuesday, Mr. Dixon sat in court with a number of his driver colleagues to hear that Del Louie, the young man who assaulted him, would not be going to jail.
Instead, citing Mr. Louie’s aboriginal ancestry as one of several mitigating factors, Provincial Court Judge Karen Walker handed the 22-year-old an 18-month conditional sentence to be served at a rehab residence, 200 hours of community service and two years probation. The Crown had urged a prison sentence of nine to 12 months.Outside the court, the 55-year-old driver was bitter that his attacker was spared time behind bars. He pointed to his face, partially covered in bandages from his latest surgery to restore normal breathing.“There’s nothing wrong with Del Louie’s face. He doesn’t have a plate with four screws in his face,” said Mr. Dixon, his voice cracking. “He doesn’t have a concussion. He doesn’t have neck injuries and back injuries, and cognitive issues that will be with me the rest of my life.… Where’s the respect?”The conditional sentence was yet another blow for public transit drivers, who suffer scores of assaults every year. Few of the culprits wind up in prison.“This is totally unacceptable,” said Don MacLeod, president of Canadian Auto Workers Local 111 that represents Lower Mainland bus drivers. “House arrest is totally different from jail time. There’s no deterrence in that. Today, there was no justice for Charles Dixon, no justice for more than 1,000 transit operators who have been assaulted over the last 10 years, and no justice for passengers, who expect the buses they board to be safe. This is a very sad message for the court to send.”In addition to his attack against Mr. Dixon on a late-night bus in Burnaby last year, Mr. Louie assaulted the driver’s son, Aaron, who tried to restrain him; regularly broke his bail conditions by drinking excessively; and spat at a paramedic during an altercation with police. He also had a previous conviction for assaulting a bus driver.Court was told that Mr. Louie experienced a difficult upbringing, raised by an alcoholic mother, and suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome. That cut little ice with Mr. Dixon.“That young man knew exactly what he was doing that night. I’m sorry he has fetal alcohol syndrome, but look what he’s done to me. It will stay with me for the rest of my life,” Mr. Dixon said. “Sorry, I don’t agree with using aboriginal ancestry as an excuse. It doesn’t wash.”He pointed out that in a few weeks he will have served 14 months of his own virtual house arrest, unable to return to work. “That’s just four months shy of what Del Louie is getting,” the driver said with agitation.Mr. Louie punched Mr. Dixon after being told not to board the bus by the back door. His single blow broke two bones on the right side of the driver’s face and caused other injuries, including cognitive and psychological difficulties.In pronouncing sentence, Judge Walker acknowledged the severity of Mr. Louie’s sucker punch against a vulnerable victim, who was simply doing his job. But she said the Criminal Code requires that “all available sanctions” be considered before sending an aboriginal offender to jail. The section was recently upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada.Circumstances of aboriginals in Canada, given their traumatic history, are different from non-aboriginal offenders, Judge Walker said, citing previous court rulings. While Mr. Louie, with an aboriginal mother and father of Russian ancestry, does not live in a native community, he has been afflicted with fetal alcohol syndrome and psychological stress all his life, the judge told the court. “They were not of his making.”
Getting one’s face smashed is also a traumatic event not of the victim’s making.
Let’s elect our judges.
On the morning of Aug. 21, he says, he entered the alley behind his restaurant and saw a thief in the act. He confronted the man, who became aggressive and threatened to kill him, he said.He tossed the masala spice powder he was holding into the man’s face, then grabbed a broomstick from his backyard to “defend himself” in a fierce scuffle partly captured on surveillance tape.When the man left on his bicycle, Polapady called police and pursued the man in his car.The man was arrested and after hospital treatment was questioned by police and released without charge due to lack of evidence, said Toronto police Const. Wendy Drummond.Polapady was charged with assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon and administering a noxious substance (the spices).“They charged me for defending myself and my property,” he said. “My family has been very shocked.”
The real crimes are arresting the wrong man and using Indian food in the defense of that evil.
School exercise books decorated with an image of late Soviet dictator Josef Stalin bedecked with medals have become a top-seller at a Moscow store, prompting outrage from rights activists."We had to restock the exercise books with the portrait of Stalin yesterday. They are selling very fast," a spokeswoman for Dom Knigi book store, one of Moscow's largest, told AFP Thursday.
One would think it was a Muslim how-to-beat-your-wife guide or something.
The US Senate Armed Services Committee said its researchers had uncovered 1,800 cases in which the Pentagon had been sold electronics that may be counterfeit.In total, the committee said it had found more than a million fake parts had made their way into warplanes such as the Boeing C-17 transport jet and the Lockheed Martin C-130J "Super Hercules".It also found fake components in Boeing's CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter and the Theatre High-Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile defence system."A million parts is surely a huge number. But I want to repeat this: we have only looked at a portion of the defence supply chain. So those 1,800 cases are just the tip of the iceberg," said Senator Carl Levin.In around seven in 10 cases, the fake parts originated in China, while investigators traced another 20 per cent of cases to the United Kingdom and Canada, known resale points for Chinese counterfeits.
Where have all the polar bears gone? To Hudson’s Bay, apparently.
In the great 2012 battle of the morning show guest hosts, Sarah Palin has edged out Katie Couric in the ratings.Couric, the former anchor of Today, was a guest host on ABC’s Good Morning America, while the former Alaska governor, who famously sparred with Couric in an interview during her run for the vice presidency, was on NBC’s Today.Early numbers have usual victor Today delivering 5.5 million total viewers, and GMA at 5.1 million viewers. Today might have been helped by Ryan Seacrest tweeting he was going to make a big announcement on the show, though the appearance was delayed. Still, Today beat GMA to a slightly larger degree than it had on Monday, which marked Couric’s first day guest hosting the show.
Cuban Catholics flocked to churches on Good Friday, which was declared a holiday in the communist-ruled nation for the first time following a request from Pope Benedict XVI during his recent visit.Cardinal Jaime Ortega, the archbishop of Havana, led celebrations at the main cathedral in the capital -- an event broadcast live on Cuban television.
Among those in attendance were several members of the Ladies in White, the country's most prominent dissident group, which is seeking the release of political prisoners.
The Church played a key mediating role in the 2010 release of some prisoners.
"We are here to ask God to enlighten us, to protect us... we will continue this peaceful struggle we have begun for the freedom of our loved ones but also for a new Cuba," the group's leader Berta Soler told reporters.
There was also an evening procession planned between the cathedral and a shrine in Havana's old city.
During his visit to Cuba last month, the pope asked President Raul Castro to declare Good Friday a holiday and appealed for an expansion of religious liberties in the country, the Americas' only one-party communist state.
Happy Easter, Passover and week-end to all.