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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Kaberle trade a 3-way payoff for Leafs

Liles, Colborne and Biggs all courtesy of TK trade

When one views the bounty reaped from the Tomas Kaberle rental (he's a free agent now), it makes you wonder how much the Buds rebuilding was set back by Sundin's refusal to be traded to a Stanley Cup contender. TK himself orchestrated his move to Boston, and for that, plus a decade of stellar, hardworking performances, Maple Leafs fans have a lot to be thankful about. It could have ended bitter and ugly, yet everything came up smelling roses, for both teams.

New Leafs D-man Liles is a strong replacement for Kaberle, with more upside potential to click with a fast young team. If he doesn't click here, with a contract expiring, he can be moved at the trade deadline for a younger player.

Colborne is a big young centre who is likely to start with the Marlies but see some NHL time this year. I like this kid, he may be ready sooner than most think.

Colborne came directly in the TK trade, while John-Michael Liles was picked up with the Bruins' 2nd round 2012 pick, the bonus Toronto received when Boston reached the Cup final.

Now, how does Biggs figure in the Kaberle trade? Toronto traded their own 2nd round pick (39th overall), plus the first round pick from Boston (30th, as Cup winner) that came in the Kaberle trade, to Anaheim for their first round, 22nd overall pick. Thus Burkie was able to grab a coveted 1st rounder without giving up a single roster player or any future draft picks, just this year's 2nd rounder was all it took.

Thank you Tomas !!!

Potential Toronto Maple Leaf 2011-2012 lineup:

Lupul - New Guy - Kessel
Kulemin - Grabovski - Armstrong
Kadri - Bozak - Frattin
Crabb - Brent - Boyce

(If MacArthur re-signs, he'll get 1st crack at his 2nd line spot, however, after the season he just had, other teams are likely to offer him more money and a longer term than Toronto)

Aulie / Phaneuf
Liles / Schenn
Gunnarsson / Komisarek

James Reimer
Mark Owuya

As you can see by the above, the Maple Leafs are set on defence, and have a massive need for a first line centre. They also require another one or two big league forwards, and may or may not require a proven NHL goalie to back up Reimer. Any of Owuya, Scrivens of Rynass could earn that spot in camp, but if Optimus Reim falters or gets injured, are these other guys ready to carry the Leafs into the 2nd round of the NHL playoffs?

Look for Burke to add a centre and a winger first, then see which goalies are hanging around hoping for a reasonable offer. There are enough names out there that some should still be unsigned in August. Heck, if Jiggy gets no offers, the Buds may wanna give him another shot, but only for perhaps 1.2 or 1.3 mil, on a one or two year deal.

I'm liking the Marlies already, and when Burke strengthens the big club further, that will create even more competition on the farm, with exciting seasons ahead at both AHL and NHL levels.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Russell Simmons on progressives in the USA

Asks for conscious folk to improve US political dialogue

As progressives, one of the things it means is that we are open-minded. One of the things we stand for is a lack of rigidness. We have always led with compassion, while conservatives lead with values and safety. But if we don't listen then we are no better than they are. We will end up walking out of meetings with the vice president just like them. Cause at the end of the day Sean Hannity and his boys think they are right. And we think we are right too. All patriots want this country to be more perfect. We all believe in our hearts that our way is right. I didn't say turn on Fox News, as you know my politics are to the left of Dennis Kucinich, but when it's on and you walk by and you hear their rhetoric, don't assume they're wrong. A great yogic teacher said, "You have two ears and one mouth for a reason." You don't have to agree with them, you just have to listen.

Russell Simmons essay on American right wingers
Follow Russell Simmons on Twitter: www.twitter.com/unclerush

Is dramatic increase in baby deaths in US a result of Fukushima Fallout?

Chernobyl, TMI caused similar deaths to newborns


U.S. babies are dying at an increased rate. While the United States spends billions on medical care, as of 2006, the US ranked 28th in the world in infant mortality, more than twice that of the lowest ranked countries. (DHHS, CDC, National Center for Health Statistics. Health United States 2010, Table 20, p. 131, February 2011.)

The recent CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report indicates that eight cities in the northwest U.S. (Boise ID, Seattle WA, Portland OR, plus the northern California cities of Santa Cruz, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, and Berkeley) reported the following data on deaths among those younger than one year of age:

4 weeks ending March 19, 2011 - 37 deaths (avg. 9.25 per week)
10 weeks ending May 28, 2011 - 125 deaths (avg.12.50 per week)

This amounts to an increase of 35% (the total for the entire U.S. rose about 2.3%), and is statistically significant. Of further significance is that those dates include the four weeks before and the ten weeks after the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant disaster. In 2001 the infant mortality was 6.834 per 1000 live births, increasing to 6.845 in 2007. All years from 2002 to 2007 were higher than the 2001 rate.

Spewing from the Fukushima reactor are radioactive isotopes including those of iodine (I-131), strontium (Sr-90) and cesium (Cs-134 and Cs-137) all of which are taken up in food and water. Iodine is concentrated in the thyroid, Sr-90 in bones and teeth and Cs-134 and Cs-137 in soft tissues, including the heart. The unborn and babies are more vulnerable because the cells are rapidly dividing and the delivered dose is proportionally larger than that delivered to an adult.

Data from Chernobyl*, which exploded 25 years ago, clearly shows increased numbers of sick and weak newborns and increased numbers of deaths in the unborn and newborns, especially soon after the meltdown. These occurred in Europe as well as the former Soviet Union. Similar findings are also seen in wildlife living in areas with increased radioactive fallout levels.

(*Chernobyl – Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, Alexeiy V. Yablokov, Vasily B. Nesterenko, and Alexey V. Nesterenko. Consulting Editor: Janette D. Sherman-Nevinger. New York Academy of Sciences, 2009.)

Levels of radioisotopes were measured in children who had died in the Minsk area that had received Chernobyl fallout. The cardiac findings were the same as those seen in test animals that had been administered Cs-137. Bandashevsky, Y. I, Pathology of Incorporated Ionizing Radiation, Belarus Technical University, Minsk. 136 pp., 1999. For his pioneering work, Prof. Bandashevsky was arrested in 2001 and imprisoned for five years of an eight year sentence.

Read full essay by JANETTE D. SHERMAN, MD and JOSEPH MANGANO on CounterPunch.org

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

FREE Amina Arraf; Damascus blogger kidnapped by Syria

A Gay Girl in Damascus held captive by Syrian authorities

The author of the blog A Gay Girl in Damascus was taken by Syrian police a couple of days ago, and her whereabouts and condition remain unknown. You can click through to Amina Arraf's blog to see posts from her cousin updating the situation.

A dual citizen of Syria and the U.S., Amina Arraf is still missing, having been last seen Monday evening, being bundled into a car by three armed men in central Damascus.

Amina Arraf is an eloquent, perceptive mind that champions the cause of the Palestinians, and also of the average Syrian, who thirsts for freedom and human dignity just like the next guy. Read a few posts from her blog and you will see she is a level-headed, no-holds-barred fighter for justice and human dignity.

Here are ideas to escalate the situation to help release Amina:

PHONE the Syrian Embassy or Consulate in your country or city.

(List of Syria embassies and consulates worldwide, with contact info)

DEMAND that Syria release blogger Amina Arraf!

EMAIL your elected representatives and insist on action!

CALL the Embassy or Consulate again, and again, until she is released!!!

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