“A Scary Situation for a Young Boy”

We either live in a world so teeming with evil that encountering an adult when you’re a child is ipso facto dangerous.

OR we live in a world so safe that encountering an adult when you’re a child is, for lack of anything else to report, news.

YOU make the call. This is a story, in full, from Guelph, a peaceful Toronto suburb (where I actually shot my first episode of World’s Worst Mom):

A scary situation for a young Guelph boy.

Guelph Police say the boy was approached by a man while walking home from school in the area of Stephanie Drive and Deerpath Road on Tuesday afternoon.

The man was driving a black vehicle and is described as white and in his 40’s.

After a brief conversation, the boy ran from the scene, he was not hurt.

Police are asking you for your help finding the man and anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

I love how people are asked to contact Crime Stoppers as if there was a crime that had to be stopped.

HINT: There wasn’t.

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A man in a car!

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44 Responses to “A Scary Situation for a Young Boy”

  1. Dienne June 29, 2017 at 11:41 am #

    The problem here isn’t hype, it’s lack of information. What was this “brief conversation” about? What did the man say to the boy? Was he threatened in any way? Why did he feel the need to run away?

    And the public is asked for help in finding this man, but no description is given of him (beyond “white and in his 40s”, which probably describes roughly a million guys in the Toronto area).

    I’d need a lot more information to determine whether this is really a scary story or whether it’s being hyped, but I’m at least glad that the boy trusted his instincts and ran away.

  2. Theresa Hall June 29, 2017 at 11:44 am #

    I want to know what was said. Did he simply ask for directions or something like that?
    Or is he one the rare people who try to get kids in their cars? I hope not.

  3. Dienne June 29, 2017 at 11:48 am #

    Incidentally, how young is “young”? 6? 8? 10? 17?

  4. Jessica June 29, 2017 at 12:01 pm #

    I agree, Dienne– why would they even print a story that contains zero information? How old was the kid? What did they talk about? What was it that made the boy run away?

  5. Sarah June 29, 2017 at 12:05 pm #

    Details. Its in the details.

  6. Elisabeth Hensley June 29, 2017 at 12:15 pm #

    Fake news!!

    But seriously, if you asked an artist to draw the scene based on the information provided here, they’d have a lot of room for interpretation…we don’t know the boy’s age, we don’t know what the conversation was about, we don’t know if the man was alone, nothing. I could easily conclude that the man was a police officer asking a 13 yr old what he was up to. this is irresponsible page filler…i used to hope that in the age of online publishing, we would get less of this, but we seem to be getting more.

  7. Kathy June 29, 2017 at 12:17 pm #

    I figure you don’t give any helpful information in your article (oh, say, like what was said, why did the kid run away, how old was the boy) you aren’t really interested in news. You are interested in Sensationalism on a slow news day.

  8. Kenny Felder June 29, 2017 at 12:21 pm #

    Good thing he didn’t stop and ask the kid for directions. That would be the makings of an international incident!

  9. Kirsten June 29, 2017 at 12:21 pm #

    Yea, this is a useless news report, as everyone else said.

  10. Resident Iconoclast June 29, 2017 at 12:25 pm #

    Fake News, indeed.

    A easy way to save bales of time is to stop reading when it’s clear that we won’t find out:

    * The nature of the conversation
    * Any detail of the young man’s “report” to police i.e., the circumstances

    While it may be true that the Russians pioneered the use of “disinformation” (see an ancient US Information Agency report), the technique now is used by all major news organizations and by the government.

    Why? Because it manipulates you and me and I guess everyone. It’s impossible to fill up 28,000,000 Terabyte-milliseconds of media bandwidth unless you kill all the journalists and develop computers to churn out total digital manure.

    You know, we don’t have to be polite when the media industry keeps shitting on us. We could say no. Why don’t we?

  11. John B. June 29, 2017 at 12:29 pm #

    I couldn’t get into the article as the link wouldn’t work for me but based on the info above, I would need more info from this story to determine if it deserved the hype it’s getting. Like did the man, who I presume was a stranger to the kid, ask the boy if he’d like a ride home? That would definitely be a red flag. Did the man talk sexual to the kid? Another bright red flag. Did the man threaten the kid? Obvious red flag. Did the man recognize the boy as someone he might know and asked the kid who his parents were? Not a red flag. Or was the man lost so did he ask the boy directions to a destination he was going to? Now an adult SHOULD know better than to stop their car to ask a small child directions to a destination but it’s not necessarily a red flag. Might be just an adult with poor judgment.

    The last two possibilities I mention would not be a crime but the first three possibilities I think might be a crime (stranger asking a kid if he’d like a ride, talking sexual to the kid or threatening the kid). Again, more information is needed and until that information is collected, this s/b a nonstory.

  12. Dienne June 29, 2017 at 12:29 pm #

    ” I could easily conclude that the man was a police officer asking a 13 yr old what he was up to.”

    Good point. Would explain why he ran away.

  13. BM June 29, 2017 at 12:35 pm #

    Guelph isn’t even a ‘suburb’ of Toronto. Its so far out it is its own country town.
    There is someone here at work(near Guelph) that constantly beats the drum that all children are snowflakes and only strong people ‘like him’ can protect them. He avidly reads the neighbourhood watch newsletter. They, too, struggle for real stories. One he quoted to me was that a car was parked outside a school. Staff were alerted, and they attempted to approach the vehicle. It drove off before they could even see the driver, and determine his intentions. He is 100% convinced that they stopped a kidnapping attempt. When asked based on what, he prattles off the usual made up statistics, and asks what else could it be, and looks on in suspicion when I don’t agree with him that any children were in danger.
    I don’t know how many hours of therapy it would take to convince him his take on the world is way off from everyone else. Personally, I don’t think you ever could. Too much reinforcement from others, like the neighborhood watch editor.

  14. lightbright June 29, 2017 at 12:48 pm #

    Has anyone seen Minority Report, when the guy gets convicted of a crime that he’s only supposedly *going* to commit? (Sigh).

  15. James Pollock June 29, 2017 at 1:27 pm #

    “I love how people are asked to contact Crime Stoppers as if there was a crime that had to be stopped.
    HINT: There wasn’t.”

    Probably. But the choices are:

    1. Overly-exciteable boy freaks out without any good reason to.
    -or-
    2. Normal boy freaks out over something that isn’t illegal, but might appear to be illegal under some situations.
    -or-
    3. Normal boy freaks out over something that is, in fact, illegal.

    There isn’t enough information given to conclusively determine which category is represented here. You can guess, based on your own preconceptions, but you can’t know for sure without learning more facts than what we’re given.

  16. Paul Shannon June 29, 2017 at 1:34 pm #

    I will be sure to never speak to a kid again

  17. James Pollock June 29, 2017 at 2:09 pm #

    “And the public is asked for help in finding this man, but no description is given of him (beyond “white and in his 40s”, which probably describes roughly a million guys in the Toronto area).”

    The police don’t know what he looked like. They’re hoping to find a witness who saw him who does. They give the facts they DO have… talking to a boy at (location) and (roughly time) and hope that someone else was there.

    ” What was this “brief conversation” about? What did the man say to the boy?”
    Look at how many levels of hearsay at work here.
    The reporter is telling you what the police are saying the boy told them what he thought the man said.
    So, again, the cops are hoping for another witness to help them figure this out.

    (Verbosity setting: MAX)
    Now. Let’s make some guesses that explain why this is in the newspaper.
    The cops seem to have a situation in which some possible explanations indicate that nothing of real interest happened., and some possible explanations indicate that something that does require police action has happened. A third possibility is that although the police don’t actually believe they need to be involved, there’s someone involved in the story who has enough pull to say “do something about this” and expect something to be done. Note that there is very likely an adult involved in this story who is not referred to… probably a parent of the boy’s… who got the police involved in the first place. Maybe that person is a politician or wealthy person or otherwise “connected” to strings they can (and did) pull.
    OK so far? The cops have something that might need their attention, or might not, but until they know for sure that it doesn’t, they keep working the case. They’ll try to find more witnesses who can say “I saw this, and it was nothing” or “I saw this, and here’s why you need to keep looking for this guy.” Until they find that witness, they can point to this to show that they ARE still working the case. There may be additional details that the cops know, but are holding back, to sort out witnesses who actually witnessed from witnesses with active imaginations.
    So why is it in the newspaper? Well, the cops want it in the newspaper, which doesn’t necessarily mean they get what they want but there is a natural exchange of favors between police and news reporting. Reporters like to have good relationships with the cops because the cops are good sources of stories; one or more police tend to be involved in LOTS of stories. The same is true, to a lesser extent, with a bunch of other government agencies… So someone at the police station has requested that this story go into the paper, and the paper accedes because it’s in their long-term interest to keep the police happy. If it turns out that this is a case that isn’t news, the paper will move on to the next story, and it if turns out that was actually a first visible sign of something nefarious, the paper will point to it later as a sign of how “on top of the news” they are.
    On that last point, I want to point to a specific incident that has nothing to do with this. Way back in the news coverage of January 1, 2000, one of the news reporters decided to brag a little bit. It seems that the Y2K bug, which had been in the news, didn’t have much impact. This news personality decided to take credit for this, since his news organization had been reporting on the importance of dealing with the Y2K bug as far back as 1995. Which would be impressive, maybe, to someone who didn’t know that computer professionals had been aware of the Y2K bug as far back as 1969. Yep. News organization was early on the story, having covered it only 25 years after it was known to exist.

    (Verbosity setting: NORMAL)

    The real news here is that the police are looking for a second witness to an event which may or may not be significant, so they can confirm whether or not it was significant. No need to treat it as symbolic of anything else.

  18. Workshop June 29, 2017 at 2:11 pm #

    I thought “the story, in full” was referring to the link. Nope. That is the complete story, beginning-middle-end.

    If that’s all it takes to get paid to be a journalist, sign me up. I can do stories like that all day.

    “A winning situation for local team.
    The local hockey team won it’s game last night. Coach Smith was very excited. ‘Yep, we won,’ he concluded at the end of the victory celebration.

    The visiting team did not have a comment, as they had already left the arena.”

  19. En Passant June 29, 2017 at 2:55 pm #

    The man was driving a black vehicle…

    He wasn’t driving a white van, so there’s no reason to believe he was up to no good.¹

    1: For those unaware of the history of white vans in FRK articles, that was a joke.

  20. Backroads June 29, 2017 at 3:04 pm #

    Ugh. Y’all are missing the point. Chances are if they gave further information, the situation wouldn’t be as scary.

  21. Sue Luttner June 29, 2017 at 3:13 pm #

    When I was maybe 10 years old, I was walking alone on the main drag half a block from our house when a maudlin, drunken man stopped me and wanted to talk. What I remember most is his red, rheumy eyes. I’d certainly been told not to talk to strangers, so I walked away, straight home, where I told my mother what had happened. That’s when things turned bad, because she decreed I wasn’t allowed to go alone up to Long Beach Boulevard anymore.

    Now that I’m a mother myself, I certainly understand why she reacted as she did, but at the time I thought it was completely unfair, and I became a lot more careful about sharing the interesting stuff with my mother—which probably made my adolescence easier for both of us.

  22. Dienne June 29, 2017 at 3:14 pm #

    “The police don’t know what he looked like.”

    Um, the boy does. Didn’t he tell them?

    “The reporter is telling you what the police are saying the boy told them what he thought the man said.”

    Huh? First, no, the “reporter” (sic) didn’t say anything about the the police said the boy said. Second, as to “hearsay”, that’s reported in news stories all the time. “Police say the boy reported that the man offered him candy to get into the car.” Or some such.

  23. Papilio June 29, 2017 at 4:08 pm #

    For all we know it could be his dad telling him he has to clean his room before he’s allowed to go play with his friends 😛 Scary, indeed!

    “unless you kill all the journalists” Meh, just keep them busy with… other stuff. You know: their own TV show… A daily updated blog… Columns 😛 Or fire them for not being funny enough! *ducks for cover*

    Goodbye, fellow-visitors. It was nice knowing you…

  24. James Pollock June 29, 2017 at 4:14 pm #

    “‘The police don’t know what he looked like.’
    Um, the boy does. Didn’t he tell them?”
    Yep. He said “a white guy, maybe 40 or so?”

    “Huh? First, no, the “reporter” (sic)”
    You used (sic) incorrectly there.

    “didn’t say anything about the the police”
    See, a correctly place (sic) would be after the second the in this quote.

    But that’s trivial.
    “the “reporter” (sic) didn’t say anything about the the police said the boy said…”
    This isn’t a complicated article, and it starts off by saying “Guelph Police say…”.

    You lament that there’s no information about what was said in the conversation. Now, since the reporter was not there, and the police were not there, any such relaying of what the man said would be the reporter telling you, the reader, what the Guelph police said the boy told them the man said.

    Given the poor description of his person and his car, what makes you think the boy’s account of what the man said to him would be even vaguely accurate? Why would you assume that the police would accurately relay that conversation to the reporter? The reporter, at least, is trained in accurately reporting what someone told them… but there’s two more layers of hearsay.

    Google “Telephone game”, if necessary, to learn why all this indirection matters.

    “Second, as to “hearsay”, that’s reported in news stories all the time. “Police say the boy reported that the man offered him candy to get into the car.” Or some such.”
    Actually, if you go back and pay more attention, I bet you’ll find that this is rare if not non-existent. Journalists are trained to check things, and avoid using hearsay unless there are multiple sources. (Yes, some are sloppy. However, note that in THIS story, the reporter did not do this.)

  25. Dienne June 29, 2017 at 4:21 pm #

    “Yep. He said “a white guy, maybe 40 or so?””

    So the police didn’t follow up with, say, “so, did he have dark hair or blond hair?” or maybe “did he have a beard or mustache?” or any such thing?

    And no, the “(sic)” was quite correctly placed. Whoever’s responsible for that is not a reporter but a stenographer dutifully reporting whatever the police give them to “report” (sic).

  26. Dienne June 29, 2017 at 4:35 pm #

    “Actually, if you go back and pay more attention, I bet you’ll find that this is rare if not non-existent. Journalists are trained to check things, and avoid using hearsay unless there are multiple sources.”

    Do you think you’re the only one who reads the newspaper? If they quote the police, there’s nothing to fact check. “Police say that XYZ happened” is not the same as saying “XYZ happened.” News sources quote police all the time without bothering to find out whether or not what they claim is actually the truth. The only “checking” they do (and not always that) is quoting any disputing statements. E.g., “Police say that Mr. Jackson used profanity and called the officer a derogatory name, but witnesses say that Mr. Jackson was cooperative and respectful.”

  27. Beth June 29, 2017 at 4:45 pm #

    @Dienne, I’m fairly certain that James P DOES think that he’s the only one that reads a newspaper.

  28. James Pollock June 29, 2017 at 6:09 pm #

    “So the police didn’t follow up with, say, “so, did he have dark hair or blond hair?” or maybe “did he have a beard or mustache?” or any such thing?”

    So, you imagine you know how to report better than does the reporter, AND you know how to to police better than the police?

    And Beth imagines that *I’M* arrogant?

    ” If they quote the police, there’s nothing to fact check.”
    Sorry. I didn’t realize you were one of those.

  29. pentamom June 29, 2017 at 9:05 pm #

    “So, you imagine you know how to report better than does the reporter, AND you know how to to police better than the police?”

    I think she’s assuming the police know how to police better than the reporter reports them doing — which is ample grounds for not thinking there’s a very good reporter.

    And really, what’s surprising or inappropriate about an average person thinking they can report better than a reporter? Do you read newspapers and news sites these days? A trained chimp could do as good of a job as some of them. Not all, but plenty.

  30. pentamom June 29, 2017 at 9:10 pm #

    ” If they quote the police, there’s nothing to fact check.”
    Sorry. I didn’t realize you were one of those.”

    Way to quote half of what she said in order to misrepresent it.

    She wasn’t saying the police are incapable of error. She was saying that if your entire journalistic process consists of quoting what people say, there are no actual facts to check. You’re just repeating a bunch of quotes — and if you accurately repeat the quotes, there’s nothing to check, because there *are* no facts involved, only quotations. It’s the difference between writing a story about an event, and writing down what a bunch of people said about an event — which is why “reporter” (sic) is an apt enough turn of phrase.

  31. James Pollock June 29, 2017 at 9:55 pm #

    “She was saying that if your entire journalistic process consists of quoting what people say, there are no actual facts to check.”

    Which would be fine, if it were not the EXACT OPPOSITE of her original complaint, which is that the story left out details which could not be fact-checked.

    “And really, what’s surprising or inappropriate about an average person thinking they can report better than a reporter?”

    Ah. You’re one of those, too. Carry on.

  32. Anna June 29, 2017 at 11:25 pm #

    All I have to say as a Canadian: Guelph is NOT a suburb of Toronto. It’s a completely separate town of its own, dating back to the days before suburbia was invented, and is not considered in any way a suburb of Toronto, though no doubt a handful of people do commute that far. Would you call Philadelphia a suburb of New York, or Baltimore a suburb of Washington?

  33. sexhysteria June 30, 2017 at 12:22 am #

    There are aren’t enough crimes to keep the government busy, so any excuse is welcome to help bored state employees have someting to do.

  34. Caiti June 30, 2017 at 1:08 am #

    @workshop and @pentamom and anyone else joking about the awful writing we see all the time:

    Its been at least three years, probably more, since the Associated Press started publishing articles written by computers. At first it was box scores, then included business news. Now there are bots writing (bad) novels, so I have to believe a bot could handle a story like this one.

    My points being you don’t need a trained chimp, that would be incredibly inefficient and costly; and you won’t get paid to write articles LIKE THIS (argument could be made for hiring someone to do a better job, but not for similar quality).

    But that should solve the mystery of why you see so much terrible writing.

  35. Donald June 30, 2017 at 5:35 am #

    “but I’m at least glad that the boy trusted his instincts and ran away.”

    I am as well, sort of. I’m just appalled at how the world is about teaching him how to recognize danger.

    An earlier discussion on here was hygiene hypothesis. It was about this sanitized world where children are not allowed to get dirty anymore. Therefore the immune system doesn’t develop and this is linked to the huge increase of allergies. An allergy is where the body thinks that something is poisonous (that isn’t) but reacts as if it is. That’s an overly simplified explanation of it and therefore false but not by much.

    In the same way, we’re teaching stranger danger so much that the man approached the child is all that was required for him to get scared. No need to threaten at all. Even if he only asked the boy, “Where is the nearest post office” is enough. Just the fact that the man was a stranger AND he spoke to him is all that was needed for the boy to act upon what has been taught to him – run for your life if a stranger approaches you.

  36. MichaelF June 30, 2017 at 6:44 am #

    More like poor reporting than fake news.

    With the lack of detail there is nothing to go on other than stoking fear with something so general it could be anything…or nothing.

  37. James Pollock June 30, 2017 at 9:45 am #

    I’m just appalled at how the world is about teaching him how to recognize danger.”
    “we’re teaching stranger danger so much that the man approached the child is all that was required for him to get scared. No need to threaten at all.”
    “Just the fact that the man was a stranger AND he spoke to him is all that was needed for the boy to act upon what has been taught to him – run for your life if a stranger approaches you.”

    I’d just like to point out (again) that while these are possibly true, it is also possibly true that the mystery dude in this story IS dangerous, acted accordingly, and the boy accurately assessed the situation, determined the danger, and reacted 100% appropriately.

    This thing where you decide what the facts are without actually knowing what the facts are, and then form your value judgment accordingly… that’s what the father did in the “lost child” story from a couple days ago. Just sayin’.

  38. Donald June 30, 2017 at 7:35 pm #

    Ok I’ll rephrase the comment. I’m just appalled at how the world is about teaching children how to recognize danger. Perhaps it isn’t the case with him. We’ve seen stranger danger stories on here for years. However, I don’t have a crystal ball, am not clairvoyant or know that is the actual problem in this instance.

    The man that approached him could have been dangerous. Perhaps the reporter forgot to ask if there was anything threatening about him. Perhaps he did ask, found that there was but the newspaper didn’t print it.

  39. James Pollock June 30, 2017 at 8:38 pm #

    “The man that approached him could have been dangerous. Perhaps the reporter forgot to ask if there was anything threatening about him.”

    Perhaps the boy didn’t remember or couldn’t explain exactly what he found threatening. Or perhaps he explained it in complete detail, and the cops don’t believe it’s accurate, so they kept it vague when the described it to the reporter. Or perhaps the cops are holding back details, so they can tell people who actually saw something from people who didn’t. Or maybe the reporter held back details, because the cops asked him to. Or perhaps the writer (or editor) held back details because they weren’t confirmed. (The way the article is written suggests to me that the reporter did not talk to the boy or his parent(s). At least it does, to me.)

    Playing “what if” games is entertaining, but doesn’t really accomplish anything.

    The human brain is an amazingly powerful pattern-matching computer. It doesn’t always work at the surface level, either, the majority of it happens subconsciously. You can find and recognize patterns, even without being aware of why something doesn’t “fit” or seem right. The pattern-matching system can lead you astray… that’s what optical illusions and magic tricks are, for example (the creator of the illusions tricks you into recognizing a pattern that isn’t really there)…. and if your pattern-matching system is loaded with bad data at the start, you’ll continue to make bad pattern-matching until you can overcome it (if you can).
    The thing about it is, the pattern-matching system causes you to tend to reject new information if it doesn’t match your existing patterns. It can also cause you to fill in details that aren’t really there to make what you see fit into the pattern you expect to see (optical illusions, again, but also why cops who shoot unarmed people swear they saw a weapon… reaching to the glovebox to produce the car’s registration fit the pattern of “bad guy reaching for a weapon” and that’s what Joe Cop saw, and Joe reacted accordingly. You’ll also often see it in political discussion… “(They) do (bad thing), which (we) never do”, said with a straight face, even though it’s flatly untrue. But the pattern-matching filters out all the times (we) did (bad thing), and also all the time (they) didn’t, or even actively contested people doing (bad thing)… I won’t go into specifics, but no matter which side you’re on, you’ve done this. The challenge, then, is to learn to recognize it when it’s your own allies doing it. If (bad thing) actually IS a bad thing, then it’s bad when your side does it, too. R’s, when your buddies get together to complain that those darn libtwits are putting on a play where “Julius Caesar” looks and sounds a lot like a certain New York real-estate developer who dabbles in politics, ask them if they’ve ever heard of Ted Nugent. Democrats, if you were critical of the obstructionist Congress that did everything in its power to stymie President Obama, don’t get vocal to demand that your Congressional representatives in Congress oppose anything and everything that the current President tries to do. OK, they should oppose the stupid stuff, but the other 1 or 2 % should be fine.

    To bring this back around to the original point, when my daughter was little, I tried to teach her critical-thinking from a very early age. To do this, I explained what reasoning was at work in making decisions (of course, I have no idea the degree that she was already predisposed to critical-thinking, and it helped that she was very smart and had strong vocabulary from a very early age. Chicken? Or egg? In any case, because she understood the reasons why I decided things the way I did, she knew how I would answer questions, meaning she could reach the same decisions I would have, and (mostly) did so… I could trust her to A) reach the same decision I would have, on a good many questions, and B) recognize which questions did not fit her knowledge of how I’d decide things, and ask for answers when she needed them. This helped her to reach the place where she is today… she’s an adult, and does not necessarily reach the same decisions that I would have. But the decisions she makes are well-reasoned (Take note for those people, who shall remain nameless but know who they are, who keep insisting that I don’t tolerate opinions that are different from my own.)

  40. pentamom June 30, 2017 at 9:21 pm #

    “Which would be fine, if it were not the EXACT OPPOSITE of her original complaint, which is that the story left out details which could not be fact-checked.”

    Uh, no, it’s the same thing. The story left out details because it was not a story, it was a transcription of quotes about a story. That’s the entire point.

    And yes, I’m one of those. I’m capable of reading a news report and knowing it reads worse than I let my kids get away with when I was homeschooling them in middle school. If that makes me one of those, then I’m content to be one.

  41. James Pollock June 30, 2017 at 10:01 pm #

    “Uh, no, it’s the same thing.”
    Sure. “Has all the details because they don’t fact-check” is EXACTLY the same thing as “has none of the details because the details couldn’t be fact-checked.”

    “If that makes me one of those, then I’m content to be one.”
    No, it’s the “wants two different things that are mutually exclusive, both at the same time” that makes you one of “those”.

    Wear it proudly.

  42. James Pollock June 30, 2017 at 10:55 pm #

    I’ve done something apparently nobody else thought of.
    I’ve emailed the author of the story in question to ask her if she can provide more details about the story.
    (I know, whining about it was WAY more fun.)

    Alas, it appears that I didn’t do this until after she’d gone home for the day, and so she likely won’t see it until after the weekend. Patience…

  43. NY Mom July 1, 2017 at 5:22 pm #

    Canada has Snowflakes and Helicopters too.
    Who knew!

  44. Mary July 10, 2017 at 12:01 pm #

    When good possibilities are not factored into a situation, paranoia rules. Restraint, caution, and well-developed personal capabilities all keep people safer while not judging through utter fear. Doesn’t utter fear create bad- blind responses?