2016-02-17 Wed

Clear Thinking

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I never miss a chance to slag Toronto Police; they are such an easy target; like deer in the headlights. Or a mentally unstable patient in the cross-hairs.

In this case I waver.

There have been several reports each time the budget comes up.

I believe that the Toronto Police are overpaid and pampered.

At the same time I confess to an uneasiness about suggesting that the budget be cut because “...crime continues to decrease ...”.

Is it possible that crime continues to decrease BECAUSE the rising budget lets us put more cops on the trail of the bad guys?

It takes time, and that means man-hours, to collate, track down, wait for the bad guys to do something. Eyes-on-the-ground, or something.

And if we have lots of police officers tracking lots of bad guys, lots of police officers waiting to pounce, then we need lots of dollars to pay them while they wait to pounce.



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I have never fled Syria.

However I have missed two years of school and later on had severe dislocations in schooling.

(1) About six weeks after I started school, aged 4, I was whisked off with a bone disease, legs encased in plaster, and spent at least 18 months in hospital and at home. My mother gave me some education (I can remember lying on my stomach learning to tell the time from the clock tower across the street) but I can’t recall serious reading, writing and arithmetic lessons.

(2) At age 10 I was whisked out of the ever-so-proper prep school in Lancashire and plunked down in a mixed class of goldfields kids; rough as nuts. I went from reading and writing Latin and French to being forced to change my handwriting style to conform to the Western Australian Education Department standards. My dad was livid.

(3) At age 12 I was held back a year so that I could enter high school at age 13, like the other kids. I spent a year tooling around the primary school, bored out of my mind.

(4) At age 13 I spent a term in a country high school, then was transferred to a high school in Perth, where the mathematics curriculum as reversed. I was brilliant at the \algebra I’d learned in the country high school, algebra that my classmates were about to tackle in the second half of their year, but had not been schooled in their first half year’s work, which was about to start in the country high schools.

(5) Towards the end of my second of vive years of high school my parents returned to the country and I spent the remaining years of High School in a hostel of 140 children, four miles out of town, sexually segregated, and missing my parents.

For all those upheavals I consider that I had the best Maths, Physics, and geography teachers possible. My high school had the highest matriculation rate in the state, and today I consider myself well-educated.

The cards fall where they will.

I place great faith in a youngster’s ability to learn that which is essential, and have high hopes for all refugee children who find themselves displaced in their education.

Even four years away from school does not stop a child from learning.