2016-03-25 Fri

Clear Thinking

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You can’t have it both ways: either this is hyperbole/exaggeration, or it isn’t.

Either the officer genuinely, really and truly feared for his life, or he didn’t.

If the officer was genuinely afraid that he was going to die, then it speaks ill of the training he received.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that I might be brave if faced with a hammer-wielding madman; I’d be scared. But then my training was in 80-column punched cards, whereas police officers are trained for frightening situations.

There were two of them, police officers, that is. How is it that two officers trained officers, are not trained to disarm a single person with a hammer? One officer distracts, the other grabs the arm. A simple pre-arranged system of signals. The officer who elects to do the distracting (presumably placing themselves at some risk) calls out “One”; the other officer, if agreeable to be the one going for the hammer calls out “two”.

And there, I think, you go.

How is it that whenever two or three officers are facing a single person, one of them elects to use a gun instead of all three of them sharing responsibility?

Toronto Police have shown themselves to be incapable of controlling their wild-west shoot-first then you don’t have to bother asking questions policy?

For policy it is. There are too many murders of people, predominately black men, often young, for this to be anything but condoned or trained behaviour.

“If in doubt, shoot. We’ll stand behind you”

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And in case you have any lingering doubts, Toronto Police are trained to shoot to kill. Remember Sammy Yatin? One shot to the heart, one to the spine, and the third to (where was it, the lungs?)

“... gunshot wounds to the left chest ...” can be safely interpreted as “shot in the heart”. From what? Two metres away?

And note “wounds” not “wound”. Two or more shots fired from two metres away aimed at the heart is shoot-to-kill.

Why is it unacceptable to shoot a dangerous person in the thigh; that ought to cause enough pain to stop the chap. Or shoot to the shoulder, the right shoulder.

Shoot-to-kill means that Toronto Police have assumed the role of judge and jury.

I really do start to feel that the state is being run by the police.

UPX Airport Express

On Tuesday, March 22, 2016 The Toronto Star announced the resignation of Kathy Haley, president of UPX, under the headline “UPX boss resigns over troubled train service”.

Of course gossip about humans is what humans do best, so I read the article with excessive interest.

Then I turned back to the headline: “... troubled train service”.

The latest fact sheet “NEW FARE STRUCTURE TAKES EFFECT MARCH 9, 2016” tells me that there are deals to be had:-

(1) With a Presto card

(2) Cheaper from Bloor and Weston (wasn’t it always?)

(3) For airport employees (only $140 for a monthly pass, almost as much as a $144 Monthly TTC pass)

(4) Families, children, students, seniors, qualified airport employees

(5) Children 12 and under ride FREE

(6) Travelers with a long layover at Pearson

(7) Friend and family who wish to “meet and greet”

There is a table with thirty-eight (yes!) different cells for all the various fares, only one cell holding the new full-price fare ($12 for an adult riding without a Presto card from downtown to Pearson).

In short, the message is “You’d have to be a mug to pay full adult fare on the UPX Airport Express”.

I didn’t agree more before they reduced the fare by more than fifty percent.

I couldn’t agree more now that the fare is reduced by more than fifty percent.

I still think that $3 (for the full adult fare on the TTC) with an express bus service from Kipling is better value. FWIW the absolute cheapest ride I can take, as a senior with a Presto card, is $2.51 for a one-stop trip from Union to Bloor/Dundas, or Bloor/Dundas to Weston, or from Weston to the Airport (or, of course, in the reverse directions).

I pay $1.95 for a Senior’s ticket on the TTC, so I still can’t see why I might walk 30 minutes to Union Station so I can pay more money to ride to where I can currently travel by subway in about twenty minutes.

And that, of course, will be the argument from anyone who lives north of (and in most cases south of) the Bloor-Danforth line and needs to be at the airport.

If you have to travel by TTC across the TTC subway line to get to the UPX, why not just hop ON the Bloor-Danforth line and go to the airport that way?

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Oh yes. Then there’s this sly little table tucked away at the bottom. This brings the total dollar-occupied cells to forty.

I have an idea that an “onboard payment fee” is a penalty paid when paying by cash instead of buying a ticket at the counter before boarding the train. This is what would happen if you were a foreigner and didn’t understand the instructions to pay-before-you-board, I suppose.

And the $6 Presto charge? Perhaps you get dinged $6 if you ask to have cash loaded onto your Presto card?

I dunno.

If anyone reading this actually USES the UPX, let me know, OK?