The Cost of G20

Canadians are divided on many issues of the day, but one thing they seem to have found close to unanimity is the senseless cost of the G20 Summit later this month. Surveys indicate that over eighty percent of Canadians think the cost is far too much for what is largely a three-day meeting of leaders of twenty countries. The Canadian government seems to feel it’s time to show the world that we are in the big time, whether we can afford it or not. $1.2 Billion is the current figure being thrown out, and some officials are indicating this as just the “taxpayer cost”.That would be you and me.

One-point two billion, for what is mainly a three day meeting. With a security budget exceeding the weeks of the Vancouver Olympics. Although just the sound of over a billion dollars is apparently enough to trigger anger in Canadians, the numbers are large enough that we can’t even grasp how that equates in real terms. Spelled out, it is $1,200,000,000.00.

Even my calculator doesn’t like it—runs out of digits before I can get 1.2 billion in the window. Fortunately the little calculator in Windows is capable of handling that kind of number (Bill Gates needs the capability), as long as you’re careful with your zeros. Continue reading

Not Enforceable

There is a YouTube video at the moment showing a Nova Scotia school principal scuffling with a student and finally dragging him to the office. The student was apparently taking unwanted pictures of a female student, and refused to hand over his cell phone camera, nor listen to any demands of the principal to go voluntarily to the office. Cell phone camera shoved up his sleeve, the student attempted to go where he wanted, shoved the principal when he was blocked by an arm, and then was taken to the floor and then hauled along struggling to the office.

The video was apparently posted by a local newspaper, Frank Magazine, after the husband of the school board Superintendent entered her confidential board email, sent the video to his own mail, and then forwarded it to the magazine. Crazy goings on that have led to demands for the firing of the super, but that’s another story.

The principal came very close to being fired, and has been transferred to another school. Comments posted below the video seem balanced about evenly between supporting him and demanding his firing. While it’s easy for a teacher or administrator to lose their temper in a confrontation with an uncooperative student, the principal got himself into a situation that escalated into a battle of wills, and he unfortunately carried things too far. Sometimes, like a high speed highway chase that needs to be abandoned, the guilty party must be let go and picked up another day. Things have a way of escalating.
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