Ross Schweitzer presents
 
To attempt to judge the USA by viewing President Trump is akin to judging Australia by seeing Crocodile Dundee. Both are incorrect on two counts; they are stereotypes and second, they are the subject of ‘media’ management.
 
 
The Americans pride themselves on community involvement across their lives. My cousin lives in Rye [Westchester, New York State]. Rye Township [it being about the size of Mount Eliza] has its own police force, fire brigade, ambulance service, and beach; the latter kept up by local taxes. One of my favourite beaches is Cape May on the Atlantic Coast at the tip of New Jersey. You must buy and display a ‘Beach Pass’. Likewise, many others around the Country follow this system.
 
The County  of Rye has its own Sheriffs’ Department; the head Sheriff is elected. The State funds the Highway Patrol. In the Southern States, Counties are commonly called Parishes. Both are a legacy of English settlement.
 
If Australia operated under this model, substitute Mount Eliza for Rye and Mornington Peninsula Shire for Westchester and you will get an idea. The American model is in fact based upon that of England in the 1600s; ours is Federal and caused by interstate rivalries.
 
I was often in Horsham, Sussex visiting a member of the East Sussex Constabulary. He and his colleagues were always greeted politely by the locals. Desmond did a really good ‘ullo, ‘ullo ‘ullo  too. The Horsham Constabulary had their ‘tea’ at 5PM sharp. I was wont to ask what happened to those ‘in the Nick’ during teatime. I was told that said ‘guests’ knew better than to ’misbehave’ at that time.
 
Likewise, one summer, whilst out for a saunter in Rye [hardly anyone used to walk] a police ‘Cruiser’ happened along. Now, the officer [and I did have a witness] did not say ‘ullo ‘ullo ‘ullo. He ‘pipped’ his siren to get our attention and asked our intentions. We told him that we were staying privately and had just come to perambulate. I gave our local address and he said ‘aah the Stewart  Home’ and bade us to have a good day. The Rye Town Police. So, ‘Town hall Meetings’, ‘Block Committees’ and the like can be a pain to we Australians. However, they bind other communities and are ‘a given’ within their lives.
 
If you ask the meaning of ‘local’ around here, there are more opinions than I have had hot dinners. Which of our supermarkets is ‘local’? More people go to Woolworths than IGA; and IGA is a Cooperative. Is Flight Centre ‘local’? If you get run over, or robbed or molested, do you conveniently call 000 and viola vehicles appear with occupants from …. ?
The MICA unit that took Evelyn to Peninsula Private Emergency last Thursday [I had just finished the ZOOM board meeting, priorities] well, I forgot to ask if they were local! In my defence, Carolyn, I did bestow upon them a box of our chocolates. Watch out for obese Paramedics with chocolate – scented breath. Maybe, the choir from St James the Less or The Chapel of the Resurrection, once determining which is local, could have attended in their place.
The Hospitals are not local. The recipients of ‘Shine for Kids’ are not. RDA is not. The MICA units, I am told first – hand, ‘orbit’ [much like Fokke Wulf night fighters [although with the opposite intent one hopes, Biggles and Sir Crackers] so to ask for a ‘local’ one could well prove your to be famous last words. By the way, the Paramedics, both  good Christians, told me that Evelyn needed more than hymns. I left with the feeling that the Americans got it right, no argument. Their ‘local taxes’ determine and define communities, if not charities.
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