Let’s face it. We have all always known that many Asian nations practice utterly abhorrent acts of animal cruelty every day.
We hear about the sadistic treatment of captive bears as repugnant vivisectionists harvest hall bladder from them while alive as they concoct potions which they sell in order to give impotent men a hard-on.
We hear of the dog festivals where tens of thousands of animals are choked in horrific conditions only to be slaughtered in the most brutal of ways including skinning and boiling them alive.
Now with it looking more and more likely that “wet markets” which specialize in the sale and live slaughter of exotic animals was where the Coronavirus pandemic originated, people are being forced to see what has been happening over there.
Don’t let people look away! Don’t dismiss this as something which is out of sight and out of mind.
Don’t use the excuse of cultural sensitivity in order to say we can’t or shouldn’t try to change this. Modern societies have learned to practice humanity in our treatment of animals and there is no longer any excuse for other societies to start doing the same.
Hell, even if you don’t care about the welfare of animals and only have self-interest in mind, you should support ending these horrific practices in Asia. These markets are filthy and it is surprising that we haven’t seen more new diseases springing from them than we have already.
We have more immediate things to deal with as this pandemic brings the world to it’s economic knees.
When today’s crisis does finally pass, we need to ask ourselves how we can prevent these things in the future and how we can make the world a better place.
A good place to start would be in having some serious international pressure being placed on any nation which embraces animal cruelty in the way so many do today. Sanctions, tariffs, whatever it takes. We will be in a position to put pressure on these nations and we should damn well do so.
I am no radical animal activist by any means. I was as annoyed and disgusted by the idiots who trespassed on an Albertan turkey farm last year as anybody is. I have no problem with people eating meat. It’s not to my taste and never will be but I don’t think eating dog meat is any more cruel than eating beef. The issue is with how we treat these animals in raising and slaughtering them. We have no need to be cruel and we can no longer tolerate it.
As humans we are higher on the chain than animals. This allows us to consume animals and trade them as property. In being higher on the evolutionary scale than animals, we possess (or should possess) empathy and we should be obligated to practice it.
There will be little good coming from the pandemic of today. One positive which we could foster though is a movement towards the end of animal cruelty. The whole world will be better for it.
Many nations implement a policy of shooting looters during disasters. That is because there is and always will be a number of losers who will try to take advantage of a crisis situation in order to rob others. They want to steal the property of other people when citizens can least afford to lose it.
Justin Trudeau strongly hinted today that stronger measures to enforce shutting people in could be coming soon. That likely means the implementation of the Emergencies Act. That is martial law under a different name and invoking that act will take us from a crisis situation into a full disaster situation. Rest assured their are many scumbags out there rubbing their filthy hands together at the very prospect of this.
Just this week in my area, two shitbags broke into a business in Bragg Creek. They are taking advantage of empty streets, early business closures and slow police response times. We are just seeing the beginning of this sort of thing.
This looks very much like the method the losers who repeatedly robbed my pub last fall used. Crowbars for entry and then a failed effort to steal the ATM. I wouldn’t be shocked if these were a couple of the same ones who robbed me. Aside from one who has been subsequently charged with murder, the rest of the losers who robbed my pub are all free and awaiting trial.
Note the second person in the picture. It looks very much like he is carrying a firearm. These people are armed and stupid. This is a dangerous combination.
If indeed we find ourselves in a state mandated lockdown, we had better prepare to defend ourselves and our property from these criminals.
Don’t be naive. We are a spoiled society. We have been lucky. We are prosperous and have never had to deal with any real disasters. We need to prepare for the crime wave which will assuredly come with a shutdown as many will work to victimize and rob us during the crisis.
This crisis will be like no other in that rather than being evacuated, we will be locked into our homes. This makes it even more dangerous as the desperate and the unprincipled try to steal from us while we are essentially imprisoned in our own homes.
Emergency services will be overtaxed and neighbors will be less inclined than ever to leave their homes to check on you. It is up to us to ensure that we remain safe and we had best plan for it now.
People make plans within their households to deal with emergencies such as fires. Now is the time to plan for possible emergencies such as home invasions.
I can’t afford to be robbed again and I won’t let it happen to my home or my business. I know that criminals are often armed and my response will be based on that assumption. I truly don’t care about the well being of looters. I expect that many others feel the same.
There are many ways that this pandemic can and will hurt people outside of a viral infection itself. Prepare to defend your home and family now or you will only have yourself to blame if you are victimized. We are going into uncharted waters here. The worst that could happen is that you secure your home and make a plan that you never implement.
The pandemic has me afraid. Like everybody else, I have vulnerable family members who could be killed by the Coronavirus. Hell, I may even turn out to be one of the 0.6 percent of healthy people under 80 who succumb to the bug. What has me much more afraid than the virus itself though is the damage which will be caused by a protracted world panic response to the pandemic.
We are barely into a week of business shutdowns and self-quarantine measures and we can already see the massive cracks forming both socially and economically. It is nothing less than utter madness to think that we could withstand months of this kind of state yet many folks are calling for just that. It simply isn’t reasonable and the cure in that case will indeed be far worse than the disease.
The vapid calls for government to pay for everything come whenever anybody dares to question the economic impact of an indefinite shutdown and quarantine. These calls come from the economically illiterate and if they haven’t learned economic reality by now, they never will. Its time to ignore them.
Let’s follow the progression of thought for these types to the inevitable conclusion.
The people calling for government to simply pay for everything usually claim that they are doing so for the sake of our most financially vulnerable at this time of crisis.
Our most financially vulnerable are a large segment of the population, especially since the oil and gas industry cratered years ago. It has been noted many times how a huge number of people are only one or two paychecks away from insolvency. Well, a week into the shutdown and those people are already screwed. Many worked in the hospitality, tourism or energy sectors. They are facing potential homelessness already and the stress is incalculable.
The vacuous voices call out “Let them live rent free! Ban landlords from evicting them!”
OK, I sure don’t want to see people kicked out on the street by any measure but landlords can’t live for free any more than their tenants can. Contrary to popular leftist belief, most landlords aren’t filthy rich, moustache tweaking industrialists who swim in money bins. They are folks who invested their earnings in real estate who rely on a return from it in order to put food on their tables and pay the bills too.
Then the mindless calls come for the banks to forego collecting mortgage payments.
Yes, I understand that banks make a lot of money and few people hold love for them. That said, when it comes to banks their wealth truly is based on pure numbers and it won’t take much or long to put them in a losing position if they can’t collect on loans. They are an integral part of the fabric of our already decimated economy and if they go down the damage to us all will be cataclysmic.
Never short on answers, the fatuous will say “government can cover the cost!”
This inevitably is the fallback line for the folks suffering from economic illiteracy.
“The government” is us. There is only one taxpayer and the taxpayer is broke. The government produces nothing material and all they can do is shift resources around. Right now there aren’t a hell of a lot of resources to shift.
“Government can borrow!” are the cries of the idiotic in light of this.
I won’t go into detail but folks are more than welcome to google “hyperinflation” to see what happens when a government tries to borrow itself out of a hole when the economy has crashed.
Yes, government will be able to offer every Canadian weekly cheques during the crisis. Unfortunately a loaf of bread will cost $100 if you can find it. The only thing which may come down in price in such a situation will be real estate as the hundreds of thousands of foreclosures take effect.
The dystopian hell I am describing is not fictional. It is well on its way if we try to shut down our economy for months.
The last call of the moronic in this kind of situation is “If it saves but one life! How can you put a price on a human life!”
Well buttercup, whether you like it or not we put a price on human life every day. If we lowered highway speed limits to 20kph we would save lives. If we had a registered nurse in every household we would save lives. If we had a fire station on every street corner we would save lives.
Why don’t we then?
Because we can’t afford to. We had to choose and find a balance between economic reality and the number of lives being put at risk. We have that choice before us again and on a level we have never seen before.
There are a million things that the government needs to do right now and I don’t envy decision makers. They need mitigation plans, health care allocation plans, legislative plans and law enforcement plans.
One plan we aren’t hearing yet though is the plan to get out of this economic shutdown. This indeterminate end to shutting in society is adding to the economic and social damage which has already been wrought. We need to see where this tunnel ends and soon or we will see chaos.
Poverty takes lives just as effectively as any virus will. Suicides will spike and crime waves will ensue if we don’t change this course soon. Food riots may become a reality as supply chains falter. You think hoarding is bad now? Just wait a few more weeks if we don’t see a possible end to this seclusion.
We are a soft and spoiled society. We don’t know how to survive without supply chains and we don’t have the means to feed and cloth urban populations with out them.
We need to demand many things from our leaders right now. One that is critical though is to demand a timeline. It will only get worse for putting it off.
To be fair to our politicians, they are in a very tough spot with this COVID-19 pandemic. We are in uncharted waters here and there appears to be no right answers.
To overreact could mean causing economic and social damage which may take decades to recover from.
To under react could be to let a virus potentially overwhelm our medical services leading to untold deaths and misery which may have been prevented by proper intervention.
The pressures on both sides of the issue are huge and no leader of any political stripe wants to take the wrong approach. The stress must be immense.
The wisest course is generally to listen to the experts and defer many choices to them. In Alberta Jason Kenney has deferred to Dr. Deena Hinshaw, (our Chief Medical Officer) when it comes to reactions and decisions on the crisis. Various other civil servants and bureaucrats are surely advising leaders at every level of government too and hopefully leaders are heeding that advice.
So if the key decisions are actually in the hands of bureaucrats, what is the role of our political leadership?
They need to lead!
This is a tremendously important role. Panic is one of our greatest enemies right now and the best defense against this enemy is strong political leadership.
People are afraid and confused. We need to know whats going on and what we need to do.
We need our political leadership to communicate to us confidently and concisely with calm and measured authority.
Naheed Nenshi did a masterful job during the flood crisis in Calgary and Rachel Notley’s leadership during the Fort McMurray forest fires was fantastic.
Now that we are facing a global crisis on a level never seen in our generation we need strong federal leadership more than ever and let’s face it, we don’t have it.
I truly hoped that Justin Trudeau would find his feet and shine in this crisis. The state of the country is more important than any partisan dislike I may have of him and his party.
I have found myself disappointed to say the least.
The federal government still hadn’t really pulled out of it’s leadership crisis with the illegal blockades around the nation when this new crisis took over and Justin is as ill prepared as ever to deal with it.
We are getting slow, disparate and limited communication from the federal government right now. It looks like they have been crippled by indecision and they have terribly bungled on the screening issue at airports while communicating that they had it under control.
On Sunday, the government put out a teaser of a release saying that more was to come in a conference today. What the hell is with that? The crisis is here and now. If you have something of fucking substance to say, say it now!
Today’s press conference was a debacle. It began nearly 40 minutes late and by the time Trudeau began with his statement, pretty much all of what he was announcing had already been leaked.
This is hardly instilling confidence among the citizenry right now. If our Prime Minister can’t even manage a simple news conference, how the hell can he manage this crisis?
It is time for leadership to arise from within the federal Liberal Party. They need to deal with their weak leader for the sake of the nation. I don’t know if it will mean taking Trudeau aside and beating sense into him or pushing him aside and letting somebody competent take over the role but they can’t let Justin keep drifting along as he has been during this last couple months.
Justin Trudeau has never been a great communicator and in this last few months he has gotten far worse. He appears to prioritize his time with hiding from the public and handing off responsibility to others whenever possible. I don’t know if he has personal issues going on or if its a case of internal party turmoil but we simply can’t have it anymore.
The world is in for a rocky ride in these next few months. Countries with strong leadership will be better able to weather the storm. If Canada doesn’t deal with Trudeau soon, we won’t be among those aforementioned nations.
I hate to think of the unnecessary damage that will be caused if we refuse to fill the federal leadership void that we are suffering under right now. Let’s hope that some of the powers that be recognize and deal with this soon. We can’t afford to let it go on like this.
I had an exchange with some patrons in my pub today. Nothing that new as I am inclined to grouchiness and am not prone to holding back when somebody is giving me attitude.
It is rare but it is not for the first time that somebody came into my restaurant with an apparent service animal. The dog had an impressive looking blanket on it and was well behaved. When asked for the service dog credentials however, the dog handler got belligerent with my server. When I followed up I was told that the ID card was in the mail. Then was told that a letter from a psychiatrist trumps the need for a service card ID.
To be blunt, that is utter bullshit and I called it such.
Service animals are fantastic and they help improve the standard of living for people with all sorts of challenges. I am more than overjoyed to have people bring accredited service animals into my establishment. If a patron complained about the animal, I would happily invite the patron who complained to go elsewhere. Note use of the term “accredited” though.
To servers and other food service business owners, below is a picture of the ID that ALL people who are in possession of an accredited service animal will carry. Nothing less than the presentation of that ID will allow you to bring that animal into the establishment just as you can’t serve beer to a person who appears to be a minor unless they provide ID.
When a person tries to bring a non-accredited service dog into a food service establishment, it is not a simple “no harm, no foul” sort of offense.
For one, the owner of that establishment may face serious legal sanctions from Alberta Health Services for bringing animals into their restaurants. Whether we like it or not, it is illegal to bring animals into food service establishments and when somebody does so they are putting the livelihood of the owner and the staff at risk with your selfish actions.
The other thing that is enraging is that when people try to sneak fake service animals into places, they set a poor example which furthers challenges to those reliant on real service animals.
It is heartbreaking (not to mention illegal) when one hears of a blind person being turned away from a taxi or an epileptic person being turned away from a pub because of their service animals.
Bad experiences from people with unaccredited service animals unfortunately can inspire some business owners and staff to try to turn away all animals.
I understand as well that many animals provide comfort to people with all sorts of challenges. Good for them. If it works, by all means continue to do so. Don’t try to pretend that it is an accredited service animal though. It is not. Neither the animal nor the handler are properly trained and they can cause havoc in the wrong circumstances.
The means are there to train to acquire accredited service animals. If you need one, I certainly hope you can get one.
In the mean time, don’t try to sneak your uncertified animal into my or anybody else’s establishment. In doing so you put others at risk and harm the credibility of those who have accredited animals.
It has been nearly two years since the night that Eddie Maurice found himself as the only line of defense between his baby and two intruders in his yard late one February night. Eddie verbally warned the criminals to leave. When they continued to approach, Eddie fired two warning shots with a .22 rifle into the ground which caused the intruders to flee. Maurice then returned to his home and called police.
Hours after the incident, police arrived and arrested Eddie on firearm charges.One of the criminals had apparently been hit in the arm by a bullet. The nightmare for the Maurice family then truly began.
Determined to convict this homeowner for defending his property and family, the Crown relentlessly dragged Eddie Maurice through the courts for months with appearances nearly every two weeks. It was speculated that Eddie may spend as much as eight years in prison. Finally when an RCMP ballistics report concluded that the bullet in the arm of the criminal was indeed due to a ricochet, the Crown finally dropped all charges against Maurice. They will never admit it but the growing crowds of supporters outside of the courthouse at every hearing for Maurice helped the Crown realize that they were way offside with public opinion with the attempted prosecution of Maurice.
The change in Maurice was immediately evident when the charges were dropped. His usually tense demeanor was relaxed. He was smiling which was rarely seen as the courts dragged him through the system. Eddie was looking forward to simply going on with his live and raising his family.
For over a year it looked like Eddie Maurice’s wishes to get on with his life would be respected. Unfortunately that all ended in September of 2019 when it was revealed that the habitual criminal who got himself shot at the Maurice home was suing Eddie Maurice. Not only was the crook in on the lawsuit game, but the Alberta government was looking for a piece of the action as well. It was astounding.
Upon hearing of this ridiculous travesty, Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer immediately extricated the government from their role in this absurd lawsuit. While bureaucrats in the justice department saw Maurice as the one who got away and were pursuing a spiteful suit against him, the Minister in charge realized how abhorrent this action was.
The Trespass Statutes (Protecting Law-Abiding Property Owners) Amendment Act was passed by the UCP government last year. This statute prevents criminals from suing property owners if they got themselves injured while committing the crime. The Act was made retroactive to a month before the Maurice incident and that was no mistake.
Longtime loser Ryan Watson and the lawyer behind him appears to be undeterred by this legislative setback. They smell a payday and they plan to pursue this action to the bitter end.
Watson is no victim or sweetheart here. When he was arrested after his attempted robbery of the Maurice home, he was found to be in possession of methamphetamine. This was in contravention of a previous probation order. That tells us two things. Watson is a meth user, likely an addict and has a criminal history.
This week, Watson’s affidavit was filed in court. It can be downloaded in full below.
The content of the affidavit is laughable and insulting. In it, Watson claims that it was only through his catlike reflexes when he moved his head that he dodged one of the apparently multiple bullets fired his way. Yes, Ryan is apparently faster than a speeding bullet. Meth induced reality can be difficult to interpret at times.
Watson goes on to state how he feels that the Crown should press charges against Maurice again. Watson (or at least his lawyer) knows that he won’t get a payday unless Maurice is found to be guilty of something. Watson also threatens to try to use a rarely exercised legal ability to invoke a private prosecution against Maurice.
The bottom line is that Ryan Watson and his lawyer are hoping that with enough ongoing harassment of the Maurice family that they will give up and settle. Watson’s lawyer will get a new car and Watson will go his merry way with a nice big rock of whatever his pleasure of choice is these days to put in his pipe.
Eddie Maurice has no intention of letting that happen as can be seen in his release from yesterday.
In Watson’s affidavit, he claims a virtual hailstorm of bullets assailed him and his partner in crime that night. He paints Maurice as a psychopath who was intentionally trying to kill him. Never mind that utterly none of the forensic investigation indicated any of this.
Watson often cites the word of his sidekick Stephanie Ann Martens. Ahh yes. Ms. Martens is a credible witness indeed.
Stephanie Martens is a dangerous, repeat criminal with a long record. She was involved in one high speed chase where the vehicle crashed into a building in Saskatchewan.
Martens was part of a more serious incident when a police officer was injured during the chase North of Calgary.
One has to wonder why the hell Martens was loose in the first place in order to attempt to rob homeowners a couple years ago. In light of the flaccid $200 fine she got for attempting to rob the Maurices though, I guess we shouldn’t be shocked.
The word of a career criminal such as Martens isn’t worth a piss hole drilled in a snowbank. Maurice will have to endure listening to this in court for potentially a long time though.
This action by Ryan Watson and his lawyer is nothing more than a shakedown. They are adding stress and misery to a family which has already had to live through a nightmare due to Watson’s past attempt at robbing them. While it is extremely likely that Watson won’t see a nickle from this idiotic, self serving action, the damage caused to the Maurice family can’t be measured.
This case is going to court in Calgary tomorrow. Maurice is asking for a summary dismissal of this claim and he should damn well get it.
If the judge chooses to indulge Watson and his lawyer on this shakedown, the stress and misery for the Maurice family will drag on for months if not years.
How many times must this young family be victimized and for how damn long?
If this is indeed going to be dragged out, it is time to get people together to rally outside the courts yet again. If common sense won’t prevail in the courts, perhaps public outrage will.
Would we shut down a legal $40 billion gas plant because a handful of activists and a local church minister or two demanded it?
Would we shut down a legal $6.6 billion natural gas pipeline because a distant cousin of Prince Charles said we should?
The above suggestions sound ridiculous yet that is what some people feel that we should do in light of opposition being shown to the CoastalGaslink project by the “hereditary” chiefs and their supporters in the area.
We should begin by defining what a “hereditary” chief is.
“Hereditary” chiefs hold a traditional position within many interior BC native bands. Their role is typically cultural, ceremonial and spiritual. Oral tradition guides these roles. That means that the authority held by “hereditary” chiefs is fluid and utterly arbitrary.
Elected chiefs are exactly what they sound like. These are people who were selected through a democratic vote by the citizens of the indigenous bands. Elected chiefs have direct accountability to their people through elections. They have responsibility for their people and the authority to sign into agreements on behalf of their people.
The elected chiefs for all 20 of the impacted First Nations along the Coastal Gaslink pipeline route support the project!
The elected chiefs understand the need for resource development. The elected chiefs understand the need for jobs and a future for their people. The elected chiefs are guided by reality and it shows.
Environmental activists backed by some academics, journalists and even a committee from the United Nations want to ignore the wishes of the elected leaders and shut down this project which would bring work and prosperity to indigenous people in the area. It is unconscionable that these self-serving ideologues want to keep so many people in poverty based on their own personal ideologies. They are cloaking themselves behind the handful of “hereditary” chiefs in opposition to this perfectly legal project.
Things are going to go one of two ways on the Coastal Gaslink.
The RCMP, backed by government are going to intervene as multiple court orders demand in order to get this project rolling, or elected officials will cower in fear of the activists and let this project get shut down.
If the project is shut down, billions of dollars will have been flushed away. The government will be rightly sued by investors for not protecting a legal project and Canada will truly turn into an international investment pariah. Who in their right mind would invest in a nation which refuses to allow legally approved projects to be completed? Whether energy, forestry, farming or even with a golf course, no investor will ever know if they may be shut down by some “hereditary” chief coupled with some activists.
The activists will scream and howl if and when they are rightly removed from the working area. The may get violent. They may force police or perhaps even armed forces to use force in order to remove them. It will make for some very politically dicey scenes.
Too damn bad!
The showdown over the Coastal Gaslink pipeline is about more than the concerns of some “hereditary” chiefs over the concerns of duly elected chiefs. This showdown is about whether or not Canada is a nation of laws or not.
Let’s hope the government shows some strength for a change on this one.
The social justice left loves to demand diversity among organizations. They demand quotas and call for affirmative action plans. They decry companies and political organizations as “old white boy” networks and love to post any picture which doesn’t show an evident rainbow of different races and genders.
The other thing the left loves of course is labor unions.
It only stands to reason that labor union leadership will reflect the diversity that decades of progressive activism has demanded right?
I did a pretty simple search. Wikipedia provides a handy list of unions operating within Canada. I just clicked on each and noted the race and gender of the union president. A few didn’t list their executive members for some reason but I got to fifty and figured it was a decent sampling of who is leading labor unions active in Canada.
Well, much to my astonishment and surprise, it turns out 41 out of 50 union presidents were men!
One would have thought that the activist left would have brought the male leadership ratio below 82 percent by now.
Well perhaps the race thing is more balanced. I didn’t find pictures of every president but from what I could gather, 46 out of 50 union presidents are white!
How can this be? Is it a conspiracy led by the patriarchy? Did the KKK infiltrate union membership to the point where they won’t elect non-white presidents?
There has to be some unsavory organization preventing these bastions of progressive thought from practicing what they preach.
Until the left can resolve their clear diversity issues within their own ranks, perhaps they should keep their collective traps shut on diversity in other organizations. Their silence on the union issue is rather deafening.
In their desperate quest to find racism where little exists, online social justice warriors (SJWs) have now determined that any critique of cab drivers is an act of racism which demands online reporting and a ban from Twitter.
I really wish I was kidding.
It began (as these things often do) with a simple tweet. It was a few days ago, hadn’t gotten much reaction and I had pretty much forgotten about it. Some goofy SJW spotted it this evening and brought it back into the scroll along with a pile of ridiculous accusations. This of course drew out more of their ilk as SJWs are indeed drawn to social media swarms like flies to shit.
I was tweeting in response to an idiotic class action suit launched by Toronto cab drivers whining about Uber which was rightly thrown out by a judge.
While I wasn’t nice about it, my point still stands. Taxi drivers have alienated consumers while hiding behind protected cab license monopolies for decades. This has allowed service issues to fester such as timeliness, politeness and personal hygiene. Not every driver was bad of course but far too many were and there was little that consumers could do about it. Anybody who has spent a lot of time in cabs over the last few decades has experienced all of the above problems. Not always but far too much.
Years of taking passengers for granted by cabs has allowed ride sharing services to explode onto the scene. There was little sympathy or loyalty to be felt from abused consumers for the plight of taxis as the market changed.
Now here is where it gets loopy. A tweeter who goes by Saje3331 fires out the tweet below.
When I pointed out that there was no racism in my tweet and that cab drivers come in all colors, she again called me a racist and apparently reported me to Twitter in hopes of my being banned.
When others asked her where the hell the racism was in my tweet, she started posting weird stuff about her marks in school and such. I blocked her as it was getting more than weird.
Not to be outdone in idiocy, some dingdong named Craig Rigden jumps in with a vapid assertion.
Um Craig, criticizing poor taxi service is exactly what I was doing. It is rather literal in the tweet.
As others began to ask Rigden where the racism was, he kept posting a screen snap with parts of my tweet circled in it which again only demonstrated a critique of cab drivers yet in his addled world he somehow felt he was demonstrating some sort of crazy proof of racism.
I then blocked him of course. I do fear that idiocy can be contagious if followed closely enough.
The fellow below is either lying or has no sense of smell. Either way, one of those conditions has somehow made him determine that my posting was intolerant of new Canadians somehow.
A number of other idiots chimed in but there is little sense pasting them all here. It is all much the same baseless crap from them.
Don’t just take my word for it though. Issues with the poor personal hygiene of cab drivers have been happening all around the world.
In a municipality in the UK a council had to take action to battle smelly cab drivers
In San Diego the airport had to actually do a smell test on drivers due to so many passenger complaints. The drivers should have simply bathed rather than complained.
In Indonesia cab drivers were tested for stench as well.
Nobody wants to be trapped in a vehicle for a period of time with a driver who smells like a goat’s asshole and it is neither unreasonable nor racist to complain when drivers do indeed smell that way (and at times they do no matter which race).
Soap and deodorant are indiscriminate. They work on every race and every race needs constant applications of both. Especially if they are going to drive a damned cab.
Forgotten were my critiques of the timeliness and politeness. It was the mention of the stench that drew most of the ire of the social justice loons.
Full disclosure here, I have been driving for Uber on occasion for the last couple years. It is a good way to make a few extra bucks now and then when my pub is slow.
Note that with 367 trips, I have maintained a 4.93 out of 5 rating from passengers.
My sparkling personality didn’t do it so what was it?
It was pretty simple. I don’t drive like a maniac, I am polite and helpful with the passengers, I don’t decline fares and oh yea I FUCKING WASH REGULARLY!
That is the beauty of ride share systems. They put responsibility directly into the driver’s hands for good customer service. You can directly rate your driver and it matters. If a driver rating drops too low, they can lose their ability to drive. All you could do before was perhaps call a dispatcher at a cab company to leave a complaint which will be immediately forgotten.
This of course gives drivers a very direct incentive to do a good job.
With added competition in the market from ride sharing companies, taxis have finally been upping their game as well though it will be too late for many. They simply stunk for too damn long.
Most Uber drivers are visible minorities too by the way.
The world of social justice has gotten so insane that they try to quell all contrary discussion with cries of racism to the point where taxi drivers are apparently a race unto themselves and thus above critique. It is absurd but these nuts do manage to shut good voices and debates down at times. While the social justice twitter mob was trying to swarm me for daring to question taxi service, we had a case in Calgary where some nut has purposely been assaulting random people with purely racial motives involved. That is real racism but the social justice gang is too busy inventing “dog whistles” to take notice of or deal with it.
The irony of the whole thing is that the fools accusing me of racism are working on their own personal assumption that all cab drivers are visible minorities. That is pure racism on their own part but their self-absorbed world of social justice won’t let them see it.
Now aside from the race baiting hysteria, I do wish more taxi drivers would fucking bathe and wear deodorant. Or maybe as an Uber driver I don’t….
On January 31 of next year, Alberta businesses will no longer be required to have an occupational health and safety (OHS) committee at every worksite. This is fantastic news for all businesses as the requirement for these committees implemented by the NDP was onerous, expensive and didn’t really do a damn thing to increase safety at Alberta worksites. Given enough time, these committees could have cost untold millions or even billions as they create increasingly ridiculous and inefficient workplace regulations. Anybody who has worked in the oilfield in the last few decades knows just how absurd the red tape has become and all under the guise of safety.
State regulation of work sites has made North America one of the safest places on earth in which to work. Long gone are the days when people are commonly forced into working in unsafe conditions and the obligation for employees to speak up on safety issues is now applauded rather than shunned. There is always room to improve safety but the formation of thousands of pointless committees is not the way to do it.
The main problem with safety committees is that they begin their mandate as a solution looking for a problem. In any reasonable workplace, all major hazards for workers have been identified and addressed either through elimination or mitigation of risk through training and changes of workplace practices. When you form a committee to seek and address hazards in this kind of environment, they feel obligated to find something even if no realistic hazard exists. That’s when we see bizarre regulations coming about.
In the oilfield there has been an almost cult-like pursuit of safety within the industry. The justification has always been that we must regulate the hell out of ourselves or the state will shut us down. There is a fear bordering on hysteria on the part of management within energy companies about safety based liability. This has led to the creation of a monster that is never satisfied and creates endless efficiency killing rules and procedures while not really addressing real safety issues.
I am going to list a few examples from my own work experience over the years to demonstrate just how ridiculous and costly things have become. Talk to any person who has spent time in the oilfield or on large scale construction projects and I can assure you that they will all have many similar stories.
I spent over 20 years working as a surveyor on geophysical projects. We worked with explosives and we cut large trees at times which created hazards. We often worked in isolated areas where emergency services were not readily available. This required strong and comprehensive safety policies and practices of course. Over the years though, the safety department moved well past common sense and well into the ridiculous as they ran out of things to address.
I spent four winters working in the Arctic. We had an annual contract which would do seismic over the Mackenzie Delta region and right onto the frozen Beaufort Sea. It would require about 80 workers for about five months per year. In my first year up there, the initial project orientation for a worker starting up would take about 4 hours. They covered Arctic basics in dealing with issues such as extreme cold, thin ice, polar bears, etc. Common sense things. By my final season in the Arctic the orientation had become a two day affair. That works out to 160 person-days plus accommodations in Inuvik (very expensive rooms) for every project up there. All the real safety issues could be covered within a few hours so then workers were drilled on things as ridiculous as eating balanced diets, wiping front to back and holding role-playing sessions on possible safety scenarios. Utter waste of time.
While in camp in the Arctic we held a safety meeting every morning before heading to the field. These meetings bloated to an average of 40 minutes per day and they were so boring that most attendees would be lucky to retain even a minute of valuable information from the meeting. This was due to an utterly stupid hazard identification system. You see, every worker was tasked to write and turn in a hazard identification card every day no matter what. Each and every one of those cards was then read at the meeting. With 80 cards to read, half of the room was asleep by the tenth report of ice being slippery on the frozen ocean. Meanwhile, a real hazard or two gets lost in the mix of all that paperwork BS. I don’t need to hear 20 times per day that the dark creates a winter driving hazard in the Arctic but I really did want to hear about the polar bear activity spotted in my work area. Alas, I had nodded off before the committee head got to that card.
There were few things more dangerous in the Arctic than safety personnel with little to do. One luminary went out in the night and checked tire pressures on all the trucks. When you open a valve stem at -45 thermometer temperature, there is a high chance that the valve will get stuck open. What we then had was a morning with 20 trucks with flat tires. We then had to take off and bring those tires into the camp before filling them as they were frozen hard as rocks. The idiot’s justification? Safety of course.
The safety committee kept demanding larger and larger fire extinguishers in the camp. Then a committee member realized that our female workers couldn’t life these giant extinguishers which were every 20 feet in the camp. They then brought in dozens of smaller ones but found that we didn’t have enough mounts for these ones. They were placed on the floor. This camp was a multi-level affair built onto a barge and frozen into the ocean. One of the extinguishers was knocked over and rolled down a stairwell almost injuring a person coming up the stairs. Safety indeed.
On a program in the mountains North of Waterton National park, we had to use helicopters to access our work areas. This left an excess of safety people as they didn’t want to actually walk in the woods so they would roam the staging area. Some luminary on a safety committee had determined that short sleeve shirts were a hazard and we are all forced to wear long sleeves in the heat (which we all removed as soon as the helicopters dropped us off). A helicopter engineer was lounging in the staging area on a lawn chair. There was little for him to do once the crews were all out. Most of his work came in the early evening when he did maintenance on the helicopters. Well, the safety officers noted he was wearing a short-sleeved shirt and swarmed him. He then folded his lawn chair, got in his truck, gave the safety gang the finger and went home. Having no heli-engineer was a safety hazard. We then had to fly 25 crews back in from the mountains six hours early at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars. Feel safer yet?
This problem isn’t just a Canadian thing. While in Texas I did a lot of shopping. Somebody on a safety committee determined that our plastic fuel cans presented a static spark hazard. It took forever to find old fashioned metal ones for my crews. A new safety guy arrived and determined that the metal cans presented a leaking hazard and demanded I replace them with plastic ones. It took all my restraint to keep from pouring the gasoline down his unctuous throat.
Workplace safety is terribly important. Prior generations suffered under some unimaginable conditions as they tried to scrape out a living with little to no regulations for their well being. We never want to go back to those days but we have to get to a point where we can say: “I think things are safe enough.” When we keep forming committees tasked with finding problems that don’t exist, we only create red tape and ironically often make things even more unsafe.
Nobody has been made less safe with the removal of the NDP requirement for thousands of safety committees around the province. What we have seen is a great step among what I hope are many in making Alberta a good place to do business in again.