It’s time for a cultural change in how Asia looks towards animal cruelty

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.

Criminals love disasters. Citizens should prepare to deal with them now.

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.

We need to see a light at the end of the tunnel

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.

We need confident leadership

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.