From Shaman’s Rock
By Jim Poling Sr.
I’m certain that the Covid virus has infected peoples’ brains, pulling them down to new levels of meanness and stupidity.
I don’t have any medical evidence to support that. My certainty is based just on what I have been observing.
Look around. Stabbings on the Toronto transit system, inexplicable shootings in the U.S.
Politicians, and the bureaucrats who pull their strings, saying and doing dumb things.
Take our Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland’s silly attempt to relate federal government overspending to her own household budget. She told Canadians she cancelled her kids’ Disney+ channel to save money and the same approach should be taken to federal spending.
Freeland presumably intended to show that managing Ottawa’s $430-billion budget is the same as managing a household budget. Her attempt spurred outrage across the country with one citizen saying it was like telling young couple that if they gave up avocado toast they could afford to buy a house.
Then a while back we had Ontario Premier Doug Ford saying housing developers should be allowed to hire their own building inspectors to ensure that buildings meet government standards. Do we really want building inspectors to be paid and controlled by the builders?
All that might be the strained-brain thinking we have come to expect in politics. The really scary stuff is the violence that has occurred since the Covid outbreak three years ago.
Polling suggests that a majority of Canadians believe that community violence has increased with Covid. Many say Covid created a deterioration in mental health, which has made people less socially responsible and more violent.
Certainly the recent shootings of Americans who rang a wrong doorbell or pulled into a wrong driveway indicate new levels of insanity not often seen before Covid’s arrival.
The best illustration of a society gone stupid and mean-spirited is the case of a nine-year-old California girl and her goat.
Last year the girl’s mother bought a young goat for her daughter to participate in a 4-H youth club project. The idea was for the girl to raise the goat and show it at a district fair.
Well, the girl and the goat, named Cedar, became close. The girl took Cedar for walks like a pet dog. She petted him and he nuzzled her.
Fair time arrived and Cedar was there to be shown as the girl’s 4-H project. However, when the fair ended the girl was told that displayed animals were to be slaughtered for their meat
That news upset the girl, who embraced Cedar and began crying. Her mother was upset as well, so put the goat in her car and drove him to a hiding place a couple of hundred miles away.
The fair considered this theft of a goat, because under the rules of the show it had become their property. They had two sheriff’s officers find the hiding place, drive the hundreds of miles return trip and bring the goat back.
Cedar was slaughtered and his meat sold at auction. The winning bid was $902 ($63 of which went to the fair) from a Republican state senator.
When the girl heard of Cedar’s demise she reportedly threw herself under her bed covers and sobbed uncontrollably.
Fair executives said the idea of having youth show animals at a fair is to teach them responsibility and learn about the process and effort it takes to raise meat.
That sounds reasonable, but by enforcing the rule they caused the girl and her family a lot of grief, the sheriff’s department wasted time and money at taxpayers’ expense, plus an avalanche of bad publicity for themselves and 4-H clubs.
The fair also reinforced the short-sighted view that the only reason farm animals exist is to make money for the meat industry.
All the heartache and bad publicity could have been avoided by ignoring the slaughter rule and letting the little girl quietly take her pet goat home. Showing a little understanding and sympathy would not have damaged efforts to teach youth about raising farm animals.
All the effort and money spent to bring Cedar to slaughter could have been better used in helping the farmed meat industry to see animals as something more than a steak on a butcher’s block.