Abandoned and unfed dogs, cats and horses
The quarantine has been hard on people, especially those left without work and off of the lists of those who get such pitiful government assistance as there is. So people who can’t feed their animals are abandoning them, or partially so by letting them out to scrounge what they can.
There are some better off and kindly neighbors who are taking in, or better yet feeding and sending home, hungry animals in their communities. But no individual has the ability to tackle all that much of the problem. The curfew restrictions make it harder to try. The police rescue a lot of hungry, wandering animals but they also have limited resources and other pressing duties.
Why not pool public and private resources to address the problem? There are known dog and cat feeders. Over the years Spay Panama and its offshoot groups have often been partners with them to spay and neuter homeless dog and cat populations that would otherwise explode. Why not reactivate these networks, for starters by giving people who do this work limited salvoconductos to feed and rescue animals? Why not give those with horses but not much land a bit of extra time to take their animals out to graze?
The Environmental Police got into the dog and cat protection business because of all the heartless people who abandon animals in the national parks. The police have veterinarians who take care of the force’s dogs and horses. Why not send them on missions to where animals are being abandoned, bringing food, medicine and advice to support hard-pressed families with dogs and cats that are going hungry, and to support the work of the communities’ feeders?
Why not mobilize private donations from folks of all sorts for such work? The English-speaking community could play a special role here, as to many British and American subcultures dogs and cats are seen not so much as property but as members of families, such that the spay organizations have long had many supporters from these ethnic groups. The Hindus and some other denominations are also well represented among the stray animal feeders, as a matter of their faith.
Make the lockdown more bearable for humanity’s four-legged partners and you ease the discomfort of a lot of people. Let’s do this as an affirmation of our common decency.
Their liability should be no more
limited than anybody else’s
The world’s richest man, reaping his profits as e-commerce becomes one of the few businesses left standing, knew his workers were coming in sick and had them work without proper protective gear and with no paid sick leave benefits. When employees advocating a union objected to the unsafe conditions, he fired them. Under no circumstances should he be exempted from liability for what he did. Nor should any respectable Democrat consider his newspaper any sort of worthy publication of record.
Some owners of private nursing homes, well paid by government programs, figured that the residents were just senile old folks sent there to die. A number took few precautions in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. There was a huge death toll of people under their care. It will be a nightmare to prove anything in the courts, except that there is the old Roman legal maxim res ipsa loquitur – the thing speaks for itself. No way should the cost cutters be exempt from payment for the consequences of their neglect.
The aftermath of this catastrophe would best not be litigated in the courts. Better to settle at labor-management negotiations where working people have revived and enhanced the power of the unions. Better to legislate Medicare for All instead of sue over who pays the medical bills. Better to replace failed private health care schemes with strong public systems.
President Trump and the Congress have given their gifts to the billionaires. Now the Republicans are demanding exemptions from liability for what businesses do to people before they will consider any more funding to resist the COVID-19 plague.
Will the GOP pick up Democrat votes in the House? That’s why there are Democratic primaries. Will Republicans be able to sell their intransigence to their constituents? That’s why we will have a general election in November.
So many things will be changed by the current crisis. Americans will have blown it if among them are no clearer and better understandings of what is just and decent, and on the other hand what is obscene.
Our freedom must be had at all hazards. If the men of property will not help us they must fall; we will free ourselves by the aid of that large and respectable class of the community – the men of no property.
Theobald Wolfe Tone
Bear in mind…
Arise and warn!
Sometimes we don’t even realize what we really care about, because we get so distracted by the symbols.
That little man in black over there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.
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