Saturday, April 06, 2013

The Care And Feeding Of Sheeple

I'm sure we've all seen, or heard something about, the government in Cyprus now taking up to 40% of the funds in bank accounts that total over 100,000 Euros. No matter if the account holders agreed or not. Sounds unfair, doesn't it? Sounds like something that could never happen to us, right?
According to a government document, the Canadian government has now set itself up to do the same thing to it's own citizens in case a major bank is in jeopardy!
No, I've not overdosed on coffee and gummy bears. No, I didn't get my information from a conspiracy website.
Here's where you can read more about it....
And the full government document, our newest budget, here

On page 144 it reads, “The Government also recognizes the need to manage the risks associated with systemically important banks—those banks whose distress or failure could cause a disruption to the financial system and, in turn, negative impacts on the economy.  This requires strong prudential oversight and a robust set of options for resolving these institutions without the use of taxpayer funds, in the unlikely event that one becomes non-viable.

It gets worse on page 145, where it reads, “The Government proposes to implement a bail-in regime for systemically important banks.  This regime will be designed to ensure that, in the unlikely event that a systemically important bank depletes its capital, the bank can be recapitalized and returned to viability through the very rapid conversion of certain bank liabilities into regulatory capital.

My first thought was, 'if they're saying it's unlikely, why plan to take these actions at all?'
And what exactly do they mean by 'certain bank liabilities'? Outstanding loans? The document never defines what those certain bank liabilities are! I've read the whole chapter, gotten a headache from it, and I'm here to tell you, it never, ever defines what those liabilities might be.

This disturbs me for a few reasons. Because I have an account in a major bank, although it's total will never top 100,000. Because the wording is vague and nebulous and can be interpreted so many different ways, and that in itself allows the government far more wiggle room than they should have. Because it seems to be saying that if the government decides that certain accounts are liabilities, like those in Cyprus, France, Germany and Italy, they can take a portion of those amounts to refinance the bank. They seem to be saying "all the other countries are doing it!" with this line, 'This framework will
be consistent with reforms in other countries and key international standards...

For the past year I have been warning Canadians should be worried about non-transparency in our government. We all know that government serves it's own best interests, no matter what country we're talking about. This is prominent in many aspects, from Monsanto becoming a "buck-buddy" to both the United States and Canada, to the healthcare system's increasing habit of being more available to those with money, contracts being awarded to friends and family of certain politicians, politicians of all levels charging the most ridiculous things to the taxpayers and then acting outraged when there is an investigation....and I'm sure you can add a handful more examples. My point is that this is not just an American problem. We Canadians are world renowned for our politeness, and there is a growing feeling that we're push-overs too. Too many of our people are too complacent about what their government is doing that we don't hear about. Political apathy seems to be a growing normal in this country! To return to our budget example for a moment, when the Canadian mainstream media was reporting the Cyprus account seizing story, many people were aghast and outraged. But when our budget was reported on, not one mainstream media outlet made any mention of the possibility of that same thing happening to our own people!
Why? Is our media in our government's back pocket the way many of the American outlets are reputed to be?

So if our government is following an international example in this, what else are they doing that we haven't heard about? We seem to give up more and more rights every time there is an election, and I'm not just referring to a federal level! How many times do families buy a home in a neighborhood controlled by a housing association, go to hang a clothesline and find out they aren't allowed due to "housing association regulations"? How about the simple act of planting a garden? Many neighborhoods forbid the mere act of growing tomatoes, never mind the keeping of a few chickens to provide the family with fresh eggs! Heaven forbid if you want to compost! Again, this happens in Canada too. I once lived not far from a neighborhood that even had the audacity to tell homeowners they could only paint their homes in pre-approved colours.
By our silence, we allow this kind of thing to continue. So that by the time our provincial and federal governments attempt to slide some new regulation past us, we're so blind and docile, we don't even notice!

So what does this mean for our overall picture? Well, it means you should be worried. I've made mention time and again of the populace of many countries becoming "sheeple". No better than sheep, trained  where to go and how to act. Those that want to have a little more control over their own lives need to find a way to be better informed about controlling bodies at all levels. We need to not sign away our rights and freedoms. We need to fight for equality for our people. You've likely heard of the following passage:

"First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me."

Seems like a dramatic example, doesn't it? But if you think about it, there are many times in a year that rights are trod on, or taken away. Modern history can cite the example of Japanese citizens of Canada detained in camps because the government saw them as a threat. Land and homes taken away, bank accounts seized, whole families wrenched apart because their government saw them as a threat. Hmm, kind of sounds like what North Korea has done for years.
Or how about when gays and lesbians in California lost the previously given right to marry?
Or what about when a status holding Native woman went to university, studied hard and got a degree in law or medicine and immediately lost her status, her community of origin, physically, geographically, socially, spiritually, psychologically, emotionally and in many cases, proof of lineage? Any Native man who served in the armed forces faced the same consequence. This situation has been legally addressed with the passing of Bill C-31 in 1985. But my point here is that even polite Canada has a discriminatory history.

People can no longer afford to ignore politics. If the federal level is to much to absorb, focus on a provincial, or state level. Or perhaps  city council meetings are an easier place to start paying attention. Wherever we focus, we NEED to pay attention! It's high time we stop allowing others to tell us how to live! Whether it is a government official telling us we cannot sell raw milk, regardless of how much healthier it is, or a local board telling us we can't plant tomatoes in our front yard, or a government telling us we MUST have a bank account while they help themselves to it's contents, or the board of a housing corporation telling us we cannot hang our laundry while our Prime Minister encourages us to reduce our draw on the electrical grid. It is time we informed ourselves and started taking back control of our lives. One meal at a time, one vote at a time, one letter at a time.

Don't be a sheeple!!