Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Thomas Sowell: could a Cyprus-style confiscation of private savings happen here?

Thomas Sowell, an economist for the people

Thomas Sowell, an economist for the people

Surprise! It already is happening here. Thomas Sowell explains in the American Spectator.

Excerpt:

One of the big differences between the United States and Cyprus is that the U.S. government can simply print more money to get out of a financial crisis. But Cyprus cannot print more euros, which are controlled by international institutions.But could similar policies be imposed in other countries, including the United States?

Does that mean that Americans’ money is safe in banks? Yes and no.

The U.S. government is very unlikely to just seize money wholesale from people’s bank accounts, as is being done in Cyprus. But does that mean that your life savings are safe?

No. There are more sophisticated ways for governments to take what you have put aside for yourself and use it for whatever the politicians feel like using it for. If they do it slowly but steadily, they can take a big chunk of what you have sacrificed for years to save, before you are even aware, much less alarmed.

That is in fact already happening. When officials of the Federal Reserve System speak in vague and lofty terms about “quantitative easing,” what they are talking about is creating more money out of thin air, as the Federal Reserve is authorized to do — and has been doing in recent years, to the tune of tens of billions of dollars a month.

When the federal government spends far beyond the tax revenues it has, it gets the extra money by selling bonds. The Federal Reserve has become the biggest buyer of these bonds, since it costs them nothing to create more money.

This new money buys just as much as the money you sacrificed to save for years. More money in circulation, without a corresponding increase in output, means rising prices. Although the numbers in your bank book may remain the same, part of the purchasing power of your money is transferred to the government. Is that really different from what Cyprus has done?

I noticed that Brian Lilley had an article about whether Cyprus-style confiscations could happen in Canada. The short answer: yes – for amounts above $100,000 Canadian.

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Obama supporters using fake twitter accounts to push for gun control

The Heritage Foundation reports.

Excerpt:

How far would President Obama’s supporters go to make his message dominant on gun control? Too far, according to Representative Steve Stockman’s (R-TX) office, which identified a number of fake Twitter accounts posting the same message: “I’m one of the 92% of Americans who support universal background checks. #WeDemandAVote.”

After President Obama called on supporters to tweet their Congressman with the #WeDemandAVote hashtag, bloggers recognized the duplicated, suspicious messages being aimed at Stockman.

In a press release, Stockman noted that of the 16 tweets directed at him, all were identical, only six were from real people and only one was actually from a constituent. Ten of 16 tweets sent were clearly fake accounts curated for the purpose of astroturfing the Twittersphere.

With no profile photos, no interaction with other people, and mostly following only members of Obama’s digital team, the tweeters in question don’t appear to be organic accounts. Additionally, many of the profiles appear to have been created less than 48 hours before the online campaign began – and one “user” hadn’t sent a tweet since 2008.

You can see the actual tweets in the Heritage post, and then look up the accounts yourself.

The Washington Times covers the same news story here.

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Take a lesson from Canada: gun registries are later used to confiscate guns

Map of Canada with cities

Map of Canada with cities

My absolute favorite Canadian journalist, by far, is Brian Lilley. There is no one like him in the Canadian media. I think that he is more informative than even Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant.

Take a look at this Daily Beast column warning Americans about bills that set up gun registries.

Excerpt:

Last year Canada ended its national long gun registry, a national database of every rifle and shotgun in the country that was supposed to help police track the movement of and sale of weapons. When it was introduced twenty years ago critics said the registration of firearms would eventually lead to confiscation, a criticism dismissed as ridiculous, yet that’s what happened and more right up until its dismantling.

As recently as last winter law abiding gun owners who had complied with the registry were having their rifles confiscated. In late 2011 hundreds if not thousands of people who had legally purchased the Armi Jager AP80, a .22 calibre variant of the AK47, were informed that their rifles had been deemed illegal and must be surrendered .

“You are required by law to return your firearm registration certificates, without delay, either by mail to the address shown in the top left corner of this page or in person to a peace officer or firearms officers. You have 30 days to deliver your firearms to a peace officer, firearms officer of Chief Firearms Officer or to otherwise lawfully dispose of them,” read the letter sent by the Canadian Firearms Centre.

The reason for the need to surrender what had been legal firearms was simply cosmetic, the AP 80 looked too similar to the AK47. There were no interchangeable parts between the two rifles, the rifles used vastly different ammunition, had vastly different uses but they looked the same.

What was more worrisome was that the decision to reclassify what for years had been a legal rifle was made by a bureaucrat not by elected officials. There was no debate, no vote just a decision by a bureaucrat who felt the AP80, legally owned for decades, was too dangerous to be privately owned by Canadians.

It is important for us to look at what is being tried in other countries, especially ones that have similar cultures, so that we can see the consequences. Gun registries should be opposed with the same vigor as gun confiscations, because they are the same thing, eventually. Individuals have a right to defend themselves from crime, and that is not a right that is meant to be enjoyed only by our smooth-talking politicians in Washington. I can guarantee you that those same politicians that want to confiscate your weapons will be themselves guarded by armed men. Hypocrites!

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