Keeping up with New Regulations by Marlene Black

Published June 26, 2013

It’s a full time job keeping up with new regulations, surfing the net for rules we may not know about, looking up sites to see how many tanker loads full of uninspected Chinese food is slipping through our ports, onto trucks and infiltrating our local food supply. One good site is followed by 20 more good sites and it doesn’t take long to realize, that control of our destiny, is no longer in our hands.

When did all this happen? Were we busy raising young families? Were we on the fields, farming?

Maybe we had that warm fuzzy feeling that someone else was looking after us and doing the right thing. Maybe our culture began to rely too much on experts and professional opinions and we lost faith in our own ability to know right from wrong and to take charge.

I remember one reinvented “field of expertise” came from the book writing, child rearing professionals…many who were so busy writing books that they hadn’t taken time off to have children. Never mind that, they were educated and they knew best so we followed their guidance and gave our children everything or nothing, free time or scheduled time, discipline or no discipline, homework or no homework…depending on what expert opinion you were reading at the time. Only to be followed of course, by the “new and better experts” who gave us their new and better version of the solutions which often were the opposite of the previous professionals…and people were left wondering who to trust, who will help us raise our children. “Mother knows best” just didn’t cut it anymore.

Taking action and fixing problems got replaced with “better get a consultant’s opinion on the problem”, “better get an environmental study of the problem”, “better form a committee or create a task force to look at the problem” and “hire a lawyer in case the expert advice we get is wrong”…and slowly, we got used to inaction. We got used to waiting and waiting. We got used to answering machines; impersonal and unemotional. When we look back in time and recall all the work that was done by our ancestors in their lifetime, you realize that we have saddled ourselves down with heavy baggage that is preventing action and threatening our sanity.

I’ve been wondering lately, when an ordinary opinion just wasn’t good enough. It had to be an “expert” opinion. It used to be that you’d ask someone for their opinion and good or bad, you could decide if you’d heed their advice. And opinions were given fairly frequently…well, if you ask my opinion..etc. Now however, this isn’t good enough. We need an expert opinion on everything and getting this expert opinion isn’t cheap. Experience has been replaced by “printed” knowledge.

So now we have a list of experts. Agricultural experts, food safety experts, health experts and the list is endless and I’m pretty sure, their salary jumps a few notches when they become a certified expert. What I’ve been wondering lately is do you have to do anything specific to get this “upgraded” title. In other words, what proof do you have to show to prove that you are indeed an “expert”? If I’ve never set foot on a plowed field, or planted a seed or drained a ditch or delivered a calf, or harvested a field, or driven a tractor, can I become an agricultural expert? It may surprise you but I think I can. How? I can read a lot of books, write a report about what I have read, and if my memory is good enough, I can pass some tests and after several years in the concrete halls of learning, I can be an agricultural expert.

It’s really quite amazing and even more amazing is that people will look to that person as knowledgeable with an “expert” opinion and the “suits” who make the rules that govern and control the agricultural peasants, will not heed the cries and protests from the masses in the farming community that what they are doing is very, very wrong and taking the rural community down the wrong roads. Oh no, they need not listen to those whose hands work the fields, grow the crops and feed the people, because you see, they have the best advisors with the best advice. They have their agricultural experts.

8 Responses to “Keeping up with New Regulations by Marlene Black”

  1. Andy July 29, 2013

    Your article is so true,good job.I like as well comment by Alex.Love you guys.

  2. Debbie July 27, 2013

    I am curious with Donald and Sharon’s Morrison Land Patent. What Association do they need to contact?

  3. Roch July 10, 2013

    So true, well written.

  4. Donald & Sharon Morrison July 9, 2013

    We finally received our Land Patent from Peterborough. It took over a year. One thing that we notice, the rights are listed for the entire “lot 21, concession 9” Mineral rights will be denied for the usual gold, silver etc., and of course white pine. Not sure if we are still to notify someone about receiving the grant. At one time Mr. Hillier said to let the Association know when we received it. Just love the common sense way of your articale above this part of your page.

  5. Gail Coplen July 8, 2013

    How true. The disturbing thing in our fair City of Kawartha Lakes is the “experts” no longer even need to spend years in the concrete halls of learning. They just say it and it is so! I am an expert and for some reason people believe. We all need to re-learn to use that “no” word.

  6. Cindy Moyer July 7, 2013

    Very insightful Marlene. When I read your article, I couldn’t help but see another (perhaps bigger) social problem that you may have uncovered and that is that we (individuals in society) are losing our ability/will to take responsibility.

    Responsible to take ownership for our own actions.
    Responsible to listen to the opinion of others (sometimes many) and make our own informed decisions or form our own conclusion.
    Responsible to employ critical thinking to solve the problems and issues we face.

    It’s become too easy for us to foist responsibility onto someone else – an expert whom we can ‘hire’ to take on the responsibility (and liability) for us. Suddenly, there is someone else to blame, someone else we can point to if the train derails.

    Responsibility and honour are tied together. My ancestors looked at both as the hallmarks of an individual’s value in society. Are we inadvertently creating a society that is irresponsible and honourless? I shudder at the thought.

  7. Alex July 5, 2013

    Deferral to the experts appears consistent with drive to outsourcing in all areas that we are witnessing.
    This concept, although widely accepted in Western world, is actually foreign and harmful. Let’s review how it crept into our life.
    There are two different kinds of outsourcing: internal and external.
    Internal outsourcing is delegating duties to an entity within Canada. Virtually every act of contracting or subcontracting is internal outsourcing. There is no harm in it, as generated wealth remains within Canadian economy.
    External, or overseas outsourcing, is quite different. Outsourcing to a foreign country distorts distribution of wealth. Wealth, produced in outsourced economy leaves Canadian financial system to never return and here is why: contractual payments to the offshore entities do not generate Canadian taxes, are not spent in Canada and not invested into Canadian economy. When the actual dollars reach the foreign shores, they will be split into several streams: foreign corporate taxes, foreign wages, foreign personal income taxes etc. The intended uses of those funds will include buildup of foreign military might and infrastructure, investments into enterprises that Canada is not interested in at all and other uses. There will be bribes of the foreign officials among them, foreign money laundering, terrorist financing and other unintended uses. To sum it all up, large portion of outsourced costs leave Canada to never return.
    Who are interested in promotion of overseas outsourcing? Obviously, those on the receiving end: the foreign entrepreneurs, their employees and contractors, and foreign governments. The major destinations for overseas outsourcing are India and China. Both countries with their over 1 billion populations desperately need outsourcing and obviously will to to great lengths to get the outsourced jobs.
    I will skip speculations about influence they would try to exert in Canada and move straight to the main point of this post: in order to obtain all possible outsourced jobs India and China would be interested in conditioning our population for accepting the concept of outsourcing.
    We are witnessing that in many areas. One of them you mentioned above: deferral to the ‘expert opinions’. Population is ensnared with requirement for a 3d party expert at every move. Another area is personal safety – we are being told not to take matters into our own hands, that it is strictly a taboo and that only the experts – i.e. police – are allowed to provide safety.
    In the end we have passive, paralysed and infantile population who are comfortable with others making decisions and taking actions for them. Nothing could be finer for the communist government of China and ideologically void government of India. They got all the jobs and we are broke.

  8. Lorne Hooper July 4, 2013

    Wonderful thoughtful article. That’s my opinion!


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