Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Friday, December 16, 2011

Transitional Aid Bill Newspaper Link

Here's the link to the N.J. Star Ledger article about the Transitional Aid Bill:

Giving The Newt His Due

In last night’s debate, Newt (Newton Leroy) Gingrich acquitted himself of the charges of misconduct in regard to consulting for Freddie Mac.  He was, in fact, a private citizen at the time and free to do as he pleased and make as much money as he pleased.

During his term as Speaker of the House, 84 ethics charges were filed against Speaker Gingrich, mostly dealing with finances.  The House Ethics Committee sanctioned him, by a 395-28 vote, with a 300,000 fine, the first time in history a speaker was disciplined for ethical wrongdoing.
Gingrich acknowledged in January 1997 that “In my name and over my signature, inaccurate, incomplete and unreliable statements were given to the committee.”  Most of the charges were dropped, in one case because there was no evidence that Gingrich was still violating, as of the time of the investigation, the rule that he was found to have violated in the past.  The one charge not dropped was a charge claiming tax-exempt status for a college course run for political purposes. In addition, the House Ethics Committee concluded that inaccurate information supplied to investigators represented “intentional or ... reckless” disregard of House rules.

Special Counsel James M. Cole concluded that Gingrich violated federal tax law and had lied to the ethics panel in an effort to force the committee to dismiss the complaint against him. The full committee panel did not agree whether tax law had been violated and left that issue up to the IRS. In 1999, the IRS cleared the organizations connected with the “Renewing American Civilization” courses under investigation for possible tax violations.

One can’t help wondering whether the GOP machine might be behind the challenge to Gingrich’s presidential run.  In the summer of 1997, several House Republicans attempted to replace him as Speaker, claiming Gingrich's public image was a liability. The attempted “coup” was led by conference chairman John Boehner, the current Speaker of the House and Republican leadership chairman Bill Paxon of New York.  According to their plan, then-House Majority Leader Dick Armey, House Majority Whip Tom DeLay,  Boehner and Paxon were to present Gingrich with an ultimatum: resign, or be voted out. However, Armey balked at the proposal to make Paxon the new Speaker, and told his chief of staff to warn Gingrich about the attempted coup.

On July 11, Gingrich met with senior Republican leadership to assess the situation. He explained that under no circumstance would he step down.  If he was voted out, there would be a new election for Speaker, which would allow for the possibility that Democrats—along with dissenting Republicans—would vote in Dick Gephardt as Speaker. On July 16, Paxon offered to resign his post, feeling that he had not handled the situation correctly, as the only member of the leadership who had been appointed to his position - by Gingrich - instead of being elected.

Gingrich’s “Contract with America” was historic, addressing issues such as welfare reform, term limits, tougher crime laws, and a balanced budget law to more specialized legislation such as restrictions on American military participation in United Nations missions, and a cut in the Capital Gains Tax.  He and Congress delivered on the 100-day promise, as scheduled.  Gingrich went toe-to-toe with former Pres. Clinton, even holding out on a government shut down – and won.  He was a tough fighter.  That’s why so many Conservatives remember him. 
We’re glad to learn that he was not a “crook.”  But the fact still remains that he openly supports government-subsidized housing, and climate change (even though during his tenure as Speaker of the House, he opposed Clinton’s environmental agenda and has gone on record as saying he would close the EPA).  Gingrich had switched from teaching history at West Georgica College to teaching geography and was instrumental in establishing an interdisciplinary environmental studies program at the school.

Gingrich would give Obama a run for his money.  He would go on the attack against Obama’s policies, at least those he doesn’t himself support, and not back down.  He’s a tough negotiator.  But then, so is Rudy Giuliani.  Fiscally, Gingrich would be our man.  On other issues, such as illegal immigration, he’s too soft.  His involvement with Freddie Mac, though it was perfectly legitimate – he broke no laws – is still of enormous concern to Tea Partiers.  Subsidizing housing on the backs of taxpayers would enlarge the government whose size he says he wants to reduce.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the original Community Reinvestment Act legislation of the Carter years are what brought us to the brink of and over the chasm of economic calamity.

He admits he would cross the aisle – just as every other moderate has done.  Although, when he crossed the aisle, he  delivered a credible number of political bruises before getting what he wanted.  Seeing some obviously moderate Republican, aisle-crosser names among his chief opponents in the GOP rehabilitates his image somewhat.  One of the reasons the GOP bounced him out of the House was they were afraid his image was scaring off Republican voters.

Actually, it was the Media, not Newt, that did that.  Does anyone in the average American corner give a hoot – or a newt – whether he uses too many “I’s” in his sentences?  We just want whatever candidate is out there to support our agenda and get the job done.  He can plume himself with all the laurel wreathes he likes.  The current White House has a surplus of them.

What we won’t let him – or any other candidate – do again is campaign on the Conservative platform – and then chop it up and use it for alternative fuel or subsidized housing.

Bailing Out New Jersey's Cities

The Transitional Aid Bill passed the N.J. Senate by a count of 35-4. 12 of the 16 Republicans supported sending more tax dollars to the cities at the expense of suburban taxpayers.  Effectually, it means the suburbs are bailing out New Jersey’s cities – once again.

Gov. Chris Christie has been battling with the Legislature over this bill for over six months.  Using a line item veto in June, the governor striped money from the Democrats’ budget, leaving just $10 million.  The revived measure restores $139 million in aid to the state budget that Christie had removed earlier.  Christine insisted on $1.5 million for oversight of the funds before he would sign the measure to allow the aid.

The Assembly passed the measure last week.  However, the Senate rewrote some language before approving it 35-5 on Thursday.  The Assembly passed it 53-16.  Neither chamber even bothered to debate the measure.  Christine “guaranteed” his signature, giving a nod to the Legislature’s “recognition that much-needed aid for our urban cities must go hand-in-hand with common sense and permanent oversight.”

The governor took objection to Democrats removing a clause that designated 1 percent of the total for oversight of the cities, and he refused to sign any bill restoring the aid without it.  For their part, Democrats insisted that every cent should go directly to the cities, rather than for “bureaucratic” supervision.  In the proposal that passed Thursday, Democrats got around Christie’s requirement by adding $1.5 million to the bill — on top of the original $139 million — for the supervision

Now the legislation is headed to the governor’s office.  The money, called transitional aid, is intended to help cities in fiscal distress. The oversight, which began when Christie took office, gives the state Department of Community Affairs power over hiring and firing, and requires city officials to confer with the department over how best to spend the money.

The aid will be distributed to eleven cities:  Camden, $61.4 million; Trenton, $22 million; Paterson, $21 million. Union City, Asbury Park, Lawnside, Chesilhurst, Harrison, Maurice River, Penns Grove, and Prospect Park will share the rest.
Governor Christie wants an amendment to the $140.5M Transitional Aid bill. He needs to hear from us on this.  Let him know taxpayers can't afford to see tens of millions more wasted to bail out Newark, Camden and other urban areas. It's time for these cities to stand on their own two feet without suburban and rural taxpayers subsidizing them. Ask him to veto this bill in any form it may take.   The telephone number for the governor’s office is 609-292-6000.

Passing this bill will make New Jersey’s suburbs much like Germany to the southern European Union countries – Greece, Spain, Italy.  They can’t continue to be expected to bail out these fiscally mis-managed, socialist countries.  Neither can New Jersey’s suburbs.  The last thing New Jersey needs is to squander hundreds of millions more of our tax dollars in poorly-run cities like Newark and Camden.  But that’s exactly what the state Legislature proposes to do with this bill that would send a whopping $140.5 million in so-called Transitional Aid to these urban centers of waste and corruption.  Gov. Christie has done his best to at least make sure the money isn’t mismanaged.  The N.J. Senate, in gratitude for his willingness to “compromise” was tack on another 1.5 million to the bill.

Last night, Glenn Beck hailed Walt Disney for promoting centralized, family-oriented communities, with town squares.  Walt Disney was a great man and a great conservative.  The Great Society of Lyndon Johnson destroyed any prospect for centralized communities.  The people who moved from New York City to New Jersey’s suburbs came here to get away from the crime, the bureaucracy, and the high taxes the centralized plan of Socialism created.  Those parents of the late Fifties and Sixties – my own and my former sister-in-law’s included  - wanted those isolated cul-de-sacs and far-flung developments up very long, winding roads to avoid the crime and the violence they’d left in the cities.

When my mother was growing up in the Lake Edenwald section of the Bronx, New York, in the 1930s (the Great Depression), Lake Edenwald had exactly the community spirit Disney would later envision.  Every morning, the housewives would come out and sweep not just their sections of the sidewalk but the street as well, right up to the center of the road.  There they’d gather together and gossip for awhile, then sweep up the dustings and go back home to their housework.

They kept an eye out for each other’s children, as well.  Not just to make sure they were safe, but to make sure they obeyed all the rules.  If a child dropped a candy wrapper in the street, their mother got the news before they got through the front door, and the child was sent back to retrieve their garbage. 

The increasing litigiousness of American society, as well as the inbred suspicions of the former city dwellers, made them more cautious about getting involved even with their near neighbors.  As the generations came and went, that phobia wore off.  Still, there is a tendency towards nosiness and bossiness amongst neighbors.  That’s why people prefer to have their own property.  Whether or not the Constitution grants Americans a right to privacy, privacy is something they cherish all the same.

This is far off the track of Transitional Aid to urban blight cities in New Jersey.  Suburbanites want to be good neighbors.  That doesn’t mean they want to or should be the keepers of irresponsible neighbors.  Even in great-grandma’s day, good Americans knew redistribution of wealth when they saw it in the form of lazy, shiftless people or corrupt politicians.  Gov. Christie was more than generous in agreeing to sign the bill; our Democrat State Senate – with the whole-hearted consent of our Republican representatives – took advantage of his offer.

Those cities mismanaged their own money.  They should rise and fall by their own efforts.  The residents may suffer, but then, they elected these people.  If they complain of ignorance, one could wonder whether they should forfeit the right to vote.  They’re smart enough, though, to vote our money into their pockets.

Don’t do it, Gov. Christie.  You’re a good, decent man, with honorable intentions.  But don’t sign that bill.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bad News About Newt

We must take a break from our holiday frivolity to talk about The Newt who’s stealing Christmas.  The Conservative pundits are having conniption fits – everyone from the leader, Glenn Beck to Ann Coulter and the more collected Charles Krauthammer – over the notion that the Tea Partiers are favoring Newt Gingrich over Mitt Romney.

Give us break, will you, and stop yelling at us.  You pundits are in the news business.  We’re just the average schlubbs trying to get whatever Conservative messages are out there to the huddled masses sitting out there with their hands over their eyes, ears, and mouths.  See no politics, hear no politics, speak no politics.

We get the message about Newt, and obviously he’s not a good choice at all.  Back in the day, when he was Speaker of the House, the main complaint about him seemed to be about his collecting speech fees.  The average American really didn’t know what the big deal about that was.  As a matter of fact, he claimed to be promoting America, which was quite all right with us.

The problem us, not many of us attended those speeches or heard what they were really about.  We didn’t know he was touting FDR (over and over again) as a great president.  Where we likely to hear about it?  The Internet was still in its infancy.  Fox News wasn’t born yet.  Glenn Beck was wherever he was.  We certainly wouldn’t have learned about his involvement in Freddie Mac from the press, since the last thing they wanted to do was advertise this scam.  All they were willing to hang on him was the speaking fees.

Remember, this was circa 1994.  But even then, Conservatives were skeptical about Republicans.  Ronald Reagan was wonderful;  George H.W. Bush, not so much.  Compared to Pres. Clinton, Gingrich did seem like our George Washington at the time.  When the Republicans bounced him after only two years, we were more suspicious of what we suspected were Liberal Republicans than perfidy in Gingrich.  We did what we always did.  Shrugged helplessly and turned away, burying our heads in the sand.

We’re a little wiser now.  The Southern New Hampshire 9/12 Project has published an excellent comparison of the 2012 Republican Primary Contenders.  Compiled by Ken Eyring, co-organizer of the project, the study lists all the major issues and where the candidates (in alpha order, Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich, Huntsman, Paul, Perry, Romney and Santorum) stand on them.

Since Gingrich and Romney are the current front runners, we’ll borrow from Mr. Eyring’s work and give you a sample of where they stand on a few issues of import to the Tea Party:

                                                                                    Gingrich                      Romney

Supports 2nd Amendment (the right to bear arms)                         Yes                                          No
Repeal the Patriot Act                                                                           No                                            No
Opposed to subjecting U.S. to International Laws                           Yes                                         Yes
Supports State’s Right                                                                           Yes                                      Yes/No
Will appoint only Conservative judges                                              Yes                                          No
Close Dept of Education                                                                       No                                            No
Close the EPA                                                                                        Yes                                           No
Reduce regulations on business                                                        Yes                                         No
Supported TARP                                                                                 Yes/No                                   Yes
Supported STIMULUS                                                                       No                                           Yes
Supports Cap & Trade                                                                       Yes                                         Yes
Oppose bank bail-outs                                                                       Yes/No/Maybe                    Yes/No
Support amnesty for illegal immigrants                                          Yes/No/Sort of                     No/Yes
Deport all illegal immigrants currently in U.S.                                No                                           No/Yes
Support in-state tuition for illegals                                                   Yes                                         No
Repeal/Defund Obamacare                                                              No/Yes                                   Repeal
Believes in man-made, climate change theory                              Yes                                         Yes/No
Anti-Abortion (except in cases of rape, etc.)                                  Yes/But                                 No/supported before 2005
English as National Language                                                          Yes                                         Yes/but ran ads in Sp.‘08
Supports Right to Work Laws                                                           Yes                                         Yes
Oil Drilling in U.S./Alaska                                                   Yes                                         Yes
Concerned about Radical Islam                                                      Yes                                         Yes
Supports UN Agenda 21                                                                    No/Yes                                   Yes
Supports Israel                                                                                     Yes                                         Yes

Eyring’s study backs up all assertions with pages of footnotes.  At the end, there is also a list of problems particular to each candidate.  They’re both decidedly un-conservative on TARP, Stimulus, Cap & Trade, and Agenda 21.  Those items alone should have put them out of the Conservative  category and caused them to be stricken from Tea Party lists.  Romney would continue to burden businesses with onerous regulations, Gingrich is a Greenie, and neither of them would close the Department of Education.

On character, Romney is obviously the more decent man.  Gingrich’s acceptance of funds from Freddie Mac should not only remove him from the ballot, but did help to remove him as Speaker of the House, and should have removed him from society in general.  Why isn’t Gingrich in jail?  Clearly, the Conservative pundits are correct when they say we can’t nominate this man as a candidate for president.

That leaves us with Romney and a pack whose credentials are poor in one way or another.  Ron Paul is an isolationist who would remove all our military bases around the world, basically making trade with other nation’s impossible in today’s violent climate.  We wouldn’t have Huntsman if you gave him to us, buddy of Obama’s that he is.  The fact that he and Romney are Mormons have nothing to do with whether Tea Partiers favor them or not.  Anyone who thinks so is confusing the average Tea Partier with fringe elements who have nothing better to do all day than troll websites and blogsites with their nonsense.

Bachmann and Santorum sound great, but their newbies.  Santorum was a  U.S. Senator at one point, at least.  Good enough for government work.  But why did he drop out?  Was it lack of funds and support from the GOP, or does he have skeletons in his closet, like the rest of them?  If someone has the information, it would be nice to know before you pundits start chewing our heads off.

Once again, we’re faced with a situation of the lesser of two evils, just as in 2008.   What do you pundits want from the Tea Party.  These candidates are who they are.  Those items you see above are what we want, in addition to a good character (which at least Romney has), from our presidential candidate.  If they can’t meet these criteria, what’s the point in even going out to vote?  We want what we want.  If someone can put up a reasonable candidate who supports our agenda, we’ll vote for them. 

We will listen, if you have information.  Otherwise, don’t yell at us, and don’t tell us we have to hold our noses.  If you think you’re all the smartest guys in the room, then prove it.  Do tell us why we should vote for someone who isn’t going to uphold America’s values.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Maria Augusta Albers-van der Laan - A Tribute to a Courageous Woman

Although it was Gen. Montgomery who liberated Holland, our good friend Marie Albers told us that when the Americans came through Laandgraaf, the Hollanders cheered the American soldiers on.

“Jah, God Bless America!” she beamed. “We loved the Americans!”

Marie Albers, born in Brunssum, Holland on 16 December 1923, was a courier with the Dutch underground during World War II. What’s more, her mother and father took two Jews into hiding. Mia, as she was known to her family and Hollander friends, would often ride her bicycle on errands, delivering messages and gathering food for the Jews.

Mercifully, the van der Laans never suffered the fate of many other families who took the risky step of harboring Jews from the Nazis. Mr. van der Laan built a hiding place in the chimney of the house. Inside, he built a bench for the Jews, a young boy and a dentist, to hide during searches and raids. The brick chimney was seamlessly hinged. During safe periods, the man and boy could walk about the house in slippers, being careful to avoid windows.

One day while riding her bike, Mia encountered an American tank convoy. They were headed straight for the barrel of the German Panzer guns. Mia stopped them. She and the butcher’s son told the troops there was another route that would bring the Americans up behind the Panzer tanks. The troops took Mia and the boy up into the lead tank to show them the way. When the Americans saw the way clear, they dropped Mia and the butcher’s son off and told them to get home and went on to blow away the Panzer division.

The Jewish dentist was wealthy and married to a Christian wife. The Nazis took over their manor house, but allowed the wife to live in the gardener’s cottage. Knowing the Nazis were coming, she buried all their gold, silver and other treasures in the garden. With all their wealth planted in the ground, the wife couldn’t leave.

Occasionally, Mia would bring the husband to visit his wife in a covered hay wagon. When the dentist died, long after the war, he left a good portion of his treasure to the van der Laans for their courage and kindness.

Mia went to college to study to be a nurse. She was spirited and unafraid of the Nazis, even when a particular Nazi, boarding a bus and spotting her watch, ripped right off her wrist. She made contact with the Dutch Underground Resistance. They provided her with a very special handbag that was actually a radio set. She would take her pocketbook out into the fields at night, open up the radio and signal the Nazi positions to the Allies. Even as she was packing up, she’d hear the inevitable drone of the American bombers.

Mrs. van der Laan was non-plussed by the bombings. Her family urged her to go to the shelter. People would talk and become suspicious. Mrs. van der Laan was firm, though. “I will not leave my Jews,” she insisted. “Whatever happens to them, happens to me.”

The Nazis caught on to Mia and her magic pocketbook but never caught her. She had a death sentence on her head and had to live in the Nursing School dormitory under an assumed name. The Nazis interrogated her mother, who insisted that Mia was dead; that she was killed in one of the bombings.

Mia married a Dutch soldier who also had a penchant for hiding in gardens – Queen Wilhelmina’s gardens, no less. After the war, they married and moved to America where he took a job as an engineer with DuPont. Marie, as she called herself here, tended her house and garden. The Albers never had children.

Marie was jolly and good-humored. She was quite a tall, stout woman who frequently slapped us on the back and sent us reeling. She had a wonderful, Mrs. Santa Clause laugh. If ever two people could have posed as Santa and Mrs. Santa, it was the Albers. They would entertain us with their singing, a hobby common in the European countries in the early 20th Century. Their singing was so charming.

They moved to our town in 1960, lured by the inexpensive housing. Marie dolled up her house in Dutch-style, the house a sky blue with yellow shutters and a windmill collection in the window. What they hadn’t realized was they’d moved into a German enclave neighborhood with American Nazi tendencies. They brought a holocaust survivor to a neighborhood party, where a dispute broke out over the survivor’s account. The Albers and their guest left in a huff, and we left right behind him.

Jack Albers retired in the early 1990s and in 1994, they returned to Holland. My mother saw her good friend once on a trip to Holland not too long after. The remainder of their years of friendship was spent in correspondence. In the last year or two, we didn’t hear much from Marie. It seems she was suffering from some wasting disease – probably cancer – and didn’t correspond much after that. She wrote one last letter that my mother neglected to answer until it was too late. She died on Dec. 5, 2012 at the age of 87, about two weeks shy of her 88th birthday.

A Hollander friend (Marie insisted that they didn’t not like to go by the name of Dutch, which simply meant Deutsch, or German. “We are Hollanders, not Germans,” she told us) translated the funeral notice Mom received from Marie’s brother-in-law informing us of the date of her death and her cremation. Maria (my friend) says that funerals in Holland are different. The deceased is kept in a back room. You can ask permission to see the casket privately, but the casket isn’t the centerpiece of the main room, where the family receives visitors. Even the envelope the notice came in is special. The Holland post office has special envelopes for obituary notices with a black stripe. The stripe notifies the post office that the notice should be given special priority.

We will miss Marie’s hearty, booming laugh, her accent, and her whole cheerful demeanor. We were privileged to know this courageous woman willing to put her young (at the time) life on the line for the cause of freedom. How many people can say they personally knew a Dutch Underground Resistance Fighter.

Rest in peace, Marie.

Christmas List 2011 - A Printing Press

Dear Santa, the next item on my 2011 Christmas Wish List is a printing press.  Right now, we’re doing great with blogs and Facebook pages on the Internet.  Even now, however, Congress is battling over an Internet bill, one that could very well restrict who may and may not post a blog.  The rules may even be amended to allowing censorship of what’s written in the blogs.

The Progressives are busy with their Agenda 21, making certain no one will have power to do anything or go anywhere without their express consent.  This green energy they’re promoting, on the basis of false climate change data, may affect communications as we’ve come to know it, as well as the health of senior citizens and the infirm. They even want to restrict the use of air conditioning.  Don’t laugh; there are already restrictions on our shower heads, you know.  The plumber who came to remodel my bathroom said that you can only have one kind of showerhead now.

If they can legislate showerheads and light bulbs, the simplest of things, what’s to stop them from going for bigger items, like air conditioners, copy machines, and computers?  Of course, Brother B. loves this.  He got a big promotion for greening his office building.  I’m glad he got the raise; he’s a hard-worker and deserves it.  Little do they know, though, that Big Brother doesn’t care an ice cube about saving the planet.  He’s all into saving another kind of green – money.  Money – that’s all he knows or cares about it and that’s why his company pays him the Big Bucks.  Good for him.

I, on the other hand, am more concerned about saving the country, something else Big Brother isn’t particularly worried about – at least until it comes time to pay his quarterly taxes.  The Progressives have learned their lesson from the Hitler years and the Bolshevik revolution.  They won’t burn books; they’ll recycle them to make more paper for their bureaucracy.  They won’t throw Mom and the supervisor’s father out of their houses; they’ll ruin the housing market – wait, the government has already done that – so that their properties are devalued, then offer them a great buy-out deal.  At 87, Mom can’t wait forever for the housing market to change and her will directs that the house must be sold and the proceeds split between us children.

Aw, poor suburbanities!  Let Uncle Sam and Uncle Obama help you out there and take that nasty old house off your hands for you.

In a bad economy, we’re told, there’s no change to spare for the local libraries.  Close ‘em down!  Let ‘em read e-books, instead.  At least until the EPA catches up with the electronics industry and shuts them down for wasting electricity.  Then there’ll be no books, no computers, no internet, and no way to find out what’s going on except through the government-controlled media. Think it’s far-fetched?  Have you bought your supply of fluorescent lightbulbs yet?

The only way we’ll be able to reproduce important works like Madame Chiang Kai-Shek’s China Will Rise Again, Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nation’s, or Rush Limbaugh’s See, I Told You So is to reprint them ourselves.  Not that we want to infringe on any copyright laws.  We’re talking major social decline here, back to the Stone Age stuff.  Benjamin Franklin was in the business of reproducing books.  That’s what I’d like to do, Santa, in the event of the kind of major social upheaval we believe the Progressives are plotting.  What do you think the world is coming to, when Time Magazine names The Occupy Wall Street protesters Persons of the Year?  They put the filth of the year on their cover but my boss still thinks I’m crazy.

We’ve got to stop letting them get us up against the ropes like this.  We should be delivering a counterpunch.  We’ve got to start dismantling their machine, instead.  I want to be like Victor Lazlow in Casablanca, printing out underground newspapers and circulars for the Underground Resistance during World War II.  These thugs are using the very same tactics they used and the Nazis used during the war.  Rioting, looting, burning, beating people and killing those who oppose them.

I want to be ready when they shut us down officially, Santa.  A nice little printing press would do the job.  Or at least a copy machine, until they turn off the electricity.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas List 2011 - A Lump of Coal for Agenda 21's Smart Communities Plan

Dear Santa Claus, It looks like the government is trying to take over your job.  Want to know what New Jerseyans are getting in their stockings this Christmas, thanks to the Democrat-controlled N.J. legislature, former Gov. Corzine, and even our future presidential hopeful Gov. Chris Christie and his Lieutenant-Governor Kim Guadagno?  I’ll give you a hint:  it’s got “Progressive” rubber-stamped all over.

I’ve met the Lieutenant-Governor and listened to a speech she gave.  I’d hardly stamp her as a Liberal.  She’s no Democrat-pal.  The Media certainly didn’t love her when they anticipated her arrival.  She came late and the reporters left the event early.  But she may be a Progressive, all the same.

Here’s what’s in the Agenda 21 Stocking:  the bogus reports of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the university/universal science community’s man-made, climate control, global warming, one-climate-catastrophe-fits-all-scam, and the Endangered Species Act, to re-zone New Jersey and the country and steal property from every area in the United States.  Property rights are one of the most important rights in America.  Through property rights, individuals gain equity in their country.   America is the richest land mass in the world with huge mineral, oil and coal reserves.  Agenda 21 and its communist goal is to replace American law with United Nations law, something presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich favored.

Agenda 21 is the single master plan affecting our lives today as it addresses every aspect of our lives while infringing upon our American freedom. The UN Agenda 21 is the United Nation’s goal for “sustainable development”.   The Race to the Top educational program promotes this agenda in the schools.  While focusing on helping the environment, this message is clear. In order to complete its goals, the American middle class must be disenfranchised.  Humans are considered the enemy of the planet.  Destroying property rights will destroy individual rights.  The US Constitution will literally become history, along with the American way of life.

In its place will be: social justice for the good of the collective, herding Americans into sustainable communities with strict government controls over every daily function.  Although the Senate never ratified it, the Agenda 21 Treaty is U.S. taxpayer funded and is in force destroying America.  Agenda 21 is being implemented in every town, community and school.  What’s more it’s unconstitutional.

But let’s just examine how bad Agenda 21 is, New Jersey-style, Santa Dear.  The New Jersey State Planning Commission issued a proposed final draft of the “State Strategic Plan:  New Jersey’s State Development & Redevelopment Plan” on Oct. 11, 2011.

The Tea Party asked me to write about this piece of bureaucratic balderdash and write about it in my blog.  They asked me for a “timely” response.  With a government document, there’s no such thing as “timely”, however.  And we’re just talking about the main document, to say nothing of the supporting documents, such as the Recommendations from the Governor’s Institute for Community Design.  That should be a doozy.

Gov. Christie, recognizing that businesses (including my own company) have fled New Jersey as though the Black Plague had broken out, proposes entirely redeveloping the state along transit hub lines and herding the masses grazing in the far stretches of sprawling suburbia back towards the cities whose crime, high housing costs, and high taxes they fled.

I must own, Santa, that most mass-transit commuters in the far northern and western counties absolutely hate their long commutes into New York City.  Still, that’s where the jobs for educated (too-educated) people are.  Travelling to Newark, Jersey City, and Elizabeth, being so close to New York as they are, isn’t much better.  On the whole, Manhattan, while it’s expensive, is at least safer (at least in Midtown).

Still, the NJSPC has this notion of refurbishing cities like Newark and Camden in the south and drawing back the working-class taxpayers back to the cities and first-ring suburbs and the companies to employ them.  The state hopes to enlist the help of colleges and universities to keep sharp the minds and skills of the workforce.  Finally, the state wants to reclaim and preserve New Jersey’s open spaces.

It’s hard to argue with the concept of suburban blight.  Empty strip malls.  Abandoned townhouse and housing developments.  Flooded homes, both of the financial and Mother Nature variety.  Traffic congestion everywhere.  Rt. 287 is a blessing of a highway – until an accident happens or the Rockaway River overflows its banks.  Unless you’re a long-time local and know all the roads between Mahwah and Morristown, you can get around it.  If you’re just passing through, bring a book.

Who do we have to thank for the blight?  Ourselves, in part.  The largest blame, however, goes straight to good ol’ Uncle Sam himself.  The Fed is a law unto itself, lower the interest rates which made the big McMansions attractive – and expensive.  Meanwhile, the lower interest rates devastating our savings accounts.  Bank of America had the nerve to charge me for servicing my savings account.

So here comes the State Development and Redevelopment Plan to save the day and the state.  The document is full of three and four-syllable words and phrases:  “sustainable economic growth”; “paradigm” (one of my favorites from here in public relations); “transition”.  The Plan discusses incorporating “administrative actions, legislative and regulatory reforms, and public investment prioritization.”  Endless pages of this stuff.

It talks happily of the preservation of “critical natural, agricultural, scenic, recreation, and historic resources” and then lowers the Big Government boom:  “tactical alignment of government,” enabling “effective resource allocation, coordination, cooperation and communication among those who play a role in meeting the mission of this Plan.”  Yes, the word “Plan” has a capital “P.”   This, by the way, leave us, the taxpayers, out.

It talks about “predictability.”  “The path and the answers offered by one Department/Agency will not conflict with those of another.”  You vill obey!!  “The State…will place value on the economic, social and environmental benefits of investing in areas where infrastructure already exists in an effort to control long-term costs of public services, reinvigorate existing communities, and protect important natural resources.”  There’s that “control” word, not for the last time.  The state will also “work with the private sector, higher education and all levels of government to ensure that State assets are leveraged in strategic locations.”  During our company’s “transition,” I typed that word so many times for our “transition” that it’s one of those automatic words now.

“Implementation will be driven from the Executive Branch through a cabinet-level Steering Committee.  Effective coordination will result from horizontal and vertical integration that breaks down silos, provides cross-cutting engagement, and leverages public and private resources for strategic alignment of policies, people and dollars.”  Isn’t that a mouthful?

What that tangle of enormous words means is that all orders will come from the top, as in the military.  Department supervisors will be tasked with checking one another, much as the person on the right side of a band makes sure everyone is in line with him while the drum major keeps everyone lined up front to back.  “Engagement” means all bureaucrats must drink the kool-aid if they want to keep their tax-payer paid job.  “Leveraged.”  Oh, another of my favorite “transition” words.  If I never have to type that word again.  What it means, basically, is if you have enough money, you can get away with anything.  Somewhere in this muddle of words they also talk about "breaking down silos."  That's something we heard here at work a lot.  In short, it means, "don't even think about thinking for yourself or taking any initiative."

The Plan goes on to talk about improving New Jersey’s “competitive position” to address “21st century trends and market realities”.  The state plans to “balance” economic prosperity, physical development, resource conservation and quality of life “in a way that it can transcend (‘survive’) future changing dynamics.”  Well, we haven’t done a very good job of it so far.  Productive residents are fleeing the state; our students refuse to go to school here.  We don’t have enough of a working population anymore.  Yet, this committee feels that New Jersey will “chart a new course” to remaining competitive in the new global economy.

While they admit that “New Jersey struggles with high costs and unpredictability for development even in ‘smart’ locations (I live in one), creating higher financial and risk barriers, it’s policies for physical and economic growth have contributed to limiting options for existing businesses and residents to stay here and prosper.  This paradigm is not sustainable and requires a new, strategic approach to planning for the State’s.”  There’s that miserable, overused word “paradigm” again.  All it really means is “example” or “model.”  In this “paradigm,” it’s a social engineering word and one we should read with great alarm and dismay.  It’s a word one uses when one is tinkering with something that doesn’t need to be tinkered with, or is being tinkered with by someone who shouldn’t be tinkering, like the government.  It’s a Greek word and the social engineers hope it sounds Greek to you.

Just in case the bureaucrats – and the taxpayers – didn’t get the message about who’s in charge, The Plan reiterates again that its “coordinated and integrated approach” means “horizontal integration among State Departments and Agencies that regulate and influence land uses and provide incentives for development, land preservation, and infrastructure.  The leadership to effectuate this change must and will come from the Executive Branch.”  No legislation, no representation.  Later on in the document, they promise that taxpaying residents will be seen and heard, but probably not listened to.

The government is no longer content to manage growth but to implement actual, physical change.  Yet on the very next page, The Planner insist their plan is not a “top-down approach to force compliance with a statewide land-use plan,” “an additional layer of bureaucracy” (that’s where the “leveraging” comes in), or a substitute for local and/or regional comprehensive plans, nor will it take away local and/or planning and zoning authority.”  Reading this “plan” reminded me of the scene in Tora, Tora, Tora!, where the Army generals were ordered not to engage in a first-strike against the Japanese.  The assistant said the memo sounded like double-talk.

The next several pages are all about the wonders of New Jersey, with its “talented and well-educated workforce” which is at the moment, unemployed and preparing to leave the state, in the case of my company.  I’m not going, but many others are following their company jobs out-of-state.  I remember writing such a paper in the 5th grade and getting a C for writing a travelogue instead of a report about the 50 states.

In case you’re wondering, The Plan predates Gov. Christie by several years.  “This process began in 2004.  The Planners weep about how they had to overcome so many obstacles, such as competing public interests who were not interested in environmental protection or affordable housing.    “The true magnitude of the pending economic crisis, housing issues, and budget constraints were either not full known or underestimated by policy makers at that time.”

Now we come to organizational names.  This Plan comes to us courtesy of the Center for Urban Policy Research at Rutgers University, the Environmental Protection Agency, and NJ Transit.

“Two growth scenarios were compared:

TREND (bad  L ) – a continuation of current development traditions under “sprawl” conditions (their quote marks not mine)

PLAN (good  J ) – implementation of the physical development strategies and policies that capitalized on existing infrastructures in areas ripe for development and redevelopment.   Populations in urban communities would rise compared to TREND (bad) development patterns.  Jobs and income in New Jersey’s cities, inner suburbs and rural towns would increase.

The study was based on the State Plan Policy map, “which was not intended to be a regulatory tool.”  Still, the analysis is relevant, the Planners tell us, “because the physical development patterns assumed under the PLAN (good) scenario remain the same intended outcomes of this Plan.”  What a coincidence!

Well, I shall not tax you readers with any more of their bureaucratic languages.  It’s just more of the same old “cross acceptance,” “sustainable growth,”  “consistent messages” (say the same lie over and over and people will begin to believe it), “planning areas” and “centers”.

The Plan depends on certain industry clusters for this “sustainable economic growth”:  Big Pharmaceutical, Transportation, Finance, Advanced Manufacturing, Technology, and Health Care.  You’ll notice that all of these are either wholly dependent upon the government (Transportation and Health Care), have government as their customers, or soon will have (Big Pharma, Finance, and Health), and/or are union organized (Transportation, Manufacturing and Health Care).  Technology requires advanced degrees, which will help support those universities and colleges, mostly government-run, with which the government is so eager to partner with.

Since this is a Rutgers University/EPA Plan, Green Tech had to figure in this, and it does, on page 23, complete with all the unsustainable technologies they’re going to need the guys in the propeller beanies to justify spending taxpayer money on.

I’ve saved the best for last.  The planned community, transit-hubs.  Somehow, the state intends to “incentivize” homeowners and future residents to give up their suburban sprawl houses and move to apartments and condos in cities and first-ring suburbs.  That’s a lot of people to crowd into only a few areas.  The state wants us to consider taking mass transit, bicycling, or even walking to work.  I’ll wait for you to get up from the floor where you’re rolling around laughing at the last two.

Gov. Christie should try walking or bicycling up Waughaw Mountain on Route 287 on a wintry day.  He’s so fit and tan from wherever he vacations, it must be so sunny there, especially in the winter that he doesn’t realize what January in Jersey is really like.  But that’s why he wants us to move closer to our jobs, so we won’t have to drive up and down that roller coaster of a highway.

The Plan insists that young people are interested in urban living.  Yes, those just out of college, still used to the campus life, would be.  Urban living isn’t so great when you factor in crime, higher food prices, and the difficulty of escaping your environment when you don’t have a car.  Some people have no problem with that.  They know how to play the mass transit game.

Mass transit carries inherent problems, though.  The unionized labor, for one thing.  Mass transit becomes ridiculously expensive when you add in the labor costs.  If they go on strike, that means you’re not going anywhere.  Inevitably, your taxes as well as your fares go up in order to subsidize them.  The government also has a tendency to run out of money.  When they do, which is often, they tend to cut down hours, and even lines, stranding the riders.  Not enough people commute within New Jersey to make mass transit “sustainable” so they have to find a way to corral us into using it for something other than the trek to New York.

For commuting to New York City, mass transit really is the way to go.  I would never drive there myself on a daily basis and didn’t when I worked in the city.  NJ Transit has created very convenient transit hubs where commuters have big lots in which to park and then get on the train.  They’ve made excellent use of the useless flood plains in Wayne for this purpose.

Mass transit within New Jersey, though, especially Northern New Jersey is problematic.  Everyone (meaning residents) thinks a train line running from up around Oakland through Butler, Riverdale and Pompton Lakes and to points east would be great.  A conservative friend was even working on a petition for it about ten years ago.  The tracks are still there.  Only why did they tear up the tracks leading south through Riverdale, Pompton Plains and Pequannock?  They don’t need to sell us on the merits of mass transit to New York City.  Build it and we will ride, especially if you lower the fares.

However, just what kind of mass transit do they figure on through New Jersey’s rolling hills?  Do they plan on tunneling through the hills or do they plan on running more buses?  Do you know why residents don’t want local mass transit?  Because they don’t want the problems that ride up on the buses from the inner cities.

Willowbrook Mall in Wayne is one of those transit “hubs”.  It’s been a hub of crime since it was built.  Women don’t dare shop in that mall at night.  As a woman, not for the life of me would I park my car there and ride to the city or anyplace else.  I’m not sure I’d take my car down even to the Wayne Extension.  Big parking lots are big problems for women and night comes pretty quickly in the winter.

Those young people Rutgers University dangles before us won’t stay in those cities once they have kids.  City life doesn’t look so great when you have to walk your kids to school to keep the drug dealers and other lowlife from preying on them.  It’s not that it can’t happen in the suburbs (it certainly can and does).  But somehow, putting the kiddies on that school bus or piling them in the minivan is a better option.

Suburbanites also like their stuff.  The closer they are to the city, the greater the likelihood that they’ll be robbed.   Cars can be robbed from the suburbs, too.  Just about every morning, I see one flying down Rt. 287.  Saw one with New York plates this morning.  You can tell because they weave in and out of the traffic.  That’s why the choose the rush hour, because it’s harder for the cops to chase them and the hours between 7 and 8 are the shift change.

Don’t mistake the common suburbanite.  They’d still be willing to live closer to the city.  Only the richest homeowners will beat them to the property every time.  The average worker can’t get closer to the city pricewise than say, Lincoln Park, which is in a flood plain.  Bergen County is one of the wealthiest counties in the country.  Any nearer and you can also count on being robbed because in between the outer suburbs and New York City are Paterson, Passaic, and Hackensack, to name just a few.  Clifton is one of the few suburbanite havens for the lower middle class, but being on the Paterson border, they know they have to be careful.

That’s we live in the suburbs.  But probably not for long.  Gov. Christie has vowed to protect the Highlands.  The Highlands Commission is a signatory to the Plan.  Yet, for all their avowed concern for their environment and watershed land, they’re not too concerned to prevent development in the hills of West Milford, Ringwood and Wanaque.  They’re all situated around the Wanaque Reservoir and they’re all slated for development.  There’s already too much development in Haskell and Wanaque.  The houses go right up the side of the Ramapo Mountains (they’re not high but they’re steep) and the governor and his crew want to build not just houses but apartment buildings.

Mom and I were riding along Ringwood Avenue on Sunday to go to Ringwood Manor for their Victorian Christmas (if anyone is interested in seeing an antique book collection, as well as antique rifles and muskets, Ringwood Manor has a great collections).  As we drove through Haskell, she waved her hand and said, prophetically, “Very soon, all this is going to be apartment buildings.  You’ll see.  Just like in Yonkers.  All of it.  All these houses will be torn down.”  We sighed and lamented over the deplorable traffic conditions of two-laned Ringwood Avenue, with no room to spare.  The Plan didn’t detail how they’ll prevent people from owning cars, except to keep Ringwood Avenue the same, two-lane road until residents give up their automobiles in frustration.  Might be nice if they built a proper sidewalk from the Hamburg Turnpike up into Haskell so people could actually walk!  The Plan goes on and on about how “healthy” these changes will be.  They even flirt with the notion of a Food Policy Panel.

There are laws my new, old supervisor exclaims.  They can’t kick people out of their houses.  They’re not going to kick his father out of his house in Clifton.  We have laws!  We have a Constitution!  This is all crazy Conservative Conspiracy stuff!  They can’t do this!  It must be a mistake.  This is all because you hate Obama.  At least he nailed Osama!  He’s an idiot otherwise, but at least he did the job in Afghanistan.

Apparently they can and intend to, if we read the language in this State Strategic Plan.  My boss ought to recognize some of the language.  He used such words himself in explaining away our company’s transition plan and how it was all for the good of the company and our customers.  Leverage and strategize.  That’s his title, in fact.  He’s a strategist.  No one but myself thought they’d close this building down, but they are (I had insider info).  Consumers and business drive the economy, he exclaimed further, not the government.  The Tea Partier in him started to come out but then he remembered himself and told me to calm down and not get excited about all this.

I don’t know about getting excited about it, but just as my company emptied out this building slowly, right under the noses of the Media and our own employees, the government could do the same thing.  After all, if all you do, if all you can do or are allowed to do, is sit at your desk and type all day long, you’ll never be the wiser for what’s going on.  Only the occasional photographer wandering around the building (on assignment) will notice that this department disappeared about two years ago or that department vanished two months ago.  Our building is gigantic and you can only appreciate the vast emptiness if you actually walk around.

By the same tack, it takes someone keeping an eye on the Internet to realize that Agenda 21 even exists, listening to Glenn Beck and reading Ann Coulter’s column to know that Newt Gingrich is a Big Government progressive.  You have to go to Tea Party meetings to find out about the DVD called “The Agenda.”  Scary stuff.   But who has time for all that?   At work, you don’t dare breathe a word to your neighbor, not knowing which side of the aisle they vote on.  If they’re on the Left, they’ll report you to Human Resources for harassing them.  We blog in secret and surreptitiously e-mail the reports to fellow Think Alikes.

The Plan is scanty on details.  But clearly, they intend a property redistribution at some point.  Let the homeowner beware of Smart Communities.  It works for me, a single condo owner with no kids; I guarantee, it’s not going to work for you family types and seniors who worked hard to own your own homes.

Santa, leave a great, big, earth-polluting hunk of coal in Agenda 21’s stocking, please!