Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Roots of Agenda 21

John Anthony, business consultant and Agenda 21 expert, in a meeting with the North Jersey Regional Tea Party, summed up Agenda 21 this way:

“It’s a really good environmental plan wrapped up in a really bad social agenda.”

Agenda 21 was so bad, he told us, that even the plan’s public relations experts cautioned the activists not to use the words “Agenda 21” or “United Nations”.  They were warned to give it some other name, like “Smart Growth.”  Any politician uttering the words “Agenda 21” would immediately shot down by the opposition as a whacko nut-nut-job and the pigeons – er, the people – would be scared off.

Agenda 21 is what it is:  the off-shoot of the report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, June 3-14, 1992.  If you were alive back them, you remember.  You should also remember Rush Limbaugh sounding a warning about it.

Pres. George H.W. Bush approved it, but would not sign the pact.  Pres. Bill, however, did.

The Rio declaration harkens back to the Declaration of the United Nations’ Conference on the Human Environment, adopted in Stockholm, Sweden, on June 16, 1972.  The goal of the 1992 agreement was “a new and equitable global partnership through the creation of new levels of cooperation among states [nations], key sectors of societies, and people, working towards international agreements which respect the interests of all and protect the integrity of global environment and developmental systems, recognizing the integral and interdependent nature of Earth, our home.”

The proclamation is followed by 27 principles.  Anthony noted that anyone who opposed clean air and water would be deemed out of their minds.  “It all sounds good, doesn’t it?” he asked the Tea Party group.  And who would disagree?  “Until you read the fine print,” he added.

The U.N. published a book based on the report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, created in 1983, called, “Our Common Future.”  Essentially, the U.N.’s Agenda 21 is “Our Common Future” codified, according to Anthony.

Agenda 21 is all-encompassing for a program that’s supposed to be about saving tree frogs.  The U.N. deals with everything from the International Economy to  Ch. 10, Part 1:  Planetary Management.  Just in case anyone knows of an efficient and quick way of escaping Earth’s gravity and the even more magnetic clutches of the United Nations and its obviously communistic intentions.

From this big, all-encompassing agenda, 21 (meaning the 21st Century) was broken down into infinite, undetectable components.  Anthony says that Agenda 21, under the guise of Smart Growth and other innocuous sobriquets (“Smart” Growth sounds so – smart, doesn’t it?  Sensible?  Logical?  And if you oppose it, what does that make you?), filtered down through every federal agency and into every local town council and planning board.
Clever shills – stakeholders, as Anthony says they call themselves – with an interest in the success of Agenda 21 – excuse moi – Smart Growth – members with a vested interest, such as members of a Public-Private Partnership (think Solyndra) would attend the town meetings and convince the town councils that they were suffering from some serious problem, much like the fictional River City, Iowa, in the musical, “The Music Man.” 

They’d offer up some bogus study based on surveys with small samplings and loaded questions (“Which of these would you prefer to happen to open spaces?  1.  To be protected.  2.  To be acquired (by the federal government).  Anthony pointed out that there’s not much choice.  In shill language, these loaded questions are termed “the visionary process,” giving the subject no choice.

To protect the stakeholders, the U.N. doctrine affords them the right not to have to prove any environmental allegations.  In Dade County, local authorities declared that a residential neighborhood was in a wetlands area.  The residents fought the declaration legally and even enlisted the aid of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who averred that the area was not a wetlands.   Nevertheless, thanks to Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration, the local authorities prevailed.

“Principle 15:  In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach (“because we say so, that’s why”) shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities.  Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.”  The declaration, incidentally, is not only codified, but bears a U.S. copyright from 1999.

An accompanying document, the Global Biodiversity Assessment, under the auspices of the United Nations  Environment Programme, published in 1996, has pronounced many common areas of life to be hazardous to life, including:  ski runs, fish ponds, pastures, golf courses, paved roads, dams, and straightened river beds.  They are also seeking to implement legal representation for plants and animals.  The book declares, also, that private property is “unsustainable.”

The Liberals don’t allow even a garbage dump without a plan.  The U.N.’s two main thrusts are “Growing Smarter”, the urbanization plan for basically removing people from 16 percent of America’s rural lands into urban centers; and “The Wild Lands Project”, in which the government seizes that 16 percent of rural land, allowing no development at all.

Already large property owners are signing away rights to their land without reading the fine print, Anthony states.  For the privilege of living on their land, now owned by the government, they can no longer profit from its sale and pass that profit on to their descendants.

Rural counties and states are beginning to wake up and fight this global bureaucratic monster.  A couple of counties and some Midwestern states have already rescinded their Smart Growth plans, and more community groups are jumping on the land-wagon.  Last night, a citizens group from Copiague, Long Island, attended North Jersey Regional’s meeting to get some pointers on how to fight Smart Growth.
Anthony suggested reading some of the key books, such as “Sustainable America” to see what the social planners are up to.  He recommended not confusing sincere environmentalists with social environmentalists.  The problem, he said, is not that we don’t want clean water, but that we don’t want Big Government telling us how to do it.

He said one of the things town councils need to be aware of are open-space grants.  The contract may good.  On the other hand, it may be filled with socialist lingo that has nothing to do with protecting open spaces.  Citizens groups need to challenge assertions that towns are losing open space.  They need to contact public officials and go to town planning meetings.  Start a Property Rights Council (a job for, say, retired attorneys) to protect citizens from bad zoning laws.  He also suggested going to Did You Know Online to get more information.

Citizens should be aware that the United Nations also engages in environmental doctrination.  Anthony cited passages from a mathematics textbook called “Connected Math,” denouncing mathematics as a creation of human beings, and therefore, suspect.

Happily, the Republican National Committee has approved a resolution that exposes Agenda 21 in all its forms.  Read the fine print of Agenda 21, especially the Rio Conference resolution, and get together with your neighbors.  Fight this movement to place us all in these urban centers, which are nothing more than high-rise communes.  Remember that “commune” is the root word of “Communism.”

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Political Pipeline

What does Obama have in common with the late Osama, besides the alliteration of their names – one letter off (b and s, ironically)?  Osama destroyed energy pipelines, blowing them up, and Obama is destroying energy pipelines by obstructing them.
The White House has said it will reject a proposed 1,700-mile oil pipeline from Canada to Texas, claiming the February deadline set by Congress doesn't allow for proper review of the $7 billion project.
According to Fox News, “For three years, the State Department has been reviewing the initial proposal to run a pipeline from Canada down to Texas through a sensitive Nebraska aquifer -- authority it has because of the transnational path the route takes.  The pipeline had been through several other federal, state and local approvals, but the department backed away from signing off on the plan last year after environmentalists and local lawmakers complained.”
Not surprisingly, in this presidential election year, Obama announced he would deny a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, run by Canadian energy company TransCanada because the Republicans imposed a ‘rushed and arbitrary deadline’ and also connected it to the short-term payroll tax cut extension.  The Republicans wanted a longer extension but the Democrats, not the Republicans stymied passage of the bill, and the Republicans settled for the shorter extension as long as the Keystone Pipeline permit was included.
Now the Democrats have gotten away with the shorter payroll tax cut extension and they’ve politically imploded a key energy pipeline that would have delivered energy independence, to say nothing of cheaper oil, to America, and allowed the U.S. to withdraw from the volatile Middle East.
But let us not forget that Obama is the Green President.  All this talk about tax-cut extensions and not leaving enough time to research the project is all the fog of politics.  It’s all about the environment, as far as Obama and his supporters are concerned.
This oil would be heavy-crude they’d be shipping down to the Gulf Coast.  That means it would need refining.  Since the 1970s, the environmentalists have managed to close down every single refinery on America’s shores.  New refineries would have to be built and up to 20,000 people would find employment.  We can’t have all that nasty, dirty oil, and we certainly can’t have independent Americans driving around in their own cars using relatively cheap gas, or trucks helping drive the Capitalist economy.  That’s not in the Agenda 21 plan.
Fox News reports, “The decision does not necessarily kill the project. The State Department said the denial "does not preclude any subsequent permit application" -- and within hours pipeline company TransCanada announced that it would reapply for a permit.   But the decision at least delays the project, one that unions and GOP lawmakers alike said would be a boon for job creation as well as energy security.”
“Until this pipeline is constructed, the U.S. will continue to import millions of barrels of conflict oil from the Middle East and Venezuela and other foreign countries,” TransCanada said in a statement Wednesday, saying it is “disappointed” by the administration's call. “Thousands of jobs continue to hang in the balance if this project does not go forward.”
Obama scrupled not to blame the GOP.
This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people," Obama said.  “I'm disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision, but it does not change my administration's commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil.”

Industry workers and Republicans contend the project would create thousands of jobs, and Canada's prime minister warned if the U.S. doesn’t put the pipeline through, Canada will sell the oil to China, instead, with no blame to TransCanada.

Still, Fox News says, “Obama's own jobs council suggested that it agrees with the pipeline concept.  While not specifically mentioning Keystone in a report out Tuesday about improving competitiveness, the council said that when it comes to energy projects in general, the government needs to ‘expeditiously, though cautiously, move forward on projects that can support hundreds of thousands of jobs.’

"We think this all-in energy strategy can create significant economic growths and significant job creation," said Lewis Hay, NextEra Energy CEO and a member of the president's job council.

Obama, covering his political assets, maintained his environmental concerns about energy exploration, but insisted a balance could be found. 

“I think the recommendations are sound.  We see enormous potential in production of traditional fossil fuels,” he said without mentioning Keystone.

“In a purely partisan effort to score a political point, Republicans in Congress insisted on inserting an extraneous provision within a bill that had nothing to do with pipelines,” White House spokesman Carney said, adding that the ‘arbitrary deadline’  made an adequate review ‘virtually impossible.’

Newt Gingrich called the move “insanely stupid.”  The Democrats' disingenuous cries of “ridership” should be plainly called out; it’s the way of life in Capitol Hill.  The Democrats do it all the time, and generally to the detriment of Capitalism and the American way of life.

It takes two to play hardball.  But only one to renege on a deal.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

National School Choice Week

If only there had been such a thing as “school choice” when I was in high school.  Then I might have been taught American history properly and thoroughly, and would have been able to continue on to World History.

The Tea Parties are about taking back our government, and taking back our schools from the government.  The N.J. Tea Party Caucus and Smart Girl Politics are celebrating National School Choice week (next week) with an event on Sun., January 22 at 2 p.m. at the Frank I. Williams Middle School in Jersey City, N.J.  If you care about your children and grandchildren’s future, and about the education of America’s workforce, put this meeting on your calendar.

Bob Bowdown, creator of the education expose, "The Cartel" and founder and Executive Director of ChoiceMedia TV will be the special guest speaker.  He will also moderate a panel discussion with key educational field experts on school choice and reform.
 Date:  Sunday, January 22, 2012
Time:  2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
 Place:  Franklin I. Williams Middle School
222 Laidlaw Avenue
Jersey City, NJ
Learn to work with your kids, even your teenagers, by building their math, history, and vocabulary skills.  Did you know, for instance, that yesterday was Benjamin Franklin’s birthday?  A great opportunity to have a conversation about a man who did it all.
Flash cards are great educational aids.  Use the words to instill Conservatism in your children’s minds.  For instance:
Contrite (noun):  regretful; penitent; seeking forgiveness.   Synonym:  apologetic.
Moderates contritely seek penitence from the Liberals for imaginary grievances.
Cosset (verb):  to coddle                 Synonym:  pamper
The Occupy Wall Street protesters were pampered and cossetted by The Media.
Cozen (verb):  To deceive, beguile or hoodwink                  Synonym:  mislead
We hope voters will not be cozened again by Obama’s deceptions.
Denouement (noun):  An outcome or solution; the unraveling of a plot.
We hope the denouement of the 2012 election will result in the restoration of Conservatism.
See?  Isn’t learning fun?  Repetition will anchor the words and their precise meanings, as well as Conservatism, in your children’s brains.  Drilling will create the opening that will allow Conservative values to penetrate the dark and aphotic recesses of brainwashed students’ craniums.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Get Off the Bus

While questions remain about just what behavior by the Occupy Wall Street whiners caused the Greyhound bus driver to evict them, his reprimand speaks volumes.

“Sit down and shut up!”

This “sit down” part of his order indicates that the passengers were standing, which is patently illegal to do while a bus is in motion.  Standing passengers pose a danger to themselves and the other passengers.  The bus company doesn’t want a lawsuit and neither do law enforcement authorities or insurance companies.  You may be a member of the “99 percent” and feel entitled to your right to free speech, but when you’re on a moving bus, you do have to sit down.

You don’t have to shut up, unless you’re making a screeching racket that disturbs the other passengers or distracts the driver from his job of driving.  Apparently, there were only 14 passengers on this bus en route from Amarillo, Texas to Washington, D.C., where the Occupy Wall Street protestors were travelling to sing “99 Percent of Whiners on the Wall, etc..  (You kick one out and continue to pout, 99 Percent of Whiners on the Wall!).

“99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” has been the bane of bus drivers since buses were invented.  Bus drivers are obliged to endure this teeth-grinding song.  My mother endured all sorts of nonsense on her bus during her 28-year career as a bus driver.  “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.”  “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round.”  Illegal immigrants trying to cross the Canadian border on her bus (she kicked them off on the Canadian side).  Drunken passengers.  Passengers having heart attacks (she drove one directly to the hospital).  Foul-mouthed teenagers (her potty-mouted sales letter speech is a classic in our family).  Seniors battling over the front seat.  Snowstorms.  Ice storms.  Tire blow-outs.  Brake failures (one in a snowstorm, coming down a mountain).  High school athletes and class trip passengers who left her bus a mess (once, she drove the bus back to the school and swept out the garbage in front of the school).  Dope-smoking passengers (she stopped the bus, opened all the window and told them the stuff was affecting her driving; if they didn’t cease and desist, she’d radio for the police).  Punks throwing a rock through her window and blinding one of her passengers.

Mom would have told them to sit down, definitely.  She’d give them three chances to stay in their seats, then, having given her the opportunity to speak her mind, she’d tell the passengers off.  She’d probably rather they got off voluntarily than kicked them off.   Besides, she’d enjoy giving them a piece of her mind about their politics.  Mom’s bus speeches inevitably brought silence.  That would have taken care of both problems on the Greyhound bus:  the protestors illegally standing up and espousing their communist views.

That was Mom’s way of getting passengers to sit down and shut up:  standing up and telling them off.  Feel free to get off the bus at anytime.

Monday, January 16, 2012

True-to-Life Accidents at Sea

Is the capsizing of the Italian cruise liner the Costa Concordia more like the sinking of the Titanic or the sinking of the fictional SS Poseidon in the 1972 film, The Poseidon Adventure?

The Concordia struck a rock 1,000 feet from shore as it passed an island off the coast of Tuscany.  Reportedly, the ship’s captain brought the liner close to shore to hail the inhabitants of the tiny island of Giglio as a nod to his head waiter who comes from the island, according to a report by the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.  The ship had been on course up until that moment.  The coastal area is known for its rocky underbed.  The crew spotted the rock, but turned the ship too late, causing a long gash in the hull.

The ship consequently capsized, turning over on its side.  The passengers and crew were thrown into panic.  Survivors reported that they received no instructions from the crew and that language was a barrier to getting information.  The survivors, a la The Poseidon Adventure, began rescuing themselves.

The survivors liken the accident to the sinking of the RMS Titanic in April of 1912.  Captain Francesco Schettino fled the ship, supposedly, and is under arrest for manslaughter.  He is suspected of what is known as “showboating”.  Captain Smith, under pressure from the ship’s owner to sail into New York ahead of schedule in order to set a new trans-Atlantic record, ignored iceberg warnings and sailed the Titanic straight into the ice field of the Newfoundland Current.  Smith went down with his ship; the ship’s owner did not.  Ismay disguised himself as a woman and slinked aboard one of the lifeboats.

In the film the Poseidon Adventure, the SS Posdeidon is on her final cruise whereas the Titanic was on her maiden cruise.  In the movie, the owner orders the captain to take the ship at full steam ahead into port where a crew is waiting to scrap the ship.  They go down together with the ship when a tsunami fully capsizes the vessel.

Passengers aboard the Concordia liken both the accident and the aftermath to the Titanic.  Both ships struck an underwater obstruction.  One was 1,000 feet from shore, the other at least a thousand miles from land as well as any rescue ship.  Both captains were “showboating” and both were guilty of human error.

Unlike the Titanic, the Concordia was capsized, somewhat like the fictional Poseidon, making a launching of the lifeboats, or for that matter, even reaching them, difficult.  The Titanic’s crew were not exactly disorganized, although no lifeboat drill was held.  The Titanic was short lifeboats for its entire population by half.  However, according to the statistics in Walter Lord’s meticulously researched novels, A Night to Remember and The Night Lives On, there should have been just about enough lifeboats for the passengers.

There may have been enough lifeboats, but there were not enough able seaman to launch the boats all at once.  In addition to being short-handed, it was known that the ship had only about hour or perhaps to stay afloat.  According to the accounts of the surviving crew, they had to launch the boats as quickly as they could, empty or not, and get on to the next boat.  The passengers were not cooperative, as it was a cold night in icy waters.  They wanted to wait until the last possible moment before getting into the boats.

There may have been enough boats for all the passengers; aristocratic notions of class barred the way of the second and third-class passengers.  By the time they were permitted on deck, all the boats had been put off.  The only way to reach them was to swim and in the freezing waters, they’d never have made it.  They wound up in the water anyway, and while there was still time to rescue them before they froze, the rowboats held back nervously until it was too late.

Then, there was the misinterpretation of Smith’s order.  He said women and children first, not women and children only.  In any case, the greatest number of children were trapped in steerage by human error.

Language variations were evident aboard the SS Titanic, but as former New York Gov. David Patterson noted on WOR radio this morning, as well as author Walter Lord, the Titanic’s steerage passengers didn’t need an interpreter to tell them something was wrong; they could see and hear for themselves, often first-hand.

In the movie, Rev. Scott’s followers climb their way out of the ship, with casualties along the way.  In Gallico’s grim and ironic book, upon which the movie was based, the purser was right; those who followed his advice to stay put, simply walked right off the ship onto a rescue vessel with nary a scratch.  Gallico depicted the crew as panicky, which (coming from a seafaring clan; Gallico’s head engineer in the film sounded suspiciously like Grandpa) was hard to believe.  Until today.

Today, there are enough lifeboats on board every passenger liner, although they were of little use to the Concordia’s passengers.  Icebreakers patrol the Newfoundland Current.  Tidal waves still happen after earthquakes, as we saw in 2004 and in Japan last year.  Ships’ stabilizers are modern and up-to-date.  We can predict earthquakes, tsunamis, and spot icebergs and ships in one another’s path.

But we still can’t predict when someone will make a mistake, or how other people will react in response to the resulting catastrophe.