Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Friday, March 02, 2012

Gov. Christie Gets the Message

The Gov Gets the Message

Well done, Southern N.J. Tea Parties, and also to the Morristown Tea Party.  Thanks to your efforts, Gov. Christie has gotten the message about our discontent with Smart Growth/Sustainable Development/Agenda 21.  He has scheduled a Town Hall Meeting beginning at 2 p.m. (when the doors open) on Tuesday, March 6 at the Township of Ocean Community Gym, 1100 West Parkway Avenue, Ocean Township, NJ.

Seating is on a first-come, first-service basis and is open to the public.  They ask that you RSVP by clicking here to allow the organizers to meet the demand for seating.  Space is limited and they advise that you arrive early.

Those at the Monmouth Development Plan meeting had the honor of being observed by Star-Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine.  He noted that attendees had flyers about Agenda 21, which he claims has nothing to do with the State Redevelopment Plan.  However, Agenda 21 is the main blueprint, as can be attested by the video of then-Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi urging that Congress adopt the resolution to cooperate with and participate in the United Nations’ Agenda 21 plan for Sustainable Development.  It’s on video.

There are Facebook page for those opposed to Agenda 21, where you can get plenty of information about Agenda 21, in all its guises.

Then there’s the ICLEI, which gives exposes the lie that this is not about Agenda 21 or the United Nations.  This is from the ICLEI’s own web page:

ICLEI was founded in 1990 as the 'International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives'. The Council was established when more than 200 local governments from 43 countries convened at our inaugural conference, the World Congress of Local Governments for a Sustainable Future, at the United Nations in New Y

The organization's name is 'ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability'. In 2003, ICLEI's Members voted to revise the organization's mission, charter and name to better reflect the current challenges local governments are facing. The 'International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives' became 'ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability' with a broader mandate to address sustainability issues.

ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability is an association of over 1220 local government Members who are committed to sustainable development.  Our Members come from 70 different countries and represent more than 569,885,000 people.

ICLEI is an international association of local governments as well as national and regional local government organizations who have made a commitment to sustainable development.
ICLEI provides technical consulting, training, and information services to build capacity, share knowledge, and support local government in the implementation of sustainable development at the local level. Our basic premise is that locally designed initiatives can provide an effective and cost-efficient way to achieve local, national, and global sustainability objectives.

ICLEI's mission is to build and serve a worldwide movement of local governments to achieve tangible improvements in global sustainability with special focus on environmental conditions through cumulative local actions.

ICLEI's general mandate is to build an active and committed municipal membership of local spheres of government (local and regional governments and authorities) as well as international, regional, national and sub-national local government associations.

Read up on Agenda 21, if you have the time.  Well-informed is well-armed.  Our Common Future is the Agenda 21 “bible”.  There are also many links on the Facebook sites, including a link to the infamous C-SPAN video of then Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi invoking the name of Agenda 21 and urging the United States to join in cooperation with the United Nations.

Here’s what you need to tell your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers, in short:

N.J. Citizens to State Government:  Private Property – Keep Out!!

You may have heard of Agenda 21, a long time ago.  Sustainable Development may not ring any bells.  Smart Growth – you may have seen that in the papers, giving you some idea that it’s all about keeping the environment green.  Then there’s the State Strategic Plan, formerly known as New Jersey’s State Development Plan.
What does one thing have to do with another?  Everything.  And they all mean that your property rights are stake.  The N.J. State Strategic Plan is the actual implementation of all those other international (The U.N.’s Agenda 21), national (the President’s Council on Sustainable Development), state (every governor made a pledge to Pres. Clinton’s Sustainable Development plan) and local level plans (Smart Growth- governed by the State Regional Planning Boards).   What’s more, the United Nations’ ICLEI (The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) has memberships in over 600 U.S. communities to ensure that the plan is implemented.
The plan, a very real creation of an international body of busybodies,  is about more than just creating bicycle paths; it’s about taking away your property rights.  And it’s coming very close to fruition.  Gov. Christie has declared that New Jersey will lead the way in Smart Growth.  If successfully implemented:

·         People will be shifted from rural and suburban areas into high-density urban development
·         Streets will be realigned so as not to admit cars in order to reduce vehicle usage
·         Landowners will be encouraged to sign away their development rights through conservation easements, which are promoted as a way to gain tax advantages and to avoid the threat of government land acquisition or regulation
·         Dams have been and will be destroyed, creating even more flooding, with the blame placed on upstream landowners who’ve cut down trees
·         Residents will be strictly regulated on their use of all utilities:  water, electric, heat and fuel
·         Major roads will be destroyed in order to discourage long-distance commerce and the consequent pollution it is said to entail, resulting in dramatic shortages of food and manufactured goods
·         The government will assume control over all natural resources; private ownership will be banned

This frightening picture is not the concoction of cranky conspiracy theorists, but the well-documented hatchings of our own politicians and bureaucrats.  There’s even have a plan for controlling outer space.
But don’t take our word for it; you can find more information at and
Contact your local legislators and the governor’s office.  Tell them:  It’s your property; KEEP OUT!!!

The final laugh about the Monmouth meeting comes at the end of Mulshine's column when someone called out to the audience, asking how many people voted for Christie.  Many people raised their hands.  When he asked how many would vote for him again, he noted, "I didn't see many hands."  Mulshine tries to defend Christie's version of the State Strategic Plan (which will be it new name once it's approved), but even he had to admit there were many similarities in "jargon."

Mulshine feels New Jersey's problems began in the state Supreme Court, with the Mount Laurel Housing ruling.  He noted that those rulings were "more reminiscent of the Soviet Union" than this watered down plan.  He couldn't understand what was wrong with "nice" ladies proposing that people in New Jersey ride around on bicycles and why the audiences hooted the notion down.

Perhaps Mr. Mulshine was fooled by the unusually warm winter we've been experiencing.  Or should we refer to it as "climate change?"

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Andrew Breitbart, R.I.P.

The Conservative blogging world mourns the loss of Andrew Breitbart who died unexpectedly from natural causes on March 1, 2012 in Los Angeles.  A bystander saw him collapse while on a walk in Brentwood shortly after midnight and called paramedics, who rushed him to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where he was declared dead.

Breitbart was an enterprising website entrepreneur who courageously took on controversies, such as the Anthony Weiner.  He used his Internet savvy to create a family of websites, including Big Journalism and Big, and of course,

Breitbart grew up in Los Angeles and was a typical, young Hollywood Liberal.  While he was waiting tables to earn money for college, he met Conservative actor Orson Bean.  Bean asked him if he listened to Rush Limbaugh.  Breitbart asked why he should.  Bean told him, but Breitbart didn’t believe him.  As he was watching the Clarence Thomas hearings, he had a political epiphany and became a Conservative.

Breitbart was a great supporter of the Tea Partiers and traveled around the country, speaking to hometown audiences – Breitbart, who was once part of the elite, speaking to average people.  He eventually married Bean’s daughter, Susannah in 1997 and had four children.

Breitbart’s voice was silenced when we needed him most.  God only knows His reasons for taking him from us, but as God is always Right, we must do our best to carry on Breitbart’s awesome work.  Thanks to Breitbart, many bloggers were inspired to put their words into electronic print.

God bless you, Andrew, and rest in peace.

The Right to Read

The Rochester Democrat-Chronicle recently published a story about a 13 year-old African-American student who’s being ostracized for writing an essay about Frederick Douglass, critical of the educational system.  The white educational system.  According to the Democrat-Chronice about 75 percent of her classmates would not be able to read the newspaper’s account of her tribulations.

The Rochester Democrat-Chronicle:  When school officials handed out copies of The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass, they said they hoped students would connect with the abolitionist’s struggle learning to read at a time when African-Americans were largely prohibited from becoming literate.

A few things need to be taken into account.  First and foremost is the First Amendment, which applies as much to black 13 year olds as it does to Ivory Tower scholars.  Second, the young lady is 13 years old.  Pubescent teenagers are only just learning to express their emotions.  Judgment will come later.  This is just as true of 13 year olds in a white exurb as it is for an inner city 13 year old.

She makes note of her crowded classroom.  She’s apparently bright and passionate; a smaller classroom would probably suit her better, but her passion has now been exciting against the appalling illiteracy in city schools.  One recommendation would be for her to start tutoring younger students.  That’s where the problem really begins.  If it isn’t solved by the second or third grade, only a miracle will help a classroom full of hormonally-challenged seventh graders.

As for the teachers, why should they be surprised?  What kind of reading material do the students receive?  I’ve seen for myself.  Their libraries (such as they are) are filled with literature written for white children, with white characters mostly leading happy lives (until they become teenagers).  What passes for black children’s literature are grim dramas about the struggle against slavery and for civil rights. 

Helping my company distribute books for Read for America, I watched the children gravitate towards the happier, white children’s literature.  A few of them picked up the historical African-American experience – but not many.  The books were donated by white employees, so it was no surprise that the books would be about white people.  Where are the adventure stories for black children?  Where are the black children going on time travel trips?  Venturing into outer space?  Solving mysteries?  No wonder the black kids don’t want to read.

The teachers, for their part, ought to have had a thicker skin than to take offense at the essay of a 13 year old.  Instead, they should have used it as a teachable moment and corrected her gently, shown her that the teachers do care that the children learn to read.  They shouldn’t expect a 13 year-old to understand the challenges of teaching in inner city school, especially at the middle school level (all children at that age are difficult to teach), about children entering kindergarten or first grade not as prepared as their white counterparts, coming from single family homes, and drug and crime-infested neighborhoods.

That’s the reason charter schools are popping up in inner cities across the country.  It’s a solution for the best students, but still leaves students like Jada, a good student but not a star, in quandary.  They’re left in the great melting pot of illiteracy and chaos, where little discipline is practiced or achievable.

Education experts need to get off their high horses about “cultural differences.”  There certainly are cultural differences and those differences are impeding the students’ ability (and desire) to read.  First, you need better literature for the children, one that erases those cultural differences and treats just like everybody else, including their white counterparts.  Give them their share of fun, adventurous, heroic stories.  Enough with slavery and civil rights already.  You don’t realize what a downer it is to kids that age.  Reading (like music) should be a pleasure, not a chore.

You experts know well enough there are cultural differences, or you wouldn’t have organized Head Start.  Good reading habits begin at home, at an early age.  The children have to be taught early on how to focus and concentrate.  Seventh grade is hardly the time to be teaching kids to avoid distractions.  They also have to be taught how reading applies to the real world.  In addition, they need to be taught good study habits.  The best students should be publicly rewarded and those falling behind encouraged to try harder.

When Jada is older, perhaps she’ll realize why there aren’t more black teachers.  It’s not lack of ability, necessarily; it’s the numbers.  If African-Americans are only 13 percent of the population and only a small percentage of that population becomes teachers (and given the deplorable condition of the schools, it’s no wonder there aren’t more), you’re not going to have many black teachers.

The white teachers, despite what Jada might think, go into the profession of teaching in the inner cities with good intentions.  But within five years, they find themselves defeated by the poverty and recessed skills of their charges, burnt out by the lack of discipline of their students, the fighting in the halls, the gang wars, and the drugs, and depressed by the general gloom of the conditions of the schools and neighborhoods.

Politics adds to the misery.  It is not the Conservatives who want to discourage black children from learning to read; it’s the Liberals.  It’s the Liberals who hand them those gloomy Black history books, guaranteed to foster resentment, anger and hatred, and provide them with nothing else.  It’s the Liberals who want to keep them in a dependent state because angry, discontented students became angry, discontented voters looking for someone to blame.  It’s the Liberal Marxist agenda that’s taught in those schools.  The result is Obama.

When I was in school, we were forced to read the works of Ring Lardner, Jr., and other black-listed authors.  I knew a little about the Blacklist, but not much.  What I did know was that they were the most boring, dreadfully grim stories I’d ever read.  I hated them.  Fortunately, my mother was friends with schoolteachers and librarians in more affluent, Conservative school districts in Westchester County.  They would give us discarded books and my father would take us to the local library once a week where we could select more entertaining literature.

Jada may be standing up against the wrong enemy, but if she is standing up for literacy, good for her.  A group of us stood up against our Communist high school teacher when threw aside the U.S. History book to teach us the glories of communism.  Like Jada, we weren’t star students, but we gave all we had and took the red flag to defeat the red flag.  We figured if the guys on Iwo Jima could give their lives for freedom, we could sacrifice our grades.

Good luck to Jada – and to her teachers.  They’re all on a hard battleground.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Good for Business

Mitt Romney won yesterday’s Michigan primary yesterday with 41 percent of the vote, versus Rick Santorum’s 38 percent.  Not a wide margin, but Romney took George W. Bush’s attitude that it was enough to win.  He handily won Arizona with 47 percent of the votes.  Michigan is not a winner-take-all state, so Romney and Santorum each won 11 delegates.

Voters now turn to Super Tuesday:  Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, the all-important Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia.

Romney is running on his businessman’s credentials.  Not a bad resume for President of a United States that is deep financial trouble.  Voters should be aware, though, that fiscally Conservative candidates often come with a caveat.

They are not socially reliable.  They’re businessmen, after all, and as such must be careful not to offend any of their customers.  Remember that the businessman’s credo is:  “The customer is always right” or “give the customer what they want.”  Most business owners want no part of politics because it’s bad for business.  The owner of Newberry’s in Morristown took a great chance in angering his Liberal customers by giving support to the Morristown Tea Party; he’s since gone out of business.  Something about licensing.

The small business owners of New Jersey are particularly desperate and will sign onto anything, even Smart Growth, as we heard from the mouth of the Chamber of Commerce representative at the recent State Strategic Development Plan meeting.

The town of Pompton Lakes is particularly desperate.  They’re willing to tear up all of Wanaque Avenue, which was only recently repaved and remodeled, in order to embrace Smart Growth.  To comply with this plan, Pompton Lakes will have to narrow Wanaque Avenue, more than it already it is, which means another repaving project, and higher taxes for the town residents.

Gov. Christie has stated that he wants New Jersey to lead the way in Smart Growth, and Pompton Lakes is designated to be the model Smart Growth town (that is, if they ever restore the railroad station).  Pompton Lakes is a prime target, with half the town condemned by the EPA and the other half by FEMA.  If only residents would read further into the details of Smart Growth, they would be horrified.  But they’re too busy bailing out their basements to read.

Call it by whatever name you please, this “plan” encompasses far more than looking after spotted owls or constructing train stations.  At least the tracks still exist through Pompton Lakes.  The damned fools in Pequannock Township tore up all their tracks years ago.

The Chamber of Commerce sympathizes with homeowners, but…  Well, we residents sympathize with homeowners, but in selling us out, the government camel’s nose will be under the tent.  Whatever they don’t already regulate, they will thanks to this plan, even to, yes, birth control.  The plan calls not just for the regulation of transportation, but food, health care, and all our property rights.  All in the name of “The Poor” and social justice.

The Progressives (Glenn Beck is right; when you have an ostensibly Republican governor, Chris Christie, touting this Smart Growth/Sustainable Development Marxist program, it’s not just about Liberals or Conservatives anymore – it’s about Progressives or Moderates.).

Business people are true diplomats.  Like that green bumblebee critter in the first two Star Wars movies (that is, the prequels), ideology and rhetoric don’t work on them; only money.  The Pompton Lakes Smart Growth plan doesn’t see 400 families imprisoned in small apartments; they see 400 groups of customers who, if some business could be prevailed upon to occupy the old DuPont site, would patronize the Wanaque Avenue businesses.  Since they wouldn’t be allowed to have cars, per the Smart Growth dictates, or at best, only little electric go-carts, they’d have to remain within the precincts of Wanaque Avenue.

If the residents, who are working to get every last dollar in damages they can out of DuPont, don’t think The Plume neighborhood is fit to live in, why would a business?  Nor is any business likely to take over the flood plain.  Just ask the A&P in Pompton Plains, which has abandoned that site, right on the banks of the Pompton River, since the last (regular) flood.  What nincompoop council zoned that area for commercial use years ago, anyway?  It used to be a cabbage farm.

DuPont says it has done everything possible to clean up the site and now the town is talking about attracting some businesses to locate there.  During World War II, the factory produced some chemical for weapons, something for the firing pins.  No wonder the Nazis occupied Federal Hill (which is nearly gone now, thanks to rock quarrying – you can now find Federal Hill at the new World Trade Center).  Sort of fitting, really.

Young suburban voters Smart Growth polled say they are attracted to urban living.  Thanks to the EPA and FEMA, that’s all Pompton Lakes will be fit for.  Smart Growth declared, through the Wild Lands projects, that dams must be destroyed.  And lo, the dams “self-destructed” (or so we’re told) and homes from Pompton Lakes all the way down to West Paterson flooded that either had never flooded before or hadn’t flooded in many decades.

The EPA declared that toxic chemicals had spilt underground all the way from the DuPont site out to the banks of Pompton Lake (the Ramapo River) via the aptly named Acid Brook, and lo, the lawsuits and redistribution of wealth commenced.  Thus was born Smart Growth/Agenda 21’s test tube baby – Pompton Lakes.  Since their properties are pretty much deemed worthless anyway, Smart Growth can’t be charged with robbing anyone’s property rights and the nation will be sold on this horrendous scam, especially the young.

Come and live in Pompton Lakes.  But be sure to bring your shoehorn.  The town – only 2.2 square miles altogether – will eventually shrink in size.  The town planners envision that it will take some time – about 20 years.  Twenty years should be long enough to complete the job of brainwashing future generations.

To get back to Mitt Romney; assuming he wins the nomination (and he likely will) will he select Chris Christie as his Vice President?  What a salesman Christie will make for Smart Growth, with Mr. Businessman Romney supporting the move all in the name of economic recovery and global cooperation.  That may seem unfair to Romney.  But he was governor of Massachusetts and every single governor signed on to what they called SD – Sustainable Development.

Caveat emptor, voters – let the buyer beware.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Too Many People

The N.J. State Planning Commission held a public hearing on New Jersey’s State Development and Redevelopment Plan at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum’s Haggerty Center in Morris Township last night.  The purpose was to receive testimony from experts and comments from public on the plan as required by law.  Only six meetings were planned; the meeting in Morris Township was the only hearing held north of I-78.

The meeting was SRO – Standing-Room Only – and it was a fairly large room.  The meeting began with two Planning Commission representatives presenting the case for the plan to the public.  The room was so densely-packed that their voices fell dead halfway through the room and people farther back had to strain to hear them.  One can suppose one of two things: the omission of sound equipment was a) deliberate or it was b) poor planning.  The first is more likely, as lack of sound would prevent any recording of the meeting.  So much for transparency.  Although one can’t help wondering whether they weren’t expecting such a crowd.

However, the meeting in Newark was well-attended, too, and soundless.  In fact, none of the meetings had any augmented sound.  At this meeting, the audience simply wouldn’t allow the meeting to proceed peacefully until sound was provided.  The Morristowners are a force to be reckoned with.

The speaker presented the points of the plan and stated that this was a plan with its base in local municipalities.  He vowed no communities would be forced to develop if they didn’t wish to, or avoid developing, either.  But a citizen was on hand to give truth to the lie.  He’d attended a county freeholders meeting.  This speaker was at that meeting.  When a freeholder asked if the county and its towns would be bound by the state plan, the speaker told him that they were bound by law to accept its precepts.  The citizen in Morris Township challenged the speaker further, who admitted that New Jersey, in its turn, was bound by Federal law.

The final vote for this plan is scheduled for only a few days from now.  Oh, there have been plenty of meetings for “stakeholders”.  That is, mayors, town councils, freeholders, real estate agents, utilities, and social justice advocates.  When a citizen complained about the invitation, the speaker noted that the legislators were, after all, our elected representatives.  And the meetings were open.

This is why we Tea Partiers have been trying to tell Mr. and Mrs. America to wake up.  My town is on the forefront of this Smart Growth plan.  I can’t pretend to ignorance; I’ve known about it since I moved in.  Being neither in The Plume, a housing development in the north of town basically condemned and devalued by the EPA, and the flood zone, which was expanded when the upstream Pequannock River dams “collapsed” and the new Pompton Lakes dam was created, I’m safe.  However, I doubt that my friend and co-worker, who lives in the Flood Zone, will be very happy trying to raise two young sons in a condo or apartment.  Our company is leaving and so is her job.  She’d relocate, but company policy doesn’t cover a flood zone home.

That’s Smart Growth for you.

Some of the rowdier attendees catcalled about Agenda 21.  I was seated next to “The Enemy”.  They had a strategist who encouraged them to laugh and titter at any mention of Agenda 21 or SD (that’s Sustainable Development for those of you who don’t speak policy lingo).  Interesting that they did.  He also urged them to take advantage of every surge of angry on the part of the residents.

The Conservation Lady was taking notes – and names.  I took notes in shorthand.  She looked over at my pad and laughed, supposing that I was trying to keep my notes secret or something.  No; I just know shorthand.  I had a copy of “Our Common Future” conspicuously on my lap and the “Sustainability Paradox” flyer.  I even turned it so she could see it better, especially the bullet point about changing the terminology to “Smart Growth.”

·         “In 1998, J. Gary Lawrence, an advisor to the PCSD [the President’s Council on Sustainable Development], recommended the term ‘Agenda 21’ and U.N. references be dropped to more easily implement ‘SD’ in the U.S. Agencies and planners changed their terminology to Smart Growth and other environmentally-friendly [and politically careful] terms.

Lawrence’s address was called “The Future of Local Agenda 21 in the New Millennium” and delivered to a UNED-UK/LGMB (Local Government Management Board) seminar in 1998. 

“In this case of the U.S.,” he said, “our local authorities are engaged in planning processes consistent with Local Agenda 21, but there is little interest in using the LA21 brand.  Participating in a U.N.-advocated planning process would very likely bring out many of the conspiracy-fixated groups and individuals in our society such as the National Rifle Association, citizen militias, and some members of Congress.  This segment of our society who fear ‘one world government” and a U.N. invasion of the United States through which our individual freedom would be stripped away would actively work to defeat any elected official who joined ‘the conspiracy’ by undertaking LA21.  So, we call our processes something else, such as comprehensive planning, growth management, or Smart Growth.”

But, the State Plan disavowed any knowledge of Agenda 21 or even Sustainable Development.  I happened to have a copy of the Agenda 21 mandate and gave it to him.  He threw up his hands to the audience, in his best who-me?! attitude and exclaimed, “This is the first I’ve heard of this!”

The audience laughed derisively.  The Conservation Camp sneered, all for our benefit, to be sure.  Conservation Lady didn’t sneer at me.  In fact, she avoided all eye contact.  Like naming a baby, now they’ll have to go down their list and find the next name for Smart Growth, since we’re obviously onto them.

“Our Common Future” is the report the World Commission on Environment and Development was commissioned by the United Nations to write.  The first page of its overview pretty much tells the whole story (“’A global agenda for change’ this was what the World Commission on Environment and Development was asked to write,” notes the then-chairman, Gro Harlem Brundtland):

In the middle of the 20th Century, we saw our planet from space for the first time.  Historians may eventually find that this vision had a greater impact on thought than did the Copernican revolution of the 16th century, which upset the human self-image by revealing that the Earth is not the centre of the universe.  From space, we see a small and fragile ball dominated not by human activity and edifice but by a pattern of clouds, oceans, greenery, and soils.  Humanity’s inability to fit its doings into that pattern is changing planetary systems, fundamentally.  Many such changes are accompanied by life-threatening hazards.  This new reality, from which there is no escape, must be recognized – and managed.

Fortunately, this new reality coincides with more positive developments new to this century.  We can move information and goods faster around the globe than ever before; we can produce more food and more goods with less investment of resources; our technology and science gives us at least the potential to look deeper and better understand natural systems.  From space, we can see and study the Earth as an organism whose whole health depends on the health of all its parts.  We have the power to reconcile human affairs with natural laws and thrive in the process.  In this, our cultural and spiritual heritages can reinforce our economic interests and survival imperatives.

This Commission believes that people can build a future that is more prosperous, more just, and more secure.  Our report, Our Common Future, is not a prediction of ever-increasing environmental decal, poverty, and hardship in an ever-more polluted world among ever-decreasing resources.  We see instead the possibility for a new era of economic growth, one that must be based on policies that sustain and expand the environmental resource base.  And we believe such growth to be absolutely essential to relieve the great poverty that is deepening in much of the developing world. 

But the Commission’s hope for the future is conditional on decisive political action now to begin managing environmental resources to ensure both human progress and human survival.

In later chapters, the Commission scruples not to assert that there are simply too many people and one of the tenets of Sustainable Growth is population management, specifically through various birth control methods.

Last night’s speaker insisted that their studies indicated that young people want to live in cities.  Traditionally, young single people and young marrieds do want to live in urban environments, resembling the college campuses they have recently left.  Once they start having children, normal adult couples seek the open spaces.  They recognize that cities are not safe environments for children; that cities are more expensive, with higher taxes; and that apartments are unpleasant places when your infants and especially toddlers are screaming their heads off.

Young people, to say the least, are extremely unreliable bases upon which to base future studies, although they like to think they know it all.  There is a tendency towards fewer marriages and fewer children, all thanks to the long-term strategy of the Progressives.  There are some of us old enough to remember the Zero Population Growth plan, which Americans fell for.

This is the future Americans.  We’ve been telling you to wake up now for three years now.  Take a good, long, hard look at the Smart Growth Plan and study its history.  And take off your rose-color reading glasses when you do.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Missing the Real Story on Jeremy Lin

A few weeks ago, my boss, the consummate sports fan, asked me if I’d heard about Jeremy Lin.  Knowing the boss, I knew it had to be some name from the sports.  “Is he a football player?” I asked.  No, basketball.  No wonder I hadn’t heard of him.  Football and baseball are the family games.

“Do some research on him,” my boss suggested.   “Look him up; it’s a great story!”  Before I could do so, Lin’s name was all over the news along with the name of the ESPN who made the mistake of using the cliché, “a chink in his armor” in the same sentence as Lin’s name.  The announcer apologized and then was summarily fired.  Lin, probably wanting to get the whole mess behind him and get back to scoring basketball points, forgave all immediately.

In another age, people might have laughed at what, no doubt, was unintended pun.  These days, you don’t dare even smirk lest someone be offended.  There are so many dash-words that if you had to cut out all the offending words in an older dictionary, it would look like Swiss cheese.

Dad’s Dictionary, the 2nd Webster’s International, Unabridged Dictionary, was published in 1934.  How did the C-word rank in terms of offensiveness in those days, compared to the N-word?  Even in 1934, the N-word was recognized as “possibly derogatory.”  Attached to it were about eight nouns – mostly flora and fauna – with the N-word added as a prefix.  Somewhere, the Devil and the ghosts of the KKK riders are laughing.  The rest of us are not.

The dictionary contained the Ch-word and the Sp-word.  These monickers were not denounced as derogatory but simply accepted as fact in 1934.  Nor were they followed by a list of derogatorily-named flora and fauna.  That doesn’t make those two words, or any of their cousins, any less offensive, but it does make the N-word the most infamous.

Since the 1960s, we’ve excised these words from our dictionaries and our vocabulary and good riddance to them.  Woe to the communicator who utters one even unintentionally, using an old clichéd phrase.  ESPN’s firing of this commentator seemed a little excessive; an apology and some sort of short-term punishment – perhaps a demotion – should have been enough.  Maybe wash his mouth out with soap.

But ESPN was determined to throw this announcer on the altar of political correctness.  Identity politics does not suffer fools gladly.

If only the Media and Hollywood would adopt the same attitude towards obscene words and gestures.  These, alas, are now the sacred profanity - George Carlin’s seven dirty words you can’t say on television or the radio.  You still can’t say them on broadcast television.  Thanks to Al Gore, you won’t have to worry about it.  On broadcast television, the words are taboo; on cable, anything goes.

What makes it wrong to offend the sensibilities of certain identity groups, but not the ears of the general public?  What is wrong with people in general today?  Yes, they’re shocked at the dash nouns and would probably slap their kids silly if they uttered.  But parents titter with glee when the F-word or the S-words slips their tender little lips.  Oh how cute.  How sweet.  How adorable.

It’s a hypocritical generation that proudly proclaims its intolerance for identity slander at the same time turning the air blue with its profuse profanity.  What @#%^ is wrong with that, anyway?  Would ESPN have fired the announcer had he found something wanting in Lin’s skill and cursed him a non-discriminatory blue streak for missing the basket (if Lin should have done so)?

Since I never watch sports, I have no idea whether sportscasters do such things.  Happening upon  a Spanish language channel one day that was broadcasting a soccer game, I heard a constant beeping and couldn’t imagine what it was.  Did it have something to do with soccer scoring or some referee calling a foul?  No.  The beeping was the censor beep covering up the announcer’s cursing.  There was no need to understand the language to recognize that only one word in ten was coming through.  A busy day for the station’s censor.

Jeremy Shu-How Lin was born in August 1988 to Taiwanese immigrant parents in Los Angeles and raised in Palo Alto, near San Francisco.  Lin's parents are both 5 feet 6 inches tall.   His maternal grandmother's family was tall, and her father was over 6 feet.  Lin has an older brother, Josh, and a younger brother, Joseph.  Gie-Ming taught his sons to play basketball at the local YMCA.
After receiving no athletic scholarship offers out of high school and being undrafted out of college, the 2010 Harvard University graduate reached a partially guaranteed contract deal later that year with his hometown Golden State Warriors.

Lin seldom played in his rookie season and was assigned to the NBA Development League (D-League) three times. He was waived by Golden State and the Houston Rockets the following preseason before joining the Knicks early in the 2011–12 season. He was again assigned to the D-League and continued to play sparingly.

In February 2012, he unexpectedly led a winning streak by New York while being promoted to the starting lineup, which generated a global following known as Linsanity. Lin is one of the few Asian Americans in NBA history, and the first American player in the league to be of Chinese or Taiwanese descent.[2]
In his senior year in 2005–2006, Lin captained Palo Alto H.S. to a 32–1 record and upset nationally-ranked Mater Dei, 51–47, for the California Interscholastic Federation(CIF) Division II state title. He was named first-team All-State and Northern California Division II Player of the Year.
Lin sent his résumé and a DVD of highlights of his high school basketball career to all the Ivy League schools schools, University of California-Berkeley, and his dream schools Stanford and UCLA. The Pac-10 schools wanted him to walk-on, rather than be actively recruited or offered a sports scholarship.  “Walk-On” describes an athlete who becomes part of a team without being actively recruited beforehand or awarded an athletic scholarship.  This results in the differentiation between "walk-on" players and "scholarship" players. Technically all Ivy League sports players are walk-ons; League rules prohibit member schools from offering athletically-related financial aid. Harvard and Brown were the only teams that guaranteed him a spot on their basketball teams, but Ivy League schools do not offer athletic scholarships. Rex Walters, University of San Francisco’s men’s basketball coach and a retired NBA player, said NCAA limits on coaches' recruiting visits had an impact on Lin's chances.  “Most colleges start recruiting a guy in the first five minutes they see him because he runs really fast, jumps really high, does the quick, easy thing to evaluate," Walters said.  Lin added, “I just think in order for someone to understand my game, they have to watch me more than once, because I’m not going to do anything that’s extra flashy or freakishly athletic.”
In July 2005, then-Harvard assistant coach Bill Holden saw that Lin was 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m), which fit the physical attributes he was seeking, and he had a 4.2 grade point average in high school, which fit Harvard's academic standards. However, Holden was not initially impressed with Lin's on-court abilities, and told Lin's high school basketball coach, Peter Diepenbrock, that Lin was a “Division III Player player.”  Later that week, Holden saw Lin playing in a much more competitive game, driving to the basket at every opportunity with the “instincts of a killer.”  Lin became a top-priority for Holden.  Harvard coaches feared that Stanford, close to Lin's home, would offer Lin a scholarship, but it did not, and Lin chose to attend Harvard.
“I wasn't sitting there saying all these Division I coaches were knuckleheads," Diepenbrock said. “There were legitimate questions about Jeremy.”  Joe Lacob, incoming Warriors’ owner and Stanford booster, said Stanford's failure to recruit Lin “was really stupid.  The kid was right across the street. [If] you can't recognize that, you've got a problem."  Kerry Keating, the UCLA assistant who offered Lin the opportunity to walk-on, said in hindsight that Lin would probably have ended up starting at point guard for UCLA.
After failing to receive any athletic scholarship offers, Lin attended Harvard.
A Harvard coach remembered Lin in his freshman season as “the [physically] weakest guy on the team,”  but in his sophomore season (2007–08), Lin averaged 12.6 points and was named All-Ivy League Second Team.  By his junior year during the 2008-2009, he was the only NCAA Division I men's basketball player who ranked in the top ten in his conference for scoring (17.8), rebounding (5.5), assists (4.3), steals (2.4), blocked shots (0.6), field goal percentage (0.502), free throw percentage (0.744), and three-point percentage (0.400), and was a consensus selection for All-Ivy League First Team. He had 27 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds in an 82–70 win over 17th-ranked Boston College, three days after the Eagles defeated No. 1 North Carolina.
In his senior year (2009–10), Lin averaged 16.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.1 blocks, and was again a unanimous selection for All-Ivy League First Team. He was one of 30 midseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award  and one of 11 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award.   He was also invited to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.  ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla picked Lin among the 12 most versatile players in college basketball.  He gained national attention for his performance against the 12th-ranked Connecticut Huskies, against whom he scored a career-high tying 30 points and grabbed nine rebounds on the road. After the game, Hall of Fame Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun said of Lin: “I've seen a lot of teams come through here, and he could play for any of them. He's got great, great composure on the court. He knows how to play.”
For the season, Harvard set numerous program records including wins (21), non-conference wins (11), home wins (11) and road/neutral wins (10).  Lin finished his career as the first player in the history of the Ivy League to record at least 1,450 points (1,483), 450 rebounds (487), 400 assists (406) and 200 steals (225).   He graduated from Harvard in 2010 with a degree in Economics and a 3.1 GPA.
After graduating from Harvard, Lin went undrafted in the 2010 NBA Draft.  The NBA had not drafted an Ivy League player since 1995. The last Ivy League player to play in the NBA was Yale’s Chris Dudley in 2003, while the last Harvard player was Ed Smith in 1954.  Eight teams had invited Lin to predraft workouts. Diepenbrock said that NBA tryouts do not play five on five. Lin acknowledged that the workouts were “one on one or two on two or three on three, and that’s not where I excel. I've never played basketball like that.”   Scouts saw what The New York Times later described as “a smart passer with a flawed jump shot and a thin frame, who might not have the strength and athleticism to defend, create his own shot or finish at the rim in the N.B.A.”   Lin joined the Dallas Mavericks for mini-camp as well as their NBA Summer League team in Las Vegas.  Donnie Nelson of the Mavericks was the only general manager to offer him an invitation to play in the Summer League. “Donnie took care of me,” said Lin. “He has a different type of vision than most people do.”
In five Summer League games, while playing both guard positions, Lin averaged 9.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.2 steals in 18.6 minutes per game and shot a team leading 54.5% from the floor.   He outplayed first overall pick John Wall.   Lin scored 13 points to Wall's 21, but did so on 6-for-12 shooting in 28 minutes. Wall was 4-for-19 in 33 minutes.  While Wall received the biggest cheer for any player during introductions, the crowd turned on Wall and was cheering for Lin by the end of the game.  Lin received offers to sign from the Mavericks the L.A. Lakers, and an unnamed Eastern Conference team. In addition to the original three teams, the Golden State Warriors also offered Lin a contract.
On July 21, 2010, Lin signed a two-year deal with his hometown Warriors, his favorite team growing up. Lin's deal was partially guaranteed for 2010–11, and the Warriors held a team option for the second season. The deal included a first-year salary of close to $500,000 with more than half of it guaranteed.  Lin said the counteroffers from the three other teams were higher, but he wanted to play for the Warriors. Lin also signed a three-year guaranteed contract with Nike.  His jersey was already on sale before his first NBA game.
The Warriors held a press conference for Lin after his signing, with national media in attendance.
“It was surprising to see that ... for an undrafted rookie,” said then-Warriors coach Keith Smart.  The San Jose Mercury News wrote that Lin “had something of a cult-following” after his signing. The San Francisco Bay Area celebrated his arrival.  He became the first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA.   Lin received the loudest ovation of the night in the Warriors' home exhibition opener at Oracle Arena when he entered the game in the fourth quarter. The crowd had started chanting for him in the third quarter and cheered whenever he touched the ball. "That really touched me. It's something I'll remember forever," Lin said.
During the first month of the season, Oracle Arena fans continued to root for Lin to play in the end of games and cheered every time he touched the ball.  He drew the crowd's attention on the road as well.  Scott Howard-Cooper of attributed the attention Lin received out of town to the unique angle of “an Asian-American rising to rare basketball prominence.” NBA editor Matt Wong wrote after a game in New York, “Lin checked into the game to loud applause, presumably from the many Asian-Americans in attendance.”
Hmmm.  Is ESPN going to fire Wong for obvious racial editorialism, attributing Lin’s popular to his heritage rather than his ability.  No; wait, they can’t – Wong is Asian, too.
Lin noticed the expectations that followed him and warned, “I won't be an All-Star this year.”   He was appreciative of the support, especially from the Asian-American community, but he  preferred concentrating on his play without all the attention when he had not “proven anything to anybody.”   Smart saw that Lin was skilled at getting to the paint (an area in a basketball court_ underneath the basket bounded by the endlines, the foul lanes and the free throw line), but needed to learn to pass because, he said, Lin “couldn't shoot the ball at all.”   The coach also noticed that the player always arrived early for practice and left late. Lin studied and rehearsed Steve Nash and other top point guards' pick-and-roll plays. Frank Hughes of  Sports Illustrated wrote that Lin talked with the occasional “seeds of self-doubt,” which Hughes said was not common to hear in the NBA.  Hughes also found it rare when Lin compared himself to the Phoenix Suns’ ' backup point guard Goran Dragic.  “Neither of us is a freak athlete, but we're both effective and know how to play the game," Lin said.   Team officials regularly denied requests for Lin to help him keep his focus. He was approached to be the subject of documentaries. Smart planned to take pressure off Lin since Lin had a tendency to be hard on himself and get frustrated, but the coach admitted that he once succumbed to the home crowd's wishes and put Lin into a game in the wrong situation.
Lin received little playing time during the season with two dominant ball-handling guards, Curry and Monta Ellis, starring for the Warriors.  Lin started the regular season on the Warriors' inactive list, but made his NBA debut the next game during the Warriors' Asian Heritage Night. He received a standing ovation when he entered the game in the final minutes.   In the next game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Lin scored his first NBA basket, had three assists, and recorded four steals.  He played 11 of his 16 minutes in the third quarter and committed five fouls but played a role in a 12–1 run by the Warriors in a 107–83 loss to the defending NBA champions. Lakers' guard Derek Fisher praised Lin for his energy and aggressiveness.  At Toronto on November 8, the Raptors held Asian Heritage Night to coincide with Lin's visit with the Warriors. Over 20 members of Toronto's Chinese media covered the game.  In a 89–117 road loss to the Lakers, Lin scored a (then) career-high 13 points in 18 minutes after scoring only seven total points in his first six games.
Three times during the season, Lin was assigned to the Warriors' D-League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns.   Each time, he was later recalled by the Warriors.  He competed in the NBA D-League Showcase and was named to the All-NBA D-League Showcase First Team on Jan. 10, 2011. Lin helped lead the Bighorns to a 2–0 record at the Showcase with averages of 21.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 3.5 steals.  Lin posted a season-high 27 points with the Bighorns on March 18.   In 20 games he averaged 18 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists with Reno.   Lin initially felt he was not good enough to play in the NBA, but he later realized he was learning and getting playing time in the D-League that he would not have received with the Warriors.  Lin credited Bighorns coach Eric Musselman with “helping him regain [his] swagger.”   Musselman recalled that Lin was a good scorer for himself but was not yet skilled at “using the whole floor.”
 He scored many offensive fouls, but Musselman believed Lin was as good as Gilbert Areanas in the dribble drive, an ability “you can't teach.”  The player continued to improve his pick-and-roll, how to handle double-teams and traps, and improved his jump shot and, especially, his three-pointer. Musselman also noticed that Lin, who as an NBA player received first-class airplane tickets, gave them to his teammates.
Lin worked to improve his jump shot during the offseason by abandoning the shooting form he had used since the eighth grade. He also increased his strength, doubling the weight he could squat (from 110 pounds to 231) and almost tripling the number of pull-ups that he could do (from 12 to 30).  He increased his body weight from 200 pounds to 212, and added 3.5 inches to his vertical leap.  Due to the basketball lockout, he never got a chance to work out for new Warriors coach Mark Jackson.   On the first day of training camp on Dec. 9, 2011, the Warriors waived Lin. He was a favorite of Lacob, but the Warriors were freeing up salary cap space to make an offer to restricted free agent center DeAndre Jordan.  Lin was due to make nearly $800,000 that would have become fully guaranteed on Feb. 10, 2012.
On December 12, 2011, Lin was claimed off waivers by the Houston Rockets.   He played seven minutes in two preseason games with the Rockets, who already had Kyle Lowry, Goran Dragic and Jonny Flynn as point guards with guaranteed contracts.  On Dec. 24, before the start of the season, the Rockets waived Lin to clear payroll to sign center Samuel Dalembert.
The New York Knicks claimed Lin off waivers on Dec. 27 to be a backup behind Toney Douglas and Mike Bibby after an injury to guard Imam Shumpert; recently-signed guard Baron Davis was also injured and weeks away from playing.  Because of the lockout coaches had little opportunity to see Lin’s play, and placed him fourth on the point guard depth chart.   Lin said he was “competing for a backup spot, and people see me as the 12th to 15th guy on the roster.  It's a numbers game.”  He continued to arrive first at practice, leave last, intensely study game film, and work with coaches to improve his footwork and judgment.   He made his season debut on the road against the Warriors, where he was warmly cheered in his return to Oracle Arena.  On Jan. 17, 2012, Lin was assigned to the Erie BayHawks of the D-League.  On Jan. 20, he had a triple-double with 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists in the BayHawks' 122–113 victory over the Maine Red Claws.   Lin was recalled by the Knicks three days later, but so feared being cut again that he asked a chaplain at a pregame prayer service to pray for him.
God must have been listening
On January 28, Davis suffered a setback that postponed his Knicks debut. Then New York considered releasing Lin before his contract became guaranteed on Feb. 10 so they could sign a new player.  However, after the Knicks squandered a fourth quarter lead in a Feb. 3 loss to the Boston Celtics, coach Mike D’Antoni decided to give Lin a chance to play due to “desperation,” according to experts.  “He got lucky because we were playing so badly,” said D'Antoni.  Lin had played only 55 minutes through the Knicks' first 23 games, but he would unexpectedly lead a turnaround of an 8–15 team that had lost 11 of its last 13 games.
On Feb. 4, Lin outplayed All-Star guard Deron Williams and had 25 points, five rebounds, and seven assists—all career-highs—in a 99–92 Knicks victory over the N.J. Nets.  Teammate Carmelo Anthony suggested to coach Mike D'Antoni at halftime that Lin should play more in the second half.  After the game, D'Antoni that Lin has a point-guard mentality and “a rhyme and a reason for what he is doing out there.”  In the subsequent game against the Utah Jazz, Lin made his first career start playing without stars Anthony, who left the game due to injury, and Amare Stoudemire, whose older brother had died.  Lin had 28 points and eight assists in the Knicks' 99–88 win.  Stoudemire and Anthony missed the next three and seven games, respectively.  D'Antoni stated after the Jazz game that he intended to “rid[e Lin] like freakin' Secretariat.” Basketball trainer David Thorpe said in hindsight that such a statement of confidence so soon by a coach was “incredibly rare,” and likely gave Lin the confidence to continue to play aggressively despite making mistakes.
On February 14, with less than a second remaining, Lin scored a game-winning three-pointer against the Toronto Raptors.  The basket so amazed the Lakers, watching on TV, that veteran player Meta World Peace ran by reporters shouting, “Linsanity! Linsanity!” and waving his hands above his head. Lin became the first NBA player to score at least 20 points and have seven assists in each of his first five starts.   Lin scored 89, 109, and 136 points in his first three, four, and five career starts, respectively, all three of which are the most by any player since the merger between the American Basketball Association and the NBA in 1976–77.

So, what we have here is:  Chinese-American guy from California dreams of playing professional basketball.  Although he’s the captain of his high school team and goes on to play for Harvard (and earn a degree in Economics), time after time, he’s told he doesn’t have what it takes.  He can’t jump.  He can’t shoot.  He can’t command the court.  He’s too thin.  He’s too light.

Chinese-American guy doesn’t take “no” or “I can’t” for an answer.  His Asian-American fans love him, but he knows it’s more than about proving that a Chinese-American guy jump.  No one else believes in him, though, including Jeremy Lin.  He has to prove that Jeremy Lin has what it takes, and can jump, shoot, and all the rest.  Professional team after professional team relegates him to the D-Leagues, where he wins honors.

That’s good enough.  Chinese-American is the first to arrive and practice and the last leave.  He watches DVDs of winning players and studies their moves.  He works out, gains weight, and practices those all-important jumps against taller players (Lin is 6 ft. 3 in.; tall for a Chinese-American guy; only just tall enough for professional basketball, it seems).

Desperate, Chinese-American guy gets down on his knees and prays to God just before a game.  God listens and our Chinese-American guy gets his break when two players have to go on leave for personal reasons.  His dubious coach is stunned.  The world is stunned.  One of basketball’s luminaries runs around the arena crying, “Linsanity!  Linsanity!”

That’s the story everyone missed while they were wringing their hands over a possible intentional or unintentional racial slur by a silly sportscaster.

Come on, Team America.  Get your priorities straight.  And to J.D., thanks for the tip on a good story.