Beware “Agenda 21” 8

What is “Agenda 21”?

It is one of the biggest steps the UN has taken towards world socialist government.

Here’s what the UN itself – through its Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division of Sustainable Development  – says about it:

Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment.

Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the Statement of principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests were adopted by more than 178 Governments at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, 3 to 14 June 1992.

The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was created in December 1992 to ensure effective follow-up of UNCED, to monitor and report on implementation of the agreements at the local, national, regional and international levels. It was agreed that a five year review of Earth Summit progress would be made in 1997 by the United Nations General Assembly meeting in special session.

Ominous buzz-words in there: “comprehensive”; “globally”; “sustainable”; “human impacts”; “environment”.

But 1992, 1997 …  that was way back in the last century. Why bring it up now?

Because Agenda 21 is about to be executed in the United States by executive order.

From an article at Canada Free Press, by Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh:

On June 9, 2011, few people paid attention to the Executive Order establishing the White House Rural Council. …

This piece of legislation from the Oval Office establishes unchecked federal control into rural America in education, food supply, land use, water use, recreation, property, energy, and the lives of 16% of the U.S. population.

Section 1, Policy states, “Sixteen percent of the American population lives in rural counties. Strong, sustainable rural communities are essential to winning the future and ensuring American competitiveness in the years ahead.”

There is no definition what rural America is. In fact, there are no definitions in this Executive Order at all. I emphasized the word “sustainable” because it is part of the “sustainable growth” plan of United Nation’s Agenda 21. Think of “sustainable” as what is acceptable to the federal government.

Why do we need a rural program? Is this not the ultimate trap to force us into Agenda 21 compliance of One World Government? All rural communities already have education, local laws, state laws, hospitals, and an enviable quality of life.

This order is taking control over our existing executive bodies in the state and local governments. …

The feds have already curtailed access to water use and public lands in many states through EPA regulations or appropriation of land such as in California and Utah. …

Local governments will no longer be able to set policies without feds approval. Cap and trade implementation will be forced in rural areas and nobody will be able to stop it. Land use, public planning, and food production will be regulated by unelected federal bureaucrats who will set quotas of food production, water use, energy use, and land use. …

There will be more federal jobs, more political appointees, no elected representatives …

Agenda 21 is the program of One World Government to de-grow our economy by controlling every aspect of what we do and how we live.

Twenty-five federal agencies are charged with total control of rural life: the Departments of the Treasury, of Defense, Justice, the Interior, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, Education, Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security; the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Council of Economic Advisors, the Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council, the Small Business Administration, the Council on Environmental Quality, the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, and the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs.

The Domestic Policy Council and National Economic Council will coordinate this executive order. Why do we need to control 16% of the population that lives in rural areas? Because rural Americans still have control over resources, over our food supply, and they are resistant to globalization. Whoever controls the food supply controls the population.

Global government is real, it is here

And this commentary comes from the American Thinker, by Scott Strzelczyk and Richard Rothschild:

Most Americans are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program known as Agenda 21. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Sustainable Development created Agenda 21 as a sustainability agenda which is arguably an amalgamation of socialism and extreme environmentalism brushed with anti-American, anti-capitalist overtones. …

Those charged with implementing Agenda 21 are advised not to mention it by that name but to say they are carrying out a plan of “smart growth”.

Undoubtedly, residents of any town, county, or city in the United States that treasure their freedom, liberty, and property rights couldn’t care less whether it’s called Agenda 21 or smart growth.

Richard Rothschild points out:

Smart growth is not science; it is political dogma combined with an insidious dose of social engineering. Smart growth is a wedding wherein zoning code is married with government-sponsored housing initiatives to accomplish government’s goal of social re-engineering. It urbanizes rural towns with high-density development, and gerrymanders population centers through the use of housing initiatives that enable people with weak patterns of personal financial responsibility to acquire homes in higher-income areas. This has the effect of shifting the voting patterns of rural municipalities from Right to Left.

The plans to implement Agenda 21 are more of a threat to private property that eminent domain. At least when property is seized under eminent domain rulings the owners receive payment, but with “smart growth” there will be losses without compensation:

Smart growth municipal plans, required by statute, enable municipalities to change zoning laws and engage in other regulatory actions that devalue property, restrict off-conveyances, and otherwise erode property values without payment of any compensation to the property owner. …

Agenda 21 is a direct assault on private property rights and American sovereignty, and it is coming to a neighborhood near you.

P.S.  The UN must be destroyed.

Don’t give a dime 5

At the request of our valued reader and  frequent commenter Frank, we have written this article on foreign aid and what would happen if it were stopped. He was prompted to think about it when he watched a news video reporting that in this time of recession and severe unemployment, hundred of millions of US taxpayer dollars are being sent abroad for the refurbishment of mosques in Islamic countries, many of which are known to incite terrorist attacks on US targets.

(Note: Requests are welcome, though we can’t promise always to grant them.)

*

“Foreign aid is the transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.”

There’s disagreement on who first said that, but it doesn’t matter. The question is: is it true?

The first part is not entirely untrue: among the tax–payers whose money goes to foreign aid are many who are poor, or at least not rich, by their own country’s standards.

The second part is almost entirely true. Foreign aid is paid by the donor states to the governments of the recipient states, and very little of it goes any further. The dictators, the kleptocrats, the oligarchs, the once-elected-always-in “democratic” panjandrums, the tribal chiefs who rule weaker tribes by tradition or conquest, pocket the lion’s share of the incoming largesse, distribute some of it to their kinsfolk, chums, influential supporters and selected rivals, and only then, if there’s anything left – which would likely be by oversight for which someone gets fired or shot – it’s flung from the balcony of power, in a little glittering shower, down upon the ravenous masses who scrabble for it in the dust.

Our own sort of government is not like that. Ours is accountable to us, at least in theory. The present government of the US has acted on a different understanding, but even the worst members of the Obama administration cannot – as far as we know – be accused of the venality of, say, African dictators, or even the routine corruption that characterizes the unelected leaders of the European Union.

Now what may be virtuous in an individual can be a fault in government, and vice versa. You, sir/madam, may not kill, but governments must in war. You may not demand money with menaces, but governments must when they tax you. You may not hold someone against their will, but governments must imprison convicts. You may give away your money, but a government is a trustee of others’ money and should spend it only for the benefit of those who earned it. Generosity is a virtue in a person, a vice in a government.

Those who want a government to be a wellspring of cash to pay for all their personal needs, vote for socialism. A socialist government is extortionist, the idea being that those who earn money should be forced to hand it over for the benefit of everybody else. A central agency – which can only be government as it’s the only institution with the legal power of compulsion – must gather it in and deal it out again “fairly”.  Some toil, and all hold their hands out. The system is not just, though it’s devotees call it “social justice”.

Socialists think of an economy as a pie, of which everyone should get an equal slice. They assume there is a fixed amount of wealth in the land, established once and for all long ago by divine grant, so if some are richer than others they must have become so by theft. A few are rich – they imagine – because the many are poor: the many are poor because a few are rich. They cannot grasp, or will not learn, that wealth is created, and where it is created some become rich and many become richer. (A fine example is the “second industrial revolution” that began to the world’s wonder and glory in Silicon Valley about half a century ago. Apple orchards gave way to Apple computers – to sum it up – and where there had been hundreds of poor field workers there are now millions of prosperous industrial workers, and the persons who were free to invest their own money, time, innovative ability as they chose, not only became rich themselves, but have also benefited hundreds of millions of people all over the world. That’s what capitalism and the free market – so dreaded and hated by socialists – can do.)

Foreign aid is a socialist idea. It is redistribution of the “world’s wealth”. That pie idea again, writ very large. Equal slices. A fixed amount that needs to be distributed “fairly”.  (Ideally, to the true believers, by a world government.) Those who advocate it get a warm glowing feeling inside. Puffed up with moral pride, they simply know they are virtuous. They hold compassion to be the highest value, and bestow their compassion, by means of other people’s money, liberally on the wretched of the earth.

But have they actually done any good?

They claim to have “helped” poor countries by bringing plenty where there was  scarcity. The more realistic among them, not entirely persuaded by the pie theory of wealth, see the free grants of cash from the First World as seed money with which  to grow profitable projects that will make many an economic desert bloom.

Has the looked-for transformation ever come about? Has US aid – for instance – ever actually promoted economic success anywhere?

Well, yes. Once. Maybe. European economic recovery after the devastation of World War Two was probably boosted by the aid it received through the Marshall Plan. About $13 billion was distributed in varying amounts to the west European states, including Italy and  Germany  (and even neutral Sweden but not Spain), Britain getting the most. It’s  impossible to know whether Europe would have recovered as well, less well, or better without it. It was given, it was used (much of it to buy goods from the United States), and Europe did recover and prosper, so you could say that the aid wasn’t wasted.

But can as much be said for other hand-outs to foreign lands? If you hunt about you may light upon a successful outcome from a grant being well used here and there on our big round globe. But in general the answer is no. Aid has not proved a successful means to help poor peoples to thrive. And that isn’t all of the bad news. The rest of the story is worse. For the most part aid is squandered.  Worse still, it has often had the effect of making poor countries poorer – a point to which we shall return. And arguably worst of all, it sometimes goes to strengthen the aid-giver’s active enemies. (See our post, Aiding our enemies , March 14, 2011.)

The  redistribution enthusiasts explain, in the patient tones of saints, that the waste of what is given and the hatred directed at the giver are the direct results of the rich countries not giving enough (see for example here, here, and here). They complain that no developed country in the Western world budgets even as much as the .7% of its GDP that they promised once upon a time at some international forum, some field of the cloth of gold. The richest country in the world, the USA, allots barely .2%, and the saints who want to be generous with Americans’ money feel that the US government should hang its head in shame for being so miserly.

But if the money is squandered, what justification is there for giving any at all? If it doesn’t improve living standards, does it at least secure a strategic advantage, a port or an air base? Ensure an ally where one might be needed? Engage a supportive voice in the United Nations? Yes, sometimes, for a while, if nothing comes along to put a strain on the agreement.

Does it matter if the aid money does no good for the recipient and possibly endangers the giver? Conservative governments seem to have answered this question cynically, along such lines as: “Even if a few millions bestowed on this or that Havenotistan is spent on a gold bed for the tyrant’s wife, or a fleet of Mercedes that cannot be moved from the airport where they were landed because no one knew to put oil in them before trying to drive them away (both actual examples), the amounts are too small to fuss about … chump change … and there may be some sort of  dividend coming out of it one sunny day.”

What if consumer goods are sent rather than money? Food, say? Doesn’t that reach the people who need it? Not often. It gets diverted –  to  cartels, army top brass, transport operators, profiteers in influential positions, who will sell what they don’t keep for themselves at inflated prices when famine gets severe enough. For instance, in Somalia, after such slavering packs of wolves have chewed off  their share  –  al-Qaeda linked terrorists among them in that benighted land –  only half the food sent as aid is “distributed to the needy population”. (See our  post,, Out of Africa always something familiar, March 11, 2010.)

But, it might be objected, not all recipients are unpredictable despotisms. The biggest beneficiary of US foreign aid is Israel – $3 billion per annum. Any complaint about that?

Yes. From Israel – because of the strings attached. Israel has to use some of the money to buy American military aircraft and weapons – not the ones it wants, but the sort Israelis say they can make better themselves. Some also say they don’t really need the aid at all, which amounts to under 1% of Israel’s total GDP, but are not allowed to refuse it because tens of thousands of American jobs depend on the Israeli munitions market. If this is true, Israel is not a beneficiary but a victim of aid!

From America’s point of view, however, that’s surely one lump of aid worth giving. Or is it? The economist Peter Bauer, who was Prime Minister Thatcher’s special adviser on foreign aid, pointed out that such an arrangement as that is analogous to your local store owner giving you cash on condition that you spend some of it buying his merchandise.

But let’s return to our assertion that aid often has the effect of making poor countries poorer. Here’s a quotation from an article by Matthew Rees in the Wall Street Journal [first quoted in our post, How to spread poverty, April 4, 2009]:

Dambisa Moyo, a native of Zambia and a former World Bank consultant, believes that it is time to stop proceeding as if foreign aid does the good that it is supposed to do. …  Aid, she writes, is “no longer part of the potential solution, it’s part of the problem – in fact, aid is the problem.” … Ms. Moyo spells out how attempts to help Africa actually hurt it. The aid money pouring into Africa, she says, underwrites brutal and corrupt regimes; it stifles investment; and it leads to higher rates of poverty – all of which, in turn, creates a demand for yet more aid. Africa, Ms. Moyo notes, seems hopelessly trapped in this spiral, and she wants to see it break free. Over the past 30 years, she says, the most aid-dependent countries in Africa have experienced economic contraction averaging 0.2% a year.

In the light of that dismal fact, foreign aid is plainly a bad idea and it should be stopped.

What would happen if it were?

It’s more than likely that the redistribution saints would wax very wrathful indeed. It would soon become plain that their motive was never so much – or at all? – the betterment of life for the hungry masses in poor countries. They, or many of them, have a higher goal in mind: global redistribution of what they call “resources” – meaning the wealth created in and by the capitalist First World.

Matthew Rees explains in his Wall Street Journal article:

The report blends the socialist and Islamic economic perspectives as an alternative to our present capitalistic system.  It has four basic themes.  Western-style free market capitalism is the villain. Redistributive justice is mandatory. New global governance authorities are required. Global taxes are also needed.

The only institution that the UN experts believe has broad enough political legitimacy to serve as the global decision making forum and eliminate the abuses of free market capitalism is, unsurprisingly, the body that gave them the platform to air their views on a global stage in the first place – the United Nations.

Since the United States is usually asked by the UN to put up at least 20% of whatever money it is raising, that would mean U.S. taxpayers would be expected to fork over $200 billion extra over the next two years.

Would we at least be able to impose some reasonable conditions on the massive grants and loans for development and other support (or “conditionalities” as the Commission of Experts calls them)?  The UN experts say absolutely not!

After all, it would be politically incorrect to expect each recipient of our taxpayers’ money to actually have to demonstrate that the money won’t end up in a corrupt dictator’s Swiss bank account because, according to the UN experts’ circular reasoning, such “conditionalities” would “disadvantage developing countries relative to the developed, and undermine incentives for developing countries to seek support funding…

Our sovereignty as a self-governing people to regulate our own economy must give way to global government for the sake of “the broad interest of the international community”.

The bid failed. But the saints never give up. They had another go by claiming that the planet could only be saved from man-made global warming by world government, which would oversee the redistribution of the developed world’s “resources”.

That would be the killing of the goose that lays the golden eggs. There would soon be no more “resources” to redistribute. No one would be rich (except themselves), but there’d be that equality of misery everywhere on earth which, to the socialist conscience, is the non plus ultra of moral good.

We must not let it happen. Our verdict is that if foreign aid were stopped, everyone would benefit, the nations that give and the nations that receive. So what we need now – to save not only ourselves who are thriving on capitalism, but the rest of the world too – are tightfisted governments. America must elect a miser-government, the stingiest ever, refusing so much as a crumb in aid to another country. Then the wretched of the earth can imitate our ways, and prosper.

Jillian Becker   March 21, 2011

Eat it or burn it? 8

The production of bio-fuels promotes hunger. Ethanol is the sacrifice of food to ideology.

Driven by its obsession with “green energy”, the left – whose heart, remember, is constantly aching for the wretched of the earth – has food turned into fuel (rather than drill for more oil in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska). The result – the wretched of the earth go hungrier.

This is from Breitbart:

World food prices reached their highest level ever recorded in January and are set to keep rising for months, the UN food agency [Food and Agricultural Organization, FAO] said on Thursday, warning that the hardest-hit countries could face turmoil.

Some of them already have – Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria …

And in its latest survey, the Food and Agriculture Organisation said its index which monitors monthly price changes for a variety of staples averaged 231 points in January — the highest level since records began in 1990. …

The Index rose by 3.4 percent from December — with big increases in particular for dairy [cattle feed becomes more expensive because of the ethanol program], cereal and oil prices. …

The data from the Rome-based FAO showed that prices for dairy products rose by 6.2 percent from December, oils and fats gained 5.6 percent, while cereals went up by 3.0 percent because of lower global supply of wheat and maize. …

The Food Price Index hit 200 points over the whole of 2008 at the height of the 2007/2008 food crisis. It breached that level for the first time in October 2010 with 205 points. …

And this is from FrontPage Magazine:

One of the most common causes of societal discontent, the very factor that led to the ongoing Egyptian protests, is hunger. Unfortunately, worldwide global warming fanaticism has only contributed to this plight. By consuming ever-expansive portions of the world food supply for the production of green bio-fuels, the left has increased the cost of food for those who can least afford it. This has caused much undue suffering for the world’s poor and significantly exacerbated Third World instability — and Egypt is no exception. …

Today, we’re seeing that effect in Egypt and we’re going to see more of it throughout the world unless we can fix the growing worldwide food crisis. We’ve been skating on thin ice, in terms of food supply, for more than a decade now. Between 2000 and 2010, the World Food Price Index, the inflation-adjusted measure of how expensive food is across the globe, almost doubled. In 2000 the index sat at a value of 90. By 2010, the index had risen to a value of 172. That’s a 91% increase in the cost of food over the course of a decade. …

Between 1999 and 2009, the amount of cropland used to grow wheat in America dropped by over 3 million acres, or almost 5 per cent. … The amount of land used to grow rice dropped over 15 per cent; for oats, over 30 per cent; for rye, over 20 per cent; for peanuts and edible beets, over 25 per cent; and for sugarbeets, a shade under 25 per cent. These are some of the commodities that are used, directly and indirectly, to produce the food that once fed the world. And, those statistics are just a few highlights, or lowlights if you will, of the overall trend.

In the US, farmers use ever more land to grow “energy-crops” – chiefly corn and soybeans – because they are subsidized by the government, and ever less for crops that can only be eaten.

Overall, the amount of United States cropland used to grow basic food commodities — crops other than corn and soybeans — has decreased by over 22 million acres since 1999. …

The American taxpayer … ultimately pays the bill for the bio-fuel incentive programs that make growing energy crops more profitable than providing nutrition to the globe.

It’s ironic that the United Nations should be warning about the disastrous results of the food-into-fuel policy, since it is the central church, the Vatican one might say, of the “green” religion.

But don’t take my word for it, consider instead the viewpoint of the organization that has been pushing global warming hysteria harder than anyone this side of Al Gore: the United Nations. According to the UN, almost 10 per cent of world grain production – that’s about 100 million metric tons per year – goes for bi-fuel production. They expect that number to double by 2018. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization says that “competition between the three Fs (food, feed and fuel) is expected to intensify,” which is probably about as close in tone to criticism that one branch of the UN is going to use about another branch: the International Panel on Climate Change.

So it seems that the left has now become more sentimental about the planet than about the poor.

Michelle Obama and her fans might try fussing less about Americans being too fat and think more (if think they can) about why other nations are too thin.

Nourishing a misconception 1

To those who feel morally good because they buy and consume only “organic” food, this may come as a most uncomfortable truth: you cannot be both FOR universal organic farming and FOR feeding the hungry millions.

And you need not worry that your health will suffer if you eat mass-produced foods. It’s a misconception that organic food is better for your health than the kind grown with chemical aids. It’s just more expensive.

This report by the Center for Consumer Freedom explains:

Another study, another dose of reality for organic-only foodies. A review published this month in the prestigious American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds that the evidence from previous studies … indicates that organic food isn’t any healthier than ordinary, conventionally grown food.

This follows on the heels of, and supports, a similar review last summer from the same team. That review, released by Britain’s Food Standards Agency, came to the same conclusion after the authors sifted through 162 peer-reviewed research articles from the previous five decades.

As you might expect, the review last summer came under instant criticism from groups that promote organic foods by making health claims. So who’s to say who’s right? Writing in the Institute of Food Technologists’ journal Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety this spring, Rutgers University professor Joseph Rosen analyzed the marketing and health claims made by organic proponents. After noting that experts at the Mayo Clinic and American Dietetic Association don’t find any real benefits in organic food, Rosen concludes: … Consumers who buy organic food because they believe that it contains more healthful nutrients than conventional food are wasting their money.

And …  let’s just dispose of the ridiculous idea that the whole world could go organic if we all agreed to do it. Limited crop yields mean organic agriculture simply can’t feed the world. University of Manitoba agronomist Vaclav Smil calculated that in order to replace synthetic nitrogen (widely used today) with organic nitrogen, the U.S. alone would need an additional 1 billion livestock (for manure) and 2 billion acres of forage crops (for the livestock). That’s the size of the lower 48 states.

In other words, the organic niche is just that—a niche, and a feel-good boutique system for those who can afford it. But the idea that its widespread use would bring widespread benefits to humanity belongs in the compost.

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