(Food Freedom News) Monsanto’s Food and Drug Administration can’t close down small dairies and private food clubs fast enough, bursting on the scene with guns drawn as if the criminalized right to contract for natural foods we’ve consumed for millennia deserves SWAT attention.
Now, Obama has the Dept. of Justice going after small farmers under the post-911 “Bank Secrecy Act” which makes it a crime to deposit less than $10,000 when you earned more than that.
“The level we deposited was what it was and it was about the same every week,” Randy Sowers told Frederick News. The Sowers own and run South Mountain Creamery in Middletown, Maryland.
Admittedly, when the Sowers earned over $10,000 in February, and learned they’d have to fill out paperwork at the bank for such large deposits, they simply rolled the deposits over to keep them below the none-of-your-fucking-business amount, rather than waste time on bureaucratic red tape aimed at flagging terrorism or other illegal activities.
“Structuring,” explains Overlawyered.com, “is the federal criminal offense of splitting up bank deposits so as to keep them under a threshold such as $10,000 above which banks have to report transactions to the government.”
While being questioned, the Sowers were finally presented with a seizure order and advised that the feds had already emptied their bank account of $70,000. The Dept. of Justice has since sued to keep $63,000 of the Sowers’ money, though they committed no crime other than maintaining their privacy.
Without funds, they will be unable to make purchases for the spring planting.
When a similar action was taken against Taylor’s Produce Stand last year, the feds seized $90,000, dropped the charges, and kept $45,000 of Taylor’s money.
Knowing that most farms operate on a very thin margin, such abuse of power wipes out a family’s income, and for a bonus, the feds enhance the monopoly power of Monsanto, Big Dairy and their supply chain.
You can just smell attorney Michael Taylor behind all this, Obama’s dairy dog. Who you’ll find, instead, is US district attorney Stefan Cassella. He’s the first to head the DOJ’s Asset Forfeiture & Money Laundering Section, created in 2009, having wrote the books on it. He cut his teeth on seizing $1.2 billion from real money launderer, BCCI. Guess his focus has changed since then.
The Maryland Dept. of Agriculture had no trouble hitting up the Sowers for a recipe in its Buy-Local cookbook; but Cassella must’ve missed that public service, or it’s what drew his attention – “Ah! A small dairy! Let’s rob them of their cash, those evil Big Dairy competitors. They probably sell raw milk under the table. Even if we find no evidence of wrongdoing, we’ll keep their money anyway.” (Cue Curly’s, “yuh, yuh, yuh.”)
City Paper reports that in 2011, “Maryland brought 14 of the nation’s 99 structuring cases, making it the top state for such prosecutions. Nationally, the numbers have been rising; the 2011 figures are up 8.8 percent from the year before and up 57.1 percent from five years ago.”
Funny, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and other criminal banksters are still in operation, despite committing millions of acts of fraud during mortgage reassignations. But the DOJ prioritizes squashing family farmers since it’s easier to pick the low-hanging fruit than do battle with well-financed criminals who’ve illegally seized the homes of millions of US citizens.
Former Maryland assistant U.S. attorney Steven Levin told the paper, “The emphasis is on basically seizing money, whether it is legally or illegally earned. It can lead to financial ruin for business owners, and there’s a potential for abuse here by the government.”
The Bank Secrecy Act was modified* after 9/11, another in a long line of Constitutionally-abhorrent laws enacted by officials who cannot prove they were elected to office (given those elections were held on electronic voting systems that can be hacked without leaving evidence of the crime).
With the current Administration’s Agenda 21 focus on destroying the natural food and herb industry, is it not unsurprising to see unconstitutional terrorist legislation used on innocent, law abiding citizens?
(INFOWARS) The shocking story of Andrew Wordes, who had his property seized and was terrorized to death by the city of Roswell, GA, for the crime of keeping chickens on his land, underscores how “green” zoning laws introduced in accordance with the United Nations’ Agenda 21 policy are responsible for a new wave of brutal neo-feudalism now sweeping the United States.
Despite the fact that the city of Roswell allows chickens to be kept on properties less than 2 acres, Wordes was subjected to a sustained campaign of harassment and intimidation by the state which began in December 2008 when the city issued Wordes with a citation for keeping the chickens after a complaint by a neighbor.
After all the charges against Wordes were dropped, city administrators then re-wrote the ordinance to say that only six or less chickens could be kept on a property of less than 2 acres and hit Wordes with another citation.
Wordes won the case for a second time when the judge concluded that he was “granfathered in” under the previous ordinance that allowed for chickens on less than 2 acres.
Despite Wordes constantly winning legal cases, the city would not let up on their campaign of terror, moving to illegally intimidate the mortgage holder on Wordes house, an 80-year-old woman, to sell the mortgage note to the city for 40 cents on the dollar.
Amidst all this constant harassment, Wordes had to cope with his house flooding numerous times and criminals breaking in and vandalizing his property, including one incident where a third of his birds were poisoned to death, an act likely perpetrated by the neighbor who had sided with the city in targeting Wordes.
Now turning to the argument that Wordes’ activities represented a “nuisance,” the city filed a 55 page civil lawsuit, while simultaneously declaring Wordes’ property to be a “Conservation Area or Greenspace,” representing the final move in seizing the property under the auspices of tyrannical environmental mandates that were clearly manufactured by the state as a tool of harassment.
Although Wordes attempted to sell his land to the city, councilors then slapped a phony foreclosure notice on the property. When Wordes missed a probation check and was jailed for 99 days, the city immediately issued a press release announcing that his property was “vacant,” prompting criminals to break in and steal Wordes’ firearms, valuables and other ammunition. City administrators signaled they were unconcerned about the incident and would do nothing about it.
While he was in jail, the unknown mortgage note holder tried to foreclose on the property and Wordes was prevented from mounting any kind of appeal.
On March 26, Fulton County Marshals arrived at Wordes’ home to follow through on the city’s illegal order to evict him. Shortly afterwards there was an explosion and Wordes’ was subsequently found dead. Although initially declared to be a suicide, circumstances surrounding the incident remain unclear.
What is abundantly clear is the fact that Andrew Wordes was terrorized, harassed and abused to death by a predatory state whose plan all along was to seize the property under the justification of so-called ‘green’ zoning laws.
Check out Natural News’ infographic for a detailed summary of Andrew Wordes’ case.
Americans all over the country are facing similar threats, intimidation and harassment as the state attempts to reintroduce feudal serfdom and arbitrary property seizures all under the justification of environmental zoning laws.
The United Nations’ Agenda 21 project, which cities and states are now adhering to in places like California, where building detached family homes is now virtually illegal, dictates that authorities must adopt “sustainable development” policies at all costs.
Under the new system of eco-fascism that the elite are implementing through the vehicle of global warming hysteria, property rights are non-existent as people are forced into high density prison cities wherein any form of self-sufficiency whatsoever, down to the level of keeping chickens, is crushed under the iron fist of regulation, code enforcement, and authoritarian environmental despotism.
(THE TENNESEAN) Tennessee lawmakers passed a resolution Thursday condemning a United Nations environmental plan as a “destructive and insidious” effort to advance a communist agenda through the guise of community planning.
The state House of Representatives voted 72-23 in favor of House Joint Resolution 587, which denounces the nonbinding Agenda 21 plan adopted by a United Nations environmental conference two decades ago.
The plan called on members of the United Nations to adopt sustainable development principles to alleviate poverty and combat global warming. But the resolution approved by Tennessee lawmakers on Thursday depicts it as a plan for the “socialist/communist redistribution of wealth” through energy conservation policies, zoning restrictions and forced abortions.
“It reads well. It has nice words like sustainability and helping the poor,” said state Rep. Glen Casada, R-Franklin. “But what these people want to do is they want to cap the number of people this planet can have. … So ladies and gentlemen, if that doesn’t bother you, if those words don’t scare you, we’ve got to talk.”
Little known even in environmental and planning circles until recently, Agenda 21 has grabbed the attention of conservative groups, who say the document calls on national and local governments to pursue environmental goals by limiting property rights and freedom.
Environmental groups, in turn, believe the resolution is part of a broad-based effort to roll back or prevent planning and zoning.
Agenda 21 was developed at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. The proposal was meant to address problems such as overpopulation, global warming and Third World poverty, but it had largely been forgotten until groups such as the Republican National Committee and the John Birch Society began to link it to zoning decisions and other local government actions that they say limit property rights.
State Rep. Rick Womick, R-Rockvale, pointed to policies such as a Cocke County proposal to ban building on ridgetops and a Rutherford County demand that a business owner pave his parking lot as examples of Agenda 21 put to action.
Casada, meanwhile, said the plan’s focus on sustainability could be used to justify forced abortions in the interest of controlling population growth.
Opponents mocked the resolution.
“Boy that’s … whoo! Insidious! Communist! Socialist!” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner said. “I didn’t know what Agenda 21 was, to be honest with you. … I really want to learn about this Agenda 21.”
Seven Democrats joined the House’s 64 Republicans and one independent in voting for the measure, and the resolution’s 33 co-sponsors gathered in the well of the House of Representatives when it was introduced.
Supporters said the resolution would send a message that Tennesseans oppose the actions and principles behind Agenda 21.
“It really is a problem that many Tennesseans do know about,” the measure’s sponsor, Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland, told reporters later. “The responses we’ve received — emails, letters, phone calls, petitions signed by hundreds of Tennesseans saying, ‘Please protect us.’ That’s what we were elected to do.”
Neither the House resolution nor the U.N. plan it opposes are binding, and supporters have not shown a direct link from the plan drafted in Brazil in the early 1990s to decisions made by local governments in Tennessee 20 years later.
But they said government entities such as the courts, the Environmental Protection Agency and zoning boards could be carrying out the plan.
“It basically says in the 288-page document that they can take your land,” he said. “They don’t name names. They don’t name a czar over this. But if in fact it’s there, we don’t want it to come into our borders.”
Two other states, Georgia and New Hampshire, have considered anti-Agenda 21 measures this year. Brooks said the resolution had been promoted by the RNC.
But the measure matches up nearly word for word with a model posted on the website of the John Birch Society, a conservative group that Republicans have largely shunned since the 1960s, Turner said.
“It’d almost be funny if it wasn’t so sad that so many people buy into this,” he said. “Elected officials actually think there’s a communist behind every tree. … At one time, I used to think they tried to put this on just to keep people stirred up, but I think some of their people actually believe that.”
Brooks said the John Birch Society played no role in drafting the resolution.
Still, Jim Sandman, state coordinator for the organization, attended Thursday’s vote and praised the resolution.
“It just gives a sense to Congress where Tennesseans feel on this threat from sustainable development policies,” he said. “Private property and freedom are inseparable, and when there’s a threat against private property. … It’s already happening, some of it.”
(FOXNEWS) An environmental report issued by an agency of the United Nations last month has some critics sounding the alarm, saying it is a clarion call for “global governance” over how the Earth is managed.
The report, “21 Issues for the 21st Century,” from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Foresight Process, is the culmination of a two-year deliberative process involving 22 core scientists. It is expected to receive considerable attention in the run-up to the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which will be held in Rio, Brazil, in June.
The scientists who wrote the report say it focuses on identifying emerging issues in the global environment, and that it is not about mandating solutions.
But its critics see an agenda lurking in its 60 pages, which call for a complete overhaul of how the world’s food and water are created and distributed — something the report says is “urgently needed” for the human race to keep feeding and hydrating itself safely.
“This is more utopianism, pie-in-the-sky pleading for ‘global governance,’ including what they acknowledge as ‘novel governance arrangements,’ including, ‘alliances between environmentalist and other civil society groups,’” charged Chris Horner, author of Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud and Deception to Keep You Misinformed, and a senior fellow for energy and environment at the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in Washington, D.C.
The Foresight Report suggests actions to save humanity from starvation, the overheating planet and the collapse of the world’s oceans — options that include new “constitutional frameworks,” “international protocols” and a “shared vision” for land and water management that essentially rewire existing treaties and governments.
But the group insists it’s not a call for global governance.
“We are not talking about a world government,” said Dr. Oren Young, professor of institutional and international governance and environmental institutions at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and one of the scientists who issued the report.
He said the panel’s conversations included questions like, “How do we resolve these problems without creating this monster entity?”
Young said the panel wasn’t tasked with finding all the answers.
“We realize that government can be part of the problem,” he told FoxNews.com. “But we can’t close our eyes and say, ‘oh well, everything will work out,’ without us even looking at it.”
Even environmentalists don’t believe that planet-wide accords are particularly popular.
“I don’t think there is a global appetite right now for new institutions … or a world environmental organization like we have, say, with the World Trade Organization,” said Janet Redman, co-director of the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network at the progressive Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C.
“There are a lot of places — especially the oceans and food security — where everyone is saying that doing this piecemeal is not going to address the bigger sense of these environmental issues.”
But on the whole, she said, global government probably won’t work.
“I think everyone agrees this is not the right time,” Redman told FoxNews.com.
The State Dept. has already weighed in on many of the issues presented by the Foresight Panel in its own statement, titled “Sustainable Development for the Next Twenty Years United States Views on RIO+20.”
Submitted to the U.N by the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OIES) in November, this policy vision makes it clear the State Dept. will back global government solutions — whether they be in addressing the overfishing of the oceans, making national laws and regulations more transparent, addressing land and ocean-based pollution, or water management.
The U.S. also is wholly supportive of strengthening the UNEP as “a body through which governments can cooperate to recommend environmental policies, promote best practices, and build national capacity for governance, monitoring and assessment,” according to the vision statement.
Yet UNEP is unsuited for that, by the agency’s own admission.
An internal U.N study obtained by Fox News last June found that the $450 million organization is an administrative mess, not knowing how its money is spent or how many public and private partners it might be working with at any given time.
Questions about the ability of nations to work with global bodies such as the U.N, and whether they should subscribe to transnational guidelines or mandates, will no doubt be a subject of concern in the run-up to the Rio summit.
Just as global governance solutions are raised in the report, so are local solutions that involve local governments, private industry and promoting individual and community shifts in the way people live and tend to the environment in their daily lives and workplaces.
Congress set to hand our highways and freeways over to foreign corporations: New toll roads planned for all 50 states
(PPJ GAZETTE) The efforts to parcel off and sell out entire sectors of America’s infrastructure to foreign interest continues daily. HR 7, the bill at issue here would put tolls on roads American taxpayers funded and paid for and which they continue to fund through gasoline taxes diverted to the Transportation and Highway Trust account at the IMF. Of course, that trust fund, just like Social Security has been raided continually by the federal government since its inception leaving a negative balance for that particular identified revenue stream. The money the federal government invested in the original construction of these highways and freeways was garnered from individual taxes and was not taken from some non-existent private account owned by the Fed. The Fed has no money of its own.
HR 7 will effectively end our right to travel freely by making the cost of travel so expensive, that we won’t travel.
From www.texasturf.org Texas Turf:
It’s been 7 years since Congress passed the last federal highway bill. Now its racing through Congress at the speed of light — why? Because they want to sell-off our public roads to private corporations, raise your taxes through tolls, and lift the ban on imposing tolls on existing highways. There are 500 toll projects being contemplated inTexas alone!
An amendment to allow tolls on ALL existing interstates in all 50 states is expected to be presented on the floor by Senator Carper of Delaware. Imposing tolls on existing freeways is a massive DOUBLE TAX — charging motorists an additional tax, a toll, to use what they’ve already built and paid for!
The current House Bill, HR 7, only bans tolls on existing FEDERAL interstates. It GUTS the ban on imposing tolls on existing STATE highways — a ban that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison put in place for Texas since 2007. The fate our public freeway system is under attack!
STEP 1 -
Call Senator John Cornyn and ask him to support the Hutchison ban on tolling existing STATE and FEDERAL freeways and to STRIP PPPs & TIFIA loans OUT of the transportation bill .
Call Cornyn’s office at 202-224-2934 & email him here.
STEP 2 –
Call your member of Congress and ask him/her to ADD the Hutchison “Freedom from Tolls” Amendment to ban tolling existing freeways – BOTH state and federal – to HR 7 and STRIP PPPs & TIFIA loans OUT of the transportation bill.
Find out who your member of Congress is here or call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
Sneaky new tax
Government has figured out that instead of solving congestion, they can manipulate it for a profit (by keeping your free lanes congested and forcing people to pay a premium to get mobility). They’re terrified to raise the gas tax, but have no problem imposing tolls on all new capacity to our roads, even on EXISTING lanes that we travel today without tolls.
It costs 1-2 cents per mile to travel a gas tax funded freeway, but anywhere from 20 cents a mile up to 75 cents per mile to use a toll lane. It’s an explosion in our cost to travel. A gas tax funded road costs PENNIES a day, a toll road costs DOLLARS a day and THOUSANDS more in new taxes per year.
The way toll roads are being financed today, ALL Americans are paying to build them through subsidies of taxpayer money like gas tax, but you won’t be able to use them without paying a toll, too (a DOUBLE TAX)! So whether you can afford to take these toll lanes or not, you’re paying for them. This notion that tolls are user fees is a myth when you look at how heavily they’re subsidized by ALL taxpayers. You’re also paying for them through a higher cost of goods that gets passed onto consumers.
Selling us out
Both the House and Senate versions of the federal highway bill, dubbed the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act, include public private partnerships (or PPPs) that sell-off our public roads to private corporations in 50-99 year government-sanctioned toll road monopolies. PPPs use heaps of public money to socialize the losses, while they privatize and GUARANTEE profits for the private operators.
Columnist Michelle Malkin calls PPPs ‘corporate welfare.’ Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were some of the first PPPs and eventually caused the sub-prime mortgage crisis and subsequent $1 trillion dollar taxpayer BAILOUT!
The TIFIA loan program is a HUGE source of funds used to subsidize ill-conceived toll roads that can’t pay for themselves. It’s the primary pot of taxpayer money given to these private, foreign corporations seeking to takeover ourU.S. highways using public private partnership toll road contracts.
NOTE: The first TIFIA loan was awarded to a private consortium in a PPP deal on the South Bay Expressway in San Diego. It went bankrupt less than three years later due to traffic projections that were off by over 40,000 cars per day! Taxpayers had to accept a write-down of nearly $80 million of a $172 million federal TIFIA loan in yet another taxpayer bailout for private corporations.
The TIFIA loan program is all BORROWED money from the Federal Reserve, so who will have to bailout these toll roads when the cars don’t show up as they didn’t in San Diego along with other projects across the country? YOU and me, the taxpayer.
Think about it – PPPs give private corporations the power to TAX! They are granted the power to levy unlimited toll taxes on the traveling public – and we can’t hold corporations accountable like we can politicians at the ballot box. This is why politicians LOVE PPPs. They get to OUTSOURCE the taxation to their special interest buddies and makes us pay back our own money with interest through tolls!
Rather than get rid of the failed TIFIA loan program, the federal highway bill INCREASES TIFIA funding by nearly TEN times from $100/yr to $1 BILLION/yr. Current law requires the taxpayers to be paid back first, now in the bill as written, private interests would get paid back first and taxpayers would be paid back last.
PPPs also contain non-compete clauses that prohibit or penalize the expansion of free roads surrounding the privatized toll roads, guaranteeing congestion on the free routes.
Also, PPP toll contracts allow private entities to benefit from the use of eminent domain, and they result in toll rates as high as 75 cents a mile. That’s like adding $15 to every gallon of gas you buy!
This is an announcement from www.FreedomAdvocates.org September 4, 2011
Say “No” to Buddies and Beneficiaries, Governor Must VETO B Lab’s AB 361
Contributions to this report from Stephen Poole and Wynne Coleman.
There are big bills pending in California right now that will ultimately wipe out independent and private businesses. One of them is AB 361 which establishes “California B Corp Benefit Corporations,” a program for buddies and beneficiaries who agree to advance the principles of Sustainable Development and Agenda 21.
The vehicle for passing this bill is California B Corp AB 361. It has already passed the California Senate and Assembly. It’s on its way for the Governor to sign but there is still time to veto it.
Because B Corps are legally recognized by government for their willingness to undertake Agenda 21 Sustainable objectives, state and local entities will be encouraged to allow these companies to go to the front of the line for licenses, permits and tax incentives. The companies that refuse to become benefit corporations will have to wait.
As more companies allow themselves to be “certified” or rated by third party entities (such as B Lab) for their pro-sustainability practices, the pro-sustainability companies will be given incentives to work with others of like mind and will come to favor each other (sort of like a brotherhood of businesses). Those who do not practice sustainability will be excluded. You don’t need to peruse it, just skim down the pages of this B Lab – B Corps 2011 Annual Report and you will see how the B Corps are already working with each other and cheering each other on.
Of course, eventually, it will be the big companies that get the favors from government by going along with Agenda 21 sustainability practices, including the idea of benefit corporations. These favors would not only be in the form of tax breaks or incentives, but also include special permissions to build on or set up business in prime locations. Large companies have the financial means to implement the agenda on a large scale that the little companies may not be able to accomplish. Corporate monopolies will result.
Government uses these elite businesses to accomplish their social engineering ideals and also to acquire more power without having to answer to voters.
Recently it was announced that Green Plus – Institute for Sustainable Development, is offering small rural business ways to become certified in sustainable practices so they can qualify for business loans and other programs. This is another way some businesses, even small ones, think they can profit from going sustainable.
Stephen Poole has written a comprehensive 4 part article entitled,
Benefit Corporations: Expansion of the Public-Private Fascist State, Part 1 Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Wynne Coleman has a one page article on B Lab with easy links to explore for other States involvement and also a commentary on the connections between Benefit Corporations, Public Private Partnerships, Sustainable Development and U.N. Agenda 21,
B Labs Benefit Corporations Won’t Benefit You
There are national groups promoting these corporations in many states. To see the list of States, including California, where B Corp legislation has been proposed or passed go to: http://www.bcorporation.net/publicpolicy
If Governor Brown signs this legislation it will be a giant step into the unknown. The text of the bill doesn’t even try to define what the standards will be — only that there will be standards, and that those standards ARE NOT subject to the approval of the voters but instead a yet-to-be-named “third party.” In short, the governor should not sign into law a bill that has the potential to give economic carte blanche to a group or organization that the public has neither vetted nor approved.
Say “No” to Buddies and Beneficiaries.
The Governor must VETO B Lab’s AB 361.
Contact info for Governor Jerry Brown:
Spread the news and forward this to others who might be interested.
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(SURVIVAL STATION) The November elections marked a sea change in the political landscape at every level of government nationwide. Right now, all eyes are focused on the Wisconsin standoff between Governor Scott Walker and the public employee unions. But under the radar, completely overlooked by the mass media, is the unprecedented move recently taken by newly-elected Carroll County, Maryland Commissioners Richard Rothschild, Robin Frazier, Haven Shoemaker, Dave Roush and Doug Howard, who abolished the County’s Office of Sustainability. They then voted unanimously to drop out of the UN’s International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). They are the first governmental organization to do so.
For those unfamiliar with the sustainable development agenda, this might not seem like much, but it ishuge. If you have been following my recent series on the subject, you will know that local Sustainability offices, under the auspices of the ICLEI’s Local Governments for Sustainability, are the tiny, visible tip of the monstrous Agenda 21 sustainable development iceberg, the ultimate goal of which is to transform American society from the bottom up into a socialist ward of UN global governance. As of today, there areapproximately 600 local governments in the US who have signed on to this Trojan Horse.
All the commissioners are to be commended for this bold decision. Predictably, the left is up in arms. The commissioners have already been challenged to a debate on their decision and the other side wants to bring in heavy hitters from the EPA and the Maryland Department of the Environment in an attempt to discredit the commission’s earth shattering (figuratively) move.
I think the commissioners took some skin.
Richard Rothschild led the charge. He campaigned on this issue, framing it, appropriately, as a matter of private property rights. In an American Thinker article he co-wrote last summer with Scott Strzelczyk, he explained that: “Sustainability has less to do with the environment, and everything to do with economics. It is an attack on capitalism, and an attack on America’s middle class lifestyle.”
Rich recently discussed Agenda 21 in a radio address. Listen here. This is the kind of leadership that has been sorely lacking at all levels of government and hopefully his example and that of his fellow commissioners will embolden more such individuals to step forward before it is too late.
Following the election, Carroll County’s sustainability director saw the writing on the wall and opted for early retirement. He then began taking pot shots at the new commissioners in the local paper. After being party to the biggest attempted land grab in the county’s history under the “Smart Growth” banner, this clown had the gall to wonder aloud how anyone could believe a UN planning document marketed as “Smart Growth” could affect Carroll County. I have a suggestion for him: read the documents.
Rich responded to these attacks with an in-depth explanation of Sustainable Development published in the local paper:
Sustainability invokes government power to enforce activists’ views of environmentalism. They want to replace farmers’, ranchers’ and other landowners’ concept of stewardship with government-centric control. It merges environmentalism and socialism to expand government into every aspect of our lives, including land use, food production, housing, transportation, manufacturing, energy rationing and even health care.
He identifies the ICLEI for what it really is:
…an organization with extreme beliefs on global warming that promotes United Nations’ big-government socio-economic policies. The UN Millennium Papers caution activists not to mention the UN Agenda because of potential American backlash, and instruct, “So, we call our process something else, such as comprehensive planning, growth management, or smart growth.”
Rich cites egregious examples of “sustainability” in practice:
Sustainability disciples use euphemistic terms like “environmental justice,” and collude with government to enforce oppressive regulations at any cost. Don’t believe me? Google “EPA TMDL lawsuits” and see the list of activists that sue the EPA and obtain federal court opinions that embolden oppressive regulations.
Why does the EPA advertise these lawsuits on its website? Ironically, every time the EPA loses to an environmental group, it grows stronger as courts direct the EPA to enforce. The courts have become unwitting accomplices to government overreach. One Maryland county faces $1.8 billion in regulatory mandates, possibly enough to push them to the brink of insolvency.
In another bid for expansion, government auctions off imaginary carbon credits. The 2008 northeast auction raised $600 million in hidden taxes that are passed on to struggling families through higher utility costs.
The words “sustainable development” deceitfully suggest environmental conservation, and people who focus on the slogans without reading the fine print come up with simplistic conclusions like “it’s all about the environment.” In reality, Agenda-21 based sustainability programs seek government control of land, labor and capital in order to promote “social justice”.
As documented in Part I of this series, buzzwords for socialism like “social justice,” “collective,” “equity,” and “redistribution,” are used throughout Agenda 21 texts. If you study the documents that spawned Agenda 21, most formulated by prominent socialist leaders from around the world, it is clear that their key concerns are: 1. abolishing private property and redistributing it according to socialist goals worldwide, and 2. herding humans into small urban communities where, stripped of freedom and mobility, we will live and work according to government diktat.
For example, the Millennium Project calls for a global tax on all countries to provide monies for developing and third world countries. “Environmental sustainability” is only one of eight Millennium Development Goals. The rest are a laundry list of anti-poverty and health programs; laudable goals maybe, but nothing to do with Chesapeake Bay pollution to say the least. Furthermore, these countries have received billions in aid from the U.S. and elsewhere for decades, but because they are usually run by corrupt dictators of one form or another, such aid serves only to prop them up, thereby perpetuating the problem rather than solving it. But they’re socialists, so it’s okay.
More to the point, Dr. Michael Coffman’s famous Agenda 21 “Wildlands” map reveals the endgame of Agenda 21:
Agenda 21 is being implemented throughout the U.S., as the quiet work of the ICLEI finds its way into state law and county code. The video below reveals how it was pushed in rural Richland County, South Carolina, sold as a “Comprehensive Plan” called “Vision 20/20”. Explained by state legislator Joe Neal – a Democrat– the video provides a diagram chillingly similar to the Wildlands map, limiting development to small urban centers and leaving rural communities to die on the vine.
If Rep. Neal’s sincere appeal in this four minute video doesn’t convince you, his full two hour presentation is available here.
The Comprehensive Plan stalled in 2003 due to citizen resistance but passed in 2009. It calls for creation of “Urban Villages… in contrast with suburban sprawl and inefficient land use.” Note the negative associations with “suburban sprawl.” They will fix that.
The Plan directs that, “Throughout the suburban areas infill development (emphasis added) should be a focus in residential, commercial and industrial areas, complementing and connecting the existing sprawl pattern. Housing should be varied at 4-8 units per acre… Underutilized commercial strips and big-box retail parcels can be divided and redeveloped into smaller blocks with street extensions and pedestrian-friendly designs.”
So if you moved to the suburbs to get some room, avoid urban crime and get better schooling for your kids, forget it. They’re going to tell you how and where to live, because they deem single family suburban homes “unsustainable”. The Richland County plan is similar to the description for “20 Minute Neighborhoods” advocated by the Mayor of Portland, Oregon. The official map is also eerily similar to Dr. Coffman’s.
The state of Virginia has gone all out in a similar effort. Virginia House Bill 3202, signed into law by Democrat governor Tim Kaine in 2007 with bi-partisan support, requires 67 counties and cities to create “Urban Development Areas” based on decennial population growth criteria. The UDAs must be able to accommodate that growth and must include features like “pedestrian friendly” design, mixed use housing and minimum housing densities that presume an urban landscape and encourage low-income subsidized housing. The buzzwords change, but the description is virtually identical to Richland County, South Carolina, Portland, Oregon, and countless other towns throughout America.
The despotic nature of these mandates undermines the entire concept of private property, a key goal stated prominently in Agenda 21 documents. It removes decision making latitude from both property owners and local governments, and ruins property values, while completely changing the complexion and character of rural counties. Add to this the sheer lunacy of requiring vast new housing projects when mortgage foreclosures are just beginning to recover from all time high rates. Construction companies like the guaranteed business these mandates insure, a big reason why they enjoy bi-partisan support. But at what cost to our communities, our Constitution, our very way of life?
Finally, there is another even more pernicious factor that may underline politicians’ motivations to support this wholesale assault on private property. UDAs are supposed to accommodate ten to twenty years of population growth within each designated county. According to the Census Bureau, between 1990 and 2010, Virginia’s population grew by about 2 million people. Over 25 percent of that population growth was due to an influx of Hispanics. The Hispanic population represented a mere 3 percent of Virginia’s population in 1990, but since then has grown 300 percent, from 160,000 people to 632,000!
In some cases, Hispanic population growth dwarfs all else. In Prince William County for example, in 1990 the Hispanic population was a modest 4 percent of the population: 9,662 people. Today it stands at 81,460,accounting for almost 40 percent of total population growth in the county! Between 2000 and 2010 Chesterfield County grew by 56,000 people. Of that total, 15,247, almost 30 percent, were Hispanic. For comparison, the white population only increased by 16,507 people. Whites represented 77 percent of the total population in 2000, Hispanics only 3 percent. The Hispanic population growth rate in Chesterfield County between 1990 and 2010 was over 800 percent.
These growth rates cannot be accounted for by births. Nationwide, the Hispanic population has grown by about 25 million since 1990. There are at least 12 million illegals in the U.S. currently, mostly Hispanics. Soat a minimum, about half of the growth rate in the U.S. Hispanic population since 1990 is due to illegals.
By demanding UDAs in counties with high population growth rates, the Virginia legislature is pandering to illegal immigrants. Doing so will change not only the character, but the voting preferences of its rural counties. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who will get the majority of those votes if the Democrats manage to pass an amnesty law. With the various vote fraud strategies being employed by leftists nationwide, amnesty may not even be necessary. If they succeed here, redistricting will become irrelevant.
This is another covert strategy embedded in Agenda 21, perhaps the most dangerous of all, that has so far flown completely under the radar. Although Carroll County’s actions were not related to illegal immigration, the threat of dense low-income urbanized development around their rural towns in order to promote “social equity” was a factor.
Rothschild said, “They talk about sustainability promoting ‘healthier and better balanced’ neighborhoods. But “healthy and better balanced” in the sustainable development context means equally distributed. The practical result is that the county is burdened with people with no pattern of personal responsibility, people who do not share the values of the community, who have done nothing to contribute to its character or development and thus no vested interest, all for the sake of ‘equity.’ The true underlying purpose, however, is to shift voting patterns from right to left.”
The Carroll County commissioners have taken a bold step in publicly calling out the ICLEI and Agenda 21, but their work has just begun. “We have our own rural agricultural diversity and it is on the endangered species list.” Rothschild quipped.
This is an issue custom made for Tea Parties. Agenda 21 is being implemented at the state and local level, where citizen activists have the most leverage. Tea Parties nationwide need to get behind this effort and bring the dangers of Agenda 21-based planning dogma to the attention of state and local governments everywhere. It is critical to educate, support and encourage sympathetic legislators at all levels of government and work furiously to oust legislators and bureaucrats who, for whatever reason, refuse to abandon this evil agenda.
(AFP) – Size doesn’t matter. At least that’s what a handful of hotels in New York hope lodgers will think when they stay in their small, yet functional and affordable rooms.
At The Jane, a tiny red-brick hotel overlooking the Hudson River in West Village, Manhattan’s ultra-bohemian neighborhood, space is at a premium.
“In my room, I can turn around, and that’s about it,” said Kai Neuhaus, 33, of Germany.
With their wood paneling, velvet benches and Oriental carpets, most of the 150 rooms occupy just 50 square feet (4.6 square meters) and recalls boat cabins. A large mirror hangs on the wall to counter any claustrophobic feelings.
The century-old building, which long welcomed sailors then disadvantaged people, now attracts tourists the world over who, for 100 dollars a night — 125 dollars for bunk beds — don’t fret about sleeping in close quarters.
“But for two days in New York, it’s good enough: very well located, not too expensive, and I really use it just to sleep,” said Neuhaus, who chose to save on his lodging so he could better enjoy the city, with his hiking bag on his back.
Considered one of the most expensive cities in the world, New York averages 260 dollars per night for hotel rooms. The least expensive rooms with Hyatt and Novotel hotels are 300 to 350 dollars, while W Hotels’ starting rate stands at 600 dollars.
Bolstered by the economic crisis, several popular sites like Jane offer cut price lodgings, with a narrow bed and a shared shower room on the landing.
Pod hotels can generate higher returns on real estate investment. And by their very nature, they’re not service oriented, so they have low requirements for staffing, explained Bjorn Hanson, dean of New York University’s Tisch Center for Hospitality.
“To the extend that pod rooms feature both low real estate costs and low payroll costs — which are the two biggest costs for hotels in NYC — they operate on a niche market which has extremely favorable economics,” he said.
The precursor to the trend was the Pod Hotel, which opened in 2007 amid the skyscrapers of Midtown Manhattan. This trendy spot offers 345 rooms, with sizes varying from 85 to 130 feet squared (eight to 12 meters squared) for 89 to 169 dollars a night.
Their minimalist design recalls the interior of a plane, from stainless steel sinks embedded into the wall to lighted signals indicating whether the shared bathroom on the landing is free.
With an average occupancy of 93 percent, the Pod’s success is such that it plans to open a second location near Grand Central Station in 2012.
As early as next spring, British chain Yotel plans to open at a new location on Times Square, complete with 669 “capsules” of less than 160 square feet (15 meters squared) for 150 dollars a night.
Already present at London and Amsterdam aeroports, the British chain already proposes cabins inspired by Japan’s capsule hotels, complete with purple neon lighting and featuring a bed, retractable desk and shower.
These hotels promise “micro-luxury:” air conditioning, a safe, a flat-screen television and free Wi-Fi. The Jane also offers its clients a bathrobe and slippers.
“We don’t sell a bed, we sell a room,” said Pod Hotel managing director David Bernstein. “The atmosphere is much cleaner and more upscale than in a hostel. The size is really what makes them affordable.”
Pod hotels also offer shared common areas. At the Pod Hotel, guests can enjoy two terraces. Yotel features a lounge of over 19,400 square feet (1,800 meters squared).
At The Jane, where some 40 permanent residents still live, the sleek bar attracts a crowd of hipsters each weekend, offering clients a uniquely New York experience, at a bargain price.