DIY Tip for Millennials: Think for Yourself

Thinking for Herself

Thinking for Herself

Do-it-yourself is hotter than ever. The results of one poll show that the millennial generation is more willing than their parents to acquire new skills in order to be self-reliant and to save money. Pinterest is wildly popular, and splendiferous images of do-it-yourselfers’ handiwork tempt the eye like a plate of French petit-fours.   Millennials seem to want to learn everything from cooking and sewing to beekeeping and survival skills.

I admire that. In the 1970’s, I was part of the back-to-the-land movement. I baked bread in a wood oven, sewed dolls on a treadle sewing machine, collected wild plants for medicine, gardened, canned and practiced all manner of Yankee ingenuity. At one time you probably could have crowned me Queen of Do-it-Yourself, except I knew other talented and multi-skilled people who were just as worthy of the title.

I am pleased to see young people gravitate back to traditional skills that enable them to be more independent and self-reliant, and I would hate for all of this valuable knowledge to be lost. The one skill, however, that I hope Millennials remember to cultivate is the ability to think for themselves. That is the most important survival skill of all.

Below are six ways to help you increase self-reliance by thinking for yourself.

1. Take Responsibility for Thinking for Yourself

This sounds elemental, doesn’t it? You would be surprised, though, at the number of people who don’t think that thinking for ourselves is a good idea. There is a growing trend in education, business and government for learning and thinking in groups and teams. As we’ve all been told, “there’s no I in team.” Except that there is.  I can stand for individual, and there are as many individuals in a team as there are members.

Some educators want to retrain human beings so that they don’t think independently, and so that they can’t be sure of the results of their own thinking. In other words, if other people in your group think something is true, and you don’t, you must accept the group’s answer, because who are you to think you know the answer better than the majority? These people tell us our minds are limited, therefore, we must constantly check our opinions against those of our peers.

Here’s something to think about: Henrik Ibsen, the writer, said that the majority is nearly always wrong.  In fact, in The Political Imagination in Literature, a textbook by Philip Green and Michael Walzer, an excerpt from Ibsen’s play, An Enemy of the people, is used as a sample of literature demonstrating the tyranny of the majority.

There is now strong pressure to engage in collaborative decision-making, cooperative group learning and consensus thinking. The latter is thinking that is done in groups. Now, it is fine to cooperate with other people and try to find viable solutions to problems. I have no issue with that. It can even be fun to work in cooperative groups. There are some pitfalls to thinking only in groups, however. I will just touch on three of those here.

First of all, when we are thinking and working in groups, there are many unstated assumptions at work. Consensus thinking tries to limit any debate that may cause conflict. What this means is that the group often has unfounded confidence in their conclusions, and hence in their decisions. Oftentimes, people don’t want to be considered troublemakers or confrontational, so they don’t challenge the assumptions.

Second, who is taking responsibility for the consequences of group decisions? People tend to think that the group shares responsibility. Unfortunately, I have observed that shared responsibility usually means that no one is taking responsibility. Why? Because only an individual person has a conscience and a mind. Unfortunate consequences have followed from group decisions due to the fact that every member of a group deferred to the group, rather than to their own conscience and logic. These mistaken decisions have resulted in consequences ranging from the expensive to the horrifying.

Kendra Cherry discusses a similar phenomenon called Diffusion of Responsibility.  She discusses Diffusion of Responsibility as an explanation for bystander effect, a phenomenon in which the greater the numbers of people present at a crisis, the less likely people are to help an individual in distress, as has happened in cases of some public murders and rapes. Cherry quotes Dr. Alex Lickerman’s words in an article for Psychology Today: “Knowing that others heard the same scream… powerfully tempts us to assume someone else has taken responsibility for doing what needs to be done.”

I have seen a very similar mindset take place in committees and groups, especially if members feel they must defer to experts or those in authority, or if the group has any kind of a bureaucratic structure.

My final comment on group thinking will center on the saying, it takes a village to raise a child. Now we all hope teachers, pastors and citizens will be supportive of raising children, and we can agree that these supportive actions and attitudes make the job of raising a happy child easier, but this saying is being extrapolated by some to say that parents may not have the final decision or authority over their children’s fate, but must defer to a network of state-paid experts. In other words, the community must be in charge of rearing children because children belong to the community, and not to their parents.

Let’s just ask ourselves one revealing question: Who will grieve more if your child grows up without morals and does something horrible to another person, or if the child doesn’t have a good work ethic and can’t get a job? Will a psychologist, a social worker, a teacher or the village grieve for your child in the depths of their soul, or will it be you who cares the most?

We can defer to a panoply of experts, but when things go wrong, it’s not their child, is it? When children are removed from parental homes (even where truly necessary) these children often fall into the hands of public officials who have only a perfunctory interest in any individual child’s welfare. Seeking out advice is good, but in the final analysis, parents must think for themselves, having taken all advice under consideration.

Occasionally, I receive emails from a person who has the following statement at the end of every email: “Think for yourself.  Never do anything recommended by the Committee or its appointed officials that is contrary to your judgment or conscience.”

2. Read

Read widely, deeply and insatiably. Indulge your curiosity. Mine bibliographies at the back of your books so you can follow a vein of knowledge to the mother lode.

Reading articles on the Internet is good, but read entire books when you can. A book allows the writer ample time to make a case and support it with detailed evidence. Digital information helps us broaden our knowledge, but books help us deepen it.

Also, there is growing evidence that information on the Internet is being controlled. The first hint of this is that many videos, web pages and articles have gone missing lately. Internet service providers are reporting that there are increasing demands from governments (including the U.S.) to remove information from the Web.

In addition, Google has recently announced it may be reworking its algorithms so that Google ranks articles that agree with truth on the top page of search results—that is truth according to Google. In other words, if Google agrees with a writer’s opinion, that article may be on the first page of search results. If a writer’s view of truth does not agree with truth as Google sees it, that writer’s article could end up on page 25. Right now, articles and sites are ranked according to numbers of readers.

Hardbound books are around for years, and can be revisited. The details they afford us give us a more complete framework from which to think and make decisions.

People who read are able to carry on a mental conversation, or interior dialogue, with past brilliant thinkers and, thereby, discipline their own minds.  In the novel, Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury depicts a society in which reading is illegal. Consequently, members of Bradbury’s imaginary society are incapable of thinking in terms of analogy, metaphor or parable–all literary devices that have allowed writers to communicate wisdom and information from one generation to the next for thousands of years. Due to societal illiteracy, the characters’ minds have grown flabby, and their thinking is superficial. When the protagonist of the novel tries to contemplate the meaning of a written parable, the meaning of the parable is like sand and his mind is like a sieve through which the sand falls. He has become incapable of comprehending meaning from text.

3. Have Humility

My generation was misled by flattery. We were told that we were smarter than our parents and grandparents. We were the hope of the world and would usher in a new era of peace and love. We were regaled with insipid song lyrics such as these: It’s a new generation / with a new explanation / Uh-huh / people in motion.  Sadly, our explanation was wrong and many people’s lives were destroyed because they acted on erroneous claptrap.

An important thing to remember is that a person who is vulnerable to flattery is vulnerable to deception.  Ancient politicians knew this truth and often resorted to flattery as a means to disarm enemies. This leads me to the next tip.

4. Make Peace With the Generations Who Have Gone Before You

By believing that we are wiser than past generations, we often allow ourselves to be cut off from our own history and a wealth of ancient wisdom and knowledge.

Social innovators are all too eager to have us look on the past with contempt. We are more likely to accept their way of thinking if we do. Thinking we are savvy and modern, we become vulnerable to manipulation because we are cut off from tried and true ways of thinking, and can only go on untested theories, usually supplied to us by social innovators.

Remember the biblical injunction to honor your father and mother so that you may live long in the land God gives you. Even if parents are sometimes not what we could hope, there is still much life-preserving wisdom they have to pass on. Even if, as in some cases, parents’ lives are like a destroyed city, we must collect the good stones from the rubble and build our lives on those.

In this way, we will experience the cultural continuity that flows through the generations from the foundations of the earth. The world will make more sense to us, and we will have greater stability.

5. Choose the Standards by Which You Will Judge

Part of maturing is to choose the standards by which we think, judge and make decisions. These are the principles by which we plumb the building of our lives.

If your identity is in a community and you seek peace and unity with that community, and you are always willing to compromise for that peace and unity, you may not be thinking for yourself. If you are trying to conform to an evolving group consciousness, you are definitely not thinking for yourself.

I will not tell you which set of standards to adopt, but I will share that those of Christianity are the standards by which I have built my house. I have never been sorry for that choice.

6. Finally, Love Truth

Truth is worth everything you have, and it will almost certainly cost you. Pursue Truth singlemindedly and go where it will take you. It may take you to places you did not want to go, but also to wondrous places that you only dreamed of.

Avoid complacency, because it is like the hemlock that Socrates drank. Its effects start at the feet, numbing them, and then work their way up to your heart, until you succumb to sleep.

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Tools of Social Control? The Southern Poverty Law Center Watch Lists

We must be getting on someone’s nerves. In an obvious move to silence political opposition, the Department of Homeland Security-affiliated Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has again placed those of us who speak out against the United Nations, NAFTA, free-trade treaties, global governance, and other issues, on their list of potential domestic terrorists who bear watching.

My goodness. I didn’t realize the United Nations was sacred ground.  I guess we better take off our shoes, eh?  Perhaps we should bow before the burning bush of global, utopian visions–you know—Agenda 21, Sustainable Development, Smart Growth—bastardized scientism’s hope of salvation?

Global Insecurities

But, then again, perhaps the United Nations and its supporters really do have something to worry about. Early on in the process of laying a foundation for global governance, the Commission on Global Governance noted how pesky populist political movements can be. Henry Lamb, in his analysis of their document, Our Global Neighborhood (1995), cites the Commission’s trepidation regarding possible grassroots resistance to expansion of United Nations authority to impose a global tax, an international criminal court, the redistribution of wealth, the abolishment of private property, and the subversion of elected government by stakeholder groups made up of nongovernmental organizations and private-public partnerships. He quotes:

“Internal political processes within nation-states…may become obstacles to adoption of international standards. In the contemporary world, populist action has the potential to strike down the carefully crafted products of international deliberations…Yielding to internal political pressure can in a moment destroy the results of a decade of toil.”

Lamb goes on to inform us

“The strategy to advance the global governance agenda specifically includes programs to discredit individuals and organizations that generate ‘internal political pressure’ or ‘populist action’ that fails to support the new global ethic. The national media has systematically portrayed dissenting voices as right-wing-extremist, militia-supporting fanatics. Consequently, the vast majority of American citizens have no idea how far the global governance agenda has progressed.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center rather clumsily lumps together those who oppose global governance, property rights advocates, opponents of NAFTA, members of the Tea Party movement, Libertarians, Constitutionalists, those who voted for Chuck Baldwin, militias and other conservatives, with whom they differ, along with racists, fringe groups and fanatics.

Their tactics may seem ham-fisted, but they are nothing new. Indeed, an examination of how these tactics have been used in the past indicates that members of the Southern Poverty Law Center are anything but political incompetents.

Moral Persuasion and the New Environmental Order

Robert G. Lee, a sociologist and forester, describes how a social control technique known as moral persuasion was used to advance the agenda of radical environmentalism. The reader who is unaware of how radical environmentalism has advanced Agenda 21 and its destruction of private property rights may read some of my past blogs, notably the Infiltration of LittleTown series, Parts 2, 3, and 4

To go on, Lee tells us that social “control is established by portraying human experience as sharply divided into good and evil, clean and dirty, or pure and impure, and then telling them [people] that they will feel good, clean and pure only when they adopt the ‘correct’ ideas, feelings and actions.” Lee calls this all or nothing kind of thinking totalism. He adds, “Fear also prepares the way for the use of guilt and shame to construct and enforce a new order. Lee describes how totalism was used to enforce the Chinese Cultural Revolution:

“In China, only where guilt and shame failed to bring about ‘correct’ thinking did totalism revert to violence…Guilt and shame can make people shrink and grow quiet, but violence may be needed to cause the most recalcitrant to conform. For this reason, guilt and shame are sufficient forces for transforming most people, and selective violence is reserved for the few who resist such emotional manipulation.”

At the time when Lee published his book (1994), he didn’t think that America had degenerated to the point of using violence to enforce what the State thinks of as correct ways of thinking and speaking, but he did describe how punitive threats of social ostracism, political marginalization and professional annihilation were used to advance the radical environmental agenda. He showed how loggers and resource workers were portrayed and smeared by the media as stupid, greedy land-rapists inflicting a holocaust on nature, and how this emotional manipulation distracted Americans away from the real issues, stifled true scientific debate and prevented our finding feasible solutions to environmental problems while preserving liberty. That discussion has yet to take place, and, believe me, there are plenty of people who have a vested interest in making sure it doesn’t.

Ron Arnold, in his book, Undue Influence, informs us that the Wise Use movement, made up of thousands of mom and pop groups, was repeatedly portrayed by media as Aryan Nations allies, militia members and shills for big industry, and how mega-foundations, with myriad ties to members of United Nations nongovernmental organizations, and who knew full well that the Wise Use movement was grassroots, planned to smear it as being affiliated with fringe groups.

No, these tactics are nothing new. In fact, these lies are still perpetuated to slander citizens and lawmakers who actively oppose the complete lock-down of our forests, and the destruction of country towns and private property rights, especially if those opponents garner any popular support and political clout.

A New Era of Emotional Bondage

It appears that the Southern Poverty Law Center hopes to silence their opposition by projecting onto them shame and guilt, by seeking to portray their opposition as outside the mainstream social body, and by portraying their opposition’s views as outside legitimate social discourse and therefore not subject to free speech protection.

These tactics are reminiscent of Saul Alinsky’s advice to budding political organizers:

“Before men can act, an issue must be polarized. Men will act when they are convinced that their cause is 100 per cent on the side of the angels and that the opposition are 100 per cent on the side of the devil.”

This way of sharply dividing good elements of society from bad is an example of the kind of thinking that Robert G. Lee calls totalism.

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s attempts to characterize their opposition as potential domestic terrorists is made even more problematic, however, by the organization’s close working relationship with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), because the DHS is a government agency with police powers.

According to Tom DeWeese, of the American Policy Center, not only does the Southern Poverty Law Center receive funds and grants from the DHS, but members of the SPLC serve on the “Countering Violent Extremism Working Group,” an advisory council to DHS “given the task of creating a plan to reach out to local law enforcement and community activists for training to respond to potential violence and terrorist threat.” Furthermore, according to DeWeese, Laurie Wood, an analyst for the Southern Poverty Law Center, is an instructor for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, which is run by the SPLC, and is the most visible link between the DHS, Fusion Centers, and the SPLC.

Obviously, these links give the Southern Poverty Law Center ample opportunity to train state and local police to define domestic terrorists as they, themselves, do. This sends the not-so-subtle message that, if individuals don’t hold the views considered ‘correct’ by the SPLC, the use of violence could be sanctioned. By including these individuals and groups on potential domestic terrorist lists, it defines them as ‘bad’ citizens and therefore worthy of shame. One can’t help but observe that political operators may hope guilt and shame will compel contrary individuals to transform themselves into ‘good’ citizens by censoring and silencing themselves.  Additionally, they may be sending the message that those who persist in speaking out about naughty subjects such as natural law, the Constitution and national sovereignty, especially on the Internet, could now be considered impure elements of our society who need to be purged from the body politic. On a subconscious level, this characterization of ideological opponents may psychologically justify the use of state sanctioned violence. Of course the violence itself would be very real.

One Eye Open

As DeWeese notes, the Freedom Movement is growing. People all over the world are waking up. In Ireland, an unprecedented 100,000 citizens turned out in January to protest a tax on water, which is part of the globalist agenda. There is fierce grassroots opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty that threatens U.S. sovereignty. Just recently, here in Idaho, the State Legislature voted down Senate Bill 1067 which would have subjected Idaho to massive data collection, international laws and foreign tribunal child support orders, all components necessary to global governance. Proponents of the bill are seething, and the mean-mouthing of those who voted against the bill has already begun.

If citizen awakening continues it may threaten to leave global “dreams and schemes and flying machines in pieces on the ground.”  My profound apologies to James Taylor.

Tom DeWeese is concerned that the Southern Poverty Law Center’s potential terrorist watch lists could silence the growing Freedom Movement. He has called for an investigation into the Southern Poverty Law Center and its relationship to Homeland Security. You are invited to join him by signing a petition to Rep. Michael McCaul (TX), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

Works Cited and Consulted

1. Alinsky, Saul D. Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals. Vintage Books, a Division of Random House, Inc.: New York, 1989.

2. Arnold, Ron. Undue Influence: Wealthy Foundations, Grant-Driven Environmental Groups, and Zealous Bureaucrats that Control Your Future. Free Enterprise Press: Washington, 1999.

3. DeWeese, Tom. “Freedom fighters labeled “terrorists.” Electronic document retrieved 4/19/2015 at http://americanpolicy.org/2015/02/10/freedom-fighters-labeled-terrorists/

4. DeWeese, Tom. “The Threat to Freedom: The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Department of Homeland Security.” Electronic document retrieved 4/19/2015 at http://americanpolicy.org/2015/02/11/the-threat-to-freedom-the-southern-poverty-law-center-and-the-department-of-homeland-security-2/

5. Lamb, Henry. Our Global Neighborhood: Report of the Commission on Global Governance: A Summary Analysis. Oxford University Press, 1995. Electronic document retrieved 4/1/2015 at http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/twimberley/EnviroPhilo/OurGlobalNeighborhood.pdf

6. Lee, Robert G. Broken Trust, Broken Land: Freeing Ourselves from the War over the Environment. BookPartners: Wilsonville, Oregon, 1994.

Posted in Agenda 21, Blog, politics, politics, rural life, Social Commentary | 1 Comment

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty: America on the Auction Block

Free-Trade Masquerade, Part 2

In the first installment of this series, Free-Trade Masquerade Part 1, I explained how the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade treaty is likely being designed to undermine American sovereignty, and why Congress has a responsibility to protect the integrity of our Constitution by overseeing all trade treaties and subjecting them to a 2/3 majority approval vote to pass.  I outlined why it is an abdication of this responsibility for Congress to renew Fast-Track Trade Authority which allows the President to conduct trade treaty negotiations in secret.

In this installment I will be focusing on what leaked documents indicate about the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s likely effects upon the American economy, and how those effects are related to transnationalist plans for a world government.  All quotes are from the ObamaTrade.com website unless otherwise indicated.

As I explained in part one of this series, it is difficult to discuss the TPP trade treaty without embedding it within a discussion of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and United Nations’ aspirations for a system of world governance that supersedes the laws and courts of sovereign nation-states. The following quote from ObamaTrade.com highlights this effect on American law:

“TPP is misleadingly called a ‘trade agreement.’ But only two of the 26 chapters actually cover trade issues. It is really an expansive system of enforceable global government that the Obama administration is negotiating with eleven Pacific Rim nations: Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Japan, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Mexico and Peru.”

The TPP treaty is one way of undermining American law and bringing about a one world government.

America on the Auction Block

Now on to the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s effects on the economy. When I use the term, America on the auction block, I mean it literally.  The “TPP would surrender control of 544 million acres–a quarter of the entire U.S. land area–to international authorities. TPP would subject to the foreign tribunals’ judgment all contracts between the U.S. federal government and investors from TPP nations–including subsidiaries of Chinese firms–that obtain mining, logging or other concessions, run a power plant or obtain a government construction contract on U.S. federal lands.” The foreign tribunals spoken of here are the United Nations and World Bank tribunals.

To give an idea of the impact of this aspect of TPP on the economy, we should think about the fact that one conservative estimate of the natural resources on American public lands is 128 trillion dollars. This is an exceedingly conservative figure. Ken Ivory, of the American Lands Council, in an interview with Alex Jones, cites the Institute for Energy Research as saying that we have 150 trillion dollars in mineral resources alone. But let’s take the smaller figure and make the following hypothesis: if we have a national debt of 18 trillion dollars, it means we can pay our national debt off over 7 times, at a minimum, if we manage our own resources. This does not even take into account that many of our resources, such as timber, are renewable. There are enough resources to put America back on good fiscal standing, to provide for future American generations, with plenty left over to protect the forest and environment. We don’t need to exhaust our lands to ensure American security.

The TPP trade treaty is selling our American wealth out cheaply when there is absolutely no reason to do so, and it is placing those material resources at the disposal and judgments of United Nations and World Bank tribunals.

Trans-Pacific Partnership: Fair Trade or Making America Fair Game?

Ron Taylor discusses the effects of so-called free-trade and environmental treaties on America. He notes that the United Nations needs a world tribunal and a global tax in order to establish a global government.

Obamatrade.com describes another aspect of this disturbing treaty. Under the TPP, foreign companies “would be able to take their disputes with the U.S. government to the U.N. and World Bank Tribunals while U.S. companies with identical contracts would go before domestic courts. This not only creates an unacceptable double standard, it cedes control of federal lands to international tribunals.”

It is worth noting that the United Nations and its affiliates also need to control economic resources in order to realize their dreams of exerting control through Agenda 21. The document, Agenda 21, discusses this need to identify new sources of income in order to affect its implementation. Remember that the 3 E’s of Agenda 21 are Economy, Equity and Environment. It’s quite likely that America’s vast natural resources will add to that sought-after disposable income.

To heap injury upon injury, “TPP would give foreign firms operating here a competitive advantage over American-owned businesses. Foreign businesses operating here would be exempted from financial, environmental and land use regulations that would continue to strangle American businesses…. TPP gives [f]oreign companies unfair advantage…[by exempting] foreign companies from EPA and other onerous regulations that American firms would still be forced to comply with. Under TPP, foreign companies could actually go to an international tribunal and sue American taxpayers for cash awards to compensate them for costs associated with government regulations–something American owned companies cannot and would not be able to do.”

Tying Down the Giant

What would be the possible rationalization for the destruction of the American economy and for placing American businesses at a disadvantage? One justification for placing the United States at an economic disadvantage that has been discussed at the United Nations level is that, supposedly, America has used more than its share of natural resources and the size of its carbon footprint must be reduced, so therefore, other developing nations must be given a chance to prosper at America’s expense.

According to Ron Taylor, at the 2010 16th annual conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, there was a call by underdeveloped nations for cash payouts from developed nations, namely the United States, as reparations for our carbon footprint and abuse of global resources. This was seconded by the U.N. Secretary, South Korea’s General Ban Ki-moon. This is probably why international global warming conferences come up with resolutions like those that call upon America to radically reduce her carbon footprint, but announce that China will be allowed to go on polluting at the current rate (by the way, China has one of the worst environmental records in the world.)

Seen from this point of view, the TPP could be considered an instrument of wealth redistribution.

Some of us see it as an instrument of plunder. Ron Taylor puts it well when he expresses his doubts about the altruism of these motives. He points out that many of the 194 signatories to the United Nations resolutions on sustainable development and Agenda 21 can’t wait to get their hands on American material and technological resources, as their own gross national products barely make up the budget for one American school district.

Others among us love nature as well as the rest of the world, but have smelled a rat regarding extensive land and water lock-ups done in the name of sustainable development and ensuring earth and social justice. Freedom advocates have warned that the extensive locking up of public lands from the American people under the guise of preserving wilderness and diverse species will end by multinational corporations, often owned by foreign governments, being allowed to plunder the natural resources and wealth of the American people and our children.

Since I am writing from Idaho, This may be a good place to mention that China has been given access to 30,000 acres in Idaho, including 3,000 in Boundary County for use as Free-Trade zones. An Australian company that is 80% owned by China has been given mining rights in Boundary County at a time when we have witnessed unprecedented closure of public lands and resources to citizens and curtailed activities such as firewood gathering, hunting and berry picking. I know these Free-Trade zones are being replicated in other parts of the United States, as well.

According to Obamatrade.com, the TPP is considered a docking agreement with other countries being able to sign on later. China has already registered an interest. I just bet it has.

Still other cynical souls object that, for the globalists, America’s carbon footprint is of secondary importance to its standing as one last bastion of constitutional government, and as such, its financial prosperity serves as an obstacle to global dreams of power.  John Fonte tells us that America, as the most powerful democratic sovereign nation in the world, must be taken down in order for transnationalist interests to achieve their goals: “The global governancers [Americans and non-Americans alike] know that if the bridle can be put on the American nation-state, it will be much easier to harness others” (p. 187).

Is America to blame for other nations’ poverty?

Let’s momentarily take a look at the contention that America’s prosperity is a threat to other nations’ well-being. Let’s consider the fact that United Nations NGOs and World Bank affiliates have deliberately stifled the economies of developing nations under the mistaken belief that industrialism and capitalism are the root of all environmental evil. Many of these underdeveloped nations have abundant natural resources, but are not allowed to develop them due to onerous environmental regulations and loan terms. For more on that read the book, Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death by Paul Driessen.

Bird’s-Eye View

Now, let’s get a better look at the political landscape and some of the players in this international game. Given that I have embedded expected characteristics of the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty within a discussion of global institutions and their urge to form a transnational system of global governance, who can be expected to support such a treaty? Do Democrats or Republicans favor TPP? What about environmentalists? Is global governance an agenda of the Right or one of the Left? Is control of land and natural resources fascism, as some claim, or socialism? The fact is that there is no neat dividing line between those who support TPP and global governance and those who don’t. Let’s begin by discussing the environmentalists.

What’s Green from Up Here?

To be fair, there are environmental groups protesting the TPP treaty as well as those of us on the Right. Many environmentally sensitive Americans sincerely thought the political agenda behind the Endangered Species Act (and its maniacally illogical applications) were based on altruistic motives, but other big players in the environmental movement have not been so naive.

As I have pointed out in blog after blog, there has been continual collusion between multinational corporations and environmental nongovernmental organizations to allow those same corporations to exploit natural resources, while at the same time locking the common people out of those lands. In fact this way of doing environmentalism has become known as neoliberal environmentalism.

An investigation into neoliberal environmentalism opens up a whole area of research. One facet of the conflict created by environmental groups’ stated mission and corporate interests is highlighted by Paul Comstock in his interview with Christine MacDonald:

“In the last few decades, with the urging of international conservation groups, and the enticement of foreign aid dollars, millions of [indigenous] people have been evicted from their ancestral homes around the globe…and the land turned into national parks and other protected areas. At the same time, conservation groups have come under fire for cutting deals with corporations operating in these same remote areas. The groups often trade their acquiescence of large-scale logging operations, open pit mines, oil drilling and pipeline building in exchange for corporate money to do conservation work nearby. The money is often used to strengthen management of protected areas, which usually includes hiring more park rangers to police the parks and keep local people out” (qtd. in Comstock).

And these corporations are not just what we think of as foreign corporations. Conservation International, an environmental group based in Washington D.C., is a huge global player whose corporate supporters include CEMEX, Citigroup, Chiquita, Exxon Mobil Foundation, Ford, Gap, JP Morgan Chase and Co., McDonalds, Sony, Starbucks, United Airlines and Walt Disney. Critics of Conservation International point out that it has ties to some of the worst polluters on the globe, and that it supports the “World Bank-backed Mesoamerican Biological Corridor project and the Mesoamerican Coral Corridor,” lofty sounding names that serve as a cover for corporate biopiracy (Choudry).

Interestingly, Conservation International has ties to corporations that belong to families controlling major philanthropic foundations that, in turn, control the environmental movement at the global and national levels. Of note are the Rockefeller foundations and the Ford foundation.  JP Morgan Chase and Exxon Mobil, among other corporations, have ties to Rockefeller and CEMEX has ties to Ford.  It just so happens that the United Nations science advisory group, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as well as the United Nations and other global environmental organizations, were founded by the Rockefellers and/or their agents.

They also founded the Conservation Foundation, which eventually merged into the World Wildlife Fund.  Rockefeller, Ford and other major philanthropic corporate foundations, have co-opted and dominated the world’s top ten environmental nongovernmental organizations, all of whom are members of the IUCN, and who have myriad ties to global corporations, the World Bank and the United Nations.  These organizations have put environmental policies into place that favor CEMEX and Exxon, and other polluting industries related to Rockefeller, Ford and other corporate players.  Their policies have allowed these major players to plunder Africa and South America (Barker, Philanthropic Roots and Environmentalists Legitimize Plunder).

The Rockefellers and their cronies also have a network of ties to governments and are known in some circles as manipulators of democracies.

We are told that the World Wildlife Fund has ‘backed nearly every trade bill to come down the pike, from NAFTA to GATT.”  The World Wildlife Fund has ties to nineteen of the worst industrial polluters such as “Union Carbide, Exxon, Monsanto, Weyerhaeuser, Du Pont, and Waste Management” (St. Clair in Barker, Philanthropic Roots).

To put it bluntly, the major environmentalist groups have been riding a tiger for a long time.  While some well-known environmental groups are protesting the TPP, one can only wonder how many will join the protest, and how hard the major environmental groups can be expected to struggle against their masters.

Let Me Take You Higher

Odd as it seems, these mega-capitalists are often funding the America-is-bad-and-should-pay and capitalism-is-bad narratives at the global level. Rockefeller and Ford foundations largely funded the leftist groups who attended the United Nations conference held in Durban, South Africa in 2001. These groups indicted the United States for structural, institutional racism, and advocated such positions as reparations to African Nations and an end to free-market capitalism (Fonte, pp. 3-7).

Now why would these premier capitalists call for an end to free-market capitalism? Perhaps we can get some insight by listening to Maurice Strong, Rockefeller protégé and sustainable development evil genie. Strong describes himself as “a socialist in ideology and a capitalist in methodology” (Sussman, p. 35).  Just what does that mean?  It may well mean that these titans of industry don’t mind holding us over the anvil of the Right while they pound on us with the hammer of the Left.

Possibly, one may illustrate this concept by referring to the ongoing subsidy of big agribusiness in Mexico made possible by NAFTA.  Government subsidies of corporate agribusiness farming has driven small Mexican farmers, who can’t compete, into poverty and caused many of these desperate people to stream across the border (Hodges).  When American citizens protest, because they quite reasonably expect their immigration laws to be obeyed and their borders protected, leftist groups, likely funded by foundations with ties to big agribusiness (Big Ag is part and parcel of the international collusion I describe above), point to the protest as evidence of structural racism, which further justifies taking America down by delegitimizing her government, undermining her sovereignty and creating a world without borders.  It never occurs to the migrants that the same people who have displaced them are likely the very same who are behind NAFTA and the call for the destruction of American law, and it never occurs to the protesting American citizens either. The two groups become polarized and bicker, lending momentum to this maneuver.

That’s the ring of a hammer and an anvil.  And these are some of the reasons that we’ve got to fly higher than the Left/Right view of the world that is being urged on us daily.

Neither Fish nor Fowl, nor Good Red-Blooded Americans

One might expect American Corporations and businesses in general to resist the TPP due to its disadvantages to American companies, but the National Chamber of Commerce is endorsing TPP and has sent scores of corporate lobbyists to the offices of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell.  Stephanie Scruggs points out that the Chamber of Commerce seems to represent multinational corporations more than the U.S.

This is no surprise when we learn that, in the 21st Century, many traditionally American, multinational companies no longer see themselves as Americans.  In the past they were headquartered in the United States and were loyal to this country, but they now see themselves as global corporations and global citizens, not loyal to America first.  Many of these global companies believe that sovereign nation-states are no longer relevant to a global economy.  Fonte includes typical quotes from company CEOs that demonstrate this outlook:

“Jeff Seabright, vice-president of Coca-Cola, said, ‘We are not “an American company” with a presence in Beijing, Brunei, Bangalore, or Bucharest. Rather, we operate in Beijing, Brunei, Bangalore and Bucharest very much as members of those local communities…”

Fonte ironically remarks, “One wonders, if Coca-Cola is not ‘an American company’ then what is?” He then goes on to quote a top executive of Colgate-Palmolive: who said, “The United States does not have an automatic call on our resources. There is no mindset that puts this country first.”

Even more to the point, Fonte tells us that there is at least one report about an American CEO saying he is not concerned about the ‘hollowing out’ of the American middle-class. Evidently, this attitude is not universal among American companies, though, and Fonte names Boeing and Lockheed-Martin as having “embraced the symbols of American patriotism in the post-9/11 era” (pp. 169-170).

Given these insights, it is especially significant that 600 corporate lobbyists have been given clearance to sit at the TPP negotiating table and have access to drafted documents, while members of Congress are locked out.  These little piggies are going to market.

This isn’t the first time that lobbyists have orchestrated trade treaties that favor the economies of foreign governments.  Dick Morris describes how Colombia hired a U.S. lobbying firm with ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton when they wanted to push through the Colombian Free-Trade Agreement.  In another instance, Clinton’s trusted White House adviser, Mark Penn, was paid to lobby the President on behalf of the Central American Bank for “Economic Integration, a group operated by Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua, with Mexico, Taiwan, Argentina, and Colombia as additional shareholders” (pp. 137-138).  Morris comments that, if this type of activity isn’t illegal, it ought to be.

So, what about political parties? What can we expect from them?  Fonte tells us that there is no easy thinking for us here either.  There are Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians who are globalists, while there members of those parties who support national sovereignty. Importantly, Fonte warns that many members of the American Center-Right are globalists, due to their ties to corporate interests (pp. 192-197).  Perhaps, this is why many Republicans are supporting TPP and are expected to embrace the rhetoric of free-trade, while renewing Fast-Track Trade Authority.

In general, however, there are Democrats and Progressives who are opposing the TPP, as well as members of the Right.  The Teamsters Union has come out against the TPP because members realize that these trade treaties are sucking jobs away from the United States. They also realize this treaty is not necessary to restore the American economy.  The Teamsters Union, the Coalition for a Prosperous America, American Manufacturers, and other organizations, have sat down with members of Congress to discuss alternatives as to how America’s economy can be revitalized.  Stephanie Scruggs has pointed out that these Pacific Rim countries need us more than we need them, and when the U.S. government negotiates a treaty, it needs to be negotiated to the best possible advantage for American citizens.

So, Who is Listening?

Your elected representatives can’t listen if you don’t speak. You can give your representatives in Congress something to think about by contacting them about Fast-Track Authority and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Sign petitions and fax your elected representatives in the Action Center at ObamaTrade.com and/or call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3141 to let your Representatives and Senators know you want them to vote No on Fast-Track Authority and the TPP.

 

Works Cited and Consulted

Barker, Michael. The Philanthropic Roots of Corporate Environmentalism. Electronic document retrieved 9/30/2012 at http://www.swans.com/library/art14/barker07.html.

Barker, Michael. When Environmentalists Legitimize Plunder. Electronic document retrieved9/30/2012 at http://www.swans.com/library/art15/barker12.html.

Choudry, Aziz. Conservation International: privatizing nature, plundering biodiversity. Electronic document retrieved at http://www.grain.org/article/entries/406-conservation-international-privatizing-nature-plundering-biodiversity.

Comstock, Paul. Christine MacDonald on the Corruption of the Environmental Movement. Electronic document retrieved at http://calitreview.com/1249/christine-macdonald-on-the-corruption-of-the-environmental-movement/.

Fonte, John. Sovereignty or Submission: Will Americans Rule Themselves or Be Ruled by Others? Encounter Books: New York, 2011.

Ellis, Curtis; Alan Keyes, Judsen Philips, Phyllis Schlafly, Stephanie Scruggs and Patrick Wood. Top 5 Reasons to Deny President Obama Fast Track Authority. Online Webinar held November 10, 2014.

Hodges, Dave. The Agenda 21 Depopulation of Rural Areas Will Give Obama Stalin-Like Control Over Food. Electronic document retrieved 8/24/2014 at http://agenda21news.com/2014/08/agenda-21-depopulation-rural-areas-will-give-obama-stalin-like-control-food/.

Morris, Dick and Eileen McGann. Fleeced: How Barack Obama, Media Mockery of Terrorist Threats, Liberals Who Want to Kill Talk Radio, The Do-Nothing Congress, Companies that Help Iran, and Washington Lobbyists for Foreign Governments are Scamming Us and What to do About It. HarperCollins Publishers, New York: 2008.

Sussman, Brian. Eco-Tyranny: How the Left’s Green Agenda will Dismantle America. WND Books: Washington, D.C., 2012.

Taylor, Ron. Agenda 21: An Expose of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Initiative and the Forfeiture of American Sovereignty and Liberties. Kindle Edition, 2011.

Posted in Agenda 21, Blog, politics, rural life | 6 Comments

The Emperor and the Babe

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.  …And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city (Luke 2: 1 & 3).
 

It was the most politically powerful man on earth who set in motion the events that sent Joseph and Mary wending their way towards the city of David.  There a child would be born– just one of many among  a vanquished population, for Israel was a vassal state, and a census of her people was undertaken for the purpose of supporting her conquerors.

The Roman Emperor, Caesar Augustus, intended to tax the subjugated peoples of the entire known world. And indeed none dared disobey.  Not only was he the battle-hardened commander of a vast army that had helped him outmaneuver ruthless political enemies and unite an empire, but he was recognized as the son of a god, he being the adopted son of Julius Caesar.

Unknown to the emperor, two descendents of another king made the arduous journey to Bethlehem, for another decree had gone out, long before, granting dominion of the earth to an heir of King David.  The child who was to be born there was also the son of a god.

And so it was that two kingdoms intersected in a backwater town.

Now, Caesar Augustus was the center of Rome, and Rome was the center of the world, so he would not have given a second thought to these things taking place in an inconsequential outpost. However his governor, Herod Antipas, was more in touch with reality.  When wise men from the East came seeking the recently born King of Israel, Herod did what many before and since have done to protect a kingdom–he slaughtered any potential heirs to the throne.  Who knows how many children he counted expendable?

It was probably the anonymity of the little family that allowed Joseph and Mary to slip away with the child unnoticed, though, of course we know one mightier than potentates had pre-ordained that all should go well. Even so, Jesus could have been any one of many children, and he grew into a man who could have been any one of a number of men.  Like the vast majority of humanity, he was not able to rely on his wealth or status to protect him from the machinations of the powerful.

He lived as he had been born, among the common people, teaching, feeding and healing people who are for the major part unnamed in the gospels.  The one connection he claimed was to his Father in Heaven, and out of that relationship flowed all the power, wisdom and strength needed to minister to the nameless, faceless crowds.  His identity arose out of that relationship, and it was for this reason that he repeatedly withdrew from the crowds to seek out the presence of that great Unseen. Some of the greatest images in the Western imagination are of Jesus alternating between a public ministry and seeking solitude in prayer.

And yet, though he had a great public ministry, the total effect of his life was to elevate the status of the individual.  For it was not those who held prestigious places in institutions of learning, legislatures or worship that he sought out.  Yes, many from those influential circles came to find him, but it was mainly the individual, as such, with whom Jesus was concerned.  Over and over again he admonished the elites of his day not to rely on spheres of influence or wealth when they should come one by one before the throne of God.

Likewise, our own acceptance among elites does not correlate to an acceptance before God.   He admonishes us to seek him out, so that we too can know the Father, for Jesus came to identify with all, so that all might identify with him. Now we are known and called by name, no longer just one of the many, no longer faceless, or expendable–not to Him.

Jesus’ identification with his father allowed him to operate out of a conscience not influenced by group consciousness.  He didn’t need or seek out the affirmation of the crowd, nor of the rich and powerful.  From the Sanhedrin to Pontius Pilate, he maintained that they held no power over him. He was able to lay down his own life and to pick it up again through his relationship with his father.

The Christian concept of the inviolate conscience is fueled by the image of Christ alone in the Garden of Gethsemane, trembling, yet reaffirming his mission out of a unique love between God the Father and God the son.  A love so great that he determined to risk and suffer all for the sake of helpless humanity.  And so it is, that we Christians, too, have an intense awareness of ourselves standing before the searching eyes of our Saviour.

This sense of the unitary self is often decried by those who criticize Western Civilization and its Christian underpinnings.  So distasteful do they find individuality that there are those who seek to abolish any idea that there might be some higher good than the Common Good, or that the individual’s identity really consists of anything other than that role played in the greater community.  This view generally discusses the need to suppress selfish concerns for the benefit of society.

A closer look at this view however suggests that the true reason that individualistic societies are feared is that they foster independent thinking.  A person with a unitary sense of self has a conscience that, if carefully guarded, is out of reach.  This has got to be annoying to those who seek to impose their own ideas of government upon the world.  From their point of view, the conscience has got to be abolished in some way.

There are those who seek to mandate the conscience by laws forbidding public speech that does not jibe with their desired opinions on morality, whether those regard homosexuality, abortion or other matters.  Others wish to outlaw the preaching of the Gospel in the public square. The kingdom of God is just as dangerous as it was in the days of the Christ-Child, and its proclamation so threatening that the symbols of Christ’s birth, death and resurrection must also be legally banished.  Public nativities of a helpless infant are deemed dangerous to civil life.

However, the real danger lies in that they serve as obstacles to someone’s kingdom by way of reminding us of the God-man who didn’t fear the kingdoms and rulers of this world.  For that reason, a message is sent that those who persist in identifying with the things of Christ will be punished, either by means of the law, economic loss and/or by being shunned.  In one way or another the individual conscience must be made subject to the judgments of a  consensus.

Not surprisingly, these methods appear to be working.  There are many sociologists and professors of psychology who have studied the human condition, and who know how to modify human behavior.  Politicians have availed themselves of this specialized knowledge, as have powerful people who operate out of sight.  They know how to appeal to people’s fears and desires.  In turn, the masses strive to be accepted and affirmed by those they consider to be more influential and wealthy than they, even to the point of allowing themselves to be absorbed into the mindsets and opinions of their powerful masters.  Really, one need not brainwash anyone.  If one offers what is desired, and subtly threatens that which is feared, many people will brainwash themselves.  All this is very well-known in certain circles.

From crony capitalists to political candidates, we see the majority gravitate toward the current spheres of influence like camp followers after the Roman army.  Yet, they should take heed,  for one mightier than CEO’s and governors is watching.

And presidents and legislators should take heed, for one mightier than they is about to judge the world.  Those who make unrighteous laws will not be able to suppress the kingdom of God.  The followers of Jesus Christ will always identify with the Messiah before society, and for that reason, they will obey God and not human-made edicts when the two clash.

Unrighteous rulers and their agents may punish Christians for preaching the Gospel and speaking the truth, but they will not stop the proclamation of the kingdom of Christ.  Their decrees will only, like that decree sent out by Caesar Augustus over 2,000 years ago, bring us ever closer to the purposes of God, the Almighty One who has declared He will establish the Son on the throne forever and ever.
* Note: I posted this on Christmas day last year.  This is a repost.

Posted in Blog | 4 Comments