Infiltration of LittleTown, U.S.A.: Agenda 21 in Bonners Ferry, Idaho Part 2

In my last blog, “Infiltration of LittleTown U.S.A. Part 1,” I explained how the Boundary County Comprehensive Land Use Plan was infiltrated with language that essentially redefined the basis of Boundary County’s economy and the relationship of Boundary County citizens with their lands, labor and natural resources.  I explained that this is consistent with a strategy pursued by proponents of Regionalism in order to justify redistributing rural tax monies to metropolitan urban areas, and to control where people live.  I also told you that this strategy amounts to one flank of a pincer movement, to borrow a military term.  I will explain the other flank in this blog, but it’s necessary to provide some background knowledge on who wrote Agenda 21.

You may recall that I began to learn about Agenda 21 in Bonners Ferry by investigating the Horizon Program to Reduce Poverty, the origins of a visioning session used to generate the language introduced into our comprehensive land use plan, and how this process is typical of that used to introduce Agenda 21 into towns across the nation.

In order to understand how the two flanks of the pincer movement relate to one another, I also need to tell you just a little more about the visioning meeting held in Bonners Ferry.

Hard Times in the Backwoods

The reason the Horizon Program to Reduce Poverty was well-received in Bonners Ferry in the first place is that in the 1990’s our woods were shut down to logging.  Mills were closing due to lack of logs, and blue-collar families were leaving the area in droves to find work.  Things were tight for many of those left.

The first night Horizon came to town, families filed into the Middle School cafeteria until there was standing room only; I imagine they were hoping for some answers.

I, myself, had gone away to get a teaching credential and was now employed by the county school district.  I was concerned for my students’ families and our community.  I dreamed of helping to rebuild our local economy in a way that was consistent with our rural lifestyle, so when the facilitator asked the people what was the main need for reducing poverty in our county, I was in full agreement when these hardworking people replied unequivocally, Jobs–we need jobs.  We need to rebuild our local economy, others added.

We were then put into study circles, where many of us generated ideas such as encourage small-business agriculture, provide a state-certified kitchen where we could manufacture value-added agricultural products such as jams and herb teas, and bring in light industrial companies.  All of these ideas are completely reasonable for a rural community.

I don’t actually remember what our group leaders reported back when we gathered again as a community, but I do remember clearly that the facilitator began to ask questions such as “What about open spaces?  What about green spaces, wildlife habitat, affordable housing and transportation?”

Most of us just shrugged our shoulders as if to say, Okay, if you say so.  We’re not hard to get along with.  After all, over 80% of our county is already open, green or wild spaces, so whatever….  What harm can it do to go along with the lady?  We pretty much figured that as soon as we got the jobs people could afford housing and the transportation to get to work.

So much for common sense.  As I described in the last blog, by the time the Horizon Program took us through ensuing segments, they introduced language into our Comprehensive Land Use Plan that was 180 degrees off from our first responses.  According to them Boundary County residents are no longer dependent on the lands, natural resources or even their own labor to make a living.  We were headed right down the Agenda 21 highway.

The Second Flank

Later I found out that these manipulative tactics are pretty much typical of these so-called visioning meetings.  As I was reeling from the discovery that we’d been had, I started thinking about other community issues.  At the time the community was in an uproar over a proposal from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to designate over 395,000 acres in Northern Idaho, N.W. Montana and N.E. Washington as habitat for between 2 and 6 woodland caribou.  That’s almost 600 square miles.  After logging had been shut down in the ’90’s, some few businesses still catered to tourists and snowmobile riders.  Now, in addition to the miles and miles of roads that had already been shut down to residents for hunting, firewood gathering and berry picking (all very much part of our economy and traditional lifestyle), the USFWS wanted to shut down what local people thought of as a massive amount of land for caribou habitat.  Little by little, we were being closed out of our public lands.

I started to wonder if this proposal had anything to do with this Agenda 21 I had been reading about.   I didn’t know how to set about proving it, but I thought that, since Agenda 21 was a United Nations initiative, if I could prove that the conservation groups who had sued the USFWS for caribou habitat had ties to international groups and connections to the United Nations I would be off to a good start.

Some of you are realizing by now just how naïve I was, aren’t you?  Let’s just say that those connections were far easier to establish than I could’ve ever dreamed at the time.

Here is a list of the groups whose lawsuit resulted in a court order requiring the USFWS to designate caribou habitat:
Idaho Conservation League
Advocates for the West
Conservation Northwest
Lands Council
Defenders of Wildlife
Center for Biological Diversity
Selkirk Conservation Alliance

Who Wrote Agenda 21/Sustainable Development?

To trace these connections we need to go back to 1992, the year that the United Nations adopted Agenda 21 at the Rio Earth Summit.  In attendance at the Rio Earth Summit was the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a science advisory group to the United Nations.  According to Dr. Michael Coffman, who has a doctorate in ecosystems analysis and climatology, the IUCN wrote, or helped to write, Agenda 21/sustainable development.   Members of the IUCN include many environmental nongovernmental organizations (ngo‘s) including the Audubon Society, The Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, and many more.  In addition, IUCN members include the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service and many other U.S. Federal agencies.

Agenda 21/sustainable development was formally introduced to the world in 1992, but is really part of a continuum of international treaties and agreements that began years before 1992, and which has taken on the name Agenda 21.   As such, Agenda 21/sustainable development seeks to control all human habitation, lands and natural resources.   It seeks to control where everyone lives, how they heat their homes and how warm they can be, how much water they can use, what they eat and what access to the land every person will have.  Ron Taylor likens it to eating a roll of salami one slice at a time.  While many writers describe the participation of Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama in this process, Brian Sussman traces this continuum back to Richard Nixon and 1972 when the United Nations held its first environmental conference in Stockholm, Sweden and Maurice Strong called for a new era of international cooperation (p. 246).  Coffman traces the influence of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) back to the year after the United Nations was formed in 1945, and marks 1972 as the year that environmental ngo’s, such as those described above, were admitted into the IUCN.

Wait a minute, let’s go back.  You mean agencies of our own government helped to write the Agenda 21 Initiative?  Yep, that’s what I’m saying.  And notice something else, the USFWS and the Big Green nongovernmental organizations, such as the Sierra Club, are not opposed to one another at all, as we are led to believe when newspapers report that conservation groups sue for wildlife habitat, though this chumminess was not always the case.   According to Coffman, not only do they collaborate on the international level as members of a science advisory group to the United Nations, but, when President Bill Clinton created the President’s Sustainable Development Council by Executive Order #12852 in 1993 with the mission of implementing the precepts of Agenda 21/sustainable development through regulatory policy, many of the same ngo’s and federal agencies were members of the President’s Council and continued to collaborate on the national level.

In addition, there is a revolving door between personnel of federal agencies, such as the Forest Service, EPA and US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the conservation groups.  Oftentimes staff members of the national conservation groups end up in federal land management agencies and vice versa.  This revolving door is documented in a book by Congressman Richard Pombo and Joseph Farah called This Land is Our Land: How to End the War on Private Property.  Incidentally, private property is one of those nasty, little things that Agenda 21 claims are unsustainable.

So when the USFWS maintains in public meetings that they can’t help it if those big, mean conservation groups make them do bad things and write bad checks, we should bear these affiliations in mind.  These days, federal land management agencies and radical environmental groups are more like codependent lovers than opponents.

The IUCN Flexes its Muscle

Not only did the IUCN write or help to write Agenda 21, but it has generated many of the treaties and agreements which are the implementing/enabling documents for Agenda 21/sustainable development in the United States and worldwide.  According to Coffman, the IUCN created the Society for Conservation Biology, and even the science of conservation biology itself. This society then created the Wildlands Project, which calls for up to ½ of all the American land mass to be removed from human habitation or use and put into wilderness preserves, wildlife corridors and buffer zones.  The IUCN also introduced the Convention on Biological Diversity at the same Rio Earth Summit as the Agenda 21 Initiative was trotted out,  as well as the President Council on Sustainable Development Report,  in which supporting documents such as the UN Global Biodiversity Assessment name the Wildlands Project as the template for protecting biodiversity.  Coffman writes, “what seem to be totally independent programs are in reality an orchestrated masterpiece of the IUCN.”

You can see the cumulative effects of these documents and agreements on America by watching this important video 

In 1995 the Biodiversity Treaty was brought to the floor of the U.S. Senate for ratification.  The Biodiversity Treaty was based on the Convention on Biological Diversity, which, again, was introduced in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit.  The treaty would have bound us to this madness by law, but Dr. Coffman read all of the supporting documents and generated a map showing the vast American lands that would be depopulated under this treaty and other U.N. agreements, and the treaty never came to a vote. It is important to note that the Biodiversity Treaty is not law, but is being implemented via regulatory policy and executive order.  Again, for a look at Coffman’s map and an explanation of how these agreements and initiatives are being implemented I refer you back to the video I posted above, if you haven’t yet taken a look.

Where Do the Green Groups Involved in the Caribou Habitat Lawsuit Fit Into the Big Picture?

As you may recall, I set out to show that the conservation groups that brought suit against the USFWS had ties to international groups and to the United Nations.  I tried to do this as part of an inquiry as to whether the caribou habitat proposal was part of Agenda 21 in Boundary County.  I took a look at the two big names on the list of conservation groups involved.  These were the Defenders of Wildlife and The Center for Biological Diversity.  I figured these two national groups would be the easiest to find information on.  What I discovered, led me to prepare comments for a public meeting with the US Fish and Wildlife Service on the Caribou Habitat Proposal.  Much of the following information is from those public comments and was current when presented.

Defenders of Wildlife

• A former member on the Science Advisory Board for Defenders of Wildlife, Michael Soule, co-authored the original draft of the Convention on Biodiversity. Michael Soule did so presumably through the Society for Conservation Biology, another IUCN member, which he co-founded.

• Defenders of Wildlife is a member of the Save Our Environment Action Center (SOEAC).  Fellow SOEAC members include, among others, The World Wildlife Fund, National Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club, all IUCN members.

• Reed Noss, present member of Defenders of Wildlife Science Advisory Panel, co-authored the Wildlands Project, along with Michael Soule and Dave Foreman. The Wildlands Project seeks to remove humans from up to ½ of the American land mass for the purpose of returning it to the wild, through immense roadless areas, connecting corridors and buffer zones.  When added to other programs currently underway in our nation, the removal of humans from the American land mass could be much higher.  Importantly, the Defenders of Wildlife supports the Wildlands Project.

• Noss estimates that these core reserves and their areas should be such that there are 2.5 to 25 million acres for every 1000 large carnivores or ungulates (such as caribou).  Noss goes on to propose over 200 million acres core reserves for grizzly bears and 100 million acres core reserves for wolves, two other species our area is under pressure to recover.  100 million acres is greater than the total land mass of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut altogether (71 million acres).  Imagine what those numbers would mean for Idaho.  Where would there be a place for humans?

Though we were staggered by the size of the caribou habitat designation, it was small Idaho potatoes by the standards of those who subscribe to this philosophy of Conservation Biology.

• Commenting on the implications of such a plan, the June 25, 1993 issue of Science said it “is nothing less than the transformation of America to an archipelago of human-inhabited islands surrounded by natural areas.”  This is exactly what the proponents of the Wildlands Project have envisioned.  Remember the group, Defenders of Wildlife, supports this agenda.

The Center for Biological Diversity

• A quick online search shows that The Center for Biological Diversity often acts in conjunction with the Sierra Club and the Audubon Society, both IUCN members

• The Center for Biodiversity and the Sierra Club often act together to petition the EPA, also an IUCN member

• The Center for Biological Diversity has a co-founder and director, Dr. Robin Silver, who is also a director of the Maricopa Audubon Society.  Again, the Audubon Society is an IUCN member.

• In their own words, the Center for Biological Diversity makes use of International and US laws to implement its vision, and is rapidly expanding its alliance with international groups:  “We also work through the United Nations process to establish safeguards for international wildlands and the animals and plants that depend on them. The scope of our international program is rapidly expanding.”

• They also “Secured the adoption by the Global Convention on Biological Diversity of a historic “Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.” Again this is the United Nations international treaty for environmental policy that is being implemented in the U.S. under “soft law.” http://www.un-documents.net/cbd.htm

• In 2006, the Center for Biological Diversity led a dozen conservation organizations from the United States and Canada in petitioning the World Heritage Committee to add Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park to the List of World Heritage sites as “in danger” due to impacts from climate change.” World Heritage sites are listed as part of a United Nations program that places sites in countries under UN control and protection, due to their cultural importance to “world culture.” Sites in the United States include the Yellowstone Park, the Grand Canyon, the Great Smoky Mountains, the Statue of Liberty and Monticello (Jefferson’s Home).

Need I say more? As to the rest of the conservation groups on the list, I will simply say it is my understanding that it is not uncommon in the world of environmental nonprofits for activists to start in small groups and collaborate with the large national/international groups.  Perhaps this is in order to gives the appearance of grassroots activism. As individual activists “make their bones,” so to speak, they move up and obtain more prestigious positions.  Nevertheless, it is important to remember that many of these people are sincere and believe they are doing the right thing.  I have my personal doubts about others.

The Onward March

Since the caribou proposal we have a Revised Forest Plan that calls for 2.2 million acres in Northern Idaho and Montana to be shut down as habitat for grizzly bears.  A proposal has been presented to place the wolverine on the endangered species list based on a supposedly shrinking habitat caused by global warming and ensuing loss of biodiversity.  Habitat is being set aside for Canadian lynx.  The Center for Biological Diversity and others are front and center in all of this.  The Endangered Species Act and roadless areas  are two of the main instruments by which the proponents of Agenda 21 hope to depopulate the Northern Rockies area, of which Idaho is a part.  This effort is now progressing at a dizzying rate.

The Pincer Closes

So you see, my friends.  We are outflanked on both sides.  Not only are our comprehensive land use plans being infiltrated with regulatory and philosophical obstacles to using our private lands to rebuild our economy, but our public lands and natural resources are being closed off to us as well.

In my last blog I quoted Stanley Kurtz’ question to those who wish to redefine rural areas as being economically dependent on metropolitan areas so that they can justify diverting tax monies from rural areas to the inner city, and nudge people to move into urban areas.  Kurtz asks, “What about the ultimate dependence of our cities on the food, lumber and oil drawn from the countryside?”

It’s pretty darn hard to contribute to our national economy when we aren’t allowed access to our natural resources.

It’s not just in rural America that these strategies are being applied.  Almost everywhere you live, your towns and cities are being burdened with regulations that threaten your ability to use your private property to enrich yourselves and your communities.  And I believe that much of our country’s economic recession is due to the fact that we are not allowed to use our natural resources to make sure our country can maintain economic viability.

The Horizon Program for Reducing Poverty that was used to infiltrate our Comprehensive Land Use Plan was developed by the Pew Partnership for Civic Change.  To slightly correct what I said in the last blog, it was funded by the Northwest Area Foundation, and presumably offered in partnership with Pew.

The Pew Partnership for Civic Change is part of the Pew Charitable Trusts Foundation.  Pew Charitable Trusts grants money to  the EarthJustice Legal Defense Fund, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth, Global Exchange, Greenpeace, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Nature Conservancy, the Rainforest Action Network, the Rainforest Alliance, the Ruckus Society, the Sierra Club, Trust for Public Land, the Wilderness Society, the World Resources Institute, the World Wildlife Fund, and a host of other environmentalist groups many of whom are IUCN members of the United Nations.

They also fund the Center for Biological Diversity which has had so much a part in what is happening in my region and others.

Dr. Coffman describes how environmental grant makers, such as Pew Charitable Trusts and other tax-exempt foundations, are part of what he calls the Iron Triangle that is being used to implement this global agenda.  U.S. federal agencies and environmental non-governmental organizations make up the other two legs of the triangle.

Pew Charitable trusts has extensive affiliations and seeks to influence policy and social attitudes through its grants to international environmentalists and community organizing groups who offer programs such as the Horizon Program for Reducing Poverty and its LeadershipPlenty curriculum.

The official Agenda 21 document introduced at the Rio Earth Summit describes the role that nongovernmental organizations have in implementing Agenda 21/sustainable development.  These activities are taking place throughout our country, and on a global scale.

Yes, folks, they’ve got us coming and going.

Is Agenda 21 Just a Conspiracy Theory?

Many Idahoans still ask themselves this question, but many more people are waking up.  The web site, Idahoans Against Agenda 21, regularly posts information and articles to help Idaho citizens fight Agenda 21.  More county commissioners and public officials across Idaho, Washington State, Montana and the rest of the West are realizing how relentless and real this movement is.  In 1999 the late Idaho Representative, Helen Chenoweth-Hage, tried to warn American citizens of this threat to property rights in her article “The United Nations’ Big Green Machine.”

In 2012 the Republican Party Platform came out against Sustainable Development and Agenda 21, much to the chagrin and outrage of those who wish to maintain the fiction that it’s just a conspiracy theory (p. 45).

Really, Agenda 21/sustainable development is based on a worldview.  Those who advocate for the regulatory policies making up this political outlook believe that these strictures on humans are necessary to save the earth.  Many of them really think that these methods will ensure social, economic and environmental justice. Those who oppose these policies do not think they are viable solutions.  Instead, we believe that these policies will result in immense human suffering, and that they will do nothing to benefit the environment.  We believe they are based on bad science, bad philosophy and bad politics.  It’s as simple as that.

We do not have the space or time in this post to discuss this aspect of the matter thoroughly, as it is the subject of extensive research and debate.  Nevertheless, the first step is to understand that Agenda 21 actually exists and what the true consequences of it will be if implemented.

Three years ago, I would have had major doubts as to the reality of Agenda 21, but now I realize that we in Bonners Ferry, Idaho have a front row seat to the show.

Heck, we’re down in the orchestra pit watching the Theater of the Absurd strut across the stage.

Next Time

In the next post, “Infiltration of LittleTown, U.S.A.  Part 3”, I will examine in more detail how, in my county and elsewhere, people’s private property rights are in danger.

 

Works Cited and Consulted

Coffman, Michael, PhD.  The IUCN: From the UN to your Back Yard.  Electronic document retrieved April 30, 2014 at http://www.unwatch.com/iucn.html

Coffman, Michael, PhD.  The Greening of America: How Did It Happen?  Electronic document retrieved April 30, 2014 at http://www.epi-us.com/greening.pdf

Discover the Networks.  Electronic document retrieved April 28, 2014 at http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/funderProfile.asp?fndid=5213.  For an extensive view of Pew’s intricate web of affiliations click on the visual maps in the upper right hand margin.

Koire, Rosa and Barry K. Nathan.  Behind the Green Mask: UN Agenda 21 

Sussman, Brian.  Eco-Tyranny: How the Left’s Green Agenda Will Dismantle America

Taylor, Ron.  Agenda 21: An Expose of the United Nations and the Forfeiture of American Sovereignty and Liberties

 

 

 

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

Infiltration of LittleTown, U.S.A.: Agenda 21 in Bonners Ferry, Idaho Part 1

Heads Up, Neighbor

Think you live in paradise—in a peaceful corner of the earth where, usually, the most daily excitement you get is a celestial sunrise and watching wildlife feed from your front porch?  Nothing ever happens in rural America, right?  That’s what many Bonners Ferry residents think.  No matter how ill the winds blow in the outside world, we are safely nestled here in our little valley on the Kootenai River. 

Well, think again.  Little country towns all across the United States are being infiltrated by people who probably don’t have the well-being of your community in mind.  In this post, I will describe how it was done in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, and by who. I am writing this multiple-part blog series in order to spur rural citizens here, and elsewhere, to local action.  I have noticed that people will rarely take action unless they think something affects them directly.

My Own Personal Who Dunnit Story

I discovered this infiltration a couple of years ago when I decided to find out if my little town was involved in Agenda 21.  If you don’t know what Agenda 21 is, it is a global program generated by the United Nations that seeks to determine where people will live and what access to natural resources they will have (including water, electricity, land, and food).  Basically, its proponents want rural residents to move to the inner cities and live in intensively populated spaces, while closing down citizen’s access to forests and other public lands.  This agenda is being implemented in the United States through regulatory policy, not law, as Congress never approved of it.  I have included some links below for those who want to find out more about Agenda 21. 

I didn’t think it possible that my town could be involved in such a program as this.  After all, at the time there was a page on the United Nations web site that listed towns in the United States that were involved in implementing local Agenda 21, and, when I checked, Bonners Ferry wasn’t on it.  Only one town in Idaho was on this list, which wasn’t too surprising.  After all, Idaho is a red state and we’re too liberty-loving for those kinds of shenanigans.  At least, so I thought. 

But I kept having a nagging feeling that I should find out more, so I ordered Behind the Green Mask: UN Agenda 21, a book by Rosa Koire and Barry K. Nathan, and Agenda 21: An Expose of the United Nations Sustainable Development Initiative and the Forfeiture of American Sovereignty and Liberties by Ron Taylor.  If you want to know more about Agenda 21, they are crucial reading.  Both are available in Kindle editions at Amazon.

The first thing that alerted me was that one of these books said that organizations who wish to implement this agenda send agents into towns and look for malleable leaders who will willingly institute the desired public policies.  That jogged my memory: about four years previously I had attended a nine-week course seeking to train new community leaders called Leadership Plenty.  At the time, I thought the course was a total exercise in useless bureaucracy.   I got out the certificate I had received for attending the program and did a little research.

I found out that the Leadership Plenty curriculum was written by John L. McKnight and John P. Kretzmann.  It was part of a program called the Horizon Program to Reduce Poverty, and was funded by the Pew Partnership for Civic Change.  A little more research on John L. McKnight revealed that he is a community organizer from the Chicago area who makes use of tactics advocated by Saul Alinsky—a well-known Marxist who trained community organizers to go into communities and neighborhoods without announcing their true affiliations or intentions and to seek to bring about public policies in alignment with Marxist doctrines.

 Oh dear.  That’s all we need right here in little river city.  Marxists.

I then discovered a Henry Lamb web site that informs us that these infiltrators will bring in something they call a “visioning meeting” and will make use of group manipulation tactics in order to elicit particular responses from the local people that they will then use to influence the county’s comprehensive land use plan.  I then had a strange sensation.   This same group had conducted a visioning meeting here that very summer.

Going to the Freedom Advocates Research Center  I discovered a transcript from a radio program called the Midnight Rider Show.  As well as going into the philosophical underpinnings of Agenda 21,  this document informed me that the visioning process is often brought in by the state land-grant colleges’ agricultural extension outreaches, whose personnel are trained as change agents (scroll down to the end of the transcript).  My certificate from the Leadership Plenty course listed the sponsor as the University of Idaho Extension. 

Check.   So… they had been here.  But, what had they accomplished?  It would take me two years to figure that out. 

Two Years Later

Not long ago, I was invited to attend a public meeting regarding some revisions the Planning and Zoning Committee wanted to make regarding our local Comprehensive Land Use Plan.  I decided that this was the opportunity I had been waiting for to speak out publicly about the results of my investigation and to help reverse some of the damage that had been done during the visioning meeting.

As I was going back over my research documents, in order to prepare for the meeting, I was reminded that John L. McKnight (the man who helped write the Leadership Plenty curriculum) was, and may possibly be still, the Board Director for the Gamaliel Foundation, a Chicago-based activist organization that recruits church leaders to participate in social justice activism according to a radically leftist version of the Gospel. 

So it’s not too surprising that the man who wrote at least part of the curriculum for the Horizon Program to Reduce Poverty, which brought in the visioning process, was the Gamaliel Foundation’s Board Director.  What is surprising is how the Gamaliel Foundation views poverty and what some of their solutions to the problems of poverty are.

I was chilled when I read about the Gamaliel Foundation’s political philosophy and agenda in Stanley Kurtz’ book, Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities.  According to Kurtz, the Gamaliel Foundation is part of a growing network of prestigious and powerful organizations that believe inner-city poverty is caused by the fact that many people live elsewhere.  By virtue of the fact that we do not all live in urban areas, the tax-base of the inner city is deprived of revenue, making that state of affairs the root cause of poverty.  In other words, suburban and rural areas are responsible for inner-city poverty.  This network of foundations and individuals are advocates of a political philosophy known as “Regionalism.”

Kurtz describes “Regionalism” as a “movement that travels under many names, including ‘metropolitanism,’ ‘regional equity,’ ‘smart growth’ and ‘antisprawl.’”  Some of their solutions to inner city poverty are “1) redistributing suburban wealth throughout a metropolitan region through ‘tax base sharing;’ 2) urban ‘growth boundaries’ to block the development of rural areas, thereby forcing would-be suburbanites back toward the cities; and 3) ‘economic integration,’ that is, forced zoning changes and low-income housing to force inner-city residents into the suburbs.  Regionalists also back various schemes to break down school district boundaries…thereby redistributing suburban school funding to the cities” (Glossary pg. x).

Do any of these terms and political ideas sound familiar?  If you know anything about Agenda 21, they should.  “Smart growth” “social equity” and “antisprawl” are all terms elicited in visioning meetings nationwide and incorporated into city plans to implement Agenda 21.  Agenda 21 is based on what are known as the “Three E’s: Equity, Economy, and Environment.”  As you can see, Regionalism incorporates all three components (“antisprawl” is usually incorporated as a move to protect the environment).

It’s not just suburbanites who are a target of this political movement.  Rural areas and residents are also in the Regionalists’ sights.  According to Kurtz, in order to justify redistributing wealth and taxes away from rural areas and funneling it to metropolitan areas, the Regionalists must redefine rural America as being dependent on metropolitan areas for its economy.  This is done subtly and quietly.

Kurtz describes the process and the subtle logic in the following way:

“Step one is to claim that the American economy rests upon the health of a few key metropolitan regions.  That cuts rural folks out from the start.  Step two is to say that our economically critical metropolitan regions can’t do well if some of their neighborhoods are doing poorly.  The third step is to demand, for the sake of the metropolitan region as a whole and even the outlying countryside that depends on it, that federal aid be funneled disproportionately to impoverished urban neighborhoods.  Presto!  A policy based on an ideology of redistribution has been all dressed up in the language of economic competiveness.”

As Kurtz so rightly counters, “What about the ultimate dependence of our cities on the food, lumber and oil drawn from the countryside?”  Ahhhh…here the plot thickens.  We will address this issue more in coming posts.

In the meantime, we’ll take a look at a passage that was introduced into our county’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan after the Horizon visioning meeting:

“In developing this comprehensive plan, it has become the general and predominant consensus of all involved that the economic mainstay of Boundary County is no longer solely reliant on the toil and efforts of its people or the value of the natural resources extracted.  In the economy in which we now find ourselves at the onset of a new century the rural quality of life afforded by the natural landscapes that comprise Boundary County may be of equal [greater] importance than attracting industry, creating jobs or encouraging development.”

The reason that the word “greater” is in brackets is that this is the original word that was brought to our county commissioners to introduce into the land use plan, but which was stricken, thank goodness.

Assessing the Damage

Analyzing this passage, we can see that it redefines the economy of Boundary County to make it appear that we are no longer dependent on ourselves, our lands, or our natural resources.  It makes the aesthetic value of the land to be equal, or greater, than its contribution to our economy.  And, as we will see, by shifting the emphasis to the primacy of maintaining the pristine condition of the land, even poses an obstacle to the building of our local economy. This amounts to alienation, as it were, of our residents from their own economic well-being, and their vested interests in their own lands and natural resources.  It alters their relationship to the land.  If we don’t build our local economy, we will become dependent on federal grants and income from outside our county, and this state of affairs will make it possible for someone to say in the near future, “You didn’t build that so you don’t have any right to keep it. The Fed giveth and the Fed taketh away.”  In other words, it plays right into the hands of those who subscribe to the philosophy of Regionalism.

There were a lot more undesirable passages in our plan, and there is a lot more that can be said about the need to build our local economy, but time and space do not here allow.  For now I will just point out that Regionalism is the desired governance system advocated by proponents of Agenda 21.  Every effort is being made to bring the United States under this system that undermines American rule of law and places power into the hands of governmental agencies, bureaucrats, nongovernmental organizations (such as environmental groups) and token elected officials.  I will also point out that, as early as 2007, the Horizon Program to Reduce Poverty had been introduced into towns all across the northern portion of the United States, as well as into other towns in Idaho.  I imagine they’ve hit quite a few more towns since then.  

Take a look at the 2007 Horizon annual report.  Scroll down to the map at the bottom of the document and you will see a map of the towns listed as being in Phase ll of the Horizon Program as of 2007, and a list of the Agricultural Extension Outreaches that brought this program into those towns.  This is the year they came to my town.  You will note several other towns in Idaho, and all across the United States.  Who knows how many towns across rural America they have hit since?

Rolling it Back

Fortunately, those of us who got wise to this strategy supported Planning and Zoning board members who revised the language of our Comprehensive Land Use Plan.  Presenting testimony at a public meeting, we were able to make community members aware of what had taken place and some of the political affiliations of those organizations and individuals involved in introducing this language into our plan.

What I have described in this post is just one flank of what is known in military strategy as a pincer movement.  In the next post, I will describe the other flank.  I will share more of what I have discovered about Agenda 21, its progress in Boundary County, Idaho and what is being introduced all across rural America. 

In the meantime, you might want to check and see if the Horizon Program to Reduce Poverty, or anyone else, has introduced a visioning meeting into your county.  Then you might want to get out your local comprehensive land use plan and examine it.  In many small towns, groups are forming committees to study their local plans so that they can address any damaging philosophies or policies that may have been introduced.

But, to be able to recognize the stealthy rhetoric being used to slip this into our plans, it is vital for you to educate yourself on Agenda 21.   As I noted above, I have posted links below to sites where you can learn more. Please see the descriptors.  Some are very short videos to get one started.  Others are longer, more detailed videos and web sites.  I have also tried to list clips from groups across the political spectrum, as opposition tries to charge that only far right conspiracy theorists oppose Agenda 21.

 

Resources

Rosa Koire: Behind the Green Mask
This video is longer ~1 hour 43 minutes
It is quite good and I highly recommend it as, about halfway in, Rosa gives a good overview on Regionalism and why rural areas are especially targeted.  Underneath is her web site, Democrats Against U.N. Agenda 21, where you will find lots of information:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoMaYJwLyu4
Democrats Against UN Agenda 21:
http://www.democratsagainstunagenda21.com/

Henry Lamb on Agenda 21:
This video is shorter ~10 minutes
Just enough to get a brief history of this movement that has been creeping in for decades under various names
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLdto7w7JuM

Henry Lamb: Confronting Agenda 21 Part 1:
Agenda 21 Course
Understanding Sustainable Development and How It Affects You
This is actually a series of videos that provide a mini-course in understanding and rolling back Agenda 21 in your town:
http://www.agenda21course.com/henry-lamb-confronting-agenda-21-part-1/

Agenda 21, in under five minutes:
Very short video ~5 minutes
This appears to be from Anonymous, or those who sympathize with Anonymous, as the narrator refers to the American Right from an emotional distance, and I see a picture at the end of a man in a Guy Fawkes mask which is the signature used by Anonymous.  Plus, the video comes out against Monsanto, which many on the Right support.   The graphics are a bit sensational, but they get the point across quickly.  It also includes a good list of the sort of rhetorical terms and devices being used to disguise the true intent of Agenda 21. Very effective for a short investment of time.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6l79Qa92DeU

Globalism Through Regionalism by Michael Shaw
This document from Freedom Advocates tells more about Regionalism.  Be sure to pay close attention to the passages that pertain to rural Americans, and living on the land.
http://www.freedomadvocates.org/download/research/Globalism%20Through%20Regionalism%20by%20Michael%20Shaw_Central%20CA_10-23-2011.pdf

 

Posted in Agenda 21, Agrarianism, Blog, politics, politics, rural life, Social Commentary | 7 Comments

Welcome to The Daily Herb: A Country Woman’s Journal

This is the entry page to Sara’s blog.  These pages will dally in poetry and practicality–herb as metaphor and remedy.  The thoughtful reader may find book reviews, cultural/political commentary and eclectic bric-a-brac.  The pragmatic of mind will find seasonal garden advice,  herbal knowledge, recipes and crafts.  Below is the theme poem for the blog.

 

The Daily Herb

Healing is no easy matter.
At times, bitter herbs are needed.
One must kneel daily
to discern among the many leaves.
I nibble around the margins
and consider the whole plant.
I examine the root for fractures.

In this placid place
we must choose the remedy
for spirit, soul or body.
We may salt the flesh or savour the symbol,
all being reconciled
where He became hyssop.

©  “Copyright October 11, 2010 by Sara Hall”
All Rights Reserved.
Posted in Agrarianism, Blog, Herbalism, Nature Writing, Nature Writing, rural life, Social Commentary, The Garden | 1 Comment

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, nor 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.

 

 

Posted in Blog, Social Commentary | 4 Comments