Habitat III – The New Urban Agenda

This month (October 2016), the UN is holding the third of it’s global conferences on cities; previous ones were held in 1976 and 1996.  The objective is to bring together government officials, industry leaders, planners, and environmental experts to discuss the future of cities around the world.  The State Department is representing the US government.  Increasing populations will have a major effect on urban environments and demands for services during the 21st century.  I’m all for sharing ideas, identifying best practices, and making the world better; however since the UN has become the global advocate for socialism we conservatives have to look at it with a bit of skepticism.  If you haven’t read their draft document it’s available on the Habitat III website.

Like UN Agenda 21 the draft has some lofty goals.  They’d like cities to be clean, safe, sustainable, and provide opportunities for all (nothing wrong with that).  They’d like to eliminate poverty, hunger, violence, inequality, discrimination, environmental degradation, and a list of diseases.

Like UN Agenda 21 the draft has the usual list of hypocritical goals.  The UN wants equality and equal opportunity for girls and women, and an end to discrimination.  We’re trying in the West, but no Muslim country will ever grant equality to women, who are often treated as less than human.  Countries that stone rape victims for adultery and hang men for being gay don’t see equality as a virtue.  The UN wants justice.  Tell that to countries that still torture, flog, and mutilate criminals.  The UN wants participatory government.  Tell that to communist countries like China where speaking out might get you 12 years hard labor.  The authors of this document are fully aware of these harsh and unchanging realities in totalitarian and theocratic states.

Unlike UN Agenda 21 there’s no obvious explicit demand for billions of dollars to be redistributed from developed nations to the third world but it is implicit.  Countries that can’t even end their own internal conflicts aren’t going to generate the cash to build clean water systems, productive farms, modern infrastructure, and the host of services needed in a city.

Their draft items often begin with “We will …” so let’s use that to draw our “line in the sand”.

We will listen, share, and learn.  We can combine past experiences with new knowledge to build better cities in the future.

We will work with the teams to identify best practices as well as chronic problem areas.

We will use new developments and best practices for our cities that will work within our legal, financial, and cultural environment.

We will work to protect our environment within current practical technology and will continue research on new technologies.

We will help other nations reach their objectives within financial reason and as long as the safety of US aid workers can be assured.

We will NOT implement any objectives that would deprive US citizens of their constitutional rights within our borders.  For example, if their “eliminate all forms of violence” means gun confiscation, that’s unconstitutional here.  There’s a fundamental reality that there will always be bad people who want to hurt good people and that self-defense is a fundamental human right.

We will NOT allow foreign troops operating under the UN flag to conduct any operations against US citizens within our borders.  The UN is an organization, not a legitimate state, so It’s military powers are limited, or at least should be.

None of this advocates isolationism, aggression, or abandoning our allies; it’s simply sovereignty.  Borders matter, and yes, I want secure borders.  A nation without borders will either descend into chaos or tyranny.

 

The USA can work with the world without surrendering to it.

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Tax And Destroy

Everyone has heard the famous quote “the power to tax involves the power to destroy” from Chief Justice John Marshall in an 1819 Supreme Court ruling that states could not tax the Federal government.  What about government use of taxation against the people it’s supposed to be working for?  What is that destroying?

For much of US history, taxes were collected to fund essential government services such as national defense, border security, law enforcement, public infrastructure, education, and resource conservation.  In fact Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said “taxes are what we pay for civilized society”.  Progressives have changed that through taxation for wealth redistribution and “social engineering”.  Social engineering typically involves the use of punitive taxes to discourage “wrong behavior” as defined by some omniscient Big Brother.  I’ll start with punitive taxation.

Billionaire Mike Bloomberg is pouring millions of dollars into local efforts to impose a punitive tax on sugary sodas.  OK, they’re not particularly healthy, but where does that process end?  Under the influence of UN Agenda 21 Denmark is seriously considering a tax on meat.  Once the USDA includes sustainability in diet recommendations it won’t be long before progressives want taxes on meat, and eventually dairy products.  This is about controlling people, and more control equals less freedom.  Eventually the only choice progressives will allow is for an abortion.  Bloomberg also pours millions into local gun control efforts, some of which include punitive taxes on guns and ammunition.  No ammo tax will ever stop a street gang, psychopath, disgruntled worker, or jihadist from unleashing mayhem.  What it will do is hurt honest shooting sports participants, particularly those involved in competitive target shooting.  It takes thousands of hours and probably close to a million rounds to reach Olympic level competitor status.  It’s those honest achievers who will be hurt, not the criminal who loads a “Saturday night special” to rob a convenience store.

(Hey Mike, why don’t you ever ask for more taxes on billionaires?)

President Obama wants a ten dollar per barrel tax on oil, even though it would raise prices of gas and heating oil and could send the economy into recession.  This is a punitive tax to punish those who insist on using fossil fuels.  As I pointed out in “Alternative Energy: The Missing Link”, however, we don’t have the technology to convert to renewable fuels overnight.  How many cities are 100% powered by renewable energy 24/7?  The answer is none.  How many all-electric vehicles have a 500 mile cruising range, or even a 100 mile range that can recharge during a 5 minute rest stop?  Again the answer is none.  An all-electric vehicle is a great choice for commuting from the suburbs to the city but would you want to set out to “see the USA” in one?  Incidentally if that electric vehicle doesn’t recharge from a renewable source it isn’t fully “green”.  He claims that the tax revenue would be used for research, and while some might be, some of it might also be used for global wealth redistribution.

So, what about wealth redistribution?  Within the US wealth redistribution is accomplished through various welfare programs and a widely abused tax credit program called EITC.  If you read my proposal for the ISIC welfare reform program you’ll know that I’m not opposed to welfare as a hand up for the unfortunate or as assistance for those who are unable to fully support themselves due to disability.  When children are starving in spite of school meal programs, SNAP, and WIC, however, something in the system isn’t working.  When a person who is fully capable of working decides to live off the labor of others and then jokes about it on social media welfare fraud has gone too far and reform is past due.  That’s an insult to every working family that’s struggling to support itself.  I’m also opposed to allowing foreigners to enter the US and immediately land on extended welfare.  Traditionally our immigration policy only admitted honest healthy people who were capable of supporting themselves within a reasonable time frame.  See my “Immigration is a Privilege, not a Right” post for more.  Global wealth redistribution is a recent concept arising from UN Agenda 21.  Third world nations are demanding billions of dollars from developed nations to “go green” under Agenda 21 while having no intent to meet the human rights objectives specified in that agenda.  See my post “UN Agenda 21 vs the Wealthy Wimpy West” for more.  I believe that global wealth redistribution is unconstitutional.  Nothing in our Constitution allows the government to send our tax dollars overseas or be taxed by any foreign entity.

So, what are the socialist progressives destroying with social engineering and Marxist wealth redistribution?  Essentially everything that made the USA exceptional: freedom (choice, not control); individual responsibility (the flip side of the rights/responsibility coin); the value of the family, and national sovereignty.

As many have pointed out, the US will never be conquered from without, it will destroy itself from within..  Progressives/socialists are leading the charge.

2016 Update:  Not unexpected: the UN has advocated for all nations to tax sugary drinks like sodas.

Unexpected: the UN also wants taxes on 100% fruit juices.  Who wants their morning OJ taxed?  It’s past time to tell the UN that we’re a sovereign nation, and while we’ll work with them on international issues, we will not surrender our rights or our freedom to them.

Alternative Energy: The Missing Link

Those who accept the idea of climate change caused by human activity call their opponents “deniers”, yet in one way they are also deniers, of technology. Both solar and wind energy have one insurmountable (at this time) disadvantage: the electricity must be used as it’s generated. You can use a battery to power an electric car for some distance and then recharge it (although it takes much longer than filling a gas tank). There is, however, no battery storage system large enough to store the power required by even a small city at night or when the wind doesn’t blow. The technology simply doesn’t exist. Transfer systems that convert electricity to mechanical energy and then back to electricity aren’t practical either due to losses at every stage. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be researching electricity storage, we should, but we can’t assume we’re on the verge of an earth-changing breakthrough, because we’re not. Scientists have been “on the verge of a breakthrough” in fusion power for decades but those super expensive devices have yet to produce a sustainable and commercially viable power output in excess of their input.
This means that a transition to alternative energy sources will happen gradually, not instantaneously. Politics can’t force science or alter the laws of physics. Attempts to do so, like President Obama’s proposed $10 per barrel tax on oil, will not materialize new technology, they will just hurt the people and the economy of the USA while generating more tax revenue for liberals to squander. On the other hand, the goal of UN Agenda 21 is to drag down developed nations, and our president is fully on board with that.
The rational, i.e., apolitical, approach is to plan the dual transition. Start by replacing the dirtiest fuels, like coal, with cleaner burning natural gas. Focus on energy conservation to reduce demand. Simultaneously implement alternative sources on a scale where current technology permits and continue improving that technology.
As for the types of technology, solar power is the cleanest. Wind farms are unsightly, kill birds, and emit low frequency vibrations that can make neighbors sick. That’s a well documented fact, not hypochondria. Another clean power source that does produce electricity 24/7 is hydroelectric power. It’s been a mainstay in eastern Canada for decades. They even have excess capacity that they would gladly sell to energy hungry New England if the environmentalists who demand clean energy would allow the transmission lines to be built. Expansion of hydroelectric power in the US is unlikely as efforts are underway to remove dams, not build them. Harnessing tidal power might benefit coastal cities but this is still experimental technology. What about biofuels? Except for capturing methane (natural gas) from landfills as a transition fuel it’s a dead end. Producing liquid fuel from crops removes food sources that are needed to feed a growing population, and when burned, emit CO2 just like oil from the ground.

The subject of hydroelectric dams raises the question of when does harnessing something change it. People don’t like dams because they substantially change the river. How many wind farms could be placed in one area without altering local wind patterns? How many tidal turbines could be placed in a harbor without altering the currents? Solar energy wins on this one. No number of solar panels on earth could alter the sun.

There are deniers on both sides but one thing neither can deny is that the world will eventually run out of fossil fuels, notably oil.  This reality was first brought to the attention of petroleum producers in 1952 by M. King Hubbert.  As an important raw material oil will eventually become too expensive to burn. The transition to alternate energy sources is, therefore, inevitable. It just won’t be driven by emotions, socialism, or surrender to a corrupt organization like the UN.

Surrender Sovereignty?

Tell that to the families of troops who have died defending our sovereignty.  Tell that to the disabled veterans who suffered defending our sovereignty.  They’ll probably disagree. The new US  ambassador to the UN once wrote that “giving up a pinch of sovereignty” to an organization like the UN would be good for the USA.  No, it wouldn’t.  Does she think the UN should tax us to support a global redistribution of wealth?  Does she think the UN should have the power to suspend our Constitutional rights?  Does she want bands of  third world “peace keepers” riding around in armored vehicles?  Does she want brutal 7th century Sharia law?  What official of any other country has ever made such a statement, or would dare to do so?  When our country’s founders issued the Declaration of Independence it was a statement that “we are a sovereign nation”.  There are no reasons to surrender to the “one worlders” except sheer stupidity or hatred of our way of life.  As stated before, anyone who doesn’t like it here is free to leave, her included.

In some countries this statement alone would be considered an act of treason, but here in the USA we have freedom of speech.  That does not mean the ambassador has freedom of action.  If she takes any action to compromise our sovereignty she should be removed from her position immediately.  An ambassador to the UN, a somewhat dysfunctional organization at best, should represent our nation, not everyone else.  If you think other countries care about our best interests, guess what, they don’t, and neither does she.

Sovereignty is like pregnancy, you are or you aren’t.

Undocumented Foreign Aid.

We’ve all heard complaints about how “undocumented workers” take US jobs and how technology companies are using H1B visas to depress wages and displace  US citizens.  Technology companies and IT departments are currently demanding an increase in H1B visa quotas even though there are US STEM graduates who are not working in their fields.  Did you ever wonder why governments of countries like India and Mexico want their citizens to come to the US so badly that they’ll even help their people to get here (other than to get rid of them)?  Do you wonder why our government goes along with it or why the socialist UN is so supportive of immigration into our nation?  It’s not just about “diversity”, it’s about dollars.

By sending billions of US dollars home these immigrants are providing their homelands with US foreign aid.

From our government’s viewpoint it is under-the-table foreign aid.  Those are billions of dollars flowing overseas that our elected officials in Congress don’t have to explain to the taxpayers.  Unfortunately those are also billions of dollars being drained from our economy that are not contributing to US growth.  Even the UN is happy because those billions of dollars represent wealth redistribution to underdeveloped nations, which is a stated objective of UN Agenda 21.

We can’t stop people from sending money overseas but we can manage immigration policies to put the US and it’s citizens first.  Start by denying the current demand for more H1B visas.  Then inversely index H1B visa quotas to STEM unemployment, i.e., as the number of unemployed STEM workers goes up the quota for foreign competitors goes down.  Secure the borders and stop all illegal immigration.  To discourage other nations from actively pursuing this under-the-table foreign aid Congress might even consider that money as part of the total foreign aid package, thus reducing the taxpayer funded portion.  The US is not the world’s sugar daddy.

If the Science is Real, the Politics Are Lies.

We all accept the fact that air pollution is bad for human health.  Now if we take the word of those who say that pollution, including ubiquitous CO2, is also bad for the global climate what do we find?  We find hypocritical politics, that’s what.  The US-China agreement on “climate change” says that the US must start reducing CO2 emissions immediately while China gets a 15-year grace period during which it can continue using coal-fired power plants.  Hey, the atmosphere is global and no science can prove that pollution from China or India is less hazardous than pollution from the USA or western Europe.

What we find, once again, is UN Agenda 21.  It requires developed nations to reduce pollution faster than emerging nations so they can catch up and make the world fairer.  Putting developed nations at an economic disadvantage is one way to redistribute global wealth, isn’t it?  Even though China is an economic powerhouse that’s buying up US land as fast as it can it’s still considered an emerging nation so it can get away with this ruse.  India would fare even better.

Progressives like to ridicule “science deniers” but their own hypocrisy betrays them.  They would be far more convincing if they demanded that every nation play by the same rules.

Is there any reason to reduce our consumption of oil as a fuel without getting into the climate change debate?  Actually there are two indisputable and apolitical facts: eventually the world will run out of oil and petroleum is an essential raw material for millions of products used around the world every day.  Evidently the UN didn’t worry about these because they don’t support wealth redistribution..

Global threats require global responses, nothing less.

Because We Can, That’s Why.

Why do wealthy liberal elitists seek to undermine or destroy our way of life?  Because they can!

George Soros is one of the richest men in the world.  He made his fortune under our capitalist system.  He hates this country.  He supports as many liberal and socialist causes that he can find and thinks the US should surrender sovereignty to international agencies.  He is the principal architect of the “New World Order”.  So why does someone who began life as a poor Hungarian and worked his way up as many others have done hate the USA?  Who knows.  Maybe he resents his insider trading conviction.  Maybe it’s his belief that that he’s a “Messiah” of some type.

He’s certainly not the only one who “made it” in capitalism and then decided to help impose socialism on the nation.  Hollywood celebrities routinely donate to far left causes.  Former NYC mayor Bloomberg would deny people the right to defend themselves, even in their own homes, yet he’s surrounded by bodyguards.  He also wants to control what you eat.  Mark Zuckerberg is another anti-gun open-border billionaire who enjoys the protection of 16 bodyguards!  Bill Gates, though his investment in Common Core, has sought to buy the US education system and transform it into a factory to turn out obedient workers.  President Obama wants to raise our taxes, lower our standard of living, and flood the country with illegal immigrants who will eventually be granted citizenship and vote Democratic.

Celebrities who campaign against climate change are also hypocrites.  Someone who owns three mansions, six cars, a yacht, and travels by private jet has no right to criticize anyone else’s carbon footprint.  If they believe the masses should be herded into high rise hovels let them lead by example.

The common theme is that these elitists will never have to suffer under whatever they manage to impose on society.  They will always have their gated communities, bodyguards, and evasion-trained chauffeurs.  They will enjoy fine dinners prepared by personal chefs.  They will always have their concierge doctors and personal trainers.  Their children will enjoy private schools and exclusive colleges.  If a recession wipes out middle class savings they will still have more money than they can spend in a lifetime.  Yes, there are wealthy conservatives too but most of them support the Constitution more than the UN.

The New World Order is not a democracy; it’s actually a return to the Middle Ages when the masses lived in servitude for their wealthy lords.  It’s government of the elite, by the elite, and for the elite.  It’s the antithesis of why this country was born and it is not the way this country should die.

The Rich Elite Will Always Live Above the Messes They Cause for the Masses.

Update:  Billionaire Bloomberg is spending millions on local efforts to impose punitive taxes on sugary sodas.  There’s little difference between a punitive tax and a government official pointing a gun at you.  Notice that Bloomberg never campaigns for higher taxes on billionaires.