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.

Advertisements

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.

Does STEM Matter Any More?

As our progressive government and it’s subservient public school system try to steer students towards college degrees in STEM subjects the Democrats are simultaneously devaluing those degrees.  Did you see the article about STEM graduates working in Wal-Mart to pay off their huge student loans?  Want to know how this administration is undermining US citizens?  The answer is H1B visas.  Conceptually companies can only request H1B workers to do jobs for which no citizen is qualified.  Some companies are using foreign contractors to bypass the intent of the visa program.  Most recently, April 24th was the last work day for IT workers at Abbott Labs as they were replaced by contract workers, some of whom are here on H1B visas.  In some cases US workers have had to agree to train their foreign replacements and not sue the company in order to get their severance packages.  Talk about adding insult to injury.  Some companies just go the direct route.  Tech giant Intel has announced a 12,000 person layoff at the same time it has requested over 14,000 H1B visas.  Could that be a coincidence?  The whole H1B visa scam began in Silicon Valley, where cheaper foreign workers replaced US workers who were conveniently labeled “obsolete”.

So why is this happening?  One is the progressives’ obsession with globalization.  US workers must compete, even if unfairly, for US jobs.  India has an education industry created solely to teach students computer programming and minimal English so they can come to the US.  This is what I described in “Undocumented Foreign Aid”, i.e., the money these high paid workers send overseas.  Another is simply the ignorance of the public that’s more concerned with the latest reality TV show than their children’s’ futures. There’s even a bit of UN Agenda 21 as this is de facto wealth redistribution.

To protect US workers I propose the following modifications to the H1B visa program:

  1. No employer shall terminate or coerce a US employee into leaving in order to replace that worker with a foreign worker, either directly or through the use of a contractor.  If an employee is terminated the position must be filled by a US worker or left open for one year.  The position cannot be eliminated and recreated with a different title to bypass this rule
  2. No employer can require a terminated employee to sign any agreement that would protect the employer from a lawsuit if the ex-employee learned that the position had been filled by a foreign worker within one year.
  3. No terminated employee (unless terminated for cause such as theft) shall be denied any promised severance package for any reason whatsoever.

I have also proposed inversely indexing the H1B visa quota to STEM unemployment and raising the cost of H1B visa holders to US employers.

Next time President Obama says “every child should learn to code” ask him “why?”.

Update:  Billionaire Zuckerberg wants even more H1B visas to replace US workers and foreign companies taking US jobs.  He’s starting with $24 million to help train Africans in computer programming.  Since he can thank the US for being so rich why doesn’t he fund retraining for US IT workers who have been displaced by foreign workers?  Since they already know computers they shouldn’t have any problem learning the latest coding techniques, and they actually speak English.

Update 2:  Hillary Clinton’s “Tech Agenda”, her plan for US technology should she win the 2016 election, would be to “staple” green cards (permanent residency) to diplomas of foreign STEM students.  More foreigners in Silicon Valley, more citizens flipping burgers.

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.

USDA to Shove UN Agenda 21 Down Your Throat.

That’s right, the next revision to the USDA dietary guidelines must include environmental sustainability, the most notable feature of which will be a “war on meat”.  The purpose of those guidelines has always been nutrition, nothing more.

Now the USDA can’t enforce these standards much beyond school lunches (which they’re already doing) but other increasingly politicized agencies have two weapons to do so, the “carrot” and the “stick”, and in this case the stick will be used.  They’ll start with a tax on sodas and sugary snacks but eventually a pound of meat will be taxed like a pack of cigarettes.  The EPA could impose restrictive rules on livestock producers to raise meat prices and drive some smaller ranches out of business.  The “war on coal” has been successful and the “war on CO2” is driving up energy prices, so why not repeat the strategy.  If any “carrots” were used it might be an incentive for us to eat bugs.  Yuck!

Wait, it won’t end there.  A war on dairy is likely as well because dairy production requires livestock, which isn’t good for the environment.  For that matter, not much humans do is good for the earth, so where does that lead?

Of course we want people to make healthy choices for their own good, but the key word is “choice”.  When every aspect of your life is dictated by progressives you’re no longer a free person.

If you think UN Agenda 21 is gone, you’re wrong.  You don’t see it because it’s pervasive, it’s everywhere, and it’s coming to your dinner table soon.

Update 2015: The USDA was stopped from this plan in 2015, however if progressives are in charge in 2020 it will happen. The UN will continue to activate for more meat for developing nations and less for developed nations. Maybe global meat redistribution is part of their global wealth redistribution.

Update 2016:  It’s happening.  Denmark is seriously considering a tax on meat, starting with beef.  The “war on meat” begins.

UN Agenda 21 vs. the Wealthy Wimpy West.

Much of what you need to know about UN Agenda 21 can be gleaned from this quote from UN climate official Ottmar Edenhofer in November 2010: “one has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy”. Rather it’s about how “we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth…“.  This is reflected in section 1.4 of Agenda 21 as follows: “The developmental and environmental objectives of Agenda 21 will require a substantial flow of new and additional financial resources to developing countries…“.   Much has been written about the effects of Agenda 21 on property rights and restrictions on our freedom, so this article will focus on the hypocrisy of Agenda 21 and how it specifically targets wealthy wimpy western nations for cash.

UN Agenda 21 talks about human rights, civil rights, and repeatedly about improving opportunities for women in education, employment, government, and in control of their own lives.  Governments of many countries do not see these as issues.  Human rights aren’t important in communist countries where the individual is subservient to the state.  China has a poor human rights record and won’t change anything that doesn’t benefit it’s economic growth.  Human rights are nonexistent in North Korea, and that situation could only change with a regime change.  India is not a communist country but it does have human rights problems in remnants of it’s caste system, violence against women, and ongoing religious conflicts.  Amnesty International has accused Mexican police of using torture and rape to extract confessions from prisoners.  More money to Africa won’t end decades-old tribal conflicts or corruption in government officials.  Human rights aren’t a big issue in Islamic countries either, and women’s rights are a nonissue.  Westerners who are oriented to church and state separation don’t seem to understand that Islam is not just a religion, it’s also a political and legal system, i.e., a theocracy.  Non-Muslims living in Muslim nations (dhimmi) are second class citizens who must pay a tax (jizra), remain religiously invisible, and are subject to arrest or harassment for any perceived insult to Islam.  Young girls who are forced into marriages will never enjoy women’s rights, they are child sex slaves.  A society in which a woman’s testimony in court is worth only one half of a man’s testimony, in which men can beat their wives or kill their daughters for a perceived honor violation, in which women are denied education and employment, and in which rape victims are executed for adultery will not honor Agenda 21’s vision of gender equality.  This hasn’t changed since the seventh century and it cannot be changed from without.  Presenting these goals as a world vision is hypocrisy because the authors know it won’t happen.  Western countries, however, are very concerned with even the finest points of rights, and will easily be pressured into shoveling money overseas to countries that will gladly take it but have no intention of meeting to the lofty goals of UN Agenda 21.

UN Agenda 21 is based on the socialist principle that the only way to raise one party up is to drag another down.  It’s effect will be to lower our standard of living and our national security.  You don’t have to look far to see it happening.  It’s all around.