Monthly Archives: August 2011

Maryland’s Sustainability Plan is Unsustainable

Radical environmental sustainable development schemes are being implemented all over the country by state and local government.  The statists desire to wrest control of land use from private property owners using government coercion and soviet style councils under the auspices of sustainable development (a.k.a. smart growth).   Plan Maryland is Maryland’s latest recent sustainable development scheme. 

Two years ago I co-authored an article with current Carroll County Commissioner Rich Rothschild, published by American Thinker titled “UN Agenda 21 – Coming to a Neighborhood near You”. Maryland’s radical environmentalists, disguised as sustainability planners, have ratcheted up their efforts to control land use, dictate housing preferences, and use zoning laws to impact property rights and values.  It doesn’t end at these totalitarian style goals.  PlanMaryland is an aggressive maneuver by elected officials, bureaucrats, and radical environmentalists to empower themselves to control food and water, education, and the economy through green jobs.  This is right out of the Agenda 21 and ICLEI playbook. 

One of Plan Maryland’s foundational premises is global warming and climate change.  Specifically, Maryland’s CO2 contribution to greenhouse gases (GHG).  Plan Marylandrelies upon the 2008 Maryland Climate Action Report which, in turn, relies upon the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Reports.  The Maryland CAR explicitly states: 

The IPCC found the evidence for the warming of the Earth to be “unequivocal.”  The IPCC concluded that most of the observed temperature increases since the middle of the 20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in greenhouse gases. 

If it is unequivocal why does the next sentence say “it is very likely”? The Maryland Climate Action Report is scientific garbage because it relies upon the IPCC’s flawed, distorted, and manipulated data and methods.  The old adage garbage in, garbage out comes to mind.   To a radical environmentalist, PlanMaryland is a wet dream come true. 

Sustainable development is not about environmental stewardship.  All sustainability documents reference the “three Es”; social equity, environment, and the economy, with a heavy emphasis on “equity” or so-called social justice.  Social and environmental concerns include transportation, poverty eradication, gender equity, youth participation, safety, education, and food and water.  Literature produced by the United Nations, the International Council for Local Environment Initiatives (ICLEI), the American Planning Association, and PlanMaryland is nearly identical and indistinguishable.  

This is nothing short of an all encompassing effort by statists at the international, national, state, and local government level to circumvent the United States Constitution and violate individual rights and property rights under the guise of sustainable development.  

As early as 1976 the United Nations Vancouver Declaration of Human Settlements called for the elimination of private land ownership because land is a principal instrument in the accumulation of wealth and, according to them, contributes to social injustice.  Additionally, private land ownership is a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes.  Fast-forward to 1992 and we have Agenda 21, a United Nations development program that serves as the genesis for sustainable development. 

Plan Maryland overtly intends to minimize private land ownership.  The statist realizes outright elimination of private property is decades away.   But with the assistance of the ICLEI, the American Planning Association, and dozens of other organizations, planners  use the sustainable development scheme to restrict ownership to preferred development areas (PDA), require medium to high density dwellings (3.5 units per acre of land), and corrals people into very few areas controlled by the heavy hand of government. 

A sustainable development plan wouldn’t be complete without including government housing subsidies.  In sustainable development vernacular this is called affordable housing.  When government controls land use and government provides subsidies for housing the result is a gerrymandered population distorting the political landscape.  Statists decide who gets subsidies and where those people live.  The distribution of people, who are also voters, is distorted.  If you take 100,000 people out of Baltimore City(90% Democrat) and move them around the state, the entire voting pattern of the state is transformed and the ruling party increases their political power. 

Government uses financial leverage to coerce counties and municipalities to comply with sustainability dictates or else taxpayer funds that normally flow back to counties and municipalities are withheld.  Grant coercion is another preferred tactic used by the statist to ensure compliance and/or cooperation.  Grants are used to attract non-profits, educational institutions, and other entities to participate in the sustainability scheme.  Organizations are attracted to grant money.  Government dangles the proverbial carrot in the form of taxpayer money to ensure outcomes that advance the statist’s agenda.  For instance, a $1 million grant is offered to study climate change.  Upon completion, government offers another $1 million grant to prove mankind is the cause of climate change.  Lastly, government offers another $1 million grant to prove the level of CO2 produced by mankind is trapped as a greenhouse gas resulting in a warmer planet. 

Government uses the law against the very citizens it was meant to protect.  All levels of government are instituted to protect individual rights, liberty, and property rights.  Citizens are stranded to fight massive bureaucratic organizations to merely buy property and live where they desire without government coercing them into sustainable communities like sardines in a tin can.  Some citizens may find a sustainable community desirable while government coerces other citizens into these living conditions. 

The 188 page PlanMaryland document never mentions the U.S. Constitution or private property rights.  In fact, the term climate change was used 48 times and the term greenhouse gas is used 25 times in the Plan Maryland document.  Not a single reference to private property rights.  Not a single reference to the Constitution.   

In Maryland, the Carroll County Commissioners were the first county in the nation to leave the ICLEI.  Approximately, fifteen other municipalities have followed Carroll Countyand withdrawn from the ICLEI. The county has been inundated with letters, e-mails, and phone calls from all over the country asking for guidance, and offering support and encouragement.  

Commissioner Rothschild is a leading advocate against radical sustainable development schemes.  Rothschild met with Congressmen Roscoe Bartlett and Steven King.  He met with Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s staff.  He has done several dozen radio interviews and programs.  He has addressed dozens of concerned citizen groups throughout the mid-Atlantic region. 

The Carroll County Commissioners instructed the Planning and Zoning Commission to remove all references to sustainable development and to insert language upholding Constitutional rights and property rights.  In the Commissioners press release Rich Rothschild said: 

If compact growth were more cost effective, our cities would have the lowest tax rates. Yet across the country large cities tend to have the highest tax rates… People are fleeing Smart Growth [zoning templates], due to congestion and crime. 

Commissioner David Rousch directed his comments squarely at government intervention in free markets:

We don’t believe it’s our job to create certain kinds of housing anywhere in this county. The market will create it.

Maryland citizens have had enough with the intimidation and bullying by the Democrat controlled General Assembly and Governor Martin O’Malley.  Several other states have implemented radical environmental sustainable development schemes while others are in process of doing so.  While the federal government is dithering around with debts and budgets, states are aggressively acting to abridge or deny your private property rights. 

I said it two years ago and I’ll say it again.  Agenda 21, with the help of the ICLEI and other organizations, is implementing sustainable development schemes in states and local jurisdictions all over the country, and it is coming to a neighborhood near you.

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What if Government wanted to eliminate Candy

Which is easier; to ban candy or to promote healthy teeth?  And, if we are going to promote healthy teeth, it only makes sense to promote general health and the avoidance of diabetes.

How would they do it?

  • Get an Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) like the ADA on your side.
  • Create a health sustainability coordinator that belongs to an international organization that promotes the benefits of a candy-free society.
  • Pass legislation that requires schools and households to use healthy diet templates.
  • Require schools to teach the evils of candy.

Next…

  • Explain how the consumption of Candy consumes an excessive portion of the world’s sugar cane supplies.
  • Publish selective articles “proving” that candy is harmful to your health.
  • Endorse organizations that promote healthy eating.  Offer smart sugar-free growing awards.
  • Pass resolutions that argue, “in the absence of positive proof”, we should err on the side of  caution and avoid candy.

Then…

  • Get non-candy companies to sell alternatives. How do you do this?
  • Offer grants to companies that manufacture healthy desserts.
  • Offer grants to schools, communities, and businesses that provide healthy desserts in lieu of candy.
  • Promote technology that would monitor sugar consumption.

Finally…

  • Require a transfer of funds from rich countries to poor countries in order to help wean them off of sugar-based foods.
  • Develop small, local farms in poorer countries to grow alternative foods.
  • Create a government dietary commission staffed with anti-sugar political appointees.
  • Require all schools and businesses to adopt a sugar-free diet planning template.
  • Pass a hefty tax on all candy vendors to make it so costly to put candy in vending machines they’ll go out of business.
  • Require all members of the dietary commission to be trained in proper diets.

What would Al Gore and Michael Moore do?

  • Produce a movie about corruption at Hershey’s Chocolate called “Candy and Me”.
  • Produce a movie denigrating the system that enables us to have chocolate in every household “Capitalism and Candy; How greed is killingAmerica”.
  • Produce a movie on the evils of cavities.  An Inconvenient Tooth.

And…

  • Create a false moral equivalency .  If you do not support the banning of candy you must be a cold, callous, and selfish.  You must be in favor of harming children.
  • Declare the debate is over.  Sugar must go.
  • Blame the poor health of children worldwide on capitalism; the wasteful exporting of sugar, and wasteful sugar consumption habits of wealthy nations.

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Filed under Agenda 21 & Plan Maryland

The Ruling Class: Ostriches Ignoring Reality

Ayn Rand said, “You can ignore reality but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality”.  The ruling class, consisting of people from both political parties, resembles the ostrich; because they all have their heads buried in the sand ignoring reality.  The political kabuki theatre in DC is merely a distraction to the real problems.  Perhaps an intervention is in order.

If you listen to the ruling class or their sycophants in the main stream media all you  heard are lies, distortions, and demagoguery.  It’s time the people referred to by the ruling class as peasants and serfs, are told the cold, hard truth.  Here are the facts that matter:

1)      The debt ceiling is an artificially created political thing that merely limits the amount of money Congress authorizes the executive branch to borrow more money to spend.  It has nothing to do with default and nothing to do with credit ratings.

2)      Defaulting on the debt is a political decision that rests solely with the executive branch.  This is a simple matter of prioritizing the payment of expenditures.  It has absolutely nothing to do with the debt ceiling.

3)      The credit rating agencies don’t care about the debt ceiling as that is a political event.  In fact, the credit rating agencies are required to evaluate and assess financial information only to determine an entity’s credit worthiness.  In fact, last weekend the credit rating agency Egan & Jones downgraded the U.S. credit rating.

4)      The ruling class has a spending problem.  The government spends 50% more than it receives through taxation.  That money must be borrowed.  The government’s insatiable appetite to spend other people’s money must end.

5)      I am not aware of a single plan by Republicans or Democrats that addressed how the outstanding debt of $14,500,000,000,000.00 will be paid down.  The discussions revolved around how much future spending would be reduced.  Any in every case those future reductions results in a deficit.  The government would still borrow money and increase the debt.

Let’s put this in terms everyone can understand.  Note, this is information that has been circulating recently.

Federal Income through taxation:  $2,170,000,000

Federal budget:  $3,820,000,000,000

This year’s deficit:  $1,650,000,000,000

National debt:  $14,271,000,000,000

Cuts in budget deal:  $38,500,000,000

If we translate this into a household income by removing the trailing 8 zeroes from each number we get:

Annual Family Income:  $21,700

Amount of money spent by the Family:  $38,200

Amount of new debt added to the credit card:  $16,500

Outstanding balance on the credit card:  $142,710

Amount cut from the family budget:  $385

Is it reasonable to cut $385 from the family’s annual budget when the amount of new debt added annually is $16,500?  Does the plan address how to pay down the outstanding credit card balance of $142,710?

The ruling class ignores this very straight-forward problem because it is politically expedient to do so.  In fact, the ruling class already knows they cannot pay off the current debt in the currency in which it is denominated.  Moreover, the ruling class knows they cannot tax or borrow their way out of the debt and entitlement problem.

This leaves the ruling class, including the Federal Reserve, with one option; to debase the currency.  In other words, to increase the base money supply (M0) by injecting cash into the banking system.  Inflation is taxation without legislation.  Inflation erodes purchasing power and destroys wealth (wealth denominated in the currency).

The ruling class doesn’t have the political will to make the difficult decisions required today to solve the debt and spending problems facing our generation and future generations.  The ruling class cares first about themselves and, secondly, about their re-election.  The ruling class knows it will be political suicide to make the difficult decision today.  Instead they punt.  They kick the budget and debt can down the road for this and future generations to deal with.  The ruling class exacerbates an already tenuous situation to the detriment of the very citizens they were elected to represent.

What did those people get that wanted more severe spending cuts and solutions to the current problems?  The ruling class and the lapdog media, led by no other than the President of the United States, called the people hostage takers and terrorists.  Concerned citizens were told they were holding a gun to the President’s head.

The irony in this is many people refer to our government as a democracy.  That is simply wrong.  But if they believe we are a democracy where the people participate in it, why is it the ruling class complains when we participate?  They want us peasants and serfs to bow down before the table of government benevolence.  They say bow down, shut up, and be quiet.   When subjugated under boot it matters not what brand of boot.  Whether that is a monarch living on the other side of the Atlantic or tyrants in Congress and the White House.

Did you notice during the debt negotiations that the government whined and cried, threw hissy fits, and issued threats about retirees not receiving a social security check or the military may not get paid.  The ruling class acted like a petulant child because, for once, we the people told the ruling class no!  We will not authorize you to spend other people’s money.  The ruling class didn’t like it when we told them to sit down, shut up, and be quiet.  That’s the way it ought to be.  They are our servants.  They are our fiduciaries.  It’s time the ruling class grows up and acts accordingly.  Otherwise, resign and crawl back into the hole from which you came.

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