Brad Harrington

Members
  • Content count

    522
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Brad Harrington

  • Rank
    Member
  • Birthday 09/05/1959

Contact Methods

  • Website URL http://www.timeforeverymantostir.blogspot.com
  • ICQ 0

Profile Information

  • Gender Male
  • Location Cheyenne, Wyoming
  • Interests Reading, thinking, writing, chess, loving my wife and family, computers, physics, mathematics, philosophy, astronomy, history, politics, economics, graphics layout and design, revolutionary theory, and anything else that makes me think.
  1. Agenda 21 - It's Collectivism Evil Out Of The United Nations.

    OK, let's take this a piece at a time. Since I am unfamiliar with the proper way to do these quotes sectionally, I've dumped the whole thing into a word processor to do it in a fashion that works for me. EWV: The notion that the United Nations, bypassing all requirements for legal authority, is directing local government in America under a central Plan is so preposterous that it is almost superfluous to point out that the burden of proof is on he who propounds such theories. Brad: You keep saying that over and over, like we should just take your word for it - and, quite frankly, your repeated assertions that this is all "conspiracy theory" without rebutting any of the evidence provided, is beginning to get a bit annoying. I would certainly agree that the burden of proof is on the proponents of this idea, however - and I provided plenty of it right here: http://forums.4aynra...showtopic=13839 Nor do I find what follows in your post to be any kind of refutation of such claims, and I'll be happy to tell you why. A big part of the problem is that you seem to allow no room for UNWITTING compliance and advocacy of the U.N. agenda. You, it seems to me, in your mind, seem to think that if someone is actively promoting something, they are consequently aware of what they are in reality promoting. Well, I can't speak for Darrell Cody, but *I* certainly never made that claim. Indeed, at one point in my original post, I said: ******************** "Nor am I making the claim that the particular individuals involved with our local planning process are all closet United Nations internationalists deliberately seeking to enslave us. To the contrary, I’d be surprised if any of them have even the glimmering of a clue as to the nature of the destructiveness they’ve succeeding in wreaking. And that, perhaps, is far worse: Bereft of any true philosophical understanding of the principles of freedom, individualism, capitalism and private property rights, such people blissfully absorb the intellectual status quo without further thought on the matter. But the intellectual status quo is... Collectivist enslavement." ******************** So, let's quit attacking a straw man, and move on: EWV: If someone thinks that "the UN" is or can do this, then somewhere between all the inflammatory quotes and accusations that are recirculated in this fad let him point to one local official anywhere in the country who is taking direction under UN authority to do anything. Let him cite what authority any UN bureaucrat has to make plans for "the UN" and implement them in sovereign countries and what means he has to carry out directives of such enormous geographical scope over tens of thousands of cities and towns. Brad: Well, first off, this argument, again, contains the tacit assumption, as mentioned above, of not allowing for the possibility that someone can be promoting the U.N. agenda without being aware that this is what they are doing. As a matter of fact, I consider this to be the case in the vast majority of such instances. As an example of this, consider President Clinton's establishment of the Presidential Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD) in 1993. Here's what I had to say about it in my original post: ******************** Here in the United States, we began implementing such policy on a national level with Bill Clinton’s “President’s Council on Sustainable Development” (PCSD), established in 1993 and active until 1999 - which, from their website, sought to “Advise President Clinton on sustainable development” and “bold new approaches to achieve economic, environmental, and equity goals.” (Italics mine.) Sound familiar? The now-infamous “3-E’s,” straight out of Agenda 21. And if you think that qualifies me for a “tin foil hat,” you’d better wake the Hell up. From a PCSD meeting on June 19, 1998: “The concept of sustainable development was first proposed in 1972 at the United Nation's Conference on the Human Environment, yet it was not until 1987 that sustainable development became a policy goal... The 1992 Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro refined the concept. Agenda 21 claimed that countries must ‘seek the mutual goals of economic development and environmental protection for the purpose of fulfilling the basic needs for all.’” With thanks to the PCSD, it didn’t take long for Agenda 21 policy to gain implementation in all sorts of federal bureaucracies. Through the establishment of the PCSD’s “Task Forces” on “Climate Change,” “Environmental Management,” “International Leadership” and “Metropolitan and Rural Strategies,” the Agenda-21-promoting federal alphabet soup included: The Dept. of Energy; the EPA; HUD; FEMA; the Dept. of Commerce; the Small Business Administration; the Dept. of the Interior; the Dept. of Commerce; the USDA; the Dept. of Education; and the Dept. of Transportation, just to name a few. With the PCSD’s Task Forces as the motive power and these and other agencies as the vehicles of transmission, the word quickly went out: All grants to states and localities were henceforth to be given on the basis of preconditions adhering to the concepts of “sustainable development,” “environmental quality” and “smart growth.” Via such grants, Agenda 21 policy has, from the top down through hundreds of thousands of grants, slowly but insidiously made itself felt in every state and nearly every city in America. ******************** As a sidebar, observe that, in this case, Bill Clinton WAS, as it happens, aware of the fact that he was seeking to implement Agenda 21, for the PCSD EXPLICITLY DECLARED, as noted above, that as their goal, and actively sought to embed that approach in the grants-allocating processes in all the named bureaucracies through the aforementioned task forces. Yet I would doubt very much that a bureaucrat in HUD today, for instance, would be in any way, shape or form, aware of those ideological considerations from 20 years ago. To THAT bureaucrat, he is simply following through with HUD policy. Tell that bureaucrat he's "implementing Agenda 21" and you'll get nothing but a blank stare... BUT, the reality IS, he IS whether he's aware of it or not. And the fact is, your argument fails completely to take such realities into consideration. And yes, of course, it is true that the U.N. has no power to forcefully implement its agenda as you describe - but the OTHER reality you so conveniently ignore is that these agendas can certainly be passed into municipal codes, which DO have the force of law. As an example of this, consider my own town of Cheyenne's adoption of the Unified Development Code (UDC). NONE of the involved people in that move - from the Cheyenne MPO to the Critical Path Committee to the City Planning Commission - have the slightest clue that the UDC comes straight out of Agenda 21 - and yet, as I prove in my article, where I detail at great detail the ideological and economic foundations of the Cheyenne UDC, it is derived straight out of the Agenda 21 program nonetheless. So saying that the U.N. cannot "enforce" its plans is COMPLETELY irrelevant when a municipality chooses to do, whether that municipality is aware of what they are doing or not - for those municipal codes DO bear the force of law and offer REAL fines and REAL jail times in the event of non-compliance. Now, having said all of that, EWV, do you doubt that there IS a small cadre of individuals, both within the U.N. itself and as simple "fellow-travelers," who ARE attempting to, or who HAVE attempted to, get the Agenda 21 program passed into law in this country? If so, you are more woefully ignorant than I would have thought you to be, because I normally find your discourse intelligent and elevated. Take Billy Clinton, for instance. Even a cursory reading of the minutes of the meetings of the PCSD make it perfectly clear that he, as well as many of the other individuals on the PCSD, DID HAVE as their active goal the implementation of Agenda 21 whacko environmentalism. It, as noted, is EXPLICITLY DECLARED in several instances. Or take the formation of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) as another instance, directly formed by the U.N. itself at its World Congress in 1990 and EXPLICTLY referred to as the local implementation arm in Agenda 21 itself. As I said in my original post: ******************** Recognizing early on that the top-down approach wasn’t all that was needed, however, the United Nations sought to sock it to us all from the bottom-up, local level as well - and this approach culminated in the establishment of the “International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives” (ICLEI). ICLEI was founded at the World Congress of Local Governments for a Sustainable Future, a U.N. conference held at the U.N. in 1990. And ICLEI’s goals? “ICLEI promotes local action for global sustainability and supports cities to become sustainable, resilient, resource-efficient, biodiverse, low-carbon; to build a smart infrastructure; and to develop an inclusive, green urban economy... We have developed stable, long-term programs to support local-level sustainability and continue to develop innovative new programs to respond to issues of international concern.” (From the ICLEI website.) Indeed, in Agenda 21’s “Promoting Sustainable Human Settlement Development,” 7.21, ICLEI’s role is directly addressed: “Cities of all countries should reinforce cooperation among themselves and cities of the developed countries, under the aegis of non-governmental organizations active in this field, such as the International Union of Local Authorities (IULA), the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and the World Federation of Twin Cities.” ICLEI, as the local implementation arm of Agenda 21, and as of the date of this writing, presently has 526 United States counties and municipalities on its membership rolls. ******************** Are you seriously going to look me in the eye and tell me that the people responsible for the formation and operation of this organization do NOT have the implementation of Agenda 21 as their goal? You have GOT to be kidding me. And, as already mentioned, through the ability of this organization to get its agendas implemented on hundreds of local levels throughout the United States, their twaddle DOES carry the force of law. Refute THAT, please. And should you be successful in doing so, I can tell you one result - I'LL certainly start sleeping a little better at night. Now, having said all of THAT, I would certainly agree with most of what you iterated here: EWV: Lacking an understanding of what the different pressure groups are and how they operate in collaboration with government and the sources of their funding, to say nothing of their underlying ideological principles and their historical evolution, there is often a tendency to leap at the first over-simplified "explanation" offered: a "higher", centralized authority, but one which misintegrates the cause of the problems and experiences (in a fiction reminiscent of ancient, primitive societies grasping at "the gods" as explanations for everything from the weather to attacks by creatures in the wilderness). The imagery of "The UN" as an institutional power beyond all governments serves nicely. So do the inflammatory quotes confirming one's worst fears. It is reinforced with the 'tin foil hat' mentality, which was originally a metaphor for a physical means to block interfering brain waves undermining knowledge of the conspiracy, i.e., in practice, stubbornly block out rational consideration of refutations and alternate explanation challenging the faith. The anti "agenda 21" flames have been continuously fanned by a handful of evangelists with national lecture tours for about two decades. Unlike their counterparts generally on the left and some other conspiracy themes, they tend to be well-meaning and sincere but ought to know better. Here is a an example of a conservative news article in Maine last August and my response to it: http://www.themainew.../#comment-2325 This fad isn't new, but now it is being picked up by some conservatives -- like Glenn Beck -- who know little or nothing of the original motivation or the very real problems over property rights growing worse over the last several decades which this theory is supposed to address. This second-hand version of the fad is turning the whole affair into even more of a giant floating abstraction. Now it seems to be spreading third hand under the banner of Ayn Rand, who had nothing to do with this kind of mentality. Brad: Your characterization of much of the anti-Agenda 21 crowd is accurate - but that doesn't mean that EVERYBODY should be lumped into that category. In my original post, I addressed that as well: ******************** From where, then, creeps the notion that opponents of U.N. enslavement wear “tin foil hats”? (1) First of all, unfortunately, a large number of the opponents of this international idiocy also choose to immerse themselves in all manner of conspiracy hypotheses as an explanation for how we arrived at this state of affairs - such as the involvement of the Illuminati, or the Zionist Jews, or the Rockefellers and their banking empire. Such “explanations” are truly unnecessary: All that is needed to explain and understand our current international state is to recognize the power of principles and the role they play in human affairs. As Ayn Rand once stated in “Philosophy: Who Needs It”: “Politics is not the cause, but the last consequence of philosophical ideas.” No hypotheses concerning conspiracies of men are needed when a “conspiracy of principles” adequately explains our state of affairs - but observe that it is the promulgation of the former that gives rise to the “tin foil hat” syndrome of which we speak. (2) Again, unfortunately, many of the individuals who recognize the socio-politico-economic connections between U.N. enslavement policy and local UDC-style codes do not do a good job of demonstrating those connections - which cannot properly be done without establishing the philosophical underpinnings first - and, in the absence of such a demonstration, such proponents merely appear as babblers and entrench the rule of the collectivist planners. ******************** So, to point to the freaks and cranks and blow their so-called "arguments" out of the water - a pretty easy thing to do - does NOT disprove the arguments of those of us with a little more on the ball - it merely means we've got a bunch of freaks and cranks who fail to understand the true issues. Now, I will also say that I, myself, in my original piece, DID draw upon the work of Ayn Rand in a substantial fashion - but that was not to put words in her mouth, but to simply connect the dots regarding the collectivistic measures sought by the U.N. in order to supposedly "solve" international problems instead - and to demonstrate the manner in which U.N. policy ITSELF derives from the collectivistic errors upon which it is based. OK, I feel a little better now. Your thoughts? Brad
  2. The Sign Of The Dollar

    Pardonj me for misquoting you, and allow me to correct it: What I meant to say was, "You don't hAVE to be 'knowingly seeking our destruction'..." Sorry about that... Brad
  3. Agenda 21 - It's Collectivism Evil Out Of The United Nations.

    I, too, would be interested in your evidence to support your hypothesis that we're all just wearing "tin foil hats" as well, ewv - for I have plenty of evidence that points in a decidedly different direction, some of which I have posted already. You've said we're all "conspiracy theorists" plenty of times, but I haven't seen you demonstrate that as of yet. Please do so. Brad
  4. The Sign Of The Dollar

    LOL I'm not just writing it on the Internet, I'm printing it in my newspaper and spewing it to the stratosphere on my radio show as well. Piss on it. I'm done playing the game, and if they want to come throw me into prison - bring it on. They ought to just kill me because I will be just as disruptive and agitating in a prison cell as I will be on the streets. They threw Gandi and Walecha into prison too, but that had ZERO effect on the transmission and implementation of their ideas. In case you people haven't figured it out yet, the war's on. There might not have been any shots fired but November 6, 2012, marks the birthday of the Second American Revolution. Once things get rolling, what are the pasty-faced bureaucrats gonna do then? Throw a 100 million of us into jail? I could care less - because, you see, at this point, I don't have anything to lose. Anything and everything I've ever loved in life is being taken away from me, except for that life and those of my family (who share my sentiments) - and what better fight could I dedicate that life to????? NEVER underestimate the power of a human mind in the act of making a decision... OR of acting on that decision once it's been made. Brad
  5. The Sign Of The Dollar

    I agree with most of your analysis of the election - but it's irrelevant. Whether you want to argue that the tipping point has actually been reached, as I do, or that it's only 2 percent away, as you seem to be, is somewhat similar to arguing about what seat who is going to occupy on the Titanic. While we are arguing our economy - or what's left of it - is going to come up behind us and bite us in the arse. And with tens of thousands of jobs - if not hundreds of thousands - lost in just the last three weeks alone, if that tipping point hasn't been reached yet, it isn't going to take much longer. With less producers and more people on the dole with each passing day, we might as well argue about whether the freight train heading down the tracks we're tied to is going 80 mph or just 75 mph... By the way, you don't HAVE to be "knowingly seeking your own destruction" to be a parasite - you just need to be living off someone's else's wealth to qualify... Brad
  6. The Sign Of The Dollar

    My "pleasure," John, if you get what I mean. Thanks for reading it. I'm getting longer-winded these days - just in time, too, apparently. I doubt very much that the estimate I provided on the underground economy is accurate. The big problem with accurately estimating the underground economy, of course, is that it is... well, underground. LOL I went with the "official" figure I cited because it's at LEAST that, just to give people an idea of its potential. I suspect, however, as do you, that it is much, much larger than that - and, of course, with the re-election of our Thief-In-Chief, it is going to get much larger still. Without being willing to provide any more details due to a desire to maintain anonymity, if you get my drift, I happen to know a very close friend who recently joined that network himself. He's in good company, which will soon consist of the majority of the producers left in the United States... Brad
  7. The Sign Of The Dollar

    A Discussion Of The Post-2012 Election Fallout: What Happened, Why It Happened, What The Consequences Will Be, And What You Need To Do To Prepare Yourself For The Future By Bradley Harrington This commentary will be published in the Nov. 15, 2012 edition of Liberty's Torch. "The task of defining ideas and goals is not the province of politicians and is not accomplished at election time: Elections are merely consequences. The task belongs to the intellectuals. The need is more urgent than ever.” - Ayn Rand, “The Wreckage of the Consensus,” 1967 - It doesn’t take the proverbial “rocket scientist” to figure out that on Nov. 6, the American social and political landscape, by hardly changing at all, changed dramatically forever. Advocates of freedom, of course, viewing the re-election of President Barack Obama and a Democrat-controlled Congress with the trepidation such an event merits, have been in a twitter ever since, wondering what it is they could have done to make it different. Factoid: We’re Outnumbered Well, what could we have done? Not a damn thing, fellow travelers, because it’s time to wise up and admit the facts: The producers are now outnumbered by the parasites. Consider: When Ayn Rand wrote the above words 45 years ago, the country was still stocked with a large majority of producers. Yes, the so-called “welfare” state and interventionist economics were on the rise, and had been for decades, but many more people than not supported themselves and their families by their own efforts. If you still think that’s true, you had better wake the Hell up and think again. In that year of 1967, for instance, the United States had a population of 198 million, a GDP of $825 billion, a federal budget of $157 billion and federal“social welfare” expenses of $26 billion. This placed “social welfare” spending at $131.30 per capita, or 3.1 percent of GDP and 16.6 percent of federal outlays. In 2012, on the other hand, the United States has a population of 314 million, a GDP of $15.2 trillion, a federal budget of $3.8 trillion and federal “social welfare” expenses of $2.3 trillion. This places “social welfare” spending at $7,382.17 per capita, or 15.1 percent of GDP and 60.5 percent of federal outlays. In the light of such figures, it’s pretty clear that our “social welfare”outlays have skyrocketed - per-capita spending by 5,522 percent, percentage of GDP by 387 percent and percentage of federal outlays by 264 percent -and that’s just the federal spending, folks. That doesn’t count the state and local outlays. Given the data, it’s not too far of a stretch to say that fully half of our population is receiving government aid of some sort and amount from the other half. And this guess, while a guess, is at least close, for the tax figures bear it out: In 2008, IRS figures show that the top 50 percent of the country’s adult population (with incomes greater than $33,000) paid 97.3 percent of collected taxes, while the bottom 50 percent paid the other piddling 2.7 percent. “Welfare”? I Don’t Think So And if you (mistakenly) think that this is the price we pay for “helping the poor,” you’d better check your premises on that one as well: For, despite the untold trillions of dollars we’ve poured into the so-called “War on Poverty”since 1967 alone, when 31.8 million people lived under the poverty line, we now have 46 million people there instead - an increase of 44.6 percent. And food stamps? Just in the last four years alone, we’ve seen the number of recipients mushroom from 28 million in 2008 to 46 million in 2012, an increase of 64.2 percent. Clearly, the so-called “welfare” state isn’t benefiting anybody - least of all the poor who need jobs the most. That’s because it isn’t “welfare,”folks - it’s the parasites living at the expense of the producers, pure and simple. The Tipping Point Back in the early 1970s, when I was still a fresh young lad, my father told me something that I’ll never forget (right after the election of Jimmy Carter):“When 50 percent or more of the country lives on the dole,” he said, “you can kiss your freedoms goodbye.” Well, Howdy Doody, welcome to the future. The 2008 election of radical left-winger Barack Obama and a host of additional tax-and-spend Congressional Democrats was the tipping point - and this election in 2012 merely slammed the nails into our political coffin. For how many more years does anyone seriously think such a trend can continue? When and where does it snap? At what point of the trend do the producers simply revolt and refuse to play their perennial role of self-sacrificial serfs? Like most human phenomena, it’s a bell curve. Some people have already dropped out and off the radar, and more and more are joining them with every passing year. Is “Atlas Shrugging”? Yep. And the “bell” of that curve? It’s approaching us much faster than we think. Indeed, just since the re-affirmation of America’s commitment to half-socialist, half-fascist economic devastation, we have these facts to greet us: -- “St. Louis-based Energizer cutting 1,500 employees in attempt to save $200 million” (Channel 4, www.kmov.com, St. Louis, Nov. 8). “‘These actions represent significant and necessary changes to our overall cost structure and organization,’ said Ward Klein, chief executive, according to a statement.” -- “Exide to lay off 150 workers” (The Reading Eagle, Reading, Penn., Nov. 9). “‘This decision was based on several factors, including the dramatic swings in the lead market and the high capital investment needed, due to regulatory requirements, to remain operational in Reading,’ said Paul Hirt, president of Exide Americas.” (Italics mine.) -- “Boeing cutting 30 percent of executives at defense unit” (The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 7). “The company said funding for the U.S. Dept. of Defense is ‘under extreme pressure.’”(Italics mine.) -- “Stanford brake plant to lay off 75” (Lexington Herald-Leader, Nov. 7). “‘This decision was based on current economic conditions and has no reflection on the quality and commitment of our people in Stanford,’” said Brake Parts LLC company spokesman Scott Howat. (Italics mine.) -- “Darden tests limiting worker hours as health-care changes loom” (The Orlando Sentinel, Nov. 11). “In an experiment apparently aimed at keeping down the cost of health-care reform, Orlando-based Darden Restaurants has stopped offering full-time schedules to many hourly workers in at least a few Olive Gardens, Red Lobsters and Longhorn Steakhouses.” (Italics mine.) -- “Business owner fired employees who voted for Obama” (C-Span, Nov. 8). In a phone interview, a man who would only identify himself as Stu, saying that he owned a small aviation services company, also said: “‘Yesterday, I called all of my part-time employees in and said because Obama won, I was cutting their hours from 30 to 25 a week so I would not fall under the Obamacare mandate... And I also had to lay two full-timers off to get under the 50-person cap... I tried to make sure that the people I laid off had voted for Obama.’” (Italics mine.) -- “Coal company announces layoffs in response to Obama win” (CNN, Nov. 9). “A coal company headed by a prominent Mitt Romney donor has laid off more than 160 workers in response to President Obama’s election victory. Murray Energy said Friday it had been‘forced’ to make the layoffs in response to the bleak prospects for the coal industry during Obama’s second term... Murray cited pending regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency and the possibility of a carbon tax as factors that could lead to the ‘total destruction of the coal industry by as early as 2030’...In August, Murray shuttered an operation in Ohio, again blaming the Obama administration and its alleged ‘war on coal.’” (Italics mine.) I could go on and on and on, but then I’d be filling this space with things other than what it needs to be filled with, so... Suffice it to say that events similar to this have been occurring all over the country since Nov. 6, with who knows how many thousands of workers now out of work. I would hazard a guess that most of these firms, and many more besides, were waiting for the election results before finalizing their decisions. Now that the stake’s been driven through our heart, these companies have acted in the only way they could to maintain their existences. For how much longer, however - given the now-for-sure increases in such collectivistic requirements as italicized above - will such companies be able to keep their doors open at all? Nor does it take the aforementioned rocket scientist to figure out that with dropping jobs numbers and decreased tax revenues, the result will be: More“welfare,” more food stamps, more taxes and moreregimentation and control - all of which, of course, will act to exacerbate and worsen the very problems such measures are (allegedly) intended to solve, thus ever-hastening the producer-vs.-parasite tip-over until the whole shoddy house of cards collapses of its own unsustainable weight. Consequently, our chances of affecting future electoral change on a national level have just been reduced to zero. By the time the next election rolls around, the balance between the producers vs. the parasites won’t even be close. The Hugest Heist In History Now, let’s throw a few other things into the mix as well, as a post-mortem, so to speak, on an already-moribund productive corpse: -- An “official” national debt of $16.2 trillion, which means: What we owe now constitutes 106 percent of our GDP, i.e., the entire productive capacity of the entire United States for the entire year. This, I submit, is an absolute looting spree, happening right before our eyes - and, as such, it constitutes nothing less than the hugest heist in all of human history. It is nothing more than an irrational, amoral, legalized, politically-driven plundering of the productive assets of the United States. And that’s the good news: With budget deficits in the $1-$2 trillion dollar range these days, you can expect that 2x4 to wallop us right between the eyes at anywhere from $22-$24 trillion by 2016, minimum. More realistically, however, as the numbers for “welfare” and food stamp rolls continue to shoot themselves through the roof, you can expect that to mushroom by even greater amounts; -- Unfunded liabilities for bankrupt programs such as Social Security, Medicare and government pensions now sit at $121 trillion, an economic dead weight of over $1 million around the necks of the (shrinking) numbers of every taxpayer in America. Check it out for yourself at www.usdebtclock.org, and watch the numbers spin so fast you could use the program for a ceiling fan; -- The Fed, like a monkey turned loose in a power plant with a wrench in its hands, announced back in September that it would be proceeding forward with an open-ended, indefinite policy of“Quantitative Easing 3” (read: inflation) to the tune of $40 billion a month. You can expect, therefore, that the dollars in your pocket, already made nearly worthless by decades of such tactics, will be made even more so as time progresses. -- Add it all up and what do you get, folks? Total, terminal economic dissolution and disintegration. Predicting a financial collapse, at this point, is about as daring as predicting that an egg is going to splatter when it’s already on its way to the floor. We had a chance, small one though it was, to reverse some of these trends on Nov. 6; with the re-election of Obama and a Democrat-controlled Senate, however, you can kiss that chance goodbye. Even should the Republicans clean house come 2014, the die is cast, and the so-called “fiscal cliff” everybody is worrying about come Jan. 1 is little more than a firecracker to an atom bomb when compared to the yawning precipice awaiting us just a bit further down the road. The magnitude of that collapse, of course, can vary; it can be something as relatively simple as another Great Depression, or it can proceed on upward to complete social and political disintegration. Government, with its ability to change all the rules in the middle of the game, can postpone things for a bit longer - but not much longer. And the longer the postponement, the greater the level of devastation when the Piper finally collects his dues. Rough Times Are A’Comin’ Now, before we get to how our soon-to-arrive collapse actually represents the best and greatest hope we have before us, let’s make a few things clear: It’s gonna be hard times ahead for who knows how long, and you need to be prepared for it. Therefore, any rational and intelligent individual should, to the extent possible financially: -- Stock water, food and other life-sustaining essentials. When you suddenly find your grocery shelves empty, what do you intend to do in order to feed yourself and your family? -- Stockpile weapons and ammunition. As a producer in an ever-widening sea of parasites, you need to understand that you are about to become a target - and, should the horrible need arise, you need to be prepared to defend your property and your values from those who would take it all away; -- Begin to buy silver and gold. When the dollar bills you have in your pocket become completely worthless, you need to have an alternative money supply on hand to be able to trade with other, like-minded producers - and silver and gold have been the tried-and-true currencies for millennia; -- Consider your power needs. What happens when your utilities quit working? Do you have things like flash lights, batteries, candles - or, better yet, a generator? Or, better yet, an alternative source of long-term power? It’s pricey but if you can afford it, get off the grid; -- If you live in a big city and you are able to, move. Such locations will soon be resembling Potsdam after World War II (some of them look that way now). Get out of the cities and onto some land where you can still raise chickens and grow a garden if need be. There’s much more than this, but you get the idea. The Torch will be running a series of articles, from this point forward, discussing all of these topics and then some: Foodstuffs, canning, weapons, defense, gardening, raising livestock, alarm systems, power generation, water-purification and transportation, just to name a few. Now, if you think I’m being alarmist here, that’s fine. Throw away this newspaper and go pick up your copy of the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, where you will read that everything is fine and you’ve got nothing to worry about. If that’s your viewpoint, great. For the rest of us, however, who know better, stay tuned. As a public service, the Torch intends to give you what you need to function and survive in the midst of what’s coming. Withdraw Your Sanction! Now, at this point, if you’re beginning to feel a bit helpless and completely at the mercy of forces beyond your ability to manage, don’t! For the fact of the matter is that it is you - the producer - who, in reality, maintains complete control and possesses an incredible power no moocher or looter can ever touch. And, furthermore, it is precisely therein with that power that our greatest hope lies. For, consider: The moochers and the looters, by definition, are incapable of sustaining themselves. As Howard Roark once remarked in Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, “Creation comes before distribution, or there will be nothing to distribute.” It is the very nature of the existence of such people that they cannot produce on their own; therefore, it is you, the producer, that they have to beg, borrow or steal from in order to survive. They need us;we do not need them. Yet, if you’ve ever wondered why it is that such parasites have always been successful at enslaving you despite this simple fact of reality, I’ll hand you the answer: Because you have made it possible. Whose taxes permit the “welfare” state to function? Yours. Whosewealth is plundered in order to pay for it? Yours. Whose creations, innovations and productive abilities are hijacked in order to sustain the whole incredible mess? Yours. Quit granting your sanction - for, by so doing, you create your own chains and propagate your own servitude. Without you, the producer, the entire shoddy system is blown to smithereens. Given the devastation you are witnessing around you - never mind what’s to come - isn’t about time you just said “No”? This is not a new idea, by the way; Ayn Rand explored it thoroughly in Atlas Shrugged, written in 1957. While it is true that we have yet to reach the physical and economic devastation portrayed in her book, our cultural disintegration is nearly complete and the rest will follow soon enough. The single best thing any producer on the planet can do to come to understand their tremendous power is to pick up a copy of that book and read it. Above all, you need to realize that, at root, this is an intellectual and philosophical battle - and that the real goal of the collectivist slavers is not merely to seize your wealth but to collectivize your mind. Arm yourself accordingly, and remember: Free spirits cannot be enslaved, they can only be exterminated. What YOU Can Do, Right Now The variety of ways in which you can drop out, refusing to build your own sacrificial furnace, are innumerable: -- Join the underground economy if you can. Underground economic activities are now estimated to be in the neighborhood of $2.25 trillion per year, nearly 15 percent of the 2012 GDP. This represents money you own, free and clear, that the looters can’t touch; -- If you’re so inclined to do so, quit paying your taxes - or at least figure out legal ways to keep as much of your money out of the hands of the looters as you can. Starve the leviathan beast; -- Restrict your dealings, whenever possible, to other producers. Join up with other like-minded people in your community, personally and economically, and do your part to quit paying the looters for the privilege of having your assets plundered; -- Quit voting - at least in national elections. Folks, the lesser of two evils is still evil, and we’ve been playing that game for decades. Look where it’s taken us - to a level of degradation unmatched in all of history - and, remember, you’re outnumbered anyway. Withdraw your sanction and refuse to play a role in your own political and economic destruction. Let the collectivist slavers own the entire mess we’ve got coming; let them write theirnames all over it. Agitate and gain control in your local communities to the extent you can, but quit wasting your energy everywhere else. Direct it instead to more profitable enterprises; -- Get your kids, to the degree possible, out of the tax-supported indoctrination camps we so witlessly refer to as the“educational” system. The Leftist slavers have controlled this field of our economy for decades and your children are receiving nothing more than thoroughly collectivist brainwashings as a reward for their attendance. Get them into a private school - or, better yet, home-school them instead; -- Hasten, wherever and whenever possible, the demise of the collectivist-slaver-state, which is only made possible by your consent -politically, economically, socially and philosophically. Quit giving it! When enough of the producers drop out and simply quit producing, the game’s over. The Greatest Power On Earth For those who doubt the tremendous power we all have - not only each of us as“mere” individuals, but also in terms of our amassed power as a consistent, cohesive and ideologically-aligned collection of like-minded free-thinkers and free-doers - read your history. One man, Mahatma Gandhi of India, armed with nothing more than a clear and consistent vision, aligned hundreds of millions of Indians into a social and ideological force that wiped out British rule without ever firing a shot. Similarly, in the depths of communist slavery in Poland, one man - Lech Walesa, co-founder of Solidarity - stood against all the guns, bombs and tanks of his gangster government and literally brought that government to its knees, becoming the first democratically-elected president of Poland in 1990. In so doing, Walesa also helped pave the way to the Soviet empire’s implosion in 1991. So, never doubt the incredible power you hold! The philosophy of the Rights of Man has toppled kings and despots before and can do so again. You, as an independently-thinking, independently-functioning “mere” individual, constitute the greatest power on Earth. When the game’s finally over and the rule of the collectivist thugs is finally and irrevocably brought to an end, then - and only then - we will be free to re-emerge and reconstitute society based on our principles. At that point, we will be ready to utter the words of John Galt, hero of Atlas Shrugged, stated on the final page of that novel: “‘The road is cleared,’ said Galt. ‘We are going back to the world.’ He raised his hand and over the desolate earth he traced in space the sign of the dollar.” Bradley Harrington is the Publisher of Liberty's Torch; his email is publisher@libertystorch.us.
  8. On Agenda 21

    Hi Arnold, how have you been? I ended up spending a whole week researching this topic... And the deeper I dug, the more scary it got. EVERY MPO (Metropolitian Planning Assocation) in the flipping country is tied to this stuff... As are most of the major federal bureaucracies (EPA, HUD, FEMA, Commerce, Transportation) - as well as nearly all of the "planning associations" (LGC, APA, etc.). It is NOT a mistake, nor is it "paranoia." to state that this Agenda 21-garbage has infiltrated nearly every level of American "planning." I don't think the majority of the involved individuals understand what they are teaching, preaching and advocating. It's what they were taught in college, mostly... They see it as GOOD to "clean up the earth." Brad
  9. On Agenda 21

    I sure haven't been around here much; I've been busy writing things like this. But, I'll issue fair warning right now: This ain't no 30-second sound bite... <smile> On Agenda 21: The United Nations' Plan For Collectivization And Enslavement, And On How It Is Being Implemented On A Local Level Right Here In Cheyenne, Wyoming By Bradley Harrington This commentary was first published in the October 30, 2012 issue of Liberty’s Torch. Before proceeding to demonstrate the connections between the United Nations's Agenda 21 and Cheyenne's local regulations, the new Unified Development Code (UDC) in particular, there’s an ancillary issue that needs to be dealt with first, namely, the claim that whether or not such a connection exists is really even a “Tea Party” issue - i.e., that the “Tea Party” should, as a political movement, stay focused on the issues of fiscal responsibility and the promotion of private property rights. That we should, as one proponent of this idea recently put it to me, “stay on message” and “lose the tin foil hats.” Well, I’m not nearly as sure that those two sets of issues are as mutually exclusive as such claimants would have us believe. Consider a couple of groups of observations, for instance: (1) It bears remembering that the original Boston Tea Party, from which we “Tea Party” types derive our name, was... “A political protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston, a city in the British colony of Massachusetts, against the tax policy of the British government and the East India Company that controlled all the tea imported into the colonies. On December 16, 1773, after officials in Boston refused to return three shiploads of taxed tea to Britain, a group of colonists boarded the ships and destroyed the tea by throwing it into Boston Harbor. The incident remains an iconic event of American history, and other political protests often refer to it.” (Wikipedia Entry for the “Boston Tea Party.”) The “Sons of Liberty,” in turn, was... “A group consisting of American patriots that originated in the pre-independence North American British colonies. The group, started by Samuel Adams, was formed to protect the rights of the colonists and to take to the streets against the taxes from the usurpations by the British government after 1766. They are best known for undertaking the Boston Tea Party in 1773, which led to the Intolerable Acts (an intense crackdown by the British government), and a counter-mobilization by the Patriots that led directly to the American Revolutionary War in 1775.” (Wikipedia Entry for the “Sons of Liberty.”) So, with that history in mind, would it be safe to say that the Boston Tea Party and the Sons of Liberty were events and movements dedicated to the promotion of freedom, fiscal responsibility, property rights and national sovereignty? I would think so. (2) Now let’s turn out attention to the United Nations for our second set of observations. “The United Nations... Is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace. The UN was founded in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars between countries, and to provide a platform for dialogue. It contains multiple subsidiary organizations to carry out its missions.” (Wikipedia Entry for the “United Nations.”) And more, from the U.N. Charter itself: “WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED - - to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind - - to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person... - to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.” Now, I have a few questions and comments on this - observations which will not only bear on whether connecting Agenda 21 to local UDC codes constitutes wearing a “tin foil hat” or not, but also on the larger issue of that connection itself. ( a ) “To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”? And the method the U.N. used to attempt to achieve this goal? The establishment of the Security Council, which contained, as permanent members, the two bloodiest and most brutal dictatorships in all of man’s history, i.e., Soviet Russia and Red China. This was a guaranteed recipe for failure. Consider: “Wars,” as the philosopher Ayn Rand once noted, “are the second-greatest evil that human societies can perpetrate. The first is dictatorship, the enslavement of their own citizens, which is the cause of wars.” (From “The Wreckage of the Consensus.”) As evidence of this thesis, Rand points out that “World War I was started by monarchist Germany and Czarist Russia, who dragged in their freer allies. World War II was started by the alliance of Nazi Germany with Soviet Russia and their joint attack on Poland.” (From “The Roots of War.”) Remember that these two wars, started by statist dictatorships, were the very two wars mentioned in the U.N. Charter as the “scourge” to be avoided. From the same essay, Rand concludes: “If men want to oppose war, it is statism that they must oppose. So long as they hold the tribal notion that the individual is sacrificial fodder for the collective, that some men have the right to rule others by force, and that some (any) alleged ‘good’ can justify it - there can be no peace within a nation and no peace among nations.” Yet, with an “anti-war” Security Council packed with statist dictatorships, what could one rationally expect but a continuation of war? “What would you expect from a crime-fighting committee whose board of directors included the leading gangsters of the community?” (Rand, “The Anatomy of Compromise.”) It also bears noting, in follow-up, that the political opinions of most of the so-called “anti-war” advocates are decidedly to the Left on the political spectrum - to say nothing of the actual membership of the U.N. itself, independent of the stupidities surrounding the Security Council. So much for the so-called claim of seeking to eliminate the “scourge of war” - and the U.N.-stamped enslavement of 300 million citizens of Eastern Europe for nearly half a century by Commie Russia slams that point home for anyone with half a brain to see. ( b ) “Fundamental human rights”? “The dignity and worth of the human person”? Such concepts are meaningless without first being defined as, and couched in terms of, individual rights - and individual rights cannot be practiced without property rights. Observe, however, the complete absence of both in the U.N. charter. What possibility can ever exist, therefore, of any action which could ever lead to the “promotion of social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom”? “Social progress” and “freedom” are not the by-products of any sort of collectivist system but functions of capitalism and individual liberty instead. Any nation that seeks to obtain those results, therefore, that employs political policies based on the former instead of the latter, is as doomed to failure as is the attempt to end war by placing despots in charge of anti-war efforts. And observe that the historical results of such a misguided attempt bear that out: Decades of U.N appeasement concerning the destruction of the individual property rights of the citizens of such nations as Russia, China, North Korea, Iraq and Iran - while most Security Council condemnations are reserved for the relatively free societies of the world, such as the United States, England and Israel. Destroy individual property rights and you destroy all liberty and individualism right at their root - and the so-called vehicle for promoting “social progress” becomes a hearse by which the rights of the citizens of nation after nation are delivered into the hands of despots, tyrants and dictators everywhere. ( c ) In view of such realities, therefore, how is the “Tea Party” type of person, oriented in liberty, to judge any attempt to implement the following portion of the U.N. Charter?: “To employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples”? In the absence of individual property rights, this is nothing less than a call for the international implementation of a level of slavery never before seen on Planet Earth - with cute, warm and fuzzy buzz-words such as “rights,” “dignity,” “justice,” “respect,” “progress” and “freedom” serving as the window-dressing by which we, the United States, as a nation, will voluntarily seek to tyrannize ourselves and obliterate our own national sovereignty. What will the end result of such a policy be? One national neck ready for one international leash. And, just to prove that stupidity and moral cowardice are not monopolies of the U.N., observe that the United States herself played a major role in the U.N.’s inception and continues to promote and support this destructive organization today - both economically and philosophically. So, to summarize: If the Boston Tea Party and the Sons of Liberty were about promoting freedom, fiscal responsibility, property rights and national sovereignty, and the United Nations is organized around collectivist coercion, budgetary insanity, the destruction of property rights and the abolition of national sovereignty - what issue could possibly be better suited to our modern-day “Tea Party” cause? Aren’t these the very issues the original Boston Tea Party was thrown over??? And, indeed, it has long been a legitimate Rightist position to end our involvement with the United Nations: To quit funding it, to kick it off our shores, and - most importantly - to quit granting it a philosophical legitimacy it does not deserve and has not earned. From where, then, creeps the notion that opponents of U.N. enslavement wear “tin foil hats”? (1) First of all, unfortunately, a large number of the opponents of this international idiocy also choose to immerse themselves in all manner of conspiracy hypotheses as an explanation for how we arrived at this state of affairs - such as the involvement of the Illuminati, or the Zionist Jews, or the Rockefellers and their banking empire. Such “explanations” are truly unnecessary: All that is needed to explain and understand our current international state is to recognize the power of principles and the role they play in human affairs. As Ayn Rand once stated in “Philosophy: Who Needs It”: “Politics is not the cause, but the last consequence of philosophical ideas.” No hypotheses concerning conspiracies of men are needed when a “conspiracy of principles” adequately explains our state of affairs - but observe that it is the promulgation of the former that gives rise to the “tin foil hat” syndrome of which we speak. (2) Again, unfortunately, many of the individuals who recognize the socio-politico-economic connections between U.N. enslavement policy and local UDC-style codes do not do a good job of demonstrating those connections - which cannot properly be done without establishing the philosophical underpinnings first - and, in the absence of such a demonstration, such proponents merely appear as babblers and entrench the rule of the collectivist planners. Which is not to say that I disagree with the notion that local, state and national issues involving liberty, fiscal responsibility and property rights shouldn’t take precedence, because I do. We also need to recognize, however, the grave threat being posed to us from outside those spheres of influence as well - and the claim that we don’t need to specify the particular sources of where these sundry and various property-rights violations originate, but merely need to focus on fighting them when they show up, is erroneous at best. If you’re in a war and taking enemy fire, would it not be of interest to know where the bullets were coming from? As opposed to just “focusing” on them when they’re about to splatter you in the face? So, let’s establish those connections... And the starting point for that, of course, is the Agenda 21 document itself. We’ve already seen how the U.N. Charter promotes and facilitates slow international enslavement, all the while in the name of “rights” and “freedom” - and this policy of adopting the target’s words, concepts and principles in name only, while violating anything and everything those ideas are based upon, is both a strategy and a tactic carried forward with Agenda 21. The key to understanding the thrust and intent of Agenda 21 lies in recognizing that it is the extension and implementation of the U.N. Charter itself; that Charter is the source, the seed, from which Agenda 21 springs. “Agenda 21,” short for the U.N.’s “Agenda for the 21st Century,” was created at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro in June of 1992. This document can be found on the U.N. website under the “Division for Sustainable Development” section. What perceived international threats, you might ask, served as the justification for the creation of this document? From the Agenda 21 Preamble, Section 1.1: “Humanity stands at a defining moment in history. We are confronted with a perpetuation of disparities between and within nations, a worsening of poverty, hunger, ill health and illiteracy, and the continuing deterioration of the ecosystems on which we depend for our well-being. However, integration of environment and development concerns and greater attention to them will lead to the fulfillment of basic needs, improved living standards for all, better protected and managed ecosystems and a safer, more prosperous future. No nation can achieve this on its own; but together we can - in a global partnership for sustainable development.” Observe the tacit assumptions - that ( a ) current methods of development are unsustainable; and ( b ) that the listed social ills can be successfully addressed through collectivist U.N policies as opposed to implementing more capitalism and freedom. Buying into the false notion that the world’s ills center around the need for “greater equity in income distribution” (“Combating Poverty,” 3.1), “global environmental problems” (“Preamble,” 1.4) and achieving “a more efficient and equitable world economy” (“International Cooperation to Accelerate Sustainable Development in Developing Countries,” 2.1), the Agenda 21 document is, literally, a detailed blueprint for total, top-down control of all property as it relates to urban development, “planned” communities, resource-allocation, environmental controls, monetary stability, energy development and consumption, land use and transportation; no major stone of a modern industrial society is left unturned. As such, Agenda 21 flows out of the same socio-politico-economic errors as the U.N. Charter itself, and is nothing less than a systematic, comprehensive and all-inclusive call for the international institutionalization of a command economy with the surface of the entire planet constituting its geographical boundaries. And the purpose of this document? How does Agenda 21 intend on addressing these perceived ills? From the Preamble, Section 1.3: “Agenda 21 addresses the pressing problems of today and also aims at preparing the world for the challenges of the next century. It reflects a global consensus and political commitment at the highest level on development and environment cooperation. Its successful implementation is first and foremost the responsibility of Governments.” Remember that guff out of the U.N. Charter about employing “international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples”? Here you have it, in the flesh - a recipe for the enslavement of the American citizen to the dictates of the half-fascist, half-socialist, 100-percent-collectivst U.N. And if you think that’s just paranoia on my part, that this whole thing wasn’t written to slowly bleed us dry, you’d better wake up and read on. In “Strengthening the Role of Business and Industry,” 33.10, for instance, we are told that “The implementation of the huge sustainable development programs of Agenda 21 will require the provision to developing countries of substantial new and additional financial resources. Grant or concessional financing should be provided according to sound and equitable criteria and indicators.” What kinds of “sound and equitable criteria” are possible with a scheme that calls for the sacrifice of the wealth of the “haves” to the demands of the collectivist “have-nots” (“...the provision to developing countries of substantial new and additional financial resources”)? The criteria of the “haves” handing over their wealth to the “have-nots” a piece at a time. One question will suffice to reveal the hidden enslavements intended by such a policy: To be provided by whom? YOU - the taxpayer, whether you like it or not. That’s right, your hard-earned money is now going to be taken from you at the point of a gun and handed out to the savages of Africa. Why? Because they NEED it. Never mind your economic development - that’s now taking a back seat to the economic and environmental concerns of all the “have-nots” of the entire planet. Your mission, as the producing slave, is to merely keep producing. So much for freedom, capitalism, private property rights and the true social progress all of those mechanisms create. And all of this in the name of love and concern for man. Anyone truly interested in solving the world’s social ills would have discovered capitalism long ago. Those who buy into it, have it coming. So, what is the plan here? How do the collectivist slavers intend to pull this heist off? How, precisely, are we to be fooled into implementing such policies? From “Financial Resources and Mechanisms,” 33.8: “All countries should assess how to translate Agenda 21 into national policies and programs through a process that will integrate environment and development considerations. National and local priorities should be established by means that include public participation and community involvement...” (The blather about “public participation” and “community involvement,” of course, is just a red herring; in reality, you’ll have no say in the process whatsoever.) Here in the United States, we began implementing such policy on a national level with Bill Clinton’s “President’s Council on Sustainable Development” (PCSD), established in 1993 and active until 1999 - which, from their website, sought to “Advise President Clinton on sustainable development” and “bold new approaches to achieve economic, environmental, and equity goals.” (Italics mine.) Sound familiar? The now-infamous “3-E’s,” straight out of Agenda 21. And if you think that qualifies me for a “tin foil hat,” you’d better wake the Hell up. From a PCSD meeting on June 19, 1998: “The concept of sustainable development was first proposed in 1972 at the United Nation's Conference on the Human Environment, yet it was not until 1987 that sustainable development became a policy goal... The 1992 Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro refined the concept. Agenda 21 claimed that countries must ‘seek the mutual goals of economic development and environmental protection for the purpose of fulfilling the basic needs for all.’” With thanks to the PCSD, it didn’t take long for Agenda 21 policy to gain implementation in all sorts of federal bureaucracies. Through the establishment of the PCSD’s “Task Forces” on “Climate Change,” “Environmental Management,” “International Leadership” and “Metropolitan and Rural Strategies,” the Agenda-21-promoting federal alphabet soup included: The Dept. of Energy; the EPA; HUD; FEMA; the Dept. of Commerce; the Small Business Administration; the Dept. of the Interior; the Dept. of Commerce; the USDA; the Dept. of Education; and the Dept. of Transportation, just to name a few. With the PCSD’s Task Forces as the motive power and these and other agencies as the vehicles of transmission, the word quickly went out: All grants to states and localities were henceforth to be given on the basis of preconditions adhering to the concepts of “sustainable development,” “environmental quality” and “smart growth.” Via such grants, Agenda 21 policy has, from the top down through hundreds of thousands of grants, slowly but insidiously made itself felt in every state and nearly every city in America. Consider, as an example of this, the HUD “Community Development Block Grant” (CDBG), governed by CFR Title 24, Section 91, where the “Overall Goal” (Section 91.1) of HUD community planning and development programs are defined as: “To develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment and expanding economic opportunities principally for low- and moderate-income persons.” Straight out of Agenda 21, “Human Settlement Objective,” 7.4: “The overall human settlement objective is to improve the social, economic and environmental quality of human settlements and the living and working environments of all people, in particular the urban and rural poor.” Recognizing early on that the top-down approach wasn’t all that was needed, however, the United Nations sought to sock it to us all from the bottom-up, local level as well - and this approach culminated in the establishment of the “International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives” (ICLEI). ICLEI was founded at the World Congress of Local Governments for a Sustainable Future, a U.N. conference held at the U.N. in 1990. And ICLEI’s goals? “ICLEI promotes local action for global sustainability and supports cities to become sustainable, resilient, resource-efficient, biodiverse, low-carbon; to build a smart infrastructure; and to develop an inclusive, green urban economy... We have developed stable, long-term programs to support local-level sustainability and continue to develop innovative new programs to respond to issues of international concern.” (From the ICLEI website.) Indeed, in Agenda 21’s “Promoting Sustainable Human Settlement Development,” 7.21, ICLEI’s role is directly addressed: “Cities of all countries should reinforce cooperation among themselves and cities of the developed countries, under the aegis of non-governmental organizations active in this field, such as the International Union of Local Authorities (IULA), the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and the World Federation of Twin Cities.” ICLEI, as the local implementation arm of Agenda 21, and as of the date of this writing, presently has 526 United States counties and municipalities on its membership rolls. Within the last 20 years, the two-pronged approach established by Agenda 21 advocates - the top-down approach of national mandates and grants coupled with the bottom-up approach of snaring local governments in ICLEI-style “sustainability” nonsense - has had a tremendous impact on building and zoning codes throughout the United States, as well as right here in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Consider the International Codes of the International Code Council (ICC), for instance, an organization founded in 1994 and “Dedicated to helping the building safety community and construction industry provide safe, sustainable and affordable construction through the development of codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process.” (ICC website.) Agenda 21 7.60 promotes a “culture of safety,” and the ICC has dutifully leapt in to fill that void with its Agenda-21-based “International” codes. Need proof? Earlier this year, the ICC teamed up, in a Webinar Series promoting its Building Energy Code, with none other than our bottom-up, Local-Agenda-21-promoting, United Nations organization ICLEI. One of the topics for discussion? “An introduction to building codes as a policy tool conducted by ICLEI and targeted to primary staff liaisons and code officials.” A partial listing of the International Codes developed by the ICC and pushed by both the ICC and ICLEI with their “sustainable” goals in mind would include: The International Building Code; the International Residential Code; the International Fire Code; the International Mechanical Code; the International Plumbing Code; the International Fuel Gas Code; the International Electric Code; and the International Energy Conservation Code. Now, keep in mind that our Cheyenne Governing Body members - Patrick Collins in particular - love to ask us “tin foil hat” types for proof of the connections between City codes and Agenda 21. Very well: In the “Plan Review Information” section” of the City’s Building and Safety Dept. page, under the heading of “Code Information,” you will find all of the above codes listed as in place and practiced by the City of Cheyenne. So much for the claim that Agenda 21 hasn’t arrived, safe and sound, in Cheyenne. Nor are the presence of Agenda 21 tentacles here in Cheyenne limited to ICC codes: Consider those HUD CDBGs we were speaking of earlier, for instance... And also consider that the City of Cheyenne’s website has a special CDBG section reserved solely for a discussion of its adherence to the policies, procedures and standards involving such grants. Next, consider that in Fiscal Year 2011, the City of Cheyenne received over $7 million in federal grants from not only HUD ($686,880), but also from several other federal agencies tasked by the PCSD Task Forces to establish their grant-allocations on the basis of an adherence to Agenda 21 principles and that hand out hundreds of billions of grants every year in order to accomplish the Agenda 21 objective. Need more proof of the insidious manner in which Agenda 21 has infiltrated our local government? Then one need look no further than the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO) “Plan Cheyenne” documents, all of which are shot through with Agenda-21-style references to “smart growth,” “sustainability,” “development vision,” ad nauseam. Consider: In 2005, the EPA, as one of its PCSD-based, Agenda-21-style grant programs geared towards implementing Agenda 21 on the local level, kicked off its “Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Program,” a funding grant for communities “That want to incorporate smart growth techniques into their future development.” The collectivist planners at the Cheyenne MPO took the bait, and - according to the “Smart Growth Plan Cheyenne” document - from that point forward, “City officials discussed project goals and objectives with the EPA” in “identifying options that would implement ‘Plan Cheyenne’ and formulate a development plan... To reflect smart growth principles and Cheyenne’s growth vision.” Consider: Further referenced in the appendices of “Smart Growth Plan Cheyenne,” as integral resource stepping stones to the resultant document, are: ( a ) The American Planning Association’s (APA) publication, “Model Smart Growth Codes.” And the APA’s source of funding for the development of its “Smart Growth” balderdash? From the APA’s website: “In 2003, the American Planning Association's Research Department received funding from the EPA to develop a guidebook on smart land-development regulations... Promoting the U.S. EPA Smart Growth Principles.” Said principles which were passed down straight from the PCSD... Which were passed down straight from Agenda 21. ( b ) The Local Government Commission’s (LGC) “Smart Growth Zoning Codes: A Resource Guide.” And the LGC’s mission? To assist “local governments in establishing and nurturing the key elements of livable communities: A healthier human and natural environment; a more sustainable economy; an actively engaged populace; and an equitable society.” (LGC’s website.) An explicit declaration of support for Agenda 21’s “3E’s” of “environment, economy and equity.” ( c ) The Mountain View, Calif., “Downtown Precise Plan.” Mountain View, as a survey of ICLEI’s membership rolls will reveal, is a member of ICLEI and - with its “Council Environmental Sustainability Committee” and “Environmental Planning Commission,” functions as a model of Agenda-21 based whacko environmentalism. THESE sources, ladies and gentlemen, are what produced “Plan Cheyenne.” I could go on demonstrating the connections between Agenda 21 and the rest of “Plan Cheyenne’s” sources, but at this point, that would be beating a dead horse. And then, finally, as the explicitly-declared political implementation of “Plan Cheyenne,” we have... Cheyenne’s new “Unified Development Code” (UDC), a 282-page listing of orders and demands, voted in by our Governing Body and in effect as of April 30. Like Agenda 21 and “Plan Cheyenne” themselves, the UDC is a detailed blueprint for total, absolute government control over private property, with regulations covering everything from signs (“Alterations of existing signs that replace more than 50% of the surface area of the existing sign shall require full compliance with all standards in this Section,” 6.5.2) to building construction (“Building types are regulated by T-Zone as listed in Table 7-4,” 7.3.1) to sidewalks (“Sidewalk width will be as specified in Article 4 of this Code,” Appendix E) to the “percentage of living materials” required to be present upon your property (“Any required landscape area... Shall consist of a minimum 75% ground cover by living grass or other plant materials based on mature size of vegetation,” 6.3.7) to anything and everything in between. With thanks to the UDC, you are no longer a property owner, but a property holder instead, with all the responsibilities but none of the advantages - similar to the King’s serfs in feudalistic times, and just exactly what the dictates of Agenda 21 call for. Take the dictates of Agenda 21, localize them for the particulars of Cheyenne, and what pops out of the collectivist planner pot is “Plan Cheyenne” and the UDC. One local neck ready for one international leash. Non-“tin-foil-hat” types love to tell the rest of us, who are rightly and greatly disturbed by these Agenda 21 influences, that Agenda 21 isn’t a binding resolution anyway - but Cheyenne’s new UDC, with the full force of law, certainly is. Break it at your own peril, with real fines and real jail-time as your reward. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, folks. I simply do not have the time or space to further document the hundreds of other links between Agenda 21 and City codes, the UDC in particular. Not that they are needed: We already have enough smoking guns lying around to cinch the case - to say nothing of being able to start the next war. Nor have I even touched upon the many words of the many contractors I’ve spoken with over the last few months who have told me of the business-killing, jobs-destroying, production-plundering destructiveness flowing forth as a result of these command-style collectivist plans. Now, please do not misunderstand me: I am certainly not attempting to claim that every assault on our freedoms comes from the U.N. To the contrary; most of it originates with the “normal,” run-of-the-mill, philosophically-bankrupt collectivist principles that have been clogging our intellectual arteries for decades - and of which the formation of the U.N. itself was but one deadly result. Still, those assaults have international sources as well, and we’d do well to be aware of them - and to reject them when found. “Liberty,” as Thomas Jefferson once remarked, “requires eternal vigilance.” Nor am I making the claim that the particular individuals involved with our local planning process are all closet United Nations internationalists deliberately seeking to enslave us. To the contrary, I’d be surprised if any of them have even the glimmering of a clue as to the nature of the destructiveness they’ve succeeding in wreaking. And that, perhaps, is far worse: Bereft of any true philosophical understanding of the principles of freedom, individualism, capitalism and private property rights, such people blissfully absorb the intellectual status quo without further thought on the matter. But the intellectual status quo is... Collectivist enslavement. So, in summary: ALL property-rights violations, on whatever horizon they appear, must be challenged and defeated if we are to retain our liberties - but, most importantly, a solid definition and understanding of just what property rights are is absolutely crucial: “The right to property” is the right to peaceful use and disposal. ANY city code, whether it be the UDC or even the former building, traffic and zoning codes which the UDC supplanted, needs to be abolished outright. No compromise and no “halfway-points” are possible, folks; you either have your individual property rights or you don’t. Which do you prefer? Bradley Harrington is the Publisher of Liberty’s Torch; his email is publisher@libertystorch.us.
  10. New State-Limitation Technology Needed

    And,of course, I support such educational approaches. When push comes to shove enough of the population have to undestand and advocate individual rights for this problem to be handled properly. Problem is, I don't think we have that much time. Brad
  11. New State-Limitation Technology Needed

    No, I can't name such a state - and that, precisely, was the point of my piece: That Constitutions and other such legal structures are ultimately ineffective at restraining the state. I'm on a mission to find and define an alternative method. I don't know exactly what that method is yet, but I am convinced it will be rooted in the negative feedback I spoke of. The "system," to function, HAS to be self-correcting... Brad
  12. New State-Limitation Technology Needed

    This is a commentary I published in the July issue of Liberty's Torch. A few notes: (1) Some will misinterpret this piece as being an advocacy of "anarchism." It isn't. In some ways it's just some speculations I've had floating around in my brain for quite a number of years, regarding the role of positive and negative feedback in social structures. (2) I have the utmost respect for Ayn Rand's fundamental philosophical principles as applied to politics - yet, at the same time, she never really explored some of the "nuts and bolts" system issues in that arena. Don't get me wrong; I am not faulting her for that. Her incredible achievements in the areas she chose to focus upon were more than enough for any 10 philsoophers. (3) Having said that, however, I still believe that a true exploraton of the problems inherent in a Constitutional approach to social organization - as well as the development of an alternative approach to limiting the State - is sorely needed. I consider both these areas of thought to be in their infancy, with truths and ideas out there that have yet to be stumbled upon, discussed, fleshed out - and, possibly, implemented. So, this piece represents little more than a finger pointing in what might, possibly, be the right direction - and, as usual, I am always open to thoughts and criticism. - Bradley New State-Limitation Technology Needed, And A Revolution As Well By Bradley Harrington On July 4, 1776, a fledgling, upstart nation declared to kings, tyrants, despots and totalitarians everywhere that the role of government was not to enslave and engineer human societies to their dictates, but to “secure” the individual Rights of Man instead - and, on Sept. 17, 1787, in an attempt to implement a form of government believed to be consistent with those Revolutionary principles, Constitutional Convention delegates signed their completed work. Following Constitutional ratification on June 21, 1788, the Bill of Rights was then added as the first 10 Amendments on Dec. 15, 1791. By July 14, 1798, however, Federalist President John Adams’ signing of the Sedition Act made it a crime to “oppose any measure or measures of the United States government,” or to “write, print, utter or publish... any false, scandalous and malicious writing or writings against the government of the United States...” - And, just that fast, all the anti-Federalist fears of the Constitution were brought into full bloom. The First Amendment - and therefore the rest of the Constitution - was in tatters. The Sedition Act proved our Constitution to be inadequate to meeting the challenges of power-hungry politicians seeking not only to consolidate political power, but to obliterating any dissenting opinion during that process. And yes, it’s true that wiser heads prevailed with the election of Thomas Jefferson in 1800 and the consequent scrapping of the Sedition Act and a flushing of Federalists from power. The damage, however, was done, and the proof of the experiment was clear for all to see: When either politicians or the “people” get it in their minds to trod on individual rights, not all the scraps of paper on the planet will be enough to prevent them from doing so. Clearly, then, for those such as myself who seek a wider, more systemic answer to this seemingly insoluble problem with the technology of limited-government political science, constitutions are not the ultimate answer - a new approach is needed. For a hint as to where that approach might possibly be found, consider the operations of the marketplace. Adam Smith demonstrated in his work The Wealth of Nations (also published in 1776) that market forces operate as an “invisible hand” to level out discrepancies and inconsistencies in the aggregate economy - and that, more importantly, such mechanisms operate in the absence of, or the need for, any conscious intervention on the part of the individual entities involved in that process. Cybernetically, i.e., pertaining to the operation of any regulatory system (whether it be in physics or economics), this is known as “negative feedback” - a shorthand way of saying that the more a system’s operations diverge from equilibrium, the greater the manner in which the system’s own forces are brought to bear to restore that equilibrium. As an example in physics, consider a thermostat. In economics, consider the law of supply and demand: When prices are allowed to fluctuate as they will, they always act to level out any imbalance between the two - and all without a shred of assistance from any of the imperfect human beings involved in the equation. “Positive feedback,” however, works in the exact opposite fashion: The greater the deviation from system equilibrium, the greater the forces at work to increase that deviation. One example would be a nuclear chain reaction; another would be the concentration of political power. Clearly, our social-system technology is structured around negative feedback in some areas, but positive feedback in others - and therein lies the root of the problem. Economically, the free market represents the former - while, politically, we operate on the basis of the latter. The two don’t mix - it’s either free trade or guns - and one must ultimately end up taking over the other. As it sits today, due to our failure to understand these issues, the ever-wider oscillations of the political system continue to wipe out the stabilizing mechanisms of the market, and the entire system now spins nearly completely out of control. Is this process reversible? Possibly - but not likely. Without a grasp of market-based, negative-feedback principles of social organization as they might be applied to the political system, in what manner would we achieve that end? So, faced with social and political dissolution, there’s only one answer that will get us through our State-induced crises long enough to give us the breathing space to develop that technology: A Second American Revolution, in the same manner and for exactly the same reasons as the first. But who wants to be the one to take that first terrible step and declare that it’s time to start shooting? No, as with the British attacks on Lexington and Concord back in 1775, the only real way for this Revolution to start is for us to be attacked by our own government first. But attack us they eventually will; count on it. You can call me “paranoid” all you like, but the logic of unfolding trends will demand it. Despotic governments always end up slaughtering their own citizens - and the gulags common to all totalitarian states prove that the greater the despotism, the greater the slaughter. Better keep your powder dry, Patriots; we’re living in some interesting times. Bradley Harrington is the Publisher of Liberty’s Torch; his email is publisher@libertystorch.us.
  13. School Vouchers As The Key To Educational Competition

    Then you must be Lori! Brad
  14. School Vouchers As The Key To Educational Competition

    For anyone with nothing better to do for the next half-hour, you might find this of interest: ******************** On American Public Schools By Brad Harrington As I normally do, I send out articles I consider worthy of the attention of my family and friends as an email. I did so with the Torch’s last editorial, “School Vouchers As The Key To Educational Competition.” In response, my journalism instructor from 28 years ago, who is on that email list, emailed me the following response: ******************** Brad, The voucher option is viable. However, I think the McDonald's analogy is a little “out there” for me. Also, equating American schools and many of its dedicated teachers as nothing but agents of the Communist Manifesto is denigrating at best. You are the expert on our Founding Fathers and I believe they were the ones that realized that a large educated middle class would be essential to preserving a government of and for the people. I have to agree that our educational system sometimes falls short when teaching student to think critically and to think for themselves. Thus the overwhelming success of the FOX “News” network. The private schools around here are the propaganda mills that you so fear. You have a point about individuals having the right to send their kids to the private school of their choice. There are some damn good public schools around here not teaching the communist party line and parents are free in this area to move their students to a public school of their choice. Getting rid of a good public school system is the real path to tyranny. I like your style but a well-educated middle class is a little more important than ordering a Big Mac. ******************** Now, let me say at the outset that my journalism instructor was one of the best teachers I ever had. I consider him to be one of the “good” guys, even if we have our differences of opinion - which we sometimes do. I can state unequivocally that this man’s teaching abilities are second to none, and I can also state just as surely that never, in any of the instruction I received from him, was there ever even an inkling of some of the horrors of the school system I am about to document and relate. This man did nothing but teach me an incredible amount regarding journalism, and he always strove to impart that information in a way that promoted the “critical thinking” he speaks of. It was my understanding of the material Mike was after, not my blind obedience, and I am forever grateful to the knowledge I gained from him. Having said that, however, I also need to say that Mike’s opinions are, in my opinion, what happens when the best we have out there in the educational establishment fail to understand the actual principles and motives upon which our institutes of learning are based - and that lack of knowledge serves to counteract and undercut the excellent instructional material such teachers have to offer their students. As I have profound disagreements with much of what Mike wrote, I responded to his letter, and that response can be found below. ******************** Hi Mike: You told me once, many moons ago, that I could “belch and fill two pages.” Fair warning: This ain't no “two-page sound-bite,” this qualifies as the biggest belch I've ever hurtled in your direction. I'll be blunt, and to the point, and I'll probably piss you off many times over before you're done reading this - if, indeed, you bother doing so. I hope you do, for I still consider you as one of the “good” guys if you'd just stop and think a bit. You have answered our Torch editorial with some points of rebuttal of your own, defending the existence, nature and method of operation of the “public” school system - and, in that same vein, I believe the points you have raised merit further discussion, if I may; for, quite frankly, I find the raised points to be either: (1) A misunderstanding or misstatement of the original argument; (2) A non-sequitur that does not follow from the original argument; or, (3) A statement that does not answer the original argument. Let’s start with your belief that “the McDonald’s analogy is a little ‘out there’ for me.” Why so? Since an analogical argument is one whereby the argumentor attempts to provide a simpler example of a relevant conceptual link between one issue and another, in order to impart an understanding of the implications of that conceptual link into the argumentee’s mind (and is a valid form of argumentation that has been accepted in logic since the Ancient Greeks), you must have a complaint about my analogy qualifying as such on one, the other, or both of those grounds. In the case of the issue of choice in education - and, in particular, the issue that even though private schools do exist, offering some choice, those choices are limited by the continued funding of the “public” system which must still be paid for through taxes - the argument sought to slam home the point through a similar but simpler, easier-to-grasp transaction in another sector of our economy: Restaurants. The point of the McDonald’s analogy, in other words, was to clearly demonstrate not just that people who pay for a privately-funded school are still having to pay for the “public” system as well - but that, further and more importantly, this fact has the implication of limiting that “choice” only to the people who can afford to pay for both, effectively abolishing true freedom of choice for all people who cannot. Are you challenging the reality of this statement, Mike? The McDonald's analogy I used does, in my opinion, qualify as a simpler statement of that same principle, because just about anyone ‘out there’ can grasp it. The conceptual link is, additionally, completely identical, and therefore completely valid. Perhaps you just don’t like the idea of comparing the eating of a Big Mac to the consumption of so-called “educational” material in our public schools. Perhaps you feel that this analogy is trivializing or commercializing the educational process. Is that your complaint? Be that as it may, the analogy itself is correct. In MY mind, however, the object I chose to use for the analogy - a $3.00 burger - is a PERFECT tool for comparison, because, as we shall see, the pap our society now regards as “educational” material is worth far less than the cost of a Big Mac. A Big Mac, at least, has the value of providing some nutritional content, whereas, on average, our “educational” process lost the capability of providing meaningful, useable and rational content many years ago. Indeed, to continue the restaurant analogy, I will demonstrate that what is now occurring is nothing less than the spiking of the Happy Meal with deadly poisons. I will further argue that the extent to which this is not occurring - and I readily admit that it isn’t happening everywhere - is in spite of, not because of, the nature of the “public” system itself - islands of oases, so to speak, that remain present due to teacher dedication such as yours, and have nothing to do with the nature of the system as such. OK, so let’s move on to your next complaint, “equating American schools and many of its dedicated teachers as nothing but agents of the Communist Manifesto,” which you consider to be “denigrating at best.” Uh, EXCUSE ME, but I did no such thing; my editorial is completely absent of any attribution of motive. The fact remains, however, that The Communist Manifesto DID, indeed, call for “Free education for all children in government schools.” Read it for yourself right here (Plank Ten): The Ten Planks of Karl Marx’s The Communist Manifesto That Karl Marx considered a “public” educational system to be a fundamental requirement before communism could be established is irrefutable. Saying that, however, is not the same thing as saying that any establishment of such a system means that the establishors are attempting to bring about a communist regime - which is what you are claiming I said. Other motives could be involved. Again, my editorial contained no attribution of motive; it simply made the point that our “public” system of education adheres to communist criteria - and therefore qualifies, as I said, as a “manifestation of Marxist Communism.” And it does. Nor is Marx’s direct statement that a communist regime requires such an institution all that is needed to come to that conclusion, although it certainly helps: For the very definition of communism, according to my copy of The Merriam-Webster Dictionary (1974), is: “(1) Social organization in which goods are held in common; (2) A theory of social organization advocating common ownership of means of production and a distribution of products of industry based on need; (3) A political doctrine based on revolutionary Marxian socialism that is the official ideology of the U.S.S.R. and some other countries.” Socialism, in its turn, is defined by the same dictionary as: “A theory of social organization based on government ownership, management or control of the means of production and the distribution and exchange of goods.” Socialism, as these definitions make clear, is the wider term, involving any method of “common” or “public” ownership of the means of production; communism, as a socialist system with a particular Marxian ideology packaged with it as well, is one but one example of that wider term. Our “public” school system, being collectively owned, certainly qualifies as socialism; and, furthermore, by virtue of Karl Marx’s actual demands for the establishment of such an educational institution, it qualifies as communism as well. If the shoe fits, I guess you’re just going to have to wear it! It bears mentioning at this point, as well, that Commie Russia’s full name was the “Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics” - and it also bears mentioning that the full name of another socialist organization, the Nazi Party, was the “National SOCIALIST Worker’s Party.” Squirm about the classification as much as you like, Mike, there is simply no dodging the fact that our “public” schools, by virtue of their “collective,” “common” or “public” ownership, qualify as socialist/communist institutions in microcosm. Take the principle of “public” ownership of the educational establishment that we currently have and apply it to our entire society as a whole, and you will have established a socialist/communist state. PERIOD!!! Yet, again, nowhere did I state that the establishment of such a communist/socialist educational system means that the people who established it are commies/socialists - simply that the nature of the institution, itself, qualifies as a manifestation of such a system/systems. Since the actual motives behind the establishment of our modern system of “public” education are now up for discussion, however, by all means, let’s discuss them. Let us take a “walk down that path” and study, for a bit, the stated proclamations of our system’s founders in order to grasp the principles of education they sought to inculcate. This journey will lead us to quite a bit of interesting information - information that should send a chill down the spine of any red-blooded American with even just a shred of concern and respect for the principles of liberty and individualism the United States was based upon. While “public” schools have existed in the United States since before the Revolutionary War, the original foundation of our educational system, in the modern sense of the term, is generally credited to the work of Horace Mann. Mr. Mann, an educational reformer out of Massachusetts in the early 19th century, argued that “universal public education was the best way to turn the nation's unruly children into disciplined, judicious republican citizens,” and (successfully) sought to transform the educational system of Massachusetts into such a model. With that goal in mind, Mr. Mann, in 1843, toured all of Western Europe in his search for such a model, and came to the conclusion that the Prussian model of education was the one to establish here in the United States. He established such a system in Massachusetts shortly thereafter, and it didn’t take long for his system to spread throughout the entire country. What, in turn, were the principles of the Prussian educational model? In addition to what we would now consider, today, as the “normal” ideas of “compulsory attendance, specific training for teachers, national testing for all students, national curriculums set for each grade and mandatory kindergarten,” some other ideas also served as the original motivating factors for the Prussians themselves - motivating factors that were also key to our adoption of the same system: “The purpose of the system was to instill loyalty to the Crown and to train young men for the military and the bureaucracy. As the German philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte, a key influence on the system, said, ‘If you want to influence [the student] at all, you must do more than merely talk to him; you must fashion him, and fashion him in such a way that he simply cannot will otherwise than what you wish him to will.’” (Italics mine.) The Prussian model of education, in other words, was developed to inculcate obedience and servitude, pure and simple. Nor was Mr. Mann the only “educator” to have that kind of profound impact on the realities of our “modern” system. Consider, in later years, during the beginnings of the 20th century, the work, approach and viewpoints of another highly influential educator, John Dewey himself: “School is primarily a social institution... I believe, therefore, that the true center of correlation of the school subjects is not science, nor literature, nor history, nor geography, but the child’s own social activities.” (John Dewey, My Pedagogic Creed, 1897.) John Dewey, pragmatist and proponent of the “progressive” theory of education, is the intellectual father of our entire educational system as it exists today. He took Mr. Mann’s work, enlarged it, and fought to have his additional ideas established throughout the whole system - an endeavor in which he was successful. It was with thanks to Mr. Dewey that our schools began the shift away from “abstract” knowledge to teaching “relevant” knowledge instead - and it was Mr. Dewey, here in America, in Mr. Mann’s wake, who relentlessly preached that the task of the schools was no longer merely to transmit information but to socially adjust students as well. To “adjust” students to what? To their existence as part of a greater collective. And, by the middle part of the last century, Mr. Dewey’s ideas, then mainstream in their impact, began taking over the tax-supported schools from top to bottom. And that impact, coupled with government funding of such schools, is what transformed them from institutes of learning into radical indoctrination camps shortly thereafter. For what government has ever had a use for free-thinking, independent, self-reliant citizens? Throughout the 1960s’ and 1970s’, the theories of Mr. Dewey gave the State a perfect veneer of justification for the collectivization of the entire educational establishment. Mr. Dewey, by the way, paid Soviet Russia a visit in 1928 - and, upon his return, had an article published in the Dec. 5th issue of “The New Republic,” later reprinted in his book Impressions of Soviet Russia and the Revolutionary World (1929), in which he spoke of: “...The marvelous development of progressive educational ideas and practices under the fostering care of the Bolshevist government...” Remember, again, that Mr. Dewey is the main intellectual father of our “public” educational system as it sits today. Remember, also, that the Bolsheviks were radical Marxist Communists. Now, Mike, would you deny that this kind of ideological influence is now running rampant throughout our entire “educational” system? Yes, there are teachers, administrators, counselors and other staffers, such as yourself, that do not realize the extent to which our “public” system was originally set up upon collectivist lines, and who do not take part in such ideological indoctrinational practices. Such people, however, work in spite of the system as it currently stands, not because of it - and such teachers, additionally, are fast becoming the exception and not the rule. And that a great part of the teachers in our “public” system actually do engage in all manners of collectivist, communist, socialist teachings, is also irrefutable, nor is it difficult to dig up instances of such socialist ideological indoctrination nearly everywhere you turn. Are such instances descriptive of EVERY school and EVERY teacher? No, of course not. Still, doesn't it bother you to know that this kind of stuff below is rapidly becoming the order of the day? And ALL of it paid for with taxpayer dollars: (1) “Nathan Turner, an avowed Communist and teacher at a renowned New York prep school, took a boatload of his kids to Cuba to see El Jefe Supremo ‘one more time before he died.’ So says the New York City School District, which released a report today saying that Turner knowingly defied the U.S. ban on travel to Cuba to take dozens of students there in 2007 after telling his principal, ‘you know Ms. Lacey, I'm a Communist.’” (“Communist High School Teacher in New York Illegally Took His Students to Cuba,” www.miaminewtimes.com, July 20, 2010.) (2) “Jeff Travis owns a small business in Des Moines and he is absolutely furious at a classroom flier that his son received from his high school social studies teacher. The flier, given to students at Roosevelt High School, features a cartoon and slogans that seem to promote communism over capitalism. ‘Communism stands for equal sharing of the work according to the benefits and the ability, but in capitalism an individual is responsible for his works and if he wants to raise the ladder,’ the flier stated. ‘While the profit of any enterprise is equally shared by all in Communism, the profit in the capitalist structure belongs to the owner only.’ The cartoon represented capitalism by featuring an overweight businessman smoking a cigar while his workers were shackled. On the communism side, the cartoon showed happy workers earning loads of cash.” (“Did School Promote Communism Over Capitalism?”, http://www.foxnews.com/, Feb. 3.) (3) “A new plan by a California lawmaker would allow schools to be used to promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, and let teachers in public district classrooms “inculcate in the mind of any pupil a preference for communism,” according to a traditional values advocacy organization... ‘This bill would actually allow the promotion of communism in public schools,’ CRI said. That’s because the state’s Civic Center Act already requires a school district to grant the use of school property, when an alternative isn’t available, to nonprofit groups, clubs or associations set up for youth and school activities. ‘But the law also states that the property may not be used by anyone intent on overthrowing the government,’ CRI said. Now, the group said, ‘SB 1322 would delete the requirement that an individual or organization wanting to use the school property is not a Communist action organization or Communist front organization. This bill would also strike the law that a public school or community college employee may be fired if he or she is a member of the Communist Party,’ the group said.” (“Next on School Agenda: Teaching Communism,” www.wnd.com, March 4, 2008.) (4) “The National Education Association is suggesting its teachers and NEA-connected schools celebrate China on the anniversary of the repressive communist regime’s violent founding. The NEA’s website has a page called ‘Diversity Events’ and lists Oct. 1 as the day to celebrate Chairman Mao’s successful revolution. Editor’s note: After this report appeared, the reference to the founding of Chairman Mao’s “People’s Republic” was removed from the NEA website.” ( “NEA: Let's Celebrate Communism!,” www.wnd.com, July 29, 2010.) (5) “If any of you have high-schoolers, I would urge you to ask them daily what they are taught in English, Social, and any class for that matter. My senior's English teacher is having them read I think it's called the Kite Runner, and it is fiction, and the teacher is saying how good communism is in the class discussions. She said... ‘When I was growing up communism was the F-word.’ She also said, ‘Take away Stalin and communism is good... It is equal pay for all.’ (“Public School Teacher Loves Communism,” “Rapture Ready Forum” at www.rr-bb.com, Oct. 11, 2011.) Which is not to say that I agree with any or all of the above articles’ own ideological viewpoints; I am merely demonstrating the manner in which such practices are becoming more and more commonplace throughout our socialist “educational” system as time rolls on. And all of the above after a simple five-minute search on Google. Care to consider what a few hours of searching would reveal, Mike??? And if that isn't enough to scare the pants off anyone who knows that socialist/communist practices have slaughtered 100 million people in the last hundred years, we always have THIS loser to consider as well: Bill Ayers, avowed terrorist, communist-sympathizer and hater of capitalism, the man who has the Soviet Red Star displayed prominently on his blog site, not to mention bloodthirsty Cuban Communist Che Guevera, personally responsible for the murder of thousands. Terrorist Bill Ayers, far from being considered as criminal and treasonous in his character, is now regarded by our educational establishment to be an “American elementary education theorist” who, while still a Professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, not only displayed said picture of Che Guevera on his office door, but chose to include convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal along with the mix. Don’t you just love it? With thanks to such ideological influences for the last century or more in our “educational system,” is it any wonder that, even back in the early 1980s’, a federal commission was declaring what everybody else had come to realize years earlier?: “Our nation is at risk. The educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity.” (“A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform,” National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983.) And what have we done about that problem since then? Here in Wyoming, or there with you in California, or anywhere else in the country, Mike? You’d think such results would challenge the prevailing “progressive” ideas from which they were spawned - but you’d be wrong. It did no such thing. The Commission called for “higher achievement standards” and “more time devoted to learning basics” instead. Which is all fine, but only in the context of first scrapping the underlying “progressive” approach lying at the root of the rot. Shy of that, we have simply “progressed” further down the road to intellectual destruction - until, today, the “rising tide” has evolved into a full-blown tsunami of anti-conceptual irrationality. And we wonder, Mike, why our kids drop out, suicide, or turn to dope, guns and herds of gangs? With what intellectual equipment, with what traits of individualistic character they’ve had drummed out of them, did we expect them to be able to resist? We’ve turned individual human beings into a collective beehive - and what we’ve gotten is drones. Education - i.e., the process of learning how to think, to form concepts and to acquire knowledge - is, at root, individual in its nature, and only fit for individual minds to grasp. But observe that our herd mentality of instruction has been in place for so long that it now serves as a cause of the problem as well as an effect. A self-perpetuating cycle of catastrophe run amok. It’s “progressive” educational ideas that destroyed out school system, and it is only with an eradication of those ideas that our educational renaissance can possibly begin. Philosophy, as the science of ideas, has the last word after all, as it always does. So much for the “pragmatic” theories of the “progressive” educrats. And now? Things have “progressed” so far that the question bears asking: Do we still have any independent thinkers left? Any educational heroes who aren’t afraid to advocate real educational ideas? Who have the guts to resist the onslaught of the mob and to assert the supremacy of individual thought? Or have we bred such traits out of existence? Now WHAT, Mike, can anyone who still has an inkling of brains left after having their consciousness addled by such a system, expect the results of such influences to be on our youth? The very youth that all the socialists/communists/collectivists claim to be so “concerned” about??? Last fall, during the so-called "Occupy" movements, I saw, read and heard things splattered all over our news media that I would have previously thought to be nothing but the mental machinations of mad minds: (1) In Oakland, Calif. (2) In Washington, D.C. (3) In New York City (4) And, in Chicago, the Occupy thugs weren't merely content to wave posters and banners announcing their support of communist thuggery, they actually chose to MARCH with the REAL commies as well, and respectfully listened to actual members of the Communist Party lecture them on how to proceed with their “Occupy” nonsense in a fashion best suited to undermining our “evil” capitalist system. And, this, again, after a mere five-minute Google search. So, Mike, I ask you: WHERE DO YOU THINK OUR YOUTH OBTAINED THESE IDEAS? Do you REALLY believe they've all read Das Kapital or The Communist Manifesto??? I hardly think so. Or do you think they got those ideas from their parents? Unfortunately enough, our so-called “educational” system is hardly capable of producing literate citizens any longer, and I certainly doubt that the majority of the parents in the United States are instilling these principles of government gangsterism into their children's minds. No, our modern-day socialist/communist/collectivist sympathizers and “useful idiots” gained their immense levels of ignorance from the schools they've been attending all their lives. Again, I stress that stating that “public” schools are a manifestation of communism does NOT equate the TEACHINGS of those schools with communism, but merely points out that the principles of such a system are based in communist doctrine. Were I to actively claim, however, that the TEACHINGS THEMSELVES conformed to such doctrine - do you STILL think I'd be completely “out there”???????? As a teacher, Mike, you should be viewing these pictures and words with horror, as you contemplate what your industry has loosed upon our country. Nor do I need delve into cyberspace to find such instances and proof of commie/socialist indoctrination in our schools; I need merely look back a few decades in my own mind. I clearly remember, in my American History class in high school, my teacher - Mrs. Shaw - covering the “trust-busting” era of U.S. industrial history. She taught us that “trust-busting” legislation, such as that established against Standard Oil and - later - like that established by Teddy Roosevelt, were essential to correct the poor functioning of the capitalism system which bred monopolies. Do you care to research the facts on who first presented the economic thesis that capitalism breeds monopoly? You need look no further than Karl Marx himself. Mrs. Shaw also put forth the idea, earlier on in our studies of the American Revolution, that the primary concern of that Revolution was the propertied interests of the aristocracy - NOT the desire for liberty. More Marxist propaganda. I could go on with such examples from my own personal educational history, but I think I'm pretty much beating a dead horse, and enough of polluting cyberspace with even more images and stories of commie/collectivist rot in our “public” schools. Instead, let’s move on to your statement that: “You are the expert on our Founding Fathers and I believe they were the ones that realized that a large educated middle class would be essential to preserving a government of and for the people.” Yes, it is true that our Founding Fathers held such beliefs, and it is also true that many of those same Founding Fathers worked diligently towards the establishment of such institutions. Thomas Jefferson, for instance, was directly responsible for the founding of the University of Virginia in 1819, and Jefferson was so proud of that achievement that he insisted that his tombstone’s epitaph contain reference to that action, right up there with his authorship of the Declaration of Independence and the Virginia Statutes for Religious Freedom. The Founding Fathers, however, could have no real conception of the manner in which the workings of a completely privately-funded educational system could operate, inasmuch as such knowledge did not arrive onto the political and social historical scene until after the Industrial Revolution, and the advent of the incredible array of free choices offered by the capitalist system of production, that their revolutionary work helped spawn. Expecting the Founding Fathers to be aware of such options would be akin to expecting someone to be born before the birth of one’s parents. To the Founding Fathers, therefore, the “public” system was the ONLY option available - and, properly recognizing the fact that a well-educated populace WAS needed for government “of the people, by the people, for the people” to occur, that was what they advocated and established. Still, even so, do you really think, Mike, that even ONE of the Founding Fathers would not look at what passes for such a system today and be horrified at what they saw? Which Founding Father, in your opinion, were he to walk into one of our history, political science or sociology classrooms today, would support the principles, teachings and ideas he would find therein? Thomas Jefferson himself, perhaps? Or James Madison? How about George Washington? Or James Monroe? Or Patrick Henry? Or George Mason? Rather, I suspect, and strongly so, that were any of these men to observe our “educational” establishment as it exists today, they would be absolutely aghast. After that, you go on to say: “I have to agree that our educational system sometimes falls short when teaching students to think critically and to think for themselves.” “Sometimes falls short”? Well, YEAH, that would be the LIGHT way of putting the point. In a commentary I wrote for the Wyoming Tribune Eagle two years ago, in which my thesis was that most of what passes for “education” in our public schools today is pure and unadulterated garbage, I had the following to say about my grandfather Pete Harrington's report card: ******************** Want proof? I have, in my files, a 6th-grade report card issued to my grandfather Pete Harrington, dated May of 1921, recording his grades for the following subjects: Agriculture, Arithmetic, Civil Government, Geography, History, Language, Physiology, Reading, Spelling and Writing. (The old boy did pretty good, too, averaging between A’s and B’s.) One of those subjects, Spelling, you’ll be hard put to find in any “public” day-care camp in the country today, and most of the rest you won’t find until junior or senior high. Yet, somehow, 89 years ago, our educators saw fit to rear 11-year-olds on those subjects in grammar school. Nor was it just the topics, but the content as well: Phonics, for instance, not the “Look-Say” hooey we currently rot our kids’ brains with instead. And we seriously wonder why many children can’t read? Or why 40 percent of the best and brightest Wyoming students moving on to college have to take “remedial” classes before they can learn anything new? Educrats love to argue that our standards haven’t dropped, that what we teach today is as “relevant” as it’s always been. Sorry. They’re wrong - and tragically so. ******************** Two years later, it's the same - only MORE so. Care to examine, Mike, just a FEW of the examples in which our “educational” system is geared towards the EXACT OPPOSITE of helping students achieve “critical thinking and of thinking for themselves”? (1) “Only one in four Oklahoma public high school students can name the first President of the United States, according to a survey released today.” (“75 percent of Oklahoma high school students can’t name the first president of the U.S.”, news9.com, Sep. 16, 2009.) The study, performed by Strategic Vision, also found that only 3 percent of the 1,000 polled students could have passed the standard U.S. citizenship test, which 92 percent of immigrants pass on a regular basis.” (2) And, in a study conducted by the Knight Foundation relating to high school student views of the First Amendment to the Constitution, it was discovered that “When told of the exact text of the First Amendment, more than one in three high school students said it goes ‘too far’ in the rights it guarantees. Only half of the students said newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government approval of stories.” (“First Amendment no big deal, students say,” Associated Press, Jan. 31st, 2005.) (3) And, in a study conducted by Common Core of 1,200 17-year olds, the following facts were revealed: “Nearly a quarter cannot identify Adolph Hitler, with 10 percent thinking Hitler was a munitions manufacturer; more than a quarter think Christopher Columbus sailed after 1750; fewer than half can place the Civil War in the correct half-century; and a third do not know that the Bill of Rights guarantees the freedom of speech and religion.” (“New report shows a nation at risk,” commoncore.org, Feb. 26th, 2008.) To state that our current system simply “falls a bit short” in its avowed task of educating our youth is like saying that Apollo 11 would have “fallen a bit short” on its mission of landing on the moon if it had blown up on its own launch pad at liftoff. And I sure as Hell have a hard time thinking the Founding Fathers would have been amused to read the student survey on the First Amendment in particular. The blunt fact of the matter is that our “educational” system is nothing short of a national disaster, with pieces of our young people's brains being blown apart in every direction. If you have anything at all beyond a passing, sound-bite-based interest in just exactly how - conceptually, philosophically and intellectually - it got that way, Mike, I would suggest reading Ayn Rand's “The Comprachicos,” an essay Rand wrote back in 1970. Things have only gotten horribly and destructively worse in the 41 years in between. Yet, apparently, it is to that supposedly tiny little bit of “falling short” that you do recognize as a problem, for which you blame the popularity of Fox News: “Thus the overwhelming success of the FOX ‘News’ network.” While not a defender of Fox News, I doubt that its success lies in the area of the system’s “sometimes falling short” in the educational arena. Or are you claiming that the dumber people get, the more right-wing they become? The facts would decidedly point in the opposite direction, as mindless herds are always on the search for a herder. Rather, it is my conviction that people are attracted to that particular news media organization because not EVERYBODY has been successfully brainwashed by the pap the radical-left-wingers propagate both in our news and in our schools. Fox News, in some limited respects, is as guilty of being a “propaganda machine” as are garbage-networks such as ABC, CBS and MSNBC - which is why I am not a defender of the Fox News organization - but the propaganda overreach isn't nearly as far as what you'll find everywhere else. What we truly need in the United States today, are objective news organizations that present the news in a dispassionate format and save the editorializing for the editorial pages. That, by the way, is exactly why Barbie and I founded Liberty's Torch, and exactly what, in less than a year of existence so far, it is already starting to accomplish here in Cheyenne. Funny thought... YOU were the guy I first learned that from. So much for the left-wing newspapers’ claims that their demises are centered around “Internet journalism.” No, their demises are centered around the poor content that your average readers are completely fed up with. If all of that wasn’t enough to jar me right down to my ankles, my eyeballs just about popped out of my head when I read your statement that “The private schools around here are the propaganda mills you fear.” Really, Mike? Do you care to elaborate on just what “propaganda” you are speaking of? And what propaganda, I ask, could possibly be any more destructive to real, live, individual human beings than the propaganda of “collective ownership of the means of production,” “revolutionary war against the evils of capitalism,” and the disembowelment of one’s mind through the “fashioning” our leaders desire before that mind has even had a chance to grow and develop? And do you seriously believe that you can turn that kind of propaganda loose on the youth of our culture, and not suffer devastating consequences? Now think about your next statement, Mike: “You have a point about individuals having the right to send their kids to the private school of their choice.” You didn't explicitly state why that's a good point, but what else could the reason be, except for our individual rights to spend our own money as we see fit in the education of our own children, despite what others may have to say about it? This is, indeed, the core and essence of what freedom and liberty are all about: Peaceful goals obtained through peaceful means. Despite recognizing the validity of such rights, freedoms and choices, however, you still want to insist that I ought to be forced, at the point of a gun, by “leaders” and politicians I do not admire, respect or care for - and certainly don’t want running my life - to pay for the “public” system anyway. YOUR “solution” is to tell me, and other parents like me, that if we don’t have any use for that setup, we should just “move our students to a public school of our choice.” So, if I don’t like the thuggery being committed against me on one street corner, my “freedom of choice” now consists of ME moving to another corner to experience the thuggery at that location instead??? You have GOT to be kidding me. Next: “Getting rid of a good public schools system is the real path to tyranny.” Really? Here we have another definition turned completely upside-down on its own head, thereby obliterating the meaning attached to it in the process. My dictionary, from which I’ve already quoted from, defines “tyranny” as follows: “(1) The rule or authority of a tyrant; government in which absolute power is vested in a single ruler; (2) Despotic use of power; (3) a tyrannical act.” “Tyranny,” in other words, is the forced participation in a system of any kind, whether it be educational, social, economical or political, in which freedom of choice is absent. The “public” schools qualify as such an institution by its very definition. Your statement is so exactly backwards, so horribly and tragically the opposite of what the truth of the matter is, that I can’t help but be reminded of George Orwell’s 1984: “Truth is Propaganda. War is Peace.” Contrary to your statement, Mike, it is the educational establishment of the United States that is ultimately responsible for taking this nation closer to the cliff of tyranny than it has ever stood before in all of its history. For the only way to stop tyranny is to educate the population. THAT is why the Founding Fathers wanted an educated populace. Where do you see that happening in the “public” system today? No, there’s only ONE way to fix it: Absolute abolition of the system right down to its core. Finally, as a perfect cherry for the top of this collectivist sundae, you sum up with: “I like your style but a well educated middle class is a little more important that ordering a Big Mac.” Yep, I agree completely. As the institution that trains the brains of our youth, upon which the literal future of the United States depends, our educations are so highly important that they cannot be left to the whims of the bumbling, collectivistic bureaucrats, for therein, as we witnessing today, lies the road to conceptual, intellectual, philosophical, and - soon - social, economic, political and physical disaster as well. Take Care, Mike... And I hope you read this in the spirit in which it was intended. Bradley Harrington is the Publisher of Liberty’s Torch; his email is publisher@libertystorch.us.
  15. School Vouchers As The Key To Educational Competition

    A few points, Ruveyn, if I may: (1) I share your "radical" idea of a complete "separation of State and Education," as well as being convinced that the ULTIMATE answer lies in a complete privatization of the educational system. I have advocated such a system for as long as I've been thinking on such topics (about 35 years). (2) I also share your understanding that gov't has no place in determining standards and curricula for the private schools, as this involvement is, in the final analysis, property aggression which leads to a destruction of individual freedom and freedom of choice. (3) I *ALSO* understand, however, that the chances of establishing such a system right here, right now, or at any even remotely predictable point in the near future, are akin to a snowball's chance of surviving in Hell. Establishing school vouchers, however, *IS* achievable in the near future, as an actual political goal - and while it is true enough that this solution is not the final one to implement, it is enough of a solution to introduce a tremendously large share of freedom of choice that it will breed a correspondingly tremendously large amount of competition in the schools. That process, should it begin to occur, will quickly sound the death rattle for the "public" system, as it will no longer have a monopoly hold on educational dollars. The competitiion bred by a voucher system, while admittedly not the true laissez-faire capitalist ideal, will generate such an enormous spurt in educational alternatives for parents and their children that such individuals will begin fleeing the tax-supported indoctrination camps in droves, taking advantage of the new options and alternatives they can suddenly afford. As soon as THAT snowball starts rolling, Hell won't be a big enough place in which to melt it. Further acceleration of both the mass exodus from the "public" system, coupled with a flood of patrons to the private system, will quickly breed even more acceleration in both regards, as the benefits of close-to-true competition make themselves felt in all areas: costs, quality of education, the array of options available, etc. - until, for the "public" system, things rapidly destabilize to the point of collapse. Implement vouchers as a sound, practical and workable middle process and I'd give the "public" system anywhere from three to five years max. So cut me some slack on the "pureness" of the proposal, friend. Even the longest journey begins with a single step. Brad