Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Naboth's Vineyard--2014

The Old Testament book of I Kings records that King Ahab wanted the property of his neighbor, Naboth, because it was conveniently located to the palace and would make a lovely garden.  He approached Naboth repeatedly and requested that Naboth sell to him or trade the land in exchange for another parcel, but Naboth refused, saying that the land in question had been in his family for generations.  Finally, Ahab's wife Jezebel told her husband that she would get the property for him.  Jezebel hired false witnesses to accuse Naboth of cursing God and the king, and then she put him on trial and had him executed.
 
The Bible records that in response to this crime, God gave the following message to the prophet Elijah, "Go to Samaria to meet with King Ahab.  He will be at Naboth's vineyard, taking possession of it.  Give him this message from Me: 'Isn't killing Naboth bad enough?  Must you rob him too?'" I Kings 21:17.
 
I was reminded of this story last weekend as the nation watched the tense standoff at the Bundy Ranch.  As heavily militarized federal agents surrounded the ranch with snipers and cut off communications on Friday night, I was, along with millions of Americans, praying that this situation would be resolved without violence.  I was proud of the militia who went to the Ranch and grateful for the intervention of regular Americans who took up the cause of the life and property of a man they have never met as their own.
 
Over the past few days, there have been numerous stories about the Bundy Ranch.  The story of Bundy's "crimes" which precipitated such an unprecedented use of force evolved from a claim that his cattle were trampling desert tortoises to a government assertion that Bundy owes $1 million in grazing fees.  Soon darker more disturbing reports began to surface asserting Harry Reid is trying to procure the Bundy Ranch for a deal that his son has brokered with the Chinese to put a green energy plant on the property.  Other articles, such as this one in The American Thinker, link the Bundy troubles to a fight over groundwater--a lifeline in the West.  What is clear is that the Bundy Ranch, like Naboth's vineyard, was passed down through the Bundy family for generations.  Like Naboth, they have refused pressures to sell.  The grazing fees he has refused to pay were instituted in 1993 and have accumulated to the tune of $1 million dollars.  And like Naboth, Bundy is suffering the full force of the government because of his failure to cooperate.
 
As the days pass and this situation calms, we as Americans need to take a close look at what nearly happened this past weekend in Nevada.  Private property rights are central to all our other freedoms. Those of us who are tempted to assign the blame in this situation to Cliven Bundy need to remember that our traditional way of life is being swallowed by a massive bureaucracy of new rules and regulations.  Over criminalization is turning once ordinary activities into crimes.  In a society where the executive branch of government has the right to use the "pen and phone" to write laws and regulations without any checks and where the U.S. Attorney-General claims that he has the right to pick and choose which of our duly-passed laws he enforces, no one is safe. Some bureaucrat can come for our homes, our land, and our property simply by writing a new regulation and saying that we are out of compliance with the law.
 
I hope that Americans will not forget Cliven Bundy, his ranch, or the bravery of the militias who were willing to risk their lives to protect a stranger.  Most of all I hope that Americans will not forget the greater threat that this incident exposes.  And I hope that they will not forget the Nevada politicians who refused to help, and Harry Reid who, whether the stories linking him to the land deal are true or not, refused to use his considerable authority to lift a finger to help a resident of his state suffering from a clear abuse of government power.  I hope that in the fall elections, American will begin to look at the true cost of over-arching government and demand better for this country.

Private Property rights in America are under attack like never before. Find out why in this short video presentation.




Alexandra Swann is the author of No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned me a Master's Degree at Age Sixteen and several other books. Her novel, The Planner, about an out of control, environmentally-driven federal government implementing Agenda 21, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information, visit her website at http://www.frontier2000.net.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Agenda 21: Coming to a Neighborhood Near You Courtesy of Hud's Fair Housing Rules--Part II

Last year I wrote a post about how the Department of Housing and Urban Development was promoting Agenda 21 through new fair housing rules.  In that post, I cited HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan's speech at the NAACP convention last June in which he promised to counter a "subtle" form of discrimination against minorities and the underprivileged: 

For anyone unaware, Agenda 21 is a 1992 United Nations' policy document that calls for using radical environmental initiatives to destroy the wealth and affluence of Western nations--particularly the United States. Agenda 21 proponents call for an end to private property ownership and national sovereignty. People are to be packed into densely crowded urban areas which the document calls "human settlements" and much of the U.S. is to be rewilded into national forests and nature preserves. Western wealth and affluence are the enemy of global environmentalism, and the processes which produce these, including individual rights, national sovereignty, the Constitution and our entire way of life as Americans has to be destroyed for the goals of Agenda 21 to be fully implemented. The latest and most disturbing effort I have seen to implement the "sustainable" living initiatives is the new HUD Fair Housing Rule announced on July 16. 2013,  HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, speaking at the NAACP convention on that date, announced a new series of Fair Housing initiatives designed to counter what he calls a "subtle" form of discrimination against minorities and the underprivileged:
Today, it’s about more than just addressing outright discrimination and access to the housing itself. It’s also about giving every community access to important neighborhood amenities that can make a tremendous difference in a person’s life outcome. I’m talking about good schools, safe streets, jobs, grocery stores, healthcare and a host of other important factors. To help families gain this access – HUD is working to strengthen our stewardship of federal dollars to maximize the impact they have on communities in advancing fair housing goals. As all of you know, HUD’s programs provide funding to partners at the state and local level. As part of the Fair Housing Act—for members of the protected classes—these partners have an obligation to affirmatively further fair housing opportunities – otherwise known as AFFH. But as you and many others, including the Government Accountability Office, have noted, this has proven largely to be a meaningless paper exercise without any teeth. The process has long been broken and we’re determined to fix it and help it reach its full promise. That’s why I am proud to announce that this week we will publish a new rule to bring affirmatively further fair housing into the 21st century. This rule focuses on the traditional tenets of discrimination – and also gets at the essential issues of access to opportunity so imperative to 21st century equity. Specifically, this new rule will: • provide a clear definition of what it means to affirmatively further fair housing; • outline a standard framework with well-defined parameters; and • offer targeted guidance and assistance to help grantees complete this assessment. Perhaps most important—for the first time ever—HUD is providing data for every neighborhood in the nation, detailing what access African American families, and other members of protected classes, have to the community assets I talked about earlier – including jobs, schools and transit. With this data and the improved AFFH process, we can expand access to high opportunity neighborhoods and draw attention to investment possibilities in underserved communities. Make no mistake: this is a big deal. With the HUD budget alone, we are talking about billions of dollars. And as you know, decades ago, these funds were used to support discrimination. Now, they will be used to expand opportunity and bring communities closer to the American Dream.
Having worked in real estate finance for 15 years, I can say for a certainty that Fair Housing laws that have been in place for over 40 years protect minorities against discrimination in housing choices. There are laws against redlining (refusing to lend in neighborhoods comprised of primarily one ethnic group), laws against refusing to lease or sell to people of a specific ethnic group, and numerous fair lending laws. Donovan knows perfectly well that minorities in the US who are well qualified--with good credit and high incomes--are able to purchase homes wherever they choose and obtain excellent financing. The issues come into play with borrowers who have poor credit history, sketchy job history, or both. What Donovan is talking about is not traditional Fair Housing laws, but rather the type of mixed income housing that Smart Growth, Sustainability and New Urbanism require. Because Agenda 21 requires that people live very densely together, it seeks to make high income people neighbors with low income people--an arrangement which usually is pleasing to neither group. Plus, Smart Growth and Sustainable development city plans have the effect of making housing units very expensive, which hits low income and lower middle income families hardest. So rather than improving the situations of lower income people, Smart Growth policies tend to make their housing situations worse.

This morning, The American Thinker had an excellent article on Donovan's enforcement of this new initiative.  In Westchester County, NY, HUD has forced the community to build 750 new units of housing designated for low income minorities or else face fines.  Two years into this project, with 206 units built,, HUD is now saying that the county has failed to show how the new housing will end discrimination.  HUD is insisting that half of the new housing have three bedrooms, which will greatly increase the cost of the units in  a part of the country which already has some of the nation's highest property taxes.

Perhaps more seriously, Donavan's HUD is claiming that it should be illegal for landlords to refuse to accept Section 8 vouchers to offset the cost of rental housing.  As all landlords know, Section 8 tenants are notorious for destroying property.  The tenants are passing along the cost to the government and typically leave the properties trashed.  To force landlords to accept Section 8 vouchers is a huge attack on private property rights.  This has nothing to do with racial integration--rather it is a progressive forced income integration that only a liberal socialist would even want.

I have worked on Section 8 housing financing in my previous life as a mortgage broker.  The tenant's portion of a rent bill can be as little as $16.00 a month for an apartment costing about $500.00 a month.  The government (you) is/are paying the difference for the tenant.  Expanding this program to make it mandatory in all communities is not only bad for landlords, it's also really, really bad for taxpayers.  And expanding it to include some of the most expensive and exclusive zip codes in the U.S.in the interests of diversity is purely ludicrous.  Not only is Donovan's agenda an assault on private property rights; it is an assault on common sense and fiscal responsibility.
Even though George H.W. Bush signed onto the principles of Agenda 21 and every U.S. President since has upheld and furthered its objectives, without a national climate change bill, those initiatives have not moved very far forward. That makes what the Obama Administration is doing now so crucial--and so scary. By using HUD as a hammer to proactively charge developers of communities with discrimination if they do not comply with Smart Growth and sustainable housing initiatives, the President is implementing Agenda 21's housing policies without the need of Congressional approval. HUD's new rule can even be used to bully states like Alabama that have passed laws rejecting Agenda 21. By using Fair Housing laws as an enforcement piece, the President can make sure that his radical initiatives for remaking this country are enforced in every city and every state, regardless of what we the people think.
We need to stand up and pull the mask off his policies and expose them for what they are--a radical attempt to remake our society. The Obama Administration is using federal agencies to push a globalist agenda that is at odds with personal liberty, the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights and all of the freedoms that these documents afford us. We need to demand that our Congressional representatives hold him accountable for his actions. And we need to do it sooner rather than later, while we still have freedoms to protect.
Find out more about Agenda 21, what it means, how it is being implemented, and what you can do about it by watching this video:  Agenda 21: Bankrupting America into Utopia One City at a Time.


Read The Planner and see the real cost of trading liberty for security



Alexandra Swann is the author of No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned me a Master's Degree at Age Sixteen and several other books. Her novel, The Planner, about an out of control, environmentally-driven federal government implementing Agenda 21, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information, visit her website at http://www.frontier2000.net.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Obama Administration's War on Prosperity and Western Civilization


I have written over the last few weeks about the declaration of war on prosperity and affluence that is the Obama Administration's current climate change policy.  In a truly ironic twist, Secretary of State John Kerry called man-made climate change a "weapon of mass destruction" using language that brings to mind the decades long-war in Iraq that so many liberals decry.

The truth is that the "war" on climate change is costing our country as much as some of the wars fought on battlefields. To date, the Obama Administration has spent $120 billion combating man-made climate change, according to Congressman James Inhofe.  That is enough money to buy 1400 F35 jets, as we illustrated in Liberty Project poster earlier this week: 


The very thought that human beings can determine the weather patterns used to be the subject of bad jokes--"Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it. " Now climate is being used an excuse to advance a radical environmental agenda which is simply old-time Marxism repackaged and renamed.

I have already written about the threat to water usage and rights in the Western states via the Administration's new "climate hubs" and over the next few weeks I will talk about the other threats from the climate change agenda being forced on us.  But this week, I thought it might be wise to remind everyone of the underlying issues in the Administration's ever-expanding push for climate-change legislation. This is not about cleaning up the environment or saving the planet for our kids--it is about advancing the United Nation's radical environmental Agenda 21 and destroying Western Civilization.

In 1992, the United Nation's Earth Summit drafted a policy document called Agenda 21 which calls for "a profound reorientation of all human society, unlike anything the world has ever experienced--a major shift in the priorities of both governments and individuals and an unprecedented redeployment of human and financial resources...This shift will demand a concern for the environmental consequences of every human action be integrated into individual and collective decision-making at every level."

For the past twenty-one years, all of us have experienced almost daily indoctrination into global environmentalism and "sustainability" as this "profound reorientation of human society" works its way into our daily lives.

To really understand what the global environmental movement is doing, we need to accept that all of us who live in wealthy developed nations, and particularly everyone in the U.S., are the enemy as far as the U.N and environmentalists are concerned.  The major threat to the world's survival is Western affluence and Western lifestyles. According to environmentalists, we produce too much, and we consume too much because of economic systems which foster prosperity. This prosperity and our levels of consumption and production cause other nations to want to emulate us and to produce and consume at equal levels. But this aspiration for a better life is "unsustainable" and will lead to global disaster, according to climate change proponents. The only solution to this problem is to reduce the living standards of Western nations to the levels of third world countries so that all of the world is in an equal state of misery.


In 2012, the Earth Summit and Agenda 21 had a twentieth anniversary party in Rio de Janeiro where the U.N. reaffirmed its dedication to global environmentalism in a new document called The Future We Want.

The Future We Want is a 21st century message with 21st century messaging. It has its own Twitter hashtag--#futurewewant--and links to live streaming UN web TV with messages from the current Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, covering everything from his zero hunger challenge to the eradication of poverty worldwide to his goals for a more sustainable future. Last year, China asked 230 of its citizens to participate in a video titled, "The Future We Want 2032" which they stated their dreams for the next two decades. 

I really encourage all Americans to watch this short film, 2032: The Future We Want, which includes young Chinese people expressing hope for a future in which national boundaries no longer exist and they are able to speak Chinese with people from all over the world.  The film takes on special significance when we recognize that China's one-child policies are a model for the global environmental movement and that a primary goal of the "sustainable" movement is to transition China to the world's premier economy.

Here in the U.S., Agenda 21 is being implemented locally, in cities and towns across America that have joined ICLEI.  However, it is also being implemented through mandates from the EPA, the USDA, various grant programs which provide funds for "smart growth" and executive orders signed by President Obama. This piecemeal enactment is necessary because we have failed to pass a federal climate change bill which would allow proponents of climate change legislation a huge framework in which to enact all of the elements at once. Agenda 21 calls for each of the 177 countries which signed onto the treaty to enact a federal bill implementing its goals.

Although there are hundreds of U.N. programs linked in some way to climate change and Agenda 21, I have reduced the U.N.'s policies down to five basic stages of implementation. Many of these are happening simultaneously.

Stage One--Control of Housing and Transportation

This stage is being implemented through "Smart Growth" and Smart Code which rezones areas of cities to mandate small, urban mixed-use housing with retail on the bottom of buildings and residents packed into tiny housing over the stores.  Although Smart Growth advances on a local level, the Obama Administration is openly using all of the tools at its disposal to get rid of suburbs and "Manhattanize" America.  Closely related to this is an increased emphasis on public transportation through grants and funding designed to increase the usage of public transportation while the EPA and the government raise fuel efficiency standards on cars that will price lower-income people out of cars  totally. Also closely related is higher energy prices which make driving automobiles unaffordable--for example, refusing to approve the Keystone Pipeline.  Obama's "war on coal" will increase the cost of heating and cooling single family homes to the point where they are no longer cost effective.  These policies, combined with new restrictions on mortgage credit which take effect in January of 2014, high property taxes produced by urban redevelopment projects, and high housing costs produced by land rationing, will all serve to move people out of individual housing and into tightly packed "sustainable" human settlements.  A primary goal of Agenda 21 is the abolition of all private property, and getting people out of houses is key to the accomplishment of that goal.

Stage Two: Global Arms Control and Disarmament
This stage is essential because of potential fallout from the remaining three stages. It is no accident that Obama began his second term by demanding new gun control measures and a national gun registry. On an international front, he is also insisting that we reduce our nuclear arsenal even as other nations like South Korea and Iran are working to develop their own nuclear weapons.  Last month the U.N. announced that it was Iran's "turn" to chair the nuclear disarmament conference.  In an ironic twist worthy of the world's great literature, the treaty that is supposed to protect the civilized world from "rogue nations" is being overseen by the leader of one of the most dangerous nations on the planet.  But Obama is a "citizen of the world" and he understands that the decline of the U.S. is necessary to the accomplishment of the U.N.'s greater goals, so he does not mind crippling the defenses of our nation or our citizens.  The weaker we are, the better.

Stage Three--Control of Food Production and Agriculture

"Sustainable" agriculture and food rationing is being preached everywhere right now. In a very misleading ad, ConAgra Foods is currently implying that 1 in 5 children in the United States is hungry.  According to the USDA, 1 in 5 American children is "food insecure" without hunger or threat of hunger--which means that their families are concerned about the family finances as it relates to food. Only just over 1% of children is hungry, according to the USDA. One in three American children is obese--which in the doublespeak world of global environmentalism is actually the same thing as being hungry. All of this propaganda is being pushed out to persuade Americans that we need to give up our high output, high consumption ways of producing food in exchange for "sustainable" farming systems where we will only consume food that is grown locally and is in season.  This goes back to the theory of over consumption and over production that I discussed at the beginning of this post.  Current food systems produce plenty of food, but those methods are "unsustainable."  As Babtune Osotimehin, a Nigerian doctor serving as the executive director of the UNFPA, said a few weeks ago at the Women Deliver conference in Kuala Lumpur, "A homeless person in Denmark actually consumes more than a family of six in Tanzania." And since the biggest problem that the world is facing now is that "every young person who grows up in Tanzania wants to drive an SUV" the solution is to ration and create scarcity until all of us are starving, rather than to try to lift up the standards of farming in Tanzania so that they can be better nourished.

The U.N.'s Zero Hunger Campaign is the newest program dedicated to ending over-consumption and food waste.  On June 5, for World Environment Day, U.N. officials asked people worldwide to pledge to reduce their own food consumption. I only hope that everyone who signed the pledge understands what they are really signing on for and the profound and dire consequences of trading systems of food production which have historically produced an abundance of food for systems which have historically produced famine and starvation.

Stage Four--Worldwide Population Control

There is a reason that when President Obama spoke at the Planned Parenthood Conference he invoked God's blessing on them.  The global environmental movement says that the world cannot support more than between 1 and 2 billion people.  This is one reason that China is heralded as a hero in the Globalist New World Order.  Their "one child policy" combined with forced abortions makes them perfect country for other nations to pattern themselves after.

Ted Turner, founder of CNN, has said that if we do not reduce the world's population, within 30 or 40 years the planet will be eight degrees hotter, and all of the people left on it will be cannibals.  According to Turner, we MUST reduce the population of the world to prevent this. Turner says this can be done voluntarily, just as it is in China.
Of course, China's policies are not voluntary. Last year China made international headlines for the forced abortion of a young married woman who already had a child but had decided she wanted another one. Her dead baby was laid beside her in the hospital bed where she was recovering, and the photos of her lying next to her forcibly aborted child soon went viral and resulted in three Chinese officials being fired.

Yet, at the Women Deliver Conference a few weeks ago,  Princeton professor Peter Singer advocated new policies where women are not allowed to have children for the good of the environment.  Singer maintains that even with more reproductive choices and family planning, too many women are choosing to have children, and we are entering a new era in which women's reproductive rights can no longer be considered "fundamental".

Maurice Strong, chair of the Earth Summit in 1992, gave an interview to the BBC in the 1970's in which he predicted that in the future people will have to receive licenses from the government in order to be allowed to reproduce.

Stage Five--Global Governance

Speaking on a panel at the Women Deliver Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Kavita Ramdas, an Indian representative of the Ford Foundation, said that people must be forced to make better choices for the environment.  "You force it...you can force women to have less children, you can force people to consume less."  But the problem with "forcing" people to do what they don't want is that this is incompatible with Western ideals of democracy in which politicians who try to force unpopular agendas typically find themselves out of a job.

To achieve the massive restructuring of the world demanded by global environmentalists, we have to get rid of pesky documents such as the U.S. Constitution which grant individual rights and freedoms as well as democratically-elected forms of government.

Global environmentalists don't really care if the science behind their programs is debunked as long as they can bring in this new system of global governance to correct all of the inequities of the world and create a new world order.

As 1992 Earth Summit chair Maurice Strong has famously stated, "We may get to the point where the only way to save the world will be for industrialized civilization to collapse."  His sentiments were echoed by former Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev in 1996, "The threat of environmental crisis will be the international disaster key to unlock the New World Order."

It is time for Americans to wake up and understand that the global environmentalist movement is not about science--it is about crashing centuries of Western civilization, freedom and democracy and remaking the world into a destitute Hell managed by a global, centralized government of elites.  The very people who are selling us this bunk know that they are scaring us into abandoning freedom, prosperity and our way of life in exchange for poverty, misery and slavery.  Shame on us if we sit by and let them succeed.

To learn more about United Nation's Agenda 21, how it is being implemented across America, and what you can do to stop it, watch this video presentation:








Alexandra Swann is the author of No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned me a Master's Degree at Age Sixteen and several other books. Her novel, The Planner, about an out of control, environmentally-driven federal government implementing Agenda 21, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information, visit her website at http://www.frontier2000.net.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Climate Change as an Excuse for the War on American Prosperity Part I

In my February 25 post in which I briefly profiled four notable scientists who dispute the "settled" science of climate change, I made the point that John Kerry's comments about man-made climate change being a weapon of mass destruction are designed to justify a new war--a war on American prosperity.  Climate-change legislation has been a hallmark of Obama's presidency--though he has, mercifully, never managed to get a Congressional bill passed, he is working through executive order to promote his "green" agenda.  Last night, the U.S. Senate pulled an all-night talkathon to discuss the evils of man made climate change and presumably propose legislation to stop it.  Some on the right have suggested that this is merely a stunt to detract attention from the myriad problems with Obamacare, but I disagree.  Climate-change legislation is an end in itself--a means for the left to seize control of resources, housing, land, energy, and water under the pretext of protecting Americans and the rest of the world from global warming.

Take for instance the "climate hubs" which were announced on February 5.  The Obama Administration has created seven hubs nationwide, including one in nearby Las Cruces, New Mexico.   In his announcement of the establishment of the hubs, USDA secretary Tom Vilsak stated that the hubs are necessary to move the Obama's goals for combating climate-change forward.  Vilsak notes that 51% of the country's landmass is engaged in either agriculture or forestry and 14% of our manufacturing derives its basis in either agriculture or forestry.  Agriculture is responsible for 5% of our nation's GDP, so the health of our land and the well-being of our farmers is essential to the success of our country.

How the climate hubs are supposed to protect these resources is a bit fuzzy.  Nat Geo tried to explain the role of the climate hubs this way:

"The idea is to dispatch a cadre of climate change specialists across the nation to gather the latest science on how climate shifts may affect crops and animals and to disseminate the info to farmers, ranchers, local officials and others."

On the surface, the stated goals of these hubs see innocuous enough.  For instance, the hubs will supposedly help farmers find and plant drought-resistant wheat seed.  Farmers and ranchers can find new pesticides that will work better on insects in drought- ridden areas. 

As we dig a little deeper, however, we see less actual help and more big government intrusion. The climate hubs are supposed to help farmers and ranchers assess their carbon footprints and look at their greenhouse emissions.  Farmers and ranchers are encouraged to think about how they could utilize carbon credits with the idea in mind that in the future they will be able to purchase credits from a carbon marketplace--sort of like Al Gore's failed Chicago Climate Exchange.  Perhaps of greatest  interest to us in the southwest, the hubs are to help local farmers and ranchers find and learn improved irrigation techniques.

Having lived in a rural agricultural community my entire life, I do not disagree with Vilsak's statement that our nation's land and farming communities are essential to the health of the nation.  But the Administration for which Vilsak works, and particularly the  EPA, is mandating more and more control over the land and especially the water, including ponds, rivers, lakes and even puddles.  In farming communities like Southern New Mexico, where irrigation is essential for survival, access to water is the difference between prosperity and poverty. 
 
In August of 2012, the federal government sued New Mexico for control of its groundwater. I wrote about this suit and the inherent problems with federal seizure of control of the groundwater in my post Water, Water Everywhere.   At that time, state officials from both sides of the political spectrum promised to defend the state's groundwater against federal takeover. 

Since I wrote that post, the groundwater situation in Southern New Mexico has become increasingly worse.  Last year, Elephant Butte Irrigation District released a small amount of water  (we understood that they would release water only twice, in mid summer, but they did release additional water in September due to 4 inches of rain which fell in one week).  The justification for the small release of water was the lack of snow in Colorado which reduced the amount of water in the Rio Grande.  Without the water, the farms fail unless the farmers can afford to dig new water wells and irrigate from the underground water.  That is exactly what the wealthier farmers did, but the end result of all this irrigation is that the water table has dropped so much that the individual residents no longer have water.  My parents home, on the south end of highway 28, experienced more than its share of water problems last year because of the low water table. The 150 foot deep well that always serviced the house is no longer deep enough to make up for the ever-falling water table.  My sister's father-in-law, who lives on the north end of highway 28, was told that he would have to drill a new well 200 feet deeper than his current well in order to be able to continue to receive water.  He just bought a home in Dallas and has put his current home, a picturesque two-story house on two acres, abutting the gorgeous Stahmann Farms pecan orchards, up for sale.  My parents are also putting their house up for sale.

Democrat Senator Martins Heinrich petitioned to have the climate hub in Las Cruces because he said that the locals are suffering because of drought conditions.  We are suffering, but our suffering is caused by the refusal of the authorities to release river water.  We can see the writing on the wall--in Water, Water, Everywhere, I mentioned that my mother had received an agricultural survey about how large her house is, how many people live there, etc.  The government's solution to the problem of drought is going to be to further restrict access to the water, starting first with the individual homeowners, then the small farmers, and then large farms.

It breaks my heart to see a beautiful community, once filled with chili farms, lettuce and onion fields, and stunning pecan orchards, to be reduced to a dust bowl.  It is also distressing to see beautiful homes sold for a fraction of their value because the cost of drilling new wells has reduced the value, and people at retirement age who had paid for their homes having to move because they can no longer live in the community.

What is most ironic about this situation is that the federal government, and specifically John Kerry's State Department, could actually provide meaningful assistance if they wanted to.  The irrigation water which is now so restricted is divided by international treaty among Texas, Colorado, New Mexico and Mexico.  Mexico also has a treaty to provide water to the United States--350,000 acre feet for five years.  The U.S. International Water and Boundary Commission sets aside Mexico's allotment of water first, ahead of that which goes to the U.S., so that the terms of the treaty are always fulfilled.  Unfortunately, Mexico does not return the courtesy by setting aside their water allotment to the U.S.--in fact they go for years without paying since they can technically pay their entire allotment at the end of the five year cycle. (And they have actually defaulted completely on their water obligations in the past.)  If Heinrich and his Democrat colleagues in the Senate and Kerry's State Department were genuinely interested in the impact that drought conditions have on the living standards of people along the border, they would start pressuring Mexico to release the water, or else renegotiate to withhold the water that we are sending to Mexico during this drought since they have not paid their water stipend to us. 
 
As with all the government expansion we have seen over the past five years, the government is taking a legitimate problem--the drought--and using it as an excuse to regulate resources and micromanage the lives of people living in Western states rather than the using the authority it already has to work to provide genuine solutions to problems. We saw this same misdirection with Obamacare--the Administration using high insurance costs and medical costs created in part by billing systems of Medicare and Medicaid to justify completely restructuring the entire medical system to the detriment of the American people.  Using the threat of the destruction of civilization through man-made climate change, the Obama Administration has a huge lens through which it can monitor and regulate every aspect of American life--starting with the way the Western states use one of our most valuable resources: water.  Maybe that's why Reagan famously said that the most terrifying words in the English language are, "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."
 

Friday, March 7, 2014

To Big Government Socialist Education--Just Say No

On February 28, 2014, my mother Joyce and I finished a month of guest hosting a local women's program for KSCE-TV. For our final show, we chose to discuss Common Core and our family's own experiences with homeschooling.

Common Core was funded through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the "standards" it imposes greatly accelerate the decline of academics that we have been witnessing in our country over the past forty years.  Common Core seeks to replace English literature with non fiction works, seeks to shift all emphasis from classical education to social engineering and works to create a system of learning math in which the right answer does not matter as long as the student can explain to the teacher how he got the answer he did.  Teachers are now "change agents" who are instructed to read the Gettysburg Address with no emotion and no context.  This complete lack of standards for students also comes with its own language for parents--an Orwelian speak designed to prevent the parents from understanding anything that is being said.

Perhaps most disturbing are the tracking and data mining aspects of Common Core.  Schools are creating systems that will allow them to track the preferences, poltical leanings and prejudices of the students and their families from kindergarten through high school graduation.

Parents still have alternatives, but they have to know that those alternatives exist and that they are worth the sacrifice that they involve.  That is one reason we wanted to talk about the struggles our family faced during our own homeschooling journey.  It is our hope that our family's experiences with homeschoolung will help other parents understand that they can take control of their children's educations and will inspire them to do so while they still can.



I am linking the video of our show here:

 




As background on Common Core, I am also reposting my post on this subject from last year:  Rejecting Big Government and Common Core Standards in Favor of Parental Rights:

Last week Glenn Beck's pantomime of giving triage to a dying Lady Liberty while she lay bleeding and gasping on the floor of his studio went viral across the conservative internet.  Beck finished his pantomime by admonishing parents to get their kids out of government schools because the schools are turning the kids against the parents.

Beck is exactly right about this; one of the reasons that our country is sliding so far to the left is that progressive social engineering has been happening in this country for over 40 years. Now, however, social engineering is accelerating to a whole new level as the Common Core Standards are implemented across the country. 

In today's column, conservative blogger and bestselling author Michelle Malkin explains that Big Government wants to control not only what your children learn, but how they process it, respond to it and feel about it.  They also want to be able to track your children's behaviours, attitudes, likes and dislikes from infancy through high school graduation, and use that information both for research and for profit.  Malkin cites a Department of Education report which underscores that the true intention of Common Core Standards is not to make sure that all children learn, but that the Federal Government has a firm grip on exactly what attitudes, beliefs and concepts the children leave school with.  States Malkin,

"The DOE report exposes the big lie that Common Core is about raising academic standards by revealing its progressive designs to measure and track children’s “competencies” in “recognizing bias in sources,” “flexibility,” “cultural awareness and competence,” “appreciation for diversity,” “empathy,” “perspective taking, trust (and) service orientation.” 
Read Malkin's full article, which also contains a link to Glenn Beck's recent work on CCS, here.

In an era when our young people are graduating from school with minimal skills and competencies, but a strong foundation in liberalism, sex ed, and socialism, it is outrageous that politicians in both parties are pushing the Common Core Standards and this new federal tracking of students attitudes and behaviours.  The CCS, along with President Obama's new push for universal preschool, the folly of which has been explained in today's Morning Bell, are designed to ensure that the government can get fully inside the head of every kid in America starting at age 4 and lasting through high school.  Children who have been indoctrinated into this system are foundational to the liberal, socialist, godless society that our federal educational system has been building for the last generation. 

After the 2012 elections, I saw Charles Krauthammer interviewed on Fox News.  He was asked whether he believed that the young people who voted for Barack Obama the second time were a permanent block of reliable liberal voters.  He responded that normally people become more conservative as they get older--as they get married and get jobs and mortgages and have children of their own, the desire for universal welfare is commonly replaced by the desire for lower tax brackets.  Traditionally what Krauthammer says has been true; young radicals grow into middle aged accountants with values that more closely resemble their parents. But in the case of the new generation that is growing up, I think Krauthammer's formula no longer applies.  The 60's hippies were rebelling against a "plastic culture".  They understood the values of their parents--they just rejected them only to find out that liberal, leftist politics work better in theory than in practice.  Unlike the previous generations of young people who grew up, got married, got jobs and cut their hair, this new generation is actually not rebelling against anything.  They have been programmed and engineered into an odd conglomeration of Peter Pan, Fifty Shades of Grey and Karl Marx.  They have been taught that they should never have to work, be responsible, or grow up, that socialism is good and capitalism is bad, that intolerance is the only sin a person can commit and that traditional family structures are old-fashioned, boring, repressive, and no fun.  People so indoctrinated at such an early age cannot "grow up" to be conservative, responsible adults--they don't even have a concept of what that means.  Children who start out at age four in government daycare, spend their formative years in a completely socialist system, and then spend their college years enjoying "Sex week" at major universities are going to emerge so damaged ,that they will never rehabilitate into stable, productive, hard working Americans who support freedom and independence.  (This is the 21st century "Jedi Mind Meld" that Obama complained two weeks ago that he could not use on Congress and Senate.  Progressives know that they just have to be patient--they cannot change the attitudes of "set in our ways" freedom loving conservatives, but if they can get control of our children, they can make us as extinct as the dinosaur within one generation.)

And that takes me back to Beck's speech about getting kids out of the public school system.  I am a product of homeschooling--my mother homeschooled me and my nine younger brothers and sisters starting in 1975, before the word "homeschooling" had even been coined.  We did not meet another homeschooling family until I was fourteen years old.  We used accredited correspondence schools and skipped no grades whatsoever, but each of us had a master's degree from California State University before our seventeenth birthdays--completely educated by a very hard working woman with only a high school diploma whose previous work experience consisted of being a secretary.

Homeschooling provides students with a completely different world view than that held by people in public or private schools.  Today there are estimates of between 2 and 6 million homeschoolers in this country, including second generation homeschoolers such as my nieces and nephews.  This block represents a small but significant segment of people who have been taught to think outside of the system. Homeschooling by parents who really want to not only educate their children but shape their character and prevent their indoctrination into the "New World Order" is the best hope that this country has for salvaging its future.

Homeschoolers beware, however, because the federal government's Common Core Standards are coming to a textbook near you. Many companies that sell textbooks to homeschoolers have signed on to the Common Core Standards.  Last week, homeschooling mother and conservative advocate Tina Hollenbeck began contacting companies that sell textbooks to homeschoolers to find out whether their companies were not aligned with CCS, were coincidentally aligned, or were consciously aligned.  She has compiled three lists which are now available on her website which you can visit here.  Her website also contains a link to her Facebook group.

If you just simply cannot homeschool, you can still opt out of the Federal database tracking system being implemented through the Common Core System.  Malkin's blog references a form that parents can sign and submit to school districts to protect the privacy of their children and prevent the federal government and major corporations from tracking their kids through school. This will at least protect their privacy, though it won't do much to protect their minds. 

If you are interested in homeschooling, numerous resources are available to help you get started.  The time and the money you will spend are not just an investment in your children--it is an investment in America's future, which is currently hanging in the balance.

Alexandra Swann is the author of No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned me a Master's Degree at Age Sixteen and several other books. Her novel, The Chosen, about one small group of Americans' fight to restore the Constitution and end indefinite detentions without trial, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information, visit her website at http://www.frontier2000.net.






Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Meet Four Notable Scientists Who Disagree with the "Settled Science" of Manmade Climate Change

Remember the furor over the existence of WMD's in Saddam Hussein's Iraq?  George W. Bush asserted, based on reports that actually hailed back to his predecessor, that Hussein was in possession of weapons of mass destruction and that these made him an imminent threat.  This assertion was much of the justification for the invasion of Iraq and the subsequent decade-long war.  When the weapons were not found, the media and many Americans cried foul, arguing that Bush had deliberately misled the country in order to pursue his own personal  and political agenda.  Eventually the evidence for or against the WMD's became more of a central focus than the war itself or the dissolution of the Hussein government.

Now, let ME be clear--this post (and the one to follow) are not referendums on the war or whether we should have invaded Iraq.  But considering the political hay that the left made over the specific term, "weapons of mass destruction" I find it odd that Secretary of State John Kerry has recycled exactly this same argument as a justification for the Obama Administration's newest push for climate-change legislation via executive fiat and agency regulation. 

Speaking in Jakarta, Indonesia, on February 16, Kerry described climate change as a threat to the way of life of all people, and  a "fearsome weapon of mass destruction," while denouncing skeptics as "shoddy scientists" and "extreme ideologues."  "The bottom line is this: it is the same thing with climate change. In a sense, climate change can now be considered another weapon of mass destruction, perhaps even the world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction."  Obama had previously dismissed critics of his administration's policies regarding man-made climate change saying that his administration does not have time to attend meetings of the "flat earth society."

The Obama Administration's new line is that man-made climate change is a "settled science" and that the time has come for Obama to use his now infamous phone and pen to save us from Armageddon via draconian new regulations.  With that in mind, I want to introduce to you four prominent climate-change skeptics from the scientific community.  Although the Obama Administration dismisses all those who disagree about man-made climate change as "shoddy" scientists, these four prove that there is a lot of disagreement in the scientific community about the "science" of global warming.  You can use their resumes to defend yourself in your next argument with liberal friends and co-workers.  And if you plan events for a local chapter of the "Flat Earth Society" you might consider inviting one of these men or women to speak to your group. :)


JUDITH CURRY:  A professor and chairwoman of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
 
Because of her impressive resume, Curry was called to testify about man-made climate change before the U.S. House of Representatives last summer.  According to NPR.org, her message that day on Capitol Hill was, in essence, that while humans may be contributing to climate change, we simply don't know how the climate will behave in the coming decades, so there may be no point in trying to reduce emissions.  In her interview with NPR she explained that there is no way to predict how the climate will look in a few decades, and she is more concerned with the immediate economic impacts of climate change legislation on her six nieces and nephews who deserve an opportunity to build a sound and prosperous economic  future. 
Read Judith Curry's interview on NPR.org.

DR. WILLIAM HAPPER:  Award-winning Princeton Professor of Physics, former Director of Energy Research at the Department of Energy from 1990 to 1993, author of over 200 published scientific papers, and  a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Academy of Sciences. 
Happer was reportedly fired by former Vice President Al Gore in 1993 for failing to adhere to Gore’s scientific views.   In 2009 he testified before Congress about CO2 levels:
“Many people don’t realize that over geological time, we’re really in a CO2 famine now. Almost never has CO2 levels been as low as it has been in the Holocene (geologic epoch) – 280 (parts per million - ppm) – that’s unheard of. Most of the time [CO2 levels] have been at least 1000 (ppm) and it’s been quite higher than that."  
Earth was just fine in those times,” Happer added. “The oceans were fine, plants grew, animals grew fine. So it’s baffling to me that we’re so frightened of getting nowhere close to where we started,” Happer explained. Happer also noted that “the number of [skeptical scientists] with the courage to speak out is growing” and he warned “children should not be force-fed propaganda, masquerading as science.”

“I keep hearing about the ‘pollutant CO2,’ or about ‘poisoning the atmosphere’ with CO2, or about minimizing our ‘carbon footprint.’  This brings to mind another Orwellian pronouncement that is worth pondering: ‘But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.’ CO2 is not a pollutant and it is not a poison and we should not corrupt the English language by depriving ‘pollutant’ and ‘poison’ of their original meaning."  (Emphasis added.)

Most recently, in January of 2014, in an exclusive interview with Climate Depot, Happer spoke out against the notion being popularized by the media that the extremely cold winter weather conditions and polar vortex were the result of man-made climate change saying, "Polar vortices have been around forever. They have almost nothing to do with more CO2 in the atmosphere.”  

LARRY BELL:  professor and endowed professor at the University of Houston where he founded and directs the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and heads the graduate program in space architecture.


Bell is author of Climate of Corruption, Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax and a regular contributor to Forbes.   He has written extensively about Agenda 21 and the threat that legislation aimed at stopping global warming and man-made climate change pose to U.S. sovereignty, American freedom and our way of life. 
In his article in Forbes entitled, Confessions of a Climate-Crisis Skeptic, Bell addresses the realities of climate variations and then adds:


This picture is far different from the really scary “climate crisis” reports we constantly receive in the media. And this circumstance isn’t the first time prominent news producers, supported by “scientific experts”, have warned about impending doom. An October 7, 1912 Los Angeles Times feature proclaimed “Fifth Ice Age is on the Way: Human Race Will Have to Fight for Existence in Cold”. By August 9, 1923 the situation had become desperate, prompting the Chicago Tribune to declare “Scientists Say Arctic Ice Will Wipe Out Canada”. Then, after a short period when the world appeared to be warming again, the March 1, 1975 cover of Science News magazine depicted New York City being swallowed by a glacier. The New York Times followed with a headline story “Scientists Ponder Why World’s Climate is Changing: A Major Cooling Widely Considered to be Inevitable”. The prestigious National Academy of Sciences agreed: global cooling was a real threat.


RICHARD LINDZEN: Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology at MIT, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, Professor Emeritus at MIT.  Lindzen won numerous awards in the 1970’s for disproving an accepted theory about how heat moves around the Earth’s atmosphere.  Accepted to the National Academy of Sciences before he was forty years old, he moved to MIT in the 1980’s. 
In the 1990’s he was invited to join the United Nations’ IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), where he helped to author a report in 1995 on climate change and co-authored chapter 7 of the 2001 report on climate change. 
Lindzen left the IPCC after he claims the panel rewrote his work, and while he does not dispute that people have some impact on the climate, he says that impact is very small.  
In part, Lindzen takes exception to the  IPCC's entire process. Though the panel claims that more than 2,500 respected scientists and policy makers work together to produce its climate change assessments,  Lindzen argues that less than a tenth of these ‘experts’ actually hold qualifications in climatology.  Instead, most are educated in political and social sciences.  The panel that edits and approves the reports are appointed by the United Nations; more than half are actually UN officials, and they rewrite the Summary for Policymakers  to reflect  political and social agendas rather than scientific realities. 

 "It's not 2,500 people offering their consensus, I participated in that. Each person who is an author writes one or two pages in conjunction with someone else. They travel around the world several times a year for several years to write it and the summary for policymakers has the input of a handful of scientists, but ultimately, it is written by representatives of governments, and of environmental organizations, each pushing their own agendas."

In an interview with The Weekly Standard for a piece entitled "What Catastrophe?" published in January 2014, Lindzen adds that the IPCC reports contains significant doubts from various participants about the scope and consequences of man-made climate change, but these are scrubbed from the Summary which "rips out doubts to a large extent. .  .  . [Furthermore], government representatives have the final say on the summary." 
And the reason for all of the editing and scrubbing and monolithic messaging of climate change as the threat to mankind?  Lindzen says it all comes down to money.
After World War II, the nation was grateful to the scientific community for their contributions to ending the war, and funding for many projects was flowing. After Vietnam, however, "it was recognized that gratitude only went so far,” Lindzen says, “and fear was going to be a much greater motivator. And so that’s when people began thinking about .  .  . how to perpetuate fear that would motivate the support of science.”  As the scientific community began looking for scary-sounding projects that would drive funding, they settled on climate change. 
What is scary is that all scientists who are openly skeptical of man-made climate change and its apocalyptic threat to the future of mankind are demonized as inept fools who deny that the earth is round, while proponents like Al Gore, whose most notable achievements are having served eight years as Vice President and having invented the internet (wait, I think there might be some disagreement about that second one!) win the Nobel Prize. 
And so we are embarking on a new war, justified by rumors of weapons of mass destruction.  But this time, the enemy to be vanquished is American prosperity.  More on that tomorrow.