Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Remember that Agenda 21 controversy? Here's what they should be concerned about instead.

Last March, Jeff Turrentine wrote in Slate,
Pssst! Have you heard about Agenda 21? The secret plot to collectivize private property—hatched by United Nations internationalists and midwifed by operatives ensconced within our own government—all in the name of "ending sprawl" and "encouraging sustainability"? The seizure of suburban homes by jackbooted, gun-toting U.N. thugs? The involuntary relocation of displaced suburbanites to cramped dwellings in densely packed cities?
No? Seriously? You haven't heard about any of this?
Don't blame Glenn Beck. His magazine, the Blaze, put Agenda 21 on the cover of its January/February 2012 issue; the article contained therein, its editors promised, would expose "the global scheme that has the potential to wipe out freedoms of all U.S. citizens." Beck then stretched this warning into a dystopian science fiction novel that came out last November titled (what else?) Agenda 21. In it, suburban and rural homeowners are stripped of their property and carted off to overcrowded cities, where they're forced to live in bunkerlike apartments, wear government-issued uniforms, and generate power for the grid by walking on piezoelectric "energy boards."
On the other hand, the United Nations 1992 Rio Declaration, also know as Agenda 21 is completely voluntary on the part of governments throughout the world. Meaning that it is entirely up to the legitimate jurisdictional authorities in every country to decide what to do about the efforts to encourage sustainable development.

Except in the imagination the Tinfoil Hat Brigade, there is no threat to the sovereignty of the United States nor to the citizens or Constitution thereof. It is exactly the opposite of what the right-wing populists fear.

Here in Arizona, in the last two regular legislative sessions, Tea Party affiliated GOP members of both chambers pushed bills designed to protect our state from the dreaded UN mandate.

Instead, the populist GOP/Tea Party/Tinfoil Hat Brigade might rather focus their energies on putting the brakes on the genuine threat to US sovereignty and democratic (yes, lower case "d") lawmaking and enforcement -- the Trans Pacific Partnership.

From The Nation in June 2012,
While the Occupy movement has forced a public discussion of extreme corporate influence on every aspect of our lives, behind closed doors corporate America is implementing a stealth strategy to formalize its rule in a truly horrifying manner. The mechanism is the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Negotiations have been conducted in extreme secrecy, so you are in good company if you have never heard of it. But the thirteenth round of negotiations between the United States and eight Pacific Rim nations will be held in San Diego in early July. 
The Trans Pacific Partnership has been described as NAFTA on steroids. The North American Free Trade Agreement, is otherwise known as No American Factories Taking Applications. From
A world without democracy, ruled by a technocratic elite serving the interests of US and global capital - protecting "investor rights" against national laws and regulations - is now being created in secret negotiations over free-trade treaties, one of which, the TransPacific Parnership (TPP), may be sewn up this fall. Can popular will stop it?
For four decades now, we have seen corporate-led neoliberal globalization transforming nation-states into globalized states that serve the interests of transnational capital above the interests of national populations.
Moyers & Company this last Friday expounded on the problem.

Why should the Agenda 21 fearmongers care more about TPP than the Rio Declaration?

Similar to the WTO (World Trade Organization), the TPP will empower foreign countries to take legal action against other countries (for example, against the US) to challenge laws and regulations made by those countries (i.e. Congress and federal executive branch agencies).

In other words, a direct challenge, in a most tangible manner, to the sovereignty of the United States.

Yves Smith, talking with Moyers indicated the TPP agreement is "designed specifically to weaken nation based regulation while at the same time strengthening intellectual property protections. So it's basically a gimme to companies on both ends."

Smith responds to another Moyers question by saying,
The first language to both of these deals goes something along the lines with all signatories are required to make their laws and regulations conform to the standards of this agreement. They are literally required to make their nation based laws subordinate to the terms of these agreements.

Two very important points for putting this situation in proper perspective include recognition that in the UN Rio Declaration, even though it might have tough sounding language (that obviously triggered irrational fear and backlash by right wing populists), there is no mechanism in the UN for enforcement. The UN cannot even come together to effectively enforce economic sanctions against nation-states that wage war on neighbors.

Second, there is already historical record of nations taking action to sanction other nations -- in judicial proceedings of the WTO (World Trade Organization) -- to enforce the subordination of laws to applicable trade agreements.

In other words, here's your damned attack on national sovereignty, ya danged Tea Party wankers. Get busy organizing to put the brakes on the TPP and you will have the moral high ground and find yourself leading the way on a coalition that will immediately bring Occupy activists together for a unified purpose.

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