Anxiety Mongers and Fear Specialists Have Finally Descended on The Community!
We The People Presented So-Called Agenda 21 “Expert” John Anthony (Sustainable Freedom Lab) to Blather On for More than One-and-One-Half Hours of Brainwashing (Most Were brain-dead After the First 20 or So Minutes of Anthony’s Diatribe) of A Near-Full House of Locals on Anthony’s Own “Be Suspicious Agenda”
Even more damning than a damned boring exposure to propagandist blather is the slap in the face at the end, when there is no time allocated for comments or for questions and answers. What were the organizers afraid of? Yeah, sure, they might have had to put facts where their cake holes were. It’s much safer to spew your venom and then beat it before anyone comes up with a real question requiring real facts. But I blame the organizers of this despicable event; they could have done better and could have presented a fairer and more balanced discussion of both sides of the Agenda 21 topic as a moderated panel discussion. It would have provided insights into both sides of the proposal and would have allowed more information exchange.
So, dear readers, the downside of the experience was the whole experience. The upside was that there was no charge to attend (but there was a collection dish in the middle of tables) and there was a cash bar (which eased the overall pain a bit). You can now read our complete report on the rantings of a very confused toxic dwarf from New Jersey. You can also review the recording we made of the dog-and-pony-act (which we’ve made available at the end of this article so you can decide for yourself whether the guy is a prophet or a lunatic; our money is on the lunatic part). If you’re one of the unfortunates who sat through the angry dwarf’s gleeful moment of self-gratification before an almost live audience, tossing books and vomiting random misinformation, you may benefit from our commentary. (If you click the Follow Me button at the top right of this page you can receive an automatic e-mail notification when our comments are published.)
John Anthony, a New Jersey businessman-turned-anxiety-monger, was invited by the organization calling itself We the People, to present his rather confused views about an action plan called Agenda 21. First of all, here are the organizations who put on the presentation at a local restaurant in Coxsackie:
We the People describes (Tom DeWeese) itself as
“Citizens dedicated to preserving a Constitutional Republic ruled by law and the concept that sovereignty resides in We The People.” [Source: We The People site at http://wethepeopleusa.ning.com/ last visited on February 17, 2013]
Sustainable Freedoom Lab (SFL) (John Anthony) describes itself as”…changing the fight to protect our freedoms. We provide unique tools to expose and turn the tables on officials, planners, federal agencies and non-governmental organizations who attempt to infringe upon your rights.”
When I see expressions like “ruled by law,” (I’d rather be ruled by justice, not “law”) ”sovereignty resides in We the People,” (I’m not sure whether they mean that sovereignty resides in the group “We the People” or if We the People is referring to the opening lines of the Constitution. Whatever they mean, it’s unclear. Unclear pretty much sums up everything they have to say, too!). [Source: Sustainable Freedom Lab (SFL) site at http://sustainablefreedomlab.org/ last visited on February 17, 2013]
I also get a bit uneasy when I see Sustainable Freedom Lab (what’s the “Lab” in there for, anyway? Are we a bunch of lab rats being toyed with by these organizations?) using phrases like “changing the fight,” (What “fight”? I thought we were in this together, not opponents!?!), “turn the tables on officials, planners, federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations” (Who’s left, I wonder?), and the buzzy, prick-up-your-ears cliché, “infringe on your rights.” What rights? Do we have any left after Andrew Cuomo, Obama, the Supreme Court, and David Soares mangle and distort the Constitution, and purloin and give our rights to the corporations? What’s left? I have to ask you?
Actually, this experience woke me up to what’s out there and what the real agenda has been and continues to be: Mr Anthony, despite what he preaches, and preach he certainly does, is nothing less than a propagandist who is promoting the despicable message of anxiety, fear, and mistrust that has been plaguing the ignorant and the misguided of this country for years. Mr Anthony is nothing less than one of those crazed fire-and-brimstone preachers of satan, hell and damnation we cringe from when we see them on the idiot box or in those old films. But he’s continuing what was started after 911 and in the so-called Patriot Act: he’s keeping everybody paralyzed in a state of high anxiety and fear.
Mr Anthony’s talk, and man can he t-a-l-k — he went on for more than 90 minutes, starting more than a half-hour late — foaming at the mouth in an avalanche of doctored or dubious factoids and figures, waving several thick books with long titles, spewing cryptic abbreviations and acronyms, waving maps no one could clearly identify, running off bulleted lists and quotes on a projection screen, all doom and gloom, nothing substantial, nothing to educate or illuminate, but everything presented to obfuscate, to blur, to confuse. Do we really need our local political leaders to expose us to that sort of shite?
As Anthony ranted on and on about this statistic and that statistic, his true person started to come through. This man who was touted as an “expert,” who first introduced himself to the audience as a “businessman” and midway through the talk morphed into a “historian,” didn’t know shit from Shinola, and was hell bent to spread his ignorance to the some 100 lemmings assembled in the room and mostly seniors, farmers, a smattering of local politicos, and a handful of 30-40-somethings who liked talking about not turning in their guns. But none of them appeared to be awake, much less following the unintelligible brayings of a fanatic, anti-government jackass!
Of course the local media was there, if you can call the Hudson Catskill Newspapers, the “media.” In fact, just hours after the fanatic diatribe, Kyle Adams of the Catskill Daily Mail rushed to post his take on the event. Adams makes a feeble attempt to make best use of his ignorance, to make sense out of what was going on in the room but fails miserably (as most of the so-called journalists at the Hudson Catskill Newspapers tend to do. They’re such creatures of habit. So eager to please their keepers.) Far be it from us to make a statement without allowing our readers to decide for themselves. Heres a link to the Adams item that was published on the Catskill Daily Mail online edition: Coxsackie forum warns against dangers of sustainable development.
And, by the way, Kyle Adams, you are grossly misleading when you write, “State Assemblyman Peter Lopez, R-Schoharie, who also attended to learn more about Agenda 21.” Peter Lopez showed up about 10 minutes before the presentation mercifully ended. (I know because I was sitting by the door when he arrived and his cell phone promptly made a disturbance!) Mr Lopez, therefore, had no opportunity to either know what Mr Anthony was ranting about at all. Even if Lopez had shown up at the beginning of the presentation he wouldn’t have learned very much about Agenda 21, anyway. But Mr Lopez showed up at the end of the presentation, he did not “attend” as you incorrectly report, Mr Adams.
Now for the simple truth. No waving thick books in the air. No obscure statitisics. No doom and gloom. No propaganda. Just the plain, honest truth, something Mr John Anthony was unable to deliver at the so-called “forum”. (We’re not going to go into the substance of Agenda 21. Those of you who are interested in the range of opinions can find something to your liking by simply Googling “Agenda 21.” There’s something for everyone but read it with an open mind, please.)
Mr Anthony waved a lot of books around and spewed a lot of factoids in those agonizing 90 minutes. But the impression he made was that he was not being truthful. I say this because during his rant he clearly was preaching against “officials, planners, federal agencies and non-governmental organizations” as we can read in the description of his organization, Sustainable Freedom Lab, but he was giving only his ignorant interpretation. In fact, when I confronted him with a question about one of the books he suggested the audience download and read (it was a free publication of reports about Sustainable Development, Our Common Future), Mr Anthony responded that he was “not for or against anything, he was not supporting or opposing anything.” That’s clearly not the message he sent when delivering his rant (I’m providing a link to the entire rant, which I taped, at the end of this article). In fact, he failed to deliver the truth, a definition of Sustainable Development, taken directly from the very book he was flashing throughout the talk, Our Common Future, and invited those present to download and read. That definition contradicted just about everything Mr Anthony was preaching that afternoon:
“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts:
- the concept of needs, in particular the essential needs of the world’s poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and
- the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment’s ability to meet present and future needs.”
That’s an important definition if we are to discuss sustainable development in any way whatsoever. In fact, all definitions of sustainable development ask us to we see the world as a system—a system that connects space, and a system that connects time.
Who today can avoid acknowledging that our entire existence depends on our accepting that everything in the world is interconnected and in a delicate balance. When you envision the world as a system whose effects move over space, you grow to understand that air pollution from North America affects air quality in Asia and vice versa, and that pesticides sprayed in Argentina could harm fish stocks off the coast of New England!
And when you think of the world as a system over time, you start to realize that the decisions our grandparents made about how to farm or otherwise develop the land continue to affect our land use or abuse today; and the economic policies we endorse today will have an impact on economic policies when our children are adults. Just think for a moment about the effects of deforestation and desertification and their negative influence on climate and weather! Depleting the Amazonian rain forest and clearing forests in India is making a mess out of our weather patterns!
We also understand that quality of life is a system, too. It’s good to be physically healthy, but what if you are poor and don’t have access to education? It’s good to have a secure income, but what if the air in your part of the world is unclean? And it’s good to have freedom of religious expression, but what if you can’t feed your family?
The concept of sustainable development is rooted in this sort of systems thinking. It helps us understand ourselves and our world. The problems we face are complex and serious—and we can’t address them in the same way we created them. But we can address them. But Mr John Anthony doesn’t provide solutions. The fact that he got to say what he wanted to say over those agonizing 90 minutes but did not end with a comment period or an opportunity to ask questions was a sure sign that his was a hit-and-run ambush act! He did nothing to simplify the situation nor to clarify it. Here’s what sustainable development looks like in a very simple, easy to understand form:
The real monsters are us, our perverse greedy, self-centered, insatiable individual avarice and gluttony.
Here’s the real story behind sustainable development and it’s not a horror story about people losing their rights or private property being gobbled up by some monster from the cannibal culture of the United Nations or government agencies! Let’s stop with the idiotic witch hunts looking for monsters and start doing some soul-searching of our own. The real monsters are us, our perverse greedy, self-centered, insatiable individual avarice and gluttony.
And puhleez don’t start with the idiotic speculations that the now 30-year old voluntary action plan is going to erase private property rights and implement a diabolical program of population control. If you really want to be scared shiteless just read some of the lunatic stuff on Catholic Answers, a site that describes its purpose as “to defend and explain the faith.” (Here’s the link: Agenda 21: United Nations’ erases private property for green-ism.) Seems there are more nuts out there than in a holiday fruitcake! Bless their poor demented souls!
If we want to survive in the terms of the definition of sustainable development taken from the book Our Common Future, we need to make it a firmly rooted, long-term reality by first working in community to create a truly sustainable economy. The fear and anxiety propagandists only offer one side of the coin, the tarnished side, and are always pointing to the “other” as the enemy. We, you and I, have to take responsibility.
All human, all economic activity is dependent on a healthy Nature, a healthy world!
No matter how you look at it our economy is based on nature. Yes, the Nature we’re constantly trying to destroy to satisfy our appetites for more, More, MORE. It’s time we took a step back and recognized that we are a part of the Nature we are destroying; that we are in an intimate relationship with Nature. The foundation of our survival is in the soil, water, air, and environmental concerns have to be first understood by US, and we then must inform our policy makers that we need to stop our suicidal policies. All human, all economic activity is dependent on a healthy Nature, a healthy world!
We are citizens of the universe, the world, the created order and we have really gone off the deep end; we need real ecological and economic conversation. The environmental problem is the direct consequence of our economic activity of our greed, of the corporations and short-term profits and short-term solutions. Those negative environmental consequences are long-term and must be first among our national and international priorities. The environmental question is not just an ethical and scientific problem, it’s a political and economic problem.
We need to place greater emphasis on renewable energy, fuels and cleaner technologies, for starters. We have to do a hell of a lot more to stop and reverse current trends in consumption and pollution. And where does that start? Not in the halls of Washington or the UN, not in the government agencies, not in non-governmental organization as Mr Anthony would have you believe. It starts in your own homes, in your kitchens, in your living rooms, in your town halls!
OK, if fossil fuels are going to be with us for “the foreseeable future” and if the governments are going to settle for “hybrid options in the energy mix”, then serious public investment in clean technology must accompany this pragmatism as an urgent part of national and international strategies to diminish as fast as possible the impact of air and sea transport pollution and those sectors’ continued use of outdated technology. That’s what Agenda 21 is proposing. Not depriving anyone of life, liberty, happiness or private property. Agenda 21 is an action plan, a voluntary program, that will ensure life, liberty, happiness and private enjoyment of property for the present and for the future. But we didn’t hear that from Mr Anthony…he has his own agendas.
The principle of subsidiarity requires the participation of local communities in the decision-making process
We’ve all heard about the future fresh water crisis, and it’s real. Melting polar ice, crazy record droughts, freakish storms, unparalleled flooding, crops rotting, cattle dying, shortages, and the list can go on. Do you really doubt that it’s connected with our patterns of abuse of Nature and our patterns of consumption. Do you really doubt that we’re on a suicidal binge of waste and misuse? Think of a basic survival need, water: the fulfillment of water requirements is not the lack of sufficient water for human needs but that of the proper stewardship, care and administration of our water resources. We’ve all heard or read about the privatization of water resources, where corporations are buying up municipal water resources with a view of making a profit by selling the natural resource back to the people. This certainly highlights the problems of rogue corporations, wild-eyed greed, the need for ethical management of infrastructure, technology, and finances. Governance of water resources must be based on the implementation of the principle of responsibility shared at all levels, especially the local, right on through the regional, state, national and international level, with particular attention to the principle of subsidiarity, which requires the participation of local communities in the decision-making process.
Desertification and drought now affect more than one in six of the world’s population.
The UN designated 2006 as the International Year of Deserts and Desertification, and drew international attention to one of the most alarming processes of environmental degradation. Desertification has a strong negative influence not only on the environment but also in economic and social fields. Desertification and drought now affect more than one in six of the world’s population.
We should be well aware that too little of our own, personal, local effort has been made to safeguard the moral conditions for an authentic human ecology. Such an authentic human ecology will place the human person at the centre, not at the top, dear readers, of environmental concerns, while at the same time promoting an urgent sense of human responsibility for the Earth, be it at the level of the individual single household, local communities, states, commerce. Everything starts and ends with the individual person: YOU and I.
Good environmental policies are by extension good people policies too.
Back to water. Water. by 2025, a third of the world’s nations will have catastrophically low levels of water. Even today, 34,000 people die every day for lack of clean water: one and a half billion people do not have access to clean water, a figure which could rise to 3 billion by 2025. We, right here in town, experience water restrictions almost regularly so how can we continue ignoring our involvement in a global problem?
We can no longer go on pretending that our individual greed and that human activity has little or no negative impact on resources that are essential to our survival.
In terms of food security or ensuring that there’s enough feed our populations. Changing climactic conditions have had a devastating effect in this area. Newsweek recently published a feature article on foods that will disappear from our tables if we don’t take some concerted action to change our destructive habits. We can no longer pretend that human activity has little or no impact on these matters. (Anyone notice smaller food packaging, less content, higher prices? Less for more. Is that the UN conspiracy or the corporations at work?)
Energy is central to achieving sustainable development goals; improving access to reliable, affordable and environmentally friendly energy services is a major challenge to the eradication of poverty, the fostering of social justice, of ensuring enough for all. Nature, creation, the environment is not private property, it’s our common inheritance from the Divine. Get with the program, people! It starts with Genesis but not the corporations or the John Anthony interpretation of it. You are not at the top of creation, you are at most at the center of creation and by occupying that position, you have a very grave responsibility…and you’ve made a bloody mess of it.
Reliance in industry, transport, commerce and defence upon traditional combustion engines is already a century old
The transportation sector is another devilish problem we need to seriously and urgently deal with. Reliance in industry, transport, commerce and defence upon traditional combustion engines is already a century old. For several reasons, their replacement with clean, renewable alternatives is long overdue.
The Earth’s climate system has demonstrably changed on both global and regional scales since the pre-industrial era. The global warming trend and sea-level rise would continue for hundreds of years, due to the atmospheric lifetime of some greenhouse gases and the long timescales on which the deep ocean adjusts to climate change.
Who can seriously doubt or argue against the fact that the dovetailing of environmental and developmental concerns with commercial and industrial policymaking will surely lead to a safer, more prosperous future for all. But no nation can achieve this alone.
We need to start acting like mature citizens and stewards of creation and admit our part in the damage done and take responsibility for our part in healing it!
Apart from the myriad clichés, the single point that John Anthony made and with which I must admit to agreeing with is this: We need to push our elected officials to work with our communities to ensure our survival.
Yes, dear readers, you need to stop wallowing in your own misery and anxiety and do something about it. You and I have the power to make these changes work. You and I have to demand these changes. You and I have to make these changes. You and I have to take urgent steps to make our elected officials know that we will no longer play the village idiots for the corporations or the special interests. We are the ones who are paying the price and the ultimate price will be our survival. We need to stop the shortsightedness and tell people like John Anthony who want to force feed us with more anxiety and more negativity to Shut the hell up! We need to start acting like mature citizens and stewards of creation and admit our part in the damage done and take responsibility for our part in healing it! In otherwords, Grow up! Ante up! Or shut up!
Mr Anthony had the audacity to call himself an historian. Purest rubbish! Mr Anthony proved his ignorance by making the statement that “social justice” or “social option“ was coined about 40 years ago, about the time the notion of sustainable development was born. That’s simply not true! In fact, social justice is a prominent theme in the Gospels, in the Old Testament prophets. It was made part of the official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Leo XIII’s peerless Encyclical, On the Condition of Workers, “On Capital and Labor,” and later in Pope Pius XI’s “On Reconstruction of the Social Order” (1931). The notion of social justice was further developed by great humanitarians like Dorothy Day, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and before them the Buddha and Christ! 800 years ago St Francis of Assisi was teaching social justice and most faith traditions continue some form of social justice and social options! Where have you been, Mr Anthony?!?
So, in conclusion, if you have 90 minutes on a Sunday and don’t know how to spend them, may I recommend that if you want to hear preaching, take those 90 minutes and spend them in Sunday worship. At least there you might pick up something from the more than 2000 years of wisdom that might constructively help you to cope with the anxiety people like John Anthony and his ilk are foisting on an almost daily basis .
As promised, here is the link to the recording of the entire Anthony rant, if you’d like to listen or download it: John Anthony Rant, or right-click the link to download the audio file.
[Editor's Note: If anyone who is reading this article would like to read a moral theological discussion of the Agenda 21 subject matter, just leave a comment and we'll post the ethics and moral theological reasoning behind Agenda 21. There is much to be said about humanity's moral and natural right obligation to accept and implement the principles of Agenda 21, and why it would be "sin" not to do so.]
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