With all the scandals raging from the dossier to the huge budget to Obama’s slush fund, it’s time for some good news coming from Washington DC. That news came last night from Vice President Mike Pence as he announced the United States will directly assist faith-based groups actively supporting Christians and other religious minorities whose lives have been destroyed by the Islamic State.

The other good news in the announcement is that we will no longer rely on the United Nations to do their job in this regard.

“Our fellow Christians and all who are persecuted in the Middle East should not have to rely on multinational institutions when America can help them directly,” Pence said at a dinner organized by In Defense of Christians. “And tonight, it is my privilege to announce that President Trump has ordered the State Department to stop funding ineffective relief efforts at the United Nations. And from this day forward, America will provide support directly to persecuted communities through [the United States Aid Agency.]”

This has long been a problem that many of us have wanted solved even before the Islamic State started displacing Christians across the Middle East. Aid dollars sent to ineffective United Nations programs have been completely wasted with no tangible benefits. Organizations on the ground that aren’t pet projects of the United Nations have much better opportunity and experience with helping in these issues. Now, they’ll get the support from the United States they need.

It’s conspicuous that this announcement came from the Vice President. President Trump is currently in the middle of other issues from North Korea and Iran to tax reform and the opioid epidemic. It’s important at times like these that the Vice President be more than just a backup quarterback. Some issues are important enough for the White House’s attention though not as timely as other issues the President must address. This may be the perfect opportunity for Pence to take the lead on a project that needs him.

Pres. Trump gave his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly yesterday. You can read it in full here, and you should (video at Powerline).

1. Pres. Trump asserted the American constitutional system of governance, as Rick Manning said,

“not as imposition but an example to be followed, while at the same time respecting the sovereignty of other nations.”

2. The speech was a clear departure from the Obama era of apology. The Diplomad calls the speech “a powerful and clear foreign policy vision,”

It is a return to seeing the world as a collection of nation-states, each with its own interests and culture; states which can and should find areas of mutual cooperation while living their own lives and allowing others to live theirs. It is a step back from the silly borderless globalism which has produced the multi-cultural havoc we see in Western cities, and along our southern border. He puts our interests first, and asks other leaders to do the same with their countries. Revolutionary.

3. Trump was clear on Iran, Cuba, North Korea and Venezuela,
On Iran:

The Iran Deal was one of the worst and most one-sided the United States has ever entered into.

On Cuba:

That is why in the Western Hemisphere, the United States has stood against the corrupt and destabilizing regime in Cuba and embraced the enduring dream of the Cuban people to live in freedom. My administration recently announced that we will not lift sanctions on the Cuban government until it makes fundamental reforms.

On North Korea, the country headed by Rocket Man,

The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.

On Venezuela:

The United States has taken important steps to hold the regime accountable. We are prepared to take further action if the government of Venezuela persists on its path to impose authoritarian rule on the Venezuelan people.

4. Three words you didn’t hear often during the Obama administration: radical Islamic terrorism,

We will stop radical Islamic terrorism because we cannot allow it to tear up our nation, and indeed to tear up the entire world.

5. And, last, but not least,

Bonus: He did not need to say, “Let me be clear.” He was.

Related: Trump and the Truth about Communism

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog

By John Ruberry

Barack Obama’s Model United Nations style foreign policy of be-nice-to-rogue-nations-and-they’ll-be-nice-to-you is a failure.

Five years ago Syria’s thug president, Bashar al-Assad, crossed Barack Obama’s red line by using chemical weapons against his own people.

Obama did not retaliate.

Last Tuesday the brute crossed that red line–and on Thursday President Donald J. Trump fired 59 cruise missiles at the Syrian base from where those chemical weapons were launched. This happened the day after an emergency session of the UN Security Council called in response to this cruel attack predictably achieved nothing.

The spoiled fat boy who savagely rules the starving nation of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, keeps firing missiles in tests, those weapons violate numerous United Nations resolutions. For years the rogue state has been building a nuclear weapons program, one that can possibly be used to attack the United States.

Trump is responding to the aggressiveness of the Norks by dispatching an aircraft carrier to Korean waters. He’s reportedly considering deploying nuclear missiles in South Korea.

Obama did nothing of consequence in regards to the North Korean threat.

Trump understands the lessons of the playground that Obama and his fellow leftists never learned. Bullies only back down when confronted with force, or a credible threat of force. For bullies weakness is an opportunity to be exploited. The historical examples of strongmen attacking their own people and more powerful nations plundering weaker ones are so plentiful that I won’t insult the intelligence of my readers by listing them. And if you need examples, then you are too far gone, my friend.

There is some good news–America’s eight-year long vacation from reality is over.

Oh, is there any hope for the UN? No. Add me to the list of people who believe that the United States and other freedom-loving nations, such as Great Britain, Australia, Taiwan, Japan, and lets say Chile, need to band together and form a League of Democracies.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Prime Minister Jim Hacker: We should use the debate [in the UN] to promote peace, harmony, good will.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: well it would be most unusual. The UN is the accepted forum for the expression of international hatred.

Yes Prime Minister, A Victory for Democracy 1986

Yesterday the Hill highlighted a pair of tweets from Donald Trump about the UN is giving a few on the left the vapors:

Now the odd thing about it is that when comes right down to it, Trump is right about the club but as time has gone by it’s become clear that the days this is not necessarily a bad thing.

Back in the days of the Pax US right after World War 2 an active UN that could be used for the cause of good was a fine thing.  It’s the only reason why half of the Korean Peninsula is not oppressed and starving.

But as the years has gone by and the body has become dominated by kleptocracy, dictatorships, islamic states and socialists looking for the next handout the real purpose of the UN has changed.

For the kleptocracy, it’s been about getting the developed world to give them money under whatever pretence they can find, from climate change to birth control and siphoning off what they can for themselves.

For the Dictatorships it’s about keeping the US and any other power in the free world tied up to keep them from doing anything to hindering their expansion or their base power via various limiting resolutions often supported by groups in the free world financed by them.

For the Islamic states it’s the primary forum to attack Israel and or back the PA/PLO.  For states not named Iran this is vitally important because:

  1.  By attacking Israel in the UN they are able to placate their people who would otherwise want them to attack Israel for real which would end in defeat in the field, destruction of their armies and the possible deposing of those who rule.
  2. By backing the Palestinians in the UN it allows them to pretend their actually care about these people without actually doing anything to help them like allowing them in their relative countries or granting them right, which they don’t want to do because they have even less love and respect for Palestinians than Israel does.

Ironically both of these things are pretty much virtue signaling to their fellow arabs.

And Finally for the Socialists it’s a chance to not only advance their wacky positions but to have them financed by suckers like the US.  This solves the problem of running out of other people’s money, at least for a time.

But the biggest purpose of the UN is to preserve international inertia by basically having votes to give the appearance of action in order to give states a reason to not have to actually act (for good or ill) on any actual problem,  while, at the same time financing the good life from a large group of international elites all over the world.

Now here comes Donald Trump and he poses a threat to two of the dynamics involved.

  1.  As a person who doesn’t take sights or insults well (such as the resolution hitting Israel) he poses a direct threat to the ability of the UN to fund itself, and that is a direct threat to the expense accounts of thousands of international elites.
  2. As a person of action he might actually be able to use the UN to project US power by an aggressive use of both the carrot and stick of funding, thus forcing said elites to take positions and take actions that force them to choose risking said funds or angering their populace and or taking risky positions.

That’s the real question of Donald Trump, when he says things will change does that mean he will actually use the UN to try and do things, or will he use the structure as is to simply advance US interests?

Until the UN knows the answer to that question, they will remain in a state of panic.

And that makes it more likely for Mr. Trump to get the kind of deal he wants out of them.


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While Secretary of State John Kerry and Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power busied themselves in a video conference with Pres. Obama, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a most powerful speech:

Last month, Khamenei once again made his genocidal intentions clear before Iran’s top clerical body, the Assembly of Experts. He spoke about Israel, home to over six million Jews. He pledged, “there will be no Israel in 25 years.”

Seventy years after the murder of six million Jews, Iran’s rulers promise to destroy my country. Murder my people. And the response from this body, the response from nearly every one of the governments represented here has been absolutely nothing!

Utter silence!

Deafening silence.

(At this point, Netanyahu paused for 44 seconds.)

You must watch the entire speech, but in those 45 seconds of thunderous silence, Netanyahu did what I thought would be impossible at the U.N.: He spoke to the moral conscience of the world.

Melanie Phillips writes about the lethal weakness of America and the West (emphasis added):

It is a commonplace that power abhors a vacuum. As is painfully obvious, this latter-day Russian czar is merely filling the empty space left by the retreat of Obama’s America from its historic role as freedom’s defender.

But this vacuum goes far wider and deeper than Obama. It has resulted from the longterm cowardice, arrogance and moral confusion of the West.
. . .
The West followed its perpetration of and complicity in the Holocaust with an onslaught against the Mosaic laws at the root of western civilization. Those ethical codes were dumped in favor of self-gratification. Belief in western superiority over other cultures was replaced by moral and cultural relativism, multiculturalism and defeatism.

She concludes,

Jews are understandably wary of making themselves the center of anyone else’s story.

But they are inescapably at the epicenter of the West’s convulsions. The West will only save itself if it finally grasps that to do so it needs fully to embrace Israel and the Jewish story.

Sam Gregg notes how Fear and Loathing Stalk the West and states,

Of course, it’s quite possible for societies to be materially prosperous but culturally adrift. And that’s precisely where the West finds itself. Economically speaking, it remains extremely well-off. Nevertheless, the West has rarely appeared more uncertain of itself and the worth of its patrimony. But when the historian Arnold Toynbee observed that “civilizations die from suicide, not by murder,” he didn’t just mean that the most serious threats come from within. His deeper point was that redeeming a civilization is largely a question of will.

Upon that ever-faltering will, it seems, the West’s long-term fate presently rests.

As speculation grows on whether John Kerry may get a Nobel Peace Prize for finalizing the Iranian nuclear deal, the Obama administration literally turned a deaf ear to Netanyahu’s thunderous clarion call for our Western values.

That says it all.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

I was thrilled to join DaTechGuy on the radio last Saturday as one of the new guest bloggers for this site.  During our discussion, one of the questions that came up is Agenda 21.  We didn’t have time to go into the details for those who are unfamiliar with it, so I thought I would take this opportunity to provide an overview here.  You may already be familiar as this was a hot topic (at least for Newt Gingrich) during the GOP primary.  But, in case you are wondering what it is, here is a primer:

Officially, Agenda 21 is described as:  “a voluntary action plan developed by the United Nations and national governments at the “Earth Summit” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. At the Summit, governmental leaders around the world agreed on the need to become more sustainable—to meet today’s needs without sacrificing our future. Agenda 21 presents a vision for how all levels of government—especially in the developing world—can take voluntary action to combat poverty and pollution, conserve natural resources and develop in a sustainable manner. One-hundred-seventy-eight nations adopted the agenda, including the United States under the Bush Administration.”

Agenda 21 is a comprehensive, UN-led, top-down approach to “sustainability.”  There are 4 major sections to the officially-adopted document, which basically cover every possible aspect of city and social planning.

Section I: Social and Economic Dimensions

Section II: Conservation and Management of Resources for Development

Section III: Strengthening the Role of Major Groups

Section IV: Means of Implementation

There are multiple subsections beneath each section covering all topics you can imagine from deforestation to protecting the ocean to disposing of toxic wastes to allocating the use of land.  Each section is extremely lengthy and goes into extensive detail about how each initiative should be implemented.  The whole document is 351 pages, you can read it here.

Agenda 21 is an environmentalist’s dream; its primary premise is that the UN’s central and global point of view is wiser than individual city planners and citizens at the local level.

If you don’t have the kind of time to read all 351 pages, here are a few highlights in its own words:

  • “Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment.”  Did you catch that?  “…in every area in which human impacts on the environment.”
  • Agenda 21 seeks for a “reorientation of existing production and consumption patterns that have developed in industrial societies and are in turn emulated in much of the world.”
  • “The primary need is to integrate environmental and developmental decision-making processes. To do this, Governments should conduct a national review and, where appropriate, improve the processes of decision-making so as to achieve the progressive integration of economic, social and environmental issues in the pursuit of development that is economically efficient, socially equitable and responsible and environmentally sound.”
  • “Governments, in cooperation, where appropriate, with international organizations, should strengthen national institutional capability and capacity to integrate social, economic, developmental and environmental issues at all levels of development decision-making and implementation. Attention should be given to moving away from narrow sectoral approaches, progressing towards full cross-sectoral coordination and cooperation.”
  • “The overall objective is to promote, in the light of country-specific conditions, the integration of environment and development policies through appropriate legal and regulatory policies, instruments and enforcement mechanisms at the national, state, provincial and local level.”
  • “The cost of inaction could outweigh the financial costs of implementing Agenda 21. Inaction will narrow the choices of future generations.”
  • “Develop and promote, as appropriate, cost-effective, more efficient, less polluting and safer transport systems, particularly integrated rural and urban mass transit, as well as environmentally sound road networks, taking into account the needs for sustainable social, economic and development priorities, particularly in developing countries…”

ICLEIUSA.org is the US-based organization responsible for rolling out Agenda 21 domestically. ICLEI has made it very clear that Agenda 21 is non-binding and goes to great lengths to state that this was adopted during a Republican administration and that it will not have the effect of compromising sovereignty:

Agenda 21 is a voluntary action plan developed by the United Nations and national governments… One-hundred-seventy-eight nations adopted the agenda, including the United States under the Bush Administration.

Agenda 21 is not a treaty or legally binding document and does not infringe upon the sovereignty of any nation, state, or local government. Agenda 21 does not advocate for abolishing private property or have any bearing on U.S. local and state land-use decisions. In other words, it isn’t being forced on anybody, anywhere, by any organization.”

However, keep in mind that the US did “adopt” the agenda and that the Federal government has spent millions funding them and recent headlines show that Obama wants to massively increase funding for these types of initiatives which means voluntary is likely not so voluntary in the near future, whether it be via ICLEI or some other initiative, nationalization of “sustainability” projects is real.  ICLEI also collects membership fees from the cities that participate in their program.

Here’s what people are saying about Agenda 21:

From The Foundry (Heritage Foundation blog):

As adopted, Agenda 21 was described as “a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment.” That includes hundreds of specific goals and strategies that national and local governments are encouraged to adopt. And that translates into restrictive zoning policies that are aimed at deterring suburban growth. Ultimately, they suppress housing supply and drive up home prices, in turn imposing unnecessary costs, especially on middle- and lower-income households. These policies contributed to and aggravate the real estate bubble by putting inflationary pressures on housing prices.

From a site called democratsagainst21.com:

“In a nutshell, the plan calls for governments to take control of all land use and not leave any of the decision making in the hands of private property owners.  It is assumed that people are not good stewards of their land and the government will do a better job if they are in control.  Individual rights in general are to give way to the needs of communities as determined by the governing body.  Moreover, people should be rounded up off the land and packed into human settlements, or islands of human habitation, close to employment centers and transportation.  Another program, called the Wildlands Project spells out how most of the land is to be set aside for non-humans.”

From Canadafreepress.com:

“America was founded on the idea that private property is sacred. Americans cannot conceive their country without the right to own property. As they go about their daily lives, the United Nations Agenda 21 is methodically chipping away at our country’s solid foundation.

Under the guise of protecting the environment, water conservation, resources, reducing carbon footprint, reducing the use of electricity, smart grid, smart meters, cutting down the use of fossil fuels, separating people from their cars in favor of mass transit, biking and walking within five minutes of residence, returning land to wilderness by moving large rural and urban populations into high rise tenements in green zones, and social justice, the UN is taking over our lives.”

 

You can also go to the American Policy Center’s page on Agenda 21 for additional quotes and information.

Obviously, individual cities are perfectly of capable of making local decisions based on the needs of the local residents in a way that respects the freedoms of individual land owners.  But, Agenda 21 was devised and accepted by member countries across the world who do not value individualism and private property rights the way Americans do.  I fully expect many of these countries to buy into the idea that the U.N. knows best and any sort of global planning must be right.  But, I didn’t expect the United States to fall for this.

As mentioned already, the United States has technically already adopted Agenda 21.  However, since city membership is voluntary for now, you can monitor your own city’s involvement.  Go to ICLEIUSA.org, click on “About us” and then you will see a map of member cities.  Click on “View the member list” below the map of the U.S.  Is your city there?  If so, you know what needs to be done.  Find out why your city is there and work to remove them.

Awhile ago I attended a training by Americans For Prosperity where Agenda 21 was discussed.  One of the speakers was a local Tea Party leader (from Garland, which neighbors Dallas) who had worked with her city leadership to quit the ICLEI.  So, it can be done. There is even an anti-ICLEI Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-UN-Agenda-21-Stop-ICLEI/284021125057 . If you search for “quit ICLEI” in a search engine, you will see that many cities have quit and that there is quite a movement out there.  But, there is more to do.  So, next time you wonder, how can I have an influence?  This is a great local way to make an impact.

The Heritage Foundation article cited earlier mentions that this is really a local fight and many of the ideas in Agenda 21 have already been out there for decades.  Agenda 21 just organizes them.  So, the battle is really what it has always been, not just Agenda 21, but the micro-implementation at each and every individual city across the country.  So far, there is no mandate to follow Agenda 21, so it is up to citizens to remove its hooks from our cities and keep fighting for our rights.

Lisa @ AmericaisConservative.org