The following guest editorial by Iris Stevens was submitted to the Jonesboro Sun and was published in the Sun today, Feb 20, 2013, with the headline: "Legislating a Government-Created Utopia." It can be found at this link today: http://www.jonesborosun.com/e-Edition/ Documentation is included in this, her original article sent to the paper.
Why We Believe Our Use of Cars Will Be Restricted
I know many people just can't believe that any of us could be wacky enough to believe the bizarre accusations we are making about UN Agenda 21 - and actually tying it to our local Jonesboro Vision 2030. Believe me, we understand!
We couldn't believe it either when we were told by city officials at a Jonesboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) meeting in November, 2010 (before they realized there was opposition) that in the near future not only our children and grandchildren would be riding bikes and walking rather than driving, but even the older adults sitting in the room would be as well. 2
And how believable is it that our federal government has passed legislation requiring every transportation agency to include bikeways and sidewalks in projects that receive any federal aid - and that snow must be removed from sidewalks and bikeways in the same manner as other roadways? That comes straight from the US Department Transportation website signed by Obama's Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood. 3
Who walks and rides bikes in the snow except maybe for fun or in an emergency? When did they slip that law through? And why is building bikeways and snow removal so critical - in our dire economic times?
Not long ago President Obama campaigned across the nation for another $447 billion stimulus bill, bewailing our crumbling roads and dangerous bridges. If our bridges are that dangerous, why are we building all these bikeways/walkways on money borrowed from China? Just for recreation? I don't think so. Truck drivers say they see these bikeways all over the nation, but no one is on them. 4
And why is Obama planning to have high-speed rail available to 80% of the people in the next 25 years, with a $53 billion investment in the next six years, instead of fixing our crumbling roads and dangerous bridges? Either we have lost our senses, or there is a design for this madness. 5
And why is our “local” Jonesboro Vision 2030 just like all the other local plans across the nation? As a teacher, would anyone expect me to believe that the students had really worked independently if they turned in work that similar? I don't think so. It reminds me of our educational reforms that were always local and developed by us teachers - but were almost identical to the education reforms in every other state.
And then there is the 1996 "Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide" by the international group ICLEI, the key driver of Agenda 21, which outlined Comprehensive plans with the same purpose and principles as in Jonesboro Vision 2030. One was even called Vision 2020! Is that all a coincidence? 6
How does one explain all the articles, or propaganda, that make living without cars seem so appealing? According to a New York Times article, "Residents of this upscale community...have given up their cars...in Europe, and the US as a component of a movement called 'smart planning'...'When I had a car I was always tense. I'm much happier this way,' said Heidrun Walter." From the British Telegraph comes, “The European Union Will Ban Cars from Cities by 2050.” 7 & 8
In a recent news article, "The Secret fear of the world's biggest auto companies,” the fear is that people will no longer be buying their cars. Quote: "All around the United States and Canada, people are thinking seriously about giving up their automobiles...Another question has begun to percolate: do I need a car at all?” 9
Then the buffoonish Michael Moore writes, "The things we call cars may have been fun to drive, but they are like a million daggers into the heart of Mother Nature," and that the "President must immediately convert our auto factories to factories that build mass transit vehicles." 10
In Arkansas, well known John Brummet wrote an article, "World Without Cars, Amen," admitting that when liberals get together they do indeed talk about doing away with our cars, but he salves our fears by implying that the process will take a long time. 11
The radical transportation expert, Dan Burden promotes cities resembling those of 100 years ago, with walkable villages where no cars are needed. Burden says that the best city is one where no car is needed to get around. 12
And who would believe that our Jonesboro City Planning Director, Otis Spriggs, attended Dan Burden's EPA training and will implement many of Burden's principles in Vision 2030 such as, "This Future Land Use Plan is very different from prior plans. This Future Land Use Plan has a very strong emphasis on urban design where "people live, work, shop, and play" in a pedestrian-friendly, village-like manner." 13
Vision 2030 encourages and mentions "village centers," "pedestrian friendly neighborhoods," and “walkable communities” many times in Chapter 10 on Physical Development. 14
These are only a few of the many things that cause us to believe there is indeed a push to restrict our use of cars in Jonesboro Vision 2030 based in the principles of UN Agenda 21. For many of us this is about freedom; the freedom that will allow our children and grandchildren to live where and how they want, unencumbered by a nanny-state bureaucracy attempting to legislate a government created utopia.
Iris Stevens, Jonesboro, Arkansas
There is no #1 because I changed some of the info in the first paragraph and didn’t want to have to redo the numbers.
2. Article Jonesboro Promoting Carless Society in Near Future http://www.wpaag.org/Agenda%2021%20Carless%20Soc%20J'boro%20MPO%20Mtg.htm
3. United States Dept. of Transportation Policy Statement on Bicycle & Pedestrian Accommodation Regulations and Recommendations sign by Ray LaHood, US Secretary of Transportation March 11, 2012. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bicycle_pedestrian/overview/policy_accom.cfm
4. Obama Pressures Boehner, McConnell on Jobs Bill With Bridge as 'Prop' http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/09/22/republicans-criticize-obama-trip-to-ohio-bridge-years-from-being-shovel-ready/
5. Taxpayer Calculator: High-Speed Rail, Feb 17, 2011 http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2011/02/17/taxpayer-calculator-high-speed-rail?test=latestnews6
6. Link to The Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide by the international group ICLEI, the key driver of UN Agenda 21 that contains many elements Jonesboro City is now using. Quote from this planning guide: In 1992, the leaders of 179 countries gathered in Rio de Janeiro for the United Nations Earth Summit to finalize a global action plan for sustainable development, called Agenda 21. In this document, they recognized that because “so many of the problems and solutions being addressed by Agenda 21 have their roots in local activities, the participation and cooperation of local authorities will be a determining factor in fulfilling its objectives.” Taken from the Introduction by Maurice Strong at above link.
May 17, 09, our Arkansas state paper, Arkansas Democrat Gazette,
published an article taken from the New York Times entitled: "Residents
of German district adopt car - free lifestyle"
8. EU to Ban Cars From Cities by 1950 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/8411336/EU-to-ban-cars-from-cities-by-2050.html
9. The Secret Fear of the World's Biggest Auto Companies http://autos.yahoo.com/news/the-secret-fear-of-the-world-s-biggest-auto-companies-193338830.html?page=all
and also at this Forbes link http://www.forbes.com/sites/michelinemaynard/2013/01/21/the-secret-fear-of-the-worlds-biggest-auto-companies/
10.Michael Moore's article: http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mikes-letter/goodbye-gm-by-michael-moore
11. Brummett Say Amen to World Without Cars http://www.wpaag.org/brummett_says_amen_to__world_wit.htm
12. "Arkansas is Using Extreme Radical Environmentalist as Transportation Expert" - Documentation at end of article.
13. T-Party Presentation: Dan Burden, J'boro and Behind the Green Mask
14. Chapter 10, Jonesboro Vision 2030 Draft)
Chapter 10a Physical Development Element - Land Use page 2, 3, 24 and 34 are a few of the pages. They will be numbered with PDa in front of the numbers.