Thursday, January 23, 2014

Foiling Regional Planning

After the Tea Party took over the GOP in 2011, we began hearing talk of a strange and frightening thing…. Agenda 21. This agenda, we were told, was a devious secret plot by the United Nations to secure global domination by taking away our property, our cars, and our toilets, and making us ride the bus, or something like that. Planning? Planning is the work of Satan and his minions! The John Birch Society threw the gasoline on the fire, and the Tea Partiers, 912 groups, and the liberty crowd fanned the flames.

The outrage grew and grew to the point where small town planning board members were harassed by irate residents about something they’d never even heard of. Reliable media sources like WorldNetDaily, infowars, Glenn Beck, and of course Fox News were churning out the agitprop about this nefarious plot. 

Agenda 21 is a document that came out of the UN and the Rio Conference on the environment – in 1992. Yes, that’s over 20 years ago. And yes, if they planned to take over the world, it’s the slowest takeover of anything ever. It’s a non-binding set of resolutions, intended to encourage countries to conserve resources, protect open spaces, and promoting sustainable growth. You can see why that would become a tinfoil encrusted nightmare.  How dare anyone tell us to conserve! That’s commie talk! Freedom means using up everything and never having to say we’re sorry!

The flames spread. Agenda 21 conspiracy films were shown at the Majestic Theater in Conway. Books were written. Videos were made. Propaganda was spewed. Even though the Tea/Birch crowd was mostly deposed from our state government in 2012, eventually the tinfoil trail led to the NH State House.

Last year a bill was proposed to phase out lead sinkers and jigs from fishing tackle. The lead kills our loons. This seemed pretty reasonable, and there was science behind it. This simple bill turned into hours of debate thanks to the Agenda 21 crowd. Apparently part of the UN’s slow motion plan for global domination includes invading the tackle boxes of NH fishermen. Perhaps most egregious was a bill to allow municipalities to work together to finance and build water and sewer projects. It turns out that the UN doesn’t just want your tackle box; it wants to take over your toilet. The wailing and gnashing of teeth went on for hours, and still the bill passed by a huge margin.

The Reynolds rappers are still with us. Last week I sat through part of the hearing on HB 1573, a bill that would eliminate all nine of the regional planning commissions in the state. This is because NH’s regional planners are engaged in a project to have a dialogue about planning for the future. It’s called Granite State Future. The dialogue includes business, towns, cities, regions, old timers, newcomers, and anyone that wants to be involved. The discussion involves nefarious stuff like how best to manage our shared natural resources going into the future – like forests and water. This has become linked to Agenda 21, by the tinfoil brigade, who believe that planning ahead is really all about the permanent loss of your privacy rights and of course, the UN’s plot for global domination.

The first speaker I heard was Rep. Glen Cordelli from Tuftonboro, who muttered dire warnings about regional planning commissions, and how “advice is not their game, power is their game.” A man from Jaffrey spoke about how the RPCs are an asset to his small town, because they have resources that the town does not. Planning board members from a variety of towns praised the RPCs and the help they provide. Rep. Bill Butynski from Hinsdale testified that property taxes would have gone up in his town if the RPCs hadn’t helped with their process of rebuilding the bridge to Vermont. Carol Miller, Director of Technologies at the Dept. of Resources and Economic Development, is focused on broadband needs, and has worked with the RPCs to develop a state broadband plan. She said she’s found the data they provided from the various regions to be invaluable. Bill McNally, a Bircher from Windham handed out information on Granite State Futures and Agenda 21.

 That’s how it went. Speakers who were well versed on the planning needs of their towns were followed by speakers who were not at all interested in the needs of our state – just convinced that there is a conspiracy afoot to defraud them of their property and pave the way for the UN takeover. Or something like that. It was painful. The Free State Project is heavily involved with the destruction of the RPCs – and indeed all planning. In their Randian paradise, we’re all free market buccaneers with no rules or regulations – every pirate for himself. And if your water gets Freedomed, as W. Virginia’s recently did, well, that’s too bad. You’ll just have to buy your water on the freedom market.

Without planning and zoning that’s what we get. Pirates come in and take over. We saw it happen in Tamworth with the racetrack. When Tamworth voted on zoning, Club Motorsports came in and bought the election. A bill changing the definition of a racetrack (SB 458) was allowed to glide silently through the legislature, and most of those who kept the silence were rewarded with campaign donations from Club Motorsports.

Where there is no planning and zoning, the big money privateers come in and do what they want. If the town doesn’t like it, well, suck it up buttercup, because freedom.
A few of the tinfoil legislative brigade have tired of wreaking havoc in their own towns, and are moving on to mischief in other communities. They’ve been working successfully in Rindge, where all the talk of the evils of gummint money, led by Rep. John Burt of Goffstown, has created an ugly us v. them climate in the town. Rindge has petitioned article this year on their warrant that specifies that the town would not be able to accept any federal funds, except once a year at town meeting. In other words, natural disaster like the flood in Alstead or the devastation created up north by Hurricane Irene? Too bad. You’ll have to wait till March to vote on getting federal aid to rebuild your roads, bridges, or businesses. That’ll teach the feds!   

As always, this serves to underscore how badly we are served by the NH media. Our only statewide media doesn’t report on these stories, so people around the state don’t connect what’s happening in their town to other areas of the state.

© sbruce 2014 
published as a biweekly column in the Conway Daily Sun Newspaper


Pat Martin said...

Thank you, Susan! Well said!

Brian Loudermilch said...

The greatest thing that I have ever seen in my life was when this country landed on the Moon.

Stop and think of the Organization and Planing required to get that done.

Common sense dictates that any project bigger than a new outhouse or chicken coop is going to need some
some kind of planing that involves more than one person.

Sadly, a few Small minds in this state don't have the common sense to understand that simple fact.

Anonymous said...

NO one talked about opposing the banning of lead sinkers in relation to the RPCs imposing the ideas of Agenda 21 through federal grants.... So this is just made up hyperbole as usual from our former lush Susan.

susanthe said...

Wow. Reading comprehension fail compounded by lame anonymous attempt at a personal slur.

Anonymous = cowardice.

Anonymous said...

As someone who is very familiar with the working group against RPCs I can tell you that you made this stuff up because we never put anything about lead sinkers in our testimonies FOR HB 1573. That you tied some other bill about sinkers to us is your fantasy, which you engage in often.

susanthe said...

The fact that these idiots can't understand a simple newspaper column, even as they're attempting to pass legislation ought to frighten the bejeebers out of all of us.

Steven J. Connolly said...

New Hampshire doesn't need regional planning. It's too expensive for what is actually returned to the tax base that is paying for it.
If you notice it was all Concord bureaucrats and consultants tied to regional planning that were plugging how much good that they do.
If you want land restriction, water rationing and value added Marxist ideology (Agenda 21) then move to Vermont. They have plenty of all that. They also have skyrocketing unemployment and agrarian poverty as well.

Steven J. Connolly said...

"The Roman historian Tacitus once said, that the health and the disease of a state can be measured in the number of its laws."- Julius Streicher.

NH Regional Planning is nothing more than an organism that creates more laws.

susanthe said...

That's not true, Stephen. There were many ordinary folks from small towns talking about the benefits of their association with regional planning.

Vermont's unemployment numbers are lower than NH's, Sparky. Luckily we don't have any agrarian poverty here, innit?

Thanks for stopping by to spread the gospel of stoopid.

susanthe said...

Ah, Stephen - your affinity for Nazis is so unsurprising.

Anonymous said...

Of course the Aryan thugs would have wanted to ban lead sinkers. Why wouldn't they? Small minds only understand the infliction of pain and violence on others, hence all their ridiculous diatribes.

As for Ms. Bruce being a "lush", I suggest perhaps there are three fingers pointing back at ye-self? You all have to be on cheap moonshine with the garbage you come up with.

susanthe said...

Thanks Anonymous. It's funny, the whole lush thing. My last drink was in 1989 - 25 years ago. The trolls seize on it as some sort of a way to attempt to shut me up and/or discredit me. It's like 3rd grade playground, "I know a secret, and I'm gonna tell!!"

It's even more amusing, if you think of it in wingnut parlance. They claim to venerate those who pull themselves up by their bootstraps - which I did. They should be congratulating me.

Except that they're fcking hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how people who don't agree with the big government liberals resort to name calling. Those who do not agree with their position, are described as .... Reynold's wrappers, or tinfoil brigade, as you so named them. Your blog is typical liberal spew, and is just yet another factless attempt to discredit your more conservative thinking neighbors. Resorting to these kinds of tactics instead of stating facts seems to be a common trait with liberals. What is happening in Rindge, is because the citizenry as a whole, (except for a few supporters) are sick and tired of the Fed's over reaching hand. Regional Planning Committees are unelected bodies who are pushing communities into building "sustainable living" developments, and "work force housing", where it should be left up to each community to decide what is right for them. From your perch, conservative means we are hateful isolationists. What you fail to realize is that those of us who were quiet are now very much awake...and paying very close attention to those who mean to destroy our communities. Get used to us...we aren't leaving. Cheers.

susanthe said...

Anonymous #4

One might think that someone concerned with facts would present some in their rebuttal. One would be wrong.

Bill Power said...

I was a tractor-trailer driver employed by a logging company that was involved in the post-flood cleanup in Alstead. I'll never forget the devastation nor the gratitude of the residents for the tremendous effort it took on everybody's part to remedy the situation. If they had to wait 6 months to get funding approved because of the idiotic reasoning you have described, well, God save us all.

Gillian L'Eplattenier said...

Right on, Steven. Thank you!
I don't want a regional dictatorship taking away my water for distribution, nor my land, nor raise my taxes to tell me and others what they can and cannot do.

Anonymous said...

Connolly mentions Vermont and refers to excess of laws as being problematic. I know FIRST HAND that Vermont is thriving and doing well. I also know FIRST HAND that the country of Germany is a nation of more laws than nearly any other European nation. And Germany has managed to pull the ultimate coup of success by maintaining not only a thriving work force and economy but also good and highly successful social and healthcare programs. "Ordnung ist das halbe leiben". Order is everything in life. Can't have a country, nation or government without it and if you do it's called Somalia.

Stick that up your Connolly butt and smoke it.

Larry Cleveland said...

Credibility is everything. Whether it is someone you do not know, or a close friend, once lied to, you can never really trust that person ever again. It is that way in our judicial system, at our work places, and in life in general.
I believe everyone has the right to qualify what they have said. Just to clarify in case someone doesn't understand a statement. I have a couple of things said in this "blog" that I would like qualified.
#1: this is the link for the Youtube video posted on testimony for HB1573. Please point out which minute you heard any testimony about lead sinkers.
#2: You state "where there is no planning and zoning, the big money privateers come in and do what they want" Please tell me in what town or city there is no planning or zoning.
#3: You specifically mention Rindge. Then you mention the "flood in Alstead", and "the devastation created up north by Hurricane Irene". Neither effected Rindge. Have you ever been to Rindge? Please tell me where the flood risk is. I have lived here for almost 50 years. I would like to know where that risk is so I could protect myself.
#4: You state that "the town would not be able to accept any federal funds, except at once a year at town meeting". Please tell me where it says that on any of the petitions brought forth by Save Our Town. Have you seen the petitions, or is it just what you heard from an East Rindge resident?
The notion that the town wont be able to except funds but only once a year is simply not true. If these funds are so greatly needed because of some devastating flood or another Irene as you put it, the town can pull together a vote at any time.
You now hopefully see why I need some clarification on what your blog says. I see some things that just don't add up. I am giving you the benefit of the doubt by allowing you to help me understand what you have blogged here. Credibility is everything.

susanthe said...

Larry - honestly, I don't know where to start with you, since it's clear that you didn't understand anything that you read.

For me, that just proves a point. You and others like you have gotten snippets of information that you don't understand, or Bircher propaganda that's gotten you all worked up - but at the heart of it all is a fundamental failure to grasp what you've read.

I suggest you go back and reread. I wrote about the lead sinker bill and the bill to let Stratham and Exeter collaborate on a water project. END PARAGRAPH.

The testimony on HB 1573. That you have connected the two somehow, is a comprehension failure.

No planning or zoning? Tamworth. If you go back and reread, perhaps that will make sense to you. It's a localized thing, so perhaps not. This is a newspaper column for the Conway Daily Sun Newspaper. There is no zoning in Tamworth. Racetrack. Bought elections. Privateers. Can you hear me yet?

The flood in Alstead and the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene were examples of natural disasters that occurred in other parts of the state. EXAMPLES. Like: HEY THESE THINGS HAPPENED. I did not, anywhere, in my column say that they happened in Rindge.

And finally, I've seen the Rindge warrant article. It says that funds or grants can only be accepted once a year at town meeting. I'd be happy to post a screenshot of it.

If you see things that don't add up, I'm afraid it's because you aren't understanding what you read and jumping to conclusions. And that, Larry Cleveland is what all this Agenda 21, RPC Planning outrage is all about. People who have poor comprehension skills, jumping to conclusions.

Now, would one of you please cite an instance where an RPC has taken over someone's property, water, or raised their taxes?

Then cite me an example of where the UN has come in and taken over someone's property, water, and/or raised their taxes.

Larry Cleveland said...

First of all, I do not know where you saw the warrant article. It has not been posted by the town yet. I can guarantee you that Save Our Town has no such thing submitted.
For your information, the town of Tamworth has a BOS,a Planning board, and a zoning board of adjustment. Point? They DO have planning and zoning.
Lastly, your wording ties everything together regarding Rindge and disasters that happened else where. Scare tactic?
Regional planning takes away from your local planning depts., period. To argue that point would make you look like a fool. These commissions consist of non elected bureaucrats that bypass our elected officials. They are funded mostly with federal funds. Individual town membership is an extremely small part of it. Thank goodness the town of Rindge has decided on their own to withdraw from the SWRPC. Town officials have stated that there is little to no value in being a member. I was told when I started this campaign that I would be the minority. It seems with the support that we have been receiving, you and your liberal, progressive friends are the minority. Get used to it. The town of Rindge will have its voice heard March 11th. It will be loud and clear: Go home liberals. You are not wanted here.

susanthe said...

I don't need your "information," Larry. I've lived in the greater Tamworth area for 30 years.

Tamworth has a zoning board, but there is no zoning in the town of Tamworth. There are 19 towns in the state of NH that don't have zoning laws. Here's a list, from a source I feel certain you'll trust - a Free Stater.

I'm sorry you don't understand the use of EXAMPLES to make a point. It's the sort of thing you should have learned in grade school: "If you touch the stove, you'll burn your hand." "If you run a red light, you risk getting in an accident." If you live in northern New England, weather happens, and so do natural disasters.

How does regional planning take away from local planning? Do your roads stop at the edge of town?

Am I supposed to be impressed with your bleating about federal funds? If you're worried about federal funds, what actions are you taking with regard to Pentagon waste? I'm eager to hear.

I'm waiting for examples. Please show examples of the terrible things caused by regional planning in NH.

Pat Martin said...

Larry, I shared the warrant articles on my FaceBook page. They are part of the public record now since being read at the BOS meeting. While your group may not be the ones who filed the ridiculous Federal Grant warrant article that specifies the annual town meeting as the only means for allowing the town to simply APPLY for federal grants, it is very easy to find out who did file it...and I will lay odds that it is someone connected with your group. I appreciate you're not mentioning me by name in your comments. I am still considering legal action regarding the libelous LTE you sent in which you mentioned me by name and stated that I "believed" this thing or that which was never expressed by me and which has damaged my reputation.

susanthe said...

Dear latest anonymous commenter - I moderate this blog, and I approve all comments. I just rejected yours. Here's why.

At 6:56 PM you posted a comment that consisted of insults aimed at a person who is posting here with their real name. It takes courage to go out in public and state your opinion with your real name attached to it. Posting anonymous insults is the opposite of courage, and I won't tolerate it here.

Larry Cleveland said...

Pat,This was discussed with the editor of the paper at the time of submittal. Since this was published on an opinion page, I was advised that "everyone has the right to their opinion". You had every right for a rebuttal. Your comment about the person who submitted the terrible petition is correct. She has been on our side. That being said, she is not directly connected to our group, and I have told her that submittal of her petition was not appropriate, and wished she would have conferred with me before hand.
Please explain this paragraph right out of legally binding HUD documents from Granite State Future. (for those of you who might not know, GSF is the consortium of all 9 Regional Planning Commissions). It says: "Identifying and Overcoming Barriers"... will be to indentify existing and potential barriers to ensuring sustainable communities and to articulate the strategies the regions will use to mitigate or overcome each barrier. Anticipated barriers include NH's strong tradition of individual property rights and resultant resistance to planning and zoning". I look forward to seeing how you spin this.

susanthe said...

Yeah, Larry -that's pretty damning, isn't it? What a frightening statement - to acknowledge that NH's determination to live in the past may create problems in planning for the future! You've uncovered a real conspiracy there. I can see Alcoa's stock rising, even as we speak.

Now, Larry - I'm asking you (once again) to provide documentation of an instance where an RPC has taken away someone's property, water, or anything else.

A concrete, verifiable instance where this has taken place in NH.

Larry Cleveland said...

Susan, you call our tradition of strong personal property rights "living in the past"? You do not hink our property rights are important. I now believe EVERYTHING I have heard about you. In my opinion, you are a complete nut job. I tried to keep this conversation to a debatable level, but with comments like that, I can surely see that you are a complete fruit that lacks any reasonable rational. Im done commenting on this page. You scare the hell out of me.

susanthe said...

Larry - thanks for clearing that up, Larry. You can't provide an example of ANYTHING, so you're attacking me.

Your interpretation of my column was one of the saddest things I've ever read. You lack even the most basic reading comprehension skills. To put it plainly, you don't understand what you read.

You deserve to live in some dim little village full of scared men waving guns around and bellowing about your propitty. The rest of your town does not.

When you abdicate planning and responsibility by saying there is no need for it, you turn it over to those who have the money to come in and take it over. Corporations like Nestle will gladly come in and seize control of your clean water supplies, and then sell the water back to you.

Planning ahead is smart policy for protecting natural resources. It's also smart to plan for roads and bridges - and telecommunications. Putting on a tinfoil tricorn hat and bellowing about how no one can tell you what to do is just burying your head in the sands of stupid.

Webmaster said...

Funny how liberals are so worried corporations are going to take over and do whatever they want but not when they are setting the agenda for Granite State Future!!! LOL

Carsey Institute is the 'foundation' of the Marcy Carsey corporation... the rest of the people who influence what GSF does are NGOs and special interests, or green companies looking for those contracts... ti's called crony capitalism..

What right do they have to steer the agenda on these grants? You'll never hear Susan address that.

susanthe said...

Webmaster - you're boo hooing - but you provide no basis for your accusations. Got some proof, there, Sparky?

My blog, my opinions, Webbie. That's how it works in the Holy Free Market.

Pat Martin said...

Well, I just got around to reading the last comments from Larry since this was first posted. Larry says he discussed this with the paper's editor and was told everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Yes. But, you took the liberty of stating what MY opinions are. What you stated had no basis in reality. It wasn't based on things I said or wrote. YOU MADE IT ALL UP to do as much damage to my reputation as possible. That is libel. I did not respond for two reasons 1.) To even acknowledge your letter would put me in the position of risking any future legal action I may yet pursue and 2.) Once someone has been accused of something, it seems the more they deny it, the more it sticks in people's minds...the old "Where there's smoke, there's fire" problem. And, there's a third reason...I could attack you, Larry. I could say all the unflattering things I've noticed, but then I would be stooping to your level.
Oh, yeah! There's a fourth reason. David Drouin, very kindly wrote an unsolicited response decrying your attack and how badly it reflects on Rindge.