UPDATE: This is being debated on the Senate Floor TODAY (Feb. 14)! Call your senator NOW. (Click here for the General Assembly website to look up your Senator and get their district office #.)
Here’s a short but sweet message to leave:
“Hi. My name is ____ and I’m a constituent of Senator _____. I’m calling to urge his/her OPPOSITION to HJR 654 on Agenda 21 by Delegate Lingamfelter. HJR 654 does nothing more than reinforce a conspiracy theory with no basis in fact and will only invite ridicule on the state of Virginia and the General Assembly if it is passed. Even House Speaker Bill Howell had the good sense to vote against it and again, I urge the good Senator to do likewise and OPPOSE HJR 654. Thank you.”
If you’ve never heard of Agenda 21, you are urged to Google it and prepare to chuckle. Agenda 21 is the Tea Party’s latest boogie man, a “plot” by the UN to take away our rights.
Riding to the rescue is Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, announced Republican candidate for Lt. Governor, who is not only another climate denier but a loon conspiracy theorist. Apparently, he actually believes the Tea Party claptrap that the United Nations is secretly conspiring to deny the property rights of American citizens by advancing Agenda 21 and using climate change as an excuse to crush Americans’ liberty.
Lingamfelter’s HJR 654 puts the state on record as opposing Agenda 21 as a “radical plan of purported ‘sustainable development’.” To his credit Republican House Speaker Bill Howell voted “Nay” but 10 of his colleagues on House Rules either believe this craziness or are too intimidated by the Tea Party to tell them their Agenda 21 conspiracy heads over the deep end.
The Virginian-Pilot agrees. Check out these quotes from its editorial entitled “Missing the joke in Va.’s statehouse“:
Perhaps most noteworthy, however, was the effort to repudiate a 21-year-old, nonbinding collection of policy proposals from the United Nations: Agenda 21.
Del. Scott Lingamfelter, a Prince William County Republican and candidate for lieutenant governor, said he’d heard from many voters who have “legitimate concerns” about Agenda 21, the latest bogeyman of America’s political fringes. Indeed, anyone familiar with Internet entrepreneur Glenn Beck’s commentary – to say nothing of his recent novel – knows that Agenda 21 is the greatest threat to mankind since white bread.
Lingamfelter, or “Statewide,” as his colleagues jokingly referred to him on the House floor, derided the notion of an international movement toward sustainable development and the “liberals” who subscribe to ideas like walkable communities, mass transit, reducing pollution, self-determination, or community engagement.
Back on planet Reality, Agenda 21 is an utterly nonbinding U.N. document that lays out conventional and totally voluntary ways to improve local economies and quality of life. It was passed more than two decades ago, and has had precisely zero effect on American life, other than making some money for folks who could find a conspiracy in the telephone book.
With the resolution, Virginia joins Alabama in rejecting such international tyranny, and the black helicopters that go with it.
House Speaker Bill Howell didn’t seem to appreciate the gravity of the matter. He joined Democrats in voting no. The measure passed anyway, 60 to 33.
“The resolution’s adopted, and I feel safer,” Howell quipped.
Laughter filled the chamber.
Let’s get a few facts straight:
HJR 654 refers to the United Nations Agenda 21, which it asserts will infringe on property rights.
1. Agenda 21 is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan developed during the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992. It has been adopted by 187 nations, including the United States. Its stated purpose is to combat poverty and pollution, conserve natural resources and encourage development in a sustainable manner.
2. Agenda 21 is not a treaty or legally binding document, and does not infringe on the sovereignty of any nation, state or local government. Agenda 21 does not advocate for abolishing private property. The goals of Agenda 21 are simply that: goals. There is no mechanism in place with which to force any local or state land-use decisions. Furthermore, a key goal of Agenda 21 is to promote local self-determination and community engagement.
3. HJR 654 reinforces a conspiracy theory with no basis in fact and will likely only invite ridicule on the state of Virginia and the General Assembly if it is passed.
But those are facts, and Lingamfelter and his ilk don’t peddle in facts, preferring instead conspiracy theories. And Virginia is once again a laughing stock.