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September 12th, 2010 | Author:

If you search the title of this post, you’ll get hundreds of links and a screen full of rhetoric from both sides.  So like Joe Friday in the old Dragnet show, I adopted a “just the facts, ma’am” mentality.  What follows comes from usually reliable sources, with no comment from me … at least for now.

S1619 summary from Open Congress:

A bill to establish the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities, to establish the Interagency Council on Sustainable Communities, to establish a comprehensive planning grant program, to establish a sustainability challenge grant program, and for other purposes.

S1619 status from govtrack.us:

This bill was considered in committee which has recommended it be considered by the Senate as a whole. Although it has been placed on a calendar of business, the order in which legislation is considered and voted on is determined by the majority party leadership. Keep in mind that sometimes the text of one bill is incorporated into another bill, and in those cases the original bill, as it would appear here, would seem to be abandoned. [Last Updated: Aug 6, 2010 6:34AM]

complete Sec. 3 Purposes from the text of S1619 from Thomas, Library of Congress:

[Please Note:  Most of the links from Thomas, Library of Congress, appear to "time out."  If the link doesn't work, go to Thomas.gov, select "bill number" search, and enter S1619 in the search box.]

The purposes of this Act are–
(1) to facilitate and improve the coordination of housing, community development, transportation, energy, and environmental policy in the United States;
(2) to coordinate Federal policies and investments to promote sustainable development;
(3) to encourage regional planning for livable communities and the adoption of sustainable development techniques, including transit-oriented development;
(4) to provide a variety of safe, reliable transportation choices, with special emphasis on public transportation and complete streets, in order to reduce traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, and dependence on foreign oil;
(5) to provide affordable, energy-efficient, and location-efficient housing choices for people of all ages, incomes, races, and ethnicities, and to make the combined costs of housing and transportation more affordable to families;
(6) to support, revitalize, and encourage growth in existing communities, in order to maximize the cost effectiveness of existing infrastructure and preserve undeveloped lands;
(7) to promote economic development and competitiveness by connecting the housing and employment locations of workers, reducing traffic congestion, and providing families with access to essential services;
(8) to preserve the environment and natural resources, including agricultural and rural land and green spaces; and
(9) to support public health and improve quality of life for the residents of and workers in communities by promoting healthy, walkable neighborhoods, access to green space, and the mobility to pursue greater opportunities.

selected Sec. 4 Definitions from the text of S1619 from Thomas, Library of Congress:

(2) CENSUS TRACT- The term `census tract’ means a small, relatively permanent statistical subdivision of a county, delineated by a local committee of census data users for the purpose of presenting data.

(4) COMPLETE STREET- The term `complete street’ means a street that enables all travelers, particularly public transit users, bicyclists, pedestrians (including individuals of all ages and individuals with disabilities), and motorists, to use the street safely and efficiently.

(5) COMPREHENSIVE REGIONAL PLAN- The term `comprehensive regional plan’ means a plan that–
(A) identifies land use, transportation, community development, housing, economic development, environmental, energy, and infrastructure needs and goals in a region;
(B) provides strategies for meeting the needs and goals described in subparagraph (A), including strategies for–
(i) providing affordable, energy-efficient, and location-efficient housing choices for people of all ages, incomes, races, and ethnicities;
(ii) reducing growth in vehicle miles traveled, in order to reduce traffic congestion and regional greenhouse gas emissions from transportation;
(iii) encouraging economic competitiveness and economic development; and
(iv) increasing the connectivity of the region by increasing public transportation ridership and improving access to transportation alternatives; and
(C) prioritizes projects for funding and implementation.

(13) LOCATION-EFFICIENT- The term `location-efficient’ characterizes development, housing, or neighborhoods that integrate land use, mixed-use housing and commercial development, employment, and transportation–
(A) to enhance mobility;
(B) to encourage transit-oriented development;
(C) to encourage infill development and the use of existing infrastructure; and
(D) to reduce growth in vehicle miles traveled and the transportation costs and energy requirements associated with ownership or rental of a home.

(23) SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT- The term `sustainable development’ means a pattern of resource use designed to create livable communities by–
(A) providing a variety of safe and reliable transportation choices;
(B) providing affordable, energy-efficient, and location-efficient housing choices for people of all income levels, ages, races, and ethnicities;
(C) supporting, revitalizing, and encouraging the growth of communities and maximizing the cost effectiveness of existing infrastructure;
(D) promoting economic development and economic competitiveness;
(E) preserving the environment and natural resources;
(F) protecting agricultural land, rural land, and green spaces; and
(G) supporting public health and improving the quality of life for residents of and workers in a community.

(24) TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT- The term `transit-oriented development’ means high-density, walkable, mixed-use development (including commercial development, affordable housing, and market-rate housing) that is within walking distance of and accessible to 1 or more public transportation facilities.

organizations in support of S1619 from MAPLight.org:

American Institute of Architects
American Public Transportation Association
American Public Works Association
Children’s Defense Fund
Habitat for Humanity
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging
National Association of Realtors
National Housing Trust
National League of Cities
Policylink
Sierra Club
Trust for America’s Health
U.S. Conference of Mayors
U.S. Green Building Council

public opinion on S1619 from WashingtonWatch.com:

cover page of Agenda 21 from the United Nations:

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.

Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the Statement of principles for the Sustainable Management of Forests were adopted by more than 178 Governments at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, 3 to 14 June 1992.

The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was created in December 1992 to ensure effective follow-up of UNCED, to monitor and report on implementation of the agreements at the local, national, regional and international levels. It was agreed that a five year review of Earth Summit progress would be made in 1997 by the United Nations General Assembly meeting in special session.

The full implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the Commitments to the Rio principles, were strongly reaffirmed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 26 August to 4 September 2002.

from the UN Agenda 21 preamble:

1.1. Humanity stands at a defining moment in history. We are confronted with a perpetuation of disparities between and within nations, a worsening of poverty, hunger, ill health and illiteracy, and the continuing deterioration of the ecosystems on which we depend for our well-being. However, integration of environment and development concerns and greater attention to them will lead to the fulfilment of basic needs, improved living standards for all, better protected and managed ecosystems and a safer, more prosperous future. No nation can achieve this on its own; but together we can – in a global partnership for sustainable development.

from The United Nations Millennium Papers - Issue 2, page 5 [pdf]

Participating in a UN-advocated planning process would very likely bring out many of the conspiracy-fixated groups and individuals in our society such as the National Rifle Association, citizen militias and some members of Congress. This segment of our society who fear ‘one-world government’ and a UN invasion of the United States through which our individual freedom would be stripped away would actively work to defeat any elected official who joined ‘the conspiracy’ by undertaking LA21. So, we call our process something else, such as comprehensive planning, growth management, or smart growth. [or sustainable development or Livable Communities]

from the Bible, New American Standard Version:

But He [Jesus] replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ “And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? (Matthew 16:2-3)

It was also given to him [the beast, the antichrist] to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. (Revelation 13:7-8)

Further reading:

S1619 The Livable Communities Act of 2009, Library of Congress

H.R.4690 Livable Communities Act of 2010, Library of Congress; the House companion bill

Agenda 21 Table of Contents, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Agenda 21, The U.N. Plan for Your “Sustainable” Community biblical analysis by Berit Kjos, 1998

UN Agenda 21 – Coming to a Neighborhood near You political analysis by Scott Strzelczyk and Richard Rothschild at The American Thinker, 2009

The Bible, NASB, Book of Revelation, Chapter 13

The Bible, NASB, Book of Daniel, Chapter 2

The bible, NASB, Book of Daniel, Chapter 7

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September 10th, 2010 | Author:

Brannon S. Howse has written the best Christian analysis of the Glenn Beck phenomena that I have read.    I encourage you to read the whole thing, but here’s a taste.

First, Howse referenced his own earlier warning to evangelicals that “partnering with Beck in a spiritual enterprise would send the message that Mormons are Christians.”  Then he quoted Mormon Greg West:

Hallelujah! The light bulb has been switched on after nearly two centuries! Every single member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes that a person must be “born again” and receive Jesus Christ as his Savior and Redeemer. Our holy books teach that salvation comes only in and through the atonement of Christ and that there is no other way a person can be saved…Glenn Beck’s beliefs are mainstream Mormon beliefs. Joseph Smith, the Church’s founder, was a Christian prophet. He was an apostolic witness of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

So what Howse warned of  has been accomplished.  Mormons are now considered born-again Christians, despite their many aberrant beliefs.

Howse then points to the deficiency of Christian leadership:

I believe what happen[ed] over the weekend was a seismic shift within evangelicalism; an historic event that will go unnoticed by most Christian leaders.  A few leaders may eventually understand the nature of what happen[ed] but it will be weeks if not months before they respond. Many of these leaders waited years to provide the defense against Oprah’s pagan spirituality and when they did it was too late for many of the goats within their flock of sheep that had already consumed Oprah’s spiritual poison.

Sadly, most Christian leaders and pastors are completely deficient in understanding the ideas and philosophies that have, and continue, to be the force behind the rushing cultural stream. As a result; the members of their own congregation hear no advanced warning of the coming spiritual undertow nor do they acquire the needed Biblical knowledge that keeps them from being children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, (Ephesians 4:14).

Howse then identifies the similarity between Mormonism and the New Age movement, and shows that Beck adheres to both:

Beck used the phrase “higher self” three times in the interview with Chris Wallace.  No one talks that way unless they know exactly what they are saying. One New Age website says:

“There are many great words to describe Who or What your highest identity or Self truly is. Below are just a few: Higher Self, I am Presence, I Am That I Am…Cosmic Consciousness, God, Christ, Holy Spirit And the list goes on…”

Notice that “I AM that I AM” is another word for “higher self”. Last week on his radio program Beck said, “I Am That I Am is the most powerful phrase in any language as it is the name of god, never use it in vain; use it to create who you want to be. I AM blank.”

I AM is a title that is to be reserved for God Himself. In Exodus 3:14 God told Moses that when the people of Israel ask for My name tell them, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” In John 8:58* we read, “Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.’”

“I AM” is to be reserved as a title for God yet it is being blasphemed in the pagan practice of what is called “the law of attraction.”

The fact that people like Beck on the right and Oprah on the left are proclaiming the “I AM” message is a sign that we are living in the last days according to Jesus Himself in Luke 21:7-8:

And they asked Him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass? And he said, “Take heed that yet be not deceived: for many will come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near; go ye not therefore after them.”

Former New Ager, now Biblical Christian, Ray Yungen writes:

“Notice, ‘Christ’ is italicized in verse 8, meaning that it was not in the original manuscript. The translators of the King James Bible probably thought it awkward that it said “Many shall come saying, I am.” Probably for the sake of clarity and to be consistent with Mathew 24, the translators added the word ‘Christ.’”

Did you catch that? Jesus was saying that when people say they are god by using the title “I AM” it is a sign that we are living in the end times. We are also told to run away from the people saying “I AM”. Sadly, many of our nation’s pastor’s and Christian leaders did not run from Glenn Beck but ran to join him in a spiritual service and enterprise.

I thank Brannon Howse for clearly sounding the alarm … but is anyone listening?

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March 18th, 2010 | Author:

You will find the word “justice” in scripture, as you will the word “gospel” – but you won’t find the word “social” in front of either of them because “social justice,” like the “social gospel,” is the wily work of men, not the Will and Word of God. Jesus Christ did not suffer and die on a cross so we could repair, remodel and rehabilitate a wicked world for Him to rule over, but instead to redeem us from it for a “kingdom not of this world.”

Read the rest of Paul Proctor’s excellent explanation of this issue here.


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December 09th, 2009 | Author:

As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience,
take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

(James 5:10)

This verse has popped up twice today:  once in Jim Wetzel’s WFW post, and again in a new Herescope series entitled Preparations for Suffering.  As I recently did my own post about suffering, I cannot ignore such a coincidence, so here’s a taste of today’s offerings.  He who has ears, let him hear.

Jim concluded his post this way:

Since James wrote in the immediate context of ferocious persecution of believers, both by the Jewish religious establishment and by Roman authority, I would suppose that the particular suffering he had in mind has already taken place. Still, the Lord’s return [verse 8] was not consummated then [or since], and it won’t come without plenty of trouble. So, preparation for patient suffering is very much in order for today’s believer, too.

The introduction to the Herescope article follows.

The Discernment Research Group has been publishing warnings about heresies and the activities of leaders promoting heresies since 2005. Recently we have been repeatedly asked by many believers to delve into the issue of “how do I prepare for the coming persecution?” While the world faith leaders lead their flocks into an ecumenical global church of massive proportions, there is a tiny remnant within each historical tradition or evangelical group that maintains adherence to the Bible. Increasingly we are getting reports about these believers being censored, ostracized, mocked, ridiculed, slandered, shut down and shut out, threatened, and more. Every possible tactic of persecution, short of suffering in the flesh, is now rapidly coming upon those in America who truly stand on the Word of God.

There are those who still hold out that we can change America (legislation) back to a Christian nation, and that this will somehow change the Church at large. But this is a Dominionist pipe dream, born of the hope that by changing externals it will change the hearts of men. This is neither Scriptural nor facing reality. The truth is that religious leaders are rapidly taking the church into emerging spirituality, as we have so often documented in posts on this blog. In one sense these calls to change America are simply “bread and circus” for the people in the churches, giving them false hopes and entertaining them with something to do.

In contrast to this, and in the spirit of exhortation, the following are words of encouragement that tell us how to face the coming persecution without fear or dismay. Below is the first post in a series where we will excerpt, review, and summary discussing in our modern context the classic work of John Flavel “Preparations for Sufferings: or the Best Work in the Worst Times.”[2] It is our hope and prayer that we will all stand firm in the days to come. May we be a light shining in darkness, living and preaching the true hope of the Gospel message of salvation in Jesus Christ.

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September 27th, 2009 | Author:

This from the TimesOnline. (Thanks to David Kramer @ Lew Rockwell)

Even dogs cannot escape the surveillance state. Under plans to be put forward by both Labour and the Conservatives at the next election, all dogs will have to be fitted with a microchip with their owner’s name, address and phone number.

In addition, a national database will hold details of all dogs in the country, including their breed, age and health. Owners who fail to insert a microchip containing a unique barcode will face a fine and possibly the right to keep their dog.

Has anybody realized that a database full of dog owners is a database full of people? And if the dogs are targeted now with microchips, can people be far behind?

And he causes all,
the small and the great,
and the rich and the poor,
and the free men and the slaves,
to be given a mark on their right hand
or on their forehead,
and he provides that no one will be able to buy
or to sell, except the one who has the mark,
either the name of the beast
or the number of his name.

(Revelation 13:16-17)
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