Tennessee House Fights 20-Year-Old UN ‘Sustainability’ Plan, Because ‘Forced Abortion’

  paving paradise

that's encouraging

The Republican swath of the Tennessee House appears to have gotten an email chain letter from far-right crazy uncle the John Birch Society (desperate times), and the Tennessee House has heeded its call! Seems the New World Order managed to pass a truly insidious United Nations plan called Agenda 21 (it just sounds communist, wouldn’t you say?), and the Tennessee House aims to stop it! The point of Agenda 21, according to the U.N., is to support sustainable development: to “alleviate poverty and curb global warming,” as the Tennessean puts it. Tennessee House GOP translation: THESE TREE-HUGGIN BABY-HATIN COMMIE FOCKERS!

Some facts: Agenda 21 was created 20 years ago. And according to the United Nations website, this isn’t some secret creepy thing that only Democrat Americans are into. It was “adopted by more than 178 Governments at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. And it has been supported many times, by many nations, using the UN’s weird polite little verbs, since. So, one can only assume this means the world is being taken over by communists sprouting from every corner of the land. Or as Mike Turner, the state’s (Democratic) caucus chairman, put it: “Elected officials actually think there’s a communist behind every tree.”

Actually think. Go dude, go!

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Apparently here is what the GOP people in Tennessee think Agenda 21 will do: prevent houses from being built on mountaintops and babies from being born! Yes, that’s it! A proponent of the bill to eliminate Agenda 21 forever, Rep. Glen Casada, had this to say:

It reads well. It has nice words like sustainability and helping the poor. But what these people want to do is they want to cap the number of people this planet can have. … So ladies and gentlemen, if that doesn’t bother you, if those words don’t scare you, we’ve got to talk.

That’s OK. Interesting that Tennessee Republicans aren’t a fan of letting gay people have children, or even mentioning the word gay in schools, but straight people … do your thing! Constantly, as rabbits! But also, BE FREE to never never have abortions.

Rep. Rick Womick, another supporter of ‘Don’t Say Trees,’ as we will henceforth call it, thought of two really, really horrifyingly good examples of how Agenda 21 oppresses people:

a Cocke County [!] proposal to ban building on ridgetops

a Rutherford County demand that a business owner pave his parking lot

You want them to do phwut now?

Also, despite keeping their distance from the John Birch Society for quite some time, when it came time to write the anti-Agenda 21 resolution, which just passed in the House 72-23, the authors basically just went to the John Birch Society website and copied some stuff down. The Tennessean notes that “the measure matches up nearly word for word” to what’s on the John Birch Society website. In other words, WHAT THE F IS HAPPENING STILL AND AGAIN. [The Tennessean]

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About the author

Liz is a writer. She has written for this site, evidently, and also The Awl, The San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, The Economist and others. She is the author of a short story collection, Cover Story.

View all articles by Liz Colville

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111 comments

  1. Barb

    Tennessee, you need to chill out and allow your family trees to fork, please. It's for the best.

    1. samareth

      I live in Tennessee and I think our branch of the Tea Party is legally insane. Even my Republican mom is beyond fed up with them.

  2. hagajim

    The crazy just keeps a getting crazier. I am really starting to wonder if the Republican party has some kind of national contest going to see which state party can pass the most wingnutty legislation ever. Tennessee – ya done good, but I think you still trail at least Arizona and Alabamy.

  3. C_R_Eature

    "Tennessee, Tennessee, there ain't no place I'd rather be…"

    Well, looks like that song just became obsolete.

  4. Tundra Grifter

    Why is it the right wing nutz never get upset about real threats to our individual liberties – say, the Patriot Act, or having American citizens arrested and held without trial or seeing an attorney – but they do manage to get all in a lather about fantasy issues like Agenda 21, REX 84 and FEMA Death Camps?

      1. Tundra Grifter

        CK:

        Asking the right wing nutz to be logical is like asking a puppy why it chases its tail.

  5. FlownOver

    Again, Kansas yields to no one in Tha Crayzee. The same thing is up for "debate" (Read: rending of clothes, gnashing of teeth and pooping of drawers) in Topeka.

  6. cuzcorrelation

    Wait, since when are "sustainability and helping the poor" nice words to Republicans?

    With that attitude and a suspiciously-Messican soundingly name like Casada, he must a secret UN operative for Agenda 21.

  7. bumfug

    Next thing you know, these commie bastards will require people to have teeth and ban cousin-fucking!

  8. imissopus

    Agenda 21 has been a wingnut bugaboo for years. Gingrich even name-checked it during one of the debates a few months ago. Everyone remember that freak-out in Colorado over bike paths? If I'm not mistaken, that was actually Agenda 21-related. Something about the one-world government trying to control our lives by forcing us to use sustainable alternatives to oil consumption for transportation. Or some such.

      1. glamourdammerung

        My favorite was the one about how Gore was definitely going to kill off a lot of the population, declare martial law, and appoint himself president shortly before the 2000 election. Especially since the cretins that swallowed that nonsense still insist they are right.

  9. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    Hey, I was into John Birch bat-shit craziness before Glenn Beck made it cool again!

  10. Fukui-sanYesOta

    Huh, I know a little about this. Have a quick look at the principles of Agenda 21.

    If you can't be arsed, here are a couple of principles:

    All States and all people shall cooperate in the essential task of
    eradicating poverty as an indispensable requirement for sustainable
    development, in order to decrease the disparities in standards of living and
    better meet the needs of the majority of the people of the world.

    States should cooperate to strengthen endogenous capacity-building for
    sustainable development by improving scientific understanding through exchanges
    of scientific and technological knowledge, and by enhancing the development,
    adaptation, diffusion and transfer of technologies, including new and
    innovative technologies.

    Socialism, right?

    Furthermore, the stupid anecdotal evidence given is used only as an example of what Agenda 21 might mean if you wanted to interpret it that way. Nothing to do with existing state or federal laws, or city-decided zoning laws, or whatever, no sirree.

    This is hysterical wingnutism at its worst. I see the Birch society use it as an example of the push for one world government, as usual, with everyone's favourite boogeyman, the UN.

    These credulous fucks need to learn something.

  11. Goonemeritus

    It’s not that we necessarily want less people on the planet; however I will admit we do want less people from Tennessee on the planet.

    1. Come here a minute

      Not if Big Brother tells them to. Same goes for taking away Farmer Farmer's DDT, now.

    2. SorosBot

      Hey now, I thought I was the one who stuck bad songs in your ear, not the other way around!

  12. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    You do have to understand that in Tennessee, the number of children a man can have with his sister/cousin/mother is a sacred thing that only God can determine.

  13. C_R_Eature

    Okay, after this are we allowed to make fun of The South again?

    Personally, I'd rather concentrate on making fun of just the Crazies.

  14. johnnyzhivago

    No snark here… I maintain our church (Presbyterian-PCUSA)'s website, and monitor FB, etc… for it. The other day there was a FB message from the national PCUSA saying it was holding some sort of congress with other mainline protestant churches to find ways to encourage sustainable development, curb global warming and feed the entire world.

    Hard to believe this is part of the same "Christianity" that rants about every good thing this country tries to do.

    1. ChernobylSoup

      Please please please start selling trucknutz and indulgences, two for one, packages on that website.

    2. Geminisunmars

      This is OT but maybe you could explain something to me. My step-granddaughter's mother-in-law works at an "evangelical presbyterian" church. Looking at their website it sure looks like typical evangelical xtian crap – homophobic and all. I'd always heard that the Presbies were liberal, but this church sure doesn't sound like it. So what am I asking? How did this happen? Is there a split in this sect, or did this church just go "rogue"?

      1. johnnyzhivago

        There was a split – the PCUSA, which is “accepting of everyone”  and the PCA (PC of America) which is evangelical, does not allow the womenfolk to be anything except baby watchers or cookie bakers.  My wife's brother joined one of these – we were invited to a christening and after 3 hours of the service, we were staring at each other wondering hpw we teleported to Kentucky – and where were the snake handlers. The women thing is especially interesting since in our church the pastor and almost all the elders are female people…

        1. Geminisunmars

          Thank you for the info. I must say that the few times we've been at the same function (mercifully few) they treat us like satan spawn, knowing that we are joos and intellectual elitists or something. They are very very very polite and rigid the whole time. I guess they are afraid it might be catching.

      1. Extemporanus

        I hear that fetal compost really helps vegetables ripen faster. (It's faint baby powder scent is an added bonus.)

        I'd probably do the same if my garden wasn't made of cement and sadness, and I didn't need the extra cash.

      1. Extemporanus

        Care to join me behind the Planned Parenthood for some romantic dumpster dining al fresco, sir? Say, 8 o'clock?

        I'll bring the wine, you bring the Sterno.

  15. Come here a minute

    Romney wants the ring of power. He wants it so bad that he is a proponent of the bill to eliminate Agenda 21 forever.

    Am I memeing yet?

  16. Callyson

    Environmental groups, in turn, believe the resolution is part of a broad-based effort to roll back or prevent planning and zoning.
    Once again, the right wing wackos' strings are being pulled by the monied and powerful…

  17. Rotundo_

    Keep them so skeered that they don't feel the hand in their pocket slide the wallet out. Hell, these folks are so lathered up they probably wouldn't notice them grabbing their dicks either. Everybody Panic! NOW! ARRRRRGGGGHHHH!

  18. Callyson

    “It basically says in the 288-page document that they can take your land. They don’t name names. They don’t name a czar over this. But if in fact it’s there, we don’t want it to come into our borders.”
    It says…it doesn't say, but it says…if in fact it says…
    FIGHT THE SOCIALIST COMMIE TAKEOVER OF OUR FREEDOMS NOW!!!

  19. Sue4466

    The freakshow's gotten to the point that it's not even fun reading the news on Wonkette anymore.

  20. chicken_thief

    The John Birch Society has a website? I thought those racist fucks kind of withered away back in the George Wallace days. Do they just recycle their same old shit every 40 yrs or so?

    1. unclejeems

      Well, there are some pretty smart folks in Knoxville, and I know of a few good heads in Nashville. But mostly, yeah.

  21. Lascauxcaveman

    Heh heh heh. Paranoid Tennessee Republicans. Just wait 'til we surprise them with Protocol 42 of the Elders of Free Mumia. They won't know what hit them.

    It's great, being a liberal commie.

  22. Chet Kincaid

    Agenda 21 is running people out of their homes and selling them for pennies on the dollar!1!! They brazenly put their signs right out on the front lawn!1!!!! Wait, what?

  23. ph7

    Lou Reed saw this coming:

    Why stop at one, I might have ten, a regular TV brood
    I'd breed a little liberal army in the woods
    Just like these redneck lunatics I see at the local bar
    with their tribe of mutant inbred piglets with cloven hooves

    I'd teach them how to plant a bomb, start a fire, play guitar
    and if they catch a hunter, shoot him in the nuts
    I'd try to be as progressive as I could possibly be
    as long as I didn't have to try too much

    1. prommie

      I fucking hate every motherfucking thing, except Lou Reed. Everyone must immediately stop what they are doing and listen to him singing This Magic Moment, its on youtube, do it now, motherfuckers. Thats why he is the only thing I don't motherfucking hate.

    1. Fukui-sanYesOta

      But they have some things which might possibly be the sort of thing that it might entail even though it's not directly related in any way!

  24. SorosBot

    "a Rutherford County demand that a business owner pave his parking lo"

    Wait, demand that he pave his parking lot? That would imply that it wasn't paved in the first place – what the fuck? Has anyone ever heard of an unpaved parking lot? What would that be, just a patch of dirt with a "parking" sign on top of it? That's not a parking lot; that's parking on random fucking ground.

    1. MissTaken

      If dirt was good enough for the Founding Fathers to park on then it's good enough for Real Merkins.

      1. SorosBot

        Why do we pave our streets with asphalt instead of cobblestone now, anyway?

        (The streets right near Independence Hall actually are paved in cobblestone, and having driven over them a couple of times, it's not fun; a very bumpy ride).

    2. natoslug

      Actually, some municipal governments want to go the other way. When my mother was building a veterinary hospital, the city of Arcata (California, of course) wanted her to use grass rather than asphalt for the parking lot. In a rainforest. Where it rains pretty much nonstop for 6-9 months out of the year. And those other three months of the year?- it's just raining off an on. I'm thinking the city planner was a secret fan of bog racing.

  25. SorosBot

    Psst – the government already can take your land; in fact the Fifth Amendment explicitly allows it to do so, but "they" do have to pay you for it.

    1. Tommy1733

      I have often wondered this. I think that as a president, he was probably thinking about the economic impact on having half of the country sheared away – probably would have been bad for most parties. There are a lot of good things that come from the south, and we have to keep this in mind I guess.

      1. Midway117

        I'll give you R.E.M., biscuits, and the Blue Ridge Mountains but that's all I can offer right now. And yes, the "house divided" question keeps me up at night, here in the Land of Lincoln.

    2. SorosBot

      There was still, you know, the freedom of all the slaves at stake. I blame Rutherford B. Hayes, who undid all the good work done by Grant when he agreed to end Reconstruction and pull the Union troops out of the South, apparently believing they'd learned their lesson after just slightly over a decade; of course this lead immediately to Jim Crow and the KKK.

  26. WiscDad

    I think they're confused…don't they mean to do away with Forever 21? Cause they sell them whore clothes that makes they wives get awl sexy and uppity and go fuck them a congressman

  27. BornInATrailer

    I hate the "it's a republic, not a democracy" meme so very, very much. I feel like the universe crafted that idiocy to tick me off personally.

  28. Antispandex

    This is happening in Tennessee…and involves the Birchers. I couldn't be more shocked if it was linked to the Klan. Well, sure, I'd be shocked if they admitted it, but…

  29. DustBowlBlues

    I saw this bumper sticker back in 1968 and have always wondered why someone had it on his car. Whew. I nearly had a collegiate encounter with a Bircher. Since I was probably high at the time, plus a member of the SDS, I now realize the driver was in my neighborhood because he was looking for me. Talk about dodging a bullet.

    On a different note, America is a republic, not a democracy, in the most technical sense. Actually, it's a democratic republic, which would make a Bircher's head explode. Also, today's average Republican. Time for one of them to make a stand: "We are all Birchers now."

  30. bonghitforjesus

    As an East Tennessee liberal I should be immune to the hateful ignorant shit that constantly spews from our legislature, but alas they continue to surprise me:

    During a lengthy debate on the House floor, Rep. Rick Womick called Agenda 21 "a step-by-step methodical process that denies United States citizens their property rights." The Murfreesboro Republican said… "…what we're saying in this resolution is: No, you cannot come in our country, in our backyard, on our property and tell us what we can and cannot do with our private property."

    Unless we are teaching evolution, wearing sports bras (see HR 3679) or saying the word gay. In that case, screw your rights you commie!

    Yeesh.

  31. Nostrildamus

    It was “adopted by more than 178 Governments at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992.

    In fairness to the TN House, most of those 178 were foreign governments !!!

  32. wolvenwood13

    Of course Tennessee is afraid of Agenda 21. They aren't required to teach evolution in high school. At all. I supposed because they have no evidence of it in TN. I lived all my life in CA and retired here to TN. It's beautiful and I love it here but the ignorance and stupidity is award-winning. Although everyone here is still smarter than Sarah Palin.

  33. glamourdammerung

    Some nuts named Bo Gritz and Jack McLamb had some works about it under the name of "Operation vampire killer 2000". I could be wrong about the biological weapon part, since my crazy-to-English is not always good, but there was repeated mentions of killing off 90% of the population.

    Worth reading up on Gritz just for the sheer, soul-crushing level of insanity the clown is involved in.

  34. chascates

    They are closer to Mississippi than to the United States. That should scare the pee waddin' out of them!

  35. Tundra Grifter

    HC:

    Did you ever read the tirade Col. David Hackworth penned rippping Col. Ollie North a new one? I don't know how Col. North ever managed to show his face in public again after that.

    WoW!

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