An important thing happened back in 1992. President George Bush, Sr., signed the United States onto a global plan called Agenda 21, created and propagated by the United Nations, with over 200 other nations at the U.N.'s Rio Earth Summit Conference. Then, in 1994, new president Bill Clinton created the President's Council for Sustainable Development via Executive Order to spearhead the U.S. coordinating effort to make our country compliant over the successive decades.
The U.N.'s Agenda 21 is an international agreement which member nations take part in a global initiative to establish long-term goals which seek to codify so-called sustainable development. Most of this Agenda 21 plan is implemented worldwide at the local levels by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), a non-profit non-governmental organization which helps to bring such action plans before federal, state and local governments to accord the necessary changes to be Agenda 21 compliant, although these initiatives are far removed from mentioning the United Nations or Agenda 21 by name.
Keywords are used to guise these plans, such as (like above) sustainable development/sustainable communities, smart growth (and just about anything with "smart" in front of it, like radio frequency "smart meters"), high density urban mixed use development, Vision 2020, Vision 2050 (see America2050.org), urban revitalization, Main Street USA, and others. Yet, another thing happened back in 1992 as well.
The International Code Council (ICC) was created on the heels of the Rio Summit from three previously non-related code writing companies into one conglomerate. The ICC is a for-profit non-governmental organization which is tasked, like ICLEI with "local" sustainable development initiatives, with creating codes which can be adopted by towns, cities and counties to use for their property maintenance code, building code, zoning code and even energy conservation code and wildland urban interface code, for starters.
These codes are often looked upon as a convenient and hassle-free way to implement common sense standards for things like property maintenance. What few people understand about them is that their wording and bureaucratic ability to create enforcement offices is far beyond the control of the locale in which they are implemented. As with ICLEI being tasked with propagating sustainable development (SD) initiatives, so is the ICC tasked with propagating codes which incorporate various wording and phrases, which interpreted by a code enforcer, can be used to ensure that such "sustainable development" initiatives can be carried out with little recourse by private property owners.
So is the ability at each progression in adopting such codes and allowing SD initiatives to happen locally that every American soon faces the incremental erosion of property rights as well as more existential control over the rest of their private lives: education, energy consumption, transportation, and more.
Much of this change in codes and SD comes unopposed at the local level due to the lack of knowledge by citizens, and the naivete of local councils and commissions. This happens because of the benign wording which those reading or interpreting it do not fully comprehend. This is by design so that opposition is not formed. Very few people protest such actions by local officials because it's said it's for "public safety" and "the greater good", and while there may be those who do stand up to this corruption, it is apparently the prerogative of local officials to call their constituents "tin foil hat wearers", even though the officials themselves are completely uninformed or are too zealous to admit their inability to comprehend complex issues.
At the same time, meetings are often rigged with the outcome already known, where a so-called consensus based opinion is formed, which no matter what is said at such meetings, the codes and SD are only being waved in front of everyone as political theatre to give the illusion of public participation (called the Delphi technique).
Such is the story locally: People are uninformed; there is little opposition; the city council doesn't listen to anyone claiming it is "for the greater good"; certain officials vehemently argue against those expressing opinions and views which bring facts to light which denigrate the whole idea of a new or updated property maintenance code; and, it seems, that without more opposition the code will be used and an enforcement department created only as one more step towards end goals of Agenda 21/Sustainable Development.
Keep in mind: to create conformity, it only takes one or two instances where people are attacked by the wolves of government to be made examples of, and er go, even less resistance is created especially from those living within the bounds of where the code operates.
Despite the assurances of politicians, they don't know what they're dealing with, nor do they care unless they're trying to get reelected. Unlike those who claim to have good intentions, the world operates in which people are targeted for political reasons and such has happened in various places in this country already. Whether a minor code violation exists or assumptions are made about properties in which people deny government access; that is reason enough to be targeted.
To understand that this is not about public safety and has everything to do with conformity, compartmentalization, and control, is to understand the broader goals. Just realize, it doesn't stop here; this code is only one facet of a many sided gem that appears when you just look for it. Stop and Think.
P.S. At the most recent council meeting (March 6), facts came to light about the actual complaints the city receives: Around 370 plus complaints in the past two years. Over 70 percent are complaints about high grass, and over two-thirds of all the complaints in the last two years came from one single person in Marietta, who obviously has a lot of time on their hands and nothing better to do than make trouble for others. There are no reports of any complaints going unheeded.
Sam Ludtman lives in Reno.