Protect Me Not

More wisdom from the old dear....


“If allies are strong with power to protect me,
might they not protect me out of all I own.”  
The King of Siam, in The King and I
Having lived 88 years in the Town of Dryden and in Tompkins County, I’ve never before seen such an activist county and town board as we have now, nor do I ever want to.  My father, of sainted memory, taught me to stand on my own two feet and to make decisions for myself.  He was a very early male supporter of women’s rights and he taught me to cherish and love freedom.  I see it eroding around me.  Will our children live in freedom?  Will they have any personal or property rights against the state?  I doubt it.
A group of enviro-activists have decided that the residents of the Town of Dryden are in need of “protection” against big “evil” corporations and the development of our natural energy resources.  For most of my lifetime, without zoning beyond ensuring septic systems and wells are adequate, the character of our town has been preserved.  No need for lots of paid government workers.  Our town has historically changed only slowly.
I do not wish to be “protected,” I wish to be free.  I want to be left alone to make my own decisions as I have for the last six decades, including making my own choices about whether to lease my land.  The enviro-activists want to protect themselves against their fears and insecurities.  They see poisoners everywhere. What I see is a group of selfish people, hating change, who want to use fuel but don’t want to have anything to do with its production in their own backyards, yet who are perfectly willing to limit my freedom while protecting themselves and taking counsel of their own fears.  They have lied and bullied many people into believing they are right.  Fear is easily created and a strong motivator.
Several times in my lifetime I’ve seen Americans go off to war to defend our homeland and protect our rights to make our own choices and to live in freedom.  But, we are not free when power flows from the individual to government.  In a way, we are being reduced from being adults capable of making our own decisions to being children again, this time with local government playing the role of parent and making decisions for us.  Well, know this, Dryden town board, I’m a grown up and so are most of the residents of Dryden.  What we need is government off our backs, not taking our rights and choices away from us.
Dryden has come for our property rights.  The town board is proposing that two-thirds of our town be declared “critical” environmental areas.  What will be next?  Will they then tell us what color to paint our houses or how short our lawns must be kept?
I once felt that the acreage I inherited and have paid taxes on for decades belonged to me.  I no longer feel like a landowner in Dryden, but rather like a tenant.  I pay my taxes and in return, the town graciously allows me certain uses of my land for a year at a time.  But, bit by bit, ownership has become only “permitted use” as government moves toward controlling our community.  Worse, our local governments, town and county, have been essentially taken over by an activist majority meddling in national and even international issues well beyond their ken.  To counter hubris, like ancient Romans granted a triumph, they need someone to walk with them and whisper in their ear, “Remember, you are only one person, a local official with limited power.”
What disturbs me the most is that I’m seeing little outrage as the town chips away at our freedoms and choices.  If those who are happy with the content of today’s encroachments do not speak up against this erosion, who will speak for them when government comes to take what is dear to them?  It will be too late. If those who are unhappy remain silent, will they not deserve their fate?
Jefferson said that the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots.  If we forget that and fail to defend our personal, individual, and property rights, what will be left of our great American experiment?

February, 2012


Town Board meeting Thursday, February 16th, 7:30 PM at Town Hall. They will be voting on Critical Environmental Areas for 60+% of Town of Dryden. People should be concerned about this, especially if you are in those areas. Town board is putting another level of regulation in place so that whatever you want to do with your legally-owned and highly-taxed land will be decided by NYS DEC after abiding by local zoning and building codes

Very true, we won the battle @ Feb Broad Meeting, more battles to come all civil support is welcome.