Dryden's Schickel & Shigley interviewed on WVBR

Bruno Schickel and Deb Shigley, Republican and Independence Party candidates for supervisor and town council, respectively, in the Town of Dryden, were interviewed by Bill Chastain and Glynis Hart this past Sunday evening, October 16th, on WVBR-Ithaca from 6pm-7pm.  Listen to the conversation on these topics:


the town budget

zoning issues in the town

the ban on gas drilling

general drilling considerations

Appropriate (v.) vs. Appropriate (adj.)

The ongoing tug-of-war over Zuccotti Park in New York City is an interesting reflection of the political landscape.

#occupywallstreet has been squatting on private property, monopolizing land leased for other purposes and violating the owner's rights.  The occupiers are claiming that "their rights" are being infringed if they are made to leave the premises for cleaning, or if they must refrain from putting up tents or sleeping on the ground -- that is, they are insisting on treating the property as their own.
In Dryden, the anti-energy development crowd is claiming that "their rights" are being infringed if property owners use their own property to access their mineral rights.  Like the occupiers in New York City, they are appropriating the property of others.
The 99%ers want to take it all away from the 1%ers because they are envious of what others have that they don't.  Drumming, chanting and handsigns help to cover over the rationalization.  Shouting that people don't really deserve what they have makes it easier to justify taking it away from them.
Envy is pretty powerful and it pops up from time to time in the local "appropriate (v.)" discourse. You can hear it right after, "I'm all for property rights but..."
* * *
None of this should be construed to mean that people don't have legitimate concerns.  
Unemployed because of "crony capitalism" (certainly a problem in the previous administration and Congress and on overdrive in the current administration)?  Check.  Impeach and replace.  Maybe some jail time is in order.
Wanting recourse if someone pollutes your well or nearby waterways?  Check, you should sue.
The point is that appropriate (adj.) means should be used to address valid concerns, not appropriate (v.) ones.  Use the system, don't tear it down.
  • Did you game the financial system and make a mess?  You're gonna pay.  
  • Did you frack and make a serious mess?  You're gonna pay. 
But we need the financial system and we need energy. Both are legitimate activities and can be done well and responsibly.  Keeping them from working is as egregious as the above messes.
* * *
It's interesting that the #occupiers are having food delivered (students are quoted saying that they eat better in the park than they do at their mom's) and the newspapers and fliers they're producing are printed with expensive 4-color process.  Just who is funding all of this, and why?
Has the Town of Dryden become a subsidiary of the Park Foundation?  PF is one of the main financiers of anti-natural gas activity in the nation, supplying cash to just about every "activist" group opposing natural gas development.  Is PF funding the legal team for Dryden's ill-conceived attempt to ban natural gas development in the town?
                             NYC...                                                                                       Dryden...

(h/t tvm)

iPhones, Obama, and leases, oh my!

Every time a new iPhone (or iPad or some such thing) is released, folks who own an earlier iteration—particularly if they're don't obsess over news from Apple about upcoming releases and so they just recently purchased the now "obsolete" version—generally feel some amount of buyer's remorse.  Maybe it's just plain envy but in any case the feeling is normal.  We wouldn't be human if we didn't experience it from time to time.

In the case of President Obama, there's been plenty of buyer's remorse from people on both the left and the right who voted for him but now feel that they'd been sold a bill of goods.  None of those people is very happy—a normal response.

Now the fishwrap of record has a story on gas leasing highlighting those

....stricken with remorse...Hundreds of...state residents who signed leases allowing gas companies to drill deep into their properties with a method known as horizontal hydraulic fracturing have changed their minds and are trying to break or renegotiate their contracts. Millions of acres in upstate New York are under lease, awaiting permits for the drilling, which has yet to begin, delayed by a state environmental review....

A follow-up blog post at the fishwrap quotes Dryden Town Board candidate Deb Shigley: “If you signed the contract, you couldn’t now say, ‘I didn’t know and therefore I don’t want it.' You took the money, and you’re under contract.”

Well, yeah.  Is it understandable that some people are now suffering buyer's remorse?  Sure.  We all do that sometimes.

But we seem to be moving farther and farther from a government of laws towards a government of men. It's becoming more and more acceptable to try to renege on contracts.  Remember the Chrysler bondholders who got stiffed in the nationalization of that company two years ago? How about homeowners who seem to think they're entitled to walk away from the mortgages they signed?  This sort of thing never ends well.  Without the expectation that the bargains people make are obligations that the law holds them to, we descend into chaos.

And as a friend pointed out, when can we expect to see a story in the NYT about the thousands of leasers who don't regret leasing their land?  Cue crickets...

But you knew that

Gas company to sue over town's drilling ban.  Update: here is the link to the same story at the IJ

Anschutz Exploration Corp. plans to file a lawsuit in state Supreme Court in Tompkins County to have the ban struck down in the town of Dryden, according to the company’s Albany-based attorney, Thomas West. He said he expected the lawsuit would be filed this week.

With the state moving toward allowing high-volume hydraulic fracturing, Dryden has been one of a handful of municipalities across the state that have altered their zoning regulations or passed legislation meant to ban the activity.

Read it all.  (h/t South)

"The beast which passeth all others in wit and mind."

Was that Aristotle talking about donkeys?  Nah.  Elephants.  

Town of Dryden picks:

Bruno Schickel, Supervisor

Deb Shigley & Jim Drew, Town Board

Question: When is a scientist not really a scientist?

Ummm...let's see....

George Will put it to a "Republican" presidential candidate:
...For Jon Huntsman: You, who preen about having cornered the market on good manners, recently tweeted, “I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”
Call you sarcastic. In the 1970s, would you have trusted scientists predicting calamity from global cooling? Are scientists a cohort without a sociology – uniquely homogenous and unanimous, without factions or interests and impervious to peer pressures or the agendas of funding agencies?
Are the hundreds of scientists who are skeptical that human activities are increasing global temperatures not really scientists?
Here at Redneck Mansion, the answer to this post's title question is: For some people, probably at about the same point that an attorney is not really an attorney.  In an article in the Tompkins Weekly on gas drilling bans and DSEC:
DRAC leaders believe the bans will hold up in court, and have even questioned the motives of the some of the DSEC members. “Our bans will hold up in court. Mr. Kramer states he is an attorney, however, unless one is viscerally educated as to how industry's deliberate, calculated and frankly disturbing practices, one would be ill equipped to comment professionally, about the industry and its effects on our state.
"Viscerally educated"?
Good grief.

Crossing the Rubicon

The country is in an absolute uproar after the downgrade of the country's credit rating by Standard & Poor's.

The steep decline of the stock market is touching everyone, ravaging retirement and education accounts, and, yes, pension funds.
We were railroaded time and again, with hyperinflated financial fear mongering, to spend huge sums on questionable bailouts and stimulus, on an accelerated time table.  We now know we have accumulated not prosperity but only more debt and inflation.
It has become clear that the Obama administration has moved well beyond the land of what the government is doing for you, deep into the land of what the government is doing to you.
If you had $100,000 saved for retirement, you may have lost $10,000 this week alone because of those misguided policies. 
Your reward for withstanding all this Progressive pain? The president said today that he wants more taxes from you.
Phew, at least there is solace at home, right?
Last week in Dryden, if you own 100 acres of land, you may have lost up to $300,000 in lease signing bonuses because the Town Board decided to ban natural gas energy production within the town.
Here we are railroaded by the hyperinflated environmental fear mongering to take huge sums from town property tax payers.  Here we are on the side of the Rubicon on which there can be no profit from one's investment.
If the pattern holds, I'm guessing that the call for raising Dryden town taxes will be coming along shortly. 

WHCU interview on Dryden drilling ban..."We'll have to agree to disagree."

Dave Vieser's interview of Dryden Town Supervisor Mary Ann Sumner on WHCU this morning, following the town board vote on Tuesday evening to ban energy development within the town, is here—it's about 9 min., 30 sec.  Listen for Supervisor Sumner's response(s) to Vieser's twice-asked question about taking away property rights.

A Dryden farmer speaks...

...very eloquently—Evan Carpenter on changing "viewscapes" and property rights, at the Dryden Town Board public hearing last Wednesday, July 20th.


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