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The Birth of a Movement

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The Birth of a Movement

July 04, 2010 - 00:28
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Bramson Rising Sun.jpgI should know better than to post something over a long, lazy July 4th weekend, but I have procrastinated long enough and this week's developments deserve commemoration by all.

We have finally begun to appreciate the effects of the hubris and overreaching of career politicians, ordinary hangers-on and the rest of the permanent office-occupying class. The revelation of the mayor's ham-handed, stealth attack on the will of New Rochelle's citizens by covertly and furtively seeking additional "home-rule" powers from the state and the reflexive and almost instantaneous signing-on by the "bobble-headed" Democratic party regulars of the local legislative delegation gives the Sound Shore community a rare peek into the workings of a genuine political machine.

As soon as the too-clever-by-half plot was revealed, the band of permanent office-holding poseurs began their immediate, feckless retreat. It is not clear precisely where the four usual suspects stand on the issue of the Armory and the questions surrounding New Rochelle's downtown redevelopment. They may have something intelligent to say on the matter. They may have nothing to say, but only the potential to give the weight of their political support to the best plans that eventually result. But for them to place special powers in the hands of a local politician without consulting constituents, stakeholders or even just reliably Democrat local citizens if only for their opinions, shows just how selfish and mercurial they are in their modes of operation.

They vote on their whims, distracted only occasionally by the interruptions of other people's concerns; and even then, only if the other people are in positions of local power with something of value to offer in return. Rarely are they troubled by matters of affordability or feasibility (else why would our state be in its present bankrupt position of facing a $9.2 billion shortfall?). When they are needed to make decisions of real import (such as deciding which programs must be cut in order to put our NYS budget in balance), we get nothing from them other than token cuts in their pay or office stipends (Latimer). Others make believe nothing is wrong and continue to cite their work on behalf of downtrodden youth or small domestic animal-victims of abuse (Paulin). Still others make believe the state's financial ship-of-state is just fine and continue to deliver counterfeit and bogus (and quite probably illegal) over-sized state-issued checks to local senior citizen and ethnic clubs (Klein). You don't believe me? Just see any week's edition of the NR Sound Report or the NR Review.

New Rochelle has lately become a "sandbox" for the infantile enjoyment and craven private nourishment of the incumbent political class. And just as with juveniles and adolescents; we, the adult, tax-paying public have become accustomed to picking up after the mess, paying the bills, and finally bailing the miscreants (and sometimes, ourselves) out of the legal and financial entanglements that are the ordinary and necessary result of their puerile ways. Well, the stage has been set for a change in perspective, and a clearer view of the opportunities and responsibilities of area voters and citizens may now be at hand.

The publication of the mayor's conspiracy and the comical actions of the state legislators have energized a local Armory preservation group, and given new publicity to the important causes of local historical preservation and conservation. What was previously thought (however incorrectly) as solely a veterans' and conservatives' campaign has now been revealed as truly non-partisan for all to see.

Remembering our veterans, respecting history, repairing worthy public facilities for the benefit of local sportspeople and youth, improving public spaces for commercial and community-based exhibitions, preserving public park-like access, affording all classes views of Long Island Sound, denying special favors to favored political classes; these are the values being protected by the Save Our Armory group, and these are the values being attacked by the permanent political class and its coterie of favor-seekers, banking and lawyering interests and private developers. And these are not Republican, Democratic, liberal or conservative issues. They are issues for the community; and now a community united by opposition to political favoritism and selfish private betterment.

And out of this whole controversy, perhaps New Rochelle has found its new downtown. Only time will tell. But what a dramatic start.

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The sad and troubling fact remains that on our nation’s birthday, we the people are still struggling and fighting for our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. It is clear that many in our current political leadership do not believe in private property or the rights of property owners.

We have been attacked and had to defend our property rights and civil liberties year after year.

New Rochelle communities defeated the City’s attempt to give private homes to Ikea, although many homes were lost in the process.

Many neighborhoods on the South End of New Rochelle have fought back against false historic designation of their neighborhoods after they realized that the plan were about home owners agreeing to let the NR Government co-own their homes - turning their properties into automatic teller machines.

Attempting to knock down the Armory through back room deals was and is un-American. The Armory is a treasure, a symbol of America’s greatness that will stand forever.

GreeNR as proposed, is invasive and considers private property housing stock. Those that are promoting this plan could care less about our life, liberty or property.

If a carpetbagger came to your door and asked you to sign off on a long term contract to remodel your home, telling you don’t worry about the details, many would slam the door and call the police. If a neighbor said you had to sign off on a long term remodel contract without providing the details, you would say no and question the neighbor’s judgment.

GreeNR is the carpetbagger at the door. And the neighbor is….?

In celebration of our Nation’s birthday, let us all remember that all attempts of tyranny will be met by resistance, because we treasure being Americans and will not let any enemy, foreign or domestic, take our liberties, freedoms or properties from us.

Keep the resistance strong and demand that ALL candidates, regardless of political affiliation, asking for our votes now and in the future recognize that this is America where we cherish our freedom.

On the 4th of July, take pride in our Armory, which stands as a symbol of our enduring liberty and a reminder of all, of the sacrifices made by our military personnel to keep us free as a nation.

As written on one of the flags during the American Revolution, “Live free or die.”

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