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Sun Jun 17, 2012, 12:08 PM

Stand By Me

"When the night has come
and the land is dark
and the moon is the only light you'll see
No I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me."

After attending three board meetings in three different towns in a twenty-four hour period, I needed some time to relax. As I often do, I headed for my pond yesterday afternoon. As I approached its edge, my eyes picked up on a tiny movement .... then another. Seeing two itty-bitty toads, less than a quarter of an inch, making their way out of the pond, and into the big world, brought a big smile to my tired and wrinkled old face.

Ever since I was a wee-little boy, who found some bit of peace and relaxation at the pond on my parenets' property, I have been fascinated by these tiny creatures. In fact, I developed a love for toads of all ages and sizes. In my childhood, living out in "the sticks," toads were rather common to encounter. In recent years, however, due to environmental damage caused by industry, toads are not so common. So I was very happy to have the opportunity to watch these two little fellows making their way to destinations unknown, by way of tiny hops, a brief rest, followed by more hops.

I built a small fire in the stone-lined pit that my sons made for me years ago. As it was quite hot outside, being near the fire wasn't really comfortable. I used some locus bark to rid the area of the many flying insects that would otherwise identify me as a source of nutrition. And, in time, that small fire became a medium-sized one, with plenty of coals for cooking. I wrapped some Idaho potatoes and ears of "salt & pepper" corn in tin foil, and place them in the pit. My teenaged daughters are convinced that with just these two items, their father can create the single greatest meal to be found on the planet. I tend to agree. Decades of experience in cooking in a fire comes in handy, I suppose.

A moment after I sat back to watch the pond as the food cooked, our puppy "Rocky" came running through the tall grass. He prefers running in the grass to following the mowed paths. Rocky's imagination is evident out at the pond: he races around the edge of the water, howls at dragonflies and frogs, and engages in fierce battles with cat-tails. He gets me laughing out loud.

And then, my wife, daughters, oldest son, and a family friend/ school teacher who has attended two of the board meetings come out to the pond. Along with the items needed to eat our meal, they are carrying five guitars, two flutes, and two bongos and two congo drums. The four females inform me that they have formed a "group," and as my son and I tend to the fire, they perform a few songs, including "Stand By Me."

Then we eat. Life is good.


"If the sky that we look upon
should tumble and fall
And the mountains should crumble
to the sea
I won't cry, I won't cry
No I won't shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me."

Earlier in the week, NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo okayed a "leak" to reporters, indicating that he has decided to allow hydrofracking in the part of the state known as the Southern Tier. I had immediately, after reading this in the NY Times, called Robert's office. He is on a much-needed vacation with his children, and there is no way to contact him until they return. Fair enough, given recent circumstances.

One of the pro-environment, anti-hydrofracking groups that I have worked with in the past couple years has no meaningful response planned. Most of that group's leaders are excited about a new, matching button and yard sign they have made. As the group is primarily composed of what might best be described as "yuppies" -- and I intend no negatives or positives with that word -- and are inexperienced in terms of social-political action.

One of the very few members with previous experience (from the 1960s) suggests that "now is the time" to engage in the tactics of Alinsky. I suggest that Alinsky's tactics are primarily to build a foundation, something we have already accomplished. Now, in my opinion, is the time to build upon that foundation ..... by using the tactics of Gandhi and/or King, to bring about "creative tension." At a special meeting on Wednesday, near Binghamton, he and I will both be trying to convince others to support our different points of view.

At the special town board meeting I attended yesterday, an attorney made a presentation on the legal options that community now has. This attorney and his partner (his wife) are retired from a career in corporate law in Boston; they have created a new legal foundation to fight to protect the environment. They wrote the law enacted by two upstate communities, Middlefield and Drydon, which the gas industry challenged in NYS Supreme Court. (The industry has opted not to appeal the decisions in the cases, which favored the towns' right to protect the environment.)

I spoke briefly at this meeting, about the planned, coordinated injunctions our side will be filing immediately, should Cuomo give the gas industry the "green light" to use the Southern Tier" as a "sacrifice area" for hydrofracking. I recommended -- politely -- that this board not act (or fail to act) in a manner that creates an expensive legal battle for the tax-payers residing there.

In terms of the infamous town of Sidney -- with their notorious Town Supervisor Bob McCarthy, who made national news two years ago, by trying to forcefully remove the burials of Islamic people from a cemetery -- things look grim. Last year, a bi-partisan committee ran two good candidates for town board seats. Both won, removing two toxic "tea party" republicans. However, months after the election, the man died unexpectedly. Two weeks later, the woman's husband died unexpectedly; McCarthy has used the opportunity to bully the widow without mercy or decency, and this week, she resigned.

The town's Democratic Party contacted me. In 48 hours, we have identified two solid candidates for in the fall elections. Both agreed to run, on the condition that my sons and I run their campaigns. We will, of course, be happy to do just that. Still, between now and November, McCarthy will be able to appoint two jackals to fill those seats, and to have five pre-election months to advocate for the gas industry. Clearly, we will target Sidney for legal action.

In the mean time, I am considering engaging in another hunger strike, this time to focus on Andrew Cuomo. My wife is strongly opposed to the proposition, due to her concerns about my health. (I spent over an hour in an MRI tube earlier this week -- I became convinced that they'd have to do a C-section to get me out.)

The last one, in January, did take a toll. But I believe that I'm better prepared to do one now, at least in terms of publicity, etc. My health ain't the best, and I'd surely prefer to sit and watch my pond, rather than sit outside the state capital in Albany. But making matching buttons and lawn signs just doesn't cut it. Nor does debating possible tactics in endless meetings.

Obviously, I'm leaning towards started my Capital Hunger Strike. Next weekend, my older daughter graduates, and after that, I should have some free time on my hands. One of the factors in making my decision will be potential support. I don't think that many of the local pro-environment, anti-hydrofracking folks will be willing to join me -- one elderly woman, a retired school teacher who has since earned her PhD -- has expressed interest. But that isn't the primary form of support I'm looking for. Rather, I'd like to think that there are folks ..... both locally and even across the country -- who would support me, by way of doing things like lobbying Cuomo's office, and contacting various media sources.

And that's why I'm writing this: to ask if you would be willing to support me on this? Thank you for your consideration.

Peace,
H2O Man

19 replies, 3535 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Stand By Me (Original post)
H2O Man Jun 2012 OP
lpbk2713 Jun 2012 #1
Cooley Hurd Jun 2012 #2
The Wielding Truth Jun 2012 #3
malaise Jun 2012 #4
spanone Jun 2012 #5
Beringia Jun 2012 #6
panader0 Jun 2012 #7
Curmudgeoness Jun 2012 #8
hfojvt Jun 2012 #9
MannyGoldstein Jun 2012 #10
bigtree Jun 2012 #11
zeemike Jun 2012 #12
H2O Man Jun 2012 #13
spanone Jun 2012 #14
steve2470 Jun 2012 #15
LiberalAndProud Jun 2012 #16
limpyhobbler Jun 2012 #17
BlancheSplanchnik Jun 2012 #18
sabrina 1 Jun 2012 #19

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 12:14 PM

1. Have you seen this?




Link:


Fantastic job done by street musicians from around the world.


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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 12:17 PM

2. The most important thing is your health, Pat....

 

however, I fully support your focus on Cuomo. Especially after reading this:

http://www.alternet.org/environment/155897/revealed:_ny_governor_plans_to_experiment_with_fracking_in_impoverished_areas

June 16, 2012
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is coming under increased criticism as his administrationís plan to begin fracking in economically depressed areas of the state was leaked. On Wednesday, the New York Times reported on the reveal, which came from an anonymous senior official from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The plan is part of a demonstration project in which the DEC would issue permits for a limited number of wells in certain areas and then monitor the fracking to see if the process could be done safely. Critics are calling on the governor not to use the residents of these impoverished territories as "guinea pigs."
</snip>

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 01:03 PM

3. What is the best thing that we can do to stand by you, H2O Man?

As I hear Buffy Saint Marie say, " What can we do say a powerless few with their head in their hands and a tear in their eye'.

Let's hope it that the title doesn't need to be changed "now that the fresh water is gone". Honestly, how is the best way that we can help?

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 01:21 PM

4. I'll send an email to mu New York folks

Lovely OP

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 01:22 PM

5. k&r...

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 01:57 PM

6. Thanks for the nice post


As to whether you should do another hunger strike, I know sometimes dreams help to give you information. Did you have any good dreams the last time you did the hunger strike? I would write a letter in support of you, but I would have to read up on hydrofracking first.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 02:38 PM

7. You're a better man than I Waterman

I can go without food, but not a few brews.....
I've seen the photos of your pond so I know why you like to hang there--very serene

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 03:10 PM

8. I feel for you. Living in PA, I see what you are up against.

But I am opposed to you doing a hunger strike. Your health is too important, and you can be of more help if you are healthy. With no disrespect to Ghandi, usually one person going on a hunger strike rarely gets enough results to make changes. I side with your wife. Think this through.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 03:15 PM

9. intelligent Mr. Toad

&feature=related

Honestly, I do not know about this. Seems like a re-run and the first attempt was not all that effective, as it lead to the current debacle of the expansion of hydrofracking. Last time I was unable to reach your senator by phone, nor did I ever contact my aunt in Binghamton.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 03:18 PM

10. I'd love to support you. Please point me in the right direction!

 

I spent much time in the Binghamton area growing up, I have relatives there. Also went to college nearby.

I deeply appreciate that you're willing to work to make things better. Please let me know if there's anything I can do beyond thinking good thoughts.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 03:19 PM

11. 'life is good'

I'm not sure that sacrificing your immediate health is wise, but it's, of course, your decision to carry on. I'm just not sure where the true impact of your act lies. Not sure enough to judge from where I stand. I'd like to see some efforts at organizing which don't require you to put your immediate health at risk. That certainly wouldn't change my own level of support for whatever you decide, Pat. I am concerned, about your health. I can't stress that enough, it seems. Best wishes for whatever course you choose.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 03:29 PM

12. Well I will support you what ever you decide to do.

in any way I can....I would even go on a hunger strike with you but no one would even notice it if I did.

And you are spot on that we need to build on the foundation now...but unfortunately organizations are soon co opted by those interested in building the organization and not getting results or taking actions.

Keep us informed and let us know what we can do to help...from a thousand miles away.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 02:37 PM

13. Thank you

to those who offered messages of support.

I got the results of last week's MRIs back, and they are rather discouraging. I've got to take a few days to think over my options.

Fight the "Good Fight"!!!
Patrick

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 02:37 PM

14. k&r...

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 02:40 PM

15. k&r nt

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 09:10 PM

16. I am so sorry to read that the MRI was worrisome.

I will join your wife and ask you not to put your health at risk. The rock will be at the bottom of the hill tomorrow even so.

Peace reflected,
L&P

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 08:54 AM

17. maybe you should have a website or blog.

For people who are interested in what you are doing. You can still post at DU but catching your posts here can be kind of hit or miss.

I wish you success in stopping fracking in your area.

We had 1000 people take over the dome of the State Capitol building this past Sunday to send a message to our state reps. Many of them are on the payroll of the gas companies so it is a big challenge.
http://ecowatch.org/2012/citizens-ban-fracking-at-ohio-statehouse-rally/


This election season may be critical.

Thanks for all your work on this issue.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 10:04 AM

18. I called the office on Friday

Let us know what else we can do.




I love love love toads!!

And, the song, Stand By Me...always makes me cry.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 01:09 PM

19. If you decide to do something I think it would be after considering all the

options good and bad, and I think you would have the support you need, even if people were concerned.

Thank you for the work you do on behalf of all Americans.

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