The Patriot League of CNY

Editor's note: The following is the text of a petition by the newly-formed Patriot League of CNY, signed by 20 of their members and sent into the Syracuse Post-Standard last week, and who protested in front of the Post-Standard's offices on April 15th. Their website (under construction) will be located at www.plcny.org

"Finding that the two party political system is currently more about seizing and maintaining personal power, rather than our elected legislators exercising their authority for the good of the People as a whole, the Patriot League of Central New York has been formed. We believe that government of the People, by the People and for the People should be returned to the People. With strength in numbers and in votes, we seek the empowerment of ideas that are in the interest of the common good, education, endorsement and enlightenment of all American citizens and the return to the Judeo- Christian values of the United States of America. The values this country was originally founded upon and that were enumerated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America."

Airing of Grievances
April 15, 2006

We, the undersigned, have assembled on this day to express our extreme dissatisfaction and disgust with what we deem as business as usual, at the expense of the common citizen, in Central New York.
While armed solely with both the power of voice and vote, we aim to continue to utilize both in order to bring about change in said status quo so as to rid ourselves of that which ails us.

We cite the following grievances:

Career, corrupt, and out of touch politicians who feel the office exists for their own benefit

Pork-barrel politics, particularly the funding of white elephant projects benefiting wealthy, private institutions such as Syracuse University

Abuse of non-profit status by “For-Profit” organizations such as SU with little or no public oversight or approval

Ever-increasing income and property taxes

Ever-increasing governmental budgets

Growth in the number of taxpayer-subsidized jobs and businesses

Ever-increasing school budgets despite poor performance

Ever-increasing tax-payer subsidization of social programs

Lack of regulatory oversight and enforcement relative to price gouging by utilities

Lack of distinction between the Republican and Democratic Parties

Biased reporting and editorial oversight by the Syracuse Post-Standard

We support the following remedies:

Term-limits on political office

Public referendum with regards to governmental budgets, tax increases and public-funded projects

Public oversight and revocation of non-profit status regarding abusive *

“For-Profit” organizations and subsequent taxation of said income


Reduction in governmental agencies, budgets and payrolls

Public oversight and approval of utility and gas price increases

Consolidation of services amongst towns and villages

Overhaul of the educational system by rolling back the clock and getting back to basics (3Rs, character development, personal responsibility, and vocational training focusing on the trades and apprenticeships)

Reform of the GOP and a return to conservative principles

Conservative representation on the Post-Standard editorial board

Next Meeting: Monday, May 1st 7pm at the Mattydale VFW Join Us!

"... Whenever the Legislators endeavor to take away, and destroy the Property of the People, or to reduce them to Slavery under Arbitrary Power, they put themselves into a state of War with the People, who are thereupon absolved from any farther Obedience ... [Power then] devolves to the People, who have a Right to resume their original Liberty, and, by the Establishment of a new Legislative (such as they shall think fit) provide for their own Safety and Security, which is the end for which they are in Society." John Locke

- Submitted by Jon Alvarez

* Editor's clarification: I asked Jon what sort of public oversight he envisioned, he replied "we feel volunteers would step forward to help with oversight and regulation...just like staffing libraries"


Jesse said...

Reading your press release, I have mixed feelings. I too sympathize with opposition to and frustration with great centralized bureaucracies and lack of democratic control over government. However, there is also much that I disagree with in your statement in particular:

"...and the return to the Judeo- Christian values of the United States of America. The values this country was originally founded upon and that were enumerated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America."

Which Judeo-Christian values are you talking about? This vague term gets bandied around alot without any real discussion of what people are talking about. To Roman Catholics, good Christian values involve spiritual obediance to the Pope. In the Jewish value system, there is no Satan and life begins at first breath, meaning that there is no problem with abortion. Are you taking in account these beliefs when you say "Judeo-Christian Values" or are do you just mean "my J-C values"? What about minor Mormon sects that practice polygamy? Jehovah's Witnesses who believe that both loyalty to a State and possession of a cross are forms of idolatry? Or the followers of the Christian Identity movement who believe that non-whites are "mud bloods" and the Jews are children of Satan?

Morever, I have no desire to go back to the type of faith that was practiced in Colonial days. Shall we burn and press witches and murder Quakers like the Puritans did? Shall we use the Bible to validate chattel slavery like all 13 Colonies did? Or maybe we should just advocate the genocide of native peoples who don't worship the same god we do and justify it with quotes from the Old Testament... I think this would be an effective strategy in Iraq.

Much evil has been committed in this world in the name of "Judeo-Christian values," from the Crusades to the Witch Hunts to the Fascist death camps of Franco's Spain. I think that instead of caring a whit what old dead white dudes who happened to live in the same place we do over 200 years ago thought or how they worshipped, we should care about what are good values for America today. Sure we can learn from the past, to do otherwise would undoubtedly lead to self-destruction, but that our guiding light should be our own knowledge of good and evil and the combined wisdom of the myriad of cultures and religions that gather in America today.

I hope that the values system we come up with is informed by the compassion of the Sermon of the Mount and the lesson on the inherent value of human life that we find in the Ten Commandments. However, we also can learn from the teachings of egalitarianism that are inherent in Islam, the rejection of fetishistic materialism as taught by the Buddha, the importance of harmony and balance with other humans and the natural world that we find in Taoism and the important lessons of all of the world's faiths. We can learn these lessons by talking to and learning from our fellow Americans, but we will never grow to new understanding if we deify the Founders and their beliefs (by the way, isn't there a prohibition against idolatry somewhere in the Bible...?) and refuse to accept that America has grown and changed over the last 200 years.

Natalie said...

While I agree with many of Jesse's points, I believe the Patriot League of CNY could and should be taken to task for more practical concerns.

Their greivences are largely financial (the protest on the day taxes were due is no accident) and while I can't speak to the need for non-profit oversight (which focuses in their statement on Syracuse University) I think we can all agree that the way our tax money is collected and spent could use some serious reform and reconsideration, and that seems largely to be the aim of the Patriot League's statement.

The problematic thing for me is the age-old taxes/oversight trade off. You need informed people to perform these oversight tasks, and to compensate them you need tax revenues. Jon feels volunteers would step forward to perform these tasks. A retired grandma can get a handle on the Dewey decimal system, but expecting a volunteer to wrap their head around non-profit regulation and utility prices on tuesday evenings for a few hours before American Idol isn't going to cure our governmental ills.

The real challenge is getting those in power (who should be already doing these jobs) to remember that they were hired/elected to look out for the public and not for themselves. The value that truly needs to be returned to is one of compassion for the need of the many over the greed of the few.

That said, I personally respect attempts by groups of concerned citizens to organize to effect change, even if I don't agree with their guiding principals.

Joe said...

1. "Overhaul of the educational system by rolling back the clock and getting back to basics (3Rs, character development, personal responsibility, and vocational training focusing on the trades and apprenticeships)"

2. "Reform of the GOP and a return to conservative principles"

I whole-heartedly disagree, and think that the Patriot League is made up of folks who haven't been in a school since the 1950's or haven't figured out our economy is pretty different than it was in 1954, and on the second point, folks who haven't read or seen anything that's been going on in their community, state, country, or world outside of the Syracuse Post-Standard, New York Times, CBS Evening News, Cnn, Fox News, MSNBC, Drudge, Accuracy In Media, Citadel and Clear Channel Communications, Reuters, the AP, Disney Corporate Enterprises, and Backwoods Living.

The liberal educational institutions are what's stocking the service sector of the economy, which vastly outweighs the trades sector, and it would be very counterproductive to apprentice every kid.

What conservative principles? How do you not understand the conflict between fiscal conservatism and any other kind of conservatism that deals with social issues. Traditional conservatism was two different things, folks who wanted the government to deal with money/property and laws that dealt with money/property, while a whole other traditional race of cons who wanted to make some type of fundamentalist state and really could care less about government that protects the wealthy and resource theives. Anyways, I know you're all secretly down with the neo-cons, so stop talking about traditional values.

joe said...

"Ever-increasing tax-payer subsidization of social programs."

Yeah cut the taxpayer subsidization of the VA Hospitals in central NY and around syracuse.

Joe said...

I didn't notice this before:

"Conservative representation on the Post-Standard editorial board"

This is even dumber than turning high schools into tradeschools. Why do you care what the syracuse P-Standard prints? It's barely even a real paper, they still check the AP and NY Times to see what the news is.