Half-Way                                                                     5-27-2018

                   Every day of our lives we make choices and decisions. Sometimes, those choices are as simple as what shirt to wear or what to make for dinner. Other times, the choices we make can be life-changing both for ourselves and others. 

                   Too often, some people presume to make decisions FOR people that they don't even know, just because they think they know what is "Best" for them. This is particularly true of government, the very people we elect to represent us, NOT to regulate every aspect of our lives. (see: Obamacare).

                    Unfortunately, government rarely represents us at ALL, hell, they don't even care enough to listen to what the people really want. It's all about THEM and THEIR desires and goals, and the People only matter during campaign time. 

                     In a perfect world, human beings would actually understand that each of us is a Sovereign Being, free to make life choices that give us peace, joy, and success. Until and unless our personal choices infringe upon the rights of others, we are supposed to be able to live our lives unmolested and unregulated by government entities and people who don't share our views, beliefs, or ideas.

                     Once upon a time, there was a wonderful thing called, "Compromise".  Disagreements of all types and sizes were resolved by the participants actually hashing things out and meeting each other half-way. The best part of that was, that they did it without intervention from government officials or the FORCE of inane laws and mandates. This rarely happens anymore. Today, one side has to have it ALL their way and there must be a Winner and a Loser. 

                 Most of our kids and young adults don't even know HOW to negotiate or compromise. They are spoiled and selfish and have little respect for the rights and needs of other people.  My own generation, kids born in the late 50s and early 60s, might be the last to have been taught the importance of give-and-take. Some of us HAVE passed those values on to our own children, but obviously not enough of us.

                         There are a million directions I could go from here with this post, but I DO have a specific point . New Lebanon, like thousands of other small towns and cities, is severely over-regulated. Zoning laws and codes are so stringent, complicated, and in some cases, unenforceable, that it's nearly impossible to exercise our freedoms without violating some mandate or Code #007-00. God help folks like Cissy and Jeff who strive to interpret these endless rules and still maintain some modicum of fairness. 

                          That being said, let's go ahead and toss Neighbor Disputes into the salad. In all honesty, there are some folks who are just terrible neighbors for a variety of reasons. Yes, we do have a few of those in our town, but for the most part, we are very lucky to not have too many. I happen to be blessed with awesome neighbors. Still, no matter where you live you will find people fighting over boundary lines, noise, kids, dogs, fences, junk piles, and a slew of other things. 

                          Here again, is a place where we seldom see "Compromise" or even the willingness to consider it. There HAS to be a Winner and a Loser, remember?  I recall a time that cities and towns provided trained mediators specifically to deal with ongoing neighbor disputes. I also recall responding as a police officer to some of these cases that bordered on deadly. I kid you not, I once responded to a neighbor dispute where one neighbor had imprisoned the other in a ring of fire with flames too high to jump over! It's far more common than you think to see actual bloodshed at some of these disputes. Hopefully, we will never see any such thing in New Lebanon, and if we take a long hard look at ourselves TODAY, maybe we never will. 

                            No one I know has come under more attack by neighbors than Howard Commander. Howie is a man who DOES know how to compromise and ALWAYS make every effort to do so. Still, it is never enough, as he is dealing with those who want it ALL. People who CHOSE to live within earshot of a speedway but refuse to accept the consequences of their own choices. Their need to "WIN" at the cost of another's freedom, super-cedes Common Sense and Facts. They have no comprehension of the word, "Compromise".

                             The same holds true for the Corkscrew Rail Trail group and the issue with the Miller property. CRT was offered an easement through the property and refused it, stating that they want to "Own" the property. It matters not to them that there are others in town who wish to bid on the site, or that an "Exclusion" sale is sleazy and unfair. The ends justify the means for these people, and screw anyone who dares to object.

                              The present Darcy/Padrick dispute on Lover's Lane is another example of a situation that could be settled through mediation and compromise. Instead, we have a "He-Said-She-Said" situation AND involvement of government agencies like D.E.C that is unnecessary and oppressive. The list goes on and trust me, I know of what I speak.

                               I too, once owned a home on Lover's Lane. We had wonderful neighbors on one side and the Wicked Witch of the West on the other side. We literally did everything in our power to reach an agreement, a "Compromise", but the neighbor refused to budge an inch. In the end, the costs of the legal battle and lost work, cost us our home of ten years. The neighbor got what she wanted, a full WIN. 

                                Did it matter to her that my child was put out of his home and that we were forced to move into a tiny rental in the middle of a week of snowstorms? No, it did not. All that mattered to her was "Winning". 
   It is for all these reasons that I despise Liberalism and it's "We Want It ALL no matter who it hurts" methods.   

                                 This is also why I am supporting Libertarian candidates from now on whenever possible. The Libertarian Party stands on Personal Sovereignty and REAL Fairness, and they shun FORCE. They have much to offer to Americans from both sides of the aisle without bias, and their goal is "COMPROMISE" and "Live and Let Live".  Imagine an America with a government that cared about us ALL?