Dora Dogood

Thelma and Louise discuss the fiscal cliff

No,'s Dora and Peregrina in an earnest tête-à-tête whilst simultaneously having coffee and their hair done (bet you didn't know you could do that at the Queen Diner—don't let the health department in on it.).  

Are you frustrated by the all the fiscal cliff talk?  So's Dora.  As always, the old gal makes a lot of sense.

Going Over the Cliff
“Are you happy with the direction the Republican Party is taking on the fiscal cliff?” my friend Peregrina asked me as we had coffee at the Queen Diner in Dryden. I had to admit I am not.
We agreed that a status quo election in which the popular vote split almost in the middle and which gave continued control of the House to the Republicans by a large margin was no mandate for the President’s radical income redistribution or grow government schemes.  Contrary to media claims, the Republican Party is not dead or even moribund.  About two-thirds of the states have Republican governors.  Even residents of the City of Ithaca have a Republican representative-elect now.  Yet, the Republican Party is suffering from a kind of sickness in which many Republicans neither speak out proudly for our basic principles nor vote on election day.
Now I’ve been a registered Republican since I turned 21, 67 years ago, and was eligible to vote (yes, they made you wait until 21 back then).  The main thing I like about the Party is its fiscal conservatism though that has been much lacking among some Republicans of late.
Ronald Reagan, bless his soul, said that he had not left the Democrat Party, it had left him.  I’m now beginning to feel the same way about the Grand Old Party (GOP).  In Washington, numerous “Republican” office holders have been talking compromise on basic fiscal principles.  Compromise works when the other side is genuinely interested in reaching a viable solution, but you can’t negotiate with people like the President who think it must be their way “or the highway.” Merely kicking the problem down the road or supplying our ever growing government with more funds just won’t work nor can we keep borrowing forty cents of every dollar we spend.
You can’t solve an overspending habit by borrowing, you have to do it by tightening your belt, Peregrina agreed.  Imagine a family, she suggested, that makes $60,000 a year but spends $100,000 every year.  How?  By borrowing money from banks, maxing out credit cards, and using friends and relatives year after year.  Sooner or later, the house foreclosed, bankruptcy filed, overspending must stop.
So, I’ve voted for Republicans only to see that when they get to Washington they get infected with “going along to get along” and to see them abandon the basic Republican principles of smaller government and lower taxes.  Sadly, they no longer feel willing to stand up and speak out for fiscal sanity.  They become “me too” Democrats, always wanting to spend more and to solve all problems with government “solutions.”
There is no such thing as a free lunch.  Common sense says that whatever we spend must be paid for by someone.  The taxing the rich mantra espoused locally by such voices as Barbara Lifton just cannot work.  Why not?  Because the rich just aren’t rich enough.  The tax increases sought by the President from successful people would only bring in about forty billion dollars a year, enough to run the government for little more than a week. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan lowered taxes and found lower taxes actually mean higher government revenues and prosperity for the American people.  Franklin Roosevelt raised taxes during a depression and got a longer depression. Yet the class warfare advocates continue to assault success and make it more difficult though the revenue that can be raised is merely politically symbolic and not meaningful.  They ignore the facts and follow a false dream.
But the problem isn’t revenues, it is spending.  Government is simply too big.  Some Republicans go to Washington to cut its size and end up increasing it.  That won’t do.
So, what must happen?  Statist Republicans and taxing Republicans must be given fiscally conservative and committed primary opponents.  We must confront our Republican office holders and let them know they will have internal party opposition if they persist.  We must get them to adhere to principle.  Or, we Republicans must turn to and work with the more committed Tea Party folks in trying to take back the Republican Party.
UPDATE:  I guess great minds really do think alike  wink

Dora Dogood does her own magic...

...over coffee with her friend Peregrina.  Dora and Peregrina like to spread their business around town...the last time the old ladies had coffee together, it was in the Dryden Dunkin...


At morning coffee with my friend Peregrina at the Queen Diner in Dryden we began discussing recent political ads.  The main thing these ads should be about, we agreed, was the dismal state of our economy.  However, the ads put out by the Obama camp include those attacking Mitt Romney over his income tax returns.  The case against Obama’s stewardship of our economy is pretty straightforward: an anemic recovery, huge unemployment which in fact is far worse than reported when you count the discouraged not looking for work and involuntary part-timers, and declining economic growth — all achieved at a price of another $5 trillion of accumulated debt. But some people’s attention has been diverted to a sideshow.

What we decided was that we are witnessing an attempted magician’s trick.  My late father taught me about magic and that part of the magician’s task is to divert your attention so you are looking in the wrong place.  Obama would have us look at Romney’s tax returns.  Why?  So, we don’t look at Obama’s mismanagement of the American economy.  There is one thing that Mitt Romney should not let us lose sight of, that it is about the economy, the economy, and the economy.  The basic question is whether people are better off now than they were four years ago (or, as Charles Krauthammer says, "Are you better off today than you were $5 trillion ago?") and if they believe that four more years of pursuing the same class warfare, anti-development, and anti-business policies will somehow miraculously turn the economy around if only we take on more government expenditures and more public debt.
The President maintains that those who are successful owe their success to help from government.  But, that help does not really come from government.  Roads and other public programs are paid for by taxation.  The government does not create wealth itself, it taxes away wealth from the private sector.  Roads may be constructed by government but they are financed ultimately by private sector dollars drawn out of the private sector by taxes.  So, successful people and businesses have paid their share of the costs of these improvements, they have not received them for free.  Ronald Reagan wisely said, “it is all our money.”  The successful get no “free lunches” from government.  And, as successful people will tell you, “If you’ve got government as your partner, you’ve got a thousand pound gorilla on your chest.”
The last thing we discussed over coffee was the growth of the “Imperial Presidency.”  Peregrina, who knows the value of our constitution, pointed out that the constitution requires the president to “faithfully execute the laws.”  Now, when I went through social studies classes in high school and later in college I learned that that means all the laws, not just those the president felt like enforcing.  Also, I learned that in a separation of powers government, Congress makes the laws, the president only enforces them.  But, this president not only has not enforced our country’s immigration and labor laws selectively, he has taken it on himself to modify them with executive orders.  He has appointed people to “recess appointments” when Congress would be surprised to learn it is on recess, and tried to use “czars” who are not submitted for Senate approval.  Some of his new policies he is well aware have not made it through Congress or could not make it through Congress.

There is one thing Obama should be really afraid of, public discussion of his economic record.  So, we decided that we face the grim reality of ever more outrageous attack ads on Romney to divert us from Obama’s record.  We think these will get worse.  Someday soon, we expect to pick up the newspapers and be told that an “unidentified source” told someone who related it to the administration that Mitt Romney eats babies for lunch or that he “masticates in public in front of little children.”  What the Obama administration will not talk about is the awful jobs outlook for our young people and those facing today’s labor market without jobs or in poverty.  The illusion is Romney’s alleged faults, the reality is Obama’s demonstrated economic record of incompetence.  Watch the magician at work, but keep your eyes where they belong, not on the sideshow.
Editor's note: In need of a little R&R?


Bet you didn't know...

...that the great-great-great....-great granddaughter-in-law of Silence Dogood is an elderly resident of Dryden named Dora Dogood. No, really. That's Dora's picture over there on your right.

Anyway, Dora has done some exploring and discovered One of Nine.  We have a feeling that Dora's going to be a regular correspondent.

And since energy development (or the lack of it) is such a hot topic in Dryden, here's some historical perspective as well as some random musings from the old girl: 

It does my heart good to see the fine work being performed by our Dryden Town Board in returning our town to its bucolic past.  Having come to Dryden 88 years ago, I have seen much change, little of it for the better.  We need to protect Dryden and the current Board and such wonderful community groups as DRAC are fulfilling my dreams, no growth, no change.  But, why stop there, why not roll back the clock and restore our wonderful past?

As a child, I remember heating our homes with fireplaces, burning local wood and occasionally using coal stoves.  Oh, the crackling fire!  There was no need for heating oil, natural gas, or electricity.  Chopping wood was good exercise.  People rose with the Sun and went to bed at a decent hour.  People knew their places.  Prohibition kept our men sober.  Our roads were unpaved and should be again for traffic calming.  People did healthy exercise walking miles.  I remember the quiet winter period, when snow closed in and we enjoyed quiet periods in our homes. For really long distance travel, we could restore the Lehigh Valley Railroad and bring back the Black Diamond.

I’m grieved by the noise and fumes of traffic as people go about their business.  Horses are a far better source of motive power and do not use fossil fuels.  They also reproduce.  And there is the fun of grooming them and taking care of these most loyal friends. Simple narrow trails would be less costly for the State and our towns to maintain that roads. And, sleighs in the winter are great fun for those semi-annual trips to the grocery!

It is not enough to simply ban gas drilling in Dryden.  Moving beyond that, let’s move into environmental harmony with the planet by banning automobiles, pulling down the power grid, and legislating the removal of furnaces and air conditioning units throughout the Town.  We can become a model of conservation, living the simple basic and healthy lifestyle of our ancestors.  Those who do not want to protect our planet are free to move elsewhere.

In my day, I attended school at the Octagon on Hanshaw Road.  The one room school house was far better than today’s school “campuses.”  We children helped each other and the younger children.  We learned or we paid the price.  Teachers were allowed to impose proper discipline.  And, by returning to the one room school with children walking there, think what we could save on school buses and energy.

By rejecting effete development, we can encourage people to return to Jefferson’s dream of a farming nation.  Small rural farmers, that’s what this country needs.  No big corporations building jet airplanes or space vehicles.  My late husband, Benjamin Franklin Dogood, built buggies in our barn.  If we are to venture into space, why not return space ship building to small individual entrepreneurs?  Big corporations are evil. But, I’m so proud of foundations using hundreds of millions in inherited money to support those who, like me, would have us all remain of modest means, living the simple, plain, life as we know it and all must live it.

So, I urge the town board to honor the wishes of the community and to protect us from change, while mandating a return to simple earlier values.  We love our land, our air, and our water and only by dismantling the trappings of a technological and electronic society can we bring back the peace and tranquility of the past.  Those who do not wish to go along should be either compelled to do so, have their property confiscated, be forced to move elsewhere, or have their anti-social conduct criminalized.  A ban on all forms of economic development and a totally embracive zoning code reaching every use of land in the town is a good first step. I just know with officials like ours, there is no need to worry about “freedoms” getting in the way of the social good.

Dora Dogood
Town of Dryden

Related: : "We're not hobbits" at South of 5 and 20.

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