local government

Dora Dogood strikes again!

Haven't heard from the old battleaxe dear in a while. Turns out she's been taking a few turns in her Sopwith Camel.  

In this essay, Dora makes Hallmark's Maxine


look like



A few days ago, I was sitting in Dryden’s Queen Diner having coffee, reading my copy of the ever shrinking Ithaca Journal.  There, I learned that not only was our county legislature about to vote on the minimum wage but that it was also considering a vote on an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to withdraw person status from corporations.  This last item led me to almost choke on my coffee.  It should have been in the comics section.
Indeed, it would be humorous, if it was not so sad, to see a local government body concerning itself with an amendment of that type.  I hope we all learned in social studies classes what it takes to pass a constitutional amendment, a two-thirds vote of each house of Congress and ratification by three-quarters of the states.  This process is so rigorous that while many amendments have been introduced, very few have been adopted.  That’s for good reason, tampering with our constitution for any but the most serious reasons is at best unwise, at worst likely to be foolish.  As a practical matter, such voting by our county legislature is a total waste of time and resources, a blatant political statement, that will be dead on arrival wherever it is sent. And, we’re actually paying them to pretend to work on our behalf.
Thinking back to the last election of county board members about three years ago, I cannot remember anyone questioning candidates on their views about the American constitution or anyone voting to give them the power to speak for county residents on constitutional law.  Perhaps my memory has lapsed now that I’ve reached age 88, but I think not.
Have Albany and Washington been abolished?  Are we unrepresented there?  Have Jim Seward, Richard Hanna, Tom O’Mara, and Mike Nazzolio gone home?  A quick check on my iPhone said they are still in office.  But what do we need them for when we have Martha Robertson and her dwarfs to vote on these issues?
If a corporation wasn’t a person, who could we sue if wronged?  What would happen to the investments that support our pensions, including a lot of stock?  Who would risk their money by putting it into a non-entity?  It would be nice if occasionally people who come up with schemes like corporate non-personhood would think about where their proposals would take us.  Perhaps I’m expecting too much when asking people to think.
Local power grabs... For most of my long lifetime, local governments including our Dryden and county governments stuck to what local governments do best, mostly roads and a bit of public safety.  They checked on septic systems and made sure they met public health needs.  But, they did not vote on banning activities they didn’t like, far reaching zoning and environmental controls, minimum wages, or constitutional amendments.  Now, we have “home rule,” which means local officials erode our rights, take away our choices, and enact local laws about matters they haven’t the first clue about. Government of the uninformed, by the uninformed, and for the uniformed, where the loudest voice gets served and fears rather than information rule.

I’ll inevitably be “checking out” before too many more years.  What will happen to my children, grandchildren and beyond, I dread, particularly if they choose to live in this area.  Enough said, I’m off to do some flying.  Aerobatics, if mishandled, are a good way to realize how short life can be.
Town of Dryden
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