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January 10, 2013     The Clarendon Enterprise
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January 10, 2013
 

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2 i i ii , iiiii!il 'iiiii i i!iii 'ili! i!ii! Cili ili!ilili ii The Clarendon Enterprise * January 10, 2013 As this issue goes to press, our city leaders were again meeting to discuss important matters before them. Without any premonition of the results of that meeting, your humble editor hopes we can all agree that Clarendon is a town with a lot of potential if we can to focus our energies properly and set our goals high. After Christmas, our family took a much needed vacation to the Davis Mountains, and our travels took us through many small West Texas towns. Some of them were clearly doing well. Others were just as clearly teetering on oblivion. Over four days we stayed in and toured Fort Davis and Mafia. Both towns are wonderful places to get away from it all, enjoy a slow pace of life, and take in some enriching Southwest history. The McDonald Observatory editor's provides a great educational opportunity for kids of all commentary ages, and our stay at the Prude by roger estlack Ranch was very restful indeed. Like nearly all West Texas folks, everyone we encoun- tered was very friendly and helpful. But one thing was obvious, setting aside a couple of obvious attractions, Fort Davis and Mafia aren't that much different from Clarendon. They both have done very well at attracting tourists and unique busi- nesses, but let's face it - you have to be going to Mafia. You're not just on your way to Denver or Dallas like so many thousands of people are when they travel through Clarendon on US 287. And we have some things that other rural communities could only dream of having - Clarendon College being the most promi- :. nent example. And so this begins what hopefully will be a series of editorials that will offer suggestions to move Clarendon forward by capitalizing on our assets and seizing opportunities. If any of you readers have ideas along these lines, I encourage you to write them down and share them with us. This week, let's look at some business ideas that I think would work in Clarendon and enhance our quality of life or our attractiveness to potential residents. Some of these could be incor- porated or co-opted by existing businesses, and others would require a new establishment. It is important to remember that sometimes it takes thinking outside the box to make a business idea work in a small town. In Mafia we visited an ice cream parlor, espresso shop, and laundry mat.., all in the same location. It was a unique idea, and the barista there said they stay busy all the time from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. All three of those functions, by the way, would be a nice addition to our city. Another thing we need - desperately - is new housing for students and medium income families. A lack of housing is the number one detriment to attract- ing more college students to Clarendon and is a big stumbling block for young families who move here to take jobs at the school, college, and elsewhere. Most rental properties seem to stay full, so perhaps we could attract a developer to build a small apartment complex Or series of duplexes to fill this bill. Clarendon needs a "destination restaurant?' We have some good places to eat, but what l'm talking about is the kind of place that builds a reputation for itself to such a degree that travelers plan to stop in Clarendon to eat at that restaurant because of its con- sistently good or unique food, a unique atmosphere, and its reputation. Mrs. Bromley's Dining Room was such a place. Her food was featured in the Ford Times published by Ford Motor Company and people came from all over the nation to eat with her. Mrs. Bromley closed her doors about 30 years ago, and every couple of years, we still have people stop by the newspaper asking for directions to her dining room. In more recent times, JAMZ became something of a destination with its pizza, fresh sandwiches, and Debbie's homemade pies;" and I would say that Sam Hill's Pit BBQ was certainly a destination until it burned to the ground. With a little work, a couple of our local places have the potential to become destination restaurants, but we need an eating establishment that puts Clarendon on the map again. We need a bookstore.., or a least a store that sells books. They make great gifts, and tourists love books with a local flavor. The Donley County Courthouse is featured in at least two books on Texas courthouses, a book was written a few years ago set in early day Howardwick, Lonesome Dove has ties to local his- tory, I saw a book in Fort Davis that featured modern tintype photos of cowboys from the JA Ranch, and the list could go on and on. Combine all those with books on Panhandle history, books about Charles Goodnight, books about the Palo Duro, and books of West Texas photographs like those by Wyman Meinzer, and you've got a heck of a start on a bookstore or a book section anyway that focuses on Donley County's heritage. We need an art gallery or maybe several art gal- leries. With all the current and historic talent we have here - most prominently with Harold Bugbee - it is a shame that we don't have a gallery downtown. Per- haps a local artist or organization could partner with the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum and set up a Harold & Olive Vandruff Bugbee Gallery in Clarendon that would feature works by famous and up-and-com- ing local artists and draw people off the highway. We need donuts! My kingdom for donuts! In fact, I think a bakery could do well here if it made donuts and other pastries and featured a light lunch menu. And there are other businesses we need, but we're short on space. We'll continue the conversation next week, but in the meantime I encourage every- one to dream a little bit about what we'd like to see Clarendon become. Write your ideas down and let's put them in print. Resolve to get involved in 2013, and let's move this community forward. nction continues In case you haven't noticed, I don't suffer fools gladly, even myself. And believe me; over the years I have created my fair share of foolishness. But that's another story. Anyway, while chatting with a friend over the weekend, in con- nection with a book we are collaborating on, I wondered where that term origi- nated. Come to find out, the phrase origi- nally came from William Tyndale's 1534 translation of the Bible. In it, Paul was having a "come to Jesus" correspon- dence with the decadent citizens of Corinth, for turning away from his own authoritative teaching and falling for a bunch of third-rate false teachers. "For ye suffers fool gladly," Paul writes with scornful disdain, "seeing ye yourselves are wise?' Of course, Tyndale did not suffer fools gladly either, and in defiance of the Church of England and Henry VIII, published his version of the Bible. His reward for publishing his Bible was a conviction of heresy, getting executed by strangulation, and his body then burned at the stake. Not suffering fools gladly can have unexpectedly harsh conse- quences if you aren't careful. These days, the phrase is often used as an almost compliment. It implies that a person is so smart that he has trouble tolerating people who are far below his own high intellect and abilities. It is used to describe a person who is so passionately committed to a vital cause that he doesn't have the time or patience to exhibit good manners toward those idiots who stand in its way. It is used to convey a level of social courage; a person who has the cojonies to tell idiots what he really thinks. So, I am, once again, refusing to suffer fools gladly. In this case, the fools or idiots I'm not suffering gladly are the American voters and Congress. It is our fault and our fault alone, that we have a Congress full of dysfunctional dingbats, people who simply cannot think for themselves and find a way to compro- mise in order to adequately address our nation's business. You see, the Congress didn't really permanently avert the fiscal cliff, the artificial disaster theycreated that would force them to do the dgfi'l~lldiigl They just rescheduled it in March. Mean- while, they were able to raise about $600 billion in increased tax revenue over the next 10 years, while allowing our debt to accrue $8 trillion over the same time the quick, the dead, frame. It is not ~ fred cool to raise " $600 billionbyj~edgray while spending $8 trillion. Why would they do such a thing? Because of us. You see, America spent the 20th Century building the Cadillac of all welfare states. It was a wonderful achievement, increasing opportunity and security for millions, citizens and non- citizens alike. Unfortunately, life being life, the population aged and health care costs proliferated. In short, it has become unaffordable. Public debt as a percentage of gross domestic product was around 40 percent in 1965. It is around 75 percent now. Debt could approach a disastrous 90 ' percent of G.D.P. in a decade, and a dev- astating 247 percent of G.D.E 30 years from now, according to the Congressio- nal Budget Office. By 2025, entitlement spending and debt payments are projected to consume all federal revenue. Obligations to the elderly are already hurting programs for the young and the poor. Those obliga- tions will lead to massive living standard declines for future generations. Accord- ing to the I.M.E, meeting America's long-term obligations will require an immediate and permanent 35 percent increase in all taxes and a 35 percent cut in all benefits. Sound fun? Everyone with a brain understands that we must do something fundamental to save these programs. Those without brains - who choose to deny our debt have produced a balanced approach that would have combined spending cuts and increased taxes. They could have reduced Medicare spending on the rich to free up more money for young fami- lies. The recent Congressional changes are not a balance of tax increases and spending cuts. They were unable to make a single hard decision. The new bill does almost nothing to con- trol spending. It abandons all of the entitlement reform ideas that have been discussed ad nauseam. It locks in low tax rates on families making less than $450,000; making it is simply impos- sible to avoid catastrophe unless tax increases go below that level. Rather than laying the ground- work for future compromises, it forces the country into several more years of budget trench warfare. Make no mis- take; there will be a nasty fight over the dire spending cuts known as sequestra- tion, then over a new debt limit... There will be more strife and brinkmanship, more posturing and pouting, which will only poison future budget talks, prospects for immigration reform, tax reform, gun control, and investments in infrastructure. Ultimately, we should blame the American voters. The average Medicare couple pays $109,000 into the program and gets $343,000 in benefits out, according to the Urban Institute. This is $234,000 in free money. Many voters have decided they like spending a lot on themselves and pushing costs onto their children and grandchildren. They like borrowing up to $1 trillion a year for tax credits, disability payments, defense contracts and the rest. They have made it clear that they will discard any politician who tries to stop them from cost-shifting in this way. Congress is responding capably to the popular will. Reactionary Democrats peril, skip happily along the yellow brick reject any measure to touch Medicare or road, on their way to tea parties - refus- ing to pay higher taxes and give up enti- tlements in order to save our children's futures. The problem is that our politicians have never found a politically feasible way to make the simple changes. Every time they tried to reduce debt they ended up borrowing more - making everything even worse. Congress could other entitlement programs. Frail Repub- licans talk about reducing the debt, but are incapable of forging a deal that bal- ances tax increases with spending cuts. No group of Congressional leaders has successfully confronted the voters, and made them heedful of the ruin they are bringing upon the nation. It seems that we are the fools that we don't suffer gladly. must en Texans would have been hit with the biggest tax increase in the history of our country if Congress failed to act on the American Taxpayer Relief Act in the early hours of 2013. The question 1 faced was, "Would Texans be better off with a massive tax increase?" In good conscience, I could not allow this to take place. I don't believe Washington needs more money; I believe Texans should keep more of their hard-earned dollars, which is why I voted for the act. This bill, while admittedly not perfect, makes tax cuts permanent for nearly all Texans. Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the fiscal cliff ordeal was that Presi- dent Obama engaged in the same type of brinksmanship that has become his hall- mark. For the fourth time in two years, he stalled and delayed on critical fiscal policy actions. In December 2010, it was the two- year extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. In the spring of 2011, a government shutdown was narrowly averted by a midnight vote on Capitol Hill. The fol- lowing summer brought us to the brink once more when the president walked away from the negotiating table on a deal surrounding the debt ceiling. And, of course, Congress rang in the new year with a last-minute escape from the larg- est tax increase in American history. In every instance, the looming deadline for action has been obvious. And in every instance, the White House has purpose- fully slow- walked the process in a texas shameless attempt to times score cheap by sen. john cornyn political points. The result has been a series of manufactured crises that have brought the country to the brink of economic catastrophe. This is a terrible, acrimoni- ous way of doing business. It diminishes global confidence in the United States, and it is a disservice to the American people. Simply put, this must change. Over the next few months, we will reach deadlines related to the debt ceiling, the sequester and the continu- ing appropriations resolution that has funded federal operations since October. If history is any guide, President Obama won't see fit to engage congressional Republicans until the 1 lth hour. In fact, he has already signaled an unwillingness to negotiate over the debt ceiling. This is unacceptable. The president should immediately put forward a plan that addresses these deadlines, and he should launch serious, transparent budget nego- tiations. The biggest fiscal problem in Wash- ington is excessive spending, not insuffi- cient taxation. Tax cuts didn't cause this problem, so tax increases won't solve it. If we don't reduce spending and reform our three biggest entitlement programs - Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security - then we will strangle economic growth, destroy jobs and reduce our standard of living. With the national debt above $16 trillion, and with more than $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities hanging over us, our toughest fiscal decisions cannot be postponed any longer. Republicans are more determined than ever to implement the spending cuts and structural entitlement reforms that are needed to secure the long-term fiscal integrity of our country. The coming deadlines will be the next flashpoints in our ongoing fight to bring fiscal sanity to Washington. It may be necessary to partially shut down the government in order to secure the long-term fiscal well being of our country, rather than plod along the path of Greece, Italy and Spain. President Obama needs to take note of this reality and put forward a plan to avoid it imme- diately. Sen. Cornyn serves on the Finance and Judiciary Committees. He is the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee's Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge. Efffei']5i-ise 135th Year, Series 3, Vol. XXIV. No. 2 E17.40 The ~leren~lt ErltenPtlae (USPS 947040, ISSN 1088-9698) Is published each Thursday by Roger A. Eetlaek at 105 S. Kearney Street, Clarendon, Texas 79226-1110. Periodicals postage paid at Clarendon, Texas 79226-11/0. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. This paper's first duty is to print all the news that is fit to print, honestly and fairly to all, unbiased by any consideration even its own editorial opinion. Any erroneous reflection upon the character, stand- ing, or reputation of any person, firm, or corporation which may occur in the columns of ~he Clarendon Enterprlae will be gladly corrected upon being brought to the attention of the management, ENTERPRISE STAFF Roger A. Estlack Publisher & Editor Ashlee Estlack Contributing Editor Tara Hogan Office Director Morgan Wheatly Ads & Layouts CORRESPONDENTS Peggy Cockerham Howardwick Sandy Anderberg Clarendon Sports Fred Gray College & Hedley Sports Karl Undsey Photographer Matthew Martlnoz Photographer Kathy Spler Hedley CONTACT INFORMATION Phone 806.874.2259 Fax 806.874.2423 E-Mail news@clarendononllne.com Web Site www.Clarendon Llve.com ADVERTISING Open Display rates are $5 per PASS column inch. Classified Ads are $8 for the first 15 words and 15 per word for each additional word (Boxes or special typography are extra.). Thank You Notes are $10 for the first 40 words and 15 per word for each additional word. Basic engagement, wedding anni- versary, and birth announcements are $10 each. Expended wedding announcements are $20. A one-column announcement pic- ture is $5, and a two-column announcement picture',is $10. Pictures submitted ,for publi- cation should be picked up within ten days after publication. DEADLINES News articles and photos are due by Monday at noon. Advertising and Classl- Beds are due by five o'clock Monday after- noon. Deadlines may be altered for holidays or special issues. SUBSCRIPTIONS Annual subscriptions are available for $25 for zip codes inside Donley County, $35 elsewhere in Texas, and $40 out of state. POSTMASTER: Send all address changes to: The Clarendon Enterprise, PO Box 1110, Clarendon, TX 79226-1110. Digital Sub- scrlptlona are $14.95 per year. LETTERS Letters to the editor are welcome. Views expressed in letters are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor or staff of The Clarendon Enter- prise. Submission of a letter does not guar- antee publication. Letters may be edited for grammar, style, or length. All letters must be signed and must include an address and telephone number for verification. To improve your chances of publication, type and double space your letter, stick to one main topic, and keep it brief. No letters will be accepted from candidates for local politi- cal offices. Letters submitted to this newspa- per become the property of The Enterprise and cannot be returned. The Texas Panhandle's First Newspaper THE CL~,~Oor~ NEWS, established June 1, 1878 with which have merged: The Clarendon Traveler, February 1889; The Clarendon Journal, November 1891; The 6anner-Steckman, October 1893; The Agitator, February 1899; The Clarendon Times, May 1908; The Donley County Leader, March 12. 1929; The Clarendon Press, May 18, 1972; and The Clarendon Enterprise, March 14, 1996. Member 2013 National Newspaper Association Texas Press Association West Texas Press Association Panhandle Press Association ! I I ! r i II II [MI II I I I I