Tonawanda News

Columns

October 4, 2013

The view from the edge of the cliff

Tonawanda News — Like Picasso and Mozart, the basketball player Michael Jordan, in his prime, performed his art on a level beyond that of his contemporaries. On his chosen stage, limited by the dimensions of the court, he was an undisputed master, and some people attended his games simply so they could tell their grandchildren they saw the great Jordan at work.

Most tellingly to me, a guy who considers sport a performing art, Jordan — like Broadway theater stars, Wayne Gretzky and Nobel laureates — always respected the game, to the point of kneeling and kissing the court on the night of his last performance (all right, his first last performance).

Is there a lot of respect for the game, the process of great work, these days? Athletes? Financial counselors? Pop stars? Members of Congress?

A survey by Public Policy Polling, earlier this year, noted the U.S. Congress has a favorability rating of 9 percent, with 85 percent of respondents viewing it in a negative light. It is less popular than colonoscopies, root canal, head lice, Genghis Khan, France or being stuck in traffic (but ahead of Fidel Castro, North Korea and meth labs).

Alexander Solzhenitsyn once condemned a lot of stuff actuated by his former homeland, the country that kicked him out, the Soviet Union — for what, he asked. Ideology. Just ideology, an adherence to something called Communism.

The buffoons of the U.S. Congress are acting with a similar mindset, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out why. Bringing down President Obama? Scrapping a single piece of legislation passed by both houses of Congress, signed by the executive branch, approved by the Supreme Court and the court of public opinion (Obama vs. Romney, 2012), and growing increasingly popular every day?

Picking a fight they thought they’d win, by rigging an assortment of rules, then attempting to hold the government for ransom?

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Columns
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  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

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  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

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  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

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  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

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  • ADAMCZYK: Homesick for someplace I've never been You stumble over things that make you wonder. I do, at least, and the latest is one of those advertising artifacts from yesteryear that encourage me to ponder what's changed and what never will.

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  • WALLACE: Playing politics as usual The immigration crisis is just the most recent example of how dysfunctional Washington, D.C. is right now.

    July 10, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg A stunning scandal in Mississippi-voting|DUVALL: A stunning scandal in Mississippi We don't tend to talk a whole lot about Mississippi on this paper's editorial page and for good reason. It's a long way away in both distance and temperament. But I swear this will be worth it.

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  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: Employers don't need 24/7 access to workers

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  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Taste of Buffalo sneaks up again This time next week you can find me tromping somewhere up and down Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. I'll be there with tens of thousands of my closest friends.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

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