Tonawanda News

Columns

October 11, 2013

ADAMCZYK: Packing a sunset into a mailing tube

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — If a society has the technological wherewithal to pull it off, a system such as this can be admirable, and perhaps better than that set-up we occasionally (and only momentarily) admire of societies allegedly less further advanced than ours (i.e., some Third World arrangement, or what we were like, four or more generations ago), of using it up, wearing it out, making it do or going without.

Are ideas like that, appropriate for places and situations but not exactly transferable in time? Of course they are. 

Chris Matthews, he of the “my questions are better than their answers” political talk show on television, has recently written a book about Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill, two master politicians of the 1980s with opposing views on pretty much everything but somehow assured that Washington got things done. The book is evidently an homage to the good old days when old coots in a closed room arranged to paper over a lot of political discontent, over drinks, and get legislation passed and signed. 

And boy, apparently, do we need that now, I guess.

The essayist Gerald Early has noted that, in 2,000 years, America will be remembered for three things: baseball, jazz and its Constitution. A clever line, to be sure, but all three manage to hang on without much direct interest from the public these days. The U.S. Constitution is not the first of its kind and won’t be the last, and it is even no longer the model for aspiring free societies these days, the aforementioned strivers typically preferring Canada’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a starting point.

As far as constitutions go (federal, municipal, that of the local garden club), they reach the end of their usable lives when all the loopholes have been found. 

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Columns
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On lines blurred, crossed and nonexistent It strikes me more and more how blurry the lines have gotten in all facets of our world, large and small.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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.

    July 18, 2014

  • 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.

    July 17, 2014

  • 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.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo