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Archive for October 26th, 2009

GRASS ROOTS POWER

Doug Hoffman Surges
By Nancy Matthis  |  Monday, October 26th, 2009 at 1:27 pm

A poll conducted over the weekend by the Club for Growth shows Conservative Doug Hoffman surging into the lead in New York’s 23rd Congressional District. The Oct. 24-25 poll shows Conservative Doug Hoffman with 31.3%, Democrat Bill Owens with 27.0%, Republican Dede Scozzafava with 19.7%, and 22% undecided.

Multiple viable political parties have existed in New York State for some time. In addition to the Republican and Democratic parties, there have been the Liberal and Conservative parties, and more recently the Working Families Party which was organized by the now-infamous Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).

The Conservative Party was founded in 1962, and eight short years later, James Buckley was elected to the United States Senate running on the Conservative line only, in a three-way race against Republican and Democratic candidates. Popular Buffalo mayor Jimmy Griffin was first elected solely on the Conservative line in 1977, and served for sixteen years.

Many see in the Hoffman candidacy a reprise of the Buckley contest. Outsiders look at party labels, and assume that Hoffman is splitting the Republican vote with Scozzafava, leaving Owens with the Democratic half. But that is not the way New York State works — it divides along conservative-liberal lines. In reality, Owens and Scozzafava are splitting the liberal vote, leaving Hoffman with the conservative half.

The Hoffman candidacy is also noteworthy for attracting the support of tea party patriots throughout the country, giving it national resonance. A Hoffman win would have tremendous implications for grass roots power, especially since both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton have been fundraising for his Democratic opponent and Newt Gingrich has vehemently supported his Republican opponent.

Doug Hoffman has been compared to the Jimmy Stewart character in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. If he wins, for a moment we can all enjoy the feeling of a return to those more honest times.

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Deciding who lives and who dies – Part III

By Harris Sherline

Comments and observations about disabilities that provide us with revealing insights:

“Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there’s a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see…No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit…I also dislike people who try to talk down to my understanding. They are like people who when walking with you try to shorten their steps to suit yours; the hypocrisy in both cases is equally exasperating.” – Helen Keller (1880-1968), born blind and deaf.

“The problems of deafness are deeper and more complex, if not more important, than those of blindness. Deafness is a much worse misfortune. For it means the loss of the most vital stimulus–the sound of the voice that brings language, sets thoughts astir and keeps us in the intellectual company of man.” – Helen Keller

“Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all — the apathy of human beings.” – Helen Keller

“Each handicap is like a hurdle in a steeplechase, and when you ride up to it, if you throw your heart over, the horse will go along, too.” – Lawrence Bixby, author of over 40 books.

“We all have a disability of some kind; all are lacking in one way or another. Saul has an injury to his leg. What if his personality was deformed? How much worse if his soul was lame? Preachers or teachers look for the good in all of us. (Bless them for doing so.) I don’t see a cripple. I haven’t met anyone yet who isn’t handicapped in some way. So what’s the big deal? Don’t hide your deformity. Wear it like a Purple Heart.” – Georgiann Baldino, author, co-founder of cancer support group.

“I discovered early that the hardest thing to overcome is not a physical disability but the mental condition which it induces. The world, I found, has a way of taking a man pretty much at his own rating. If he permits his loss to make him embarrassed and apologetic, he will draw embarrassment from others. But if he gains his own respect, the respect of those around him comes easily.” – Alexander de Seversky (1894-1974), aviation pioneer.

“But pain… seems to me an insufficient reason not to embrace life. Being dead is quite painless. Pain, like time, is going to come on regardless. Question is, what glorious moments can you win from life in addition to the pain?” – Lois McMaster Bujold (1949-), science fiction writer.

“The healthy and strong individual is the one who asks for help when he needs it. Whether he’s got an abscess on his knee or in his soul.” – Rona Barrett (1936-), Hollywood columnist, author, TV

“Disability is not a brave struggle or ‘courage in the face of adversity.’ Disability is an art. It’s an ingenious way to live.” – Neil Marcus (1954-), poet, playwright, disabled from age eight.

“Not only do physically disabled people have experiences which are not available to the able-bodied, they are in a better position to transcend cultural mythologies about the body, because they cannot do things the able-bodied feel they must do in order to be happy, ‘normal,’ and sane….If disabled people were truly heard, an explosion of knowledge of the human body and psyche would take place.” – Susan Wendell, Ph.D., feminist author, suffers with chronic fatigue syndrome.

“For me, the wheelchair symbolizes disability in a way a cane does not.” – Annette Funicello (1942-), actress, suffers with multiple sclerosis.

“A true friend knows your weaknesses but shows you your strengths; feels your fears but fortifies your faith; sees your anxieties but frees your spirit; recognizes your disabilities but emphasizes your possibilities.” – William Arthur Ward (1921-1994), author, poet, columnist.

“It (hepatitis C) will kill four times as many Americans as AIDS will over the next decade. I feel that whatever kind of disability God has given me, as an entertainer and as a public figure, it is so I can be a representative for others.” – Naomi Judd (1946-), singer, entertainer, mother of actress Ashley Judd and singer Wynonna, suffered with hepatitis C.

“Americans believe that people should work hard and get ahead on their own, but when disaster strikes and they need help with retirement or disability, Americans as a whole should come to their aid.” – Jacob Hacker, Ph.D. (1971-), professor of Political Science, UC Berkeley.

“Disability is a matter of perception. If you can do just one thing well, you’re needed by someone.” – Martina Navratilova (1956-), world champion tennis player.

“Congress acknowledged that society’s accumulated myths and fears about disability and disease are as handicapping as are the physical limitations that flow from actual impairment.” – William J. Brennan, Jr. (1906-1997), Associate Justice of U.S. Supreme Court.

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” – Scott Hamilton (1958-), American figure skater, four time Olympic champion.

“I was slightly brain damaged at birth, and I want people like me to see that they shouldn’t let a disability get in the way. I want to raise awareness – I want to turn my disability into ability.” – Susan Boyle (1961-), Scottish singer.

“It is a lonely existence to be a child with a disability which no-one can see or understand, you exasperate your teachers, you disappoint your parents, and worst of all you know that you are not just stupid.” – Susan Hampshire (1937-), English actress, TV star.

“It was ability that mattered, not disability, which is a word I’m not crazy about using.” – Marlee Matlin (1965-), American actress, deaf (from 18 months of age)

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