Most people with Down's have good quality of life
As a parent of a child with Down syndrome, I want to thank The News for the Oct. 12 Viewpoints article, "Changing the perception of Down syndrome." Prospective parents need to know the potential, not just the problems, of children with Down syndrome if they are to make an informed decision about carrying the baby to term.
It was interesting to observe the difference in opinion between the professionals, who had a much more negative point of view, and the families of children with Down syndrome, who emphasized the joy and love that they experienced.
Research on attitude differences supports the supposition that professionals tend to focus on the problems. In one study of individuals with disabilities, 86 percent rated the quality of their life as average or better while only 17 percent of the medical staff who worked with them thought they could have an average or better quality of life.
Parents who get a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome should insist that they be put in contact with families with similar children so they can get the whole picture. These parents will not hide the realities from you, but they will also tell you about the help that is out there.
Our community has a healthy, vibrant Down Syndrome Parent Support Group (www.dspgwny.org). Talk to them before you make a decision. You won't be sorry.
Mary Jo Butler
Being a businessman can't guarantee success
The only reason that millionaire congressional candidate Chris Lee has given us to vote for him is that he is a businessman. But for the last eight years, the government in Washington has been run by rich Republican businessmen, and it's been a total disaster. Clearly, businessmen are good at running businesses but are failures at running the government. So why would the citizens of this district send yet one more rich Republican businessman to Washington?
Some people say that the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over again, and expecting a different result. Sending Lee to Washington and expecting something other than the failure of the last eight years to happen, fits this definition. For a real change to happen in Washington, we need to change the people we send there. Alice Kryzan offers a real change.
Voters ignored again as bailout is approved
Once again, the leaders we have elected to represent us in Congress have demonstrated their utter disdain for the desires of their constituents. The voters made it abundantly clear that they did not want the bailout package adopted. Because such great amounts of money are paid by special interest groups, elected officials must acquiesce to them and ignore the electorate.
Most of the safeguards put in place to prevent another stock market crash like the one in 1929 have been voted out of existence. Thus the onus for this present crisis begins in Washington. Campaign money taken from various financial institutions does indeed pay dividends.
The only goal of elected officials seems to be re-election. Despite abysmal approval ratings, the majority will serve more terms. Shame on them. Shame on us.
Reed W. Bender
Why don't media assail Obama's link to Ayers?
The current coverage of the two major candidates by the media is puzzling, to say the least. For months, Barack Obama has been trying to associate John McCain with President Bush, with some effect. Yet at the same time, we are told Obama's associations with 1960s domestic terrorists and prejudiced religious leaders are either overblown or water under the bridge.
If McCain had been found to be associated with someone who blew up abortion clinics in the 1970s, the media wouldn't let us hear the end of it. A person is known by who he associates with. If the media want to be taken seriously, they have to start reporting the news in a balanced and timely manner.
Obama, Biden are trying to run positive campaign
To the gentleman who believes late-night talk shows only attack John McCain and Sarah Palin, did it ever occur to him that Barack Obama and Joe Biden never put themselves in the position to be mocked and ridiculed? They present themselves with class and rarely "mud-sling" when it comes to the campaign, except to defend themselves against ridiculous accusations. These "attacks" on McCain and Palin are warranted, and they have only themselves to blame.
Change requires sacrifice, can only come from within
With Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain both laying claim to the "change" mantle, it should be pointed out that neither presidential candidate is being forthright with the American people. What they're not saying is this: True change requires sacrifice. Though it can be deeply rewarding, it is not without pain. True change can only come from within.
From the financial crisis and the looming insolvencies of Social Security and Medicare, to countering the threat of terrorism. From the rising costs of energy, health care, education and infrastructure, to the increasing and often unrealistic expectations of a high-tech society. Solving the huge problems our country faces demands change -- in the way we structure our lives, and in how each of us conserves and utilizes resources. The truth is you have to change yourself.
Clinton has proposed plan to aid homeowners
A recent letter that claimed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has not done anything for us concerning the economic crisis disregarded all the work our senator has done for us over the last several years. Consistently, Clinton has called for action and attention to be brought to this train wreck of a situation, as it was approaching and now that it has come.
In proposing a new Home Owners' Loan Corporation similar to the one enacted in 1931 -- a national effort that would help homeowners refinance their mortgages through buying failed mortgages from banks and modifying the terms to make them affordable -- Clinton has wholeheartedly supported the effort to keep American families in their homes.
Our senator has also repeatedly called for taxpayers to be protected in the solution to this crisis, being at the front of the call for more accountability on the behalf of these corporations.