I can still remember listening to President John Kennedy propose landing a man on the moon within 10 years. It seemed unimaginable.
The thought of man in space was still the subject of science-fiction books. Yet, it seemed like it might be possible, and a whole bunch of then-teenagers started planning their astronaut careers. There was little talk in the media about the cost, which was great.
When President Dwight Eisenhower proposed the interstate highway system, which would take 40 years to complete, there was little debate about the cost.
No one today could argue about the benefit to the country of either program. Once we can agree on the vision, the budgeting can be figured out later.
If we started with a “budget-first” mentality, nothing of value would be proposed and nothing of value would get done. Anyone who has sat in a company meeting for more than a few minutes can verify that statement.
And that’s the biggest problem we have now. We have huge opportunities ahead that will require investments, and we are stuck debating the cost before we start.
What is today’s “man in space” idea?
What would Jesus do?
The Christian values I was taught centered around the idea that Jesus brought the message of love to a world mired in hatefulness and spite. Instead of love coming from these so-called Christians who drive the Republican Party, I hear harsh judgment toward our fellow man, vitriol, intolerance — everything Jesus taught against.
Jesus took steps to enlighten the world. “Light a candle and set it on a hill for all to see.” I see no light as I watch and listen the right’s rhetoric. I feel enveloped by darkness.
“Be not afraid,” Jesus said. But fear spills from the mouths of the Republican Christians, driving them to control our lives — from who gets to marry to how women are to behave in our society.
How do these so-called Christians dismiss so easily Jesus’ admonition, “Judge not lest ye be judged?” When a crowd of righteous followers of Jesus threw a prostitute before him, he admonished them to cast a stone only if they had no sin in their own hearts.
Where are the meek, loving and honest Christians who truly live by their savior’s teachings?
U.S. nanny state
I just finished reading the Department of Labor’s fact sheet on the proposed Federal Agricultural Child Labor Provision. I was dismayed to discover that as a child I appear to have broken every rule the government had proposed.
My parents were obviously negligent and unfit to raise children, and I am simply lucky just to be alive. This nation’s lawmakers had been set to impose their view of what was “safe” for my own young children and I am simply amazed that I, their father, had never once thought of protecting their well-being.
What wonderful leadership our country’s lawmakers possess to succeed in protecting my children where I have obviously failed. I can only hope any new law will shelter my kids from the horrors of feeding cattle, baling hay and participating in 4-H.
Perhaps, too, they can be dissuaded — for their own well-being — from riding bicycles, climbing trees or going outdoors at all.
How lucky we are to have a government with the power to watch over our families and protect us from harm and with the wisdom to help us raise our children where we ourselves are so incapable.
Do politicians know anything about taxes? It’s becoming apparent that many elected officials understand little about taxation because they never tell anyone what services will disappear. Perhaps elected officials have no clue.
I do not perceive Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback as the economic giant of our time. All of today’s elected officials cut as many taxes as possible.
Thinkers, get your wallets out. You are about to be exposed to higher taxes, increased fees and increased water and sewer rates as a result of all the state-level tax cuts.
Public swimming will cost more. Public education will cost more.
Forcing locals into increased taxes to pay the bills allows too many politicians in Topeka to say, “We do not believe in increasing taxes,” which is one big fat lie.
You name it, public services will cost more.
War is not the answer
The presidential candidates seem to believe war, which leads to more wars, is the solution to current international problems.
Haven’t they been paying attention to what has happened the past 100 years?
We have had World War I (“the war to end all wars”), World War II, the introduction of the atomic bomb and the hydrogen bomb and Korea, a war whose only solution was a line in the sand.
Then there was Vietnam, a war that should never have been, yet by the time we were ushered out by the North Vietnamese, 58,000 Americans had died, and some are still not home.
There have been wars in the Falklands, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan — this list goes on and on.
Would the presidential candidates be willing to send their children into a war that did not have to be?
No one wins. Cool heads over current international pressures may take time, but a continuation of our tomorrows is a reality that we all want.
William S. Pitchford
Electric car event
The May 26 article, “Charged up,” was one of the best I’ve seen about the current status and merits of electric cars. Having driven my Chevy Volt more than 15,000 miles (I drive about 600 miles a week), I can confirm the real pleasure that comes from driving a stylish, responsive, full-function car of the future that does it all using a quarter of the gasoline I used before.
I believe Star readers would be interested in the Electric Avenue event happening today. Partnering with a major regional ethnic food festival (KosherFest), this event will showcase a wide variety of electric cars, including those highlighted in the article.
This is on top of great food, entertainment and activities for kids. Electric Avenue/KosherFest is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Congregation Ohev Sholom at 75th Street and Nall Avenue in Prairie Village.
Money wasted in Kansas
Recently I received a yard waste survey from the office of the Jackson County executive. In the cover letter, officials mentioned the county’s partner in the survey is based in Olathe. Why is Jackson County spending money and sending jobs (if even temporary ones) out of state?
This could have been accomplished in many other ways. A seniors or veterans group could have done it, or it could have been a project for graduating seniors, college students or even some local scout troops.
The best organization I could think of would be Jackson County’s employees. Give their own people a little overtime money instead of sending it to Kansas.
The way I see it, it’s no different than sending American jobs overseas. Granted, it’s on a much smaller scale, yet the principle is the same.
Making America better
Letters concerned about public immorality are increasing before the election. Writers are blaming the decline of morality on gays, the Obama administration and the removal of the Bible from our public schools several years ago.
They want to throw the bums out and return religious teaching to the classroom.
In Middle Eastern monarchies, the Qur’an is the law and taught in every school, with moral police patrolling the streets. Young people have to socialize behind locked doors. A woman accused of adultery is stoned to death by her family.
Our churches have traditionally dictated public morality, which was enforced by law. Even married couples could not legally use contraceptives.
Our government has gradually abolished segregation and Jim Crow laws, many divorce laws, movie censorship, Prohibition and laws governing private sexual behavior. For all its faults, our government is now more transparent, more humane and more responsive to the desires of its citizens.
Jeanette B. Welch
Thanks for service
My daughter and I attended the Celebration at the Station. The event was wonderful as usual.
We were packing up to leave when an attractive woman approached, handed me a card, turned and disappeared into the nighttime crowd. The card read, “Thank you for your service ....”
I had simply stood when asked to honor my branch of the armed forces, and she had noticed. That meant something special. Young lady, thank you for your unselfish act of respect.