Space program benefits
In today’s economy, there have been those who question the need to continue our current space programs. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was mocked for suggesting that we colonize the moon. Even our missions to Mars seem useless to some.
However, I agree with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson in wanting to bring back the era of innovation and discovery of the 1960s and 1970s. When we have innovation and discovery as part of our culture, we innovate and discover things that other cultures don’t produce. The creation of jobs from these innovations and discoveries could keep our economy going.
An astonishing thing from the space program was the miniaturization of electrical circuits (because of the need to reduce the weight of the capsule that would carry our crew into space and back safely), which eventually allowed for smartphones. The space program produced microwaves, Teflon (and, of course, Tang) and other things too numerous to list.
So, why continue the space program?
To reignite national unity, reinsert innovation and discovery into our country’s culture and keep jobs in America.
Isn’t that worth the small portion of the entire nation’s budget?
Diane M. Douthit
Bluford home troubled
I see where a group is repairing the home of baseball icon Buck O’Neil (9-5, A1, “Restoring the home of a KC legend”). The home of another outstanding Kansas Citian is also in need of much work as it has been allowed to sit in disrepair for several years and has been cited by the city to be repaired or torn down.
That is the home of Lucile Bluford at 25th Street and Montgall Avenue, where she arrived at age 10 and lived for the next 78 years. It is where the respected journalist and her brothers grew up.
It would be a shame if this house, which is just eight blocks from the recently remodeled library that bears her name, is torn down. Maybe it could be used somehow as a mentoring center for young people interested in the news media, so in some way it could serve as an outreach branch of the library.
It is my hope that someone will take an interest in this house, too.
Gwen L. Calderon
No singing for Akin
Good grief. I received a recording from Pat Boone supporting Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin.
Boone didn’t even croon a tune for Todd. How sad.
The Koch brothers’ mission is not to rescue America, (10-14, A1, “The Kochs’ mission to rescue America”). The Kochs’ mission is to take over America.
It is estimated that the Kochs are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to buy government at all levels: local, state and national. They won’t tell us how much they spend because secrecy and deception are their mode of operation.
Their misdeeds are many. They have a long history of pollution. Residents living near their Georgia-Pacific plant in Crossett, Ark., have a high incidence of cancer.
They fund many front groups, such as organizations that deny climate change. These groups then secretly promote their right-wing, corporate agenda, including dismantling Social Security.
They support lower wages for working people through union busting. Their goal is not democracy; their goal is plutocracy and a corporate state: government of, by and for the rich and for corporations.
This is not the rescue of but the destruction of democracy and of America.
Change in Congress
I wonder what it will take to educate people on how to pick a representative for Congress. It amazes me how people do this.
I have seen such comments as:
• He is nice; he works for his people (this one happens to be African-American).
• He was my preacher. Nothing about how he voted while in Congress. Meanwhile, he drives a nice car on the taxpayers’ dime, sticking the taxpayers with bills on his car-washing business.
Is this who you want representing you? How about representing all his constituents, not just some?
How about when he stormed out of the Congress with Rep. Nancy Pelosi?
We need to get rid of all career politicians in Congress. We need a change in the 5th District.
Vote your conscience
The phrase “vote your conscience” should be applied to all of us as we go to the polls this election year. From incumbents to challengers, the majority of Republicans continue to defy the people they supposedly represent.
Without a viable alternative to the Affordable Care Act, Republicans solicit votes by vowing they’ll overturn Obamacare.
They want to overturn things like no deductibles for senior citizens’ prescription medications, no charge for preventive screenings, coverage for those with pre-existing health issues, extended coverage for children and holding health insurance companies accountable to their customers, just to name a few.
Republicans are embracing Mitt Romney as their presidential candidate, even though he epitomizes the elitist attitude by refusing to release more of his tax returns or to explain his millions in untaxed foreign investments and despite his blaring ignorance of the everyday struggles of the majority of Americans.
It’s time to stop voting for a party that uses lies and scare tactics.
This time, don’t let commercials decide your vote.
Vote against Republicans who have no respect for our teachers, police officers, firefighters and other public workers.
Don’t get voters’ amnesia, and vote no when it comes to the Republican Party.
Richard G. Green
Dear Gov. Romney
I am 42. I paid for my private college education with savings inherited from my great-aunt and borrowed money that I am still paying back for graduate school.
My husband started a small Internet company with five other dreamers when he was in his 20s, and that company eventually was acquired by a larger public company.
Most of that profit is in retirement savings; the bulk of the rest was used as a down payment on our house.
We have been self-employed for the past 14 years and run a small Web-development firm out of that home.
We have paid (lots of) taxes and provided for our own health insurance, Social Security and retirement savings for all of that time.
We have never asked our government to give us any of those things.
We do, however, ask that our government keep the 1 percent from taking those things away from us.
That is why I’m voting for President Barack Obama.
Good election choices
This is another interesting election year for many races, particularly for the presidency.
Independent voters have a choice.
Tea partiers want all the government subsidies cut except theirs.
Remember, when the government makes money available for the poor it is called welfare. When it is done for the wealthy it is called a subsidy.
There is so much emotion about the current health care law backed by the Democratic president and upheld by the Supreme Court with a conservative judge being the deciding vote.
For those who think the Affordable Care Act will destroy the basic rights of Americans, they can vote for the Republican candidate who developed the plan.
Think of pets in vote
Missouri’s reputation on laws protecting companion animals is dismal.
Efforts to pass reasonable legislation to improve conditions have failed because of agricultural interests and the big business of selling puppies for profit.
Advocates took matters into their own hands through the initiative petition process when all else failed.
Volunteers across the state collected nearly 200,000 signatures to place the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act on the ballot Nov. 2, 2010. Proposition B was approved by nearly a million voters speaking on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves.
In 2011, those votes were overturned by the legislature — most of whom were Republicans.
The will of the people and our right to vote made no difference to legislators who cared only about contributions from agricultural interests.
When the law vanished, Gov. Jay Nixon stepped in to bring all sides to the table, resulting in a compromise. Without his intervention, puppy mill dogs would have had no protections.
The GOP has a radical mindset on repealing state canine laws. For the sake of those who provide us love and companionship, we cannot allow this.
Man’s best friend is counting on you on Nov. 6.