End of shuttle brings sadness
A day of sadness will soon be upon me. When Atlantis makes its final landing, the United States space program, as we know it, will come to an end. No more will excited children of all ages stare at the sky in awe as rockets roar off the launchpad with a fire as bright as the sun and lift astronauts into the wilds of space.
The launchpads will sit dark and empty, with no life to cheer them up. They will wait until, we can hope, people come along, light them up and restore the brilliant blossoms that light up the sky for miles around, and bring back the shining faces of those who dream of space and what lies out there and want to go there.
And I wonder if on some other planet in another galaxy a parent is sitting on a hill, guiding his children's eyes to his homemade telescope and showing them the wonders of their solar system. And starting his children on a path that will lead them into space. I hope they make it.
JOHN D. EKSTROMER
Pre-K helps kids
Regarding an Opinion Line comment questioning why the school district offers free prekindergarten programs for some children: The most important, formative years of a child are birth through 5 years old. When there is not a consistent teacher in the home (due to lack of time, energy, effort or know-how), the child will pay the consequence of not being taught on a regular basis.
We all want our children to feel successful in school, and it is my job as a private preschool educator to provide a stable, loving learning environment that promotes further interest in school. It is very comforting to know that when the parents' schedule does not allow them to offer their child a consistent learning environment, the district cares about early intervention. This will help bring success to the child.
All children deserve to have available to them the chance to grow, learn and experience the gift of education at an early age. Thank you to the district for offering this to the children of Wichita. What a rare and treasured gift.
KIMBERLY SANDERSON STRINGER
Regarding "Excessive fireworks" (July 7 Letters to the Editor): I have nothing against a family enjoying fireworks if done safely. But for three nights I had to tolerate excessive noise pollution, the worst being July 4 until midnight. In Andover, fireworks are permitted. It is time to change the rules so that people can celebrate with fireworks only on the Fourth of July and at a reasonable hour.
The Republicans want to reduce taxes and make big spending cuts. Democrats want to increase taxes and keep spending. President Obama says if a compromise is not reached by Aug. 2, we face disaster.
I don't think the Republicans should compromise on anything. I think they should let the Democrats propose their solution and approve it.
When November 2012 gets here, we will know if the Democrats had the solution or things are worse than they are now. If things are better, the Democrats should get the credit. If things are worse, I hope the American people will return Republicans to power for another 20 years until the next generation forgets how destructive liberal policies are.
If you want another Great Depression, vote Republican in 2012. Presidents Harding, Coolidge and Hoover brought us the first; President George W. Bush almost brought us the second with similar policies.
The Republicans, with the backing of their military-industrial complex and big business masters (banks, oil, insurance, Wall Street, etc.), no doubt will succeed in destroying the middle class, labor unions, Social Security, Medicare, Planned Parenthood, education and social programs, while refusing tax increases for their wealthy backers.
In the name of fiscal responsibility, they seek to depress the lower and middle classes while giving their wealthy contributors free rein to work their will in deporting jobs and preying on the helpless. They want to render the federal government impotent to regulate them in their attempts to impose their greedy will on this country.
Thank God for President Obama and Democrats. They struggle every day against the constant obstructionism of the ultraright, which thus far has intentionally thwarted any meaningful recovery.
As a lifelong Republican, I abhor the behavior of the Republicans and what they have become.
America needs to adopt the stance we had when England begged us to enter World War II: extreme reluctance. In fact, why are we in Afghanistan, and at what cost? Didn't we learn anything from the former Soviet Union's failures there? We're dealing with cavemen and liars in Afghanistan. We should get out.
And we should only stay in Iraq until we can extract enough oil money to pay us back for stabilizing the country. The biggest shame is that many of our country's sons and daughters died for this blurry cause.
Pakistan's officials are also liars; we shouldn't send them another dime.