No better place to celebrate aviation
Today the United States commemorates its 72nd-annual National Aviation Day. And there is no better place to celebrate our country's aviation heritage than in Wichita, the Air Capital of the World.
Garnering worldwide attention for its turn-of-the-century innovations and advancements in manufacturing, Wichita quickly became one of the nation's major manufacturing centers. Companies such as Boeing, Hawker Beechcraft, Bombardier Aerospace and Cessna Aircraft have cemented themselves not only as aviation pioneers but as powerful economic engines.
Together, these aviation manufacturers sustain thousands of jobs for local workers and create millions in tax revenue annually. It's estimated that Kansas' aviation industry generates 10 percent of all Kansas earnings and accounts for 21.5 percent of all manufacturing jobs.
As Kansas rebounds from the recent recession, state and industry leaders must work together to grow this vital industry and retain good-paying jobs.
Sen. OLETHA FAUST-GOUDEAU
District 29, Kansas Senate
While our overworked soldiers play Whac-A-Mole in the Middle East, financed by money borrowed from the Chinese, those same Chinese are laughing all the way to the bank. We play policeman; they make plans for the coming decades. We try to nation-build; they build a nation.
Going broke on a 10-year open-ended war would be the last thing on their minds. It's too bad it wasn't the last thing on ours ("True cost of war is anyone's guess," Aug. 16 Eagle).
While we enter another decade trying to pull people who live in the 12th century into the 21st, other nations with no such self-imposed worries continue to pass us by as they spend their money on infrastructure, development and the education of their people.
We have to borrow money just to keep a roof over the head and food in the stomachs of people who used to have the jobs that our politicians gave away on free-trade deals and that companies shipped away for another dime on a dividend.
Things have been going wrong in the United States since before these wars, but the wars are sucking resources from what we should be concentrating on: us.
Question: What has the war cost this country? Answer: everything.
The article "Pentagon resigned to major cuts" (Aug. 5 Eagle) covered probable budget cuts, including "gold-plated benefits now guaranteed to military retirees." Did the Associated Press reporters research their subject, or did they just repeat talking points supplied by Washington, D.C., politicians?
I am certain that our soldiers dodging bullets in Afghanistan will be overjoyed to know that if they survive, they will enjoy "gold-plated benefits." I wonder if the Navy SEALs and soldiers killed while flying at night in a helicopter in Afghanistan were performing their duty only to obtain their "gold-plated benefits."
While serving as a volunteer at McConnell Air Force Base recently, I saw a young veteran with an artificial leg. Did he suffer his loss merely to gain "gold-plated benefits"? I think not.
ROBERT V. HADLEY
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said: "To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects."
This describes what the Obama administration, congressional leaders and their sheeplike senators and representatives did instead of voting for the good of our country or their constituents.
They claim decreases in the deficit and debt — Washington-speak for decreasing the rate of increase, meaning America will go bankrupt in 12 years instead of only 10. Their vote immediately allows increased spending while deferring most "cuts" seven years, knowing that a new Congress will be elected every two years and won't be obligated to this decision. This will lead to taxes on future generations. Isn't this the ultimate taxation without representation?
We have one last chance to save America by electing folks in 2012 who will return us to a constitutional government, which is much better than what we now have.
RICHARD A. HOPPER
No puppet wedding
The article "KPTS wades into debate over Bert, Ernie and marriage" (Aug. 13 Eagle) made me choke on my coffee. Just because Facebook claims many petitions "to have the male characters marry" doesn't mean it should be considered.
These are children's puppets, for heaven's sake. The fact that so many states now have laws allowing gay and lesbian marriages doesn't mean we must bring this into children's television shows. Two males can be friends for years, but this does not mean they are obviously gay, nor that they want to get "married."
An activist with the Kansas Equality Coalition stated that children of these gay and lesbian couples rarely see their own family life portrayed on television. He claimed they need to see their own identity reflected around them.
This is something a gay couple might want to think about before bringing a child into the relationship. Then, if they are concerned about their child's psyche, let them pay for the psychological counseling.