How about matrix for gas tax accountability?
We have recently become aware of the gas tax impact at the pump. We have heard the governor say that all the money earned via this tax will be kept in a lock box and will only be used to improve our roads, bridges and Metra systems.
Can we therefore see an accountability matrix with the columns that address project name and location, brief description of the project and it's goal, anticipated start and stop dates and estimated cost? This would be followed by the columns: actual start date, actual finish date, actual money spent.
Naturally there would be two columns for the tax revenue receipts and the drawdown, i.e., money spent.
Pretty simple, updated monthly. Maybe call it the "gas tax accountability ledger?" The ledger could be published in the Daily Herald and at the governor of Illinois' website.
We should be talking about space tourism
Richard Branson, British business mogul, announced recently that his company, Virgin Galactic, is going public, making this the first space company to do so. While this made splashes in some circles, this development ought to amaze every one of us.
It was only half a century ago when Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon, after years of research and billions of dollars spent. Space was incredibly expensive and only for the greatest scientific minds. This isn't the case anymore.
Today, not only is private ownership of space tourism companies reality, but flights themselves are seemingly months, not even years, away. Both Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos' space company, are planning public flights into space this year. How long until families are deciding between Cancun and the moon for a spring-break trip?
It is entirely likely that in a few decades, flights around our solar system will be affordable and regularly scheduled. O'Hare may have to open up a Terminal Six: Intergalactic departures and arrivals. As crazy as it sounds, it's closer than we realize.
Aside from just tourism, this could change the game of traveling between countries. Elon Musk's SpaceX is flirting with the idea to cut travel times drastically. Using a rocket and the Earth's rotation to get anywhere on the planet, in under an hour.
Space is more accessible than ever before. Flights may be for the wealthy right now, but in a couple decades, I'm confident a good number of us will experience a view of Earth only witnessed by a couple dozen humans to date.
Whether or not you're planning on buying stock in the industry, we all need to talk more about this exciting new frontier and the incredible opportunities it offers the human race, all within our lifetimes.
And now the Democratic debates be careful
And so, all 23 candidates or is it 24? are now hoping to shine and win your favor. Ah yes, so many that they must be sorted into competing tiers. Ah yes, each of these presidential hopefuls seeking to stand out from the crowd, become the special and anointed one and rise to be the leader of the free world.
But in their quest, what must they do? How must they perform to rise above all the others?
They are all obviously non-Republicans, mostly Democrats of course with a few Independents sprinkled in the mix. It is safe to say that they all generally share a similar world view and with some range of variance a similar political philosophy.
Whether they are leading in the polls or not and no matter in what position they occupy on the stage, they must compete; they must beat the other person down.
Perhaps they are given to mischaracterizing a given opponent's record, spinning a tale of their meager childhood as compared to their out of touch, wealthy and privileged competitors, touting their impressive resume, or exclaiming, "No one understands the people's struggles better than I do," etc. The point is make yourself look good and stand out by making selected others look weak, and seem confused as you dominate with spontaneous cross-examination and ignore the parameters of the debate forum.
The most boisterous one is not always the best one. The Republican presidential debates (2016) are a good precedent of what not to do. And so if there must be debates, I say to the candidates, be fair and respectful. I assume you are all smart, knowledgeable and love this country. Don't simply work to hurt the next guy and unfairly promote yourself. We will be watching.
Larry J. Powitz
Western O'Hare access
Truly constructive western access for O'Hare Airport would be via a tunnel going underneath the airport linking vehicles to the eastern side where all the activity is already in place to avoid the need to continue to drive all the way around it.
I don't understand why people from many other countries want to be in America. but then deny allegiance to our country and flag. Why the Democrats want to change this country. The liberal left will admit anybody into this country without vetting or legal passage. I think this is causing a lot of division and trouble. Recent hateful letters about the president are opinionated and unsubstantiated. Is war better than dialogue with rogue regimes? Do we become lawless and allow mob rule? Mean name calling and assumed intentions of the POTUS is disrespectful.
All-female Honor Flights would be a mistake
The top front-page news article in the Thursday, July 11, edition of the Daily Herald proposed Illinois' first all-female Honor Flight. This proposed Honor Flight would only be made available to female veterans, regardless of whether or not they served during a time of conflict.
"Separate, but Equal" is an idea hearkening back to segregation. As a Vietnam veteran, I believe an all-female Honor Flight is a selfish and self-centered idea that fails to take into consideration the underlying reason for an Honor Flight.
The Honor Flight Network specifically states that top priority is given to World War II veterans and terminally ill veterans from all wars. Currently, Honor Flights are open to World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans, both male and female.
There are over 38,000 veterans, both male and female, who are on the waiting list for an Honor Flight. An all-female flight would be a slap in the face to all World War II, Korean War or Vietnam War veterans who are eligible but have not yet been chosen for this honor.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an estimated 640 World War II veterans die each day. Our time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is running out.
It would be a mistake to allocate an Honor Flight specifically limited to veterans of one sex or one race, one skin color or one religion. We all served together; we all should be honored together.
The Confederacy and the Confederate Flag
My grade school years started some 65 years ago here in the town of Bloomingdale. Most classes were rather small. In fact many included more than one grade (e.g., fifth and sixth grade). We had one teacher for every class only in my last couple of years. We had a gym and music teacher. When we studied the Civil War, our teaching mostly dealt with battles and famous generals. In music class we learned to sing Dixie before we learned the Star Spangled Banner. Nobody thought one side was better than the other and in fact we celebrated the bravery of both sides. The Confederate Flag was the flag of the South and never was there any suggestion the men in gray were traitors rather than just men fighting for a world they felt was being taken away.
As years went by, I became a soldier during Vietnam and served with many men from the South. While they were southerners through and through and were proud of their Confederate roots, they treated me with great respect both as a comrade and later under my leadership.
The point I am trying to make is North or South, white, black, brown, red or yellow when the first shot is fired, we are all Americans and we must go into battle together.
The Confederate flag was a symbol of those states and the battle cry for those who fought. If the Civil War started tomorrow I may not agree with everything the North believed in but it is my state and my family I would be fighting for. This is no different from what the boys in gray fought for. We should honor their flag and respect what these brave boys died for.
Kirk's and Turning Point's true colors
The recent opinion piece by Charles Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, caught my eye. The byline describes him as the leader of a conservative youth organization. Just a little digging would have shown this organization's true colors as a right-wing arm of the GOP. He is referred to by some as "Kid Trump" despite the group's mission stating it is a nonpartisan.
I first became aware of him and his organization at a local rally against Trump's Muslim ban where his group questioned the speakers as to why anyone would think that allowing Muslims or immigrants into the U.S. was a good thing. His group is rife with people with alt-right and white nationalist views.
His followers post racist comments and rape memes on social media sites and several universities have had to sanction local chapters for their inflammatory posts and statements.
His group has made attempts at infiltrating our local elections with his young candidate devotees.
Kirk says he is leaving Illinois because of the financial situation here, yet it is more likely he is finding fewer folks interested in his rhetoric. I say good riddance. Let Florida have you. Too bad the Herald gave this guy a platform and did not do a better job of describing his organization for what it really is a conspiracy theory group looking to brainwash our young adults.
Carole H. Martz
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|Publication:||Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)|
|Date:||Jul 22, 2019|
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