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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 6, 2013 at 7:05 AM

Stagnant government shutdown

People hold signs at a rally sponsored by the Congressional Progressive Caucus outside the U.S. Capitol October 4, 2013 in Washington, DC. Today marks the fourth day of the governement shutdown. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT)

People hold signs at a rally sponsored by the Congressional Progressive Caucus outside the U.S. Capitol October 4, 2013 in Washington, DC. Today marks the fourth day of the governement shutdown. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT)

Mission to Mars may be cut short

A huge event for my 12-year-old son Alec and me is a long-planned trip to Cape Canaveral to watch the launch of NASA’s MAVEN Mars explorer mission. [“Boehner tells Republicans that he won’t allow default,” page one, Oct. 4]. My alma mater, the University of Colorado, is closely involved with the mission. They have arranged a series of behind-the-scenes tours, lectures and special access to watch the launch the weekend of Nov. 18 for alumni and friends.

Tickets have been purchased (a pal of Alec’s and his friend’s Dad have purchased tickets as well). Now we learn the shutdown has put this mission on hold, and if it lasts too long, this extraordinary experience will be lost along with airfare.

In addition, NASA explains there is only a 20-day window for this hugely important launch or they will have to wait years because of planet alignment.

I realize this is a small and rather selfish complaint compared to the serious and direct impact of the shutdown on so many lives. I’ve been disgusted that a small group of radical Republicans can create this self-inflicted damage to our great nation. I keep telling my dismayed son, we are a better country than this.

Kenan Block, Seattle

It’s time to take our country back

Finally some good news! For a long time I have wondered how tea party people like Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, are continually elected. Now a ray of hope emerges from our very own Eastern Washington. [“Obama, GOP meet; no one budges,” page one, Oct. 3].

We keep hearing how the tea party must “take our country back.” We’ve certainly gone backward, if that’s what they were aiming for, with a government shutdown, the threat of a government default and a kind of budget that doesn’t provide the basics. I doubt that’s what most of them wanted, at least I hope not. It’s time to wake up and realize, tea party members, that you have been duped.

Stop voting for these people. It’s time to really “take our country back.” Most of us want and need government services. Many of our fellow citizens provide those services for us through their employment with government. With their services and incomes gone, we are all suffering.

Diane Bowers, Shoreline

Comments | More in Economy, Health care | Topics: government shutdown

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