Mardi Gras (lesson on social greed)
I was fortunate enough to have Nathaniel (a six-year-old boy) with me at the New Smyrna Beach Mardi Gras celebration. Through Nathaniel's eyes, I was able to see the greed of the Baby Boomers in action. Nathaniel and I stood about five rows in back of the senior citizens who fought to be at the front of the barriers to the parade, so they could see and be in line to catch the free beads and treats that were thrown to the crowd. This was Nathaniel's first Mardi Gras and atop my shoulders was yelling excitedly "throw it to me -- throw it to me!" I told him to yell, "let the good times roll -- Mon!"
Six rows in front of us were the seniors and adults crowding us out and grabbing all they could -- one even out of the hands of Nathaniel. I watched as the baby boomer generation grabbed all the beads and candy they could. Many walked away with 10 to 20 beads around their necks and free treats in their pockets with much semblance of pride of their accomplishment. Very few boomers were willing to give up their beads or treats and give them to others -- not even one bead or piece of candy to a six-year-old boy, someone's grandchild, I held on my shoulders.
It was different when I was a boy. At parades, the adults from the Greatest Generation always made sure we were in the front line to see the parade and gather candy that was thrown. They wanted us to see the pageantry of the parade and take pride in our country and marvel at its greatness. They were proud of this country and what they fought for -- so we boomers could enjoy what they did not have. The Greatest Generation never took anything out of our hands, always put us out front and always wanted us boomers to enjoy what they never dreamed of having.
I thought to myself after the parade, this is what's wrong with the country today. The United States of America is now $16.5 trillion in debt, because boomers and their children are grabbing for all of the free stuff the government throws out to them. Our children take pride only in "tweaking" the system for everything they can get their hands on. Boomers and their children are putting themselves first in line before their grandchildren and grabbing all they can.
Nathaniel and the other grandchildren are appalled at our behavior. They cannot afford for us to "let the good times roll -- Mon."
Larry Westley, Edgewater
Don't use environmentally sensitive land for spaceport
Recently, I saw an advertisement on TV for Siemens, the industry giant.
It was very glamorous, showing images of gleaming rocket components and a futuristic control room with engineers and scientists cheering at a successful launch. On the side of the rocket, in bold letters, was the name Space-X. Is this commercial trying to make us feel warm and fuzzy about Space-X coming here? They already have launches from Cape Canaveral. Whey can't they stay there?
How sad it is that we may lose more precious land in order to build another spaceport in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. This is a unique, beautiful and fragile place, which needs to be protected.
How ironic it is that we must destroy more of our planet while we look for another one to live on once ours is made uninhabitable. We are not being good stewards of our mothership Earth if we do not take care of it.
Jake Sachs, New Smyrna Beach