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One big skydive for mankind

Skydiver Felix Baumgartner celebrates Sunday after landing Roswell N.M.  |  Balaz Gardi~AFP/Getty Images

Skydiver Felix Baumgartner celebrates Sunday after landing in Roswell, N.M. | Balaz Gardi~AFP/Getty Images

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Updated: November 17, 2012 6:08AM

When I saw Nick Wallenda crossing Niagara Falls on a wire, I was amazed.

Now Felix Baumgartner skydives from space; I could not believe it. So what’s next? The first person on Mars?

Can human beings really defy anything?

Mateo L. Capinpin, Downers Grove

No big strollers on CTA

I, for one, am glad the CTA has finally said enough is enough with these baby strollers.

I have witnessed elderly and disabled passengers getting up out of their seats so some lazy young person can park their strollers taking up two to five seats, when they are only paying for one.

In the 1970s, I purchased an umbrella stroller just for the times when I had to travel by public transportation. I would get to the bus stop, take my son out of the stroller and fold it up and hang it over my arm, then pick him up and be ready to board the bus once it arrived.

Some of these strollers that these women are bringing on the buses are as large as a VW Beetle.

Cynthia Wright, West Ridge

Cruelty to dairy cows

It’s wonderful to hear that the undercover investigation that revealed brutal cruelty to dairy cows resulted in Wendy’s discontinuing their relationship with that particular supplier [“Abuse of Idaho dairy cows puts heat on Kraft,” Oct. 11]. On the other hand, it’s very sad to hear that Kraft has been unwilling to do the same.

It seems that those of us who care about animal suffering have no other choice but to stop consuming dairy products as well as meat.

Sujatha Ramakrishna, Oak Park

Two important program

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a Democrat, oversaw the beginning of Social Security in the 1940s. President Lyndon B. Johnson, a Democrat, oversaw the beginning of Medicare in the 1960s. Republicans fought both of these determined men every step of the way. In spite of continuing Republican opposition, these guaranteed programs for retirees have become the two most successful government programs in the history of the United States.

Yes! I said, “Government”!

We are three weeks away from a presidential election, and the candidate who promises to protect those two programs for all Americans is nearly tied with the candidate who says he will change those two programs, most recently only for those younger than 55. This change will mean the “choice” of either enrolling in the traditional programs or trusting the “private sector.”

Those dropping out of Social Security as we know it will put their trust in Wall Street to provide an assured benefit for the rest of their lives. Those putting their trust in private health insurance will depend on those companies to provide them with health-care services that they can afford and that will be there, no matter what their health-care needs, and no matter how old they are.

With such stark choices, why is the presidential race so close? Big money! The media is being saturated with ads criticizing the sitting president and his plans for our nation. Facts have been shoved aside in the all-out push to convince the American people that President Barack Obama is their enemy.

Let’s hope that the American people think for themselves and vote for the candidates who will make sure that Social Security and Medicare endure as programs we can all count on: President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. The future of every American depends on it.

Karen Wagner, Rolling Meadows

Widespread hypocrisy

I’d like to thank Phil Kadner for pointing out the hypocrisy of so many people. His Oct. 14 column pointing out all that government provides, and all the demands and cries for government services made by people in need was excellent. It brought to mind the signs that were held up at Tea Party rallies, “Keep Your Government Hands Off My Medicare!”

And, as Mr. Kadner points out, the list of lifesaving services which the government provides, which wouldn’t — and couldn’t — otherwise be found, are exhaustive. Our citizenry wants and demands these services — in fact, they’re taken for granted — but thinks they should come with low taxes. The irony is compounded by the fact that the most virulent anti-government states are the biggest recipients of federal assistance, when compared to tax payments.

Rick Friedman, Loop

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