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America Street USA a series of programs produced by Radio Station UK FJC FM at Foothill College in Los Altos California. Are. In the city of Sunnyvale California. There is a street named America street. Families of many different backgrounds live on the street and in the immediate neighborhood. It's a melting pot of America in miniature. One of the feelings the attitudes the texture of life on America's street what do these Americans think about America as it is today. For if we are to approach the reality of the American experiment in democracy we must know understand and respond
to the opinions of America St.. In this series of programs we ask you to imagine that you are overhearing a discussion among the residents of America street as occasionally compared and contrasted with informed opinion from other sources. Today's topic does the average citizen have a voice in his government and as a case study their trip to the mon Was it worth the money. Sex Ed.. Yes how do you feel about spending money for the movie. Do you feel this is well spent. Were are there more priorities. His word has been used in the faces here and there back in United States.
Yes but that's it. And it sounds like it's a village discussing it's very hard to believe that you have the resources you have the program you have for. Many cases for all of us here in the States and you know for and to say. I personally feel that that. Space Program research is necessary for the. For the survival of the human race on this globe. First we are not we should curtail some of these right now you know or take care of our racial problems. Every situation
every try to do something more about. I just don't know. I think crowding our space program is important. Seems to me that calculation and food can go terribly far. To us right now I don't know what it was. I can't see the point. I think there's a really good thing but I can't see the point and I think it's a tremendous expenditure of money for it to go to the moon when I think we should tend to our knitting down airfares. Well I don't I just feel that. The more you know about it it was. More it. Would be in a position. To be any. Other country that at one time in the future may try to take over. I was one of the largest until the last few and that's marvelous just fun people feel or the money. We've been going a little too
hard on these. But some say well we would have been there to learn from some of you three we were speeding up our. Our. Space Program or you feel that it should be slowed down possibly and that money should be directed toward the priorities that we were using those more priorities here in the United States of America. The. Internal things were how do you feel but I don't think that. Men are always going to go out and try and find out what's over the next jail you know and I think this is good. Finally somebody tell Columbus you know then forget it because we get a lot of poor townies here we have to feed. You know where we have band. I do think the poor or. The downtrodden were always going to happen somehow or other I do feel they should be taken care of. I don't know whether the money that we put into the space program is highly in equal to what we are putting into social welfare type programs but I you know as it we don't think that the space program should be.
Going to play on the basis you know. I mean. I just don't like the invention the wheel was just going to stop there. All right you know you can. Think you can actually slow something has to progress at whatever rate progress is that. And how do we get there and I want everybody's And everybody's working right. There's a great deal of momentum built up behind us thanks program now and the momentum is oftentimes what gets things done. I would say. Things are rolling. Let's keep the ball rolling. All this week as it is. It is the attitude in the space program now of course we've never had a you know I hope we never do We haven't had any serious setbacks as present settings for having a rocket ship and having. You know. Crash into. History right here right or something of that sort. This probably will happen more we do get into this area but I don't I hope it doesn't.
I hope that this doesn't. Get a false impediment to the space program. I would have the end of the Year help them for years. No I don't I don't even know what would be going to rock the rock back. He's going to go to Little Rock. Oh if only. Yes. There can be no doubt that the trip to the moon has brought and will bring certain benefits to many of us remaining here on Earth. For one thing no matter how remotely we all share in the
extension of scientific knowledge astronomer Fritz Zwicky of the California Institute of Technology has said that telescopes on the moon could settle once and for all the question of the evolution of our universe and give us some understanding of its large scale structure which will not only be able to see down to the central nucleus of the Milky Way system but we may see right through the Milky Way and observe galaxies about which we are not even aware of today. And there are more tangible benefits. Out of the huge development of technology required to put men on the moon have come various devices which will be of use to men on the earth. Also as pointed out in the July 18th 1969 issue of TIME magazine it is possible that the mineral resources of the moon can be brought to the service of mankind and at the near perfect vacuum on the moon surface can be used in manufacturing process under scientific research. But the question remains is it worth the expense. You say that it was a worthwhile project. Or should we spend more
money back here on this to. Feel qualified to get it. Probably selfish. Position to take that you are wrong about. This kind of accomplishment because. Just. On the strength. Of having. Performed a miracle type thing. But in terms of. Actual gain. From a scientific standpoint go from. Good to the country standpoint I would have to say that. There is not much of a reward. In this type of an effort in terms of. Results right now. But maybe lots of site.
Engineering and. Chemical. And things in physics that we will learn from this kind of an effort that we can apply to many other fields. The trip itself was a great. Show. And here again maybe next it is indicated to politically it may lend its strength. For me gather people together. Let in there. And then. In the cold light of a very morning tangibly there when you get it sit down and saying OK now that this is done. What do I want to do we have that in the material. Returns. I don't know if there are that many I. I don't know if I would vote for a continuance of this kind of spending for this. Kind of an effort. Or something. Well I think if Man Nature you go on
to try to. Explore further and feel I where the whole hungry kidneys Hello. Appalachian. Class family I'd be very bitter about the money. But I just think that a man can't. Go on. Would you rather see some of that photo somewhere else I'm sure. Well it was 24 billion dollar shot I forgot whether was the entire Apollo program 11 shots today. I think that for quite a while up to go. I think it was 24 billion. What I mean by that. And with all the glowing remarks and great pride I have in that accomplishment and and we have a fantastic amount of fall out treasure that comes to this
country from it in the form of technological know all that has occurred such as a mini mini computers very small computers that will be great very useful. Components electronic components of a great many things in the field of artificial intelligence a great many many discoveries made in the in metallurgy and so on and so forth from this point all of that important fall out which adds to our our know how our treasure of this country. I would like to have that 24 billion back. And I would like to have it spent in other ways which I believe would be more meaningful given the current state of affairs in this country. Briefly with you while we discuss the black program which has gotten nowhere around here
under this president today has been off the chart which needs. Some advance their issues don't you know right now the black vote being one of one very light pollution. The opinions that we found on America Street indicate that the key issue is not the trip to the moon itself but rather a question of priorities. We are faced with many major problems and to meet them we have only a limited amount of financial material and human resources. The residents of America Street are deeply concerned about all of the major problems and are attempting to decide for themselves how we should allocate our limited resources. The question then becomes can we go to the moon and at the same time adequately cope with our other needs. I think we should take care of this here first. So we are really good at it. Right now I think there's room for both.
I don't know why we can't do both. But there's no use giving just. What are you going to gain by this give people welfare so you don't call me respect them or you just give all the people who are pretty small who are actually have all the money that people like that. There's been given to the poor. I mean many may claim to the land of plenty the scientific Cheever the doing so. And yes I I think there's room for all. That had aid for votes. And as I mentioned earlier I think that the country does have to do things on the welfare of their eye and I think I might add I think that we have to do things his face because we can't sit here in our town. Russia or China or whoever. Made all the scientific advancements and we do nothing for there's nothing out there can be let down. We may forget that I'm saying Are you sure. It would take money away from military programs and a waste of
military programs and put. Them into domestic programs. But research into the universe and exploring space. Well. This is what. Got us here in American first place from. Before. That. This is a valid burden I wasn't rocks it was a long trip that they were extravagant. To. Put. Their money in. Just laying there so as not to have this can have the economic benefits. But. Ultimately a certainty. That. They will be. Scientific knowledge and. Level of krill in fact are they saying that even making. The space instruments. In devising a technology for space travel. So many new discoveries have come back check this. Technique. Trickle of discovery do you think it also has employment. Which helps a nation. Well. Yes that of course I don't want to use that as a yes because I was as a
rash covering that rationalization because that's used for some of the things military especially at risk and you're going to say well how can I get any of that you know I think it's terrorism opening up that. Home future for a man. Who will. Do the quest for knowledge and. This to me is one of the most important. I feel that the space program. Well I think. That all the best ways to cut. There were things clearly pointed out over the period of years that our foreign aid policy isn't working. We turned as much money and goods over to other countries as we spent on the space programs and I think recognized interest giving other countries money and not dance or you know let's cut that out. Let's continue with the exploration into space because I think that this is.
Prestigious in terms of the world opinion of us and our work as a world power and I think that do take money from other areas were it doing much good in bringing back into this country in the millions and we're going to be used were abysmal goodness country. No the answer I don't think we should cut back on the space program I think it's a worthwhile thing. You are great your oars in many ways if you will for several years I do agree I think that it's a lofty tone. It's really an ideal ideal and I think that this is something that we as a as a whole world can reach toward together. I think it should be something that we raise our sights a little higher than we have before. And I think we've gotten too immersed in now in issues and questions that. Could be could be very well be more it could be an important compared to what this could really mean to the whole world. But I don't think they should jeopardize lives I think they should slow it down more and not try to go to Mars immediately. I think they should try a.
Little more. Thought into it before they do this. We spent almost like I said twenty four billion dollars to grow up to the moon. How much more we can be committed to to go to Mars include all while we're out searching the space beyond this Mother Earth. We're losing grip we're losing grip right here where God created us and planted us we're losing we're reaching out for something that we don't see but we do see but we have a feel for what we don't know is there we go there because it's there but we know what's here. So I think we need to look around and look at all that shoulders and see what's coming. You were here you think a space program is a total waste of history Samaritan. I mean as far there might be some merit in it either some of the constructive program to develop new techniques and that might be used for medical science such as cancer hardening of the arteries and all these communal diseases I'm not against some of those but some of us are displaced program research and development has produced such miracle equipment that we can use later on to save lives and things like that but I think that the that we have proven this.
That may have can land on the moon and things like this I think we are. We should take withdraw now and rest our laws on this feat of accomplishment and then see if we can end it in this human misery on Earth first before we reach out for the second phase of that man's evolution. You see sometimes you know it just like a cow putting a rope around and let him graze. Pretty soon you look and see a patch of green grey if they look better and you reach out for your choking stepped a bit this is what we are do we reach out too far on a harness and we can pull ourselves back in with some strangle asset near where we're going to be following our questions about the trip to the moon we ask the very general question does the average citizen have a voice in his government. We found a variety of answers and also some suggestions as to how the average citizen can make his voice heard. Do you think you have the voice. To give wrote a letter. Like your mother would be buried in. Actually. I think that. That they also have Royce is. Now. A highly organized
groups lobbying groups or. Groups that use Madison Avenue techniques for influencing. Who I just went to send the letters say and they're saying is A B and can. Raise A. Lot of it as opposed to the ABM for the resolution they're like. The phone. When they were upset me with letters in the beginning of a can. Hey you. Know. He had a. Great many letters. At the other extreme. Conservative reactionary groups that. Are wiping. Out the ones who support the abs the most well they came in with their letters. Left there. So they have a stronger effect because I have heard senators on here say well in the beginning the people were against it and now it is. In their leader's way. Who are. Over the Edge who are whereas it. May not. Be the case with Obama maybe just a pleasure to send your letters and of course the fans of every group to know just how
to do this kind of thing and so. Now I think. Individuals such as. Weird will. Say. Now let's. Call a. Part of. Some. Blogging. Still. I'd like to feel we have a voice and I think we're hearing the part. About writing a letter. When I heard a newsman Dr. Spock that. I think people do you really just get that right and they have no less. There was but I think if we are it's our own fault. But I think you know that was written on the war issue. Or pollution that can have effect on our cars and supposedly this is a democracy and. People do vote. Supposedly also I think I do think that the federal government is much too bureaucratic and there's a lot of inefficiency and waste. But.
On the other hand I don't know sometimes I kind of feel I guess that there's really too much that we can do about these things. Why is it in a country like this with so few people who. Don't want it. When you think you know what was the last election that there. Was a 47 percent elected Nixon. Out of a possible Who was it. Well I was one of the highest earners I guess was. An 80 percent. Oh I don't know. If there was an awful lot of. There was an eclipse if there's an awful lot of interest in federal elections why not look like lying on a local II could Nancy. I agree with Nancy it was largely I could probably run somewhat killing myself if somebody asked me who my district supervisor was I could tell them. And it's awfully hard to relate to people that aren't on a national media or they don't come around and talk to you. And of course and care for the average man that's running for politics is. Generally honest him
and his ideas don't concur with yours. But he's not in the main the wealthiest man in the world he can't afford to go and spend twenty five thirty five thousand dollars on an election campaign a Senate run for. So you Councilman are all about him and so therefore a lot of the people that do vote still don't know who they're voting board and the people that don't vote. Say I don't know any of that away you know. You think a lot of people could mean you're Hankerson and ask them. You know my place and. All. If this is all just Bush or the politicians make more of an effort or Chinese a politician should make more of an effort to make himself known to his constituents and I definitely think this present wrong who is he working for the people that put him in his district whether those are the people of Wayne Hobbs or not. Most of the people he's working for. We don't have enough people participating in life to know I spend a whole lot more time worrying about my own family and my own
business and I get worried about problems that are still in there she. Doesn't want to have much of a problem and. Probably should. Throw I don't know what you blame it on. When you know all what they say they're going to you can take it or leave it in Washington a letter with a good dad deal and an America you can love it or leave it yes but you know that you know we think about that. Yet it was for the Commission to have a guy I say you know just because you can't he says your country and you can't even do what you think about it because it is a computer loving it's good that there are lawsuits that we hear you're treated. That's what it is and look I'm really. Looking beyond the moon when it ended we weren't treated right. It would be a scene that's who he is you know you're treated where you are the people that I can. Think of like. This my. Mom. That he is you. Will. Take his time.
You know what people should really. Get in just this last week. You will get results right into town. I know I saw letters from. You as a response to the. Coalition that. Was a congressman. Well individual letters there so be it. There are. Some. In. Washington. And he's got quite a good response. It was nearly out of. A row something nearly as A. Young man in answer to what the congressman with the FAA to get a player's. House with. Gerri. He's the individual shareholders got copies. Well there's no. Confirmation right yet the major and honest with the goals the policy may. Be. Wrong. But. I read about.
The answer just cause it's right. I want. To. Be a good night. To see a step. Function. Start on. My. Own. So. The gun. Is not loaded. We. Know you know. These are. The I'M. Not. Part of the problem. It. Just got so mad. So are. You. Well I tell you. The average citizen you don't have a citizen the average citizen could have more voice when he plays he doesn't want to exercise he doesn't want to get out and try to do anything. Lot a lot of people to have talk to me when I ran for city council here because I was a concerned citizen. I wasn't forced into it but I seen a need. Oh yes I realize I was bucking the establishment and probably knew that I didn't go in with it defeated added to that did the best that could but least I
let them know that I was there that I was a concerned citizen that I knew what was going on. I think now people don't have to do this here. When you get back and say well there's no point me being active in this the government is too big and too vast You must remember that it's York of me you are the government. You only elect representatives to two to run to. But it is your gun. You think every system in the oystermen the government. Yeah definitely as far as the vote goes the average 18 19 or 20 year old is about to be drafted doesn't have to hear local government say we should tell them you think you have a voice that was force enough energy for just like all the people there really know no government can be right back up people have to have more of that but the point is if it isn't if you're interested enough to take to take interest in your government you have a bigger voice as anyone else but you have to be just interested enough if you sit back and say you know I don't have a voice and I you're right you don't. You sit back and say Have I got to
shoot it doesn't matter what I say they're not going to listen to me. Then you're right then you're letting it defeated you're defeating yourself here right. Then you don't know I do not definitely not have a voice here in how your government is your local city state or nation. If you sit back and it pretend like the problems don't exist or pretend like there's nothing new because there is it is apparent that in order to deal with the question of the average citizen's voice in his government we must specify I want a level of government we're talking about and what kind of voice. One thing became clear from the opinions we found on America street in order to have a voice. The citizen must believe that he can be a participant in his government and then act on his beliefs. This has been America Street USA one of a series of programs investigating what Americans think about America as it is today produced under a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. By Jeff I was born at radio station UK FJC FM college Los Altos California.
America Street, U.S.A.
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Chicago: “America Street, U.S.A.; 1,” 1970-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 23, 2021,
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