Keep facts in the forefront
Rotary International developed this four-way test using fact or fiction in these situations.
1. Is it the truth? You must use facts to be truthful.
2. Is it fair to all concerned? If it is fact, then it is fair to all concerned.
3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Again, fact is very important.
4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned? Of course, using facts makes it beneficial.
This four-way test could be effective to quell the wrangling occurring in Washington, D.C. now by the current administration, Democrats and Republicans.
In these times, with all the changes taking place, facts should rule over fiction.
TOM HEINY Retired president, Anthony Wayne Rotary Fort Wayne
Leave assault rifles on battlefield
The Newtown, Conn. nightmare and its horrifying images of chaos and stunned parents demoralized searching for their children has entered our nations consciousness.
Amid this heartbreaking scene came simple heroism from terrified teachers locking their students in rooms, desperately trying to calm the little ones, and others leading their classes to outside safety.
The evil that caused this devastation was spread by an assault rifle in the hands of a deranged shooter. When I left Vietnam in 1970, I left behind my M-16 assault rifle. Never did I imagine that this weapon would become so commonplace in our society today.
Sadly, the supply of these killing machines to the general public is contrasted by the urgent need for mental health attention and detection of disturbed individuals who freely use these weapons.
The somber mood and the loss of those sweet little ones and brave teachers in that small place in Connecticut will be with us all for a very long time.
BOB CRUNK Ossian
Additional reasons for revulsion
All people are upset by the Newtown, Conn., elementary school murders. We may have vicarious liability for our gun laws or treatment of the mentally ill. We have real feelings of horror. We struggle with the grief of those who lost loved ones. Our political leaders promise to try yet again to deal with violent individuals with guns. The murderer is responsible for these deaths.
But thousands of women and children younger than 15 died in Iraq and Afghanistan. I ask each of you to transfer just some small part of your just revulsion of the Newtown murders to victims of our actions. These deaths are our responsibility. Do you feel the horror of these deaths? We are responsible.
ROGER MILLER Fort Wayne
Cycle suggests trouble for economy
Have you noticed that the length of unemployment cycles is increasing?
In 1957, a major job-loss spike of 4.4 percent recovered in only 24 months and the 1981 increase of 3 percent was recovered in 27 months. Since then, a modest rise in employment of 1.5 percent in 1990 and in 2001 required 31 months and 45 months, respectively, before full employment returned. The current cycle started 63 months ago and only 2.3 percent of the 5.4 percent has been recovered.
One may speculate the longer unemployment cycles are caused by loss of our manufacturing base or a new willingness of the unemployed to remain unemployed; equally important reasons began after World War II.
The war encouraged women to enter the workforce and created a baby boom, surprisingly not mutually exclusive events. Americas economy has been feeding off these two events since.
In 1948, the workforce was only 27 percent women, but by 1990, 45 percent of our workers were women. Clearly, replacing one family worker with two boosted the economic growth rate. This economic booster ended in 1990 with little change in the percentage of women in the workplace since.
The same may be said of baby boomers, perhaps the greatest bunch of consumers known to mankind. This economic growth booster is about to become a Social Security and Medicare buster.
The current economic growth rate, like 1933-40, is so small that, without deficit spending, it would be negative.
Are unemployment cycles, loss of postwar stimuli and low economic growth suggesting a forthcoming return to the Depression?
RON GORE Covington