If the title fits ...
Definition from Wikipedia: “A cult of personality, or cult of the leader, arises when a country's regime – or, more rarely, an individual – uses the techniques of mass media, propaganda, the big lie, spectacle, the arts, patriotism, and government-organized demonstrations and rallies to create an idealized, heroic, and worshipful image of a leader, often through unquestioning flattery and praise.”
Van Wert, Ohio
Hate crime label not needed; it's murder
It wasn't too long ago that murder was murder, and, if committed in a state that endorses capital punishment, that person would most likely get the death penalty. Now, however, the mass murder of 22 innocent people isn't quite enough. Government officials are weighing the possibility of charging him with “hate crimes.”
Let's be clear: These mass murderers aren't using racial epithets. They are randomly killing as many people as possible. Race, gender and age have no bearing on these horrific crimes. One does not need a Ph.D. in psychiatry to understand that the thought of being charged with a hate crime or domestic terrorism is not going stop anyone that mentally unstable from carrying out their unthinkable act.
Meanwhile, 22 people will never again be able to see their families and the shooter was arrested (literally) unscathed, and society will give him a court-appointed lawyer who will try everything to allow him to escape the death penalty.
Racial hatred calls for end to toxic politics
I, like all Americans, am disgusted and mortified each time a mass shooting occurs in our country. These events are so frequent that as a society, we may be becoming numb to the madness and devastation.
The difference regarding El Paso was that the shooter had a manifesto, a manifesto that was based on racial hatred and white supremacy. White supremacy and white nationalism are just as dangerous as any other racially based ideologies. There is no doubt with me that the shooter was encouraged by the level of divisiveness and toxicity in our political system today.
Now is the time to reflect. We must reflect not only on the predictable debate regarding gun control that always arises following a mass shooting, but on the tone and harshness of our political rhetoric. All politicians and leaders have an obligation to tone down the politics.
We must do more, though, to combat ideologies based on racial hatred. We must remember that those with different cultures are not a threat to this country, but rather that having a different culture is the cornerstone of this country. We must also recommit ourselves to the American ideal that “all men are created equal,” a self-evident truth, a truth that seems to be forgotten in our modern political process.
Education funding not on pace with growth
I would like to thank Richard Burridge for his July 26 letter to the editor, “What's the real problem.” Aside from a factual error (the average state funding of public and voucher students in school year 2018-19 was $6,011.68 and $4,448.75, respectively), Mr. Burridge calls attention to the difference in funding and to complaints from those who work in education. I believe he misunderstands the complaints, and I would clarify as follows.
Since Indiana's voucher program began, our state has added to the number of students it funds without a corresponding increase in funding. In fact, funding of Indiana's K12 educators has continued to lag woefully behind the cost of living for the past 10 years, even as Indiana's total budget has grown much faster than the cost of living. A recent study placed Indiana 50th out of 50 states on this measure.
Regardless of political leanings as to the constitutionality of funding religious or private schools, the lack of funding is glaring, well-documented and negatively impacting education in Indiana.
Last year, Indiana funneled nearly $155 million via vouchers to non-public, mostly religious schools.
These schools do not have to account for how the money is spent; they have no school board holding public meetings and disclosing how the dollars are allocated. Taxpayers are left to hope that the tax dollars are being used fairly and for proper purposes and that the students are being educated in a sound, appropriate curriculum.
I wish the General Assembly and governor would follow the old adage, “trust but verify.” I wonder why they don't.
president, Board of Trustees, Southwest Allen County Schools
Golfers pause during anthem broadcast
In response to a July 30 letter on the 122nd Air National Guard playing the “Assembly” bugle call and national anthem each afternoon:
At nearby Brookwood Golf Course, the Hoagland Golf League also respects the “Assembly” notice, followed by the national anthem. Our league starts at 4:30 on Wednesdays. Play stops, whether on the first tee or on the course. We stand proud, remove our hats and are proud to be Americans, hands over our hearts.
RON D. HOLLE