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His defense was tired

Victor Davis Hanson's recent apologia in defense of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is morally and intellectually bankrupt. The direct targeting of civilian population centers is a grave violation of the Just War Doctrine and has been since the doctrine was first formulated by St. Augustine. It is ironic that the allies began by denouncing this very practice by the Luftwaffe (such as the bombing of Coventry) and then adopted the same practice themselves.

It is irrelevant that the British with their massive Lancaster bombers were even more guilty with respect to Germany. It is likewise irrelevant that Curtis LeMay had been engaged for a long time in the very practice with the B-29 fire-bombings of Japan.

The gravamen is not the atomic bomb itself, but the targeting of civilians. The tired defense that it obviated an invasion of the island is itself irrelevant (since it is axiomatic that one cannot commit an immoral act to achieve a good end); it is also factually wrong. Japan was suing for an armistice, but in the best tradition of William Tecumseh Sherman, the U.S. was deaf. In sum, the bombings were militarily unnecessary and profoundly immoral.

It is ironic that the same editorial page of the Democrat-Gazette contained a denunciation of the trivialization of abortion, another instance of genocide. Could it be that there is an historical connection? Perhaps in the horror of abortion America is reaping what it first sowed in the form of "total war" against Germany and Japan.


Little Rock

Election on economy

Good letters on this page have debunked French Hill's phony claims about protecting health care, and cutting thousands off the Medicaid rolls is too sad to talk about--Arkansas got serious negative national press on that--so I will discuss other issues.

An article in the Washington Post reported that while the economy is doing well, ordinary Americans were not experiencing much benefit, and the gap between the wealthiest and the rest of us is growing. (Corporations bringing home overseas profits because of recent cuts in tax rates are using the money, not to build plants or create jobs, but to buy back their own stock, further enriching their executives and owners.)

What is happening today parallels the outcome of the Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush tax cuts: Virtually all the benefits went to the richest 1 percent, while the national debt went from under $1 trillion in 1980 to over $21 trillion now. The recent tax cuts will add $1 trillion a year to the debt. Now Republicans have made clear they intend to cut Social Security and Medicare to help reduce the deficits they created. (By the way, foreign aid is less than 1 percent of the budget, and there have been no new "liberal" spending programs from Democrats. The ACA saved money.)

If Democrats can take at least one house of Congress in the November election, it won't mean higher taxes and bigger government under Nancy Pelosi, but a delay in Republican plans to impoverish our golden years.

(The coming election will be a civic IQ test. Here's how you get a passing score: If you are not a multimillionaire, you do not vote for any Republican.)


Little Rock

Not fit for the court

I couldn't stand to watch the whining in the Kavanaugh hearing Thursday. Kavanaugh's lack of composure under questioning and his previous evasiveness convince me he's not fit for the highest court.

Why didn't the president just nominate Amy Coney Barrett? There'd be a lot less drama.



Business economics

I'm retired now. When I first graduated from college with a master of science and bachelor of science in industrial engineering, my first job in the early '70s was in a manufacturing facility in Oklahoma. Part of our group's responsibilities was setting the rate of pay for new hourly jobs in the facility.

The rate of pay was determined by several factors, including but not limited to skills needed to do the job, education needed, physical effort needed, and responsibilities associated with the job, just to name a few. All jobs paid more than the minimum wage. The more points in each of the categories, the higher the pay.

We had to compete with other jobs for workers in the area, so what "bonus," in terms of a higher hourly rate, was needed to be competitive was also a factor. The non-manufacturing jobs were probably determined with a similar approach. They paid more than hourly jobs in the manufacturing area.

If the minimum hourly rate of pay is raised, it raises the corresponding rates of pay for all jobs in a facility. If you expand this to all jobs in the area (city, county, state or nation), then the relative purchasing power of any job remains approximately the same, because the businesses paying the higher wages would have to raise the costs to consumers to cover their higher costs in labor and materials.

The only way to "get ahead" would be to move to a higher-paying job. To move to a higher-paying job, you must make yourself more valuable to the employer. If you can only read at an eighth-grade level and only do very simple math, then you are not as valuable to an employer as someone who can do more.


Little Rock

Tend to stick together

Birds of a feather flock together. I first heard that expression as a teenager. Its meaning was clear--most people prefer to associate with people or work where they fit in.

Does this expression explain why a number of well-qualified people have not applied to work in the Trump administration? Did they know enough about President Trump and the work environment in the White House to know that it would not be a good fit?

Question: Does this also explain why many of the people over age 40 who have been hired to work in the Trump administration probably would have never seriously considered applying to work for either President Bush or President Obama?



Editorial on 10/01/2018

Print Headline: Letters

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