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What's moral, and what should matter to Americans?



Published: Thu, August 11, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



What's moral, and what should matter to Americans?

EDITOR:

As a lifelong Democrat, I shudder when the media pundits and others claim the Republicans have cornered the morality issue. What they have been successful at doing over the last 15 to 20 years is focusing the electorate on issues like gay marriage and abortion, hot button issues that really only impact a small percentage of the population but which elicit strong emotions from the overzealous and divide the nation. What they fail to point out is the corruption of moral values that impacts a far greater percentage of the people. Conduct like corporate fraud, lying politicians, and business executives selling out America, all in the name of the bottom line.

That seems to be the main focus today, anything for money. Athletes take steroids so that they can hit 50 home runs and make millions of dollars at contract time then lie when confronted with the truth. Corporate executives falsify the books or use shady accounting methods so that they can extract outrageous sums of money from over generous boards of directors who also benefit financially from the shenanigans. Politicians perform immoral and sometimes illegal acts all in the name of campaign contributions, pork, and reelection. Corporations bribe, I mean lobby Congress so that they can forego environmental standards or get tax breaks that paralyze the communities that rely on those revenues to operate. We've succumbed to the bottom line mentality which has also undermined our morality.

On the other hand, what is moral? Is not raising the minimum wage for the last 10 years moral? Is allowing 45 million people to not have medical insurance moral? Is it all right that 20 percent of the children in America are born into poverty? Is it moral to not fund education? How about services for the elderly, veterans, poor, and disabled? Is invading a sovereign country based on "cooked" intelligence and sending 1,800 soldiers to their deaths and killing tens of thousands of innocents moral? Is crafting an energy policy that not only doesn't address the world's dwindling oil reserves but in fact rewards consumption moral?

The America that I knew and loved provided for the least fortunate among us. It didn't discriminate based on race, religion, or sexual orientation. It didn't judge people based on how much money they made. It held its leaders accountable for their actions and didn't just follow like lemmings. It told the truth instead of using talking points or spin.

America is at a crossroads. We can continue down the road of selective and manipulated morality, or we can turn back to a "kinder and gentler" real morality. What we choose might determine the fate of the country.

BILL JOHNSON

Youngstown

Let's put A-bomb attack onJapan in proper perspective

EDITOR:

I really get upset by the nonveterans and the bureaucrats who criticize Gen. Tibbets and President Truman for using the A-bomb to bring Japan to unconditional surrender. Let's review just a couple of items:

The attack on Pearl Harbor, Bataan Death March, the railroad and bridge over the River Kwai, Wake Island and execution of all American contractors, use of American slaves in the Japanese coal mines, rape of Nanking, China, slavery in the Philippines and Korea, suicide pilots attacking American ships, the die-for-the-emperor mentality and hatred for anyone that surrendered (with total disregard for the Geneva Convention).

In World War II we lost 5 to 7 percent of our soldiers in the German POW camps. We lost over 51 percent of our soldiers in Japanese POW camps.

The Japanese never apologized for any of the above.

My only regret is that we only had two A-bombs to drop on Japan.

GEORGE HOLKO Sr.

Warren




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