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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, September 04, 2019 1:00 am

Letters

We can avert catastrophe in a non-nuclear world

The Aug. 8 nuclear accident of a Russian hypersonic glide vehicle should be a warning to the world. Earth does not need hypersonic nuclear weapons.

China is believed to be developing hypersonic weapons. Raytheon and United Technologies are merging with the intent to create an American hypersonic weapon.

We recently avoided placing low-yield (i.e., “usable”) nuclear warheads on our Trident missiles. We are running out of nuclear treaties and running out of time.

Disasters rarely occur from just one factor. Can we survive our aggressive first strike/pre-emptive war policy, neo-conservative decision-makers and hypersonic nuclear weapons? Do we really want to take that risk?

There are deals to be made. Understanding Russia is as simple as imagining nuclear missiles aimed at us from Canada and Mexico. No one likes to be threatened and encroached upon.

Americans are 5% of the world's population. “America First” should not come at the expense of the freedom and security of the other 95%. Our republic will be a tyranny if 60 million Americans are able to determine the fate of a world approaching 8 billion people.

We started the nuclear weapon game. We developed and used the atomic bomb and tested the hydrogen bomb. Our future depends on making nuclear weapons the past.

Tim Tiernon

Fort Wayne for Peace

Shoe's on other foot

In regard to Bruce Cynar's letter (Aug. 21) about Democrats blocking everything Donald Trump tries to do, was he not in the country when the Republicans' “stated goal” was to do the same thing when Barack Obama was in office?

It depends on what side of the fence you're on, I guess.

Arden E. Hull

Larwill

Testing limits opportunity for a full education

With all the discussion of state testing and “teaching to the test,” I am reminded of a favorite quote from Albert Einstein: “Education is not the learning of facts but the training of the mind to think.”

With so much focus on STEM and the general denigration of liberal arts degrees, I would like to note that when I was in college (yes, it was 50 years ago but it likely still holds true), a study found employees with liberal arts degrees did significantly better than those with a business degree. Apparently, they learned the job more quickly, were better at problem-solving and working with others – because their minds had been trained to think. How many people start a job knowing how to do it without considerable training? If their minds have been trained to think, it seems logical they will learn more quickly.

Obviously, we need STEM professions; these require a solid education in science and math. But we should not neglect other educational areas. We need teachers, journalists, social workers, musicians, ethicists and myriad other occupations without whom our society cannot function well. The science and math classes they may never use on a job will also help train their minds.

Perhaps we need to return to a more well-rounded education. Brain studies strongly support the benefit of physical activity breaks, music and art to enhance the brain's ability to learn. How much more money and time would there be for actual education if they stopped all the testing? How did all these politicians come to see themselves as knowing more about education than educators and the related social and brain scientists?

Claudia Ringswald

Fort Wayne