Additional CPR training needed
A few minutes of research could have made the Times' recent article on CPR, "Mobile phone app puts CPR-trained users at the scene of emergency," even more informative.
The article quoted Alameda County Fire's interim Chief Demetrious Shaffer: "Nearly 300 million Americans are trained in CPR."
The Census Bureau puts the U.S. population age 16 and older at less than 250 million. Clearly the chief either misspoke, is misinformed or was misquoted. Further, the American Heart Association states on its website that "70 percent of Americans may feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they either do not know how to administer CPR or their training has significantly lapsed," indicating that fewer than 75 million would be confident in administering CPR in an emergency.
More accurate information would have pointed out that there is a need for additional training in CPR, rather than implying that all that is needed is to inform those with current skills in the procedure.
GOP voted down all jobs programs
George W. Bush's own economists have admitted how close we came to the fiscal cliff.
No president could have brought back this economy in the middle of this worldwide recession in four years or less.
President Barack Obama, who inherited a magnitude of problems, also had to deal with the intransigence of the opposition.
The GOP has either voted down or filibustered just about every jobs program Obama put forth, including jobs for veterans. When the GOP openly stated from the beginning that their legislative priority was to make Obama a one-term president, we see this strategy for what it is.
The Republican plan to win political power by killing American jobs and voter suppression is not just politics as usual, it is the most cynical, anti-democratic and destructive partisan strategy yet.
World Bank not keeping promise
When one student takes money away from another, it's called bullying. What is it called when the World Bank does it?
In 2010, the World Bank promised it would add $750 million over the next five years to help the least developed countries provide basic education for 61 million children not in school. Now it's reneging by quietly changing the numbers to which the $750 million would be added. Instead of giving $6.8 billion, it would now give $2.3 billion less between 2011 and 2015.
For an international organization whose mission statement proclaims its purpose as ending global poverty, its backpedaling on education is unacceptable. Enabling children, especially girls, to get a basic, grade-school education multiplies the effect of all development programs.
Without education, children never learn to read, write, add or subtract. Their ignorance keeps them at the mercy of corrupt governments, greedy businessmen and unpredictable weather.
Even a divided U.S. Congress should be able to unite in urging the World Bank to keep its original promise.
Irrational fear mongering
A recent letter in the Times repeated the oft-heard claim that Social Security has no surplus, but instead holds "IOUs" from the government.
It is worth pointing out that these "IOUs" are also known as Treasury bills, which, as Steve Butler has told us in your pages, are regarded as good as cash. Or they were until last summer, when tea party radicals in Congress, for the first time in our history, raised the question of whether the U.S. government might renege on its obligations.
I wonder if that letter writer would be willing to claim that everyone who has invested their savings in bonds, government or otherwise, really have no savings at all, merely IOUs.
This kind of irrational fear-mongering does not further reasonable discussion of our problems.