We must stop tearing each other down

Let’s skip the debate over whether our president bears even a smidgen of blame for contributing to the domestic terrorist incidents last week in the United States.

Let’s agree we are never going to agree, so there’s no use driving each other’s blood pressure higher by talking more about that.

Yes, there will always be people who are so mentally disturbed they think they are improving life in our United States by gunning down 11 people in a synagogue or by mailing 13 pipe bombs to people the culprit, and the president, dislike.

Having said that, I wonder when will Americans and our political leaders stand up and say enough is enough?

Honoree’s life shows what a helping hand can mean

Each year in October, when the Iowa countryside transforms from gorgeous summer greens to harvest season hues of tan, some of the world’s top agricultural scientists and anti-hunger activists gather in Des Moines to compare notes.

The occasion is the presentation of the annual World Food Prize. It’s three days of conversations about the progress, or the setbacks, in the quest to adequately feed the world’s expanding population.

Is Roby Smith in political trouble, or do Republicans have virtually unlimited campaign dollars?

Is Roby Smith in political trouble, or do Republicans just have unlimited campaign dollars?

Judging from the mammoth amount of money incumbent State Senator Roby Smith has raised and spent on this year's election, either state Republican strategists think he's in trouble or the party of fiscal conservatism has few concerns when the spending helps retain its Senate majority in Des Moines.

Secrecy doesn’t serve Indian Hills’ best interests

There’s an old expression that officials of Indian Hills Community College obviously have not heard about – or have chosen to ignore.

The expression is simple: If you find yourself in a hole, stop shoveling.

But the school continues to shovel – digging itself ever deeper into legal trouble and into a public relations quagmire.

Kavanaugh’s mouth is just as troubling

It’s confession time:

I cannot say with confidence what transpired in that upstairs bedroom in a suburban home in Montgomery County, Md., on that summer evening, apparently in 1982, during a gathering of unsupervised, beer-drinking teenagers.

Unless you have just awakened like a latter-day Rip Van Winkle, you know the party in question involved a 15-year-old girl named Christine Blasey and may or may not have involved a drunken 17-year-old boy named Brett Kavanaugh.

Taxpayers have been taken for an expensive ride

Most Iowans are pretty frugal. They don’t waste their money. They especially don’t like it when they believe government officials fritter away our tax money.

That’s why I think many people in Iowa are not familiar with the case of Chris Godfrey.

Otherwise, if they were truly informed about what has occurred in the past six and a half years, I am convinced they would be steamed about the decision and actions of Terry Branstad and Kim Reynolds when they were governor and lieutenant governor.

It’s time to focus on Iowa’s real issues

Distraction appears to be a main focus so far in the race for Iowa governor.

Election Day is two months away. The decision Iowans make on Nov. 6 will be an important factor in where our state is headed.

But instead of having a full and frank debate over important issues and ideas that will shape Iowa’s future, Gov. Kim Reynolds and, to a lesser extent, Fred Hubbell are allowing the race to revolve around sideshow issues.

Church needs action, not ‘lawyerly blabber’

At most services, Father P.J. McManus moves quickly through the announcements --- typically covering such things as the coming Christ the King Church sweet corn festival, the signup for the fall retreat, or a new book study group that soon will begin.

This past weekend, however, the announcements took a very different theme and tone.

Father P.J. began by mentioning he was at a Des Moines Hy-Vee on Wednesday, shopping for a dinner he was hosting that evening for leaders of the youth group. He was not wearing his Roman collar at the store, and a parishioner he encountered asked about that unusual occurrence.

‘Trade secrets’ shouldn’t trump accountability

The Iowa Legislature wrote some wonderful concepts into the state’s government transparency laws.

For example: “This chapter seeks to assure, through a requirement of open meetings of government bodies, that the basis and rationale of governmental decisions, as well as those decisions themselves, are easily accessible to the people. Ambiguity in the construction or application of this chapter should be resolved in favor of openness.” (Chapter 21, Iowa Code.)

And: “In actions brought under this section the district court shall take into account the policy of this chapter that free and open examination of public records is generally in the public interest even though such examination may cause inconvenience or embarrassment to public officials or others.” (Chapter 22, Iowa Code.)

But increasingly, 11 other words in the public records law are causing headaches for Iowans who want to monitor the decisions their government makes.

UI should include public when decisions are needed

The University of Iowa announced last week that it will close seven academic centers, shrink three others and eliminate 33 jobs.

The reductions will save $3.5 million, officials said.

The announcement should come as no surprise if you have been paying attention to events in our state. The university has been caught in a vice --- squeezed between public pressure to hold down the size of tuition increases and the Legislature’s desire to hold down government spending.


Subscribe to RSS - blogs
Go to top