Letter: Blue wave being doused by Stormy
Poor liberal democrats, you've overplayed your hand and you're losing badly.
The more they talk about Stormy, the more they turn off Americans.
Want to watch liberals lose their minds? Tell them that President Trump is about to win the Nobel Peace Prize. That he's actually earned as opposed to President Obama, who got it for doing nothing.
Isn't that a hoot?
The good news keeps coming for Trump. The economy is booming. Last week it was reported unemployment fell below 4 percent, the lowest since 2000. ADP also reported that in April U.S. Private Companies added more than 200,000 jobs for the fifth month in a row.
Obama bragged nonstop about quantity, never mentioning that his job growth consisted mostly of crappy, low-wage, part-time jobs that required food stamps to survive. Trump's new jobs are great jobs. Manufacturing, mining, and professional service jobs led the way in the April report. Over the past 12 months, manufacturing has added 245,000 high wage jobs.
The Democrats response? Bring up Stormy the porn star. It's all liberals want to talk about. CNN and MSNBC have given Stormy wall-to-wall coverage for the past two months.
The result? Trump and the GOP are exploding in the polls. Blue wave in November? Not anymore. This obsession with Stormy is a disaster for Democrats.
Most recent polls show Trump at a robust 51 percent approval at Rasmussen. Far above where he was on Election Day, and also far above where Obama was at the same time in his presidency.
So here's my message for Democrats: Please keep talking about Stormy. Ignore jobs. Ignore the economy. Ignore the tragedy of Obamacare. Ignore illegal immigration. Make it all about Stormy 24/7.
Pat Ropella, Mason City
Letter: 'Heartbeat' lessons in Romania, China
The frightful “heartbeat bill” that Iowa’s legislators passed and Reynolds signed brought to mind the past treatment of women in Romania and China.
In 1966, Romanian communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu authorized Decree 770 where women of child bearing age were mandated to produce four (and later five) children to increase the dwindling population in this poor labor shortage country. Abortion and contraception were immediately outlawed. Consequently, the number of underground abortions soared. Hundreds of children ended up in orphanages. My cousin, a native of Mason City, and long-time resident of Vienna, Austria, became involved in Project Centipede which supplied shoes and other needed supplies to these desperate children.
In 1979, China instituted a one-child policy on the Han Chinese people as a part of its family planning policy. In 2007, 36 percent of China’s population was subject to a strict one-child policy, and an additional 53 percent could have a second child if the first one was a girl. Provincial governments imposed fines, and through commissions, local and national governments would carry out registration and “inspection” work. A two-child policy exists today.
When governments insist on interfering with women’s most private part of their lives, rarely does anything good come of it. The best solution to abortion prevention will always be comprehensive sex education and affordable easy access to contraception.
Johanna Anderson, Osage
Letter: Push to ban harmful Styrofoam
Polystyrene, or as most know it as Styrofoam, is terrible for wildlife. The trash from it ends up in waterways and lakes, seriously harming birds and fish by disrupting their natural ecology and killing them. There have already been over 200 cities and communities across the country who have banned plastic foam. Large companies like McDonalds and Starbucks have started phasing out containers made with polystyrene.
With the state’s projected population boom, Mason City and the surrounding areas will be scrutinized by potential homeowners, businesses, employees, and even vacationers. Northern Iowa’s unique mix of plains, wetlands, lakes, and creeks has the potential to steal the hearts of these newcomers. By banning the use of single-use polystyrene, Iowa’s landscape can remain in pristine condition, making this area more desirable.
Iowa would be the first state to put a ban on polystyrene. In the past, the chemical industry has successfully funded opposition on efforts like this. With support from the citizens of this state, Iowa can set a nationwide standard for ridding our land of unnecessary and costly pollution.
Christina Hickman, Urbandale
Letter: Need to learn we can't eat money
First they (Big Ag) came for the chickens. We had chickens. We were told we didn't have enough eggs, so they wouldn't stop. "Get big or get out," they said. I didn't like chickens that much anyway, so we got out. I didn't do anything to help stop the control and takeover of the industry, and now they control 100 percent of eggs from the factory farms to the grocery store.
We changed the building to hogs. That didn't last long. The markets were lost, buying stations disappeared. We heard again, "Get big or get out." We moved, and the hog building was bad so we got out. I did nothing. I didn't like hogs that much either. They now control 90 percent of pork production.
At this time, I started hearing about the leaking lagoons, manure runoff, dead fish, horrible smells, weak HF519 and now the weak Matrix written by Big Ag. Tax breaks for their pits!
Then they came for me. Ten confinements within three miles in any direction from my home. Now, I have e Coli and bacteria in my well I didn't have years ago. You find you have no voice, and laws are written for Big Ag. Supervisors have no backbone. DNR is helpless and hopeless. We have become throw-away people until we say enough!
They call could take a stand, have courage, stop saying laws are weak and there is nothing they can do. Hope the throw-away people say enough! We are sick of hearing there is nothing we can do.
I have a favorite saying by a 19th century Cree Indian: Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught (died) will we realize we cannot eat money.
Gloria Goll, Klemme
Letter: Candidate has bold ag plan for Iowa
Cathy Glasson has clearly and strongly spoken out against factory farming since the beginning of her campaign. Cathy supports farmers and responsible agriculture and supports returning agriculture to the people of Iowa. She does not support factories that hide under the name of farming.
Last summer, a CAFO was built one mile from my home. I have epilepsy and the noxious fumes from these operations contain aromatic hydrocarbons which can trigger seizures, headaches, burning eyes and throat, wheezing, and on and on.
This is my home, and I want to protect it, my health, and the health of the children in my family. Cathy Glasson was the first candidate to call for a moratorium on CAFOs, and was the first to implement a farming and environmental council to develop policies with and for those who will be affected by them.
Cathy has educated herself about farming and the environment by listening to leading experts in agri-ecology. She has spoken out boldly about their recommendations to save our state. Cathy has a bold plan to return Iowa and farming to the people of Iowa.
Please support Cathy Glasson for governor by voting for her on or before June 5 (early voting began May 7)!
Edith Haenel, Northwood
Letter: We deserve better health care
The state of Iowa and our country have a health care crisis. Rates are skyrocketing, quality care is unattainable or unaffordable and political gridlock in Des Moines and Washington D.C. offer little hope that help is on the way.
Recently, state legislators in Iowa passed a bill allowing different organizations to offer health care products to their members. These new products are different than insurance in that there are no rules on what must be covered. Iowans can be denied coverage because they have a pre-existing condition like high blood pressure, pregnancy, diabetes, or heart disease. It allows organizations to discriminate against older Iowans, who typically have higher costs, by charging them higher rates.
I've spent over 30 years in the health care field and have worked through lots of changes in the health care market. Unfortunately, I can tell you this new bill doesn't do enough to help many Iowans desperate for affordable healthcare and will make health care even more expensive for those who need it the most.
If we're going to get serious about finding real solutions to our health care crisis, we need to begin by working together. It's going to take Republican, Democrats and independents, working with employers and employees to find solutions that lower costs. We need to protect Iowans with pre-existing conditions, keep health care affordable, and make sure it's accessible for every Iowan, especially in rural areas.
Tim Knutson, Northwood
Letter: Turn off Fox News at night
Why does Trump claim NBC, CBS, ABC, and CNN and the other reliable news media as "fake news" and that only Fox News reports the truth? Do you really buy into that? Trump supporters do!
Fox News people, such as Chris Wallace, Shephard Smith, Neil Cavuto, and White House correspondent John Roberts and a few others, are generally fair and unbiased, but at night, their programming turns into a politically biased, lying, right-wing fiasco. Anyone who is pretty well-informed and reasonable in their thinking, and at least half-way intelligent, would see that quickly. But the regular viewers are hearing what they want to hear and watching with blinders on. The price they pay is political and factual ignorance.
In covering politics, CNN covers all points of view and brings in political and non-political experts from many fields, Democrat, Republican, and non-partisan to discuss and debate issues. I don't see this approach with Fox News. Hosts such as Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingram, Jeanine Pirro (disgusting) Shawn Hannity and a couple of other goons, are way far right. Hannity makes $36 million a year and has net worth of over $80 million. It is no wonder he loves the Trump tax cuts for the very rich, while the middle class takes it in the shorts from Republicans once again.
It is my belief that when the Mueller investigation ends the Trump presidency will end. Justice and the law must prevail to save this greatest country ever and its institutions and way of life that Trump threatens. Republicans, he is going to tear your party apart!
In closing, I would like to direct you to a Fox News segment of May 4 by Fox News host Neil Cavuto that is exemplary. Just google "Fox News host Neil Cavuto blasts Trump for 4 straight minutes."
Steven Epperly, Mason City
Letter: Food drive helps summer need
Nearly one in six U.S. citizens regularly go hungry, according to the Feeding America Network, a national hunger-relief organization. This Saturday, the United States Postal Service is giving everyone a chance to help someone in need with its annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive for Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank.
Please leave bags of healthy nonperishable and canned goods but no glass items in the donations by your mailbox Saturday.
Mason City postal workers will carry the food in their trucks to the post office, where it will be weighed it out and distributed as evenly as possible to Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank.
Last year Mason City mail carriers collected 18,813 pounds of food donations and $285.11.
Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank serves around 2,000 people a month, so the food collected during this drive is very important, as the food bank enters the summer months when the kids are out of school.
Ozzie Ohl, Mason City
Letter: Lessons in genius at capital
It never ceases to amaze me how brilliant our politicians like Reps. Pat Grassley, Sandy Salmon, Walt Rogers, and Linda Upmeyer think they become once they are elected to the Legislature and go down to Des Moines.
They know the way to build a skilled work force is to cut money for community colleges.
They know utility energy efficient programs that save consumers money are a waste.
They know how to cut state income until the state is rich.
They know that tax gifts to the rich stimulate growth and the middle class loves to be trickled on.
They know the way to incentivize the rich is to give them more money, and the way to incentivize the poor is to take it away.
They know cutting access to birth control reduces abortion.
They know more than philosophers, theologians and microbiologists when life begins.
They know the exact moment when an egg becomes a chicken and an acorn becomes an oak tree.
They know more than teachers about testing kids and more than doctors about treating patients.
They know voter impersonation is the real threat, not Russian hacking.
They know abused public employees will work harder.
They know better than the Supreme Court whether laws are Constitutional.
They know Iowans want reduced patient care and big corporate profits from privatized Medicaid.
They know just what kind of eggs should be in my grocery.
They know public money from all should pay for private school for some.
They know climate change is a hoax and professional wrestling is real.
I wish I were a legislator, then I’d become a genius too. With the thoughts I’d be thinkin’, I could be another Lincoln.
David Mansheim, Parkersburg
Letter: Bill removes citizen liberty
How about if Planned Parenthood refrains from protesting against those who hold deep religious beliefs about the sanctity of life, as long as the State of Iowa agrees to provide reasonable support for all of the lives it is about to legislate into existence?
The state is removing the liberty of its citizens to decide if they are willing to accept the responsibility for the caring of a child they have conceived – regardless of any circumstances – and imposing a minimum 18-year sentence of emotional, medical, financial and spiritual support for a child on the mother, without the State assuming any of this liability or imposing at least 50 percent of the responsibility to the father.
Iowa Code section 232.68 defines child abuse as "denial of critical care."
Who should be prosecuted when these unwanted children aren’t fed, clothed, housed, educated appropriately? When they are beaten, neglected, sexually abused? The mother … or Gov. Kim Reynolds and State Sen. Amy Sinclair, et al?
These individuals support the “right to life” as long as they don’t have to shell out any of their tax dollars to make the lives they’ve “saved” minimally bearable.
There is an old axiom in Iowa, “Talk is cheap, it takes money to buy a farm.” Any religious conservative who is willing to adopt these unwanted children into their homes, tithe 10 percent towards their health care, psychological care and spiritual nurturing deserves to be given the right to save these lives. Everyone else who is only willing to insist on nine months of protection for these embryos until they’re born, because it doesn’t inconvenience them or cost them money, is only talking the talk of hypocrisy, not walking the hard-and-rocky walk of true compassion.
David Elliott, Des Moines
Letter: GOP plays gotcha-and-gun God
From atop their very own high horse of infallibility, Republicans in governing power in the State of Iowa have decided to play God with enactment of an edict that bans abortion at a point in which these politicians consider a fetus to be more preciously important than a woman who is most likely a very dear wife, mother and friend to others.
These Republicans intend to use the power of government to eliminate the capacity of a woman to exercise her God-given conscience as best she can do when faced with a grave personal matter of life and death. Such a woman in the past has been free to exercise her conscience with the loving support of family and friends, trusted medical council, and with any salving ministry that the woman's faith might draw unto her.
This new right-wing restriction is issued from the same ex-cathedra seat of earthly infallibility that has empowered these Republican deities to insist that big-bad-government shall in no way limit their just right to personally go armed with a gun so that they can blow away anyone they deem to in anyway be a danger to them.
Thus so, Republicans herald themselves on Earth as Almighty God of gotcha-and-gun, with some fingers and lives blown away with fireworks restored in service to blasting away in some bloody-old Fourth of July fun.
Sam Osborne, West Branch
Letter: Iowans are hungry for change
If you are like me, you are feeling overwhelmed by the news out of D.C. and Des Moines. I felt powerless until I met a candidate for governor named Cathy Glasson.
My parents are technologists and long-time union members at the UIHC. They chose the UIHC partly so my siblings and I could get great health care. However, time and again, former Gov. Terry Branstad made promises on the campaign trail, then turn around and slashed benefits. The gutting of collective bargaining rights during the last legislative cycle was the final straw. I knew that this year something had to change. We cannot elect Branstad 2.0.
I was uninspired by the choices until I met Cathy. The first time I heard her speak, I knew she was the real deal. I am impressed by her background as an ICU nurse and a union organizer and her vociferous support of issues like the $15 minimum wage and universal health care. Most importantly, she inspires young and old to get off the couch and make change happen!
We need something new – not the same tired, old tactics. Iowans are hungry for change, and they need someone with fire, not a bland political insider. That is why I’m supporting Cathy Glasson for governor and encourage you to support her on June 5.
Rebecca Barrett, Iowa City
Letter: Listen to what, rather than how
National Stuttering Awareness Week began May 7. Did you know more than 3 million Americans stutter? That’s more than the populations of Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, and Washington, DC…combined.
One percent of your readers stutter, and up to 5 percent of children stutter for a time during their early developmental years.
In the spirit of spreading awareness, the most important thing you can do for someone who stutters - or for anyone you are speaking with - is listen. Listen to what they have to say rather than how they say it.
Jane Fraser, Memphis, Tennessee
Letter: Awarding my own scholarship
To the Iowa 4-H Youth Development Program:
For several years our family has given out a scholarship to a student from West Hancock. I’ve included a couple from this year for you to view. This will be the last year based on membership in 4H. I got a lot out of FFA back when I was in school and my daughter the same with 4H. Once you caved to the gay lobby you lost my support. I’m done being told what I have to accept.
Next year’s application will be open to all kids with one simple question.
Pick two news stories that are currently hot topics and write me an opinion on each.
Far too long I have given my money to students without looking at their world view. I’m done. If all these special interest groups want to shape the world in their view I see no reason for me to fund them. I’ll fund students who think like me. I’ll be damn if I’ll write a check to a student I might see on TV protest what I believe in, be it the LGBT issue or the right to keep and bear arms.
John Johnson, Britt
Letter: Expand medical marijuana in Iowa
I'm writing to express my concern relating to Iowa's medical marijuana law that imposes a 3 percent THC cap and provides access to this program for only nine medical conditions. As an Iowan who's son suffers from intractable epilepsy, these restrictions reduce the benefits this program could offer to him and others. His seizures have drastically reduced and quality of life has improved but he could benefit far more if there was no THC cap.
Medical marijuana presents a valuable opportunity for safe long-term pain relief. However, Iowa's restrictive cap on THC is ineffective at managing the pain associated with chronic illnesses. Additionally, the current law would benefit few Iowans due to its limited list of approved conditions for treatment.
However, a bill pending in the Iowa legislature would remove the 3 percent THC cap and expand the definition of a "debilitating medical condition" to widen the range of those who qualify. Unfortunately, this bill has stalled in the Senate and requires stronger support in the House. The Iowa Legislature should remove the 3 percent THC cap and expand the definition of a "debilitating medical condition" to widen the range of those who qualify. Iowans want a successful medical cannabis program. Speaker Upmeyer should too.
I urge readers to call on their House member to stand up for those who are suffering and could benefit from the expansion of this treatment.
Cassie Helland, Mason City