Your Opinions: Readers Discuss Rep. Jacobsen, National Security, Senator Grassley | Local News
An Open Letter to Representative Jon Jacobsen
I was appalled to see the article in the January 5 edition of the Daily Nonpareil in which Rep. Jon Jacobsen promoted a bill prohibiting employers from requiring COVID-19 vaccines or masks. These are efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID and limit the deaths and disabilities that so many have suffered from it.
The article stated that he was a pro-business Republican. He should also be a representative who promotes safe practices such as vaccines, boosters and face masks. Our community is in the midst of a horrific pandemic. This should not be a political issue, but a health and medical issue.
Actively promoting ivermectin as a therapy for COVID when it is not FDA approved and not recommended by infectious disease and public health experts is irresponsible. As a retired family physician who practiced in this town for 35 years, and as a former member of the Council Bluffs Board of Health (25 years) and the Pottawattamie Board of Health (eight years), I urges our government officials to legislate bills that would improve our condition, save lives, prevent disease, and improve the state of medical care in our state instead of hindering it.
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We are all in this together and must work together to defeat this pandemic. By promoting bills that do otherwise, it is a great disservice.
How someone like Rep. Jacobsen, who was obviously well-educated, doesn’t use his critical-thinking abilities to promote legislation that would benefit all Iowans is anyone’s guess. Comparing the Nuremberg trials in any way to COVID vaccines and masks is also troubling. The Holocaust was evil and grew to murder people. The COVID vaccine, masks and public health measures were developed to save lives. I implore Rep. Jacobsen and his colleagues to withdraw his bill and work to end this horrible pandemic. Perhaps he should speak with some doctors, nurses and staff at our local hospitals to find out what their experiences have been.
Technological innovation is the key to national security
Last year, a Russian-based ransomware attack stopped Fort Dodge’s new co-op in its tracks – during harvest week, however. New Cooperative claims that 40% of the country’s grain production goes through its software. Although the incident appears to have resolved itself, such infrastructure is essential to agriculture, which is the backbone of our economy and way of life. We need to do everything we can to strengthen our systems against these threats, but Congress doesn’t seem to agree.
Otherwise, why would they continue to make proposals that threaten our national security? It seems like every day we hear of new anti-competitive laws that seek to unfairly regulate bona fide innovators. These bills open the door for foreign state-run agencies to sue US companies and make it harder for digital companies to implement new tools. More importantly, anti-competitive measures threaten the millions of jobs supported by our own innovators — 95,000 of whom are based here in Iowa, according to CompTIA.
Every piece of technology that we rely on China or Russia for is one less that we produce in the country. We cannot give up this competitive advantage. After all, our innovators have demonstrated their commitment to American values such as free speech and privacy. Other countries choose to use technological tools to arrest, imprison and intimidate their own citizens. These opposing actions are simply incompatible.
I hope you will join me in calling on federal leaders in Iowa to speak out against these dangerous bills. As a veteran, it’s worrisome that we give up national security instead of anti-competition. Instead, let’s encourage innovation and trumpet its benefits to Iowa and our country.
The corrosive message of the Republicans
Republicans castigate repetitive chants against the following protections: for example, vaccines prevent disease and death; the right to vote ensures democracy; moving away from fossil fuels reduces the ravages of climate change; a women’s right to make birth decisions guarantees this natural choice; everyone should have the right to receive medical treatment; regulating runoff from feedlots from huge animal-breeding factories into waterways; and gun restrictions, such as universal background checks, that reduce gun violence.
In recent years, Republicans have built a political brand opposing these protections; more, by carving out this opposition in legislative and judicial decisions.
Iowans need to dig deeper into who they want to be with others. Do you have your neighbor’s back?
Please reject Republican attacks on the above protections. Advocate for improving a better quality of life for your fellow Iowans.
Senator Grassley’s Missing Number
I read with interest the government-funded report, Sen. Grassley Marks Policy, Oversight Accomplishments in 2021. It’s an impressive 40-page document with twenty-four color photos, fourteen of which show the senator in action, including one of him standing in his New Hartford farm field with his arms outstretched .
The report is divided into twenty-two topics, listed alphabetically from agriculture to whistleblowers (grassley.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2021_Grassley%20Accomplishments.pdf) and each section describes the senator’s efforts to introduce or support legislation or policy related to any of these topics. He was obviously busy last year.
While I have specific concerns with many of Senator Grassley’s positions as outlined in his report, my primary concern is the glaring absence of what I consider to be the most important government issue today, the right to vote. The 9,800-word report does not once contain the phrase “voting rights”. What is Senator Grassley’s position on this? What action did he take? How can a US senator quietly sit back and allow state legislatures, including Iowa’s, to enact laws to restrict access to voting based on proven voter fraud allegations? repeatedly wrong?
Which of the 22 issues Senator Grassley worked on in 2021 is more important to our democracy than the right to vote? His silence on this subject, and that of his colleagues in the Senate, speaks volumes about their legislative priorities and their vision for the future of our great country.
A request from supporters of Donald Trump
I respectfully ask supporters of Donald Trump to consider the following:
Electoral disputes come down to the rules of evidence required before the courts. In this country, people cannot be thrown in jail (or installed as president) by the courts if the rules of evidence are not followed. Watch it, please don’t take my word for it – uscourts.gov.
No one who follows the rules of evidence is saying Trump won. In all of the more than 60 legal challenges, judges said none of Trump’s claims stood up to the rules of evidence. Trump’s attorney general and vice president agreed. No one who says Antifa was involved in the insurgency can produce information that has stood up to the rules of evidence demanded by the courts. Anybody.
Trump is just furious that several states have allowed changes to mail-in voting, to help mitigate the pandemic. He is really angry that it was often the Republicans who approved the changes, because it allowed many more Democrats to vote. The courts upheld the changes. Yeah. They upheld the amendments based on the rules of evidence.
In this country, states hold elections and courts settle disputes. This has been done. Trump supporters may dispute that, but disputes like theirs simply don’t hold up in court. This is where they got lost. They want someone installed as president based on claims that don’t hold up in court; which do not stand up to scrutiny of the rules of evidence.
All the noise about Trump’s victory and the antifa attack on the capital is just that. Noise. And, noise is simply not allowed in court as evidence. Not now. Never. Not even by Trump-appointed judges.
Funny thing about conservative judges. They generally follow the rules of evidence — and the Constitution. The position of Trump supporters does not.
An attempt to overturn an election, which does not meet the rules of evidence in court, is called an insurrection. It’s called sedition. It is an undemocratic attempt to install an authoritarian in power. Like Vladimir Putin. Like Alexander Lukashenko. These guys don’t follow the rules of evidence either.
It’s normal that some people want Trump reinstated as president. It’s OK, they’re angry and upset. It’s just not democratic, and it’s normal that some people are not democratic. It’s normal for some people to think that their man shouldn’t have to follow the rules of evidence in court. Like Vladimir Putin. Like Alexander Lukashenko.
Why have the churches lost trust with the people?
Religious observance has declined steadily over the past decades. There is a reason for this. People are tired of mediocrity.
Church leaders in a wide variety of denominations reduced the lifestyle of the ancient Judeo-Christian founders to the level of a fraternity of cliquary married people. They streamlined once complex theological doctrines down to the level of advertising jingles. Their promises of salvation look like sordid political promises where everyone benefits in an election year. Interpretation of Scripture is separated from historical context.
Some practitioners like this environment. There, other people are required to make at least an effort to include them in their social circle on the Sabbath. There, you don’t find much pressure to improve life like in the good old days. The nave has become a school room of “everything is fine”.
Churches teach forgiveness without repentance, love without responsibility, and interpersonal service without public service. Surely nothing that Jesus would recognize.
The Protestant work ethic morphed into the Christian prosperity gospel. In this new world, the church is okay with irresponsible business investments and occupations, disingenuous commercial advertising, and triple-digit interest rates charged to the poor.
And churches manage to accomplish all this mediocrity with contribution requirements below federal tax rates.
It is with sadness that I learn of the death of actress Yvette Mimieux. She was famous for her roles as Weena in The Time Machine and Dr. Kate McCrae in The Black Hole.
My thoughts go out to his family and friends.
Hallandale Beach, Florida