WATERLOO — President Trump’s executive order to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem is one of courage and truth. It acknowledges the city of King David as Israel’s undivided and eternal capital. This is verifiable by secular history, validated by archeology and mandated biblically through the creator God.

Israel has proven itself trustworthy as the protector of the holy sites and religious freedom. The cause of peace has been advanced. Now it is up to the rest of the world to recognize Jerusalem as the rightful capital of Israel. Let all hearts yearning for peace now “pray for the peace of Jerusalem!” (Psalm 122.6)



CEDAR FALLS — Donald Trump and his henchmen (a trusted helper or follower) are similar to Hitler and his Gestapo (the terrorist secret police force of Nazi German).

No doubt, Hitler built up his following much like Trump is trying to build up his. If one approach doesn’t work, he tries another. That’s why he keeps changing tactics and positions. He figures everyone has a weak spot, and eventually he’ll find yours and mine.

Hitler used the Jewish people to justify his hate for humanity. Being he was the product of incest and abuse he had a twisted mind. What he was trying to do was justify his own existence by being superior.

World War II was fought to get rid of Hitler’s need to control the world. We don’t need another war to satisfy Donald Trump’s lunacy.

School choice


CEDAR FALLS — In the Jan. 23 paper, Cedar Falls Board of Education members were quoted as saying lawmakers’ “highest priority” should be “to promote and fully invest in Iowa’s public schools.” I have to respectfully disagree with this statement. I believe lawmakers’ highest priority should be to the people of Iowa. This includes our school-age children. In order to best serve our children, they should be able to have the choice as to which school best fits their needs.

A student’s education should not be limited due to financial reasons. Private schools oftentimes offer a better education option than the equivalent public school. By allowing school choice, this will better serve our students. If the public schools are concerned about losing revenue, then they should focus on being the best choice for students. In order to do this they need to start seeing each student as an individual, not just more dollars being sent their way.

Public schools

JANE LINDAMAN, Waterloo Schools superintendent

ANDY PATTEE, Cedar Falls Schools superintendent

ED KLAMFOTH, Waverly-Shell Rock Schools superintendent

WATERLOO — As local superintendents, we are proud to lead public school districts that serve nearly 20,000 preschool through 12th-grade students here in the Cedar Valley. Because public school districts serve more than 90 percent of students, communities count on us to stay strong and continually improve.

We urge Cedar Valley residents to carefully weigh the impact of any proposed legislation that diverts dollars away from public school districts, potentially cutting opportunities and programs for the very districts open to all, regardless of academic, behavior or language barriers. Public schools serve diverse populations of students and provide children with real-world experiences. If additional dollars should be provided to support private school education, we would urge legislators to ensure the same mandates for all districts, including open access to every child.

As leaders of the three largest public school districts in the Cedar Valley, we encourage awareness of legislative proposals that have surfaced and may inhibit our ability to serve our students. Contact the governor and your legislators to encourage them to support public education!

Back to basics


CEDAR FALLS — The recent story of a 17-year-old girl crawling out of a bedroom window to escape the horrors of her family home was heartbreaking. Authorities discovered the home-schooling parents had basically imprisoned their 13 kids, finding the children emaciated, some even chained to furniture, all certainly affected for life.

This tragedy should give Iowans pause because it exposes the soft underbelly of unregulated home schooling. Iowa’s home schools were stripped of standards and oversight by the Iowa legislators and Gov. Branstad in 2013.

The state of Iowa does not inspect home school conditions, nor does the state set scholastic standards for home schools.

We don’t know the number of Iowa’s home schooled students; we don’t know where they are being taught, what they are being taught or who’s teaching them. Home schooled students do not receive a diploma.

Let’s assure the safety and success of every school-aged Iowan. Home schools should meet a basic state instructional standard and entertain regular visits by professional, educational auditors.

It’s time to go back to the basics; unlock the doors on Iowa’s home schools.



WATERLOO — This is a fitting month to acknowledge MLK’s inspirations for those daring to dream, consistent with the content of one’s character and personal initiatives. King never suggested breaking laws to achieve dreams.

America’s socialist party doesn’t hesitate to shut down our federal agencies, a strong-arm attempt to garner amnesty for illegals in exchange for an essential federal budget. The Schumer shutdown illustrated not compassion, but egregious greed by politicians pandering taxpayer dollars to those here illegally, in exchange for votes — prioritizing illegals over paying the modest salaries for U.S. military. Neither respect nor responsibility exists in such political gamesmanship. It’s not compassion, but political greed, congressional irresponsibility.

Seven hundred thousand-plus DACA folks didn’t knowingly break our law, but indeed are guilty by association with whomever brought them initially, and those folks undeniably violated U.S. laws. Consequently, illegitimate behavior must never be rewarded with amnesty.

Government declares the United States to be a “country of law,” but is it? Longstanding immigration laws unenforced, chain migration, visa lotteries — even dubious ethics within our FBI and DOJ are not responsible law but glaring examples of irresponsible legislation.

Legislators: Quit playing political football with U.S. immigration law, and quit your juvenile brinkmanship.

Finding juries


WATERLOO — Kudos to The Courier for your Jan. 28 article that highlighted the challenge of obtaining a fair jury trial. This story exposed a disturbing attitude by the Black Hawk County Attorney’s office that we hope will be re-examined and ultimately changed.

Currently, jury pools are drawn from voter rolls and lists of folks who have a driver’s license or DOT identification. Since many people don’t vote, and up to 27 percent of African-Americans in Iowa don’t have a driver’s license or DOT ID, it’s predictable African-Americans will be underrepresented in jury pools.

To ensure fair trials, all juries should include a balanced cross-section of folks from our community. Unfortunately, rather than supporting efforts to increase African-American representation on jury pools to a fair level through use of utility information such as power and water bills, the County Attorney’s Office is resisting these efforts, claiming it would “open a can of worms.”

This is unacceptable. The County Attorney’s Office is responsible for prosecuting individuals, but not at the expense of justice. County Attorney Brian Williams represents “the people,” and the people expect his office to prioritize a system of equal justice for all, not a win-at-any-cost attitude.