Religion and politics
CEDAR FALLS -- Regarding a column April 18 in the Courier, "Christianity shouldn't be claimed for contemporary politics," I urge Pete Buttigieg and all those who would like to specify Christianity, or any kind of religion into our politics, to read the First Amendment of the Constitution. (It is a good idea for all of us.) It reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of people peaceably assembling, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
These words are copied word for word from the Declaration of Independence and again into the Bill of Rights.
These men were willing to stand by what they said. It is purported that many, if not all, of the signers of that document went bankrupt while paying to establish these/our rights and the Revolutionary War.
During the nearly 300 years since its signing, July 4, 1776, many lives have been given to pay for all four of our freedoms. Let us not diminish them now.
WATERLOO --- "We Canadians were just going along, minding our own business, watching a bit of hockey on television, drinking beer and seeing that the USA did a sort of silly thing and elected a TV reality show host as their commander in chief. No big deal to us.
"Then, (Trump) declared Canada a threat to your national security! Us, mild mannered Canada. Canada who is your big trading partner. Canada with whom you share the longest undefended border in the world. Canada a security threat!
"Sorry, but that got our backs up. Suddenly our treaties like NAFTA are being ignored and insulted. Suddenly our products are being tariffed. Suddenly our prime minister is being disrespected.
"We aren’t butting in -- we’ve been forced to participate in the fiasco that is Donald Trump, and we have something to say about that!"
What Trump did according to the Mueller report is a hundred times worse than what Bill Clinton did. Attorney General Barr is nothing but a lackey for Trump. Watch these hypocrite Republicans give Trump a mulligan.
Climate and us
JESUP -- Much has been said about combating climate change by reducing the use of fossil fuels and removing some of the carbon already in the atmosphere, and each of us has a role in this effort. We make choices every day that could reduce greenhouse gases.
For example, we can reduce our food waste. When unused food decomposes in landfills it creates methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Eating less meat would also generate less carbon. Furthermore, both of these lifestyle choices would greatly reduce the conversion of carbon-storing forests to agricultural production and the use of energy-intensive fertilizers to grow the food.
We can also reduce carbon emissions by our transportation choices. Even simple things like keeping our tires properly inflated and driving at or below the speed limit would substantially reduce our carbon footprint.
Another way to reduce carbon emissions is to reduce the amount we consume. Studies have shown that after a point, buying more stuff does not bring more happiness. When we do buy, we should try to buy locally. Shipping products long distances generates a tremendous amount of greenhouse gases.
We are all in this together. Our lifestyle choices do matter.
Health care costs
HUDSON -- We will not have "affordable care" until people take some responsibility for their own health. As long as someone else is paying for it, why not use it?
The demand goes up along with the cost. A second point is we need to differentiate between "health care" and "health insurance." The primary rule of insurance is to insure against things not likely to happen but if they do it will be a major financial catastrophe. Unfortunately, too many people not only expect "health care," they expect me to pay for it! Health Savings Accounts for all is the real answer, funded by tax-free money from employer, self or some generous charitable contribution.
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CEDAR FALLS -- Several years ago I was a nurse at one of the local nursing homes in the Cedar Valley. I was extremely dedicated to my patients but found being a nurse was one of the most demanding jobs I had ever had in my life.
I admire Chuck Grassley for fighting for the rights of our seniors. However, in his guest opinion in the Courier (April 22) about what is being done to correct the inadequacies of nursing homes, he is only touching on the bare surface. When I visit my husband, usually there are only one or two nurses on his ward, sometimes less, for 20 patients or so. These nurses are required to attend to several patients plus with the help of a few others, wheel them to the dining hall, and sometimes even help feed the critically ill three times a day.
Nurses in nursing homes are overworked and underpaid for the horrific duties they are required to perform each day.
Unfortunately, Grassley hasn’t even begun to scratch the surface with his latest political bandage.
CEDAR FALLS -- Sometimes I watch a Cedar Falls City Council meeting on television. I wonder if the city could possibly enact a rule where a person could only go up to speak maybe no more than five times.
It gets tiresome watching someone at the microphone for an hour.
CEDAR FALLS -- The roads have been closed on Leversee Road for a month. If anyone had an emergency the ambulance could not get there. Our neighbors had to use a farm driveway to get to Bennington Road.
It is eight miles out of our way to get to Cedar Falls. They are so worried about getting Grundy Road paved when we have more traffic on Leversee now that they could closed three roads to Highway 218. Leversee Road needs paved, seal coated, or whatever. We pay $10,000 a year taxes, and our roads are getting ignored. No school buses, and trash has been sitting by the road for a month. Raccoons and stray cats get into the trash. Then, windy days scatter it all over. It has been dry enough for the road grader to come through now. People have been stuck and others in ditches. It's ridiculous.
WATERLOO -- Few adjectives capture one's interpretations when absorbing the pandering "town halls" dubiously provided by CNN and Fox News. Remember, these teat-sucking politicos are mere humans seeking jobs -- highly responsible jobs. Yet not a single word is uttered about streamlining government, increasing efficiency, reducing size/cost of government or squarely addressing the truly critical issues facing us citizens. Only our businessman president does that.
Social Security and Medicare represent more than half of our $4-trillion-plus budget. Both are horribly mismanaged and are fast-tracking to insolvency. Yet these gold-digging suckers egregiously and enthusiastically espouse "Medicare for all," free college and magically eliminating $1.5 trillion in student loans? Spot the disconnect? Social Security would be in better shape had pandering politicos not destroyed the "trust" and squandered that money on their dependent-inducing "Great Society."
Today's Democrat playbook screams irresponsibility. I'm anxious to hear these panderers identify pragmatic solutions to budget, immigration, infrastructure and trade topics, but haven't heard a peep yet. But that's where leaders are focused. Solutions lie in a more efficient government, not more encroaching government. That can't won't occur until we purge a completely dysfunctional Congress -- the source of 98% of our most critical issues.
WATERLOO -- The April 19 Courier front page and inside stories on the Mueller report has in only one small paragraph among those 18 long columns stating that the object of the report. The bottom line in Attorney General William Barr's four-page memo -- "no collusion."
After more than $25 million and 23 months by a "dream team" that included 15 "wish list" attorneys and a support staff of more than 15 individuals, we find the answer, no collusion. At Barr's press conference April 18, we learn the "Russian operatives who perpetrated these schemes did not have the cooperation of President Trump or the Trump campaign -- or the knowing assistance of any American." "Put another way, the special counsel found no collusion." After "nearly two years of investigation, thousands of subpoenas and hundreds of warrants," no collusion.
For two long years the American public was bombarded daily by the subject of collusion. Now is the time to answer them all -- no collusion.