GILBERTVILLE — What is disrespect? Apparently Donald Trump has forgotten his remarks about John McCain. “He is only a hero because he was captured. I prefer my heroes to not get captured.”
To me, that is more disrespectful than taking a knee. I served in the military. Our president didn’t.
CEDAR FALLS — I applaud the city’s Public Safety Director Jeff Olson for recommending a limited period of days for fireworks to be legally discharged on the Fourth of July, plus two days after and one day during the climax of the Christmas season, Dec. 31. (as cited by the Oct. 1 Courier).
My, what a giant step for mankind. Aerial fireworks are characterized as a burst of fire that blasts high and loud up into the sky, bursting sparks of fire with a radius of approximately 15 feet or more. Which, although not as powerful as professional ones, emulates them in part. Before the new fireworks law, ground fireworks were allowed in our state and enjoyed by all, myself and my family, our neighbors, for years.
However, now one must shudder and shake in fear of the roof of their house catching on fire, or for one’s own life for that matter. Those adversely effected by the new fireworks law, please attend the next Cedar Falls Council meeting with me and make your voice heard.
BRISTOW — As coaches, we always talk about sportsmanship. Tonight, we saw small-town Iowa at its best. I commend the players and coaches from Riceville for their actions Friday, Sept. 29. Riceville is a very physical and fast team, but they are also a compassionate team. During the fourth quarter, victory at hand, the seniors from Riceville had their coach call timeout. The purpose of this timeout was not to embarrass the opposing team, but to let a sophomore receiver from Clarksville score a touchdown.
I cannot even explain the emotion on the sidelines and in the stands after the score. It’s moments like this that I love the game of football. Yes, we wish the score was turned around, but tonight two opposing teams created a memory for a teenager that will last a lifetime.
GREENE — When NFL football players “take a knee” instead of honoring our flag and our anthem, I would like to see any team owner tell his employees (they are his employees if he owns the team) that if they take a knee or any other means of disrespect to our country, they should go to the locker room, remove all of their equipment and leave the locker room as they found it.
They can then go home or wherever they care to go, but to never expect another dollar of pay from the millions of dollars mentioned in their contracts, because they have just been fired.
Those players are owned by the owner, and they will do as they are directed to do, or they can get in the line for unemployment compensation. They will not receive any compensation, because they did not live up to their contracts.
SHELL ROCK — One more mass shooting, and the news cycle is predictable. We view the tragic events over and over but soon are back to business as usual. The debate about gun control is ruled by shallow logic and increases fear and hate among us. We look for simple causes but ignore the in-depth research from psychology, sociology and neuroscience that actually offers many useful directions for prevention and social change.
We seem to prefer blaming individuals or fringe groups for social problems rather than taking responsibility for the culture we have created. More money for more guns and walls; less money for civic and social education and mental health research and treatment, where we know more about early intervention of behavioral issues and intervention and treatment. Guns and walls and hate between religious, political and racial/ethnic groups create alienation and fear.
These are major dynamics of homegrown terrorists. In addition we praise and tolerate an economic system which emphasizes win/lose competition, not cooperation. We can do better. Confront wrong daily; build creative listening and cooperation.
JESUP — In the April issue of National Geographic magazine, six facts related to climate change were presented. A summary:
1. Measurements made by thousands of weather stations, buoys, ships and satellites show a clear warming trend.
2. No natural cause explains the warming. It is caused by human-emitted greenhouse gases.
3. Carbon emissions cause global warming. Swedish physicist Svante Arrhenius found the link in 1896, and almost all climate scientists agree he was correct.
4. Arctic ice sheets and mountain glaciers are melting rapidly, and this has raised the average sea level at least eight inches since 1900.
5. While a changing climate does not cause a particular weather event, it does affect weather patterns. Globally, the numbers of disasters that involve parts of the Earth affected by climate change (extreme temperatures, floods, storms, etc.) have risen since 1980.
6. Wildlife already is being affected. For example, 47 percent of 976 species surveyed in 2016 had vanished from areas they’d previously occupied on the warm edge of their range.
These are the facts, unless the overwhelming majority of climate scientists in NOAA, NASA, USFWS, National Academy of Scientists and Iowa’s universities are incompetent or lying.
WATERLOO — Is Elaine Jaquith coming back to Waterloo? I was with her when she aired her TV talk show, “Telling It Like It Is,” for seven and a half years. During that same time, from 1991-1994, she served on the Waterloo Board of Education. You won’t believe what’s she’s up to now.
Jaquith returns to Waterloo with her own tell-all book, “The Mobologist,” a story just published and now available on Amazon.com. As a close friend, Elaine certainly managed to keep her memoir under wraps, even from me. I was as surprised as anyone to learn about her family ties to organized crime and how the mafia had even followed her all the way to Waterloo.
Watch for Elaine’s book coming soon to the Waterloo Public Library.