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Sacrifices we make to live in Iowa

1/2/2013

FLASH NEWS! From the Associated Press: “The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division, the Ankeny-based agency that operates the state’s wholesale liquor monopoly, says the winter storm is delaying deliveries to alcoholic beverage licensees.”                

Yes, you read that right: Iowa, the most Puritan state in the North, has a state monopoly on the wholesale vending of liquor. Iowa religious leaders and legislators they support don’t like sex, alternative lifestyles or independent women, but they love their booze and the revenues derived thereof (provided they aren’t Calvinists drinking in front of each other).                

What is preventing people with guns from robbing these delivery trucks for the purpose of fun at home with the shades drawn? I predict that the next big mass killing will be at the Iowa Liquor Warehouse in Ankeny. Thirsty college students, unable to legally purchase booze but legally able to buy assault weapons at bargain prices at Wal-mart, will seek redress for their perceived inequality.

–Gary Thelen
West Des Moines

 

Thank you, Skinny, and other true journalists

HIV

Delighted to see the great portrait of Iowa, its positive contributors and a thanks for them. I am reminded of two things in reading last week’s opine (Civic Skinny, Dec. 20):              

Barbara Mack. I remember being jawstrung by her attendance to a loved one in the often long and complicated process of aging and chronic disease. Being an experienced caregiver, I was amazed at her ability to see through the “political semantics” of healthcare delivery and unite the individuals actually involved in her care. I knew what was expected of me, and I came to believe that is also what I expected of myself — care, dignity, compassion. Barbara was delightful because of who she was and what she could inspire.                

I am reminded also of Douglas Burns, a careful (care full) thinker and blue-blood journalist. It is hard to look in the mirror, now in my middle age, and still see a young man. Likewise Douglas Burns has reminded us — through his offerings about the realities of current affairs as applied to a state with widely divergent political leanings — who we are and where we come from. His writing has consistently and honestly explored the gap between how social and political issues might be addressed and have been in Iowa and our nation. Can we look in the mirror and not look away? His courageous writing challenges us to examine ourselves closely.                

As journalists, it has been Barbara’s and Douglas’ capacity for forthrightness and honesty for which I am grateful and from which I have benefited — as a (medical) professional, a person and as a member of society.

Michael Hopson
–Des Moines

 

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