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Unmanned drones are bad for all

2/27/2013

“Who died and made you God!” That was a saying back in coal-mining, small-town southern Iowa, where much of my philosophy about “telling it like it is” was born. To paraphrase this aphorism for my fastidious metropolitan and cosmopolitan compatriots, who elected President Obama the omnipotent judge of American (among others) lives, overseas? Who made Obama the preeminent adjudicator of life or death of American citizens abroad, at home or on the moon?                

As Ronald Reagan might say bout Obama’s drone-directed killings, “Here you (we) go again.” George W. Bush was also a “decider,” but he didn’t claim to be God. He just knew where “Biblical prophecies are being fulfilled and when… Confrontation(s) is willed by God.” Compared to Obama’s failure to even give a nod to divinity, as he takes on the role of judge, jury and executioner of our fellow citizens, George W. seems almost humble. Our former president seems to just have had powerful intentions, his plans and God were one and the same. (One might entertain the idea that God is as much at fault for the debacle in Iraq as anyone.)                

The next time, before we vote for a presidential candidate, we should ask if they are familiar with the pragmatism of William James — that the truth or falsity of an idea can be judged only by the practical effects that arise from it. Bringing into existence newly recruited terrorists, outraged at the drone attacks on their sovereign nations cannot be called pragmatic. Neither can be damaging the reputation of America’s good name across the globe. The same can be said of warping the rule of law and offending the founders’ nation of life and liberty!                

Let’s make sure the next highest office seekers understand real politik (politics based on practical factors), is acquainted with Jesus’ teachings about not doing what you would prefer not being done to you, knows a little about the logic of John Dewey and Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.’s theory on the “reasonable man” and has some down home and main street common sense.

–Tom Kearney
Des Moines

 

HIV

Register needs lesson on customer service

Your Civic Skinny article of Feb. 14 points out only one of the indications that The Des Moines Register seems to be going to hell in a handbasket. I have been a customer of the Register since the 1960s and am now retired on a fixed income. Last July the paper delivery person threw the Sunday paper so hard it broke the screen insert of my storm door.                

Over the next several weeks, I was given several names of Register employees to contact about this matter and not one had the courtesy to return my calls, and eventually I spent approximately $140 to replace the insert.               

I understand that the Register has lost a lot of business over the last years due to people getting their news from other sources, but perhaps they’ve lost some business because of the shabby way they treat their customers.

–Val Weaver
Des Moines

 

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