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Three rights do make a left

6/24/2015

Michael Gartner’s reprinted 2006 tribute to his father (Civic Skinny, June 18) remains timeless and interesting. It got me thinking. While all of us are great-grandsons to someone the second we are born, it takes future generations to give us the opportunity to become fathers, grand and great.

Mike Rowley
-Clive

 

After reading, again, Michael Gartner’s touching tribute to his dad and relating, again, to the father taking the streetcar to and from work and listening to the Cubs on the car radio and growing up in a showerless house, I did have one new thought this time through: How come practically everybody’s aware two wrongs don’t make a right but the fact that three rights make a left is so little known?

Mike Wellman
-Des Moines

HIV

 

Freedom

Republican candidates for president continue to flood Iowa. In the last count, there were more than 22 prospects and at least 10 who have announced their candidacies. Most are from the Tea Party wing of the party and stress how Republicans stand for “Freedom” and the foundation of the U.S. Constitution. After reflecting on their campaign speeches and acts of Tea Party congressmen and governors, it seems clear Tea Party Republicans have redefined the Bill of Rights enshrined in our Constitution.

 

Tea Party Bill Of Rights:

1. Freedom of speech, press, religion & right of assembly. Freedom to impose your religious beliefs on others, particularly if you are a corporation or millionaire buying influence, freedom to distort the truth and scientific fact in the media, freedom to use the power of Congress and the immunity of legislators to impugn the integrity of public officials and freedom to suppress voting by the poor and minorities.

2. Freedom to bear arms. Freedom to distribute guns of all kinds to individuals regardless of their criminal activities, age or mental capacity in order to invoke fear by ordinary citizens without weapons.

3. Freedom of search and seizure. Freedom of law enforcement officials to invade your home, confiscate your possessions or search your car without cause or to harass you if you appear to be a racial minority or an immigrant. Freedom of the government to collect your private correspondence without consent.

4. Freedom to impose cruel punishment. Freedom of government to impose fines and to incarcerate our poorest citizens for victimless crimes without rehabilitation or prevention of addictive behavior. Freedom of private citizens or law enforcement officials to kill you if you are perceived as a threat to your person or your home.

5. Freedom of fair trials. Freedom of Congress to obstruct the appointment of qualified judges whose religious or political beliefs may be different than theirs. Freedom of public prosecutors and judges to plea bargain citizens into fines or prison, establishing a lifelong criminal record for misdemeanors. Freedom for Governors and the President to deny freedom to prisoners who have been rehabilitated.

6. Freedom of states rights over public rights. Freedom of Congress to devolve Federal powers to State governments that deny American citizens uniform rights of marriage, voting, medical privacy and immigrant protection.

I prefer the language of our forefathers and actions of subsequent Presidents including Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton and Obama who stood for the values of Freedom that should be protected by our courts and laws. The election of 2016 should give all voters the opportunity to support the Freedoms we cherish and to reject the “Freedoms” of the Tea Party.

Tim Urban
-Des Moines

 

Hillary Clinton is a proven international leader

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton comes with a foreign policy resume second to none. Clinton traveled more than one million miles and visited 112 countries attempting to repair the damage done to America’s reputation following the Bush/Cheney debacle in Iraq. Bush/Cheney were wrong on everything about Iraq. They predicted it would be a quick overthrow of Saddam, yet we are still there 12 years later. They claimed they had evidence of weapons of mass destruction that we know now was a lie. They claimed we would be welcomed with open arms, yet we have endured years of resistance. Bush refused to listen to his own Secretary of State Colin Powell who used the Pottery Barn analogy to describe the result, “You break it, you own it.” Hillary Clinton spent her term on the Obama cleanup crew trying to repair what Bush shattered. When Bush/Cheney invaded and broke Iraq, it unleashed a dam of sectarian violence that has swept over the Middle East. Bush and Cheney lit the match that ignited fires that are burning in Syria, Egypt and throughout northern Africa. Clinton spent four years trying to douse those flames and bring stability to the region. Who should we trust in 2016? Hillary, a proven international leader, or one of the Republicans who will require on-the-job training? Bush proved on-the-job training ends in catastrophe.

Rick Smith
-Urbandale

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