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10/28/2015

I think April Fools’ Day came a little late for Mr. Douglas Burns this year. All right, I get that the point of his article is that people get more upset with animal mistreatment than people mistreatment. To be fair, it is easier to act on what you can change in your own neighborhood than what you can’t see halfway around the globe. I say that as someone who contributes to alleviating hunger in my community, albeit slightly. But the wholesale slaughter of even feral cats will not change attitudes of neglect toward humans and might even prove harmful. Studies have shown that animal abuse is often a precursor to abusing fellow humans, so advocating anything that separates us from fellow creatures is not going to help.  Also, there are a few stories of cats waking their families to house fires, but as I’m sure Mr. Burns can appreciate, sometimes size matters; dogs just have an advantage.

Jeni Nosbisch
-Des Moines

The short list of Cownie’s accomplishments
The signs are everywhere: Frank Cownie is running for re-election as Mayor of Des Moines! Here is a list of his great accomplishments in Iowa’s greatest Metropolis:

Thank you.

Gary Wilson
-Des Moines

HIV

Sorry isn’t good enough
Much of our political class is annoyed that Doctors Without Borders says our military should be prosecuted for war crimes. After all, didn’t we say we were sorry for bombing their hospital in Afghanistan? Just because you apologize for killing 23 staff and civilians in Kunduz does not mean it’s not a war crime. The weaponry and length of the assault, in fact, point to both the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force. As for military necessity, the target was known by all parties and hidden in plain sight. The same can be said of Russian forces bombing hospitals in Syria. Just because a party does not proclaim intent to bomb civilians does not mean the action is compliant to international humanitarian law. If I pick up my daughter and drive through a congested school parking lot at 110 mph, it might not be intentional or accidental to maim civilians, but it would certainly be inevitable.

Jeffery J. Weiss
-Des Moines

Correction: Jo Martin of Spirit Lake was misidentified as a Donald Trump campaign contributor (Civic Skinny, Oct. 22). Another person named Jo Martin, this one from Milford, was the actual contributor of $2,700. We apologize for the error.

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