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Trim the excess branches

6/8/2016

 

Duffy’s editorial cartoon panel, “Chickens Coming Home to Roost on the Weakest Branch of Government” (June 2) implies that state tax cuts and a drop in state revenues are putting a strain on the State Judiciary; it is represented by branches growing downward. Any first-year forestry student knows that branches growing downward need to be trimmed. Perhaps it is time to eliminate needless laws that are costing time, resources and the productivity of our citizens. We could start with the elimination of mandatory sentencing. After all, if men and women are qualified to sit in judgment, shouldn’t they be allowed more discretion in sentencing? Next, we could de-criminalize marijuana and other substances and the related costs to our court and penal systems. What is the moral basis for making these permissible in several states and yet illegal in Iowa? Remember when Iowa was holding out on legalized gambling? Yet now Iowa counts on it for certain revenues. Is the morality of gambling now different than before legalization? Seems like the judiciary branch could easily support “nests” for both tax cuts and occasional revenue drops if it were allowed to trim that which is more punitive than productive.

Mike Rowley

Clive

 

HIV

Zika virus is real threat

On May 17, Sen. Charles Grassley and Sen. Joni Ernst voted against the bipartisan emergency Zika virus funding for mosquito control in the United States. Iowa Congressmen David Young, Steve King and Rod Blum all voted for a bill that steals money from Ebola funding and only provides one-third of the requested money for Zika.  Zika is spread by mosquitos, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has been pleading with Congress since February to pass the $1.9 billion in emergency funding before the beginning of mosquito season. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned last week that he expects infected mosquitoes to begin entering the southern United States in June. He said we are in a race to prevent a widespread Zika epidemic and the associated terrifying birth defects. The Republicans claim to be the party of life, yet by refusing to fund Zika prevention, they are putting American women and their unborn fetuses at great risk. The Zika virus that infects pregnant women can cause severe and devastating damage to a developing fetus. Sen. Grassley and the Republicans’ obstruction are putting millions of American women at risk.

Rick Smith

Urbandale

 

Correction: In our annual summer arts and entertainment issue (June 2), we incorrectly listed the artists and dates for Ames on the Half Shell. The correct information is as follows:

Through July 1 — Ames on the Half Shell. Ames will host its annual live music events on Friday nights from 5-8 p.m. at the Durham Bandshell Park. Admission is $4 for ages 12 and older. The event is hosted by the Ames Jaycees.

June 3 – Danny Grause

June 10 – Burnin’ Sensations

June 17 – The Box Brothers

June 24 – Salty Views Acoustic Review

July 1 – King of the Tramps

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