Friday, August 19, 2022

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God speaks to everyone


I have been told that God speaks to everyone. The religious extremist says, “God tells me there will be no abortions.” On the other hand, a young woman hears God talking to her saying, “Your life will be better with an abortion. You should have an abortion.” Let me get this straight. Some man believes God has talked to him and said, “No more abortions.” Some young woman believes God has talked to her and said, “You will be much better off with an abortion.” Who is right?

Historic documents indicate that reasons for coming to this country initially were based on religious restrictions, lack of religious freedom and the need to get rid of religious dogma. Listening to extremist groups in this country currently would lead one to believe we’re close to religious restrictions for everyone, close to losing religious freedom and close to being overpowered by religious dogma. In this country, supposedly democratic rather than patriarchal or autocratic or dictatorial or totalitarian, if God permits abortions, let there be abortions.

John Hicks
–Des Moines


In with the old and out with the laughs

For you youngsters at the weekly, I want to mention the old Register and Tribune, before Gannett Inc. wreaked havoc on the daily. The R and T had a long line of top-of-the-line satirists on its pages. Donal Kaul (among others) was home-grown talent. Mike Royko, Molly Ivans and many others — my brain-damaged- and old age-impaired memory can’t recall them all off hand — were imported talent who appeared regularly in the paper.

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By God, along with other great columnists and reporters, these lampooners helped make the R and T a much discussed paper that many people looked forward to getting on their porches. Can you believe a lot of customers ordered both the morning and the evening editions?

Not only does the new Register frown on satire, it felt it necessary to apologize for something Kaul wrote in one of his very infrequent appearances on its pages. The editors are so concerned they might offend someone, they please hardly anyone. The Register is a fitting place where writers go to croak. When all originality and imaginations ahs left them, the Register welcomes their insipid pablum, because how can dead-on-arrival writing offend anyone? How could long-time readers of the Register be expected to understand satire? Read enough dull and boring over enough years, and one’s understanding of the English language is limited to lifeless drivel.

Witness “The Daily Show” and Steve Colbert to show the younger generation still thrives on satire.

Tom Kearney
–Des Moines


Ding dong, the witch is dead

Grace Herrington from Iowa Public Radio was, as far as I could see, unsigned. Whoever wrote Civic Skinny (March 7) might have taken the trouble to talk to some of the people at IPR who actually do the work of putting the programs on the air. If he (or she) had done so, he might have found that they were, individually and collectively, singing “Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead.” I doubt they care whether it was by “illegal” meeting or force majeure; the important thing is that she’s gone. I worked at WOI and IPR for close to 32 years, and I can tell you that Mary Grace Herrington never bothered to listen to or learn about radio (in which she had no previous experience) for a single minute. She was always much more interested in dropping the names of all the bigwigs she knew than in building a respected radio service. She had no idea what it took to put programming together and get it on the air, the intellectual aspect or the technical. I say “Thank Heaven!” to the board members who finally (and it took far too long) saw decency and good sense, and got rid of her.

Karen Bryan
–Salt Lake City, Utah


Thanks for keeping things straight

A while back Civic Skinny wrote that he (or she) wasn’t sure what to do with the rest of his life. Just keep doing what you are doing, Skinny! We need someone who can’t be bought off or intimidated and who has the connections to keep an eye on what’s going on around here, because we know darn well we can’t trust much of anybody in charge of anything.

(Doug) Burns, (Jim) Duncan and guest writers like Bill Kunerth (Guest Commentary, April 4) are also very helpful in sorting things out. I’m not sure what happened to the mass media, but they all seem to gravitate to emotional issues and avoid reporting important stories that might cost them future access to important people and (or) advertising dollars.

Tim Facto
–Des Moines


Racism can go both ways — just like hypocrisy

It’s interesting that Lee Cason Jr. left school board member Terri Caldwell-Johnson out of his letter (Your View, April 4). Mrs. Caldwell-Johnson is African-American. Did Mr. Cason intentionally leave Caldwell-Johnson off so he can use the “race” card against the board? Is he giving her a free pass? Is she above criticism from Mr. Cason?

Mrs. Caldwell-Johnson should not be excluded from criticism due to her race. As one African-American replying to another, it appears to me that Mr. Cason’s real intent, for which he doesn’t hide in his letter, is that he’s still holding a grudge toward the board because it did not select Dr. Linda Lane to succeed Dr. Eric Witherspoon as superintendent.

Dr. Lane doesn’t need any sympathy from us. She’s doing quite well as the superintendent of the Pittsburgh, Penn., School District. Given the culture of mistrust from all parties involved here in Des Moines, Dr. Lane should be thanking the good Lord she moved back home to be afforded the opportunity she has now.

Mr. Cason’s exclusion of Mrs. Caldwell-Johnson in his criticism is not only cowardly, but it also reeks of hypocrisy, which makes him as “racist” as the people he is accusing.

R.H. Slaughter
–Des Moines


Corrections and clarifications:

Rehab Bar in Grill, (Belly Up, April 4) is open seven days a week until 2 a.m.

In our Locally Owned advertising guide in the April 11 issue, we need to clarify that Blush Salon, located at 7440 Hickman Road in Windsor Heights, is owned by Lacey Standley and is celebrating five years of business this May. Blush is a chair rental salon, and every stylist carries his or her own product line. Appointments can be made at 515-276-4916.

Send your opinions to Cityview, 414 61st Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50312. Fax us at 953-1394, or e-mail us at Please limit letters to 200 words or less. Cityview reserves the right to edit for length and clarity. The writer’s address and daytime phone number will not be printed, but must be given for verification.

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