Saturday, January 29, 2022

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Oil spill should be a wakeup call


With the recent pipeline break spilling oil — including the carcinogen benzene — into the Yellowstone River about 350 miles north of Yellowstone National Park, causing a do-not-use water warning and bottled water to be trucked into Glendive, Montana, does any rational person still favor running the Keystone XL or Bakken oil pipeline through Iowa?

Jeni Nosbisch
-Des Moines


Cady story was uplifting

Really appreciated the story about Mark Cady’s state of the judiciary address (Comment: Measuring Twice, Jan. 22). Aren’t we fortunate to have him? Uplifting, indeed!


Nancy Mann
-Des Moines


Ernst a wolf in sheep’s clothing

Did anyone else notice that during the State of the Union rebuttal speech by Senator Ernst not only was she wearing camouflage shoes, but in contrast to the traditional Republican red she wore blue? As an Iowa farm girl I sure she well knows even the wolf benefits occasionally by wearing wear sheep’s clothing.

Mike Rowley


‘American Sniper’ is propaganda

Chad Taylor’s “Right on Target” review (Film, Jan. 22) of “American Sniper” states that it’s “…the real-life story of Chris Kyle.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Much of the movie is fiction designed to get viewers to support the Iraq War II and Kyle. Consequently, Chad’s final sentence that anoints Kyle as a hero is based on a false premise.

Mark Rosenbury
-West Des Moines


Governor Branstad’s imperial decree

Gov. Terry Branstad’s unilateral dictate to close two of four state mental health facilities appears to be another knee-jerk response without thoughtful planning or preparation. We have seen this movie before, and it ended badly when he issued a similar dictatorial proclamation to close the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo without consulting the community, health care professionals or legislators. Reading the reaction to his latest arrogant judgment to close these two additional facilities, it’s obvious he hasn’t consulted with any of the stakeholders and apparently doesn’t care for their input. He is dumping the responsibility for the patients’ care on the other two state institutions, local county sheriffs and other mental health providers to deal with the mental health crisis that will result. Republicans should be especially incensed by Branstad’s overreach since their party has been so vocal in criticizing the president for that alleged behavior. Branstad has issued 85 executive orders, far ahead of any former Iowa governors. Where is the right wing outrage over his royal dictates?

The Legislature of both parties must reject Branstad’s senseless and rash dictate to close these institutions and conduct a thorough review of all the alternative solutions.

Rick Smith


American Snipe 

I agree with the conservatives who say Michael Moore ‘s comments about “American Sniper” were harmful and un-American, but I’m a strong supporter of the First Amendment. Words don’t hurt people, after all. How about a background check on Moore and his type? I’m sure conservatives would get on board for that.

Greg Cunningham
-West Des Moines


Two years of free college is good

When my great-grandfather was young, a fourth-grade education was enough. When my grandfather was young, an eighth-grade education was enough. When I was young, a high school education was enough. With today’s technology, education beyond high school is necessary for a job that pays a living wage. We have to look at the reality of today. The president is proposing extending education two years beyond high school with full state and federal financial assistance. We needed to be alerted to the urgency. Now it is up to our elected representatives to pass legislation to make it happen. President Obama’s leadership role is to be commended, because if we continue to exclude those who cannot afford college or trade school, our country will pay the consequences. Past generations have recognized this as a national defense strategy.

Julie Stewart Ziesman


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