Grassley a scary gatekeeper4/15/2015
The U. S. Supreme Court left intact a ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that ruled against a lawsuit initiated by the conservative Goldwater Institute legal group against the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The board’s role is to trim Medicare costs to preserve its long-term viability. The Goldwater Institute also challenged the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act that was also rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court. These frivolous lawsuits have cost the taxpayers millions to defend. Sen. Grassley challenged IPAB, a 15-member government panel of experts, even though he was quite knowledgeable of the purpose of the board. He even labeled the board a “death panel.” The legal system disagreed. It is scary that Sen. Grassley is the gatekeeper of all the bills that pass through the Senate on their Constitutional legality.
Julie Stewart Ziesman
It seems like with the supposed power of the social media, communities ought to be able to have more than one or two annual “pickup anything from the curb” days. Most (if not all) of the stuff is usually gone before the city trucks come by anyway.
Although last time one guy did apparently cut the cord (for the copper) off of an old Kirby vacuum cleaner I had set out. How about a top 10 list of the best things salvaged from the curb or the top 10 weirdest things I have seen people take?
It’s how you love
In March of 2003, a papal envoy met with President Bush and reiterated the Vatican’s opposition to a U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, saying a war without U.N. approval would be “immoral, illegal, unjust.” Bishop Richard Pates knew this in 2003. He, in fact, agreed with the Pope. And certainly no barriers to hiring practices at any Catholic institutions in the Diocese based on participation in the war. Gigi Filer, a 1991 Dowling alumna and parent of a Dowling freshman, was quoted in the April 9 issue of The Des Moines Register as saying that Dowling is “cherry-picking the Catholic doctrine. It’s a slippery slope, where do we draw the line?” The problem with Bishop Pates and the U.S. Catholic Bishops line of thinking on love and war is it’s not who you love but how you love that matters most. If our U.S. Catholic bishops would start measuring these two issues from a ‘how you love’ bases, they would be much closer to Jesus and the Gospel’s point of view on both love and war.
Rational debate requires credible sources
Kurt Johnson called for a rational debate on climate change (Your view, April 9). However, after calling for a rational (i.e. logical, reasonable, intelligent) debate he went on to perpetuate the myth that the science of climate change is in doubt. Where are Johnson’s facts and who are his scientists? Ninety-seven percent of the world’s science community is in agreement that global warming is a reality and is directly linked to increasing CO2 and other greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels. World CO2 levels have just recently passed a dangerous new high of 400ppm. Global temperatures have risen 1.4 degrees since 1880 with ¾ of that increase coming since 1975. Relative sea levels have risen by 8 inches since 1880 with the sharpest increase in the past 30 years. These are all verifiable facts coming from the world’s scientific organizations. If Johnson chooses to reject accepted science I suggest he look to other credible sources. The Pentagon released a well-researched report in October citing that rising sea levels, extreme storms and widespread drought resulting from climate change are an immediate threat to our national security. In addition, the world’s Reinsurance Industry has warned that global warming could bankrupt their industry. Rational debate must begin by accepting and acting on reliable sources.
Blood on our hands
The words by Emma Lazarus “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door” are inscribed on our Statue of Liberty. These familiar words have become almost jaded in our memory. This year hundreds of children threatened by violence and death in Central America fled to our border for refuge and protection. Our elected officials responded by refusing to receive them and acted instead to have them deported back into their dangerous situations. This year Max Villatoro, pastor of a congregation in Iowa City, was arrested outside his home by U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials to be deported, leaving behind his wife and four children. Many Christians and humanitarians, including myself, pleaded with our elected and hired officials to keep him here with his congregation and family. Our pleas fell on deaf ears, and he was deported. Constantino Morales, a former policeman in Mexico who fought against drug dealers in his country, fled for his life to Iowa for fear of being killed by drug cartels in Mexico. Many Christians and humanitarians, including myself, pleaded with our representatives and other officials to advocate for him to keep him here. Again our pleas fell on deaf ears. He was mercilessly deported. On April 5, he was shot and killed in Mexico by drug criminals who threatened to kill him if he ever returned to Mexico. We, who are the golden door of the world, with the Lady lifting high her lamp of freedom at our shore, have the blood of children on our hands. We will be called eventually to give account by our Creator, who made us to be brothers and sisters looking out for one another — especially for the poor, the needy and the endangered.
Rev. Vernon H. Naffier