Americans, let’s look carefully at divisive issues and people this year. We are the United States. We must stop hating different people and different opinions. We must try to understand why others feel as they do, analyze the issues and the credibility of news statements; and we should encourage the truth and the truthful.
Our people have worked hard throughout history, but regretfully some lead citizens have become cruel and dishonest. We need to deal with them fairly, honestly and calmly.
There is much disinformation hitting us. Some people and news outlets release false statements. We mustn’t take any statements for granted. Do your individual research.
There is also a lot of hate spreading about immigrants. They do the field work and cleaning jobs that the rest of us don’t want. Others work hard to serve as doctors, teachers and food servers. We all were immigrants once. There is more room in American hearts.
We must also keep the bad guys from suppressing votes by reducing the number and hours of voting places and have faith in paper ballots and the honor of the post offices.
Another problem is that our Electoral College distorts the vote. All citizens now have enough education to credibly vote. All citizens should decide on their country's future.
Don't worry about rural America. It feeds us. We hear and respect them greatly.
In conclusion, we must win or lose fairly. Then we will be happy and proud Americans.
When Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce President Paul Rumler recently announced that this bi-state area should all act together, he meant we all do like Iowa and open our business establishments, including restaurants, to the public.
I say that Illinois would be the better leader under the current Democratic governor, J.B. Pritzker, who is cautioning against opening up too soon, as do many medical and science people who fear risking more coronavirus deaths and further economic havoc.
I agree it would be good to act together to help save lives here in the Quad Cities and eventually open up our businesses when safe.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds' agenda follows a floundering and inept Republican president, as do other pandering governors who all seem to want to jump the gun, spurning scientific expertise and risking human lives.
There are no short cuts to solving this pandemic. We’ve seen what foolishness has ensued with Trump's hurry-up attitude and stabs in the dark for solutions.
Pritzker is a wise leader we should listen to.
As Dr. Jeffrey Maurus recently wrote in a letter: "Rushing to judgment can cause more harm than benefit when prematurely selecting remedies for the current epidemic. So first do no harm.”
Opening up too soon also has been predicted as unwise for there is yet no remedy or cure. A larger swing of illness may follow hasty openings causing even greater economic problems.
According to the Rock Island County administrator, our county is in a very weak financial position. Revenue from the motor fuel tax is down 48% and revenue from retail taxes is down 40%. Our county is in a fragile financial situation, and we must work to reduce spending; the reality of our current situation makes it necessary that we "live within our means."
It took the coronavirus crisis to wake up the board and perhaps force it to make some spending cuts.
All this is insane. You and I must "live within our means" all the time. My concern is that the board will use the virus crisis to increase property taxes by double digits in 2021 and again ask for a sales tax increase.
The Board has a spending problem and must:
• Reduce size of the county board to 15; approved by 72% of voters in 2012.
• Reduce wages/benefits for county executives by 10%.
• Implement Lean Six Sigma (business improvement process) to make government more effective and efficient.
• Focus on core government functions such as public safety; contract out non-core functions to private industry.
• Use public-private partnerships to end the heavy taxpayer subsidies for the zoo and golf course.
I have been attending board meetings for over two years and this board continues to disappoint in so many ways. I simply don’t understand why it refuses to make needed spending cuts.
Gov. Pritzker, you say you want to figure out a way to restore Illinois. You say you have five phases. You say Illinois is in Phase 2, and it cannot reach Phase 3 until May 29th. I assume you meant May 29, 2020.
I believe parts of Illinois are in Phase 3 now. What about the businesses that will go broke because of not being allowed to reopen? You say, 'Restore Illinois.' Are these phases recommended by public health doctors, or are these your own ideas?
I believe, and so do many others, that these are your ideas, governor.
I have yet to hear you explain the reasons to the Senior Class of 2020. That class missed out on spring sports, baseball, soccer, softball and track, as well as prom and graduation. If we have to wait to meet your five phases, Illinois may never open. People have had enough. Thefts, auto accidents, suicide, mental health problems and drug usage are increasing. People have had enough of being shut in. We have also had flu, measles, mumps and chicken pox, but never shut the state down.
Just remember, if you run for reelection, people will remember this.
Pam Goodhart, where in the world did you get the idea that teachers are working part-time these days? (May 14 letter).
This is my 26th year of teaching, and I can tell you I am working harder than ever. I have always been somewhat techie, but teaching online has pushed me harder than ever. I’ve had to teach myself several new platforms and then try to teach my 9-year-old students and their parents how to use them. Without talking directly to them. I have "office hours" from 9 until 2, but that is a small part of my day.
I am posting lessons daily by 8 a.m., tracking down assignments all day, emailing parents, meeting virtually with students, attending IEPs, online training and staff meetings. Not to mention I am planning lessons, looking for ways to keep my kids engaged and motivated, and "chatting" with a couple students all day who miss our "family" so much.
It is stressful and heartbreaking. After dinner I am back online grading and tracking assignments from kids who do their work later in the day.
My kids are stressed. Their parents are stressed. I feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders worrying about my kids and their education. On top of that, I had to go in and pack up all the belongings of the students I won’t get to hug goodbye. I had to pack up a classroom that hasn’t been used since March 16. So, no, I am not working part-time.
If you find someone who perpetrates fake news, you have to put him down and put him down hard. That is what happened to me a short time ago. I wrote a letter to the editor, concerning the other side (Democrats/socialists), wanting millions of people to die from the CCP Virus (Chinese Communist Party) so they could blame it on President Trump. A person from Moline sternly corrected me, that it actually was Donald Trump Jr. who made "that bizarre and egregious statement."
I was elated and filled with joy that someone had read my dissertation in the newspaper. Not only took the time to read it, but put forth the effort to make a reply. Socially and politically, we are a divided country. Much like two sides of a coin, not that one side is right and the other side wrong, but it’s how you call it that matters.
As to fact checking, one only has to go to CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC and some others to find fake news and lies in its ultimate glory.
One small detail, concerning the statement, made by Donald Trump Jr. on Fox News: He was responding to an article in the New York Times written by columnist Gail Collins the day before. It was headlined "Let’s call it Trumpvirus" and declared that "if you’re feeling awful, you know who to blame."
It’s a shame so many good people have been infected by the Trump Derangement Syndrome.
I received in the mail a "Notification from U.S. Dept. of Treasury Internal Revenue Service" last Friday stating that I would receive a stimulus check by automatic deposit, and it was signed by President Donald J. Trump.
Now I ask you, is not the sending of millions of these notifications — after the fact, using the U.S Postal Service (which I understand Trump wishes to close down completely), a flagrant misuse of millions of dollars? How hypocritical. My stimulus check was received May 1. Duly noted, and appreciated as an extra Social Security stipend, by a senior citizen living on a tight fixed income.
To my fellow citizens, I say: We must not continue to suffer in silence come November 2020.
Looked at Fox News this morning (Thursday, May 14), and it was all about the unmasking of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the corrupt Obama administration and the plan to get President Trump implicated in a made-up Russian conspiracy.
Looked at the network news — nothing. Looked at the local newspaper — zilch. After three years of Russian conspiracy news, ad nauseum, the biggest story of government corruption is ignored?
Independent journalism died a long time ago and was replaced by progressive leftist narratives. No wonder everyone has lost respect for the democratic national media.
It’s no wonder that Roxanne does not want to reveal her last name in the article about Republicans getting together for their usual breakfast club meeting (May 7). I would be embarrassed, too, if I were a member of a group that supports President Trump. In the article, Bill Long states that, "we thought we should do exactly what our president asked us to do.” Precisely the problem: no minds of their own. Follow blindly.
Until the 20th century, famines were usually caused by nature. Like a drought, insects, volcanoes, crop disease, etc. We are probably most familiar with the potato famine of Ireland, where over a million people starved to death.
However, with the advent of modern farming, the use of fertilizers and wise agriculture practices, that is no longer the case. Since the mid-1900s, the main cause of famine has been the breakdown of economies and infrastructures.
This breakdown is often caused by war, revolution, government dysfunction and bad economic policies.
Let me give some examples. The largest famine of the last 75 years has been the great famine of China in 1959-61, caused by awful communist government policy. It led to 15 million deaths. The revolution in Cambodia in 1975-79 led to perhaps 2 million deaths from famine. Civil War in the Congo (1998-2004) caused 2.7 million deaths from starvation.
But many "nature-caused" famines during this same time were mitigated by aid from the United States and Europe.
So here is the great fear: With the economies of North America, Europe, India, Russia, and even China on the ropes from COVID-19, who will be there to stop the next famine? If we can’t get toilet paper to the stores, how will we get food to the hungry?
I am not advocating any government action. But I do think leaders of the world should consider the possibility of a great famine in their economic planning.
Sadly, a breakdown of these economies might cause a tragedy even worse than COVID-19.
I have been a subscriber of the Dispatch-Argus for 40 years and the first section I always choose to read is the sports page. Ever since the consolidation of our local newspapers started, the "love fest" you have for Iowa athletics is apparent.
I am an Illinois fan and coverage for them is very thin, to say the least. In the May 8 paper, the front page again was plastered with two stories about Iowa football and basketball. When you go to page B2, there is a small three-paragraph article about a recruit that chose Illinois. Is there no Illini news worth reporting?
Certainly, we would like to be kept up to date on what’s going on at Illinois, but apparently we take a back seat to Iowa.
Believe it or not, not everyone is a Hawkeye fan. If I wanted to read exclusively about Iowa, I would subscribe to another newspaper.
I am seeing complaints about stay-at-home protesters from people. I have a few questions for them. Are you still getting a paycheck? Do you still have your health insurance? Are you behind on car and other payments? Did you file for unemployment benefits in March and have not received a check yet? Have you stood in line at the foodbank and been glad you had a mask on? Have you lost your job and the chance of getting it back diminishes with each passing week? Do you find it easy to criticize people when you have no concept of what they are going through? Don’t be discouraged, the Bill of Rights guarantees your right to be insensitive.
There are two Americas: Wall Street and Main Street.
Since the coronavirus began we have witnessed who our government is really helping during this tumultuous time. The majority of the stimulus money has gone to banks, corporations, drug companies and other businesses that already have millions of dollars in reserve.
Small business, on the other hand, is getting what little stimulus money is left, to fight over the few crumbs that are available to keep their business afloat. They may survive for a few weeks; after that money is gone, then what?
Workers are currently getting unemployment checks, plus a $600 extra benefit; however, that is only for a few months. Will the government continue to help the American worker when the benefits expire?
Some people still think that capitalism will save the American economy. However, most of the country will be surviving this fall only because of socialism (government assistance). The corporate greed of this country is solely responsible for dismantling labor unions, pensions, healthcare, and many other benefits that the American worker fought so hard to attain — and all for the benefit of maximum corporate profits.
When the American worker is down on their luck and out of work, whom do they go to for financial assistance? They go to our government. Because corporate American is still out there looking for ways to cut their costs — and you may be one of them.
Whenever I hear the two words "social distancing," I cringe for two reasons: First, because it is heard all the time. You just can't get away from it. And second, "social" is really not the right word. A much better word would be "physical." I might be physically separated from someone by six feet, but that doesn't keep me from being social; it just means I might have to talk a little louder, but we're still social.
So we are separated physically, not socially.
Even if you are alone, you can still be social via phone or computer. I just hope and pray that soon the day will come when the virus is conquered and "social distancing" and "physical distancing" are well behind us as only a painful memory.
On your opinion page in the May 5th edition, the cartoon depicted a caricature of a famous Vietnam War photo of burned Vietnamese children and adults running from a bombing. This cartoon was fronted by a depiction of President Trump gesturing positively and bragging about his response to the pandemic. No sane, informed American would ever believe that our president (or anyone else for that matter), would ever be happy with the chaos and deaths that this pandemic has caused in our country or our world. This is far beyond any image that borders on truth and crossed the line into the worst type of political favoritism and slander.
This cartoon was tasteless, crude and repulsive. It shows a complete disregard for common sense and a definite negative bias against the president's attempt to combat this virus and his efforts to get the country back to "positive efforts."
Your editorial page should have a responsibility to understand your audience and the area in which we live.
This image and its vile message is not an example of responsible journalism. This cartoon is inflammatory, mean, ugly, and does not deserve to ever be reproduced or acknowledged.
The key is influencing state lawmakers. Tell them to oppose easily corruptible policies like automatic voter registration, all-mail voting and automatic reinstatement of felons' voting rights.
During the last year, liberals have been busy trashing the Electoral College, enabling voter fraud, and promoting a National Popular Vote Movement.
The Founding Fathers established the Electoral College to avoid having presidential elections become contests in which candidates only campaign in big cities (Hillary Clinton) and ignore less populated areas of the country.
A national popular vote system would silence the votes of less populous states. It would also lead to more recounts and conflicts over results. Fifteen states plus Washington, D.C., have already signed on.
Voter fraud is real. In 2012, the Heritage Foundation found 3 million people registered to vote in multiple states and 1.8 million deceased voters. Ask your county clerks to verify the accuracy of their voter rolls.
Furthermore, about 28.4 million mail-in ballots went missing in the last four election cycles dating back to 2012, according to Breibart News.
Liberals love to count the entire population, not just citizens. Non-citizens, particularly illegal immigrants, are not entitled to representation, constituent services or federal public benefits. Counting them also gives states like California an incentive to ignore federal immigration laws.
If we are to win, we must shape public opinion, engage state legislators, and educate Congress on these critical election issues. Get involved by doing what you can.
Mariannette Miller-Meeks says she's 'pro-choice' in a 2018 video. "I’m also Catholic. I am pro-choice…” and decisions should be left to "providers, the doctor and the patients." But the baby has no say! Her campaign insists that she is 100% pro-life and pointed to her voting record in support of the Life Amendment and voting to defund Planned Parenthood.
A careful examination of this statement shows she is a slick politician, hiding behind half-truths and distortions. Her 100% pro-life voting record statement is a distortion of the truth. The Life Amendment is not pro-life. A careful reading shows that it will not save one life or stop one abortion.
Voting to defund Planned Parenthood is a half-truth. She can say whatever she wants about this vote, but the truth will never be known. Was her vote cast knowing that it would pass no matter how she voted, giving her political cover? Was it really a balanced budget vote and nothing to do with abortion? Only she knows the truth.
She is using what could easily be called "swamp speak" — saying what the voters want to hear for her own personal gain; talking like the establishment rather than admitting what numerous facts, over almost 12 years, tell us about her: Miller-Meeks is pro-choice.
We do not need another "swamp creature" in Washington, D.C. We need a grassroots friend of the folks and advocate for the unborn representing us — Bobby Schilling.
If you're a young woman and unfortunate enough to be assaulted in the workplace, hope that it's by a prominent Republican. Then, you'll get some sympathy in the media and a chance for justice. If it's by a prominent Democrat, you're toast.
President Trump certainly has many hunches about medical treatments, particularly relating to COVID-19. Unfortunately he has little medical knowledge and some of his opinions provided at daily news conferences are dangerous and possibly fatal. An example is that he flippantly advises anti-malaria drugs, which can cause fatal heart arrhythmia, to prevent and treat COVID-19. He muses that disinfectants be ingested or injected into humans to kill the virus, SARS-CoV-2, which in large doses could seriously harm or kill a human.
Medical school graduates take an oath to follow ethical guidelines in the practice of medicine, often a variation of the Hippocratic Oath. Hippocrates was a physician in ancient Greece, often called the Father of Medicine. His teachings included the concept of doing no harm, or phrased in Latin, primum non nocere.
New treatments in medicine should be based on rigorous research-based evidence. There is always a risk/benefit ratio to any recommendation. A new recommendation should show evidence of greater benefit and/or lesser harm than the current standard treatment.
Approval of treatments for the new coronavirus are needed and research and development can be carefully accelerated, but rushing to judgement can cause more harm than benefit. So, first do no harm. Perhaps all elected officials should take such an oath as their decisions greatly affect the health and welfare of all.
This is in response to the article regarding Rita Crundwell, the former Dixon comptroller, wanting to be released because of her health and COVID-19 (May 11).
She chose her prison term when she stole $54 million from the city that trusted her with their money so she could live this luxurious lifestyle with a nationally-known horse breeding operation. Well, many of us have health problems like hypertension and high cholesterol, and we're all dealing with the virus epidemic. She isn’t any different than all of us, except we didn’t steal $54 million dollars and end up in prison.
So, you deserve to be where you are and have no right to get out because of your health or any other excuse, so just suck it up, buttercup. You belong where you are. No early release is deserved.
Recently, Donald Trump classified meat processing plants as critical defense infrastructure. That seems a stretch as, last I heard, we’re not firing Spam-tipped missiles at the Taliban.
This rationale nevertheless allows the Trump administration, Republican governors, and meatpacking executives to force workers back into virus-infested plants. Without effective safeguards and testing, over 10,000 employees nationwide have been infected, with scores dying.
Frightened workers who refuse to show up are having their unemployment claims rejected. Sick leave is often denied, coercing infectious employees back to the production line. When workers return home, they infect their families, healthcare personnel and the broader community. Always miserable work environments, meat processing plants have now become sacrificial arenas, where workers are offered up to the god of commerce.
Widespread indifference and victim-blaming on the part of Republican politicians is undoubtedly linked to the fact that many of these workers are poor, immigrants and non-white.
Meat processing plants should remain closed until they are virus-free. Furloughed workers should be kept on the payroll until the plants reopen. Active workers should be given generous hazard pay. If these are "essential workers," they should be treated as such.
If we face a temporary meat shortage as a result of these policies, so be it. Humans can easily survive without meat. Livestock farmers will certainly face financial hardships, but we can’t ask one group of people to play Russian roulette so another can prosper.
These questions are posed to Pat Miletich and the other participants in Saturday’s Freedom Picnic in Bettendorf. Miletich acknowledges that some have the need to shelter in place to avoid contracting COVID-19, which has been deadly to over a quarter of a million people. He also states (in a May 10th article) "those that are strong and healthy, our rights have to be observed."
At what age or point of impairment does a United States citizen lose rights to the strong and healthy? At what time do the strong and healthy have the right to not follow social distancing or mask wearing guidelines over those whose hair they style or whose health needs they care for? Are we one nation or a nation of subgroups?
We invited Admiral Mike Franken to a gathering of voters to explain why he was qualified to run for the U.S. Senate. We were impressed with his friendliness, his openness, and especially his range of experience as a leader. One of those in attendance at our home was a woman who had served under his command on the U.S.S. Barry; it was a happy reunion for the sailor and the admiral. She had no hesitation in endorsing him and supporting him in his campaign.
Admiral Franken also visited at our son's home in another city. Again, those gathered were impressed with his experiences and priorities. But the person most impressed was our eight-year-old grandson. When Charlie walked into the room, the admiral interrupted himself, introduced himself to Charlie and engaged him in genuine conversation. Charlie's summation of politicians: "I like him. He was talking about boring stuff, but he was nice to me. People shouldn't talk about boring stuff; they should just be nice to everyone."
Mike doesn't talk about boring stuff — to us, anyway. He talks about the actions we want our United States Senate to take: pass legislation to address climate change, health care and the economy.
Because Mike has experience as a leader and as a staff member on Capitol Hill, he has an advantage over newcomers to Washington.
We, one Democrat and one Republican, encourage you to vote for Admiral Mike Franken to be our senator from Iowa.