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Use anti-21 rage constructively

Pissed off about the 21-ordinance? Here are three things you can do with your anger:

1) Protest the coal plant. Despite what our university might be doing to make it cleaner, coal rapes the land of precious minerals and destroys our environment. What happens to the coal waste is bad, too. Fight against the use of any coal.

2) Fight for the Iowa River. That thing that we walk over and look at each day, the river, has been ranked the third most polluted in the U.S. Do something about it.

3) Recognize the discrimination on the Southeast Side. Media reports, police, and city policies continue to oppress the marginalized populations of this city and demarcate its southeastern neighborhoods as inherently violent just because dense populations of minorities live there. Ask why.

You lost the 21-ordinance battle, and you’re very upset. Here are some other things for you to project your anger at.

Ted Gutsche
Ph.D. candidate, UI School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Election Day’s vengeful and sanctimonious

In a sequel to JFK’s Profiles in Courage, the Iowa Supreme justices, dismissed for their equal-protection-of-the-law ruling on same-sex marriage, could be given pages of honor. They did the right thing and were sacked by the holier-than-thou who put themselves above the law. The self-centered, vengeful “no” voters, such as Bob Vander Plaats, are their own heroes, atop pedestals of their imagination.

To wit, John Boehner revealed himself to be his own hero — and for doing no more than common folks do every day, every year. Sobbing in self-pity and admiration, Boehner (sob-sob) gave a born-in-a-tavern twist to the old log-cabin yarn. In Boehner’s up-from-poverty story (sob): I worked in my father’s tavern (sob-sob), worked all sorts of dirty jobs (sob, but none of ’em on reality TV, sob), and oh my, I worked my way through school (sob, only guy to ever do that).

Boehner, Vander Plaats, and all of the self-appointed valiant could find reason to look down on heroes Washington, Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, and JFK, all born into silver-spoon-in-the-mouth privilege.

Meanwhile, in Iowa, the Constitution does not mean what an independent judiciary says it does; it means what Vander Plaats says it means.

Sam Osborne
West Branch resident

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