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Letter to Egypt

The United States has recently spent trillions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan and may now be setting its sights on Egypt.

Much of the United States’ vast surplus was frittered away by the Bush and Cheney administration not only through tax cuts and banking deregulation but on these oily military safaris as well.

Our country is bankrupt not only financially but morally, when, in the face of the widening gap between its rich and poor, and the evaporating working and middle classes, it cuts taxes for the very rich. It also cuts programs in education, food programs, environmental protection, transportation, and Social Security, sending its jobs overseas while denying health care to its citizens.

Egypt, do not invite the United States into your affairs. What moral compass and model of democracy can the U.S. offer when its highest court gives its stamp of approval for unlimited corporate spending in its elections? What could you want from a country whose top 20 percent, the upper class, own 85 percent of the total wealth (with the top 1 percent owning 42 percent of the wealth)? The United States is the most uneven and subsequently least democratic of any developed nation in the world. Its mega-rich (who accrue only a small portion of their wealth through actual work) help manufacture crooked elections, both at home and abroad, and create mandates for invasions in countries just like your own.

Washington and Jefferson, Lincoln, Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt — as they turn in their graves over the dismantling of their government — would encourage you, Egyptian protesters, to endure in the fight against tyranny.

Brandon Ross
UI alumnus

Support rights of the unborn

Question: Should Iowans worry about the proposed abortion ban? Answer: No — there isn’t one.

However, there is a proposal to recognize that an unborn child is a person with civil rights. But that should not worry Iowans, either. The good in all of us rallies to the defense of victims of circumstance.

Yesterday, I saw the first ultrasound of my granddaughter. I saw her face. She looks like her 2-year-old brother. She is not a statistic or a thing to be mocked.

Some will say that the current proposal is unconstitutional. It is true that the U.S. Supreme Court declined to say that an unborn child is a person in Roe v. Wade, but the U.S. Constitution only sets the bare minimum standard for civil rights. Each state has the option to raise the bar.

For example, there is no federal protection for same-sex marriage. But there is here in Iowa.

The unborn child is the most innocent and defenseless victim of circumstance. And bare minimum standards have never been good enough for Iowans.

John Hesling
Oskaloosa, Iowa

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