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Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | FEBRUARY 28, 2011 7:20 AM

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Open 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 left to the Bush and Cheney administration was frittered away through tax cuts, banking deregulations, and these oily military safaris.

Our country is bankrupt both financially and 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. To make matters worse, it has subsequently cut programs in education, food assistance, 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 (and the top 1 percent own 42 percent of the wealth)?

The United States is the most uneven and least democratic of any developed nation in the world. Its mega-rich, who have accrued very little of their assets through work, are the ones who manufacture crooked elections and create mandates for invasions in countries just like your own.

As Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt turn in their graves over their own government’s corruption, they would encourage you, Egyptian protesters, to endure in the fight against tyranny.

Brandon Ross
UI alumnus

Abortion foe’s letter incorrect

Donna Holman’s letter in the Feb. 24 Daily Iowan offers a sad illustration of the degree to which ignorance permeates the abortion debate.

The defunding of Planned Parenthood would be a tragedy; this organization provides much-needed services of all kinds to women, not just abortions. But Holman’s reasoning for the claim that Planned Parenthood lied in denying that the Burlington clinic performs abortions, because it provides the contraceptive RU-486, is appalling.

Using a Biblical justification for matters of state policy is, shall we say, an explicit infringement of the First Amendment and of the Iowa Constitution. But here we are offered the medical “fact” that a fertilized egg is a “new person” who has at least a bit of blood.

I shall pass over commenting on Holman’s gynecological ignorance. Consider this: If, as current technology makes possible, a skin cell of yours is reprogrammed to be pluripotent, and a few genetic mutations are induced, is that cell a new person? And consider this: There’s nothing in the Bible about abortion. The closest you’ll get is Ex. 21:22, in which, if a man through violence causes a woman to miscarry, he must pay a fine to the husband. Cursing your parents (punishable by execution) was a far worse sin.

Evan Fales
UI faculty member

Reconsider school closures in No Child Left Behind

As the Obama administration considers changes to educational policy, I’m worried.

The Feb. 8 article, “ ‘No Child’ changes weighed,” states, “Sanctions continue to increase each year if schools continue to lag behind expectations. They may even have to close after four years of not meeting standards.”

Closing schools results in larger schools. This may not be a bad thing, but having large schools can result in overcrowding and a high student-to-teacher ratio. I am a student, and I see a big difference between 25 students in a class and 35 students. In a larger class, you never get the individual attention you get in a smaller class.

So, shouldn’t this be prevented by helping schools that are lagging behind? Do you take a sick child to the doctor, or do you leave him to die and start off with a new child? We should think about helping schools before we close them.

Ashley Bailey
North Liberty

Don’t punish responsible gun owners

The Feb. 18 and Feb. 16 articles about the Iowa City City Council and the Johnson County Board of Supervisors banning guns on city and county property caught my attention in a very unpleasant way: I am a permit holder.

As I am a Democrat, I’m not here to defend Republican ideology on gun bans or control; however, I do take issue with the city’s and county’s recent votes to banning legally carried concealed firearms on their property. As a self-proclaimed Democrat and student veteran, I find a common lack in understanding the perspectives of (and a fear resulting from) those trained in the use of deadly force.

Those who receive proper training in the use of deadly force (not just firearms) are taught to discern when it is appropriate to engage potential threats. The underlying rule is simple: If the crime being perpetrated causes grievous harm and injury to or threatens the life or overall safety of another person, use of force that may result in death can be warranted (but not compulsory) to prevent the crime from continuing or occurring.

With this definition in mind, realize that those with proper training and resolve are continuously aware of the high legal and ethical standards to which society holds them.

Furthermore, individuals must accept and prepare for the possibility that their decisions may result in the death of a person, whether or not that person was committing a crime.

As I am a conscientious and proactive citizen, I met with someone from the UI police early in the school year to clarify the property zones of the university so I would not illegally carry; it is my responsibility as a permit carrier.

Now, the City Council intends to make it even harder for me to carry a weapon on public grounds; being a responsible permit holder means I must comply, even if criminal carelessness for the law negates the effect intended.

Ryan Garrison
UI student


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