Letters to the Editor and Online Comments


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Professor’s characterization of Greece insulting

Being Greek, I was very happy to see that The Daily Iowan included a story on the Greek elections (Jan. 30). However, reading it, I was taken aback by the truly insulting words spoken by Professor John Conybeare in reference to my home country. Most of all, I was saddened to see that the newspaper utterly failed to distance itself from the professor’s opinion.

I have great respect for freedom of speech, under which both the professor and the newspaper have the right to openly express their opinions. It is that same freedom of speech that I invoke in expressing my deep disappointment in this article and how it manages to present Greece as “a 10-year-old with a credit card …” This phrase, spoken by Conybeare, is followed by the phrase “As a result …” making it sound as if the article accepts the professor’s opinion as a fact. As a proud member of the UI community, I am truly hurt to see the university paper flirting with offensive characterizations against other nations. I hope that the DI will from now on try to be more careful.
As a side note, I would like to add that the story, as presented, is a gross oversimplification of a complicated issue. I understand that the DI is not the place for an elaborate analysis of this issue, so I refer your readers to Kevin Drum’s “Who’s Responsible For the Euromess?” and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman’s New York Times blog pieces on the subject.

Effie Kapnoula
UI graduate student

Address Iowa’s waterway pollution

Pollution throughout Iowa’s waterways has been a growing issue over the last few decades with the increase of agricultural and industrial development. Sediments, toxic waste, trash, and increased algae growth are the major impairments facing our state’s rivers and lakes. Each of these have been exacerbated by agricultural practices that allow topsoil erosion and pesticide and fertilizer runoff as well as production plants that release millions of pounds worth of toxic discharge into streams annually.

There have been incentive-based laws designed to encourage farmers to keep soil and any additional nutrients out of waterways, but these do not incorporate many requirements for improvement. As for industrial regulations, those that are in place in Iowa aren’t regulating to the degree that there isn’t a massive amount of pollution occurring across the state.

This issue needs widespread government attention and action. Not only does water pollution affect the health of humans, it also affects that of wildlife and ecosystems statewide and even continuing past state borders. Though there are understandably many roadblocks in the form of these aforementioned vital industries; there can be more cooperation between groups involved.

Grace Ehlinger

Online comment on ‘Prall: Guns and cars race for No. 1 killer’

The 32,000 figure is a lie, pure and simple.

That said, the right to self defense with any weapon is NOT subject to arguments of utility, nor to the democratic process.

Therefore, the answer is for all those members of, or advocates for, the Gun Confiscation Lobby need to move on to something else. We're not going to permit ANY slippage of our rights access.

Pat Hines

Online comment on ‘Uber tries to drum up support’

Think about this, folks — Iowa City government is seriously considering the squashing of an idea. Government doesn't seem sincerely interested in innovation, of a nongovernment solution to a problem.

Mike Thayer

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