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Letters to the Editor/Online comments

BY DI READERS | FEBRUARY 25, 2015 5:00 AM

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Then and now

When I attended the UI, then called SUI in the 1960s, out-of-state tuition — which I paid — was about $745/year. As tuition was billed monthly for eight months, each installment was about $90.

With a part-time job and a short-term loan from the Financial Aid Office, even I could afford it.

It was the best $745/year that I’ve ever spent.

Reading a DI article today, the out-of-state tuition was reported as being around $28,000/year.

It seems to now be impossible for out-of-state students to work their way through school unless their parents are, at least, financially comfortable. That must chase a lot of qualified students away from Iowa.

The university must be poorer for excluding talented people by charging so high a tuition amount.

Mike Norton

Enduring war vs. enduring peace

The word “enduring” has entered the conversation on U.S. military policy in the past few weeks. Its most notable mention was in President Obama’s Feb. 11 request for additional war authority. The proposed authorization for the use of military force says it does not authorize “enduring” offensive operations. A much less-noticed speech was by Adj. Gen. of the Iowa National Guard Timothy Orr on Feb. 5. He lauded the Iowa Air National Guard’s 132nd Fighter Wing for its progress on a new, “enduring” mission — remotely piloted aircraft. What he refers to is the 132nd’s preparation to become a piloting center for MQ-9 Reaper Drones, armed with Hellfire missiles and bombs.

A another speech, by Obama on Feb. 2, was on the proposed budget for fiscal 2016. It would allocate 54 percent of discretionary spending to the military; that military budget includes $821 million for 29 additional Reaper Drones.

Despite the new war-authority-request’s intent to not authorize enduring offensive operations, the proposed request does not repeal the one passed in 2001, which is still in place and is being used to authorize offensive operations in numerous countries, relying heavily on lethal strikes from Reaper Drones.

Citizens need to find their voice. Tell Obama and Congress to repeal the 2001 authority and to reduce the bloated Pentagon budget so we may have a chance at enduring peace. And say “No” to Iowa piloting armed Reaper Drones by attending the March 4 vigil at the 132nd’s Des Moines base.

Edward Flaherty

Online comment on ‘Osgerby: Paywalls and the future of online journalism’

Interesting suggestion at the end, but I predict folks won’t pay for that content, either. Quite frankly, the news business isn’t profitable because people aren’t willing to exchange dollars for information they share daily. The only thing missing from the equation, and it’s coming, is user-provided news and an expanded user web experience in which the users are also contributors such as Facebook. 

These will be developed at a community level — community-owned media with a journalism core. More or less a community Facebook. Why pay reporters to come into our world and give us their version of what we already experience? Better yet, why pay companies such as Gannett, which has headquarters in Virginia, to provide these services in Indiana?

Todd Smekens


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