Joni Ernst disingenuous on personhood

Joni Ernst disingenuous on personhood

Gazette Column
It’s time for Iowans to jump in the weeds. And, thanks to all the manure spread as part of and on behalf of the U.S. Senate campaigns of Joni Ernst and Bruce Braley, you should know these weeds are deep. Reproduction is a very personal thing. To launch discussion on the topic opens the door to faith, sexuality and mortality. There is no way — at least none that I’ve found — to mitigate the strong emotions these subjects evoke. Difficult conversations, however, are no excuse for complete avoidance or, worse yet, the half-baked excuses allowed to stand during the first U.S. Senate race debate. DEBATE RECAP [caption id="attachment_1650" align="alignright" width="228"] US Senate candidate Joni Ernst claps during an event at The Blue Strawberry Coffee Company in Cedar Rapids on…
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Local opposition to ‘ineffective’ immigration program not enough

Local opposition to ‘ineffective’ immigration program not enough

Gazette Column
Iowans concerned about increased crime resulting from a decision by some law enforcement agencies not to honor federal immigration detention requests should take solace in new evidence that the local-federal partnership does little, if anything, to achieve its mission of lowered crime rates. From 2010 to 2012, each of Iowa’s 99 counties joined Secure Communities, a federal immigration program aimed at fighting crime by deporting individuals suspected of committing offenses. A new study, however, shows the program to be ineffective. Such findings may serve as the final blow against this particular embattled program, but are unlikely to stop newer federal initiatives that don’t rely on local cooperation and have fewer safeguards against racial profiling. Secure Communities “While [Secure Communities] was originally sold as a voluntary program, we all now know that’s not the…
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Helping kids is an obligation

Helping kids is an obligation

Gazette Column
I am not sure how people of faith, especially those who say their faith guides them in matters of public policy, are able to reconcile not first reacting with compassion to the plight of Central American children. While we may not like or appreciate how the children arrived on our doorstep, and even while we may debate federal immigration law and procedures, spiritual teachings are clear. We should care for and protect children. Pope Francis recently noted the mandate. “This humanitarian emergency requires, as a first urgent measure, these children be welcomed and protected,” he said as part of a message sent to a global conference in Mexico on July 15. Closer to home, U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin voiced similar concerns during a Congressional hearing this week. “I have a…
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Bring back ‘Iowa nice’

Bring back ‘Iowa nice’

Gazette Column
Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba has drawn scrutiny and (to be blunt) nastiness for announcing organizations in the Quad Cities will help care for a few hundred of the roughly 52,000 Central American immigrant children currently detained in U.S. border states. The children — predominantly from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala — have arrived without adults and, due to law changes signed by President George W. Bush as part the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization of 2008, cannot be immediately deported. “You can’t turn your back on kids, little children and tell them they must go back to Honduras and in many cases be killed. That’s wrong,” said Gluba, who is hoping the community will help care for some of the children while their cases work their way through an overburdened…
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Voters drowned out by spending

Voters drowned out by spending

Gazette Column
Although we won’t know fundraising results from other county, legislative and statewide candidates until the disclosure deadline tomorrow, Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds let their cat out of the bag Thursday. The duo is reporting a whopping $4.5 million cash-on-hand and promising, now that the legislative session has closed, their campaign “will kick into high gear.” Iowa’s 2013 U.S. Census Bureau estimate is a total population of 3.1 million. Roughly 1.9 million people were registered, active voters as of May 1, according to the Secretary of State. This means the Branstad-Reynolds campaign has collected roughly $1.45 for every man, woman and child in the state, or $2.37 for each active, registered voter. Looking only at the Republicans? That’d be $7.49 per GOP voter. To put it another…
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First Person: Abortion and the Blissfully Ignorant

First Person: Abortion and the Blissfully Ignorant

Various
'I came face-to-face with protesters at the Kansas clinic where I had to terminate my pregnancy' I was warned there would be protesters. Don't make eye contact and don't engage or confront, I was instructed. I had every intention of obeying, but my eyes betrayed me and found the face of a woman standing on the kerb. She was roughly my age and as we moved closer I could see her dark fringe, which almost fell into her blue-green eyes. Her mouth and the mouths of all the people within the small crowd were moving, obviously saying something, but I heard nothing more than a dull roar. The whole scene was surreal, as if I was watching it on a screen. We began to move faster, along the edges of…
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