Letters graphic

On fairs and UFC weigh-ins

Watching the UFC weigh ins, I cant help but draw similarities to the parading of livestock at a state fair.

People spend all year working these animals to their fullest potential to trot them out in front of crowds and judges. They are then examined to make sure they are the correct weight and measurements. They both then compete for the glory of their handlers.

The difference is that after the slaughter one will become food for starving people, the other a vegetable.

But then again state fairs don’t have well-endowed women in bikinis.

Erik Thompson


When it comes to racism, silence is not a middle ground

In a letter to the editor published in the Sunday, July 28 edition of the Des Moines Register, Barbara Paulding summed up well what I believe are the unexpressed thoughts of the majority of Iowans: “Donald Trump is a racist,” Ms. Paulding frankly acknowledged.

And she was alarmingly, but probably correct, in asserting that “… elected Republican officials will never challenge his behavior and will continue to enable him …” to incite racial hatred in America because their “… silence is complacency.”

I would argue more strongly that the silence by Republicans is more than “complacency”: It is complicity. The failure of Republican lawmakers like Senators Grassley and Ernst to publicly denounce Trump as a racist bigot makes them active participants in encouraging and promoting racial unrest. Either Ernst and Grassley are willing accomplices in Trump’s efforts to spread racial hatred, or they are not.

The current times demand that we dispense with niceties in political discourse and call a spade a spade. Let them prove to us who and what they really are by publicly calling out Trump for his bigotry and declaring that racism has no place in the administration or in Congress. Silence is no longer a middle ground on which our two senators can stand.

It might behoove all of us to be ever mindful of Sir Edmund Burke’s most famous quote: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Steven Pokorny


Support for candidate Castro

Like most Iowa Democrats, I am interested in backing a candidate who has developed a plan to replace the current administration in the November 2020 elections.

I recently attended a campaign event for Julian Castro sponsored by NARAL Pro-Choice America. Secretary Castro outlined his views on keeping America on the path of protecting a woman’s right to choose. How impressed I was at the depth and breadth of his positions across a range of issues!

When questioned about how Democrats could broaden their message to appeal to disaffected Trump voters, he was ready with a coherent multi-pronged strategy which in part drew from his experience as President Obama’s Housing Secretary.

He demonstrated a solid grasp of how to make our executive branch work from day one of his administration. Mr. Castro has formulated a plan on how to work with his cabinet secretaries to undo the misguided direction Trump has taken our country in climate policy, immigration policy, judicial appointments, and more. With strong credentials as mayor of America’s seventh largest city and administrator of HUD with a budget of $48 billion, he would be able to provide our country with new leadership and new energy. I urge Iowans to support this outstanding candidate.

Joyce Vandegrift

Windsor Heights

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