Letters: On politicians who repress women, easy access to guns, and a peaceful voyage

Gun Rights

Iowa politicians are brazen in repressing women

U.S. Reps. Ashley Hinson and Mariannette Miller-Meeks recently voted to: 1) prohibit women from crossing state lines for an abortion, and, 2) prohibit access to contraception. (HR 8378 & HR 8373)

It’s indefensible that in 2022 we are facing this appalling reality. 

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Women have fought for decades to liberate our gender from the shackles of a second-class citizen. Moreover, backsliding on social progress is cruel.  

Eastern Iowa has two representatives, Hinson and Miller-Meeks, who put women in precarious situations: travel costs added to an abortion, for some women, make an already costly procedure less attainable, and a pregnancy resulting from restrictions on birth control could prevent a woman from leaving an abusive partner.

Brazen in repressing women, Hinson and Miller-Meeks demonstrate they care little about what 60% of Iowans want.

Instead, they are forcing us to lose precious freedoms by imposing their radical beliefs on us.  

In November, choose Christina Bohannan (IA-01) and Liz Mathis (IA-02), who will advance women’s rights, restore social progress and move America forward.  

-Ellen Ballas, Iowa City

Republicans are out to sabotage civility

The reason we should want democracy is because it promises civility through shared power. Whereas authoritarianism promises to let people feel better about barbarism. Seems an obvious choice but for the fact that good feelings are much easier to provide. Plus, democracy hasn’t delivered on its promise.  

Republicans, brazenly wanting authoritarianism, do all they can to sabotage civility. If everyone had a reliable escape from barbarism (usually money) then everyone would take that escape. But math prevents that from being a possibility other than by taxing the rich. This is the opposite of what Republicans want — they not only want barbarism, they also want money to flow from us to the wealthy, not the reverse.

Indeed, there would be no need for the Republican Party if the wealthy decided to pay their taxes. No one votes Republican based on merit; people vote Republican because civility is hard — consolation for problems is easier than the work to fix them. Civility appears impossible when none look interested in helping — as that’s all civility really is: an interest in helping and a wary eye for Those Who Would Take Advantage. Unfortunately, Those Who Would Take Advantage have banded together as the Republican Party.   

-Jason Agne, Iowa City

Maquoketa shootings show how wrong our gun laws are

Three members of one family were killed in their tent in the middle of the night by a random shooter with easy access to a gun at our beloved Maquoketa Caves here in Iowa recently. Hitting a bit close to home now isn’t it?   

Mass shootings have become almost an everyday occurrence in our nation and most of us are tuning out and getting on with our lives because these killings have become all too commonplace now.

We call ourselves the greatest nation on earth but certainly can’t live up to this ideal when we vote people into Congress who stall out commonsense gun laws being passed in order to assure they will continue to receive lots of funding from the NRA and other conservative gun rights groups. The bill that allows Iowans to carry concealed weapons without a permit or even a background check became law a little over a year ago. How insane is that?   

We can thank a wrongheaded Gov. Kim Reynolds for bringing that bill to light. If you’re concerned, make sure you head to the polls in the upcoming November election and vote in sane, stable, caring and kind Iowans who will work tirelessly to turn around the current draconian gun laws now on the books. Our very lives depend upon it.

-Julie Spencer, Coralville

The Golden Rule brings anti-nuclear message to Iowa

In 1958, four Quaker sailors set off in their sailboat, the Golden Rule, from California with the Marshall Islands their destination. They intended to interpose themselves into the nuclear testing being done by the U.S. government in the Marshall Islands. They made it as far as Hawaii, where they were arrested and jailed.  The Golden Rule was sold.

Fast forward to 2010, when some peace activists discovered the battered Golden Rule in a salvage yard in California. They recognized the historical value of the boat, and over the next four years it was fully restored. The Golden Rule has been sailing the Pacific and the U.S. West Coast since 2015. 

Now, in September, the Golden Rule will be trucked to Minneapolis and will begin its journey down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. In 2023, it will complete the Great Loop and sail around Florida and up the U.S. East Coast.

The mission of the Golden Rule is to educate people about nuclear issues and what they can do to stop the possibility of nuclear war. Stops in Iowa include Dubuque, Clinton, Davenport and Muscatine. The image of the boat sailing down the Mississippi will be absolutely dreamy.

Turning the clock backward to Aug. 9, 1945, the day 70,000 people were killed in Nagasaki from an atom bomb. Forward again to today. The world is in greater peril from nuclear war than any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Russia and NATO are bristling with nuclear weapons, with Ukraine in between, and peace is nowhere in sight. 

On this Aug. 9, “Making Waves,” a short film about the Golden Rule, will be presented at Old Brick (26 E. Market St., Iowa City) at 6:30 p.m. Dr. Maureen McCue, an expert on nuclear issues and president of Iowa Physicians for Social Responsibility, will reflect on the history of Aug. 9, the efforts of the Golden Rule in the 1950s, and the precarious position the world is in today. John Jadryev, president of Veterans For Peace #161, will describe the voyage of the Golden Rule on the East Coast of Iowa this October.

The event is also sponsored by PEACE Iowa and the Iowa United Nations Association.  A suggested donation of $25 is requested for the Golden Rule project.  For further information, contact Ed Flaherty, secretary of VFP #161, at flahertyem@aol.com.

-Ed Flaherty, Iowa City

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