Viewpoints

Wed
18
Jul

Letter to the Editor: Warning lights are indeed flashing

To the Editor:

The pseudo-intellectual diatribe by the author of the letter in the July 4, 2018 edition of The Standard underscores precisely what the author claims. It is noted that two unwritten rules in the political arena have been particularly important: “mutual tolerance - the understanding that competing political parties accept one another as legitimate rivals, and forbearance - the belief that politicians should exercise restraint in deploying their constitutional prerogatives.” The entire letter is exactly the opposite of both.

There is a lengthy discussion of how other democracies have failed in the 20th century, based on a study by two Harvard University professors suggesting that just because the leaders of those democracies were outside the political mainstream the democracies failed. There is no proof offered that this was actually the case. I actually lived in Venezuela and Peru and saw no evidence of what he claims. Democracy did not fail in Peru.

Wed
11
Jul

And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that by the time this gets into print, you will probably know who President Trump has nominated to fill the upcoming vacancy on the Supreme Court.

As I began to write this column nine days earlier, I mused that of all the people I would not want to be for the next several weeks it would be that nominee. His or her entire experience of a lifetime will become fair, or perhaps unfair, game for the United States senators who will oppose the nomination.

Lynda Waddington in Sunday’s Cedar Rapids Gazette had an editorial on the subject. More on that later.

One comment she made had me wondering where she was in past hearings. She suggested that until recently “disagreements have largely stopped short of questioning the political independence” (of court nominees.)

Does recently include the “Borking” of nominee Robert Bork by the vicious personal attacks from the late Sen. Ted Kennedy?

Wed
11
Jul

Word for Word 7/11/18

Rev. Kim Gates
Rev. Kim Gates

We’ve been havin’ some warm, no, HOT weather – yech/yuck/ick is my response! I know there are many who love the higher temperatures but for me it’s a bit torturous. So I sure hope I don’t ever do anything which cuts me off from God and sends me to Hades!!!

Well, whether you’re paving a path to Hell or just existing in a 21st Century Iowa summer, when you get physically hot you can become irritable. And I, personally, really don’t want to touch my sweaty body to a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g – bleacher bench, car seat, my cats, or another person. Yet I’m still called to reach out and touch (literally as well as figuratively) those in need.

Wed
11
Jul

Letter to the Editor: Robey Memorial Library is a great resource for Waukon

To the Editor:

The Robey Memorial Library is incredible! Until this summer, I hadn’t been to the library since I was young. It was great to return to the library with my kids while visiting family. It has more books, magazines, movies, albums, computers, etc. Plus the space is expanded, updated, and beautiful.  There was even a display of books in recognition of Pride Month. My kids loved the library. I would like to express my gratitude to Cate St. Clair, the board members, and every person who has been involved in the improvements to the library. It’s a great resource for the community.
 
Brian Brandsmeier
Waukon High School, Class of 1997
North Liberty

Wed
11
Jul

Letter to the Editor: The Walk Away party

To the Editor:

I see where the Democrats have a new party called the Walk Away Party, similar to the Republican Tea Party. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) would not give the Tea Party a tax exemption. I wonder if the new Walk Away Party will be granted a tax exemption? I hope so.

The Democrats have been so anti-America and anti-Christian for too long. Their leadership is a total farce and mockery, and the RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) have helped them. Those people took the Bible and all Christianity out of our schools and the devil walked in.

They are now preaching a doctrine of hate and mob mentality with leaders like Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and many others.

Thu
05
Jul

And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that I was surprised when I typed the date of this column to note that the Fourth of July is only ten days away from my writing a column. It seemed too soon.

But observations made after a short jaunt in Allamakee County recently once again confirmed that the color green prevails strongly in those years when we have had sufficient spring rains, as this year. The scenery is incredibly green.

With southern immigration much in the news, I mused that it is no wonder folks from Central America would like to live here ... except that those nations ought to have as much or more green than Iowa. My breakfast banana, like many of the immigrants, came from Guatemala.

Thu
05
Jul

Letter to the Editor: Warning lights on our democracy are flashing

To the Editor:

Even though democracies around the world, including our own, are experiencing growing pressures from globalization, immigration, racial/ethnic discord, economic inequality, and political gridlock, until recently, I had little doubt that our political systems could withstand these forces. After reading a new book How Democracies Die by two Harvard political scientists, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, I am not so certain. The authors examine the demise of democratic societies around the world and raise frightening questions about our own society in the time of Trump. Since the end of the Cold War, most democracies that have become authoritarian have done so not through military coups, but through the actions of elected government officials subverting the democratic processes.

Wed
27
Jun

And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that radio commentator Paul Harvey had a successful program he called “the rest of the story.” There are many times when I hear or read a story that I am left to wonder what has not been said.

An example was a weekend story about how someone earning minimum wage could not afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment in a large Iowa city.

My first question was, was this a single person? If so, why does she or he need two bedrooms? A one bedroom would be considerably cheaper.

I also wondered about the age and educational background of this person.

Because a minimum wage was never intended to be a “living” wage. It started as a way to introduce someone with no higher qualifications to a position in which he or she could grow to earn a living wage. Or to introduce young people to the world of work.

Wed
27
Jun

Letter to the Editor: What is going on in the USA?

To the Editor:

The library in Waukon has a book by Nicholas Stargardt titled The German War - A Nation Under Arms 1939-1945. It explores what was going on inside of Germany in the years prior to the onset of and during World War II from the viewpoint of the German citizens.

I have often wondered what the average German citizen could have been thinking during the “Hitler” years. How could the German citizens have been ignorant of the circumstances and events around them? This book was a good beginning in trying to answer that question.

What is going on in the USA? What is happening today is beyond disturbing. Our country should be - is supposed to be - better than this.

The frustration, anger and disillusionment at home and abroad will have a long lasting effect. It will have an impact on relationships both personal and global.

Wed
20
Jun

And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that as I write this, President Trump and the dictator of North Korea are just a few hours away from their scheduled “first” meeting, in Singapore. The United States hopes to convince North Korea’s leader that if he gives up his nuclear ambitions his nation can prosper, much as his peninsula-sharing South Korea has.

It pains me to think that I doubt much will be accomplished. I hope I am wrong. If nothing comes of it, could that be considered a failure? Actually, not trying would have been the failure.

What the meeting has brought to mind is the fact that it might not have been necessary had different actions been taken near the end of the Korean War, in 1952.

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