An accurate lens
In his Sept. 29 letter, “Through a Dark Lens”, Jeffrey Rice accuses “progressives” of depressing the history classrooms of America with a dour appraisal of America’s past. He calls it mind invasion. But classrooms do “uplift, inspire and unite.” Is it not positive and uplifting to join the fight against racism and other forms of prejudice and injustice? Can we not unite behind these initiatives?
Extending his photography metaphor, lenses reveal data that might otherwise remain unknown. Science, in its search for truth, constantly re-writes its understanding of the nature of energy, of humans’ relationship with nature, etc.
Discoveries using new tools beget theories to be tested in the future, more accurately reflecting reality.
Rice’s description of what is being taught “through a dark lens” is accurate in terms of content: there is racism, sexism, economic inequality, instances of police brutality and xenophobia in our shared history up to and including the present. Historical research discovers, uncovers or re-evaluates data and shares it publicly. Contrary to his view that historical updating is “mind invasion,” I see it as acknowledging hard truths, by no means at odds with a clear-eyed love of our country.
Discovering, identifying and healing the wounds of the past will help America become a more righteous country; ignoring slavery, women’s forced subservience, treacherous slights on the LGBTQ community and all the other wounds on the American body politic will keep them from healing. Even the most accurate lens needs occasional cleaning to help confirm the truth we seek.
Judging right from wrong
In response to Laura Twing’s letter of Sept. 19, “Conservatives and Christians,” Matthew 7:2, which states that we “judge not,” also continues, “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.” While in John 7:24 it states “ ... judge righteous judgment.”
In order to avoid sin in our own personal lives, we do have to “judge” right from wrong.
Concerning abortion, all anyone needs to do is consider what Jesus would recommend if a woman were to ask him if she should have an abortion, being mindful that our opinion of how Jesus would respond will follow us all the way to the final judgment as we stand before our God. And pertaining to the Old Testament, in John 14:6, Jesus states that “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” As Jesus says, “no man”.
In Genesis, Chapter 4, in the Inspired Version of the Bible it is recorded in its fullness how Adam and Eve both repented and accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. This truth was hidden from the world until the prophet Joseph Smith Jr. was called to bring it to light.
People in the Old Testament days had the opportunity to look forward to Jesus just as we look back to him — and now we too are looking forward to his second coming. Do not equate Joseph Smith Jr. with the Mormon church of today — it was founded by Brigham Young, not Joseph Smith. Amen.
Duane A. Cook
A broken record
Several weeks ago candidate Joe Biden talked about a record player; it brought back memories of my youth. It was fun singing along with those old “45s” — until one of your favorite records got a scratch. And then part of the recording keep repeating itself over and over again.
That reminds me of the current Democrats in the House of Representatives. They seemingly have only one thing on their minds — impeach the president.
We went through two years of “what might be in the Mueller Report,” and finally it was released. No collusion, no obstruction — based on a fictional document. Then there was the Kavanaugh hearing. Tons of hullabaloo and at the last moment a super-secret recollection that was going to cannonball his Supreme Court nomination. Again based on a fictional account. (This has actually happened twice to Justice Kavanaugh.) Now a so called “whistleblower” (deep state operative will be the eventual identifier) publishes a third person account of President Trump’s call to another head of state. “It is loaded with countless crimes.” This is really going to be the “gotcha” impeachment moment. Yawn.
The Democrats just keep repeating themselves. You know what we did with scratched records? We threw them out. Perhaps there is a lesson here.
Ask for an answer
Barb Walsh, in her Sept. 25 letter to the editor, encouraged Iowa voters to demand from Sen. Joni Ernst that discussions (relating specifically to reforming Social Security) take place in full daylight and to further scrutinize her plans before casting a ballot in 2020.
Is it really necessary we demand that Ernst and her plans come out into the full light of day?
Absolutely. Here’s why.
I have written Sen. Ernst many times posing a pointed question seeking a direct and clear answer. For example, “How do you justify a multi-million dollar border wall, while the infrastructure, such as roads and bridges in Iowa and the rest of our nation are deteriorating?”
Yes, the senator has responded to me, but guess what? The questions I posed are never answered. I might get a full page, singled-paced text, but no direct answer to the question asked.
Recently, I’ve noticed that responses to my letters have also stopped.
How can we be informed voters, which we believe is essential for a democracy, when those who represent us desire to work “behind closed doors.”
I urge every Iowa voter to write a letter to Sen. Ernst on any issue important to you. Pose a clear and direct question. Then ask for a clear and direct answer.
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In the words of Mother Teresa, “None of us ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.”
The Quad-Cities is an amazingly generous community. Last month at Butterworth Center & Deere-Wiman House, we celebrated that spirit of generosity at our first-ever Butterworth Legacy Awards for Community Service.
We had the opportunity to thank representatives of 62 Quad-Cities organizations that have been meeting in our sites for over 20 years to do their own important work.
These groups address a variety of community needs. They raise money for scholarships, create music and art of all kinds, encourage appreciation of multiple cultures and religions, support lifelong learning and otherwise make the Quad-Cities a great place to live.
One attendee shared that seeing all these groups gathered in one place, reassured and inspired her that there are many people doing small things with great love, just as her group does.
Katherine Deere Butterworth, our founder, would have been proud to see her vision and legacy of supporting service, culture and education in the Quad-Cities still alive and well in 2019.
We invite any non-profit or educational group looking for space to go to butterworthcenter.com to learn more about our free gathering spaces.
We’re already looking forward to next year when we’ll again celebrate the “something wonderful” a community creates by all working together.
& Deere-Wiman House
Mark Twain is often reputed to have said, “history does not repeat itself but it often rhymes.”
Whether or not he actually said, or wrote, those nine words I don’t think really matters, but they did cause me to take a little time on a rainy Friday to reflect a bit on an earlier time. I found my self thinking about such people as John Dean, Howard Hunt, Gordon Liddy, James McCord, Jeb Magruder, John Mitchell, John Ehrlichman, Bob Haldeman, Alexander Butterfield and others.
A strange way to spend a few minutes? Yes, probably, but I found it sort of interesting. Maybe you will also.
Oops, I almost forgot three other names: Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein and Mark Felt.
Mental or moral decline?
On National Public Radio’s web site is an article, “Pentagon letter undercuts Trump assertion on delaying aid to Ukraine over corruption,” written by David Welna. It states that to release the $250 million in security assistance it was required that Ukraine decrease corruption and increase accountability. In May 2019, four congressional committees received a letter of certification by Undersecretary of Defense for Policy John Rood stating Ukraine had met that goal.
In mid-June 2019, the Defense Department announced it would be sending the $250 million to Ukraine for security assistance. President Trump blocked that money in July prior to his phone call to Ukraine President Volodymr Zelenskiy.
After an angry response from bipartisan congressional members, Mr. Trump released the money to Ukraine on Sept. 11.
This article explains the issue of President Trump’s call to Ukraine and alleged “quid pro quo,” versus the issue of money that had already been authorized by a bipartisan Congress to demand Ukraine make needed corruption reforms.
The article indicates to me that Marc Thiessen’s opinion piece in the Sept. 26 Quad-City Times, “Democrat’s double standard,” misconstrued factual information.
Another article from NPR stated the issue of conflict of interest and corruption by the Bidens was public knowledge at the time (2014 – 2016). There were investigations into corruption at the time, and it was found there were no laws broken. Senior senators, like Sens. Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham, would have knowledge of this.
Are these Senators suffering from mental or moral decline?