At the polls or by mail — VOTE!

My column last week created some confusion, sorry. The title was Don’t Vote by Mail!, and if that’s as far as you got, you might have thought I was telling people either to vote at the polls or not at all. Never! Going forward, I’ll try to be more diligent in my selection of titles, remembering that’s are as far as some readers get. Beyond that, thanks to conversations with election officials last week, I’m now more confident that when Iowans cast their votes by mail or at the county auditor’s office, they will be counted. Continue Reading →

Grassley seals his legacy

“You’ll be remembered as just another career politician who buried his conscience deep in the back forty while succumbing to the flagrant partisanship of ambitious, self-serving men like Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell — men who never had an ounce of integrity to start with. You, Senator, have become a hypocrite.” Continue Reading →

Are you checked in or checked out?

Perhaps the strongest voice for civic engagement is … Erik Hagerman himself. In that Times story, Hagerman says, “I had been paying attention to the news for decades and I never did anything with it.” Well, that’s your first problem, Erik. You should’ve done something.

Because as my friend Miriam Kashia likes to say, “Action is the antidote to despair.” Continue Reading →

Unions Crucial for Worker and Farm Safety

“With crisis after crisis that has hit our nation and our state,” writes Charlie Wishman in his Labor Day message, “it is always workers who are making sure our communities continue to run. With the devastating storms that just blew through Iowa, it is working class workers, public and private sector, that are cleaning up damage, restoring power as quickly as possible, and ensuring that our streets and neighborhoods are safe.” Continue Reading →

Naked Athena, Wall of Moms, and a Navy vet encapsulate evolutionary spirit of nonviolent resistance

Nonviolent action is inherently creative. It is sometimes risky, often quirky. At its most effective, it catches the forces of oppression off guard, ripping apart their facade of legitimacy and exposing the raw ugliness of systemic violence. Continue Reading →

Officers kneel with protesters at George Floyd action

Even while the officers’ taking a knee was immensely important, it is still just a symbol. A further coming together of the community needs to happen. We all must commit to working toward policy changes that shift the system away from the racism that has been accepted or perpetrated by too many – even by ourselves. Continue Reading →

Big Meat’s ugly history

League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Council 307 has launched a boycott of meat products from Tyson, Smithfield, JBS, and other negligent slaughterhouse giants. A coalition of workers, farmers, immigrant-rights advocates, and consumers is encouraging people to either do without meat or buy it from local farmers raising animals sustainably — and restaurants and grocery stores that carry their products. Continue Reading →

Victory-Over-the-Virus Gardens

It’s past time to revive the Victory Garden movement. As we hunker down in our homes to minimize the spread of COVID19, perhaps we can call this new wave of urban food production “Victory-Over-the-Virus (VOTV) Gardens.” Continue Reading →