Commentary

COMMENTARY

Hoaxes and scams take an emotional toll

BY: - November 6, 2021

Countless people have lost millions of dollars to online hoaxes and scams, but the biggest collective loss concerns trust. Losing trust hurts us more than money ever could. Internet deceptions afflict everyone, from a child awaiting a pet to a pensioner awaiting a Social Security check. Let’s deal with pets first, as these scams have […]

COMMENTARY

The Gingerich dogs make the case for puppy mill reform

BY: - November 2, 2021

The horrifying case of Daniel Gingerich, a Wayne County breeder on whose multiple properties hundreds of dogs were found in deplorable conditions —injured, ill, emaciated or dead — has many Iowans wondering how such a thing could have happened. He was, after all, a U.S. Department of Agriculture-licensed breeder. It’s hard to picture 1,000 dogs. […]

COMMENTARY

GOP says unemployment benefits hurt Iowa, except when they’re for the unvaccinated

BY: - November 1, 2021

Remember way back in June, when unemployment benefits were killing Iowa’s economy? Gov. Kim Reynolds couldn’t wait until extended federal benefits expired in September, so she ended them three months early. She blamed unemployment benefits for the fact that employers were having trouble filling open positions. “Federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs initially provided displaced Iowans […]

COMMENTARY

A quick guide to climate change jargon – what experts mean by mitigation, carbon neutral and 6 other key terms

BY: - October 31, 2021

As a major U.N. climate conference gets underway on Oct. 31, 2021, you’ll be hearing a lot of technical terms tossed around: mitigation, carbon neutral, sustainable development. The language can feel overwhelming. “It sounds like you’re talking over people,” one person said of the terminology during a recent study colleagues and I conducted through the […]

COMMENTARY

An infectious disease expert explains new federal rules on vaccine booster shots

BY: - October 30, 2021

Many Americans now have the green light to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster – and the flexibility to receive a different brand than the original vaccine they received. On the heels of the Food and Drug Administration’s Sept. 22, 2021, emergency use authorization of a third dose – or “booster shot” – of the Pfizer-BioNtech […]

COMMENTARY

Public must be informed in doctor discipline cases

BY: - October 25, 2021

The Iowa Legislature’s “to do” list should be a little longer after last week. And people need to contact their senators and representatives in the Legislature to make sure they understand their duty is to protect the health and safety of Iowans. The reason? The Iowa Supreme Court handed down a decision Friday that will pretty […]

COMMENTARY

Senator barked up the wrong tree in defending kennel owner

BY: - October 25, 2021

State Sen. Roby Smith’s conduct in bullying Iowa Department of Agriculture staff on behalf of a constituent and raising the possibility of gun violence was beyond disturbing. If you missed Clark Kauffman’s story in Iowa Capital Dispatch, you can read it here. The constituent, Davenport kennel owner Robert Burns, couldn’t have been more pleased that […]

COMMENTARY

Trump wants the National Archives to keep his papers away from investigators

BY: - October 24, 2021

The National Archives is the United States’ memory, a repository of artifacts that includes everything from half-forgotten correspondence to the paper trails that document the days of the country’s life. The National Archives contains such items as bureaucratic correspondence, patents and captured German records. It holds Eva Braun’s diary and photographs of child labor conditions […]

COMMENTARY

The future of work is hybrid – here’s an expert’s recommendations for success

BY: - October 24, 2021

COVID-19 has changed the way we work. Even before the pandemic, the U.S. workforce increasingly relied on remote collaboration technologies like videoconferencing and Slack. The global crisis accelerated the adoption of these work tools and practices in an unprecedented way. By April 2020, about half of companies reported that more than 80% of their employees […]

COMMENTARY

The wacky extremes with ‘two-sideisms’

BY: - October 23, 2021

The requirements for becoming a teacher were always straightforward: Earn a college degree in education, take enough classes in your area of specialty, practice your teaching skills for a semester as a student teacher. Politicians have added a new skill this year in some states: Be a mind reader. That’s what teachers in a Texas […]

COMMENTARY

How ‘managed retreat’ from climate change could revitalize rural America: Revisiting the Homestead Act

BY: and - October 18, 2021

Southern Italy’s rural Calabria region announced an innovative project in 2021 to breathe new life into its small towns. It plans to offer young professionals thousands of dollars if they move in and commit to launch a business, preferably a business the community needs. Northwest Arkansas has a similar program to draw new residents to […]

COMMENTARY

Vaccine passports and the freedom to travel

BY: - October 18, 2021

I have traveled internationally numerous times in my adult life, and I always experience something new. My husband and I just got back from 12 days in Italy and Poland, with a wealth of “first times.” We attended a friend’s ordination in St. Peter’s Basilica, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Although we have visited the Vatican and […]