Women and gender equity: How we can learn from the past and improve in the future

BY: - September 24, 2023

Today we focus on Colonial figures cited as America’s first feminists: “Silence Dogood” (aka Benjamin Franklin) and Abigail Adams, first lady to second President John Adams and mother to sixth President John Quincy Adams. Their observations were prescient. At 16, Benjamin wanted to write for his older brother’s newspaper, the New England Courant, but James […]

Trump opens the door to attacks in Iowa — but will his rivals take advantage?

BY: - September 21, 2023

The Republican nomination fight in Iowa is getting a lot more interesting. Ron DeSantis and Tim Scott are ditching the kid gloves and taking on Donald Trump on the issue of abortion. In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program Sunday, Trump called Florida’s 6-week abortion ban a “terrible mistake.” That opened the door to the Florida governor, […]

Misguided government proposal targets ‘vexatious’ people

BY: - September 19, 2023

Many decades ago, Mrs. Gentry and Mr. Halferty put up with an inquisitive kid’s classroom questions about American democracy and the workings of government. I did not imagine back then how the meaning of some words could take on such importance in government. Take, for example, a much-talked-about word in Iowa last week, vexatious. It […]

On Democracy Day, newsrooms unite for pro-democracy coverage

BY: - September 15, 2023

It’s no secret: U.S. democracy is under serious threat. Politicians use rigged maps to entrench themselves in power, allowing them to ignore the will of voters. Hundreds of members of Congress, state lawmakers, and top state officials — including chief elections officials — deny the results of the last presidential contest. And a leading candidate for 2024 talks openly […]

Do unbiased jurors exist to serve at Trump’s trials in the age of social media?

BY: - September 9, 2023

As trial dates approach for former President Donald Trump’s indictments, both he and prosecutors are already claiming it will be hard to secure an impartial jury. Special counsel Jack Smith has said Trump’s public statements risk contaminating the jury pool for the charges he will face in a federal court in Washington, D.C., related to […]

We can’t afford to leave centrists on the sidelines of politics

BY: - September 7, 2023

I cannot remember who recommended, when I was a much younger man, that I read Hermann Hesse’s novel “Steppenwolf.” I not only read it, but then embraced several more of his works. I think the reason I related to it was because there was a wolf in the novel, living in the mountains of the […]

How did the US presidential campaign get to be so long?

BY: - September 4, 2023

Four hundred and forty-four days prior to the 2024 presidential election, millions of Americans tuned into the first Republican primary debate. If this seems like a long time to contemplate the candidates, it is. By comparison, Canadian election campaigns average just 50 days. In France, candidates have just two weeks to campaign, while Japanese law […]

United Auto Workers strike – if it happens – should channel the legacy of former union leader Walter Reuther

BY: - September 3, 2023

The United Auto Workers are engaged in high-stakes labor negotiations that could lead to the union’s first simultaneous strike against all of Detroit’s Big Three automakers: General Motors, Ford and Stellantis, the company that owns Chrysler. After decades of making concessions to their employers, the union’s demands for pay increases and better benefits exceed what […]

How to love this broken land

BY: - September 2, 2023

When I was a child, my dad would quiz me on the kinds of trees growing in our yard and throughout the acres of sloping timber behind our house. Cherry tree, shagbark hickory, red oak, white oak, pin oak. I learned their names like they were dear friends. I knew the ditch flowers, too, gathering […]

I got a letter from the IRS.

BY: - September 1, 2023

We’ve been taught to fear the Internal Revenue Service. For most of my adult life, the taxman has been the bogeyman of American politics. Ronald Reagan tried to shrink the agency early in his presidency but apparently reversed course. By the end of his tenure, the IRS had added workers. Large bipartisan majorities in Congress acted to rein in an […]

Will mega-convenience store chains drive out the competition?

BY: - August 31, 2023

It is a pleasant drive, our journey to work in the morning. We get on North Union Road, a county black top two lane passage, and proceed toward Cedar Falls. For a while, the road runs parallel to the Cedar River, then by a collection of well-maintained residences and finally, as one approaches the intersection […]

Iowa landowners in pipeline’s path ask: ‘We’re supposed to take one for the team?’

BY: - August 30, 2023

Here we go again! Once again, we’re talking about putting pipelines across Iowa – and a private company is pursuing Iowa’s eminent domain power. Here in Boone County in 2015, we went through this with an oil pipeline — the Dakota Access Pipeline; it runs only a quarter mile from our farm. Now Summit Carbon […]