Letter to the Editor

OMP columns and other thoughts

Monday, March 9, 2020

See something, say something — Kudos on following up on obvious concerns and raising awareness of diabetic conditions. Having experience with a Type 1 diabetic family member, that was the first thing I thought of. Many assume people in that condition are drunk which only compounds the problem in multiple ways and could have fatal results. Remember the saying about “assume.”

Color blind — Kudos again on encouraging diversity in northwest Iowa. I’ve evaluated communities to live in when considering moves. There are many, many things to consider and appropriate weight in your mind needs to be given to each. One resource I used to evaluate the culture of a community is to learn about who the people select to represent them in all levels of government. In my case, the result regarding some of those elected was out-weighed by many other positive aspects.

Ex-felon voting rights — Ex-felon not felon is the topic of the discussion. An “ex-felon,” is someone who has been convicted of a felony but who has served his or her entire sentence and is no longer under any other form of correctional supervision. With that in mind, parolees would not be eligible and parole conditions a moot point. There are already parole requirements likely including that the able bodied work, even though it’s nearly impossible for ex-felons to get a job and integrate into society when having to mark on job applications that they’ve been convicted of a felon (homework assignment: research “ban the box”). If they do find someone willing to hire them the pay likely would not be enough to live on making restitution questionably viable. The primary goals of the criminal justice system are: accurate identification of the person responsible, fair adjudication, retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation and restoration. Focusing only on retribution feels good, I know as I’ve been the victim of crimes. But that hurts, not benefits society in the long run. Also, not all felonies are defined with evil intent (ie. involuntary manslaughter) and intent can be extremely hard to determine.

Feb 5, 2020 and COVID-19 — After the day the Constitution died when Article 1 was nullified by the very branch of government it granted power to, I worried that any president could now exert absolute control of the country. That included enacting martial law and banning elections. COVID-19 has increased those concerns. It’s possible that with the rapid and continuing deterioration of the health and wealth of the country that the solution of enforced quarantine will be enacted. Maybe that’s traitor Trump’s plan to remain in office and explains his irrational and incompetent response on top of his early devastating decisions (too many to list) that have set the country up for failure in addressing this challenge.

Founding fathers — Watching the miniseries on George Washington, I was in absolute awe of Washington and the rest of the founders/patriot soldiers and continue thinking about it days later. In particular was reference to this statement in the Declaration of Independence that I’d already had on my mind when considering the state of our current president: "We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor." This is Jefferson's final sentence; and for over 20 of the signers, that pledge would take on a woeful meaning in the years after 1776. Nine signers paid the ultimate sacrifice — their lives — for the cause of Independence. Seventeen (almost one for every three who signed) lost every penny they had and every piece of property they owned. Yet not a single one reneged on their pledge to stand "for the support of this Declaration." Oh how far this country’s idea of a leader has fallen.

— Diane Smith, Spencer