Another View

The pope could inspire a green energy revolution

If you visit the Franciscan Friars Conventual of Ellicott City, Maryland, you'll notice a large solar array standing in one of their fields. The friars have dramatically reduced their electricity bill, but that's not the primary reason they invested in renewable energy.As Friar Michael Heine ...

Give officers the credit they deserve

Not every law enforcement story ends in tragedy or controversy. And not every law enforcement story receives the kind of attention it deserves.Monday's incident at the Highway 30 overpass above Center Street ended peacefully and without injury or worse because officers from the Marshalltown ...

Paying the pink tax

Women are slammed with $1,400 a year in retail markups thanks to gendered marketing.You probably think you know about all the taxes you pay. Income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes - it seems like the list is endless. But there's one tax I've been paying for most of my life that you might not ...

Tightening whose belt?

As a millennial, I take the push to ditch the estate tax personally.Listening to so-called fiscal conservatives like Representatives Kevin Brady and Mike Kelly, you'd think we were in a desperate fight for survival, with the national debt threatening our future."I cannot in good conscience ...

School funding compromise breaks gridlock, ends session

The Legislature closed out the 2015 session with Senate Democrats opting to end five months of gridlock on school funding. The goal of the compromise is to maintain educational opportunities and boost student achievement.The final agreement provides an additional $156 million for the 2015-16 ...

No taxpayer dollars for the ‘Bank of Boeing’

The Ex-Im Bank is a favor factory for politically well-connected corporations trolling for handouts.Have you heard of the Export-Import Bank? It's little-known yet high on the list of special-interest priorities these days. Created in 1934, this government agency loans money to foreign buyers ...

Diversity Sells

Ignoring the experiences of women and people of color now comes at a price for filmmakers and TV execs.From the television sets in our living rooms to our local movie theaters, diversity appears to be the new black.Fresh off the success of small-screen hits like Fox's musical drama Empire, CW's ...

Why some men have a dog and no wife

The content of this column does not in any way represent the opinion of this newspaper or, more importantly, the operator of this column who has a wife and four daughters.The later you are, the more excited your dog is to see you.Dogs don't notice if you call them by another dog's name.Dogs ...

The latest victim in the war on whistleblowers

Jeffrey Sterling learned the hard way that the feds will throw the book at anyone who embarrasses them.Jeffrey Sterling recently stood before a judge as his sentence was read. The former CIA officer, the judge declared, would spend 42 months - that's three and half years - behind bars. The feds ...

Laws of nature

Following are immutable laws of nature, many of which you will already know from personal experience.1. Law of Mechanical Repair - After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you 'll have to go the bathroom.2. Law of Gravity - Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when ...

Nonviolence for whom?

If violence isn't the answer, somebody should tell the police.Ferguson. New York. Baltimore.As cities erupt after decades of oppression and violence at the hands of police, calls for nonviolence can be deafening. "Violence isn't the answer," the moralists chide when protesters throw rocks and ...

Why not travel to Cuba?

Scuba diving off Varadero Beach shouldn't land you in hot water with Uncle Sam.If you're an American citizen, you've got one of the most valuable passports in the world. You can travel nearly anywhere, including countries Uncle Sam doesn't always get along with.If the local authorities let you ...

Ingenious ideas from the internet

This should really say "copied by Rick Deines" since it is taken from an email a friend sent to me.Sharpen a pair of scissors by cutting a sheet of sandpaper.Keep brown sugar soft by putting a couple of marshmallows in the plastic sack.To keep shoes off the floor, hang a coat rack low on the ...

Call the advertising police!

That sound you hear is my own advertising siren sounding, hoping to arrest some of the ads that now flood television.Good grief! We banned cigarette ads but we allow pharmaceutical products, liquor and beer ads, in particular the now-popular sex product ads.I saw an ad the other night that was ...

A mythical right for bigotry

Anti-LGBT activists are masking their bigotry as a quest to protect "religious freedom."The Supreme Court is now considering cases that could usher in nationwide marriage equality, and state-level gay marriage bans are falling faster than you can say "equal protection under the law."People who ...

Deflategate? What about povertygate? Or hungergate?

Can we step back from the "Deflategate" controversy for a minute or two?Why the moral outrage over about a dozen footballs that were under-inflated? I know it is wrong but on a scale of 1-10 with the obscene evil in the Middle East being a solid 10, can the football thing be more than a ...

Enhanced misinformation techniques

Torture supporters outnumbered opponents 2-to-1 on major news shows.When the Senate released its shocking report on CIA torture late last year, it renewed a debate from the Bush years about the merits of so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques."Polls released afterward suggested that most ...

Investing in schools keeps Iowans competitive

Iowa schools are crucial to a world-class education that prepares students for good jobs and strengthens our middle class.Business leaders say Iowa's shortage of skilled workers hurts their ability to grow and operate competitively. That means our state's continued success depends on support ...

Iowa courts expand their successes

The Chief Justice of Iowa's Supreme Court, Mark Cady, told legislators last week that Iowans can be proud of our state's court system, which is one of the best in the nation.The top priorities of the Judicial Branch are ensuring public safety and protecting Iowa's children. Since the ...

Don’t shortchange our students

Your advocacy is needed. The impact of the governor's school funding proposal is far below what is necessary to finance Iowa's schools. The governor is proposing to increase per pupil spending by 1.25 percent or $80 per student for the 2015-16 school year and a 2.45 percent increase or $158 per ...