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Columnists

Wearing masks is sign of respect, civic duty

It became evident early in the coronavirus virus pandemic that older adults and those with certain medical conditions are at higher risk for complications and death, and that nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable. The Iowa Veterans Home has been able to limit the impact on our ...

Our totalitarian moment

America feels like it’s falling apart. That’s because it is. There are two ways to achieve unity in any group. The first is to set up a few serious standards of conduct, policed with the absolute minimum of compulsion, and then allow freedom in all other matters. This was the founding ...

Burlington Iron Works winding stairs still functional

It’s worth a road trip to see. Located in Traer, north of Tama, the Winding Stairs is an Iowa Historic Site. Thousands of feet have worn the iron steps smooth. Not just any ordinary winding stairs, it boasts a catwalk at the summit leading to the second floor of what used to be the newspaper ...

Protesting for Black Lives in Trump Country

I grew up biracial in a small, conservative town. Still, after living for years in Austin, moving back to one was a culture shock — it felt like going back in time. For the last three years I’ve lived in Volusia County, Florida — home to Daytona Beach, many small towns and suburbs, and ...

Could China’s strategic pork reserve be a model for the US?

During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, we became accustomed to face-masked shoppers, social distancing and one-way aisles at the grocery store. But most shocking was the scene at the supermarket meat case. Some meat processing plants closed or reduced capacity as workers contracted ...

Immigrant meatpacking workers: essential or disposable?

Meatpacking plants, particularly the big national and international companies, have instituted a veil of secrecy. They failed in the early days of COVID-19 to tell their employees of its dangers, and more importantly, failed to institute distancing and sanitizing processes that might have ...