Category: Governing

The Death Penalty Debate In Iowa

State Senator Kent Sorenson (R-Milo) has been busy so far this session making an aggressive public push to have Iowa reinstate the death penalty.  The main impetus for this was the horrifying double murder of two young cousins in Evansdale last year—an act that certainly justifies the punishment.  Having said that, now is not the time to suck up energy and oxygen on something that even Sorenson himself agrees will not make it to the Governor’s desk.

The Death Penalty As An Issue

The issue itself has two main facets—the morality of capital punishment and the legal system which weighs the evidence and carries out the sentence.  The morality concerns in my view are simply ridiculous, as the idea in principal that someone guilty of …

Challenging Iowa’s Proposed Education Reforms: Part 1 of 3 (Increased Teacher Pay)

Later this session the Iowa Legislature will debate various measures, namely the Governor’s, designed to improve the performance of our state’s K-12 schools.  There are three main components to the Governor’s proposal and in a continuing series we will look at each separately.  Today we start with the most expensive—the $160 million for increasing the base teacher salary from $28,000 to $35,000 over the next three years.

First things first here, before they appropriate an additional dime of taxpayer money to this system it is both fair and prudent that at least three simple questions be asked and answered—Who are the great teachers in Iowa? Who are the average teachers? and Who are the bad teachers?

To clarify, by “who” I mean a literal list …

Completely Pointless and Utterly Absurd

First, some chemistry; iodine turns black when exposed to starch. So, a lighter ink which contains iodine will turn black when it comes into contact with starch, which is included in the manufacturing process of standard copy paper. When the ink is used on paper that doesn’t contain starch (such as most paper made with cotton fiber instead of wood pulp) the ink will maintain a sort of brownish-yellow color.

If you pay for gasoline with a fifty dollar bill, chances are the cashier will make a mark on it with a counterfeit detector pen. American currency, made of cotton fiber and not including starch, will leave the ink that lighter color. Counterfeit currency printed on regular paper will make the ink turn black.

Interestingly …

Polk County Central Committee Meeting: Once Again Drama Dominates

Last night’s Polk County Central Committee meeting was a harbinger for both good and bad things to come for the future of Republicans in Polk County.

The Highlights

Among the several speakers to address the committee were Polk County Sheriff candidate Dan Charleston and Senator Rick Bertrand (pictured at right).  Charleston has been very active in his attempt to unseat his boss Bill McCarthy, who has once again doubled down on his support for spreading controversial traffic cameras throughout Iowa.  His bid to remove McCarthy will not be easy, however, this is an outcome that becomes more possible with McCarthy supporting a hot-button policy that the majority of Iowans reject.  While Conservatives throughout Polk County will be rightly focused on state and Congressional seats in …

The Tea Party Comes To Ankeny: An Interview With Stacey Rogers (Part 1 of 2)

This is part 1 of a 2 part interview.  Part 2 deals with Obama care, education reform, illegal immigration, the Tea Party, and other topics.  It can be linked to at the conclusion of this installment, or by clicking here.

With a 68% increase in population since 2000, and Bloomberg reporting it is now the fastest growing city in Iowa, there is no doubt that Ankeny is rapidly expanding.

As population over the last few years has shifted to Ankeny, so too has the ideological focus of the Republican Party shifted to the right.  Just how far right this Des Moines suburb, and longtime Republican stronghold, has moved politically will go a long way in determining who wins the Republican primary to represent …

The Lost Art of Governing

The world of modern American politics has often been described as “Hollywood for the ugly.” While this may or may not be true, politicians are indeed asking us to do what film directors do when we attend the movies—suspend disbelief. Removing reality and practicality certainly facilitates a good story and makes for fantastic special effects, but when these principles are used in running a government the results are, predictably, disastrous.

Though you wouldn’t think you would have to inform our elected officials of such things, the sad truth is that every non-creative discipline is subject to cumbersome, but necessary confines. In other words—reality.

This is true not only in the fields of engineering, architecture, aviation, music, and chemistry, but also in governing. The skill in …

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