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The Conservative Reader:

In full harmony with the wreckless abandon that led to two northeast Iowa communities getting a combined total $100,000 in relief money for weather related damage that never happened to them, news that Cedar Rapids residents who need relief are going to take second place to other community projects.

There are some great Des Moines Register reader comments at the story site above.  Many questions, most pointed being “What is being done to ensure the next flood doesn’t cause this kind of damage?”, are being asked.  And while I can certainly agree that when rebuilding from the ground up one would want to start afresh instead of just rebuilding the same structure in the same location, one can also rebuild in phases, designing facilitities to ensure that basic services and features are available while leaving additional work for later years or donations to provide additional space.

And that is all well and good for things like the Library.  Museums can wait a bit.  I would go so far as to say that Iowans as a whole, as generous as they are, would rather see any money going to building homes, levies, drainage systems, etc. instead of non-essentials (though desirable) such as a museum. 

Also, in rethinking the Libraries that need to be rebuilt, I can undestand needing to provide additional space for internet workstations.  But with all of the content that available digitally, how much paper-based primary sources for research are really needed?  I can see liesure reading material as important, but there should be a lot of content that can be left for internet access these days, it seems. 

All that said, this topic should be about priorities and limits.  Identify the things that truly need to be fixed or replaced (like peoples homes, especially if they are living in FEMA housing), but I don’t agree with spending state money, during such hard times economically, on non-essentials.  Let the private donors solve that for now, and wait for better times to fund more cultural projects.

But government won’t change their direction just because I say they should.  Or even if the majority of Iowans say they should.  That is, until those Iowans show up at the voting booth and find better leaders.

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