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Peace Soup supper with Maggie Tinsman on Tuesday PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Sallyann McCarthy   
Tuesday, 26 February 2013 15:07

Due to Winter weather conditions, this event has been postponed.  --- Editor, Tuesday Feb 26 2pm

“Peace Soup” – the annual supper and discussion series held on Tuesday evenings throughout Lent will feature former Iowa State Senator Maggie Tinsman on Tuesday, February 26th, at 6 pm in St. Boniface Hall, 2520 Pershing Blvd., Clinton.

On February 26th, former Iowa State Senator, Maggie Tinsman will lead a discussion on “Human Trafficking” which is among the largest and fastest growing criminal enterprises in the world.  While active in the State Senate, Ms. Tinsman introduced the legislation that made human trafficking a felony in Iowa.

Tinsman, currently operates a consultant business, “Maggie Tinsman, LLC”, specializing in early childhood education development, lobbying for health and human services issues, and promoting elected public service for women.  She and Jean Lloyd-Jones, also a former Iowa State Senator, founded an organization called 50/50 in 2020 to recruit, train, and mentor women for elected positions.  Currently, Tinsman has become a major speaker on the “Global and Local Problems of Human Trafficking”.

Tinsman’s past experiences include serving as an elected official for the Scott County Board of Supervisors for eleven years and then going on to serve as an Iowa State Senator for 18 years.  Honors include recognition as Quad Cities Woman of the Year, Citizen of the Year, Iowa Social Worker of the Year, Child Abuse Council Priorities Award, and Coalition of Family and Children Services Award, among others.

Tinsman earned her BA in Sociology from the University of Colorado, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and later received her Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Iowa.  In 2008, she received an Honorary Doctor of Public Service Degree from St. Ambrose University. Currently, she serves on the Boards of Iowa Public Health, Prevention of Disabilities Policy Council, American Lung Association of Iowa, Iowa Legal Aid Foundation, SAL Families and Community Services, and Scott County KIDS Board.

For the 7th year, Prince of Peace Parish Pax Christi and the Clinton Franciscan Center for Active Nonviolence and Peacemaking are co-sponsoring the free series which includes a simple supper of homemade soup and bread followed by a program and discussion.  This year the programs center on the topic of faith’s response to violence.  And this year, the series is being held on Tuesday evenings.

“Everyone is welcome,” said Pax Christi chair, Gabriela Egging, “All anyone need bring is an appetite for good conversation and for good soup.”

Details on the 2013 Peace Soup series are available at and at or by calling Prince of Peace Parish at 563-242-3311 or Sisters of St. Francis, 563-242-7611.  The series is free and open to the public. No registration is required.


Foreign Service and Diplomacy PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 26 February 2013 15:06
Diplomacy By Osmosis
Lack Of Training In Foreign Service Hurts National Security, Expert Says

Imagine the following scenario: A 29-year-old restaurant manager becomes a U.S. diplomat. Five years later, he is appointed the founding director of the Arabian Peninsula office of the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), a major State Department program aimed at creating and strengthening civil society in a region vital to global stability.

The young diplomat has little idea how to do his new job. He speaks no Arabic, he has never managed people or a budget outside a restaurant, let alone $2 million of taxpayers' money. He knows almost nothing about democracy promotion and institution-building, and even less about grant-making -- and he is supposed to find non-governmental organizations in eight countries and award them grants to build an alternative to the authoritarian regimes across the Middle East.

Despite the diplomat's obvious inexperience, he is sent to his new post in Abu Dhabi without a day of training. The State Department expects him to learn how to do his job by osmosis, to watch colleagues, figure things out on his own and improvise.

There is no need to imagine this scenario -- it actually happened in 2004 to Hans Wechsel, an American diplomat or, to use his official title, a Foreign Service officer. Wechsel, who has an undergraduate degree in secondary education and managed restaurants in Montana and Oregon before joining the service in 1999, is the first to admit that his performance in Abu Dhabi suffered from the lack of training.

Wechsel is one of 600 diplomats interviewed at 52 U.S. embassies around the world by Nicholas Kralev for his new book, “America’s Other Army: The U.S. Foreign Service and 21st Century Diplomacy,”

So why did the State Department send a diplomat without the necessary skills -- and more importantly, without any training -- to a critical posting in the most volatile of regions that was about to experience the monumental changes of what later became known as the Arab Spring?

“Wechsel's experience is actually very common in the Foreign Service, if not the norm,” says Kralev, who covered the State Department for 10 years for the Financial Times and the Washington Times.

“Wechsel did quite well in Abu Dhabi given the circumstances, but he wishes he had arrived there with at least some of the knowledge and experience he acquired on the job. The big question is: Could the U.S. response to the Arab Spring have been more effective had American diplomats there been better trained?”

As made clear in the National Security Strategy, the White House has charged the Foreign Service with nothing short of changing the world. It has decided that the only way for the United States to be truly secure and prosperous is for the entire world to be secure and prosperous -- and it's the Foreign Service's job to help bring that world about.

“So if our very security and prosperity depend on how well American diplomats do their job, why doesn't the United States invest in diplomats’ professional development?’’ Kralev asks. “There are many talented, capable and downright heroic Foreign Service officers, but how many of them would have done even better than they have if only they had received proper training?

“Hopefully, Secretary of State-designate John Kerry, President Obama and Congress are all asking these questions.”

About Nicholas Kralev

Nicholas Kralev is an author, journalist and lecturer on international affairs, diplomacy and global travel. A former Financial Times and Washington Times correspondent, he has traveled around the world with four U.S. secretaries of state – Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright -- and visited more than 80 countries. He is the author of “America’s Other Army: The U.S. Foreign Service and 21st Century Diplomacy” and "Decoding Air Travel: A Guide to Saving on Airfare and Flying in Luxury." He is also the founder and CEO of Kralev International LLC, an air travel consulting and training company. He holds a master's degree in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

President Obama reappoints Gov. Branstad Co-Chair of Council of Governors PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Tuesday, 26 February 2013 15:00

Branstad to continue serving on national council tasked with finding effective homeland security, emergency response and National Guard measures and incorporating the state perspective into national policy discussions 

(DES MOINES) – President Barack Obama today reappointed Gov. Terry E. Branstad co-chair of the ten-governor Council of Governors. Branstad was first named to the Council as co-chair by President Obama in March 2011.

“It has been an honor to serve as co-chairman of the Council of Governors for the past two years,” said Branstad. “I want to thank President Obama for having the confidence in me to continue serving on the Council to find effective and efficient solutions to enhance the preparedness and security of our great country. In addition, I want to thank General Orr, and his fellow Adjutants General, who have been integral in their support to help drive collaboration between the Federal government and the states”

The Council of Governors was established by the National Defense Authorization Act in 2008 to strengthen further partnership between the Federal and State governments as it pertains to national security. The council is balanced by political party and serves the nation as a whole. The governors serve two-year terms and are appointed by the President. The President designates two members of different political affiliations to serve as co-chairs of the Council.

The Council is considered a premier opportunity for governors to serve at a national level.


Referendum to Increase the Sheep Assessment to be held Feb. 25 Through March 15 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Amanda Heitz   
Monday, 25 February 2013 09:21
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Sheep Industry Association have announced plans to conduct a referendum from February 25 to March 15, 2013.

As part of the referendum, all eligible producers will be able to vote on two questions, the first is whether the $.10 per head assessment on all sheep sold should be increased to $.25. The second question would allow the Iowa Sheep and Wool Promotion Board, beginning in 2016, to change the assessment rate by $.05 every three years. The Board would only be granted this authority if producers approve increasing the assessment to $.25 and the board could only make such changes by resolution only following a producer comment period.

Any producer who is actively engaged within this state in the business of producing or marketing sheep or wool and who receives income from the production of sheep or wool is eligible to participate in the referendum and is entitled to one vote.

Farmers may vote in the Iowa State University Extension office in the county in which they live. When voting each farmer will have to sign an affidavit stating they are a producer eligible to vote or provide proof of their county of residence and a sheep or wool sales receipt from the previous 12 months.

The current Sheep and Wool assessment is $.10 per head on each sheep sold by a producer and $.02 per pound of wool sold by a producer. The Iowa Sheep and Wool promotion board is governed by Iowa Code Chapter 182, which was initially passed in 1985 and was updated last year to allow for the current referendum to increase the assessment rate.

Producers with questions about the procedures or eligibility for voting in this referendum can contact the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship at (515) 281-5321 or by e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

For more information on how funds generated by the assessment are used, Iowans can contact the Iowa Sheep Industry Association at 712-790-6303 or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or find out more online at

In accordance with Iowa Code, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is responsible for holding referendum votes and all costs incurred by the Department will be reimbursed by the Iowa Sheep Industry Association.

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ISU Scott County Extension & Outreach Master Gardeners Available as Speakers PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Amanda Heitz   
Monday, 25 February 2013 09:15
ISU Scott County Extension and Outreach Master Gardeners are available as speakers for your church, civic, or community organization. Practicing gardeners who are knowledgeable and experienced on topics such as water, butterfly or rain gardens, shade gardening, vegetables, roses, native plants, tree and lawn care, and many other topics are eager to share their expertise with others interested in gardening.

Speakers are available at no cost. Call ISU Scott County Extension & Outreach at least two weeks in advance at (563) 359-7577 to schedule a talk on a gardening topic of your group’s choice. Speakers are sponsored by the Adult and Children’s Education Committees and the Garden Growers of Iowa State’s Scott County Extension and Outreach.

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