I
am writing to express my concerns about Iowa House File 852, the act
relating to a "real-time electronic repository" to monitor and
control over-the-counter products containing any detectable amount of
pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, etc. This new act is very expensive
($230,000 to $288,000) to be payed out of the State General Fund,
plus an ongoing cost of $30,000 to $86,000. Does the State of Iowa
need to spend this much more money when the current laws have proven
to be effective?

According
to the Legislative Services Agency's Fiscal Note on HF852 since the
implementation of the 2005 Methamphetamine Act, in Fiscal Year 2006
there was a decrease of 430 meth-lab incidents reported compared to
FY 2005, and there has been a 78-percent reduction in the number of
meth-lab incidents reported per month from FY 2004 through FY 2006.

We
are on the doorstep of an economic recession! Anyone remember the
last recession during the Regan/Bush Sr. years? I do, and I was one
of the many working poor during those years. I feel the State of Iowa
should not spend higher amounts of money on the "meth war" during
the present economic shortages!

It
would be nice to have all the funds necessary to protect everybody
from everything, but that is not reality. The current laws are
enough, and new, more expensive laws are not necessary at this time.

 

Carol
Berry

Colfax,
Iowa

 

 

We
Will Not Abandon You

The
lack of support shown by national lawmakers to give troops the
support needed to achieve their mission has become egregious.
Americans wag at political assertions of troop support as the mission
is obstructed. Every day, it seems as if another public official has
claimed that victory in Iraq is impossible. This would come as quite
a shock to the fighting soldiers. They know better. They also know
that such proclamations are made solely for political gain, and are
perhaps most welcomed by the enemies they fight.

It
is past the time for national lawmakers to abandon their political
investment in defeat. We must reassure our fighting men and women
that they aren't fighting alone.

What
can the average American do to back up our troops when our national
lawmakers will not? This is a question I get asked frequently. The
answer is: "Take it to the states." Several states have already
stepped forward with resolutions that promise to "not abandon our
service men and women in this time of war and pledge full support of
them and their efforts to secure victory."

Exactly
one year ago, defeat seemed a forgone conclusion to many. Groups of
"experts" sought an "honorable exit." But Vets for Victory, a
pro-troop and pro-mission organization I head, began working with
state lawmakers who were as frustrated about this as the people they
represent. The result was a legislative proclamation telling the
troops, "We will not abandon you."

Last
February, average Oklahomans working with their state lawmakers rose
up to declare such support. Despite the midterm elections and the
pessimistic Iraq Study Group report, more than 1,000 veterans and
troop supporters filled the plaza at the State Capitol building to
take a stand on their behalf. A respectable group of bipartisan
lawmakers were also in attendance and read the state's pledge to
not abandon the troops.

Vermont
followed suit with its own proclamation in May. In June, Florida's
Hillsborough County of 6 million people became the first non-state
government to pass the resolution. And last November, the
Massachusetts legislature followed with a strong variant of the bill.
The Florida State Legislature will consider its own version this
spring.

Do
such resolutions matter? The soldiers and their families sure think
so. And state legislators know they have to pump gas and buy
groceries with their voters when the legislative session ends by
summer in most states. To be fair, lawmakers are relieved when they
are not alone in their views of backing the troops and their mission
when all political "savvy" would suggest leaving it alone.

Now
is time to act at the state level. National media and political
groups have allowed opponents of the war a steady national say. When
the surge began to bear fruit, they began to focus their tactics of
defeat by attacking the integrity and character of our men and women
that serve in uniform or as contractors.

First,
soldiers and Marines were subjected to despicable political
statements asserting instant guilt regarding war crimes that never
were, with no apologies forthcoming upon acquittal.

Then
we saw the same tactic in the celebrated Blackwater case. The media
circled with vulture-like appetite to declare all contractors as
out-of-control criminals. These former soldiers and law-enforcement
agents obviously chucked all their integrity and character the moment
they took a paycheck from a private firm to serve their country as
civilians.

Now
we see returning veterans caught in the blast of hit pieces
portraying us as maladjusted beings of pity, likely to kill our loved
ones and then come after you. Please don't tell my wife.

Instead,
tell your local lawmakers. Enough is enough. Ask them to sponsor a
resolution declaring that your state will not abandon the troops.
This simple official message tells our troops that their sacrifice
will not be in vain. It also goes a long way toward raising the
morale of our troops instead of our enemies.

 

LTC
Steve Russell (Ret.)

Oklahoma
City, Oklahoma

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