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October 2015
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If Any Republican Wins In 2016

There is no difference between Republicans and Republicans.

If You Love The Internet And You Vote, Read This

Freepress workshop in Iowa City

Last Thursday, Blog for Iowa attended a workshop sponsored by Freepress and American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) on the future of the internet and the 2016 presidential campaign.  It was a fun evening of information-sharing and preparing to take action.  The training focused on how to get your message out by asking the candidates well crafted questions; how to make sure you get called on at an event; how to talk to reporters and much more.

The power of the people can be stronger than the power of the corporations.

AFSC is calling for a halt to “governing under the influence” through a strategic education and action project, starting in Iowa and New Hampshire, the two states that get the lion’s share of attention from presidential candidates.

Mary Alice Crim

Workshop attendees now have our very own list-serve to stay in contact and organize!

If you love the internet and you vote, sign up with to find out about upcoming Iowa events and actions.  Freepress will be a presence in Iowa between now and the caucuses.

For a comprehensive list of candidate events in Iowa, click here.


Jeb Bush Vows To Dismantle Net Neutrality Rules If Elected

krugman gop madnessIt seems safe to assume that any Republican in the White House will do the same.

The Federal Communications Commission’s Net Neutrality rule classifies all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as “public utilities,” subjecting them to antiquated “common carrier” regulation. Rather than enhancing consumer welfare, these rules prohibit one group of companies (ISPs) from charging another group of companies (content companies) the full cost for using their services. Small broadband operators—like KWISP (475 customers in rural Illinois) and Wisper ISP (8,000 customers near St. Louis, Mo)—have declared under penalty of perjury that the Net Neutrality rule has caused them to cut back on investments to upgrade and expand their networks.

He’s made it clear this would happen early in his administration, promising to “start” a Jeb Bush presidency by undoing Obama’s regulatory accomplishments. Actually pulling that off would require passing legislation to topple the net neutrality framework — or appointing new FCC commissioners who would vote to roll back the rules. Whichever path he chooses, Bush seems determined to make his mark on the internet in short order if he reaches the Oval Office.

More CAFOs Are Coming – What Everyone Can Do

Factory farms poisoning IowaJefferson County Farmers & Neighbors

Joe Maxwell, Senior Political Director of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, addresses the role everyone can play in protecting our communities at the upcoming JFAN Annual Meeting More CAFOs Are Coming – What YOU Can Do. The meeting will be held October 7 at 7:15 pm at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center, 200 N. Main Street, Fairfield, Iowa.

It doesn’t matter if you’re living in a rural or urban community, the Iowa pork industry is rapidly expanding, and many communities are threatened by infringing CAFOs. The push to fill Southeast Asia’s growing demand for pork is, in a large part, driving much of Iowa’s CAFO expansion. Exports currently account for 26% of Iowa’s current pork production. If the Trans Pacific Partnership is passed, the Iowa Pork Producers Council predicts Iowa pork exports will increase by 50% over the next 10 years.

That means we need to increase our efforts to protect our communities.

More CAFOs Are Coming – What YOU Can Do is an empowering, action-oriented event that addresses four community organizing/activist approaches to safeguarding our neighborhoods: deterrent actions, legal avenues, legislative changes, and consumer activism. Everyone who wants to stop unwanted CAFOs from invading Iowa has the ability and power to do something.

A seasoned anti-CAFO activist, livestock farmer, and former Missouri lawmaker, Joe Maxwell will speak on the necessity for all Iowans to stand up for their basic human rights to clean air, clean water, and safe food. He will discuss what it takes to galvanize people politically in order to protect against infringing CAFOs.

Most importantly, Maxwell will share what EVERYONE can do to fight back against these unwanted CAFOs. Whether you’re a rural resident facing a current threat, a rural resident wanting to defend your good quality of life, or a city resident concerned about CAFOs coming closer to your borders, there is something you can do. Everyone eats, and a special emphasis will be placed on the power of Consumer Activism.

JFAN Board member Jocelyn Engman, co-owner of Pickle Creek Herbal, will also address what it means to be a Good Neighbor, and JFAN president David Sykes will present a legal update. A panel discussion will be held at the conclusion of the meeting.

Maxwell, a long-time advocate for humane, independent, traditional farming practices, is Senior Political Director for the Humane Society Legislative Fund. He’s currently working to launch a state legislative campaign and to increase political influence for humane and independent livestock production at the state and federal levels.

Maxwell served as a state elected official for 14 years, including two terms in the recent Missouri House of Representatives and one in the Missouri Senate before being elected Lt. Governor in 2000. During his tenure, Maxwell supported family farm and traditional animal husbandry practices while working against large-scale, industrialized livestock facilities.

Maxwell played a major role in developing and implementing a strategy to fight the Missouri Right to Farm amendment in 2014. The campaign roused public opinion against the amendment with a dramatic come-from-behind surge that nearly defeated the measure – all on a fraction of the budget of the industrial Ag campaign. He also was instrumental in advocating for North Carolina’s 10-year hog confinement moratorium passed in 1997.

Maxwell grew up on a family farm, and along with his brother Steve, he raises humanely certified hogs under the Global Animals Partnership 5 Step Animal Welfare Rating Program.

The JFAN Annual Meeting is co-sponsored by the Southeast Iowa Food Hub, Leopold Group Sierra Club, solar-powered KRUU-FM, Sustainable Living Center, Radish Magazine, and Little Village Magazine.

Admission is free; a donation of $5 is welcome to support JFAN’s mission.

JFAN is a 501(c)(3) educational foundation working to protect the quality of life for Jefferson County residents since 2005. Our efforts successfully help to deter the proliferation of CAFOs in Jefferson County. All donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

For more information, visit our website or our Facebook page.

State Senator Rob Hogg To Announce Run For U.S. Senate

Announcement In Callender, 11 Other Communities During Three-Day Announcement Tour

CEDAR RAPIDS – Rob Hogg, Democratic state senator from Cedar Rapids, will be announcing his candidacy for the United States Senate on a three-day tour of the state, starting on Tuesday, September 22, in Callender, Iowa, a community 15 miles southwest of Fort Dodge.

“I will be making my announcement in Callender as a symbol of my support for small towns and rural Iowa,” Hogg said. “I am also announcing in Callender because my grandmother was born in Callender in 1902 and family is important to me.”

Hogg, age 48, is serving his third term in the Iowa Senate after two terms in the Iowa House. He was first elected in 2002. In the Iowa Legislature, he has served as chair of the Senate Rebuild Iowa Committee (2009-10), the Senate Judiciary Committee (2013-14), and the Senate Government Oversight Committee (2015-pesent). In addition to serving in the Iowa Legislature, Hogg is an attorney in private practice in Cedar Rapids.

Hogg is a fourth generation Iowan, growing up in Iowa City, where he also got his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa. He and his wife, Kate, have been married 25 years. They have three children, two in college and one in high school. They are members of Christ Episcopal Church in Cedar Rapids.

More information is available at or by calling 319-360-3401.

Below are the stops on his announcement tour.

Tuesday, September 22

Callender – 10 a.m., Callender City Park Shelter, at the corner of Thomas Street (D43) and Mortimer Street (P33), in Callender. (In case of inclement weather, the announcement will be at the Callender Community Center, 505 Thomas Street.)

Des Moines – 12:30 p.m., East Side Public Library, 2559 Hubbell Avenue, in Des Moines.

Iowa City – 5:15 p.m., University of Iowa Democrats meeting, Room 14 Schaeffer Hall, University of Iowa, in Iowa City (southeast building on the Pentacrest).

Cedar Rapids – 7:00 p.m., IBEW Local 405, 1211 Wiley Boulevard SW, in Cedar Rapids.

Wednesday, September 23

Waterloo – 9:00 a.m., Waterloo Public Library, 415 Commercial Street, in Waterloo (this event will be outside, but in case of inclement weather, second floor open area past reference desk).

Dubuque – 11:30 a.m., Dubuque Carnegie-Stout Public Library, Lacey Board Room, 360 W. 11th Street, in Dubuque.

Davenport – 1:30 p.m., Fairmount Public Library, Small Meeting Room, 3000 N. Fairmount Street, in Davenport.

Burlington – 4:00 p.m., Burlington Public Library, Small Board Room, 210 Court Street, in Burlington.

Thursday, September 24

Ottumwa – 9:00 a.m., Ottumwa Public Library, Mary Lemon Room, 102 West 4th Street, in Ottumwa (lower floor of library).

Creston – Noon, Southwestern Community College, Performing Arts Building – Multipurpose Room (Room 124), 1501 W. Townline Street, in Creston.

Council Bluffs – 3:00 p.m., Council Bluffs Public Library, Meeting Room D, 400 Willow Avenue, in Council Bluffs.

Atlantic – 5:00 p.m., Atlantic Public Library, Meeting Room A, 507 Poplar Street, in Atlantic.

Paid for by Rob Hogg for U.S. Senate, Inc.

Branstad Vetoed Public School Money To Give To Private Schools

T.BranstadThe headline of this story,  Branstad Advocates for School Choice, makes it sounds like Governor Branstad is doing something good. Nothing could be further from the truth. Branstad is signaling his next move to dismantle public education. He is following the ALEC agenda to privatize everything, including education.

The article is about Branstad’s plan to lay the groundwork for further erosion of public school funding while directing more money for private schools.

DES MOINES | Gov. Terry Branstad touted himself as a champion for school choice Wednesday and pledged to try to boost funding next year for a tax credit supporting scholarships for low-income students attending private schools if state finances allow for an increased investment.

Branstad also told the group that funding for tax breaks to private K-12 school donors under the state’s student tuition organization tax credit has increased from $7.5 million in 2010 to $12 million now and he would seriously consider ACE’s request to boost it to $15 million in the fiscal 2017 state budget.

The GOP governor’s comments come at a time when public education advocates claim Iowa school children are being short-changed after a contentious 2015 budget session in which the Legislature forged a bipartisan plan to spend an extra $55.7 million in one-time money for K-12 schools, which Branstad vetoed.

(click here to read the entire story)

Is The Iowa Utilities Board Working For Big Oil?

Bakken Pipeline Proposed RouteCCI Action Fund

The Bakken Pipeline fight is heating up, but you can take action today.

The Iowa Utilities Board just announced November 12-16 for the Bakken Pipeline evidentiary hearing. This adheres to Dakota Access’ construction timeline, making it clear that the Iowa Utilities Board is working for Big Oil.

The Rock Island Army Corps of Engineers, a government agency that is responsible for investigating, developing and maintaining the nation’s water and related environmental resources, is evaluating permits for the proposed Bakken Pipeline under their “Nationwide” permitting process which means they’re just assessing segments, not all of the pipeline.

Tell the Army Corps of Engineers to use an “Individual” permit for the entirety of the proposed Bakken Pipeline to assess the impacts from start to finish!

The individual permit is more stringent, will require a public comment period and could delay the permitting timeline for 3-5 years.

The Army Corps is making their decision on how to assess in the next month. That, along with IUB’s hearing adhering to Dakota Access’ construction timeline, means we need at least 500 folks to take action by mid-October.

The pipeline would cross every major waterway in our state, and would cross tiled farmland. An oil spill would impact entire watersheds and spread through tiled land into our rivers and streams. The Army Corps cannot just evaluate segments – they must evaluate the entirety of the proposed Bakken Pipeline!

Tell the Army Corps they must assess the entirety of the proposed Bakken Pipeline – our water and land depend on it.


Workshop: Can We Live Free Of Corporate Control?

al franken on net neutralityHost: Free Press Action Fund

Where: Old Brick Church and Community Center, 26 E. Market St.,  Iowa City

When: Thursday, September 17 at 6:00 p.m.

What: Join the Free Press Action Fund and the American Friends Service Committee for this special workshop on the future of the Internet and the presidential campaign. We’ll give you all the tools you need to push candidates to stand up for the open Internet. You’ll leave with training, a toolkit and skills so you can advocate for an open and free internet and the candidates who support it!

Can you join us in Iowa City on Thursday?

Click here for more details and to RSVP

Sorry, I can’t make it, but I’m interested in getting more updates

This Week On The Fallon Forum: Bishop Richard Pates Advocates Climate Change Action

Ed Fallon, "People need to be thinking of what changes they can make in their own life."

Ed Fallon, “People need to be thinking of what changes they can make in their own life.”

The Fallon Forum is broadcast live on Mondays from 11:00-12:00 noon CDT on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online.  The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m. and Wednesday on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m. Podcasts available, too.

Dear Friends,

I am honored to have Bishop Richard Pates of the Des Moines Catholic Diocese on today’s Fallon Forum.

Responding to Pope Francis’ encyclical addressing climate change, Bishop Pates wrote “An honest conversation acknowledges that humans are causing much of the recent climate change . . . The dialogue we need is not about whether to act on clime change but how to act.” (The Des Moines Register, July 2, 2015)

Bishop Pates goes on to challenge us to action, saying, “With presidential candidates already visiting us regularly, I encourage Catholics across our state, and all people of good will, to talk to them and ask not if, but how, they plan to work toward solutions to climate change.”

Already, 2015 has been a big year for climate action, with two major events still on the horizon:

* Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. this month, including a first-ever address by a pontiff to a joint session of Congress.

* The United Nations Climate Summit in Paris, November 30 – December 11, where expectations are high that a serious climate agreement might at last be attained.

I am grateful for Bishop Pate’s clarion call to faith-based action on behalf of creation and our planet. And I am grateful to all who are engaged in principled acts of conscience leading up to these two landmark moments in the face of escalating climate disasters. There are so many encouraging citizen-based actions in progress right now, it’s impossible to note them all. But let me mention three:

1. The Climate Mobilization, a promising new initiative challenging presidential candidates, other elected leaders, and all of us to confront climate change honestly and commit ourselves to “a World War II-scale emergency climate mobilization to protect civilization from the climate crisis.” If you haven’t yet signed the Pledge to Mobilize, please do.

2. Activists, including some of last year’s participants in the Great March for Climate Action, are fasting for eighteen days in front of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) building in Washington, DC. In advance of the Pope’s visit, they hope to call on FERC to stop issuing permits for fracking.

3. The People’s Pilgrimage chronicles an informal network of concerned people heading to Paris for the U.N. Climate Summit, or those who plan to be there in spirit. The initiative’s website says, “You can cross a continent, or only walk a mile. It’s up to you. You can do it any way you like – walk, cycle or some other low or zero fossil fuel means. What matters is the spiritual journey and that you use the journey to reflect on the risks of climate change.”

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

Now-December – Utilities Board deliberations pipeline (ND, SD, IA, IL)
In Iowa, for details on the evolving schedule, visit For questions on how you can have your voice heard in the process, contact Ed Fallon at or the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Facebook Page.

How To Purge Donald Trump From Your Daily Consciousness

pet rock with sunglasses[Dave Bradley has the weekend off. The Sunday Funday civics quiz will be back next week!]

Think about it.

There is really no reason for the media to be talking about Donald Trump incessantly, for the past however many unbearably torturous weeks it has been since they began doing so.

So he is running for president. So what? There are a dozen or so other GOP candidates for president. So what if DT has a bit of a polling lead?  (The polling lead is just how the media explains to itself and viewers why they are spending so much time talking about the Donald).  It still is absolutely no reason to justify the tsunami of TV blather we are drowning in at this time.

Really, think about it. We’re all entertaining thoughts of Donald Trump in our minds multiple times a day, every day, simply because we come across his name and image in the media probably dozens of times every day, possibly hundreds I bet, if we were counting.

Even we liberals and progressives who completely understand the idiocy of it all, end up posting and commenting and having conversations with friends on Facebook about DT. In my case, I’m doing it right now even though I have been actively resisting it.

The two phenomena that come to mind when I try to think of what it reminds me of are (1) streaking, a trend during the 80’s where suddenly it was a thing to crash an event by running across a stage or a room naked. And (2) pet rocks. I can’t remember what decade this was, maybe the 70’s, but all of a sudden you could buy pet rocks everywhere and everyone did. And then suddenly, both things abruptly ended. And that was that. No purpose, just an idiot thing that humans did for reasons entirely unknown even to themselves.

The mass media controls our unconscious minds. Yes, this is really true. They do it with imagery and fake realities and repetition. The din of the mass media is so loud it drowns out the real reality. Like trying to have a conversation in a noisy bar, you have to shout to be heard and strain to hear someone else who is shouting to be heard and it is so tiring you just give up trying to communicate.

Does this sound like a tin foil hat conspiracy theory? Just ask yourself, do you really want to be having a conversation with your co-worker or your friend about Donald Trump? No, so then why are we all doing it? If you think the mass media doesn’t affect your ability to think straight, I challenge you to try not having a conversation or a thought about the Donald for a single day right now.

We can’t do it. Because images were our original form of thought and communication. And TV is an incredibly powerful image-based medium, now magnified by the internet. It is virtually impossible to banish the imagery from our brains. Advertisers and media and people like DT know this.

What we can do is raise our own awareness of the things that are put into our brains just because it is in the media, that are not in there because we are choosing it to be in there, like for example, reading a book. We need to ask ourselves how much of anything we see and hear in the media is true and make an effort to find out. We need to stop just reading headlines and absorbing media narratives without question.

Increased insight and awareness is the only way to clear our minds of the fog created by the images imposed upon us by the vast wasteland that is the corporate media.

Or turn off the TV.  Or join the fight for media reform.

**Update: Or you can get the brower app that replaces “Donald Trump” with “some rich asshole.” Available on Chrome and Mozilla.  Read some reviews:

You need this if you want to #MakeAmericaGreatAgain

Sure is nice not having to see whatshisname’s name in my twitter feed.