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The meet of the matter Beau Elliot

We were talking about meeting people because it was hot — well, quite warm; if you want to see hot, just wait for the future, which will be tense, as in future tense. (Of course, nobody these days knows what the future tense is, which is why we get such would-be sentences as “We will be having a party. Come stopping by. Lol.”) We were talking about meeting people because we didn’t want to talk about Bowe Bergdahl or the mess in Iraq (which no one saw coming, outside of all of us war critics in 2002) or the death of Tony Gwynn (you look up “class act” in the dictionary, you’ll find a picture of Tony Gwynn). We were talking about meeting people when Virginia said, How did you meet your girlfriends? And I cleverly said, I don’t know (although I have to admit it came out more like I dunno.) These days, of course, lots of people meet lots of other presumed people online, because that way, there are none of those awkward pauses in conversation that occur in our so-called real life. That’s the theory, anyway. Of course, gravity is just theory. Probably in the future, virtual meeting is the only way humans will meet, because who would risk a real-life meeting and catching whatever dread disease is rampant that week or that day or that hour? (Not to talk about climate change or Hawkeye football or other modern myths.) But at least, between virtual meetings, in the future, they’ll also have chatbots to chatbot them up. (Thank you, Eugene Goostman. Or maybe nyet. Or mabe not nyet. So many maybes in this world.) So what do you think about Bowe Bergdahl? Virginia said. Don’t you think his parents are a little weird?

Well, according to all the Republicans, they’re more than a little weird. I mean, his father speaks Pashto and has this long beard, so that makes him a member of the Taliban, the GOP cries, screams, whatever. The 2013 Red Sox had long beards — so, they were members of the Taliban? Probably a great number of them vote Republican. But what I really think makes Bowe Bergdahl’s parents weird is that they don’t know how to spell “Beau.” Of course, Republicans believe that Bergdahl is a traitor and his parents are worse. Or maybe (so many maybes in this world) it’s vice versa. But you have to remember that Republicans are a bit weird, to be polite. Take House Republicans; they have voted 16,162 times (give or take a time) to rescind Obamacare, knowing full well that the Senate will never go along with that. Not to mention that President Obama would veto any such bill that somehow managed to get to his desk. (He’d probably veto it before it physically landed on his desk.) Perhaps House GOPers were hoping for a Gravity sequel in which space debris zap out of the sky and demolish the Senate side of the Capitol, rendering the senators’ vote inconsequential at best. And buried at worst, which is where a lot of conservatives would like to see Senate voting. But what I find most curious about the Bergdahl affair — if that’s what it is — is that Republicans pushed Obama for years to get Bergdahl back. And once Obama did, it was wrong. Huh? The price was too high, the GOP screaming loop says. Those five Taliban prisoners were top commanders. Curious. The former top prosecutor at Guantánamo says he had never heard of them. So it sounds as if they were top Taliban commanders in theory only. (Yes, I know; gravity is “just” a theory, too.) Yikes. Could we go back to talking about meeting people?

STAFF JORDYN REILAND Editor-in-Chief ADAM GROMOTKA Opinions Editor BARRETT SONN, ASHLEY LEE, MATTHEW BYRD, JON OVERTON, BRIANNE RICHSON MIKAEL MULUGETA, SRI PONNADA, and VICTORIA VAUGHN Columnists ERIC MOORE Cartoonist EDITORIALS reflect the majority opinion of the DI Editorial Board and not the opinion of the Publisher, Student Publications Inc.,or the University of Iowa. OPINIONS, COMMENTARIES, COLUMNS, and EDITORIAL CARTOONS reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board.

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DAILYIOWAN.COM TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014 Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. — FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE U.S. CONSTITUTION


Obama plan aids college grads T

he United States has taken a monumentally important step toward ensuring the well-being of those interested in pursuing higher education. On June 9, President Barack Obama announced an overhaul of current student federal loans that will make college substantially more affordable for millions of Americans. Considering the overall improvement education gives society, as well as the how commonplace and expected that college diplomas are when searching for many jobs, we at The Daily Iowan Editorial Board applaud the president’s new student-loan plan. The biggest and best-known portion of the announced new plan is the expansion of the Pay As You Earn option. The option, which began in December 2012, allows some graduates to cap payments at 10 percent of their disposable income, with complete loan forgiveness after 20 years for those working in the private sector. As it stands, the program is not available for those with loans accrued before October 2007. Those who have not borrowed since October 2011 are also ineligible. These two groups will be eligible for the program’s benefits starting in 2015, a move that will benefit nearly 5 million more Americans, according to a factsheet released on the White House website. The new plan also includes improvements relating to loan forgiveness for active-duty military members and promoting awareness of repayment options and tax benefits for current students and graduates. This would include working with the nation’s two largest tax-preparation services, Intuit Inc. and H&R Block, to spread the word. It also includes spreading information about the cost of college, helping families and individuals decide what’s best for their budget. Considering a national average student loan

debt of $29,400 — University of Iowa students average just above that number — experienced by 71 percent of college graduates, it’s high time that the United States works to help those pursuing postsecondary education. Wherever you sit on the political spectrum, protecting our most valuable resource — our young academics — should be an easy priority to understand. How the government goes about doing so is under debate. Currently, Obama’s publicized plan has no specific budget, and politicians from both parties are working out the details. There have been talks of raising taxes for the wealthy, though many GOP members disagree with that prospect. Regardless of where the money comes from, a brief reality check helps to clarify why it’s so important to provide aid for students. The Pay As You Earn option is designed to help individuals who fall at or below 150 percent of the poverty line, $17,235 for an individual in 2013 in every state except Alaska and Hawaii. Considering a high unemployment rate for college graduates ages 20 to 29 — 13.5 percent as last reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics — and the generally increasing cost of living, any little bit helps. Also important to note is the decreasing sense of prestige associated with having a college diploma, correspondingly resulting in an increase of the number of employers who require the piece of paper even when considering candidates for low-skill, entry-level positions. A college degree is the contemporary high-school diploma, and it’s becoming more difficult to succeed without one. While Obama’s new plan is facing criticism from a number of different sources, it’s a necessary first step toward fostering better learning in the United States. We hope politicians will continue promoting postsecondary education.

President Obama speaks in the White House Rose Garden on May 27. On June 9, President Barack Obama announced an overhaul of current student federal loans that will make college substantially more affordable for millions of Americans. (Associated Press/Susan Walsh)


Planned Parenthood slander Victoria Vaughn

Stumbling along social media last week, I came across a post about Planned Parenthood that was as shortsighted as it was insensitive and frustrating. Published on a fast-read website that features such top articles as “The Sexiest Celebrity Butts” and “Mom is 53 But Looks 27,” the embedded video includes a collection of clips featuring Planned Parenthood employees being filmed without their consent, yellow journalism, sensationalizing. The video also includes a portion of an interview in which Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards mistakenly contends that the nonprofit provides mammograms, as well as an instance in which difficulties during an abortion led to the death

of a young woman. While some of the information presented — representatives’ responses to different, sensitive situations — is disheartening, more disgusting is the video’s abuse of uncomfortable, personal problems faced by millions of women every year for the sake of shock value. The abusive morals — almost always based on the darker side of religion — used to degrade the credibility of an organization designed to guide young adults through delicate issues, morals presented in this video, are harmful to society. The first aggravating claim presented is centered on the prospect that the organization somehow commits serious fraud and false advertising. While Richards’s words were unfortunate, the video makes sickening use of short, selective quoting. The interview is cut off very quickly, and while she did misspeak, Planned Parenthood does make it clear that it does not provide mammograms on its website and over the phone — as the video plainly shows.

However, the video fails to note that representatives will help individuals find a suitable location to receive the procedure. It’s also important to not forget the other helpful services the organization provides, including screenings for sexually transmitted infections, vaccines, and birth control. The second headache-inducer is how misled opponents of Planned Parenthood’s services seem to be, and the video represents this quite plainly. The organization and its clinics are medical institutions, not religious morality centers. While the reported death in a Chicago area was tragic and unfortunate, malpractice happens everywhere, even in the large, intimidating hospitals that many women might not feel comfortable going to for help. Planned Parenthood was founded on the ideas of reproductive freedom and one’s right to make decisions about her body. It’s designed to be a comfortable place to handle uncomfortable situations. A few unfortunate

clips don’t change that. While it’s hard to put personal moral stances aside for the sake of basic human empathy, slanderously diving into the dark part of human emotion for the sake of click-based advertisement revenue on a website is irresponsible and heartless. It represents a lack of humanity, a lack of understanding that things aren’t always black and white with reproductive health. Attempting to derail the image of a system designed to help confused, young adults while bigger national issues exist is petty and pathetic. There is no solution to the existence of morals or religious beliefs, because there isn’t a problem. The United States is a country in which you’re free to worship how you please, in which you can think what you want to think. It’s important to understand that this freedom extends to the scared, unsure individuals who choose to receive services offered at Planned Parenthood clinics. We should strive to be empathetic … and stop clicking on these links.

The Daily Iowan - 06/17/14  
The Daily Iowan - 06/17/14  

The Daily Iowan's print edition for Tuesday, June 17, 2014.