February 28, 2024

Letter to the Editor: They’re mushrooms

On a drive-about that included Altoona, Bondurant, and Ankeny I saw dozens if not a hundred new, massive structures, empty — waiting for stuff to arrive by trucks to then leave again by trucks, possibly to another of the massive buildings a few miles away. It is like a form of fungal reproduction.

Now I know that mushrooms reproduce through spores that apparently are airborne as the mushroom breaks the service of the ground, but there must be some sort of pollination going on here that I am not aware of. I can think of nothing more analogous to these giant structures than huge, cavernous fungi. They seem to pop up overnight. And then there is stuff moving from one part of the building to another, from one building to another, having at one time moved from the point of manufacture and will end finally at the place where it will be consumed.

We now call this process the supply chain. This is a new term that entered our vocabulary when we experienced deprivation with COVID. Suddenly, there were items not found. This was viewed with horror. For instance, toilet paper became a very valuable item. The stores couldn’t keep what little they had in stock for the pursuit of toilet paper by the public was ravenous. What would we do without toilet paper?

Of the 350,000,000 people that live in this county, if the “supply chain” suddenly disappeared, 349,000,000 would have no food. That is a thought that should get one’s attention. The fact that someone is gay or transgender or some other variety of human, would seem to be irrelevant. No one would have anything to eat. I suppose that is when the guns come out. Of course, if everyone has a gun, that’s when the real shooting begins.

If you and your children are starving, you do what you have to do to eat. Simple really. I often wonder about the things that we complain about, or argue about, or get upset with. So our legislature doesn’t like that our teachers actually acknowledge there are gay and transgender people in their schools. The horror! Is this what they are elected to think about? What possible benefit does it do to anyone to pick on people other than to show you are a bully.

Unfortunately, it would appear that our legislators and our governor are bullies. They showed it during the protest of Black Lives Matter, they are showing it in their actions against teachers and librarians, they are preparing laws to enact that are nothing but to bully people they don’t like for whatever reason they don’t like them.

We have a government of bullies, smug ones, believing that that is why they were elected — to bully people. I can only hope that the people who voted for them are not themselves bullies. I find most people, when approached, are friendly and not bullies, and in fact, don’t much care for one person bullying another. But they have elected a legislature full of bullies. Seems incongruous. I wish it weren’t so. Maybe you could suggest to your legislator that he or she begin thinking about the things that matter — not who can go to which bathroom.

If you wonder how I made the transition from cavernous warehouses to bullies so quickly; it’s called a mind that wanders uncontrollably.

Richard E. H. Phelps