***This is a letter to the editor. It is not necessarily reflective of The Iowa Standard or its views. But Iowans are welcome to submit their opinions to newsdesk@theiowastandard.com so they too can be heard.***

Is Iowa becoming the land of OZ? Just who is the “man” behind the curtain of the bill HF 737, which passed the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on April 2?

Do YOU know what the bill says? Or do you depend on what much of the media and certain entities spoon feed you? Why? Why not educate yourself and draw your own conclusions instead of what someone else tells you to think ? It’s easy to do.  Click here.

Read how this bill will affect YOU, the pet owning public and owners of all non agricultural animals. Even little critters like gerbils and goldfish. It is NOT focused on just dog/cat breeders as some try to present, but also includes YOU the public. When you access the bill, be sure to read the fiscal note as to how it will INCREASE the cost to the Judicial system of anywhere between $219,000 and$450,000, along with creating criminals of a more serious nature.

Pay close attention to the psychological/psychiatric evaluation and treatment provisions.  Of course, you pay for that, too. What rights, such as your Second Amendment right, voting rights, even current or future job, would this be setting the stage to remove?

So whom might be the man behind the curtain? Could it be HSUS, Humane Society of the United States and their good buddy ALDF, Animal Legal Defense Fund? The increase in penalties in this bill, and others like them this session, mirror the ALDF Model Law handbook.

Let’s not forget the agenda to use the legislative and legal process to, at some point, come after agriculture. Of course, there is the vehement denial, but the information is there, not hidden.

And the abhorrence of devaluing of humans to the level of equal to or lower than animals.  Resources – hsus.org, ALDF.org, peta.org, Iowa code. Unfortunately, there were some legislators that decided these claims were so far out there, that one actually laughed at me, others whispered, shook their heads, rolled eyes. Another legislator chose to email me saying they did not believe that “nonsense” and didn’t listen to “fanatics”. So, is this resource nonsense and fanatical?

Resources be blown away in the Kansas tornado.

What is it that elicits such strong reactions?  Like the Wicked Witch of the West trying to destroy Dorothy.

The claim that increased penalties will be a deterrent.  Wrong.  One research paper, The Sentencing Project, fully rejects that theory as do many other studies. All based on interviews with over 500 criminals in the U.S., England, and Sweden.  The Judiciary committee as a whole received this info, along with other validating links.

What is absolutely puzzling is how suddenly the legislature has decided this year that Iowa has an animal cruelty “crisis”.  It is such a dire “crisis”, it is a top three issue this session.  At a recent seminar, that was the current craze in buzz words.  What changed from last year?  Where are the statistics, say from the past five years to validate that claim?  Because “the man” says so, thundering from behind the curtain with smoke. Lots and lots of smoke.

What happened to the legislators that roar they strongly do not agree with the ideology of HSUS, PETA, etc., yet they act like the cowardly lion?  Is it because of promises, enticing whispers in the ear, or that the Wicked Witch of the West will send the monkeys out to destroy via smear campaigns threatening if they vote against the bill they will be labeled as enabling animal abusers?  Been done in the past with, “we vote.”

It has been told to legislators that the dog breeders are in favor of these bills.  WRONG!  There may be a few, but a lot don’t want them.  Thunder and smoke.

What happened to the promises of the Republican party to promote our rights, liberties, uphold the Constitution, back off the government micro scrutiny under the type thumb regulations, guardians of the budget?  The roar became a mew.

Could it be the more the truth is revealed, the louder “the man” becomes?  More swarms of the monkeys sent out?

Do we need more Dorothy’s to set the Munchkins free with truth?

Betsy Fickel
Garner