Dear Editor:

Two years ago I stopped watching news on TV. I ordered a daily newspaper and read it every day. If I have a question and want to explore an issue more fully, I go on line to other newspapers and read additional information. 

Reading led me to write editorials and emails to friends and people in the state and federal government -- phone numbers in my phone contacts for Ernst, Grassley, Finkenbauer, Reynolds, Bergan, Breitbach, Loebsack, Axne -- email lists bookmarked for Iowa and federal reps and committee heads.

As I quit listening to people yelling at me on TV and zipping along to the next outrageous thing, I found I had plenty of time to read and think and wonder. I defined my values: family, neighbors (world wide as well as next door), kids getting food and not being hurt, sticking up for myself and respecting others. I started writing while rereading my source material to make sure I was not straying with my own prejudices or partial bits of a story. I email friends to write and call in their own opinions.

Recently I visited a friend who had her TV on. Even though it was silenced we would turn on the sound briefly for the big outrages. I cannot remember what I saw or what we talked about very well. People going to jail ... sites being created for women to love a politician ... havoc and mayhem ... it is so hard to think when someone is shouting and others are shouting back. But maybe that is the point. In the end, I do not want someone else to think for me. News on TV is like junk food ... addicting but not sustaining.

Get a newspaper, read and think and remember; ask questions of the politicians who say they have your best interests at heart. You can have some fun with this activity ... after you go through the sobering moments. Do it for your kids and grandkids and those you love.

Nancy Eldridge