Dispute damaging to Omaha’s image

Last month, I had to call 911 for a medical emergency at my home. Within minutes, there was a crew at my house. They helped me calm down and gave the needed assistance without hesitation. They were kind, caring and capable. But above all, they were professionals.

It is beyond puzzling to me how a whole group of city employees — employees who have chosen to take on the job of coming to the rescue no matter what time of the day or night; who often face predators while trying to help others; indeed, who are willing to endanger their own lives each time they walk into a burning building in order to save lives — are villianized and portrayed as a group of workers who are out to break the bank so they can line their own pockets.

This ridiculous feud between two leaders who should be showing solid support for the work the firefighters do is not only infantile but degrading and demoralizing to the Omaha firefighters.

What kind of image of Omaha is being portrayed not only to other Nebraskans but nationwide because of this adolescent tit-for-tat?

Bonnie MacDissi, Omaha

Fire negotiations doomed from start

Omaha Fire Chief Mike McDonnell is an employee of the City of Omaha and reports to the mayor. I point this out because, based on his endless support for the union contract, it would appear that McDonnell is a paid employee of the fire union.

How can the taxpayers of Omaha ever achieve cost-cutting in the Fire Department when the chief and the president of the union are on the same side?

Richard Hill, Omaha

Stop the sabotage of Obamacare

By now, most Americans are aware that expanded Medicaid has been rejected by Republican governors in 21 states (including Gov. Dave Heineman and the Nebraska Legislature) for millions of poor workers. Selfish and deliberate, this sabotage was for one reason only: to weaken the Affordable Care Act. The goals were to exact revenge, show no mercy, leave no survivors and offer no alternatives.

In that same spirit, virtually every Nebraska congressperson (and Heineman) has in recent weeks either written press releases blasting Obamacare or voted to repeal it. Sensing vulnerability due to the health care law’s implementation, these Nebraska officials are moving in for the kill like a pack of hungry wolves: Devour and eviscerate the prey, make Obamacare go away and leave no trace, forever.

The shame of it is that these would-be takers would not only destroy the many, new, redeeming and positive benefits of health care reform but would leave nothing on the option table but shallow, insincere foofaraw.

If these Nebraska Republicans are really serious about improving their image and endearing themselves to people, they would make attempts to improve medical care rather than return to the calamitous discrimination by private insurers of the past. Democrats and those with even half a brain would gladly give up Obamacare for the effective, efficient and affordable virtues of Medicare (government as single-payer) for everyone.

Unfortunately, this isn’t likely to happen when the GOP’s top two avowals are: “It’s all about me” and “Down with government.”

Ron Holscher, Ogallala, Neb.

America has its own hostage crisis

President Obama stated that maybe 2,000 jobs might be created if the Keystone XL pipeline were built and that those jobs “were a blip relative to the need.” I can think of no better description of his job performance as president. His leadership has indeed been a blip relative to the need.

Unemployment is higher than when he was elected to his first term more than 4½ years ago. He has had a substantial period of time to improve the numbers. The more I see of his actions in office, such as playing the blame game and management through executive order, the more I long for the days of a president merely being in over his head, a la Jimmy Carter.

While Carter was in office, American hostages were held in the U.S. Embassy in Iran for 444 days. At this point, America has been held hostage by Obama for 1,655 days.

Scott Long, Omaha

Workers are willing but need the wages

Denny Klatt (July 20 Pulse) essentially repeats the same old arguments while distorting or ignoring the different aspects involved in the current problem of illegal immigration.

Regarding his claim that immigrants do the work that Americans won’t, he overlooks the fact that there are willing American workers but they need a living wage. The work generally referred to is grueling work and deserves better than minimum wage. Narrow-minded employers know that desperate people will not only work hard but will work cheap.

Unemployment is blamed in part for the social and crime problems in Omaha. The jobs taken by illegal immigrants are jobs that could be occupied by unemployed U.S. citizens. This is one of the aspects Klatt would have us overlook.

Susan G. Smith, Omaha

Archway one of state’s best attractions

I recently visited the archway near Kearney, Neb., with my lady friend. We were very impressed with the story and exhibits on display. We spent quite some time there taking it all in. We read all of the information provided throughout the arch.

The mini drive-in theater, speakers and all, brought back memories of the fun times had at the local drive-in. There were interesting exhibits outside as well.

We were glad to see the new Interstate entrance/exit nearby. This will make it very quick and easy to get to the archway.

We plan to visit the arch again and soon. We encourage everyone to go and visit it.

We also visited the Stuhr Museum. We plan to go to Pioneer Village in Minden also.

Nebraska has much to offer!

Tom Schulte, Omaha

‘Vast wasteland’ only getting worse

What the television industry is doing to America is nothing short of outrageous. They are singlehandedly doing their best to destroy decency, positive enrichment of family values, Christian values and cultural elevation of our people.

Most TV shows are filled with violence, dark messages and indecency. These networks should lose their licenses.

Thank God for books, newspapers and music.

Louis A. Finocchiaro, Omaha

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