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More Public Pulse: Militias' dangers; Don't stifle voting rights; Wait till it's official

More Public Pulse: Militias' dangers; Don't stifle voting rights; Wait till it's official

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Militias pose terrible danger

When I saw the photo on page 5A of the Sunday, Oct. 24 paper, I thought it must be a photo of terrorists from Iraq or Afghanistan, but to my dismay it turned out to be in front of the Michigan State Capital building.

When the founding fathers used the words “well-regulated militia,” I don’t believe this is what they meant. If we as a nation don’t find a way to come together peacefully, we could look just like Iraq in a very short time.

Make no mistake: Allowing these militia groups to do as they please will not end well.

Our Constitution was not written to let small groups of armed people terrorize the rest of the population.

Please vote for peace.

Leon A. Bresley, Omaha

Trump handled virus situation well

Biden and the Democrats are politicizing the COVID-19 pandemic by trying to blame the deaths on President Trump. How low can you go! When Trump shut down flights to and from China, the Democrats called him a racist and a xenophobe. Every day, 20,000 people were coming into to the U.S. from China. That decision by Trump alone saved many lives!

Kevin Wycoff, M.D., has stated that he thinks President Trump was slow in his response to COVID-19. But in March and April, Trump sent a hospital ship to New York and to L.A. and got Ford and GM turning out thousands of respirators in their factories while other companies are manufacturing PPE that had been depleted by the Obama administration. Trump also got the ball rolling on research for a vaccine to combat the virus. The Democrats could have worked with President Trump, but all they did was resist his efforts. Oh, and by the way, the virus is from China.

Chuck Liess, Sidney, Neb.

Trump’s crackpot ideas about virus

For seniors, the main 2020 ballot questions concern COVID-19. First, do you want to risk your last decade or two by participating in Donald Trump’s fifth grade science experiment? Imagine watching so many more Americans rapidly contract the virus, risking lasting complications and overwhelming hospitals, to develop some natural immunity (however brief). Public health experts claim this crackpot approach could cause over a million needless deaths, most among seniors.

Second, do you want to see how chaotic our health care funding can become, and how many more COVID-19 patients can be medically bankrupted, during an uncontrolled pandemic? Just imagine Trump replacing Obamacare with a few impulsive executive orders.

Vulnerable folks should vote as if their lives depend upon it. Many do.

Beverly Chaney, Omaha

Don’t stifle Americans’ voting rights

The Republican Party and the Trump campaign, in alliance in some cases with the Thomas More Society, a legal organization tied to the Catholic Church, have filed hundreds of lawsuits in 44 states intended to make it as hard as possible for Americans to get their vote counted in a pandemic that has, for obvious reasons, adversely impacted the United States far more than any other developed democracy. State and local voting officials, with the assistance of the Democratic Party, have fought those lawsuits with the goal of allowing all eligible Americans to cast their vote in the 2020 election.

Knowing these incontrovertible facts, if the United States is a true democracy, who can dispute who the true anti-Americans are?

James Regan, Omaha

Reelect Linehan to Legislature

Nebraska Legislative District 39 citizens in Elkhorn, western Douglas County and Omaha have the opportunity to reelect Lou Ann Linehan on Nov. 3.

Lou Ann is a champion of property tax relief, education and workforce development. She has been and will continue to be a leader in the Unicameral. As chairwoman of the Revenue Committee, she chartered a path for the successful passage of Legislative Bill 1107. This historic legislation will deliver significant property tax relief for Nebraskans, increase our competitiveness for business retention and expansion as well as place UNMC in position for future federal investment for the NExT project that will address future pandemics and other disasters.

Please vote to reelect Lou Ann Linehan.

Brinker Harding, Omaha

Omaha City Council, District 6

Men worth honoring

The guest column from Bob Kerrey in the Sunday, Oct. 25 issue (“Joe Biden exemplifies positive values for our country”) was great. Both he and Chuck Hagel, though of different political parties, have been men that Nebraska and the whole country should be proud of.

Mr. Kerrey sustained a terrible injury in the Vietnam War. He also mentioned John McCain, who suffered horrible treatment. These are the kind of men we should honor and respect.

It is time for a president to step up and do what he is elected to do for our great country.

Patricia Huntsman, Red Oak, Iowa

Harris has radical views

Kamala Harris may not cost Joe Biden the election, but she may cost him his presidency.

It is clear the direction the extreme left wing of the Democratic Party wishes to take the country. They make no bones about their goals. Government-run health care, the elimination of gas and oil, gun control, open borders, government housing as a right, abortion up to delivery and the list goes on. I, at the very least, commend them for their transparency.

While Joe may say he’s not on board with all their aspirations, he may have little choice but to bow to the left wing of his party. The left knows Kamala Harris is one of them. If Joe is elected, who will he be able to turn to? Kamala? Very risky. The people that helped him get elected? Maybe. But maybe not. His biggest fear will not come from the Republicans, but the left wing of his own party if he does not lead as they wish.

If President Biden proves to be a hurdle rather than a helper to the far left’s agenda, does anyone think the left would not then be willing to sacrifice him to get President Harris a place at the table?

Tread cautiously, Joe.

R.W. Balluff, Omaha

It’s a time to protect liberty

The Republican Party, Trump and his supporters would like us to believe a false narrative, that the farther rightward our government swings, the more secure our liberty. But tyranny lives at both ends of the political spectrum. Democracy is fragile and it lives in the center. I hope Americans will study the rise of fascist dictatorships in 1920s-’30s Europe and recognize the alarming parallels with U.S. politics today. At this moment in history, we are far closer to sliding into right-wing fascism than left-wing communism.

Please vote, and vote responsibly. The liberty you save may be your own.

Rod Carlson, Omaha

Bradley is excellent on NRD board

I encourage everyone to reelect Larry Bradley to the Papio-Missouri River NRD, District 3. Bradley has the experience we need during these tough economic times. In 2008, during the Great Recession, Bradley had the foresight to vote for flood protection projects and expand our tax base. Consequently, during the great flood of March 2019, most of the Omaha metro area stayed dry.

As a veteran of the U.S. Army, Bradley realizes the vital mission of Offutt Air Force base. He has a history of working across the aisle, finding common ground and helping maintain the funding to preserve the economic engine Offutt brings to our local economy.

Larry Bradley has three science degrees and has amassed a strong voting record for the environment during his tenure on the NRD board. Bradley continues to be a strong advocate for monitoring drinking water for nitrates, tree planting, recreational trails, recycling computers and tires, pollinator habitats, restock inner-city ponds, construct terraces and proper well-abandonment.

I say let us keep people with the proven experience and who are proponents of science on the NRD. On Nov. 3, Larry Bradley is the logical choice.

Bianca Oswald, Omaha

Fortenberry serves well

I’ve seen a lot of negative letters about Congressman Fortenberry. In particular, they attempt to call out his perceived “silence” on issues. I find these accusations exceptionally ingenuous, and they speak to a larger, unfortunate trend in our current political sphere.

Congressman Fortenberry, when asked on positions, has always been upfront. His website is informative and detailed. We know where he stands. But he’s not a “loud” leader. He doesn’t need to be. Washington is all clamor these days. Too often we overlook the value of a quiet leader. Someone who leads by example and not by shouting. Over his eight terms, Congressman Fortenberry has forged strong bipartisan relationships. He sits on the powerful Appropriations Committee, an important spot Nebraska would lose if we sent new leadership. And, he’s used his gravitas and quality of character to deliver for Nebraskans. We don’t realize the amount he’s done for us.

We don’t need more politicians who are loud and in your face. We especially don’t need someone whose voice is going to get lost in the crowd. We need Congressman Fortenberry.

Arun Pondicherry, Lincoln

Bolz is stronger choice for 1st District

I was surprised by Congressman Fortenberry’s attack ads against Kate Bolz. After 15-plus years in Congress, couldn’t he just list his accomplishments and positions on issues?

Digging deeper, there are some accomplishments. His 15-year record shows sponsorship of 148 bills, voting against his Republican Party 15% of the time, missing less than 3% of roll call votes, and of the bills he cosponsored in the last session, 58% were originated by Democrats.

I know Kate Bolz from my work on the Nebraska Appleseed Board. She cares deeply about people and works tenaciously to help them. She has held positions as an educator, analyst, social worker and Nebraska legislator. She grew up on a family farm near Palmyra. She was elected by her colleagues as vice chair of the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee. She worked both sides of the aisle balancing the state budget. She also chaired the Economic Development Task Force, is on the Executive Board and Retirement Committee and on the Department of Corrections Special Investigative Committee.

If one needs to use negative advertising rather than highlighting one’s own accomplishments, that’s a statement. Mr. Fortenberry is a nice person. It is time to thank him for his service to his state. And more importantly, it is time to elect Kate Bolz. We could use someone a bit more aggressive in working for the people of our state.

Arthur Zygielbaum, Lincoln

Authority is clear on Catholic priorities

Professors Miller and Salzman of Creighton wrote recently, allegedly from a Catholic perspective, that voting “for a candidate most committed to addressing climate change is a proportionate reason to support a pro-choice candidate” (OWH Midlands Voices, Oct. 27). I assume they are sincere … but sincerely confused. They should not spread their confusion to other Catholics.

Pope/St. John Paul II shredded this type of fuzzy-headed claim years ago: “(T)he common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights … is false and illusory if the right to life, the most fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination.”

Pope Benedict XVI wrote that life’s defense is a “non-negotiable” value for Catholic politicians who wish to receive Communion in the Church (Sacramentum Caritatis, 2007). The Catholic Church teaches abortion is a crime against humanity, worthy of ex-communication (Catechism, 2272). It is hard to imagine how certain Catholic politicians — or professors, for that matter — possibly could claim the promotion of a crime against humanity should be overlooked.

St. Mother Teresa told the National Prayer Breakfast in 1994, notably including Bill and Hillary Clinton: “Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love one another, but to use violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.”

That’s strong authority: two beloved saints, another brilliant pope and the Catholic Catechism. I will go with that any day over two confused Creighton professors.

Matt Heffron, Omaha

Don’t downplay abortion issue

The Omaha World-Herald has once again published a guest essay attempting to convince Catholics that they should vote for the Democratic national ticket (“A Catholic-values case for Biden, Harris, Eastman,” Oct. 27). The essay was prepared by two theologians from Creighton University. The authors of the essay acknowledge that the Church’s teaching that abortion is the preeminent threat to life but then espouse several reasons why Catholics should ignore the devastation caused by abortion in favor of other issues.

The problem with their line of reasoning is that it ignores one basic fact: If there is no life, the remainder of the concerns are secondary.

Jesus repeatedly stated his tenderness for children: Let the children come to me. And cautioned about the consequences of leading children astray. The authors are behaving like modern-day scribes. They have knowledge of the law but are willing to twist it and cloud the issues rather than speak the truth. The unborn child is a child, pure and simple, created by God. The authors are willing to downplay this truth to push a political agenda.

The recent saints of the Church: Mother Teresa, Pope Paul and Pope John Paul II all spoke out strongly against abortion and how it was destroying the family, the building block of society.

This election is critical because it is about the soul of this country and which path we take. I plan to follow the clear teaching of the Church, not a modern scribe.

Chris Koenig, Fort Calhoun, Neb.

Let ’em play

On so many levels, the Big Ten Conference is so wrong in not allowing Nebraska to play UTC this weekend. These suits, in their ivory towers, forget these are 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds who just want to play football after all the protocol you have imposed on them. If you really cared about these young men, you would let ’em play!

Michael T. Costello, Gibbon, Neb.

Best to wait till it’s official

Many millions of legitimate votes have now been cast by mail. So as far as election night goes, remember the wisdom of the old horse race bettor: “Don’t tear up your losing tickets until it’s official.”

We might do well to think about that famous photograph of reelected Harry Truman, holding up the newspaper saying “Dewey beats Truman.”

Joel Wentworth, Omaha

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