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The Public Pulse: A harmful court ruling; A spiteful president; 'Free' means expensive

The Public Pulse: A harmful court ruling; A spiteful president; 'Free' means expensive

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No-fault divorce law faces legal challenge in Nebraska (copy) (copy)

An image taken from Nebraska Supreme Court video on Sept. 3, 2020.

Court short-circuits public’s role

I find the decision made by the Nebraska Supreme Court last week disturbing. Supporting or opposing the medical cannabis initiative is not the issue at hand. The Supreme Court has now made it impossible for the voice of the people to be heard.

With a nonpartisan Unicameral in place since 1937, the people effectively become the “second house,” with their ability to exercise their wishes through initiatives that can be placed on the ballot. The decision has the general population second-guessing language that goes into such initiatives. With no system in place to vet the language prior to the petition phase, no initiative is safe. Around 200,000 people of Nebraska have now been silenced by the power of minimum of four judges of the Supreme Court.

It doesn’t matter if every single registered voter were to unanimously agree on a topic, they can be muted. This is not the system George Norris intended. The courts should not be manipulated by one person. It is a sad day for Nebraska’s most vulnerable, but more importantly, a sad day for democracy.

Michelle Boyce, Bellevue

A president obsessed with spite

In Ken Lane’s Sept. 11 Pulse letter decrying the “attack” on Trump for his remarks on the military, he states that outrage over these comments is “faux.”

It would be arrogant enough to speak as to others’ outrage, but to do so entails speaking for all veterans. I lay a full wager that Mr. Lane did not serve, and therefore has no sense of what veterans may or may not feel. He certainly has earned no legitimate platform to voice what outrage vets may or may not “sense.”

As a former Marine, my outrage is significant. This latest Trump news is hardly surprising, as the precise verbiage “loser” was utilized to describe John McCain. No unnamed source required as I heard this with my own ears.

But to his complaint of anonymous sources, perhaps Mr. Lane can relate to us what he thinks Trump’s treatment of these military personnel leveling charges might be? He will end their careers, and do so in as punitive a fashion as he can muster. You don’t like anonymous, then hire a leader who doesn’t possess the vindictiveness of a 13-year-old.

And I take exception to the idea that our military folk are incapable of deciding for themselves the veracity of this reporting. Mr. Lane needs to understand that for the first time in the history of the Military Times polling, a Republican president trails a Democratic candidate. And the poll was taken before this news release. Bet it’s worse now.

But Trump’s comments pale in comparison to his actions of taking money earmarked for military personnel and families welfare and trying to build his wall with it.

James Martin, Omaha

‘Free’ means taxpayer-funded

Every time you hear or read about politicians promising “free” college or “free” health care or “free” anything, replace the word “free” with “taxpayer-funded.”

Every time you hear or read about politicians proposing trillion-dollar or multitrillion-dollar spending bills, consider the following:

A million dollars is a thousand thousand dollars. A billion dollars is a thousand million dollars. A trillion dollars is a thousand billion dollars.

Think about it — all “taxpayer-funded.”

Tom Schuur, Omaha

A leader’s responsibilities

Imagine a hurricane the size and force of Hurricane Harvey barreling towards New Orleans.

Now, imagine the governor telling his advisors that he doesn’t want to create panic, so he is going to downplay the significance of this event. He goes on TV and tells the people he serves that this impending hurricane is no different than a rainstorm, that there is no need to cover up their houses and the best thing is to continue to live their lives as they always have.

Meanwhile, the meteorologists are telling the people something different. They are warning them of high surges, torrential rain and devastating destruction. They advise people to board up their houses and evacuate to someplace save.

People are confused. They believe their governor because he’s in charge, he’s their leader. But the scientists must know what they’re talking about. Some people play it safe and leave. Some decide it’s “no different than a rainstorm” and they stay.

The hurricane makes landfall, causing millions of dollars of damage to the economy and many lives are lost. Those who played it safe are alive. Many of those who put their faith in their leader are dead. How many lives could have been saved if the people were calmly told the truth by their governor and advised in ways to keep themselves safe?

Catherine Beck, Omaha

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