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The Public Pulse: Don't put these residents at risk; Tax-policy reality; Reform we need

The Public Pulse: Don't put these residents at risk; Tax-policy reality; Reform we need

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Beatrice State Developmental Center (copy)

The Ricketts administration's openness to posting unvaccinated nurses at the Beatrice State Developmental Center, shown here, raises major concern, a Public Pulse writer says. 

Dangerous risk

I disagree with Gov. Ricketts’ decision to recruit unvaccinated health care workers for state facilities (particularly the Beatrice State Developmental Center). My sister lives at BSDC. All the residents at BSDC have intellectual and physical disabilities. I thank State Sen. Carol Blood (District 3) for sending Gov. Ricketts a letter expressing her “grave concern” regarding recruiting unvaccinated nurses.

To expose our vulnerable residents to unvaccinated staff is a risk that should not be taken.

Kathryn Rollins, Omaha

Tax-policy reality

In Carol Blood’s recent Midlands Voice column on state tax reform she uses the phrase “older wealthy white men” numerous times as if they are the enemy. It’s unfortunate to see Blood play the race card in an attempt to make her case. She points out that although Blueprint Nebraska has many good ideas on agriculture, education, health care, entrepreneurship, housing and workforce, reducing taxes only benefits “old wealthy white men”! How simpleminded can she be?

Nebraska is a high-tax state; we have among the highest property tax rates, high income and sales taxes. Currently 61% of Americans pay no income tax. The top 10% of income taxpayers pay 71% of all taxes; many of those taxpayers are “old wealthy white guys.” Carol rails against Nebraska inheritance tax once again, saying “it largely benefits the families of older wealthy white guys”! Perhaps she doesn’t understand the effect on family farms when long-time ownership changes at death.

I suggest Carol do more research on taxes and their effect on quality of life and residency decisions, and perhaps take a course in economics!

Jeff Sena, Bellevue

Afghanistan fallout

On Sept. 11, 2001, I was a member of the planning staff at the United States Central Command. I was proud to be one member of a much larger team that participated in the military planning for our initial operations there. I was on that same staff in 2003 when as a nation, we took our eyes off the ball and invaded Iraq. I later deployed to Iraq. I have numerous friends and colleagues who have deployed to one or both of these locations during the past 20 years, many more than once.

Like many of my fellow veterans, I have been distressed and sickened by recent events as they have unfolded in Afghanistan. I am disheartened that once again Americans have lost their lives. I am equally appalled by a government of Afghanistan that seemed to abandon its own people and its responsibilities. But, I am also sickened, appalled and disheartened by the many elected officials, including the five from Nebraska representing us in the Senate and the House, who have turned this tragedy into short-term political advantage.

Anyone who suggests that our troubles in Afghanistan began during the past few weeks, this year, or last year, simply is not paying attention. I do believe the Biden administration has many questions to answer. However, so do all four presidential administrations involved in actions there. So do members of Congress. So do the Departments of State and Defense.

Congress could help by finding the courage through a bipartisan commission to ask what has gone wrong for the past many years, and quit pretending that all was well prior to a few weeks ago. That is a misrepresentation of the truth and amounts to partisan posturing. That is not what our nation needs.

James A. Harrold, Plattsmouth, Neb.

Reform we need

Congratulations to Carol Blood for her ideas on what Nebraska tax reform should look like. (Midlands Voices, Aug. 24). Blueprint Nebraska lacks creative reform beyond the older, wealthy, white people who don’t need tax relief. That’s the way it’s been in the past.

True tax relief needs to encompass the lower and middle class needs as well. It needs to invest in education and good jobs, health care and keep such things as prescription drug relief. Ms. Blood talks reality with a growing number for 18-34-year-olds who would leave the state if reform is again targeted to those who don’t need it.

It’s time for legislators to make the blueprint and pass the laws to welcome and maintain all levels of classes! That would truly make Nebraska, the Good Life State!

Barbara Wagner, Omaha

Let money talk

Yeah to Lancaster County mask mandate! I will not diss our state officials or county/city officials of Douglas and Sarpy Counties. My money is doing the talking instead. I now car pool with a neighbor 45 miles to Lincoln once every two weeks to buy groceries. Side benefit, no restaurant tax on deli items either.

James J. Urich, La Vista

Biden respects military

A little shout out to Sen. Sasse regarding his performance this “Sunday Morning” on ABC. Many of the comments were not quite accurate. If the senator has been following this horrific mess in Afghanistan, then he surely knows that President Biden is and always has been very, very respectful of the military. His son Beau was on active duty, and his friendship with John McCain, a POW and hero in the Vietnam War, is the real deal.

So, President Biden certainly is the last person that talks “happy talk” about anything as serious as war and placing lives in harm’s way.

Just in case the senator is trying to stage a run for president in 2024, he probably needs to “get some facts straight.” It was Trump, not Biden, that: Negotiated with only the Taliban. Facilitated the release of 5,000 fighters from prison. Wanted to invite the Taliban to Camp David on 9/11 last year. Refused to brief the incoming administration on the Afghan situation. And, most important, boasted that the troop withdrawal he set in motion “can’t be stopped.”

Trump bragged at a recent rally that he had boxed in Biden deliberately.

Am thinking that Sen. Sasse needs to understand that lies and misinformation are not a good look for him. We all must be a little smarter than he thinks we are. Very sad.

Kathe Strand, Omaha

Thanks, OPPD

A few nights ago high winds toppled a large tree in my yard, severing the electrical line to my house. Mine was the only house in the neighborhood to lose power. Thousands of others in Douglas and Sarpy Counties also lost power that night. By noon the next day OPPD reattached the line and got me up and running.

Thank you all at OPPD for doing a great job. Your hard work is very much appreciated.

Scott Thomsen, Waterloo, Neb.

Beware of zealots

In her simplistic attacks on those who dare to question the validity of CRT (and the sincerity of those promoting it), Kristen Dupree (Aug. 29 Pulse) accuses them of being misinformed and/or not genuinely interested in combating what she describes as the long-festering effects of “generational racism.” She then berates them for using “platitudes” in what can only be described as a truly platitude-laden screed that would be more in keeping with the editorial page of the Daily Worker.

I have repeatedly stated my low opinion of Gov. Ricketts and the other Trumpites who spew forth their right-wing poison in order to attack those who do not show 100% agreement with any and all of their positions. But Ms. Dupree is just as arrogant — and even more contemptuous of the electorate in her efforts to foist this toxic, misguided collection of “articles” masquerading as scholarship and/or societal guidance toward a truly just and equitable future for all Americans. Its primary author of CRT is a fraud, a self-serving fraud — one of many currently thriving in the insane abandonment of reason and honor led by those who seek the destruction of our society, not its betterment.

And those who write in here to support CRT have either not read it or are willing to sell their souls and birthrights to further their own careers. God save this country from the “true believers” — of both political parties — who brook no dissent of any kind while wrapping themselves in the cloak of self-righteousness and self-proclaimed expertise.

John Brodston, Omaha

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