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The Public Pulse: GOP's Greene problem; Social media threat; Bluffs, rail history; Snow day joy

The Public Pulse: GOP's Greene problem; Social media threat; Bluffs, rail history; Snow day joy

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APTOPIX Congress Divided Republicans (copy)

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga.

GOP’s Greene problem

I believe a response to Rep. Don Bacon’s Feb. 4 press release after the removal of Marjorie Greene from committee assignments is warranted. Bacon stated that Greene “has since apologized” for her actions and comments. I have done searches and there have been no public apologies. Marjorie Greene stated that she was “allowed to believe” in the inflammatory and false rumors. Excuse me, but we are all allowed to believe something. It’s when you publicly announce your beliefs and promote them that you become accountable for them. And when she was called to the carpet in a public forum, she denounced the media for wrongdoing.

Bacon stated that “Minority Leader McCarthy even offered a compromise to remove her from the Education Committee.” But, the minority leader did not remove her. Only then was action taken.

All of this is still a reflection of the lies and incitement to rebel from the former president. At what point does the party of Lincoln move away from the overthrow of the Constitution and start to support it again? The threat of what the Republicans would do “tit for tat” in two years is infantile at best and inflammatory at worst.

Tom Friedman, Omaha

QAnon lunacy

Nebraska’s U.S. Reps. Adrian Smith, Don Bacon and Jeff Fortenberry have once again shown their willingness to disregard truth over party! Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said she didn’t know that QAnon was propagating a false narrative. No one made her read their conspiracy theories or, more importantly, actually made her believe them! She didn’t apologize for anything! Sen. Lindsey Graham was right five years ago when he said if the Republicans accepted Trumpism, it could lead to the end of the party! The people who stormed the U.S. Capitol claimed they were doing this to save the country all the while a Capitol police officer was being beaten with an American flag!

Robert Nunez Jr., Omaha

Social media threat

There is more to Legislative Bill 621 than what Tom Lutz writes in the Feb. 2 Pulse column. The Nebraska Legislature will have a chance to review the points that Mr. Lutz has made. Myself, I feel the “social media” has too much power, especially in eliminating those persons who want to use their services. Which is exactly what they have done. I lived in Germany after WW II and have learned that is exactly what Hitler did to muffle dissidents. Case in point: People have been removed from their services, with whom they disagree, not totally what they say.

LB 621 has merit and legality, and we should let our Unicameral decide what is truly best for all.

Wayne B. Rupp, Weeping Water, Neb.

Systemic racism

I am very disappointed with Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine’s testimony in opposition of Legislative Bill 151 — the Prosecutorial Transparency Act — during the Feb. 3 committee hearing. This bill would allow the state to collect and analyze data on prosecutorial decisions in order to assess racial equity.

County Attorney Kleine asserted that his staff works very hard and is well intentioned, so there is no need for this bill. Hard work and good intentions don’t make attorneys immune to unconscious racial bias, Attorney Kleine. Kleine is prioritizing the ego of his staff over the public’s need to assess racial equity in this phase of the criminal justice system.

It is also extremely troubling that County Attorney Kleine refused to recognize systemic racism as a problem in our society. Earlier in his testimony he alluded to the driving force behind black and brown people disproportionally represented in prisons to be “a couple hundred years of racial oppression, slavery, discrimination, not being able to get jobs, families being broken up, a poor education system.” However, when directly questioned by Sen. McKinney, he denied systemic racism exists.

Does Don Kleine truly not understand the concept of systemic racism, or has he been dissuaded from calling it out by name? In either case, it is clear Nebraska needs legislation like the Prosecutorial Transparency Act.

Kristen Dupree, Omaha

Bluffs, rail history

I always read with interest the history articles by Bob Marks, and in last Sunday’s paper he told about Abraham Lincoln coming to Council Bluffs in 1859 and how in 1863 by executive order he named Omaha the eastern terminus of the Union Pacific. The spot, he wrote, will be where the riverfront science museum will rise and there ought to be a historical marker commemorating the de facto starting point of the Transcontinental Railroad.

I think this is in error. That spot marks where the western end of the bridge that was to go across the river, but the eastern end of the Transcontinental Railroad and the city designated by Abraham Lincoln was Council Bluffs, Iowa. There is a monument there that is 60 feet tall called the Golden Spike Monument, and it is at mile marker zero on the Union Pacific line. The construction started in Omaha because the bridge had not yet been built.

Mark Hunter, Carter Lake, Iowa

Editor's note: Bob Marks has a follow-up column in which he discusses in detail the original Union Pacific railroad bridge linking Council Bluffs and Omaha. 

Snow day joy

As I walk around my neighborhood, I love seeing all the snow forts, snow people and snow sculptures that the kids have created. It’s also wonderful to see the young people outdoors sledding and enjoying the wintry weather. Thank you to Dr. Mike Lucas, superintendent of Westside Community Schools, for preserving the joy of a snow day without remote learning. These days are rare, and good for kids and teachers.

Marla Fries, Omaha

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