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The Public Pulse: Omaha police and protesters; Jan. 6 commission is needed

The Public Pulse: Omaha police and protesters; Jan. 6 commission is needed

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  • 9
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Two-sided situation?

There was a recent opinion piece from the editorial staff of The World-Herald calling out both sides of a recent protest in Omaha. The editorial staff is spot on: One side gets huge funding for military equipment, six-figure incomes for some, huge pensions, and have the protection of elected officials, while the other side used pig heads to express their disgust in the enormous sums spent on terrorizing Omaha residents.

As we approach the one-year anniversary of OPD letting a violent white supremacist flee the state after killing someone protesting police violence, we need to remember this is obviously a two-sided issue and not the result of decades of politicians funding violence over compassion.

Clark Rutledge, Omaha

Flyer was accurate

The OWH editorial on police/community relations claimed that the police union flyer stating a position held by City Council candidate Cammy Watkins was “race-baiting.” Evidently, the World-Herald editorial staff has expanded the meaning of the term to include any negative statement made about a black American. By my definition, the editorial staff is engaging in race-baiting by labeling the police union flyer as such. Do the editors think the police union’s position against defunding the police would be any different if Ms. Watkins were white? You are not helping our community, OWH.

Mark L. Fettin, Omaha

Commission is needed

I want to publicly commend Congressmen Jeff Fortenberry and Don Bacon for their positive votes to establish a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Their individual statements called for a full and transparent investigation of the attack and security failures in order to guard against such attack in the future. Now the Senate must set aside partisanship, stand up to intimidation, and overwhelmingly approve a commission.

Like most Americans, I was aghast that this could be happening in our country, and as a Nebraskan who worked in and around this symbol of our democracy on a daily basis for 26 years and made a special effort to learn of its history, art, architecture, and special rooms, I was deeply saddened to see its sanctity violated and damaged. Not since British troops rampaged though and burned our Capitol had we allowed this to happen — and this time by a violent mob of Americans!

Beyond the physical damage, deaths, and severe injuries to Capitol Hill police, the even more important element was the objective of the mob’s insurrectionist effort to prevent Congress from performing its constitutional duty to count the electoral votes that had been duly certified by each individual state. Whether or not one was for or against the candidacy of Donald Trump, such an attack has to be seen for what it was — an unprecedented attack on the foundation of our democracy that must never happen again.

Douglas Bereuter, Lincoln

U.S. representative, Nebraska 1st District, 1979-2004

Get the truth

So what is the problem with these Republicans on the subject of a Jan. 6 commission on the mob that entered the Capitol? They had no problem spending million of tax dollars looking into Benghazi, but now don’t want to do a thing about the Jan. 6 riot. What are they afraid of? Isn’t it proper to find out the truth behind this raid? I guess the “problem” is that these Republicans are just plain cowards.

Dave Seidel, Omaha

Disastrous Democrats

Many Americans are alarmed by what is occurring in Washington D.C., but we should not be surprised. When the Democrat leadership recognized that neither Sen. Warren nor Sen. Sanders was going to be able to defeat President Trump, they leaned on Joe Biden to enter the race. It is obvious that the quid pro quo was that he would attempt to present himself as a moderate during the campaign, and if elected, he would then kowtow to the progressives.

So, what has happened in the first four months of this presidency? We are in the middle of multiple crises (no particular order): talk of making D.C. the 51st state; packing the Supreme Court; major overhaul of election system, all designed to keep the liberals in power and push the progressive agenda; weak foreign policy with foreign leaders taking advantage of this (Russia rattling its sword at Ukraine, China the same at Taiwan, and terrorists attacking Israel using money provided to them by Iran, which got their money from Obama/Biden); money flowing out the door of Washington, D.C., as if all we have to do is print more; looming inflation; abuse of executive orders, which Biden pledged not to do; major crisis at the southern border with no attempt to manage this; rising gas prices due to closure of the Keystone pipeline project and failure to manage the cyber attack on the eastern pipeline; critical race theory being taught in our schools; crime numbers up in multiple major cities due to police retirements and defunding of the departments.

Move over, Carter and Obama — Biden is closing in on the title of worst president ever.

Take notice, America, and reverse these trends before it is too late and our country is forever changed.

Stephen Smith, Omaha

‘Normal’ in Nebraska

Our governor’s announcement of a return to normalcy was paired with his pulling of unemployment benefits, veto of federally funded food and heating assistance programs, and backing of Sen. Slama’s filibuster against aiding the developmentally disabled. Corporations, meanwhile, will get a tax cut.

Yep — back to normal.

Jeff Johnston, Elmwood, Neb.

Special-needs children

The family support waiver is critical for families like mine that fall through the cracks of current waivers, yet struggle to financially provide an adequate level of care for their child with special needs. My son, Clay, was born at 37 weeks; he had Down syndrome and a complete atrioventricular septal defect that would require heart surgery. When he was six weeks old, he stopped eating and began turning blue; it was time for surgery, and was followed by an extended stay at Children’s Hospital. We had applied for the aged and disabled waiver, at the direction of our service coordinator, only to be denied because Clay was “too healthy.” He did not need supplemental oxygen or a feeding tube to survive.

It took us almost five years to pay off the hospital bills associated with his heart defect. Every year, we meet our $7,000 deductible within just a few short months. We pay thousands of dollars a year for Clay to benefit from the early intervention of out-of-pocket speech, occupational and physical therapy. We have been on the developmental disabilities waiting list since Clay was an infant and were told a likely expectation is that he will never get off the waiting list as a minor.

Knowing that surrounding states offer several waivers to ensure that families have access to services with little or no waiting lists, makes this reality sting even worse. Nebraska can do better; they are just choosing not to. Senators, this is on you. LB 376 deserved passage this session.

Leah Janke, Elkhorn

Legislature’s failure

I often think about the days spent in hospitals with my child, thankful for friends, communities and family that surrounded us and helped us through the hardest moments in our lives.

Then I look at our Legislature and the actions they have consistently taken to show they are not representing Nebraskans. That they do not care about families with disabilities. The corporation tax cuts passed instead of LB 376 showed how out of touch many elected officials are with their constituents and the program.

As my son has never walked, felt grass under his feet, or used the restroom independently, the lack of knowledge and strength of programs that Nebraska has qualifies him as not disabled enough. That’s right. Not disabled enough. Not sick enough.

We work full time and carry insurance but easily meet our deductible in two months with medical bills still coming in the mail. We and other families pay the monthly costs which includes $3,000 worth of medical supplies and $1,000 in medications. It would be beneficial for us to stop working, divorce, and use other assistance programs to meet our needs.

But instead we are asking Nebraska to not put families with disabilities in this position. You want parents of special-needs kids to continue to work because we are determined, resilient and adaptable. We want to keep working and keep our family together, so please don’t make us choose our family or our child’s health. We deserve to have both.

Shonda Knop, Fremont, Neb.

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