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The Public Pulse, June 15

The Public Pulse, June 15

Show respect for petition process

So those who are against the death penalty had their day in the Legislature and got the decision they wished for. Fair enough, but those of us who favor the death sentence were not allowed to try to turn that decision around and have been castigated relentlessly for going the petition route to see what the public thinks.

And now, by forming another group to fend off what is being tried by petition, those of you who are against the death penalty are doing the very thing that you were accusing us of doing. You want to come out and harass the petition circulators.

It seems as if your way is the only way and anything is OK for you but not for others.

James Hartmann, Seward, Neb.

Clear intent was to rid society of evil

This morning, my daily devotional dealt with “murder” and the death penalty. It started out by saying that the original commandment said “Thou shalt not murder,” not “Thou shalt not kill.” The intent of God’s sanctioning of the death penalty was to rid society of evil (e.g., Nikko Jenkins).

The reason for the death penalty was summed up in the following: “Execution is demanded for premeditated and presumptuous murders. The original authority was given to corporate man by God after the Flood (Genesis 9:5-6). The process of trial and conviction was established in Numbers 35:30-31. All such laws are designed to suppress evil (1 Timothy 1:8-10)” — Institute for Creation Research (, Days of Praise of June 12.

Placing the most vile evil among us into a correctional institute only moves evil from one setting and places it in another. Remember, the man who murdered Jeffrey Dahmer in prison was serving a life sentence without parole.

Without the threat of execution, these prisoners have no fear of the consequences of their actions to include taking the life of a corrections officer. This legislative action has just made our prisons more dangerous.

Marv Dorsey, Omaha

Put death penalty back on the books

Nebraska was supposed to have a death penalty, but anyone knows that a penalty not enforced is of little deterrence. Doesn’t one think that the would-be murderer has this in the back of his mind when contemplating such an act? He would think again if knowing a sure execution were awaiting. Note that we’re talking here about first-degree murder.

The overriding question in condemning to death is whether the person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That is the reading of the law and the responsibility of the courts of law and a jury. If there is any doubt, then no execution. Actually, the number of innocents wrongly executed in this country in recent years has been practically nonexistent, according to the Innocence Project.

A petition referendum securing the death penalty should finally settle the matter and stop State Sen. Ernie Chambers from coming back each year with his agenda.

Lynnette McCulloh, Omaha

Not just Christians who are persecuted

In response to a June 10 Pulse letter: To be sure, Christians are in the sights of the Islamic State, but so are the Sunni Turkmen, the Yazidis, Shia Muslims, atheists, LGBTs, Jews, Buddhists, Hindis, U.S. military personnel, women, and every citizen of the United States.

The Islamic State wants to kill or destroy everything that isn’t like them. Theirs is a crime against civilization, not just Christians. Yet so many Christians suffering from Ostrich Syndrome can only say “Christian lives matter” and not give even an amen to the rest not like them? How ironic.

Larry Leeds, Omaha

Stop the unnecessary scare tactics

On June 9, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) completed another one of its ridiculous reports on carcinogens. Embargoed until Friday, it’s probably going to say that 2,4-D, one of the safest crop-protection products ever made, is a “probable” cause of cancer in people.

Don’t believe the hype. This French-based U.N. agency thinks basically everything is a potential carcinogen. In its 50-year history, the agency has tried to determine the carcinogenic effects of nearly 1,000 different agents, from asbestos to coffee.

This sounds like a useful exercise. We need good scientific research on the causes of cancer. The problem with the IARC’s approach, however, is that just about anything can be said to cause cancer — but only when people are exposed to unrealistically massive doses of it.

How safe is 2,4-D? It’s one of the most common herbicides on the planet. Your grandmother puts it in her garden. You spread it on your lawn. I started using it on my farm decades ago.

In the battle to feed the world, farmers must fight weeds with science. We shouldn’t let implausible scenarios frighten us away from the conventional use of safe products.

Bill Horan, Rockwell City, Iowa

Support from police means so much

The Benner family would like to thank the police officers from Omaha and Papillion who sent such nice cards and messages in honor of Officer Gregg Benner, of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, who was killed May 25 in the line of duty.

It was truly heartwarming to see the support and appreciation from the thousands of people lining the 8-mile route to the funeral. It was even more appreciated to return home and find the support from the officers and friends here.

Doris Benner, Papillion

There’s no monopoly on power, money

In a June 5 Pulse letter, Jerry R. Preble talks about the wealth of the Koch brothers. Since they are conservatives, Preble says he knows which way he’s going to vote.

Since the same power and money applies to George Soros, who is constantly backing liberals, shouldn’t that thinking apply to the Democratic Party?

I think hypocrisy is alive and well in this country.

Ann A’Hearn, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Decision is a disservice to veterans

It’s hard to believe that in this age of providing our veterans with utmost care and concern for their comfort, health and safety, the Omaha-area Metro transit system elected to arbitrarily and without notice discontinue service to the entrance of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

To those veterans who rely on local bus service in order to reach the VA Hospital for necessary medical care, this presents a very critical problem. Not only from the added physical exertion needed to walk from either 42nd and Center, or at best from 42nd and Woolworth, but also exposure to adverse weather that could further impair a veteran’s health.

No doubt this irresponsible decision was based on financial considerations, and obviously without any regard to the needs of veterans. Regardless of the volume of traffic being taken to the hospital, each and every veteran transported there earned and is entitled to this service.

Metro transit needs to rethink this improper decision and reinstate full service to the VA hospital immediately.

Lawrence S. Albert, Omaha

Tracing our Civil War vets and history

As we remember our fallen heroes of the Civil War, I am reminded of a great read, the book “Marching With the First Nebraska” by August Scherneckau, which is based on his diary entries.

In addition to Forest Lawn Cemetery, other local Civil War veterans’ graves can be found in Laurel Hill Cemetery in South Omaha; Gen. Grenville Dodge and Dodge family members in Walnut Hill Cemetery in Council Bluffs; and Gen. William Kinsman and others in the Civil War section of Fairview Cemetery in Council Bluffs.

Tracing the Underground Railroad in Nebraska and Iowa is another interesting and educational activity. Start in Nebraska City (Mayhew Cabin Museum, Alexander Majors Residence) then to Tabor, Iowa (Todd House), and then to Lewis, Iowa (Hitchcock House). Additional information can be obtained from their separate websites.

Lee Hohenstein, Omaha

Long wait times hard for employees, too

I recently had to contact my phone/Internet/cable company. My first call, I was on hold for 15 minutes, then was transferred to another department and was on hold for another 20 minutes. I made my displeasure known at the long wait time. I made my request and thought all was taken care of with my issue.

A week later, I received a very confusing letter and needed to call again for clarification. My second contact, I was once again greeted with a 20-minute hold time. As I started to fume and lose my patience, I started to think about the poor employees who have to field calls all day long from people who have been sitting on hold listening to the same “we value your business and we will be with you as soon as a representative is available” message over and over and over.

So, if management really values my business and their employees, then hire a few more customer service folks. It will make their jobs easier and leave customers actually feeling valued.

Margaret Watkins, Omaha

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