Ask federal workers to work for free
I was ho-hum about the government shutdown until I read that such a move actually costs the country a great deal of money in the aftermath instead of saving public funds because government employees are idled. That reeks of adding insult to injury for the hardworking American people.
I spent decades volunteering for a not-for-profit job that — in addition — sucked tremendous personal funds from me. Willingly and generously, I provided back-breaking free labor to save a bit of Nebraska’s nature for future generations.
From my perspective, it would seem a small thing for our government to ask its workers to keep doing their jobs for free for a few days or weeks, in order to avoid additional cost to the country.
Angelika T.L. Byorth, Lincoln
Putting the ‘fed up’ in federal employee
I grew up as a U.S. Army brat, then I served 20-plus years on active duty in the Air Force. My son is currently on active duty in the Air Force, and for the first time in my life I am embarrassed about my country.
I have been a federal employee since I retired from active duty in 2005, and in that time I have seen paychecks frozen. This past summer we all enjoyed nine days of unpaid vacation because Congress and the president failed to do the jobs they were elected to do. And now we are all on indefinite unpaid vacation because they have once again failed.
If I did my job the way our elected leaders do theirs, I would have been fired long ago. It’s now time for the American public to do just that: Fire them all next election.
Unfortunately, the only way for this to happen is for everyone to get some skin in the game. Next shutdown, everyone should join in: Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, active-duty military pay, veterans benefits — all should be stopped.
I bet the problem would get solved quickly then.
Ian R. Pelletier, Papillion
To pin blame, first look in the mirror
Before people point fingers for the recent shutdown, they need to look in the mirror first.
We, the people, are solely responsible for our country’s decline and current issues. With the power to vote, the power that men and women have died for, we get what we deserve. We cannot continue to vote blindly for Republicans and Democrats. The time is ripe for independents and third-party candidates.
A small example is our own Rep. Lee Terry. We have re-elected him seven straight times, all while we disapprove of Congress as a whole. If we continue not to research candidates, or not vote at all, we will continue to decline.
It doesn’t take much time, either. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
Todd Hansen, Papillion
Why do we keep electing Fortenberry?
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry says he went through a government shutdown when he was a bureaucratic functionary.
The only thing sadder than someone who can’t learn from history is someone who thinks doing the same thing again and again will yield a different result.
I am not blaming him for his weakness, but maybe we should ask ourselves why we keep electing him again and again and expecting him to do a better job.
T. F. Howard, La Platte, Neb.
Time to enforce all immigration laws
I fully support the view that the problem with illegal immigration is the general lack of enforcement of our immigration laws.
I also agree that providing pregnant illegal immigrants with taxpayer-subsidized prenatal care is essentially rewarding them for being in this country illegally. I also support voter ID laws in order to prevent even one foreigner from voting in any of our elections.
Let’s put an end to all such forms of amnesty.
Greg Casady, Council Bluffs
Second Amendment is for defense
Pulse writer Alan Goodman (Sept. 29) informed readers that the founders “imagined” the citizens should be allowed to own a rifle and a shotgun to hunt food. The founders had far more in mind than using firearms to hunt food.
James Madison, the father of the Constitution, wrote that the Constitution preserves “the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation ... (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”
Thomas Jefferson said, “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” Jefferson also said, “Those who hammer their guns into plows, will plow for those who do not.”
The Second Amendment protects the rights of the citizens to keep and bear arms to defend themselves from threats, both foreign and domestic.
Dave Zickefoose, Omaha