Grill away; taxpayers have right to know
Jeff Stanek (Oct. 26 Pulse) asserts that Rep. Lee Terry fails at being constructive. Apparently, Terry’s “grilling” of the contractors who delivered the Affordable Care Act federal website offended Stanek’s sensibilities.
Frankly, my own sensibilities would be more deeply offended if the committee charged with oversight failed to ask probing, tough and sometimes pointed questions following this debacle. The American people deserve answers to questions about the vendor-selection process as well as the warning signs that preceded the rollout of this expensive, failed website.
I believe there were failures at several levels, including the federal agencies involved (the customer) as well as the software developer. As taxpayers, we have a right to know how it came to this and what can be done in the future to avoid such a catastrophe.
Kudos to Terry for looking after our best interests.
Steve Curran, Bellevue
Put blame on Democrats, not Lee Terry
I have been reading about so many people blaming only Rep. Lee Terry for what is going on with the Unaffordable Care Act. I have to ask: Have you people ever looked in the mirror?
The Democrats, who were in control of both houses of Congress at that time, passed it. I hope those who voted for Barack Obama are happy. I still plan to vote for Terry in 2014.
I do not trust Democrats anymore.
Rich Ziemies, Omaha
Leave health insurance to private sector
Our country is in a mess — both at home and abroad. Positive and coherent direction at the federal level doesn’t exist.
Much of our internal nightmare is the result of the Democrats’ ongoing urge to get more of our country’s private enterprises under direct control of the federal government. That’s a big mistake, and Obamacare is a prime example.
The (attempted) launch of the Obamacare website shows why the government should focus on constitutional functions — national security and domestic law enforcement — and leave matters such as health insurance to the private market. We must get our country’s priorities straight and expenditures under control.
For private industry to operate effectively and efficiently, costs are kept under control, qualified employees are mandatory, and inept performance is grounds for firing. We need to hold those running our government to the same standards.
Sandy Gregory, Omaha
Republicans have no monopoly on blame
Govern: to make decisions about laws and taxes. It’s a simple definition in most dictionaries. That is what our House members and senators are hired to do.
Mary M. Roeser (Oct. 25 Pulse) seems to have the view that bipartisanship means saying, “Let’s compromise: Just do it my way.”
If it were all the Republicans’ fault, then why are there at least five Democratic senators in red or swing states currently sweating like Bill Clinton at a meeting of feminists?
Mel B. Shelnutt, Clarinda, Iowa
Greatest Generation’s hands not all clean
In response to Jeff Windham, who asks what the current generation will be called in 50 years (Oct. 25 Pulse): I think it’s a safe bet it won’t be another “Greatest Generation.” Certainly the Greatest Generation deserves our utmost respect and appreciation for its sacrifices during World War II.
Having said that, bear in mind we didn’t get to where we are overnight. I think the Greatest Generation, after 1945, shares some of the credit for the mess our country is in today.
The latest run of deficit spending started with the Greatest Generation. It was the Greatest Generation that got us into and then bungled the Vietnam War, of which I and my now-deceased brother are veterans. A Greatest Generation president took us off the gold standard, and another one initiated voodoo, trickle-down economics. Until recently, many of the Greatest Generation were still serving in both houses of Congress, helping pave the path of self-destruction we are on today.
Perhaps our children and grandchildren will be the next Greatest Generation as they rebuild our nation, just as the Greatest Generation did in the aftermath of the mistakes their parents and grandparents made in the 1920s and ’30s.
Ken Krueger, Omaha
Oxymoron list deserves an appendix
Randy Moody (Oct. 25 Pulse) asks whether “reasonable Republican” is an oxymoron. Given the current state of our government, I think there are a lot of morons, oxy and otherwise, whom Moody fails to give due credit:
(1) Ostrimoron (short for ostrich moron): buries its head in the sand and believes everything will get better, even if government keeps spending money it does not have.
(2) Polimoron (political moron): votes for the express purpose of getting people re-elected. We need leaders, not politicians.
(3) Partymoron: blames the other party for his own party’s lack of results.
(4) Votermoron: keeps voting for the same politicians hoping for different results.
I apologize to any morons I left out.
Monty Carer, Carson, Iowa
Dual-language success at South High
Sandra Lab’s letter (Oct. 29 Pulse) criticizing the calls for a bilingual principal at Omaha South High School was totally off-base.
It reminded me of the students’ strike at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., back in the 1980s. They demanded a deaf president for their university who, by living in and understanding their situation, could bridge the gap between their community and the hearing world. This was a remarkable success.
Perhaps Lab is not aware of the overwhelming success of South High’s Dual Language program, in which students are taught in both English and Spanish. This has increased their understanding of the subjects taught, reduced the dropout rate, increased continuation of their education beyond high school and reinforced the value of understanding both languages well. The program has expanded to other OPS schools with significant Latino student bodies.
It is not an attempt to circumvent “learning the nation’s language” but to build on each language while engaging the families of students and increasing pride in their community.
As with Gallaudet University, the students at Omaha South High are hoping a bilingual principal would be an even better bridge within their community, to help make a better world for all of us.
George J. Lippert, Papillion
Think it’s easy? Then you habla español
Hal Capps (Oct. 28 Pulse) and Sandra Lab (Oct. 29 Pulse) said parents asking for a bilingual principal at South High should learn English. Reality check: Learning another language as an adult is a challenge. Attaining proficiency takes years of practice. The struggle to make a living and raise a family limits the opportunities to further one’s education.
Walk a mile in their shoes: Take advantage of the public library’s resources and “pick up” another language. You’ll see how difficult it is.
Bravo to immigrant parents who value education.
Cathy Richmond, Omaha
Do mental screening and gun control
I have a master’s of science degree in psychiatric/mental health nursing, and I fully agree with Paul Buchanan (Oct. 25 Pulse) that we need to do a much better job of “bully control and mental health screening.”
We also need to provide the proper follow-up and treatment. It seems so many psychiatric treatment facilities have been closed, torn down or converted to other uses in Nebraska. Fewer practitioners are choosing psychiatry/mental health. Maybe now that the Affordable Care Act is requiring that insurance cover mental health, we’ll see an increasing interest in it from providers.
I do not agree that providing mental health screening means we no longer have an issue of gun control. I don’t believe there is any infringement on Second Amendment rights in restricting assault weapons and magazines that fire 30 or so shots to the police and military. People can have self-protection, hunting and sports shooting without those.
I believe there should be background checks of people buying guns at gun shows as well as in stores. I also believe that any responsible gun owners should keep their guns secured so they can’t be used by curious children or carried off by disturbed youths to murder innocents.
Haven’t we had enough bloodshed in this country to take a lesson from some of the countries that have far less?
Rosalee Yeaworth, Omaha