‘Good time’ favors criminal, hurts victim
It was very hard to read the story about Jacey Gengenbach and the horrible brutality she has had to endure (Feb. 1 World-Herald).
But adding to the revulsion is the fact that the criminal will have to serve only half of his sentence due to the pathetic “good-time law” created by our Nebraska Legislature.
Sen. Ernie Chambers wants us all to believe that the backlash against this law is because of Nikko Jenkins. Unfortunately, I’m sure prison records would show too many others who have taken advantage of it and then committed new crimes.
This law favors the criminal and not the victim. I hope the Legislature can see the folly and stop using this absurd law as an excuse to reduce prison overcrowding by putting vicious criminals back out on the streets before they complete their full sentences.
Cheryl Bartek, Omaha
Humane execution with carbon monoxide
I don’t understand why we need special drugs to carry out the death penalty. Make all the death-row cells nice, comfy sealed rooms. And when the day comes, wait until the inmates nod off, then pipe in the exhaust from a gasoline engine for a couple of hours.
Problem solved. What could be more humane than passing away quietly in your sleep?
Dave Teer, Papillion
Try officers, not just bar waitress
It’s hard to believe that any professional law enforcement officer would drink alongside individuals who appeared drunk, then help them get into a 2,000-pound missile (Feb. 4 World-Herald). Placing a drunk driver behind the wheel of a car is irresponsible and an accident waiting to happen.
The Fremont, Neb., officers should have stood trial right beside the bar waitress, Amanda Heiman. Speaking as a retired Omaha police officer, I see no excuse for what these off-duty officers allegedly did. All they had to do was detain the young men and call 911.
The bottom line is that if the officers are proven guilty of wrongdoing, then they need to be held as accountable as Heiman. Their respective agencies need to become involved, as does the prosecutor.
Wally Jernigan, Omaha
‘Under God’ measure deserves passage
This is in response to Thomas Gray’s “concern” (Feb. 5 Pulse) that the Nebraska Legislature is considering a resolution to honor the anniversary of the words “under God” being added to the Pledge of Allegiance.
I am very pleased our Legislature is consid- ering such a resolution, and I hope it goes through. I hope Gray will focus on things he needs to focus on in his own state of Iowa and stop worrying about Nebraska legislation.
I have had to deal with and hear about the offenses that atheists take to the word “Christmas,” the Ten Commandments and Nativity scenes for so long that I am wondering exactly what it is about Christians that frightens them so much.
I do pledge my allegiance to the flag, which represents one nation “under God” and has for 60 wonderful years.
Jean Troxell, Bellevue
Resolution respects First Amendment
Justin Evertson and Thomas Gray (Feb. 5 Pulse) apparently don’t carry U.S. currency, as it says “In God We Trust.” They take issue with a resolution before the Legislature to commemorate the 60th anniversary of adding “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance.
Evertson would even have you believe the First Amendment (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”) forbids such a resolution. This wording simply means the government does not run the church, as it did in England.
Gray notes his military background. I also served and was a devout agnostic. When I took the oath to “preserve, protect and defend,” I remembered once reading in the 12 steps of AA about “God as we understand God.”
Rob Butler, Omaha
‘Under God’ has red-scare history
The anniversary of the modification of the Pledge of Allegiance should be regarded with dismay rather than celebration. The pledge was modified based on an untruth, inflamed by the red scare of communism.
President Dwight Eisenhower was persuaded to request the change in 1954 after hearing a Washington pastor, the Rev. George Docherty, preach that the phrase “one nation under God” was first used in Lincoln’s Gettysburg address and therefore ought to be included in the pledge to distinguish America from the officially atheist Soviet Union.
In fact, the earliest drafts of that speech, in Lincoln’s own handwriting and now on file with the Library of Congress, do not contain “under God.” Later copies, which he made for friends, do.
The Nebraska resolution calls on the Legislature to “strengthen the ties of history that bind us to our Christian heritage.”
Our population is diverse, with a diversity of “heritages.” The resolution’s language clearly shows favor toward Christianity — or at its most expansive, to monotheistic religions over alternate religions or no religion.
It would be misguided and ill advised to celebrate divisive, exclusionary language brought about by fear-mongering in the dark days of McCarthyism.
Doris Goembel, Omaha
Secular Coalition for Nebraska
Blame arrestee, not the police officer
What a sad state of affairs when an organization such as the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance (Feb. 3 Pulse) would invoke the name of Martin Luther King Jr., a man of justice, peace and nonviolence, in the same sentence with a person like Octavious Johnson. He and his brothers had been arrested for and served time for assorted crimes.
In the video of the March 21 arrests at 33rd and Seward Streets, what everyone seems to have missed is the Omaha police officer aiming a Taser at Johnson. He should have used it, and the event could have ended there. Many departments authorize the use of intermediate force (baton, spray, Taser) to prevent escalation or injury to both subject and officers.
Johnson is responsible for everything that transpired that day. The condoning, acceptance and support of criminal activities by any group only leads to more disrespect, noncompliance and noncooperation from those in neighborhoods that need police help.
Want to change things? Clean your own house first before blaming those trying to protect it.
Mark Lamphier, Papillion
NRD punishing me for dissent on dam
Benjamin Franklin once said: “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” This quote is a fitting way to describe the current nebulous crusade against me by the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District board.
And for what? Simply telling the truth about government? Since when should this get anyone in trouble?
The board is deliberately discouraging dissent and trying to coerce landowners into accepting less than the best-use price for their land. The only people I represent who could gain anything from the company in question are my constituents who receive fair compensation for the best uses of their land.
A conscientious board member cannot stand idly by and allow a governmental agency to threaten and abuse landowners with false and misleading information. I believe all landowners should be offered the same amount for their land with regard to this dam project.
The board’s ad hominem attacks on me appear to be retaliation for blowing the whistle on its apparent mismanagement of the public trust. Since I have not voted for any portion of the project in question, I do not have a conflict of interest.
Scott Japp, Arlington, Neb.
Plastic bags too often escape from trash
Please recycle your plastic bags. Don’t just put them in your trash.
The garbage-hauling trucks from the Omaha area dump trash at my local landfill. I’m tired of seeing the bags in my fence line and in my ditches. Be green and use a cloth bag.
Bill Veach, Brainard, Neb.
An accident both chilling, warming
On Jan. 21 on Blondo Street near 74th Street, a vehicle suddenly pulled into my lane without signaling. The only thing I could do was veer to the right, up over the curb. The other car drove off.
I escaped with a ruined tire and wheel and paint damage. What is remarkable is that within seconds, a lady in an SUV stopped and offered the use of her cellphone to call for assistance. As I was calling (unsuccessfully), a gentleman stopped his pickup and volunteered to change my tire, in the intense cold.
Both individuals apologized for not getting the license number of the departed car. Their gracious assistance shows the characteristically kind face of much of Omaha’s population, for which I am very grateful.
Great place to live!
H. Bruce Lobaugh, Omaha