Border facilities lacking

Why is this, formerly the greatest country in the world, ripping immigrant children from their families and holding them in detention centers? Not enough soap and water. Sleeping on concrete floors. Lights on 24 hours a day. Third-world toilet facilities. Inappropriate diets. Really?

Mickey Solomon, Merna, Neb.

Stothert’s tax increase

When the Omaha City Council approved the $114 million bond issue that the Douglas County Board plans to use to build a courthouse expansion and juvenile justice center, they handed the final decision to Mayor Jean Stothert.

The vote was 4-2 with one abstention. That meant the mayor could uphold the decision by signing it or return it unsigned — or she could veto it and give Omaha taxpayers an opportunity to pursue a vote of the people and a wiser plan.

The mayor wrote that she had concerns about “too few beds” in the new detention center and that she does not support a property tax rate increase. For this reason she decided to return the ordinance unsigned, meaning it stands.

The mayor can’t have it both ways. If she opposes a tax increase, she should veto the ordinance. If she returns it unsigned, she is agreeing to impose a property tax increase. She own the increase.

Greg Sechser, Omaha

Waiting for Medicaid

Nebraska voters passed Initiative 427, Medicaid expansion, in 2018. So, why are our leaders pushing off the realization of the program to October 2020?

This July 3, it will be exactly a year since signed petitions to add Medicaid expansion to the ballot were submitted. Yet, Nebraskans are still without coverage.

Medicaid expansion would offer coverage to an estimated 90,000 Nebraskans who currently have no access to health insurance; single mothers, young people starting out on their own, workers whose jobs don’t come with benefits, caregivers who receive no paycheck.

Surely, state officials understand the need for access to medical care. Nebraska voters understand and voiced their support for friends and neighbors in need by voting “Yes” last November.

It is unconscionable that state officials have pushed implementation of this critical program almost two years beyond the date of this positive vote. Officials say setting up a new program is complicated and takes time. But, two years?

We are not reinventing the wheel — 34 other states already implemented Medicaid expansion.

Nebraska voters made health care a priority. Now, our leaders must do the same. A successful expansion of Medicaid in Nebraska by January 2020 is achievable.

Fellow Nebraskans in critical need of medical care should not have to wait another 16 months to see a doctor. I ask our state officials: How long would you be willing to wait?

Nancy Northcutt, Bellevue

Leave the Missouri alone?

There has been so much great coverage on the flooding in Iowa and Nebraska.

My heart aches for the people who have lost so very much.

But did the Corps of Engineers and the residents ever think that God made the Missouri River the way He wanted it to be and we should leave it alone, not just in this area but upstream also?

Just food for thought for those who plan to rebuild.

Patricia Huntsman, Red Oak, Iowa

Military’s propaganda war

In recent days The Public Pulse has included about a half-dozen letters rebuking a previous writer for complaining about the noise of military aircraft. Most have said the noise of the planes was “the sound of freedom.”

That suggests that they have drunk deeply of the Kool-Aid dispensed by the U.S. military and the conservative politicians who unquestioningly grant the Pentagon its every budget wish.

This country’s freedom has not been under serious threat since the Cold War, which ended in 1991. Yet the Pentagon persists in spending as much as the next seven highest-spending countries combined on arms and military personnel. When you consider the paucity of military success our nation has seen in the last 30 years (remember Afghanistan and Iraq?), you realize how disproportionate — how outrageous — the size of the expenditures has been.

Clearly, the Pentagon’s most successful exploit has been its propaganda war, which has won over millions upon millions of credulous Americans who idolize the military.

Please spare us the antiquated, and wholly unconvincing, slogan you have been spoon-fed since childhood.

Patrick H. Brennan, Omaha

Pregnancy complications

This is in response to Thomas Rawley’s letter on “sugar coating abortion” in the June 19 Public Pulse.

I’ll freely admit to pro-choice being about ending the life of a fetus when pro-life supporters admit that they’re anti-choice and pro-control. Rawley doesn’t consider pregnancy complications to the mother or child, nor instances when a woman is raped or impregnated from incest.

He ignores the number of unwanted children born and placed in foster care, in addition to the cost to other taxpayers for caring for these kids.

Pete Wright, La Vista

Rape and abortion

A June 15 Pulse letter “Laws limiting abortion options” questioned the lack of exceptions for rape or incest in the abortion laws some states passed this spring.

The victims of those crimes deserve nothing less than the fullness or our capacity for compassion.

But if such a crime has produced a pregnancy, it has produced a human life; each and every one of us is living proof of the natural consequences of a fertilized egg.

To end that life (even in its earliest stages of development) for the sins of his or her father would be to compound the crime.

As our parents told us when we were kids, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

Joshua Whitney, Nebraska City

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