Dismayed by mild sentence
In 2007 I wrote to the Public Pulse after hearing the appalling news that a judge made the decision to give Paul Antoniak, a former Omaha police officer, a mere five years of probation for his first-degree sexual assault of a black woman. Forget the fact that it was apparently the first time in the state of Nebraska that anyone convicted of such a crime had received zero jail time.
Now, here we are in 2019 and the firefighters union president, Steve LeClair, has been sentenced to six months’ probation for pleading to a misdemeanor. Did I not read that he whispered “white power” in a black woman’s ear and then assaulted her? Is that not a hate crime?
I can’t help but wonder had a man of color assaulted a white woman in a bar, if the end result would be the same.
How many times will I have to read about another white man in a position of authority attacking someone who looks like me, only to get away with it, basically? I guess I should just forget it happened? I’ll wait on my answer.
Kimara Snipe, Omaha
I found a great deal of humor on the front page of the Omaha World-Herald’s Midlands section on June 24.
A headline stated, “Fireworks will be limited to just three days in Omaha.”
To quote Daffy Duck: “It is to laugh.”
Ordinances, codes, laws, limitations and statutes are meaningless when completely unenforceable. Fireworks have, as always, been going off all year in South Omaha. The explosions have simply increased in recent weeks.
Bruce Karlquist, Omaha
About that college debt
As a lifelong Republican and a business owner, I would like to volunteer to pay off your student loans. Really. They just have to pass the following requirements:
If you failed to complete your education, not my fault, I won’t pay.
If you chose a career field with no jobs, not my fault, I won’t pay.
If you chose a career with low-paying jobs, not my fault, I won’t pay.
If you chose a successful career field, completed your education, have a good job and make more money than I do, Congratulations. I still won’t pay.
We are lucky to have fabulous schools like Metropolitan Community College that will teach you a real skill and get you a real job without huge debts. The problem is not student loan debt, but people making bad choices and ending up in debt.
Sam Giustra, Columbus, Neb.
Fighting for freedom
I take umbrage with Patrick Brennan’s June 25 Public Pulse letter (“Military’s propaganda war”), saying that sticking up for the military is “drinking the Kool-Aid.”
I served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. I stood over one of 200 mass graves in Al Hillah, Iraq, and saw thousands of bodies, many of them women and children. Saddam Hussein and his sons were “weapons of mass destruction” all on their own. I saw how the Taliban, al-Qaida and the Islamic State were and are threats to not only America but western society as a whole.
If you want to call military supporters Kool-Aid drinkers, you have that right. A right brought to you by me and thousands of my brothers and sisters that you seem to hold in such disregard.
Bill Epps, Gretna
Suffering at the border
Children are suffering at the border. This rich country has more than enough resources to treat these children with compassion and care.
Rep. Don Bacon and Sens. Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse claim to be pro-life, but children are dying. They are sick and suffering. They are being abused and traumatized. They are human beings whose families came to beg for reprieve from violence.
I urge my elected officials to take action on this. This treatment of children must end now. Treat these people with the dignity of any other human being. The United States is better than this.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Saber McConnell, Omaha
Violation of religious freedom
The State of California is in the process of passing the “Get rid of religious freedom” bill. The vote was 30 to 2 in the state senate to force Catholic priests to reveal what was told to them in the sacrament of reconciliation, or confession.
They might as well have passed the bill 34 to 0 since a Catholic priest would not obey such a ridiculous law. The priest would go to jail first. If a priest revealed what a penitent told him under the seal of confession, that priest would be automatically excommunicated.
Donald F. Sutton, Omaha
While riding my bike from home to the gym one recent morning, I was passed by a pickup truck. The driver, with his young son seated next to him, shouted out, “You ever heard of a bike trail?”
To that driver, I’d like to point out I have three cars and pay gas tax on all three. Does he know it is illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalk? Did it take a lot of his time to slow down a little to pass me?
What is he teaching his young son?
If I chose to ride my bike on a road that I helped pay for, that should be my choice, not his. I’d love for him to help pay for more bike trails so I could stay off dangerous streets and highways.
Joe Slattery, Omaha