Excuse to raise taxes?

Mayor Jean Stothert supports extending the cigarette tax to vaping for public health and tax fairness reasons.

City Council President Chris Jerram, who proposed applying the city’s tax on tobacco to vaping products, says he wants tax fairness.

Others on the City Council have talked about fairness on other issues.

Members of the Nebraska Legislature also speak of fairness when proposing legislation.

One thing: If five teenagers are vaping and get into a vehicle, four won’t be killed because of the vaping — which has happened when drinking was involved.

We see numerous reports of the damage and the follies caused by drinking alcohol and about people with a number of DUI’s.

I don’t smoke, but in fairness, are we going to raise the tax on alcohol as we want to on tobacco? If not, I see this as just another forked tongue moment to raise taxes.

Bob Choate, Omaha

Help citizens first

I read in the Oct. 12 edition of The World-Herald how three federal judges, including Judge George Daniels in New York, temporarily blocked the president from implementing a plan to deny green cards to immigrants who use Medicaid, food stamps and other benefits.

I think it’s time we got more judges who are for the taxpayers.

I know people who are citizens of this country and are disabled that can’t get this kind of help. Get rid of these judges.

William Manes, Columbus, Neb.

Why trust Trump to keep word?

President Donald Trump says the Kurds are happy with his agreement with Turkey. The Kurds lost 11,000 fighting the Islamic State. Trump then calls the Kurds worse than the Islamic State.

The winners of Trump’s agreement are Russia, Iran and Assad.

The Kurds and our European allies can’t trust Trump in what he does and says. Why trust Trump to keep his word on anything?

Retired four-star Gen. Barry McCaffrey stated that Trump’s claim was “absurd.” Trump has said in the past that he is smarter than our generals. Really?

Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, after Trump called him the most overrated general in the world, stated, “I earned my spurs on the battlefield. … Donald Trump earned his spurs in a letter from a doctor.”

Trump’s actions are like him setting fire to his house, getting a hose, putting out the fire and bragging how he stopped the fire.

Trump unilaterally pulled our soldiers back without conferring with anyone, not even the Defense Department.

I remember when Trump made fun of a disabled person and his fans at the rally laughed and applauded. Where have our morals and values gone?

Bob Clark, Audubon, Iowa

This is a free country

The Oct. 17 Public Pulse letter “Unwise voters” describes Trump voters like me as unwise, lacking the ability to judge character and gullible to con men.

He thinks that half the U.S. electorate should be stripped of our constitutional right to vote.

We are well-educated, church-going, hard-working taxpayers, and we have read and honor the Constitution.

This writer apparently has not or, in his puffed-up pride, he thinks he knows better than the Founding Fathers.

Where did such superiority, intolerance and hatred come from?

I have some dear friends who don’t think like I do, but we smile, remember it is a free country — at least for now — and agree to disagree. Then we go and have lunch, as we have been doing for 50 years.

Delores J. Cantu, Omaha

Don’t desert the Kurds

In recent issues The World-Herald has published news about U.S. troops withdrawing from Syria and deserting the Kurds to attacks from Turkey.

President Donald Trump was quoted as saying Oct. 21 during a Cabinet meeting, “We never agreed to protect the Kurds for the rest of their lives.”

My youngest son was a U.S. Special Forces officer who fought in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 with Kurdish troops.

While my son was visiting here a couple weeks ago, he received an email from his Kurdish interpreter, who was asking for his help for the third time.

He was still trying to immigrate to the U.S. His first request some time ago had been rejected. His second request had been approved but was later rescinded while he was preparing to immigrate.

Now he is applying for the third time to come to the U.S.

Kurds fought and died for and with the U.S. in Iraq — now is not the time to desert them.

Richard L. Kleiber, Hastings, Neb.

Classroom discipline

It is no wonder the Omaha Public Schools scored so poorly on recent tests: No discipline.

Some children refuse to pay attention, disrupt class and prevent the other students from learning and then go home and cry to their parents that the teacher was mean.

Parents can accuse the teacher of being insensitive to their child. The parents of children who refuse to behave are running the schools.

The OPS administration must let teachers do their job in the classroom, and parents must do their job at home and not let the children run the house.

Teachers are very capable of conducting class when children are willing to behave and pay attention.

Kathleen Moran, Omaha

MUD out of control

I just got my bill from the Metropolitan Utilities District for September. It was for $124.49, but the obnoxious part is that $83.06 was in fees and taxes. The sewer fee of $48.77 is nearly double what I used.

I was charged $7 in water and gas infrastructure fees and $14 for a gas service fee, which just shows that MUD is out of control. All elected board members who proposed and implemented these should be removed for mismanagement.

If this was run like a real business, where the officials were held accountable, they would have been removed from their positions for mismanagement. It’s time to drain this swamp.

Michael Lovejoy, Omaha

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