madama butterfly two (copy)

Opera Omaha's "Madama Butterfly," designed by Jun Kaneko, was onstage last weekend at the Orpheum Theater. The Kaneko version premiered in Omaha in 2006, and some of the scenery has been updated for the new production.

Singing opera’s praises

The only downside after enjoying the visually and vocally mesmerizing Opera Omaha production of “Madama Butterfly” is that this production has spoiled one for any future productions of this familiar opera.

By the way, the rest stations and artwork at Flanagan Lake look as if they are also Kaneko-inspired.

Art Hastings, Omaha

Don’t block fact-finding

Our Constitution provides the authority for an investigation to determine the facts when the president is accused of inappropriate or illegal behavior. Why would our congressional representatives want to block this fact-finding process?

Rep. Don Bacon has already built a “wall” to the investigation without first nailing down the facts. Having elected officials who ignore the Constitution is very scary. What other provisions in the Constitution might they block in the future ?

Duane Miller, Omaha

Thanks to police officers

I listened recently to President Donald Trump praising all men and women police officers. What a great tribute to them that they so deserve and that they don’t hear often enough.

I’m thankful to their families, who allow them to leave their homes every day, realizing they may not even get back home. God bless them.

I want to thank all these officers for putting their lives on the line to protect us. God bless Trump, and God bless America.

Dolores Klopp, Omaha

Both sides play hypocritical game

I see that Al Mumm thinks Sen. Mitch McConnell should go down in history as a worse individual than Joseph McCarthy (“Bills deserve a vote,” Oct. 31 Public Pulse).

I would to remind him that Sen. Harry Reid did the exact same thing when the tables were turned. In 2016, a Democrat was president, and the Republican-controlled House sent hundreds of bills to the Democratic-controlled Senate led by Reid.

According to the website thehill.com, in an article dated May 27, 2016, nearly 400 bills were stuck in limbo in the Senate and, according to some, Reid was “responsible for holding up 240 House bills.”

Both sides, Republicans and Democrats, play the same hypocritical game. Until myopic partisan people open their eyes, they perpetuate the incompetence of Congress.

Members of the American public are being treated as fools by Washington politicians. Unfortunately, it seems the vast majority are fools.

Scott Darden, Omaha

Threats vs. punishment

A recent contributor to the Public Pulse wrote that President Donald Trump has been having to deal with “impeachment threats” for nearly three years.

Just the threat of impeachment, according to the contributor, constituted “cruel and unusual punishment” and a clear violation of the Eighth Amendment. Trump himself has likened these threats to a “lynching.”

It’s quite possible Trump would realize what a real lynching was were he ever to be the victim of one. Lynching certainly is “cruel” but unfortunately has not been “unusual” throughout the history of the United States. Even Omaha, gateway to the “Good Life,” had its own dark shame a century ago.

Trump is no stranger to threats. He is usually the one making them. As a survivor of those pesky bone spurs that hobbled his feet years ago, he should have developed enough toughness by now to shake off any “cruel and usual punishment” created by mere threats.

Rick Behrens, Omaha

Whoa, NCAA

To his great credit, Omaha’s Bob Boozer denied himself immediate pro basketball money so he could represent his country in the Olympics. (Note: Pro basketball players are now in the Olympics but were not allowed at that time.)

Now the NCAA has decided that college athletes could (in 2023) collect advertising dollars while a college athlete.

Whoa! This drastic action is loaded with problems. After all, a student on an athletic scholarship receives: free tuition, free board and room, free jackets, free shoes, free tutoring if needed, etc. etc.

Some say there are cases of under-the-table payments today. I have had children on Division 1 athletic scholarships and know of no cases. Of course, in any system, there is always going to be some cheating.

But imagine the wide, wide variety of complex money situations we are blindly running toward. College recruiting will be entirely different. And the potential for “under-the-table” dealings will increase a hundredfold.

I would think team unity will also be more difficult.

A strong public outcry is needed for the NCAA to reconsider this proposal.

James E. Burns, Omaha

Late starts a bad idea

Regarding the late starts for schools due to winter weather, I don’t like the two-hour late start policy.

Even a slight change in the schedule is hard to understand.

I am a sixth grader at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School, and I believe this will mess up the entire day. We must have snow days.

The school districts shouldn’t start making late starts just because of what happened last year. We may not have as much snow again.

Aaron Anderson, Omaha

Respect for elders

What is wrong with young adults today?

For thousands of years, the older members of a society were the ones looked to for wisdom and instruction. They were respected for life experiences and learned knowledge.

Today there is no respect for anything. A person can be better educated and have tested ideas that work better than a new one, but people get looked over for no good reason.

We hear all this talk about bullying and how it damages a child. How can we teach the children when adults bully, too? Truthful, caring and supportive people are hard to be found today. The old folks try to be understanding and are gentle with their helpful opinions.

Susan Stowasser, Omaha

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