Tragedy on the roads

As I watch the stories of drunken drivers killing innocent people, my heart breaks.

I see the picture of Krystil Kincaid, a pregnant mother of four kids lying on her death bed with her husband crying over her. She was driving home from a doctor’s appointment in her minivan and was hit by a drunken driver. Her four kids were left without a mother, and her husband was left to take care of the whole family by himself.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, about 28% of traffic-related deaths in the United States were caused by alcohol-impaired drivers. That’s 10,497 people. How hard is it to call an Uber driver and get a ride home after you’ve been drinking?

How would you feel if it was your family member on the way home who was killed? At any moment, that story could be about someone you love.

Lauren Anderson, Omaha

School spending too high

The Nebraska Legislature has been collecting input on ways to reduce property taxes.

Creighton University economics professor Ernie Goss has said Nebraska is a high-tax state with a spending problem which includes overspending on both K-12 and higher education.

Overall, about 60% of property taxes go to education. Comparing Nebraska with neighboring states on per-pupil basis, spending could be cut by $2,000 per student. With a K-12 base of 312,000, educational expenses are far out of line, perhaps not so much at the teacher level but certainly in administration and other areas, including higher education. Sadly, comparative neighboring state test scores do not reflect a significant difference.

School expenses are a “bull in a china shop,” not something to overstep. There are other unrelated areas for major spending cuts with more than one bull in this Nebraska china shop.

Discussion about more sales taxes minus meaningful spending control would be irresponsible.

Prior to 1967, Nebraska was known nationally for having very low taxation with no sales or income tax and great schools. One-term Gov. Norbert Tiemann opened the tax shift floodgates and later relocated to Texas, where there is no income tax.

Don Walters, Omaha

Syrian strategy concern

An Associated Press article published Oct. 8 in The World-Herald, about President Donald Trump abandoning the Kurds to a Turkish attack (“Trump’s GOP allies blast his move in Syria”), had two noteworthy comments from two of our leaders.

Trump’s tweet was “If Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey.” And Pat Robertson stated, “The president of the United States is in danger of losing the mandate of heaven if he permits this to happen.”

Have we voters, who in the past lived in the shining city on the hill, now become the fools on the hill?

Steven M. Watson, Omaha

CIA actions questionable

My understanding of the CIA is that it is prohibited from conducting operations within the continental United States.

Recently two or more CIA whistleblowers have spoken out about telephone calls of the president of the United States.

Recent investigations by the CIA on the Trump administration indicate that agency officials may have violated the law, not only involving the current issue of the president’s phone call to the Ukraine but also an earlier call that developed in FISA filings.

It appears that former CIA head John Brennan has placed one or more moles in the administration in violation of the law.

G.H. Kuhn, Omaha

U.S. medicine worth more

The huge Los Angeles Times article on health care in the U.S., appearing Oct. 6, was rich with bias. There is nothing wrong with the U.S. spending much more than other countries on health care because most of the additional cost is for high-tech, cutting-edge treatments available to all (MRIs, CT-scans, e.g.).

Medicine here has always attracted the best and brightest, and salaries tend to be double those in Europe — I’ll go with the best and brightest.

The English system is like the VA here, but shabbier, with more rationing and overcrowding. Americans would hate it.

The single-payer insurance in Canada led to rationing and postponements and bureaucratic interference. The single-payer problem is that the government can’t pay.

Also, even before Obamacare (which involves less than 5% of the population) most Americans registered approval of their health insurance policies in surveys. And don’t forget, the mercy killings in the Netherlands can be carried out without your consent.

The one legitimate problem in the U.S. is the unreasonably high cost of drugs, a problem the president and Congress are looking at now.

James Delmont, Omaha

Just blowing smoke

Regarding the Oct. 7 Public Pulse letter from Dean Olson (“Investigation of Biden justified”).

Republicans want to investigate Joe Biden for the same reason that they wanted to investigate Hillary Clinton.

They just cannot take “did nothing wrong” for an answer. All they really want to do is to blow smoke and call it fire.

James P. Laakso, Omaha

Expired plates

I would think there would be a very simple way for the police or state patrol to determine if a car had an expired license.

Have the Department of Motor Vehicles give them a monthly printout of drivers with expired licenses.

That should be a very simple thing to do with today’s computers and email.

Roy A. Singleton, Omaha

Vocabulary enrichment

Politics has certainly been turbulent and divisive in the last couple of years, but it has also been educational.

Most of us now have a better understanding of words like “narcissist,” “paranoia,” “sycophant,” “toady,” “xenophobia” and even “truth.”

Gary Welch, Bellevue

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