University accountability

Exactly who holds the Nebraska Board of Regents accountable? The University of Nebraska consistently has put more debt burden on the backs of students. As noted by an opinion contributor: “it was reported that room and board for the next couple of years was going up, and the regents approved a tuition increase for next year of 2.5% to 3.0%.”

This on top of exorbitant book costs/rentals, parking fees and more. On top of that, it would seem to me that surely we have a Nebraska native who would qualify for a university presidential position.

The growing cost of education and the huge amount of student debt is a major concern across this country, yet our own Board of Regents continues to raise the costs.

Vernon Moran, West Point, Neb.

Will of the people

During the recent congressional hearings, the Republicans kept saying that the proceedings were going against the will of the people. They were talking about the 2016 election and the election of President Donald Trump.

If I’m not mistaken, the will of the people was to choose Hillary Clinton by over 2 million votes. The president was elected by the Electoral College with 306 votes out of 538.

So why do the Republicans keep saying the will of the general public is not being followed? If it was, Clinton would be president.

By the way, I didn’t vote for either candidate.

Also, just an observation: If the call to the Ukrainian president by Trump was “perfect,” why not just release the whole conversation with no edits or omissions? Prove it, up or down.

John Rock, Bellevue

Let’s work together

Wake up, Democrats. You are picking on the wrong person in Washington.

Remember, President Donald Trump didn’t vote himself into office. You should be mad at all the people who voted for him.

Do you want to start World War III over this?

We are the laughingstock of the whole world.

Let’s all work together to make our country great again. Be kind and see what happens down the road.

Jerry Hansen, Omaha

Play nice in the sandbox

Another year has gone by, and yet another stupid, entirely avoidable federal budget crisis his just now being resolved after being stalled for months.

America’s present system that requires annual concurrence of Congress to agree on a spending bill is fixable, if government geniuses set their minds to it. Congress could vote out or amend that law at any time.

Since 1976, when the current budget and appropriations process was enacted, there have been 22 gaps in budget funding, many of which resulted in shutdowns.

Almost any good parent knows how we can eliminate these debilitating federal government shutdowns.

Say you’ve got a bunch of bratty children who won’t play nicely with each other at the sandbox. No problem. Mother takes the sandbox away. Mom sets new sandbox rules, and peace returns to the playground.

We send too many people to Washington who do nothing but bicker, steal each others’ toys and throw sand at each other.

The ballot box can fix the federal sandbox. We simply need to elect people who are willing to play Mom.

Bob Copperstone, Wahoo, Neb.

Impeachment articles not a sham

In the Dec. 11 edition of The World-Herald, Gov. Pete Ricketts referred to the articles of impeachment drafted by the U.S. House of Representatives as a “sham.” I am wondering if he watched the same proceedings on national TV as I did.

Gary Brehmer, Pender, Neb.

Policing or protection racket?

Speaking at a Justice Department ceremony to honor police officers, Attorney General William Barr said, “Today, the American people have to focus on something else, which is the sacrifice and the service that is given by our law enforcement officers. And they have to start showing, more than they do, the respect and support that law enforcement deserves … if communities don’t give that support and respect, they might find themselves without the police protection they need.”

What the heck does this statement mean for Omaha? Is policing now a protection racket where proper respect and deference are demanded before services will be provided? Or are the police the servants of the community, contributing to the public good by serving and protecting?

I live in west Omaha, where community-police relations are generally good. But what about other communities where relations are more fraught due to social tensions combined with existing criminality?

I suggest the answer is not to demand more respect and support from these communities. Rather, our police should seek to cultivate mutual trust by improving police community relations such as via the monthly Police Advisory Committee meetings open to all residents in every precinct.

Peter Gadzinski, Omaha

Are biocides killing pheasants?

Where have all the pheasants gone, a Public Pulse writer asks.

Pheasants and more than 40% of all grassland birds are victims of the indiscriminate use of herbicides and pesticides. First we spray poison on weeds like dandelions, goldenrod and thistle, food for so many insects. Hungry insects left with few other options feast at the bountiful mono culture buffet industrial agriculture presents.

Today, death at the hand of biocides goes unnoticed by most. The end for pheasants comes after a slow starvation perhaps more cruel than the quick death from a lethal dose of poison. This year was exceptionally deadly because of a late-season spray to “eliminate” the thistle moth, which feasted on our soybeans. We can’t blame farmers, landscapers or even perfect lawn owners.

The blame falls on the biocide industry that sold us the idea of a utopia free of pests and weeds without consequence. Pheasants are part of the collateral damage.

J.A. Conley, Omaha

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