pheasant (copy)

Farming and pheasants

All you have to do is take a ride in the country and you will see you that most of the wildlife habitat is gone. There is nowhere for the pheasants to live. When all the fields are planted from roadside to roadside, there is nowhere for the pheasants to live. The land that used to be set aside is now planted. A pheasant cannot live in a bare field. There is nowhere to raise their chicks, nowhere to escape predators and nowhere to roost.

I know people have to make a living, but at what cost? A lot of the problems are because of corporate farms. They are not stewards of the land like a lot of family farms. It’s all about the money. Take a ride in the country on the gravel roads and see for yourself.

Marshall Bruner, Council Bluffs

Win more means lose more

The continuing misleading advertising by the Prairie Flower Casino — “Play longer, win more” — invites comment. Granted, the payback by casinos on the slots is at least 90%. But for the average player, “play more” means “lose more.” The winners are the few hitting the jackpot, but it is the average player who provides that jackpot.

Dale Monsell, Omaha

Best to be prepared for the next one

We might as well get a jump on it:

Impeach President (fill in the blank):

A. Warren

B. Sanders

C. Biden

D. Buttigieg

E. Klobuchar

F. Player To Be Named Later

Tim Riley, Omaha

Ricketts has free speech

Let’s consider the reaction to Gov. Pete Ricketts’ Christmas message, which asked us to reflect on the meaning of the holiday. The basic Christian message of: “Love your neighbor. Forgive others as you would like to be forgiven.” That sort of thing. Not particularly controversial.

But State Sen. Megan Hunt says that the tweet was “way out of bounds” because the First Amendment “ensures faith is not corrupted by government.” Actually, the First Amendment says nothing about government corruption of faith, or even the separation of church and state. It does say that Congress shall pass no law which establishes a religion, or a law that prohibits the free exercise of religion.

The First Amendment guarantees freedom for religion, not freedom from it. It is hard to see how Gov. Ricketts violated those precepts with his message.

Kara Eastman is concerned that the message will alienate Nebraskans who are not Christians. I think she underestimates the emotional stability of non-Christians. I suspect that most are not so easily intimidated by a “Merry Christmas” message.

Perhaps I am drawing too large a conclusion here, but this seems to me an illustration of our hyper-sensitive culture. The governor’s critics manufacture an offence and leap at the chance to express their outrage. They call for inclusion and then try to exclude speech with which they do not agree.

I believe there was something in the First Amendment about free speech too. As I read it, that applies to Christians, Muslims, Jews or atheists. Anyone. Even the governor of Nebraska.

Wade Winingham, Omaha

When decades actually end

People, we started our current calendar on the year 1. There are 10 years in a decade. The last year of the first decade was 10 AD. The last year of our first millennia was 1000 AD. Second millennia, 2000 AD.

The year 2001 was the first year of the 21st century. Therefore this coming year 2020 is the last year of the decade 2011-2020.

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. Simple math.

Scott Bray, La Vista

Veganuary is worth a try

New Year’s resolutions are usually very popular at first and then inevitably dwindle away in frustration and/or boredom. Good intentions to overcome bad habits with discipline may not be enough.

This year, thousands of people have already signed up for the Veganuary challenge, where you are supported with plant-based recipes and advice for a month as you go meatless, dairyless, eggless, fishless and poultryless. I became a vegan 17 years ago without any support, and it was difficult.

I had been mostly vegetarian with a little fish or chicken, but I embraced exciting new tastes.

According to the Dec. 11 Washington Post article “Veganuary wants to be your new food resolution For 2020 — and beyond,” half of the quarter-million participants decided to stick with the challenge. Most cited health reasons, but this year more people cite environmental reasons as veganism most reduces the meat industry’s carbon poisoning. I chose to become vegan for both, as well as a stand against farmed animal cruelty, and created my own dishes because the market didn’t then offer any delicious plant-based options like it does now.

Going vegan is not a diet based on calorie, nutrition or pleasure deprivation. It wakes up your taste buds, letting you enjoy food without feeling bloated, gassy, sleepy and often sick. I never crave sugary or fatty snacks (dates preferred), am lean, with a healthy head of hair and rarely sick.

Please consider taking up the challenge, the first New Year’s resolution you’ll soon love.

Jan Peregrine, Lincoln

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