People passed out on the sidewalks in Whiteclay, Nebraska. The beer sales make Whiteclay a magnet for homeless people, who are frequently seen drinking, loitering or passed out along the highway through town.

Build a wall near Whiteclay

In Colorado, it is legal to possess marijuana. This has created law enforcement and financial problems for counties in western Nebraska because marijuana is being smuggled from Colorado into Nebraska. Nebraska officials got mad about this and filed a lawsuit.

Contrast this with what has happened on the northern border of Nebraska, where we have become allies with smugglers.

The sale and possession of beer is legal in Whiteclay, Neb., a village of about 10 people. With the full knowledge of Nebraska authorities, each year about 4 million cans of beer are smuggled from Whiteclay into the neighboring Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, where alcohol is prohibited.

Nebraska has allowed this to go on, even though the results have been disastrous. It is estimated that 25 percent of the babies born on the Pine Ridge Reservation suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome.

“Securing the southern border” has taken on a different meaning in South Dakota. Maybe they should build a wall on the border and make Nebraska pay for it.

Dennis G. Carlson, Lincoln

We all pay for smokers’ habit

I disagree with Feb. 14 Public Pulse writer Howard Schanzer Jr. (“Don’t use taxes to change behavior”) on an increase in the state’s tobacco tax. He failed to address the debilitating effects of second-hand smoke from cigarette smokers.

It is unfortunate, but society sometimes needs to be protected from itself. Does anyone advocate eliminating traffic stoplights or speed limit laws? It is a fact that increasing cigarette prices results in a reduction of users. Virtually every country in the world levies a tax on cigarettes.

As to his premise about government taxing cheeseburgers and candy bars, I believe he is just blowing smoke.

Jim Condon, Omaha

Don’t compare Obama and Reagan

Everybody wants to compare a Supreme Court nomination by President Barack Obama in his last year in office to a Supreme Court nomination by President Ronald Reagan in his last year in office. What’s the difference?

Here is the difference. Reagan was loved by the country. Congress trusted him and knew that he wouldn’t harm the country. Citizens trusted Reagan to do the right thing. They knew his decisions were made with the country’s best interest in mind.

Obama, on the other hand, not so much. Congress doesn’t trust him to have the country’s best interest in mind. He is the most divisive president we have ever had.

It is not the president’s right to appoint someone that is being questioned. It’s his ability to do what is right for the country that is in question.

Kim Johnston, Omaha

Apple right to resist government demand

Kudos to Apple! Our ever-invasive federal government is demanding that Apple create a back door to the iPhones (“Apple is told to help hack shooter’s cellphone,” Feb. 17 World-Herald). Apple, however, believes in phone user privacy and is resisting.

The government’s overreach is in response to last year’s San Bernardino shootings by a radical Islamic couple. If the government would have kept track of these people from the beginning, it wouldn’t have to resort to infringing on the privacy of iPhone users.

Some will say “but I have nothing to hide” — and most probably don’t — but allowing the government to snoop through anyone’s phone is dangerous.

After all, once it has the ability to snoop through your phone’s data, what prevents the government from modifying it? How would you know if it did?

Lou Totilas, Kimballton, Iowa

Media should just report the news

Thank you for the informative article about how media can impact public perception as it relates to Muslims and their religion (“Study probes media’s role in how Muslims are perceived,” Feb. 15 World-Herald).

However, it is sad that Iowa State professor Raluca Cozma says that journalists can “make a difference by actively seeking out positive stories that include Muslims or reflecting their viewpoint in stories about Islamic-related terrorist attacks.”

It is not the role of journalists to seek out positive or negative stories, it is simply to report the story and not allow bias to taint their reporting.

John Salzmann, Omaha

A trip with a happy homecoming

I was recently rushing to catch a plane at Eppley Airfield, and while waiting to board at the gate, I realized I had lost a very nice necklace that my husband had given me.

I retraced my steps in the airport and talked to the Transportation Safety Administration agents, but I couldn’t find it. The TSA agent gave me an email address to check on it later.

Since it wasn’t in the car upon my return a week later, I wrote to the TSA email address that I had been given. I wasn’t optimistic but thought I would give it a try. Within 30 minutes I received a very nice reply that the agency had my necklace.

Wow! With all the bad stories in the news, it is easy to forget about all of the good people. I am impressed, and thankful, for the honesty and character of the person who found my necklace and the employees of the TSA.

Carol Kontor, Omaha

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