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The Nebraska Legislature's legislative chamber at the State Capitol.

Proposal to help the disabled

Currently, the Nebraska Judiciary Committee is considering “Libby’s Law,” or Legislative Bill 994. LB 994 requires transplant centers to ensure that no mentally or physically disabled person is eliminated from consideration for organ transplant based solely on their disability.

At its core, this is an acknowledgment that human life, in all its miraculous manifestations, is worthy of care. And yet, the bill languishes in committee.

On Sept. 25, 2019, the National Council on Disability submitted to the president a report called “Organ Transplant Discrimination Against People with Disabilities: Part of the Bioethics and Disability Series.” The National Council on Disability determined that this form of discrimination exists nationwide.

It is inconsistent with these findings for our Legislature to determine that a law is not necessary because the problem does not exist. So why do our legislators appear willing to adopt such a stance?

Bill Rawley, Omaha

Osborne wrong on gambling

Tom Osborne again comes out against casino gambling in Nebraska because “most of the really unpleasant interactions I had with fans were people who had lost a bet.” Unless all of these Husker fans were from Council Bluffs, Osborne actually makes the case for Nebraska to allow casino gambling.

Anybody that wants to gamble is already going to surrounding states to do it. We’re simply losing out on the revenue we would raise while everyone in Nebraska is decrying the degrading infrastructure and high property taxes.

Tom Osborne is nothing but another hypocritical Republican that preaches against government intrusion on our lives while trying to control every decision a person makes.

Michael Zack, Omaha

Faith, hiring, social justice

Bishop Scott Barker’s letter in support of Legislative Bill 627 supporting protections for LGBT Nebraskans resonated with my study of the writings of Jesuit John Courtney Murray in the late ’50s and early ’60s. Fr. Murray sought to reconcile Catholicism and religious pluralism in American society. One of his books was “We Hold These Truths,” in which he cited Articles of Peace as well as Articles of Faith as factors to govern social/political relations.

Murray argued that civil peace was among the highest values. At that time, people of conscience were moving to support the civil and economic rights of African Americans, a group finally raising their heads to say, “No more.” And salting the stew was the rise of Jack Kennedy as a potential presidential candidate.

In our day, opposition to refugees, especially people of color, has tried to deny its racist motivation. The latest on the frontier of legal protection is the LGBT community simply trying to work and live as ordinary Americans. “Ordinary Americans” is our kind of embarrassed, sort of secular way of saying, “We are all God’s children.”

Thanks for speaking up, Bishop Barker!

K.M. Davies, Omaha

The only ones not covered

Apparently, the only class of people not covered by anti-discrimination laws will be white straight men under 50 years old.

Bill Petersen, Omaha

Romney deserves no praise

I am sorry, but I have had it to my limit with these pseudo-intellectuals who keep whining about the impeachment vote and their continued exaltation of Mitt Romney. The House did not present impeachable offenses in their articles of impeachment. The evidence was not there; it was in their hope to be presented in further witnesses in front of the Senate, which they refused to hear.

Mitt Romney hates President Trump, and his vote was nothing more than a stab at an old adversary. Spare me all the heartfelt, following God’s guidance of his heart. If God were actually guiding his heart, I doubt He would have led him to approve Romney Care in Massachusetts, which allows and pays for abortions.

The House, for political reasons, rushed the case instead of gaining the actual evidence to try to get a conviction. That’s the cost or rushing to trial. Get over it. The Senate had absolutely no other possible verdict. There was not enough evidence. Democrats just wanted to convict for political expediency. You lost, get over it, move on to something else. Maybe even legislate something that helps middle-income Americans!

Will Schafer, Panama, Iowa

Trump’s many failures

Kevin Rooney stated that Democrats have been trying for three and a half years to find any offense they could charge the president with. He mentioned emoluments — this is a fact, as every time Trump goes to Mar-a-Lago for the weekend he makes money. His tax returns have never been released by the president. Obstruction of justice happened when he refused to release any information to Congress and told his administration not to comply with subpoenas. On Russian collusion, I will give you this one, as the Mueller report did not report collusion.

On the other side of the coin, Mr. Rooney and a lot of other Republicans need to refresh their memories, as the day after Barack Obama was elected to the presidency, Mitch McConnell stated they would do everything to make sure that he does not succeed. Also, I noticed that President Obama never made fun of the handicapped and never stated that a judge was biased due to his ethnicity.

It is way past time for the American people to demand better of all our political representatives and treat others as we would like to be treated.

Rick Fetter, Council Bluffs

A troubled nation

Oh, dear Lord, what has become of my beloved America? I am weeping, gulping tears at the spectacle of the speaker of the House of Representatives, that “august” body of servants of this nation, ripping up her “official” copy of the President’s just-delivered State of the Union address. Double shame!

My heart breaks. I go back, in my reverie, to my childhood days of honoring my country, praying for our soldiers fighting on foreign soil, saving bits of “junk” to give to a scrap drive, saving newspapers for a paper sale, and now I feel like I need to step into the breach and save the very nation for which I have such great love and devotion.

Should I pray to God to bless America, or should I be praying for Him to save America?

Sunny McComber, Omaha

Trump’s foreign policy racket

In Ben Sasse’s telling, Rudy Giuliani is a Svengali-like character, a deceiver who somehow convinced President Trump to ask Ukraine’s president to investigate Joe Biden, using U.S. security assistance as a tool of extortion.

There is, of course, a more rational explanation than this fanciful tale. That is, like Michael Cohen, Jay Goldberg and many lawyers before them, Mr. Giuliani was acting as Donald Trump’s fixer, or “consigliere,” to use the organized crime parlance.

Rather than leading Donald Trump astray, Giuliani was doing exactly what he knew Trump wanted him to do. In doing so, Giuliani essentially gutted official foreign policy in Ukraine, in favor of what John Bolton called “a drug deal.”

Beyond the open abuse of power, there is other damage. Ukraine joins a long list of erstwhile allies who now know that the United States cannot be trusted. Our NATO allies, South Korea and the Kurds have all learned this lesson. With President Trump, our foreign policy resembles a protection racket, with a strong tinge of self-interest intertwined.

James A. Harrold, Plattsmouth, Neb.

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