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Mission to eradicate polio

An article in the Jan. 6 Omaha World-Herald tells of the plans for a couple of Rotarians from Iowa to circumnavigate the globe on a quest to raise money for the Rotary program called “PolioPlus.” In Fremont, Nebraska, where I am a member of Rotary, many of the longer-tenured members remember “infantile paralysis” as the scourge of their youth and have been extremely generous with their support for Rotary International’s worldwide program of eradication.

Notwithstanding the enormous strides made by the scientific community in this decades-long endeavor to place polio in the “ashcan of one-time diseases along with smallpox,” this inhumane, viral, communicable, paralytic-inducing disease has proven elusive despite all of the heroic efforts to eliminate it. A latecomer, but very welcome, to the cause is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. And they have been a very great help.

The cause for the resistance to the administration of the vaccine in many parts of the world is complex but ranges from religion to politics to local economies to bureaucratic snafus to fear of Western medicine; you name it.

Rotary and the Gates Foundation have poured untold hundreds of millions of dollars into this effort, and the end might — just might — be in sight.

Peter Teahen and John Ockenfels are to be applauded for their efforts and their generosity of spirit and money. Surely we can help them.

Darrell Puls, Fremont, Neb.,

PolioPlus chair, Fremont Rotary

The fight against abortion

State Sen. Megan Hunt is concerned that State Sen. Suzanne Geist’s Legislative Bill 814, “abortion dismemberment ban,” is controversial and will take up valuable time in a 60-day legislative session. She argues that there are more important issues that need to be dealt with. Then why did Sen. Hunt introduce LB 872 to repeal last year’s abortion pill reversal legislation? Seems she wants others to do as she says, not as she does.

Nebraska Right to Life will work hard to see LB 814 pass this year, and we would remind Sen. Hunt that legislation on grave moral issues doesn’t need to take a back seat to anything else.

Julie Schmit-Albin, Lincoln

executive director, Nebraska Right to Life

Locator chip idea

Why don’t credit cards have locator chips in them, like the chip you can put in your cat? Or the chip in your cellphone that tells you where it is.

Car keys should have locator chips also. Maybe some of them do. But credit cards especially, as a crime-fighting tool and for people who lose them.

Tom Gruber, Omaha

Impeachment is justified

There are strong feelings and beliefs about President Donald Trump. And they are published by the free press we have, thanks to our guaranteed freedoms under our U.S. Constitution. While I don’t agree in most respects with Judy Schall’s Jan. 12 Pulse letter, “Trump has achieved much,” I respect her right to her opinions.

I believe that the impeachment of this president was more than justified. And I thank the U.S. House of Representatives for fulfilling its duty to bring charges against any president they feel is misusing the office of president, per our Constitution.

And contrary to President Trump’s recent statement that he will use executive power to protect the office of the president, I believe he means to protect Donald Trump. He is subverting the power the Congress has to bring charges as written in the U.S. Constitution, which is where we have our freedoms guaranteed. Senators will need to vote their consciences for the hard-won continued freedoms we have, not to protect a fellow Republican and their own power.

The Senate owes it to our country, their own offices and to our continued protection against future rule by strongman dictators to vote to protect our continued freedom and our Constitution. This is much bigger than parties and politics. This is about honor and country. And Donald Trump does not honor our country.

Mary S. Ehrhart, Omaha

FBI and its apology

Democrats, when talking about the Trump administration, are continually reminding everyone that no one is above the law.

Well now, the FBI has apologized for actions it took in investigating Donald Trump. Hmm, would former FBI Director James Comey have needed to authorize that?

If only Michael Flynn, Roger Stone and Paul Manafort would have known that they just needed to apologize and all would have been well. But wait: They’re Republicans.

Klaus P. Lindner, La Vista

McConnell’s duty

Will someone please tell Sen. Mitch McConnell that he is a member of the Senate, not the executive branch? His job is to neither convict nor exonerate the defendant in the case, but to ensure that all the pertinent facts are presented so that his colleagues can reach their conclusion. He has failed his constituents if he chooses to serve as a lackey to Donald Trump.

Birte Gerlings, Omaha

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