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Right impeachment approach

Many years ago when I was in a jury pool in a Sarpy County court, the judge removed me from consideration for the jury. The reason: I had taught the judge’s son a few years earlier. He did not want the slightest appearance of prejudice. While I hoped to observe the legal system and serve the community as a juror, I appreciated the judge’s caution and integrity.

Now Congress is poised to begin a trial of monumental importance — the impeachment of President Trump. Unfortunately, legislators from both parties have publicly aligned themselves in near-unanimous support for or against the president before the trial has even started.

It would be naive of me to think that the senators won’t lean toward the guilt or innocence of the president based on party affiliation. This trial and its significance reside light years away from the county court of my experience. However, the senators who make up the jury for this trial must draw away from their partisan bias; their duty, after all, is to defend and uphold the Constitution.

It would also be naive of me to think my letter alone would make any difference in the impeachment trial. Write, text, tweet, call, holler, email or otherwise communicate this demand with your senators. Contact the media, call in to talk shows, write letters to the editor or attend town hall meetings. Let your voice remind our senators and all citizens that we the people want justice, not partisanship.

Gary Anderson, Papillion

Stenberg misses the point

Former Nebraska attorney general Don Stenberg (Midlands Voices, Dec. 28) is correct in saying that Gov. Pete Ricketts “has every right to express his religious views.” However, Mr. Stenberg seems to miss the point of recent concerns about the governor’s Christmas proclamation.

Although the governor and the Nebraska ACLU chapter agree that no laws were broken, the proclamation appears to be inconsistent with the governor’s own guidelines discouraging religious or ideological proclamations, and, as others have noted, it uses the authority of a state office to elevate a sectarian view. The people of Nebraska represent a wide range of traditions, some faith-based and some not, as well as many ethnic and national backgrounds.

Few object to wishing others a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or any other sincere faith- or nonfaith-based greeting of goodwill. Their objection is to the apparent use of a government office in service of a particular view.

Ken Keith, Omaha

Eastman’s negativity

Every day I am so thankful Kara Eastman did not get elected to the Congress. Her latest comments criticizing the governor is one more example of her negative hateful attitude. When someone can’t even wish a Merry Christmas without someone spewing negativity, it is a sad commentary on some people’s narrow and divisive thoughts.

As decent, loving Nebraskans, we need to do everything we can to keep people like Kara Eastman out of public service. Merry Christmas.

John Cavanaugh, La Vista

Disgusted by Murante’s actions

I was disgusted to read the story “State treasurer opened new Omaha office in September but hasn’t alerted the public” in the Dec. 21 World-Herald regarding State Treasurer John Murante and his misuse of public funds. Murante was my do-nothing, only-focused-on-climbing-the-political-ladder state senator, and now it seems he is inflating that role as state treasurer!

I have one child in college and two more not far behind. It seems every day in the news I am reading about how college costs in Nebraska are rising, the huge salaries given at the top, and yet too little financial aid in sight for the students. We try to max out the benefit every year in contributing to our NEST 529 plan to help minimize the debt our children will have to endure by attending Nebraska colleges.

To read that the fees on this NEST program are going to pay for attention-getting campaign ads for Murante makes me sick. The entitled GOP leadership of our state has gotten out of hand, from the governor buying the Legislature, the state auditor spending his workdays at the bar, and now Murante spending our hard-earned NEST savings on his political campaigning!

I guess Nebraska’s slogan, “Honestly, it’s not for everyone” is true. It is only for the elite and the entitled laughing at the average Nebraska taxpayer suckers who just keep voting them in! Wake up, electorate!

Michelle Heisler, Gretna

Our endless wars

The Washington Post has exposed the result of interviews with more than 400 people involved in the U.S. war in Afghanistan. The report revealed that U.S. policy under presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump has failed miserably to bring peace or any measurable improvement to the situation in Afghanistan. Worse yet, the report exposes how policymakers deceived the public regarding the chances of a positive outcome as a result of our efforts there.

My question is, where is the public outrage? Has the military industrial complex been so successful in shaping public thinking that counterproductive perpetual wars are just accepted without protest? This war mentality will never change if we keep electing people easily influenced by the those that profit from perpetual wars. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is the only person running for president that has made ending this insanity her priority issue.

It would be a real shame if we passed up the opportunity to elect a person with the good character and communication skills necessary to unite our country.

Jarel Vinduska, Gretna

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