Trump is handling it right

By and large, most Americans realize that there are limits as to what differing White House administrations can do about pandemics, specifically regarding the current coronavirus of Asian origin. Pandemics are mostly in the capable hands of national and international health organizations.

But various policies by differing White House administrations can have the effect of limiting or spreading such pandemics. Case in point is the former Democratic, globalist, “open-borders” Obama administration vs. the current Republican, “America First,” restrictionist Trump administration. Which of these two administrations do you seriously believe has our nation’s best health interests at heart?

Greg Casady, Council Bluffs

Great leadership from Trump

Mr. Bernstein (Feb. 29 More Commentary column) claims that at the press conference the president used “juvenile nicknames and petty insults.” Nicknames are very mild things when you look at what the Dems have called our leader. Mr. Berstein demonstrates a vitriol dislike for our president and an almost complete lack of understanding of leadership.

Our Health and Human Services secretary has his hands full working with a department full of social engineers who spend much of their time on the Human Services part and not on Health. A good leader understands that and appoints a trusted partner — Vice President Pence — to coordinate all governmental agency activities, resources and talents to address the issue for the protection of the American people.

Mr. Bernstein seems to be afflicted with that socialist disease that suggests that government is the answer. President Trump and Vice President Pence and their administration understand that this issue will be solved not by government but by the many private citizens using their talents and love of their fellow citizens to continue to do the things they have been doing every day to improve the health of their fellow Americans.

Ron Bauer, Omaha

Ricketts wrong on open carry

Wow! I cannot believe that the Governor is more ignorant than the yo-yos who showed up at a legislative hearing at the State Capitol openly carrying loaded AR-15s and pistols. The Governor supports people with guns in the Capitol. I wonder how brave he’d be if he did not have a security detail 24 hours a day.

Besides that, what kind of message does it send to the thousands of children who come yearly to the Capitol for tours in this time of mass school shootings? The children don’t have 24-hour-a-day security details as he does. He needs to rethink his position on this matter.

Tom Richards, Bellevue

Make Capitol safety the priority

I grew up in the hunting tradition here in Nebraska. We always had firearms in our house, always in a locked case or closet. We were always aware of gun safety. We always showed respect for our friends who had not grown up with firearms and did not hunt, by not forcing our views on them. To take a loaded weapon into a public place would have been and, for me is still, unthinkable.

Gov. Ricketts doesn’t have to worry because he has armed guards with him at all times. Most of us do not.

To Mr. Brett Hendrix (Feb. 21 World-Herald news article): What about my right to not feel threatened by someone who could be mentally unstable and carrying a loaded weapon? Do you not care about anyone but yourself? Have some respect for your fellow citizens.

Leon Bresley, Omaha

Trump undercuts honest debate

I agree with Gery Whalen (Feb. 16 Pulse, “There’s room to disagree”) that we have lost our ability to debate positively about issues; that we should be able to consider all sides of an issue without becoming inflamed and retreating into our corners.

Consider the climate that we are in right now. We have leadership in a president that calls people names if they aren’t on his side, who belittles people who are from the “other” party, who blames all our woes on the past president, who debases honorable people in our military, who has never once tried to unite us as Americans, who uses inflammatory rhetoric at rallies whose sole purpose is to rile his political base with opposition and hate, and who spends an enormous amount of time tweeting about his enemies!

Mr. Whalen is right when he says, “You’re not stupid if you don’t agree with me, and I am not stupid if I don’t agree with you.” It is refreshing to hear. But how can we discover this when the behavior of our president is so polarizing and a putdown to many of us who do not agree with him?

Charlotte Shields, Papillion

Real-life perils of socialism

The Feb. 23 edition of The World-Herald had an extensive article about the “migration” of many from Venezuela. It was heart-wrenching. However, the article made not one mention of the reasons that so many in Venezuela are suffering and why they want to “migrate.” There is a simple answer — socialism.

Venezuela used to have a very successful economy. Businesses were thriving — robust agriculture and high production of oil that was exported to other countries made Venezuela one of the wealthiest countries in South America. In 1999, Hugo Chavez took over with a plan to make things “fair.” The first thing he did was to nationalize all agriculture in the country. This was an effort to reduce poverty by taking land from the “rich” landowners and redistributing it to the poor. Food production fell by 75% in 20 years, which was a recipe for shortages.

The next “solution” was to nationalize electricity, water, oil banks, grocery stores and all construction. Prices were set below the cost to produce them, and soon there were country-wide blackouts, frequent interruptions of water service and eventually bankrupt government-run companies. The actions of the government created massive inflation that they tried to manage by setting price controls on basics like meat, milk and toilet paper. This caused companies to go bankrupt, and shortages escalated.

Yes, the regimes of Venezuela were corrupt, but without laying the foundation for socialism, many “migrants” would not be risking their lives to leave their home country. What happened there was a terrible confluence of corruption, a dictatorship and selling “socialism” as the solution with the help of media.

Marie Salistean, Omaha

The press and ethics

I would like to give credit to Mr. Urban (“Bias against President Trump,” Feb. 24 Public Pulse) for citing examples of news stories and sources he felt were in error, but a certain context is in order.

Responsible journalism publishes what Carl Bernstein called “the best obtainable version of the truth.” This means that despite due diligence by all involved, mistakes are sometimes made, sources turn out to be mistaken or the available data is found to be incomplete. Thankfully, such errors are the exception and not the rule, and responsible media sources, such as those cited by Mr. Urban, publish corrections.

Furthermore, Mr. Urban’s letter seems to equate mainstream media news with propaganda, which misunderstands the difference between news and commentary. Here’s the difference: What Rachel Maddow and Tucker Carlson do is not news; it is commentary that profits from stoking fear and anger.

As readers of the Omaha World-Herald, everyone here has firsthand knowledge of what responsible journalism looks like. As it turns out, those on Mr. Urban’s list follow similar ethical standards.

Perhaps if more people understood those ethical standards, we could start agreeing on a few more things.

Joshua Whitney, Nebraska City

journalism instructor,

Southeast Community College

Kindness and music

Our brightest spot for the week came on a recent Sunday when a musical director observed our aged bodies trying to walk down a large driveway and proceed through a busy four-lane intersection. He pulled his van over to us and slid the doors open. We got in and were drive up to the door of the Omaha Conservatory of Music.

Beside this man’s caring intervention, we also enjoyed an exciting concert at the Conservatory.

Thank you for your kindness.

Bob and Lori Erickson, Omaha

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