The Public Pulse: The future is electric cars; Republican problems; Pillen prioritizes agriculture | Letters

The Public Pulse: The future is electric cars; Republican problems; Pillen prioritizes agriculture | Letters

Electric cars

The rising cost of cars, both new and used, could create a market for subsidized electrics. If automakers were smart, they’d build a low-cost electric, the opposite of Tesla, which is highly computerized and loaded with features; this would be a stripped down model, limiting the number of chips required, focused on practicality and low cost. The subsidy is a fixed amount, so the lower the cost of the vehicle, the higher the percentage of the total cost the subsidy would cover. This would get more electrics on the road and would lower demand for gas-powered vehicles, driving those prices back down, which is probably why automakers aren’t doing it, but it would make them a huge bundle in the short term and would go a long ways toward reducing our carbon footprint. It would also make car ownership more feasible for a lot of people.

Pillen support

The lifeblood of our state is agriculture. The industry accounts for nearly a quarter of our economy. Joe Biden and his administration are a threat to the good life here in Nebraska. Governor Ricketts has done a great job fighting back against federal government overreach and we need our next governor to be someone who is willing to stand up to Biden and his administration. Jim Pillen has the experience to take on the federal government and defend agriculture. Pillen has spent his life in rural Nebraska and has a proven track record of fighting against liberal overreach as a regent at the University of Nebraska. As a candidate, Pillen has prioritized agriculture issues including our outdated property tax system and fighting against Biden’s 30-by-30 “land grab.” A lot of the other candidates talk about what they want to do, but Pillen has lived and breathed agriculture/rural Nebraska-just like myself. As governor, he will defend our way of life.

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Melting pot

Interestingly, in OWH news briefs (Dec. 25), it was reported that the universities in Hong Kong removed memorials of the bloody suppression of the 1989 Chinese pro-democracy movement centered in Tiananmen Square. Quoting from the brief item “The removal of the monuments testifies to the ruling Communist Party’s efforts to erase the events from the public consciousness.” Does this sound familiar to anyone? Aren’t we doing the same thing taking down statues and memorials that reminds us of our past?

We should never forget our past as a nation, nor the nation where our ancestors came from in order to have a better life. How many of you want to go back to those violent and oppressive nations? The Civil War was awful and lives were lost but the cause was for the greater good. It wasn’t over slavery but the south’s desire to be a separate nation. I personally am so thankful the side for unity won. That is the only reason that we can travel across such a huge expanse of this country, no Visas are required for travel — we are united in language and purpose. Or at least we were. What is going on now is tearing us apart and that is so very sad.

The push for diversity, root word being divide, is now doing the same thing to our nation — dividing us instead of being the “melting pot” of the world, where we all speak the same language and support the United States of America coming together in unity.

There was a love song in the 1960s that had a special line — “in my little corner of the world.” Taking this out of context of a love song per se, we can all improve our relationships with others in our little corner of the world. Civil law can not make people love each other no matter how many laws are passed.

Insulin accessibility

It is vital that people with Type 1 diabetes mellitus have access to insulin for survival, yet high costs of insulin and health care in the United States present significant barriers to insulin access. I am writing to highlight the need for improved access to and affordability of insulin in the United States. In a national sample of privately insured patients with Type 1 diabetes, mean out-of-pocket spending for insulin was $2,500 in 2018 (Chua et al., 2020). For 8% of patients, this spending exceeded $5,000 (Chua et al., 2020). This is also true for individuals with insurance who have high copayments and those with Medicare coverage who are in the Medicare Part D coverage gap. The Build Back Better Act will limit out-of-pocket co-pays for insulin to $35 per month for those on Medicare or on private insurance. One in four people with diabetes in the United States report having to ration their insulin, which can lead to severe complications and even death (Knox, 2020). I support the Build Back Better Act because it helps ensure that millions of people with diabetes will be able to afford their insulin and will not have to skip or ration doses. I urge readers to contact Nebraska State Senators to retain the House’s lifesaving provision and implement this measure in 2022. Health is a fundamental human right, therefore, insulin should be readily available for anyone who needs it.

Ashlee J. Denny, BSN, RN, Omaha

Doctor of Nursing Practice Student

Republican problems

Gwenn Aspen (Midlands Voices, Jan. 30), 10-year Nebraska Republican activist, wrote of her struggle this year to find Republican candidates to support. She wants to only support candidates who will defend truth, democracy and our election system, asking them if “… they are strong enough to stand up to pressure to overturn a free and fair election?” This is the only question that matters “… because nothing else matters if our votes can be overhauled by powerful forces in Washington.”

This danger to democracy does not come from Washington, D.C., but from Republicans in the Heartland who are extremely frightened of losing their privilege and power.

On Feb. 24, 2020, gun owners were allowed to carry loaded, semi-automatic rifles into the Nebraska Capitol to protest gun laws. One senator argued that further restricting guns in Nebraska will only rile up the opposition more.

In May 2020, demonstrators openly carried guns in the Michigan State Senate gallery but were blocked by state police guarding the floor of the chamber where some state senators wore bulletproof vests.

The Guardian published a poll from last November showing almost a third of Republicans believe “true American patriots” may have to resort to violence “in order to save our country.”

On Feb. 1 Michigan GOP candidates for governor and the state Senate were captured on video telling supporters that poll workers suspecting fraud should unplug voting machines and that people should “show up armed” to protect GOP election observers’ access to ballot counting.

To paraphrase a famous Republican President: “A Republican government is not the solution to our problem, Republican government is the problem.” American democracy will not survive the unbridled lawlessness of these Republican “patriots.” John McCain is gone from this life and the Republican Party, and no Nebraska Republican will ever show his kind of courage to stand up for us.

LB 1077

Nebraska LB 1077 is providing much grist for the Public Pulse mill lately. Full disclosure: I have not read the bill, but it is apparent that it would impose significant penalties for the “crime” of teaching critical race theory in Nebraska’s schools. This outrageous attempt at overreaching government control of our schools and their curricula is something that should be tossed into the legislative shredder and burned, then composted.

I am just an old retired white guy, most of whose “privileges” came as the result of hard work. I also love my country. I also have more than a nodding acquaintance with the history of this nation, back to times prior to its founding. Back to the time the first African slaves were imported into the colonies. (There were also White slaves in the colonies already, known as “indentured servants,” but that’s beyond the scope of this letter.) I believe there may be some historical bases for those ideas that are propounded in critical race theory. I believe that CRT should be taught to minds that are capable of analyzing them, perhaps at the high school or college level. If lively but respectful debate could result from such teaching, positive results would be manifested.

CRT would have to be thoughtfully and intelligently taught by fully-qualified teachers. LB 1077 is the wrong place for the Unicameral to go. Instead, our elected leaders should block any efforts to dumb-down any pre- or post-professional testing of teachers’ abilities to use basic skills.

The Public Pulse: Westside response; COVID lawsuits; Constitutional Carry

A Westside High School student wants to ensure that the future of Westside is not plagued by childish partisanship.

The Public Pulse: CRT; Mask mandate ruling: Library is crown jewel

Critical race theory is fact-based American history, a Pulse writer says.

The Public Pulse: New conservative leader; Thoughts on Ukraine; Nebraska's next governor

A Pulse writer wants a new conservative leader to replace Rep. Jeff Fortenberry.

The Public Pulse: Commitment to Vision Zero; Thoughts on LB963; Abortion rights

City officials must prioritize pedestrian safety over vehicle traffic, a Pulse writer says.

The Public Pulse: Constitution amendment; COVID is a foe; Shared library space

A Pulse writer supports term limits for Congress, as well as proceeding with the Convention of States process during Nebraska’s current legislative session.

The Public Pulse: Renovate, don't relocate; More thoughts on mask mandate; Legislative Resolution 14

The W. Dale Clark Library need to be renovated and remain in its current location, Pulse writer says.

The Public Pulse: Solar energy is clean energy; Reason to 'paws'; Thoughts on the buffalo hunt

Pulse writers praise solar energy initiatives in Nebraska.

The Public Pulse: Prison incarceration growth; Bomber's stimulus; Filibuster 'hypocrisy'

A Pulse writer says Nebraska should investigate the systemic cause behind prison growth.

The Public Pulse: Prison population debate; Huse protects citizens; Bias training

A Pulse writer says Nebraska prison population increasing is a good thing.

The Public Pulse: Mask mandate and responsibility; Social Security tax facts; COVID relief funds

Pulse writer says that while wearing a mask is a personal choice and that national mandates are overreach, the state has no right to prohibit mask wearing when mandated on a local level.

The Public Pulse: LB 825; Random act of kindness; Library needs renovation not relocation

A Pulse writer says that Legislative Bill 825 goes a long way toward rectifying tax relief for seniors but that lawmakers must continue to serve the people and not special interests.

Mayor Stothert’s opposition to mask mandate stuns Pulse writer.

The Public Pulse: Spirit of Americans; More kind people; Thanks, OPS staff

The courageous spirit of Americans is what is needed to win the fight against COVID, Pulse writer says.

The Public Pulse: Thoughts on the mask mandate; Response to Sen. Hunt; Power of truth

Pulse writers offer thoughts on Omaha’s recently imposed mask mandate.

The Public Pulse: Hunting trophies; COVID question; The brass ring

Pulse writer says it is better to use a camera than a weapon to hunt.

The Public Pulse: More thoughts on court packing; teacher shortage; undecided gubernatorial candidate

Fischer is absolutely right in urging opposition to “packing” the U.S. Supreme Court, pulse writer says.

The Public Pulse: Civil recover laws; Good soldiers; Diversity

A Pulse writer says civil recovery law changes should be for all, not just victims of the Catholic Church.

The Public Pulse: Court packing; Listen to CDC; Friendly city, bad drivers

Pulse writers give more thoughts on the issue of court packing.

The Public Pulse: Remembering Tutu; Roads at issue; Midlands Voices response

We can all learn lessons from the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu, pulse writer says.

The Public Pulse: Where's the mayor; Racial equality; More thoughts on vaccine

“Where are you, mayor? Our city’s hospitals are filling up and good people are dying of COVID, yet silence,” says a Pulse writer.

The Public Pulse: District 2 voting; Thanks to newspaper carriers; No to library demolition

A Pulse writer says it is time to remove western Sarpy County from District 2.

The Public Pulse: Energy efficient TIF projects; Get the shot; Thoughts on Brewer

A Pulse writer says make tax increment financing contingent on assuring that new projects are energy efficient with solar energy.

The Public Pulse: OPS mask mandate; City council vote; Nursing home closures

Schools and businesses must consider implementing mask mandates to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed, a Pulse writer says.

The Public Pulse: Game of the century?; Thoughts on Herbster; More thoughts on library relocation

Pulse writer says Nebraska volleyball’s championship game against Wisconsin should be the new Game of the Century.

The Public Pulse: Event mask compliance; Thank you, Santa; Kudos for Creighton production

Proof of vaccination before entering an entertainment venue should be a requirement, a Pulse writer says.