This Week A Spotlight On Major Mistakes
Made In Fighting Of Two Controversial Issues

This week, another “shortie,” shortened by the fact I am concentrating on convalescing after very painful fractures of both rib cages.

It’s a slow, tedious process, as I don’t have to tell anyone who has suffered fractured ribs, in my case resulting from falls at home.

Enough about my personal concerns, let’s turn to some personal opinions, yielding to the journalist urge which has been such an important part of my life for 71 years. 

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Death Penalty Opponents Making A Strategic Mistake?

Supporters of the legislative act which would end the death penalty in Nebraska are making serious mistakes in efforts to persuade potential voters not to sign petitions calling for a state-wide vote on the issue of repeal of the end-the-anti-death-penalty act enacted by the Legislature.

The mistakes, as I see it:

By fighting to keep the issue off the ballot in 1916 could leave the impression that death penalty opponents fear a vote on the issue by a vote of the people of Nebraska.

Opponents of the people’s vote apparently don’t acknowledge that in Nebraska, with its one-house Legislature, the petition-initiated public vote on legislation helps balance the fact that Nebraskans chose to have a one-house Legislature.

It provides for a possible sort of “second-house” popular vote, more consistent with American political tradition with Legislation having to pass both houses of Congress (and overcome a possible presidential veto, comparable to the gubernatorial veto provision in Nebraska’s constitution) for a bill to become law.

If the capital punishment supporters succeed in their petition campaign to bring the issue to the ballot, then is the time for those who support repeal to go public with a campaign to preserve the law.

Ricketts Should Be Free Of Criticism In Using Personal Funds

In addition to even allowing a popular vote on the issue, capital punishment supporters are making another major mistake—criticizing Governor Pete Ricketts’ family for putting $200,000 of personal funds into the campaign to put the issue to a popular vote.

Like any other citizen, Ricketts should be free to lend personal financial support to support his point of view.

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Confederate Battle Flag Issue Overblown

For those fighting to keep South Carolina from displaying a Confederate battle to keep South Carolinians from any major display on the capitol grounds, the issue is not that important.

The people of any state had better spend their time on some of the remaining problems faced by blacks such as remaining discrimination (a problem which is continuing but still needs a great deal of attention, in my judgment).

So what if the effort to “take the battle flag off from display on state capitol grounds” succeed in their efforts?  What do you do then about the fact that the nation’s largest military installation, Fort Hood in Texas, named for a confederate general named John Bell Hood?

And the fact that the Arlington National Cemetery, where military persons of any color are honored by burial without any color discrimination, is named for Arlington, the land which was once the family estate of Confederal General Robert E. Lee?

Stay tuned.

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