Amendment helps preserve freedom PDF E-mail

Dear Editor:

The Second Amendment is very important. If we lose it, the rest of the amendments will fall like dominos. Our freedom will be gone forever.

The enemies and thieves will be overjoyed and enemies of freedom will love it.

The Native Americans lost their land because they fought each other. A house divided will fall.

Freedom and unity have to be so we can enjoy our American way of life. People kill people, not guns.

Gary Eberhardt


You can make a difference PDF E-mail

 Dear Editor:

Education Under Fire (EUF) is a campaign developed to address the Iranian government’s denial of the right to education for ideological and religious reasons.

Beyond the goal of encouraging specific action in order to mitigate the effects of these policies in Iran, the campaign will begin conversations on university campuses and within communities around the country in order to raise awareness of and shine a light on the importance of defending Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees education as an inalienable right of every human being.

A new 30-minute documentary by the same title, Education Under Fire, focuses on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s three decade long policy of denying the members of its Baha’i community the right to attend any institution of higher education. In May 2011 the government launched a coordinated attack against the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education, raiding dozens of homes, confiscating computers and materials and detaining a number of that institution’s professors and administrators, some of whom continue to languish in prison without formal charges yet having been levied.

The Iranian government also bans students from pursuing higher education if they have expressed views, joined organizations or engaged in activities that are construed as critical of the government. In addition, the authorities have attempted to prevent instruction in several fields in the humanities and social sciences and have dismissed faculty for ideological reasons.

Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and President (of East Timor) Jose Ramons-Horta, have written an open letter about these abuses addressed to the International Academic Community. The letter is on the website www.educationunderfire.com where you can read and endorse it and send it on to others.

You can make a difference. By helping to set in motion, promoting or attending a screening-conversation of the documentary on Nov. 19, 7 p.m., in the Alice Farr Library, you will be joining forces with countless others. By doing so, you will help shed light on the importance of protecting the right to education and access to information for all of the peoples of the world.

Aurora Bahai Community

Mardell Jasnowski

Secretary of The

Local Spiritual Assembly


Let’s think about Lincoln's message PDF E-mail

Dear Editor:

"You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot further the brotherhood of many by encouraging class hatred. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence. You cannot help man permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."-Abraham Lincoln

Recently I found this quote from Abraham Lincoln. I feel all of us need to think about this message.

Gretchen Troester

Honor veterans by casting ballot PDF E-mail

Dear Editor:

While Nebraskans are hard-working, independent-minded, and liberty-loving citizens, we nevertheless seem rather lackluster at times about exercising a precious and hard-earned right -- the right to vote. We are now approaching a hotly contested presidential race and a U.S. Senate race in Nebraska. How do we intend to respond?

In the last two presidential elections, Nebraska set records for the number of voters. The 2004 election saw 792,906 voters (68.3 percent of registered voters), and the 2008 general election topped that with 811,923 voters (70.2 percent of registered voters).

Will we set a record in the November election? It’s hard to tell. I hope so. Nebraska voting numbers are not as encouraging when a presidential race is not on the ballot.

It’s never just the federal candidates at the top of the ballot who are impacted by low turnout. Low turnout also affects many races on the ballot for state, county and local elections. Those races matter as well and impact us in a very real way.

With the approach of Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11, we are reminded of the monumental sacrifices made by millions of Americans who have served in the military. Their sacrifices have resulted in the freedoms which we enjoy today, one of which includes the right to vote.

Each year, my office encourages Nebraska schools to take part in a program called, "Honor a Veteran," which celebrates our nation and the veterans who have defended it. As part of those events, the National Guard furnishes honor guards where possible, and speakers for the schools.

Not only is this a unique opportunity for the students, it’s an emotional one for the veterans as well. At one such event, a WWII veteran came up and shook my hand with tears in his eyes, and said he had never been so warmly thanked for his service until that day. Yes, that is what he said, "had never before been so warmly thanked."

So before they can even vote our young people are learning the lesson that – freedom isn’t free. It comes with sacrifice. But what is the lesson for the rest of us? Maybe it’s the same.

The Constitution begins with the thrilling words, "We, The People of the United States of America, in order to form a more perfect Union…" Yes, we are still "The People." It wasn’t just our forefathers back in 1777.

We should remember what others, generation after generation, have done since then to also ensure our freedom and liberties today; which we enjoy day after day without fear of tomorrow. Should we take those freedoms for granted? Or can we be counted on to be one of "The People" and honor our country’s veterans by casting a ballot in this presidential election?

John Gale

Secretary of State

Before judging consider the family PDF E-mail

Dear Editor:

Holding a BA in communications, I understand the drive of the media and the frenzy of people that feed off of it. But on Oct. 2 that drive and frenzy for the news ripped my heart out. For once, the news became REAL for me -- that was my family! My loved ones! And simply stating the facts didn’t leave an accurate description of my loved ones.

My 8-year-old daughter summed my feelings up perfectly when she cried out: "Don’t they know that is MY Nana and Big Dad?" So, I want to share with you OUR Nana and Big Dad.

Debra Miller was a daughter, a wife, a mother, a grandmother and my mother in law. Of all these titles, she bragged the most about being a Nana to the ‘world’s best grandchildren.’ Nana was a funny, amazing, brilliant, and loyal woman. She was a Southern lady by birth and proud of her heritage. She loved her family immensely -- her husband of 38 years and high school sweetheart, her children and her grandchildren.

She was my best friend, my confidante, my support, my admiration and my inspiration. She taught me so much and those are the things I choose to remember.

And the circumstances involving her last moments on earth are troubling, but she would be horrified at being remembered as "the woman that died on M St., in the big pink house."

Debra Miller adored her husband and he adored his wife. In the 40 years they were together, he had never struck her or been violent. This man would sleep beside her on the floor if she was sick on the couch. They spent each evening together discussing the day’s events. They were a very affectionate and devoted couple that had spent years nurturing and fueling their love for each other. He would do anything to make her happy.

My daughters describe their Big Dad as "the grandfather of awesomeness." He loved his wife. He loves his children and adores his grandchildren.

The events that transpired at 1003 M St. on Oct. 1 are very unsettling and so uncharacteristic of this family, that it leaves a raw spot in my heart. I am not offering any answers to what happened that night, but what I am asking is that before making harsh judgements and accusations, please consider how we feel.

Please do not define a man based on one night compared to all the other nights he spent with his wife. We are all devastated with the passing of our wife, mother and grandmother, and we loved her deeply.

Jennifer Miller

Pleasant View, Tenn.

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