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Letter to the Editor: Tea Party kudos; Faith vs Works PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Tuesday, 22 November 2011 17:45

Tea Party people are wide awake

I’m so thankful that we still have the right to freely express an opinion.

I disagree with the piece written by Bureau Chief Quinlan. She says … her quote “Tea Party people are just plain dumb.”

Tea Party people are wide awake, and aware of how political winds are tested! Also honest! Also smart!

Our president has already made his political decision to not make a decision till after the 2012 elections. How astute! He tested the winds.

Ann Knickerbocker

Wauneta

 (A Capitol Commentary, by Mary Kay Quinlan, Nov. 10, 2011, issue of the Wauneta Breeze: “And what if their views are just plain dumb, like those of placard-carrying Tea Party demonstrators earlier this year whose signs famously read: ‘Keep the government out of my Medicare’ ?’)

 

 

Faith vs. Works

Salvation is a free gift … Discipleship costs everything … There are many cults (some very bizarre) feigning religion!

But the essence of religion — how to get Peace with God — can be only one of two ways: the works of man OR the grace of God.

“Now to him that worketh not, but believeth on him, that justifieth the unGodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 4:4-5.

For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: Romans 5:7A but God commendeth his love toward us; in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8, that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 10:9.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new, II Corinthians 5:17. Now if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Romans 8:9C.

Frank Sowers

Benkelman, Neb.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 November 2011 18:25
 
Knotwell’s morally-charged analysis of Keystone XL pipeline insightful PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 10 November 2011 18:57

As Dr. James Knotwell points out in his letter to the editor (“Tragedy of Keystone XL pipeline debacle is the loss of local sovereignty” Wauneta Breeze, Nov. 4, 2011) the Keystone XL project is a perfect example of corporate sovereignty trumping the needs of individual localities and regions.

Oil company spokespeople say our economy cannot grow without the dirty crude of the Alberta tar sands, when what they really mean is that their balance sheets won’t grow nearly as fast.

TransCanada’s advocates cynically trade off the pipeline’s inevitable environmental and health impacts with the sop of a few locally-based jobs.

Dr. Knotwell’s morally-charged analysis gains force when applied on larger scales of place and time.

Extracting the tar sands’ oil endangers the environment upon which all earthly life depends; the CO2 released into the atmosphere is going to take centuries to dissipate — and our civilization will be threatened in ways we can barely imagine. An economy in which corporate profits outrank the long-term survival and prosperity of our species is profoundly immoral.

 

 

Warren Senders

Medford, Mass

 
Tragedy of Keystone XL pipeline debacle is the loss of local sovereignty PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Friday, 04 November 2011 18:06

In trying to dissect and comprehend the theater that is the current Keystone XL controversy, I’m wondering whether to characterize its genre as comedy, tragedy, or farce; it contains elements of all three, but one must prevail.

It’s comical, for instance, to view the special legislative session as anything but a political move designed exclusively for CYA, but that’s the only way this “development” project could be considered funny.

Similarly, TransCanada’s faux concern for presumed accrual of economic benefits, as Charlie Litton and the Nebraska News Service ably demonstrated in last week’s Breeze posting, reveals the farcical nature of the Keystone XL escapade.

But that the Keystone XL project will end up as surefire tragedy for Nebraskans is a stone-cold, lead-pipe lock.

Of course the pipeline will ultimately fail with the fragile Nebraska landscape bearing the brunt of that failure, it might happen in months, it might happen in decades, but it will happen, and the actual cost then will be much greater than however much of the $4 billion in annual profits accumulates in the pockets of producers, transporters, and investors, who by then will have made themselves invisible or invulnerable anyway.

The real tragedy in this scenario, though, is the further undermining of community sovereignty by industrial investors — those financial overseers located everywhere else but here.

Only a few years back, with the wind-energy frenzy providing the fuel for industrial deception of magnitude comparable to TranCanada and its Albertan tar sands pipe, I found myself an insider in the construction of a private transmission line designed to move the wind-generated electricity of central Texas southeastward.

The procedure for building such a massive piece of linear infrastructure is dubious because it is highly secretive and frenetically paced.

The idea is to get the land easements bought and paid for before affected communities, and other landowners who will bid up the price, hear about it.

Individual landowners are picked-off one by one with visions of money-for-nothing. When communities find out they WILL organize in opposition, but if easements are in place prior to organizing, then opposition can be more easily withstood given our public institutional reluctance to overturn after-the-fact contracts made in private.

So, in effect, the public voice and capacity is co-opted by keeping the land transactions anything but transparent.

Landowners (not all but enough) want the money; communities, though, favor security and stability, both of which are expensive, and to neither does the transporter care to contribute.

At root this type of “development” reveals a moral corporate deficiency.

The Church, for example, discourages deception as a basis for transacting business, but our public “protectors” (courts, legislatures, executives, bureaucracies, etc.), who refuse anyway to act until its too late, can conveniently claim a legal “separation” from such a traditional moral prescription, and so legitimize their own inactivity and lack of moral fiber to do what’s right before-the-fact.

The other tragedy, inherent in this kind of shady corporate development, is that it will soon repeat itself.

The soil has been mined and its profits investor-extracted long ago, as the tar sands are being mined and investor-extracted now, and as the Nebraska’s groundwater will soon be mined and investor-extracted as well. The same Breeze issue that printed Charlie Litton’s expose, also headlined the continued decline in school enrollment. But until the community is, in the interest of fairness and transparency, forced to be considered from the beginning in these types of Keystone XL-like “developments,” enrollments will continue to dwindle because there will be little reason for rural Nebraska stewards, having lost all local authority, to remain long-term.

Thus, the land will suffer...and that is a tragedy of global consequence.

 

Dr. James Knotwell, Lincoln

Wauneta Resident in Spirit

 

 

 
Nebraska’s healthcare decisions are best made by Nebraskans PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Friday, 16 September 2011 20:38

States are doing better than the federal government at enrolling people in high-risk insurance pools, according to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

As of April 30, the 27 states that operate their own high-risk pools had enrolled 15,781 individuals with pre-existing conditions that were previously unable to secure affordable health care coverage. Meanwhile, the federally-operated pool for the 23 other states and the District of Columbia had enrolled only 5,673 individuals.

This is strong evidence that crucial aspects of the Affordable Care Act are best managed at the state level. And it should help answer the question as to whether states should choose to oversee the establishment of new, competitive health insurance marketplaces that the Affordable Care Act calls for by 2014.

The law allows these health insurance marketplaces, or exchanges, to be established and administered by individual states or, failing that, they will be established and administered federally.

At the Center for Rural Affairs, since early in the debate over the Affordable Care Act we have maintained that individual states should take the bull by the horns where they can - e.g. high risk insurance pools and health insurance marketplaces - and control their own health care destiny.

Moreover, the best ways to address the health care challenges that rural communities face will vary widely from state to state. A federal health insurance marketplace will never address those unique rural challenges as well as a marketplace administered by the state.

 

John Crabtree

The Center for Rural Affairs

Last Updated on Friday, 16 September 2011 20:39
 
Heritage of Wauneta is still going strong, offering top-quality care PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 08 September 2011 18:26

Vetter Health Services announced in July of this year that they will be closing the Wauneta nursing home on June 30, 2012. They will continue “business as usual” until June 30, 2012, as long as we have sufficient staff to care for our residents, and enough residents to remain financially feasible to stay open that long.

There is talk blowing in the wind that our facility is closing sooner than June 30, 2012, and we want to set the record straight! This is not true!

Since the announcement, we have lost zero staff members and zero residents due to this issue!

We have had college bound aides leave for school, we had one resident pass away and another resident get better and go home. We’ve actually hired a few new people since then, too!

We want everyone to have the straight facts: We will remain open until June 30, 2012, or until we lose staff or residents to the point we cannot feasibly stay open any longer.

If and when that point is reached, we must legally give our remaining residents 60 days notice before actual closure to give them time to find new accommodations.

The town people of Wauneta are busy behind the scenes working for a solution so that hopefully the nursing home can remain open.

Vetter Health Services will no longer be the owner/operator after June 30, 2012, but there is a lot going on to try to save Wauneta’s nursing home.

There remains a definite need for this vital service, and the town people are backing the efforts to stay open 110 percent.

Please continue calling us and/or recommending us for new admissions!

Our facility continues to be a premier facility in this area and we know that proven continued census will certainly play a large part in any grant money applied for down the road!

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to call us. We’ll be happy to assist you.

 

Warmest regards,

Lisa Kisinger, Administrator

Heritage of Wauneta

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 September 2011 18:28
 
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