Letters to The Post: What vs who

LETTERS-TO-THE-POST-OE-TEXT-300X250I went to a conference this week and the speaker talked about what we are, (nurses, doctors, salesmen, preachers) versus who we are (kind, present, loving, cruel). Those words have worked on my heart and I felt the need to share.

As representatives of the United States government and indeed examples of men/women, I wonder how many of you have thought about these things. Are you basing your decisions regarding this country and its citizens based on what you are? Or who you are?

As legislators, lawyers, politicians, governors, congressmen, representatives have you let those “what you ares” overcome the “who you are” underneath. Do you base your decisions on keeping “what” you are safe? Are your votes dependent on a deal you made with your fellow congressman? Do lobbyist and money sway your opinion? Does being re-elected weigh heavy on your mind and influence your vote? If so then “what” you are is perhaps too influential on your decision-making
I suggest you look deep into yourself and ask if you want your legacy to be what or who? Do you want to be remembered as being trustworthy, honorable, strong, caring, moral, ethical? Or as politics is played today, do you want to be remembered as a slick operator, a man/woman to not get on the bad side of, a slippery eel.

As I look back on the legislation, laws passed and deals made in the past forty years I don’t see many politicians in general that seem to put “who” they are ahead of “what” they are.

Much has been heralded about the Equal Rights Amendment, the Civil Rights Act, the Equal Pay Act, FMLA, VAWA, Bradley amendment, Title IV-D and the changes it has brought about for women and children. While some of this change has been for the better there has been a decidedly less publicized and quietly growing destruction of the American family ever since.

While over a million children a year are affected by the growing divorce rate and single mother births have reached a proportion greater than the numbers of children born in wedlock I have to wonder if anyone in charge of this once great country is aware of what our fatherless society is becoming? By creating a society where being a woman means you make all the decisions and indeed in family court are handed the power of destruction of your family have we really seen an improvement of lifestyle and production or are we as a society paying the cost of the federal government becoming “baby daddies” and replacing the once strong influence of a father with government handouts and free rides for those who choose it.

The phrase deadbeat dad is thrown about freely and regularly through out society and the judicial system. When in truth the system makes deadbeats out of most fathers. While they would love to be able to support their children and house and feed themselves the “awards” set prohibitively high prevent that. When a father is paying out sixty to seventy percent of his take-home pay plus required to cover child care, insurance and fifty percent of out of pocket expenses such as glasses and braces plus house, feed and cloth himself there’s literally nothing left and once a father is behind, the arrears grows and grows with no way out, they often give up, Becoming indeed the deadbeat dad. The FDA estimates it costs 916$ a month to clothe, house and feed a child in a safe clean satisfactory manner. So why might I ask why fathers and mothers are not equally responsible for this amount? Taking away the incentive of a huge child support award may encourage women to work on their marriage and discourage this day and age of having numerous children by numerous fathers and collecting from all of them.

That being said there’s the other side of the story where women are “awarded” ridiculously low amounts and expected to single handedly with no financial, physical or emotional support house, clothe and feed their child. Either extreme the child is punished.
The standard of the judiciary is to do what’s in the best interest of the child. Which in my mind comes back again to the basic question. What are you or who are you?Which of these is more important, which brings morals, values, and common decency back to the forefront. Perhaps rather than creating an environment where our children have become ATMs which the Title IV-D requirements have made them and the Bradley amendment has reinforced, perhaps just perhaps the legislators, congressmen and representatives in this countries government should give children back their families requiring 50/50 custody and 50/50 financial support for each child. That would mean each “fit” parent would be responsible for the child half the time. Since time and necessities would be split that would erase the need for child support awards. Use what the FDA states is required.

Have we really become a society where instead of equality we ramrod our political correctness down the throats of the masses? Where were the morals and values in recent events such as Ferguson or Baltimore riots? Were the politicians so worried about maintaining “what” they are they willingly gave up “who” they are to maintain it? How many of those rioters were children from fatherless homes? It’s been proven in study after study those children are at greater risk to end up in jail, do drugs, have psychological problems.

At what cost are we willing to continue to create a secondary class routinely discriminated against and daily denied their constitutional rights based on feminist ideals of superiority. “Who” is standing up for the children. “What” you are isn’t. Money collected by the state from the government “incentives” provided in Title IV-D assures the “what” you are’s maintain the status quo. Fathers that want to be parents are denied that right, their children stolen from them by the judiciary and the mothers who are guaranteed absolute power from said judiciary. Judges discretion is a term I hear over and over and over. To me, that would imply that judges are given the freedom to judge based on “who” they are not “what” they are. Unfortunately in the majority of cases this is just not so. Judges, being human are influenced by their own biases and egos just as anyone else is. This leads to most divorce and custody cases being decided well in advance of any specific case with judges handing out cookie cutter decisions based on what they think will keep them on the bench not what is truly in the best interest of the child.

Ultra-feminist ideals have been and are continuing to form policy, case law and societal “norms” degrading men and their value. The “what” these women are has pushed men out of families, out of their children’s lives and created an atmosphere of “man-bashing” that is damaging to males of all ages. We see it on television, main-stream media, news and stories from our neighbors, the physical, psychological and emotional abuse of the bungling, incompetent male is seen daily while in truth men are just as nurturing, competent and capable as females are.
Domestic violence advocates will tell you that the VAWA has changed the numbers of women abused and it has done so by selectively choosing their statistics and chronically ignoring the numbers of male victims of intimate partner violence, they are raking in the money and swaying public opinion. The “what” they are has overtaken who they are. They are no longer interested in helping everyone who has suffered from abuse but a select population, women only. How many male shelters do you hear about. How often do you see a female convicted of domestic violence in comparison to her male counterparts? If a male says he was raped or beaten he is publically ridiculed, ostracized and not believed. How does that fit into a morally ethically correct country? It doesn’t, it’s another example of the whats being more influential and important than the who’s.
I recently had an opportunity to present our state legislature with some statistics related to domestic violence. Not only did two members of the domestic violence coalition for our state disagree with my statistics they illegally lobbied legislature successfully causing an equal custody law to be killed in committee. Nowhere in their behavior did I see who they were but I saw an awful lot of what they were. Not once did morality, ethics or truthfulness enter their mind. They degraded and were openly hostile to anyone with a differing opinion. The what they are was threatened and their actions were those of defense.

I wish I could explain when and where the change came in our society. Was it the onset of “no-fault” divorce. (Which is a falsehood. There would be no need for a plaintiff and defendant is there was no one being blamed. Everything would be split 50/50 debt, possessions and time with the kids, support of said children). Was it women’s lib? Was it when welfare became a lifestyle rather than a temporary hand up?

I’m a simple Midwestern woman and can’t answer those questions. I can however ask those of you who have influence In this country to stop. Think. When you look in the mirror in the morning do you love and appreciate the who you see? Or are you admiring and polishing the what you are. Would you want your parents to know what you do daily? Do you want your children to grow up in your image and do the same things?
I’m asking you to let morals and ethically correct actions guide your life and the decisions you make for this country and its citizens. I’m asking you to research the effects that absent fathers have on the children of this country. I’m asking you to use WHAT you are to affect WHO you are. I’m asking you act based on who you are and want to be not on what you are. I’m asking you to reform family law. I’m begging you to equalize family court. I’m pleading with you to bring a return of a nation with values, morals and ethics. I’m requesting you tip the scales back to equality.
Make family law reform a priority. Save the next generation of children from fatherless ness.

I’ll be happy to talk to you anytime anywhere.

Thank you for your time.

Shawna M. Thompson-North Platte

Letters to the Post: Regarding the New Addition to Downtown

No-Skateboarding-Sign-CaravDear Editor,

North Platte is a trend setter!  The rest of the country should look to us for guidance.  In fact the City Administration’s most recent action will make every town that is trying to encourage economic growth or redevelopment of an aging downtown blush.

What?  You didn’t notice the new signs on 5th Street?  Right in front of the skate shop?  A shop that caters primarily to the next generation.  A shop that is doing it’s best to contribute to the local economy, even if the local economy would prefer to drive to Kearney to shop.  A shop that provides kids somewhere to go after school as well as a healthy activity that keeps them from something far more sinister.

Well, in case you missed it, I’ve included a photo of the new sign.  It reads “NO SKATEBOARDS OR BICYCLES ON SIDEWALK”.

Now, I recognize that this regulation is a City law and is based on the importance of keeping pedestrians safe.  What I don’t understand (and what the citizens of North Platte should be asking the administration) is “Why was it important to spend tax payer money printing and posting a sign with the summary of a law that is written down in the City’s Code?.  We don’t hang signs up that say “NO SPEEDING” or “NO MURDER” or “RESIDENTS GRASS MUST BE MOWED”.  All of these City Laws are also included in our City’s Code and most people respect these laws as part of civilized society.  Additionally our police department can and does enforce them – because that’s their job.

As an educated population we do not deserve to be threatened with signs that are obviously placed to discriminate and harrass a local business.  We need to stand up and remind this Administration that the revitalization of downtown is imortant to us and that supporting small local business should be a priority for them.  If there is a conflict between businesses, as I suspect there is in this case, the administration should act as a mediator to resolve the conflict instead of choosing a side and placing a sign that reminds the youth of this community that they are not valued, not wanted, and that they should move out of town to someplace that supports their interests as soon as they are able.

Brandon Raby
Owner-Caravan Skate Shop

Letters To The Post: Nebraskans To Petition Their Government

Citizens of the State of Nebraska have joined other states to petition their government for a redress of grievances or a request to peacefully withdraw from the United States as is permitted in the Declaration of Independence. Texas has gained enough signatures to receive an official response from the White house. Are we seeing a modern day breakup of the Union? You decide.



Letters To The Post: Vote “No” On Proposed Amendment No.2

Next week, Nebraska residents will be voting next week on Proposed Amendment No. 2, which would make hunting and trapping a right, thereby protecting the use of “traditional” hunting and trapping methods and shadowing the option of safer, less cruel live traps. If this amendment is passed, Nebraska would never be able to ban cruel traps.

Steel-jaw, body-gripping, and snare traps are exceedingly cruel. Even rubber-coated traps cause immense pain and injury! Body-gripping traps crush bones and slowly suffocate animals, while snares jerk tightly around victims’ necks, faces, bodies, or limbs. With all these traps, terrified animals, in their frantic struggles to escape, will commonly injure themselves further, snapping bones and tearing flesh—some animals even chew off their own limbs to break free.
By voting “No” on this issue, we can demonstrate that our state cares about the welfare of our wildlife, as well as show that we are compassionate people.

Please vote “No” on Proposed Amendment No. 2!

(OPINION) Sow and nurture your seeds, or they will disperse… Geno Verdez

As I walked with my daughter through Memorial Park this past week, I took the short tour through what is now North Platte’s premier water park when an older couple stopped their vehicle near us. The gentleman rolled his window down and asked, “Is that the new water deal?” I responded, “Yes. Not very big is it?” He shook his head slowly, rolled his window up and drove away.
His reaction mirrored my own. When I think about all the fighting, all the council meetings and all the controversy that surrounded this tiny patch of fun, it got me angry. I must, however, say thank you to Judy Pederson and others who at least got this far with the notion that kids should be allowed to have fun here too. The bottom line is, in my opinion, North Platte does not do enough for their children.
I was a child here and I fondly remember W.C. Franks (now an insurance company), the old Adventureland Fun Center (now a medical supply store) and I wonder- where have we gone wrong? The problem is, the people who have comfortably lived here for years have seen progress; progress in the form of new banks, retirement communities, golf courses, bars and shopping centers. John Newburn left money for the parks here in good old NP, a huge sum of which was sunk into a flood-prone golf course that is floundering to stay alive. All while the old sticks-in-the-mud around here get mad because some people have the audacity to try and put in a fun water park for the kids.
Go to Kearney sometime and visit Yanney Park. That’s what a FREE water park should be. There are tons of things for kids to do in Kearney- updated fun centers, numerous parks with updated equipment, several Frisbee golf courses, and more. It’s a progressive town with progressive thinking. Amazing that they have grown exponentially and we continue to crawl along. If my history is correct, the location for Kearney State College was between NP and Kearney. Could you imagine where we might be if we had snapped up that jewel at the time?
So here’s what North Platte has to offer- a school system that plays musical chairs with its principals, a nearly non-existent program for high achievers and learners, a dilapidated library, a four year degree accessible only through online courses, constant appearances by child molesters, abusers, crack heads and drunks in the Post’s Hot Sheets, a 15 X 20 water pad (imagine how packed that will be when kids come to it this summer), a 30 year old bowling alley, a nearly unaffordable movie theater (except on Tuesdays), and a skate park that the kids are pretty much having to raise the money for themselves. And this town wonders why the young people always go away or end up in trouble.
Wise up North Platte- nurture your seeds. THEY are the future. Not your nearest banking institution pumping more money into industry and not the retirement “hotels” filling up with all the local naysayers. If you expect the kids to ever give back to their hometown, you should give them something first. Make them feel welcome, not like outsiders- squeezing them into the tiniest, far-reaching places you can.
But hey, look at the bright side; if you don’t take my advice, at least you have a shiny new jail to stick them in when they turn to drugs and crime just to have something to do. It saddens me to see where this town is headed.

Geno Verdez is the author of “Welcome to Nebraska,” available at A-Z Books.

(LETTERS TO THE POST) Justice isn’t justice for all

I’m writing in regards to the way North Platte and maybe other counties in Nebraska is handling certain county court cases. I know for a fact of a gentleman that was arrested for DUI a year ago in March. Because he is of some interest to myself, I have watched via the court website that he still has not been to court and sentenced for that offense! Not only has he not been sentenced but he has had a court date every month and a half for the past year! I’d like to know, even if he is paying an attorney, how something like this gets put on the back burner and what it is costing our county/courts to have him on the schedule routinely for a year without any outcome??? I understand a fair trail, speedy trial and the like but come on people, this is ridiculous!

-Penny Reynolds Kramer

(LETTERS TO THE POST) Illinois teen brandishing a butter knife shot and killed by Police










I saw this story online this morning and it really disturbs me.

From CBS Chicago

Stephon Watts, 15, was shot and killed by Calumet City police officers on Feb. 1, 2012. Police said he had cut an officer with a kitchen knife, but his family said it was only a butter knife.

Shoot him in the foot.. Shoot him in the leg.. Even the shoulder would have been fine.. Throw your nightstick at his head… Heck, blow his hip clean off….Why KILL a 15 year old kid? Was he that big mean and scary? Show me a GOOD reason to KILL .vs. DISABLE.. Ponderous, man… Just Ponderous.. I do guarantee you this.. we will NEVER hear the REAL story as to why this child is dead.. Ain’t gonna happen.. Law Enforcement is given the control to make these decisions and that’s fine. I have great respect for Police Officers. I come from a family full of cops.. I just don’t think it was the best decision they could have made in this case.

Discuss ..

JN – North Platte



(Letters To The Post) SURPRISE! Uh Oh…

Submitted by Aimee

Here’s my deal, two months ago I attended a friend’s wedding out of town, and hooked up with a very good looking, successful man. We had few drinks, and we spent the night in my hotel room. I felt really connected to him as did he to me. We kept calling each other for a couple of weeks after returning back home and even made plans to see each other next weekend! Everything was great, until I found out that he’s married and I am now pregnant with his child.

Since letting him know all this he stopped picking up my calls, blocked my number and never replies to any of my e-mails. What should I do?


Letter to The Post: Tea Party Gone Wild

Submitted by Wallace:
OK I’m lost. I always liked the majority of the Tea Party platform, they had a message and stood by it. But what gives in Iowa?
They went GaGa for Bachmann, then jumped ship and went with Perry, that infatuation went south and they warmed up to Herman Cain, that didn’t last long then they sprinted over to Newt, when he was exposed they went to the last man standing Santorum.
Each of these candidates has flaws, and different flaws from the other, ranging from being a progressive, cheating on a spouse, embracing the hoax of global warming, expanding medicare to doubling the dept of education.
Were they willing to over look these non-Conservative glitches in these candidates, if so then just how Conservative of a candidate were they truly looking for?
That’s a lot of non-Conservatism to overlook.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the author. These views and opinions do not represent those of NorthPlattePost.com, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

She’s in Love.. Or Is she?


My name is Talia I’m 22 years old and just met a guy that I feel like I could spend the rest of my life with but he’s only the 3rd guy I’ve ever dated and don’t know if I’m jumping too quickly.

My mom said I should date more before fully committing to someone, she doesn’t want me to get married to young and feel stuck in a relationship.  But what if this guy has all the qualities I’ve been looking for?  Is there a number I should be aiming for when it comes to how many people I should date before settling down, or should I just go with my heart on this one?