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Don’t knock beef producers’ work

TV host Ellen DeGeneres is among the public figures linking the cattle sector to environmental harm and urging people to eat less meat. Gina Pospichal, the wife of a Nebraska rancher, has responded to DeGeneres on Facebook, defending beef producers and receiving a surge of supportive online comments.

On this matter, the goal needs to be peaceful coexistence. A considerable segment of Americans want to reduce or eliminate their meat consumption, and that's fully their choice to make. People deserve sovereignty over their personal lives. At the same time, many Americans remain enthusiastic fans of a traditional steak or burger — also their choice to make.

Nebraska's beef sector has a total economic impact estimated at $12.1 billion and is an enormous part of Nebraska's Sandhills economy and culture, of course. And there's no need to paint ranchers as callous in their environmental stewardship; many Nebraska producers stand out for their concern for sound environmental management.

Americans should be free to make their own choices about beef. But amid that debate, there's no reason to doubt the dedication, amid great challenges, of Nebraska's cattle producers.

- Omaha World-Herald


Legislature must weigh appointments

When Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson called the state's method of choosing election commissioners for its most populous counties "constitutionally suspect," he shined a light on a situation of which few people across the state were aware.

Hall County is one of four counties with populations between 20,000 and 100,000 in which the election commissioners are appointed by the county board of supervisors. That practice also comes into question with Peterson's statement.

Overall, elections are well run throughout Nebraska. There have been very few issues over the years. This is also the case in Hall County. So the current method of choosing election commissioners has worked.

But still, election commissioners are county officials who represent the public when they're doing their job, and it is preferable for the voters of the county to have a vote on who represents them. Also, there's a concern that the practice is not the same in each county in the state.

The Nebraska Legislature should give this issue thorough consideration and determine what is best for continuing to have fair, accessible elections throughout the state.

- Grand Island Independent


US abandoning Kurdish allies

Whenever called upon to lend a hand, Kurdish forces in Iraq and northern Syria have been allies at America’s disposal. Now President Donald Trump wants to dispose of them.

U.S. military forces began withdrawing from heavily conflicted northern Syria on Monday, removing the only remaining buffer between Turkey and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces that provided crucial ground support to the United States in the fight against the Islamic State. Turkey has long wanted to crush Kurdish aspirations for autonomy, and the presence of U.S. troops in northern Syria has stood as the only impediment to a Turkish offensive against a longstanding U.S. ally.

A slaughter awaits Kurdish forces as Turkish troops advance against them from the north. As the Obama administration learned to its horror, engaging in a wholesale withdrawal from a war zone without fallback military contingencies in case of security deterioration is an invitation to disaster.

The message Trump now sends to the Kurds, and to pro-U.S. resistance forces around the world, boils down to this: Thanks for your help. Now get lost.

- St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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