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We are now approaching six weeks of America in lock down! Here is what needs to be done to reopen our economy.
First, we must protect the most vulnerable. We need to test workers in our nursing homes, hospitals and healthcare clinics, and those working in the food chain.
I have heard from many people about the financial burden that the Governor’s Directive Health Measures have put on them. One business owner shared with me how he has two businesses in two different communities. His business hasn’t been good and he will have to close both businesses and start over.
I have also heard about the lack of processing in both hogs and cattle. The plants are having a difficult time with their employees not coming to work for fear of the coronavirus. They are functioning at less than 40% capacity. So, the buck stops with the producer! The ranchers, cattle feeders, feedlot operators, and hog producers. We will soon discover how important these folks are. There will be shortages of meat products because of these policies. What is worse is that many in the groups I just mentioned won’t be around to pick up the slack!
Another person shared with me his story about how 40 years of his work will be lost in one year. There are many of you reading this who can relate to this issue. The Governor’s policies have not only affected agriculture but manufacturing and businesses on Main Street as well. It is an equal opportunity offender!
Williams Jennings Byran once said: “Burn down our cities and leave the farms, and our cities will spring up like magic, but destroy our farms and grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country”! We are about to find out if he was right!!
A lot of people are living in fear. I understand that. We seldom ever hear any good news, such as the ten patients of coronavirus in Kimball County who have all recovered. Not everyone who gets the virus dies!
It is becoming more evident that the real number of deaths associated with the virus is not accurate. For instance, a doctor in Italy concluded that only 12% of Italians who have died in that country this year actually died from the coronavirus. That means that 88% percent died from some other cause.
Stanford University has released a report which says the number of folks who have been exposed to the virus is 85 times greater than the original estimates. So what does that mean statistically? The denominator is growing exponentially which means the percentage of deaths from the coronavirus will be no greater than the seasonal flu.
When you analyze what happened in some of our neighboring states. We realize that the leadership in those states made some very wise decisions on how to manage the virus. South Dakota is a prime example. Some will say they have a lot less population, but half of our counties have a very similar population to those in South Dakota. Yet every county in Nebraska was restricted in the same way. One size doesn’t fit all.
The cure or should I say the flattening of the curve has now extended the period of time that we can be exposed to the virus. What the Directive Health Measures have done is kill our economy and prolonged our financial agony! Isn’t it peculiar that you can sell your scrap metal for cash, but you can’t go to church! It is past time to reopen all of the economy.
Last week we, Sen. Steve Erdman and Sen. Steve Halloran, offered a joint article challenging the current response to COVID-19. The current policy that is being used was based upon a flawed model provided by Dr. Neil M. Ferguson, which originally projected the American death toll to be around 2.2 million on March 16. Following that wildly irresponsible projection, on March 29 Dr. Fauci stated on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the death toll would range from 100,000 to 200,000, then two days later, on March 31, he told the American people during a White House press conference to anticipate as much as 240,000 deaths. Finally, on April 9 he revised the number down to 60,000 deaths during an interview on NBC’s “Today Show”.
Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx are now trying to convince the American public that social distancing is the reason for these drastically revised numbers and that they should somehow be credited for these diminished numbers. However, it defies common sense to attribute social distancing as the reason for a decline from 2.2 million down to 60,000. Instead, the initial projection was intentionally set high in order to make these carryover bureaucrats from the Clinton and Obama administrations look credible once the actual numbers came in. These two physicians acted immorally when they advised the President to implement a policy that was based upon flawed models.
In order to help you see this more clearly, consider that Dr. Fauci played a similar role in curbing the H1N1 pandemic ten years ago. He counseled President Obama in the same way that he counsels President Trump today. However, when the H1N1 pandemic first hit back in 2009 he did not give the same kind of advice to President Obama that he gave to President Trump. Under Dr. Fauci’s watch, from April 12, 2009 to April 10, 2010 the CDC recorded that there were 60.8 million cases of H1N1 in the United States, along with 274,304 hospitalizations, and 12,469 deaths. So, why didn’t Dr. Fauci advise President Obama to lock down the nation? Obama never implemented these kinds of draconian measures that we see today, such as closing down schools, even though the H1N1 posed a bigger threat to school age children than the coronavirus. According to a January 2010 article written in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the H1N1 virus, “…caused disproportionate disease among young people…”
We have received many emails concerning the article we wrote last week. While many were supportive, some took an opposing view. We respect those who disagree with our perspective, but few gave any compelling data, facts or other information to counter our argument for herd immunity.
We regret that some have drawn the conclusion that we were emphasizing money over lives. That could not be further from the truth! Instead, we are concerned that when people lose their source of income, it will result in additional health issues. Many of the 22 million unemployed are now without health insurance. Moreover, domestic abuse and suicide hotlines have become overloaded. Alcohol and drug abuse are ramping up, and long lines are now forming at food pantries. Poverty kills. Just as health issues skyrocketed during the days of the Great Depression, why should today be any different?
The current mitigation policies are putting undue strain on our healthcare system. Hospitals are furloughing employees because they cannot perform elective surgeries. Colonoscopies, breast cancer screenings, and ultrasounds are being delayed, yet these are the procedures we need in order to prevent premature deaths. The longer we make hospitals and medical clinics forgo these procedures, the more we risk losing them altogether.
Our current methodology of flattening the curve will not reduce the number of coronavirus deaths; instead, it will simply spread those deaths out over a longer period of time. Therefore, we have only two options before us: (1) We can wait 12-18 months for a vaccine, or (2) we can protect those who are most vulnerable, such as the elderly, those with compromised auto-immune systems, and those with hazardous medical preconditions, and allow those who are stronger and more able-bodied to interact with the virus and develop the antibodies we need to develop a herd immunity.
God designed the human body with the ability to form a natural defense against these kinds of viruses. That natural defense system produces the antibodies we need to fight the coronavirus. The mitigation procedures that we’ve currently set in place actually work against the body’s natural defenses. This is why we prefer the second option.
Finally, we appreciate how Nebraskans have come together in unity during this healthcare crisis. Many deserve our gratitude, especially those doctors, nurses and first responders, who put themselves in harm’s way in order to care for us. Thank you for your faithful service to our communities.
Now it is time to liberate Nebraska…we need to get back to living and making a living.
We, Sen. Steve Erdman (LD47) and Sen. Steve Halloran (LD33), have received numerous emails, phone calls and text messages concerning the coronavirus. They are all very similar in nature. The details may change a little, but the message is usually the same: “If these restrictions continue, my business will close and never reopen.” Cattlemen and feedlot operators share with us their stories about not being able to sell their fattened cattle, and when they do get an offer, they usually lose more than $500 per head.
In this article we will share with you some revolutionary information about how to deal with viruses, including the coronavirus. This information will be difficult for many to accept, but it is the truth. We regret that fear and panic have directed our policies in the past, but a fundamental change is now needed in how we deal with the coronavirus. There is a way back to normalcy, but it does not include waiting for a vaccine, shutting down schools and businesses, and doling out another stimulus package.
We may, by the end of the year, look back and see that influenza has killed more people than COVID-19. While that fact remains to be seen, our nation’s leading experts on COVID-19 are beginning to say similar things. For instance, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stated last week, “Although one of the original models projected 100,000 to 200,000 deaths…those numbers are going to be downgraded.” The original models used by Dr. Fauci were flawed because they already had mitigation measures factored into them. To be sure, the Act Now model and the IHME model, which are both based on U.S. data, instead of overseas data, now predict the final death toll to be somewhere around 61,000 deaths.
Because these new U.S. models are downgrading the projected death toll, the question is now being asked about whether federal, state and local governments overreacted to the threat of the coronavirus. One such person is Alex Berenson, a Yale graduate and former pharmaceutical reporter for the New York Times. Before the new U.S. models were released last week, Berenson Tweeted, “This isn’t complicated. The models don’t work. The hospitals are empty. WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT LOCKDOWNS?”
An early-on, more targeted approach to combating the coronavirus would have been a better approach for the country to take rather than the lockdowns that the current mitigation policy calls for. For instance, isolating those individuals who are most at risk, banning large gatherings, and concentrating our efforts on hot spots, such as New York City, are three things which could have been done while the rest of the country continued to go to work and school. Instead, the lockdowns have devastated our economy, set our students back, and made the cure worse than the disease.
The genie has now been let out of the bottle, and there is no way to get her back in. Another ardent critic of the current mitigation policy is Dr. Knutt Wittkowski, former head of the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design at the Rockefeller University in New York City. Dr. Wittkowski exposed the fact that both China and South Korea had already reached their peak numbers of cases before they began implementing their mitigation procedures. In effect, nature had already run its course before these two countries began their new mitigation policies.
Dr. Wittkowski said flattening the curve is the wrong way to defeat the coronavirus, because it only prolongs the inevitable. According to Dr. Wittkowski, “With all respiratory diseases, the only thing that stops the disease is herd immunity.” Dr. Wittkowski’s interview can found at: https://www.thecollegefix.com/epidemiologist-coronavirus-could-be-exterminated-if-lockdowns-were-lifted/.
Herd immunity is achieved by allowing those who are less vulnerable in society to interact with the disease. According to Dr. Wittkowski, approximately 80 percent of the population needs to come into contact with the virus before herd immunity can be achieved. The population as a whole must develop its own immunity to the coronavirus. Few of these individuals will ever experience symptoms worthy of hospitalization because they lack the preconditions for a serious illness. However, by keeping schools, hospitals and businesses open, but separating the elderly and those with certain medical conditions, herd immunity can be achieved and the coronavirus defeated in about four weeks. As Dr. Wittkowski said about the coronavirus, “… it will go on forever unless we let it go.”
We agree with Dr. Wittkowski’s analysis. The coronavirus will continue to spread across the country, despite our feeble attempts to try to contain it. Herd immunity is the only way to defeat COVID-19 once and for all. Moreover, the current mitigation policies have led to 13 percent unemployment, a 5,000 point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, a potential 40 percent drop in the GDP, and a two trillion dollar bailout package from the Federal Reserve. Ian Goldin, an economist with the New York Times warned us back on March 16 that the U.S. economy would never be able to survive the coronavirus, and he was right.
If Nebraska continues to operate within its current mitigation policy, civil unrest will eventually ensue. All life is sacred and valuable, but Nebraskans also need to re-open their businesses, go back to work, go back to school, and get the elective surgeries they need. What better time to get elective surgery and recuperate than while businesses are shut down? But, we cannot afford to go another day with this current failed policy. Historically, civilized societies have crumbled from failed economies, leaving them vulnerable to attack from enemies, but they did not dissipate from diseases. You may not agree with our analysis, but we believe this is the conversation we should now be having.
As I write this article this week I am very concerned with the continued struggle that the COVID-19 virus has presented us with. This crisis has affected every person not only in my legislative district, but throughout the State of Nebraska, throughout the United States, and even throughout the world.
Folks have been reaching out to me by phone, email and text messaging about the current situation they are facing. Small business owners are saying if they are forced to close up shop, they may never open again. Agricultural people have contacted me about the sharp decline in commodity prices. So, this week I want to share with you information on how small business owners, farmers, and ranchers may receive some help and answer some of your financial questions. As I have visited with many of you, I have heard the anxiety in your voices and your concerns about our future. Remember, the folks in America and in Nebraska are very resilient! We have dealt with difficult situations in the past and we will continue to fight on into the future. It is my sincere hope that we will soon be able to return to some form of normal life and business. I hope the following information is helpful.
President Trump and the U.S. Congress are providing relief to small business owners, farmers, and ranchers in three different ways through the CARES Act. These three relief programs include the Paycheck Protection Program, SBA disaster loans, and non-disaster SBA loan forgiveness. More details for each of these programs can be found on the White House’s website or by going to www.coronavirus.gov/smallbusiness/. So, what is contained in these three programs?
The purpose of the Paycheck Protection Program is to help employers pay their employees and cover other costs during the coronavirus healthcare crisis. Those eligible to participate in the program include small businesses, non-profits, Veterans Groups, and Tribal Groups with less than 500 employees. Farmers and ranchers who meet the SBA threshold are also eligible. Because the SBA’s definition of a small business is different than the USDA’s definition, more farms and ranches should qualify. Generally speaking, the SBA definition is 500 employees or less or one million dollars in size or less. Loans up to $10 million can be used to cover payroll, paid sick leave, insurance premiums, rent, utilities and mortgage. Those business owners who retain their full staff and payroll up to eight weeks will be eligible for 100 percent loan forgiveness. Business owners interested in taking advantage of the program should contact and apply through their local bank.
Small Business Administration (SBA) loans are Economic Injury Disaster Loans which are designed to help small business owners continue operating during the coronavirus pandemic. Those eligible are small business owners, non-profits, Tribal businesses, and Cooperatives. Farmers and ranchers may also qualify. Some businesses may be available for an up-front advance payment, which does not have to be repaid; otherwise, the loans are offered at a long term, low interest rate of only one percent. Those interested in obtaining SBA loans should contact their local bank or call Elizabeth Yearwood in Lincoln at (402) 221-7200 or visit the website of the Nebraska District Office at www.sba.gov/offices/district/ne/omaha.
The CARES Act also includes loan forgiveness on already existing SBA loans. Business owners won’t have to make payments on their already existing SBA loans for the next six months. Those eligible are small business owners who are already participating in the 7(a), Community Advantage, and microloan programs. No action is needed to participate in this program. Payments that become due during the six month period beginning on March 27 will never have to be repaid, and this benefit applies to new borrowers as well.
Remember, we are not in this crisis alone. So, please stay in contact with your friends and neighbors, and especially remember to check in on the elderly. Continue to practice handwashing, surface cleaning and disinfecting, and social distancing, and together we can defeat this invisible enemy.
The U.S. Labor Department announced last Thursday that 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week. This was the largest jump in jobless claims in U.S. history. The previous record had been set back in 1982 with 695,000 jobless claims. Without a steady and continuous flow of income, few Nebraskans will be able to survive the coming economic storm and pay their property taxes. Consequently, the property tax deadline of May 1 could not be coming at a worse time for many Nebraskans.
Nebraskans need property tax relief now more than ever before. Because the coronavirus is causing businesses to lay-off employees and Nebraska continues to rank number 2 in the nation for farm and ranch bankruptcies, the financial situation for many families in Nebraska is growing desperate. Even with significant and meaningful property tax relief, economic depression may become unavoidable.
Ever since I came to Lincoln as a State Senator for Legislative District 47, I devoted myself to delivering on property tax relief. I have made property tax relief my number 1 goal, and it remains my highest priority today. I will continue to fight for property tax relief because I know how important it is to our citizens.
The Nebraska State Legislature currently remains in recess indefinitely due to the coronavirus with 17 legislative days left to complete. The city of Lincoln has experienced its first community spread case of the coronavirus and the mayor has limited group gatherings to ten people or less until May 6. This presents a significant problem for 49 Senators who need to meet inside the Norris Chamber at the Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln in order to attend to the business of the State. Consequently, the Legislature may have to recess until the restrictions are lifted or until Speaker Scheer can find a creative and innovative solution to the problem.
Whenever the Legislature reconvenes, the issue of property tax relief needs to take center stage. While I have introduced two constitutional amendments to solve the problem of property tax relief during this biennial session, the Revenue Committee has not advanced either LR3CA or LR300CA. It is time for the Revenue Committee to abandon LB974, which is a property tax relief bill which stands no chance of ever passing. Instead, they need to give these constitutional amendments a chance to advance on the floor of the Legislature in the short time remaining. Otherwise, the Legislature will have nothing to show for property tax relief for the last two years of this biennial session.
Where are we at with the battle against COVID-19? Much of the evidence suggests that we are beginning to turn the corner against this virus. So, today I would like to reveal what the evidence is showing, and how we might proceed into the future.
Be careful with what you read and hear in the news media these days, especially about the spreading of the COVID-19 virus. For instance, last week Christina Larson and Michelle Smith, journalists with the Associated Press, quoted scientists as saying that a single infected person could potentially spread the coronavirus to 4,142 others within a single month. However, this figure was calculated using data from China and the Diamond Princess Cruise ship! Consequently, these kinds of statistics are highly questionable because they do not adequately compare to life in the USA, especially life in western Nebraska. Instead, I agree with the Stanford epidemiologist, John P.A. Ioannidis when he said last week about this kind of shoddy research that, “The data collected so far on how many people are infected and how the epidemic is evolving are utterly unreliable.”
So, what does the evidence actually suggest? One measurable statistic that we can actually use is the number of deaths related to the coronavirus. Two weeks ago there were 100 deaths in the USA due to the COVID-19 virus. Using simple math and actual death statistics, the death rate at that time was calculated to be 19 deaths per every 1000 cases. However, last week the death rate fell to 13.7 deaths per every 1000 cases. In other words, the death rate did not increase; it dropped by 33 percent.
In short, self-isolation is working and the number of positive test cases have begun to plateau. In the state of Washington, for example, the number of new positive test cases has already plateaued, and this occurred in a matter of weeks, not months. Together with isolation and the introduction of two new drugs to treat the coronavirus, we should expect to see other states begin to plateau and then decline sometime within the next few weeks.
The public panic has been more than it really needs to be. For instance, according to the CDC, so far this season there have been 38 million cases of influenza and 23,000 deaths nationally from the flu. Conversely, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center as of 5:00 p.m. on March 20, there have been 17,303 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 213 deaths nationally. Moreover, no deaths have ever occurred in Nebraska. So I have to ask, which is more fatal: The regular strains of influenza or the COVID-19 virus? By the end of 2020 we will likely look back and see that far more Americans have died from the regular strains of the flu than those who have died from the coronavirus, yet no one is talking about how widespread is the flu or how many deaths it is causing.
My intention is not to belittle the risks associated with the COVID-19 virus. Instead, I simply want to point out that there is no reason to panic. The coronavirus remains a serious disease which deserves our full attention. The way to get rid of it is for each of us to continue doing what we have been doing, namely, washing our hands, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, and practicing social distancing. If you get flu-like symptoms, self-isolate yourself and call the University of Nebraska Medical Center at (800) 922-0000. In the meantime, keep calm, pray and ask God to help us remove the coronavirus from America and the rest of the world.
Last week the Nebraska State Legislature held a briefing on the coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19. So, today I would like to update you on what is happening in Nebraska to combat the virus. Officials in Nebraska began planning for the coronavirus two months ago, so several measures have already been put into place to deal with this disease.
The coronavirus has the potential to spread very rapidly due to its 14 day incubation period. People who carry the disease can spread it long before symptoms ever develop. For this reason, the entire country of Italy has been put on lock-down, Israel has halted all international travel, and Ireland has canceled all of their St. Patrick’s Day parades.
The good news is that Nebraska remains in the containment phase of dealing with COVID-19. The first case was diagnosed when an individual returned to Nebraska from England. Since then others have been exposed. For instance, one infected individual played in a Special Olympics basketball game at the YMCA in Fremont, exposing those in the gymnasium who viewed the game, and the North Central District Health Department has confirmed another case in a Crofton High School student who attended the Girls State Basketball tournament in Lincoln. Despite these public events with large exposure, Nebraska has been able to remain in the containment phase of preventing the disease.
Nebraska has 18 local health departments that are prepared to test people for the disease. As of last Tuesday contact investigators had identified 240 people living in Nebraska who may have been exposed to the disease. These individuals have been instructed to self-quarantine themselves in order to contain the spreading of the disease. Our plan is to curb the spreading of the disease through these self-containment efforts.
Currently, all those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 have been admitted into the bio-containment unit at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. These individuals are being closely monitored with their vital signs and other symptoms being recorded twice per day. Isolation is the remedy being used to stop the spreading of the disease among those who have it.
Nebraska currently has no community spread cases; however, this could change very rapidly if our containment efforts should ever fail. If the spreading of the disease ever rises to the level of being community spread, the Department of Health and Human Services would begin enacting mitigation procedures.
The time to prepare for COVID-19 is now. We will get beyond this crisis. As life goes on, there are some simple things we all can do. Washing hands, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, and limiting contact with others remain the best ways to prevent the spreading of the disease. Because those who are most at risk are the elderly, the CDC has recommended that those over the age of 60 stay at home as much as possible. Others at high risk include those with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes 2, and pulmonary diseases.
Together we can contain the spreading of the COVID-19 virus. If you get a fever or begin to experience flu-like symptoms, call the University of Nebraska Medical Center at (800) 922-0000 before you visit a doctor’s office or a hospital. Then, get tested, stay at home, and follow the instructions given to you by the University of Nebraska Medical Center. For more information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.nebraskamed.com/patients/covid19.
One bill that is advancing in the State Legislature this year that affects folks living in Western Nebraska is LB 1055. LB 1055 is a bill that pertains to voting by mail. Many people living in Western Nebraska have found it convenient to vote by mail, rather than in person. So far, Garden County and Morrill County are the only two counties in Nebraska that have used this method of voting. The State of Oregon uses it state-wide.
LB 1055 requires small counties which use the mail for collecting ballots in one or more precincts to also maintain at least one in-person polling location and a drop box at the office of the county clerk. The bill also allows these counties to make use of additional in-person polling locations and drop boxes as they have need.
Voting by mail makes sense for farmers and ranchers who live far away from their county seat or their regular polling place. Voting through the mail allows voters to take their time and to make careful decisions about who or what they are voting on.
LB 1055 is a good bill for folks living in Western Nebraska. Allowing counties to have in-person polling places and drop boxes adds an additional of layer of security and privacy to the voting system. More importantly, though, after Garden County and Morrill County implemented mail-in-ballots, both counties saw an increase in voter turnout.
Because voting by mail increases voter turnout, I believe it is a good idea for Nebraska, especially those living in rural counties with sparse populations. So, last week I voted in favor of advancing LB 1055 on to Select File.
Besides fighting for property tax relief in the Nebraska State Legislature, I believe it is important to give proper recognition to those living in Western Nebraska who have made a significant contribution to our history, culture and heritage. So, last week the Executive Board of the Nebraska State Legislature held a public hearing on a resolution I introduced to declare the Tin Roof Sundae as the official sundae of Nebraska. The Tin Roof Sundae is a Nebraska original creation, and so deserves to be recognized as our state’s official ice cream sundae.
Back in the early 1930’s Harold Dean Thayer, the son of a pharmacist, James Earl Thayer, began working as a soda jerk at the Potter Sundry in the village of Potter in Cheyenne County. Back in those days Harold was affectionately known as “Pinky” due to his bright red, wavy hair and vibrant personality.
Pinky Thayer enjoyed concocting spectacular ice cream sundaes and creating new recipes. According to his brother James, Pinky would create a new sundae every other day. Besides the Tin Roof Sundae, Pinky also created the Blitzer and the Zombie. But, at the young age of 14, Pinky created the first ever Tin Roof Sundae. This was the sundae that would stick. The Tin Roof Sundae won the hearts and the pallets of the sundry’s ice cream connoisseurs.
So, what is it like? The Tin Roof Sundae is an original ice cream sundae which was designed to be served in a soda glass. The recipe calls for heaping scoops of vanilla ice cream topped with a generous amount of chocolate syrup, then scoops of chocolate ice cream covered with marshmallow sauce, and topped with whole roasted, skin-on, Spanish peanuts.
So, how did it get its name? This has been a source of controversy. Most people believe that Pinky named the sundae after the tin roof of the Potter Sundry; however, his brother James once told a different story. According to Dr. James E. Thayer, Pinky’s younger brother, the Tin Roof Sundae was named after the tin roof of a livery stable located across the street from the Potter Sundry; however, James also confessed that Pinky liked to pull the leg of his little brother.
Pinky Thayer’s creation soon became a national sensation. As the saying goes, “Imitation is the highest form of flattery.” Several ice cream brands have replicated the flavors of the Tin Roof Sundae. Among them are Baskin-Robbins, Blue Bell, Blue Bunny, Blue Ribbon, Breyers, Deans, Hiland-Roberts, Island Farms, Jerseymaid, Kemps, Lucerne, State Bros., Turkey Hill, and Umqua. Besides replicating the flavor in ice cream brands, the Tin Roof Sundae has also inspired the creation of new desserts, such as pies and bars.
The Tin Roof Sundae has received national recognition for being a distinctly Nebraska tradition. In December 1998 Gordon Tustin, writing for the Sidney Telegraph, suggested that the Potter Sundry along with the Tin Roof Sundae may have ascended to the ranks of being a Nebraska institution, but in 2018 it was the Food Network that formally recognized the Tin Roof Sundae as an iconic Nebraska dessert. Besides including the Tin Roof Sundae in their list of the best desserts in the country, the Food Network declared that the “…Potter Sundry is the actual drugstore-soda fountain where the tin roof sundae was created.”
The Potter Sundry continues to make the original Tin Roof Sundae. The sundry is located at 324 Chestnut Street in Potter, Nebraska. If you have never tried the original Tin Roof Sundae, then I must ask you the following question: “What are you waiting for?” As the Nebraska Legislature moves to declare the Tin Roof Sundae as Nebraska’s official sundae with LR 282, now is great time to make your way to the village of Potter to try Nebraska’s soon-to-be official State sundae.
Last Thursday the Judiciary Committee of the Nebraska State Legislature held a hearing on one of the most important bills introduced this year. Sen. Suzanne Geist of Lincoln authored LB814, a bill to prohibit dismemberment abortions on live, unborn children.
In a procedure known within the abortion industry as intact dilation and extraction, the body of an unborn baby is dismembered during the phase of its extraction from the mother’s uterus. The procedure is performed during the second or third trimesters of pregnancy. In 2003 the procedure was outlawed by the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban on infants with a heartbeat, and the ban was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in a case known as Gonzales v. Carhart.
Despite the high court’s ruling, though, intact dilation and extraction abortions can still be performed whenever a medical emergency exists. In such a case, the baby may or may not be alive during the procedure. So, the procedure has not been completely banned on live babies. Most disturbing is when the procedure is performed on a live baby exhibiting brain waves or a heartbeat. For this reason, LB814 is a very relevant bill for protecting the unborn in Nebraska.
Intact dilation and extraction is a very brutal and barbaric procedure. Before the baby can be extracted it must first be killed. In order to kill the baby, the physician injects potassium chloride into the baby to stop the heart from beating. The procedure for killing the baby is similar to the way we administer the death penalty in our prison system. The mere fact that the baby must first be killed shows that it is a living and viable human being.
The baby is extracted from the uterus in the breech position. If the baby is not in the breech position, it is turned with forceps. The body of the baby is then cut into smaller pieces for extraction. The largest part of the body is the skull. The skull may be crushed using forceps in order to extract it through the cervical canal.
After the extraction, the baby’s body is reconstructed on a table. The purpose of the reconstruction is to make sure that all of the body parts are accounted for. The procedure is not considered complete until all of the baby’s body parts are accounted for.
Dismemberment abortions are so brutal and barbaric that no one would ever think of allowing a veterinarian to perform this kind of procure on their own pet. In fact, a veterinarian who performed a dismemberment abortion on a dog or a cat, could be sued for thousands of dollars. Herein lies the inversion of our values as a society. For dismemberment abortion to continue in our state would imply that we, as a society, value the lives of puppies and kittens more than human babies.
When LB814 makes its way up to the floor on General File, I will support the bill. I am pro-life. The thought of a live baby enduring a dismemberment abortion is both repulsive and repugnant. Far be it that such a procedure should ever be performed in Nebraska!
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