This Week’s Menu:
Let’s Legalize Same-Sex Marriages And Move On
Gas Tax Far Behind Inflation Rate
Danger In Legalizing Pot For Medical Use

As my regular readers well know, a few years ago I announced a policy of three short columns—perhaps just a cartoon or a brief comment on a story in the news.

As regular readers also know, my policy has been followed more in the breach than in the observance.

There are frequent occasions when breaking news seems to me to call for prompt comment, all of which means not a “shortie” this week.

So herewith some comment on the news that is currently being made.

Supreme Court And Same-Sex ‘Marriages’

Worthy of comment, as I see it, is the escalating debate over what the Supreme Court may rule—or should rule, in the opinion of many Americans—in regard to the time-worn issue of whether states should be required to recognize same-sex “marriages” just as traditional marriages are recognized.

I have expressed my opinion before:  Let’s recognize so-called “gay” marriages—I’ve never understood what is particularly gay about them—and let us get on with dealing with more important issues.

The Supreme Court is expected to hand down a ruling on the issue in June or July.  It’s understandable that the news media attention given to the issue is intensified as the Supreme Court ruling approaches.

The news coverage, as I see it, is very frequently slanted toward “facts” and opinions trying to make a case for recognizing the same-sex marriages as legally the same as traditional marriages.

Pro-Legalizing Spokesmen Get Better Treatment

A recent example in The Omaha World-Herald:

In a special section labeled “NEWS,” the content was slanted toward the “legalized same-sex marriages” point of view.  Consider:

The front page of the section featured color photos of proponents and opponents of legalizing same-sex “marriages.”

Of the eight pictures accompanied by comments, six were from same-sex marriage advocates and two from opponents.

The second page of the section was a full page of arguments for legalizing same-sex marriages.  Listed in a single column down the left side of the page were 13 arguments for legalization.

Let’s Move On To More Important Issues

After two full pages dominated by pro-legalization stories, the special  section devoted a page to the arguments of those opposing legalization.

Again I say, let’s legalize same-sex marriages and hopefully get more attention focused on issues involving more than 2% of the American population.

* * *

Gas Tax Lags Far Behind Need.
Best Be Careful About Legalizing Pot

Turning to important issues which the Nebraska legislature must deal before it adjourns in June:

A very interesting World-Herald story that deserved major attention when it reported, in detail, this significant fact:

As the cost of street and highway construction has risen over past years, the state gasoline tax—designed to pay for a major part of street and highway maintenance on construction—has lagged far behind.

An excellent analysis by The World-Herald produced these results:  “In fact, the 25.6 cent per gallon tax would have to rise 11 cents simply to produce the same street highway improvement results it did in 1995.”

The story reported that street and highway construction suffered a loss of $1 billion because the state had not increased the 25.6 cent per gallon tax rate to offset inflation.

That story should certainly be called to the attention of Governor Pete Ricketts, who has promised to veto any increase in the gasoline tax.

Also on the legislative front, a committee is struggling to find risk free ways for legalizing marijuana for medical treatment.

Medical Marijuana Can Be Dangerous

A World-Herald headline read:  “With new limits, medical pot a step closer.”

Four days later, this headline appeared:  “K2 warning as Lincoln hit by 76 overdoses.”  The subhead read:  “12 people taken to the hospital in one day:  synthetic marijuana called ‘not safe to smoke.’”

Are you listening, Nebraska legislators?  Are you sure that the use of marijuana in any form is a safe medical practice?

* * *

Discarded Cat Story Has Happy Ending

No problem at all finding an upbeat note on which to end this week’s column.

The picture and the accompanying World-Herald story told it all.

The first World-Herald story was a sad one, telling of a kitten which had apparently been thrown from a moving vehicle in a cardboard box.

Six days later, The World-Herald told of the happy ending with an appealing picture and this account:

“The cat that was put into a cardboard box and thrown out of a moving car Sunday in South Omaha has a new name.  Friday, he got a new home, too.

“Julius is the name given to the orange-and-white tabby cat that was taken to the Nebraska Humane Society.  Humane Society officials put the 1-year-old male cat up for adoption Friday. By Friday afternoon, Julius had been adopted, the Humane Society reported.

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Julius

“Pam Wiese, with the Humane Society, said a man who had read about the cat in The World-Herald came in early Friday afternoon.

“’He wanted to make sure that nothing like that ever happens to Julius again,’ she said.  ‘We think he’ll be fabulous with him.’

“Wiese said the cat is ‘just the sweetest guy,’ and doesn’t seem to have any trust issues despite Sunday’s incident.

“’There’s no need to throw a cat out if it’s not wanted,’ the Humane Society’s Mark Langan said this week.  ‘All the person had to do was call us and we would come get it, or bring it into our office.’

“A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the person who threw the cat out of the car.

“The car is described as a brownish Honda Accord with in-transit stickers.  Anyone with information about the person responsible for abandoning the cat is asked to call the Humane Society at 402-444-7800.”

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