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Ak-Sar-Ben Itself Merits Praise Along With King Dick And Queen Suzanne - 10-14-10

Come Election Day, White And Terry Can’t Duck Party Labels Any Longer - 10-07-10

Today, Second-Guessing Other Sports Commentators But Some Thoughts On Current Political Issues, Too - 09-30-10

Gates Gives Somber Non-Political Appraisals Of Iraq, Afghanistan - 09-23-10

At Last, A Prominent Moderate Muslim Speaks Out Against Muslim Terrorists - 09-16-10

Today, It’s All About College Football With Some “As I See It” Commentary - 09-09-10

Danes’ Sensible Approach To Immigration Won’t, Unfortunately, Fly In The U.S.A. - 09-02-10

Mosque Controversy Isn’t About Legal Rights; It’s About Moral Use Of Those Rights - 08-26-10

Time To Answer The Obvious Question: What Chance For Success In Afghanistan? - 08-19-10

Two-Paragraph News Story Offers Scary Prospect For World’s Future - 08-12-10

Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10

Not Wall Street But Democratic Policy Caused Mortgage Market Crash - 07-29-10

Windfarm Promoters Need More Facts, Less Rhetoric - 07-22-10

Nebraska Democrats’ ‘Find A Candidate’ Problem Began Long Months (Years?) Ago - 07-15-10

When The Subject Is Disasters,Obama Needs A History Lesson - 07-08-10

McChrystal’s Firing Spotlights Afghan War And The Slim Chance Of U.S. Victory There - 07-01-10

Advice For An Egocentric President: “I, I, I” Suggests One-Man Team - 06-24-10

Texas Decision Good For Big 12 But Even Better For The Longhorns - 06-17-10

Europe Is Sobering Up From 'Welfare' Binge; Obama-Led U.S. Moving Toward Similar Crises? - 06-10-10

A New Issue: Does ‘Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell’ Make Military Service Easier For Gays? - 06-03-10

Do State Officials Really Understand The Challenges Faced By Omaha Schools? - 05-27-10

Democrats Continue Cheap Shot Campaign Against Republican Congressman Lee Terry - 05-20-10

Cartoonist Koterba Says It Clearly: Don’t Put All The Blame On Schools - 05-13-10

Citizenship For Immigrants Is Inevitable But Start By Closing The Border - 05-06-10

Punish Wall Streeters If They Deserve It But Liberal Dems Spawned The Mortgage Mess - 04-29-10

Did Legislature, Speaker Mike Flood Deserve All Those Kind Words? - 04-22-10

Tiger Sulks His Way Through Masters— Is Obama Gambling On The Nuclear Issue? Rogue States And Terrorists Won’t Sign Up - 04-15-10

Did Obama/Pelosi ‘Sausage Factory’ Produce A Debt-Increasing Unpopular Health Plan? - 04-08-10

The Stories Behind Some Disturbing Headlines And Some Advice For Avoiding National Bankruptcy - 04-01-10

Four-Vote House Margin Makes Americans Swallow Trillion-Dollar Pill They Don't Want - 03-25-10

Insurance Pays 96% Of Family’s Cost For Seven Years Of ‘End Of Life’ Treatment - 03-18-10

President Angry Replaces President Cool; ‘ObamaCare’s’ Chances Helped Or Hurt? - 03-11-10

Americans To Get ‘ObamaCare’ Even If They Don’t Want It? - 03-04-10

Despite The Headlines, There’s Progress In Curbing Violence In North Omaha - 02-25-10

Corporate Expenditures Bad For Politics Except When They Benefit Liberal Candidates? - 02-18-10

Wind Energy Industry Faced Disaster; V.A. Hospital Not Personal Obama Choice - 02-11-10

Some Remarkable Legislative Comments And Some Questionable Media Performance - 02-04-10

When The Subject Is Nebraska Wind Energy, ‘Green’ Is The Color Of Money - 01-28-10

The “Teddy Kennedy Seat” Lesson Might Benefit Both Democrats and Republicans - 01-21-10

Some Legislative Issues—Like Gambling—Deserve Quick Death But Water Issues Deserve Careful Attention - 01-14-10

Today: ‘Big Daddy’ Government Wrong Again, And How Justified Is Cornhusker Title Talk? - 01-07-10

Dan Neary Worthy Of The Honor--
Today Some Upbeat Comments But "Obama Care" Debate Demands Attention
- 12-30-09

Even Without That Health Bill Vote, Another Term For Nelson Was Questionable - 12-23-09

Let’s Talk Football And Why Nebraska’s Suh Deserved The Heisman - 12-17-09

Image of Immigrants Would Be Helped By Less Cinco de Mayo, More 4th of July - 12-10-09

Image Of Islam Is Badly Damaged By ‘God-Approved’ Slaughter Of Non-Muslims - 12-03-09

Close Call For NU Research, Reputation; Thanksgiving Reminder: Count Your Blessings - 11-25-09

NU’s Reputation And Research Role Are Both At Stake When Regents Vote - 11-19-09

Obama’s ‘Yes We Can’
Changing To ‘Maybe We Can’t’?
- 11-12-09

Review The History Before Renaming A Street; Memories Of Sarah, Our Sweet Senior Dog - 11-05-09

“Socioeconomic Diversity” More Important Then Academic Achievement In “Learning Community”? - 10-29-09

A Visiting Sports Columnist Agrees: ‘There Is No Place Like Nebraska’ - 10-22-09

Might Obama Wish He Had A Chance To Say ‘No, Thanks’ To Early Nobel Prize? - 10-15-09

Don’t Overlook The Variety Of Aid Which Goes To ‘Poverty Level’ Families - 10-08-09

Smorgasbord Today: From UN’s “Nutcake Day” To Obama Performance Here And Abroad - 10-01-09

Must Defense Continue To Cover For Huskers’ Anemic Red Zone Offense? - 09-24-09

'Energizer Bunny' President Continues To Add Proposals For Reform - 09-17-09

Today, Variety: Football, Golf And Why No President Should Televise Himself Into The Nation’s Classrooms - 09-10-09

Massachusetts Gave Kennedy Significant Second Chances - 09-03-09

Obama’s Problem Not Just With GOP
But With A Great Many Americans
- 08-27-09

Tiger Could Use Sportsmanship Lesson—And Less Coverage From Fawning Media - 08-20-09

Gallup ‘Competitive’ Label, If Accurate Long Term, Is Good News Not Only For Nebraska Democrats - 08-13-09

Democrats Go All-Out Negative:
Trash Private Insurance Industry
- 08-06-09

Journalistic Watchdogs Turned Lapdogs When Obama Called That ‘News Conference’ - 07-30-09

Look Back, Mr. President: Opposition Is Catching Up - 07-23-09

Dem Lynch Mob Might Hang President’s Hopes - 07-16-09

Dems Start Oust-Terry Effort In The Political Gutter - 07-09-09

Despite Liberal Media's Views, Nation Better Served By Viable GOP - 07-02-09

A Varied Menu For You To Consider - 06-25-09

Freshman President Learning Some Political Realities? - 06-18-09

Voices Of Reason Raised Too Late To Slow Rush To Wind Power? - 06-11-09

Public Will Be Watching Prosecution Of Three Teen-Age Creatures - 06-04-09

Wealthiest Paying Less, In Taxes?
It’s Simply Not True
- 05-28-09

Notre Dame And Obama
Offer A Splendid Lesson
- 05-21-09

Special-Interest Liberals
Shouldn’t Badger Obama
- 05-14-09

A Surprising Source: Obama
Cites Positive Results of Iraq War
- 05-07-09

Media Transfer Their Love
From Candidate to President
- 04-30-09

Suttle Campaign Subtly Two-Faced? Or ‘Just Politics’? Voters Will Decide - 04-23-09

If America Is "At War
With Islam," It's Self-Defense
- 04-16-09

Seven Iowans Change Marriage
Tradition For 3 Million Others
- 04-09-09

Will Liberal Democrats Continue
Escaping The Verdict Of History?
- 04-02-09

Multi-Focused President
Upsets Even Liberals
- 03-26-09

Richard Nixon—Appropriate To Recall The Good As Well As The Dark Side - 03-19-09

Not Reducing Mortgage Costs; We’re Simply ‘Modifying’ Them - 03-12-09

Fair Warning From NY Times: Obama’s “Breathtaking Plans” Would “Transform American Society” - 03-05-09

A Look At Academy Awards Nastiness, But First A Plug For My Book, “Life With Marian” - 02-26-09

Let’s Not Move Slot Machine Cancer From Iowa Casinos To Nebraska Race Tracks - 02-19-09

Whiteclay Is Wrong Target;
Aim At Alcoholism Problem
- 02-12-09

For The Best “Stimulus” Formula:
Put Economic Recovery First;
“Remaking USA” Can Wait
- 02-05-09

Journalistic Hounds Are Still
In Full Pursuit Of Bush
- 01-29-09

‘First Black President’ Celebration
Shouldn’t Further Distract Us
From Job We And Obama Face
- 01-22-09

‘Adults In Wonderland’
Need To Get Real
- 01-15-09

Advice For Husker Fans:
Rejoice—But Be Realistic
- 01-08-09

Kennedy Dynasty History
Includes Shameful Chapters
- 12-31-08

Today Some Merry Christmas Thoughts But A Few Political Barbs, Too - 12-24-08

This Time It’s Indians
Who Break The Treaty
- 12-18-08

Me? A Grumpy Old Man?
One Reader Thinks So
- 12-11-08

Obama Steers A Moderate Course
But Congressional Democrats Veer Left
- 12-04-08

Too Many "Non-Blessings"
This Thanksgiving Week
- 11-26-08

Let’s Hear More About
The Principal ‘Crisis’ Victims
- 11-20-08

Color-Blind Issues Voting
Showed No Turn To The Left
- 11-13-08

Election Made History
But Big Questions Remain
- 11-06-08

Today, A Choice of Topics:
Politics Or Football—Or Both
- 10-30-08

Splitting Electoral Votes Good Idea? Then Why Do 48 States Reject It? - 10-23-08

Dems Take 11th Hour Low Road
In 2nd Congressional District Race
- 10-16-08

Another Government “Welfare Program,” Bargain Mortgages, Caused The Crisis - 10-09-08

Words Can Lose Their Meaning
When A Government Program Is Involved
- 10-02-08

—Have We Learned This Lesson?— Crisis Results When Individuals, Encouraged By Financial Institutions, Try To Live Beyond Their Means - 9-25-08

Bonds To Build Four-Lane Highways?
Where Would The Money Come From?
- 9-18-08

Today, a Large Load of Political
Commentary After a Brief Plug For
My Book, ‘Life With Marian’
- 9-17-08

Major News Media Look Bad
In Non-Coverage of
Edwards’ Sex Affair Story
- 9-11-08

Disadvantaged Students Can Be
Helped Without Discriminatory ‘Affirmative Action’
- 9-04-08

My Favorite Olympic Champion?
It Wasn’t Michael Phelps
- 8-28-08

Will Chinese Get Away With
'Out Air Is Clean' Scam?
- 8-21-08

Windmills, Solar Won't Do It;
Time To Get Real On Energy
- 8-07-08

I Doubt That God or Jesus
Have Heavenly Money on Either Team
- 8-07-08

‘Pop Star’ Obama Lacks Experience,
McCain Lacks Clear Campaign Strategy
- 7-31-08

Top Athletes Should
Know When to Quit?
- 7-24-08

Would Odor of Politics
Taint Fire Chief Choice?
- 7-17-08

Will Hospitality, Qwest Center
Lure Swim Trials Back to Omaha?
- 7-09-08

Omaha Stars Again
On National TV Stage
- 7-02-08

Omaha's CWS Reputation
Gets New "Rave Reviews"
- 6-25-08

S.D. Vote Could Lead
To National Abortion Battle
- 6-18-08

Don’t Let Niobrara Go The Way
Of The Republican And The Platte
- 6-11-08

Voters Didn’t Impose Term Limits
To Rid Legislature of Chambers
- 6-04-08

“It’s Our Turn” Pitch Might
Not End With Hillary Defeat
- 5-28-08

Prime Nebraska Political
Battleground This Year:
2nd Congressional District
- 5-21-08

The 'Browning' of America:
How Far Will It Go?
- 5-14-08

Obama ‘Stumbling’ To Victory? - 5-08-08

"Does Homebuyer Bailout
Reward the Irresponsible?"
- 4-30-08

"Was McCain, Not Clinton,
The Real Winner in Pennsylvania?"
- 4-25-08

"Cleaner Skies Advice For Gore:
Pressure On China, More Nuke
Power If Jane Fonda Will Allow It"
- 4-16-08

"Why The Big Fuss Over
Tiny Gasoline Cost Increase?"
- 4-09-08

"Quietly, Nebraska Yields
All-Public-Power Status"
-  4-02-08

"Obama’s ‘Historic’ Speech Left
Big Questions Unanswered "
-  3-25-08

"Overweight Moore Produces
“Sicko,” Finds An Ally In Creighton Doctor"
-  3-19-08

"Bush Sings, Praises Press
At Annual Gridiron Dinner"
-  3-12-08

"Obama Would Be Least
Formidable Opponent For McCain"
-  3-7-08

"‘Charisma’ Not Always a Good Thing" -  2-27-08

"Could Citizen ‘Packing Iron’
Have Stopped Von Maur Killings?"
-  2-20-08

"Obama’s Style Without Substance
Exciting, But Is It Presidential?"
-  2-13-08

"Barack Obama and John McCain:
A Major Contrast in Egos? "
-  2-07-08

"‘First Black President’
Emphasis Wouldn’t Help Obama"
-  1-30-08

"Kimball Lauritzen: Think of Her
As Joyous on Some New Dawn"
-  1-23-08

"What 'Tough' Election Contest
Was Ben Nelson Talking About?"
- 1-16-08

"Overhyped New Hampshire
Offsets Overhyped Iowa"
- 1-10-08

"Coach Bo Now Well Welcomed;
Time to Start Thinking of NU Wins"
- 1-2-08

"Words of Jews Most Moving
To Me This Christmas Season"
- 12-25-07

"AT LAST: TALK OF PREVENTION
JOINS MOURNING OVER KILLINGS"
- 12-19-07

"Killer Is Getting Just What He Wanted;
Let's Add Anger and
Action to Our Sorrow"
- 12-12-07

"Bo Brings Emotional Fire to NU Job;
Scary News: Huckabee Gain in Iowa"
- 12-05-07

"Callahan Outclasses Loudmouth Critics;
Tom Osborne Treated Him Fairly"
- 11-28-07

"A Thought for Thanksgiving Day:
Tell Them You Love Them"
- 11-21-07

"Callahan Critics: Is Loss to CU
The Only Way to Satisfy Them?"
- 11-16-07

"Crybaby Fans, Sports Commentators
Distracting Players From Their Job?"
- 11-09-07

"Did Bob Kerrey’s Decision Avoid
the Likelihood of Defeat?"
- 11-02-07

"Nosy Congress Makes
Three Bad Calls"
- 10-26-07

"Is This The Way to Run UNL´s
Athletic Program?"
- 10-19-07

"Right Decision Could
Help Both Fair, UNL"
- 10-12-07

"Stop Trying To Make God A Republican" - 10-6-07

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As I See It
Harold W. Andersen is a retired Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of the Omaha World-Herald Company. Full biography.

A number of you have told me that you don’t look forward to reading the column on your computer screen. That’s not necessary if you have a printer. Print out the column and take it with you to the breakfast table or wherever else you choose to read printed material. (You can also call up past columns in case you missed them.)

And, if you haven’t already done so, let us know your e-mail address so that we can send you a weekly reminder when a new column is available.

Cleaner Skies Advice For Gore:
Pressure On China, More Nuke
Power If Jane Fonda Will Allow It

April 16, 2008

When will former Vice President Al Gore and like-minded environmental activists get real?

Promoting wind power in the United States and “clean” coal-powered electricity-producing plants in the Untied States is not going to solve the problem of global warming about which Gore and his fellow activists are so passionately concerned.

Until China, and to a lesser extent India, can be pressured into cleaning up the pollution spewed forth by their coal-fired industrial plants, a successful campaign for so-called “cleaner” energy sources in the United States will do relatively little to address the global warming problem—a problem which some scientists say is considerably less than depicted or, in the case of a few scientists, doesn’t exist at all.

How do you clean up the international atmosphere? It’s not alone by promoting wind power and “cleaner” coal-burning plants in the United States. Real progress must target the major sources of global atmosphere pollution, those coal-burning industrial plants in Asia (where China is said to be building the equivalent of one-large coal-fired plant every week).

A friend of mine who spent time recently in the Far East said pollution is so pervasive in Chinese cities that you can’t see the sun at mid-day in Beijing.

America’s Olympic athletes will be fitted with special air filters (which they can’t wear during actual competition in Beijing) and will be brought into the polluted Beijing atmosphere as late as possible before the competition.

Certainly the United States can and should be doing more to reduce pollution of the atmosphere. Coal-powered plants, to the maximum extent practical, must be retrofitted with equipment to reduce emissions, and new coal-fired plants should be required to be so equipped. I’m told that some new electricity-generating capacity will be fueled by natural gas rather than coal. And most emphatically, nuclear-powered plants should be expanded or constructed to meet increasing electrical power needs—constructed, that is, if Jane Fonda will allow it.

Very importantly, pollution from automobile exhaust emissions should be reduced by federal legislation mandating more fuel-efficient engines in new cars.

But the international problem of atmospheric pollution will not be significantly improved—if improved significantly at all—by “progress” such as reported in a USA Today story which carried this headline:

“Wind power growth gusts strongly in USA in 2007.” The true significance of the increase in those giant windmills which despoil the landscape is reflected in the subheadline: “Currents generate more than 1% of country’s electricity.” A very long tax-subsidized way from a significant contribution to the nation’s energy needs.

The problem also won’t be alleviated by emotionally-worded editorials—something of a trademark of The New York Times—charging that “big coal” mining interests are building a “large war chest” to fight any federal legislation that would place a mandatory cap on pollution from coal-fired plants.

The Times editorial said that better than fighting cleaner ways to burn coal would be finding “alternative energy sources.” What alternative sources? You wouldn’t expect The Times to mention nuclear energy, would you?

The United States should, as I have indicated, be taking all reasonable steps to reduce pollution emissions. But to campaign for wind power without consideration of nuclear power is totally unrealistic. Even more unrealistic would be the expectation that a successful emission-control-reduction program in the United States would significantly improve atmospheric conditions around the world as long as China’s coal-fired plants continue their massive pollution of the global atmosphere.

* * *

Complaint From a Friendly Critic

My recent comments on a Nebraska wind power energy project drew criticism from a longtime reader who started by indicating approval of “many, many of your commonsense articles for many years.”

However, my Knox County reader took strong exception to the recent column in which I pointed out that a wind power project being developed in Knox County would mean that, for the first time in more than half a century, some of the electricity generated in Nebraska will come from privately-owned for-profit sources.

I did not address whether this was a good or a bad thing. I simply pointed out that it was happening with little or no public notice as plans go forward for the project, which would collect power generated by windmills on privately-owned agricultural land and sell it to the Nebraska Public Power District. (I also wrote: “Nebraskans—and Americans generally—would do well to keep in mind the downside of windmill-produced electricity.”)

My friendly critic argued that electrical energy produced in Nebraska from oil or coal-fired Nebraska plants means a profit for those who own the oil or the coal coming from out of state. But my point was that, for the first time since the middle of the last century, electricity produced within the state of Nebraska would be sold at a profit by the owners of the production facilities. And I noted that up to two-thirds of the profits could go to financiers, including those outside Nebraska, who are providing the funding to build the wind-powered production facilities.

My friendly critic wrote: “I would think you would be praising people for attempting new ventures to help America and Nebraska in particular…Why would you think it wrong for Nebraskans to make a profit on something?”

I don’t think it’s wrong for Nebraskans to make a profit. I would simply point out that, with the help of federal tax subsidies which encourage wind power development will be making a profit by ending Nebraska’s tradition of being an all-public-power state and in the process making it possible for financiers from outside the state to collect up to two-thirds of the profits.

* * *

More Tributes to Kim Lauritzen

It comes as no surprise but it is heartwarming nonetheless to read in the spring issue of a Lauritzen Gardens publication that more than a thousand persons who honored the late much-loved Kim Lauritzen with memorial contributions to beautiful Lauritzen Gardens.

Most of the contributions were from a husband and wife. They are listed as “Tributes To Kimball L. Lauritzen.” She was the wife of First National Bank chairman Bruce R. Lauritzen, and died January 14 after a courageous eight-year battle with cancer.

Bonds, “Abusive Driver Fee”
Better Than Gas Tax Increase?

Further thoughts on the subject of the Nebraska Legislature passing—over Governor Heineman’s veto—a bill to increase the state gasoline tax by approximately 1.2¢ per gallon:

One commentator who opposed the tax increase said that other states have found or are seeking ways other than gas tax increases to meet the need for highway funds.

In Texas, this commentator observed, there has been fierce debate over a proposal to build toll roads, while the governor of Arkansas indicated he would seek a state bond issue. In Georgia, the state House of Representatives approved a proposal allowing local governments to levy an additional 1-cent sales tax to fund regional transportation projects.

Singled out for special praise was Virginia, which was described as taking creative legislative action to solve the highway revenue problem. Virginia lawmakers increased vehicle registration fees and also agreed to boost highway revenues by imposing an “abusive driver fee,” whatever that is.

I fail to see why a 1.2% increase in Nebraska’s gasoline tax—translating into an increase of less than 4/10 of one percent in current prices of gas at the pump—isn’t at least as appealing as toll road proposals, state bond issues, a 1-cent increase in local sales taxes, an increase in vehicle registration fees or an “abusive driver fee.”

* * *

Obama’s Wife on Short Leash?

Could it be that Michelle Obama, well-known as a strong-willed woman with an occasionally tart tongue, is on what might be called a shorter leash since an unfortunate remark in late February was considered more than a little damaging to her husband’s presidential candidacy?

You may recall that Mrs. Obama told a Milwaukee audience: “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.”

The barrage of critical reaction included this from columnist Michelle Malkin, who wrote that she is “a woman of color” like Michelle Obama and “I can’t keep track of the number of times I’ve been proud—really proud—of my country since I was born and privileged to live in it.”

I follow political news closely, and I can’t recall seeing any additional controversial quotes from Mrs. Obama. In fact, I can’t recall seeing any additional quotes from her at all.

* * *

Was Milk Hiding In The Fridge?

A recent column praised Margre and Chuck Durham for the gracious way in which they responded to speeches praising them for their multi-million-dollar contributions to the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Chuck Durham’s recent death (Margre died in 1999) sparked also a recollection on the lighter side of my acquaintance with the Durhams. Margre enjoyed telling this story:

In the kitchen looking for milk for cereal or whatever (I don’t recall that detail), Chuck asked Margre, “Where’s the milk”? Her rejoinder: “If you were the milk, where would you be?”

Chuck went to the refrigerator and got out the milk.

* * *

Chicken-Walking? I’ll Stick to Dogs

Two recent columns have reproduced cartoons from a delightful dog-cartoon book—“They Moved My Bowl”—by New Yorker magazine cartoonist Charles Barsotti. In one of the columns I invited readers to submit a story about why your dog is so special to you.

Longtime friend John D. (Jack) Campbell of Lincoln reacted by sending a collection of copies of his favorite cartoons involving man’s best friend. My favorite of the ones which Jack sent my way is reproduced here.

# # #

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