Home   | About   | Contact

In case we need to communicate directly with you, either by mail or Internet, please give us your contact information:
 
First Name

Last Name

Address

City

State Zip Code
  
E-mail Address

Comments:

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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

Share |
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.

‘Adults In Wonderland’
Need To Get Real

January 15, 2009

“Adults in Wonderland” might be an appropriate title for the next few items. 

A recent news story reported that Sarpy County officials are considering a proposal that a new ice skating arena be built as a home for the Omaha Lancers, who now play at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs.

The officials haven’t figured out yet how they’re going to raise $40 million for a new ballpark for the Omaha Royals, but attorney Kermit Brashear, representing Sarpy County, has said a nearby ice rink, estimated to cost as much as $20 million, “would be an excellent complement to what we’re trying to do with the Omaha Royals.”

Then there’s talk of spending perhaps $8 million to convert an 80-year-old Missouri River bridge into a biker-pedestrian span between South Dakota and Nebraska in the Yankton, S.D. area.  In today’s economic climate, to suggest spending perhaps as much as $8 million (other cost estimates are lower) to fund a new use for an ancient bridge which has been replaced by a new span seems to me to qualify for “wonderland” status.

And at the national level and involving a great deal more money:  What sense does it make for president-elect Barack Obama to propose spending “economic stimulus” money of perhaps more than a trillion dollars in 2009 while at the same time saying he plans to push through Congress $300 billion in tax cuts? 

* * *

News Stories, Broadcasts
Increasingly Tinted ‘Green’

If you have any questions about—or, heaven forbid, opposition to—any supposed energy-saving proposal carrying the “green” label, be prepared to find yourself sailing into the increasingly strong prevailing winds in the news media.

This advice occurs to me as I follow the favorable media attention given to almost any proposal that is, for example, anti-coal-fired electricity-producing plants and the consistently favorable attention to electricity-productive (intermittently productive, that is) windmills. 

A couple of recent examples of the kind of media coverage I’m talking about: 

A news story reporting on a bill introduced in the Nebraska legislature started with these words:  “It’s time to put some ‘green’ into the state’s energy usage.”

I suppose if you’re going to inject personal opinion into a news story, you might as well do it in the opening paragraph.

The story went on to report various proposals included in Legislative Bill 14, proposing a variety of ways to cut down energy usage and coal-powered electricity production by such things as “wind farms.” 

(I certainly agree with the desirability—the fundamental importance—of energy conservation.  I still have to be convinced that windfarms can be an effective, economical way to replace a significant percentage of electricity produced by coal-fired plants.  An increase in nuclear-powered electricity production would be considerably more practical and effective, in my opinion, even if Jane Fonda and the rest of the “greenies” don’t approve.)

Windmill On Every Rooftop?

Another example of the way some news coverage is tilted appeared in The Wall Street Journal in a story which challenged the assertion of computer-producer Dell, Inc. that it has become “carbon neutral,” the latest step in its quest to be “the greenest technology company on the planet.”

The fallacy in Dell’s claim, The Wall Street Journal said, is that while Dell’s manufacturing systems have been engineered so that they do not produce pollution-contaminating carbon dioxide, this is only a small percentage of the “carbon footprint” which could be said to be “associated with Dell.” 

The Journal’s reasoning (if the process could be dignified by the use of that word):  Dell’s claim to be “carbon free” is misleading because it doesn’t cover suppliers who make Dell’s computer parts or the diesel and jet fuel used to ship Dell’s computers around the world or the coal-fired electricity used to run the computers which Dell’s customers buy.

“That means the company is only neutralizing about 5% of the greenhouse gases that go into the making and use of its products,” The Journal said. 

Are the WSJ’s “greenie” reporters and editors seriously suggesting that Dell deserves no credit if its computer manufacturing goes “carbon free” if, for example, its customers don’t use only windmill-powered electricity to operate Dell computers?

That makes about as much sense as the news that a bill to be introduced in the Nebraska Legislature would give homeowners and businesses “larger credits” (whatever that means) for electricity they generate via small wind turbines.

Doesn’t that conjure up pretty visions?  Every home with a windmill atop its roof?

* * *

Real Estate Values Are Down;
Will Taxable Valuations Also Fall?

Still speaking of journalists:  I continue to wait for some enterprising reporter or team of reporters to dig deeply into what to me is an egregiously obvious significant question: 

Will taxing officials—starting with county assessors in Nebraska’s case—examine the 2009 value of properties against which taxes were levied last year on then-current market values? 

We read repeatedly that real estate values have dropped (dropped farther in other parts of the country than in the Midlands).  The obvious question:  Have property values dropped significantly enough to warrant a general reduction in assessed taxable valuations for the coming tax year?  If so, what will be the reaction of public officials responsible for levying and spending taxes?

Reducing the taxable valuation on the property does not, of course, assure a comparable drop in a homeowner’s total tax burden.  There is always the option of increasing the rate of tax levied against the property, unless the tax rate is already at the legal limit (in which case the Legislature could be asked to raise tax rate ceilings).

There could also be an increase—if there is some leeway under the present legal limits—to increase rates of other forms of taxes.  Whatever the answer, the question seems to me to be starkly obvious.  Some journalist or journalists need to get cracking to take a comprehensive, detailed look at the issue—and in the process possibly prod public officials to take any corrective steps which might be necessary, including the possibility if not the likelihood that taxes will be reduced.

* * *

American Media Trash Bush;
‘London Times Gets It Right’

Still on the subject of journalistic practice, after making clear that I think a good many journalists still strive to do an objective job:

The leftward drift, particularly in the national news media, continues to show as so many national reporters and commentators pummel President George W. Bush, in most cases refusing to acknowledge that he has achieved anything of significance in his eight years in the White House. 

There has just come to my attention an example of what I’m talking about, spotlight in an article in “Investor’s Business Daily,” an article prompted by a report in the London Sunday Times, of all places.  The Investor’s Business Daily report went like this:

“Iraq:  What would happen if the U.S. won a war but the media didn’t tell the American public?  Apparently, we have to rely on a British newspaper for the news that we’ve defeated the last remnants of al-Qaida in Iraq. 

“London’s Sunday Times called it ‘the culmination of one of the most spectacular victories of the war on terror.’  A terrorist force that once numbered more than 12,000, with strongholds in the west and central regions of Iraq, has over two years been reduced to a mere 1,200 fighters, backed against the wall in the northern city of Mosul.

“The destruction of al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI) is one of the most unlikely and unforeseen events in the long history of American warfare.  We can thank President Bush’s surge strategy, in which he bucked both Republican and Democratic leaders in Washington by increasing our forces there instead of surrendering.” 

The Los Angeles-based Investor’s Business Daily article said that in addition to thanking President Bush, Americans should thank the new general he placed in charge in Iraq, David Petraeus, “and we can thank those serving in our military in Iraq who engaged local Iraqi tribal leaders and convinced them America was their friend and AQI their enemy.”

* * *

Liberals Should Like
Obama First Day “Showbiz”

The New York Times reports that Barack Obama plans to issue an executive order on his first full day in office ordering the closing of the Guantanamo Bay alleged-terrorist detention camp in Cuba.

But, The Times story continued, experts say it is likely to take many months, perhaps as long as a year, to decide what to do with the 248 prisoners.

So why the first-day-in-office announcement rush? 

Show business, dear reader, show business.  A display of prompt, decisive decision-making which should appeal to liberals who have been disturbed that Obama appointees have included a number of Republicans.

* * *

15 Minute Nap Takes 15 Minutes

In late afternoon the other day, sitting comfortably at home watching the cardinals at the birdfeeder in the midst of the wind-driven snow flurries, I told Marian I thought I’d take a 15-minute nap before finishing some dictation for this week’s column.

“Okay,” Marian replied.  “But hurry up.”

I told her that I didn’t  know of any way you could do a 15-minute nap in less than 15 minutes.

# # #

Share |