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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

- 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.)

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

March 25, 2010

President Obama and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and their fellow arm-twisters claim a great victory for the American people. This despite the fact that there is considerable evidence that a majority of the American people don't want the kind of medical care reform which would be imposed on them by the legislation which was pushed through the House of Representatives by a margin of four votes-or slightly less than 1%.

The lengths to which Obama et al went in what became an almost frantic effort, involving all manner of pressures on wavering members of the House, understandably raises a question as to how much of the campaign's intensity was designed to promote the public welfare and how much was designed to try to restore Obama's fading leadership image and also improve Democratic prospects in the November elections.

I'm reminded of the expression "a Pyrrhic victory." Roman historian Plutarch wrote that the expression originated with Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, referring to a dearly-bought victory over the Romans in 208 BC-a victory which is said to have prompted this comment from Pyrrhus: "Another such victory…and we are undone."

An apt description of the Obama/Pelosi victory, in terms of they and their allies having bought their narrow victory at a heavy price in terms of credibility and, in too many instances, simple honesty. Two examples of the length to which the Obama/Pelosi team went or seemed willing to go if necessary:

To win over a Democrat who had taken a firm position against the legislation, namely the well-known Representative Dennis Kacinich of Ohio, Obama flew Kacinich, in Air Force One, to a rally in Kucinich's district, a rally which included a phone call from a hospitalized woman who urged Kacinich to change his mind and vote for the president's bill, according to an MSNBC news report. Kacinich, who had been pressured by Obama in four telephone calls, changed his mind, or at least his vote.

Speaker of the House Pelosi indicated at one point that she would be willing to pull off a parliamentary maneuver which would allow House approval of the medical care legislation without members having to publicly take a stand for or against the bill.

This approach was not used, but the fact that Pelosi was considering it says something about the level of the campaign and the principles-or lack of them-which guided the campaigners.

Pelosi's tactics included calling a meeting with female members of the House. Had there been a meeting to which only male House members were invited, you would, of course, have run the risk of being accused of discriminating against women.

* * *

Has 'Homosexual' Become A Dirty Word?

I long ago gave up the hope of seeing a return to precise language in connection with the use of the word "gay."

With the willing if not enthusiastic cooperation of the news media, the word "gay" quickly became either an adjective or a noun by which homosexuals referred to themselves. Not infrequently, it has been also used to refer to lesbians.

But accustomed as I have become to such debasing of the language (I simply don't think any group should be able to appropriate a word to their own use, nullifying that use for any other purpose), I was still surprised recently to see it used so many times in a single news story. It was a sympathetic report on a heterosexual Nebraska native's crusade to end the U.S. Army's policy of not accepting or discharging individuals openly known as homosexuals.

The story used the word "gay" or "gays" 15 times instead of the more precise and accurately descriptive word "homosexual."

* * *

Promoting Non-Academic Racial Mixing
In Classrooms Is Encountering Problems

Half a continent apart, two recent developments spelled bad news for the policy of using a "socio-economic diversity" label to describe (disguise?) what is basically the continuing effort to mix white students and students of color (blacks and Hispanics) in school classrooms.

In Omaha, a recent newspaper headline said: "With a third of the schools able to take no more than 10 outside students and some none at all, diversity goal is tough to meet."

Bad news for the officials of the new Douglas County/Sarpy County "learning community" who have set a goal of assuring that every classroom will include the district-wide percentage of students whose family income level qualifies their children for free school lunches. (That figure currently is 40%.)

Meanwhile, in Raleigh, North Carolina, the news was that the Wake County school board voted to abandon the practice of busing youngsters back and forth within the county in order to achieve what was described as "socio-economic diversity" in classrooms throughout the county.

That policy will be replaced by dividing the county into "community school zones," with the emphasis on allowing students to attend classes closer to home.

Wake County had received considerable national attention as a model for other school districts which were interested in offsetting the effect of a 2007 United States Supreme Court ruling limiting the use of race in assigning students. (Don't use race as the overt determining factor any more. Use "socio-economic diversity" and produce the same practical result.)

In Douglas and Sarpy Counties in Nebraska, the obvious primary objective of a "socio-economic diversity" policy is to create a racial mixture by busing large numbers of blacks and Hispanics and some children from low-income white families into classrooms in more affluent neighborhoods. (Or, an even more formidable task, busing a significant number of children from more affluent neighborhoods into lower-income neighborhood schools in East Omaha and South Omaha.)

A more realistic objective, also being pursued in Douglas and Sarpy Counties, is to encourage moving students to classrooms in magnet schools to pursue educational opportunities not available in their neighborhood schools.

Hopefully, this more sensible objective will prevail as against "socio-economic diversity" efforts.

One difference-and, fortunately, it is a very significant one-from the compulsory busing of white children and black children back and forth is that the current efforts at mixing white children and children of color in the same classroom involves voluntary transfer of students from their neighborhood schools.

I wonder if the demise of "socio-economic diversity" as a nationally-recognized model in Wake County, North Carolina will have any influence on that policy in Douglas and Sarpy Counties in Nebraska.

I hope it does.

* * *

Illegal Immigrants Are Helping Change
The Majority/Minority Mix In America

"Minority births nearly majority," the headline read. It was followed by this subhead:

"Demographers say this may be the year that more babies are born to minority parents than to whites."

This fundamental change in the historic racial character of the United States citizenry is due in significant part, of course, to the influx of illegal Hispanic immigrants-immigrants who have more babies than white mothers and whose babies, who, although born to an illegal immigrant, become United States citizens because of the unanticipated result of wording in the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution adopted 142 years ago.

The Associated Press story said that the numbers of babies born to minorities outnumbers that of babies born to whites "because immigration to the U.S. has boosted the number of Hispanic women in their prime childbearing years. Minorities made up 48% of U.S. children born in 2008, the latest census estimates available, compared with 37% in 1990."

The AP story also reported that whites currently make up two-thirds of the total of the United States population but recent census estimates predict that minorities will overtake the number of whites by 2050.

It would be one thing for the whites/minority ratios to change because of the differing birth rates between racial groups among United States citizens. It is quite another thing, I believe, to see that ratio change accelerated because of the presence of 10 million or more Hispanic immigrants illegally residing in this country.

* * *

Omaha Needs A Streetcar System?
Let's Concentrate On Real Needs

Some odds and ends which I thought worthy of brief comment:

--When will supposedly responsible public officials stop promoting a street car system in Omaha?

The question was raised by Mayor Jim Suttle's pitch in Washington for federal money to finance construction of a street car system in Omaha. The cost, Suttle said, would be $200 to $250 million but could mean $1 billion in development.

One billion in development? What kind of development? Such careless use of figures doesn't enhance the new mayor's credibility as he struggles with balancing the city budget.

--The careless handling of numbers continues to be a major shortcoming of the journalistic craft. For example: We read that Nebraska's "unemployment rate" edged up to 4.7% compared to 4.6% the month before.

But, as usual, we're not given the slightest idea of how anybody calculates such a precise "jobless rate." And what does it mean anyhow? There are a lot more than 4.7% of Nebraskans who don't have a job.

Does it mean the number of persons who have applied for unemployment compensation? It so, tell us so. And we must keep in mind that we hear repeated stories of persons who, losing their jobs, withdraw from the labor market for whatever reason and don't apply for unemployment compensation.

--We read that the Taliban are trying to create a kinder, gentler image, instructing that their terrorists try to avoid blowing up civilians as they attempt to kill NATO troops, including Americans, in a Muslim-style jihad or "holy war."

Among the instructions from a kinder, gentler Taliban leadership; Their Muslim followers should avoid blowing up schools or cutting off ears, lips and tongues.

Is that bizarre relaxation of religion-approved cruelty supposed to leave us with the impression that Muslim terrorists aren't such bad guys after all?

--New York Times columnist David Brooks recently discussed "the underlying tragedy" in Haiti. Incredibly, as I see it, among the extensive list of problems with which the Haitians must deal themselves, possibly with assistance from countries like America, Brooks did not include birth control.

Too touchy a subject for columnist Brooks? Whatever. It is a problem that must be addressed if we are to make real progress in a worldwide effort to reduce poverty.

* * *

Dr. Frankenstein's Creation Has A Problem

To close on a lighter note:

# # #

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