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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

First, a reminder:

Attractive, hardbound copies of “Life With Marian”—a book which a good many readers have said they would be interested in owning—are still available for purchase (for $22.50) at The Bookworm in Countryside Village.  If more convenient, you can now also send a check payable to Harold W. Andersen for $26.66 (includes tax and postage) and mail to me at P.O. Box 27347, Omaha, NE, 68127.  A copy will be sent by return mail.

Notre Dame And Obama
Offer A Splendid Lesson

May 21, 2009

Both Notre Dame University, including its leadership and an apparent majority of its student body, and President Barack Obama offered a splendid lesson to the people of the United States in a productive, mutually respectful way in which both sides in the abortion controversy can conscientiously hold to their basic beliefs but seek common ground in dealing rationally rather than emotionally with the abortion issue.

Instead of an event dominated by the shameful insulting, abusive tactics of a minority of anti-abortion zealots, Obama’s appearance on the Notre Dame campus—as commencement speaker and recipient of an honorary degree—turned out to be an occasion for focusing on common ground which opponents and defenders—pro-life and pro-choice—can and should work together on.

Obama was properly greeted with enthusiastic applause when he told the commencement ceremony audience:

“Maybe we won’t agree on abortion, but we can still agree that this heart-wrenching decision for any woman is not made casually.  It has both moral and spiritual dimensions. 

“So let us work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions.  Let’s reduce unintended pregnancies.  Let’s make adoption more available.  Let’s provide care and support for women who do carry their children to term.”

The continuing debate over abortion should, the president said, be approached with “open hearts, open minds, fair-minded words.”

For its part, it seems to me, Notre Dame demonstrated that the campus of any university worthy of the name, religious-affiliated or not, is obligated to offer a respectful audience for a variety of views.

Such mutual respect doesn’t require a change in fundamental religious beliefs but it does point the way, as Obama’s remarks so well indicated, to a wide area of positive reaction which both sides in the abortion controversy should agree to pursue, in active cooperation whenever possible.

So a salute to both Notre Dame and Barack Obama for using the opportunity to spread the “let’s work together in the many ways we can” message. 

* * *

Avoiding Pregnancies A Lesson
For Omaha Public Schools, Too

The avoidance of what President Obama in his Notre Dame commencement speech described as “unintended pregnancies” should be, I believe, heavily involved in the solution of public school problems which The Omaha World-Herald has been spotlighting in a series of long articles in recent years.

It seems to me that among the “red flags” which should call attention to Omaha public school students who need special help, there should be more focus on what, in case after case, is one of the major problems—if not the major problem.

The distinguishing characteristic of so many of these cases is simply this:  an early-age pregnancy or pregnancies.  A recent example was described in a World-Herald story which told in great detail of the problems of a girl, now a young woman, who eventually dropped out of high school.  Midway through the long story, the reader encountered this language:  “Even before she finished middle school or reached 15, she had become pregnant.”

By the time the girl dropped out of high school in 2006, she was 16 years old, the mother of daughters aged 2 and 1 and is now struggling to raise the children without the aid of the father or fathers.

Efforts are being made, both by privately-funded programs and a variety of special programs offered by the Omaha Public School System, to give special stay-in-school-help to “children having children” and/or facing other handicaps, sometimes from the day they enroll in school at age 4 or 5.

Even with the special help, some of these youngsters will never catch up.  That doesn’t mean that the efforts by private philanthropists—focused on pre-school educational opportunities—and by the public school system should not be pursued as vigorously as resources will permit. 

The cause is surely not hopeless.  But that cause would certainly be advanced, it seems to me, if increased emphasis is placed on one of the targets identified by President Obama in his Notre Dame speech:  “Let’s reduce unintended pregnancies.”

* * *

A City Divided: Eastern Omaha
Gives Suttle His Victory Margin

There are, of course, a variety of ways to analyze Democrat Jim Suttle’s 50.7%-to-48.7% victory over Republican Hal Daub in last week’s Omaha mayoral election.

Part of the explanation, it seems to me, is the fact that his previous two terms as Omaha mayor and in his public career generally, Daub’s hard-driving tactics left some scars which helped defeat the better-known Daub in his campaign against the relatively-little-known Suttle. 

Let me stress that I think Daub’s tactics in his two-terms as mayor and as a Congressman helped make him an effective public servant.  I believe he has a record of which he is entitled to be proud, but I suspect that an old political saying applies:  “To make an omelet, you have to break some eggs.”

Another factor in Jim Suttle’s victory, is, of course, the fact that there are some 19,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans within the Omaha city limits.  (A good many strongly-Republican areas lie beyond the city limits in the West Omaha metropolitan area.)

But Suttle’s victory by 1,485 votes fell far short of the 19,000-vote margin of Democratic voters within the city limits. 

Suttle’s clever campaign strategy of identifying himself as a supporter of fellow Democrat President Barack Obama as Suttle campaigned in east Omaha—where there is the largest concentration of blacks and Democrats within the city limits—paid off.

In the Second City Council District in far northeast Omaha, Suttle’s 4,000-plus vote margin over Daub was the most decisive in any of the seven City Council districts and thus the major factor in his narrow win over Daub.

Regardless of the reasons for his victory, Suttle is Omaha’s mayor for the next four years and all Omahans of good will should wish him well.  He faces major problems, as Daub would have, and he will need the support of a strong majority of Omahans if he is to make progress toward solving those problems.  And, importantly, he will need the support of leaders in the civic and philanthropic community including those who were not among his strongest supporters in last week’s election.

I’m confident that the great majority of Omahans of good will, including community leadership will give Mayor Jim Suttle the support he deserves.

* * *

Omaha Royals President
Burns Bridges Behind Him

It appears to me that the president of the Omaha Royals should have replied with considerably less arrogance when asked recently how he would respond if a new mayor of Omaha were to ask for reconsideration of the Royals’ decision to look elsewhere than to the new downtown stadium for a new home for the Royals’ franchise.

Royals president Alan Stein responded:  “We are in the middle of extensive negotiations with a guy (Sarpy County officials) that we want to end up with.” 

Stein said that when mayoral candidate Hal Daub approached him and asked him not to make any commitments, Stein replied:  “We’ve already made a commitment.  Don’t you read the paper?”

Stein said that even if the city gave the Royals a rent-free home in the new stadium, the stadium would have to be redesigned, so there were 8,000 seats, which they aren’t going to do.

“Second, not make us leave for three weeks in the middle of June, which they can’t do.

“Third, take MECA (Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority) out of the picture and let us control the ballpark.”

The irony of Stein’s arrogant position is that for years the Royals have occupied Rosenblatt Stadium under the very similar to those conditions which Stein indignantly refuses to consider for occupancy of the new downtown park.  Rosenblatt has a seating capacity of 23,145, and must be vacated by the Royals during the College World Series and is certainly not controlled by the Royals, as Stein insists would be necessary with a new, smaller downtown ballpark.

Stein seems not to care whether he burns any bridges of friendship which might be left behind if he took a less arrogant attitude toward a city which has given the Royals a sweetheart financial tenancy during the longs years of their use of a stadium with more than 20,000 seats.

* * *

‘Big Brother’ Paves Old Market

I’m hard pressed to see how replacing crumbling and broken brick streets in Omaha’s Old Market area will help the nation recover from the worst economic crisis in a good many years.

But a recent news story said the Old Market project is among several in Nebraska that will share more than $7 million of economic stimulus money.

Anyone following the use of the economic stimulus funds must have some questions about how this or that usage will restore or save jobs.  But when you’re trying to find ways to spend several hundred millions of dollars in “stimulus” money—or is it more like a billion or more dollars (I’ve lost track)—you apparently have to find a great many projects whether they are stimulating or not.

About what you might expect from Big Brother Government.  (Marian has finally talked me out of referring to Big Nanny Government.)

# # #

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