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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

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.

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

June 24, 2010

Suggestion for President Obama and his speechwriters: 

As the speeches are prepared for display on a teleprompter, there must be some electronics involved—something that can be computerized. 

I would suggest that the computer be programmed to either totally eliminate the use of the word “I” or perhaps limit it to one use in each five or 10 minutes of speaking.

I would think the president would come across as less egocentric and more as a team leader—a strong team leader if he chooses the right language—if he more frequently referred to “we” or something like “I believe the American people will…”.

We knew that the American people had elected a self-confident, sometimes cocky president based on his campaign speeches.  But a touch of humility would go over much better than the first person singular, especially when so many of his listeners know that the words are coming from the least experienced president in modern times.

* * *

That Was “Major” Tournament Golf?
Looked More Like Local Publinks Play

The “Official Souvenir Program” for the “2010 National Championship U.S. OPEN” at the famous Pebble Beach golf links in California included this message from the CEO of the Pebble Beach Company and the general chairman of the 2010 U.S. Open: 

“We have no doubt that the 110th U.S. Open will provide its own memorable memories, and we welcome the 156 great competitors battling it out to join the honor roll of champions.”

Well, the 110th U.S. Open certainly did provide “memorable moments” but the moments turned into several hours as the six leaders going into the final round last Sunday played a combined total of 23 strokes above par in that final round.

Eleven of those over-par strokes resulted from the spectacular implosion of the leader after three rounds—a confident (cocky?) Dustin Johnson, who went from 6 under after three rounds to 5 over by shooting a final round 82.

So the five other lowest-score leaders going into the final round shot “only” a combined 12 strokes over par—certainly not an example of the old saying that when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Besides Johnson, “standouts” among the six who couldn’t match or break par in the crucial final round of one of the so-called “major” championships were the Irishman Graeme McDowell, who won the championship with a 3-over final round and even par finish for the 72 holes, and Tiger Woods, who had won a U.S. Open championships at Pebble Beach in 2000 but finished Sunday with a 4-over-par 75 and a 72-total, 3 over par. 

“Memorable” performances indeed, but more like a final summer outing of the Good Guys Golf and Guzzle Society at your local publinks course, not a performance by some of the world’s supposedly best golfers.

* * *

At Last, A Touch Of Reality In The UNL/Big 10 Story

After the almost unbroken journalistic celebration of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s joining the Big 10 conference, we are finally reading some facts which bring more reality to the situation.

It appears very likely if not certain that the Big 12 baseball program will be negatively affected by Big 10 membership. 

A World-Herald story Sunday pointed out that there are recruiting restrictions and non-conference travel restrictions which the Huskers have not faced in the Big 12.

You need look no further than the College World Series, currently center stage in Omaha, to see that Big 10 baseball is simply not in the same league with Big 12 baseball.

In the 14 years since the Big 12 Conference was formed, Big 12 teams have made 10 trips on “the road to Omaha.”  This includes three College World Series appearances by the Cornhuskers.  In those same 14 years, no Big 10 team has qualified for the CWS.

To the more serious question of what the Big 10 prestige factor may cost Nebraska: 

Big Ten Membership Really Save Taxes?

A non-sports-oriented story in The Sunday World-Herald carried this subheadline:  “UNL hopes to draw more students and thus have less need for state revenue.”

How’s that again?  More students reduce the need for state revenue?  Some observers would think it would be the other way around.  (Additional funds that could be very well spent, I would add.)

The story quoted State Sen. Greg Adams from York, chairman of the Legislature’s Education Committee, as saying that besides increased federal grants (again, the undocumented hope for more federal research dollars flowing automatically from Big 10 membership) UNL might need to seek private donations to establish research centers. 

“In Nebraska, if there’s something of critical importance, private philanthropy has a way of filling in the gaps,” Adams said.

Unfortunately, Senator Adams’ attitude is typical of that of too many state government leaders.

Tax Increase? No Way, Say State Officials

A strong case can be made that “private philanthropy” is doing more than its share of “filling in the gaps.”  A University of Nebraska Foundation campaign which ended in 2000 raised $727,770,000 for the university’s four campuses.  Consider also the current University of Nebraska Foundation campaign to raise $1.2 billion to support the four campuses.

Too many state officials are perfectly willing to let the private sector carry a major share of the cost of supporting the University of Nebraska while figuratively running for cover when a perfectly reasonable alternative is suggested; i.e., increased state tax revenue in support of Nebraska’s most important public institution.

Another touch of reality appeared in a Monday World-Herald story under this headline:  “NU:  Big Ten academics shouldn’t alter recruiting.” 

In contrast to the headline, the story quoted a UNL official as saying that it’s too early to say anything definitive although he doubts that the Cornhuskers will be required to make significant changes in their academic standards for athletic recruits.

But then this note of caution:  “Where Nebraska might fall slightly below most in the Big Ten is its (the Big 10’s) performance-based criteria—applying students should have at least a 20 on the ACT and should be in the upper half of their class.”

* * *

Bo Pelini: Celebrate, Then Get Back To Work

In all of the understandably enthusiastic Nebraska comments about UNL joining a prestigious conference which offers greater long-term stability and the prospect of improved academic performance, one of the most sensible reactions was voiced by Husker head football Coach Bo Pelini.

After saying it will be an honor to be a part of the Big 10 conference and the Big 10 tradition and “really take Nebraska into a new age,” Pelini got back to the business at hand with this statement:

“When the 2010 season is over, you’ve got to adjust your sights, you’ve got to think how it’s going to impact your recruiting and those types of things, but that’s for another time.  You start thinking ahead too much and you lose focus on the task at hand.”

The task at hand, of course, is the 2010 football season, not what happens after UNL officially joins the Big 10 July 1, 2011.

* * *

Not The Best 18 Holes In Eastern Nebraska;
Lady Huskers Bowl, Shoot Way Into Big 10

For today’s column-closer, a look at both golf and what the Cornhuskers bring to Big 10 athletics.

I have some questions about the logic of the way the Nebraska Golf Association put together its new “Great 18 East Course.” 

In the first place, it limited any Eastern Nebraska course, no matter its overall quality, to a single hole.  (I’ll admit some prejudice here, since my home course, the Omaha Country Club, along with Firethorn in Lincoln and Arbor Links in Nebraska City had the most holes nominated.)

In the second place, the “Great 18” course would end both of its 9’s with a par 3 hole—No. 11 at the Omaha Country Club (surely not the best hole at the OCC) and the back 9 with a par 3 at Woodland Hills near Eagle, Nebraska. 

I don’t know of any great golf course that ends both 9’s with a par 3.  In fact, no outstanding course which ends its 18 with a par 3 comes quickly to mind.

As to what the Nebraska Cornhuskers will bring to the Big 10 in terms of athletics, Nebraska media have not mentioned that UNL’s women’s athletic teams—scholarships awarded and expenses paid by football profits, of course—include bowling and rifle marksmanship.  (Or should it be “markswomanship”?) 

The Lady Huskers ought to be able to handle any Big 10 competition—if there is any—in those two unusual collegiate sports.

# # #

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