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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

Outdated Constitutional Language Adds
To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess

August 5, 2010

The proposal, I fear, is too commonsensical, too sound in both logic and in law, to prevail at a time when consideration of the most important unresolved social issue facing this country today—illegal immigration—is being dominated by angry street crowds and pop-culture musicians who think they should set or decisively influence America’s social and political agenda.

The commonsensical proposition to which I’m referring wouldn’t solve the immigration mess, but it would address an important, absolutely indefensible part of that mess.

I’m referring to proposals raised by two political officeholders—one in the United States Senate and one in the Arizona Legislature. 

The proposals would overturn a policy that was important when it was established in the federal constitution 142 years ago but today is a constitutional anachronism—an outdated provision which is producing unintended results damaging to the social fabric of the United States and vastly complicating the illegal immigration issue.

The outdated constitutional language specifies that any person born in the United States “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” is a United States citizen.  The language was intended to insure that all former slaves who had been born in this country would be considered United States citizens.

Millions Enjoy Undeserved U.S. Citizenship

Today the outdated language is being used to confer citizenship on children born in this country to mothers who are here illegally.  There are uncounted millions of such children born to what has been estimated as some four million illegal immigrant mothers.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R.-S.C.) has said that some illegal immigrants “come here to drop a child.”  The antiquated constitutional language “attracts people here for all the wrong reasons.”

Graham said that we “should change our constitution and say if you come here illegally and have a child, that child’s not automatically a citizen.”  Graham is considering introducing such an amendment in Congress but this approach would require two-thirds approval in both House and Senate, then approval in three-fourths of the state legislatures. 

Another approach has been suggested by Arizona State Sen. Russell Pearce, author of the Arizona law which stirred indignant opposition from liberals ranging from President Obama to pop-music icons like Omaha’s Conor Oberst.

Liberal-Left Spokesmen Are Opposed, Of Course

Pearce, like some other proponents of the change, argues that the 14th amendment as written 142 years ago doesn’t apply to the children of illegal immigrants and simply needs current legal interpretation, not repeal.

Pearce’s reasoning is that since the mothers are here illegally, neither they nor their children are “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States” and thus are not eligible for the protection and privileges—including citizenship—which the United States provides for citizens under its legal jurisdiction.

The Graham proposal drew entirely predictable opposition from liberal-left spokesmen like Angela Kelley of the Center for American Progress.  She described Graham’s proposal as “tampering” with the constitution.  Graham’s position is “extreme,” she said.

A contrary viewpoint expressed by Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform:  “We should not allow language from 1868 to enslave our thinking in the 21st Century.”

Arizona Senator Pearce’s reasoning is certainly worth consideration, worth a serious test in the federal court system, as I see it. 

Or the issue could be considered by Congress since the final words in the 14th Amendment give Congress “power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”

Pearce’s approach certainly would not solve the growing problem of illegal immigration—some White House and Congressional leadership is finally going to have to wake up to that responsibility. 

But it would end the ludicrous application of clearly outdated constitutional language and would constitute an eminently reasonable step towards helping clean up the current immigration policy mess.

* * *

Very Great Majority Of Americans
Turned Off By Pop Music Politicians

Speaking of pop music icons eager to influence social and political policy and practices in this country, including currently a focus on being kind to illegal immigrants:

In the flood of media attention which Conor Oberst—who grew up in Omaha and maintains a residence here—received in connection with his opposition to illegal-immigration-control efforts in Arizona and Fremont, Nebraska, there was reference after reference suggesting Oberst is famous and popular as a practitioner of “indie” music. 

One story referred to Oberst’s “popular indie funk band, Desaparecidos”.  But in column after column of coverage of Oberst and his political and social views and his concert in Benson to raise funds to fight a Fremont illegal-immigrant-restriction ordinance in court, I never read any description of what “indie” or “indie funk” music is.

One is left to assume that it’s the kind of music by which a bearded, T-shirt wearing guitar player and singer attracts adoring young fans who are sent into emotional frenzy by their idol’s performance.

Incidentally but importantly, I have yet to read a persuasive explanation—or any explanation at all—as to why “indie” and other pop culture performers believe their social and political views are persuasive to anyone other than the relative handful of fans who scream their approval of anything their “indie funk” icons sing or say. 

There are millions upon millions of Americans—the very great majority—who don’t worship pop culture performers or give a tinker’s dam about their much-publicized political and social views.

* * *

If Planned Parenthood Policy Prevailed,
There Would Be No Call For Abortions

Catholic Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha, of course, indicated his disagreement.  But as a non-Catholic interested in one of the most controversial social issues confronting our country today—abortion—I was impressed by the implied advice offered to Lucas by an organization called Catholics for Choice in an ad in The World-Herald.

President Jon O’Brien of Washington-based Catholics for Choice wrote in an open letter addressed to the staff of a new Planned Parenthood of the Heartland clinic:

“I am extremely sad to see reports that Archbishop George Lucas has announced plans to lead a protest at the site of your new clinic in Omaha (editors note:  Archbishop Lucas has participated in such a protest at the site of the clinic). 

“I write to you today, as a Catholic and as president of Catholics for Choice, in solidarity with the women and men who work at the clinic providing reproductive healthcare services for the women of Nebraska and Iowa, to tell you we think the archbishop is wrong.”

It seems to me to be certainly wrong to attempt to prevent the operation of a clinic which is offering services which are entirely legal under United States law—services which, importantly, carry out the mission implied in the sponsoring-organization’s name—“Planned Parenthood.” 

Anti-abortionists too often choose to ignore the fact that Planned Parenthood clinics do not simply offer abortion services.  An abortion is always a negation of Planned Parenthood’s founding principle.  Planned Parenthood clinics help women avoid abortions by avoiding unwanted pregnancies. 

“Every child a wanted child” is, it seems to me, a more moral operating principle than an anti-abortion policy that insists on pregnant mothers being encouraged to bring unwanted children into the world.

Catholic anti-abortion activists are surely entitled to promote their views in the American way.  That doesn’t include attempting to deny others the unharassed right to promote their views and policies, especially if those policies clearly fall within court-approved guidelines which, after all, constitute the law of the land.

* * *

Are Cox Classic Golf Scores Too Low?
Did Iowa-Bound Recruits Spurn Huskers?

Let’s turn to my “As I See It” sports page:

I’m glad that Omaha plays host to the Cox Classic stop in Omaha on a professional golf tour every year, and I join those in hoping that the Cox champion will find a way to move up to the big-league PGA tour, which has happened in a few cases over the years.

But I do find it difficult to generate my usual golf-tournament-spectator-enthusiasm for a tournament which finds, as it did this past week, no fewer than 14 golfers finishing 17 strokes or better under par.  The winner, Martin Piller, finished 23 under par.

Is there some way to toughen up the course at the Champions Run Country Club so that so many golfers don’t make such a laughing stock of par?

Turning to the always interesting topic of where promising Nebraska high school football players will wind up in college:

We read that several such prospects have been “tapped” by the Iowa Hawkeyes, continuing what is described as a pattern of recent years.

There was no mention of whether any of these Iowa City-bound Nebraskans had been offered scholarships by the Nebraska Cornhusker coaching staff and turned those offers down and chose the Iowa Hawkeyes instead.

The answer to that question would certainly be of interest to Husker fans.

* * *

All Birthday Greetings Were Welcome
Especially The “And Many More” Variety

Longtime friends and some newer friends made my 87th birthday a special day in a variety of ways, including a number of cakes, three small luncheons, dinner brought in for Marian and me and a good many telephone calls and birthday cards.

A heartfelt “Thank you!” to all who were so thoughtful.

The birthday cakes were of varying size and carried only one to three candles, I’m pleased to report.  Especially appreciated were the single-candle cakes—sort of a margin of safety when it came to summoning up my candle-blowout capacity. 

Of course, I appreciated all the birthday cards, especially the variety that went beyond “have a wonderful day” to include the wish for “and many more.”

# # #

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