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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

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Mosque Controversy Isn’t About Legal Rights;
It’s About Moral Use Of Those Rights

August 26, 2010

If New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg would open his mind as wide as he has been opening his mouth, he might realize the damage he has done to the cause of interfaith religious relations in this country.

Bloomberg and like-minded liberals have tried to make a constitutional issue of the question of building a Muslim cultural center/mosque two blocks from the site of the 9/11 disaster in which followers of the Muslim faith killed nearly 3,000 people. 

The controversy is not about legal rights but about the way that Muslims and others promoting construction of the building are proceeding without any consideration for the feelings of not only survivors of those who were murdered by the Muslim terrorists but also the concerns of a majority of the American people. 

What is legal is not necessarily moral.  Failure to try to understand the feelings of those who disagree with you can be an insensitive, morally reprehensible abuse of a constitutional right.

The damage, I fear, has already been done.  Bloomberg and his like-minded ideologues and Muslim allies, by their total insensitivity to feelings of others, have harmed, not helped, Muslims in their already difficult task of convincing the American people that Islam is simply another faith—a faith which should be accepted into the company of other religious faiths which are practiced in this country.

Incidentally but importantly, the performance of Mayor Bloomberg and those who think like him hasn’t involved any explanation or rationalization of why Islam is the only major religion that on too frequent occasion allows its followers, under the doctrine of Jihad or “holy war,” to become killers of “infidel” non-Muslims.

What do Bloomberg and his Muslim allies think about Muslim performances like these:

Taliban Muslims earlier this month captured and killed, execution-style, nine humanitarian workers who had volunteered medical help and other humanitarian aid for Afghans.  Some of the murdered had devoted their adult lives to the cause. 

In northern Afghanistan, a young couple was recently stoned to death for trying to elope.  And in Iran last month, a woman was sentenced to death by stoning on adultery charges.  In response to worldwide revulsion and protest, the Muslim-dominated Iranian government redefined the woman’s crime as murder in an apparent effort to justify the death-by-stoning judgment.

Then there is a report from Saudi Arabia that a judge has asked several hospitals whether they could damage a man’s spinal cord so as to paralyze him as punishment after he was convicted of attacking another man with a cleaver leaving him in a paralyzed state. 

Saudi Arabia regularly doles out punishment based on the ancient legal code of an eye for an eye.  To his credit, King Abdullah has been trying to clamp down on extremist ideology, including eye-for-an-eye decrees issued by clerics.

We cannot rationally expect to hold the Muslim world to our legal and religious standards, no more than responsible Muslim leadership can expect us to condone jihad-inspired “holy war” terrorism. 

But, as I see it, we should expect Muslim leaders to try very hard to keep Muslim extremists from using “holy war” religious doctrine to kill non-Muslims.

This presumably won’t include the imam who, with Bloomberg’s outspoken support, is promoting construction of a cultural center/mosque two blocks from the site where Muslims killed nearly three thousand people—slaughter to which, the imam has charged, the United States was “an accessory.”  Mayor Bloomberg should pick his allies more carefully.

* * *

“Trim Our Goals In Afghanistan;”
Mexican Drug War “Made In USA”

Some international news snapshots, lifted from a recent newsletter to members from the Council on Foreign Relations:

--The headline read:  “Plan for Post-Taliban Afghanistan Failing; U.S. Should Narrow Its Goal to ‘Tolerable Stability.’” 

Three authors with impressive credentials in analyzing foreign affairs conclude that the original plan for post-Taliban Afghanistan, which called for rapid nation-rebuilding, has proven to be “a failing experiment in centralized democracy, heading toward de facto partition, with Taliban control in some areas and unstable, ill-regulated strongman governments in many others.”

The authors call on the United States to redefine its goals to more closely match our country’s narrower interests in Afghanistan.

--There might be a surprising result—at least one that I had never heard predicted before—which could occur if relations between the United States and Cuba are normalized, according to Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow For Global Health Laurie Garrett.

Garrett writes that Cuba’s public health network “could be devastated by an exodus of thousands of well-trained Cuban physicians and nurses.”

Garrett reasons that the strategies that the Cuban government has developed to build its health care system into what she describes as a major success story “have rendered it ripe for the plucking by the U.S. medical industry.”

--There is a lesson for Mexico in the way Colombia dismantled drug cartels, according to Robert C. Bonner, former administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. 

Bonner writes that Mexico’s battle against the drug cartels “will determine who controls the country’s law enforcement, judicial and political institutions.”

Colombia, faced with a similar situation in the 1990s, won its war against the drug cartels by limiting the campaign’s objectives to dismantling the cartels, not ending the drug traffic, Bonner writes.  Columbia targeted the kingpins and also reformed law enforcement and judicial institutions, Bonner says.

Who am I to argue with an expert on the subject, but I do wonder how you can keep ruthless, well-organized, well-financed criminal elements from continuing to battle security forces so long as there is a great deal of money to be made in the drug trade.

I also think that not nearly enough attention is paid to the fact that Mexico’s battle against the drug cartels, at great cost in money and in lives, would not be necessary if there were not such great numbers of American drug abusers.  Mexico’s war against the drug cartels has, in effect, a “Made in the USA” label.

* * *

Britain Serious About Cutting Spending;
Are You Listening, Obama And Friends?

I wonder if the president and a rubber-stamp Congress who are speeding us down the road to continuing multi-billion dollar deficits and an increasing national debt are paying any attention to what has been happening in Europe—from Greece, which nearly went bankrupt, to Great Britain and its traditional socialistic welfare state policies.

A recent story in The New York Times carried this headline:  “For Many Britons, Budget Cuts Prove to Be Quick and Painful.”

A subhead said that there is little doubt that the new British coalition government “takes austerity seriously.”  These examples were cited:

The British government has abolished the United Kingdom Film Council, the Health Protection Agency “and dozens of other groups that regulate, advise and distribute money in the arts, healthcare industry and other areas.”

“The government’s action would seem shockingly abrupt,” The Times story continued, “in mass execution without appeal.  But it was just a tiny taste of what was to come.”

The new coalition government is preparing “to shrink down to its bare bones as it cuts expenditures by $130 billion over the next five years and scales back its responsibilities,” The Times reported.

The result, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, a research group, will be “the longest, deepest sustained period of cuts to public services spending since World War II.”

Are you listening, Mr. President and your liberal (excuse me, I know that some of you would prefer to now be called “progressives”) followers?

* * *

Black Fraternity Deserves Praise
For Tackling An Important Job

A tip of this columnist’s cap to the historically black fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi, whose Omaha members in a formal ceremony last week “adopted” Kellom elementary school. 

The goal of the 30 members of the local chapter of the fraternity, which includes alumni as well as those currently in college, is to approve academic achievement among young African-American males.  The fraternity’s members will specifically mentor the school’s fifth-and-sixth grade boys but the relationship between the fraternity and the school at 24th & Paul Streets will include 100 of the students. 

Student chapter president Jamal Jackson said that “essentially, we want to prepare them to be young men.  They will be aware of the different traps they can fall into.  We want to help them build a strong foundation so they’ll make the right choice.”

In an African-American population in which, nationwide, something like 50% of children grow up in families without a father present, the need for role model/mentors is obviously very great. 

Congratulations and best wishes to the Omaha members of Kappa Alpha Psi as they pledge to do their part to address that huge national problem.

* * *

Piniella Leaves As Cubs Fail
12-Run 9th Inning Challenge

My roommate spent part of Sunday afternoon watching American baseball fans’ favorite object of sympathy, the Chicago Cubs, as they played their final game under the management of Lou Piniella, a likeable fellow who deserved a better fate than to wind up his career as manager of the hapless Cubs.

Piniella decided to resign after Sunday’s game rather than at the end of the season as he had previously announced because his ailing mother’s health had taken a turn for the worse. 

As I was dictating this column Sunday afternoon, Marian stopped by on her way to the kitchen to report:  “The Braves are leading 16-5, but the Cubs are batting in the bottom of the 9th, so the issue is still in doubt.”

The Cubs subsequently removed all doubt, going scoreless in their last at bat.

All of which reminds me of a statement made by a long-suffering Cubs fan when I asked him, before the 2000 season, if he was optimistic about how the Cubs would fare in the new century.  He was, of course, hopeful if not necessarily optimistic. 

Then I asked him how he felt about the Cubs’ performance in the past century.  His philosophical answer:  “Every team’s entitled to a bad century now and then.”

# # #

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