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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

At Last, A Prominent Moderate Muslim
Speaks Out Against Muslim Terrorists

September 16, 2010

Finally—finally—a prominent Muslim has injected some common sense into the controversy which has spread far beyond the question of whether a Muslim congregation in New York City has a constitutional right to build a cultural center—including a mosque—within two blocks of the site where nearly 3,000 people were murdered when Muslims flew two commandeered airliners into two skyscrapers.

An “Opinion” page column in The Wall Street Journal—you can bet it wasn’t in The New York Times—carried several articles under the general headline “What Is Moderate Islam?” 

Particularly pertinent, as I see it, was one of the articles headlined:  “Don’t Gloss Over The Violent Texts.”  By “texts,” the author was referring to writings setting forth principles by which Muslims are supposed to govern their lives.

The author of the article was Tawfik Hamid, identified as a former member of an Islamic radical group but now an Islamic reformer and a senior fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.  The reformed Muslim radical started with these paragraphs:

“In regards to Islam, the words ‘moderate’ and ‘radical’ are relative terms…

“Radical Islam is not limited to the act of terrorism; it also includes the embrace of teachings within the religion that promote hatred and ultimately breed terrorism.  Those who limit the definition of radical Islam to terrorism are ignoring—and indirectly approving—the Shariah teachings that permit killing apostates, violence against women and gays and anti-Semitism.”

(My dictionary defines “Shariah” as relating to the teachings of Mohammad or his companions.)

Moderate Islam, this Muslim continues, “must provide a strong theological refutation for the mainstream Islamic teaching that the Muslim “umma” (nation) must declare wars against non-Muslim nations, spreading the religion and giving non-Muslims the following options:  Convert, pay a humiliating tax or be killed.”

Former Radical Calls For Demonstrations Against ‘Barbaric Practices’

Concluding his call for moderate Muslims to wage a public battle against Muslim radicals who are actively and proudly pursuing a policy of “convert or die” against non-Muslims, the converted radical wrote:

“Finally, moderate Islam must powerfully reject the barbaric practices of Jihadists.  Ideally, this would mean Muslims demonstrating en masse all over the world against the violence carried out in the name of their religion.

“Moderate Islam must be honest enough to admit that Islam has been used in a violent manner at several stages in history to seek domination over others.  Insisting that all acts in Islamic history and all current Shariah teachings are peaceful is a form of deception that makes things worse by failing to acknowledge the existence of the problem.”

From this converted Muslim radical, finally, a clear definition of the problem which liberals like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and President Barack Obama have either failed to recognize or intentionally ignore as they continue to prattle about a non-issue; i.e., the constitutional right of Muslims to build mosques wherever they meet local zoning laws. 

The battle, which Bloomberg and Obama don’t seem to understand, is not about the legal rights of a Muslim congregation to build a mosque.  The battle in New York is over whether it is appropriate, even moral, for followers of one religion to insist on their legal rights when they are offending a majority of New Yorkers and certainly a majority of the people of the United States.

Bloomberg and Obama and people who think like they do are ignoring the true problem—acts of Muslim terrorism in a variety of places around the world.  Not only the acts of terrorism killing “infidels,” of course, but also practices like those of the Taliban in Afghanistan, who are killing American troops in order that they can continue their barbaric practices, including assuring that women receive no formal education by forbidding them to attend schools.

The outrageous list goes go on and on.  A multiple-victim suicide bombing here, a multiple-victim suicide bombing there, a sentence to death by public stoning for a couple who eloped.

And what are moderate Muslims, from Omaha to New York City to Washington to London to any other city in the free world where they have a legal right to practice their religion—what are the great majority of moderate Muslims doing about it?  Nothing, so far as the public record shows.

* * *

State’s Second Congressional District
Candidates Avoid Party Labels

I said last week that I would use this week’s column to address the strange case of a non-partisan contest for the Nebraska’s Second Congressional District seat.

I had in mind the fact that in their television commercials, neither Republican incumbent Lee Terry nor Democratic opponent Tom White are mentioning their party affiliation.

White in particular has gone to some length to distance himself from his party’s label.  One of White’s TV ads refers to “the debt both parties are piling on our kids.”  The ad concludes with this language under White’s picture:

“Nebraska Independence for Congress.”

Tom White’s performance seems to fit a national pattern which was reported under a New York Times headline which read:  “Vulnerable Candidates Go Their Own Way.”

White’s performance also is compatible with a map in The Times which purports to identify the few places where Democrats feel they can pick up seats, other places where there is a “competitive open race” and a much larger number of states where there are “competitive races.”

On this map, Nebraska isn’t identified as a state which promises a “competitive race.”

Such an appraisal, if valid, could affect national Democratic funding help for White, one would think.

* * *

Elderly Retirees Pay Tragic Price
So Debtors Can Borrow Cheaply

Here we go again.

A recent headline read:  “New program for buyers, with no money down.”

Have we so soon forgotten that we’ve tried the “easy-mortgage” policy and the result contributed substantially to the recession which, I assume, the current “everybody should have the right to own a house” policy is designed to help overcome by stimulating the housing market.

A news story described the new program this way:

Fannie Mae, the federal agency which helped create the economic recession by subsidizing cheap mortgage loans to people who should have remained renters, is coming back into the market for mortgages with no down payment.

Surely there is a sounder economic way to encourage a resurgence in the home market without returning to no-money-down easy mortgage policies.

It seems to me there is some parallel between no-down-payment mortgage policy and the tragic story indicated by this headline:  “Debtors Feast At the Expense Of the Frugal.”

The story reported that families and corporations alike are refinancing their loans “in droves” to take advantage of interest rates that are being kept unrealistically low, as a result of federal policy to stimulate the economy.

But those low interest rates—described in the news story as seemingly “impossibly cheap”—are working real hardship on anyone with a savings account, including, tragically, retirees who depended on their life’s savings to earn enough interest to help pay living expenses in retirement.

An index of bank deposit interest rates slipped below 1%--the first time this has happened since the 1950s when Market Rates Insight began tracking the interest that banks pay to savers.

It is more than ironic.  It is a tragedy when corporations and homeowners who borrow money can benefit financially at the expense of persons who so managed their affairs that they had passed the stage of having to borrow money.  Now, those older Americans, through lower interest rates on their savings, are, in effect, subsidizing loans to working families and corporations.

* * *

Election To Recall Mayor Now Seems Unlikely;
But Do We Need A ‘Bicycle-Pedestrian Coordinator’?

As I dictate this, the movement (if that isn’t an overstated description) to force an election to recall Mayor Jim Suttle seems to have appropriately faded away.  If so, good riddance.

Suttle inherited a tough challenge—basic budget-balancing needs that simply could not be addressed without some increase in taxes.  A 4-3 City Council majority recognized the need and approved a tax increase package which, it seems to me, still falls short of meeting some important city government needs.

It apparently never occurred to the “let’s recall Suttle” advocates that to get revenge for some fairly modest but badly-needed tax increases you would have to recall not only Mayor Suttle but the four City Council members who had the courage to vote for those increases. 

The four Council members who voted for the increases are Chris Jerram, Thomas Mulligan, Ben Gray and Garry Gernandt.  The three dissenters, who offered no viable alternatives and deserve to be so remembered, are Jean Stothert, Pete Festersen and Franklin Thompson.

Incidentally, one would have hoped that Suttle would have used better judgment than to follow the slender 4-3 victory on the budget issue by creating the position of “bicycle-pedestrian coordinator” with a salary of about $65,000 a year.

If there’s a pressing need for a city employee to take on the assigned job of making Omaha’s streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians, Suttle and some biking enthusiasts must be the only ones aware of it.

* * *

Time For Another Report On Marian
And The ‘Wild Women Of Prairie Avenue’

This one’s for dear friend Maxine Christensen of Exira, Iowa, a fellow columnist who writes me from time to time.  In this case, it was a happy birthday greeting for Marian and me. 

Maxine said she is looking forward to next March, when she turns 90. 

Maxine has several times informed me how much she enjoys reading about Marian and our dogs.  So here, for Maxine Christensen and the numerous others who have indicated they enjoy reports about Marian and the world’s most lovable cocker spaniels, a report on what I overheard one recent morning:

Marian goes downstairs ahead of me and within 30 seconds has greeted the dogs with “Good morning, my darlings” and “How are you, babycakes?” and “Good morning, wild women of Prairie Avenue.”

During the day, of course, there are continuing expressions of affection—eight-year-old Claire is repeatedly referred to as “Precious” and six-year-old Charlotte as “Gorgeous.”  But nothing quite matches that half a minute outpouring of affection with which Marian greets Claire and Charlotte every morning.

# # #

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