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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

Gates Gives Somber Non-Political
Appraisals Of Iraq, Afghanistan

September 23, 2010

On two recent well-publicized occasions, President Obama has claimed that he has kept his word and American combat troops are being withdrawn from Iraq on the schedule he set.

No emphasis, of course, on the fact that nearly 50,000 American troops will remain in Iraq to help train the Iraqi military and protect American interests.

The truth of the matter continues to be reflected in stories from time to time that tell about American troops in Iraq being attacked and suffering casualties.  Prospects are that we can expect more of the same.

Probably a more honest picture of prospects for the future in Iraq was presented by President Obama’s Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates.

The headline read:  “Not yet time for victory parades over Iraq, Gates warns.”

In Iraq, Gates said, the most recent elections have yet to spawn a coalition government, Al-Qaida is beaten but not gone and sectarian tensions remain.”

And this note of caution about American involvement in Afghanistan:  Gates said the success of U.S. forces there is “possible,” although not inevitable. 

A more realistic prospect for continuing American involvement in both Iraq and Afghanistan, I would think, coming from Obama’s well-respected Secretary of Defense than from the president himself.

* * *

Your U.S. Immigration Policy At Work:
‘Temporary’ Haven For Salvadorans

Enforcement—or lack thereof—of our so-called national immigration policy too frequently reaches the level of incredibility.  Consider this case involving a “temporary” waiver of immigration law—a waiver which has lasted for nine years:

A Salvadoran boy is in this country illegally, awaiting deportation which would separate him from his mother who is living in this country legally—legally, that is, under what the news story described as a “temporary” protected status.

If you read far enough into the story, you learned that the mother is one of about 217,000 otherwise deportable Salvadorans who have been living in the United States since early 2001 when earthquakes devastated their homeland. 

Their continued legal residence in this country under a “temporary” humanitarian policy which has been in effect for nine years does not apply to her 11-year-old son who came illegally from El Salvador to be with his mother in Omaha.  The son faces deportation, but seems assured of at least another year of residence here because an attorney is appealing the deportation order.

And if you had read to the end of an earlier story on young Enrique’s case, you would have learned that his mother’s “boyfriend” would be happy to have the boy join what I guess in these days of lower moral standards might be called a “family circle” created by an unmarried couple.

* * *

Nebraska State Parks Doing Well;
Others Described As ‘Endangered’

A New York Times editorial carrying the headline “Endangered Parks” included this language:

“How bad is the problem?  The National Trust for Historic Preservation has put all of the nation’s state parks and state-owned historic sights on the list of America’s most endangered historic places…In all, 26 states have already closed parks, limited hours, reduced staff and budgets or deferred maintenance.”

This somber picture for state parks across the nation led me to call Roger Kuhn, whose Nebraska Game and Parks Commission responsibilities include supervision of the Nebraska state park system.

Kuhn said Nebraska’s park system—parts of which have received national recognition as recently as early this summer—is in good shape, still operating efficiently despite the necessity of eliminating 22 positions.  (Only two required layoffs, the others were eliminated through attrition). 

State historic parks are now open in the summer only, although at Arbor Lodge State Park and the Arthur Bowring Ranch State Historic Park busloads of visitors and visits by school children are welcome at any time.

Roger Kuhn and his associates, including certainly Game and Parks Commission members and staff director Rex Amack, deserve a heartfelt “Thank you!” from all those who continue to enjoy one of the nation’s very best state park systems.

* * *

The ‘Sage Of Elmwood’ Blasts The Media;
Overstates His Case But Raises A Point

Elmer Pinkerton, the sage of Elmwood, Nebraska, who for years wrote me with a commentary on every one of my columns, is still very much alive and offering, if possible, even more acidulous commentary. 

Elmer’s latest communication opens with a wish that I and my family “are all OK,” then addresses this still practicing member of the news media with this commentary:

“The media is the cause of most of our problems and the worst enemy of our great nation.”  Elmer added, “Nothing personal!”  Then followed an indictment of the media for, as Elmer sees it, giving big play to outrageous conduct which doesn’t deserve such attention—big play which can encourage more of the same kind of conduct.  For example:

“The nerd kid joined a gang and did a drive-by shooting.  Then he was a hero on the news to his peers.”

Another of Elmer’s examples is the Florida preacher who talked about burning copies of the Muslim holy book, the Koran. 

This kind of conduct “and others would not have been popular had the media not played them up big,” Elmer contends. 

The news media, Elmer says, “only wants sensationalism!  They do not give us the news or the details that are not sensational.”

I think the Sage of Elmwood goes a long way too far.  But I also think that Elmer raises a point worthy of consideration—but in considerably less emotional and more rational tone than suggested by Elmer’s super-heated rhetoric.

Do the news media overplay acts of violence?  And overplay stories like the picketing of funerals or a threat to burn the Koran coming from a minister with a congregation of about 40 people? 

What do you think?  As I see it, such stories are sometimes sensationalized and overplayed, but in a large majority of cases, comprehensive media coverage is justified by understandable reader and viewer interest in the story.

* * *

North High School Sports Editor
Returns To Action—70 Years Later

In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s football season again, and the Nebraska Cornhuskers are ranked 6th best in the country in the Associated Press sports commentators’ weekly poll.  This is more than enough to inspire occasional (it may turn out to be regular) weekly commentary from this Cornhusker fan/sports commentator.

My credentials?  Glad you asked.  I’ve been attending Husker games for 77 years, and I was sports editor of my high school paper, the Omaha North High School “North Star.”  (Yes, that was 70 years ago, but at Omaha North they educated—and still do—their students for the long haul.)

Credentials established (?), I’ll proceed: 

To my friends who were predicting Husker victory over the Washington Huskies by 10 points or two touchdowns or so, I was replying: 

“But the ‘Latest Line’ Husker margin projected by the professionals in Las Vegas who make a living being right a great share of the time has Nebraska by only three points.”

So both the Las Vegas odds-makers and I look bad as prognosticators, but looking bad didn’t cost me any money, unlike the Los Vegas prognosticators.

As anyone interested in college football knows by now, the Huskers beat the University of Washington by 35 points.  If the same rationale had been applied as is followed in Little League baseball games, the contest (?) might have been ended by the officials at the end of the third quarter with the Huskers leading by 28 points. 

More seriously, the much-hyped game was, in effect, decided after three quarters.

Some other thoughts sparked by the dominating Husker performance on the Huskies’ home turf:

The Washington quarterback, Jake Locker, should have chosen to go in the pro draft last year.  If he doesn’t show more promise as a passer as the season goes along—he was 4 for 20 Saturday—he could drop down several pro draft rounds if not completely out of sight, it seems to me. 

I can’t recall a case where a Husker opponent, supposedly one of the best passers in the country and a cinch for a top spot in the pro draft, proved to be so overrated—overrated to the extent that USA Today the week before the game gave a full page of play to Locker, with a half page or so color picture apparently calculated to make him look tough (or at least unshaven).

The Huskers’ backup quarterback Cody Green looked so bad that one of the ABC commentators, apparently a former coach or player or someone with some knowledge of the game, said that Cody had to learn the four points of how to hang onto the football.  This was, of course, after Green had fumbled on the first play after each of his two entries into the game.

One of the network commentators said the Huskers looked like a candidate for a national championship.

A friend of mine called after the game and said she had watched the entire game with her parents and the three of them wanted to watch it all over again that very evening if there were to be a rebroadcast.

I told her that I don’t know of any rebroadcast of entire Husker games, even one which the fans enjoyed so much, and that the best bet for her and her parents would be to watch the Sunday evening Coach Bo Pelini show, which presents major plays accompanied by Pelini’s comments.

Go Big Red!

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