Dem Lynch Mob Might Hang President’s Hopes - 07-16-09
A Varied Menu For You To Consider - 06-25-09
Notre Dame And Obama
Offer A Splendid Lesson - 05-21-09
Upsets Even Liberals - 03-26-09
‘Adults In Wonderland’
Need To Get Real - 01-15-09
This Time It’s Indians
Who Break The Treaty - 12-18-08
Me? A Grumpy Old Man?
One Reader Thinks So - 12-11-08
Top Athletes Should
Know When to Quit? - 7-24-08
Omaha Stars Again
On National TV Stage - 7-02-08
Obama ‘Stumbling’ To Victory? - 5-08-08
"‘Charisma’ Not Always a Good Thing" - 2-27-08
"Nosy Congress Makes
Three Bad Calls" - 10-26-07
"Right Decision Could
Help Both Fair, UNL" - 10-12-07
"Stop Trying To Make God A Republican" - 10-6-07
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.
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Because of travel plans, this column had to be dictated before the Big 12 Championship football game last Saturday night. My comments on that comment-worthy event (however it played out) must wait until next week.
But today I rejoice in the fact that the Nebraska Cornhuskers placed four players on the Big 12 coaches’ all-conference defensive team. I look forward to learning more about how this compares with past all-conference team recognition for by any Big 12 Twelve conference team, including the Huskers.
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December 10, 2009
First let me say that I believe the only long-term practical solution for the problem of illegal immigrants—whether you like the idea or not—is to set up some procedure for allowing the very great majority of them to quality for citizenship—a system that would create some reasonable citizenship hurdles for the majority and send either to jail or south of the border the most flagrant flouters of American law.
Many of the immigrants are friendly, law-abiding, family-oriented, hard workers in jobs important to the American economy.
But the arguments for citizenship for illegal immigrants—some estimates run as high as 12 million—can’t be glossed over by such sentimental nonsense as calling them “Americans-in-waiting.”
Far too many of the Hispanics living in this country—legally or illegally—show little evidence of wanting to become truly “Americans.” They leave the impression that they are more interested in continuing to be, in the primary example, Mexicans living in America.
We are told that the melting pot effect will take hold among younger generations, as it has in other immigrant groups in our nation’s history.
One would certainly hope so. Count me among those weary of seeing the colorfully illustrated stories, every year, of the way Mexican immigrants living in South Omaha enthusiastically celebrate Mexican holidays like Cinco de Mayo, Mexican Independence Day and various religious festivals.
Enough already. It would be refreshing to read that South Omaha has again enthusiastically celebrated the Fourth of July, honoring the independence of the country in which the immigrants so gratefully reside.
Now about that “Americans-in-waiting” description: On which newspaper’s editorial page do you think that description was applied to illegal aliens?
Your slam-dunk answer should, of course, have been immediate: The New York Times.
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Clay. Unadulterated clay.
Now if you have any question about which “American idol’s” feet I’m referring to, you haven’t been following the news, specifically the news stories about Tiger Woods’ off-course behavior. It is a story which finally came out not because of any candor on Tiger’s part. A cocktail waitress went public with her story of a 31-month affair with Woods.
The sorry affair answers one major question which news media commentators have been fascinated with ever since Tiger won his first major championship: Will he become the greatest golfer of all time if he passes Jack Nicklaus in terms of winning major championships, replacing Nicklaus in being regarded as the greatest?
Nicklaus retired from active competition after winning 17 majors. Tiger has won 14. But no matter how many more major championships Woods wins, possibly surpassing the Nicklaus record of 17, Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods will, as I see it, never deserve the title of “greatest.”
I believe that a major public figure is properly judged in terms of his total performance as a human being, his performance on the golf course or in the political arena or wherever but also his off-stage performance, and Tiger Woods has flunked the off-stage performance test.
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It’s been too long delayed, but let’s bring some reality (you might call it common sense) to the much-publicized possibility that thousands of students—one published estimate was as many as 20 thousand—in 11 school districts in Douglas and Sarpy counties will be bused every school day to and from schools throughout the 11 districts.
The announced goal is to see that 38% of the students in each classroom are what the news media have consistently described as “poor kids.” This is supposed to create “socioeconomic diversity” in each classroom.
Why 38%? Because that is the 11-district-wide percentage of public school students whose “poverty-level” family income qualifies them for free or reduced-price school lunches.
The great majority of such families live in East Omaha and South Omaha, from which thousands of students would have to be bused each school day to reach a 38% “poor kids” goal in each school, all in the name of “socioeconomic diversity.”
Why such an unattainable goal? A goal which is indeed not worthy of attainment, since it is not aimed primarily at increased educational opportunity, which is by far the best thing that schools can offer students, including “poor kids.”
The “socioeconomic diversity” concept was included in the legislative act which created the 11-school district “learning community” in Douglas and Sarpy counties. I have yet to hear a persuasive explanation of why this impractical “feel good” concept was included in legislation supposedly focused primarily on promoting better academic opportunities.
A talk with school officials—and applying simple logic to the situation—indicate very clearly to me that since the “socioeconomic diversity” goal requires parental requests, the realistic prospect is that a very small percentage of parents will request such busing.
The parents presumably will ask for busing only when they think it will improve the educational opportunities for their children in, for example, magnet schools and resource centers.
It is unfortunate that so much attention is being focused on “socioeconomic diversity” (which seems obviously intended to provide a classroom mixture of blacks and Hispanics—the “poor kids”—with “more affluent” white children) when such classroom “diversity” would offer no assurance of improved educational achievement.
The better way to put blacks and Hispanics and whites into the same classroom is attracting them to magnet schools or resource centers, where “socioeconomic diversity” is naturally achieved, not force-fed.
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Democrats intent on defeating Second District Republican Representative Lee Terry of Omaha in an election 11 months away would do well to get out of the campaign gutter. Too many of their tactics to date have been inexcusably dirty.
A recent TV ad, designed to increase the chances that someone like Democratic challenger State Senator Tom White of Omaha will unseat Terry, charged that Terry has supported “big oil” interests.
It is one thing to criticize Terry for his vote on any piece of legislation, but to suggest that voting his convictions is necessarily a sellout to “big oil” is quite another thing.
And even lower on the scale of political campaigning is to depict an overweight character (presumably “big oil” personified) embracing Terry with an oil-soaked hand which leaves an ugly image on the back of Terry’s shirt.
If White is to have credibility in terms of campaign tactics in the effort to unseat Terry, he should publicly repudiate all such gutter-level campaigning being carried out in behalf of him or any other potential Democratic candidate.
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Regular readers of my weekly offerings may recall that I have previously taken sharp issue with the notion that every American family is entitled to a federal subsidy, if needed, to realize “the American dream”—ownership of their own home.
So it was with particular interest that my eye fell on this headline in The Wall Street Journal: “The New American Dream: Renting.” The column included this assertion:
“It’s time to accept that home ownership is not a realistic goal for many people and to curtail the enormous government programs fueling this ambition.”
The author is a professor of history and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, Thomas J. Sugrue. He wrote:
“Many economists, like the Wharton School’s Joseph Gyourko, are beginning to make the case that public policies should encourage renting, or at least put it on a level playing field with homeownership.”
Professor Sugrue opines that the story of “how the dream became a reality” for some Americans “is not one of independence, self-sufficiency and entrepreneurial pluck. It’s not the story of the inexorable march of the free market. It’s a different kind of American story, of government, financial regulation and taxation.
“We are a nation of homeowners and home-speculators because of Uncle Sam.”
Professor Sugrue’s analysis seems to me to offer strong support for the argument that the “American dream,” home-ownership goal, set by liberal Democrats in the White House and the Congress, encouraged the “bargain mortgage” policies which started a chain reaction all the way to Wall Street and ultimately caused the worst economic recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Professor Sugrue concludes that “we should never have allowed “American Dream” mortgage subsidies to divert us from accepting “that homeownership is not a realistic goal for many people” and national policy should be “to curtail the enormous government programs fueling this ambition.”
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A recent column-ending lighter touch quoted Marian as observing that since she had an arthritic-infected toe recently amputated, she was considering asking for a discount when she gets a pedicure.
This prompted a male reader who obviously has lost—or is losing—his hair to ask that I report on the result of Marian’s pedicure-discount effort. He indicted he might like to try to same approach on his barber.
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