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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

* * *

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. 

* * *

Image of Immigrants Would Be Helped
By Less Cinco de Mayo, More 4th of July

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.

* * *

Tiger Will Never Deserve The “Greatest” Title
If “Off-Stage” Performance Is Considered

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.

* * *

Fortunately, Unrealistic ‘Socioeconomic Diversity’ Goal
Won’t Derail Basic Mission Of Area Schools

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. 

* * *

Campaign To Oust Lee Terry
Should Get Out Of The Gutter

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.

* * *

‘American Dream’ Cheap Mortgage Policy
Created Disaster; Many Americans Should Rent

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.”

Amen!

* * *

Marian A Trail-Blazer
For Barbershop Discounts?

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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