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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

Does Homebuyer Bailout
Reward the Irresponsible?

April 30, 2008

If the deal sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is. 

That time-tested bit of wisdom occurs to me as I read more and more stories about the more than a million homeowners who have lost or are in danger of losing their homes because the mortgage loan interest rates—which could and should have been expected—increased beyond their ability to meet the monthly payments.

Most of the criticism of the so-called sub-prime traditional mortgage rates has been directed at lenders who knew—and should have avoided—that non-fixed mortgage interest rates would increase substantially, beyond the homebuyer’s ability to pay.

But occasionally a voice has been raised to point out that the homebuyers—in their zeal to move from rented quarters to houses or from their present home to substantially more expensive home—should have remembered the commonsense adage with which I started today’s column:  If the deal sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is.  

Predictably, politicians in both parties are falling over each other in their efforts to provide bail-out funds—one proposal would guarantee $300 billion of new home loans at lower interest rates.

Washington Post columnist Robert J. Samuelson pointed out that of the many millions of homeowners who have mortgages, only one million to two million of them are the “weakest, most careless borrowers”—the ones who would be bailed out by the federal subsidies.  Samuelson wrote: 

“Government, under this plan, would punish prudence and reward irresponsibility.”

* * *

UNL Discriminates
Against Male Athletes

This year brings new reminders that decisions by University of Nebraska-Lincoln administrators, paying obeisance to the great goddess Gender Equity, is discriminating against male Nebraska high school graduates who have excelled in swimming or soccer. 

A recent World-Herald headline read “Omaha’s place in the spotlight.”  The story told of three star graduates of Creighton University men’s soccer team heading for major league soccer team rosters.  One of the three is a graduate of Omaha Skutt High School.  Another is a product of Omaha Burke.  The third played high school soccer at Millard South. 

One might wonder why none of these high school stars, products of the state’s booming high school boys soccer program, played for a team representing the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  They had no chance.  UNL discriminates against male soccer players by not fielding a men’s soccer team as it does a women’s soccer team.

Please understand that I am not begrudging Creighton the services of three outstanding products of Nebraska’s boys high school soccer program.  All three might have gone to Creighton anyhow.  But I feel it would definitely be appropriate if Nebraska high school soccer players had a chance to at least consider competing on a team representing the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

UNL administrators have contended for years that they must field more women’s intercollegiate athletic teams than men’s teams to comply with what university officials contend are the requirements of Title IX of the Federal Civil Rights Act. 

In interpreting Title IX, federal officials and the National Intercollegiate Athletic Association have chosen to push universities to field more women’s teams than men’s teams to offset the inescapable reality that there is no women’s intercollegiate athletic program that comes close to a men’s football program in terms of large numbers (84 in Division I) of athletic scholarships.

Those Canadians Weren’t Walk-Ons

Regulations imposed as a result of Title IX provide that a school must offer non-discriminatory treatment of men and women athletes, but the regulations allow this exception:  A school can be held to be in compliance with the regulations if its women’s athletic program is meeting the expressed desires of female students capable of intercollegiate athletic competition in a sport where there is such competition between schools.

But for some reason, UNL and most other universities disregard this “expressed desire…in compliance” provision and choose instead to discriminate against male students in the number of sports in which scholarships are offered.  The result, it seems to me, is that UNL and other collegiate institutions are violating the spirit as well as the letter of Title IX in that they are discriminating against male athletes by, in UNL’s case, sponsoring only women’s teams in four sports—soccer, swimming, riflery and bowling.

Drawing renewed attention to what UNL did to the men’s swimming program is the increasing focus on the coming summer’s Olympic swimming trials which will bring to Omaha the best collegiate swimmers in the United States.  Isn’t there considerable irony in the fact that the Olympic swimming trials are being held in a state whose principal university eliminated the men’s swimming program and retained the more expensive women’s swimming programs?

Incidentally, if someone tries to tell you that the women’s soccer program at UNL was started in response to an expressed desire from talented soccer players then in attendance on the UNL campus, remind them of the facts:

The first University of Nebraska-Lincoln women’s soccer team was recruited largely from members of the Canadian national women’s team along with the Canadian team’s coach.

And if in starting riflery and bowling (bowling, for heaven sake) teams was in answer to the expressed interest and abilities of women students then on campus, why did—and does—the UNL athletic department recruit bowlers and rifle team members from other states? 

An example of what I’m talking about:  At season’s end in one recent year, considerable news and attention was given to the fact that the Husker women’s bowling team had two of the world’s top amateur bowlers—one from Arizona and the other from Indiana. 

But maybe those world’s-best bowlers weren’t recruited by UNL athletic staff.  Perhaps they were walk-ons.

* * *

When The Subject Is Racial Profiling,
Case-By-Case Evidence Is Required

How are we supposed to interpret a report that black drivers in Douglas and Lancaster counties during 2007 were stopped by law enforcement officials at about twice their proportion of the population?

According to the Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, those figures do not necessarily mean racial profiling but they do point to areas that agencies can look at more closely.

I would certainly agree that those figures do not mean disproportionate numbers of traffic stops of black drivers.  One would have to know the circumstances of each stop to reach any valid conclusion.

Consider the other side of the racial coin.  The commission noted that the number of Nebraska State Patrol stops involving Asian, black and Hispanic drivers was lower than the proportion of those groups in the general population, a first-time finding that Executive Director Michael Behm called encouraging.

But look at it this way:  If the State Patrol figures are accurate, it would follow that state troopers—since they stopped a lower percentage of black drivers than the percentage of blacks in the general population—must have stopped a larger percentage of white drivers than the proportion of whites represent in the general population.  Would this suggest consideration of the possibility of racial profiling discriminating against white drivers?

I certainly believe this is not the case, just as I believe you can’t use raw statistics to suggest the possibility of racial stereotyping of black drivers.

My bottom line:  If there are specific instances of any kind of racial discrimination in traffic arrests on city streets or on state highways, proper authorities should take appropriate action.  In this connection, I would note that of 11 allegations of racial discrimination in traffic stops in 2007, all of the complaints were found to be invalid.

* * *

Advice For Frustrated Golfers

In case you missed it when first published, here’s an item especially for golfers - - and possibly golfers’ non-golfing spouses.  It’s a story told in a Hagar the Horrible cartoon in The Sunday Omaha World-Herald comic pages. 

Hagar is shown huffing and puffing as he climbs a mountain to seek wisdom from one of those fictitious wise men who so often supply the punch line in jokes.  They customarily reside at the top of a mountain somewhere in Asia and wait for wisdom seekers who come and sit at their feet.  In this case, Hagar finally puffs his way to a mountaintop and asks:  “Are you the one they call ‘The Wise One’”? 

“Yes, my son,” The Wise One replies.  Hagar says that he has traveled many miles to ask one question.  “How can I eliminate stress and frustration from my daily life?  How can I achieve inner peace and tranquility?”

The Wise One replies that the answer is simple.  Hagar presses:  “What is it, O Wise One?  What is it?”

The Wise One’s wise answer:  “Sell your golf clubs.”

# # #

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