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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

Omaha Stars Again
On National TV Stage

July 2, 2008

Twice in a three-week span, Omaha and its hospitable citizenry have been stars on the national news media scene.

I’m talking, of course, about this year’s version of the favorable attention which Omaha receives on national television as the annual home to the College World Series  and, this week, favorable attention coming Omaha’s way, again spotlighted on national television, for our splendid support of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials.

Last Sunday, for a prime example, a national TV audience watched—and listened--as an opening-night crowd of some 12,000 roared approval as not one but two American swimmers broke a world record in the men’s 400-meter medley competition.

Then Katie Hoff broke the world record in the women’s 400-meter individual medley and Larsen Jensen set an American record in the 400-meter freestyle. 

After his record-breaking swim, Jensen said:  “Hats off to Omaha.  This is by far the best atmosphere I’ve ever been in, as an athlete.  You can’t ask for more.”

Kind words for Omaha have come also from Michael Phelps, widely acclaimed as the world’s premier swimmer, and a variety of others in the world of big-time swimming, including Chuck Wielgus, executive director of USA Swimming.

“Omaha a Perfect Partner”

“I don’t know if we could have done this at any other city, at this stage of our sport’s evolution, than the City of Omaha,” Wielgus said.  “We’re a sport that has to overachieve to get attention.  And the people of Omaha are also overachievers.  We found the perfect marriage, the perfect partner.

“The folks in Omaha have under-promised and over-delivered.”

As to that men’s 400-meter individual medley finale: 

Phelps’ time of 4:05.25 broke his world record of 4:06.22 posted at the 2007 World Championships.  And his friend and rival Ryan Lochte made it one of the most memorable athletic performances of this year—or any other year, for that matter.  It’s one thing to break world records—impressive but not necessarily a performance to stand out in the history of swimming. 

But for two Olympic-qualifying teammates to both surpass a world’s record (Lochte’s time was 4:06.08)—that is a sporting event to be remembered, and it happened in a pool in Omaha’s Qwest Center (a temporary pool, need I say?).

That pool and everything else that goes into a swimming meet have been praised by world-class swimmer after world-class swimmer as the best conditions they have ever encountered.

An All-Around Triumph

All in all, a triumph for the City of Omaha and especially for those responsible for making the Qwest Center such a spectacular swimming venue and promoting interest in the Olympic trials. 

Special credit should go to Mutual of Omaha, which did a remarkable job of sponsorship, including building interest in this week’s Olympic trials by sponsoring the Swimvitational which brought Phelps and other stars to Omaha for a meet which served as an attention-building preliminary for this week’s Olympic Trials.

Mutual is properly proud of its role as a sponsor of USA Swimming.

When I put “one of the most memorable sports events this year or perhaps any year” label on Michael Phelps/Ryan Lochte finishing 1/2 in times both of which broke Phelps’ former world record in the 400-meter individual medley, I realize this is a personal opinion, but indulge me as I tell you how I reached that judgment:

How many times do two athletes both break a world record in the same event?  Not very often, I would say.  Keep in mind that this performance came in what is, in my opinion, one of the most, if not the most, challenging events in the athletic world. 

In the individual medley, athletes must have mastered four separate swimming strokes—breast, back, butterfly and free style—and must be prepared to go flat-out for 100 meters in each of those four separate strokes.

* * *

USA Today Wakes Up

It’s interesting to see at least one national news medium begin to catch up with the importance of the story of the strongest reason for the growth of the Hispanic population in this country.

USA Today has given Page 1 prominence to a story carrying this headline:  “Births fueling Hispanic growth,” with this subheadline:  “Immigration no longer top factor.”

The USA Today story points out that the increase in the Hispanic population is accelerating because Hispanics in this country are younger than the national population as a whole—median age 27.4, compared with 37.9 overall, 40.8 for whites, 34.4 for Asians and 31.1 for blacks.  Because they are younger and likely to have more children, there is an impact that far outlasts their initial entry into the country, the USA Today article says.  It concludes with this assessment of the impact:

Because more than half of births to Hispanic immigrants are to low-income women who have no high school degree, a natural population increase challenges communities, says Steve Camarota, research director at the Center for Immigration Studies, which promotes limits on immigration. 

“It’s a huge growth in low-income population and low-tax payments,” Camarota says.
 
USA Today made no mention of the impact of the presence of more than 10 million illegal immigrants.

Some weeks ago, I wrote a column pointing out that some Latino activists and academics contend that the “browning” of an increasingly significant portion of the American population—perhaps a plurality or eventually a majority—is simply a matter of time. 

This hypothesis is based on (1) the fact that Mexicans and other Hispanics are having proportionately more babies than other American residents and, in my opinion, (2) the prospect the that more than 10 million of illegal Latino immigrants in this country will never be required to return to their original homelands (which many if not most of them still consider their homelands).

* * *

“Feisty” Michelle Helpful To Obama?

Also featured prominently on the front page of the recent USA Today edition is a picture of Michelle Obama with this headline:  ‘I don’t want to be a distraction.’

I think it’s only fair to predict that the more active Michelle Obama becomes in her husband’s campaign for president, the more likely she is to become a distraction and not necessarily a helpful one to the Obama candidacy.

She has already made a public comment which isn’t going to go away—the one to the effect that “for the first time in my adult life, I’m really proud of my country.”  She said her meaning had been misinterpreted by critics who are “just downright mean.”   Her husband said critics were using his “feisty wife” to try to scare voters.

The challenge for the Obamas will be to see that the “feisty wife” doesn’t indeed scare voters, especially in view of the fact that she has been described—and not by Obama critics—as playing an important role—and wanting to continue to play an important role—in Obama campaign strategy.

The role of a candidate’s wife is, I would think, more likely to be a problem than a plus if the wife can accurately be described as “feisty.”  One need only think back to the role of Teresa Heinz Kerry in John Kerry’s presidential campaign.  I believe the consensus, even among Kerry supporters, was that Teresa should have kept quiet.

* * *

A Reach For That Light Switch
Is A Hard Habit To Break

Some notes written by candlelight during the recent electrical blackout on Prairie Avenue: 

More seriously, we didn’t break out the candles, but we did have eight flashlights and two battery-powered lanterns of the type you use for camping out.

I ran across a light source--$14.95 at Canfield’s—which consisted of a very small halogen-light device which you strap around your head.  The three tiny halogen lights, powered by three AAA batteries, threw a light better than anything else I’ve ever read by.  It worked well, too, for just walking around the darkened house.

Marian said it made me look like a doctor or a coal miner. 

We had one unusual visitor during the time of heavy rain, high winds and darkness:  a toad in our garden room. It apparently hopped in after Marian had opened the garden room door to let the dogs out.  She had no trouble persuading it to return to its natural outdoor environment.   

And how many times—I don’t mean an exact count, just an approximation—did those of you who shared the electricity blackout with us find yourself reaching for the light switch when you entered a darkened room?  It took me two days—no, make that two nights—to break that habit.

# # #

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