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Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10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

Overweight Moore Produces “Sicko,”
Finds An Ally In Creighton Doctor

March 19, 2008

Dr. Donald R. Frey, holder of an endowed chair in family medicine at the Creighton University School of Medicine, has found he has an interesting new ally in his continuing crusade for the United States to adopt a government-mandated “universal health-care system.”

In his most recent public statement on the issue, Dr. Frey was not as outspoken as he had been in 2001 when he publicly described America’s largely privately financed health care system as a costly “mess.” He said America’s “market-driven health care,” managed by multiple private insurers, has been a failure.

In a recent Midlands Voices article in The World-Herald, Dr. Frey was less outspoken in his criticism of the American system which he had earlier called “a mess,” but he made very clear that he prefers a government-driven system like those in Western Europe, Canada, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

Dr. Frey’s interesting new ally, warmly praised in Frey’s Midlands Voices article, is Michael Moore, the darling of left-wing liberals who believe his so-called documentaries are praiseworthy and prize-worthy.

When Moore turns his attention to health care systems, as he did in his documentary entitled “Sicko,” there is an almost laughable contrast between Moore the documentary producer promoting a Canadian or British or French or Cuban style health care system for America and Moore the citizen—grossly overweight, apparently a candidate for government-paid care for one or another of the medical problems resulting from obesity.

Would government-controlled medicine have the authority to do something to force or at least encourage individuals who create medical problems through their lack of willpower to take reasonable care of themselves?

* * *

$500,000 Bond Means Defendant
Jailed Two Days Without Trial

How in the world—either the world of logic or the world of law—could District Judge Lyn White justify setting a $500,000 bond restricting the release of Nebraska Cornhusker offensive lineman Andy Christensen, who had been arrested and jailed on a charge of alleged sexual assault last Saturday?

Without taking Christensen’s side in the case itself—that will be decided after Christensen has had his day in court—I would certainly argue that Judge White violated both the spirit and legal principle under which appearance bonds are set.

That principle is that the bond generally should be set only high enough to assure that the defendant will appear in court. The idea is not to punish the defendant for what the judge (a woman, in this case) may consider an unusually heinous crime—not to punish the defendant by forcing him to stay in jail because, in Christensen’s case, it would be difficult to come up with the $50,000 necessary to free him from incarceration pending his appearance in court.

The notion that a $500,000 bond—forcing the family or someone else interested in fair treatment to come up with $50,000—was necessary to assure Christensen would not flee from state prosecution in a widely-publicized case is simply preposterous.

James Martin Davis, well-known Omaha defense attorney, told me that an appearance bond should be set with no presumption of guilt and the amount should be reasonable with respect to the possibility of flight, with consideration given also to whether a person can reasonably be expected to be able to post the necessary 10% in order to be free until trial.

“Judges aren’t supposed to be appealing to the crowd when they set appearance bonds,” Davis said.

Setting a bond so high that the defendant, presumed innocent until proven guilty in court, has unreasonable difficulty raising the required 10% necessary for his or her release obviously can have the effect of keeping a defendant jailed before he has been committed to jail after a trial. In Christensen’s case, he was jailed after the alleged sexual assault early Saturday until his release Tuesday afternoon

* * *

Highway Decisions: Better By Engineers Or Politicians and Community Boosters?

Do you believe that political office holders and local civic leaders should make decisions as to highway construction in their areas? Or do you think the decision should be made by highway engineers using counts or estimates of the traffic carried or to be carried by a given stretch of highway in comparison to traffic loads being carried or to be carried on other highways in need of improvement?

The answer to those questions is, it seems to me, at the heart of the current debate over whether the State Department of Roads should divert funds from other more heavily traveled roads to complete the state system of expressways.

Some of the remaining miles of proposed expressways would carry relatively light traffic loads compared to other road projects which are competing for limited state highway funds. The argument of state senators and local community leaders seems to be “build the expressways and they (people driving on those expressways) will come.”

Roads Department officials want to wait until 2014 to undertake new work on expressways statewide—a sound course, it seems to me, in light of the decrease in federal highway aid at a time when state and local highway and street needs are increasing.

* * *

Koterba: “Simply The Best In The U.S.”

Last week I referred to a splendid editorial cartoon by The World-Herald’s Jeff Koterba. It’s sometimes said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Now I don’t necessarily agree with that old saying, especially when the words are mine (he said, rather immodestly). More seriously, I believe the cartoon I was describing in my column last week is worth more than a thousand words.

I indicated last week that I believed Koberba had done a remarkable job in depicting, in a single drawing, what I believe to be perhaps the most serious social problem facing America today—single-parent families. That single parent is almost invariably a mother with the father nowhere in the picture and with the child or children, as suggested so dramatically in Koterba’s cartoon, reaching out for the hand of a father who isn’t there. The cartoon is definitely worthy of reprinting.

Next week, a reprint of another of Koterba’s splendid cartoons, the work of a journalist who is, I believe, simply the best editorial cartoonist in the United States.

* * *

South Dakota And Wyoming
Rank High Without Income Taxes

An editorial in the North Platte Telegraph pointed out that in a “State Economic Competitive Index” compiled by the American Legislative Exchange Council Nebraska was put in 34 th position among the 50 states, the rank of 1 being the most competitive and 50 being the least.

Neighboring South Dakota came in 3 rd and Wyoming 4 th and Colorado 7 th in the ratings, which consider 16 factors including income, sales and property taxes.

After listing a number of the factors which go into the ratings, The Telegraph concluded:

“Clearly, much remains to be done before Nebraska is able to compete in a level playing field nationally and with some of its closest neighbors. Let’s hope the Legislature is listening.”

It’s also worth noting well, I believe, that two of the neighboring states cited in the editorial as ranking near the top in the “economic competitive index”—South Dakota (ranked 3 rd) and Wyoming (ranked 4 th)—have no state income tax.

Nebraska, in contrast, ranked 31 st highest among the 50 states for its top marginal personal income tax rate of 6.8% and 31 st for its top marginal corporate income tax rate of 7.8%. (Also 34 th for its property tax burden, 37 th for its sale tax burden and 47 th for having 664 public employees for 10,000 residents.)

* * *

I’ll Bet Your Dogs Aren’t
That Smart—Even in Dreams

Today another lighter-note column-closer which I first used five years ago but still, I hope, has potential to appeal to your sense of humor:

Some of my more mature readers may recall a song popular some decades ago titled “I Had the Craziest Dream.” That song came to mind recently during a period when we were looking for a new dog to bring our cocker spaniel complement back up to three following the death of our “alpha dog,” Peaches, a.k.a. “the Prom Queen.” The dream went like this:

I told Marian that I would like to take her downstairs and introduce her to two cocker spaniel puppies who were prepared to demonstrate that they could read newspapers.

Marian indicated she wasn’t particularly interested, so I left in something of a snit, presumably to look for someone who would like to own a couple of cocker spaniel pups who were smart enough to read newspapers.

Then I woke up.

I was telling a friend and fellow dog lover, Jim Abel of Lincoln, the story of my dream. Jim’s response: “I think I’ll stick to dogs you can teach to shake hands.”

# # #

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