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
October 6, 2007
It comes as no surprise that in the unseemly scramble for presidential nominations, America´s religious right is doing its best to, in effect, assure that the Republican nominee has the religious right´s stamp of approval.
Religious right activists would like to be able to say the same of the Democratic nominee, I assume, but that seems a politically unattainable goal and not worth the effort.
Republican candidates are, of course, doing their best to indicate, in effect, that God would approve of their political principles. A recent example:
Addressing a meeting of the National Rifle Association, Republican presidential hopeful Fred Thompson, former senator from Tennessee, declared: "Our basic rights come from God, not from government."
The Associated Press story said that some in the audience of about 500 people stood and cheered.
If our basic rights come from God, why do we bother having a constitution (which incidentally does not mention the word God or refer to any Supreme Being), a constitution which includes the "right to bear arms" Second Amendment which is the cornerstone of NRA´s legal philosophy?
I know of no evidence that God had a hand in drafting either the constitution itself or the Second Amendment. This nation´s founding fathers believed in God, but they didn´t leave it up to him to create our system of self-government, including a constitution which spells out our basic rights.
* * *
Osama bin Laden in a recent videotaped telecast indicated his terms for making peace with him and his fellow terrorists: Americans must admit that the war in Iraq has failed and turn away from capitalism and democracy and convert to Islam.
His words, of course, simply underscore the fact that we have to be prepared for a long, and at times, bloody battle with followers of the prophet Mohammed whose words are used 15 centuries after his death as justification for slaughtering "infidels" who believe in Christianity or some other religion and refuse to convert to Islam.
* * *
In the current issue of the monthly tabloid publication of Nebraskans for Peace, columnist Paul Olson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor emeritus, included a startling accusation against the Strategic Command, which is headquartered south of Omaha.
Professor Olson said that Stratcom has "plans for propagating more Hiroshimas and Nagasakis." He had written earlier that competent military people and historians doubted that the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki "produced a Japanese surrender" in World War II.
As to whether the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings "produced a Japanese surrender," consider the facts:
A nuclear weapon was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Another was dropped on Nagasaki three days later. On August 15, 1945, Japan announced its surrender, nine days after the first bomb was dropped and six days after the second bomb.
Some estimates of the deaths - - immediate and long-term - - resulting from the two bombings range up to the neighborhood of 400,000, nearly all of them civilians.
In the final episode of the Ken Burns video documentary "The War," telling the story of World War II, the narrator says that estimates of the deaths that would have resulted from an American invasion of Japan - - which would have followed if the Japanese had not surrendered after the two atomic bombs were dropped - - were up to 7 million Japanese, mostly civilians, and up to 500,000 members of the American military.
It´s one thing for people like Professor Olson to question the war-ending effect of the two atomic bombs, despite the unchallengeable fact that surrender came in nine days after the first bomb was dropped.
But it´s quite another thing - - and totally irresponsible - - for activists like Professor Olson to speak of "Stratcom´s plans for propagating more Hiroshimas and Nagasakis" unless he can quote, from responsible named sources, irrefutable evidence that Stratcom is planning nuclear bombings in some way comparable to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
I think the great majority of Americans believe (1) it is appropriate American military policy to have the capability - - with nuclear or non-nuclear weapons - - to respond to threats to our national security and (2) at this stage in world history we should maintain the capability to use weapons which could produce the same kind of net life-saving results as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, particularly in the self-defense saving of American lives.
That will - - and should - - continue to be Stratcom´s mission while at the same time we work - - without, unfortunately, any presently foreseeable prospects for success - - toward a day when there would be assured worldwide elimination of weapons of mass destruction.
* * *
Mayor Fahey says he wants to avoid a vote on whether to build a downtown ballpark to replace Rosenblatt Stadium because, he says, a vote would be divisive, time consuming and expensive. He might have added and because he would be very likely to lose the election.
* * *
My final World-Herald column last Sunday brought a heartwarming number of phone calls and letters in addition to the considerable volume which had followed earlier columns telling of my upcoming move from The World-Herald to a weekly Internet-delivered column.
A fellow has to be appreciative when a lady in O´Neill calls and tells Jackie, my executive assistant: "I don´t think we can get along without his column." She asked to be added to the growing list of readers who want to subscribe to a semi-monthly or monthly newsletter, for which plans are rapidly advancing.
A number of other readers called or wrote to say how much they had enjoyed the World-Herald columns and asked to be put on the list of subscribers to the forthcoming newsletter.
One caller said she read Thursday and Sunday World-Herald columns first before looking at the rest of the paper. Surprising to me, some of the writers used their e-mail electronic capability to report that they want to subscribe to the newsletter.
As has been true of reader reaction throughout the 15 years I wrote columns for The World-Herald, a frequent comment in this week´s volume of reader reaction were words like these from a reader in Red Oak, Iowa: "Hope you include your comments about Marian in your newsletter as it really makes one realize you are `just like one of us´ and very human."
A letter from a Bellevue reader said: "I also hope that you keep us informed on your website about your charming wife and her baseball fetish and your `four-footed´ bosses that rule your home."
An Omaha reader wrote that she´s sorry that my columns won´t appear in The World-Herald anymore, adding "you always include the rest of the story - - the parts that are so important but not necessarily reported."
A two-page handwritten letter from an Omahan included: "I anxiously await your newsletter."
For all of the comments, a heartfelt "Thank you!" I hope to use the greater capacity of this electronic website to bring you more reader reaction than was possible in the World-Herald columns.
* * *
After dictating a number of critical commentaries in preparation for this column, I said to Jackie, my executive assistant, "Let´s break this string of criticism. Tell me something to say nice about something or somebody." Jackie suggested (after reminding me she´d been at the office for 9 ½ hours), "Say I´m a hard worker."
Good suggestion. Jackie is a hard worker. And a very effective one. She is a one-woman Research Department, makes good suggestions (as does my roommate, Marian) as to column items and the wording of some of those items and never complains about the numerous revisions with which I try to polish my language.
Jackie does have one shortcoming. During the summer, she insists on getting off from work no later than 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, so she can play in her weekly golf league.
October 6, 2007
Instantaneous reaction when three-month-old English pointer pups get their first look at - - and sniff of - - part of a game bird.
Countless readers over the years have written to say how much they enjoy reading about Marian and our various changing cast of cocker spaniels. I have made occasional references to the fact that are other dogs in the Andersen family - - hunting dogs living at Triple Creek Farm in northwest Missouri.
With the added flexibility available through switching from the printed World-Herald page to the Internet, I offer today a picture of three of those hunting dogs. (Our three cocker spaniels will get equal time, so to speak, sometime soon.) The story behind today´s picture:
I own an English pointer male, nicknamed Five Spot, and a female, nicknamed Smoke, both with excellent bloodlines. (There is some of the well-known Elhew Kennel bloodline in both of their ancestral backgrounds. And Five Spot has some Gunsmoke Kennels breeding in his heritage.)
Smoke and Five Spot on July 2 became the parents of nine male pups. I asked my friend and dog trainer Steve Farrell if the mother, Smoke, "has that many spigots." He laughed and said that she does.
We arranged a sort of "coming out" party for the nine pups at Triple Creek Farm 12 weeks after their birth. The idea was to let them gambol around the lawn like typical puppies but then test their reaction when a part of a game bird was dangled before them at the end of a short stretch of fish line. Some of the results are depicted above.
As we tested the dogs, one by one or in groups of four or five, each of them immediately stopped being a playful puppy and turned into a young potential hunting dog when given the chance to react to that sample of wild game bird.
I chose to keep two of the dogs - - tentatively named Rick and Patch. We´ll show you pictures of each of them in action next week.
Trainer Steve Farrell is going to keep one of the pups, and we are looking for homes for the five others. If you have interest in a good hunting dog (there will have to be some training at your expense, of course) and give assurance that you have in mind a hunting dog not a house pet (English Pointers don´t normally make good house pets), drop me a line in the comment section. Each dog would, of course, come with excellent papers.