Advice To The College-Bound:
Plan Early, Graduate In Four Years,
Eliminate Complaints About Loan Debt

The World-Herald early this week focused on a subject of increasing concern to college-bound students and their families:

How much student-loan debt will the young people face after they graduate?

The estimates ranged from loans that would require repayment of $264 a month from a Creighton University graduate and $216 for a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln down to $156 monthly for a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Omaha and $43 a month from a Metropolitan Community College graduate.

Let me suggest a course of action that would eliminate the need for student loans or at least significantly reduce them:

In the first month after his or her birth, start preparing to pay college education costs.  Start putting money away in a “don’t touch” college education trust fund.

Start Planning, Avoid Wailing About Loans

At the same time, resolve that when that child reaches college age, he or she will enroll with a firm determination to earn a degree within four years (except, of course, for certain disciplines which require study beyond four years).

I weary of reading complaints from students who pretty obviously go to a college without a college-education trust fund behind them and who probably took five years (sometimes it actually stretches out to six years) to earn a college degree.

The current crop of college graduates and parents perhaps are unaware that students actually once enrolled in the University of Nebraska, for example, with little or no scholarship help and graduated after four years with neither their parents nor the students themselves complaining about a student loan burden because there was no student loan program.

* * *

Creighton Properly Careful In Reacting
To Possibility Of Conference Change

Current hottest local sports topic (as if you hadn’t noticed):

Should Creighton University join the “Catholic 7” basketball conference, thereby bringing the BlueJays into competition with a number of longtime basketball powerhouses?

The key question, it seems to me, is what chance Creighton would have for success against those powerhouses as compared to Missouri Valley conference teams.

Creighton would also have to consider what happens to the other BlueJay athletic programs—baseball and women’s basketball, for example, where the Jays have been performing well.

After reading Tuesday’s Omaha World-Herald, we know that staff writer Henry J. Cordes and a New York City-based “college athletics consultant” believe that if Creighton joins the “Catholic 7,” the greatest benefit would not come from increased athletic department revenue but from spreading the Creighton name and academic reputation into more populous eastern areas with the result of attracting more students.  A pretty far-fetched argument, considering that Creighton would have been invited because of the reputation of its basketball team, not because of its reputation as a splendid academic institution.

Incidentally, you know where a reporter/commentator like Cordes is coming from when he starts a paragraph of opinion with words like “but” or “indeed.”

Perhaps the most bizarre example of the Cordes “reasoning” and the best evidence that principal consideration is being given to money, not academics, was this sentence:  “But fans would probably pay a premium to see teams like Georgetown, Marquette, Xavier and Butler make annual stops in Omaha.”  How much additional do you think Omaha fans would pay to see Creighton play Butler or any other visiting team for that matter?

Creighton would have been invited to join the conference primarily because of a quality Bluejay basketball program and wouldn’t have to “bribe” any other basketball team, powerhouse or not, to come play in Omaha.

In any case, I have confidence that President Lannon and Athletic Director Bruce Rasmussen will make a reasonable, logically defensible decision—a decision that makes sense to the very great majority of the Jays’ Omaha-area backers, who include a good many non-Catholics, of course.

* * *

President Pushes For ‘Gay’ Intervention
In States’ Traditional Marriage Law Control

It should come as no surprise that President Obama is pushing his presidential nose into an area that has traditionally been within the legal jurisdiction of the individual states:  setting and enforcing the requirements for the legal recognition of the institution of marriage.

Obama initiated federal intrusion into the marriage field by authorizing federal attorneys to intervene in a lawsuit involving a state’s right to set the parameters for legal recognition of a marriage in that state.

The lawsuit originated in California, where voters rejected an effort to amend a state’s constitution to give legal status relationships between homosexuals and between lesbians if they request it.  So-called “gay rights” advocates have challenged the voters’ decision in a federal court lawsuit, into which Obama has authorized federal government intrusion on the side of “gay rights” activists.

Marriage Law Traditionally Controlled By The State

Until this attempted intrusion of the federal executive branch into the matter, legal parameters of the definition of marriage have been considered the exclusive province of state government.

States have exercised their legal jurisdiction in varying ways, although the essentials have generally remained the same in the great majority of states; defining marriage is defined as a legally-recognized relationship between a man and a woman.

Evidence of the “states’ rights” nature of marriage law can be found in facts like these:

Some states have so-called “community property” provisions which specify that on becoming married in a community property state, the property of both parties becomes commonly owned.

Some states require that after a marriage license is issued, there must be a three-day waiting period before the wedding.  Other states allow marriage to take place immediately after the license is issued.

You need look no further than Omaha and Council Bluffs to see this particular form of states-rights option in play.  In Nebraska, the marriage ceremony can proceed immediately after issuance of the license.  In Iowa, a three-day waiting period is required.

Thereby hangs an interesting tale involving the marriage of an Omaha couple.  I’ll save the story for today’s column-ending item.

* * *

Bad Idea:  Legislative Effort To Close
Geneva, Kearney Youth Detention Centers

The legislative proposal to close Nebraska’s two state youth-detention facilities is a bad idea.

A long World-Herald story about the closure effort actually made a strong case for retaining one of the detention facilities, the center for young females near Geneva.

The center in Kearney for young males needs improvement but, as I see it, should not be replaced by as yet unspecified rehabilitation programs in their home communities.

The legislative proposal to close the Geneva and Kearney centers is to have a public hearing today.

Not surprisingly, Senator Brad Ashford of Omaha, who seems to enjoy being involved in support of questionable controversial causes, is a leading spokesman for the proposal.

The Geneva center for young females has only a 9% “return” rate—that is, young females who have been sent back to their communities and then behaved so badly that they needed to be returned to retention in Geneva.

The percentage of “returns” (I believe the pros call it “recidivism”) that the Kearney center for young males was 27% overall, 23% for youths from Lancaster County and 23% for youths from Douglas County.

It has been suggested that part of the problem at Kearney has been requiring youths there sleep in barrack-style quarters—a problem which you would think can be solved without tearing the facility down and turning the detainees back to the communities where their bad conduct resulted in their being sent to Kearney.

* * *

Ingenious Couple Solved Their Problem
By Getting Married Twice In Two Days

Speaking of varying ways that states have exercised their right—unchallenged by the Federal government until President Obama’s current intervention—to enact and administer the laws regulating marriages within the states:

I have an interesting tale to tell you as to how the varying regulations between Iowa and Nebraska law played a role in a well-publicized wedding.

Involved were a daughter in a prominent Omaha family and her fiancé.  Guests had been invited to attend the impressive church proceedings and a reception to follow.

The bride-to-be and her fiancé showed up at the county clerk’s office in Omaha the day before the wedding to get the required license.  They were, to put it mildly, surprised to learn that Nebraska at that time required a three-day waiting period between issuance of the license and the wedding ceremony.

They learned—I’m not sure how this knowledge came to their attention—that in Iowa a couple can be married immediately after receiving the license.  So they crossed the river, got a marriage license and were promptly married in Council Bluffs.

It was important to the families involved, of course, that knowledge of the Council Bluffs ceremony be kept from the public, especially including those who would be coming to what they thought to be a wedding ceremony in Omaha.  So the father of the bride went to the executive editor of The World-Herald and asked if the paper would not include the couple’s names in the list of Council Bluffs wedding licenses which were routinely reported in The World-Herald.

The executive editor properly concluded that freedom of the press included the freedom to withhold embarrassing information when no important public service would be performed by publishing that information.   (This happened without my knowledge, although I was publisher of the paper at the time, but I gave it my ex post facto approval when I learned of it.)

So the wedding ceremony went forward in an Omaha church on a Saturday evening, with few, if any, of those in attendance beyond the member of the bride’s and groom’s families, knowing that the couple taking their marriage vows were already husband and wife.

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