Immigrant Mess Is Likely To Get Worse;
Media Realize Exact Numbers Are Available?

Some predictions (some of which are really slam-dunks, I fear):

In five, 10, 15 years down our national road, a very high percentage (likely approaching 100%) of the current deluge of “undocumented” foreigners from Central American countries will be residing in the United States.  A good many will have simply disappeared into the ranks of illegal immigrants, likely having made arrangements to live with family members who are already living in this country as illegal immigrants.  A good many others of the tens of thousands of “undocumented” refugees from Central American countries will have figuratively—perhaps literally, in some cases—been “adopted” by well-intentioned, but, as I see it, totally unrealistic believers that no “disadvantaged” foreigners seeking a better life in this country should be turned away.

Well-Intentioned Americans Part Of Problem

With the help of such “turn no one away” Americans—few in number but passionate in their beliefs—some of the tens of thousands of “undocumented” Central Americans now flooding across what’s left of our broken southwestern border could well be involved in case-by-case federal court lawsuits which might very well not be tried or settled for a good many years.

There is simply no evidence that the majority of the American people want to see such results of the flood of “undocumented” residents of Central American countries, especially when we recall the almost-forgotten impetus for the flood of “undocumented” refugees.

Money-Hungry Criminals Recruiting Immigrants

That impetus, you may remember, was a conspiracy by money-hungry Central American criminals who spread lies that the United States had decided to encourage large-scale immigration by Central American youth seeking to escape poverty.

Now the talk is of escaping prostitution, drugs, even murder.

Hard to envision a happy ending—or any ending at all—to this unhappy story.

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Ineffective Presidential Leadership Especially
Harmful In Today’s Crisis-Plagued World

How unfortunate that the United States has ineffective presidential leadership at a time when we must deal with a flood of even more illegal immigrants.  How unfortunate that that same ineffective presidential leadership affects also our ability to play the leading role expected of us in dealing with international crises such as the Hamas/Israeli war in the Gaza Strip.

Obama is trying, with little or no effect so far in regard to the flood of illegal immigrants and with more understandable failure to exert any effective influence in efforts to stop the Israeli/Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.

Unfortunately but probably understandably, the United States and Israel share the blame for the Gaza Strip war in the eyes of the world.  It is the price we pay for our virtually unqualified support of Israel’s very existence—support which results from the political influence of America’s Jewish community and America’s support of preserving—in Israel—at least one outpost of democracy in the Middle East.

U.S. Missing Chance To Help ‘Disarm’ Putin?

In any case, Obama has been unable to find any effective way to bring American influence to bear in the Middle East where, some critics say, we should be doing more to capitalize on Vladimir Putin’s internationally unpopular  encouragement of violence in the Ukrainian conflict.

In fairness to Obama, he probably is no more inept in handling the responsibilities of the president of the United States than was his predecessor, Republican George W. Bush.  But Bush simply was not faced with the same level of domestic and international challenges and benefitted for years from his prompt and positive response to the 9/11 disaster.

As I see it, Obama’s best hope for action that Americans will support (in the process diverting attention from the fact that his ObamaCare health insurance program was off to a miserably inefficient, unpopular start) is (1) to resist any pressure to open our immigration doors even wider and (2)  to avoid further American involvement (beyond the inescapable support of Israel) in the bloody Middle Eastern mess extending from Libya to Afghanistan.

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Laziness Or Ignorance Keeping Some Media
From Using Facts, Numbers Easily Available?

Is it just plain laziness or are some print and broadcast news reporters simply too busy (even when they are assigned two-staff-members to a fairly simple story) that they don’t take the time to go to sources which are easily available and come up with exact numbers rather than, for example, quoting Democratic strategists saying that Republican Representative Lee Terry “narrowly defeated” Democratic challenger John Ewing two years ago.

There are, I hasten to add, a number of World-Herald staff members who do a splendid solo reporting job.

It took me less than two minutes to obtain the exact Terry-Ewing vote tally.  Terry defeated Ewing 133,964 to 129,767, a margin of 2%.  Have the reporters involved ever considered reporting the exact results in support of the reporter’s numberless description?

Further shortcomings in the media handling of numbers:

Story after story reports that the Omaha Board of Education is considering asking voter approval of a bond issue totaling $682 million.  It took a television news channel to point out that you can’t talk about the cost of bond issues without adding the cost of interest that must be paid on the bonds.  As Channel 6 pointed out, interest paid on the bonds would push the bond issue cost well past the much-quoted $682 million.

Ashford’s Failure In Mayor’s Race Of No Interest?

Also available to the news media is the number of votes which Ashford received a year ago when he ran as an independent for the office of mayor.  He finished fourth with 7,745 votes, compared to Jean Stothert’s winning total of 18,870 votes.

Nor have I seen or heard of any effort to ask Ashford to explain what might be called his philosophical mobility, which has involved being a Republican, a Democrat and an independent within a few recent  years.

Further example of news media lassitude (I was tempted to say laziness) when it comes to using precise figures when political campaigns are involved:

News media references to funds which are available to candidates for federal office—House of Representative candidates like Democrat challenger Brad Ashford and Republican incumbent Lee Terry in Nebraska’s Second Congressional District—are very easily available to the public and news media on a federal government website.

I don’t understand why reporters don’t access that website instead of describing what they believe to be the amount of funds available to candidates for federal office.

In a minute or two, for example, my assistant Jackie Wrieth determined that as of June 30, incumbent Terry had $1,796,443 campaign funds contributed compared to candidate Ashford’s $318,827.

Why not use the exact figures instead of verbal descriptions of funds currently available to the rival campaigners?

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Color Pictures Don’t Have To Be HUGE
To Be Appealing—Especially Pix Of Dogs

Easy to find an upbeat ending for this week’s column:  Just print an appealing picture of dogs.

No, not the Andersen family’s new cocker spaniel puppy Ashley or our sweet 10-year-old cocker, Charlotte, but a 3-3/4 x 5-3/4 picture of dogs.  (Yes, The World-Herald does print modest-sized color pictures along with those BIG front-page-dominating color pictures.)

The picture I offer this week shows a group of retired military working dogs as officials from the American Humane Association and members of Congress talk about rules for transferring military service dogs to civilian life.

The modest-sized picture, incidentally, appeared on an inside page on the same day The World-Herald ran two full pages of pictures and text reporting on a week-long visit to a summer camp for boys.

I enjoyed the modest-sized picture of the retired military canines and spent no time at summer camp except to confirm that The World-Herald had indeed devoted two full pages to a week-long Camp Cedars visit, near Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska.

2014-07-30 13_17_59-Andersen

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