Bad News For Non-Muslim Countries:
‘Islamic State’ Claims Affiliates Spreading

The top front-page story in the Sunday New York Times contained ominous news for non-Muslim societies (including, of course, the United States).  And also sobering news for Nebraska National Guardsmen and their families.

The Times story depicted the Islamic State (which believes in burning prisoners alive) as expanding beyond Syria and Northern Iraq, with affiliates in Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt and Libya.

American officials, The Times said, “are raising the prospect of a new global war on terror” (presumably including more terrorist strikes or attempted strikes in the United States).

How might this impact Nebraska National Guardsmen and their families?  National Guard units presumably face the prospect of continued—or even possibly expanded—calls to join American military units overseas in the battle against Muslim murderers.

As I see it, one practical effect of the threat of increased Muslim terrorism—threatening the United States as well as much of the rest of the non-Muslim world—makes it all the more illogical to for “rights-to-privacy” advocates to attempt to end electronic surveillance of messages which circulate in the United States.

There is simply no evidence that the electronic surveillance has done damage to any American’s civil rights.

* * *

NY Times Takes Aim At Jeb Bush In
A Slanted Story On The Front Page

Also prominently displayed on the front page of the Sunday New York Times was what I see as a clear indication that the liberal Times doesn’t want to see another President Bush—in this case, former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida—in the White House.

The headline seemed to me to make clear The Times’ antipathy to Jeb Bush.  The headline read:

“Dynasty’s Son”.  Then in smaller headline type:  “Jeb Bush Used Connections Freely When Father Was in Washington”

How’s that for a political scandal?  His son communicating with his father, sometimes about political matters, while his father, George H.W. Bush, occupied high political offices, including the Presidency.

The Times story went on to report that Jeb Bush had contact with a variety of political sources who would be helpful to him in his role as governor of Florida and other matters of political interest, including contributions.

I’ll bet an ambitious political figure like Barack Obama, preparing a run for the presidency wouldn’t have acted like that.

Enough satire.  As I see it, The New York Times should keep its own special-interest politicking on its editorial page.

* * *

Yanney Receives Well-Deserved Honors

A variety of well-deserved honors have been conferred recently on native Nebraskan Mike Yanney, whose leadership roles have made him one of Nebraska’s outstanding supporter of good causes.

Born in Kearney—where he delivered newspapers, pulling a cart which carried the papers—Mike settled in Omaha, to Omaha’s good fortune.

His support for causes serving children and the University of Nebraska Medical Center is especially noteworthy.

I’m pleased to join in those saluting Mike.

Our friendship dates back a good many years to the time when we hunted turkeys together in Western Nebraska on ranchland owned by Don and Olive Forney, whose hospitality did a good deal to build  better relations between Omaha and Western Nebraska.

* * *

Smorgasbord Menu Includes:
Goodbye To Old Friends, Journalism Critique,
‘Think Tank’ Again Promotes Income Tax Increase,
‘Nebraska Medicine’ Silliness Put To Expanded Use

This week’s smorgasbord, offered as always with the hope that you find items to your readership taste.  And, as always, please feel free to sample the entire menu.


Too many times I have waited too long to take note of the passing of a friend—some of them friends with whom I was involved as they went about their service to the public.

This week I try to catch up.

–In the public service category, certainly I include Bob Ayres, the longtime publisher of the Kearney Hub.  Bob approached The World-Herald when he decided it was time for The Hub to be sold.

Bob could have sold The Hub for more money to outside-Nebraska ownership, but he said he wanted to assure that The Hub would be in the hands of a Nebraska newspaper which he respected.

The World-Herald, happily, still owns the Kearney Hub and has been in position to invest in new facilities which better serve The Hub’s readers.

After The Hub’s sale, Bob continued active in a number of good causes.

Bob Ayres was a splendid Nebraskan and a good friend.

–Appropriate also to note the passing of Don “Fox” Bryant, former sports editor of The Lincoln Star and later well-known as director of news media relations for the University of Nebraska athletic program.

The late, great Husker Coach Bob Devaney and Don Bryant made a delightful and productive team in behalf of Husker athletics.

–Then there is a more recent death:  Phil Kemp, who with wife Emily and their children, were special friends of Marian and mine.  Phil died, at 89, after a long illness.


A continuing source of puzzlement—and, yes, irritation—to this longtime newspaper reader:

Why does it so often take so long for today’s journalists to get to the heart of a news story?

For example:

A story which started on the front page of the Midlands section of The World-Herald took six paragraphs to get around to the fact that the story was prompted by the death of a nun who devoted her life to serving in a school for special needs children.

Then there is the local television stations’ presentation of the news about, for a current example, basketball games.  As any TV watcher knows, the sportscaster starts with the first quarter and works his or her way through the game, withholding the final result until near the end of the report.

I’ve often wondered whether the TV sportscasters feel that if they give real news first, their viewers won’t stay with them until the end of the brief report.


First we had The World-Herald giving a little-known think tank front-page attention for its presentation of a plan to reduce property taxes by increasing the state income tax, particularly on higher-income individuals.

Within a few days, the little-known “think tank”—named the “OpenSky Policy Institute”—to tell the same story on the World-Herald’s Opinion Page where it belonged in the first page.

This repetition of the OpenSky Policy Institute was counter-balanced by an opinion piece from another so-called think tank—the Platte Institute—taking sharp issue with the OpenSky Policy Institute’s increased income-tax proposal.


At first blush, it appeared to me that UNO was setting its Maverick hockey crowd sights too low in terms of capacity of the ice arena to be built adjacent to UNO’s south-of-Center Street campus near 72nd and Center streets.

Plans for a new ice rink with a crowd capacity close to 8,000 seemed at first too low, considering that the Maverick hockey team has occasionally drawn upwards of 10,000 fans who occasionally watch the Mavericks in action in the CenturyLink Center in downtown Omaha.

But on occasion that CenturyLink arena attendance is hyped by special ticket sales promotions.  More normal attendance is indicated by the 6,970 crowd which attended a recent Mavericks game.

Incidentally, the news media should stop referring to the new ice rink as part of the UNO campus.  It is a privately-financed structure immediately adjacent to the campus.  This allows the sale of beer which is not allowed on any campus in the University of Nebraska system.

Now some bad news in regard to attendance (“crowd” is too strong a word) at a game involving another UNO team:

The Maverick basketball team attracted attendance of only 1,108 to a recent game which the Mavericks won in the Ralston Arena.


It’s one thing to use “Nebraska Medicine” as a poorly-chosen promotional symbol for the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  (At the very least, it should have been “Nebraska Medical,” since the UN Medical Center does a great deal more than dispense medicine.)

Now people, like me, who have business with the University of Nebraska Medical Center are receiving doctor appointment reminders in envelopes and on stationary which refers to “Nebraska Medicine” as the name of the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

* * *

Easy To Find Upbeat Ending This Week:
Cite Awards Won By W-H Sports Staff

For an upbeat column-ender, consider this reproduction of a story which was given modest play by The World-Herald on an inside Sports Section page:

2015-02-18 11_57_34-Andersen column

(click image to enlarge)

# # #

This entry was posted in Column. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply