George Ayoub

George Ayoub

George Ayoub filed nearly 5,000 columns, editorials and features in 21 years as a journalist for the Grand Island Independent. His columns also appeared in the Omaha World-Herald and Kearney Hub. His work has been recognized by the Nebraska Press Association and the Associated Press. He was awarded a national prize by Gatehouse Media for a 34-part series focusing on the impact of cancer on families of victims and survivors. He is a member of the adjunct faculty and Academic Support Staff at Hastings College. Ayoub has published two short novels, “Warm, for Christmas” and “Dust in Grissom.” In 2019 he published “Confluence,” the biography of former Omaha World-Herald publisher and CEO John Gottschalk.


Taking stock of our Declaration

By: - July 2, 2023

The country will celebrate its independence this week with the customary formula: fireworks, flags, parades, patriotic speeches, beer, brats and a four-day weekend because working the day before or after a federal holiday has become almost un-American. The holiday’s origin story begins with the Declaration of Independence, submitted in Congress on July 4, 1776. Thank […]


Lessons from history remain despite bans

By: - June 26, 2023

“Where they burn books, they will also ultimately burn people.” — Heinrich Heine, German Jewish poet, eerily prescient 120 years before the Holocaust A passage from a historical novel I recently finished has stayed with me, in a haunting sort of way. The scene from “The Librarian of Burned Books” was set May 10, 1933, […]


Dignifying work, asking questions

By: - June 19, 2023

Solving the manufactured debt-ceiling shakedown, er, crisis, included the House expanding work requirements for those receiving SNAP benefits, the program formerly known as food stamps. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan research and policy institute, the add-ons to the current requirements will affect about 750,000 recipients ages 50-54, some of […]


Humanities degrees in free fall

By: - June 12, 2023

Full disclosure: I was an English major. The reaction I sometimes get to this revelation usually runs along the lines of poverty vows or money wasting, but the backstory to my academic path has some utility. In those days a journalism major at UNL was automatically also an English major. You can fill in the […]


Character ‘etching’ a skill to be learned

By: - June 5, 2023

Nestled among my summer reading list is getting a good “read” on what I fear is becoming a discredited dinosaur of the past: character in public life — the past in this instance being less than 10 years. To wit: During a recent confirmation hearing in the Nebraska Legislature, a state senator said he considered […]


Measuring the value of victory

By: - May 28, 2023

With just a few days left in the 108th session of the Nebraska Legislature, those keeping score in the culture wars can start doling out the spoils. The best this space can gather is that culture war victories in legislatures — aside from some self-satisfaction and I imagine a little gloating — amount to very […]


’60 Minutes’ report filled with cruel irony

By: - May 22, 2023

I played Little League baseball at Grace Abbott Park, a triangular stretch of green and trees between State and 17th Streets in north central Grand Island. The park was named after Grand Island’s own Dr. Grace Abbott, an activist who worked tirelessly in the early 20th century in the fight against child labor and for […]


Add outlet malls to a long list

By: - May 15, 2023

I fear I’m now writing a version of the same commentary at least monthly. I could probably do it weekly … if I had the stomach for it. Still, accepting gun violence and mass shootings as “the price of freedom” or the American way requires voices saying otherwise. Yesterday, a member of our unregulated militia, dressed […]


Age not simply a matter of time

By: - May 8, 2023

When “OK, Boomer” was a thing — an affront millennials were foisting on those of us of a certain age — I took refuge in playwright David Mamet’s observation that “Old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance.” His insight buoyed me as I cast a wary eye toward those trying to buy […]


Gray a good color for careful, considered thought

By: - May 1, 2023

Among the deaths we can attribute to the polarization now seeping into every pore and pocket of modern life is nuance. You remember nuance. You saw it in the painter’s muted colors when a piece of art said something to you. You heard it when the song’s rhythm and pitch changed slightly, moving it from […]


Insult, silence fail us all in the Legislature

By: - April 24, 2023

Somewhere among Bible quotes and men lecturing on women’s bodies came this: “Our state population has not grown except by those foreigners who have moved here or refugees who have been placed here. Why is that? It’s because we’ve killed 200,000 people. These are people we’ve killed. [They] could be working and filling some of […]


Solution is more democracy, not less

By: - April 17, 2023

Few noticed six weeks ago when no one showed up for a legislative committee hearing in support of a proposal that would have changed the Nebraska Constitution. The measure, Legislative Resolution 24CA, would have eliminated the State Board of Education and required the governor to appoint an education commissioner, giving the state’s corner office more […]