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.


Without the ‘want to,’ consequences predictable, permanent 

By: - April 10, 2023

On March 27, death quieted the culture wars. Peace came with a painful price, however. That morning an unwell and unregulated militia member took two legally purchased weapons of war to a Nashville school and opened fire, murdering three 9-year-olds and three adults. Later, we watched the killer’s chilling nonchalance walking through the school. Thankfully, […]


Voters OK’d photo IDs, not more barriers

By: - April 3, 2023

In addition to notary publics signing off on mail-in or drop box ballots of Nebraska voters, why not also require a couple letters of recommendation? Maybe make early voters cough up a recent bank statement? How about a lie detector test? That should keep fraud at a minimum. Ridiculous? No kidding. But no more inane […]


Work, perspective ahead as ‘pandemic’ moves beyond 1,000 days

By: - March 27, 2023

Three years ago this week, as “lockdown” took on a more ominous, protracted meaning in our lives, something called COVID was a mystery. You remember COVID: the virus responsible for wiping out 6.9 million lives across the planet to date. The one that exposed the best America. The disease that found us woefully unprepared for […]


Brand names sometimes a bust

By: - March 20, 2023

I drive a Tesla. It’s fast and fun … a rocket off the line, a champ on the freeway. I’m shallow enough, too, that I occasionally smile when passing a gas station. When fuel topped $5 a gallon, I may have even laughed aloud once or twice. Other than that phantom braking thing that scares […]


Money, market share replace the truth

By: - March 13, 2023

Crucial among the opinion writing commandments is this: You’re a reporter first. Sure, readers will remember the position you staked out, perhaps whom you took to task, maybe the questions you posed or what hypocrisy you unearthed. But unless you ground your take — the commentary — in facts, solid research, valid evidence and good […]


Where has all the focus gone?

By: - March 6, 2023

If you’re driven to distraction behind the wheel in Nebraska, you’re asking for a $200 first-offense fine. You remember distracted driving: texting, fiddling with the music, scarfing a Big Mac and fries, having an intense conversation with a passenger that includes plenty of eye contact. According to the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration, all forms […]


Great humanitarians are now suspects in culture wars

By: - February 27, 2023

Clemente was nearly my son’s middle name, after Major League Baseball’s Roberto Clemente. The Pittsburgh Pirate legend is one of my heroes, a marvel of electric energy and skill at bat, daring on the base paths and power in a mythic throwing arm, a gift from the baseball gods. Clemente’s heroism extended well beyond the […]


Rise of the machines needs humanity

By: - February 20, 2023

The 1904 Wilson-Pilcher had a lever on the steering column to set the car’s speed. “Speedostat” arrived 46 years later, invented by blind engineer Ralph Teetor, considered the father of cruise control, from which you can draw a line to today’s self-driving vehicles. We’re hundreds of millions of miles beyond Speedostat. With new and expanding […]

Jim Pillen

Leaving for love and all the other reasons

By: - February 13, 2023

If Allied Van Lines merged with H&R Block … From Gov. Jim Pillen’s State of the State address last month: “Our tax policy chases our kids and grandparents out of the state. We can’t grow Nebraska that way.” Really? Taxes drain the state of young brains? Drive Nana and Papa from their homes? The idea […]


Fewer ‘friends,’ more coffee

By: - February 6, 2023

As Nebraska’s three House members voted to gut the Congressional Office of Ethics and add $114 billion to the deficit and Nebraska State Sen. Steve Erdman dissed George Norris, I was celebrating being Facebook free, lightening my already reedy-thin social media footprint. A non sequitur? Hardly. While the percentage has recently declined, research shows that […]


Schools need more than fakes

By: - January 30, 2023

Competition soared this month in the sky-is-falling sweepstakes. Among the honorable mentions is U.S. Rep. Mike Flood, R-Neb., who, rather than being serious about serious problems, I found on Twitter making breakfast on a gas stove because, well, gas stoves, you know. Apparently that whole debt ceiling thing is a trifle. Maybe, too, Congress should table […]


Two new words of the year

By: - January 5, 2023

The 2022 Word of the Year, as chosen by our lexicographic friends at the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is “gaslighting.” The dictionary bases its decision on the number of lookups the word gets, and for gaslighting that was an increase of 1,740%. Gaslighting: “the act or practice of grossly misleading someone, especially for a personal advantage.” In […]