Required reading for parents and students

BY: - April 4, 2022

Here’s an idea: Let’s ban some books. Take them out of classrooms, purge curricula, gut libraries, unplug Nooks and Kindles. That should make us feel more comfortable because the acquisition of knowledge, the grasp of insight, and the dual joys of truth and beauty should, above all, never cause discomfort. I didn’t say it was […]

Former Kansas lawmaker urges neighbors to proceed cautiously when considering tax cuts

BY: - March 29, 2022

As a former Kansas legislator who worked to clean up the mess left by sweeping tax cuts in our state, I’ve wanted to cover my eyes lately as several other states, including some of our neighbors, pass or consider their own tax-cut packages. Much was written about what happened here in Kansas after then-Gov. Sam […]

League works to overcome barriers in collecting information for nonpartisan voters’ guide 

BY: and - March 28, 2022

In the spirit of democracy and equal access to participate in civic engagement, specifically the necessity of voter education in this age of polarization, the League of Women Voters of Nebraska — a nonpartisan voting rights organization — disseminated the first statewide compilation of candidate information in 2020 via an online voters’ guide, VOTE411 ( […]

Government agencies tapping facial recognition firm to prove you’re you

BY: - March 24, 2022

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is planning to require citizens to create accounts with a private facial recognition company in order to file taxes online. The IRS is joining a growing number of federal and state agencies that have contracted with to authenticate the identities of people accessing services. The IRS’s move is aimed […]

Faith in politics

BY: - March 22, 2022

There is a common piece of wisdom passed down through generations that, while in polite company, one should not discuss religion or politics. It’s a shame that ever became a cultural norm here in America. When we are open to one another and let ourselves be known, we build trusting relationships. We come to understand […]

Threats of violence and persecution have no place in Nebraska’s gubernatorial contest

BY: - March 21, 2022

We Nebraskans are freedom lovers. Like Americans everywhere, we cherish our rights as free citizens because our forebears paid dearly for them. But our rights are paired with grave responsibilities. For example, how do we define our freedoms such that our society in deed, as well as in words, reflects a fair, egalitarian approach to […]

Dissolving State Ed Board would have long-term consequences

BY: - March 18, 2022

The Nebraska Department of Education and the State Board of Education have been the subject of public concern for a draft of new health education standards for instruction in Nebraska’s public schools. This concern has now apparently resulted in a petition being circulated to amend the state constitution to eliminate the Department of Education and the […]

2022 campaign shows Nebraska has two weak political parties

BY: - March 16, 2022

While Nebraska’s primary election results will not be known for another two months, there is one lesson we can already learn: Our two major political parties have never been weaker. The weakness of the Nebraska Democratic Party is reflected primarily in who is not running. Democrats failed to put a single candidate on the ballot […]

Brad Ashford: A little humor, trust and relationships

BY: - March 14, 2022

A message from Ann Ashford: Brad originally drafted this in March 2021. On Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, we were given the preliminary results of a biopsy of a brain mass that told us Brad has brain cancer. Our world turned upside down in that moment. After a beat of silence, Brad calmly asked how we […]

Unicameral videos can strengthen First Amendment freedoms

BY: - March 8, 2022

Outlets like the Nebraska Examiner and the Flatwater Free Press exist because nonprofit foundations are recognizing that the traditional for-profit news model is in decline. Local newsrooms have been hollowed out around the country as media consumption habits have fundamentally changed.  People can instantly find any information they might want — for good or ill […]

Nebraska State Penitentiary

Brad Ashford: The time is right for Nebraska prison reform

BY: - March 7, 2022

For the better part of my legislative career, I have focused on the justice system, including chairing the Judiciary Committee and working to reform juvenile justice. Lately I have been reflecting on the opportunity this session to address prison reform, a critical element to our state’s success. Constructing a new facility without accompanying programs would be […]

Bookman: ‘We the people’ are in dangerous territory

BY: - March 5, 2022

The state of our union is precarious. It is precarious not because of some outside threat – outside threats we can still handle. It is precarious because we have forgotten our way, because we find ourselves increasingly seduced by a perverted, stunted and selfish notion of freedom. It is precarious because some of us have […]