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 […]

Ukraine invasion inspires generosity, but donors should be wary of scammers

BY: - March 3, 2022

Such is the velocity of news and information that within minutes of the first air strikes, millions of people around the world were notified of the Russian invasion in Ukraine. Many millions more have since found out and continue to consume coverage of the fallout.  There will be no shortage of stories to shine a […]

Brad Ashford: My four-year personal health journey

BY: - February 28, 2022

Recently a friend asked me to record my personal health journey. I was hesitant to do so until I realized it might help others seek the medical help they need. I have always tried to be healthy — watched my weight, participated in sports like basketball and rugby from high school on, never smoked, and […]

Ukraine and future of the NATO alliance

BY: - February 26, 2022

“How smart is that? And he’s gonna go in and be a peacekeeper…We could use that on our southern border…here’s a guy who’s very savvy.” — Donald Trump’s comments on Vladimir Putin’s military incursion into Ukraine’s Eastern regions, Feb. 22, 2022 I’ll never forget candidate Donald Trump’s first campaign trail attack on NATO in 2016. […]


Opinion: Although forever optimists, family farmers are fighting for a future

BY: - February 23, 2022

Even though the cards are often stacked against us, farmers are the ultimate optimists. I’m a 4th generation cattle and grain farmer, and, right now, I’m optimistic that, for the first time since Teddy Roosevelt with the Packer and Stockers Act of 1921, we have a president that is trying to take on corporate control […]