Commentary

Closing Nebraska’s property tax honesty gap with Truth in Taxation

BY: - August 24, 2022

Recent reports that Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert’s proposed 2023 budget contains no tax increase is a prime example of an honesty gap in how Nebraska leaders discuss local property taxes. In fact, the proposal would increase property tax revenues more than 6%. Even I should accept some blame for the honesty gap. As past president […]

Inflation Reduction Act faces daunting challenges

BY: - August 24, 2022

The climate war is raging. Will our relentless consumption of energy lead to global catastrophe? How much will the Earth warm?  How fast will it happen? How much more can we take before life on Earth perishes? On the other hand, will human resilience blur the process into one of deliberate adaption and change? So […]

Three lives from both sides to inspire

BY: - August 19, 2022

In a world of loud mouths, liars and cynicism, be Vin Scully. In a world of hypocrites, sycophants and political opportunists, be Bill Russell. In an atonal world of calamity, discord and despair, be Joni Mitchell. Vin Scully, Bill Russell and Joni Mitchell reminded us this summer of what can be best about us — […]

‘Will of the People’ vs. congressional actions

BY: - August 18, 2022

According to the most recent data from Pew Research Center, National Election Studies, Gallup, ABC/Washington Post, CBS/New York Times and CNN Polls, only 21% of Americans say they trust the government in Washington, D.C., to do what is right. The headline from Dante Chinni’s June 10 NBC News article sums it up: “Americans agree on […]

Nebraska State Capitol Building

No welcome wagon, no planks, no problem

BY: - August 9, 2022

Registered Nebraska independent voters know the litany of slurs about their political (un)affiliation: wishy-washy, fence-sitting, unprincipled, dithering, shilly-shallying, dilly-dallying or just plain weak. The list is longer. I’ll spare you further lowlights. To be clear, one must be a registered voter to qualify for the index of insults above. Blowing off your civic duty is […]

Problems with “988” crisis hotline startup

BY: - August 1, 2022

Most people have memorized their Social Security number, cell phone number, anniversary, birthday and the 911 emergency medical, fire and police protection services number. On July 16, the number “988” became an easy-to-remember crisis hotline number we should log into our memory bank. Dialing or texting 988 can be used by anyone who needs support […]

Prayer as supplication, not as schoolhouse wedge

BY: - July 26, 2022

The Supreme Court should house our best legal minds, but the majority’s recent opinion on prayer in public schools needs a better reading of the room. To summarize: The Supremes, by a vote of 6-3, decided that a public high school football coach’s prayer at the 50-yard line after games was a permissible exception to […]

Who deserves thanks for the ARPA funding?

BY: - July 25, 2022

The Sarpy County Vietnam Memorial Foundation advisory board was recently notified that we had been approved for a $2 million grant. Along with support from the City of Papillion, Bellevue University and private citizens, this moves us very close to our goal to fund this important project. When I asked about the source of the […]

Why do teens engage in self-harm? And how to help teens reduce their emotional distress

BY: and - July 15, 2022

Emotions are tricky things. They allow for humans to fall in love, wage war and, as it turns out, engage in self-harm. It is hard to imagine an era in which young adults were more distressed than today. Recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data indicates that more than 40% of high school students […]

U.S. Supreme Court is protecting democracy and explicit individual constitutional rights

BY: - July 12, 2022

Some are saying that several of this year’s U.S. Supreme Court decisions are threatening or destroying democracy. In fact, it is just the opposite. The court’s opinions leave decisions of utmost importance to the people’s elected representatives and enforce the Constitution’s explicit protections of personal liberty. Consider, for example, five of the court’s most controversial […]

Cybersecurity is national security

BY: - July 11, 2022

Whether you live in Omaha, Scottsbluff or points in between, one thing is clear — the cyber threat to our businesses, farms, food processing facilities, local governments and communities in Nebraska is increasing exponentially. Today’s cyber threats are more pervasive, hit a wider variety of victims and carry the potential for greater damage than ever […]

Keeping it simple at the ballot box

BY: - July 7, 2022

This November I’ll be a single-issue voter, a practice I once considered short-sighted, even radical. Dire circumstances call for dire measures. My single issue is not a usual suspect: abortion, guns, taxes, inflation, or my 401(k)’s health. Nor is it character, although if it were, imagine the turnover in Congress and selected legislatures, boards and […]