Misusing words drains them of meaning
The last two Nebraska governors, whose political symbiosis has been well-documented, also share an intense dislike for critical race theory, or CRT, the ill-defined, often misunderstood premise generally meaning that institutional racism is baked into our systems and policies. See red-lining, Tuskegee (airmen and experiments) and a recent rash of voter suppression efforts for details. […]
Kansas newspaper raid draws plenty of attention, but journalists defy threats across U.S.
After Kansas Reflector reported on the ignominious and unconstitutional raid of the Marion County Record on Aug. 11, news outlets and commentators from across Kansas and the nation followed suit throughout the weekend. The voices of those who value a free press and free expression were overwhelming in their force and intensity. Eight days later, […]
Why care about Marion’s newspaper? Because police raid was a step too far.
In the grand scheme of things, if such a thing exists, it’s difficult to imagine that anyone cares all that much what happens in Marion County. The fact is, most people — most Kansans, for that matter — couldn’t find it on a map. I’ve read dozens of stories in national and, now, international media […]
Omaha needs a citywide tobacco-free parks policy to protect public health
Omaha’s downtown riverfront parks, set to reopen this weekend, offer acres of beautiful green space for people to play, be active and find community. As a member of the Metro Omaha Tobacco Action Coalition (MOTAC), I’m encouraged by the policy prohibiting smoking and vaping at The RiverFront, including Gene Leahy Mall, Heartland of America Park […]
At a hard, sharp crossroads in the dog days
For history to repeat itself, we must first recognize that it’s being made. The dog days find us awash in the momentous and, as usual, the mundane. While the former will surely fill pages of future history books, differentiating it from the latter is crucial to the writing of a true American narrative. That said, […]
Six questions we should ask ourselves
A few weeks back I came across some alarming data from a group called More in Common, a nonprofit whose core mission is identifying and overcoming “the underlying drivers of fracturing and polarization” in our communities. In a 2019 study they call the “Perception Gap,” More in Common explored Americans’ distorted understanding of those on […]
Exploring the mining dividend
Mining in this part of the world has gone on for a very long time. The reality of mining is that it has done more to raise the standard of living than any other activity, creating vast manufacturing capability that would eventually transform the industrial world. Yet even as demand for minerals increases, driven by growing concerns about […]
Photo ID lessons are valuable for voters
If a learning curve ever needed guardrails, it is Nebraska’s new voter photo ID law, which will be in effect during next May’s primary. The timing gives voting Nebraskans about a school year to master the material derived from the electorate’s decision to change how we exercise our most powerful civic duty. This just in: […]
Truth should be the only standard
Among Nebraska’s social studies standards are the Fugitive Slave Act, the Dred Scott Decision and other key components of the country’s original sin: slavery. But names and dates and details of our history only tug at the fabric of the nation’s narrative. What’s needed for a fuller understanding of our story are perspective, consequence and […]
Time to add climate to weather conversations
An editor once told me if I ever filed a “turgid think piece on the weather,” he would know I was irrevocably out of ideas. Sounds about right. That said, the next 725 words or so are not solely about the weather. They are about climate … and change. Nebraskans rarely pass up a chance […]
Rural veterinary services are suffering more than ever. We must do better for our small towns.
Farmers and ranchers have long sounded the alarm about the shortage of rural veterinarians. Now, the issue is worse than ever. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 500 counties in 46 states face a critical shortage of veterinarians. The vast majority of these counties are in rural America, several of which are […]
Past neither simple, easy for millions
The etymology of “nostalgia” combines the Greek words for home and pain. Many of us see nostalgia as just that: homesickness for a time past. But for millions of Americans, what we might like to call the good old days weren’t so good. A number of them let Nikki Haley, presidential candidate and former South […]