The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 29, 1998, Page 4, Image 4

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    i ■'
Erin Gibson
Cliff Hicks
Nancy Christensen
Brad Davis
Sam McKewon
Jeff Randall
Bret Schulte
Editorial PMcy
Unsigned editorials are the opinions of
the Spring 1998 Daily Nebraskan. They
do not necessarily reflect the views of the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, its
employees, its student body or the
University of Nebraska Board of Regents.
Acdumn is solely the opinion of its author.
The Board of Regents serves as pubfisher
of the Daily Nebraskan; policy is set by
the Daily Nebraskan EdNorial Board. Tne
UNL Publications Board, established by
the regents, supervises the production
of the paper. According to policy set by
the regents, responsibility for to editorial
content of the newspaper ties solely in
the hands of its student employees.
Some decisions better
left for legislators
As tools of popular power, ballot initia
tives can have positive effects.
They can give everyday people a chance
to go over the heads of their legislators and to
enact legitimate, much-needed change.
But when the initiatives deal with compli
cated issues and offer uncertain results, they
also can remind citizens of why they elect
government representatives to interpret bills
and enact laws in the first place.
This year, Nebraskans are faced with two
such ballot initiatives, 413 and 414.
Proponents of 414 claim it will lower tele
phone access charges, and, therefore, lower
Nebraskans’ long distance bills; opponents
say it will raise Nebraskans’ monthly bills for
basic phone service.
The amount of money being pumped into
both campaigns from corporate sponsors has
left many wondering just who is really going
to profit from the initiative.
AT&T has contributed more than $2 mil
lion to the Committee to Vote Yes for Lower
Phone Bills, the group that funded the peti
tion drive to get Initiative 414 on the ballot.
Local phone companies, including Aliant
Communications and US West in Omaha,
have given money to Nebraskans to Protect
Our Phone Services, the group opposing 414
that has been able to raise about $800,000.
DOtn groups are spending their money on
advertisements that have not clarified the
issue, and voters are still guessing about the
real effects of its possible passage.
Muddying the election waters even more
is Initiative 413, the proposed constitutional
amendment to limit state revenue and spend
ing. Proponents of the initiative say it will
lower property taxes. Opponents say educa
tion will sustain a hit—one totaling more than
$20 million for the University of Nebraska.
Many opponents have said if the initiative
passes, they will contest its constitutionality,
because it will make more than one change to
die Constitution with one ballot initiative.
Meanwhile, the countdown to election
continues. Voters are running out of time to
gain an understanding of exactly what each
initiative will do, and campaign advertising
on television is not going to provide answers.
Many votes may be cast in confusion, and
that’s dangerous.
If both initiatives were presented as bills
to the Legislature during its regular session,
legislators could conduct more m-depth
investigations of the measures, amendments
could be made, and - just maybe - the initia
tives’passage could be justified.
This would take the decisions out of the
voters hands, directly, but it also would take
away the burden of thousands of voters trying
to make sense of chaos with a small amount
of data.
Unless voters conduct an in-depth analy
sis of the initiatives themselves, voting in
favor of either of them would be a foolish act.
Letter Pollcv
The Daily Nebraskan welcomes brief
letters to the editor and guest columns,
but does not guarantee their publication.
The Daily Nebraskan retains the right to
edit or reject any material submitted.
Submitted material becomes property of
the Daily Nebraskan and cannot be
returned. Anonymous submissions will
not be published. Those who submit
letters must identify themselves by name,
year in school, major and/or group
affiliation, if any.
Submit material to: Daily Nebraskan, 34
Nebraska Union, 1400 h SL Lincoln,
NE. 68588-0448. E-mail: - >
SEE, WE to1
.cm© Jim.
Mighty North Dakotans
Nebraskans don’t understand real winter
it’s a balmy 3 degrees Fahrenheit
I just want you to know: When that
happens, my car is laughing at all of
It just can’t imagine what would
happen if North Dakotan cars had trou
ble starting at 3 above zero.
We wouldn’t be able to go any
where during December and January.
We already have to plug our cars in
at night to insure they’ll start in the
morning. If our cars were little wussies
like Nebraskan cars, we’d have to keep
’em plugged in to drive, too.
And instead of just leaving their
motors running in the parking tots
when we went in to buy groceries, we
have to actually have someone drive
our cars around so they wouldn’t shut
ofifinthe 15-minute interval.
Yep, I am He-Man, and y’all are
Teela. My car is Battle Cat, and yours
is Cringer.
Ana it s not just a seasonal thing.
You folks really don’t understand what
“summer” entails either.
In the Red River Valley of the
North, conveniently situated next to the
10,000 lakes of Minnesota, summer
means moisture.
And moisture means mosquitoes.
I’m not talking about the one bug
bite you guys are used to every couple
weeks dining July.
I’m talking about a living fleet of
creatures who form their own sover
eign nation.
We make treaties with them. For
example, they can suck our blood if
/Ar\ fliair
1996 and July of 1997, North
Dakotans went through 17.5 million
gallons of alcohol.
And there are only about 600,000
of us.
And that means, if you don’t count
one-third of the population - a reason
able estimate, I think - the North
Dakotan people consumed almost 44
gallons of alcohol, in 13 months, each., _
Hell yes, we’re superheroes.
And if some of you out there doubt it
me, I welcome you to just see how
many drinks you can buy me before I
collapse. Justtry it C’moa
Oh, my poor little Nebraska bud
dies, my little Jimmy Olsons, if you’ve
read this far, you’re probably suffering
from a mad inferiority complex by
Don’t sweat it You’ve still got the
(Even rr one ot me only notable
athletes to go from this school to the
pros in the last four years - without
getting arrested, that is - was one Darin
Erstad of Jamestown, N.D.)
And if you’re very, very nice to me,
maybe someday I’ll let you come home
with me for Christmas. You’ll have to
wear one of those insulated suits the
astronauts wear to go out in space - but
you can still come.
And you can experience the secret
jewel that is North Dakota, if only for a
week. And maybe some of our magic
will rub off on you.
If you’re real, real lucky. ’
JOSH WIMMER is a senior
news-editorial wuyor and a
Daily Nebraskan colum
Somebody shivered and said to me
the other day, “I hate it when it gets
I said, “Me too. That’s why I moved
to Nebraska. Weirdo.”
I am a North Dakotan. Hear me
Y’know, it wasn’t until I actually
got to Lincoln that I became proud of
my state heritage. I mean, for 18 years,
I couldn’t wait to leave North Dakota.
It was a snowy, flat, barren wasteland. I
could not conceive of a singlepossible
advantage to growing up there.
And then I came to Nebraska.
I swear to God, I felt like
Y’know how on Krypton he would
have been just a normal guy? But then
he came to Earth and our Yellow Sun™
turned him into the Man of Steel?
Well, that’s what it’s like for me.
I mean, I see you guys pulling on
your heavy parkas when it’s like 10
degrees below zero. Ten degrees below
zero! Ho ho ho! Oh, my goodness!
In North Dakota, we affectionately
refer to that as “long-sleeved shirt -
And then I’ll hear you guys talking
about “the wind chill factor.” You still
believe in the wind chill factor!
Oh, you puny, silly, darling little
mortals. Didn’t you know? The wind
chill factor is a Communist plot,
invented in die 1960s to intimidate the
American people. Fear of it was sup
posed to keep us from invading
But it’s not real. I know. Because
when it gets as cold as itk supposed to
get with the “wind chill” in effect, the
wind freezes! I know you’ve never seal
that before, but I grew up with it So
trust me on that
Even my car has supopowers in
this state.
I mean, I’ve noticed that some
times during “winter” down here, you:
little vehicles won’t start, just because
damnedest to
keep the
Canadians out.
' (Just don’t
betray them. I had
a little sister,
point is: Doling
with your measly
pretend mosqui
toes makes me
feel superhuman,
I do that’s awe
Oh, you mean
besides the time I
drank Thor, God
ofThttnder, under >
the table?
Seriously, you
guys. USA Today
rented that
between June of
Melanie Falk/DN