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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 5, 2000)
Editor Sarah Baker
Opinion Page Editor Samuel McKewon
Managing Editor Bradley Davis
See cities, too
DN merely suggested Clinton
visit unknown side of state
The assertion that everyone in Kearney is a
hick is, of course, ludicrous.
Apparently, a good number of people in
Kearney seem to believe the Daily Nebraskan
thinks just that Everyone west of Lincoln is an
unsophisticated, small-minded rube.
In case you've missed the recent hubbub over
a Wednesday Daily Nebraskan editorial - and
unless you’re connected to Kearney, you likely
have - it goes something like this: This newspa
per wrote in an editorial that President Bill
Clinton also should visit Lincoln and Omaha
upon the announcement that Clinton would
Since the editorial ran, more than 140 people,
mostly from Kearney, have posted mostly vehe
ment responses to the opinion on the Daily
Nebraskan's Web site.
The original editorial asserted that Clinton’s
trek to Nebraska was merely a token visit The
backdrop for his visit, the Great Platte River Road
Archway Monument, the editorial said, was
appropriate because it, also, was meaningless:
plastic, tourist-trap fodder.
It would make more sense, we said, for
Clinton to visit areas of the state that have been
more friendly to him at the ballot box, including
Lincoln, which chose him over Republicans in
1992 and 1996, and Omaha, which also provides
a relative hotbed of Democratic support
Nebraska’s 3rd Congressional District, of
which Kearney is a part, is one of the most con
servative in the nation, consistently throwing its
support behind Republicans.
Because of this, we were happy to see Clinton
will now be touching down in Omaha, where he
will greet residents at OffuttAir Force Base, min
gle with supporters at a private function and per
haps play host to another public engagement
It makes sense for Clinton to see more of
Nebraska than its famed small towns. Everyone
knows Nebraska is rural, friendly and down
home, all-around good. Not as many people
know Nebraska also has thriving urban areas in
Lincoln and Omaha. Now. DerhaDS thev will.
Reading some of the posts to the Daily
Nebraskan Web site, www.dailyneb.com, you’d
think we had suggested Kearney, Chadron,
Broken Bow and every other smaller Nebraska
community be obliterated from the state map.
On the contrary, it’s undeniable smaller towns
make up a great part of Nebraska’s fabric.
As so many people, including University of
Nebraska at Kearney professors, UNK students
and former Keameyites from across the country,
stated in their Internet responses to the newspa
per’s editorial, Kearney has a lot to offer a friend
y atmosphere where people know your name at
ocal stores, a good university and a pace of life'
that avoids the typical big-city rat races.
We don’t deny that small towns have good
qualities - of course they do. And we never said
But if President Clinton were to visit only one
Nebraska community, as was thought when his
visit to Kearney was originally announced, this
newspaper's position is that he should visit a city
that will let him, and millions watching and read
ing about his visit in national media, learn some
thing new about the state.
It’s common for Nebraskans traveling outside
the state to be asked if they live on a farm or raise
livestock. But a large number of Nebraska’s pop
ulation is misrepresented by that perception that
we’re all small-town farmers.
A visit to Omaha will show President Clinton,
and thereby the rest of the country, that
Nebraska, while proud of its rural heritage and
small-town friendliness, is equally proud of its
often overlooked urban areas - two unfound
gems waiting to be explored by the president and
media that follows him.
Sarah Baker, Bradley Davis, Josh Funk, Matthew Hansen,
Samuel McKewon, Dane Stickney, Kimberly Sweet
Daly Nebraskan welcomes briefs, letters to the editor and guest colunvis, but does not gusr
antee their pubfccabon. The Daly Nebraskan retains the right to edit or reject aiy materia submitted.
Submitted material becomes property of the Daily Nebraskan and cannot be returned. Anonymous
submissions wV not be published. Those who submit letters must identify themselves by rone,
year in school, m^jor and/or group affifiatton, if an*
Submit material ta Daily Nebraskan, 20 Nebraska Union, 1400 R St Lincoln, NE 68588-0448. E
Unsigned editorials are the opinions of the Fail 2000 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. A column is soieiy the opinion of its author a cartoon is
aoWy the opinion of its artist The Board of Regents acts as publisher of the Daily Nebraskan; pok
cy Is sat by the Daky Nebraskan EdHorirt Board. The UNL Publcations Board, estabfehed by the
regents, supervises the production of the paper. Accordng to pokey set by the regents, response
b*y for the edtorial content of the newspaper fiee solely in the hands of its employees.
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Letters to the editor
Unsigned editorials are the opinions of the fall
■ 2000 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. A column is solely the
opinion of its author.
This editorial policy, as posted, is ambiguous. Is
this saying that a column is different than an unsigned
editorial; or that it may be different?
You may state that a column is solely the opinion
of the author, but that does not change the fact that
there is an Editorial Board (Sarah Baker, Bradley
Davis, Josh Funk, Matthew Hansen, Samuel
McKewon, Dane Stickney, Kimberly Sweet, if the
information on the Web site is current) and that
a decision clearly must be made as to which unsigned
editorials are indeed the opinions of the Daily
I would be interested in knowing if that process
broke down, or if it was the process itself which led to
this editorial being published as something other
than the opinion of die author.
One also cannot ignore the consequences that
may come from an editorial, which is motivated, not
by reasoned opinion, but by jealousy, ignorance and
economic and geographical stereotyping.
While some may be trying to find a silver lining
behind the misguided decision to allow this anony
mous publication (by pointing to all ofthe attention it
has brought the online
edition of the Daily Nebraskan), in this case one can
not with a straight face say that “there is no such thing
as bad publicity.”
At least one alumni has expressed his outrage at
the attitude expressed by making his
own powerful editorial comment with the withdraw
ing of his financial support for the university system.
One can only IMAGINE the numbers of alumni
who feel similarly (or will when the link to the editori
al makes its way into their e-mail box) . All Nebraskans
(including those at UNK) should be saddened by this,
for anything that hurts die University of Nebraska sys
tem, hurts die entire population of this state.
The converse also is true, and it is this that was lost
upon the writer of the editorial and those responsible
for its publication.
If there is a new lesson for journalism in all of this,
it is that the rules of a responsible editorial policies in
print journalism must be applied even more carefully
for online content Why?
Because with the “new media” it is possible for one
to point directly to the piece, spreading the reference
to it at the speed of e-mail. While your print edition
may be seen by the very few outside the UNL system
who care to read it, your online content need only be
seen by one interested party.
Within hours alumni are reading with interest
your editorial opinion and thinking about how they
represent the values being taught at your institution
as a whole.
You should be ashamed ol the attitudes reflected
in the editorial “Come, Bill, come." You should exam
ine the policies that allowed this editorial to be pub
lished unsigned, as the opinion of the Daily
Nebraskan Editorial Board.
Finally, that board and those who oversee it (ulti
mately the Board of Regents) should do what it can to
mitigate its damaging effects on the people of out
state Nebraska, and the city of Kearney in particular.
It is unfortunate that they have not already done
so and that it takes an economic consequence to
make them clearly see the seriousness of an error
perpetrated upon the entire state.
It seems that many could see the mistake even
before economics entered the equation.
Web Specialist Information Ttechnology Services
University of Nebraska at Kearney
Editor’s Note: Starting today, the Daily Nebraskan
editorial policy, as well as members of the editorial
board, will be posted with the staff editorial online.
Up close with the president
Bill, I just wanted to say
how pleased I am that you're
visiting Kearney and Omaha
this week. I’d also like to say
that I don’t trust any political
leader of the free world
except those who’ve never
had a chance m the free
world to get elected - i.e. me. Karen
If I've confused you, I Brown
mean to say that you are hihihihbb
sometimes led astray by hor
mones, however, for the most part, I find you to be
one of the more “edible” leaders of the USA.
Because I was made in the USA, I have taken it
upon myself to ask you questions that I feel my fel
low Americans could/should/would ask you if they
had the chutzpah.
Thank god for them, I’ve chosen to accept the
responsibility of getting “deep down and personal”
Zip your pants up, Mr. President
Thank you, let’s begin.
As a newcomer to our beautiful state, I'm truly
glad that you decided to visit the Great Valley River
Rat Archway Monument that overlooks (and some
tames urinates on) our wondrous mterstate.
What did you think of it? Does it look a big piece
of wood suspended over a road, or is it a magical
and exacting representation of our state? You
thought it was a beaut, eh? That’s great.
Well, let’s move on. Here’s something I think
most of America would like you to comment on. I
will pose the ordeal now - most people believe in
God. I happen to believe in vampires. Your reaction,
They’re only bloody fictional creatures? I hardly
think that What’s your proof? Oh, you used to slay
them with your almighty “wooden stake” and then
you realized you were seeing things because of the
acid you ate for breakfast? Sorry, man.
So, if vampires aren’t real because you haven’t
actually seen them, then what about God? Oh, it’s a
Let me get this straight, the FBI found God in
1947 along with an alien ship in Roswell. After you
abducted them (God and crew), they falsified infor
mation, and you’re not even supposed to know
about it Then why did you tell me?
No, I will not sleep with you.
Sit down and talk to me.
Why are you unzipping your pants?
I’ll strike it from the records if you put your
pants back on, Mr. President. Do you want the U.S.
police to walk in? How about Janet Reno? She's a
bad ass, and you’d be so sorry if she caught with
your pants around your ankles; she’s killed a man.
Back to the important things in life. Do you feel
that stupid rich Texans with a penchant for frying
people, yet who avidly support anti-abortion laws
have the right to be president? Only in America,
huh. That’s what I would say, too, good job. You are
OK, before you put your pants back on, I have
one last question, I swear. Ready? OK.
Are you going to grant Leonard Peltier executive
clemency or what? I mean, regardless of whether or
not you think the United States’ problems are as
significant as North Korea’s, Peltier presents a
home-based problem that will not go away.
You promised you would release him during
your presidency, and, well sir, I believe your eight
years is almost up, and the lame duck is about to be
shot. Ha, ha, ha; I mean it, literally.
You see, I have a pistol in my pocket, and
although I think you’re a smart, generally well
meaning man, I will shoot you in the elbow unless
you free him.
I’m sure you know that he’s been in prison since
1975 for allegedly killing two FBI agents on the Pine
Ridge Indian Reservation. He fled to Canada after
he was targeted for his previous work with AIM,
where he was extradited by affidavits manufac
tured by the FBI that the government now concedes
were false and fabricated.
Bill, did you know that there was a hand-picked
judge, favored by the FBI for his anti-Indian reputa
tion, who refused evidence of Peltier's self-defense?
I’m sure you’re reviewing the case closely and see
ing that information from the acquittals of his
codefendants was also ruled inadmissible.
The government now has NO IDEA who killed
the two FBI agents, and the only thing keeping him
in prison is the FBI’s own embarrassment for some
thing it knows it grossly mishandled.
Embarrassment seems to make the govern
ment do REALLY DUMB THINGS.
Thanks for listening. While I’m at it, how about
looking into our Nebraska's own innocent captives
Ed and Mondo? It’s another crazy story involving
embarrassed FBI agents.
Anyway, that's all I have to say.
Bill, can I have a puff of your cigar? Thanks, I
needed to take the edge off, as I’m sure you can
understand. Do you smoke often? No, just when
you think it's safe? I see. Hey listen, I would also like
to show you the scrap book I made in second grade
when I was just starting out in Girl Scouts.
Wasn’t I cute? I mean, you can hardly tell that
that's me anymore without the afro and the braces.
What? You don’t think I look much different? Well, I
have gained a few pounds, but I really don’t think
that I look the same.
Come back here! There’s a picture of me selling
hash brownies to my next-door neighbor, Betty!
As the new
global order cre
tions of wealth
and power on an
scale, it is appro
pnate that we ^->
fear its negative Sean
consequences as Zehtab
we reap its bene
But if we are to remain healthy, there
must be a limit to the amount of fear in
our lives. As we devote our energies to
keeping new levels of government in
check, we must free up fear and energy
at the local level
The parliamentary style was devel
oped to ensure that diverse and dis
persed interests would have a mecha
nism to promote their interests in the
absence of a king to keep them in awe.
The office of president was added to that
institution so that in times of crisis, there
would be a functioning decision-maker
to quickly act, preserving die slower par
But one must wonder how appropri
ate this style of government is to the local
level, and especially the student body of
this campus, with its rough equality of
class, background, age, ability and inter
According to the bylaws of the
University of Nebraska Board of Regents,
the students are authorized through
democratic means to 1) select student
representatives, 2) govern student fees
and 3) participate on committees.
Of these three, the only interesting
power is to dispose of student fees,
which being ultimately under the
regents is not a power but a task, reliev
ing the board of some hardship. If stu
dent government causes the board more
hardship than it hopes to lose, it simply
overrides the decision.
As for the selecting of student repre
sentatives and participation on commit
tees, the student "government" operates
without the formal consent of the stu
dent body and caters to energetic people
who, if interested in joining a committee
to speak their mind, hardly need a par
liamentary apparatus to do so. Frankly,
students eager to participate in govern
ment should look to higher levels if they
are after more than sentences on a
After the election of the first non
greek as president ofASUN since 1978,
there was a humorous piece in the Daily
Nebraskan about a "mandate for
change.” How in need of change are we
when a candidate getting 1,081 of 20,217
possible votes, or 5.3 percent seems like
a mandate for change? A good margin of
victory should be at least double that
The implicit position of the non-vot
ing super-majority is not that it does not
want a voice in affairs, but that it wants a
new method in giving that voice, one
more appropriate for its level of energy.
Instead of special days of polling, which
run against the busy current of student
life, let us utilize technology so that stu
dents can have their say each time they
check their e-mail or browse the Web on
a school computer.
When support for a position paper
or a new bylaw surpasses 50 percent of
the total student body, it is passed. We
will no longer need special representa
tives; we can represent ourselves.
The overriding interests of the stu
dent body are constant despite the
perennial change of faces; students want
accessibility - the ability to get the class
es needed for graduation and affordabil
ity of the tuition; and applicability - that
the students want their degrees to help
them get good jobs so they can be finally
independent and start families of their
A new system would promote these
crucial interests by channeling our ener
gy and talents at the NU Board of
Regents meetings and the Legislature
rather than squander them in some
horse race entertaining only to the few.
Does the new system make the sena
tors, presidents, and committee mem
bers obsolete? Do they, like the state,
wither away? Not at all, with the energy
freed from campaigning, operating the
machinery and talking among them
selves, they can be the teachers and
leaders of the student body to pass legis
This would appeal to students who
want to be “involved" but find the cur
rent system childish and absurd.
A position, amendment, or resolu
tion, though it may take time to surpass
50 percent of the student body, will carry
far greater weight with the NU Board of
Regents than any student elected under
the current embarrassment of a system.
The university was founded in the
1800s. In those days before women's suf
frage and the extension of the franchise
to 18 year-olds, student government
could compensate and prepare students
for rights they did not have.
Now that we have these rights, we
should use our training-wheels system
to pave the way forthefiiture: electronic,
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