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Friday, Nov. 28, 2014

With Friends Like These?

Monday, October 10, 2011

How can we ever expect to relate to nations with customs and opinions so diametrically opposed to ours? The Saudis are one of our best friends in the Middle East but a Saudi woman was sentenced to 10 lashes for driving a car. This, just a few days after Saudi Arabia King Abdullah (finally) granted women the right to vote and run for municipal office!

One of the most restrictive aspects of Saudi life is the guardianship system, which requires women to get men's permission for travel, marriage, work, and even study.

The guardianship system requires women to have a close male relative as her 'guardian' with the authority to approve her travel. Further, a Saudi female rape victim is at fault for illegal 'mixing of genders' and is punished along with the perpetrator,

Women can be arrested if they even ride in a vehicle driven by a male who is not an employee or a close male relative, and the testimony of one man equals that of two women.

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I wonder how many former Husker linemen are employed by the Nebraska Parks department? Between the excellent Ash Fall site near Creighton, and the venerable Fort Robinson near Crawford is the Cottonwood Lake State Recreation Area, absolutely the worst camping area I've seen. Before driving around the neglected and totally vacant camping area we had a suspicion - the entrance sign told us to "select a sight" (sic). We "selected" to drive on.

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The Eisenhower interstate system requires that one mile in every five must be straight. The purpose was so the "strips" could be used as aircraft landing areas in times of war or other emergencies.

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The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll a week ago told us that 43 percent of the nation's voters strongly disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Only 20% two percent strongly approve.

After a far too short time period of bi-partisanship our President abandoned that approach and "took it to the people." Positive speeches around the country are fine but his negative, sometimes caustic, comments have alienated Congressional Republicans and appear to be backfiring.

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Westmar College had more mediocre than good athletic years, but in 1911 they nearly set a record, that still stands. According to the Westmar Alumni and Friends newsletter, (then) Western Union College played eight games and outscored Buena Vista, Creighton, Mankato, Augustana, and others by a combined score of 382 to zero! Since 1900 only eleven other teams have gone undefeated in at least 8 games and have not been scored on. Of those only Michigan in 1901 averaged more points than W.U.

The last team to be undefeated and unscored on was Grambling State in 1942, coached by the legendary Eddie Robinson, an Iowa University graduate. He had 45 winning seasons (of 56) and sent more than 200 players to the professional ranks.

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As usual, I would like to see an amalgamate candidate, perhaps with the presence of Romney, the business experience of Cain or Romney, the governing experience of Perry, Huntsman or Romney, the enthusiasm of Bachmann, the frankness of Huntsman and Perry, the intellect of Gingrich and Huntsman and the ability to "get 'er done" of Christie. Is it possible that Newton Leroy "Newt" Gingrich will, like the mythical bird, Phoenix, arise from the ashes of his once dead campaign?

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A Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 71% of likely U.S. voters favor term limits for members of Congress, with 14% opposing and 15% undecided.

I have long been opposed to most term limits, although 6 years seems like enough for Nebraska football players. Setting term limits for politicians, though, runs the risk of giving too much power to lobbyists and bureaucrats. However, something in Washington is really broken and drastic measures may be necessary to fix it. I am leaning toward 12 year limits for congress.

Common opinion usually says Congress would never vote this on itself but common sense says a movement like the Tea Party just might get it done, in time.

Serving more than 12 years isn't as common in the Iowa legislature as it is in Congress. Twenty one states have enacted term limits, but the limits have been repealed in six of the 21. Nebraska, South Dakota and Missouri have limits. The maximum varies from six to 12 years with eight being the most common.

Thirty six states have limits on the number of years a governor may serve, but most become re-eligible after at least four years out of office.

Don Paulin, 2carpenterdon@gmail.com, 7557 30th Av, Norwalk, IA 50211 - 515-201-7236 -30-

By Don Paulin
Been There, Done That