Central Plains Satelite

Can Rights Ever Be Equal?

June 26, 2015 by lmorgan · Comments Off 

lynellmorganwalletBy Lynell Morgan, Co-Publisher

Never a dull moment when it comes to the national news front. In the headlines early this week is the confederate flag, a symbol of the south for generations.
I heard something a little interesting so I decided to test it.  If you google “Confederate flag” under the “shopping” search option, you no longer get any results. I tried it and got  “Your search - “confederate flag” - did not match any shopping results”.  Zero. Nada. A big goose egg.  Type in “Nazi flag” and you’ll get two pages of results.  Type in “Che Guevara flag”, again two pages.
Do I want to purchase a Confederate flag?  No. I’m surprised that I’m not given that option at all anymore however. Apparently I couldn’t even buy a coffee mug with the Confederate flag on it according to Google.  I did find out, however, that I can purchase a German nationalist flag, a Italian Fascism flag, a Che Guevara flag, all kinds of Mao paraphernalia, a few t-shirts and coffee mugs featuring Pol Pot.  For those of you who don’t recognize these names, take ten minutes and look them up. You’ll see why I find it interesting that I could purchase merchandise with their likeness but not a Confederate flag.
I agree, the Confederate flag doesn’t belong on public buildings, only the American and state flag should fly high on government property.
As a native Nebraskan, I don’t immediately associate the Confederate flag with slavery. I might think differently if I were black but I’m not. When I see a Confederate flag, I think only of the South. The North only had the American flag so there is no flag aside from it that I associate with the North.
Everyone has an opinion here — should the Confederate flag be banned period?  Is this another example of a slippery slope?  Listen to comments from Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan (sorry, I tried to find one without an intro commercial. No luck)  Listen then tell me what you think.
http://launch.newsinc.com/share.html?trackingGroup=91074&siteSection=breitbartprivate&videoId=29278694
Along the same lines of what we are allowed to like, think and believe, the Supreme Court just ruled that bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. I have friends who are gay. They are friends first, gay second. Do I want them happy? Absolutely. Of the one that I have known since a small child, I can honestly say he was born gay. He didn’t ask for it, didn’t choose to be a gay man in the 70s in rural Nebraska. Therefore, I believe it is not a choice to be gay anymore than its a choice to be a heterosexual. I’m on the fence as to how molestation and environment can influence your choices. There are valid arguments on both sides.
Back to that pesky slippery slope thing.
What makes me nervous about this decision is what will likely happen to our religious beliefs concerning same-sex marriage ruling. I’ve heard on the news several times that religions need to change their philosophies concerning same-sex marriages and much more. That scares me. Why? It appears our religious rights are being eroded in favor of other’s rights. Where do we find the balance between the right to believe something and the right to lawfully live your life?  Will churches of all faiths be forced now to perform same-sex marriages despite their doctrine? We aren’t a country of equal rights for only some people but we at times seem to be heading in that direction.
For several years, I have been troubled by the fact that private businesses are being sued right and left for declining to do business with people based on their religious beliefs. Don’t bother putting up the sign “I reserve the right to refuse business to anyone” — it doesn’t work. Again, I’m asking you to do something —  look into the bakery (Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, CO) and photographers (Elane Photography in Albuquerque NM) stories as examples. The NM Supreme Court made the following statement in its ruling….”the First Amendment does not permit businesses that offer services for a profit to choose whom to serve.” Will this thought be applied to churches?
Everyone should know Mohammad Ali. Back in 1967, when he was still Cassius Clay, he got into a little bit of trouble concerning military service and his religion. The following was written about his stance. “The first 16 words of the First Amendment establish religious liberty, provide a degree of separation between church and state, and protect individuals’ right to exercise their religious beliefs freely. Mohammad Ali certainly exercised his religious beliefs — to his own financial detriment — when in April 1967 he refused induction at the Armed Forces Induction Center in Houston. One of his lawyers, Chauncey Eskridge, said Ali easily could have gone into a state national guard and avoided the front lines, but his sincere religious beliefs compelled him to take his stance.”
The Supreme Court in Clay v. United States reversed his conviction in 1971 saying “[T]he Department [of Justice] was simply wrong as a matter of law in advising that the petitioner’s beliefs were not religiously based and were not sincerely held”.
Would Mohammad Ali be allowed to make that same decision today? That depends. Right now there appears to be more tolerance for non-Jewish and non-Christian religions. As a Muslim, he would likely get a pass. It is a religion of peace after all.

Briese Announces Campaign For District #41 Seat In Unicameral

June 26, 2015 by lmorgan · Comments Off 

ALBION —  Tom Briese, Boone County farmer and attorney, announced his campaign Monday to represent District 41 in the Unicameral.
“I am pleased to announce my bid to represent the citizens of District 41 in the Nebraska Legislature,” said Briese. “It has been a privilege and a pleasure to run the family farm and raise my family here and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to give back to the area by strengthening rural Nebraska.”
“It’s important to realize our future in Nebraska, and rural Nebraska in particular, hinges on our ability to grow our economy, grow our population, and create opportunity for our children and grandchildren to live, work, and raise their families here.”
If elected Briese said he will focus on lowering taxes to make Nebraska more competitive, increasing educational opportunity, and rural economic development.
Briese stopped into The Elgin Review office Friday afternoon to drop off some information in advance of Monday’s announcement.
Briese is a fourth generation Boone County farmer, with an operation including irrigated and dryland farming with soybeans and corn. Briese served on the Boone Central School Board for six years, chairing the negotiation committee. Briese also served on the Farm Service Agency Committee, and is currently active with the Boone County Area Foundation Fund Committee and the Boone County Philanthropy Council.
He is a member of the Nebraska Cattlemen, Nebraska Soybean Association, Central Plains Corn Growers Association, Nebraska Farm Bureau and the National Rifle Association. Briese earned his degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Nebraska Lincoln in 1982 and earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 1985, graduating with distinction.
Tom and his wife Joan have been married for 28 years, they have one son Adam and a daughter Ashley who is married to Cameron Jones, they have two sons ages 8 and 3.
Due to term limits, current State Senator Kate Sullivan of Cedar Rapids will not be eligible to run for election. She was first elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2016.

Law Enforcement Investigating Center Pivot Vandalism

June 26, 2015 by lmorgan · Comments Off 

When the sun arose Saturday morning, Keith Heithoff found a sight no center pivot owner ever wants to see.
One of his center pivots had been vandalized in the preceding hours. The incident has been reported to the Antelope County Sheriff’s Department which is conducting an investigation.
Antelope County Sheriff Bob Moore said, “Sometime Friday night or early Saturday morning, somebody engaged the electric box and walked the center pivot into the power lines,” he said, noting substantial damage was done.
While no dollar amount has been determined yet, Sheriff Moore said it would likely run into the thousands of dollars.
The pivot which was vandalized was located approximately three miles east of Elgin.
Anyone with information about the vandalism is encouraged to contact the sheriff’s department.

Park Center 4th Of July Celebration Set For Wednesday

June 25, 2015 by lmorgan · Comments Off 

Everyone is welcome to attend the annual Park Center Fourth of July Celebration.
The event will be held Wednesday, July 1, at the Park Center Church grounds located 10 miles west and 1/2 mile south of Elgin.
In case of rain, the event will be held Thursday, July 2.
A potluck meal will start the evening’s festivities at 7 p.m.
There will be games and fun for all ages on the playground after the meal.
Those attending are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs.
Fireworks after dusk will culminate the patriotic celebration.

Ode To Dads This Fathers Day

June 20, 2015 by lmorgan · Leave a Comment 

Gerard "Get" Bermel

Gerard "Get" Bermel

Lynell Morgan
Co-Publisher

Is every Dad a great Dad?
With a rare exception here and there, I’m sure we all say “I love my Dad” and “he’s the greatest ever”.  Because he is/was half of a pair of people that we learned our life lessons from and we knew he had our best interests in his heart.
My dad wasn’t perfect. As I have written before - when comedian Robin Williams took his own life - my dad struggled with depression. If you weren’t a family member you likely didn’t know it. When he was down there was nothing Mom or any of us five kids could do to make him feel worthwhile and loved. He saw no hope on the bad days.
I knew the only thing I could do to get on his good side when he was down was to cook for him. I can make wonderful tapioca pudding and raisin cream pie (his favorites) courtesy of Dad’s bad days.
We treasured the good days — he loved to play pranks on us like taking all our food if we left the table to get something, taught us how to play baseball, when we were outside on a hot day we would get sprayed by the garden hose when we least expected it. Turn around — bam! “Right in the kisser” as he would say.  As we got older and hit the “teenage” years we didn’t show as much appreciation of his pranks. Sorry about those moody days Dad.
Hormones hit and, with four of the five of us kids being girls, it wasn’t pretty. We couldn’t do a lot with our friends because we had chores to do morning and night. In the summer, we spent longs days out in the hot sun doing field work - stacking hay, baling hay (small square ones), baling straw then stacking it in the awful hot barn loft, walking corn and bean fields for weeds. Forget sports or anything extra at school — again, those pesky chores got in the way. Cattle, hogs, chickens, fixing fence, working on buildings, cleaning out hog pens ……   We complained, cried, fought, got “snotty” with him, gave him the silent treatment — you name it. Why did we have to do things?  In our young minds, it wasn’t fair.
We didn’t have much money growing up but not many farmers did back then. We made do with what we had.
We five girls didn’t understand what the whole women’s rights/equality fuss in the late 60s/70s was about — it affected my oldest sister, the oldest of the kids, the most. We already had equal rights on our farm and it wasn’t very fun most days.
Thanks Dad for not trying to make everything fair.  Thanks for being tough on us. Thanks for teaching us how to play baseball. Thanks for making me a pretty decent cook. As a farmer, you taught us that while most animals were raised for food, you should always treat them well and never let them go hungry. You even shed tears over animals.
You’re gone but never forgotten.  Its been a little over five years now, I hope you found out how loved you truly were and still are. Keep looking out for us, okay?
Happy Father’s Day.

Gerard "Get" Bermel. My favorite photo of Dad.

Gerard "Get" Bermel. My favorite photo of Dad.

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