HENDRIK VAN DEN BERG
UNL PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS
The release of a classified videotape showing US soldiers indiscriminately killing Iraqi citizens has once again resurrected the issue of the American military’s conduct in the Muslim world. The Pentagon has finally acknowledged the authenticity of the tape, which is grotesquely reminiscent of the My Lai massacre in Viet Nam and raises anew the concern about the military escalation currently taking place in Afghanistan. Video footage such as this will be used to recruit and embolden extremists opposed to the US occupations in both Iraq and Afghanistan and further contribute to International insecurity.
To view the coverage of this story on Democracy Now, click here.Read more
With the recent high-profile cases of bullying in schools and the horrible outcomes of that bullying making news headlines, it is a good time for Nebraskans to look at the policies being adopted by our own schools. In 2008 the Nebraska Legislature passed a law making anti-bullying policies mandatory in Nebraska schools, as is already the case with 41 other states. We need to be asking ourselves, Are the policies being adopted adequate? Have Nebraska’s policies gone far enough to protect our children? Nebraska’s law (LB205) was given a B- by the Bully Police, a watch-dog organization, advocating for bullied children and reporting on each state’s anti-bullying laws. The Nebraska State Board of Education has the following policy in place for the Nebraska schools:
The State Board of Education encourages local school districts to establish policies and strategies to emphasize and recognize positive behaviors that promote a safe and secure learning environment for all students and staff. Local school policies should assist school personnel in identifying bullying, intimidation, and harassment; and provide a framework for an appropriate response that reinforces and encourages positive conduct.Read more
The Human Rights Campaign is on the ground in Nebraska working to repeal the military’s discriminatory policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and Nebraskans for Peace is helping them in their efforts.
Passed in 1993, the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law allows gay, lesbian, and bisexual service personnel to serve in the armed forces as long as their sexual orientation is not publicly disclosed or discovered. More than 13,500 men and women have been discharged from the military because of their sexual orientation, including more than 60 Arabic linguists and nearly 800 other service members in critical occupational fields.Read more