September 2008

Notice:

Prairie Fire Newspaper went on hiatus after the publication of the September 2015 issue. It may return one of these days but until then we will continue to host all of our archived content for your reading pleasure. Many of the articles have held up well over the years. Please contact us if you have any questions, thoughts, or an interest in helping return Prairie Fire to production. We can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you to all our readers, contributors, and supporters - the quality of Prairie Fire was a reflection of how many people it touched (touches).

It's no joke: Norfolk shows its sense of humor by hosting the first Great American Comedy Festival

By Kandra Hahn

Deacon Gray of Denver won the first Great American Comedy Festival in Norfolk, Neb., on June 20.

“I like Norfolk,” he told the festival’s Showcase audience packed into the Johnny Carson Theater the next night.“It’s a place where if you have good manners they don’t think you’re gay.”

Indian Nations saved Lewis and Clark

By Robert J. Miller

The Lewis and Clark Expedition undertook an exceedingly difficult, dangerous and perhaps even superhuman mission. Most Americans are well aware of its exploits and success. What is less known is the fact that Indian nations and individual Indians provided crucial assistance to the expedition. Without the help of indigenous people and Indian tribes, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark may not have succeeded in their mission or even survived the attempt.

Alfredisms

“Polking Around”
Sept. 4, 1980 

The time has come to go fishing and to try and detect, from the nibbles on the hook, whether it is a three-foot northern or a five-inch perch. Our fishing partner, Lyle Dornburgh, needs another lesson in how to land a walleye after accidentally hooking one. Meanwhile, we’ll both sit in the boat and settle the problems of the world to our satisfaction by ignoring all problems we can’t solve.

Health care reform

By Chuck Hagel

The 2008 American presidential election flows into a historic confluence of events. Our nation finds itself bogged down in two wars with record high energy prices; deep devaluations and displacements in the housing, financial and credit markets; record private and public debt; inflation on the rise; the future of health care uncertain for millions; and intense economic pressures for many in a combustible, unpredictable and dangerous world.

Ethanol: An economic catalyst for Nebraska

By Jim Jenkins

The rapid growth and maturing of the American ethanol industry is one of the significant business and economic stories of the past several years, particularly in the country’s heartland. This new biofuel industry is a $20 billion industry spanning more than 20 states. Most importantly, ethanol is providing more than 5 percent of the transportation fuel requirements of the United States. While this is a relatively small percentage, it nonetheless represents the first real competitive product challenge to the oil industry in its 100-plus year history.

Book Review: The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule by Thomas Frank

Review by Dick Herman

“The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule”
Author: Thomas Frank
New York: Metropolitan Books (Macmillan)

At the end of this narrative, Thomas Frank and a friend are having lunch “at one of those restaurants where the suits and the soldiers get together.” There, members of the Washington lobbying industry feel politically comfortable, if not a tad unassailable. Money and influence wash each other’s hands. “So you think all of this is just going to go away if Obama gets in?” the author’s friend muses. Not likely. What the conservatives accomplished in recent times now has a tough structural character. It has an air of permanency. Nonetheless, to fight back is worth the candle, Frank suggests.

Wind energy in Nebraska

By Sally Herrin

The wind is an old friend to the busy race of humans, from time past remembering. Every Nebraska landscape worth its weight in tourist brochures has a stock tank windmill, some relict, some working still. More recently, wind has been a huge, largely underused resource in Nebraska. The sixth windiest state with an estimated production capacity of 868 billion kilowatts a year, Nebraska ranks 19th in wind-energy production in the U.S., with just 73 megawatts online today.

Immigration in Nebraska

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