November 2009


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).

Remember me

By Bruce Jones

“Untitled” by Sp4 Larry R. Collins, Combat Illustrator, First Cavalry Division (Airmobile), RVN, 1968.On the top of a little hill rising from the floor of the Que Son Valley, in the northern part of what was once South Vietnam, stands a large, jarring stone statue commemorating the North Vietnamese defeat of the United States. Like most of the memorials in what is now the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the artistic style of this one is pure Late Soviet.

Organ allocation revision struggles to balance justice and utility for kidney transplants

By Clifford Miles, M.D., M.S.

Kidney failure is a growing problem worldwide, in the United States and indeed right here in Nebraska. Prior to the invention of dialysis, kidney failure was uniformly lethal. But as dialysis techniques have evolved since the 1960s, many people now survive for years after their kidneys fail. In fact, according to the United States Renal Data System, there were more than 350,000 Americans receiving dialysis at the end of 2006.


“Wants and Necessities”
March 2, 1989

Make do or do without” was pounded into our head during our growing-up years (the 1920s) and now, in the late 1980s, at age 75, our concept of value hasn’t changed. Reflecting on the debt-ridden, throw-away lifestyle of contemporary living has us questioning our sense of value, wondering if we have it wrong. Our rationale for a “make do or do without” personal lifestyle first came under attack during President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration, when the decision was made that the United States was rich enough to fight a war in Vietnam without asking the governed to do without…

Both adult and embryonic stem cell research needed

By Shane G. Smith, Ph.D., and Steven Teitelbaum, M.D.
Nebraska has certainly captured the attention of patients and medical researchers around the nation. With the Obama administration loosening federal strictures on science of all kinds, Nebraskans―like citizens in many other states―must now decide whether your contribution to our national pursuit of new treatments and cures will include advances made possible by embryonic stem cell research. Welcome to the forefront of the debate, and good luck.

The 'Great Plains'

Captured on film by a “camera trap,” a female bobat (Lynx rufus) pauses along a creek drainage in tallgrass prairie. Though relatively common in parts of the Plains, these cats are seldom seen, a tribute to their solitary habits and to the way their coats perfectly match their surroundings. (Michael Forsberg)

By Paul A. Johnsgard

The Great Plains cast a footprint-shaped imprint over the heartland of North America that covers a million square miles, the heel resting gently on the glacial-shaped plains of eastern Alberta and the toes touching the muddy shorelines of Texas and northeastern Mexico. Across much of this 1,800-mile north-to-south distance perennial grasslands once exerted their quiet dominance, sustaining the lives of the ecologically and culturally diverse tribes of Native Americans and of the hundreds of species of mammals, birds and reptiles. These grasslands also supported myriads of smaller vertebrates and invertebrates that are much less well known and tend to be overlooked by present-day casual observers.

Natural building: Pioneers in Nebraska had it right

By Joyce Coppinger

Build with what you have at hand. Use indigenous and salvaged materials. If the pioneers had too much waste from their crops—straw, for example—or if plants such as cattails and reeds filled the marshes and wetlands, or if the native grasses could use a bit of trimming, they found ways to use the “waste” or the overabundance of plants and grasses. They baled the waste, plants or grasses and built walls and thatched roofs to protect the structure, themselves and their livestock. Not wasting these precious materials but using them for shelter.

Canada: A secure North American energy partner

By Consul General Martin Loken

The United States and Canada have always had an unparalleled relationship as neighbors, friends and allies.

Nowhere is that relationship more evident than in the extent of our two countries’ commercial relationship: More than seven million U.S. jobs were supported by trade with Canada as of 2005, Canada buys 3.6 times more from the United States than does China and close to $2 billion in goods and services cross the Canada-U.S. border every day.

Knowledge isn't just "for the birds"

By Samuel J. Truax, PE

My boss was driving us back to Lincoln, Neb., along Highway 2 from meetings in Alliance and Chadron. Suddenly, near Whitman, a pair of large white birds with black beaks flew right in front of our windshield from a nearby pothole lake. After recovering from the fright of such a near miss, my boss said, “Wow! Big birds.” He was impressed. But in my case I was so excited, I could hardly even say “big birds.” As a matter of fact, my adrenalin level was at least as high as if I were at a Husker game and they had just scored a spectacular touchdown.

Book Review: "A Necessary Engagement" by Emile A. Nakhleh

Review by M. Shahid Kamal

“A Necessary Engagement”
Author: Emile A. Nakhleh
Publisher: Princeton University Press

A Necessary Engagement” is a very timely and comprehensive book on the subject of examining and analyzing global terrorism and Islamic radicalism, as well as reinventing America’s relations with the Muslim world. The author, Emile A. Nakhleh, is very well versed and qualified on the subject.

Sonny's Corner: The importance of nonprofits to the American economy

By Robert Egger

Throughout America, in urban and rural communities alike, an economic awakening is taking place.

Seemingly out of nowhere, America’s 1.4 million strong charity sector has begun to recognize that, far from being “non” profits, they are now, quite often, the major employer in communities leveled by our country’s economic downturn.

Immigration in Nebraska

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