A morning rant: May the Lincoln Electric System go to hell

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Early this morning, I began to prepare the post that precedes this one. And then the power (electricity) failed. Today is a bright and sunny day with little wind.

Nebraska is a strange, and in many ways wonderfully iconoclastic, place. We have the only one house legislative body in America. William Jennings Bryan and George Norris are icons who exemplify the populist DNA that still lies in the bones of modern-day Nebraskans. On balance, that is normally a good and refreshing thing.

One of the unique aspects of Nebraska is that all electricity in Nebraska is provided by governmentally owned public power entities. For example, in the 1940s various private operations were condemned to create the Nebraska Public Power District that presently supplies electricity to 91 out of the 93 counties in Nebraska.

In Lincoln, the capital city, where I live, we get our power from the Lincoln Electric System or LES. The LES Administrative Board consists of nine members who are nominated by the mayor of Lincoln* and confirmed by the Lincoln City Council. Board members are responsible for the control and management of the property, personnel, facilities, equipment and finances of LES. They do not receive compensation and may serve a maximum of three, three-year terms.

The only problem with LES is that it cannot get its f…… act together. I have lived in a lot of places in Nebraska. They include Kearney, Wilbur, Bellevue, Lexington, Omaha and now Lincoln. Every place other than Lincoln has had consistent power with outages being few and far between. That is not true of LES. LES fails all too frequently. In fact, from time to time, the small little transformer (or something) that sits on or near our residence has shorted out with a huge and scary bang and a blinding flash of light.

If I could consign one intangible thing to hell it would be LES. There the power is always on.


*Lincoln’s Mayor is Chris Beutler, a former law school classmate of mine. He is one of the smartest, most decent and public-spirited people I know. I respect him greatly even though he went to Yale to get his college degree. I forgive him for that ’cause he played safety for the Bulldog football team even though Chris is small in size.

Nebraska and Lyle Denniston

When you live in “fly over” country, you are constantly looking for local folks who make good. Lyle Denniston is, of course, the dean of reporters who cover the Supreme Court.  He has been doing that for 56 years. Several days ago, the Burton Awards program, run in association with the Library of Congress, announced that Mr. Denniston is the winner of the first “Outstanding Journalist in Law Award.” Here.

Denniston is a graduate cum laude of the University of NebraskaHe has been a journalist for sixty-six years, beginning that career with the Nebraska City News-Press in Nebraska City, Nebraska, in the fall of 1948.


PS Many thanks to Elaine Mittleman for the tip.







Let the Platte Eagle Scream!

Photo credit:

Photo credit: Kiley beatboxbadhabit per Creative Commons license.

Last night, Nebraska held off Wyoming 37-34 in the opener.

Wave Scarlet and the Cream

Let the Platte Eagle Scream.

In Lincoln town tonight

Bells ring and bonfires light,

While all with loud acclaim

Write on the football scroll of fame.

“How Captain Bender Won the Game, In commemoration of the Notable Football Contest of November 14, 1903” from Addison Erwin Sheldon, Poems and Sketches of Nebraska, p. 105 (1908).


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