Something to Think About - keep (257)

Something to think about! - Shirley Antes - Director of Emporia Community Foundation

I’ve got something for you to think about – “Keep 5 in Kansas”!

That’s right – “Keep 5 in Kansas”!

It’s a campaign.  It’s an opportunity.  It’s a way of leaving a legacy.  It’s all of these things AND it’s something to think about.

Now more than ever, we have an opportunity to ensure our cities, towns and counties remain great places to live for future generations.  The “Keep 5 in Kansas” campaign highlights the unprecedented transfer of wealth that will occur in the next 40 years as estates change hands from the Greatest Generation to the Baby Boomers, and then to their children and grandchildren.  In Kansas, this transfer of wealth is estimated to be $79 billion by 2020.  By 2064 it will increase to nearly $600 billion!  For Lyon County alone this transfer of wealth equals $845 million by 2020 and by 2064 $6.5 billion.

So, how can we keep a portion of the transfer of wealth in Kansas and more importantly in our own communities?  The “Keep 5 in Kansas” campaign asks every Kansan to consider designating a portion of their estate wealth – even 5% -- by setting up an endowment through their local community foundation. By doing this, we could provide a permanent source of funding for local organizations and charitable causes that will greatly improve the lives of future generations.

So, think about what matters to you. What are the causes you care about? What would you do to make sure the things that matter to you today have a secure future, long after you’re gone?  How can you help ensure that future generations will benefit from the wonderful resources we have in our community?  There are many options for establishing an endowment and with a little planning, we can all make a difference for our communities, our families, our friends and our neighbors, forever.

Now that’s -- Something to think about!

For more information, visit the “Keep 5 in Kansas” website at keepfiveinkansas.com or call the Emporia Community Foundation at 342-9304.

This week seems to have barely begun and yet – does it seem to anyone other than me that we have had enough headlines for weeks.

President Trump has been busy in his first dozen days after taking the oath of office.  I believe he has taken some meaningful positive action and made other moves which cause me great concern.   Kind of reminds me of the playground game we played way back in the day – he has taken 4 scissor steps forward and several baby steps backward. 

I am especially concerned about the Presidents immigration ban and the way it was implemented.  What was he thinking about?  Who did he consult?  Were the consequences of this action, both intended and unintended, carefully considered?

In the aftermath of this action I am grateful for the wisdom and guidance from the faith community as well as counsel from leaders in business (especially the tech industry), education, homeland security and defense.

Elected officials in both parties have raised voices of concern including all of our Kansas congressional delegation.  Senator Jerry Moran and Representative Kevin Yoder responded quickly.

Senator Moran said  “ While I support thorough vetting, I do not support restricting the rights of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents  Furthermore, far-reaching national security policy should always be devised in consultation with Congress and relevant government agencies.”

Representative  Kevin Yoder  said his office will work with constituents who, as lawful permanent residents of the United States, are unfairly detained under the executive order. Yoder said he supports pausing refugee resettlement in the U.S. but opposes more expansive restrictions.

Yoder stated further that “President Trump and the White House must work with the State Department and (Department of Homeland Security) to ensure that green card holders and valid visa recipients who have already gone through vetting don’t get swept up by this order because it is interpreted too broadly.”

The higher education community in Kansas has also expressed concern.

K-States president Richard Myers, who was also chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Republican President George W. Bush, said in a statement that Kansas State has reached out to all international students and scholars with travel advice while the ban is in place.

“K-State deeply values the contributions of our international family members and regrets the disruption this situation is causing in their lives. As a public research university with global connections, we are concerned about the detrimental effects of this policy on those pursuing academic studies and research.” said Myers.

A spokesman for prominent Kansas businessman Charles Koch said he opposed President Trump’s controversial ban on immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries.

In a statement he said "We believe it is possible to keep Americans safe without excluding people who wish to come here to contribute and pursue a better life for their families. The travel ban is the wrong approach and will likely be counterproductive,"

I understand there is disagreement regarding this issue but I believe the President has stubbed his toe on this one.  Donald J. Trump is our President.  He is my President and I wish for his success.  There is not a President in history who has not acknowledged they made mistakes while serving in the most powerful office in the world.

I believe we must all be willing to find ways to work together and I hope President Trump will be caring and careful.  We will all be best served when he finds the capacity to learn from his, and others, success as well as missteps.

That is something to think about!

          Donald Trump said it’s time to “Shut down the influx of Muslims coming into the United States.”

          I have a better idea – maybe it’s time to shut down Donald Trump!

          I won’t resort to name calling because that’s what Trump does, but this guy takes the cake. How his candidacy keeps moving forward and maintaining its support is a mystery to me.

          Donald Trump has insulted everyone from the President of the United States to about every foreign leader in power. He’s disrespected Hispanics, veterans, congressmen and senators, not to mention women, handicapped people and the media.

          If you disagree with Donald Trump he calls you a name and says you are incompetent.

          Monday he may have gone too far when he suggested the U.S. shut off our country to Muslims.

          This wacky idea is illegal and violates more than one article of our constitution not to mention it would be impossible to do.

          With this idea Trump has taken on a religion that has a reported 1.5 billion followers many who live in the United States and are law abiding citizens. Who will be next for Trump? Catholics, Jews or maybe Methodists?

The man is out of control yet he has supporters.

I may have an idea to slow him down. The media could if it had the fortitude of Joe Scarborough the former member of congress that now hosts the “Morning Joe” on MSNBC.

Yesterday Trump was a live guest on the “Morning Joe,” but he would not shut up to allow for questions. Scarborough told Trump either you shut up and allow me ask a question or we are going to a break. Trump kept talking so Scarborough took a break. When the show came back live Trump was quiet and answered questions.

Maybe the media should do the same thing when Trump insults them. Just get up and walk out. CNN ought to uninvite him to their debate on the 15th. If the media made a pact and quit covering Trump he might be forced to behave. You think?

American politics have taken on a new twist and I for one don’t like it or him for that matter!

I’m Steve Sauder

In today’s world “the truth” has become a pretty allusive thing to tie down.

          ESU professor Michael Smith offered a new term in his recent Wichita Eagle piece. It was “post-truth.”

          In fact the Oxford English Dictionary declared “post-truth” the “word of the year!”

          Defined it is: “Relating or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal beliefs.”

          Obviously it also explains much of the past year in terms of things we have heard and or read. Too many stories that when fact checked were not quite what the person creating them had implied.

          Of course our President-elect Donald Trump leads the world in things said that turned out to not be exactly as he described them. No, he actually leads the universe, but who’s counting.

          Mrs. Clinton had her share, but probably not in the same class as The Donald.

My point today isn’t so much to indict our President-elect, but to point out that telling the truth has become a not so popular thing to do.

Unfortunately many of our leaders are guilty to some degree.

          Post-truth is running wild.

          Example: In 2013 while defending his new health care plan President Obama said “If you like your insurance plan you can keep it.” He did eventually apologize, but his gaff was still tabbed the “lie of the year.”

          Bernie Sander’s plan for “Free Tuition” for all was amusing to me.

          Sorry Bernie, but there aren’t any free lunches. Free maybe if you don’t pay taxes. Somebody would have to pay for that tuition, but “appealing to the emotions” of people with tuition to pay or large debts still unpaid was effective. It wasn’t a big lie, but “free tuition” was certainly not the truth.

          Now - the real test. Can our next president figure out how to govern without abusing the truth?

          I think Circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal beliefs will be much more difficult to find for him as president.

          I’m Steve Sauder.

          “That’ll be the day!”

          John Wayne or Buddy Holly?

          Take your pick cause they both said or sang that line. Duke in the movie “The Searchers” in 1956 and Holly after he wrote a song with that title.

          Holly is listed as the 13th most influential rock and roll personality of our time. That’s pretty amazing when you learn that his career lasted a mere one and a half years before he died in a plane crash on a snowy Iowa night.

          Richie Valens, the Big Bopper and their pilot died in the crash. Waylon Jennings, a band member gave up his seat that night.

Holly’s wife of two months missed the flight because she had morning sickness. She later said had she been there “Buddy would not have gotten on that plane.” She miscarried the day after learning of his death. She did not attend the funeral nor has she ever been to the gravesite.

          Holly grew up in Lubbock, Texas as Charles Hardin Holley – spelled with an “e.” The “e” got dropped when it was inadvertently spelled wrong on a recording contract.

          Holly has 40 songs registered with ASCP and BMI. He actually did his first recording at age 13 with Hank Snow, but released only three albums in his lifetime.

          Buddy Holly’s most famous songs? Take your pick from: That’ll Be the Day; Peggy Sue; O Boy; Maybe Baby; It Doesn’t Matter Any More; It’s So Easy; True Love Ways; Well All Right; or my favorite Not Fade Away that the Grateful Dead reportedly performed over 500 times in concerts and appears on 8 of their live recording releases.

          Holly had a profound effect on other artists such as Bob Dylan who attended a Holly concert at age 17, or the Rolling Stones’s Keith Richards who attended a concert and heard “Not Fade Away.” The Stones later did a cover on that song.

          The Beatles watched a Holly concert on TV in England and reportedly took their name partly in homage to Holly who’s band was the Crickets – also a bug.

          The death of the three performers was the subject of several songs over time with the most noted being Don McLean’s “American Pie.” It references the tragedy as “the day the music died.”

          Buddy Holly was in Emporia last Friday night and it was time of fond memories for at least one person who was 13 when the music died. He did own several Buddy Holly 45’s! Including…… That’ll be the Day.

          I’m Steve Sauder

There is or should be an ongoing debate locally about the strategy for economic development utilizing local Emporia and Lyon County tax revenues.

Decoded that means the recent failure to obtain re-zoning of the Price tract has the Regional Development Association and Emporia Enterprises questioning the commitment of Lyon County to be a partner in their plans.

Commissioner Scott Briggs cast the dissenting vote. An RDA member as well Briggs said his vote reflected not knowing what the land usage would be and his personal feeling the RDA’s strategy for attracting jobs needed to be re-visited.

No doubt the Price tract is well suited for development and maintaining Emporia’s foot in the door is not a bad idea. But, if we plan to keep offering free shovel ready ground plus tax abatement to prospects we need to make sure the jobs attached are not marginal in nature. My suggestion is the RDA look more strongly at the quality of the jobs versus the number.

All economic development activity needs to consider three factors present in Emporia today.

First is the potential for assisting Emporia State University as our most effective economic development strategy.

Please consider these two questions:

Number 1. Which would benefit Emporia more?

Seventy new full-time students at ESU or seventy new jobs?

Number 2. Which – students or jobs - would be more difficult to attract?

Second, part of attracting and growing new jobs is having workers to fill those jobs. I am watching with interest Birch Telecom’s efforts to add over a hundred new employees. Are there applicants for the new Birch jobs? And, where are these people coming from.

Emporia appears to have a lack of qualified people looking for work.

Last is housing - if Emporia is successful in attracting new people to Emporia for jobs – where will they live? Lack of suitable housing must be addressed if we hope to grow.

Failure to address the labor market question and availability of housing for new employees might undermine the most excellent efforts of the RDA!

With all that said I hope the stated efforts of Lyon County to be more active in economic development is not viewed as a challenge to the RDA, but as a more willing partner. The re-zoning disagreement should not be viewed as a road block, but maybe as a challenge with legitimate questions needing good answers.

Hopefully everyone concerned will come to the table to examine and re-examine the strategies for growing our area. Cooperation between our units of government is at an all time best, so let’s keep pulling together.

I’m Steve Sauder and there’s something to Think About.

The following are exerts from an editorial printed in the Gazette on Monday that was written by the Hutchinson News. I’m thinking it indicates why the proposed Keystone Pipeline proposal is so confusing.

From the HutchinsonNews: “When Congress — not if — sends the president a bill authorizing the Keystone XL oil pipeline, he ought to sign it contingent on approval by the legislatures in the states affected. The fixation on this pipeline has become irrational, and it shouldn’t be decided by irrational politicians.

The reality is both the concerns against and the benefits touted about the pipeline are exaggerated. The jobs would be temporary, so the economic benefit is grossly overpromoted. It isn’t about gas prices, which already are low and falling. At the same time, the environmental concerns seem hollow. Canada already is mining the oil, and the U.S. State Department has concluded the risk of an oil spill is slight.

First of all, know that two-thirds of the pipeline already is completed. It already carries crude from the oil sand fields in Canada into Oklahoma, where it can get to the Gulf of Mexico. The proposed XL portion provides for a couple of additions to the network.

Consequently, it seems like the proverbial horse is already out of the barn, so why such a fight is being waged at the federal level is puzzling. But that’s politics.

The Keystone XL project on Tuesday fell a single vote short of proceeding in the Senate. Doesn’t matter. It will be approved once Republicans take control of the Senate in January.

The debate over the Keystone XL shouldn’t be in Washington but at the state level.

And finally the Hutch News says: “The debate is done for Kansas, where the pipeline already has been built.

Kansas landowners and county governments got ignored when TransCanada built the 210-mile pipeline through six counties. Those counties lost about $8.5 million a year on the deal. That while being tasked with providing fire and emergency service in the event of a pipeline explosion or other accident.”

They concluded “It isn’t fair for politicians to cast away the interests of the local citizens who will live with the pipeline for their own political gain.”

Wow! Let’s see – jobs being overstated; gas prices already falling, so need is not so great; the threat of an oil spill is overrated; the Keystone Pipeline is already 2/3 built and won’t build anymore in Kansas; but six Kansas counties are losers already and could lose more; and yet our elected people still support this project.

            Help me – am I missing something?

I’m Steve Sauder and there’s something to think about.

Any changes in Donald Trump after January 20th will be of great interest to Americans and the world.

My fascination with him today has to do with one factor – the truth. Trump seems to believe “the truth” is whatever or however he sees something in order to make it work for him.

This has been coined as “post truth,” which we discussed a couple of weeks ago.

The New York Times recently quoted Trump talking about truth and Tony Schwartz who was the ghost writer on his book “the Art of the Deal.”

Trump said, “Schwartz did have one phrase I really loved in my book. He said “I play to people’s fantasies” by using “truthful hyperbole.” What he meant is I make stuff up.”

Trump continues, “Nobody cares. They want to dream. They want a spectacle. They want gold and towers. They want me to get tough. Fact-checkers! Is that even a job?”

Then Trump actually says, “I know what Americans want. They don’t want truth. They want excitement, disruption. They want to be led. They want authority. They want victories. They want parades. They want a wall at the Mexican border — so let them think I really might build one!”

The $64 question becomes can President of the United States Trump get away with not telling the truth in the same manner as TV Star Trump or businessman Trump or candidate Trump or President-Elect Trump?

It would seem to me that being truthful might be an essential for the most powerful man in the world, but thus far Donald Trump hasn’t worried much about “the truth.” Do you think President Trump will be held to higher standard?

If “the truth will set you free,” as many of us have learned the hard way – what is the opposite reaction?

Starting on January 20th Americans, no, the world will see how President Trump handles something as simple as “the truth.” At minimum this will be “Something to Think About!”

I’m Steve Sauder

          Christmas is tomorrow. We all know the story, but one has to wonder what if a reporter from CNN had been in Bethlehem that night.

          It might have sounded like this:

CNN: So Joseph, you are the father of this new born?

Joseph: No, not exactly. Actually, I am Jesus step-father.

CNN: So, who is the father?

Joseph; That would be God.

CNN: Excuse me are you saying God is the father of this chikd? Do mean the God with a capital G?

Joseph: Exactly.

CNN: How did that happen?

Joseph: It’s called divine conception.

CNN: Okay, am I to believe God made arrangements for the birth of his son to be in this stable?

Joseph: I’m not sure, but I am sure we have a healthy baby boy.

CNN: Are you expecting visitors?

Joseph: As a matter of fact, yes we are. Angels are expected and some shepherds and Wise Men and maybe Three Kings.

CNN: How will they know where to come?

Joseph: God created a guidance system. I think it’s a star.

CNN: So Joseph, what are your plans? Will you return straight back to Nazareth?

Joseph: Well I think we may take a detour down by the river and maybe even visit Egypt before going home.

CNN:  Do you think the Son of God will be a normal child?

Joseph: No I don’t. My expectations are he will offer new leadership for the world. Jesus’ life will be sacrificed so all people will have an opportunity for grace and eternal lives.

CNN: That would indeed be incredible.

Joseph: yes, that’s true – the entire story is incredible and that’s why, I think, it’s called Christmas. It is an incredible time marked with food, gifts, singing, love and much celebration!

Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King.

This is indeed incredible!

Merry Christmas, I’m Steve Sauder.

Christmas 2015

O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see the lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee to-night.

For Christ is born of Mary,
And gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth!
And praises sing to God the King,
And peace to men on earth.

How silently, how silently,
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still
The dear Christ enters in.

Where children pure and happy
Pray to the blessed Child,
Where misery cries out to thee,
Son of the mother mild;
Where charity stands watching
And faith holds wide the door,
The dark night wakes, the glory breaks,
And Christmas comes once more.

O holy Child of Bethlehem!
Descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin and enter in,
Be born in us to-day.
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emmanuel!

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