Monday it had been 12 days since 4 American soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger and the media obviously hoping to catch President Trump in a misdeed ask him if he had reached out yet to the families?

          President Trump responded that he had penned personal letters to the families over the weekend and they would be mailed that night or soon. He also said he would be calling the families.

          Seems to me the discussion should have ended there, but the President decided to elaborate a little bit and suggested that previous presidents specifically President Obama had not always reached out to families.

          When pushed for details because he was caught in a mistruth he backtracked and used his famous "he didn't know, but he'd been told" President Obama did not reach out.

          When do these types of encounters for Donald Trump end?

          Let me ask you a question. Have you ever heard President Donald Trump say any of these statements?

          1. I don't know.

          2. I was wrong; or

          3. I am sorry.

          Seriously, all mortals are faced with situations where we must admit - we don't know the answer; that we were wrong; or that we are sorry.

          How is it that our President is totally immune to having to say any of those things? Not once can I recall him saying any of these.

          Obviously Trump supporters like his brash and bold style, but even his most ardent supporter must tire of his constant inability to be truthful and his awful habit of always going on attack when challenged.


          Four dead soldiers was a question he should have been prepared for, but obviously was not. Trump's Press Secretary had a good explanation he could have used and shut the whole deal down.

          She said any delay in reaching out was based on getting accurate information as to exactly what happened in Niger.  But, President Trump couldn't just say that. He had to go attack dog and impugn his predecessors and make a mountain out of a mole hill.

          Donald Trump is his own worst enemy and becoming a serious embarrassment for our country.

          I’m Steve Sauder and “There’s something to think about.”

          Saturday my brother Mike was here for the 1967 Emporia High School Class Reunion so he attended the ESU game with us. At halftime our Congressman Roger Marshall was there and I introduced Mike.

          Later Mike asks me if that’s the same person I had asked a while back how often he talked with Democrats in his position in Congress.

          His answer then was – “not that often.”

          Obviously the point of my question  - how often do you talk with Democrats - was to see if there was much if any bipartisan contact in Washington.

          The very obvious conclusion to that question and Congressman Marshall’s answer of “not that often,” indicates the potential for any solutions to the major problems facing our country are slim.

          The problem is the Republicans have at least one answer for each question and maybe more while the Democrats either respond “NO” to anything proposed by the opposition or have different ideas altogether – and none of them seem to be talking trying to find any way to compromise.

          Currently gun control is topic number one. Health insurance or Obama-care is not far behind and of course tax policy is on the table too with infrastructure rebuilding and immigration other possible areas.  

          None of these are going to be agreed upon without some really good work across the aisle! Unfortunately there does not seem to be any Bob Dole’s or Tip O’Neill’s stepping forward.

          News from Washington is as ugly as anytime in my lifetime and of course that’s all magnified by the existence of countless so-called “news” sources.

          Term limits or extending House of Representative terms to 4 years might stop the need to start seeking re-election on the day new congressmen arrive in D.C. Who knows?

          Seems to me our best course of action in addition to prayer is to  constantly request from our representatives to work with the other side to find compromise and not be so cotton pickin’ bull headed!

          I’m Steve Sauder and “There’s something to think about.”

Let's consider a hypothetical question today.

          What if America had a rule of No Confidence like Great Britain forcing our president to stand for re-election in November of this year?

          The question becomes could anyone defeat Donald Trump?

          Republicans threw everything and everyone they had at Trump not long ago and he beat them like a drum. His support while not growing is still strong within the party.

          So, is there a Democrat who could unite their party to take on Trump?

          A recent TIME magazine article described the Democratic Party this way: "in their deepest congressional rut since the class of 1946 was elected."

          Holding only 15 governors' mansions and that of 98 partisan state legislatures Democrats control only 31! And, during the Obama years Democrats lost 970 seats in state legislatures leaving their "bench almost bare."

          TIME quotes a Democratic strategist saying "there is no confusion about what Democrats are against - the only disagreement is what we are for."

          And therein lays the problem. The splits in both parties create groups of believers that are so polarized in their ideologies that working together is difficult if not impossible.

          If you trust the popular vote from the last election Democrats would have the best opportunity to win because they have the numbers, but can they get them together?

          Is there a unifying democratic candidate?

          Elizabeth Warren seems like the obvious choice, but TIME points out when Democrats backed progressives like Dukakis, Mondale and McGovern the results were landslide losses.

          So far efforts by the Democrats to mend their differences have been fruitless. Putting Bernie Sanders and new party chairman Tom Perez together at a recent rally resulted in Sanders followers heckling Perez.

          Could President Trump win re-election now or in 2020 is a question we Kansans should understand isn't that easy to answer. We need only to say Sam Brownback.

          These are unique times in which we live. If you aren't happy with where we are the answer is not to just complain, but to get involved and that means at minimum get registered and vote!

          I’m Steve Sauder and There’s something to think about!

There is a petition going around asking the Emporia City Commission to get involved in the issue of the availability of White Auditorium for Emporia State’s basketball teams should they have the opportunity to host their Regional Tournament.

The problem as many know is these NCAA Regionals always fall on the same week as the state high school basketball tournaments and Emporia has hosted a state high school tournament for as long as we can remember.

Over a decade ago there was an attempt to host both at White, but a broken leg and some very late game times messed that idea up.

On at least 3 occasions since then our Lady Hornets were in position to host, but denied that opportunity because the gym was not available.

A recent attempt to utilize Emporia high school's gym didn’t fly either.

The group carrying the Petition is on the right track in my opinion by asking the City of Emporia to get involved.

The best possibility for reaching a compromise will be if the City and the Kansas State Activities Association can reach an agreement.

Ft. Hays worked a deal with the Activities Association a few years ago when they had the opportunity to host a NCAA Regional. The high school tournament was moved to another city at the last minute, but then returned to Hays the next year. We understand Hays thinks they can do this again if necessary. Emporia need that same deal!

The difference being Ft. Hays owns their facility, Gross Coliseum. ESU rents White Auditorium so Emporia City needs to speak.

Petition organizer Gary Ace tells me his group does not want to see White “dark” meaning they aren't seeking “an all or nothing” deal.

Emporia through its’ city officials needs to request from the Activities Association an agreement similar to Hays' where under certain circumstances the high school state tournament could be moved for that year.

Emporia has the reputations for being one of the best hosts for state basketball tournaments, combining that with Emporia's obligation to assist our university in this matter the Kansas High School Activities Association should be reasonable.

Such an arrangement would be fragile. Timing would be tight. Regional hosts are often not decided until Sunday night with both tournaments starting on Wednesday or Thursday.

We could see the decision to move the high school event made a week or two early only to see the Regional go elsewhere. That could result in "no tournament" in Emporia. That’s a chance we might have to be prepared to live with.


You bet. If it wasn’t it would have been resolved a long time ago.

What I do believe is getting Emporia city officials to take a stand might give a compromise a chance it hasn’t had for some time. It's worth a try!

And, yes I signed the petition.

I'm Steve Sauder.


Psychologists tell us we cannot have or enjoy good without evil. In fact one says "evil is simply the absence of good!"

Whatever we believe the presence of evil happenings in our world over the past few weeks has been alarming.

Evil weather events in the form of hurricanes and earthquakes like we not seen before. Mass shootings so common now that the killing of three people in Lawrence over the weekend barely made national news only to be forgotten by the events in Las Vegas; and rhetoric from people of all sorts that’s so divisive we can hardly listen.

Thankfully, Jamie Reever our local United Way President offered some relief on Face Book by sharing a short poem written by Langston Hughes, a black man born in Joplin, Missouri who actually passed away in 1967 that says it all for me.

The title is Tired.

          As Jamie explained to me she is  "just tired of all the evil in our world today."

          Here’s Tired  by Langston Hughes:

            I am so tired of waiting,

          Aren't you,

          For the world to become good,

          And beautiful and kind?

          Let us take a knife

          And cut the world in two -

          And see what worms are eating

          At the rind.


          I think that’s worth hearing again:




            Tired  by Langston Hughes:

I am so tired of waiting,

          Aren't you,

          For the world to become good,

          And beautiful and kind?

          Let us take a knife

          And cut the world in two -

          And see what worms are eating

          At the rind.


          I'm Steve Sauder.

          Local service clubs like the Lions Club, Kiwanis, Optimist, Sertoma and Rotary matter. Each contributes locally and on a larger scale world-wide.

          The Lions concentrate on sight and vision having been challenged by Helen Keller in 1925.

          Kiwanis is about "building" with helping kids their stated mission.

          The Optimist strive to make a difference for kids and their communities.

          Locally Sertoma is known for their "Little Train" and putting up flags while hearing is their overriding mission.

          If the groups just mentioned want equal time it will be available but, today I'm talking about Rotary International and its' world-wide effort to eradicate Polio.

          In the 30's, 40's and 50's Polio was a feared disease. An infection causing paralysis and death it was most common in the summer months.

          Also known as Infantile Paralysis its treatment was to be the sole beneficiary of our Jones Trust in the 50's. In 1955 the  Salk vaccine was introduced and has been successful in eliminating polio from most of the world, but the task is not complete and Rotary continues the fight it started in 1979 to totally eradicate this dread disease.

          After Rotary’s initial effort in '79 they got serious in 1985 introducing PolioPlus with a goal of raising $120 million to immunize every child in the world.  By 1988 $247 million had been raised!!

          By 2003 the effort was gaining traction a new goal resulted in $135 million additional being raised including a million dollars from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

          The Gates’ were just warming up! In 2007 they challenged Rotary with a $100 million challenge.

          Today just three countries have active poliovirus - Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. Treating children in those countries is difficult because they each have much bigger issues than health to deal with.

          The numbers are staggering! At the recent Rotary International Convention the organization announced along with the Gates Foundation pledging an additional $450 million dollars for the effort.

          Even though last year there were only 19 reported cases of polio worldwide and 8 cases so far this year - the fight goes on. You see if the virus remains anywhere it can spread back to the places where it has already been cleared. The battle is not won yet. The U.S has been polio free since 1979. To date the efforts of Rotary and Gates have immunized over 2 ½ billion children!

          Service clubs like Emporia's Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, Optimist and Sertoma would be sorely missed if not active. They do matter!

          I'm Steve Sauder.

          We don’t always agree with Governor Brownback, but we sure did when he declared the first week in September as Kansas Literacy Week.

          You see “Literacy” is a big deal in Emporia not only because we have the best Teacher’s College in America here, but also because of two amazing efforts to improve literacy in early age children that are now based in Emporia.

          Much like being the “Founding City of Veterans Day,” being home to  both the Kansas Masonic Literacy Center and the Kansas Literacy Center is huge.

          The Mason’s are investing are investing $4 million here over the next ten years to provide “unprecedented literacy development that will give richer meaning and greater potential to the future of 50,000 children throughout Kansas.”

          The goals are: Service for Schools; teachers and students across Kansas, and Service for families and communities and Research for the betterment of literacy development.

          This program is in its first year and will benefit children all across Kansas.

          The second program at Emporia State is funded by a $330,000 gift from the Jones Trust. It is designed to assist children in being ready for school and the task of reading and writing. Eleven schools in Lyon, Coffey and Osage Counties are the beneficiaries of this effort.

          Combined at ESU these programs make our university the hub for improving literacy in Kansas. Children living in the three counties will have the opportunity to be the best trained ever in terms of early childhood reading and writing – provided we take advantage of what is being offered.

          Dr. Ken Weaver is Dean of the ESU’s Teacher’s College and Dr. Dennis Kear is the person in charge of the literacy programs. Both are veteran educators and well qualified to lead.

          When comes to the Three R’s I’m not certain about arithmetic, but it would appear kids in our area have been blessed with a great opportunity to be really good at readin’ and writen’!!

          Thanks for listening, I’m Steve Sauder


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