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Something to Think About

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

Steve Sauder is president of Emporia's Radio Stations, Inc. the owners of KVOE-AM 1400, Country 101.7 and Mix 104.9. Steve has been in a leadership position with ERS, Inc., since 1987.

July 20, 2016

                                                7-20-16

          It is safe to say virtually everyone loves a circus. A circus has something for everyone; acrobats, clowns, barkers, wild animals, trained animals and loud music. And any good circus has unexpected excitement.

          Guess that’s why both political parties are calling the event going on in Cleveland a circus.

          Republicans call it a circus because these events use a big tent and that’s what a political party is supposed to do – get everyone under one big tent.

          The Democrats are calling the Republican Convention a circus for a completely different reason and guess what? The GOP isn’t disappointing anyone looking for a show.

          Monday was a dozy. Conflict and controversy supposedly over the “rules” got things going. Then after that spat was settled the Grand Old Party trotted out veterans, a mother, a mayor, a wife, a general and a senator. It was easily as good as any real circus I’ve ever attended.

          Following the show on Monday charges of plagiarism were leveled at Mrs. Trump. She delivered her speech flawlessly, but soon as they say “the rest of the story” came out. Often you do see sleight of hand at the circus!

          Last night did not hold the potential for excitement that Monday had with too many politicians slated to talk. There may have been excitement during the vote to make Donald Trump officially the nominee.

          Speaking of the Donald all this activity leading up to Thursday night will all have been for naught if he doesn’t deliver the speech of his life.

          Trump has had many chances to pivot from the loud and boisterous candidate to a more refined presidential nominee and potential president. So far he has not taken those opportunities.

In his acceptance speech Trump has the opportunity to offer unique ideas, detailed plans and more substance for his administration. For example: he cannot simply say “I’m going to fix things for our veterans” – he needs to share a plan.

Trump can’t win the election with his speech Thursday night, but he could make it nearly impossible to win.  

For Trump it is a golden opportunity because he will be the center of attention in the Big Top!

I’m Steve Sauder

July 13, 2016

                                                7-13-16

          It is my belief that we in America are very close to a divide that could be the ugliest thing since the Civil War.

          Black lives do matter, so do white lives and the lives of police men and women and if you are a believer even the lives of thugs and crooks.

          Our country is divided into many segments and with the advances in communications vehicles – i.e., social media, blogs and multiple so called news outlets the opportunity for anarchy is easy.

          For example; the shootings in Dallas last week was the work of one man with a gun and a pistol. For a time the authorities thought there were 3 or 4 shooters. Amazingly the rally where he did his shooting was a spur of the moment event so his actions had to be the same.

          America is in trouble. What we are experiencing is anarchy defined as “lawless confusion and political disorder” by Webster.

          I want to share with you two thoughts that make sense to me. The first is from Pastor Mic Maguire who grew up in Emporia, served Grace Methodist Church for a time and now leads a church in the Piper area. He offered:

When tragedy strikes in the way of gun violence, there are some who will call for us to do better. President Obama recently and often has said "we're better than this," or "we can do better." Although I can agree with him, I believe we first need to acknowledge that we aren't better than this. We just aren't very nice. We're angry, hurtful, spiteful human beings. If each of us can admit we harbor ugliness towards another human being, then maybe we can make the changes that will allow us to do better.

In religious terms we need to repent. But President Obama, although a faithful Christian, can't call the nation to repentance. So maybe it's up to we religious leaders to call ourselves into repentance for our own sinfulness and for not leading our flocks to repentance. Then we need to call our flocks into repentance.

          And then on the morning after the Dallas shootings Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings was asked by Joe Scarboro “What can we do for you now?”

          The Mayor’s thoughtful answer was this “Please choose your words carefully.”

          Mic is correct – we aren’t better than this, but we could be and to do so repentance is a good place to start.

          The Mayor’s thoughtful suggestion really hit home.    

The old saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” just isn’t true anymore.

Our words from President Obama right down to the lowest guy with an audience must change.  If they don’t – heaven help us.

I’m thinking it’s time to pray for the good ol’ U. S. of A.

I’m Steve Sauder

July 6, 2016

          In the Big First District we have a heated primary election contest for the Republican nomination between the incumbent Tim Huelskamp and novice politician Dr. Roger Marshall.

          This is already a nasty/dirty race. Let’s take a look at what they are saying about each other.

          Huelskamp is attacking Marshall for suggesting a tax on internet purchases; flip flopping on his abortion position and for being a “law breaker” in an advertisement that he has run on this station accusing Marshall of driving away from an accident.

          Marshall has to own the tax comment since it came in a debate. He claims he is pro-life which matches the Congressman so he might be guilty of a flip or a flop. The leaving the scene ad is pretty flimsy. Marshall was in an encounter with an unhappy citizen supposedly over a lost bid at the local hospital. After the confrontation Marshall did plead guilty to a misdemeanor traffic charge, but he was not charged with leaving the scene even though that’s what the Huelskamp ad suggests.

          Candidate Marshall suggests Huelskamp uses public money for campaign purposes. Maybe, but that’s really the advantage of being a third term incumbent. They claim Huelskamp voted against funding to fight Isis and for pay increases for soldiers at Ft. Riley. The record on these is clear. Most important and factual are the claims that our congressman got himself removed from both the Agriculture and Budget Committees. Huelskamp claims he will be re-seated on the Ag committee, but a lot of damage has already been done.

          My belief is the time is right for a change. Huelskamp has had six years to show his worth, but what he has mainly shown is an ability to put himself in conflict with leadership and have an amazing inability to compromise or get along.

          It appears to me this kind of belligerent attitude is exactly why the American public has such a low opinion of our congress.  

          Roger Marshall is a rookie, but he has an impressive background. Not only is he a successful doctor - he also has farming on his resume.

          The Primary is August the second and once again we in Kansas have a chance to change. Please don’t miss this opportunity.

          I’m Steve Sauder

June 29, 2016

Kansas City Royals  – World Champions in 2015, but it had been decades since our last championship and now as the defending champions we are forced to live day by day with the reality that a baseball season is indeed a marathon and in no way a sprint.

          A note for sanity’s sake is that baseball is a game where failure dominates and success is fleeting. A batter who can consistently get a hit three times out of ten is a star and will reap giant rewards. A pitcher who can be successful 60% of the time is also a hot commodity. Baseball is filled with failure and those who can deal with it become champions.

          So now our Royal’s embark on the year after winning the World Series and after playing in the Fall Classic in successive years.

          Are we now a dynasty? Many, including Las Vegas picked us to win again, but our season hasn’t gone that well. At times our boys seemed invincible, but we also lost 8 straight at one point and sit as this is written 5 games behind the Indians.

          How can we explain our supposed best pitcher giving up 9 runs in the first inning?

          Some World Champions!

          What are we supposed to believe?

          Well the answer is pretty easy. The answer is this is baseball and you learn a lot of bad has to be accepted along with the good even for champions!

          Winning in baseball at the major league level not only takes talent, it also requires lots of good luck.

          Last year the Royal’s seemed special and they were. They came from behind in 8 of 11 playoff victories and they had player after player “step up” when needed. It was magical.  Our guys were good, but also very lucky.

          This year the Royal’s are good, but so far not special. They sit in good position to make the playoffs again. Time will tell.

          I too get upset when pitchers walk batters or players strike out with the winning run on third base, but we need to keep the faith. They don’t give rings for winning the division, so overtaking the Indians isn’t job one. That job is to get into the playoffs.

          The Royals have the best record in baseball at home this year, but Monday night the crowd numbered just over 31,000 and they were playing the St. Louis Cardinals.  That was embarrassing. Hopefully the crowd was better last night.

          Some say baseball is boring, but not if you live and die with every play in every game. A two run home run in the top of the first like Monday can make your hot dog go sour in your tummy, but 2 runs in the bottom and 4 in the second and life is suddenly like a bowl of cherries.

          Baseball is special and some of the time so is our team. Go Royals!

          I’m Steve Sauder

June 22, 2016

                                                          6-22-16

Transgender?

Maybe not a new term, but certainly a term most of us were not that familiar with prior to former Olympic Decathlon Gold Medal winner Bruce Jenner going public with his gender change.

Now we have our president dictating a policy for bathroom usage that isn't  needed by many and is creating lots of confusion.

So, using an informative article from the Topeka Capital Journal as my resource let me define some terms that might help all of us better understand this confusing “transgender” situation.

Are the terms gender and sex interchangeable?

My source says "NO."

Sex is a biological status based on attributes like chromosomes and anatomy.

Gender is a social construct relating to behavior and activities society associates with males versus females.

What is transgender?

An umbrella term for people whose gender identity differs from what society associates with their sex as identified at birth.

Does transgender involve making changes to one's body?

Some people do seek changes through hormones or surgery. Others don't.

Does transgender have anything to do with sexual orientation?

Not at all. Sexual orientation refers to romantic attraction, i.e. whether someone is gay, lesbian, bisexual or straight.

I hope these definitions help. What we learned is: sex and gender are not the same thing; transgender is someone identifying themselves as a sex different from their birth; not all transgender folks change their bodies and transgender people can practice any sexual orientation.

The newspaper story in the Cap Journal is about a high school student born as a female who now does not associate herself with either sex.

The bathroom controversy for transgender individuals is amusing. Evidently the president feels he has a “one size fits” all solution while the common sense people on the Kansas State Board of Education basically said – our policy isn’t broke so we aren’t fixing it. 

Hope this helped as we obviously have lots of new stuff to learn!

I’m Steve Sauder

June 15, 2016

6-15-16

          Timely, but touchy topic today – guns.

          I am a gun owner and was a hunter, but 2 knee replacements ended that activity. My point is I respect the right of Americans to own guns.

          But, with that said and the brutal massacre in Orlando last week my thinking is it is time we do something about these weapons that have no purpose what so ever other than to kill.

          Guns like the AR 15 reportedly used in the Orlando slaughter have little redeeming value. I actually fired a machine gun as part of the Emporia Police Department’s Citizen’s Academy years ago. Thirty rounds fired in just a few second did give me a rush and the target was obliterated, but I can achieve that same feeling by lighting a pack of 500 firecrackers at one time!

          Guns don’t kill – people do, but guns like the AR 15 should be harder to get than is currently the case. This is the part of the Orlando event that gets to me. This guy bought his weapon of mass destruction with few questions just a few weeks prior to the shootings.

          I’m not prepared to say no one should own an AR 15, but to buy one it ought to be more difficult and the authorities ought to learn who you are, why you want such a gun and what your intensions are.

          Is that Big Brother stuff? Probably, but what else can we do? The status quo won’t do!

          You need a license to be a plumber, a barber or even to sell real estate so why shouldn’t gun ownership be qualified?

          Here’s a fact I heard. President Obama in his seven years in office has hosted 12 State Dinners. During the same time frame he has given 16 speeches in response to mass shootings!

          A friend Tweeted “When there wasn’t compromise on gun laws after Sandy Hook I was amazed and concluded it must be okay to shoot children.”

          Both candidates for President seem confused on this issue. This is not an immigration issue and all out gun control will never pass, so someone who understands compromise needs to step up.

          Ronald Reagan had it right in 1989 when he said “I do not believe in taking away the right of citizens for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or for home defense. But, I do believe than an AK 47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed for defense of a home.”

          The time has arrived to adopt rules that restrict the ownership of these guns that are capable of mass shootings.

It shouldn’t be easier to purchase an AK 15 than it is to get permission to cut the curb in front of your home for a new drive way!

          Heaven help us!                       I’m Steve Sauder