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Something to Think About - keep (227)

          Something different today!

          I am asking for your help for blind kids far, far away from Emporia.

          Stacy Thomlison is a nurse that my wife, Bobbi, worked with in a camp in New York before we met. Stacy has devoted her life to working for people in under privileged situations and currently is volunteering at the Blind School in Rwanda which is in Africa.

          Her text to Bobbi said, “I am living and working at the Blind School in Kibeho. There are a little more than 150 children here, ages 5 – 20….some completely blind and some with impaired vision.  Five Franciscan Sisters run the school. They have NO income. They rely entirely on donations to support this school.”

          Here’s their dilemma!

          The school must have guards for basic protection. Reliable guards are available, but are very expensive in Rwanda.

          The guards currently being employed cannot be trusted and actually blackmail the students and at times send them out to sell things illegally. You can imagine this situation.

          Stacy says to us in her text – “you know where I’m going, right?”

          She is asking for help and if we have friends who might help too.

          Reliable guards each cost 75,000 Rwandan Francs or $100 a month and the school needs five – 2 for days and 3 at night.

          Our hearts were touched immediately. Blind kids! Blackmail and worse. The decision for us to help was easy. The Lord has blessed us and expects us to help others, so we are in.

          How about you?

          Proverbs 22:9 says: He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor.

          Lord knows there are no lack of places to donate your hard earned money so please just give this cause some thought and if your heart says “yes” then send a check.

Twenty-five dollars, maybe fifty – an entire year would be $1200.

          Make your check to:

          FSC Franciscan Sisters of the Cross

          Write: “Guards” on the Reference line.

          Send or bring your checks to KVOE, Box 968, Emporia

          We will add the Account number and SWIFT number so funds get where they are supposed to go. Your gift should be Tax Deductible.

          Stacy, Bobbi and I thank you for your consideration.

   

Open Letter to Governor Sam Brownback

          Dear Mr. Governor,

          I am confused by your tax policy in Kansas.

          I understand your plan is to attract new business to the state by cutting taxes. I am aware of the 25% cut in individual income tax rates in 2012 and the repeal of taxes on sole proprietorships and pass through businesses that same year. And, I note in 2013 even lower rates were adopted.

          The result I understand from June 2013 to June 2014 has been an 11% drop in revenue, some growth in the economy, but not really anything to brag about.

          You said last week your plan will take more time.

          O.K., that makes sense, but how much time and how much damage to our state’s reputation will occur while we wait?

          My big question is about public relations.

          Using Google I ask the question: What are the best states in which to do business.

          With the drastic measures you’ve taken in Kansas I expected theSunflower State to be at the top of all the lists, but it wasn’t. Fact is it was hard to find Kansas anywhere but in the middle of the pack.

          Forbes even printed an article entitled: What’s the Matter WithKansas and It’s Tax Cuts? It Can’t Do Math.

          Not very complimentary, would you agree?

          The Tax Foundation listing of best business climates by state rankedKansas 26th and not even in the top ten for taxes.

          With some help, I did find buried on the Kansas Department of Commerce website a report from Pollina Corporate Real Estate. They ranked Kansas as the fifth best state to do business and also praised you and your tax policies.

          I am shocked. With Kansas’ massive tax cuts designed to attract attention and new business one would assume there would be a tremendous public relations effort to sell our state’s unique tax opportunity.

          Unfortunately, most of what I was able to find was not very complimentary to our state.

          So Governor, are you doing a good job of selling Kansas?

          If your answer is “yes” please help me understand how it works.

                                      Sincerely,

                                      Steve Sauder

If we were developing a model for a prototype ESU student I may have interviewed one on Saturday Morning SportsTalk last Saturday.

          Marcus Erkel grew up in Arizona and came to Emporia State from Pima Community College in Arizona back when Brian Embery was the Hornet baseball coach. Now he didn’t exactly distinguish himself on the baseball field, but he did find a wife, a career and a home.

          Marcus agreed Saturday morning the odds of him staying in Emporia were like a thousand to one.

          The story is Marcus met and married Mandy Ledford an Emporia girl. They have two children and she is an insurance executive. He is an ESU graduate and taught in our public schools for three years.

          Marcus’ opportunity at the golf course came after the untimely death of Rich Jaggard. Erkel is in the PGA’s development program and will be a full fledged PGA Pro before long.

          More importantly Marcus is doing a super job with Emporia golf. His shop is well stocked; his staff is courteous, well informed and capable. He is willing to work with any and all to make the golf course available for events. The Kansas High School Activities Association loves Emporia and holds many tournaments here.

          Marcus is working hard to build golf in Emporia. Note: Starting New at Golf or SNAG for youngsters starting at 4 years of age! They use oversized clubs and balls; bright colors and music to introduce kids to the sport and it’s only $10 for a three day class.

          Then there’s Junior Golf which doubled in size this year. Family Days are Sunday at three and they allow the whole family to play golf for one fee. Marcus offers private or group lessons and there is a weekly Lady’s Day and Men’s Night and lots of different tournaments for the competitive types.

          Marcus also suggested he was a willing “babysitter” at the golf course. That would be for youngsters old enough to take care of themselves that wanted to spend most of a day at the course. I think its $8.50 to play all day.

          This is kind of a “Feel Good Friday” on Wednesday, but Marcus Erkel is succeeding in making golf and the Emporia Golf Course a real asset to our community. For that we say “thank you Marcus.”

          I’m Steve Sauder

                                                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

Ever feel like not working. That was me yesterday, so I didn’t. Well I did not do much. My Something to Think About reflects my lack of effort. You could say it is a “throw away” piece.It’s about toilet paper. It came in an email about “Toilet Paper Trivia,” so these facts must be true.

The first recorded use of toilet paper was in 6th Century China.
By the 14th Century, the Chinese government was mass-producing it.
Packaged toilet paper wasn’t sold in the United States until 1857.
The man who introduced packaged TP to the U.S., had his name printed on every sheet.
Global toilet paper demand uses nearly 30,000 trees every day. That’s 10 million trees a year.

It wasn’t until 1935 that a manufacturer was able to promise “Splinter-Free Toilet Paper.”
Seven percent of Americans admit to stealing rolls of toilet paper in hotels.

Americans use an average of 8.6 sheets of toilet paper per trip.
The average roll has 333 sheets.
In many Western European countries, bidets are seen as preferable to toilet paper.

In 1973 Johnny Carson caused a toilet paper shortage. He said as a joke that there was a shortage, which there wasn’t, until everyone believed him and ran out to buy up the supply. It took three weeks for some stores to get more stock.
In 1996, President Clinton passed a “Toilet Paper Tax” of 6 cents per roll, which is still in effect today.
The Pentagon uses, on average, 666 rolls of toilet paper per day.

The most expensive toilet paper in the world is from Portuguese brand Renova it’s three-ply, perfumed, costs $3 per roll and comes in several colors including black, red, blue and green.
Beyoncé uses only red Renova toilet paper.  Kris Jenner uses only the black Renova toilet paper.

If you hang your toilet paper so you can pull it from the bottom, you’re considered more intelligent than someone who pulls it from the top.
When asked what necessity they would bring to a desert island, 49% of people said toilet paper before food.

Toilet paper before food? That’s like putting the cart before the……naw I’m Steve Sauder.

High School graduations are more memorable for some than others. Students at the prestigious Cardigan Mountain School in New Hampshire, likely will remember theirs for some time.

The speaker was John Roberts, yes Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court John Roberts and the father of one of their classmates.

Pretty cool to have someone like that to speak, but his message likely shook these kids from silver spoon families up just a bit.

Here are the main points from his talk:

“From time to time, in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice.

I hope you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty.

Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time, so that you don’t take friends for granted.

I wish you bad luck again, from time to time, so that you will be conscious of the roll of chance in life, and understand that your success is not completely deserved, and the failure of others is not completely deserved either.

And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship.

I hope you will be ignored, so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion.”

Roberts went on in the speech to typical commencement speech fare, telling the students to avoid becoming complacent with themselves. “In a certain sense,” Roberts said, "you should not be yourself, you should try to become something better.”

Roberts has practiced what he preached on the bench having voted with the more liberal side on occasion especially in holding up parts of the Affordable Care Act we know as Obama-care.

You may or may not agree with our Chief Justice on things involving the Supreme Court, but I’m guessing most of us think his talk with these graduating high school seniors was “right on!”

          I’m Steve Sauder

The day after the All Star break for major league baseball and the final 68 games of the baseball season start Friday for the Royals. Now I’m not saying I’m obsessed with the Royals, but I do admit I’m not sure what I’ll do with my extra time before Friday.

          It’s no secret that sports play an important part in my make up – too much? Well that’s my problem.

          Baseball season is so much fun because it lasts a long time and there more highs and lows than in any other sport. Everyone thrives on feeling good whether they like sports or not. My highs from a Royals victory are extremely obvious and my disgust when they lose ugly – well they are hard to miss.

          So you can partially understand my dismay on Saturday – a day I spent not playing golf as I’d planned because I was under the weather – when I discovered the Royals and Tigers game would not be televised. A blackout in both Detroit and KC thanks to the Major League Baseball Network.

          Amazingly being forced to listen on the radio turned into a joy despite the Royals loss. Denny and Brian were really good. I knew that – heck Denny Matthews is in the Hall of Fame – but not watching seemed so unfair especially as it related to my ongoing pity party that day.

          Brain Cashman has a song on his CD - Talkin’ Baseball entitled “I Saw it on the Radio.” Legendary Vin Scully is the announcer and that memory plus actually listening to the game in my recliner brought days gone by when listening to the Kansas City Athletics on the radio was my close friend.

          I saw it on the radio – that’s a cool thing.

          So, how about those Royals?

          Two games over 500 with a 48 and 46 record – best since 2003 at the break. The Royals need at least 90 wins to have a shot at the playoffs. That’s 42 wins and just 26 losses the rest of they way.

          Last year the Royals were the best team in baseball after the All Start break. They will need to be close to that again this season.

          So, if you see me on Saturday and I have a smile on my face and some pep in my step it’s a good bet the Royals beat the Red Sox the night before. Our Ron Thomas might be just the opposite because his Red Sox would have lost compounding their bad season where they are in last place after winning it all last year!

          It’s baseball folks and if you have the fever you just have to enjoy it. I certainly do. Go Royals!

          I’m Steve Sauder

 

Royal’s baseball! You have to love our guys right now. Everything is going the “Boy’s in Blue” way. Ned Yost is no longer a “dunce” and life is really good.

          Last year’s Royal success was a longtime coming.

          Twenty-nine years to be exact since the Royal’s beat the Cardinals in the World Series.

          How about a little Royals history lesson? They lost to the Yankees three times – 76, 77, & 78 before finally beating the Yanks in 1980 befor losing to the Phillies in the Series 4-2.

          Best memory for me was 1977 game 5 in KC. We took Karen Yewell our baby sitter and big Royal’s and Freddie Patek fan to that Sunday night game. The Royal’s took a 3-1 lead into the ninth, but brought ace starter Dennis Leonard in to close out the game –bad decision – the Yankees plated three runs and won the series.

          In 1981 KC lost in 3 straight to A’s. In 1984 the Royals returned to the playoffs, but lost in the ALCS to the Tigers.

          1985 was cool coming from down 3 games to one and beating Toronto in the ALCS before they beat up on St. Louis 11-zip in game 7.

          Best memories - taking eighth grade son Brady to game late in season as Royals roared to the pennant and George Brett chased a .400 batting average. And, game 7 of World Series. John Patton and I had gone together on tickets. I offered him both tickets for game 6 if I could have both for game 7 – if one occurred. Don Deckinger is one of my heroes. After the Royals won my wife had the good sense to get a cup full of dirt from the infield at the K. Little packets of World Series dirt made great stocking stuffers that Christmas.

          Now back to reality. I’m not sure what happened last night in All Star game, but I do know the Royal’s Nation should be really proud of their All Star voting efforts. Especially when you consider Kansas City is the second smallest fan base in major league baseball.

          The Royals are currently 52 and 34 with 76 games left to play. If they play .500 baseball the Royal’s will finish with 90 victories. The Tigers won the Central last year with 90 victories. If KC wins 60% of remaining game like they have done so far they end up with 97.6 wins! Can you say Pennant?

          Time to love our Royal’s!        

          I’m Steve Sauder

 

                                                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

          My dad once said to me, "thank God I'm old cause I really don't want to see how this ends!"

          That was in response to some political activity that seemed out of line.

          What do you suppose he'd be saying today?

          Polarization in Washington is unchecked! Republican's have the numbers but aren't close to agreeing on anything.

          The Democrats are so opposed to anything Republican there is no chance for compromise. I asked our Congressman Roger Marshall on Monday how often he has dialogue with the other side?

          His answer was - he leads an effort for freshman in congress to meet and talk, but otherwise - not often.

          Yesterday on Morning Joe – West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin described be in congress as “working in a hostile work environment!” Seriously!

          Then we have the media.

          It's fair to say the national media has always been a little biased, but what we have today is embarrassing.

          Phil Donahue the former talk show host was on CNN two weeks ago and took the media to task. He said the media was making relations worse than necessary because they wouldn't take a punch - meaning they needed to report the news, not react to it.

          The creators of the animated TV show South Park shared an interesting reaction to the current political climate and have a wonderful plan for next season.

They said, "We fell into the same trap that Saturday Night Live fell into, where it was like, "Dude, we're just becoming CNN now, becoming: 'Tune in to see what we're going to say about Trump.'

They said “they hated it, but we got stuck in it somehow."

They said they could put up billboards saying—"Look what we're going to do to Trump next week!"—and get crazy ratings. But they don't care.

Next season South Park plans to ignore the political scene!

          That's my suggestion for CNN, FOX and CSNBC and the other national media groups - start reporting the news again and get out of the "gottcha" mode of trying to catch someone not telling the truth in every story.

Actually reporting “the news” might mean even ignoring the President's tweets. Wouldn’t that might be refreshing?

Heaven help us!

I’m Steve Sauder