Something to Think About - keep (244)

          According to Wikipedia - Patriotism is an emotional attachment to a nation which an individual recognizes as their homeland. This attachment, also known as national feeling or national pride, can be viewed in terms of different features relating to one's own nation, including ethnic, cultural, political or historical aspects.

          With that definition in mind America it appears owes a giant debt of gratitude to football player Colin Kaepernick, the second string quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers that a few weeks ago started a firestorm in America by choosing to sit down during the playing of our country’s national anthem.

          His actions brought a great deal of attention to his cause – the mistreatment of minorities in America, but it also brought out a lot of pent up patriotism in lots of Americans.

          At this point in time when many Americans are questioning why our choices for president of the good ol’ USA are so ridiculously limited it is good that we are experiencing a revival of patriotism in ways we haven’t seen since the events of 9-11.

          There have been some wonderful examples. At the last Royals game I attended one of my sons got my attention by the manner in which stood and almost saluted – actually his hand was over his heart, but it was obvious he was making a point!

          And if you missed the displays of patriotism during the Ryder Cup golf matches last weekend you missed a lot. On Saturday with American stars Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth walking towards a green the crowd spontaneously broke out singing the Stars Spangled Banner. Reed and Spieth walked side by side with their hands over their hearts! It was amazing.

          Colin Kapernick’s point has been well documented and it was a reasonable exercise in American rights, but the unintended results from his sit down in the form of good ‘ol American patriotism far out weighs his result.

          God Bless the USA!

          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.

                                                10-29-14

          Election Day is less than a week away – please vote.

          Four incumbents up for re-election are my topic today - U.S. Senator Pat Roberts; First District Congressman Tim Huelskamp; Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and 76th District of Kansas Representative Peggy Mast.

          My hope is we keep one and lose three.

          Senator Roberts’ biggest sin is he’s a lifelong politician. Retaining him will not only be good for Kansasit could help our country move away from gridlock.

          President Obama obviously seeks a positive legacy. Faced with a Republican controlled congress he will either find ways to compromise in his final two years or be remembered for accomplishing little. Immigration reform, tax reform and the Keystone Pipeline come to mind, but only if Harry Reid is out of power.

Retain Pat Roberts.

          Representative Huelskamp has embarrassed Kansas enough. Amazingly he got himself kicked off the Agriculture and Budget committees. His continued presence in Washington puts final funding for the National Bio & Agro-Defense Facility known as NBAF inManhattan in doubt.

Jim Sherow is a good Kansan and a giant step up from Huelskamp.

          Governor Brownback’s pro-growth tax policies have our state on the verge of financial collapse. He can explain away many things but not the two lower credit ratings Kansashas received from Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.

          Brownback must truly believe Kansans are gullible. Three times now the governor and his running mate loaned money to their campaign so their Campaign Finance Report would exceed their opponents. The total amount of this deception reached $1.7 million this week with the loans being repaid the next day after filing the reports!

Sorry Governor, but Kansans are smarter than you think.

Regardless of who get elected Governor Kansas is facing a bloodbath financially. The difference is Paul Davis recognizes the looming disaster and will take action to right the ship. Sam Brownback on the other hand will likely call for another “shot of adrenaline” i.e., more tax cuts to keep “the sun shining on Kansas.”

It is time for a new governor in Kansas!

Representative Peggy Mast is not only a soldier in Brownback’s army she’s one of the leaders! So much so that two years she chose following leadership orders over supporting Emporia State University.

Replacing Representative Mast with Teresa Briggs would be a blow to the Governor’s support system.

Briggs is a dedicated leader, a good listener and she can remember who she represents.

KVOE does not do endorsements. What you just heard are my thoughts for your consideration.

Election Day is next Tuesday. Please exercise your right and privilege to vote.

I’m Steve Sauder.

This is an open letter to the Emporia City Commissioners

          Commissioners:

          I thank each of you for serving on the Emporia City Commission. Few know the time and effort you extend.

          With the resignation of Matt Zimmerman you are faced with not only with a challenge, but also a good opportunity.

          Matt did a good job for our community. His leadership helped put our city is excellent financial condition while also attending to issues like infrastructure improvement, clean up efforts and a host of other items.

          Here are a couple of thoughts about his successor.

          First, we need someone knowledgeable, aggressive and assertive. We need someone on their way up, not someone looking to retire in Emporia. Emporia has too much riding on this person to not find a “go getter.”

          With that said let me suggest this is NOT the time to try and save money on this hire. We will get exactly what we pay for!

          Emporia’s best shot at growing over the next decade is tied closely to Emporia State University. President Shonrock has the university on an upward spurt, so it is important to find someone with a good grasp on how the city might best assist the campus in their growth.

          It would make sense to me to ask Michael Shonrock to be a part of your search process.

          Other groups you might consult on this decision are the Flint Hills Technical College, the Regional Development Association and the Lyon County Commissioners. And, it wouldn’t hurt to include USD 253 in the process.

          I am curious why you are waiting to start your search. I hope it’s not because you want to try running the city for awhile without a city manager on board.

          Emporia’s chosen form of city government demands a professional manager leading the way with policy set by the city commission. Operating for an extended period of time without that professional leadership seems to me to be taking an unnecessary chance.

          Good luck in your deliberations. Much of Emporia’s future is tied to your selection.

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

          “All was wine and roses until 1985 when she was diagnosed as a victim of that devastating disease known as Alzheimer’s.”

          That was my dad in 1991 talking about his wife on the occasion of the dedication of the Sauder Alumni Center. Dad made the lead gift to honor mom. She lived another 12 years passing away in 03 after 13 years at the Presbyterian Manor.

          On the 15th of this month the ESU Foundation celebrated 25 years in the Alumni Center. It was a wonderful, glorious, but emotional day - so much to celebrate but also so much to remember.

          Dad’s gift wasn’t his first to Emporia State nor would it be his last – it was just the most memorable.

          Mom’s life with Alzheimer’s obviously changed lots of things for her, my dad me and my siblings and the university.

          What we like to remember are the things that represent the love affair my mom and dad had for one another. To say the doted on one another would be an understatement. After mom got ill dad cared for her taking clean clothes and other needs to her daily at the Manor.

          But theirs wasn’t the only love going on. Love might be too strong a word to describe what happened between my dad and Emporia State, but it’s close!

          When you lose your partner to something like Alzheimer’s you obviously are left with a void. Dad could care for mom and he had his work which had consumed him for too many hours for too many days, but he needed something else.

          Two other men were involved. I’m not sure exactly how. But between them they set a fire.

          Gruff old Larry Kramer, the football coach and just as crusty Joe Cannon get the blame. Kramer became coach in 1983 and soon after found out he could get a beer after practice at Earl’s house. They were a lot alike and something clicked. Joe was the person asking Earl for the lead gift for the Alumni Center. They had met working on funding for the Presbyterian Manor and became good friends.

          Who ever or for what reason dad got adopted by ESU – its’ coaches, its’ president and many others. It was very good.

          So good in fact my sister and brother and I believe dad’s association with the university probably added ten years to his life. He died in 06.

          The 25 year re-dedication brought back great memories like: Dad saying “Today, I feel like the luckiest man in the world,” and “In her honor, the dearest, sweetest person I have ever known, I dedicate this building.”

          Let me close with maybe his most famous line. Earl Sauder loved to ask for donations for Alzheimer’s or the United Way or Emporia State and say “Don’t give until it hurts, give until it feels good.”

          Thanks dad!

 Like a majority of Americans I am disgusted with everyone and about everything in Washington D.C. and my distain is not reserved solely for the President and his party.

 Calling myself a Republican these days is pretty difficult. The failed strategy to shut the government down rather than fund Affordable Health Care was silly enough to start with and now looks absolutely ridiculous with the massive failure of Obamacare to roll out in a workable fashion.

 If you are keeping score the Republicans missed an opportunity to tackle President Obama for safety with their actions of the past few weeks.

 What exactly do you think the news the past weeks would have been without the shut down?

 Of course it would have ALL been about the FAILURE of the Affordable Healthcare Plan to work. Without the shutdown to deflect attention President Obama would have been on a hot seat with no other topic to address

 Opportunity lost for the Republicans, but current rhetoric makes me wonder if they learned anything.

 Then there is our President. The morning after he addresses the nation and instead of offering up some type of language designed to heal the wounds he declares victory.

 He described the agreement to re-open government as being passed by the democrats and “responsible republicans.”

 That is not what I expected or hoped for. My hope was he’d say we had our differences, but we found a way to compromise. There are some who still disagree, so we need to reach out to them and a find a way move forward. Instead he calls the irresponsible!

 My thinking is Mr. Obama has to work really hard at leading vs. trying to win battles.

 I guess the good news is after the first of the year they will get to try all this again. Some Republicans say they won’t allow the government to be shut down again. That’s a good start, but not all Republicans are saying that, so hang on.

 Lord help us cause there is not a way to vote all of them out at once. Wish us luck.

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

                                                10-22-14

          The Kansas City Royals are in the World Series! How cool is that?

          Greg Rahe was - right on - yesterday when he suggested to Ron they ought to go back to opening the World Series on a weekday afternoon. 

          Those were the good old days for sure.

          Greg’s comment made me remember as a boy I often developed a stomach ache on the day the World Series started so I could leave school and listen at home.

          Fact is my mom even helped me out once by sending a note to my teacher suggesting “Stevie might be getting sick! “

          What a day yesterday was for the Royals organization?

          How funny was it when owner David Glass was presented the American League championship trophy and the lady said “I never thought 20 years ago when you became an owner this would ever happen?”

          Over the years she was not alone.

          Dayton Moore has had his share of detractors as well. It has taken the Royal’s General Manager quite a bit longer than hoped to realize success, but who’s counting now?

          And of course there’s everybody’s favorite whipping boy - Ned Yost. Not long ago the Royal’s manager was being booed at the “K” on a somewhat regular basis. The Wall Street Journal even called him a dunce! But ‘ol Ned is getting the last laugh. Turns out being a good leader is more important than doing what the experts think you should have done – usually after the fact.

          Yost’s biggest asset in my opinion is he doesn’t get too high when things are good nor too low when they are not so good.

          As I record this on Tuesday afternoon I, of course don’t know what happened last night, but I am sure the Royals played hard and made us proud.

          Predicting baseball is harder than forecasting the weather. ESU’s fine baseball coach Bob Fornelli says it best when he suggests - if his team played the Yankees a hundred times he’d find a way to beat them at least once.

          Baseball is totally unpredictable. Maybe that’s why it’sAmerica’s pastime.

          Don’t get too high and don’t ever give up – it’s baseball and until there’s 3 outs in the ninth you still have a chance. You gotta love our Royals!

          I’m Steve Sauder

         

            I’ve thought for some time that our local governments were somewhat delinquent by not directly supporting Emporia State University. All state schools our size – Washburn, Pittsburg and Hays – receive annual support from their local governments.

            This leaves ESU vulnerable if Kansas decides to close a school and given the lack of leadership in our state that could happen.

            Fortunately our LyonCounty and Emporia city commissions are deep into consideration to create a direct subsidy to the University for scholarships. The effort is called “A University Community in Motion.” It was discussed last week in a joint meeting. It seems most are on board maybe with exception of one commissioner suggesting the city already does a lot for ESU. That is true, but given ESU’s importance to our city I doubt the city could ever be doing too much for the school.

            The proposal is for a half a million dollars a year be provided to ESU for new scholarships. This is an awesome idea that would absolutely transform the school recruiting efforts. Of course, the big question becomes where does the money come from? That hasn’t been determined. 

            This of course will raise the ire of those who oppose any tax increase even for a really good cause.

            The commissioner’s aren’t tipping their hands, but I have an idea I think could result in lower overall taxes after a few years.

            My suggestion is to float a county-wide sales tax. No doubt there would be opposition, but the good might outweigh the bad. Attention would need to be paid to not making high ticket items non-competitive of course. We would vote on a sales tax increase, so all sides could be heard.

            Here’s my logic.

            First, don’t limit recipients to Lyon Countians. There are not enough students in our county plus the Jones Trust money already helps those kids and this new money could be added on for local kids.

            The limitation I would suggest would be these scholarships would be for on campus students only!

            Currently ESU has just over 6,000 students. Just over 50% of those students now attend classes on campus. This new money should be used to force students to live locally. All recipients would need to live in LyonCounty and attend classes on campus, not on-line.

            Half a million dollars in new scholarships ought to create 500 new students. I think a new ESU student is equal to a new job.  Adding 500 new students would boost ESU’s economic impact by over 15%. 

            My numbers may not be exact, but I’m guessing my logic makes a lot more sense than the dribble Governor Brownback has been offering.

            If I am correct increased consumption should result in much higher sales tax revenues for the county which could eventually be used to reduce taxes. This could create a win, win, win situation!

            “A University Community in Motion” is not only a good insurance policy and stimulus for ESU, but also an opportunity to lower taxes, but only if we give it a try!

            Call a commissioner today and let them know how YOU feel.

            I’m Steve Sauder.

Back in the Day…………

Why CAN’T we afford this new North Lyon County Consolidated School?  Our ancestors built schools for us.

 A quick trip to the Lyon County Archive provided us with the following information about Northern Heights High School (NHHS).

 “Due to the loss of students in the communities of Bushong, Allen, Admire and Miller schools the communities started discussing consolidation.  A vote on consolidation was held in May, 1955, and carried.  In September, 1955, an issue of $375,000 in bonds for construction and equipping a new high school carried.  The location was chosen and construction started in April 1956.”

So what did our ancestors build in terms of today’s money?  Using an inflation calculator ( http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm ) we find the school they built would cost $3,334,645.52 or 3 million dollars today.

The current proposed construction cost is 39 million dollars.   We don’t hesitate to say “back in the day” our parents and our grandparents would have voted against this proposal.  They were busy building schools back then, not a “Palace in the Pasture.” 

Recently editorial articles have been published describing the great education NHHS alumni have received and how it gave them morals to succeed.   An education that made them the people they are today.  We hope one of those moral values is that spending within our means DOES provide a quality education.  Be proud to make a fiscally responsible decision for future generations by Voting ‘NO’ on Oct. 7th.    

Roger and Sherry Ferguson

North Lyon County Residents

          “What we have here is a failure to communicate,” Cool Hand Luke once said and if he were in Washington today he’d probably be saying the exact same thing.

          The U. S. Government is shut down again. This is the eighteenth time this has happened. The first shutdown came in 1976 under President Gerald Ford and it was largely over funding for two departments – Labor and Heath, Education and Welfare. The Democratically controlled Congress eventually overrode Ford’s veto. It took 12 days.

          President Jimmy Carter was involved in 4 shut downs of the U.S. government. Issues included Medicaid, abortion and funding for public works and military projects.

          President Reagan is the “Shutdown King” having been involved in 7 such events. The issues ran accross the board with everything from MX missiles to abortion. Reading about the Reagan shutdowns one has to be impressed with how they were resolved.

          Here is an example: In 1987 the Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate. They opposed funding for the Nicaraguan Contras but desired the FCC to start reinforcing the “Fairness Doctrine.” The D’s yielded on Fairness Doctrine in exchange for non-lethal aid for the Contras.

          Do you see my point?

          They “yielded.” There was a compromise. Reagan worked with his political opponents in an amazing manner.

          President George H.W. Bush and Congress worked out a deal in 1990. President Bill Clinton and Congress twice agreed to compromises in order to end shutdowns!

          Amazingly President George W. Bush never had to deal with a shutdown.

          So what about today?

          For starters the fragmentation in the political parties, especially within the GOP, is greater than ever before. Leaders don’t have anywhere near the clout they did a few years ago. Pork Barrel deals and political money are not available to be spread around to help legislators change their minds.

          No doubt the Republicans holding Obamacare hostage will get much of the blame, but President Obama better watch out because eventually a floundering economy will land on his lap.

          Don’t look for much but rhetoric for a few weeks, but on October 24th bond payments will be due and the rubber will start to hit the road. Stay tuned.

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

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