Something to Think About - keep (298)

      From Facebook a fun story.
      Four older gentlemen go to lunch. The first three order healthy items
like a tuna sandwich, a salad without croutons and a bowl of soup but Jim,
age 85 ordered cherry pie ala mode and without hesitation added two scoops
of ice cream.
      A week later they were together again and Jim ordered a chocolate
parfait. The others finally had to ask, “what gives Jim?”
His response was something like: “I’ve never been this old before, so,
I’ve decided while I am still here it’s time to try all those things that, for
years, I’ve been ignoring.”
      He added: I haven’t smelled all the flowers yet, there are trout streams
to fish, golf courses to play, kites to fly and jokes to laugh at. I’ve missed
lots of sporting events and too many potato chips and cokes. I want to spread
peanut butter on my toast every morning. Life is too short. It’s time to do
whatever your heart desires!
      The other three in their group changed their orders and added whip
      That reminded me of a conversation with my dad when he was 88. He
ordered a meal and ask for it to be salt free. I inquired as to why at his age he
was depriving himself of real salt? He informed me that all but one of his
uncles had died of heart disease. To which I pointed out they were all in
their late 70’s or 80’s and had to die from something!
      This brings me to another Facebook post this offered by my friend
Wes Jones. These help pull this message together. It’s titled “Important
Facts to Remember as You Get Older.”

 Death is the number one killer in the world.

 Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.
 Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in the hospital,
dying of nothing.
 In the 60’s people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world
is weird, and people take Prozac to make it normal.
 And finally: Don’t worry about old age; it doesn’t last that long.

I’m Steve Sauder

          If this piece sounds like I am trying to throw Kansas gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach under the bus then “Mission Accomplished!”

          Secretary of State Kobach wants to be our governor, but his election would throw our state backward into a tailspin likely worse than the Brownback experience.

          If Kobach’s failed attempts to create verifiable voter fraud both in Kansas and across the nation aren’t enough you can add Kobach trying to pay his legal bills with state funds and the Secretary being cited for contempt of court in another matter.

          And recently he’s added exaggeration and using outright untrue information in his opposition for qualified, but undocumented students paying in-state tuition to attend colleges in Kansas.

          I quote from the Kansas City Star on July 18:

          Secretary of State and Kansas gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach is pitching some wild numbers in his quest to blame undocumented immigrants for all that troubles Kansas.

          Kobach made the enormous claim that tuition hikes at state universities and community colleges wouldn’t have been necessary if the so-called Dreamers weren’t allowed to pay lower in-state rates.

Rubbish according to fiscal notes provided by the Kansas Board of Regents.

 Unfortunately for Secretary Kobach his numbers just don’t add up!

There are 670 qualified students paying in-state tuition under this 14-year-old Kansas law.

Only 142 attend 4-year schools like ESU.

Kobach claimed the state lost out on over 4 million dollars in a recent speech, but the Board of Regents say if all these students were paying out of state tuition the number would be 2.3 million dollars.

Please understand there’s no chance that many if any of these students could pay the higher rate as they are not eligible for any federal aid including federal student loans.

These are students who have to have attended and graduated from a high school in Kansas and have pledged to become U.S. citizens. They do not cost the schools they attend One Red Cent. Fact is they are a godsend – at least that’s what ESU folks say.

Kris Kobach is free to support or oppose the rights of these kids, but it is blatantly unfair for him to make up numbers. This makes him less than trustworthy!

At minimum, we need truth in Topeka. Kansas seems to have turned the corner in many ways, but electing a not so truthful rebel rouser like Kris Kobach would be a big step backward.

I’m Steve Sauder and “there’s something to think about!”

With Kansans set to elect a new governor the issue of Medicaid expansion should be front and center. Here is part of a Topeka Capital-Journal recent editorial which I quote:

Thirty-two states have now expanded Medicaid, allowing citizens struggling to make ends meet to get extra help with the cost of healthcare. Seventeen of those states had Republican-controlled legislatures, seventeen have Republican governors. Governments in those states have realized that Medicaid expansion is not a partisan issue.

It just makes sense for states like Kansas.

Expanding Medicaid in Kansas would mean offering benefits for an additional 150,000 low-income Kansans who make too much to qualify for traditional Medicaid but not enough to be eligible for financial assistance to buy private health insurance.

Opponents complain that some of these Kansans are able-bodied and choosing not to work and those with no income already qualify for support.

It’s the working poor who too often fall between the cracks. Hearing the stories of those impacted by lack of Medicaid coverage points to the complexity of their situations. They are students, people working very low-wage jobs, people unable to find affordable childcare and people with physical or mental illness that fall just short of the standards to qualify for disability.

With 90 percent of the costs covered by the federal government, an expansion would allow an influx of much-needed resources into Kansas hospitals and long-term care facilities.

The Kansas legislature did the right thing last year by passing Medicaid expansion, which was vetoed by then-governor Sam Brownback.

The editorial then says: If our elected leaders are unwilling or unable to expand Medicaid, Kansas should consider taking the campaign directly to the ballot box.

          Unfortunately, my sources tell me Kansas doesn’t allow for Referendums, so while Maine passed expanded Medicaid with a 59% margin and several other states will be voting in November that won’t happen in Kansas meaning we need to elect officials who support expanding Medicaid.

The editorial concludes with: Kansans have repeatedly shown support for expansion in large margins. Multiple polls have shown more than 75 percent of Kansas voters support expanding KanCare.

Our failure to expand KanCare has left billions of our tax dollars in the hands of the federal government, but we have an opportunity to change course.

          Well said!

          I’m Steve Sauder

          Today my thoughts come from a really timely column written by Mitch Albom, in the Detroit Free Press on June 30. You’ll remember Mitch from his book and TV show Tuesday’s with Morrie.

          The column was titled: The ricochet effect of public shaming now on full display.

          He talks about the old use of the dunce caps in classrooms in hopes that by shaming someone in front of their peers they’ll think twice about repeating their misdeed.

          He points out today this type of bullying in classrooms is not acceptable, but in our political world unfortunately led by our President the shaming of others using rhetoric is more than common.

          Recently Sarah Hucklebee Sanders, the White House Press Secretary was asked to leave a restaurant in Virginia because the help was upset about her politics. The media has shamed Sanders since even though she was guilty only of doing her job and reportedly left the business without incident.

          The hypocrisy here is the offended employees were reported gay yet they very likely do not support the recent Supreme Court decision saying the Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple was exercising his religious rights.

          Albom points out the call by Congresswoman Maxine Waters to her supporters in Los Angeles, she said,  If you see anybody from that (Trump) Cabinet in a restaurant, department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and create a crowd….And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.

          Mitch says, Public shaming. All that’s missing is the dunce cap. Except this time, the dumb behavior is from people who think they’re being smart.

          My point is to lift up how often the words being used today in way too many political situations are inappropriate.

          Mitch Albom brings up the wise words spoken by First Lady Michelle Obama several years ago when she said, When they go low, we go high.

          That’s great advice that unfortunately is being followed today by few from either political party. While President Trump is the uncontested ringleader in inappropriate rhetoric there’s plenty of blame to go around.

          Would it not be interesting to make a rule that for a day or a week or longer that politicians had to -  not say anything if they couldn’t say something nice?

          Not a chance!

           I’m Steve Sauder

          Last Saturday five Republican candidates for Governor of Kansas were in Salina for a debate, but only 4 participated.
Former Senator Jim Barnett has not participated in any of the Kansas Republican Party sponsored debates because he refuses to sign a contract limiting the scope of the debate topics. He attended the so-called debate but sat in the audience.
          First, let’s applaud Jim for his willingness to NOT participate in these rigged events.
          With the primary coming soon Kansans have a big choice to make.
          Most of the night was highlighted by Governor Jeff Colyer blasting away at Secretary of State Kris Kobach for his growing list of misdeeds including being sent back to school by a Federal judge for his misconduct in a recent hearing!
          Barnett’s strategy is to allow the others to “beat each other up” and emerge as a more “palatable” choice. This seems like a good decision especially after  Saturday where Colyer according to the “Topeka Capital-Journal “unleashed a mean torrent of criticism toward his opponent;” and Kobach accused Colyer of “being either ignorant or intentionally misleading.”
          Barnett’s Tweet saying, “ The next governor of Kansas needs to re-create a functioning state government” could not be more accurate and the display in Salina on Saturday convinces me Jim Barnett is not only that man, but that he’s the only candidate that can re-create a civil, functioning state government!
          The challenge to my thought process is obviously that Jim is trailing even in his own polls.
Obviously now is the time for Kansans to decide what we want in the future – more of the same or a leader willing to listen, compromise and lead?
          After a good night’s sleep my decision is to stay with Senator Barnett despite the peril of possibly seeing Kris Kobach become our next governor – a fate maybe even worse than the horrible Brownback experience.
          Electing Colyer would be Brownback light or Kobach – Brownback worse, so Jim Barnett gets my vote.
          There are 42 days left before the Primary Election. That’s plenty of time for Barnett’s message of common sense leadership for Kansas to resonate.
If supporters like me jump off the wagon now simply because he trails in the polls his fate and our states are sealed, so I’m dropping a check in the mail to P.O. Box 4584 in Topeka 66604 to help the best candidate for Governor of Kansas run the entire race. Hopefully, many of you will join me.
I’m Steve Sauder


            Father’s Day morning I watched Outside the Lines on ESPN. It told about Ernie Johnson – Inside the NBA host with Shack, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith – who with wife Cheryl have 6 kids. Their first 2 were biological and healthy, but they then decided to adopt. From Ernie’s new book comes this excerpt” 
Cheryl left for Romania on May 16, 1991. She made her first visit to an orphanage in a village outside Bucharest. On one of those rare occasions when we were able to secure a phone line, Cheryl detailed that visit for me. As she waited in the lobby, a nurse brought out a child. It was a boy, not quite 3 years old. He had been abandoned in a park at birth. He could not walk. He could not speak. On the other end of the phone, my wife was having trouble speaking. She was in tears.
"Hon, I met this little boy today. The first child I saw. The nurse told me, ‘Do not take. Boy is no good.' Ern, he has so many issues, he’s so much more than we said we could handle, but I don’t know if I can go the rest of my life wondering what happened to him."
Her words hung there, demanding a response, for 10 seconds, with neither of us speaking. Sometimes you are captured, even on a scratchy telephone line halfway around the world, not by the words you’re hearing but by how they are spoken. Those words were coming from some inner recess of Cheryl’s heart, someplace not easily accessed, some place for which only an abandoned, hopeless Romanian orphan had the key. Suddenly, all the things we had talked about and all the things we had written in the required adoption paperwork about the severity of a child’s condition we were willing to take on became secondary.
"Then bring him home." 
            The descriptions of the boy’s condition are worse than you can imagine. One foot turned 90 degrees, unable to chew because he’d never had solid food, unable to speak and eventually diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy!
            Ernie explains the reaction from friends to that diagnosis was way too common, something like this:
"I’m so sorry to hear about Michael.  I guess if you guys had known he had muscular dystrophy, you wouldn’t have adopted him."
Nothing could have been further from the truth. In as understanding a tone as I could muster, I would explain that we had adopted Michael not with an eye on what he would become, but for who he was – a neglected, forgotten child who deserved another chance.
            Wow! Father’s Day morning and I’m coming off a wonderful time with my grandkids and after hearing from my healthy sons it hit home how blessed my family is and how amazing people like Ernie and Cheryl Johnson are.
My tears wouldn’t stop and my respect and admiration for parents who deal with kids like Michael skyrocketed. God bless all parents and especially those who deal with children with special needs.
I’m a very lucky “Papa” Steve Sauder.


          Many of you are familiar with the Serenity Prayer. It’s a simple 24-word prayer that has aided many in 12 Step programs as they seek recovery. This prayer is often carried on a coin in one’s pocket. Here it is:

          God, grant me the Serenity to accept things I cannot change….

          Courage to change the things I can and Wisdom to know the difference.

          Recently I ran across The New Serenity Prayer written by Father James Martin, SJ. Here it is:

          God, grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, which is pretty much everyone, since I’m clearly not you, God. At least the last time I checked.

          And while you’re at it, God, please give me the courage to change what I need to change about myself, which is frankly a lot, since, once again, I’m not you, which means I’m not perfect.

          It’s better for me to focus on changing myself than to worry about changing other people, who, as you’ll no doubt remember me saying, I cannot change anyway.

          Finally, give me the wisdom to just shut up whenever I think that I’m clearly smarter than everyone else in the room, that no one knows what they’re talking about except me, or that I alone have all the answers.

          Basically, God, grant me the wisdom to remember that I’m not you.


          Obviously some great thoughts.

          Anyone else think sending a copy of this to the occupant of that big white house on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC makes sense?

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

As the news about Emporia State Baseball Coach Bob Fornelli leaving for Pittsburg State leaked out over the weekend the reactions were swift.
I’ve known Bob since his playing days as a Hornet. He helped me broadcast at the tournament from old Hornet Field; became my son’s JV coach at Emporia High and my oldest son’s American Legion Coach and to complete the cycle when Bob became ESU’s head coach Jamie my youngest son was his first base coach for 2 years. We are pretty close.
Bob Fornelli becoming Emporia State baseball coach when he did was a departure from the norm.
The only other time I remember E-State hiring an active D-II head coach was Bud Elliott from Washburn in the 70’s.
Bob had completed 7 years at Ft. Hays, but his Hornet blood was thick and he jumped at the chance to come home.
This opportunity at Pitt State is about getting on a level playing field. Emporia State athletics are proud – maybe almost to a fault – of “Doing more with less.
Division-II allows for 9 full ride baseball scholarships. ESU funds 4 and supporters make a few more possible, but not the 9 Pitt State and several other MIAA schools are offering.
Bob wants a chance to win a National Championship. He figures he has 10 or 11 more years to do it and despite the fact, it’s “killing him” to leave Emporia.
My colleague here at KVOE, Ron Thomas suggested we should be embarrassed about losing Coach Fornelli to a D-II school.
I disagreed with Ron. I’m envious of Pitt’s ability to fund baseball, but I’m certainly not embarrassed about Emporia State’s efforts.
Coaches succeeding at ESU and then moving on – hopefully up – is what we do.
Dave Bingham, Cindy Stein, Brandon Schneider, Jory Collins, Jerry Kill, Dave Harris and Kristi Bredbenner all left for D-1 jobs. Hopefully, new coaches like Craig Doty and Toby Wynn will have success and 4 or 5 years from now they will moving to D-1 jobs.
In Bob Fornelli’s case – well this is just unique. He moved laterally to come here from Hays and has turned down at least 4 other really good opportunities to go to schools for more money and scholarships. Finally, he decided he needs to give “having more” a shot.
Please note: Bob is not upset with Emporia State – he understands the situation. He, like me, hopes this changes.
Bob will be successful, but I wonder if his success will be much different than it has been at ESU. He will have more dollars to work with, but will be going after the same kids.
Bob’s strength, in my opinion, has been first, his amazing work ethic and second: his ability to mold kids into a team or family as he likes to say. His E-State teams always understood they were “doing more with less” and played with a bit of a chip on their shoulders. Bob’s rarest talent is to get his kids to play that way, but without feeling sorry for themselves!
I’m not sure how that happens in Bob’s new land of plenty?
Good luck Buddy, you will be missed!
I’m Steve Sauder


          Here at KVOE, we do “Feel Good Fridays” each Friday to let our listeners know about someone they can feel good about. You know, acts of kindness, helping others etc.
          Today my mission is to give each of you an opportunity to Feel Good about yourself. The kind of Feel Good we get when we give a cool gift.
          I have two ideas to share with you.
          First would be the 2018 Emporia School Supply Project. We talked about this on the Chat a couple of weeks ago. This is the third year of raising funds to buy school supplies for every youngster in Emporia’s 9 public schools plus Sacred Heart and the Christian School.
          This project puts each of our youngsters on an even keel with their classmates when school starts. Each student will have all the supplies they need to start school. Without this project, teachers have to wait days for some students to get the notebooks, writing tools and other essentials like Kleenex together. In many cases, the teachers ended supplying many of the supplies.
          With over 60% of Emporia school kids on reduced lunches, the need is well documented. Yes, a few kids get supplies they could afford for free but school officials tell us the benefits far outweigh any liabilities.
          We also learned there are about 50 students in the school system that are homeless meaning – not able to sleep at home at night. Often all they want is a toothbrush and a bar of soap.
          This effort was started by the First United Methodist Church and the church continues to facilitate. Your donation is tax deductible by sending it to the church at 823 Merchant with School Supplies in the memo line.
          This is an amazing project with winners everywhere but it isn’t cheap. Nearly $40,000 is needed with the cut off in June. Send what you can to School Supplies c/o First United Methodist Church at 823 Merchant. This guaranteed to make you feel good!
          My other ask is time sensitive as Ron’s Ride is tomorrow! For over a decade our Ron Thomas has been mounting a bicycle and riding to Olpe with local law enforcement folks to raise money for the Special Olympics.
          This may not sound like a big deal, but we should appreciate Ron’s efforts as he is not really equipped to ride a bike – i.e. short legs, supple girth and zero conditioning, but he continues to abuse himself for this cause. The least we should do is donate.
          Please call 342-1400 and simply say your name and amount. Then bring or mail your check to 1420 C of E Drive. We’ll come pick it up if that works better.
          Best idea yet would be to write 2 checks – one for School Supplies and the other for Ron’s Ride - and drop them off here at KVOE – heck we will even give you a tour of our studios!
          There you have it – two chances to Feel Good about yourself. Try it cause it works!
          I’m Steve Sauder.


          Saturday morning on Sports Talk we introduced our four KVOE Athletes of the Year.
          What a delightful and impressive group!
          From Olpe: Brianna Vogts and Damon Schmidt and from Emporia High School: Abbey Stewart and Brent Hastert.
          We learned a great deal from these youngsters about role models, leadership and future plans. In the end, they were asked this question: “In light of the rash of school shootings do you feel safe a school?”
          Each answered in the affirmative adding, security guards, locked doors, and active shooter drills made them feel safe.
          While it’s good to know our students feel safe it is sad they feel safe only because school officials are taking extra measures to protect them.
          In Santé Fe, Texas all those things had been done, but still, ten students and teachers lost their lives.
          How to fix this situation gets debated every time another student loses their life, but little gets done.
          Monday Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education under President Obama suggested maybe parents need to quit sending their sons and daughters to school in protest. He said, “it might take such a radical action to break the political gridlock on this topic.”
          While this won’t happen Secretary Duncan is correct about the gridlock.
          We all agree banning all guns or certain guns will not fix this problem, but eliminating certain unneeded guns and making the purchase of guns a little more difficult especially for felons and the mentally ill can’t hurt.
          Sure, the gun lobby says “you are taking my guns, infringing on my rights and it won’t make any difference.”
          You know, they said the same type of thing years ago about seat belts. “You can’t make me wear those things and they don’t protect me anyway!”
          The results from strong seat belt laws make those statements look pretty silly.
          So, while banning so-called assault weapons and the tools that make guns more automatic and making background checks more effective might not solve the problem we might get surprised by the positive effect such changes could have.
          Those changes seem like a small concession in light of the harm being done especially since these events have increased in number in an alarming amount!
          Short of keeping our children home from school in protest do you have a better idea?
          Our kids should feel safe because they are, not because their schools have become a fortress!
          I’m Steve Sauder and there’s something to think about.