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.

October 26, 2016

          “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!

October 19, 2016

          This presidential campaign I think you will agree is off the chart crazy. Way to much talk about “rigged media coverage, private e-mails, insults, body parts, Bill Clinton’s behavior, locker room talk and pant suits!”

          Tonight is the last of three “so-called” debates. We are less than 3 weeks from Election Day and Time magazine says 48% of us are disappointed, 46% scared, 23% sad, 16% excited and only 9% satisfied. I guess I haven’t met any of those 9% that are supposedly satisfied with this campaign for president.

          With the debate tonight I thought it might be fun to have a score card listing what should be the top issues in this campaign to see how many times these issues get mentioned.

          During last debate Social Security wasn’t even mentioned! I’m thinking that’s a pretty important topic.

          Here’s the list of issues and the ranking by Time.

          They list Economy and Jobs as Number 1 with a 61% vote.

          Terrorism and National Security is second with a 58% vote.

          Health Care at 38% was third.

          Fourth was Immigration at 28%.

          The Budget Deficit was number 5 at 22%.

          Sixth was Gun Control at 21%

          Social Security was seventh at 19%.

          Climate change and Government regulation round out the top nine with 15% and 12% respectively.

          My question is how much time will be devoted to these nine issues versus, Bill Clinton’s misdeeds or the sorted history of Donald Trump’s activities?

          America has the best record of all countries for peaceful transition of power after a presidential election, but with the volatility of this campaign that may change.

If Donald Trump loses one has to wonder what he will say. Will he concede and throw support to Mrs. Clinton or will he cry “rigged” and fire up his supporters?

It would appear that concern for the future of our democracy after this debacle is not unwarranted.

Again, Heaven help us.

I’m Steve Sauder


October 12, 2016

          Hillary Clinton got called out during Sunday night’s debate for having both a public and private view on a topic. She responded saying she was using Abe Lincoln as her example.

          This of course set Donald Trump in motion suggesting Mrs. Clinton was no Abe Lincoln especially when it comes to honesty.

          Monday Trump had Face Book posts showing Lincoln’s picture with “Honest” flashing under it and Clinton’s picture with “Liar” flashing under it!

          Nick Fouriezos known as Ozy on Face Book shared historical information that might make Trump slow down trying to associate himself with Honest Abe!

          Ozy said “Midway through the 19th century, the country surged with a new political force. Mostly made up of white Protestant working and middle class voters, this emerging bloc despised the elites, whom they felt had rigged the system. They blamed the influx of migrants – namely Irish Catholics fleeing the potato famine – for a diversifying the nation… they began as state groups loosely affiliated by one universal nickname: the Know Nothings.”

Mark Sill from Trinity University said, “They easily could have said ‘Make America Great Again.’”

At one point the Know-Nothings held 8 governorships and had over 100 members in congress. They eventually re-named themselves the American Party. They were described as a “hodgepodge of conservatives united by anti-immigrant, anti Catholic and interestingly anti-slavery views. They believed Catholics could not be trusted – closely paralleling today’s Trumpian view on Muslims.

So now if Trump is planning to continue claiming Honest Abe Lincoln as an ally he’d better bone up on his history.

Here’s what Abraham Lincoln wrote to his lifelong friend Joshua Speed about the Trumpism of the 1800s: “Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.’ ”

Heaven, please help us!

Post script. If you’d like to read a really well written piece on the state of our democracy by David Brooks called “The Governing Cancer of Our Time” go to kvoe.com and type “Brooks” into the search bar and the article should pop up. That’s b-r-o-o-k-s.

I’m Steve Sauder

The Governing Cancer of Our Time by David Brooks

Click below to read the article by David Brooks published on NYTIMES.com


October 5, 2016

          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

September 28, 2016

Monday night’s presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was exciting, boring and predictable all at the same time.

          Judged as a debate, I think Hillary won and the Donald while scoring some good points missed several golden opportunities. They offer up so many plans it seems more like a Monopoly game than real life.

          One idea that Trump might consider concerns his unwillingness to release his tax returns and his reported ability to NOT PAY TAXES!

          I’ve been reading a book about Joseph P. Kennedy. He’s the father of President John F. Kennedy his brothers Bobby and Edward and 7 other children.

Trump should read this book called The Patriarch. It tells how Joe Kennedy manipulated business deals and especially how he absolutely raped the stock market and banks by creating investment opportunities in companies then convincing friends to join in thus driving up stock prices and then - often bailing out taking massive profits with him. Joseph P. Kennedy was a very skilled inside trader.

I don’t think he ever had to use bankruptcy, but he was accused of using funds from a bootlegging operation to fund one deal.

Here’s the rest of the story. Largely because of way Kennedy and others like him manipulated the markets and banks Franklin Roosevelt as a part of his New Deal in the thirties championed legislation to create regulations for banks and the Security and Exchange Commission to start reeling in Wall Street.

Amazingly Joe Kennedy who had all kinds of political aspirations himself lobbied for and was appointed by FDR as the first Chairman of the SEC!

This was absolutely like appointing the fox to watch the hen house!

So how does this help Trump?

Monday night when Mrs. Clinton said “Donald brags about paying no federal income taxes,” Trump utters under his breath – “I’m smart.”

My suggestion would be to cite Joe Kennedy who set the standard for insider trading on Wall Street then volunteered and was appointed to clean it up as Chairman of the SEC.

Trump should suggest if we want to collect more taxes from the rich why not ask someone who understands how to avoid taxes to be in charge of collecting them?

 He can proudly claim - and this time with some creditability, that he knows more about the flawed IRS Code than about anybody!

Don’t hold your breathe though – he had lots of opportunities Monday and swung and missed most of them.

Sadly Monday’s debate did little to help me decide how to vote. It did though motivate me to try and finish the Patriarch – its 787 pages long, but full of good stuff.

To end with some good news we are only 42 days away from the election!

I’m Steve Sauder.