Something to Think About - keep (311)

  No secret about my feeling on our Governor - not a Sam Brownback fan and not alone in this!

          My uncle Harold lives in Independence and like my dad when he speaks it makes good sense to listen.

          He shared with me a flyer from “Kansans for Kansas Values” which described the Brownback leadership style as “a real circus act.”

          Here’s what it said: “Just follow the leader” has been the style of leadership during the Sam Brownback years as Kansas governor. Like circus elephants parading in an arena, far-right Republicans have latched their trunks firmly onto the tails in front of them and followed Brownback’s every move, knowing full well that if they don’t move on his commands, they will face his wrath… and be kicked out of his circus. He’s done it before… and he’ll do it again!”

          The Brownback administration truly has been a circus complete with slight of hand, deception and promises that can never be kept. It’s a show, but unlike the circus there won’t be a happy ending.

          An editorial from the Hays Daily News reprinted in the Gazette had a good example of the Brownback style.

          Seems “the Kansas Division of the Budget told seven state agencies to prepare budgets showing more efficiencies.”

          This obviously was speaking to preparing for more cuts due to low revenue expectations, but when the Gov’s office was asked about the instructions from the Budget office they said they were looking “for ways to govern better and be good stewards of the taxpayer’s money.”

          What a crock, they already have cut budgets to the bone!

          Their explanation is as transparent as the “loans” Brownback’s Lt. Governor made twice to their campaign right before reporting deadlines to make their numbers look better than they really were.

          Hopefully, Kansas voters are paying attention.

          Governor Brownback has made Kansas the laughing stock of this political cycle and the only way to fix that nationwide perception is to toss him out on his ear.

          With the election is just over a month away now is the time to register and prepare to vote. The future of Kansas is absolutely in the balance.

          I’m Steve Sauder.

Attending the funeral for a co-worker is something I believe I have never experienced before.

          Yesterday we laid Roger Troutner to rest.

          I remember when we hired Roger at Valu-Line. He was finishing up his schooling at the Goodland, Kansas Technical School in the telecommunications area. Valu-Line was growing and needed technicians. The competition for techs at Goodland was strong. We were very excited to land Roger.

          He moved here and made Emporia his home. Roger started with Valu-Line which became Birch. After Birch he worked for Stutler Technologies and recently joined the Valu-Net team.

          Roger served 4 years in the Navy and was Gulf War Veteran.

He and Deanna were married in 1996 and have three good looking children.

          On October 30th Roger lost a courageous battle with leukemia. He had just turned 45.

          Roger’s brother said during the service he understood why Roger made Emporia his home citing all the love that has been shared for he and his family during his illness.

          The number of friends attending the services was a wonderful tribute to Roger.

          Death is a part of life. Unlike those who do not believe, Christians are blessed with hope. That hope is based on a belief of an eternal life in Heaven with Jesus.

          Admittedly I struggled during the service to understand how and why this happens to someone so young. But, in those struggles I am reminded and thankful for my Christian upbringing that does give me hope.

          On the other side one has to wonder how non-believers get through such ordeals.

          Roger was a good man and you know what? I’ll bet God needed a good tech in Heaven.

          I’m Steve Sauder

Election results never fail to be surprising. Yesterday’s event was a mystery well into the evening and did not disappoint. 

Well, that’s not exactly true as several of my favorites lost. They should be proud for running and I’m proud for taking a stand. Hope you voted so you can say you were a part of the process.

          With Governor Brownback winning re-election my mind was racing as to how and why that happened when Chuck Todd on NBC provided the answer.

          Todd pointed out that the amazing Republican wave of senate victories across the country all had the same characteristic – each and every candidate ran against President Obama! Todd then added even Sam Brownback in Kansas made his opponent Barrack Obama.

          My thinking is Chuck Todd was correct. Brownback’s campaign successfully tied Paul Davis to Obama and the President’s unpopularity allowed the campaign to be about that rather than the problems we face in Kansas.

          Brownback also owes a debt of gratitude to Bob Dole for pulling Pat Roberts behind out of the mud and bringing out the Republican votes.

          It would seem the Governor’s campaign didn’t need the awful and nasty tactics it employed. The Carr Brothers inclusion was a dreadful decision.

          Last thought about Sam Brownback’s re-election is he might not be so happy about the results in a few years. He said often said “the sun is shining on Kansas.” During the next four years Kansas may have a few clouds to deal with and our Governor won’t have President Obama to blame.

          Speaking of which President Obama started his evening off last night by calling the newly elected Senator for Arkansas and congratulating him. Coupled with Mitch McConnell’s acceptance speech where he opened the door to cooperation there is room for optimism about Washington getting something done during the next two years.

          Guess we’ll hide and watch, but we won’t hold our breath!

          Congratulations to the victors and thank you to those who made the effort to run and also the less than 50% of registered Lyon Countians who voted.

          Elections are great and wonderful even when most of yard signs were wrong.

          I’m Steve Sauder.

It’s back to the future today. Fast forward 20 years. It’s 2035 and for the first time since 2015 the Kansas City Royals are in the World Series.

My great grand son, Tate, Jr., is asks “Papa Steve, can you remember the last time the Royals were in the World Series?”

          I’m 89, but I tell Tater a great deal about the 2015 Post Season for the Royal’s. It’s still as clear as a bell!

          First, is how we scored the tying run in the ninth inning of the fifth game in New York. Eric Hosmer our first baseman is on third with one out. Our catcher, Salvador Perez chops one to the right of third. Hosmer waits for the throw to first then breaks for the plate and should have been out, but the throw is wide and he scores. We win the game and the Series in the 12th inning. Gutsiest play ever!

          A close second was Alex Gordon’s clutch home run in the bottom of the ninth to tie the score in game one. The Mets reliever Jeurys Familla was supposedly untouchable.

          Facing elimination in game four against Houston in the Division Series the Royals score five runs in the eighth inning to erase a 4 run deficit. This was one of seven come from behind victories by the Royals in the 2015 post season!

          Against the Blue Jays in game six of the American League Championship Series closer Wade Davis found himself facing no outs with runners on second and third and a one run lead. This after he had recorded the final out in the eighth and then sat through 57 minutes between pitches due to a rain delay. Two K’s later and a ground out the Royal’s were in the World Series! Incredible!

          The winning run for Davis came in the bottom of the eighth when Lorenzo Cain amazingly scored on a single to right. Another example of daring and exciting base running that highlighted the 2015 Royal’s!

          Those were just 5 highlights. There must have been a dozen including amazing pitching displays and a utility player getting the game winning hit in his only at bat in the Series! Every member of the Royal’s had a highlight during the five game event. The 2015 Royal’s were the absolute definition of a team.

          And last Tate, I can remember the celebration in Kansas City following the Series. Well over 500,000 fans packed downtown K C and heard the team say Kansas City had always possessed the best fans, that it was also the best city and NOW had the best baseball team in the world. It all seems like yesterday!

          The 2015 Kansas City Royal’s were indeed magic.

          I have been characterized as a “sports junky.” So be it as today my topic is Emporia State football and with no apologies.

          Yesterday former Emporia State football coach Jerry Kill addressed my Rotary club.

          Kill coached here in 1999 and 2000 before heading to Division I Southern Illinois followed by Northern Illinois and finally Minnesota in the Big Ten. He has been named National Coach of the Year 3 times and recently was inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame. 

          Just over a year ago Kill was forced to retire from coaching – walking away from an $8 million three year contract for health reasons. He’s now an Assistant AD at K-State.

          Kill was only at ESU for 2 years winning and losing 11 games, but he played a significant role in the success of Emporia State football today.

          You see, Kill replaced Manny Matsakis after his Hornets were 9-2 in his last of 4 years here -  the Brian Shay years.

          What Kill found upon arriving at Emporia State was program with few players, footballs or scholarships. Matsakis knew he would leave after 4 years and bled the well dry!

          Kill’s leadership restored the program in a hurry and inspired a fund raising campaign known as the “Difference Makers” that still functions today.

          In his talk yesterday Kill lauded the fund raising suggesting the program could have been set back 25 years without it!

          My opinion is the three coaches most important in the history of ESU football are Larry Kramer who did the dirty work of laying a foundation for football here.

Kill who provided needed leadership and knowledge and inspired many even though his stay was short.

And Garin Higgins who now leads the best NCAA Division II program in Kansas.

          Higgins efforts are magnified when you consider the obstacles he has to overcome.

          ESU plays in the toughest Division II conference in America with second lowest athletic budget. Recent efforts including the Now and Forever campaign have increased the budget, but other schools are raising money too.

          Higgins took the job knowing that he would have fewer toys in his toy box than schools like Northwest Missouri, Central Missouri and Pittsburg but he has overcome.

          ESU athletics across the board employs an attitude of “Doing more with less.” The school may be at the bottom of the MIAA in budget, but is way better than that in results.

          Congratulations to ESU football and Coach Higgins on a great season and a great future.

          I’m Steve Sauder

 Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and all across America people will give thanks for their many blessings.

          While Thanksgiving goes all the way back to the Pilgrims at Plymouth in 1620 the official Thanksgiving in America was finally proclaimed as such by President Abe Lincoln in 1863 the same year our university in Emporia was founded.

          Prior to Lincoln’s proclamation this celebration took several turns.

          In 1620 the 56 Pilgrims who made it through the first winter celebrated their survival and their bumper crop. Their celebration included 91 Indians who helped them through the winter.

          During the three day celebration they dined on wild ducks, geese and venison. It’s doubtful if turkey was part of the meal. Confusion may have set in because the term “turkey” was used widely to describe all wild game.

          In 1676 Charlestown, Massachusetts declared June 29 as a day of thanksgiving to express thanks for all their good fortune. Interestingly, their feast did not include the Indians because part of the occasion was to celebrate their victory over those “heathen natives.”

          October of 1777 was the first time all 13 colonies joined in a thanksgiving celebration.

          George Washington proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving in 1789 although some were opposed suggesting the hardship of a few Pilgrims did not warrant a national holiday.

Later, President Thomas Jefferson scoffed at the idea of having a day of thanksgiving.

It was a 40 year campaign by Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor, that led to Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1863.

Thanksgiving was proclaimed by every president after Lincoln. FDR picked a date creating a longer Christmas shopping period, but the public didn’t like it. Finally Congress made the fourth Thursday in November as a legal holiday.

One has to wonder if our Congress today could even agree on that!

          So here we are. Thanksgiving 2013. While we have many blessings to proclaim we also have a state, country and world in turmoil. Seems like a proper time to say thank you for our blessings and ask for guidance to help us solve our problems. Shall we pray………..

          I am a thankful Steve Sauder.

          Thanksgiving is tomorrow so let’s talk about things for which we are thankful.

          At Rotary yesterday the prayer mentioned things we should be thankful for like family, friends, good health (my thanks is conditional on that one), faith, nice weather, the food, a few other things and health care providers.

          Today let me confirm the prayer list, but to add a couple of local organizations mentioned at the meeting for which Emporians should also be thankful.

          The prayer specifically mentioned health care because our program was presented by Robert Wright the Administrator at Newman Regional Health.

          Bob’s presentation included many numbers – he said “numbers until your eyes cross.” The numbers were from surveys taken to gauge the quality of care and service at Newman. Obviously he would not have presented them if they were not positive.

          What we learned about our rapidly changing hospital is that it has turned the corner on profitability and at the same time maintained and/or improved the level of care.

          Bob bragged about the excellent quality of the current medical staff and the hospital’s efforts to recruit specialists to replace doctors lost over the past few years.

          Newman Hospital is a community asset and we should be exceedingly grateful for people like Robert Wright and his staff and also the hospital’s volunteer Board of Directors who have steered the institution through some very choppy waters.

          Our Rotary Club has a project to improve conditions at one of S.O.S.’s shelters in Emporia. The work S.O.S. does in our community is unnoticed by many, but their efforts make our community a much better and safer place to live. We are thankful for S.O.S.

          And lastly, The Emporia Community Foundation will be holding their Match Day December 1, at the Mall. This unique effort will provide much needed funding for 15 organizations running from our municipal band and animal shelter to Emporia Celebrates the Flint Hills. The Hopkins, Reeble and Trusler Foundations assist and deserve our thanks, but please also remember the silent good works of the Community Foundations.

          We have a lot about which to be thankful. Happy Thanksgiving.

          I’m Steve Sauder

It’s Thanksgiving week and I was intrigued by a story on Face Book about 7 year old Jack Swanson from Pflugerville, Texas who reacted to the vandalism of the local Islamic Center by gathering up his savings – twenty dollars he’d been saving towards an I-Pad – and gave it to the mosque.

Jack isn’t a Muslim just a kid who saw injustice and felt a need to help.

An official from the mosque reacted saying, “Jack’s 20 dollars are worth twenty-million dollars to us because it’s the thought that counts. This gives me hope… it’s not one versus the other. Our kids are going to grow up together… if we have more kind hearted kids like Jack in the world, I have hope for our future.”

The mosque reportedly gave Jack a gift for his act of kindness – a brand new Apple I-Pad!

Hope you agree this is a neat story especially in these times of tremendous stress and distrust of our fellow man.

Our world is torn with the threats of terrorism. Our lives have been forever changed. Trust in our world is in short supply. We all have to wonder what’s next. Travel plans are now often based on safety. We have to wonder where is this going and how will it end?

Thanksgiving will be a welcome time. A time to reflect and say thanks for all we have, but also a time to ask for guidance.

As Americans we have so much about which to be thankful, yet attacks like the event is Paris make us unsure of the future.

Maybe we should take the lead from Jack Swanson? Dedicate ourselves to acts of kindness. We all know we don’t need more hate on our world, so why not look for places to be good to our fellow man? Who knows it might start to add up!

Have a great Thanksgiving, I’m Steve Sauder.

Excellent thoughts from a friend via Face Book about Thanksgiving and the situation we are facing in our country and society today. Here’s what Brian posted:

Is love more important than World View?

My unsolicited advice this week is not to go to war at the Thanksgiving table. Value the person sitting across from you. If you are spending your holiday time with someone, then showing them that you care about them personally is more important than proving yourself right about religion, politics, or economic theory.

No one is going to be convinced of anything right now. We’ve all got our lines drawn in the sand, and everyone is prepared for nuclear war with one another at a moment’s notice. It is too early for anyone to declare victory or defeat. Neither candidate met most of our expectations so let’s not lose loved ones over how we ranked them.

Find something else to talk about: Life’s ambition, the year in review, your hopes, dreams and aspirations. Good Luck everyone!

Good advice.

Thanksgiving is a day to show appreciation for our many blessings and despite the turmoil and upheaval we see daily in our world we still live in the best country, in the best of times. Wonderful relationships sometimes can’t stand the discussion of religion or politics, so why take the chance?

At least for tomorrow let’s follow a couple of good ideas: First - Don’t worry and be happy; and quoting my mom again: “If you can’t say something nice about someone - then don’t say anything at all!”

Have a great turkey day! I’m Steve Sauder.