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.

September 21, 2016

          Colin Kaepernick created quite a firestorm when he first chose to sit down during the playing of our national anthem. Of course his complaint was to “not show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

          He has been called everything from non-patriotic to entitled. Some athletes have joined him while others have gone the other way.

          Time magazine asks the question: Should the national anthem be played at sporting events anyway?

          I was surprised to learn that this is not the custom in most other countries except Canada and in Olympic type situations.

          Time pointed out we don’t start the Academy Awards show with the Star Spangled Banner nor Broadway shows and most other events.

          Baseball gets credit for both the first playing of the national anthem before a game in 1862 and starting the tradition at baseball games which seems to have started with the World Series in 1918 when America was swelling with World War I pride. But even then the practice of playing this song was still reserved for big events like the World Series.

          Time points out that often the flag waving and troops showing up at sporting events has been paid for by contracts between sporting teams and the Department of Defense. That’s interesting!

          I choose to remember how meaningful our national anthem became after 9-11 and how patriotism seems to trump just about all other bad habits for Americans. No doubt we go overboard at times – the MIAA, the Athletic Conference ESU participares in started a practice of playing the national anthem not once, but twice at all double header basketball games!

          Given the times we live in I like the playing or singing of our national song at sporting events and it seemed very appropriate at the ESU Presidential Inauguration last week.

          Different athletes have reacted in different ways – that’s fine – that’s what makes America unique.

          To end I will lift up J’den Cox’s story. J’den is a University of Missouri graduate from Columbia, Missouri who recently won a Bronze Medal in the Olympic Games in wrestling. Upon his return home he sought and was given permission to sing the national anthem before Missouri’s home football game last Saturday. He said it was an easy thing to do and he loved it.

          J’den didn’t mention anything about protests and such he just let his actions speak for him.

          Good example for us all.

God Bless the USA!
I’m Steve Sauder.  

September 14, 2016

          This election for president of the United States is beyond belief. It appears that if either candidate had good sense about themselves they could be walking away with this contest.

          According to Good Clear Politics from the Internet the average from 8 polls shows Donald and Hillary in a virtual deal heat in the race to be the most unfavorable. Trump shows 58.6% unfavorable with Ms. Clinton close behind at 55.3% unfavorable.

          Gee, I wonder why?

          Trump has insulted every possible faction of the electorate starting with John McCain and moving on. Too many to count!

          Clinton’s Saturday gaff – characterizing Trump’s backers as a “bigoted basket of deplorables” becomes even more amazing if you believe that remark was reportedly not conceived by the candidate, but written by her speech writers, approved by her staff and then read from a teleprompter during her speech.

          Next we get to the health issues. Trump’s Doctor and his comical letter would seem to have been better used as a spot on Saturday Night Live.

          Mrs. Clinton’s health is another question  indeed. All in all the handling of her bout with pneumonia has only added clout to the argument that she is hard to trust.

          Both candidates are disliked by more than like them and their health is in question for several valid reasons. Makes me wonder what the over and under might be on either of them being able to serve a 4 year term?

          Those thoughts shifted my attention to the candidates for Vice President. Me thinks they might be more important than usual?

          I’m not suggesting anything, but given the times we live in, the health of these two and the polarization of the opposing factions and I can see a VP becoming president as a fairly high probability.

          So, Mike Pence or Tim Kaine?

          Pence is 57, an attorney, the 50th Governor of Indiana and a former member of the U. S. House of Representatives.

          Kaine is 56, also an attorney and currently serving as a Senator representing Virginia. He was the Governor of Virginia from 2006 to 2010 and mayor of Richmond, Virginia for 3 years.

          About this I am serious. I’m not voting for Trump and Clinton is fast becoming a non-option, so what do I do?

          Not vote? I do not like that idea. I’ve never missed an opportunity to vote.

          I may just vote for one of the VP’s. That might be my answer.

          I’m Steve Sauder

September 7, 2016

Undoubtedly you know there was an earthquake in Oklahoma on Saturday that we felt locally and throughout many states.

Earthquakes have become more commonplace in the Midwest and a – not new process called “fracking” used by oil and gas producers is being blamed by some for these events.

Just so you will better understand here is a text book explanation of “fracking.”        

“Fracking” is shorthand for hydraulic fracturing; a type of drilling that has been used commercially for 65 years. Today, the combination of advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, employing cutting-edge technologies, is mostly responsible for surging U.S. oil and natural gas production.

Hydraulic fracturing involves safely tapping shale and other tight-rock formations by drilling a mile or more below the surface before gradually turning horizontal and continuing several thousand feet more. Thus, a single surface site can accommodate a number of wells. Once the well is drilled, cased and cemented, small perforations are made in the horizontal portion of the well pipe, through which a typical mixture of water (90 percent), sand (9.5 percent) and additives (0.5 percent) is pumped at high pressure to create micro-fractures in the rock that are held open by the grains of sand. Additives play a number of roles, including helping to reduce friction (thereby reducing the amount of pumping pressure from diesel-powered sources which reduces air emissions) and prevent pipe corrosion, which in turn help protect the environment and boost well efficiency.

Why “Fracking”?

Safe hydraulic fracturing is the biggest single reason America is having an energy revolution right now, one that has changed the U.S. energy picture from one of scarcity to abundance. “Fracking” is letting the U.S. tap vast oil and natural gas reserves that previously were locked away in shale and other tight-rock formations.

“Fracking” isn’t new. My dad used “fracking” nearly 50 years ago to turn tired, old oil leases viable again.  

“Fracking” today is accomplished using a chemical reaction. My dad and his cronies likely started their “fracking” with gun powder, but advanced to nitroglycerin. Whatever their methods it was far more dangerous than today’s process.

As for the earthquakes and the part “fracking” plays in them I refer you to a quote from a geologist who said, “this weekend's event was nearly 300 million years in the making.”

Let the debate continue!

I’m Steve Sauder.

August 31, 2016

Emporia State University is the most important operation in our community. Fortunately both our city and county commissions have embraced the idea that Emporia is a university community. That means ESU is an economic engine for us just like Tyson, farming or Hostess.

ESU has long been a role model for academic excellence especially in the areas of teacher education, accounting, science, theater, music and art. I am sure other disciplines are good too, but I am aware of the work in these areas.

ESU despite being the victim of state budget cuts and leadership changes continues to set a high standard.

Four leaders have combined to set a solid course for the university.

Edward Flentje was the interim president after Michael Lane. Too few know the wonderful job Ed performed especially in challenging the ESU Foundation.

Michael Shonrock was a unique leader who brought a style all his own to the job of President. He energized not only the campus, but our entire area.

Jackie Vietti served as ESU's interim president while the selection of Allison Garrett took place. President Vietti had everything but the kitchen sink thrown at her during her stay - budget cuts, law suits and upheaval, but she took care of business and left a strong operation for our new president.

Allison Garrett will be inaugurated as ESU's 17th President on the 16th day of September. Allison brought a corporate savvy to our school having worked for a large corporation's legal department before entering higher education. We have noticed her ability to view things from a different perspective which is good.

We have been blessed with four strong leaders in a row and good leadership at the ESU Foundation has led to a successful capital campaign – the largest in the school’s history.

Our university and Tech College students are back in town now which is obvious with increased traffic and such. We miss them when they are gone and love'em when they are here.

During disc golf Glass Blown Open and World Championships and the Dirty Kansa Bike Race we hear about how friendly our town can be. Many of us go out of our way to welcome visitors. This is really good and indicates that Emporia has embraced the idea of being good hosts.

My thought today is why not do the same thing for our college student guests? It takes little effort and if we all started working these kids I'm thinking we can create those same positive thoughts we get from the disc golfers and bikers.

Thanking a youngster for choosing to go to school in Emporia is easy. Then ask them where they are from and what they are studying and who knows - you might make a new friend.

Our schools are our biggest assets, so let’s work together to let the students and staff know we appreciate them being in Emporia!

I’m Steve Sauder

August 24, 2016


          Most of this is from Time magazine's August 29th story entitled: TYRANNY OF THE MOB.” It starts: “Trolls are turning the web into a cesspool of aggression and violence.”

          Explaining “the Internet’s personality has changed. Once it was a geek with lofty ideals about the free flow of information. Now…it is a sociopath with Asperger’s. “

          If you needed help increasing your upload speeds it was readily available. Unfortunately now, if you mention you are depressed on the web you will likely receive instructions on how to kill yourself.

          Factors like anonymity, invisibility, lack of authority and not communicating in real time “strip away mores society spent millennia building.”

          Let me define a couple of new terms for you.

          To “Troll” is known to most as a fishing style. But online “It quickly morphed to refer to the monsters who hide in darkness and threaten people.”

          Internet trolls claim the do this for “lulz” or translated laughs. These include everything from clever pranks to harassment to violent threats.

          They claim if you don’t laugh you lack a sense of humor.

          Also there is “doxxing.” That’s publishing social security numbers and bank account information.

          Every heard of “swatting?” It is self explanatory – it’s calling in an emergency to someone’s home in hopes of having a swat team bust in!

          Some of the other tricks “trolls” have played include: posting on memorial pages mocking the death of someone they may not even know.

In 2012 Anita Sarkeesian tried to raise funds for a series about the hatred of women. She received bomb threats, doxxing threats, rape threats and an unwanted starring role in a video game.

A New York Times writer with 35,000 Twitter followers quit social media after a barrage of anti-Semitic messages.

And a female writer recently stopped using social media after receiving rape threats against her 5 year old daughter.

Folks these are just the tip of the iceberg. The Time story written by Joel Stein is amazing.

Our kids from 6,7,8 years of age have phones and access to the Internet. Parents need to take heed and make sure their children aren’t off on the wrong foot. If you hear them say “trolling” and they aren’t going to the lake it’s time to get involved.

Asking if they have “Prince Albert in a can” was a prank – sending in the swat team isn’t!

          I’m Steve Sauder


August 17, 2016

The sad situation surrounding this campaign for president we are having got me to thinking last week about the comedian Will Rogers. I wonder what Will would have said?

          I found some things written about Mr. Rogers in the Forward to a book about him that might be helpful today.

          Finally, there was no malice in his humor. He never criticized a man who was down. He was neither a Republican nor a Democrat. He said he was always with the “outs” and against the “ins.” At the start of the great depression Will Rogers ceased all criticism of Presidents.

          He had a sharp wit, but he used it kindly. In his daily newspaper column read in over 400 papers he took cracks at capital and labor, bankers and farmers, but through it all was a thread of forgiveness and national unity. The insulting personal humor of today was quite foreign to Will Rogers.

          Will Rogers lived in a time now long past, when more people lived in the country than the city. I think his point of view is best summed up in a remark he once made to an audience in New York City. “They call me a rube and a hick, but I’d a lot rather be the man who bought the Brooklyn Bridge than the man that sold it.”

          That was Will Rogers.

          So today, if we could ask him how do think Mr. Trump would answer the question about selling or buying the Brooklyn Bridge?

          Lord, today just a simple prayer. Please send us a modern day Will Rogers cause we need something to laugh about!

          I’m Steve Sauder.