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Something to Think About

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.

August 10, 2016

It took awhile but Kansans proved last week we aren’t so dumb. But, on the same set of facts we can’t say the same thing for our governor.

          In primary elections all across Kansas Republicans sent conservative lawmakers who were the support system for Sam Brownback packing. The results were even better than moderate Republicans had hoped.

This is good news for our state which has been burdened by leadership that has been absolutely tone deaf despite massive indications that the people were not supportive of their tax policies, revenue shortfalls and continual budget cuts. Brownback’s approval rating was recently listed at a lousy 26%!

          But, Governor Sam evidently, still doesn’t feel the burn. In an interview on public television in Kansas City, Monday he blamed the media and poor communication for the losses taken by his supporters and refused to call the election results a repudiation of his leadership.

          The truth is all across the state conservative incumbents were tossed aside like rag dolls and my understanding is there are democrats running in all 40 Senate races state-wide and a number of them have excellent chances.

          It looks to me like the contests in November for seats in the Kansas House and Senate may well be based more on: Do you support Brownback’s policies rather than are you a Republican or Democrat?

          The term “repudiate” was used earlier - it means to “refuse to accept as valid.”  For me that is the question to ask all state candidates – do you repudiate the leadership and policies of Governor Brownback?

          If they can’t pass that test us “smart Kansans” will toss them out!

          By the way – “repudiate” sits right next to Republican Party in my dictionary.

          Truly “something to think about” today!

          I’m Steve Sauder

August 3, 2016

                                                8-3-16

          This may seem like a strange message, but I’m sharing it to ease confusion about my health.

On July the 4th while watching Wimbledon tennis I noticed something was amiss with my left eye. Covering my right eye I discovered I couldn’t see anything?

           I experienced a hemorrhage in my right eye almost 2 years ago caused by a tear in the vitreous that left me with “floaters” in the eye that blocked about 60% of my vision. I assumed this was just a reoccurrence, but in the other eye. Since that eye cleared up after several procedures and is 100% normal today I was not particularly alarmed.

There was no pain so we waited until the 5th of July to call Dr. Reynold’s office. They told me they needed to see me immediately. We found out there was an occlusion in a vein and artery that had shut off the blood and oxygen supply to my retina thus killing about 45% of it. Unfortunately the damage was right in the middle of the retina thus blocking my sight.

          My doctors tell me there is no chance for a reversal and that retina transplants are science fiction since the retina is a part of the brain.

          I’m learning to function with one eye. Depth perception is the most difficult thing to relearn. I’ve restricted where and when I drive and I’m going slower and paying a lot more attention.

          I’m sharing this so people will know about my situation and hopefully understand if I don’t speak because I didn’t see them or recognize them or if I accidently bump into them – hopefully not with my car.

          You might make the case that I’ve fallen in love with Medicare because since turning 65 I’ve had my share of events. Check out this list: Ankle surgery, an AV Ablation for A-Fib, the hemorrhage in my right eye, cellulites after  falling off the bridge at the Country Club lake while fishing, back surgery, a broken foot, lost vision in my left eye and finally I was fitted with a prosthetic brace for my right foot and ankle that I now wear every day.

          Actually, maybe I do love Medicare!

          I’m Steve Sauder

July 27, 2016

          Next Tuesday Kansas holds its Primary Election. Locally we have three races with multiple candidates asking for your support. If you are not registered to vote you won't need to listen to the rest of my thoughts. If you are registered you can vote now or wait and go to the polls next Tuesday.

          KVOE does not endorse candidates, but at times I share with listeners who I am supporting and why.

          The race to replace Peggy Mast in the 76th House District has two Democrats running: Teresa Briggs and Kelly Atherton. I supported Teresa Briggs two years ago when she opposed Representative Mast and I still believe she will be an excellent representative.

          Don Hill’s retirement was hastened by the knowledge that Mark Schreiber was willing to replace him. I'm not sure how a candidate could have a better endorsement? 

          Mark's Republican opponents - Steve Pearson and Dr. Matthew Shepherd - are both good people and under different circumstances excellent choices, but given the mess we have in Kansas we need Schreiber’s experience.

          Schreiber's job representing the interests of Westar in Topeka gives him a giant leg up. He not only already knows the issues and the people in the statehouse he understand how things get done in the legislature. We are lucky Mark is available!

          The third contested race is to represent the big First District of Kansas in the U.S. House of Representatives.

          Tim Huelskamp won a large primary six years ago and has been re-elected twice. He has kept his campaign promises by voting against everything, not supporting any new taxes, being a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment and has been Pro Life as is possible.

          Unfortunately Representative Huelskamp's history of not getting along with leadership raised its ugly head again in Washington. The First District is highly reliant on agriculture. It was perfect when Rep. Huelskamp landed a seat on the powerful Agriculture Committee. BUT, when he got cross ways with House leadership he unbelievably got kicked off this very important committee. He remains off the Agriculture committee!

          Not being on the Ag Committee makes Huelskamp expendable in this district according to Kansas Farm Bureau and the Kansas Livestock Association both of whom have endorsed his opponent.

          Roger Marshall from Great Bend is a respected doctor and a good choice to replace Huelskamp. Marshall is every bit as conservative as Huelskamp, but has the common sense to know when to speak and when to listen. Dr. Marshall who also has a solid farming background will be appointed to the Agriculture Committee a privilege Huelskamp squandered.

          We have an opportunity to be represented by someone who will not only get along with the leaders in Washington; he may well become a leader - something Representative Tim Huelskamp will never accomplish - never!

          Dr. Roger Marshall is an easy choice here.

          Here’s hoping you have a vote and that you will use it.

          I’m Steve Sauder

July 20, 2016

                                                7-20-16

          It is safe to say virtually everyone loves a circus. A circus has something for everyone; acrobats, clowns, barkers, wild animals, trained animals and loud music. And any good circus has unexpected excitement.

          Guess that’s why both political parties are calling the event going on in Cleveland a circus.

          Republicans call it a circus because these events use a big tent and that’s what a political party is supposed to do – get everyone under one big tent.

          The Democrats are calling the Republican Convention a circus for a completely different reason and guess what? The GOP isn’t disappointing anyone looking for a show.

          Monday was a dozy. Conflict and controversy supposedly over the “rules” got things going. Then after that spat was settled the Grand Old Party trotted out veterans, a mother, a mayor, a wife, a general and a senator. It was easily as good as any real circus I’ve ever attended.

          Following the show on Monday charges of plagiarism were leveled at Mrs. Trump. She delivered her speech flawlessly, but soon as they say “the rest of the story” came out. Often you do see sleight of hand at the circus!

          Last night did not hold the potential for excitement that Monday had with too many politicians slated to talk. There may have been excitement during the vote to make Donald Trump officially the nominee.

          Speaking of the Donald all this activity leading up to Thursday night will all have been for naught if he doesn’t deliver the speech of his life.

          Trump has had many chances to pivot from the loud and boisterous candidate to a more refined presidential nominee and potential president. So far he has not taken those opportunities.

In his acceptance speech Trump has the opportunity to offer unique ideas, detailed plans and more substance for his administration. For example: he cannot simply say “I’m going to fix things for our veterans” – he needs to share a plan.

Trump can’t win the election with his speech Thursday night, but he could make it nearly impossible to win.  

For Trump it is a golden opportunity because he will be the center of attention in the Big Top!

I’m Steve Sauder

July 13, 2016

                                                7-13-16

          It is my belief that we in America are very close to a divide that could be the ugliest thing since the Civil War.

          Black lives do matter, so do white lives and the lives of police men and women and if you are a believer even the lives of thugs and crooks.

          Our country is divided into many segments and with the advances in communications vehicles – i.e., social media, blogs and multiple so called news outlets the opportunity for anarchy is easy.

          For example; the shootings in Dallas last week was the work of one man with a gun and a pistol. For a time the authorities thought there were 3 or 4 shooters. Amazingly the rally where he did his shooting was a spur of the moment event so his actions had to be the same.

          America is in trouble. What we are experiencing is anarchy defined as “lawless confusion and political disorder” by Webster.

          I want to share with you two thoughts that make sense to me. The first is from Pastor Mic Maguire who grew up in Emporia, served Grace Methodist Church for a time and now leads a church in the Piper area. He offered:

When tragedy strikes in the way of gun violence, there are some who will call for us to do better. President Obama recently and often has said "we're better than this," or "we can do better." Although I can agree with him, I believe we first need to acknowledge that we aren't better than this. We just aren't very nice. We're angry, hurtful, spiteful human beings. If each of us can admit we harbor ugliness towards another human being, then maybe we can make the changes that will allow us to do better.

In religious terms we need to repent. But President Obama, although a faithful Christian, can't call the nation to repentance. So maybe it's up to we religious leaders to call ourselves into repentance for our own sinfulness and for not leading our flocks to repentance. Then we need to call our flocks into repentance.

          And then on the morning after the Dallas shootings Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings was asked by Joe Scarboro “What can we do for you now?”

          The Mayor’s thoughtful answer was this “Please choose your words carefully.”

          Mic is correct – we aren’t better than this, but we could be and to do so repentance is a good place to start.

          The Mayor’s thoughtful suggestion really hit home.    

The old saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” just isn’t true anymore.

Our words from President Obama right down to the lowest guy with an audience must change.  If they don’t – heaven help us.

I’m thinking it’s time to pray for the good ol’ U. S. of A.

I’m Steve Sauder

July 6, 2016

          In the Big First District we have a heated primary election contest for the Republican nomination between the incumbent Tim Huelskamp and novice politician Dr. Roger Marshall.

          This is already a nasty/dirty race. Let’s take a look at what they are saying about each other.

          Huelskamp is attacking Marshall for suggesting a tax on internet purchases; flip flopping on his abortion position and for being a “law breaker” in an advertisement that he has run on this station accusing Marshall of driving away from an accident.

          Marshall has to own the tax comment since it came in a debate. He claims he is pro-life which matches the Congressman so he might be guilty of a flip or a flop. The leaving the scene ad is pretty flimsy. Marshall was in an encounter with an unhappy citizen supposedly over a lost bid at the local hospital. After the confrontation Marshall did plead guilty to a misdemeanor traffic charge, but he was not charged with leaving the scene even though that’s what the Huelskamp ad suggests.

          Candidate Marshall suggests Huelskamp uses public money for campaign purposes. Maybe, but that’s really the advantage of being a third term incumbent. They claim Huelskamp voted against funding to fight Isis and for pay increases for soldiers at Ft. Riley. The record on these is clear. Most important and factual are the claims that our congressman got himself removed from both the Agriculture and Budget Committees. Huelskamp claims he will be re-seated on the Ag committee, but a lot of damage has already been done.

          My belief is the time is right for a change. Huelskamp has had six years to show his worth, but what he has mainly shown is an ability to put himself in conflict with leadership and have an amazing inability to compromise or get along.

          It appears to me this kind of belligerent attitude is exactly why the American public has such a low opinion of our congress.  

          Roger Marshall is a rookie, but he has an impressive background. Not only is he a successful doctor - he also has farming on his resume.

          The Primary is August the second and once again we in Kansas have a chance to change. Please don’t miss this opportunity.

          I’m Steve Sauder