Something to Think About - keep (289)

                            

          Today, my recommendation for a series to watch on your television if you are old or planning to get that way.

            The Kominsky Method is an American comedy web television series that paints a surprisingly poignant – if a little paint-by-numbers – portrait of life and aging, elevated by two top-notch performances by acting legends according to Wikipedia.

          Sandy Kominsky, played by Michael Douglas, is an aging acting coach who, years earlier, had a brief moment of success as an actor. Alan Arkin plays his longtime agent and best friend.

          Both men are closing in on 80 years of age and experiencing classic life-changing adventures us older people face.

          Forgetting names comes first, then the word they want to use starts becoming elusive, followed by physical changes most of us in our 70's are starting to understand. It deals with the lighter side of challenges like having an aging romantic partner, losing a loved one and trying to figure out adult children. Simply going to the bathroom can provide challenges plus all those other things that are harder to accomplish as we grow older.

          If you are 70 or more you know of what they speak. If not, you soon will. In any case, these guys are hilarious.

          Recently, The American Film Institute honored the Kominsky Method its' three top awards - Best Series, Leading Actor and Supporting Actor.

          In a disclaimer of sorts if a touch of raw language or adult talk offends you the Kominsky Method might not be for you. It's not awful language, a few bad words are uttered.

          There are 8 shows in each season running just 23 minutes each, so it's perfect for several nights of binge-watching. You will have trouble turning this off.

          Netflix is a streaming service that costs about $10 a month that offers a wide variety of movies, TV shows, and original series. If you like TV it's a bargain!

          If you have a Smart TV all you do is sign up for Netflix. Otherwise, you'll need a device your Internet provider can help you with. Beware: once you get Netflix you will get hooked.

          And, the Kominsky Method is just the tip of the iceberg, but a really funny series, especially if you are in my age range.

          I’m Steve Sauder

            I had so many ideas for today it was confusing - School Bond outcome, President Trump, the relentless Democrats in Congress, the don't confuse with the facts my mind is made up Republicans in congress and of course some really funny stories from FaceBook.

            But, they all can wait because my really neat next-door neighbor posted this on FaceBook and it is really timely.

            Author Gus Speth titled his thoughts: "We scientists don't know how to do that" and then wrote:

  • I used to think top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystems collapse, and climate change.
  • I thought with 30 years of good science we could address these problems.
  • But I was wrong.
  • The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed, and apathy.........and to deal with those we need a spiritual and cultural transformation. - and we scientists don't know how to do that.

      My interpretation of this message is - it's time for prayer. If you don't embrace that practice it might be a good time to start. Because we do need help!

      I'm Steve Sauder

Wednesday I received an email from my Congressman Roger Marshall that started with this heading: Cowardly Shifty Schiff.

          He was referring of course to California Congressman Adam Schiff who is actively investigating President Trump.

          I'm not impressed by either our President or Congressman Schiff, but I was disheartened by Roger Marshall's choice of words and sent him the following email to complain.

          Congressman Marshall, please don’t join your leader by using childish nicknames to berate your opponents.

        "Cowardly Shifty Schiff," is not an adult comment. Thanks 

          I have lots of concerns with our President. Near the top of my list is his practice of tearing down his opponents with very un-complimentary nicknames. That is a juvenile habit for which children are often disciplined.

          Like I said previously I'm not a big Adam Schiff fan either, but cowardly?

          Representative Marshall, calling Schiff "cowardly" in my book makes you by definition a demagogue. You can look up a demagogue for yourself. It is not intended to be a flattering term.

          Representative Marshall you are working to become Senator Marshall and it's obvious you are tying yourself as tightly as possible to President Trump. That is probably a good strategy in Kansas, but my hope is you might reconsider mimicking Trump's practice of putting his opponents down using ugly rhetoric.

          Heck, that could be a refreshing change for both you and our President.

          O, and by the way, Roger Marshall has not responded to my email.

          I'm Steve Sauder and There's Something to Think About.

Tens of thousands of high school students recently skipped school to protest inaction on climate change in an event called the U. S. Youth Climate Change Strike.
One observer suggested before today's youngsters skipped school over this issue they might consider changing some of their personal habits saying:
 You are the first generation who required air-conditioning in every
classroom.
 You expect a TV in every room and your classes are all computerized.
 You spend almost every waking hour on your electronic devices.
 More than ever, you don't walk or ride bikes to school but arrive in
caravans of private cars.
 You are the biggest consumers of manufactured goods ever!
 You update perfectly good expensive luxury items just to stay trendy.
So, if you are really serious about affecting the environment?
 Tell your teachers to shut off the AC!
 Walk, ride a bike or take the bus or carpool to school.
 Switch off your phone and try reading a book or taking a hike.
 Eat less manufactured food.
 Do your own research so as not to rely on others for all your facts.
Back in my day, we skipped school about Viet Nam, the length of our hair, how loud we played our music and even when we won a football game. 
Today it's climate change which is a very serious question. Not so much as to its existence, but more to - what can we actually do about it?
And that is certainly Something to Think About.
I'm Steve Sauder

          Great news for taxpayers in the Emporia School District!

          The delay in voting on the $78 million bond issue will likely save us, taxpayers, a bundle of money - millions, yes I said millions of dollars over the 28-year life of the bonds.

          There are two reasons.

          Interest rates on bonds have decreased resulting in major savings and Hill's Pet Food's property tax exemption is expiring.

          Previously the projected increase in the taxes on that proverbial $100,000 home necessary to cover the principal and interest on the $78 million bond was $33.96 a year. The new projection lowers the increase to only $5.76 per YEAR!

          That means, YES, if the bond issue passes your school taxes will increase, but only by 48 cents a month on a hundred thousand dollar home.

          Conversely, if this bond issue fails your school taxes could decrease when the current bond is retired.

          BUT, the consequences of failing to make these important improvements to every school building in the district would be a mistake.

          Safety is the most important item. Access to every school needs to be as secure as possible, especially in these times.

          The other projects are well thought out including required better storm shelters, more useable space for our special needs kids plus updating things like science labs built in the 1970s at the high school. The requested projects are needs not wants.

          Superintendent Kevin Case and his people have done a tremendous job of sharing information and making all buildings involved open for inspection including open houses at many schools this Sunday afternoon.           No one can claim a lack of transparency on this issue.

          Oh yea, speaking of transparency the Hill's benefit will happen - win or lose.

          It looks to me like failure to approve this opportunity would be "Looking a gift horse in the mouth!"

          Then again if we fail to pass this bond issue and one of those unthinkable events happens at one of our schools we can always rationalize saying "well we did lower our taxes even if we didn't secure the entrance to that school."

          A 48 cent monthly tax increase on a hundred thousand dollar home! That's a great offer!

          I'm Steve Sauder, please vote!

          Blake Flanders, the President of the Kansas Board of Regents was our speaker at Rotary yesterday.

          He started his presentation by explaining that the cost of higher education in Kansas hasn't risen that much over the last ten years, but it seems that way because of WHO pays for education.

          He presented a graph with one line showing state support for higher education in Kansas. The other line illustrated tuition costs at state schools over the past ten years. It was pretty dramatic because the lines make a very obvious X!

          While total expenses for public college education in Kansas has increased at a rate about equal to the consumer cost index, TUITION COSTS have SKYROCKETED because our Kansas legislators have drastically cut what they are providing.  

          Flanders next showed us the benefits of having more citizens with some post-secondary education. Not necessarily a bachelor's degree, but something beyond high school. The rewards to our economy would be great.

          So I asked Kansas Board of Regents President Blake Flanders this question:

          You make a very compelling case demonstrating that a more affordable post-secondary education would have a very positive effect on our Kansas economy, yet our legislators choose lower taxes over-investing in higher education.

          Even when the benefit to our state would result in a more robust economy and lower taxes, the folks in Topeka fail to act.     Isn't that a prime example of being "Penny wise and pound foolish?"

          Flanders politely thanked me for my question and calmly explained that his group is constantly making that case and has high hopes the legislature is listening.

          The Regents request from the Kansas Legislature for next year is for an additional $95 million. That's designed to keep tuition flat at schools like Emporia State.

          Guess that would be a step in the right direction, but it would still be: PENNY WISE AND POUND FOOLISH!

          I’m Steve Sauder

                                  

          This was on Facebook from a 26-year-old MBA candidate.

          Title: My Generation Is Blind to the Prosperity Around Us!

          I'm sitting in a coffee shop. Scrolling through my news feed. I see presidential candidates calling for policies to "fix" the so-called injustices of capitalism.

          But, I see people talking freely, working on their MacBooks, ordering the food they get in an instant, driving nice cars and it dawned on me. We live in the most privileged time in the most prosperous nation and we've become completely blind to it.

          Vehicles, fast food, technology, freedom to associate with whom we choose are so ingrained in our American way of life we don't give them a second thought.

          In the United States, our poverty line begins 31 times above the global average. Thirty-One Times!!!
          Virtually no one in the United States is considered poor by global standards. Yet, in a time where we can order a product off Amazon and have it at our doorstep the next day, we are un-appreciative, unsatisfied, and ungrateful.

          Our un-appreciation is evident as the popularity of socialist policies within my generation continues to grow.

          Recently, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said, the millennial generation came of age and never saw American prosperity."

          "NEVER SAW AMERICAN PROSPERITY!" Let that sink in!

          When I read that statement, I thought to myself, that was quite literally the most entitled and factually illiterate thing I've ever heard in my 26 years on this earth. (But) Many young people agree with her, which is entirely misguided.

          My 26-year-old poster continued saying: My generation is being indoctrinated by a mainstream narrative to actually believe we have never seen prosperity.

          With all of the overwhelming evidence around us, evidence that I can see even sitting in a coffee shop, do we not view this as prosperity?

          We have people who are dying to get into our country. People that are really destitute and truly impoverished.

          Yet, we have a young generation convinced they've never seen prosperity.

          The answer is this...My generation has ONLY seen prosperity.    WE HAVE NO CONTRAST!

          We didn't live in the great depression or live through two world wars, the Korean War, The Vietnam War, nor did WE see the rise and fall of socialism and communism.

          We don't know what it's like to live without the internet, without cars, without smartphones. We don't have a lack of prosperity problem; WE HAVE AN ENTITLEMENT PROBLEM, an

UN-GRATEFULNESS problem, and it's spreading like a plague."

          This lady's thoughts are certainly - Something to Think About!

          I'm Steve Sauder

          Jazz, really good jazz, will be front and center in Emporia over the next 16 days.

          Tomorrow night at 7:30 at Albert Taylor Hall on the Emporia State campus the ESU students and the music faculty will display their varied and extensive talents in a “high octane” Jazz Concert to benefit our annual United Way Drive.

          The spot we are running on KVOE says there will be Jazz, Swing, Latin, and Rock! This should be fun!

          Sixteen days later the show will shift to our historic Granada Theater at seven o'clock where Emporia native Jack Mouse and his amazing jazz singing wife Janice Borla will present an evening of Chicago style jazz-like most of us have never experienced.

          Here are comments about Jack and Janice from professional music critics.

          Grady Harp from Amazon said: Jack Mouse is mighty on the drums, on technique and on assembling a group of pros to bring this body of unique music together - this quintet plays their hearts out......

          Sally Evans-Darby wrote about Janice: "(She) Again demonstrates her impressive versatility as a musician… Her sheer vocal audacity… pinpoint precision… striking notes as truly as any instrument (and) her wordless vocalizing, flaunted to full effect…"

          Methinks these kids might be good - October eleventh at seven at the Granada and only $35.00.

          On a side note: Jack and Janice's concert has been totally underwritten so that 100% of the gate will benefit the Granada Theater. The performers started the ball rolling working this event at a very favorable price then the following group covered the rest of the cost: ESB Financial, Candlewood Suites, Emporia's Radio Stations, KVOE, Country 101.7 and Mix 104.9, Marilee Henrikson Donaldson and her husband Richard and Bobbi and Steve Sauder.

          Jack and  Janice will also attend his 55th-year Emporia High School Reunion while here and then on Monday, they will turn into Flash Point Creative Arts the non-profit foundation they started to promote the understanding and practice of improvisation as an essential life skill.

          Working with a Board Certified Music Therapist from Flint Hills Music and Hetlinger  Developmental Services Jack and Janice will conduct workshops all day Monday and Tuesday for youngsters and adults from our area, many with disabilities. This couple recently received a Paul Harris Fellowship from a Rotary Club in Chicago for their work with young people with an autism spectrum disorder.

          Jack and Janice are not only talented, but they are also generous!

          It's really good Jazz to support our United Way tomorrow night at ESU and on October 11th it will be more great jazz this time to benefit our Granada Theater.

          Ba, Ba, Ba Lu! I'm Steve Sauder

 

          The race to become our President in 2020 has begun with lots of people wanting to unseat President Trump.

          The experts suggest it's a three-person race with Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren leading.    

          But, enough about the front runners. Let me introduce you to the darkest of dark horses, the longest of the long shots - Andrew Yang. Yes, the Asian gentlemen without a tie in the last debate.

          Yang parents emigrated from Taiwan. He attended Brown University and Columbia Law School. He practiced law for less than a year - didn't like it, so he took a job where he learned how to start his own business. He's become a successful entrepreneur. Andrew Yang is a very rich American success story, but we are learning that doesn't necessarily qualify a person to lead our country.

          In Yang's words, he's running for President because I fear for the future of our country. New technologies - robots, software, artificial intelligence  - have already destroyed more than 4 million US jobs, and in the next 5-10 years, they will eliminate millions more.

          Andrew Yang is unique and a couple of his documented 160 policy statements are even more so.

          You may have heard about Yang's idea to give $1,000 each month to every American over the age of 18,---- forever! He calls it a Freedom Dividend designed to help people meet their needs expected or unexpected. He says the benefits will create a happier, healthier and more relaxed group of citizens.

          The cost, of course, is astronomical, but Yang plans to tax companies like Amazon and Google which he says have stolen lots of those jobs and reportedly don't currently pay any taxes. Plus he points out these Dividends would immediately go back into the economy creating a spike every month like a tax cut.

          He may not be crazy! Evidently Alexander Hamilton proposed a similar idea in his era.

          Along the same line falls Yang's Democracy Dollars idea which would give every American $100 to donate to a political campaign. Add it up! $100 times 300 million people would create a fund to make the Koch Brothers two or three hundred million dollars look somewhat insignificant.

          Now his idea on relocating large parts of cities like Los Angles to offset Climate Change might need some study, but Andrew Yang is not your run of the mill candidate. He is truly unique.

          No, I'm not endorsing Yang, but I am listening.

          There's Something to Think About, I'm Steve Sauder.

A very dismal season for our Kansas City Royals was interrupted last week when we learned David Glass was about to sell the team.

          A little history lesson seems to be in order here.

          In 1967 Charles O. Finley moved his Kansas City Athletics and his goats too, we assume, to Oakland. To avoid a legal battle Major League Baseball granted Kansas City an American League expansion franchise.

          Four groups applied with the founder of Marion Laboratories, Ewing Kauffman winning out. He and his wife, Muriel proved to be wonderful owners. Some say it was the finest trade ever made: Kauffman for Finley!

          Interesting point; One group vying for the franchise  had a plan to sell 75% of the team to the public like the Green Bay Packers do.

          The Kauffman's weren't afraid to "go for it." They built a strong farm system, developed players like Frank White in their unique Kansas City Baseball Academy. We fell in love with Famous Amos, Freddie, Big John, Splitt, Quiz, Bo and of course George Brett and they were successful winning the pennant in 1980 and the World Series in 1985.

          In 1973 the Royals moved into their new stadium that would one day bear Kauffman's name.

          Kauffman died in 1993. He won a World Series and was a central player in big changes in major league baseball including a players strike in 72 and the historic battle over the player’s reserve clause. Unfortunately, his Royals were not profitable most of his years.

          Unable to find a buyer Kauffman developed a plan to have the Royals operated by a charitable foundation after his death. David Glass was chosen as Chairman of that group until he purchased the Royals in 1999 for $96 million. Kauffman had paid $6 million for the franchise in 1969.

          Glass initially was a lousy owner. His unwillingness to pay stars like Jermaine Dye, Johnny Damon and Carlos Beltran who actually played in the same outfield before he traded them away demonstrated his faulty thinking.

          Glass evidently saw the light in 2006 when he hired Dayton Moore and turned the operation over to him. The Royals won the pennant in 2014 and the World Series in 15.

          Glass, now 84, is selling the franchise to John Sherman for a reported one billion dollars!

          Sherman once said, It’s a business, and it’s an interesting business, but if you’re not a fan, I don’t think you’ll enjoy the business.”

          Hopefully Sherman unlike Glass will be fan first and a businessman second. It should be interesting!

          I’m Steve Sauder

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