Something to Think About - keep (352)

Something to Think About - 05-12-21


Earl Murphy writes a weekly column- To Tell it Like it Is - in the Madison News. We have been friends for many years. Our dads, Calvin Murphy and Earl Sauder were business partners in the oil patch west of Olpe, so Earl and I have had some common experiences.

I’m confident Earl and I were once somewhat aligned politically, but based on his recent columns it appears he’s a bit more of a Fox News disciple than me, but that hasn’t affected our friendship.

This past Saturday Earl wrote about the ongoing debate about wearing masks and while believing this decision should be up to the individual in respect for others he has, while in public, worn a mask. He points out the mask made his nose run, his eyes itch and his glasses to fog up. Consequently, it became his practice to steer clear of people and crowds.

That’s the first part of Earl’s story, Now, here’s the rest of it.

Quoting, he wrote “At this time there is little doubt in my mind that masks work; I normally would get two head colds every winter. The last cold I had was one year ago year ago this past January, 15 months, a length of time unheard of for me not to have a cold or the flu.

Earl continued, “In late March and early April we received our shots for the virus, two weeks after the second shot we were ready to roll, no more masks. Everything was going great until a few days ago I woke up with a sore throat, fever, a runny nose and a cough, I couldn’t get rid of.”

Earl concludes, “To tell it like it is, I don’t think anyone will contact a cold by reading this but if in doubt put your mask on and use some hand sanitizer after handling the paper, you should feel pretty safe.”

I’m guessing Murph’s experience is pretty common.

Flu and colds have been greatly reduced all across America with Covid protocols given most of the credit.

Me? I’m still wearing my mask because Emporia just hosted several thousand visitors with more coming in June. We don’t want a relapse.

An abundance of caution? You bet! Heck, I may wear a mask next winter cause I haven’t had cold or the flu this year either!

This is definitely: Something to think about, I’m Steve Sauder.

Something to Think About – 4/28/2021

          Last week, a Minnesota jury convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd.  I was grateful for the haste of the jury, and grateful their decision held Chauvin accountable while providing justice for Floyd.

But we shouldn’t lose sight of what the jury’s decision means:  Holding one human being accountable for their fatal actions against another human being.  The jury’s decision to convict is an indictment of Derek Chauvin, the human…not an indictment of law enforcement.

Yes, Floyd’s death raised questions about certain law enforcement practices or techniques.  And many agencies are reviewing their policies; or, as is the case with the Emporia Police Department, already ban many of the techniques in question.

But to transpose Chauvin’s conviction as a conviction of law enforcement would be short-sighted and unfair.  Law enforcement is the only profession, I can think of, where the actions of one bad actor so quickly define and condemn the entire profession.  For example… this community, alone, has had teachers charged and convicted of inappropriate behavior with students; and have had leaders of non-profits charged and convicted of stealing from their organizations.  But we don’t look at all teachers or all leaders of non-profits as guilty of those specific people’s transgressions.  Yet, our current culture is very quick to do this with law enforcement.

YES… We should be putting our time, effort, and resources into holding accountable those that cross the line; but we should put even more time, effort, and resources into encouraging and supporting our law enforcement, especially those that strive to rise above the stigma of the so-called bad actors.  I don’t know that I would keep putting on my uniform and protecting my city if I was being constantly vilified for someone else’s actions.

I can’t speak as to the character of law enforcement officers in other cities, but the law enforcement officers I know in THIS community are dedicated, hard-working, fair, and passionate about what they do.  And you probably know many of them, too.

Many officers work rotating shifts, with their schedules changing every several months, including overnight while we are all snug in our beds.  They work on weekends and holidays.  And… this should never be forgotten… they show up to work every day knowing they could have to put their life on the line for a fellow officer or for you or me.  Law enforcement isn’t a profession that will make you “rich”, but law enforcement officers don’t enter the profession in search of riches…. They are answering a call to service.

So the next time you see a member of law enforcement:  Remember, they are more than a uniform and a badge;  Remember, they are our friends and neighbors; and remember -- flaws and all -- they are humans first.

I’m Scott Hayes

          An “abundance of caution” is a term that we’ve learned a new level of respect for as we’ve struggled to handle the COVID 19 pandemic. We’ve all done things we didn’t like, but in the name of safety and our health, we have been abundantly cautious.

          Evidently both our city and county commissioners forgot how easy,  practical, and effective wearing masks have been.

          Lyon County has done a great job of flattening this so-called curve, but our job is far from complete!

          Both decisions went against the advice from our county health professionals!

          There were two compelling reasons to keep our harmless, but effective mask mandate in place.

          First is the Dynamic Disc event which starts this week with over1600 golfers expected. Every golfer signed up with the understanding that Lyon County has a mask rule in place and expecting to follow it. Not anymore!!

          Add in concerts, block parties, and the like with increased attendance but no masks and, well you get the picture.

          The second is that vaccinations are the underlying key to controlling COVID 19 and Lyon County has made an excellent start, but with just over 30% of us actually vaccinated there’s work to be done.

          Dropping the mask mandate will give those citizens holding back getting vaxed for whatever reason a stronger case for not getting the shots. This is exactly the wrong message to be sending right now.

          I am sure the commissioners heard a lot of voices asking for the mask mandate to be lifted. I am just as sure the loudest of those voices were most likely not wearing a mask and probably not vaccinated either!

          I understand the need to take “personal responsibility” was mentioned by commissioners. Well, I hate 4 Way Stops and suggest if we’d all take more personal responsibility we could eliminate them. You think?

          I struggled for the proper adjective to describe our commissioner’s actions. After careful consideration I choose – dangerous. No masks and big gatherings might mean a spike and that’s dangerous.

          Saying “I told you so,” is not something I would enjoy doing, so let’s all pray that opportunity doesn’t happen in the near future, but lifting the mask mandate IS a dangerous decision.

          I’m Steve Sauder 

The history of our country has been examined during the past year in a manner like never before. Statues have been torn down by demonstrators or removed by lawful action at an alarming rate. Some call this cancel culture – “the practice of withdrawing support for or canceling support for public figures and companies after they’ve done something objectionable.”

          The most common target has been things relating to racism, the Confederacy, and the Klu Klux Klan, but nothing, it seems is off-limits.

          Some time ago there was a statement on Facebook with the author unknown that creates for me some reasonable questions when it comes to these actions that attempt to alter or even erase history.

          History is not there for you to like or dislike. It is there for you to learn from it. And if it offends you, even better. Because then you are less likely to repeat it. It’s not yours to erase. It belongs to all of us.

          Without sharing my opinion my question today is what do you think about that statement?

          Should history be protected?   

          Evidently, the man Seaman High School near Topeka is named after was a member of the Klan. The name of the school is in the process of being changed. Without knowing any details I wonder what his level of involvement actually was?  Was he a Klan leader or is that important?

          I’m guessing if enough rocks are turned over lots of people might have embarrassing connections in their past.

          As an example, it’s reported that many college fraternities and sororities have pasts that include some serious racial bias.

          How about the so-called fraternal organizations?

          If the digging continues who or what is next? Maybe we’d be better off to leave history alone and learn from it rather than trying to change it?

          What do you think?

          There’s something to think about, I’m Steve Sauder

          There’s a play on words associated with Christian's celebration of Easter that offers a clear picture of our future if we choose to heed it!

          The words are “It’s Friday…but, Sunday is coming!”

          Let me share again: “It’s Friday…but, Sunday is coming!”

          This of course refers to the events of Good Friday when Jesus was crucified by being hung on a cross. Friday included everything from denials, betrayals, Pilate’s decisions, crying, a crown of thorns, nails, a cross, blood, and the questions as to why this was occurring?

          Of course, the words “Sunday is coming” represent the glorious events of Easter when it is discovered Christ had indeed arisen!

          My reason for recounting these words today is because they represent a hope we can use to build upon.

          This awful, dreadful pandemic caused by Covid 19 represents our world’s current “Friday,” but the good news is - it appears “Sunday” IS coming again!

          It’s coming in the gift of the vaccines that are curbing the effects of Covid 19 on the world. This week on Sixty Minutes on CBS there were two stories that offered real hope for our future.

          The first was about the economic recovery that is underway in America. It featured Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell who was lavish in his praise for how we are recovering in terms of jobs and the strength of the markets. He suggested that fear about inflation and a massive correction in the markets were largely unfounded because of rules and policies in place now that were not there in 2008. He was very convincing.

          The other report was from scientists involved in the creation of vaccines that are proving effective. The best part of their story was the indication that they are confident research into the behavior of these viruses has created the knowledge to combat any and all viruses even the newly developed ones for the foreseeable future.

          How much more good news can we stand? Bulletproof economic recovery and the science to combat these viruses now and forever is a “Sunday” worth celebrating. I hope you agree!

          Oh, before we start the parade there is one LARGE caveat. That being in order for the vaccines to do their job we need about 75% of the world’s people to take them. That is a large task and it becomes even larger when you factor in that there seems to be a significant reluctance by some

Americans to take the shots. Their reasons for not getting the shots are varied, but the bottom line is if we are to put this and future pandemics behind us a lot more folks are going to need to get vaccinated.

          So, let’s reach out to our friends, neighbors, and relatives, listen to their concerns, and then ask them to reconsider. The future of our planet may well be in their hands.

          “It’s Friday…but, Sunday is coming!” Amen and Amen!

          I’m Steve Sauder.

American politics are so polarized it is becoming intolerable. Take for example the efforts in dozens of states to change election laws that in 2020 produced the largest and most successful election in American history simply because they lost the election.

Forget who won and lost each race. The facts are that even in the midst of this awful pandemic more Americans voted than ever before and by a large number. That’s a healthy, working system! Obviously, the system isn’t broken, so why try and fix it? That answer is obvious as well. In state after state, where the party in control lost key races including the presidency, they are adjusting their laws to in most cases make voting more difficult.

Voting should never be made more difficult. Making it easier and more convenient just makes sense unless you are afraid of the results when more citizens vote.

Bobbi and I are a great example. We both have health concerns that would have made voting in person during the Covid scare unwise. When we received the letter from the county clerk offering us the opportunity to vote by mail our concerns were answered. 

Making things worse, of course, was our leader not only suggesting voting by mail was somehow dishonest, but also suggesting the entire election was rigged if he lost.

His claims of a rigged or fraudulent election have been rebuked in every way possible. Election officials in almost every state certified results and court after court including the U.S. Supreme Court found no evidence to support President Trump’s claims. Even his own Attorney General gave the 2020 election a clean bill of health.

But, we still have state legislatures in well over half the states promoting “fixing” their election systems that just produced a record result both in terms of votes cast and exhibiting little if any fraud.

This is partisan politics plain and simple. State legislatures dominated by a single party like Kansas are passing meaningless election laws simply because they can. They are promoting solutions looking for a problem.
One of my colleagues at KVOE said he didn’t think most of these proposed changes did much anyway, so then why change anything? Lord knows we don’t need more laws.

Please elected officials stop trying to fix a system that isn’t broken – make voting easier, not more difficult, please.

I’m Steve Sauder and there’s “Something to think about.”

There was an interesting post on Facebook Sunday that while sharing it with Bobbi was interrupted by my bulky finger and not to be recovered.

It was about an 87-year-old lady who showed up in a college class and introduced herself explaining she had always wanted a college education and this was her first opportunity. She was a hoot and literally adopted by the class. In a speech at a class banquet later she dropped her 3 X 5 note cards demonstrating how nervous she was. She explained she’d given up beer for Lent, but the whiskey was killing her!

Seriously, the older lady shared how she wasn’t going let a year pass - by just getting older. She was dedicated to reaching new goals each year.

Her story made me think about my life as my age marches on – my 75th birthday is close.

“Retired” has been the answer to questions about my employment status for several years, but that’s not exactly true. When questioned my answer is that radio is my hobby. Hosting three talk shows each week plus writing this commentary does keep me busy, sort of like a hobby.

Sports have always been my passion, but participating has been reduced to golf and even golf is only possible when accompanied by the ability to drive close to my ball.

Attending and/or calling sports on the radio has always been a treat for me, but the pandemic and poor health has all but wiped out those opportunities.

When that 87-year-old lady’s story was read it started me thinking about my goals. How about some new hobbies? My neighbor Duane makes me jealous because he has a bunch, but it seems a little late for me to start woodworking, photography, or biking.

When our plight due to Covid became apparent a year ago we decided to learn to play the piano. We ordered an electronic keyboard and an on-line tutorial. Bobbi tried but found her fingers weren’t very cooperative. Steve didn’t get that far - just not motivated enough to even try. Simply looking at the instructions was confusing, so a swing and a miss!  Guess we might have a deal on a keyboard.

As the pandemic unfolded it was suggested to me that reading is a good hobby, but a problem arose – falling asleep after about 3 pages. My Kindle helps and some books have been read, but as my college instructors found out Cliff Notes are a more likely choice for me.

We are headed to California tomorrow for two weeks. Golf is on our agenda, but there will be lots of free time to fill. With no radio responsibilities, my plan is to attack former president Obama’s book which is over 700 pages in length.

Upon return, you will be informed if it was “Mission Accomplished” or lots of short naps!

Guess you understand now why KVOE is such a godsend for me in many ways!

Happy St. Paddy’s Day, this is Steve Sauder

There’s a cool post on Facebook about sons. It says when as little boys they smile at us we often think “it doesn’t get any better than this.” It goes on to suggest that it does get better when our sons grow up, become good men and good friends and their smiles still light up our lives.

We have three awesome sons. The oldest Brady is General Manager of an auto dealership in Manhattan. He and Christine have 2 sons. Our TJ is a partner in a company providing communications and network security in Kansas City. He and Catina also have 2 sons plus lovely Scarlet the only Sauder girl. Jamie our youngest lives here in Emporia where he’s a real estate broker and developer. He and Jennifer also have 2 sons.

Boasting about all three sons is easy, but today I’m bragging on Jamie for his willingness to be a leader in Emporia’s housing challenges. He was featured in a front-page story in Saturday’s Gazette concerning the growing shortage of houses for sale or rent in Emporia.

Currently, Realtors have just 25 houses listed for sale in Emporia! That represents less than one month’s supply which makes growth for our city virtually impossible!

The story also highlights Dodge City which faced a similar housing crisis a few years ago and explains how they are successfully attacking it. A good comparison is there were 67 new homes built in Dodge last year
compared to about 22 in Emporia. 

A big difference is Dodge City recognized that available housing - or rather the lack of it - was a major impediment to their economic development efforts - a fact our local Regional Development Association seems to have a challenge accepting.

Many Emporia area employers are advertising for help. We have employment opportunities here, but I’m guessing finding a place to live is a problem for workers considering relocating to our community?

Jamie has been working with Project Ignite leader Rob Gilligan and former Assistant City Manager Jim Witt on a plan that would replicate Dodge City’s. He and other Realtors put together a Position Paper for the City Commission to consider.

The idea is for the city to help developers and builders with infrastructures like streets and sewers in a newly expanded manner. Their proposed plan would stimulate new affordable housing. All it needs now is city commission approval which would come much easier if RDA would endorse.

It’s obvious to me the new companies we are chasing aren’t coming to Emporia until our chronic housing shortage is addressed.

Anyway, I’m always proud of my 3 sons and Jamie especially, today for his willingness to offer solutions for Emporia’s growth.

I’m Steve Sauder

Observed by Christians all over the world we currently are in Lent the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. While it is described as being for 40 days it actually is 47 days from February 17th to April third. 

Lent is the time when Christians are called upon to abstain from something they enjoy like chocolate, alcohol, or meat in order to demonstrate repentance for their sins.

Forty-seven days is a long time so a common question among Christians is - are there any cheat days during Lent? One answer found in Google is that Sundays during this period might be free days because they are considered feast days in Christianity, so even during Lent, feel free to cut loose and indulge a little bit on Sundays! 

I concede this explanation of the Lenten season may not sit well with some more devoted followers, but of course, the final answer is between each person and their Maker.

The following was posted recently on Facebook and while it isn’t exactly abstaining from anything it would seem that if we followed these suggestions God would be very pleased with us. Here goes.

When you are alone, Mind your thoughts.

When you are with friends, Mind your Tongue.

When you are angry, Mind your Temper.

When you are with a group, Mind your behavior.

When you are in Trouble, Mind your emotions.

When God starts Blessing you, Mind your ego.

This year Lent likely has a different feel for many as we all are sacrificing in many ways during the Pandemic. My prayer is that the end of Covid 19 is upon us, but that we all continue to follow the rules so that at this time next year we will be free to attend Easter church services in masses.

Have a blessed Lenten season and No! Abbey, giving up corn for Lent doesn’t qualify.

I’m Steve Sauder

Page 1 of 26