Tuesday, December 25, 2012


     The one thing that is the major part of this Christmas celebration is Peace and Joy.  It is a wish and we can only make it happen in our own hearts.  As I write this I have just come from church and the Joy of the season seems to be tempered.  If there is one time of the year that we a vulnerable to the effects of evil it is during this season.  Yet it has to be joy in our hearts that shows it to others.
     It is particularly hard to be joyful right now and I do not know how anyone with no faith can handle what has gone on.  It is the faith that there is a higher power that is good and is wanting all his children to return home.  With out this rock to build on what can you use to center your world with reason and hope?
     Evil is a real presence in the world and you do not have to believe in God to recognise it.  The Sandy Hook attack broke our hearts and the country is flailing for answers.
     Now the firefighters in New York State have been set up for attack and two are gone and two are in critical condition.  There are two things that hit me hard and it is children and firefighters.  You have to be of that brotherhood to fully understand.
     How can we deal with the tearing of our hearts?  The only thing I know is to fill the hole in the heart with the faith that this will pass and there is strength in pulling together and putting trust in good.  If you don't the gap will be filled with bitterness and that is when we are most vulnerable to evil.
     Lashing out trying to do anything just to feel better is no solution.  So many will turn their pain outward and anything that makes them feel better will be the order of the day.  It is turning within ourselves that healing begins.
     I look to the joy of the season and find that many do not.  It has to be you and me that keep the simple trust in our hearts and hope that evil will be pushed aside.  In our society it is not popular to be a person of faith.  Yet we now see what having no faith has done to a society and a country who puts Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness as its foundation.  To turn from these principles allows the opposite to hold reign.
     As I gather with family and friends I will still mourn the evils that have befallen, us and take solace that there is still a higher power that wishes that we heal our hearts and rest our troubles on his shoulder.
     As we live through the troubled times that seem to be ahead let us all take the time to give thanks for the good and for the defeat of evil.  There is a line in a song that sums up what it takes to affect those around us, 'THEY WILL KNOW US BY OUR LOVE.'

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


                                                                              Andrew Carnegie

     In my social interactions I have refrained from joining the contentious arguments concerning the terrible shootings of Newtown.  Grief is the order of the day and those jumping onto causes compound that.  The Senator from New York jumped onto the national news advising President Obama to "exploit" this tragedy.  It is a mantra these days to "not let a good disaster go to waste".  What a sad commentary on society and politics.
     Words matter and have affect.  Politicians act on the direction of the wind and emotion.  Many take the public as a giant mass of unthinking groups that act upon emotion.  Thus there are people who design talking points to keep the message constant and hammered home without thought of real solutions and meaning.  Just a means to an end.
     It is sad when those with the power think that those below cannot discern fact from fiction.  And it may be true considering how things are today.  I try to speak from experience, observation, and study.
     There are thousands of individuals that suffer the same type of mental problems that the shooter had in Newtown.  A friend of mine has two children this way.  The experiences that she and here children have had in the schools and community are identical.  Mental stress aggravates these problems and the intense media and political coverage have forced them to stop watching the television.  The thought of having similar experiences as the shooter is terrifying to them.  If the capacity to do such heinous things is there, the fear of what they do and what society does increases the fear.
     The help available has had to be fought for by the parents and even when schools and social services know what needs these people have they have to be constantly fought for.  And once a child passes the age of 21 there is no more support even when it is known that support is needed.
      Statistics have no meaning for groups that will not equally look at them.  It is easier for a sound bite than to set down and discuss what can be done.  The quest for solutions turns to grab for more power.
     The fight for additional gun controls is an advocacy for setting aside the right to Habeaus Corpus and the empowerment for the government to grow at an exponential rate and turn the millions of law abiding citizens into criminals.  Yet the prisons overflow.
     Will all the high sounding self righteous rhetoric accomplish one thing?  No.  The shouting will succeed with further divisions and nothing will be accomplished.  With the fact that evil will always be there we have to guard against the individual who will find a way to accomplish the act. 
     There have been reported intervention with such individuals, even on that same day, that we are horrified when one slips through.  The horror should not diminish but the common theme seems to be that the signs for the act seem to always be there but know one will leave their comfort zone to point it out or do something about it.
     An argument that was brought home by a school district employee  is that we can protect airports and Washington and yet ignore the same answers in the schools.  A majority of teachers at his school want voluntary concealed carry.  The schools can also provide security officers.  It is a matter of cost and commitment.
     I hope that this will find its way into print since when I say something amusing there seems to be more regard.  I find nothing amusing to come from this horrible event.

Friday, December 14, 2012


                                                                    Jesus Christ

     Normally I will wait a couple of days when thinking on a subject before writing about it.  I can not wait this time.  If your heart is not breaking for the victims of the senseless shootings in Newtown then you have not a heart.  There is not the words that can bring back or help the families of the senseless tragedies.
     There is always evil in the world and it is easy to say we have to do something to stop this.  Evil has to be opposed by good people but the remedies offered by many just inflame and create more such situations.
     It is normal to be angry at the selfish person who caused this.  You have to be super human to be forgiving right now.  There will be many who will seek to understand and seek what justification the man had.  I don't want to understand it.  There is no understanding this aberration.  Thank goodness it is not my place to forgive for I could not.
     What I do understand is that there are many that will come forward to use this tragedy to further other goals.  As it was said by one advisor "don't let a good disaster go to waste".  We will be bombarded by one side and another about "doing something".
     We have deep divisions in this country and this will make them deeper.  Old cliches will be dredged up and much argument.  I have deep feelings on the subject but right now I want, and you should too, grieve.
     Facts are not complete at this time and it is amazing how so many know what went on and what we should do.  Bad things happen to good people.  There is not much good that can come out of this accept that people start returning to the values that are not allowed in the school anymore.  Tonight the churches in Newtown are full.  Prayers are everywhere for the victims and the families.  I am sure there was prayer in that school today no matter what the ACLU wants.
     This will happen again.  The only thing that needs to be done more than ever is pray.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012



     This is a saying that my good friend Barry Ward (singer extraordinaire) uses in his singing ministry quite often.  And it brings home many times that I have thought I was going one direction and end up somewhere else.  There have been many life changing moments in my life, as I am sure there has been in yours, and I never saw it coming.
     My younger days dreams were of a ranch, a wife, kids, and a normal life.  Yet "normal" just did not seem to be very attractive.  Maybe because of a personal tragedy I began to see life differently.  I noticed how many people spent their lives in a monotonous manner.  How many lived to work rather than worked to live.  With a little exposure to working in a factory setting I knew that it was not what I wanted.
     I could not conceive of spending a life doing things that did not interest me or spark passion.  I would have been very happy on a small ranch somewhere but the reality was and is that it is a privileged few who have the opportunity.  It always aggravate me that those who the option was available was, many times, not interested.
     I was fortunate to find a life in something that I was passionate about.  And as the future lay before me and I knew what I wanted, the life was taken from me.  It was a devastating blow to lose what I had taken for granted.  I was also fortunate that I was able to pursue many other passions in life.  I could have gone the wrong way but I never foresaw where I am today.
     Does this make me some kind of wise sage that can talk to you every week with great insight?  NO, I am not that pompous.  I find things I am wrong on everyday.  I am human which puts me in a great plurality of those who stumble around learning life the hard way.  I am as fallible and hypocritical as any other human.
     Do I have a wall full of certificates that give me the credibility to tell you things you may or may not want to know?  No.  I am able to write this Blog and relate my thoughts because a lot of people greater than I will ever pretend foresaw the need for a Constitution and the willingness to sacrifice everything including their lives.  Just so I can do this and you can agree or disagree.
      I am sure that I have given God some belly laughs with my plans and dreams.  I am sure I had him wincing many times.  The great thing is I can stumble around and keep trying and he will keep letting me until I finally learn that I am not in control.
     I learned early that life is very fragile and tomorrow is always a dream and today is reality and you had better live it to the full.  Dealing with others tragedies on the fire dept. and EMS was a daily reminder that the next minute is not always there.
     As I am writing this there is a funeral being held for a nice lady that I knew all my life though our paths did not cross often.  Six weeks ago she was found to have breast cancer.  She was my age.  In my life I lost most of my good friends early from cancer.
     We take so many things for granted.  I am always irritated by groups who have nothing better to do than create problems for others.  I hope some day that they will realize that there are better things to do in life than be a burden to others.
     I will continue to send you my views with the thought in the back of my mind that 'man's wisdom is foolishness in the eyes of God'.  I will be delighted to still comment on the self made experts and give you my VIEW FROM THE HILLS.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


"we do not go into ceremony to talk about God.
we go into ceremony to talk to God"
          Chief Quanah Parker
TRUTH.  "What is truth?" Pontious Pilot.
     After years of wondering what passes for truth in our government and the vicious political campaigns that have divide our country into seething factions, how do you establish truth?
     We could start by forgetting the talking points and the spin of the network news shows and open our eyes and call truth for what it is.  The United States is bankrupt.  Every legitimate accounting, economic, and logical person in this country has to admit that there is no way to pay off the national debt and run the country by being 16 trillion dollars in debt.  And there is no end in sight.
     We are about to go over the so called 'cliff'.  The last one that wants it to be stopped is the administration.  In the war on the classes that has been waged for the last 20 years, truth has been the casualty.  When the do nothing congress does just that, and the president acts on his impression of a mandate, it will cost all of us dearly.
     Will all suffer monetarily.  Most experts think so.  Many don't have a clue how it will impact them.  Those not paying taxes are delighted that those 'rich folks' are going to get it stuck to.  Yet the cost of everything will hurt them the most.  The cost of everything will go up and yet they do not care because 'them rich folks are getting it good'.
     Many of these folks who are so in love with hating the rich profess to be good Christian people.  Some do not.  For those who judge that those rich folks are evil there will come a time when what they profess to believe will be thrown in their faces.
      There are many phrases from scripture that are easily forgotten when envy drives a person.  Phrases like, 'do not judge lest ye be judged', or 'to whom much is given much is required'.
     Like it or not our entire society in the United States is based on two things.  Judeo-Christian values and British Common Law.  With all the vehement protest and legal battles the underlying principles are still there.
     So the principles (commandments) that are so dear too many, thou shalt not steal, murder, ect. are fine but thou shalt not covet thy neighbors goods is not?  Hating someone for being rich, or having things you desire (or would deny anyone) is coveting.
     If the government would take everything that everyone has and continue on its path the truth is we are still bankrupt.  Financially and morally.
     Who will stand and say the Emperor is not wearing clothes?  No one in Washington. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


      Something that gets a lot of lip service and a lot of hand wringing but not much actual action is bullying.  It is not only at the school level but pervades all the way up though our culture to the halls of government.
      With all the attention in the schools that bullying is supposed to be addressed I still find it happening and school officials turning a blind eye to it.  I have a friend whose kids have medical issues and yet even teachers who have been briefed on the conditions fail to do much to address the bullying that they experience.
      The act of bullying takes many forms and some are not really recognized by the participants that it really is bullying.  Seems most churches have those members whose jurisdiction over self perceived power bully other members and are tolerated.
       It has been ingrained into our culture that bullying is acceptable by government agencies, service providers, and outside interest groups.  Most of which have no business forcing their views or authority in the manner they do.
       Americans have long been tolerant of the diversity that makes our country so great.  We have had our difficulties but things have gotten better over the years.  But because of our tolerance it has now become acceptable to bully others to crusade for points of view that are not that of the majority.
      There is an organization in Wisconsin that has made it their business to remove any reference to God or religion in an way that it can.  This group tried to stop a Christmas display from being place on a courthouse lawn a few years ago.  The reaction from the people was "what business is it of a group from Wisconsin what we do?"  The group took them to court and held in the peoples favor and told the group to mind their own business.
      Dateline BUHLER KANSAS.  Since 1988 the city seal of Buhler has had a cross as part of the emblem.  Buhler is a largely Mennonite community.  The emblems relate to the heritage of the town and has gone unchallenged in all these year.  Yet, there is one person in town name unknown right now, that has complained to this Wisconsin group.  So a letter comes to the mayor that they will file suit if the cross is not removed.
      Most people will have the same reaction I have.  Who do these people think they are?  Well after that question the council and mayor sought out legal opinion and said they would not win.  So being good stewards of taxpayer money they are knuckling under to the bullying tactics of this group.  Most are outraged, so am I.
      We have had vocal minorities driving policy and procedure in this country for so long now that that they are drunk with the power they perceive.  So the whole community is putting up with bullying.
      We have a long tradition of standing for what is right.  When you lose the will to stand up and fight we have lost everything this country stands for.  We are not losing this country by a Communist President, (this according to Pravda, the paper in Moscow), but by the local issues that are rotting the core.  We would not have the national problems without the culture rotting from the ground up.
      So we ignore bullying in the schools, in church, in the workplace, in politics, and even in our town halls.  Without the gumption to stand up for what we believe in we are lost.  Everybody ready to line up in the Kool Aid line?  It is time we stand and stop this nonsense.
      BUHLER you have my support and I am sure the whole states support to fight for what is right.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


      I am going to take a moment here to expound on a non political subject.  This is so I can clear my head of the obnoxious messages from people who say that I must stand behind our newly elected president regardless of my values.  So rather than fence with an unarmed opponent I must tell you about BEANS.
      I go to a lot of cover dish suppers and church suppers and many other functions.  There seems to be an almost unconscious tendency, especially for men, to open and dump out cans of pork and beans and do nothing with them.  It is really frustrating when the other dishes have been obviously made with care and handed down tradition.  Then there is the bean right from the can.
      Come on people, beans from the can are a basic ingredient.  Very few people I know relish canned beans straight.  It is not hard to create a great dish with a little effort.  Even the baked beans are not serve worthy without a little care.
       And there is the few who think they are creating a gastronomical delight by adding hamburger to unseasoned beans. UCK!  Really?
     Now am I being a country food snob?  Maybe.  My specialty is beans and I have fixed them for many functions with great success.  Now beans was a stable on the cattle trails and though the chuck wagon cooks of today provide some delectable fare, back in the old days the food was terrible.
      Now I will not give you my recipe but I will give you some guidelines.
There needs to be bacon and onions.  There has to be just a little ketchup but not a bunch.  It takes a little bite and a little sweet.  Now I don't measure like a real foo foo recipe card type plan, I dunk and dab.
       You know there are a lot of great country cooks still around and the worst thing I think you can do to a crowd that is lickin their chops over a great meal is to insult them with plain beans.
      This may cause a stir in a couple of church basements but there are a couple of unnamed congregations that should order out.  Now don't get on me I have had many great meals done by church ladies.  But there are a few.
      So the next time you are going to have a feed of some kind and the urge to dump beans straight from the can hits you, STOP.  I might have to resort to naming names.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


     Who does not look forward to a vacation?  I just returned from my annual pilgrimage to the Western Music Association Festival, Showcase, and Awards in Albuquerque NM.  This is a time of year that many of us involved in Western Music come together for education, friendship, business, meeting friends (new and old), and jamming. 
     It is always a wonder to me how the music that everyone seems to love can be kept off the radio and the Trashville music business.  We find very few who do not simple love the music when they can hear it.  It is always a positive, family friendly, and sharing experience.  Many of the mega stars in other genre' of music are separated from the fan and try to maintain this bigger than life image.  Western Musicians are like the rest of us.  At our concerts and events you can find yourself visiting or eating with the headliner.  Western music folks are regular people and they enjoy the fan.
      I always drive on a lonely highway because I don't like fighting the traffic on I-40.  So my drive thru the OK panhandle and NE New Mexico affords me the ability to see where I am.  I am amazed that the ditches in the panhandle have names like Creek and River.  Even the trees are dead in them.  One 'creek' west of Guyman had buildings and a quarry right in the creek bed.
      It was especially interesting because of the timing of the Documentary 'The Dust Bowl', driving alone seeing many of the houses and farmsteads that still stand that was from that time.
      Radio choices are really limited and what passes as music is beyond me.  It was nice to actually hear a live DJ actually in the local station.  The FCC has failed to keep the radio business in a true competitive atmosphere.  The emergence of huge monopolies would be taken to court 40 years ago.  When three or four groups own all the stations in a market and independent stations have been virtually beaten out of business it is not good for the consumer.
      I am all for free enterprise but there are limits to keep things accessible.
I don't believe in the music business being controlled by non US companies.
      Anyway I had a wonderful time, come home with a fresh attitude, and ready to get back to it.  By the way, if you just happen to love music and cowboy poetry, 2013 is the 25th year for the WESTERN MUSIC ASSOCIATION and the plans for it have been underway for three months now.  It is going to be something special. 
       I invite you all t check the WMA website and start planning to go to Albuquerque New Mexico the week before Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 12, 2012


      After the elections I want to get back to more positive notes and yet I see things coming that I do not like.  I am taking this time, though, to talk about positive thinking.
      We have a new little store in the town of Sawyer, KS near where I live.  There was a cafe there for years Called the Ranchers Cafe (of course).  The owners wanted to slow down and they had another cafe in another town so they closed down Ranchers and it has been for sale for a couple years now.  I really missed the cafe and a place to drink coffee with the local ranchers, my neighbors, and keep up on things.
      Well a local German Baptist family purchased the building and the process of cleaning and making it suit there needs took a long time.  We all speculated as to what and when they would open.  And when we heard just what it would be there were sceptics.  It is called FAMILY FOOD SHOP.
      We are delighted.  No it is not the cafe anymore and it is open 3 days a week. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.  It is a deli (great sandwiches on homemade bread), bakery(it is to die for), bulk foods(you can buy Hudson Cream flour here. there is no better), Grocery(rolls of butter, milk, jams, and jar goods), and homemade products.
      I think we are in at least everyday.  They know us by first name now. It is not what we were expecting.  During the times we live small business is very difficult to start and be successful.  It is so refreshing to see positive attitudes and the willingness to take a chance on a dream.  As long as I am not on my diet they will be successful.
     Greg & Ruby Wolf are the owners and they are assisted by their kids Laurel, Chloe, Savannah, Sophie, and Elliot.  All decked out in matching aprons with their names embroidered.  The kids are bright and friendly and it is refreshing to have young people that know how to actually count change.  The kids are home schooled and are learning more that many kids I am familiar with in schools.
     As I am heading to Albuquerque NM for the Western Music Association showcase and awards show, I will have a new shot of positive emotions that I need real bad right now.
     I was in the Family Food Shop two days after the elections and Greg commented at my muted mood that "the sun came up the next morning didn't it"?  I love positive people!  Hope you stop by sometime (the cinnamon rolls and fresh baked bread are to die for).

Thursday, November 8, 2012



      I have had to think hard how I would address the results of the National Elections.  I always enjoy tweaking the liberal mindset and I am sure there is much rejoicing there now.  Funny though I still don't feel that changing a country that has been the beacon of hope worldwide since 1776 is something to rejoice about.
      Since the Communist Manifesto was published in the 19teens the formula for the downfall of America has always been known.  Prior to World War 2 we were so busy trying to survive a drought, depression, prohibition, and corruption.  We survived a coupe plot against FDR, and the ideas of Euthanasia were spreading from the US to Germany.
       For all the faults of the US there was still the overriding pride in freedom, faith, and being the refuge of the world.  When Senator Joe McCarthy was waving the files of communist names and using the cold war to stay in the spotlight, we somehow became inoculated about those who seek to destroy what we achieved in real life.
       We never had a news media that became an arm of government controlled by one party.  We never had a president with admitted socialists and communists as cabinet members.  Never have we had a position that was so attacked by one side and ignored by another.  Never have we had so little known about a man who held the highest office in the land.  We have never been declared as no longer a Christian nation.  We have never had disagreement that all voters should be legal and our boarders should be secure.  We have never had a federal government that would file suit against a state for insisting on secure borders. 
       We have never had a National Park put off limits to citizens because it is so dangerous and that law enforcement has to travel in groups and armed for battle on sovereign soil.  Never have we had an embassy not be considered American soil as the rest of the world does.  We have never fired a general for wanting to send aid to officials and citizens under fire, and then retire him.
      Never before have we had so many who insist that they be given so much for doing nothing.  We have never had an industry injured and so many jobs lost because a president wanted to discredit business for using private and corporate aircraft in the course of their business.
      Does changing the way that numbers are counted make any fewer people unemployed?  We have soup lines it just is in better facilities now.  Is giving cell phones away really elevating people up or just buying them off?
     Are we having hard times?  We have not seen hard times yet.  A man I once worked for was in the Army in Germany in the 1950's.  An old German told him many times that the US would see the days like Germany after World War One when money was useless.  Go look at the pictures of a wheel barrel of cash needed to buy a loaf of bread.
      No, hard times are ahead.  Every economist, historian, and free thinker can look back to see the pattern that we are doomed to repeat.  An accountant friend told me that within 18 months this country will see things happen that will shake the very foundation of the country.
      I want to be cheery and do believe that adversity makes a better person, nation, of us.  At what time will the folly of the 'me' generation, realize that those who have given everything may have been wasted on those who do not deserve it?  Regardless, the next generations will be paying for it.
      The Chosen people rebelled time after time and went their own way and eventually were sold into slavery or concurred.  Always generations of innocents paid for the sins of the people who lost sight of the promise.
      Enjoy your victory now before the bill comes.  We have sold ourselves to the Pharaoh.  What will it take to return to the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave?

Saturday, October 27, 2012



      It is a long and weary fight to try and keep rural and small town America prosperous and viable.  There is not only the outside influences that attract the young folks away with the jobs (that are not there anymore), and the lifestyle of lights and fun.  More and more of those who leave to find out that the attraction is fine in your 20's but when you are raising a family, and trying to instill values in your kids, there is "no place like home".
      But the relenting attack by a combination of things is killing the places that we come from.  People now think that food comes from the grocery stores.  We used to say kids but they are all grown up and raising their own in this mind set.
     We are taught in business school that only the bottom line is important and things like customer service are secondary considerations.  MBA's have been put in charge of many companies buying divisions as well as management.  You can attest to this by walking into a national farm chain store or any other clothing store and try to buy large size clothing.  Racks and racks of small, medium, large, and 1X are full but the larger sizes are either sold out or not there at all.  This in a time when 60% of the American population is over weight or obese.
      The MBA mentality and the increase of government regulation has devastated the community banking system.  Most of the regulations were put in place because fo the Mega Banks that were "too big to fail", collapsed the system.  Now this mentality is wreaking havoc on rural America.
     My example:  ISABEL, KS. is a small town that many would call dead or dying from the first view.  Population 90 until 6 moved out the other day.  Having had it's 125 celebration this year it is the main office for a Coop that has 6 or more locations.  The town is fighting for it's half day post office.  If closed the office that would be designated as theirs is in another county and 45 minutes away.
     Isabel has a community store that is open from 9am to 2pm. it is holding it's own.  A farm manufacturer is the only industry in town and it is a family concern.  There is a bank with all the marble and classic architecture from the turn of the 19th century.  Once the 'half day' branch was owned by a Kansas City banking chain.  It was always in danger of closing.  Now the bank is owned by a "local" bank chain. 
      Thinking that the "local" bank would be more attuned to customer service it came as a shock that at the end of the year it will be closed and combined with the Medicine Lodge branch.
      Trying to gauge the feelings of the community so this is not my own rant I talked with ranchers and towns people about the impact on the area.  I even visited with a bank manager and obtained the notice letter that was sent out to patrons.  I wanted to get both sides of the story.
      Needless to say the patrons are devastated.  This is creating a hole in the town and another empty building.  Those coming from the Pratt area where the bank closed it's branch some years ago now will have to go on to Medicine Lodge or Kingman. 
     To quote one rancher "it will cost them more in business and ill will than the cost of keeping it open".  The official explanation of the banking chain is that regulation and fixed costs prompted the move.
      The problem with strictly bottom line decisions is that customer service and good will suffers and may cost more in the long run than the black and white figures show.  Rural America suffers when our own adopte the attitudes of those who ignore the backbone of the nation and don't care if main street closes its doors.
      If our own corporations and family businesses do not strive to keep small town and rural life attractive we are shooting ourselves in the foot.  There has to be more consideration as to why a business exists.  It is getting virtually imposible for a young ambitious person to start or expand new things because bank loans are virtually impossible.  This pushes the demand for government or other funding vehicals.  This kills growth and inovation.
      The black and white arguments just don't work in todays world and if we cannot help ourselves I will quote our US Representative, "Don't come to the government for help, you won't like the results".
      I hope the banking family will look more to customer service.  Profit is essential and I am all for it, but customer satisfaction is the backbone of any venture.  Kill that and kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

Friday, October 19, 2012



     You can be in the most quaint setting or in the biggest city in the world and there is always one, or more, of these.  If there is anything that can sour the best of intentions, when everyone is pulling together, it is a thief.
     Most of you probably have not heard of Muscotah Kansas.  It is a quaint town of 200 in the western part of Atchison County in north east Kansas.  There is not a lot of draw for tourists but they have a claim to fame.  The area was the home town of pro baseball player Joe Tinker.  Now you have to be a baseball fan for that to mean anything but it is something.
      The town recently replaced their old water tower with a new one.  So they have this old one that, LOOKS LIKE A BIG BASEBALL!  Maybe the biggest baseball in the world.  Ok, here is the inspiration part.  If you make it the WORLD'S LARGEST BASEBALL what do you do in it.  YOU MAKE A BASEBALL MUSEUM FEATURING HOME TOWN HERO JOE TINKER.  And that is what they are doing.
      So there is cost to do this so the town has to have a fund raiser.  So they have this nice day and the goal of $1000 dollars is raised.  They are on their way.  Community spirit works again.  But hold it!
      Wake up the next day and guess what?  A THIEF STOLE THE MONEY.  One of the lowest, sniveling, underhanded, dirty rotten, no good, things that anyone can do is steal the proceeds of a great effort for a good cause.  I have to stop there because it gets unprintable.
      So what to do?  Marci Penner and Wendy LaPlatt and the KANSAS SAMPLER FOUNDATION have a stroke of genius.  Get the word out to the Kansas Explorers and other Sampler fans and send in $5 dollars to replace the stolen money.
      If you are as ticked of at thieves as I am why don't you send $5 to replace the money and let the people of Muscotah that you support their efforts and community spirit. 

It will make you feel good.  It will help a small town who was helping itself, and will give you an investment in the WORLDS LARGEST BASEBALL.
      It would be a great thing to Send $5 to the Kansas Sampler Foundation and support their efforts to promote small town and rural Kansas.
KANSAS SAMPLER FOUNDATION, 978 ARAPAHO RD., INMAN, KS  67546  contact Marci about the great things they do. marci@kansassampler.org

And to the thieves that stoop to this I hope a ticked off grandma with a broom gets to you before they arrest you!!



   I finally left the hilltop and took a drive thru Eastern Kansas on the way to Branson, MO.  I had several friends that were playing the Harvest Festival at Silver Dollar City.  It had been so many years since I went down there that I had to just chuck everything and go.  I have a god daughter down there that I have not seen since she was little and she is in her 7th year of teaching grade school now. (hang my head red faced).
     It has been years since I was down thru Dexter (Henry's is still open).  I like the southern Flint Hills and Chautauqua Hills.  There was so much to see that I had to slow down to catch a lot of it.  I had breakfast, both ways, at Cedarvale at the Hill Top Cafe.  Good food and the locals drink coffee there.  They are in the process of adding a steak house, hope it goes good.  The bad note that between going and coming the dishwasher there had died.  In a small town it is a sad event for everyone.
      I was delighted to see that US 166 is a really good two lane highway.  If I was not in a hurry to get down the road there were a lot of bargains I would have tried to buy.(if I had a way to get them home).  Old cars, trucks, and tractors don't fit the budget well.  There was this one classic car lot in Coffeeville I had to speed by.
      The colors were not at their peak but during the last part of the week there was great rains from Winfield to Branson.  I did not know how to take thunder, lightning, and water running.  Was a great reminder.  And the colors after the rain started going wild.
      Did not have time to detour to Sedan.  That is a great visit and I hope someday to visit the Red Buffalo Ranch owned by Bill Curtis.  Driving on I-44 again was an experience.  It is a shame that all the tourist trap places on all the exits now are all Adult Video stores.  Once away from that onto the MO state highways it was back to the way I remembered it.  It also occurred to me that the 20 MPH curves really are that not like in Kansas where it is a suggestion.  When I was younger I liked driving them more than I do now.  That is why I left for home at 4:30am on Sunday morning so I had no traffic until I got back on Interstate.
      I only saw a little of the tornado damage going thru Joplin.  The old way I went thru would have taken me right into the worst hit areas.  They are building back with that same can do spirit that Kansans are famous for.  Good luck to them.  I did see FEMA trailers being sold.
     I hope all of you will take some time to get away from your place and visit the rural parts of Kansas and go ahead go onto Missouri if you want to.  I saw not only my friends at Silver Dollar City but also went to the RFD Theater for Roy Rogers Jr. and Brule'.  They were great.  I also went to see the Sons Of the Pioneers Chuckwagon Show. 
     Now if I can get time to listen to all these new CD's.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


     Well if you looked at my last blog you were in for as big a surprise as I was.  Somehow I was shut up.  I will call it the LOST BLOG.  Now most who know me understand that I am a techno-idiot.  I have managed to get my views on here for over a year and a half, so what happened to my story of going thru South East Kansas on the way to Branson has just disappeared.
      I will follow up with that information however I need to forge on.  I want to bring your attention to a wonderful event at a fantastic historic theater that has been save and is a viable part of it's community again.
     The event is THE WEST IS WILD AS EVER.  It is a show that you have never seen the likes of before.  It is a composition of the Diamond W Wranglers, Judy Coder, and 3 Trails West.  There is more talent wrapped up in the debut than you have seen for a while.  I am so excited about it that I am leaving the hilltop and going to Emporia on October 28th with a car load of friends to see it.
      Early word about the performance is the individual performances as well as combining all members into an 8 part Harmony that is out of this world.
     All the participants are friends of mine and I am going to sound very biased but if you want to see the best make plans to go to the Granada Theater in Emporia.  You can Google the Diamond W Wranglers and order tickets from their website.  You will not regret it.  It is on a Sunday afternoon at 3pm.
      Now about the theater.  The Granada is another story of a wonderful building that saw it's glory days and then deteriorated until it was almost razed.  A labor of love by the Emporia Community and a lynch pin of the Main Street program there it has been restored to its art deco glory again. 
     The Granada is an example of what individuals and government cooperation can accomplish.  The drive is worth it just for the sound and feel of this venerable old venue.
     I am planning on stopping by Cottonwood Falls on the way up and eat at the Emma Chase Cafe.  We will make it a Kansas Explorer excursion as well as a trip for great entertainment.  The tickets are only $25 so it is not a budget buster. 
      I have a feeling that once the music is turned loose and more people are exposed the WWE will be playing larger and more expensive venues.  Meet me there and be in an a great beginning.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


     One of the things that radically has changed in the last few years is the fact that people who have no idea what real life is all about decide that they know more than you.  It is not that these people have not always had the opinion that they are more intelligent than you.  It is the fact that there are enough of them now to actually force their opinions on their neighbors and get away with it.
     I have seen an entire AG industry killed by the opinions of people that have no concept of what reality is.  I am talking about the horse industry.
      The horse is a domesticated animal that has been in the past the engine of society.  It is an animal that still has fascination and affection of most people.  But the radical animal rightists have succeeded in turning livestock into pets in the minds of society.
      The horse has been a source of enjoyment, industry, and business.  Yet there are realities to the fact that value is underlined by a market.  Without market support there is no real value.  This is what the groups like PETA and the HMSA have been after for years.
      The fact that there is no viable way of handling aged, unwanted, and neglected animals has created a huge problem today.  The wild horses and burros of the west have been romanticised as a natural resource and allowed to grow to the point of damaging the public lands of the West to the point of no recovery.
       The revulsion that the horse is used by some societies as food puts the drive to change the world into the radicals fervor.  I don't really care if Europe or anyone else eats horse.  It is frankly none of my business.
       Passions for a beloved animal can take ordinary people and make them believe the rhetoric that these organizations use for their own agendas.  The victim of this big push against animal agriculture is not to 'save the horse' it is to control and eliminate the use of animals in the food supply.
      The great irony is that these "humane" groups run the largest slaughter houses in the world.  The humane destruction of dogs and cats is under the control of these groups that wish to grant animals human qualities and rights.
      A New York City restaurant recently announced that they were going to include horse on their menu.  The uproar that followed was enough to almost drive the restaurant out of business.  If I were to look at the menu and see horse on it it would not bother me in the least.  I would not eat it but that is my choice to make.  And if I would travel to countries like Mir Mar I would not eat the puppy on their menus.  I would not try to change their customs either.
      The great irony is that we have an explosion of horses, no market, farmers and ranchers driven from the business and we IMPORT horse meat to feed zoo animals.
      There is really a lot of people that need to get a life and quit trying to dictate to the rest of us.  I believe they have enough problems of their own to bother with ours.  Or is there more to the story?

Thursday, October 4, 2012


     I have been giving the politics fits for a while and I am setting here pondering the view out my windows.  I can see over 20 miles down into the Gypsum Hills from our place.  One of my acquaintances put a question out on her Facebook today and has drawn a lot of attention.  It has also gotten a lot of answers.  HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A MIRACLE?
      Of course I have seen miracles everyday and I replied that my time on the Rescue Squad, Ambulance, and Fire engine I witnessed many miracles.  I have seen so many times when someone should have died they came thru without a scratch.  Other times there was so little damage you wondered why anyone died but they did.
      This time of year is a season of miracles that I never tire of.  Not only the cooler weather and the wildlife but also the great hope and faith that the farmer has.  I learned how to farm from my Grandpa Becker and that is where I learned to plant a straight row.  Crooked rows would not do.  I remember riding with him and seeing the neighbors plantings and commenting on the inattention to detail (Carl was real blunt).  Farming was not a casual thing, for him it was his livelihood and pride of doing good work.
      I did almost every job on the farm while growing up but the drill and planter were not allowed.  Later on when I farmed for a friend of mine I drilled wheat and it was as if I had done it all my life.  The lessons must have taken hold.  Maybe plowing a straight headland or mowing hay instilled the skills.
      One of my proudest days was when I swathed some alfalfa for a friend while he took a dinner break, (dinner is at noon in the country, for all you city dudes), when he came back he complimented me by saying he could never swath that straight.  I just said thanks but if I didn't run straight Carl Becker would be mighty disgusted.
      I miss the miles of drilling with that 706 Farmall and the 20 hole drill in the fall.  The neighbors would come in with big folding drills or double drill hitches and try to plant fast.  The steady pace of drilling with that red rig always seemed to be not far behind.  You don't rush planting.  I miss the deer coming out and walking right up to the tractor and stepping aside when passing.  That rig did not spook them like the neigbors rigs did.
     The miracle of putting seed in the ground and even with no moisture in a few days green fragile wheat appears.  I watched last week the wheat going in the ground and it is up.  How a tender little plant can survive is a miracle.  I am astounded at those who say they have never seen a miracle.  I don't understand what kind of unhappy life they must live.
       Grampa always said that you had to kill wheat three times before putting it in the bin.  He also said God always lets it rain ten minutes before it is too late.
      For all the storm clouds on the horizon for this country and the worry that is put in about it's future, look at the wheat growing.  Things are still in his hands and miracles abound if you choose to see them.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


     In my last blog I talked some about the liberals and the fact that it is almost no fun any more to provoke them.  The amazing thing is that I have liberals, middle of the roaders, conservatives, and way out right conservatives as friends.  Though I have very few radical left wing friends because I don't attend 99% trash ins and have little tolerance for the views of those who would make us like Cuba or Venezuela.
      There have been various explanations around for a while about the difference between Conservatives and Liberals so I thought I would list my definitions.

       A joke is not funny to a Liberal unless it is insulting to a conservative.
       Tell a joke about a liberal and you are nasty, racist, and a nut job.

      A conservative believes that the opportunity to better ones self is preferred to charity.
      A Liberal feels that no one should improve themselves without help from the government.

     A conservative would teach someone to fish so they would eat for a lifetime
      A liberal wants to give the fish and feed the person with others money.

     If a Conservative does not like a TV or Radio program, or personality they turn it off or don't listen.
     If a Liberal does not like either they want it banned and removed from the air.

      A Conservative believes in the individuals right to gain an education and take personal responsibility for their actions.
      A Liberal believes that the individual is a victim of history or society and that they know what is best for that group.

      A Conservative that is gay lives his life and respects differing opinions.
      A Liberal that is gay wants special rights and privileges and if you don't agree you are a homophobe.  They will parade and bring attention to their choice and anyone who disagrees has no right to an opinion.

      A Conservative Black is attacked as an Uncle Tom or slandered in the media.
      A Liberal Black can hate White people, intimidate voters at the poles, attack verbally without fact and be a media hero.

      A Conservative can say a fact and become involved in a scandal or gaff.
      A Liberal can tell a lie and it will not be questioned by the media.

      A Conservative will respect religious views as long as they do not promote violence.
     A Liberal will respect every religion accept Christianity.

     A Conservative Agnostic simply does not believe.
     A Liberal Agnostic tries to stop the mention of God anywhere anytime.

     A Conservative Atheist lives his life as he sees fit.
     A Liberal Atheist fights against something he believes does not exist as though it does.

     A Conservative may know nothing about your business and let you run it.
     A Liberal may not know anything about your business but will try to regulate how you run it and if you are allowed to run it.

     A Conservative believes in the Constitution and the fact that it protects the rights of those in a minority.
     A Liberal believes the Constitution is an antiquated document and that it should be replaced.

     A Conservative knows that the United States is a representative republic.
     A Liberal believes the United States is a democracy.

      A Conservative knows that as a republic all rights are to be protected.
      A Liberal does not know that democracy is a majority rule and is really mob rule with rights only to those in power.

       A Conservative will either agree or disagree with my writing and if they have a strong feeling they will politely give me their reason or not say anything.
      A Liberal will, well I will tell you how they react later.  Let's see nose tweaking?  I better let that go for a while.

Monday, September 24, 2012


     I have friends of all types and a great many are conservative like I am.  I do have several liberal friends that I regularly hear from because of my direct and politically non correct opinions.  (the Arab Spring has not reached here yet so there is still some form of free speech). 
      True to my country upbringing I have a colorful vocabulary usually reserved for breaking things, hitting my thumb, motors not starting, flat tires, and people who have no clue what they are talking about.
      I also have a warped sense of humor that more often than not really ticks off liberals.  It is just too easy to get a Liberal ranting and raving and them not realizing that it was done just to rile them up.  Liberals have no sense of humor.
      There is also a double standard that Liberals hold.  If you agree or compromise with them, you are reasonable.  If you disagree you are (choose one) racist, ignorant, red neck, with out feeling, want all (choose all that apply) women put back to second class citizens, war mongering, world dominating, meat eating, uncaring, slob, republican, Nazi, old people thrown off cliffs, the world to overheat, bible thumping, flag waving, morons.
     The big push now is to compromise.  In the words of Neville Chamberlin, (about Hitler) "we can do business with this man."  No wonder they replaced him with Churchhill to fight the war!
      The big thought being sold by news media, Democrats, and others is that nothing can be done in Washington because there is no compromise anymore.  We are in the state of affairs because of compromise!
      Had the whole of presidents, congress, supreme court, lobbyists, interest groups stuck to the simple set of rules laid down centuries ago called the TEN COMMANDMENTS and then later when Jesus reduced them to two, we would not be on the eve of bankruptcy both financial and moral.
     And speaking of moral bankruptcy I searched the major news outlets about details of VP candidate Paul Ryan's budget proposals.  ABC, Huffington Post, New York Times Washington Post, ect., and I found a lot of general statements about the end of the world but no list of proposals.
     I do not take the attitude of Nancy Pelosi and wait til it is passed before we know what is in it approach.  When I read the actual list of cuts and savings it reflects the fact that we are in bankruptcy and we spend money so foolish that we can do something about it if we have the courage.
      There are some sacred cows being sacrificed here but when you are broke and printing money because even your creditors won't loan you anymore you have to cut.
      It is interesting that there is no specific Democratic proposal that I find.  The Ryan plan is specific and amounts to $2.5 Trillion over ten years.  Think it is drastic?  We are 16 Trillion in debt right now.  To continue on is definitely going to CHANGE America.  We will be a third world debtor country and we will have no say in how our lives will be lead.  And the 'great American experiment' will be over.  And all those who sacrificed to give us the freedoms that we have will be wasted.
      Who will be the great hope of the world?  I don't think Libia or Egypt is going to work out.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


     I was asked not long ago if I would run for political office.  I was quite shocked but I answered that I doubt if I could ever be elected.  I have this habit of telling things the way I see it and political correctness is not one of them.
     Many think I am a card carrying Republican and are really surprised at how miffed I am at them.  Now I don't even understand liberal thinking and I am not sure about the really hard views of Libertarians but I like a lot of their thought.  I register as Republican because I find that I want to vote for more in that category than the other.  In my county if you don't vote Republican you don't get to vote for most offices like Sheriff.  There is just not enough Democrats in our county to put up a candidate many times.  Besides I vote for the person.
     I have been miffed over the years because the last time I could vote for my candidate for President was Ronald Regan.  I hate the party process and the mind numbing amount of lies.
     There is also one thing I hate worse than the politicians and the parties and that is the so called Main Stream Media.  Mostly because I am incensed at being treated as an idiot by self appointed experts.  I especially hate the commentary after a speech or debate to be told what I just heard.
     If I were on the hot seat being interviewed by Matt Lawry or any others (especially Katie), I would soon be famous for telling them to Kiss My A#@.  I never found an intelligent interview when the reporter is trying to get it to come out the way he or she wants it to.  What about the TRUTH?
      There is no way that you can get the truth without wading thru all the spinning and just plain stupidity.  It amazes me how media people can so relentlessly support policies that will limit the ability to speak freely.  The First Amendment is being thrown out with the bath water and what is the second thing that happens when governments are taken over.  Freedom of the Press.  Oh yes the first thing taken is the Right to Bear Arms and defend yourself from attack.  Seems that the media is cutting it's own throat and smiling while it happens.
      I have come to firmly support that elected officials should serve two terms.  One in office and one in prison.  I am tired of all the lies told by all sides.
      So you see me running for office is not a good thing.  Many times the right thing is just not popular.  I was in an elected office once and it was the most frustrating thing I have done.  I have also worked for public supported agencies and it was equally frustrating.
      I hate politics.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


After the Eugenics movement was well established in the United States it spread to Germany.  Literature was being produced and sent to prominent scientists and medical professionals. 
      By 1935 the United States had subjected more people to forced sterilization than any country in the world.  The forced sterilization program instituted by the Nazi's was partly inspired by California.
      The Rockefeller Foundation helped develop and fund German programs including one that Josef Mengele worked in before going to Auschwitz.  More than 5000 people were being forcibly sterilized in Germany.  C.M. Goethe, the California eugenics leader, bragged to a colleague;
      "You will be interested to know that your work has played a  powerful part in shaping the opinions of the group of intellectuals who are behind Hitler in this epoch-making program.  Everywhere I sensed that their opinions have been tremendously stimulated by American thought...I wanted you , my dear friend, to carry this thought with you for the rest of your life, that you have jolted into action a great government of 60 million people."
      Harry H. Laughlin, a eugenics researcher, often bragged that his model eugenics laws had been implemented in the 1933 Nuremberg racial hygiene laws.  In 1936 Laughlin was invited to an award ceremony at Heildlberg University, this was on the anniversary date of Hitler's 1934 purge of Jews from the Heildlberg faculty.  He was awarded an honorary Doctorate for his work on the "science of racial cleansing". 
      Laughlin was unable to attend so picked up the Doctorate from the Rockefeller Institute.  He proudly shared the award with his colleagues.  His remark was that this symbolized the "common understanding of German and American scientists of the nature of eugenics."
      After 1945, historians tried to keep the connection between US and the Nazi eugenics movement apart.  Historians and popular causes still try to rewrite history, especially political parties.
      So words and popular causes can induce well meaning people to do terrible things.  So how does this connect to today?  Are we ignoring history to do the same thing just worded differently?  Today Pro Choice is just the same old elitist philosophy worded differently.  The vast majority of abortions are among poor and ethnic people.  Inherently racist, the same people of education and status lead the cry for the right to "control the body" and give no sanction to the life taken.  However if a pregnant woman is killed in a car wreck, or other act of violence, there is an automatic assumption in law that the fetus is a casualty also and the defendant can be charged with 2 deaths.
      The Chinese program of forced abortion and ignored infanticide was conceived and implemented by an American doctor.  Though there is no outcry from many in government or media, the practice is not condemned by other than Right to Life members.
      As much as the gas chambers of Hitler's regime are condemned, the fact remains that the concept came from America. 
      Under provisions of the Obama Health Care Law the concept of euthanasia through indirect means is now the law of the land.  Once a person is beyond the standard of contributing to society, medical care is delayed and denied. 
      As the average life of Americans has been increasing the popular methods for controlling all the costs associated with Health care, Medicare, Social Security, and other programs for the elderly are an issue solved by the ethics of eugenics.
      As a society are we not continuing the thought of the eugenics ethic (or non ethic)?  As we no longer can agree on anything in the political arena have we allowed ourselves to be set up under false pretenses for the same thing to occur again.
       Scientists, professors, think tanks, political planners, and elitists now set an agenda.  The media participates, with the talking points set down daily, that are repeated by political hacks and word spinners.
      We intervene in world affairs if there is oil or drugs involved but pity the people of Syria who have nothing.  The world (US) has not come to there aid and men, women, and children that are targeted in a civil war that is just not worth the administrations effort to save.
      The words of a nation are not enough to lead.  The money of the nation cannot buy friends.  The only effective way to lead is by example.

Information for this series was from Wikipedia.  Referenced material can be found on site.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


      The mainstream acceptance of Eugenics in the scholarly, scientific, social service, and governmental communities was a gradual introduction of theories that preyed on the popular prejudices of the day.  With the rise of Jim Crow and the occurrence of economic recessions and depression created a fertile field for the rise of the basic beliefs of the eugenicist.  The methods of the KKK were more drastic and though popular in some areas left the mainstream with an aversion to their methods.  Pictures of black boys and men hanging in trees did not go over well.
      But the same results could be made more palatable with the addition of scientific theory and the endorsement of leading figures of the time.  Regardless of the the semantics it was still racism.
      In 1972 in congressional testimony 2000 involuntary sterilizations were performed on poor black women without their knowledge or consent.  All the surgeries were performed in the south and were performed on black welfare women with multiple children.  Many had been threatened with the end of welfare benefits if they did not sign the waiver for surgical sterilization.
    In the 1970's the WARN organization (Women of all Red Nations) publicised the fact that Native American women were threatened with the procedure.  Refusal to deliver babies in labor was used to gain the signatures.  Approximately 3,406 Indians were sterilized.  The GEO reported that the proper forms or procedures were not used by the Indian Health Service and did not adhere to the HEW standards.
     One of the methods that was put forth to control the "inferior populations" was euthanasia.  A 1911 Carnegie Institute report mentioned euthanasia as one of it's recommended "solutions" to the problem of "cleansing society of unfit genetic attributes".
      The most commonly suggested method for a solution to the problem of cleansing society was the setting up of local gas chambers.  (Sounds familiar?)  Many in the movement did not think that the public would be up to accepting such drastic measure yet.  So many doctors and medical facilities started a eugenics euthanasia campaign on their own.
      A mental facility in Lincoln Illinois fed it's patients milk infected with tuberculosis (reasoning that genetically fit people would be resistant), resulting in a 30 to 40% annual death rate.
      In 1931 the Illinois Homeopathic Medicine Association began lobbying for the right to euthanize "imbeciles" and other defectives.  The Euthanasia Society of America was founded in 1938.
      There was a widespread promotion of Better Baby Contests to combine the ideas of health and intelligence standards with competitions at state fairs.  The results were taken very serious by the scientific community.  The contests and the collection of scientific information has be dismissed as fads or trends but it was a very serious movement.  Do you see parallels to today's children beauty pageants?
       First appearing at the Kansas Free Fair in 1920 was the Fitter Family competition.  This was a continuation of the better baby contests.  It was believed that many behavioral qualities were inherited from your parents.  This led to the addition of several categories including: Generosity,self-sacrifice, and quality of familial bonds.  Negative features were judged to be: Feeble mindedness, selfishness, jealousy, spaciousness, high temperateness, and cruelty.  Alcoholism, paralysis were more traits to be looked for in family lineage.
      By 1925 the Eugenics Records Office was distributing standardized forms for judging eugenically fit families and were used in several states.
      After the movement was established in America it spread to Germany.  California eugenicists began producing literature promoting eugenics and sterilization and sending it overseas to scientists and medical professionals.  The forced sterilization program engineered by the Nazis was partly inspired by California's.
      The Rockefeller Foundation helped develop and fund various German eugenics programs including the one that Joseph Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz.
      In the next instalment:  The origins of evil and the world acceptance of it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


           The women's  organizations in the deep south played a large role in the acceptance of Eugenics.  Between 1915 and 1920 women's clubs played a major role in establishing public eugenics institutions that were segregated by sex.  Florida passed laws to separate mentally retarded men and women to prevent them from breeding more "feeble minded" individuals.
      Public acceptance in the US was the reason eugenic legislation was passed.  Almost 19 million people attended the Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco from Feb. 20th to Dec. 4th, 1915.  The fair was devoted to the virtues of a rapidly progressing nation, featuring developments in science, agriculture, manufacturing, and technology.  A large amount of space was devoted to the developments in health, disease particularly tropical medicine and racial betterment.
     Intertwining all the elements categorized all this into the advancement of civilization.  Back starting in 1896 in Connecticut and soon others, marriage laws were passed with eugenic criteria.  This prohibited anyone who was epileptic, imbecile, or feeble minded from marrying.
      The first state to introduce compulsory sterilization was Michigan in 1897 but failed to get enough votes.  Indiana was the first state to enact the legislation in 1907.  This was followed closely by Washington and California.  The practice did not ramp up until 1927 when the Supreme Court legitimized sterilization.
     The state of California was at the top of numbers of forced sterilizations, performing 20,000 of the 60,000 done from 1909 until the 1960's.  North Carolina's program ran from 1933 until 1977 and was the most aggressive of the 32 states that legalized forced sterilization.  North Carolina gave social workers the power to decide who should be sterilized.  Wallace Kuralt wrote in the March 1967 Journal of the NC Board of Public Welfare, "Here at last was a method of preventing unwanted pregnancies by an acceptable, practical and inexpensive method.  The poor readily adopted the new techniques for birth control."
     The Immigration Restriction League was founded in 1894 by three Harvard graduates.  They sought to bar what it considered the "inferior races" from entering the "superior" American racial stock. 
      The league allied itself with the American Breeder's Association to further it's goals.  The committee chaired by David Starr Jordan with members Charles Davenport, Alexander Graham Bell, Vernon Kellogg, Luther Burbank, William Ernest Castle, Adolf Meyer, H.J. Webber, and Fredrick Woods.
      This is the mission statement they wrote:  "Society must protect itself; as it claims the right to deprive the murderer of his life so it may also annihilate the hideous serpent of hopelessly vicious protoplasm.  Here is where appropriate legislation will aid in eugenics and creating a healthier, saner society in the future".
     Money from the Harriman railroad fortune was also given to local charities, in order to find immigrants from specific ethnic groups and deport, confine, or forcibly sterilize them.
      Both class and race was used to define the "fit and unfit".  By using intelligence testing the assertion was made that social mobility was indicative of ones genetic fitness.  Because of class status upper and lower class women were treated differently.  Eugenicists promoted procreation among the fittest in society and encouraged middle class women to bear more children.
      Since poverty was associated with prostitution and "mental idiocy", women of lower classes were the first to be deemed "unfit" and Promiscuous.  These women were predominately immigrants or women of color and were discouraged from bearing children and were encouraged to use birth control.
     Men and women were compulsorily sterilized for different reasons.  Men to treat aggressive and criminal behavior.  Women to control the results of their sexuality.  Since women bore children they were held more accountable than men.
      A 1927 Fortune magazine poll found that 2/3 of respondents supported eugenic sterilization of "mental defectives".  Sixty three percent supported sterilization of criminals, and only 15% opposed both.
     Is it coincidental that the rise of Jim Crow laws and the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan parallels the rise of Eugenics?
     Native American women were also victims of the eugenics laws.  They were victims up into the 1970's.  Women were warned that if they had more children they would be denied welfare benefits.  Women were also tricked into giving consent to be sterilized as they were in labor.  The delivery's were held up until they consented.

Monday, August 27, 2012


     You may not have heard of a movement that started in the United States with seemingly good intentions.  It later inspired and set the stage from one of the worlds greatest tragedies and plunged the world into war.  This movement was able to get the support of some of histories most beloved dignitaries as well as the common man for many years.
     Ideas for this movement were rooted in the biological determinist ideas of Sir Francis Galton.  Galton studied the upper classes of Britain in the 1880's and concluded that social positions were due to a superior genetic makeup.  Early proponents believed that through selective breeding the human species should direct it's own evolution.  They tended to believe in the genetic superiority of the Nordic, Germanic, and Anglo-Saxon peoples.
(Wikipedia).  It supported strict immigration and anti-miscegenation laws.  It also supported forcible sterilization of the 'poor, disabled, and immoral'.
     The American Eugenics movement received extensive support of the Carnegie Institution, Rockefeller Foundation, and the Harriman railroad fortunes.  In 1906 J.H. Kellogg provided funding to found the Race Betterment Foundation in Battle Creek Michigan.  The Eugenics Records Office was founded by the renowned biologist Charles B. Davenport.  As late as the 1920's the ERO was the leading organization in the American Eugenics movement.
     The ERO accumulated masses of family pedigrees and concluded that those who were unfit cam from economically and socially poor backgrounds.  Eugenicists such as Davenport, psychologist Henry H. Goddard, Harry H. Laughlin, and conservationist Madison Grant, (all respected in their time), began to lobby for solutions to the problem of the "unfit".  The primary methods supported in one form or another was Immigration restriction, sterilization, segregation, and some even supported extermination.  The Eugenics Records Office later became the Cold Harbor Laboratory.
     Eugenics was widely accepted by the academic community.  By 1928 there were 376 separate university courses in some of the United States leading schools enrolling more than 20,000 students which included Eugenics in their curriculum.
     One of the few scientific detractor was Thomas Hunt Morgan.  Most of the detractors focused on some of the cruder methodology of Eugenics. 
     In 1906 The first organized Eugenics body was formed.  The American Breeder's Association was established under the direction of Charles B Davenport.  The ABA was formed to "investigate and report on heredity in the human race, and emphasize the value of superior blood and the menace to society of inferior blood."
     Membership included Alexander Graham Bell, Stanford President David Starr Jordan, and Luther Burbank.
      Feminist reformers advocated an agenda of Eugenic legal reform.  The National Federation of Women's Clubs, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and the National League of Women Voters were among the variety of state and local feminist organizations to lobby for Eugenic reforms.
One of the prominent women leaders was Margaret Sanger.  Leader of the birth control movement.  She advocated birth control to prevent unwanted births, those born into a disadvantaged life, who would pass on mental disease or serious physical defect.  She advocated sterilization though she did reject euthanasia.

End part one.  Part two will explore how popular Eugenics becomes.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


     You know I complain about the mainstream media all the time.  What they think I care about and what I should care about is just out of control.  I would love politics that dealt in truth, FROM BOTH SIDES!  I don't care if Prince Harry ran around HIS HOTEL ROOM NAKED.  I don't want to see pictures and reports on what the Queen is going to do, or how the British press reports it.
     I am suspect of a report that was held for a full year before saying that a congressman skinny dipped in the Sea of Galilee.  People have been skinny dipping for years, I don't care!  There is no Democrat running against him for re-election but they promise to put up a candidate in two more years.  I DON'T CARE!
     I think that the evening news reporting, on their own networks, shows as if it is hard hitting news.  Huntley - Brinkley must be turning in their graves.  Look, Survivor, Dancing With the Stars, America's got talent, Big Brother, is not worth wasting my time.  I don't watch them and those who have no life already know what is going on.  I DON'T CARE.
     I care about the fires burning up the west.  I care about why the government will not allow the biggest and latest technology to be deployed and then lie to us about doing everything they can.  And the houses still burn and firefighters still die.
     I care about vicious killers gunning down innocent people and then the equally crazy media starts pushing gun control.  Yet you cannot put mentally ill people into institutions.  And the vast majority of citizens who exercise their Constitutional rights are labeled as the enemy.
     I care that two girls just enjoying an evening before going back to school are buried by a coal derailment.  I care that those who don't put up a dime to help the social ills accuse the churches and religious organizations, who do, as not doing enough.
     The good stories get saved til last as if one feel good story will make all the vitriol go away.  If you are aware of history we are seeing it repeat it's self.  Seems we never learn, or those that do cannot stop those who would rather have agenda's.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


     I have very little respect for the mainstream news media because journalism has descended to the same level as politics and there they have joined to tell us how stupid we are and how smart they are.
      Watching the Olympics it was as much about the coverage and the cutesy stories, rather than the scope of the entire games.  I am thrilled that our athletes did so well and are proud they represented our country.  There were very dramatic moments and great triumphs and let downs.  Every athlete there was a cut above.  Whether they came away with medals or took their defeats with grace and composure.
      The coverage by the main networks detracted from the spirit of the competition by ignoring the sports and athletes that were in politically incorrect sports.  There was lots of coverage of the swimming and gymnastics, then the track and field.
       Every once in a while in the medal count it was mentioned that "we won a medal in shooting today".  OK, which shooting?  We have athletes in trap, skeet, pistol, rim fire, center fire, and air.  Men's and women's.
      It gets especially irritating when a great event is critiqued by the commentators for 1/10th point flaws.  Then they cannot make even an attempt to honor outstanding performances by our shooters. 
      I saw no wrestling, boxing, marshal arts, in any length if at all.  We can get coverage of badminton, wow!  Where were the human interest stories of these other athletes?  I could not, and would not, spend all my time trying to watch everything scattered out on 4 networks.  I do have a life.  But the hostility towards the events and athletes that did just as good a job competing as the others is bad journalism.
     Journalism used to be taught as an even handed presentation of the facts and about well reported stories.  Not political agendas.  Of course that was taught not really practiced.
      Maybe the editorial/news staff and corporate management should get out of the sports department's way and let them bring the Olympics to a proud nation.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


     Being a 4th generation rural Sedgwick County Kansas resident I spent most of my life there.  Until we made the move away from the madness of city sprawl and city people moving to the real rural area.  We came to our long time love, the Gypsum Hills, in Barber County and regained the sense of what living is.  Living on this hill gives a perspective that being too close to issues seem to cloud.
     The Wichita River Festival started out as the Wichita Book and Art Fair around Century II 41 years ago.  It was really an entertainment affair that people from all over the state could come to and enjoy.  At the time I was doing several festivals a year with woodcarving with my cousin who did stain glass.
      Back then the River Festival was about having a good time.  Merchants, most notably Star Lumber, donated materials to build this grand West Bank Stage in an area that was not being utilized for anything but weeds.  Then there was a grand earth moving project that put a raised ampi-theater type area for seating.  KFDI radio would promote some great country shows and other acts would provide music in a setting that we would take our blankets and coolers and enjoy the evenings.
    Then the festival got organized and incorporated and making money was the big thing.  A fence went up around the West Bank area and you could no longer bring your cooler.  You were forced to eat vendor food in food courts and buy your beer at triple prices in the beer garden.
     As the event grew and the revenues grew it became a mass of people and enjoyment went out of the picture.  Country music went to other places and the aura of a simple festival went the way of the Dodo bird.  Which is the direction we took.
     Somehow the thought of being with 250,000 of your closest friends and being held up for seemingly everything made us lose interest.  I really love the symphony and the 1812 Overture but two hours of traffic to get out of a 30 minute town was just too much.
     I know that many have good times but when they tore down the West Bank Stage it was just too much.  We listened to Martina McBride there when she was just starting out and being herded into fence like prison inmates did not make any sense.
     Some volunteers that sell the revenue producing buttons were not allowed to have one even though they would have contributed anyway.  The hot attitude of making money got in the way of a good time.
     Maybe this sounds like an old fogies fond memories of when things were better, but, if it is why are they losing money.  Maybe the new director should go get the opinions of those who quit going too town for the fun?  Most times by getting a few blunt opinions is worth more than a thousand hand wringings and going "what will we do"?
     Maybe returning to having fun is an answer.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


     How do you value your skills?  Do you expect to be paid a fair wage for the talents and services you do.  When you make a living doing what you do do you happily give your time and talent away?  How do you feel about someone else expecting you to do what you do for free and think you owe it to them, or even to the community?
     A lot of questions?  Well it should not be hard.  We are all willing to do things for others from time to time and we even feel that we are appreciated by those it benefits in many cases.  That is until someone expects it and is not even aware that you charge for the things you do to pay the bills, put food on the table, and make a life for yourself.
     So then after knowing that this expectation by others is an irritant to you do you turn around and do it to someone else?  Shoe on the other foot now.
     I once knew a man who built his business from a one tractor and blade into one of the biggest dirt construction companies in the Midwest.  And after building a business and giving back to the church and community, developed the attitude that those who do 'services' such as teach, fight fire, police, etc., should not expect a great amount of compensation but do it out of dedication to their profession.  However the man did not discount or volunteer to dig our lake out of dedication to his craft.
     So do you have a musician, entertainer, or artist in your community that you rely on to drop what they do or alter their schedule to give of their talents for free.  So you value their talent as worth nothing?
     If you give away what you do, are you valuing your time and talent as being worth nothing?
     Many talented people are very happy to help out their communities, organizations, or favorite activities and that is a good thing.  But it can be taken too far to where it is a burden to the person and what they are working for in a career.  If you value yourself you in turn should value others.  I do know people who put no value on anything beyond themselves.  Some determine that if it is not a product that is being produced it holds no value.
    Artists draw value out of the talent that has been given them and a craft that they work hard on.  Many never make it to the level of celebrity.  Even when the make that achievement those familiar, or from their home town, take them for granted.
     If you value talent, yours or others, stop and consider that offering to compensate the ones you ask for services, not only recognise you value their talent, but that you do not expect what they do.
    If you respect your worth but not another, maybe you should review your true values.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


     OK!  I am going to be the resident curmudgeon and climb on my soapbox and irritate a lot of people!  This is a subject that I have had as a burr under my saddle for years and if it applies to you tough!
     I have gone up and down with my weight over most of my life.  At one time not long ago I was to the point of being mostly an invalid.  Thank God I have fought the battle, (still fighting), and have gotten my life back.  So I have a particularly delicate subject I now want to discuss.
     BATHROOMS, RESTROOMS, WATER CLOSETS, THE FACILITIES, POWDER ROOMS, whatever you choose to call them.  And I want to address the, ARCHITECTS, PLUMBERS, BUILDERS, DESIGNERS, AND DECISION MAKERS that are responsible for them.  Ask any woman and you will get an earful about the public, and many private, facilities in this country.
     Only because of the ADA laws are many, not all, facilities actually friendly to the users of them.  And even these rules get messed up for the convenience of some builder who is to lazy to give any consideration to them.
     Miniature toilets stuck in unreasonably small rooms are a sure indication of either stinginess, unconsciousness, and/or stupidity.  Sure thing that those responsible are so skinny that they should be watched for bulimia or sadism.
     The fact that 60% of the American people are obese should have those responsible for customer and user comfort paying attention.  Anyone paying for the design and installation of the facilities should insist on the privy being built for the comfortable usage of everyone, including themselves.
     For years we have been squeezed into stalls or rooms, that you cannot turn around in.  We have doors that swing inward that is impossible to get around to set down.  Toilet paper holders have been installed so low you have to be double jointed to get at the paper.
     If you have every seen these huge plastic appliances on the wall, so low that only a 4 year old could get into, and wonder why so many are damaged?  It is because, thru desperation, many have hit, pryed, or otherwise popped them open to get to the massive rolls of narrow, sand paper to clean themselves in a civilized manor.  I don't care how much money is saved by these monstrosities it just shows that you don't care about easy usage by your customers.  How does this affect your customers attitudes?
     I feel so sorry for the truly disabled trying to have some bit of decorum while fulfilling a basic body function.  It can be maddening.
     There are some companies and builders that do good jobs and seem too care, but take a trip cross country and see the horror that awaits you in many places.
     I have also been in homes that either were built by people so cheap or skinny that you cannot even get thru the narrow doors let alone use the throne.  If you can spend thousands on a kitchen to make it user friendly can't you spend a little more on doorway widths and size of the bathrooms?
     If you have shared these frustrations I hope this will move you to be more vocal.  If this irritated you or embarrassed you, FANTASTIC!  That was the whole point of this.
     When I point out simple remedies to problems in the restrooms most will be very attentive and then ignore it when I have gone.  Maybe if you will also point out the little things that could be corrected enough of us could actually make them realize there is a problem.  SPEAK UP!
     Now here is some simple things that those of you can pay attention to who are responsible for the facilities.
1.  Toilets tall enough not to have knees near the cheeks.
2.  Toilets set out far enough to be reasonable.
3.  Doors that swing out away from the stall.
4.  Toilet paper above the bar and accessible for everyone.
5.  Grab bars that do not protrude into the minimum space for the fixture.
6.  Toilet not too tall that your feet swing.
7.  Doors wide enough for everyone to get thru.
8.  Keep it clean.  Nothing is more disgusting than a filthy facility.
9.  Do all this because you want to do what is right and show that you really care.
     As you might note I do this with much emotion and I try to not write when I am worked up.  But this has been brewing with me for years and it is time to point this out.
     There are a few companies that I would love to give an award to for their excellent facilities.  And to the others I want to just scream, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING OF!
     I hope this will inspire more women to go into design and architecture because these men that do this need to go get a real job.