Saturday, December 28, 2013


                                                               Isoroku Yamamoto

        At one time it was recognized that the vast number of citizens were busy going about living their lives and basically were taken for granted by Washington.  It was called the silent majority.  Since the country was originally settled by people seeking religious freedom and the majority of those were Christian it has always been considered a nation founded on Judeo/Christian values.  The basis of society is founded on these principles and continues in large part today.
      Admiral Yamamoto recognized that the United States was a country that would have the amazing ability to rise above everyday differences and would unite in a common cause after being attacked by Japan.  Others in history have made the same mistake including radical Muslims and Osamma Bin Laden.
      The average American is happy to work day by day to support his family and live a quiet and moral lifestyle.  As time goes on it appears that the values that we live by may have been changing.  But I beg to differ.
      The interesting thing about what happened with the A&E Network and the Robinson family has raised the ire of many people who would not, ordinarily, voice their opinions.  However, the ire of the regular person was raised to a fever pitch during this incident for a number of reasons.  I would call it the perfect storm.
      The vast majority of Christians still live by the instruction of 'turn the other cheek'.  The American media has given full support to minority groups and causes and has been a part in the deterioration of the rights of everyday people.
     At the same time the government has gone off the deep end taking the country into looming bankruptcy and is in the process of destroying the health insurance industry.  We have a government that has become the contempt of our allies and the world.
      The right to speak is now weighed against whether the feelings of small vocal groups are insulted and yet the majority is insulted at every turn.  A state prohibits the marriage of gay couples and there is always a judge available to stop the will of the society at large.  Now a judge has held that Polygamy is Constitutional.
      The dismantling of the Constitution is on the forefront of many in power and they manage to find enough votes somehow to do it.  The Justice system has deteriorated into a system of laws.  The President, and his departments in his control, can violate the law and there is no one standing up and stopping them.
      The elites who call themselves Progressives manage to look down on the average person as being too stupid to make their own decisions.  From seat belts to open borders the country is being overrun and the average person is waiting for a politician who will actually stand up for the things he was elected for.
     The military now tells chaplains that they cannot speak of Christmas or Jesus Christ.  Soldiers are being brought up on charges for not vocally supporting the personal views of their superiors.
      Monuments that have stood since the 1950's are ordered torn down because there is a cross displayed.  Add to this more and more affronts to the average person and all it takes is some insignificant act by a network about the values of one of it's stars to galvanize people to action.
      What is the reason that hundreds of thousands of people are suddenly vocal about a TV show?  The accumulating frustrations, constant bullying, affronts to their beliefs, and personal insults.  The perfect storm.
     Will those who are the constant loud and outrageous be weighed against the overwhelming numbers who have just had enough?  The self righteous attitudes of the 'elite' may find themselves in not so great a company if the attacks on everything from Christmas to personal freedom continues.
     Those who read my column will remember that I warned about the NSA and the gathering of all electronic data before Mr. Snowden made it international news.  You can also go back to my feelings on the official watch list of the NSA on potential terrorists being Veterans, Tea Baggers, Constitutionalists, and 2nd Amendment people.
     Is the sleeping giant stirring?

Monday, December 23, 2013


                         BUT WE INSIST ON MAKING IT COMPLICATED.

     This time of year many people become better than their normal selves and give living a little extra shot.  This is good because there are so many who believe they are better than they are and act it.  There has to be some readjustment and a little grounding reset now and then.
      There are many friends that are planning get together with their families and friends and this is a good thing.  But there are many this time of year that have difficulty getting through the season for one reason or another.  Maybe it was their own fault or circumstances beyond their control.
     I am looking out at a winter scene that is picture postcard like.  As I do every time I look out of the window here on the hill, I am thankful for what we have that so many do not.  The geese are going by by the thousands and there are tracks in the snow of some critter.
      Circumstances have left me to be a bachelor and looking back at things in my life I just cannot help but wonder how things would be if I had made different choices.  The view back is pretty focused on mistakes and even right choices.  But to imagine what would have been and where I would be now is hard.  There is so much temptation for making regrets.
     It seems that modern culture has replaced 'others' with 'me'.  The only thing that seems to count in the world now is what is good for 'me'.  It has been instilled into our younger generation and we are paying a price for it.
     I hope that the sum of my life is not the 'Me's' but the 'other's'.  It is so easy to look back and grieve things that were lost or never been.  I miss so many friends and relatives that have passed on, many before their time.
     It is also hard to think about the 'what if' had I found the right partner.  Today's relationships don't leave very many good examples of the right one ever being found by many.
     It seems that intolerance is the vogue thing now and being a Christian is equated with backwardness and ignorance.  Yet truth is many times mistaken for meanness.  Maybe the fact that truth is so uncomfortable especially when you are wrong, might be the reason for declining numbers filling pews in our churches.
     As I see more and more people picking apart the Bible, Christianity, and people of faith it is clear that there has been a fundamental mistake being made in this culture that requires lengthy actions or justifications. Faith cannot be measured by scientific experiment or measurements. Belief in God, and his commandments, is that faith takes the mystery and  unknown and makes it the underlying foundations of our lives.  Those who have need to justify and inject vitriol and hate into the equation have foundations built on sand.
     It is easy to pick at things that make no difference and feel strongly about issues that have little importance.  Yet in other places just staying alive is the real issue of the day.
     Maybe we can all set back and reflect on the wonders we have and be grateful for friends, home and family. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013


                                AND SOUND PUBLIC POLICY IS NOT A
                                        PROTECTOR OF LIBERTY, BUT AN
                                                INSTRUMENT OF TYRANNY.
                                                        IT CONDEMNS THE CITIZENS
                                                               TO SERVITUDE.
                                                                                 Calvin Coolidge

     I came across a recommendation for a book.  I have not gotten it yet but soon will.  The title is rather direct and gets your attention.  As I read down the 13 points it makes it occurred to me that this would be a great test for yourself as a person as well as a community.
     As you may have gathered in the past I am a strong supporter of the rural and small town communities.  Living in the country my whole life I could not even imagine living in a large city.  Yet I see small communities within these larger cities that are mirror images of our small towns.  So let's take the test.  BE HONEST!


          Traveling around the country I see towns that are obviously on the grow and as many dying on the vine.  I have been around towns who deal with individuals that share many of these traits.  What about you?
     I see these basic principles as being applicable to you as an individual.  Try applying these statements to yourself.  Is there ways you can get involved to keep your community and yourself positive and an asset?
     Here at Christmas time what can you do to give your area a present of your attention and caring?  Let me give you a few ideas.

      Be informed.  If you don't know what is going on in your community try actually looking around and visiting with your neighbors and those elected to serve your area.
     If you have an idea that would improve your area, share it.  Then offer your time, talent, and treasure to bring about something positive.
      Learn the history of your area and the buildings that have survived.  What can you do to preserve it?
     Support what you have or you soon won't have it.
     Give credit for what is done right and work to change what is wrong or needs improving.
     If something needs preserving start now.  Time is no friend and once a building or historic site is gone it cannot be recovered.
     Ask someone that is new or visiting on their impressions and experiences.  Take the good gratefully and the bad graciously.  Newcomers can be a great influence on attitude and creativity.  Plus a new prospective and passionate workers.
     If you have a complaint or problem have a solution or a range of options.  Be part of a solution not a chonic critic.
     There are several things you can do to widen your awareness and look to a larger scale.  Do you have a Chamber of Commerce?  Do you have and Economic Development or tourism office?  Do you belong to any group that works for your community on a larger scale?
     In Kansas I always urge everyone that cares about rural and small town living to become a member of the KANSAS SAMPLER FOUNDATION.  Become a KANSAS EXPLORER.  This will put you and your community on the fast track for being aware about what a great place you live and work in.  I am always amazed that no other state has copied the work that Marci Penner, Milt Penner and his wife, and Wendy LePlatt have done over the years for Kansas.
     Get to know the person that represents you at the state capital and those in Washington.  They do make an effort to come to your town and hear your opinions.  Hint: Do not read to them from something, ask them where they stand.  Talk not lecture.
   By the way the books title is 13 WAYS TO KILL YOUR COMMUNITY by Doug Griffiths & Kelly Clemmer.
     And from the top of the hill, HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


                             WITHOUT CHANGING OUR THINKING
                                                       Albert Einstein

     This is for the knee jerkers on both sides of the issues.  With this severe turn in the weather that has put us in a deep freeze the Global Warming advocates will pull up for a while.  They always flourish when it is over 100 degrees and drougthy.  For a while the talking points that people and media take their subject matter from will find easier targets.  The word came in today that Antarctica has posted the coldest temperature in history less than 172 degrees Fahrenheit
     It is hard for them to remember that in the 1970's we were being scared by tales of Global Cooling, then Global Warming.  Of course the terminology now is changed to Climate Change.  The claims of gloom and doom are losing favor with real scientists that want to keep their credibility.
      The recent articles about complete ice melt in the world lost any credibility in the National Geographic that I ever had.  When reminded that the ice pack increased by one third last winter, it is dismissed by the reply "well the long term average is going down".  Nope, not true.
     We are told that the polar bear is in danger, yet from the 3500 in the 1970's are now around 25,000.  We are told CO2 is a pollutant yet plants thrive on CO2 and plants produce oxygen.  Since there are more trees in North America now than when it was discovered it must not be hurting.
     Then we are told the average temperature has risen a huge amount since 1900.  Nope, about a half a degree.
      A major university's climatologists don't buy into the popular myths yet that University has a department for Climate Change.
       The diversity of energy sources, efficiency, new technology, and 'green' technology are fine if they are developed with the right reasoning.  Using 'Green' as a device of power to force political change is wrong.
      The development of technology and the change of how things are done should be done for the reasons that we want to, not we have to.  Environmental groups who started out as concerned people who wanted to foster change have been taken over by radicals and it is a deliberate usage of money and power to force people off the land and increase the costs of doing business.  It is a not so subtle attempt to turn over authority to UN groups and move to the central planning that has caused every government that tried it to fall.  Those repeating the mistake will do the same.
     We should want to clean up what is not for the sake of being good stewards, not that the world will turn into a flaming fireball if we don't.  I like the concept of wind power and solar if it is feasible and cost effective.  I am amazed that the gas mileages now being bragged about were unattainable not long ago.
      I saw a picture of a dead eagle not long ago that a conservative group claimed was killed by a windmill.  Yet we have eagles here and more than 300 wind turbans and no body is finding dead birds under them.
      Everyone needs to quit HOLLERIN and decide to do things for the right reasons.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


                         EVERYBODY ELSE.  I BELIEVE YOU HAVE TO
                                 BE BETTER THAN YOU EVER THOUGHT
                                          YOU COULD BE.
                                                         Ken Venturi

     There was a great event in Ellinwood Kansas celebrating the heritage of the community known as Little Germany.  It was done with great enthusiasm and participation by huge numbers of people.  Christmaskindlemarket was a re-establishment of traditions that had long been gone from the community.  Going back in history the Japanese Americans were interred in camps during World War II but the German population was too large for this type of discrimination.  However that did not make it easy for traditions to survive.
     Walter Winschell, the famous reporter from the time, singled out Ellinwood in his radio reporting as a German town where "the men gathered downtown for dominoes and drink beer."  Under these circumstances even my family did not pass down the German language to the next generation.
     Ellinwood has a spark plug that has been on a whirlwind to put the town on the map and feeling good about themselves again.  J. Basil Dannebohm was brought back to his hometown to serve as Chamber of Commerce Director.  A native of Ellinwood his career moved to Hutchinson, Wichita, Denver, and California.  Never one to be hesitant Basil has been charging ahead promoting a town that was always in his heart.
     Activities included 49 vendors along Main Street, special German Buffet at the Lone Wolf Cafe (oh it was tasty).  A visit by Father Christmas, tree lighting at the band shell as well as the VFW.  A living nativity, caroling down main street.
      A special note in Basil's statement to the crowd indicated that it is a wonderful thing that we live in a place that you can celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.  Music was provided by our old friend Marshall Allen Bailey.
      The City of Ellinwood is in transition just as every other rural community.  Businesses starting, being sold, hanging on, and prospering.  The positive changes could not be happening if there was not a core of people who says "why not" when faced with a decision.
      I will be back soon to go antiquing, visiting, and eating.  OOH have you heard about Ellinwood Sausage?