Thursday, May 29, 2014


Bill Lockwood

     The problem with checking government power is the widespread belief from people, many who have no idea what the facts are, that freedom comes from the government down.  Government comes from the people up.  It is held hostage by the unelected members of departments who interpret what the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branch's intend for the laws passed to be implemented.
     Some where in the process the political power, vested interests, and activist groups push and pull for implementation in their vision of what is best for someone else.  This becomes the basis of power. 
     My favorite saying is "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely."  To oppose the bullying and open threats from various agencies brings threats of destroying reputation, livelihood, and even threat to life.  This is why we first need to oppose the regulatory agencies (all 72) from having SWAT Teams.
     We also have the added factor of people who will not argue facts but will defame character and resort to personal attack and threat of violence.  When listing actions that various agencies of the Federal government that have taken place over the last few years, opponents will throw everything from hater, race mongerer, and conspiracy theorist.
      The day of discussing differences has ended when parents are arrested for asking questions at school board meetings by going over the time limit or wanting simple answers of why the Common Core Standards are being allowed to take the children's education into the field of revision and indoctrination.
     Families who have ranched in the West are being threatened and jailed for standing against tyrannical government agencies.  Common sense has been replaced by bureaucratic mandate and court orders obtained by groups that have no stake in the outcome other than assuming a position of power.
     The day of dealing in facts has been overturned to the popular, emotional, and pop science of the time.  The public pronouncement of the now held position of the administration, and the world, that climate change is irrefutable and happening now is delivered by a Theoretical Physicist.  But the Climatologists that actually study these things don't agree.
     Science has never been absolute yet the history of the Scientific Hierarchy has always been proven wrong over time.  Doctors would not believe in germs, microbes, and viruses for hundreds of years.  Even when a nurse in the 1800's in London insisted that doctors wash their hands between delivering babies.  When they did the survival rate rose 800%.  Yet they still did not believe in germs.  That is what consensus is.  They all agree until it is proven beyond a doubt.  Then it is a hundred years being accepted.    
     Where is all this leading?  To a division of the people and manipulating what is best for the vested interests and for the power of others.  It is it's own tyranny.  When you oppose the things that are wrong be prepared to stand alone for your beliefs, and the rights bestowed by God, thus articulated in the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.
       Beware of shouting, grieving, threatening words and behavior directed at your right to stand opposed to the mob mentality.  Never before has the LAND OF THE FREE AND HOME OF THE BRAVE been threatened to become THE LAND OF THE DEFEATED AND HOME OF THE PARTY.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


John Ruskin

     What if Frank Sinatra was put out to pasture after ten years of music?  The loss of his greatest body and quality of work.  What if the work of the greats had been a passing fad and we would not have Bach, Beethoven, etc.?  What basis of inspiration and continued human expression would there be without the great legacies of music over the centuries?
     What will be the result, in the future, to popular culture when the Nashville music business has run all the formula talent out into the byways?  Pretty much what you see it is now.
      Johnny Cash was tossed into the garbage heap of Nashville after the 'new order' came in and took the heart and soul out of the business and replaced it with the profit equation of the LA Pop scene.  It took a long time Rock and Roller producer to appreciate the genius of Cash and bring it to an almost cult following until the end of his life when he could no longer be ignored.  What of the others like him and those coming up the line that don't fit the mold?
     What is the state of your music?  Is it only what you are told you like on the radio?  Only by the selections in the Wal Mart and Target music sections?  Or do you follow favorites that require you to be in attendance at live events or buy their CD's and downloads?
     As you do not like to be defined by labels or classifications as an individual, so the music business chafes at the same rigid definitions.  Remember Country and Western?  Are you stuck in the Rock world but it is so rigid in classic, acid, new age, and on and on.  There is no place for the current artist who forges ahead in a mixed style and creating new styles.
     The big Business of radio and music has taken artists that would be doing their finest work now and relegated them to a side attraction, or found in a 'destination' still plying their trade.  Some with their greatest works going unknown.
     This will leave a gap in the world of our kids and grand kids unlike the richness that our parents, grand parents, left to us.  I am not one that is against business but there is a point that the dominance of huge conglomerates detracts from the richness of life that should be ours naturally.
     Some of us buck the trends and go our own way.  My hero's are Barry Ward, Curly Musgrave, Dave Stamy, Judy Coder, Devon Dawson, the Diamond W Wranglers, Sons of the Pioneers, 3 Trails West, Don Edwards, Sons of the San Joaquin, Juni Fisher, and many others you may not have heard of.
      The opinion of Colline Raye, country music star, is that "country music is dead."  To the listening public depending on radio and TV this is true.  Yet Country can be found even in Nashville.  Western is out there.  Rock is out there.  Folk, Bluegrass, Celtic, is there and fresh with new life as well as the classic sounds.  It is just denied a place because of music and radio monopolies.
      What does it take to regain the richness of the arts?  It takes a rebirth of the love of and the support of by the public at large.  It can only be changed when the Nashville, Los Angeles, and New York giants start to realize that the formula that they so worship are false and the people in the end rule with their pocket book and can be dictated to just so long.
      So how do you affect the change?  Simple, allow good music to be a part of your life again and not a background hum that emanates from a device programed by an 'expert' in some far off tower.  Support the genre' and artists you love and make it clear to the radio stations and the music industry that you will spend your dollar and time to your likes and not the herd mentality that they perpetuate.
       I discovered Western and all the varieties of it as what I love.  I also have found Americana which is where 90% of music falls and is a growing movement.  I will choose the freedom of 90% to the dictatorship of 10%.  We just have to make it known.
     Remember when radio was your companion and not a mouthpiece?

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Louis L'Amour

     Imagine race day and the race announcer is calling the race and it goes like this.  "Crossing the line in a flying finish is the 1000th victory for the great jockey from Liberal Kansas-Wantha Davis."
     In the process for gathering the stories about odd things from Kansas it always ends up giving me more leads.  These stories are always surprising and delightful.  Oh by the way Wantha Davis was born Wantha Bangs from Liberal Kansas January 3, 1917.  And SHE is considered to be the greatest woman jockey of all time in horse racing with 1000 wins.
     In 1931 Wantha started galloping horses in the Liberal area.  In 1933 she rode in her first competitive race.  In 1934 she graduated from Liberal High School.  From 1934 until 1939 she rode in races in Dodge City, Winfield, Hartnew, Seiling,OK. and racing across the Western United States including Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and California.
     In 1939 she married Lendol Davis.  She rode relay in the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo, she won the New Mexico State Fair with her own mount, and galloped horses in Washington State.
      She galloped horses at Churchill Downs, Douglas Park, and River Downs.  She became the first female rider in the US-Jockey Club sanctioned to ride Para Mutual races.  She raced in Lincoln, Hastings, and Columbus in Nebraska.
      She was victorious over Hall of Famer Jack Westrope and Johnny London.  She galloped horses at all the major tracks in the US because her application for Jockey Licensure was always turned down.  Women did not get the right to be licensed until after the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 twelve years after Wantha's last race.
     Upon her husbands death she ran their 850 acre ranch by herself until she retired and moved to Austin TX so she could be near her family.  She considered her grand children to be the greatest thing in her life.
      She died surrounded by her family in Austin Texas on September  18, 2012.  She was such a unpretencious and humble person that only the discovery of a box full of newspaper clippings did they know what a pioneer she had been.
     Wantha was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 2004.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014




     "All politics are local" a saying that I don't know who made the phrase up but it is pretty accurate.  We have rotten leaders at the top because they got their start on a local level.  Sometimes they even started with the best of intentions.  So it is mandatory on our part that we have the best people willing to stick their necks into the fray as we can get.
     My local legislator I did not know before he was elected but I have gotten to know him since and am happy he is where he is at.  Several years ago my local legislator was my high school government teacher.  I did not care a lot for his politics and I asked him once if it was mandatory for a person heading to the capital to place their brains in a jar and leave them on the porch before going up there.  He did laugh and replied "you would think it was".
     Later in the same position was a friend and neighbor of mine and I thought they would eat him alive when he went to Topeka.  He was this rare animal that was a Conservative Democrat.  Which boiled down to both sides did not want to work with him.  Yet he turned out to be the most effective member of the House that I know.  It is a shame that his district was Gerrymandered so he could not move on to the Senate.
     I have a friend that I have gotten to know in the last two years from Ellinwood Kansas named J. Basil Dannebohm.  He is one of these people that sets his teeth into whatever he is doing and goes at it like a bulldog.  It is amusing how we met and our first impressions of each other.
     Basil has had a whirlwind of a life doing things that many wish they could pack into their lives but just don't have the energy to do.  And yet he does it in spite of the fact that he has Parkinson's.  Kansas was able to draw him back because the solid values and support of his home state appealed to him.
     He is a true believer in rural Kansas and as Director of the Chamber of Commerce in Ellinwood he has done everything he can to promote the towns interests at the state level as well as regionally.  Plus the fact that he works tirelessly for Parkinson's awareness and has been appointed to two Governors boards.
     Now he is running for the House seat in the 113th district.  This encompasses Ellinwood, St. John, Stafford, and Pratt.  I don't know if my recommendation means much out there but if I were in that district I would be very happy that Basil would take my interests to Topeka.  In fact he will get my two cents worth regardless.
      If we could get candidates of this caliber into Washington maybe things would not be such a mess.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Bob Marley

     I spent part of a morning and afternoon with a room full of women.  All HEU home makers at the district meeting for Barber, Kingman, and Pratt counties, here in Medicine Lodge.  Not exactly having coffee with the guys.  It was an interesting day however.
     The first speaker was Ms. Wheelchair Kansas 2013, Angel Shaver.  Her topic was MAINTAINING AN ATTITUDE WITH GRATITUDE.  The story of how she was on her way to the first La Maze class with her husband for her second baby turned out to be a day the changed her life forever.  After dropping her first child off with the baby sitter they came over the hill on a hilly Oklahoma road only to slide on gravel onto the highway and be T Boned by an oncoming Suburban.  She was Life Watched to Tulsa for trauma surgery and delivery of the baby 10 1/2 weeks premature.
      She was kept in an induced coma for 6 weeks.  An Orthopedic doctor that happened to be in Tulsa for a short time before going to California was able to take her pelvis which was broken free and one side turned 90 degrees, and turn it back and pinned it together.  It was not known if she would recognise anyone again and the ability to talk again was in doubt.
     Returning to Kansas which is one of only two states with a brain recovery and therapy program she has been able to articulate and function normally.  Accept for the fact that she is in a wheel chair.
     She was inspired by the writings of a paralysed writer about the ability to maintain an attitude of gratitude.  She was truly an inspirational lady who made you dismiss your ailments and start keeping track of the blessings that you have everyday.
     During lunch we were entertained by the FCC Singers:  Richard and Anita Poland and Tom & Jo Carr.
     The afternoon speaker was underwritten by the Kansas Humanities Council.  Ron Wilson, Director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at Kansas State University gave his talk on NOW THAT'S RURAL: ENTREPRENEURS AND INNOVATORS WHO SHAPED KANSAS COMMUNITIES. 
      Ron does a weekly essay on people in Kansas for radio and newspapers around the state.  He talked about people who pursued an idea and created thriving businesses some doing business world wide right here in Kansas.
     Ron Wilson is also known as the Kansas Poet Lariat.  Upon borrowing my hat so to be in character did one of his poems for us.  Ron lives outside Manhattan on a farm that they are in the 4th generation on and the homestead family was in the 5th generation on.  The Lazy T Ranch is also an Agri Tourism business with entertainment and rental facilities plus a Bed and Breakfast in the old farm house.
      For those of you that do not know what HEU is it is Homemakers Extension Units in each county.  Robin Eubank was the host Extension agent from Barber County, Jodi Drake from Pratt County and Andrea Wood from Kingman County.

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Robert Frost

     There are times when you have to just set back and ignore what is going on in the world.  With the incompetent and just plain criminal things going on in Washington, organizations picking and choosing fact from fantasy so they can control lives, Russia returning to its old ways, and any number of ways that you can be driven mad, lets just talk about something joyous.
     Whether it affects you or not, it is nice to have some joyful things in the news.  The canonization of Saint John the XXIII and John Paul II made one billion Catholics around the world very happy.  Of course the news media had to cover it as it was just to big to ignore.  And then they tried to find every negative thing they could to try and act as an authority.  Funny how so many of the media were so passionate and they don't even believe.
  And the more than 160,000 members of the Wichita Catholic Diocese have their new bishop after a year of waiting.   The Wichita event was broadcast nationwide with Bishops and religious coming from all over the nation to participate in the installation.  There were many familiar faces and names there that I have known for many years.
     With all the madness in the world it is nice to set back and watch something happening that is so historical and positive.  If you do not have a interest in the weeks happenings just enjoy that so many have been affected in a positive way.  A little belief in something bigger than you grounds you for all the things that make no sense at all.
     Pope (Saint) John XXIII was the first Pope I was aware of as a kid.  There are many things that can be said about him but for me he made the church something that did not require knowing another language to understand.
     Pope (Saint) John Paul II was the longest running pope in office and not an Italian.  He had a story that appealed to me and was instrumental in the break up of the Soviet Union.  He had been there so long that it was sad to watch him age.  And a shock when he was not there.
     To say the least Pope Francis has been an unexpected successor of Peter.  With a kinder and more common approach it is a delight just to hear his take on many things that have been taken for granted or lost along the way.  He has, and will leave a mark on the church and time will judge whether it is finding the way back to what it has supposed to be.
     Bishop Carl Kemme fulfills the prayers of the faithful in the Wichita Diocese that has been waiting for a year.  A kind and soft spoken leader he comes from rural background and seems to have the experience to take the reins of the church and lead it into the future.
      I know there are some that will not really give a hoot about this and that is sad.  There is enough grief and evil in the world for those who are working for the same goals to have petty differences.  Be glad there is some joy for many because of the coming of Easter and these special events during the Easter Season.