Year End Thoughts

It won’t be long now, and 2021 will be over. While it was a little better than 2020, we still have Covid, the Jan. 6th investigation, deep divides in a growing number of religious denominations, and inflation. Not to mention gun violence across the country and the mental health of our youth

This past year saw an increase in partisanship. School boards, local city, and county governments have traditionally been non-partisan; however, we are witnessing more political divide at this level. We are seeing state officials threatening action in school board issues. Meanwhile, state Attorney Generals continue to fight Federal decisions of the opposite party. I say ENOUGH!

The best part of this past year has been the number of new friends we’ve made. Living in a retirement community was a smart move for us. If something breaks or does not work, we call General Services to fix it. Soon it will snow, and I can watch as someone other than me clears the sidewalks.

Looking ahead, wouldn’t it be wonderful if more leaders like Bob Dole found their way into leadership? People of all walks who cared for the common good. Corporations who paid just wages and returned some of their profit to the communities supporting their business.

So for the New Year, will you join me in promoting Kindness? Civility? Personal and Corporate Social Responsibility?

Happy New Year

Is the Jan. 6th Investigation a matter of conscience?

Select Committee

The Select Committee investigating the January 6th attack on our Capitol and election process will likely produce headlines shortly. Eight Executive Branch agencies have received demands to produce records relating to the planning and execution of the attack. There will no doubt be attempts to quash any subpoenas for documents, and the finger-pointing will continue. The divisiveness of both parties continues to be a barrier preventing any healing as a country.

Regardless of political affiliation, I believe that the American public wants and needs to know the truth. Those involved in planning the attack need to be held accountable and punished to the fullest extent of the law.
We must overcome this festering sore if we hope to hold our heads high on the world stage.

To our elected, please examine your conscience, do the right thing, and get to the bottom of what happened.

Thats 30…

History Repeats Itself

A former co-worker recently posted a photo of a U.S. military jet packed with Afghanistan refugees fleeing their country. The scene reminded her of her families own 1975 escape from Vietnam. However, she says she was very young at the time and did not remember much. She did know what a great sacrifice her parents made to protect the family.

Today, that young refugee is a skilled therapist, manager, law enforcement trainer, mother, wife, and productive community member. Thinking of her post, I thought of this new wave of refugees from yet another war torn country and their journey to our country.

Like my friend and her family, Afghan refugees will face difficult times assimilating into our society. They supported our troops now we need to give them support and a chance to succeed.

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden do

Most, but not all, of us have a linage of a family from other parts of the world. We are a melting pot and, in my view, better off because of our diversity.

That’s 30…

Thoughts on Communications & Civility

The explosive growth of social media is a phenomenon of our times. The impact is far-reaching and an interesting look at our society. Thee Nextdoor platform is one example of neighbors arguing about local politics, masking, chip seal techniques on our streets. I fear some post comments to get under another’s skin; they may not even believe what they have posted—plain mean people.

Social media has also “outted” those “Karens” and “Chads” of the world who appoint themselves to correct the perceived wrongdoings of others. I’m afraid we are becoming less civil every day.

These platforms can be excellent tools for local clubs, civic organizations, schools and communities to promote the common good. Nonprofits can benefit as well by sharing their mission, seeking volunteers and support. Newcomers to a community benefit from getting recommendations from others about a variety of services and providers. I suggest these are all examples of civility.

Human nature, being what it is, makes it difficult not to comment on posts that are contrary to one’s own beliefs. By taking a few minutes and thinking if comments are warranted, then taking the time to structure carefully worded comments, good communication and civility can prevail.

That’s 30, what is your opinion?

Masks and Antivaxers

With the very real possibility that mask mandates will return, I wonder why so many people think their rights are being violated. I just don’t get it.

I know a young man who refuses to get the vaccine. He believes his friends over doctors and health officials. But then he is 18, and we all know that 18-year-olds possess a vast amount of knowledge and life experience.

How to Beat the Virus

Armed with the belief that the County Commission would call for new masking guidelines, a crowd gathered outside the chambers last week. Despite the assurance from the Chairman that masking was not on the agenda. During the public comment session, most speakers ranted during their two minutes about their rights being violated; some cited studies found on the internet, which they interpreted to mean masks, vaccines, and distancing are not necessary.

Wonder where their medical degree is from?

I was reminded of a dear high school friend who contracted polio in the 1950s as a child. I wanted to know how she felt, so I called her. While using a wheelchair, she graduated college, married, and raised a family. Today she celebrates life as a happy grandmother. She remembers asking her mother why she needed the vaccine when she already had polio. She said her mother told her she needed it to protect the rest of her body. As I recall, the was little opposition to getting the polio shot or later sugar cube with vaccine.

As I write, employers around the country are mandating vaccinations or, at the least weekly covid tests. There will be opposition, but I feel it’s past time to take a stricter approach to slow the spread of this virus. School is bout to start, and I worry about my grandchildren. They seem at ease wearing masks, but some school boards are saying no mask mandates this year. I don’t think this is the right message to send to our kids.
Luckily, I am vaccinated and live in a community where most others are as well. However, when I do venture out, you will know me by my mask.

…That’s 30 for today.

Capitol or Capital ?

Oaky, I was wrong in my post earlier this week. I could use the excuse that autocorrect was responsible for the mistake, but I’d be flat-out lying. I should know that it is the U.S. Capitol; some capital-funded it.
I was able to correct my error, but only after the few people that follow my ramblings had read it. Now their suspicions are confirmed. I too often hit send or publish before proofing.

Egg on my Face

So, with “egg on my face,” totally embarrassed, I hope I have learned a lesson. Meanwhile, a new investigation into the Jan. 6th attack is starting, and I’ll probably have an opinion or two. If only I remember to proof the post.

…that’s 30, hope I’m forgiven.

Capitol attack investigation

We watched in horror on January 6th as an angry mob attacked our nation’s Capitol. But, unfortunately, some politicians elected to serve our country are now dodging reality and downplaying the most severe nature of this insurrection. We have even heard some say things like it was nothing more than tourists visiting the Capitol. How ridiculous.

The formation of an independent commission to investigate this attack on our democracy passed the House; however, Republican party leaders have opposed this investigation. Even though some Republican Senators approve of the Commission, others voted against it. This citizen finds it unbelievable that any U.S. Senator could resist getting all the details of this planned and coordinated attack. I suggest it is their duty and obligation, and one that overrides party loyalty.

We are now six months since the attack on our nation’s Capitol, and while there have been about 500 arrests, there is more to be known about what appears to be an organized effort. Credible reports indicate some of those involved were military, ex-military, or law enforcement. They were individuals trained beyond that of most citizens and acted in an organized way.

Those who helped plan and promote this attack are as guilty as those who invaded our Capitol. I believe those politicians who blocked the formation of a bipartisan commission to investigate are also culpable and need to be held accountable. I wonder how many that would not support the investigation are soon to be up for election?

What was the role of the Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters, and the Proud Boys? Where their elected officials that by their rhetoric helped facilitate this crime? Is there any truth to stories that some of the insurgents toured the capitol days before the attack? Were so-called early intelligence reports ignored? Did someone delay the arrival of additional officers or guardsmen? We, the American public, deserve to have answers and those found guilty need to be punished. Many times in my lifetime, horrendous crimes were pushed to the side, hopefully, to be forgotten…until the next one. They say history repeats itself.

…That’s 30, God Bless America.


Today is my 47th Fathers Day, and I’m so very fortunate. Now retired, living in a safe and secure community. Yes, I am privileged. I live close to my three children and nine grandchildren, and I proudly watch as they meet the challenges of raising a family in today’s society.

I grew up during the proverbial “Happy Days” when for the most part, Dad worked, and Mom stayed home to manage the family. While my children have not followed that exact model, I am most proud of how they are there for each other. Yes, they can, and do, disagree at times, but when push comes to shove, they have each other’s back. I watch as my grandchildren, ages 5 through 18, develop and grow as individuals. Each has a very different personality, strengths, weaknesses, and dreams for the future.

As I said, I am among the privileged. I can’t help but think of the Fathers estranged or separated for their children—the Fathers who have lost a child and the Fathers struggling as single parents. Fatherhood is in itself a privilege and an honor. I am proud to honor my Dad on this Father’s Day, and while he is no longer with us, he served his family, country, and his maker the best he could.

So today, let us lift all men who are blessed to become a father, a most sacred calling.

...that’s 30. Thanks Dad.

American History or Political Stunt?

Earlier this month, 14 Republican state attorney generals signed a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona stating that public schools should not receive grant funds to teach about critical race theory. The so-called concern stems partially from research and new findings of the role of slavery in the formation of our country.

Think about what we have learned just this year about racism and our society. Are we more “woke” as we discover new information about the role of slavery and those kept in servitude and isolation?

It makes me think that Black Lives Matter is more than a movement focusing on police brutality. In reading articles in the acclaimed 1619 Project of the New York Times, I’m struck by the amount of history missing from my education. The most recent 60 Minutes broadcast told the story of Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Another example of events ignored by educators, historians, and those whom we look to for leadership. I find credibility in that people of color are helping revise the story of the impact of slavery on our country, and they do it with a unique perspective.

I am disgusted by the political divide that continues to permeate more and more elements of our communities. Apparently, these attorney’s general believe they can gain favor and political support by playing the race card. Their letter was blatantly political and should not be a factor in the decision of those education professionals.

..that’s 30, We can learn from this.

Scams, cons and fraud.

I like to think while I may be older, I’m not naive. Unfortunately, however, even the best of us can all fall for a well-conceived scam. As technology develops and we age, a slippery slope can arise, and extreme caution is necessary. The F.B.I. says senior fraud accounts for some $3 billion in losses annually, and it’s growing. For example, in 2020, the F.B.I. reports they saw a 69% increase in fraud complaints over the previous year.

The pandemic and isolation compounded these crimes, according to law enforcement. In just the past few months, I have received calls from a robotic voice claiming to be from Social Security, another claiming to be from Amazon saying a problem with my credit card for the new iPhone I ordered. But, of course, these calls were scams. Then there are the constant sales phishing calls about my car’s expiring warranty.

My favorite experience with a con artist was when I received the “Grandparents” scam call. The voice on the other end said, “Hello grandpa, it’s me and I’m in trouble. I’ve been arrested and I need bail money.” Thankfully, I had heard of this before, and I knew where my grandkids were, so I told the caller, “Too bad, I never really liked you anyway,” the caller quickly hung up.

How do these cons get your information? They gather much of your personal information from your social media. Law enforcement uses social media as well to track criminal activity and identities. One federal investigator told me we need to keep making people aware of how criminals get your information. Remember, Social Security, the I.R.S., and government agencies will not call you demanding money or gift cards.

 The Overland Park Police Department says the “grandparents phone scam” is the one they see more often. Another example is a scammer who sent someone to the victim’s house in a recent local case. The victim took cash out to the street and gave it to a courier who left with the funds. Other instances involved victims instructed to purchase gift cards or go to an A.T.M. and withdraw some money.

In 2020 the F.B.I. reports 3,457 Kansans were victims of various scams amounting to about $19 million in losses. The F.B.I. says seniors are targets because we tend to be trusting and polite. However, many senior victims never report these crimes as they feel embarrassed or concerned that family members may think they can no longer care for themselves. Authorities also say Seniors are more often a target because they are available, have savings and other assets.

A spokeswoman for the Kansas City F.B.I. field office says Romance and Confidence screams are what they see the most. A Romance scam is where perpetrators gain the trust of their victims, eventually convincing them to send them money. A confidence scam is where the criminal convinces the victim they are acting in their best interest. The “grandparents call” is an example. If you get a call like this, police say hang up and call the agency reportedly holding your loved one to verify the claim.

If you believe you or someone you know may have been a victim of elder fraud, contact your local F.B.I. field office or submit a tip online. You can also file a complaint with the F.B.I.’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

….that’s 30…stay safe.