Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It never stops in Kansas!

Kevin Yoder has brought the fine up-standing state of Kansas into the national spotlight.  But that's nothing new for these local politicos.  Now keep in mind when you are reading this that Kansas is part of the Bible-Belt.

Yoder swam naked in the Sea of Galilee. Most people would say:  the nerve of the guy to swim naked in the area where the Man walked on water.  True, he did have some nerve, but he also found out that politicians can't walk on water. Some say he should be crucified on the cross of politics and sent back to the farm.  Maybe he is not worthy to be in the sinful halls of Congress or maybe he is, only time will tell. A Republican today, a Democrat tomorrow - somehow they fight for that 15 minutes of fame.

Yoder brought further attention to Kansas by making David Letterman’s top 10 list, titled "Congressman Kevin Yoder Excuses."

10. "What's the big deal, I was naked the whole trip."

9. "It was spring break; chill out."

8. "People in the Middle East are pretty easygoing about nudity."

7. "In my defense, I had been drinking heavily."

6. "Trying to take the focus off Mitt Romney's taxes."

5. "It had been days since a congressman did something embarrassing."

4. "It's Obama's fault."

3. "Putting the 'junk' in 'congressional junket.'"

2. "I can't swim naked, but Barney Frank can walk around like this?" (Picture Frank in a blue sweater and jacket.)

1. "That's how we party in Kansas."

And in the comment section of the local paper, a guy said “Kansas has arrived, when we made Letterman’s top 10 list.”

Another was a bit more concise, he said:  Forget nude swimming, we should be asking why our elected officials are taking these trips which are paid for by lobbying organizations in the first place. Do you really think that this was a "Fact-Finding Mission?" No, this is a luxury leisure tour meant to buy influence. 10k per person is what the AIEF paid for this "Congressional Delegation." Heck, bring the wife and kids and a entourage of staff members too! 10k per person is a bargain compared to the BILLIONS Israel receives as a result of these lobbying efforts. Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. To date,the United States has provided Israel $115 billion in assistance, -all with the help of some well orchestrated lobbying efforts.” 

Oh, don't ask me why the U.S. gives them that much money.  I took a history class "The History of the Middle East," while I attended the local U and when it was all said and done, I still didn't know what they were fighting about over there. As for this incident, this swimming adventure happened August 18, 2011 and it's just now making the news.  Um, wonder why?

I guess what he’s done isn’t worse than that Moss guy did in Topeka.  He is a principal of a high school there and on this particular day, he spent the day working with the kids of East Topeka and when the  school bell whistled, he promptly went on the prowl looking for a woman of the night to satisfy his illicit desires, but the gal just happened to be a cop in disguise.  So much for his career of teaching kids! He is now at home wondering how he didn’t know she was a cop.  One consolation for him:  he is on leave with pay. 

I'm not passing judgement on either one of these fine gentleman, I'm just telling you the news of the day! 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sunday rides, politics and the heat, of course!

I took a Sunday drive to the Kickapoo Reservation for a birthday meal.  All of the fields were burned brown and many trees looked like they were dead or dying.  The experts say this is the hottest summer since 1934 and that Missouri and Kansas could lose up to a billion trees (my yard looks bad also which shoots down years of work.  In other words, the blood, sweat and tears were to no avail).  Plus the pond levels have dropped a bunch and some have dried up entirely.
On the way back, we drove through Horton, Muscotah, Larkenburg and one other small town.  These places used to have several businesses on their main streets, now the only thing left is a post office.  Times have changed for the little town in this area.  I guess they are victims of migration to the big city, the economy and Wal Mart. They will never recover!

Although they rate only a passing thought for most of us, one can only be amazed at how our reservation had been transformed.  Ours, like so many other reservations were poverty-stricken. Who would have thought we would have a green plush golf course, a big casino and hotel, black-top roads, and jobs.  Yet with this new wealth, there is political unrest.  A case in point:  Look at how I reacted to voting in our run-off election this coming Saturday.
I laid out my ballot.  I looked at it long and hard, my hands kinda shook, sweat broke out on my forehead, a tear developed but never quite went over the proverbial high Indian cheekbone, then I called the local holy men to smoke my ballot but they were still asleep so I said hell I will wait till my nerves calm down. That night while sitting on the front steps,, one candidate, T. Wabnum drove by my house and honked at me, so I will probably vote for him because he acknowledged my humble presence in this life,  plus he publicly stated he was going to treat us Indians right. I hope he continues to wave and honk after election day.  Okay, that’s one down. I rarely see the other candidates. They don’t look at me or talk to me. I just don’t know. I may have to pow wow with the holy men here for guidance. I will keep you updated, and while the actual election is still a few days away- the fate of our fine tribe hangs in the balance!  But somewhere in all of that, I found the courage to do it and the voting dilemma is finally over: I filled out that paper and only I will know if I made a mistake, but we have such low expectations anyway that we shouldn't be disappointed at all. Sorry tribe, after Saturday: forever hold your peace! (you can't see it but tears did make it over that proverbial high cheekbone).

Today had my mother lived, it would have been her birthday.  We would have had a big meal, had cake and bought her a gift for being the best mother possible.  It ain’t going to happen, but it would have been great to have that meal with her.  It would have been better yet to learn a few more Indian words from her. We had to move on and learn to live without her loving and caring ways – such is life.