Saturday, October 26, 2013

Is Rolla council taking away your rights? I don't think so

Rolla Mayor Bill Jenks III has proposed that the office of city attorney, also called city prosecutor to differentiate that office from the city counselor, the legal consultant, be appointive rather than elective.

On one hand, the argument goes, that takes another right away from the people and puts more power in the hands of the mayor and council. That’s the argument of Councilmen Brian Woolley and Jonathon Hines. On the other hand, the office of city attorney is part of the executive branch and that official is part of law enforcement, so it isn’t an upsetting of the balance of power.

Not enough Rolla residents care to vote in municipal elections to make this an issue, in my opinion. The council declined to take any action—not even hearing the first reading of an ordinance they had in front of them, at Monday night’s meeting—so they could collect comments from Rolla residents.

Everyone with any interest in this non-issue should contact their council member. If the council hears from a dozen people, I’ll be surprised, given the fact that there wasn’t even a 10 percent turnout in the municipal election of April 2012, the last time we elected a city attorney.You going to call your councilman? Then I hope you voted in April 2012, and I hope you will vote in April 2014.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Will you take time to vote next election?

Here in the Eighth U.S. Congressional District of Missouri, we had a chance to vote for our representative in the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday, June 4. Most registered voters stayed home. The turnout was about 14 percent.
Now, listen, I’ve argued for both sides of this question.
Some months back I wrote in this space that I generally encourage a low turnout of registered voters. My logic was that important decisions such as the election of our lawmakers should be limited to intelligent people, or at the very least, those who are smart enough to: 1.) find out when elections are held, 2.) seek out information about candidates and issues and 3.) go to the polls and cast a ballot.
Voting should not, I wrote, be left up to morons who don’t know there is an election until somebody mentions it on election day. Voting should not be done by people who have no idea who the candidates are or what they stand for. Voting should not be done by people who have no personal, rational, coherent political philosophy on which to base their selection.
Voting should be the work of highly intelligent people like us, i.e., me, the writer of this column, and you, the reader of this column. I think that either the writing or or reading of this column is an excellent way to judge intelligence and worthiness of voting. We are an elite group, so following this line of thinking, voting should be done by only a handful in the community, like the one in 12 registered voters who cast ballots in the April municipal election.
And that brings up my “on the other hand” argument. After the April election, I blistered the registered voters who did not cast ballots to select the people who will make the decisions on how to spend local tax money.
My argument at that time was that if you did not vote, you ought not go around spouting and spitting about how much you love, honor, adore and support the men and women who have put on the uniform to defend this country.
The logic of that argument is that men and women have died in battle to give you the freedom to vote, so you are betraying them and belittling them by not exercising that freedom.
Even I, accused of being a draft dodger, am more a supporter of the troops and an American patriot than most registered voters, for I have hardly ever missed an election since I turned 18 back in the previous century.
I got more personal email, phone calls and comments about that voting to support the troops column than any I have written, with the exception of the one in which I proposed the “TNA: Target ‘n’ Annihilate” solution for the feral cat problem, which I wrote nearly two decades ago and still hear about every now and again.
Many of the comments about the obligation to vote were negative toward me. One tea partier even disagreed with me. You would think a tea partier would be in favor of voting in every election, but you would be wrong.
Now, the Bible says a “a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways,” and you might think I am double-minded, having written columns that seem to be in opposition to one another.
Perhaps I am, indeed, double-minded, for I see that you have a choice to make next election:  On the one hand, will you vote because you are highly intelligent? On the other hand, will you vote because you honor your rights that were earned by the blood of others?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Let's keep Missouri free, unlike New Jersey

New Jersey is a fascist state and you would do well to stay away from it if you are a gun owner.
I say this because The Associated Press reported late last month that a Texas man who had stopped to take a nap while traveling through that despicable state was arrested for carrying guns through the state in his SUV. Because of that, he’s serving a five-year sentence and won’t get out before serving a minimum of three years.
A New Jersey appeals court upheld his conviction in May.
I heard about the case of Dustin Reininger from a friend who subscribes to Shotgun News and regularly reads The Knox Update column in that magazine. Writer Jeff Knox described what happened to Reininger, and I hunted up a later report from The AP to verify it.
Here’s what happened. Reininger was moving in March 2009 from Maine to Texas and had his 21-gun collection in his SUV. He also had hollow-point bullets and a high-capacity magazine. He legally owned the firearms and the ammunition. He wasn’t doing anything wrong. He made the mistake of going through the most worthless Yankee state of all the Yankee states. He made the even worse mistake of stopping there to take a nap in his vehicle. He also made the mistake of denying he was carrying guns – who wouldn’t, given the circumstances – but the cops spotted a gun case and conducted a warrantless search and discovered the collection of guns he was taking back to Texas.
If you drive through New Jersey, maybe you should put your gun in a banjo case because the very presence of a gun case gives the cops the authority for a warrantless search.
Reininger was supposed to store his guns in the trunk. Unfortunately for him, an SUV doesn’t have a trunk.
So there he is, in prison, a convicted felon now for the rest of his life because he traveled  through one of the 13 original colonies, which is now a state where the majority of residents obviously prefer fascism, for they’re the ones who elected and re-elected the lawmakers who passed the anti-Second Amendment laws. They uphold the centralized authority of the state and eliminate individual liberties, which is one of the definitions of fascism.
Let’s try to fight off the anti-liberty attitude here in Missouri for as long as we can.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Paula Deen, enemy of the state

Do you recall a few years back when Martha Stewart's trading of some stock was such a threat to the U.S. economy that she had to go to prison for awhile?
Well, there's a new threat, according to media watchdogs.
Based on television coverage, I have concluded that Paula Deen's calling people "niggers" poses a far worse threat to the American Republic than does a president who stands by and does nothing while terrorists murder a U.S. ambassador and then concocts a lie about an obscure anti-Muslim video as the cause of the uprising rather than acknowledging a real terrorist attack.
That is why the media are all over this story. They are protecting us from the likes of Paula Deen, enemy of the state.
Plus, they just don't like her Georgia accent.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Weather observations at 7:30 a.m. Sunday

From the Rolla NOAA Co-Op Weather Station, here is the Rolla weather data for the 24-hour period ending at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, June 16, 2013

Max Temperature:                      82° F  

Min Temperature:                       67° F

Present Temperature:                 71° F

Precipitation:                             0.03"

Precipitation for the year:           27.48"

Precipitation for the month:        2.16"

Relative humidity:                      93%

S.R. Fraley
NWS Co-Op Observer

Happy Fathers Day

U hope you had a pleasant Fathers Day. I did. I spent the day with Daddy and Mama, who are 81 and 82 years old, respectively, and are still as active as most 50-year-olds. Daddy is still working part-time as a barber. They're both active in church and still drive and travel quite a bit. They are amazing.
One of my two sisters, her son and grandson; my brother and his wife and their son, my daughter and son-in-law and their two boys were also there. My son and daughter-in-law and their two girls and my sister and brother-in-law and my other brother-in-law were unable to attend. I'm hoping we can all get together for a Fourth of July celebration.
Daddy cut the hair of three great-grandsons. It was the first-ever haircut for one great-grandson.
It was a wonderful day.

Here's a song about a Daddy from Lou Reid and Carolina. I heard this song this morning on Wayne Bledsoe's Sunday Morning Sounds bluegrass gospel program on KMST-FM.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

How Ozarks Boy dodged the draft

By R.D. Hohenfeldt
Managing Editor/

On Monday, we will honor the men and women who have given their life in service to our nation. A Memorial Day service will be held at 10 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Park in Rolla, and I encourage you to attend. I have been to many Memorial Day services since I moved my family here back in the previous century. When I covered the services for the paper, there were two of them, one at the city cemetery and one at the private ceremony. I would take pictures at both.
Covering a Memorial Day service required me to work on a holiday, but I didn’t mind, usually. I remember one year when I refused to go; instead, I used the holiday for a family event. I felt so guilty about not honoring the veterans that I never again skipped, and if I didn’t go to the services myself, I made sure someone else did.
I felt compelled to cover the Memorial Day services with story and pictures as my little way of making up for being a Sixties draft dodger.
I turned 18 on July 19, 1971, and I registered for the draft as required by law for any young man born in 1953. When I told the clerk at the Selective Service office that I would start attending the University of Missouri the following month, I got something called a student deferment. I don’t remember what my classification was, I-S maybe, and the lady at the draft board said it really didn’t mean a thing. She told me that I would be included in a national lottery at some point in the future, and if my number were drawn, the I-S (or whatever it was) wouldn’t mean a dadburn thing.
I remember she told me that I had to carry my draft card with me and was not to deface it, damage it or destroy it.
That August I went to Columbia, moved into the dorm with a bunch of other guys born in 1953, and started going to classes. We all carried our draft cards in our wallets with our driver’s license and our student ID cards. We all worried a little bit about the lottery we knew was coming up sometime.
I had to check the Selective Service website today to refresh my memory about the draft lottery. There was a lottery on Dec. 1, 1969, the first one since 1942. That was to determine who would be drafted in 1970. It was for all men born between Jan. 1, 1944, and Dec. 31, 1950.
“There were 366 blue plastic capsules containing birth dates placed in a large glass container and drawn by hand to assign order-of-call numbers to all men within the 18-26 age range specified in Selective Service law,” according to the Selective Service history.
More lotteries were held on July 1, 1970, and Aug. 5, 1971, for men born in 1951 and 1952, respectively.
I could have volunteered to go to Vietnam, and I supposed that would have been the honorable thing to do. I remember thinking, though, that it would be a stupid thing for me to do, because I was sure to wind up dead.
Now, I wasn’t too worried about being shot to death by an oriental person in Vietnam or one of those other countries. I was more concerned about dying in basic training. I just knew I would be run to death. Running was not something I did well. I was a pudgy high school kid, although I wasn’t nearly as fat as today’s obese high schoolers, and I hated PE class.
A demonically possessed (or so it seemed to me) fellow by the name of Coach Al Houser was our PE “instructor” and he made us “run the stairs” in the gym daily, and after we were sufficiently warmed up doing that we would run these other delightful exercises called “wind sprints,” in which we ran from the boundary line under the basketball goal to a line even with the foul line, then back, then to the centerline, and back, then to the foul line on the other side, and back, then all the way to the other basketball goal and back and then back to the other side again.
Sometimes, just for the fun of it, Coach Houser would add in the ends of the foul circles as places from which to run to and fro.
Oh, it was great fun for him, and for the other guys in the PE class to watch me huffing and puffing alone on that last leg of the wind sprint, for they would all be finished while I was dragging my sorry butt across the floor.
That was my freshman year of high school. I was required to take another year of PE to graduate, so I put it off until my senior year. Then I concocted a wild lie about why I would be unable to take PE; I don’t even remember what it was, but the high school principal said I could get out of PE if I would write a long paper on some health-related subject. I threw together something at the last minute that wasn’t very good. Although the principal expressed his displeasure, he accepted the paper, and I graduated in May of 1971.
I did not volunteer, for I knew that if I went into the Army, a demonically possessed drill sergeant would take pleasure in torturing a pudgy Ozarks Boy with wind sprints, or worse, and I would die of exhaustion and oxygen depletion.
That, not fear of being shot to death, was the main reason I did not volunteer to take a trip paid for by the Army to South Vietnam.
The lottery for those of us born in 1953 was held on Feb. 2, 1972.
The capsule containing July 19 was the 332nd one picked. That assured me that I had indeed dodged the 1973 draft and I could continue my education. No draft orders were issued after 1972, so I was home free.
While other young men were dying in South Vietnam and those countries for reasons that I am not clear about to this day, I was able to go on to journalism school and then take a job with a newspaper and spend my life writing.
I still feel some guilt about dodging the draft, so I do what I can to thank veterans and honor them. I won’t be able to attend the Memorial Day service, because I have a day job in retail, and in the United States, the day to honor fallen veterans is the day most people celebrate the beginning of summer by spending a lot of money.
I can’t attend, but I’ll be saying a prayer of gratitude at 10 a.m. Monday for the men and women who did not dodge the draft.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Rolla Nazarene church offers drive-thru prayer

If you have an illness in the family, financial worries — or if you just need some spiritual help to get you through the week—prayer warriors at the Rolla Church of the Nazarene stand by each Monday morning to help lift your needs to the Lord God Almighty.
They are literally standing by, waiting for you to drive up beneath the entrance canopy, so they can walk to your car door, hear your need, and offer a prayer on the spot before sending you on your way.
 “It’s an outreach of the church,” said Ellen Lewis, who started the program called “Drive-Thru Prayer: A Moment of Sharing and Caring.”
Lewis and other volunteers who believe in the power of prayer wait at the church building’s canopy at 1901 E. 10th St. every Monday from 7-8:30 a.m. to pray with whosoever drives up and requests it.
The prayer program started April 1. So far, the response has been lackluster. Only one car pulled up, and that was a church member.
Perhaps Rolla area residents have all of their spiritual needs being met; perhaps they just haven’t heard about it.
“It’s still pretty new,” Lewis said. “It’s going to take some time to get the word out.”
Lewis said she asked the church board if she could begin the ministry, which is similar to one she had read about some months ago in a magazine.
“I think it was in Guideposts,” she said. “They (the board) said to run with it.”
Drive-Thru Prayer is exactly what the name says, she explained. “We’re not there to hassle people or take any information,” she said. “When they drive up, we’ll go to the car, pray with them and send them on their way. It’s just basically to help the community.”
People seeking prayer don’t even have to get out of their cars or give their names, she said.
The ministry is open to everyone, regardless of their faith. It doesn’t matter if they are turning to prayer as a last resort or asking God for help at the beginning of a problem. P
rayers of praise and gratitude will also be offered. Many churches of various denominations offer similar ministries, a search of the world wide web will reveal.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

This morning's weather report

From the Rolla NOAA Co-Op weather station, here is the Rolla weather data for the 24-hour period ending at 7:30 a.m. April 14, 2013:

Max Temperature:                      68° F  

Min Temperature:                       36° F

Present Temperature:                 57° F

Precipitation:                             0.00"

Precipitation for the year:           14.57"

Precipitation for the month:        1.77"

Relative humidity:                      52%

S.R. Fraley
NWS Co-Op Observer

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Standing up for the Second Amendment

Here in Southern Missouri, we appreciate our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. We understand that the Second Amendment is not only about hunting and it is not just about self-protection. It's an amendment designed by the Founding Fathers for our security--from criminals, from outside invaders, from anyone who would oppress us or take away our liberties. Those who want to take away our liberty to own firearms don't seem to understand. Here's a Springfield TV station's coverage: Gun advocates gather in Ozark for "day of resistance" An excerpt:
Hundreds of people converged in Ozark Saturday to voice concerns about gun control. More than 200 people braved the cold and attended a rally as part of the 2013 Springfield/Ozark Day of Resistance at the Sound of Freedom USA indoor gun range. It was part of 140 other events being held nationwide. ... Vincent Finelli, host of the radio program USA Prepares, was pleased with Saturday's turnout. ... HB 545 is one of the main topics that the rally covered. This bill prohibits any person, corporation, or other entity in the state from manufacturing, importing, possessing, purchasing, selling, or transferring any assault weapon or large capacity magazine, as specified in the bill. Any violation of these provisions is a class C felony. The rally is ended at 2 p.m. Finelli is looking ahead to the Get Prepared Expo next month in Lebanon.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Rolla weather report

From the Rolla NOAA Co-Op Weather Station, here is the Rolla weather data for the 24-hour period ending at 7:30 a.m., Feb. 16, 2013

Max Temperature:                     40° F  

Min Temperature:                      19° F

Present Temperature:                20° F

Precipitation:                            0.00"

Precipitation for the year:           4.63"

Precipitation for the month:        1.18"

Relative humidity:                     56%

S.R. Fraley
NWS Co-Op Observer

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Musical spirit of the Ozarks

Start the New Year off with some good old-time mountain music. Here's a video from NBC News titled "Catching the musical spirit of the Ozarks." (There's an ad at the beginning, of course. Just wait to see some fine young people from the hills playing fiddles and banjos.)
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