Letters to The Post: What vs who

LETTERS-TO-THE-POST-OE-TEXT-300X250I went to a conference this week and the speaker talked about what we are, (nurses, doctors, salesmen, preachers) versus who we are (kind, present, loving, cruel). Those words have worked on my heart and I felt the need to share.

As representatives of the United States government and indeed examples of men/women, I wonder how many of you have thought about these things. Are you basing your decisions regarding this country and its citizens based on what you are? Or who you are?

As legislators, lawyers, politicians, governors, congressmen, representatives have you let those “what you ares” overcome the “who you are” underneath. Do you base your decisions on keeping “what” you are safe? Are your votes dependent on a deal you made with your fellow congressman? Do lobbyist and money sway your opinion? Does being re-elected weigh heavy on your mind and influence your vote? If so then “what” you are is perhaps too influential on your decision-making
I suggest you look deep into yourself and ask if you want your legacy to be what or who? Do you want to be remembered as being trustworthy, honorable, strong, caring, moral, ethical? Or as politics is played today, do you want to be remembered as a slick operator, a man/woman to not get on the bad side of, a slippery eel.

As I look back on the legislation, laws passed and deals made in the past forty years I don’t see many politicians in general that seem to put “who” they are ahead of “what” they are.

Much has been heralded about the Equal Rights Amendment, the Civil Rights Act, the Equal Pay Act, FMLA, VAWA, Bradley amendment, Title IV-D and the changes it has brought about for women and children. While some of this change has been for the better there has been a decidedly less publicized and quietly growing destruction of the American family ever since.

While over a million children a year are affected by the growing divorce rate and single mother births have reached a proportion greater than the numbers of children born in wedlock I have to wonder if anyone in charge of this once great country is aware of what our fatherless society is becoming? By creating a society where being a woman means you make all the decisions and indeed in family court are handed the power of destruction of your family have we really seen an improvement of lifestyle and production or are we as a society paying the cost of the federal government becoming “baby daddies” and replacing the once strong influence of a father with government handouts and free rides for those who choose it.

The phrase deadbeat dad is thrown about freely and regularly through out society and the judicial system. When in truth the system makes deadbeats out of most fathers. While they would love to be able to support their children and house and feed themselves the “awards” set prohibitively high prevent that. When a father is paying out sixty to seventy percent of his take-home pay plus required to cover child care, insurance and fifty percent of out of pocket expenses such as glasses and braces plus house, feed and cloth himself there’s literally nothing left and once a father is behind, the arrears grows and grows with no way out, they often give up, Becoming indeed the deadbeat dad. The FDA estimates it costs 916$ a month to clothe, house and feed a child in a safe clean satisfactory manner. So why might I ask why fathers and mothers are not equally responsible for this amount? Taking away the incentive of a huge child support award may encourage women to work on their marriage and discourage this day and age of having numerous children by numerous fathers and collecting from all of them.

That being said there’s the other side of the story where women are “awarded” ridiculously low amounts and expected to single handedly with no financial, physical or emotional support house, clothe and feed their child. Either extreme the child is punished.
The standard of the judiciary is to do what’s in the best interest of the child. Which in my mind comes back again to the basic question. What are you or who are you?Which of these is more important, which brings morals, values, and common decency back to the forefront. Perhaps rather than creating an environment where our children have become ATMs which the Title IV-D requirements have made them and the Bradley amendment has reinforced, perhaps just perhaps the legislators, congressmen and representatives in this countries government should give children back their families requiring 50/50 custody and 50/50 financial support for each child. That would mean each “fit” parent would be responsible for the child half the time. Since time and necessities would be split that would erase the need for child support awards. Use what the FDA states is required.

Have we really become a society where instead of equality we ramrod our political correctness down the throats of the masses? Where were the morals and values in recent events such as Ferguson or Baltimore riots? Were the politicians so worried about maintaining “what” they are they willingly gave up “who” they are to maintain it? How many of those rioters were children from fatherless homes? It’s been proven in study after study those children are at greater risk to end up in jail, do drugs, have psychological problems.

At what cost are we willing to continue to create a secondary class routinely discriminated against and daily denied their constitutional rights based on feminist ideals of superiority. “Who” is standing up for the children. “What” you are isn’t. Money collected by the state from the government “incentives” provided in Title IV-D assures the “what” you are’s maintain the status quo. Fathers that want to be parents are denied that right, their children stolen from them by the judiciary and the mothers who are guaranteed absolute power from said judiciary. Judges discretion is a term I hear over and over and over. To me, that would imply that judges are given the freedom to judge based on “who” they are not “what” they are. Unfortunately in the majority of cases this is just not so. Judges, being human are influenced by their own biases and egos just as anyone else is. This leads to most divorce and custody cases being decided well in advance of any specific case with judges handing out cookie cutter decisions based on what they think will keep them on the bench not what is truly in the best interest of the child.

Ultra-feminist ideals have been and are continuing to form policy, case law and societal “norms” degrading men and their value. The “what” these women are has pushed men out of families, out of their children’s lives and created an atmosphere of “man-bashing” that is damaging to males of all ages. We see it on television, main-stream media, news and stories from our neighbors, the physical, psychological and emotional abuse of the bungling, incompetent male is seen daily while in truth men are just as nurturing, competent and capable as females are.
Domestic violence advocates will tell you that the VAWA has changed the numbers of women abused and it has done so by selectively choosing their statistics and chronically ignoring the numbers of male victims of intimate partner violence, they are raking in the money and swaying public opinion. The “what” they are has overtaken who they are. They are no longer interested in helping everyone who has suffered from abuse but a select population, women only. How many male shelters do you hear about. How often do you see a female convicted of domestic violence in comparison to her male counterparts? If a male says he was raped or beaten he is publically ridiculed, ostracized and not believed. How does that fit into a morally ethically correct country? It doesn’t, it’s another example of the whats being more influential and important than the who’s.
I recently had an opportunity to present our state legislature with some statistics related to domestic violence. Not only did two members of the domestic violence coalition for our state disagree with my statistics they illegally lobbied legislature successfully causing an equal custody law to be killed in committee. Nowhere in their behavior did I see who they were but I saw an awful lot of what they were. Not once did morality, ethics or truthfulness enter their mind. They degraded and were openly hostile to anyone with a differing opinion. The what they are was threatened and their actions were those of defense.

I wish I could explain when and where the change came in our society. Was it the onset of “no-fault” divorce. (Which is a falsehood. There would be no need for a plaintiff and defendant is there was no one being blamed. Everything would be split 50/50 debt, possessions and time with the kids, support of said children). Was it women’s lib? Was it when welfare became a lifestyle rather than a temporary hand up?

I’m a simple Midwestern woman and can’t answer those questions. I can however ask those of you who have influence In this country to stop. Think. When you look in the mirror in the morning do you love and appreciate the who you see? Or are you admiring and polishing the what you are. Would you want your parents to know what you do daily? Do you want your children to grow up in your image and do the same things?
I’m asking you to let morals and ethically correct actions guide your life and the decisions you make for this country and its citizens. I’m asking you to research the effects that absent fathers have on the children of this country. I’m asking you to use WHAT you are to affect WHO you are. I’m asking you act based on who you are and want to be not on what you are. I’m asking you to reform family law. I’m begging you to equalize family court. I’m pleading with you to bring a return of a nation with values, morals and ethics. I’m requesting you tip the scales back to equality.
Make family law reform a priority. Save the next generation of children from fatherless ness.

I’ll be happy to talk to you anytime anywhere.

Thank you for your time.

Shawna M. Thompson-North Platte

Letters to the Post: Regarding the New Addition to Downtown

No-Skateboarding-Sign-CaravDear Editor,

North Platte is a trend setter!  The rest of the country should look to us for guidance.  In fact the City Administration’s most recent action will make every town that is trying to encourage economic growth or redevelopment of an aging downtown blush.

What?  You didn’t notice the new signs on 5th Street?  Right in front of the skate shop?  A shop that caters primarily to the next generation.  A shop that is doing it’s best to contribute to the local economy, even if the local economy would prefer to drive to Kearney to shop.  A shop that provides kids somewhere to go after school as well as a healthy activity that keeps them from something far more sinister.

Well, in case you missed it, I’ve included a photo of the new sign.  It reads “NO SKATEBOARDS OR BICYCLES ON SIDEWALK”.

Now, I recognize that this regulation is a City law and is based on the importance of keeping pedestrians safe.  What I don’t understand (and what the citizens of North Platte should be asking the administration) is “Why was it important to spend tax payer money printing and posting a sign with the summary of a law that is written down in the City’s Code?.  We don’t hang signs up that say “NO SPEEDING” or “NO MURDER” or “RESIDENTS GRASS MUST BE MOWED”.  All of these City Laws are also included in our City’s Code and most people respect these laws as part of civilized society.  Additionally our police department can and does enforce them – because that’s their job.

As an educated population we do not deserve to be threatened with signs that are obviously placed to discriminate and harrass a local business.  We need to stand up and remind this Administration that the revitalization of downtown is imortant to us and that supporting small local business should be a priority for them.  If there is a conflict between businesses, as I suspect there is in this case, the administration should act as a mediator to resolve the conflict instead of choosing a side and placing a sign that reminds the youth of this community that they are not valued, not wanted, and that they should move out of town to someplace that supports their interests as soon as they are able.

Brandon Raby
Owner-Caravan Skate Shop

Letter to The Post: Christmas at the Cody’s Thank-You


Courtesy visitnorthplatte.com

Christmas at the Cody’s Thank-You

Christmas at the Cody’s 2013 wrapped up Sunday night with a beautiful snow fall that turned Buffalo Bill’s ranch into a winter wonderland. Over the course of the four-night event, 1,417 people walked through the door, down slightly from the 2012 numbers. Overall, the event brought in $5,668 in admission fees, which, when coupled with the generous corporate donations, covered all of the expenses of the event, including the payment to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for the use of their facility and the staff time.

The steering committee for Christmas at the Cody’s, which includes Lisa Burke and Muriel Clark of the North Platte / Lincoln County Visitors Bureau, David Fudge from NEBRASKAland DAYS, Dan Mauk from the North Platte Area Chamber and Development, and Jeff Boeka and Jennifer Priest from the Lincoln County Tourism Advisory Council are very appreciative of the time and financial commitment the community made to the event.

A $1,500 community betterment grant from the Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation provided the seed money without which Christmas at the Cody’s would not have been able to go forward.

Corporate sponsorship came from many businesses, including Neidhardt CPA, NebraskaLand National Bank, Swans Furniture, Gateway Realty, Edward Jones, US Cellular, A Cut Above, the WalMart Distribution Center, Eakes Office Plus and Meyer Creative.

In addition, many media partners including KNOP-TV, 10/11 North Platte, the North Platte Post, the North Platte Telegraph, the North Platte Bulletin, Eagle Radio and Huskeradio helped to publicize the event.

Though they didn’t receive any monetary compensation, many individuals and non-profit organizations helped in the success of the event. These include North Platte Kids Club, the Maxwell Girl Scouts, Great Plains Hospice, the North Platte Community College Rodeo Club, the Opportunity Center, Wish I May, Signe Assels and the North Platte Jaycees. The Lincoln County Tourism Advisory Council volunteered to act as the financial manager of the event, in addition to providing numerous volunteers.

People were also very generous with their time, as it took more than fifty volunteers to pull off the event. These included Ray Holt, Don Licking and Tim Vaughn, local ranchers who brought their teams in to pull the hayrack each evening. Many entire families came out in the cold to help make the event a success. Not enough can be said about the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission staff, including former superintendent Aric Riggins, caretaker Lois Branting, and the new superintendent Jason Tonsfeldt. They gave so generously and graciously of their time, going over and above what their duties called for.

What would Christmas at the Cody’s be without Buffalo Bill and Santa Claus and even Annie Oakley? Special appreciation goes out to Bruce Richman, Vicki McCarty, Joe Hewgley and Mike Hinde for generously portraying these characters.

A long list of very talented individuals gave of their time to provide entertainment in the Cody mansion. These include Carol Scroggins’ students; Sweet Adelines; Tintinnabulators Hand Bells, Laurie Ryan; Karen Matthies; Gospel Lites & Phyllis Dowling; Terry Trego; Julie & Mary Jacobson; Jacque, Morgan & Alex Harms; Darlene Stewart; Rob Martinson; Kent Kittle; Bryan, Mary Lynn & Laura Lynn Horst; and Stu & Rajean Shepherd.

Much thought has already been given to the 2014 event and organizers are hopeful Christmas at the Cody’s will continue to be a holiday tradition in North Platte.


-Muriel Clark, Christmas at the Cody’s Steering Committee



(WEEKLY) Cooper’s Obligatory Video of the Day

Welcome to my new weekly / semi monthly / whenever I get to it feature… The Obligatory Video of the Day. I kinda dig this song

(from http://themowglis.net) The Mowgli’s are a Southern Californian band with a Southern Californian soul. The eight-piece started in a garage in the San Fernando Valley where many of them grew up. They’re bound together by an intricate social web that dates back to childhood and their harmonies carry a message of universal love and togetherness. Brother and sisterhood. It’s all about unity, having a good time, and the idea that humanity can achieve a higher level consciousness.

Cooper’s Obligatory Post of The Day

I’ve seen these guys live. I’m telling you they ROCK! If you’re a fan of great rock and roll, you’ll dig this show. Get your tickets at the Nebraskaland Days Website and if you don’t go, don’t say I didn’t tell ya to!

Note the politically correct shout out to one of the longest running Rock Radio Stations in the country, WMMR in Philadelphia.. (Philly’s rock station since 1968)

Got your NLD Concert tickets yet?

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Tips to Conquer Daylight Savings Time

smash-the-clockOver the weekend, we will move clocks forward an hour.

The good news is that scientists say the the extra hour of daylight helps to improve our moods.  They also say try to look at the positive side of things.

The bad news is we “lost” an hour of sleep – and getting up in the morning might be tough right now.

If this is the case, here are some tricks to waking up refreshed and ready each morning:

  • Simplify Your Mornings – Take some pressure off yourself by trying to do only the bare minimum in the mornings. Get as much done before you go to bed so you’re not scrambling when the alarm rings.
  • Power Down Wisely – Turn off all computers and TVs at least an hour before you crawl into bed. This lets your brain start winding down, which will lead to more restful sleep.
  • Bright Lights – You can quickly train your body clock by blasting your brain with bright light first thing in the morning. It won’t take long for your body clock to accept your wake-up time.
  • Challenging Snooze Button – If all else fails and you’re still hitting the snooze button often each morning, move your alarm clock to the other side of the room. Take things to a new level by setting a second alarm even farther away.

Facebook May Improve Memory for Older People

facebook-olderWhile younger people are reportedly already getting tired of Facebook, older people are coming on strong with the social network – and are actually enjoying special benefits like improved memory.

Researchers found that older adults, aged 68 to 91, who used Facebook for just two months showed a 25 percent improvement in their working memory.

The idea is that all the connections of Facebook, with status updates, comments, and photos, gives people serious a mental workout.

Study Shows Facebook Status Updates More Memorable Than the Human Face

facebook-log-onAccording to a new study, Facebook status updates are more memorable than the human face.

Researchers found we have a remarkable memory for “microblogs.” We can understand and respond strongly to spontaneous ideas that spring forth from our friends.

We also have a very powerful mental updating ability – which is why so many people are hooked on social media like Facebook and Twitter.

Does this mean obituaries will soon include memorable status updates instead of photos?