Category: Free Falling

Obama’s first task: Make us ‘United’

n open letter to Barack Obama:

First of all, congratulations. You have become an indelible part of our great nation?s history, a permanent reminder that anything is possible in America. You have risen out of humble roots in Kansas to become the most powerful elected official in the country. Celebrate while you can. The hard work is about to begin.

You have inherited a nation divided: between the rich and the poor, the old and the young, far right and the liberal left. Your first task will likely be to put the ?united? back into the United States. Somehow you have to bridge the gaps that have formed. You must inspire confidence that the majority of voters made the right choice, that you can and will make a difference.

The economy is in shambles. The stock market and housing market have taken tumbles. Word of impending job layoffs dominate the local news. Gasoline prices may have fallen recently, but so have grain prices.

You campaigned as the candidate of change; you announced election night that ?change has come.? It was a great speech. But rhetoric does not always translate into revenue. It now becomes your unenviable task to get our nation?s economy back on track. You will need to move cautiously, but please move quickly.

Read more ›

Many questions about that bailout

The recent $700 billion bailout of lending institutions has me puzzled. I have many more questions than answers. For example…. If the commercials were true, and no one could do ?what Countrywide can,? why did the mortgage company keep doing it? Why did all the subprime lenders continue to write bad loans despite obvious signs those who were borrowing were […]

Read more ›

Here’s how not to vote in November

WARNING: the following column contains high levels of verbal irony. It is also political, but surprisingly impartial.

After taking in at least three minutes of each of the national party conventions in the past month, I have come to several conclusions about each of the candidates and his choice of running mate. What follows is my advice about how not to vote this November.

Read more ›

We can combat the high gas prices

When gasoline prices topped $4 per gallon this summer, many of us were tempted to just throw up our hands and say, ?What are you gonna do?? The price of oil seemed to be controlled by a few speculators on the futures market and the big companies who turn crude into fuel.

But, take heart. There are some things that can be done, and the recent drop in prices at the pump is the evidence.

For now, at least, Americans have shown that $4 is the tipping point, the price where we begin to think about the unthinkable?parking our gas guzzlers and pulling the bikes out of the attic.

Read more ›

Europe adventure once in a lifetime

?When you fly, you are pretty well at the mercy of the airlines,? said the Transportation Security Administration worker at the Boston security gate. His comment followed my explanation of why our group of 31 travelers was a day late in leaving the United States.

All it took was a brief thunderstorm in Dallas to cause a gigantic ripple in our connection to the plane that was leaving for Paris. Apparently, only one aircraft per day leaves Texas for Europe. And, it left without us.

Despite the well-documented slow start to our trip, the excursion Dustin Dalke and I led to France, Switzerland, Lichten?stein, Austria and Germany was a blast. What follows are some highlights from my journal of the journey.

 

Read more ›

‘Tis the season for random thoughts

Some random thoughts as spring turns to summer….

Green. I know I?ve said it before, but June in Kansas can be best described by that single word. Everywhere I look, the overwhelming sensation I get is that the world is green and renewing itself.

Read more ›
The third time was the best time
The third time was the best time

The third time was the best time

WoelkBobMarathon.jpg

An exhaltant Bob Woelk crosses the finish line at the Memorial Marathon in Oklahoma City.

I finished my third marathon a couple of weeks ago, and it turned out to be one of my best days to date?and, I?m not just speaking athletically.

I was hoping to finish the 26.2 miles in under four hours and 16 minutes. And, to be honest, I had my doubts. I had been hampered by a sore knee for the final two weeks leading up to the Okla?homa City event. Though I had trained consistently, I hadn?t done any extra work in preparation.

Read more ›

Final Four isn’t the final word, right?

As I compose this column Saturday, the Final Four basketball extravaganza has yet to begin. The front page of the Wichita Eagle carries this announcement: ?To bring you results from tonight?s Kansas-North Carolina game, delivery of some Sunday newspapers may be delayed.?

Read more ›

New candidate proclaims platform

It?s official: I?m once again declaring myself a write-in candidate for president of the United States. No, I?m not planning to campaign at all on the Republican or Democratic platform. I am an Independent in the truest sense of the word.

Read more ›

Biggest loser could be biggest winner

I am intrigued by the large number of Hillsboro residents who have signed up to compete in our very own Biggest Loser contest. My understanding is more than 175 participants have weighed in.

Read more ›