My mother taught me to be honest, my father taught me to be independent, and my early broadcasting mentors encouraged me to use my writing and voicing skills to do something different on the radio. 42 years ago I began this daily commentary.
Listeners responded when they disagreed, rarely did I hear an “amen” or an “attaboy”.
Many have misunderstood me, calling me too liberal at times, too conservative at other times. Few have appreciated my criticism of policies, people, political parties, and human behavior … even when it was offered in an attempt to help.
The words and ideas have been all mine, I’ve never been comfortable as a parrot.
In today’s world, anyone can be a commentator … regardless of experience, intelligence, or ability to communicate with skill.
I think my work is done. This is the final McIntosh Report. Thanks for listening.
Our thought for today is from Aristotle:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
I’m pausing to look back today … on these daily commentaries that have been part of central Kansas radio signals since September 2nd, 1971. The McIntosh Report has been heard on K-E-Y-N, K-F-H, K-X-L-K, K-N-S-S … and maybe a couple I’ve forgotten.
I estimate that I have written and voiced more than 10,000 of these commentaries … never missing the daily deadline. My thoughts have been mine … no one else’s … and my independence has upset more than a few listeners who think I ought to only say what they can agree with 100 percent. Rarely have sponsors stepped up to become a lightning rod for those who sometimes-emotionally disagree with my comments.
My peers seem to appreciate The McIntosh Report. It’s won the Kansas Association of Broadcasters Editorial/Commentary Award 20 times. It’s been on the air in parts of five decades and eight presidencies.
I’m looking back today because time is running out for The McIntosh Report … I can hear the clock ticking.
Our thought for today is from G. H. Hardy:
“It is not worth an intelligent man’s time to be in the majority. By definition, there are already enough people to do that.”
When reality T-V stars portray themselves as unsophisticated rural duck call manufacturers who are constantly doing strange and often silly things for the camera, and earn millions in process, they generate public attention and even adoration.
I referred to several of the Duck Dynasty stars as “morons” when they went to a pond and tried to create their own redneck water park. Perhaps “morons” was too harsh a word.
Several listeners mistakenly believed I was criticizing head duck caller Phil Robertson for the anti-gay comments he recently made in G-Q magazine. I was not. I apologize for making too quick a transition from the crux of the story to my views on the pond project.
I have defended free speech on the air for more than four decades. Robertson is free to say whatever he pleases, and I don’t any opinion about what he said.
I think we should all realize that T-V stars often say things that annoy people. And when they do, their employers have every right to take action.
Our thought for today is from Carol Burnett:
“Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own.”
I must confess that Christmas is a bit different when your children have left the nest. I miss the excitement of watching my son and daughter opening those gifts under the tree. They had tried to guess what was in each package for days. We usually stumped them.
Of course, Shelley and I still have four grandchildren in town to celebrate with. Our other three grandchildren are celebrating Christmas in Germany this year.
The true meaning of Christmas to me, is the giving and receiving of the greatest gift of all. Many of us profess so much more pleasure in giving than receiving.
The seasonal shopping drives our economy and I’m grateful for that and supportive of all merchants. But the act of shopping has become a chore for me. I’m thankful that I’m at a point where I only really have to buy something for my bride of 43 years … and that’s a pleasure.
Our thought for today is from Thomas Tusser:
“At Christmas play and make good cheer, for Christmas comes but once a year.’”
My first memories of Christmas Eve center on the bed I shared with my brother in our airplane bungalow on Spruce Street in Wichita. There were three of us in that bedroom … trying to stay awake and maybe see Santa Claus, chattering excitedly. My oldest brother finally hollered from his room across the hall, “You’d better shut up and go to sleep or Santa will never come”. We finally nodded off … but we were awake by 4:30, and patiently waited for mom and dad to rouse.
Flash ahead nearly 20 years when I was helping Santa with the first big gift for my young son. It was a bright red fire truck, the kind with pedals that Scott could operate on our driveway. I pulled the truck from the big box and discovered a couple of small parts missing. I nearly panicked! But my wife calmed me down and we got the thing put together.
Hope you’re having a wonderful Christmas Eve.
Our thought for today is from Victor Borges:
“Santa Claus had the right idea. Visit everyone once a year.”
Kansas ranks fourth in the nation when it comes to volunteering. Nice to hear at a time of the year when many of those volunteers are plenty busy helping their fellow citizens.
The report comes from the Corporation for National Community Service, the federal agency that helps Americans engage in volunteer activities. The Volunteering and Civic Life in America report says nearly 37 percent of Kansas residents volunteered in 2012. That amounts to nearly 808,000 volunteers giving 82.9 million hours of service. The worth of that service is estimated at about 1.6 billion dollars.
Nationwide, the group found that roughly one in four adults volunteered last year.
I’ve been doing our station’s public affairs program – “Issues 2013” – for about 14 years. The charitable organizations I’ve featured on the program always talk about their volunteers and how much they help. Many times I have heard the phrase: “We couldn’t get along without them”.
One more reason to be proud of Wichita and Kansas.
A recent Gallup Poll indicates that Americans’ attitudes about the Affordable Care Act have stabilized after bumping up to 55% disapproval in November. The disapproval rate is now 51%, with a 41% approval rating.
Approval of Obamacare stands at 75% among Democrats, 31% for Independents, and 10% among Republicans.
President Obama’s job performance disapproval rate is now at 50% … according to Gallup … down one percent from the last survey. The largest declines in the President’s approval ratings have come recently among Hispanics, lower-income Americans, nonwhites, and moderates; in other words, Obama’s base.
It appears that many Americans actually like the first parts of the A-C-A, aimed mostly at protecting patients. But this latest rollout with all its computer glitches focuses attention on the confusion of the plan itself, and the change it demands from many Americans who were satisfied with what they had.
In that light, the drop in the president’s approval numbers is understandable and was probably unavoidable.
It doesn’t seem possible that a Wichita avionics technician would consider himself some kind of Islamic terrorist and try to explode a big bomb at Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport. But that’s just what the F-B-I alleges that 58-year-old Terry Lee Loewen intended to do … and to kill himself in the process.
Turns out Loewen was allegedly plotting with F-B-I undercover agents. The public was never in any danger because the F-B-I was controlling the entire misguided effort.
Of course, we saw a home-grown terror attack in Oklahoma City several years ago with a Kansas connection. But when I think of terrorism, I don’t often consider Kansas or Wichita in that context.
Authorities were quick to point out the suspect had no actual connection with Islam, and local Islam clerics backed them up. They reportedly never heard of the guy.
Whatever his motivation, it appears the suspect was prepared to go ahead with the plot.
Thanks, investigators, for putting this threat to rest.
Our thought for today is from George W. Bush:
“Every nation in every region now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”
Does the first cold weather snap mean the same thing for you as it does for me; runny nose, cough, maybe even laryngitis? I usually get a flu shot, so flu is not a big concern for me.
My wife has already been hit by some kind of bug that laid her low for more than a week. She never missed work and only began to get better after spending two days on the weekend resting.
Sedgwick County Health Director Claudia Blackburn tells me as of last week only six cases of influenza had been confirmed in the county. She advises that a flu shot takes two weeks to become effective, and this year’s shot seems to be very effective on this year’s bug.
Blackburn’s very concerned about pertussis … whooping cough. You may want to consider immunization. I had whooping cough when I was 16 and I can tell you it’s no picnic!
Our thought for today is from Jackie Mason:
“It’s no longer a question of staying healthy. It’s a question of finding a sickness you like.’”
Baseball’s rules committee has approved a change in the rules … banning home plate collisions in Major League Baseball. It’s long been part of baseball, but it occasionally results in some pretty serious injuries. Violating the rule would mean a fine or suspension for players who collide at home plate.
If a runner looks up and sees a catcher completely blocking the plate, what recourse does he have? As a youngster I slid into a catcher’s shin guards. Believe me, that doesn’t work well. A base runner wears a protective batting helmet. The catcher wears shin guards, a chest protector, and a mask. These devices are made of hard plastic and metal.
It’s like a running back wearing shorts and a tee shirt ramming into a fully-equipped linebacker in football.
Still, tougher players will try to run over that catcher full speed.
It’s considered part of the game … and it may soon be part of the game’s past.
Our thought for today is from Leo Durocher:
“Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand.”