David McCaughey, subbing for President Peter Ho, called the meeting to order at 12:10 pm.
Bob Lager did a superb job of leading the group in singing “Oh Danny Boy”, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day on Friday. Followed by “God Bless America." Carl Bolte did his usual stellar job of accompaniment on the piano. David led the group in the Pledge of Allegiange. Dennis Chapman delivered the Invocation and Michele Biondo welcomed our guests.
Doug Anderson then joined David on the stage for the removal of his Tyro Ribbon. Congratulations Doug! Sally Bibb delivered an impassioned endorsement for the Rotary Foundation Bequests and a reminder that the “legacy dinner” will be held in late April. Donations to date total $110,000, with 5 weeks remaining. Other announcements included thanks to recent Bagel Run volunteers, Overton Durrett on March 4 and Jared Campbell on March 11. Also, reminders of important club programs including Shoes For Orphan Souls, and Greater Kansas City Day Sponsorship Opportunities to which Carl DiCapo made an initial pledge of $100.
Bill Buckner introduced this week’s featured speaker, local attorney and political strategist Woody Cozad. The title of Woody’s speech was “It’s Time To Face The Beast: Reforming The Regulatory State”. Woody began by reminding us of the structure and limitations of our federal government, as envisioned and established by the founding fathers whereas no single entity gets all the power. From a subject matter perspective, he then laid out the major philosophical differences between conservatives (smaller government / less intrusive / larger military / less welfare) and liberals (larger government / positive liberties / less military / more welfare).
Setting those differences aside, Woody posed the question whether we can have a large government and still keep our individual liberties, and whether the federal government as it has grown in size and scope, has also destroyed the constitutional structure that should have protected our liberties. Woody then began to discuss what he terms as the “4th branch” of government; independent agencies like The EPA and OSHA, which were not established in the Constitution, along with agencies residing within the executive branch. All have 3 powers of government; 1) the can make rules (legislate), 2) they execute those rules, ie. investigate violations of those rules and prosecute violations, 3) and have administrative law judges who decide whether the prosecution is right. So the one thing the Constitution had sought to not happen, was happening. All 3 of these powers were concentrated in these agencies. Further he stated that these federal agencies do not have an independent judge. And that the largest body of law that a citizen might run into is for violating rules by some agency, but you won’t have to a trial by an independent judge and jury, and the deck is stacked in favor of the agency, by what he terms commission adjudication. These agencies now reach every business and individual in the nation. Woody gave examples from cases he has been involved with to illustrate how “the process is the punishment.” Finally, Woody used the analogy of the 400 pound gorilla that the founders created in 1787 and how they protected themselves from it by dividing power into 3 parts and adding a Bill of Rights. Today that gorilla has grown to 4,000 pounds and therefore we need newer, stronger chains to restrain it. And if we don’t get those newer, stronger chains, then this is a government too strong for the liberties of its people and a government of the people, by the people, and for the people will perish from our nation.
David McCaughey adjourned the meeting with the closing quote:
“A pessimist sees a glass as being half empty. An optimist sees the same glass as half full. But a Rotarian sees a glass and starts looking for someone who might be thirsty."
**REMINDER - You can watch past programs on our YouTube Channel. Click below.
The end of the bowling season is fast approaching. March 29th is the last official day of league play. The "roll-off" to determine the first and second place teams will be the following Wednesday April 5th. Those of you with trophy's that will be past on to new players are encouraged to bring them to the lanes in the next two weeks.
Today John Lawrence rolled a 210 and Mike VanBooven had his second 200 plus came of the season with a 201. Jane Lee covered the 5-8-10 split.
As it stands, it looks like Susan Prestia's team, "The Pick Ups" will play for all the marbles against Dennis McKeehan's "Final Four" But this is a crazy game. Anything can happen in two weeks.
A new pair of shoes can change the life of a child in an orphanage or impoverished community. Your financial contribution towards the project “Shoes for Orphan Souls” will give a needy child better health and a brighter future. Make your check payable to, K.C Rotary Club Foundation and note “Shoes for Orphan Souls. Please consider volunteering your time to help with this important project. Contact, Linn Mills at firstname.lastname@example.org 505-402-6630.
Please join us for Rotary Book Discussion Group on Tuesday, March 21 at 6:30 PM for the discussion of the book “At the Edge of the Orchard” by Tracy Chevalier. The book is available at Rainy Day Books and the discussion will be led by Vivien Jennings. All Rotarians and guests are welcome. We meet at Rainy Day Books, 2706 W. 53rd. St., Mission, KS 66205. Click here to register.
About the book:
1838: James and Sadie Goodenough have settled where their wagon got stuck – in the muddy, stagnant swamps of northwest Ohio. But the orchard they plant sows the seeds of a long battle: James loves the apples, reminders of an easier life back in Connecticut; while Sadie prefers the applejack they make, an alcoholic refuge from brutal frontier life.
1853: Their youngest child Robert is wandering through Gold Rush California after making his way alone across the country. Haunted by the broken family he left behind, he finds some solace collecting seeds for a naturalist in the redwood and giant sequoia groves. But you can run only so far, even in America, and when Robert’s past makes an unexpected appearance, he must decide whether to strike our again or stake his own claim to a home at last.