Stan Crader

Author & Lecturer on Writing About Rural America

Ferguson Trumps Immigration

President Obama promised to bridge the racial divide; Ferguson could be his finest hour in that endeavor. Who better than President Obama to make the announcement of the Grand Jury’s findings?

Michael Brown’s body has undergone three autopsies–the Brown family, state of Missouri, and the U.S. Justice department. And those results are being reviewed by the Grand Jury. Depending on the finding, the greater St. Louis area could see racial tensions rise to the level not seen since Democrat Strom Thurmond filibustered civil rights legislation.

Ferguson could be President Obama’s finest moment. With Al Sharpton at his side, he could… Continue reading

Knowing The Enemy: Jihadist Ideology

The college blog, Campus Reform, recently posted several video interviews of Harvard students. Students were asked, “What is a greater threat to world peace, ISIS or America?” Several of the students answered, “America.” The emotions I felt when seeing and hearing this were shock, heartbreak, rage, bewilderment, and sorrow. How could students bright enough to attend one of the world’s most esteemed universities believe that America is a bigger threat to world peace than ISIS? Did ISIS send aid to Haiti? Is ISIS assisting with the EBOLA crisis in Africa? How many oil wells in the middle east has ISIS… Continue reading

Al Qaeda & Isis; What’s the difference?

A frequently asked question is what’s the difference between Al Qaeda and Isis, and that question is quickly followed with why does it matter.

Most westerners don’t understand theocracy; a government in which there is no separation between church and state. Most Moslem countries are not simply countries in which the citizens are mostly Moslem, they’re countries in which the laws and culture are dictated by the Moslem religion.

Al Qaeda essentially wants the government of the respective Moslem countries to adhere to a set of religious rules that are very restrictive for Moslems and often times deadly for those… Continue reading

Ebola

Fighting terrorism is much akin to the effort to eradicate Ebola, or any disease. Addressing those who are infected and stopping the spread must occur simultaneously—and both are equally important.

The metric of success isn’t the numbers that have died—it’s the number saved. The risk of doing something far outweighs the risk of doing nothing.

America’s troops have and are deployed to regions known to be centers of training for terrorist. That’s the eradication front. Pulling out before eradication is complete simply allows the disease to once again gain hosts and spread.

It’s complicated and I don’t understand all that… Continue reading

Charles Walgreen Flies the coop!

Gotcha! Betcha thought I was talking about Walgreen’s tax inversion plan. Nope!

Ira Biffel was born and raised near Marble Hill, Missouri—hence the name of Marble Hill’s airport—Ira Biffel Memorial.

What’s Ira Biffel got to do with Charles Walgreen? Glad you asked.

After leaving Missouri Ira Biffel spent time in the US Army and is credited with being one of the first pilots to use an aircraft in the armed services, thus helping start what is now known as the US Air Force. That was during WWI.

Ira became known as one of America’s best flight instructors, which is why… Continue reading

Taxes, Inversion, Avarice, Degree, JFK

The United States government is totally dependent on fees and tax revenue. Taxes and fees are made possible by income. Income is made possible by profit. Profit is derived through capitalism. The primary goal of a capitalist is maximizing profit. In an effort to maximize profit, their job, capitalist charge the highest price possible. The maximum price is usually determined by competitive pressure or government regulation.

Highly successful capitalist are occasionally accused of avarice. Consumer choice is the deciding factor of the existence of avarice. If the consumer has a choice in the market then the supplier is honestly facing… Continue reading

Epistemology: Theory of Truth or Knowledge?

Ever wonder why some people us a big word when a little one will do? I came across the word epistemology and before looking up the meaning felt more than a little disdain for the author. But after learning the true meaning of the word, I understood why it had been used.

Writers, unlike tent-revival preachers, are taught to use as few words as possible. It’s much easier to toss a book aside than it is to get up and walk out of a tent revival. Writers must be succinct. The bloviating speakers aren’t relegated to tent-revivals—they’ve been known to… Continue reading

Flummoxed, Frustrated, but not Fooled

The top 500 companies in America grew their profits last year by 31.7%. Meanwhile, they added only .7% to their workforce. Wal-Mart, the nation’s revenue leader kept their headcount level. Why all of this record growth with little or no addition to the workforce?

Earlier this year the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Hobby Lobby vs. Sebelius case. Hobby Lobby is faced with what some would call a moral dilemma. Hobby Lobby wishes to provide healthcare for their workforce of over 22,000. But they don’t choose to offer coverage for aborticant drugs. Their choice is to either drop… Continue reading

Ethanol’s Impact

Due to my relationship with Stihl, I’m frequently asked about ethanol. I have two responses, one short, the other long. The short answer is, “it can be bad for your small engine.”

“That’s what I thought,” some say. Most ask for further detail, such as, “What do you mean by ‘can’ be bad?” And I explain that if the blend is 10% or less ethanol and the fuel is used within a month or so, then it’s probably okay. I then confuse the issue by adding that even though the fuel pump lists 10% ethanol, some fuel has tested as… Continue reading

The Exponential, Extra Special, Bonus Savings Conundrum

You’ve seen the advertisements touting a savings. And in some cases the savings is “special,” and occasionally “extra special.” Sometimes the ad’s creator, thinking the potential customers are old enough to remember how to do math, will include the percent the item is discounted—“Prices slashed 50%,” or for those who learned math by using a calculator, “Prices reduced-Save $100.”

To save is to keep someone or something safe. Is it possible to save money when making a purchase? If so, what was kept safe? I guess if one arrived at the store and had intended to pay $100 for something… Continue reading

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