Expectations Tempered for SLU Hoops


Last season the Billikens made a run in the NCAA tourney but those days are gone. SLU has lost five seniors that all had experience. This season will be a rebuild for Coach Jim Crews. Now he has six incoming freshman to work on that rebuild.

Three guards, Devell Roby, Miles Reynolds and Marcus Bartley will learn the frontcourt duties while forwards Brett Jolly and Malik Yarbrough will man the boards. Center Austin Gilman will put his name into the middle of the lane to be counted on.

Grandy Glaze, 6’6” Forward will be the only returnee with experience. Things will be tough for the Billikens.

The World Needs Kindness, Not Just Niceness

The World Needs Kindness, Not Just Niceness

Why can’t our society spend more time in reaching out and smother the world with kindness. I didn’t say niceness because there is a fundamental difference in the two words. Niceness is something that non-Christians do between Thanksgiving and Christmas by adding to the kettles that are asking for money. Niceness can be raising billions for the homeless and putting programs together for drug addicts. Niceness is a human quality and kindness is divine quality. Kindness has to originate in the heart of God. This truth means that only Christians have the ability to be kind.

Many of us want to be kind. We want that. We may struggle with that but have to seek God for that quality. It is not some that just comes to us.

In the book Changing the World Through Kindness they state about kindness:

It isn’t fast. We are enamored with fast, the big and the spectacular. It will not “just happen” for us.

It isn’t easy. It takes time and energy to be kind and that means we find it difficult to actually go beyond our feelings of benevolence to take action. Face it, our schedules are full and if we start being kind it can simply overwhelm us.

It isn’t natural. We are not wired that way. The world doesn’t come across as warm and fuzzy. We have to work at it. It will take the Holy Spirit’s transforming presence to get it done.

It isn’t ego-building. We make the mistake that God is counting on us to get a certain point across and that is far from the truth. We are prone to over-emphasizing our role in the gospel and under-emphasizing God’s role. Doing acts of kindness is a good way to humble ourselves.

It isn’t easy to qualify. We like to see evidence/proof. Some of the most dynamic things in God’s economy are tough to quantify. The proof is in the pudding, as they say. But we can’t measure the impact for the most part.

When the climate of God’s love and presence is evident among a group of people, spiritual barriers crumble, old ways of thinking change, and people come to know him as he really is.

It is time to act on Kindness.

Non-Christians respond to kindness, remember kindness, rehearse their conversion and repent when they are show kindness.

Ephesians 4:32 –“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”


The opinions in this blog belong to Tom Knuppel

This Might “Creep You Out” – A Good Gone Bad

          This Might “Creep You Out” – A Good Gone Bad

Some people just have good intention and something turns terribly wrong. This is the case of a lady on California that wanted to do a good but got her neighborhood to consider it “creepy”.

A woman had issues when she anonymously left porcelain dolls with fuzzy slippers and frilly gowns on the doorstep of her friends from church. The dolls were said to eerily resemble the daughters that were at the homes that she left them to be discovered.


The woman didn’t plan to scare anyone and was quoted to say she was embarrassed to have so  much made commotion over it. The police researched the drop-off and found the woman.

The police that investigated said, “She felt like some of the girls would enjoy the dolls,”

The woman had daughters of her own that were too old to play with them she she tried to match the children with the hair color and eye color of the doll.

No charges were filed.

Rinse Your Eyes

          Rinse Your Eyes

I finished reading a book called The Gold Mine Effect by Rasmus Ankersen about cracking the secrets of high performance. It was at the end of the book, in the Epilogue, that he stated something that I find really intriguing about people in today’s society.

He wrote:

In Indonesia they have a beautiful expression for travel: to rinse your eyes. When you stay at home, caught up in the routines of your everyday life, your vision becomes cloudy. The same things pass before your eyes day in, day out, you stop being about to really see them. When you hear the same words spoken again and again, you stop really listening. Traveling gives you your eyes and ears back. It blows away the cobwebs and forces you to see the world afresh.

This is a true fact, isn’t it? When you hear from the same people, go to the same places, sit with people you know, you are likely to never change or see another point of view. It is kind of like a family reunion where they all talk to each other then it is time to eat a picnic lunch and all the immediate families sit together. They don’t sit by their aunts and uncles or cousin from out of state, they sit with their parents or children. We are afraid to sit with them as their views may be different from ours and then we may have to defend the way we think and live.

Think about this. When is the last time you sat on your front porch, back porch, or in your yard and remarked about the beauty that surrounds you? We can go somewhere else and get all ah’d about the scenery or the sunset because we have never view it from there.

We overlook so much. It is time to get out and smell the roses…. Somewhere else.


“People who don’t travel cannot have a global view, all they see is what’s in front of them. Those people cannot accept new things because all they know is where they live.” -Martin Yan


The opinions in this blog belong to Tom Knuppel

Childhood Innocence- When Do They Lose It?

Childhood Innocence- When Do They Lose It?

Isn’t it cool how children can be so innocent? But what happens to change them? When does it happen?

The thought on this topic came to me as I was teaching an Adult Sunday School class and we discussed Mark Chapter 9:36-37. Jesus teaches us to be like a child in order to gain access to his kingdom.

36 He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

I don’t remember the eyes through a child. Children are genuine and real. Remember seeing a child at Christmas and how they light up as they view the decorations or wait to talk to Santa? It is a world of anticipation. Adults smile as they see these things.

Children are pure. They have no preconceived notions and are sometimes brutally honest and sincere. You won’t find them sugar coating anything to make it more palatable as they become spontaneous and much more perceptive than adults.

We are better people and more responsible when we begin having our own children. Our lives are changed forever. They have a way to keep us alive and going forward with our daily routines. Child are a joy and babies are precious to have and to hold.

But, sadly, it doesn’t last forever. When do children lose their innocence?

I have a theory on that issue. I believe that a child loses his or her innocence as he or she gains experience in life.

For example, when children begin to hide things can be the beginning of the loss of innocence. It may be necessary for the child to issue a lie rather than face the consequences. Let’s begin with an adult using their cellphone. The child is eyeing it and wanting to get their grubby paws on it. As you sit it down you tell the child in no uncertain terms to leave it alone or they will be punished.

The child, being a child, can’t stand to see the iphone sitting there and begins to play with it and accidentally drops it and it no longer works. The child now fears that punishment is on the way and puts the phone back in the same spot and leaves the scene.

We you come back and find the phone doesn’t work and you promptly quiz the child about tampering with it and he/she shells out a lie and tells you they never touched it. The child has now learned to hide something from others and he has also learned to lie. He has lost all innocence children naturally have. All this happened because he gained experience in life and learned how to play it safely for him/her.


When Children Lose Their Innocence

By Frances Duggan

The innocence of childhood it is a marvelous thing

And all children are untainted in their life’s early Spring

But by the time they’ve reached their teens their innocence they’ve lost

And the experience that we gain from age always comes at a cost.


When children lose their innocence they lose their gift of joy

The joy that comes from innocence in every young girl and boy,

Compared to us young children see life quite differently

Of the guilt of corruption they are completely free.


I have such happy memories of when I was a boy

My childhood years were happy years but time just seemed to fly

And the experience that I’ve gained from life it came at a great cost

For I lost something beautiful when innocence I lost.


When did I lose my innocence?

HeHe, I am not telling that story!


The opinions in this blog belong to Tom Knuppel

And We Call Ourselves the Human Race

          And We Call Ourselves the Human Race


Those were the words of President John F. Kennedy on July 20, 1961. Today, the National Security Archive has released some excerpts of the things going on during the Cold War during the Berlin Crisis.

The National Security Council and the President were listening to a briefing on the consequences of a nuclear war. It was stated that a submarine launched missile strike from the Soviets would result in 48-71 million Americans killed immediately.


Estimated distribution of radioactive fall-out on U.S. caused by a Soviet retaliatory launch-on-warning (LOW) attack in mid-1965 on a range of U.S. target systems: urban-industrial (also Canadian), air defenses (also Canadian), SAC bases, naval bases, command-and-control, and military depots.

This was a secret study that was initiated by Kennedy’s predecessor, President Eisenhower, that was described the Secretary of State Dean Rusk as “an awesome experience”. With those words, Kennedy uttered his famous words, … “and we call ourselves the human race”.

As the Cold War continued and each side was privy to the scenarios of mass destruction we find that they were terrified and began to avoid conflict and pursue détente.

The declassification of NESC reports raises questions about the claim that the “U.S. was never the aggressor” in war games and other exercises depicted as occurring in an “official future.” This claim needs to be considered carefully because the Subcommittee produced several reports — namely, for 1962 and 1963 — that postulated the United States as the initiator of preemptive nuclear attacks, close to a classic first strike. Whether a preemptive strike is “aggressive” depends on the point of view; the concept of preemption depends on accurate strategic warning of an attack, so it could be seen as an aggressive response to imminent aggression. But a preemptive strike based on an inaccurate warning would be both aggressive and catastrophic. In any event, well before 1962, preemption was an element of U.S. nuclear war planning and U.S. military planners continued to assess whether it was advantageous or not.

Open Primaries or Closed Primaries?

       Open Primaries or Closed Primaries?

Chuck Schumer of New York has published an article about how this country needs to trash the primary voting the way it currently sits and go to an “open primary”. I will admit, when I read the headlines I thought it had merit. But as I read the article, which can be found in the New York Times, I liked the idea less and less.

Here is an excerpt from it:

We need a national movement to adopt the “top-two” primary (also known as an open primary), in which all voters, regardless of party registration, can vote and the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, then enter a runoff. This would prevent a hard-right or hard-left candidate from gaining office with the support of just a sliver of the voters of the vastly diminished primary electorate; to finish in the top two, candidates from either party would have to reach out to the broad middle.

Here is my initial problem. This idea doesn’t allow for a varied view for the most part. If you live in a “red” state or a “blue” state, you are likely to nominate two from your color. This doesn’t allow for opposing views to get on the ballot.

Let me put it in other words….

If John Q. Public and Susie Society are both from the same party and their state is aligned with that party strongly, the opposing views will get shut out. I like open primaries if you can go to the polls and not declare a political party. Put them all on one ballot and you select the candidates you want to see go further into the political arena.

There are over 260 comments on this article and I just read a few but I tend to agree with Omnipresence when he/she says:

Mr. Schumer’s suggestion would only further reduce voters’ choices, and would only make it harder for those not in the mainstream of American politics to be heard.



The opinions in this blog belong to Tom Knuppel

Three Mergers that will Dip into the Consumers Pocketbook

       Three Mergers that will Dip into the Consumers Pocketbook

Consumers are likely to get it stuck to them again. Big mergers are being considered in Congress that will take away the little guy and install a monopoly in its place. It doesn’t seem that long ago that Congress split up Ma Bell to enhance competition. Now that is all forgotten.

Now, 30 years later we find that the marketplace is reassembling into large monopolies that will price gouge the consumer. Even members of Congress, who can stop this if they knew how, are questioning these tactics. John Conyers, ranking member of the House Judiciary was quoted as saying, “Where does this end?”

I have an answer for that. I would say it could end NOW.

Let’s look at the three most imminent mergers and what they are saying, how it is a bonus for regulators, what the catch to it is and what are the odds to passage.

#1- Comcast/Time Warner

Money on the Table– $45.2 billion

The Pitch: Comcast is the largest cable company and broadband provider in the United States. They are saying they are not big enough and wants to compete with the Big Boys like Verizon, Google, Facebook and AT&T. They state to compete they must get bigger and they go on to say they don’t compete with Time Warner in any of the same zip code areas.

Regulators: The company has announced it will divest $3.9 million video subscribers to Charter Communications and one unnamed company. They state they will honor the FCC’s 2010 open internet rules for three years.

What is the Catch: They may not overlap with Time Warner but putting the #1 and #2 cable companies will allow them unmatched control and they will have about one third of the video market in their control along with 40% of the broadband business. Without conditions they can run amuck over the consumers.

Odds: This has a strong chance to get approved. The reason is consumers will still have the same number of choices for their broadband and video provider.

Deal #2- AT&T/DirectV

Money on the Table: $48.5 billion

The Pitch: This is all about consumer bundle to compete with Comcast. If they can add AT&T to the bundle they now have the famous “triple play” that can be offered. Each will say they can’t compete with the other.

Regulators: AT&T has stated that it can add 13 million underserved rural households and give fiber to 2 million others in the next four years with approval of the deal. They also state they will honor the FCC’s 2010 internet rules for three years.

What is the Catch: Instead of buying the U-Verse video service, AT&T and Directv will combine to add the Sunday NFL Ticket and then have too much control over programming distribution.

Odds: It has a good chance of approval due to the rural additions it can provide. Critics will tell you that 64 markets will have fewer choices if approved.

Deal #3- Sprint/T-Mobile

Money on the Table: nearly $40 billion

The Pitch: The CEO of Sprint argues that is it better to have a strong #3 company that a weak #3 and #4. With this argument they wish to combine and attempt to compete with the bigger companies. They promise lower prices and faster speeds.

Regulators: It is likely these promises will have to be put in writing along with agreeing to honor the FCC ruling of 2010 for at least three years.

What is the Catch: There will be one less competitor if they combine. This type of deal (proposed AT&T/T-Mobile) was denied by the Feds in 2011.

Odds: This is not likely to happen. Odds are given that it has less than a 10% chance of success. Look for this to end up in a courtroom somewhere in the United States to get it resolved.


So the big get bigger and more powerful. This sets up the consumer to pay more and be at their mercy to live with decisions that are detrimental.

I can’t say I am happy about any of these mergers.

Resource: www.politico.com/tech


The opinions stated in this blog are those of Tom Knuppel

Illinois Signs Bill Prohibiting Employers From Asking about Criminal History

    Illinois Signs Bill Prohibiting Employers to Ask about Criminal History

Are we Serious?


Bill number is HB5701

From the Illinois Review:

Gov. Pat Quinn will sign legislation prohibiting all private employers from asking prospective employees about their criminal history before they’ve determined the individual is qualified for the job.

The Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act, otherwise known as the “ban the box” bill, was sponsored by Rep. Rita Mayfield and Sen. Antonio Munoz.

The legislation will make Illinois the fifth state to ban employers from requiring disclosure of a criminal history until an applicant is determined qualified for the position.

Munoz says everyone should have the opportunity to be considered for employment regardless of previous actions, including rape, murder, or armed robbery.

The government has allowed some construction jobs, emergency medical jobs and security jobs to be exempt from the legislation.


Criminal Background? Feel free to apply.

Child Molester? Come on in.

Convicted Felon? Please handle my money.

IT hacker? We have a job in computers for you.


This is nothing short of insanity.


The opinions in this blog are those of Tom Knuppel

Send Those Children Back, Oh Wait…

Send Those Children Back, Oh Wait…

Children coming to the United States without their parents have been coming in since at least 1892. On the day Ellis Island opened, January 1, 1892, the first person in line was Annie Moore and her two brothers that had traveled from Ireland. Being the first, she was given a gold coin and now a statue stand to encourage children to come to America.

Some officials, like Michelle Bachmann have claimed that Ellis Island is required and has strict orders to send them back. That is not true. She called them “invaders” and warned of possible trouble making antics from them. Historically, immigrant children without parents have been getting in trouble for years and years. In 1921, 13-year old Osman Louis, from Belgium, was a stowaway and was helped out by Helen Bastedo to keep the child in the country.

The Immigration Act of 1907 declares that children under 16 that are unaccompanied by parents are not permitted to enter in the normal fashion. They are not sent back. The procedure states they must enter a detention center where an inquiry from special inspectors will determine their fate. May times, synagogues, missionaries and even private citizens would offer to take over the guardianship of the child.

Ellis Island officials made several efforts to care for children detained on the island—those with parents and those without—who could be there for weeks at a time. Around 1900 a playground was constructed there with a sandbox, swings, and slides. A group of about a dozen women known as “matrons” played games and sang songs with the children, many of whom they couldn’t easily communicate with due to language barriers. Later, a school room was created for them, and the Red Cross supplied a radio for the children to listen to.

And of course, many of those kids grew up to work tough jobs, start new businesses and create new jobs, and pass significant amounts of wealth down to some of the very folks clamoring to “send ’em back” today.

You want to send them back? That isn’t the modus operandi of the United States of America.



The opinions in this blog are those of Tom Knuppel