Saturday, January 28, 2012


Editor's note: The Commander, aka "my Bob," passed away January 21st at age 80 after a three week battle with pneumonia, sepsis, a heart attack, and a small stroke. He fought so very hard, but was just too weak to overcome the damage done, especially to his lungs. I was with him that Saturday afternoon and can assure you he passed peacefully.

During the summer of 2008, he lost three of his closest friends (Michael J. Kiley, Jim Freeman, and E. Berry Smith) in a matter of just two months and that weighed heavily on him. He began to think of his own time left and on March 15, 2009 wrote the following blog. He sealed it in an envelope and told me it should not be opened until he departed. I followed those instructions. It was read by his son at his interment service January 26th.

As my age clock continues to rapidly move beyond my 77th year, I have been thinking about the advisability of composing a last essay. I know not when my Lord Jesus Christ will elect to take me from this wonderful life on Earth, but one cannot know and only hope it will not be soon.

When that time comes, I want my loved ones to know that they were the most important thing in my life, and they were responsible for making my years memorable and enjoyable. The most precious things in my life have been my loving wife, Dianne, and my dear children, Kenneth and Karen, who in their own right gave me four magnificent grandchildren: Matt, Angela, Robbie and Teegan.

Looking back, there are several sad issues that have haunted me for many years, but one cannot go back. My divorce took me away from my precious children at a time they needed me, and I lost those valuable years of their early development. Their mother is to be complimented for doing a good job in their growth.

Additionally, I look back and wish that I never had my first drink of alcohol or that first cigarette. Both will negatively impact your life and health, and I paid a price for that over-indulgence. Thank God I was able to stop.

Hopefully, in my next life (I believe that something as unbelievable as life has a next chapter) I will be reunited with my wonderful parents Genevieve and Fred Kalthoff. I owe much to the quality of life I lived to their efforts in my early development. Looking back, no child could have had more wonderful years. While the Great Depression was serious, I never wanted for anything and I now know that my parents made many sacrifices to assure my lifestyle.

Highlights to the years are my summers at Culver, which influenced every part of my life to my dying day. My years at the University of Illinois were great, but Culver remained #1. The four years that I spent proudly serving in the United States Air Force were the best thing I ever did. I matured into adulthood and learned to stand on my own even in an evil, foreign land. Some days I wish I had remained in the military, because I felt it an honorable occupation and I was proud to serve our great country.

My many years in the advertising and broadcasting business led me to many marvelous experiences and travel across America and even foregin lands. After all the years of air travel, I am quite comfortable to stay on the ground, but in those many years I met many wonderful people and a few bad apples along the way. I learned from both types, but remain soured by the negative influences that used people to their own advantage. One lives and learns only from experience, but your early foundation can be counted upon to ultimately keep you on a solid track.

Looking back I cannot stress the need to maintain one's health, because once it goes bad, there is no going back. I will never forget getting that phone call one Friday evening telling my wife that she had cancer. We both pryaed and got through it with a good result. Dianne never deserved to have to suffer through that experience, and I pray that it never returns.

I never forget out dear grandson, Robbie McFeely, because he was the strongest person I ever knew. He suffered from his earliest days with a disease that could not be beaten, but never gave up and never complained. I know that God continues to cradle Robbie in his loving arms. Hopefully, I will see Robbe again and we will head directly to Marshall Field's big store along with Grandma GiGi.

My retirement has been great, and recently I found a wonderful outlet for my frustrations in the shortcomings of mankind with the creation of "F. Robert's World". I know that I tended to get too negative, but my concern for the preservation of our great United States is endless. Greed is the root cause of most our our problems, but the deterioration of basic morality is right up there, too. Lies, filth and corruption run rampant and are no longer challenged. I have come to the conclusion that life back in the 1930s, despite the Great Depression, was really better than life today. There was mutual respect and the spirit of hard work was real. Our great country is in real danger with the womb to tomb entitlement mentality ruling supreme.

I must include in this memo my friendship with both E. Berry Smith and Jim Freeman as very important to me. They were there as true friends when I needed a friend and support. I plan to buy them lunch when we next meet.

It would be wrong to exclude any mention of my great years with J. W. "Bill" Knodel. He was a friend and mentor who believed in me at a very young age. I learned much from Bill, both good and bad. Few were more complex than Bill, few had more lady friends than Bill, and no one had greater stories or Kansas expressions than "Big Bill from Kansas."

Know Karen and Ken, that I love you more than I can express. I love your mates, Mike and Alice, (Editor's note: Alice left the family in November, 2009) and the thing that makes your old Dad most proud is that you have succeeded in a very competitive world and raised magnificent children. You both have a strong moral compass that will hold you in good stead in the years ahead.

In closing, I already miss my dear wife Dianne. I owe her much, because in my later years I have been unable to do many things due to my physical restrictions. We have had one hell of a great life together and know I'll be waiting for you on the other side. Please take good care of yourself and enjoy the years that the good Lord provides you. I will be waiting no matter how long it takes for you to join me. You will always be that beautiful young girl I should have hired when I first met you, but I was very fortunate that our lives passed again and I was smart enough to snag you for many wonderful years of marriage. I love you, Dink.

It has been a great life and a beautiful ride. I wish I could do it all over again, but that is not possible. Something as unique, marvelous, beautiful and rewarding as life is precious. Enjoy every minute and every day, because someday it will all be over. I do not want it to happen, but I cannot stop the ultimate conclusion. In the meantime, I plan to fight like hell for every possible day and minute on our wonderful planet Earth.

See you on the other side.

With deep love and affection,

Frederick Robert Kalthoff
Commander Granger

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


No matter where you sit on the political spectrum, you may not like this commentary, but if you want a sound analysis of the coming year from a recognized media observer you’re in for a good experience. Brent Bozell, who is the Founder and President of the largest media watchdog organization called the Media Research Center, has written an interesting perspective on the coming political confrontation.

I found the article to be informative and humorous while striking several strong points that will impact the highly combative political campaign.

Does it surprise you that Bozell is predicting a “down and dirty” political campaign in 2012? I thought he struck a nerve when he reminded us that Obama “cannot run on the fairy dust of hope and change” in his re-election campaign. I suggest that the Republican candidate must possess the hide of a very, very tough elephant.



Please take a quick look at and Kate Hicks’ recent report on the world’s charitable giving that lists the good old USA as the most charitable country in the world.

The data revealed in this report, based upon the Charities and Aid Foundation’s annual report on World Giving, totally destroys any foundation or creditability to the Occupy Wall Street movement that has metastasized across the world. Your Commander found it to be most revealing that none of the oil rich countries, and all but one of the Middle Eastern countries are absent from this list.

Personally I am sick and tired of many countries pointing their dirty fingers at America, and it is about time we totally reappraise our overly generous flow of foreign aid dollars, because most of those precious green-backs are not getting into the intended needy hands. Americans will always stand ready to help all in need with a just cause, but it is time to stop being a total sucker to fund corrupt governments. Someday the State Department will learn that money does not buy friends.



On this date in 1945 Congress made the Pledge of Allegiance the official national pledge to the US flag, and during the previous century legendary clergyman Henry Ward Beecher (1813-87) spoke about our flag's meaning.

Your Commander found Beecher’s inspirational words in the pages of my copy of The American Patriot’s Almanac:

“If one asks the meaning of our flag, I say it means just what Concord and Lexington meant, what Bunker Hill meant. It means the whole glorious Revolutionary War. It means all that the Declaration of Independence meant. It means all that the Constitution of our people, organizing for justice, for liberty, and for happiness meant.

Under this banner rode Washington and his armies…It waved on the highlands at West Point…This banner streamed in light over the soldiers’ heads at Valley Forge…It crossed the waters rolling with ice at Trenton…

Our flag carries American ideas, American history, and American feelings. Beginning with the colonies, and coming down to our time, in its sacred heraldry, in its glorious insignia, it has gathered and stored chiefly this supreme idea: Divine right of liberty in man. Every color means liberty. Every thread means liberty. Every form of star and beam or stripe of light means liberty. Not lawlessness, not license, but organized, institutional liberty—liberty through law, and laws for liberty.

This American flag was the safeguard of liberty. Not an atom of crown was allowed to go into its insignia. Not a symbol of authority in the ruler was permitted to go into it. It was an ordinance of liberty by the people, for the people. That it meant, that it means, and, by the blessing of God, that it shall mean to the end of time.”

After I read those beautiful words I wondered if any of the individuals who participated in the numerous Occupy (whatever) Movement demonstrations ever heard them or would even understand their magnificent meaning? I then wondered if our youth are hearing these words in school today, and how many of our elected officials have ever heard them either. I pray that we never fail to appreciate the meaning of our beautiful Pledge of Allegiance to our flag, and that we never permit Patriotism to go out of vogue.



Saturday, December 24, 2011


Your Commander and his Editor Extraordinaire extend our greetings for a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to all. We pray for peace around the world and good health for all around the world.

During the holiday season it makes little difference what is one’s faith, because we should all look to our various sources of reverence for guidance in the coming New Year.

Now would be an excellent time to read the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, the Ten Commandments, and to conduct a Google search for Wikipedia articles that provide critical historical information on the Ottoman Empire, Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, and the book titled “Islam for Dummies” so you can garner a better understanding of the historical issues that still impact the Middle East to this day.

The coming year is certain to bring forth challenges for each and every one of us, and we pray that the world’s leaders exert great patience and reason as the countries of this world move forward.

Would it not be wondrous to have peace on earth and good will toward men this coming year and beyond?


Thursday, December 22, 2011


As millions of Americans struggle to meet their financial obligations, search for a job, and find a way to celebrate the Christmas holiday season our leader, President Barack Hussein Obama, will be flying off to Hawaii for a long vacation with his family. When I read that his wife and daughters flew ahead of the President, because he was staying at his post in the Oval Office at the White House due to Congressional delays, an old Jewish expression came to mind.

CHUTZPAH is the word, and I looked up the definition in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and found the following:

“To demand that he be treated as a special case and be given priority in settling his claims.” Synonyms: Audaciousness, audacity, brashness, brass, brassiness, cheek, cheekiness, effrontery, crust, face, gall, nerve, nerviness, pertness, presumption, presumptuousness, sauce, sauciness, and temerity.

When you read the attached article by’s Katie Pavlich outlining the cost to the American taxpayer as posted in the Hawaii Reporter you will understand why I say Mr. Obama has chutzpah. Granted, this was written prior to the announcement that he was delaying his trip, and the costs are staggering.

Apparently the facilities at the White House or Camp David are inadequate for the Obama’s new found tastes, and they are capable of spending over $4 million precious American taxpayer dollars while we plebeians wallow in our worsening economic status. Thanks, Mr. President, for thumbing your nose at the 50% of the American population that still pay federal income taxes.

You, Sir, have chutzpah!



Should you be an AOL subscriber you probably have seen the Daily Finance article penned by Bruce Watson that carried the same headline. After reading his print demise conclusions, supported by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Center for the Digital Future, I penned my personal comment on the web site agreeing with their theory.

Here is a link to the site:

The realities of the problems facing the ever-changing newspaper business is that their model has changed due to the evolution of the internet, and it is doing to newspapers the same diminished fiscal return that it has caused the U.S. Postal Service’s anticipated death. While the pay-firewalls will provide some degree of financial gains in the major markets I am concerned that it will not save the business model in smaller markets.

As I noted in my comment, the internet is bloated with inaccurate information, and the firewalls do permit some degree of financial cover so the few remaining major newspapers have professional journalism oversight. It is important to highlight the fact that the editorial bent of the four predicted print survivors (The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and USA Today) is currently equally balanced by two being liberal and two conservative voices.

Four newspapers will not properly serve America, but we all must be vigilant in securing accurate vital information and in-depth investigative reporting. Experience has taught this commentator that the lack of competition is dangerous and disquieting, just as is a dominant one-party political democracy.