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January 19, 2011     Sentinel Tribune
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January 19, 2011

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SENTINEL TRIBUNE VIEWPOINT Wednesday, January 19, 2011 Page 3 EDITORIAL Civility and senseless acts Last week a 23 year old former college student allegedly took a 9mm pistol to a political home- town meeting, and opened fire killing six people and injuring several others. Right away it seemed people from both politi- cal parties began rhetoric blaming the incident on the sometimes violent political discourse in the recent election campaigns. It soon became obvious those claims were not in anyway responsible for this heinous act. The act did bring up the fact that too many people in this country are mentally ill and are not receiving any kind of treatment, even when it is apparent that they are in dire need of it. After a great deal of investigation by the FBI, and the media, it seems fairly clear that this per- son left enough warning signs that he should have been evaluated for mental illness. The alleged shooter, Jared Loughner, is said to have had unwarranted outbursts at non-events, students in the schools he attended did not feel safe around him. One student in college men- tioned she always sat near the door so she could get out if anything happened. One of his profes- sors requested to have a security guard in the room when he was there. He was rejected for military service due to marijuana use. The list goes on. It has become apparent that persons who dis- play these and other strange behaviors in school or other places should be evaluated. Had this person been evaluated it is prob- ably likely that he would never been able to pur- chase a weapon. Of course if he were bent on doing harm to his target Representative Gabrielle Giffords, he could have found any number of ways to do it. Perhaps we need to look at our laws concern- ing when a person can be evaluated for mental illness. Again, while there is no indication the political rhetoric climate was at the root of this shooting, political discourse has been around for thousands of years. Often through history political discourse was settled by the sword and armed confronta- tion. All one has to do is read the scripture of the bible. Politics back then was far more sinister. However, this is the twenty first century, and one would think while there will always be politi- cal discourse, perhaps politicians, and the people wiU be able to debate their differences in a civil manor. As citizens we should try to be civil in our dis- agreements. It does no good to call someone Hitler, a socialist, or a nazi, or any other deroga- tory names. We should not accept the mean spirited rheto- ric spewed out by extreme radio talk show hosts. If there is any blame for uncivil action, these people probably lead the way, and the sad part of it is they seem to garner large audiences and com- mand large salaries for their questionable rheto- ric. We should be critical of anyone who can not be civil in their political discourse. If everyone would just remember the golden rule, this planet would be a much better place for all mankind Mission Statement The Sentinel Tribune serves the residents and business community of Cottonwood, Redwood, Murray and Lyon County and southwest Minnesota by applying its available resources to accurately and consistently produce a quality newspaper which thoroughly covers the news of the area, stimulates thought and conversation, delivers advertising messages in a timely manner, and provides information of general value to its public. In so doing contributes to the overall quality of life and economic health of its readers, advertisers and community in general while stimulating the professional development of its employ- ees. AI BAH... "Stories from the Batt Cave" Finding things Patsy Cline was falling to pieces on the radio. I wasn't doing any better. At best, I was mildly vexed. The day had been going well. I had set a mousetrap that was so complicated that it caught only smart mice. I had spilled french dressing on myself. That would have been a black tooth in an otherwise perfect smile, but, luckily, I was wearing let- tuce at the time. I hadn't yet stood in front of the microwave oven and yelled, "Come onr' It was all good. Life moves us like chess piec- es. I went from contented bliss to bewilderment. I was searching the manor for my favorite shirt. Every man has one. It's that shirt that a guy ould wear every day if he could get away with it. You know the one. It doesn't matter if it's dirty, wrinkled, tattered, inappro- priate, or clashes with what he's wearing. He'd still wear it as long as it didn't smell as appall- ing as a junior high gym locker. We wear such shirts because men enjoy making bold fashion statements. I couldn't find the shirt. I always think I can find it but I'm never successful. I'm unable to fathom the vastness of an ever- changing universe. Eventually, my confidence fell victim to experience. I became convinced of my inability to find the shirt. I was forced to do what husbands do. The procedure is defined on page 73 of the Official Handbook for the American Husband. I yelled to my wife, "Where is it?" "Where is what?" she replied. Where is what? Why does she torment me so when everyone knows that wives are mind read- ers? I rephrased my question, turning my bellow to mellow, "Honey, do you know where my good shirt is?" "Which one is your good shirt?" she asked back. "It's the one that's some kind of a blue and is missing a but- ton." "Where did you have it last?" she said. What kind of question is that? She could just as well have asked me if I looked where it was. I didn't answer. "Have you looked in your clos- et?" she asked. "Yes," I said. I had, honest. I bit my tongue to keep from add- ing, "Duh." My lovely bride added, "It Should be between that nice gray shirt that you never wear even though it looks so nice on you and that raggedy denim one that you insist on wearing even when I roll my eyes." A nice gray shirt? I didn't even know I had a gray shirt, nice or otherwise. Raggedy denim? That might be true. I tend to keep old clothes. I have many moths to feed. Eye rolling should cause me to take a critical look at my wardrobe but it doesn't. Amongst my many failings, it's a minor one. I looked between those two shirts and there it was, my favorite shirt that's some kind of a blue and is miss- ing a button. That was probably where I had it last. Where it had been when I'd looked earlier, rll never know, but I am developing a conspiracy theory. My wife has a crystal ball. It's invisible and it allows her to find hidden things. She is the family memory. She remembers holidays, birthdays, anniversa- ries, when storms happened, when bad things or good things occurred, the names of all of my cousin's ex-wives, passwords, what day of the week it is, and whose turn it is to feed the goldfish. She knows what we are running low on. She checks the levels of things. She not only finds things, she gives their GPS coordinates. I can call her and she furnishes the locations of things over the telephone. I retain such information for as long as flyswatters hold water. Men have deficiencies. Each of us has certain inadequa- cies. Fortunately, I've misplaced mine. My She Who Must B e Obeyed is a conjurer. Magicians become famous for making things disap- pear. My wife is more like the magician who pulls a rabbit from a hat. She makes things appear. She can pull a shirt that's some kind of a blue and is missing a button out of my closet. I'm not saying that I never find anything. I find things that I'm not looking for. rd make more of an effort to find my shirt that's some kind of a blue and is miss- ing a button but I don't want to disrupt the magic. I love my wife. rd be lost without her and so would that favorite shirt of mine that's some kind of a blue and is missing a button. AI Batt 201 1 71622 325 St. 1-1, MN 56042 Sentinel Tribune Thomas Merchant Junette Merchant Joan Spielman Jessica Noding (ISSN 8750-3905) Managing Editor Office & Production Office & Production Marketing Specialist Published every Wednesday at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 Periodicals Postage Paid at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 SUBSCRIPTION PRICE FOR THE SENTINEL TRIBUNE WILL BE: In the following counties: Cottonwood, Redwood, and Murray $38.00 per year. 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