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January 22, 2014     Sentinel Tribune
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January 22, 2014
 

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SENTINEL TRIBUNE Wednesday, January 22, 2014 Page 4 BETWEENTHE " " N E S "Stories from the Batt Cave" mercies Traveling " stop us from traveling, but it sure around a gate waiting to board, line slowed us down. The farthest we up so early, you'd have thought By Tom Merchant - Sentinel Tribune -- tmerchant@ncppub.com Criminal justice system seriously flawed... The other day I read a story in the Star Tribune about a man who was convicted of assault on a baby and domestic abuse. As far as the courts action, they seemingly got it fight convicting the man of his crimes. I am OK with that, however after reading the particulars of how this 7 week old baby was horribly abused I am completely aghast at the sentence or in this case non sentence was handed down. The man pleaded guilty to third degree assault and also pleaded guilty to domestic assault by strangulation of his girlfriend, the child's mother, last February. Beside that, this was no ordinary case of shaken baby syndrome. Interestingly enough when the mother took the child to the hospi- tal in late January, doctors concluded nothing was amiss. The mother persisted, and brought the child back in February 17, when doctors found new and healing femur fractures. Two days later, a CT scan showed bleeding on both sides of the boys brain and on March 4, seven broken ribs were discovered. Here's the rub -- the sentencing judge ordered the man to serve a year in jail. Because he had already been in jail for 240 days -- two thirds of the sentence --his time on the charge was finished! He was given 15 month stayed prison sentence and probation. On the other charge of domestic assault he was given a similar deal which stayed the rest of a 180 day jail sentence, plus an additional three years on probation. In total the man received seven years of probation! That to me is incredible to say the least. There was no mention of counseling. for anger management or anything else. Basically he received practi- cally no punishment. I am sorry folks -- people who seriously abuse children, women, men, elderly, animals, or mentally challenged should never get off this easy. To make matter worse this person plead guilty to a prior domes- tic assault charge, and convicted of a second domestic assault charge. In the most recent case, which I suspect there was a plea agreement the judge chose to sentence the man to the low end of the guidelines. Of course as a lay person I can not make a defined judgement of whether or not the court erred on this one, but you be the judge. By comparison there was another case where a man committed a hit and run of two army recruiters, seriously injuring one of them. In this case one of the victims was dragged over a mile, and at one point the defendant stopped and tried to dislodge the victim by kicking him. The man plead guilty in November to first degree assault and criminal vehicular operation. The difference in this case the sentencing guidelines called for an 11 to 15 3/4 years prison sentence. The judge obliged to give the man the maximum sentence of 15 3/4 years sentence. Looking at the circumstances I feel that is a fair sentence. But in the other case, I am sorry, what was that judge thinking? It is hard to say how much suffering each of these victims will suffer over the rest of their lives, so I think it is only fan" for the defen- dants to suffer an equal amount of time. ....... J.tis hard to say how much these injuries will affect that small -,,- lJ ..wever, at that age he more than likely will have hardly al!y or no recollection of terrible suffering he endured. Somehow I also wonder if these two men will have to live with their misdeeds for the rest of their lives, or do they have no remorse. In the end I just don't get it. I know one thing, I would hate being a judge, prosecutor or a defense attorney. In these types of cases they certainly earn their money. Have a great week and do good! The Fuller Brush man was my idol. He traveled. I didn't. When I was a farm boy, my fam- ily traveled away from the greater Hartland area only for weddings, baptisms, confirmations, gradua- tions, reunions, and funerals--all conveniently held within two states. Our travels were even more compressed than that--southern Minnesota and northern Iowa con- fmed us. We were dahy farmers, tethered to the barn. My father explained our lack of travel by saying that the rich people lived on the other side of town. In place of wealth, the foils who resided on our side were given rocks in our fields. It seemed unfair. Dad was a homebody. He was happy going to Vivian's Cafe and Einar's Hardware. He needed travel like he needed another aperture in his cranium. I traveled in my mind. They were very short trips. My mind was always somewhere else. If I was sure where, I'd have moved there. I read hand-me-down National Geographic Magazines, I watched travelogues (while worrying about contracting malaria from them) and envied the traveling geese flying overhead. Bird field guides were my travel books. I married young. Like most new- lyweds, we had little money. Time filled with work, school and family. We were trying to make something out of hope and hard work. We took on the world and found that much of life is a hill. We learned precious things, but we didn't trav- el. Having no time or money didn't ventured was to Nebraska and that they were going to a Black Friday was work related, special. I've flown in planes so Travel was just around the cor- cramped that it was like sitting on a ner, but never that comer, folding chair at a five-hour funeral. Mark Twain encouraged me by Planes so crowded, I felt like a writing, "Twenty years from now T-Rex. I could move my arms only you will be more disappointed from the elbows down. I've sat by the things that you didn't do next to glum fellows who consid- than by the ones you did do. So ered baggage claim a lottery. throw off the bowlines. Sail away We travel far from home and look from the safe harbor. Catch the for things like home. We compare, trade winds in your sails. Explore. like the optometrist does as,he tests Dream. Discover." our prescription, "Is this better or is We wanted to dabble in travel, this better?" but we jumped in with both feet I love to travel. I go places where instead. We went to Israel. It was a I'm allowed on the furniture, but trip of a lifetime. I'm not sure that's why I travel. When I travel, I say a prayer of Perhaps the lack of traveling in traveling mercies, my youth bred wanderlust. After Many of us do. We pray for a some recent shambolic travel, I safe trip, a sharp mind, a well- returned home happily. I love trav- behaved vehicle, good health, green cling and I love coming home. I'm lights, cheap gas, etc. Minnesota grown. I have a severe I read the book "Traveling case of Gopheritis. I'm a dairy Mercies" by Anne Lamott. The farmer's son. Whenever people author claimed the two best prayers complain about the state's weather, she knows are, "Help me, help me, taxes, roads or politics, I tell them help me" and "Thank you, thank TiM. Not TMI, which stands for you, thank you." "Too Much Information." It's TIM, My wife loves to travel with me. which means "This Is Minnesota." That way, when she uses an air- Life is what we make of it. Travel port restroom, there is someone to is the traveler. watch her bags. When I went to Israel, I knew I've been on the road a lot it was a trip of a lifetime. Then I recently. Speaking, telling stories, had an epiphany while driving to writing, doing radio things and a funeral of someone important to leading occasional tours in Ohio, me. I realized that every day is a Illinois, Utah, Iowa, North Dakota, trip of a lifetime. South Dakota, Wisconsin, Alaska, I wish each of you traveling mer- Nebraska, Texas, Washington cies whether you travel near or far. (both state and D.C.), Montana, California, Nevada, New Jersey, AI Batt 2014 Indiana, Florida, Arizona, Kansas, 71622 325 St. Alberta, British Columbia, etc. 1-1, MN 56042 Uffda! http://albatt.net/ Traveling has its peculiarities. I've watched gate lice, a term for airline passengers who crowd Mission Statement The Sentinel Tribune serves the residents and: b.usines ,#omrr rfity 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 infor- mation 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 employees. Life choice, but what of the choice of the For you did form my inward child to live? There is no question but that parts; you did weave me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks life begins at conception. Scripture to you, for I am fearfully and won- makes it clear that at conception a derfully made. Wonderful are all person is created who has eternal your works, and my soul knows it properties, a soul, and infinite value well (Psalm 139:13, 14). (Psalm 51:5; Luke 1:44). Mankind January 22 is the anniversary of is unique among God's creation the Supreme Court Decision known in that we are made in the image as 'Roe v. Wade.' This occurred of God. Unlike non-human life, in 1973, fifty-one years ago today, we are made like God rationally, Approximately one and one-half morally, and spiritually. That is million babies are aborted every why the taking of innocent human year. By that estimate, over 75 life is so tragic. Unfortunately our million babies have been killed in world is becoming more and more the United States during that time. bio-centric, valuing non-human life This represents many children (animals, trees, and the earth) above who would have become mothers human life. and fathers, students and teachers, Those who favor abortion, in this workers, and by now grand-parents, writer's opinion, have two wrong This is a great loss for our land. views of the control of life. First, This is a blot on our land. Each life is not to be controlled by gov- year it is important to reflect on this emment agencies. God never gave fact, and pray for those efforts that the government the fight to deter- are being made to change the law mine which humans are persons so that lives may be saved. We and which persons have a right to can rejoice that in 1984 President live. A country called Germany tried that under the rule of Hitler and Reagan established January 22 as "National Sanctity of Human Life millions of innocent people died. Day." Our nation practiced this prior to What is abortion? It is the tak- the Civil War and a whole race of ing of human life before birth. The people were treated as mere prop- pro-abortion lobby has changed the erty to be bought and sold. terminology to call an unborn child Second, life is not to be con- a fetus while just a few days, weeks trolled by selfish choices. Freedom or months later as a newborn it is is not the power to do whatever you called a baby. Abortion is called wish to do, with your own body a choice. Surely no one is against or that of another. Freedom is the i //ii ii: i~~ power to do what is right, ing to the Lord (praying). I spent There is also an increasing attack that summer back in the 70's having on elderly life. Euthanasia is a a very serious time with God. He growing problem. Some of our started showing me how ignorant I states have laws allowing for assist- was about Him! People were fasting ed suicide, and others are consider- and praying for me; there is a spiri- ing it. When life is treated with tual battle going on and the enemy such disdain, we are not far from the of our soul is real as is hell. Several garbage heap as a society, months later I had a real born again What can we do? We certainly experience with Jesus and I am so need to pray for America. We thankful. need to support pro-life agencies I'm told that the major such as the National Right to Life, Universities in America are being Carenet, and all of the pregnancy "flooded" with this "Middle East" care centers that have been estab- religion and the students are going lished across our land. Finally, we for it, hook, line and sinker. The need to have compassion on those book of this and the book of that who are victims of the abortion is being accepted but Jesus and the industry. God forgives any sin, Bible are not cool with them??? no matter what we have done, if Why the lie and not the truth? we come to Him through His Son The Lord says, "In that day I will with repentance and faith. Where set about to destroy all the nations sin abounded, grace did much more that come against Jerusalem. I will abound (Romans 5:20b). pour out on the house of David and Pastor Rob Adams on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the www.ibcwestbrook.org Spirit of grace and of supplication, Real born again so that they will look on ME whom experience they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for I was talking to a nice young man an only son. They will weep bitterly some time back and I was asking over Him like the bitter weeping him if he knew his Grandmother over a firstborn." Zechariah 12:9- started a revival in Westbrook? 10. "I will destroy all the nations "No," he said. I went on to tell him that come against Jerusalem." What she did and had quite an influence are these nations that surround Israel on me and I believe this town. It was and hate them? Why do "they,' say- brought to my attention that I need- "We will destroy Israel on Saturday ed to be born again. Oh! I thought I and the U.S. on Sunday?" Why can't was a Christian! Well, I decided to our educated see the writing on the spend some time studying and talk- wall? Who is the deceiver they are listening to? It certainly is not Jesus! Jesus says, "Keep seeking, keep knocking, keep asking if you want to know the truth!" Jesus will show you the truth! In John 10:27 Jesus says, "My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me." vs. 25-26 He says, "I told you and you do not believe--but you do not believe because you are not of my sheep." Some bible teachers say the Laodicean Church of Rev 3:14-22 is the church in it's f'mal state of apos- tasy and I agree...vs. 16 says "You are lukewarm and I will spit you out"...you say, "I am rich and have become wealthy and have need of nothing." Do you not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked and are in desperate need of some eye salve from Jesus so yon might see? You must overcome the lie. Ron Sletten (ISSN 8750-3905) Thomas Merchant Managing Editor Junette Merchant Office &Production Joan Spielman Ad Representative & Office 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 $45.00 per year. Elsewhere in Minnesota $49.00 per year. Out of the state $55.00 per year. Canada and foreign countries inquire at the Sentinel Tribune Office. 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