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June 19, 2013     Sentinel Tribune
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SENTINEL TRIBUNE 00/rlEWPOINT Wednesday, June 19, 2013 Page 4 BETWEEN THE LINES By Tom Merchant - Sentinel Tribune -- tmerchant@ncppub.com Right to Privacy etc? In 1771 our fore fathers set out to define constitutional rights in the United States. The first ten amendments are known as the Bill of Rights. After reading the definition of most of those rights, even with respect to later amendments, the framers were writing these amendments specifically to reflect the times they were in. Amendment number III is a good example of that. It became an amendment from complaints against the British, who forced people to take soldiers into their homes. While the amendment is still valid, it seems rather unlikely that it would be invoked in our time. I suspect the second amend- ment, the so called Right to Bear Arms, was not written to insure individual rights, but to prevent congress from disarming state militia. I have to believe, if those who wrote the amendment, had written it today, they would likely have been more specific in light of changes in modern weaponry. However it only prohibits the national government from limit- ing the right to carry weapons. But individual states do have the right to limit or restrict weapons. This is a reflection to the tenth amendment which deals with states rights. Recently there has been quite a bit of controversy over privacy rights, in regards to the National Security Administration collect- ing phone records of millions of Verizon customers. As Sid Hartman would say "Big Deal," actually we as Americans have been giving up our privacy for many years. This came to light earlier, after 911, when the Patriot Act was adopted giving the federal govlernment the right to gather in'fOrmation to help prevent future terrorist attacks. According to the head of the NSA many terror plots have been foiled as a result of this power. Can there be misuse of this, I suspect so. There is always a chance that someone will misuse just about anything for money, power, or even terror. But I always am optimistic about peo- ple in general. I heard a recent poll that indicated about 78 percent of people thought it was okay to use information gained through phone and internet snooping by the government to help catch people suspected of being terrorist. Another poll indicated that only 36 percent of people wanted the government using these methods to monitor ordinary citizens. Really! So think about it, how in the heck 'are they going to deter- mine who are ordinary citizens? This is really a no brainer, and apparently the other 64 percent have not really given much thought to this simple math prob- lem. If you are really concerned about your privacy you should be really concerned with cyber crim- inals who are out there trying to steal your identity. We are giving business, loads of information about who we are and what we do. Most of the time you don't have a clue as to what they are doing, fortunately most of the information you are giving up is fairly harmless. But it can be real- ly annoying when you get a call from a telemarketer at supper time for any reason, especially when you are on the do not call list. It is pretty amazing to Google your name and look under images at how much stuff will come up, most of it is only sec- ondary, but sometimes it is not. Of course pretty much any- thing you post on the internet will stay in cyberspace for a long time, at least as long as the inter- net is around. NSA is NOT actually listen- ing to peoples conversations, but if the government wants to know where I am going out to eat and other mundane things, I really don't care. It is probably unfortu- nate that we must give up some of our privacy, but that is just a sign of the times. I really don't see anything in the amendments that relates to personal privacy, other than the fourth amendment which prevents the government from unreason- able search and seizure. When they talk about trans- parency in government, I don't expect the government to be transparent in regards to terrorism or military secrets. There are some things that we shouldn't want the bad guys to know about. At any rate I will not lose any sleep over the whole thing, because there is not much you or I can do about it anyway. Have a great week and do good! d) @ AI Bat00. . . "Stories from the BaH Cave" Compared to what? A giant meteor hadn't destroyed the earth during the night. That made it a good day. I stepped in a hole dug by a bad- ger as I chased some sparrows across a grassy prairie while doing a bird count for a state park. It fell, but I emerged from the adventure uninjured. I credit my ability to remain unscathed in such mishaps to a lifetime of using my shinbone as a device for finding furniture in the dark. It was no tornado in Oklahoma. That made it a good day. A Florida lottery player is richer by $590.5 million as the winner of the highest Powerball jackpot in history. I didn't win because I've never purchased a lottery ticket. The buck stopped before it got there. I'm ahead by a dollar. That made for a good day. I walked through an area with a heavy concentration of wood ticks. That put a hop in my step. The day was cool. Others complained about the temperature. I was happy that it wasn't too hot. That made for a good day. Once upon a time, I was interest- ed in amateur radio. I built short- wave radios and antennas. Despite being a profound doofus, I learned Morse Code. I transmitted text information as a series of electrical impulses by use of a telegraph key that resulted in standardized sequences of short and long signals called dots and dashes or dits and dahs. I sent them in an order like this, ". ..... -...-.. ---," which I think means "hello," but I'm not sure. You see, I've forgotten what Morse Code I knew. I hadn't thought about my failed recollection of Morse Code for many years until I was waiting to go on stage in Nebraska. Performing ahead of me was a woman who tap danced. She was good and a tough act to follow. Then it occurred to me that if I understood Morse Code, a tap dancer would drive me crazy. That made for a good day. One pleasant moming, my wife and I went to the zoo to see the critters and the people looking at the critters. I had a slight sore throat. I didn't like to whine about it, but I'm a husband. I have to whine about things. It's not only my duty, it was a part of my wed- ding vows. We stopped to look at the giraffes. I hadn't spent much time looking up when I decided that I was pleased I wasn't a giraffe with a sore throat. That made for a good day. A friend tried to talk me into bowling. I don't want to bowl. Bowling is a fine sport/activity, but I bird. I'm a birder, not a bowler. I consider birding a rip-roaring good time. rll admit that I was weaken- ing. I thought about becoming a bowler. I could bird while bowling. Then I read in the newspaper about a Florida man who acciden- tally shot himself in the leg while bowling. That's why I'm not a bowler. That made for a good day. Generally, I don't compare myself to others. I don't believe in comparing what I do with what others do. There are instances when that is useful or necessary. Mostly, it serves no purpose other than to aggravate or dishearten. We are all different. We are who we are. We do what we do. We shouldn't encourage comparisons. Once upon a time, long, long ago, there were two contemptible brothers who lived in Hartland. They were rich, having obtained their money in any way possible. The brothers attended church regu- larly in an effort to present them- selves as upright citizens. A new pastor, one who believed in putting the hay down where the cows could get at it, initiated a fundraising campaign to build a new church. Not long after the drive had begun, one of the brothers died. The other brother sought out the pastor the day before the funeral and gave him a check for the amount needed to finish paying for the new build- ing. "I have only one condition," he said. "At my brother's funeral, you must say that he was a saint." The pastor gave his word and deposited the check in the bank. / At the funeral, the blunt pastor didn't hold back. "He was an evil man," he said about the deceased. "He cheated not only in his busi- ness dealings, but in every other aspect of his life." The clergyman concluded by saying, "But compared to his broth- er, he was a saint." A1 Batt 2013 71622 325 St. 1-1, MN 56042 http://albatt.net/ Cuts to the Foo(00 Stamp Program Wall Mean More Hungry Children and n00ilies American Forum By Dr. Ed Ivancic The American medical community has been concerned for some time about the reality of hunger and mal- nutrition in our nation. Nutrition is paramount to health and survival, especially for young children who are more susceptible to illness and long-term health problems without proper nutrition. In the first year of life, the human brain grows rapidly to almost 2/3 the size of an adult brain. Nerve tis- sues become insulated with myelin, letting different parts of the brain communicate better and faster. Infants and toddlers learn and retain new knowledge by means of these complex connections between brain cells. Healthy brain development is dependent on adequate nutrition. Child malnutrition stunts brain development and how quickly and well a child can learn. Damage from malnutrition in the first year of life is irreversible. This is why many members of the medical community are very con- cerned about the recently proposed cuts to food stamps in the Farm bills passed by theAgriculture Committee in the House, and the Farm bill passed by the full Senate. Food stamps or SNAP, the nation's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is part of the Farm Bill because it was initially set up by Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression, when farmers had sur- plus food crops and many Americans did not have enough to eat. Food Stamps became part of Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty in the 1960's, and the program has histori- cally been supported by congress- men and presidents of both parties. Until now. The House Agriculture Committee has passed the most dra- conian cuts to the food stamp pro- gram: $20.5 billion over the next decade or Five times what is pro- posed by the Senate. About 2 mil- lion people would be dropped from the food stamp program under the House plan. Among the myths heard around town about SNAP is, "Food stamp users don't shop wisely and buy too many steaks." However, two recent USDA studies show that the diet of food stamp users is not much differ- ent from that of non-users with one major difference: food stamp users fmd that cost often defeats their best efforts to provide well-balanced meals to their families. The meats purchased with food stamps are most often chicken, hamburger, and pork. Almost all food stamp users buy large amounts of non-perish- ables such as rice, pasta, beans, and canned goods. Most bypass fresh vegetables and fruits, trying to man- age cost and minimize waste. Some of those pushing for the most severe cuts to food stamps this year, point to the rising number of food stamp recipients versus the decrease in the unemployment rate. What they are missing is that many workers who lost their jobs during the Great Recession have had to take pay cuts with their current jobs. Some could only fmd part-time work. This is why the ranks of the working poor have swelled in this recovery. A 2012 USDA report on food stamps found that 47% of those ben- efitting from the SNAP program are children. In 2011, 3.9 million American families with young chil- dren were Food Insecure and often could not provide enough healthy food to make it through the month. That 3.9 million is almost 10% of all American families with young chil- dren. And the proposed cuts to food stamps will only make the problem worse, with more hungry children and families. Government spending, as politi- cians like to tell us, is all about set- ting priorities. Surely making sure our poorest citizens, especially the children, have enough to eat should be one of our highest priorities. lvancic is the past president of the Mississippi Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Sentinel Tribune Thomas Merchant Junette Merchant Joan Spielman (ISSN 8750-3905) Managing Editor Office & Production Ad Representative & Office Published every Wednesday at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 Periodicals Postage Paid at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 SUBSCRIPTION PRICE FOR THE SENTINEL TRIBU|E WILL BE: In the following counties: Cottonwood, Redwood, anJ Murray $42.00 per year. Elsewhere in Minnesota $46.00 per year. Out ol the state $52.00 per year. Canada and foreign countries inquire at the Sentinel Tribune Office. If wrong amount is submitted subscrip- tion will be pro rated accordingly. "Snowbirds" may put their paper on hold at no extra charge while they are gone, or pay $5.00 extra to have it mailed out of state. 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