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November 3, 2010     Sentinel Tribune
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November 3, 2010

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SENTINEL TRIBUNE VIEWPOINT Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Page 4 BETWEEN THE LINES By Tom Merchant - Sentinel Tribune -- The Great Pumpkin... was the little lad as every year Charles Schulz was prob- he tried to convince his friends ably one of the greatest car- that the Great Pumpkin was toonist of all time. I don't real even though each year he remember when I first started waited in the pumpkin patch reading the "Peanuts" cartoon often falling asleep and being strip I imagine it was some brought home by his sister time in the sixties. I remember Lucy. Each year his resolve some of the classics like when becomes stronger only to end every year Lucy holds the foot- the evening in total despair ball for Charlie Brown for him and disappointment. to kick, then pulls it away at the It sort of reminds me of last second and falls flat on his what has happened to our back. Amazingly every fall for political system. the fifty years of its existence It has turned into a Great the same thing happened to Pumpkin, and each year we all poor Charlie Brown. expect to get something better. Of Course who has not The Great Pumpkins spend had a run in with a kite eating millions of dollars trying to con- tree? The tree always got vince us why one party's Charlie Brown's kite and some- pumpkins are better than the times it even got Charlie other guys. But lately it seems Brown.the pumpkins are spending Then in the spring Charlie more and more money telling Brown always had high hopes us what's wrong with the other his neighborhood baseball pumpkins. team would surely win a game. Well, tomorrow - November Even though every year he 2, we will go down and vote for endures defeat all season long. the pumpkins we think are best Snoopy, Charlie Brown's and we will no doubt get rid of dog, is a multi talented canine, some of the so called rotten He is the World War I fighter pumpkins, but then they will pilot always seeking the only be replaced by some more Red Baron. Snoopy also is a bad pumpkins. Meanwhile we novelist of sorts and he also will continue to wait in the leads his troop of birds on pumpkin patch for the Great expeditions of all sorts. He is Pumpkin. Sadly though, it definitely my type of dog. appears that we to will fall Schroeder the classical asleep in the pumpkin patch pianist always has to fend off waiting while nothing will really the affections of Lucy who is change. hopelessly in love with him. In the Sunday edition of Lucy also has a sideline job as the Star Tribune Linus gets a psychiatrist, probably the help from Lucy to mail the let- only place left you can get ter asking the Great Pumpkin advice for a nickel, to bring her lots of present too. Of course there are many As he is standing on her back other interesting characters, to mail the letter she says, but one of my favorites is Linus, "Greed makes people do Lucy's litt!e brother. Linus who strange things." I guess that always carried his favorite sums up how i feel about what blanket had the idea that there has happened to our political was a Santa Claus like a pump- system. kin that descended on every Halloween night to bring little Have a great week and do kids gifts and candy. But woe good! DNR expects good season for Minnesota deer hunters Hunters who venture into field and forest for Minnesota's fire- arms deer season can expect a good deer season and ample hunt- ing opportunities, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). "We can't guarantee harvest success," said Lou Comicelli, the DNR's Big Game Program coordi- nator. "But we can assure hunters that good deer hunting opportuni- ties exist throughout Minnesota." Nearly 500,000 people are expected to participate in the fire- arms deer season, which opens Saturday, Nov. 6, throughout Minnesota. Last year, 32 percent of Minnesota's firearms deer hunt- ers were successful. Minnesota's whitetail deer pop- ulation is about 1 million. In a historical context, too many deer were taken during the 1960s. Rebuilding the deer herd began in 1970s and concluded in the 1990s. Now DNR is managing the herd toward population goals estab- lished with public input. "We are at or nearing those goals throughout most of the state," Cornicelli said. "As those population goals are met, particu- larly in areas that were overpopu- lated, hunting regulations move from liberal to conservative and are adjusted based on deer man- agement needs." During a time of liberal hunting regulations, Minnesota's deer har- vest peaked in 2003 at 290,000. DNR continues to issue fewer either-sex permits than it did seven years ago and Cornicelli expects the harvest should be similar to the 194,000 deer harvested in 2009. The one big difference this year compared to last is the majority of standing corn will be cut by the time the deer season opens, Cornicelli said. Last year, 80 per- cent of the state's corn crop was still in the fields on the deer open- er. Corn provides ample standing cover and can significantly impact deer harvest. The firearms deer season con- cludes in the northern Minnesota on Sunday, Nov. 21, and Sunday, Nov. 14, in all other parts of the state. A late season in southeastern Minnesota that stretches from Watertown in the north to Caledonia in the south opens Saturday, Nov. 20, and closes Sunday, Nov. 28. Subscribe to the Sentinel Tribune AI Batt, . . "Stones from the Batt Cave" Election 2010 We were knee-deep in a pile of elections. The election process is impor- tant to us. It's a time when we discover which way the hot air blows. It gives us someone to blame for all our problems. It's when we elect new people to do the same old things. Hype springs eternal. Every candidate is in favor of spending--spending time in office. That's why some fairy tales begin with, "If elected, I promise..." Each election, I wish for civil discourse without rancor and wonder if an election sign has ever changed a voter's mind. Election campaigns are like cleaning windows -- the dirt is always on the other side. Those who throw mud seem to gain ground. TVs need windshield wipers and washers. There were so many debates that some folks wished they had been replaced with fistfights. I appreciate those who serve, but would anyone be able to beat Homer Simpson if he chooses to run? My neighbor Crandall, who believes that tax cuts dispropor- tionately reward those who pay taxes, enjoyed all the politicians stating their cases on radio and TV. He reasoned, "If a rattle- snake doesn't rattle, you won't know it's there." Crandall votes for the candi- dates who promise the least. He's less disappointed that way. It's not easy being in office. It has to be easier to support most bills than it is to lift them. It's more difficult to remove the pork from Congress than it is to remove the pork from a pig. Lobbyists'cause problems. Remember Gilbert Bates? He was Beaver's friend on Leave It to Beaver. Gilbert was always talking the Beav into doing something that got Beaver in trouble. A member of Congress is Beaver Cleaver and the average lobbyist is Gilbert. You wake up one morning and you are a liberal or a conserva- tive. There's nothing anyone can do about it. For instance, my neighbor TWGD (The World's Greatest Democrat) was dis- cussing the upcoming election at a Loafers' Club Meeting--at these gatherings we do noth- ing for an hour, talk about how we could do less, and then go home to rest. TWGD was butting heads with a staunch Republican. Each tried to con- vince the other to switch sideS, but it was to no avail. Finally, TWGD said to the other, "Look, it's clear that we are unalterably opposed on every political issue. Our votes will cancel each other. Why not save ourselves time and both agree to not vote?" The other agreed enthusiasti- cally and they shook hands. As TWGD walked by, I com- mented that I was amazed he would relinquish his vote|or one of another. TWGD said, "1 would never do that. This is the sixth time today I've canceled another's vote." The story is told of a Senator who died. His soul arrived at the Pearly Gates and was met by St. Peter. "Welcome to heaven," said St. Peter. "We seldom see someone like you here, so we're not sure what to do with you." "No problem, just let me in," said the Senator. 'Tm going to have you spend one day in hell and one in heav- en. Then you can choose where to spend eternity," directed St. Peter. St. Peter escorted the Senator to the elevator down to hell. The doors opened and the Senator found himself on a golf course. Standing by the clubhouse were his friends and politicians who had worked with him. Everyone was happy. They greeted him, shook his hand, and reminisced about the good times. They played golf, danced, and dined on lobster, caviar, and champagne. Everyone gave the Senator a hearty farewell and waved while the elevator ascended and the door reopened to heaven. "It's time to visit heaven," said St. Peter. The Senator joined a group of contented souls playing harps and singing joyously. "You've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Choose your eternity," said St. Peter. The Senator reflected a moment before saying, "1 think rd be better off in hell." He descended in the eleva- tor. The doors opened and the Senator found himself armpit- deep in waste and garbage. His friends were in the same pre- dicament. The Senator said, "1 was here yesterday and there, was a golf course, we ate lobster and cav- iar, drank champagne, danced, and had a great time. Now it's a wasteland full of garbage and my friends are miserable. What happened?" The devil smiled and said, "Yesterday we were campaign- ing. Today you voted." I'm a voting enthusiast. I stayed up late to see the elec- tion results. Someone claimed that one candidate had six toes. That candidate is outraged and has demanded a recount. I am thankful that ballots and not bullets decide our elections. AI Batt 2010 71622 325 St. 1-1, MN 56042 Sentinel Tribune (ISSN 8750-3905) Thomas Merchant Managing Editor Junette Merchant Office & Production Joan Spielman Office & Production Jessica Noding 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. Elsewhere in Minnesota $42.00 per year. Out of the state $48.00 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. Missed copies cannot be furnished because the cost of mailing single copies is about $2.00 Any request for a back copy must include $3.00. Newstand price is $1.00 per copy. 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