Friday's Weekend Column
The Cold Has Hit

by James Glaser
November 7, 2003

Thursday morning it was eight degrees above and on the way over to the workshop I saw something green under the snow, my water hose. I was so sure I had everything put away for winter. I got to the workshop and the furnace had gone out and it was thirty four in there. I really hate working on heating equipment in the cold.

It was even hard lighting the pilot light. You have to hold the red button in for a minute after you light it and for sure, when you let up it goes out and you have to start all over again. Well it is working just fine now and hopefully in a week or so I will have put the new furnace in.

Friday morning I am going to Willow River High School to talk to a hundred and eighty students about America and war. If you have been reading this column you know that I don't see eye to eye with President Bush and his ideas for America. In many countries around this world I would be shot for expressing my ideas in public. Not here.

Here in America we have something called Freedom. George Bush thinks there are all sorts of people the world over that hate Freedom. In fact he thinks these people hate freedom so much, they would kill anyone that wanted to give them some.

So that is how I am going to start out my talk. I am going to tell these young Americans that many people die every year trying to get to our country, so they can experience what it is to live in Freedom. People die in the deserts of our South West trying to sneak in from Mexico, people ship themselves from China in shipping containers because they want Freedom. Cubans will even try to make a pontoon boat out of a 1947 Chevy pickup, put on an outboard motor and head to Florida, all because they want some freedom.

Terrorists want freedom too. In Iraq it is freedom from us. Now that they have tasted freedom, because we got rid of Saddam, they know they can only have real freedom by kicking us out of their country. It is hard to feel free with a hundred and some thousand foreign troops running around your country, armed to the teeth, ready to kill anyone they don't like and they can't even speak your language. Washington is trying to hurry the Iraqis into writing their own constitution, I think it took our founding fathers eight years to get ours done.

Those terrorists in Palestine want freedom from the Israeli occupation. Remember hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been living in refugee camps for generations now, waiting and hoping for freedom.

People will risk their lives to get Freedom and people will kill to get Freedom. George Bush thinks people will risk their lives and kill people to stop themselves from having freedom.

I hope that I can get these young people interested enough to look up what I have to say and see if I am right. I want to tell them about the five young Americans that fought and died in Vietnam at the age of sixteen. In most of the world these Juniors and Seniors would be adults, so I want them to start thinking like some adults and start figuring out what kind of country they want. To be free you have to ask questions of anyone in a position of authority.

Saturday morning is the start of the Minnesota Firearms Deer Season. The State makes millions of dollars off of the license fees. Northern Minnesota makes more by hosting the event. Friday night is the VFW Ladies Auxiliary Hunters Supper. Turkey and all the trimmings for a free will offering. They do a great job and everyone in the Auxiliary brings their best dish. Wow! I am getting hungry already.

Our road will have hunters driving up and down it all day. There is no public land on our road which is a loop off of the black top and is three miles long. There are some fields, some woods and several seasonal cabins. We also have lots and lots of deer. "Road Hunters," those that drive around in their cars and trucks looking, will shoot a deer any where they think they can get away with it. Over the years I have had hunters walk right through my yard, twenty feet from the house, so intent on spotting a deer, they jump when I yell at them. They had no idea they were near a home as that is totally illegal. These are the people that scare me.

All most all of the hunters are fine though. Real sportsmen that follow the rules and many will tell you that the time spent with their friends at night in their hunting shack or cabin, cooking an early breakfast with friends, sitting quietly in their stand, and just talking about what they saw that day with fellow hunters is more important than getting a deer.

Some days you won't hear a shot all day long and on other days there will be shooting in every direction. I sure hope this is a safe season. I seems like more and more our First Responders are called for heart attacks and accidental self inflicted gunshot wounds. Of course every year there are more and more hunters. The sad thing is that most schools in the state no longer have Firearms Safety as a course students can take.

I took it, my son took it and I gave it to my two daughters too. It doesn't matter if they never hunt, it instills respect for firearms in them. Our VFW sponsors the course for our area youth and it makes every one feel better knowing that every young hunter in the area has had this training.

If I hunt, it will be during the week as about 85% of all the weekend hunters leave on Monday. Fresh venison is great for maybe one meal. Some people really crave it, most people up here had to eat so much of it growing up, that they can do without it.

We do need the hunters though as there are little herds of deer all over. It would be nice if some one thinned the number in my yard.

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