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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • That's What I Think: Preaching to the raccoons

  • Last weekend, I went up to Moniteau County to see my parents. They are in their 80s and still going strong. In fact, my dad, a retired shop teacher, still works part-time as a barber, the job he had before he became a teacher. My mother still volunteers on projects at their church. Both get out and work in the gardens.
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  • Last weekend, I went up to Moniteau County to see my parents. They are in their 80s and still going strong. In fact, my dad, a retired shop teacher, still works part-time as a barber, the job he had before he became a teacher. My mother still volunteers on projects at their church. Both get out and work in the gardens.
    While helping my dad till up a patch of one garden for a fall crop, I saw something like a metal box with some kind of plastic cover over it sitting on a stool next to the rows of corn.
    “What’s that?” I said.
    “Radio,” my dad said.
    “Radio?” I said.
    “It plays all night. It keeps the coons away from my roastin’ ears,” he said. “I’ve got it tuned to Bott radio.”
    “Preaching?” I said.
    “Well, I didn’t want to put music on all night. The coons might think it was a dinner party,” he said. “So I put it on Bott. I figured human voices all night long would keep them away. It’s worked so far.”
    Later, after dark, I went out to my car to get my overnight bag. I heard someone preaching the gospel. It startled me at first, but quickly I recalled my dad’s plan to keep the raccoons away.
    Inside, I said to my mom, “Well, I could hear someone preaching in the garden, so I guess the coons can hear it, too.”
    “Yes,” she laughed. “So far, the preaching is saving our corn anyway.”
    That’s my gardening tip, courtesy of my parents, for this season.
    ———
    Here’s a reminder that some of you might have missed in one of my city council reports last week.
    Walmart has refiled a request for rezoning on the property near the 18th Street and Forum Drive roundabout.
    Although the request was filed in time for the Rolla Planning and Zoning Commission to take it up at the September meeting, Walmart asked that it be placed on the commission’s October agenda.
    So the rezoning request will be heard and considered by the P&Z commission at the Oct. 14 meeting, not the Sept. 9 meeting. The commission will hold a public hearing and make a recommendation.
    Then on Oct. 20, the council will hear the commission’s recommendation, hold its own public hearing and hear at least the first reading of the ordinance.
    Keep an eye on the legal notices section of this newspaper every day.
    Page 2 of 2 - ———
    A young man named, of all things, Douglas McArthur McCain, was the first American to die while fighting for ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, a terrorist group.
    According to the Washington Post, “His early life was one slice of Americana after another: He followed the Chicago Bulls, was a fan of Michael Jordan, watched ‘The Simpsons’ and developed an affinity for Pizza Hut. After moving to the Minneapolis area as a boy, he played basketball in high school, though classmates tell reporters he wasn’t any good.”
    NBC News quoted a McCain classmate as saying “He was a goofball in high school. Doug was a fun guy to be around. Played basketball, joked a lot, had a small sense of humor. Got along with most…. Wasn’t the best athlete, but liked to play.”
    The San Diego Union-Tribute quoted a McCain friend as saying “He was just a regular American kid.”
    McCain converted to Islam some years ago and apparently saw ISIS as a way to serve Allah.
    ISIS has been beheading people and doing all sorts of other evil things for Allah.
    The government has not told us whether the “regular American kid” was one of those serving Allah by cutting off heads.
    I find that description “just a regular American kid” chilling, especially when paired up with a Business Insider report, based on official government statements that over 1,000 Westerners are fighting with ISIS.
    Business Insider prepared a chart that showed 700 recruits from France, 400 from the U.K., 320 from Germany, 250 from Belgium, 200 from Australia, 130 from the Netherlands, 100 from Canada, 100 from the U.S. and 51 from Spain.
    “The figures demonstrate alarming numbers from the U.K. and France in particular. In both countries, the integration of immigrant communities — and Islamic communities in particular— remains a hot-button political issue,” Business Insider reported. “Per capita, Belgium is the biggest source of western ISIS recruits.”
    And then add in this from Reuters: “General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said officials were worried about the possibility that European or U.S. nationals, radicalized after fighting in Iraq or Syria, would return to their home countries.”
    Only 100 Muslims from the U.S. have gone off to fight with ISIS, and perhaps some more of them will be killed. Some will return home, though. Any ideas on what they might do?

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