This and that

Friday, March 16, 2007

Big differences? Though I don't know the reasons for the recent termination of eight Democratic U.S. attorneys, a little history would include the firing by President Clinton of 93 of 94 Republican U.S. attorneys two months after he was sworn in as president, including some in the final stages of criminal investigations. That was the first such mass firing in the history of U.S. attorneys.

I just finished the book "Exile," a fiction novel about grievances between the Israelis and Palestinians. This novel deals with an enlightening history of some of the reasons for the deep-seated animosities and challenges in trying to reach a negotiated settlement between the two countries.

As the world grows smaller (not just flatter) by virtue of aviation travel-time reductions, we must learn more about its inhabitants.

But first we Americans need to learn more about the United States, its history, the capitalistic economic system and the freedoms that we and so few others have.

The freedom of the media to openly criticize and question the actions of our elected officials can become a two-edged sword when wielded by those who demagogue the uniformed or misinform for their own agendas.

The Internet is providing an opportunity for all to read columnists, newspapers and bloggers with a wide variety of opinions and philosophies -- too often not factually accurate. But one can filter through the inaccuracies if willing to take the time to fully research any issue of interest.

What we all need to be alert about is the intentional spreading of misinformation or spinning information to gain support for one's views. Et tu, Brutus.

The Missouri Legislature is trying to learn how to work together to achieve meaningful legislation for the state.

A football or basketball team filled with star players unwilling to work as a team to achieve victory seldom wins.

You can't run off-tackle and set up for a long pass on the same play. Not performing as a team to achieve a common goal rarely achieves anything.

Debate the plan of action and the goals to be achieved and then come to an agreed-upon plan of action.

Seeking the best (to you) can often be the enemy of the better or the good if nothing is achieved.

Former U.S. senator Tom Eagleton died last week. I've always admired the friendship between Eagleton and former senator Jack Danforth. Their sense of humor, intelligence and broad outlook on government superseded their areas of disagreement on policies.

Like most politicians, Eagleton was too often caught between his beliefs and that of his constituency, but at least you knew he knew what was right.

Big year for Cape Girardeau: Completion of the Rush H. Limbaugh Sr. Federal Building, the River Campus, the widening of Broadway, remodeling and utilization of the Sears building and 300 jobs provided by NARS, the start of the college farm underpass and technology park, the new expansion at the career and technology center, the Southeast Missouri State University swimming pool.

In the last four years there have been many street widenings and new buildings (commercial and residential). And with the new public library on the drawing board and the DREAM initiative downtown, one can appreciate that we are in a growing community (70,000 people in the county) which is keeping up with its infrastructure needs, thanks to our past and present leadership and the willingness of our voters to support the costs of said improvements.

Gary Rust is chairman of Rust Communications.

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