Residency, citizenship cleared up

Monday, June 28, 2004

If you have a question, e-mail or call Speak Out (334-5111) and identify your call as a question for "Fact or Fiction?"Q: Is it true that former city manager Mike Miller is still in the Cape Girardeau area?

A: "Yes. I'm enjoying being an ordinary citizen," said the long-time city manager, who described himself as semiretired and very active.

Q: I have heard several people react to Alan Journet's letters to the editor by accusing him of not being an American citizen. I've been told he is a citizen of Australia, New Zealand, England or Canada. I've also been told he is an American citizen. Who's right?

A: Journet, who is a frequent contributor to the letters to the editor section of the Southeast Missourian opinion page, is a U.S. citizen.

"I was born north of London but grew up mainly east of London in Essex," Journet wrote me in an e-mail. "After attending undergraduate school in Wales I attended graduate school in Canada at McGill University in Montreal before spending four years in Australia -- during the first two of which I held a post-doctoral fellowship at the Australian National University followed by two years teaching at the University of new South Wales. Then, following two years at Texas A&M University, I moved (Ba-Boom) to Missouri (here!) in the United States.

"I think Peter Kinder was the first who used the columns of the Southeast Missourian to attack my ideas on the grounds that I was not an American citizen -- as though that somehow made the opinions I expressed illegitimate or detracted from their value. It has always seemed to me that to attack the bearer of ideas rather than address the ideas themselves is an ancient tactic -- and one that holds no merit.

"Bottom line, for those who care, is that I am an American citizen and have been voting here for about 15 years."

Q: Is the Tom Hanks movie "The Terminal" a true story?

A: No. But it was inspired by the true story of Merhan Karimi Nasseri, who has lived in the Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris since Aug. 26, 1988. Stuck there originally because of questions about his identity and the lack of official documents, Nasseri has at different times been eligible to leave the airport but has chosen not to do so. Media reports indicate questions about his mental health.

Jon K. Rust is co-president of Rust Communications.

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