Census, Beck, health care and e-mail profundity

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The recently released 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data showed the city of St. Louis population declining from 856,796 in 1950 to 319,284. Reason enough for the city to continue its analysis to become part of St. Louis County.

Note: Greater St. Louis' population is 2,845,298; Kansas City has a population of about 485,000 and a Greater Kansas City population of about two million.

Also, I agree with St. Louis Mayor Slay's efforts to bring the St. Louis police force under the direction of the mayor of St. Louis.

The census figures showed continued growth in Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau County and Jackson. Also it puts this area on the retail and MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) maps.

I can't imagine the traffic jams we would be witnessing in Cape Girardeau if the farsighted leadership and citizens had not passed the transportation tax and improved the street infrastructure. Just note the present heavy traffic during rush hours.

The West Park Mall's (recently sold) marketing package promotes 110,000 people within a 20-mile radius of Cape Girardeau. A 40-mile radius easily passes 150,000 people who use this area as their major shopping, health, job and higher education destination.

The 2012 elections are generating the announcement of candidates (especially Republicans in Missouri), as many are stepping up because of term limitations.

I urge you to read and inform yourself.

The most interesting and informative television program is Glenn Beck at the awkward time of 4 to 5 p.m. It will be hard to get up to speed on his reports, which are being verified as accurate weeks or even months after his original predictions.

His media image and criticism by others -- like some take Rush Limbaugh out of context -- deserve your own evaluation after reading his book or watching his TV program.

Beck doesn't ask you to believe but to explore his content for your own conclusions. Incidentally, his book "The Overton Window" is one of the best thriller novels published in the last 12 months.

I recently mentioned that there must be at least 6,000 people employed in the medical community in Cape Girardeau County and was told it was more like 8,000. Certainly the largest employee category in the area.

We're blessed with outstanding physicians and care givers. Also two of the finest, most progressively equipped hospital facilities in the Midwest.

Recent expansions by Saint Francis Medical Center and SoutheastHEALTH have also kept area construction personnel busy during these slower economic times.

Why the apology?

At a time when our president and other politicians tend to apologize for our country's prior actions, here's a refresher on how some of our former patriots handled negative comments about our country.

JFK's Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early '60s when DeGaulle decided to pull out of NATO. DeGaulle said he wanted all U.S. military out of France as soon a possible. Rusk responded, "Does that include those who are buried here?"

DeGaulle did not respond.

You could have heard a pin drop.

When in England at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of 'empire building' by George Bush. He answered by saying, "Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return."

You could have heard a pin drop.

There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying, "Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intend to do, bomb them?"

A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: "Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?"

You could have heard a pin drop.

A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks, but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked, "Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?"

Without hesitating, the American admiral replied, "Maybe it's because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German."

You could have heard a pin drop.

And this story fits right in with the above...

Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.

"You have been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked sarcastically.

Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.

"Then you should know enough to have your passport ready."

The American said, "The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it."

"Impossible. ... Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France!"

The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained, "Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find a single Frenchman to show a passport to."

You could have heard a pin drop.

-- Unverified e-mail sent by a friend

Gary Rust is chairman of Rust Communications.

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