Quick glance around our state, nation

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 28, 2001


Sam R. Hall

The Natchez Democrat

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There’s too much to say or not enough to say. Either way, here’s a whirlwind look around our state and nation:

Patriotism in business

Since Sept. 11, television, radio and newspapers have been inundated with businesses showing how “American” and “patriotic” they are.

Trustmark National Bank plastered American flags on billboards with their logo prominently displayed. Car dealerships were tasteless as they encouraged Americans to buy a car to “help the economy.” Miskelly, a Pearl-based furniture company, had the worst ads, their sappy, melodramas about absolutely nothing with their logo at the end and some stupid phrase about how much they care.

If these people really cared, they would have posted billboards and ran ads without such an emphasis on their own business. They would have joined with other companies to run big ads that actually focused on America without ending in commercialism.

I’m very much pro-business, but to take advantage of a tragedy to show you “care” is tasteless.

But true patriotism in business was shown by companies like 18 Lumber and Home Depot, who rolled their trucks full of nails, plywood and plastic to Madison County and other areas of the state that were damaged by recent tornadoes. No showy displays, just an eagerness to help their fellow man in need.

Legislature stands alone

Since taking office, President Bush has worked for an economic stimulus package, one passed earlier in the form of a tax rebate.

Since Sept. 11, Congress has been looking at a second economic stimulus package to help a sagging economy.

Monday, the National Bureau of Economic Research, the recognized arbiter of when recessions begin and end in the United States, said the nation has been in a recession since last spring.

Delta businesses are laying off workers or pulling out. Local businesses – no matter your community – are doing the same. Small businesses are folding or cutting costs. Auto sales are down. The state of Mississippi is gouging itself of $66 million through budget cuts.

But the Legislature is passing a budget based on a 4.3 percent growth projection including state employee pay raises. How stupid can one collective group be?

Necessary evil?

Human cloning.

“We have caught the first glimpse of our own instruction book, previously known only to God,” Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, is quoted as saying in 2000, at the announcement that the human gene map is 99 percent complete.

“It does heighten my religious consciousness,” said Ari Patrinos following the above announcement. Patrinos ran the Energy Department’s biological research as one of five key labs.

And now, Advanced Cell Technology of Worcester, Mass., has announced they have cloned a human embryo.

Does it take a scientist to figure out the next step? Even our legislators could get this one.

And the game is afoot.

Sam R. Hall is managing editor of The Democrat. He can be reached at (601) 445-3552 or by e-mail to sam.hall@natchezdemocrat.com. &160;