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Editorials • Commentary • Letters


Wednesday and the Weekend
Our aim shall always be to promote the
best interests of the community we serve. We
shall print the news accwrately, impartially
and without favoritism as far as humanly
possible. Editorially, we reserve the right to
speak out freely and without fear, and will
fight to the limit of our ability to reserve that
right for all others.


Another Mercy Honor

ercy Hospital Washington is honor-rich
because it rates so high in
performance in delivering
health care. The honors
are a reminder of how fortunate we are to have such
a facility to serve this area.
The latest honor Mercy
Hospital Washington has
received is to be named
one of the Top 100 Rural
& Community Hospitals in
the United States by The
Chartis Center for Rural
It is the only hospital in
Missouri to qualify for this
For patients and others
who are aware of the inner
workings of the hospital
here, the honor is a testimony to the commitment
by all of the associates of
the health care facility —
from the administrators to
the medical staff, nurses,
and other staff members
who play a role in serving
people in need of health
care. It is a honor for all
members of the staff, from
the board to housekeeping,
to the kitchen to landscaping, technicians, security
and all personnel serving
in the many offices. They
all share in this honor.

We are not saying the
hospital is perfect. It doesn’t
claim to be. We are saying the entire staff is committed to assigned tasks
and performs well in going
above and beyond the average in performance. That is
so important in health care.
Eric Eoloff, hospital
president, said it best: “We
don’t claim to be perfect,
but our health care teams
are working hard each day
to deliver compassionate
care and exceptional service.”
Utilizing 50 independent
indicators, the grading process assesses actions across
eight pillars of performance
that span market-value,
and finance-based categories in making comprehensive and objective assessments. The hospital is in
touch with its mission, said
Michael Topchik, an official
of the The Chartis Center
for Rural Health, in delivering better quality, better
outcomes and better patient satisfaction.
Commitment to its mission is what makes Mercy Hospital Washington
stand out in the health care
world. Congratulations, on
your latest honor.

Reading Night a Success


here are some people
who believe reading
printed matter is a relic of
years past. They should attend Family Reading Night
of which The Missourian
is the lead sponsor. The
printed words are alive and
The 20th annual Family
Reading Night was held last
Friday at Washington Middle School. Another crowd of
about 500 area adults and
children attended. After taking the Oath of Reading administered by Circuit Judge
Craig E. Hellmann, the children enjoyed a presentation
by Author/illustrator Peter
H. Reynolds of the Boston
area, who interacted very
well with the children while
reading and presenting his
newest book, “Be You!”
As usual, reading sessions were held in classrooms. Community leaders
and high school students
read books to the children.
There was a section in the
school lobby set aside for
creative activities, and the
Franklin County Humane
Society had dogs to pet in
the gym, which was a joyful
treat for children.
The finale was a performance of “The Boy Who
Cried Wolf” by the Washington Police Department.
More than 80 baskets,



buckets and bags of books
were given to children who
visited two or more reading
rooms and were eligible for
the drawings. The books
were donated by local organizations, businesses and
The theme for the night
was “Be a Reader.”
The Missourian is thankful to Dawn Kitchell, who
chaired the event as she
has for 20 years. Dawn is
the newspaper’s educational services director and
directs The Missourian’s
Newspaper In Education
program. Two of the other main sponsors are the
Washington School District
and the Washington Optimist Club. Support also is
given by Pepsi Cola Bottling
Co., New Haven, the WHS
football team, Washington
NEA, Washington Public
Library and Neighborhood
Reads Bookstore. The event
would not be possible without the help from the planning committee and more
than 100 volunteers. The
Missourian is thankful for
their assistance.
The free Family Reading
Night has become a tradition for this area. Its purpose is to encourage family reading. The program’s
popularity is evident from
the attendance it draws.

Sprucing Up History

t was good news to learn
that the Washington
Parks Department plans
to upgrade the old caboose
on Front Street next to the
train station. As a recreational point in that area
of the riverfront, it may
be a minor attraction, but
to children who visit and
play on it, it’s a joyful experience.
The caboose will be
painted along with the old
freight depot building a
few feet to the west. Both
are historic in nature and
preservation of them is
one of the city’s achievements in linking present
times to the past.

The caboose work will include interior and exterior
sprucing up, according to
Wayne Dunker, parks and
recreation director. The
work by volunteers on the
caboose landscape adds to
the overall appeal of that
location on Front Street.
It was the late Jerry Michels, civic worker par excellence, who spearheaded the
drive to obtain the caboose
and transport it here. He
had the vision to recognize
its appeal and connection
to the past. The caboose is
a reminder of Washington’s
link to the history of trains
in the state. It also is a fun
attraction for children.

The First Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the
right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition
the Government for a redress of grievances.

By Bill Miller Sr.

Age of Incivility


espect for others and
their opinions fades,
especially in politics, and
it can be constant with
some people and with others just during an election
year. It is the nature of
many humans, male and
female, regardless of their
status in life.
We’ve been exposed to
it more since the White
House has been occupied
by Donald Trump, a man of
ever-changing moods who
vents his emotions and who
can be downright nasty at
times. But he did all right
at the polls four years ago
with that type of personality. Is his persona much like

many Americans’ today?
He said things that resonated with many voters.
The calls for more civility in our relations with
others have come from all
avenues of life, but in politics that message has been
rejected — dead on arrival
— by a number of our elected representatives.
n example was the
verbal outburst by
Sen. Chuck Schumer, the
Democrats’ top leader in the
Republican-controlled Senate. Schumer, of New York,
attended a rally outside
the Supreme Court building while the justices were
hearing oral arguments on


an abortion law. Schumer
aimed his remarks at two
Trump-appointed justices,
Neil Gorsuch and Brett
Kavanaugh, using their
names in what most observers considered threats.
What he said was:
“ want to tell you Gorsuch. I want to tell
you Kavanaugh. You have
released a whirlwind and
you will pay the price. You
won’t know what hit you if
you go forward with those
decisions.” By decisions he
meant how they rule in
abortion matters. The two
justices are assumed to be
anti-abortion and will vote


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Rights Versus Wishes
Walter Williams

Sen. Bernie Sanders said: “I believe
that health care is a right of all people.”
He’s not alone in that contention. That
claim comes from Democrats and Republicans and liberals and conservatives. It
is not just a health care right that people
claim. There are “rights” to decent housing, decent food, a decent job and prescription drugs. In a free and moral society, do people have these rights? Let’s
begin by asking ourselves: What is a
In the standard usage of the term, a
“right” is something that exists simultaneously among people. In the case of
our U.S. Constitutional decree, we have
the right to life, liberty and the pursuit
of happiness. Our individual right to life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness im-

Pat Buchanan

“Fortress Europe is an illusion.”
So declares the Financial
Times in the closing line of
its Saturday editorial: “Europe Cannot Ignore Syrian
Migrant Crisis.”
The FT undertakes to instruct the Old Continent on
what its duty is and what
its future holds: “The EU
will face flows of migrants
and asylum seekers across
the Mediterranean for decades to come.”
Can Europe not repel
this unwanted home invasion from the Global South?
It is “delusional” to
think so, says the FT.
Europe must be realistic
and set about “providing
legal routes for migrants
and asylum seekers.”
What occasioned the editorial was Greece’s rough
resistance to Turkish President Erdogan’s funneling of
thousands of Syrian refugees, who had fled into Turkey, right up to the border

poses no obligation upon another other
than the duty of noninterference.
As such, a right imposes no obligation on another. For example, the right
to free speech is something we all possess
simultaneously. My right to free speech
imposes no obligation upon another except that of noninterference. Similarly, I
have a right to travel freely. Again, that
right imposes no obligation upon another
except that of noninterference.
Sanders’ claim that health care is a
right does impose obligations upon others. We see that by recognizing that there
is no Santa Claus or tooth fairy who gives
resources to government to pay for medical services. Moreover, the money does
not come from congressmen and state
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Is This How
Europe Ends?
with Greece.
Erdogan is threatening
to inundate southeastern
Europe with Syrian refugees to extract more money from the EU in return
for keeping the 3.5 million
Syrians already in Turkey
away from EU frontiers.
Another Erdogan objective is to coerce Europe into
backing his military intervention in Syria to prevent
President Bashar Assad
from capturing all of Idlib
province and emerging victorious in his civil war.
In the human rights
hellhole that is Syria today,
we may see the dimensions
of the disaster wrought
when Wilsonian crusaders
set out to depose the dictator Assad and make Syria
safe for democracy.
A brief history.
When the Arab Spring
erupted and protesters
arose to oust Assad, the
U.S., Turkey and the Gulf
Arabs aided and equipped

Syrian rebels willing to
take up arms. The “good
rebels,” however, were routed and elements of al-Qaida
soon assumed dominance of
the resistance.
Facing defeat, Syria’s
president put out a call to
his allies — Russia, Iran,
Hezbollah — to save his regime. They responded, and
Assad, over four years, recaptured all of Syria west of
the Euphrates, save Idlib.
There, the latest fighting
has pushed 900,000 more
refugees to Turkey’s
southern border.
The 21st-century interventions and wars of the
West in the Islamic world
have not gone well.
George W. Bush was
goaded into invading Iraq.
Barack Obama was persuaded to overthrow Colonel Moammar Gadhafi in
Libya and the Assad regime
in Damascus. Obama ordered U.S. forces to assist
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