OUR OPINION: Government functions carry on even in adversity

By NEMS Daily Journal

A week if bizarre, dangerous and deadly events understandably diverted the attention of most Americans, but even in the stress of tragedy and attempted harm the work of government continues.
Americans, for the most part,, have embodied the World War II dictum (widely but incorrectly attributed to Winston Churchill), “Keep calm and carry on.” Evidence of a normally functioning government – in Washington and down to the city and county level:.
• Tupelo officials received confirmation that the new $11 million aquatics center has been awarded two sanctioned meets. Two weekends in February and July will bring hundreds of swimmers and even larger entourages of friends, parents, and siblings for both the short course and long course Mississippi Swimming State Championships.
“In order to bid for bigger events we must host two meets with more than 400 swimmers, and we hope to have accomplished that by June of 2014 with the Short Course State Championship and a Shockwave Invitational Meet,” said Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Neal McCoy.
Federal disbursements also were announced despite attempted attacks on some senators, including Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and bombings at the Boston Marathon.
Sen. Thad Cochran made announcements of important projects:
• A investment in stormwater control calls for a $4 million to protect local businesses. The Economic Development Administration informed Cochran that the EDA would make disaster relief funding available to Corinth to support the construction of storm water control to minimize flood threats to businesses and residents.
• The integrity of Mississippi’s native catfish industry will benefit from a law dealing with inspection and safety programs, leading to correct nutrition labeling information.
Cochran told FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg that “catfish producers in Mississippi and other states believe imported fish should be held to the same inspection, certification and labeling standards applied to domestically-produced catfish.” Cochran is of course correct.
Cochran indicated he wants the complex inspection process issues resolved as soon a possible.
A government report in 2011 found that about 2 percent of imported seafood is inspected. How can that be safe?
• Cochran also announced that the Republic of Korea has chosen a combat radar equipment produced in Mississippi to upgrade its fighter aircraft. The Republic of Korea Air Force (South Korea) chose the Active Electronic Scanned Array (AESA) radars produced at a Raytheon facility in Forest, a small central Mississippi town. The potential sale is estimated to be worth $550 million.
Cochran helped smooth an October 2011 visit by the Republic of Korea ambassador to the production facility in Forest in an effort to highlight Mississippians’ success and capabilities in manufacturing complex military electronics.