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Editorial: Bits and pieces from the news

The call to civic duty reaches most of us at some point, usually at inopportune moments. But it’s good to know that former presidents are also on the list for jury duty, and willing to participate. George W. Bush showed up for jury duty in Dallas in 2015, and even posed for pictures with giddy-looking members of the jury panel.

Most recently former President Barack Obama has been summoned for jury duty in his home state of Illinois. He couldn’t make it when summoned late in 2009, as he was busy being the leader of the free world and preparing a speech about it – the State of the Union. He can’t use that excuse again.

It could be interesting – and likely distracting – if he is called to serve. Order in the court!

Congratulations to the Houston Astros, whose hurricane-battered hometown got something to cheer about during the team’s march to baseball’s pinnacle. That’s right, the Houston Astros have won their first World Series. It could not have happened at a better time, although fans would understandably argue earlier is always better.

Houston fans endured some awful years at the start of the decade until better leadership, drafting and trades turned things around. Congrats, Houston. You’re an inspiration for Buffalo fans.

Pop quiz: With construction of a memorial to President Dwight Eisenhower underway in Washington, D.C., the capital will soon have two memorials to presidents who were once Army generals. Who is the other?

Eisenhower, of course, was the country’s 34th president and the first Republican after five consecutive terms out of office. He was a wise president whose vision of the Interstate Highway System changed the country. He famously sent troops to Little Rock, Ark., to enforce federal court orders that integrated schools. He made a difference.

But his claim to a memorial surely rests more on his role as supreme commander of Allied forces in World War II. His knowledge, temperament and focus were key to defeating Nazi Germany. That saved the country from a world dominated by one of the greatest evils it has ever seen.

And the answer to the question: George Washington, of course. If you didn’t know, it’s time for a refresher course.

So, here’s an idea to take to your boss: A marketing company in Japan is giving extra days off to nonsmokers to reward them for the time not spent away from their desks puffing on a product likely to make them sick.
Do it with a straight face. But be ready to run.

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