Thumbs up to Western Illinois University for its commitment to business and the global economy.

Western recently announced the development of an International Trade Center, a Small Business Development Center and a push for international students.

The small business institution has obvious merit and, over time, will prove a benefit to the community. But at least two of those initiatives are, by way of the national political discourse, suddenly against the grain. And that's a good thing.

U.S. strength isn't siloed within the size of its military. The U.S. economy, and its ability to infiltrate markets, has, for decades, spread U.S. influence throughout the world.

Building walls is, in a very real sense, a temple of American retreat. 

Thumbs down to attempts to resurrect the death penalty in Iowa. 

Mind you, proponents in the Legislature hoped to bring it back only for those charged with the very worst type of crimes against children. But even that limited scope would have brought back a system of capital punishment that permits a government to kill its citizens.

The bill rightly died this week because of the time pressures of the legislative funnel. 

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DNA has overturned too many convictions. The justice system is too imperfect. State-sponsored killing is too permanent. 

Thumbs up to Ron Colson for taking the initiative assuring the World Series of Drag Racing can't again legally ditch Cordova.

Colson announced recently that his company, Colson Communications Ltd., has trademarked the iconic name. It's an obvious response to IRG Sports and Entertainment, which, last year, pulled up stakes after decades and took the show to Memphis. But the grass downriver wasn't greener. IRG plans to bring the drag racing event back to Cordova.

And that's a welcome development. But, thanks to Colson, our world series won't be going anywhere regardless of what IRG does in the future.