Go, lab pros
National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (April 22-28) promotes understanding and appreciation of laboratory personnel. If you or a loved one has ever had a lab test, you owe its accuracy to a medical laboratory professional. These include blood tests, cultures, biopsies and state-of-the-art molecular tests. More than 70 percent of medical management decisions are based on laboratory test results.
About 300,000 such individuals work around the clock assisting in your health care, one test at a time. Working in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, physician offices and commercial labs, they safely collect your blood, perform tests, confirm accuracy and report results to your health care provider.
As a pathologist and lab medical director, I am fortunate to work with exceptional lab professionals in Maryville, St. Joseph, Liberty and Kansas City. Their dedication to quality and safety is an inspiration.
Let’s celebrate Medical Laboratory Professionals Week in their honor.
It’s all local
This month, the Kiplinger Washington Editors published a ranking of states by their total state and local taxes as they apply to retirees. Missouri ranked a dismal 46th. Kansas City and St. Louis no doubt lead our state and local tax parade.
To be against capping the sales tax at 14 percent or any reduction in state taxes is not good. Some states with high local and state taxes (like Connecticut) are seeing an exodus of folks moving to better tax environments.
Worse yet are the retirees who buy condos in Florida or Texas and spend more than six months there — thus becoming residents of the tax-free states while keeping their residences in the previous home states. The state income taxes they save cover the cost of the condo expenses, and the old home state gets only property taxes and six months of sales taxes.
The Star’s editorial board is correct to remind Americans of the Holocaust. (April 14, 10A, “Holocaust remembrance a shared responsibility”)
We especially need to remember that Hitler came to power by legitimate election, riding a wave of fear and resentment among Germans. Rapidly, a regime of terror with horrible consequences was erected. Few had the courage to resist during the years of the Nazis’ reign.
The German Parliament commemorates this tragedy every year. Americans need to remember their country’s own history, too. The United States was started in a bloody war. Our territorial expansion happened through the brutal displacement and even decimation of indigenous people. Much of our economic success was based on cruel slavery and subsequent oppression of people of color, as well as exploitation of the labor of immigrants such as the Chinese. Nowadays it’s Latino migrant workers and natives.
The numerous lynchings of African-Americans, often watched by hundreds of citizens, also should not be forgotten. Many ongoing problems in our country, including the American gun culture, can be traced through America’s history.
President Theodore Roosevelt established our national parks as a refuge from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Now the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management has started “scoping” the possibility of drilling in Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuge.
We have seen what oil spills can do to the ocean with Deepwater Horizon. The Gulf Coast is still recovering, and much of the economy has suffered. There was a recent oil spill in Canada from a pipeline owned by Paramount Resources. The Dakota Access Pipeline has failed to complete its permits and proceed legally.
Oil companies are continuing to strong-arm people out of their homes via eminent domain. Now the BLM is exploring ways to have the oil companies remove public lands from the public. There is significant evidence to show the depression effect across Texas from drilling.
We do not need more oil or more pipelines. We need renewable energies. We need a robust commuter system for public transit and a parks system. Our elected officials all have a responsibility to their constituents to take care of the health of this planet, which is a universal interest that should always be placed above profits.
Shane De Clue