Public health basic
The bill the Missouri General Assembly is considering that would protect the ability of parents to refuse immunizations for their children and allow them to expose other children to illnesses is dangerous. (April 12, 7A, “Why is lawmaker kowtowing to the anti-vaxxers?”)
As a physician, I’m terrified that my young children who cannot yet be immunized will be exposed to diseases that these children will carry. What about my rights to have children free from exposure to disease? What about public health?
If this bill passes, it will be my hint to look for a new home.
I urge Gov. Mike Parson to speak out against the law now. Let lawmakers know that if the bill reaches your office, it will be vetoed.
Into the trap
Thursday’s front-page headline, “Barr says agencies spied on the Trump campaign,” was (unintentionally, I hope) seriously misleading. A reader might well assume it announced news uncovering an inappropriate federal investigation.
But the only real news was the attorney general calling this “spying,” because all this investigating has been long known. Aside from this misleading wording and its partisan source, one also notes that the investigation has demonstrably been justified, having produced many indictments, lies and coverups, confessions and convictions.
The word choice in The Star’s headline simply reinforces President Donald Trump’s playbook, furthering his campaign of nonstop misinformation.
We’re all people
Perhaps as the SevenDays organization’s week of kindness draws to a close, we can take a look back in history to get some perspective on what some are calling our current immigration crisis.
A century ago, exactly the same arguments and rhetoric fueled the public debate. Xenophobic, racist cartoons filled the newspapers. No one had any real idea who was trying to immigrate.
It wasn’t until photographers Lewis Hine and Augustus Sherman published pictures of immigrants at Ellis Island that American citizens got accurate images of the people hoping to enter the country. Seeing simple labels — Russian bookbinder, Romanian miner, Italian Madonna — Americans were able to look at the real faces of folks desperate for a chance at a new life.
I suggest that every news outlet in the country send a photographer to our southern border. If a single image is worth a thousand words, imagine the torrent that could be unleashed — a torrent that might set our country on a kinder path.
True KC pearls
Kansas City has a great many treasures that often go unnoticed and undervalued. Among these under-the-radar civic treasures are highly talented and deeply schooled jazz musicians who perform for small audiences in modest venues with little publicity.
Kansas Citians can see and hear some of the very best and most accomplished musicians in their prime. I particularly call your attention to the Rod Fleeman Trio, who play around town often. Rod is a virtuoso guitarist who has been a role model and mentor for most of the skilled guitarists in this jazz community. Gerald Spaits is a bassist of remarkable gifts with a great influence among that low-key group of essential accompanists. Todd Strait is spoken of among drummers as almost a god.
These musicians and friends have played all over the world, together and separately, with vocalists such as Marilyn Maye and Karrin Allyson, and on both coasts with the best.
In these days of fractured and decentralized communications, too many fans of fine musical performances may miss the chance to see them. That’s a pity.
It was great to read Lee Judge’s commentary about his meeting with Eric Hosmer. (April 9, 3B, “Eric Hosmer will never forget his memories with KC”)
Since Hos signed with the San Diego Padres, there has been little mention of him — even his name — in Kansas City.
I know he chose to leave for the reasons all athletes do: money and a beautiful location. But he was still one of our own and should not have been wiped out of our city’s sphere like an outcast.
He did very well for Kansas City, and he has been consistently respectful and appreciative of this town.
Hos will always be one of my favorite players — no matter where he plays. This diehard fan say go Royals!
Patricia L. Maxwell