The lives of others are cheap . . . to some

Posted 7/27/17

In continuing to present my opinion on the moral atrocity that is Donald Trump and the exemplifications of his character that are destroying our society, my thoughts turned to the five …

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The lives of others are cheap . . . to some

Posted

In continuing to present my opinion on the moral atrocity that is Donald Trump and the exemplifications of his character that are destroying our society, my thoughts turned to the five marijuana-smoking teens who mocked, cursed and laughed as they stood by making a video of it as 32-year-old Jamel Dunn struggled for his life in a pond—recently in Florida. They made no attempt to summon aid or render any themselves. About a minute into the video, Dunn appears to let out a whimper before submerging, fully, underwater. “He just died!” a voice can be heard saying, as the others begin to laugh. 

Although a decent human being’s mind might immediately flash to something akin to murder, existing law includes no requirement to render aid to someone in likely life-ending circumstances (except in case of sailors on the high seas). The teens could be fined for not reporting the death, a misdemeanor—and that’s it.

Dunn was handicapped enough that he walked with a cane. He leaves a fiancé and two young children. That’s he at right in the illustration above (next to my choice of a poster child for the state of the nation). 

Some immediately jumped onto the Internet to point to Dunn’s checkered life style during his troubled past as if it made his life insignificant and expendable via some sort of public acclaim. That is despicable.

This whole ghoulish event is beyond sick. It also is, to me, a microcosm of the Trump administration’s disregard for the health and ongoing existence of millions, indifference to the lives and deaths of everyday Americans. Ever since the 2016 election campaign there also appears to have developed in certain circles of our society an alarmingly growing disdain/disrepect for the lives of the physically disabled, mentally distressed, impoverished, those of non-mainstream sexual identity, non-Christians and non-whites. Jamel Dunn, like too many others, will just be tossed onto the dust heap of passing history as way too many among us worship at the altar of the self-anointed intent on marching toward greater individual glory in the eyes of their peers.

So, let Jamel drown in terror . . . let Obamacare fail. There’s no actual murder involved, just a disinclination to save the lives of others. 

AND HERE’S MORE to chew on. While Donald Trump is pouting and stamping his feet and shouting about “Let it fail” with reference to Obamacare, he is illegitimately going about trying to make it fail. 

It’s been pretty obvious for years that the GOP has been pretty much of an “end justifies the means” type of operation. The thing is that the administration is charged with overseeing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) whether Donald Trump likes it or not. It is the law, and the Supreme Court has affirmed that.

However, in accordance with Donald’s “death spiral” propaganda, his administration has made a major media push to undermine Obamacare, to discredit it in the public mind. It has spent taxpayer money allocated to encourage enrollment in the ACA on a public relations campaign aimed at methodically strangling it.

Dirty tricks? You bet! But with Donald perched in the Oval Office and the Republican Congress doing its damnedest to repeal Obamacare, who’s going to take such an issue into court? 

“I’m on a daily basis horrified by leaders at the Department of Health and Human Services who seem intent on taking health care away from the constituents they are supposed to serve,” former HHS Secretary Kathleen Schelius said in a recent interview with The Daily Beast. Under Trump-appointed Secretary Tom Price, HHS has filmed and produced a series of testimonial videos featuring individuals claiming to have been harmed by Obamacare—some non-representative handful of disgruntles eager for notoreity. Funding apparently came from the Department’s consumer information and outreach budget, previously used for advertising the ACA and encouraging enrollment.  The Trump administration has requested $574,000,000 for this specific budget item. 

So Trump will continue to sabotage existing law from within, using funds intended to help alleviate human suffering to instead be spent toward destroying that law. The official HHS Twitter account also has become a clearing house for anti-Obamacare messaging. 

All of which brings us back to Jamel Dunn, who apparently led a life that could have, by some accounts, benefitted from a little mental health counseling. Fat chance of that for a black man in Donald Trump’s world.

On line you will find a photo of Jamel on a Fox News site. It emphasizes Jamel’s unusual number of facial tattoos and is not the type of photo one generally would find in an obituary. What purpose or innuendo does that serve?  I have used a younger photo above. Those "tats," I feel, probably were a desperate reach for identity as an individual. 

Jamel Dunn’s pleas for help did not begin in that pond. Listen closely and you will hear the same pleas resounding in the streets of Chicago and Baltimore.

PROMISES, PROMISES . . . from one breath to the next—Here’s a Nov. 25 photo caption from The Seattle Times: “President Donald Trump told the 40,000 scouts at the the National Scout Jamboree in Glen Jean, W. Va., Monday that he would skip politics, then noted the crowd size, and attacked the news media and former President Barack Obama. He also reminisced about his victory on Nov. 8 and spent several minutes talking about the Republican health-care plan.” He rambled on for 40 minutes to his hostage audience.

Somewhere in my attic is the Boy Scout handbook from 1941. The parts of the Boy Scout Oath I took that remain most strongly in my mind are: “On my honor, I will do my best . . . to help other people at all times . . . to keep myself. . . mentally strong and morally straight.” I find nothing there in common with Donald Trump.

The Boy Scouts of America, of course, is a completely non-political organization. I’d say Trump’s action was sort of a mass mental molestation of juveniles, some as young as 10. That’s something there’s apparently no law against.

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A note of remembrance here to Scoutmaster Russell Sheffer of Troop 479 and his assistant Harry Pollard—selfless positive influences of my formative years. 

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