Casting Aspersions – EXTRA
It was a display of mendacity that would be breathtaking in a normal politician — one who had not already racked up a verified lie count of well over 8,000 in his first two years in office (Washington Post). On November 26, Trump assured us we should not be concerned about the children tear gassed at the Mexican border because it was tear gas lite — specially formulated for children — perfectly harmless. Let’s start with a little research about tear gas.
“As with all non-lethal, or less-lethal weapons, there is some risk of serious permanent injury or death when tear gas is used. This includes risks from being hit by tear gas cartridges, which include severe bruising, loss of eyesight, skull fracture, and even death. A case of serious vascular injury from tear gas shells has also been reported from Iran, with high rates of associated nerve injury (44%) and amputation (17%), as well as instances of head injuries in young people.
While the medical consequences of the gases themselves are typically limited to minor skin inflammation, delayed complications are also possible. People with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma, who are particularly at risk, are likely to need medical attention and may sometimes require hospitalization or even ventilation support. Skin exposure to CS may cause chemical burns or induce allergic contact dermatitis. When people are hit at close range or are severely exposed, eye injuries involving scarring of the cornea can lead to a permanent loss of visual acuity. Frequent or high levels of exposure carry increased risks of respiratory illness.” (Wikipedia)
“Research has noted that an infant exposed to CS gas develops severe pneumonitis, and requires a month of hospitalization.” (Washington Post)
More lies from the President
In short, Trump lied again. The CS gas used on the immigrants is especially dangerous to infants and young children and there is no “lite” version of it that is safe. It just does not exist.
Trump is not the only liar in this matter. On a November 25, 2018 edition of Fox & Friends, Ron Colburn, president of the Border Patrol Foundation, said the gas was pepper spray, and you could “put it on your nachos and eat it.” Don’t try that recipe. While pepper spray is composed of an extract of chili pepper, water and alcohol, that extract is over 1000 times stronger than anything you’d find in your kitchen. You would die writhing in agony. Possibly, that fate is warranted for anyone stupid enough to believe Colburn. Perhaps Mr. Colburn is angling for a Trump promotion. But he is certainly not getting a slot on a cooking show. It is unfortunate Colburn said this on Fox. Had it been an interview on CNN, they would no doubt have immediately produced a nacho and a can of pepper spray, thus offering Mr. Colburn the chance to eat his words. On the other hand, perhaps it was for the best. Not being a spiteful person, I would not wish to watch Colburn perishing in horrible torment. Certainly not. Not for a minute. No way. Well, maybe just for a minute…
Did the border police use CS gas, pepper spray, or both? Pepper spray is unlikely since it is usually formulated and packaged for personal use in close quarters. It is tear gas that is used when some distance is involved. It might also be noted that tear gas guns do not have any sort of range finder, and the projectile can only be controlled marginally, by aiming it at the ground. Using it for crowd control virtually insures people will be injured by the projectiles themselves or by the exploding fragments, and deaths have often occurred.
By international conventions to which the U.S. is signatory, tear gas is illegal for battleground use in time of war. So it can’t be used on enemy soldiers, but evidently it is quite all right to use it on babies, mothers, and toddlers.
Not content with his tear gas bomb, Trump went on to new heights of insanity when he bluntly stated he did not believe the latest report on climate change and the consequent disasters. That the report was compiled by over 300 leading scientists and government agencies is irrelevant to the president. He simply chooses not to believe it, therefore it isn’t true.
So, what may be next?
What next? Does he believe in gravity? Does he think the Earth is flat and is the center of the universe? What else can we expect from a man who has confessed to never having read a book? That the man is a self-serving, utterly mendacious creep of very limited intelligence, and no moral scruples whatsoever could not be more obvious.
The real problem then, is not Trump, but the over 30% of the citizens that support him. We have to ask ourselves, where has our educational system — our philosophical, moral and religious instruction — so dismally failed that so many people can be gulled into this man’s swamp of unreality and perverse ethics? This is a question future historians will debate at length, if the impending climate doom permits such luxuries to historians in the future.
Toby Grace is Editor Emeritus of Out In Jersey magazine