Imagine these headlines in your local newspaper:


The front pages of all of our newspapers would scream about this massive tragedy of “epic proportions.”

Now imagine that that a jumbo jet crashes and kills everyone on board every two weeks for an entire year. Every two weeks another 1,000 people are killed. Every two weeks the headlines report that a 1,000 people are again killed in jumbo jet accidents.

At year’s end, we would have seen the death of 26,000 people. Imagine the furor in the population. The newspapers would be clamoring for blood. How could this happen? How can our government officials allow this to happen? Who are the responsible people and why are they not in jail? Who, in their right mind, would even think about taking a jumbo jet?

According to the American cancer Society, in the United States alone prostate cancer will kill 28,660 men this calendar year. This translates into a death rate that is in excess of 2,660 men more than in the deaths caused by my fictitious twice-monthly jumbo jet crashes.

Yet, where is the anger and response from supposed caring people? The only response that I have heard is a federal commission recommending that men should not be screened for prostate cancer! I guess the goal is to see how long it will take to see the death rate match the fictional death rate of a jumbo jet crashing every week.

I can remember how outraged we were when the federal government abandoned the citizens of Louisiana in the wake of Kitrina. I can also remember the national anger that swelled through the country when we heard the elderly and sick patients in a nursing home being abandoned. The State of Louisiana ultimately filed murder charges against the nursing home personnel.

Should we bring murder charges against the federal government? I do not no another situation in our society that discounts life in this way.

I do not understand, do you?

Joel T Nowak, MA, MSW