Suicide in the United States has surged to the highest levels in nearly 30 years, a federal data analysis has found, with increases in every age group except older adults. The rise was particularly steep for women. It was also substantial among middle-aged Americans, sending a signal of deep anguish from a group whose suicide rates had been stable or falling since the 1950s.
The suicide rate for middle-aged women, ages 45 to 64, jumped by 63 percent over the period of the study, while it rose by 43 percent for men in that age range, the sharpest increase for males of any age. The overall suicide rate rose by 24 percent from 1999 to 2014, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, which released the study on Friday.
The increases were so widespread that they lifted the nation’s suicide rate to 13 per 100,000 people, the highest since 1986. The rate rose by 2 percent a year starting in 2006, double the annual rise in the earlier period of the study. In all, 42,773 people died from suicide in 2014, compared with 29,199 in 1999.
Friday Reads: Purple DazePosted: April 22, 2016
I love that my favorite color–purple–is bedecking everything from this beautiful cartoon from Bloom County to the Empire State Building to the Super Dome and beyond. I really hate the reason.
Prince is another one of those artists who wrote and sang the soundtrack to the life of a younger me. I can remember dancing to his music alone in the front room of my apartment celebrating the death of disco and the return of some one who could shred like no other! Eric Clapton was once asked what it was like to be the world’s greatest guitarist. He correctly answered “I don’t know. Ask Prince.”
I loved David Bowie but he was like wise older brother or cousin. Prince was my bratty twin.
I remember seeing him ever so often in a club he owned in the mid 90s in Minneapolis which featured international music and artists. He was the type that was either on or off; over-the-top or subdued. It’s the same with his music. My favorite thing with Prince was that he used women in his rock bands when using women rockers was a joke to most male musicians and their producers. He hypersexualized everything and every one but at the heart of it all, he was probably the best journeyman musician on the planet. He could play any instrument. He could write songs that were poppy pulp hits or boundary-pushing bits of genius. He was always controversial yet oddly universally accepted. You have to admire that in an artist. He could reach millions, stay true to himself, fight for the rights of the creative, and mentor musicians that would have a difficult time finding the main stage without a force like Prince.
At the height of his stardom in the 1980s and ’90s, Prince was ubiquitous, a marquee star who sold out stadiums, stole the silver screen and slayed fans with his bare-chested sass and sexuality.
Then a dispute with his record company changed his worldview and he retreated from the public eye. Save for the occasional awards show, benefit or tour, Prince kept his private life private — no small feat in the age of social media.
As he fought to protect his brand in an industry known for its formulaic approach, he maintained a tight grip on his music, restricting it from YouTube and streaming services, and prohibiting any photos or videos from being taken at his shows.
All of which made his death Thursday that much more shocking. A look at the last few days of his life provides some clues in hindsight that all was not well, but it’s safe to assume that if Prince knew death was close, he did not want us to know.
Prince’s autopsy is scheduled for today. It will likely take awhile to release the results. The official line is that he was having problems with the flu. Rumors indicate that it may have been due to overdose or issues with opiate use.
Entertainment Tonight” co-host Kevin Frazier said on “CBS This Morning” Friday that Prince had hip replacement surgery in 2010 and also had health issues with his ankles.
“People close to Prince tell me he struggled with painkillers due to his hip and ankle issues,” Frazier said, noting that for Prince to cancel a performance “something was drastically wrong.”
“The hip and ankle issues were a problem for him for so long,” Frazier said, “and for a man who loved to move and dance so much, it really bothered him.”
I really wanted to put this headline up but then thought better of it given social media, but here it is. Every one to BernieBros: Kumbaya Motherfuckers!!! (I’m channeling Samuel Jackson.) Here we go with one of the Original Obama Dudes on a tear for supporting the real Hillary and not just the cardboard cutout. Oh, I still am not warming up to the damned monniker of progressive. But, stay with me here for the words of Fauvre.
Eight years later, we’re approaching the endgame of another Democratic primary. For Bernie Sanders to overtake Hillary Clinton’s lead in pledged delegates—which, at 239, is more than double Obama’s 112 delegate lead in 2008—he would have to win each of the remaining contests by about 18 points, a margin he has only reached in Vermont and New Hampshire. If he doesn’t, his only other option is to convince a few hundred superdelegates to back the candidate who has won fewer votes and fewer delegates.
Bernie faces long odds, but no good reason to drop out. And why should he? Why not keep running through the final primaries in June, just like Hillary did in 2008? Along the way, Sanders will probably win a few more states—especially in May—and continue to build a following that should hearten everyone who wants to see a bigger, bolder progressive movement.
But it’s also in the interest of the progressive moment for both candidates and their campaigns to begin healing the rifts that have deepened over the course of the primary. Neither Sanders nor Clinton seemed very compelling when they were screaming at each other for two hours at the debate in Brooklyn. And no one benefits from another three months of ridiculous lawsuits, overwrought fundraising emails, and surrogates sniping at each other on cable. Already, this friendly fire has taken a toll—in the latest NBC/WSJ poll, Bernie is viewed unfavorably by 20 percent of Clinton supporters, and Hillary is viewed unfavorably by 40 percent of Sanders supporters.
I don’t want to exaggerate the challenge. I still think this primary is less nasty and divisive than 2008, and exponentially less so than the cannibalism we may see in Cleveland. It’s also true that the percentage of Sanders and Clinton voters who say they won’t vote for the other candidate is fairly low. But a year in which Donald Trump or Ted Cruz could become president of the United States is not a year we can afford to have any pissed-off primary voters stay home in November.
I’ve been really nice to my Bernie Supporting friends and continue to be. Most of them aren’t the issue right now anyway. A lot of
them see the need to break on through to the other side already. But, really, some one needs to tell Jane, Master Taddler and the other one to go back to Rome for a silent retreat. The whining, lies, and irritating right wing memes are over the top now and causing Sanders’ crazier supporters to go full metal misogyny.
The Nation‘s Joshua Holland writes that all good Democrats will realize the danger of a Trump or Cruz come November. He suggests we all relax.
But if history is any guide, a mass defection of Democrats and Dem-leaning independents is the last thing anyone should worry about. We’ve seen this before and we know how it will play out.
Ironically, in 2008 it was Clinton supporters vowing to stay home—or vote for John McCain—if Obama became the nominee. At the time, that same HuffPo columnist warned that “balkanized Democrats could give the White House to John McCain.” That May, primary exit polls found less than half of Hillary Clinton’s supporters in Indiana and North Carolina saying they’d consider voting for Obama in the general election. Even in early July, after Obama had secured the nomination, only 54 percent of Clinton backers said they planned to vote for him.
Those self-described “PUMAs”—“party unity my ass”—may have stayed home by the dozens that November, but at the end of the day nine out of 10 Democrats supported Obama in an election that featured the highest turnout in 40 years. A similar dynamic played out withHoward Dean supporters in 2004.
In the summer of 2008, George Washington University political scientist John Sides took to the pages of the Los Angeles Times to tell everyone to calm down. “Despite ugly battles and policy differences that sometimes seem intractable, the reality is that presidential campaigns tend to unify each party behind its nominee,” …
I have some other things you may want to read today. This one is sad. Suicide rate in this country have it a 30 year high. I wanted to link to this NYT story but also to tell you that there’s been a rash of teen suicides on the northshore the past few weeks. I won’t link to them but the recency effect really hit home for me as I read this article.
We also have a terrible problem with opiate addiction and gun violence. This is all symptomatic of the party that refuses to spend
public funds on public health issues, public safety issues, and public infrastructure. This is the true heart of US class warfare. Our public Treasury is not going to the public any more.
President Obama has written a Telegraph op Ed to our UK cousins telling them to nix the BREXIT. This is a big story that’s been lost on many US news stations. If the UK leaves the EU, the economic reverberations around the world–including here in the US–will be large and damaging. The President is visiting England today and will help with birthday wishes to HRH who is celebrating her 90th.
As citizens of the United Kingdom take stock of their relationship with the EU, you should be proud that the EU has helped spread British values and practices – democracy, the rule of law, open markets – across the continent and to its periphery. The European Union doesn’t moderate British influence – it magnifies it. A strong Europe is not a threat to Britain’s global leadership; it enhances Britain’s global leadership. The United States sees how your powerful voice in Europe ensures that Europe takes a strong stance in the world, and keeps the EU open, outward looking, and closely linked to its allies on the other side of the Atlantic. So the US and the world need your outsized influence to continue – including within Europe.
In this complicated, connected world, the challenges facing the EU – migration, economic inequality, the threats of terrorism and climate change – are the same challenges facing the United States and other nations. And in today’s world, even as we all cherish our sovereignty, the nations who wield their influence most effectively are the nations that do it through the collective action that today’s challenges demand.
So, you can see that many buildings all over the world went Purple to celebrate the life and art of Prince. It’s taken our attention away from national challenges and back to personal tragedies that characterize the human condition. It’s always these moments when we look back to where we’ve been and what we’ve come to. The most important thing is to remember that the time line most surely includes a soundtrack the encompasses love and the people in your life.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
See Prince shred. Shred Prince Shred.