Tomko’s attorney said that his client was only doing his job.
Have you heard the latest?
Oh, there is always a latest these days…every few hours, someone from tRumpWorld says or does something outrageous, that had the same “thing” been said or done a couple of years ago…would have been cause for resignations, being fired, impeachment, imprisonment…etc.
Think about it…
1988- Gary Hart…Below is an article from 1987…it reads like a pulp fiction piece when you compare it to the scandals from tRump:
After the crash of his presidential campaign, the smoking pieces of Gary Hart’s life were blown across the front page of every newspaper in America. Gail Sheehy discovered the black box in the wreckage, and has put all the pieces back together. What she found is startling: the world of Donna Rice is much darker than it seemed, and Hart was on a collision course with it all along.
Here is a particular bit to relish:
I examined Donna’s live-in love affair with a big-time cocaine dealer, who is currently serving ten years in a federal penitentiary. Four of Donna’s friends illuminated the rest of the smoke and mirrors in this high-rolling netherworld. It might be seen as the forbidden picture show to which Hart’s hidden, sybaritic side had always longed for admission. Indeed, it might be one in a dizzying series of mirrors on which, according to a senior political consultant who has known and watched him for over a decade, “Gary Hart has been writing in lipstick for years, ‘Stop me before I fuck again.’ ”
Geez, ‘Stop me before I fuck again.’ Could be the title of tRump’s biography…only perhaps a slight change to, fuck it up again?
1998- Bill Clinton…Another look from an article in 1998, yes this one is also from Vanity Fair…keeping with the same magazine for context.
When the dust of Clinton’s presidency settles, the laws against sexual harassment will still be on the books. But the social sanctions against the behavior will be irretrievably damaged.If you doubt this, look around. In the weeks that followed the Lewinsky scandal, those who had been most affronted by the awkward new social arrangements lately demanded of them shambled out of their caves to beat their chests. Conservative columnist John Leo, for example, crowed in U.S. News & World Report that the scandal was “probably the decade’s high-water mark of euphoria around the water cooler … a chance to break free from the office sex police.” It’s all very well to protest that we shouldn’t look to our politicians as role models: the saga of Clinton’s sex life is being played out on too large a screen to ignore. You can say until you’re blue in the face that public men are entitled to a realm of privacy; that certain kinds of bad private behavior do not necessarily conflict with political competence, or even genius; and that adultery is not in itself of feminist concern. These are all irrelevancies. This mess is on our hands, and we do not have the luxury of arguing with its existence; the best we can do is call it what it is.
2018- Donald tRump…Again, from Vanity Fair:
Why is everyone making such a fuss about something all rich people do?
Last night on Fox News, in an unintentionally hilarious attempt to clear his client‘s name, our man Rudolph W. L. Giuliani informed host Sean Hannity that not only did Donald Trump know about the hush money lawyer Michael Cohen paid porn star Stormy Daniels, but the president repaid the $130,000. In what appeared to be an (unsuccessful) effort to get Trump off for potential campaign finance violations, Giuliani told Hannity that the whole thing was “perfectly legal” because “they funneled it through a law firm, and the president repaid it.” As my colleague Abigail Tracy points out, it doesn’t actually matter where the money came from—Trump’s own pocket, campaign contributions, or elsewhere—or if it was repaid; if, per the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, the money in question was used “for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal office,” it’s still a crime! Which made Giuliani’s Thursday morning appearance on Fox & Friends slightly problematic, considering he told the group it was a good thing Cohen made the Daniels story “go away,” as it would have been really bad if “that came out on October 15, 2016, in the middle of the last debate with Hillary Clinton.”
But hey, we’re not here to debate what is or isn’t a federal crime—we’re here to discuss the social mores of the 1 percent. After Giuliani finished his media blitz, Trump logged onto Twitter to inform his followers that despite how things might look, paying porn stars six figures for their silence is standard operating procedure for the rich.
Gee, the good old days, when news about tRump was just things like paying off porn stars with campaign funds, conspiring with Russia, money laundering etc.
Anyway, that trip down memory lane was brought to you by the little mini-series Tanner 88, made possible from director producer Robert Altman and writer producer Gary Trudeau. Check it out if you can…it is streaming on Filmstruck and Amazon.
Now here are the links for today:
ox News host Ed Henry had to shut down a discussion on President Donald Trump’s immigration policies on Sunday morning when White House adviser David Bossie told a black Democratic consultant that he was out of his “cotton-picking mind.”
During the segment, Democratic communications expert Joel Payne railed at the Trump administration racist policies. The criticism angered Bossie, who also complained about ex-CIA Director Michael Hayden comparing the child detention centers to a Nazi concentration camp.
“Michael Hayden posted a picture of Auschwitz,” Bossie complained.
““Yeah, that liberal Michael Hayden,” Payne shot back, sarcastically referring to the fact that Hayden is a conservative.
“You are out of your cotton-picking mind!” Bossie blurted, causing Payne to blow up.
“Cotton-picking mind?” Payne exclaimed. “Brother, let me tell you something. Let me tell you something, I got some relatives who picked cotton, okay?”
Host Henry tried to take control as the two guests began yelling at each other, with Henry insisting Bossie intended to say “out of your mind,” before he called an end to the panel.
Video of “confrontation” can be found here:
There was another kerfuffle this time between tRump representative, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and an outraged public, Juan Cole takes a look at it here:
Sara Sanders complained on Twitter about not being served at the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia. WaPo reports that the owner, Stephanie Wilkinson, insisted that patrons uphold standards of honesty and compassion, and that Sanders flacks for an “inhumane and unethical” administration, defending Trump’s “cruelest policies.”
Wilkinson’s grounds for not serving the White House spokesperson amounted to personal indecency. It is important to underline that this is what social scientists call an “achieved” status. The grounds had to do with Sanders’ own record of behavior and character, not with anything arbitrary about her.
In contrast, to achieved status, you have ascribed status. The latter is determined by things people think about your inherited characteristics. Being Black or Latino is an ascribed status. Or your family religion as a Catholic or Jew would be in this category of ascribed. It has to do not with your personal standards of character but with what prejudices people might have toward a whole group, of which you are part by virtue typically of inheritance. Even if you converted to Catholicism, e.g., you are not responsible for what all Catholics might have done or for what fanatic Protestants think about Catholicism.
It is wrong to shun people because of their ascribed status. It isn’t wrong to refuse to associate people because of their achieved status.
Sanders achieved her status as pariah in many quarters by lying assiduously on television for a living– by saying things she knew were wrong and/or untrue.
In contrast, Sanders is an advocate for allowing restaurateurs to discriminate on truly objectionable grounds, of ascribed status.
Read the rest at the link.
In connection with this: Expert: Sarah Sanders broke ethics rules with tweet about restaurant | US news | The Guardian
On Saturday, using her official White House account, Sanders posted: “Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington [Virginia] to leave because I work for POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me.
“I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so.”
Walter Shaub, federal ethics chief under Barack Obama and briefly Trumpand now a fierce critic of the administration, responded: “Sanders used her official govt account to condemn a private business for personal reasons … she can lob attacks on her own time but not using her official position.”
Since when do these people have any shred of ethics?
Case in point, Jeff Flake went on one of the Sunday shows:
These assholes could do something, but they consistently vote with tRump anyways…fuck them all.
Here is a few other news items:
BNSF: Estimated 230,000 Gallons Of Oil Spilled In Derailment – Talking Points Memo That is a train derailment in Iowa…
Op-eds in The Houston Chronicle and the Canadian news magazine Maclean’s suggested the only way to quell the rising trade tensions is to strike at Trump’s businesses. While some countries, such as China, have appeared to try and sway the president through treating his family’s businesses more favorably, countries have not made moves to curtail the businesses’ activity within their borders.
Debbie Shon, an international trade lawyer at Quinn Emanuel and a former official in the US Trade Representative’s office under President Bill Clinton, said that effectively hitting Trump’s businesses using trade actions — while legal — would be difficult.
“Looking at Trump’s businesses, I’m not sure what goods he sells that could be subject to tariffs or how you could use trade actions to hit his businesses unless you really tailored some sort of measure targeting key industries like real estate,” Shon told Business Insider.
That would force any country trying to go after Trump to get creative with their response. Scott Gilmore, a social entrepreneur and former Canadian diplomat, suggested in Maclean’s that Canada should use anti-corruption laws to pressure Trump on trade.
Trump-branded skyscrapers in Toronto and Vancouver represent the president’s most prominent business ventures in the country.
Well, I will leave that one to Dak…
At Midnight, Riyadh Erupts in Cheers for Women Drivers–but Women Activists still in Jail –Another one from Juan Cole, give it a read.
Now some updates on the shit happening at both borders:
The chaos isn’t just in the Southwest. Increased highway checkpoints and workplace raids away from borders are alarming advocates for immigrants.
The big picture: “For 11 hours on Wednesday, drivers who wanted to travel through a remote stretch of northern Maine were asked a simple question: Where were you born?,” the N.Y. Times reports.Show less
More details of other raids at the link.
Boston Boomer linked to this yesterday in the comments: Babies separated from immigrant parents in Miami shelters, lawmaker says | Miami Herald
At least 10 babies and toddlers taken away from their parents after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border are being housed in “tender-age shelters” in Miami-Dade, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz told the Miami Herald on Saturday.
The Florida lawmaker said the children — who range in age from newborns to 5 year olds — are being sheltered at His House Children’s Home in Miami Gardens and Catholic Charities’ Msgr. Bryan Walsh Children’s Village in Cutler Bay, formerly known as Boys Town.
These facilities are also housing about 88 children ages 6 to 12 who have been separated from their parents, she said.
When the Democratic congresswoman, who represents parts of Miami-Dade and Broward counties, provided the Miami Herald with these figures, she cited a document given to her by federal officials.
It is very disturbing…especially when you consider the other tweet BB linked to, that the children will be adopted out.
More lawsuits are being filed against tRump: ‘Not knowing anything about my daughter is torture’: Immigrants separated from children at border file lawsuit in federal court – ABC News
As DHS released a statement: Fact Sheet: Zero-Tolerance Prosecution and Family Reunification | Homeland Security
It says over 500 children have been reunited with their families.
- CBP has reunited 522 Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) in their custody who were separated from adults as part of the Zero Tolerance initiative. The reunions of an additional 16 UAC who were scheduled to be reunited on June 22, 2018 were delayed due to weather affecting travel and we expect they will all be reunited with their parents within the next 24 hours. There will be a small number of children who were separated for reasons other than zero tolerance that will remain separated: generally only if the familial relationship cannot be confirmed, we believe the adult is a threat to the safety of the child, or the adult is a criminal alien.
All this as one op/ed calls for asylum: The U.S. Should Grant Asylum To All The Families We Separated | HuffPost
In many countries, when thugs take power, they inflict harm on others. Every person then has a choice to make: join the thugs or refuse to harm others. The morally correct choice is the harder one. The brave ones who refuse to be complicit ― such as my clients from El Salvador, Nepal, Haiti and Cameroon who were asked to make this very choice ― were met with the most dire consequences. If they escape, they forsake all they know in hopes that they will be safer in places unknown.
Clinging to the audacious hope that their children’s lives will be better, families flee to the U.S., the nation whose symbol is a Statue of Liberty and whose laws have welcomed millions seeking refuge. In the most cruel bait and switch, President Donald Trump ― aided by his attorney general and secretary of homeland security ― took those children away, stripping from their parents the very reason they risked so much.
They say the most unrelenting grief a person can experience is burying their child. Our country has inflicted this kind of pain on desperate parents. The very least we can do is grant them the right to stay here.
So, have a good afternoon and evening. This is an open thread.
Sunday is usually regarded as a day of rest, the end of a busy tired week…that last day of the weekend. When I was younger, the sound of the ticking stop watch that was used as the opening credits for 60 minutes always solidified the fact that the countdown was on, Sunday was coming to a close. The time had come, get your things ready for Monday morning…another beginning, another week of school (or work) ahead.
For almost a year now, Sunday has come to mean…for me at least, a day to recover from a week of drowning in my disgust at what this country is presenting to the world as it’s presidential election.
It is that feeling when you swallow something the wrong way, and it is painful as it tries to go down your throat. You cough and feel as though you can’t breathe. There is a sense of panic as you try and take in some oxygen, but for those first seconds nothing can get in…even though you know it should work its way out shortly and you will be able to breathe normally after several moments of coughing and clearing your throat of what was so difficult to swallow.
This reoccurring simulated choking on not being able to swallow the daily offerings from Trump, the media, political pundits, politicians, surrogates, idiot supporters, white supremacist hate groups that are becoming legitimately recognized as a mainstream political party voice…that is too much to handle. It gets to the point where there is no recovery, you can’t catch your breath. I feel as though I am drowning in the hate and honestly, where in hell can Love Trump Hate?
(I really do not think that slogan does it for me…it never seemed to have enough umph. Maybe it is because I’ve always seen Trump and his supporters for what they really are: white supremacist. And that is something I’ve realized since day one, especially living here in Banjoville. )
I am not surprised at how bad things have gotten or how outrageous Trump’s statements and comments can be…I think we haven’t seen the worst yet. It just has reached a point where I can no longer take that Trump news bite, for fear it will be the fatal one.
That is why I’m so obviously absent from discussion on the blog. I can’t talk or write about this Trump asshole anymore. The events surrounding the election is more than I can handle.
I know that Boston Boomer and Dakinikat will write far better on the subject than I ever could…but I am unable to cover this hateful shitty election any longer.
Going forward my post will be focused on worldwide news, the usual suspects (women issues), human interest and of course…political cartoons. I must avoid fuck face and his cross burning hood wearing fan base.
As always the threads are open, so please discuss whatever and whoever you want to in the comments below…that includes Trump and his ultra right wing of destruction.
I will start off with a few links:
Take a moment and assess your hobbies. Unless your idea of a good time is bungee jumping or scaling Mt. Everest, your favorite pastimes are likely pretty safe … right? Think again. Experts are calling upon doctors to consider the risks posed by patients’ hobbies after a British man died of a lung infection likely caused by his daily sessions on the bagpipe. They reported their findings in the journal Thorax.
New evidence suggests people with autism can recognize feelings and other traits of humanness in voices as well as—or even better than—neurotypical people do
UPDATE: The woman was later identified by outlets as Facebook user Zaida Pugh, who says she’s an actress and that the incident was a prank. “I did this to show how people react to situations with homeless people and people with mental health [issues],” Pugh told Fusion. “How they’re more likely to pull out their phone than help.” A police source told the New York Post that Pugh could be charged for the disturbance.
A woman selling crickets and worms on a New York City subway Wednesday threw them into a packed train and flew into a rage, causing chaos, the New York Post reported.
The woman entered the train and made overtures to passengers to buy her insects. A group of teens pushed the woman, causing her to “freak out” and release the bugs, the Post wrote. As she ranted and the bugs spread, commuters dispersed.
Go to the link to read the rest of the story and see video and comments…someone actually pulled the emergency break and the train was stuck for a while.
The first of day August.
Hey…when you woke up today…did y’all think, even for a second…it was a world where Trump never existed?
Can you believe it?
And would you believe…my non-Trump parallel universe lasted for more than a second. (It was the most pleasant 3 or 4 seconds I’ve spent in some time.)
Trump is no accident of course…we see him loud and clear!
So before your morning links, take a look at this brilliant video from Jon Oliver:
John Oliver Tears Into ‘Fu*king Asshole’ Donald Trump Over Criticism of Ghazala Khan | Mediaite
It took an officially released statement from the campaign for Trump to finally acknowledge Capt. Humayun Khan as a “hero,” a stick point that Oliver sharply criticized Sunday night. Perhaps, offered the late night host, Ghazala Khan is too overwhelmed to speak, “when she sees images of her dead son’s face, you fucking asshole.”
Oliver further harangued the GOP nominee, saying that the things coming out of his mouth are nothing more that, “self-serving half-truths from a self-serving half-man who is somehow convinced half the country that sacrifice is the same thing as success.”
The segment did end on an emotional note however. Oliver relayed the overall takeaway from the conventions as follows:
“The main takeaway from these two weeks is that incredibly we may be on the brink of electing a sociopathic narcissist for who the simple Presidential duty of comforting the families of fallen soldiers may actually be beyond his capabilities. And I genuinely did not think that was a part of the job that someone could be bad at.”
I know that Boston Boomer and Dak have written about Tony Schwartz…the Ghostwriter for Trump’s book, Art of the Deal. (Check out his twitter feed, it is interesting…you betcha.)I caught an interview Chris Cuomo did with Schwartz on CNN last week that was very good. I will link a few articles on that with some video below. I wish more people would pickup on what this man has to say…because some of his comments about Trump seem spot on and horrifically on point.
Donald Trump’s former ghostwriter resumed his searing criticism of the Republican nominee Thursday, describing the Republican presidential nominee as a megalomaniac who cares only about himself.
Tony Schwartz, the credited co-author on Trump’s 1987 memoir “The Art of the Deal,” dismissed the notion that the Manhattan businessman has another side to his personality.
“There is no second Donald Trump,” Schwartz said in an interview on CNN’s “New Day.” “The inner Trump is the outer Trump.”
“They think he is going to be, those who currently support him, their savior,” Schwartz told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “There is no one, no one, Donald Trump cares about less than the people who are not making it in this world. Those people — those people don’t yet realize it — he considers to be losers.”
“The minute that he gets their votes is the last time he will pay attention to them,” he added.
Schwartz said that Trump “makes it his business to lie,” and he dismissed the GOP nominee’s claim that he was being “sarcastic” when he seemed to encourage Russian intelligence agencies to find Hillary Clinton’s thousands of deleted emails.
“He wasn’t being sarcastic yesterday about Russia,” Schwartz said. “He was responding impulsively, reactively without thinking, which is what the does. Do we want a president who doesn’t think?”
Video at the link…not the full interview, it is edited down.
CNN’s Chris Cuomo spent the final morning of the Democratic convention offering an insultingly ludicrous defense of Donald’s character. He was promptly put in his place by Tony Schwartz, Donald’s “The Art of the Deal” ghostwriter.
Under the guise of “balanced” journalism, CNN’s Chris Cuomo embarrassed himself, first by excusing Donald’s outrageous embrace of Russian hackers, then by carrying Donald’s water in an interview with Trump’s ghostwriter, Tony Schwartz.
They think he is going to be, those who currently support him, their savior. There is no one, no one that Donald Trump cares about less than the people who are not making it in this world. Those people, those people don’t yet realize it, he considers to be losers. And the minute, because he has to be the winner, and others have to be the loser, the minute that that gets clear, the minute that he gets their votes is the last time he will pay attention to them.
For me this is the real call out of the interview….Trump’s Ghostwriter Calls Out Media’s “False Equivalency” In Trump Coverage
TONY SCHWARTZ: Chris, you’re setting up, as I’ve heard you in the last ten minutes, a false equivalency. This is the problem I think in the media, is that they’re treating Trump as if he is a legitimate candidate for president of the United States. There is no way he is. No more than my two-year-old grandson would be a legitimate candidate for president. And if the media treated my two-year-old grandson as someone who could be president, that would be scary. But when they treat Trump, who has no attention span, who has only a profound self-interest, who has no experience, and only has his inflated confidence as a qualification, it’s terrifying. It’s terrifying.
Just a couple of more links on the ghostwriter and we will move on:
The ghostwriter of Donald Trump’s The Art of the Dealremarked earlier this week that “most negative things he says about others are actually describing him”.
Tony Schwartz, who wrote the bestseller with Trump in 1987, said that people should bear that fact in mind when reading the Republican nominee’s insults on Twitter.
And, well, Trump sure does like an insult. With the help of the New York Times’ extensive collection of his outbursts, we’ve put together a list of bad things he’s said about other people… with some slight edits.
You may have already seen this one, it is from July 22nd. Is Donald Trump a textbook narcissist? – The Washington Post
And the article that started it all: Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All – The New Yorker
Next up…a bit of confusion.
Tim Kaine differs with Hillary Clinton on a longstanding rule banning federal taxpayer dollars from funding abortions, the Democratic vice presidential candidate told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union,” in an interview that aired Sunday.
Abortion differencesAbortion, though, remains a point of difference between the pair. Kaine said he supports the Hyde Amendment, a 40-year-old rule preventing federal taxpayer dollars from funding abortions. That contradicts comments by Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook in a July 24 “State of the Union” appearance. Kaine “has said that he will stand with Secretary Clinton to defend a woman’s right to choose, to repeal the Hyde Amendment,” Mook quoted Kaine as saying.“My voting position on abortion hasn’t really changed,” Kaine said in the interview aired Sunday. “I support the Hyde Amendment. I haven’t changed that.”Tapper pressed Kaine, saying Mook told CNN otherwise.
“That is not accurate and I don’t think Robby has said that, Jake,” Kaine responded.Clinton spokesperson Jesse Ferguson told CNN on July 26 that Kaine’s commitment to stand with Clinton on repealing the Hyde Amendment “was made privately.”Kaine said in the interview that he thought about his differences with Clinton over abortion before joining the ticket. As a potential vice president “I had to get comfortable with the notion that I can have my personal views but I’m going to support the president of the United States, and I will.”Still the issue is likely to linger among some Clinton supporters. NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue called Kaine’s continued opposition to repealing the Hyde Amendment “deeply disappointing” in a tweeted statement that was apparently deleted and then reposted.
While we appreciate Senator Kaine’s clarification that he will support the nominee’s position on this, we sincerely hope that Sen. Kaine will continue to educate himself on what Hyde means to the most vulnerable women in this country and join us in fighting this injustice,” the statement said.On Sunday the group tamped down its criticism, and tweeted it is now “glad” Kaine will stand with Clinton to “end Hyde,” exhibiting a more optimistic outlook on Kaine supporting Clinton regardless of his personal views.
The Zika epidemic that has spread from Brazil to the rest of Latin America is now raging in Puerto Rico — and the island’s response is in chaos.
The war against the Aedes aegypti mosquito carrying the virus is sputtering out in failure. Infections are skyrocketing: Many residents fail to protect themselves against bites because they believe the threat is exaggerated.
Federal and local health officials are feuding, and the governor’s special adviser on Zika has quit in disgust.
There are only about 5,500 confirmed infections on the island, including of 672 pregnant women. But experts at theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention say they believe that is a radical undercount.
For a more illustrated look at the Zika virus as it spreads through the US, Interactive Graphic: Zika Goes Local in the U.S. – Scientific American
State officials link cases of the virus to local mosquitoes in the mainland U.S. for the first time, setting off a new phase of public response
In other health news…a change may soon be coming to the term transgender identity and its use as a “mental illness.” Transgender identity is considered a mental illness by WHO. But that may soon change. – Chicago Tribune
According to the World Health Organization, being transgender is a mental illness.
But that could soon change, as WHO prepares a new edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), its global codebook that influences national disease diagnostic manuals worldwide. The current version, ICD-10, has been around since 1990 and ICD-11 is expected to be approved in 2018.
The proposals to declassify transgender identity as a mental disorder have been approved by each committee that has considered it so far. A study published this week in the Lancet Psychiatry journal, offers up new evidence supporting the change.
A condition is designated as a mental illness when the very fact that you have it causes distress and dysfunction, said Geoffrey Reed, a professor of psychology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, a consultant on the ICD-11, and co-author of the study told the Washington Post. The study argues that this isn’t the case with transgender identity.
Between April and August of 2014, Reed and his team interviewed 250 transgender adults who were receiving transgender-related health services at the Condesa Specialized Clinic in Mexico City. They asked them about their childhoods, when they knew they were transgender, and what kinds of reactions they had gotten from work, school, or family.
Reed found that many of his interviewees experienced a lot of distress in their lives. Later, using mathematical modeling, he found a good way to predict who was suffering -but the most important determining factor was not being transgender, it was something else.
“We found distress and dysfunction were very powerfully predicted by the experiences of social rejection or violence that people had,” he said. “But they were not actually predicted by gender incongruence itself.”
You can read more at the link, or take a look at these articles:
Here is some news about violence, the kind that should be studied…because I don’t know how else to explain it. Three Florida Walmart employees arrested for manslaughter after shoplifting suspect dies | AL.com
Three Florida Walmart employees were arrested in connection with the death of a man who was suspected of shoplifting from the store, WFLA reported.
They have all been charged with manslaughter.
On February 7, police responded to the Walmart store in Lakeland, on North Road 98, because there was a suspected shoplifter- 64-year-old Kenneth E. Wisham.
WFLA reported that while en route, police received another call that Wisham was not breathing.
After an investigation, police said that Wisham was on his way out of the store with stolen DVDs when employees confronted him and detained him.
An autopsy showed that Wisham died of asphyxia due to being restrained, and he also had 15 broken ribs.
A 911 call from the store, published by WFLA, said that the second caller was one of the men who detained the 64-year-old. The caller said, “Um, somebody was stealing from the store and we chased him down and we had him on the ground and we weren’t putting too much force on him and he doesn’t have a pulse now.”
Uh, this is not his job…Walmart has a strict policy not to confront the shoplifters. And you are not allowed to follow them outside the store. At all. The employees are required to call the cops. That is why they have all those cameras…in store and out of the store in the parking lots.
But what makes people do something like this?
Mug shots if you care to look at them, are at this link: 3 Lakeland Walmart workers charged with shoplifting suspect’s death | WFLA.com
Just one more link before this post is over and done.
There is a new method being used to combat the Asian carp invasion, but it seems like it is replacing one beast with a more nasty monster. (Granted, it once did roam the waters back long ago…) How to combat Asian carp? Get an alligator gar – LA Times
I’s a toothy giant that can grow longer than a horse and heavier than a refrigerator, a fearsome-looking prehistoric fish that plied U.S. waters from the Gulf of Mexico to Illinois until it disappeared from many states half a century ago.
Persecuted by anglers and deprived of places to spawn, the alligator gar — with a head that resembles an alligator and two rows of needle-like teeth — survived mainly in Southern states in the tributaries of the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico after being declared extinct in several states farther north. To many, it was a freak, a “trash fish” that threatened sport fish, something to be exterminated.
But the once-reviled predator is now being seen as a valuable fish in its own right, and as a potential weapon against a more threatening intruder: the invasive Asian carp, which have swum almost unchecked toward the Great Lakes, with little more than an electric barrier to keep them at bay.
Efforts are underway to reintroduce the alligator gar to the northern part of its former range.
Okay, so perhaps it is a good thing to reintroduce the alligator gar, but can you imagine coming across one of these things…they are the size of a horse?
“What else is going to be able to eat those monster carp?” said Allyse Ferrara, an alligator gar expert at Nicholls State University in Louisiana, where the species is relatively common. “We haven’t found any other way to control them.”
Alligator gar, the second-largest U.S. freshwater fish behind the West Coast’s white sturgeon, have shown a taste for Asian carp, which have been spreading and outcompeting native fish for food.
The gar dwarf the invading carp, which themselves can grow to 4 feet and 100 pounds. The largest alligator gar caught was 8½ feet and 327 pounds, and they can grow even larger.
Native Americans once used their enamel-like scales as arrow points, and early settlers covered plow blades with their tough skin and scales.
But a mistaken belief that they hurt sport fish led to widespread extermination throughout the last century, when they were often shot or blown up with dynamite.
“Some horrible things have been done to this fish,” said Ferrara, adding that sport fisheries are healthier with gar to keep troublesome species like carp under control. “It’s similar to how we used to think of wolves; we didn’t understand the role they played in the ecosystem.”
Gar now are being restocked in lakes, rivers and backwaters — sometimes in secret locations — in several states. In May, Illinois lawmakers passed a resolution urging state natural resources officials to speed up its program and adopt regulations to protect all four gar species native to the state.
I don’t know…I think if it was between an alligator gar and Trump…I’d take the gar anytime!
Okay, it is going to be another post brought to you by a heavy dose of vintage advertisements.
While searching for sexist and just flat out, crazy ass ads for Wednesdays post…I came across some old clinical advertisements that were aimed at doctors, specifically psychologist/psychiatric doctors.
I guess these were the prescription medications that drug companies would have advertised in medical journals? Whatever, some go back to the early 50’s. A few are earlier than that…most are from the late sixties, and seventies. I added a couple that are just “over the counter” (that is tongue in cheek because it is more like snake oil stuff if you ask me) you will get which ones I am talking about. These are the adverts that were just too good to pass up, I had to share them with you.
I will say this, Thorazine…wtf? They have ads for that shit…from psoriasis to bursitis, nausea to old fart’s anger issues, to anxiety and pain, the ads tell doctors to prescribe it before…during and after surgery, hell…it even cures hiccups!
This drug does everything!
Wow…That is some magical medication there….
I know that I took a shitload of space, but can you blame me?
It looks like they still prescribe this drug, for all I know I am on the thing now…I just don’t realize it. These drug names can get so confusing.
Anyway, on with the actual post…let us see what is going on in the world this Sunday morning/afternoon…
It has been a violent weekend, just read these headlines:
A Burundian army official said 87 people were killed in violence after three military installations were attacked by armed men, while the discovery Saturday of dozens of bodies which appeared to have been victims of possible retaliatory, close-range executions added further to the severity of the crisis facing the war-torn African country.
Army spokesman Col. Gaspard Baratuza said Saturday eight security officers were among those killed and 21 others wounded in the fighting. Baratuza said government forces arrested 45 members of the unidentified group that attacked the military installations.
On Saturday, Burundi’s political violence escalated further with dozens of people found shot dead in the capital, Bujumbura. Residents said that security forces searched houses, dragged out some people and shot them, some with their hands tied behind their backs.
“The bodies of dozens of civilians were on the street — most of them young men — many appear to have been shot at close range,” reported Al Jazeera’s Malcolm Webb, who spoke to eyewitnesses in Bujumbura. “Residents believe these killings were a response to Friday’s attacks on the military.”
Police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said there were “no collateral victims” during Friday’s clashes. “All the deaths were attackers killed in the joint sweep operation of the army and police,” Nkurikiye said. “The enemy was neutralized.”
The US is urging its citizens to leave the country…Bodies on the streets as violence rocks Burundi – Al Jazeera English
The US government has asked its citizens to leave Burundi as soon as possible after 87 people were found dead in the capital Bujumbura on Saturday, in an escalation of violence linked to President Pierre Nkurunziza’s disputed third term.
The State Department said on Sunday that it has ordered the departure of non-emergency U. government personnel and dependents of US government employees from Burundi due to continuing violence.
The State Department’s travel warning also said that the US Embassy can only offer limited emergency services to US citizens in Burundi.
And while I was grabbing the quote for this link above…at the Al Jazzera English website, I saw this news alert flash by:
Russian warship fires warning shots at a Turkish vessel…
Unresponsive ship came within 600 metres of Russian destroyer before it opened fire with small arms: defence ministry.
Russia’s defence ministry says one of its warships fired warning shots at a Turkish vessel in Aegean Sea on Sunday to avoid a collision.
A ministry statement says the destroyer Smetlivy was unable to establish radio contact with the approaching Turkish ship, which also failed to respond to visual signals and flares.
When the vessel was 600 metres away, the destroyer fired with small arms and the Turkish vessel quickly changed course.
Tensions between Moscow and Ankara have been heightened since a Turkish jet downed a Russian bomber along the Syrian border last month, killing the pilot.
I will have more on this news as it happens….
Continuing with the morning post:
Francis cited no specific violent event in his homily in a Rome basilica, St. John in Lateran. But he said: “We can’t let ourselves be overcome by weariness. No form of sadness is allowed, even if we would have reason to, because of the many worries and multiple forms of violence which wound our humanity.”
Some promising news, if only just a start….First women elected to Saudi local councils | Reuters
Saudi Arabia said on Sunday that at least two women were elected to public office in the conservative Islamic kingdom after winning seats on municipal councils in Mecca and al-Jawf in Saturday’s election.
The election was the first in which women could vote and run as candidates, a landmark step in a country where women are barred from driving and are legally dependent on a male relative to approve almost all their major life decisions.
However, the election was for only two thirds of seats in municipal councils that have no lawmaking or national powers, and follows men-only polls in 2005 and 2011.
Police officials have confirmed the incident took place shortly before midday on Saturday in the Lynwood suburb of the Californian city.
A brief statement from Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said the man, who has been named in local media reports as 28-year-old father-of-three Nicholas Robertson, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police spokesman Lieutenant Eddie Hernandez told KTLA-5deputies responded to a number of calls reporting a person, described as a black man wearing a checkered shirt, carrying a gun.
Take it from there…
In Tennessee, a woman who was so desperate…Woman Charged With Attempted Murder in Failed Abortion – ABC News
A Tennessee woman is charged with attempted first-degree murder for what investigators say was a failed abortion attempt.
According to a Murfreesboro Police Department report, in September Yocca, 31, filled a bathtub with water and attempted to self-abort with a coat hanger. She began bleeding and became worried about her safety.
Her boyfriend took her to the hospital where doctors delivered a 24-week-old baby weighing just 1.5 pounds. Doctors told investigators the child will need medical support for the rest of his life because of the injuries he sustained.
Yocca is due in court Dec. 21. Jail officials did not know whether she has an attorney.
I don’t know, and I am sure we will hear more about this as the case proceeds. Can you imagine the mental state of this woman? Self abort with a coat hanger in a bathtub?
More Hate, yes with a capital H:
A 23-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of a hate crime and arson related to a fire Friday afternoon at a Coachella Valley mosque.
Carl Dial was arrested about 9 p.m. Friday and booked on five felony charges, including commission of a hate crime, arson, maliciously setting a fire and second-degree burglary, according to law enforcement sources and Riverside County Sheriff’s Department booking records.
The fire at the Islamic Society of the Coachella Valley mosque is one of several incidents over the past week that officials are investigating as possible backlashes from the San Bernardino terrorist shootings. Authorities believe the shooters were self-radicalized Islamic extremists.
And just where does this man come from?
Check out the dudes parents:
They look like a poster promo for a Fox News special report, “War on Christmas” as a featured special guest…”Next up, we interviewed Mr and Mrs Dial, both loyal Fox News Viewers, for their opinion on the left’s abomination…taking Christ out of Christmas.”
I am giving you a link to Joe Cannon: Cannonfire– Why did Uncle spy on Johnetta instead of Tashfeen?
He is asking some legitimate questions, even if he puts it in a patronizing way…(regarding the “lady terrorist” comments.) But I may be a bit oversensitive…I don’t know. All other points are well made.
Sticking with the ISIL or terrorism issues for a little longer:
Hullabaloo-Emptywheel on cancer and malaise
Marcy Wheeler, usually known for her dissection of dense bureaucratic documents and finding the real meaning behind them wrote a polemic today. And it’s really good
Here is the post Digby is talking about:
The right wingers who insist on calling any attack by a Muslim “terrorism” — who insist on tying the San Bernardino attack to ISIS, even in the absence of evidence — do it to prioritize the fight against Islamic terrorists over all the other ills facing America: over other gun violence, over climate change, over the persistent economic struggles of most Americans. Theirs is a profoundly unpatriotic effort to put war over every other policy priority, even far more pressing ones. That stance has led to a disinvestment in America, with real consequences for everyone not getting rich off of arms sales.
Last week, President Obama capitulated to these forces, giving a speechdesigned to give the attack in San Bernardino precedence over all the other mass killings of late, to give its 14 dead victims more importance over all the other dead victims. Most strikingly, Obama called attacks that aren’t, legally, terrorism, something his critics have long been demanding.
Take those two links for what it is worth. I thought it was a good speech. I thought what Obama said about some things,
Here’s what else we cannot do. We cannot turn against one another by letting this fight be defined as a war between America and Islam. That, too, is what groups like ISIL want. ISIL does not speak for Islam. They are thugs and killers, part of a cult of death, and they account for a tiny fraction of more than a billion Muslims around the world — including millions of patriotic Muslim Americans who reject their hateful ideology. Moreover, the vast majority of terrorist victims around the world are Muslim. If we’re to succeed in defeating terrorism we must enlist Muslim communities as some of our strongest allies, rather than push them away through suspicion and hate.
That does not mean denying the fact that an extremist ideology has spread within some Muslim communities. This is a real problem that Muslims must confront, without excuse. Muslim leaders here and around the globe have to continue working with us to decisively and unequivocally reject the hateful ideology that groups like ISIL and al Qaeda promote; to speak out against not just acts of violence, but also those interpretations of Islam that are incompatible with the values of religious tolerance, mutual respect, and human dignity.
But just as it is the responsibility of Muslims around the world to root out misguided ideas that lead to radicalization, it is the responsibility of all Americans — of every faith — to reject discrimination. It is our responsibility to reject religious tests on who we admit into this country. It’s our responsibility to reject proposals that Muslim Americans should somehow be treated differently. Because when we travel down that road, we lose. That kind of divisiveness, that betrayal of our values plays into the hands of groups like ISIL. Muslim Americans are our friends and our neighbors, our co-workers, our sports heroes — and, yes, they are our men and women in uniform who are willing to die in defense of our country. We have to remember that.
(Quoted from President Obama’s speech after the San Bernadino Mass Shooting.)
Another terrorist link for you…in more ways than you think: Gun Linked to Paris Attacks Traced Back to Florida Arms Dealer Implicated in Iran-Contra Scandal | Alternet
Century Arms buys and sells military-grade surplus guns and is one of the largest arms dealers in the U.S.
A gun linked to last month’s Paris mass shootings has been traced back to a Florida arms dealer.
The serial number for a M92 semi-automatic pistol linked to the deadly Nov. 13 terrorist attacks matched one for a weapon delivered by the Zastava arms factory in May 2013 to Century International Arms in Delray Beach, reported the Palm Beach Post.
Michael Sucher, the owner of Century Arms, did not answer calls seeking comment Thursday and the doors to his shop were closed as TV news crews gathered outside.
Employees leaving the arms dealer’s building did not comment on the case, and a woman who works next door said she had no idea the business dealt guns.
The company also holds a federal firearms license in Georgia, Vermont, to import and build guns and to import destructive devices such as large-caliber guns and armor-piercing ammunition.
Documents shared by WikiLeaks in 2011 showed Century Arms had illegally traded firearms with the help of “unauthorized brokers.”
The Center for Public Integrity reported that same year that WASR-10 rifles manufactured for Century Arms in Romania had become a favorite of Mexican drug cartels.
John Rugg, a former police officer and longtime Century Arms employee, testified before a U.S. Senate committee in 1987 that the company had supplied rockets, grenades and other weapons to Nicaraguan rebels as part of the Iran-Contra scandal.
The export of firearms is heavily regulated, and weapons experts suggested the weapon may have been illegally transferred.
Century Arms sells to individuals or other businesses with a federal firearms license, and its website directs most retail traffic to a network of dealers.
But there are no restrictions on who can obtain those licenses.
Read the rest at the link and remember, every Republican in the Senate, save for one…voted against regulating guns from people on the No-Fly list…Republicans Reject Proposals To Bar People On No-Fly List From Buying Guns : NPR
Enough, now on to other news, election news.
Barbara Schierenbeck, a 59-year-old nurse in Brooklyn, is swept up in the excitement of potentially electing Hillary Clinton the first female president. She cannot understand why her 19-year-old daughter, Anna, does not feel the same way.
“Fifteen or 20 years ago, no one would even think about a woman being president,” Mrs. Schierenbeck said. “Certainly, when I was 20 years old in the 1970s, I don’t think I would even have thought about it.”
But for her daughter, electing a woman, while a nice idea, is not a motivating factor. “I want to see someone who, like, has the fervor to fight for me,” Anna Schierenbeck said. A woman will be elected president “pretty soon” anyway, she said, regardless of what happens in 2016. Why does that woman have to be Mrs. Clinton?
The mother-daughter debate unfolding in the Schierenbeck household reflects a debate taking place across the country, as women of varying ages and backgrounds confront the potential milestone implicit in Mrs. Clinton’s bid very differently. As her chances of becoming the first woman to be nominated by a major political party improve, many women are considering how much gender should play into their decisions to embrace Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy — or not.
Fucking New York Times.
Gawd, that is horrifying enough…fucking hell!
Balkinization: Ted Cruz’s Supreme Court Memos
I told y’all about the connection with Trump, Facebook Friends, and my suspected Banjoville KKK enthusiast? Take a look at this: Georgia poll finds wide GOP support for Donald Trump and his Muslim ban | Political Insider blog
Meanwhile, as I write this, the breaking news on CNN:
Trump Defends Muslim Ban Proposal State of the Union with Jake Tapper
What a difference between that news coverage and the Al Jazeera English? Innit?
We will end the Cruz and Trump shit with a tweet from Cher:
Looks like the asshole Cruz people aka Cruz supporters have done there job to threaten Cher, yup…death threats. Fuck them all…damn I hate these dickwads.
America’s 20 wealthiest people — a group that could fit comfortably in one single Gulfstream G650 luxury jet – now own more wealth than the bottom half of the American population combined, a total of 152 million people in 57 million households.
The Forbes 400 now own about as much wealth as the nation’s entire African-American population – plus more than a third of the Latino population – combined.
The wealthiest 100 households now own about as much wealth as the entire African American population in the United States. Among the Forbes 400, just 2 individuals are African American – Oprah Winfrey and Robert Smith.
The wealthiest 186 members of the Forbes 400 own as much wealth as the entire Latino population. Just five members of the Forbes 400 are Latino including Jorge Perez, Arturo Moreno, and three members of the Santo Domingo family.
With a combined worth of $2.34 trillion, the Forbes 400 own more wealth than the bottom 61 percent of the country combined, a staggering 194 million people.
The median American family has a net worth of $81,000. The Forbes 400 own more wealth than 36 million of these typical American families. That’s as many households in the United States that own cats.
In other Environmental news:
Oklahoma State University prof. says regulatory choices made decades ago set state up to experience daily earthquakes
U.S. sales of medically important antibiotics approved for use in livestock rose by 23 percent between 2009 and 2014, federal regulators said on Thursday, fueling concerns about risks to humans from antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Public health advocates, along with some lawmakers and scientists, have criticized the long-standing practice of using antibiotics in livestock, arguing that it is fueling the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Agribusinesses defend the practice as necessary to help keep cattle, pigs and chickens healthy and to increase production of meat for U.S. consumers.
“Dangerous overuse of antibiotics by the agricultural industry has been on the rise at an alarming rate in recent years, putting the effectiveness of our life-saving drugs in jeopardy for people when they get sick,” said Avinash Kar, senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council.
And before we get to the last few links, a bit of crazy…the crazy ass bat shit kind of crazy…
Remember Topeka Councilman Jonathan Schumm, and his sad wife, Allison, and how they were IN JAIL for felony child abuse of at least one of their 16 children? Thanks to excellent reporting by Buzzfeed, we have two new gross pieces of information: what exactly they did to one of their kids (ALLEGEDLY), and how they stole a baby from a lesbian couple, because Kansas.
the annals of freeloading deadbeats.
In June, ranchers in Battle Mountain, Nevada, drove their cattle onto public lands in defiance of orders by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to stay off areas affected by the ongoing drought. The ranchers claimed there was no drought and so their animals should be allowed to graze on the land. But at least two ranching families involved in the protest received $2.2 million from a federal drought disaster relief program, according to Reveal. The leader of the protest, Dan Filippini, got $338,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Livestock Forage Disaster Program (pdf) last year. His family received another $750,000 via a trust and corporation. Filippini took the payments despite his lawyer claiming in 2014 that “no drought exists” on the Battle Mountain range.
There are some good words there from Charlie about the whole Scalia thing from earlier in the week too…check it out.<
Go watch that video, it is rather cute!
And lastly…another video, a big Happy Birthday to Blue Eyes:
Before Frank Sinatra became a global household name, he was a local boy from a small town across the river from Manhattan. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth, his native Hoboken, New Jersey, has him on proud display. VOA’s Ramon Taylor reports.
May you all live to be 100 years old and may the last voice you hear be mine!
Enjoy…That’s life. BTW, think of this as an open thread.
As promised…I bring you the latest edition of The Woman in Red….(It has taken me days, in fact almost the last 24 hours has been straight on through.)
You can read the earlier issues at these links:
As before, click the image to see the full size…and then click on the image itself to enlarge the picture, otherwise you will not be able to read the captions.
So….here we go!
Woman in Red:
Debate, Election and the Shutdown…
The GOP’s Albescent-churian Candidate
Tonight is the Republican Presidential Candidate Debate…..
Let’s take you to the debate venue, shortly before the event is to begin……
Bloody hell, I am exhausted!
Hope you enjoyed this edition of The Woman in Red, and the introduction of the new arch nemesis…S.P.Ermand…The Sperm Man!
This is an open thread.
Sorry to be so late again. But I think I have some interesting reads for you today, so I hope some of you will be able to check them out afternoon and evening.
I’m going to begin with a sad story that happened in the Greater Boston town where I live.
On Friday, August 31, a 15-year-old high school sophomore named Jeremy Kremer-McNeil committed suicide in the basement of his home using cyanide. So far there’s been no explanation of how he obtained the chemical, but according to The Boston Globe, police suspect he may have gotten it on the internet.
A hazmat crew had to be called in to decontaminate the house before the scene could be processed by police. At first the boy’s name was not released, but his family asked that it be made public. Here is the obituary Jeremy’s family submitted to the Arlington Patch:
Kremer-McNeil, Jeremy Alexander, 15, of Arlington, died on September 4, 2015.
Jeremy is the beloved son of Amy Kremer and Taylor McNeil, and brother of Emily. He is also survived by his grandmother, Esther Kremer; aunts Betsy (Kremer) Lane and Jenny (McNeil) Foerster; uncle Randall Kremer; and many cousins.
He was and is loved deeply by all his family and so very many friends.
Jeremy had a strong wish to put an end to human trafficking. To honor his passion, and to provide lasting comfort not only to his family and friends but to others in distress, we ask that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made in his honor to The Polaris Project (www.polarisproject.org). In this way, he will live on in the good that is done in the world.
From The Boston Globe: Arlington teen apparently consumes cyanide, spurs hazmat response.
ARLINGTON — Hazmat crews rushed to a quiet street on Friday afternoon after a 15-year-old died by apparently consuming cyanide, officials said.
Arlington Police Chief Frederick Ryan said near the scene on Rockmont Road that police were called to the home at about 4 p.m., after a relative voiced “concerns” about the male victim, who lived in the home.
Ryan did not elaborate on the concerns but said that officers found the victim’s body in the basement of the home, and that observations led them “to believe that the deceased may have consumed cyanide.”
As a result, Ryan said, neighbors were evacuated from their homes and a hazardous-materials crew descended on the residence to begin decontaminating the area, as well as the victim’s body. Work injury lawyers in phoenix AZ were immediately consulted and hired for their cause.
The office of Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan said in a statement that because that because the victim’s death does not appear to be suspicious, authorities will not release his name.
I was stunned to learn that there is such a policy in place. So many young people struggle with depression and anxiety; and suicide by teenagers and even younger children is not uncommon. So why the secrecy? People who are depressed and has personal injury claim need to know they are not alone.
The Boston Herald reports:
The apparent suicide of an Arlington teenager who school officials identified yesterday left the town shaken as the odd way he died drew attention to a death that police said would otherwise have passed by unnoticed.
“The manner in which this young man took his life was out of the ordinary — suicide itself is a quite common occurrence for us — and typically suicide incidents or suicide are not publicized,” Arlington police Chief Frederick Ryan told the Herald. “So the general public does not realize how frequent it does occur.”
How awful. No death by suicide should “pass by unnoticed.” This is a public health problem and the public needs to be aware of how many young people commit suicide. The family did the right thing by asking that his name be released.
More from Wicked Local Arlington: Editorial: Why we haven’t eulogized AHS teen.
In a little over one month, the town of Arlington has lost three young people to untimely deaths, tearing three holes in the fabric of three families and of this community. Two, Catherine Malatesta and Katherine Wall, were felled by aggressive cancers. The third, Jeremy Kremer-McNeil, killed himself in his parent’s basement using cyanide.
The deaths of Malatesta and Wall received significant coverage in these pages, yet the passing of Kremer-McNeil is only lightly covered. Does the manner of his death cheapen the life of a 15-year old cruelly taken from us? Is he suddenly undeserving of the same public mourning this paper has afforded his peers?
Suicide is undeniably a public health issue in the Commonwealth.
In MA, suicide was listed as the cause of death in 624 cases in 2012, the most recent year for which data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is available. On top of those 624 suicides, 4,258 people were hospitalized with self-inflicted injuries in Massachusetts in 2012, and the counseling hotline Samarateens responded to 187,849 crisis calls in that same year. As shocking as those numbers may seem, our overriding responsibility as a media outlet is to cover the broader issue of suicide, and not its individual instances.
By the way, there was a time when cancer deaths were hushed up as if somehow shameful or distasteful. I clearly recall when the mother of one of my high school classmates died very young of cancer. Her cause of death was whispered among the other students, but didn’t appear in her obituary.
Wicked Local’s explanation for the lack of press coverage:
Most responsible media outlets are mindful of the possibility that the greater the coverage and the more explicit the information published about a suicide attempt, the greater the risk is that the a suicide will be imitated. Research by psychiatric epidemiologist Madelyn Gould at New York City’s Columbia University shows that media attention around a peer’s suicide can make teens more vulnerable to killing themselves. Her research, as reported by NPR in 2009, showed that the increase in suicides following a suicide story is proportional to the amount, and the duration, and the prominence of the coverage of the initial event….
Despite the very public nature of Friday’s suicide, many aspects of this case are acutely private. In covering all tragedy, journalists must balance a family’s need for respect and privacy with the importance of the event. Those are pressures we feel even more acutely at The Advocate. The people we cover are not anonymous. They are our neighbors. In this case, we believed and continue to believe that the former definitively outweighs the latter.
Is this really a good policy? Are these media and law enforcement policies common around the country? Wouldn’t the suicide of a young person in a community be an appropriate time to educate residents, reach out to other local depressed young people, find ways to help them, rather than hush the suicide up and let depressed youngsters think they are alone in their struggles?
I only wish someone had been able to reach out to Jeremy and help him get past whatever he was going through. Sometimes just a hug or an empathetic listener can be a step toward deciding to stay alive.
I know something about this, because I was very depressed when I was Jeremy’s age, and I frequently considered suicide. Somehow, I always talked myself out of it and was able to go onward. I have struggled with depression for most of my adulthood also. I became an alcoholic through my attempts at self-medication. Now as a senior with more than 30 years of sobriety, I expect to take an antidepressants for the rest of my life. Over the years, I have learned may tools for dealing with my depression, but I know that I must be “ever vigilant”–as they say in A.A.–because I have a chronic illness that is both physical (highly genetic) and emotional.
I’d be very interested in learning what our readers think about the issue of media and law enforcement silence when people kill themselves.
Of course it isn’t just high school students who suffer from depression and anxiety. For most of each year, the Boston area has a massive population of college students, and the local papers usually run lots of back-to-school stories in September. This year the Globe is focusing on mental health issues among college students.
From yesterday’s Globe: College kids are sad, stressed, and scared. Can their counseling centers help them?
When Ramya Babu thinks about her freshman year at Boston University, she remembers the day she stood alone in her dorm room and screamed in anguish.
Babu had been thrilled to start college. But just a few weeks into the school year, she began to feel like the world around her was simultaneously spinning too fast and leaving her dizzy, but also moving too slow in a way that made her feel like her loneliness and anxiety would never end. All of the overwhelmed emotions she had tried to suppress caught up to her, making her cry out in pain.
Frantic, Babu called a friend from home, who suggested she see someone at BU’s counseling center.
A counselor at BU’s behavioral medicine center diagnosed her with both depression and an anxiety disorder. Each week, at her appointments, Babu would talk through her feelings and concerns with her counselor and leave feeling like she had strategies that would help her survive.
But at the end of the semester, after only eight sessions, her counselor handed her a referral sheet and told her this would be their final meeting. She would have to find a new therapist.
“I had no idea what to do,” she said. “I felt like the support in the referral process was next to non-existent. I know they have a limited number of therapists, but this is a college campus with a mental health center and there I was trying to negotiate with outside practitioners I knew nothing about.”
When I was teaching at Boston University, I often talked to students who had terrible problems; many were obviously depressed and anxious. I always tried to listen to and empathize with the problems they shared, but there was little more I could do. I knew about the short-term counseling available at BU and most other universities, and always thought it was terribly inadequate. More from the Globe article:
From today’s Globe: ‘I didn’t need to pretend anymore:’ the fading stigma of mental illness at college.
Wendy Chang’s friends could recognize her laugh from a distance. Even if they didn’t see her right away, they knew from the boisterous sound that echoed down Harvard’s hallways that Chang would soon appear, her head thrown back and nose scrunched up with mirth.
Lanier Walker thought Chang’s constant laughter was a sign that she was happy. But Walker later learned that Chang hid what pained her most. The 22-year-old Harvard senior hung herself in her dorm room in 2012.
Walker was shocked and horrified that the life her friend lived didn’t match the image that she portrayed. Then she realized that her friends and peers didn’t know much about her own personal struggles, either.
Walker decided to take action.
After another Harvard student died by suicide in the spring of 2014, Walker felt overwhelmed by the need to do something. She wrote an op-ed for The Harvard Crimsoncalled “We Need to Talk” about her own struggles with depression and anxiety. By her sophomore year, Walker was having four to five anxiety attacks a week.
“Harvard doesn’t always make it easy to talk about ourselves,” she wrote. “It’s a place that demands perfection, and as a result, we feel compelled to present perfect versions of ourselves. We don’t talk about what’s really going on.”
Walker’s letter ended with a call to her peers to start talking, and to let others know they were around to listen. After the letter was published, she needed to take her own advice.
Read the rest at the Globe link.
I’ll end with this Globe article from May of this year: Parents of teen track star who took her own life: ‘It’s okay not to be okay.’
Madison Holleran was a track star at the University of Pennsylvania. She was smart. She was beautiful. She was loved. Her posts on Instagram depicted the kind of life that you looked at and wondered why yours wasn’t nearly as perfect.
But it wasn’t perfect. On January 17, 2014, Madison Holleran lept off the ninth floor of a parking garage and died. She was 19 years old.
“There are moments when the Hollerans are chasing the ‘why,’ still,” said Kate Fagan, who wrotethe in-depth article about Holleran’s life and death forESPN magazine’s May issue.
“Every time I talked to them, it came back to, ‘The reason we’re talking about it is because we wanted to let people know it’s okay to not be okay.’”
Those are such wise words! Yes, it is “okay to not be okay.” We need much more public discussion of depression and anxiety in this country. These illnesses–and they are illnesses–should be discussed openly. Of course the U.S. doesn’t have anything approaching a good system to address mental health problems either, and that has to change. If suicides are hushed up, that is not going to happen. The public needs to know the extent of the problem and the public needs to be the catalyst to bring out change.
I have a few more interesting stories to share–I’ll just give you the headlines and links and I hope you’ll check them out.
First, here’s an important story from the Winnipeg Free Press that Dakinikat linked to in a comment yesterday. I thought it deserved more prominent placement. It’s an edited interview with Jane Goodall in which she discusses climate change denial, research myths, and animal rights: Jane Goodall remains a road warrior for the planet.
A long article at The Atlantic that I haven’t read yet: The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration, by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
From The National Memo: Endorse This: Look, It’s Super-Jeb! by Eric Kleefeld.
Mitch Albom at The National Memo: Tape Tells Story In James Blake Arrest Case.
A terrifying case of race profiling that hasn’t gotten much attention: Kamilah Brock: Woman held in mental health facility because police didn’t believe BMW was hers.
What stories are you following today?