Our Common Good
quickhits:

Do hyperbolic rightwing hacks feel any responsibility for stories like this?

Raw Story:
A tanning salon owner in Key West who blamed the president for his personal problems has killed himself after writing “Fuck Obama” on his will.
Michael Cossey told police that his partner, 64-year-old Henry Hamilton, had promised that “if Barack gets re-elected, I’m not going to be around,” according to the Key West Citizen.
Friends of Hamilton had requested that police conduct welfare checks on Hamilton because they were concerned about his state of mind. When Officer Pablo Rodriguez stopped by the condo on Nov. 8, he woke Cossey and the two found Hamilton dead with two empty prescription bottles, one for the anxiety medication Xanax and one for the schizophrenia medication Seroquel.
Cossey said that Hamilton had been “very upset about the election results” and “very stressed about his business.”

There are a lot of mentally ill people out there and telling them that Obama’s reelection means the end of America/Christianity/freedom really isn’t super-helpful. Do wingnut “pundits” feel any responsibility for this sort of stories at all?

quickhits:

Do hyperbolic rightwing hacks feel any responsibility for stories like this?

Raw Story:

A tanning salon owner in Key West who blamed the president for his personal problems has killed himself after writing “Fuck Obama” on his will.

Michael Cossey told police that his partner, 64-year-old Henry Hamilton, had promised that “if Barack gets re-elected, I’m not going to be around,” according to the Key West Citizen.

Friends of Hamilton had requested that police conduct welfare checks on Hamilton because they were concerned about his state of mind. When Officer Pablo Rodriguez stopped by the condo on Nov. 8, he woke Cossey and the two found Hamilton dead with two empty prescription bottles, one for the anxiety medication Xanax and one for the schizophrenia medication Seroquel.

Cossey said that Hamilton had been “very upset about the election results” and “very stressed about his business.”

There are a lot of mentally ill people out there and telling them that Obama’s reelection means the end of America/Christianity/freedom really isn’t super-helpful. Do wingnut “pundits” feel any responsibility for this sort of stories at all?

A Utah Republican fundraiser charged with sexually assaulting women he met online committed suicide on Tuesday, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said Greg Peterson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the very same Heber, Utah cabin where he hosted political events and allegedly raped at least two of his five alleged victims.

Peterson, 37, was facing 25 charges of assault, rape and kidnapping related to attacks on the women. If convicted, Peterson could have been sent to prison for the rest of his life. Peterson was released from jail on Friday after posting $2 million in bond.

Utah authorities charged Peterson with the crimes in July and said he met several of his alleged victims on Mormon dating websites. The attacks allegedly took place in March, July and December of 2011 and April 2012. It wasn’t clear when the fifth attack allegedly took place.

As TPM reported, one 2011 Peterson event featured Utah Sens. Orrin Hatch (R) and Mike Lee (R), Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) and Gov. Gary Herbert (R).

mochente:

Suicide has surpassed car accidents as the No. 1 cause of injury-related death in the United States, according to new research.

From 2000 to 2009, the death rate for suicide ticked up 15 percent while it decreased 25 percent for car wrecks, the study found. Improved traffic safety measures…

kathiek:

Romney’s attempt to link military suicides to the Obama administration is deeply problematic for a number of reasons.

First, veterans’ health care is exempt from the sequestration deal that Romney is attacking…

[Second], Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan’s budget plan would cut the VA budget by $11 billion…

By crassly using [the suicides of soldiers] as a political football, [Romney] opens himself up to a debate about who really stands for veterans — and it’s a debate that he really does not want to have.

If anything else didn’t convince you this guy is just a rich, imperious opportunistic douchehole, saying something like this should do it.  Mitt makes George W. look good. 

This is terribly sad.  The guy had a history of mental illness. He worked with a defense contractor so probably listed to BS at work all day, had Rush on the radio in the car as he drove to work and then went home and watched Fox News - all telling him to be horribly afraid.  Then innocent people pay. 

Louie Gohmert: “Hussein Obama Helped Jump-Start A New Ottoman Empire” (by PoliticsBuzz)

Remember that after the Aurora theater shooting Gohmert said that the shootings were a result of “ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs” and questioned why nobody else in the theater had a gun to take down the shooter.

He has also said that “the rate of suicide in the military was associated with atheism — drawing a connection that he said implied that a lack of faith was associated with mental health disorders.”

Gohmert is the vice chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.

Democrat Dr. Shirley McKellar is running against Gohmert in Texas’ 1st Congressional District.

This will be the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. Texas’ 1st congressional district is located in the eastern portion of the state, and includes Harrison, Panola, Gregg, Smith, Wood, Upshur, Rusk, Shelby, Sabine, San Augustine, Angelina, and Nacogdoches counties.

For the general election, the voter registration deadline is October 9.

If you live in this district, please Volunteer For the Vote McKellar Campaign

Looking at the FEC reports, McKellar could really use some help.  I just made a small donation.  She may have no chance of beating him in that district, but we should demonstrate that there is significant opposition to his views.

laboratoryequipment:

Parasite May Cause Suicide AttemptsA parasite thought to be harmless and found in many people may actually be causing subtle changes in the brain, leading to suicide attempts. New research appearing in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry adds to the growing work linking an infection caused by the Toxoplasma gondii parasite to suicide attempts. Michigan State Univ.’s Lena Brundin was one of the lead researchers on the team.About 10-20 percent of people in the United States have Toxoplasma gondii, or T. gondii, in their bodies, but in most it was thought to lie dormant, says Brundin, an associate professor of experimental psychiatry in MSU’s College of Human Medicine. In fact, it appears the parasite can cause inflammation over time, which produces harmful metabolites that can damage brain cells.Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2012/08/parasite-may-cause-suicide-attempts

laboratoryequipment:

Parasite May Cause Suicide Attempts

A parasite thought to be harmless and found in many people may actually be causing subtle changes in the brain, leading to suicide attempts. New research appearing in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry adds to the growing work linking an infection caused by the Toxoplasma gondii parasite to suicide attempts. Michigan State Univ.’s Lena Brundin was one of the lead researchers on the team.

About 10-20 percent of people in the United States have Toxoplasma gondii, or T. gondii, in their bodies, but in most it was thought to lie dormant, says Brundin, an associate professor of experimental psychiatry in MSU’s College of Human Medicine. In fact, it appears the parasite can cause inflammation over time, which produces harmful metabolites that can damage brain cells.

Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2012/08/parasite-may-cause-suicide-attempts

Soldiers killed themselves at a rate faster than one per day in July, the Army announced Thursday. There were 38 deaths either confirmed or suspected as suicides, the highest one-month tally in recent Army history, the service said.

questionall:

Wow, I never thought I’d see a time when a Wall Street trader would commit a crime, get caught and punished.  But he won’t have to go to jail because he committed suicide instead.  Sad, sad, tale.

occupyallstreets:

Chinese Women Faces Life Sentence In America For Suicide Attempt That Killed Fetus
On December 23 2010, Bei Bei Shuai became so depressed after she had been abandoned by her boyfriend – a married Chinese man who broke his promise to set up a family with her – that she decided to end her life. She consumed rat poison, and after confessing to friends was rushed to the Methodist hospital.
Doctors took steps to save her, but on December 31 there were signs that the baby, then at 33 weeks gestation, was in distress and a Caesarian was performed. On the second day the baby was found to have a massive brain haemorrhage and on January 2 was taken off life support.
March 14th last year, Shuai was arrested and taken into custody in the high-security Marion County prison, where she was held for the next 435 days, charged with murdering her fetus and attempted feticide. If convicted of the murder count she faces a sentence of 45 years to life.
Bei Bei Shuai is at the sharp end of the creeping criminalization of pregnancy across America. Women who lose their unborn babies – whether in cases of maternal drug addiction or in Shuai’s case a failed suicide attempt – are increasingly finding themselves accused of murder.
Speaking publicly for the first time, Shuai told the Guardian she is determined to defend herself as she prepares for a murder trial scheduled for December. “I have a strong desire to stay in America,” she said, three days after she had been released from jail on $50,000 bail. “I want to stay and fight this case. I have the best legal team, and I’m not afraid anymore to face the charges.”
Read More

occupyallstreets:

Chinese Women Faces Life Sentence In America For Suicide Attempt That Killed Fetus

On December 23 2010, Bei Bei Shuai became so depressed after she had been abandoned by her boyfriend – a married Chinese man who broke his promise to set up a family with her – that she decided to end her life. She consumed rat poison, and after confessing to friends was rushed to the Methodist hospital.

Doctors took steps to save her, but on December 31 there were signs that the baby, then at 33 weeks gestation, was in distress and a Caesarian was performed. On the second day the baby was found to have a massive brain haemorrhage and on January 2 was taken off life support.

March 14th last year, Shuai was arrested and taken into custody in the high-security Marion County prison, where she was held for the next 435 days, charged with murdering her fetus and attempted feticide. If convicted of the murder count she faces a sentence of 45 years to life.

Bei Bei Shuai is at the sharp end of the creeping criminalization of pregnancy across America. Women who lose their unborn babies – whether in cases of maternal drug addiction or in Shuai’s case a failed suicide attempt – are increasingly finding themselves accused of murder.

Speaking publicly for the first time, Shuai told the Guardian she is determined to defend herself as she prepares for a murder trial scheduled for December. “I have a strong desire to stay in America,” she said, three days after she had been released from jail on $50,000 bail. “I want to stay and fight this case. I have the best legal team, and I’m not afraid anymore to face the charges.

Read More

shortformblog:

An Iowa newspaper takes a tough front-page stance against bullying
Today’s Sioux City Journal devoted their full front page to an editorial about a gay teen who recently committed suicide. On the death of 14-year-old Kenneth Weishuhn, which the paper called “a kind-hearted, fun-loving teenage boy,” the paper had this to say: “This is not a failure of one group of kids, one school, one town, one county or one geographic area. Rather, it exposes a fundamental flaw in our society, one that has deep-seated roots. Until now, it has been too difficult, inconvenient — maybe even painful — to address. But we can’t keep looking away.”  A must-read that offers concrete solutions to a major cultural problem; check it out for yourself. (page via Newseum; thanks sarahlee310 for spotting)

What a difference it might make if other papers cared enough about their communities to be so bold.  The Sioux City Journal deserves all the recognition we can muster for it. Thanks for posting the graphic and the quote.

shortformblog:

An Iowa newspaper takes a tough front-page stance against bullying

Today’s Sioux City Journal devoted their full front page to an editorial about a gay teen who recently committed suicide. On the death of 14-year-old Kenneth Weishuhn, which the paper called “a kind-hearted, fun-loving teenage boy,” the paper had this to say: “This is not a failure of one group of kids, one school, one town, one county or one geographic area. Rather, it exposes a fundamental flaw in our society, one that has deep-seated roots. Until now, it has been too difficult, inconvenient — maybe even painful — to address. But we can’t keep looking away.”  A must-read that offers concrete solutions to a major cultural problem; check it out for yourself(page via Newseum; thanks sarahlee310 for spotting)

What a difference it might make if other papers cared enough about their communities to be so bold.  The Sioux City Journal deserves all the recognition we can muster for it. Thanks for posting the graphic and the quote.

The Sioux City Journal's front-page opinion piece calls on the community to be pro-active in stopping bullying and urges members to learn more about the problem by seeing the acclaimed new film, “Bully,” which documents the harassment of a Sioux City middle school student. It notes that while many students are targeted for being gay, “we have learned a bully needs no reason to strike.”

"In Kenneth’s case, the warnings were everywhere," the editorial said. "We saw it happen in other communities, now it has hit home. Undoubtedly, it wasn’t the first life lost to bullying here, but we can strive to make it the last.

Editor Mitch Pugh said the newspaper has run front-page editorials before but has never devoted the entire page to one.

"A lot of newspapers shy away from putting editorials on the front page, but we feel we have to be a strong advocate for our community," he said. "And if we don’t do that, we’re not sure who else is."

Well done, Sioux City Journal. 

For every soldier killed on the battlefield this year, about 25 veterans are dying by their own hands. An American soldier dies every day and a half, on average, in Iraq or Afghanistan. Veterans kill themselves at a rate of one every 80 minutes.

The economic downturn that has shaken Europe for the last three years has also swept away the foundations of once-sturdy lives, leading to an alarming spike in suicide rates. Especially in the most fragile nations like Greece, Ireland and Italy, small-business owners and entrepreneurs are increasingly taking their own lives in a phenomenon some European newspapers have started calling “suicide by economic crisis.”

Many, like Mr. Tamiozzo and Mr. Schiavon, have died in obscurity. Others, like the desperate 77-year-old retiree who shot himself outside the Greek Parliament on April 4, have turned their personal despair into dramatic public expressions of anger at the leaders who have failed to soften the blows of the crisis.

A complete picture of the phenomenon across Europe is elusive, as some countries lag in reporting statistics and coroners are loath to classify deaths as suicides, to protect surviving family members. But it is clear that countries on the front line of the economic crisis are suffering the worst, and that suicides among men have increased the most.

Researchers have long sought to understand the possible link between unemployment and suicide. As layoffs surged late in 2008, the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, a group based in D.C. and Massachusetts that helps organizations develop suicide prevention programs, reviewed two decades’ worth of research on the question. It found that a “strong relationship exists between unemployment, the economy, and suicide.”

But, the group cautioned, it’s never just one factor that drives people to the edge.

“Economic circumstances themselves are insufficient to cause a suicide; in fact, we do not know of any single factor that is sufficient on its own to ‘cause’ a suicide,” says an SPRC memo based on the research. “Stressors such as the loss of a job, a home, or retirement security can result in shame, humiliation or despair, and in that context, can precipitate suicide attempts in those who are already vulnerable or do not have sufficient resources to draw on for support.”

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that the suicide rate from 1928 to 2007 has risen and fallen in tandem with the business cycle. It spiked at the onset of the Great Depression, rising to its all-time high in 1933. It fell during the expansionary World War II period from 1939 to 1945. It rose during the oil crisis of the early ’70s and the double-dip recession of the early ’80s, and fell to its lowest level ever during the booming ’90s.

“Economic problems can impact how people feel about themselves and their futures as well as their relationships with family and friends. Economic downturns can also disrupt entire communities,” the study’s author, Feijun Luo, an economist in the CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention, says in a statement. “We know suicide is not caused by any one factor — it is often a combination of many that lead to suicide.”

Has suicide spiked during the worst recession since the Great Depression started in 2007? The government’s official numbers lag, so it’s too early to answer that question. According to the most recent data — a preliminary estimate the CDC released in March — suicide ticked up slightly in 2009, becoming the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Suicides accounted for 11.7 of every 100,000 deaths in 2009, up from 11.6 deaths the previous year and 11.3 in 2007.