The paratroopers had their assignment: Check out reports that Afghan police had recovered the mangled remains of an insurgent suicide bomber. Try to get iris scans and fingerprints for identification. The 82nd Airborne Division soldiers arrived at the police station in Afghanistan's Zabol province in February 2010. They inspected the body parts. Then the mission turned macabre: The paratroopers posed for photos next to Afghan police, grinning while some held — and others squatted beside — the corpse's severed legs. A few months later, the same platoon was dispatched to investigate the remains of three insurgents who Afghan police said had accidentally blown themselves up. After obtaining a few fingerprints, they posed next to the remains, again grinning and mugging for photographs.
Tag Archives | Mental Health
Living with Bipolar Disorder: Andy Behrman's 'Electroboy' | The Disinfocast with Matt Staggs: Episode 05Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania. At first, Andy Behrman's manic episodes gave him an edge among the young professional elite of 1980s New York City: thousands of ideas tumbled out of his super-charged brain and he slept only a couple of hours a night, leaving him plenty of time to pursue them all. Soon, though, the dizzying highs and crushing lows of his undiagnosed bipolar disorder grew too strong, and Andy's life spun out of control. He developed a taste for drugs, quick money and risky sex. He grew delusional and grandiose, spending thousands of dollars on impulsive trips around the world and luxury goods. His mania-fueled joyride ended in a federal court, an accused embezzler and forger of modern art. It took almost 20 rounds of electroconvulsive therapy to bring some degree of normalcy to Andy's life, but his story doesn't end there. He became a spokesperson for a powerful pharmaceutical company, ultimately betraying his corporate paymasters to become one of their harshest critics. Big pharma critic, author and mental health advocate Andy Behrman is my guest on this episode of The DisinfoCast.
Here's a window into a tragedy within the American military: 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. More than 6,500 veteran suicides are logged every year — more than the total number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq combined since those wars began. These unnoticed killing fields are places like New Middletown, Ohio, where Cheryl DeBow raised two sons, Michael and Ryan Yurchison, and saw them depart for Iraq. Michael, then 22, signed up soon after the 9/11 attacks. “I can’t just sit back and do nothing,” he told his mom. Two years later, Ryan followed his beloved older brother to the Army.
The banks are getting back all their money, so I guess a 40% increase in the suicide rate is the blood the Tree of Liberty requires to grow. Teo Kermeliotis reports on CNN:
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When Apostolos Polyzonis’s bank refused to see him last September, the 55-year-old Greek businessman had just 10 euros ($13) in his pocket. Out of work and bankrupt, he thought all he could do with his remaining money was to buy a gas can.Desperate and angry, Polyzonis stood outside the bank in central Thessaloniki, in northern Greece, doused himself in fuel and surrendered to the flames.
“At that moment, I saw my life as worthless, I really didn’t care if I was going to live or die,” recalls Polyzonis, who says he was hit by financial troubles after the bank recalled a loan given to him for his business. “My sense of living was much lower than my sense of self-respect and pride, the fact that I had lost my right to be a free Greek,” adds Polyzonis.
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Money doesn’t buy happiness. Neither does materialism: Research shows that people who place a high value on wealth, status, and stuff are more depressed and anxious and less sociable than those who do not. Now new research shows that materialism is not just a personal problem. It’s also environmental. “We found that irrespective of personality, in situations that activate a consumer mindset, people show the same sorts of problematic patterns in wellbeing, including negative affect and social disengagement,” says Northwestern University psychologist Galen V. Bodenhausen.
The study, conducted with colleagues Monika A. Bauer, James E. B. Wilkie, and Jung K. Kim, appears in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
In two of four experiments, university students were put in a materialistic frame of mind by tasks that exposed them to images of luxury goods or words mobilizing consumerist values (versus neutral scenes devoid of consumer products or words without such connotations).
Relax, folks, nothing to see here. After all, I’m sure that all that austerity-funded bond money is going towards a good cause—like gold-plating the vomitorium drains in Lloyd Blankfein’s villa on the Riviera, for instance. From the BBC’s Mark Lowen:
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Protesters have clashed with riot police in the Greek capital, Athens, hours after a pensioner shot himself dead outside parliament.
The 77-year-old man killed himself in the city’s busy Syntagma Square on Wednesday morning.
Greek media reported he had left a suicide note accusing the government of cutting his pension to nothing. Flowers have been laid at the spot where he died and tributes have been paid online.
“I see no other solution than this dignified end to my life, so I don’t find myself fishing through garbage cans for my sustenance.”—Extract from reputed suicide letter
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in the square outside parliament on Wednesday evening, the scene of many large protests in recent months.
Clancy Sigal writes at AlterNet:
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Military uprisings among the lower ranks have a long and fairly honorable tradition. The famous mutinies include Bligh’s HMS Bounty, the Indian Sepoy rising, Russian battleship Potemkin, British sailors’ strike at Invergordon, and lesser known mass revolts by French infantry divisions at the failed “Nivelle offensive” in 1917, Port Chicago in 1944 by African-American sailors refusing to unload dangerous cargo, U.S. soldier strikes in the Pacific against General MacArthur, and of course widespread GI resistance in Vietnam that broke the back of the war.
Afghanistan is an army mutiny by another name — on both sides. In “green on green” killings, Afghan soldiers have been on a spree killing American and NATO soldiers. Now an American sergeant, on his fourth combat tour, with previously diagnosed transitory brain injury, has “gone postal,” murdering 16 Afghans including women and nine children.
Yet the army doctors at the killer sergeant’s home base, Joint Fort Lewis-McChord, considered him “fit for combat duty” and as for his brain injury he was “deemed to be fine.”
Fort Lewis-McChord, in Washington state, is notorious for its cruel handling of returned combat veterans. Its forensic psychiatry unit at Madigan Medical Center had two doctors fired for mistreatment or otherwise ignoring soldier complaints.
Anna North writes on Jezebel:
A Chinese newspaper claims two young girls committed suicide in hopes of traveling back in time like the characters on popular TV shows. Is this a real case of death-by-TV, or is it government propaganda?
The English-language site People’s Daily Online has the story, which apparently originated at the paper China Daily. Fifth-grader Xiao Hua (not her real name) apparently “realized she lost the remote control for a rolling door at her house.” So she decided to commit suicide. Her friend Xiao Mei (also a pseudonym) decided to die with her, “because they were the best friends.” She, however, had bigger concerns than a remote control: “She planned to travel back to the Qing Dynasty (1644—1911) to make a film of an emperor; and she wanted to visit outer space.” The two wrote suicide notes and then drowned themselves in a pool.
This sounds like a cautionary tale about parenting — if your kid thinks killing herself is a good response to losing the remote control, you might not be sending the right message about the value of everyday objects …
Read More: Jezebel
Noted reptilian hegemony theorist David Icke is divorcing his second wife, Pamela, and she says it is due to questions of her fidelity to the very human species. As to what she says are his suspicions of her cooperating with parasitic overlords, Pamela told a reporter, “Of course, I’m not. David and I had a deep connection, we were meant to be together, but he turned against me. I’ve been through utter bewilderment, pain, sorrow and heartbreak.”
Mr. Icke denies her allegations.
More at the Daily Mail.