Tag Archives | Suicide
A fatal peril of life in the 21st century? Via the Huffington Post, C. Cryn Johannsen says:
Suicide is the dark side of the student lending crisis and, despite all the media attention to the issue of student loans, it’s been severely under-reported. I can’t ignore it though, because I’m an advocate for people who are struggling to pay their student loans, and I’ve been receiving suicidal comments for over two years and occasionally hearing reports of actual suicides. More people are being forced into untenable financial circumstances as outstanding student loan debt has surpassed $1 trillion. Currently, 36 million Americans have outstanding federal loans.
I first started appreciating the depth of the problem of suicidal debtors a few years ago, with a post on my blog, All Education Matters, entitled, “Suicide Among Student Debtors: Who’s Thought About It?” I was stunned by the responses. In comment after comment, people confessed to feeling suicidal.
Ron Paul writes on the Daily Bell:
This month Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced the addition of some 1,900 mental health nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers to its existing workforce of 20,590 mental health staff in attempt to get a handle on the epidemic of suicides among combat veterans. Unfortunately, when presidents misuse our military on an unprecedented scale – and Congress lets them get away with it – the resulting stress causes military suicides to increase dramatically, both among active duty and retired service members. In fact, military deaths from suicide far outnumber combat deaths. According to an article in the Air Force Times this month, suicides among airmen are up 40 percent over last year.
Considering the multiple deployments service members are forced to endure as the war in Afghanistan stretches into its second decade, these figures are sadly unsurprising.
Ironically, the same VA Secretary Eric Shinseki was forced to retire from the Army by President Bush for daring to suggest that an invasion and occupation of Iraq would not be the cakewalk that neoconservatives promised.
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:
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.
The Infinite and the Beyond — Episode #22 — Life and Living
In the latest episode of The Infinite and the Beyond, we talk about late Llewellyn author Scott Cunningham in A Corner in the Occult. Many Pagans and or Wiccans often find Scott’s books on their journey as Pagans. Many find his books on magick and religion uplifting and at times pertinent to their growing views on life and existence.
We also look into the idea of human flourishing and happiness and how to create it in one’s life. Are you happy? Are you flourishing? How would you define and list your values and virtues? Would you say that they are serving you and your life beneficially? Learn about virtue and Eudaimonia and how your life lives up to the teachings of Aristotle and other philosophers. See how some of the new virtue systems found in modern Paganism stand in comparison to a tried and true system which comes from Plato as we find an elementary way to update it for modern use.
Later in the show, I read listener email and we look at the history of the five elements in The Essence of Magick. Find out where the five elements of western occultism come from and how they came to be used in ritual magick. And to close we discuss suicide, assisted suicide and how they exist in relation to Paganism. Have you ever had someone in your life kill themselves? Have you ever known someone who died of a terminal, debilitating, and/or painful illness? How do the issues associated with suicide and assisted suicide relate to Paganism?
To message the show please go here.
The Chinese media has reported on an extraordinary account of a mother bear saving her cub from a life of torture by strangling it and then killing itself. The bears were kept in a farm located in a remote area in the North-West of China. The bears on the farm had their gall bladders milked daily for ‘bear bile,’ which is used as a remedy in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
It was reported that the bears are kept in tiny cages known as ‘crush cages’, as the bears have no room to manoeuvre and are literally crushed. The bile is harvested by making a permanent hole or fistula in the bears’ abdomen and gall bladder.
As the hole is never closed, the animals are suspect to various infections and diseases including tumours, cancers and death from peritonitis. The bears are fitted with an iron vest, as they often try to kill themselves by hitting their stomach as they are unable to bear the pain.A person who was on the farm in place of a friend witnessed the procedures and told Reminbao.com that they were inhumane.
Hemingway biographer A. E. Hotchner’s article in the New York Times details the rapid decline of Ernest Hemingway during his final years. Institutionalization, self-doubt and paranoia came to a head on July 1, 1961 when the author took his own life.
Hemingway’s depression and instability has been well-documented, but what is interesting is that the FBI’s monitoring of his phones, correspondence and activities contributed to his sense of fear and paranoia.
This could be the rare case of someone who’s paranoia about “being watched” is actually due to the fact that he/she is actually being monitored. A. E. Hotchner writes:
EARLY one morning, [on July 1st], while his wife, Mary, slept upstairs, Ernest Hemingway went into the vestibule of his Ketchum, Idaho, house, selected his favorite shotgun from the rack, inserted shells into its chambers and ended his life.
There were many differing explanations at the time: that he had terminal cancer or money problems, that it was an accident, that he’d quarreled with Mary.
A gruesomely appropriate suicide method for a woman who lived in the company of 75 snakes. Personally, my ideal pet death would be smothering under a puppy pile. The Daily Mail reports:
A woman is feared to have committed ‘suicide by snake’ — Aleta Stacey is thought to have deliberately allowed herself to be bitten by a deadly black Mamba. The 56-year-old was found dead at the New York home she shares with 75 other snakes, most of them poisonous.
Friends and family believe Stacey deliberately allowed herself to be bitten. They said she was an experienced snake handler who knew the dangers of getting to close to the fast and venomous snake. They also pointed out that even after being bitten she failed to call the emergency services.
Venom from the black Mamba is lethal unless treated with antivenon. Victims usually die within 20 minutes of being bitten.
Officials removed 75 other snakes from the home, of which 56 were poisonous.
A South Korean man with a religious obsession crucified himself around Easter, police said.
The body of the 58-year-old taxi driver was discovered Sunday in an abandoned quarry in Mungyeong in North Gyeongsang province, The Korea Herald reported. He was nailed to a wooden cross.
Police said the man went to great lengths to simulate Jesus’ crucifixion. He was wearing only underpants and a headdress resembling a crown of thorrns, had a wound on his right side and had drilled holes in his palms.
Investigators said he had apparently been living in a tent near the quarry. They found plans for self-crucifixion and a whip there.
A pastor in Mugyeong said the man once came to him to talk about religion. He described him as having extreme views.
Hero or monster? Apparently, constructing suicide kits is the new knitting. San Diego’s KGTV reports:
A 91-year-old East County grandmother is getting national attention for making suicide kits. The woman started making the kits after watching her husband die a slow, painful death from colon cancer.
“I’m doing what I can to improve the world,” she told 10News. “There’s a lot of heartache and difficulty here.” Charlotte makes the kits — which cost buyers $60 — by taking large plastic bags and sewing soft elastic bands around the opening. There is a slot in the bag for a plastic tube carrying helium gas to be inserted. Helium — when inhaled in its pure form — is deadly. Kit users are responsible for securing their own helium gas.
“If heaven is so wonderful, you know you’d naturally want to go there, wouldn’t you?” said Charlotte. Charlotte said her sales were nearly $100,000 last year.