Why So Blue?

The Centers for Disease Control recently released the findings of a study that shows that the highest increase in the number of suicides is being observed in people 45 to 54 years old. From 1999 until 2004, the last year for which numbers were collected, middle-aged suicides increased by 20 percent. This is the highest rate since the CDC began keeping track approximately 25 years ago.

The groups traditionally studied are teens and the elderly, but the numbers for 15 to 19 year-olds increased less than 2 percent during this period, and people over 65 are actually now taking their lives less frequently, although the number does rise after the age of 85.

New York Times reporter Patricia Cohen wrote that “for officials, it is a surprising and baffling public health mystery.” Excuse me, but it’s probably surprising to them only because they have secure government jobs with guaranteed pensions paid for by Ernie and Bert, who unload boxes stamped “Made in China” onto the receiving dock in the back of Wal-Mart for $8 an hour. And their bosses in Congress and the White House, whose food, gas, lodging are subsidized by the average middle-aged American, certainly don’t have a clue as to his/her state of mind.

Oldsters have the best numbers because they get happier when they hit their 65th birthdays, that magical moment when they can kiss goodbye paying a fortune in medical insurance premiums and go on Medicare. People older than 54 and younger than 65 are caught in a double bind. No one wants to hire them, and they are too young for the government program.

When they hit 65, they can trash the costly and crappy policy with the $5,000 deductible, the best they could get because they once suffered from something more serious than an ingrown toenail, and actually be able to go to a doctor when they are sick.

This group has also typically seen hard times. They recognize that what’s coming down the pike is a lot like the 1970s without the bellbottoms, only worse, and if they are older, they may have memories of the Great Depression and war years, so things don’t seem all that bad to them.

The study revealed that while suicides in this group increased by 20 percent, among women the number is 31 percent, a figure that send chills up and down my spine. Why are my sisters suffering so?

Maybe they’re depressed because they still earn less than men and because there are fewer good jobs available to them, especially those lucrative acting jobs in financial services or drug spots that feature a handsome sixty-year- old guy with a slim and much younger spouse who is enjoying his money or his erection, or both.

I’ve often wondered if the wife’s prematurely gray hair is natural or if this is the new “blondes have more fun.” I’m waiting for the study that shows that not eating enough fat to nourish brain cells causes early dementia. Then working women will have jobs pushing the skinny bitches around at the nursing home.

I once read the autobiography of a woman who wrote about her attempted suicide. As far as I could tell, she had never had to work to survive, nor had she suffered any serious life setbacks. Her family was well off, and she had spent most of her life basking in the sun on the sands of New England beaches.

If somebody plopped me on Cape Cod, I think I’d overdose from happiness. There’s that big pond with all those yummy bass skimming through the clear water. And the sandy dunes, walks on the deserted beaches, and the great restaurants. A hardship, really.

I’m not saying she wasn’t actually suicidal or depressed, but she had professional help from several hospitals, top-notch therapists and support groups. She got the best drugs and had a circle of loving and understanding family and friends. Maybe if you have enough money, you can afford to be suicidal, because when you get to that point, you can punch in the number of your health-care-provider-of-the-day. It’s programmed into your phone–your kitchen phone, your bedroom phone, your cell.

You never really have to take that final step, because someone will grab you by both arms just as you reach for that bottle of pills, razor blade or handgun.

And if, like the author, you have oodles of money, you can fix the problems that make you suicidal. Confused? Go find yourself at a retreat in the Rockies. Unplanned pregnancy? Get an abortion, and make a vacation of it. Husband left you for a trophy mate? Rent yourself a hunky gigolo. Lost your job? Write a memoir. As I recall, her reviews were mixed.

There are people whose suicides could be understood. They are poor, abused, oppressed. Some have been mutilated and scarred. Some live in wretched conditions, drink water contaminated by their own shit, eat once a day if they’re lucky, and receive no medical care. They lose their loved ones to war, famine, disease.

In the United States, there are people who have never ventured more than a couple of miles from the urban tenement or rural shack where they were born. All of their waking time is taken up with figuring out how to survive.

Many suffer in prison for minor offenses, and they survive, somehow. Someone is depending on them. Their children, their parents, community, society. They become stronger. They may despair, but there always seems to be a glimmer of hope. Something good is just around the corner. If I kill myself, I’ll never discover what it is. These are people who have never known good times yet still hang on.

The government tells us inflation is low, the economy is fine, and that unemployment is less than half of what it really is (How many of those middle-aged people ran out of unemployment payments and then couldn’t find any sort of job?). Inflation is literally a tax on income, and if inflation (caused by the government that increases the money supply to save its sorry ass) is 10 percent, you need a 10 percent raise just to stay even. Good luck with that.

Unless they are aware of the manipulation of numbers, a person who is busting his or her butt but keeps falling behind wonders what is wrong with them. The government and media have been saying that everything is cool. Where have we failed? Two recent AP headlines contained the word “soar.” The articles aren’t about our spirits soaring or prosperity soaring, however. They are titled “US Home Foreclosures Soar in January” and “Wholesale Inflation Rate Soars.”

Many men and women have taken unwise risks to put their families into nice homes and give them what they perceive is necessary for quality of life. The average American family is portrayed by the media as having every gadget and innovation that is on the shelves. This is done through programming and advertising, so that you will direct deposit your paycheck into the account of big business while the government (which in other countries prohibits marketing to children) looks the other way.

The government is not your daddy, and big business is not your mommy, except that they do spank you if you don’t make the right choices, for example if you don’t buy whatever it is they’re selling, whether it’s the misinformation being sold by the government or the faulty and unnecessary crap being sold by business.

And if you resist, they’ll just consolidate until they own the industry and control everything you buy, read, view, love. And the government will be right there to give business a hand, including big finance by hanging the foreclosure sign on your door when you can’t pay the mortgage they pushed you into.

And speaking of this cozy collaboration, the number of 10 to 24 year-olds (a broader range of the young) taking their own lives has jumped, some suspect because of the effects of legal antidepressant drugs. Drugs may also be linked to the suicide rates of the middle-aged group.

Of course people are depressed, and if they have a life insurance policy, they are likely to consider suicide if it means their family will be cared for. It is generally accepted that many fatal car crashes are actually suicides committed by people who purchased their policies less than two years earlier, since most policies exclude this cause of death if it occurs within that period.

As times become harder, I expect that insurance companies will eliminate the two-year period altogether and refuse to pay up when there is a suspicion that a death is a suicide.

People in the middle generation are being squeezed for their last nickel before the national buying frenzy comes to an end. This group includes the boomers, a word I usually associate with fireworks, but folks, there ain’t nothing to celebrate now. Soon all of our time will be spent figuring out how to feed our families, patch the knees of our jeans, and repair our own cars.

The barter system may come back into use as the value of paper money sinks, especially since wages aren’t keeping up. And then when there aren’t any wages. Give you two dozen eggs for a day’s work.

Okay, enough with the bad news–is there any good news on the horizon. Well, no. I’ve yet to hear any of the major candidates talk about how they will relieve the suffering of the average American or shore up our crumbling economy, infrastructure and pride. If anybody gets saved, it will be the financial institutions, not us.

We watch congressmen grill CEOs who receive fortunes in salaries, benefits and retirement packages, even though they lost the retirement savings of their investors, and we find it unbelievable. Remember that those same congressmen and women have pissed away billions (trillions? I can’t comprehend the numbers any more) of dollars of our money but are also not held accountable.

It’s interesting that while the presidential candidates promise us the moon in order to get elected, they don’t mention where the money will come from. Might as well empty your pockets and put anything else you have left into a big brown envelope and just send it to them now. And remember: If you elect the same people who brought us this mess, don’t expect a different result.

Hopefully, down the road, after the recession/depression that no one wants to admit is upon us has run its course, the 45 to 54-year olds will feel better about themselves. By then, we will all have learned to be more responsible, self-sufficient, and less reliant on government, which, hopefully, will look very different than it does today.

This is the age group from which we will want to select new leaders, people with life experience who are young enough to have the energy to apply it. They will be survivors of the tough times ahead and I am encouraged will also, like true patriots before them, fight for what is good for the country and the people.

The bottom line is that we all want to feel better, and the only way to do that is for all age groups to pull together and support the changes that must be made. Whatever it takes.

Sheila Velazquez lives and writes in Northwest Massachusetts. Her work is informed by decades of experience with unions, agriculture, public health, politics and her support of populism. She welcomes contact by email: simplelifestyle101@yahoo.com. Read other articles by Sheila.

51 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. D.R. Munro said on March 10th, 2008 at 6:46am #

    You said the one thing that irritates me to no end when it comes to masses of ignorant apes and their rock star candidates:

    “It’s interesting that while the presidential candidates promise us the moon in order to get elected, they don’t mention where the money will come from.”

    People go around saying how “Hilary will do this, Obama will do that, it will great and we all will be living in 3,000 square foot houses!”

    Wake the fuck up! You feel like grabbing these people and screaming at them that money for these ‘changes’ does not simply materialize for use at their leisure. It has to come from SOMEWHERE. And that somewhere is the source of the problem.

    They promise you everything, and print the money to pay for it. If that is not putting fuel on the fire, I don’t what is. I wish to God that we had a candidate that was willing to tell it like is. Maybe if we had straight-talking politicians who didn’t sugar-coat (or just lie) everything for mass consumption, maybe we wouldn’t have these problems.

  2. Chris Velazquez said on March 10th, 2008 at 8:27am #

    The sad truth is that many Americans SAY they want a candidate who will promote real change, but the fact is that our collective inertia would prevent such a candidate from ever being taken seriously. Can we blame the media, as we obsess over Britney Spears’ latest self-indulgent antic? Can we blame the government, as we cheer and throw money and lives at a “war” that can never really be won (can you ever get “terror” to sign a peace treaty?)

    Real change is painful and takes sacrifice, and the only people willing to sacrifice are those who already have. And it may be that our intolerance for the slightest pain in our lives is the thing driving these affluent depressed people to the brink. Let the illusion continue, while I finish this sandwich.

  3. joed said on March 10th, 2008 at 10:18am #

    thanks for the excellent article. would the author agree that every adult has the right to destroy their own life, including the right to suicide.
    also, your right-on profound statement, “…the only people willing to sacrifice are those who already have.” Seems the american people don’t have a clue that it is them that must change or else the unhealthy(very sick) society will only continue to deteriorate. the monsterous war machine is taking the entire human population for a terrifying ride and it seems to be for keeps. the system is “all the way broken”.
    anyway, thanks again for the fiine article.

  4. John Wilkinson said on March 10th, 2008 at 10:47am #

    “We watch congressmen grill CEOs who receive fortunes in salaries, benefits and retirement packages, even though they lost the retirement savings of their investors, and we find it unbelievable. Remember that those same congressmen and women have pissed away billions (trillions? I can’t comprehend the numbers any more) of dollars of our money but are also not held accountable.”

    You forgot to add: “while they endlessly bleat about individual (rabble) responsibility and welfare queens”.

  5. D.R. Munro said on March 10th, 2008 at 10:51am #

    I think it goes without saying that every human is entitled to take thier own life. That is to say, who is to tell you that you do not have complete control over your body, and is there any more a profound choice then to simply not exist?

    This whole stigma against suicide comes from Judeo-Christian preaching from the Bible, that does not once even mention the subject, let alone pontificate about it.

    I liken it to the grocery store. Some of us like to stand around in line, looking at the candy and gum while we wait for our turn at the register. Others want to cut through the bullshit and just head over to the self-checkout.

  6. D.R. Munro said on March 10th, 2008 at 10:56am #


  7. John Wilkinson said on March 10th, 2008 at 10:56am #

    “The barter system may come back into use as the value of paper money sinks, especially since wages aren’t keeping up. And then when there aren’t any wages. Give you two dozen eggs for a day’s work.”

    Another good thing about the barter system is it can’t be easily taxed, so you’re not supporting the self perpetuating waste and corruption and the horrible war machine that threatens to consume us all.

  8. Deadbeat said on March 10th, 2008 at 11:20am #

    There is no mention by the author about the exploitative and economic devastating aspects of divorce and the effect that is has on this age group. I’m sure you’ll find a correlation with the growth of divorce among this age group and suicides. In fact the depression will be worst for someone who has a job because they’ll feel the coerced and heighten level of exploitation and dissociation that is considered acceptable by the society as a whole.

  9. D.R. Munro said on March 10th, 2008 at 12:10pm #

    Well, perhaps we can all agree on one thing: This Western capitalist system has got to go. It is unsustainable evironmentally as well as socially. I mean, I am surprised that it has lasted this long! Somehow they’ve managed to convince the exploitated that they aren’t even being exploited . . .

    And the ones that know – kill themselves.

    If you’re middle class or below and you feel that the current system benefits you . . . you’re just stupid. Plain and simple.

  10. hp said on March 10th, 2008 at 12:12pm #

    D.R., you are responding from a typical Western view. One which is no doubt THE first and last word on everything. Even suicide or the absence of it.
    If you would expand your comprehension a bit, you’d see that the Eastern philosophy of the Vedas, which predates, and one may argue, is the source of Western Judeo/Christian/Islamic philosophy and religion, you would indeed find a definite condemnation of suicide and its consequences.
    I’m not trying to be insulting or debasing, please. I’m just pointing out what should be common knowledge but is not.
    The same place math came from. The concepts of zero and infinity. A perfect example of what I’m saying. Do you believe Pythagoras ‘discovered’ the Pythagorean theory? Well, in a sense he did. He brought it back from India where it was known for at least 400 years before Pythagoras ‘discovered’ it.
    Like Einstein said ; “they are the ones who taught us how to talk and count.”
    Einstein also said; “whe I read the Bhagavad Gita and reflect about how God created this universe, everything else seems so superfluous…”
    That’s all.

  11. D.R. Munro said on March 10th, 2008 at 12:12pm #

    Exploitated = exploited. Apparently mixed ‘exploitation’ with ‘exploited’.

  12. D.R. Munro said on March 10th, 2008 at 12:18pm #

    I do know what you’re saying, HP.

    To be quite honest, I steal my thoughts on suicide from Schopenhauer, his thoughts on the matter just make sense to me. And I admittedly don’t have much knowledge on Eastern philosophies and traditions, so I won’t even try commenting on that.

    Anyways, thanks for the information. No offense taken.

  13. hp said on March 10th, 2008 at 12:30pm #

    Thanks for your honest reply D.R.
    I like Schopenhauer too. He had a very keen interest in Vedanta.
    As he said about the Upanishad(s); “it has been the solace of my life, it will be the solace of my death.”
    No small statement, that.

  14. D.R. Munro said on March 10th, 2008 at 1:47pm #

    Nothing to thank me for, mate. I simple speak and treat people the way I would like them to treat and speak to me.

    The way I see it, no one person can know everything. There are things you can teach me; there are things I can teach you. Civil discussion and conversation is much more productive than heated debate, in my opinion.

    That said, where would a novice begin with Eastern philosophy, if you had to suggest? I know Western philosophy quite well, if that helps at all. Also, if on the off-chance they haven’t translated into English, I have a working knowledge of German too.

  15. D.R. Munro said on March 10th, 2008 at 1:48pm #



  16. hp said on March 10th, 2008 at 2:04pm #

    Strange and perhaps outrageous as it might seem, I’d say go to Google and type in Hare Krishna .com
    The founder, Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, (Srila Prabhupada) is the foremost authority of Vedanta in the world today. Even if he did pass in 1977.
    It’s all about the Bhagavad Gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam.
    Srila Prabhupada has written many books. One you may be interested in compares Vedic philosophy with most of the main Western authorities, such as Jung, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Socrates and Origen, the early Christian mystic.
    Another outstanding and one of a kind book is “Human Devolution: A Vedic Alternative To Darwin’s Theory. Written by Michael Cremo.
    He (cremo) previously wrote the book, “Forbidden Archeology, The Hidden History of the Human Race.” incorporated into the TV show “The Mysterious Origins of Man.”
    Interesting, to say the least.
    Hope this helps.

  17. corylus said on March 10th, 2008 at 4:10pm #

    Many good posts above, and I’m in general agreement; thank you all. I agree that capitalism has got to go, and until it does, it will continue to feed at the carcass that is the working class, while most of its victims (in the U. S.) will continue to delude themselves that the American “dream” is still within reach (let alone getting clear that the “dream” is based on lies, exploitation, murder, fear-mongering for profit, and greed). I know that a great part of my depression stems from the earth-shattering crash of my delusions to the ground (upon which i still stand), including some vague notion of a “dream” that i spent over half my life pursuing. Seeing the dreams of billions of humans worldwide cast aside like so much plastic wrap so that i can live a “comfortable” (read “consumptively corporate-supporting”) lifestyle has been tearing my heart out for several years. People are depressed and suicidal because American (western) culture is depressing and murderous!

    I’m about to leave my secure middle-class job for something else, and even the uncertainty and trepidation i’m experiencing in doing so is welcome, considering that I will now have more power over how i make a living, what i do for a living, and how my limited resources are used. This is one path i can follow that will allow me, perhaps, to live in some peace so that i won’t feel a need to end my current life prematurely. Alas, too many brothers and sisters have been hurt too deeply to experience such a choice — they too are victims of capitalism, exploitation, and imperialism.

    I sincerely hope American culture continues to rot – it sure smells really, really bad already.

  18. Michael Hureaux said on March 10th, 2008 at 6:23pm #

    I liked your column, Sheila, but have to say I doubt the folks coming up behind us 45 to 54ish have the moxy to make the kind of political change you’re talking about. For one thing, most of them seem to know a lot about money, but they don’t seem to know much about anything that happened before 1980.

    Me, I’m planning on starting the guerilla branch of Gray Panthers. I’m gonna call it the Uptight Guerilla Liberation Yahoos, or UGLY. All you have to to to join is expropriate someone under thirty who talks about “financial literacy”, and how “baby boomers” should have had it together better. Oh, and you have to know how to play some decent acoustic music, since we’re all going low tech in the near future. It’ll be a good death, we can sit around and listen to young farts talk about the death of communism until their ears bleed. Old age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill.

  19. D.R. Munro said on March 10th, 2008 at 6:33pm #

    Tod dem Marxismus!

    I mean . . .

  20. joed said on March 10th, 2008 at 7:34pm #

    HP, according to Vedanta what is the problem with suicide. i just can’t, for the life of me, think of any reason that my self-caused death should be of concern. if i do my proper good-bys and that sort of thing what is the problem.

  21. joed said on March 10th, 2008 at 7:46pm #

    also, my comment before this one detracts from the article. this was not my intent. but the philosophical aspects of suicide are interesting. but if suicide is comtenplated because of depression or sadness or other emotional reasons then help should be sought and, now i am in way over my head so … .

  22. hp said on March 10th, 2008 at 8:22pm #

    It is stated in the Vedas that those who commit suicide become ghosts.
    Ghostly existence, existing in an subtle aerial body, is a very frustrating experience, as you are still affected by the urges of gross physical life, like hunger, thirst, envy and greed, but you have no means of satisfying or getting rid of these urges.Therefore they try to make trouble for others who have gross bodies, especially the ones who they were attached to in their previous life.

  23. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 10th, 2008 at 8:52pm #

    If I recall, the first and still classic study relating suicide to social conditions was Emile Durkheim’s “Suicide,” and it showed that statistically, as European societies became more conflicted, suicide rates went down. I have been suicidal and have survived familial suicide, and I believe that people simply don’t know why people kill themselves. This relating suicide to social justice is…is…wishful thinking, to put it as kindly as I know how.

    Have none of the posters so sympathetic to the article been depressed? (If you “don’t know,” believe me you haven’t). Or even read Darkness Visible by William Styron?

  24. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 10th, 2008 at 8:54pm #

    *social injustice.

  25. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 10th, 2008 at 8:59pm #

    Which is not to deny that fighting social injustice can be theraputic. It’s just that the ability to make the fight presupposes a level of mental health WAY greater than suicidal.

  26. hp said on March 10th, 2008 at 9:00pm #

    I sure have Lloyd. Also, the Viet Nam vets. Read an article today which stated the combat deaths at 58,000 and the suicides to date at more than 150,000
    This from the Viet Nam war alone.
    Iraq is no doubt horrible as well and what the future holds will only be tragic.

  27. HR said on March 10th, 2008 at 10:05pm #

    First, it’s good to see an article that actually makes a reference at least to how bad times were in the 70s for working people. Most politicians, from both parties, the supposedly liberal media, and all right-wingers, are content to portray those days, through their rewrite of history, as one of “excess”, to which dear old monster Reagan provided the answer. In reality, the only excesses then were those taken by corporations who were starting in earnest their march to oligopoly and domination of the union movement – with almost complete complicity on the part of union leadership (and almost complete abdication by the rank-and-file) – and the wealthy, who were successfully working their tails off trying to bring back the social class distinctions of the latter 19th Century.

    When I saw the proliferation of ads on TV for the new generation of antidepressants a few years back, it became clear to me that the class war was essentially over. It was obvious that the other side had done its homework well. They knew full well that implementation of the “new” old order would cause the working-class situation to become intolerable. A similar outcome was soon to follow for the pretender-to-wealth yuppie class, whom they viewed as nothing more than highly-paid, well-trained servants, useful for a time. The self-appointed masters realized that past conditions of this sort had led to near revolt by the lower classes (angry, depressed folks generally react by trying to make their situation better), which might lead to changes far more progressive in nature than was ever dreamed of by the architects of the New Deal. What better way to solve the problem than provide legal mind-altering drugs to the masses? Solve the problem of potential revolt, and make big bucks to boot. And, screw the poor who can’t afford prescriptions. They already have their own cheap drugs, anyway, and if they have a problem, lock ’em up in new prisons built just for them.

    Folks, it’s time to wake up. Depression is a sane response to an intolerable situation. It motivates people to act for beneficial change. Don’t buy into the lies being told you by the medico-pharma industry. They’re part of the ruling class and are playing their game of domination. They are working to ensure your enslavement. Respond to your intolerable situation by fighting back, DEMANDING change, not by giving up and becoming a drugged automaton slave.

    I’d also suggest doing a LOT of thinking before seriously considering taking your own life, even though what you do in that regard is truly your own business. Your life is the only thing you really own, if only for a short while.

  28. HR said on March 10th, 2008 at 10:24pm #

    I’d suggest those who are buying into the notion that Vietnam vets have a higher suicide rate do some more reading. It’s just another of multitudinous myths, like spitting, that have been attached to those guys as history has been rewritten. Statistically, Vietnam vets have performed as good as, or better, in all respects, than their contemporaries who were not in the military.

  29. D.R. Munro said on March 11th, 2008 at 5:30am #

    Yes, trust me Lloyd. I’ve had periods in my life where I’ve had to remind myself every morning why the fuck I even bother.

    That said, I definitely think that social injustice, as you put it, does play a role. Mine was purely stemming from my depression, and was not augmented by little things like: lack of food, heat, a house, and water.

    See what I mean? Perhaps these things in and of themselves do not cause the suicidal tendencies, but I would bet that they increase the chance you have of acting on them.

    And what HP said about Vietnam is another very good example of the tragedy that war will always bring in the end.

  30. D.R. Munro said on March 11th, 2008 at 5:32am #

    I meant HR, not HP – my apologies.

  31. hp said on March 11th, 2008 at 8:49am #

    HR, I never suggested the Viet Nam vets have a higher suicide rate. I simply pointed out a rather depressing statistic. One I’m sure most people never heard or imagined was so significant. I know I didn’t.
    But now that you’ve said it, with 2 million serving in Viet Nam and 150,000 suicides..
    No way that’s normal or even close.

  32. HR said on March 11th, 2008 at 11:19am #

    HP, I stand by my statement. Do some more research regarding the 150,000 figure. It’s not universally accepted. My experience with many vets over the course of my working life suggests that the stereotypes are all hogwash, created by the right years after the war ended and accepted by the pseudoprogressives calling themselves liberals.

  33. hp said on March 11th, 2008 at 12:37pm #

    I know it’s a tenuous area regarding statistics and proof. Very tenuous.
    Reminds me of deaths due to alcoholism which are also basically unprovable, though suspiciously relegated to ‘accidents’ for the most part.
    Bottom line is whether those men are dead, or not.
    As far as universally accepted, I can’t think of anything short of 1+1=2 which is universally accepted.
    I know a lot of vietnam vets too, and knew, past tense, many more.
    Many of them were and are indeed alcoholics, drug addicts and ‘fringe’ types, like myself.

  34. HR said on March 11th, 2008 at 1:16pm #

    HP, I think the bottom line here is the method used to arrive at the figure. Were all the individuals counted actually Vietnam vets? Studies in which those counted are verified as vets, using their military record as proof, reach quite a different conclusion: that suicide rates for vets are the same as for non-vet contemporaries. Same for homelessness, criminal activity, alcohol and other drug addiction, and all the other myths that have been hung on those guys.

  35. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 12th, 2008 at 10:53am #

    D.R. I do see what you mean, and I tried to anticipate it by observing that IF a person is not so impaired as to be suicidal, social factors operate.

    Two caveats: first, there is the enormous literature about villagers in Africa in and around the eyes of the storms of genocide who live in grace and happiness. Second, Emil Durkheim wrote a long time ago, and of course social factors MUST be relevant. But if you think drug testing is slippery, try asking people about their “depressions” their “radicalness” etc, etc. Don’t thake this wrong, but you can’t even ask WOMEN such questions in Mr. Macho Amerika.

  36. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 12th, 2008 at 10:54am #

    Esactly, hp. I posted before reading your last.

  37. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 12th, 2008 at 11:01am #

    I suggest “self-loathing” as a test-self-description for any posters whose downs (which I admit are partly socially induced) may have produced a “suicidal” state. What I believe the Desk Guide used to refer to as “diminished self-esteem.”

  38. hp said on March 12th, 2008 at 11:25am #

    Well there’s depression and then there’s DEPRESSION.
    “No one loves me but my mama, and she could be jivin me too.”
    I believe the answer lies in love. Specifically the lack of…

  39. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 12th, 2008 at 12:38pm #

    You got any examples of consequential opposition to what Klein calls Shock Capitalism based on love, hp?

  40. George Thompson said on March 12th, 2008 at 12:41pm #

    What it takes to make this a better country and world is violence by the vast majority against the minority that are so skillful at using propaganda and outright lies to divide that majority against itself. Those of us that want to do what is best for the majority, the normal survival instinct of every known species on the planet, must do whatever we have to to stop greedy, hyper-capitalist bastards from hoarding everything for themselves and destroying the environment we need for survival. What happened to their survival instinct? There is something genetically defunct in these people that want everything for themselves and nothing for everyone else at all costs. I don’t think they deserve to live because their life represents our death. It’s time people stepped out of the shadows and the election booths and picked up a club, a taser, a gun, a rocket launcher or an M16. We waited this long through consumerist distraction and wishful thinking for it to get this bad and now it’s going to take a paroxysm to get us back where we were, which wasn’t even close to perfect either by the way but at least was manageably decadent. Who says violence never solves anything? Republicans and corporate politicians say that because they are the ones in small numbers. We can no longer afford to sit back while they chip away us with the military, the fascist police state, the prison industrial complex, poisonous food, fluorinated water, chemtrails, carcinogenic drugs from Big Pharma and the like. And one final point, to all those that think I just went overboard and that I’m a crazy conspiracy theorist, I hope you are the first to go. If nothing was ever a conspiracy 9/11 would never have happened and the official story would be physically possible. Put that in your grits and eat it!!!

  41. hp said on March 12th, 2008 at 1:15pm #

    Shock capitalism based on love…
    Could that be defined as giving money to the poor, sick and hungry of ones own free will?

  42. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 12th, 2008 at 2:07pm #

    CONSEQUENTIAL OPPOSTION to Shock Capitalism, hp. That’s defined as changing things which result from “Shock Capitalism” and not just mental masturbating with words on the internet.

  43. hp said on March 12th, 2008 at 2:59pm #

    Consequential opposition to shock capitalism.
    Sounds like oral ejaculation to me.
    A typical bullshit high falutin intellectually divined concept which is marvelous in the class room but fails miserably in the real world. As usual.
    Just how many good and positive, wonderous changes have resulted from this ‘consequential opposition to shock capitalism?’
    I mean besides the puffed up false egos and any money to be made for the ejaculator of such an inspired revelation.
    I’ll offer a mentally masturbated guess: NONE.

  44. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 12th, 2008 at 3:26pm #

    I’ve may have earned $25 for my writing once, but it was so long ago I don’t recall. So if the shoe fits, wear it. Is that non-high falutin enough for you?

  45. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 12th, 2008 at 3:30pm #

    Nor have I ever been paid to teach. Maybe you could just express my thought in fewer words, hp.

  46. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 12th, 2008 at 3:35pm #

    truth + wisdom @ DV = dead-end.

  47. hp said on March 12th, 2008 at 4:41pm #

    Lloyd, is it perhaps a tad vain to assume I was speaking of you?
    How’s that?

  48. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 12th, 2008 at 6:55pm #

    does your scroll work, hp?

  49. hp said on March 12th, 2008 at 7:45pm #

    Yes Lloyd. It scrolls all the way up to where you asked me a smart ass question in response to my suggesting depression may be a result of lack of love.
    Your question obviously and arrogantly intended to show your superior intelligence by referencing some psycho-social hack named Klein and his ridiculous phrase which I don’t believe anyone but you has ever heard of. At least not anyone here. Not the first time your arrogance has been displayed and deemed unacceptable.
    Then I scroll down a little further and see another insult, this one of a suggestive pornographic nature. Very impressive to reduce me to an inferior.
    Then I scroll down to where, in your vanity, you assume I’m referring to you when speaking of puffed up egoist materialist fakers, when actually I’m once again referring to the hack Klein.
    And then, lastly but not leastly, the lame “does your scroll work?”
    Yes it does, Lloyd. Yes it does.

  50. Josh V said on March 13th, 2008 at 3:52pm #

    First and foremost…when the hell have humans not wanted to leave this sphere for a greater harmony? Yes it is “shocking” that these statistics have come forth but the fact that anyone puts merit in any statistic allowed to the media is sad. What this, in the end, will make a case for is MORE pharm based lovin’…aggressive marketing campaigns to target this “high risk” group. As a “youth” (a wee 34 next week) I don’t have any buying power…I am not mezmerized by the latest hollywood debacle….that is the whole point of this sort of scare info…I swear to Christ you will now see an upsurge of ads for middle aged depression drugs on your idiot box because the young do not have the money to buy medicine, we can’t afford fucking health insurance. So who is it for, the people who do have some semblance of insurance.

    Remember this…you only hear what they want to be heard and if you think you can change that I have some Viagra to sell you.

  51. Susan said on June 5th, 2008 at 6:56am #

    There is a huge difference between real capitalism, and the oligarchies (e.g., central banks, Big Corporations, corrupt meddling easily bribed governments) that rule the world now.