Closing Thought–26Sep22

I have written many times about the rate and the causes of the suicides by our veterans. It appears that the numbers are higher than have been reported in the past.

The number of US military veterans who have died by suicide could be far higher than the Department of Veterans Affairs has reported, a new study indicates. America’s Warrior Partnership, which works to eliminate veteran suicide, found that in eight states, the number of suicides was 1.37 times higher than reported for 2014 to 2018. If that rate holds throughout the nation, the number of veterans dying by suicide each day would be about 24; the VA’s reported average for that period was 17.7, per NBC News. “We’re not pointing fingers at anyone,” said Jim Lorraine, the nonprofit’s president. “We’re just saying it’s sobering to look at the numbers.”

The VA bases its count on information provided by the counties where the person died, per Stars and Stripes. The new study, which took four years, went further to gather details about the veterans, working with the Department of Defense and checking state records. Other states could not release relevant data because of confidentiality restrictions, the preliminary report says. The VA’s process, missed veterans about 18% of the time, the study said. The University of Alabama and Duke University worked with the nonprofit. “It’s not the VA’s fault, Lorraine said. “The issue is the counties.”

Veterans Affairs released a statement defending its process. “We take every step possible to make sure that our veteran suicide data is accurate, because the first step to solving this problem is understanding it,” said press secretary Terrence Hayes. Loraine said he hopes more states will take part in the next phase of the study. Broader collaboration would improve the accuracy of the data, as well as prevention methods, he said. The VA’s 2020 report said more than 46,000 US adults died in suicides in 2018, more than 6,000 of them veterans. Another organization has found that suicide has killed four times as many US veterans as combat so far this century.

This problem should be far more important to the government than it is….we asked these people to give their all and then we put band-aids on their wounds instead of giving them the help they deserve.

For a damn change do something besides giving our veterans platitudes in place of adequate health care.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thoughts–21Sep22

Russians seem to be falling out of the sky about as regular as rain.

Doctors falling out windows….executives falling to their deaths and now a Putin ally has joined the club.

An executive helping to oversee development in Russia’s Far East has become at least the ninth Russian businessman to be found dead since the start of this year. Ivan Pechorin, an aviation director with the Corporation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic (KRDV), fell from his private yacht near Russky Island in the Sea of Japan on Saturday, days after attending an economic forum in nearby Vladivostok, a major center of Russia’s Far East, per Newsweek and the Daily Beast. Also in attendance at the forum was President Vladimir Putin, who gave the keynote speech, per Insider. Pechorin was considered an ally of Putin, who, according to the Mirror, personally selected him for his role.

The corporation, which the Russian government has instructed to develop energy and mining resources in the Far East and Arctic, said it learned of “the tragic death of our colleague” on Monday, per CNN. That same day, Pechorin’s body washed ashore about 100 miles from Vladivostok amid a search, per Insider. The 39-year-old had fallen from his yacht, which was reportedly traveling at full speed near Russky Island (not to be confused with an island of the same name in the northern Kara Sea) two days earlier, according to local media reports. One Russian news outlet, Baza, has claimed Pechorin and others aboard the boat were intoxicated at the time, the Daily Beast reports.

He’s the second KRDV executive to die unexpectedly this year. In February, the corporation’s director, Igor Nosov, died of what Russian media described as a stroke. He was 43. Numerous other individuals tied to Russia’s energy sector have died by suicide or under mysterious circumstances since the start of this year, including Alexander Subbotin, Sergey Protosenya, Vladislav Avayev, and Yuri Baranov. Earlier this month, Ravil Maganov, chair of the board of directors of Russian oil company Lukoil, died in a fall from a hospital window. KRDV said the death of Pechorin, in charge of aviation accessibility in the Far East, was an “irreparable loss.”

Fascinating stuff!

A Falling Russian Syndrome!

This guy could have lived nicely elsewhere but he decided to jump….why?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Queen For The Day

Today’s big story will be the burial of Queen Elizabeth II…..with that her era of influence will end and the new day of King Charles III will begin…..

Since I am not a big fan of any monarchy I thought I would post a couple of articles about the death of the Queen…..

Ukania’s longest reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, finally yielded the royal sceptre to her eldest child, who will become King Charles III. Charles’s wife Camilla will now become Queen Camilla.

The next few days will see an unparalled excess of Ruritanian/Ukanian flummery, probably the only thing Ukania is good at these days— parades with mounted soldiers and carriages; gun salutes on the banks of the Thames; special programming on radio and TV; flag-bearing crowds congregating outside the royal residences; everyone, from the new king to the archbishop of Canterbury, decked out in their finest regalia, and so on.

This will also be a rare-old-time for paparazzi and the court correspondents of the tabloids. Will Meghan Markle and Kate speak to each other? What will the reprobate Prince Andrew be up to? Which of the royal offspring will misbehave and how?

The Queen Is Dead

There is more….

On 8th September, 2022, a 96-year old woman died. Nothing unusual there. On average, 1,679 people die in the UK every day. But this time round, everyone from the British Kebab Awards to The Prodigy made gushing sycophantic statements. Britain’s idiot prime minister in waiting Liz Truss, called the deceased “among the world’s greatest ever leaders”.

As Britain was sent into 10 days of enforced commemoration, the madness also spread to Germany Chancellor Olaf Scholz called her a “role model and inspiration for millions”, while Berlin mayor Franziska Giffey said that the “power of her great personality has always fascinated us Berliners.” Brandenburger Tor was lit up in the colours of the Union Flag in her honour.

Even John Lydon, who as Johnny Rotten once wrote; “God save the queen. She ain’t no human being. There is no future In England’s dreaming” got involved. He posted the following message on social media: “Rest in peace Queen Elizabeth II. Send her victorious From all at johnlydon.com”.

The Queen is Dead. Republic Now!

I doubt if the reporting will end with the burial….but it will be for this blog.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

12 September–Sabra And Shatila

Forty years ago today a massacre of women and children was committed by the Israeli army and the world just shrugged…..

I have written about this massacre several times….but for those too damn lazy to use the ‘search’….let me remind everyone…..

Forty years ago, during the week of September 12, we were working in a Palestine Red Crescent Society facility, Gaza Hospital, in Sabra Shatila camp in West Beirut. As health care workers, we were trying to heal the wounds and repair the mutilated and destroyed bodies of those injured by Israel’s Invasion of Lebanon in June 1982. We had been working there following the evacuation of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), mediated by US Middle East envoy Philip Habib. Crucial to the evacuation agreement was the protection of the civilians left behind after the evacuation of the PLO, and Israel’s undertaking not to invade and occupy Beirut. With the guarantee of protection by the multinational peace keeping force, thousands of displaced civilian war victims returned to Sabra Shatila to rebuild their homes and lives.

Unknown to these people who returned hoping to pick up and mend their shattered lives, the multinational peace keeping force left West Beirut on 11 September 1982. On the evening of September 14, 1982, we became aware that the President-elect of Lebanon had been assassinated. Around the break of dawn on the following day, we heard planes flying low into Beirut. Within hours, sounds of heavy artillery and machine guns could be heard close by. It continued all day and soon the periphery of the camp was hit relentlessly. We went to an upper floor of the hospital where we watched as flares went off, lighting areas of the camps, followed by gunfire. As hours passed, we hectically received and tended to the thousands of camp residents who fled to us or were brought into the hospital seeking emergency medical care, safety, and security. The hospital ran out of food, water, medication – and blood for the wounded.

Remembering the Sabra Shatila Massacre, Forty Years Later

The world should never forget this atrocity….or the unprovoked attack on the USS Liberty in 1967…..

My one question is….why is Israel allowed to act as they do with disregard for human life?  Why?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Queen Is Dead–Long Live The King

The news of the day is that Queen Elizabeth II has passed…..and Charles becomes king…..

Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign is over. Buckingham Palace said Thursday that the queen has died at age 96. The news came after members of the royal family were summoned to her side at the royal Balmoral estate in Scotland by doctors concerned about her health. Elizabeth’s 73-year-old son, Prince Charles, will now become king, with his son Prince William second in line.

  • The statement: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” the palace announced, per the BBC. Referring to Charles and Camilla: “The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
  • Her life: For a timeline of highlights from her life and reign, with photos, see Metro. She was crowned queen at age 27 in 1953 following the death of her father, King George VI.
  • Big picture: The AP sums things up: “Since assuming the throne after the death of her father on Feb. 6, 1952, Elizabeth has been a symbol of stability as Britain negotiated the end of empire, the dawn of the information age and the mass migration that transformed the country into a multicultural society.”
  • Big picture, II: “There is no analogous public figure who will have been mourned as deeply in Britain—Winston Churchill might come closest—or whose death could provoke a greater reckoning with the identity and future of the country,” per the New York Times. “Elizabeth’s extraordinary longevity lent her an air of permanence that makes her death, even at an advanced age, somehow shocking.”
  • No Meghan: One notable absence as the royal family was gathering at Balmoral: that of Meghan, wife of Prince Harry. The pair, who no longer have royal duties, were already in the UK for a series of engagements. However, Harry was traveling to Balmoral alone, reports the BBC. On the other hand, Prince William also traveled there without his wife, Kate, who was remaining behind in Britain for the time being because it was the first day of school for their children.
  • Failing health: Buckingham Palace has been relative sparse with details about the queen’s health, but it had been in decline over the last year. She recovered from a bout of COVID earlier this year, though the palace said it left her exhausted, per the Times. Elizabeth also had been using a cane of late as her mobility diminished.

And now for a few words from King Charles III……as well as a few others….

The new king of England’s first formal statement is, not surprisingly, about his mom. “The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” wrote King Charles III in a statement posted by Buckingham Palace. “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.” He added that he and other members of the royal family will be “comforted and sustained” by that knowledge.

At Glamour, Kathleen Walsh likes the tribute. “There’s no easy way to say goodbye to a beloved mother, so I can only imagine what it’s like to have to publicly mourn your mum the queen.” In the US, presidents and first ladies, both current and past, were paying their respects as well, per the AP and the Daily Mail:

  • Biden: “Queen Elizabeth II was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock Alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States,” said the statement from the Bidens. “She helped make our relationship special.”
  • Trump: “Melania and I will always cherish our time together with the Queen, and never forget Her Majesty’s generous friendship, great wisdom, and wonderful sense of humor,” said a statement from former President Trump. “What a grand and beautiful lady she was—there was nobody like her!”
  • Obama: “Back when we were just beginning to navigate life as President and First Lady, she welcomed us to the world stage with open arms and extraordinary generosity,” Barack and Michelle Obama said in their statement. “Time and again, we were struck by her warmth, the way she put people at ease, and how she brought her considerable humor and charm to moments of great pomp and circumstance.”
  • Clinton: “We will always be grateful for the kindness she showed us through the years, particularly during our visits to Buckingham Palace in 1995 and 2000, and for all she did to deepen the Special Relationship,” said former President Clinton, referring to himself and Hillary. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Royal Family and all the people Her Majesty inspired throughout her lifetime of service.”
  • Bush: “Laura and I were honored to have known her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” wrote former President George W. Bush. “She was a woman of great intellect, charm, and wit.” He added that “spending time at Buckingham Palace, and having tea with Her Majesty—and her Corgis—is among our fondest memories of the presidency.”
  • Carter: “Rosalynn and I extend our condolences to the family of Queen Elizabeth II and the citizens of the United Kingdom,” said Jimmy Carter. “Her dignity, graciousness, and sense of duty have been an inspiration, and we join the millions around the world in mourning a remarkable leader.”

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–01Sep22

I remember back in the early days of the global pandemic and doctors were falling out windows, Russian doctors that is….well since those days there have been many Russians high placed that have met with untimely ‘ends’…..and we can add yet another one to the list.

What’s not being disputed is that the chair of one of Russia’s largest oil producers has died after falling out of a hospital window. What’s murkier, however, is what led to Ravil Maganov’s demise—what CBS News notes is the sixth death this year of a big-name Russian energy exec under eyebrow-raising circumstances. On Thursday, Russian state news agency TASS reported that the 67-year-old Lukoil chairman died by suicide after plummeting from a sixth-floor window, noting that Maganov had been in the hospital—IDed by the BBC as Moscow’s Central Clinical Hospital—for treatment after a heart attack. “In addition, he was taking antidepressants,” TASS added.

However, two sources who say they knew Maganov well tell Reuters they don’t believe he would have taken his own life. His employer, meanwhile, announced in a statement that Maganov had died “following a serious illness.” Lukoil, which is Russia’s largest private company, has taken an unusually assertive stand against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, pleading in a March statement for negotiations and the “soonest possible end to armed conflict.” The company’s former president, oligarch Vagit Alekperov, stepped down in April after the UK and the EU sanctioned him over the Russian-led war.

Other energy company bigwigs who’ve recently died under mysterious circumstances include former Lukoil board member Alexander Subbotin, who was reported in May as having been found dead in a basement on the outskirts of Moscow, supposedly after receiving a shaman’s “treatment” involving toad poison. A month earlier, Sergei Protosenya, a former manager for Novatek, Russia’s largest liquefied natural gas producer, was found dead, along with his wife and daughter, in a villa in Spain. Local police say he killed his family, then himself. One person who might be feeling uneasy at the moment: Nail Maganov, Ravil’s brother, who heads up another Russian fuels firm, Tatneft, headquartered in the Tatarstan region.

There sure are a lot of ‘unexplained’ suicides in Russia (wink wink)…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–26Jul22

Occasionally I write about stuff that happens in my state of Mississippi…..this one is just disturbing on so many levels…..

The police chief of a small city in Mississippi is out of a job after an audio recording leaked in which he boasted of killing 13 people on the job and used racist and homophobic slurs, reports USA Today and the Washington Post. The board of aldermen in Lexington voted 3-2 to fire chief Sam Dobbins last week, reports WLBT, after the audio was made public by the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting. Dobbins is white, while an estimated 80% of Lexington’s 1,600 residents are Black. Among the lines in the recording causing controversy:

  • “I’ve killed 13 men in my career, justified,” he said. “In my line of duty, I have shot and killed 13 different people.”
  • “I shot that n—– 119 times, OK? … The vehicle was shot 319 times, but he was hit 119 times by me.” Dobbins suggested he “saved 67 kids in a school” with this shooting in a cornfield, though the Post notes it’s unclear what he is referring to.
  • “I don’t talk to f—ing queers, I don’t talk to f—ing fa—-s.”
  • “You’re going to get some s— in the streets, and there’s only going to be one man fighting for you, and it’s going to be me, OK? Don’t ever ruin that, all right, because these other n—–s, they’re [unintelligible]. I don’t give a f— if you kill a motherf—er in cold blood. I will articulate to fix the f—ing problem, and I’m the only man in the business here that’s smart enough to do it.”

The recording was secretly made in April by Robert Lee Hooker, a Black officer who resigned last week. Regarding his claims of killing 13 people, Dobbins (before being fired) told the MCIR, “that’s something we don’t discuss, period.” Of the slurs, he said, “I don’t talk like that.”

This guy is an idiot….it is that simple.

Can you believe the stupidity?

I wish just once something good would happen in my state….instead of the stream of crap from idiots.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Uvalde Report Is In

A report by the legislation of Texas has been finalized and issued to the public…..their findings are nothing short of expected…..stupidity and inaction were the rule of the day.

A Texas legislative report released Sunday spreads blame among law enforcement, the Uvalde school district, social media platforms, and the gunman’s family in the mass shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers. “Systemic failures and egregious poor decision making” allowed the gunman to kill at will for more than an hour despite the presence of 376 officers and the gunman’s complete lack of experience with firearms, the report says. The force gathered at Robb Elementary School on May 24 was larger than the one that defended the Alamo, the Tribune points out. The families of the victims received the preliminary, 77-page report Sunday morning and were scheduled to discuss it with members of the committee later in the day, per CNN.

The report identified no “villains” other than the gunman, “no one to whom we can attribute malice or ill motives.” But it detailed a sweeping breakdown and “an overall lackadaisical approach” to the crime. The officers who went to the school included 25 city police officers, 16 sheriff’s deputies, and five school district officers; the rest were federal or state officers, whose mandate includes responding to “mass attacks in public places.” District Police Chief Pete Arredondo said he assumed someone else was in charge that day. But the district’s active shooter response plan, which he co-wrote, says the chief will “become the person in control of the efforts of all law enforcement and first responders that arrive at the scene.” Local officers have received the most criticism, but the report points out that “these local officials were not the only ones expected to supply the leadership needed during this tragedy,” adding that officers from other agencies “could have helped to address the unfolding chaos.”

“They’re a joke. They’ve got no business wearing a badge,” said Vincent Salazar, grandfather of 11-year-old Layla Salazer, on Sunday, per the AP. “None of them do.” The report lists clear warning signs about the gunman that no one, including his family, acted on, per the Tribune. A year before he shot 21 people to death, other gamers gave him the nickname, “school shooter.” He told a girlfriend he wouldn’t live beyond 18. He was drawn to gore and violent sex online, sometimes sharing images of suicides and beheadings. He became furious when he lost games, threatening female players especially. He collected information about the mass shooting in a Buffalo supermarket. He spent time with a relative who went to Robb to learn about his schedule and lunch periods. An out-of-town friend grew concerned and offered to visit the gunman in July or August. “Damn that’s too late,” the 18-year-old answered.

Seriously?  No villains?

A white wash…..the cops that stood around while children died are more than villains…they were complacent….in the deaths of the children….a report to CYA the cops…..as always.

AS with most police situations….they just look the other way and blame someone else for their incompetence.

And the do-nothing attitude continues…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Uvalde Again

Uvalde makes the news….again.

The scene of a recent mass shooting in Texas makes the news again…this time with a video showing the police standing around jerking off while children were murdered…..

The Austin American-Statesman has viewed a 77-minute surveillance video from the hallway of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on the day a gunman massacred 19 students and two teachers, USA Today reports. The footage is not graphic, but offers what USA Today calls “an unabridged view of police inaction,” including an hour of an increasing number of police officers and amount of shields and powerful weapons waiting in the hallway before entering the classroom. It helps to clarify the confusing timeline of the tragedy, and it clears up one point that “has become a matter of contention,” per USA Today: the arrival of troopers from the Department of Public Safety on the scene.

The Uvalde mayor has accused the DPS director of casting local law enforcement as scapegoats even though DPS officers were also on the scene, and the video does confirm their presence. It also shows the 46 minutes during which officers, who already had multiple assault rifles and ballistic shields, waited for yet more shields and tear gas canisters to arrive while they discussed various options for entering the classroom. The next question is whether the video will be released to the general public: Hours after Rep. Dustin Burrows announced that DPS and the mayor had reached a deal to release it, DPS said it could not release it because the Uvalde DA has instructed it not to, ABC News reports.

Of course the people that were ‘in charge’ on the day are worried about the video’s release and have come up with a lame excuse……

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin slammed the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE Tuesday for releasing surveillance video taken inside Robb Elementary School during the May 24 mass shooting. The mayor, speaking during a town council meeting Tuesday night, called the move “one of the most chicken things I’ve ever seen,” the Hill reports. McLaughlin said the city had been planning to release the footage on Sunday, but without the sound of gunshots or images of the gunman entering the school. Families of victims “don’t need to relive that—they’ve been through enough,” the mayor said. The 82-minute video shows officers waiting for 77 minutes before they confronted the gunman.

Council member Ernest King also criticized the news organizations. “That part of that video was not supposed to be in what they’re doing on Sunday,” he said. “They did that for ratings and they did that for money.” State Rep. Dustin Burrows said earlier Tuesday that a panel investigating the shooting planned to show a version of the video to families Sunday before it was publicly released. The American-Statesman, which has defended its release of the video as a way to shed light on police inaction, says some residents at the council meeting approved of the release and criticized a lack of transparency from the mayor

Excuses by lame ass politician to protect their butts…..they could care less about the parents sensibilities…..the more out there the more trouble for the city and the police….that is what they are trying to control.

Everyone involved needs to be punished for allowing children to die needlessly…..PERIOD!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

More On Uvalde

After the disastrous response by the Uvalde police the news just keep coming….and coming….

The Texas House has proved just how cowardly even the Congress can be….in a hearing about the shootings and death….it seems that parents of the dead are intimidating…..

The family of a child killed in the Uvalde mass shooting was forced to leave a meeting about the massacre after an official complained that they were “intimidated” by them.

Journalists, a local chaplain and the relative of a victim were all asked to leave Uvalde City Hall on Monday afternoon ahead of a closed-door hearing before the Texas House of Representatives, according to CNN.

CNN reporter Shimon Prokupec tweeted that they were removed “because people are intimidated by us”.

“Texas legislators are meeting here with law enforcement behind closed doors,” he tweeted.

“The fire marshal also told a local chaplain and father of a victim to exit from the building.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/uvalde-family-texas-house-meeting-b2106232.html

Seriously?

The parents are not allowed to sit in these meetings to get an explanation why this happened and keeps happening.

Typical Right wing cowardice!

It appears the the school district’s police chief has been sanctioned…..

The Uvalde school district’s police chief was put on leave Wednesday following allegations that he erred in his response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School last month. Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Superintendent Hal Harrell said that he put Pete Arredondo on administrative leave and that another officer would assume the embattled chief’s duties. In a statement, Harrell did not give a reason for removing Arredondo, the AP reports, but he said it remains unclear when district officials will know the outcome of the investigation into the shooting.

Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told a state Senate hearing on Tuesday that Arredondo—the on-site commander—made “terrible decisions” as the massacre unfolded on May 24 and that the police response was an “abject failure.” Arredondo has said he didn’t consider himself in charge of the response to the shooting, in which 19 students and two teachers were killed.

This situation continues to unfold and the answers are not showing any competence as law enforcement officers.

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“lego ergo scribo”