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Sun, 16 May 2021
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Bizarro Earth

''I can't forgive myself'': U.S. veterans suffering alone in guilt over wartime events

In this Oct. 16, 2011, photo, former Marine Capt. Timothy Kudo sits outside his apartment in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
A veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, former U.S. Marine Capt. Timothy Kudo thinks of himself as a killer - and he carries the guilt every day.

"I can't forgive myself," he says. "And the people who can forgive me are dead."

With American troops at war for more than a decade, there's been an unprecedented number of studies into war zone psychology and an evolving understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder. Clinicians suspect some troops are suffering from what they call "moral injuries" - wounds from having done something, or failed to stop something, that violates their moral code.

Though there may be some overlap in symptoms, moral injuries aren't what most people think of as PTSD, the nightmares and flashbacks of terrifying, life-threatening combat events. A moral injury tortures the conscience; symptoms include deep shame, guilt and rage. It's not a medical problem, and it's unclear how to treat it, says retired Col. Elspeth Ritchie, former psychiatry consultant to the Army surgeon general.

"The concept ... is more an existentialist one," she says.

Heart - Black

'No black nurses' lawsuit: 2nd nurse says she was asked not to touch infant

© Lauren Justice / The Flint Journal
'No black nurses' lawsuit: a second nurse in Flint, Mich. claimed she saw a note in the Hurley Medical Center's neonatal care unit that said African American nurses were not to assist a particular patient's baby. Here, Rev. Charles E. William II speaks to the press outside Hurley Feb. 19.
Where there is one, there is more.

Just days after news spread of a nurse at a Flint, Mich. hospital who had filed a lawsuit claiming her employer granted a patient's request not to have African-American nurses treat his baby, a second nurse has corroborated the claim in another lawsuit.

The nurse, Carlotta Anderson, claims in her lawsuit that a notice was posted on the assignment clipboard in the neonatal unit of the Hurley Medical Center on Oct. 31 that said, "No African American nurse to take care of baby."

Anderson's lawyer, Tom Pabst, tells The Christian Science Monitor that the notice is unambiguous discrimination.

"There's no misunderstanding. They gave an instruction. No black hand touches a white baby," he says.

News of the first lawsuit, filed by Tonya Battle, spread, and Al Sharpton's National Action Network held a press conference Feb. 19 in front of Hurley Medical Center to protest the notice and demand accountability.

Bizarro Earth

Police: Bloods gang member from New York hid 100 bags of heroin in his anus

© Palisades Interstate Parkway Police
A routine traffic stop led to the rather unusual discovery of a large quantity of heroin on Thursday, according to Palisades Interstate Parkway police.

In a statement, Lt. Michael Coppola said that Sgt. Kley Peralta and Officer Mark Torsiello were patrolling the northbound side of the parkway near Exit 4 in Alpine when they stopped a 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer for having unclear license plates and an obstructed view.

As they approached the vehicle, they smelled burnt marijuana, and asked for consent to search the vehicle.

The driver, 32-year-old Rasoul Speight, of Port Jervis, N.Y., agreed, and the officers found nothing of value during the search, Coppola said.

Arrow Down

Is the U.S. Republic ending? 8 striking parallels between the Fall of Rome and the U.S.

Lawrence Lessig's Republic Lost documents the corrosive effect of money on our political process. Lessig persuasively makes the case that we are witnessing the loss of our republican form of government, as politicians increasingly represent those who fund their campaigns, rather than our citizens.

Anthony Everitt's Rise of Rome is fascinating history and a great read. It tells the story of ancient Rome, from its founding (circa 750 BCE) to the fall of the Roman Republic (circa 45 BCE).

When read together, striking parallels emerge -- between our failings and the failings that destroyed the Roman Republic. As with Rome just before the Republic's fall, America has seen:

1 -- Staggering Increase in the Cost of Elections, with Dubious Campaign Funding Sources: Our 2012 election reportedly cost $3 billion. All of it was raised from private sources - often creating the appearance, or the reality, that our leaders are beholden to special interest groups. During the late Roman Republic, elections became staggeringly expensive, with equally deplorable results. Caesar reportedly borrowed so heavily for one political campaign, he feared he would be ruined, if not elected.

Comment: Indeed, the similarities are so striking that this brief but succinct summation barely even scratches the surface. Stay tuned for the next volume of the 'Secret History of the World' series, in which Laura Knight-Jadczyk will be taking a close look at the Fall of Rome.

Light Saber

Defiant Iran to build 16 new nuclear power plants

© file photo
A view of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran
The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) announces that the Islamic Republic plans to construct 16 nuclear power plants.

"Following months of efforts, 16 new sites for nuclear power plants have been designated in coastal areas of the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman, [southwestern province of] Khuzestan and northwestern part of the country," the AEOI said on Saturday.

It added the projects are in line with Iran's long-term plans to develop electricity generation via nuclear power plants and in accordance with standard and international regulations.

The organization also said that Iran has discovered more uranium deposits to further improve its position among countries possessing nuclear technology.


How to deal with Banksters: Iran sentences four to death in country's biggest ever case of banking fraud


What's that, you want a bailout for gambling away other people's money? What we'll do instead is hear your confession then terminate your genetic line.
"Four people were sentenced to death on charges of corruption on earth and disrupting the country's economic system," Iran's Judiciary spokesman Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei told reporters on Monday.

"The four are Mahafarid Amir-Khosravi...[the prime suspect], Behdad Behzadi, his legal advisor, Iraj Shoja, his financial solicitor and Saeed Kiani Rezazadeh, head of the Ahvaz branch of Saderat Bank," he said.

"The president of Bank Melli branch in Kish was slapped with life imprisonment and former deputy minister Khodamorad Ahmadi was sentenced to 10 years in prison," Mohseni-Ejei, who is also Iran's attorney general, added.

Other defendants were handed down sentences varying from flogging to paying cash fines and being barred from public office, he said.

Mohseni-Ejei also stated that almost none of the companies involved in this case were ordered closed by the court.

Comment: It's an idea whose time has come in the West. The alternative is that we let the pressure continue to build and eventually bloodshed spills out in uncontrollable ways. Let's start with the Rothschilds and Goldman Sachs and work our way down...

Black Magic

Mother sentenced for dumping infant in snow bank to freeze to death, escapes prosecution for deaths of her two other infants


Justice: Katie Stockton, 32, faces 60 years in prison for leaving Baby Crystal in a snowbank to freeze to death shortly after she was born
A rural Illinois woman has admitted that she wrapped her infant daughter in a plastic bag and dumped her in a snow bank in the dead of water to freeze to death.

Katie Stockton, 32, pleaded guilty to first degree murder in the death of Baby Crystal outside her home in Rockton, Illinois in December 2004.

However, she will likely avoid prosecution on two other infant daughters that were found dead in plastic bags in the truck of her car because detectives can't prove the babies were born alive.

Stockton had been carrying the skeletons of the babies in the trunk of her car when she was stopped for a traffic violation in 2008.

Police impounded her car, but did not search the vehicle discover the remains of the infants until 2009.

Light Saber

Industry Minister defends French workers after Titan Tyres insults

© Airbus S.A.S 2013 - Photo by H. Goussé
Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg has stoutly defended French workers after an American tyre boss denounced them as "so-called workers" who "work just three hours"

He has written to Titan Tyres boss Maurice Taylor saying his comments were "as extreme as they were insulting" and reminded him that his fellow Americans were the biggest industrial investors in France. "In 2012 companies like Massey-Ferguson, Mars Chocolat and 3M chose to increase their presence in France."

The minister had initially refused to comment on the letter about workers at the Amiens Goodyear plant, which is closing as Goodyear cuts its French workforce by about 40%.

But in his reply he said that Mr Taylor's remarks "illustrated a perfect ignorance of our country," a country which had "solid attractions" and solid links with the US.

Chart Pie

Electricity bills to sky-rocket in France due to higher costs of nuclear plants and financing renewable energy

© Photo: Kadmy - Fotolia.com
Electricity bills are set to rocket 30% from now until 2016 - with a large part of the increase being due to investment in developing renewable energy supplies.

The energy watchdog Commission de Régulation de l'Energie (CRE) has released projections showing that households will bear the brunt of the rise with a 30% increase in the tarif bleu for householders and small businesses, 23.7% for businesses on tarif jaune and 16% for tarif vert businesses.

Efforts to make renewable energy supply 23% of France's needs make up about one-third of the increase with the remainder for the building of new power supply networks and increasing power production. However, a boost could come from wind-power with the sector becoming less reliant on aid and able to contribute to the economy.

EDF chief executive Henri Proglio has said that he is going into negotiations with the government to renegotiate electricity prices and wanted a "reasonable rise in the years to come".


Practice of eating horses ancient but inconsistent

© Christian Hartmann/Reuters
Dining on horsemeat -- hippophagy -- is culturally and historically significant, for good reason.

Everyone who seriously studies French or Italian food on scholarly (gluttonous) research trips eats horsemeat. Most every village in France, particularly the southwest and northern border regions with Belgium, and in Italy, particularly the northeast around Verona and Venice, will have a butcher shop specializing in horsemeat, marked with disconcerting gilded horseheads over the shop windows revealing trays of bright lean red meat. Anyone who visits Eastern Europe, especially the Stans, is likely to be used into a restaurant whose specialty is horse cuisine. It's a rite of passage, like watching a pig slaughter and eating fresh blood pudding right afterward.

So I've had horse tournedos, horse sausage, and horse ragu. Several times. For reasons I'll explain, I wasn't eager to continue this line of exploration. But given the recent storm in the media over tainted burgers and ground beef in Europe and possibly all over Europe, I did look further into why eating horse, a seemingly archaic custom that should have died along with other staples of the paleo diet, has persisted.

First, for catchup on what the discovery of horse DNA implies about food safety and what corrective measures might ensue, see Marion Nestle's chronological links. For a good summary of the media's reaction, see Jack Shafer's column (and the Dish debate it provoked).