Veteran Suicides — A Hidden Epidemic

Veteran Suicides — A Hidden Epidemic

How Many Veterans Are Killing Themselves Per Day?


By: Michael Rock
Date: 2016-08-25

When Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump address the American Legion’s upcoming national convention,  they will no doubt explain why they are the right choice to be the next commander-in-chief.

What they probably won’t talk about is the high number of veterans who will die by their own hand during the week-long conference.

According to a recent report by the Department of Veteran Affairs, 7,300 veterans killed themselves in 2014 — an average of 20 per day.  This is more than the entire number of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan to date.

If this trend keeps up, by the end of the American Legion conference, 140 veterans will have killed themselves.

Flags decorate the graves of US service members. Photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Beverly / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The Percentage Of Working Age Men That Do Not Have A Job Is Similar To The Great Depression

The Percentage Of Working Age Men That Do Not Have A Job Is Similar To The Great Depression


By: Michael Snyder
Date: 2016-09-07

Why are so many men in their prime working years unemployed?  The Obama administration would have us believe that unemployment is low in this country, but that is not true at all.  In fact, one author quoted by NPR says that “it’s kind of worse than it was in the depression in 1940?.  Most Americans don’t realize this, but more men from ages 25 to 54 are “inactive” right now than was the case during the last recession.  We have millions upon millions of strong young men just sitting around doing nothing.  They aren’t employed and they aren’t considered to be looking for employment either, and so they don’t show up in the official unemployment numbers.  But they don’t have jobs, and nothing the Obama administration does can eliminate that fact.

According to NPR, “nearly 100 percent of men between the ages of 25 and 54 worked” in the 1960s.

In those days, just about any dependable, hard working American man could get hired almost immediately.  The economy was growing and the demand for labor was seemingly insatiable.

But today, one out of every six men in their prime working years does not have a job

Campaign Question: Is Upward Mobility a Thing of the Past?

Campaign Question: Is Upward Mobility a Thing of the Past?


By: Bob Hennelly
Date: 2016-08-18

Janet Yellen, the head of the Federal Reserve, can’t explain the disconnect between middle-class frustration and the national statistics on the economy that show a low jobless rate, a healthy stock market, and a strong dollar.

Similarly, the mainstream media were taken by surprise when populist anger stoked the success of Sen. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, campaigning for the presidency, understands there are pockets of bad news in some parts of the country. The economy, she concedes, is “not peachy keen.”

But in hundreds of neighborhoods across the country, particularly in hard-hit states like Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, the reality is very far from “peachy.” Indeed, the economic reality in  three counties in those states, often considered accurate predictors of the results of presidential elections, remains bleak.


Classic Who: The Ferguson Report, Part 2: African-Americans, Cash Cow for the City

Classic Who: The Ferguson Report, Part 2: African-Americans, Cash Cow for the City

Ferguson Cops Relentlessly Preyed on African-Americans — How Are Things Changing?


Date: 2016-07-26

The recent murders of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge were acts of violence that no one condones. But we should keep in mind the seemingly endless incidents of violence black men and women have been subjected to by police — for decades.

Even when no one is killed, some of these stories are especially searing: Earlier this month a Miami cop shot and wounded an unarmed black man lying in the street with his hands up. The victim was a therapist at a group home who was trying to coax an autistic man to come back inside. The patient was playing with a toy truck.  Someone called the police. When they arrived, the therapist lay on his back, put his hands up, and shouted,

“All he has is a toy truck in his hand. That’s all it is. There is no need for guns.”

The policeman fired anyway. Three times. One bullet hit the therapist in the leg.

Later the policeman claimed he was aiming for the man with the toy truck, that he thought the toy was a gun, that he was trying to protect the therapist.

But here is what is especially telling: The police still handcuffed this unarmed man, the one who was not holding the toy, even after he was shot, even after he had repeatedly identified himself as a therapist — and left him lying on the hot Miami pavement for 20 minutes while waiting for an ambulance.


There are other, more insidious ways in which African-Americans are abused — economic exploitation. The Department of Justice (DOJ) exposed this form of abuse after an especially explosive incident in Ferguson, Missouri.

On August 9, 2014, in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed African-American. After the officer was cleared of all charges, there were peaceful protests as well as rioting.

The Ferguson Report. Part 1: Breathing While Black, and Other Offenses

The Ferguson Report. Part 1: Breathing While Black, and Other Offenses


By: 2016-07-29

It has been said that African-Americans are often arrested for “driving while black.” In fact, African-Americans seem to be arrested for walking, talking—or just breathing—while black.

This is not news. What is news is that the Department of Justice investigated the city, the police department, and the judicial system of Ferguson, Missouri—which is apparently just one of many places in America where such racially driven abuses occur on a regular basis.

Out of this came The Ferguson Report.

Here we present anecdotes from that report, a catalog of grinding daily harassments, humiliations—and worse—by a police department intent on keeping a people “in their place” while earning revenue for the city by writing as many tickets as possible.

Photo Credits: Steven Melkisethian/Flickr The shooting of Michael Brown sparked protests and rallies in Ferguson and beyond, including this one hosted by the Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition in Silver Spring, Maryland.


Experts Sought: The Great 9/11 Building Debate

Experts Sought: The Great 9/11 Building Debate


By: The WhoWhatWhy Team
Date: 2016-09-06

This September 11 will mark the 15th anniversary of the terror attacks on New York and Washington. These were events unlike any other in history, and they changed America and our world in profound ways — some of which have yet to become apparent.

WhoWhatWhy believes it is the mandate of journalism to not only report news as it happens, but to dig deep, and to stay on important stories for the long haul.

We also believe the public should hear all sides of critical issues, including those considered highly controversial, and, at least by traditional media, too “ludicrous” or too “hot” to address.

Another 9/11 Intrigue: Dick Cheney, John Yoo, and “Continuity in Government” (COG) Measures on 9/11

Another 9/11 Intrigue: Dick Cheney, John Yoo, and “Continuity in Government” (COG) Measures on 9/11


By: Prof. Peter Dale Scott
Date: 2016-09-14

In 1993 I wrote a book, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, in which I said at the outset I was not going to try to solve the mystery of JFK’s murder but to examine the politics of it.

I wish to argue here for similar research into the politics of 9/11. For the political consequences of 9/11 have been toxic, regardless of how the towers fell or who was responsible. The unusual process of their implementation deserves close study, a study which I believe will cast more light on 9/11 itself.

I hope in this paper to show that Dick Cheney responded to 9/11 by using devious means to install a small cabal of lawyers – most notoriously John Yoo – who proceeded conspiratorially in the next weeks to exclude their superiors, while secretly authorizing measures ranging from warrantless surveillance and detention to torture.

Post-9/11 Wars Have Cost Nearly $5 Trillion (and Counting): Report

Post-9/11 Wars Have Cost Nearly $5 Trillion (and Counting): Report

As nation remembers 9/11 victims, report calculates cost of military response to attacks


By: Nadia Prupis
Date: 2016-09-13

The U.S. military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost taxpayers nearly $5 trillion and counting, according to a new report released to coincide with the 15th anniversary of the attacks.

Dr. Neta Crawford, professor of political science at Brown University, released the figures in an independent analysis (pdf) of U.S. Departments of Defense, State, Homeland Security, and Veteran Affairs spending, as well as their base and projected future spending. Crawford is also a director at Brown's Costs of War Project, which works to draw attention to the human, economic, and political toll of the military response to 9/11.

In total, the wars already boast a price tag of $4.79 trillion, she found. And the cost is still climbing.


Welcome to Your Delusional Democracy

Welcome to Your Delusional Democracy


By: Joel S. Hirschhorn
Date: 2016-09-11

For some years I have used the term “delusional democracy” to describe the condition of the US .  It seemed obvious to me that the vast majority of Americans have deliberately chosen to fool themselves.  They have been brainwashed to believe what no longer is true.  Become convinced that you do not live in a true and terrific democracy, or that your democracy is the best in the world. 

I stopped believing this myth many years ago.  All the objective evidence I saw over fifty years of paying intense attention both as a citizen and someone who worked within the political system showed me that American democracy had steadily declined in quality, integrity and effectiveness.  And now in this 2016 presidential race you have powerful and painful evidence that we are saddled with a delusional democracy.  Thank Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for opening your mind and eyes to reveal this revolting truth.

Delusional democracy refers to delusional Americans.  So this year the key question for you to consider is whether you still choose to keep falsely believing that American democracy is worth being proud of.  I just cannot see how Americans can accept these two major party presidential candidates as reflecting a first rate democracy.  They are, in fact, a major embarrassment that should make every American, regardless of their political party loyalty or previous political beliefs, cringe at the ugly reality that these two presidential candidates are worthy of any respect, loyalty or votes.

How could it come to this?  Two world class liars.  Two of the most widely known untrusted and untrustable unpopular politicians ever produced here or anywhere.  Two sick narcissists in it for themselves, not the country.

The US political system produced this reality.  A two-party duopoly serving the rich and powerful, corporate contributors and many special interests, but not the ordinary, general public is what we have had for a long time.  What gave this nation awful economic inequality, destruction of good paying middle class jobs in manufacturing, and horrendous national debt also gave us these two losers.  Can you settle into voting for the lesser of two evils, when each of the two evils makes you gag?  Evil does not accurately describe these two options.  Choose the lesser of two embarrassments, of two calamities, of two democracy destroyers.

Consider this way of thinking about this ugly reality.  Once a democracy has become delusional playing the game of being responsible citizen and voting no longer makes sense.  It is more like joining a criminal conspiracy to maintain the illusion that we have a legitimate democracy.  Voting no longer is the path to have a revolution to restore American democracy.  That is exactly where we have arrived.  When most Americans have little respect and trust for Congress or just about every other institution and most believe we are on the wrong track, then how can you still cling to the belief that voting is what you can and should do?  When it comes to Trump and Hillary how can you still keep deluding yourself that you live in a legitimate democracy worth voting in?

America and the Plague of ‘Moral Idiocy’

America and the Plague of ‘Moral Idiocy’

When it comes to applying rules of international law and ethics, the U.S. government and its mainstream media operate with stunning hypocrisy, what might be called “moral idiocy”


By: Lawrence Davidson
Date: 2016-09-06

It was on Aug. 12, 1949, that the nations of the world, with Nazi atrocities still in mind, updated what are known as the Geneva Accords. This constituted an effort to once again set limits on the wartime behavior of states and their agents.

Among other things, the accords set the range of acceptable behavior toward prisoners of war, established protections for the wounded and the sick, and the necessary protections to be afforded civilian populations within and approximate to any war-zone. Some 193 countries, including the United States, have ratified these agreements. Now, as of August 2016, they are 67-years-old. Have they worked? The answer is, in all too many cases, no.

In just about every major conflict since 1949 the Geneva Accords have been partially or completely ignored. Certainly that was the case in the Vietnam War, where civilian deaths came close to 1.5 million people. The treaties have had minimal impact in Afghanistan (during both the Russian and U.S. invasions), Iraq, the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, Russia’s military activity in Chechnya, and various conflicts in Africa and Asia.

The International Red Cross, which oversees observance of the accords, has not been able to do much more than shine lights on the breaches of the law and pick up the bloody pieces in the aftermath. At the rate our nation-states slaughter the innocent, it is a wonder there is an overpopulation problem.

Hillary Clinton and Henry Kissinger. (Photo: Atlantic Council/flickr/cc)

Fair Processes, Better Outcomes

Fair Processes, Better Outcomes


By: Jeremy Malcolm
Date: 2016-09-30

Yesterday we exposed the dangers of Shadow Regulation; the secretive web of backroom agreements between companies that seeks to control our behavior online, often driven by governments as a shortcut and less accountable alternative to regulation.

Today we are proposing a set of criteria, summarized in the infographic below, which turns this critical account of private agreements gone wrong, into a positive agenda for how they could be done better. EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow wrote:

You claim there are problems among us that you need to solve. You use this claim as an excuse to invade our precincts. Many of these problems don't exist. Where there are real conflicts, where there are wrongs, we will identify them and address them by our means. We are forming our own Social Contract. This governance will arise according to the conditions of our world, not yours. Our world is different.


Liberal, Moderate or Conservative? See How Facebook Labels You

Liberal, Moderate or Conservative? See How Facebook Labels You


By: Jeremy B. Merrill
Date: 2016-08-23

You may think you are discreet about your political views. But Facebook, the world’s largest social media network, has come up with its own determination of your political leanings, based on your activity on the site.

And now, it is easy to find out how Facebook has categorized you — as very liberal or very conservative, or somewhere in between.

New dengue vaccine could instead cause more cases, experts warn

New dengue vaccine could instead cause more cases, experts warn


By: Mera Senthilingam
Date: 2016-09-01

Everything You Need To Know About Medical Marijuana

Everything You Need To Know About Medical Marijuana


By: Jeff Schechtman
Date: 2016-08-26

Marijuana, which has been around for over 2700 years, is said to alleviate all kinds of problems — nausea associated with chemotherapy, pain, insomnia, anxiety, depression, dementia, the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders. It may even stop the spread of cancer, but this hasn’t been proven conclusively.

In this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast, Dr. David Casarett of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School talks about its medical value, how we can measure dosing and blood levels, as well as the role of the medical community and government.

He assures us that marijuana overdoses are not fatal and that, given the current efforts toward legalization, we all need to learn more.

David Casarett, M.D., author of “Stoned” Photo credit: Current and Dr. David Casarett