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Suicide rates INCREASE by over 30 percent in half of US states

Recent news such as the suicide deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain highlight continuing social and cultural DECAY in US, as one’s life becomes without value

Seraphim Hanisch

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Suicide is now the United States’ 10th leading cause of death. It is also one of only three causes of death in the US that are increasing (Alzheimer’s disease and drug overdose are the other two).

This data supplied by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and reported by the Los Angeles Times and the Omaha World-Herald, reflect the decay taking place in American society and culture, yet an increasingly dishonest media culture refuses to seriously acknowledge that this indeed is a problem.

The most stunning aspect of this in recent times happened just a day ago, Friday, June 7, in CNN’s piece about the passing of Anthony Bourdain by suicide, there was no mention of anything but praise for the rightfully respected and admired host on their network. But Fox News noted at least hints of a problem in their coverage on his passing, noting:

The food writer revealed he had contemplated suicide several times.

“There have been times, honestly, in my life that I figured, ‘I’ve had a good run — why not just do this stupid thing, this selfish thing… jump off a cliff into water of indeterminate depth,'” Bourdain told the magazine.

And in an earlier place:

Bourdain told People in February he felt “some responsibility” to “at least try to live” after welcoming daughter, Ariane, now 11, with ex-wife Ottavia Busia in 2007.

Mr. Bourdain is presently being remembered in a very loving way, and this is in all fairness. But his suicide and that of fashion designer Kate Spade, who hanged herself while her daughter was at school a few days before, are not anomalous as they ought to be.

The suicide rate in the United States has rocketed up in recent years. Between 1999 and 2016, the CDC reports that suicide rates increased in almost every US state, and that in 25 of them, that rate rose more than 30 percent during this time.

More disturbing, 54 percent of those who took their own lives did not have a known diagnosed mental health condition.

The Christian understanding of the sanctity of life comes into this matter very strongly. While the news often highlights this catchphrase in issues regarding abortion, the matter has become very muted in regards to suicide. A gradually more prevalent viewpoint in Europe and the West is that the end of one’s own life is one’s own business. Euthanasia (dubbed “mercy killing”) is legal as such in only three countries worldwide (The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg). But variants that all lead to the same thing have taken hold in many Western countries.

Current status of euthanasia around the world:

  Purple – Active euthanasia is legal
  Light blue – Passive euthanasia is legal
  Black – Euthanasia laws vary by administrative division
  Red – Euthanasia is illegal
  Grey – Euthanasia status unknown

The map above is actually incorrect for Europe, which is much more permissive, with only Germany not allowing euthanasia, owing to its own history of the Nazi Holocaust. The below map is more accurate:

The nations in black have a vague legal situation about euthanasia in any regard. The green ones allow passive euthanasia, and the yellow ones blatantly allow assisted suicide.

While these maps concern the medical and sanctioned practice of assisted suicide, the trend is concurrent with the rise in personally decided suicide as well. In 27 US states the suicides were found to have happened after relationship loss or problems; drug use, physical health problems or problems in the spheres of work, money, housing or legal stress.

“Our data suggests suicide is more than a mental health issue,” said Deborah M. Stone, lead author of that study. Noting that suicide is “very rare” among those with chronic depression, Stone said friends, families and co-workers should not overlook the risk of self-harm among people who have never been diagnosed with mental illness.

Ms. Stone is correct. This is indeed more than a mental health issue. Something has happened internally with many people that has led them to believe that life is not worth keeping, and that suicide is indeed a more painless escape from problems.

This decay can be connected with the decline of traditional values, most notably those found in Christianity, in all of these locales. Christianity points out the basic truth that only God creates life, and because life is something only God can make, it is simply not our place to take it away. Thus for thousands of years, the taking of one’s own life was extremely rare, usually the province of the severely depressed or the heroes who gave their lives for the sake of others.

But Mr. Bourdain expressed a different attitude entirely in regards to his own life. The man had experienced great success in life, but was unreserved in his even expressing his thoughts of committing this radically selfish act, even despite the fact that years before he claimed that his daughter’s existence gave him a reason to live.

It should also be noted that Mr. Bourdain was a heavy drug user earlier in life, using a lot of heroin, and that also even up to the point of his death he continued drinking heavily.

Kate Spade’s suicide is perhaps similarly laced with selfishness, for her suicide note was written to her daughter, saying “it is not your fault. Ask your father.”

What is this supposed to tell these kids?

As in these cases, it seems to have become increasingly permissible to take the one gift that no one in this world can possibly give – life itself – and abuse it or throw it away.

Cultures that are in a state of disintegration, such as the Roman Empire before the end, or the Russian Empire before Communism, or the American empire now, passed into and through this disintegration after a period of fancied self-sufficiency, where the traditional value on life, family, God and nation were rejected for the sake of esoteric living, mind-bending philosophy, and most of all, lack of restraint in living.

For those in the American nation this assertion may appear strange, as the great number of churches, many of whom are growing, would suggest that Christianity is real, alive and growing by great leaps and bounds. So, how can it be that there is a tie between suicide and an alleged rejection of Christianity? Indeed some who have committed suicide are faithful church members.

The answer to this question cannot possibly be a one-size-fits-all notion. The matter is complex. However, one rather unique quality of American life is a very rugged sense of individualism. Even for the American Christian, the emphasis has long been placed culturally that “you take care of yourself, because no one will do it for you.” And this along with the flip side of this, expressed as something like “I am free and I can do whatever I want, and I am right because God is on my side” creates a problem. Such people will not likely ask for help when times are bad.

One’s own pride and individualism conspire to shut the door on seeking help, and the concurrent selfishness of those around him or her, seen as “respect” for the right of that person to be left alone, makes sure that the sufferer is indeed completely alone.

And one cannot fight the forces of evil, and anti-life, alone.  Christianity has never succeeded except in community, and people that try to go it alone in Christian practice often end up insane. The nations that have ancient Christian cultures, as in Russia or Lebanon or Syria, tend to emphasize community and collective good, and they do it so naturally that it would seem absurd to suggest going it alone in life.

It is exceedingly rare that a group of people will commit suicide together. And it is even more rare that a community of people, especially Christians, who know that one of their own is thinking about doing this, would let them. The only way that happens now is among groups of people who may at best claim to be Christians, but at the same time they refuse to acknowledge and adhere to the teachings of the Church from ancient times.

The Marquis de Sade’s libertine philosophy helped destroy Christian belief in France. That same philosophy of life runs rampant in Europe and the result is clear: dying churches, lowering birth rate, increasing death rates, and the replacement of the European people by an inrush of Muslim immigrants, who actually value their own lives and faith a great deal more.

To a slower extent this is happening in America, but as we see from the statistics given, the United States is catching up to Europe very quickly. A return and revitalization of traditional values stands as the clearest and best course of treatment for this problem.

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regolo gelliniHans ZandvlietJ Roderet Recent comment authors
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regolo gellini
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regolo gellini

He trod on some highly sensitive feet and was “suicided” as post people that came anywhere near the Clintons, the Shin Bet or the Mossad !

Hans Zandvliet
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Hans Zandvliet

A very self-righteous article. These rising suicide rates are a very serious issue and therefore deserving of a lot more serious considerations than some so-called-christian condemnation and a return to the holy mother church (where’s the real-christian mercy in that?). A serious article about this subject would include a search for the reasons WHY this suicide rate is rising so dramatically. Personally, I think we should evaluate how our societies function and why more and more people can’t see a future for themselves in their society anymore. There may be other directions to look for reasons and answers. In any… Read more »

Hans Zandvliet
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Hans Zandvliet

A very self-righteous article. These rising suicide rates are a very serious issue and therefore deserving of a lot moreserious considerations than some so-called-christian condemnation and a return to the holy mother church (where’s the real-Christian mercy and love in that?). A serious article about this subject would have included a search for the reasons WHY this suicide rate is rising so dramatically. Personally, I think we should evaluate HOW our societies function and WHY more and more people apparently can’t see a future for themselves in their own society anymore. There may be other directions to look for reasons… Read more »

J Roderet
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J Roderet

Washington needs to solve its own internal problems at home and stop meddling in other countries’ affairs.

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Theresa May’s soft Brexit plan continues to fail, as EU now pushing for UK to leave (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 138.

Alex Christoforou

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Theresa May’s soft Brexit strategy has been such a monumental failure that even Brussels negotiators are now pushing for the UK to simply leave the union, in what has becoming a British debacle, and a thorn in the Conservative Party’s side.

Many media pundits and analysts are now asking if the latest impasse in Brexit talks means that we are indeed seeing the last days of Theresa May?

While much of the mess the Conservative Party finds themselves in because of Brexit is squarely Theresa May’s fault, much of the damage done by May’s inability to close the deal on Brexit will not go away, even if she does.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss Theresa May’s continued failure to obtain her soft Brexit dream, placing herself (and her Conservative Party) in such an embarrassing position, that European Union negotiators, tired of never ending talks, are eager to see Britain go away, in what will be an inevitable hard Brexit.

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“Are these the last days of Theresa May?”, authored by Stephen Bush via The New Statesman:


Are these the last days of Theresa May? This morning’s papers are full of stories of plots and ultimatums to the Prime Minister unless she changes her Brexit strategy, whether from her Scottish MPs over any extension of the transition period due to concerns over fisheries policy, from her Brexiteer MPs over the backstop or from her Cabinet over practically everything.

All this before the Budget next Monday, when Philip Hammond is going to have to find some way to pay for the extra cash for the NHS and Universal Credit all while keeping to May’s pledge that debt will continue to fall as a share of GDP. So added to all May’s Brexit woes, a row over tax rises could be coming down the track.

Of course, the PM’s position has been perilous for a very long time – in fact, when you remember that her period of hegemony ran from July 2016 to June 2017, she’s actually been under threat for more of her premiership than she hasn’t. But just because you roll heads 36 times in a row doesn’t mean your chances of rolling tails aren’t 50/50 on roll 37, and May’s luck could well be running out.

But while May shares a good size of the blame for the mess that the Conservative Party are in, it’s not all her fault by any means and none of those problems will go away if May is replaced or changes tack to win over her internal opponents in the European Research Group.

Ireland has a veto over the end state and only an indefinite and legally binding backstop for the island of Ireland will do if any deal is to be signed off. It’s true to say that no deal also means a hard border on the island of Ireland, but it’s also true that it will always been in the political interests of whoever is in office in Ireland for a hard border to be imposed as a result of no deal rather than for the Irish government to acquiesce in the creation of one through a EU-UK treaty.

The DUP can bring the Conservative government to an early end so they, too, have a de facto veto over any deal that creates barriers between Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom. But the only UK-wide solution – for the backstop to encompass the whole of the United Kingdom – is nothing doing with pro-Brexit Conservative MPs who don’t want an indefinite backstop. It’s also politically tricky with many EU member states, who don’t want the default outcome of the talks to be a UK-wide backstop, which many regard as a threat to the sanctity of single market. (The only reason why it is acceptable on the Irish border is because Ireland is still a member state and because the Irish border was both the location and the cause of political violence within living memory.)

Added to that, the Conservative parliamentary party seems to be undergoing a similar psychological journey to the one that Steve van Riel described during the 2015 Labour leadership election: that groups of any kind tend to reach a more extreme position the longer an issue is debated. Brexiteers who spent 20 years saying they wanted a Norway style deal now talk of Norway as a betrayal. Leavers who cheerily talked about making Northern Ireland into its own customs area before Brexit now talk of the backstop as a constitutional betrayal. And Conservative Remainers who only reluctantly backed an In vote to avoid the political upheaval of negotiating Brexit, or the loss of David Cameron, now call for a referendum re-run and privately flirt with the idea of a new party.

Some of that is May’s fault, yes. But none of it is going to go away if she does and all of it makes the prospect of reaching a Brexit deal considerably less likely.

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Saudi Crown Prince Spoke To Khashoggi By Phone Moments Before He Was Killed: Report

The shifting Saudi narrative of the killing has been met with scepticism and condemnation from the international community.

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Via Zerohedge


In the latest bombshell report involving the Khashoggi murder, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly spoke on the phone with journalist Jamal Khashoggi moments before he was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkish pro-government daily Yeni Safak disclosed the new alleged details of the case in a report on Sunday, contradicting claims by Saudi authorities that Prince Mohammed played no part in Khashoggi’s murder.

“Khashoggi was detained by the Saudi team inside the consulate building. Then Prince Mohammed contacted Khashoggi by phone and tried to convince him to return to Riyadh,” the report said.

“Khashoggi refused Prince Mohammed’s offer out of fear he would be arrested and killed if he returned. The assassination team then killed Khashoggi after the conversation ended,” it added.

While the report is so far unconfirmed, the New Arab reports that so far Turkish pro-government media have been receiving a steady stream of leaks many of which turned out to be accurate, including pictures of the hit team as they entered Turkey and reports of audio recordings of the murder said to be in the possession of Turkish authorities.

Meanwhile, the Saudi version of events has been changing significantly over the past two weeks with authorities conceded Saturday that Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist and a Riyadh critic, was killed inside the kingdom’s Istanbul diplomatic compound following a “brawl”. The admission came after a fortnight of denials with the insistence that the journalist left the consulate alive, starting on October 5, when Crown Prince MBS told Bloomberg that Khashoggi was not inside the consulate and “we are ready to welcome the Turkish government to go and search our premises”.

On Saturday, the kingdom announced it had fired five top officials and arrested 18 others in an investigation into the killing – a move that has widely been viewed as an attempt to cover up the crown prince’s role in the murder.

The shifting Saudi narrative of the killing has been met with scepticism and condemnation from the international community, and has left the U.S. and other allies struggling for a response on Sunday. As Bloomberg reports, France demanded more information, Germany put arms sales to Riyadh on hold and the Trump administration stressed the vital importance of the kingdom and its economy to the U.S.

In Sunday radio and TV interviews, Dominic Raab, the U.K. politician in charge of negotiating Britain’s exit from the European Union, described the latest Saudi account as not credible; French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called for “the truth’’; and Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said his government would approve no arms sales so long as the investigation was ongoing.

Earlier on Sunday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir acknowledged a cover-up attempt. The dramatic reversal, after Saudi officials had previously said the columnist left the building alive, has only complicated the issue for allies.

Saudi Arabia’s al-Jubeir told Fox News on Sunday that the journalist’s death was an “aberration.”

“There obviously was a tremendous mistake made and what compounded the mistake was the attempt to cover up,” he said, promising that “those responsible will be punished for it.”

More importantly, he said that Prince Mohammed had no knowledge of the events, although if the Turkish report is confirmed, it will be yet another major flaw with the official narrative.

Several senior members of US President Donald Trump’s Republican Party said they believed Prince Mohammed was linked to the killing, and one called for a “collective” Western response if a link is proved. In an interview with The Washington Post, President Trump, too, said the Saudi narrative had been marked by “deception and lies.’’ Yet he also defended Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as a “strong person,’’ and said there was no proof of his involvement in Khashoggi’s death. Some members of Congress have questioned his willingness to exonerate the prince.

“Obviously there’s been deception and there’s been lies,” Trump said on the shifting accounts offered by Riyadh.

On Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised to disclose details about the case at a meeting of his AK Party’s parliamentary faction on Tuesday, Haberturk newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, as Western firms and high-ranked officials scramble to avoid any Saudi involvement, Russia is more than happy to step in and fill the power vacuum void left by the US. As a result, Russian businesses are flocking to attend the investment forum in Saudi Arabia, as Western counterparts pull out.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has had considerable success boosting Moscow’s influence in the Middle East at U.S. expense, by standing by regimes that fall afoul of the West, including in Syria and Iran. Last week Putin signed a strategic and partnership agreement with Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, backed by $25 billion in loans to build nuclear reactors. Until El-Sisi came to power, Egypt had been closely allied to the U.S.

Meanwhile, all eyes are fixed squarely on the Crown Prince whose position of power is looking increasingly perilous. Congressional leaders on Sunday dismissed the story proffered earlier by the Saudis, with Republican Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bob Corker of Tennessee saying they believed the crown prince was likely involved in Khashoggi’s death.

Lawmakers said they believe the U.S. must impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia or take other action if the crown prince is shown to have been involved. Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the chamber’s No. 2 Democrat, said the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. should be formally expelled until a third-party investigation is done. He said the U.S. should call on its allies to do the same.

“Unless the Saudi kingdom understands that civilized countries around the world are going to reject this conduct and make sure that they pay a price for it, they’ll continue doing it,”’ Durbin said.

The obvious question is what happens and how the Saudi royal family will respond if it is pushed too far, and whether the worst case scenario, a sharp cut in oil exports, could be on the table if MBS feels like he has little to lose from escalating the situation beyond a point of no return.

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The Biggest Winners In The Mediterranean Energy War

Energy companies are flocking to the Mediterranean after oil and gas discoveries in the territorial waters of Israel, Cyprus, and Egypt.

The Duran

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Authored by Vanand Meliksetian via Oilprice.com:


Former Vice-President of the United States Dick Cheney once said: “the good lord didn’t see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratically elected states… Occasionally we have to operate in places where, all considered, one would not normally choose to go. But we go where the business is.” Europe is surrounded by states with abundant energy resources, but supply from these countries is not always as reliable. Russia, for example, is regularly accused of using energy as a weapon. However, major discoveries of gas in the Eastern Mediterranean could mitigate dependence on Russian gas.

The discovery of a gas field named Tamar near the coast of Israel in 2009 set off a wave of investments in the energy sector. After 9 years, companies are flocking to the region after other discoveries in the territorial waters of Israel, Cyprus, and Egypt. Ever larger finds in the Mediterranean Sea’s Levant Basin such as the Leviathan gas field in 2010 and Zohr in 2015, have the potential to transform the strategic importance of the region.

Turkey’s energy hub ambitions

Few states in the world are geographically so well positioned as Turkey. The country controls Russia’s only warm water port in the Black Sea and serves as a bridge between east and west. Therefore, during the Cold War Ankara was an indispensable member of NATO. More recently, Turkey has the ambition to become an energy hub for Middle Eastern and Caspian energy. Ankara has had mixed successes in attracting investors and maintaining political stability.

After Israel’s significant discoveries, a U.S. backed initiative presented Turkey as an energy hub. Although a land pipeline is the cheapest option to transport gas from the Mediterranean to Europe, political developments have stalled construction. President Erdogan’s escalating public denunciations of Israel have made Jerusalem look for other options. Furthermore, relations with Europe have also been damaged which would be dependent on Turkey as a transit country.

Egypt as the regional gas hub

Egypt’s has the third largest gas reserves in Africa. Therefore, its export-oriented LNG industry came on-stream in 2004 but was shut mid-2013 due to a lack of resources. The growth of the domestic market demanded ever larger volumes, which went at the expense of exports. Instead, Egypt started importing LNG. However, the discovery of the massive Zohr gas field, the largest in the Eastern Mediterranean, has turned around the situation. Egypt imported its last shipment of LNG in September 2018.

Although relations between Egypt and Israel are far from normal, privately held companies have been able to strike a deal. Starting from the first quarter of 2019, in 10 years 64 bcm worth $10 billion will be delivered. The agreement has stirred controversy in Egypt, which until recently was exporting to Israel. However, with this deal, Cairo comes closer in becoming an energy hub.

The recent signing of another agreement, this time with Nicosia to develop a subsea pipeline from Cyprus’ Aphrodite gas field, has been another important step. Cypriot gas will be pumped 400 miles (645 kilometers) to the south to Egypt’s LNG facilities. Difficult relations with Nicosia’s northern neighbors make a pipeline to the north highly unlikely.

Cairo has been able to act pragmatically concerning its relations with its neighbors such as Israel while taking advantage of the limited amount of options for exporting gas. The obvious winner in this context has been Egypt and its LNG industry. Its chances of becoming the regional energy hub instead of Turkey have significantly increased.

Turkey’s hope for luck

All littoral states of the Eastern Mediterranean struck ‘gold’ in the shape of natural gas except for Turkey. Ankara strongly opposes the exploitation of the gas resources in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus without a sharing agreement with Northern Cyprus’ Turkish inhabitants. The Turkish Navy prevented ships from Italy’s Eni from performing exploratory drilling off the coast of the Republic of Cyprus.

In search of its own luck, Ankara has set up a project to start looking for gas in the EEZ of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which is only recognized by Turkey. Kudret Özersay, TRNC deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, proclaimed the desire to turn the TRNC into an energy and electricity hub. However, it seems unlikely that investors will be willing to participate due to political and legal reasons.

The legal situation of the TRNC is an impediment to any major decision involving a longtime commitment worth billions. From an international point of view, the region is de jure part of the Republic of Cyprus, despite holding no control over the region. The TRNC holds no seat in the WTO.

Large investments require solid legal and political support for companies to earn back their investments. The current economic situation of Turkey makes it dependent on foreign money. However, stringent due diligence rules could impede some international banks in lending the necessary funds.

The Eastern Mediterranean Sea basin promises great rewards, but the risks are also high. With Turkey potentially being the only country that doesn’t profit from the gas bonanza, Ankara has acted aggressively to get what it regards as its fair share. However, it faces a united front from the other littoral states of the Eastern Mediterranean. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that Turkey will be able to profit in the same way as Cyprus, Egypt or Israel.

By Vanand Meliksetian for Oilprice.com

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