11/14/2015 1 suicide mention (more recent stories are excerpted on our homepage or its archives) -
- Guns and the rising rate of suicide, editorial, 11/14 NYT, A22.
...About two thirds of people killed by guns, or 20,000 a year, kill themselves...
11/03/2015 2 work-stressed-suicide mentions (more recent stories are excerpted on our homepage or its archives) -
- Death rates rise among whites in middle age [45-54], by Betsy McKay, WSJ, A1.
...The rise..occurred between 1999 and 2013, according to the report published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.\. Suicide, alcohol abuse, drug overdoses and chronic liver diseases largely drove the rise [and] offset declines in other major drivers of mortality in midlife, such as lung cancer...
Rise in deaths for U.S. whites in middle age - Poor education seen as a determining factor, NYT, A1.
[Q: So why on earth would you associate that with joblessness? A: headline from last week: "Age bias widespread in job market, researchers say," Bloomberg via 10/27/2015 Boston Globe, C2.]
- Deadly isolation - Suicide rates have risen sharply in rural areas, where access to mental health services can be scarce, NYT, D1.
[and access to jobs in rural areas?!]
10/08/2015 1 work-stressed suicide AND murder mention (more recent stories are excerpted on our homepage or its archives) -
- The alleged Oregon gunman had been discharged from the Army after attempting suicide, WSJ, A1 pointer to A3.
[Suggestion: maybe we should make suicide more acceptable so people stop taking others with them?]
2/01/2015 7 unemployment-related suicides mention (more recent stories are excerpted on our homepage or its archives) -
Suicides disquiet Nantucket, by Brian MacQuarrie, Boston Globe, B1.
When summer [tourist season] ends, Nantucket develops something of a ghost-town appearance. (photo caption)
Seven middle-age residents of Nantucket have committed suicide since October...
12/04/2014 1 work-stressed-suicide mention (more recent stories are excerpted on our homepage or its archives) -
- Global Newsstand: ...Regulating working hours in Japan.., Christian Science Monitor via csmonitor.com
This week's round-up of commentaries covers the constant cycle of violence between Israel and Palestine, protecting workers from long hours in Japan, the rise of cell phones in Bangledesh, Kenya coming together after terrorist attacks, and the need for cultural change after politician says he is gay.
... Keeping workers healthy by regulating work hours, The Japan Times / Tokyo
“A law aimed at preventing karoshi, or death from overwork, took effect [in November] as the first legislative action of its kind...,” states an editorial. In 2013 alone, 133 people in Japan died from suicide or health-related issues attributed to being overworked.
[Whoah! Ten years ago the average in Japan was only 19 a year, roughly the same as the number from fugu.]
“The law ... requires the government to implement public-enlightenment programs about the risks of overwork, establish counseling systems and provide support for nongovernmental organizations dealing with the issue.... The business community, which has called for deregulation of the work-hour rules, is opposed to the introduction of a uniform cap on the maximum work hours including overtime. But the key to eliminating death from overwork will be efforts to curb the long working hours of many corporate workers.” ...
1/27/2014 1 work-stressed-suicide mention (more recent stories are excerpted on our homepage or its archives) -
- Tata Motors head [Karl Slym] dies in hotel plunge [in Bangkok while working on a turnaround], Financial Times, p.16.
12/06/2013 1 economically-stressed-suicide reference (more recent stories are excerpted on our homepage or its archives) -
- The irony of despair - The battle against suicide, op ed by David Brooks, NYT, A31.
We’ve made some progress in understanding mental illnesses over the past few decades, and even come up with drugs to help ameliorate their effects. But we have not made any headway against suicide.
According to the World Health Organization, global suicide rates have increased by 60 percent over the past 45 years. The increase in this country is nothing like that, but between 1999 and 2010 the suicide rate among Americans between 35 and 64 rose by 28 percent. More people die by suicide than by auto accidents.
When you get inside the numbers, all sorts of correlations pop out. Whites are more likely to commit suicide than African-Americans or Hispanics. Economically stressed and socially isolated people are more likely to commit suicide than those who are not. People in the Western American states are more likely to kill themselves than people in the Eastern ones.
People who attempt suicide are always subject to sociological risk factors, but they need an idea or story to bring them to the edge of suicide and to justify their act. If you want to prevent suicide, of course, you want to reduce unemployment and isolation, but you also want to attack the ideas and stories that seem to justify it.
Some people commit suicide because their sense of their own identity has dissolved. Some people do it because they hate themselves. Some feel unable to ever participate in the world. The writer Annie Sexton wrote the following before her own suicide:
“Now listen, life is lovely, but I Can’t Live It. ... To be alive, yes, alive, but not be able to live it. Ay, that’s the rub. I am like a stone that lives ... locked outside of all that’s real. ... I wish, or think I wish, that I were dying of something, for then I could be brave, but to be not dying and yet ... and yet to [be] behind a wall, watching everyone fit in where I can’t, to talk behind a gray foggy wall, to live but ... to do it all wrong. ... I’m not a part. I’m not a member. I’m frozen.”
In her eloquent and affecting book “Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It,” Jennifer Michael Hecht presents two big counterideas that she hopes people contemplating potential suicides will keep in their heads.
Her first is that “Suicide is delayed homicide.” Suicides happen in clusters, with one person’s suicide influencing the other’s. If a parent commits suicide, his or her children are three times as likely to do so at some point in their lives. In the month after Marilyn Monroe’s overdose, there was a 12 percent increase in suicides across America. As Hecht put it, if you want your niece to make it through her dark nights, you have to make it through yours.
Her second argument is that you owe it to your future self to live. A 1978 study tracked down 515 people who were stopped from jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. Decades later, Hecht writes, “94 percent of those who had tried to commit suicide on the bridge were still alive or had died of natural causes.” Suicide is an act of chronological arrogance, the assumption that the impulse of the moment has a right to dictate the judgment of future decades.
I’d only add that the suicidal situation is an ironical situation. A person enters the situation amid feelings of powerlessness and despair, but once in the situation the potential suicide has the power to make a series of big points before the world. By deciding to live, a person in a suicidal situation can prove that life isn’t just about racking up pleasure points; it is a vale of soul-making, and suffering can be turned into wisdom.
That person can commit to live to redeem past mistakes. That person can show that we are not completely self-determining creatures, and do not have the right to choose when we end our participation in the common project of life.
And, as our friend Nietzsche observed, he who has a "why" to live-for can withstand any "how."
5/03/2013 1 karoshi-flavored suicide reference (more recent stories are excerpted on our homepage or its archives) -
- Suicide rates in middle age soared in U.S., by Tara Parker-Pope, New York Times, A1.
Suicide rates among middle-aged Americans have risen sharply in the past decade, prompting concern that a generation of baby boomers who have faced years of economic worry and easy access to prescription painkillers may be particularly vulnerable to self-inflicted harm.
More people now die of suicide than in car accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which published the findings in Friday’s issue of its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. In 2010 there were 33,687 deaths from motor vehicle crashes and 38,364 suicides.
Suicide has typically been viewed as a problem of teenagers and the elderly, and the surge in suicide rates among middle-aged Americans is surprising.
From 1999 to 2010, the suicide rate among Americans ages 35 to 64 rose by nearly 30 percent, to 17.6 deaths per 100,000 people, up from 13.7. Although suicide rates are growing among both middle-aged men and women, far more men take their own lives. The suicide rate for middle-aged men was 27.3 deaths per 100,000, while for women it was 8.1 deaths per 100,000.
The most pronounced increases were seen among men in their 50s, a group in which suicide rates jumped by nearly 50 percent, to about 30 per 100,000. For women, the largest increase was seen in those ages 60 to 64, among whom rates increased by nearly 60 percent, to 7.0 per 100,000.
Suicide rates can be difficult to interpret because of variations in the way local officials report causes of death. But C.D.C. and academic researchers said they were confident that the data documented an actual increase in deaths by suicide and not a statistical anomaly. While reporting of suicides is not always consistent around the country, the current numbers are, if anything, too low.
“It’s vastly underreported,” said Julie Phillips, an associate professor of sociology at Rutgers University who has published research on rising suicide rates. “We know we’re not counting all suicides.”
The reasons for suicide are often complex, and officials and researchers acknowledge that no one can explain with certainty what is behind the rise. But C.D.C. officials cited a number of possible explanations, including that as adolescents people in this generation also posted higher rates of suicide compared with other cohorts.
“It is the baby boomer group where we see the highest rates of suicide,” said the C.D.C.’s deputy director, Ileana Arias. “There may be something about that group, and how they think about life issues and their life choices that may make a difference.”
The rise in suicides may also stem from the economic downturn over the past decade. Historically, suicide rates rise during times of financial stress and economic setbacks. “The increase does coincide with a decrease in financial standing for a lot of families over the same time period,” Dr. Arias said.
Another factor may be the widespread availability of opioid drugs like OxyContin and oxycodone, which can be particularly deadly in large doses.
Although most suicides are still committed using firearms, officials said there was a marked increase in poisoning deaths, which include intentional overdoses of prescription drugs, and hangings. Poisoning deaths were up 24 percent over all during the 10-year period and hangings were up 81 percent.
Dr. Arias noted that the higher suicide rates might be due to a series of life and financial circumstances that are unique to the baby boomer generation. Men and women in that age group are often coping with the stress of caring for aging parents while still providing financial and emotional support to adult children.
“Their lives are configured a little differently than it has been in the past for that age group,” Dr. Arias said. “It may not be that they are more sensitive or that they have a predisposition to suicide, but that they may be dealing with more.”
Preliminary research at Rutgers suggests that the risk for suicide is unlikely to abate for future generations. Changes in marriage, social isolation and family roles mean many of the pressures faced by baby boomers will continue in the next generation, Dr. Phillips said.
“The boomers had great expectations for what their life might look like, but I think perhaps it hasn’t panned out that way,” she said. “All these conditions the boomers are facing, future cohorts are going to be facing many of these conditions as well.”
Nancy Berliner, a Boston historian, lost her 58-year-old husband to suicide nearly two years ago. She said that while the reasons for his suicide were complex, she would like to see more attention paid to prevention and support for family members who lose someone to suicide.
“One suicide can inspire other people, unfortunately, to view suicide as an option,” Ms. Berliner said. “It’s important that society becomes more comfortable with discussing it. Then the people left behind will not have this stigma.”
12/01/2012 1 job-shortage-tied suicide reference (more recent stories are excerpted on our homepage or its archives) -
- The nature cure - Take two hours of pine forest and call me in the morning, by Gretchen Reynolds, Outside Magazine, pp.79ff.
...Japan's 48 official Forest Therapy trails [are] designated for shinrin-yoku [letting nature enter your body through all five senses] by Japan's Forestry Agency.... The Japanese have good reason to require unwinding: In addition to those long workdays; pressure and competition for schools and jobs have helped Japan achieve the third-highest suicide rate in the developed world (after South Korea and Hungary)....
1/20/2012 1 job-related suicide reference (more recent stories are excerpted on our homepage or its archives) -
- Army [U.S.] suicides set a record, New York Times, A1 pointer to A11.
Suicides among active-duty soldiers hit a record high in 2011, and the Army reported nearly a 30 percent increase in violent sex crimes.
["We support our troops"?]
...Gen. Chiarelli said that 164 active-duty Army, National Guard and Reserve troops took their own lives in 2011, compared with 159 in 2010 and 162 in 2009...
7/01/2011 1 karoshi (death by overwork) story in WSJ, NYT or online (more recent stories are excerpted on our homepage or its archives) -
- Foxconn Worker Dies in the Bath [actually the shower] After Working 60 Hours a Week, by Chris Chang, (6/30 relay delay) M.I.C. Gadget [Ministry of Information, China?] via micgadget.com via C.com
Chen’s family, including relatives, protest outside a Nokia retail store. The white banner says, “Foxconn, please return my son - I beg the government to do justice for citizens.” (photo captions)
SHENZHEN, China - This. Is. Sad. 23 year old Foxconn employee Chen Long died on June 25th after a continuous 60-hour working week. Here’s the story:
Chen Long, a healthy 23 year old boy from a village in Hubei province, joined Foxconn in August 2010 to work on the assembly line at Hon Hai Group’s Foxconn plant in Shenzhen. Chen is a hardworking guy, and his mind is full of hopes. He is the only child in his family, and he needs to take care his grandparents, and at the same time, saving money to cure both of his parents’ sickness. If Chen has a low salary, he will still save up a portion of it for his family.
Working in Foxconn, Chen clearly knows the overtime policies every employee must obey, and he needs to work overtime every day. He is sick of his job, and he always feel that he is too tired to work overtime. Chen’s parents have heard about the suicides happening at Foxconn, they are worried and they tried to tell their son to quit the job. However, Chen said:
“Why would I want to die when I see my family and friends love me so much?”
Chen then told his parents that he needs to work an additional 2 hours everyday, working from 7am to 7pm during the weekdays. Moreover, Chen needs to work an additional 10 hours on Saturday, and has a day-off on Sunday. Foxconn has not assigned overtime working for Chen during April and May this year, so Chen has been working for more than 60 hours per week for 9 months since the day he joined Foxconn. Last year September, there’s one day Chen fainted on the street due to exhaustion. His parents were worried, and here’s what Chen said:
“Don’t worry, I’m just too tired. Everything will be fine after a rest.”
This is Chen Long.
On June 24th, the day before Chen’s death, everything is normal. Chen got off work at 7pm, and went home for dinner. After having his meal, he went out with his girlfriend for some fun at the Internet bar, until 11pm. Chen got back back home for a sleep after the date. Next day, June 25th, Chen woke up at 11am, feeling dizzy and has no appetite. He reluctantly have a meal that includes instant noodle, chicken feet and fruity flavored milk. He only had a few sips of those food. Chen then felt strengthless and sat at home watching the television. At 5pm, the weather is hot and Chen went to the bathroom for a shower. After two minutes, Chen falls to the ground unconscious. His girlfriend quickly called the ambulance, and when the doctor arrived, Chen is confirmed to be dead.
Chen’s parents were deeply sad about their son’s death, and they have made the following requests to Foxconn: (machine translation...)
# Provide a copy of the deceased’s employment contract, attendance cards, pay slips, pre employment physical forms.
# Provide reimbursement for victim’s parents’ medical (Chen’s parents fainted when they heard about the death of their son) and travel expenses.
# Cover the cost of living/eating for relatives. (calculating the lowest expenses, $5 yuan for breakfast, $10 yuan for lunch/dinner)
# Bear the funeral expenses of Chen’s death.
# Provide compensation for victims’ parents and grandparents.
And here’s what Foxconn answered:
# The copy of the deceased’s employment contract, attendance cards, pay slips, pre employment physical forms could only be given to the police/government.
# Since a precedent is not established for reimbursement on medical fees and travel expenses, reimbursement could not be provided.
# Only the cost of living/eating could be covered for the victim’s parents. Two standard rooms and $40 yuan will be provided daily for each person.
# May consider to bear the funeral expenses of the victim.
# The compensation for victim’s parents and grandparents will be provided from the victim’s social security tax (about 10,000 yuan).
Chen’s parents were not satisfied with Foxconn’s answers, and Chen’s mum was always trying to negotiate with Foxconn to get a better compensation. Chen’s mum cried a lot, and always faint when she tried to beg the representatives of Foxconn. Looking at the pathetic situation of Chen’s family, Foxconn finally offered a better compensation, 4 standard rooms and a daily compensation of 300 yuan for 17 members of Chen’s family (including relatives).
Chen’s family, including relatives, protest outside a Nokia retail store.
The white banner says, “Foxconn, please return my son. I beg the government to do justice for citizens.”
Chen’s death is a tragedy, died of exhaustion after a continuous 60-hour working week. As we know, according to China’s labor law, a worker’s daily work hours should not exceed 8 hours, and weekly work hours should not exceed 44 hours. We’re not sure if Chen knows about the country’s labor law, but if he knows it, we think he will still do his job to earn money to take care his grandparents and parents. We feel sad for Chen’s death, and we can’t imagine how the Macintosh software team members worked 90 hours a week in the 1980s.
4/14/2011 1 work-related suicide story (more recent stories are excerpted on our homepage or its archives) -
- Suicides rise during recessions, CDC study confirms, by Monifa Thomas, Chicago Sun-Times via suntimes.com.
Suicide rates in the United States tend to rise during recessions and fall during times of economic growth, according to a first-of-its-kind study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Economic crises such as the Great Depression, the oil crisis of the 1970s and the “double-dip recession” of the early 1980s were all associated with increasing suicide rates among adults between the ages of 25 and 64. Suicides were also associated with rising unemployment rates, researchers reported Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health.
The largest spike was seen during the Great Depression, when the national suicide rate jumped from 18 suicides per 100,000 people in 1928 to an all-time high 22 per 100,000 in 1932.
Meanwhile, suicide rates fell during times of economic prosperity, such as after World War II and between 1991 and 2001.
The study looked at economic trends between 1928 and 2007 and compared them to suicide rates among different age groups.
Though researchers found a strong association between the two, the study wasn’t designed to prove there’s actually a cause-and-effect relationship. They noted that there may be other social, cultural and medical factors that could have also influenced suicide rates during the years studied.
Still, the findings indicate that economic hardship may be a precipitating factor for people with other risk factors for suicide.
“Economic problems can impact how people feel about themselves and their futures as well as their relationships with family and friends,” said James Mercy, acting director of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s Division of Violence Prevention. Mercy was not involved in the research.
Based on the findings, more resources should be devoted to suicide prevention during tough economic times, the study’s authors said.
But a report released last month by the National Alliance on Mental Illness found that states desperate to cut costs during the most recent recession have slashed spending for mental health care by more than $1.8 billion since 2009.
12/17/2010 1 job- or jobloss-related suicide story in WSJ &/or NYT (more recent stories are more stringently excerpted on our homepage or its archives) -
- Reopened wounds: 'More than he could bear', New York Times, A1.
..Mark David Madoff, the older son of the convicted swindler...Bernard L. Madoff...
[In this case, job-loss related (the "job" being swindling) and the "job" being lost belonging to his father, but still related to our general culture of job desperation and self-destructive monetary concentration undisciplined by world war levels of labor "shortage," completely achievable without war by resuming our 1840-1940 overtime-into-jobs conversion and workweek reduction.]
5/27/2010 1 work-related suicide story in WSJ &/or NYT (more recent stories are more stringently excerpted on our homepage or its archives) -
- The factory with nets to catch would-be suicides, by Clifford Coonan in Beijing, 5/27 independent.co.uk
SHENZHEN, China - Ma Zishan wept for his child in funereal white yesterday, with the Chinese symbol for "injustice" emblazoned on his back and carrying a portrait of his dead son Ma Xiangqian that bore the words: "give me the truth".
The elderly man was stationed outside the Foxconn complex in Shenzhen, southern China, and as he wept, his wife and daughter knelt alongside him. But Foxconn did not want to get to the bottom of Ma Xiangqian's apparent suicide yesterday. Nearby, officials handed out media passes for a tour of the company's sprawling electronics facility, where 300,000 employees work making the iPhone and iPad, plus products for Nokia, Sony, HP and Dell. It was part of a scramble to restore public faith in their embattled firm after a series of 11 suicide attempts, nine successful.
And so, instead of being confronted with a bereaved family, earlier in the day around 200 members of the media had thronged outside the Foxconn plant in the southern boom town to await their tour, their cars blocking the nearby roads. The chief executive of Foxconn's parent company Hon Hai, Terry Guo, had to press on as he tried to calm a critical media that has blasted his company's standing in recent days.
Mr Gou wasted no effort in showing the plant. He brought the reporters to see the factory, the workshop, dormitory facilities, staff care centre, and even the swimming pool. He repeatedly apologised. He said he had trouble sleeping at night because of the suicide. And he joked. "Reporting is a hard job," he told the journalists. "The press industry is a sweatshop business!"
In a workshop, he asked several female workers: "Do you know me?"
They responded in the affirmative.
"Is working here good?"
"It's good," they said.
In separate interviews with the Xinhua news agency, several female workers from Hunan and Hubei provinces said their working hours are 7.30am to 7.30pm and their monthly salary is 900 yuan (£91.46 = $132.64 as of 6/01), plus overtime. An assembly line worker earns £152.44-182.92 a month ($220-265).
[= Working 12-hour days for peanuts - for how many days a week? probably at least six, yielding 72-hour workweeks. This is where the rest of the world was in 1840, a century and a half ago before regulated working hours. Can they afford to buy their own products? No. They depend on others. What happens when competition reduces the others to their level? Economic collapse, depression and mass starvation. The suicides may actually be the intelligent ones in the Chinese hell of today toward which we are all careening without fluctuating adjustment of the workweek against underemployment and/or underpay.]
One young worker described the conditions. "Working at Foxconn is pretty busy. Chats are rare," she said.
"It was tiring working there. We often worked into the night and took over 100 extra shifts each month," said another employee surnamed Zhang, who quit after two years because of the workload.
[There it is. The Chinese work megahours for peanuts. On a system-wide long-term basis, if pay went by hours, the Chinese would be the highest paid employees in the world - but they're not, so it doesn't. We can cut hours and pay will actually go up because we're cutting the surplus of desperate resumes pouring in for every open position.]
But Taiwanese photographer Han Siu Keung, one of the journalists to tour the vast plant, told The Independent that it was apparently liked by the employees. "The factory is actually super-clean. Not like a sweatshop, not at all. And the workers seemed to like it there, and said the company treats them well," he said. Reporters who spoke to workers were watched by Foxconn staff members as they did so.
The company is building a 1.5 million sq meter "safety net" to stop people jumping from the factory dormitories and workshops. (The staff live in shared dormitory complexes with divisions between men and women.)
"Although this is a stupid measure, at least in the future if another tragedy happens, it may save a life," Mr Guo said.
Around 70 professional psychologists have been stationed in Foxconn to carry out professional counselling, and help treat those with issues.
One of the suicides, a man surnamed Liang from eastern China's Anhui province, cut himself several times with a knife before leaping off. His seven room-mates said he was on a different shift to them, and there was little communication between them.
The management has said the number of suicides is because there is an "immature mentality" among those born between 1980 and 1999 – a generation that many Chinese think is spoiled. All the nine dead in the Foxconn suicides were between 18 and 24.
But others spoke of marginalisation in a company that has grown too quickly. "Too big, too tiring and too lonely," said a Mr Wang, who worked there less than a month. "Foxconn is too big. When I was walking to and from work in streets, I felt helplessly lonely," he said.
11/22/2009 1 work-related suicide story (more recent stories are more stringently excerpted on our homepage or its archives) -
- Mental disorder, catastrophe lead some to kill selves - Suicides are preceded by warning signs that are 'very hard to hide' [but easy to ignore], Chicago Sun-Times, 4A.
..Apparent suicide of Chicago Public School Board president Michael Scott...60...gunshot wound... Suicide claims more than 33,000 lives in the United States each year..
[and is about to go much much higher until we stop the nearly 70-year freeze on the "full time" workweek and the downsizing response to mounting technological productivity]
..and was the 15th leading cause of death in Illinois in 2006, the most recent year for which data is available... Suicide rates are highest in the 45- to 54-year-old age group... Women attempt suicide more often than men, but men are more likely to succeed... The rates are actually highest in April, June, and July...
1/28/2009 JOB-STRESS OR -LOSS RELATED SUICIDE in the news (archives) -
- Man kills family and himself [times three], pointer head, New York Times, A2 pointing to A15.
 A Los Angeles man...apparently out of despair over the couple's losing their jobs....
(From text, A15) ...The bodies were identified as [Ervin] Lupoe, his wife Ana; their 8-year-old daughter and two sets of twins (5-year-old girls and 2-year-old boys).... Mr. Lupoe and his wife had worked at a Kaiser Permanente hospital in West Los Angeles, but...an administrator...had asked them on an unspecified day why they had come to work, and then added, "You should have blown your brains out."..
[This is an administrator who should now get fired to see how s/he likes it.]
..Two days after the confrontation, the Lupoes lost their jobs and began planning their deaths and those of their children. "Why leave the children to a stranger?" [Mrs Lupoe] had asked.... The investigators found a revolver next to Mr. Lupoe's body...
 A man killed his ex-wife, her parents and friends at a Christmas party in West Covina [19 mi. E of LA] last month [December] after losing his job.
 In October, a 45-year-old father of three shot and killed his wife and children in their Porter Ranch home [27 mi. NW of LA] after describing financial stress in a suicide note...
1/21/2009 JOB-RELATED SUICIDE ATTEMPT in the news (archives) -
- Irish tycoon is found dead, by Bryan-Low & Mollenkamp, Wall St Journal, A13.
... Patrick Rocca, 42 years old...was involved in [real estate] through his company Accorp Properties Ltd.... A gun was found near his body....
1/15/2009 JOB-RELATED SUICIDE ATTEMPT in the news (archives) -
- Die, he mumbled - Marcus Schrenker, missing financier arrested at his Florida campsite, his wrists cut, National Post, A1.
1/07/2009 JOB-RELATED SUICIDE in the news (archives) -
- His [stock-speculation] empire in tatters, German billionaire takes [own] life, by Mike Esterl, Wall Street Journal, A1.
Facing losses, billionaire [Adolf Merckle] takes own life, by Carter Dougherty, New York Times, B1.
(Gap in coverage, 2005-2008, to survive the depressing recoronation of one of USA's most destructive presidents, who uncorked the Pandora's Box of the Middle East, and his lethal legacy goes on and on and on, to the delight of his buds and financiers in the weapons industry. Coverage more complete pre-2005 below, dwindling to start of daily updates in Jan/1999, and just a sampling post-2008 above, fuller coverage on our archive pages.)
10/15/2004 1 interesting but non-work-related suicide story in WSJ &/or NYT (more recent stories are more stringently excerpted on our homepage or its archives) -
1/15/2004 1 work-related suicide story in WSJ &/or NYT (more recent stories are more stringently excerpted on our homepage or its archives) -
- Some colleges try zero-tolerance toward suicide attempts, by Ernest Sander, WSJ, B1.
[For example, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign presented a girl with the choice of meeting with a mental-heath counselor for 4 sessions or get suspended from school for the following semester after she wrapped a power cord around her neck several times during a fight with her boyfriend and he called 911.]
12/23/2003 1 work-related killing story in WSJ &/or NYT -
- U.S. soldiers in Iraq, blurb, WSJ, front page.
...are committing suicide at a high rate despite the work of special teams sent to help them deal with combat stress, the Pentagon's top doctor said....
[Times version -]
Military suicides put at 21 in Iraq, NYT, A13.
The top health official in the Pentagon said there were at least 21 suicides last year among troops serving in Iraq.
The official, Dr. William Winkenwerder, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, said 18 of the deaths were Army soldiers. He said the rate was a slight increase over past years.... Dr. Winkenwerder said the figures reflected a suicide rate for soldiers in Iraq of about 13.5 per 100,000. ["In 2002, the Army reported an overall suicide rate of 10.9 per 100,000." (Boston Globe, below.)] In 2001, the overall suicide rate in the U.S. was about 11 per 100,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.
Troops under strain - Suicide rate up for US soldiers in Iraq, Pentagon says, by Matt Kelley, AP via Boston Globe, A20.
WASHINGTON - ...Suicide has become such a pressing issue that the Army sent an assessment team to Iraq late last year to see if anything more could be done to prevent troops from killing themselves. The Army also began offering more counseling to returning troops after several soldiers at Fort Bragg NC, killed their wives and themselves after returning home from the war.
...The overall suicide rate nationwide during 2001 was 10.7 per 100,000, according to the federal Center for Disease Control & Prevention.
By contrast, [only] 2 US military personnel killed themselves during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, although that conflict only lasted about a month. The Army recorded 102 suicides during [the whole of?] 1991 for a rate of 14.4 per 100,000. The Army's highest suicide rate in recent years came in 1993, when the rate was 15.7 per 100,000.
The Marine Corps has the military's highest suicide rate. Last year, the Marines' rate was 12.6 per 100,000. During 1993, the Marines' rate was 20.9 per 100,000.
The military investigates every death and some of those probes may be incomplete, meaning the actual suicide rate could be even higher, Winkenwerder said....
The military has 9 combat stress teams in Iraq to help treat troops' mental health problems, and each division has a psychiatrist, psychologist, and social worker, Winkenwerder said.
12/22/2003 1 work-related killing story in WSJ &/or NYT -
- California leads prosecution of employers in job deaths, by David Barstow, NYT, front page.
...Roy J. Hubert Jr. is a prosecutor with a mission. He is part of a small team of circuit-riding prosecutors who are crusading to transform the Wild West mores of rural California, a culture they regard as far too tolerant of death on the job.
Their methods are simple, and controversial. With permission from local district attorneys, they bring high-profile criminal cases against employers who kill workers by violating workplace safety laws....
Aggressive prosecution, chart with data from OSHA, A20.
California [is] one of 21 states that administer their own versions of OSHA.....
Percentage of "willful violation" deaths prosecuted from 1990 to 2002
- California 36.2%
- Other state-run OSHA agencies 4.6%
- Federal, OSHA 3.9%
12/17/2003 1 work-related killing story in WSJ &/or NYT -
- U.S. rarely seeks charges for deaths in workplace -...A culture of reluctance, WSJ, front page.
The Shell Oil casualties - Ronald Granfors...and Woody Fry...were among the six men killed in an explosion at a Shell plant in Anacortes, Wash., in 1998. Promises of safety improvements had been neglected, investigators found. [photo caption]
The jail sentences for company executives obtained in OSHA fatality cases over 20 years are a fraction of those obtained by the EPA in one year alone. [chart]
- 104 cases were prosecuted [1982-2002?]
- 81 cases resulted in convictions ["]
- 16 convictions carried jail sentences ["]
- total length of sentences obtained by OSHA 1982-2002: 30 years
- total length of sentences obtained by EPA in 2001 alone: 256 years
12/16/2003 2 work-related killing stories in WSJ &/or NYT -
- Hospitals didn't share records of a nurse [Charles Cullen] accused in killings, by Perez-Pena & Kocieniewski & Peterson, NYT, front page.
[Sounds like Roman Catholic dioceses all over America relative to child-abusing priests.]
Accused nurse is named in death of second patient - More than 150 deaths at one Easton PA hospital will be re-examined, 12/19/2003 NYT, A32.
In two states, new questions about many hospital deaths, 12/20?/2003 NYT, A15.
...northern New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania....
Nurse seeks plea bargain in killings - Would identify victims in return for life term, 1/08/2004 NYT, A26.
Through gaps in system, nurse left trail of grief, 2/29/2004 NYT, front page.
[And they let this guy loose around helpless patients and even PAID him?!?]
- He tried suicide at least three times,
- did four stints at mental hospitals,
- broke into a colleague's house
- and wanted a doctor prosecuted just for drawing his blood.
- He was once found wearing surgical scrubs at the missle controls of a nuclear submarine,
- and he was known in his neighborhood for his nighttime chasing of cats.
Mr. Cullen...defies the cliche about serial killers that nobody suspected anything.... Yet [he] was able to go from job to job for a decade after the first homicide accusation [and] was able to continue mostly because of systemic failures..., gaping holes in hospital and government systems for weeding out people who harm patients. Supervisors and government officials who were looking over his shoulder...failed. More than a decade ago, a medical examiner neglected to order a test on a dead patient that investigators now say might have stopped Mr. Cullen....
[and somewhere recently we saw an article saying that hospitals do autopsies much less than they used to - oh yeah, here it is open on Kate's side of the kitchen table - "Deaths go unexamined and the living pay the price - A staple of TV crime shows (autopsies) but now rare in real life," 3/02/2004 NYT, D5.]
Nurse who admits killing is charged in [78-yr-old Otto Schramm's] death - A 16-year career & a trail of dead patients, 3/30/2004 NYT, A21.
Plea deal near for nurse in 30 deaths, 4/27/2004 NYT, A22.
[No death penalty in exchange for information that would greatly ease investigators' problems in identifying his other victims besides the 14 he would plead guilty for poisoning.]
11/22/2003 1 work-related suicide story in WSJ &/or NYT -
- Nurse accused of slaying patient reportedly admitted 30 killings - Inquiries at 10 institutions in 7 counties, by McFadden & Hanley, NYT, front page.
SOMERVILLE, N.J...- A nurse [Charles Cullen, 43, of Bethlehem PA] with a history of job dismissals was charged on Monday with killing one patient and trying to murder another with drugs at a hospital here in central New Jersey, and a prosecutor quoted the nurse as saying that he had slain 30-40 patients in his 16-year career "to alleviate pain and suffering."...
- Cases - Health care workers who kill, data from Dir. Beatrice Yorker of San Francisco State U. School of Nursing, and Issues in Law and Medicine published by National Legal Center for Medically Dependent & Disabled, via NYT, C19.
[This issue is complicated by presentday human compulsiveness about "keep them alive regardless" and the persecution of people pushing for an alternative, like Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who painstakingly screens his "victims."]
Since 1975, more than 20 healthcare workers in the U.S. have been convicted or implicated in the deaths of multiple patients. Some recent cases:
[Is it possible that every so often, one of healthcare workers freaks out over our rigid and obsessive attempt to prolooooooooong life, no matter how painful and pointless? Clearly humanity is not ready to think about this yet, or take the responsibility for wading into the large gray areas between the white and black, so if you take on the responsibility to "help" other people in this way, you've got to be prepared to die yourself.]
- Robert Diaz - A nurse at several hospitals in Riverside County CA, sentenced to death for killing 12 elderly patients in 1981 by injecting them with large doses of lidocaine.
[Oh great, this is going to give people lotsa ideas too.]
- Genene Jones - Sentenced in 1984 to 99 years in prison for killing a 15-month-old child in Kerrville TX by lethal injection. She was also implicated in a rise in the number of deaths in pediatric intensive care units, but was not convicted.
- Donald Harvey - A nurse's aide, he pleaded guilty in 1987 to killng 37 patients at hospitals in Ohio and Kentucky, using cynanide, arsenic and suffocation. Sentenced to 3 concurrent life terms.
- Richard Angelo - A nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip NY, convicted in 1990 of two murders and three assaults, after injecting patients with paralyzing drugs. Sentenced to 50-years-to-life in prison.
- Efren Saldivar - A respiratory therapist, he pleaded guilty in 1998 to killing six patients at the Glendale Adventist Medical Center in California. Claimed to have killed more than 40 others.
- Orville Majors - A nurse in Vermillion County IND, convicted in 1999 of killing six patients with lethal injections of potassium chloride.
- Michael Swango - A former doctor, convicted in 2000 of four murders in NY and Ohio, using lethal injections. Suspected in as many as 35 other deaths. Sentenced to 3 consecutive life [terms].
- Kristen Gilbert - A nurse convicted in 2001 of four killings at the VA Medical Center in Northampton MA, using injections of epinephrine, a stimulant.
11/17/2003 1 work-related mass murder story in WSJ &/or NYT -
- Obituaries - Jonathan Brandis, 27, actor in the cast of 'SeaQuest DSV', AP via NYT, A15.
...who from an early age appeared in a string of roles on television, commercials and film, including two seasons...as a crew member, Lucas Wolenczek, in the underwater sci-fi series "SeaQuest DSV," a role that won him a Young Artists Award in 1993 and helped turn him into a teen idol..\..died [in Los Angeles] on Nov. 12.... The police said Mr. Brandis was taken to the hospital after a friend called 911 from his apartment on Nov.11 to report a suicide attempt. He died the next day.
Mr. Brandis started his career in commercials and on TV, landing a recurring role on the daytime drama "One Life to Live" at 6.
[And his parents should have taken the hint and let him live it, but no....]
After moving with his family to L.A. at 9, he made guest appearances on shows like "L.A. Law," "Who's the Boss?" [clearly not Jonathan] and "Murder, She Wrote."... More recent film work included Ang Lee's 1999 "Ride with the Devil," and the coming-of-age comedy, "Outside Providence," the same year.
11/14/2003 1 work-related mass suicide story in WSJ &/or NYT -
- Rat poison: Murder weapon of choice in rural China - With guns prohibited, some feuds are settled with a sprinkle of rodenticide, by Jim Yardley, NYT, A3.
Several times a year, the Chinese news is filled with tales of restaurant owners poisoning the food in rival restaurants, or of teachers poisoning students,
- Chinese rescue workers tried to aid a man sickened by food spiked with rat poison in Tangshan, a town in Jiangsu Province, in Sept/2002 [see 9/18/2002]. A total of 49 people, many of them children, were killed in the incident. The owner of a snack shop said he poisoned the food served at a rival's shop. [photo caption]
- ...The authorities also reported a poisoning on Oct. 23 in Shaanxi Province in which 16 people were hospitalized...after a jealous BBQ-stand operator poisoned the food at a BBQ stand that was outselling him.
[shades of the Student Christian Movement of Canada's themesong, "Poisoning the Student Mind"]
or, as happened a few years ago, of a zookeeper poisoning animals to spite his boss....
[Now that is really nasty. It's one thing for us human cockroaches to go around exterminating each other, but to get other animals involved is, as Afrikaaner drill sergeants yell at their recruits, "lower than the shadow of snakesh*t." ("Ya es laher als slangkakse skaduveer." (sp??)]
11/07/2003 2 work-related murder items in WSJ &/or NYT -
- [a glimpse into our own American future? -]
India: Inquiry into deaths of government workers, Agence France-Presse via NYT, A6.
A court ordered an investigation into the deaths of more than 1,400 government employees in eastern Bihar State, most of whom died of starvation or committed suicide because they had not been paid in more than a decade.... "The state government created such conditions that forced the 1,428 employees to die or commit suicide," the court said, charging that state officials responsible for running 45 public sector units stole money meant for the employees, causing many of the units to close down. "...While the state officials...made merry in foreign trips and big hotels, the employees died of starvation," it said.
10/30/2003 1 work-related pre-Hallowe'en excursion into the macabre in WSJ &/or NYT -
- Job (dis)qualifications - Now widely disseminated, criminal records make it hard for ex-offenders to go straight, by David S. Bernstein, CommonWealth Mag fall 2003 (rec'd in mail today), p.48ff.
...Crime on the job, especially violent crime, is a relatively minor societal danger. Workplace homicides are rare (roughly 700 a year nationally), and the vast majority result from robberies.
[How does this figure square with Handgun Free America's statistic that over the last 15 years, the U.S. has had over 100 deadly workplace shootings (see 8/28/2003 below)? That's far less than 700 homicides a year and it's unlikely such a huge difference can be ascribed purely to shootings vs. other.]
According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, just 2.1% of rapes, 3.2% of attempted rapes, and 4.2% of stabbings take place at a commercial establishment other than a restaurant or bar, and only a fraction of those are committed by employees....
- 2 dead in shooting at trucking company, by James Hannah, AP via Boston Globe, A5.
WEST CHESTER, Ohio - ...The attack began shortly before 10 am in an industrial park in suburban Cincinnati..\.. A trucker opened fire with two handguns yesterday at a company that once employed him, killing two men and wounding three before fleeing, authorities said. He was arrested at an Indiana truckstop...two hours later....
The attacker drove past a security checkpoint at Watkins Motor Lines [couldn't have been very secure!], then walked into a dispatcher office lined with desks and opened fire on five men.... About a dozen shell casings littered the floor. About 2½ hours later, Indiana state police received a tip that a man in a truckstop was saying police were looking for him. West was arrested inside the truckstop just off Interstate 74 near New Point, Ind. He was eating a meal when officers arrived and responded "yes" when police asked if he should be handcuffed....
[He wanted the full ceremony.]
Police identified the suspect as Tom Wst, 50, and said he had worked for Watkins Motor Lines...Atlanta [office].
Police Chief John Bruce said the employees in the West Chester office...did not know him. "We believe that the suspect shot at anyone and everyone he saw," Bruce said. "We have nothing to lead us to believe that he had a grievance against a specific person."... The two men who died were Donald Haury, 50, of Bellbrook, and Bob Lines, 65, of Cincinnati..\..
West, also known as Joseph Eschenbrenner III, was charged with two counts of aggravated murder [is there "unaggravated" murder?] and three counts of attempted murder, Bruce said. Police brought him back to Ohio and he was to arraigned this morning..\..
Watkins Motor Lines, based in Lakeland FL issued a statement saying Tom West had worked out of Atlanta from 1998 until he resigned in 2001. The company did not say why he left....
10/28/2003 1 largely work-related suicide story in WSJ &/or NYT -
- [incoming, incoming!]
Germany: Flying corpse ties up traffic, by Victor Homola, NYT, A10.
[Dave Barry, and Bill Coe - we are not making this up. This is stranger than fiction, especially right before Hallowe'en! (Our YTD timesizings this coming weekend roll up to 666 too! - see explanation on 9/9/99.) ]
A hearse overturned on the autobahn near Duisburg, smashing a coffin and ejecting a corpse onto the roadway, along with a bag of coffin nails, the authorities said.
[The coffin nails add a nice ironic touch, as if the Big Guy Upstairs (oops, Gal!) is saying, "Hammer that coffin back together - and next time, don't leave any nails left over!"]
The undertaker, who had fallen asleep, was slightly hurt, and traffic was brought to a standstill for an hour.
[The undertaker is probably a non-union small businessman who, unaffected by the 35-hour workweek in the West German unionized sector, is sleep-deprived due to overwork and desperately in need of Timesizing.]
10/23/2003 2 work-related murder stories in WSJ &/or NYT -
- And still, echoes of a death long past - Doctors now focus on the families left behind by suicide, by Erica Goode, NYT, D1.
...More than 29,000 Americans kill themselves every year....
[Well well, first figure we've seen placed on this. It does look a bit like a guesstimate placed just below a potentially shocking round figure (30,000).]
10/22/2003 1 work-related suicide attempt in WSJ & NYT -
- A farmer kills another and town asks, How did it come to this?, by Monica Davey, NYT, A14.
[It came to this cuz they were both working megahours and had things way out of proportion.]
In the community of Motor, Iowa, 240th Ave. divides Tom Lyon's property...and the land known as Rodgers Place, [over which] Rodney Heemstra ...shot Mr. Lyon  to death on the road in a feud.... [photos' caption]
...315 acres...both men wanted it. Farmland is a treasured commodity...not just in Iowa.... The mere size of one's farm can man the difference between prosperity and failure....
- China: 10 dead, 23 hospitalized in poisoning, AP via NYT, A8.
...a mass poisoning at a lunch held after a farmer's [what is it with the farmers today?!] funeral in Yuanbao, a town in central Hubei Province.... Scores of people have been killed in China over the last two years in attacks linked to feuds [and feuds again!] or business disputes, all involving the same banned brand of rat poison.
[Is this China's new population control program? This is what happens when we allow human life to become too common and cheap. And the key factor is, are we valued in the job market? And the general answer is the one that counts - unless there's full employment, with inflation controlled by incentive-balancing instead of unemployment-fostering - we're too common and cheap, and can "look forward" to increasing acts of self-hatred (terrorism, poisoning, suicide...) on the part of our self-styled "intelligent" species.]
10/16/2003 1 work-related attempted suicide in WSJ & NYT -
- [a work-linked suicide fails -]
Family stunned after son takes Niagara plunge and lives - The first adult to go over the falls without a barrel and survive, by David Staba, NYT, A25.
...Kirk R. Jones, 39, of Canton, Mich...worked in a family-owned business, selling gauging equipment to the automobile industry, until his parents closed up shop and moved to Oregon earlier this month, [older brother] Keith Jones said.... "He just got in his mind that he was going to do something drastic. He didn't want to die [oh no?], but I think it was his way of letting everybody know that he's around."
The plunge defied the laws of physics and Canada. The fast-moving water of the Niagara River, combined with the swirling whirlpools and rocks below, should have proved fatal, said a scientist [Christina Tsai] who has studied the waterflow patterns of...the 173-foot-high Horseshoe Falls..\.. He was rescued from a rock at the base of the falls moments later....
'Happy to be alive,' survivor of Falls plunge is released, by David Staba, 10/24/2003 NYT, C12.
[especially 'happy to be alive' if he gets some job offers -]
...His family...said that Mr. Jones, 40 [musta hadda birthday] - unemployed since his parents closed the family business selling measuring tools to automakers and moved to Oregon earlier this month - had discussed going over the cataracts for weeks and thoughtt he could profit from surviving....
[Watch now for a lot of copycat incidents.]
After Niagara Falls plunge, life becomes a real circus, by David Staba, 12/19/2003 NYT, A33.
Kirk Jones...fined $3,000 yesterday for stunting and mischief for his Niagara Falls [plunge], was hired by a circus promoter, Philip Dolci [asst. mgr. of the Toby Tyler Circus - photo caption].
...Less than a week after Mr. Jones's plunge on Oct. 20...the Toby Tyler Circus, based in Sarasota FL, called and invited him to spend a week traveling with the show.
"I got to ride an elephant, feed a baby lion and shake the hand of a human cannonball," said Mr. Jones, who signed a 1-yr contract to tour with the circus beginning in January. "And best of all, I got to meet the people in the crowd and see them smile."...
"He's a big kid - he enjoys the same things at the circus that kids enjoy," Mr. Dolci said. "He's fascinated by the animals and the people. I've never seen a grown man eat so many snowcones in my life."
Aside from his week on tour, Mr. Jonews has been living on the $2,000 signing bonus he received from the circus. He is staying with his brother - "We've always been like Cain and Abel," [ohoh, Abel better watch out!] Kirk Jones said of their relationship - in Canton MI, a suburb of Detroit, while recovering from broken ribs and a bruised spine sustained in his nearly 18-story fall.
Kirk Jones['] circus stint...begins on Jan. 9 in Houston.
[He'll help feed the animals and wash the elephants, and also -]
...Mr. Jones would perform a stunt in the show, but the nature of his act was undecided. Another Niagara Falls daredevil, Karel Soucek, died on Jan. 9 [dark coincidence], 1985, during a show at the Astrodome in Houston while trying to recreate his July 1984 trip in a barrel.
"I certainly won't be recreating the stunt he did that day," Mr. Jones said. "But life is a risk, so I won't say I'll never do anything to risk my life again."
[Well he better not do it at this particular circus - their track record is too darkly coincidental. But meanwhile -]
..\..He plan[s] to live out a more common, and less dangerous [if they don't have a track record of human sacrifice], fantasy - running away to join the circus.
"I left every problem I had at the bottom of the gorge that day," said...Kirk Jones, 41....
[We were spinning the dial on the desertified commercial channels the other night and had the misfortune to tune in on the boring Letterman show when the richboy host - who's had all the breaks - was making fun of Jones with all the charm of a highschool locker-room towel-flicker (cf. Shrub), and belittling Jones' new circus tasks. Davey's sheltered, hothouse existence has never allowed him close to the brink of desperation, let alone given him the guts to go over it. He'll have the right to jibe if and when he cuts the apronstrings of privilege.]
10/06/2003 1 work-related suicide story in WSJ & NYT -
- Pilot is said to wound himself, by Scott & Rashbaum, NYT, front page.
A Staten Is. ferry moving at a rapid clip in gusting winds crashed into a pier at he St. George ferry terminal yesterday afternoon, killing 10 people and injuring dozens of others as the concrete and wood pier sliced through its side, moving down tourists and commuters. ...The ferry's pilot fled the scene to his home in the Westerleigh neighborhood of Staten Is., barricaded himself in a bathroom, slit his wrists and shot himself twice in the chest with a powerful pellet gun. The pilot, identified by city officials as Asst. Capt. Richard J. Smith, survived and was in critical condition at a local hospital, where detectives were waiting to interview him.
Mr. Smith was in charge of the boat when it neared the Staten Is. terminal at high speed, and his captain noticed that the ferry was off course.... The captain tried to get control of the boat...but it slammed into a concrete maintenance pier about 400 feet from the nearest ferry slip.... The accident occurred as the 3 pm ferry from Manhattan approached the terminal near the end of the 25-minute trip.... Passengers compared what ensued to a scene from "Titanic."
..\..Investigators were trying to determine last night whether Mr. Smith had been drinking or taking drugs, had fallen asleep or was perhaps incapacitated as a result of a medical condition....
[like, say, fatigue due to long hours, perhaps?]
Ferry pilot is under scrutiny in fatal Staten Island crash, 10/17/2003 NYT, front page.
...high blood pressure..\..may have blacked out.... 67 injured...one person lost a foot, another a leg, two lost both legs...one person was partly paralyzed; others had critical spine or head injuries. Some of the dead had lost limbs or were decapitated....
Staten Island ferry tragedy, editorial, NYT, A26.
[more followup -]
Ferry crew said to indicate captain wasn't at pilot's side - A Staten Is. ferry hit the pier at cruising speed, NYT, A12.
10/01/2003 1 work-related suicide story in WSJ & NYT -
- Woman kills pastor, mother, herself - Shootings occurred in Atlanta church before most arrived, by Louise Chu, AP via Boston Globe, A2, //NYT, A9.
...Debra Mitchell, a member of the church [Turner Monumental American Methodist-Episcopal Church], said Wilson [Sheila W. Chaney Wilson, 43] had recently lost her job..\..
Geraldine Andrews, the pastor's [62-yr-old Rev. Johnny Clyde Reynolds'] daughter-in-law and a friend of Wilson's family, said Robinson [mother Jennie Mae Robinson, 67] recently took her daughter out of a mental health facility..\..
[So how did she get the gun, described by the NYT as...]
a .44 caliber pistol....
[back to the BG version -]
"Something wasn't sitting right with her," Burton said, but added that there were no signs that Wilson would become violent....
9/27/2003 1 work-related suicide story in WSJ & NYT -
- Murder-suicide suspected in deaths of man and son - One body in a home, another on the railroad tracks, by Iver Peterson, NYT, A23.
The neighbors knew that Richard Josephs had not been working in the three years since he left his Wall Street job as an executive at a commercial bank. But they can only guess why he stepped in front of a NJ Transit commuter train on Monday, shortly before the police found the body of his 6-year-old son, Eric, in the family's expensive home in Short Hills NJ.... According to NJ Transit, Mr. Josephs, 53, walked onto the tracks of the Morris and Essex Line about 150 yards west of the Short Hills station just after 3 on Monday afternoon. The driver of the train that hit him said he was crouching between the tracks, ignoring the blast of the train's whistle and making no move to save himself. ..\..Mayor Tom McDermott of Millburn Township, which includes Short Hills, said they were being investigated as a murder-suicide.
The episode has stunned the community, one of the richest and most storied enclaves of suburban privilege in New Jersey....
Mr. Josephs had not worked since he left his job in 2000 as director of debt securitization, essentially reselling i.o.u.'s as shares, for the Bank of Nova Scotia, now Scotia Capital.... Mr. Josephs' death was the 16th on NJ Transit tracks so far this year. Most have been suicides....
9/20/2003 2 work-related (+/- attempted) suicides in WSJ & NYT -
- Belgium: One in 10 tries suicide, survey finds, AP via NYT, A5.
One in 10 Belgians [10%] has attempted suicide and nearly 20% say they have thought about killing themselves over the last 12 months, according to a survey of 2,034 Belgians published in the quarterly Test Santé.
[Well, it can't be because they've all read "King Leopold's Ghost" (which reveals the Belgian king was complicit in African slavery till well into the last century). So, any hints?]
Suicide has become a bigger killer in Belgium than road accidents, and is now the main cause of death in men aged 25 to 45, the report said.
[Hmm, men, the main breadwinners in Europe, and aged 25 to 45, the prime working years. Wonder how's their unemployment rate lately. Looks like something developing similar to Japan and China.]
9/18/2003 1 general workplace-murder story in WSJ & NYT -
- South Korea: Farmer sets himself on fire, Reuters via NYT, A4.
- A...farmer, Lee Kyung Hae...stabbed himself to death Sept.10 in a protest at world trade talks in Mexico.... The suicide...set off a series of farmers' protests in South Korea.
- ..\..A fellow farmer..\..was in critical condition after setting himself on fire during a memorial service for...Mr. Lee..\.. The injured farmer, Park Dong Ho...suffered severe burns after pouring gasoline on himself and setting it alight....
A farmer's suicide, letter to ed by Adeeb Fadil of NYC, 9/22/2003 NYT, A18.
...The tragic suicide of...Lee Kyung Hae...to highlight the cruel consequences of globalization on agricultural communities around the planet should give us all pause. Dependence on a few large, low-cost areas of production around the globe imposes profound long-term risks on everyone's food supply: we are becoming much more vulnerable to the vagaries of weather, pests and other natural blights in those few breadbaskets that will remain. And once taken out of agricultural use, land cannot so easily be restored to it.
If the human tragedy in agrarian communities around the world underscored by Mr. Lee's suicide isn't enough, our own collective self-interest should give us serious pause about the religious-like zeal with which "globalization" in agriculture is being touted.
9/17/2003 1 workplace murder-suicide in WSJ & NYT -
- Fewer deaths on the job, AP via NYT, A21.
...Workplace homicides also declined, to 609 last year from a peak of 1,080 in 1994..\.. The govt's annual tally of workplace death showed that 5524 American workers died on the job last year, [down from] the 5915 who died in 2001 [excluding] 9/11. The decline extended a downward trend since 1997...even among Hispanics, who are more likely to work in riskier farm, factory and construction jobs..\..
8/28/2003 1 workplace multiple-murder & 'suicide by police' in WSJ & NYT -
- A Japanese man, news blurb, WSJ, front page.
...set off an explosion after a standoff in a Tokyo office building, killing himself and two others in a dispute over back wages.
[Like our headline from hell today about the restarting of the Cold War (9/17/2003 #1), we didn't see suicide in the Times today at all, and again, believe it or not, this is all there is in the Journal on this story. No people names, no business name, no exact date and time.]
8/07/2003 1 work-related attempted murder in WSJ & NYT -
- Man fired by warehouse kills 6 of its 9 employees - He dies in a shootout with Chicago police - After threatening phone calls, workplace gunfire, by Jodi Wilgoren, NYT, A12.
CHICAGO...- A man with a long but low-level arrest record returned [yesterday] morning to the small auto supply warehouse from which he was fired 6 months ago, killing six...including two of the company's principals. The police said the man, Salvador Tapia, 36, traded gunfire with officers twice outside the South Side warehouse of Windy City Core Supply...also known in business records as H.A.R. Investment..\..and again inside before being killed by one of their bullets. Two employees narrowly escaped. One who had been tied up by Mr. Tapia freed himself, warned the other surviving employee and called 911. The company's president [Robert Bruggeman], late to work while taking his daughter to school, also survived....
[Ah, the virtues of lateness - also experienced by some going to work in NYC on 9/11/01.]
The police said Mr. Tapia had been arrested a dozen times over 14 years, mostly for domestic violence, gun possession and driving offenses, though he never served time in jail. His most recent arrest, for domestic battery, was in July 2001.
[Real nice guy - with, thanks to the NRA, easy access to guns.]
..\..The incident began about 8:30 am when the police responded to a call of shots fired at the warehouse in Bridgeport, a neighborhood where light industry is surrounded by neat town houses and small apartment buildings.... About 30 officers...soon swarmed the scene. ...Tapia...shot at the officers with a .380-caliber automatic handgun, then retreated into the building.... Superintendent Cline said, "...Because these people had been shot, we decided to make an assault, not to negotiate."...
There have been more than 100 deadly workplace shootings over the last 15 years, according to Handgun Free America, a group based in Washington..\.. Philip Cline, the acting superintendent of the Chicago Police Dept...said Windy City's was the worst such shooting ever in Chicago.
This summer, a Lockheed Martin employee walked out of a seminar on workplace ethics at a plant in Meridian, Miss., and shot 5 co-workers, just a week after a worker at Modine Manufacturing in Jefferson City, Mo., killed 3 of his colleagues. Both gunmen committed suicide....
8/06/2003 by-the-way, re assisted suicide -
- A Marine pleaded guilty, news blurb, WSJ, front page.
...to cutting the lines on 13 parachutes last year. Reserves saved jumpers. He said he was angry over an unspecified slight.
8/02-04/2003 1 work-related suicide in WSJ & NYT -
- The quest for a peaceful death, 5 letters to editor, NYT, A20.
[All referring to "Striving for a gentle farewell," by Jane Gross (Week in Review, Aug. 3).]
7/31/2003 by-the-way, re assisted suicide -
- 8/04 Hyundai official in summit case kills himself, AP via WSJ, A7.
[and the Times version -]
8/02 Indicted Hyundai executive plunges to death in Seoul, by James Brooke, NYT, A7.
SEOUL, South Korea...- Chung Mong Hun, a[n] industrialist who was the business driver behind the South's policy of reconciliation toward North Korea, died this morning after falling from the 12th floor of the headquarters here of his family company, Hyundai Asan. The police said it was a suicide. [His] body was found by a janitor, who saw it crumbled behind the building....
Mr. Chung, the 55-year-old heir to one of South Korea's largest fortunes, was facing a trial on charges that he secretly passed $100m...from the South Korean government to North Korea in the spring of 2000...to ensure that Kim Jong Il, the North Korean leader, would receive Kim Dae Jung, then president of South Korea, on a visit to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang. Shortly after the June 2000 inter-Korean summit meeting, the South Korean president received the Nobel Peace Prize....
A suicide and uncertainty in Korea, by James Brooke, 8/07/2003 NYT, W1.
...Since the[ suicide] Koreans have watched every turn of the case, fascinated by a prominent clan that is sometimes called the Korean Kennedys....
7/26/2003 1 work-related suicide -
- First study on patients who fast to end lives - Survey says starving isn't painful or grisly, by Donald McNeil, NYT, A19.
...In the rancorous debate over euthanasia, assisted suicide and other ways for terminally ill patients to end their lives, doctors note that one option that is always legal: a sane, alert person can simply refuse to eat or drink.
It is an option rarely taken, but now the first survey of nurses whose patients took it has contradicted the popular assumption that such a death is painful or gruesome. Almost all the 102 Oregon nurses surveyed said their patients who refused water and food had died "good death," with little pain or suffering, generally within two weeks. The study...appeared last week in The New England Journal of Medicine - by coincidence, the same week that The British Medical Journal devoted an entire issue to studies on death and dying....
7/23/2003 by-the-way, re assisted suicide -
- Nominee for Navy Secretary killed himself, official rules, AP via NYT, A10.
ALBUQUERQUE -...Colin R. McMillan, an oilman awaiting Senate confirmation...67, was found dead on Thursday [7/24] at his 55,000-acre ranch in southern New Mexico, near the White Sands Missile Range [from] "a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head," Tim Stepetic, a spokesman for the state medical investigator said.... Mr. McMillan "had a recurrence of cancer," Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) said [yester]day on the Senate floor, but "everybody thought he was recovered, recuperating quite well."
[Boy, McMillan must have really had something to hide. Or maybe he was snuffed by people with something big they thought he or his background check for Navy Sec would turn up - and dressed up as a suicide. Either way, we don't buy the implication that cancer triggered him. It was, after all, a "recurrence," so he was used to it.
7/22/2003 by-the-way, re assisted suicide -
- Michigan: Subpoena for Kevorkian, by Caitlin Nish, NYT, A15.
...who is serving a 10-25 year sentence for assisting a 1998 suicide...subpoenaed to give a deposition next week as an expert witness on the effects of mercury and choride exposure on humans. [His] 1972 and 1974 studies on the effects of such exposure are being used in the lawsuit of a NC man who says he became ill after being exposed...while working at a Honeywell Int'l plant.
7/19/2003 1 work-related suicide -
- Colorado: Death of a name, AP via NYT, A15.
The Hemlock Society...is changing its name to End-of-Life Choices....
7/15/2003 one story, 2 overwork-related suicides alias "karoshi's" (Japanese for 'death by overwork'), or maybe here, 1 karoshi and 1 guilty conscience -
- [the Blair-Bush stink rises -]
British arms expert at center of dispute on Iraq data is found dead, his wife says - A private, soft-spoken man caught up in a public, international storm, by Warren Hoge with Judith Miller, NYT, A6.
...at the center of a dispute about whether the British government doctored its intelligence reports on Iraq's weapons programs to gain public support for going to war....
...Found dead [yesterday] morning near his home in Oxfordshire...Dr. David Kelly left his home on Thursday [7/17] afternoon saying he was going for a walk and never returned.... Mrs. Kelly said the police had confirmed...that the cause of death was suicide [slashed wrists].
Dr. Kelly, 59, an Oxford-educated former UN weapons inspector in Iraq with a specialty in bioweapons, faced tough questioning on Tuesday from the House of Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs about whether he had been the source of an accusation broadcast by the BBC that the British government had doctored intelligence findings in its campaign to gain public support for going to war in Iraq....
[Another casualty of Tony Blair's boredom with peacetime rule and delusions of glorious war leadership. Compare yesterday's story from Bill Moyer's NOW - 2 Cheney energy-taskforce documents pried out by a conservative(!) group prove administration was obsessed with Iraq oilfields six months before 9/11/01 and two years before unprovoked US invasion of Iraq. See 7/18/2003 #2.]
The BBC inquiry - Blair denies he gave name of arms aide to the media - A tale of intelligence made more complex by a suicide, by Warren Hoge, 7/24/2003 NYT, A11.
[Or, as colleague Kate now asks, was it a murder made to look like a suicide? Sort of like that situation in Mexico with that anti-PRC activist whose 1980s(?) death was recently declared a suicide that she herself had tried to make look like a murder, supposedly to discredit her enemies. Hooboy.]
7/09/2003 2 work-related suicides in the news -
- [hari kari lives!]
Family of Hiroshima school principal demands compensation, Kyodo 07/14/03 01:19 EDT via AOLNews.
...The Ministry [of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology] said earlier this month it will continue with its policy of employing people from the private sector as school principals, despite the suicide cases.
- The family of a former principal of an elementary school in Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture, who committed suicide in March demanded on Monday [7/14] compensation over his death, saying the suicide was a result of his official duties. Kazohiro Keitoku, 56, a former principal at Takasu Elementary School in Onomichi, hanged himself on March 9 at the school grounds after suffering from depression, according to police investigations.
[Or rather, while suffering from depression.]
...He had been seeing a doctor regularly since last August and put on medication for depression.... The union blamed the municipal education board for Keitoku's death, saying it was a result of...overwork and the education board's decision not to give him a leave [the previous spring].
[Lord God, it's not like they have a shortage of job-seekers these days in Japan!]
..\..A report by the prefectural teachers' union said Keitoku's overtime is believed to have been about 160 hours, or 7 hours and 16 minutes a day on average[!!!], between Feb. 15 and March 8, the day before he killed himself.
[Even on just a five-day week, this dude was working a 40+35+(80m=)1.33= 76.3-hr workweek, but he was probably working six or seven days a week. Well, here's the poignant part -]
On March 9, Keitoku had planted a flowerbed on the school grounds with about 10 parents and left their company two hours before he was found hanging from a stair rail outside the school building. A suicide note was found in which Keitoku wrote, "I made a wrong choice...and I don't have enough abilities."...
The school education law was revised in 2000 to allow people without teaching qualifications to become school principals. ...Some education experts have criticized the trend...as a school principal needs expertise in areas such as talking to children and teaching classes, and...the jobs is quite different from management at a company..\.. Keitoku, previously a banker, was employed as a principal in April 2002 but was troubled by the lack of trust between himself and the teachers....
- In a related incident, Shokichi Yamaoka, 55, deputy head of the [municipal] education board...who was in charge of giving advice to Keitoku, committed suicide on July 4..\.. The prefectural education board said earlier [Keitoku] had asked the municipal education board in May [last year] for sick leave, but the board did not grant the request.
[Maybe Yamaoka was the main slave-driver on the municipal board and felt festering guilt.]
Focus: Principal's suicide triggers complications nationwide, Kyodo 07/23/03 22:02 EDT via AOLNews.
[in which we discover additionally that -]
...In February 1999, the principal at the Sera Senior High School near the primary school committed suicide after being involved in disputes over whether the national anthem should be sung at the school's graduation ceremony....
[For more on this story, see 7/24/2003 #4.]
7/03/2003 1 work-related murder-suicide in the news -
- Man guns down 5 co-workers, then shoots himself, police say, by David Halbfinger wthi Ariel Hart, NYT, front page.
MERIDIAN, Miss...- An assembly-line worker [Doug Williams, 48] who had talked openly about shooting people walked out of an ethics and sensitivity training session at his factory [yesterday] morning, returned moments later with a semiautomatic rifle and a shotgun, and opened fire, killing 5 co-workers before fatally shooting himself...at the Lockheed Martin aircraft parts plant [here] about 9:40 am....
Mississippi: Death toll rises in plant shooting, by David Halbfinger, 7/16/2003 NYT, A12.
...DeLois Bailey, 53, died of her wounds, bringing to 6 the number killed by Doug Williams, an employee who also wounded 8 others before fatally shooting himself.
[Too bad he didn't shoot himself first.]
Mr. Williams had frequently made violent threats against blacks, co-workers said. Five of those killed were black.... The Lockheed Martin plant has reopened a week after the shooting.
- Toyota employee's wife wins workers' compensation suit, Kyodo 07/08/03 03:59 EDT via AOLNews.
NAGOYA...- The Nagoya High Court on Tuesday [7/08] upheld a lower court ruling that repealed a decision by a Labor Ministry office not to provide workers' compensation to the wife of a Toyota Motor Corp. employee who committed suicide in 1988 as a result of overwork.
Presiding Judge Katsusuke Ogawa rejected an appeal from the Ministry of Health, Labor & Welfare, saying the suicide was caused by excessive work hours and workload which made the man suffer depression.... According to the ruling, the man started suffering from depression around August 1988 when he was in charge of designing cars to exported to other Asian countries and jumped to his death at the end of that month at age 35..\..
[No name. A couple more paragraphs are on our timesizing page today - 7/09/2003 #2.]
5/31-6/02/2003 2 work-related suicide story in the news -
- Missouri: Factory worker kills three and himself, AP via NYT, A18.
A factory workers fatally shot 3 co-workers and wounded 5 others in Jefferson City, then killed himself during a gun battle with police.... Two colleagues died along the manufacturing line at the Modine Manufacturing Co., where the gunman, Jonathan Russell, 25, had worked for 2 years. A supervisor, shot 50 feet away, died en route to the hospital. The police said Mr. Russell was close to being fired for absenteeism. They also said he was facing possible breakup of a romantic relationship.
[Absenteeism for relationship maintenance? Clearly a situation shorter working hours would have eased.]
5/28/2003 1 work-related murder in the news -
- 5/31 Japanese pastor reaches out with suicide line, by Howard French, NYT, A4.
TOKYO - For the Rev. Yukio Saito, reflecting on the suicide hotline he opened in Japan 30 years ago inevitably raises mixed feelings. There is satisfaction in knowing that many...thousands of people have been saved by his initiative, Lifeline. It has expanded since 1971 from a single telephone bank st[u]ffed in the cramped recesses of a Tokyo church to a network of 50 call-in centers all around Japan, most operating 24 hours a day, [using] more than 7,000 volunteer counselors.
But [there is a] silent avalanche of desperate people in this society driven to take their own lives. Long one of the world's highest, the reported suicide rate in Japan has increased 50% in just the last 5 years, reaching an annual toll of 30,000 deaths.
[Estimates of the unreported rate?? Why such an acceleration in the last 5 years? (Hint: see our collapse news today, 5/31-6/02/2003 #2, and it ain't "robust economic growth.")]
"...By today's standards the problem was relatively small when we started out," said Mr. Saito.... In the era of Japan's most robust economic growth, the cost of rapid industrialization was the breakdown of the traditional extended family and the transformation of cities like Tokyo into what was known, even then, as emotional deserts.
[You've heard about Japan's workoholism. This is "The Re-e-est of the Story" -]
Fast-rising suicide rates had persuaded Mr. Saito to travel to the U.S. for training at a seminary in suicide counseling, and bring to Japan what would prove to be a groundbreaking vocation in a country where the shame and stigma surrounding suicide had enforced a deafening silence around the issue.... It is a calling that has often placed the Methodist minister at odds with...his fellow believers [because he] rejects...using his hot lines to proselytize..\., and that has fed feelings of estrangement from a mostly Shinto and Buddhist society. These religions, particularly Shinto, are more permissive of suicide.... Mr. Saito .
[So let's get the story straight, Howard - is there a big shame-stigma-silence or is there more permissiveness?]
70% of the country's suicides are committed by men, and almost everyone here invokes two causes:
- the huge social changes in the early postwar period and
- the protracted economic crisis of the last 12 years that has ravaged the careers of millions of "salarymen," or corporate employees.
- To th[ese 2], Mr. Saito adds a particular form of modern loneliness washing over Japan, where nuclear families occupy the same home but scarcely communicate, where dating and friendships are negotiated on the tiny screens of mobile phones, and where the phenomenon of shut-ins - total, housebound seclusion - has become endemic.
[Huh??? This is the first we've heard of this. There's probably an American analog as more less-than-perfect-bodied people, with PCs, default to computer sex and/or socializing.]
"...We have seen...the collapse of the family throughout Japan, even in small towns," said Mr. Saito.
[And Japan, with the most technologized cities and factories in the world is, what would you say, 10 years ahead of the U.S. in social evolution, layoff impact and persistent recession? They are demo-ing our future. They had bubbles; we had bubble(s). Their bubbles burst; our bubble(s) burst. They cut interest rates to zero; we're cutting interest rates to zero. They spoiled the promise of technology by downsizing instead of timesizing; we ditto ditto. They gave themselves so much job insecurity they were scared to leave the workplace; we ditto ditto. They had the longest annual working hours in the world; we just surpassed them a couple of years ago. Despite a strong tradition of family, they have "seen the collapse of the family throughout Japan"; despite our strong family-values rhetoric, we have NO FAMILY TIME. We both need to quit betraying the blessings of technology with downsizing and switch from massive, but always too little too late, public works and job creation, to simply work sharing at gradually lowered levels of the workweek, as low as it takes to regain full employment, centrifuged dynamized spending power, and solid economic prosperity for everyone, not just a tiny and shrinking minority of insecure, incomprehensively wealthy people, insulated and isolated but still making all the big decisions.]
"Loneliness has become universal." ...Lifeline's volunteer[s'] most important service is simply keeping company with lonely strangers, Mr. Saito said. [One] woman said..\..after talking with a [counselor] for over an hour [and] pretty well resolv\ing\ things..."Please don't hang up. You needed say anything more. I'm just afraid of being alone."
- 6/01 Chief allowed to keep gun day too long, AP via NYT, A19.
TACOMA, Wash...- The city's personnel director [Phillip Knudsen] said on Friday [5/30] that he and other city officials had recommended taking away Chief David Brame's gun the day before he fatally shot his wife and himself, but that the city attorney [Robin Jenkinson] had opposed the idea. [He] said they had suggested..\..at a meeting on April 25...placing him on administrative leave, which would have included giving up his service revolver..\.. At that meeting, officials discussed an article in that day's Seattle Post-Intelligencer describing Chief Brame's divorce proceedings with Crystal Brame, who had said the chief had abused and threatened her..\..
The April 26 murder-suicide continues to shake Tacoma's government, and state and federal officials are investigating Chief Brame's rise through the police ranks.... Chief Brame was hired in 1981 despite failing one psychological examination and being judged a "marginal" candidate by another psychologist, records show.
[followup, & another instalment in our ongoing inquiry into 'how sick are Americans?' -]
Damages sought in killing of chief's wife, AP via NYT, A21.
Relatives of the wife of Police Chief David Brame, who killed his wife and himself, filed a $75 million claim [yester]day that accused city officials of ignoring warning signs about him....
[There it is, the new American Dream = hitting megabucks. or suing the deep pocket...and it makes no difference which one.]
5/27/2003 2 work-related suicides in the news -
- Fatal attack after raid is ruled a homicide, by William Rashbaum, NYT, C16.
The [NY] city medical examiner has ruled that a 57-year-old Harlem woman who had a heart attack after the police mistakenly raided her apartment, threw a concussion grenade inside and handcuffed her, died from the stree and fear of the raid, officials said yesterday...
[An involuntary kind of "death by police."]
The office of Chief Medical Examiner Charles Hirsch formally concluded that the death of the woman, Alberta Spruill, a 29-year city employee, was a homicide, citing the unusual circumstance of "sudden death following police raid," said Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the office.
["...All mimsy were the borogoves (compare Borakove) and the mome raths outgrabe." - from Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky poem in Alice in Wonderland, which starts, "Twas brillig and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe"....]
..\..At the same time, the Police Dept. announced it was developing a new system to track information on such raids....
- Fugitive ex-priest leaps to death in Mexico, AP via NYT, A4.
MAZATLAN... - A former American priest who crossed into Mexico to escape sex abuse charges in California and Wisconsin has died after leaping from the 2nd-storey balcony of a hotel to escape the police in this resort city. Federal and state agents surrounded the Vista Dorada Hotel, just off one of Mazatlan's most popular beaches, on Sunday and planned to arrest the former priest, Siegfried Widera, who was accused of 42 counts of child molestation in the U.S. ...Mexico had planned to extradite the fugitive priest to the U.S. shortly after his arrest....
The manhunt...had expanded from Milwaukee and Orange County CA to Tucson, El Paso and...Mexico CIty..\.. As the authorities closed in, Mr. Widera ran to the balcony of his room and jumped. He died of severe cranial trauma as members of Mazatlan's Red Cross were taking him to a nearby hospital, said Maria Gutierrez, a spokeswoman for the Sinaloa State Attorney General's office....
- At a traumatic moment, Morocco's king is mute, by Elaine Sciolino, NYT, A3.
[So what's he supposed to say, some of the pablum-talk that US presidents have sunk to saying on the occasion of every disaster above Richter 5? The second photo shows him visiting a wounded man in the hospital, and actions speak louder than words.]
Sidi Moumen, a sprawling slum..., produced most if not all of the 14 young suicide bombers believed to be involved in the terrorist attacks on May 16....
[Looks like a pretty clear link between poverty and terrorism to us. More to the point -]
...But even before the bombings [of May 16], the king [Mohammed VI] was faulted by many both inside and outside the country for not delivering on his promises for reform. Political decisions are still made at the top and in secret. The economy is dominated by monopolistic enterprises with connections to the state. Corruption is widespread; the gap between rich and poor a chasm. [The] country [has] an unemployment rate of well over 20%, an illiteracy rate of more than 50%, 5 million people living under the poverty line and more than half the population under the age of 25....
[And this is what the neo-cons appear to want to turn the USA into - see today's collapse news, 5/27/2003 #1.]
For earlier suicide stories, click on the desired date -Jan-Apr/2003.
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