Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Military Suicides Climb.

Tom's Journal.

The international community must respond. Because, as the situation stands now, the world’s silence is deafening.'
China’s Organ Harvesting A gruesome violation against undisclosed victims.
John Glynn - September 3, 2019
In June of this year, an independent tribunal based in London came to a chilling conclusion: detainees in China are being killed, their organs are being harvested and some victims find themselves falsely accused of committing crimes that never occurred.
The China Tribunal, chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, who was a prosecutor at the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, determined that:
forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale, [and] the tribunal has had no evidence that the significant infrastructure associated with China’s transplantation industry has been dismantled and absent a satisfactory explanation as to the source of readily available organs concludes that forced organ harvesting continues till today.
Before coming to their damning conclusion, the tribunal members spoke with medical experts and human rights investigators. According to the committee, thousands of people “have died indescribably hideous deaths for no reason.” The committee members warn “that more may suffer in similar ways and that all of us live on a planet where extreme wickedness may be found in the power of those, for the time being, running a country with one of the oldest civilizations known to modern man.”
China, it seems, is a place where “extreme wickedness” reigns supreme. After all, it is not uncommon for individuals who speak out against the government to disappear. However, the scope of the disappearedhas expanded since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2013. Over the past six years, from prominent celebrities to brave journalists, hundreds of people in China have seemingly vanished into thin air — and yet the international community has remained largely silent. Almost immediately after election, Chinese President Xi introduced new laws that essentially made arbitrary and secret detentions legal under Chinese law. Many of those arrested were never seen again. Were their organs harvested? Sadly, it’s a perfectly reasonable question to ask.
After all, in the words of the aforementioned Geoffrey Nice, “There is no evidence of the practice having been stopped and the tribunal is satisfied that it is continuing.”
Among those killed, according to the committee, are members of religious minorities such as Falun Gong, a religious and spiritual practice that combines meditation and qigong exercises. Members are encouraged to adopt a moral philosophy centered on the tenets of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. In China, a country known for silencing “unorthodox” views, truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance are at a premium.
Of course, China’s organ bazaar has been in operation for years. Recently, however, knowledge of the gruesome practice has led to the retraction of fifteen science papers discussing organ transplantation. The retractors fear that the organs were inhumanely and unethically obtained. As the New Scientist’s Clare Wilson writes:
Fifteen studies about transplanted organs by researchers in China have been retracted this month due to concerns the work may have used organs from executed prisoners. Three other papers have been the subject of expressions of concern for the same reason, according to the website Retraction Watch which monitors questions raised over published research.
China’s government said in 2015 that the nation had stopped using organs from executed prisoners, which is illegal according to international conventions. But it is suspected that the practice continues in the country, particularly involving prisoners of conscience.
The retraction of papers is at least a step in the right direction, but obviously more action is needed.
As Wesley J. Smith writes,
Retracting papers should just be the beginning. Chinese organ-transplant doctors should be barred from international symposia and such events in China should be boycotted, as well as refusing or retracting other honors until the country proves that it no longer countenances kill-and-harvest, whether for sale, research, or otherwise
Investigations have found that British women regularly (and unknowingly) apply the collagen of executed prisoners to their faces . Worryingly, according to Ethan Gutmann, a longtime China analyst and author of the deeply disturbing bookThe Slaughter: Mass Killings, Organ Harvesting, and China’s Secret Solution to its Dissident Problem, the realities of the practice are “far more awful” than one can ever imagine. As Gutmann, a human rights activist, affirms, authorities sometimes take the organs from prisoners while they are still alive. Yes, alive.
Though the Chinese government has recently made it illegal to provide transplant organs from executed prisoners to foreign, transplant tourists, there is little reason to believe that this law is in full effect. Moreover, the extreme shortage of transplant organs in the U.S. continues to make organ transplantation in China an appealing option for some patients with life threatening diseases, so desperate Americans still travel to China for surgery.
Although China has emerged as a genuine global power, with a rising and increasingly sophisticated middle class, its wicked practices must be addressed. Haile Selassie, the famous Ethiopian emperor, once said, “it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.”
The international community must respond. Because, as the situation stands now, the world’s silence is deafening.

   Nothing in the world makes me more sad than Military suicides!   I can understand why many soldiers have tremendous pain with no real help from the VA system, but I cannot condone it with my Bible educated background.   And this has been a long battle with me... having switched sides, grown up and matured.  The Lord God is full of mercy, that I know, and He forgives all of our sins, lest sinning against the Holy Spirit.   I have just stepped away from a 'world of hurt,' really bad pain, but I had a good doctor and good EARS to listen to his advice, also looking to educate myself until I die.   Even right now I feel that I could still be 'KNOCKING ON HEAVEN'S DOOR.'   And I am still very upset with how the Gov't and VA work in prescribing some, narrow minded, "broad brush solution" in eliminating ALL pain meds to the general Veteran Community !!  Grrrrr !   And for the most part, our American Combat Veterans do NOT abuse pain medication!   But a few rotten apples always spoinl it for the majority of good guys and deserving souls who really need the medication. 

Now...  It is not my place to say yes or no to certain meds in my humble c0llumn,  but many intensive studies have proved that smoking or eating "MJ"  [grass, pot] does help take away pain, and stomach upset.  But if you know that  you will be driving your car or motorcycle, PLEASE do NOT drive while under the influence!!   Your reactions and bodily functions are greatly diminished, IMHO.  Pay someone to drive you somewhere and be SAFE and SOUND.   You will have to decide and balance the pluses and the minuses,  the Pros and the Cons. 
    Personally,  I have been very interested in studying healing Herbs for the past 40 some years [as I have often mentioned on this Blog] --- but still learning more!  Turmeric root extract has helped me with my Arthritis and Joint challenges, Garlic, Hot Red Pepper, Ginger, etc., but now the doctors in Iron Mtn., MI., have told me that I am now Diabetic.   I am treating is with strict diet [for life], herbs, no alcohol, booze, or spicy food.  And you know what, those new restrictions don't bother me a bit.  
    I don't curse anyone or anything, but I thank God for showing me mercy in taking away most of the pain, so far, and giving me a chance to work harder on my habits, lose weight, and gain some brains... LOL.   From now on, every extra day I see the Father's sunshine is a great day to praise Him !  
     When you get a short taste of death, everything else on earth tastes so much better, and your wife is a queen, certain are precious to a man who has seen death....  especially combat Veterans.  So, please cut us some slack -- we have earned it.

Warm Regards,
Tom Schuckman

Military suicides climb despite increased attention

September 3, 2019

Last week, Trump administration officials gathered for a biannual military suicide prevention conference in Nashville. Their subject: the high, and climbing, suicide rate for U.S. veterans.
The Trump administration has taken steps to label veteran suicides a national public health crisis that warrants a coordinated governmental response. Despite efforts to curb the trend, officials are finding that the problem remains intractable, according to a Washington Times reporter who spoke with Trump administration officials about new strategies to combat the crisis.

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“The trend is not going in the direction that we want. It’s extremely concerning,” said Karin Orvis, director of the Pentagon’s suicide prevention office. “We have to do better.”

Veteran suicide rate jumps

It’s a bleak reality: after serving their country honorably, Americans in uniform often come home with health problems and mental trauma that make returning to civilian life difficult. Too often, the consequences end with tragedy: each day, about 20 veterans commit suicide. Department of Defense statistics last year found that the suicide rate for veterans aged 18 to 34 had jumped 10% from 2015 to 2016.
At the gathering of private and public officials last week, VA and DoD officials highlighted collaboration between the private and public sectors as part of a new strategy to address the crisis. While sounding a cautious note of optimism, officials at the 2019 VA/DOD Suicide Prevention Conference acknowledged a disappointing lack of progress. “It’s amazing to me that we’re not any farther along,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie told the Times.
The Trump administration has taken steps to combat the dismal trend. In June, the White House formed the first-ever task force to form a government response to veterans’ suicides as a public health crisis: the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End the National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS) task force. Wilkie said that he expects an upcoming PREVENTS report to shed light on the deeper causes of the epidemic.


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“If we just focus on the last tragic act in a veteran’s life as opposed to looking at the continuum of events that can lead to that — homelessness, addiction, mental health issues — then it’s just another federal report. It becomes a doorstop,” he said.

Officials cite stigma toward mental illness

While suicide rates for the general population have increased, the rate for veterans has consistently outpaced the wider public. According to the Pentagon, 325 active-duty military members and 216 in the reserves killed themselves last year, surpassing the record set in 2012. From 2005 to 2016, the suicide rate climbed 26% among veterans, compared with 21% in the general population.
A rash of veteran suicides in and outside VA hospitals in recent years and months have renewed criticism of VA health care. In April, three veterans killed themselves in five days — two in VA parking lots, one in a waiting room. But some two-thirds of veterans who commit suicide are not in contact with or getting care from the VA, leaving some Trump administration officials to think that part of the problem is a culture of stigma towards receiving mental help.
“There’s been a stigma throughout the history of our country that I still think you see manifestations of today,” Wilkie told the Times. “In the military, there’s always been a reluctance to address those issues. But with many issues, certainly complicated ones, just starting to talk about it is a step forward. People would run from this label, mental illness. Families would panic, communities would panic.”
But all the same, helping veterans starts with the human level of face-to-face interactions. “This September, and all year, I encourage everyone to take a moment to be there for Veterans in need,” Wilkie said in a VA press release Monday. “One act of thoughtfulness can make a big difference and may even save a life. That’s why, VA is proud to work on initiatives like PREVENTS, to prevent suicide and find innovative ways to deliver support and care to all 20 million U.S. Veterans whenever and wherever they need it.”
For more on how you can help, check out the Veterans Crisis Lines’ #BeThere campaign here.