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Health & Environment

The Lunatic’s Manual


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War is a meat grinder for service members and their families. It grinds people up without mercy, killing them and inflicting the worst kinds of wounds imaginable, physical and psychological.

Bob Herbert, New York Times | NY

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Coleen Rowley

The Army, to its credit, tells the story of a middle-aged lieutenant colonel who had served multiple combat tours and was suffering the agonizing effects of traumatic brain injury and dementia. He also had difficulty sleeping. Several medications were prescribed.

On a visit to an emergency room, he was given a 30-tablet refill of Ambien. He went to his car and killed himself by ingesting the entire prescription with a quantity of rum. He left a suicide note that said his headaches and other pain were unbearable.

As if there is not enough that has gone tragically wrong in this era of endless warfare, the military is facing an epidemic of suicides. In the year that ended Sept. 30, 2009, 160 active duty soldiers took their own lives — a record for the Army. The Marines set their own tragic record in 2009 with 52 suicides. And this past June, another record was set — 32 military suicides in just one month.

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Gulf of Mexico Has Long Been Dumping Site

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“This has been the nation’s sacrifice zone, and has been for 50-plus years.” Aaron Viles, campaign director for the Gulf Restoration Network, a nonprofit group.

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Campbell Robertson, New York Times

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Ken Mitchell

Derick E. Hingle/Bloomberg News

Loulan Pitre Sr. was born on the Gulf Coast in 1921, the son of an oysterman. Nearly all his life, he worked on the water, abiding by the widely shared faith that the resources of the Gulf of Mexico were limitless.

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As a young Marine staff sergeant, back home after fighting in the South Pacific, he stood on barges in the gulf and watched as surplus mines, bombs and ammunition were pushed over the side.

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He helped build the gulf’s very first offshore oil drilling platforms in the late 1940s, installing bolts on perilously high perches over the water. He worked on a shrimp boat, and later as the captain of a service boat for drilling platforms.

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New Republican Genius Plan: Defund Suddenly Popular Health Care Bill!

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  • The Republican leadership is practically cackling with glee at the prospect of reducing the health care law to “swiss cheese” by not paying for stuff.
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  • Starve the Beast
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Wonkette

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The Health Care Reform law that recently passed included a single fatal flaw: instead of being physically installed in our constitution, along with the rights to free abortions and nonstop sodomy, it was merely passed as a “law” that could potentially be repealed. That probably won’t happen so long as Dr. Obama can veto things; but, instead of just giving the new Death Panel Czar the key to the Treasury, the law put Congress in charge of appropriating the money to pay for various important Health Care dealies! And this is not subject to veto, apparently? There was no “Schoolhouse Rock” on the topic, so we wouldn’t know. Anyway, now many Republicans are just running on a “we will not pay for this health care, even though the law requires us to” platform, which should go over great with an electorate that has discovered that it loves the law after all.

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Summary: Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disaster: Week of August 1

3 New Items including:

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  • Video series: The human toll of the BP blowout
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  • A Tale of Two Spills
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

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Tom Toles

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A chronology of the ongoing administration-wide response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill, The White House
The most comprehensive, detailed information is available at this Website, especially in the Daily Updates

Video series: The human toll of the BP blowout, World Socialist Website

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  • The economic impact
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  • The effect on human health
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  • The social impact
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  • The environment
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  • Residents respond to the disaster
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A Tale of Two Spills, Antonia Juhasz, Dollars & Sense
Want to know how long it will take to clean up the BP spill, and how little BP could end up paying? Take a look at the Exxon Valdez spill, 20+ years on.
To make BP pay, Obama must learn from his predecessors’ mistakes.

US War Crimes: Cancer Rate in Fallujah Worse than Hiroshima

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The US military’s decision to heavily deploy depleted uranium, all but proven by “Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah,” was a wanton act of brutality, poisoning an entire generation of children not yet born in 2004.

Tom Eley, Center for Research on Globalization

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Bob Heberle

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The Iraqi city of Fallujah continues to suffer the ghastly consequences of a US military onslaught in late 2004.

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According to the authors of a new study, “Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005–2009,” the people of Fallujah are experiencing higher rates of cancer, leukemia, infant mortality, and sexual mutations than those recorded among survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the years after those Japanese cities were incinerated by US atomic bomb strikes in 1945.

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The epidemiological study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Studies and Public Health (IJERPH), also finds the prevalence of these conditions in Fallujah to be many times greater than in nearby nations.

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Who Cooked the Planet?

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Will any of the deniers say “O.K., I guess I was wrong,” and support climate action? No.
The truth: Still there, still inconvenient

Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Jim Fuller

Paul Krugman / Fred R. Conrad/ New York Times

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Never say that the gods lack a sense of humor. I bet they’re still chuckling on Olympus over the decision to make the first half of 2010 — the year in which all hope of action to limit climate change died — the hottest such stretch on record.

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Of course, you can’t infer trends in global temperatures from one year’s experience. But ignoring that fact has long been one of the favorite tricks of climate-change deniers: they point to an unusually warm year in the past, and say “See, the planet has been cooling, not warming, since 1998!” Actually, 2005, not 1998, was the warmest year to date — but the point is that the record-breaking temperatures we’re currently experiencing have made a nonsense argument even more nonsensical; at this point it doesn’t work even on its own terms.

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But will any of the deniers say “O.K., I guess I was wrong,” and support climate action? No. And the planet will continue to cook.

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Related:

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The truth: Still there, still inconvenient, James P. Lenfestey, Star Tribune | MN
As 'Climategate' scientists are cleared, no doubt about warming remains.

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