http://imgur.com/gallery/7ddjs, my feelings about the death penalty are conflicted, on one hand, Hitler, on the other, how can you justify murdering murderers, but one thing I can never imagine is the feeling of sitting down to your last meal, knowing your death awaits, and I don’t know if anyone deserves that feeling.
I knew this was a problem, but I didn’t know it was that much of a problem…
“For the first time in the history of the human species, we have clearly developed the capacity to destroy ourselves. ” — Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky is a world renowned linguist, philosopher, and political intellectual.
From his article in The Huffington Post.
“Only one low-voltage switch prevented a cataclysm,” states The Guardian. Apaprently, a nuclear armed plane was flying over North Carolina in 1961 when it started breaking up in midair and deployed two hydrogen bombs. Because of failed security measures, one of them almost detonated. The bomb was 250 times more destructive then the ones the United States dropped on Japan, and had a 100% kill zone of 17 miles. Who knows what it was for the endless miles after that. The town it would’ve hit, Goldsboro, now has 35,000 people in it with a 5 mile radius.
How close was the cataclysm? According to Lieutenant Jack ReVelle, the bomb squad commander that picked up the debris from the undetonated bomb 50 years ago, “it was damn close!” He was sworn to secrecy, but 50 years later he revealed what he knew. Thank God.
The United States alone has the capacity to blow the world up somewhere between 5 and 50 times over. And it’s a Nobel Peace Prize Winner that that has the power. The irony! Unfortunately, he won’t tell us exactly how many times he can blow the world over, but I guess that’s the whole point, right?
The question of nuclear missiles is a complicated one, with many more sides and facets than war vs. peace. There are some who will argue that nukes make the world more peaceful, believe it or not. But let’s forget about that for a second. The United States got “damn close!” to killing thousands of its own people. They have the capacity to blow the world up many, many, times over. So do many other countries. Maybe nuclear missiles aren’t so bad. But maybe setting one off because of weather disturbances is bad. Maybe destroying the world more than once is a bit of reach. Perhaps we aught to consider.
Unfortunately, people don’t. Read the comments to the link in the picture.
“Do anything, save to lie down and die!” — Nathaniel Hawthorne
In his novel, The Scarlet Letter. I do not recommend it.
“Only in death will we have our own names since only in death are we no longer part of the effort. In death we become heroes” — Chuck Palahniuk
“The most pleasant feeling I’ve ever had,” a suicide survivor calls what he thought would be the last few moments of his life. “There is a kind of form to it..a certain grace and beauty,” says another about jumping off of the Golden Gate Bridge. “Total relief,” says another – reffering to that moment before death when you thought there was no more worries to ever be. These were three responses Dr. David Rosen got after interviewing six suicide survivors that lived the 250 foot drop off of one of the world’s largest suspension bridges in the world.
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most well known symbols of the United States, after the White House, the Statue of Liberty, and arguably a few others. When constructed in 1937, it was the largest suspension bridge in the world. It connected Marin County to San Francisco, the largest city in the United States that had no bridge to the mainland, through the turbulent tides and dense fog that made such a feat near impossible to build. Since then, the bridge has been the main tourist attraction of California, and one of the most popular in the country.
But it is also known for a darker, more sinister reason. The Golden Gate Bridge is infamous for being the second most common suicide site in the world, with an official count of over 1,200 since its creation seventy six years ago. Of course that number is widely inaccurate, many bodies wash into the Pacific and are never found, many jumps were never witnessed, and many jumps are faked (however that works!). IN recent years the City of San Francisco has placed cameras to number the suicides and help with prevention; it turns out that on average there is one death every two weeks. Of course this number has been contested, and an independent initiative decided to film suicides too, calculating 17 suicides every three months.
But the most curious thing is why people choose this particular bridge, and why people choose to walk right off of it. Dr. Rosen sets off to find answers by asking survivors, and their answers are extraordinary.
Suicide is a liberation, for some. In the three seconds between the bridge and the water, it is sheer ecstasy. “Like a bird flying,” one survivor recollects, as (s)he plummeted toward what she thought would be death. Could there be no greater joy than to have no worries, no regrets, no future aspirations? Could there be no greater happiness then to lose attachment to desire, even for just three seconds. Indeed, the Buddha would agree.
Suicide, perhaps, is a statement to the world. The Golden Gate Bridge, traversed by 110,000 a day, is the perfect act of publicity, a final, irreversible act that teases the human dare. Another survivor, a teenager, said he jumped for the “fun”. Conversely, in the dead of night, at a bridge whose waters are so violent, when no one is around, it can be a suicide no one may ever know. Many bodies are never recovered, especially in the time this bridge was created. It can be a silent statement to the world, or a bold one, depending upon the beholder.
But this is an idealized version of such an act. It is an act of spontaneous decision making, hardly pre meditated. 95% of thwarted suicides off the bridge (by people who convinced the suicidal to not jump) do not jump again, or not for a time (few still do so). Perhaps the elegance of the fall that is also all too practical (only 1% survive) is performed by the combination of a number of emotions: one being depression, another, perhaps, being spontaneous.
Had the majority of those who decided against dropping from this bridge last minute tried again, we could say there were serious concerns with the quality of their lives and mental health. This is not too say there are not serious problems with their stability since this is not the case, but that the argument that we should not stop suicidals falls to its feet. Suicide is a decision based off of rash decision making, almost always, off of the sheer dare of the risk involved in transgressing the bounds. The argument that many fall prey too, that suicide is a person’s right we should not attempt to reason against fails in that the reasoning of a suicidal is often all too irrational.
Whatever the case may be, the powerful relief one must feel a second before death must be incredible. Yet our glamorizing of it does no good. The romance relationship the media has with suicide, that suicidals have with suicide is worrying, and we must be cautious. Indeed the relief of death must be extraordinary, but it is coming for all of us anyway: there is no need to rush.
“La familia es todo.” — Don Salamanca
The family is all.
This war is so rarely covered in American media, so oft forgotten, so oft ignored. This war has been going on for decades, but America has hardly an idea. This war has slaughtered tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, displacing all the many more. It has ruined the lives of so many individuals as it has destroyed the economies of entire nations. And it is a growing, moving, reforming, evolving movement that knows brutality works. The warmongers behind it all are more powerful than Elizabeth, more brutal than Al Qaeda, more secretive than North Korea. And no one knows it. Who are they? Where are they? Right beneath our feet.
It is El Cartel. A silent killer we only hear about in the back of our heads. It is a number of groups so rooted in the Western Hemispheric society that every high school kid knows someone who knows someone, who knows someone, who knows someone who knows the Cartel…. And yet the news from abroad doesn’t get to the high schools, only the products. The cartels of Mexico and below fight the civilians of Colombia as much as the army of Mexico, as much as other Cartels with no care for who is in the crossfire. And yet we hardly hear of it, if ever at all.
Twenty seven thousand died last year. Those are government statistics, and we know how lenient they are. Twenty seven thousand people who will never see the face of this Earth again. Twenty seven thousand dead right beneath our feet, and we talk about Syria on the other side of the world. It is not that we should forget Syria, but remember Mexico. Twenty seven thousand are dead with the number only rising, and there is hardly a whisper. Twenty seven thousand dead, and we literally have no idea.
I did not know that was the number. It was mentioned by a friend. I did not know the impact the Cartels of Mexico have on Mexico. Or perhaps I did know… in the back of my head, oft forgotten. But it is time to know. It is time to learn. It is time to act, and it has been time for so long.
How do we fix it? How do we stop it? How do we deal with multi billionaires that hire 14 year old assassins? I have no idea. Perhaps no one does. Twenty seven thousand dead, so oft forgotten. I will talk about this, more and more, because this issue isn’t going anywhere. It is only growing. This issue isn’t just a problem of the Americas. It is a global issue, bred by a culture tolerant of drugs and ignorant of sellers. The root sellers. We must get to the problem, the root problem. Clearly the people that are dealing with it now haven’t gotten there. I know little, as most everyone, but I do know this: that twenty seven thousand are dead, so oft forgotten….
And it is only getting worse.