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Monday, 03 August 2009 09:19

Kirk Anderson: Health Care Toll

More of Kirk Anderson's work at kirktoons.com.

Thursday, 30 July 2009 03:44

Kirk Anderson: Too Big to Fail

More of Kirk Anderson's work at kirktoons.com.

BUZZFLASH GUEST COMMENTARY

Martha Rosenberg is a Chicago-based cartoonist and freelance writer.

BUZZFLASH GUEST COMMENTARY

Martha Rosenberg is a Chicago-based cartoonist and freelance writer.

A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Martha Rosenberg

http://www.counterpunch.org/rosenberg06022009.html

Martha Rosenberg is a Chicago-based cartoonist and freelance writer.

 

 

A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Martha Rosenberg

Martha Rosenberg is a Chicago-based cartoonist and freelance writer. 

A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Martha Rosenberg

Why are suicides among Iraq war soldiers twice that of other wars?

One reason could be that 80 percent of troops with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are given drugs that didn't exist during other wars.

There are antidepressants such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil and Celexa (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors/SSRIs) and Cymbalta and Effexor (Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors/SRNIs) that are so closely associated with suicide they carry suicide warnings.

660 people have killed themselves on SSRIs and SNRIs since 1988, according to published newspaper reports, including at least 17 Iraq war veterans. Many more have attempted suicide and committed felonies, self-harm, police standoffs, murders, murder/suicides and mass murders with high-powered weapons.

Yet what does the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs suggest as a treatment for PTSD?

"We recommend SSRIs as first line medications for PTSD pharmacotherapy in men and women with military-related PTSD," says the VA's National Center for PTSD's Iraq War Clinician Guide, 2nd Edition. "Findings from subsequent large-scale trials with paroxetine [Paxil] have demonstrated that SSRI treatment is clearly effective both for men in general and for combat veterans suffering with PTSD."

In fact of veterans treated for PTSD, 89 percent were given antidepressants and 34 percent antipsychotics, according to an article in the June 2008 Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Martha Rosenberg

"The NRA is asking gunmen to refrain from mass shootings while key gun bills are before legislators," says a newscaster in a recent editorial cartoon.

Unfortunately, mass gunmen didn't listen. The month that began with the Alabama, Illinois church, Germany, and Oakland police killings ended with one gunman killing eight at a Cathage, NC nursing home and another killing six in Santa Clara, CA.

Then April began with the killing of 14 in Binghamton, NY and fatal shootings of three Pittsburgh policemen.

No one is even counting a church shooting in Turlock, CA, the fatal shooting of five in Miami, and the Mexico drug shootings that use straw bought U.S. weapons, also in March.

The March and April bloodbaths create PR problems for the gun lobby. When gunmen such as Oakland's Lovelle Mixon or Pittsburgh's Richard Poplawski kill police with assault weapons, it eviscerates the gun lobby's "Good Guys Need To Be Armed Against Bad Guys" argument since police are obviously armed and good guys. (Moreover, they are "Enforcing Existing Laws," another gun lobby mantra.) Nor do the Lovelle Mixons and Richard Poplawskis help the cause of military-style black guns that the pending D.C. Voting Rights Act would legalize while eliminating firearms registration and banning all future gun restrictions. Hello?

A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Martha Rosenberg

Martha Rosenberg is a Chicago-based cartoonist and freelance writer.

A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Martha Rosenberg

It was not a good week to work for the right to carry a concealed weapon in churches, schools, and public areas. It was not a good week to work for the right to buy more than one firearm a month.

After previous mass shootings -- the Wisconsin church killings of 7 in 2005, the Salt Lake City and Omaha mall killings of 13 in 2007, Virginia Tech in 2007 and Northern Illinois University killings of 5 last year -- the public would listen to the gun lobby dogma that we need more guns not less and teachers, churchgoers, and shoppers should be armed.

Not this time.

After a week of mass gunmen and massacres, no one wants to hear the gun lobby's OK Corralspeak in which we good guys have to arm against the bad guys -- at least until the 50 plus funerals are over.

The problem is that gun "enthusiasts" such as Michael McLendon and Bruce Jeffrey "Santa Claus" Pardo are increasingly becoming the gun lobby's poster boys.

McLendon killed his mother, grandmother, uncle, two cousins, and the wife and toddler daughter of a sheriff's deputy in Samson, Alabama, setting fire to his mother's home and killing her dogs in last week.

Pardo killed his e-wife and her family and burned their house down in Covina, California on Christmas Eve last year, dressed in a jolly red suit.

Both were exemplars of the right to buy more than one weapon a month that the gun lobby strongly defends.

McLendon had a cache of an M-16, an AK-47, a shotgun, two pistols and a "great amount of ammunition." Pardo had five semi-automatic handguns and two shotguns.

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