Each week, KHN finds interesting reads from around the Web.
The New York Times: My Best Friend Died By Suicide. I Wish I Had Seen The Warning Signs.
Suicide is the No. 1 killer of active-duty airmen in the United States Air Force. In February, the crisis prompted the Air Force to release a memo calling for a culture change within the service. For me and many others, that shift is a personal charge. Six years ago, my best friend, Neil Landsberg, died by suicide. Mentally and physically, he was the strongest person I knew. If he could kill himself, who else might be struggling? I spent years trying to make sense of this. I should have seen the warning signs. I now recognize that Neil suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. He sought help from civilian mental-health providers and from the Department of Veterans Affairs. (Magruder, 9/10)
The New York Times: The First Marine In My Battalion To Die By Suicide
My battalion’s mortar platoon lived on the bottom floor of the barracks at Camp Lejeune and those Marines were always a pain. But they were good at their jobs and on the weekends, when the weather was good, they would have a barbecue down by the smoke pit. Tim Ryan was one of those mortarmen. He had a thick Boston accent, and one time I ran into him at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. I think it was predeployment leave. We were both flying to Boston, and he was on an earlier flight. But when they announced the boarding process, he barely moved from the airport bar. He had been drinking alone most of the afternoon, so I helped him up and did what I could to get him to his gate. He was happy to be going home. (Gibbons-Neff, 9/6)
Center for Public Integrity/Tampa Bay Times: They Donated To Kids With Cancer. A Vegas Telemarketer Cashed In.
During the last four years, the U.S. saw a significant spike in the number of PACs that raise most of their money from small-dollar donors before plowing much of it back into salaries, administrative costs and raising more cash, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of more than 68.7 million campaign finance records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. PACs that contract with [Las Vegas-based businessman Richard] Zeitlin account for about half of that spike, making him a major player in the political world. For more than two decades, he raised tens of millions of dollars in the name of nonprofits before shifting to PACs. (Kleiner and Zubak-Skees, 9/12)
Stat: ‘The Switch’ Was Supposed To Help Eradicate Polio. Now It’s A Quandary
Three years ago, the leaders of the international campaign to eradicate polio pulled off a landmark feat, phasing out a problematic component of the vaccine used in developing countries, and introducing a newer version that they hoped would put the world on a better footing to finally eliminate a global scourge. Now, some organizers are weighing whether “the switch,” as the process was known, needs to be reversed. If it’s not, some fear, the world could face a heightened risk of spread of the disease, currently confined to its last redoubt, Pakistan and Afghanistan. (Branswell, 9/13)
The Atlantic: Your Political Party Might Mean More To You Than Your Morals Do
Even though the Democratic nominee has not yet been chosen, many Americans already know exactly which party they’ll be voting for next November. In fact, a growing number of people instinctively lunge toward one side of the ballot or the other any time an election comes around. Among the factors that shape such deep-seated political preferences, a prominent one is believed to be fundamental moral beliefs—how someone thinks a good society should function or a decent person should behave. (Khazan, 9/9)
The New York Times: The Unusual Tale Of The Roaming Gallstones
“You have a mass in your chest, near your lung,” the voice on the phone said. The 71-year-old woman listened quietly as her doctor explained what the CT scan showed. The doctor suggested that she see a chest surgeon to figure out what it was and what they should do about it. The woman wasn’t surprised to hear that she had a mass. That’s why she went to see her doctor in the first place. Weeks earlier, when she was rubbing her chronically aching back, she noticed that there was a subtle bulge between the next-to-last rib on her right side and the rib just above it. (Sanders, 9/11)
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