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08 мая, 23:27

Behind the Wall: Suicides Mount in Massachusetts County Jails

Guy Duffy predicted that he was going to die in the Essex County jail. Barely two weeks into a 30-day sentence for animal cruelty — Duffy’s first time behind bars — the retired sign maker tearfully told his wife that he couldn’t eat or stop shaking. He was losing weight, he said, and losing hope. “I’m gonna die here,’’ he told Laurie Duffy in a recorded call in July 2015. “I’m breaking down.’’ Corrections officers twice sent Duffy to the infirmary, where staff dressed him in a paper anti-suicide gown and kept him behind a glass door for constant monitoring. But Duffy hated it, believing the staff was laughing at him. Eventually, they moved the anxious inmate to “protective custody” in a single cell, records show, because he was afraid to be with other prisoners. There, alone with his demons, Duffy hours later made a make-shift noose out of stripped bed sheets and hanged himself on a laundry hook. He died just 10 days before he could have returned a free man to his North Andover home. The suicide of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley last month has put a harsh spotlight on the suicide risk for inmates in state prison. But Guy Duffy is part of a much bigger — and largely unnoticed — group who’ve taken their lives while behind bars in this state’s county jails, where inmates serve shorter sentences or await trial. At least 42 men and women have died by suicide in Massachusetts’ county jails since 2012, more than twice the number of suicides in the state prison system over the period even though both house roughly the same number of inmates. And while state prison suicides have declined in recent years, the rate of suicides in the state’s 13 county jails has doubled, according to an investigation by The Eye, the online news site of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. But almost no one is focusing on the county jail death toll. No state office collects or examines death data in county jails. No regulator requires county sheriffs to report the results of internal mortality reviews. And jails rarely release information about deaths to the public in purported deference to confidentiality rules and privacy concerns, but also making it difficult for outside advocates to monitor suicides. To obtain information on jail suicides statewide, reporters had to request death data from each of the 13 sheriff’s departments that house inmates. But several counties, including five of the six largest, declined to release names, requiring reporters to identify suicide victims one by one. The review found that the number of jail suicides rose from an average of four annually between 2006 and 2011 to eight a year from 2012 to 2016. Among them were suicides that followed explicit warnings that the inmate was bent on harming himself. In Bristol County, which accounted for nearly a quarter of all jail suicides from 2006 to 2016 even though it houses just 13 percent of inmates, court officials recently warned the sheriff’s office on two separate occasions that inmates were likely suicidal, records and interviews show. But both men were left alone in their cells and killed themselves within days. The state’s scrutiny and response to suicides in prisons has no parallel in the jails, a striking fact given that county inmates are generally more psychologically vulnerable than their state counterparts. Most state inmates have already done time in jail awaiting trial before starting a prison sentence — Hernandez, for example, had been incarcerated since his arrest in 2013 for the murder of Odin Lloyd and was serving a life sentence at the time of his death. As a result, they’ve had time to acclimate to incarceration. By contrast, the majority of jail inmates who die by suicide had not even been convicted of a crime yet. And county jail inmates are rarely sentenced to more than two and a half years of jail for lower-level crimes including drug charges, breaking and entering and assault and battery. Most new jail inmates come straight off the streets, often struggling with drug withdrawals, mental illness and other health problems that make them especially vulnerable to what experts call “the shock of confinement.” Duffy, for example, suffered from depression, anxiety and high blood pressure, and he complained that the medications he received in the jail infirmary made him dizzy. “I said you sent a sick man to jail and you just gave him a death sentence,’’ his wife Laurie said she told the prosecutor. “I just knew this was going to be the worst possible thing for him.” Essex County officials released a mortality review of Duffy’s death which concluded that staff “responded appropriately” in his case. But questions remain about why he was sent to segregation after exhibiting “mental health issues,” according to the review carried out by jail officials. Jim Walsh, executive director of the Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Association, defended the county jails, saying sheriffs struggle with limited resources to deal with a troubled daily jail population that averages just over 10,000 inmates. He said they train staff to watch for warning signs and closely watch suicidal inmates. When inmates do attempt suicide by hanging — the most common suicide method nationwide – jails are equipped with blades to cut them down quickly. As a result, county officials prevent many deaths, Walsh said, but their system is not perfect and inmate behavior can be impulsive and unpredictable. “You can’t always know what is going on in the mind of an inmate,” he said. However, he said the sheriffs group has yet to take a systemwide look at the problem. Lindsay Hayes, a national expert on suicide prevention, said county sheriffs should do more for their troubled prisoners, including demanding more state funding for staff training and expanded mental health services. He said they should also be forthright in disclosing when deaths occur, and under what circumstances, to make it easier to discern how future deaths can be prevented. County jails need to develop standard procedures to prevent suicides, he said. Currently, he said there is no standardized medical or mental health care in county jails and no statewide protocol for how to screen or protect at-risk inmates. As a result, each jail’s commitment and approach to suicide prevention varies, as does funding for mental health services. For example, Hampden County has 10 full time mental health clinicians for an average of 1433 inmates, while Bristol County has three for some 1350 daily inmates, according to the Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Association. “Sheriffs need to stop complaining about being the largest mental health provider and start acting like it, by getting the resources they need and knocking on doors and publicizing it,’’ said Hayes. “There are a lot of preventable, foreseeable suicides.’’ Indeed, the suicide rate in Massachusetts’ county jails is higher than the national rate. In 2014, the latest year of comparable data, inmates in Massachusetts’ jails died at a rate of about 78 per 100,000 people — significantly higher than the rate of 50 per 100,000 inmates in county jails across the US. In contrast, the rate of suicide among the general US population is about 13 deaths per 100,000. In the state prison system, the Department of Correction began a concerted effort to reduce suicides and improve mental health in 2006, a year in which records show eight state prison inmates killed themselves. A 2007 Globe Spotlight series focusing on prison suicides provided added pressure for the state to act. With the help of Hayes, the state implemented a series of steps to prevent suicides, including creating longer-term units for the mentally ill and adding “suicide-resistant” cells, removing clothing hooks and bed rails that facilitate hangings. Explore suicide rates in Massachusetts by county. The measures appear to have had an impact: From 2012 through 2016, a total of 16 state inmates committed suicide for an average of slightly more than three per year out of a prison population of about 10,000. Leslie Walker, executive director of the Boston-based Prisoners’ Legal Services that advocates for inmates, said state prevention efforts only started after media scrutiny about the high number of suicides, but the results have been encouraging. She hopes a sharp look at county jail deaths will prompt similar action. “Humane treatment and oversight is required,’’ she said, “or more preventable deaths will occur.” The most jail suicides Brandon St. Pierre of Fall River made it clear in May 2015 that he wanted to end his life if he was sent back to the Bristol County Jail and House of Correction run by Massachusetts’ longest-serving sheriff, Thomas Hodgson. The 32-year-old St. Pierre, charged in a “road rage” incident, told a court psychologist about his intentions, records show. His attorney begged an Attleboro District Court judge to move St. Pierre to a state prison or Bridgewater State Hospital where more mental health services would have been available. St. Pierre had previously served time in state prison for another offense and told family he was desperate to transfer to a system where he felt more comfortable. Judge Daniel O’ Shea declined the request, determining that St. Pierre was competent to stand trial. He did, however, require that jail officials were informed of the suicide threats, “to make sure that Mr. St. Pierre is observed and doesn’t have an opportunity to carry out the expressed intent to hurt himself,” O’ Shea said in court. The court designated St. Pierre a “Q5,” a classification indicating a suicidal history, written on a court order alerting jailors to be sure to keep him safe. No such precautions were taken, said Barbara Kice, St. Pierre’s mother. Instead of protecting her son by putting him on suicide watch, she said officers put him in the general jail population where he got into a fight and was transported to segregation as punishment. The next day he was found alone hanging in his cell “From the court house to being alone, they left him everything to hang himself,’’ said Kice. “What a horrible mistake they made.” Hodgson, who prides himself on tough policies such as offering up his inmates to help build President Donald J. Trump’s border wall, has seen more suicides than any other sheriff. Advocates at Prisoners’ Legal Services said the data reflects their concerns — that the jail segregates too many mentally ill inmates rather than providing needed services. More people die in segregated cells than when housed with other inmates, national studies show. “The reflexive response is, ‘Let’s just put him in the hole. Put him in segregation. Get rid of him,’’’ said James Pingeon, litigation director at Prisoners’ Legal Services. “That can be hard for anybody, but it’s particularly hard for people who have mental illness.” Hodgson said he wasn’t aware that Bristol’s suicide numbers surpassed other counties and declined to discuss individual cases. He attributed high numbers of deaths partly to his troubled region which suffers from a high level of drug addiction and mental illness. He agreed that housing inmates with others can prevent suicides, but said he leaves treatment decisions to the jail’s mental health team. He is not aware of any specific changes the jail has made following the recent deaths. Like other jails, the facility relies on suicide-resistant cells, putting at-risk inmates on mental health watch and providing tear-resistant clothing to suicidal inmates. “There’s a point where, no matter how protective you are, that people who are often successful committing suicide never give you the indicators, never let you know, exactly what’s going to happen,” he said. Colleen Lewis of Dighton said her 48-year-old brother Kevin Leonardo might still be alive if Bristol County jail officials had only listened to what he was telling them. Lewis said her older brother, who struggled with depression and drug addiction, threatened to kill himself after being arrested in 2016 on charges of statutory rape. During an arraignment in Taunton District Court, a prosecutor said that the father of three told police, “As soon as I have a chance, I’m going to do it. The judge, in turn, filed a “suicide notification form” warning jail officials that Leonardo should “be monitored closely,” records show. Lewis said Leonardo’s attorney assured her he would be on suicide watch. But four days later, she was told he hanged himself in segregation. Now, she said, their family is bereft. Lewis is struggling to get more information about her brother’s death – trying to understand why he was put in a single cell or even whether he left a suicide note. She joins other families who have lost loved ones in county jails who complain they can’t get basic information about what occurred. Deborah Taylor of New Bedford filed a wrongful death suit last year in Bristol County Superior Court partly to get more information about her 31-year-old son Aaron Brito, a heroin addict who died by suicide in 2013. Taylor claims county officials should have known Brito was at risk because he was an addict suffering from drug withdrawal. Records show he was supposed to be in a medical unit, but never was moved there. Taylor is still haunted by the way she learned about her son’s death – a phone call from a woman at the jail who wouldn’t identify herself. “They said, ‘your son died today, if you want more information today call St. Luke’s hospital,’” she said. “These are words no person would forget.” Hodgson acknowledged that he does not personally call families of inmates who commit suicide, and that the department is limited about what information it can give families because of legal and confidentiality issues, a claim echoed by officials at other large jails. “We feel badly for the families, we always do,’’ Hodgson said. “We go as far as we can to give them what we can to give them closure.” One jail’s reforms Some county sheriffs say they have, in recent years, responded to the mounting death toll with new suicide prevention measures. Worcester County is one that has tried, but officials there say they ran into a familiar problem: not enough money. In 2013, four inmates committed suicide in the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction, prompting the family of one victim, 24-year-old Michael Reilly, to file a lawsuit. Darlene Reilly, claims that the jail did not adequately assess or protect her son, who was addicted to heroin. She says Reilly was put on a “mental health watch” for 15 minutes and then inexplicably transferred to a single cell where hours later he hanged himself. “My son died on their watch,’’ she said. Since then, the jail has improved its intake process to allow new inmates more privacy to discuss mental health concerns and created a “new man unit” where recent arrivals are housed separate from other inmates, said David Tuttle, the jail superintendent since 2011. In addition, Tuttle armed his corrections officers with cut-down tools to quickly release a prisoner from hanging — something other jails have been reluctant to adopt out of fear they could fall into the hands of inmates. The changes appears to have helped: since 2013, only two inmates in Worcester have committed suicide. Tuttle says officers stop about two or three suicide attempts a month, including hangings and other incidents like cuttings and head bashing. But Tuttle said the jail is still overwhelmed by the troubled inmate population and lacks resources to hire more mental health counselors and expand substance abuse treatment. The jail’s entire $45 million budget, he says, is woefully inadequate to pay for basic services, much less for enhanced services for mentally ill and drug addicted inmates. Tuttle released a letter sent from Worcester County Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis to lawmakers complaining about what he described as inequality in funding of county jails. Each county submits its own budget proposal to the state and there are no standards about how much money should go to mental health or inmate services. “We have the desire to help these guys out. Nobody wants to step up and help us do it,’’ Tuttle said. “We don’t want people to die here.” “This poor man” Whatever the state may do to address jail suicides, it will come too late to help Guy Duffy, one of five men to commit suicide at the Essex County jail in Middleton in a 12-month period. Michael Marks, the jail superintendent, said Duffy exemplifies the type of inmate who likely should never have been incarcerated at all. “He had a cat that was old and he didn’t bring it to the vet and it died,’’ Marks said. “I don’t get it.” Explore an interactive timeline of Guy Duffy’s time in jail. Duffy was a 54-year-old retiree when he was charged with animal cruelty after bringing Jesse, the family tabby cat, to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Methuen to be euthanized. MSPCA staff claimed the cat was in terrible condition, with a maggot infestation in her eye and appeared to be neglected, records show. Duffy maintained he loved the sick feline and wanted her to die at home. After his sentencing in July 2015, Laurie said she didn’t hear from her husband for six days. When she finally did hear from him, he was slurring his words, nearly incoherent. He was admitted directly to the jail infirmary with a low body temperature, records show. Duffy was moved nine times during his 20-day stay, according to jail records, moving back and forth from the infirmary. In phone calls to Laurie, Duffy described how he had no appetite for food, lost 17 pounds and feared for his life. He described sweating and shaking in the summer heat, so intense and unrelenting that corrections officers providing ice to inmates for respite. About two weeks into his sentence, Duffy told Laurie he was losing hope; he wept and apologized to her. He described being put on a mental health watch, placed in a small cell with a glass door visible to infirmary staff. “I’m knocking on the window of the door, and the cops just look at you … make fun of you,’’ he said. Advocates worry that suicide watch, often including dressing prisoners in a so-called “suicide smock,” can be such a harsh alternative that many inmates conceal their distress so as not to be assigned to it. “It’s preventing a suicide, but it’s not improving the prisoner at all,’’ said Walker of Prisoners’ Legal Services. But Duffy also was unhappy housed with others, worried to the point of paranoia about his safety. So the jail decided to place him in protective custody, meant for inmates who need to be alone because they are dangerous to others or need protecting. He didn’t want to go there, either. He resisted and was taken to the ground and shackled before being escorted to the infirmary, records show, and put back on mental health watch. Hours later, Duffy was sent back to segregation. Later that same day, he hanged himself. Essex County officials said Duffy had been cleared by mental health to be transferred to segregation. Marks declined to discuss details about Duffy’s death but said the jail has strived over the last several years to improve mental health services and reduce deaths. The county is one of the few large jails that release information to the public when someone dies in custody. There have been no suicides since 2015. “Inmate deaths, staff injuries or death, or escape, those are the things that keep everyone in this room awake at night,” said Marks. On the day of her husband’s death, Laurie said a dark SUV drove up to her house and three men knocked on her door. Among them was former Sheriff Frank Cousins. She knew immediately why they’d come. The love of her life was gone. “They broke him down,” she said. “It was just awful what they did to this poor man.” Header illustration: Hairpin HHD. Chris Burrell, Miranda Suarez, Debora Almeida, and Kaylie Piecuch contributed to this report, in partnership with The Boston Globe and WGBH News. Timeline created by Shaz Sajadi. Jenifer McKim can be reached at [email protected] -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

12 апреля, 01:26

Why Tillerson has his hands full with Russian counterpart

Sergey Lavrov is a wily veteran of world diplomacy who has dueled — and routinely infuriated — no fewer than four of Rex Tillerson’s predecessors as secretary of state.

18 января, 04:28

Ливия обороны

Основными событиями на Ближнем и Среднем Востоке в начале этого года в мировых СМИ были результаты взятия Алеппо, одним из которых стало частичное перемирие в Сирии как венец двухмесячных переговоров с оппозицией в Анкаре, о которых мир узнал только после их завершения.

12 января, 01:09

Time to ask whether the Middle East is a Vital Part of American Interest?

Since the 1973 oil embargo, U.S. foreign policy has operated on the assumption that the Middle East is vital to its national interest. Has the time come for the United States to ask the largely unexamined question: How critical is the oil in the Middle East, specifically, Saudi Arabia, to American interests? There was a time when the question was a no-brainer. Sky-rocketing fuel prices and cars lined up at gas stations for hours (reminiscent of lines at Disneyland) are memories those living at the time will not forget. But is that where America finds itself in the 21st century? I certainly do not suggest having the answer to the aforementioned question. But I do think it is past time to raise it and to grapple authentically with its implications. This question will invariably invoke the reflexive response: "What about ISIS?" ISIS is not an existential threat to America. I suspect changing that narrative would be the first order of business if we are to examine judiciously the importance of oil in the Middle East. Raising the question about Middle Eastern oil is not advocacy for nationalism. But our current Middle East policies are allowing those nations most impacted by the rise of ISIS to only have a portion of skin in the game. Since 1973, the American way of life has been perceived as inextricably linked to foreign oil. This perception, which has gone largely unchecked, produced an American narrative that said limits to our way of life are not applicable. This behavior has contributed to the persuasive propaganda put forth by ISIS, and before it al-Qaida. Can anyone honestly suggest the way America has used its armed forces in the Middle East has made the world better? Would anyone offer that the values America promotes on paper have extended to that region through U.S. military might? There is a gulf between perception and reality. In 2015, the University of Texas published a poll showing that 58 percent of Americans believe that most U.S. oil comes from Saudi Arabia, and another 15 percent believe it comes from Iraq. The reality is that the United States receives 22 percent of its oil from Saudi Arabia and Iraq. In 2016, the United States does not need the oil or natural gas from the Middle East, yet our policies assume that we do. Last year, the United States lifted its 40-year ban on oil exporting and quickly began supplying nations. None of this suggests the U.S. forgo its current policies in the Middle East, but a re-examination is sorely needed. In order to change its policy, the U.S. would have to factor in the ramifications. Would a U.S. change in policy result in higher prices for U.S. consumers to import energy from other countries? How would China react? Given that China is a major holder of U.S. treasury bills, if its economy takes a big hit due to instability in the region, the U.S. economy would most likely feel the effects in terms of bond prices and higher interest rates. How would a policy change impact the dollar? Practically all oil is purchased with dollars. Since the financial crisis of 2008, there are a number of oil experts who question the viability of the dollar to be recognized as the sole currency. As it currently stands, if the Saudi government were to fail, the dollar would most likely collapse with it. These possibilities, however, represent the worst-case scenarios. Is there not something that stands between total extrication from the Middle East and the ineffectual policy that exist? Since we're still in the speculation season, it is impossible to guess the direction that President-elect Trump will take the country. On the campaign trail he has simultaneously offered a more restrained approach to the Middle East, and at other times suggested a commitment to dive in deeper to the existing quagmire with a plan to destroy ISIS. But as I have offered in previous columns, none of this matters until Trump takes his seat in the Oval Office. This is a moment where all citizens must ask whether the Middle East is still part of America's vital interests. Moreover, it is a question that all elected officials in Washington must answer, not with cheap shibboleths and fear- mongering, but with dispassionate reasoning. Too much is at stake to ignore a question that has been lingering since 1973. And it is a question that a great nation would not ignore because of the difficulty presented by the answer. Byron Williams, a writer and the host of the NPR affiliated "The Public Morality" -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

20 декабря 2016, 17:31

The Ankara Assassination: World War III or a Flash in the Pan?

Daniel L. Davis Security, Middle East Both Erdoğan and Putin must guard against overreaction. In the summer of 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a nineteen-year-old radical Serb, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, providing the spark into a highly volatile Europe which exploded two months later into the most destructive war mankind had known to that point. Yesterday, another radical young man, twenty-two-year-old Mevlut Mert Altintas, assassinated the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov. Given that Europe and the Middle East today are even more volatile than in Princip’s day, great care must be taken in how the world responds over the coming weeks. The near-reflexive response to major events in the world today is to acknowledge they are awful, but to dismiss any concerns that they could spark larger crises. Today’s international environment, however, is not as benign as many might wish. Minimizing or dismissing the dangers posed by acts such as Monday’s assassination serve only to make the risk greater. A quick examination of initial reactions and existing fault lines underscores why this danger should be taken seriously. First, given the immediate and authoritarian nature of the crackdown that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan levied against tens of thousands in Turkey following the failed coup last summer, there is the potential for Turkey to overreact again. There was some indication that Erdogan used the coup to crack down on his political opponents. He must resist the temptation to do so again. The assassination of an official of another country on one’s territory is a major matter, and Erdoğan has every right to respond swiftly, and an obligation to ensure the safety of the diplomatic corps in his country. Both he and Russian president Vladimir Putin must, however, must guard against overreaction. The region is already quite volatile. Read full article

16 октября 2016, 20:58

The State of our Democracy

Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve." -- George Bernard Shaw I often refer to Shaw's quote because I find it to be the most succinct and accurate analysis of our democratic-republic form of government. But the reality show, masquerading as the 2016 presidential election, should force us to ask: "Do we deserve this?" Prior to offering a reflexive response, consider my definition of the pronoun "this." "This" is not a critique on Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, but one directed at "us." Do we the people deserve this spectacle? Cynically speaking, I say we do. We have failed the "salami test" miserably. Imagine you had a stick of salami and a traveler stopped by and asked you for half. You immediately say "No!" So instead, the traveler takes only a sliver. Because it is not enough to care, you say nothing. But over the next few days, they repeat the process to a point that what's left is no longer worth concerning yourself. The 2016 presidential election may have brought us to this precipice. It's not Fort Sumter, where a shot was fired and the country was immediately placed on the verge of being torn asunder. It has been more methodical, seemingly harmless in the moment. But the election, collectively, has worked in tandem with other so-called innocuous episodes, and the result is a divided nation -- some hopeful but a larger majority either nihilistic or close to it. When did party become more important than country? When did we become a nation that is only bothered by statements coming from the candidate we don't support? In addition to being fortified by the news source that corresponds with our pre-existing beliefs, part of the current General Election tradition is to anticipate the arrival of the "October surprise." From the political colonoscopy known as the Benghazi investigation to Trump's latest tweet, what will be the next news story de jour that we are told to care about? Of all the outlandish statements that Trump has made during his run for president, nothing bothered me more than when he threatened Clinton with jail at their second debate. "If I win I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation -- there have never been so many lies and so much deception," Trump said. In that single statement, not only did Trump demonstrate little regard or understanding of the Constitution, but he also violated the ethos of the American experiment. How does Trump's statement square with the following? And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor. When the undersigned placed their names below the aforementioned quote on July 4, 1776, they were putting their lives on the line, beginning the pursuit of "a more perfect union" where such tyrannical governments like the one Trump advocated did not exist. That was the Trump moment where collective condemnation was warranted. But the current political culture suggests the prospect of being governed in a Banana Republic is worth the risk, if it means the opposition is defeated. Obstruction has become a viable tactic in doing the people's business. Is it acceptable? It depends on whom you ask. It's fundamentally abhorrent because at the core it places party over country. This is reflective of a faux patriotism that is corrosive to our democratic values. I have long believed that divided government was best to move the nation forward. But we have become a country that only moves forward when one party controls Congress and occupies the White House. The problem with this option is that it assumes wrongly that the minority opinion has no value. When did governing become a zero-sum game? Is a de facto fiat the only way to conduct the people's business? It sure seems that is the only option available. We have somehow comingled the definitions between patriotism and nationalism. If we can agree that patriotism is love and devotion of country, how does that differ from nationalism? Simply stated, nationalism finds it roots in naivety. It does not question, it embraces a form of certainty that makes it vulnerable to the seductive impulses of nativism. Patriotism embraces dissent, which is the oxygen of democracy. It places the overarching values of the country over the short-term interests of the party. The hopeful or tragic reality remains: whichever road we take, Shaw is right. The Rev. Byron Williams, a writer and the host of the NPR-affiliated "The Public Morality". -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

29 сентября 2016, 02:15

Trump Time Capsule #119: 'That Makes Me Smart' vs. 'They Don't Pay'

After Donald Trump became the Republican nominee, he was asked on Fox News about his views on NATO and other…

Выбор редакции
08 сентября 2016, 23:54

Power Up Your Work Out Like Celebrities And Professional Athletes With Power Plate

VideoOlympian cyclist Ruth Winder courtesy of Power Plate Power Plate was engineered to activate the body’s reflexive response to vibration in three directions accelerating training results quickly, efficiently and safely for any fitness level. With more then 15 years of experience in whole body vibration technology, Power Plate has become a [...]

25 августа 2016, 23:31

The Difficult Choice Between Narcissism And Habitual Lying In 2016

While I have never met the two people currently vying for President of the United States of America and don't tend to get involved with politics, as a national radio show host who regularly speaks with people whose lives have been destroyed or decimated by a narcissist or a compulsive liar, I am fascinated by some of the characteristics I have seen on display by Donald J. Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Let me be clear, I cannot give a clinical diagnosis to Trump and Clinton. I can only speak from what I have seen in media reports regarding the two candidates compared to what I know seems to be true of psychological disorders. Diagnosed narcissists want you to believe it is all about "Me!" They spend almost every waking hour trying to convince anyone who will listen that the key to life and an amazing future is found "right here in me! Me! Me! Me!" On the other hand, the habitual liar does the opposite. They repeat over and over their mantra of "Not Me!" When asked about an indisputable distortion of the truth, they deny no matter how obvious the big lie. "Not Me! Not Me! Not Me!" is the reflexive response to being asked if they lied and even when shown that they lied. Narcissists act on a stage with obvious displays of an egocentric reality and must be at the center of it all, whereas compulsive liars act on a stage that distorts reality and must be believed above all. And with the Time Magazine Cover that was just released, there can probably be no worse fear than for Me! to see his own image distorted and melting. Neither a narcissist nor compulsive liar shares your pain. The narcissist does not feel your pain because there is no ability to empathize. The compulsive liar does not feel pain over deceiving you. All that matters for a compulsive liar is self-preservation and maintaining status and position that has become an entitlement to be secured. Deception becomes a tool "for the greater good." The motives of each of these are quite different. A narcissist instantly feels entitled to do or say whatever defends his or her honor even when silence is the much better choice. A compulsive liar constantly feels entitled to tell you what he or she thinks you need to believe in order to maintain status. Both believe they know better than everyone and both put themselves before everyone else. Both do good but one leaves a trail of destruction of hurt feelings and a lack of concern over the impact of decisions made at the top while the other leaves a trail of deception that becomes more and more destructive, as power and position become stronger. Both may also accomplish some great things for you but neither has you in mind at the core of their motivation. Both are a risk. Given these known characteristics of clinical narcissists and compulsive liars, the argument could be made this is the choice the American people will need to make in November when choosing our president. Will we vote for a possible narcissist - Trump, who holds daily press conferences, makes salacious comments on Twitter, and conducts interviews where anyone can ask anything - or a possible compulsive liar - Clinton, who avoids the media spotlight for as long as possible because each instance requires denial of the truth, dancing around the truth and even denigrating those who know the truth and are bold enough confront her with it? Anytime you have to decide between a narcissist or a compulsive liar the most common impulse is to choose neither. Voting for neither may be the most comfortable choice but it is the wrong choice. It allows someone else to decide for you. It is a withdrawal from the democratic process that depends on people voting their choice or at least voting for the least destructive person. If the most helpful thing you can do is vote for the lesser of two evils, then vote for the lessor. Sometimes the democratic process calls for us to vote against and not for. Only a qualified, professional examination and diagnosis would we be able to determine if Trump and Clinton truly embody these conditions, but in going to the polls, I think we need to ultimately consider the character of our current candidates before making our choice. Stephen Arterburn M. Ed, is a best-selling author with over 10 million books in print. His newest book, Take Your Life Back releases in October of 2016. He is also host of "New Life Live" and creator of the Women of Faith Conferences attended by more than 5 million women. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

17 августа 2016, 04:58

The Philippines' Misguided Plan to Stop South China Sea Tensions

Yanmei Xie, Adam Lee Security, Asia Cooperating on oil won't work - but fishing might. Former Philippine president Fidel Ramos was in Hong Kong earlier this month to meet his “old friends” in hopes of breaking ice with Beijing. In a statement issued Thursday, Ramos and his interlocutors, including prominent Chinese diplomat Fu Ying, said they discussed the way forward “in the spirit of universal brotherhood and sisterhood for peace and cooperation between the two countries.” In the geopolitical equivalent of David versus Goliath, China was legally thrashed by the Philippines last month in an international arbitration over their disputes in the South China Sea. In the aftermath, both are showing desires to mend fences. The parties, however, will squander the opening if they keep circling around the tried-and-failed idea of joint development of energy. Minutes after a tribunal under the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled against a raft of Chinese maritime claims and activities, China issued a statement denouncing the Philippines, the tribunal and its ruling, but also said it was willing to “make every effort to reach transitional arrangements, including conducting joint development in relevant waters.” Manila had already signaled interest. A few days before the tribunal ruled, Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay said the Philippines wanted talks with Beijing to see how “we can utilize and benefit mutually from the utilization of the resources.” First raised by Deng Xiaoping and repeated by subsequent Chinese leaders, joint development has become Beijing’s reflex response to its acrimonious maritime relations. Desperate for energy and incapable of developing it alone, Manila has long hung its hopes on Chinese partnership. The ruling may have rekindled the political will to collaborate, but has also legally snuffed out the prospect. Read full article

18 июня 2016, 15:05

What Do You Call the Orlando Event?

Our name for it determines what happens next—or doesn't.

25 марта 2016, 11:36

Scofield: Атаки на Х. Клинтон

06.03.2016 г. на ресурсе China Matters появилась публикация, очень точно нацеленная на нанесение репутационного ущерба Х.Клинтон в контексте предвыборной кампании в США Название статьи: «Ливия: хуже, чем Ирак. Прости, Хиллари». Ливийское фиаско может оказаться камнем преткновения в президентских притязаниях Хиллари Клинтон.

25 марта 2016, 11:36

Scofield: Атаки на Х. Клинтон

06.03.2016 г. на ресурсе China Matters появилась публикация, очень точно нацеленная на нанесение репутационного ущерба Х.Клинтон в контексте предвыборной кампании в США Название статьи: «Ливия: хуже, чем Ирак. Прости, Хиллари». Ливийское фиаско может оказаться камнем преткновения в президентских притязаниях Хиллари Клинтон.