Monday News: Walking wounded

CANCER IS STRIKING VETERANS AT AN ALARMING RATE: A McClatchy investigation of cancer rates among veterans in the nearly two decades since the Sept. 11 attacks shows that the number of cancer cases treated by the VA health care system has skyrocketed. The review, based on Freedom of Information Act requests for every unique cancer treatment provided by a VA health care facility from fiscal years 2000 to 2018 found the rates of blood cancers ⁠— lymphoma, myeloma and leukemia ⁠— rose 18% in the same period. Other cancers increased as much as 96%. The VA has disagreed with McClatchy’s findings. However data from its internal cancer registry that the agency provided also shows a significant rise during a similar time frame. According to that, the number of blood cancers increased 41%, from 2000 to 2017.

DURHAM HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TAKE STAND AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE: High school football players from one Durham school took a stand Sunday against gun violence in their community. Members of the Southern High School team stood alongside elected officials, including Durham County Sheriff Clarence Birkhead, and church leaders to encourage people to put the guns down and save lives. All of those who stood pledged to not pick up a gun to settle a personal problem. Student-athletes who organized the rally said they worry for their safety when they step outside due to the number of shootings in Durham the past few weeks. Two people were killed and several other wounded during a string of shootings in the days before Halloween. "Support has always been there. It’s just, OK, who’s going to take the first step?" said Jakhari Dowd, who decided to take the first step by organizing the Guns Down, Lives Up rally. The football players said they hope they’re able to save lives and inspire the next generation with their efforts. The seniors said the peace rally is a way to leave a legacy to the school in a positive way.

SELC AND HAW RIVER ASSEMBLY SUE CITY OF BURLINGTON OVER CHEMICAL CONTAMINATION: Manufacturing may not be what it used to be in Alamance County, but there is at least enough to get Burlington threatened with a lawsuit. “The East Burlington [wastewater treatment plant] treats domestic waste and industrial wastewater from at least seven industrial facilities, including from textile manufacturing facilities, a metal finishing facility, and manufacturer of polymer emulsions and resins,” according to an intent to sue notification from the Haw River Assembly. The South Burlington WWTP treats water from at least eight industrial facilities, according to the notification, and those plants are passing along industrial contaminants — perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl, and 1,4-dioxane — according to the Southern Environmental Law Center, which is representing the Haw River Assembly. The 11,000 tons of sewage sludge from those plants that have been spread over fields in Alamance and surrounding counties are also a source of PFAS, according to the notification. The city does not dispute that fact.

SUPREME COURT DECISION ON TRUMP'S DACA CANCELLATION COULD HINGE ON LACK OF EVIDENCE: Ms. Duke was deeply bothered by the idea that she could be responsible for deporting hundreds of thousands of young people from the country they considered their own. And she did not want her name on the policy rationales put forth by Mr. Sessions; Stephen Miller, the president’s powerful immigration adviser; and others who argued that the program encouraged new waves of illegal immigration and was an undeserved amnesty. She eventually relented under merciless pressure. But her refusal to cite their policy objections to the program is now at the heart of what legal experts say is a major weakness in the government’s case defending the termination of the program, which will be argued on Tuesday at the Supreme Court. The bare-bones rescission memo by Ms. Duke, a career civil servant who volunteered with an immigrant aid group in her free time, relied solely on an assertion by Mr. Sessions that it was unlawful. Even Mr. Sessions knew that was the thinnest possible rationale, according to several people familiar with his thinking who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal private deliberations. If courts disagreed, Mr. Sessions knew, the president would lose.

BOLIVIA'S PRESIDENT RESIGNS AFTER MILITARY JOINS PROTESTORS: Decrying what he called a “coup,” Evo Morales resigned as president of Bolivia amid an increasingly violent uprising that reached a tipping point Sunday when the military pulled its support. Morales’s stunning fall after nearly 14 years in office came hours after the Organization of American States said it had found “clear manipulation” of the vote last month in which the elder statesman of the Latin American left claimed victory. The dizzying pace of developments Sunday made an ignominious ending for the region’s longest-serving leader. Bolivia’s first indigenous president won credit for fighting poverty and transforming cities with state investment even as criticism of his authoritarian tendencies rose. Ultimately, the 60-year-old socialist who once commanded landslide victories at the polls found himself isolated: The heads of the armed forces and national police both called on Morales to step down on Sunday, and the country’s main labor union asked him to resign if that’s what it took to save a nation rapidly plunging into mob rule.



We do not honor our veterans properly

This cancer thing is just the tip of the iceberg. 22 veterans commit suicide in our country every single day, and telling them, "Thank you for your service" a couple times a year just ain't cutting it. We need mental health infrastructure in all (100) counties, and regional teams that can check up on these folks in their homes on a regular basis. And if that means buying fewer F-35s, that's really a no-brainer.

Exactly correct

We seem to prefer the "to seem rather than to be" philosophy of care.