How Arguing Can Undermine Our Rationality »« U.N. Investigator: Prosecute for Bush Torture Policies

Farah: Obama to Blame for Suicides

Joseph Farah continues his irrational crusade to blame President Obama for absolutely everything (there are plenty of things to legitimately blame him for, of course, but those criticisms would undermine Farah’s “Obama loves Muslim terrorists” narrative, so he ignores them). This time it’s suicide. And apparently Obama is even responsible for suicides that happened before he took office.

That’s the story from the American Journal of Public Health, which reports that since Barack Obama was sworn in as president in 2009, the leading cause of death in America has been suicide.

During the entire administration of George W. Bush and earlier, motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death by injury.

But that all changed in 2009, with the rate of death by suicide rising by 15 percent over the past 10 years, while death by unintentional motor vehicle crash dropped 25 percent during the same period.

What’s the take-away here?

It would be easy to attribute the rise in suicide to the economy, and I have no doubt it’s a contributing factor. But there’s much more to this story than meets the eye.

By the way, I presume he is talking about this article from November, 2012. And guess what? That article only includes data through 2009, or the first year of Obama’s presidency. But hey, those are facts and this is a fact-free rant from Farah. So you know the “more to this story” is that it’s all Obama’s fault, even though the upward trend in suicides started years before he took office. Oh, and it’s all about evolution too.

I believe the trend reflects a deep and growing spiritual emptiness in a culture that is more depraved and sinful than at any time in its history.

Too many people just don’t find any meaning in life.

Think about it.

We are told from the youngest age in state-run schools that human beings are merely the result of billions of years of evolution from lower life forms and random mutations. There is no Creator God who loves us and to whom we are accountable. There are no laws higher than those government imposes on us – no sin, no ultimate, objective moral code. In fact, human beings are a blight on the planet. It would be better off without us – or at least with a lot fewer of us polluting the air with carbon dioxide and overheating the Earth.

Do I have that about right?

Furthermore, in those same government schools, prayer and Bible reading are prohibited, but explicit instructions on how to have promiscuous sex without consequences is mandated.

But if that argument were valid, wouldn’t other countries that are far less religious than the United States have even higher rates of suicide? They don’t. These countries all have lower suicide rates than the US: Canada, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, England, Switzerland, Australia. The Netherlands, renowned for its comprehensive sex education programs and all but irrelevant religion, has a rate fully 50% lower than this country. Greece, that allegedly terrible socialist hellhole, has a rate less than a third of ours. So much for that theory.

Comments

  1. Synfandel says

    Think about it.

    I wish people would stop writing that. It’s insulting to the reader.

  2. Synfandel says

    I don’t have the figures, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that post-traumatic stress disorder caused by President Cheney’s Bush’s Iraqi and Afghan wars is a major contributor to the increased suicide rate in the US.

  3. MikeMa says

    Slow news day at the Nut I guess. Farah is usually wrong about everything but this seems a reach father than normal for him.

  4. Who Knows? says

    Being shot by drone is clearly suicide.

    I wonder if you could cite the number of people in the United States that have been killed by drones and explain why the Obama administration is responsible for the militarization of our police forces?

  5. says


    That’s the story from the American Journal of Public Health, which reports that since Barack Obama was sworn in as president in 2009, the leading cause of death in America has been suicide.

    And in any case, this is bullshit. Suicide was found to be the leading cause of death through injury, not the leading cause of death, the latter being a monumentally ignorant assertion. Suicide is not even close to the leading cause of death.

  6. Larry says

    Me thinks Farah was out the day they were teaching that correlation does not imply causation.

  7. blf says

    I wonder if you could cite the number of people in the United States that have been killed by drones…

    Exactly zero, to the best of my knowledge.
    Whilst the nutter wasn’t talking about those icky furriners or nasty furrin lands, if he wants to blame Obama for extra-legal killings or similar, them the seemingly-abusive use of drones is quite possibly a valid point.

  8. karmacat says

    I gets so tired of people blaming suicide on outside events. The major cause of suicide is mental illness, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, etc. It just shows a serious lack of understanding of mental illness. Suicide is a reason to talk about better mental illness care. Not that Farah will ever understand this. He just wants to use an extremely painful event to promote his own opinions without thinking about who it hurts.

  9. says

    But if that argument were valid, wouldn’t other countries that are far less religious than the United States have even higher rates of suicide? They don’t. These countries all have lower suicide rates than the US: Canada, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, England, Switzerland, Australia.”

    Yes, but their suicide rate would be higher, if it wasn’t for them having sex all the time.

  10. Pierce R. Butler says

    Larry @ # 10: … Farah was out the day they were teaching that correlation does not imply causation.

    Worse yet, I missed the day they taught how to have promiscuous sex without consequences… :-P

  11. cptdoom says

    We are told from the youngest age in state-run schools that human beings are merely the result of billions of years of evolution from lower life forms and random mutations. There is no Creator God who loves us and to whom we are accountable. There are no laws higher than those government imposes on us – no sin, no ultimate, objective moral code. In fact, human beings are a blight on the planet. It would be better off without us – or at least with a lot fewer of us polluting the air with carbon dioxide and overheating the Earth.

    Because it’s such a more hopeful message to tell everyone there is a petty tyrant in the sky above them who will send them to eternal torture for kneeling down in the wrong building to send a prayer to said tyrant.

  12. says

    Karmakat:

    I gets so tired of people blaming suicide on outside events. The major cause of suicide is mental illness, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, etc. It just shows a serious lack of understanding of mental illness.”

    You’re drawing a distinction that doesn’t exist in most cases. You refer to post-traumatic stress. PTSD is by definition decompensation in reaction to an overwhelming outside event.

    A person with a borderline personality organization may react suicidally to an abandonment. A more narcissistically organized person may react suicidally to a major failure(s) or humiliation. Depression often has external precipitants, though in some cases people don’t recognize the triggers. People commit suicide in reaction to chronic health problems and financial devastation. You are not understanding symptoms (suicide is a symptom) if you separate the interactions between adaptive challenges and defensive/coping/adaptive capacities.

  13. dogmeat says

    Doc X @ 17:

    Wanted to thank you for your correction of the earlier commentary. My mother “committed suicide” via alcohol. The cause? Depression triggered by a number of catastrophic personal and professional events that piled one upon another. Prior to those outside events, she was generally happy/healthy, once those triggers hit, she spiraled very quickly. As those outside events built upon one another, she was almost militant in her efforts to fight against those who were trying to help her.

    —————

    We are told from the youngest age in state-run schools that human beings are merely the result of billions of years of evolution from lower life forms and random mutations. There is no Creator God who loves us and to whom we are accountable.

    ?????

    If I were to teach that there specifically is no God, I would be disciplined for establishment violations, that’s well established case law. Heck, I’ve had parents complain to administration when I listed a series of scientific/religious conflicts over the centuries and had the “audacity” to list something as “silly as a flat earth” alongside something that was “a proven fact like a 6,000 year old earth.” I’ve also had parents who were upset that I mentioned that atheists exist. If I were to suggest that there was no God, the fur would fly.

  14. andrewjohnston says

    Farah has an oddly romantic view of suicide, as the act of a person who carefully laid out his case for life and came up short. That’s usually not how it works. The pathology of suicide is complex, resting on many factors that aren’t necessarily consistent from culture to culture. However, suicide is, in most cases, an impulsive act. As such, one of the major contributing factors is simply whether or not the person has the capacity to commit suicide. That’s why the risk is higher among those who live alone and lower over the holidays. It’s also why it’s higher among subgroups with easy access to firearms – the easiest, fastest and most effective means of killing yourself.

    When I was in high school, three kids got together to drink. One of them passed out. While the second called 911, the third – who believed that his friend was dead – got his father’s gun and shot himself. I knew this kid – he was not suicidal, in the sense that most people think. However, in that moment of intense, chemically-augmented guilt, he decided he couldn’t go on. I firmly believe that if he’d had time to sober up, recover from the shock and realize that his friend was still alive, he never would have done it. But that weapon made it so much easier to act on that impulse.

  15. Synfandel says

    If all three of the drunk kids had had guns, everything would have been fine. The solution to guns is more guns, don’t you know.

  16. lofgren says

    The version of this article that would have run if we had a Republican president:

    Car accidents, heart disease, and cancer no longer leading causes of death in america
    Serious health risks now “practically cured” say health experts

  17. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    If it didn’t happen to Americans or in America, it doesn’t count. That’s what American exceptionalism is all about. – d.c.wilson

    I coined the term OWHITUSAC syndrome for this. (Only What Happens In The USA Counts.) I haven’t yet persuaded the world in general* to use it, but I continue to hope. It occurs on the left, but is far more common on the right.

    *Or, indeed, anyone.

Leave a Reply