Prashanth Kamalakanthan

The Physical and Mental Wounds That Torment Combatants and Their Families Long After the War Is Over

In his final letter to his family, 30-year-old Iraq war veteran Daniel Somers wrote of having never returned from war. "In truth, I was nothing more than a prop", reads the suicide note dated June 10, 2013, six years after his final deployment. "In truth, I have already been absent for a long, long time." 

As the US-led war in Afghanistan draws to a close, Washington will tout the absence of combat troops in that country. Looking toward a scheduled withdrawal date of 2014, President Barack Obama has proudly announced hat "our troops are finally coming home". 

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How Billionaire 'Philanthropy' Is Fueling Inequality and Helping To Destroy the Country

Peter Buffett, the second son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, worries that the state of philanthropy in America “just keeps the existing structure of inequality in place.” At meetings of charitable foundations, he says “you witness heads of state meeting with investment managers and corporate leaders. All are searching for answers with their right hand to problems that others in the room have created with their left.”

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Meet the Private Equity Tycoon at the Forefront of America's New Phony Philanthropy

There used to be a thing we called “philanthropy.” Even though the concept of corporate-funded charity has raised thorny ethical questions since its Gilded Age birth (asking, for example, why companies give money away while workers struggle), the idea historically at least had some coherence. Industrial titans like J.D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie took profits from their firms, however troubled their origins, and generally channeled them toward the disadvantaged and afflicted, funding public libraries, museums and disease research among other socially useful projects. The rich, in other words, idiosyncratically and undemocratically, gave to the poor.

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