I have just connected my wife's "healthy" Kindle via SSH to see what the story may be with the "can't open '/etc/upstart/shutdown_modes'"
But there is no such file in that directory:
[root@[192_168_15_244] upstart]# ls
battery-diags display functions poll_daemons wan
bundlefuncs firsttime init.sh prereg zforce
diags framework makexconfig userstore