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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 142,485

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No question: my Virginia town's 'slave block' should be removed from our sight

Mia Mullane
In Fredericksburg, Virginia, there sits a pre-civil war slave auction block. It’s upsetting to black and white residents – and it should be in a museum

Saturday 9 September 2017 08.00 EDT

As hurricanes ravage large parts of the US, another kind of tempest continues in my hometown of Fredericksburg, Virginia, over whether to move a pre-civil war slave auction block from a prominent historic district corner to be housed at the local museum.

I signed the petition to remove the now infamous slave auction block and was surprised to see the local political controversy elevated to the world stage in last week’s article, penned by fellow Fredericksburg native David Caprara. To put it frankly, I believe Caprara buried the lede.

The crux of this issue is that tourists perform mock slave auctions atop this block, or otherwise disrespect it by sitting on it, standing on it, and taking smiling pictures of their family with it. It’s upsetting – to black and white residents alike. In the words of Chuck Frye Jr, Fredericksburg’s only black city councilman and a strong proponent of the auction block’s removal: “If it weren’t there, this wouldn’t be happening. It’s that simple.”

One solution might be to cordon off the block to visitors while providing more contextual signage – the current sign says nothing of the slave families who were brutally ripped apart there. However, it’s the block’s location – mock auctions or not – that many find distressing. Several friends have told me they’d like to feel free to take their families out for pizza, or just go for a walk to the corner coffee shop, without being confronted with a visual reminder of the atrocities committed against their ancestors. At a recent city council meeting, Faith Childress said she has friends who avoid William Street altogether.


Sonic Attack on the U.S. Embassy Likely Psychological

Claims of an ‘acoustic wave’ attack by Cuba, sound fishy
Posted Sep 05, 2017

Be very skeptical over claims of a mysterious ‘sonic wave’ attack on U.S. Embassy personnel in Havana. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, and so far, the American government has failed to provide any concrete evidence. Cuba has vehemently denied engaging in any such attack, calling it baseless and ridiculous. Based on the scant information that has been disclosed thus far, it is very possible that the symptoms are psychogenic in nature, as most of the complaints are headaches and dizziness. The claims do not make logical sense. For instance, an acoustical device generating inaudible sounds, cannot damage a person’s hearing. The most serious case is described as “mild traumatic brain injury” and could be entirely unrelated. Furthermore, what exactly does this diagnosis mean? It is very, very vague.

There have been many documented cases in the mass hysteria literature of so-called ‘sick buildings’ that have supposedly caused outbreaks of illness, that turn out to be psychological. The human mind can play tricks on itself, especially in the wake of rumors and conspiracy claims. For instance, shortly after the anthrax mail attacks attributed to possible terrorists during the fall of 2001, the U.S. Postal Service began to irradiate mail to kill any biological agents sent through the mail. Soon dozens of workers at the irradiation centers reported feeling unwell and blaming their symptoms on the machines. Yet the irradiation of medical supplies had been going on for over a decade, without any reports of adverse effects. Irradiating mail produces no residual radiation, but the perception was that it was radioactive.

More recently, some schools have removed Wi-Fi after complaints by parents that it was generating symptoms like headaches, dizziness and fatigue. Wind turbines have been blamed for everything from dizziness to headaches and tinnitus. Hearing problems, headaches and lightheadedness have been associated with many cases of mass psychogenic illness.

The likelihood of mass hysteria is certainly in possible. If it is the culprit, what could have triggered such an outbreak? There is a long Cold War history of Cuban agents harassing American Embassy personnel in Havana. Many of these stories have been exaggerated and become part of American military folklore. This could have given rise to the expectation that similar shenanigans are happening again now that the U.S. has re-opened diplomatic relations with Cuba. It is also worth noting that the symptoms were not officially noticed until February 2017, after the Trump administration took office – an administration that is prone to creating conspiracy theories with little supporting evidence, such as the recent announcement by the Justice Department which said that claims Barack Obama had ordered wiretaps of Trump Tower, were unfounded.


Editorials and other articles:

How Regime Change Wars Led to Korea Crisis

September 4, 2017

Exclusive: The U.S.-led aggressions against Iraq and Libya are two war crimes that keep on costing, with their grim examples of what happens to leaders who get rid of WMDs driving the scary showdown with North Korea, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

It is a popular meme in the U.S. media to say that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is “crazy” as he undertakes to develop a nuclear bomb and a missile capacity to deliver it, but he is actually working from a cold logic dictated by the U.S. government’s aggressive wars and lack of integrity.

Indeed, the current North Korea crisis, which could end up killing millions of people, can be viewed as a follow-on disaster to President George W. Bush’s Iraq War and President Barack Obama’s Libyan intervention. Those wars came after the leaders of Iraq and Libya had dismantled their dangerous weapons programs, leaving their countries virtually powerless when the U.S. government chose to invade.

In both cases, the U.S. government also exploited its power over global information to spread lies about the targeted regimes as justification for the invasions — and the world community failed to do anything to block the U.S. aggressions.

And, on a grim personal note, the two leaders, Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, were then brutally murdered, Hussein by hanging and Gaddafi by a mob that first sodomized him with a knife.


Scientists harnessing power from Hawaiis waves

September 3, 2017 at 1:42 PM EDT

MEGAN THOMPSON: The east coast of the Hawaiian island of Oahu is known for its breathtaking beaches and ocean vistas. But these beautiful waters aren’t just a draw for surfers and tourists. They are also a potential, untapped source of renewable energy – power generated from waves.

MEGAN THOMPSON: What’s the potential for wave energy?

PAT CROSS: It’s huge. The resource around the world is enormous.

MEGAN THOMPSON: Pat Cross is an oceanographer with a PhD in meteorology who manages the wave energy testing site off the Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Since launching two years ago, it’s been one of the few places in the world testing out different technologies to harness energy from waves.

On edit, change of links:


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