Tag Archives | New York

How the legacy of slavery affects the mental health of black Americans today

The trauma of slavery.  National Archives and Records

The trauma of slavery. National Archives and Records

On July 22, in announcing the federal indictment of Charleston killer Dylann Roof, Attorney General Loretta Lynch commented that the expression of forgiveness offered by the victims’ families is “an incredible lesson and message for us all.”

Forgiveness and grace are, indeed, hallmarks of the Black Church.

Since slavery, the church has been a formidable force for the survival of blacks in an America still grappling with the residual effects of white supremacy.

This was eloquently illustrated in the aftermath of the Charleston church massacre. Americans rightly stood in awe of the bereaved families’ laudable demonstration of God’s grace in action.

But what about the psychic toll that these acts of forgiveness exact?

Events like Charleston put a spotlight on the growing body of literature that looks not only at the United States’ failure to have authentic conversations about slavery and its legacy but also at the mental health impact of forgiving acts of white racism and repressing justifiable feelings of anger and outrage – whether these are horrific acts of terrorism or nuanced microaggressions.Read the rest

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A robot passed a self-awareness test

A robot solved the “wise men puzzle” at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.

Duncan Geere via TechRadar:

Roboticists at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York have built a trio of robots that were put through the classic ‘wise men puzzle’ test of self-awareness – and one of them passed.

In the puzzle, a fictional king is choosing a new advisor and gathers the three wisest people in the land. He promises the contest will be fair, then puts either a blue or white hat on each of their heads and tells them all that the first person to stand up and correctly deduce the colour of their own hat will become his new advisor.

Selmer Bringsjord set up a similar situation for the three robots – two were prevented from talking, then all three were asked which one was still able to speak. All attempt to say “I don’t know”, but only one succeeds – and when it hears its own voice, it understands that it was not silenced, saying “Sorry, I know now!”

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New York Bans Fracking

Andrew Cuomo by Pat Arnow croppedWhat is this, good news day? Just a dream? Governor Andrew Cuomo follows President Obama’s decision to open up to Cuba with a ban on fracking in New York State, reports the New York Times:

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration announced on Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State because of concerns over health risks, ending years of uncertainty over the controversial method of natural gas extraction.

State officials concluded that fracking, as the method is known, could contaminate the air and water and pose inestimable dangers to public health.

That conclusion was delivered during a year-end cabinet meeting convened by Mr. Cuomo in Albany. It came amid increased calls by environmentalists to ban fracking, which uses water and chemicals to release natural gas trapped in deeply buried shale deposits.

The question of whether to allow fracking has been one of the most divisive public policy debates in New York in years, pitting environmentalists against others who saw it as a critical way to bring jobs to economically stagnant portions of upstate.

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Medical Marijuana Becoming Legal In New York

Andrew Cuomo by Pat Arnow croppedThose New Yorkers who remember the Rockefeller drug laws may be amazed to learn that Governor Andrew Cuomo is about to sign an executive order that will permit medical marijuana in New York State. The New York Times has the details:

Joining a growing group of states that have loosened restrictions on marijuana, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York plans this week to announce an executive action that would allow limited use of the drug by those with serious illnesses, state officials say.

The turnabout by Mr. Cuomo, who had long resisted legalizing medical marijuana, comes as other states are taking increasingly liberal positions on it — most notably Colorado, where thousands have flocked to buy the drug for recreational use since it became legal on Jan. 1.

Mr. Cuomo’s plan will be far more restrictive than the laws in Colorado or California, where medical marijuana is available to people with conditions as mild as backaches.

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Graham Hancock at the National Arts Club: The Research Behind His Novel ‘War God ‘

If you are a fellow obsessive lost civilization/alien abduction/alternate history nerd such as I presume to be, than chances are you will have engorged geeky gonads for all that I’ve just lain before your feet, you scurvy information mendicants!

Graham Hancock gives a lecture for the historic National Arts Club- Art and Technology Committee to a capacity audience. The title of the lecture is “Exploring Consciousness: Upper Paleolithic Cave Art to Modern Day Shamanism”. He covers his views on consciousness, his controversial TED Talk, and his experiences working with visionary plants.

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The Misfits’ Jerry Only at New York Comic Con

I really wasn’t expecting to bump into Jerry Only and his Misfits bandmate Chupacabra (yeah, yeah, I know, it’s not the original line-up) at New York Comic Con, but that’s part and parcel of the madness of that event. I don’t do many music industry interviews (and this one was spur of the moment with zero prep time, and entirely off the top of my head to boot) but I rose to the occasion and did the best I could under the circumstances. Chupacabra doesn’t talk much, by the way. Hope you enjoy, Disinfonauts.

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Danny Panzella of Peaceful Streets Project Arrested for Handing Out Flyers at Penn Station

Via PeaceNewsNow.com

Super-activist Danny Panzella of TruthSquad.tv was arrested earlier this morning inside Pennsylvania Station in New York City for criminally dispensing information to passers-by who voluntarily accepted his fliers. Danny was informing the blissfully ignorant public of the latest “drill” by NYPD conditioning the sheeple to act obedient during a subway crisis. During today’s “drill,” the city’s blue light gang released a potentially hazardous gas into the subway, contaminating the airways of innocent passengers.

Which action is criminal? Dispensing toxic gas into the lungs of the unconsenting, or dispensing pamphlets informing them about it?


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