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December 12, 2012

The Bayou Corne Sinkhole: the massive oil and gas disaster you've never heard of

Overzealous mining has collapsed this neighborhood and ruined the water forever with natural gas pollution. Bayou Frack-Out: The Massive Oil and Gas Disaster You've Never Heard Of
Located about 45 miles south of Baton Rouge, Assumption Parish carries all the charms and curses of southern Louisiana. Networks of bayous, dotted with trees heavy with Spanish moss, connect with the Mississippi River as it slowly ambles toward the Gulf of Mexico. Fishermen and farmers make their homes there, and so does the oil and gas industry, which has woven its own network of wells, pipelines and processing facilities across the lowland landscape. The first sign of the oncoming disaster was the mysterious appearance of bubbles in the bayous in the spring of 2012. For months the residents of a rural community in Assumption Parish wondered why the waters seemed to be boiling in certain spots as they navigated the bayous in their fishing boats. Then came the earthquakes. The quakes were relatively small, but some residents reported that their houses shifted in position, and the tremors shook a community already desperate for answers. State officials launched an investigation into the earthquakes and bubbling bayous in response to public outcry, but the officials figured the bubbles were caused by a single source of natural gas, such as a pipeline leak. They were wrong. On a summer night in early August, the earth below the Bayou Corne, located near a small residential community in Assumption, simply opened up and gave way. Several acres of swamp forest were swallowed up and replaced with a gaping sinkhole that filled itself with water, underground brines, oil and natural gas from deep below the surface. Since then, the massive sinkhole at Bayou Corne has grown to 8 acres in size. . . .

December 08, 2012

The Civil War isn't "tragic"

The Civil War Isn't Tragic - Ta-Nehisi Coates - The Atlantic
Some words from Private Thomas Strother of the USCT, writing the Christian Recorder, the 19th century paper published by the African Methodist Episcopal Church: To suppose that slavery, the accursed thing, could be abolished peacefully and laid aside innocently, after having plundered cradles, separated husbands and wives, parents and children; and after having starved to death, worked to death, whipped to death, run to death, burned to death, lied to death, kicked and cuffed to death, and grieved to death; and, worst of all, after having made prostitutes of a majority of the best women of a whole nation of people...would be the greatest ignorance under the sun.

December 06, 2012

Did you know America had a coup d'etat in 1898?

Upset over black Americans being elected to the city council, white supremacists in North Carolina rioted, murdering many people and burning down businesses owned by black Americans. They ran the elected officials out of town and took over the city. No one was punished for the crimes. Wilmington Insurrection of 1898 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Wilmington Insurrection of 1898, also known as the Wilmington Massacre of 1898 or the Wilmington Race Riot of 1898, occurred in Wilmington, North Carolina on November 10, 1898 and following days; it is considered a turning point in North Carolina politics following Reconstruction. Originally labeled a race riot, it is now termed a coup d'etat, as white Democratic insurrectionists overthrew the legitimately elected local government, the only such event in United States history.[1][2] In the Wilmington Insurrection, two days after the election of a Fusionist white mayor and biracial city council, Democratic white supremacists illegally seized power from the elected government. More than 1500 white men participated in an attack on the black newspaper, burning down the building. They ran officials and community leaders out of the city, and killed many blacks in widespread attacks, but especially destroyed the Brooklyn neighborhood. They took photographs of each other during the events. The Wilmington Light Infantry (WLI) and federal Naval Reserves, told to quell the riot, used rapid-fire weapons and killed several black men in the Brooklyn neighborhood. Both black and white residents later appealed for help after the riot to President William McKinley, who did not respond. More than 2,000 blacks left the city permanently, turning it from a black-majority to a white-majority city. In the 1990s, a grassroots movement arose in the city to acknowledge and discuss the events more openly, and try to reconcile the different accounts of what happened, similar to efforts in Florida and Oklahoma to recognize the early 20th-century race riots of Rosewood and Tulsa, respectively. The city planned events around the insurrection's centennial in 1998, and numerous residents took part in discussions and education events. In 2000 the state legislature authorized a commission to produce a history of the events and to evaluate the economic impact and costs to black residents, with consideration of reparation for descendants of victims. Its report was completed in 2006.