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Inside The LC: The Strange but Mostly True Story of Laurel Canyon and the Birth of the Hippie Generation Part XXI

"Why people even said Dr. Crandon committed illegal operations on little children and murdered them."

Mina/Margery Crandon
Houdini's Chinese Water Torture Cell
© houdinez.tripod.com
On April 29, 1911, Houdini debuted his famed Chinese Water Torture Cell escape in Southampton, England, though he had perfected and copyrighted the act well over a year earlier. The inherently dangerous stunt caused quite a sensation: "Just the sight of the apparatus was enough to give you shivers and make you believe, as one critic noted, that you were about to witness a ritual sacrifice."

Around that same time, Houdini was, for reasons unknown, busily buying mothballed electric chairs at auctions across the country.

In 1913, Houdini's beloved mother passed away, which apparently resulted in Harry learning some deep family secret. Following her death, Houdini sent the following cryptic note to one of his brothers: "Time heals all wounds, but a long time will have to pass before it will heal the terrible blow which Mother tried to save me from knowing." The meaning of this rather provocative note remains a mystery. Houdini, by the way, was in Denmark when his mother died, and he requested a delay of her funeral to allow himself time to return to the States. Despite strict prohibitions in Jewish law, the entertainer's request was, of course, granted.

In December 1914, just a few months after the staged provocation that allegedly triggered World War I, Houdini was summoned to the nation's capitol for a private audience with then-President Woodrow Wilson. It is anyone's guess what business the two men discussed, but it probably had little to do with stage tricks.
Houdini's Straightjacket Escape
© Prairie Ghost.com
Houdini became known as the "Handcuff King" but he also perfected the straitjacket escape, which would earn him worldwide fame.

A year-and-a-half later, on that most notorious of dates, April 20, an estimated 100,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C. to watch Houdini perform a straightjacket escape. Other than for a presidential inauguration, it was said to be the largest crowd ever assembled in downtown Washington. One year later, in April 1917, the US declared war on Germany.

For the duration of the United States' involvement in the war, Houdini spent a considerable amount of time aiding the war effort, both through fundraising and by frequently visiting the front lines, where he ostensibly went from camp to camp providing entertainment for the troops.

Houdini's Hollywood career also began just as the US was entering the war. It has often been said that one of his first credits was as a special-effects consultant on the Mysteries of Myra cliffhanger serial, though others have claimed that Houdini had no involvement in the production. Curiously, the real consultant for the project is said to have been occultist/intelligence asset Aleister Crowley.

Che Guevara

Cuba's Ladies in White warned public protests no longer allowed

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© Reuters
Members of dissident group The Ladies in White march during their weekly protest in Havana.
The women said that state security told them that they can attend mass in Havana, but cannot march outside. The action comes a week before Pope Benedict XVI arrives for three-day visit.

Cuba's Ladies in White say the secret police have told them that they will shut down the only public protests allowed by the government anywhere on the island - the marches staged by the women after Sunday masses in Havana's Santa Rita church.

The threat came as police arrested more than 70 group members over the weekend and dissidents stepped up their activities as Cuba prepares for Pope Benedict XVI's three-day visit to Havana and the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba, starting Monday.

The Ladies in White have been generally allowed to protest outside the Santa Rita church since mid-2010, when Cardinal Jaime Ortega interceded with the government after the women were accosted, sometimes lewdly, several times by mobs of government supporters.

Their Sunday marches after mass at Santa Rita, where many churchgoers are foreign residents of Havana, along the grassy median of Fifth Avenue in the western neighborhood of Miramar have been the only such regularly occurring protest in Cuba.

Police have cracked down harshly, however, when women tried to launch similarly peaceful marches elsewhere, including the cathedral in the city of Santiago de Cuba and the Basilica of Our Lady of Charity in El Cobre, both in eastern Cuba.

Heart - Black

Israeli settlers taking over Palestinian springs: UN report

Israeli settlers spring
© AFP/File, Jaafar Ashtiyeh
Israeli settlers shovel the ground to divert water from a spring in the West Bank village of Karawa Bani Hassan
Israeli settlers have taken over dozens of natural springs in the West Bank, limiting or preventing Palestinian access to much-needed water sources, a United Nations report said on Monday.

The report produced by the UN's Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said at least 30 springs across the West Bank had been completely taken over by settlers, with Palestinians unable to access them at all.

In most instances, the report said, "Palestinians have been deterred from accessing the springs by acts of intimidation, threats and violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers."

Pistol

Shootings in Toulouse and Montauban: What we know

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Sarkozy is personally overseeing the investigation. In the middle of an election campaign too. Hmmm...
Three gun attacks which left seven people dead and two wounded have sparked a security alert in south-western France, with fears that the same killer could be at work.

In each case the attacker is said to have been a gunman on a moped, using the same gun, striking in broad daylight.

All of the attacks took place within a radius of about 50km (30 miles), between the city of Toulouse and town of Montauban.

The first two shootings saw soldiers targeted but the third took place at a school.

What the victims have in common is that they belong to, or are associated with, ethnic or religious minorities - North African, Caribbean and Jewish.

Comment: Helmeted assassins on motorbikes?

Iranian nuclear scientist killed in motorbike attack

Iranian chemist killed by motorbike assassins

Israel Helped Train Those Motorcycle Assassins in Iran


Eye 1

Browne Says Bales Wasn't Drunk and Can't Remember

John Henry Browne
© unknown
John Henry Browne
US: Fort Leavenworth, Kansas - The defense of accused murderer Sgt. Robert Bales began Monday when he spent more than seven hours with three of his lawyers, including defense attorney John Henry Browne.

At their meeting, Bales did not confess to the crime.

"He has no memory of...he has an early memory of that evening and he has a later memory of that, but he doesn't have memory of the evening in between.," Browne said.

Witnesses describe Bales as going deliberately from room to room in several houses while killing people, not in some kind of berserk attack. Browne said that despite the descriptions of his apparently deliberate actions, Bales remembers none of what happened.

Browne also said reports of his being drunk that night were not really true.

Stormtrooper

Lawyer Describes Talk with Afghan Killings Suspect

Robert Bales
© unknown
Staff Sgt. Robert Bales during an exercise at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California
US, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas - A Seattle lawyer who is defending an Army staff sergeant suspected of killing 16 Afghans, including nine children, met Monday with the soldier for the first time at Fort Leavenworth, a conversation the attorney described as emotional.

Lawyer John Henry Browne said he met for more than three hours with Robert Bales, a 10-year Army veteran who is being held in an isolated cell at the military prison.

"What's going on on the ground in Afghanistan, you read about it, I read about it, but it's totally different when you hear about it from somebody who's been there," Browne told The Associated Press by telephone during a lunch break. "It's just really emotional."

Bales, 38, and Browne are expected to meet again Monday afternoon.

Bales has not been charged yet in the March 11 shootings, which have endangered relations between the U.S. and Afghanistan and threatened to upend American policy over the decade-old war. Formal charges are expected to be filed within a week.

Post spokeswoman Rebecca Steed said earlier that Bales would be able to meet Browne in what is described as a privileged visit. Along with medical visits, such meetings are generally more private than others conducted in the prison.

Bales is "already being integrated into the normal pre-trial confinement routine," Steed said.

Comment: The reader is encouraged to read the Sott Focus US Marines Look Deep Inside Their Souls - Find Vacuum - Decide To Kill Afghan Villagers by Joe Quinn for a better understanding of the situation involving this 'lone gunman'.


Attention

Dutch Roman Catholic Church 'castrated at least 10 boys' in the 1950s!

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© omroepbrabant
The NRC Handelsblad newspaper identified Henk Heithuis who was castrated in 1956
At least 10 teenage boys or young men under the age of 21 were surgically castrated "to get rid of homosexuality" while in the care of the Dutch Roman Catholic Church in the 1950s.

Evidence of the castrations has emerged amid controversy that it was not included in the findings of an official investigation into sexual abuse within the church last year.

The NRC Handelsblad newspaper identified Henk Heithuis who was castrated in 1956, while a minor, after reporting priests to the police for abusing him in a Catholic boarding home.

Joep Dohmen, the investigative journalist who uncovered the Heithuis case, also found evidence of at least nine other castrations. "These cases are anonymous and can no longer be traced," he said. "There will be many more. But the question is whether those boys, now old men, will want to tell their story."

Mr. Potato

'Kony 2012′ filmmaker expected to be released from mental hospital soon

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© Invisible Children
Jason Russell
The wife of Jason Russell, the creator of the viral Kony 2012 video, said her husband was suffering from "extreme exhaustion and dehydration," after police found him last week nearly naked and incoherent in his San Diego neighborhood.

Russell's wife Danica said in a statement that her 33-year-old husband's meltdown was not caused by drugs or alcohol. "Jason has never had a substance abuse or drinking problem, and this episode wasn't caused by either of those things," she wrote. "But yes, he did some irrational things brought on by extreme exhaustion."

Russell was expected to be released soon from a mental facility. A spokeswoman for Invisible Children, the San Diego-based advocacy group Russell co-founded, did not return a request from Yahoo News for comment.

"Because of how personal the [Kony] film is, many of the attacks against it were also very personal and Jason took them very hard," Danica's statement continued. "Jason has dedicated his adult life to this cause, leading to KONY 2012. We thought a few thousand people would see the film, but in less than a week, millions of people around the world saw it."

Family

Recent Immigrants Cost Taxpayers $16B a Year: Fraser Institute

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© The Canadian Press
The common refrain is that Canada needs immigration to mitigate current and future labour shortages and to help pay the medical bills for our aging population.

The Fraser Institute says hogwash to that. The sometimes controversial right-wing think tank says recent immigrants are actually a huge burden to Canadian taxpayers.

According to its report released Thursday, those who arrived in Canada between 1987 and 2004 received about $6,000 more in government services per immigrant in 2005 than they paid in taxes.

"Immigrants arriving in Canada since 1987 are not doing as well economically as immigrants who arrived before 1987," said Herbert Grubel, Fraser Institute senior fellow and co-author of the study titled Fiscal Transfers to Immigrants in Canada: Responding to Critics and a Revised Estimate.

"As a result of Canada's welfare-state policies, our progressive income taxes, and universal social programs, these immigrants impose a huge fiscal burden on Canadian taxpayers of between $16 billion and $23 billion annually."

Heart - Black

Inhuman: Kids found slashed in home fire; mom charged

Mother allegedly sliced kids' throats and started blaze; children in critical condition

A mother accused of slashing her children's throats and setting fire to the family's apartment had removed the unit's inside doorknob, sealed vents, covered sprinklers and disabled the smoke alarm, prosecutors said Monday at the woman's arraignment.

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© Aram Boghosian/The Boston Globe
Tanicia Goodwin appeared in Salem District Court today where she was charged with attempted murder for allegedly slashing the throats of her two children, who were critically injured.
Tanicia Goodwin was ordered held without bail pending an appearance in court next week. A judge will then decide if she's eligible for bail on two counts of assault with intent to murder, two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and arson.

The 25-year-old Goodwin didn't enter a plea.

She held her head low and didn't speak in court other than to answer in the affirmative when the judge asked if she needed a court-appointed lawyer.