The banality of evil is alive and well on Cape Cod

May 5, 2014



Curt Devlin, Guest Editor

My local newspaper recently published one of the ugliest, most mean-spirited op-eds I’ve ever read.  According to its author, Melody Affonce, anyone whose health is harmed by wind turbines must furnish unassailable proof before we take action to prevent further harm.  She compares these victims to those seeking workers compensation, welfare, or disability benefits.  (The fact that, so far, no one in Little Bay, Mass., is asking for compensation didn’t cross Affonce’s luminous mind.)

At the moment, the only thing the turbine neighbors are actually asking for is relief.  They just want to be free from the misery of headaches, dizziness, nausea and sleeplessness that they or their families experience whenever the turbines are spinning.  Affonce would deny them the same protections enjoyed by every other law-abiding citizen, and ignore their legal right to the peaceful enjoyment of their homes.  By her tortured logic, if people are beating you, you should have to prove that it hurts before you are justified in asking them to stop.

How far does Affonce’s evident endorsement of undeserved brutality and neglect go?  Perhaps we should deny medical treatment to seniors until they prove with certainty that they actually need it.  It is well known that care for the elderly absorbs a disproportionate amount our society’s healthcare resources through Medicare.  In the Affonce-care approach, we could dramatically decrease the cost of healthcare—not to mention the elderly population.  As long as we vote on this, it’s fair and just, right?

After the Vietnam War, we ignored the obvious suffering of vets with PTSD for over thirty years.  They couldn’t prove they were actually wounded—or that it was caused by combat.  The neurological damage of PTSD isn’t as obvious as the wounds caused by bullets and shrapnel—even though it is sometimes more debilitating.  According to Affonce’s line of reasoning, we should continue to deny all vets any mental health care or intervention until they prove they have sustained neurological injuries in battle.

No doubt, Affonce can tell us how to furnish proof of pain or suffering.  (How does one prove a headache, dizziness, or nausea?  The obvious fact that one cannot demonstrate somatic experiences, whether pleasant or painful, also escapes her gleaming intellect.)

To satisfy Affonce’s quest for absolute certainty, I modestly propose that we begin vivisecting one turbine neighbor each month until her hunger for “knowledge” is completely satisfied.  Sound reasonable?

When a doctor takes an x-ray, she does so to find the cause of pain.  She begins by assuming that your complaint is valid because she has an ethical obligation, known as duty of care, to take her patients complaint seriously.  We have a similar ethical duty to care for one another — called humanity.  You may know it as the Golden Rule.  Apparently, Affonce doesn’t feel bound by it.  Some people don’t mind cruelty as long as they aren’t disturbed by screaming.

For two years now, we have concentrated people in an infrasound ghetto against their will, subjected them to incessant low frequency pressure waves, and forced them to live in amplification chambers (which they once called home).  We are depriving them of their health, their livelihoods, and their basic human rights.  We are subjecting them to unwarranted experimentation.

Under these circumstances, Affonce’s demands aren’t just morally depraved—they are dangerous. At the Wind Forum in 2012, I described the siting of these turbines as an ominous social experiment and warned where it leads.  It may surprise you to learn that two of the diabolical experiments conducted at Dachau were designed to test the limits of human endurance to extreme pressure conditions and chronic sleep deprivation.  At Nuremburg, those who conducted them argued that the experiments were for “the greater good.”

At the forum, I asked:  Aren’t we better than this?  My question was rhetorical because I believed the answer was yes.  But when opinions like Affonce’s go unchallenged, I’m not so sure anymore.

When the silent majority watches impassively while wind zealots blame their victims, ignore human anguish, and applaud the trampling of basic human rights for the sake of some bankrupt ideological delusion disguised as the greater good, we inch ever closer to exactly the kind of unwarranted experimentation the Nuremburg Code was intended to prohibit.

Many have stood by, while officials make public apologies to their victims on public access television, like some circus sideshow, and hypocritically proclaim that “everyone deserves a good night’s sleep.”  Yet, none of these officials demands action to ensure that everyone gets one.  They personify what Hannah Arendt so aptly referred to as the banality of evil.

When the obvious truth is fully acknowledged, people like Affonce will be the first to claim, “We didn’t know!”

  1. Comment by Marshall Rosenthal on 05/05/2014 at 7:05 pm

    When I read Ms. Affonce’s mean-spirited pronouncement that the burden of proof is the obligation of the victim, I was revolted and nauseated. Upon Googling her, I recall that she has served as a welfare department gatekeeper, one who may see their duty to the state to be that of finding ways to deny the needy of assistance.

    I have encountered such nay-saying bureaucrats in the Social Security Administration, trying to get some help for my retarded adult brother-in-law. They were relieved to learn that he passed away, prematurely. When it comes to the names of government agencies, for example, in this state, DPH (Dept. of Public Health) or DEP (Dept. of Environmental Protection), wind turbine victims will receive the opposite treatment: bogus noise studies, the cold shoulder from the suborned clinical community, and even be assaulted by the likes of Ms. Affonce.

  2. Comment by Melodie Burkett on 05/05/2014 at 9:16 pm

    I am so embarrassed that this reptile with the IQ of a cucumber is named Melody Afarce or some such. I suppose she should be pitied, but frankly I do not have the heart for beasts like her.

    One war at a time please.

    Melodie Burkett,
    Clearview, Ontario, Canada

  3. Comment by Useless on 05/06/2014 at 8:36 am

    “How does one prove a headache, dizziness, or nausea?” Perhaps throwing up on Melody Affonce would provide some credible proof.

  4. Comment by Simon on 05/06/2014 at 10:15 am

    One word of warning: I know from one case in our neighboring town where a wind turbine has led to LFN-related sicknesses in residents, where a weird “letter to the editor” was sent by pro-wind activists that was signed with the name of one of the victims to undermine their position in the community. We should therefore keep the possibility in mind that some people play dirty in this game…

    But if this is “our” Melody Affonce, this online CV (maybe from a namesake) from Fairhaven, MA says it all: (

    If sb. thinks “filing and faxing” or “Route incoming mail to apprpriate parties” (spelling errors are from the CV) are highly relevant skills and should show up in a CV, they probably DO have some issues with the real world anyway, not to mention the concepts of scientific processes, the principles of epidemiology or even the fact that the ILFN-induced kinetosis has been described in occupational medicine publications since the 80s…

    If you look up “Melody Affonce” in the Fairhaven White Pages, there is only one person by that name. Look her up and then compare the address with this map: … so whoever lives at XX Eddy Street has quite a few neighbours who filed complaints on behalf of the effects from the two turbines…

    Maybe sb. wanted to do their neighbours in, or was frustrated with a boring job, or just angry, or ignorant, or the strange laws of physics have created a LFN-free spot–it actually doesn’t matter. Let’s focus on those who ARE smart but who PLAY dumb, who PLAY ignorant so they can have a big fat profit at the expense of our health…


  5. Comment by Melodie Burkett on 05/08/2014 at 8:18 am

    BRAVO! So relieved that this comparison kept going. Complacency, willful blindness and cowardice have allowed the travesty of forced industrialization of our rural residential and agricultural lands in Ontario and for that matter, globally. People and animals sick and suffering, permanent damage to those that cannot escape, wildlife displaced and raptors slaughtered. Children taught propaganda in the schools our taxes pay for.

    Families losing the life-long equity in their home and farms. Now what will they retire on? What will they eat? Where will they go? Who replaces the prize cattle that began to have stillborn or aborted calves, nosebleeds and malformed hooves? The farmer who abandoned his farm and left the province? He put up a big sign to warn others, but who had time to get involved? It was easier not to believe him.

    Irresponsible government allowing and even encouraging a corporate takeover of our lands based on an false ideology and an agenda. Politicians bowed to the lobbyists, joined the popular side even if they are misinformed. Get the popular vote. Stay in power. Life is good.

    My Polish father was 80 lbs when he was liberated from a concentration camp. He was only 23 years old when Poland was raped. He served as an officer in the Polish underground and helped Jews that had been herded into the ghetto in Warsaw. He ran false passports and papers to get them out of the country.

    His cover to get in the locked gates of the ghetto? He was in charge of collecting fees for garbage pick up. Sometimes the garbage was dead bodies! What courage! He said his heart pounded when he returned to his flat outside of the ghetto. He would check to see if the string he had carefully placed in the door jam was on the floor. Were they on to him? If they had searched his flat he would know. He attended underground meetings and listened to BBC reports on an illegal radio. If caught, the penalty was torture and death.

    Fortunately, after three years of this hell, he was eventually taken off a street car to be used as a slave worker in the camps for the remaining two years of the war. He was so proud to become Canadian. He worked hard in the city and saved for his retirement. He bought this humble little farm so he could retire in peace and quiet in the countryside.

    He is dead now. This farm under attack by big wind and big government was his farm. Surely he is rolling in his grave. Most have forgotten the horrors of a dictatorship. They take their freedom for granted. I will remember, for my dad’s sake and for my adult children who just don’t know, and for my newborn first grandchild — I will fight on.

    Melodie Kowalski Burkett
    Ontario, Canada

  6. Comment by Marshall Rosenthal on 05/08/2014 at 3:06 pm

    Melodie you have my love and respect. This fight may be protracted and deadly, but I believe that the truth will out.

    US Sen. Chuck Shumer, Dem., New York State, would re-write the US Constitution, trashing the First Amendment to make illegal political dissent pronouncements against the dominant liberal political agenda, noteworthy about it, the climate change cant. Already the renewable scam spinners are finger pointing at “climate change deniers.” Never mind that the schemes of Big Solar and Big Wind as a technology do not work, and can never provide reliable power for modern consumption, the critics of this conspiracy of pols, government, renewable energy moguls, and their willing “green shirt” followers, are being singled out as social enemies.

    This is a slippery slope, Chuck, and whatever you happen to be calling yourself politically, you are just another totalitarian seeking to garner more power and control.

    In whatever country we find his ilk, they deserve to be thrown out on their kiesters, before more people are harmed.

  7. Comment by Sharon on 05/18/2014 at 2:20 pm

    I have just gone through three weeks of vertigo that was so bad, I could not drive, walk through my house without holding onto walls, and dizziness even lying down. Another portion of my life, gone. I just turned 61 and never had a diagnosis of vertigo until the Falmouth wind turbines went up 3 to 4 years ago. The first time lasted 1.5 years.

    My mother of 83 said they should build them next to the politicians who were all for them in the first place. God, I love my mom. Such practicial wisdom and common sense — something missing in our government as well as in most people I read about these days.

    I believe one day, scientists and doctors will come together to study the impact of sound, its various levels, duration and distance, etc., on humans and wildlife. We already are aware of sleep deprivation and its negative impact on the human body and mind.

    Unfortunately, the ignorance of these fields takes so long, they leave a wake of misery and death in their wake. I speak of events like multiple sclerosis, Lyme Disease, PTSD, and the list goes on.

    Nevertheless, I believe in the old adage, “the squeaky wheel gets oiled.” I will not be silenced and will continue to write and vote against these wind turbines being located too near us.

  8. Comment by E.A. on 08/27/2014 at 3:20 am

    I want to point out two major sources pushing denial of this problem. These are sources I used to respect for being science-minded.

    One is the website RationalWiki. See their article about Wind Turbine Syndrome where they casually ignore the evidence and imply that NIMBYism is the real problem. It’s heavily biased, and that’s their option, but it goes against their usual pro-environment stance.

    The other source is anti-climate-denial video maker, Peter Sinclair, who claims wind turbine noise is barely existent and complaints are fabrications of “an outside group of right wing fossil fuel interests…” (see his article titled “Wind Turbine Syndrome is Bulls–t”). I stopped watching most of his material after reading that. Yet another faux green warrior who can’t see that “solutions” often create new problems.

    That sort of tunnel-vision and smugness is commonplace among people who’ve decided that it’s moral to throw rural landscapes under the blades. They can’t fathom that THEY practice a form of denial just like willful ignorance of CO2’s heat-trapping history.

    Also, I’d like to stop seeing wind turbines vilified to get back at the “global warming hoax” and stereotyped environmentalists. The well known physical properties of CO2 and giant spinning blades are distinct issues, so keep ideology out of it. Man is altering nature on many fronts. The net impact of man-made technology is A plus B, not A versus B.

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